Monday, December 05, 2005

My Sisters' Visit

This last week has been insanely busy but oh so enjoyable!!!

Thursday to Sunday I had my precious sisters Suzanne, Crystal and Mary down to visit. The days flew by way too fast! Dad was driving through Charlotte to head to Montgomery with Carter, to visit his father & brother and to pick up a boat he'd just bought. So he dropped the girls by on the way down, but spent Thursday night with us.

That evening after dinner we all (except Jonathan, who was working) headed to Jitterz for ice cream, wine or coffee! We talked until closing time (they blinked the lights out on us). Dad is seriously pursuing the RZIM 3 month Apologetics training in Oxford next year!!!!! It seems like such an incredible opportunity to be invited to, and exactly the kind of equipping God would have for him at this season of his life, given his talents, interests and opportunities to share Christ!

Breakfast the next morning consisted of scrambled eggs, brown sugar bacon, cream cheese braid, and selection of juices and coffee. They left at 8, as did Jonathan for school. I was suppose to finish Indexes for work, and then shop with the girls at Concord Mills, with enough time to head home and fix dinner for the McMahons!

Index Day had been Thursday. Usually I start about 5:30am, but that morning we slept in a bit and had an Air Force moving brief at 8:00 that lasted til 10:00. I had started the Indexes the night before, but by lunchtime I had a call from Dad saying a report had bad numbers on it... Sure enough, there was a bug we found. Someone was suppose to be researching a fix, but they misunderstood. I left for HomeMakers Group (the last one for me *sighs sadly*) with a good conscience that I couldn't do any more work until I got a fix. I brought my comp as well as forwarded all work calls. I got about 4 during the meeting! That's when we discovered the bug wasn't being tracked down (yikes). Fortunately, soon after we found a fix had already been uploaded. So what it left me with was Regression Testing plus finishing indexes.

That's the sad part. I didn't finish until noon on Friday! So by the time the girls and I headed out, it was like 1:30! They were all so sweet about it! We got Starbucks (Mary's treat for everyone, bless her generous heart!!!!!) Everyone got something at The Body Shop, so that made me happy. The time flew!!! When we got home at 6 we had 1 hour til the McMahons were here. Every girl had 2-3 things to do immediately, we worked together perfectly! We had such a lovely time, the boys stayed til 2! Taige makes great margaritas, btw! Go Taige!

Saturday we trekked over to SouthPark (the call of Sephora), then went to a Charlotte Symphony Orchestra "The Magic of Christmas" concert. Fun! Then to Cheddar's for dinner (who puts chili powder in Chicken Tortilla Soup??), and watched a movie with popcorn & hot cocoa. I love spending time with my sisters, all the conversations, jokes, giggles, and sharing. They are my best friends after my husband. And I admire each their Christian walks and separate personalities.

All in all, I'm sooooo happy they came! I hate that we didn't do this more.

Tonight, Jonathan's dad comes for dinner, the night and breakfast. That'll be fun! I'm fixing Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs. I wish I could have lamb every week!!!

Working now, tomorrow is Jonathan's last day of school before exams, hooray! I can't believe we're so close! I've loved the school life, we've had so much time together. I can't imagine any other way, Jonathan gone for less than 8 hours a day, home for most every lunch, etc. What a precious 1 year 8 months we've been given!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moving To Randolph AFB

January 17, 2006 - Jonathan's Report Date to Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas
Yes, our orders came in last week. What a relief to know, and yet a sadness to know we must move so very far away. Exciting, too. Just about every emotion, actually. :) I am anticipating the next stage in our lives' Grand Adventure (as we call it). How much God must have in store... A new church family, new ways to serve, and of course new friends.
One blessing immediately is that we won't be complete strangers. Adam Boyd, who was a groomsman in our wedding (and Jonathan in his), and his wife Anna live out there as he's currently in Navigator school. So that's good news!
Now we must go through briefings to prepare us for our first Air Force Move. What you can take, what's reimbursable, etc. I've begun to take a critical eye to my house and ask "Do I want to move this, give it away, or trash it?" I've heard military moving is good on keeping clutter down, Hallelujah! :)
So now, all of you, we'll be home from about December 11th on, living in my parents garage apartment, going back and forth to Charlotte for stuff. This is the time I'd love to see you all and share some great memories before the move.... Email/Call me and we'll be sure to set something up!!!! Love & Hugs! -J & D-

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NYC Trip!!!

Jonthan and I just returned late Sunday night from a weekend in New York City!! We had the best time!! Here are some pics & a recap.

I left Wednesday for an Index conference for the S&P/Investortools Municipal Bond Indices. I met up with Dad at Laguardia and we headed into the city. We scouted the city for some lunch and ended up at a Pan-Asian place with amazing sushi. We checked out the conference center and headed over to Bayard's for dinner. Back in July '01 Dad, Mike from S&P and I had all eaten there and it was one of my fodest memories. Dad and I went for old times sake and had an incredible meal - the food was still spectatular! We dawdled over dinner, enjoying the ship-motif, dim lighting, and fine wine. It was great. I had roast duck that was succulent.

I was rooming with Keri and she was a lot of fun. She has a 1 year old so I got to see some really cute pics & hear stories. She's known me since I was a tadpole, so that's cool. (i.e. Mom was pregnant w/Noah) The conference went really great, it was a great opportunity to be there w/the title "Manager of Index Operations." That says it all.

Funny story: Keri was noticing there wasn't a minibar in the room, so I opened the armoire and saw a little white box w/numbers on the front sitting on the bottom. I said, "Yeah but it has a microwave!" and she was like, "Really? How would you keep the food cold?" and I was sheepishly like, "Nevermind, nothing. They don't have one." She came over to look and to my shame she saw... The Safe!! Well, it looked like a microwave!

So another wonderful dinner at Keen's Chophouse to celebrate the conference. It was 3 S&P guys, and we 6 Investortools people. My filet mignon with Bernaise was superb! I tried to take it home, but it didn't keep. :(

Friday we visited a client and then headed to the airport so Dad & Scott could go home & I could meet my husband!!!! He took an early flight and got in a 3:30. Now, neither of us have been in the city that much and used mass transit, except Boston once and London once. I have more, but Dad was always handling everything. So it was an adventure, but I must say I don't think we ever did anything too wrong - never got on a wrong train anyway. It was really cool using the MTA, and we learned to navigate it very comfortably. Just read lots of signs and carary a map!

We checked into our steal of a deal hotel and it was really nice - one of the top 5 nicest hotels I've been in. What a blessing! We headed out to spy our eating places and settled on Mesa Espana (A Taste of Spain). The atmosphere was just charming - Mediterranean countryside/seaside paintings, large ornate mirrors, stucco walls/ceilings. We loved our little romantic tucked-away corner seating... Then we walked a few blocks and to the Empire State Building. The view at the top was amazing - give you height fears if you had them! New York sparking with thousands of lights, things vaguely discernable and others obviously identifiable. My only complaint is it was very crowded! We got a pic of Jonathan not getting a signal on his cell w/the Verizon building viewable over his shoulder... "Can you hear me now?" was his desired caption!

Our Saturday began bright and early with a lovely breakfast and much walking! We were going from Gramercy Park district up to Central Park to the Natural History Museum and the Metropolitan Meseum of Art (never made it there). On the way we passed right through Times Square and Broadway, scouting out our theatre for the evening play. There were a plethora of cool stores just calling my name!!! I resisted all but the Hershey's store, where they were giving out free mini Take 5's. When we got up to the Park it was breezy, warm and there were lots of bikers, joggers, dog-walkers, and kids. It was really lovely. Later there was even some musical performance, and canoes to rent and ride out! 843 acres of beautiful land right in the middle of bustling Manhattan! Who'd have thought?! The park's history is cool, too.

The Natural History Museum was just chocked full of room after room of interesting things to see/read. If we weren't so tried of walking and standing, we could've stayed for hours more. We headed to Carnegie Deli for late lunch - a true NY experience. They serve bowls of pickles and mounds of corned beef, swiss, cabbage and rye and they call it a "Ruben"! It was more like a mountain! It's fast paced and you eat elbow to elbow, the walls covered with pictures of famous people who've eaten there. Fonzie from Happy Days was up there!

We walked through Times Square some more, this time stopping and buying a few things!!! :) Then back to the hotel to change for the play!!! We arrived just in time and it was a hilarious and wonderful show! We had reservations at a very upscale French restaurant for dinner - our 2nd choice at recommendation, since the 1st was booked up. Undoubtably the food was marvelous (especially the DESSERT sampler, not in sample sizes!!), and the atmosphere romantic, but the service and art were lacking. However, Jonathan and I being the resiliant and optimistic people we are, we didn't care and had ourselves such a lovely, incredibly memorable evening!!!!!

Sunday we met up with our friend Sean for breakfast and church. We ended up at a not so hot place, but at least enjoyed talking. He agreed to go to church with us, and we headed to one of our SG sister churches in Brooklyn, Sovereign Grace City Church. It was only about 50 people, the church just a year old, but the worship and message were great, and the people friendly. It was a profitable way to spend the morning.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to go to the Statue of Liberty (they'd stopped the ferries!), visiting Wall Street & showing Jonathan where I worked (my "corridors of power"), and more Times Square shopping. Exhausted, but with more time on our hand, we ducked into a little Irish pub called The Pig 'n Whistle, where Jonathan got a stout and I a martini. Then ready to finish, we walked back to the hotel, got our bags, and headed to the airport. What a terrific trip!!!!!!!! We were blessed beyond measure!

Central Park Entrance Fountain

Central Park

NYC Sykine from Empire State Building. Can you see the Statue of Liberty??

Mesa Espana

Hilton Theatre (caught off guard)

A snake bird, called so b/c of its shape. Only its head stays above water as it swims.See the baby eating on the right?

T--Rex at Natural History Muesum

"The Bull" on Wall Street... Where was "The Bear"?

Jonathan at Times Square

Jonathan, Denise, Sean

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Karen's Pregnant!

Ok some of you may know this by now.... But I cannot help but SHOUT it out..... My beloved sister Karen and her husband Seth and my darling niece Katrina will be welcoming a new baby into their lives mid-May!!!! That's right, Karen's pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot contain my excitement. I didn't cry for joy like I did the first time (that was a shocker, your younger sister telling you she's pregnant two months after she's married), but I am so glad for them!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Crappie Fishing

Last night was awesome. Jonathan and I have been going about once a week to Tuckertown Lake to fish for crappie, largemouth bass, and catfish. We've never gotten crappie, but we did get a big largemouth bass that Jonathan cooked into a great dish. But catfish was what we really wanted. We were jug and line fishing.
Last night we decided to leave at 6:30 and do some more night fishing. We caught up our bait (that's the fun, easy part!), then set our jugs. You get plastic jugs, put a light stick in, and tie about 10 feet of fishing line w/ a hook on it. Then you choose your bait. We used cutbait, chicken livers, catfish bait, and minnows. Only our catfish bait caught a HUGE catfish!!!! It was awesome! But it's always the last jug we get! It was so obvious, we had to chase that thing all over.
While we were waiting for the jugs, we tried for crappie. Besides my inadequacy with the boat motor, we did good. Jonathan caught 3 keeping size crappies, and I caught one non-keeper.
I'll post the pic of the catfish when I download it. Then we'll have a fry up!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lauren & Ariel's Wedding in Baltimore

So, this weekend we spent in Baltimore for my cousin's wedding. It was an 8 hour drive, but we had fun together. We arrived 3 hours before the rehearsal dinner and toured the Baltimore harbor, specifically submarine Torsk and the ship Cheseapeake. It was really hot, but interesting. I cannot imagine living on a submarine, it would be SO cramped and stinky!
The rehearsal dinner was upstairs at Oliver's Brew Pub. It was decorated so nicely and everyone had a wonderful time. Ariel's family were so friendly and very Jewish. His grandmother Eleanor especially reminded us of Yenta, the way she talked and her accent! They really loved Lauren & it was a joyful occasion.
We attended the rehearsal afterward. It was at Beth Am Synagogue and get this - all the men inside had to wear yarmulkes! We agreed not to tell Carter, Noah & Jay so they could be surprised at the wedding. :)
The following morning Jonathan & I picked up my siblings and headed to the harbor again. We got some Dunkin Donuts, walked a lot, and just hung. We got some good seafood at Phillip's, we were trying for the Rusty Scupper Sunday jazz brunch, but with all my siblings, it was too steep. Ah well. We had crab legs & steamed mussels.
The hilarious part was that because of checkouts times, all 12 of us had to get ready for the wedding in one room (Graydons, Wilsons, Jay)! We actually got there on time. The wedding was beautiful. The rabbi would sang blessings in Hebrew - any Herbrew he said in a song-like way. It was so cool. It was a Herbrew/English wedding.
The reception was at an old and very elegant hotel- The Belvedere in one of their little restaurants called Truffles. There was a dance floor in the middle, tray-passed hors d'ouvres, a table of appetizers, a full sit-down meal and (the best part) a full bar!!! We sat across from a very nice couple, Vince & Amy, and Vince was from a town between Danville & Lynchburg.
Jonathan and I danced, and it was so romantic!!! We stayed til quarter past seven, but had to go to drive home because Monday was school! We made great timing and got home about 3:15. Monday was a rough day energy-wise, but we're all caught up now and havin' fun on the new schedule! Enjoy the pics!

Jonathan & Denise on The Chesapeake (dreaming of owning our own boat!)

My family & Jay, The Chesapeake behind them, touring Baltimore Harbor.

Stuart singing Man of Constant Sorrows. Jay looking normal.

Lauren circles Ariel seven times, signifying the house they're building together.

The Chair Dance after dancing The Hora! (no handkerchiefs, sadly) Did the Rabbi Dance?????

Mary & The Boys - all wearing yarmulkes! Funny to see!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Couples Cookout & Seth & Karen Visit!

Ok this weekend was the Couples Cookout and it was fabulous! Things worked out perfectly. My husband helped me get everything ready, even down to skewering fruits onto a pineapple to look pretty!!!! I couldn't have done it without his help! The best part of the weekend was Seth, Karen & Katrina's visit! They came near 5 on Sunday and stayed til 3 on Monday! We had terrific fellowship and I played and played with my most favorite niece!!!! I can't wait to have a little girl! Everyone except one couple we invited came to the cookout. Our backyard patio actually felt really squished to me! I made raspberry margaritas for the ladies and they turned out great. The cheese fondue w/ pumpernickel, rye, granny smith apples, cauliflower and celery also was yummy. The coffee punch went quickly, Caroyln brought some delicious deviled eggs, Joe's hoemmade salsa rocked, and Jonathan's chocolate chocolate chip cookies were chewy and great. So everything went beautifully. I only wish we'd started earlier so it could've been longer. :)
Monday morning about 7:30 I heard little Katrina noises outside our door and so I hurried with my morning routine so I could go play with her! Karen was able to get in a little nap while Katrina and I played like little girls. :) I made the king pieces in chess be Humpty Dumpty. :) During Katrina's nap time Karen and I went up to Starbucks for girl time! We were probably gone an hour, we just sat outside and talked and talked and shared our lives. It couldn't have been more rich and profitable to our spirits. I love my sister so much and being able to share the experience of married life with her is a blessing untold (motherhood someday too). After our time together we got back home and Seth & Jonathan had been playing with Katrina for a bit. We took over while they took a ride in the Mustang!! Their time to leave came all too quickly, but it was such a great visit! Here are some darling shots of Katrina!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Visit to Bakersville

Ok this weekend was absolutely fabulous. Jonathan and I had already planned to go up to the mountains to visit his grandparents in Bakersville during the Gem Festival. But he decided it would be fun to go camping Friday night along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We looked on the map and online and decided on Crabtree Meadows, about 30 minutes from his grandparents. It looked fun!
We left Friday around 1:30 with a Starbucks Mocha Valencia and Bruegger's Smoked Salmon bagel to start us off. We were driving the Mustang because it's so fun to take on the BRP through the curves & it gets better gas mileage! The drive was lovely, very sunny out and perfect temperature. We of course stopped at any lookout that intrigued us and got some fun shots!
We arrived at the campsite at 5:30, picked a perfect one close to the restroom, still in the woods, and right at the head of the trail to the waterfall! It has rained, so all the downed wood was wet and the camp store was closed! So we were able to head up the road 8 miles to a Wal-Mart to get charcoal and lighter fluid, plus a sweatshirt (for me), baked beans, and chocolate!
Back at the site Jonathan got a great fire going in under an hour. The smoking charcoal dried the wood the I'd gathered, so by about 7 we were roasting brats, s'mores, and baked beans. I liked munching on vanilla wafers (my husband, like my dad, is a graham crackers s'more maker!). Lots! We also drank Cheery Coke & CVDP. Ahhhhhh!
Though we'd planned to walk to the falls that night, it got dark too quick w/our running around, so we just sat outside talking - it was sooo fun! Amazing after a year, 3 months, and 12 days, there's still so much to converse about and it's still such a fun experience! *smiles happily* We hit the sack near 10 and got up near 7.
Brakfast was Jonathan's idea! Egg McMuffins! He poached the eggs, toasted the engligh muffins, & cooked the bacon! We also had cheese grits, a banana, & o.j. Then we packed up the site and at 8 headed to the Crabtree Falls! We knew we'd be the first ones there!
The trail was 1.3 miles and eeasy! Jonathan was like, "Doesn't this remind you of the AT?" and I said no, b/c it wasn't up-and-down enough. But if I'd had a pack, at points it would have reminded me. At the first overlook to the falls, we tried to step out and a copperhead angrily let us know we'd intruded on his sunbathing!!! After that I kept saying "Watch for snakes" but that was silly! We made our way to the falls and it was GORGEOUS! It's unique because it doesn't have a pool so to say (the pool the falls goes into is about 15 x 4). Then it's just little falls all the way down to the French Broad River. We climbed right up to the falls & Jonathan got an awesome shot! We got really wet, but were so invigorated by the beauty and fun!
After all that we headed to his grandparents. Jonathan worked w/Grandpa Skillen while Grandma and I talked. We had lunch then headed to the gem fesitival. The gems, fossils, geodes, etc were magnificent. I liked the finished gems best - reminded me of when Susi and I were discussing our favorite colors. Gems came up and she commented that she loved every color, if true enough. Gems colors are so true, I felt the same way. All that beauty before me left me so amazed. Jonathan defintely wanted to buy me something. We both can spot something that's so me yet I was happy w/ very inexpensive jewelry. Jonathan found something Very Delicate and Beautiful that I would never buy for myself and we loved it's simple beauty. Diamond-Shaped Emeralds and Diamonds in a slim strand/line on a thin silver necklace. We decided to keep it in mind, but I couldn't imagine getting something so nice.
We enjoyed the entire time and Grandpa bought some really gorgeous and expensive things for grandma! He kept saying he was impressed I wasn't making Jonathan buy things! Actually, I did want popcorn! :)
Jonathan got me a heart-shaped tigerstone to carry with me or put somewhere to remember him!!! I love stuff like that!!! I still carry a penny in my purse imprinted w/ "Montgomery Zoo" that Jonathan squished for me when we visited w/my family while we were just courting!
After the festival we made dinner for them: Jonathan's Famous Rotisserie Chicken, sweet potatoes, organic basmati rice, and broccoli. That was fun!
Then that night, Jonathan surprised me by coming up to me and putting around my neck that Beautiful necklace we'd loved!!! What a guy!
Sunday we visited their church, had a good lunch at the Golf Course, and hung out til 2:50. Then we headed home the pretty way! It was very rainy, foggy, and we drove in clouds the entire time in the mountains. We tried to go to Mount Mitchell, and we did, but the rain was very cold and hard and you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you! So we didn't hike it! :( But we had a fun drive down together!
Getting home is always a blessing - you're grateful for your travels, but even more grateful for your home! I got all the smoke-smelling clothes washed and we watched On the Waterfront - I really like that movie! Then bed. What a great weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Posting at Xanga Now

Ok I'm now posting at Xanga even though I kinda like this better. My webfilter isn't allowing my pictures to show up & as that's very annoying, I'm just heading over to Xanga. Check there for updates!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back from the Beach!

Ok, after a perfectly lovely 5 days at the beach, we're home. I got a beautiful bronze while there and Jonathan and I had the most fabulous time with all his uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents! Brief highlights...

- Fourth of July fireworks & getting told we could only do sparklers by the police. :) The boys throwing firecrackers into the sound & having them go off underwater while the fish got angry!
-Crabbing at night with Benjamin, Micah, Wilson, Jonathan, Uncle Bob, Aunt Angela, and Matthew. Matthew and I named all the crabs we caught... There was Mr. Crabs, Mrs. Crabs, Crabby Baby, Moster Crab, Monster Truck Crab, Taylor Crab... oh lots more! Matthew made it so hilarous!
-Fishing off the pier with Matthew and Benjamin. Benjamin had shown Matthew how to cast. Very excitedly, Matthew kept casting & nearly getting us! Then, one cast his pole came with him!!!! Benjamin "rescued" it but we howled!!! Matthew also almost cast himself in!!
-Caramel Cake and Rich, Rich Triple Chocolate Brownies w/ Ice Cream!
-The cool Aquatic museum.

So we had a blast! I finished a cool book Jonathan had read (Sci-Fi, my 2nd one ever). After heading back we then watched Emma, Zoe and Lyric Friday & Saturday. We went to the park twice, went swimming, had TCBY, made strawberry chocolate chip waffles, made their Mom birthday cookies, and colored pictures. It was fun but 3 kids are a lot of work! :) After giving them back to their parents we met up w/Ryan at Jitters for a rich, fun-filled evening of fellowship, coffee & wine. I'll be so sad to ever leave the McMahons!!!!

This week has various fluid plans. A great joy will be getting back on Slim in 6 and Body for Life workouts! I didn't intend to take off for vacation, but i did. Why isn't my BFL book here yet???

To all back in Milton, we'll be back the weekend of the 23rd. Come visit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Crazy Things We Did To Songs!

Ok, feel free to add stories, all my siblings.

Tchaikovsky's Russian Dance from Nutcracker Suite: Dance around in circles until we were so dizzy, but don't stop til the song ended!

Oh Happy Day (When Jesus Washed My Sins Away): Change lyrics to "washed my brains away..." and do little Earnet Goes to Africa hand/dance moves. :) (Yeah, crazy! Mary started it, I think!!!)

Marching to Zion: (start out really high, capitalization/bold means really HIGH) Come we that love the Lord, and LET our JOYS be KNOWN...... We're marching to Zion, Beautiful, Beautiful Zion, We're marching upward to ZIOOOON the beautiful city of God!

Count Your Blessings: (Has to be from HymnMakers): Play Tambourine crazily w/music!

Obrigado Brazil's Brasileirinho - I don't know, it's just an awesome tune to get nuts to!

Wieniawski's Polonaise Brilliant, Op 21 - AH!!!! How can you NOT get high on this piece? Karen and I could hardly stand how HAPPY it makes you!!!!!!!!!!! *shrieks as she listens to music* Ahem....

There's tons more, but my brain is alluding me currently. Mary, you must know?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

"How Committed am I?"

That's a quote from Bill Phillips, when he was talking about pushing past your mental limit, and diligently workong out. :) Stuart loved that quote. I don't remember the rest of it, but there was more.

What an appropriate quote. For over a week and a half, Jonathan and I have been seriously working out together. It is fun and rewarding to feel so great. I am using videos and supplementing with Body for Life exercises on target areas. Body for Life was one system I don't see how people could get tired of. The videos... yeah, it could get that way! I haven't been dibilitatiingly sore, probably from low-weights (not killing myself) and lots of stretching afterward!

I have also started buying more organic groceries. It's a bit of a price increase, but I'm still in the budget. Jonathan said we can keep wine purchases (my favorite!) off the grocery budget and just something special. Not that it was a huge deal anyway, but whenever I had leftover budgeted money I liked to use it on something special, like wine or a gourmet cheese. Our garden will help once it starts producing more vegetables.

Today I've worked a lot with Mary on a project for a client. She's done a really good job and it looks like we're almost ready to deliver. Thank goodness!

No big plans this weekend. Maybe we'll try to get together w/some friends. But next week we're having a family of 5 over to dinner, celebrating Lyric's 1st birthday, and I'm meeting Aunt Diane for breakfast!

Now, I have to workout and make dinner later! Tootles!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Whole family for Eleanor's graduation from Nursing School!!!

After One Year of Marriage!!!!! How Excellent & Wonderful It Is!!!!!!!!! -Jonathan & Denise-

Melissa,me,Jennifer right before leaving from our great weekend!

This is what Jonathan & his Air Force friends did to Adam the day he got married: molasses & t.p. on the side of a highway w/the sign!

The whole family in Vermont at The Tavern!

Katrina playing with her birthday presents!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Susi's Wedding, Life, etc!

Hello All,
So, it's been a while, eh? Yep, life has just flown.... Since my last entry I've been to Vermont, Boston, Susi's Wedding, and done lots of work, too.... I can't possibly catch up on everything, so I'll just hit highlights...

June 1st was Index Day. First month to post all index holdings using Windows. Hehe, only Mary will understand that. But considering I started about 7 and finished about 10:45... Yikes! Jonathan & I were to get up at 4:40 & leave by 5 the next morning, so that made it tough. I thought I was all finished at like 9, but lo and behold at 10, JoelB links me with what looked to be a huge problem. It wasn't, but it took me 45 minutes to figure that out! I think we finally fell asleep at 12! 4:40 came bright and early, but we actually had left the driveway by 5:18. We headed straight to Starbucks for some Grande Mocha Valencias (I was the only one there!) and headed out. We drive to PA 1st for Jonathans 308 and arrived there at our exact planned time - 1:15. The countryside was beautiful, many barns and rolling hills, although there was rain sporatically all day. We arrived in Ludlow, VT at 11ish, due to a navigating problem of mine - which my husband took very patiently!

Vermont was so enjoyable. I worked some, but mostly we rested, played badminton, fished, swam, paddle-boated, hung out, and visited quaint little Vermont-y stores. :) I took Suzanne to Dunkin Donuts for coffee twice (she loves those caramel lattes!) and Mary and Karen to Java Babba's (icky name, good coffee). Karen, Mary and I went shopping for Katrina's 1st birthday party!!!! It was so fun - Karen wasnted to buy EVERYTHING, but did a good job stopping herself. We had an awesome party for her. She's such a joy!!

We visited some really cool restaurants in Vermont, especially one called The Tavern. It had huge ceilings, dark wood, and we had a room all to ourselves! Seth gave a toast to Karen for being such a sacrificing and loving wife, it was so sweet.

We spent a day in Boston together, but Stuart, Jonathan, Noah and I (those who wanted to rise & leave early) drove in to a train station, took it in, and then walked to Bunker Hill. It was really hot outside. When we were still 10 minutes from BH, Mary called to say they were parking! That meant we had about 30 minutes to see BH and walk to Quincy Market... looked like we'd have to be reallllly quick! As it turned out, there were TONS of 4th grade school children at the monument, but we 4 decided to climb the 297 stairs to the top. It was quite a hike and real muggy at the top! But the view was spectacular. We looked thru the small museum and then headed back to QM. We made great time, although Jonathan and Stuart differed in how to get there... :) We walked to Paul Revere's House & then Old North Church which was a blast listening to the info on - great pics, too. Then Jonathan and I had to head to Sudbury for dinner/sleep at his Aunt Tammy's place. The traffic was MADDENING!!! We had a cookout & his cousins were really nice. Then walked to an old inn where there was a 15 person fife and drum band playing - right there in twilight framed by that old inn, I felt transported to another time. The uncut fields sent my allergies afoot, and halfway home we got caught in a downpour! But then the bed was ever so inviting.

We picked up Crystal & drove home. Jonathan decided to take his chances on 95... AGH! We have experienced it now and say NEVER AGAIN. It was awful, the traffic outside Providence, New York, DC, Baltimore, etc... We arrived home at 1:15, but we did watch A Man for All Seasons and SpiderMan 2 in the car, thanks to Jonathan's wonderful birthday present to me!!! :)

The next day, we were to start Susi's cake! Crystal and I left our house at 2 and it took until 7:15 to get to Milton! Admittedly, we had to stop for groceries at Sam's and Bloom (do you believe Sam's doesn't sell cocoa, baking chocolate, or margarine???!!!), the mall quick to look for a dress for Crystal, and for gas. I let the car get to 0 miles to empty, it was hilarious seeing how nervous Crystal was!!! (Sorry, it was!) We had fun together (Snickers and Ritz Bitz), but were glad to be out of the car. Ok, she still had to drive to the Freeman's to get the cake pans. Jennifer headed over and we started making the HUGE cake. We originally planned to 15x the recipe, but really only had to 10x it. But we could only make 5x at a time. It took hours to bake, and we always had something to do: clean, make icing, get some nourishment ourselves, clean silver, etc! We stopped at like 11:30 and were all so tired!

The next morning Jennifer surprised us with utterly delicious Pumpkin Pancakes w/ Hot Cider Syrup. I'm craving more right now! It gave me the energy to go on! We musta started back on the cake like 9ish and planned to be done at 1. Well, we couldn't get the a/c working so the house was about 87 degrees. The icing kept melting... or getting real soft. I didn't think to get it fixed... So, I also did not have cardboard separating the tiers. One the whole thing was together, the jam in the bottom layer kept kind-of oozing out little by little. I didn't think WHY. So finally it was almost done and I stuck the whole think in the freezer so I could shower. 15 minutes later I went to get it and... THE WHOLE CAKE IS SLIDDEN OVER TO THE SIDE!!!! I felt like fainting or screaming or waking up (but it wasn't a dream!)... I knew I needed help so I cried out, "Help! Help! Somebody help! The cake's all slid over!" It's funny to remember my voice now. Seth & Jennifer immediately came to the rescue. The top 2 tiers were perfectly intact, the bottom 2 needed surgery. So I told Crystal, Seth, Karen & Nancy to please head on, I'd just have to finish this & possibly miss the wedding. Jennifer took off every piece of chocolate shard and cleaned them off for re-application. I iced the tiers up again. The chocolate had lost it's shine, but it looked pretty salvaged. Jen went to get dressed and I finished the scroll-work. It make the cake look much better, though it was still the oddest looking cake I think I've ever seen. :)

Then came the fun part. Jen was to drive and me hold this 25 lb cake.... steady... for 40 miles. She drove amazingly! I was never worried! As I suspected, my wonderful brother-in-law Seth called to give better directions! I don't know when we arrived (4:30?), but the wedding had just ended. Oh well, so sad for me, but business to do! We actually put some purple flowers on the cake & it made it look much better w/ color! They served it up and everyone said it was delicious! I think all but the bottom layer was (it had all the jam/icing squeezed out of it!) We talked and walked around, Katrina loved playing in the water. :) And then at 6 Jen & I headed back to Milton. I cleaned the rest of the kitchen mess, not much b/c Jen had already done most of it, grabbed some things and headed back to Charlotte. I was bone-weary. Jonathan and I both finally saw one another at 12 after over a day and a night apart!!! What a sweet reunion that was!!! I hate spending nights apart from him, so it was so joyous to once again be with my wonderful husband!

And that's my story... I'll have to upload pics soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Like the sun that rises every day,
O Lord You are faithful,
dear Lord You are faithful,
Like the rain that You bring and breath that I breathe,
You are so faithful, Lord.

Like a rose that comes alive every spring,
O, You are so faithful,
dear Lord Youare faithful,
Like the life that You give to every beat of my heart,
You are so faithful, O Lord.

I see a cross and the price You had to pay,
I see the blood that washed my sins away,
In the midst of the storm,
Through the wind and the waves,
You'll still be faithful,
O You'll still be faithful.
When the stars refuse to shine,
And time is no more,
You'll still be faithful,
You'll still be faithful O Lord.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Audio-Bible - Yeah!

I found this awesome site where I can listen to the Bible being read! It's Alexander Scourby (which I really like) reading... Although I checked James and he doesn't do the little "[quiet voice]James a sevant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, [really loud voice] TO THE TWELVE TRIBES WHICH ARE SCATTERED ABROAD IN ISRAEL." Hehe, ok only like Karen & Stuart would get that....
I was gonna buy the CD's (prob'ly still will), but for now I can listen to the Bible at my desk! I love it!

P.S. hazardously & elspeth, do you guys remember Dad waking us up to this? Romans? Proverbs? Ah, brings back memories.... Bad ones too - Day of Thy Power, nothing got us up faster!!!! LOL!!!! And the ever-loved Bridge Over the River Kwai March. How can you wake up in a bad mood to that?!?!?

Notes from Daniel...

Ok, so 4 days ago I started reading in Daniel. It just seemed that I hadn't been there in a while and there was much riches of wisdom in that book. So that is my current Quiet Time reading... I also started a new journal, because I ran out every single piece of paper in my last one. I love starting new ones.
Here are thoughts from chapter 4... Not time now to add all the comments from Chapters 1-3.
v27 "Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity."
Daniel plead with the kind to repent and turn away from his pride, so the punishment wouldn't come. He didn't. After the punishment, this is the result:
v37"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble."
Isn't that amazing? God's humbling puts us exactly where we should be.... we recognize our dependence on Him, that we are truly dependent on Him for every breath! I rejoice that I am dependent on His care!
Now, the Lord tells us to "humble yourselves" before the Lord, or under His mighty hand (James 4:10, I Peter 5:6). His humbling should come as a Last Resort. He wants us to do it. But trust me, when He does it, He does it completely!
Let us use this story to encourage us to humble ourselves, especially when God brings it to our attention, whether through a situation, a person, or a scripture.
Currently Memorizing: Sermon on the Mount!!! (Thank you Daddy & Noah for your examples!!!) up to 5:21! May I stay faithful!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Mrs. du Maurier: A word with you, Mr. Barrie, before you go. We'll only be a few minutes.
Sylvia: Boys, why don't you go and play in the garden, go on.
Michael: Is he in trouble? Because I've been alone with Grandmother and I know what it's like.
(from Finding Neverland)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Notes from Prov...

Proverbs contains such wisdom, I really should considering memorizing, like Roger Magnuson... Somehow I think I should finish the Sermon on the Mount, like Noah... or at least Romans 5-8, the basis of so much doctine.
"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." Prov 16:1-3

Notice that we make plans, but the Lord gives us the answer, or what we are to say... And if we give Him our work, He establishes our plans. No need to worry or fret, but just a command to give to Him. To me personally, that means trusting, listening, and abiding by Biblically laid down principles.

And then there is the exhortation that no matter my way, the Lord is weighing my spirit. I may do "great" things or I may "fail" in the world's eyes, and even in my own, but the Lord is looking at my spirit... was I letting the Holy Spirit lead me? Was I loving Him with all my heart, soul and strength? That is what God will see. This makes me hunger more for God's Spirit to work in my life and lead me, shining his light into every area of my heart, where ungodliess and selfishness and every evil thing can be rooted out, one by one, so I can be spotless for Christ on That Day. Maranatha!

Lastly, v6, "By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil." No one will turn from evil really unless it's motivated by fear of the Lord. My turning from all sins should not be for reputation, fear of being caught, or even not wanting to hurt anyone. It should be fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

J&D at Cardinal Pines Inn

Our trip to Mt. Gilead

Weekend News, It's a Tuesday...

So, this weekend Jonathan and I had a wonderful, romantic adventure! I'll start with Thursday...

After school on Thursday, Jonathan and I were talking about what we were going to do for our anniversary (next weekend). We have wanted to visit
Town Creek Indian Mounds, so decided we'd find a Bed & Breakfast around there & then go. We looked online and found out that this weekend (the 15/16th) there was a special live demonstration going on... including open-hearth cooking, flint knapping, archery, and story telling. So we spur-of-the-moment decided to head out this weekend. We found a nice B&B called the Cardinal Pines Inn, right in Mt. Gilead (not far from the mounds).

So, Friday after Jonathan finished school (at 1:00!) we headed out. It took me some time to pack (will it be cold, hot?), but we got out at 1:30. The directions said it would be 1 hr 45 mins, but we got there in 1 hour! The drive was lovely.... we passed through some really quaint towns and determined to stop on the way back up. We had the sunroof down, I had a
Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, and we were laughing and talking like the best friends we are! It's so awesome doing things together... We're always a little surprised at how much fun we have and one of us invariably says, "It's so great to marry your BEST FRIEND!"

So, since we arrived too early for checking in, we decided to tour the small town of Mt. Gilead. There was this cute little coffee/ice cream shop, but it was closed!!! So we wandered into an old-timey hardware store where we bought some kale & collard seeds for our garden, and some hot roasted peanuts. We also had a key made and the total was only $3!

Then we took our peanuts and found a bench. There was a slight breeze and lots of sunhsine! Afterwards we went to the inn and checking into the "honeymoon" room. We settled in, then at 4 there was a "Sherry/Port and Refreshments Reception" in the library. We enjoyed some hot coconut-chocolate macaroons, cheese and crackers, and grapes, with little cordials of the liqueur. Then we walked outside all around the property & took some pictures. (see pics)

That night we headed to Albemarle for dinner. We planned on trying a place called Pontiac, it looked kind-of Italian, but we heard it was good. We couldn't find it, but we saw a Pizza Hut and I kept going on and on about how I couldn't wait to try their Dippin' Sticks.... How maybe we could get some and watch a movie at midnight... So Jonathan said I could choose where we ate. We'd seen the Yadkin Valley Steak House and thought it looked good. So I chose that, knowing I could get Pizza Hut anytime. :)We pulled up to the Steak House and inside it was quite elegant. We got sat at a back table with little candles lit around. They had a special method of cooking called Stone Grilling, in which they heat up a slab of granite and sear all their meat on it. So it sears in all the juices. We got pepper-encrusted beef medallions with a caramel sauce.... It was out of this world!! The hot peppercorns contrasted with the sweet caramel was tantilizing! They served lots of black bread too. We enjoyed the meal so much, we didn't have room for dessert, so we ordered a chess pie to go. I still had two cups of terrific Yadkin Valley coffee. :)

Then we went back to our room and watched Notting Hill. It was cute, but the message rather dumb. Still, we had fun and then had the chess pie. We kept the fire running, because the house was large and a bit drafty.The next day we had a glorious breakfast in the sun room and headed out to the Town Creek Indian Mounds. We learned a lot about the Pee Dee Indians that used to live there, and then we got to watch a woman actually cooking just like they would have. One thing the indians did was get a large smooth soapstone from the river and then they'd place it over coals and cook on it... Jonathan is sure someone visited here and saw that, and then implemented it at the steakhouse. :)

So we had a great time and headed back. That night we took the Mustang on a drive so Jonathan could teach me how to really control it accelerating really fast.The rest of the weekend went fun too. Sunday Josh & Jennifer showed up and we had fun at church, at the mall (Starbucks), and hanging at our house. So the weekend was long and really fun. Jonathan and I loved that it seemed so long and really counted!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

First Entry Ever - Hello!

Due to Mary's encouragement, I have finally entered the world of blogging. I wondered if it had passed me by, I know friends who do and I am well aware that politically blogs are HUGE deals. I don't expect mine to become that, but it will be a place for my family foremost & friends to come read life's happenings. I'll try to keep posts fun, as no one needs their time wasted by superfluous banter read online.... at least not here.

So, I'll try to update at least once a week. When you're ready to read, grab a cup of good coffee, a cappuccino, or perhaps a demitasse of rich, crema-topped espresso, and see what's up around here.