Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MakerFaire 2007: Craft Adventures with Mel

Did I mention that I had a great time this past weekend with Mel at MakerFaire? It is a great festival of crafties and techies and for a few bucks you can learn a ton. It is very learning and education focused rather than purchase focused, which is nice because I am poor! Needless to say I was inspired. Now if I could just find the time to do the things I learned...

Another Genetic Half-Nephew!

Okay, I know I am ridiculous, but my other cousin just had a baby too! His name is Brody Daniel Patterson and he is a little chubby cherub. He weighs in at a little over 9 lbs! Here he is with my cousin Danny's wife Melissa and their cute daughter Adia. Babies everywhere. Unfortunately, I am stuck in Texas and they are all in the Midwest!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Update on our Life as of Late

I just finished what I believe to be the most ridiculous midterm I have ever completed. I wrote 24 pages. It was much too long (6 long mult-question essays), and several of the questions were yes/no questions. I was tempted to just answer with one word, even though I know that is not what the professor wanted. :) But the beast is complete and turned in, so I shall turn to more pleasant topics.

I had fun watching Marc laugh his way through a paper on Bob Jones Sr. and his impact in Christianity. Marc chose Bob Jones as his "impactful Christian" subject after I recounted tales from my History of Christian Higher Education class this past summer. His assignment was to choose an individual in Christianity and trace their impact ultimately ending with, "How would Christianity be different if he/she had never existed?"

Always the controversial one, my husband chose a flaming fundamentalist for his subject. Of course this is to be expected considering he wrote his Epistle in college to the Southern Baptist Convention. For an individual who claims to love harmony he is quite edgy!

I just found out that I am going to NODA in the last week of October. NODA (National Orientation Director's Association) is a great organization and I am praying that since the conference is in central Texas I will make some great future contacts with potential employers. I can hear my Dad in my head saying, "Yes! NETWORKING!!! She gets it!!!" Yes Dad, I get it. And thanks. :)

We found out recently that we will be able to go home for Thanksgiving. All the way back to good old SD! I am excited for the trip, especially because it will be the second time we have driven. The last time I swore it would be my last time, but apparently time heals all wounds. I am excited about the road trip and time with Marc. We seem to be revolving doors of homework, work, and meetings lately.

Well that may be enough of an update for now. We are happy here in Texas, but we long for the open prairie and beautiful sunsets of South Dakota.

I never thought I would miss winter so much. If you still live there consider yourself blessed. We have a treasure there that I never appreciated until now. As Quaker tradition states, "I will continue to hold you to the light."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Baylor Transfer Council Retreat

So I admit, it doesn't look like they are having much fun, but I swear they like me! This is from our BTC or Baylor Transfer Council Retreat this fall. We went to Latham Springs. It is a little campground about thirty minutes northish of Waco. Apparently it also runs alongside the Brazos river. When we went on our little nature walk we found a "little stream" that wound up being the Brazos. Pretty cool! So all of this is just to say how much I love BTC and being their advisor. They are all very down to earth and fun and they put up with me, so what more can I ask for? I am really starting to have a passion for transfer student issues and concerns. I don't know if this passion and interest stems from a little God nudge in this direction or if it is just for a season, but either way I am blessed to know these wonderful people and I hope that I can learn much more from them before the year is done. God is good!
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Make a Rock that Rocks: A Tutorial

Isn't this a pretty little rock? It is about 4 inches long and about 1 and 1/2 inches high. I love it! I found it at a craft fair at our little Czech festival in West, TX called WestFest. It was too fun to pass up. I suppose it will make one lucky friend in particular a great paper weight or a knick knack to sit on a shelf. Anyway, I think it would be easy to replicate with some easy steps. (Plus I cheated and watched the lady make some at the booth!)
1. Find a fairly smooth rock
2. Paint the rock with acryllic paints in whatever design you so choose.
3. Seal the rock with a spray or paint on sealant.
4. Give it to a friend and tell them, "You rock!"

Okay, so that was a little lame, but I've been working on a mid-term all day friends! Enjoy!
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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tutorial: Make Coasters from Old T-Shirt

So here is one cool idea that I got from a book on 101 things to do with a t-shirt. It is made by cutting up an old t-shirt into one long strip and braiding three strands together.

T-shirt Coaster
1. The easiest way I have found is to cut around the body of the shirt in a continuous loop. Kind of like people who can peel an apple in one piece. I usually roll it like a ball of yarn as I cut it. You need a suprising length to do a coaster, so make sure that you take that into acount. When I made the grey one I didn't have long enough strips, so I pieced on another strip. When you are done you cannot see that it was not a continuous strip.

2. Cut three long pieces of t-shirt "yarn" and tightly tie them together in a knot. Then start braiding! It is a great craft for during a long movie (or while my hubby is watching Yankees games).

3. Keep braiding...

4. Keep braiding...

5. You can see how far along you are by occasionally coiling it to see how big it is. When you get to the right size start with the knotted end and tightly coil a small amount and tack sew it.

6. When you get to the end, tuck the last part of the braid (unknotted) under the bottom side of the coaster and sew over the ends several times to be sure it will not start unraveling the braid.

7. I like to make a little flower to spruce it up a bit, but you don't have to. The flower is super easy and makes a great pin for a quick give away!

8. Cut 4 1 1/2 inch long pill shaped pieces of t-shirt. As you sew them on, scrunch the middle a bit to make the flower look more real.

9. When you are finished, make the middle of the flower look more finished by going over it several times with a contrasting thread color.

Isn't this fun?

It is really easy, and a great project! However, it takes a lot of time so consider it a study break thing that you can pace out throughout the week.

Proof That My Husband Pilfers Writing Utensils

Okay, so some of you were there in Kenya to experience this, but for those of you who were not, you should know that Marc is addicted to taking writing utensils. I know, it sounds almost unreal, but the man will literally pick up anything that writes and stick it in his pocket. It is usually later found somewhere on a shelf in our house. However, in Kenya we had a different issue. Truett has these great green pens that Kristen Richardson brought to give as gifts to people we met in Kenya. As a side benefit, we could use them to write in our journals when we were at the guesthouse. Marc would grab one and use it and then absent-mindedly bring it back to our room without thinking. It is a habit you know! So on the final night in Kenya I was doing clean-up of our room and packing our things. I noticed a few pens, but I am pretty used to his habit, so I just put them in a pile to give back. By the end of my cleaning session I had not one...not two... not four...but eight pens! And you should know that I have seen his journal and it is only a few pages long! :) So for all of those who laughed in Kenya at my silly hubby, and for others who have heard the stories, the bandit struck again! This is what I found while cleaning today. :) I love that guy!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Remembering Who We Are: A People Set Free

On Sunday, Sharon Dowd preached at church. She is our pastor for community outreach. Her message was a challenge to the Church to be more real, because we are a people set free. Here are some highlights that I think are germane.
  • "...if the gospel is true at all, it has to be true for people who are stuck in slavery to habits and addictions and circumstances that suck the life out of them. A gospel that is good news only after you die is not very good news."

  • "What God may have done thousands of years ago may be interesting, but desperate people want to know what God has done lately."

  • "Nice is not good news because it is not true. Nice doesn't set people free. What sets people free is truth."

  • "Those nice religious people are just like us. They can't hear the good news of freedom because they don't think they need it."

  • "Unbelievers are not the only people in bondage. Religious people are also in bondage."

  • "For most of us, the way to freedom and life runs through the valley of the shadow of death--death to hiding, death to control, death to carefully cultivated self-concealment. But hey--those things are killing you anyway, so what do you have to lose? It doesn't really take much faith to swap the dead weight you're carrying for the life that Jesus offers you."

My Desperate Attempt at Aunt-hood

I have a new genetic/non-genetic half nephew! Confused?

My Dad is a twin. His identical twin brother is Tim. Tim has two sons, Andy and Danny. Andy is married to Sara. He is technically genetically my half-brother (our Dad's have the same genes - not jeans). A while back they adopted Josiah who is now three, and the cutest kid that ever was! They also just adopted Isaiah who is brand new, and the cutest baby! Thus I have a brand new genetic/non-genetic half nephew!! Hey, when you are an only child, you take what you can get, and I think they are pretty darn cool!

Here is a picture of the happy family! I wish I was in Sioux Falls right now!!!

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