Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Year at This Time...

Hi friends! It's been about a million years since we've updates this thing, and lots has happened.
First of all, at this time last year John and I were dancing and taking pictures (definitely not eating) at our reception at the Bluffs. Today is the big day - our one year anniversary! It has been a fun weekend of remembering what last year looked like at this time and looking back over the high points of the year. This year has been full of change - marriage, new jobs, a house...and we are thankful for it all. It is nice to feel as though we are entering a season (however brief it may be) of rest.
I mentioned new jobs; I am winding down my first semester as a high school teacher. What an experience this has been! I teach science at a public school here in Tyler. I have one AP class; the rest are a remedial science for students who need to pass the TAKS. It has come with many challenges, but as I face the end of the semester I am excited to see that I am actually having more good days than bad, and that on most days I really enjoy what I do. I am starting to get better at managing my time, which means less bringing work home with me, which is great for both of us.

(I'd like to pause from this update and let everyone know that John keeps interrupting my typing by messing up the cursor from his iPhone. He has a new app that acts as a remote/mouse. I'm about to wash his phone like I did the last one...)

We also recently moved out of our apartment (no more squeeky ceilings!) into our first home! We are loving it. We are pretty much settled, and it finally feels like our place. We have one bedroom left to paint (my Christmas break project) and some trim in the living room to do as well (although the white primer is growing on us...), but other than that we are enjoying life there. Check out pictures on my Facebook.

That's what's happening in life for us right now. We'll try to be better about keeping you updated (I know you all so look forward to it :)), which will be easier now that we have internet at our house. We love you and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Hi friends! It's been a LONG time since our last update, and a lot has happened since then. Or at least it feels that way.
John is still at the church and Pine Cove, which keeps him busy. We did move him into a new office at the church which suits him way better than his old one. It feels more homey (and has LOTS more natural light, which I always prefer)and has plenty of workspace, fun pictures, and instruments to make it fun and functional. I am sure that is exactly how John would describe it...:)
I've started teaching and am still alive! I really do enjoy my job most of the time. There have been a couple of trying days, but I enjoy the teaching for the most part. I have some really good kids and am praying for the ones that prove more difficult. The Lord is faithful and is teaching me more and more about how to let Him love through me, which is harder than you might think. Please pray with me on how to love and encourage and guide these students who don't even realize that they need any of those things.
John and I are still on the house hunt. We have taken to sleeping in the guest room of our apartment on account of our noisy upstairs neighbors. It is a great temporary solution, but it is getting a little old. One of these days we won't have to share a ceiling/floor with anyone - it will be glorious! In the meantime, we are still searching and praying and trying to wait patiently.
I guess that about sums up where we are right now. We love you and are thankful for your friendship in our lives. Come visit us when you get the chance!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Busy busy busy...

Hi friends! It has been a loooong time since we last updated you on our lives (I know, I have been eagerly anticipating this moment, I'm sure). This summer has kept us busy and on our toes, as usual. Rather than boring you with the details of every activity I have composed a list of the highlights. Here it goes:

1. We took a trip to St. Francisville, Louisiana, for our friends' wedding. John played and sang - it was beautiful!
2. A childhood friend of mine (this is Lori) got married in K-town, so we used the excuse to head home, where John and Dad managed to squeeze in a game of golf while Emily, Mom, and I shopped to get me some classroom-appropriate clothes for the fall (apparently schools frown on teachers wearing shorts, keens, and camp t-shirts to work. Go figure).
3. A group of Baby Ruths graduated the program as new ones entered.
4. Jacey came to visit us on the 4th of July. We ate good food, shot fireworks, and did a little shopping on the side.
5. We have been enjoying our small group at our new church. We are watching the Truth Project together, which has been fun and challenging.
6. John is continuing to lead worship at Calvary. He is doing a fabulous job!
7. I have finished all of my classwork leading up to taking the PPR for my teacher certification. I take the test on August 5th. Yay!
8. I will be heading to San Antonio in a week for a week-long conference on teaching AP Environmental Science. I am excited about the opportunity, but not looking forward to a week away from my husband.
9. We have started the process of looking for a house when our contract is up on our apartment in September. We are excited (and a little nervous, too) about the potential of finding our first house!
10. We visited our family in Decatur to celebrate John's parents' birthdays. It was a quick but fun trip. The boys got to watch a Rangers game while the ladies enjoyed a super-girly movie, pizza, and cookie dough. Awesome.

I think that's about it! I realize that the list was more detailed than I actually meant for it to be, but it sure is hard to consolidate a busy summer into a few lines! We hope that your summer is treating you well and we look forward to hearing about what is going on in your lives. We love you!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Day Off!

Today is Saturday, and it is my first day off (this is Lori speaking) in 20 days. Woo-hoo! So far we've slept in, eaten Chick-fil-A for lunch, and painted my toenails (again, this is Lori speaking, so no worries) while watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother. It's been great so far, and the day is still young!
Here are a few things that have been happening in our lives lately:
1. Summer camp has started. It has been really fun interspersed with come craziness. But we're excited about another summer at Pine Cove. I am directing the Baby Ruth program again, which I love.
2. We took my car in for its 100,000 mile tune-up. Lots of money later we will have a practically new car (right?...). Here's hoping to eek a couple more years out of the ol' Malibu.
3. John made some popcorn in our Stir Crazy the other night. We discovered what happens when you don't get the popcorn kernel ratio exactly the top rose off of the Stir Crazy and fluffy popcorn started to fill our kitchen. It was awesome.
4. I had a flat tire the other day. John had to come rescue me at our apartment. 20 minutes later my tire was like new. My hero!
5. I accepted a new job starting this fall. I will be teaching science at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler. I am excited about it, but also nervous and sad to leave Pine Cove. I would love your prayers as we enter into a new season this fall.
I think that's about it for now. Any last thoughts, John?

This one time ... yeah, i got nothin.

Except... The day, i came home to fix Lori's flat, we went into the apartment to get my computer, and found out that our guest bathroom had flooded. We threw down some towels and started trying to sop it up, and Lori went to tell the people in the office that we had a maintenance issue. (That's right... we live in an apartment, and now I get to be the one filling out work orders! What's up?!... or at least that's what i thought) So anyway, when we got home from work, there was a note on the counter of our guest bathroom, saying that the had come and ... couldn't find anything wrong ... Don't get me wrong ... i know they work hard ... i've responded to work orders, and couldn't get the issue to repeat itself ... but later that night, i spent a good thirty minutes actually fixing the toilet. Yeah. (overflow tube was too high)

That's it. Lori?...

I think that just about sums up our life since our last post. We love you guys! Talk to you later.

Lori and John

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Whirlwind!

Hi friends! I realized tonight as I was waiting for John to get home from playing the drums at a worship event that it's been a long time since we updated this thing. And a lot has gone on! One could even call these past few weeks a whirlwind of activities (John:"Is this a good activity?" in his Brian Regan voice...) and goings on. So here we go.

Big news number 1:
John has a new job! Or I should say an additional job. He recently accepted ("We! We recently accepted!" is what he is telling me as he reads over my shoulder.) a position as a worship pastor at a church here in Tyler. We are really excited about this opportunity. The church community has been very welcoming and encouraging, and we are looking forward to opportunities to get to know the people and get plugged in. (John:"why do people always say plugged in? We're not toasters!")

Big news number 2:
We are not pregnant. I just feel like I should say that because I got this sinking feeling as I was typing that maybe this is what people were going to start thinking with the "Big news" thing. And clearly I found that explaining that was easier than pressing the delete button. Don't ask me how my mind works... (John:"Well, you see, there are all these little sparks firing all over your brain, and they're making connections with other parts of your brain...")

Large Bulletin number 3 (is that better?): (John:"that was my idea")
I recently passed a couple of science certification exams. I am enrolled in an alternative certification program to pursue teaching at some point in life. We are not necessarily job hunting for me, but I'm excited to eventually have my teaching certificate. It's kinda fun working towards a goal after a long time in one place. My brain is being stretched, that's for sure! (John:"There it goes; sparking again.")

Giant Announcement number 4: (John:"also my idea")
We are the proud owners of a Wii! Thank you Uncle Sam and your tax refunds! We are ready to party hard with anyone who thinks they can school us on the Figure Skating portion of the Wii Deca Sports. Geez it's hard... (John:"i will neither confirm nor deny my participation in said portion of the Deca Sports. i will, however, set forth another challenge on the snowboarding portion... seeing as how beating my wife has become too monotonous... OWWW! ... i got hit ...")
And of course we purchased the Wii Fit (it just seemed right). Right now my Wii Fit age is 41. My sister's is 35. (John:"Get it... it's ironic 'cause they're twins...")If that isn't motivation to get on that little balance board and mimic a computer-generated personal trainer doing lunges I don't know what is.

Well, that might be it for now. I'm posting a new picture that we took at the Rangers game we went to with Pine Cove earlier in the week. (John:"Lori is becoming quite the Baseball fan, now that she knows what's going on. i'm so lucky.") We love you and hope you have a great week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Sweet It Is...

John and I just got back to the apartment from a trip to the mall. Bootsie sent us a little money for Easter (thanks, Bootsie!), so we went to take advantage of the sale at Old Navy. We found ourselves in The Gap (aka The Land of Many Temptations) and as I was trying on clothes from the sale rack a dress flew over the top of the door. And about 2 minutes after that miraculous event I found my eyes welling up as my sweet husband unveiled his secret plan for our trip. He had a little extra money and wanted to treat me to a new outfit. What a simple but oh, so sweet (and fun) blessing.
As the lady at Old Navy said (yes, we did make it down to Old Navy), "You've got a good one!" I happen to agree.
Thank you, God, for this blessing of my husband.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long Time No Share

I'm sitting in front of my tv watching Dancing with the Stars (this is Lori, by the way, so don't be alarmed) on one of our two channels (thank you, rabbit ears!) and wondering if the ceiling is going to cave in from our thunderfeet upstairs neighbors. John is hanging out with a friend and then off to play some soccer. Since I'm by myself, I figured I'd take some time to update you on what's been going on in our lives.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for us. Three weeks ago we made a quick but fun-filled trip out to Camp War Eagle to spend some time with Jen, Kolby, and the nieces and nephew. We had a blast! It was my first trip out there, and we sure made the most of it. Picture lots of hiking, jumping on the trampoline, eating awesome food, blowing darts on the blowgun, building fires with the kids, and lots and lots of laughter and fun with the family. I love it! It was wonderful but way too short.
This last weekend my parents came up to visit (we love houseguests!) for my mom's early birthday celebration. It consisted of a delicious lemon poppyseed pound cake, a day touring the azalea gardens in Tyler, playing games, and lots of delicious food. It was Mom and Dad's first chance to see our apartment, so that was fun too. Good times had by all!
This week we have a tiny bit of a breather before we hit the ground running again. I don't have any groups this week, but John will be leading worship this weekend at the Bluffs while I spend some time with girlfriends in Dallas. Maybe next weekend we'll be agenda-free!
So there you have it - a quick rundown of our last couple of weeks. Now it's back to the thunderfeet (our ceiling fan is moving...if it crashes to the ground we'll be sure and let you know!) and Dancing with the Stars. We love you guys and hope that you are doing well. Talk to you soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Right now we are sitting on the awesome couch with full bellies watching Shooter. John just gave me the basic overview of the movie (we are fast-forwarding to John's favorite parts) as we cleaned up our tiny kitchen, and now I sit enthralled as I watch Marky Mark blow the heads off of bad guys.
John and I have a great system for picking out movies...we take turns. Yes, we revisit our kindergarden ethics and are happy to report that it works like a charm! Since we've been married I have subjected John to such movies as When Harry Met Sally, 13 Going on 30, You've Got Mail (numerous times in one weekend even!), and Two Weeks Notice. I have had the pleasure of watching Tombstone, The Rock, The Godfather, and let's not forget Shooter.
There is a catch, however, to making our brillant plan work well. When it comes time to pick, John sticks to man-movies and a good chick flick must be my choice. I made the confusing mistake a few weeks ago of picking a man-movie on my turn. On the next movie night John and I were thrown for a loop. It was John's turn. Did he have to pick a chick flick? We weren't prepared for the pickle we found ourselves in. And a valuble lesson was learned that day. When in doubt, stick to the routine...
John: basically that means i was selfish and chose the movie i wanted to see... yeah... i suck.
Lori: that is NOT what that means! everyone should know that any time i am in a bad mood john picks a chick flick for us to watch, even if it is his turn! what a man!!!
John: Yeah! "What a man!" i passify my wife by putting in a girly movie. i am awesome.
Lori: a keeper in my book, babe. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Absence makes the heart... ...freaking ache!

Yeah, you guessed it. Lori's gone. She went to the Manager's and Director's Retreat this morning at 8am. i'll be headed down there for the staff retreat tomorrow, but for today, i'm going to sulk and pout. i was telling her this morning, that it's amazing to me that after only 9 weeks, i have 'come so accustomed to having her around that it is seriously distressing to experience her absence. (insert remarks about being mushy or how this newly wed thing is cheesy) Most of you who know me, know that i've been cheesy for a long time... this is not new. But i think some of this misery is due, at least in part, to knowing that this weekend will be more of the same. Friday, i am going to Nac to hang with Jon and Lori is going to South Texas to hang with some of her friends. We're both going to have a lot of fun, and it'll be great and all, but this is the first time since we've been married that we're not coming home to each other... and let me tell you, it's a bummer!
So, i want to take this opportunity to talk about one of my pet peeves, as well as one of my greatest vices. Entitlement. Here it goes.
i believe that entitlement is one of this world's most destructive mindsets. The idea that we deserve or are owed something in this world causes people to be mean rude and hateful. As far as i can tell, entitlement is the antithesis of grace. Those of us who know our broken state, know also that grace is our greatest source of hope. Entitlement kills hope. Entitlement says that i am right, you are wrong, give me what is mine or i will take it from you at any cost. It's just funny to me that, after knowing that all i have earned in this life is pain and death, i would try to convince myself and anyone else that i am owed this or that... ridiculous. Here are a few ways that i have seen entitlement pop up in my life lately:
1. i am entitled to drive however i want, and anyone who gets in my way is a no good dirty so-and-so and has now earned my undying wrath. (watch out grandma! the fast lane is for the righteous!)
2. i am entitled to spend my money the way i want. Don't tell me i can't buy a truck or a firearm or whatever hyper-masculine symbol has whimsically tickled my fancy lately. i am a man so i deserve to have manly things.
3. i am entitled to be wherever my wife is. (this one hits a little close to home) i put that ring on her finger, so now you have no right to tell me that she has to go somewhere that i am not invited. (this is getting ugly)
4. i am entitled to obey the parts of the bible that my acute intelligence designate as applicable to my way of life. When Jesus said to follow His commandments to prove my love, He just meant that i had to do the ones that make sense to me and cause me the least discomfort. Loving the least, the last and the lost, and proclaiming His gospel to them just means that i need to think good thoughts about people and not ruffle too many feathers, so maybe someday they'll think Jesus is attractive enough to believe in.

... yeah ...

Entitlement is bad. i don't want entitlement anymore. i want submission. "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." We will stop looking for the easy ways to feign obedience and start seeking to follow His commands. And not just sacrifice or ritual burnt offerings, but the compassion, justice, mercy and humility that were modeled by our Lord in His every Word, Deed, Breath and Step. He owes us death, and He gave us life. How's that for entitled?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


We love Saturdays with nothing to do - "no-agenda Saturdays" as deemed by Lauren. We haven't had many of these since our wedding, but every one that we've had we enjoy to the fullest. It always begins in the same way - waking up late (or early, depending on when our upstairs neighbors start moving around...and by moving I mean making our ceiling groan and squeek), enjoying some chocolate chip waffles (we love you, waffle-maker!!), and watching a movie on our awesome couch. After that point it varies. Sometimes we stay lazy. On other days we decide to brave the masses at the mall. Sometimes we even go to the movies or hang out with people. But the best part of it is getting to choose what the day is going to look like right there in the midst of it. No places to be or obligations to fulfill. We can relax. Together.

Today is Saturday. This morning was a little different than the usual - our breakfast plans were interuppted by a maintenance need at work, I switched our mattresses (my muscles feel huge!) and spent some time in the Word while John was gone, and our awesome couch was neglected. But alas, we find ourselves now, at 2:50 in the afternoon, choosing the lazy road. John's in his beloved recliner, I'm on the awesome couch writing this, and You've Got Mail is playing for the 2nd time this weekend (how did I win the choice-of-movie battle?). Boring? Maybe. But today it's perfect. And as for next Saturday...who knows adventures (or not) it will bring!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pictures of our Life Together!

Here are just a few pictures of our life together - as promised!

I Get Paid to Do This

Today I got paid to let a goat stand on my back. Not even kidding. It's one of the many perks of getting to work in our outdoor ed program at Pine Cove. We (the staff) took a trip today to Sharkarosa Ranch in Pilot Point to do a little research on potential additions to our program. The staff gave us an awesome, up close look at lots of fun animals. We let lemurs (and goats) crawl all over us, ran with some camels (watch out, they spit!), crouched in silence in the kangaroo pen (we were told that the could "disembowl you with one kick." I'm going to have nightmares for weeks!), and watch bobcats eat raw pieces of chicken. It was so fun! Now I just have to figure out how to get the hoof prints off of my jacket...

But you know what the best part of today was? Coming home. After a full day of fun memories and exotic animals, I can think of nothing better than pizza and a movie with my husband. How great is that?!

Can't wait to talk to you soon!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My First Attempt at a Blog...

This is a first for me (this is Lori speaking, by the way). I have never written on a blog before. I can pretend it's for lack of time, but I'm pretty sure it probably boils down to being a little insecure about writing things for the world to see. Grammar never was my strong suit and I'm not the wittiest of people. The good news is that I am fairly certain that you guys don't care. And for that I am thankful. :)
I'm going to do my best to keep this thing up to date. John didn't really know before he married me that I am typically bad at long-term communication (my sister makes me look bad - she's really good at it). But I'm always up for turning over a new leaf - or at least flipping over previously turned ones.
Wow. I'm pretty good at rambling. Here are the things you need to know. First of all, our couch did arrive safe and sound 2 weeks earlier than promised. Woo-hoo! I hid in the back while John observed the sophisticated (and complicated) manueverings to get that huge couch through our tiny entryway. We might have to bust out a window to get it out of there someday, but we'll see. Our apartment is all set up now and ready for visitors (hint hint). In fact, we will have our first houseguests this weekend - yay for the Fabers! We will have a full house with 4 grown-ups, 1 baby, and maybe even Cliff. How fun will that be! We are looking forward to celebrating John's birthday together.
Speaking of John's birthday...he's finally turning 26! I say finally because it doesn't sound as bad when I tell people that my husband is 26 (I am 27) instead of 25. I have a complex, I know, but at least now I don't feel like I'm robbing the cradle. :) Anyway, we are excited to eat waffles and party chicken, enjoy family, and share our new home with dear guests. I'm all for celebrating John with the people he loves!
I think that's the big news for now. Hopefully we'll have more pictures up soon - the wedding, nashville, our know, life through a lense. We'll talk to you soon!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well here we go!

So we're starting this blog thing. i did one of these in college on Xanga, but my guess is that Lori will be doing this more than me. She's got more to say than me most of the time... well, at least more good stuff to say. For those of you that we haven't been able to talk to since the wedding, we're doing great! We've started to settle into our little apartment in Tyler, TX and it even looks like a home. That's all Lori, though. Ask Stephen about what it looked like before Lori moved in... yikes. We'll probably put some pictures up soon, to show ya'll what it looks like. We might even put wedding pics up at some point.

The biggest news, as of late, is that we have just bought a couch....

i had to pause after writing that, because, let's be honest, how lame do you automatically get when you get married? The highlight of my weak is a couch.... wow... we might even stay up till 9:30 tonight and watch a PG-13 movie! yeah... livin on the edge!

Anyway, the couch is really nice and very comfortable, and i'm pretty sure it'll fit in our living room. We'll find out when it shows up in 3 weeks.

Here's what it looks like...


alright... come visit... ready... BREAK!