Thursday, March 30, 2006

the word

i had an amazing victory today.

there is one word that invokes fear and trembling into every military spouse (well, there are a few, "deployment" and "pcs" probably being the top two...). but the word of today is a necessary evil. it is something the civilian world thinks they understand, but they do not. the word is: tricare (can you hear the thunder in the distance as you read this?)

tricare is military insurance, and is notoriously worse to deal with than even regular insurance companies. i have never had to use their services and have been dreading the day since i began hearing the horrific stories about this establishment.

i have never had to use them... until today. and i have to say, it was not nearly as bad as i have anticipated (though i have been warned that this was simply a fluke). i had a rather complicated question, and though it took me over a half hour on the phone, i finally discovered the answer... and the answer was much much better than i had hoped for. (for one thing, the primary care manager they had assigned me was TWO HOURS away from me... i asked if there were any in grand rapids, she typed for a bit, then said, "how far is cedar springs from you? we do have one there." cedar springs happens to be my little town of a few thousand people. fantastic. though, i have to ask... why not assign me the one in cedar springs from the BEGINNING?)

i am glad my first experience was a good one... it calms my fears for the future. baby steps, baby steps...

Monday, March 27, 2006

i won.

i won.

our office has a group on's tourney challenge. josh and ken each had 2 brackets filled out, plus amy (josh's wife) also did. keep in mind, the only basketball i have watched this season was the last 9 seconds of the duke/lsu game- and that's just because i happened to flip there. that 9 seconds is more basketball than i have actually watched... like, ever. wait, no, i think i watched the final game last year at josh & amy's house. i think. who knows... i went for the social interaction.

anyway... they asked me to fill out a bracket, i think just to have one more name beneath theirs on the list. but guess what? i, who know oh-so-little about basketball; i, who filled out my bracket based solely on either seed or which team i had actually heard of; i, who thought i was filling out a bracket for the nba...

i won.

this is much to the dismay of my male counter-parts (and to add salt to their wounds, guess who came in 2nd? amy. how's that for battle of the sexes?) nationally, i am in espn's 96th percentile as of now. right now, i have 730 points. josh's and ken's brackets range from 330 to 540, with amy at 570. and i have 280 points that i could still possibly earn. they all have none.

silly game.

oh, and can i say it one more time? i won.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

i have a new man!

jon's dad and siblings came up for a visit last week... andy told me i am now "his girl"!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

another new chapter

today's post is in honor of ashley. she is the one in the middle, along with amber and sara.

ashley and i first met at the moody bible institute. i remember the first time i talked to her. it was her junior year, and i was a freshman. i was taking the south shore train to visit my grandparents, and i had never ventured out in the city alone. she was wearing a black dress with a gold necklace (wow... the random things i remember...) she gave me instructions- and confidence- to get to the train station.

within a couple days, she and a few of the other upperclass girls sat me down on a couch and read to me what would become one of my favorite books: a small red one called "i like you." it lists all the fabulous reasons why people like ashley and me are friends. ("i like you because you are a good person to like." "if i had a broken arm, and you had a broken arm too, then it would be fun to have a broken arm!" "I think i'm funny, and YOU think i'm funny too. i say something funny and we both laugh. 'ha ha!'")

i never would have thought that night that ashley would indeed end up being one of my dearest friends.

we spent countless hours in her *single* room together laughing, crying, eating, talking about deep things and mundane things. we even discipled each other for our infamous "busy work" class. ("as 'the wheel' illustrates...")

oddly enough, my friendship with ashley became much deeper AFTER i left moody. one summer we were both lonely and bored... so kept each other sane with endless phone conversations.

she is one of the few people with whom i can be entirely honest. when i don't feel like talking, i tell her. and her me. it is a fantastic thing in a friendship.

we went to hungary together. we enjoyed oodles of nutella... hungarian coffee... milka... and even some non-edible things :) - like talking with missionaries whom we came to greatly respect. we walked the streets of budapest and spoke of the great history of the country we strolled. we cried when we said good-bye.

i don't often see ashley anymore. i have seen her only 4 times since we left hungary in january 2003. the last time we saw each other, she read me "i like you."

and tomorrow she leaves. she leaves for a place where most people have never heard the name of Jesus. she will be thrust into a culture that is not her own, to share with them the Love that has changed her life. she will stay there for 4 years. she will grow and change, she will weep and she will laugh. she will rejoice when she sees God working, and continue to have faith when she doesn't.

it is spring for ashley. she is going to a new world, unknown: it is lovely and frightening and horrible and beautiful all at once. she is going to bring it Light.

ashley... you are not going alone. i am praying for you. lots of people are praying for you. this is the last time i can tell you this for a long long time. take heart, my friend, be of strong courage...

go in peace.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

well on my way...

i just got it. the official word on my degree status from moody. they were actually pretty generous with me (as they should be... seeing how the majority of my credits are moody credits...) and are telling me i am lacking 16 credit hours for my associates degree (leaving me 7 credits they did not apply). very doable.

the annoying thing is 2 of the courses- a 1 credit hour "ministry internship"-um... heeellllooo.... welcome to my life! the frustrating thing with that is that who knows when i'll actually be able to accomplish it, what with moving and all...

the other one is basic computer skills. i can guarantee you i have more than basic computer skills. i wish there was a way to test out...

i'm rather looking forward to the other courses: hermeneutics/bible study methods, the church & its doctrine, educational foundations (ok... that one not as much...), and intro to literature. if we are somewhere near a community college in the fall i may just do the lit and/or computer there. we shall see.

Monday, March 13, 2006

riding the clouds

i love the rain. i always love it, but especially an early spring storm such as this.

i can hear the thunder rolling, the humidity in the air. the slight breeze, still chilly at this time of year. i just opened the window to allow the smell of rain to filtrate through my apartment...

the high here was supposed to be 62 today... tomorrow, 34. welcome to michigan, eh?

spring can't come soon enough... i am ready for the winter of life to be over and for new things to start happening...

you know, i started this blog in the fall, and that theme was centric to the premise of this entire site. and really... it still is... spring and fall are but opposite sides of the same coin...

the clouds are quickly racing through the horizon... even as one set disappears, a new one enters in from the west... oh to see what they will bring along...

giving to caesar

so today i'm working on the taxes. i abhor doing stuff like this, but today i'm moderately in the mood to tolerate it. although, i think it's more the anticipation of having to do it that i hate than the actual doing of it. turbo tax is also rather military-friendly, so it isn't as bad as i had feared.

this past weekend was that of the annual grarbc (yes, there is an extra "r"- it is the grand rapids association) church ministries conference. it is the third year i have attended- and the third year we at kent city have done the music for the general sessions. busy, busy, busy. i quite enjoyed the whole thing actually. the music was MUCH less stressful this year than ever before (which is probably in part that we're getting the hang of it, and in part that i tend to get stressed about such things much less these days :) ), i actually got useful information out of the workshops (i went to 2 on promoting missions in your church and one on using different mediums in worship), and the general sessions were even good! i came home saturday night after many many hours of mental over-stimulation from the previous two days, and sat on my couch in absolute silence for about an hour. days like that i am glad i am not yet a mother. :)

ooohhh... sad story. i dented a pad in my flute. had the ol' girl for 12 years and never a problem. i dropped it the other night, and quickly realized she was not quite the same afterward... it is easily fixable, fortunately- like i said, one of the pads under a key (an oft-used one, at that) has a little dent in it- so i have to push that key down quite hard to seal it. made for an interesting time playing this weekend... though i have to admit, it forces me to have better posture (which i readily confess to abandoning ever since i quit band many many moons ago) than i typically have.

all for now...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

"what dat girl's name" part dos

so earlier THIS week i went to my brother's house, and saw my two nephews: jake, 2 1/2; and caleb, 1 1/2. (pictured with their mom, carrie)

i had brought with me a copy of my wedding dvd for matt. he showed it to jacob, who stared at the front. it has on it a lovely picture of jonathan and me from our wedding day.

"who is in the picture, jake?" i ask.

"dat uncle jon." he says clearly, pointing at jon.

"and... who is the other person?" it was like he was searching the entire photograph for another face he recognized.

"dat uncle jon." he points at jon once more.

"who is the GIRL in the picture, jake?"

jake blankly stares at the photo.

"jacob, come on, who is the GIRL?"

"aunt sara." he says sweetly and quietly.

good. it may take some prompting, but at least somewhere, in the back of their minds, they know who i am. sheesh!