thanksgiving update... a little late

did i mention that i basically cooked our entire thanksgiving 2009 dinner? i think i forgot to mention that!

we were supposed to go to waxhaw for thanksgiving to spend the holiday with my mom & dad. thanksgiving @ my mom's house is the absolute best, and i was pretty bummed that our plans changed. but i was thrilled to be able to spend the day at jon's parents! since it was a little last minute i offered to do most of the cooking. my offerings:

roasted turkey breast
mashed potatoes
green bean casserole
cranberry sauce (ok, jon made that!)
pecan pie
pumpkin pie
whipped cream

i made the pies crust & all from scratch - the first time ever. have a look-see!

i had a few issues with the outer pie crust appearance, mainly b/c i had no idea what i was doing, but after it baked it tasted delicious. i used my aunt barb's crust recipe & my grammy's pecan filling recipe. i also learned that pumpkin pie tastes better when you just get pumpkin puree and add the other ingredients than the pre-mixed pie filling.

my lovely mother-in-law (mama b.) had a roast w/ carrots & potatoes, dressing, deviled eggs, veggie tray, rolls, & sweet potatoes. all in all it was delicious and i was terribly proud of myself.


the jetta strikes again

we have a jetta named felix. he's 8 years old and has 109,000 miles on him. he has a 1.8 turbo engine and heated seats. we like him... but he doesn't like us. the water pump broke the day we brought him home (august 11). we finally were able to get him fixed last week (ahem... mid-November-ish). new water pump... new battery... and a few new odds & ends. oh how fun to cruise around in him w/ the seat heaters on. i never had to worry about my bum being cold.

this morning we got up and went to the German bakery that we love. there were lots of other VW's for him to speak German with there. we thought he'd like it.... but then driving home all of the warning lights on the dashboard illuminated and a sharp beeping noise started sounding. and then the engine quit. a couple of hours and my first tow-truck ride ever we were home. and now jon has to replace the alternator.

i think me and jon are just trying to see how many places in durham we can break down and how many times we can call his dad to rescue us.


lesson learned

that lesson is: ALWAYS KEEP COPIES OF YOUR TAX RETURNS!!!!!!! (and if you do, REMEMBER WHERE THEY ARE!!!!!!)

the NC Dept of Revenue has been harassing me this year. on my birthday i got a letter from them indicating that i owed a couple hundred bucks from 2006. $255 to be more precise. i mean, i *think* it was from 2006. and now, of course i can't find that notice.

this is what happens if a piece of paper comes into my house. i do what i need to do, and then manage to trash or shred the paper.

so annoying! i'm totally bummed that i have to re-file my 2006 state taxes. grrrr.


genesis in four (4) days

i am loving b90x. ok, i've only read genesis so far, but i love sitting down with my bible and my orange pen and trying to soak up as much of God's word as possible. so far i have a lot of questions to which i haven't yet had a chance to try and find the answers.

*at what point did male believers in God stop taking multiple wives? abram was married to sarai, but also had a child with hagar... jacob was married to leah & rachel and according to customs also to their maidservants zilpah & bilhah... solomon had 900 wives and concubines. did this offend God? it doesn't seem to, though earlier Gen. 1:24 says "a man will leave his father & mother and be united to his wife, and they will become ONE flesh". it just makes me curious. any thoughts?

*this isn't really a question, but i thought it was interesting that abraham and isaac were both very specific about their sons not marrying the women in the land where they were living. to them it was crucial that their sons' wives came from the "land of their fathers"... which is where we got rebekah, leah, rachel, zilpah & bilhah. lineage was clearly very important to abraham & isaac, but it was unclear to me if that was instruction they received from God. by contrast, joseph married an egyptian woman and his sons were blessed by Jacob and the fact that they are 1/2 egyptian definitely doesn't throw a wrench into God's plans. this isn't really an important point, but to me it seemed like a foreshadowing of Christ's death on the cross becoming the payment of sins of ALL people, not one specific people group.

while reading the story of jacob and all his wives and sons i just kept thinking about The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. what a great book! we don't get a lot of female point of view from the Pentateuch. it really made me want to read the book again and use the Word to analyze it a little more. that will probably have to wait until we're done w/ b90x, though!

i'm a little blue about the fact that it's already 9:30 on sunday night. i'm not ready to go back to work. last week was not too bad, and then friday it just hit the fan. i only got about 50% done of what i wanted to get done, and now i'm going to have to face all of it when i go in tomorrow. i need to focus on the good things about this weekend!

*stacy & aaron o. came to stay the night... and we got to eat dinner at elmo's!
*saturday late morning/early afternoon was spent in the cool breeze coming in through our sliding glass door cuddling with my sweet hubby
*saturday afternoon/night carrie & josh's wedding!!!!!! so much fun! a wonderful ceremony... and delicious dinner... and my legs are sore from dancing!
*a wonderfully challenging sermon at summit church this morning. i have so much to learn about seeking and knowing God. i am delinquent in my prayer life and i lack faith so much of the time. i have a long way to go!!!!!
*sweet children and lots of hugs in the 2 year old classroom at summit kids!
*generous friends who gave us a gift card to p.f. changs!!!!!!
*a delicious afternoon nap
*a sweet husband to do laundry
*honey mustard pringles
*the premier of "the next iron chef"

only 5 days until the next weekend! i know i can make it!


B90X - Day One

today is day one of B90X! jon & i are going to read through the Bible in 90 days. yes... B90X is a rip-off of P90X the work-out system, thing... which is something that I would never do.

but B90X i am going to attempt. we will be reading it from cover to cover in the order that it is in the english Bible, starting w/ Gen. 1 and ending at the end of Revelation.

today was Genesis 1:1 through 16:16. i've started so many "read through the Bible" programs, and i've never finished one. but i have read Genesis 1:1 through 16:16 many times. it took about an hour to read through it. i read it during my lunch hour, in the delicious sunshine, while listening the classical music station. it was wonderful, but i really need to kick my butt into gear and get up and read *before* work! i don't have time to take a lunch break every day and i don't want to depend on that hour to get my reading in that day.


taz thommarson is sick. :-(

yesterday afternoon we discovered that at some point this weekend taz ate some yarn. we don't know how much of it he ate, unfortunately. after church on Sunday we were watching tv when we realize that he was struggling with bathroom issues. we tried to help him as best we could and called the vet to see if we needed to get him to the hospital. the vet said to watch him for the next 8 hours to see if he started to show any signs of distress. the rest of the day he was behaving absolutely normally. we went to bed and at about 05:10 he came and slept in my arms for until it was time for us to all get up around 07:15. when we got up he almost immediately started vomiting and more yarn came out. thank the Lord he did it when we were both home, so we were able to get a 09:00 appointment (thankfully non-emergency to save a little money!) at the vet. took him in and had x-rays. the vet is concerned that there may be more yarn still in Taz's small intestine. we are "watching and waiting" now until he can get in to have an ultrasound tomorrow to see if he has to have surgery. they gave him a fluids treatment at the vet, so he can't eat or drink anything today. they also gave him a dose of chlorpromazine, an anti-nausea medicine (in cats & dogs at least - for humans it's a medication for people who are suffering from bi-polar disorder) so the poor baby is very drowsy.
He did great at the vet, though! and we found out that he weighs about 13.9 lbs! big boy!
i'm so relieved to know that Jesus cares about my sweet kitty. i really feel that He gave us (especially Jon) a lot of wisdom about how to handle this situation. He brought us to New Hope Animal Hospital and we really liked the vet we spoke with and who was treating Taz. if all goes well tonight he'll get an ultrasound tomorrow. thankfully i don't have to work until 10:00 so i can drop him off earlier and then when he gets done there should be no problem for Jon to pick him up. i'm so thankful that i was able to take a paid personal day to take care of our little emergency and i'm thankful that Taz won't have to be at home alone at all during this time. please pray that he won't have to have surgery! even Zorro is feeling sad that his brother is sick.

jon has been so calm and wise during this whole thing. i'm really glad b/c i have crying a lot throughout this. when i went to pick Taz up after his x-ray i was waiting in the waiting room and an old man carried in his dog. she'd had some injury to her front left shoulder (a big cut or something) and she had lain down on that side and the cut got very infected. i saw the injury and it was gruesome. while i was sitting there the vet tech told the man that they would probably have to put her to sleep and i just started crying. i am praying they won't have to do that but it sounded like it would be worse for the poor thing if they tried to close up her wound b/c she was very high risk. i feel very badly for the poor man. he looked just crushed. i'm crying again just thinking about it, so i'm going to wrap it up and eat something for the 1st time today.


mitts are finished... just in time for a baby shower!

i wrapped up my reading mitts this evening. corey came over to play with jon, so i was able to spend time knit-knit-knitting.

today was a good mail day! i got 2 wedding invitations: jeremy & ashley and josh & carrie. both were absolutely lovely! i got 1 baby shower invitation for alicia & matt & baby brantley. and i got my 401K statement and it actually earned money last month!

now to find a cute, simple baby pattern of sorts so that i can quickly make something for brantley... and then it'll be time to make something for baby dyson!


1 mitt finished - 1 missing knitting needle = mixed emotions

last night i finished my 1st reading mitt! i'm so proud!

it fits perfectly. it's ambidextrous. it's warm.

i'm just very proud!

unfortunately in all of my excitement i apparently lost one of my knitting needles. i have looked everywhere! fortunately i have another set of size 5 double-pointed needles, but i do fear that my kittens stole it and i'm concerned that they will get stabbed on it! so i do hope that i can find it soon!


my soon-to-be reading mitts

i am |this close| to being finished with my the 1st half of my reading mitt knitting project. (see sample here.) what is a reading mitt? well, if you know me, you will probably not be surprised to hear that my hands are often cold when i'm reading a book. but you can't turn the pages when you wear gloves. my hands are often cold when i'm typing. but you can't type when you're wearing gloves. solution: reading (or typing) mitts.

this project is going by surprisingly quickly. i just started on saturday night, and i should be able to finish the 1st mitt up tomorrow.

but then i have to make a whole other mitt! that's the problem with knitting gloves, mittens, or socks... you have to make 2. i think i may have just solved the mystery of why MJ only wore one glove! he made the 1st one, but then got tired of it and didn't bother to make the 2nd. (this is just a theory.)

i could take the optimist's view, though... say you aren't 100% satisfied with the way the 1st mitt turns out. you have a whole new chance to make the 2nd one 100% perfect.

today in the car i was thinking that this would be a great time to start a new knitting group. any one out there interested in getting together and knitting with me?


knitting keeps me awake

actually i'm not even knitting.

i'm just browsing www.ravelry.com, joining groups, finding patterns i like, organizing my needles & hooks.

which, by the way, someone donated a gazillion knitting needles to the Boutique at JAARS (free clothing/stuff donation for missionaries), and my mom, being the Boutique Boss intercepted them. now none of us will ever have to purchase a knitting needle again!

(this is a good thing b/c i'm so cheap i tie scrap yarn to the ends of my double-pointed needles to turn them into regular needles so that the stitches don't fall off the ends.)

friends, i must ask this: "is anyone else out there on ravelry.com? if so, can we be friends?"


tomorrow is my friday!!!!

and i'm thinking it will be a long day.

but when it's over i'll be free! (at least until next tuesday.)

on thursday morning jon & i are driving up to chimney rock (the north carolina one) and then after a little scenic time there we'll head over to our camp site somewhere in asheville. jon made the reservation - i don't know where we're going.

friday we'll have lunch w/ old friends at their home in asheville and then we'll spend the day in town.

saturday we'll pack up and maybe do some hiking and then head back to durham for the 4th of July celebrations.

we're off on monday too, but not sure yet what we're going to be doing.

maybe something to do with this.


sephora & dividends

last weekend i was the "reader" in the wedding of my beloved friend Anne. i got to read in french & in english & in catholic. (i did almost as much speaking as the deacon who performed the ceremony did! but i didn't get to wear a robe.)

anyway, my beloved friend Anne is generous to a fault, and as a gift she gave me a wonderful gift card to Sephora. Sephora is much fancier than i am. their gift cards come wrapped in little compact mirrors, which i now use when i apply lip gloss.

we went to sephora tonight so that i could spend my gift card. i didn't spend any of it, though, b/c i was indecisive and also a little tired.

before the trip to sephora we went to REI where i promptly coveted everything i saw. here are somethings i really want right now:

a rain jacket
a small hiking backpack (for day trips)
a large hiking backpack (for more than day trips)
a bike

the rain jacket and small day-trip-hiking-back-pack i want for this reason: on Memorial Day we drove to the zoo and my mom, dad, adam, and andrea met us there. adam and andrea were so cute with their day-trip-hiking-back-packs and i was jealous. and after we had seen all of the animals and were headed back to the parking lot it started pouring and they both whipped out their rain jackets from their day-trip-hiking-back-packs and they stayed wonderfully dry! so basically i just want to be cool like my younger brother & his adorable lady friend.

i didn't get anything at REI, but jon got a new pair of flip flops. when were were checking out i was on the phone with my dad, but jon gave the cashier our REI membership card and i found out that i had $17.99 in dividends!!! i did not hesitate to demonstrate my excitement. i then wandered off toward the kayaks to continue talking to Dad, but when we left the store jon told me that the cashier had said to him, "you would've thought she had won the lottery!"



i can't believe i haven't posted in a month.

wait... yes i can!

well, june has been a busy month, but nothing very blog-worthy has happened.

i will say, though, that i checked out a book from the library called "what happened to thrift?" because i wanted to do some reading on how to save money. it was a good book - not life changing, but good enough.

and then i forgot to turn the book back in to the library.

and now i owe them $1.50.

that is not thrifty.

(on the other hand, i always enjoying paying my fines to the public library. the more fines they collect, the more books & services they can offer to my community.)


orzo, spinach, & pine nut salad...

... has been one of the highlights of my evening. thank you, whole foods! other highlights include, but are not limited to:

*Jon taking me to nice price books and buying me a book.
*lightning & thunder
*the roots special on paladium

also, apparently one of my library books smells delicious to my kittens because both of them spent the better part of an hour sniffing at it and (don't tell the library) drooling ever so slightly on the first page. to me it just smells like a normal library book, but i can't say that i blame them. i mean, i want to move in to the library. i'd be happy if they just let me sleep on the floor. (well - only if they let me have a blanket - it gets cold in there! a pillow would be nice also.) so yeah, i guess if it was socially acceptable to drool on books it would probably be my favorite activity.

jon says no to moving in to the library so scratch that whole idea. it'd be too boring without him there anyway.

friday night... no plans...

it's 19:20 on friday evening and jon and i don't know what to do tonight. many people we know are going to the durham bulls game, but it looks a little thunderstormy out there in my professional meteorological opinion. i think it would be better if we go tomorrow.

so that leaves us at nothing planned for tonight. i'm stingy and i don't want to spend money to do anything... but i do kind of want to go to whole foods or trader joe's.

this is a boring post - but i'm trying to post more regularly so boring will have to suffice!


insomnia sucks

i woke up at 2:37 this morning for no good reason. my right foot was sticking out from under the covers and it was icy cold. i put on my wonderful smart wool socks (one of the best christmas presents ever - given to me by my wonderful brother in law, matthew) hoping for a swift return to my pleasant slumber. alas, it was not to be. my left foot was soon nice and warm. my right foot stubbornly remained cold as ice. this has been a problem for me for the last 3 months. though warm to the touch, my right foot refuses to get warm, and it causes me to lose a lot of sleep. it seems that it must be a problem of poor circulation. i have very low blood pressure on average, and i am self-diagnosing the problem of poor circulation.

sometimes if i wear 2 socks on my right foot to bed it helps, but not always.

has anyone experienced this before?

well, after lying in bed wide awake for 2 hours, i decided to try to fall alseep on the couch, lest i keep my sweet husband awake with my tossing and turning. finally at about 5:30 i fell back asleep, but by then i only had a couple of hours of restless sleep to get. i really could've used a good rest too, because today was one of the busiest days i've ever had at work. i say that a lot, but just when i think it couldn't get any busier it totally does. i'm always learning new and interesting things, but i have to work fast and i fear for the quality of my work. we are currently on "slump plan" which means trying to fit 9 hours worth of work into 7 tiny hours. it's tough. i find that at the end of the day i leave work praying that God will bless my efforts to do a good job. i know that i'm not perfect and that it's ok to make mistakes. in fact, i think it's good to make the occasional mistake so that you can learn from it. but i also know that i work non-stop from the time i step in the office until the time that i leave, and when it's time to go home i have to ask God to help me leave my worries about mistakes and problems at the office and to just pray that He will just take care of the things that i can't.


slight adjustment to mood...

just as i hit post on my previous post about spring being so wonderful, a random gunshot sounded outside of my window... the 2nd night in a row for such an occurrence, though last night there were 3 consecutive shots. tonight was just the one. so far anyway... this is durham. i'm thankful for my 3rd floor apartment right now.

i'm springing ahead... a tribute to the 1st truly beautiful day of the year & daylight savings time

it was nigh 80 degrees today... it was beautiful and springy and i spent the entire day outside chatting with my husband and in-laws and washing our cars. i have a slight pink sunburn on my forearms and forehead and i am happy.

tomorrow i expect will be much of the same. how wonderful!


some things i've been learning...

... jon & i are capable of making important decisions without basing our choices on what WE want or what WE think is best. it turns out that once again we can bring ourselves to trust God with our future. we REALLY want to purchase our first home right now. but we have a lot of things that we need to focus on right now that don't include owning a home. after much thought & prayer we have decided to wait at least another year.

... i sound like an idiot when i try to talk about politics. i enjoy reading about and listening to what is going on, and when it came time to vote i spent a lot of time studying and reading and trying to make an informed decision and i am happy with what my final choice was. however, when i try to talk about it i sound stupid, and so i am from here on out vowing to just keep my mouth closed.

... i had no idea that i could get so attached to a couple of little kittens (who really aren't that little anymore). i really am attached to them. i think they are the cutest little guys and even when they are whining all night long i don't seem to get exasperated with them. hopefully i will have the same disposition when we have children.

... i found out tonight that my nephews & niece by marriage really DO like me. for someone who has always wanted to be an aunt (almost as much as i want to be a mom someday) this is very good news. i got to hold my sleeping 2-month old nephew for about 2 hours straight while simultaneously reading stories to his 2 year old sister and 4 year old brother. their 5 year old brother has always liked Aunt Jess. it doesn't get much better than that.

... i can whip up an awesome meal of chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes & gravy and steamed broccoli in less than an hour and it tastes *almost* as good as my mom's. the gravy needs a little work.


it occurs to me that i should clarify something from my last post. i mentioned that the current economic instability has created an opportune time for Believers to be witnessing to people in our community. after thinking about this for awhile, it occurred to me that it sounds like i want us to prey on people who currently suffering from financial losses and "convert" them. i think i over-simplified the process.

in Acts 2 it says that the Believers sold their belongings and gave the money to the elders in the church, who in turn distributed it accordingly. the Bible says that within their community there was no one who was in need because the members of the church made efforts to care for them. they didn't just go up to people, hand them a Bible, say a little prayer and walk away. it says they brought the sick and put them in their own beds! i definitely can't remember the last time i did that. (i.e. i've never done that.) one of the reasons that Christianity was so appealing in those days is that it was the only community/culture in which the sick and needy were CARED for, rather than discarded.

in general we are no longer known as a people who cares for those in need, and i confess that i don't do much to change that. i am challenged greatly by my many friends and family who are constantly reaching out to those around them, and am feeling more and more convinced that i am too comfortable in my current situation. what are some ways that i can break out of my comfort zone and offer help and love to someone in need?


It's been an interesting week here in Durham. Things have been going slowly, so I can't say that I have an excuse for not posting a new blog for the last few days. I just haven't had anything going on that I find blog-worthy.

Sunday is arguably my favorite day of the week. Jon and I attend the 9 o'clock service at The Summit Church. This is the earliest service offered, but we like to go to church early, and then come directly home after the service so that we can enjoy lunch and a restful afternoon at home before we head back to church to serve at the 5 o'clock service. I work in the nursery and Jon is on the parking team. I don't think I could understate how much God used The Summit Church to change my life, and every time I go there I am reminded of all the good things in my life that are there because of my church. Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Acts, and this week he said something that really resounded in my mind. In light of the current economic situation in the US, he was urging us to take the opportunity to take the truth of God's faithfulness to provide, and share it with our friends and family and people in our communities. He said something to the effect that (and I'm not going to quote this b/c it could be a misquote) many people in the American culture worship money/financial security as their god. Unfortunately for many of them, their god has just been crucified, and there is no signs of resurrection. Yes, things may eventually improve, and there's a good chance that many of us will live to see times of economic prosperity, and probably even other times of economic recession, but we will never be in the exact same state of "security" or "insecurity". Things may seem bad right now, but seen through the lens of the pain that Christ suffered for us on the Cross, and living in the knowledge and faith that He is unwaveringly faithful and good every hour of every day definitely helps me to not fret about what my economic situation is going to be like when I wake up in the morning.

Monday I was feeling sick, so I didn't go to work. But I did manage to beat Mario Kart on the Wii (the 50 cc circuit).

Tuesday we woke up to around 5 inches of beautiful snow!!! Oh, and Jon started his new job. Hehehe. I went in to work for around 3 hours, then came home to relax and enjoy the beautiful white scenery.

Today was a pretty normal day at work. Things have been very slow, and I can't remember the last time I actually worked a full 8-hour day. (Which isn't the best thing when you're an hourly employee.) With the snow and ice outside I found it difficult to concentrate on things going on in the world of CEVA. I'm totally in the mindset that since everything shut down in RDU that surely the rest of the world has shut down as well. Unfortunately that's not exactly how it works, so somehow I manage to pull it together and get all my work done.

My kittens love to try and walk on the keyboard while I am typing. They're so cute. tyhjwsa (Zorro just typed that.)

Well, having finished watching the Tar Heels beat Clemson (not ClemPson), I need to go to bed!


my addiction to Facebook

there used to be a time when i didn't know every little detail of every single person i ever knew's life.

that is no longer true. i have 590 friends on facebook - and that's after a lot of weeding out of people i simply did not know! a small minority of those friends share in the facebook addiction with me. there are those who i know are always going to have new pictures, or a new note, or at least an interesting status for me to feast my eyes on when i get home from work. i don't miss a single relationship update, pregnancy, or sickness. i am always in the know!

why then, do i feel like i barely know anything about anyone other than what is on their facebook profile?

plus, though he would never say it, i am pretty sure that jon doesn't enjoy it when i come home and ignore him while reading everyone's status updates.

so i'm not banning facebook, but if you are my friend, i am interested in knowing you outside of facebook!

besides, it's not like i'm on myspace or anything! (ha ha ha!)


yet another soon-to-be-extinct blog

there are probably only 2 people who will read this blog:

my mom
my husband

but that's ok, because like all the other blogs i've had in my life, this one will probably die soon.

it's wednesday night, and i'm currently sitting on the couch beside my husband doing what i do best: watching Food Network. we watch Food Network like it's going off the air. it doesn't matter what program is on, we will generally watch it. there is, however, an upside to our addition to Food Network: about once or twice a week we will make something we see on one of the shows, and it's usually absolutely delicious. i am blessed with a husband who enjoys and is good at cooking!

my husband and i have also been blessed with a new job opportunity for Jon. on his last official day of work at DLO, he was offered a full-time position with Lockheed Martin! we know that we could not have planned that timing any better, and we are thankful to God for His provision. Jon starts his new job on jan. 20; and i think he is ready to get back to work! if it were me, i believe that i would love sitting around the house; doing the occasionally house chore, and going out during the day and actually being able to see and enjoy the sunshine for more than 1 or 2 hours during the day. and it would be very hard for me to go back to work. Jon enjoys his freedom, but more than that, he enjoys working, knowing that he can provide for us. lazy bones that i am, i'd be perfectly happy to sit around and watch Food Network all day everyday for the rest of my life. which is why i'm thankful that i have a good job that keeps me going and prevents me from being the worst version of myself.
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