Thursday, January 31, 2013

Last Night

So tomorrow, roommate is getting married (the other roommate is just called roo). It's the last night the three of us are together (though Cheryl just caved to go and sleep).
Cheryl and I were just talking today about watching the Superbowl last year and how Jess was brand spanking new to Panama and we were just getting to know her and now here we are, a year later, and she is getting married, TOMORROW (unless you are reading this on Friday, then it would be today)!

I have no qualms about sounding sappy, so I'm jumping right in.
There are no words to describe the incredible blessing Jess has been in my life. The Lord sent her as a sweet friends at just the right time. She has been an incredible source of encouragement to me.

Jess is a praying woman! I can't tell you the number of times she has come to my office, classroom, tracked me down in the apartment, stopped me in the hall, or any other place and said, "Let me pray for you." Her love for Jesus has been such a blessing and has spurred me on to know and love Jesus more.

Jess has an incredible heart and gift for encouragement. She kindly has sent so many little messages just to bless and be an spurrer-onner (like my made up word?). She listens closely to the Holy Spirit and obeys His prompting for her to uphold others and to live in obedience.

One of the other things I love about Jess is her quick wit! Living with two hilariously punny (not puny, Cheryl!) women has been so much fun! They jab at each other all the time and I laugh daily! The three of us love watching certain tv shows together and shouting at the television and analyzing every angle to see if we can predict what will happen next.

(Love Cheryl's face in this picture! It makes me laugh out loud every time!) 
One year ago, I had no idea the incredible friend Jess would become. She has been way more than a roommate, but a dear friend and sweet sister. This is not a goodbye!

I'm so excited to watch her marry Epson and see what else the Lord has in store for them as they join their lives together!

Can't wait to post all about the wedding and tell you that story! It's AMAZING!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Interesting Form of Convenience

Y'all, convenience is a big deal in our culture!

So, when I saw this, I knew it had been taken to a whole new level!

When Dad and I went to Africa, we took little disposable toothbrushes for the travel segment, so I'm sure these little chewable ones serve a purpose.

Want to know where they were being sold? In a vending machine located in a mall bathroom.

Can't you imagine coming up with a sales pitch?
* Need a breath freshener on the go? Try our Chewable toothbrush! No need to run water or spit. Just chew and feel the minty freshness in your mouth!
* Trying to impress your date? Just pop this in your mouth like gum and know those pearly whites are sparkling!
* Tired of the rigor involved in brushing your teeth? Just chew and go!

I think I'll stick to my traditional toothbrush thanks!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Very "Pin"teresting #3

I really like Pinterest! I've found some fabulous recipes, hilarious comments, creative ideas, etc.

So I had seen this thing on Pinterest about paper cuts.

It was one of those LONG scrolling through pins with lots of interesting tips. All pictured with a duck. Why? I have no idea.

So last week, I had need to experiment.
No, I didn't do it on purpose.

Enter exhibit one:

Yes, I know this is not paper, it is the metal seal on my favorite chai tea mix!
It HURT! Yes, we all know that feeling.

So into my brain shoots this memory of that duck announcing the relief chapstick can bring to a papercut.
Well, what do I have to lose, except the burning pain of a metal cut?

Can you even see the cut? It's on my ring finger. 
Isn't it interesting that such a small cut can bring such intense pain? The kind of pain where you want to jump around, squealing, breathing through your teeth, and shaking your hand? 

So I whipped out my Burts Bees from my pocket (a necessity) and rubbed it on the cut.

While I'm not sure if it made the pain completely go away, it did seem to help. Maybe it was a mental trick!

So the next time you cut your finger with paper or a metal seal, perhaps this little trick will come to mind! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

White House Part 1

Through a VERY long story/explanation, I was able to tour the White House twice over the Christmas break. The first one was through the east wing. You know, the pictures you see in history books, etc. 

Ok, y'all, history is super fascinating to me and after teaching Bible, history was my favorite class to teach (especially in 4th grade).

Jim was our personal tour guide and led us through the rooms - blue room, red room, state dining room, etc. Call me crazy, but I could picture paintings and photographs in my mind from people of days gone by who were painted or photographed in those rooms. So surreal. 

You can't take pictures inside, so I don't have those to share, though I have repeated mental pictures! 

One interesting note: I was surprised at some of the wiring. I know that sounds crazy, but some of the lamps and such are older and are wired into the wall or have the older style of plugs and outlets. I found that fascinating. Weird, I know. 

Here are some pictures from outside: 

 I love the older style architecture!

It reminded me a little of The Hermitage in Old Hickory, Tn (Andrew Jackson's home). Not the outside, but the style and layout on the inside. Love it!

I wonder who power washes it to keep it so clean?

There's the Washington Monument!
 AND a chopper landed in the yard while we were walking out! Crazy!

There's the capital just down the road.
 So much history in one building

Part 2 was even more surreal! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Connectivity, Eating Alone, and the Ziosk

Do you ever wonder about the extent to which we as a culture are connected?

I find it somewhat fascinating to people-watch and find it interesting to see our dependency on being "connected".

Yes, I said our, because I include myself in this. It is rare I leave the house without some form of device to "connect". I'll come back to this.

Recently, when visiting DC, I spent a alone and loved it! Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with people, but I really value and cherish downtime and solitude.

That evening I went to Chili's. Alone.
It brought to mind a story Grandma had shared with me about a Great-aunt. When her husband died, she felt self-conscious going to restaurants alone and felt as though people were judging her or felt sorry for her. So instead of going alone, she wouldn't or would wait until someone could go with her.

That thought came to my mind as I walked towards the restaurant. Yes, I'll admit, it is a little awkward going into a sit-down restaurant solita! It ended up being a sweet time.

When it was time to pay, I asked for the bill and the waitress told me I could pay on "the Ziosk".
Now I had noticed this little device on the table, but thought it was just for running ads.

You can pay the table without ANY interaction with the server, minus their bringing the food. Fascinating and a little sad.

I noticed at the bottom, guess what you can do on this device?
* Play games
* Connect
* Apps

Even eating dinner has become a place to "plug in" and "connect"

Yes, I am a BIG fan of technology, especially living far from my family, but as with all things, there has to be healthy usage, boundaries, and I have to remind myself of the importance of face-to-face contact over "connecting" electronically.

But I did learn a lesson: I can pay for my bill at the table. I was the culturally ignorant one who did not know this feature. I will say, this would be a lovely thing to have here in Panama.

Monday, January 21, 2013

100 and Christmas

This is my 100th post! Wahoo!
Currently, over 6,000 people have read the blog, thanks family, for re-reading my posts every day! :)

Yes, I'm still posting about Christmas, but I'm ok with it!

One of the most things about Christmas this year (besides cute baby) was obviously being with family, but there was lots of Christmas hunting!

First - mom had an amazing gift made for Dad.
She took some of the old barn boards from Great-grandma's barn and had them made into a cross. She bought some little plaques with some names for Jesus and had them put on the boards. It is now in his office.
Because it was so big, dad had to go find his present in the car.

 Everyone excited about the surprise!

Even that cute baby!

Dad surprised his present is in the trunk!

 Way to go, Mom! You win the award for most creative present of 2012!

Even the baby was thrilled about it! (oh goodness - she is too cute! I could eat her up!!!!)

Then came round #2 - this time for both of the parents.
MONTHS ago, I called both siblings and told them Christmas present this year was going to be easy, this is not typically the case. Momma and Daddy love going to Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA. It is fabulously spectacular, so it was obvious this would be the perfect gift!
The show we bought tickets for is Noah, so we decided to spice up the gift a little.

The family has this Noah's Ark we've had for YEARS!!!! So we took all the animals out, hid them with the cheesiest rhyming clues ever, and put the tickets in the ark and wrapped it up.
Then we sent mom and dad out to collect all of the animals and eventually end up back at the tree to unwrap the present. It was HYSTERICAL watching them trying to figure out our clues and what they must mean! This may be a new parent tradition! (I've got to start working on my poetic skills for next year)

First clue and the basket to gather all the little animals!

Hunting in the deep freeze - yes, there were animals in there. Wooden ones, people! Don't panic!

In the ice box

Confusion over some of our clues - we are awesome poets!!!!

Where could this one be?

Fridge in the basement

We were all laughing a lot as they were searching around the house and giggling at our clues!!!!
Finally the present!!!!

Mom pulled out the cash for some of the expenses and wondered what it was for! Good times!

Merry Christmas, Momma and Dad!!! First year in a LONG time, we've come up with a creative gift you would love AND made it a game too!!!!!

Now for this Christmas....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Leaving it all on the table

You know that you are the states when...

Can you even see what was left on this table?

* Laptop
* External screen
* Purse
* Other personal bag
* external keyboard and mouse

For real? Very trusting lady got up to go to the bathroom and left everything set up. I went to a free wifi location over the break and when I needed to use the facilities, I packed it all up and took it with me. That was in much-smaller-town-America than DC.

Possible reasons why she is so trusting:
1. She works at this fine dining establishment
2. She is a regular and the employees know to look out for her stuff
3. It is a 0% crime rate neighborhood
4. She wants to collect an insurance reimbursement
5. The items belong to someone else
6. She really wants apple products instead
7. They don't really work and she just spends hours pretending they do
8. There is a booby trap set up to thwart any potential thieves, including electric shock, trip wires, and tasers.

Perhaps there are more reasons, but that's all I can think of right now! Perhaps I shouldn't react so exuberantly next time I see someone leave all their things out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fun Signs #2

Visiting other places and living in a different country has been fun to see interesting signs.
On my recent trip to the states, I discovered several interesting signs that I thought would be interesting to photograph and write about on a blog.

I first wrote about this sign

Here's the next fun one:

Remember these?????

Remember buying film? AND the stress of whether or not your batteries would run out when least expected?

I saw this in DC on a souvenir street cart and I had to take a picture! It took me back to my first mission trip in 1995 to England. I was going to be gone for 5 weeks and that was back in film camera days.

Pretty sure I took 13 rolls of film on that trip. Now, all that's needed is a big enough memory card!

Good take-me-back-reminder of days gone by sign!
Now, I wonder what has happened to all of those "ask a student to bring in a film canister" ideas for teachers? That is a shame!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Not in our Childhood

Having a cute new kid in the family has been super fun, as I'm sure you have gathered if you read this blog.

Charlie Belle, being the grandchild for my parents, has allowed my parents to join a very special group of people known as "grandparents". I had heard the stories about how it would change them, their reactions, etc, all based on their friends who are also part of this special club.

Since living so far away, I do not always get to see them utilizing this newly acquired skill, but this Christmas break gave me a peek into their world of grandparenting.

Remember how certain things were not allowed when you were a child and now with this new munchkin, she can get away with it? Yep, it really happens. AND I happen to have proof - photographic evidence of this type of behavior! :)

Sitting at the table with her plate in the chair. Tsk, tsk, tsk! :)

Sitting and riding in the TOY wagon intended for stuffed animals. Yes, those are pappy's hands pushing her in it! Look how happy that face is, knowing she is getting away with it!

That's Granny handing her cookie pieces BEFORE dinner! What is this world coming to?

Touching ornaments on the tree!

We were never allowed to eat part of the nativity set!

Going outside without a coat! Gasp!

Spanking an uncle with a wooden spoon (never mind the fact we were encouraging her or that Luke was posing)
 And last but not least, she is Pappy's granddaughter, therefore she MUST be introduced to Blue Bell Ice Cream at a  very young age.

Times sure have changed! Though, we had our fair share of grandparent spoilage too!!!!