So Here's My Life

The things we make,
the food we eat and
the shenanigans in between.

A blog about making things by

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I don't mean to be offensive...

I don't mean to be offensive...

Tonight many of my friends will be participating in an event called, Displace Me. I first heard about it on the internet. Several of my friends were posting bulletins on MySpace about it. At first I didn't give the bulletins much thought...I usually don't read bulletins anyway. But after hearing about it so much, I finally had to see what this event was all about. Here's what I learned:

"The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted thousands of children, subjected them to torture or sexual violence and forced them to fight in a violent guerilla army for 21 years—making it the longest running war in Africa. In hopes of providing protection from this rebel militia, the Ugandan government forcibly evicted its Northern citizens from their homes—giving them 48 hours to relocate into camps. Today, more than 1.5 million Northern Ugandans remain far from secure, suffering nearly 1,000 deaths per week due to inhumane living conditions in the camps. Alcoholism, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, inadequate sanitation and lack of education have caused immeasurable damage to two generations and the near-total destruction of Acholi culture. Water is scarce and people are reliant on food to be delivered by foreign aid. If the food isn’t delivered, the people starve. This April, the already meager rations delivered by the World Food Program to the camps will be cut in half due to lack of funding—with school feeding programs and support for HIV/aids victims soon to follow. This will indisputably increase the number of deaths among those already suffering from severe malnutrition—mostly among women, children and the elderly."

The point of Displace Me is to raise awareness of the war in Uganda and what the people who live Displacement camps go through. This is an overnight event where each person will spend the night outside sleeping in a cardboard box, and will receive rations of saltine crackers and water. During the evening they will hear the testimonials of some of those living in the camps, as well as other speakers chosen specifically for their personal connection to Northern Uganda. They will be asked to write letters to their senators and policy makers to encourage American involvement in ending the war and sending the people in the camps home.

To find out more information about Displace Me, click here.

As I read about this event, my heart went out to all of those people living in such inhumane conditions. The things these people experience are unthinkable. Over 66,000 children have been kidnapped, mutilated, used as sex slaves or as soldiers for the LRA. I want their suffering to end. I want to do something about this. I want to make a difference. And I wanted to participate in Displace Me too. But then I read about how they want to put an end to the war in writing letters to our senators and policy makers, requesting the United States to get involved in ending Uganda's war. And then I started to think about this...wait a minute...aren't we in a war right now? How many Americans are supporting the war in Iraq? The war in Iraq seems to lose more and more support daily....and yet we want to ask our government to get involved in another war? I think the only way Americans could be happy with the involvement of the United States ending the war in Uganda would be through the avenue of diplomacy and peace talks...and yet peace talks have been going on for years in regards to Uganda and the LRA, all of them failed attempts. Wikipedia quotes, "The LRA leadership has long stated that they would never surrender unless they were granted immunity from prosecution." So basically the LRA will only step down if they will not be charged for the inhumane crimes they've committed. Obviously after 20 years of war in Uganda, it's quite evident that the leaders of the LRA are not the type of people you can talk reason into. Other options? The U.S. could send in the military to annihilate the leaders of the LRA, BUT for years the LRA has been abducting Acholi children and forcing them to fight for them. Would I really want our military to fight against abducted children? Not really.

After looking at the situation from different angles, I have decided not to participate in Displace Me tonight, not for apathetic reasons, but because I'm not 100% on board with the solution being presented at the event tonight. I know several people will disagree with my decision, but I'm not really convinced that asking my government to get involved in another war, in addition to the widely unpopular and unsupported current war, is really the answer. So what's the solution? I'm not sure. I feel like I've asked more questions than I've been able to answer. One thing I would like to say though, just because I'm not sure what the solution should be, doesn't mean that I will not be doing anything about the war in Uganda. From this point on, I will do what I can to raise awareness of the conflict in Uganda.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I don't know.

You know what? When I was in college, and around the college age, I used to think and feel pressure to always have an answer to a certain question: "What do you want to do with your life?" And so I was always trying to figure that out. I changed my answer several times. I went from psychologist to missionary to musician, etc, etc. I have to admit, I'm still figuring out what I want to do. I don't always know....and yet it do. Doesn't seem to make very much sense, right? Let me explain. During college I thought that God was calling me to be a missionary. Everyone started telling me that I needed to change my major to Cross-Cultural Missions...but I felt differently. After seeking the Lord, I knew the Lord wanted me to study music...and I did. I have a degree in music. (Some people felt like I was running from "my call") Now fast forward a couple years later, I'm here in the southwest married to Joel, and I'm the wife of a youth pastor (among several other things). I teach music. I know I'm called to do music. I know I'm called to write music. I have an overwhelming desire to travel and see the world. And yet, I don't know about the missionary part. Maybe that part is yet to come. Or maybe I was mistaken. I don't know. But you know what? That's ok with me. I'm ok to not know everything all the time. All the Lord really asks of us is to seek him, and to follow his leading, and to be obedient. So whatever God's plans are for Joel and I, the Lord will reveal them in his time, whether it be a missionary, or a pastor, or just a regular person with a normal job. I've come to realize that it's ok to say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life yet." I always thought that was such a bad thing to say when I was younger. I thought I always had to have it figured out right away. Silly me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

[Insert title here]

At the moment we are amongst a mad dash to turn in Youth Camp registration forms. These deadlines have been creeping up on us like crazy these last couple of months.

Brody is adjusting to life with us...and last night he let me pile a bunch of random junk on top of him while he was laying on the living room floor. So I guess we'll keep him. Any dog we have is required to let us do crazy things to it for our own personal entertainment...and they are required to like it to. Brody has also decided that he's had enough of this training to the wireless electronic fence, because he already has the whole boundary thing figured out. So even though the training manual advised against it, Brody wears his collar to the electic fence all the time. And he's fine. (And the shock from going outside of the boundaries isn't that bad either. We tested it on one of the teenagers. Seriously) Last night Joel was doing some obedience training on Brody in the living room. Brody totally paniced and peed all over my rug. I just about died. I don't know how people can keep the dogs inside with them 24/7. Because I would probably kill the dog. I get so tired of them being in the house with me.

At the moment Joel and I are looking at taking our vacation in September. We're planning on taking a 7-day Eastern Carribean cruise. Hopefully it will all work out. I'm excited.

Joel picked up his cap & gown the other day. It's ugly. Bright purple. Horrible. Glad I don't have to wear it. Graduation is getting closer and closer, and I'm getting more and more excited. It will be so nice to no longer have to plan around school semesters.

My neighbor has purchased some chickens. At the moment they're still chick and incredibly cute. Things will be interesting when they get older...and I'm sure that Brody will love to be "friends" with them too. lol.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


A very good friend of mine got engaged this weekend. I'm very happy and excited for her. But listening to her story of being proposed to made me think of how Joel proposed to me. Now before I go into my story, let me give you a brief summary of her proposal.

He took her out to an arts festival and they had a rooftop dinner. Later on the way to the "proposal site", he played a song that he wrote for her on his stereo. He took her to "the site" and it was all candle-lit and beautiful. He proposed and she said yes. It was all very sweet and romantic and terribly mushy...but that's not a bad thing.

Then I look at Joel and I and our proposal story. I was at Joel's house with Joel when the mail man delivered a small special package that need a signature. After Joel signed the package, I was dying of suspense, and pleadingly demanded to see what the package was. He refused to show it to me. By then I had figured out what was in the package (my engagement ring). Later on that afternoon we went for a drive in his mom's convertible MG. We tresspassed on someone's private property to a hidden lake. After we had climbed to the top of the rocks overlooking the lake, he proposed to me. Obviously I said yes, since I'm married to him now. lol.

Ours wasn't nearly as romatic as some other couple's stories, but what can I say? Ours is very characteristic of "us". Joel has never been much of a planner. He's always been a spontaneous person, making up his plans as he's going along, which is how our proposal went. Ha, ha. I knew that he got my ring in the mail, and had to have it immediately. (I had been waiting for it for a long time). Joel told me the other night, if I hadn't have been so hysterically frantic about getting my ring, I probably would have had a more elaborate proposal. He said he that since I knew he had the ring, he had to give it to me soon....and he was right.

So my thought? Of course every girl dreams of having a wildly-romantic proposal, including myself. But at the same time, I can't expect Joel to be something he's not. A wildly-romantic proposal would include a great deal of planning, which isn't one of Joel's strong points. (of course I didn't help the situation I'm thankful for my husband just the way he is, and I love him just the way he is. It all goes back to my LOVE blog, and love doesn't always happen the way you expect it to.

Our proposal story isn't most wildly-romantic one you'll ever hear, but I have to admit, it's quite funny. Joel and I both look back on it with a lot of amusement...especially the part about trespassing on someone's private property.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Something to think about

So I would just like you guys to know that Joel and I got FREE ice cream from Ben & Jerry's on Tuesday! Know why? Because April 17th was free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry's, and we just happened to be in Albuquerque for District Council. It was really good ice cream, and we only waited in line about 2 minutes. It made me happy. I was going to tell all you guys about it so you could get free ice cream too, but I forgot until it was too late. Sorry. Please forgive me.

District Council turned out to be pretty good. I enjoyed it this year. I have to admit, that I was dreading it, but ended up enjoying it. God really worked in my heart with some issues I've been dealing with...perhaps I'll write a blog about it...but not right now....later. I have too much to do today. And today I'm starting Brody's training to stay inside boundaries. We're using a wireless electronic fence. It should be interesting.

My mom wrote this on her blog yesterday. And I agree...and wanted to share it:

"We are deeply saddened and grieved over the murders of the Virginia Tech students and professors. What an incredibly difficult time this must be for the family members and friends. It will be difficult for students to return to the school after so much bloodshed. So very sad this all is. It is also sad that Cho was so lost. He was someone's son, someone's brother, but no one's friend. Let's be better witnesses to this lost world. Let's make it a point to make friends with the weak and unlovely and share with them the love of our Savior. Who knows? You just might save an entire school from enduring what Virginia Tech suffered."

So true. You just never know who you are impacting. I'm so sad for VT.

Monday, April 16, 2007

No subject for me, thank you.

I spent the whole weekend putting together Joel's graduation anouncements and then addressing them, while Joel worked on his senior project. I am SO ready for him to be done with school! The only reason I did his anouncements (without his help) is because if I waited for him to do them, or even for him to help me do his anouncements, we would be sending them out probably the day before the ceremony. We made a deal: I'll do his anouncements, but he HAS to do his thank you cards...there is NO WAY I'm going to write his thank you cards...even if nobody can read his writing...I DON'T CARE!!! At least they'll know he sent them a thank you card.

Tommorrow and Wednesday Joel and I will be at District Council. We have to go there and hobnob with all the other pastorly people, and vote on issues, and all those other issues.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


So I've been teaching private music lessons for about 7 years now. Over the years I've heard a wide variety of excuses for not practicing their instrument, but I have to say that recently I had a student who topped them all with the most crazy, honest, and the most out-right hysterical excuse I've EVER heard:

"Last night I was going to practice the piano right after I finished practicing my baritone for band. So I was practicing in my room, and then all the sudden I open my eyes, and it's like one o'clock in the morning, and the house is dark...and then I realized I was hugging my baritone, and my face was inside the bell of the baritone! I fell asleep while I was practicing, and nobody woke me up!! So I didn't get to practice the piano."

I was so amused and shocked by her excuse, I couldn't even scold her. It was the most hysterical and ridiculous thing I've ever heard. She actually fell asleep while practicing her baritone, and then woke up hugging her instrument, with her face inside the bell (the bell is the part of the instrument at the top that flares out and resembles a bell). By far, the best excuse I've EVER heard.

Friday, April 13, 2007

His name is...

Just wanted to let you guys know we decided on the dog's name. We like it.

And one more thing. We've also purchased a wireless electronic fence for the dog. The dog will wear a collar that recieves signals from the signal-giver-thingy (i don't know what it's called!), and as long as he stays within the marked boundaries, he's ok, but if he ventures out farther, he'll get a shock. (don't worry, it won't hurt him). we'll use this wireless dog fence to teach him his boundaries. that way we won't have the same problems with Brody that we did with Sachi. Some would argue that it's not the most humane way to train a dog, BUT this method is highly effective and only takes about 2 weeks to train him. We don't have any yard fences out here, and there's far too much trouble for a dog to get into around here...skunks, coyotes, cows, POACHER'S TRAPS, mountain lions, etc. The wireless fence is better than the alternative, which is losing you dog to a poacher's trap. Plus they are only supposed to be supervised when using the wireless fence. Brody will be fine.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good News!!

I'm so nice, right? I dress up my dog, for my own personal entertainment. lol. I have yet to get the dog to hold still to get a good picture of him. Yesterday the vet gave us a good report. He said that the dog is ok. He's been acting kind of sluggish because he's growing fast and his muscles are sore. So that's explains the issues with his hind legs. He reccomended a low dose of Asprin. So we are really happy. The dogs eyes are also ok. He has a bright pink spot around his eye because he doesn't have any pigment there, so it gets sunburned. We were kind of worried that something was wrong. But he's a good, healthy dog. So now my heart is very content.

Now he needs a name. Up until this point we've been calling him "dog" or "puppy". Nice, right? lol. I wanted the dog's name to be "Ninja" because it was funny, but then again, what if my dog turned out to be a ninja dog after all, and tried doing stunts like jumping out of the back of the truck on the highway (like Sachi did)? So I changed my mind. (Dogs as well as people tend to take on the characteristics of the name they are given. I have some friends who named their dog Samson, and the dog ended up tearing apart his dog house, as well as banging things against their own house. He also learned to climb walls. Needless to say Samson was probably not the best name) No destructive names for the dog. Then I thought I liked the name, "Basil" just because it was different, and somewhat silly. It meant "King". I could live with that. But alas, Joel and I have changed our mind again. So last night we were looking at a website for baby names to come up with a good name for the dog. Joel liked Japanese names like, "Haruki", but when I pictured myself standing on the porch calling the dog, I had to say no. I don't want to feel like I'm speaking a mouthful of Japanese when all I'm trying is call the dog. No, that wasn't a good name either. We have finally narrowed down our choices to "Brody" or "Rory". Brody means brother, and Rory means red king...both are nice, non-destructive names. We're having a hard time deciding. We like them both. What do you guys think? Actually what I really think, is that after you guys read this, you will probably think, "Wow, they are taking the entire name-thing a little too seriously!" Well, at least that's what my dad would probably think...because he named his dog, "Oggy-Doggy". Poor, poor dog.

One more thing. So last night as I was looking through the baby names website, it started to get me thinking. There were names like, "Hades" which means "sightless" or "Hell". People on there rated that name and some of them even named their child that. Why in the world would you give your child a name with such a terrible meaning. And then theres "Cameron." I've always thought it was a nice name, until I checked the meaning behind it. You know what it means? "Bent nose". So yeah, I've changed my mind. Not such a nice name after all. So all that to say, when Joel and I decide to have children, we're going to name them names with a strong meaning behind them. (And they're going to be nice names too) lol.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


So recently while I was teaching a piano lesson to one of my students, my student's parent and three-year-old sibling waiting in the living room. (I teach out of my house). I just happened to glance into the living room where they were waiting, only to observe the three-year-old walking around behind the entertainment center and the area where Joel's computers and various equipment were...while the parent just watched! Needless to say, I was not very pleased. A couple minutes later, I heard little footsteps in my bedroom, and to my horror, I caught the three-year-old walking out of my bedroom holding a football. As soon as he saw me, he stopped dead in his tracks. I gave him a silent look that said, "What do you think you're doing?!?!" He had a slightly timid look on his face, and seemed to be searching for a smile to appear on my face. It did not appear. Then he said, "I'm gonna pway wif dis," motioning to the football. I turned my attention back to the piano student that I was teaching. In the other room, I heard the child to say to the parent, "Come on, lets pway wif dis!" During the whole entire time, the parent did not correct the child once, at least as far as I could hear. I ignored the situation and continued to teach the lesson.

Ok. I have to say, this whole situation really, really bothered me. It irritates me that a parent would give their three-year-old child the freedom to roam around my house unattended. Honestly, I could care less about the child playing with the football, but it's the fact that he got it out of my bedroom, without supervision, or permission. It bothers me even more that the parent allowed this behavior. I don't expect a three-year-old to exactly know better, but the parent does, and the parent is responsible for teaching the children to behave apropriately. My house isn't exactly childproof. So I guess now I will keep my bedroom door shut while I teach that lesson. Perhaps the parent will get the subliminal hint. The only problem is that the shutting the bedroom door eliminates access to the bathroom. Oh well.

We're taking the dog to the vet today around lunch-time. We will soon find out whether or not we will be keeping the dog.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hold that thought

So yesterday I picked up the new puppy and brought him home. We like him. He's very sweet, and very calm. He's a very pretty dog. He also has two different color eyes. BUT we think that something might be wrong with him. We've done some reading and have found out that border collies have been known to have Hip Displasia
We've noticed that when the dog gets up from laying down, he gets up kind of akwardly, like an old dog will get up. Not only that, he doesn't jump, and doesn't run very much. So we're kind of concerned. Tommorrow we're going to take him to the Vet so he can get checked out. Unfortunately if it turns out that he does have some of these problems, we're going to have to give him back to the ranch. Sad news. But we really can't afford to care for a dog with serious medical problems. So, although we really really like him, we're not sure at this point if we're going to be able to keep him. I have to mop the kitchen today. I hate house training a dog. He's spending the rest of the day outside.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Just the Highlights

Happy Belated Easter. So this past weekend Joel and I went out of town (again) to spend Easter with my parents. Here's a couple of the highlights:
  • We brought a border colllie puppy from a ranch near us to give to my parents. We put the puppy in the back seat of the car and drove 5 hours to my parent's house...and he slept the whole way. What dog does that? My brother was so surprised and excited to have a dog at home again. Unfortunately, my father gave the poor dog the name of "Oggy-Doggy". Seriously.
  • Yesterday during church I was turning my cell phone on "silent" so it wouldn't ring in the middle of service if someone called. Everyone was standing in front of their seats and singing, including myself. As I turned around to put my cell back into my purse, I lost my balance and grabbed my seat's back with my right hand to brace myself. My right hand was also holding my cell phone. In the process of grabbing the seat's back I also managed to toss my cell phone two rows behind me!! It was hysterical. Fortunately I didn't take anyone out with my flying cell phone, but only because the family was just entering the row that I flung cell phone into. If it had been 5 seconds later, somebody would have had some bruises. Someone in the family was nice enough to hand my cell back to me, but I was so overcome with amusement for about the next 5 minutes, I had a difficult time concentrating on the singing portion of the service instead of being overcome with the giggles. The whole cell phone incident was definitely a "Michelle Moment". I have those from time to time.
  • Joel got a Stye in his eye. For real. He did. But it's going away now. I just thought you guys would enjoy this piece of information.
  • Joel also got some new shoes. I like them a lot. I think I'm more excited about him getting new shoes than he is. Getting Joel to buy shoes (and clothes) is like pulling teeth. Who knew that buying shoes for other people can be almost as exciting as buying shoes for yourself???
So as for today, we are getting our new puppy!! I'll be picking him up in a couple of hours. I'm very, very excited. But first I need to get some work done around the house so I can pay attention to this dog when we go pick him up.

Monday, April 2, 2007


I've had this thought swimming around in my head for some time, and I believe I've finally pieced my thoughts together in order to post a blog about the subject. I've seen this on several teenage girls' myspace : 4,000 Graphics and Pics
Here's what I think. I think that TRUE love is so much more than these silly actions listed above, like throwing pebbles at the girl's window, and kissing her in the rain (personally, I'd much rather if Joel kissed me on the porch instead of the rain). Love is so much more than what is listed in this silly quote.
True love is committing to, and marrying the person you are in love with.
True love is learning the art of compromise, when both of you do not agree on a situation.
True love is loving your spouse and helping them through a mental illness.
True love is loving your spouse despite their appearance (whether temporary or permanent).
True love is formed from a friendship.
True love is forgiving your spouse when they make a mistake, instead of constantly reminding them of it.
True love is UNSELFISH.
True love goes beyond even what I have listed. It's much deeper. I've only hit the tip of the iceberg.

Honestly, the quote that I've listed above is very "sweet." But that's not what love is all about. It's just not. To be honest, I think this quote has totally missed the mark. I think that society, as a whole, is much more in love with the "romance" of being in "love" and the "butterflies" in your stomach than actual LOVE. Unfortunately I've witnessed society chasing after things listed in the quote rather than LOVE. Love is so much more than the "sweet" things, and the "butterflies."

I think that chick flicks have falsely influenced society's definition of love, and specifically teenage girls. Chick flicks falsely portray what love actually is. And to be honest, I have yet to meet a guy who is actually like the guys we see in chick flicks. My husband recently stated that any guy who acts like the guys on the chick flicks only acts like that if they're trying to get the girl to have sex with him.

I love my husband, Joel, with my whole entire heart. He has exceeded my expectations, and has demonstrated true love and commitment to me even in our lowest moments. But I almost missed out on this relationship. I, too, have fallen victim to the unrealistic expectations of society's view and definition of romance and love. When we were dating, things did not happen the way they did in the movies. He didn't come and throw pebbles at my window because he wanted to sleep. He didn't kiss me in the rain, because he didn't want to get wet (and of course, I didn't either). But just because things didn't happen that way doesn't mean that he loves me any less. I almost missed out on this relationship because things didn't happen the same way they did in the movies. And I was confused. (yes, I really was) I kept questioning whether or not Joel was the right person for me because our relationship was not like the one in the movies. Fortunately, it's so much better. And thank God I realized this before it was too late.

True love is defined in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the well known, "Love" chapter.

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious.
Love does not brag, it is not puffed up.
It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.
It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

This passage is talking about how the Body of Christ (meaning the church) is supposed to treat each other, and love each other. Through this example we can learn how Christ teaches us to love our spouses as well.

So what's my point? My point is this: Don't let society and the media tell you what love really is. Love goes beyond the flirting, the "butterflies," and "warm fuzzies" you feel when you like someone. The quote that I have above is only a demonstration of superficial love. And if you chase after it, you will be disappointed. So I ask that you guys all do a little self-reflection. How do you view love? What does it mean to you? What are you wanting out of love? How much has the media effected your perception of love?

This has probably been one of the longest blogs I've written, and for those of you who have read the whole thing, I thank you for taking the time to read it. I want people to contemplate this issue of love, and evaluate what love really is.

Business Trips and Border Collies

I don't have much time at the moment, but I have a couple things to tell you

1. Joel went out of town last week on his business trip, I went to visit my parents. And the good news is that I survived. Joel and I have been married for over 2 years now, and have never been away from each other (with the exception of camp, youth convention, etc). I was really dreading being without him for so long.Yes, I know I'm pathetic. Anyway, everything turned out to be fine, and I survived being without my husband for one week.

2. We are getting a puppy!! That makes me happy, because I miss Sachi. So this will help. Plus, I won't be so nervous about staying home without Joel at night. We'll be getting our puppy next week. It's a 5 month old male border collie. We've been planning on getting a border collie, but I'm kind of nervous about it. Border Collies are known to have health problems. But after researching the health problems on the internet, I think that our dog will be healthy. The mother and father of the puppies are both very healthy. I'd explain more, but it's boring information, that I don't feel like taking the time to type out. I'm really looking forward to our new dog. I'm also convinced now more than ever that Sachi was part border collie, as well as blue heeler. The vet told us she was part border collie, but people have doubted us, but now after learning about the mannerisms of border collies, I'm convinced that she really was. (Just in case you guys wanted to know)