Saturday, January 24, 2009

la palacia

melilla has a caring bridge site:

her spinal fluid and brain were clear, so that's a big praise!

now this week has been just a little too busy for regular updates because i moved!  it's been quite the overwhelming week but things are starting to get a little bit more settled.  my new roommate (and old friend) jen and i will be welcoming our first coat participant roommate tomorrow night.  to say life is spinning around is putting it mildly.  my new kid's area's floor and walls have been painted, it will probably get done sometime mid-week.  coat starts on tuesday, so the timing isn't great, but thankfully the first week is held offsite, so i just have to put my trust hat on and trust other people to move everything in and set it up.  i'm sure i will have to re-arrange - so last weekend i spent packing, this weekend i spent unpacking house, next weekend i will spend unpacking and setting up my classroom and office.  when do i get to rest???  haha, oh well.  the house is truly gorgeous, i feel so blessed to be in it.  it's quite calm right now since i'm the only one home - i can't imagine what it will be like when it's full up with 8 roommates! 
i'll try and take some picture of my room, the rest of the house and my classroom soon to post.  for now, i'll show a picture of the outside.  it's gorgeous.  what a blessing!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009



Melilla was diagnosed with AL Leukemia yesterday.  Her family will not be leaving next month for Bulgaria, as originally planned.  They have been told to expect to be stateside for at least three years.  Please pray for her.  She started Chemo today and they are checking her spinal fluid to see if the cancer is there also.  I love this little girl.  Please pray for her and her parents, Travis and Emilie as they have a long road ahead of them.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

prayer warriors please

this beautiful girl is Melilla.  she was my very first COAT kid.  i adore her.  her family is supposed to be leaving for bulgaria in the next month, but right now they are in the hospital.  she'll be undergoing a bone marrow test at 10 am (in a half hour) and a blood transfusion later today.  there are three possible diagnoses:

the first is a type of anemia (on the phone message it sounded like aplastic?)  this would be the worst.

the second, but not as likely, is a virus.  i have a feeling that this may be the virus that i had when i was 3.

the most likely that they are looking at is Leukemia.  

please pray for Melilla and her parents Travis & Emilie.  please pray that it's just a virus.  or that God would take it completely away.  


Saturday, January 17, 2009

i knew it!

You Belong in 1956

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

eat-in update

i've found that eating-in for the entire month of january is harder than i thought.  and i am not referencing the strength of my will power - even though i am very, very weak!  

this is my confession time.  i have eaten out 3 times.  two, i feel, were unavoidable due to work.  we left lake auroa at 11 in the morning last week.  i thought we would leave right after lunch or breakfast, so no big deal to wait.  but 11!  i was so hungry and my car stopped to eat.  i knew we were still a good two hours from home and i was both ready for food and out of snacks (i'd shared during the week).  then my entire division went out for a lunch (something we only do once or twice a year!) this week.  

now this last one, this one i claim as weakness.  i could have chosen to not eat.  a friend from college was visiting and so about 15 of us went out with her and went to pizza hut.  oh pizza.  i even sprung for breadsticks.  i think that was guilt.  perhaps i will go three days into february to make up for it!

in other news, this cake is my current pride and joy.  i made this with my friend mary thursday night.  it was a birthday cake for an avocado lover - it's an avocado shaped cake!!



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

staff retreat thoughts

every year all of the staff at the CGO (center for global outreach) meet together at lake aurora church camp for a time of retreat.  each time we have a day of solitude.  it varies in length each year.  this year we had 3 or 4 hours.  i always dread and desire this time.  4 hours of silence alone with God!?  what do i do?  it's going to be awesome!  it's going to be horrible! 

i'll be honest here.  i have been going through some definite valleys lately.  i've struggled to see God at work in my life in the midst of one mishap after another, one challenge after another.  

so i found myself at the end of "my" pier at lake aurora.  i always try to claim this peaceful spot during this time of silence and solitude.  my feet were dangling off the end and i found myself staring at the water directly beneath me.  small lakes tend to have sludge-like floors.  i looked at the small pieces of trash and debris sunk at the bottom and the weeds growing up through the water.  i couldn't seem to take my eyes off the bottom.  i saw a few ripples of light across the top and thought to myself that they were some sort of pretty.

i noticed that my friend ryan had also come down the pier.  i looked up at him and noticed him staring intently out at the lake.  it shook me that i had never even thought to look up.  

so i looked and in one motion i was both blinded by the brilliant light of the sunrise and breathless at the absolute beauty of the lake.  tall reeds blowing in the wind, the water rippling, and the gorgeous light of the sun reflected and shimmering all across the water.  my eyes could not bear to look, they burned and ached in the sun's intensity.  and it was beautiful.

oh and i got it.  the beautiful lesson that God was laying out for me.  He knows that i am a visual learner.  my own life has been so deeply stuck in the mire, in the muck, that i've forgotten that the Light, God's light, is even there!  it is so intimately close, but i had to lift my eyes.  

when i lift my eyes there is such a beauty, such a glorious, brilliant Light, that it takes my breath away.  God is that beauty, God is that light.  and it is too much for me to look at.  the Light is too strong for my weak and weary eyes.  i must beseech Him for the strength, for the healing, for the ability to look on His light and beauty, to view the beautiful full picture of all the things around me.  for i've been told that He gives both light and the ability to gaze into it.  

who would desire to continue looking at the bile after they've seen the breathtaking?  too often i do.  i pray that God will lift the veil over my eyes and draw me into His brilliant Light and i will reflect it as beautifully as the ripples on the water.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

for a contrast

i just got home from bible study and i really need to attack the full sink of dishes leering at me.

i didn't realize that eating-in all month would result in one horrible result - dishes, dishes, and more dishes!  

and i just want to go to bed!!

(upcoming posts:  insights from staff retreat last week and a few meal successes during my eat-in weeks...and an eat-in confession or two) 

Monday, January 12, 2009

i'm not sure what's gotten into me...

since i've gotten home from work at 5 i've:

  • done two loads of laundry (including actually folding and putting away)
  • cleaned and organized the classroom
  • checked the publix ad online and made a grocery list
  • went grocery shopping
  • made and ate dinner
  • went on an all campus hunt for 1 more egg and another round pan 
  • made a german chocolate cake from scratch (well, a doctored cake mix and homemade coconut-pecan icing)
  • went through two more drawers, packing and downsizing
  • vacuumed my entire house

shouldn't i be tired???

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a series of unfortunate events

it's hard not to get a complex when it seems as though everything seems to break around you.  
i blew a tire a few weeks ago on my way to church.  major drama.  that came two days after my ice skating belly flopping bruises.


now i've entered into the new year with my bruised, scraped hands and knees and torn jeans.  


and within 24 hours of each other, yesterday both my cake carrier and wonderful trunk both busted.  the carrier fell off of the top shelf.  apparently my gigantic stack of publix bags was holding it up on the shelf and when they were removed it fell to it's exuberant finish.  


i brought out my trunk to go through it's contents and repack it for my upcoming house move.  and when i opened it the lid just popped off!  nail studs went flying.  i have no idea how this happened.  very sad.  



Friday, January 2, 2009

day 2

i'm not even sure what i ate yesterday.  when i made this challenge, i wasn't counting on a bad head cold and swollen knees.  so i didn't get fresh groceries until today.  breakfast was difficult without milk and eggs, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.  

the past two days i have desperately wanted convenience food!  i didn't want to stand on my hurting knees and cook food from scratch.  i didn't want to shop with my stuffy head.  

but i prevailed.  i made yummy cheesy tuna pockets with crescent rolls for lunch.  for dinner i made 15 spice rub chicken in the oven (i keep a baggie of the rub in my spice basket) and sweet potato chunks for dinner.  so all in all, success!  and i bought groceries!  

i think a big batch of chocolate chip pancakes are in order for tomorrow morning.  i freeze leftovers for yummy breakfasts on the run.  since i don't eat syrup, a few chocolate chips go a long way to appeasing my sweet tooth.  

in answer to questions - for me, i'm not making any exceptions for drinks with friends or gift cards.  i would make the gift card exception if i was doing this for a year.  and donna, i definitely think you should keep going to get drinks with friends.  you have to have little splurges when you live overseas!  this, for me, is all to break a very bad habit of mine.  the week before i left for christmas with my family, i ate out in some form every day!  who did i think i was!?  i can't afford that, physically or financially!  hence the challenge.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009

eat-in january

so today starts eat-in january.  i have decided to challenge myself to not eating out at all for the next month.  no chick fil-a runs, no macdonald's sweet tea, nothing.  

"why?" you might ask.  several reasons actually.  for one, my pantry and freezer are both very well stocked.  insanely well for a single girl.  i keep forgetting that i'm not a family!  (now, my fridge is dangerously bare, but i just flew back home yesterday and today was not a day for buying groceries).   also, i've found that i've been 'on a whim' eating out multiple times a week.  it's laziness and tiredness and plain poor stewardship - not to mention bad news for my waistline!

so the challenge has begun.  

hopefully some good recipes and good times will come from this.  i already had to turn down a brunch invite this morning.  i did not anticipate a challenge so soon!  

and with the money i will hopefully be saving, as my friend erin pointed out, i can buy a new pair of jeans!

"why jeans?" you may ask?  because last night after the ball dropped, i tripped on the way out to the car.  big time.  sprawled flat in the middle of the road.  bruised and scraped hands and knees.  and you guessed it, ripped jeans.  and they were my good jeans!  the rest of my jeans are free pile jeans.  they are nice, but one pair constantly has to be hitched up and another is safety pinned together.  these were my jeans that i bought.  that i went through the torturous process of pants shopping for.  and now, they are toast.  so very sad.  

so i'm entering 2009 with a bad cold, ripped jeans, swollen knees and a major craving for chick fil-a.  i can only hope that it gets better from here!!  i am very excited about the challenge of eat-in january!