Walking Without Sight...

When Cor and I got home from work on Tuesday, we decided to take Mariska for a walk.  Cory walks her fairly often down to a road that's about a mile away and then back.  Me - the lazy and out of shape one - usually chooses to "be busy" when this occurs.  I decided to go with them on Tuesday - one of the coldest and windiest days of the year so far.  After about 10 layers and some plastic grocery bags between my shoes & socks...  I was ready.  Unfortunately, about 2 steps in to our walk, my glasses were all foggy.  It was frustrating and miserable, but Cory made me persevere.  Finally, I took my glasses off and stuck them in my pocket.  My sight didn't improve, but it was slightly less miserable.  So, in my pocket they stayed.  

After I pushed through the initial period of leg cramps and overwhelming anxiety from my half-blind state, it was actually enjoyable.  At first, I insisted Cory hold my hand and walk beside me.  Then, I realized vague blobs (mailboxes, bushes, rocks, deer-crossing signs) were discernible right before I smashed into them!  I got a little braver and probably saved both of our hands from 3rd-degree frost-bite when I exchanged his hand for my pocket.  

But, then - it was just weird.  It was quiet and cold and getting dark.  I began thinking about before glasses / contacts were readily available...  people walked around all the time like this.  There are so many things I couldn't do without glasses.  Go walking alone... take pictures...  read books / music... see spiders in the shower...  Then, I thought about Mozambique.  I didn't see any Mozambican with glasses.  How many of them need glasses?  If they do eat, it isn't very nutritional.  I'm sure there are even MORE people in Moz. that need glasses than here...  

Aside from the physical need for better sight - how many of us (American or Mozambican) need our spiritual / relational / emotional vision adjusted?  We see things through a grid of our experience and personality and knowledge...  When I was in college, one of the ladies prayed for "Jesus-eyes".  I've never forgotten that.  I see people through my eyes and what I see isn't always pretty.  How many times is that because of my faulty eyes?


doggy boot camp

since getting mariska and adding her to the family, we've been trying to train her and make her civil on our own. on command she sits, lays down, and will stay (however only when she wants to). she's housebroken as well...but beyond that she does her own thing, and it's really starting to make life with her not so fun. this past weekend we were celebrating the holidays in syracuse with my parents and brother, and it was a very frustrating trip with her...most notably when given a bone for christmas. she became very possessive of it, and when i would even come near her with it, she tensed up and growled. that wasn't cool. i slowly approached her as she growled and bore her teeth, and as she tried to bite she quickly was ushered into her crate and i took the bone. she's yet to get it back.

this is a little extreme for her, but it's habit she can't continue...definitely not with the kids in the home. we love having people over to the house, and we want to be able to bring her with us as often as we can. but that kinda thing doesn't fly.

so after putting it off for a few months now, mariska is scheduled to go to doggy boot camp! a friend at the church has been giving rave reviews of a trainer in the area who does a phenomenal job. we take her to him and leave her with him for 2 weeks. he does 3-4 training sessions a day during that time, and boards the dog. we also get as many follow up visits as we want within 6 months. we're definitely getting excited to see her come back knowing her place and functioning better in our home. maybe she'll even come back doing push ups.


tape measure master

with the new building at the church nearing completion, i saw this short video and thought it was funny... especially the one with the guy in the port-a-potty.


Jam-Packed Weekends

This weekend has been really busy...  Friday we had a staff party at our senior pastor's house.  It was nice to talk with others on staff and just catch up on their lives.  Saturday morning we had our ISM leaders' community group.  We're reading through Mark and discussing and applying...  Right after that, I headed to the mall to meet my middle school girls' c-group for the big prize.  :)  They memorized the books of the Bible and as their prize, my co-leader and I took the girls to get their nails done and do a little shopping.  It was so much fun and we had some crazy colored nails for Sunday.  Saturday night we baby-sat our friends' almost 1 yo.  Yesterday - we had church in the AM, then our Mozambique team came here - made lunch and played hot seat - and finally our big ISM Christmas party.  Cory and I didn't really organize much of anything for the party.  One of the teens took initiative and got other students and adults on board and away it went.  Monday dawned bright and early and we set out for our second of four home study appointments, then some shopping, and then home for naps and book reading..  Now off to mop our floors and maybe some dinner.  

My Sister...


More Photos from Thanksgiving

These are my cousins...  i love these girls like crazy.  i wish i had a "beam-me-up-scotty" machine...


I can't help but laugh everytime I see this picture.  It makes my heart happy.  I love that my family has an awesome sense of humor.  (I told them to make funny faces and then my aunt started to say something like, "You'd better delete this picture!  It better not show up anywhere!"  ha ha.  I just can't help myself.  :)

Annual Turkey Bowl

my brother...  he was actually blue in the picture seeing as how it is November and freezing rain was falling from the sky.  (good thing for b&w photos!)  despite his irrationality - he has the most amazing hair!  its true.  i'm a little jealous.
My other brother...  I think this might be one of my favorite pictures of him ever.  Its just kinda him...  a little countrified with his john deer hat...  I broke his collarbone when he was just a teeny-tiny baby.  he's never let me live that one down!
"Okay, little buddy...  "   aww, man.  I miss my grandpa something awful.  He would have been so proud this Thanksgiving.  That's my uncle there on the left.  I remember dancing on his shoes before he left for his tour in Germany when I was little girl.  And my cousin - he's a little whippersnapper and anyone that comes within a ten foot radius is immediately sucked in by his charm. 



dodgeball tournament

getting VERY excited about the church's first big event in the new building - a dodgeball tournament! i originally was just thinking this as a fun outreach for our students...but then decided to extend it and open it up to the adults. check out this site we created for the event!