Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Have Returned - From the East and To My Blog!

Oh, my blog, how I have missed you!  It's been driving me crazy that I've been home for six days and haven't posted anything!  But besides the 12 hour "nap" I took as soon as I walked in my door and lunch with Jillian before she left for Kenya, it's been nothing but packing, moving, cleaning, and unpacking.  I just got my final load moved today and finished up cleaning at the old place and turned in my keys.  Things are slowly starting to come together at my new apartment.  I'm not a very patient person, especially when it comes to stuff like decorating my house.  I wish I could just spend the rest of the week working on it and get it done, but unfortunately I can't.  I've got to head back to the office tomorrow, which I am excited about, and I've got follow up/thank you letters to write to my East Asia supporters and I've got to plan Amanda's bridal shower.  Thinking about getting those last two things done by the end of the week makes my brain hurt, but they'll only get done if I put unpacking/organizing/decorating on hold.  Sad day.

And here I am going on and on about my apartment, when most of you probably want to hear about the trip.  And all that I can really say about it right now is that it was a great trip in every way imaginable, and that I'm still processing a lot of it.  Over the course of the next few weeks I'm planning on making posts about different aspects of it.  And ironically, out of the hundreds of pictures I took, I think I ended up only taking maybe six or seven of my feet.  But I get to see them every day, I don't get to see East Asia everyday, those pictures were much more enjoyable and interesting to take.  And I know you'll find them more enjoyable and interesting to look at.  Also, I bought a souvenir for the sole purpose of being used for my first blog giveaway, which will be happening soon, woo-hoo, get excited! 

And here is my picture for today, sitting in my new apartment, which has nice, new carpet.  And you can kind of see the ever-so-slight Chaco tan I got while I was gone.  This is a big deal for me.  Usually I only burn and never tan, and a few years ago it took me all summer working at camp to get that much of a tan, and I got this one in two and half weeks.  I was excited.  Wow, that makes me sound like such a loser.  Oh well, such is my life...Oh, and one more thing.  My internet isn't getting installed until next Tuesday, so I can't guarantee a post entry every day, we'll just have to see.  Sorry to disappoint.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Farewell For Now

Well, my friends, the time has come!  We'll be leaving Johnson City in about an hour to drive to Knoxville, and then we fly out tomorrow morning!  For those of you reading this who have supported me along the way, financially and in prayer, thank you so much!  I wouldn't be about to embark on this journey without you!  I won't be getting online at all while I'm gone, so there really is no need to check the blog until the end of May.  But don't worry, I'll be taking lots of pictures and will share with you what I can when I get back!

And I had the following verse as my status on facebook, but it was too long, so I'm sharing it with you.  I think it's beautiful!

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.   The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 
~ Revelation 21:22-27

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance and Good Food

Today was college graduation day here in the Tri-Cities; Milligan, ETSU, and King all had their graduations.  I met up with all of Jessica's roommates and we headed to Bristol to watch Jessica get her diploma.  Miss Smarty Pants was one of only three graduating with an emphasis in neuroscience.  We had gotten there a little late and there weren't any more chairs left so we just stood at the back.  My feet started to hurt so I took off my shoes, then I got tired of standing so I sat on my program in the grass.  I probably looked dumb.  Eh, I don't care.  As the ceremony was winding down Brittany, Staci and I went ahead and headed back to Johnson City because we had reservations at Carrabas and we needed at least a few people to get there in time.  The three of us were there for about 20 minutes before any of the rest of the group showed up, and we ate 3 loaves of bread in that time as well.  Then Jessica's dad ordered appetizers and obviously we still had our meals to eat.  By the time we left we were moaning in misery and when I got back to their apartment I just laid in the middle of the floor to try to let the food disperse evenly.  But I realized that was one of the last meals we would eat with American utensils for a while, because starting Tuesday it'll be chopsticks!  Speaking of, I have got to go pack!  We leave tomorrow and my suitcase is still empty...

I missed the memo about wearing black and white...

Ugh, I look tired, and I don't have access to photoshop at the moment, so no red-eye reducer either.  But I love this girl and we're going to be roomies in East Asia!  So stinkin' excited!

Late Night Crafties...

There is a commercial on TV right now for a fast food place I think, and their little jingle is "Late Night Munchies..." and when I wrote that title I was singing it in the same way.  But that is totally beside the point....

My friend Kathie, who is a photographer, suggested that I buy a generic strap for my camera when I take it on my trip.  That way, people won't see the brand in big letters and know it's a nice camera and steal it.  I then shared that information with my crafty friend Megan who is also taking a nice camera on this trip.  Well Megan found a pattern for a camera strap slipcover and made one, and it's so cute!  I wanted to make one too but knew I didn't have the time, let alone the skills to do that, but I still wanted a cute strap.  What was the solution?  A $1.97 spool of ribbon from Walmart, a needle, and some thread.  I just sewed the ribbon, which happened to be the perfect width, onto the strap.  It definitely isn't perfect, as you can see, but it will do quite nicely for now. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Packing Up and Slowing Down

This is what one's room might look like if they were packing for a 17 day international trip, packing their apartment to move 5 days after returning from that trip, and preparing for their sister's summer wedding.  Aka, this is what my room looks like right now.  Boxes on top of boxes next to boxes, with a few bags in between, crammed into a little corner.

One might also use an abundance of lists...

And even though they still have lots to do, they might need to 
paint their toenails...

And that's ok, because my chocolate told me so...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Supporting the Kingdom

Waiting to eat at the Firehouse
Lots of happiness things happened today, but I can't share them all because I really can't afford to be on here very long.  So, I will share the ones that have happened in the last three and a half hours.  I went out to eat tonight with Jessie and Jillian, and this was fun in and of itself because they are some of my favorite J friends, but until this past weekend they didn't really know each other that well.  They worked together at a fundraiser on Saturday, which allowed for inside jokes and a friendship to form.  So of course it was fun for all three of us to be together.  We ate at the Firehouse, which is a great BBQ place that is delicious and is run by a wonderful Christian couple.  A lot of college students work there, and a lot of them are going on mission trips and working at camps this summer.  So tonight, if you presented this little card (which got from the student employees ahead of time) when you paid, 20% of your bill would go toward these students' support, and they could keep 100% of their tips.  So it was a great excuse to go out to eat.  It was fun too because I knew almost all the servers working tonight and a bunch of the other customers too, so we were always waving or making faces at someone.  That was the first happiness thing.  While eating dinner I learned about an organization that had a booth set up in entry way of the restaurant, called namebrand.  The church I've been attending has been partnering with an orphanage in Guatmamala, and some of the guys from that team came up with this idea.  They sell these shirts for $20 that have their logo on the front, but printed on the inside where the tag would be is the name of one of the children there in Guatamamala, where the proceeds would go!  So I looked at my tag and it said Chupete, so I said "Aww, this is my kid!" and I pronounced his name like Chew-pete, which I quickly found out was pronounced Cha-pet-tay.  And Chupete was in the photo album they had, so I got to see him!

Chupete is on the right with the soccer ball, isn't he cute?

The front of the shirt.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Mug Monday in MAY

How in the world is it already May?!?  For months May has been "the month I go to China" and now May is here!  And this time next week I will be in China!  And if I understand our schedule and the time difference correctly, more precisely this time next week I'll be at the Great Wall or Summer Palace!  So exciting!  So this is going to be the last Mug Monday you'll get for a few weeks.  At Milligan, if you get on the Dean's List, not only do you get one of those wonderful certificates with important people's signatures stamped on it, you also get a mug.  I didn't make Dean's List my freshman year, and that made me determined to get one of those mugs.  I didn't care about the grades so much, I just wanted a mug.  I made it in the spring of my sophomore year and was thrilled to get my mug, and it was even more exciting because this was a cool mug.  It was more tall and slender than normal mugs, and the handle was sleek and different.  I loved it.  In the spring of my senior year I had my senior photo exhibit, and I used that mug to hold the pens for the guest book.  The big opening day was a Sunday, and then the work hung in the gallery all week long.  Well when I went back on Friday afternoon to clean everything up, my mug was gone!  Not only was I disappointed, I was mad!  Someone had stolen one of my favorite mugs, and they probably weren't even on the Dean's List!  Oh the nerve of some people...I hated thinking about not having that mug, so I ended up going to the department that was in charge of all of that stuff and explained what happened and asked if they had any more of those mugs, and they did, I was so relieved!  So in fact, these are not pictures of my original, prized mug, thanks to Sticky Fingers, but I am happy to have a replacement!

2007!?  That makes me feel old...

Seeger Chapel

Also, I took these pictures of this beautiful bush outside of my front door yesterday but didn't get a chance to post them, so you can enjoy them today.

Oh, hello 250mm lens!

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