Thursday, December 29, 2005

Candies, Cookies, & More!

This post is actually about the Friday before Christmas...I'm just very delayed in writing it.

I didn't wake up quite early...but when I did awake, I realized very quickly that Mom had already started the preparations for making divinity. She had told me the day before that she would need help making it because we don't have a mixer that spins the bowl automatically (that's another story for another time about how the motor burnt on the one that we had). So, she needed me to use the handmixer and spin the bowl with my hand while she poured the candy mix. Thus, I began to help Mom making Christmas candies, cookies, fudge, etc.

We had a wonderful time! We listened to Christmas music, and were dancing all over the kitchen. Really. Table of Stone can back me up. She joined us later in the day to make the cookies that I traditionally have made. But, I wanted to try something different this year, so I made candy cane cookies. They weren't too bad, but instead of almond extract, I want to try peppermint extract next year.

Besides having great fun with my mom and my sister, I also got to learn how to make all this good stuff. (Because we made, all in all, divinity, candy cane cookies, datenut balls, peanut butter balls, fudge...and Mom made some other stuff later - Chex mix, chow mein candy, and perhaps one or two others. The cookies Table of Stone made are called $250 Chocolate Chip Cookies. Very, very good.)

So, I learned how to tell the difference, when making candy, in "soft ball", "hard ball", and "hard crack". Yes, yes, you can use a candy thermometer that will tell you all of these. But, if you don't have a thermometer, Mom learned from a childhood neighbor, that at the "soft ball" stage, the candy will "spin threads." :-) Who have I lost? And, if you drip it in water, it will harden like a "soft ball." When you drip "hard crack" in, it is very, very, hard.

I look forward to baking every Christmas. My mom, my sister, and I are all in the kitchen together. We make a great big mess together, but we have so much fun. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Just Can't do it

" Let's play Halo!" is heard in our churchhouse/ house just about every wednesday and sunday and sometimes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But for about two years now I have said, no I'm just not interested and this was true I can assure you. Just never been interested in blowing people up and then getting yelled at for doing so. ( ex. Brian that was cheap. or Derrick I can't believe you just did that) However last night i broke down. Brian wanted to play 8 players, 4 on 4. I was necessary for this to work. So I couldn't disappoint the boys. They rarely ask me to play. We played for an hour, not too much I suppose. But in that hour I got 2 kills and about 29 deaths if not more, maybe I quit counting. To say the least, I spent more time dead than alive. I could not for the life of me figure out the two joystick thing. People would start shooting at me and I couldn't find them and if I did I couldn't aim long enough to kill them. Anyways, it was basically an all around bad experience and I tried to be positive about it. I'm just not a I don't know if that will be my last time to play but it definitely didn't change my mind about the game at all. Good try boys, good try.
By the way, I say it was a bad experience but nothing is too bad of an experience when you are with good friends who love you whether you like Halo or not : )

Monday, December 19, 2005

Birthday Surprise!

Yesterday was a strange series of events...but it finally all made sense about 7:00 last night. 1)It began after lunch at the church, when Morgan was conversing with Mom about the vegetable tray - trying to figure out how Mom could take it home since we were going to the nursing homes to give out cards and sing. I thought, "Why do we need a vegetable tray?" But...I figured Mom had her reasons. Didn't ask any questions. 2)Then, after visiting the nursing homes, Mom needed to go by Winn-Dixie. When she brought the bags to the van, they contained Milo's sweet tea, two two-liter cokes, and chili making stuff. I looked at the drinks and thought, "What event does Mom need Milo's sweet tea for? And the cokes, too?" Because, we never buy tea - we make it. And we never buy liter cokes - we get the cans. But, once again, I figured Mom had her reasons. I may have pointed out these things, but I don't think I got a response. 3)As we were getting ready to leave home and go to the night church service, I asked Mom, "why did you make chili?" (Because Sunday night is Perico's night.) She didn't answer. I thought, well maybe it's for later, or maybe she just wanted us home tonight.

Basically, I was clueless. Until, they announced my surprise birthday party/get-together at the end of services! Ding-ding!! Now it all made sense. It was quite lovely. Delicious chili, yummy strawberry cake, and cheesecake that I haven't tasted yet! I was surrounded by friends and family, truly blessed. Thanks ya'll. It was one of my best birthdays.

*Just to note, though: My birthday is the 22nd, not the 18th. :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Books, books, and books!

On the first Saturday of the month I went to the Friends of the Library Bookstore. On the first Saturday of each month, one can "stuff a sack" for $8.00. As many books as you can fit in the large brown paper bag. I managed 17, plus a few for Mr. Rogers that he couldn't fit in his own sack. I got the following:

-Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette (1958)
-The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
-Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
-Decline and Fall by Gibbon
-Third Girl by Agatha Christie
-And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
-Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
-What Maisie Knew by Henry James
-All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque
-Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Farago
-Hitler's Guard by Weingartner
-Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
-Outland by Foster
-Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
-The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
-A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
-Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy

I plan on beginning And Then There Were None this Friday! I have wanted to read it for a long time!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Emerging from the books...

I break from my studies to play the seven game. Here we go...

Seven things I want to do before I die:

-Go to Europe
-Buy a motorcycle
-Have a nice collection of books, many of which I've read
-Fall "head over feet" in love and get married
-Finish "The Lord of the Rings"
-Hike the Appalachian Trail
-Simply put, become a better person and child of God

Seven things I cannot do:

-Run (trust me, I've tried...Don't laugh dearest sis... :-) )
-Throw away my Chicago shirt
-Make machine gun noises
-Go to bed early (like, before 12:00)
-Not be very detail-oriented
-Stay warm - I'm always cold.

(And, I thought of this later...smoke)

Seven things that attracted me to my spouse (yadda, yadda...if I had one)

-His love of God and the PB church
-Can carry an intelligent conversation
-His kindness and thoughtfulness
-He is wise, and someone I respect
-I can be myself around him, and he is my best friend
-Holds a decent job that will support a family
-He loves my family and is dashingly handsome

(I agree with the Table...only seven??)

Seven things I say most often:

-That's interesting.
-Well...I mean...
-(Something, something) I think.
-What's up?

Seven books I love:

-The King James Bible
-The Chronicles of Narnia / Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
-The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
-Matilda by Roald Dahl
-Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
-The Primitive Baptist Hymnal
-The Adventure of Tom Sawyer / Treasure Island (Can I squeeze 2 into 1?)

Seven movies I could watch over and over:

-Conspiracy Theory
-How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (I'm with ya Life's Better in the South)
-Star Wars
-Notting Hill
-Sense and Sensibility

Others: Armageddon, and (Table of Stone you'll get this) The Dirty Dozen, Indiana Jones.

Seven to Tag (although I think they have been by now...what can I say...I've had it lying around ready to's so overated.):

-Life is Better in the South
-Booty Mellicious
-Queen Shenaynay
-anyone else?

I love you peoples, and I can't wait to see you all soon, Lord willing.

I'm it

Seven things...

to do before I die:

-run a marathon
-create a drug that cures cancer
-live in New York and run a bookstore
-have a house in Cades Cove
-drive a motorcycle
-open a five star hotel somewhere cool

I cannot do:

-stay up ALL night
-get rejected from pharmacy school (nope cannot do it)
-be a Bama fan
-take a serious picture
-be something i'm not
-swing my chair on the top of a ferris wheel
-draw in 3D

that attracted me to my spouse (assuming I had one)

-his inward and outward passion for Christ
-his maturity(encompasses alot more)
-he likes to play
-his love for my family
-his compassion for others
-he has goals for himself and for us
-his love for kids
(I only get

i say most often:

-Let's be honest...
-It's true.
-Pansy (you stole it from me :)

seven books i love:
-The Holy Bible (KJV-just a plug in)
-The Hiding Place
-The Chosen
-Polar Express
-my Chemistry textbook
-A Time Traveler's Wife
-Pride and prejudice
( there we go a variety)

seven movies i could watch over and over:
-Finding Neverland
-Sense and Sensibility
-A League of their Own
-Surf Ninjas
-Buttercream Gang
-Back to the Future I II and III
-October Sky

people i want to tag
-whoevers reading this and feels left out

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I am no movie expert

I must say that I was quite impressed with the new Pride and Prejudice. I will not reveal all that is great about it for those of you who have not been so fortunate as to see it already. However, i do say that it is worth your $7.50 to see it in the theater. Now I am always good for a love story, if you did not know so already. To some of you this is not new,so it will not be a suprise that I loved it so. Since I can not reveal the story as I would like, I will say that it did as it always does, made me love and hate that I saw it all at the same time. That is all.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Fall Fun on the Farm

Those of you who have never been on the Kitchens' farm do not know what you are missing. God's beauty is clearly displayed all around you, you can't miss it and you have to appreciate it. I guess for me it has extra special meaning as I can't remember a summer without roaming the hills. We don't get to go out there much anymore, it just doesn't really work out for multiple reasons. however we do have our church fall festival down there (as you see in the pictures). it is probably my favorite church activity that we do all year. We have sooo much fun. As you can see we can be pretty silly together. And that too is what I love. I love silliness (as if you didn't know that about me) but really i do. And I love my church family for being silly with me. 3 cheers for silliness.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Haiku

We watched a really touching show on the Dust Bowl in my U.S. History class yesterday. Survivors discussed their experiences, and the experiences of their parents, and I almost cried a time or two. Their stories were sad, but their strength and determination was encouraging. So was their trust in God. It didn't rain in the midwest for approximately 7 years! (And, I was quite fascinated that it was about 7 years.) Anyways, this haiku came to me today randomly.

Desolate, barren ground.
The wrath of God upon us.
Seven-year Dust Bowl.

So, there it is. I was moved to write a haiku based upon watching an educational show. I am such a nerd.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Who does that?

Ok, honestly who does this? yea that's right me and my 20 and 21 year old, junior in college friends. It is amazing how you can entertain yourself. People today really don't appreciate the fun and humor you can find in a giant wooden spoon. So here is the story, now you can appreciate and possibly this awesome story will inspire you to do something a little abnormal? but hilarious and fun today. This is us at the Starbucks drive in window. here the giant wooden spoon serves as an easy way to transfer our money into the hands of the Starbucks employee. At first I don't think she knew how to respond to the spoon but she warmed up and put my drink onto the spoon. By this time we are dying out laughing along with her and most of the other starbucks employees who decided to come take a look at all the silliness. Now just think..we caused not only ourselves to smile but also 3 to 4 other people all with a giant wooden spoon. So please participate in some silliness today no matter how old you may be and then share the story with me. peace

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Very Silly Ode

Ode to Procrastinate
When a test is only hours away
and yet you can't quite bring yourself
to...oh...oh it hurts to say

That's right to study
in such moments as these
you are so tempted to quit
and just accept that B

So holla to my homies
who feel the same way as I
and will not cannot study
when the sun is in the sky

Yea, silly i know but i made it up in 3 min. so that's pretty good. Peace

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"We are passing away..."

Dear friends, this post will be somewhat more somber than my others. I sent out a prayer request sometime in late August, I believe, asking prayer for a friend from high school, Laura Wallace. Shortly after we graduated high school, it was discovered that she had a cancerous brain tumor. She underwent treatment, and as of last fall/spring, the tumor had shrank fact, it almost wasn't there, I think. She was going to begin college this fall at The University of Alabama. However, in August I spoke with her, and the cancer was back. This past Tuesday, Laura went home to be with the Lord.

It was a shock to many of us. We knew things didn't look very good, but we assumed, and hoped, we had more time. Her family took her to the hospital over the weekend, and they began a morphine drip. I spoke with Laura Jackson, another good friend from high school, on Tuesday, and she said that Laura's family said, She looked up, smiled, and then she passed away. I think she got a glimpse of what was to come... :-)

Please pray for Laura's family in the days and weeks to come. They have fought a long, tough battle. Laura was such a happy person. Before the cancer, she had long, beautiful, brown hair. Even after her treatments left her bald, she remained upbeat and positive. Even joked about it.

And, I encourage you to take the time to visit or call your friends. You never know when you might not be able to again. After weak attempts and pathetic excuses, I hope I do much better in days to come.

Sweet to rejoice in lively hope,
That when my change shall come,
Angels will hover 'round my bed
And waft my spirit home.

There shall my disembodied soul
View Jesus and adore,
Be with his likeness satisfied,
And grieve and sin no more.

Shall see him wear that very flesh
On which my guilt was lain,
His love intense, His merit fresh,
As though but newly slain.

If such the views which grace unfold,
Weak as it is below,
What rapture must the church above
In Jesus' presence know!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Deep, deep hole

While walking today across campus, I thought randomly about supposed "bottomless pits" on earth (not the bottomless pit that Satan will be hurled into one day). If you don't know what I'm talking about...I was imagining the bottomless pit in the movie Tom and Huck, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro. I have a few comments on this...

First, raging hot lava is found the closer towards the center of the earth that you go. So, for all other comments to be made, we have to assume that no lava is found at the center of the earth.

Second, without lava, a bottomless pit would reach all the way to the other side of the earth eventually. And, if there is just one giant hole in the earth from one side to the other, how does gravity work, if someone were to fall inside this pit? Would he or she hang suspended in the middle, gravity on one side of the earth forcing them one way, and gravity from the other side forcing them the other way? (So, putting lava back in the picture, would it hang suspended as well?)

Hmm...what do you think of these random thoughts?

Random Pics that are AWESOME!

Ode to a night of taking pictures. Pictures are so much fun and it is so much fun to sit around and think of silly things to do so that you might catch them in a picture.

Also, I was a California Raisin for Halloween and many have enjoyed this picture already so I thought I would further share it.

So to sum these up, there is the raisin, my friend Steverson as a human bowling ball, and well we don't know how to explain the other, its just awesome.

Take time to Enjoy the Simple

The weather has been amazing. True fall weather in November is hard to come by and yet blue skys and perfect temperature are with us this week. This has inspired me to spend a good part of my time outside doing anything but studying. Yesterday I found myself outside on Samford lawn just hanging out with friends and throwing the football. I've actually gotten to where I can spiral the ball almost every time I throw and my catching is improving. However my coach (chris) has informed me that I need a lot of help on my three point stance. He tells me this after I end up face down on the ground from him taking my arm out from underneath me. But don't be fooled, my improvement has come from numerous drills ( I don't lie) such as pole drills (scary having the ball thrown at you standing behind a pole). Anyways, to my point. I feel it refreshes me to be outside just having fun. It is such a simple activity. Everyone has things going on, things that need to be done now and right now. I definitely understand this I assure you. However, I can also assure you that if you will just take a little time to yourself (preferably outside enjoying this beautiful weather God has blessed us with) all of the other things that seem so stressful and time demanding will be so much easier for you to handle. I have found that I enjoy God so much in nature and in the simple things like hanging out with friends and throwing the football. I need that, I want that and I am thankful for it. What simple things do you notice God in today?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Be joyful!

Today I awoke with a particular song in my head. I sang it in the shower, at random times walking to class, etc. Great song, and I haven't sung it in a while.

Oh be joyful, oh be jubiliant!
Put your sorrows far away!
Come rejoice and sing together this holy day!

Oh be joyful!
Oh be joyful on this day!

Oh be joyful!
Oh be joyful!
Oh be joyful, put your sorrows away!

It certainly deserves the exclamations. What a happy song. I couldn't help but be...well, joyful! I only wish some of you could come to Tuscaloosa and sing it in rounds with me. :-)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Cheese and Corn

Today while listening to WDJC, Birmingham's Christian radio station, I found myself attacked with corn, and the dj readily admitted it.

The dj brought up a recent news story about a woman in California being sued by the Hershey Company. Her business, Milkdudz, sells children's clothing. Hershey is suing because of the name, which is similar to their product, Milkduds. The dj then said, "I wonder if Hershey's is suing for a '100 Grand'." "(Get it, the candy bar.)" Followed by, "I hear the lawyers are expecting a big 'Pay Day'." He then admitted that he knew those were corny jokes, but today was just one of those days. Just to clarify, those probably weren't exact quotes, but, you get the idea.

I just shook my head, and thought...please, if this guy has a co-host, come back soon. And if not, get him a co host. (I think I was listening during Mark and Mac's hour, so there should have been two of them. They are pretty fun to listen to together, but today, with just one of them...well..."two heads are better than one.")

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Birthdate's Meaning

Your Birthdate: December 22

While sometimes employing unorthodox approaches, you are capable of handling large scale undertakings.
You assume great responsibility and work long and hard toward completion.
Often, especially in the early part of life, there is rigidity or stubbornness, and a tendency to repress feelings.

Idealistic, you work for the greater good with a good deal of inner strength and charisma.
An extremely capable organizer, but likely to paint with broad strokes rather than detail.
You are very aware and intuitive.
You are subject to a good deal of nervous tension.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Madam Secretary Rice and Mr. Secretary Straw

Wow. Today has been most wonderful. I was blessed to see Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw deliver the Frank A. Nix lecture at The University of Alabama today, courtesy of the Blackburn Institute on campus. The lectures are usually private, reserved only for the fellows of the Blackburn Institute, but due to the nature of this lecture, it was generously made open to the public.

Because the room only holds about 1600 people, and 400 of the seats were already reserved, I decided to get to the conference center early to stand in line. I awoke around 7:00 am, and I was at the conference center by 8:05. There were already about 50 people in front of me. By 9:15 the line was stretched all the way around the building, so that I couldn't see the end. We began to go inside around 9:45. There was a metal detector at the door, and policemen and secret service were everywhere! I sat on the 3rd or 4th row behind the reserved seats. (Not too shabby, I thought!)

Dr. Rice gave an excellent speech, relating events to the crowd very well. She made connections that we would understand and sympathize with. She related the Civil Rights movement, and the black struggle for freedom with the Iraqi struggle for freedom, and the fight for democracy. One of her most used phrases was "impatient patriots." I agreed with most of what she said, and there were only one or two places where my ear perked up, and I questioned something...but, I can't even remember what they were now. I chuckled, though, when the question and answer session arrived. No matter what the question, she found a way to relate it to the fight for freedom and democracy. Politicians...

Secretary Straw was also fascinating to hear. Besides his cool accent, he also garnered more laughs than did Secretary Rice. But, he also had more "umms", so his speech went slightly longer. He discussed the need to make politics local, no matter what office you hold. Even as Foreign Secretary or Secretary of State, one must consider and remember the local man, the common man.

At the end, Coach Mike Shula entered the room and presented Dr. Rice and Mr. Straw a football. When he entered, he received a standing ovation from many. I, for one, did not stand. We had given Secretaries Rice and Straw standing ovations, and rightly so, but...our football coach??? He receives one every Saturday to a much larger crowd. I just saw no comparison, and therefore no need to stand.

Aaaahh. The chance to hear speakers of such high caliber as Dr. Rice and Mr. Straw (for free, I might add), is something only a university can offer. I am so thankful that I can particpate in these activities, and experience these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

I have attached a link to the whole lecture below, if you are interested. :-)

Frank A. Nix Lecture - Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Sec. Jack Straw

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Intramural Soccer

Well, last night marked the end of regular season intramural soccer. The team I played for, HPSA (Honors Program Student Association), went into the game 1-2. (Our one win was a forfeit - the other team didn't have enough players.) Last night's game was crucial, because in order to go to the playoffs, we had to have another win (must have a 50% win ratio and a sportsmanship rating of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale). Before the game, we actually received our team t-shirts. They are a bright green, with HPSA written boldly across the front. Underneath HPSA was the phrase, "Blood Blood Blood." Steven Rogers played on our team, and he and I just sort of pondered that phrase. Very intimidating, huh? I chose jersey number 56. It was one of the few smalls, and I think my dad had something close to that number when he played football in high school. the game. We played the Dingleberries. Great team name, I think. They had a record of 0-3 entering the game. So, we were pretty evenly matched. HPSA played very well. I think it was the best game we've had all season. We all played our positions very nicely. We had some great passes, which we haven't seen a lot of this season. Both defense and offense worked together great. With less than a minute left in the game, the score was 2-2, and we had the ball on the Dingleberries side of the field. With a second and a half left, the lights went out. (Now, this is not new to our games. We may have had one game where the lights didn't go out.) It takes 20 minutes for the lights to come back on, because they have to cool down, and then slowly come back on. We wanted our second and a half, because they weren't going to let us have a tiebreaker/shootout. We hoped to score with one good kick, from a little less than midfield. But alas, we couldn't pull it off. It was an indirect kick, and the Dingleberries set up a wall. And, the wall worked. They blocked our shot. Game over.

Our final record is 1-2-1. So, unless something changes, we won't make it to the playoffs, because our win percentage is 33.3%. But, it was fun while it lasted.

Last night brought back memories of my old playing days, starting the game at 9:00 pm, playing co-ed, and feeling the crisp night air burning my lungs as I ran. I even earned a bruise. :-) Now, I must retire my cleats, my shin guards, and my super long soccer socks 'til next time. I shall miss them, but I know that when I next place my feet in those worn and weathered cleats, my feet will feel right comfortable and know exactly what to do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

An interesting fact, a German custom, Middle Eastern food, and lots of friends...

I have been meaning to post for a couple of days now, so I'll try to order this post into the events I want to discuss…

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I am currently reading Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion, by Edward J. Larson.* I was slowly making my way through the first part of the book, when I read two words that made me do a double-take: Primitive Baptist. So of course, I read the paragraph another two or three times, just to make sure I was reading correctly. The following is an excerpt:

“Fundamentalism drew first blood in Tennessee today,” a January 20, 1925 article in the Commercial Appeal reported, “in the introduction of a bill in the Legislature by Senator [John A.] Shelton of Savannah to make it a felony to teach evolution in the public schools of the state.” A day later, John W. Butler offered similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Both legislators had campaigned on the issue and their actions were predictable. Butler had justified his proposal on Bryanesque grounds: “If we are to exist as a nation the principles upon which our Government is founded must not be destroyed, which they surely would be if…we set the Bible aside as being untrue and put evolution in its place.” Butler was a little-known Democratic farmer-legislator and Primitive Baptist lay leader. For him, public schools served to promote citizenship based on biblical concepts of morality. Evolutionary beliefs undermined those concepts. Driven by such reasoning, Butler proposed making it a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $500, for a public school teacher “ to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man had descended from a lower order of animal.” Most of Butler’s colleagues apparently agreed with this proposal, because six days later the House passed it without any amendments.

Mr. Butler, a Primitive Baptist, wrote the piece of legislation that formed the background for the Scopes Trial. There we are, scattered throughout history. The trial itself is another issue, for another time...but, I will leave you with this…It was all staged. The town of Dayton simply wanted publicity, and Mr. Scopes agreed to take the fall. The end result was something much larger.

*Larson, Edward J., Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion (Cambridge, Harvard UP, 1997), 49-50.

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I have become friends with a student from Germany, who is studying at Alabama this year. She is in one of my history classes. She recently had surgery on her right wrist, and has been unable to take notes. So, I typed my notes and gave them to her. She then asked me to go to Starbucks with her after the next class, and I agreed. I had planned to just grab dinner, while she drank coffee. I had been looking forward to an opportunity to just sit and chat with her. When we got to the Ferguson Center, our student center, she was really encouraging me to get something to drink. She then explained how it was a German custom that if someone did something nice for you, you bought them a drink in return. I couldn’t turn her down, and I had what she had: an Iced Mocha Latte. It was actually pretty good. We had a lovely conversation…discussing the upcoming Oktoberfest, her wearing a durdle (sp?), the loveliness of Alabama, Bavaria, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to attend Oktoberfest with her. Go talk with a foreigner…it’s amazing what you can learn.

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Friday night I had the opportunity to visit with my roommate from this past summer who attends Samford University in Birmingham. We went to dinner with one of her suitemates. I can always count on Jennifer to take me somewhere exciting to eat. Over the summer, we had Indian food together. This time…it was Middle Eastern at a Middle Eastern Food Festival in downtown Birmingham at a Greek Orthodox church. I had a kimbee sandwich. I learned it was a mixture of lamb meat, spices, bread, etc., in a pita with lettuce and other spices and sauces. It was really good. I had never had lamb before. Jennifer’s analogy was “meatloaf.” I didn’t have “lamb meat”; I had a combination of lamb and other stuff. Courtney, her suitemate, had Falfala. I also had hummuce, which wasn’t a favorite of mine. It was my second time to try it, and my second time to dislike it. We wanted to see some Greek dancing…but we had to leave so I could make it to my next event…

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…which was Elder Guy Hunt and Sister Ann Smith’s wedding. Lovely, lovely, and lovely. Wonderful conversation…good time…great friends. Beautiful singing as well. And, I did cry.

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Saturday, Elyanaweh and I went to Ebeneezer PB’s meeting. We heard six different preachers during the morning and afternoon services. The meeting was greatly blessed. I heard some wonderful sermons. The food was great, and the fellowship was excellent.

And…the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Ole Miss Rebels, 13-10. We are now 6-0. Roll Tide!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for the long post…just a lot has happened.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I would like to retract my recommendation of Vault. Please see my dear friend, Booty Mellicious's comment, and my reply, on the previous post.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Jello and Life

Today I ate lunch at J.J. Doster Cafe on campus. We have a restaurant and hospitality major within my college, and they completely manage the cafe on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The food is great, as are the prices.

My meal consisted of pizza, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, and...jello! I haven't had jello in quite sometime! It was a special treat, and even included more than one flavor. (I had red, green, and yellow...which are not flavors, know what I mean). As I was thoroughly enjoying my jello, this thought occured to me...

We should live our life like jello: When life jiggles, stay firm, and don't fall apart.

I'm not sure how much sense that made...but I'm going on very few hours of sleep this week (2 papers and a test). You can let me know what you think.

And, on the note of very little sleep, I must recommend Vault, for those who need a quick pick me up. The drink's catch phrase is, "Drinks like a soda. Kicks like an energy drink." Vault is very much like the old Surge drink. I was amazed. I had one yesterday, and I was bouncing of the walls. I had one this morning, and my leg was jiggling all during lunch. I'm quite sure it was the Vault, and not my jello jigglers...but I'll let you ponder that one.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Say What???

The following is an excerpt from a letter to the editor of The Tuscaloosa News (October 4th, 2005).**

There is no question that Shula’s decision to play Prothro was dead wrong. I am not positive, but my gut tells me Shula had a slightly different upbringing than Prothro. Along with that different upbringing came different opportunities.

Prothro will now most likely miss the rest of the season because of Shula’s despicable decision. I can only hope and pray Shula did not hinder Prothro’s ability to support himself and his family in the future.

First, I must say that Saturday's game pitting the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the Florida Gators was the best game I have been to while here at the Capstone. For those of you who may not know, we beat #5 Florida, 31-3. It was a wonderful victory. The victory, however, was bittersweet. One of our star players, Tyrone Protho was injured in the 4th quarter. He broke his leg. This incident quickly gave way to a debate over whether Shula should have kept Prothro in the game with only a little less than a quarter to go. We had heard the debate last year when Brodie Croyle was injured. So, here we go again.

I personally support Shula's decision to keep him in the game. Florida could have come back at any moment, and this was a crucial game that would be a key win for us. Plus, I would imagine that Prothro wanted to be in the game. He loves football and does very well at it. My heart certainly goes out to Prothro. I loved enthusiastically cheering for him each and every game. He was part of the soul of the team. But, I am confident he will return with full force next year. He just has that determination.

I was most appalled at this letter to the editor, though. Mr. Gerber seems to imply that this injury may leave Prothro unable to support his family or earn a living. Did Mr. Prothro lose his leg Mr. Gerber?? Are you implying that his only career option was professional football, and hinting even further that this is true because he is black?? Pardon me if I'm wrong, Mr. Gerber, but Tyrone Prothro is not only playing football at The University of Alabama, but he is earning an outstanding education, which will leave him with a good number of career options. Please leave your racial attitudes and illogical conclusions at home next time, Mr. Gerber. We will not tolerate them here.

Me, oh me. I was quite fired up today.

**Gerber, Micah*. Letter. "Shame on Shula for Playing Prothro." The Tuscaloosa News. 4 October 2005.

*Mr. Gerber is from Gainsville, FL.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I Rode the Bull

Yes, yes I did. I rode the mechanical bull at Campus Crusade's 3rd annual cookout. I walked over to the fraternity house where the cookout was being held around 4:00 this afternoon. The weather was wonderful! We had barbecue and baked beans for dinner. And, the fellowship was great. There were many people there that I haven't seen in quite some time, because they have graduated, or just simply moved to another stage in their life.

The first time I rode the bull, my adrenaline was rushing. I had to sign a waiver saying I wouldn't sue the company if I got hurt. (As the night wore on, though, only the guys were getting "hurt" - some of them were hit by the bull before it could get stopped because they just kept hanging on. The girls just sorta fell off.) The first time, I rode twice, probably at the 1 or 2 level. The next time I rode, after dinner, I think the man in charge probably put the bull on a 2 and 3 level. It was great fun. And, I got a good workout, too. :-)

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Corpse Bride

I went to the matinee today and saw Tim Burton's, The Corpse Bride. I don't think I have seen one of his movies with the weird animation thing he does. So, I was rather excited. (I must add, my friends and I did not intend to see this movie originally. We had wanted to see The Constant Gardner, starring Ralph Fiennes. But, alas, they had pulled it today from showing. So, we settled for this one.)

I was not disappointed. The movie played out much more like a musical than your average drama or comedy. I would guess that there were 4 or 5 musical numbers in the movie, plus beautiful music the whole way through. I enjoyed most of the singing by the animated characters, but there were a few dance numbers that just seemed random and irrelevant.

The movie was beautifully written and edited. It is filled with lots of witty humor. Burton manages to draw you into the characters and make the audience feel their emotions.

I believe I also found references to other movies throughout this movie. For example, Victoria's mother looked much like the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. The old oak tree whereby Victor found the corpse bride looked similar to the old oak tree in Sleepy Hollow, another Johnny Depp film (who served as the voice of Victor in this film). And, when the dead drank their ale downstairs, or in the underworld, it looked very similar to the way the pirates drank their ale in Pirates of the Carribean (once again, a Johnny Depp film).

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Good, clean fun. Come to think of it, I don't remember a single cuss word. For what it's worth, it gets my recommendation.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Definitive College

Today my meals consisted of the following:

Water and an oats & honey bar between 11:00 and 3:00.

A venti (the largest) banana-berry blast smoothie at Crimson Cafe with Hickory Barbecue chips between 3:30 and 5:30.

Three-cheese chicken Voila! with water for dinner.

A small cup of strawberry yogurt at TCBY around 9:30.

Quite a day, huh? I have a bad habit of not finding the time for lunch. I then try to eat a good, healthy dinner. I thought, what a "college" day. Smoothies and yogurt. I'll make just a few comments on this. First, I'm not recommending this eating strategy. It just sometimes works out that way. Second, it makes you appreciate homecooked meals a whole lot more. (I'm really craving some pineapple casserole. Yummy!)

I'd feel more guilty about my eating, but, hey, at least this semester I'm playing tennis. And, I walk every day to class. Perhaps it all balances in the end.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Moon Connection

"I see the moon, and the moon sees me."

My Granny says that I sang this one night when I was very little and riding with her and Paw Paw. I believe I was on the way to see one of my new siblings. Tonight, I walked outside and looked at the moon, and the song popped into my head. The moon has been absolutely beautiful the past couple of nights.

So, If I can see the moon and the moon sees me, and you see the moon and the moon sees you, does that mean I can see you and you can see me? A=B, B=C, A=C? Ummm....No. Not in this case. BUT!...It does mean that I see the same moon and heavens that you, my readers in other various parts, see. We are connected by the heavens. I see the same story unfold each night as you do.

So, when I look up at the sky, night or day, I not only think of our glorious Creator, but I also think of you, my dear friends, in other parts of the country.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reading and Writing

I spent most of my afternoon reading two books for two different history classes. For my U.S. History between WWI and WWII class, I am reading Screening Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry by Lary May. For my U.S. History after WWII class, I am reading By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age by Paul Boyer. Eventually, I will be writing papers with the assistance of both of these books. Currently, I have about 100 pages left in each book. (Yes! Progress!)

By the Bomb's Early Light is divided into eight sections and focuses on the years from 1945 to 1950. I have read six sections. This book has been the easier and more entertaining of the two to read. The first section deals with the nation's initial reactions to the use of the atomic bomb on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The second and third sections focus on the scientists who were directly involved in the making of the bomb and their reactions. You may find it interesting to note that many of them became political activists, encouraging a one-world government. Part four discusses the optimism brought by the discovery of atomic energy. Some were hopeful that atomic energy would erase the need for gasoline powered automobiles, as well as hard labour. Others, more aware of radiation and its effects, knew these hopes were dim and not likely. Section six discusses particular American groups's reactions, such as the reaction of the African Americans, Christians, and academia. It was my favorite section thus far. In class we have discussed much of the issues that were brought up in this section. For example, why did we drop the bomb on Japan, and not Germany, or another Axis power? (Another side note, the propaganda of the war is quite interesting to look at and study. Germans and Japanese were placed in completely different lights. For example, we fought the Nazis and Hitler, not the Germans. But, we fought "the Japanese" who were displayed in pictures as not human.)

My other book, Screening Out the Past, has been a little harder for me to digest. It begins by exploring Victorian values and the efforts made to sustain those values over the years leading up to the birth of the motion picture. It also looks at the early years of the motion picture, and the efforts to balance Victorian values with the values of the various crowds watching the movies. In other words, there was an upper class who still supported and encouraged Victorian values. They tried to control movies for a time being. Directors tried to balance these values, though, with the middle class/working society/immigrant values. This group was more likely to be found at vaudeville acts and other activites that the elite viewed as against Victorian values. Today, I read the section that begins to explain the change that takes place around 1914-1918. Women become more independant and fall more often to temptation. Men, too, are viewed as yielding to temptation. While presenting this image, directors, actors, and actresses also give an answer: men should exercise, which will give them more energy to perform their mundane tasks, which will then give them more money to spend, and women should continue to perform acts of charity and support moral order (their acts of independance), while spending what their husbands earn. In other words, exercise makes men happy, and spending makes women happy. (Does this sound familiar??) the writing part of the title. Tonight, I began the process of re-writing the constitution for The Capstone Financial Planning Association. It is an organization I am involved with on campus, and the consitution is outdated. A newer version will open the door for more members, as well as correct some things that are no longer relevant.

So, that is some of what I have been doing. May God bless us and keep us.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Branching Out

Tonight I went to Crimson Cafe. It is a small, down-to-earth coffee shop. The owners grow their own beans in Columbia, and the wooden tables and chairs that make up the restaurant were made by one of the owner's family members. There are pictures of their farm in Columbia scattered throughout the cafe. They have boardgames, newspapers, and all sorts of shakes, coffees, and food. I have quite a few favorite dishes. It is one of my favorite places in T-town, because of the atmosphere. It's a great place to study, but it is also simply a great place to hang out.

After a quick trip to Target, I headed to Crimson Cafe with a friend for a Banana Berry Blast, a.k.a. a strawberry and banana smoothie. But, tonight I ordered a Grande size. Now, granted, Grande is only the medium size. But I have been in Tuscaloosa for three, going on four, years now, and I don't think I have ever ordered a grande size at Crimson. I only order a "tall" size, the smallest size. (Ironic, huh. Tall is small.) So, I branched out. Got a little on the crazy side. As did my friend. She ordered a coconut shake, which ended up being vanilla ice cream and coconut, instead of her usual Yucatan shake, the same ingredients, only with coffee and chocolate.

It was an exciting night. :-)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thru many dangers

Last night Five Mile PB and Bethlehem PB held a joint service at one of the members' office in Tuscaloosa, because both churches were without electricity. It was a small, sweet gathering, and we discussed ways to help the people we know that are suffering right now, as well as prayed for them. First, though, we sang a song - Amazing Grace. We sang the first verse, the third verse, and the last verse. I was really impacted by the third verse, though, as we sang.

Thru many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

I fitting for this time. His grace has kept us thus far, and his grace will continue to keep us. Each breath is a gift from him. Even as I type, another couple of stanzas from a hymn comes to mind:

While all that borrows life from thee,
Is ever in they care,
And everywhere that man can be,
Thou God art present there.

It's amazing how songs stick with you, and you call it to mind, whatever the situation might be.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Last night Hurricane Katrina came rolling through. After coming back to my apartment around 2:30 yesterday, that was where I stayed until about 11:30 last night. At 11:30, I was able to check on some friends for a few moments, before returning to my apartment. The winds howled, and I could hear trees cracking and falling all around my apartment. I could see flashes in the sky with a green glow attending them. I'm still not sure if it was lighting or transformers going out. Some of the time I stood outside just watching, and the song, "Master the Tempest is Raging" kept popping into my head, as well as the verse where Christ calms the stormy sea, saying, "Peace be still." It was such a blessing and comfort knowing that even though this storm was raging around me, God was with me and watching over me. I didn't realize just how much until late last night and this morning. The trees I heard falling were right next to the apartment complex next to mine. One or two even fell on the apartments, causing some major damage. I was very blessed not to have any damage myself, or even lose power.

"I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me." Psalm 3:5

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Psalm 46:1-3

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

National Conference

I thought I would post a few pictures from my trip to Mortar Board's National Conference. (These are pre-haircut pictures.) :-) Mortar Board is a national collegiate honor society dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service. I believe all of these pictures were taken the night of the candlelight banquet. I was with my section, section 6. Section 6 is comprised of Mortar Board chapters in Alabama and Georgia. I met some really great people and had a blast.

During the dinner, the napkin underneath our rolls caught on fire. (There were candles on the tables.) Just as one of the other girls was about to throw her water on them, a waiter casually came and took them. He just said, "I'll take those." From then on, Section 6's motto was "we're so hot, we're on fire!" Cheesy, I know, but funny.

After the dinner, speakers, new officer installations, and awards, we lit our candles as our name was called out. Then, a poem which symbolizes the spirit of Mortar Board was read. I thought I would share it with you.

The Torch

The God of Great Endeavor gave me a torch to bear.
I lifted it high above me in the dark and murky air,
And straightway, with loud hosannas, the crowd proclaimed its light
And followed me as I carried my torch through the starless night.
Till drunk with the people's praises, and mad with vanity,
I forgot 'twas the torch that they followed,
And fancied they followed me.

Then slowly my arm grew weary upholding the shining load,
And my tired feet went stumbling over the dusty road,
And I fell - with the torch beneath me. In a moment the light was out,
When lo from the throng a stripling sprang forth with a mighty shout,
Caught up the torch as it smoldered, and lifted it high again,
Till, fanned by the winds of heaven, it fired the souls of men.

As I lay in the darkness, the feet of the trampling crowd
Passed over and far beyond me, its paeans proclaiming aloud,
And I learned in the deepening twilight, the glorious verity,
'Tis the torch that the people follow,
Whoever the bearer may be.


Short stuff

I had my hair cut on Friday. Not just a trim...I had some major cutting going on. Years ago I would have had to be very strong not to cry at the sight of all that hair falling. But, I was ready for a change.

It is very short...and hard to describe, but I shall make an attempt, and those of you who have seen it can tell me whether my description is accurate. The back bottom layer falls at the base of my neck and curls up. The front and sides and back top layer are in, well, layers. They curl under for the most part. I can barely put it behind my ears. I like it best with sunglasses on the top of my head.

I've had a few people do a double-take, not quite recognizing me the first glance. I'm still getting used to it myself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ordination Service

I was blessed this weekend to be able to attend the ordination service of Elder Obey Ndalima (sounds like "dilema") from Tanzania, Africa. The service was held at Vestavia Primitive Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Elder Obey was blessed to preach from Romans 10:1-3 Saturday morning before the service. He related Paul's desire for his Israelite brethren to his own desire for his Tanzanian brethren. He desires that they be saved from their ignorance. After 5 years in America, and seven years away from his family, he will be returning next week to preach the gospel to his people. Many homes there do not have electricity, running water, or food. He has tremendous zeal, though, and he is so excited to be returning to preach the gospel.

I will never forget the times I have spent with Elder Obey. He changes your way of thinking. I heard him sing three different hymns in his native tongue, Swahili. He encouraged us to think of all the different tongues that will be present in heaven. I just got chills listening to him, and especially when he sang in Swahili and we sang in English. He reminded us of the differences in America and Tanzania, and encouraged us to always be thankful and remember how blessed we are in America. I don't think I've eaten a meal here lately that I haven't thought about what he said...about how wasteful America is. I have been trying to eat every bite of my food.

Please pray for Elder Obey as he returns to Tanzania.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Long time, no see

Hello once again. I have been away from my computer for almost a month now. I will try to catch you up to speed...

On July 22nd-24th I attended Mortar Board's national conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was my first time to fly by myself...without any family members, namely mom or dad. I had a wonderful trip, although the conference was very fast paced. We were in meetings all day. I met people my age from all over the U.S. We shared ideas, and had fun getting to know one another in the short time period that we had. I also saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that weekend. I laughed the entire time.

On Monday, July 25th, my grandfather Kitchens took a turn for the worse, and on Tuesday, July 26th, he passed away. He had been suffering for a long time (he had been in the hospital since early June, and before then he was in the hospital for long periods at a time), and in his last days he just wanted to go home...home to Jesus. It was sad to lose him, for he brought much laughter to everyone he met, but we also rejoiced in knowing that he was completely healed and praising Jesus. I could never thank everyone enough for all their prayers and visits...I love each of you.

The next week my family went on vacation, taking my grandmother Kitchens with us. We just loaded up, and hoped for a vacancy in Destin, Florida. We were blessed to have no trouble getting a room, and we even received a bottom level room. After all the hurricanes, the railings on the bottom floors don't exist any more, and the dunes have disappeared, so our condo opened right out to the beach. Since we saw very little sun the whole week, it was nice to be able to sit on the porch and be within inches of the beach. Our vacation was comprised of sleeping, sitting and resting, reading, and eating. We did very little more than that. It was wonderfully relaxing. I got a great start on The Lord of the Rings, and I bought The Screwtape Letters and The Complete Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, six stories in one. I'm expecting it to be very funny. When I return home for the weekend, I'll try to remember to quote the bit about "towels" for you. :-)

I have now returned to Tuscaloosa, and school starts next week. Whew. How did I cram so much into one summer?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Psalm 122:1

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."

This past weekend I was blessed to be able to attend Five Mile PB's annual meeting in Akron, AL. The people and place there hold a special spot in my heart. Elder D. Pyles from Jackson, MS, was the invited minister.

My mouth dropped as Elder Pyles began his sermon Friday night. His sermon was going to be "What happened to the nation Israel?" He said that first, though, he must define Israel as the Apostle Paul defined it in Romans 9. I was very excited for this reason: Elder Pyles preached at my church's annual meeting in April, and on Saturday night, he, Elder L. Mozingo Jr., my dad, and others, were discussing this point. I came in half-way through the conversation, and I never quite grasped what Elder Pyles was saying. Elder Pyles was richly blessed to elaborate on Romans 9 and 10 over the course of the weekend, and I greatly rejoiced.

We spent Friday night with some wonderful cousins of mine. When I and my siblings were around the ages of 4, 6, and 8, these same cousins used to stay with us, who at that time were the same age as us now. Now, we are staying with them and their children, who are 2, 4 or 5, and 6 or 7. (I can't remember their exact ages.) Table of Stone, Elyow'eynay, my brother, Eugene, and Eugene's brother discussed how old we would be when my younger cousins turn 16. We will be in our thirties, and Lord-willing, with children and husbands of our own. We giggled in the fact that one day they might be staying with us. "Let the circle be unbroken..." :-)

Sunday I was able to visit another dear church in Tremont, MS. There you will find some of the sweetest people on the earth. I have some very fond memories of visiting there one Sunday a month when I was younger. I particularly remember being told by my mother, "Do not get off this blanket, or you'll get a whipping!" Before there were pews, there were theater seats, and since my dearest mother was afraid we would fall into the seats and get stuck or pinch ourselves, she put us on blankets in the aisle. I also remember how cold the toilet seats were in the outhouse during winter, before the bathrooms were built onto the church. :-)

So, basically, I just wanted to share what a blessed weekend it was. I am so thankful for times such as these when we can "leave the world", and enter a place of worship, fellowship, and encouragement.

Bird's Eye View

Bird on Telescope

I just wanted to try to post a picture. I have. This picture was presented to me by my graduate teaching assistant in Astronomy during my freshman year. That was a really great class. I didn't necessarily agree with everything that was taught...but, I did gain an even greater appreciation for God's creation. I could only laugh when we were taught about "dark matter." Scientists have discovered that 95% (I may have to check that number...may be 99%) of the universe is made up of somthing that they cannot see. It holds everything together. They call it "dark matter." I call it the Word of God.

Each day our class was presented with a really neat picture of space - a distant galaxy, a nebula, etc. This picture, however, is of a bird's bottom. It happened to sit on a telescope one morning, and the scientists, finding it amusing, took a picture. I found it amusing myself. :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Pilgrim's Progress

Ever since moving to Tuscaloosa for school, I have been an avid supporter of the Friends of the Library Bookstore. It sits on the edge of Tuscaloosa's Public Library, and it opens three or four days a week. The books, as well as magazines, tapes, etc, are all donated. The books are then sold for 25 cents or 50 cents, and some of the older or hardback or first edition books are $2.00. (All the money raised supports the library and its events.) I love to spend my free afternoons wandering through my favorite sections of the store, looking for a good find.

Last week, I found one of my favorite finds thus far - The Pilgrim's Progress on audio cassette! Unfortunately, it is the abridged version, but in this case, I decided to not be picky. I am on the second cassette now, and I feel that I will spend quite a few trips back and forth to Jasper or Birmingham or wherever enjoying this great story.

We can relate to Christian in so many ways. The people he meets. The trials he faces. Yet, Christian tells each person he meets of his journey, where he came from, and where he is going. He constantly refers to his "good book." He knows what it says, he believes it, and it comforts him.

I pray that I would "take the name of Jesus" with me wherever I may go, and I pray that I would be more dilligent to read His holy word, from which I can draw strength, encouragement, comfort, and instruction.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Philippians 1:3-8

My dear friends, my heart is still overflowing with joy and encouragement from this past week. I dissappeared from the world, and entered a haven of rest, otherwise known as Harmony Highlands Singing School. A place that brings many of my dearest friends together, united as brothers and sisters, and sharing a love that is indescribible. We laughed together. We cried together. Gave advice. Received advice. Learned from the older and younger in our dorm devotions. I could go on and on.

Our theme song was the hymn, House of the Lord. It has always been a favorite of mine, and the words touch my heart every time. I especially like the third verse:

You may value the friendships of youth and of age,
And select for my comrades the noble and sage.
But the friends that most cheer me on life's rugged road,
Are the friends of my Master, the children of God

I have surrounded my room with memories. Green and yellow clothespins. (Sorry Ashers, I didn't have any blue and silvers in my travel bag.) My as a counselor, and one for my tribe, the Tribe of Gad. I can't wait to get my pictures back. I think I have some great ones of the "Pregnant" Relay Race. :-) I hope somebody got some good ones of us covered in mud. I had ran out of film that day.

This morning I traveled back to Tuscaloosa. I put in my Triumphal Feast cd, and I thanked God for his blessings. He is so good to us time and time again. I re-entered the world by going back to work. And now, I can just wait with patience and great expectations for next year's singing school.

(And all the meetings in between! :-) )

Monday, June 06, 2005

Eat, Drink, or...

Tonight, I and my new roomie (for the month of June) went to Swen Chinese restaurant. My roomie ordered hot and spicy soup to go with her meal. The idea occured to me that we neither eat or drink our soup. We don't necessarily chew our soup, which usually constitutes eating, and we don't take many "sips" as one would drinking. I wanted to present this idea to you readers, and get your opinions. Also, if we don't eat or drink our soup, how do we intake it?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I want a light saber...

I have now seen Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith twice. I was so excited Friday night when I saw it for the first time. I was boucing up and down ever so slightly, while shaking my fists in amazement. I had the biggest smile on my face as the theme music began and I read the background for the beginning of the story as it scrolled up the screen. Elyow'eynay and Table of Stone joined me.

The story was absolutely wonderful. It ties all the Star Wars movies together very nicely, and Lucas's attention to detail is amazing. The acting wasn't wonderful, but there were a few scenes where the actors really came through. (I almost wanted to cry a few times, but I didn't.) I have to agree with someone who wrote a letter to the editor of TIME magazine, though. He said that although Lucas was able to present his vision more precisely with today's technology, he wasn't able to make it as real. I feel that this statement applies mainly to the various surface setting shots (which from a distant look very digital). On the other hand, the light saber fights, as Elyow'eynay stated, were much more real than IV, V, and VI.

Overall, the movie was wonderful, and the darkest one yet. You almost get a real bad gut feeling while watching the movie progress, because you know the know what is going to happen. It is just a matter of watching it happen.

I would say more...but I don't want to spoil anything for anybody. So...go see it, and may the force be with you. :-)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Summer Daze

I have discovered at least two things that summer should always include: afternoons on the porch and reading on a bench in the park.

Sunday afternoon my friends and I sat on the porch and enjoyed lovely conversation (after the boys ended their destruction and violence, otherwise known as Halo). Some enjoyed Mountain Dew, although I think porch sitting should be accompanied with water or sweet tea. Our dear Sister Friend of the church has a hammock, and Table of Stone and I swapped out using it. A radio played softly in the background, and the pool water reflected the sun onto the ceiling. Our Sister Friend also provided a fan. Table of Stone stated well, "This is what every day of summer should be like."

Today, after running errands and missing a meeting, I headed for the Quad at my dear University of Alabama, found my favorite bench, and began to read. I brought two books with me, but I decided on Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs. Very good and interesting reading. I also brought with me The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. It is the fifth in his Narnia series, and also a very good book thus far. Anyways, I think this will be one of my favorite parts about working in Tuscaloosa over the summer. Reading a good book is great fun by itself, but reading a book on the Quad with just enough background noise and shade...well, it's absolutely wonderful.

I will add more "summer musts" as I discover them or think of them, and as always, feel free to share your "summer musts."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Black Death

Last week was finals week here at the University of Alabama. I had one test a day, Tuesday through Friday. As early as Tuesday afternoon I knew I needed some caffeine to keep me awake for my test that night, and to be able to finish studying for my fast-approaching test. I was sitting in Starbucks in our Student Center, because it makes a great place to study if you enjoy background noise. So, needing caffeine, I decided to try a Caramel Frappucino, and wouldn't you know it...they are out of caramel. So, I tried a (well, I'll attempt to remember it and say it) mocha frappucino with a caramel afogado (sp?), and a shot of expresso. The cashier at Starbucks recommended it. I managed maybe two or three sips, ten at the most. I felt like I was drinking ground coffee, it was that strong. Not to mention, the coffee itself tasted burnt. A nationally known coffee chain, and everything I have tried there, except for one or two drinks, tastes absolutely horrible!

So, I began to ponder and reason as to why so many people drink this horrible coffee. I pass many people each day on campus who are drinking this black death. My conclusion: each of these people are trying to conform to a particular type of culture, society, group, etc. They torture themselves until they become used to it, like an initiation process. Just carrying a Starbucks drink gives this particular vibe. I feel it holding any cup of coffee, but Starbucks sticks out.

Now I'm sure there are people that really do enjoy the taste of Starbucks coffee. I don't. Similarly, there are people who enjoy Milo's. I don't. It has just been my observation that there is a "coffee culture" in general, and Starbucks plays a large role in it.

I commend each of you who are strong enough to drink this coffee every day. You have earned a place of respect.

And if anyone has any suggestions for drinks I might enjoy, besides a Caramel Machioto and a Caramel Frappucino (since I actually like those - see, I don't hate Starbucks or its patrons), let me know. I'm always up for trying something new.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Blackberry Winter

I did not know what "blackberry winter" was until last night. I was speaking with a lady from Bethlehem PB who is somewhere in her 80's about the weather we've been having recently (sounds like a boring topic, I know, but it started with another conversation about yard work). She mentioned that we have been having a blackberry winter. I guess she could tell I was confused. She went on to explain that a blackberry winter occurs when one experiences prolonged winter weather, into the month of April. There must be a week or so of cold weather after it has warmed up a bit (if I understood correctly) in order to have blackberries during the summer months. Definitely describes the weather we've been having lately. Warm one week, and cold the next. While it has been, at times, frustrating trying to decide what to wear during these indecisive weather months, I can now look forward to blackberries in the summer. And, using the term blackberry winter in the years to come.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Truly a majestic spectacle...

One of the things I enjoy most about college life is being able to walk all over campus and admire God's majesty all around. His sovreignty and incomprehensible imagination can be seen everywhere I look and on any particular day, sunny or rainy, warm or cold. (I often find myself smiling while walking though large puddles...sometimes rivers, while on campus after a rain.) Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Just think of all the different species in the world, mammals, insects, reptiles, plants, etc. Add to that number all the extinct species. What infinite wisdom and creativity the Creator has. All that to say, I came across an interesting quote last night while looking at Hassell's church history. Hassell is quoting Dr. J. H. Stirling, of Edinburgh.

"This universe is not an accidental cavity, into which an accidental dust has been accidentally swept into heaps for the accidental evolution of the majestic spectacle of organic and inorganic life. That majestic spectacle is a spectacle as plainly for the eye of reason as any diagram of mathematics. That majestic spectacle could have been constructed, was constructed, only in reason, for reason, and by reason."

Well stated, Dr. Stirling. Well stated.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Food for Thought

The beginning of a new first blog. I thought I would start by offering you one of my favorite poems. It is titled "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins, who I believe was U.S. poet laureate under President William Jefferson Clinton. I was first introduced to this poem by my English 103 teacher during my freshman year of college. (Ever since then I have had every good intention of picking up a copy of the book by Collins that contains this poem.) We were reading Pablo Neruda's Love Poems at the time. I was quite fascinated with Collins's precise description of what many of us often try to do to a poem when we read it: torture the meaning out of it. No details, just meaning. Collins tells his readers what they should do when reading a poem. Enjoy!

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want then to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

-Billy Collins