Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankful #5

I'm thankful for these delicious pumpkin muffins I made today to take with us to Florida. Yummy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankful #4

I'm excited and thankful for the opportunity to go here with my love and the in-laws next week!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thankful #3

(This post is late - it was supposed to be on Saturday.)

Today I'm thankful for Madeleine L'Engle. I discovered while reading School Library Journal yesterday that she died in September and I missed it. She became one of my favorite authors in college, even though I still haven't read all her books.

I'd especially recommend Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.

I spoke with her on the phone once, in college, as part of my Christianity and the Arts class. She seemed like a great lady.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thankful #2

I'm thankful for the blessing of meaningful work. I became a librarian because I wanted to help people and, because of my delicate constitution, it had to involved a minimum of bodily fluids and mental illness. I know that everyday at work I get to help children and their families learn (how to use powerpoint, a better way to search google, where to find biographies or books for a 5th grade boy who likes myseries), embrace reading, and access important information, even if it is in between asking little ones to stop running or saying "Let's not throw that, please." I'm so pleased these days when a child asks for a beloved story that speaks truth and is funny and surprising and real, like The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 or Frog and Toad Are Friends.

Matt's ideas about meaningful work have been more nebulous (I looked it up to verify I was using it correctly (a byproduct of gaining most of my vocabulary from books), maybe you will too) during our marriage. It's important to him to do important work, to make a difference somehow. Until recently, he's felt that teaching music is that for him. When we lived in Georgia, I know I saw the results of his faithful encouragement and efforts to get his students to achieve more than they thought they could.

But I did just say "until recently." Lately, his belief that what he was doing was making a difference has gone from fiery to flickering. And so, quite suddenly, he's learned his priorities have changed and grown and he was ready to consider an unlikely and providential offer to teach in a different way - becoming the full-time music minister at the church where he has been working part-time for a couple months. We've marveled over how we've ended up here - that he would teach at a school here for just one year, but that's what's happening. He'll finish the school year, working as hard as he can because that's what he does - it's exciting and scary and hard and a leap of faith.

God amazes me with how He works things together for good - just like He promised. He has quite an imagination, quite a plan. And I'm thankful.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful #1

I'm going to try to write here everyday for a week. I have so much to be thankful for, so everyday until Thanksgiving I'm going to share one thing.

Today, it's you - my friends and family that read this blog. I was overwhelmed by the comments you all left on my last post - thanks for your prayers and the wisdom you shared.

P.S. I'll share our decision soon!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I don't know if anyone is still reading this...

but Matt and I are praying about a big decision right now and would appreciate prayers for wisdom. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One month

It's been a month since I posted, not because I don't have time, but because we don't have internet access in our apartment. I have to use the computer in the business office of our apartment complex.

My job is going okay. I feel kinda silly only working part-time, but Matt's working so much that it's good that someone is around to do the errands and cooking and cleaning. Speaking of cooking, I've been doing a lot of this:

No, not eating! Baking! That's the downright delicious Buttermilk Chess Pie from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I've been making banana bread, muffins, cookies. We always have some homemade baked goods in the house now. (Don't worry, our apartment complex also has a nice gym I've been going to regularly.)

I've also been reading. It's great to work in a big library and live in a town with another big library. Since we got our library cards we've been checking out stacks of stuff. It's hard to resist all the great books and CDs.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


We don't have internet access at home, so this has to be snappy.

*We're moved. The apartment is nice. There's still a lot of boxes. Some won't be unpacked.
*We had a contract on our house, but it fell through.
*Matt's job is going well. He always wants to be perfect, but I think he's doing pretty great.
*I got a job in a big, nice library. At least that was my impression from the interview. It's part-time, but with benefits.
*I don't really miss the mountains, but it's hot here.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I just said my last goodbye to my co-workers. I hate goodbye.

Tomorrow we are Canaan bound.

I'm looking forward to hello.

Monday, August 06, 2007


After today, four more days of work.

On the fifth day, we move!

Still no buyer for our house.

Please pray!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What I should be doing...

is tackling this.

Yeah, that's the hall closet. I should be cleaning and packing it, but I'm not going to. I also have phone calls to make and laundry to do, but I'm not doing that either. My throat hurts (I hope from reading with and speaking loudly to large groups of children, and not the beginnings of some unfortunately timed illness) and I'm going to knit, watch TV, and read tonight.

Monday, July 16, 2007

why I haven't posted...

Things are crazy! Work is so busy and rewarding right now! I'm seeing so many kids every week, but it's a lot of loud reading and talking and well, performing and very tightly scheduled most days. I'm grateful Matt's home to take care of a lot of the cooking and cleaning and house selling/house buying stuff.

Speaking of house stuff, we have had an offer. It was really low and we've counteroffered and are waiting to see about that...

In the meantime we made a last minute decision to run to our new hometown on Friday evening to check out houses and then were back Saturday night for duties at church on Sunday. We are pretty sure about the house we'd like there, but we also saw the fabulous apartment we'll rent if the house does not sell before moving day.

I need a vacation. I owe emails and phone calls and will be working on that soon.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The lake

We went out on the lake yesterday. We figured we might as well give the old "mean green bean" (that's what we call our extremely rednecky johnboat) one more spin before we move. It was so fun! We put in at a different location that was nicer and less crowded than where we've started in the past.

We took some pictures with Matt's camera phone:
Isn't this lake beautiful? I can see why so many people have summer homes here.
Snapped this pic before we jumped in for some swimming.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"hey, stop taking my picture! I'm trying to cool off here!"

Before I went out to the grocery store this afternoon, I noticed that I couldn't find Rainey anywhere in the house. I called his name a few times, but figured he must be sleeping under the bed or something. After I got back from the store, I thought it was strange that he didn't come out when I came in the door. I called his name and looked under the furniture, but still didn't see him. I was starting to worry he had gotten out while I was sweeping the porches this morning, but I walked back to the kitchen to put away the groceries. I was reaching for the celery when I saw a little kitty face at the back door.

He looked desperate - it's pretty hot today - and he ran right in and sprawled on the cool kitchen floor. I guess that's what he gets for sneaking out!

Monday, June 18, 2007

and people say being a librarian is boring...

The stats from the first day of the summer reading programs:

6 programs totaling 5 hours
221 kids and caregivers
3 cryers
3 chapter books begun
5 pictures books read
2 rounds of "If You're Happy and You Know it"
2 rounds of "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes"
2 rounds of "Old MacDonald had a farm"
1 flannelboard story
2 irons for revealing invisble ink (lemon juice)
1 tired librarian

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

missing in action

I feel like the days are just blowing by right now. I'm jumping from project to program to meeting at work trying to finish up planning for my summer reading program, which kicks off next week.

Matt's done with school, and I've been grateful to have a househusband to put dinner on the table and do the household cleaning. He's going to New Orleans with the church youth group next week to do either construction or VBS. I plan on getting out of town this weekend to do some shopping and Father's Day celebrating.

No one has looked at our house in several weeks. This makes me slightly nervous, but then hopeful that the timing will be just riiiight for us to close on this house and then a new house, without me having to throw myself on the kindness of co-workers or church members so I can sleep and shower while I finish the summer reading program.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Two great weekends

It's been busy here, as usual. Last weekend we went to visit the town we'll be moving to in August. I hadn't been there and it was really great to see. We're gonna like it there. We scoped out neighborhoods and found some houses we like, one in particular. Now we just need our house to sell!

This weekend, I had the pleasure of being with my mom on her birthday. Mom and Dad came up Thursday evening and were here until Saturday. They are fun people and it's very relaxing to have them around. We ate and shopped and talked and we went hiking and saw two waterfalls. It was great. I'm sorry that we are moving farther away from them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Paris, Day 2

We loved breakfast in Paris. On our second day in Paris, we slept in and then had pan au chocolat and cafe au lait on the street. Our first stop was Saint Chapelle. It's right next to this - the Palace of Justice. There was some sort of filming going on here. An actress (playing a lawyer?) was striding out of the gates with fake newspeople trying to interview her. There were film crew people all over the sidewalk while we waited in line.
This is Saint Chapelle.
Ceiling in the lower chapel.
The stained glass was so beautiful, but hard to photograph.

I think our guidebook decribed it as being inside a kaleidoscope. There's these jewel tones everywhere - so magnificent with the sunlight shining in.
Flower Market.
Us in front of the Lourve. Also an amazing place. There was so much to see; it was actually fairly exhausting. Of course, we saw the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Matt really liked these paintings of monkeys painting. There was a recreation of an opulent royal palace suite and a ton of people.

Later that day, we went to the Montmarte neighborhood. I wanted to check out a supposedly great discount store called Tati, but it wasn't great. We were hot and the streets were crowded, so we browsed a few streets then went back to our hotel near the Lourve.

For dinner, we walked up Avenue Opera to see Harry's Bar, where Gershwin composed "An American in Paris." We ate dinner at a cafe and probably offended the waiter, who became more and more inattentive as the meal went on. People say the French are rude, but that was the only time we felt at all slighted (and we really think we did something to upset him - we're just not exactly sure what).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Daydreaming about our new house...

I know we have to sell our current house before I should get too excited about a new one, but I can't help it. It's on my mind this lunch hour. Maybe a list of what we'd like in our new home would be nice, huh? Here goes:

1. Clothesline. I don't know why I am fairly obsessed with this (happy childhood memories? desire to save energy?), but I really, really want one. It doesn't have to come with the house; we can put one in.
2. Garage. I'm spoiled - I don't want to scrape ice off my windshield or unload groceries in the rain.
3. Trees. A moderate amount. An I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it amount. Because, here, we've suffered the curse of the dread oak leaves. We suffer half the year for the other half to be beautifully green. Surely there's a compromise.
4. Front porch. Just a small one will do, thanks.
5. An extra space - a basement or dining room or extra bedroom - to become a music studio (that's Matt's dream), or a knitting/sewing/crafting space (that's my dream), or a library/office (we'd both like that).
6. 3rd (or 4th) bedroom. Because what we'd really like in our new home is to settle in, stay awhile, and be a family.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paris, Day 1

Our first day in Paris actually started out very early in London. We had to be at the train station to take the Eurostar to France at 5 AM. So we were up at 4, I think, to pack up the last of our things, eat a bowl of frosties, and catch the cab to the station. After we finally got on the train, we fell asleep. In Paris, we got on the Metro to the hotel and dropped off our bags, but couldn't check in because it was about 10 AM. We had the first of our delicious breakfasts in Paris - crepes on the street! YUM!
We walked across the Seine to Notre Dame. It was very beautiful and full of tourists, which might explain why this picture is so bad.
Look at that architecture! And the cute boy in the handknit hat.
This pretty little park is behind Notre Dame. I look rumpled because I had been in a train all morning. After Notre Dame, we tried to go tour Saint Chapelle (more on it later), but they closed for lunch, so we checked in at the hotel, cleaned up, and then had a small lunch sitting on the street outside a cafe. We saw a lot of the big landmarks this first day, because then we walked down the Champs Elysees, looked in the stores, and saw the Arc D'Triomphe, which is not terribly impressive to be honest.
Then, the Eiffel Tower. The lines were way to long for us to seriously consider going up in it, so we found a park bench instead. And that is when something horrible happened.

A pigeon pooped all over me. Quite unpleasant, especially when the guys on the next bench were laughing themselves silly about it. (Although they were nice enough to point out that it was in my hair and not just on my shoulder. We hadn't noticed that.) It was a mess, but I finally got cleaned up in the bathroom of the cafe where we had dinner. Matt did his best to make light of the situation, explaining that the pigeon was named Jacques Pipoo, and that he was merely trying to ruin my jacket so that I could get a more fashionable French one. (I didn't.)
After dinner, we returned to the green behind the Eiffel Tower, avoiding trees all the way. We waited, freezing, me jacketless, Matt sweaterless, since I had taken his sweater to combat my jacketlessness. It was worth it, though, for this! Our guidebook called it the "electric shimmy." Every hour for 10 minutes. Nice.

Friday, May 11, 2007

a good day

I'm so happy today. The quiet kind of happy, just knowing that things are good in my world and I am blessed.

Today is my Matt's birthday. I'm incredibly grateful that God put him in this world and in my life as my partner and my best friend. He is a good guy to go to with a problem and he's really funny with his goofy songs and silly faces. I respect him for wanting to teach and for making a living as a musician. His desire to do something about poverty and to make a difference beyond the U.S. inspires me.

We're celebrating in a low key way - I'm making dinner at home and then...then...we don't HAVE to do ANYTHING this weekend. Well, fulfill some duties at church on Sunday, but that's fun. I am so sleeping in!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wednesday in London - and Oxford

Since Matt and I both have fondness and appreciation for the writings of C.S. Lewis, and since Matt has fondness and appreciation for The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, we decided a trip to London wasn't complete without also visiting Oxford, where both those men worked and wrote. (And it was supposed to be pretty - and we know other important people went there too, although I can't think of any right now.)

Anyway, after a very filling breakfast at our hotel (frosties cereal, fried ham, cooked tomatoes, toast, and tea), we went to Paddington Station, where we caught the train to Oxford.

Some highlights:
Radcliffe Camera (I don't know why the building is called a camera. We weren't allowed to go in because students were there or something.)
The Divinity School - it's not really the divinity school anymore, but it was pretty and very old (built in the 1400s). It also served as the hospital wing in some of the Harry Potter films.
We had fish and chips and bangers and mash at the pub where the "Inklings" used to meet to grab a pint and talk, particularly about literature.
We visited the Church of St. Mary the Virgin where C.S. Lewis preached the sermon "The Weight of Glory."
The grounds of Magdalen College were beautiful. This is the deer park. Can you see the deer? It was fenced off, but so pretty.

There was a problem with the train back to London that evening, so it took forever to get back. We were so hungry we almost gave in and grabbed dinner at a McDonald's, but we found a fun carry-out pizza place instead.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tuesday in London

This is shameful. I haven't posted since last Tuesday?! I guess it goes without saying that I (and Matt too) have had a very busy weekend and week before that.

Anyway, Tuesday in London was cool. We started the day with a quest for cheap theater tickets. The hitch is cheap tickets to a show you actually want to see. We really wanted to see Wicked and we did manage to find discounted tickets. Then we went to the British Museum, where we saw the Rosetta Stone and a bunch of other neat old stuff that is, well, not British, making the name of the place kind of illogical. You couldn't call it the "Stuff we took from other countries when we were occupying them" Museum. If I remember correctly, there's some debate about giving certain items in the British Museum back to the countries of origin, which I'm not sure about, because the British Museum obviously is taking really good care of everything and letting people in for free to enjoy history.

That said, here's some ancient Greek sculpture:
And a horse sculpture that was shockingly realistic (the horse is on the left, that's Matt on the right):
And a room that used to be a library:

I have to admit that I'm a little fuzzy on what we did for the rest of the afternoon after leaving the library. We tried to go to a lunchtime concert at St. Martins-in-the-fields (which is so not in the fields), but they're undergoing construction and not hosting concerts. Then we got rained on. Then we ate lunch at this diner in what appeared to be the business district - it was really cute in a dive-y kind of way, and we had a very flustered and sweet older waitress. Then I don't know what we did, maybe napped? We ate thai food for dinner, I remember. They put potatoes in my curry.

Wicked was great. I would recommend it. A fun and powerful show about standing up for what's right, the dangers of mob mentality, and true friendship. It was also fun to ride the bus back to our hotel after the show and see the city at night.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday in London

I have got to say that it's a very nice break in my day to look at London pictures during lunch. One of our favorite parts of London was visiting The Tower of London, which was includes old royal residences, the Crown Jewels, and well, prison cells and execution sites. Quality history, people.

Tower Wall - nice to look at while you wait to buy expensive tickets.
This guy was outside the crown jewels.
Matt was really into the military stuff here. There are several more pictures of various old guns, swords, and armor that I will spare my viewers.
This section of the tower was once occupied by the queen, in fact, I think the guards still call it "The Queen's House."
The White Tower - construction on this started in the 1100s. Yeah.
We made friends with one of the guards! He was furry!
I was taken with this beautifully simple chapel in the White tower.
After spending a good part of the day at the Tower, we crossed this - the Tower Bridge to explore neighborhoods on the other side of the Thames. We went to a pub for lunch and saw the recreation of Shakepeare's Globe Theater.
Then, here, St. Paul's Cathedral. Quite nice, but we kind of had to rush because we wanted to...
...see this, after climbing 533 very narrow, winding steps to the top of the cathedral. They close the tower before they close the cathedral and we barely made it.

You'd think we'd be tired after all that, and we were, but we weren't done yet. We went back across the river to visit the
Tate Modern art musuem. After that, there was an ill conceived search all over what was apparently the legal district for a historic pub, with Matt constantly assuring me it was just down the block or right around the corner. In the end, the pub was found and diet coke was procured, but I must offer a warning - beware the travel book map.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Something to make my day...

This morning, one of my storytime moms told me that her daughter prays for me every night when they say their prayers together. Wow.

P.S. More Europe later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More London, Day 1

Buckingham Palace - there were tons of people here, for no reason we could see, as there wasn't anything particularly interesting happening
Buckingham Palace gate - it's not too over the top, right?
Trafalgar Square, we came here after we were able to check into the hotel
That's me at Trafalgar Square, which was also crowded. We hit the National Art Gallery in the background after we took this pic.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

London, Day 1

Me in St. James Park
Westminster Abbey

P.S. Believe it or not, it's snowing here tonight.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

back in the usa

Wow. What a weird week this has been. While Matt and I were running errands this morning (garbage dump, coffee, post office, grocery store), I pointed out, "On Monday, we were in Paris." It was a little hard for us to jump straight back to work on Tuesday and go full steam until yesterday evening after work. Now we're both suffering sinus infections or colds or something.

But we had an awesome trip! I was scared about doing this all on our own, no group or tour guide, but that made an adventure of figuring out what we were doing, where we were going, and what we were eating (v. important to me!) I'm going to spend the next week or so sharing pictures here, and here's the first:A view of Big Ben and the London Eye on our first day in London.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane...

We'll be back in about a week! We're flying out today for London and Paris! I'm excited about Europe, but I'm also excited about a week away from work and chores. Look back here for pics when we return. Yippee!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Been reading and not much else

I'm not sure how, but I've managed to finish two more books. Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney was a great mild thriller with a very interesting premise - smallpox! Very clean, but with teen appeal, and addresses current fears of bioterrorism.

I just finished (like three minutes ago, as this is my lunch hour) Mr. Chickee's Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis. Curtis' The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 is up there on my list of favorite children's books, so I knew I would enjoy this too. It had the same sly humor and thoughfulness of The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963, but the story is over-the-top contemporary silliness. Fun.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Finished, part 3: Job Search

It's been officially done for a few days now, but I wanted to be pretty certain I had told the news to friends and family who read this (if only occasionally).

Matt has accepted a job. A really good job. A definite step up. It's in North Carolina, not particularly close to where we live now. (Note: I'm never sure how much personal information to reveal on the ol' internet - so, for now, that's all I'll say. Anyone who knows me personally can get the details by emailing me.)

I'm excited. I hate the idea of selling our house and packing our stuff and leaving our relationships here, but I love the opportunities I know this will bring.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Finished, part 2: Socks

I'm thinking pink. Pink stripes with yarn I dyed myself. I started these December 10th and finished them about a week ago.