Monday, December 24, 2007


Softie and I headed south this weekend and participated in our first community service in MONTHS! I've been nearly dying inside without actively participating in activities that help people since moving to Florida.

A couple of weeks ago at church there was an announcement that anyone who wanted to was invited to join a group in Immokkalee, Florida to bring much needed supplies to the families of the migrant farm workers who live in that area.

I also thought it might be a good way to get connected with people at our church who like to do the same type of thing we like to do.

We arrived late on Friday night at the church where we were invited to stay in preparation for the next day's work. We were greeted by floors on which to sleep and, well, we didn't know that we were supposed to bring sleep gear. Softie slept in the car, but I braved it in the house with the women. On the floor. The Very Hard Floor. Thank goodness we were going to be handing out blankets the next day. Otherwise, it would have been a very cold night on that floor.

Here's a pic of some of our group getting ready to head out for the day's work. We started with a reading from Isaiah as well as a word that was given to one of the volunteers that God was going to show up BIG time for him.

When we got to the empty lot in the small town, we were met with a line of people that had already gathered in hopes of being fed and maybe getting some shoes. I think what they walked away from there with was so much more than just a full belly and some gifts for Christmas. There was some preaching and it was awesome to see and hear it being translated simultaneously into both Spanish and Creole so that most everyone would be able to understand the Good News of the Season of Christmas.

I snapped this photo of a little girl playing Duck Duck Goose while the set up was happening. She was so sweet and innocent looking. In this town where her future is so uncertain, it was sort of sad to see that in her eyes at such a young age.

As usual, the rest of the pics are up on Flickr. I hope you enjoy! We sure did!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

She's going to have an affair with my drink because i'm going to marry it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I just feel like posting something today.

Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking

You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.

You should major in:

Foreign language

Your Vocabulary Score: B

You have a zealous love for the English language, and many find your vocabulary edifying.
Don't fret that you didn't get every word right, your vocabulary can be easily ameliorated!

Your Mind is 61% Cluttered

Your mind is quite cluttered. And like most clutter, it's a bunch of crap you don't need.
Try writing down your worst problems and fears. And then put them out of your mind for a while.

You Are Running on 82% Adrenaline

Your Adrenaline Level: Very Dangerous

Life is passing you by so quickly, you hardly can notice what's going on.
You definitely need to slow down before you crash hard!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Letter - the results

I have read your responses in both the comments and the poll results.

I will write a letter encapsulating the entire year.

It will be one page and will not focus on much of anything. Hopefully the pictures will make it nice.

And, I'm thinking I'd better get started on it pretty soon or it'll be a New Year's letter before too long.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A funny thing happened at Walmart.

It was a small thing and not nearly as funny as this, but Softie's reaction was priceless.

So, we're walking through WalMart and lo and behold, I look up and I saw a familiar face. Me! Here!

The worship guy at the church we've been attending was with his family. He looked up and we shared a surprised hello. I thanked him for the worship today.

Softie, shook his head and walked away muttering under his breath, "Figures. That didn't take very long."

My parents always teased that they couldn't bring me anywhere without running into someone I know. Apparently, that's not something I'll ever outgrow.

Fun with a friend

I made it to Chicago without any issues. The icy weather arrived the first night I was there. I worked from the hotel on Tuesday and by the time I needed to head off to the site, the 1/2" of ice had thoroughly melted. I had originally thought that the site was 4 miles from the hotel, but it ended up only being about 1 1/2 miles instead. I was glad since we worked late into the night.

All in all everything for work went very well. I was onsite the following day and there was no issues to speak of. YAY!

Then....I went over and visited with my friend since high school.

We had dinner with C's parent's at their house. Her brother was in town from Michigan with his wife and their two sweet little kiddos. I'd never met any of the little ones and hadn't seen anyone else in C's family in 9 years since her wedding.

I got to meet her daughter who is exactly the same age that Sweetie was when C met her.

It was an awesome time filled with sharing memories, food, stories, and making new memories. C and I stayed up until almost 2 am talking. What a treat!

I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to get together with her. Especially since they just found out that she and her little family will be moving to Barcelona, Spain in just a couple of months.

Oh, and yes, I told her about the shaving story. Initially, we spent more time trying to remind her of what visit I was talking about. Then I learned from her mom that there may be something even better than Cetaphil. Apparently, there's something with brown sugar that's just amazing for your skin.

I shared my blog with her too. Hopefully, she'll get one going soon too so she can share all about life in Spain.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Video update

I inadvertantly uploaded the wrong video for that last post. I deleted it earlier this morning, and NOW the correct video is present.

YAY! I hope you love it!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

a couple of things I've been thinking about lately.

I went on vacation a few years ago. Actually, it was before I even met Softie. It was actually before Middle Mann was one year old. He's 13 now.

Anyway, I went to visit my best friend from high school and we stayed with her family for 3 weeks. It was a ton of fun. Her mom worked at a school for special kids as the director for the aquatics program there. There's a lot about my friend's mom that I really thought very highly of. Much of my parenting process is based in large part on the kind of mom I observed her to be. She trusted her kids and she let them negotiate and explain why they wanted what they wanted. I had never seen anything like that in the past, and it really made sense to me.

Anyway, sometime during my stay there, she mentioned that she didn't use shaving cream when she shaved her legs. She just shaved 'em. My skin was never soft enough to do that. I was born with dry skin and I didn't think there was much chance of my skin ever really being soft.

Then, a different friend, just a couple of years ago, gave me the gift of a lifetime. She introduced me to Cetaphil. While this might not seem all that important to the average person, but to me? It was the nectar my skin had been longing for for all of my life. That might sound like an exaggeration, but really? it's not.

Ever since I started using Cetaphil, my skin is all soft and wonderful! and as a result during the last couple of years, I've been able to start shaving without shaving cream. It's really small, but I think it's an amazing time saver, and it reminds me everyday of the way that two completely separate relationships intersected at my life.

AND MOST RANDOM OF ALL!?! Tomorrow, I'm getting on a plane and I'm gonna go see my friend. The one from high school. It's been several years since we've seen each other, and I'm really excited about it. Wait, I'm getting on a plane for work. As a bonus, I'm going to be able to see my friend. I might even get to see her mom too.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas letters

I was thinking this year, I should probably write one of those fancy little Christmas letters I often receive from my friends and family.

I tend to think lots of things about these letters. Some of them are amazingly well thought out and presented. Some of them are just downright corny. Some are pleasant. Some are boring. Some are so full of details, it's like you were with them for the whole proceeding year.

So, I'm a little stuck about which kind of letter I should write. Should it be funny? Should I write about the whole year, or just the time since I moved across the country?

I'm also wondering about the fact that I've never written one of these letters before. Well, I've never written one that's ever been read by anyone other than me. Should I write about all that's happened since, what, like the beginning of time? When should I start? This is the question I struggle with the most.

Maybe I'll just put a little survey up to try and address this. Random people! Please vote!

Mostly, I just want to see how well my new printer will work. How cheesy is that?!

my's current condition.

I just wanted to give y'all an update on my house.

It's dry.

The fans are gone.

This makes me happy.

We do, however, still have just bare concrete floors throughout the previously water soaked areas of our home. A couple of visitors came by this week and said it was cool. Kinda industrial. The way the make new flats on purpose. Of course, they did concede that generally, those intentionally industrial looking floors for the cool people of the world are shiny, polished, and well, a little more finished and on purpose looking. That's not our experience here.

I've decided that I'm calling it the inDUSTrial floor. Mini Mann has been coughing pretty much since the flooring came up.

In spite of that, I decided today that I was tired of not living in a home. Well, not really living. There's been furniture all hodge podge for a week and it ended today. Today, I finally moved into this house. In fact, everything is now in a place that makes me feel like I live in a home. I like it this way a lot. It's all homey. Well, without a real floor, but it's really nice.

It's been a little while.

So, it's interesting. With the pressure of NaBloPoMo off, I haven't really felt like blogging. I think it was brewing for some time prior to the end of the month. I think it was brewing like that for a lot of people.

However, this...I had to share. Please enjoy, and if you find yourself relating, maybe pick something up from there.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007