Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Things about Family Holidays

1. Family reigns supreme this time of year. Doesn't matter how you feel about them, it is important to spend time together. If there are some members of the family fighting or they have to choose which household to go to, take them out to dinner the night before the holiday. I recommend Texas Roadhouse. They are pretty much guaranteed to leave happy after eating one of their meals.

2. You will be spending hours cleaning. It's ok, you won't be alone. It's good to have a cleaning time in the fall. It's like spring cleaning, only this time around it's just for the rooms your guests will be in and you will be under extreme pressure to meet your deadline. So what if everything from downstairs gets stuffed in the extra room upstairs or squashed under your sister's bed so no one knows? Your downstairs will be spiffy clean, and that's all that really matters.  

3. You will eat too much. If your a football kind of guy, then you might work it all off later by yelling at the TV, rooting for your favorite team. If you are not into this kind of bonding, then I say talk a walk with your grandmother. It'll be slow going, but later you'll feel really good about it.

4. If there is a food item you really like... Then tell the person who made it with an extrememely solemn face, "I think you need to try again. This isn't perfect." Now before the person starts to break down and cry, you need to break out into a huge grin and say, "But it's so close, I want more! So I mean it, try again! I call the first slice!" In any case, I'd be willing to bet that your favorite food item will at least show up again next year.

5. What to do with the leftovers? Well for this Thanksgiving, I'm throwing a party the day after so hopefully most of the leftovers will get eaten. But generally this doesn't happen. If you hate eating leftovers, or really have a lot after the big day, try to get together with some neighbors or friends to share. Or create your own soup, which you can freeze for months. And if you happen to own an animal, then it can be pretty easy. Just watch what you give them and how much, but in general, dogs and cats can be like vacum cleaners.

6. Black Friday Shopping. Wow, things get crazy. The only thing I know to say about this one is; don't buy something just because it's a good bargin. Know what you want to buy ahead of time, then only go for those items. Otherwise you can waste a lot of your valuble time just wandering around searching for the best deal. And most of the stuff you bring home just ends up being clutter anyway. Trust me, I know. I have endured many marathon Black Friday trips.

7. Traveling back. After Thanksgiving, the absolute WORST day to travel anywhere is Sunday. Traffic starts early in the morning, and it lasts late in the night. Last year I went back to school with my friend Grace, and what normally is a 5 hour trip turned into 8 with bumper to bumper traffic. 

8. Christmas Crazy. It's already started. The Christmas Music. The Christmas Movies. The Christmas Presents. I already know what I'm getting this year. There might be a few small surprises, but this year I asked for three things and two of them are stuff I really need. So many people get caught up in the gift giving mode that they forget to just live in the moment and enjoy being alive.

9. A Brief Presents Guide. This Christmas, so many charities are suffering, I would recommend donating in someone's name as their present. Of course, if someone really needs something, it is pretty obvious to get them that gift. But if they don't need anything, or you are just giving them excessive stuff, send the money on. Last year I bought a pair of ducks from World Vision for a family in Peru from my sister. World Vison sent me a card a week before Christmas that I was able to give to her that said thank you. She loved it! I plan on doing it again this year. Two other gifts that I know will always go over well is pretty much any food item and music (like an itunes gift card)

10. Know what the Holidays are really about. I think this one is the most important. The Holidays are really Holy Days, and if it wasn't for important dates in history, we would never have such great memories. The first Thanksgiving feast was a bright spot for American history, a time where complete strangers got together to help one another. Christmas, as well as Hannakuh, were major events that changed the world. We share gifts on Christmas to celebrate God's amazing gift to us. His son. And I'm not Jewish, but I have celebrated Passover. Take the time this season to grow spiritually, not superfically.

This concludes my Holiday post. There were a lot more things I could post on, but I said ten, and so here are ten. I hope everyone enjoyed it, and God bless!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things are getting difficult.

I looked up the cost of a basic ticket round trip to the Philippines and back today. Cheapest I could find is $1360, with a 22 hour flight time. Wow. But I'll look around, see what kind of better deals I can find. I really hope I don't end up spending two full days on a plane just because I went super cheap. And on other news, when I looked up flight costs I also looked up news on the Philippines. When this article popped up my heart sank.
This knowledge does not scare me, in any case I'm pretty sure I won't even be near an area facing these dangers. But it is a serious event, and my heart definitely goes out to those families affected. And knowing my family, this is something that could completely shut down my already slim chances of going. I've have decided that it's not in my hands, so I will just move on to what I need to get done to go on this trip.

In other news, I went in to my old middle school with my younger sister today. My mom is a band director who is teaching her kids how to march for the Christmas Parade. Both my sister and I have been active members of Marching Band for 5+ years. She only had the color guard today, we are both going back to help the entire (145) band at nine o'clock in the morning. For college students on break, this is going to be a feat. But today, it was really quite fun to go in and help some young spinners. I'm going on my 8th year of color guard, so trying to help kids who are just learning was very humbling. I couldn't believe how these kids were twisting simple moves so much, but then I would remember how I had to learn just like them when I was in early high school.
We were stuck inside for the practice, so I couldn't really do to much in cafeteria without hitting the ceiling, but half-way through the kids started asking if I could show them some moves. Of course I showed-off, and had a lot of fun. But then had to deal with all 16 or so kids trying to mimic the moves I was doing. Pretty interesting results. Well, this is all for today, really looking forward to tomorrow!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New directions

Alright. Well, a lot of things have happened since my last post. My internship to Prague closed, so I am not going. :( The only other option was going to India for four months. I would have gone with no hesitations, but my parents flat out said I cannot go. So my goal now is to do my internship over the summer.
I discovered this one internship being offered in the Philippines, where I would essentially work with a ministry team who do all kinds of street evangelism in the city. I would video tape them working and photograph the people in their culture. And from my understanding, I would be in charge of all the media that goes through their website. It is a really good opportunity and I have been wanting to go to the Philippines since this past summer. Though once again, I'm going up against some tough opposition at home. If I can't go on this project, then I am going to have to pull the plug on going abroad. It is really frustrating, because after I graduate I plan on going around the world, visiting as many countries as I can throughout my lifetime. I am trying so hard to respect where my parents are coming from and to follow their rules while I am living under their roof. But God has put people on my heart. And while America will always be my home, I do feel called to go out and be a witness to the rest of the world.
I think that right now, they think that this urge to travel is just a passing faze, that I won't continue with this for the rest of my life. I feel like that is probably why I do have to almost fight to do this work for God. We shall see where I end up this summer, but no matter what happens, I won't let earthly things get in my way. God still has a plan, and even if I don't end up going out of the country for an internship, it will only work out for the better.

One last thing before I am done with this post. Because so much of my internship is up in the air right now, I've decided to branch out and not just make this blog about chronicling my internship experiences, but a blog to challenge myself. Lately at school I have been so overwhelmed with schoolwork and projects that I have been neglecting a lot of things. Including growing daily in the Word of God. Hopefully concentrating on something other than myself (even though I am talking about myself on here, ha ha) and schoolwork will help me overcome some personal demons and live life the way God intended it to be lived.

Whew. I am done for today, but I really hope to be back on here tomorrow. These next couple of days should be really interesting as Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm relaxing at home. The family is coming to my house for the big Turkey Day, so I know that my sister and I will be cleaning up a storm this week.