29 February 2008

Leap Day 2008

A great posting idea taken from here:

In honor of Leap Day, here's a tiny history lesson:


4 years ago (let's see, that was 2004...):

I was single. I had recently returned from my Hawaii Adventure and recovering emotionally from some hurts I sustained while there. I was living with Mom and Dad, my sister and her husband were still living in Georgia. (The emotional hurts were more than just a 'skinned knee,' people--they were really deep and we were all still in the midst of the hurt and healing process.)

That was a really hard season for me and for all of us. It was tough, let me tell you, and we still deal with some of the fallout from that season. But I also have a deeper and stronger knowledge of the Lord's faithfulness even in the midst of terrible hurt.



I am a married woman, coming up on my 3rd anniversary of being engaged. I am not working (the business I was working for closed) but am looking for a teaching job for next year and for a hold-me-over job for right now. I am taking one class at Covenant College. I loooooove my honey!


In 4 years:

Hah! 2012? I have no idea...but ideally, here are some goals: own a house, have at least one child, and possibly relocate. But who KNOWS what the Lord will bring us? We offer our plans and goals and ideals to him, and when life throws us a curveball, we do our best to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. (Thankfully, we know that 'life's curveballs' really and truly are ordained by the Lord--and that He is faithful and good even when those curveballs are horrible and terrible and awful.)

Never Read that Sentence Before, or, The Principle of Discreteness

I just had a test in my class, and I hope it went well. I studied, which is more than I can say for my college days...so that at least is a step up.

Here's a thought. One of the concepts I reviewed for the test was the principle of discreteness. Here it is in a nutshell:
  • In any language, there are a finite number of words and prefixes/suffixes/infixes.
  • In any language, there are a finite number of grammatical rules shaping the way those words are put together.
  • However, there is theoretically an infinite number of sentences that can be composed. (Try this sometime: read a book and highlight every sentence you think you might have read somewhere else.)

And I think the title of my most recent post counts as "a sentence I've never read before."

28 February 2008

27 February 2008

Grocery List Organizing

While I'm reading other blogs and linking to great ideas, here's another one:

Organizing your grocery list. I love the idea about the highlighters in particular, and I'll try out all the other facets of this woman's plan--keeping what I'll actually do and discarding what doesn't work in my life.

Kitchen Counter Organizing

I don't have kids to make organizing on-the-fly even harder, but I hope to some day. To that end, I collect tidbits from in-the-trenches organizers and try to enact them now.

This tip about organizing your kitchen counters is great. I'll start working towards it now.

26 February 2008

Bonding styles

If you know my family, you know that we like to talk and chitchat and visit when we get to be together. It's rare that we're all together anymore, so when we have the chance, we squeeze in all the conversations we missed out on. I might be doing dishes with my mom, or making salsa with my sister, or carrying groceries in with Dad, and talking about mundane things like "there was this one time I was making dinner for Ian and I forgot I ran out of onions, so I used onion powder!" or deep things like "and so when I started doing devotions again, it felt as good as coming home after a long absence."

Being with Ian's family for Christmas 2006 was interesting. They don't (necessarily) bond by talking--they bond by being in the same room together. Seriously: they have spent entire afternoons sitting in the same room and reading books, occasionally chuckling aloud. One of them might get up and get a glass of water and show love for the siblings by offering to get them a glass of water, too.

And then--those ice storms hit, and we lost power for the last 4 days of our visit. (Thankfully, we had water, because we were on the town's water system instead of having an electrically-powered water pump!) It was cooooooold! By the time we left, it was colder inside the house than outside, because at least the sun was shining outside! Whew! No electricity also meant no TV, no movies, and even though I brought my sewing machine along--no sewing. What's left? Nothing, but reading, reading, reading. Ack!

Imagine--gregarious me in that situation! Hah. It was a learning experience, to be sure. And learn we did! I learned to relax and learn how to 'just be together' and my new family learned how to chitchat and visit and talk with me.

We're still learning, though. Ian and I each retreat to 'default mode' when we're tired or stressed out, and my being quiet or his talking with me becomes an act of service. Sometimes it's sacrificial service! When I spend time with my in-laws, I'm learning to re-think what 'bonding' is: it doesn't always have to be chitchat. There are other perfectly reasonable and fulfilling ways to do things like bond and share family affection.

Question: How do you bond? If you are married, how do your bonding styles differ? Have you figured out some of the 'ropes' between you and your in-laws?

Monday Update 2 (Written on Tuesday)

  • Hours of class attended: only 1
  • Cups of coffee: 2 (+1 decaf)
  • Conversations with friends (old and new): 2
  • Conversations via email with SIL A: 1 (extended over the whole day, though)
  • Conversations with a publishing house confirming the cancelling of my Free Trial Account (and that my credit card will not be charged): 1 (it was very civil)
  • Conversations with a passport official (he must have been in New York or somewhere because it was not civil at all): 1
  • Applications collated, stuffed into envelopes, and mailed (with well-written cover letters!) : 7
  • Reference request forms stuffed into envelopes (with corresponding cover letters and stamped, addressed envelopes): 3
  • Number of times I annoyed the Covenant Mailroom people while copying, collating, buying stamps, etc.: 4 or 5
  • Meals eaten yesterday: 2
  • Time we arrived home after a long day: 9:00pm.
  • Time we got into bed and turned the lights off: 10:30pm.

25 February 2008

Monday Update 1

(I've been plugging away at the mound of paperwork required for a complete application to W-County Schools.)

I also have my GoogleReader window open, and have had one (1) reading break. One of the frugal-homemaker blogs I read talks about bringing a calculator while you shop. That thought appeals to me, but the only calculator I use on a regualar basis is about the size of a business card. (I used it for the arithmetic associated with figuring test scores back in the day when I was teaching.) That calculator would not be so useful.

However, a few years ago we procured a huge, big, jumbo calculator in a Christmas White Elephant Exchange. It's the size of a notebook--about 9x13--and would be just the trick in the baby-seat of the shopping cart. (Especially because I don't have a baby sitting there, just a shopping list.)

Weeked Update and Monday to-do list

Wow! Everyone is busy on a Monday morning updating their blogs. Let me join the flow.

Weekend events:
*Cleaned house
*Cooked food for Saturday night party
*Cooked food for Sunday lunch
*Hosted Saturday night party (I got some girls together and we watched the pre-recorded Miss America I had on hand. It was fun!)
*Attended morning church
*Hosted Sunday lunch (SIL A and her two former roommates came over)
*Cleaned up from Sunday lunch--including the fine china (thanks to Mom and Tanta for the two extra place settings I have now!)
*Attended evening church
*Found crochet project (it was in a project bag) and resumed work on a baby blanket for Heather of Troy

Menus for meals:
Saturday party:
Macaroni and Cheese (I'll share this recipe later--it is sooo good!)
"Taco Night"
Dessert: fruit (grapes and strawberries)

Sunday lunch:
Quiche Lorraine + cheese -- will share this recipe when I am at home
Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche -- will share this recipe too
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (Love the doughboy--these are always sooo yummy!)
Dessert--Easy Cherry Cobbler provided by J and A, SIL A's two roommates. (will share this recipe too)

To do list for today (compiled last night by my dear friend and husband...he wrote it onto a large *Post-it and stuck it onto the front of my planner):
*Get transcripts for schools
*Make decision about Tuesday Night activity
*Copy/Scan teacher's license
*Print resume for C-County School District
*Get and fill out application
*Send/email applications to W- and C-County Schools

So...off I go!

22 February 2008

Thankful Thursday III (a day late)

  • Rejuvenation from the Word.
  • New friends (H, G)
  • Old friends (Heather of Troy, Jeep,...)
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Finding like-mindedness in new friends!
  • Church family (we don't always feel the luuuuv but we are family)
  • Job interview yesterday!
  • Ian finished our taxes on Monday
  • I don't have to monkey around with the dreaded financial burden!
  • The Word.
  • Fun party tomorrow to look forward to!
  • SIL is coming for a visit this weekend.
  • Had fun days with Ian on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday
  • We who have the mind of Christ have grace to help us in our time of need. Grace gives us hope for eternal future AND for a better tomorrow--with the actual hope of victory over sinful nature.

Time of Spiritual Growth

This post from girltalk is good for me to read. I hope you like it too!

PMS can be a time of spiritual growth. It is not a time to assess your spiritual growth. It is not a time to measure your maturity, or take stock of your sanctification.

Martyn Lloyd Jones’ advice is sound: “Do not spend too much time feeling your own pulse taking your own spiritual temperature, do not spend too much time analyzing your feelings. That is the high road to morbidity.”

On a normal day we should be careful not to spend excessive time analyzing our feelings. But on a PMS day, such self-examination is most unhelpful. If we try to “take our spiritual temperature” when our hormones are raging, the reading will most certainly be inaccurate. And we run the risk of compounding our discouragement and despair.

Today, if it’s a PMS day, is a chance to grow. Tomorrow we can evaluate that growth.

20 February 2008

Accidental Shame

How many times this week have I done one of these 5 things? I'll have to rectify this as quickly as possible!

Here are five ways men reported feeling dishonored by their wives-

1) Not including him in making important decisions.
"I told my sister we would vacation with them this year."
2) Correcting him when he speaks.
"No Dear, it was last May, not June."
3) Doing things that he is capable of.
"Oh, don't bother. I'll do it myself."
4) Not placing importance on his needs.
"I know you are tired, but You have to....."
5) Questioning his judgment
"You aren't really going to ____, are you?"

And my addition--not only do I say these 5 lines verbatim, but I also do it subtly. For example, if he's driving, I might say, "Sometimes I use the next exit instead of the one you are using right now." Translated that: "You dummy, do it the right way--my way!"

Quote from The Gentle Art of Ruling Your Husband

15 February 2008

Linguistics and its effect on my Friday

First, let me tell you about the events of the day:
*Ian took me to Covenant for my class. (He's got a Winter Long-Weekend-Break right now, so he didn't have to be dropped off at his school first.)
*I went to class. There, Hellen asked me to tell her more about English grammar. (She's from Kenya and speaks 4 languages besides English--Swahili is her native tongue.)
*Hellen and I had a grammar session and set up another one for next Friday.
*We all (Ian, Hellen, and I) went to chapel.
*I stopped by my British professor-friend's office.
*We went home, and went on from there to do errands and other grownup responsible things.

Now, let me elaborate on a couple neat things for today:

I'm really, really enjoying my class! It's been really interesting, and fun, and challenging, too. Last semester's Developmental Psychology was challenging in terms of (1) the amount of material I needed to learn and (2) the volume of assignments we had to turn in. (The professor called it 'unrelenting'--one project/test/assignment every week! Whew!) This semester is challenging in terms of the intricacy of the subject matter. It's pushing me and making me work hard intellectually, and I'm liking that. I've missed that sort of challenge.

I have a classmate (H) this semester who was also in Dev Psych with me last semester. H is also married, and so we have that in common. H is African and because English is not her mother tongue, she finds other challenges in this class. (The professor may talk for 5+ minutes about how other languages organize their sentences, and if H can't remember as easily as the rest of us the difference between an adjective and an adverb, it challenges her.) She and I spent some time together talking about English grammar, and we have another session next Friday morning after class to fine-tune her adjective/adverb understanding. Ian was at the table with me and H, and once she left, Ian told me that my ability to understand my material and to explain it to H seemed intuitive, and that I ought to more seriously consider the 'dream of ESL.' Yay.

Ian and I spent the entire day together, and we haven't done that for a long time. It was one of those days where a list of activities would bore you, but which was invigorating and necessary for both of us. You know, adventures and activities make compelling stories that are fun to read, but not as much fun to experience. This day was the opposite: wonderful and restful to experience, but not at all compelling or interesting as a story.

14 February 2008

Thankful Thursday III

We went to see a movie last night. It was a good movie and it really made me think.

The sun is shining this morning. (Gloomy days really get me down.)

I got to see and have coffee with a friend yesterday at Covenant.

12 February 2008

Through My Thick Skull

Someday I will learn this.

Bacon Would be Great On...

...AOL has a list of things they have tested, and which they know bacon is great on. Here it is, with my comments:

Movie Popcorn. I haven't really had movie popcorn, but I will try sprinkling some bacon on my next bowl of microwave popcorn.
Ice Cream Sundae. Salty and sweet already go well together, right? I'll bet this one is really good.
Warm Apple Pie. Again with the salty and sweet.
Oatmeal. It would be like all of breakfast in one bowl. (And I bet the Quaker Oatmeal cholesterol challenge would not work if you did this.)
Chocolate Chip Cookies. Again with the salty and sweet.
Hot Chocolate. Yes, again with the salty and sweet.
Cheesecake. This one I'm not so sure about. But I'm not afraid to try.
Brownies. You guessed it...salty and sweet.

And my own additions:

As an ingredient in trail mix?
In lasagna?
In spaghetti?
Ummm...how about with Skittles?

Bacon Candy

Yes. You read that correctly: Bacon Candy

And one of the commenters says, "What do you need crack for when you can have bacon candy."

Woo. Hoo. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Food Meme

1. How do you take your coffee? Ideally, it would be freshly ground, with 2 packets of sugar in the raw and a plop of creamer. In reality, it's ground, low-quality coffee with 1.5 tsp. sugar and some milk.
2. What is your restaurant genre of choice? Pasta. Or steak. (Love me some carbs.)
3. If you had to eat the entire cake, what kind would it have to be? Chocolate with chocolate frosting.
4. What kind of cook do you consider yourself to be (i.e. gourmet)? Disorganized family cook. With the cooking instinct.
5. Eggs for breakfast? Sure, on Saturdays.
6. Are you an adventurous eater? Yes, but not compared to a restaurant critic--adventurous compared to myself as a child and even to myself 5 years ago.
7. Would you consider yourself a food snob? No. Food snobs (and I've worked with some) say snarky, attitude-tastic things about the people who don't shop at Healthy Green Grocery Stores (you know which stores I'm talking about, too). I guess food snobs are closely related to cultural/consumer snobs (as in, 'I wouldn't be caught dead in ____ store with the kind of people who shop there. Gaaah! I hate that.)

This meme was taken from Wonder Girl.

11 February 2008


...relatively concrete job leads.


08 February 2008

Don't Panic

"Don't Panic."

This rule comes in handy for one of my favorite things: teaching middle school students to think. Don't we all tend to overreact at any imminent threat? I panic if I've forgotten to make dinner, forgotten to buy milk, overslept, or if I've spilled bleach on a washer-full of darks--and I'm an adult! Those poor middle school kids panic over much more trivial events than that, and their panics are much more dramatic and emotional.

What I need to remember, and what I want to teach the kiddoes, is "Don't Panic." Panic short-circuits the solution-oriented part of grown-up thinking and rockets you into hysteria, despair, and foolishness.

Now for the backstory:
My mom is a high school secretary at a Christian school (the school, by the way, that my sister and I both attended from preschool-12th grade). Somehow or other, Mom and her office-mate at the time got a flyer from a student entitled "What to Do if You're Left Behind after the Rapture."

Let me digress about that flyer and the doctrinal morass I'm about to jump into:
*Most Reformed Calvinistic Presbyterians tend not to believe in the Secret Rapture--what the feature film Left Behind teaches. Even if they do--and there are some who do--they don't teach that the people who didn't make it will have extra chances to make the cut (so to speak).
*So, in my little Presbyterian world (which is heavy on the 'instruction of proper doctrine'), this flyer was funny because it made at least two doctrinal leaps: (1) that there is such a thing as the Secret Rapture and (2) even if there is a Secret Rapture, that the 'stragglers' will have another chance, and another, and another...
*I was in junior high school, the age when students are really getting it about underlying rules and regulations AND the compliance thereto. (I was learning proper doctrine and thought that I knew everything...and that I was free to laugh at those who didn't agree with me. Sheesh.)
*The flyer in question was also poorly punctuated, and badly spelled, and used nonstandard grammar. (Those three written-English transgressions have always caught my attention and set my teeth on edge.)

...so, when I was in junior high school, Mom and her office-mate were giggling over this flyer. The funniest part was the first suggestion (because it was so very, very understated): "Don't Panic."

It was funny, because if I were left behind and planes were crashing and cars were wrecking and we had a terrible cataclysmic apocalyptic event, the first thing I would be doing would be, of course, PANICKING.


That was backstory. Remember the rule: Don't Panic. It's good for all of us to learn, and for all of us to remind others.

07 February 2008

Thankful Thursday II

  • That my house was not knocked over in the terrible storms in Tennessee and Alabama. It wasn't even damaged.
  • That we Americans like cleanliness. There's nothing like clean, clean hair!
  • My linguistics class--it's so challenging, and I'm really enjoying learning about the technical, detailed, and very intricate gift language is.
  • God made us in his image!

It's a short list, I know. I'm in a bit of a hurry and just wanted to get something on the blog.

06 February 2008

I Was Ma'amed

Walking into Jackson Hall this morning at Covenant.

By a student--one who doesn't know me.

I feel eons older than the students, but do I really look that much older to them?

01 February 2008

This Weekend One Year Ago:

Ian had a snow day (woo hoo! About 0.5" of snow!), so he dropped me off at the airport.

I was boarding a plane, bound for Dallas. I flew with Kelly; I enjoy traveling with a buddy, and Kelly was a great travel buddy.

Once in Dallas, we went to Troy's (now Heather and Troy's) apartment for the bridesmaids' party where were ate chocolate and talked.

The next day we went to the bridesmaids' luncheon.

It was beautiful. (I got some super ideas if I ever host a bridesmaids' function!)

That evening we rehearsed and went to the rehearsal dinner. (I was seated at the "couples' table" with other Unavailables--the bridesmaids at the Availables Table had a great conversation with the Available groomsmen and ushers. That night at the hotel, they reported about their conversation concerning Heather and Troy, and we were all excited about how well-suited they were to each other.)

Wedding Day was Saturday. Laura and I steamed the veil.
We had so many dresses getting steamed that we set off the fire alarm! Not to worry; it was a silent alarm, but the bright lights were flashing and the fire doors closed. Still...I think it was the only thing that did not go perfectly according to schedule.

We processed, sang, witnessed, and rejoiced!

We also partied!

Not only was it a wonderful weekend for Heather, but it was a real healing weekend for me. I was in an interpersonal and intrapersonal slump, and going away for a weekend filled with TONS of girls-only time, pampering, a well-planned busy schedule [everything went soooo smoothly!] and really truly pleasant and sincere conversations was just what the doctor ordered. It was a real shot in the arm and a blessing to me. Also, when my plane landed, my cellphone rang, and I was offered a job! Just in time!!)

That was a wonderful weekend. I figured out that a year before her wedding, Heather had just moved to Chattanooga and started her new job. Then in 2007, we all gathered for her wedding. And now in 2008--it's a girl!

Happy Anniversary, Heather. Doesn't it make you think? Think of where you were just one year ago. Where were you two years ago? Moving to Chattanooga. And three years ago? In Kyiv, being c-c-c-cold! (You flew to Colorado to see Jenna's birth, right? Did you have any idea that in three years, you'd be a married lady with a precious baby coming soon?) Who knows what the Lord has in store in just one more year.

Happy anniversary, Heather.


Photos taken from Corrin's blog corrin's love seat, from Heather's blog Heather of Troy, and from Corrie's blog The McClure Family Adventures.

...It's a Meme

The rules of this game:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.

Turn to page 123.

Find the first three sentences.

Post the next three sentences.

Tag 5 people.

(Got this meme from here.) I'll play!
The instructions to each exercise are somewhat different in each case, so read them carefully before proceeding. However, each exercise requires that you follow the step-by-step procedure for doing a phonemic analysis outlined in the previous file. The exercises are designed to introduce you to problems involving minimal pairs, complementary distribution, and free variation.

Georgios Tsedernalis and Wai Yi Peggy Wong, editors. Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. 9th ed. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2004.

And I'll follow Adventures in Mercy's lead and spiff up the tagging: YOU if you are reading this, plus Mike, Heather, cj, and Bob. Also I will tag Erin, jkrue, and Carrie.

(Do me a favor and leave a comment with a link telling me that you took the tag. Thus this game will also serve as a de-lurker. Theoretically.)