Here are the highlights: things I've done, places I've seen and movies/shows I've seen!
Renaissance Fair with Hannah and Crew!
Loved experiencing the Fair with newbies!!! It makes everything about this unique place come alive! Pointing out the best shops, best food and best costumes is a pleasure to share with those who have never seen it. That was the longest I had ever been at the Fair, but it was worth it. I found a bodice dagger as a souvenir laughed till my side ached at the Tortuga Twins, and ate my first turkey leg! (Outside of Thanksgiving, of course) I felt fully engulfed in the Medieval Life. Of course, giggling and hugging my dearest Hannah Gaydos was a pleasure in and of itself. The only time she was torn from my side was for a Pickle Boy...Oh, Hannah haha! Spending time with her school friends was also a treat!
Twins Games with Dad!
Dad and I attended two Twins Games in a week. They played two different teams because one game was Monday and the next was Friday. We lost one and won the other, but the crowd seemed pleased no matter the outcome, at least once we were on the light rail train heading home...The new field is excellent! I enjoyed to outdoor atmosphere, hearing the voices, watching every play from grand seats! and, of course, spending the time with my Dad. He and I took turns filling out the scorecards, cheering, clapping and calling pitches. The strangest feeling was of watching a country game in the middle of the city. Dad and I planned our evenings well with dinner on the road, warm coats and left plenty of time for the train to get us there well before the game started. We even ran into Justin and Jeri Austed! For all the work they have put into the Children's Ministry at CoH, they deserved this break!
CoH Preschool and My 4th Grade Girls
For the first week of preschool, Mom asked me to come in simply to be another set of eyes as the teachers get to know their students. They are all so precious! Now that there are three classes and new teachers, it was fun to show them how preschool is done. Mom has learned so much over the years, I haven't really questioned her methods. But the gift she has been given is already 'fixing' many children and preparing them to succeed in everything they do. Now that I have a former preschooler in my 4th grade small group on Wednesday night CoH Children's Ministry programing, I can see the positive affect this program has had on kids and families. The girls are energetic, thoughtful and honest. They are so talkative that I incorporated a flower to be passed around to give girls the chance to talk and be heard. That's so important for them to respect and love each other. Sometimes I get more out of our time together than they might. Worshiping with these pure of heart children has also lifted my spirits!
MY 23rd BIRTHDAY!!!
I decided to keep the tradition alive of Sam, Ruth and I celebrating our birthdays together, since they are all in the same week. Only Sam and I were close enough to connect, so I drove down to Ames to stay with her, see her new campus, apartment and kitten! We went out for supper, saw the movie Easy A with Emma Stone and went on a WalMart run to get face masques and ice cream :) We drew two pictures of 'Ruth' (one regular and one with a chocolate masque) so that she would know that we were thinking of her! We mailed her the pictures we drew then put the 'group' pics online when we knew she had them! It was such a pleasant weekend. It was short, but totally worth it to get that quality girl time in. That weekend I also had dinner and Pardon My French cake with my family, and a Chevy's dinner before Lesley and her friend Moira went back to school. It was the perfect weekend because I spent it with people I love :) But Lesley still owes me a shopping trip! haha I don't feel 23, but I may never feel very old! haha
I found an excuse to visit my Northwestern and Dordt College friends this fall with NWC Homecoming Weekend! Since the beginning of summer Nick Rohlf pestered me to the point that I decided to visit. But I thought, since I'd be in the area, I could stop by Dordt to visit Meredith, Emily and Matt! Especially since Matt had visited me twice this summer...It had to happen :) He told me about so many people who I 'had to meet,' so what else could I do? So I spent Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon at Dort, and then the rest of the weekend at Northwestern. That was the plan, but you know how plans tend to change...well, this change was good, and not too drastic. I ended up not having Sunday lunch plans so Matt invited me to meet his parents. Only fair since he had met mine twice! haha But the best part of the Dordt weekend was seeing Meredith and Emily again, meeting anyone and everyone I could and seeing Dordt campus/community through their eyes. They also shared a treasured hot spot with me, The Fruited Plain. I WISH I had known about that place when I was in the area. It would have been perfect for my 21+ crowd of friends who wished to have a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine without paying through the nose or feeling judged by anyone. Also, the company was fantastic, so my exposure to this place may have been too perfect. Which leads to my lesson learned on this journey: it's not the buildings that make a place wonderful, it's the people you enjoy the space with. So going back to NWC and not having many close friends around me like I was accustomed to was a little sad, but the company I did have was excellent! Nick was a great host! He reserved tickets for the Children's Show of Asian Folk Tales (FANTASTIC Production!), dinner, then a romp through Pumpkin Land with Cha, Abby, and Aleah, and other awesome theater gals. Then Nick shared a powerful Japanese film about a family torn apart by WWII titled Song of the Canefields. It made us cry...Find it if you can! It was hard enough for Nick to find! To see him so happily adjusted to West Hall was an answer to prayer. However, seeing my campus changed was a little strange, but it would be more disappointing if it never changed. Gotta Keep Moving Forward.
Well, I can't call it "movie" reviews since I've been watching some TV based shows as well, so this may be a more accurate phrase for the media I consume so often. *Thanks, Meredith, for encouraging me to write more reviews :)
Easy A ****
What a treat to enjoy a film for the cast, script and heart! Although it could be seen as an homage to John Hughes, the director/writer who defined teen drama/comedies, it is also a snapshot of what our teen culture is like. Messed up! To see a heroine with a servant heart, but with guts was memorable. I loved seeing some familiar faces like Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow and handsome Penn Badgley and Cam Gigandet, and fabulous Stanley Tucci! But Emma Stone carried the film very, very well. You rooted for her the entire time because she never changed who she was and never did something just because everyone else seemed to be doing it. However, the whole point of the movie is that she accepts, no, embraces and embodies the kind of girl everyone thinks she is, but at a price. Excellent movie for teens and parents. I'm sure PluggedIn hated it (yeah, the Christians are evil in this story) but I think it's a great conversation starter, or to continue having those conversations. Great for group dates, too! It'll be popular on DVD, for sure!
Widow's Peak ****
Joan Plowright, Mia Farrow and Natasha Richardson are the powerhouse women who lead this cast of eccentric Irish widows whose gossiping gets in the way of seeing the truth. It was so brilliant and funny, I was hooked through the end of the story! I can't say much more or I'll give it away. Just enjoy!
I give the show props for the excellent cast and fun family dynamics, but I tend to get more stressed after watching it! The pace of the script and the volume at which the characters interact with each other is overwhelming sometimes. The arguments are most often the characters yelling and talking over each other. There's very little listening or respect. The family situations are easy to relate to, and much more realistic than 7th Heaven. However, I just want to rattle each moronic parent on that show! But I guess if they were smart, like most people, there wouldn't be a show. The only family dynamics they portray that I haven't seen before are of a child with autism and a stay at home dad. Those are the stories that fascinate me most. How accurate they are is debatable. Pretty well done, but too much drama for me to handle!
More to come!
Still on the job hunt, but very pleased that to be so fortunate as to have two jobs and interviews coming up for 'big kid' jobs. God has used this time well for me to reconnect with people and help Brandon's family. I hope the new season gives me confidence and motivation to keep moving forward. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me and giving me bits of encouragement along the way. I love and appreciate every one of you.
all my love,