Wednesday, January 26, 2011

i've always had a thing for blondes

it's true.
I remember my first crushes in kindergarten. I had a crush on a kid named Alex. He had a blond bowl-haircut, and he always wore these button up plaid shirts. 
I think I can remember every single grade of elementary and junior, a blond boy that i thought was cute. (yeah, yeah, so i liked boys early in you didn't!)
I can remember all the way up through high school and into college, I really liked blond boys.

Then freshman year of college, this guy walked into my life.
He was a blond, kinda dirty blond, and was so freaking cool. 
But would I admit that to him? No way.
Besides, I was a freshman and the dude was a senior.
And at start, a bunch of my girlfriends had crushes on him. 
But we did all the immature things freshmen girls do. 
Pranked called him, giggled through conversations with him, annoyed the crud out of him and his friends.
(those were my friends, not me!;))
 just kidding. I participated as well, but with little intention of being obnoxious or trying to annoy him.

Cuz, well, truth was, I kinda liked him.
Besides, he was sorta a Moody bad boy. (as bad as "moody" students can get. which, isn't actually all that bad.;))
but he had quite the "cool, suave" attitude that I found VERY attractive.
and he started popping up everywhere.

in fact, it felt like everywhere I looked, that spring semester, he showed up...
and then he asked me out. 
and although there is so much more to that story that I'll one day find the time to blog about...

I can't help but just be so glad I married that blond boy.

I'm laying on the couch after a miserable day of being sick. 
And I think of all the things my husband is involved in taking care of at work, home, and around the community, 
I praise the Lord for a man such as he to be my husband.

I appreciate the special care he gives me to show me he loves me.
The times he just comes by to hug me and kiss me (even though I'm icky and sicky!)
how at this moment he's cleaning the kitchen, because he knows I can't rest or go to sleep at night without a clean kitchen.
He's cleanly shaved right now and oh, so handsome.
(Too bad I'm so congested and achy right now! he just looks so cuddly and snuggly right now.)

I just love him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

so fun to see them praise...

There's something just so special watching kids praise Jesus.

Monday, January 24, 2011

thanks, God

for sweet surprises in the mail
that encourages me
makes me smile
gives me hope to go back
and reminds me of the sweethearts that i left so long ago.

one day, i want to bring my husband with me.
to meet the faces of those that stirred my heart for missions.
and hug and kiss the ones that used to fit right in my arms:) 

ever seen this happen?

yeah, i have never ever in my entire life, seen anyone do it.
but of course, first try, he did it.

not only that,
he did it twice.
in one night.
he recieved a king size french fries and a large soda.
now does any kid really need that much soda?;) 

lol, of course not.
but what other kid does this twice in one night?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

when parents were looked at with respect...

I remember way back
when parents were treated with respect.

and that was the norm.
[via source]

when moms and dads were looked at for comfort, wisdom, guidance, and boundaries.
when moms and dads told their kids the way things would be...and that was that, no questions asked.
parents were respected. 
When kids were asked to help out.
and excuses were not made.

i look around far too often. 
and i see kids running the families.
they are the ones calling the shots.
telling mom and daddy, "NO! I WANT IT!" 
and culture and media plays a much bigger influence-than the parents.

today, i got to experience a rare treat.
i saw kids respect their parents.
and not only their parents...
but other adults.
I was blessed to see these kids of different ages, not even after an hour of distance away from her, run to their momma, hug her, and say hello.
I saw their daddy put them to work;
and the kids were pleased that their daddy asked them to do it.
I saw them offer to do things for their mom-
and the mother was so respectful and thankful in her response to each of her children's requests. 

They each acknowledged me with a smile and a hello.
and sat for a while to chat - the whole time smiling at me.
they acknowledged the homeless man sitting in the room who was waiting for help...and they smiled and said hello to him like he was the most well dressed and best smelling person around. 
I noticed the parents speak to their children with the uttermost respect.

their grandparents walked in holding a few items.
the children jumped up, stopped what they were doing, and ran to hug and say hello to their grandparents...
and then took the things out of their hands to assist them.

just from the few moments with the whole family, it was beyond evident
that there is time invested in that family.
and closeness established between them. 

it touched me.
warmed my heart.

it was so refreshing...
how often do you get to see a family with children so respectful, so thoughtful, and so polite?

not often at all. 
hardly ever.

Monday, January 17, 2011

jb love.

I haven't been home in a year. I had only heard of this sensation that had taken over my little sister's room.

My sister in SC is a little obsessed. 
think it's a little much?:)

I had a similar bedroom in highschool.
I was absolutely taken by the boys in the boyband plusONE. 
Remember them?:) 
I had every single thing that was ever printed of them. cut-out posters and everything:) and there wasn't an INCH of my room not covered:)

I was flipping through my pictures from my trip at home...and started missing my younger sister, so I thought I'd introduce her and her room to you:)
Ashley is 15. She's crazy. we have fun together.
morning donut runs are so fun with her.
late night ihop runs are just as fun.
she's driving now. it's weird.
she's also my miracle baby sister:). 
i love her.:) 

miss you lil sister.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

sick hubby:(

oh, sigh.

I hate it when my husband is sick. Makes me sad.
wish i could make him feel better.

today, I was reminded about how much i need him. He helps me out in so many ways-and when he's not available, it's when I realize just how much I appreciate all the things he does for me. 
I was freaking out today. I had so many things to do. Not sure if I could get everything done without Ryan. 

Even with all the misery he was feeling, the achiness, the fever, and weakness, he was there. With everything that i was freaking out about, he got done for me. completed. I had no reason to freak out anymore. 

I was thankful. I AM thankful:). Even when he's sick, my husband is wonderful. I love my man.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She's 22, ya'll!!!

 To you, our seester:

Hope your day is filled with lots of love, friends, hugs, yummy coffee drinks paid for by your buddies, and possibly a Harry Potter Book;) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day!

No school today!!! Working at the elementary school has it's perks-love the beautiful reason of staying home because of snow. Makes me happy that I can take time to cook a hot meal for Ryan, enjoy my coffee longer, and maybe even read a book. I've got quite a few books that I'm working on, one to teach, one for fun, and one for inspiration:) as well as a new course that I'm taking with many of the people I serve with, Perspectives, that has lots of reading and homework to do. Time to challenge my brain again:) 
So happy for it! 

Since it's snowing out, I thought I'd get out some of the bright sunny pictures that I took last week in SC. Gorgeous warm weather and beautiful water. I have this weird weakness for bridges. I absolutely love them. It might be the fact that I love water more than any other scenic picture, and staring at it is just mesmerizing.  Being over the water on a bridge is absolutely dreamy to me.
 (I also used to refer back to Anne of Avonlea, a movie I grew up loving, and have always wanted to have a romantic moment on a bridge. It actually happened too-first time Ryan told me he loved me, we were on a little bridge in canada!:))

and one of the beautiful things about the Palmetto State are the Palmetto trees!!:) I love love love watching them in the sunlight, near water, waving in the breeze. gorgeous.

that was then. 
this is now. 
like right now at this very moment. 
We're in the middle of a wonderful snow fall, even more wonderful because school is cancelled today!:) Definitely a different kind of beauty, but beautiful none the less. 

 hope you're having a cozy day indoors, with a mug of yummy warm in your hands!
[happy monday!]

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ZAO kids

Zao kids is back up and running.
we had a two week break for Christmas, and now we're back to the regular schedule of ZAO kids.

I honestly wasn't expecting most of the kids to be there. Just cuz, well, maybe they'd forget, or not even be around after the holiday season.

i was wrong.

in fact, we had 8 new kids this past week. and not all the regular kids are back yet. but we were still pretty packed.

God is great, isn't he? He's definitely multiplying, and not only that, He's using the KIDS in bring more kids.  here's some quick shots of what's happening at ZAO.

We started many different lifeblocks. We hope for small group of kids hopefully from 5-8 kids each group,  because we want them to get some adult interaction; someone they will know cares for them and know them personally.

Ballet Life Block:

Oragami Life Block:

4th-6th grade Dance group: 

 Exercise Lifeblock:

Messy Art Life Block: 

Science project:

and then we have a Wrestling Life Block, which the boys are loving! 

 Dinner time is always crazy, but so rewarding to get to see the kids engaging in conversation with adults, but also getting the chance to serve.

dinner this week was provided by a 1:10 small group from summit. thank you for the yummy taco salad meal!!:)

God is great. 
All the Time. 
He's worthy to be Praised.

Christmas day

I had written out a Christmas post right after Christmas day. it was a really long post with lots of pics and writing. However, when I pressed "publish post" it deleted my entire post.

So, i got mad at it and refused to repost. 

until now, because the memories from that weekend was too wonderful to not blog about it. (and i was flipping through all the pictures, and wanting to relive it with you.)

Ryan's mom has many of these little houses...she sets them up into dainty little villages.

Christmas Eve dinner:)

Nothing like a little sparkly grape juice for the evening:) i love the bubbles.
Christmas decorations everywhere!:)
Christmas morning with the Brandenbergers! waiting to open presents.

one of my most favorite gifts this year from our sister, Katie. she MADE this picture frame with our wedding picture. Isn't this amazing?? She picked out a book called, Life at My Fingertips. Perfect, isn't it?
Brandenberger Christmas!

It was a joy to spend Christmas with this side of the family:). Thanks Brandenbergers for the memories!!! You're wonderful and we love you! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

blog award:)

really, take a guess what brightened my day?;)
a blog award, from Anne, a dear friend with two inspirational blogs:


Anne's passion for serving is contagious and you will be blessed and challenged by her blog:) 

thanks again, Anne, for the Sunshine award!

kinda matches my theme for my week;) lol. 

made me smile for sure:) thank you Anne! 

i'll be passing it to 12 other blogs - look out yours might be one of them!:)