Friday, May 26, 2006

Hair Cut - Part 1

Last night I started the process of cutting Paddington's hair. Pretty funny actually. I can't show you any pictures yet because he looks really bad (in a funny way). It was a quick one just to get off some of the bulk so he wouldn't be so hot at night and during the day, but he has some baldish spots where I got the shaver too close, some really long patches that I missed completely and some stringy random hairs that escaped. Overall, he looks rough. I'm gonna finish up tomorrow morning. Until then...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dirty Domestic Duties

(Can you tell I'm obsessed with the letter D today?)

Last night I cleaned our grill. Can you say GROSS? I don't know how many years that grill has been part of the family, but I know that there have been many, many people using it and it is disgusting. I must have scraped off at least two pounds (or more) of baked on grease, then I degreased it three times and still had to be satisfied with a thin film of grease left inside. So disgusting, but so much cleaner now. I also replaced the rusted out burner with a new one and installed new ceramic briquets and a new drip vaporizer. The grill looks great and is ready for the Sunday Night BBQ's to begin.

Today (or tomorrow) I will be giving Paddington a hair cut. I ordered new blades for the clipper and will begin the long (at least an hour or more) and difficult process of removing tons of hair. I think I might try and weigh how much hair I remove. It really is spectacular. I'm cutting off at least six inches of hair from him. He looks like a completely different dog when I'm done. I'll try and post before and after pictures.

I also have to go on poop patrol in the yard. How fun!

Doggie Do-Right

This morning it was off to the vet to see about getting meds for Paddington. The vet did a great job checking out his range of motion and did indeed concur that he has some pretty intense arthritis on his left side. They drew blood and gave me pills and Paddington is back at home resting. He is currently unable to get up once he lays down so I have to help him get up. Once he's up he's okay. Hopefully the meds will improve this situation. Otherwise, it's not going to be fun.

I did barricade the kitchen floor however, because I'm not sure how safe that is for him to be sprawled out on struggling to get up. He may hurt himself even more.

Ahh the joys of motherhood :) At least with children they can tell you what's wrong and you can explain things to them. A dog...well, even as smart as my egghead is, he can't speak to me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's No Fun Getting Old

For the past week, I've been noticing my dear little man Paddington getting older. His new thing is to lay on the linoleoum floor in the kitchen right by the front door. The problem is that once he lays down he can't get up in spite of the struggling. His feet keep slipping out from underneath him and his arthritic hips can't seem to get him up. It's funny in a way, but also sad, because he just flops down on the ground and looks at you, like whew, what is going on? I have to get behind him and lift him up around his middle so his legs can get under him. He growls and barks, but I know he's doing that because he's just embarrassed and as all men do, doesn't want to admit that he needs my help. But like a good mom, I ignore him and help anyway :)

He is thirteen and most dogs his size and breed live somewhere between 12-15 years, so I know his time is coming soon and I will be very sad when that day does arrive. In spite of his stubbornness, growling, crankiness, disobedience and various challenges related to having a dog, he has been a very good little son of mine and I love him dearly.

I'm preparing myself. Thanks for being understanding.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

My Weekend

This is what my weekend consisted of:

Four movies in one day, a doggie bath and grooming session, cleaning a rusty grill and buying new parts at Home Depot for it in preparation for the summer grilling season, making waffles, fruit salad, and cappucinos for my roommate, going to a barbecue, spending Sunday morning helping kids blow bubbles in water and glue fishies onto construction paper, listening to a great church sermon by one cool Pastor Dave, going to a belly dancing recital at a Moroccan restaurant, feeling nauseous - maybe allergy related or sugar related.

Overall, a pretty good weekend. How was yours?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mad at Maryland

The state of Maryland is really annoying. They have so many crazy rules and regulations that trying to do the right thing a la Deut. 6:18 is challenging at times. I've gone to the DMV three times in two days AND I still don't have my Maryland title or registration in spite of having all of the correct documents. They keep needing a signature from this or a letter from that...mainly from my dad who is currently in Australia in a 12 hour time difference so it's ridiculous to keep trying to get in touch with him. Anyway, that is my rant for the day. I know it's not really that big of a deal, but it is frustrating. Peace out ya'll.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Peace and Quiet

That's what this weekend was all about. I headed to Southern MD with some friends from church for a retreat weekend at this great house. We all did our own thing on Saturday, meditation, long walks, picking wildflowers, praying, sleeping, playing basketball. It was just great.

I did a devotional on Deut. 6:18 which is where I feel the Lord is really challenging me right now. It's a hard verse and a hard truth to fully walk out each day, but good and right things are not always easy. The rewards of knowing that you are glorifying Christ and bringing Him joy is so worth it in the long run. I will fail, I will make mistakes, I will cheat the system so to speak, but thank goodness for the grace of God that allows me to get back up again and keep going. A la Brother Lawrence.

May you all be blessed and comforted this day. May you find peace and truth everlasting in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May He be what you are living for today.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

6 1/2 years

For some reason today, I wanted to post on my mom. Mainly on the fact that it has been almost 6 1/2 years since she passed away. I can't believe it has been that long. It has been one crazy ride and I am grateful for the presence of God through all of it.

Here's a picture of my mom in the late 60's about a year or so before she married my father. She was in Izmir, Turkey with the USO (service organization that supports soliders in the field). Previously she had been in Vietnam with the USO serving for a couple years or so. She was one of the first civilian women in the country when the war started and she flew all over the place in the open sided Hueys. Other jobs included a TWA flight attendant, model, radio hostess.

After she and my dad got married, they spent 15 years in Europe traveling and living. They opened up a leather boutique in southern Spain called Gasp Boutique. They would cross the straits of Gibralter to Morocco and buy leather and beads. My dad would make belts, sandals, bags and my mom would convince the tourists to come in and buy them. It was in Spain that they both became Christians.

They also lived in Germany and worked with a group of the Jesus people there. Then they moved to Greece and ran student ski trips by bus to Austria. Dad also had a boat chartering business. I was born while they were there and we lived another seven years. Moving back to the U.S. was very difficult. Mom went back to school and eventually received her B.A. in Ancient Languages (or something like that).

She studied Ancient Greek and would do personal bible studies with the original texts. I was pretty impressed. Then we moved to VA Beach for both my parents to get their Master's. My dad got his MBA and Mom got hers in Education focusing on TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). After we moved to Florida, she taught at the local community college and really enjoyed her students. She was great at reaching out to them and inviting them to be part of our family.

Her favorite holiday was St. Patrick's Day and we would have an all green meal. All of the holidays were a big deal for her and she would try and make them special.

This next picture is one of my favorite. It was taken on her birthday in 1999 about 2 1/2 months before she died. Here's to you my little brown nut head! Love you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Friends Come in All Shapes, Sizes, Colors

I love being part of the kingdom of God, for it is the richest, most colorful, diverse, global place I know. It transcends both heaven and earth and the dimensions of time and space. No matter where I go, I will find brothers and sisters who worship the same God I do. I am never alone. What an awesome blessing.

I have been so encouraged this week by friends especially both at my Alpha group and last night/today. Their words of encouragement, hope, understanding, compassion and thoughtfulness have meant so much to me.

I am in the middle of an understanding of the impact holiness has on our actions and it is not an easy lesson but a vital one. Deuteronomy 6:18 says " And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the LORD swore to your fathers," This is my challenge and with the grace of God and the sharpening of my fellow soliders, I will move toward the Light of Heaven.

I know God is faithful...

but I'm struggling right now. Not sure if what I'm facing is a spiritual battle or one caused by my own sins and failings, or simply because that's just how life is right now.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I am at a loss for words on how to explain how deeply and profoundly impacted and blessed I was by the Buzz volunteers. I was in charge of coordinating about 40 volunteers for the two day conference for my church. I was amazed at the "extra mile" attitude of so many of them. We were overstaffed but the volunteers kept looking for something to do. They interacted with attendees and they never sat around doing nothing. They were always ready to help out with whatever task I asked of them.

I even had some say they couldn't take the time off of work, but they would be willing to show up an hour early or come during their lunch hour or even stop by on their way to an evening event to help pop popcorn. I have recruited volunteers, trained volunteers, been a volunteer, but nothing prepared me for the NCC volunteer. I can't say thank you enough or tell them enough for how special they are.

Truly they are V.I.V.'s (Very Important Volunteers)!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Books Are Funny

On my way to work this morning, I noticed a guy in front of me reading a book. Occasionally, he would smile or almost laugh while reading a certain passage. That made me smile too. I love books for the fact that they can engage so many of our emotions. I recall some intense crying and sobbing after reading "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" and "Bridge to Terabithia" when I was in jr. high. I actually still cry when reading these books :)

One of my most recent laugh out loud non-fiction books was "Stiff: The interesting lives of human cadavers". This is an absolutely hilarious book and also pretty gross. I kept having to put it down after a couple of pages. So great though.

One of my favorite books is "My family and other animals" by Gerald Durrell. It's a biography of sorts about the Durrell family who move from England to the island of Corfu in Greece and their subsequent adventures. The pages are falling out, but I can't seem to find another copy of the book, so I keep this one. I love it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Have you seen a cuter dog?

C'mon and Sing!

I love to sing. All the time, anytime. I've gained a reputation in my various places of employment for singing all the time. The office in Florida still asks the headquarters here in DC if I sing all the time. I don't even realize that I do much of the time. I just love to sing. I like to make up songs, sing tunes. I especially love praise and worship music.

In my wallet I have printed out tiny copies of several of my favorite hymns so that I can sing them (and memorize all ten million verses) at any time. Perhaps my all time favorite hymn is Be Thou My Vision. I love that it is an Irish melody and the words are so amazing. This is the only song that I definately want at my wedding. That and "The Impossible Dream" for my dad and I to dance to. That was the song he and my mother danced to at their wedding.

So that's off topic, but the point is I love to sing. I may not be the best (and I have a wedding experience/fiasco to prove that), but I do love it. It's what I was created to do.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art,
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word,
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord,
Thou my great Father and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always,
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's sun,
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Compel Them To Come In

So I love my church as mentioned below. But sometimes I've worried that with all the gimmicks, the gospel gets lost. During the Buzz volunteer orientation session, one of the pastors explained the way we do church in a way that helped me better understand. The slick materials etc. are one way of compelling someone to walk through our front doors to experience the redeeming love of Christ that is at the heart of the gospel. It's one way of compelling them to come in.

There's a guy at my work that I occasionally show the production/marketing pieces too. He's really impressed. I showed him the popcorn box annual report this week and his response: "Wow, you really are the FUN church. I wish my company had such great stuff." I understand now. I haven't invited him yet, but maybe when I do, he'll be curious to see what a church that does such an unbelievable job in its production pieces looks like.

Another co-worker flipped through the pages and saw that our membership/attendance for 2005 was around 800. Her jaw dropped and she said "I would have sworn you were so much bigger than my church because of all the things you are always doing." I don't always understand how we do what we do, but it sure makes an impact.

Her boss came in and saw the annual report and thought it was a popcorn box. I explained what it was and that I went to church in a movie theater. She looked at me like I was from another planet or something, but she couldn't deny the impressive quality of the annual report.

Praise GOD!!!

My church

I can't talk about my church enough. Every time I'm on the phone with my dad I always end up talking about how awesome my church is. Now don't get me wrong, there are things I don't like about my church and there are some things I don't always agree with, but overall, I love my church.

I love the people - how dedicated they are to service and to Christ, the spirit of excellence they exhibit, their willingness to be creative and to allow others that same measure of grace, their questioning what we believe in order to more strongly believe it, their desire to see others come to know Christ and to experience this journey together.

I love the ministry staff - their availability and willingness to be part of the community and not just to lead it, their openness to new ideas and new ways of doing church without compromising what we believe, their innovativeness and creativity and energy and committment.

I love my church building where all are comfortable, where I can wear jeans every Sunday and sit next to someone from the Hill and someone from the street and all are welcome and made to feel welcome and encouraged to participate in worship of our dear Lord and Savior.

I love the fact that we have a totally cool coffeehouse with delicious coffee that is free trade and we care about doing it that way. Coffee with a cause!