Thursday, November 27, 2008


happy thanksgiving to all! Hope you have grateful hearts and, I am sure, full tummies. We are eating at 5pm so i'm still trying to hold smells soooo good.

my travels were fun and uneventful. the train was lots of fun, roadtripping with Jay and Kristen (and Jay's mom!!) was also fun. we met Matt for dinner last night at the Side Door Saloon--amazing! It was a really cool place. The drive up north was long but not bad. The weather was nice and the roads were clear...but it was dark so i couldn't really enjoy the scenery. I will on sunday when we drive back down.

Grandma's is amazing. sigh. I love this house so much. It's still so strange that Papa isn't here when I visit. I am bombarded with a million wonderful memories of him in this place and it is hard to remember him gone. This morning I had coffee and "star toast"--a tradition. It was so good :)

today I set up Grandma's tree for her. It was wodnerful :) It is snowing big fluffy flakes and I love the view off the back balcony. Mmmm. Winter holiday's up here are wonderful.

I've been sitting in the warm living room sipping tea and working on homework all afternoon. I'm finally making some headway on this debate paper. hurray!

Eventually i will post pictures of Kristen's growing belly. It is SO CUTE and oh my goodness I love to touch it! haha. I feel the baby kicking around and it is sooo incredible. Gosh...

Alright. I should get going. More to read :) I hope you all are enjoying break and/or just simply enjoying this good day.
Love you, Friends!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

remembering when

its been pretty much impossible for any of us to keep motivated a couple days before thanksgiving break. seriously. last night none of us could focus on homework. I finally went back in my own room to tackle philosophy. about a 1/2 hr. later mariah came busting in "guess what we're doing?? come!!" BLANKET FORT!!!! Man oh man. It's been too long.
So we made a blanket fort in Sarah and Mariah's room.
Sarah looking through her ipod to find "childhood" music: "I can't find anything. i think i lost my childhood." We ended up listening to Nsync on Pandora. haha. what fun!!

for your benefit: blanket forts are highly conducive to studying.

this morning after breakfast I sat up in Joe's and looked at the Christmas tree. It's a big beautiful one with white lights (i like the simple). I can't wait to go home to ours!!! It's also supposed to snow today. Already it is sleeting...

tomorrow I am OFF! Ah. I am so ready to get out of the city for awhile. Joy and I are going to the train station together. I must say, I am super excited for a solo adventure on the trains. I love traveling :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

hot chocolate on a cold night

Mariah, Sarah, and I went down to Michigan Avenue tonight to watch the Festival of Lights. Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving all the Christmas lights on Michigan are turned on. There's a parade and a whole ton of people go out to watch it. It was super cold but we bundled up and it was fun.

1. Good friends :)
2. White lights in the trees
3. Funny people to watch
4. The cutest little girl who was so simply enjoying herself "isn't this the greatest parade? i saw mickey and minnie!"
5. A little boy in front of us on his dad's shoulders whose butt crack kept reappearing in our faces... pull 'em up!
6. Hot chocolate and marshmallows back in the room

It was a super fun night.
Now I am pooped. Just two more days and I will leave this city for a few days. Whew. I look forward to it. Hurray for a real home to spend thanksgiving in. I am blessed. I get to see grandma and uncle matt...and the sister and big brother...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We've been Elfed!!

I love my family :)

see the video here: The Childs' Elfed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


i really love thanksgiving. i think it might be my favorite holiday. i like it because it holds a lot of the joy of christmas traditions (home, family, grateful hearts, food...) but not all the gifts. it's less of a consumer holiday. i appreciate that. but at the same time there is the anticipation of christmas--there is an expectation of the Savior come. i still get excited and a little anxious. Less so over the "magic" and the gifts and more because of family and the hope that is Christ. what a remarkable time of year. and I've been thinking about the anticipation and expectation--how we celebrate a Savior COME but look forward to a Savior RETURNING. There is, even still, a hope in something coming. A kingdom coming that will replace what we see around us.... ah, so exciting!! There's a wonderful poem I wanted to post by Barrie Shepherd called "Advent Awakening" but I can't find it online. I'll keep looking. It's absolutely beautiful.

today grounds crew started putting up the red ribbon and christmas lights around all the light posts. It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see them at night :)

Mmm. I am dropping off my resume at an after school program in a few minutes--hopeful, hopeful!

I went to Trader Joe's today and saw a woman walking a dog that looked just like her. I love seeing pet owner and pet look-alikes. It reminds me of that one scene in 101 Dalmatians. You know the one...

I hope you enjoy the beauty of this holiday season! May grateful hearts overflow in prayer for a world that desperately needs Him. Out of our plenty, Lord, teach us to pray honestly and brokenly for those that have little. Work it into our hearts...

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's always nice and enlightening to meet with someone who will tell it to you like it is.

I spent time with Dr. De Rosset today. It's been awhile and so was nice to catch up. It was also hard...she tells it like it is. She really helps me identify things and recognize what i'm trying to put into words but can't articulate. Quote of the day: "Andrea, you need to lighten up." I suppose context matters but i don't feel like disclosing the whole conversation. It was kind of a smack in the face, though, because i get so caught up in myself and all that wanders in and out of my own head. It's easy to lose a true perspective and understanding of reality when you are the main voice to yourself. It is then super helpful to listen to older, wiser, trusted voices. I told mom that whenever I talk with De Rosset I come out thinking "it's really so much easier than I make it out to be." I am so grateful for her. I can't wait to have her next fall for message prep. Mmm!!

Am arranging things for a directed studies course in the spring with Dr. Schmutzer and other friends. It's going to be so wonderful, i think, and I am really just so very grateful for this opportunity!

Have been blessed to be going to Church in the City now. Finally. Last week after church we went out for lunch with Lacy's small group and ate together at Mark and Courtney's. Yesterday after the service Chris and Nancy invited us over for the most AMAZING pot roast. Sigh. A wonderful, home-cooked meal in a real house and hours of afternoon visiting. Good for the soul :) I've been missing this.

Looking forward to a slow week. Lots of the Theology and some Bible profs are out of town at a conference. That means lots of cancelled classes! woohoo. I look forward to time for "fun things," quiet hours of directed prayer, and diligent studying. I am in need of all three...

It's hard to believe I'll be home in less than a month! I see Jay and Kristen in a week! woohoo. Gosh, time goes by so stinking fast!!!

I forgot how cold it gets here. It's rather miserable, actually. bummer...

Alright. enough of my rambling thoughts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"I know what you need"

I like it when friends "know what you need."

Tonight I painted with Melinda. She's got much more than I do. I tried acrylics for the first time. And she has a bunch of small canvases. Mmmm. We hung out in Joe's for two hours painting and talking. It was wonderful. She was right...i needed the artistic release :) Mixed with good conversation. I'd say it was the perfect way to spend a Thursday evening.

I painted a bright red, orange, and yellow sun with bright green behind it. It's been grey here. It's going to be grey for a very long time... It definitely affects me. I feel sad, tired or depressed for no reason when it is consistently grey. Some days are harder than others. It sounds ridiculous. Almost laughable. But then when the sun comes out my disposition totally changes. Grrrr. So I painted a sun to hang on my wall. Already it makes me smile. It's to remember the gift of God's big beautiful ball of fire that is somewhere always out there--even if I don't see it for days on end. Sigh.

I think I'm going to read a book. I just had an apple with cheese. Yum. You know what I feel like?? I feel like running through a big, wide open field!! Spinning until too dizzy to stand and falling down to stare up at a big blue sky. Hm. I have a hunch that I am feeling suffocated in the city. haha. what gave it away?? Oh dear...

So. I am going to do a directed studies course next semester with Dr. Schmutzer. I am super excited about it. I'm meeting with him tomorrow AM--more details to follow.

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray for De Rosset's "Forbidden Knowledge" lit course. It's the first book i've been able to read all the way through this semester (b/c I'm auditing). I am so glad I read it. It's a really incredible book. I recommend you read it. It is, as De Rosset said, a dissection of the human personality. It is a case study of narcissism all the way--somewhat horrifying because it is pretty awfully a picture of our culture. Man...what a time we live in. The world has always been deeply steeped in sin and brokenness but do you ever have moments when you feel like you have just "woken up" to it? Or, at least, are awakened anew? This semester has been very revelatory for me in that sense...very much with regards to my own heart and life but also to the world at large--humanity large scale. Can you honestly deny the fact that something is ridiculously messed up and in dire need of a HOPE to live for?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Girls Day Out!

Making memories :) :)

Friday, November 07, 2008


Oh how grateful I am for encouraging, quality conversations.

I really, really love my friends :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

oh the things you hear

at the dinner table tonight i heard this from two of the brothers:

brother #1: "hey, when did you get a girlfriend?"
brother #2: "oh, sometime in the summer."
brother #1: "uh. cool."

i was rather disgusted. "get" a girlfriend? umm. yeah. that's really flattering. i'm sure that's what every girl be "gotten." its like getting a new pair of shoes or maybe even like buying a new toothbrush. oh wait, we get those in our stockings at christmas. darn...

sometimes watching "relationships" makes me feel ill. i just want to yell really loud: "grow up!" and sometimes the way guys talk about girls is disgusting. sometimes the way girls talk about guys is also disgusting. lately i've been feeling like I'm in junior high again. bleh.

my hands look like a dead person's

yep, its because i've been TIE DYING!! woot woot. I don't have gloves here and plastic bags only work so well before they get super irritating. so i am left with blue/purple/dead-looking hands. oh well...

I love tie dying. i did it in my room last night. I'm not entirely sure i'm allowed to but there is nothing obviously ruling the possibility out :) so I did. halfway through i did have a little freakout as I imagined what would happen if i accidentally bumped one of the bowls of die over. i would probably cry. Joy (who visited me :)) said i would sit down and cry in full recognition of the fact that i'd be "ruined." we laughed about it (with a shudder) and i successfully didn't make any kind of a mess!! The sweatshirt turned out amazing, i might add. something about tie dye...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Today is soup day.

It's supposed to snow on Saturday.

I'm excited.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Trees Ablaze

The trees along LaSalle are turning RED! I thought the best color was over with but I was definitely wrong. Everything started out yellow but now there are dark shades of burnt orange and red. i LOVE it. agh! So so beautiful. Honestly, I love autumn. It is glorious and I am so pleased to watch it come. It was 70 degrees today. I wore flip flops in November. Doubly pleased :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Old Testament Biblical Theology

It's a new passion. The class with Schmutzer has been phenomenal. The learning curve is high and, as he told me this morning, is intended to push and challenge. My foundations have definitely been rattled. I was very honest with him about where I am and what I am feeling--overwhelmed but deeply excited; full of joy but with enough "terror" to keep me sober. My eyes have been opened to a lot of "new" things through this class. I find myself asking "why don't I see this being taught from the pulpits and not just in academia?" He mentioned that I probably find myself asking why I was never taught the Bible this way. As I heard him say it my inner self screamed "that's an understatement!" I asked him what I ought to "do" now. I wrestle to respond well because I so desire a transformation that affects everyday life. He told me, basically, to hang tight till the end of the semester, as the course is heading in the direction of pastoral and practical application for the "life after" these 16 weeks. I always appreciate talking with him.

I also inquired about my next paper. We have to write a "contemporary theological address" on a topic of our choosing. I asked him how I could somehow incorporate the immanence of God--since its a topic our circles don't address, unless to warn against forms of pantheism or pagan religious thought. But how do we wrestle with the reality that God IS 1. transcendent but ALSO 2. immanent (in our midst; living among us). So anyway, I think I'm going to write something to the effect of: "Immanent Hiddenness: God's Presence in Suffering." We'll see how it hashes out. I want to invests a lot of time into this project. I went to the library and made some copies from Brueggemann's books. He says things so well. I don't agree with everything and am sure, as I read more, I will find more I do not hold. But all in all I appreciate his fresh and provocative use of language--that ultimately and rightly seeks to point the seeker to God. He unveils the glory of God in some really profound ways. I am anxious to do some of the reading and research for it...

Read a phenomenal chapter last night in Waltke's Old Testament Biblical Theology on Liturgy. It was so rich; so inspiring; so motivating; so NEW. I love that I am hot with wonder once I've read these pieces about Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Exodus. The books that everyone always shies away from. The books that are "boring" and so we are taught, from a young age, to skip over them. The books that form the foundation of God's covenant love for (and with) Israel. AH! As the riches of these stories are uncovered, I find myself wanting, thirsting for more. I told Schmutzer, "I leave your class wanting to go away and study MORE to learn MORE to discover MORE. How can I be a life-long student of the Bible while excepting the reality that I will not be a Biblical theologian" (in the most formal sense)? He recommended I invest in a few good books... I've added them to my list.

There's so much brewing in my soul these days. I feel that I am living, more than at any other time in my faith, in a very broken reality. I am broken in myself, broken over the state of the church, broken over the world. Ultimately, I am broken to God...and I find that this makes my days lived in a funny awareness of Him. I say funny because it isn't comfortable or easy. It is the sort of existence that is joy and sorrow; light and shadows; beauty and horror.

Today every time I went outside I couldn't stop smiling. It seems the trees have reached a new height of color. The reds and oranges are deep. It is as if the air itself is vibrant. I collected a handful of the best :) Something about the changing of the seasons feels like the world is trying to whisper something to the passerby. I can never quite catch it but it is mysterious and beautiful and I am blessed to be alive and grateful for the gift of enjoying such a spectacular world. Praise you, Lord, that you are redeeming this place and these people. The world is caught in curse, lagging behind the beauty of heaven. So we pray: THY WILL BE DONE, on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

We love you, though poorly, our faithful Lord.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

i think hot chocolate should stay brown

we've officially tried the halloween "witches brew" hot chocolate. It was WHITE powder (i think probably white chocolate) and then turned orange in the hot water. mmm. i think i'm partial to old-fashioned brown hot cocoa. this stuff sort of tasted like yaks milk. Or, as i put it, "milk from an animal" to which lacy flipped out. haha. yay for long study nights!
Alright, i have to get going. Here are some picture from the past few days.

i think people thought i was "in costume" but i wasn't. I just like my overalls. whatever. they can think what they want :)

lacy's halloween work (starbucks) costume.

to the books!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

i can't sleep. again.

It's weird. i FEEL like I drank caffeine but i didn't!! gggggrrrrrrr.

right now I want to live on a ranch. just for a while. I want my "fix" of mountains and cowboys and dirt and horses and wide open fields, plains....hmmm. think maybe I'm a little tired of living in the city? just a little...

Karen called me tonight when I was asleep. She left a message to say hi and that everyone at work misses me...they know i'm coming back soon for christmas and look forward to it. haha. oh man! Sometimes i get really nervous about working there this winter. Other times I get excited to see everyone again. It will be very different than this summer. and a whole lot busier. hmm.

today kyle baril came into town and we went for coffee. It was wonderful to spend a few hours with a good friend. there's a "comfort" in being with someone who has known you for a long time and with whom it is easy to talk to. it was a good visit.

i didn't do a single bit of homework today. i know--not good. but i just putsed around and it was nice. slept in, cleaned, hung out with kyle, talked with mom, worked on my scarf, organize, figure out loan stuff, etc. Odds and ends of things. Like the weekend b/c i feel like I am putting things "back in order" from a busy week before the new one begins. Mmm.

I really can't sleep. Maybe I should read...? I don't know. This is kind of frustrating!