Monday, June 30, 2008

My Sister Got Married


She did.

We left home Thursday and headed to Cinci, acquired a hotel in Eastgate and settled in.

Next we went and picked up our tuxes in Florence. Afterwards we went to the church for rehearsal. Things went smoothly. I found out almost everything I had to do and where I had to be. All accomplished we drove to Olive Garden for the rehearsal dinner. It was good, I enjoyed the evening.

Friday consisted of a early morning to fall asleep to. I stirred, mid morning. Early afternoon when the ladies came back our family went to Subway. Slight addition: Alanna came over since she lives not so far away. We had previously planned to hang out. She ate with us then Alanna and I went grocery shopping. Yay! Something I rarely do, grocery shopping with a friend. It was fun. We hit up the Eastgate mall afterwards and mostly browsed and talked. I enjoyed chatting Alanna!

In the evening we went to George's nursing graduation ceremony downtown. I sat next to Ryley, his niece, who despite her misbehavior was amusing me muchly. She's a big talker, and we played some games to hold her attention, but while we were waiting we were talking back and forth (more her than me) and somehow it came up about being an adult. I asked her if I was a kid, She said no, and that I looked like a grown up. It was because of my grown up shirt, she said. (I was wearing brown striped dress shirt with khakis.) After a few more seconds of conversation she commented, "You look like a smart grownup." I laughed and told her thanks.

Of all surprises I found friends at the graduation. I was able to talk to Sarah afterwards and we decided to hang out later on. My family went to Max & Erma's and then we went back to the hotel.

After this I just headed on over to Sarah's. We stayed up real early and just hung out and talked. It was something I needed, just being able to hang out with a friend and talk about a lot of things. Gracias Sarah!

"Big day" Saturday. We went for pictures @ 115 in Eden Park.

Then at 3 we went over to the church and got all prepared. I felt suave in a tux, but felt odd that this was my sister's wedding. "This-is-actually-it. It's-happening-right-now" type feelings. Nevertheless things went fine. Here's a little list of what I did. 1. Usher people into sanctuary. 2. Light candles up front with my brother. 3. Walk Rochelle down the aisle. 4. Walk back discreetly on the side. 5. Roll out aisle runner with TJ. 6. Stand up front with groomsmen. 7. Watch Katrina walk down. 8. Read poem as part of reading that my brothers and I did. 9. Go back and stand; watch my sister's wedding unfold 'til completion. 10. Exit the scene. Oh, so simple! Actually, I simplify because there are so many details. I reserve the rest for my friends.

After the wedding we had even more pictures then we rode in the limo over to the reception. The food was very tasty and it was nice being served. After the meal they did all the formal wedding regularities: cut the cake, give speeches, throw the bouqet and garter, and dance. Rochelle and I danced a slow dance with the wedding party and then I quickly exited the dance floor as the partying started. A couple of people asked me why I wasn't out there. My reasons are that I prefer not to publicly embarrass myself, my dancing is not smooth, and I don't have the nerve. Basically if I dance, I'm rocking with a guitar. For the rest of the evening I mostly hung out, talked with family and relaxed as much as I could. I crashed that evening, then packed up and left the hotel Sunday. We went to Rochelle's church in Price Hill west of Cinci. Lunch was at Rochelle's apartment with my family, my aunt and uncle and my grandparents. We headed back Sunday afternoon and I was only able to make it south of Columbus before I handed the wheel to mom and then fell asleep at shotgun.

The weirdest thing about this wedding was facing the reality of it. I suppose it's the biggest reality of the summer. Well, weddings are weddings. I'm convinced that anyone can have them. Ceremonies are easy. All you need is someone to marry

And that's the update.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Die!

20 Ways To Live Longer
AOL Health

1. Get married.
2. Laugh out loud
3. Buy a pet
4. Quit smoking
5. Exercise more
6. Give your brain a workout
7. Limit sun exposure
8. Visit the doctor regularly
9. Eat fish
10. Eat more fruits and veggies
11. Share a hug/hold hands
12. Limit alcohol
13. Get your sleep
14. Stay positive
15. Consume a low-fat diet
16. Go to the dentist
17. Manage stress
18. Go back to school
19. Take vitamins
20. Drink tea

Here's some of the facts:

1. If you want to live a longer life, hit the books. A recent study from Harvard found a correlation between a longer lifespan and people with at least one year of college compared to people with a high school diploma or less. People with at least one year of college increased their lifespan by almost 1.6 years from 1990 to 2000.

2. Couples who had physical contact, such as a brief hug and ten minutes of hand holding, actually lowered their heart rates and blood pressure by 50 percent, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Plus, in a previous study it was determined that hugging and hand-holding reduces the negative effects of stress.

3. Getting less than six hours of sleep each night could have negative health effects. A study from the Sleep Health Centers in Boston reported that getting less than this amount of sleep each night increased the risk of dying. Experts recommend getting between six to nine hours of sleep each night for optimum health.

4. Exercise is all around good -- giving you the positive effects of increased endorphins and a reduced waistline. It makes your heart stronger by pumping more blood with less effort, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents and controls diabetes, strengthens bones and muscles and controls weight. Convinced yet? A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that participants who had moderate to high exercise routines lived 1.3 to 3.7 years longer than their couch potato counterparts.

5. Having a dog or cat in the house works wonders by reducing stress, lowering cholesterol and decreasing blood pressure, while increasing physical activity.

6. Experts say that laughter is the best medicine. After all, it increases your immune system response, lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics, increases oxygen flow throughout your entire body and helps induce a state of relaxation promoting better sleep.

7. Exchanging vows comes with its own medical perks. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed the death rate for people who were unmarried was significantly higher compared to people who were married and living with their spouses.

So I got a hair cut today for the wedding. I told Alanna, it's really weird. My sister loves this guy, and wants to spend the rest of her life with him. So Saturday they're having this ceremony thing to make it official. She laughed at my humor.

Joshua backed out on our 3 man band. He didn't feel comfortable doing it this late, so instead of the song we are going to read Scripture and some other stuff. I have to pack tonight because we are leaving tomorrow. Thursday night is the rehearsal, then Saturday the wedding. It's difficult to believe really. It feels very surreal to have my sister getting married. Have I already said this? I don't know, but to me this day was always a long ways away. Of course I shouldn't be surprised I'll be entering my sophomore year of college this fall. Ach, getting old.

So I'll be giving the devotional/bible study tonight at church. Perhaps the first time I've been in charge of an entire service, but Mel mentioned that I'm morphing into the youth staff now so...I'm speaking on 'Spiritual Evaluation' It promises to be different since I normally just lead the worship, but tonight I'll be doing everything. New song! Starfield's Reign In Us. I hope it goes well. Love the melody and it has great words.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Day Three

The rain: I was tired of looking at it. Thunderstorm number three is here today. We've had storms three days in a row. So again, I go outside to enjoy it.

But this time I'd had enough of it. I walked out in the rain, then stood by the edge of my house in the driveway, getting swirls of misty rain from the wind, and rain drops from the sky, extending my arms out and lifting my face toward heaven enjoying it.

Did I mention I like thunderstorms?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thoughts of Blogging & Thunderstorms

Blogging has been scarce, but the temptation has still been there. The thoughts have come, and due to my lack of importunity, so have they gone. So here I pull out Adriana soon as I do, any thoughts of which to blog about quickly vacate my mind. How appropriate, my blog title: all these thoughts in my head. However, I believe I have chronic bloggers disorder.

We've had two days of thunderstorms here in northeastern Ohio. The storms have been energizing, but now after the second day of rain it's getting dismal. I walked outside last evening right after my shower. A storm was blowing in so I decided to watch it come. The dark clouds floating through the sky moving slowly, ominously. The wind blowing through the grass, the field, the trees. As I stood there with the wind whipping around me, looking at all this I knew there was something bigger than myself. The power of nature makes me believe that there is some force, some person behind the storm. I'm so glad I know that person: God, so powerful!

I must admit, I love thunderstorms. I enjoy standing outside as the wind blows, the thunder booms, the lightning flashes, and the rain falls. The more powerful the storm the better. They simply fascinate me.

And then the sun came out that evening and made for a pretty set of the sun...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Okay, Okay, I Confess

I have a deep love of cold cereal for breakfast.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And I Quote

"You definitely have a unique way with words, not too many cliches which is good. Your blogs contain a lot of what happens in your helps your readers "be there with you." Also, at times you delve into deeper topics (spiritual) that you must be thinking about. It helps your readers see another side of you (which is good)...I always look forward to reading your blog. Also your pictures show that you definitely have an eye for always seems to say something that is unique and funny." -Alanna Smith

Summer. The stuff that makes me stay up late and sleep in. Alanna admitted to the same. We are instant messaging right now, talking about siblings, communication, blogging, names, favorites...

My mind - It's crazy - I can see you all rolling your eyes and nodding your heads out there. No, what I mean is that when I go to blog tonight all these blogging topics started flying threw my head...that later.

I'm trying to find writer's blogs. Not having a whole lot of "luck" or what I'm looking for. Jon told me to look up a name in google but I forgot exactly and my search came back rather...distasteful. Blogging is very unique. I think its probably the modern day essay, less refined. Of course my college english teacher did tell me a personal essay is an expanded, edited blog. It reminds me of E.B. White who said, "The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest." Maybe that's me, although I seriously doubt I'm an egotist. I just enjoy writing. I've also come to the conclusion that everyone has their own blogging style. Some are different than others, and others simply are not different from most. Personalities come out in the blogs though, and this is what makes them unique.

I got a card in the mail today. It was very cool looking, and it meant a thank you!

Alive. It's a Christian music festival that I'm going to tomorrow. I, undoubtedly should have made the decision to go before this, and would have saved a bit of money. I wasn't even planning to go this year, but on the proposition and request of my friend and youth leader...I'm going. I hesitate to spend the money when I'm not working. I have a feeling that I shouldn't go. I think it's the feed me mentality. Entertain me. I long to share my faith. Plus, I'm going to camp out afterwards so that should be fun.

AYC. I went to the website today. I'm getting pumped. Scanned through all the pictures from last year. I've been studying Bible Bowl and am just getting really excited about it. I told Keith tonight it just makes me wanna get out there and play some softball. I said this as I motioned my arm as if I was throwing a softball. Ahh. Youth camp.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strawberries & Weddings

If there's one thing about summer that I love it's gotta be strawberries. Our fridge has a lot of them right now. Hence, why I write this. I have a deep confession to make: I love strawberries. I quick went to wikipedia and found what I suspected. Strawberries get their name from the straw that is placed around them when growing them. I remember doing this when we had strawberries in our garden one year. All I know is that I love that soft sweet tangy taste. Per chance I find one that is plenty ripe, all I taste is heavenly sweetness. So we have a bunch and I've been eating strawberry shortcake, strawberries on my cereal, strawberries with milk and sugar, and just plain strawberries when I open the fridge. Not only are they good and juicy but they're healthy too. Ahhh.

Secondly, I am ever more realizing that my sister is getting married in less than two weeks. It's one of those things that you thought would always be a long time away, and now it's here already. Scary. I talked to her today because she had called Mom and asked if us boys were still doing anything for the wedding. She had mentioned a song, scripture or something. So Josh, Jon & I got together and decided that we are gonna write a song and play it. It's something we knew about but just failed to work on before summer came. Not only that but I was away in college. So here we go. It's a little difficult to compose something this late and not have it be cheesy, but we're gonna do our best. And it's gotta be good. Let me say this: I hate weddings - the ceremonial junk. Not that my sister's wedding is unimportant, but that I hate formality, sitting there...I guess this will be a lot different though being that I'm in the wedding. Oh well, I'll see.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Day

Yes, it's definitely summer. I washed and waxed my car this morning. My brothers were washing the other cars so I decided to help them and then bring my car out back to wash as well. Mom and I went shopping this afternoon. Penny's had clearance sales and I got some shoes and an extra pair of jeans.

Then I went to the arts and craft store to get the t-shirts and iron-ons for the youth activity saturday. I also grabbed a framed corkboard so I can permanently make my collage board. I also got a cork runner for my room at college. I'll post a bunch of pictures and paper on there. It'll be creative and cool looking.

In light of last night's Bible study I made a move today. I heard one of the associates say, "Oh lord in heaven." It bothered me heavily so I finally got the guts and walked around the aisle to where she was unpacking boxes. I asked how she was; she wasn't much older than me. Then in a calm and inquisitive voice I asked if she was praying. She looked at me, hesitated, and said, "No, I was just having problems opening these." They were metal stars wrapped in thin cardboard. After I told her to have a good day I was thinking, she just technically addressed God without even knowing it; misused His name without thinking. I wonder when it will really start bothering us Christians enough to say anything?!?

My mom needed to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home so we did. I had nothing to do so I wandered around looking at different things. I ended up finding a polka-dotted tie for sale @ $4.50. I like it. It's a nice tie and you can't get one that nice for that cheap anywhere.

Found a great little element on blogger today. You can add a blog preview for your friend's blogs instead of a list of links to their blog. I added it so now I have both, but I can see whether or not they've updated without ever leaving my site. It's very handy.

Have a bunch on my to-do list. I have about 5 people to call, t-shirts to make, a reunion devotional to prepare, and plenty of reading and studying to do. And here I go blogging again. Gotta run.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Exaggerate Not

I had probably the best couple of days with my friends so far this year. And I'm not exactly sure what to even say about it. Chris, Chryl, Lanna, and Mif came up Sunday night to my house. We hung out for a while then ate supper and then we pretty much stayed around talking, laughing, doing various things. Well we went to bed and then Mif and I woke up around 300-330 to take care of some unfinished business with Lanna. After the laughs we stayed up till it got light. Later in the morning after I managed to acquire some sleep Chris and I went to the next street up and jogged a mile. The girls were surprised that we actually did it and thought we were crazy. I just felt like doing it and we both admitted to each other that we haven't jogged in a while and wanted to start doing it.

@11 we headed up to Cedar Point for a day of fun. Here is where I begin smiling. The weather was nice and there wasn't that many people there so I got a nice parking spot and the lines were not bad. We rode several awesome rides and even had a chance to get wet. To dry off we headed back to the car to have a license plate party. The food was really good although I have to say, never give Missie a monster drink. I also oddly found an interesting way to sleep in my car with the seat tilted back my feet in the back window and my head on or beneath the steering wheel.

Yea. Anyway, so that evening a couple of storms came in and we had to wait around for the rain to go away. (Which I told it to) Once the rain let up we were waiting for the big rides and so we decided to ride the tower once more and a little kiddy ride for fun. Then half an hour before they closed to our jumping up and down joy and excitement they opened the best ride there. A 17 second ride that takes you 120 mph in 3.8 seconds then goes 90 degrees straight up with a 270 degree vertical twist then you arch over the top (looking out over the park, Lake Erie and Sandusky) only to begin screaming as gravity takes you back down with another twist in repetition of the first stretch of the ride. (That was a long sentence) It's the most thrilling ride they have. We were raving over it and I told them that's why I wanted to ride it so bad. This was their first time to Cedar Point and my third time. On the way out Mif, Lan & I went splashing in puddles. Then we stopped for food and rode all the way home. I shall not forget the funny Odyssey episodes we listened to. Or the guessing auction while we were waiting for the rain to pass. Ah, crazy!

Once home we took a walk around the field and down the road with Callie. Unfortunately we would've been out there longer but my allergies were really getting to me so we decided to head back to the house to hang out. We ate some leftover birthday cake and stayed on the porch talking for a while. May I here profess my fond love of staying up late with friends? I ended up going sub-conscious. My only recollection is crawling into bed in my room. I don't remember getting up from the couch or walking to my room. I woke up in the morning thinking, how did I get here? I was so tired from a day of so much fun. To our sadness we parted ways with smiles yesterday afternoon. I enjoyed my time with all of you guys. May the memories continue to flood your mind.

Later on yesterday I ended up working on a roofing job for a relative of mine. We finished shingling the house and I was happy to be able to work for 5 and a half hours. I came home filthy, showered, ate and went to bed.

Today, after justifiably sleeping in I did several things before going to church. Mel had a really good Bible study on misusing God's name. I led the singing for the teens and we sang some good songs: "Jehovah-Jireh", "King of Kings", "The Solid Rock" and "I'm Amazed". Tonight I noticed something about the teens that really motivated me to commit to praying for them. As I was playing my guitar, I was pumped and the words of the songs were really good, but the kids were lifeless! Perhaps my emotional level was a little higher but they seemed pretty apathetic about the God they claim to love. Understandably not everyone there is a Christian that wants to love God with all their heart, but...and maybe that was it. I just sensed a spirit that I think was affecting the other teens' worship. I shared Psalm 66 & 68 with them before the songs where it says, "Make his praise glorious." & "May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God; Sing praise to his name." However they have a long way to go before they learn to express praise to God.

It's disheartening, but educating at the same time. I scribbled the words to a song tonight in my notebook and while talking with Leanna and Missie at Cedar Point I've been thinking about my future goals. I really want to see these kids (affectionate term) grow in their relationship with Christ. I also want to be writing songs because I know how much music affects my generation. I know that I cannot keep up with my culture's television, movies, and ipods, but I am commanded to play skillfully (PS 33). I know God must somehow be using me but I also feel that there is something keeping them back. Cares of life, maybe.

Long post, but God's been blessing. Gotta share.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Just Because I Can

You're not safe anymore.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer Fun & Cleaning

Well, I have been pretty busy here at home. I've spent the last two days cleaning and fixing stuff up. Yesterday, we cleaned out the back room. We threw away and burnt a lot of things. Jon and I also gave Callie a bath, which she didn't seem to mind too much as long as we kept the water from the hose on low pressure. I also took her on a walk and am trying to teach her how to behave. Something else I did yesterday afternoon was shot a TV. We've had an old television monitor in the garage for a while that is really old and does not work at all. I thought it would be a lot of fun to blow it to pieces - so I did. Jon helped me film the action, I thought it would be worth having the memories. It was incredible how the bullets tore the thing apart. I even found one of the bullets. Here's proof that my 12 gauge shotgun does do it work efficiently:

Today, as a true gentleman I took dust cloth in hand and dusted around the house. I also swept several rooms. A couple of our mini-blinds were broke as well so I took to putting new ones up which was fairly easy. This afternoon we went out to eat for Pop's 83rd birthday. He's my grandpa on my Mom's side; He's awesome.

Managed to fall asleep for a 2 hour nap this evening. I was pretty tired. Lack of sufficient sleep, lots of work, and this heatwave did me in I think. I use words like sweltering and scorching to describe this 90 degree weather. It is crazy hot! More cleaning tomorrow then my friends are coming on Sunday evening. We're going to Cedar Point on Monday. Booyah.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Things

Wow. I am sitting here in utter amazement at the blondeness of my older sister. Yes, the one who will graduate from college next year. I will refrain from mentioning the embarrassing stuff out of kindness, but it provides me with much laughter and incredulous amazement.

So anyway, I want to tell you about the two new loves in my life. First of all, I wanted to play frisbee yesterday and my brother found my old frisbee.

This is one that I won at the library for reading a lot of books, back when I had time to read all afternoon and evening, finishing books late into the night. It makes me so happy! It's a Sport Design heavyweight frisbee. I was just thinking about buying one this summer too, because Isaac and I have been honing our "professional frisbee skills" over the school year. It's awesome, just when I have been wanting something God provides my want with something I forgot I had! I have yet to name it and tattoo my name on it.

The second new thing is that we got a dog. We acquired a 6 month old Golden Retriever/Irish Setter puppy Thursday. She's pretty cute and getting used to her new life here. She hated her collar and chain at first and she still howls but she has a good personality and is a fairly playful puppy. She has a really pretty coat. We named her Callie, which means "most beautiful".

This afternoon I did something that I haven't done in a long time, maybe not ever at all. It was so beautiful outside that I decided to take a nap outside on the back lawn. With 80 degree weather that is sunny, with blue skies, minimal clouds and a strong cool breeze, I knew I couldn't go wrong. Being that I am allergic to grass I was little concerned but I just put a sleeping bag down and then folded my giant fleece blanket for padding that added a thin soft quilt blanket on top, complete with Carlisa at my head, I enjoyed my nap. Although it was very short and the dog was barking I did manage to fall asleep and enjoyed taking my nap outside today. It was great.