Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Our suitcases are packed by the door with care,
with hopes that in Colorado, we'll soon be there.


Sorry for the bad poetry. We'll probably be pretty busy for the next week, so we're going to take a little vacation.

Merry Christmas!
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given. And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace."

Christmas plans.....

My wish for a white Christmas has been granted, in an extreme way. Over two feet of snow fell in Denver and other parts of Colorado this week. Hopefully it won't all be melted before Christmas. Sadly, the huge snow has caused some delays, and so Dave and Hannah can't come until the 27th. So far, Jeff and I are still on track to arrive tomorrow morning. Everyone can pray that the airlines are worked out enough for us to get there. We really don't want to get stuck in Cincinnati.

I just got back from a quick trip home to see my family. Since I was off, and Jeff had to work, I went up to Seneca for a few days. My trip back included fairly heavy rain the ENTIRE way. Actually, it stopped for a second right when I got to downtown Charleston.

Now that I'm back, it's time to pack and make a quick library run! I can't go on vacation book-less, after all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too Cute

Please go here to see some new nephew photos. I really loved this one, and couldn't resist posting it. He's really starting to look like himself.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Freedom...

Yesterday was the last day of my radiology rotation. Now, I'm free until February!!! No class, no going to the hospital. Hopefully January will include a trip to Iowa City to see baby Samuel. And it will also include a few more interviews. And in just one week, we leave to go to Colorado Springs, and to see Jackson! (And the rest of our family, too!!) We can't wait. Especially me, who is hoping for a white Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Cactus

It's finally blooming!! I was beginning to think my cactus was defective.

It used to not get watered very much, but we moved it into the kitchen (right by the sink) and now it actually gets watered. It actually bloomed. And even in December.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blogger White Elephant

This month I participated in a White Elephant hosted by Megan at Half Pint House. Yesterday I finally got my gifts!! Funny. And they actually came from Megan herself.

Here they are:

First off, anytime I get a package that looks like this I get excited. I especially love all the stamps.




I received two videos. Paul Reiser's stand up, and a Carman video.


From the back of the Carman video: Time 2, hosted by Carman, is a high-energy program that deals with the hard hitting issues that face our youth and world today. Ours is called "Drug Abuse: Breaking the Chains." Now I really want to find a tape player so I can watch this video with "live interviews and on-location reports, top Christian Artists, their music videos, and biblical answers to real questions about a real world."



Hysterical.
She also kindly included a wonderful-smelling candle that will definitely be put to use around our house this season. And she sent a camo-colored verse pack to my husband Jeff who had asked her about getting one. We really appreciate it. Thanks.




To check out the rest of the gifts, go here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Today was an exciting day for our church. We started as a church plant with the first official meeting in 1999, and have met in a few different locations, including one theater (before I started going) and more recently the James Island Senior Center, a great building but one where every week we had to set up and take down the chairs, bring all the nursery toys, and find enough rooms for all our Sunday School classes. (The senior high boys actually met in a closet. A large one, but still a closet.) For some time now, our sessions and leaders have been looking for a place to meet. Real Estate is somewhat problematic in the charleston area, at least if you are a buyer. (Sellers have it much better around here.) So we were looking for our own space. But nothing was to be found. Then, just a short time ago, an older congregation in downtown decided they were going to join with a congregation in West Ashley. The congregation had slowly dwindled down and was basically dying out. They were using this very old and historic building in downtown charleston, and wanted it to stay a church when they vacated it.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, in the end, they decided to allow us to use the building rent-free. We are paying insurance and utilities. So now we have a beautiful sanctuary, an enormous Christian Education building, and even a few graves in the church yard. It is amazing how God can quickly come in to a situation and work things out, in an even more amazing way than you had ever expected. (It really should surprise me less after all these years.)

Today was the first meeting of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. At our old building, on James Island, we were called Island Community Church. Now that we have moved off the island, we had to change our name. So now we're Redeemer. Exciting. And here are some photos:

Before church started:

During the worship service: (We were sitting at the back, and I had to use the bathroom, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos)Pastor Craig, getting to preach on the old-school, very tall pulpit:
After the service, from the balcony: (We actually have a balcony!!!)
I know it doesn't matter where you worship the Lord, that wherever 2 or more are gathered that he is there. But it was wonderful being able to worship the Lord in a building that is going to ours to use, and that really felt like a church. And also to remind myself as Jeff and I continue in the search for a church job-residency combo, that God is in control and works things out for his glory. He knows what he is doing. I needed that reminder.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The interview trail

Yesterday, I got back from my fourth residency interview. Even for an extrovert like me, these interviews get to be exhausting. First, there is dinner the night before where they try to stuff you full of food, while making sure you know what a good program this is. You have a chance to ask questions about the program. (Is there free food? What about free parking? Do I get to do C-sections? Can I go on a missions trip?) The next day starts usually with a few interviews. Usually you talk with the program director who again makes sure you know what a good program it is. Occasionally, they might ask you a question (Why do you want to go into family medicine? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you do for fun?) and my favorite: "Do you have any questions I can answer for you?" So again, I rack my brain trying to think of something since I already asked a lot of questions the night before. Note to self: ask fewer questions to the residents to make sure you still have questions to ask the attendings. Finally, I usually ask something about the curriculum, or what changes will be made for the future. Somewhere in there, someone always talks about how this hospital always operates "in the black" and so therefore, the residency program is good. (Which I'm sure is true, but I never thought I'd hear so much about money while interviewing.) Next, there is usually a tour of the hospital and clinic facilities. (See here is the cafeteria, where you can eat your free food. Here is the small bed where you may or may not sleep while on call. Here is where the babies are born. Here is where you will see patients in the clinic. Here is the ER where you will come to admit patients after being rudely awakened from sleep in your little bed.) Again, the resident taking you on the tour will again ask if you have any questions. I never do. Next is lunch, with more residents where you are again filled with food and told how good the program is. Note to self: Eat less. Yet another person will ask if you have any questions. After lunch, there may or may not be another interview. Often there is a short tour of the community, so you can drive around and see where residents live. This might be my favorite part, since no one asks me if I have any questions, and I get to see cute houses where Jeff and I could live next year.

Then, thankfully, it's time to get back into my car and go home. I always have to stop and change from my interview suit back into something more comfortable. (Yoga pants, anyone?) Especially after all the eating. My interview suit will not fit if I keep eating as much as these programs try to feed me. Then I get to sing loudly with the Christmas CD since I'm driving all by myself. Until I have to stop and pee from all the diet soda I drank at lunch.

It's good to be home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I ain't no doormat!

I don't enjoy confrontation. In fact I somewhat dread it. I'm a peaceful guy, I don't like to get into arguments. Most of the time, if I don't get my way, I just deal with it. If my donut doesn't have as much filling as I had hoped, I deal with it. I'm not the type to go confronting people. I like to lay low, not cause a scene.

But today I'd had it up to here (making hand motion). Aubrey has taken our car to Gerald's twice in the last two weeks to get a flat tire fixed, and they have not fixed it. The first time, she also asked to have the tires rotated, and they didn't do that either. Yesterday when she went in, she told them that the tire was still flat, and it had a bolt in it, and would they please fix it right this time? So this morning, when I saw that the tire was still flat, and still had a bolt in it, I was somewhat peeved.

I called Gerald's and asked to speak to the manager. I explained the problem, and told him I would be coming over right away to have the tire fixed. Aubrey had to drive to Spartanburg this afternoon, so we needed the car to work. On the drive over to Gerald's, I alternated between planning what I was going to say to this manager when I laid eyes on him, and being really nervous about the upcoming confrontation. I don't like confrontation. My heart was pounding. I knew I was going to wimp out, and tell him it was really no big deal, and that the truth is that I enjoy flat tires and any excuse to come to Gerald's is a good one! I kept telling myself, "Be Andrew, Be Andrew."

When I got there, I left the car out front, rather than around the side, as a sign of defiance. I went inside and kindly asked for the manager, there was no sense wasting preplanned lines of confrontation on someone who couldn't really help. At first I didn't have to be to nasty, the manager quickly rallied some guys to get my car into a spot, and he looked at the tire. He said I would need a brand new tire (duh, why hadn't he realized this yesterday?). The tire was under warranty, so naturally it would be free. He said I would only have to pay $6.95. And this is when I sprung into action. With my heart pounding, and my vision nearly blurring around the edges, I confronted, "I assume you'll cover that for me?" He thought I was talking about the tire, and said oh yes, reassuring me I would only have to pay $6.95. And it did sound like a good deal, I mean $6.95 isn't much, right? But no, I would not be walked upon. I girded my loins, and told him that this was my third trip to get a flat tire fixed, he had wasted a lot of my time, and I expected that he would cover my bill. He totally caved. It was awesome. I called him out on his bad service and got my way.

Then this afternoon one of our local panhandlers was hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the credit union again. So I sternly walked out the door and told him to take his show on the road. He tried to get all friendly with me, and act like we were pals. I told him if he wasn't moving in about two seconds I was calling the police. And believe me, its not hard to summon police to a bank.

Look out world, Confrontational-Jeff is on the loose!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Easy and Cute Christmas decoration

Since most of the projects I've been working on are presents, I haven't been able to post photos. Over the weekend, I started some other fun projects that are not top secret! Using the pattern found here, I made these trees, using some red felt from a very cheap christmas tree skirt I bought last year and then replaced this year. I also felted an old sweater of mine that I don't wear and used some of it for the blue trees. Even if you can't sew well, or even if you don't have a machine, you could still make these. It is only 2 seams, and then you stuff it and add some beans or rice to the very bottom for weight so they stand upright. Then you decorate to your heart's content! They are small, so it wouldn't take much cloth and you really can use anything - scraps of cloth or even old clothes--the possibilities are endless. You can also find a flickr group of these trees here, so you can see what other people did. By slightly altering the pattern, you can also make the trees taller.



To decorate mine, I used some old buttons, rickrack, and ribbon. It's an easy, quick, but cute decoration. Jeff and I think the red ones look like something that could come out of Dr. Seuss.

Check out other good tips here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Nephew Photos

So even though Andrew and Melanie posted these on their blog, I can't help but republish them here. Jeff and I have the cutest nephews around.

Here I really get to see my big brother as a daddy.
And 2 cute close-ups:


And with a very, very thrilled and happy Grandma:
And just to prove we have two adorable nephews, here is a recent and so-cute-I-could-cry photo of Jackson:

See what I mean?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

blogger tidbits.....

A few unconnected bloggable happenings.....

1. So right before Thanksgiving, it SNOWED in Charleston. In the almost 4 years I've been living here, we haven't even gotten ice before. But it snowed. Granted, it was only for 15 minutes, but still. Snow. In Charleston. And I missed it. I had just started my radiology rotation, and Jeff dropped me off at the hospital since the weather was cold and wet. After I went inside, it started snowing. Jeff tried to call, but since the radiology reading rooms are in the bowels of the hospital, I didn't get his call and never actually got to see the snow.

2. Last week on our way up to NC, Jeff and I stopped at a Taco Bell for dinner. While there, I checked my email. On my PDA. In TACO BELL. That is easily the strangest place I've ever gotten on the web.

3. This morning I ran (as a bandit, or whatever the term is for running in a race without paying) in the Reindeer Run. What a great race. Lots of dogs wearing antlers and bells. And kids in strollers. And costumes. And free doughnuts. (although running and donuts don't really mix in my mind, so I didn't partake.)

4. So here are a few photos of my Christmas decorations. I included a picture of the photo garland I made by printing a bunch of family photos and then glueing them to some Christmas card stock I got. An Easy, Cheap, but festive decoration! Plus it makes pics of our nephews more accessible! :)




5. Jeff and I got free good dinner night because one of the programs where I'm applying took us out. It's nice to be recruited. I had shrimp and grits and then chocolate cheesecake. Yummmm.