Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fun News!

Monday night Jonathan and I headed out to go dove hunting. We had been out about 45 minutes. He'd shot some, so gave me the gun and we were on the lookout. We were walking side-by-side, the gun held by both my hands, him holding the bag of doves & water. He says to me, "Here, let me hold the gun, I want to hold your hand." Now, how many guys are that sweet and affectionate even while hunting???? I married the best and most thoughtful man in the world!!!
Speaking of, after some conversations, Jonathan told me he didn't want me to miss Oxford and he thought we should buy a ticket so I could be gone when he's gone! This allows me to be there when Crystal is in Oxford (she's spending October in France with good friends). So we bought a ticket for me at a good price (good for overseas)! I am super excited about going, and actually experiencing cold weather, too. Daddy told me he thinks I can go to a class or two with him!!!! Can you imagine??? A class at Oxford??? Me???? This might not seem a big deal to any of you, but it's absolutely a dream for me!
Other than that, we're heading out this weekend with some friends of ours in our church to their ranch. They work for Christian Outdoor Alliance (COA) and manage the ranch. Jonathan's going to help with deer-hunting related stuff, and he's also going to take me out so hopefully I can shoot an axis deer. If I do, I'll post pictures on Monday!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tagged!

Tagged by Melissa. :) This is fun, my first time!
10 Simple Pleasures:
1. A cosy couch with a book, a throw, a cup of hot tea, and time to spare....

2. Spontaneous heart-to-heart talks with my dearest sisters.
3. A midday thunderstorm
4. Homemade maple-walnut scones with a latte
5. Watching my little nieces Katrina or Shiona sleeping (so precious!)
6. A steamy hot shower and a comfy robe after a day of long, hard, dirty work.
7. Curling up in front of the fireplace with Jonathan.
8. Lunch with Mom at Gingerbread House
9. Our traditional Stargate SG-1 night, complete with Delivery Pizza & Cherry Coke
10. Making & eating breakfast or dinner together with Jonathan.
11. Travel! :) (just had to add one more!)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Goin to the Boat!

Heading down to the boat... We're going to Corpus this weekend. Should be fun! It looks like the seas will be a bit rough tomorrow, so we'll probably only go out on the boat a few hours and not too far from the marina. And I imagine we'll spend the remainder of time on the beach. Last Saturday doing that was wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable, as we played in the surf together, read, and fished! Jonathan even caught a large sting ray and I had to hold it down with a bucket while he got his rig off.
I'm mostly packed for that, I never know if we'll cook on the boat or go out. We usually end up going out, because there are so many great restaurant choices down there, just a walk away from the marina. There's even this quaint coffee shop called Aqua Java that's walking distance too. We got coffee for the early drive home to make it to church last time. We're not sure if we'll stay Saturday night or not. Life Group is at our house (we've started rotating houses & whoever's house it's at does the meal). That means I need a bit more time on Sunday to clean and cook. I know Jonathan will help, probably during halftime of the Carolina game. I sure hope they'll do better this game! They've performed so poorly the last two. :(
Not too much else to report. That's my update for this Friday. It does look like it won't work out for me to go to Oxford when I wanted (coinciding with Jonathan's 4 day Cross Country), so I won't go at all. It is a hard decision to make, both because I really want to go overe there and because I'm not excited about him being gone for 4 days. :(

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Scorpions!

Saturday morning we were heading out to put our boat back in the marina at Corpus Christi. Jonathan was out filling up and I was getting all the stuff ready. I had the laptop case out of the closet, and was packing up the computer. Just as I was putting away the power cable, my left arm was resting on the case, and I felt a stinging sensation. I looked down and saw..... a scorpion!!! (pictured below) I threw the case and ran outside, shaking and crying, "Ugh!" I called Jonathan and he rushed home.... When he tried to find the place I'd been stung, he couldn't. He told me I'd know it if I were. So I guess I was just "pinched" or something. I felt bad he was so worried, although he's been stung before and didn't react too horribly. Now I'm worried to sleep, Mrs. C!!!

Later that morning, while we were on the beach, Jonathan caught this! A sting ray! I had to use a bucket to hold it stilll while Jonathan got his rig off! I was pretty freaked out.

Then later, I got stung by a jelly-fish and saw a huge cockroach in the bathroom! It was not my day for animals! Still and all, we had such a marvelous time at the beach, sunning, fishing, reading, and playing in the surf with each other. We found a delicious seafood restaurant nearby, and then had a comfortable night on the boat with the music of the waves lapping against the boat's side.

Here's a picture of the sunrise before we left....

Now, good night to all!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Update

Beautiful Monday here... Had a nice weekend of relaxation and fun with Jonathan. Care Group last night was wonderful, such a time of building up. I'm joining a Ladies Bible Study our chuch is putting on every week. It's by Beth Moore and it's called The Patriarchs. I'm excited. I get to be in Carrie's small group, too (our CG leader's wife). It's Wednesday. We had visitors (a couple & their little baby) to our group, I hope they stay, we really liked them.
Last night Jonathan won a wild boar and javelina hunt for 4 on eBay. It's a weekend thing, dinners and shelter are included, but it's waaaaaaaaay out in the wilderness. Jonathan's brothers will be buying tickets and coming down for it!!! It's a once in a lifetime experience! Jonathan got such an awesome deal. Anyway, I'm so excited for them. It's for the end of October.
That's all for now. Oh! We went dove hunting for a short time Friday night and got caught in a rain storm! It was so fun tromping around outside getting poured on and splashing around in puddles! I love rainstorms! It could have only been better with lightening and thunder. :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Daddy's Birthday

Yesterday was my dear Daddy's 56th birthday. I wasn't present, because we live far away, but also because he happens to be in Oxford, England. He will be there until the end of November. He is studying at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He's in "an intensive 8 week programme is designed for those seeking to sharpen evangelistic and apologetic skills within the world of business, and includes input from renowned Christian business leaders." More information at http://www.theocea.org/ This is a program founded by the brilliant Ravi Zacharias.
Can you believe that? My own father studying at the college of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Sheldon Vanauken, T.S. Elliot, so many more!!! The college of great thinkers, intellectual giants! I am awed, amazed, and unutterably proud. We all knew he would be accepted (as he gained acceptance into MIT, University of Chicago, and Harvard, years before), yet he never expressed confidence in it. He humbly admitted he might be accepted, but that it was in the Lord's hands. And he seems so mild and humbled to even be there, while all I want to do is shout with glee. His attitude is right, of course. It's why he is there, I'm sure. Because the Lord resists pride.
I am proud of where my dad is, but I'm so much more proud of Who he is. He hungers after the Lord and seeks Him diligently. This is an understatement. I can't tell you how many times I would rise at 5 or 6 and see the little light on in the den, with Daddy on his knees in prayer, or with his Bible and notebook open before him, or with his eyes closed and lips moving as he memorized whole books of the Bible... Knowing he may have been up since the 4's. He did this while most of us slept. And then he would exercise, then have breakfast with everyone at the table, and then lead us in a study of the Bible and prayer. He shepherded our hearts carefully. He gave us goals and spiritual challenges to work toward. But he set the example himself. How could you argue with his challenge to memorize the Sermon on the Mount (3 chapters) when he had the whole book of Romans down?
Daddy is gentle and kind. From as early as I can remember, he would try to bring gifts home from his trips, no matter how short. But with 8 children and a wife, this could be expensive. So sometimes he only brought 1 or 2 of us presents. He carefully explained that our time would come, and he walked us through recognizing jealousy in ourselves and repenting of it. I'm so grateful for those lessons! He sought opportunities to take each one of us on "special times" and trips with just him. I remember looking for houses in Chicago when I was 8, and him letting me eat ice cream in the new van, because he knew I'd be careful. I remember our first missions trip together. All our business trips as we worked alongside one another. How revered he was in the business world. How smart.
I love how he has sweet traditions. Camping after Thanksgiving, New Year's eve at Wellspring, Jo Patti Seafood in Pensacola, Chocolate on Valentines to all the girls (the best & biggest to Mom, of course)... I love the notes he left me throughout my growing up.
Daddy and Mom have more people than I could name who have come to them for counsel or help. This is because they see the fruit of godliness and peace in their lives. Dad and Mom make themselves available at all times for helping others. And they speak truth in love. Biblical truth. They are compassionate. I have seen Daddy do things in secret to bless or help others, wanting them to praise God and not man.
This is long, and I haven't even scratched the surface. Daddy is the funniest man I know (except now Jonathan is tied, I laugh at him all the time!)... Daddy is innovative, clever, prudent with money (and taught us all this), generous, wise, consistently loving. He's shared the Gospel openly, but also lived it in front of everyone. Many clients have seen him pray or read his Bible, in spare moments. Some have asked. I'll always treasure how he gave ma away on our wedding day, no reserves, no regrets, joyfully (and tearfully) in the Lord.
I'm preparing a letter for my father, and this is only a sample of my thoughts. I don't talk deeply about people dear to me on here much, mainly because I feel I should tell them and not everyone else. But I know Daddy doesn't read this and I just would like to honor who he is, as he's in a small 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom flat in Oxford right now. With 7 people and 1.86 dollars/pound.
I love my father so much. And so here's thinking of him on his birthday.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Suzanne's Visit, Hunting, etc

Wow! What a wonderful weekend we had! Friday we went dove hunting and Jonathan got 4. I also saw a huge banana spider! :/ It looked Huge!!!! I'd say 4 inches worth of legspan at least! Saturday we spend the morning lazily and then went out in the early afternoon to a place for Jonathan to get a drill press and some cool tools, and then to the mall for me to spend some money. I got some kimono-style shirts at Wet Seal. I love that look! Especially with chopsticks in my hair, a necklace with a boldly-colored large-gem necklace, and some trim jeans or black pants, and of course red lipstick. Love that look! It just ties together. Got some things at Bath & Body Works, and used some of the Starbucks card my sweet sister Mary gave me!!!!! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, and I'm so glad. I've had 3 since I found that out 2 weeks ago.

Then that evening we went out to the country to help a friend in Care Group for a Christian Outdoor Alliance dove hunt. We weren't paying $75 to hunt, but we wanted to help out. There were some newbies out there that shot pigeons or sparrows, and missed some really obvious doves, but it was a lot of fun. Especially to get clean and pick up a Papa John's pizza and snuggle through Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. :)

Sunday we had church and then again went out hunting that evening. This time I got 2 doves!!! My first ever! I got them two in a row! My average was much better than on the skeet range (thank goodness, I think skeet is boring!). Jonathan got 6. Well, 7, but we couldn't find one. It was so much fun to hunt together. I can now tell a swallow's flight from a doves's quite easily. :) When we headed home we cleaned up and then fixed a super-duper meal. Dove, sauteed in thyme, marjoram and butter, broccoli, rosemary bread, and rice. Getting clean after all that time out was so refreshing.

On Monday we headed to Government Canyon for our hike. We ended up hiking 6 miles, and drinking 3 liters of water between us. Exactly what we brought. We crossed the trailhead with a few swigs left. We had a great time hiking and exerting ourselves and sharing wonderful conversation, jokes, and everything in between! We kept a very good pace. Jonathan told me he never realized I'd be a outdoors girl... He thought (feared) I'd just want to spend vacation days like this at the mall!!!! I love that I'm not that way, and we can share the same loves! Ourdoors are such a great adventure together.

Here are some fun pics from this weekend. And some from my dear sister Suzanne's visit.