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new blogsite November 8, 2008

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I’m switching back to blogspot for my new blog.  Since I do all things google, it just makes more sense to blog over there.  And I can edit a lot more there – come see my pretty new blog:

abigaillauren.blogspot.com

Thanks!

hmmm… November 5, 2008

Posted by abi in life.
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I’m thinking about changing my blog around a lot.  Maybe even switching to a different blog host….we’ll see.  I’ll keep anyone who might be reading posted.

I had a bad migraine yesterday and had to leave work early.   I haven’t had one in a while.  Maybe it’s the new climate of NC and changing seasons or something.  Oh well.  I ended up coming home in the afternoon and sleeping for quite a while.  I woke up and my wonderful hubby had made us some dinner and was doing the laundry I started.  He was so sweet and just let me sleep it off.

I didn’t see any of the election stuff last night.  And I don’t feel like I missed too much, because they’re already replaying all the speeches and everything on CNN at work.  When the husband woke me up in the morning, he said that almost all of the people we voted for had lost.  I told him that wasn’t anything new for me, since I moved here from Maryland and was always in the minority there too.  Oh well.  I just hope and pray that our new leaders will lead our country and our state well.

election day November 4, 2008

Posted by abi in life.
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and I’m not going out to vote today. 

Andy and I actually already did.  We took advantage of North Carolina’s early voting and went out to vote two weeks ago.  I’m so glad that we don’t have to deal with the craziness of rushing around to try and vote today.  NC made it nice and easy.  I’m thankful that we had the opprotunity to vote, but will be very relieved when today is over.  We have CNN on all day at work and this whole election season has been soooo long!  I hate the end when candidates start backbiting and picking on each other.  I’m just praying for our country and it’s future in this uncertain time.

Go vote!

I just caught a….. November 3, 2008

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mouse!  Alive!  In a tupperware.  ewwww….  We have been dealing with mice in our apartment lately and have had an exterminator come out and have had all sorts of traps and poison out for the last few weeks.  But we’re still seeing them run around.  This morning my husband runs out and shoves a tupperware in my hands and says that we’re going to catch one.  There was a mouse sitting on the bathroom floor.  Just sitting there.  So I managed to sneak up and put a tupperware on top of it and Andy was supposed to put the top on, but we couldn’t quite manage that….so he ended up dragging the whole bathroom rug with the tupperware on top outside and lets the mouse go out in woods behind out house.  We hope he never comes back! (and Andy wanted me to take pictures, but I was a little too grossed out by the mouse to stop and think of that!)

Anyways….yesterday was a really good day.  We went to a church that we’d been to once before – a while ago.  It was the one that Andy had been attending off and on all summer before we got married.  He had started going to a Sunday school class but he didn’t think I’d like it as much.  But after seeing a lot of other options here in town and not being able to find anything that we were both comfortable with, we decided to try it again.  And we both really enjoyed it!  I did like the Sunday school class – it still wan’t exactly what I was looking for – it is a still a little older, but they’re doing a good continual Bible study and we both got something out of the class.  We both like the pastor and format/style of the service.  It’s still really traditional Methodist – but they’re open to new things too, like the choir singing a Chris Tomlin song for the anthem. We’re going to keep trying the church for a few more weeks, but we think we may have found a good church home.  I am still going to go to the big nondenom’s young adults Bible study to meet people my age and we’re both going to go to their once a month young marrieds Bible study.  So between those and the church, we’re feeling pretty good about everything.

And I have a few art projects in the works – an idea for a fabric wall hanging or painting.  And ideas for our family Christmas ornaments.  So I’ll be posting pics of those soon.

November 1st… November 1, 2008

Posted by abi in art, life.
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is our 2 month wedding anniversary.  I’ve been married 2 months.  Crazy.  I’ve finally gotten over the surreal feeling and I feel like we’ve settled in.  Settled into our life together, routines, work, and dealing with the daily frustrations of life.  And I’m really enjoying it.  I’m still a little lonely, as I haven’t made many friends down here yet and I miss friends and family up in Baltimore.  We’ve visited Andy’s family several weekends though and that has been a lot of fun.  They have been great and I’ve had fun going out with Andy’s stepmother, his sister, and stepsister for some much needed girl time.

Here is a painting that I started last Sunday and finished just a few days ago (so I’m going to say it still counts).  It’s one of the larger paintings I’ve ever done – about 24″x36″.  I got the canvas on sale years ago and was glad to pull it out to try and brighten up our white walls.  It was a lot of fun to do – try and get in a lot of colors already in our living room and pull in some others so that I have options to redecorate around too.  I used acrylic paint – not my usual oil paints.

Disturb Me August 5, 2008

Posted by abi in life.
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Prayer of Sir Frances Drake (written in 1577)

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

This prayer was part of one of our devotions on the mission trip last week.  It has stuck with me and I want to memorize it.  I feel like I’m definitely being disturbed lately by all that is going, but I still need the reminder.  And I need the reminder right now to trust in my Captain.

That’s all.

Mission Trip to Ohio August 4, 2008

Posted by abi in youth ministry.
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Last Sunday I led 15 high schoolers and 2 other adults on a mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio.  I had everyone get to the church on Sunday morning at 5:30am to load up and was surprised when we got out and on the road by 6:15am!  We had a pretty good and uneventful (8+ hour) drive there and got to our host church at 3:30pm.  There were 7 other youth groups there from all over – New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Canada.  The mission trip organizers had some great service project for us to do all week!  Some of the different types of projects were: helping to stock a food bank/serve meals to hungry people; volunteering at a special needs camp for kids of all ages/all disabilities; cleaning up/fixing up a church whose congregation is 50% homeless people – the church wanted to put in bedrooms for the homeless people to sleep in when needed; packing care boxes to send out through an international relief center; playing with underprivileged kids at a Boys and Girls center; fixing up a nature trail;  hanging out with senior citizens at an adult day care center; and working at a church program with inner city kids.  We were split into 15 different crews and sent out to serve on Monday.  On Monday I was leading a crew that was sent to the special needs camp – I was able to help the youth understand a little more about special needs and how to work with the kids since I had worked in special ed before.  I also was able to use my (rusty) sign language to help out with a disabled teen who was deaf.

We had a great first day and then went back to the host church for dinner…..then the director of the mission trip program came up and asked if I was one of the youth’s leader.  That’s never a good thing to hear.  But it wasn’t because the youth had done anything wrong, just that they had found out that one of my youth had lice.  They had been checking them because the Boys and Girls Club they were working at had a kid who had been found to have lice so they checked all the youth when they got back.  So I had to call that youth’s parent to find out if it was ok to treat her.  We started checking all the girls who were sleeping near her and then my whole youth group and found out that 13 out of 18 of us had lice – including me and the other adult female chaperone!  Yuck!  Then they started checking everyone and found out that there were about 40 people out of 92 who had lice!  Which is just crazy…..usually when a kid at school gets it, only a few other kids catch it from them.  But when we sleeping on the ground in such close quarters, I guess it spread more quickly.  I think it was our rental van – since our group had the most, it seems like we may have very well started it and none of my youth’s siblings had it back home.  I don’t know how else we would have gotten it and spread it around so quickly except for the 8 hour long van ride there.  Oh well……all of the adults had to start shampooing and picking out the lice and then myself and the few adults (and we took a few youth who had lice to help us out) who had gotten lice took all the lice-y pillows, sleeping bags, and clothes to a 24-hour laundry mat and were there until 2:30am.  I was really afraid that we weren’t going to be able to get the sleeping bags dry, but thank goodness for those huge fast dryers!  We got back and some of my older high school girls were doing a great job helping out and cleaning lice rooms for people who had already been shampooed so that no one would catch it again.  Myself, our other adult leader, and about 6 of those girls were the last ones to get our heads washed and after being up all night long, we all finally went to bed at 6am that morning and tried to get a few hours sleep.  It was quite the ordeal – mostly just because of how many people were infected.  They even brought out a lice specialist (go figure?  what a job) from the health department of Cincinnati to come and make sure we had gotten all the lice the next day.  She gave us quite the education on lice….more than I think I ever want to know.  We did do everything right though and were all declared lice-free.

(above) Me and my high school girls at 5:30am – finally lice-free!

We couldn’t go back to work on project sites on Tuesday, but instead did some more laundry and gave our youth group a fun day of dinner at White Castle and we all went to see a movie – The Dark Knight.  We had a good time and I only fell asleep a little towards the end when I kept thinking that the movie should be finishing anyway (my movie review in a nutshell: not bad, but too dark for me and too many endings/things happening at the end).

On Wednesday morning, they asked if I could switch crews and be the adult leader for another crew (whose adult leader had been a little ridiculous and left with his daughter because he was upset about the lice fiasco).  That crew of youth was serving at a church who was doing a day camp for 50-70 inner city kids from a rough neighborhood.  The man (named Gordan) who was running the camp was absolutely incredible – he had such a heart for those inner city kids and was so passionate about the Lord.   Gordan taught me the most of anything that week and had a powerful influence on the youth who were serving there.  I had one youth from my church on that crew and I don’t think he had ever met anyone so passionately in love with his Savior before.  We started each day with some great worship and prayer – for about an hour – he wanted us to all make sure that our hearts were ready to serve before the kids got there.  And it made such a difference!  Those kids were starved for attention and loved having us there, but they were also really learning about God.  Gordan was teaching them doctrine and those kids were getting it!  I was blown away by how much they remembered from week to week and how they could spit out answers so quickly.  It was really amazing and God is really working in that place.

Mt. Hebron Pres. Mission Trip ’08

Father’s Day weekend June 19, 2008

Posted by abi in life, wedding.
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Last weekend was a busy one! Friday night I went to watch my little brother play one of his championship little league games with my family. It was a good game – really close and Andrew got on base several times, stole a base, and scored a run for his team. Then I took my other brother, Patrick shopping for new clothes – he hadn’t been shopping in several years and ended up with pretty much a whole new wardrobe. His fiance’ is excited to see him in new clothes when we go up to Boston the week before his wedding.

On Saturday, my sister Katie and I went down to Hampden for the annual “Honfest”.

The Hon is Not a Dying Breed

HonFest is a local tradition. The Bawlmer term of endearment, Hon, short for Honey, embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by historic working-women of Baltimore. HonFest is an annual celebration in honor of these women.

Since 1994, HonFest has grown from a tiny Baltimore’s Best Hon pageant behind Café Hon, to a nationally recognized festival that covers four city blocks on Hampden’s very own 36th Street. In recent years, the festival has been acknowledged by The New York Times, Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels, Nightly News with Brian Williams, The New York Post, Southern Living, The LA Times, HGTV, CNN, and just this April by The New Yorker.

We had fun walking around the street and the shops in Hampden. Katie especially liked the India specialty store and the local fair trade shop. But it was pretty hot and humid, so we didn’t stay too long. Then we went together to a fabulous bridal shower that my good friends Becki, Emily Joy, Erin, and Donna threw for me! Those girls are amazing! They made tons of great food, decorated the room beautifully, and had fun games and favors. You can find pictures of the shower at:

abiandandy.com

That evening I had a good time with my family and especially enjoyed visiting with my Aunt Trish who came all the way up from southern Virginia (about 7 hours drive) to spend the weekend with us and go to my shower.

On Sunday, my sister Emily and I took my dad to the ball game! It was Emily’s idea – and we had a great time! She wanted to get nice seats for him, so we ended up trying out the “All you can eat” box seats. I had never done box seats before – they were really nice! Part of the deal was that we got our hands stamped and then could go out and hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream, soda and lemonade whenever we wanted. It was a close game between the Orioles and the Pirates….but the Pirates won it in the 10th inning.  We really enjoyed spending the time with our dad and I really appreciate the great example of a caring, Godly man that he has always been to me.

Emily, Dad, and I at the game – Father’s Day 2008

My little brother Andrew kept himself busy while we were gone….he made a tent in the front yerd! He ended up sleeping out in it all night and I took these pictures of him before I left for work on Monday morning.

tired…. June 2, 2008

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Last week I was exhausted all week.  I think the weekend away in Georgia wore me out!  I went down there for Memorial day weekend to meet and visit with Andy’s mom and the rest of his family down there.  I left work a little early on Friday and flew down to the Atlanta airport and met Andy at his gate – he left right after work on Friday and flew in from Fayetteville, NC.  His mom, sister, grandmother, and their dog all came out to the airport to pick us up.  It was great to meet them and we all had a good weekend.  See pictures from the weekend:
abiandandy.wordpress.com

So I went home early a few nights last week and slept, and I got to sleep in on Saturday (a rare treat these days), but I still don’t feel caught up.  Oh well.  I’ve got way too much going on, as usual for the next few months – nearly every weekend is accounted for already.  And I’m trying to wedding plan and visit with a lot of people up here since I’ll be moving away at the end of the summer!  Crazy times.

wedding cupcake fun…. May 11, 2008

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I know – I’m really crazy. But I have decided that I want to have cupcakes at my wedding instead of a traditional wedding cake. And my amazing bridesmaids have offered to help me make them. So I decided we needed to do some testing of recipes and decide what kind of cupcakes we want to have.

I’m still recovering from sugar overdose. My good friend Becki agreed to help me out with testing some cupcake recipes yesterday. We had a lot of fun shopping for ingredients, making 6 different kinds of cupcakes and 3 different kinds of icing, drinking girly drinks, and watching Gilmore Girls. Here is the picture overview of our afternoon:

this was the first 4 batches (pre-icing)

After baking all 6 batches, we decided to take a break with a fun “Orange Paradise” drink, then we had to clean up the kitchen a little – we had already made a huge mess!

Icing the many cupcakes

We had Josh, Becki’s husband, taste test them for us

He approved. He especially liked the Oreo one, the Cookie Dough one, and the Red Velvet.

Then Becki and I tried them all

We made 43 total cupcakes (1/2 and 1/4 batches depending on the ingredients needed). The 6 kinds of cupcakes we tried were:

Mini Oreo Surprise

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Pink Champagne

Perfect White Cupcakes

Kool-aid Cupcakes

Red Velvet

All of them were recipes I found online that start from a box mix (I figure we need to keep it somewhat easy when we’re making dozens and dozens of them) and they really were all good. I think I decided though that the top 3 that I want to make for the wedding are the Red Velvet, Pink Champagne, and Mini Oreo Surprise.