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: (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: (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: (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: (family : mandy / puppy dog eyes)
I was 13 years old. It had been a year since my family had returned from vacation to find that our 3-year-old epileptic collie had died while we were gone. Even though I cried the most about losing her, I was the one ready soonest for another dog. Our small town's animal shelter was just a few blocks from our house, so over that year I went there many times. There were several dogs that I liked over that time, but I could never get my parents to go see any of them. I guess they weren't ready.

One day I went there and there was a new litter of mixed breed puppies just a month or two old. They were all adorable, but the one that stood out to me was the runt of the litter. At first she tried to fight her bigger siblings to get up to the front of the cage so she could get attention too, but they kept pushing her out of the way. She went a few feet back, sat down, and just looked at me with her ears back.

I was smitten. That night I went on and on to my parents about this little dog, and finally they agreed to go with me to see her. When we went into the little room where you can meet the dogs and play with them, I sat on the floor. As soon as the employee put this little dog down, she crawled into my lap and laid down. Oh boy, was I  smitten. It was then that we noticed that her tail was kind of candy cane-shaped; it had a crook at the end. It looked a little silly, but we thought it was cool, and certainly unique. The employee told us that some other people had looked at her but they decided they didn't like that crooked tail. Their loss.



We took that little puppy home with us. We went through a baby name book, and one name stood out to us: Mandy. She learned things very quickly; she was extremely intelligent and loving. She loved to sleep on blankets and pillows, and especially had a thing for "caves" - under beds or desks or anywhere, really, where she had a roof.

She even helped me with school...


Legally she was my parents' dog, but other than that she was mine. It seemed like she knew that I was the one who had found her and rescued her out of that place where she had to fight for attention and never got to eat any cheese (her favorite food). She and I had a special relationship. When I went away to college my mom kept the door to my room closed, but often found Mandy sleeping outside it. When college breaks were coming up, I would tell my friends, "I can't wait to see my dog! Oh - and my family." When I got married and lived 3 hours away, much of what I looked forward to on weekends we came up to visit my family was that I got to see her. And when Isaac and I moved to Jax and got our own little house, we began having "joint custody" with my parents; they got her half the week, and we got her half the week.

She approved of Isaac the first time she met him...

 

We taught her new tricks when she was 8 years old, disproving the adage about old dogs and new tricks. She had quite the repertoire, including a jumping 360º spin. She never seemed to age, but maybe that's because her face still looked like a puppy's. People were always shocked to hear her age. I remember one time when a man asked how old she is and I told him she was 11. He said, "11 months?" I said, "No, 11 years." He was shocked. It was relatively recently that my mom and I noticed that she somehow looked older. And it was even more recent that we noticed she didn't jump on the couch or to peek out the window like she used to. At the end of last week I noticed she was having trouble walking. Things degenerated quickly. The past few days she could not even stand. She kept getting stuck in corners. It was terrible. After watching her in pain, trying to help her as best I could, carrying her places... we realized it was time to say goodbye. I couldn't stand the thought of making her wait another 24 hours in pain like she had been, so with Mom's brokenhearted consent (but at least she had come to see her yesterday), Isaac and I took her to the vet. We held her and petted her till she was gone. I've never had to put a pet to sleep before. I hope I never do again. I still can't believe she's gone. She's been my companion since I was 13 years old. That's half my life. She was with me when I cried about boys as a teen, always waiting eagerly and loving me when I finally returned from college, comforted me when I cried because I missed Isaac and my favorite aunt died and my brothers did stupid things, and she totally knew which day was Sunday because even before I got there to pick her up to take her to my house, my parents said she would perk up and be out and about more than usual. If we came over on another day and didn't take her with us, she would be so disappointed.

She was the best dog ever. People often say that and it's usually a bias thing that you can't fault them for. But I've heard other people with dogs say that they wish their dog was more like Mandy. Numerous people regularly threatened to steal her. She won over avowed cat people (several said, "If all dogs were like her, I'd have one!") and people who claimed not to like dogs. One Christmas we were with family at a hotel, talking out in the lobby, and Mandy was with us. The hotel clerk said, "Boy, I wish the kids who stayed in this place were half as well-behaved as that dog!" You couldn't not love Mandy. And that's what makes saying goodbye so, so hard.

I keep trying to convince myself that she's just at my parents' like every other time I haven't had her with me, but it's not working. I saw her go. I held her. Even Isaac cried... and he never cries.




 
Goodbye, sweet puppy. I don't know if our pets go to heaven, but if there was ever one to deserve it, it's you. I miss you so much.

To those of you who prayed for her in her last days, thank you. It means a lot to me. Please keep praying for me and my mom and the rest of my family though. This has been really, really rough day.
kimana517: (fashion : shopping)
+ I think I'm allergic to winter. Okay, not really, but during winter I get frequent inexplicable sinus headaches that come and go as they please, and are usually without any other symptoms. Just another reason to be glad for resuming normal high temperatures tomorrow. We set a record low last night. I'm glad to be done with that for a while.

+ The 1940s photo shoot has been scheduled for this Tuesday! (Apparently in my world photo shoots only take place on Tuesdays.) I'm going to have to wake up EARLY. I have to be in St. Augustine by 7:30am, and it's an hour drive! Plus I have to do my makeup and stuff. Oy. I love modeling, I love modeling, I love modeling... At least I can probably go back to sleep between that and work - although I won't want to mess up my '40s hairdo! Hehe. I'm excited about that. I'm hopefully going to borrow some curlers from a friend at church.

+ I was bad today and gave into a craving for my favorite thrift store. *sheepish grin* I'm glad I went, though, 'cause I hit the cashmere jackpot! I got two 100% cashmere sweaters, one from Ann Taylor ($5) and one from Banana Republic ($6). The A.T. one is identical to this one, except it's pink. I was thrilled to find another of those, because it's the softest cashmere I've ever felt. I found another cashmere sweater that was a turtleneck that wouldn't fit over my head, so I left it for someone else. I also got 2 totally cute skirts (Ann Taylor & Express), an adorable white BCBG sundress, and several tops (including one from American Eagle with the tags still on!). I had a budget I stuck to, which was sad because it meant a lot of great stuff had to go back on the racks. Ah, well. I can hardly complain.

+ I heard "The Motions" by Matthew West on the radio the other day and just loved it. Halfway into the chorus I realized why: it could be a Backstreet Boys song. I can absolutely hear them singing that song - only, if they did it, it would be better because there would be beautiful 5-part harmony woven through it. Ah, how I miss the glory days of boy bands, back when hit songs weren't all about sex.

+ Oh! TLC has finally announced an air date for the Duggars' trip to El Salvador on 17 Kids and Counting. For those of you who don't know, my church takes a small team to El Salvador twice a year to minister in villages, schools, and orphanages near the place we stay. My husband and I have been there twice. 11 of the Duggars were there in December (when 3 people from my church were there), and their camera crew came with them. We who've been there are so thrilled about this, because now people will get a better taste of how we minister down there. (I've already been thinking of E.S. a lot lately. I miss it. This will only make it worse, I think.) Anyway - it will air February 17 from 9:00-10:00pm (Eastern). You should watch it!

+ We're going to some friends' house for dinner tonight. It's been ages since we hung out, just them and us, so I'm excited. I guess I ought to go water the plants so I can head home.
kimana517: (misc : corolla)
+ I can no longer say that I've never locked my keys in my car. When I got to work today, I had lots of stuff in my hands to bring into the church. Apparently my keys somehow slipped out of my fingers and fell onto my seat without me realizing it until I went to put them into my purse once I got inside... and they weren't there. Hehe. I'm more amused by it than anything, since we live only 1.5 miles from here and Isaac will just come by on his way home from work. Plus, since it happened when I got here, I have lots to do before I need to leave. I've been driving for 10 years now ('cause I got my permit at age 15) and never had locked my keys in the car till today. I don't know - does it even really count if you're not in a place where you have to be stressed about it or have someone go out of their way to help you? I remember once, when I was about 4 years old, my mom locked her keys in the car on a hot day. This wouldn't have been a bad thing - we didn't live too far away, so Dad, Aaron, Nathan and I just hopped in the car to go help - if little baby Seth wasn't still in there! Oh, she was totally freaked out. But he was fine. That is the worst keys-locked-in-car story I've ever heard, but if you have a better one, do share!

+ I pre-ordered Jimmy Needham's new CD last night. I'm so glad his first one did well enough for him to make a second!

+ Yesterday I told someone a fun memory of my brothers and me from when we were kids, and I thought y'all might like to hear it too. (If not, feel free to skip.) My brothers and I used to play pretend that we were the A-Team (from the '80s TV show). My older brother, Aaron, was Hannibal, because he is the bossiest person ever, and he wanted to be in charge. I was Face, because he was cute and I never went through the "boys have cooties" stage. My younger brother Nathan was Murdock, because he was nuts. Not really (well, maybe a little), but bossy Hannibal and I outvoted him. My youngest brother Seth was quite a bit younger than we were, but weirdly always had an obsession with Mr. T. I distinctly remember him naming a balloon (yeah, I don't know. We were weird kids.) "B.A.". So he was B.A., despite being the weakest and smallest of all of us. Good times.

+ My evil ant bite is finally beginning to diminish. Weirdly, the part that was the large and lightest pink is now a bit smaller and turning yellowish, like a bruise. That thing was obviously not a normal fire ant. I keep waiting to develop spider - er, ant - senses, or be able to lift 50 times my body weight.

+ Before we left for El Salvador, I got a great deal on a nice all-in-one b&w laser printer thanks to SlickDeals. I finally got around to hooking it up last night, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. It is NICE. It prints SO fast, and it's networked, so I can print from my laptop in the living room. It's awesome.

+ I had lunch at Chuck E. Cheese's today with Dad, Ange and the kids. That was fun. I stayed there with the kids for about an hour while Ange had a haircut appointment. And, of course, I got cotton candy with my tickets. =o)

+ Tomorrow I'm heading down south to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] hominygrits and her family at the beach. I'm definitely excited. It's supposed to rain though, so we'll see what happens.

+ Oh, where is my husband? Oh, where is my husband? Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh wherrrrrrrrre - is my husband?

(no subject)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008 22:02
kimana517: (me : rock on)
Oh my word! They are totally playing Baywatch on the Ion channel right now. That is AWESOME! My family and I watched Baywatch the entire time it was on. I haven't seen an episode of it since it was canceled. Rock on!

(no subject)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008 17:46
kimana517: (movies : peanuts : woodstock / dear LJ..)
Throughout the day I think of so many things I want to tell you guys, but when I actually sit down to do so, they fly right out of my head. It's kind of annoying. Perhaps it's the scent of the Crock Pot Italian Roast Beef wafting through the house that's distracting me. It smells heavenly. I can't wait to taste it!

I bought the roast at the grocery store this morning and amused Isaac by calling him to ask him where one might find bay leaves. Having never heard of them until I read that recipe, I didn't know what they looked like, and I (wrongly) assumed that they were in the produce section. Heh. I then also had to hunt for a rump roast. I figured I was just not seeing it because I wasn't 100% sure what to look for (my mom has made roasts before, but I never saw them pre-cooking), but when I finally told an employee I couldn't find any, he responded, "That's because there aren't any out here right now." Now you tell me. But he brought me one from the back and told me to come back and tell him how dinner was. Hehe. And since I began cooking, the house has smelled fantastic. I'm sure it is a very unhealthy dinner, but it may well be worth it!

The Kutless concert on Thursday night was so good! We went with David and his girlfriend Jenna, which was a lot of fun. It was the least acoustic-sounding acoustic set I've ever heard though, LOL. Somehow they managed to make acoustic guitars sound more rock-like than ever before. It was at a small venue, so we had a great view even though we got there late. (I went up to the front for part of Kutless' set, though, in the extremely calm mosh pit.) It was cool to see them in a more intimate setting like this acoustic tour. They explained the reasons/stories behind a few songs, and interacted with the crowd more. I thought it was funny that the (very few) parts they yell/scream on the CD versions, they whispered on the acoustic tour. Screaming, unplugged. Hehe. Also, we were sitting near the sound booth and saw their playlist... including their "spontaneous" encore a few spaces below the rest. Ha!

The first opening act is much better on his MySpace songs than he was live. The second, though, was awesome! Their name is Esterlyn (named after one of the guys' nieces, who was adopted from China) and they're great. Similar to The Swift, Everyday Sunday, Switchfoot, etc. I bought their CD that night and have been listening to it in my car ever since. So, this is me recommending it to you. =o)

The LJ strike was fun because it made me feel like one of the Newsies. Hehe. It was funny though, how knowing I couldn't go on LJ that day made me think of going there more often than usual. Silly subconscious.

Did you have a good Easter? I hope so. Friday night we had a really nice Good Friday service at church. My Sunday didn't feel very Easter-like, apart from church. We were in a choir for a few songs, which was fun. I think that's the first time Isaac has sung up front at this church. Crazy. After that, we went to Mom & Dad's for lunch, but AAAC were still sick, so it was just us, Mom & Dad, and Seth and two of his friends who are on spring break. While we were at their house, I put some ringtones I had made for Mom on her phone. (They were the theme from her all-time favorite TV show, The Big Valley, and "My Girl" by The Temptations.) She was thrilled. =o) When we got home, we finished up watching the 2001 Word of Life Passion Play video, which is the one we were in and during which we became best friends. It'd been several years since we watched it, so it was really cool to remember that. Being in that show changed both of our spiritual lives as much as our physical ones.

Sunday afternoon I took one of the youth girls from church to what I think is the first thrift store she's ever been to. She ended up finding a cute J. Crew dress for her sister for $2. I think she's hooked on thrift stores now, hehe. When I got back from that, Isaac really wanted to go lay around at a park (sounds weird phrased like that, but we love to go down by the river, lay out a sheet, and just chill). Chill we did, though, as it was quite cold. We didn't stay very long, but it was pretty while we were there.

Yesterday we went to the Cheesecake Factory for the first time, because we had a gift card. It was really good! I got the Herb Salmon and Shrimp Scampi with steamed broccoli. The salmon was fantastic, but sadly, the shrimp was fried. I can't eat fried seafood. =o/ The broccoli rocked, because it was in the lemon juice from the salmon and the garlic sauce from the shrimp. Amazing. And I saved some to eat for lunch today. We also had to get cheesecake, since, hello--Cheesecake Factory! To see what kind, check out my latest Project 366 post. =o)

Isaac had a great idea for raising money for El Salvador. We're going to see about setting up a small photography gallery of pictures I've taken and those that another photography enthusiast in church has taken, print out 8x10s or 11x14s, mat them, and put them up in the foyer at church, and then sell them. Assuming people buy them, we could raise a lot of money that way. That would be great, since Isaac and I are hoping to raise all our money for this year's trip.

Our body fat scale has definitely bit the dust. Today it told me that I have gained 2% body fat since I started working out. Yeah. I'm doubting that.

Haha, I guess I managed to come up with plenty to write after all. Well, keep in mind I haven't written since Thursday afternoon, and you can forgive me. Right? *puppy dog eyes* ;o)
kimana517: (Default)
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Lyrics taken from "There She Stands" by Michael W. Smith

This is a beautiful tribute to 9/11 complete with lots of great Scriptures.


Where were you when you heard/saw the September 11th attacks?
I was in class at the Word of Life Bible Institute in New York, training to be a campus leader as an intern for my 2nd year. We were about to take a class break as usual and the room got noisy as class ended. Then one of our resident professors came in and walked up to the mic. We were all a little surprised to see him, as he wasn't teaching us that day. He asked us all to go back to our seats, his voice grim. Then he told us. Someone flew two planes into the World Trade Towers, just 4 hours south of us, and the towers had collapsed with thousands of people inside. We were shocked. Horrified. Hearing it didn't make it seem real. As he went on with the details, we just stayed quiet. The whole rest of the day we were quiet and they didn't have the internet or any TVs hooked up yet for that year so we had no way of getting news, of seeing it for ourselves and having it become real. Finally around 9 o'clock that night someone brought in an hour and a half of news that they had taped and we watched that. Again, we were silent. It was crazy. How could someone do that? Many students' parents called because they weren't sure how close we were to NYC and were we all okay? We were, physically. I don't think anyone in America was okay mentally after that for at least a few days. I had been a camp counselor over the summer and one of the campers I kept in touch with was from Staten Island. Her father had seen the towers collapse in his rearview mirror as he was trying to leave Manhattan. That all made it real.

A little over a month after the 9/11 attacks I went on a week-long Open Air Evangelism trip to NYC. One day we were talking to people and doing Gospel meetings in that part of Manhattan so our leader took us down there. It was crazy. It was more than a month later and Ground Zero was still smoldering. It smelled like burning electronics and human flesh. Disgusting, I know, but I've smelled flesh before and that's what it was. You could still see smoke rising and though they had a lot of it blocked off, we were actually able to see many of the damaged buildings and even for a couple minutes, Ground Zero itself, which we were not allowed to take pictures of, as per the law enforcement in the area. Most of the city blocks nearby were eerily clean, as they had run street sweepers and stuff overtime to get rid of the dust, but occasionally there were ledges or awnings that hadn't been cleaned and they had dust on them 3 inches thick. The saddest part to me was that all over the wall they used to block most of it off were makeshift missing person posters and notes to loved ones who died. Flowers, teddy bears, American flags. It was SO sad. People were very receptive to the Gospel though. It was like it had awakened them.

Our country was brought together and unified like it hasn't been for a long time. The terrorists tried to divide us and bring us down but instead we banded together and were stronger than ever. It was awesome.

Here are some pictures I took in October of 2001 in Manhattan near Ground Zero. They aren't the greatest because we didn't stop walking because we had lots of things to do, but they are still interesting. See them. )

So. Where were you when you heard/saw the September 11th attacks?

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