Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If You Can Dream it Quote--Walt Disney

"If you can dream it, you can do it."
--Walt Disney

I love this quote because it reminds us of the power of dreams. Great things start with a dream. And something may seem to be impossible, but with vision and tenacity a dream can become a reality. Walt Disney certainly knew about the power of dreams. He had many obstacles, but he persevered and created awesome characters that bring out the child in all of us and cast vision for incredible theme parks that are magical places for all who go there. His dreams and hard work have brought enjoyment to so many. We all need to be dreamers and work to make those dreams come true.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Kinsella's books are hilarious! The Shopaholic series features the character Rebecca Bloomwood who has quite a shopping addiction. In this first book Rebecca works for a financial magazine, then ends up giving financial advice while in the meantime she is wracking up huge amounts of debt. She has amazing ways of justifying to herself and others the most ridiculous expenses. And she ends up trying to cover up the situation she's end and digs herself deeper and deeper. This is a funny series!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Fazzi's is a restaurant in Collinsville, IL that serves Greek, Italian and American food. I especially love the Greek food. There are not a lot of restaurants in the area that serve Greek good, so Fazzi's is a treat! I love the Saganaki (fried cheese); you gotta love cheese that is set on fire! The gyros, spinach pie, and mousaka are also really good. A couple of my friends really love the chicken piccata. Many good things to choose from on the menu!

Go here to visit their website and see their menu: http://www.fazzis.com/

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Airplanes" B.O.B featuring Hayley Williams

Airplanes - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams from Johnny Tsunami on Vimeo.

I love, love, love this song. It's one of those that just sticks in your head and is fun to listen to. I remember listening to this all the time in the summer of 2010, and learning the rap part so that I could do the whole thing by memory. I like this version which is part I but I also like "Airplanes" part II which also features an Eminem part.

Lutheranism 101

This is an awesome book that breaks down what Lutherans believe in a way that's easy for the average lay person to understand. It is also a great resource for life long Lutherans; it is always important to have a refresher on what we believe! God and His Son, Faith and Belief, Heaven and Hell, Church and Fellowship, Sin and Forgiveness, it's all in here. Plus a lot more!

Playing Guitar

I have always loved music. I have always turned to listening to music when I was stressed and needed to relax. I have a massive CD collection and tons of tunes downloaded on iTunes. And I have great respect for the talents of my musical friends. So I started thinking it would be cool to make some beautiful music myself. I had played clarinet in grade school and through my freshman year of high school and then took piano lessons in high school, but didn't stick with it. When I started thinking about taking up an instrument again, I thought about piano, but more and more, I have grown to love the acoustic guitar sound! So in February 2011, I bought a guitar and some books, and started teaching myself.

I absolutely LOVE playing my guitar! It is so therapeutic after a long day to sit there and play music. I especially love playing hymns and Christian songs. You just can't be in a bad mood when you're playing and singing "Jesus Loves Me," or a great hymn! Deciding to learn guitar was a good decision for me. I think I really needed something else in my life--a hobby, a way to relax etc. And I am excited about how I will be able to incorporate guitar playing in my ministry (playing for my shut ins or for kids at school).


I got to know Mary from us working together at Holy Cross. Mary served as secretary at Holy Cross years ago when I first started working there, and then after leaving to work somewhere else, she returned to work as office manager. When she came back to work at Holy Cross the second time, I feel we got to know each other more (well, and through finding out we both loved watching Lost!

Something I've always admired about Mary is her strength. She has faced a lot of difficult situations and losses in her life, but I see how she gotten through that and know the strength that enabled her to get through all those hard times was from Christ. And that has inspired me and helped me as I faced some challenging times. It was a blessing she came back to work at Holy Cross when she did because she was a visible reminder to me of how with Christ's strength we can face anything.

Mary is a very talented musician. She plays French Horn in several different groups throughout the year, and I love going to her concerts.

Aquatic African Dwarf Frogs

I have never been a big frog person, but when I was in Hallmark one time and saw this display of African Dwarf Frogs, I thought they were so cute and that they would make the perfect pets for me. I can't explain why I find them so cute--I think it's because they are so tiny. They are good low maintenance pets--they eat twice a week, and their tiny aquarium needs to be cleaned out every few months. It is fun to watch them swim around and play with each other. Pictured above are Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

I love books about friendship, so was drawn to this Hannah novel. The book tells the story of the friendship of Kate and Tully who meet in junior high. Though vastly differently from each other, they forge a friendship and continue that friendship into their adult years though they go through some trying times with various situations in their lives and within their friendship. Tully is what I describe as a "wounded character," someone who has faced a lot of hurt and always fears being hurt again which ends up hampering relationships. Awesome characters and a touching story of friendship.

Metropol Parasol--Seville, Spain

Metropol Parasol, the world's largest wooden structure, is located in Seville, Spain. It was designed by German architect Jurgen Mayer and was finished in 2011. It houses a market and underground archaeological museum, and has panoramic rooftop walkways.

When I saw this in a magazine, I was pretty blown away. I think it's a pretty amazing structure, and would love to see it in person someday!

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella

This was the first Sophie Kinsella novel I ever read, and I remember laughing out loud numerous times as I was reading it. Kinsella, in this book and in others, has characters that find themselves in these impossible situations, and the more they try to make things better, the more entrenched and desperate they become. In this book the main character Samantha is inept at household chores, but following a series of events finds herself serving as a domestic for a wealthy couple. Great read and guaranteed for some good laughs!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who You Are Who You Serve Quote--Rev. Jim Hoppes

"Remember who you are and Who you serve."
--Rev. Jim Hoppes

Jim is a retired pastor who has served as presiding elder at Holy Cross. One day he came to my office at a time when I was feeling discouraged and he shared those words with me. And it was just the reminder I needed. Remembering who we are IN CHRIST is essential. No matter how discouraged or disappointed with life we might be, remembering we are baptized into Christ, dearly loved by God, can bring us great comfort. And serving in the church can be challenging--dealing with criticism and negativity is disheartening. But in those difficult times, remembering we are serving the Lord by serving His people helps us to persevere. When the Lord calls us to service, He will equip us and strengthen us. And when we by faith serve the Lord to the best of our ability, it is pleasing to Him.

Kelly "KB"

When Kelly "KB" started working as secretary at Holy Cross a few years ago, I had no idea we would end up being such close friends. Seeing each other every day, we ended up laughing, talking, and sharing a lot with each other. When KB left HC to take another job, I cried because I knew I would miss seeing her every day. But I know I have a friend for life.

In addition to being funny (I started writing KB quotes down in a little book), KB is an incredibly genuine, sincere person. She's the real deal. And she shows caring in so many ways whether it's asking questions about different people and situations in my life or giving hugs at times when she knew that's what I needed even though she would not consider herself a touchy feely person or sending a text to check in.

Not only do we share the same name, but we are also the same age. And we share many common interests like reading, shopping, eating Thai food etc. We always have a lot of fun together. And of course our faith in Christ binds us together.

I have a great deal of respect for KB. I know in a lot of ways she didn't have the easiest life growing up, yet she overcame whatever difficulties she had, and is an amazingly centered person, a hard worker, an awesome mom to her kids Jackson and Karter, and an amazing friend.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

1984 by George Orwell

This book was fascinating and frightening, depicting government that has such complete control over people--citizens (who have no rights) are constantly reminded by posters all over that "Big Brother is Watching." Even in a person's own apartment, he is monitored by the government and can be punished for words, actions, even thoughts that would dare to contradict the ruling party. If new information or news contradicts anything the ruling party has said, history is rewritten so that there is no contradiction. The book focuses on a man living in this society named Winston Smith. Not a happy go lucky book by any means. But it is a book that draws you in and keeps you reading to see what happens to Winston. Fascinating and scary stuff.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

John 3:14-17

14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Gospel in a nutshell. Sweet, sweet words that bring us comfort, joy, and peace.