Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fusion 07!

This weekend, about 400 people from 4 Sovereign Grace Ministries churches, arrived at Baylor University in Waco, TX to Gather.Connect.Change.

The Van Essens let us borrow the mini van so we could all ride together. Thanks David and Desiree!

Chowing down at the Baylor cafeteria

Preparing to worship and learn!

We had two pastors give awesome God-inspired messages: Steve Shank from the Gilbert, AZ church spoke on really recognizing God's love for us, by understanding the sin that He saved us from: "If sin is not seen as great (meaning large), neither is His love" and "the seriousness of the judgement (ie Jesus's death on a cross) reveals the seriousness of the crime (our sin). Steve also spoke about love and the family of God, of how we are to express "agape" or foreign love to our brothers and sisters. I enjoyed the way he delved into the meanings behind the different Greek terms for love and what the Bible uses for love in different books. "We want to be a blessing more than we want to be blessed".

My buddy Victoria and I cheering at the men's 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Sat. afternoon.

Our team came in 2nd place! Very impressive considering that they members were slightly older than the other teams. :) Great job guys!
Craig Cabaniss, the pastor from the Dallas (Frisco) church spoke on "Change". He gave an amazing message with a masterful background on the Jewish Feast of Booths, the origins, and how shocking it would have been when Jesus cried out "...if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37). The meat: "sin is seeking to quench our thirst from some place other than God". Craig then spoke of santification, which is the process of growing in our relationship with God after we have accepted Him as our savior. Change is santification. Sometimes we don't experience the change we desire because our repentance isn't for real- it is shallow. We have to deal with our hearts and not just say "Well, if I got to church X times, I'll do better" or "If a read this book that talks about God, I'll be more holy". Once you acknowledge and confess sin, you have to return to God, seek after Him.

My friend, sister, and mentor, Pam.

It was an awesome time and God certainly met His people. I met a lot of cool people from across Texas. I'm so grateful to have been able to attend and learn and was convicted in about 4 million ways. Keep me accountable and ask me how God is helping me to change and grow in Him.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Indoor garden?

So I came home today to find a notice taped to my apartment door stating that they would be power washing the buildings to prepare them for new paint, ASAP. It then listed about 7 buildings who needed to remove all items from their balconies ASAP. Hmm, my balcony is full of plants and vines that have been entwining themselves around the railing and posts for about 3 years.

So I call the office and ask "when is ASAP?" The lady tells me tomorrow as long as the weather is good (although it is my opinion that when you power wash, you get wet anyways so who cares if it is raining...I didn't voice this to her though). I then ask her if they will finish everything up tomorrow and her response was that she didn't know. So then I asked how long I was expected to keep my plants inside my home, without sun. She didn't know. I asked if they would leave notices on our doors telling us when it was safe to move things outdoors again. She didn't know. I then asked her what was I supposed to do with the beautiful mandevilla and jasmine vines growing along my balcony. She told me to cut them (heartless!).

I just can't express to you how much I love my apartment complex right now. Really, the amount of information that is being divulged to the tenants is just overwhelming.

So, here is picture of my indoor garden, bugs, spiders, and all. I've left the vines to fend for themselves, I can't bear to cut them. I just hope that the power washers pity the vines and TRY not to spray them. I feel really sorry for some of the other folks. They have absolutely gorgeous gardens going (apparently, the office had already recevied some calls from concerned gardeners...)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and Showers

No, no, this isn't a Book 7 spoiler...however, I did wake up at 6am to go buy the book and get started on the reading before I went to a baby shower (alas, I was invited to two showers, both at the same time! Molly, I hope you had a wonderful time at yours). Then I came back home and started reading again, taking a short break to go pick up some invitation supplies. But yes I have now finished it, all 759 pages. And all have to say is "Read it" (uh, after you read the other 6, cause otherwise you would be very confused...even if you have seen the movies, which are fair-to-middlin, (the 5th being the best)...they just can't compete with the books).

Some pictures from the shower:

Punch and cake (there were also some other amazing food items, thanks to Desiree and Pam)

Heather and Baby Elijah (yeah this was a post-birth shower)

Sonya, thrilled to hold the baby (with big sister Sarah's help)

I love this picture of Shalini and Asha

Okay, I know Mikaela doesn't looked thrilled in this picture, but I promise that 10 seconds before this was taken, she was ecstatic to have crowned someone else with the pretty ribbon.

And last but not least, 3 more of my girls (Allyson, Adrienne, and Jen). I was reprimanded for not featuring them all on my blog. Ladies, it is not a display of favoritism, but rather my forgetfulness of pulling my camera out to capture your smiling faces. I love you gals!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Indian Dinner

I forgot to post these pictures from last Sunday. As I mentioned in my last blog, my friends, Brian and Colette, are moving to Bangalore, India. We had a going away party for them after church on Sunday at Ed and Asha's house...where Asha made a ton of amazing Indian food. And presented Colette with a gift to help her "fit in" when she arrives. Good food, good times...

Yummy food!

Asha instructing Colette...

Shalini with her daddy, Ed

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dinner with the Girls

Tonight Desiree, Colette and I met for dinner at BJs ( we were there for 4 hours!). Colette, Brian, and their 3 boys are moving to India in just a short time (Brian leaves in two weeks to get everything settled and then will come back for family a month later). I will miss Colette so much; she is like my big sister, but I know I will see them soon when I go visit. We had a great time and I am so blessed to have these women in my life as role models: they are so much fun and also seeking to honor God with their lives.

Desiree, me, Colette, baby Kai, and our pizooki (the greatest culinary invention ever!)

baby time with Kai (catching some zzzzs)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Weekend summary...

Look at my pretty hibiscus blossoms! I love the yellow-orange color. I actually didn't plant these this weekend...it was last weekend, but I didn't specify which weekend I was going to summarize! :)

I went to see Transformers on Saturday. We decided not to risk the show being sold out and as such, went to the first showing. It was excellent! Definitely one that I will add to my collection. I highly recommend it.

Then it was off to the Smythes. Irma and Sarah volunteered to help me put together Heather's baby shower invitations. This being the 4th shower in 3 months, it is taking a little longer to come up with ideas. I must have stood in the paper aisle at Hobby Lobby for an hour before deciding to do ducks (it was that or trains...it came down to what I could draw for a template!). I found the coolest paper to make the envelopes out of...it look like water has been dumped on it (appropriate with the ducks, dontcha think?). Anyways, we managed to get them all done so I could pass them out at church today. Like the results?

Today it was lunch after church with Pam and Suzette and then off to the McFerren's to hang out for a bit. Now I am off to clean up what looks like the aftermath of a tree-based (read: paper) tornado in my living/dining room. Oh and I finally finished the samples for Jana's invites...I'll post what she picks out.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My 4th of July

Well, I actually started my day by meeting Christina and Paul at the movie theater to see Transformers...but sadly it was sold out and they both had to work at 3pm, so we decided to take a rain check (haha literally 'cause it was raining).

I put the finishing touches on my patriotic cheesecakes

Dropped by my friends- Eric and Heather's home to say hi to their 4 day old son, Elijah Morse. Who, by the way, was delivered at home by Eric! Elijah came before the midwife could get there. If that isn't a great story, I don't know what is!

Andy, Kamyl, and Kiana (Kamyl and Kiana are two of my girls in our girls discipleship group). You girls rock!

BBQing at the Millers doesn't just mean great food. It also entails humbling relay races (while holding a foam apple between your knees) and a killer round of Four Square (I am absolutely horrible at that game!)

Matthew, Patricia, and Christina chowing down on the cheesecake.
All in all it was a super fun holiday that went waaaay too fast. Hope yours was just as fun!

Sunday, July 1, 2007


That is my response to computers, internet, Dell On-call, etc.

If you were wondering about my blogging absence, it would be due to the massive internet problems I have been experiencing. Two ethernet cords, one USB cord (which was rendered useless because oh yeah, Windows Vista isn't compatible with the driver installation disk), a new modem and power supply...and my internet still wasn't working. The Comcast tech dude came out today and after hooking up to my internet with his laptop, proved that it wasn't a Comcast problem but a computer problem. . So I go to Microsoft's website to find out about Explorer 7. I call Microsoft, who informs me that I should call Dell. So I do. And then the very nice technician (she really was friendly) informs me that it sounds like I may have spy ware or some other sneaky program running (along with temp files and cookies) that is slowing down my browser...and then informs me that for a fee of $130 dollars, they will help me delete it. I was like WHAT!? So I very honestly told her that I was not willing to pay that much money for something I could, given some time and a few gray hairs, figure out, or call on one of my computer-minded friends at work to fix for me. I hung up with her, did some digging on the control panel and internet options, reset the system, and voila! a functioning browser. I still am having a slight delay when I type into the URL space (is that what it is called?). But I think a question or two to my buddies at work tomorrow will help solve that issue. Seriously? $130?

I despise these types of problems. I was not blessed with patience enough to deal with them. Ask my mom. I went from zero to down-right snappy with her while I was trying to wire my TV, VCR, and DVD player together. Ugh!

So, no pictures this time (it would just be of me pulling my hair, banging my head on the keyboard...), but more blogs to come soon.