Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birthweek: Play Cubed

Husband is so great at celebrating me!  Seriously, he loves surprising me and pretty much always does something over-the-top amazing for my birthday.  When we got married we both decided that we would each plan something fun to do for the other person's birthday (each year) and that we would keep it a surprise.  Usually, the surpriser is almost more excited than the surprisee.  It's one fun way that we love and honor one another.  On my actual birthday, which was on a lame Tuesday, Phil surprised me by having an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins specially made for me.  Then, on the weekend after my birthday we stayed in a hotel and went to...dun, dun, dun...Triple Play!  If you haven't heard of Triple Play, it is this magical land where you get to spend time mini-golfing (indoor/outdoor), bowling, going on indoor waterslides, playing laser tag, riding go-carts, and playing arcade games.  We bought passes that allowed us to do everything as many times as we wanted and we definitely got our money's worth.  The only drawback was that if you go there and you're over age 20 you just look a little creepy without a kid.  This is why we need children.  That way we could blame doing all the things we like to do for fun on them.  "Yeah, I'm just here for my kid."  Anywho, I only took a few pictures because I was too busy living it but here are the ones I got!  Enjoy!

Like my friend Amanda once said, "Some people like camping, I like staying in hotels."

It was so cold that I fashioned myself a headscarf.

His ball got stuck.

There it is!

Cross "Swim with dolphins," off your bucket list!

Our favorite slide which we call, "The toilet slide."

We used our Spanish names.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Birthweek: Family, Friends, and Fruit

No, my mother wasn't in labor for seven days straight (thank goodness!).  This year, my birthday was on a Tuesday--how boring!  So, in true college-student spirit, I decided to celebrate all week!

The fun started on the Saturday before my birthday when I guilted bribed persuaded convinced invited friends to come out to a U-Pick Orchard with me.  We got to pick apples and make freshly mulled apple cider.  My mom, dad, brother and new brother (our foreign exchange student from Spain) even made the long drive over to come and see me!  And of course my husband came, he's contractually obligated ;)

My husband and little bro get along so well, sometimes I feel like the third wheel!

The best way to get the ones at the top.

My friend Brittany from my Master's program.

Hannah, Caitlyn, Jamie, and I!

What a good brother!    He did mention that it would be fun to let me go rolling down the hill on more than one occasion.

Phil had to jump to reach that one.

They said we could sample them for free.  Naturally, the college students ate like 15 a piece.  Free is our favorite number!

Ma needed a stiff drink after all the walking around.

Me and my new brother, Gonzalo.  Of course, mom was documenting with her video camera.

Cheering Gonzalo on.

Uh, this was a lot harder than it looked.

I didn't want to waste the leftovers.

The fruits of our labor!
If you haven't done this, leave my blog and go right now before the season's over!  We had a blast!  Afterwards, my family took Phil and I out for some sexy pizza.  (I'm not a huge fan of pepperoni but I love eating pizza with fancy cheeses and toppings).  Then my mom let me pick out several items from the smelly store aka Bath and Body Works.  We parted ways and when husband and I got home I had a package waiting for me:  the Hunger Games DVD!  We finished the night off watching one of my faves, hot apple cider in hand.  I told Phil that I would be satisfied if that was all the birthday I got, but it was just the beginning :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double You Tee Eff God?

I've been kind of speechless lately.  And not just on this blog.  When the going gets rough, I go into hermit mode and try and hideout in my apartment where no one can glimpse my patheticness, or God-forbid they might actually ask me how I'm doing!  Lately all I can seem to pray is, "WTF God?"  Philip didn't progress to the final interview round of Teach For America, and I did.  I'm in Clarkston, a town I kind of hate.  I believe that in both of these things God was sovereign.  We prayed the whole time (and had interceders pray) "Thy will be done."  Still, it's hard to grasp.  But I started to think about all the times in history documented in the bible when people were probably like, "WTF God?"  A few that came to mind:

"That gift you gave me, you know the woman, she made me eat this fruit that caused this mess.  And she won't stop talking about her feelings."

"You brought us out of Egypt to die in the desert?"

"You're telling me I'm going to have a mass amount of descendants even though my wife has already gone through 'the change'?"

"You promised us a Messiah, a King that would deliver us, and you gives us a bastard baby in the place we keep farm animals???  Isn't he the Carpenter's son?  Come on, he's from Nazareth?"

"Your son is hanging out with tax collectors and prostitutes?!"

"His bffs are a bunch of smelly fisherman?"

"You plan to feed all these people with a few crackers and sardines?"

"That Messiah you gave us.  He's dead.  Now what?"

"Jesus, you're leaving us?"

Fortunately, I know how all of these stories ended.  Those uncertain parts were hard but necessary.  They helped to tell a better story with those individuals' lives.  I don't yet know how my story is going to come through.  I only know who my God is:  he is in control and he wants the absolute best for me.The only way I can reconcile with this is clinging to the truth that His thoughts are higher than mine.  My friend Jocelyn (who probably gleaned it from Tim Keller) once told me that the intellectual distance between humans and cats is smaller than the intellectual distance between God and humans.  Believable enough.  Communication barriers aside, there's a lot that I couldn't explain to a cat even if I tried.  Perhaps God feels the same way about me.  Even when I can't understand God's plans for me I am choosing to believe that they are specially chosen to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stuff Middle-Schoolers Like

For those who don't know, I am currently student teaching in a 7th and 8th grade English classroom.  I kind of feel like an anthropologist studying a foreign culture.  I must admit though, I fit in pretty well.  Apparently middle school is the only place where liking most of the things I like is actually cool.  Here are some of the things I've noticed that middle-schoolers like.

Justin Bieber
We did a little get-to-know-you poem and I'm pretty sure that 89% of them said they wanted to meet J Biebs.  Then again several of them listed going to Tay Sway's concert as the most exciting thing that's ever happened to them.  So I'll forgive them ;)

The Hunger Games
Aren't they a little young for this?  Don't get me wrong I am obsessed with love HG as much as the next person but 12 year-olds reading it?  I don't know.

Glasses that don't actually improve your vision
Apparently this is some sort of a fashion statement.  You can wear them as an accessory even when you don't need them.  Maybe being nerdy is finally coming in style.  Fingers crossed!

Writing boys names in their notebooks
I fo real thought this was like an urban legend, but I was grading grammar notebooks and can't tell you how many times I came across something like "John" encircled in a heart.

Life revolves around sports.  At this school, you have to be passing all of your classes to be eligible so that's a good carrot/stick for teachers.  Right now the cool boys play football and the cool girls play volleyball.  I'm sure after I tell them I was a soccer player/wrestler in high school they'll let me sit at the popular table during lunch.

Neon Colors
You practically need sunglasses to hang out with them!  I am a fan of bright colors too.  I actually met a girl named Chelsy (with a y) who has the same bright turquoise pants as me.  Bonus points if you wear fake glasses that are neon-colored too.

I'll update you more on this strange species as time goes on.  I'm sure I'm generalizing a bit too since I'm basing this completely off of middle-schoolers in Clarkston.  What have you noticed about this distinct people group?  Is there something you'd add to the list?

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