Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Worth Reading

Thank you for all the comments (10) on my last post. Ten comments is a record for us (never mind the fact that I made 3 of them)! We don't have a very wide "readership" here in this little corner of cyberspace. Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion that we have quite a few readers, just not a lot of people who leave comments. We call that "lurking" here in Blog-Land. So, if you've been lurking around our site, leave a comment sometime and make yourself known. And you don't have to have a Blooger/Google account in order to do so. Just click on comments, and in the little window that pops up, type your message. Then, you have to complete a word-verification (this is to prevent "comment spam" from those morons who have nothing better to do than leave their political rantings or sales pitches in the form of comments on random blogsites). If you do not have a Blogger/Google account, make sure to click "Anonymous" or "Other" (and if you click "Anonymous," please type your name in the text of your comment so we know who you are). Then, click "Publish," and you're done!

Having said all that -- onto the real purpose of this post, which is to share a couple of links to things I have read recently and thoroughly enjoyed! Yes, I know, you are all eager for updates on our life, and I promise I am working on several posts to that end (or at least, I have them in my head). So, for now, this will have to suffice.

This first link is one of those laugh-out-loud-til-your-sides-hurt-and-the-tears-roll-down-your-cheeks kind of reads. At least it was for me. Who would have thought that an auction listing on Ebay could make me laugh so uproariously?

The second link is more thought-provoking, even bordering on academic. In the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the release of the 7th and final installment in the Harry Potter series, this Christian author and professor of English gives a thoughtful and well-organized defense of the merits and religious implications of "The Youngest Brother's Tale." Definitely worth a read, especially if you are a fan of the books. Thanks to my dad for sending me this link.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I Finished!

I finally finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," and let me just say, IT ROCKED!!! It exceeded all my expectations for the conclusion to a fantastic series. I can't wait to see the movie because it's going to be awesome (of course not as awesome as the book, but awesome, nonetheless)! I'm looking forward to unpacking the rest of the series because I plan to read it over again from start to finish now.

I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to spoil anything for those that haven't read the book yet, but I'm dying to know what other people thought of it! Leave a comment and share your thoughts... favorite part... the thing that surprised you most... whatever. And if you haven't read the book yet, be warned -- the comments may contain spoilers, so read them at your own risk.

Trek Across North America: Conclusion

Well, last week, after almost 4 weeks on the road, three tired travelers finally reached their destination. This road trip was a lot of fun, and a nice way to transition from our time in Portland to Memphis. Still, I have to say, it sure is nice to know we won't be packing up again for awhile!

Last Sunday, Rusty preached at the church in Livonia, and did a great job! Monday was spent packing. We had purchased a small enclosed trailer the week before to haul the furniture that my parents had been storing for us down to Memphis. I didn't think we would be able to squeeze it all in, but my husband is a master packer, and in the end, all we left behind were two chairs from our dining set. On Tuesday, we said goodbye to Mom and Dad and began our drive south. After a long day of driving, we arrived in Clarksville, Tennessee, and stayed the night with Uncle Dennis and Aunt Diana Campbell. It was really great seeing them again -- and relaxing in the hot tub!

On Wednesday, after a great breakfast at Shoney's, we headed out again and arrived in Memphis about 1:30 p.m.

And that was our trip!

26 days...

4795 miles...

2 countries...

13 states...

3 Canadian provinces...

8 different beds...

14 stops at Starbucks...

4 sermons...

2 trailers...

and 1 lost hat!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Trek Across North America: Week 3

We began our third week in Coldwater, Michigan, visiting my grandparents, Dean and Ruth Clutter. Rusty preached at the church in Coldwater on Sunday morning, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a good visit with my Aunt Cyndi and her family that evening.

Alex and his great-grandparents

On Monday, we drove up to Livonia to spend the rest of the week with my parents and brother. We have had such a great time! Highlights have included: a trip to Cedar Point, home to some of the world's tallest, fastest roller-coasters; celebrating Matt's 21st birthday; visiting Greenfield Village; and of course seeing all the dear folks at the Livonia church of Christ, some of whom have known me since before I was born. Pictures are below.

Riding the carousel at Cedar Point

Riding the train (again at Cedar Point)

Another kiddie ride at Cedar Point

The big 2-1!

Sharing an ice-cream with Daddy at Greenfield Village

You may notice that Alex looks a little different in the last picture. Yes, while we were in Livonia, he got his first haircut! More on that later -- but doesn't he look so grown up now? And, in between all of our fun outings and family time, I have been using practically every spare moment to devour "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." (Ronda, Robbie, and Johnny -- I am now on page 350, where are you?)

Our time here in Livonia is quickly drawing to a close. Tomorrow, we will begin the last leg of our journey to Memphis, and hope to arrive there on Wednesday afternoon. Although this trip has been fun, I am looking forward to settling into our apartment and our new life in Memphis.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Trek Across North America: Week 2

Well, here we are in Livonia, Michigan, enjoying some family time with my parents and brother. Before I forget, I wanted to mention that you can see more cute pictures of Alex and Sophie (and Rusty) during our time in Montana by visiting Roxanna's blog.

The second week of our journey was spent mostly with Uncle Ken and Aunt Rae in Manson, Manitoba. The weather was extremely hot and humid (reminded me of Japan), but we had a great time anyway, and it did cool off by the end of our stay. Here are some pictures of our time there.

Rusty preached twice on Sunday -- once in town at the church his aunt and uncle attend, and the second time at this little country church. It is actually an Anglican church, but the church of Christ folks meet there every Sunday. Hard wooden pews... no electricity (read: no AC)... an outhouse for a bathroom... an old cemetery outside. I definitely felt like I had stepped back in time!

Rusty and Alex "preaching the Word"

One day, we visited the memorial garden in Manson. The town of Manson consists of this garden, an ice rink, a church of Christ, an old community center that is now Uncle Ken's woodshop, and about half a dozen houses, only half of which are lived in! Can you say, "po-dunk?"

You can tell how hot it is by Alex' red face and super-curly hair!

Another day, we visited the Antique Auto Museum in a nearby town. They had lots of really cool old cars and old farm equipment. Alex enjoyed driving the tractors and combines.

Alex and Auntie Rae playing with her snow globe

Aunt Rae's beautiful flower garden

The Canadian prairie.

We left Uncle Ken and Aunt Rae's on Thursday, July 26, and drove to Edrans, Manitoba to visit Rusty's cousin Kemmy and her family. Despite a mishap with a trailer, on loan to us from Uncle Ken (his way of making sure we HAVE to come back), we arrived safely and had a good visit.

Rusty with Kemmy and her four kids.

After a long discussion, we decided against taking the trailer (sorry, Uncle Ken, I guess you'll just have to figure out another way to get us to come back!) and repacked what we could into the van. We left Edrans at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27. 25 hours later, we arrived in Coldwater, Michigan! We drove all through the night, a decision that was made partially for time's sake (Rusty had to preach in Coldwater on Sunday morning), and partially because we were too cheap to get a motel for just a few hours. We made it safely, but it took us several days to recover! I remember when I used to pull all-nighters in college, and let me just say -- it is not as easy as it used to be. I must be getting old or something!

And that was Week 2 of our Great Adventure!