We had a great Thanksgiving with friends, new and not-so-new, from the school and elsewhere. It was a fun alternative since we couldn't be in NC with our family. I appreciate how God continues to provide a family wherever we are. In Psalms it says he "sets the lonely in families" and I have found this to be true as we have moved to such a faraway place. But, I'll never complain again about how far I am from home. A friend of ours is in Africa and she recently wrote about her students who travel for days to reach their families. It gave me a reality check and made me very thankful for the short 14-hour drive or 2-hour plane ride home.

Here's a few pics from our afternoon with friends as well as our Thanksgiving dinner with the college ministry. (Two Thanksgivings in one week is awesome.) Sorry, no pics from Thursday's party. Enjoy!

Kermit says...

"It ain't easy being green."

But I think we should still try. I told Justin awhile ago that our next home must have curbside recycling. Weekly, if possible. I know...funny right? You'd think I'd want two bathrooms or a fenced in yard (don't get me wrong, those would be GREAT), but I really like to recycle. Living in Massachusetts only promotes that in me, since they charge a $.05 "deposit" for every soda can and glass bottle. This hasn't deterred our Coke/Dr. Pepper addiction, so now, instead of throwing our cans in the recycle bin, they get collected in a bag that goes with me to the store. Grocery stores have big machines that take cans and bottles back. And in return, I get my $.05 back. (I didn't know this the first week we lived here, so my cans went out with the recycle bin. I "lost" a good 60 cents that day).

Yesterday, Christy (my BFF) and I were discussing how we'd like to live in a "green" house. No, not the plant-growing kind but the eco-friendly kind. You know, using solar and wind energy, with stylishly efficient appliances. And we'd drive our hybrid or electric cars around town (or walk if we lived in a place where that was the norm), use cloth diapers on babies, and eat organic food.

Today, I made a great purchase in my effort to become more earth-friendly. I was in one of my favorite places, Costco, and just happened to pass a display of energy-saving lightbulbs. I've looked at them before, but always passed them over thinking, "I'd like to get those, but the others are so much cheaper..." Well, today these were on major sale. A box of 6 that is usually $17 was only $3 after a big in-store rebate. Nice. The low price coupled with the fact that our landlady just told us she has a $500 electric bill (I'm still not sure that's true, but maybe it is. Since our utilities are included with rent, we never see a statement) made two boxes an immediate must-have.

When I got home, we immediately started Operation Bulb Replacement. We discovered that the bulbs we were using were severely over the recommended wattage for the fixtures. Since we live in a basement, I'm sure our landlady and others thought it would be good to make it as bright as possible. Basically, we were living in a room with 10 outdoor floodlights serving as indoor lights. Yikes. No wonder it would get so hot in here when the lights were on all day. So now, we're in our nicely lit apartment feeling much better about helping the environment and lowering the bill.

Why did I feel compelled to tell you all of this? I guess the media and celebrities are succeeding in their job at having earthiness as a hot topic. So, in the past year, I've seen more news spots and segments on how to "go green." And I think the Christian sub-culture is getting more involved, so that has its influences I'm sure. Today, as I was driving home, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "If you love the Creator, you should take care of creation." I thought, "Huh, good point." Sometimes we get so passionate about saving babies and animals forgetting that saving the Earth is important too. After all, where will the rescued babies and animals live if we destroy their home?

attempt #2: california roll

I tried again. It was a better rolling experience, but I still need to work on the rice to nori ratio. Also, I could use a better knife. My cheap-o ones aren't cutting it. ;-)

Inside-out, outside-in, what's your sushi preference?


It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Lewie, the beloved pet/family member of Holly's mom and stepdad, who died this past weekend. Our memories will always be a delight as this fun, affectionate, energy-filled dog brought so many laughs.

I remember 7 years ago when I accompanied Holly (my then-girlfriend) and her parents to pick him up. He was so, so small - as most Jack Russell Terriers are. And so when Lorna and Darrell decided to name him after me, I was unsure if I should be insulted. :-) Because of Lewie, I began to love dogs for the first time, learned how to give a dog a bath... and eventually, is the reason we adopted Montana a year later.

We jokingly called him "Uncle Lewie" whenever our dogs would play with him. And we cannot thank him enough for passing his along his trademark, silence-shattering ear-flap. (While staying with us one week, he taught our dogs to flap their ears whenever they woke up in the middle of the night.)

We'll miss you, Lewie... and we'll think of you with every ear flap.