~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
~Micah 6:8 NASB
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My best friend and her husband came into town before Christmas from Tulsa. They were visiting Ben's family for Christmas. I spent some time with her Friday afternoon after work. It was a good time. We drove down to the Concord Mall to meet my sister because she was working. We did a little Christmas shopping at the Mall. The Mall really wasn't as crowded as you would think the weekend before Christmas would be.
Saturday, Steve and I did some shopping at the UP Mall and Concord and it was a little busier. Sunday night, we did the gift exchange with my immediate family. My parents got Steve and I a grill for Christmas. Yeah. Once we get it set up...party at our place. :)
I got to spend some time with Tabby and Shere and their families on Monday for our gift exchange. Shere got me and Steve a "First Christmas" Christmas ornament.
On Christmas Eve, Steve and I drove to Wisconsin for the extended family Christmas after work. I didnt have to work but Steve and Erin did. Christmas with the family was pretty traditional. It started with dinner, then singing Happy Birthday to my cousin (his birthday is Christmas Eve) then it was present time. Which is always fun.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It has been a pretty busy few weeks for us. Last weekend was Steve's family Christmas. We got to see all his brothers and neices and nephews. It was a good time. I wish I would have taken pictures, but the battery on my camera is dead and I can't find the charger. :0(
Hopefully, we wont be living out of boxes for much longer. I am really looking forward to when I can walk through the apartment and not run into stuff. The kitchen is almost done. I was actually able to cook in the kitchen this weekend. Steve is finishing up the cabinet that is making this week. He is building us a new cabinet and some more counter space because there isn't very much right now. Once that is finished the kitchen will probably come together pretty fast.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sure. I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It's the word of revelation to us from God himself.
And the fact is that when people ask do we believe all of it, you either believe it or you don't believe it. But in the greater sense, I think what the question tried to make us feel like was that, well, if you believe the part that says "Go and pluck out your eye," well, none of us believe that we ought to go pluck out our eye. That obviously is allegorical.
But the Bible has some messages that nobody really can confuse and really not left up to interpretation. "Love your neighbor as yourself."
And as much as you've done it to the least of these brethren, you've done it unto me. Until we get those simple, real easy things right, I'm not sure we ought to spend a whole lot of time fighting over the other parts that are a little bit complicated.
And as the only person here on the stage with a theology degree, there are parts of it I don't fully comprehend and understand, because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite god, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Here is an update of the week’s events:
Wednesday (11/21): On Wednesday, I only worked until noon. After work, Steve and I signed the paper work for our apartment. I got to see it for the first time. It looks really nice. Our friend Greg then came over and helped us move our appliances into our new apartment. We decided to paint the living room of the new apartment so we worked on that Wednesday night. We got back to our old apartment pretty late.
Friday (11/23): Friday was a paid Holiday for Steve and I so it was nice to sit around and be getting paid for it. We got to babysit for his nephew, Keegan, on Friday. Keegan is 18 months old now. After he woke up and we fed him breakfast, we took him shopping with us. We went to the Lima Mall and Keegan slept the whole time we were there in the cart. It was so cute. We took him to Lowes and Menards too. We did some Christmas window shopping. Steve taught Keegan all about Dewault tools and other tools. I think Keegan thinks his Uncle is crazy but that’s ok.
Saturday (11/24): Saturday we drove home. It was good to be home but it still busy. We had to finish packing and getting ready to move. Steve finished the painting over at the new place while I packed up the old apartment.
Sunday (11/25): Sunday, we got up and finished getting ready to move. Tabby, Greg, my parents, my sister, and Steve’s dad helped us move all our stuff to our new apartment. My mom, Tabby, and I finished packing up the kitchen while the guys lifted the heavy stuff into the truck and van. Steve and I fed our friends pizza for dinner. I am thoroughly convinced that we have the best friends ever. We got to sleep in our new apartment for the first time Sunday night. It was really cozy.
We finished moving the rest of our stuff on Monday with Damian, Travis, and Stacy. They are the greatest too. I took a sick day on Tuesday, November 27th. Yesterday, I took half the day as a sick day too. I could have taken a whole day but I was tired of just laying around the house, so I went in to work after lunch. I’m hoping it’s just a bad cold and nothing worse. Steve and I still have some cleaning and unpacking to do.
Monday, November 19, 2007
If you won 1 Million Dollars (let's assume this is after taxes): What would you do with it?
Here is my answer:
- I would pay off all my debt
- I would give about 100,000 to my best friend to buy a new house because they are outgrowing there current living space.
- I would buy Steve's best friend, Damian car because doesn't have one and he needs one
- I would put about 100,000 into a college savings plan for our future kids
- I would put about 100,000 into a savings fund to fund our first few years of Wycliffe ministry
- I would put about 100,000 into an Emergeny Fund for unexpected things that come up
- I would put about 100,000 into a retirement fund for us to retire
- I would give 10% off the top to my church
- and put the rest into a special savings account for the purpose of giving away if any our friends or family needed help.
Monday, November 12, 2007
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny him with their life style.That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. " -DC Talk
Imagine if people who claim to be Christians lived like Jesus taught. Imagine if there were no more out-of-wedlock pregancies born to Christian moms fathered by Christian boys. Imagine if the divorce rate among Christian marriages was actually less than that of non-Christian couples. Imagine for a second if the porn industry had to shut down because Christian boys no longer downloaded porn onto their computers. Imagine if people who said they were Christian didn't go out and get drunk every weekend. What if Christian girls dressed modestly because they respected themselves and the guys around them? What if Christian guys treated females with the respect they deserve?
I understand that even Christians are prone to sin that is the joy of Grace, but what if when you said you were Christian that actually meant something. Or what if you didn't have to tell anyone that you were Christian, people watching your life just knew because your lifestyle screamed it.
I just love the movie Pay IT Forward. It really explains exactly what this world should look like. Just imagine what this world would like if there no more hurting children, no more poverty, no more homeless because Christians took care of the people around them. The welfare system would not be necessary anymore because noone would be hungry. Food banks would go out of business because they wouldn't be needed anymore. I know it sounds like a 'Utopian World" but so what. I truly think it would possible to change with world if every person that professed Jesus as their Lord did one thing ever day to help someone else.I don't think it that crazy of an idea. Do you?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I will also be back at Oasis this week. I have missed my girls like crazy.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Laundry soap & bleach
Body Wash Sets
CD’s – variety of music
Plastic Storage Bins
Boots/shoes (sizes 5 – 12)
T-Shirts (large, XL, XXL, XXXL)
DVD’s and videos - variety
Flannel sheets (twin size)
Portable CD players
Pajamas (large sizes)
Sweatshirts, pants & hoodies (XL to 5X)
Matching rungs or bathroom sets
Heavy winter socks
Make-up sets for all skin types
Hair accessories (barrettes, ponytails etc.)
It would be appreciated if all donations could be delivered to the YWCA by December 17th. All gifts should be unwrapped. If you have any questions please call 574-233-9491.
The YWCA is always in need of new and used Cell Phones, also.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Saturday was pretty relaxing. I got the laundry and dishes caught up from the week. Then I "watched" the OSU game with Steve. We didn't really watch it. The internet had the play-by-play showing throughout the game, so we could look and see what was happening.
Saturday night, Steve and I had a date night with friends. Shere had been trying to plan a night out for us and Tabby and her husband for a few days. It almost fell apart when she couldn't find someone to watch the girls. Luckilly, my sister is awesome and she agreed to watch the little angels while we hung out. This week Shere, Chris, Tabby, Greg, Steve, and I went to a little Italian Resturant called Rulles in Mishawaka. It was pretty good. My only complaint was that the servings were a little small for the price. They get a A+ for taste though.
I love spending time with those people. I hope we can start doing it more often. The last time the 6 of us got together was August when we went to Hona Jori, which was also spectactular.
Sunday, we went to Gospel Center. It was suppossed to be the first weekend in the new auditorium but somethings happened so the first week is actually going to be next week. After church, I went to physical therapy and did some grocery shopping. Steve likes to eat so I have to buy food alot. Last weekend, we tried this thing where we make 3-4 meals on Sunday and put them in the fridge for Steve to heat up and eat throughout the week. It seemed to work out pretty well. The first week I worked the second job and I wasnt home to make dinner Steve ate alot of PB&J sandwhiches because he didnt want to cook. Last week he didnt have to cook because he had pre-made meals in the fridge. We are trying that again this week. Sunday night we spent a few hours putting together meals for the week. I like it because not only does it keep us organized and save us money on groceries but it also is a way for us to spend time together not in front of the TV.
The next few weeks are going to crazy in our apartment since we are going to cleaning and packing up all our stuff. The family that is living in there now is suppossed to be out by tommorrow.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I don't have to be working two jobs right now but I am. The 12 hour days have actually gotten easier as the weeks go on. Steve and I have a goal to be have no more credit card debt within 2 years. I think we can do it if we keep on the path we are on right now. It has taken some discipline. We don't go out to eat nearly as much as we used to. Steve is thinking about taking on a second job after we move, as well. We have an apartment available but they haven't given us a move-in date yet.
The worst part of having to work 2 jobs is I have to miss Oasis on Wednesday nights. I love my girls more then they will ever know. I had so many plans for this year. Part of feels like I'm totally abandoning my girls. I know they will be in good hands with another leader and I'm still accessible via the internet, but it's not the same. I'm hoping that i will still be able to do some events. I don't know how the Temp Job is going to last so I probably won't miss the whole year. Right now I'm just taking it one day at a time.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
- One out of two women will experience domestic abuse at least once in the course of their marriage.
- 4 million American women are seriously assaulted by their intimate partner each year.
65% of emergency room visits by women are for injuries sustained during domestic violence.
- One of every three abused children becomes an adult abuser or victim.
More women are killed by their partners than by muggings, rapes and auto accidents combined.
- Domestic violence claims the lives of four women each day.
- Approximately 75% of abuse homicide victims are killed after they leave their abuser.
- 50% of all homeless women and children in the U.S are fleeing domestic violence.
Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers or female caretakers.
- When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2.
- There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States and 3,800 animal shelters.
- 60% of violent homes where the female partner is beaten so are the children.
- 50% of female homicides are committed by the man who said "Until death do us part".
- 88% of victims of domestic violence fatalities had a documented history of physical abuse.
- The average prison sentence of men who kill their female partners is 2 to 6 years.
- Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44.
- 75% of all 911 calls are domestic abuse calls.
- The loss in productivity due to absenteeism, employee turnover and health care expenses from domestic violence costs U.S corporations between $3 and $5 billion annually.
- Despite these sobering statistics, domestic violence remains the most common, yet least reported, crime in the U.S. Domestic violence is a growing national problem requiring focused assistance from the public and private sectors.
Please support the local YWCA. We are always in need of donations of money and personal items such as, pillows, blankets, toiletries, Cell Phones and Accessories, baby items, canned food and dry goods, and so much more. With Winter on it's way, we definetly need warm blankets, scarves, mittens, gloves, warm coats, comforters, warm bed sheets.
Donations can be dropped at the YWCA Monday through Friday between 8 and 5.
For more information call: 574-233-9491
Saturday, October 13, 2007
My cousin and his wife just found they are pregnant. This is so exciting. This will be first Second Cousin!!!
Friday, October 12, 2007
I found a website from Corey's blog: http://parentsareclueless.com/
I read some of the confessions on the site and some just made me sad, but I can't say I was surprised.
"I watched you Mom, that's why I lost my virginity at 14 and have added quite a few guys to that list since then. Now that I am an adult, I see that I don't want to be anything like you, but more like Jesus. I wish that you would have made a bigger deal out of Jesus than your boyfriends."
"I've been down at college for two-and-a-half years and my mom still brags to people that I don't party. I do... a lot."
"Dad, i love you, but for once could you tell me that i messed up with out yelling at me and making me feel like a complete idiot?"
"Just please be honest with me! I need to know what "mistakes" you made in your past and I need to see the consequences that came with them if you don't want me to make the same mistakes."
"my parents would die if they knew i keep my weed in the cieling of their bedroom."
"I wonder if you would love me if you saw my report card before I changed the grades."
There are a few things that I have learned doing Middle School ministry for the last 8 years.
Students may not listen to a thing you say, but they are watching everything you do. Lead by example! Where goes the leaders, so goes the students.- Judy Gregory
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
We get to look at the apartment this week and tell them if we are interested and put down the deposit. The only downside is that we have to bring our own appliances. We got a Fridge from my Aunt and maybe a Washer and dryer from her too. We need a Stove though.
I'm excited about this because we are on our way to being debt free. On top of having lower rent now, I am taken on a second job. It's a part time temp job with 1st Source. I found out about the job though someone from GCC.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We got these space bag things. They are the coolest things. I'm sure you have seen the TV commercials for them. They are the bags that you fill full of stuff then stuck the air out and the bag gets really small. They actually really work and they are fun to use. They are not cheap but they are reusable and they should make moving easier. I'm sure we will get our money's worth out of them.
We haven't heard that we have an apartment yet, but we are still 2nd on the waiting list so it could be anytime. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Last week Corey knocked it out of the park. He said, "The abilities we are given are gifts from God, but we do with those gifts are our gift back to him." How many times have I seen an opportunity to serve and not done it because I was afraid of what people would think? How many times have I seen someone hurting or in need and just walked by?
What can I do today to serve someone else?
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Click on this link and vote for this picture:
Forward this to whoever you think will vote for this picture.
Have you heard about the Chick-Fil-A photo contest? Igot a kids meal the other day because I wasnt veryhungry and they are having a contest. I sent in aphoto to be approved under Kariana's name because Iknow she really like Chick-Fil-A and you had to beunder 10 to enter. I attached the photo that i sent.
This is what the prizes are:Semi-finalists If your photo is chosen in the Top 40, you'll receive:
• a "Be Our Guest Card", good for one (1) FREE Kid'sMeal! • a special Chick-fil-A T-shirt, a plush cow and aclock!
Finalists If your photo is chosen in the Top 10, you'll receive:
• a whole YEAR of FREE Chick-fil-A food (52 coupons,each valid for one Kid's Meal)! • a Chick-fil-A© Nuggets tray delivered for a party atyour school! • a special Chick-fil-A T-shirt, a plush cow and aclock!
If your photo is chosen as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER,you'll receive:
• a special Chick-fil-A prize package, including adigital camera and a $1,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond!
• a whole YEAR of FREE Chick-fil-A food (52 coupons,each valid for one Kid's Meal)!
• a Chick-fil-A© Nuggets tray delivered for a party atyour school!
• a special Chick-fil-A T-shirt, a plush cow and aclock!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The YWCA applied for this award again this year. Last year the YWCA received First Runner UP. The First Runner Up receives a 10,000 grant. This year we won. Congratulations to the YWCA for receiving the 2008 Leighton Award for Non-Profit Excellence. We will not only receive the 100,000 endowment, but also a 10,000 grant that we can use immediately.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Tribune Staff Writer
The “fat cat” appears to be the popular spot here in Stacy Marker’s kindergarten classroom at Madison Elementary School.It’s the foam-filled cushion with green eyes that draws 5-year-old Alisia Mendoza, who’s earned the chance to rest on the fluffy feline and learn about sharks after sketching a zebra and reading four simple words to her teacher.“I see a zebra.” Alisia probably wouldn’t have had time to draw so many stripes on that zebra in last year’s half-day kindergarten program, which served more than 700 students. But this fall, she’s one of about 80 students who were chosen by lottery at Meadow’s Edge, Elm Road and Walt Disney elementary schools to be in a full-day kindergarten pilot.
That’s at least four more hours each day to learn science and math; to engage in music, art and other “specials” outside the classroom; to do time-consuming drawing projects; to form peer relationships; and to actually read, teachers say.“I think it’s great that they can put the words together and make sentences (in the first few days of school),” said Marker, who taught first grade last year and taught half-day kindergarten for more than two years, transferring to Madison from Meadow’s Edge this fall. Reading materials are meant for full-day kindergarten setups, so at least her class won’t struggle to fit it all in this year, Marker said.“By the time the day’s over, I’ve still got a stack of things on my desk,” Marker said. “How did we not get through all of this?”The biggest struggle for students, however, is staying awake and attentive — especially for those who did not attend preschool and aren’t used to sitting in a seat all day, Marker said. Her students have 20 minutes of recess, followed by 40 minutes of lunch, and then it’s back to the classroom.
Five-year-old Kariana Radabaugh knows how to prepare for the long day: She eats strawberries, cereal and toast for breakfast, she says with a smile while showing off her strawberry red dress for picture day. The thrills of crafts, gym and recess keep her awake during the day, she explains. But what does she like the most about the day?“I like to read books on the ‘fat cat,’ ” she says.
Down the hall, 5-year-old Micah Phelps reads an “I am special” morning message before his peers give him a “snap, crackle and pop” — a snap, roll of the neck and a clap. After lunch, Julie Unrue allows her students to rest on their bellies and enjoy time to physically and mentally regroup as she reads aloud to them from a chapter book. “Even the third-graders need that,” said Unrue, who taught half-day kindergarten and third-graders in a job-share at Madison last year. “Just like adults, you need that time from being in the same place, being actively engaged.”Unrue’s goal is to make sure her kids remain kids — even in the thick of high state and national academic standards, she said. Kindergartners here will take the MAP standardized test for the first time this year, she said, and she anticipates that results from full-day students will likely be different from those of half-day students.Unrue collaborates with Marker and full-day kindergarten teacher Melissa Phelps, who serves 62 students at Madison. About two-thirds are bused to and from Elm Road and Meadow’s Edge, while Kim Grunawalt teaches an additional 20 full-day kindergarten students at Walt Disney. Transportation is now both ways for full-day kindergartners, Madison Principal Lisa Soto Kile said.Officials are striving to implement full-day kindergarten throughout the district in the next few years. This year, funding came from the state and the district’s general fund, with schools statewide slated to receive $665 per student. But P-H-M is exploring how it can afford the program in the future.“More parents are working outside the home,” Kile said. “More students are participating in the preschool experience. ... The students are ready for it, and the parents are asking for it.”
Staff writer YaShekia Smalls:email@example.com(574) 235-6555
Monday, August 13, 2007
Shere said that we should do that more often and I totally agree.
Sunday after church, I went and worked out for a about an hour. Damian called and said he was going to be in town. We sold Steve's twin bed this weekend. We used the extra money we made to go out to Red Lobster with Damian and some other friends.
It was a good reminiscing weekend. Shere, Tabby, and I have been good friends since Middle School, so it was fun to get together and chat about the last 10+ years. On Sunday, Stacy and Travis were there and we had some fun conversations about old friends, Middle School, Lifeline, and such. Stacy and I go back to Elementary school and that's long time.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Since I've had the car, it's:
- Been hit by a deer
- Rear ended in a snow storm
- Taken countless trips from Fazoli's to Home
- Drove me to Oasis every Wednesday night
- Drove around South Bend for GCC's food drops
- Drove myself and student's around to various Oasis events
- Been to Wisconsin many times to visit family
- Been driven by Damian around South Bend and Chicago when he borrowed it
- Gone to various places in Ohio, including Toledo, Cincinnati area, Lima, and others.
- Taken many trips to Wakarusa and back to Mishawaka
- Helped Steve move his stuff to my apartment after we got married
- Driven to YWCA and back home
- Moved me into and out of Bethel with my stuff packed in it several times
- Drove down to Indy to see Steve's brother become an Officer in the Army
- Kept Kariana safe in her car seat on trips to the park
- Drove 4000 miles in ten days on a road trip Steve and I took a few summers ago. Steve and I drove from here to Illinios, then to Tulsa, Oklahoma, then to Arlington, TX, then to the Grand Canyon, then to Alpine, AR, back to Tulsa, OK, then back home.
- and so much more
I think it has had a good long life. I only hope that it has a much longer life. I gave it a nice cleaning for the occasion. I vacuumed it out and made it look really nice. Steve and I are only down to one car right now, so I hope there are many many more years of life in my Ford Focus.
Monday, August 6, 2007
We started to drive home and arrived back in Mishawaka around 6. We watched some 24 episodes. I love that show. Steve and I have been watching 24 every Monday since Season 3 and now we are renting Seasons 1 & 2 to watch what we missed. It's pretty fun. We ate dinner at about 10 then went to bed shortly after that.
Sunday, started with church at Gospel Center at 10:30. My mentor and friend, Judy, is in now from Atlanta this weekend. Jeanne Mayo is doing an event in Indy this week so Judy got to take a trip up to Mishawaka on the way. Today is her birthday so I must add a HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY! A bunch of Oasis leaders planned a cook-out for Judy on Sunday afternoon. So after church we huried home to make a desert to bring to the cookout and then headed over the celebration. There was alot of the people in the McFarland's house. It was a good time.
My best friend, Liz and her husband Ben we were also in town this weekend from Tulsa. Ben's family was having a family get-together this weekend so Ben's mom paid to have them flown here. Steve and I got to see them on the way home from the cookout. It was good to see them.
After we got home, I went grocery shopping and then we watched some more 24, ate dinner, then went to sleep.
I'm pretty tired today, but it was a good weekend.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
- The YWCA run, jane, run is a multi-athletic event for women, organized by women to benefit women and children in our community. Organizations, families, mothers and daughters, or sisters are encouraged to register their team to compete in the 5K or 10K Trail Run, or the 5K Walk.The YWCA of St. Joseph County provides life-changing services to women and their families.
Your participation supports the following YWCA programs:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES - Support for women and their children escaping abusive environments.
CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY TREATMENT PROGRAM - Treatment, housing, aftercare, child care and support for dependent children.
HOUSING, COUNSELING, INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS, AND SUPPORT SERVICES- For women and their families who are working toward self-sufficiency.
JOB TRAINING - To become a certified food handler.
PERMANENT HOUSING AND SUPPORT SERVICES - For women who are chronically, mentally, developmentally, or physically disabled.
BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY - Designed to help individuals understand the mental models of generational poverty, along with the mental models of the middle and upper classes. For individuals from generational poverty learning these "mental models" will assist them in being sucessful in middle class employment and educational settings.
SEXUAL ASSAULT RECOVERY - Group and individual sexual assault therapy in both English and Spanish to women who have suffered recent or past sexual assault.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I see God working in all of it but I still wish life wasnt so hard. Sometimes it feels like whenever life is going well something goes wrong. Please keep us in your prayers as we try and make it through this chapter of our life.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Steve made beef brisket, baked potatoes, corn, and some fresh bread. It was some good times. After dinner the four of went to see Transformers at Showplace 16. The guys picked the movie. It was an alright movie. I was a bit disapointed. They could have made it alot better, I think. I never really got into Transformers as a kid so I'm sure I missed some things I was already suppossed to know. I didnt think they did a very good job defining the characters of the robots. The did a really good job defining the characters of the humans though. Overall, I give the movie a 6 out of 10.
Sunday after church, I went to Fitness USA for the first time in awhile. I'm hoping that since I already have a membership there I can use it instead of going to Physical Therapy. I hope it works. I didnt go for very long. I didnt want to over do it the first time. Then it was off Hacienda to meet with my sister and some friends to celebrate our friend Greg's 21st birthday. He turns 21 next week. We had the waitresses sing to him with the hat and everything. It was much fun. The rest of Sunday is going to be a lazy relaxing day.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The following items are needed:
- Notebook Paper
- and much more
Ellen Woodruff, Children's Service Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I know I should feel down and discouraged, but I feel relaxed about this. I trust that God is in control. I can see God all over it. God helped us keep our jobs and only get hours cut and He is helping get money from other places. Steve and I have been messing around with some "pay to read email" websites and we found some that really work. Last week, I received a $50 gift card from Walmart and $25 gift card for Walgreens. That helped us tremendously with groceries. It may be a few really long months for us until we get into the new places, and maybe a little after that.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Click on the pictures above to see the pictures. We finally got our wedding pictures from Loretta. She did a great job. I really love them. I am putting them online because I know alot of people wanted to see them. You can download or order prints right from the website they are on.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Since Sunday, the pain had gone from my shoulder into my head. It was horrible pain. I was having trouble working. The only thing i could do to help the pain was to lay down. Yesterday during lunch, Steve and I went to Medpoint because the pain was so bad. The took some X-Rays of my shoulder, back, and neck. The doctor everything looked fine in my bones except my neck seemed to be too straight. He is going to wait until the Radiologist's report before making the final judgement though. He said he would guess that the problem is in my muscles. The muscles may even be so tight that they are causing the neck problems. I might have to start going to physical therapy. I'm so glad that we have insurance now or I would have no idea how we were going to pay for this.
We got me a new chair for work that has a massager in it. It is amazing. It's not a top of the line massager. It just mostly vibrates but its still cool. Maybe it will help loosen up my muscles so i dont have to go to physical therapy.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
On Saturday, weekend Steve and Damian throw me a "Surprise" birthday party at our apartment. It was a good time. Steve made some chicken and we ate some cake. Afterwards, Damian, Steve, the Bones, my sister, and I went to see the movie Fantastic Four. The movie was pretty good. I wasnt sure what i would think of it since I dont really like comic books movies usually, but it was good. Then we went to the Steak N Shake in South Bend for some fun hang out time. We didnt leave Steak N Shake til almost 2. I was pretty tired when I got home. Shere came over with her girls to my apartment but she didnt come to movie with us. Ill have to try and find some time to hang out with just her later in the week.
Sunday, we got up for church at Gospel Center this week. After church, we just went home and relaxed. My parents went out of town for the weekend but when they got home Steve and I went to my parents to have Father's Day dinner. Steve and I did some grocery shopping to on Sunday.
Monday we both had to work. I didnt take my birthday off work this year. After work, Steve and I got dressed up and he took me out to The Emporium. The food was really good. It wasn't as expensive as I thought is was going to be. I was actually a little disapointed. I was expecting it to be more elegant than it was. Oh well, it was a once in a lifetime thing. It was a good relaxing birthday overall.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
It feels like life is flying by really fast lately. I'm hoping that life slows time soon. I just need time to relax. Our current apartment is almost all organized. Steve is still moving in some of his stuff. Some of the bigger things he is going to leave where they are until we move again. It's been an adventure.
Oasis went to Cedar Point. I hope they had a good trip. It is beautiful here. I hope it's nice in Ohio too.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Final Count: 1066!
No that is not a typo above, we really had more than 1000 people at Oasis last night. It was an amazing night. I got there at about 5:30 and ran back to the cafe. They was already a huge line formed since they cafe actually opened at 4:30. Carole and Wendy were working hard so I jumped in to help. We had a non-stop line of students until about 6:40 when the students went outside for the annual graduation picture.
Judy gave a great message last night. She encouraged the students to take leaps of faith. What is the next leap of faith you are going to take? She talked to students about the 3 big leaps of faith she has taken starting with when she gave her life to Christ, then when she came on staff at Granger. The last leap of she is taking is joining Jeanne Mayo in Atlanta. She told the students last night what she told all the leaders on Tuesday night. She is leaving Granger to join her mentor and hero, Jeanne Mayo, in Atlanta. There was an extreme quiet in the room last night when told everyone.
I'm excited for her. I hate to see her go but it sounds like this is something that she will really enjoy doing. Jeanne Mayo has been her hero and mentor for a few years now. A few weeks ago Jeanne asked Judy if she would be willing to join her in the mentorship of other youth pastors, helping lead the Mastors Commission, and doing some things with Jeanne in Atlanta. She is going to leave a huge hole in the leadership team at Granger, but i am more than confident that Judy has raised up some amazing leaders that will keep this ministry going.
The graduation was a success. After we cleaned up the cafe a bunch of leaders and a few students went to Steak N Shake for some relaxing and hang out time. I didn't leave until almost midnight. I should have left earlier but I didnt. I'm so tired today. I need to take a big nap later.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Steve and I started doing a devotional on wisdom after we got married. We read a proverb every day and a little note about what we read. Today's reading got me thinking about my students. We read proverbs 2. Proverbs 2:9-10 says "You will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy." Our quote of the day is: Training in wisdom is life preparation.
God is the ultimate teacher and he wants us to learn as much as we can in our lives. Good teachers and leaders know that someday their students will leave the nest and fly on their own. Our goal is to teach them as best we can so when they get out on their own they will be able to survive on their own. My desire for my students is that they look back on the last year and see it as a year of growth. I hope they made at least one new friend, they learned valuable wisdom, and most of all they took a step towards Jesus. Do they know Jesus a little more personally did they did a year ago?
I wish I could have some assurance that they will make the right choices, but God gave us freewill so they will make their choices. This world is getting tough to be a Christian in, but with the wisdom they have learned this year I believe they will overcome.
As I reflect on the last year, I pray for my girls that they remain strong and avoid the temptations that are so ready to attack them. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl that lives with integrity.
As Graduation comes close, I want them to know that they can count on my even in the years to come. I don't stop being there leader on Graduation day. I am their leader for the rest of their life if they need me.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
|Oasis Reception 2007|
It has been a month since I posted anything on here. I guess I've been a little busy. Ill try to catch everyone up with pictures. On Sunday, April 29th, I opened my apartment to my 180 small group for a small "wedding reception" since they werent going to be at the actual reception. I hope they had a good time.
|Honeymoon in San Diego|
Our Honeymoon started on Saturday night at a Bed and Breakfast in Michigan. We flew into San Diego on Monday morning.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Here are some fun pictures. It was a good time.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I want to focus my attention on just one: My mentor and hero, Judy Gregory. She reached 10 years on staff of GCC this week, with several more before that. She is the Middle School pastor at GCC. I have been doing ministry along aside her, either as a student or a leader for almost 10 years and I would not change a thing. This year marks my 7th school year as a middle school leader and I was a Lifeline student for 2 1/2. Together, we've done seven mission trips, 8 Acquire the Fires, seven 30 Hour Famines, 5 New Years Eve Bashes, and so much more, either as a student or a leader.
Friday, April 13, 2007
This Wednesday was Steve's birthday but we celebrated it on Tuesday because I have Oasis on Wednesday. I felt horrible all day at work on Wednesday so I decided that I wouldnt make it through Oasis. I believe this is the first Oasis I have missed during the school year since I began doing Oasis in the fall of 2000. I haven't seen my girls in 2 weeks since last week was Spring break. I miss them tons. I hope they had a great night.
Here are this weeks questions:
1. What are some words that you would use to describe Jesus?
How is He like you and not like you?
2. Have a student look up and read Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Did you use any of the words in this passage to described yourself?
Did you use any of these words to describe Jesus?
4. These are words that will describe us as we become more and more like Christ. But, let's just say that they don't very well right now. What could someone do to get better in one or all of these areas?
5. Have a student look up and read Romans 12:2:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.One way we can get better is by renewing our minds. What do you think that means and how would you do that? What do you see in this world that Paul is warning us not to do or be like?
6. What is one thing mentioned that you could do to renew your mind that you could practice at school tomorrow?
How do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? I know that seems like a really long time from now but you are starting your foundation now. Things you are doing now can and will effect your life in the future, either for the good or not. You have a choice to decide today what you stand for. What will define your life?
Monday, April 9, 2007
I spent Easter relaxing around Mishawaka. Steve and I went to Granger for church. I have been goin gto Granger CC for almost a decade and this was my first Easter service. Usually, I go out of town for Easter. It was an interesting experience. Third service was really packed.
After church, we took a nap because I wasn't feeling good and was tired. Steve worked on his budget while I napped and he cleaned my apartment a little. We are still working on making my apartment look nice since my sister moved out. We are starting to combine all of our stuff. He moved most of his kitchen stuff into my apartment. We put the stuff we think we are going use in the cabinet and packed the othe stuff away. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it. Between the two of us, we have alot of stuff. We are planning to have a garage sale this summer after we get married so we can downsize a little in the kitchen area.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.
How many times are we 'down in the dumps' and feeling pretty worthless because of circumstances beyond our control? Life can sometimes be unbeatable, but other times it gives us a 'beatdown'. Perhaps this week you know exactly what I mean. Good thing our worth isn't based on our circumstances or behavior, if it were I would have zero hope.
Check out this story and see if speaks to your heart.
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"
Hands started going up.
He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first let me do this."
He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.
"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.
"Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him. Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us 'as the apple of His eye.'"
The worth of our lives come not in what we do or who we are, but by WHOSE WE ARE!
(courtesy: Mikey's Funnies)
- Who or what determines how good you feel about yourself?
- Have you 'checked in' with God lately with your issues and problems? Why or why not?
- What is one way you could show your thankfulness to God for His love this week?
Monday, April 2, 2007
My sister moved out of my apartment yesterday. She is moving out a month earlier than we had planned so it is going to put an extra strain on my budget. That's ok, though, I guess. I will work something out. We had fun moving all of her stuff out and back to my parents house. She is moving back there until she can find somewhere else to live and a roommate to live with.
Afterwards, Steve and I went back to my apartment and cleaned a little. I washed all the rest of the dishes that were in the sink, had maintenance fix the dishwasher, and moved some furniture around. Steve moved the futon that was in the living room to the 'spare bed room', formally known as Erin's room. He moved the TV in there too, so now we have a little TV room. Tonight, we will probably work on cleaning the living room before we watch 24. It wouldnt be Monday without 24. I still have to pack up most of my stuff. I still have time though.
We are still looking for a house to rent for after we get married. We have had a few prospects come to our attention. We just have to sit down and make a decision. It is going to be a busy month. We have most of the big details done. Now it's just getting the final details on everything done. Only 5 more weeks left! :)
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Doesn't that look peaceful. Steve and I booked our honeymoon this weekend. I am so glad that is finished. It takes a huge load of stress off knowing that that is planned. We bought the plan tickets, rented the car, and booked the room. We are going to California just South of San Diego. From the pictures on the website it looks really nice. We are going to be right on the beach of the Pacific Ocean. I will take tons of pictures, don't worry. I bet it is going to gorgegous. Please pray that we have great weather for the weekend of the wedding and for the week after. Also please pray for safe travels since I really don't like to fly.
The only big things we have left are finalizing the reception, finishing my wedding ring, and getting a final count for the reception once we get all the RSVPs back (Hint Hint! for those that havent turned in yet. :) ). I'm sure we will think of things as the day gets closer. I still have to figure my hair and little details like that but those shouldnt take to much time. I have to work on cleaning and packing my room this weekend. I'm making a pile/box of garage sale and sell things so hopefully I can make a little extra money before I move. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it. Money is going to tight for the next few months, but I suppose thats what happens when you get married. Steve and I are putting ourselves on a strick budget so we can squeeze as much out of the next months incomes that we can.
Friday, March 23, 2007
This experience is almost over. Then it's on the next adventure. I know that God has been with me the whole time. Sometimes it's hard to see or hear from God when you are in the experience. I know that when it first started I was really stressed and didnt know why it was happening. I dont I'll ever have a reason but I didnt let it shake my faith. I just kept moving through the storm until God got me out on the other side.
Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The Gift series is over. I know I have said it before but I'm so proud of this students. They were went over and above to help the children at the YWCA and the animals at the Humane Society. We didnt have Eagles Nest time this week which made a few of my girls a little sad but we made it through. We had a celebration for the projects instead. Judy showed videos of what each group did and talked about each group. All of the students did a really great job on all the projects. Some Eagles Nests split up into a guys group and a girls group but we kept ours all together since we don't have many guys.
GCC is entering a new phase with this new building project. This is the first project that had the students directly involved in it and i think it went great. Hopefully, my students learned a little about what it means to serve and give of yourself. Ask yourself...How do you want to me remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who spent her life serving other people. I can't wait to see what lies around the corner. What new adventures are in store for me and my girls, and guys too of course.
Monday, March 19, 2007
After the party, I drove down to Wakarusa and hung out with Steve for a little while. I made him dinner since he hadn't ate yet.
We have gotten a lot of RSVPs back so far. I'm starting to get really excited. It's only like 47 days away. I am so ready to be Mrs. Stephen Pitney.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Here are some pictures of them in action. We are delivering the items to the YWCA this afternoon so I'll put up those pictures too.
|Oasis: The Gift Project|
Give your life with an attitude of generosity. It feels really good to help other people but it also blesses God's heart.
Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Invitations went out this weekend so that is one less thing to do. We are going to work on planning the reception and finalizing the rehearsal dinner this week. Then it's honeymoon planning time. We have an idea of where we want to go but we havent pinned it down exactly yet.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Please pray for me and Steve as we try to get our stuff back together. My drivers license and my Social Security cards were in my purse, as well, so I get to do a bunch of paper work next week.
Today is going to spent at Cici's Pizza with my students and Steve and work tonight. Second Saturday was today but i wasnt able to go to it because Steve and I had marriage counseling but I'm meeting them for pizza.
Looking forward to things getting better...
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Wedding planning seems to be coming along quite nicely. Invitation will be going out this week then we can check that off the list of thing to do. That is going to feel great. Once the invitations are out the next task is getting the order of the cermony and the reception completely organized. We still have to finalize our wedding ring order and order them. Money seems to tight right now but not unmanagable. I am working on moving all my bank account over to one bank then he is going to transfer all his money in that same bank. So we will have our money all at one bank, instread of the current three.
Steve is still trying to fix his car. He is having trouble finding out what is wrong. Everytime he fixes something he finds another problems.
I spent today after church making purchases for our Eagles Nests project. I can't wait to see what kinds of things they put together.