Friday, June 30, 2006

Hard Day's Drive


The Guys




Today was one of the hardest days I'm sure we'll face in our lives. Our friends helped us pack up the U-Haul & clean to move to Colorado. I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea how it would hit me. Suffice it to say many tears were shed, and several hugs exchanged. I know it's not good-bye, more of a "see-ya later", but it's quite a bit different than our usual weekend hangouts & other weekly meetings. Bryan and I learned so much about friendship and love from our friends, we will miss them so much. I will miss watching babies grow up, and their cute giggles and smiles. I will miss long chats with girlfriends, poker with the boys :) (especially my nickname Black Widow), scrapbooking, and fun excursions. We will miss the fellowship that was so welcoming and comforting at all times, and our bible studies. Most of all, we'll miss just hanging out and doing nothing with eachother, and all the laughter. We'll be back before you know it friends, probably before we know it either. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers -- Tara put it well, Phil 1:3" I thank God everytime I remember you."



The Girls
after swimming

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The move is on

We have one more day in Sacramento before we begin our road-trip to Colorado. It's been a long couple weeks of packing and cleaning, but also a lot of fun spending time with friends. We had a houseboat trip this last weekend to lake Don Pedro and many dinners with friends this week. We are so looking forward to our new adventure, but know that we will miss our friends so much. Even though our time in Sacramento may have been short we know that our friends are friends for life. I have never seen such a wonderful group of people who just know how to be good friends. We are so blessed by their love, and the memories we share. We will miss them all so much! We're already planning a trip back for next summer :)

sustainable design & eco-friendly living

I watched a re-run of oprah today about environmentalism and how that impacts the earth and our lives. I have a lot of training in "green" or sustainable design -- so it was interesting to see this idea presented to the general public who tend to know little about this growing sector of design and architecture. People often feel overwhelmed when they hear about all the things you "should" do to be environmentally conscience. I think this is a mis-guided view that makes it seem impossible to do anything in our own little families, homes & lives. We all impact the environment, will you choose to have positive or negative impact? Here are some really simple things you can do to improve your home right now:

Use compact flourescent light bulbs, these are available at Target, etc. and Costco. They're a little more expensive, but I've yet to have one burn out on me, and I've had them for 3 years. Costco sells them in packs of 9-12 for really cheap!

Second, when you replace/buy appliances always buy Energy Star certified appliances, not only will this be better for the environment but they will help your pocketbook too! The same goes for low-water usage toilets.

When you paint, use low-VOC paints, which may be noted as eco-friendly paints. Benjamin Moore is a strong proponent of these, but most companies now have these types of paints. What low-VOC means is it gives off less or no gases, which is good for air-quality & for your health.

When you buy new materials for your home, be it flooring, fabrics, lumber, countertops, etc.. look for recyled content, or the ability to recylce is after use. Carpets are generally bad for the environment, there's so much waste associated with it, plus the toxins from the adhesive. If you buy carpet, consider buying Masland carpet, that's available with an eco-backing that avoids an adhesive. Also, see if your carpet can be recylcled.

These are some simple things for your home as far as design is concerned, but obviously there are more ways, hybrid cards, recycled toilet paper, use a compost for food waste, organically grown food (avoids chemicals that are bad for the environment), the list goes on and on. I encourage you to do some research and see what you can do to improve the environment. Being an environmentalist certainly does not mean being a granola loving, hippie tree-hugger, it just means you care about our earth & the people around you!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bryan's Birthday


Saturday we went to Alcatraz, and walked around the city. We had never been to Alcatraz before and wanted to see it before we moved. It was strange to walk around with the audio tape of previous prisoners voices on it & listen to wardens, etc. talk about the cells and the events that took place there.










Here I am behind bars! Help! -->

Bryan looking back to the city.




















Last night we had a group of friends over to celebrate Bryan's birthday - He's 25! We had a meal fit for the beginning of summer; chicken and veggie kabobs, corn on the cob, grilled potatos, and salad. It was fun to get together, especially since Mike & Lisa are leaving for Europe & won't be back until after we move :( I guess it's the beginning of hard good-byes.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Redeeming Love


I just finished the book "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. It's a modern fictional novel based on the book Hosea in the Bible. It was such touching novel about how God restores all people, no matter how down & dirty they may feel, no one is untouchable in God's eyes. I would stongly recommend this book to anyone - especially women. It gives great insight into what a marriage should look like, through a great romantic story about God's love!

http://www.redeeminglovenovel.com/

Team Building

Tonight our group of friends went to Granite Arch in Rancho Cordova. It's a rock climbing venue that also has an obstacle course for team building. We had to work together as a team to get through this really tough obstacle course. I had a definate disadvantage because I was sooo short! We had to climb on the rock wall to get to other obstacles all while not touching the "lava" (recyled rubber flooring) - pictures will have to follow this post to explain further! It was a great experience and really fun to do with our friends -- definately something a little out of the ordinary for our group!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Denver Job Hunting

DENVER JOB HUNTING ~

I was in Denver the whole last week interviewing and finding a place to live. I interviewed with 5 Architecture companies for design positions. All the interviews went really well -- I should hear back this week on a job. It's amazing to me how in control God really is. We weren't excited about moving to Denver at first, but it is obviously where God wants us, and knowing that makes it so exciting. I found that I wasn't stressing over my interviews and the whole navigation thing when I normally would be a total worry-wart. It's not as stressful knowing that God's in control, instead of little me.

I appreciate all the prayers for our move and job-hunting. We still haven't heard back from Bryan's work as far as an official offer, but the ball is definately rolling. We're set to move the last day of this month! Three more weeks-YIKES! So we're busy spending time with friends & visiting places we won't get to see for awhile.

More Guatemala

More Guatemala pictures!!




Megan & Pilomena dancin'

















Our group at the Nazarene
church in San Philippe with
the pastor, his wife and the
missionaries.








This little boy & his sister were so cute! We had a video camera & they made all sorts of funny faces & "acted" for the camera. She was especially cute in her little ballerina dress.

















Our whole group at the medical clinic.










Jenn at work in the medical clinic helping a boy with a machete wound.

Friday, June 02, 2006

GUATEMALA

GUATEMALA ~ I just got back from Guatemala last night! I left at midnight on May 23rd, just 4 days after I graduated. I was a member of a team of 11 people that lead a missions trip in the Rio Dulce region of Guatemala. We were in a tiny village outside of Rio Dulce.We were so blessed by the love & genuity of these kids. They loved us even though most of us, especially me, were unable to speak the language! That didn't seem to matter to them - they were just happy we were there!

Here I am with two of the girls that hardly ever left my side. Ivanea on the left, and Pilomena on the right. Pilomena would not let go of my hand by the end of the trip. She especially touched my heart. She has the cutest giggle & laughs all the time!



Here is the team of girls that lead and planned all the lessons for VBS. Shannon, Megan, Tara & Jennifer. On the easle to the right is a song we sang with the kids everyday.

" I may never march in the infantry, ride in the calvary, shoot the artilary, fly over the ememy, but I'm in the Lord's army."








Here we're teaching the kids the Bible verse that was the theme of our VBS:


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."


The kids read the verse everyday & by the end they had it memorized & recited it for their parents.
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