Thursday, July 31, 2008


I'm going to a ladies salad supper at church tonight. We have missionaries visiting this past month or so...I can't even say their names or where they're serving because it's so dangerous, so I'll throw in that they covet your prayers. Can you imagine serving that way, though? So this supper tonight is with the wife, and she'll share more about their life. Anyway, I'm taking my favorite pasta salad and it would be criminal for me not to share the recipe. It's from my aunt Marty, who makes the best salads ever.

Dill and Feta Pasta Salad (PERFECT for hot summer days!)

1 small box pasta (small shells)
1 c. feta
Fresh dill, chopped (to taste) - I use dried, actually
~1/2 c. lemon juice (or, to taste)
3/4 c. olive oil (or, to taste...are you noticing a theme??)
1 jar chopped green olives
1 small red onion, chopped

Cook pasta, drain and cool. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. It's easy to "freshen up" as leftovers by drizzling in a little more olive oil and lemon juice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Congrats, Mary!!

Triple backflips for my friend Mary who just had her master's thesis bound and handed it in!! It's been a daunting several months as she prepared it and now she's DONE!! She's a teacher, and her thesis was about spelling. I edited it, and let me tell you, there is WAY more to spelling than you ever imagined! Enjoy your trip to NorCal, guys!

Matt's giving thumbs-up.

The Hot and Windy City

We spent this past Saturday in Chicago visiting my dear friend Renee. There's a commuter train that you can take from Michigan City and it's $6.50 one-way, and parking is free. Avoid the city traffic? Not worry about ripping each other's faces off as we navigate downtown looking for a parking spot? Sign us UP! Unfortunately, it didn't leave us with as flexible a schedule as we would have liked, but oh well. We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and planned to ride the huge ferris wheel at Navy Pier, but by the time we got there it we had to head back to the train.

Renee rocks. She's been my friend since nursing school and we've had many, many good times together. Eaaarrrrllly mornings driving to Grand Rapids for clinicals, the Chicago Marathon, mountain biking in Sedona, driving hither and yon on our vacation to Washington State, renting a (cold!) cabin in Wisconsin, snowshoeing in the dark, and eating disgusting amounts of cheesecake are among our best memories. Renee serves with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and works particularly with nursing students, equipping them to serve as nurses in the context of their faith. She could describe it far better than I can, but she serves her tail off and attends conferences and participates in mission work all over the world. I admire and am inspired by Renee's diligence to serve others, her humility and compassion. My friendship with Renee is another evidence of God's grace to us. We love you, Renee!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Bucket List

I actually made a bucket list in 2005. It's more of a "Things I want to do in the next five years" list, but "Bucket List" sounds far more dramatic. I was in the middle of a frustrating season in my life and decided to brainstorm about some things that I wanted to do that would be fun goals to attain. My bucket list consists of everything from "learn how to change a flat" (done!) to "kayak in Baja California" (not done) to "learn about investing and finances" (I married a very savvy man, and I've learned more than I actually wanted to know) to "go to Menorca" - a little island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain (a looong way off - but I still DO have two more years to knock this one off the list).

One thing on my bucket list was to learn how to kayak. You'd have thought that in all of the fun places I've been, I'd have had the opportunity to find myself seated in a kayak. But no! I have not! So a couple of weekends ago we toot-tooted up to Ludington State Park with our friends, Jan-Harm (say "YON-Harm" - he's quite German) and Mary Wolters to achieve just that. Oh. My. Goodness. Skimming across the water in this neat little boat, powered only by my amazing muscles. FUUUUUN!!! Now I want to think of every inland lake and river possible (Lake Michigan's a little scary for me yet) and kayak away.

My bucket list, as fun as it is to have - and it'll take way more than five years to check all the things off, and I'll just keep adding to it anyway - is also a reminder that God has placed many desires in our hearts, some of them big and lofty, and others far simpler. In times of discouragement, it helps me to remember that enjoying God's creation, pursuing a gifting or a passion, becoming involved in a ministry, or taking delight in a fun activity are all evidences of God's kindness to us.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm finally joining the action...

I have a friend who informed me I'm a "blurker" - which evidently is someone who does not blog, but who lurks on other people's blogs. I'm totally addicted to other people's blogs...what a great way to keep up on their lives when it's so hard to keep in touch!!

Well, I'm leaving the blurker world to join the blogging world. This way we can keep everyone up with what's going on in our lives (sometimes boring, sometimes not) in a way that's far more interesting than email.

I'm figuring this whole thing out...sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake so it might take a few tries to make a post that's actually cool. Stay tuned!