kimana517: (family : mandy / puppy dog eyes)
+ I've decided there are two problems with making your own sushi: 1) it's so good you eat way too much of it and spend the rest of the night feeling bleh... but still contemplating another piece; and 2) it's so good you want to make it every day! I haven't stopped thinking about it since Tuesday night. I think we'll try to make some this coming week as well, if I can find a good price on some fresh fish or shellfish.

+ Poor Lijah had to get three shots today. He's still catching up on vaccinations, and today was his yearly check-up. He officially grew six inches in a year. Dang. And he's only gained three pounds! The doctor said as long as he eats well, she's not worried, and he definitely does eat well. But I still wonder if we should make him eat more fatty (but healthy) things. I don't know. He seems quite healthy to me though - very normal for a 3-year-old, just tall. In other words, he takes after me.  ;o)

+ I'm nervous about our immigration approval for the second adoption. It expires on the 19th and we still don't have our home study ready to send in to update it. Now, we should have it Monday - I hope - but I'm probably going to overnight it just for piece of mind. I hope they go by the postmark date and not by when they actually look at it. Once we have the home study though, we're almost to the point of submitting our dossier to Holt, which means we're almost on the waiting list for a kiddo! I'm going to say that won't happen till October though because there are still a few hoops to jump through with paperwork. And of course it all hinges on our immigration being renewed in time. Otherwise we don't get on the waiting list till we go through that whole process again, which usually takes 2-3 months.  =oÞ

+ I did not get enough sleep last night. I couldn't fall asleep till around 2am, and then woke up at 7 because Isaac forgot to turn off his alarm when he got up before it. I couldn't go back to sleep because I knew we had to get to the doctor's office relatively early. Oy. I took a good 2-hour nap this afternoon, but Lijah didn't sleep as long as I did so he woke me up. I probably could've slept straight through to morning.

+ I'm sure there's more to say, but I don't remember. So, have a good weekend, everyone!
kimana517: (me : modeling)



Before you add me, read my userinfo. I am a Christian and a political conservative, and I often talk about those things. If you can't agree to disagree without debating all the time, don't add me. Also, if you don't plan to read and comment at least somewhat regularly, don't add me.

If you add me without commenting on this entry, I will NOT add you back. That's just how it is. If you really want to read about my life, you can take the time to introduce yourself.

Swagbucks is the BEST! I've gotten over $350 in gift cards since November 2008 just for searching with them, and getting friends to do the same!
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kimana517: (family : marriage / forever)
Free dishwasher #2 is almost done running a cycle and it's not leaking (yet?)!

Free dishwasher #2 is washing dishes so I don't have to!

I used my beautiful blue KitchenAid stand mixer today and it was AMAZING!

My pineapple scones were more like vaguely pineapple biscuits - BUT - I baked, people!*

And I did it without a real kitchen!

I need to go to the library and get the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book!

I must go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight instead of staying up till 1am again!

I miss my SIPsters!

And I love, love, love my boys!

*Note the comma. I didn't bake people.
kimana517: (Default)
I've been working on my 30 Interesting Things About Me for like a week now, and I still only have 8 (I blame being easily distracted but mostly I blame Elijah), so let's take a break from that because this one's time-sensitive:

2010 IN REVIEW

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Became a mom, went to Africa, ate Ethiopian food, went to California, um... worked at a concert to help children get sponsored, watched someone become a US citizen, hosted Pie Day, um... did promo modeling, went to Memphis, painted my own pottery, drank tea and liked it, had Christmas with a kid... I don't think that's it but I can't think of anything else right now.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I mentioned last year that some people had C25K as their resolutions but we started in November. Well, I did in fact complete C25K in March, I think it was. And my always resolution is to spend more time in the Bible, and I actually did that well this year. Yay!

3. Did anyone close to you have kids?

Yeah - ME! Haha. And several others I know adopted kids or gave birth this year.

4. Did anyone close to you get married?
Not anyone super-close, but some friends and family did get married.

5. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully!

6. Did you travel?
To San Diego, Michigan, Memphis, Ethiopia, and Connecticut.

7. Did you move anywhere?
Nope! Which is a very good thing since I love it here.

8. What was the best month?
Either August or November. August was great because we finally met Elijah and got to be his parents, not to mention getting to go to Ethiopia, but honestly most of that month was spent stressed out because we didn't know when we were going to get him and then we knew and had such short notice. November was good because we were all in a happy routine by then and sometime in there Lijah's tantrums mostly stopped. Plus, we had Pie Day, Thanksgiving, and his court date to become a US citizen.

9. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Last year I said: No house problems for once. That would be nice. So much for that. But I'll say it again! Haha. I'd also like to have a new kitchen (including a dishwasher - *daydreams*).

10. What date(s) from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 23 - When we first saw Elijah's face. August 20 - When we first met Elijah. August 27 - When we came home as a family of 3. November 29 - When he became a US citizen. Yeah, all the really standout stuff this year was about Elijah.

11. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not killing Lijah during some of his biggest and stupidest tantrums. Haha. No, seriously, I think I've been a good mom most of the time. And I no longer think longingly about our life pre-kid, so that's something.

12. What was your biggest failure?
I still have no close friends locally, although not for lack of trying. I invite people to come over, shop, go out to eat, and so much more, but very few times did anyone actually come. And sometimes I even gave them a lot of notice. But no. So I guess it's not really a failure because I did what I could. I also definitely had some bad moments as a mom, where I lost my patience too quickly.

13. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just minor things - colds, stomach issues, etc.

14. What was the best thing you bought?
Adopting a kid is not buying a kid, but I think it kinda fits in this category anyway. Other than that, our 32" LCD TV. I still find myself amazed at its clarity.

15. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Isaac's, as always, for being such a wonderful husband. Several other friends' for various reasons. Lijah's, for having his world change in every way possible and not curling up into a ball and losing it.

16. Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?
Obama's. Congress's. The usual.

17. Where did most of your money go?
My usual answer is the mortgage. This year the mortgage is a distant second to the adoption.

18. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The few modeling gigs I did have, finishing our adoption dossier, the trip to San Diego with Mel, Esther, and my mom, getting Elijah's referral, accepting Elijah's referral, my birthday, Melody's visit, the SIPsters weekend in TN, going to Ethiopia, meeting Elijah, taking custody of Elijah, coming home with Elijah, going to CT, Pie Day, Melody getting engaged, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and I think that's all.

19. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"Thinkin' Bout Something" by Hanson

20. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier - but that's always my answer. I love my life.
ii. thinner or fatter? The same.
iii. richer or poorer? Probably the same. We made more money but spent a heck of a lot more on getting the kiddo home.

21. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Working on getting closer to God and some of my friends.

22. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wasting time on the computer.

23. How will you be spending New Year's Eve/Day?
Eve: home, work, then party at Aaron & Angela's. Day: thrift store half-price sale, Gator Bowl.

24. What was an unexpected surprise?
I say it every year: all surprises are unexpected. But other than that, probably how easy our transition was with Elijah.

26. What was the best concert you've been to this year?
I only went to two, so out of them it'd definitely be Winter Jam - the one with Third Day, Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North, and Fireflight.

27. What were your favorite TV programs?
Supernatural, Lost, Medium, Modern Family, Psych, Castle, Big Bang Theory, Eureka, Leverage, Law & Order, and more.

28. Do you dislike anyone now that you didn't dislike this time last year?

Probably, although not that I can think of specifically.

29. What was the best book you read?

I reread the Harry Potter series, and I think that counts.

30. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I didn't have very many musical discoveries, so we'll put this one as JJ Heller. Even though I had heard some of her music before, I never really gave her a listen.

31. What did you want and get?
To have an LJ Girls' Weekend with several friends in attendance (we had 8), to bring Elijah home... basically everything from question #18.

32. What did you want and not get?
The Lions to have a winning season, a year with no expensive house issues, more modeling jobs, Isaac to not be so busy when it's not tax season, to visit many of you, to have more people visit us, and to have close local friends.

33. What was your favorite film of this year?

Inception.

34. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
The day before it, but in celebration of it, we had donuts for breakfast, lunch in St. Augustine with my mom at one of my favorite restaurants, then went to the beach, then got gelato. The day of, we went to church and I don't remember what else. I turned 27.

35. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Someone giving us all the money we need for the adoption, no house problems, closer friends.

36. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Same as always but slightly more trendy.

37. What kept you sane?
As always - God's grace & forgiveness, and Isaac being the most amazing husband ever. Also, those of you on LJ who are real, true friends despite being so far away. It's comforting to know you're here when I need you.

38. What political issue stirred you the most?
Ugh. Probably Obamacare, but really politics these days stir me incessantly because I disagree with so much of the current administration's policies.

39. Who did you miss?
Everyone I love who's not here.
kimana517: (isaac&me : laughing / forever)
+ I finally got my hair trimmed today! Unfortunately, it's not as short as I wanted. I'm so bad at telling hair lengths when my hair is wet. I may well try to find a time to go back and have the stylist shorten it a bit, but her hours are basically only weekday mornings, so I'd have to have Mom watch Elijah again. At least it's much better than it was before I went in.

+ After my haircut we went to Target where I got another of these hampers. I got one a few months ago and love it as much as a person could love a laundry hamper. It holds about two loads' worth, takes up very little floor space, is easy to carry, it's sturdy and strong, and you can fold it away if you're not using it. Taking up less floor space will be very useful for Elijah's tiny closet. Anyway, I love it so much I convinced my mom to buy one and then finally went on the Target website and wrote a rave review. Also - Target has a lot of really cute boots in stores. I need to go back and try some on. The one pair of boots I own that actually fit my nonexistent calves is from Target.

+ On the way home we went to Dunkin' Donuts for lunch. Hehe. Elijah had his first donut - can you believe it's taken this long with me as his mother? - and he loved it. It was chocolate frosted with rainbow sprinkles, and he ate the chocolate part first by putting his nose in the hole. He had rainbow sprinkles all over his face because of it. LOL!

+ Isaac's 30th birthday is on October 2nd and I really want to do something fun for it, but he's too busy to really think about it. I suggested an '80s costume party, since you can buy '80s stuff at thrift stores AND regular stores right now, but he was meh on the idea. Too bad, 'cause I think he and I could be a cute Maverick & Charlie from Top Gun.  ;o)  Any other suggestions for ways to celebrate?

+ Speaking of costumes, Isaac and I separately came up with the idea of dressing like the A-Team for Halloween. We had repeatedly joked about dressing 'Lijah up as Mr. T, and somehow that spurred us both into thinking of doing a whole A-Team thing. He would be Hannibal because he's old (my reasoning) and definitely has a mastermind thing going on (his reasoning). I would be Face because, well, my love for Face has gone on since I was a kid. When my brothers and I played A-Team, I was always Face. And we think Seth would be a great Murdock. So we'll see. I'm sure dressing E. as B.A. would stir the pot less than my other costume idea: dressing him like George W. Bush. *evil grin*

+ In other amusing bad parenting news, someone at church gave Elijah a stuffed camel and I promptly named it Joe. It amuses us greatly even though we're totally anti-smoking. And 'Lijah is scared to death of my slingshot monkey. I may just use it the next time he throws a doozy of a tantrum...  ;o)

Survey!

Thursday, 29 July 2010 15:39
kimana517: (me : modeling)
I've been writing this survey for a while, adding questions here and there when I thought of them. It will be fun to see if this one comes back around in a few months like the last one I wrote did.  =o)

1. Did you ever wish you had a different name?
Not anymore, but when I was a little kid I wished my name was Tiffany, and then a few years later I wished it was Jade. You can see how I evolved as a child. LOL. And can I state for the record how much the name Tiffany would NOT suit me now?

2. What is your middle name? Lynn - just like every other female whose middle name is not Marie or Elizabeth.  ;o)

3. What is something unusual about you? I'm an oxymoron: tomboy who dresses like a girl, logical yet creative, easygoing yet stubborn, unemotional but cries easily, etc.

4. Where does most of your money go? The mortgage.

5. How do you take your coffee and/or tea? Coffee: flavored cream (usually 2 of the little creamer buckets) and maybe one sugar. Tea: little bit of milk, medium amount of sugar.

6. How many miles are on your car? Almost 130,000.

7. You could eat your weight in:
home-grown tomatoes with salt. And donuts.

8. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Turkey! And bacon!

9. What is your favorite drink?
Hard cider. Yum.

10. What is the best movie you've seen recently?
Inception.

11. What is the farthest you've been from home?
I'm not sure which is farther, Australia or Papua New Guinea, but either one is about as far as you can get.

12. Are you a cat person, a dog person, or a something else person?
I'm totally a dog person, but I like cats too. We'd have one if I didn't think Nala or Isaac would kill it. Heh.

13. Is there anything that you didn't like to eat as a kid but you like now?
Onions, peppers, coffee, tea, and much more.

14. What do you wear to work?
Basically whatever I want. It's nice. When I first started working there I tried to dress in business casual... and then I saw Ken come in in shorts!

15. What are you looking forward to?
Going to Ethiopia to get Elijah, and being his mom!

16. What style do you most regret wearing when you were younger?
I didn't really have any style when I was younger. LOL. But the bike shorts with large, baggy t-shirts, and canvas shoes were pretty bad.

17. What is the default ringtone on your cell phone?
The bridge of "Save Me" by Hanson.

18. Would you shave your head for $1,000,000? $100,000? $10,000?
Heck yes! I need money more than I need hair. Hair grows. Money doesn't.

19. If you had to choose one clothing store to shop at for the rest of your life (and everything there was free for you), which store would you choose?
If everything was free... oh, man. Maybe Banana Republic, Ann Taylor/LOFT, or a nice department store so I'd have options.

20. What are three things you wish you liked?
Exercising, cooking, calling people.

21. What are three things you wish you didn't like as much as you do?
Shopping, tasty-but-bad-for-me food, um... always correcting mistakes and inaccuracies. That tends to annoy people, especially when it's for things that don't really matter. I'm trying to be better about this though.

22. Is there anything that you disagree with many of your friends about?
Theology.

23. What are some things that it seemed like everyone else had before you did?
Cell phones, LCD/Plasma TVs.

24. Why did it take you a while to get those things?
I didn't need them and they were too expensive at first.

25. What are some trends you didn't like at first, but they grew on you?
Skinny jeans and gladiator sandals (although I still don't like either thing too extreme or on everyone), among others.

26. What's something that frustrates you about yourself?
I am awesome at making close friends online, but kind of suck at making them in person. It seems like people are so busy here; it's so hard to get close to most people.

27. Your favorite albums of all time are:
dc Talk's "Jesus Freak" and Hanson's "The Walk".

28.
What is your favorite restaurant? Carrabba's, or any good Japanese steakhouse.

29. Does caffeine affect you?
Rarely and randomly.

30.
What is your dream job? To be an actress or own a small restaurant/cafe.

Feel free to comment with some other questions and I'll add them! And feel free to steal this and do it yourself!

Boredom = surveys

Friday, 7 May 2010 17:39
kimana517: (Default)
I'm insanely bored and tired today, so guess what that means: surveys! Just Swagbucksing around the 'net to find some...

I Am insanely tired and bored. Did I mention that?
I Want to pass court on May 20th.
I Have fun earrings on today.
I Wish I was at the beach with Isaac.
I Hate hypocrisy.
I Fear losing people I love.
I Hear the printer running.
I Search with Swagbucks FTW! (I mean that FTW quite literally.)
I Wonder what Elijah will think of us.
I Regret that I do not spend nearly enough time in prayer or Bible study.
I Love being married to Isaac. ♥
I Ache for the unwanted children of the world (including the unborn).
I Always could go for donuts.
I Usually have painted toenails.
I Am Not emotional.
I Dance whenever Contra is actually on a day I can go.
I Sing with the worship team every third Sunday.
I Never eat peas. EVER.
I Rarely spend time philosophizing.
I Cry pretty easily, which is really annoying to me.
I Am Not Always pretty.
I Think honesty > tact, though of course the two aren't  mutually exclusive.
I Lose at shooter video games.
I'm Confused as to why anyone would vote for a liberal.
I Need a new driveway and a/c ducts.
I Should start doing the bulletins now that Ken has finally given me the stuff so I can.
I Dream of going back to Europe but staying in real hotels and eating regularly at restaurants.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Read more... )
kimana517: (music : hanson)
Friday night Isaac and I both left work a few hours early because we had to get downtown to be trained for working the Holt International Child Sponsorship table during Winter Jam. It was fun to cut the line (we had to be there an hour before the doors opened) and get right in for free. We went up to a Holt table near the Newsboys merchandise table and met some other volunteers, and then they asked us if we wanted to be stationed there or if we'd like to be down actually in the arena, where we would get mobbed at intermission but get to see the show. Um, yeah, no contest - we went down there. We ended up on the floor behind the sound/lighting guys, maybe the equivalent of 25 rows back from the stage and about 15 feet from the end of the runway from the stage. NICE. We were informed by the official Holt guy what to do, and we helped set up a bit, and we met some other volunteers, who were all incredibly nice. (Isaac even got to network a bit and gave out a business card, so hey, maybe his boss will really benefit from letting him leave work early!) 

The concert was great, but first let me tell you about volunteering. Turns out most of the Holt kids are up for adoption, and the sponsors are basically providing care for them until they are adopted - which could be any time from immediately to never. There were so many of them. There were about 12 full-length folding tables with at least 60 packets (one packet = one child) on each of them, and that's not even close to as many as Holt has. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that for all we knew our child/ren could be on one of those tables and maybe someone from Jacksonville would be caring for them until we can. I also almost cried when, after the concert had ended and the attendees had left, we had to put so many packets in a box to be taken to the next concert and those kids would have to wait another day to be chosen.

We really didn't have to do anything but enjoy the show until intermission, when we were indeed mobbed, but it was awesome to help so many people help impact kids' lives. I know a few Holt adoption brochures were given out too, so I am praying those people go for it. After the intermission the band Tenth Avenue North played and we were still helping people fill out forms during their whole set, so we pretty much missed them. After that we had a few more people come to the table, but we were pretty much done. Winter Jam still has a lot of tour dates, so if they're coming near you, I strongly encourage you to sign up to volunteer. If the awesome cause is not enough motivation for you, keep in mind that you will also get in free and get a free hat and CD.

Now, to the concert itself. Read more... )

So, Friday night we went to a rock concert for free. Saturday night we went to the symphony for free! Ha! Isaac had been looking forward to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Organ Symphony Celebration for almost a year, because they were actually performing a piece (Symphony No. 3) by Camille Saint-Saens, his favorite composer. They also performed Bach's Toccata and Fugue and Jongen's Sinfonia Concertante (which neither of us had heard of), and it was all featuring a 23-year-old organ prodigy named Felix Hell, whose last name we made numerous original and very mature jokes about. We had seen online that there was something called "Words on Music" before the concert started and we figured we may as well go see what that is. I'm so glad we did! The conductor and organist told us about the pieces we would be hearing that night, about the organ (both generic organ-playing info and the JSO's historic and beautiful organ), and then answered questions. For someone like me, who is not a regular listener of classical music (I think it's beautiful, but I greatly prefer music with words to sing along to), that was extremely beneficial. It helped me understand and more greatly appreciate what we later heard in the concert. And it was an amazing concert. So gorgeous. I love watching the violinists out of the corner of my eye because when they raise their bows together it looks like reeds blowing in the wind. Isaac was enraptured when they finally started the Saint-Saens piece, because he had been waiting so long for it! I was proud of myself for recognizing a lot of it. (Although I owe that to Isaac since he listens to it all the time.)

Can I just say yet again how grateful I am to live in a place that, despite its small-town vibe, offers all the amenities of a city, like big rock concerts, and the symphony? And also how grateful I am that my dad works in a job that can get me free tickets to said symphony and free parking?
kimana517: (misc : cappuccino)
+ I love Publix not just for the deals they give me, but for their commitment to correct grammar and punctuation. They are the only grocery store I've ever seen that has a "Ten items or fewer" lane instead of "Ten items or less". I also love them for their restaurant, Crispers, who has a salad with fruit in it year-round (hear that, Panera?) and the best chowdah (slightly spicy crab & corn) I've ever had. *hugs Publix*

+ Anybody else in denial that we're already more than a week into 2010? Seriously. I feel like it should maybe be September 2009 right now.

+ We went to see my grandma at the hospital today. She officially has two good knees now! Woo-hoo! I can't WAIT for her to be totally recuperated, because she will be SO happy. She had horrible knees for a very long time. I expect to see her literally leaping for joy in a month or two.  ;o)  Tomorrow she moves to a rehab center. Pray for a quick recovery. I'm sure this one will be better because she already has a strong knee now.

+ Ange and I were planning to meet at the hospital way on the eastside and I was waiting for her to call me, so I killed time at The Thrift Store. There was one thing I really needed - a brown jacket, preferably long - and I found one! Its really nice, dark brown, double-breasted, slightly longer than mid-thigh, it has pockets, and it was only $6! Yay!  I'm wearing it already, without washing it, which probably grosses some people out, but when I said I needed it, I meant it. Hehe.

+ Yesterday got better when Isaac got home. He has that effect on me. =o) Plus, then we went across town for the mystery shop, which was great, as expected. When we returned home, I deleted at least 10GB of pictures off my camera's memory card. Normally I don't let it pile up like that, but I had barely deleted anything since the El Salvador trip in July. *sheepish grin*

+ Nala hasn't thrown up since before I wrote that entry yesterday, so I think she's feeling better. *cheers* We've had her for 3 months now, can you believe that? She's such a sweetie. I entered her in a contest, too. Go vote for her!
MVP Pet Photo Contest sponsored by BISSELL, maker of pet vacuum cleaners
kimana517: (isaac&me : laughing / forever)
Yeah, yeah, the decade doesn't start till next year, blah blah blah, whatever. I'm writing this now because 2000 was a big year for me and 2000-2009 looks better to me than 2001-2010. Plus, a period of 10 years is a decade no matter when it is. So there. I wanted to do one so I wrote one. Feel free to take it!

1. Where were you when the year changed to 2000?
I lived in Illinois, but my mom, brothers Nathan and Seth, and I were in Florida on vacation. That night we arrived at Word of Life Florida for the first time ever. I wanted to spend New Year's with my feet in the ocean (since I love the beach and there are obviously no oceans anywhere near IL), so we found the nearest "beach" (we found out later the locals call it "Hudson Hole" because it's not much of a beach) and I had my feet in the water as the year changed.

2. Where were you when the year changed to 2010?
I was at my brother and SIL's house with friends. We played games and set off fireworks. I was exhausted because of previous days' events, but it was great. And of course Isaac and I kissed at midnight.  =o)  I had wanted to have my feet in the ocean for the start of this decade too, but it was too cold and I was too tired.

3. List the things that happened to/for you in each year of the decade. (You can name just big things, or anything that stands out to you.)

(I'm doing mine in chronological order in each year.)
2000 -
Graduated high school; started college (as the youngest in my classes); got my first non paper-route, non-babysitting job as a server at Steak 'n' Shake; had a guy I liked like me back for the first time since I was 5 years old; fulfilled a lifelong dream and went to Australia and Papua New Guinea on a mission trip; finally moved out of "stinkin' Lincoln", Illinois; started my first year at Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida; while there met a cute, short, funny guy named Isaac who became a good friend. 

2001 -
Became best friends with that guy, Isaac; had my life changed taking part in WOLBI's Passion Play (so did Isaac); turned 18 years old; spent the summer as a counselor on WOL Island; realized I wanted more than friendship with Isaac; graduated from WOLBI first year; went to WOLBI second year in New York; 9/11 shook the world - we didn't get to see any footage till that evening because the TVs/internet weren't hooked up yet; Isaac and I started dating; spent a week in NYC with an open air evangelism team; Isaac flew (his first flight ever!) out to visit and meet my family on Christmas break, and we held hands for the first time.

2002 -
Family moved to Jacksonville, FL (finally someplace WARM!); went back to NYC on OAE; went back to Australia & PNG as a trip counselor; graduated WOLBI second year; came to live in FL for the first time; had a rough few months adjusting to living with my family again, not having my friends or boyfriend within walking distance, going to secular college again, and my favorite aunt died unexpectedly; found an amazing church called Westside Christian Family Chapel; went to Connecticut just after Christmas to see Isaac; nephew Bernie was born; Isaac proposed, I said yes, and he gave me my first kiss.  =o)

2003-2009 )

4. What has been the biggest change for you in this past decade?
Ha! Everything, seeing as I was 16 when it started. I've since been to college, had several jobs, got married, bought a house, started the process of having a child, etc. I would say those are all pretty big changes!

5. What do you hope will happen to/for you between now and 2020?
I hope that by 2020 we have 4+ kids, that some Constitution-following politicians have been running the country for years, and that the Lions will win the Superbowl. (OK, that last one might be a bit too much to ask. How 'bout just a winning season?)  ;o)
kimana517: (family : mandy / puppy dog eyes)
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Got paid to model (including a spread in a magazine!), went to Europe, took a backpacking trip, rode on a real train, had to put a dog to sleep, started the process of adopting a child, went a year without seeing one of my brothers...  =o(

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Not really, and no. I know C25K is some people's resolution, but we started that on November 30th!

3. Did anyone close to you have kids?

My friends Forrest & Shannon adopted twins.  =o)

4. Did anyone close to you get married?
Not that I can think of at the moment.

5. Did anyone close to you die?
Mandy.  =o(

6. Did you travel?
To North Carolina, Tennessee, England, France, Italy, Greece, El Salvador, Georgia, and Connecticut.

7. Did you move anywhere?
Nope! Which is a very good thing since I love it here.

8. What was the best month?
No contest - May! In May we went to four European countries, including Italy, which had been at the top of my Travel Wish List for years. Plus, my birthday is in May.  =o)

9. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A closer relationship with God, and a kid or kids!  =oD  And no house problems for once. That would be nice.

10. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 15 - My first paid modeling gig! May 12-June 3 - our Europe trip! July 2 - when we applied to our adoption agency! September 24 - When we said goodbye to Mandy.

Read more... )
kimana517: (Default)
On December 29, 2003, we said forever, and (in the words of those poets, the Backstreet Boys) even forever doesn't seem like long enough. To read a pictorial history of the first few years of our relationship (including how we met), go here. In this post will be just pics of us from each year we've been married.

2003 - Our wedding!



Read more... )

In these seven years we've been to CT, GA, IL, IN, MI, NC, NY (and all the states in between FL & NY), and D.C., Mexico, Bahamas, El Salvador, England, France, Italy, Greece, and Ethiopia. Whew!

Finally, I leave you with a song. I don't remember how we first came across this song in 2008, but we immediately claimed it as our song. Although a few parts don't apply to us, much of it, and the general feel of it, is US. On our first day in Paris, which did not go very well, we heard it in the basement of a McDonald's (there was seating there), and, since no one else was around, we sat there and sang along together, and somehow the day just seemed to get better. So, I present to you, "Lucky" by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat.


"Lucky" Official Video With Colbie Caillat

Jason Mraz | MySpace Music Videos
kimana517: (Default)
We've sung this at my church the past two Sundays and I absolutely adore it. I love the way it retells the Christmas story.

(It is the first 5 minutes of this video.)


Hear the heart of heaven beating,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
And the hush of mercy breathing,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Hear the Host of angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King"
And the sounding joy repeating
Jesus saves.

See the humblest hearts adore him,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
And the wisest bow before him,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
See the sky alive with praise,
Melting darkness in its blaze.
There is light forevermore in
Jesus saves.

He will live, our sorrow sharing,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
He will die our burdens bearing,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
"It is done!" will shout the cross -
Christ has paid redemption's cost -
While the empty tomb's declaring,
"Jesus saves."

Freedom's calling, chains are falling,
Hope is dawning bright and true.
Day is breaking, night is quaking,
God is making all things new.
Jesus saves.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Are the saints who shout together,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Rising up so vast and strong,
Lifting up salvation's song,
The redeemed will sing forever,
"Jesus saves."
kimana517: (Default)
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely gift wrap. It's so much fun to take off, and looks much better. But usually when I give gifts I give 'em in bags because I always forget I need to wrap them. Hehe.

2. Real tree or artificial? I like the idea of a real tree, and we had a few of them when I was a kid, but I kinda think they're more work than they're worth, especially since a pre-lit fake tree means I don't have to mess with the stupid lights.

3. When do you put up the tree? My family always put ours up the day after Thanksgiving, but Isaac and I are usually slackers and put it up sometime in early December. This year we'll probably put it up this Saturday afternoon.

4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime after New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog? I haven't had any since I was a kid, but I liked it okay then.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm. Nothing stands way out right now, but there was one Christmas that a church or some other organization gave us a ton of presents because we were missionaries. That was an awesome Christmas.

7. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A holiday nail care kit, LOL. This was back when I was a huge tomboy so I was like, "What the?!" And even now I'm still not sure what all those things were for!

8. Hardest person to buy for? Dad.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Me. Er, I mean, Isaac.

10. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. It was given to me by one of my favorite coworkers at SnS before Isaac and I got married.

11. When do you start shopping? Whenever I see a good deal on something someone will like, no matter when it is.

12. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Multiple times. I actually see no problem with it unless something was specifically chosen or made for you. I've only regifted generic presents, like the default "I have no idea what to get her" present for a girl: a set of nice-smelling body stuff. LOL.

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peppermint bark! Candy canes! Pie! Turkey! Everything!

14. Lights on the tree? Why would you have a Christmas tree without lights on it?

15. Favorite Christmas song? Hmm... there are several. "What Child is This?" for singing, Bebo Norman's "Come and Worship", Relient K's "I Celebrate the Day", "Mary, Did You Know" by... anyone, and for sheer listening pleasure, there's Hanson's "Christmas Time". And many more.

16. Favorite Christmas movie? Christmas Vacation!

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I like both.

18. Do you always want a white Christmas? They're definitely pretty, but I am far happier here in Florida not freezing my butt off. I figure if warmth and palm trees were good enough for Jesus, they're good enough for me. ;o) But I don't blame people for thinking it's not Christmas without snow (even though most of the world never/rarely has snow for Christmas) because it's been drilled into our heads for decades now that that's the ideal.

19. Angel or star on top of the tree?
I prefer stars, but angels are pretty too.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning, definitely, although I'm cool with opening one the night before.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? In general, commercialism and greed. Specifically, this year, those Gap chanting commercials are driving me up the wall.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't like tree themes. They look pretty but they usually have no sentimental value. My ornaments are every color in the rainbow and more, and they nearly all have meaning beyond just a decoration.

23. Favorite food at Christmas dinner?
I can't choose!

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? $25,000 to bring my baby/ies home without draining our savings. On a smaller scale, I'd love some slippers that cover my ankles, a 50mm f/1.8 lens for my Canon XSi, and gift cards for stores or restaurants so we can still shop and eat out while saving money.

25. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Getting an ornament each year. It's always so fun to see which one I get this year. I'm still bummed that my mom stopped getting me one when I got married, and it's been 6 years now!
kimana517: (Default)
X - X-rays. While that is partially because I'm more thankful for x-rays than for xylophones, it is mainly because x-rays are so helpful. I can't imagine what it was like before x-rays, MRIs, and such, when the only way doctors could see inside of us was to cut us open!

Y - Yelling. I mostly do it at concerts, I used to do it at my brothers, and doing it at Olympians makes several songs much more fun. That said, I like it in moderation. Hehe.

Z - Zzzzzs. I love sleep, which may be because I need more of it than most people (and haven't gotten much lately). I actually wish that wasn't the case, but I love a good nap or falling asleep cuddled up to the 'sposo.

And now in 26 days I have given thanks for 26 things beginning with all 26 letters.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
kimana517: (isaac&me : laughing / forever)
Q - Quarterbacks. Namely, good ones. I've been a Brett Favre fan forever, and as much as I hate seeing him on another team, and as much as other people feel betrayed, I still love him. I love watching Tom Brady find Randy Moss for an amazing 60-yard TD out of nowhere. It's always fun watching him break records and put the ball right where it needs to go. And of course there's Brady's main rival, Peyton Manning, who is also awesome. He may not have Brady's looks, but his SNL and commercials are funnier. I love football, and the QBs are always entertaining. And in the college arena, how can I forget Tim Tebow? He's not only a Heisman winner and champion, he's one of the nicest, down-to-earth, Christian guys ever. I'm so glad he's a Florida Gator! Oh, and for the record, the Lions' rookie QB Matt Stafford had the highest yardage of anyone yesterday. =oD

R - Rock music. I like that old time rock 'n' roll all the way to modern rock, especially Christian modern rock. I love that we have good Christian rock now, but I still love me some Boston, Skynyrd, and Aerosmith.

S - Sandals. I loved them even before I lived somewhere warm, but once we moved to Florida they became pretty much my only footwear. It took me a little while to get into flip-flops, but then they took over. The best thing about sandals is that even though, as usual, no one makes my size (10½), I can wear a 10 even though it's too small.

T - Thanksgiving. I suppose that could be cheating, since that what these ABCs are for, but I love Thanksgiving. So much good food, a whole day with family, and what is usually the only Lions football game I get to watch all year. This year I get to experience my first Connecticut Thanksgiving, including Pie Day the day before, and then Thanksgiving with my family when we get home. Woo-hoo!

U - Umbrellas. Usually I forget to bring one, but when I remember, they are very nice for the occasional rain storm. We also used one as a wind break when we were in Portsmouth and it was freaking freezing cold out. Even though it was raining, the wind made it colder than the rain did, so we turned it toward there instead of up.

V - Vacations. I love going someplace new or a favorite place I haven't been to for a while. Even though I have flown so many times in my life, there's still something exhilarating about airports, because it means that I'm going somewhere exciting. I love seeing old friends and family, and having new experiences. Mostly I love spending all day, every day with Isaac.

W - Word of Life. WOL has been a part of my life pretty much forever. In the churches my parents started, we started WOL Olympian clubs. I got my first Olympian medal when I was 5 years old. I still have it. I went all the way through the Olympian program, earning the 6-year steadfast trophy, and then did the 6-year DIA program as a teen, which I think got me another trophy (I had to take a test on 6 years' worth of memory verses!), and some scholarships for WOL Bible Institute, and I also went to the awesome WOL Island for summer camp. Then I went to WOLBI out of high school, which was one of the best decisions I ever made. I ended up going to second year in NY, which was also awesome, though not as awesome as it would've been if it had been in FL. Hehe. I learned and grew so much with those two years immersed in learning about the Bible and trying various ministries and having so many close friends right there - not to mention I am one of those who got a husband out of the deal. After getting married I worked for WOL for over a year, and I must admit that my main daydream of the future involves Isaac being a resident professor there and we get to be a part of it again. And now my church has Olympians and I'm a leader there. I've come full circle. Although there are some things I don't agree with WOL about, I love it so much, and the positives FAR outweigh the negatives.
kimana517: (isaac&me : laughing / forever)
L - Libraries. As a child libraries were magical to me because I read voraciously. I think part of the reason I loved Milton, WI so much is because our house was just a block from the library! Nowadays I check out more movies than I do books, but still - those are free movies! I bet libraries have saved me thousands of dollars in my life, especially since we are sometimes able to get some of Isaac's school books from there. And there's something about walking into a huge library that's still magical to me. Every time I go into Jax's Main Library I look up to all the levels and sigh happily. =o)

M - Mandy. There will never be a better dog than the one I had the pleasure of loving for 13 years. You know you have an amazing dog when other dog owners say they like her better than their own dog! Or when avowed cat lovers, who swore off dogs long ago, say, "If all dogs were like her, I'd have one." She was so sweet, so loving, and so smart. It's been nearly two months since we said goodbye to her and I miss her so much. I only cry now when I really think about how much I miss her. Like now.

N - Nala. She has helped me a lot in getting over the loss of Mandy. She's also a really good dog so far, except for trying to eat everything. She's pretty smart too, very entertaining, adorable, and she's a sweetie. Last week I was crying very hard about something, and she came and laid her head on my lap and looked up at me. She doesn't do that often, so I think she was possibly trying to comfort me (or at least figure me out). I'm so glad we have her.

O - Ocean. I love the ocean! Always have, always will. And I especially love that it's only half an hour away now, instead of hours and hours away like it was in Illinois. Lakes are nice, but they don't even come close to the ocean. The smell, the sound, the immediate loss of stress when I walk out on the sand... ahhh...

P - Packages. Even if I'm the one who ordered it, and even if I know it contains something boring (like Isaac's school books), there's still something exciting about coming home from work and finding a package on my doorstep. My favorite packages are surprises, like when [livejournal.com profile] modernelegance sent me a hilarious Supernatural viewing kit or when [livejournal.com profile] elanortheeldest sent me a gift card to Red Lobster. =o)
kimana517: (isaac&me : laughing / forever)
H - Husband. It might seem like I should wait and do I for Isaac, but since I nearly always call him "Husband", at least when I'm talking to him, it is more fitting to make him the H. So. Husband. He is my best friend and anything that's fun without him would be more fun with him. I love being with him and I wish that he didn't have to work so I could hang out with him all the time. He is the only person who really knows how silly I am, and yet he loves me anyway. I can't wait to see him as a dad.  =o)

I - Internet. Without it I would not have met the vast majority of you reading this, and therefore I would've missed out on some great friendships. I just spent two weekends, one in Orlando and one in Tennessee, hanging out with 5 of my online friends. I must admit I occasionally daydream about all of us living in the same neighborhood. (For the record, there are two houses for sale on my block...) I've been in love with the internet since I was about 13 years old.

J - Jacksonville. I love Florida as a whole, but I especially love Jacksonville. I love that I have access to all the amenities of a city, but with a small town feel. I love that Jax leans conservative (Duval County did not go for Obama!), that we have the river and gorgeous ocean beaches, that tourists and old people drive right by us, that we can go to St. Augustine, Orlando, Savannah, Daytona, and Cape Canaveral for a day trip (a long day trip, but still, a day trip), and that we have the best thrift stores and church ever.

K - Kutless. They have been one of my favorite bands for many years now. Their songs never get old to me, because they seriously rock, but they are also obviously Christian. There is nothing wrong with a band just having positive or philosophical songs that never mention the name of Jesus, but a lot of times I want blatantly Christian songs, and when I want to rock out to blatantly Christian songs, there is nothing better than Kutless. I've seen them in concert twice and they're excellent. Their song, "Strong Tower", is one of the most encouraging songs to me.
kimana517: (christian : crosses / this is love)
E - Espresso. I just got an espresso maker (thanks, Swagbucks!) and I love it! Espresso is so yummy, better for you than drip coffee, and there are so many awesome flavored (and sugar-free) syrups to go with it. And even though I'm sure it's just a placebo effect since caffeine doesn't usually affect me, I have been getting a lot done in the past few espresso-fueled days.

F - Florida. I was born and raised up north, which, for the most part, I did not like. I get cold easily and thus hate cold weather, and I really hated how winter dragged on forever with gray skies and brown earth. I always knew I wanted to live somewhere warm, and every time we would visit Florida, it felt like where I belonged. Well, when I was almost 19 years old, my mom got a job in Jacksonville, FL. Finally, I was home. A lot of people here get on my nerves saying how ugly Florida is (because apparently they don't use their eyes?), and they complain about gorgeous 80º days in November. Not me. Not ever. I think sprawling live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, gorgeous white sand beaches, the sun setting behind palm trees, Spanish architecture, fields of wildflowers, etc., are beautiful. I would rather have a beautiful, swimmable beach nearby than mountains any day. (Although of course I do like mountains - just not as much as I like warm beaches.) And you will never find me complaining about a sunny, 80º day, no matter where I am or what time of year. I love Florida. It is my home.

G - Grace. As a pastor's kid I've heard a lot about God's grace during my entire life, but much of my understanding of it (as a human can) has come since we started attending WCFC. Ken's emphasis on it as it comes from passages he's preached on has really taught me a lot. Praise God for His grace, without which we would be helpless and hopeless. Listen to "Grace Unmeasured".

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