Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Update and Guest Writer on Inspiring Excellence

Hey everyone, I hope you had a good weekend! Ours was pretty eventful. It all started on Friday afternoon about 4 o'clock. I left work early because a tornado touched down in Tuscaloosa south of the Alabama campus and was said to be headed our way within an hour. Another was spotted in Alabaster near Montevallo headed up I65 (which I needed to take to meet Patrick and family for dinner). So I headed out like everyone else and tried to beat the bad storm. After sitting in traffic and rain for about an hour, I made it to the restaurant okay and within another hour the worst of it was gone!

So we tried this new place that had only been open for about 5 days called Genghis Grill that does Mongolian Stir Fry/ BBQ. It was really good and fun!You walk through a buffet line with a bowl and pick your protein (chicken, beef, steak, crab, fish, shrimp, ham, or tofu) then your vegetables (tons of options) then your seasoning, then your sauce, and take it all to a chef who tosses it on the grill with your choice starch (white rice, brown rice, low mein noodles, tortillas, spiraled pasta or fried rice). You can top it off with peanuts or sesame seeds too. One bowl is only $9.99 while a bottomless bowl is only $13.99. The guys loved that! If you stick to one of their recipe cards and build one of the signature bowls, most of them are 500 calories or less. It was yummy and filling so we'll be going back!

The fun really got started when we returned home that night and found significant water damage to our house due to the bad storm and a leaky roof. Our upstairs guest bedroom and downstairs living room were soaked with water. Patrick and his brothers stayed up until 2 am moving our furniture around, ripping up the carpet and trying to get out the drenched padding under the carpet. We had a few fans that night to try to dry out the carpets until we could get professionals over on Saturday. Poor Patrick, he was on the phone with everyone and their mother from 7am to 4pm Saturday trying to get people to bring better fans and dehumidifiers to the house so mildew and mold wouldn't start growing. We weren't able to get someone to come out and take an assessment of the damage then start repairing our ceiling and roof until today. He's at home working with them now. What an unexpected mess! We weren't really planning on spending my Christmas bonus on water damage and new carpet (or maybe hardwood floors), but thank goodness for it! I guess we're walking through our first huge home project together. Thankfully, he's really good at handling these kinds of situations and he has a wonderful family to come help out!

Saturday afternoon we had been planning to go to the Lovelady Center for our monthly visit. The kids were having an Easter party then outdoor play time. Sadly, Patrick couldn't go with me this time but I still ran up there with another couple from small group. I'm so glad I still got to go! I spotted the same little girl from Hargis Retreat the moment we walked into the party. It took her a few minutes, but she finally remembered me and we spent the rest of the afternoon together! They played games, had cake and punch, listened to a Bible lesson, then did an Easter egg hunt in the cafeteria and won prizes. After the party inside we moved outside to a field across the street where other church volunteers had set up areas for them to play softball, football, soccer, jump rope, and hoola hoops. The weather was gorgeous (as it usually is the day after an awful storm) and it was so nice to be outside enjoying it with the kids. I love soaking up the sun on the weekends since I sit in a little cubicle all week under artificial lighting with no windows. It was fun playing her "mommy" for the day again, holding all of her stuff while she ran around with her sisters. I was juggling Capri Suns, cupcakes, goodie bags, her jacket, my jacket, my phone and her stuffed animal. They ended play time with a prayer and letting them pick out a stuffed animal to take home. At first she picked out a lion (which matched her strong-willed, independent, diva-like and warm-hearted personality), but then after I showed her the sweet-looking and cute, innocent lamb she wanted it. It reminded us of the lamb of God, Jesus. She held it like her baby and named it Diamond. Once again, she wanted me to take her home and spend the night when it was time to go. She argued, "Y'all don't have a baby to take care of right now anyway. Y'all can take care of me until you have one." She's so ready for me to get pregnant! It's funny. I love having little spurts of getting to take care of kids, but I know i'm just not ready for that right now. I'm too much of a child myself still (as Patrick says, and he can't take care of two kids!)

Saturday night when I got home and the ServPro guys were gone, Patrick and I spent the rest of the night on the couch in our upstairs living room/his man cave and watched TV, ordered in pizza (which we haven't done in a loong time) and fell asleep early. It was awesome. Thin crust supreme pizza with crushed red pepper, ranch and a glass of red wine. Sunday we stayed in the bed until noon when Patrick headed over to his brother's house to help him with building their new deck. After reading blogs for a while I finally got myself up and ran errands then took a nice long walk outside around our pretty neighborhood. The weather was beautiful again and I didn't want to stop to go back inside! I decided to head back over to their house because at least then i'd be around everybody and see Patrick. I picked up Subway sandwiches for everyone and was at their place until about 10:30 when the boys finally stopped working for the day. The guys in this family are determined and efficient! Once they start a project they don't want to stop until it's done. This is a great trait except that the sawing and hammering might've been keeping neighbors up on a work night. Lindsay and I were about to have to pick up and take away all of their tools (it's like their toys). We missed out on going to evening church service but i'm so excited about Secret Church this Friday night with David Platt!!

Also on Sunday, I'm excited to tell you that I was featured on Sarah Harmony-Powell's blog where I wrote on forgiveness! If you'd like to read it and the rest of her series on "Taking Back Our Faith" you can go here.

Well, we're about to have a crazy-busy week! Between the water damage repair project, it being Patrick's work week, small group dinner with the bride and groom on Tues (wedding in 2 weeks!), small group Bible study on Wed, Bunco night with girls on Thurs, Secret Church on Friday and Easter on Sunday we'll see how much time I get for writing. If you'd like to read my recently written devotionals you can check Daily Bread!

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