Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Colorado, Oregon, & Utah

What do the above 3 states have in common? They are the 3 state quarters I'm currently missing from those which have been released of my state quarter selection. I've been collecting since 1999 and have done fairly well collecting. But since I use minimal cash, it takes a while to find them.

If you happen to find one of these states and would like to help me with my collection, I would gladly reimburse you.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I'll post more from our Christmas later.

Happy Day After Christmas (also known as Mark's birthday :))

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Christmas Card

Merry Christmas. I love Christmas cards, especially the ones with pictures. Plain cards are nice too but I'm fond of the picture ones. Mark and I enjoy doing fun things with our Christmas cards. This year we went Southern :)

The challenge with Christmas cards is when you send them out making sure you get to everyone. I try to keep my list up to date but I'm sometimes only mildly successful. I'm posting our card this year so everyone can at least see it. I have some extras so if you want one :)...just let me know.

Merry Christmas and God's blessings on the new year!



















Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Driving 115


Now the speedometer reads 115 on this car, yet any of you who know me probably doubt I would drive that fast on public roads. Don't worry Mom, I haven't.
While Brian was down here visiting he had a rental car. We took this thing everywhere (Tallahassee, up to Atlanta twice) etc... One of the funny things about it is you could push a button and it would switch from standard to metric. Since kilometers are shorter than miles, it of course goes up when you switch on the speedometer. Since I would never drive that fast this is probably one of the few times in my life I'll see it so far up.
Ok, so I know not the most fascinating thing but on the long drive to Atlanta...you'll take about anything.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I elfed us

I saw Sandra do this on her blog and I thought it looked like fun.

I'm sure Mark will think I'm nuts....but he'll like it

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1411767104

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Caroling in Sandals

I didn't wear sandals when we went Christmas caroling on Sunday but I should have. It is notably warm here right now. As I read and hear about all the ice back in Illinois, I shiver. We have had unseasonably warm temperatures. It is about 80 degrees during the day. I had to turn my air conditioner back on.

Mark and I try to take walks in the evening to enjoy the beautiful weather. Winter is definitely a mild season here. This is a great reason for all you Yankees to come visit us down in the South.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Singing

When we were down at the Lakewood Retreat (a Mennonite campground), we saw this sign that described a "Singing." Now those of us from the A.C. and other like worlds, we know what a singing is. Sometimes when I would mention I was going to a singing on a Friday night to my non-A.C. friends, they would be confused.

Well the below definition of a singing is not usually the one I would describe to them. I posted both pictures of the sign as one is easier to read expect where the flash is and the other is more blurry but doesn't have the flash (they are the same sign).

This does kind of weird me out thinking back to young group days. We aren't Amish but the general principles here could apply. I don't think I ever heard someone describe it in our church having that purpose. But then again...think College Weekend. It certainly is not the whole purpose for most people (a side purpose for some I'm sure). As for me...I really did and do just like to sing!

















Monday, December 03, 2007

Adventures with Brian

As some of you may know, my brother Brian came to live with us for most of October and the first part of Novemeber. He works for Caterpillar in Pontiac, IL which is the parent facility to the one down here in Thomasville. We had lots of fun with Brian which included several trips to Atlanta, exploring Thomasville, and lots of Star Trek.
Here are some pictures with Brian

At Sonic














Alston Trading Post














Getting Boiled Peanuts at the Trading Post

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm back

After being on the road to various places since the 12th of November, I'm happy to say I've returned home to sunny Georgia. I have many pictures which will become subsequent posts on the blog.

We had a wonderful time in Illinois for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you ask my mom) our flight was canceled coming home on Sunday night. We were able to fly out Monday morning (very early I might add) and we did make it home. But it was quite the adventure getting there.

I'll update more later but I thought I'd give a shout out.

O

Monday, November 12, 2007

Family Fun at Lakewood Retreat

In October of this year Mark, Lydia, Ben, and I traveled down to Florida to the Lakewood retreat. It is a gathering of the Florida churches at this camp/cabin area for a weekend of fun and fellowship. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time.


There were lots of little girls around who loved to play.

Human Foosball -Now this looks like a lot of very painful fun. You hold on to the pipes and the whole line has to move as one, just like in Foosball.
Our cabin the "Wren". Since this year they had less people that normal, we were able to stay in a fairly large cabin just the 4 of us.







Inside our cabin













The "Lindberg Family" (abbreviated version)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

God's Protection


Last night, we (Mark, Brian, & I) were walking around Thomasville after dinner as it was a beautiful evening. If you've never been by our apartment (which applies to most of you), we live on a busy 4 lane road. It isn't impossible to cross by any means but you do have to pay attention. Also there is no side walk on our side of the road, you have to cross the street to walk on the side walk
As we were about home, I decided to cross the street just a little earlier than normal (I believe now it was a little push from the Holy Spirit). Just as we go into our drive way a motorcycle sped by us. None of us had heard it before it was right behind us. It was within a couple of feet from where we were standing. Had we crossed just a few seconds later, we could have easily been hit as he was going so fast we didn't see him till he was right there. I can still feel the blowing of my skirt.
After my heart slowed a bit, I really realized how tragic it could have been. We are so fragile that it would take almost nothing to end our life at any second. I guess God doesn't want the 3 of us home yet. I praise God for his protection over us last night.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Men are hard to buy for

I'm starting on my Christmas shopping as we are going to Illinois for Thanksgiving and I want to leave my gifts up there. I have my brother's name for Christmas and of course their is Mark. For the other women in my life, I have tons of ideas. For these two I'm struggling. Now this may be because I'm not male and therefore can't imagine what would be a "fun" gift.

I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Sweet Sister

I was very impressed with the sweetness of my sister Diana. Last week her boyfriend Nick (sorry no picture available) was having a very rough week. They are both in Physician Assistant school and currently in their rotations. Diana is in Ft. Wayne and Nick is currently about 1 hour away in Marion.

Diana knew he needed cheering up. She had done that same rotation down in Marion a few months before. She called up her former preceptor (Nick's current) and told him of the situation. She was able to secure a couple of hours to take Nick out for dinner (not hospital cafeteria food). She looked up restaurants in Marion (not a large town) on the internet before departing.

She then drove down and surprised him. She said he shocked but pleased. I know she is really busy with school and such right now. Therefore I thought the gesture was very kind.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Holidays

As the holiday season is fast approaching, I'll have to admit it comes with much joy and some sadness. This year Mark and I do have the opportunity to spend the week of Thanksgiving up in Illinois. Last year due to Mark's limited vacation time, we didn't get to go back for any major holidays.

This year we are sacrificing Christmas to Thanksgiving. Now Thanksgiving is a pretty big holiday in my family. Both sides get together and enjoy a time of sharing and of course eating. The food is always great even if some what predictable. I'm excited about going back to Illinois even if I know I'll be sad when we have to leave. We are leaving on the last flight out of Bloomington to fly home. I know this is crazy but it was the only way to make the most of the day. I'm trusting God will get us back to Georgia.

Here are some pictures from last year's events that my family sent me in our absence.

My Immediate Family Christmas





Vercler Family Thanksgiving



Monday, October 22, 2007

House Alarms

When I stay with different people in my trips to South Bend, many of them have home security systems. I've recently been a pro at setting these systems off.

The first time I did it, it really wasn't my fault. I thought someone was home, they weren't and I didn't know the code. So of course after I enter 60 seconds later the alarm goes off.

This most recent time...it was my fault. I was talking on the phone when I entered the house. Instead of pushing "off" after the code, I did like I had in the morning and pushed "away." If I had been focused on the task at hand...it probably wouldn't have happened.

Now if you have never experienced the perils of a house alarm going off, I liken it to what I think alarms at the end of the world will sound like. So loud that you can't think straight. I think they protect your house from burglary as the criminals will be scared and deafened by the noise.

I did get them shut off eventually and no police showed up so it wasn't a huge deal. Just a lesson learned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tabasco Sauce

I had a very early flight with a fairly long lay-over on my recent trip to South Bend. In an effort to curb my hunger and entertain myself during my layover, I decided to have breakfast at one of the restaurants in the Atlanta airport verses just getting a quick bite to go. I should have got the quick bite to go.

As many of you know, I travel with carry-on luggage only. As I was trying to arrange it around my table, I accidentally bumped over a bottle of Tabasco Sauce. It then promptly broke and splattered all over tile floor. In addition it doused the ankle of a man wearing a very nice light tan suit at the table next to me. Needless to say he wasn't impressed (or very nice). I apologized profusely and the waitress helped him clean it.

They then moved me to another table (probably for my own protection) and to clean up the mess. To top it all off, I had an itch in my eye. I didn't realize I still had the Tabasco Sauce still on my fingers and of course it caused my eye to burn. I did get it rinsed out but it probably looked like I was crying over spilled Tabasco Sauce.

Oh well, such is life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Surprise from Mark

Earlier this year I had seen this very cool watch on-line. I wanted to get it right away but I thought a little delayed gratification would be good for me, so I decided I'd ask for it at Christmas. The watch is part of a unique collection designed by Mindy. I was so bummed when about a month or so later it was labeled at "sold" on the site.


It turns out my honey decided to surprise me with the watch (hence why it was sold). He went to a lot of work to get it without my knowledge. He had it shipped to his brother's place so that I wouldn't find it in the mail. It is extremely difficult to get things by me here since I work from home. I was thoroughly impressed and happily surprised. He even called my mom at one point to make sure she wouldn't buy me a different one for Christmas like I had requested. I think I have one of the sweetest most romantic men on the planet.


Needless to say I really like the watch. If you are looking for a unique watch, I highly recommend you check out Expressions by Mindy I have had several friends who really like their watches and now I can speak for the quality myself. Mark made an excellent purchase.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Visiting our Representative

On our trip to Washington D.C., we stopped by the offices of our Representative and Senator to get gallery tickets to watch Congress in session. We throughly enjoyed watching the lawmakers and were some what taken aback by the casualness of these decisions.
On a more positive note, visiting our Rep's office was a lot of fun. Mr. Sanford Bishop's receptionist offered us drinks and snacks. She also let us go into his office and told us just to relax. Given how hot of a day it was, it did feel nice. It was a little weird but we got some fun pictures.




Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Smoke Alarm

On our vacation our smoke alarm was really sensitive. I was making dinner on Sunday evening. Just boiling some mac n' cheese when all of sudden the thing started going off. I wasn't even burning anything!




Well it is one of those electronically wired to the building alarms. This caused a great deal of concern for me as we may end up evacuating the whole building. Well we got it to quit but I was paranoid every time we cooked that we would set it off again.




Friday, September 28, 2007

My brother is here


My brother is down in Thomasville for a little while working on a project for Caterpillar. He just arrived yesterday. I feel bad because our air conditioning went out last night. He got to experience a very warm first night with us. The repair person hopefully is coming today. I'm stalking our maintenance man to make sure he is.
Other than that everything is good. We don't know how long Brian will be here. It will depend on how long the project takes. It may be several weeks. Mark & I excited to have him around.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cold Shower

On our recent trip to Washington D.C. we stayed in a condo instead of a traditional hotel. We enjoyed this immensely as it gave us more space plus a kitchen, washer/dryer etc...

A funny thing happened our first couple of days. We arrived on Saturday morning and after a brief nap we decided to go exploring. We walked all over and after coming home hot a sweaty decided a shower was in order. When I turned on the water I messed around with the handle to find the hot and the cold. I thought the hot was all the way over to the left because when I turned it all the way over to the right it got even colder.

On that first day the water never did get very hot. It wasn't cold but it wasn't very warm either. Sunday morning I get up and do the exact same thing. This time the water isn't what I would call "cold" but it certainly wasn't warm either. I crawled back in bed after my shower and Mark commented how chilly I was. I told him that we needed to talk to the rental office soon about the "cold" water. Our water heater may need some fixin'.

The ever resourceful Mark tried out the shower again. He found out I had been turning the handle the wrong way. Our problem wasn't that we lacked hot water...rather our water never got very cold. I'm glad we figured this out on Sunday because I averaged two showers a day and I wasn't going for the "Jamaica experience."

Here is a picture of our bathroom in the condo.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Riding the Metro

During our trip to Washington D.C. we traveled around the city using the Metro system. We had wonderful passes that gave us unlimited use for 7 days. The train even allowed us to get out close to the D.C. Apostolic Church. With the help of a wonderful member, we were able to attend services our first Sunday there.

The Metro runs very regularly and can get you about anywhere you want to go. We had a good location to be clsoe to a station.

Here are some pictures of our Metro travels.




Friday, September 14, 2007

We're back!

Sorry I have been absent from the blogging world. We were in Washington D.C. and then I was in Boston. It didn't leave much time for posting. I'll post some pictures from our trip soon.

A fun story though. On my way home from Boston my flight to Valdosta was way overbooked. Since there were no more flights to Valdosta that night, they were offering some nice compensation for those who gave up their seat.

Well since I fly with only carry-on luggage and Mark picks me up, I just had them re-route me to Tallahassee. I only had to wait an extra hour and I still got the sweet compensation (400 Delta dollars).

It was a nice end to a great trip.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It's 2 days until Mark and I take off on our belated honeymoon to Washington D.C. Last year when we got married, we didn't have enough vacation time from work to take a trip. So finally, almost 1 year later we are taking our vacation. Of course we are the nerds who are going to learn about history on our trip, but it should be a good time.

I will have internet access while we are away, so we may do some posting.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mopping the floor

The other evening as we were cleaning up from dinner, Mark commented that the kitchen floor needed mopped. I was aware of this and it was on my to-do list for the weekend cleaning. Well being the incredibly sweet honey he is, Mark decided it was going to bug him too much to wait. So you know what he did...


He got out the mop and did it himself. I appreciated it very much as I could now check something off of my list. Yipee!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Always been a phone person

I love talking on the phone. Since moving so far away from most of friends and family, this has been a huge benefit. I'm very thankful for Verizon "in" network and free nights/weekends, otherwise my phone bill would be terrible.

I also recently got a Vonage phone which has unlimited local and long-distance. I'm loving it as well. Now I can call some people whenever I want. I always try to be conscientious of my friend's cell phones. This way I don't use up their minutes.


Mark and I definitely survived our long-distance engagement through the telephone. We estimated we spent an average of 3 hours per day on the phone. We still talk that much since we've been married, we just do it in person now. When I'm on business trips we usually only are able to do 2 hours or so because I'm so busy. Mark's phone usage has notably dropped since we've been married.




So if you are bored and need something to do, feel free to give me a call. I am certainly a phone person.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Adventures with Amanda Part 2: Dinner with FJ

One evening during Amanda's visit we had some friends and family over for dinner. Just some people to hang out with Amanda. Being the terribly social bird she is, she enjoyed herself thoroughly.

FJ took this opportunity to give some cooking lessons. We had bacon wrapped chicken, fabulous mashed potatoes, asparagus etc... for supper. Then for dessert we had pound cake with berries and what Amanda & I lovingly refer to as "happy sauce."

A tribute to my brother "Fun was had by all"


Friday, August 17, 2007

Favorite thing

On a recent trip to South Bend, we were playing a little game at work where people asked another co-worker any random question.

For example:
What type of animal is most like you?
What is a childhood memory you have that defines your childhood?
Etc...


My question came from my boss as "What's your second favorite thing to do?"
I was a little surprised "Why my second?"
He smiled "We already know that spending time with your husband is your first?"

I guess it isn't any secret how much I enjoy just being with Mark.


What can I say? I love this man!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Adventures with Amanda

While Amanda was here, I did my best to show her some of the fun things to do in the South. Of course we had a low country boil and ate some of the best friend chicken in town.

Another popular favorite of mine in the Gulf Speciman Marine Lab in Pancea, FL. About 1 1/2 hour drive from Thomasville, this is the first "hand's on" aquarium I've ever been to. Depending on what they have in their tanks, you can touch all sorts of things from sand dollars and star fish to really large crabs.

Here is Amanda enjoying the touch tanks.
















I always enjoy the horsehoe crabs. I would highly avoid them if you see one out on the beach. But in the safety of the gulf lab, these things are pretty cool.



















Thursday, August 09, 2007

Amanda-now that she has come and gone

My kid sister Amanda was here visiting us in Georgia. We had tons of fun. I'll try to post some pictures once I get them off my camera.



Amanda's birthday is tomorrow. She is going to be 16. I have to admit I'm a little sad, my baby is growing up. On the plus side though, this means she will be driving.



Some people ask if this frightens me or if I worry about her being on the road. Of course I worry about her in that I want her to be safe, but as far as young drivers go...she'll be just fine. Amanda is a pretty good driver for all accounts. The only way anyone learns to drive is...to drive.



Besides, my parents bought her a boat of a car. It is a 1990 Mercury Grand Marquis. This isn't an actual picture (as Amanda still needs to send me one) but it's something like this. Keep in mind this car is older than she is and only 1 year newer than the car I drove when I was 16. Not to make me sound old...but seriously. The funny thing about the whole ordeal is that this is the car she wanted. She picked it out and everything.



As long as she is safe. It sounds good to me. I'm just glad her and Dad found one they could agree on :).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Missing my friends and family

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. Amanda (aka baby sister and short child) was here visiting for a little over a week. We had a fabulous time. I'll be updating my blog more with photos and memories of that. I truly enjoyed her visit but it does make me miss my family a little bit more. The day to day is fine. But sometimes after a wonderful visit, I get a little sad that I don't get to see them more often.

Then there are my friends who I see even less. There are even members of our wedding party who we haven't seen since the wedding. Part of the problem with moving to different places (Purdue, South Bend, Georgia) away from Gridley is that I make these wonderful friends then I move again. I now have a bunch of places where people who I miss live. All these places to visit, not enough time.

Oh well...Praise the Lord for friends and family. They have truly blessed my life in more ways than I can even fathom.






Monday, July 23, 2007

Stalking for customer service

Working for a company that mails out patient satisfaction surveys and promoting best practices to improve health care customer service, I have increased my expectations about what constitutes good customer service. I've also learned that to receive the service you need requires you be your own advocate.

Recently Verizon erroneously charged my credit card 75$. I had received no bill or notification of the charge. When I first called they couldn't even tell me that they knew my card had been charged. Needless to say it took at least 5 phone calls talking to as many as 4 people per phone call to get a proper credit. I also had a great deal of difficulty with a local doctor's office. A few years ago I got my leather coat replaced.

I have learned the following rules for effectively prying out excellent customer service from those who should willing give it.

Stalking for Customer Service- How to get your complaints sufficiently resolved.
1. Always keep records of everything. Keep all e-mails, bills, receipts, dates of phone conversations, names of people you talk to (especially those that are rude). As soon as you realize something is amiss, keep everything. This will prove valuable should you have to prove something to anyone.

2. Stick to the facts. Avoid at all costs inflating your claim or injecting emotional concerns. It only hurts your credibility. It never hurts to review your complaint prior to calling to make sure it is truly legitimate. You are likely to be caught with any falsehood (not to mention it is wrong) and emotional appeals yield little action.

3. Know what you want/deserve. Make sure you have clear expectations of how the issue will be resolved. Typically people will offer little up, be prepared to set the bar.

4. Put it in writing. Letters typically receive a better response than phone calls. Many organizations have policies about how written complaints are handled. With a phone call they'll just try to make you go away. A letter usually will get a manager's attention.

5. Be persistent. It may take several phone calls, letters or a visit. You need to demonstrate you are serious.

6. Leave NOTHING ambiguous. Always ask for a date when you can expect a response. When that date comes and nothing happens, call the same people back.

7. Take comfort in that at least you tried. You won't always be able to resolve issues completely, but it is our job as consumers to hold businesses to their promise.

Happy Stalking!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sleeping in the bathroom

When children are growing up, sometimes communication with their parents struggles a bit. This issue becomes even more profound when the parents are awakened in the middle of the night.

All of us as children remember waking up in the middle of the night with an upset tummy. You waddle down to Mom and Dad's room because of course that is what you do. Mom and Dad's primary concern upon your arrival is that you don't vomit on the carpet.

Mark's younger brother one night woke up with an aching arm. He toddled down to his parent's room to seek a remedy (and likely a little sympathy). Dad was obviously groggy and must of misunderstand his chief complaint. He told the poor little tyke to go sleep in the bathroom. Even though the little guy was thoroughly confused, he was obedient. He promptly went to the bathroom and slept on the floor.

In the morning, Mom found him sleeping and inquired. He explained about his arm and that Dad told him to go sleep in the bathroom. Realizing very quickly what likely happened she assured him that it was just a misunderstanding. He did not have to sleep in the bathroom that night.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fun parts of my job

One of the most common questions I get is in regards to my job. "What do you do?"

Well that is an interesting question. In my current position as a Knowledge Manager my primary activities revolve around researching best practices in patient satisfaction improvement and sharing them with our clients. Now of course my job also includes a wide variety of other activities as well.

One of the more entertaining ones occurred this past November. At our client conference in NYC we had our resource tables and booths each take on a Broadway play or musical to create a "Walk Down Broadway." This of course was terribly fun. With the release of Mary Poppins on Broadway just this past October, our team decided this was the perfect opportunity.

I firmly believe you can buy anything off the Internet and with the help of eBay I was able to procure a Mary Poppins costume.

So there I was in NYC at the Marriott Hotel dressed as Mary Poppins. I have included a picture for your amusement. Now please be forgiving of my tired face, after nearly 2 and 1/2 days on my feet straight...even Mary Poppins gets tired.

So my short stint as Mary Poppins is one of the many random aspects of my job.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My diligent husband

Over the past few months (pretty much since Jan 1), Mark has been working many many hours. The product he works with is in high demand and has had some production issues. This means that we've had very few weekends where he hasn't had to work. The first quarter of this year it also meant 10-12 hour days as well. This has thankfully tapered off a bit.

During this time of long hours and tiring days, Mark has maintained to keep up with his school work as well. He is close to completing his associates degree and will be moving on to his bachelors very shortly.

Everyday he comes home from work and studies for 3-4 hours. I'm so proud of his hard work and diligence. He also is careful to make a point of spending time with me. School keeps our days full but together, we'll get through it.

For those of you who don't know Mark, here is a picture of him on our recent trip to Chicago with my family.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wishing you God's richest blessings

It is an exciting time in the world of my friends. In recent months, two very dear friends (bridesmaids actually) have had their engagements announced.

Katy Schlipf to Chris Stoller

&


Jolynn Schmidgall to Kevin Hodel

Each one is special to me and I'm excited to see how God has brought this change into their lives.

Marriage is a wonderful blessing. Yet it was in our singleness did these relationships even come to be. I wouldn't trade either.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Picking Blueberries


One of the joys of living in the South is the abundance of produce available. We have a year around farmer's market and I typically have an easier time getting produce than I did up north. They say only in the hottest times of the summer is there not something to harvest.

While we worked in the corn fields at home, young men down here may have a summer job of throwin' watermelons. When they harvest watermelons people walk down the rows picking up melons and throwing them to one another toward a truck. You build up quite the muscles doing that.

Well this past Saturday I met Mom and Dad Lindberg, Lydia and Caleb to pick blueberries. A lovely old lady named Miss Bea has an excellent blueberry patch behind her home. You can come pick fresh blueberries for 8.00 a gallon. Now if you have purchased blueberries in the store recently, you know this is quite the deal.

I only picked a 1/2 gallon and have come to realize I need to return and get some more. I think we are going Thursday or Friday. We had a dry spell earlier this year so the patch is a little thin and the berries not as plump according to Miss Bea. Yet they are tasty. The best part is she lets you eat as many as you like while you pick.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Melted Chocolate

If you have the inclination to mail me a present in the next few months, I highly recommend you stay away from food items. My company recently sent down a box of chocolates for my assistance with a project. Summers in Georgia are notably hot and humid.

Well they sat in the UPS guy's truck during the entire Memorial Day weekend. Needless to say they were a melted chocolate mess.

If you have the urge to send us anything...things that can stand extreme heat are highly recommended.


(Note: This is not a solicitation for gifts but for humorous purposes only)

Monday, May 28, 2007

For the birds


Throughout the warmer seasons of the year, all the birds that fly south for the winter return to their native lands. They leave us little reminders of their presence by the chripping, the flocks in the sky, and of couse the lovely droppings on your car.

While scrubbing your car is never fun, I've realize their are worse things. During my parents trip to Georgia in March, we were having lunch by a lake at a wildlife refuge. Commenting on the number of birds in the area, my dad was quickly reminded of their presence. They kindly sent him a present of dodo straight into his mouth. I was impressed my Dad's composure and restraint during this unfortunate incident.














Another gift was bestowed on us while Mark and I were taking wedding pictures. We were in an alley in downtown Bloomington. Looking up at the high buildings we saw a couple of birds look over the edge. They then promptly turned around and dropped one down. Thankfully it did not hit Mark or I in our wedding clothes, but the camera and another piece of the photographer's equipment was not so fortunate.
While the birds may feel they are sharing with us, those two experiences were definitely for the birds.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Salami and Ice Cream

One of my favorite bridal showers last year was with some friend's from Chenoa. These women have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Many have been like alternative parents for me.

One of the games at the shower allowed me to ask the group about something they learned or experienced during their first years of marriage.

One lady, I'll call her Jane, shared the funniest story. When her and her husband, George, were first married he did all sorts of funny things. One night as they were crawling into bed he brought with him a stick of salami and a bowl of ice cream. Jane looking appalled didn't know what to do. His response was "Oh, I'm sorry. Do you want some?"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Smoke

As you may or may not know, the southeastern part of Georgia and north Florida has been plagued by wildfires in the Okefenokee Swamp. Up until recently we had not been personally effected. Well..my brother-in-law, Jake, is a fire fighter and is now gone for a 2nd time to fight them but that was as close as we had been.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/28/national/main2738548.shtml

Well apparently we've had some that are a little bit closer than before. Saturday and Sunday Thomasville and the surrounding area was covered with a smoky haze. It was like you were 1 block away from someone burning leaves...everywhere you went. It made for a fog on the road, prompting us to turn on our lights.

We speculate a change in the wind brought us the smoke. Well now the wind has changed again and the smoke has lifted.

I feel sorry for those who are close to the fire. Please pray for rain to help put out the fire and cure our definite drought.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cooking

Before I was married, I already enjoyed cooking. I loved inviting people over to my apartment for a meal of any sorts. So when I did become a wife, I was already reasonably prepared in that area. Mark is anything but picky so he typically likes what I make.

So far I haven't put the wrong ingredient in or left something important out. The only trouble I have had it burning veggies. I bake cookies just fine. My meat is typically moist and tender. Yet for whatever reason, actually I know the reason is because I'm like my mom and I get distracted, I have burnt two pans of vegetables.

Now the only thing I'm doing is boiling a small pot of peas or mixed veggies for dinner. Nothing overly complicated. This is part of the problem. I put these on the stove and walk away. Typically to work on my computer. It isn't until more time has passed than I thought do I realize all the water has evaporated and my veggies are burned to the bottom of the pan.

Fortunately they aren't very expensive, Mark just laughs at me and we try again.

I'm glad so far it has only been burnt veggies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In an instant

As time passes, people come in and out of our lives. Some by life circumstances and other leave us because of death.

One of my Dad's good friends died very suddenly of a heart attack over the weekend. As I read his obituary in the paper, it seems reminds me as quick as the paper is thrown away we'll move on the next life challenge. His wife and family will grieve for a long time and he'll always remain in our hearts. But the earth will keep spinning.

Last week we also heard of the good-bye of a very young woman who died of cancer. My husband knew her from childhood. It was only a year ago she was diagnosed. Her journey toward heaven is very inspiring.

Both of these dear souls knew their Lord and had given their hearts over to him. Their deaths are our loss on this earth. I look forward to seeing them and many others in heaven someday.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Transfer of Ownership


My marriage to Mark has brought me a wonderful set of in-laws. Mark's youngest sister is Rachel. Whenever I would talk to Rachel on the phone or see her during our engagement, she would always speak of her Mark. "My Mark is sleeping." or "My Mark is getting married." Rarely was it just "Mark." Now she loved me and I adored her, so it wasn't a jealousy thing at all.
After the wedding though, Rachel now refers to him when speaking with me as "your Mark." She has officially transferred ownership. "Your Mark is at work."
Since Mark is a boy that should be possessed by a girl, he was hers until the wedding. Afterwards, he left their home, now lives with Laura, so he must be Laura's Mark.
I'm glad she is willing to let me have him...I promise to share with her :).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Valentine's Day with the Flu

I was so excited this year to return home from a business trip to Boston, just in time to celebrate Valentine's Day with my husband. Now I know that this holiday is overly commercialized etc... but this is our first one together, so the sentimental girl in me wanted it to be special.

Well as I stepped off the plane, I got a sudden burst of shaking and chills which later ensued into a full-blown flu. Instead of bringing me home flowers, Mark brought me medicine. I didn't feel like eating, much less cooking so he lived off of left-overs and sandwich meat during my illness...so much for a romantic candle light dinner.

We still went to a play on Friday night. I spent most of the evening blowing my nose and resting on his shoulder. It was a good show though.

Finally after sleeping 14 hours from Saturday to Sunday, I started feeling better. Mark had to work both days this weekend, so I just slept most of the time he was gone.

We had our romantic dinner on Sunday night.

I'm finally almost back to my normal self and just praying Mark doesn't get sick. :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bigger isn't better


Wal-Mart charcoal, in addition to being less expensive than the name brand Kingsford, advertises 60% bigger bricks. This is definitely one instance where bigger is not better. These charcoal barely last, never really grey, and don't get very hot. I barely can finish grilling our meals some nights.

I decided this was annoying and purchased some regular Kingsford. We had a fabulous steak and potato dinner on the grill last Tuesday. They performed much better than the 60% bigger bricks.

While sometimes the Wal-Mart brand really is a savings, these charcoal are no "Great-Value."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some things are round and some things are square

Shapes play a vital role in our life. Street signs for example come in many distinct shapes. While driving down the highway long before I'm able to see the words on the sign, I can tell by the shape what the message is likely to be.

In my ordered world, I still like to add some variety to the shapes of my life. When Mark and I registered for our wedding, we got some square plates, square-ish cups, and square stemware. Now I find this "variety" very enjoyable. My brother on the other hand was a bit disturbed. He felt that glasses and plates were round. My choices were fine...just not traditional. He felt the glasses were some what impractical as that you have to be more selective of where you choose to drink from than a round glass.

While this example clearly demonstrates the engineer in my brother, it also reminded of all the things I expect to be a certain way and a certain shape. Most things in my life do meet my expectations and follow what is seemingly logical order. Typically though it is those that diverge that catch my attention and occupy my mind.

I think we tend to exaggerate how much things "change" or "aren't the way we expect" because we fail to notice the things that stay the same or are the way we expect. While dealing with change can be a challenge, noticing what is square or round may be more difficult.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Child's View of Marriage

For those of us blessed with parents who are still together, it is hard to imagine them as a part of separate families. Marrying into a family with smaller children has refreshed my view of how kids view their family. In their mind, their family is and was always this way. They recognize Grandma and Grandpa but the thought of mommy living with them doesn't make a lot of sense. When their family continues to grow and change, children also struggle with the changing dynamics.

When Mark and I first were engaged, his siblings were very sad by the prospect of him moving out. They loved me but that did not seem sufficient reason for Mark to move away. Joel lovingly suggested that I could move into the house and stay in the girl's room.

After the wedding, Rachel asked me why I didn't live with my family and Mark move back home. I pointed out that Mark and I were married so we were a family now and needed to stay together. Joel recognized after the wedding that Mark and I had to stay together. He told Grandma at Christmas that when they move into their new house Mark and I can move back in. I assume he figures their is enough space so we can have our own room.

Well with the recent engagement of brother-in-law Matthew to my good friend, Renae, Rachel had another suggestion. After Matthew and Renae get married, Renae can move in with me and Mark can move back home.

The views of marriage from a child's eyes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tragic Pet Deaths Part II

It seems in my both of my families (Vercler and Lindberg) pets tend to die in very tragic ways.

Last year, the Lindbergs obtained some tadpoles from a nearby pond. These little guys were fun to watch while they swam in their jar on a table in the kitchen. Since they were in the process of moving, a few storage boxes sat at the back of this corner table.

Well the little guys continued to grow. They were just beginning to get their legs. They had a tendency to jump out occasionally but usually were retrieved and placed back in their home. One late night they must of decided that little jar was no longer suitable. They jumped out of their jar. One of them landed squarely on the kitchen floor and was found dead in the morning. The other was nowhere to be found. The family looked everywhere in the kitchen, porch, living room, etc... to find this poor lost tadpole/little frog.

Well last week they discovered how the little tadpole met his doom. He had jumped in between the moving boxes. While moving some of the items around, they found his poor dried out body between the boxes. Death by moving box such a sad way for a tadpole to die.

Aquatic animals seem to have the most trouble in my family. My poor fish Epicurius (the one after Samson) died suddenly when I accidentally changed his water too quickly. It was too cold and hence put him in to shock. I didn't realize what I had done till I saw his little body floating to the top.

If you are an aquatic pet in my family, you're sunk.