Tuesday, January 31, 2006

i am a stupid sheep

Let me say up front that I’m not going make a big ado about what people think of Max Lucado. Personally, I don’t know the man, and I haven’t even read enough about him to begin forming an opinion. Currently, I’m reading his book “Traveling Light,” and it’s making enough sense to me that I wanted to share the following passges from his book with whomever might be interested. The last paragraph especially packs a punch.

All I needed to do was apologize, but I had to argue.
All I needed to do was listen, but I had to open my big mouth.
All I needed to do was be patient, but I had to take control.
All I had to do was give it to God, but I had to fix it myself.

Too much stubbornness. Too much independence. Too much self-reliance.

We humans want to do things our way. Forget the easy way. Forget the common way. Forget the best way. Forgot God’s way. We want to do things our way.

And, according to the Bible, that’s precisely our problem. “We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

Sheep are dumb!
And defenseless.
What’s more, sheep are dirty.

Couldn’t David have thought of a better metaphor?
How about:

“The Lord is my commander in chief, and I am his warrior.” There. We like that better. A warrior gets a uniform and a weapon, maybe even a medal.

Or, “The Lord is my inspiration, and I am his singer.” We are in God’s choir; what a flattering assignment.

Or, “The Lord is my king, and I am his ambassador.” Who wouldn’t like to be a spokesperson for God?

Still uncomfortable with being considered a sheep? Will you humor me and take a simple quiz? See if you succeed in self-reliance. Raise your hand if any of the following describe you.

You can control your moods. You’re never grumpy or sullen…always upbeat and upright.
You are at peace with everyone. Every relationship as sweet as fudge… Love all and loved by all.
You have no fears. Wall Street plummets—no problem. Heart condition discovered—yawn.
You need no forgiveness. Never made a mistake. As clean as grandma’s kitchen.

Let’s evaluate this. You can’t control your moods. A few of your relationships are shaky. You have fears and faults. Hmmm. Do you really want to hang on to your [baggage] of self-reliance? Sounds to me as if you could use a shepherd. Otherwise, you might end up with a Twenty-third Psalm like this:

I am my own shepherd. I am always in need.
I stumble from mall to mall and shrink to shrink, seeking relief but never finding it.
I creep through the valley of the shadow of death and fall apart.
I fear everything from pesticides to power lines, and I’m starting to act like my mother.
I go down to the weekly staff meeting and am surrounded by enemies. I go home, and even my goldfish scowls at me.
I anoint my headache with extra-strength Tylenol.
My Jack Daniel’s runneth over.
Surely misery and misfortune will follow me, and I will live in self-doubt for the rest of my lonely life.

Why is it that the ones who most need a shephed resist him so?

And that’s the question, isn’t it? WHY can I not get this through my thick skull? WHY can I not learn to rely on God? WHY do I keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again? I am one of the ones who most needs the Shepherd, and yet I resist him. I don’t ask him for help, I don’t talk to him about my problems, worries, and needs, and I persist in holding on to the silly notion that I can rely on things that aren’t even real.

Being human is sometimes so ridiculously frustrating!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Guild of Young Illustrators, Part I, brought to you by....My 200th Blogpost!

In celebration of my 200th post here, I’m taking a few pixels out of Leenda’s blog and giving you a sample of some of my early work. As you can see, my interests in art and literature are no new or passing fancy: Even at age seven, I was already deeply enamored of creative expression in both the visual and literary arts. Please note the already advanced skill level visible in the following piece. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Naturally, I more than welcome constructive criticism! After all, what is a writer, what is an artiste, without the valuable input of her devoted readers and audience? If anyone is looking to hire an illustrator, please contact me posthaste.

In conclusion, please note that the above story found its way to paper long before the dawn of the electronic spellchecker.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Monday, January 23, 2006

oh, grossenheimer! or: the joy of pets

Long story short: While Ed and I were visiting Jan in the hospital this evening, Pippin puked on the hall carpet at home. So naturally, when we arrived at home, I proceeded to step in said puke not only with my boots but also with two DIFFERENT pairs of socks before realizing what she had done, what I had done, and why there were damp spots everywhere I walked.

Do I need to comment further on this? No. No, I don't believe that I do.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

blogging humor

"Non Sequitur"
by Wiley Miller

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"separation of church and state"--what nonsense!

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.

"...(T)hat great and glorious Being, who is the beneficient Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country, for the favorable interpositions of His providence, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge, and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

"We beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among us, and to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best."

--George Washington
in his First Thanksgiving Proclamation
New York, October 3, 1789

"...(S)eparation between church and state--such claptrap! Such a wall serves only those who want to keep God on the far side of it, so they can divide up the nation without interference."

--Orson Scott Card

Sunday, January 15, 2006

as a Christian, i find this SCARY!!!

So, I read this article on Yahoo! earlier. If you don't want to click and read the whole thing, here are a few highlights:

An individual named Jonathan "The Impaler" Sharkey plans to run for governor of Minnesota. A few things about Mr. Sharkey:

He's 41 years old.
He's a self-proclaimed vampire.
He'll be representing the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party.
He says that if elected, he will post "everything from the Ten Commandments to the Wicca Reed" in government buildings.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't have much of a problem with the things I've listed above. Y'know, if a guy wants to call himself a vampire--fine. I think that's weird and a bit disturbing when you think of the implications, but it's his life.
If the laws of the USA allow something called a "Vampyres, Witches and Pagans" Party to exist--fine. I think that's disturbing, too, but everything except Christianity seems to be politically popular lately. One deals with it and moves on with one's life and faith.
And I don't really care *what* is posted or not posted in government buildings. The Ten Commandments, standing alone, aren't a creed of Christianity, anyway--technically, they're a creed of Judaism. I think it would be nice for them to be displayed publically, but there's way more to Christianity than just those ten "Dos and Don'ts" (as some might call them). (Taking "In God We Trust" off our currency would be a bigger deal, I think.) If Mr. Sharkey wants to post creeds of all religions in our government buildings, he'd do better to represent Christianity with "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (seeing as how the Ten C.s don't say anything about Him).

Anyway....here are the things about Mr. Sharkey's gubernatorial bid that DO scare me (quotes taken from the Yahoo! article):

  • '"I'm a Satanist who doesn't hate Jesus," Sharkey told Reuters. "I just hate God the Father."'
    (OH.....well, that's okay, then.)
  • 'Sharkey also pledged to execute convicted murders and child molesters personally by impaling them on a wooden pole outside the state capitol.'
    (I guess that's why he's called "The Impaler." Just think of little Timmy..."Mom, can we go see the impaling today? Pleeeeeeease?")
  • 'Sharkey told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he's a vampire "just like you see in the movies and TV."
    '"I sink my fangs into the neck of my donor ... and drink their blood," he said, adding that his donor is his wife, Julie.'
    (Just remember, folks, you heard it here first! Romance is alive and well! Er....I mean, dead and well. Romance is dead and....ill. Yeah.)

Okay, supposed vampirism (or vampyrism if you prefer, whatever) aside.....the guy's a Satanist who sucks blood out of his wife's neck. He's a PSYCHO! I truly hope I'm not the only one who thinks his being in a leadership position in the U.S. (or any other country, for that matter) would be a very, very bad idea. Please, somebody join me in my rant against such insanity! Gah! What is this country coming to???

Either it's scary as _____, or it just makes for amusing, head-shaking, eye-rolling reading.

P.S. I'm absolutely thrilled beyond belief that I got to use the word "gubernatorial." I've always wanted to do that!

Friday, January 13, 2006

in other news....

.....I keep forgetting that I want to tell y'all this: After a disastrous holiday season eating-wise, I am back to my new eating lifestyle (NOT a diet!). I've lost the weight I gained over Christmas and then some. So I'm now down to 134 pounds!!!! When I started this in August, I weighed 156.....you do the math. ;o)

Tomorrow, I shall treat myself to some chocolate!

i love it that.....

......today is Friday the 13th!!! ;o)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

what am i going to do with my life?

Have I mentioned that I'm sick? Sinus infection, of course. I'm not even gonna waste the energy it would take to gripe about it. I'm on antibiotics, which upset my stomach, wear me out completely, but wire me so that I can't sleep. So, instead of lying awake in bed and getting frustrated over inability to sleep, here I am, blogging. Woo.

These are some thoughts from an email I wrote to a friend once-upon-a-time. I happened to run across them where I'd saved them in my journal, so I thought I'd share them here.

Don't call yourself pathetic. I don't think it's pathetic not to know what you want to do. As I get older, I start to think more and more that this isn't a pathetic condition--it's a normal one. And while we're on the subject of choosing life's direction: Where is it written that when we are choosing the direction our lives should go, this direction necessarily has to have anything to do with a *job*? I think that when we think about the future, jobs and careers should be secondary. Your job does not define who you are. Robert Byrne said, "People's hobbies are more their measure than are their jobs." So even hobbies define you more than a job does!

So if jobs and careers are secondary in self-definition, what's primary? Who you are. Who you want to be. Where you want to be eternally. You can have the best job in the world and the most successful career in history, but it won't have one whit of influence on where you spend eternity. Who you are, however, the real you on the inside, will determine entirely where you spend eternity. So when choosing a direction for your life, the focus should be on where you want to spend eternity and what you have to do to get there.

I'm telling myself all this, too, just kind of thinking out loud. I believe what I'm saying, yet I still feel vulnerable when I think about my uncertain future. I think you're right about focusing on God and giving yourself time to figure yourself out. I know I need to do the same thing, especially where God is concerned. It's amazing how you can be working full-time with the church and yet neglect your own spiritual life at the same time. And neglect God at the same time. I don't pray enough.....I have to admit that it's rare that I sit down or kneel and just pray for half an hour. I'm very good at "arrow prayers"--thinking of God at random times during the day and just having a "little talk" with Him. But I hardly ever just sit and talk to Him for a long time and bare my heart to Him.

...My life would improve radically if I tried harder to focus on Him.

Rule #212. Save personal emails.

Had another great post all typed out, and the stupid Blogger system chose to dump it into the impenetrable vastness of cyberspace. I am NOT gonna type all that again! Not right now, anyway. So here's the bare bones content of what was a brilliant piece of writing, if I dare say so myself:

Yesterday, I dug out the disks containing all the files from my college years: thesis papers, essays, projects, and the like, with the intention of transferring them to a more secure CD (a project I've been wanting to do for several years). I also, to my surprise, delight, and wonder, found a file composed of 350 pages of emails I received during my freshman year at OC!!! Emails that are nine, almost ten years old! For someone with a Swiss cheese memory like mine, these emails are a veritable treasure trove. I didn't read all 350 pages, of course! but I skimmed the file and stopped to read when something caught my eye. Suddenly, I found myself remembering events and feelings I didn't know I'd forgotten. Here are a few highlights:

  • the birth of a professor's son.....a son who is now almost 9 years old
  • my inconsiderate attitude toward my parents, who only wanted to hear from me
  • the number and intensity of fights with my then-boyfriend, and the specifics of what I was upset about
  • a classmate's hacking into the OC email system and sending out a bunch of fake emails under my name
  • going to my cousin's apartment in Edmond to check on her because no one had heard from her in several days
  • I have never forgotten Jarrod, of course.....but I had forgotten how often we emailed each other before he drowned at the end of my freshman year at OC, right after his highschool graduation.
  • a crazy group of friends and how we used to email each other multiple times a day, for some reason ;o) ( mostly people I'm no longer in contact with now)
  • the number of emails I got from a friend in Germany, whom I now haven't heard from in years
  • the wise advice my parents gave me, advice that I mostly ignored to my own detriment

I'm thankful that I've learned and matured since then.

So, the moral of this story is: Save old personal emails, because you never know when you might benefit from looking back on who you were and how others responded to you.

The End.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

choking games

While Ed and I were at my parents' house before Christmas, I watched "Dr. Phil" with my mom. I know most people ridicule what they call Dr. Phil's "pop psychology," but I really like what he has to say and how he says it. He's bluntly honest and cuts right to the heart of an issue in a way that's foreign to most of us. And his views on marriage, family, and culture are very healthy.

Anyway, in this episode I watched with my mom, Dr. Phil was talking about teens who engage in "choking games": games in which they cause themselves or others to pass out in order to get a thrill or a high. I had heard of this sort of thing before, but I didn't know it was so widespread.

And I didn't know that it's so dangerous. I'm thinking most of you, my Faithful Readers, don't know much about it either, so I went researching online. This little activity is not "just a game," it's not something to do "just for fun." It's dangerous and deadly. It's playing Russian roulette with your brain. Here are some of the things I've found:

From ABC News:

  • The age range most commonly involved in this behavior is 9-14. I'm not so sure they wouldn't already know something about these games. They are more common than we adults would like to believe. I would treat discussion of this like the discussion of any other high-risk behavior like smoking, alcohol and drugs. For example, when talking about drugs, you could say, "Some kids think they can 'get high' without using drugs or alcohol by hyperventilating or putting pressure on their chest or neck. This can be just as dangerous and some kids have actually died doing it."
  • There are two parts to the experience. The first is a light-headedness (a perceived "high") due to reduced blood flow, and therefore reduced delivery of oxygen, to the brain. The second part comes with the removal of pressure on the chest or neck releasing a powerful surge of dammed up blood up through the carotid arteries into the brain (a perceived "rush").
  • This activity has no sexual component and should not be confused with autoerotic asphyxia (AEA) as practiced by older, nearly exclusively male, adolescents and young adults. Asphyxial games are played by both boys and girls, most of whom are pre-pubertal or in early puberty. The primary goal is a brief, consciousness altering experience. In AEA the sexual element is primary with pornography, cross-dressing and elaborate bindings being prominent features of the scene investigation.
  • There are reports of children having sustained enough anoxic (lack of oxygen) brain damage as a result of some catastrophe playing the game to be permanently disabled. Short-term effects may still include sudden death — even when playing with a partner or group. For example, if a player has his/her hands around a partner's neck and stimulates a small mass of nerve cells, called the carotid bodies, the heart can be brought to a virtual standstill. Other short-term effects may be traumatic injury. There have been reports of emergency room visits to repair lacerations of the scalp, sprained wrists and other injuries when a player has passed out and fallen against a piece of furniture or to the floor. One article from France describes damage to the retina in children playing what is called "the scarf game."
  • Assuming the child is playing alone, he/she could lose consciousness within a minute after constricting the neck. Once the child loses consciousness the weight of their own body will tighten the ligature and death will occur in as little as 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Names the game is known by: "Passout," "Blackout," "Space Monkey," "Space Cowboy," "Knockout," "Gasp," "Rising Sun," "Airplaning"

From an interview with 14-year-old Alyssa on Dr. Phil's website:

  • “Do you know that your brain at that point is essentially in seizure? That what you’ve done is asphyxiated your brain to the point that your brain cells are dying...It’s not 'could kill some brain cells,' you are killing brain cells … Probably in the millions, definitely not recoverable. And so every time that happens, there could be hemorrhage, there could be silent strokes in the temporal lobe and other areas. Even if nothing catastrophic ever happens, the damage is inalterable.”
  • Alyssa: “Nothing can happen to you. But usually the person you’re choking you care about, at least a little bit.”
    Dr. Phil: “Do you hear any logical contradiction or inconsistency in using the phrase, ‘the person you’re choking,’ and ‘care about’ in the same sentence?”
    Alyssa: "I know it sounds really bad--”
    Dr. Phil: "You say this is at least a friend, right? And you’ve got them down choking them, and you’re not trained in martial arts. You’re not trained in self-defense. You’re not trained in neural-anatomy. You’re not trained in respiratory aspects of functioning of the human body. So what you’re doing is just kind of deciding how hard to push and not push and how long and how much. You have absolutely no basis whatsoever in knowing how to predict the consequences of what you’re doing."
  • Between 400 and 500 kids a year die from this game (in America)… And that doesn’t count those that just have serious injuries and have to get tracheotomies, or they have strokes, or they have memory loss, they have other neurological impairments secondary to asphyxiation.”

Warning Signs:

  • Linear abrasions (scrapes) or bruises on the neck
  • Petechiae (tiny, pinpoint bleeding spots) of the skin of the face, especially the eyelids, or of the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelids and eyes)
  • High-necked shirts, even in warm weather
  • Intermittent hoarseness without other explanation such as a cold or allergies
  • The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, bungee cords, etc
  • If the child uses a computer, check the history of sites visited periodically

Food for thought.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

how much is it worth to you?

"This very personal relationship, 'value,' has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him...and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts 'the best things in life are free.' Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted...and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears.

"Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain. ...If you boys and girls had to sweat for your toys the way a newly born baby has to struggle to live you would be happier...and much richer. As it is, with some of you, I pity the poverty of your wealth.

"...I fancy that the poet who wrote that song meant to imply the the best things in life must be purchased other than with money--which is true--just as the literal meaning of his words is false. The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion...and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself--ultimate cost for perfect value."

--Robert A. Heinlein
"Starship Troopers"

Many thoughts come to mind as I read this quote. The first, most obvious one is that the novel "Starship Troopers" is infinitely more intelligent than the movie. The movie was, to put it bluntly, a cheap imitation of something the imitators obviously didn't understand. Or just didn't care about. They pared the story down to a showcase of its action, eviscerating it of the meaty philosophy that is so much more interesting than the lasers and scary aliens and futuristic-looking technology. I'm convinced the film would have been more successful had the producers left the real story in the story.

My second thought is that Heinlein is absolutely right in what he wrote about the 20th century's democracies. Oh, certainly, they haven't collapsed yet...but I won't be surprised if I still live to see their collapse in the future. They certainly are a grand and noble experiment...but they are, as Heinlein described them, decadent. For those of us who live in democracies--mostly in the Western world--what is there that we can't truly just reach out and take, compared with the rest of the world's societies? We might whine and complain about missing a few amenities here and there, but in truth we are decadent, morally lounging around with the bowl of ripe fruit no further than our fingertips. Sure, we work hard at our jobs...but even those are practically given to us. (Check and compare with history before you condemn me for that statement. Jobs have never been so secure and easily attainable as they have been in the Western world for the past 200 years.) As a whole, our societies are morally and ethically bankrupt. We get our lifestyles handed to us on a silver platter, and we react with righteous indignation if someone dares suggest we don't deserve them. We no longer remember how to value what we've got.

And if we don't remember soon, our precious democracies are going to collapse. No society, no government, can stand up under the weight of self-righteous immorality--Heinlein's decadence--for long. The people who agonized and sweated and devoted themselves to the creation of our democracies...those people are long gone, and we have no speakers for the dead (to borrow an Orson Scott Card phrase) to remind us of the true significance of their sacrifices.

The final thought I want to share relates to the final statement in the Heinlein quote: the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself--ultimate cost for perfect value. From what I've read of his writings and his biography, Heinlein wasn't a believer in the Biblical sense of the word...but I think he hits the nail of Christianity right on the head. I view the above quote from two perspectives:

First, Jesus paid the ultimate cost: his life for us. In order to give us eternal life, which is the perfect value, he chose to submit to the demand for his life in return for ours. Jesus set the perfect example of how we humans should place value: the value is directly related to and dependent on the cost. In the Lord's eyes, our eternal life with him--our chance at eternal life, should we choose to accept it--has perfect value. So he accepted the ultimate cost, giving us his agony and bloodsweat and devotion.

Second, in order for us to accept his gift, we must give the ultimate cost as well: our lives for him. Not necessarily in a physical sense, though some have given that, too. But in a spiritual sense: our agony, sweat, and devotion--the essence of our lives--for the perfect value: a relationship with him, starting in this life and carrying on eternally into the next. The most precious of all things.

In this life, this most precious of all things could cost us everything.

I feel like I'm not getting to the heart of the matter, that I'm not expressing the thoughts that are circling around inside my head. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think sacrificing my life--paying the ultimate cost--for Jesus is worth everything I've got. He's worth everything I am.

Those inadequate words will just have to do for now.

(Kudos to you if you read this whole post.)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

soaps, movies, news, trivia, jokes, beer, football, golf, tennis, rugby

One of the social forums of Chessworld bears the above title. Somebody started a thread there to share their thoughts on each subject, so I thought I'd do the same here:

Soaps: Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Anti-Bacterial Deep-Cleansing Hand Soap, and the Melaleuca Gold Bar (it's lemon-scented!)

Movies: all Star Trek films except "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier"; LOTR trilogy; "To Kill A Mockingbird"; "Galaxy Quest"; "What's Up, Doc?"; "Clue"; "What Lies Beneath"; and many more--I like movies.

News: I don't watch it, but I read Yahoo! articles on occasion. I've given up keeping current with news because I'm tired of all the depressing stuff and the spin the media put on everything.

Trivia: (1) It is physically impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. (2) There is so much sand in Northern Africa that if it were spread out, it would completely cover the Sahara Desert.

Jokes: I like them if they're not vulgar or bigoted. I'm not very good at remembering punchlines, though. ;o)
Duct tape is like the Force: It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

Beer: Yuck.

Football: Always reminds me of gladiators, lions, and Christians in the Roman Colosseum. Fans screaming for blood and all that.

Baseball: I've been to one game in my life. It was neat, but I can't say I would ever make it a personal pastime.

Golf: I enjoy miniature golf (aka putt-putt) a lot! I think if I tried to play real golf, I'd hurt myself. Or others.

Tennis: Last year, I saw the film "Wimbledon," which was enjoyable, except for the vulgar language. (Why do people think that is so necessary?) I thoroughly enjoy Paul Bettany's performances, though I'm really not that impressed with Kirsten Dunst. (Her last truly great performance was in "Interview With The Vampire," in my opinion.)

Rugby: This word always reminds me of "Furbee" (Furby?), those funny little stuffed toys that supposedly speak their own language.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

me, being randomly opinionated

I'd just like to say that sometimes, I get really tired of computer-generated art. Stuff created in Bryce or Poser, or even just stuff colored in Photoshop. It all just looks too perfect, you know what I mean? Perfect parallel lines, perfect symmetry, perfect gradients of light and shadow. Where's the humanity?

Oh sure, it all looks spectacular, and computer programs are perfect for creating otherworldly images....But doesn't it all just start looking the same after awhile???

I'm bored with computer art, I guess. Give me the errors and imprecision and the mess of oils and brushes, give me a medium I can dig my hands into and digest with my imagination.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just jealous. *grin*

scientists may have found Mozart's skull...

.....read a Yahoo! news headline today.

I didn't even know his skull was missing.

Monday, January 02, 2006

wish list & thank yous

***lists updated January 7, 2007***

For Wishes Fulfilled, Special Thanks To:

  • Joel for toothpaste and deodorant!
  • Karen for "Hitch"!
  • Mandy for B&BW goodies!
  • James for Cheez-Its!
  • Clint and April for the NT on MP3!
  • Kendra for Soundings 2005 & 2006!
  • Steve and Kristi for "Ferris," B&BW goodies, and Melaleuca toothpaste!&nbsp

    Courtney's List:
    I have moved most of my wishes to a Froogle list, which you can see if you click here!

Courtney's Non-Froogled Items:

  • anything and everything from Bath & Body Works
  • Victoria's Secret dream angels heavenly eau de parfum Spray
  • Victoria's Secret dream angels divine eau de parfum Spray
  • Victoria's Secret Very Sexy For Her eau de parfum Spray
  • Herbal essences body wash
  • queen-sized bedsheets
  • "Famous 2 -- The Finest Female Jazz Today"
  • a Caribbean cruise ;o)
  • a Star-Trek-style transporter, so I can go back and forth across the world anytime I want to!

Ed's List

  • the Old Testament on MP3 (He has something specific in mind, so you'll have to ask him about the details.)
  • "Gone In 60 Seconds" soundtrack
  • "Ray" soundtrack
  • "Ocean's Twelve" soundtrack
  • Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" album
  • Rockapella albums

click this: the Bible is SO outdated!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Holiday History

Episode Three: Post-Christmas...New Year's, Actually

Images from December 31, 2005! In the final hours of 2005 (CET), a bunch of us gathered at the church building for a Chili Cook-Off (April won! Pam placed 2nd, and Frau & Ed tied for 3rd), games, fireworks, and general crazy fun. Click the pics for larger images!

Chowin' down! My chili didn't place in the contest....BUT I ACTUALLY MADE CHILI! FOR THE FIRST TIME! Yay me. ;o)

Clint during our "Win, Lose or Draw," mocking someone who shall remain nameless. ;o)

Conny and Jennifer being cute!

Ed and Frau "get a clue." LOL

Van and I being cute!

Some of Van's fireworks!

The church grounds didn't look the same after Ed, Clint, and Larry had finished off their stash of fireworks. ;o)

Ed enjoying pyromania.
Interpretive New Year's Dance by April and Marion.

Sparkly girls!

Holiday History

Episode Two: Pre-Christmas With The Chemnitzers

Our second pre-Christmas celebration! This time with the Sullivans, the Everharts, the Frau, and the Refinnej. We did a name-drawing for a gift exchange--Kendra gave me a lightsaber, which I'm sure will come in handy on the bus and Straßenbahn (tram; streetcar), as well as a lovely hand-knitted scarf. Enjoy the pics! (Click on them for larger versions.)

Kris, with Snickers being conveniently positioned by Kendra.

Ed, Frau, and Pam. One of Ed's gifts from Frau was a broken motherboard, but when Ed opened the package, he didn't know it was broken and thought it was the real gift! Frau, we could've used a real one. ;o)

The Chemnitz crew somewhere in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) on our annual Erzgebirgsrundfahrt (Ore Mountain Around-Driving).

Mr. and Mrs. Everhart--it's their first married Christmas! (Ha ha. "Married" Christmas, get it?) ;o)

Kendra sat around with a chip on her shoulder....from Ed's broken motherboard.

Refinnej likes to take pictures of herself 'cause she's a nerd. (I love you Refinnej!) ;o)

Larry Claus!

Holiday History

Episode One: Pre-Christmas With The Wegers

Ed and I had two Christmases in 2005, one with my parents in Mörfelden and one in Chemnitz. Long story as to the whys and wherefores, and I think many of you Faithful Readers have heard it already. So here are some pictures for you to look at instead of "listening" to me "talking." Ha ha, ho ho ho, and all that. ;o) (Click pics for larger versions.)

Ed and some nerdy chick in a Santa hat. ;o)

Daddy and Mama laughing--he gave her a tiny little envelope in that huge box.

Christmas dinner!!! Stove Top stuffing, Butterball turkey, Mama's green Jello salad and her sweet potato casserole were the highlights for me. YUM!