Monday, December 28, 2009

So much for a guided tour...

Its been a fun few weeks at home so far! Last Wednesday I had a mini-party at my house and a bunch of people came over to hang out, eat pizza and play guitar hero!
Of course, whenever my friends and I hang out, we just HAVE to go on a midnight adventure somewhere. How nifty that my house is conveniently located 20 minutes from downtown Niagara Falls! We drove over there and couldn't find parking at all on Goat Island (the island nestled between American Falls and Horseshoe Falls) due to the icey conditions, and lord knows that parking is a scarcity in the city area.

I have a riddle for you. Where am I if I am 20 minutes from home, not in Canada, not in Mexico, and not on USA territory, but still in North America?

Answer: In an Indian Casino!

So someone recommended that we park in the Senaca Niagara Casino, as its right there near the falls and free! Of course, being the adventurous kids that we are, we wondered what it was like in the casino, so we walked right in! Then we realized that you have to be 21 to enter the floor. Sung-man, interested in seeing more, went back in and asked if we could have a tour, since we were all under 21, and the "bouncer" said yes! So Janelle, Casey, Kailey, Sung, and I patiently waited to the side as he called for a guide for us. An official looking lady finally called us over and lead us into the belly of the casino. As we were walking quickly and only around the outer edges, we gave each other questioning looks, as we expected some sort of mini guided tour, but all we got was a face paced escort to the other side! How disappointing. She dropped us off on the other side of the casino, opposite of the falls and our car! And you can just walk outside and go around the building, its so cold and huge... so after exploring all possible routes back and discovering no such way, we had to ask for another escort! It ended up being the same lady too. I'm sure we looked like crazy fools- hurriedly walking from one end to the other. Oh well.
  At this time its about 1:30am, and it was ridiculous to see the people who were in the casino. There were tons and tons of raggedy elderly folks who were just glued to the gaming machines, pulling the lever with a sad but hopeful look in their eyes. Two days before Christmas, and I'm asking myself, shouldn't these people be home with their families? Sleeping or wrapping gifts, or baking cookies or something? I just wanted to run up and hug them and talk to them! Downtown Casinos don't do any good for an area. Sure they offer some entertainment and tons of places to eat and shop but in the long run all they bring to a community is gambling addictions, poverty, high suicide rates, and a strain on the infrastructure. That's a fact (check it out here here and here).

Anyways, this isn't a post about Casinos and gambling. After getting escorted through the casino, we walked over to the Falls viewing area and just admired its beauty. (hard to see the pic because its taken in the middle of the night!) Sung said "I would love to live around here and be able to hear the loud noises from nature all the time." haha. Its true.

I love Niagara Falls. Maybe is it overrated to some people, and surely those who live around here hardly give it a second glance, but I think its pretty cool. I recommend seeing it once in your life (go on the Maid of the Mist!).

Thats all for now folks!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Happened to Jingles?

This is a great article from WNYmediaabout what happened to the original Jingles cookies that used to be produced by Salerno, bought out by Keebler. (and how they destroyed the best taste of christmas)

Check it out here:
Salerno Jingles Cookies

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, December 25, 2009

Saint vs Saviour

I was reading about the history of Saint Nick, and its quite interesting. Santa seems like he was a God-fearing man. He was a 4th-century Greek bishop of Myra, in Turkey. He was famous for his generosity to the poor, and dedicated his life to Christianity. One story tells of him giving dowries to three impoverished daughters of a Christian man so that they would not have to become prostitutes. It seems as if we have clouded his story through the ages, as we have given him attributes that easily melt into differing cultures. But if he was in fact a devout God lover, then I don't mind celebrating his life.

I'm not all for random holiday's celebrating human achievement but if I have to pick a way to do it up, I think the Germans and other Europeans do it right. My roommate Kim, who has lived in Germany for many years, celebrates "Sinterklaas Day" every December 6th. On this day they celebrate the patron saint of children by traditionally putting small gifts in each others shoes and feasting. At least it takes Santa out of the Christmas equation.

For our Sunday service this past week, my pastor read through a card he received in the mail recently. I think it really gets at the point of what so many have done, making Santa into a saviour like figure, and practically making Jesus into a Santa like figure. My pastor expanded quite a bit, but I figured that most of you could do the same as you read it. I don't know who wrote it, but its pretty awesome and powerful.

The Difference between Christ and Santa Claus

Santa lives at the North Pole.
Jesus is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh.
Jesus rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year.
Jesus is ever present.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies.
Jesus supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.
Jesus stands at your door, knocks, and then enters
your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa.
Jesus is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap.
Jesus lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is,
"Hi, little one, what's your name?"
Jesus knew our name before we were born.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too.
He knows our history, future and how many hairs are on
our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.
Jesus has a heart full of love

All Santa can offer is "HO HO HO"
Jesus offers help and hope.

Santa says, "You better not cry."
Jesus says, "Cast all your cares on me, for I care for

Santa's little helpers make toys.
Jesus makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs
broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle.
Jesus gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree.
Jesus became our gift and died on a tree - - - the cross.

I am so thankful for God and His redeeming love. I'm thankful that his presence is ever present, and not just once a year. I'm thankful that he doesn't just give us a stocking filled with crap every year, but hour by hour abundantly supplies us with all our real needs.  I am thankful for His amazing care and blessings, and the fact that He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to be born on this earth, knowing that His imminent pain and death would free us from the bondage of sin and allow us to have a direct relationship with His glorious self.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Prayer for Russia

This email came from Sally Hinzie in Houston who sends out a monthly prayer for Nizhny Novgorod in Russia. I thought y'all might find it interesting:

"Mike Haynes (in the middle) is preparing to move to Zavolzhe (near Nizhniy Novgorod) to start an English Club. They will use the Bible, Christian films and Christian articles to practice their English. Please pray for Mike as he finalizes his preparation and pray for those that will be attracted to this club – that their hearts will be receptive to the gospel!

Visit the virtual prayer walk at:

I will be working with Mike once I get there! Keep him in your prayers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cookie Exchange!

Last night was my first ever Cookie Exchange! A bunch of people from Grace Harbor went over to Norm and Cheryls fun little log cabin and we exchanged some cookies. Basically. you bring as many as you want, and then you line up everyone's cookies on a table, and everyone walks around taking one cookie at a time until they are all gone. You end up with a plate that looks like this:

Holy Moly! Its filled with Kim's german cookies, Rachels crazy chocolate chineese cookies, typical choco chip, ginger snaps, maple flavored, random other delightful stuff, etc etc. I dont even know what Im going to do with all this!!
  I brought peanut butter chocolate graham cracker balls. Its a recipe inspired by something I remembered from a while ago, and it was an epic battle for me to make. I actually ended up wasting about a bag of perfectly good semi sweet chocolate chips because I apparently didnt know how to correctly melt chocolate! The first few batches ended up as a crusty ball of poo looking thing. I was also strapped for time. Needless to say, I do not enjoy the concept of the double boiler. But I got about 15 good ones, so that was good enough. Haha.
    I think the Cookie Exchange is going to become a much loved tradition in our "family"!!!!

Whats your favorite Christmas cookie? And does anyone know the easiest way to melt chocolate?

(pictures from Rachel)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Letters to Home: Thank You and Merry Christmas!

I stayed up pretty late last night, 4am to be exact. Maybe it had to do with the nap I took from 8pm-10pm, or maybe it had to do with all the thoughts running through my mind about school and going home, or the huge batch of support letters I had to put together and get sent out for Russia, or who I should send a christmas card too, or the fact that I spent about $20 on postage in the past week.

 In about one week I will be truckin back to Buffalo with my mom and grandparents. Its been about 10 months since I've been back there, the longest stretch away from my home. The time has gone pretty quick between spring practicum and Greece, working full time this summer, and the full load of activities/classes this past fall trimester. Ive missed it, and it will be good to be back.

For those that are here for the first time, possibly because you recieved my Russia letter: Thanks! I appreciate your support and I love you all to death! Praise God for my family back at Faith Tabernacle, you have all been such a blessing. Also to my family at CAWNY! Love you and miss you!

As of right now, I probably wont be saying too much on here in the next few weeks as I am home and spending much needed time with my family. Hopefully I will be able to touch base with most of you, as I plan on making some stops around WNY!  Feel free to stick around and just check out some of my more recent posts about Russia and whats going on with that.

God Bless!

The Haynes Black Bean Soup Recipe

So I was at a friends house recently when they served me this beauty of a meal. Im all for great tasting and cheap delicious eats. Let me tell you, this fits right into my budget and delights my taste buds. Ive made 2 pots in the past two weeks and both my roommate and I have taken  it to work for lunch  multiple times. It would also be a great main course for a family!

Black Bean Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
½ c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
¾ c. chopped celery
¾ c. chopped carrot
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
3 (15.5 oz. each) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
juice from 1 lime
1 T. tomato paste

In large stockpot heat oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir in cumin and cook 1 minute. Add celery, carrots, stock, and beans. Heat to boiling. Cook on low, covered for 15-20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and tomato paste. To thicken, puree beans and return to pot. (I used a potato masher and just mashed the beans in the soup while still in the stockpot).

Variations on how you can enjoy this dish:
  • with cheese and sour cream on top
  • with smooth guacamole, sour cream, and cheese mixed in
  • over a bed of rice
  • next to or mixed with seasoned diced tomatoes 
  • add diced tomatoes and create a dip for tortilla chips   
  • all of the above? haha 

Note: At first I had no idea what Cumin was, and didnt even have any. But I found it at my local market and as soon as I smelled it I knew exactly what it was! I recommend buying this spice for future dishes. Its very popular in many ethnic cuisines and makes beans, rice, and meat stand out. Dont be afraid of picking some up!

I already had all of the ingredients, but per serving I would say about $1.50. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Like a Bull in a China Shop

This week I was blessed to go over to a good friends house and help her decorate for Christmas. Its such a blessing how I met her! She is the Connecticut admissions representative for JWU, and she was one of the adult leaders on my trip to Greece last spring! We got along really well, and it turns out that she is a Christian and is really awesome! This summer we got together a few times, and her son and I went to the same conferences in Utica NY at Zion! So funny. Well anyways, her kids didnt want to help her decorate the tree, so a bunch of us girls from the Greece trip went over and had a blasting good time!  She is the most hospitable person I have ever met, and I pretty much want her to come and decorate my house someday. I adore her "traditional new england cottage" feel, with no gaudy decorationg, but each seems to have a purpose and memory.  Maybe Christmas decorating will become a tradition while we are all still in Providence!

It was fun, and really great to hang out with people I havent really seen that much since last spring!!

Stephanie, Me, Chimene, Yuan!
This is her beautiful white Christmas tree in front of the fire place.
Me underneath the real tree, trying to get it sturdy and uncrooked!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Difficult Truth

Here is a little tidbit of difficult thought that I have been challenged with lately.

"How do you know that you are saved? Because you believe? How do you know you believe? Everyone believes. How do you know you are not like them? Do you know how the bible teaches you are saved? You know you have been saved because your life is in the process of being changed, and your style of life is one of walking in the paths of Gods truth, and when you step off the path of those paths in disobedience like we all do, God comes for you and puts you back on the path. God will make a difference in your life."
-Paul Washer, Shocking Youth Message.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Preserving age-old handicraft at Matryoshka’s birthplace

This is a really cool little news clip about a small historical city called Gorodets, Russia. It is located about an hour away from where I will be living in Zavolzhye, just across the Volga river (an hour from Ninzhny Novgorod). During last years trip we were able to visit this town, and actually saw everything that is featured here such as the teapot museum and the bread museum. So cool to be reunited with its beauty. It is virtually impossible to find info or news about Gorodets from the USA. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

URL Change

So, maybe you noticed the URL change, maybe you didnt. But, I bought my blog a nice little web address,! Go ahead, type it right in.

I did this for a few reasons. Partly because people were having trouble finding my blog when I told them the long blogger name. Partly because Ive been thinking about getting this for a while, and might as well do it now. Partly because I dont want anyone else to have my name as a url EVER, so I figured I should pick it up while I still can.

I thought the process was going to be five hundred times more complicated than it really is. But actually Blogger sells the domain to you directly, instead of going through a third party yourself. You simply go to your blog admin options: click on settings, and the publishing, and then set custom url. You have to go through some pages of setting up info, but its really quick and easy. Not to mention cheap- $10 for one year.

Why I recommend getting a custom url:
  • Those with a readership who arent exactly tech savvy will be able to easily finding your blog. Now instead of you just tell them!
  • It cements your online presence. This could be good or bad, depending on what kind of things you write on your blog, so consider that first. Imagine someone searching your name online, and coming up with terrible nasty content. This is what happens when my sister searches her name online. Its because someone else with her name is making terrible choices online, but how would a future employer or ministry leader know that at first? Buying your name or atleast a custom url will give you peace of mind that no one else could unintentionally misrepresenting you.
  • Its dang fun!
Ok thats all for now =)

Friday, November 27, 2009

This Thanksgiving

We all sat in a circle and went around the room saying what we were thankful for. Of course we were thankful for our family, friends, and good health, promotions, etc. Do not think for one second that I am discounting those amazing blessings, but it was incredibly amazing what other kinds of things people were saying.

Every day I am so encouraged by my church family at Grace Harbor Community Church and the hearts these people have. It’s amazing to see how much more we have, as a church, truly started trusting in God's providences and grace, even when it’s dark and scary and hard and strips us from all we've got. It was encouraging to hear people talk about how thankful they were for the hard situations in their lives this year. For example, Jess was talking about her surgery and how she was thankful that God has used the pain from it to show her how to trust Him and lean on him for strength. Wendy talked about the blessings that have come from her blindness. Rachel talked about how she was just thankful to still be thankful and not bitter after a rough year.

For me personally, I have learned this past year to be thankful when God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I would want Him too. Looking back, if He had given me a certain relationship that I strived so much for- I definitely wouldn’t have grown leaps and bounds like I did, coming to a more complete realization that Christ is my all. In fact, I would still be trapped in the pattern of needing people more than loving them. If God had taken people out of my life because I didn’t think I could handle the hurt, then I wouldn’t have learned to love a lot more unconditionally those that I didn’t think I could even like. If God had allowed me to get accepted for Switzerland, then I wouldn’t be going to Russia for missions, and getting co-op credit for it -ten times better. Even thinking all these things, I am just humbled, almost ashamed for my reactions when things first did not go my way.

Looking at circumstances in this light has caused me to take a general step back and realize that I cannot see the complete bigger picture. It makes me thankful for God's perfect, loving, and violent grace in my life- that everything physical can be stripped away from us but we still have the Gospel. It’s definitely really hard to be seriously disappointed by something you thought was going to happen, and then look at it with thanksgiving- but its truth, it’s the way we should respond. We need to grasp that God knows what He is doing. He loves us, and sometimes in loving us, He has to take crap out of our lives or take us on a different path so we can mature and focus more clearly on Him.

Happy Thanksgiving... what are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Delightful Thanksgiving Recipe

Hey yo! This is cross posted with my other blog, Shoot Son. Dang Girl, so fee free o head over there if you for some reason want to see the exact same post.
I figured that I would share with you a recipe that I have made countless times, and each time the pot is completely wiped clean by the end of the meal. (Great for potlucks or big gatherings of people.)

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE: Crock pot style.
I originally found this recipe from Crockpot365 but since she isnt personally fond of her own recipe, Ive decided to not copy and paste her words, but instead give you my interpretation, because I mix it up a little bit. I use my crock pot because I like how easy it is, just set it and forget it. It gives you more time and freedom to do other things through the day and not worry about baking time or whatever.

4 cups green beans (however you like them- canned, fresh, french cut, etc)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French's French fried onions
1 Table spoon of Parmesan Cheese (or parm/ramano mix)
1 dash of garlic powder
1 dash of onion powder
1 dash of pepper

  So get out your crock pot. Pour in the green beans. I try to drain them first. Now pour in the cream of mushroom soup and mix it up. You can slosh around a bit of water in the soup can to get it all out, and then pour all of that in. Add the table spoon of parmesan cheese, and the dash of garlic powder, dash of onion powder, pepper, mix it up.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3.

***In the middle of your cook time, pour the onions evenly over the top and continue cooking.***

Then serve and enjoy.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone=)

Thanksgiving Delight: A Recipe that Rocks

Hey yo! So right now its technically Thanksgiving, even though Im still awake and considering it Wednesday night. I just figured that I would share with you a recipe that I have made countless times, and each time the pot is completely wiped clean by the end of the meal. (Great for potlucks or big gatherings of people.)

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE: Crock pot style.
I originally found this recipe from Crockpot365 but since she isnt personally fond of her own recipe, Ive decided to not copy and paste her words, but instead give you my interpretation, because I mix it up a little bit. I use my crock pot because I like how easy it is, just set it and forget it. It gives you more time and freedom to do other things through the day and not worry about baking time or whatever.

4 cups green beans (however you like them- canned, fresh, french cut, etc)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French's French fried onions
1 Table spoon of Parmesan Cheese (or parm/ramano mix)
1 dash of garlic powder
1 dash of onion powder
1 dash of pepper

  So get out your crock pot. Pour in the green beans. I try to drain them first. Now pour in the cream of mushroom soup and mix it up. You can slosh around a bit of water in the soup can to get it all out, and then pour all of that in. Add the table spoon of parmesan cheese, and the dash of garlic powder, dash of onion powder, pepper, mix it up.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3.

***In the middle of your cook time, pour the onions evenly over the top and continue cooking.***

Then serve and enjoy.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone=)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Straight Up Info About My Trip to Russia

(hanging out with the underground youth at the church) 
Thanks to many supporters last year, I was able to go to Russia in February 2009 for 9 days. This year God has given me an even greater opportunity to serve Him. I will be going again with a team from my church/school, but instead of coming home with them after those 9 days, I will be staying in Russia for 3 months. This will take place February - May  2010. It is amazing to see God’s hand in this whole process, as my university has allowed me to use this three months off as a “co-operative learning experience,” in which I will document my experiences and a get full trimester’s worth of academic credit… for Missions!!!!!

I will be partnering with a church in Russia and working with them to further the gospel in the community through English Clubs, collegiate and children’s outreach, discipleship, small groups, hanging out with orphans, prayer walks, English tutoring, along with many other ministry possibilities. I simply hope that God is made strong through my weaknesses and I am able to share the redeeming power of the Gospel through relationships built there.

The past trimester continuing through until March, I am studying the Russian language. I have come such a distance already, but still minimally able to communicate. I can pretty much read anything and I know how to get across what Im trying to say. Lets just pray that I can get a better grip on it.

The cost of the trip is $2500 and includes airfare, living expenses, insurance, etc etc.

A member of my team from last years trip is also going back to Russia for an extended period of time. He will be living there from January-March and setting the groundwork for many of the things I will be involved in. He is more well versed in the Russian language and thinks about alot of practical things that I never would have thought of.  It is such a blessing to have him there.                          
                                                                (inside of Christ our Saviour Church in Zavolzhye)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

If you are interested in supporting me financially or through prayer, please email me at and I will be incredibly thankful!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missions Focus: Russia

So about every other week at the college fellowship, Tuesday Night Truth, I give a little presentation on a country and some interesting facts and figures about religion, missions, etc. A few weeks ago I talked about Russia. Here is the link from the TnT blog. And here is the info:

Missions Focus: Russia 
  • There are many interesting things to learn about this country and how we can be more involved in sharing the gospel.
  • Russian Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in Russia
  • Some residents of the Siberian and Far Eastern regions practice shamanist, pantheistic, and pagan rites
  • 70 years during communism- scientific atheism was enforced

63% Russian Orthodox
16% non-believers.
12% said they believe in God, but did not practice any religion
6% Muslim
1% either Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant or Jewish

Specific Ways to Pray:
  • Russians are now turning to alcohol, drugs and occultism to fill their spiritual emptiness. Pray that God will do a work in this country and bring the gospel: allowing people to have hope, know love, and trust in God.
  • Pray for church planters and missionaries willing to dedicate time and resources to spreading the gospel here
  • Government begins to loosen grip on religious intolerance. 

Also, I follow some blogs of people that live in Russia- maybe as missionaries, or business people, or just a random family. Its really fascinating and encouraging to read stories that these people share about their lives and how they have come to adjust to life in Russia.

Check out these blogs:

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Music Monday: JJ Heller

Ok, random new feature that I might do every so often. New Music Monday!!!
Today we are going to talk about a really great singer songwriter that my friend Rachel introduced me to the other night.
Her name is JJ Heller and her music is reminiscent of Norah Jones, Colbie Caillat, and Regina Spektor. She is a Christian who has had her music featured on the tv show So You Think You Can Dance, as well as Klove. Oh man I cant get enough of her music. Listen Below, check it out on youtube, buy her cds.

You tell me life will not be pain free. 
What will be will always be in your control. 
You are stronger than any terrible possible scenario today, 
Come and save me. 
You’re the only source of all the peace I need, 
Come and save me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Its Time for Some Christmas Crafts!

 So Friday night I went over to Melissa's house and my other friends Rachel and Melissa H were there and we made all sorts of Christmas crafts!  These are the ones I made, mini gingerbread houses out of Milk Cartons and felt! So easy! I would totally recommend making them with kids or adults, and they will definitely look great on the mantle.

 Found directions on the internet, at Family Fun, but honestly its just so easy just use your creativity. Here are the steps:
1. Get Milk Cartons, organge juice, half and half.. whatever
2. Cover them in Brown Felt or foam
3. Cut out cute designs and glue it them on!
 4. Cut off the bottom of the carton so they stand flat and not wobbly.

I made all my little decorations from scratch using ideas from the magazine and also just my own inspiration. You can basically go crazy, use whatever colors, supplies, sparkly things you want. Its your gingerbread house. We used glitter foam, rick-rack, colored felt, and pom poms for ours.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Us Your Life: Pets!

Every so often I make it over to Kelly's Corner weekly "Show Us Your Life" segments. Sometimes the topic doesnt really have to do with me, but when it does, Im all over it!

Meet Mr. Kodey Pants!

 My dog is the best little buddy ever. His real name is Kodey, but we have buttloads of awkward nicknames for him. Kodey is a six year old "lab shepard collie mix," or something like that (he is impossible to define).  He was brought to us as a small puppy by a friend who picked him up for free at a county fair, and was a little sack of fur and cuteness. He could hardly walk because since he was so cute everyone just carried him and held onto him tight!

We are best friends because when he was younger and we lived by the Erie canal I would take him on runs all the time and I kind of trained him and loved him through all his shortcomings. haha.

When he was two years old, he decided to run into the street and ended up getting hit by a car, resulting in a completely shattered pelvis. Much to my father's dismay, we decided to get him fixed up. Too much money, a rod in his thigh bone, a few years, and tons of meds later, he is practically back to normal! He runs and frolicks, and loves jumping in gross bodies of water to fetch sticks!

When we moved to my grandparents house, he became really spoiled rotten because my grandma loved him way too much. I think he is still trying to work off the weight from all the treats. Haha. Just kidding grandma =)

His favorite activities include:
Eating tissues from the garbage
Sleeping on people's beds.
Peeing on shoes
Frolicking and chasing balls
Chasing cats in the neighbors yard.
Eating every kind of food in the world
Going for car rides
Hanging out with his family and friends
Nawing on bones until they are gone.

Of course while I am at college I miss my family and friends, but there is just a special bond between a girl and her dog, and doggone, I miss my Kodey  Pants.

Kodey's Many Nicknames:
(dont ask..)
Mr Pantsy.
Sir Kodey Pantalones
Mr Kodey Pants
Little Pants
Little Buddy
Kodey Pants
Crazy Fool.
Grumpy Old Man

<---Kodey at Christmas.

Ok ok I could go on and on about this dog. But come on, isn't he cute!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Almost. Done.

One more final and I am peacing out of Fall Trimester 2009!!! Hoorah! I did better than I thought in some classes, and worse than I thought in others. By that I mean one of my professors told me that it was mathmatically impossible for me to pass Statistics no matter what grade I got on the final. So I ended up writing my name on it, throwing some answers on the scan-tron and peacing out. I can retake it with a new prof and get a better grade and pretend none of that even happened. Haha.

This Thanksgiving I will be staying in Providence and just hanging out with my doggie friend Gunther. I get to dog sit him while my friends are out of town for the holiday. Its going to be quite fun, as this little bugger is a ball of energy and full throttle movement. I cant wait to take him on walks and play with him like crazy!!!

Never fear though, I do have plans with humans as well. Next Tuesday I will be visiting with my old pastor, Andy, and his family in Massachussetts! I have only seen them all briefly since the beginning of October and miss them dearly. Andy's dad will be at their house too. He will be going to Russia on a long term volunteer assignment, and we will kind of working together. Its super exciting because I havent seen him since our trip to Russia last spring, and we will get to finally catch up and talk about some details. Also, on Thanksgiving day I will be over at the McKays house with some church family. I pumped about this, because Thanksgiving is always awesome, and my church family is awesome too! (I will miss my real family, of course!!)

As for my Russia missions and co-op trip, Ive been getting a slow intake of information. Yesterday I had a meeting with JWU Career Development about the JWU side of the co-op. It was informative and I cant wait to get more details to them! Also, because I will be getting credit for the co-op I have to complete different projects, one being a 30 page paper. But after she explained it to me, I do not feel intimidated by this, more excited than anything. My co-op Advisor is really excited for me, and told me that I am the only student going abroad for my internship during spring trimester. Also, emails have been sent my way about different conversations that are taking place between Russia and the International Missions Board office, which is cool for me to see. It shows me how many people are involved in this process, as well as the fact that things are being developed and worked out for my arrival. Very tentatively, I will be living in an apartment as well as getting my own Russian cell phone. I will also being helping to lead an "English Club" although that term is still kind of vague in my mind.

Sometimes I wonder what in the heck I am thinking, peacing out for three months and living in a country where I can barely communicate and have no close friends or comforts. Then I realize that God seriously is in complete control and I need not worry. Since day one of this whole process, His hands have been evident and giving much favor. As I look back on this past year, I thank Him for everything He has brought me through and cherish what a loving God He truly is.

Thats all for now=)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Social Media Annoys Me

Ok so: Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, blah blah blah.

I love the stuff, and I think that it can definitely be used constructively. But dear lordy, sometimes being away for it and then checking it again makes me remember why I dont miss it. Ive come up with some ways that people abuse it.

#1: Dont use social media selfishly. If you arent going to interact and respond, whats the point? Get a paper notebook. That way you wont spam the twitterverse or my facebook page with useless crap that is just to get yourself attention. And I wont have to worry about responding to something you say and it never being acknowledged. Social media is similar to real life, let me explain. If you just walk around all day spouting off random crap about yourself, and you dont engage people around you in conversation, then people will start to really get ticked off at you or just ignore you all together. Same with Facebook and Twitter. Sure you can say whatever you want, but if other people try to talk to you about it and you just ignore it, why? My favorite "Unmarketing" guy, Scott Stratten, always makes a point to stop spouting off crap and to start engaging.
Like I said, they do sell pretty notebooks at Barnes and Noble. I will buy you one.

#2: Dont complain about how lonely you are via social media. If you have 500 friends on facebook and 70 on Twitter, but you cant talk to any of them in real life about some struggles you are having, maybe you should rethink some things: are you making an effort to be a friend to others, do you isolate yourself, do you really belong in a city/town where you cant reach out, are there people reaching out to you but you are turning them down? Most likely the issue lies with you, and not others.

and thats all I have to say for now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Conferences, Finals, and Membership!

Oh my goodness folks! Its been a busy trimester for me. Every day brings a new activity or meeting or who knows what that just has to be attended to. Dont think Im complaining, because Im not, its just a lot of things going on!

This week I was blessed by being able to attend a conference in Massachussetts at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. It was a day long talk given by David Paul Tripp, one of my favorite authors and Christian ministry leaders. The title of the conference was: "The Church: Too many unproductive people."  It was a really interesting conference and I got a lot from it.
The mobilization of the body of Christ is one of the chief problems facing the church today. Our churches are filled with people who do not understand the heart-motivating and life-transforming truth of their new potential in Christ. Because of this, they live with confusion in their personal lives and timidity in regard to ministry. How can we motivate people out of their passivity? How can we teach them the true nature of ministry? This one-day seminar is designed to help church members be involved in what God is doing in the lives of others. 

My friends Ben, Kim, Jon and I were able to go up with Kevin and get the cost covered. It fell under "leadership development" because we are all CSF leaders, it worked out! I will probably be posting some tidbits about it later on next week.

Wednesday evenning my pastor was speaking at a church in Seekonk that GHCC has a relationship with, because it was their annual missions conference and Pastor Kevin was kind of communicating that missions is local as well as international, and that we should puruse missions out of desire to see God glorified by all people, not just because we feel guilty. A bunch of us went from Grace Harbor and they gave us a tasty dinner, and alot of hospitality and welcoming arms. Hopefully in the future our churches will be able to partner in new ways in order to spread the gospel.

Last night, Kim, Hannah, and I went over to my pastors house for our membership interviews. Our church is trying to be a biblical church and have biblical membership. This isnt the kind of membership that you carry a little photo id card and can get special discounts at a gym or something, but more of a committment kind of thing that holds us all accountable and just shows the community our unity and love for one another. So the "interview" was more or less just share your testimony and the gospel and get to know people. It was really awesome to see how God has worked in so many people's lives, and brought them to Providence, brought them to Grace Harbor.

Other than that, just trying to get school work taken care of, christian student fellowship leadership stuff, etc etc... oh yeah.. and SLEEP! WHAT IS THAT? I dont even know. haha. Peace out until next time=)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brown Hockey Game

Last night I had the amazing chance to go to a Brown University hockey game. My friend Dan is an S/E/E major, meaning that he does sports, entertainment, and events stuff. He is some sort of coach intern for the Brown women's hockey team and he scored free tickets! It was so much fun!!!! I havent been to a sporting event in such a long time, and it felt good to get my cheer on. We made signs and painted our faces, and I even brought my speaker thing. Some of the guys made this huge cutout thing of a "d" and literally a fence. It was hilarious.  What a good night and I cant wait until the next game!!!!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Post Secret!

I am still pumped from seeing this guy speak tonight. I have every single one of his books from day one, and regularly check his website for updates, and new secrets, and everything really. He collects postcards with secrets on them, and is known as "The Most Trusted Stranger in America."
Ahhh!!!!!!!! Thank you JWU for having such a great program!

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free Stuff

Ok hey, you all know that I love free stuff, well let me tell you about some awesome giveaways going on!

Sue at Stay At home Mom is giving away this pretty sweet crayon tower and I really want it.
Check it out at this link [HERE]

Also, a Progressive Soup gift set! Check it out [HERE]  until 11/15

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Fall

So I totally made these cute pumpkin crafts the other day. I got the idea from an awesome blog, Hostess with the Mostess. They turned out cool and talk about EASY! I tried to be creative by making red ones for apples, but apparently, according to certain people, coughben&isaaccough, they looked like turnips. But alas orange ones are absolutely adorable!

I also roasted some pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins that my roommates carved! Not at all what I remember them tasting like, but a pleasant surprise none the less. Its simple: heat oven to 365, put seeds on an oiled sheet pan, I used Olive Oil, and sprinkle them with salt, then bake until perfectly roasted and browned!

Fall, I love you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Memories

Hoorah!  Tonight me and my roommates are having a party! Its a party full of fun times, great food, and awesome friends. I cannot wait! I remember my first Halloween in Providence, living downtown in the freshmen dorm. It was out of control. Since the clubs and bars are all right there, it was a crazy night full of people who feel the urge to wear a little strip of clothing along with a mask and call it a costume. Oh man. And then they get their drink on and hit up the clubs and house parties. Well, let me just say that I dont miss living downtown.
Last night my roommates carved some pumpkins and I roasted the seeds into a tasty treat for this evenning. Im also making my famous hummus and the classic taco dip. Kim is making cupcakes. Elyse is bring the games. Good times for everyone!

I was thinking about Halloween in the past and a few random things came to memory.

Hallelujah Night at the Kenan Center! All the fun of hundreds of kids coming for a safe and exciting night of games and candy, all the booths and the puppet show! What fun!!! That event happened for years and years. And they eventually moved it to the CAWNY building. I dont know if they still have it ever, but it was a definite memory in my head.

Horse-O-Ween at the Rider's farm. When I was in my horse back riding phase, the barn I rode at had a really fun event. Every year you would craft a costume for your favorite horse. One year I dressed up Shortcake, a small black pony, as a lady bug. Another year I dressed up Timber, a beautiful chestnut quarter horse, as a Knight in Shining Armor. Then we would play games and have costume competitions with the horses. My favorite game was "Horse Apple Bobbing." The horses would stick their faces in and try to get apples, and whoever got one the fastest won! Then Mr Rider would start up the tractor and get everyone on for a hayride and a bonfire in the back field. Memories of the brisk air, scent of horse barn, and hot spicy apple cider bring me right back to those fun nights.

I was also thinking of some costumes I have had in the past and I remember all the ridiculous things that me and Kailey did. One year I was Bob the Builder. (I think because my dad had a hard hat). Ive been a pumpkin, a cucumber princess (I wore head to toe green and wore a crown.. I dont know why), a horseback rider, an artist, a princess, the list goes on. Ahhh the memories.

My neighborhood was a prime trick or treating place to be. My sister, the boys down the street, and I would all get together and go around to all the houses. There was the crazy lady at the end of the street who would give away quarters instead of candy. Then you had the family on Nickel St that would give away creepy religious literature. On Ransom Street you had the creepiest house ever and a man would sit on his porch, except he looked really fake, and when you would go up to ring the doorbell he would JUMP up and scare the daylights out of you.

Ive never really seen Halloween as anything other than a fun night with family and friends. Some people take it to extremes- either its the devils night and you have to bunker down and pray against demons- which is a little ridiculous. Or its about gathering as much black and ghoulish things together, or its a huge party and you have to pay a million dollars for a skanky costume and get drunk in order to have fun- which is also a little ridiculous. In my opinion, just relax and have fun. Dont take it to an extreme or apply unecessary meanings to it.

I wish I had pictures from my childhood Halloween celebrations.
Hope you have a good one all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Death at JWU: Franki Triano

*This is just me being curious and investigative. I possess no power or authority in the situation, nor did I know this person. Just trying to keep people updated. In respect for this whole issue, feel free not to leave any rude comments.*

Self written bio:
"My name is Franki Triano. I am from Kansas City, Missouri. I am 19 years old and a Marketing Major at Johnson and Wales University. I have wonderful parents and two older sisters who have inspired me in too many ways to list. I have a cat named Mojo, a dog named Harley, and a horse named Dash. I like to consider myself a free spirit with ambitious dreams. I might be little but I’m full of energy. I like to have fun and enjoy the life that I’ve been given. I love music, food, friends, family, smiling, laughing, and just being me."


You go on this girls facebook page and its so sad. There are more than one hundred comments from friends, relatives, classmates, roommates, etc, dedicated to her.

Thats all I have. I doubt any new information will be made public.
Please keep praying for her family and friends.
& I'm out of this topic.
God Bless.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Death at JWU Providence Update 1

 *This is just me being curious and investigative. I possess no power or authority in the situation. In respect for this whole issue, feel free not to leave any rude comments.*

At this current time I have no more news that what I had last night. There are still alot of rumors going around and it is impossible at this time to reliably figure out anything specific like cause of death or who specifically found her.

I received this email from JWU:
To: Providence Campus Community
From: Ronald Martel, Ph.D.
Vice President, Student Affairs

Date: October 28, 2009
Re Bereavement Notice of JWU Student

It is with sadness that I inform you of the sudden passing of Johnson & Wales University student, Franki Triano. Franki, who is from Leawood, Kansas, recently transferred from the Charlotte Campus to Providence as a student in our College of Business.

 I have spoken to her family and have extended the thoughts and prayers of our community.

 For those who need support during this difficult time, campus counseling services are available at

At this time, the university does not know the cause of death.

I am pretty sure that no one else was in any way injured or hurt. I also know that JWU and Residential Life are doing everything they can to create a peaceful, safe, and healthy environment for students at the Cove, also university wide.  They also took many precautions to protect students from witnessing anything graphic regarding the police investigation.

As I hear new develoments I will be posting them here.

Death at JWU Providence

 *This is just me being curious and investigative. I possess no power or authority in the situation. In respect for this whole issue, feel free not to leave any rude comments.*

Hey all. So quick update. This evenning I found out that a student from the Johnson & Wales University's Providence campus has died unexpectedly tonight. There are alot of rumors going around right now but the actual death has been reported through many trusted sources as being true.

Please pray for the family, as they are still being notified. Also pray for the students roommates.

Im not sure if she lived in the residence hall known as "The Cove" but I know that is where everything went down tonight.  I know that students residing in the Cove have had floor meetings, and that people are not allowed back in for the night if they weren't already there when the incident happened.

In the next 24 hours JWU will be sending out a network wide email with as many details as they deem necessary to share. Just from the people that I have talked to tonight, the whole campus is starting to become quite shaken by the situation.

Pray. and I will keep updating as I find out news.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revelations and Sun "Rise"

This weekend, I attended a Christian collegiate conference in Hull, Massachussetts. It was a splended time with my group and with many other college groups. Here is a picture of the Johnson & Wales Christian Student Fellowship:

There were some great speakers and had alot of fun bonding with each other.  We always make an effort to be friendly and introduce ourselves to new people. A bunch of others joined in and we made alot of new friends, hopefully we will be able to stay in touch through the year.

Every year, (starting last year haha), I make an effort to come out onto the beach one morning and watch the sun rise. Usually no one really comes with me, but this year I made sure to let everyone know and encourage people to come. So Sunday morning I woke up around 6am and came out to see the 6:24 rise. Surprisingly, about 7 other people joined in. The pictures above are my awesome friends who woke up at the crack of dawn to come to the cold beach with me. Kim, Elyse, Hannah, Michelle, Corey, Sandra, Katherine! BUT- This year there was an epic storm the night before and the clouds hadnt moved away yet. So there was no sunrise to be seen. Quite sad actually. It was cloudy and dim, but it was still beautiful, and we told God that next year He should be nice to us and bring up the most glorious sun rise EVER!

Alon, Kim, and I= My fabulous roommates. I love them!

This weekend I learned a few surprising things. The main topic of the conference was "The Sufficiency of the Word," and it was quite interesting. But for some reason, I always tend to catch smaller points and get the most from those. One of the speakers was talking about being a Paul and being a Timothy. The idea is that they kind of needed each other to grow through a discipleship relationship. He encouraged all the "Timothys" to find "Pauls" and all the "Pauls" to find "Timothys" and just pour into each other. Pray with each other, give each other books to read, go through the bible with each other, challenge one another with personal struggles. I can think of all the people who have impacted me in this kind of personal one on one mentor kind of way- Jen and Craig Campbell, Pastor Tim, Mrs Watkins, Mrs Attfield, Mrs McDonald, Andy and Amy Haynes, Kevin and Melissa Mckay, Karissa Tolli, etc etc it could go on and on. I know that if these people had not been in my life, constantly spurring me to pursue the truth and holiness, who knows where I would be. I think a new goal for this year is to find some Timothys and just start encouraging them to take their faith to a deeper level.

Another thing that I gained as a result of this conference was some new friends. Because of this, I randomly stumbled upon an interesting note on facebook from someone that I dont know, but it really spoke to my life.
Without copying and pasting exactly, it goes a little something like this: Girl gets something she really wants. Girl puts all her energy and focus into pursuing and holding onto that thing that she wants. She takes her focus off of God and His blessings and constantly focuses on the blessing day and night. All the time previously spent on knowing God and hearing from Him is now spent waiting around and trying to get to know her blessing.

The note then goes on to say something like this:

"God has the power to show you who God is.
And this is God showing me who God is.
He's a jealous God. He doesn't like someone else becoming number one in my heart."

And for some reason I really relate to this. I lost focus on what was really important and I was dwelling on something secondary and the more I thought I was going to loose it, the tighter I gripped. But you cant hoard things in the Kingdom of God, especially if they become what your mind obsesses over and practically worships. God is not pleased when that happens and He will not let it happen for too long before He sends you on your way, empty handed and into the land of "Hey why dont you remember who gave you this gift in the first place and worship me."

 I think thats where Ive been for a few months now. In that crazy land of emptiness and realization that I have to repent of my idoltry and make God totally number one again. Even if it was just a sidetrack for a minute or an hour it doesnt matter. ANYTHING "good" or "bad" thats unchecked that takes God's place in your heart for more than a second is an idol. I think God has brought me a long way since entering this land. He has allowed me to realize what happened and that I need to turn my eyes back to Him. After this weekend and all the thinking I did, I think Im finally seeing the end of this empty and alone season and the beginning of a new refreshing one where God is the center, my portion, my rock, my sword, my shield.

Hope that all made sense.
Time to pack up and go home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New England Collegiate Fusion 09 this weekend

I will be packing up and going up to Hull Massachussetts this weekend for the anual collegiate christian fellowship conference. Many students from all over New England and some Canada come for this event and it is a great way to make friends and meet new people. Also the theme for the weekend is "Supremacy of the Word" which will be a great word to hear. Last year was a great time and I have so many amazing memories.

The hotel is located right across from an Atlantic Ocean beach front area and about an hour east from Boston. I cant wait.

Right now I have to do some last minute Russian homework and pack alot more. Leave it to me to wait until the absolute last minute to do laundry. Heh.

Anywhoo. see ya on the flipside.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Signed Sealed Delivered!

Oh My Goodness!

I have been on major lockdown trying to finish the application for my Co-Op that is due October 28th.
I had 9 essays due for the International Missions Board and one 3 page paper due for Johnson and Wales.

Praise God. The burden is lifted. After 34566 revisions of each essay and tweaking each word into perfection, my brain can finally find rest in normal activity, knowing that nothing else can be done for now.

I dont want to write for a while.
Peace out everyone for a minute.
Life is good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quick and Cheap Cous Cous

Ok yall. Im back with a better recipe than ever before. I got this recipe from a variation of a meal I had with my friend Matt. I dont know if it has a name other than "freaking delicious."

1 cup dry cous cous                     $0.50
1 (14oz) can of diced tomatoes    $1.00
1 cup of water                             Free
2 tblspoons of butter                    $0.20

In a medium sized sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of butter to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of cous cous, stirring well. Let sit for 5 minutes, covered.
After 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and mix in 1 can of diced tomatoes.

 So this meal all together costs about $1.70. If used in main course portions, you can get 3 servings. If used as a side dish about 4 servings. That means that if you eat this as a main dish, its less than $0.60 for a meal. You can use whatever brands you have available to you, but I use whole grain couscous from Trader Joes and Del Monte Tomatoes Diced with Basil, Garlic & Oregano from your local super market. I take this to work sometimes as is, just heat up in the micro. Its delicious, cheap, and absolutely a great idea!

-Use fresh tomatoes, chop up fresh basil

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Language Swap

Ahh what a week. Everything is going great. I am ridiculously busy every single day, but its the kind of thing where I choose what to be busy with. I am not doing anything that I dont want to be doing, and thats how I like to roll. Of course today wasnt busy at all. Last night Kim and I stayed up until 3am watching Top Chef episodes. And I slept until 3 this afternoon. What a delight. I figure I dont sleep AT ALL during the week so I might as well make it up on the weekends. Today has just been relaxing and fun. My baking savvy roommates made and decorated a cake for our friends who are leaving town, and they are ridiculously talented. I could make a cake, but it would look like someones kindergarten brother made it and not be fancy at all. Im more utilitarian.

Yesterday was my 4th Russian class and needless to say, my teacher thinks I am doing pretty good, but still need to try harder. So Im trying. and trying. and trying. At this point I could say that I could read pretty much anything in Russian, although I just wouldnt know what it meant. My teacher is this ESL grad student who is from Kazakastan or something. He is pretty smart and very patient with me.

This past Thursday I went to an international coffee house sponsored by the JWU i-club. Essentially it is a coffee house for international and american students to come, mingle, and improve their language skills. We had a little group activity that helped us to meet new people, and it was really fun. I met people from Cyprus, China, Taiwan, and Korea! I became friends with this girl named Yuli from Taiwan, and we are going to try to hang out soon. Needless to say, I am going back every week. The only sad thing about international students, especially from the Asia region, most of them are forced by their parents to study abroad. Thats terrible, but you can tell many just try to make the best of everything.

After work I went to Starbucks to meet up with my conversation partner, Mohamed. He is from Mali, Africa and has only been in the United States for 4 months. Prior to coming to this country, he has never spoken or learned English. That is intense, and I hope I can be of some help to him. He said that it is very difficult to do things here because many people cannot understand him. Overall he enjoys Providence and JWU though. I hope to start meeting with him weekly. Its important for international students to interact with native English speakers, as it gives them a context to practice their language skills, and makes them feel less lonely.

I wish everyone had the opportunity to build relationships with ESL students. I am so thankful to know them. It all started with Sung and Esther. I miss them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New York New York


New York City was such a delightful time and I enjoyed every second that I got to spend with Kailey! We did some random things, but we accomplished our life goal of seeing Balto face to face. We just sat in awe for minutes, remembering his true heroism and how we always wanted to be sick kids in Nome so that Balto could bring us medicine.

We also bartered in China town, wandered through Korea town, went to a coooooool Art Shop called Lees Art Shop, Times Square of course, and hung out around the NYSUM building in Queens. Hooray.

In China town Kailey and I saw a bag that we both really liked, in diffeent colors of course. So we searched and searched, most were charging $35 for it. I think its still expensive, so I told this chinese lady
Me "I saw it over there for $25!" 
Her: "Ya because its cheap crap"
Me: "But I like cheap crap!"
Her: "Ok, $30, just for you."
Me: "Nope, $25."
Her: (in the most dramatic possible way) "Oh My Goddddd!"

And I walked away. hahaha.

On my trip back, I took a bus from NYC to Boston, arriving in Boston around 2am. My goal was to hang out in the train station until my train came that morning for Providence. WELLLLLLL. Let me tell you. I got there and the train station was closed. This was in the Copley/Back Bay area of Boston, and there was NOTHING openned at all. No Starbucks, no 7/11, no little shops, no 24 hour mall. GRR. So I hung out in a park with some hobos. All night. I saw one of the urinated behind a brick wall. That was a delight. There was also a hobo fight. And then a mobile food pantry came by for a quick second and gave them soup or something. I think thats what they were fighting about. Dear Lord. I feel bad for hobos but it makes me wonder even more how they aren't inspired to do something with their lives. I mean its freezing at night sleeping on the ground, its dirty, there is no where to shower, no legit food, nothing to drink, other hobos want to fight you. How can someone be satisfied with that? I dont get it. I just know that I will never be a hobo. I couldnt handle it for those 4.5 hours. Intense.

So I made it home.
Good times for all=)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Going to New York City

Hey y'all!

I leave in less than 12 hours to go to New York City to visit with Kailey while she is at NYSUM!  I ended up finding out that another friend, Casey, will be in NYC at the same time with her family, so I will be hanging out with her Sunday night, then staying with my friend Gabby in her room at FIT overnight, and then hanging out with Kailey all day Monday.

I will be back in Providence sometime Tuesday morning.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hey Ya'll.. Big changes around the corner

So. Whatsup? Man, its been another busy week around here. I just cant keep everything straight! Whoa! So Im not going to lie, its been pretty rough in general this week. So many things that were getting me down, stress because of projects assigned last minute, no sleep, and some attitudes I had towards certain people or events that were terrible.

BUTTTTT->  I have deicded something. As of right now. Seeing as I have felt like crap lately, I am going to do something about it. Aka: Make some life changes. Ive already implemented some of these into place, but officially they will all be implemented starting today.

  • Read my bible at work instead of surf the web
  • Always be in the process of reading one nonfiction book. (currently working on: "On being a Missionary" by Thomas Hale)
  • Get CSF leadership book chapters read before Thursday. ("Knowing God" by J.I. Packer)

  • Get atleast 7-9 hours of sleep per night. (This is going to be tricky. Anything that doesnt get done that night CAN wait until the next day. Life goes on)

  • Cut down on carbs. including breads, pastas, wraps, crackers. (this might not be too tough, but since Ive been a convenience eater lately, crackers and sandwhiches have been around alot. NOT ANY MORE.)
  • Increase veggie consumption. Pause, can I just say that if there is an opposite to scurvy, then I have it. I have eaten sooo many clementines and carrots lately its ridiculous. So in saying this, I just want to figure out how to get more veggies into my diet.
  • Drink 8 cups of water everyday. No soda. No juice. Yes to Coffee/tea. (since I left my favorite water bottle in DC I have epically failed at this recently. Ugh. I will start back up. No joke.)

  • Exercise 3-4 times a week. (I dont know if that sounds measely, but if you have school, work and clubs from am - pm then you can imagine my plunder when trying to find time.) I will be participating in the Cool Runnings Couch-to-5K Running Plan. It is a 9 week plan to end up running three miles at a time. I like it because it is 3 times a week, and works your way up. So its not like ok this week walk one mile, next week run 5 miles. Lets see how it goes. haha.

AND that is my story for today. Feel free to keep me accountable. Ahh. Off to work work work. Later.