Thursday, May 25, 2006

To Love and To Cherish

Justin and I had the privilege of going to a wedding this weekend in Fort Worth. My friend, Faith, who was a missionary with me in West Africa, was marrying Andrew, a Peace Corps volunteer she met there. There was a bachelorette slumber party on Friday night, which was a blast getting to see old friends, and then the wedding was Saturday afternoon. It was far and away the most unusual wedding I've ever seen! It was in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, just out in the garden. All the guests were seated on blankets in the shade of surrounding trees. Faith and Andrew are both strong Christians, and they wanted their wedding to be a testament not only to their love, but also to God's love for His Bride, the church. Faith has quite a flair for the dramatic, so I knew it was going to be quite a show. They did a drama based on the Scripture Ezekiel 16. Faith came out dressed in dirty clothes and torn jeans, with her hair in a ponytail and dirt on her face, while the reader read this:

"As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born. When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, 'Live!' I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare. Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine, declares the Lord GOD. Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil." (v.4-9)

Once Faith reached the middle of the garden, Andrew came out carrying a beautiful white dress. He went to her, draped the dress over her shoulders, and then led her to a chair where she sat down and he washed her feet. Then he said his vows to her and put his ring on her finger. She got up and carried the dress out of the garden. Then the minister taught for about 15 minutes, but I didn't get to hear it because I was helping Faith change. But then after the message, Faith came back out as a beautiful, radiant bride dressed in white, with her hair and makeup done. It was really amazing. Then, the reader read the rest of the passage from Ezekiel:

"'I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,' declares the Lord GOD." (v. 10-14)

She went to Andrew, led him to the chair where he sat down and she washed his feet. Then she said her vows and put her ring on his finger. Then the minister came out, pronounced them man and wife, and they kissed. The end. It was really a beautiful visual of the marvelous love and grace of God toward his children, and it was very impressive seeing Faith able to make that transformation in just 15 minutes! Here is a picture of her with me and Charity, the three girls who went to West Africa together. What a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spider Mites! Ugh!

As you know, my miniature rose plant has taken the place of a pet in my life, since the dern apartment complex won't let me have a pet. So I love it, nurture it, feed and water it, talk to it, and basically do whatever I can to keep it alive. However, it hasn't been cooperating very much. Yes, it is growing and it is blooming, but it just doesn't look to be very happy about it. Just as soon as I get some hope that maybe it will turn around and flourish, the leaves turn yellow and fall off, and we're back to square one. But yesterday, I finally discovered the culprit. SPIDER MITES! Yuck! In my research about miniature roses, I found that they are especially susceptible to spider mites, and even more so in hot dry climates. Hello! Waco, Texas! So the whole time I've had the rose, I've been half-heartedly spraying it with water, which is supposed to help keep these particular pests at bay. But yesterday, I was finally able to see the signs of a full-blown infestation. These critters live on the underside of leaves and suck all the nutrients out until the leaves turn yellow and fall off. So flipping over the leaves, you can see tiny black specks, looks like someone has doused them with pepper. When your infestation gets really large, you can actually see webs between the leaves. And that's what I saw yesterday. So it was time to go on the attack. I took my spray bottle out there and thoroughly washed BOTH sides of EVERY INDIVIDUAL LEAF. No more half-hearted spraying for me and my beloved rose! So we'll see how quickly it rebounds from this particular attack. From what I read, I'll have to spray it pretty thoroughly every day to keep the mites away. If that turns out to be too hard, I may resort to some kind of pesticide, we'll see. No matter what, though, I am determined to have a lovely, flourishing rose if it's the last thing I do!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Things are Heating Up in The Office

I don't say much about TV shows on my blog, even though I usually have a lot to say about them. I guess I prefer to talk about real life instead of fiction. But last night's season finale of The Office was just too good to leave alone! Are there any other Office fans out there who know what I'm talking about?! For those of you who who don't watch The Office, Jim and Pam work together, are very good friends, and are clearly perfect for each other. However, there's one thing standing in the way of their relationship: Pam is engaged to someone else. So for the past 2 seasons, we've been on pins and needles waiting to find out if anything would happen between them! And now look at this shot from last night's episode:
As Pam's wedding drew nearer, Jim began to get more and more uncomfortable hearing about it, and finally last night he had had enough. He pulled Pam aside in the parking lot and declared his love for her. Oh, but the agony of it all! Pam got angry, told him that he had misread her friendship, and that she resented his ruining their friendship by trying to take it further! A devastated Jim walks away. However, minutes later, he comes back to the office, where he finds her on the phone with her mom discussing the situation. She hangs up. Without a word, he grabs her and kisses her. And miracle of miracles, she kisses him back!!! And that's the end of the episode. What?! What will happen from here?! Sadly enough, this was the season finale and we don't get to find out where that kiss will take them until next season. Oh, I hope they get together! But how will Pam's fiance, Roy, react? And what will that do to Office dynamics? I can't wait for next season, where my questions will be answered!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Romancing the Blog

My precious, wonderful husband, being the sweetest man on earth, wrote a lovely tribute to me on his blog yesterday. It was incredibly sweet and I'm very thankful to have a husband who's not afraid to express his affection for me in a public format. It's like his own personal Jumbotron. :) So for anybody who hasn't seen it yet, go over and read it. It's great!

His overture was partly inspired by the fun surprise I had for him on Friday evening. I alluded to it in my last blog, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise in case he read my blog before he came home! We drove to Temple (about 40 minutes away), and went to the Central Texas Airshow! It was really neat, and I was quite relieved. Something in as remote a location as Temple had the potential to be really lame. But it was good! We got there after the show had already started. (I let us be late on purpose - I think that 3 1/2 hours of airshow is a little over the top!) As we were walking in, we saw several different kinds of planes sitting on display. Justin could tell you what they were - I don't have a clue. But then we got to the airstrip and the first thing we saw was this tiny little red airplane doing stunt tricks! This was cool enough all on its own - the loops and rolls and heart-stopping dives - but then we heard the announcer say that it was piloted by a 70-year-old man! He'd been flying for 50 years and loved it so much he wouldn't quit! I think that is perfectly adorable. Then there was another stunt pilot, followed by several demonstrations of historical WWII airplanes. Then there was about a half hour break before the Grand Finale Night Act, that they were definitely hyping up a lot. So we wandered around, scrounged 2 dollars in change so Justin could get an ice cream cone (neither of us carry cash!), and then settled in the grass for a good view of the Grand Finale. To start the Night Show, there was a guy in a "jet-powered glider" who used his jets to get up to 4,000 feet, and then glided back and forth down to the ground while streaming sparks and fireworks out of his wings. That was much cooler than it sounds. Then there was a pretty good fireworks show. But they kept telling us to hold on because it was going to get much better with the Final Act, a group called The Blastards. So the fireworks show is over, and they tell us here come the Blastards. It was pitch dark, so I don't know what they actually did, but all it looked like was about 7 atomic bombs going off in a row. These huge fireballs erupted from the airstrip, it was terrifying. I was sure something had gone terribly wrong and there were people dying at that very moment. We were probably 500 yards away from the explosions, but we still felt the intense heat wave roll off them. Then we were covered in ash. But none of the people involved with the show acted as if any of that was unexpected. The announcer just said "How did you like that?!" and then the show was over. What?! Huh?! Was that what was supposed to happen?! Oh well. The rest of the show was cool. Justin really enjoyed getting to see the vintage WWII planes, and we both really enjoyed the stunt shows. So it was definitely a fun evening, and I was thrilled to be able to surprise Justin with something he enjoyed so much.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Good things

I feel like I never have anything worthwhile to post! So I'm just going to post a random compilation of the good things in my life at the moment and hope they add up to something that's worth reading!
  1. My rose bush has 2 buds!!! I'll post a pic whenever they bloom. But I'm pretty thrilled that it's actually blooming again. I had my doubts that it ever would, but I must be such a master gardener that I can coax it into a second bloom.
  2. I just got $250 worth of stuff from Pampered Chef, and I only paid $50 for it! That's awesome! I'm most excited about the pizza stone (I'm going to start making whole wheat pizzas!) and the Ultimate Slice-N-Grate (a contraption that will chop and slice my veggies MUCH faster than I can with a knife).
  3. My sweetheart has taken 2 of his finals, and he has just one more on Monday! Then, he'll have about a month break before he starts summer school. Tonight I'm taking him on a "Let's Forget the Stress of Finals" date, as long as it isn't cancelled due to inclement weather. (We have severe weather on the forecast, but right now it's sunny and beautiful.) I won't post what it is yet because it's still a surprise for him! But hopefully I'll have fun pics to commemorate the occasion.
  4. My in-laws are planning a trip down to visit over Memorial Day weekend. I'm very excited about them coming! I like having people come visit me because it's like a vacation for me, too, but I don't have to pay to go anywhere!
  5. Allergies had me in their evil grip for about a week, but I seem to be gaining some sort of victory over them. Alavert is the key! Now if I could just shake this cough, I'd be rolling.

*Sigh* Looking at it, that's a pretty pathetic list. I'll have to think up something earth-shattering to post soon. In the meantime, try not to die of boredom whenever you think about my life!