Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shopping Weekend

Thanksgiving in Chicago was wonderful, as always. I enjoy my holiday tradition of spending the day after Thanksgiving hitting the streets of downtown Chicago with my friend Jackie. The weather was absolutely gorgeous--as you can see I didn't even need my coat! We just enjoyed window shopping and browsing...the new thing this year was that Macy's bought out Marshall Field's so that store is now Macy's. There were people with signs boycotting the change, but I didn't really notice any change. In fact, I thought the window display (Mary Poppins) was exceptionally good this year. We got out the door nice and early so the streets didn't seem as crowded, but by mid-afternoon the crowds were starting to pick up and the Salvation Army bands were out in full force.

I was also able to enjoy some good relaxing time and watch a couple of fun movies, which I would recommend: The Shaggy Dog (the new one with Tim Allen) and Sky High, if you're in the mood for some family-friendly films!

The weather has been beautiful lately, but they say a change is in the air. The weathermen say there's a possibility of snow accumulation on Friday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In Defense of Juju

Sarah is ecstatic that she gets to be home alone with Juju over the next 2 and a half days while I go to Chicago for Thanksgiving. But she IS back on speaking terms with the dog.

In defense of my puppy, she is still only 7 months old, by all accounts still a puppy, and definitely still in the training stages. She is still distracted by all sorts of smells (trash, socks, laundry, food) but is gradually learning what is acceptable and NOT acceptable to chew on. She does well at walking on a leash and is getting really good at sit, and is even learning to heel. She loves water and didn't mind getting a bath tonight. Hopefully the medicated shampoo I tried will help with her itchy skin. She is a vey loveable dog and loves to cuddle (yes, and sit on your lap). I tried to weigh her tonight and came up with about 45 pounds. And she is pretty quiet as she only barks to go outside or when she really wants something. And she is great with kids and other dogs. And VERY friendly with people...

Anyway, have a happy Thanksgiving. At least I am thankful for my puppy, even though she is a handful at times.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Juju and Sarah are Not on Speaking Terms

We had a minor tragedy at home this morning. Think of the worst thing that could happen regarding a cheescake on the counter and a dog, and you can probably guess correctly.

Tonight we are having a dessert fellowship after church--and a contest for the best dessert, so Sarah decided to make a delicious mint cheesecake that we bought special ingredients for and everything. She made it last night and left it to cool on the counter. She even pushed it to the back of the counter because Juju hasn't learned to stop getting onto the counter and eating all the goodies she finds there. She has a thing for anything that smells good or tastes good (even bread and flour). So I got up and fed her breakfast this morning and went back to my bathroom to finish getting ready. I could hear Juju doing something (besides eating) and went back to check on her--she was trying to get on the table where her food was so I commanded her to get "Off!" which she did, then I went back to finish getting ready. The next thing I hear is a loud THUD, which didn't sound good at all. I came in and my worst fears were confirmed. There was the cheesecake lying upside down on the floor (the cleanly washed floor, I might add)--and Juju cowering by the door. I tried to pick up the cheescake but the middle of it remained behind on the floor.

So that's why Sarah and Juju are definitely not on speaking terms. I will try to refrain Sarah from mutilating my poor puppy, as she has already dented the kennel door after finding out.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where has it gone?

Someone told me on Monday that Thanksgiving is next week. I didn't believe them. I had to get out my calendar and look it up for myself. Yup...Thanksgiving IS next week. Where has the month gone? So tonight I am sitting on my couch on a cold, rainy day relaxing by watching a movie, finally having a moment to reflect upon the brevity of the rest of the year, trying to remember what I've been doing this month.

The first weekend of the month I spent helping Laurie Dutton (& Titus Justus) with music at an Elizabeth George conference an hour north of here. That was a long rehearsal night but an enjoyable day at the Saturday women's conference.

We had a big Veterans Day chapel that I was in charge of getting the powerpoint ready for last week.

Last Saturday I had piano students involved in an all-day festival where I was also helping to get the rooms set up and cleaned up afterward. I gave Theory tests in the morning and judged repertoire in the afternoon.

This week has been our 4th-6th grade Fine Arts Festival at school. Monday I accompanied for some brass players. Tuesday I was in charge of the piano festival, and Thursday is my day to accompany a whole host of elementary singers!

Sunday is a big day for music at church, too. We have a big Praise & Thanksgiving service at church, complete with 3 choir numbers, congregational music, and specials. So we have a rehearsal on Sunday afternoon for that too.

Otherwise I haven't been up to much besides my normal schedule of piano teaching and accompanying--and squeezing in a chapter or two of some of the latest Karen Kingsbury books, which are hard to put down!

I am really looking forward to this Saturday when I can get caught up on some housecleaning and rest!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Finally! If you will remember, the last time I tried to vote I drove around looking for my polling place and never was able to find it--after visiting 2 other polling places. THIS time I only visited 3 wrong polling places (4 if you count my church) before finding my name on "the list."

Okay, so I asked my neighbor where he votes: the fire station. So I went to the Fire Station. She asked me where I lived (Lexington Farms) and told me I needed to go to a church just on the other side of my subdivision. Okay, that made sense because it was right nearby where I lived. But, no luck there either. No name on "the list." They said to try my old polling place (where I had tried to vote last time around), so I drove off to where I used to live and checked there. They DID find my name on the computer there--and I was off to find that same Methodist Church that I was unable to find last time. Okay, I thought your polling place was supposed to be somewhere nearby where you live. I drove a LONG way away and FOUND the church (thanks bro for pointing me in the right direction). I FINALLY voted, which took a grand total of 5 seconds (or so)--and they were OUT of stickers! Come on, I was consoling myself that at least I would FINALLY get my sticker. Thankfully, the lady that was working there gave me the sticker off of her own sweater! AND I filled out an address change form.

But I don't understand how I moved from one precinct to another and my name appears on a 3rd precinct that I have never lived in--with my old address still on the "new" precinct. Whatever. The only thing I can figure is that possibly when I got my drivers licensed changed that they started changing my precinct and it ended up being changed erroneously? I have no clue. But I voted!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 1st Anniversary to my dear sister Rachel and her husband Mathew Eliason!!

Here's a picture to commemorate the occasion!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Pride Issue

Here's a theological issue for you. I have recently realized what a proud person I am. I'm sure I will struggle with this all of my life, but I have been really made aware of it lately and have been trying to work on this area.

"Some counselors [people] emphasize doctrine and the exegesis of God's word as if they could stand alone, divorced from life. That's pride: knowledge by itself puffs up. Others of us may emphasize practical application to life without careful study of how God's word must undergird practice, thus offering mere morality without a vital connection to life in Christ. With such an epidemic of pride, the virtue of humility is perenially on the endangered list." --Stuart Scott ("Pursue the Servant's Mindset," Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 17 No. 3 1999) (Thank you, Sarah, for this article.)

What a challenge to find that balance between the two! I think I used to be in the camp to emphasize doctrine back in college days, but found it challenging to apply to the "real world." Now I have been working on practical application, and seem to have swung to the other extreme (mentally) of morality without the undergirding of the Scripture. It is that overarching struggle of having my motivating factor the love of Christ and doing all for His glory. But that is easy to work on doing in my own strength, neglecting my dependence on Christ! Even in doing the "right things" it is easy to be doing it with the wrong motivation. Or it is easy to think "I'm not as bad as that person" without realizing how much of an abomination my proud thoughts are to the most-holy God and how in need of His mercy I am.

In that same article by Stuart Scott, he gives 10 ways to replace pride and work on humility:
1) Focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith.
2) Be overwhelmed by God's goodness.
3) Commune with God.
4) Serve others.
5) Obey God's revealed will in all things.
6) Learn from others.
7) Encourage others.
8) Pursue integrity in private as well as public life.
9) Deny self by assuming no rights, living unto Christ, buffeting the body, keeping it under subjection, exercising yourself unto godliness, mortifying sins and the deeds of the flesh.
10) Think rightly or soberly about yourself while bowing low before God and others.

Philippians 2:1-16

Okay, here's another dilemma...in publishing this on my blog am I hoping to be open and honest with my struggles or am I merely being proud about my handling of this acknowledgement of pride? Just throwing that out there.

Lord, I confess I am guilty of not giving You first place in my actions and thoughts. With Your help, help my motives to be God-honoring and may I work on acknowleding my dependence on you daily in Bible study and prayer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Last Saturday Sarah and I took a day trip to Chicago. We got to see the NBBC women's volleyball team play a tournament game (for a 3rd place finish) at Moody Bible Institute. Sarah was able to see her old roomies, so that was very fun for her.

In the afternoon we went to the CHEESECAKE FACTORY for lunch (appetizer, salad, and brownie cheesecake). We were very full.

Then we walked to Navy Pier and just enjoyed walking around. The weather was gorgeous, and it was even a little warm when you were in the sun. We walked back along Michigan Avenue and enjoyed a treat at the Ghirardelli shop before heading back home to Lafayette.

Along the way we ran across this piece of "modern art" as well...

CHICAGO is fun!