Friday, December 31, 2010

three weeks; eleven documentaries

recently, i have developed a new love for documentaries...i used to think that they were boring especially since we had to watch them in history classes all the time, but it turns out that not all documentaries are black and white films about war narrated by monotone voices (if they can be called that); some can be quite interesting.

it all started when Leeza and i literally had nothing better to do. now Leeza had already discovered this new realm of entertainment and lured me in with an intriguing film about a young french tight rope walker who decided to walk across the twin towers when they were first built. the documentary recorded his story of love, fear, and determination in such a stressfully captivating way that when we stopped midway for a dinner break, i could not stop wondering about how the story would end. we never did finish man on wire that night because the next day we all went away for christmas break.

during break, i found myself scouring netflix for interesting documentaries leaving myself with a list eleven films long. now i stay up late watching documentaries such as food matters, september issue, and the business of being born. i can't help it really; i mean, how can you blame me for choosing to watch interesting, informative films when i'm cooped up in a quite house with no where to go and nothing to do?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas in the city

there's no where as crowded as san francisco during christmas (or at least no where that i visit). people hustle about trying to squirm their way through the groups of people who crowded the sidewalk in order to catch a glimpse of the macy's windows adorned with pines, presents, and puppies. there are lights on all the buildings and trees in every square. ice-skaters try not to slip as they scoot cautiously around the edge of the ice rinks in union square and embarcadero. people talking and laughing as they stumble into others who are doing the same; neither paying any attention as to where they are walking. red sweaters and green scarves; warm mittens and fuzzy hats; sparkling eyes and rosy noses all told us that the christmas season had arrived. although...in my heart, i felt as though christmas had come and gone...as though someone had simply left the decorations up a bit longer holding on to the last fragrance of yuletide before new years arrived.


video

Thursday, December 23, 2010

home...

christmas at simpson continued on past the decorations and into parties and gift exchanges. i have never enjoyed this season as much as i have this year. there was more exhilaration in giving, more thought in preparing, and more freedom in creating traditions...it felt like home...

in the last four months, i've felt more consistently loved than i have ever felt before. i am continually reminded that i belong here, that i am wanted here in the simpson community, in the irwin community...even in the stress of finals, there was a communal sense of love and appreciation for each other as sisters. so much so, that now as i sit in a room in my aunt and uncle's house that i used to call mine, i feel...homesick...

i have felt this heartache only a few times before...the loss of missing specific people, specific communities; even recently with the transition from day camp to simpson, which was difficult at first, as is any major transition. i needed someone who knew my heart, with whom i could talk things through with out being judged because she understood where i was coming from, but i didn't have that right away, so of course it was difficult...but some how it wasn't the same...or maybe...it was               i don't know -

is it possible to have more than one home? ...
... is it possible to feel as though the places you grew up never nourished you enough to be worthy of the "home" title? if so, then what is home..? what does it mean? is it simply a place where one lives? a place where family resides? - who makes up a family? are biological relatives to be considered a family simply because they share the same genes? what if a different community is more loyal, more loving, more nourishing? should they be considered your family?


              i don't know...



but i do know:

home is where you feel loved simply by being in the presence of those who understand your heart
home is where others pour into you everyday with encouragement so that you are built up to do more great things
home is where it's safe to be who you are and share your emotions without being scared of judgement
home is where others notice and appreciate your qualities
home is where people differentiate between your "i'm fine" and "i'm fine"
home is where your heart explodes with joy because finally, finally ... you. are where. you. belong

no whiteboard = no problem

twas the night before christmas,
when all through the dorm
two residents were sneaking
and caused quite a storm.

leeza slept quietly
tucked in her bed
while amy and marci
hung snow over head

then somewhere outside
with a bang! and a smash!
came a giant snowman
with a warm, crocheted sash.

amy and marci
didn't what to do;
so they woke leeza up
and gave her a shoe.

now leeza, so sleepy
could barely think
but she crawled out of bed
and gave them a wink


"don't worry a bit.
he's friendly indeed;
just give him a cookie;
your fright will recede."

"oh leeza!" they said,
for their fear was quite gone;
"let's bake him some cookies
before he is gone!"

so they baked and they baked
the whole night through
'til he ate them all up
and loved them, it's true.

then marci and amy
gave leeza a hug;
sent her back into bed
and tucked her in snug

they tiptoed back to their
rooms oh so warm
to dream up some dreams
about their favorite dorm

but before they could sleep
they heard Snowman exclaim
"these cookies are fabulous,
they could bring fame!"

then the snowman waved
as he walked out of sight
And he yelled "merry christmas,
and to all a good night!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

leeza's whiteboard poem




Dear Leezy Weezy Sheezy Speezy Leezy...yay, that was fun.
no really a ton!
you're out eating sushi,
which we think is mushi.
there are no RAs here,
the coast is clear,
so we're gonna scream like banshees
in only our panties.
we'll light up a candle,
we hope you can handle
all that we do tonight.

we're sad you're not here,
the dark we do fear;
our wishes for you to be back are sincere.
we're gonna go bake,
lots of yummy confetti cake.
we'll watch movies and cry,
but when you get back here they'll dry,
and we'll party hardy tonight.

you missed out on a lot,
but we'll save you a spot...
...
...on the couch...?...
we give up!

♥ marci and amy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the night it snowed

have you ever had those days that are just great even though nothing spectacular happened...? you know, those days where all feels right with the world...? that's what happened the night it snowed...

the Christmas season has arrived at Simpson University. rosy cheeks smile brightly out from behind tightly wrapped scarves; Christmas music is heard from every dorm; but the best indications of the Christmas season are the decorations. snowmen, penguins, lights, nativity scenes, and my personal favorite snowflakes, which is slightly ironic since i don't care much for snow...

i decorated my room with snowflakes and ornaments hanging from the ceiling...


and during study break, Amy and i decided that it would be fun to hang snowflakes from the ceiling on our floor...


we stayed up a little late...and when i'm up a little late, i start to get a little hyper...after creating twenty some odd snowflakes Amy and i thought it would be fun to make it snow on Jen Stevens while she "desked," so we waited for her to come back from making her "rounds" and started dropping the snowflakes two-ish at a time on her until they were all gone. when we went down to pick the freshly fallen snow up, Jen decided to "write me up"


after writing me up, she talked Amy and i into letting her keep three of the snowflakes, but as soon as she went into her room, we sneaked back down the stair and stole them leaving a note that said "We Win <3" ...we gave them back of course =D

all in all it was a simply wonderful night

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leeza's last hours as a teenager aka. most epic study break ever



i'm sitting in my room with my window and door open to create the most efficient wind tunnel through my half of the room while working on my faith and culture project that was taking much more time than necessary when i hear about twenty people singing "party in the usa" in my living room...naturally i walk outside to see what is going on only to be accosted by a nerf dart to the head. before i knew what was going on, Leeza had handed me a nerf gun and i was chasing (and being chased by) my roommate Nicole all around the hole in our living room floor. after dodging and ducking and dashing out of the way of flying missiles for a good amount of time, we were unfortunately out of ammo. by the time we collected all the darts to refill, Jen Irwin had become a human target standing in the middle of the second floor living room. it didn't take long for her to come join the rest of us upstairs which consisted of Nicole, Leeza, Wendy, and me. (what i had earlier thought was twenty people singing actually turned out to be just Wendy and Leeza). after a half an hour we began to calm down a bit realizing that the imminent quiet hours were drawing closer and closer towards us.

Leeza hadn't eaten dinner yet; so i procrastinated my project further by accompanying her to winco. when we arrived back home we realized that it was only an hour and a half until her birthday. so while i worked on my project, i set my alarm for two minutes before twelve; so i could be the first to wish her a happy birthday in person. :)

ten minutes later, i finally finished my project only to realize that i had a world civ test still to study for... so i joined a few of my friends in the surprisingly full student lounge to study and eat taco bell (we did more eating than studying) which of course ended in this video:



video

Monday, November 15, 2010

two years of victory - yea, Jesus!


two years ago i had one of the most important conversations in my life. though i no longer remember all of the details of the conversation itself, the results of it are still evident in my life today.

during the month that proceeded the conversation, i had struggled with post traumatic stressed disorder and severe depression with which i didn't know how to cope; therefore, i had begun to harm myself as a way of coping with the emotional pain. on november 14th, 2008, after the afore mentioned conversation, i decided to stop...it wasn't easy...in fact, it was one of the hardest struggles i've faced since i was nine years old, but it was a necessary struggle for which i am very grateful.

thank Jesus for two years of victory!

Monday, November 8, 2010

spontaneity makes good weekends GREAT

so it's after church and we're hanging around talking with nothing really to do when Eva mentions that she's going to Chico to go shopping...WHAT!?!?! Emily and i looked at each other and both asked "do you have room in your car!?!??" she was unsure since she was going with two other people but we still had hope, but when we arrived back on campus we found out that the driver might have to bail; he said it might be an hour before he knew for sure whether or not we could go. naturally, Emily and i started getting our crochet gear ready to wait out the hour. just as we were about to sit down Eva and Sorcha run in yelling "let's go to Chico!" hurriedly we grabbed our coats and purses and headed for the car. during the car ride it dawned on me, "my brother lives in Chico!" so i called him up. YEA! he was free =D so when we arrived in the wonderful land of Chico with better stores and more things to do than Redding, we met up with Capo and, after grabbing some coffee from the naked lounge , which in fact had no naked people in it, and visiting the national yoyo museum, we headed to the mall.

Sorcha and Eva were on a mission to buy Dustin some new clothes and Emily was interested in looking around at boots and scarves...so after spending a good amount of time in forever 21 Capo and i decided to take a walk to catch up. it was great to see him and hang out. after a little while, though, he needed to leave and the mall started closing and we started getting hungry. i was ready to grab some food and head home, which we did...at least...the grabbing food part.

the night before, Sorcha and Eva had gone to dinner with six other girls at the home of a family who supports Simpson in prayer. while there, they met some really nice guys who also happened to live in Chico. apparently, they had told them that if they were ever in Chico they'd visit them...so we did. they were really nice and kind of nerdy so it was fun hanging out with them, but by 9:40 we were ready to leave.

we searched for starbucks for a little while...didn't find one...and after going on the freeway, changing our minds an coming back off the freeway a few times, we stopped for gas finally leaving Chico a little past 10

all the way home we had good conversations getting to know each other well. then when we came to anderson we stopped at a sonic =D all in all great day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

breakfast at midnight

breakfast is a wonderful meal. it gives you energy to start the day and it simply tastes good. it tastes even better when it's free... at midnight...YES!

it's true. the whole campus last night stayed up until midnight (which didn't take much work since most of us would be awake anyway) and filing into the caf to eat french toast sticks, hash brown patties, bacon, and eggs the food that we normally complain about suddenly tasted so much better...it also seemed to give us more energy than normal...

before breakfast i had been diligently working on my busy work homework for my biblical backgrounds class, but after breakfast i was too energized to continue working on meaningless summaries that never get tested on or even read by my professor. instead Glori and i sat in the lobby until 3 in the morning watching youtube videos and practicing hip hop moves...

breakfast at midnight = success

crazies come out at night

halloween is the oddest of holidays; people dress up as the crazy freaky people that we all avoid during the rest of the year or as super heroes that we all wish existed but are too proud to admit it. we strive to scare everyone who comes in our path and we ourselves seek out situations in which to be scared. we teach our children not to take candy from strangers but one day a year we take our kids door to door threatening to do a trick if strangers don't give us candy. what an odd day, but i love it. i love dressing up and seeing all the little robots, ladybugs, and tinker-bells. i love hearing the singsong "trick-or-treat" from the high pitched voices of elementary school children. i love getting free candy that i and my friends eat every night for weeks in order to give us just the sugar high we need to stay awake in order to finish all of the homework we left to start until ten at night because we knew we had the candy to keep us awake. this halloween was the best so far. maybe it was because i'm in college and was able to actually go out and do something, maybe it's because i went to two halloween parties therefore was able to dress as two different characters, maybe it's because i was able to go "trick-or-treating" and dancing in the same night, or maybe it's because someone said i dance like a gangster...





irwin's 2nd floor halloween party




halloween trick-or-treating




after the dance party




justin bieber's #1 fans

Monday, November 1, 2010

Glori's birthday kidnapping



Glori's birthday arrived faster than we had anticipated. suddenly it was the night before and we needed to come up with something amazing. we had thrown a couple of ideas around for a few weeks so we had a pretty good idea that we were going to kidnap her and take her somewhere then once we came back and she was sleeping we were going to decorate the room...but how would this all play out...

earlier that day Glori informed us that she would be attending a Jazz concert at shasta college and wouldn't be back until nine at which point she would have to report to drama practice until eleven. she was pretty bummed about the practice, but it was perfect for us. as soon as she left we began devising and scheming; scheming and devising.

first we decided to go to winco for supplies. we bought streamers, silly bands, martinelis sparkling cider, dark chocolate, kit-kats, and to top it all off a piƱata. then we went to walmart and bought a tiara and HSM curtains for her window. we were set.

we then hurried back to the room only to wait for Glori's return. at exactly 11:50pm Emily left the room to wait for the rest of us. sequentially Lexi and i made excuses to leave the room only to join Emily up in my room where we had hidden away our ninja clothes. we dressed quickly then rushed into the room screaming and yelling as all ninjas do and as we blindfolded Glori we took her out the door and into the parking lot where she was shoved (gently) into a car and driven around campus for a while. meanwhile, Adrianna and i hurriedly decorated the room with streamers and the pinata. I left to rejoin the others while Adriana polished the room with the final touches.

the car slowed down and i jumped in the back next to a confused Glori, who didn't realize that i wasn't with them in the first place, before we journeyed off to Denny's. we had such a wonderful time eating and fellowshipping, but the night wasn't over yet.

we took her back to the fully decorated room where goodies awaited her. before bringing in the cake from the kitchen we decided to put in the candles and light them up. it wasn't until after she blew them out when we remembered we weren't supposed to have candles in our rooms. hurriedly i ordered "Open the window!" and held the cake and smoking candles outside while the other girls blew on the fire extinguisher to make sure it didn't go off. we then toasted with the cider.

all in all a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

best weekend since moving - part 3

sunday came along with buckets of rain. i don't know if you know this but there's not much to do in Redding when it's raining. Uncle Ken, Aunt Jewel, and i decided to go to Target, and Barnes and Noble, and Michaels just hanging out and picking up a few things that i needed. eventually we found ourselves down town walking the abandoned streets in the rain. as we walked we stumbled upon an indoor kart racing facility called need 2 speed. it looked like so much fun. adults could drive the karts up to 45mph. the prices were a little high though at 23 dollars a race unless you're a lady who goes on a thursday night :) then it's only 10 dollars. anyway, we eventually made it back to campus and said our goodbyes, which were a little hard, but Jen Irwin was there to give me a hug and remind me of the Irwin mini-retreat.

the retreat was a complete blessing. a small group of us Irwin girls got together at vineyard church to worship, fellowship and eat together. our wonderful RA's and SRD provided us with hand massages, manicures, and great fellowship. then came a wonderful dinner complete with fresh pineapple. i am so thankful to be in a place where i am loved even when i don't always realize it.

best weekend since moving - part 2

after Tiger and Capo headed back to chico, my aunt and uncle arrived and took Emily and me out to dinner at Olive Garden. apparently since i've been gone, they bought a neew-used 2003 honda crv. it took me quite a while to get used to. it was fun to eat with them and hear their silly jokes. while we sat at the table waiting for our food, i balled up my straw wrapper and through it at my uncle; a few moments later my aunt shot her straw wrapper at me and hit me in the neck. i saw that there was one straw left that no one was using so i ripped off the tip of the wrapper and waited for the prime moment to strike. finally our meal came to a close and as we waited for the check with full, happy bellies i picked up the straw and shot the wrapper off in one swift blow. it was beautiful it flew fast past Uncle Ken soaring across the room barely missing a waitress and her tray only to hit a twelve year old boy in the cheek. i burst into laughter with my head on the table as the boy blushed with his father's teasing about a college girl flirting with him.

after dinner, my aunt dropped us off at the mall where we met Eva, Emily S., MiKayla, Sierra, and Katie. we had a great time shopping for warm coats, moccasins, and sales items. i got a brown pea coat, warm fuzzy moccasins, an o'neil tank top, a purple dress, and the most wonderful pair of reversible shorts ever. all in all, it was a good night.



best weekend since moving - part 1

this past weekend was by far the best weekend i've had since moving to Redding. Tiger Lily and Capo came to visit, my aunt and uncle came to visit, and Irwin had a wonderful mini-retreat at Vineyard Church.

once i realized that all of these events were happening in one weekend, friday evening just couldn't come fast enough. i attended my one class at 8 o'clock friday morning not knowing what to do with the rest of my extra time before my beloved friends came so i proceeded to clean the entire dorm room...that should take up a lot of my time right? wrong. our room is barely the size of a normal bedroom and i only live on half of it. this along with my advanced cleaning skills from all of my camp training cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms, kitchens, and meeting rooms with quick efficiency meant that vacuuming the entire room, cleaning the counters, wiping down the sinks, sanitizing the toilet, and scrubbing the shower along with putting away my laundry only took 45min. i still had all day to wait and the anticipation in my stomach continued to grow. whenever i get stressed or anxious, i have found that it helps to make something or do something to make someone else happy; therefore, i decided to make cookies. my roommate Nicole and i took three hours to cut, bake, and decorate two dozen sugar cookies, during which time we enjoyed talking to each other and anyone else who randomly walked through the kitchen.

finally they arrived to pick me up and we headed over to Freckles house stopping first at the local holiday market to pick up some salad and garlic bread. when we arrived, Freckles greeted us with fresh cooked spaghetti. it was so great to be with people who know me and love me just as i am, people with whom i don't feel the need to prove myself to, people with whom i can talk about any thing with. though the time was short and i didn't have a chance to talk to them about all that has been on my heart recently, the time we spent together watching sixteen episodes of how i met your mother was refreshing just like the rain that poured outside...

Monday, October 18, 2010

looking good, fellas

picture this: it's saturday night after a dance party under a black light - our endorphins are high because we've just been dancing so we want to go do something - anything...not knowing what to do but wanting to do something fun...we suggest a number of awesome ideas such as driving the four hour drive to Santa Cruz in order to get some Farrel's doughnuts and driving the four hours back only to return by 6am, but that's a little unrealistic at the moment because it's parents weekend and we wouldn't want anyone to be too tired the next day to hang out with their parents so instead we decided to go to taco bell and winco to get some food...not as cool but at least we would be off campus. we pull into taco bell's drive through lane only to realize once we were at the window that no one actually wanted anything...what do we do?!? do we just back up? do we pull forward and pretend like we know what we're doing? after an awkward pause with us whispering in the car about this awful issue and the order taker lady saying take your time a couple of times letting us know that she was annoyed with our indecisiveness, i, out of nowhere, yell cinnamon twists! i'll have cinnamon twists! then Emily says and a dr. pepper! we paid and pulled out of there laughing at why we even got in line in the first place. finally we park and enter winco. once inside we realize that it's now sunday therefore it's now Tess' birthday so what do we do? we sing to her as loudly as possible in the middle of winco...duh ;) because of our odd hyperness everyone we pass in winco stops to say happy birthday. then as our two car loads of unsuspecting college girls discuss whether to buy cupcakes or not, a group of guys pose near us as abrocombie models. we burst out laughing then ask them to take a picture with Tess and we video tape them singing to her. on our way out we see this 50 cent mustache dispenser so of course we all bought some and put them on for a small photo shoot. on our way out some guys on their way in complimented, "looking good, fellas!" we arrived back in time to show our RA our newfound facial hair =] what a great college night

Sunday, October 17, 2010

fish sitting

video

we fish sat our RA's fish alejandro and we couldn't help but make this video.


Friday, October 15, 2010

children see. children do.


my psych professor showed this in class today as an example of observational learning. i thought it held a very powerful message about how children need good role models; not that people will be just like their parents, i of all people disagree with that thought process the most, but parents and other role models in children's live do have a huge impact on kids. i know this to be true because i've seen it; i myself have experienced it. no matter what we do we have an impact on someone because people are always observing us even if they do it subconsciously. the fact of the matter is are we going to let our impact on them be negative or positive....?



let's make our world more like this by being positive examples

Friday, October 8, 2010

the two of us

so Glori and Lexi went to Ashland this evening without Emily and me...that's okay we'll just order pizza. ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

finally...

when i awoke this morning, the weather was actually nice enough for me to put on a sweater, and as i walked outside my dorm into the shocking cold (as shocking as cold can get during early october in redding) with "sleepyhead" playing in my ipod, i was reminded of the beautiful Mount Hermon mornings where i had to go out into the fog wearing shorts and a swimsuit...the nostalgia was overwhelming as i heard birds chirping and leaves rustling. how i miss the santa cruz foggy mist that dissipates just in time for our activities (or at least on the good days). i had forgotten how wonderful layers were and how nice the feeling of toms hugging my feet keeping them snuggly and warm on a cool day rather than sweaty and sticky was. i had forgotten the thrill of the cool air piercing through my burgundy sweater (which Heidi says compliments my hair rather nicely) only to sting my skin in such an odd refreshing manner causing me to smile like a fool as i walk to the caf to enjoy a sarah lee bagel smeared with cream cheese and a cup of coffee, though here it is not in a dixie cup. the only things missing are the smells of the tall redwood trees, the tired but encouraging smiles of my dearest Day Camp family, and the sounds of children excitedly waiting at the gate for us to scream and yell as we run out to greet them. there is no Mrs. Pulmucheck waiting to be awkened, there are no lanyards to start, no songs to sing, no skits to perform; yet somehow in this short moment, fairly empty of the things that most consistently bring me joy, there is a small reminiscent happiness that permiates my body and soul bringing me back to my Mount Hermon home where God's peace and love are so evident, so tangible that i can hardly move for being consumed by it...how i long to be there, but for now i will enjoy being here; i will enjoy my responsibility to community, my responsibility to show this campus God's love as seen in that place in the serene, misty, joyful santa cruz mountains

Sunday, October 3, 2010

redding heat = professors treat us to jamba

so... it was almost 106 degrees outside and i had to go to walking class, not only did i have to go to walking class but i wasn't feeling well either, so of course i thought...i'll just skip today, but i thought better of it and decided to go anyway, which was probably the best decision i had made all day. when i arrived in front of the gym where my class of eight meets every tuesday and thursday, our professor Pam informed me that she was going to treat us to jamba juice and we were going to walk in the mall because it was so hot outside. YES! but the story doesn't end there. while we were walking we went into almost every store so we didn't have to simply walk in circles around the mall. when we walked into american eagle, the salesman asked us what we were doing. upon our response he quickly informed us that we must leave his store because it will mess up the count of customers in and out verses how many actually buy something. Pam was so flustered that we simply walked out of the store and went into jc penny's. i love simpson!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

most disappointing class

So I’m sitting in Biblical Backgrounds bored out of my mind…this was the class that I was most looking forward to, the class that was going to stimulate my interest toward the Jewish culture and geography in which Christ grew up so that I could better understand his teachings; instead, I’m listening to Dr. Schaffer talk about his various trips to Jerusalem and how once when he walked in Hezekiah’s tunnel the water was up to his armpits. Is this really what I have to sit through? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that we have the freedom to study God’s word but it would do the school some good to get a professor who will make it interesting rather than boring us with bird trail after bird trail and cheesy joke after cheesy joke then rushing through all the information because he spent to long describing the pictures from his previous trips…well at least I have Emily and Lexi to keep me somewhat sane

sunflowers and toms shoes




Nova's wedding was beautiful! i was so very merry happy to be a part of the celebration! the ceremony took place in an adorable outside grass amphitheater at Nova's church in willows. above the theater streams of white gossamer fabric formed a lovely canopy beginning from a hanging ring in the center streaming out to the edges of the wooden frame that gave the theater a feeling of transparent walls. from the frame hung various artistic windows some still containing glass others with the glass broken out. her bridesmaids wore different dresses though all of them contained a sunflower yellow to match the flowers in their bouquets. in addition to the yellow dress all of the bridesmaids wore cream toms while the groomsmen wore grey toms. Joe Allen (the Day Camp director) performed the ceremony. Nova had a little struggle getting the ring on Cian's finger but once she succeeded she threw back her arm with a motion that said "yes! i did it!" after they said their vows they had communion together as an act of worship. then they kissed and we were introduced to the new couple of Mr. and Mrs. Cian and Casey Moroso! i so thoroughly enjoyed their wedding that i decided i would like mine to be very similar.

after the wedding we drove to the reception site in the orland fair grounds. the tables were decked out in white table cloths with sunflower center pieces and chips and salsa. for dinner they served us wonderful Mexican fajitas and fruit with cupcakes to follow for dessert. the cupcakes had frosting dipped in chocolate with a raspberry on top and were absolutely delicious. then came the toasts. one from the best man; then one from Tiger Lily. she told of her memory of their Nova and Cian's meeting and how they liked each other from the start. then Bethany (Nova and TL's little sister) stood and read a letter from Nova's best friend Sara who could not be there because she was in China teaching English. when the toasts were over, the bride and groom danced for the first time as a married couple followed by the father-daughter dance to the song "Cinderella" by michael w. smith and the mother-son dance. once these touching moments had come to a close, we hit the dance floor. Nova and Cian did a great job choosing traditional wedding songs as well as hip-hop songs for us to dance to. they only threw in a couple slow songs at which point i went for "a drink" since Breck wasn't there and he's the only guy i've ever danced with. then it was time to say good bye to the happy couple.

it was such a wonderful time of fellowship and celebration. after which we headed back to the church to hang out, watch heavy weights and sleep. what a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

in anticipation for Nova's wedding

this weekend held blessings galore. first of all Freckles and i attended a football game in anderson with some amazing young life leaders (of which Freckles is one). i had felt a little uneasy about going to the game, but once we arrived and began conversing with those there, i soon forgot my apprehension and had a good time talking about Fin getting kicked off the football team on Glee and what some of us want to do in the future and different ways to cover up poop smell (my recommended way is to use "trap-a-crap," an incense oil intended to be sprayed in the toilet before use which blocks odors from ever leaving the water). when the time came for Freckles and i to continue our trip to chico, the director of our young life division asked me to consider and pray about becoming a young life leader. to be honest, i was shocked and highly honored that she would suggest the idea to me. being in a semi-leadership position over those who are barely younger than me is somewhat intimidating, but as i thought about it more and talked about it with Munchkin later that night, i realized that i am in a good position to be a friend and role-model to high schoolers because i was so recently one of them; i remember what high school was like and can relate easily to the demands and stresses they are facing. While i'm not yet ready to fully commit, i will be attending more young life events with Freckles to see if this may be a good fit for me.

the ride from anderson to the chico area held even deeper blessings. as people often do during car rides, Freckles and i talked to each other, but as some people often forget, with intention of getting to know one another on a deeper level by asking meaningful questions about our stories and our lives. i quickly learned to love her even more than i already had, and i look forward to developing our friendship even more.

finally we arrived at the reception site where we were greeted by Mrs. Vader, Bro, Slider, Spike, Capo, Munchkin, and Tiger Lily. when i saw them i became so anxious and overwhelmed with excitement about finally seeing them after waiting for so long that i told Freckles that i didn't think i could handle getting out of the car. after greeting everyone individually ending with a long awaited hug from Tiger, i could feel myself shaking; so after Mrs. Vader and Tiger left i, in an effort to calm myself down, went to the bathroom, but...the lights weren't working so all the boys rushed to fix the lights while i sat on the floor next to Munchkin which helped me calm down more than being alone would have anyway.

that night while we protected the reception site, the boys and Freckles caught up outside while Munchkin and i had some quality one on one talk time. it was good to catch up with her and be loved by her in a tangible way. i missed her so much that just being near her was relieving.

the next morning, we made our way to Capo's house in chico to wait for the wedding at four. while the boys played video games, Munchkin took a shower, and Freckles went to lunch with Pondy people, i watched the movie accepted, which i thoroughly enjoyed.

Finally the time came for us to go to the wedding.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

i'll start that tomorrow

video

i decided to try to get all of my homework done on friday before the wedding...so i woke up and went to class...then i decided that i should take a short break from school work before going to chapel so naturally i began a friendship bracelet...and that's where it all down hill

Sunday, September 19, 2010

new toms

a couple weeks ago a fabulous friend of mine informed me that she was going to send me some spending money; so, of course, the first thing i did was find an awesome pair of toms.



of course, once i had my heart set on them, the online store wouldn't allow me to order them. i wasn't going to give up that easily. i searched all over the internet for them but most sites simply linked back to the toms site. i was pretty dissappointed until Lexi came up with the best idea ever!

Lexi suggested that i buy a pair of white or cream toms and draw on them.




Lexi, being artistic, did most of the coloring.










Glori and Emily colored too, but i didn't get a picture of Emily.




i put words from my favorite e. e. cummings poem on them =]



Here they are done!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

this is one of my many silly adventures here at SimpsonU:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

sleepyhead

last night, after spending most of the day studying, i decided that it was finally time for my new friends to hear my favorite study / dance song. i was unsure as to how they would react since it is kind of electronic and quirky, so i smirked quietly as i watched their faces react with curiosity as passion pit sang out "sleepyhead". when the song ended, there was a few seconds of silence before Lexi asked with a smile, "can we listen to that again?"

we listened to it for a second time, which was the first of a long string of repeats. they loved it! we danced to the song over and over again until Lexi thought of the best idea ever: we hooked my computer up to Glori's speakers and blasted the song out the open window to see how people walking by would react. a few people began to look around slightly confused before deciding to ignore it.

my favorite reaction, though, came from our SRD (student resident director) Marissa. as she walked by she heard the music and immediately found which room it was coming from only to see us dancing around like silly college girls. a huge "yes-those-girls-are-awesome" smile cracked her face as she nodded in approval.

i love college!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

read study snack laugh study read laugh snack laugh study sleep


college life...basically kind of awesome. i have always been that weird student who loves school and learning new things and would go to school for the rest of her life if she could afford it (though now i don't know if i would push it that far because i would miss having a real life too much...) or at least has always thought it would be awesome to live at school so i could study with my friends and hang out with them and learn along side them every step of the way...well welcome to college Marci

seriously it's great! i go to classes and here lectures, which aren't necessarily as exciting as i hoped they would be (i had high expectations for a few of my classes) but at least i have my friends who are willing to sit next to me and help me count down the minutes until we are released from the dungeon of bird trail after bird trail of random details about archeological digs that have nothing to do with what we are reading in the book...then after class we laugh together about how terrible it was. we study for a while then the time comes when we all kind of look at each other as though we know exactly what the others are thinking. it is at this point that we race down to the kitchen to melt butter to put on our air-popped popcorn made by trusty Clarence so we can eat it while we watch youtube videos of Anjela Johnson playing Bon Qui Qui in a Mad TV digital clip which we finish just before one of the RA's comes in to remind us that it is now quiet hours and we laugh a little too loud

speaking of RA's ours are wonderful. they stop to talk to us and give us hugs and ask us how our day is going and actually wait for a response. they leave their windows open while blasting their music so that i don't have to turn mine on. they constantly remind us that we are loved and encourage us not to jump out windows (this may need an explanation: Lexi likes to sit in the window sill a lot. well once she was up there and one of the guys' RA's yelled "Don't do it! Don't jump! You are loved!" it was pretty awesome) but seriously they have been so encouraging

i love it and can't wait to start a new week

Friday, September 10, 2010

thank God and Mrs. ten Pas

i almost cried in the middle of my first english class. i had never hated english before but by some black magic, commonly known as a monotone voice talking about how to proofread your papers, i suddenly found myself hating one of my normally favorite subjects. i couldn't believe that i was stuck taking a class that was the equivalent to a freshman level english class at my high school after i had worked so hard to pass AP English with Mrs. ten Pas. there was no way that i was going to let them overlook my accomplishments and make them worthless.

after class i determined to go to the registration office to ask for an appointment with an academic advisor who could help me get into a higher level english class. i had a speech prepared proving that the syllabus' goals about developing a thesis and drafting had been exceeded in my prior classes. i even brought my portfolio to let them read my work and determine for themselves if i deserved to be in this class. especially since i had passed two AP English tests which most colleges would count as credit.

i arrived at the desk and began explaining the situation as calmly as i could to the kind woman at the desk. she asked someone from the office behind her to come help me. when i told her that i had passed the AP tests she checked my transcripts and told me that i didn't need to take english at all. i dropped both english classes and added a World Civ class and a Faith and Culture theology class. this of course mixed up my whole schedule so that; instead of having three classes on monday, wednesday, and friday and two classes on tuesday and thursday, i now have four classes on tuesday and thursday and one class on monday, wednesday, and friday.

i was amazed at how kind and understanding both women were and how i didn't need to use my speech or my portfolio; God simply took care of it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

in-n-out makes friendships happen

college began with a large cup of excitement and a pound of stress. leaving practically straight from camp without my loans or books or job applications all figured out was not necessarily the best option. i was so stressed out, but once i got my loans all in order and my books bought and jobs applied for, the excitement of moving in and making friends began.

i quickly became friends with three girls from the second floor. it all started with a brief meeting at the beginning of summer at Mount Hermon. Freckles had introduced me to a girl named Lexi who was also going to be a freshman at Simpson. Since Freckles is an FYE coordinator she made sure that Lexi and i were in the same FYE Group (First Year Experience small group). it was through Lexi that i met two of her roommates Glori and Emily. They absolutely rock and we fit together as a group of friends pretty well.

the first activity they had for us was a square dance in the parking lot. i had a lot of fun dancing with other freshmen, transfers, and leadership students. not only did they have dancing but they also offered games such as four-square and golf ball toss. after the game, Freckles informed me that i was going to in-n-out with her. Lexi, Glori, and Emily came too and we had a great time of laughing and fellowshipping with one another. While we sat at a table outside, one of the FYE leaders began to introduce us to a sophomore named David calling him the most eligible bachelor with the best abs. it was pretty funny especially since we were oddly tired. now we're always together :)

i and am and cold




loaded the car and wrote a note.
i packed my bags and grabbed my coat.
i've told the ones who need to know.
i am heading north.

three pillows and a new backpack.
i definitely paid too much for that.
i lost the receipt can't take it back.
it can never be returned.

ah simpson, simpson, here i come.
i miss the weather at Mount Hermon.
it's freakin' hot in the redding sun.
ah, simpson, simpson, here i come.

when at first i came to you
i'd turn on a fan at night
i'd open a window and use one sheet
but it was a waste of time
yeah it was all a waste of time

to my room i've got stairs to climb
three stories completly unsiblime
i've only collapsed a couple times
when i awake, i'm fine

ah simpson, simpson, here i come.
i miss the weather at Mount Hermon.
it's freakin' hot in the redding sun.
ah, simpson, simpson, here i come.

three words that became hard to say
i and am and cold
should i bring a sweater today?
no i never ever need you

ah simpson, simpson, here i come.
i miss the weather at Mount Hermon.
it's freakin' hot in the redding sun.
ah, simpson, simpson, here i come.

ah simpson, simpson, here i come.
i miss the weather at Mount Hermon.
it's freakin' hot in the Redding sun.
ah, simpson, simpson, here i come.

lethargic and paralized by heat
sweat makes it hard to smell so sweet
tank tops and shorts on all you meet
all students dress the same

three words that became hard to say
i and am and cold
i and am and cold
i and am and cold

mexican babies

the week at pondy seemed to last forever especially because i was constantly waiting for Hispanic Family Camp Weekend. why? you might ask. simply because Mexican babies (aka children of all ages) are the most adorable creatures in the entire universe and Tiger Lily, Capo, and Sprout were coming back.

all day friday, i kept reminding myself, and ultimately everyone around me, that TL, Capo, and Sprout were coming. even after Sprout arrived i continued to count down 'til Tiger and Capo were to return. my excitement of course put me in a vulnerable situation for friendly teasing primarily from Slider and Munchkin. they continually told me that TL and Capo had gotten in a car accident and weren't coming or they decided that they didn't want to see me to they turned around. i knew they were kidding; therefore, their teasing didn't hurt but rather made the wait more unbearable.

as we were waiting, we worked the registration table. while there, a family came to us uncertain of how to sign up and where they should sign their children up and whether there was a youth program or not. unfortunately, they spoke very little english so we couldn't help answer their questions...or so we thought. suddenly a voice behind me began spewing spanish as though she had been speaking it her whole life. apparently Sprout was a spanish major in college.


finally Tiger and Capo arrived and i (being the youngest and most excitable of our staff) ran out to meet them at their car. i'm pretty sure they found this slightly annoying but i don't care because i had been waiting what seemed like ages simply to see them again.

the kids were absolutely adorable as well as cooperative and obedient. i had a group of three 1st-3rd grade girls that were completely wonderful.

pondy cabins

the week we spent at pondy seemed unnaturally long. out of rebellion and lack of wanting to wake up early just to put a swimsuit on before heading down the mountain for work, we spent the the first two nights of the work week at Day Camp so all we would have to do is wake up five minutes before our meeting. this was nice but we decided to go back to the cabin for the rest of the week.

because it was so hot inside the cabins, Nemo, Munchkin, Pineapple and i slept outside on the porch. this seemed like the perfect idea until one fateful night. we were all outside lying on the mattresses and watching a walk to remember when we saw him - the largest raccoon i had ever seen was digging in the garbage can about 30ft away. we thought to ourselves as long as we don't move he won't see us, which for the most part was true there was just one problem...we all needed to get inside to take out our contacts or brush our teeth or put in our retainers and we couldn't leave Munchkin (who of course was already asleep) to the mercy of the giant beast. i decided to sacrifice myself to the protection of Munchkin so while the other two ladies went inside to get ready for bed i stayed with the sleeping Munch and stared at the beast. after a short while of staring, he slowly turned his gaze as though he had felt my eyes on his back. i froze. no longer was i unnoticed. the beast slowly climbed down from the garbage can and began to walk toward me and my sleeping friend. i winced in my heart but dared not move. i thought he was going to charge us at any minute, but instead he turned and left. Nemo and Pineapple came back out and i went in to take my contacts out and when i arrived back on the porch he was still gone. i guess my stare scared is intimidating after all. ;)

a full day with my dear friend

after chinese week, we found out that our dorm rooms had been given to the salvation army conferees for the following week and we were being moved up to pondy cabins. this was a very unhappy day indeed. we packed our bags and put our things into vans to be hauled up the mountain. although the move was very inconvenient the change turned into a blessing (at least for me). staying with the Child Care girls and Munchkin and Tiger Lily gave me a chance to get to know them better.

the first morning in the cabin, when i awoke, i heard Tiger Lily texting her mom on the bunk beneath me; so i stuck my head over the edge and asked if i could come down there. we laid in bed for a little while talking with our voices low until Munchkin came and tackled us shoving her tiny little body in the space between TL and me. we continued to lie there for a while until Munchkin needed to get ready to go to Monterrey with Capo.

since Tiger and i didn't know what anyone else was doing, we decided to go down to lunch then up to Joe and Heidi's house to relax for a while. when we arrived, she introduced me to the wonderful hammocks in the back most part of their back yard. as we lay there we tried to think of something fun to do, but nothing came to mind.

after a while of lying around inside and outside, i suggested that we walk to cvs and hang out at the park down the street. we walked down, purchased some dibbs and pringles, and sat in the park simply talking and enjoying one another's company. on the way home i told her that that was something i had been wanting to do all summer and i was glad that i got to do it with her.

when we arrived back at camp, we picked up Nova's wedding invitations, ate dinner then headed off to Tiger Lily's family group. it was here that i learned how to make the best s'more ever: instead of chocolate you use reese's peanut butter cups. it was divine! i also found out that her "parents" were from my home town and they knew a few people that i knew from home, which was really cool. they were amazing people; not only did they welcome me in, but they also asked meaningful questions in order to get to know me personally. they found out more about me in one hour than most of my staff had found out in three months simply because they cared.

the whole day was one of relaxation and good fellowship with my dear friend T Lily :)

1st and 2nd redemption

i hadn't had first and second graders since my week with my dramatic girls. the truth is i was nervous of getting another awful group, but Munchkin kept telling me that i needed to let them redeem themselves. finally i gave in...during the most hectic week of the summer...

during chinese week, we have evening session from 7pm to 9:30pm, which means that we have two activities as well as a small group session at night. i was so excited because this meant that i would have the opportunity to get to know my campers that much better. the first morning came around and i saw all the asian babies and thought i am so glad i'm with first and second. that thought didn't last long. we split into groups and started playing the name game. as i looked around at the other groups sitting quietly listening to their counselors while mine ran around yelling, i realized that it had happened again: i had the crazy group.

that afternoon, i almost cried because i was so frustrated with they inattentiveness during Bible Study and activities. Munchkin reminded me that i needed to change the way i handle things to fit first and second grade not third and fourth or fifth and sixth like i was used to. that night i found out that they loved ninjas so the next day we sneaked to our Bible Study spots so that the spies wouldn't find us. i also told them that i received special messages from Munchkin through my watch and if they paid attention to the story, she would send us a secret message. this worked great and they cooperated so well that i began to have fun with them.

also that week i had a little autistic boy in my group whose one-on-one's name was Paul. Paul was a pondy counselor on rotation at conference center. he was a big football built guy with a lip ring, but seeing the connection he had with the little boy was beautiful. neither of them talked much to each other, but they had a mutual understanding and connection of love. he was by far one of the best one-on-ones i had ever seen besides Spike. i was so grateful for him and the encouragement he brought me without even knowing it.

after this week i decided that i loved first and second grade again.

Monday, September 6, 2010

the first to leave

family camp week nine went by so fast. i remember having a great group of fifth and sixth grade girls who were super into the Bible Study and asked meaningful questions and got excited when the story lent itself to be exciting. in fact, because they wanted me to finish the story so badly, i told them the end of the story on thursday and read The Giving Tree to them on friday. they had a great discussion about how the tree resembled God and His unconditional love.

also during that week, i spent my wednesday with Riff, Yuke, Sprinkles, and Parsnip picking black berries and making black berry apple pie. it was divine! we had such a good time climbing over fences and trying to lean as far as we could into the bush without completely losing balance and falling in. after we baked the pie we needed to let it sit for a while; so Riff, Yuke, and i went to in-n-out to eat. it was both of their last wednesday at camp so it was really awesome to spend so much time with them.

this week we also had the privilege of having Sprout as part of our Day Camp Team. the amount of energy and fun that she brought amazed me. in skits she was a pro; she would get into character the moment the kids saw her and she stayed in character until they could see her no longer. her characters were incredible too because she truly created someone else; so much so that i never saw her acting on the stage, instead i saw a completely new person with her own personality and her own story. i hope someday i can be like her in that regard.

this week also brought Breck's beautiful girlfriend Kelsey home to meet us. she was wonderful! i thought at first that it might be hard for her to interact with the kids rather than Breck when she hadn't seen him in quite a while, but the kids loved her. already by the first morning she had a little redheaded shadow following her around.

after Kelsey arrived, i had the opportunity to go to panda express with Breck, Capo, Kelsey, and Munchkin. it was kind of funny because it was as though the little sister was tagging along on her brother's double date, but i didn't feel awkward at all. i decided that i really liked Kelsey because she's funny and accepting and Breck loves her.

that saturday, Breck, Riff, and Yuke said goodbye. before Riff and Yuke left, we went out to breakfast with Tiger Lily, Parsnip, and Kona. the food was good and it was nice to fellowship with them one last time. when Yuke had gone, Tiger and i simply sat on a bench outside and talked for a few hours. i love those times with T Lily when we talk about whatever comes to mind or simply sit in each other's presence with complete trust. it was the marking of the first of our family to leave

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a night in paris


saturday before the guys' night, my friends came to visit for the day. we had a relaxing time shopping downtown and going to the beach. when we arrived back at camp, Christina styled my hair for the summer staff banquet.

we all waited outside with anticipation wondering what the theme possibly could be while a funny looking man with a purple face and black mustache played the accordion. finally Joe and Chaffer arrived on parisian bicycles and ushered us into a night in paris. the decorations were phenomenal. the lights shined low on the black and white table clothes and place mats. at the front of the room sat a parisian street with a live jazz band! they had prepared a lovely staff video and a fun competition for our entertainment. not to mention the food was exquisite!

following the dinner, Rachel, Briannah, Putt Putt, Cherri and i went to a dance party hosted by pondy where we rocked out for a while before heading to the sand wall. there we carved our names into the wall and took pictures. from there our adventures took us to Ferrell's Doughnuts.

all in all the night was a success :)

guys' night


this last month has been full of craziness and kids and learning and fun, i don't even know where to begin.

one of the main events that i participated in this month was the day camp guys appreciation night. we created a "euro trip" for them starting in spain/ mexico. for this portion of the night, Tiger Lily, Munchkin and i worked together to transform cascade B into an exciting happy hour fiesta complete with toquitos, seven layer bean dip, horchata, samba music, a batman pinata, and an explosion of red, yellow, and green streamers. from there, we "flew" them to italy in Joe and Heidi's backyard, where three other girls took the boys pizza orders while treating them to italian sodas and garlic bread. during the meal, we each took time to affirm one of the guys on our staff with poems, acronyms, or little paragraphs to let them know that we appreciate and respect them. finally the trip ended in france, where chocolate fondue and homemade ice-cream awaited the already stuffed sojourners. overall the night was filled with food and fellowship galore.

preparing for the event was most of the fun. Tiger Lily, Munchkin, and i thoroughly enjoyed planing and shopping and decorating together. we were all on the same page which made planing seamless and fun. we painted signs with sombraros, maroccas, and corona on them. from two lanterns placed on either end of the room, we hung streamers going out to four corners; then in the center of the room we hung Bartholomew the dinosaur pinata from whom we streamed as many streamers as possible to either wall allowing the ends to form a hanging fringe. we continued to cut the remainder of the streamers into short pieces to scatter along the sides of the room on the floor as well as to create a fringe hanging in the doorway. from the moment the doors were opened, everything was red, yellow, and green. it was perfect (or as Munch would say "perf.")

Monday, August 2, 2010

what is love? (baby don't hurt me)

what does love look like?
it has the hands to help others.
it has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
it has eyes to see misery and want.
it has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
that is what love looks like.

-saint augustine

as i look back on this summer so far, have i loved in the way that saint augustine describes love? have i been in tune with other peoples feelings enough to see their hurt, their needs, and their sorrows? or have i been too concerned with my own? i have adopted the adage " love God; love Others" but have i accurately but those words into practice? have i reached out? i believe i can answer "yes;" but all i do doesn't seem like enough. i can't love perfectly. i can't alleviate all pain or eradicate all sorrows. sometimes i feel so helpless, like my love isn't good enough

the reality is

my love isn't good enough.
on my own, my heart is wicked; love and compassion are not indigenous to my nature (nor to anyone's for that matter).

instead, i must rely on God's love to fill me so i can pour it out to others.