Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mexico Musing...

After returning from mission trips...everything seems like a blur. Some serious processing time is usually required to make any sense of anything... so commence the digestion...

I have learned a lot in this past year. I probably say that every year, and every year I suppose it's true. Just comparing last year's Reynosa excursion to last, for example... I have learned a lot. In comparing pictures of the two trips, one may think they were nearly identical... and in concrete terms, perhaps they were. (no pun intended...) After all, if something is the same, but the person experiencing the something is another year older and wiser, the something may seem different while the only real difference lies in the person's perception. It is the person that has changed, not the something. And that may have been part of the difference between the two trips...but there was more. For one example, the city was calm. There were kids in the park instead of gangs. People were smiling and walking around. People seemed to feel secure. And secure people tend to forget oh too soon how desperately they need to focus on their God. That last comment was directed more toward myself than anyone... Several of us discussed having a difficult time focusing this year, for whatever reason. But anyhow... I don't want this to seem all negative and stuff, because I really don't mean it that way. It was a great trip-- safe, fun, and blessed. Some fruit has already been shown from it, and I pray that that fruit may continue to appear and grow in the weeks, months, or even years to come.

Don't worry, for select hypothetical readers who may not be on facebook...you know who you are...I will post some pictures at a later time...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Happy St. Patrick's Day! :)

Today has been pleasant. Or, there have been pleasant things about it. No need to retain less pleasant memories, right? Ha. :)

I had a lovely opportunity today to sit outside on a bench swing for a while with a fairly low-functioning boy with autism and just chat. He has a melodic, sing-songy voice that is quite soothing, really. I was asking him about some of his favorite things, and sometimes he would answer... Then he started asking me silly questions that he may have gotten from a TV show, not sure...but they were still funny.

"Could a chair be a pet?" Me: Hmm...not usually...
"Could a rose be a pet?" Me: Well, pets are usually animals....
"Could a tiger be a pet?" Me: Yes, yes it could. [thinking about Aladdin]
"Could a dragon be a pet?" Me: Yes, that would be an exciting pet.


"Do combs eat?" Me: Um... not usually, no...
"But they have teeth..."

"Do trains eat?" Me: Um...not really...
"But they have chew...choo choo!"

Approx 31 hours to Mexico departure. Eesh Osh....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is this what being a grown-up is like?

...This is new to me... Getting up early(ish), going to work for all day, coming home and being pretty tired... Well, I should say, I was pretty tired on Monday when I got home. After that I developed a new plan of attack for this get-up-and-go in the morning concept. I GOT UP (as in, out of bed, not just thrashing around under my covers like a fish out of water delaying the inevitable) and MADE COFFEE (I know...coffee again? I may make this a habit...weird, yeah...) and ATE BREAKFAST (okay, a little bitty breakfast) and took a MORNING shower and did some MORNING DEVOTIONS. I also had extra coffee that I took to school with me. After all of that, I can say that it is 9:37 p.m., and I have been up and at 'em all day. Maybe I'll turn into to a quasi morning person yet! Haha, okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves.... :)

I should mention also that my first two days at UMS/Thomas Paine have been going pretty well. Actually, they have been very slow, which partially co
ntributed to yesterday's excessive tiredness. But today I brought my laptop (a.k.a. lifesaver) that brought me through the day with flying colors of productivity. I worked on my cover letter, resume, and application to Thomas Paine, and made grand progress. Oh yeah, did I mention that there is a job opening at Thomas Paine? (I might have.) We go there several times a week. I saw the room of the departing SLP today....it is HUGE. I could totally go for a room like that. It would also just be great to be able to go to a school I am already familiar with. I mean, really. But que será será, as they say... God's got this one.

Quote of the day today from an 8th grader defending his Apples-to-Apples selection of tooth fairy for the category frightening:

"The idea of an
unknown entity of ambiguous intent sneaking into one's room in the middle of the night is extremely frightening. What is she doing with those teeth, anyway?"

No arguing with that. He won the card. :)

...so, I was going to insert a picture of a big man in a tooth fairy costume here, but I refrained (requiring considerable effort). You and I don't need nightmares. However, in my search for a toothfairy picture, I happened across a sweet tooth fairy demotivator slogan that may have to be stolen at some point...possibly.

It's Coming Out, One Way or Another.


In addition to all this grown-up excitement, it was the Irish Party this weekend! May have been the best ever. Began with Carl giving a PowerPoint present
ation about Ireland. You know, location, topography... (wait, wait...you mean Ireland has pasture????). It was pretty hilarious...and the night ended with Connor (age 6, BTW...don't get the wrong idea here...) sprawled on the floor of random nooks and crannies of the house (behind dining room table, in coat closet...) because he had had too. much. fun. Haha. Good times.

The Master of Ceremonies. :)

After the Irish Party, we had a lot of leftovers...surprise, surprise... Or was it Alot of Leftovers? Bhahahahaha....insert hilarious mental picture....please ignore if you don't what I'm talking about or go to

ANYHOW, Dad sent me home with an entire 10 x 15 pan of shepherd's pie, which I proceeded to feed to anyone who would try it. We partook of
this "ethnic irish meal" in a delightfully festive way last Sunday evening. :)


OKAY, this has been entirely too long so I'll be quiet now. Thanks for reading (or skimming, as the case may be...)

Drive through, please.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

BE like the panda

This just makes me so incredibly happy. We could all take a good lesson or two from our panda friends. Jenny(Wyss) Koch about made my night by introducing me to perfectpandas.com.

it. is. awesome.

But anyhow... today was my last day of class... woot.

Enough about that. Although, on a somewhat related note, there is a job opening at Thomas Paine Elementary in Urbana, where I will be spending the next 8 Fridays. Which MEANS that I would somewhat have my foot in the door....AND Urbana has the same schedule as U of I, which MEANS that...I could still go to Mexico for Spring Break forEVER. Haha. Hmm.....that would be good. We shall see. There are still just many options for next year. I really can't wait to see what God has in store. Whatever it is, I am sure it is amazing. :)

The Engineering Open House is tomorrow. I plan to go wander around by myself for a while perhaps in the morning. Unless Tina wants to go with me. :) Maybe it will be too cold for her to be wandering about campus.... I do love the engineering open house in a nostalgic sort of way.

It is 12:21. Friday. Next Friday we leave for Reynosa. It will be good. It will be....somethin'.
Yes, indeed.

Stay tuned hypothetical readers...I might be up to 3?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


…Is a word that should be used more often. :) (One who speaks many languages, BTW.)

And that is one of the more interesting pieces of knowledge I have gleaned from my sociolinguistics class all semester (which I am sitting in right now). Haha. All right, that’s probably not entirely true…but I do love sociolinguistics as a subject and wish we had covered more useful information or something in this course...

This is my last week of class! Forever!! (?) I keep saying that over and over again to myself, hoping that at some point I will believe it. This will be a good week to rest up before I go to UMS next week, and then on to MEXICO the week after that!

This year’s Reynosa trip will be quite the adventure. It always is…but this will just be quite the trip. Maybe it’s just because last year’s trip, how do I say, had such an impact, but I have a great deal of anticipation/anxiety surrounding this upcoming spring break. Also, we’re going to hear more Chinese during the week than Spanish! …which is exciting. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Untitled Hymn

"Untitled Hymn" by Chris Rice is not directly related to this post (which is also essentially untitled), but I listened to it this morning, and it has been in my head all day. It is a very soothing song. You should listen to it.

There is just a lot going on all around right now. The world feels volatile. Not necessarily in a BAD way...just in a "Lord, we do not understand your ways, and we really really need you" sort of way.


We went to St. Louis! And it was swell. :) Yep. That's all I got on that subject for now.