BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oklahomans on Ice

The last couple of days I've been holed up in my apartment, thankful that I'm not one of the unfortunate 1/3 of Oklahomans still without power after Sunday and Monday's ice storms. Today, I am back to work, and feeling dreadfullly behind (on what, I'm not sure... I just feel behind), but wanted to share the pictures I took Monday.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we're in my very favorite season of the year: Advent.

I love the season of Advent, the anticipation of the celebration of the first coming of Christ, the expectant hope of the second coming. Lighting the candles week by week as a reminder of the darkness of our lives without Christ and the light that he is in our lives, in the world and how it grows and grows until Christmas Eve when the sanctuary is flooded with the light and love of Christ.

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times gave holy law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse's stem,
From ev'ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow'r to save;
Bring them in vict'ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace. Rejoice!
Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

(Some More) Pictures











1. Cousin Matt "contemplating"
2. Syd, Grampy, Zac, Me
3. Sisters, Sisters... never were there such devoted sisters (my mom and her sister)
4. Cheers! Jessie and I at Ok'd
5. Sponge Bob visited our hotel room. I got his autograph!

More adventures in dce-ing or kids say the darndest things

Before thanksgiving, I asked the kids to write a song entitled "We three Kings of Israel Are" to the tune of "We Three Kings of Orient Are." (Are you humming the song yet? Don't worry, you will be) They were supposed to use the song to tell about the Three Kings of United Israel: Saul, David and Solomon.

My favorite (though not as funny with them not singing it) is the following by one of the boys:

"We three Kings of Israel Are. D-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavid." (and that was the second verse)

Other great lines:
"We three Kings of Israel Are, Saul, David and Solomon... We are different oh so different, why don't you listen to this, Oh Saul is strong and mighty too, but he disobeyed God now. He's not gonna stay crowned and that is just too bad"

"We three Kings of Israel Are, off the throne we all once fell, all of us God once helped up, but the throne we've given up, Oh David, Saul and Solomon, not Kings now but way back when, now they're looking down from heaven waiting for earth's time to end"

"Solomon, David's son, life as King is not very fun. I worshipped many, but there is only one, so God punished my son, Oh David, Saul and Solmon, not Kings now but way back when, now they're looking down from heaven waiting for earth's time to end"

Today, in religion, while talking about loving your enemies I asked the kids how they could apply this in their life. We talked a lot about siblings as the "enemy", so I issued a challenge. I asked them to write down, "Instead of (example... hitting my sister), I will (example... play a game with her instead)" and think of a specific person they could practice that on this week. I'm not sure if some of them got it. Here were my two favorites...

"Instead of murdering, I will love my enemies" (I asked the boy if he had killed someone before and he said, no... whew)

"Instead of fighting with my sister, I will give her all my money" (ummm, ok, sure?)

I love these kids.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

(some) Pictures











1. Some of the girls at Ok'd
2. My godson, Christian and myself (and I am embarrassing him mightily)
3. The grandchildren present at thanksgiving.















Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Overwhelmed

The problem being in the "land of no internet" is not the absence of the internet and reliable cell phone service, but it's how perversely behind I am in everything when I return to the land of modern conveniences. (That kind of makes my parents sound like they are amish). I always feel a bit of culture shock at the return of things like DSL, Texting and Cable. Those luxuries at my parents feel like necessities here.

Who needs to travel overseas when you can travel to a small farm town to experience such a radical change in living?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Absence

For the 7 of you that read this, I'm heading to Illinois for Thanksgiving with the fam for the next 7 days, in which time span I will spend a lot of time eating turkey, playing cards, seeing old friends, hanging out with cousins, spending time with the sister and brother, and other holiday type adventures. All of these doings leave very little time for internet (also because I'd have to drive into the town library and pay $1.00 to check it).

An update from Ok'd and from thanksgiving when I return. Try to contain the excitement.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Look it up.

In Confirmation on Wednesday,

Faisal: Miss Hannah, do you have a boyfriend?
Me: No, why?
Faisal: Want to go out with me? I'll take you to Golden Corral!
Me: That's ok.
Faisal: Miss Hannah?
Me: Yes, Faisal?
Faisal: I looked your name up in the dictionary and I found it right next to kaBLAM!

Class was pretty much shot after that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Comfort

For some people, there are comfort foods. Something that makes them instantly feel better the moment they sink their teeth into it. Something the reminds them of home, a certain memory, or a special event.

I don't think I'm a comfort food person (unless you count hot chocolate or hot tea).

I think that books and music are my main methods of comfort. There are certain songs on my ipod thave been played hundreds of times because the song either reminds me of a certain time or place or simply expresses what I am feeling better than I can. There are books that the bindings have been worn thin and books that have simply fallen apart and are being held together by rubber bands from their amount of times in my hands.

When reading those books or listening to a certain song, I am able to sink back into the familiar.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

¿Como se dice 'frustration' en Español?

In high school, I took two years of Spanish because it was either that or art. I am no artist. Believe me. Stick figures would have filled my portfolio. Meanwhile, I found that I enjoyed Spanish, and for a while considered attending River Forest for my DCE studies and having an emphasis in Hispanic Ministry. However, the program at Seward was a better program and since they didn't have that emphasis, I didn't think to take any more Spanish at Seward (oversight on my part).

Today, I wished that I had gone with my instincts, and attended River Forest or at least taken Spanish while at Seward. A woman came in asking for information about our Mother's Day Out program. She only spoke Spanish, but brought her 8 year old son to translate for us.

It was frustrating. I wanted to be able to speak directly to the woman. I wanted us to be able to understand each other without her son having to translate. I wanted to not feel so overwhelmingly unable to offer her the information she needed.

Stupid language barriers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Hope of Someday

Sunday, before Sunday School, I ran into one of the middle schoolers avoiding Sunday School. I sent him to Sunday School and after class caught up with him. Our conversation went on as follows.

Me: How was Sunday School?
Boy: I hate it. I hate church. I hate Sundays.
Me: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm glad you're here.
Boy: Only because my mom makes me come or you tell her about events and THEN she makes me come.
Me: Well, I'm still glad you're here.
Boy: I still hate it.
Me: That's ok, you can hate it. I'm fine with you hating it now. My hope is that someday you will look back at all of this as a good experience. That's my hope for you. That you continue to come to things. I'd even settle for an "Eh" instead of hate. Remember how you didn't want to go on our summer trip and you came back saying that "it wasn't that bad?" I consider that a small gain.
Boy's Mom: Well for him that's a HUGE GAIN!
Boy: Eh.

This conversation, along with this boy, has been on my mind quite a lot these past few weeks.

I am saddened that he hates Sundays. That, in the past, he has admitted to hating others in the middle school group at church. I am saddened that he feels so alone in this community, that he feels like he is forced to attend events.

I am very thankful that he has a mother that makes him attend events, an older sister who encourages him and finds joy and community at our church, that this boy has a classmate here to encourage him. I am VERY thankful that this boy is open with me, that he attends events (albiet under duress).

I am thankful God has promised His Word will not return to him empty. That God is working in this boy's life. I am thankful for the summer trip that he attended because it helped my relationship with him grow in ways that wouldn't have had he only been a confirmation student.

I am thankful for the someday part of ministry. The "someday" is the reason I love my job, love these youth, love these people.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happiness is...

*A comfortable pair of Christmas print PJ pants.
*A night of skip-bo with the kiddos.
*Hearing that your youth love their church family.
*Finding a place to belong.
*A new winter coat and cute new shoes.
*A Fall thunderstorm.
*Good music.
*Roasted Hot dogs, campfires and corn mazes.
*Children's messages with unrelated answers.
*Friends in far-away places and free cell phone service after 9.
*New Years' Plans 2 months in advance.
*Any musical of any kind.
*Christmas Music in October.
*Financial Stability.
*A great adventure and stories to go along with it.
*Success in a small group.
*Having a high schooler do your dirty work. :)
*Having adults excited to spend time with middle schoolers for a weekend.
*Confirmation Class.
*Being respected.
*Finally feeling in control of this whole "adulthood" thing.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Potter Puppet Pals

Angst Angst Angst Angst. Hahaha

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Uncommon

Today, while working on things for our upcoming youth led worship and perusing through the Book of Uncommon Prayer (2) by Stephen Case, I stumbled on this prayer. There is a friend of mine that I've been praying for that he would come to know Christ since I met him 6 years ago. This just about sums it up.

"Thank you for the faith that comes as a gift from you, O God. We have felt your presence, and we believe in you. But there are others who do not follow you and they may argue and get angry with those of us that believe. We don't have proof for them, God. You don't work that way. We don't have evidence that will remove their every doubt. But we know we have met you, God. And someday they will see you. Someday you will put your face down close beside theirs, and they will see you. Take care of them, Father, for we know they are your children. Guide their feet on the path that leads them, and us, back to you. Amen."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Quote of the Week

In Confirmation...

Me: Ok, does everyone have their 10 commandments written down?
Faisal: No, Wait I only have eleven!

Ah I love middle schoolers.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ponderance

On the day we received our Practicum assignments 4 years ago, I remember realizing that for our class that was the ending of being together. That soon and very soon God would be sending us all in very different directions. Internship placement came and went, internships came and went. We all received calls and 4 of us girls in very similar circumstances made very similar decisions to stay at our internship churches.

I was thankful that, even in our uniquely different situations, we were connected by that similarity. There was still someone who would understand the life that I was choosing because she was going through it too.

Today, a lot has changed. While the 4 of us are still at our internship churches, our circumstances are very different. 1 has gotten married, 1 is in a serious relationship and there is 1 who still is in a very similar circumstance to me. Good. I am still understood.

However, these past few months have thrown me into some introspection about my future (as I've blogged before). I don't know exactly what it looks like beyond this Thursday, beyond
May, beyond VBS. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going from here. I continue to do my job because it is here, because I love my youth, because I still see God's working in me here, but I wonder exactly what is going to happen.

I had thought that today-evaluation day-would be like some big blazing altar like in the times of Elijah-that it would make clear to me "Oh, so this is what you're supposed to do now." Instead, I feel like I am still waiting for an answer. I crave the black and white instead of all this gray.

Perhaps am I dragging my feet because I want someone to experience this first, so I know what to do. As the oldest child, maybe that has been embedded deep in me, this wanting to learn from someone else's mistakes and failures so that I don't have to. I want one of the other 3 to go first. Like a game of tag, I don't want to be "it."

Perhaps we should just play eeeny meeny miney mo.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vague posting #1244219

Ahhh timing. What a kick in the pants.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Seen and Heard

Today, talking to the mobile meals people...

Kitty:Don't you have a lock-down coming up pretty soon?
Me: A lock-in?
Eddie (Kitty's husband): Isn't that the same thing?'


Hahahaha.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Update Update Update!

Hello all of you in the blogosphere!

So, in theory, my office was going to be cleaned last week. That didn't really happen post-confirmand camp, and being out of the office 6 out of the last 10 days or so. In all actualy, my office is messier than ever. I have a plan of action though (including bribing two of my high schoolers with free dinner for their help) that will hopefully be enacted next week. I have not yet been defeated paperwork. Though you take over my desk and my bookshelves, you shall be vanquished in time!
In other news, things here are going well. It's busy and I love it. Fall=structure. Thank goodness.

Recently, I've been attending "House Church", through Fusion, a church I'd been attending off and on in the Spring. I've really enjoyed being able to be involved in a small group Bible Study and not have to worry about being in charge, and being able to worship in a place that's not my workplace. It's been refreshing to me spiritually and relationally.
Last Thursday I went with DCE Heath to a screening of the movie Invisible Children. It's really stuck with me this last week: the story of these children who have been neglected by the rest of the world. More on this another time.
I also think that I have fallen in love with my 6th grade confirmation class. Last night, the class was doing a review from the first 5 lessons (Creation-Abraham) and J asked me if sea monkeys were created on the 5th day with the rest of the sea animals. Hilarious.
That's really about it, but I'll leave you with a few pictures of the goings on in my life the last month or so:

















1 and 2: Laura and I enjoy Piccomolo (Gelato) over Labor Day weekend
3: Tubing at Waterski Weekend
4: Z improvises a swimsuit at Hanging Lake
5: Me and the Man-pris at his Bad Ass Barbecue
6: S. Sarah and I at Hanging Lake
7: My middle schoolers at confirmand camp








Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Warfare

If I were waging a war against my office, I would be losing.

Badly.

Usually, my office is cluttered. Due to all the traveling and the nearly immediate swing back into fall stuff I haven't had a chance to tidy up.

However, the the guerrilla tactics of the paper piles have been very effective. Soon I will be fully overtaken.

Next week, I'm planning a full attack. With binders. And reinforcements.

You may be winning the battle, paperwork, but I will not let you win the war.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hum

I just learned a lesson in "being careful what you pray for"

Friday, August 31, 2007

Comfortable or Potential?

So, I made a bet with Jamie J that I would post when she does. I also pestered Julianna into an update. I guess it's only fair that I follow through with my end of the bet and post.

School started a couple weeks ago and all of my regularly scheduled church programs have started or will be starting in the next week (this stuff is-6th grade confirmation class, sunday school, 3/4 grade religion, 5/6 grade religion, chapels, other high school stuff, middle school stuff, pre-planning for vbs, planning for our fall carnival, district stuff, source stuff, planning not to stress out stuff).

Now that I type it, that seems like an awful lot. Anyway, I'm excited for the structure that the school year brings. The J in me craves a regular schedule that summer doesn't often provide. I'm also excited that I have a year of internship and 2 years of experience under my belt here at Messiah.

I'm finally getting to see some of the fruits I've been praying for these past two long years. I feel confident in my abilities to carry out projects (if I can survive a gathering year, I can survive anything!), to see things through and to build lasting relationships with youth but also with adults and volunteers. It's a good place to be.

I also though, am praying about the next step. Maybe it's a natural occurrence. Several of my friends who took calls to their internship churches have taken their second calls to other places, others are getting interviews, others have left the church ministry to do other kinds of ministry.
When I was first considering a call to Messiah, I set a goal for myself of staying through that freshmen class's graduation and then I would start to consider my future either here or elsewhere. This year, those freshmen are seniors. So, May brings graduation and contemplation. Before we get there, though, September controls my immediate future. We'll see what happens.

Mainly, I'm torn between the potential and the comfortable. I love my youth and their parents. I like the opportunities that I've been given to explore some other areas (writing for thesource, chairing our district gathering, writing the district gathering drama two years ago, etc.). I like the DCEs and the district that I'm in, but I wonder how much would actually change. The question I ask myself is this: if I stay will 5 years find me with things exactly the same. Is that what I want?

I'm not sure I know the answers, but it's something I'm pondering and praying about amidst all the craziness that comes with the structure I've been missing since april.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Adventures in Home Visiting

At the beginning of the school year last year, I sat down with most of the 6th graders as a way for me to get to know them before Confirmation started. I decided to do the same thing this year. Now, there is a family that I've visited before, three years ago when I was a new intern, the internet directions to their address sent me to some trashy trailer park (which is NOT where they live). Anyway, their youngest son is entering the 6th grade so I set up the home visit and headed on over there. As they live in Mustang, I only drive over there two or three times a year. After getting off the interstate, and exiting the highway, I found myself making a quick left turn onto the road that leads to their subdivision. Along the way, I meet a policeman. I'm not worried because I'm not speeding, but I also notice a barricade in the left lane at the stop sign about 20 feet in front of me (I didn't see one when I turned and there were cars behind me) and then I notice the cop car coming up behind me with his lights flashing. Confused, I pull over. Here's what happened next:

*Roll down window
Policeman (yelling): YOU! BRING YOUR LICENSE AND GET OUT OF THE CAR AND COME SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT! (yells at other cars he has signaled over on the shoulder) YOU! YOU STAY THERE UNTIL I TELL YOU TO MOVE! (returns to yelling at me) DID YOU GET YOUR LICENSE?! JUST COME AND SIT DOWN RIGHT HERE. (I walk back to the police car) I ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID WRONG?
Me: Was I speeding? I'm sorry I don't live in this area
Policeman: (still yelling) I GUESS YOU CAN'T READ. THIS ROAD IS CLOSED (yells at cars behind him). I WILL BE THERE IN A MINUTE. YOU (to me) SIT IN THE CAR. (we get in the car and at this time I am crying because I really feel terrible and stressed that I am going to get arrested)
Me: I'm so sorry. I'm a youth worker and I live on the North side of town and was on my way to visit one of my youth for a home visit so I never come this way. (I was trying for some sympathy)
Policeman: (not yelling, but very unpleasant as he is looking over my information) Where do you live?
Me: On the North Side of town. I didn't know this road was closed
Policeman: You need to have your eyes checked then. Didn't you see the big sign when you turned?
Me: No, I'm so sorry, I didn't see the sign.
Policeman: This ticket is $206. What are you going to do about that?
Me: (shrug shoulders, sob more)
Policeman: Well you're lucky I'm going to give you a warning. Do you promise to use your eyes next time?
Me: (thinking, yes, though in 12 months when I might possibly drive on this road again, I don't imagine the road will still be closed) Yes, and once again I'm so sorry.
Policeman: Don't do it again. (Gets out of car, starts yelling at other cars behind him, motions me out of his car, hands me back my license and sends me on my way).


So that was my run-in with the law.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Letter to You (or things I wish I had said)

You,

I know that life is changing for you, that there are things happening more quickly than you can comprehend or cup or catch. I pray that you know that in all this changing that God is constant. That He doesn't change. That He will, can, and has held you up all this time, before you even believed in Him, he was there. He was constant.

I know that you are struggling with what you feel is right and what is demanded of you. I want you to experience the goodness of God's grace. I want you to know that there is freedom in His forgiveness.

I know that you have felt judged by Christians in the past, but I want you to realize that there are those of us that care about you. That we bear no judgement, that we have no room to judge. We want you to know Jesus and the many gifts that brings. Him, the way, the truth, the life.

I want you to be filled so full of God's love that it changes your life. That you allow God to mold you into person you were created to be. That you stop doing the things that harm you, that you realize that God's love is more fulfilling than the things you're currently doing. I pray that you discover the beauty of God's Word, his Love letter to you. I pray that you may someday take to heart the things that God is speaking to you in those words.

Mostly, I hope that you allow God to work in you and that you come to understand the height, width and depth of his Love for you. Love so amazing that He sent His son for you. His son who died and rose and opened Heaven's doors for you.

Me

Friday, August 17, 2007

ABC of Growing Up

There, there, baby
It’s just text book stuff
It’s in the ABC of growing up
Now, now, darlin’
Oh don’t lose your head
'Cause none of us were angels
And you know I love you, yeah
~Speeding Cars, Imogen Heap

Earlier this week, while in Colorado, a friend made the comment that the line between being young and foolish and old and stupid was a very thin line. I thought and still think that line happens at 25 (and because I'm 25, I would like to perhaps make a petition that line be moved to 27 so that I can have two more years and young and foolish behavior). It seems like the time between college and 25 is like the grace period given with your student loans, you can still be an idiot and it's acceptable. Shortly after 25, grace for the same mistakes is harder and harder to come by and the consequence for foolish decisions have a much higher price tag.

At what point do we really learn? If given a similar situation and similar circumstances, will it produce similar results? Will we alwyas fight the same battles and the same insecurities? How do we grow up, buck up and make those necessary changes that move you from foolish to wise?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Catching Up

Due to the very busy nature of the past, oh, month or so, the last few days have been a chance for me to catch my breath and begin the slow process of catching up on everything that's fallen to the side--sleep, bills, friends, family, work etc. It's a process. I've found that the longer I go doing the little maintenency things the harder it is to do something completely in one go.

Example One: Before I had a Washer and Dryer, I would wait forever to do my laundry because I didn't want to lug it to the laundry room, but it would take forever before all my clothes were clean. Example two: The longer I went between cleaning out the fridge meant an evening wasted and a couple trips to the dumpster. Example Three: The longer I waited to take my car into the shop meant a MUCH more expensive repair bill.

Usually, the longer I waited to do something and the more things piled up, the less discriminating I would be. I just wanted to be finished with the cumbersome task. Who cares if I just bought those carrots and does it really matter if this new shirt is washed on the wrong setting? At least it's all finished right?

Can the same be true of friends who stop keeping in touch? I've been thinking about this a little bit since I ran into a friend at the Gathering whom I hadn't really talked to in about 6 months and another friend whom I recently emailed that I hadn't talked to in a few years. All the little things that make up the everyday get forgotten or simply glossed over and in an effort to "catch up," life is shortened to two or three sentences, "Yes I'm still in Oklahoma City, DCE-ing, yes I'm still single, yes I'm still enjoying what I do".

It does seem a little bit like the pile of laundry that can build up when you don't keep at it. The process of getting it finished is so overwhelming that everything gets lumped together. The process of actually truly catching up with someone is so overwhelming that it's easier to give the one or two sentence response as opposed to the "we should go to lunch and truly catch up" response.

The other way that catching up, like doing laundry, is successful is if you keep at it. No more waiting until mom comes to visit and does the laundry for you and no more waiting and waiting until opportunities deliver your friends to your front doors to do the catching up.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Late night musings

It's late here. I've been listening to my "Best with a cup of tea and a journal" playlist for a good couple of hours hoping that it would inspire some sleep.

I think I'm too keyed up to sleep and having left my phone in New Mexico, my outlet (friends with incredible listening capabilities) are inaccessible and so I decided to head to the kitchen, make a cup of tea and journal--which is exactly the purpose of my playlist. Perhaps if I'd titled it "music to dream to"I could be sleeping now.

Last week at this time, our 7 middle schoolers, 2 adults and I had a full day of service under our belts while working at a servant event in Angel Fire, New Mexico. It was the first time I'd ever done a synod planned servant event and I was impressed. I loved the members of the church at Angel Fire, mainly for their hospitality and generosity. They called us their "david and goliath group": one of the smallest and youngest to come, but those that accomplished the most. I loved the chance to get to know the middle schoolers that went and can't wait for the opportunities that will happen this year. A couple of my kids truly have servants' hearts and hearts set towards Jesus and for that I'm thankful.

This time next week, I'll have been on a bus bound for Orlando for a little over 18 hours with 26 high schoolers and 5 other adults. It's hard to believe that after 10 months of planning, prayers and fundraising that it's nearly here. While I'm excited, I'm also getting a little stessed about the minor details, the things that I can't necessarily control; The kids who didn't earn enough fundraising that are having to pay out of pocket, the parents who are upset at the expense of the trip, the youth that has only made it to one meeting this year and will miss our mandatory meeting on Sunday night.

Still, I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to spending the quality time with my youth, experiencing the gathering with my little sister (who arrives tomorrow night-yippee!), the growth that I know will happen, the inside jokes that will be made, and the impact that 30,000 youth worshipping together makes.

I'm also SO excited for the opportunity to see friends. Most of my college friends are bringing groups and I'm looking forward to running into them, if not spending some time with them at the CUNE reunion day. It's hard to believe that three years ago in Orlando, most of us had only just started on internship and now, we're the "seasoned professionals"(or as Jules says we're the "slightly seasoned professionals").

I guess that's all for now. If you want to keep up with my group's happenings at the gathering, check out our blog, nygbound.blogspot.com starting next Thursday for daily updates and pictures (hopefully).

Off to find some sleep...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pictures

Well friends, it's been awhile and maybe a while before another post. So here are some pictures from the recent trip to Angelfire, New Mexico with my middle schoolers...

Photos (You don't need to have facebook to see them)

More later.

Ps. I left my cell phone in New Mexico, so if you've been trying to get a hold of me, I haven't been ignoring you... I promise.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Confirmation

This past year, I taught the 6th grade Old and New Testament as part of confirmation. After grading the last take home test this past week, I laughed out loud at some of the answers and some of the responses from these 6th graders over the past year.

On Song of Solomon
Hannah: Why do you think God created human sexuality?
6th grade boy: For Entertainment

On the Epistles:
Test question: What are the two types of Epistles? How are they different?
6th grade girl: They are different because they are the teaching letters and thank you letters.
6th grade boy: The Pauline epistles and the catholic epistles. The are different because the catholic letters are ACTUALLY books of the Bible.

On the Epistles:
Test Question: What does this verse mean? how does it relate to today?
6th grade boy: "... it means that we have a bad side that tells us what to do. DON'T DO IT. Today it means if somebody tells us to do drugs, we shouldn't do them"
Same Boy, different verse:.... "it means that God gives us good things, like my new phone."

On Saul/Paul:
Test Question: Who was Saul/Paul called to witness to?
6th grade boy: To the Lord
Test Question: Paul was called to witness to the Gentiles. What is a gentile?
Same boy: Someone who believes that violence is wrong.

Perhaps next year we'll spend more time on the epistles...

Monday, June 25, 2007

This is the great adventure!

Now that I've had a couple days (weeks) to catch my breath from the whirlwind of the past couple weeks I thought I'd rewind and review what's been going on:


*Vacation Bible School was two weeks and minus a few glitches, I think was a success. I love VBS. I get that fizzy feeling of excitment knowing that kids are hearing the gospel message and are excited about it! Thursday, the day we focus on Christ and his death and resurrection, is always the most powerful and this year was the same. During closing, we had a big cross that had been wrapped with Christmas lights but were unlit. We talked about how our sins made us like the unlit christmas lights. Then the kids took turns in their crews telling how things they were sorry for. After that, we talked about how Christ offers his forgiveness of all the sins and things we're sorry for because of his death on the cross and had the crew leaders come up and screw in the christmas lights as we sang a song. During the last verse of the song (were you there when they crucified my Lord) we turned on the christmas lights and I started to cry. Big -ugly oprah crying tears. It was pretty powerful, these kids praising God and hearing the message that they'd been forgiven. Have I mentioned that I love VBS?


*Sarah Wright came for the last couple days of VBS before going to KC to celebrate B and Mike's wedding. We went down to the Memorial (no pictures, though, unfortunately), ate good mexican and had a fantastic time on the way to the wedding with Laura. It was also great to see Bethany and Mike tie the knot (finally!) and to see the girls I spent the most time with in school.

It was intesting that even after only a few minutes we all slipped back into our old roles, me the organizer, Sarah the comic, Laura the artsy one, Lindsey the free spirit, and Bethany the academic. It was nice to be back in that place where we talked nerdy about Harry, talked about the music we were listening too, heard about jobs and moves and laughed about college adventures and made new inside jokes and just enjoyed being around each other. It was harder to say goodbye to my friends on Sunday than I had anticipated but I'm so looking forward to August, to Panama and to Vegas.

More soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Are we there yet?"

It's summer and summer means road trips for the various youth in my congregation. This summer, I'm heading to Camp, New Mexico, Orlando and Lake Tenkiller with the various age groups. During these long trips, I often set a limit of how many "Are we there yets", "how long until we stop", and "when do we eat?" type of questions (Two per youth the entire trip). I'm pretty strict on the rule simply because I don't want to answer the same question 90 million times.

However, I didn't anticipate having to set a limit on myself asking the question "Is the gathering over yet?"

I totally underestimated all the details I needed to get done and I consider myself to have been fairly organized so far. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to go, my kids are excited to go, but I think we're nearing critical mass. T-30 days. Yikes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Vacation Bible School and Nummelpalooza

Wow. There has been a LOT going on these past couple weeks. What, you ask? Here are a few pictures from the last few days. More pictures and stories forthcoming, after I've had some sleep.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Church Office Pilot Part 2

The Church Office Pilot Part 1

Phone Conundrum

Yesterday after trying to make a couple phone calls, I realized that several buttons on my phone weren't working, denying me access to all texts, phone numbers, my calendar etc. I call Cingular (now AT&T) and 45 minutes later my new phone (thanks to phone insurance) is on it's way. Last night, my phone cut out of 2 or 3 attempts on the phone to Sarah Wright and my 9 key stopped working.

This morning, my new phone arrived and my old phone seems to be in perfect working order.

So, do I wait and see if my phone is actually working correctly and send back the replacement or do I use the replacement and send back my working phone?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hot Town Summer in the City

*Edit* I realized that my title was wrong. I was combining two songs "Hot Child in the City" and "Hot Town, Summer in the City". It bothered me. Yes, I'm anal. Deal with it.

Happy Summer!

As the next few months are bound to be crazy, I thought I'd leave you with my list of summer goals.

Here they are, in no particular order:
1) Teach Soph the Step-dog to wipe her paws on the welcome mat (right now she just stares up at me in confusion). Also teach step-dog how to lint roll her own doggie hair.
2) Weekly Tennis with Jess.
3) Harry. Potter. Book. Seven. (I'm also contemplating writing a song to the tune of Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me" titled "Talk Harry With Me").
4) 5K in Orlando with the Sister.
6) Learn to make (roll?) sushi.
7) Find Male chaperone to go to Angel Fire, New Mexico with middle schoolers and myself (I think that they've all been scared away by the last youth quake).
8) Vacation Bible School (Can I get a Wa-hoo?)
9) Operation Gravy Boat and the Wedding Circuit Reunion Tour with Nate (We need more stops folks!)
10) Hang out with Sarah before Nummelpalooza and perhaps in Denver in August/September?
11) Guitar lessons from Tim (who has promised to teach me how to fake it "real good").
12) Apply for passport.
13) "Enjoy" 48+ hours of bus time with 31 youth.
14) National Youth Gathering and the Servant Event in Biloxi.
15) Submit articles to Radiant Magazine.
16) Save the World.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pictures!

I'm back from Illinois, which was a good trip home, despite the circumstances. In between the inevitable hard things, I took some pictures:































1.Miller Men (Everett, Dad, Crazy Jake, Don)
2. Syd, Aunt Katherine and I
3. Syd and the tree we planted for Uncle Dan
4. Little Woods (or the 100 acre woods that I called them when I was younger)
5. I made my mom "sneak up" on the fake deer. She caught him.
6. Illinois = tractors
7. Part of Aunt K's Garden

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye...

There was a request for a non-photo'd/non heavy blog. I'll do my best. Here goes:

1) Sunday was our big "Senior Recognition Sunday" and here at Messiah we honored 7 seniors as they look toward their futures away from high school, their families and Messiah. At the end of the service, we called them forward; Pastor read the prayer for sending of called workers (which was pretty cool, actually) and then the parents came forward and said the blessing over them.

The class of 2007 has been a pretty amazing class and they were one of the reasons that I first fell in love with the youth and their families at Messiah and one of the big reasons that I chose to stay after internship. I've been amazed and humbled by their faiths, talents and accomplishments. It'll be hard to see these guys go. Congratulations!


2)As mentioned in a previous blog, I'm moving to a new apartment, adopting a roommate and a step-dog. All that fun begins tomorrow with the signing of the lease and the giving of the keys.

Each morning for the past few weeks, I've woken up, hoping that packing and moving fairies will have done all the work for me (as well as kill the brown recluse spiders lurking in my cardboard boxes). Thursday, moving day, will be quite the adventure as both Lindsey and I are throwing all of our things into the new apartment and then skipping town. Ask us in 3 weeks if we've had a chance to unpack yet. Chances will be that we haven't. Why can't I unpack this weekend you ask?



3)Because my good friend from Alaska, Jamie J will be a mere four hours away in Springfield, MO celebrating her sister's graduation, so Friday and Saturday will be spent with all the Jennemanns and partying like it's 1999.

(Jamie's the one on the left holding a pepto bismol pink "answer me Jesus" on the infamous "too much sugar" night in Orlando. This photo is also titled "the reason Hannah may never get married")

4) VBS is three weeks away and counting, which is very, very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. When are you ever prepared for 200 children to charge your doors? I've officially abandoned my music favorites for the likes of "Great Adventure" by Steven Curtis Chapman (Saddle up your horses... we've got a trail to blaze) and "Awesome God" to prepare for the Western-themed VBS and am on the hunt for cowboy boots and flannel shirts. I'm pumped. VBS is better than Christmas Morning! Not to mention Sarah Wright will be flying in to hang out and help and carpool to B's wedding at the end of that week.

5) After VBS, summer officially begins, which I'm determined to take one week at a time and am looking VERY forward to vacation in August and a nice long nap.

I think that's about it.

Off to Graduation number 1!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

These last few weeks...

Don't expect Blog Brilliance in this post, it's mainly pictures

At the Arts Festival (or mainly just a time for me to dork around with the statues)

































At the All Lutheran Schools Track and Field Day

<--(Little Hannah and Big Hannah or Hannah Squared)












(My very favorite second Graders) -->


At Tennis State













Real blog later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On Death...

Three weeks ago, a friend of one of my youths committed suicide. Last week, the nation watched as the Virginia Tech mourned the loss of lives from 32 students, ended by another college student. Yesterday, while talking with my cousin, she told me that her brother, Matt, lost a friend on Saturday in a horrible horrible accident.

The fact that there is death and death in such unexpected, tragic means is evidence that this is a sinful world.

It's easy, when death comes, to point fingers. To say, "so and so didn't do this," or "this person is to blame for this." Even Cho, in his videos to NBC, blamed students at the school saying, "you forced me to do this." It's easy to shift blame, when who we have to blame is ourselves. Sunday, in Sunday School, one of my youth blamed Adam and Eve for their faults, saying, "all they had to follow was one rule and they broke it!"

Death is never easy. The things that are said after are never easy either. You want it to be recognized but you don't want rumors and the gossip that seem to always accompany the account. You want to offer hope, but you don't want it to sound trite. You mourn, but you seek peace and comfort in the promises of Christ.

So where is hope in death? Does it happen, as another one of my youth said, "For a reason?" I don't think that the shootings on the VA Tech campus are part of God's bigger plan, nor were the deaths of these two young people "for a reason." God can and will use these times for good, because He is God and He is good, but by saying they're part of a bigger reason is, to me, saying that God let these things happen so that lessons would be learned... and that's not true.

Death is a result of sin and satan active in this world.

So where is hope in death?

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory.Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. "

1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pictures

Youth (Menges, Ace, Aimee, Emily and Jessie) and Myself
Before the Relient K Concert



Syd and I-Easter


Monday, April 23, 2007

Peculiar Brand of Homelessness

Apparently the multitudes have been clamoring for an update. By multitudes, I mean Jamie, and by clamoring I mean asking once if I'd updated yet. And that's all I need.

So, here it is... an update:

In about 3 weeks, I'll be moving to a new apartment and getting a new roommate and a new step-dog. I'm looking forward to it. I've enjoyed living by myself, but I've been craving having someone to go home to these last few months. (This also makes move #13 since I started college in 2000--I'm beginning to feel like some kind of gypsy). The impending move has also brought about a need for me to test the social waters to try to expand my friend circle a bit. I've been checking out some young adult stuff at various churches, however the catch-22 is always this: they do things the SAME night I have activities at my church. Bah.

The other day, at dinner, after helping a couple in the congregation move to their new home, they asked if Oklahoma was "home" yet and I had to think about it before answering that I thought it could be. Oklahoma is "home" in the fact that I live here, that my things are here, that my job is here, that I have some friends here... but it's not "home" home.

I'm not sure where that is. I'm not sure if the homelessness I feel is all inclusive for 20-somethings or if it comes with the number of moves I've made since I began college or the fact that 90% of my friends are all over the world and my family is all where I left them. I'm not sure if this peculiar homelessness I feel is the knowledge that this life in only the "halfway house" for my eternal home in heaven.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Whew...

It's been a manic few months. I bet you're wondering what I've been up to. But, if not... I'm going to tell you anyway... Here's what's been going on in my 2007 thus far.

Thing 1:

This has been dominating about 180% of my time. No Joke.
That, my friends, is the logo for the 2007 National Youth Gathering in Orlando this summer. I have the privelege of attending the gathering with 22 youth and 3 other adults (Lord Help Us). Our bus, after a 24 hour trip will arrive in Orlando on July 26 and pull out on August 1, with a pit stop in Biloxi, MS to do a day service project there at Camp Biloxi. It's gonna be a blast.

I'm so looking forward to the Gathering, and I'm seeing my youth get more excited as it nears, as well. However, there is a HUGE financial commitment that it requires (nearly $1100 a person) that stresses me out, wondering what exactly will happen if we don't get that much money. So far, though, the congregation has been wonderfully supportive and has really helped us out.
In the back of my mind though, there's the stress of being the primary adult in charge of the whole thing. An "OH MY GOSH WHY ARE THEY LETTING ME BE IN CHARGE OF THE WHOLE GROUP. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!" kind of niggling that hits me every once in a while. This is the first major trip that I'm in charge of. What happens if one of my kids gets sent to the hospital, is caught stealing or having sex, goes to jail or dies? I'm the adult that they'll call. I'll be the one who has to call the parent and say, "your child, on my watch, did such and such". That's a pretty big responsibility.
Overall, I'm so excited to get to the gathering and to watch the amazing things that happen there. I know that I was changed because of the experience and I know of many others who lives were impacted mightily by the things that God did through the speakers, the musicians, the planners and the activities there. I really can't wait.
2007 thing number 2:

Waaay back in January, I used my Christmas present (plane tickets!) to go see S. Sarah in Colorado. What a great time. I attempted skiing under Sarah's patient tutelage (my new fancy word). Skiing was fun, though I spent a majority of the first run like this:










Some nice man named Amil, though did ski over and help me learn some rudimentary skiing points like "making pizza slices" and I was able to really enjoy myself by the end of the day. It was nice to have some quality time with S. Sarah too as I hadn't seen her since Graduation! We also were able to plot brilliantly about B's wedding this summer and Operation Gravy Boat was born.

Thing 3:




The group at Freddy's Frozen Custard in Wichita during Youth Quake.



February brought youth quake, where I learned a very strong lesson in being prepared. I learned that even if snow cancels your meetings, you should still take the time before you leave to lay down the law. I learned that just because floors have been closed off for construction, it doesn't mean your middle schoolers won't find a way to hang out on them. I had to be the bad guy a couple times, which was no fun, but found that the adults that came along really stood along beside me and supported me when I laid down the law.

I also took a big step and led an adult session on MySpace, Facebook, etc which went really well, with the possibility of me writing some curriculum to be used at future quakes! Cool huh!
Thing 4:








Me, Jessie and Alycia at the Arch.


March is nearly over and for that I'm so thankful. It has been a crazy, crazy month. I did have the opportunity to go to St. Louis for a leadership training with two of my youth and it was a wonderful experience. Not to mention I got to see Jamie J. whom I hadn't seen since this summer. We also got to stay at a nunnery. I made some new friends and saw my youth get fired up and excited about all that they're capable of.


So, that's 2007 so far. Thanks for reading! More soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bite My Tongue~Relient K

I just downloaded the new Relient K CD "Five Score and Seven Years Ago" and this has become my favorite song of the past few days.

James says that the tongue is the hardest thing to control and that's one thing I'm learning in large doses here. Self-Censorship. When to say something, when to say nothing, and when to go home, make a phone call and rant about it later to a friend in faraway locations. :)

Relient K-Bite My Tongue

I was going to spell it out in full detail but.
I dropped the call before I spilled my guts.
But your floor stayed clean like my conscience will be.
Cause if you heard anything you didn’t hear it from me
And I’m sweeping up the seconds that tick off the clock.
And saving them for later when I’m too ticked to talk.
And I need some time to search my mind.
To locate the words that seem so hard to find
Sometimes I say things that. I wish I could take back.
The most crucial thing I lack. Is a thing called tact.
And if you’re always so intently listening.

Then the smartest thing to say is to tell myself not to say a thing

Yeah, I gotta keep quiet, quiet.
Don’t let it all come undone.
Cause if I dare open my mouth. It’ll just be to bite my tongue. To bite my tongue

It seems I’m always close minded with an open mouth.
And the worst of me seems to come right out.
But I’ve never broken bones with a stone or a stick.
But I’ll conjure up a phrase that can cut to the quick
Cause sometimes I say things that. I wish I could take back.

And the smartest thing to say is to tell myself to keep

Quiet, quiet. Don’t let it all come undone.
Cause if I dare open my mouth. It’ll just be to bite my tongue
Yeah, I gotta keep quiet, quiet. (And) listen to your voice.

Because the power of your words. Can repair all that I’ve destroyed

And when I finally do. Let it come from you.
The peace of understanding grips my soul.
You’re the reason I’ve. Found meaning in this life.
So I’ll swallow up my pride and give you control. Give it to you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Embedded.



Hey folks! I have some exciting news! I'll be blogging (the proper title is "embedded blogger/forum moderator") for the LCMS Youth Ministry's Web Resource... YouthEsource.

So... go check it out and if you see this face....















or this one....













Or this one...
















you've found the right spot! (Go to youthesource.com and click on forums and family ties)


(Really, the only reason I'm posting pics is so I have a web address for my profile photo:) )


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Leadership: Part Deaux

So, last week, I wondered what turned leadership qualities into true leadership.

I'm still pondering that question and don't know if I'm any closer to the answer. This weekend, though, I did have the privelege of attending CLYFR (Council of Lutheran Youth Fellowship Representatives) as the Oklahoma District Rep with two of my youth. Basically, it was intense leader training, equipping my youth and others from all around the nation how to plan and lead servant events (something the two of mine are going to do this summer on our way back from NYG).

It was a good weekend overall, but one thing that I keep thinking about is a comment that my youth made when contemplating whether or not to run for to be the regional representative for LYF.

"I just never realized that Obnoxious and Outgoing could be confused for leadership" to which I responded that she was a leader... that "obnoxious and outgoing" were signs of leadership...

So I've been thinking a lot about it these past few days, wondering what the best way is to help continue to build on these leadership skills my youth have. I have A LOT of youth with very strong leader tendencies that come in various shapes and sizes and I want to help them use and develop those to the best ability I can. I want to help them realize what God has given them. I want to help them identify those gifts they've been given and help them find a way to best use those gifts to help build and strengthen the body of Christ.

Part of my job is also to help them find their voice in the church because I think that for many years, the youth have been looked over, pushed to their own "corner" in the church as people say, "they're the church of tomorrow," not realizing that they are the church of today and they deserve a voice today.

I'm afraid that if we don't equip our youth to be strong leaders and then never empower them to be leaders in their churches, there won't be a church of tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Leadership

According the Spode, my chocolate milk rebellion of '91 was a sign that I have always been a leader. I'm not sure if that's necessarily true, but I have been thinking a lot recently about what it takes to turn leadership tendencies into true leadership.

As a DCE, I work with Youth most of the time. I'm in charge of keeping them safe, keeping them alive and helping them grow more mature in their faith walks. My leadership is just kind of assumed.

I wish it were that easy elsewhere. Being young, female, and a DCE in the LCMS is kind of "three strikes and you're out" kind of policy. Being a leader isn't inherited, it's earned.

Teresa, the fantastic church administrator, has been telling me recently, "If you don't let people know you're in charge, they won't think you are". I think that's true and why last year was such a struggle. I was in charge, but all that anyone heard was "we don't know what's happening... we're letting everyone down!" by another adult voice. My voice was drowned out.

I've had to learn how to re-voice my opinions, to come back and say "Things are fine. I do know what I'm doing. I'm a capable leader." Are people hearing me? I don't know. There are still a lot of things happening that make me think that I'm making headway, other things that make me think that I'll never be heard, but I suppose that's true of everyone?

So what turns leadership tendencies into true leadership? Experience and Patience I guess, both things I'm still acquiring...

And a backbone apparently... which mine has been getting tested quite frequently.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Beware the Ides

After some introspection and looking back over the past few years, I've realized something.

The Ides of March (or the times surrounding it) are not friendly to me. The things that were lurking in the background as "thought to have been dealt with" spring back into the forefront as "life-consuming, soul-crushing and to be dealt with ASAP" issues.

I could bore you with a laundry list of things that have happened in March that set Hannah into crisis management mode these past 3 years, but, there's no need for that. I should be prepared, but every year I'm suprised by the force that these new/old developments explode onto the scene. Every year, I enter March delusionally thinking that I'm just starting to get a handle on the new year, on my life, on things and BAM!! Back to the beginning. Anyone else have months like that?

It makes me sympathize with good ole Julius Caesar. Look what happened to him on the Ides. :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Staying Power

Apparently I have staying power.

According to Kristylaughed, I'm the kind of person who sees things through.

Which is a blessing and a curse I suppose.

I want to be the kind of person that sees things through to the end. But how do you know when to cut your losses? How do you know when enough is enough? If the decision is all yours, how do you know what the right decision is? How do you know that it's an ok decision? How do you know that it's ok to just wash your hands of the problem? Or do you just stsick it out, hope for the best and to hades with the consequences?

There's been a lot going on recently that's made me really seriously consider my future and what it holds for me. I know that I need to make a decision and soon, but in the words of Sara Groves, "I'm caught between the promise and the things I know."

I've gotten comfortable.

I like certain things, I'm seeing growth and change.

And Yet.

There's the soul-breaking side. The straw that's close to breaking my back, the thing that makes me wonder about my perseverance, the thing that makes me turn on "Painting Pictures of Egypt" and hit the repeat button. The thing that makes me think that I should give up on seeing it through.

Either decision is heart-breaking.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Adolescence

Whilst talking on the phone the other day to a good friend, I realized something.

It's amazing what 10 years of experience and perspective will do.

One of my youth has been weighing on my heart for a while now. She is talented, beautiful, funny and just seems completely lost.

In every different situation, she is a different person. From minute to minute her personality changes from happy to sad, excited to coma-like, from being inclusive to completely excluding.

I also see a lot of my 10 years ago self in her. The insecurity to really be who you are. The ability to be the same person in different crowds. Being able to express emotions without coming across as rude or hurtful.

I want to tell her (and maybe myself at that age too): "You are beautiful, talented, funny and amazing just as you are. Why not just be yourself?"

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tagged

According to Spode's post, I'm it and supposed to write 5 weird things about me. Here goes:

1. My closet is organized by style, type and color . Example (though it's not really necessary, ya'll aren't idiots): Sweaters are categorized by a)sweater b) work or casual and c) color. The clothes of the season are placed in the center for easy access.

2. When I entered high school, I was 4 feet 11 inches and weighed about 70 pounds (I wore a size double zero and was asked by a senior if I were anorexic and if I needed help of some kind) and stayed pretty much the same height and weight until January of my Senior year in which I grew 7 inches in 6 months. I started college weighing about 100 pounds and was 5'7". Having spent most of my teenage years being shorter than everyone, I am sometimes startled by my height when standing next to someone else.

3. On "Chili day" in elementary school we were always served the same items: Chili, a stick of cheese (usually cheddar), crackers/cornbread, dill pickles and appleause. My classmates and I would add the cheese, crackers and pickles to our chili. I was also responsible for starting the 3rd Grade "Chocolate Milk Rebellion" that lasted for 3 weeks. Our cafeteria lady had to rearrange her whole milk order.

4. In the past, I have a dumpster dropped on my car, fallen on stage and broken my nose in front of 1000 people, gotten my hand stuck in my steering wheel, tripped over my own cuffed pants, faceplanted after jumping off a 50 foot cliff, and been attacked by a poisonous caterpillar.

5. Certain words cause me to shudder. Moist and puke are two that come to mind, but I'm sure there are others.

TAG: Jess, Lindsey, Amy and Sarah Wright

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Twenty-Five

Happy Birthday to Me.

Happy Milestone Birthday.

Yesterday I turned 25 and I haven't decided yet whether or not it's going to cause a quarter-life crisis or not. In June, easily the most distressing month of all time, the mere thought of turning 25 (even 7 months away) caused me to panic. But now, having hit the 25 mark (and learning to check the 25-34 age range box), I haven't had the same kind of panic.

I think there are a lot of factors that would make me want to sit in a corner and weep for days, but there are also a lot of good things happening in my life, so for this post, I'm focusing on them.

*I have some good friends, some great friends actually. Spode and her man brain, Jamie and her ability to always overanalyze with me, kristy and her amazing loyalty (I really do think if i killed someone, she'd find 70 reasons why they deserved it and 30 different plans on how to hide the body). Not to mention, Bethany and S. Sarah, both Lindseys and everyone else who takes good care of me and loves me for me.

*Work is going well. Lots of things have changed for the better with this new year. I'm finally getting (I think) good at what I do. I'm seeing relationships grow and strengthen, plans working and falling into place, and it's quite exciting. I'm also looking forward to all of our high schooler's hard work paying off when we roll into Orlando this summer.

*I'm hopeful that there are good things yet to come, love, marriage, family, getting my masters' degree, buying a home, becoming debt free, etc. There've been a lot of good things that have happened to me, but I'm thinking it's only going to get better. :)

That's about all folks, ps, I do like presents, or better yet, gift cards to express.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Musings Of A Snowed In Extrovert...

The worst part about winter weather in oklahoma city is the lack of road crews to clean it up. A quarter of an ince of sleet parlayzes the city for 3 or 4 days. Panic! ensues at Walmart. All the staples fly off the shelves at an alarming rate. Want water? Too bad! They're out.

Being a Northerner, used to Northern Winter Road Clearance Efficiency (from here on out NWRCE), I found myself my only meaningful social interaction (the blockbuster and albertson guys don't count) for about 72 hours.

Now, I like myself well enough. I like spending time with me. I can sleep in and I can read and I can watch movies from said Blockbuster... but for three days? At about hour 48, phone calls to long distance friends aren't enough, simulated relationships on tv aren't enough, braving the crazy drivers to go to church isn't enough. I start to crave meaningful connections... someone to be snowed in with. A presence beyond myself in my tiny apartment.

All I wanted this snowy day was a hand to reach out and say "I care about you. I'll bring the popcorn and the effort because I'm your friend."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Year In Review...




Auld Lang Sine my friends.... whatever that means.




2006 has come and gone. Here are the things that topped the charts in my 2006.

1. Lots of weddings, and for those that got married, I couldn't be happier. Congrats. (I realized that a lot can happen in about a year's time). God's Blessings on the lives started together in 2006

2. Junior High drama doesn't necessarily stay in Junior High.

3. Work and personal life hit all time highs on the stress charts, that involved me taking stands, saying things that needed to be said (though I didn't want to) and doing things that needed to be done (even if I didn't want to). I moved from in favor to out of favor to having a social life to no social life and back again. I met my first full blown alligator here that made me seriously consider my call and Calling.

4. A 3 year old friendship ended quietly in June.

5. I learned that maturity is knowing when to stay silent and when to speak up. I also learned the growing up is about exercising some control over the impulses. I learned that maturity is knowing how to find validation in your own worth, in God's worth in you.

6. I learned that Tara and I like to share. :)

7. I realized that my friends from Concorida are my true kindred spirits. It can be months or years and it's like no time has passed. I learned how to make the most of the time spent together.
8. I dealt with extreme loneliness, extreme joy, extreme hurt.

9. I learned how to be a friend without expectations.

10. I re-learned how to live on my own, and better yet, how to enjoy it.

That's about it. Happy Aught Seven Blogger buddies.