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26 December, 2008

A Christmas Story

She walks up to the front door, arms laden with gifts. Upon reaching the door, she notices a note addressed to her, quickly she reads it before returning to her car for the remainder of her packages. Coming back to the house, she quickly removes the note from the door and reads it again with a grin on her face. "Follow these instructions EXACTLY! to recieve your gift. Instructions Where do you go to put your gifts? Once you get there find me and look inside." So off she went, into the living room to look by the Christmas tree. She was surprised when she did not see her loved one in there waiting for her. So she proceded on the the next part of the clue "find me"...she saw no gifts with his name on them...but suddenly she saw a mailbox with his name on it and upon looking inside, found her next clue. "Roses are red, violets are blue, you need to go where I first said I love you!" This was an easy one. She raced down the stairs to the basement couch, again expecting to find him there, but the room was empty. On the couch was a small black box. Her face lit up as she slowly opened it, all the time wondering where he was. Unbeknownst to her, he was carefully hidden, watching her every move. Her face broke out in a grin as she opened the box and pulled out a delicate diamond and sapphire ring. He came out from his hiding place, a grin on his face as well, and sat beside her on the couch as she placed the ring on her finger. "It's perfect," she said.
************************************************************************************


And now my friends, I must tell you, that that is a true story, as experienced by me yesterday afternoon. Mike bought me this beautiful promise ring, which he gave me for Christmas last night!





My BEAUTIFUL ring!!!!











When we came upstairs, of course I had to show off my new ring! Then we went into the living room for more gifts. Mike's parents bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer for my Christmas and birthday present. I was so excited! I've wanted one of these for such a long time. I gave Mike a sweatshirt and a hat from American Eagle.








Mike opening his gift from me :)










After the immediate family gift exchange, we went to Mike's aunts house for his whole family get together. We had a delicious dinner: ham, cheesy potatoes, potatoes au gratin, vegetable cassarole, salad, rolls, and baked apples. After a while, the younger kids began to get impatient, so we moved into a big circle to open the presents. Mike's Grandma bought gifts for everyone. She got me a Santoku knife (which I've wanted for a long time) and an American Eagle gift certificate. It was so much fun to watch everyone open their presents. The youngest kids got a ton of presents, and they seemed to think that every gift was theirs, so a lot of us would let them help us open our gifts. There were so many presents!







Grant and Tori were climbing all over the huge pile of presents!









After the regular gifts, we played Bingo. This is a Christmas tradition for Mike's family. If you get a "bingo" you get to chose a gift from the pile. Again, there was a huge pile of gifts! It was almost overwhelming! The first package I opened up was men's socks, which happened to be Mike's size, so he got them. That worked out good because later he got a women's polo shirt that is my size! Between the two of us we got $5, Bath and Body Works Apple soap, a fleece blanket, body lotion (2 kinds), and fuzzy pink gloves. His Grandma also made all the women a bunch of yarn covered hangers, so I got a bunch of those as well.

This Christmas was different from any one before for a few reasons: I had to work the morning, my family is in Canada with my mom's family (we'll celebrate Christmas when they come home tomorrow), and I got to celebrate with Mike and his family. It was a great Christmas and I hope that you and your family were blessed as well!!!

24 December, 2008

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert

Last night Mike and I went to the TSO concert at the Van Andel. It was by far the best concert I have ever gone to (and I've been to a lot of concerts). The music was amazing, and the light show was breath-taking. I loved every moment of the 2.5 hour concert!




The lights were amazing...they had fire behind the performers, and sometimes fire balls shot into the air!















The violinist (on the right) was my favorite perfomer of the night! She was absolutely amazing!











This is the whole stage...lights and all!















Amazing guitarist!













His voice gives me shivers!!





17 December, 2008

Christmas in Kentucky

On Friday, Alecia, Mike, and I set out on the road. First we drove to Chicago, where we dropped Alecia off at the airport. She is now in Romania for the next few weeks. Then Mike and I drove about 6 more hours to Ohio. On the way, Mike experienced the deliciousness of White Castle for the first time ;) We met up with my parents and brother and spent the night at my Aunt's house. Saturday morning, we drove another 3.5 hours down to Kentucky. We went to another aunt's house and hung out there for awhile. I wanted to show Mike around "our part of Kentucky" so we went in search of a coal mine. We couldn't find one at first and I ended up driving through 3 counties, up and down the twisty mountain roads. It was fun :) Then I realized I had stuff in my trunk that they needed to set up for the Christmas party so we brought that to the place where the party was. I got new directions and we went out again looking for the coal mine. Finally we found one, thought it wasn't the one I was looking for, but it was still neat to see. We headed back to my aunt's house and played with my cousins for a while. Then we headed back to the Senior Citizen's Center for the party. This was the first family Christmas party I've ever gone to. We got there about 4:30, party was supposed to start at 5:30, and already people were arriving! Mike and I stood off to the side and I tried to tell him who everyone was. In my family, that's quite a challenge. About 130 people came to the party. We ate and talked, and Santa came to visit the younger kids. Sunday morning, Mike and I left at 6 to head home. We arrived home about 4, with a few minutes to relax before I had to be at church to get ready for the dance. It was a busy weekend, but we had a great time!!!




This is an office building in Columbus, they had the indoor lights on to spell out HAPPY HOLIDAYS. It was really cool!














My cousin, Tracey, dressed as Santa and had a sack stuffed with toys for the kids.












Everyone crowded around to get gifts. The youngest got stuffed Curious Georges. The middle boys got cars from the movie Cars and the girls got princess dolls. The teenagers got money.

15 December, 2008

Liturgical Dance

Yesterday, Mike and I left Kentucky at 6 am to make it back to church in time for the Christmas program. (I'll write about Kentucky later!) Alecia and I choreographed a dance to Fernando Ortega's song, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Six middle school girls performed the dance. They did such an amazing job!!!
There was a problem with the camera, so the song is in two separate parts. The first movie is the first 4 seconds, and the second is the rest of the song.


08 December, 2008

Advent

Please take a minute to watch this movie. The statistics are staggering!!! I learned in my management class that Americans spend $10billion on Halloween...problem solved, huh? :)

01 December, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Today is my mom's birthday!

My dad made her a cake





Isn't it pretty?
She's been wanting a pair of these for a few years now. They've always been so expensive, but this year I found an amazing deal...
And here she is modeling her new ear warmers. I got her two pairs. One for in her van, and one for in her coat pocket
Happy birthday Mom!!!

27 November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving, as you celebrate with your family and friends. Whatever your activities for today are, take a minute to thank God for your blessings.
I am thankful for:
My family
A nice warm house
Clothes
My friends
Mike
My church
Salvation
Food
My car
My health
Those are just a few things I am thankful for...there are so very many more!!!

26 November, 2008

Happy birthday Mike!!



























Happy 20th birthday Mike! I never would have guessed that when we met that day in January, we'd be where we're at today. Like the pictures above show, you can be serious, but you have an amazing sense of humor and you can always make me laugh. We always have a blast when we're together and I wouldn't trade a minute of these past months for anything. You're not just my boyfriend, you're my best friend and I'm so thankful that God brought you into my life! I love you Mike!!!




24 November, 2008

A ray of sunshine

I have to apologize for slacking on my blog. This semester, especially these past couple weeks, has been insanely busy for me! All my classes are ones that I really have to work at, no easy classes this semester.
I spent all Friday evening, probably 3 hours Saturday, and most of the day Sunday working on homework. No, not for all my classes...but for just one class! My management class has an insane amount of work, and it doesn't help at all when your team members don't contribute or do their work on time. I was supposed to study for my accounting test today as well, and I was able to squeeze in about an hour of study time for that, but most of my time was spent on this ridiculous paper.
Mike came over yesterday afternoon, so he could help me a bit with my paper, and while I worked on mine, he also worked on a paper he had to write. Toward the end of the night, I was just so frustrated, I couldn't take any more. We ended up watching a movie, which helped a bit, but I was so stressed out. I've never been this stressed for any other classes, in all my other semesters.
So Mike knew how frustrated I was feeling. Unbeknownst to me, he stopped at the store and bought me my favorite candies. When he saw me today, he handed me not one, but two bags of these...
I was so surprised when he pulled them out of his backpack this morning! Just another thing I love about him, how he's so sensitive and thinks of the little things like this to make my day better. Thanks Mike!!!

17 November, 2008

Carroms


Have you ever heard of Carroms? It's a game that Mike introduced me to last Sunday. It was his favorite game when he was growing up and on Sunday afternoon we decided to pull it out and play for a while. I had no idea what to expect, but it was so much fun!


The only way I could really describe it is that it's like playing pool. The object is to use the little stick and your white shooter puck and shoot your color puck into the holes on the board.


We played probably 4 or 5 games. Mike won all but one, and that's only because he sunk the black puck so I won that round. I think I need more practice so I can beat him. But I'm pretty sure neither of us will complain if we play some more!!!

14 November, 2008

I've learned a lot, and I'm still learning.

In my last post, I asked you to tell me how you would define love...these are the answers I recieved...

Jennifer-It has to be a choice. If it is based all on feelings it won't survive. That is kinda what the movie talked about also. Put the actions in place and your heart will follow. Smiles!

Kim- Love is a decision you make! When you first meet "the one" there is alot of emotion and electricity. In the everyday life that electricity fades, and regularity comes in. When you choose to continue to love someone, you are willing to work at it, to talk it out, to give of yourself, to put them first (after God of course). When you love like that your love grows deeper and more meaningful then that first initial passionate love! It's better!

I couldn't agree more with what both of my friends said. In the past 8 months, I've learned a lot about love. I have learned that it is not always easy, but it is worth it. And love doesn't have to be perfect. People are not perfect, so only God's love can be perfect. People are normal and they get upset with each other and annoyed over little things. But I've found that that can only make love grow stronger. Love is unconditional. Nothing you do should cause a person to just stop loving you, if they love you in the first place. I've learned that there has to be more than just physical attraction, it's an emotional attraction. When you're best friends with the person you love and you can connect on that level. I've learned a lot about love, and I know I have a long ways to go, God's not finished with me yet!!

03 November, 2008

Fireproof

Saturday night Mike and I went to see Fireproof. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend that you go see it. It is completely worth the money you spend on the ticket.
The movie is based on a man and his wife who are going through a rough time. The wife files for divorce and the husband sets out on a 40 day love dare. It's a really neat plot line and we both really enjoyed the movie.
It's kind of interesting because I have been reading the Karen Kingsbury Baxter Family series and the book I just finished was talking about ways to have a forever love. It seems like a lot of things are all relating to the same topic...unconditional love.
So I want to get your input. How would you define or describe love?

29 October, 2008

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Sunday afternoon, Mike, Brett, Kevin, and I went up to Silver Lake to go on the sand dunes with Brett's truck. He has a 2001 Dodge Ram. The weather wasn't the greatest, but we figured that didn't really matter because we would be in the truck the whole time anyway.

The drive up was fun. Between the 4 of us, we ate a whole bag of Doritos and drank lots of Mountain Dew...in less than an hour :)

When we got there, the guys put the orange flag on the truck and let a lot of the air out of the tires. They were chivalrous and allowed me to stay in the nice warm truck. It's kind of hard to describe the feeling of bouncing around up and down the huge dunes and through the water, unless someone has done it before. We took a video, so I thought I'd share it. (Enjoy our random conversation!!) I laugh every time I watch this video!!!



About halfway through the video, you'll see a huge puddle that we went through and the water completely covered the truck! It was awesome!! But it caused some problems with the truck, because things got wet. We decided that rather than sacrifice the truck, we'd call it a day, because we'd already had a blast.

We had to fill up the tires (again the guys were so nice to me :D ). We took it easy on the way home because we weren't sure what damage had been done to the truck. When we reached Muskegon, we noticed how dark the sky had gotten. Suddenly, the truck started going to the right and Brett noticed we were sliding! The road was covered in slush and huge chunks of hail began pelting down. It lasted probably 10 minutes...absolutely crazy! Cars had like an inch of this slushy snow stuff pile up on them. We stopped at Auto Zone and found out that there were 6 codes causing the check engine light to turn on. Turns out that they were all caused by cylinder misfires. The truck fixed itself because as it ran, the water dried out. That's a Dodge for you!!

We all had a blast, and we decided that next year, we'll go again when it's a bit warmer outside!!

27 October, 2008

Haunted Corn Maze

Saturday night, Mike and I, his sister Jen and her boyfriend Tyler, went to a haunted corn maze in Fennville. It was the first time I had gone to anything like this, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I knew it would be fun, because Mike loves going, but he couldn't tell me much about it without ruining the effect of the maze.

We had to stand in line for a while when we first arrived. They were showing clips from horror movies to add to the atmosphere and creep everyone out. Some of the clips were a bit freaky, but I found most of them to be more funny that scary.

When we made it to the front of the line, we all got green glow sticks to light up the way. And off we went. It's too hard to describe what happen in order of how it happened, but basically, there were a lot of masked creatures that jumped out at us from the corn, or they'd just make creepy noises, or follow us. Mike and I were in the front and Jen and Tyler were behind us for most of the maze. So we got the people who jumped out in front of us... I'll share some of the most memorable ones...

One of the first creatures was crouched down on the ground, it jumped up at us and the thing was all covered in hair and monstrous! I'm pretty sure that's when I screamed and Mike jumped and screamed too!

There were sections that we went over that had a trampoline on the ground, so it was really unstable and it felt wierd. That kind of freaked me out because the ground wasn't solid under our feet.

There was an old lady sitting in a wheelchair rocking back and forth. We thought that was just wierd until she started making creepy groaning noises and then we thought she was freaky. We went around a corner and she came through the corn making noises at us!

At one point there were a series of scarecrows. Turns out one of them was a person and he moved right when I was by him.

Other people would jump out at us or chase us from behind with chainsaws.

We were almost through the maze when we passed a grave yard set up and there was a lady dressed in white standing to the edge. I was so concentrated on her that I didn't see a guy on the ground reaching to grab my leg. I jumped to the side and practically pushed Mike into the corn!

The most memorable one for me was...We were walking and nothing had happened for a few minutes. I felt something tapping on my back and I said "That better be Jen or Tyler." Mike told me to turn around, but I was scared to see what was behind me, so I refused. Finally I turned around and it was this hideous looking creature who had been following us and poking me!! (Disclaimer: They're not actually supposed to touch us when we go through the maze. But when he crept up behind us, Mike saw him and the guy told Mike to be quiet. So basically he knew it was okay because Mike didn't object)

After we got throroughly scared by the maze, we went through a 3-D maze. It was really cool. At one point, we had to walk through a tunnel that was spinning. We walked on a bridge through it, but it felt like we were going to fall over!!

It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to go back next year!!

22 October, 2008

No school=Road trip!!!

Yesterday we didn't have classes because of academic advising day. So Mike and I tried to think of something to do.

Mike works for a carpet cleaning company and they often travel a little ways to do some cleaning. Earlier this summer he was working at some jobs out in Saugatuck, and he had said he would like to show me some things there. We decided to go down there yesterday. We left his house around 11:30 and got to Saugatuck about noon. We went to a coffee shop and got some hot chocolate before walking around. Mike wanted to show me a boat he worked on, but all the boats were already out of the water. We walked around and looked in the windows of the stores and just talked. After we walked basically through the whole town, we got back in the car.

We decided we were just going to go South, with no destination in mind, just drive. We drove until we were both kind of hungry, so we stopped at McDonald's. I don't even know what town we were in. We were there for a long time, just talking and hanging out.

We continued driving until we got to Indiana. We turned around in Michigan City. On the way back up, we decided to stop at Four Winds Casino. Neither of us have been to a casino before and we thought it would be kind of fun to check it out. It was amazing! We had to follow a long twisty road to get to it. Then we walked in and it's all outdoorish styled. We couldn't do anything because you have to be 21 to go on the floor (what happened to being able to gamble at 18? Can anyone explain that law to me?) It was fun to just walk around and look at the machines and watch people. We decided that we'll go back when we're 21.

Then we kept driving north and stopped at a State Park/Trail in South Haven. We didn't want to walk or anything, just get up and take a bathroom break. It was nice outside so we stood out of the car for a while. We made one more stop in Fennville so Mike could show me some other big houses that he's worked at.

We stopped at Mike's house for a few minutes and then we went to a Chinese buffet. It was delicious! We rented a movie and went back to his house to watch it and just relax.

It was a lot of fun. Not just because we didn't have school. But just driving with no place in mind and no time contraints, just being free to drive where-ever and stop when-ever. I think we need on day off of school each week! :)

18 October, 2008

I'm baaaaack! And I need your help!

I finally have my computer back and it's all fixed and running great!!! So that means I should be back to posting and leaving comments more regularly instead of letting it go for a week and a half!!

So, on Tuesday, we have a much needed break from school. Let's just say Mike and I are totally ready! I have a mix of classes this semester. Some are no-brainers (like English, that is a review of stuff I learned in middle school), but others are nearly impossible. Like Business Law. If it wasn't required, I'd drop it in a heartbeat!

So anyway, no school Tuesday. Mike and I decided that we wanted to get away and enjoy the day together. We kind of want to go out and do something, rather than sit at home all day, because that's what we typically do. So here's where I need your help...What are some things to do or places to go, that would take up a good chunk of the day, that aren't terrible far away from the A-town/Z-land area? Any suggestions will be so helpful!!!

06 October, 2008

Walking on Sunshine

Do you ever have days when you're just happy, not for a real apparent reason, but everything is just great and it seems like all is well in the world?

Today was that day for me. Nothing particularly special happened. In fact, it was just a regular day. I went to my English and Accounting classes this morning. Then came home quick for lunch, and headed to work. After work, I had dinner and now I'm working on homework (well, kind of). So really, not a terribly exciting day. However, I have just been in a really great mood.

I think sometimes I take things for granted. I am so blessed...beyond what I could ever ask for or imagine. And today, I realized a lot of those things. Others around me are suffering, and I pray for them, but I have been fortunate. Thank you God!

04 October, 2008

Creative Love

I've seen this done by quite a few people now, so I thought I would join in too. All you have to do is make a list of the things you love that start with the letter you are assigned. Leave me a comment so I can give you a letter if you want to join in. Jennifer gave me the letter "M" to get me started.

10 things I love that start with M











1. Mike
2. Music
3. MSN Messenger
4. Muffins
5. Making food
6. Movies
7. Mici (Romanian sausage made of Pork, Beef, and Lamb)
8. M&M's
9. My family
10. Making memories

03 October, 2008

"Good" news

I finally got my computer back today...after being without it for over a week!!! Man!...it's harder than you think! Unfortunately, it is not fixed. But, it will be soon. You see, the problem is with the motherboard of the computer, which basically runs the whole computer. The gentleman at System Works told me it could run about $500 to get it fixed. However, HP is aware that there is a problem with these computers, and they are offering and extended warranty. So I came home tonight and went to HP's website and found out that my computer is one that is covered!!! After spending 30 minutes on the phone, I found out that they will pay to have my computer mailed to HP. Then they will fix it, mail it back, and then there is an extended warranty on the fixed part! So basically, I will have to endure about another week without my laptop, but then it should be fixed and good as new!!! Yay! It's good to know that there are companies out there that will recognize when their products have problems and are willing to accept responsiblity and fix them!!!

27 September, 2008

When it rains, it pours

And pour it has...about 2 months ago, I started having problems with my laptop. It stopped recieving any wireless signal. So I had to use a cord to connect it to the router, of course the router is in the office, and my cord was only about 10 feet long, so that meant that my freedom was severly limited. Then suddenly the wireless adapter or sensor or whatever it's called would start working again and all would be well until it quit again. This process continued to repeat itself. Finally, last week, the computer completely stopped acknowledging my wireless connection and after running virus scans and other computer scans, I found out that my wireless device had been somehow uninstalled. (A virus maybe?) So I resorted to the annoyance of using my computer while plugged in in the office. I soon realized that this was not convenient at all. Then on Tuesday night, I installed new required security updates on my computer and it had to restart. When it restarted, it told me the sound device had been uninstalled as well!!! Then I noticed that my battery level indicator was not working, and had a X through it. That was the breaking point. I decided I couldn't make my computer go any longer without getting it checked out. So on Thursday, I brought it to System Works, in Holland. They will hopefully have it repaired by Monday, and then I can resume posting pictures and other interesting things. For now though, I am stuck using my parent's ancient desktop that takes 20 minutes to start up and runs about as slow as you can imagine, so please bear with me as I probably will not be commenting on your blogs!!

24 September, 2008

Silver Lake

On Sunday we decided to take advantage of the last day of summer and headed up to spend the afternoon at Silver Lake. Mike and I, along with his sister Jen, and Tyler and their parents went up first and Brett and Jordan met us later.



Here we're waiting for lunch to be ready. We grilled burgers and hotdogs...and had chips...yummy :)
















We climbed up a big sand dune. It's hard to see how steep it is from this picture, but it was quite a climb.

















This is Silver Lake













It was cloudy for a while, but when the sun came out it was really nice out!













Mike tackled Brett...and they got a little sandy












videoThis truck was trying to get up the dune, but it had to keep rolling back down. I think it took 3 or 4 tries before it made it. People clapped and cheered when they finally made it over.


videoThis Jeep made it over a lot easier than the truck. There are lots of places around where you can rent a Jeep or a dune buggy. We thought it was fun just to watch everyone.

20 September, 2008

Johnny's Drive-In

Wednesday night, the middle school youth group hosted Johnny's Drive In. It was the 9th year that youth group has done it, but the first time for Splash (middle school). People drive to church and the middle schoolers wearing poodle skirts skate (or walk) to their cars to take their meal orders. We had hamburgers and hotdogs with fries, and rootbeer floats and lemonade. Most people choose to eat in their car, because it just makes it more fun that way, but the weather was great so a few ate outside on the lawn. We didn't get as many old cars as usual but there were a few, there was a nice old Pontiac convertible that helped set the scene a little bit. We blared a lot of older music...like Elvis, and lots of other fun songs.
I didn't get a chance to take pictures at the Drive-In because I was so busy helping fill orders, but I took a few when we were waiting to start youth group.






Some of the 7th grade girls posing for me :)















Jenna in her poodle skirt















This is such a fun picture!!! These girls are a blast. Only the girl on the far right is in my small group, but I still have fun hanging out with the others! :)

19 September, 2008

200 things

I saw this on a Cheri's blog and thought it would be fun!! You should do it too! Just copy and paste the 200 statements then bold the ones you have done!! Hope you enjoy it!!

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game

17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster

31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal not physical
67. Bounced a check

68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes

92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe.
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train

123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in a historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Ran a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class-
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away- for 2 minutes
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunch box
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert

175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a camp fire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible

198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Hmmm....some of those were kind of odd questions...but that was interesting to do...
This whole thing kind of reminded me about the movie Bucket List...have you seen it? I actually have my own "bucket list", but I call it 100 things to do before I die....It was something we had to do for my senior english class...I think I might post it up here soon.

15 September, 2008

Boatwerks!


Friday night Mike and I went out to Boatwerks for dinner. We were celebrating 6 months together so he wanted to take me somewhere nice. We decided that it would be a surprise as to where we were going, so I had no idea.
We had quite the interesting day on Friday though. We went to Walmart so I could buy some windshield wipers, my old ones were so bad that they hardly did any good! I also wanted to go to American Eagle, so after Walmart we went to the mall. We decided we'd just real quick change the wipers in the mall parking lot. It should be real quick, especially if we both do one....right? Wrong!!! It was a pain!!! Neither of us could get the new wipers on. Then to make matters worse, it started raining. A kind gentleman stopped to help us, but he wasn't successful. By this time both of us were pretty wet from the rain, finally Mike got the driver's side on and we decided that was good enough!!! (My hero!!! I'm so glad he at least got that one to work!) Then we went inside to warm up and do some shopping. We both ended up getting shirts at AE. When we got home, Brett put the wipers on for us. Of course it was dry by this time! Turns out the clips were the wrong size...go figure.
So we went to Mike's house and hung out for a while before dinner. I had to fix my hair of course!!! :) Then we took off....to an unknown destination (well, for me at least!) As we got closer Mike kept asking me if I knew where we were going yet...but I didn't because I really don't know Holland that well. Neither of us had ever been to Boatwerks before, but we'd heard it was really good. We were seated right away, which surprised me because it was a Friday night! The decoration was really neat....there were real boats inside the restaurant. The whole side of the restaurant is window so we could see Lake Macatawa, but we couldn't sit outside because it was rainy. There was a live band in the bar area, so we could hear them. It was Happy Hour, so there was free pizza at the bar, but we opted out of that so we could eat our meals. I got a Bacon BBQ Burger and Mike got a Smoked Club Sandwich (I think). We both thought the meals were very good. They came with Kettle Chips, but we couldn't eat all of those!! I really recommend this restaurant!
After dinner we went for a drive along the lakeshore. Mike had been telling me about South Shore Drive and I had no idea what it was, so he said we would go after dinner. There are some amazing houses there!!! There is absolutely no way I could pick a favorite, there were so many beautiful houses, and they're huge!!! My mind sure was spinning as I imagined a bed and breakfast in one of those houses....talk about perfect location! We drove pretty slow down the road so we could get a good look, and then we turned around and drove through again! I had no idea that those houses were there! But they were really neat to see!


13 September, 2008

Tag! You're it!!

Dawn tagged me to do this...she got it in an email and it's just real quick

TAG - YOU’RE IT! If you opened it, you have to do it (it only takes a couple minutes I swear!) Then, post it on yours!
Two names you go by:
1. Melissa
2. Melissa (I don't have any nicknames)

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. t-shirt
2. blue jeans

Two things you want very badly at the moment
1. My wireless to work
2. to be able to sleep in!!

Two people who will most likely send this back
1. Mari
2. Jennifer

Two things you did last night:
1.Went out to dinner
2. Watched a movie

Two things you ate today:
1.Blueberry bread
2. Pancakes

Two people you last talked to:
1. Kevin
2. Mike

Two things you did today:
1. worked
2. slept

Two favorite beverages:
1. Peach pop
2. Mountain Dew

Okay now it’s your turn, don’t forget to link me so I know to check your site =)

11 September, 2008

In Memory















It's hard to believe that it's already been 7 years since our nation was attacked. I'm sure most of us still remember where we were that day. Today is a day of mourning, for many because of the loss of loved ones, but for all of us because it was the day we realized America was not invincible! Pray for America today!!!

10 September, 2008

Splash!

Tonight was the first night of middle school youth group! It was a lot of fun to see "my girls" again after not seeing most of them for the whole summer.

After we sang some songs...well, most of us sang, it seems my girls had too much catching up to do since they last saw eachother (3 hours before at school), that they had to talk instead of sing! Anyway, Brandon told us to hug at least 3 people around us and tell them how much we missed them. I was practically attacked by some of my girls and one of them almost picked me up!

Brandon had a lot of announcements tonight, with it being the first night and all. We have Johnny's Drive In next week. (Wednesday the 17th, from 5-6, come to Lighthouse to experience an 50's style car hop!!) Then the following week is See You At The Pole. Then in October, we have the 30 Hour Famine. It should be a very exciting year!

We broke off into our small groups. I had forgotten how hard it is to control 9 7th grade chatterbox girls!! I don't have a partner yet for this year, but I'm pretty sure I can handle these girls on my own, it just takes a while. We had some fun catching up on everything we missed over the summer. I think the girls have grown up a bit over the past few months, for one thing, they're not totally crazy about the Jonas Brothers anymore!!! We tried to set some ground rules, basically about respecting someone when they are talking and not carrying on your own conversation. Brandon already talked to them about talking and goofing off during praise time so we discussed that too. We had a good discussion and I hope that they will improve in that area next week.

We are using new curriculum this year. I really like how it is formatted and it's easy for me as a leader to lead and the girls to follow along and participate. I'm really excited about using it. I can't wait to see where this year goes!

09 September, 2008

8 in 2008
























I can't believe it's check in time....although, I shouldn't say anything, because I haven't really update about this all summer!!


1. Make devotions and prayer a priority-I did pretty bad with this over the summer, but now that I have a schedule again, I think I can get back on track.
2. Listen more, talk less- This is somewhat hard to measure, but I'm getting better at listening and not interrupting to share my story.
3. Don't choose favorites- pay attention to everyone- Again...hard to measure
4. JOY. Jesus, Others, Yourself
5. Be able to run 5 miles by December- Not even close! The last time I tried running, like distance running, I got sick and I couldn't breath, so I think this one is going off my list!
6. Keep my room clean- I totally cleaned my room and rearranged it this summer. It has gotten a bit messy because I have my school stuff all over now!
7. Live with Kaylyn and Libby for a week this summer (preferably July 21-25)- I didn't exactly live with them, but I believe I was with them almost every day that week when Jen and Zack and Anna were in Haiti!
8. Teach the Hill girls how to cook a full course meal for their parent's anniversary (July 14)- We did this and it was great! When I have the time, I'll post the pictures and story from that night!

08 September, 2008

Random things

Dawn posted this on her blog and she mentioned that she thought I would do it. So, because my brain is fried due to school and work and being sick (those will all come in another post someday), I thought I would do this seemingly mindless survey thing.

1. Do you like blue cheese? ewww no
2. Have you ever drank? Yes
3. Do you own a gun? Nope
4. What flavors of Kool Aid was your favorite? The red one....strawberry I believe
5. Do you get nervous before doctors appointments? Not really
6. What do you think of hotdogs? I don't really like them unless they're grilled, but I will eat them
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Mary Christmas
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Apple Passion Mango juice
9. Can you do a push up? Yeah, probably more than one too
10. What is your favorite piece of jewelery? My necklace that I wear probably every day
11. Favorite hobby? Singing...does that count as a hobby?
12. Do you have ADD? Not clinically, but there are times when my attention span is about 0!!!! (like tonight...when I should be reading Law instead of blogging!!)
13. What’s your weight? I guess I can tell you guys....142.5 pounds....I lost 4 lbs from being sick :(
14. Middle name? Jane
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I can't sit like this much longer. What should we do tomorrow night? Do we have anything I can pack for a lunch tomorrow?
16. Name 3 drinks that you regularly drink. Water, PowerAde, Mountain Dew
17. Current worry? That we're not gonna get better
18. Current hate right now? School
19. Favorite place to be? anywhere with Mike
20. How did you bring in the New Year? I'm pretty sure I was sleeping because I didn't feel good and I had to work at 5 the next morning
21. Where do you want to be right now? sitting beside Mike watching a movie
22. Name three people who will complete this. Jen, Tori, and Brenda
23. Do you own slippers? yes but I don't wear them
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? black and a pink sweatshirt
25. Do you sleep on satin sheets? no, jersy
26. Can you whistle? YES
27. Favorite color? blue
28. Would you be a pirate? probably not...I don't think I'm scary enough
29. What song do you sing in the shower? Whatever's on the radio or is stuck in my head
30. Favorite girls name? Summer
31. Favorite boys name? Jaden
32. What is in your pocket right now? nothing
33. Last thing that made you laugh? something Kevin said to me about last night
34. Best loved bedsheet as a child? No idea
35. Worst injury you had as a child? Broke my foot in first grade when an organ bench fell on me
36. Do you love where you live? sometimes
37. How many TV do you have in your house? 2

38. Who is your loudest friend? probably Brett
39. How many dogs do you have? 1
40. Does someone have a crush on you? I guess you could say Mike does...
41. What is your favorite book? not really a book but anything by Karen Kingsbury
42. What is your favorite candy? chocolate
43. Favorite sports team? probably....I don't know....the Tigers, because I watch them the most
44. What song do you want played at your funeral? That's kind of a morbid question isn't it? I like Sweet By and By and also the one we sing in KY but I don't know the name of it, something about Another Mile!

04 September, 2008

Coming.....tomorrow!!!!

















After months of planning, the Isaiah Project has arrived!!! I can't believe this weekend is here.
My church is hosting a mission conference starting tomorrow, Friday, September 5 at 5pm. If you would like to be part of this lifechanging event, please make plans to be at Lighthouse!

The Isaiah Project will be unlike any standard mission conference. It will go over missions and what is involved in organizing and leading short term mission trips as well as being a full time missionary! You can also be a missionary right from your home by helping to finance a trip, support a missionary or pastor, or by donating items needed for various countries. There are also mission opportunities in this community as well as your own community! This weekend we will be hearing God's call to us and answering Him with the words from Isaiah 6:8 -- "Here am I, send me!" (Thanks to Diane for this little blurb :))

28 August, 2008

Baking day!!!

Today I had nothing to do. Mike had to work, other people are in school....I was on my own. So what did I do? Fired up the oven and got busy!!! I decided today that I was going to make things that I had never made before. It was so much fun to experiment and try new recipes. I didn't take pictures today, because I was so busy with all the recipes today, but I thought I would link to the recipes that I made today.

First I made a peach cobbler. My dad told me that I should because we had peaches that needed eating. We only had 2 that were usuable, so I cut them really small and it worked, though I would have liked to have had more. I made up this recipe, so I posted it on my blog.

I made Fig's Cheese Muffins. Oh my goodness! These muffins are amazing! I couldn't resist, so I ate my first one just minutes after I pulled them out of the oven. The cheese was all melty and so absolutely delicious!!! Seriously, go make these now!!!

I also made Ree's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. I actually haven't cut into it yet, but I have sampled the frosting. And if that's any indication of what the cake is like....wow! I better get to the kitchen and cut myself a big piece!!

Then I made Nicole's Zebra Cake. The first time I saw this cake on her blog, I couldn't figure out how the stripes were made. So I decided that I would just have to try it myself and figure this out. It was well worth it. The cake is delicious. Some people commented that the almond flavoring was too strong. She has 1/8tsp in the recipe, but I put in 1/4 tsp (because that's how her original recipe read) but I think it could actually use more! Another comment people made was that the cake was kind of plain, because if you put frosting on it, the design would be covered up. So....I made an icing for the cake. I mixed together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and just enough milk to make a runny icing. Then after the cake had cooled for a minute, I poured the icing over it. The cake absorbed the icing and gave it the sweet kick it needed.

Finally, I made blueberry bread. This also was a recipe I kind of modified. I took the basic recipe for blueberry muffins, threw in an extra egg and poured it into a bread pan and called it good. I'll put this one up on my recipe blog too.

All and all, it was a pretty productive day. And now we finally have yummy things to eat in the house!! :)

25 August, 2008

Great weekend!!

I wish this weekend wasn't over yet!!! It was so much fun, and it's hard to believe we only have a week left of summer before classes start next Tuesday.
Friday night, I went with Mike to his company picnic at Lawrence Street park. They had it catered by the catering company from Holland Rescue Mission, which is a really neat program if you ever need a caterer. Anyway, after the meal, they started a game of kickball. I'm not too good, so Jordan and I opted to watch instead, which was a blast!!!




Mike up to kick....all his balls went way high and way out to the outfield













Headed to third base














Brett posing for a picture....he was only like this for 2 seconds, right when I snapped the picture :)









It poured while they were playing, so everyone got pretty wet, but it was all fun! After the kickball game, we left to head up north to Big Star Lake. We got there about 9:30 or so and hung out for a little bit before we built a campfire. The four of us (Mike, me, Brett, and his friend Jordan) hung out and talked for a long time. Brett's mom made some popcorn so we enjoyed that. It was after midnight when we put the fire out and went inside. We all got ready for bed and ended up talking until after 2!!!
Sunday was a totally relaxing day. We spent a lot of time just hanging out, eating, and going out on the lake. We waited until after 12 to go out on the seadoos, but we got them all gassed up and ready earlier in the morning. The lake was fairly calm, there was a breeze but nothing to major. Mike and I went out on his seadoo and Brett and Jordan on Brett's. Mike's family came so he went to say hi and I took the seadoo out for a spin before coming back to the dock for him. It's fun to drive the seadoo, but I like riding with him too....it's more fun for me when there's two people rather than going out on my own. We decided to take a break and so we went back up the the trailer (actually it's a single-wide mobile home) and watched Scooby Doo and had lunch. We had a ton of food, and it seemed like we were always eating. There were 18 people up there, so there was no lacking of conversation! We spent our time between watching TV and talking and going out on the lake. It was Brett's birthday (19...he's catching up to me and Mike now!) so that's why there were so many people there. His brother in law grilled steaks and we had potato cassarole, pasta salad, corn, and garlic bread for dinner. Then we had birthday cake and Brett opened his cards and presents. Mike and I decided not to go out on the seadoos again because we were so cold, so we packed up while Brett and Jordan went for another spin. It was a blast...but it always is when I'm with my friends!!

19 August, 2008

Blonde moments

My hair is naturally light brown, or some call it dirty blonde, but that just sounds wierd. But due to being out in the sun for 3 weeks in Romania, and a good amount back home, it has lightened up a lot, and is now unmistakably blonde. And of course that means that some people (namely Kevin) have teased me about being blonde. Although, I think on two occasions, I might have deserved that title.
Last Sunday when we went up to Big Star, Kevin was sitting behind me in the car, and he mentioned that he could smell my hair gel from where he was. Nothing I could really do about it right? He told me that I should use Elmer's glue instead as that's what he uses. I told him that I would rather not have my hair turn white and be all sticky. He burst out laughing....apparently there's a gel that's modeled after Elmer's glue....he doesn't use real glue in his hair!!!!
Then on Tuesday before I left for work, I thought I would get the dishwasher started. I suppose I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. Before I left for work, I noticed my dad down on his hands and knees in front of the dishwasher. Suds and water were pouring out of it. Apparently, I had put liquid soap in it instead of dishwashing solution.
Okay, I'll admit it...sometimes I can be a dumb blonde!!! :)

17 August, 2008

That's my guy!!! :)

On Tuesday, Mike and I have been dating for 5 months. 5 fun filled, exciting months. I wanted to do something special for him, so I told him to pick a place and I wanted to take him out for dinner. He chose to go to Peppino's. Good choice! Our dinner was delicious! He surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He brought me my favorites...daisies!!! This was the first time I've ever received a bouquet of flowers from a guy :) You better believe I was one very surprised, and happy girl!









Aren't they beautiful?
































































A couple weeks ago at Hagar Park





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