Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Don't order the water!

I talk about food a lot on my blogs.  It's kind of a favorite thing of mine.  You would think with the previous 9 posts about food I would be running out of stories, but I have not run out yet.  Today I'm pulling out a couple old stories for your reading pleasure.  One from when I was a kid and one from last year.

The pizza place

For several years when I was a kid, we lived in a suburb of St. Louis.  Several times my grandparents came to visit us.  One of those times my maternal grandmother came to visit.  Of course we would go out to eat and if you were going out to eat, the thing to eat was pizza.  Maybe your family was different, but in my family eating out mostly meant going to a pizza parlor.  This particular pizza place is rather fuzzy in my memory, probably because this is the last time we went there.  I know it was at night and that it was painted dark inside the place. I know we sat at a table and not a booth.  I'm pretty sure I was sitting beside my dad.  There were 5 of us at the table.  The waitress arrived and took our orders.  She returned with the drinks and I'm pretty sure she messed something up.  I think it was sweet tea instead of unsweet tea.  Minor error.  It could happen to anyone.  No need to worry.  She took our order, which included a salad for at least my grandmother.  We waited a pretty average amount of time for the pizza.  When it arrived, it was completely wrong, wrong toppings and everything.  My dad pointed out that we didn't order this.  The waitress insisted that we did and that Grandma Ann ordered it that way.  My dad argued with her because the only thing grandma said was blue cheese and water.

This particular incident stuck with me because I couldn't believe the waitress would be so wrong about who ordered and what we ordered.  Then on top of that she argued with the customer about the whole thing!  I have never had another waitress be so wrong with everything.  I don't even remember what the pizza tasted like or the name of the place.  I just remember the waitress saying grandma had ordered it.

Spilled Water

Speaking of odd waitresses, once a group of my husband's friends, my husband, and I went out to eat.  We went to a local restaurant here in town.  I ordered water.  The waitress served the drinks and spilled the water.  It headed straight toward my husband's lap, who was in the back corner of the booth.  I don't think it actually landed on him though.  The waitress had to figure out how to clean up the water.  She decided to use a rag to sweep the water and ice onto the floor and then use a mop to mop it up.  I have never seen another waitress or waiter deal with spilled water that way.  The most memorable thing about that visit wasn't the waitress though.  We were there after the funeral of a dear friend who was gone too soon.  We figured the spilled water was one last practical joke.  I don't think there ever was a glass of spilled water that was quite so special.

Babies and Newbies

One last story and this one also involves unique wait staff and spilled water.  Around the time that Ben turned 1, we went out to eat with another couple.  We went to a local family bar and grill type place.  The waiter was obviously new and rather nervous.  We ordered our drinks and I ordered water.  He served the water and got it too close to Ben.  Of course being curious, he grabbed the top of the glass and turned it over before we could blink.  He was soaking wet and the waiter was apologizing profusely.  Thankfully we had an extra outfit, but it was his pajamas.  I can't wait to talk about the time we stripped him down to change in the middle of a restaurant.  I think the waiter flubbed the food, but not too bad.  When it came time for the checks, he asked how we would pay.  We said 2 checks.  Then he asked how to split it.  We were a bit baffled.  The guy and gal that were attending to the baby would be one check and the guy and gal sitting away from said baby would be another check.  That seemed rather obvious to us, but like I said he was new and nervous.  So we explained payment arrangements and handed over our cards in the fancy pay envelopes.  He rang it up and handed back the cards to the wrong people.  My husband's card with his picture was handed to the wife of the other couple and vice versa.  Once again new and nervous, but we were amused.

Moral of the story:  Don't eat out with us, especially if someone is ordering water!

In case you missed some of the previous food related blogs:
No more drive thru
Dinner Adventures
The day we bollixed it
Bad Service=God's Plan
A love story
A love story: The conclusion
Catering Meals
30 fun food facts about Citrus Sunshine
Baking up a blessing
The Thanksgiving that I became an adult

(Yes I should start a label for these.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday is my Muse 11-28

Today I have something a little different.  The idea of this came to me last night.  This isn't exactly what was in my head, but it is the best I could do.  Of course, I had to play with the pictures a little bit.

Heart Patches

Andy Warhol treatment

This is more like what was in my head!

Creative Commons License
Heart Patches by Andrea Ward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

What do you think it means?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Stuff Saturday 11-26

Red Letter Believers  How to see gain through the pain  Life is difficult, but it isn't all bad.  Read on and see if you agree.

Faith, Family and the Farm Oodles of Noodles  This is a great story.  I loved it, so I thought I would share.

The Handwritten  Truth's best friend  There is so much in these few words.  These are words to live by I think.  Read it and see what you think.

EC writes  Alaskan funk- Short term mission gone...meh...  What is a mission trip?  Should it look like this? Not sure.  Read it and see what you think.

The Jacksons' Journey  A different kind of Thanksgiving: Part 1  The Sound of Hope has been travelling this Thanksgiving and we have a lot for which we should give thanks.  See what Erika is thankful for.

Short list this week.  Several bloggers taking time off for the holidays.  Next week will be back to normal.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Thanksgiving that I became an adult

Turkey  Photo Credit: Rene S.
(I didn't make that!)

This is the first Thanksgiving that I did lots of cooking. I can't say that I ever remember cooking. Maybe a dessert because I wanted to, but not the main part of the meal. Today that all changed and I'm excited about it. I got up early and started lunch. And by early I mean 7. Yeah I know that isn't early to the turkey makers out there, but to me on Thanksgiving it is early. I started by walking to my mother in laws house or get butter and eggs for the cake. I got them returned and started the cake. After adding the dry ingredients, I realized that I added baking soda instead of baking powder. I quickly googled the results of such an occurrence and I was assured it would cause no permanent damage to the cake. So I continued baking. When the cake went in the oven, I returned the butter to my mother in laws.

That was 2 trips down the road in my Snoopy pajama pants and Flats for work. It was a strange outfit, but isn't that what Thasgivning morning is made for? Back to the house and the cake. The cake took a little longer than expected and came out looking a little small, but no worries it would taste great. After the cake was cooled, I iced it with the chocolate glaze frosting that I made up last week. We had a storage container of milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I melted those and added some milk and powdered sugar. Not necessarily for an icing, but just to see what it would taste like. It was good!

Anyway on to the big portion of the meal. We decided since this was our first year cooking a turkey would be too much, so we went with a turkey loaf. A delicious alternative that comes with its own gravy. It takes 2 hours or so in the oven and nothing more. Yay for simple! That went in the oven while the cake was cooling. After a short rest, I looked at the next item on my list, stuffing. It was from a box, once again we were going with the stuff you can't mess up. I realized I needed butter, so I sent Drew back for butter. He got it and I made the stuffing without a hitch. Then on to the instant mashed potatoes. (I know you are thinking that I cheated on everything. You are probably right. :P). Lots of milk and butter later, they were pretty darn good.

We prepared everything for transport down to Nana's house, met a guest in our driveway, and headed down for our lunch. We got there and there was a ton of food. It was all so good. Sitting around the kitchen table it was rather Norman Rockwell. Except for the fact that my son only wanted candy and corn and the cake tasting like baking soda. Thankfully Nana made a pumpkin spice cake that was delicious and the homemade icing by Uncle A was awesome as well. It was Norman Rockwell except for those two minor issues. 

Epilogue: Of course we went to eat with his dad's side of the family and that was delicious and fun. We came back for dinners and a movie at Nana's. Ben acted nuts because he didn't have a nap. I had more stuffing and potatoes for both lunch and dinner today. And a huge chunk of the pumpkin spice cake.

Moral: I cooked half of a Thanksgiving meal even though I'm not really a cook. It was good. I ruined a cake even though I am a baker. All titles go out the window for Thanksgiving!

Being thankful

On Wednesday I made a photo list of things for which I am thankful. However I didn't get to say much about it, so I thought I would elaborate here. In case you want to see the photo list, here it is. 1. Cute shoes- I only bought the because they were on sale at Avenue. I'm so glad I did! They are super comfy! And obviously cute. 2. A thank you gift- my principal surprised me with this book as a thank you gift fory hard work at school. I was so honored. Last week we had a book fair, but I didn't have the money to buy what I wanted. So God was looking out for me! 3. Comfy socks- I got these in a bag of hand me down clothes for Ben. The idea of "a perfect pair" of personalized socks as wedding favors is cool. When you don't know the people it is a little weird. However, I kept them and they are super comfy. The were still in the original packaging with Brad and Jenny's picture still on them, so they were like new socks. 4. Being technology coordinator has its benefits. The iPad I am typing this on is one of them. 5. Thanksgiving break- I needed a few days to rest. So glad I get to. Spend time with family while I am resting. 6. Abbey is an amazing dog, even when she walks too close to you and constantly wants to play and bakers when Ben is sleeping. She is still the best dog I have ever had. 7. Jersey day at school gives me the chance to letmy students into my world a little more. It is a good thing. 8. I thought the idea of the turkey pumpkin was silly, but I went with it. SO glad I did. It is so super cute! 9. I love Sweet N Nutty at our mall. The ice cream is great and the owners are amazing! We go almost every time we are at the mall. 10. I also love Sports Fan Attic because Drew has to go there every time we are at the mall. 11. Texas Roadhouse has amazing food! And we got to go eat with one of the teens from our youth group. Fun! 12. I love that Emerson's Coffee is beside Pretzel Time. They are both great and they go together so well! 13. Jack and Jill is an amazing store where they encourage Ben to play with the train set, with parental supervision of course. The owners are super nice. They have great stuff to buy,including shoes to fit the extra wide foot of my son. 14. Family- I am blessed with wonderful and quirky family members. Holidays like this really make me thankful for who I have. 15. I love workdays when I can work with my son. Ben plays very well and I get so much done. 16. Pumpkin marshmallow Scentsy. Nothing else needs to be said. 17. Sun Drop is wonderful, but it is even more amazing when I have been cutting back on caffiene. Then I really enjoy the treat! 18. I love baking for people, but I so rarely get to bake for my family because we don't need a whole cake sitting around. Thanksgiving gave me a wonderful chance even if it didn't turnout so good. 19. Scooby Doo is my favorite cartoon and Benis starting to like it too! Hurray for goofy mysteries! 20. I love the curtains in my living room, now if I could just find good curtain rods. 21. Art is everywhere. I love when it surprises me on a street corner though. 22. Ben gives high fives to everyone. I love that! 23. Golden China is the most amazing Chinese restaurant in town. The fact that the owners are so understanding and caring toward Ben helps. As evidenced by the fact that they let him observe and touch their fish tank. 24. I love seeing my parents play with Ben. It is so special. Honorable mention- 1. Ben clutches his hands together whenhe is focused on something. It is super cute!!! 2. This particular picture is just so amazing. I think it looks like a magazine picture, but it is actually just a grocery stor photo. PS Sorry this is late!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This month several on social networks have been posting about things they are thankful for.  Of course most of us have about Ann Voskamp and her book about 1000 things we are thankful for or 1000 blessings or something like that.  I haven't actually read the book yet.  Anyway, I thought it would be fun to mention some of the things for which I am thankful.  And it would be more fun to do it with photos.  So since I'm late to the giving thanks party, I'll mention 24 things.  One for every day of November leading up to and including Thanksgiving.  (Plus 2 honorable mention because I couldn't quite decide.)

In no particular order:

1.  Cute heels & compliments to go with them.   2. An unexpected thank you gift of a great book


3. Comfy socks -even if I don't know Brad and Jenny     4.  My new Ipad for work.

5.  Thanksgiving BREAK!                                                  6.  My great dog.

7.  Jersey day at school                                              8.  My awesome turkey pumpkin.

9. This ice cream shop with AMAZING owners     10.  A store my hubby loves!

11. Good meal and company.  12.  The coffee shop being beside the pretzel shop.
(Crappy upside down photo.)


13.  A store that lets Ben play with trains       14.  Family- no matter how far.


15.  Empty classroom and my son.  Fun workday!   16. Pumpkin Marshmallow Scentsy 

17.  Sun Drop every so often.                           18.  Baking for my family!  Yummy!

19.  Scooby-Doo and Ben likes it!                                20.  My pretty curtains!

21. Art on a street corner.                    22. Ben's High Fives



23.  Fish that Ben loves to watch at our                24.  My parents playing with Ben
amazing neighborhood Chinese restaurant!

Honorable Mention:

Ben's hands when he's focused          This particular picture from the grocery store.

Formatting note:  I hate trying to use photos with this program.  I can't ever get them in the right places.  Sorry for the messy look.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday is my Muse 11-21

We sang this at church yesterday and I thought it would be good for today.

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

5. O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

And a video of the song:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Stuff Saturday 11-19

Compassion  When does a boy become a man?  Wonderful post about an amazing young man.  Read the one he mentions as well.  That one gives more information on the young man.

Red Letter Believers  What your slice of pie says about you  This one really got me thinking.

Faith, family, & the farm  Aaaaahhhhhh Uncle  Sometimes we need to give up our ideas for God's ideas.  This is a good example.

Bryan Allain  A little about you and firmness  This one made me laugh.  I hope it will you too.

The Jackson's Journey  Indian Wedding Party  This is a super cool video about a pretty neat tradition.  What if we celebrated weddings this way?  Would marriages matter more?

Jeff's Journal  #1-Bible  Being relatively new to smart phones, Ipads, and what not, apps are new to me.  Having a little review of them is nice.  This one sounds really cool.

Jaime, the very worst missionary  Proud wife of the bearded giant  Bragging on husbands is a good thing, especially when they are on a funny TV show like this.  It's in Spanish and it's hilarious.  Even if you don't speak English, you might enjoy it.

And I'm loving this!  How did I miss this Silly Song?  Of course, Ben likes The Hairbrush Song, but I get one in every once in a while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Susan Boyle

The other night I watched this special about Susan Boyle.  It was good, but I disagreed a little with the point of view.

I was planning on writing a nice post today about what a wonderful person Susan Boyle is and I expected her to be a superstar.  However, today has not gone as planned and I don't have the time to do it now.  So I'm just going to publish the thoughts I jotted down yesterday.  Hope that makes sense.

Of course she is a superstar!  She had a hard life, which is really pretty normal by most standards.  She is still not perfect, but she achieved her dream with hard work and some risk.  She was shined up when someone took the effort to look at her inside and make the outside match.  She gives to people generously.  She is not stingy with her talent or her love.  She gives it.  Isn't that what we hope every superstar is?  Isn't that the mold we try to make them fit?  Why are there so many tabloid articles if we didn't expect people to be that way and they aren't?

Better posts next week, I promise.  Love you guys.  Thanks for sticking around even during the crazy times.

2 Corintians 10:5 - Winning the war

One note of business: I have been posting on Wednesday and Saturday. I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on my other blog. It is too difficult for me to post twice on Wednesday, so I will be posting on Thursday and Saturday here.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

I have often focused on the second half of this verse.  Most of the sermons, lessons, etc. that I have heard have also focused on the second half of this verse.  However last night in youth group, I noticed the first half of this verse.  I never realized the power in the first part of this verse.  What power?  The power to win the war on our minds.  We know that our minds and thoughts are to be protected and jealously guarded.  We know that focusing on a thought can lead to obsession with that thought.  Obsession leads to action and action is sin.  That is all in the second part of the verse.  So what power does the first part have?

Let's look at it in detail.  There are two sides in this war on our minds.  The knowledge of God is against the pretensions and arguments.  Do you realize there is this part of the war as well?  This is the war on our intelligence.  There are so many people out there promoting their various theories about the world.  The easy one to point out seems to be creation vs. evolution.  I'm not sure this one is quite so cut and dry as some would make it seem.  I have not studied it much, so I don't want to use that example.  The example I prefer to use is that of postmodernism.  A really brief overview of postmodernism is this: There is no absolute truth.  Everything is just the 'story' a society creates to reach it's own goals.  As a Christian, you probably reacted very strongly to that definition.  You should have!  That is a part of the arguments and pretensions.  One of my graduate classes focused rather heavily on postmodern thought.  We did learn about modernism and some of the other   -isms out there.  Most philosophy is a reaction to a previous philosophy.  So when you study one, the study of the ones before it is necessary.

As I sat in the above mentioned class listening to the discussion/lectures and as I read the assigned reading, my mind exploded with so many faults in their theories.  I couldn't believe that some people actually believed and based their lives on these theories.  I looked around in the world today and I saw many people living life this way.  It breaks my heart that these arguments and pretensions are so rampant in our society today.  They have so obviously set themselves up against the knowledge of God.  As Christians, this often scares us.  We don't want to get into philosophical discussions.  We don't want to look behind someones actions to what the believe to be truth, which causes their actions.

We shouldn't be hiding our heads in the sand about this!  We have the power to demolish these arguments and pretensions!  Why aren't we using our minds this way?  Why aren't we demolishing these?  That word pretensions is related to the word pretend, as in NOT REAL!  These are lies put out there by Satan.  These are lies we have been swallowing or at least allowing them to live.  Why?  Why have we let our fear contain us?  God gave us minds to use!  It is okay to be intelligent.  It is okay to read about these things and talk to God about them.  We should be considering these theories out there and learning about them.  We need to learn about them, so we can demolish them.  We need to know what people say before we can show them the truth!  

I am not advocating that you go to a street corner and start yelling about this.  I am not advocating you walking into a professors office and telling him/her how wrong he/she is.  I am not advocating that you throw around words like postmodernism when someone is hurting from bad choices even if that choice was postmodern.  All I am saying is don't be afraid to learn about these things.  When you are learning about them, keep your guard up.  Pray for God to protect your mind and to help you see clearly.  He created our minds, so he knows how to use them the right way.  Let him do that!  Prepare yourself for battle, pray and read the Bible.  Talk to other Christians about these things.  Then go out there and demolish the arguments and pretensions.  Don't be afraid to use the mind God gave you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Confessions of a Reluctant Techy

This was originally written for a technology blog in our district.  However, I thought you all might enjoy it as well, so I'm repeating the content here.

Currently I am the technology coordinator at my school.  A few years ago I would never have expected me to be here.  Why?  Because I don't always like technology.  I was anti-texting for a long time.  I was anti-MySpace and other social media.  I was anti-blogging.  I was anti-smart phones.  I have reluctantly found myself taken in by the siren's song of technological benefits.  In general, I still pick Lucille Ball over Amy Poehler.  I choose Buster Keaton over Adam Sandler.  I choose Pride and Prejudice over The Hunger Games.  I like the old stuff.  I don't like new stuff.  But here I sit writing this technology blog.  How did I get here?  3 things I have learned over the past few years have brought me a long way.

1.  Try it, You'll like it.
(Your mental soundtrack may not have gone there.  However having a 2 year old, my mental soundtrack will never be the same. I felt the need to share.)  On to the actual content of this post.  One of the first Instructional Technology presentations that I remember wasn't focused on the classroom.  I remember the Instructional Technology coach telling us that if we use it personally, we will use it in the classroom.  Something like that anyway.  I first heard this and did nothing with it.  I thought there were some neat things with Google, but I didn't want to change everything I was doing.  However, I couldn't resist.  I had to try it and I loved it!

Now I use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, Google Earth, Google Maps, YouTube, Blogger, iGoogle, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Google Images, Picasa, Picnik, Google Books, Google Scholar, Skype, Google Calendar and more.  I'm excited about SlideRocket although I have not used it yet. I do not use them all in the classroom or for teacher learning purposes.  In fact Twitter, Google Reader, and Blogger are about 98% personal.  I follow 73 people on twitter and at least 55 different blogs.  Only 3 of those are education related.  However, I now use Glogster, Prezi, Wordle, and Google Earth in the classroom.  I'm open to learning and using other things.  So try some new things, you'll like them.

2. It isn't all or nothing
Often with technology, we can get overwhelmed.  We hear of so many tools we can use and at some point we just shut down.  We don't see how we can use it all, so we don't use any of it.  We should NOT be thinking this way.  It isn't all or nothing.  Pick and choose what you would like to use, what works best for you.  I recently heard Jayme present alternatives to PowerPoint.  She showed us Google Presentations, SlideRocket, and Prezi.  I personally wasn't excited about Google Presentations.  Prezi is one with which I am comfortable.  SlideRocket is one that I have not used, but I'm excited about what it can do.  I don't need to use them all and love them all.

Another example is Jayme's "Getting Organized Online" presentation.  She showed us Symbaloo, ReadItLater, Wunderlist, and LiveBinder.  Symbaloo and Read it later are some that I might use.  LiveBinders seemed a bit overwhelming, so I'm not going to try it right away.  Wunderlist got me excited, but it isn't available for Blackberry.  So I'm working with EverNote and Cozi.  I might like them, I might not.  Now some of you are overwhelmed with the number of links I added and different things I mentioned.  Sorry!

3.  Don't be lazy!
I use Prezi too much.  I have gotten lazy about technology that I can use for me personally or for my classroom.  I have become satisfied with what I already know.  I haven't tried to learn new things.  Recently, I was listening to a fellow teacher list various presentation tools, XtraNormal, Voki, SpicyNodes, etc., etc.  And yes, I'm using etc. because I don't remember them all.  I should know about some of these!  I'm the technology coordinator and the extent of my creativity is Prezi!  I have become lazy.  Don't get satisfied with what you already know or you won't be learning anything.  And as teachers isn't that the point, learning something new.

So now you have 3 easy tips of how you can become more techy.  Go click on a link above and try something new.  There are lots of people around willing to help you out, including this reluctant techy

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday is my Muse 11-14

The entirety of me

A broken and bleeding Savior
Appears to save no one.
We turned our backs on
This vile, violent picture
Of a man too week to
Save himself.
God give us eyes to see
The strength of our Savior,
The love of our Savior,
The glory of our Savior.

A broken and bleeding Savior
Saves everyone from everything.
We bend our bodies away from
The holiness of this scene.
Our hearts are rended
Out of their stone tombs and
Blossom into the Light.
We begin to become the people
We were made to be.
God give us strength to
Stand with you, to
Love the way you love.

"Give us yourself again.
This time we care.
This time we won't waste it."
Words that hope to be true,
But can not be achieved.

"Lord give me nothing because
I give the entirety of me.
Take me. Use me.
Mold me. Make me."
The right words
The right attitude
The right heart

The entirety of me is
All for you.

Creative Commons License
The entirety of me by Andrea Ward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good Stuff Saturday 11-12

Compassion  Six things I learned from a local church in Peru This is a short genuine article that teaches/ reminds me about poverty and the people in it.

Compassion What is Poverty? A photo journey through poverty.  Powerful and ultimately hopeful.

DRGT: Just Wondering When God asks you questions: Do you believe?  I never knew Lazarus was so much like me.  Read this and see if he isn't like you too.

My heart belongs to Jesus...citizen of the world Teaching me to pray  Kristen regularly posts amazing things.  This one makes me rethink how I pray.  I need to do it like this!

My heart belongs to Jesus...citizen of the world  What's in a name: Part 2  Since reading this, I can't get it out of my head.  I haven't heard anything this direct and simple before when discussing names.  I am fascinated with this idea.  Parts 1 and 3 are also pretty great.  Check those out too.

Stuff Christians Like Hearing your name for the first time  I also read this one that same day.  It's funny how people post the same idea on the same day.  It's like God is trying to tell me something.  This is a name God calls us all.  It is still so intimate and powerful.

This is my blog Never 'just' anything  With Veteran's Day/ Remembrance Day upon us this week, Kim has been sharing her thoughts.  You should read this one.  So often we think of Veteran's Day/ Remembrance Day as just a "Thank You" to our soldiers.  But there is more to it than just that.  Read this, watch the video, and then thank a veteran.

The Handwritten Too many distractions  Let's make sure we are listening to the right things.

A Deeper Story Sharing the hallelujah  An intriguing story that I'm not quite sure what to make of it.  There is so much in me that says, YES!  And some that says, Hm...  Read it and see what you think.

Somewhere in the Middle  Penn State, JoePa, and POTSC  Some rationality and grace in a heart wrenching situation.

A Deeper Story Lest we forget  A wonderful post about what Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day is all about.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you isn't enough

A simple Thank You is not enough to say for the men and women that have put and are putting their lives on hold and go fight for us.  For those who made the ultimate sacrifice for my family and I, there are not enough "Thank You"s to give their families.  I have come across these 2 tributes.  This seems to begin to say more than just Thank You.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When things are going well...

Life flows along nicely.  You get up on time, get to work on time, work hard, and go home.  You enjoy this routine.  Some days are hectic.  Some days are rewarding.  Some days are stressful.  Some days are relaxing.  You become lulled into this false sense of ease in the world.  You begin to believe this is what it is all about, a job you like, family time, and some free time.

Then out of the blue boulders seemed to be hurled from the sky and you find yourself running for cover.  You look to your left and to your right.  You see injured people and you are desperate to help.  You search for something you can do to ease their pain.  You come up empty handed.  Your head and heart are full to overflowing.  You find yourself praying all day long.  Every spare second is spent crying out to God because you have to keep reminding yourself that He is big enough to handle these things.  You have to remind yourself that God is love and He loves those hurting people.  You have to remind yourself because you begin to wonder if it is true.  After all life isn't supposed to be like this.  Life isn't supposed to be this hard.  You are a Christian.  These injured around you are Christians.  They deserve better.   You deserve better.  Isn't that what we get out of it?  16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
   21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. (Matthew 10)

Why is your heart breaking?  Why are you walking around in pieces?  How can you possible love this much?  Your heart must be breaking out of your chest.  It has to be seeping out of your pores because you can't feel this much and keep it all in.  How can Jesus take this?  How can he feel this much all the time?  You know he loves you, but not until you love others does it change you.  Feel this love, pray with this love, speak with this love, and send this love.

God help me keep feeling for these people.  Don't let me shut myself up.  Give me your heart and your words.

No more drive thru

Drew and I have made a concerted effort to not eat out as often as we used to.  I can proudly say that we have made great strides.  We rarely choose fast food as an easy out.  However there was one night last week we decided to head to a fast food restaurant close by.  I really don't remember why.  I'm sure one of us had to work late and were too tired to cook.  Sounds like the reason every time right?

Anyway this time we had a gift card to use, so we weren't using our own money.  So we go to this fast food place and Drew decides to use the drive thru.  The drive thru offers convenience, but everyone knows it comes at a price.  The speaker is hard to hear or they miss a part of your order or you have to wait forever because the people in front of you ordered practically the whole menu.  These were all things we expected.  However, this isn't what we got.  Ordering was relatively simple until we got our total and realized that it was $1 over our gift card.  Of course we don't have cash on us, so we have to use our card for $1.  Ugh!  Oh well, minor slip up.

Then we get to the pay window and it was the beginning of the end.  The girl at the window sees we have a gift card and she asks if we told them so when ordering.  We said no and asked if we had to do that.  She said something about it being harder to run and had to get her manager.  What?!  Yeah, we thought that too.  A gift card is like the debit card.  That's the whole point of using a gift card and not a coupon.  It's easier.  Evidently at this place it isn't.  So the manager came and they ran the gift card and then our debit card.  We moved along to the other window thankful that was over.  At the food window, our food was shoved towards us and the lady turned back around.  We asked her if that was all of our food.  She rudely replied yes.  She turned back around and kept talking to another co-worker WITHOUT closing the window.  Isn't that the universal sign that the order is fully received?  When did this change and why wasn't I notified?!

Well after we so abruptly discovered this change in policy we pulled away.  Not trusting that our entire order was in one bag, I double checked the bag.  Sure enough, it wasn't all there.  My french fries were missing.  I had to go back inside to get the fries.  So after all the issue with "Is my order done?", we were right and it wasn't done.  Inside the people were extremely pleasant and apologetic.

Lesson: The Ward's shouldn't use the drive thru.  We will be going inside.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday is my muse 11-7




Ni Hao
Konnichi wa
Buon Giorno
Assalam Alaykum
Guten Tag

Words speak into existence
"Let there be light."
"I believe in you."
"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Words create hope.
Words create pain.
Words create life.
Words create death.

Use them wisely.

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Words by Andrea Ward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Good Stuff Saturday 11-6

Red Letter Believers  Tebowing -- Righteous prayer or holy mockery?  I was wondering this myself.  Good thoughts and a connection I didn't make.  

A Deeper Story  With apologies to Estes Park  Sometimes we all want to go back and change something. We can't change it, but maybe we can make it better.

DRGT: Just Wondering  When God asks the questions: What do you want me to do for you?  I love this series.  The questions are never just so easy

A Deeper Story  I am not your Holy Spirit This is exactly me!  Oh, I needed to hear this!

Nicodemus @ Nite Gathering the inner tubes Great story that tells an amazing lesson.  What lies are you working toward?

Heather Summers Open letter to Jacob Black I think these are so funny.  Maybe you don't, but here it is anyway

Wives of Faith New shoes, new attitude  What are you comparing?  Something might look good or bad depending on what you are comparing with.  Read this and see what I mean.

The Handwritten  Hold on to Hope  Just great post.  Go read it.

Jon Acuff Blog The biggest lie about travel we all believe Where we are physically does not always mean we are with someone.  Good post.

Compassion - Amazing and inspiring video about what is going on for God in other countries.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Today it feels like I am just getting by.  I got new classes this week.  Most of them are great, but a couple of them are just exhausting.  What I have planned just never seems like enough.  They aren't working on the given assignment or they finish it early or who knows what.  It just feels like nothing is going right and I'm totally failing.  Somehow I can't remember the fact that my other 4 classes are doing great.  Somehow I can't remember my son's smile and laugh.  Somehow I can't remember the beauty of relaxing at home with my husband.  All I can think about is the fact that I fee like I have failed this class in the first week.

God help me get back on track.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who is this for?

So I've been thinking about what to write and I wanted to write some amazing and insightful thing for you guys, but honestly I have had a crazy busy week.  I haven't gotten home before 5pm any night this week.  I have headache right now and Ben still isn't asleep.  It isn't a bad week, but it is a busy one.  There are a few things that have been going through my head, but I'm not ready to write them yet.  SO I'm going to leave you with one thought.  Drew said this in youth group tonight and it made me stop and think.  Hopefully it will make your stop and think too.

Christianity is for the seeker.

Is this true or not?  How is true?  How is it not true?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Stuff, just stuff

Well Wednesday has come and I have been busy, busy, busy at work.  Honestly it has pretty much used all my brain power, so I haven't thought about what to write.  I have had passing thoughts, but none of them seemed enough to turn into a whole blog post.  So I decided to join the revolution.  What revolution you ask.  The write whatever happens to be on your mind revolution, like Julie and Michelle did on Monday.

Maybe terming it a revolution is a little much, but it sounded good.  And of course being me, I have to number them and it has to be a multiple of 5.

1.  I really dislike the term unpacking.  I heard it twice recently basically as a synonym for explaining.  I guess there is a little more than just that to it, but that's the general idea.  When did this term become so popular?  Is it some new fad I don't know about?  Maybe this is all because I just don't like unpacking.  I don't really know where my personal aversion comes from, but it is there.  I picture that in my head like those Expedia commercials where they move the boxes around.  That is just a silly mental image to go with whatever it is we are "unpacking."
2.  I love entertaining my son.  We were on the master bed earlier tonight and he was telling me some amazing story that involved counting to 10 and some other stuff I didn't quite catch.  Later we were flying, which is what he calls it when I lay on my back, put him on my feet, and 'fly' him around.  He's holding my hands and he crashes onto the bed, so it's safe.  Besides my legs are way stronger than my arms are, so that makes the game easier than the more traditional methods.
3.  Ben's hair is too long.  He needs a haircut.  I wouldn't mind his hair being a little longer if it wasn't so thick and Einstienish.  It goes everywhere!  I will comb it and 10 seconds later, it's all over the place again.  Ben is thinking it is too long also.  I know that because he wears finds my barrettes and asks to put them in his hair when it gets too long.
4. NaNoWriMo started today.  I thought I had a character and a vague plot outline to work on.  And then the actual start time comes and I have nothing.  I have random pieces of conversations floating around in my head, but nothing more than that.  It's a little depressing.
5.  Last night we did a reverse trick or treating.  Ben walked with me to the door to hand out candy to the kids.  When I gave them candy, I gave him a piece as well.  It worked out well and allowed me to do what I love best at Halloween - hand out candy to the kids.  I love greeting them at the door, talking about their costumes, and wishing them a Happy Halloween.  In case you want to get enmeshed in the Halloween/Christianity debate.  Read this from me, this from Mandisa, this from A Deeper Story, this from The Scriptorium, and this from The Colbert Report.  I'm sure there are many more posts that I could send you too, but I think those are plenty to get you thinking.