Sunday, January 10

Weekend Re-cap

Yesterday I had a instructor training for the class I'm teaching this spring, so I got dressed up and as I was walking out the door, Ryan asked me if I had a date with Mike Sever! Mike Sever was Kirk Cameron's character on Growing Pains. As a matter of fact I told him, I just got this cute jacket this week. Are jean jackets no longer in style?

Saturday night we were invited to dinner by our boss, Kate, because Ryan won a contest at work--he named and branded a new residential community for Sophomores-Seniors beginning in fall 2010. I got to tag along for dinner--we had a good time!

Today Ryan and I got a membership to Sam's and bought some items in bulk! I don't know what it is about buying in bulk--but it makes me happy! We stocked up on paper towels, detergent, all of those staple items!

Our Sam's Club is about 25 minutes away--so here are some pictures of our snowy drive.

We also bought lots of fruits and veggies so we can begin eating healthier! Tonight we spent some time cutting up all of the fruits and veggies so we would be all ready for this week.

Ryan got a recipe for breakfast smoothies, so he made these pre-made freezer bags of smoothie mix so we are all ready to make them in the mornings this week.

Friday, January 8

Happy Birthday

Since my sister is one of my few blog readers :), this post is for her! Her birthday is on January 13, and I always like to send her gift early so she opens it in time! But, Angie asked me to pass along my most recent book club book (The Help) in her birthday box. My book club was canceled on Thursday (due to our massive snow fall, 7+ inches!) I'm going to mail her package tomorrow! Just in case it gets there a day late, I wanted you to see what fun gifts await!! Happy Birthday!!!

P.S. I HIGHLY recommend The Help--it is on the best sellers list and this was the first novel for this author! I have talked to several friends in my book club who loved the book as well--and we are picky readers! I got lost in the book. It takes place in the 50-60s. It is a beautiful story of friendship that overcomes the color barrier during those times.

Wednesday, January 6

Chicago--round 2

In addition to catching up with friends and seeing the sites of Chicago--we enjoyed a few nice meals out on the town!

Our first night in town we ate at a GREAT place, The Chicago Fire House. This came highly recommended by the hotel and our cab driver, so we gave it a try. We used some of the Christmas money my dad sent for this great New Years Eve dinner (thanks dad)!

We rarely get desert, but we thought we'd ring in the new year with some sugar!

My favorite place in the whole world--Bucca di Beppo (amazing Italian). Everything is served family style!

Lots of fun decorations!

Webber Grill--AMAZING! I had a burger and Ryan had a steak. They used actual grills to cook the food!

We found Webber Grill by seeing this LARGE grill as we drove past. We also saw, Blake--an EIU Alum and his family at Webber and one of my former RAs, Stephanie. It was great to catch up with them both--what a SMALL world!

We drove down to Wrigley Field--I didn't realize how OLD it was. Lots of memories there (others--not mine, this was the first time I visited)!

I thought this was neat--across from Wrigley Field they have roof top seats on the apartment buildings--what a great view!

Ryan took this photo of me in the hotel lobby--he said I am forever organizing my bags/purse!

We visited the lego store--imagine how many hours it took to put this together!

Or this...

One more picture from the Science & Industry Museum....a gingerbread (White)house it was amazing and VERY detailed--the Obama's were featured on the front steps!


I was SO excited to receive this card in the mail today! Ryan and I are honored to serve on the EIU Christian Campus House Board of Directors and the board (many years before we arrived) set a goal to pay off the new addition of the building by 2011. The building project which was completed 5 years ago provided a much needed addition to the sanctuary, office space, and student meeting/lounge space. The debt remains at $135,000 which we definitely feel is in reach! The board decided to challenge people to either be one of 600 and give a one-time gift of $225 or be 1% of the solution and pledge $1,300 over the next year to pay off 1% of the debt. Ryan and I have been praying and talking about this since August when the board discussed the idea and we've decided to take the 1% solution pledge for this year--which means we will need to reign in our eating out (which is totally doable)! The CCH is where we met and dramatically changed our walks with God. I was baptized at CCH, took my first missions trip (to Mexico & Haiti) and truly got to know the love of my God. It is a small sacrifice to make knowing that many students will experience the same things in the new building that we experienced in the old building! If you want to know more about the challenge or want to donate--just let me know!

Here is some additional info on CCH at Eastern Illinois University from their website: In 2005 the much needed and long-awaited new large addition to our building was completed allowing us to have ample room (seating for 400+) for our Sunday morning worship, our Wednesday Night Bible Study as well as a Student Lounge and Conference Rooms. Ministry here continues to morph every year, as God continues to give new vision and fresh ideas to those following him here. Roger affectionately calls the Campus House a "living laboratory" - something dynamic that changes to fit the students, who also are in a continual state of change. The times change, but the gospel remains the same. What does the future hold? We'll continue to look forward to what God reveals to us!

Tuesday, January 5

The Windy City

Ryan and I took a mini-vacation to Chicago Thur-Monday. We had a good time seeing the sites of the city and catching up with old friends who are in the city--we were able to catch up with four friends who live close to the city. One of our new years resolutions is to try to re-connect with old friends and make some new friends in Iowa!

This is a beautiful view of the city at night that Ryan took--the city lights were beautiful at night:

Here are some photos from our trip (Ryan doesn't like his picture taken, so sorry for all of the photos of just me)!

One of our favorite sites to see was the Science and Industry Museum--they had Christmas trees decorated for several countries--here is the USA tree with White House ornaments--they just opened the new White House exibit which we saw.

Beautiful view of the trees

My two favorite parts of the museum were the real sub and plane--it was an amazing feat to get these into the museum.

The HUGE airplane

Which you could go inside (I hate planes, so my palms were sweating just sitting there :)

Back of the plane

This sub was massive and breathtaking to see up-close

A flag from the US ship that was in the battle

Ryan by the sub

Outside of the sub section they had old posters which displayed the recruitment efforts for the war--if I was alive during that time, I could have worked with parachutes!

They also had a farm section and you could sit inside of a combine!

A dairy cow!

A city scape

Tomorrow I'll share some more photos of our trip!