Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Fever

Today the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the snow is almost completely melted away. While this has caused flooding problems in our basement, it's also caused my heart to flood with relief and joy. I enthusiastically donned a bright yellow spring blouse and my ruby slippers this morning... then added a spring green fleece jacket when I remembered it's still only 50 degrees, not 70. My friend, Hannah Michelle, and I decided we absolutely needed to bask in the sunshine and fresh air, so we window-shopped down at the outdoor mall this afternoon. What a beautiful day - and it felt so good to be outside!

People keep warning me that days like today are just heartless teases, and that the winter is far from over. But I can't help but be excited to feel the sun warm my face again! I can't wait for picnics in the parks and boat rides on the lake and reading a good book in a fragrant garden (while crashing outdoor weddings). It feels like it has been such a long winter, and I'm really looking forward to spring. For now, I'm just glad that I can skip the hat-scarf-gloves-and-coat routine every time I go outside...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Midnight snack

Last night was Youth Night, and we had a hilarious and wonderful time together. The secret ingredients of the evening included shaving cream, Cheetos, and choir robes. No, that is not a typo. It was epic. :)

After the kids left, most of the volunteers just stayed and hung out for a while, and it was so fun to get to know our team a little better. You would think after a busy and crazy evening with energetic teenagers, we would be exhausted,  but we weren't! So after the other volunteers left, Hannah Beth, Hannah Michelle, and I decided to make my Grandma Chandler's scones. At 10:30 at night.

As hard as I tried to find a respectable scone cookie cutter like my mom's, all I could find were these big cutters that were hearts, flowers, fishies, and mystery animals... was it a cat, frog, or owl?

So we made our big tacky-shaped scones that thankfully tasted delicious - just like my mom's and my grandma's, and ate them with jam and dulce de leche. Yes, dulce de leche! My friend Patti gave us a little jar of it, straight from and made in Argentina. :) What a perfect midnight snack after an exciting day!

(This morning we shared our scones with Lian and Jo Lien, and we think they enjoyed them too!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flowers, Valentines, and Romans 16

In the midst of a cold, grey weekend, I received a beautiful, bright bouquet of spring tulips on my doorstep! The absolute perfect Valentine gift, and the best timing ever... so thanks, Mom and Dad!

Friday night we had our second official girls night of the semester (aren't they so cute?!). It was so much fun to make pizzas, play games, and get to know our awesome girls better. We had a box of cheesy, "groovy" Valentines that we gave to each other, but I think my favorite was one that one of the girls wrote on notebook paper at school earlier that day. It was addressed to all of us volunteer girls, and she thanked us for spending time with her and teaching her good lessons, and she said she hopes she will keep learning from us. Awww! So sweet... I think I'll tape it to my wall, so when I have bad days I can remember why I do what I do and the people who make it worth it all...

Yesterday Hannah and I finished reading through Romans together... and we really loved Romans 16! It's got a really impressive list of Paul's partners in the gospel, and acknowledgements of how they have blessed him. And we started thinking about what it would be like to make our own lists... and how incredibly long those lists would be! Both of us have been so blessed with lifelong power-teams of family members, mentors, peers, teachers, pastors, and church members who have invested in us... which is probably why we are where we are now. :) We decided to take some time and make a list just of the people here in Fort Wayne who we work with - even then we came up with 45 people! - and wrote something about each one, about their gifts or the way they have blessed us or how we've seen them love others. We called it our "I-House Romans 16." We plan to do this more often, with other groups of people from other places and times in our lives... It felt so good to do that, and we just thanked God so much for the incredible opportunity we have to be surrounded by so many saints.