Friday, May 22, 2009

"And that all I can think about is how long I've been waiting to feel you move me..."

"Close my eyes and hold my heart
Cover me and make me something
Change this something normal
Into something beautiful"

It's finally summer in Michigan! The warm weather has arrived and I even got a little sun today! I sat outside of my apartment on my oversized purple blanket with my computer and my books and had a wonderful time! Diana even joined me for a little while after she got back from the store. After that it was off to coffee with Jen, Di, and Sophie at Jackson Coffee Company. It was my first experience. I had a Shamrock White Mocha (blended) and it was awesome. While we were standing in line, there was a sign that read... "Unattended Children will be given a shot of expresso and a puppy." Haha. Just a little amusement for the day...

After I got back from a beautiful day at practice, it was time for what seems to become an annual event... BBQ with Jen and Kev! We had sweet corn, brats, and hamburgs all fresh off the grill. It was delicious. Thank you Kevin for risking your life among the hot coals to grill us up some grub. Well done, champ. And yes, we checked, his eyebrows are in tact and accounted for.

I also got to read about Mike's adventure in Japan today! How exciting! AND I heard from my little brother in Egypt!! Also, very exciting!! YAY! It sounds like they are both having fun so far. I just get so excited for people traveling and experiencing other cultures. That is one of the things about Spring Arbor that I am extremely grateful for. The cross cultural program is such a great opportunity that you can not replace. 

Finally, Eric Rudland called me yesterday and I have been struggling with decisions. He needs to know what I am planning on doing for next fall. Although I would really love to coach my girls again.. I just don't know what else I would do here. The AD at Jackson Christian has offered me the coaching job for the JV boys program as well but I just don't know if I can stay in Jackson for another season. It all depends. Right now I am not clear as to what I want or what I am supposed to do. So, I guess my plan of action would be to tell Eric to give the job to someone else and if I end up being around in the fall I can help out here and there. Does this sound plausible? I don't want to accept a job, not knowing what the next few months will bring and then having to back out and leave the girls without a coach. On the other hand, when I come back from India... so far I do not have a job... and I will not have a lot of money to relocate. So, the other option is to take the two coaching jobs, find a place to stay in Jackson for 3 months and then be on my merry way. This way I can earn some money when I come back to the States and look to move on from there... come November. Ahhh.. sometimes life decisions are annoying. I know the Lord will use me wherever I end up but what if I make the wrong decision? What if I am holding back? These "What If" questions are driving me crazy! So feel free to advise me... I would like to hear some opinions by those who know me best. :) As for now, all I know is that I am leaving for India on June 26th and returning in August. No plans after that but I am getting really excited! 

Bonus Feature...
The other day I was working with Sam (my manager). We were packing up the back room and finding places in the store for all the hidden little trinkets. Anyway... enter boisterous middle aged woman. I knew she was trouble the moment I heard her start talking, because from that moment on she didn't stop. Talking about her beach house and heading to a wedding.. I didn't get all the details. Sam was the lucky one. So Sam starts helping her while I am stocking one of the shelves a few feet away. I tried to block out her obnoxiousness but I couldn't help but catch little parts of the conversation. Sam later told me the entirety of the encounter. Apparently the woman was a pastor and she was doing a wedding this weekend somewhere. When asked about the sale Sam told her that we were going out of business but Hope was still going to carry on the fresh flower part of the business.... "Well, let me get a business card because people are always asking me where to go for flowers and such for their weddings," was the woman's reply. Little did Sam know what she was getting into. Sam fished out a business card from the back room and the woman was ready with hers when Sam returned. She had not one but a bunch of cards fanned out in her hand like a magician ready to perform a card trick. She says..."Pick one. There's a gift on the other side." Sam was a little apprehensive at this point but did as the lady instructed. She slowly picked a card and turned it over to see what was waiting for her on the other side. Before she had the chance to read it the lady snatched the card out of her hand and her expression turned into that of concern. In a grim voice she revealed the gift.. "You got Owl Medicine. That means deception. Someone is deceiving you. Probably at night. Do you know any night owls?" Sam didn't know what to do. The lady proceeded to recite a poem and told Sam that only Sam knew what it meant, she was just the messenger. The woman finally left and when Sam looked at her card a little closer it said she was a pastor but a medium, fortune teller, etc. Wow. I'll just let you soak that all in. It was definitely a unique experience (and somewhat humorous). 

Monday, May 18, 2009

"A father to the orphan, a healer to the broken... This is our God."

Weekend update continued...

Work. Work. Work. 
Busy. Busy. Busy.
If you haven't heard. J.Alexanders florist of Jackson is going out of business. That means huge sales, which in turn means we have more business in one day than we've had over the past year. So busy, in fact, that I was at work 45 minutes after closing as I was watching over a few stragglers. Gotta love the customers that come in 5 minutes before closing.. "just to look." Oh goodness...

After work, I called Angela. We decided to get together and go out for an Indian dinner in Ann Arbor. So, I hopped in the trusty Grand Am and headed East. I met Ang and Dave at their apartment and we headed downtown to Raja Rani. Let me just tell you the food was AWESOME! It was Dave's idea to get the dinner for three so we could try a bit of everything.. kudos to you Dave, that was a grand idea. Here's what we had...

Indian Spiced Tea... Excellent
Tandoori Chicken.. very good but the fluorescent red color is a little intimidating
Lamb Curry... my first experience with lamb, it went well.
Navrattan Korma... awesome veggie dish with a spicy sauce, Ang & I decided it was our favorite
Naan... the most amazing bread EVER!
Raita... I think this was the cole slaw type stuff but it had the worst after taste
Dessert.. Rice pudding or Mango ice cream. Ang & I had the ice cream... two thumbs up. Dave had rice pudding he let us try it... also very good.

It was such an awesome dinner! I was so excited and it was really fun to try and figure out what we were eating... because we really had no idea. For example, one of the appetizers I ate was fried but the breading was shaped a little like a goldfish... luckily it turned out to be some type of fritter. Whew! I told Ang and Dave I felt like we were food critics as we sat at our little corner table by the window and discussed what each bite tasted like. So fun. 

After dinner we went to rent a movie. We decided on 7 pounds. Although it was a little depressing, it was very well written. It took awhile to develop but I thought it was pretty good. What a great night with some really great friends! 

Once again. 
Work. Work. Work. 
Busy. Busy. Busy.
Lots of sales and lots of people staying past closing. Oh well. It doesn't bother me that much, just as long as they are polite. One lady came in and I helped her find what she was looking for and then had a little chat with her about her dog that she rescued from an abusive home. She was such a great lady. When I finished ringing her up, I told her to have a nice day and she told me "Oh I already have. You've just made my day!" I just stood there and thought for awhile. I didn't even do anything. All I did was take a little time to listen to her stories and talk to her. Funny how simple things like that can bless another person's life and you don't even realize it. All it takes is a little effort.

On to our soccer game at the Ella. Jen and I both scored and our team dominated. However, we didn't clinch the championship title this year. No free t-shirt... :( Oh well, it's always fun to get out and play even if it isn't the best competition. At least you get to meet some really interesting people. 

That's it for the weekend update... until next time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"And he brings peace to our madness and comfort to our sadness...This is our God"

The day started off early since I was called into sub at Jackson Christian. I was teaching Jr. High Science/Gym and had one class of high school gym. It actually ended up being an easy day because the 8th graders were gone for a field trip. That meant no first hour, third hour prep, no 4th hour and no 5th on to high school gym, second hour. Kickball was on the day's agenda. Ahhh.. takes me back to elementary school. Anyway... we were having a grand old time outside playing some good ol' American kickball and then one of the boys kicked a foul ball. Little did I know the events that were about to unfold...

Mr. Howdyshell, who serves as a math teacher/athletic event bus driver, was out getting the buses ready for the track meet and soccer game scheduled for later that evening. He stopped to watch the game for awhile. That's when things went foul... literally. As I was standing on the first base line I watched the ball go foul and made the appropriate call (I'm such a good umpire..:)) Then instead of someone going to fetch the ball to resume play, I heard someone kick it. I turned slightly only to see a blue rubber sphere taking up my entire line of sight. 
It nailed me right in the side of the face. I had to concentrate really hard not to fall over. The kids laughed and clapped and added that they wished they had a video camera so I could be published on Utube. Embarrassing, but what are you going to do. I just laughed. I laughed even harder when I found out it was Mr. Howdyshell that kicked the ball. The whole school knew by lunch time but it didn't turn out so bad... Mr. Howdyshell bought me pizza for lunch. Like I said.. never a dull moment at JCS.

After a long day of kickball and some battling with Jr. Highers, it was off to Washtenaw Christian for the girls soccer game. Let's just clarify that this is the field that we are going to play on for districts. We arrived after 2 detours.. gotta love Michigan construction, and the lines appeared to waiver because the ground was so bumpy.. AND half the field was mowed and half wasn't. Umm.. wonderful. 
Then I want to just share a story to give you an idea of the refs we had. Our keeper got a yellow card for saving the ball and running into a player. She turned her back before she hit her so she wouldn't get kicked in the face and she was awarded a yellow card. If that isn't confusing enough... after the call he gave us a goal kick! WHAT?!? Clearly, he had no idea what he was doing. I hope he doesn't come back for districts. 
On to the positives... We won 8-2 and one of my girls scored on a header! Yay! 

It was back to the homeland to get ready to go see Mike and Korey at SAU Baccalaureate. Yay for graduating! It was great to see them and their families and other friends like Zuz, Stroh, and CJ. After it was over the Yoders invited me to pizza, where we met up with Shari, and a trip to Wal-mart. It was great fun. I love that family. They're great. After our adventures, Shari came back to stay at my apartment for some great conversation and a good night's rest. 

More weekend update to come...


Sunday, May 10, 2009

"On the wings of the morning, hope is rising..."

"We will rise on the wings of the morning 
Though we hide, hide in the shadows of the night 
There is hope, hope in the hands that have made us 
And are holding us tight."

So again... it's been awhile. I actually wrote this really long post earlier today and then my computer died. Talk about frustrating. I had to take a break before trying to complete it again.. so here we go. 

Well let's start with early last week. I played secretary for Jackson Christian for a couple days. That was fun.  It also happened to be staff appreciation week and I got free food. BONUS! It was delicious. I had to do a couple of announcements over the PA. Talk about anxiety attacks. I hate doing PA announcements. In fact most of the time I write down what I am going to say so I don't freeze in mid sentence and sound like a complete idiot. Other than that, I answered phones, dealt with a nose bleed and a few sickies, and wrote passes for all those late comers. It's always an interesting day at Jackson Christian. 

My girls soccer team has been in a little slump lately. One of our games last week was against Springport. I had never been to Springport but as soon as I got off the exit and drove by the pig farm, I immediately thought I had been teleported back to Huron County. The school was in the middle of a field, the team's strategy was kick and run, AND the fans were yelling things like "Send her!" and "Boot it!" Oh the good ol' HC... it was quite nostalgic, actually. The girls were a little discouraged after losing that game so we had a re-focusing session at practice. I think it went pretty well and we did decent at our tournament on Saturday. We ended up coming in 2nd. 

Thursday and Friday I spent working at the flower shop getting ready for Mother's Day. WOW. I thought Valentines Day was bad. I had no idea! Plus it is prom season so we had those orders on top of Mother's Day. 

For our Mother's Day celebration, my parents came down to watch part of my tournament on Saturday and then we went out to eat at Olive Garden. Diana came with us too... after all she is basically part of our family. Anyway we had to wait quite awhile.. it being Mother's Day and Prom night. While we were waiting for our table some of our Rush players/my Western students walked in. We said hello and they seemed pretty excited to see us and then proceeded to demand a picture. So yes, Di and I were in a prom picture. 
1. Weird. 
2. Wow. We're old. 
It was fun to see the girls though. I'm going to miss them. 
After we finally were seated... dinner was great! I love Italian food. 

At church we talked about Mother's Day and how it is a great day for some but also very hard for others. I immediately thought of my player Renee who was killed in a car accident in January. I felt for her mom and her family. Diana had also mentioned how her coworker Mickey was having a rough weekend since she had lost a son in the past year. I can't even imagine what it's like. I am blessed with a great family that I can celebrate with but I also need to remember those who aren't as fortunate and who are suffering. 
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

I had a soccer game this past weekend with the Ella Sharp Rec League. Apparently no one showed up this week and when I got there at half time (due to coaching at the tournament) we had been playing a player down. We were still winning 1-0. I got there and we were at full strength. Jen and I had a sweet connection going. There were a few times where we connected 2 or 3 one touch passes in a row and then Jen had a corner kick and I scored with a header! It was great! Took me back to high school when I would score off of Di's corner kicks. Not that we were playing against super competition but it was still awesome! My one complaint about the game was that I was playing on the outside against this 40 year old woman who would stiff arm me across the face when going for the ball. Oh, I was getting so mad! By the end of the game I had two big cuts on the inside of my bottom lip and my top lip was swollen from getting hit. Grrr. But in all honesty, after I scored that header I didn't care one bit. 

My most recent news is that I found out my Grandpa was admitted to the hospital. About a month ago, he was scratched by a cat when he was giving it the anesthesia to spay it. Anyway he put disinfectant on it when it happened but it didn't quite do the trick. The infection spread and his whole arm swelled. I went home to visit him and he is doing much better. He isn't very happy about staying in the hospital until Friday though. He's not one to just sit around and he is getting a little bored. To help, I took him a Where's Waldo book. :)

I will write more often from now on... I promise.