Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Update

Welp, Ry Pie and I are back from Michigan - where we spent all waking hours in the water since it was so hot this weekend! Good Times!

Angela and Johnnie are back from Mexico. We got to hear Angela tell us some stories on our way back to Chicago last night. She was at Mom and Dad's doing laundry and gearing up for a week without her John. He left in the morning for Mississippi with Oasis middle school group to work with Katrina Survivors! What a guy. You can read the Mississippi blog HERE to know what is happening each day with the group.

In other news, Dad brought down the house preaching at WillowCreek last Wednesday at their New Community Service. For some reason, people love to hear about themselves ... I mean, "The Most Irritating Things About Christians" Click HERE to hear the sermon for yourself.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Welcome to Dunder - Mufflin

NBC's The Office is adding two new characters to its cast this season. Daily Show correspondent Ed Helms and Whose Line Is It Anyway? Charles Chip Esten will be joining the Dunder-Mufflin team.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I love my new Job!

Today was my first day of my new job at Aspire!One~

I am thrilled to get to be a part of such a dynamic team of creative geniuses! You are probably hoping that I will go into detail about the job itself, but that will have to wait for another blog because right now I have so much to tell you about Sycamore, IL!

Sycamore is far enough away that I started seeing signs for Iowa on my way there. Talk about corn fields! I thought Indiana had corn, until I drove to Sycamore. Its so far away that my radio stations didn't work out there ... and I started to wonder if my cell phone would get any reception. I have to get an I-Pass soon, or I am going to be paying $4.80 per day in tolls...which is not good. I don't know much about the I-Pass, but what I do know is that you get to zoom through the toll booths instead of waiting in line to see a real person. I think it might even save some money in the long run, but im not positive about that.

I had a quarter tank of gas when I left my house this morning and by the time I got out to Sycamore it was empty. Fortunately there is one gas station in the entire zipcode. :o) Even more fortunately, gas was only $2.99 a gallon. I was pumped at the pump as I thought about how happy Ryan would be to hear that I saved .29 cents per gallon buying gas in Sycamore today instead of by our house in Riverside.

Dawn, Keith, Tim, & Lee decided to give me a taste of the local flavor for lunch. We went to Hank's - a tiny bar whith great food where everyone knew the names of the waitresses. I loved it. Sycamore is famous for the Pumpkin Festival and apparently the parade is one of the biggest in the state. This could be due to the fact that every high school band in the area participates.

Thats all for now. I can't wait to tell you more about Sycamore!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Remember the story I told you last Monday about the tree falling on our house? Well, today, Monday, a week later we finally got our cable and internet fixed! yippee! I can blog again!

We made lots of new friends this weekend! Carson and Nicole moved into the basement apartment at our house. Carson is a 1st year student at Loyola and I haven't met Nicole yet, but she seems really nice! Michelle and I are pumped to have another tae-bo partner and Ryan and Bryan have pretty much adopted Carson as their new best friend. The family grill-outs are getting bigger and bigger! What fun!

The most amazing thing about Carson moving in is that his mom and dad go to Northland! They live in Winter Park. His dad is an architect who designed a lot of the custom homes in WinterPark! When I told him that Joel Hunter is my uncle, he couldn't believe it! Amazingly small world!

Ryan and I went to the 2 by 2 group at church this week. We met Josh and Julie...and they too are our new friends.

It may have taken over two years to make some great friends ... but now that we have them we are so much happier!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I will miss my volunteers

I love my volunteers. For the last 9 months I have worked with thousands of volunteers and I love them all. Yesterday Harry, one of the greatest volunteers in the history of Emergency Disaster Services came over to help me clean out a canteen. Today two of my favorite volunteers, Mike & Dalya, took me out to lunch, A couple of the SATERN volunteers, Ken and Bill bought me the most beautiful Parker Pen set that I will write with every day. Tomorrow I have another lunch appointment. Like I said before, I love them. I will never forget my volunteers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nazareth Attacked

Im not so sure that people should be messing with Nazareth.

Stormy Weather

Monday night some huge thunderstorms swept through Chicago. Throughout the evening the lights had flickered and dimmed a few times with the wind, but the power was still on, so we were happy. Around 11:30pm Ryan was brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed when I heard him say from the bathroom, "Hey Buddy" to our neighbor Bryan who was in his bathroom, in his apartment, which is adjacent to ours. (We have the ability to communicate through the bathroom fans, which can be fun at times.)

The next thing I knew, Ryan ran into our room and said "Get dressed! A tree fell on the house! Bryan's air conditioner got knocked out of the window! He thinks it caught on fire! Hurry Hurry!" So we met Michelle and Bryan by the back door and indeed, the tree had either been struck by lightning or maybe just cracked under the wind, either way, it fell onto the powerlines, cable lines, and internet lines...and nearly hit the house.

Ryan and Bryan were running around like excited crazies. What is it about distruction of property that makes men turn into excited little boys?

Amazingly, we still had electricity at our house, eventhough our tree knocked out the power for the rest of the block. Yesterday when I got home from work the tree was completely gone, roots and everything! My first thought was "YES!! Michelle and I have enough sunny space to lay out here now and get tan!" and my 2nd thought was, "Hopefully soon the electric company will get those down power lines off of the driveway and get our cable and internet working again."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

World Jump Day


German professor Hans Peter Niesward claims to have the answer to global warming—jumping. Using his website, Niesward plans to have 600 million people around the world jump at the same. The synchronized jolt is expected to rattle earth’s orbit just enough to eliminate the effects of global warming and extend daylight hours.

Flashback Tuesday

For this flashback entry I would like to harken back to the college days. I participated as a "moraler" in a Hope College tradition called "The Pull" which features a 3 hour odd year vs. even year tug-of-war competition across the black river. This is not your normal tug-of-war folks, this is intense ... so intense that tractor tires have been snapped and huge trees have been uprooted during practices. My brother Aaron and my brother-in-law John carried on the Odd Year tradition by participating as pullers on the '05 Pull Team. Aaron was in pit 17 and John was the Anchor. They are tough, as you can see from the picture.

"When the 1898 Pull (the first on record) was held, Victoria was queen of England, and William McKinley was president of the United States. Those students of long ago can't have had any notion of what they started, but what a storied legacy it is. The event endures still, with two teams of 36 (18 "pullers" on the rope, and 18 "moralers" serving as their eyes) battling across the Black River every fall.

The Pull has found its way into the national and even international media, from The Guinness Book of World Records (1995, maybe others...) to Sports Illustrated (twice--in 1966 and 1996); from a magazine in Japan (1983) to Australian television (1996). "

ODD YEAR!! Ooh- Rah!!

Are you addicted to your cell phone?

I came across an interesting article that made me realize I may very well be addicted to my cell phone. Click here for the full article, see below for some highlights.

* Some have even called cell phones "the new cigarettes," seeing as how people fiddle with them in elevators, whip them out as soon as they leave the office, take "cell phone breaks" on the job and chat away while walking, driving, etc.

* And when your phone isn't ringing, your brain sometimes tricks you into thinking that it is — a phenomenon that has been dubbed "phantom ringing."

* In 2003, information-science professor Sergio Chaparro wanted to test out just how deeply cell phones had insinuated themselves into the lives of his students at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

He gave them a seemingly simple homework assignment: to off their cell phones for 72 hours. Of 220 students with cell phones, only three could bring themselves to complete the assignment.
“They were afraid. They were truly afraid,” said Chaparro, now a professor at the Simmons Graduate School for Library and Information Science, in Boston.

“What I found was basically a high level of dependence on cell phones. Most students were particularly, I would say, scared of the experience.”

As part of the experiment, the students were required to keep logs of their thoughts and feelings while going without their mobile phones. The responses were telling, he said.

“They had high levels of anxiety, high levels of stress, high levels of insecurity,” he said. “Some of them also told me personal stories. One student told me that the year before she went on a spring-break trip for a week, and the minute she got on the plane, she realized she had forgotten her cell phone. So her mom had to FedEx her the cell phone because she couldn't be without her cell phone for a few days. She was afraid of even driving without her cell phone.”

* “The symptoms are similar to the symptoms we see with other types of addictions,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The following are some common symptoms:
- The person feels uncomfortable when not using a cell phone;
- Their cell-phone use has increased significantly;
- Their need to talk on the phone is insatiable;
- Their cell-phone bill is causing financial distress;
- They are having problems at school and work because they are constantly using their cell phone;
- They are having interpersonal problems because they are constantly using their cell phone; - They are endangering their health because they use their cell phone during inappropriate times (driving, etc.).”

Monday, July 17, 2006

Leaving Well

Throughout the 25 years of my life so far, there have been a few common themes that have played important roles in the growing-up process. One very important theme is "leaving well"

How does one leave well? A good question indeed! I have found that in each stage of life there is an entering process as well as a leaving process. Some of these transitions happen so naturally that one hardly notices the change. For example, moving up from the red class to the blue class in swimming lessons as a child. I was in the red class but was ready for the blue class, I was operating as if I was already in the blue class, I was hanging out with all the kids from the blue class, so when I actually moved into the blue class, not much changed.

A more noticeable transition was from 8th grade to my freshman year of high school. I was the queen of 8th grade, and then, suddenly I was no one. I was a small, frightened, directionally challeneged person in one of the biggest high schools in the state! I couldn't find my classes, I couldn't remember where my locker was, I didn't know why the older kids thought it was okay to be making out in the hallways, and I managed to tumble down the main staircase during my first month there! Worst of all, deep down inside I knew that I would make it through, that I would eventually find my way and make my place...but until then, life wasn't going to be easy. My parents advised me to "squeeze every drop out of every day" and told me that before I knew it I would be graduation from Penn and heading off to college somewhere!

Before I knew it, I was leaving Penn...and then, all of a sudden I was married and living in Chicago!

Today I find myself in an interesting place. I have 4 days left in my current job before moving into what could very well be the most exciting career move I have ever made. In my new role at Aspire!One I will be utilizing my strengths, gifts, and my life experiences! I will be surrounded by incredibly sharp people ... the kind I want to be like ... in short, I can't wait to get outta here so I can jump into this new phase of ministry and life! Ahhhhh!

Which brings me back to the topic of leaving well. I have been brainstorming ways for myself to leave this phase of life well. Leaving well is a choice. I have to make the desicion to put in the extra effort that is required when attempting to leave well. I have created the most beautifully written farewell brief in the history of The Salvation Army. The goal is that anyone who reads it could easily do everything that I have done in my 8 months working here.

And that, my friend, is one way that I have chosen to leave well today.

Snakes on a Plane

Can a title be so bad that it's actually good? I saw the movie trailer yesterday and couldn't help myself from laughing when the title came across the screen at the end.

Coming to a theater near you August 18th, 2006.
Snakes + Airplane = Snakes on a Plane
So Simple, Simply Terrible, But Creating a lot of BUZZ

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...

Tim Stevens is a blogger! Click HERE for a link to his site

Hurray! Yahoo! Yippee Skippy! Super Duper! Fantastic! GREAT! Teriffic! Wa-Hoobie!

Friday, July 14, 2006


Thank you Seth Godin for helping me become really high-tech today. After reading some advice from Seth on the world of Squidoo and checking out his lenses, I mustered up the courage to try one for myself.

Today I created my first lens, which makes me a Squidoo "Lensmaster" because everyone's an expert on something. I decided that I should make a list of all the things that I am an expert on, and then begin creating lenses on each topic.

My first lens is on the topic of Studying Abroad in Australia. I would say that I know enough about that topic to make me somewhat of an expert. Check it out, rate my lens, leave a comment, woo-hoo!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

metatarsal phalangeal capsilitis & bipartite sesamoid

A few weeks ago I decided to become a jogger. Nothing serious, just 20 minutes of light jogging and a nice cool down walk. Over the weekend during my jogs I was starting to feel really great, like I should start training for something or maybe invest in some proper running shoes.

Throughout my jog on Tuesday, I thought about how great I was feeling, that I was really starting to become a jogger, that I wasn't even winded and was going at a good pace. When I was running I felt great, when I got home and did my streatches I felt great, and then about an hour later my big toe started hurting. I went to see Bryan next door, because he is going to be a physical therapist. He checked it out and siad that it could be my sesamoid bone, and then showed me a picture in one of his books. I took his advice and held some ice on it for awhile, but then noticed that it was beginning to swell.

A bit frustrated, I took some Aleve and went to bed, assuming that my bug toe would be better by morning. Upon waking (at 4:00am) because I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about how my foot should be feeling better by now but it was not) I decided to get up and take a look at it in the light. I found it to be quite swollen around the big toe area of my right I hobbled back to bed walking on the outside edge of my right foot the whole way there. I thought about going to the ER, but Ryan said I would wait all day because I would be last in line compared to other serious injuries...he is smart.

I called to make an appointment with Dr. J (because he does Sports Medicine) but the place wasn't open to take calls because it was only 5:51am. So I watched the news for awhile until 7:30 when the place opened. Dr. J didn't have an opening until the after hanging up, I called his office directly and they got me in at 11:15. Yippee!

After examining my hurt foot, Dr. J told me that he hadn't seen anything like this. He said that the big toe is so strong, normally something else would be hurt first, and then he told me to drive over the the Hospital Outpatient Center for some x-rays and then come back to see him. When I returned, he told me that I had a bipartite sesamoid and metatarsalphalangeal capsilitis (whatever that is.) Then he gave me a funny blue shoe to wear and sent me on my way. I called Ryan on my way home and...don't tell anybody, but he pulled up my x-rays on his computer at school. He explained that one of my Sesamoid Bones was broken completely in half ... but that I could have been born that way. Then he told me that capsilitis is a vague term used by doctors to explain swelling and inflammation.

So, esentially, Ryan was a better doctor than the doctor. My toe is feeling much better today. Im still gimping around, but I enjoy getting to wear my Crocs to work :o)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cowbell Contest

Click HERE to enter to win a trip to LA to play a cowbell on Switchfoot's upcoming album. Christopher, Im talking to you here! You can do it little buddy!

In the words of legendary producer Bruce Dickinson, “I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.”

Monday, July 10, 2006

Puzzle Pieces

Click here to watch last weekend's sermon at GCC hosted by Corey Mann.
Its GREAT!! Corey's sermon really challenged me in an entertaining way.

Friday, July 7, 2006

WANTED: Electric Drum Set

If anyone comes across a good price on an electric drum set, I would like to buy it for Ryan. I am looking for the kind that you can't hear unless you're wearing the headphones...

Ryan is an air drummer, and he took actual lessons in college and loves to drum on anything and everything around if there is music on. Oftentimes I have to take the wheel if certain songs come on while he is driving. He recently stated his interest in buying an electric drum set.

You may be wondering why I am telling the blogosphere about my secret gift to Ryan...Ryan doesn't have time to read my blog, silly!

My search has begun. I probably won't have enough $ saved up until March or so, but I would love for him to be able to start residency next June with a hobby to keep him sane.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Vacation Movie Reviews

Nacho Libre
HILARIOUS! Especially if you are a fan of Jack Black, his facial expressions, and physical comedy, which made the movie. His Hispanic accent was priceless and ever-changing. I would watch it the dollar theater, because it might be one of those that gets funnier with time.


I found myself yelling "The World Needs a Savior!" through the parking lot after watching this movie. I loved it, which I didn't expect at all! I think this one is well worth the ticket price.

There is a good chance that I sobbed for two hours straight after watching this one. I don't know what it was, but something really got my heart strings. All I want is to live my life to the fullest every single moment of every single day! Don't get me started...Just go watch it for yourself.

2 Years!!

Ahh, Shedd Aquarium, a place which reminds me of elementary school field trips and biology lessons from Dad. Ryan had never been there -

Mom and Dad came to Chicago and took us there for our 2-year anniversary. We had a great time exploring the wild reef and checking out the Komodo Dragon.

Click HERE for some amazing facts about the animals at Shedd.

We saw some big ol' Beluga Whales and learned about the affects that Oil Spills have on Sea Otters.

I was amazed by how active the reptlies were. I have never seen lizards, chamelions, and other various reptiles in captivity moving climbing and looking around as much as they were at Shedd. Good job keepers of the reptiles!

It was a BEAUTIFULLY PERFECT day in Chicago, as you can see by this picture. We have a few more things to check off of our list before moving somewhere else for residency;

1. See a Broadway Show

2. Take the Sea Dog boat tour from Navy Pier

3. Bike the Drive 2007

4. Concerts Concerts Concerts

Monday, July 3, 2006

Max and Meredith

Our friends Max and Meredith came with us to the Lake for the weekend before moving back to the glorious state of Colorado.

In a very short amount of time we have all become great friends. When we first met Max and Meredith, they were newly married and had just moved to Chicago...just like us! We hit it off right away and had many great times together over the past 2 years.
Thanks for coming to the Lake Guys! We love you and can't wait to see you next time we are in Colorado!