Monday, August 31, 2009

#7 Beijing

Beijing was a great city but I wasn't there very long; I'd move it to #10 now that I think about it! It was the last leg on my 6 week trip to East Asia. We had spent the previous weeks with medical students talking with them about Jesus and their beliefs. I spent several days a week with a girl studying the Bible. She had just become a believer and was studying with a Missionary in her city. It was a very rewarding experience getting to spend time with her and to talk about spiritual things. Back to Beijing, I probably remember this city so fondly because I was glad to see a Subway and a Starbucks at our hotel and to eat real American food at Hard Rock Cafe. It still amazes me that I've yet to travel to New York City or D.C. but I've been to many similar places around the globe, similar as in crowded streets and subways and tall buildings with extravagant neon lights! I feel blessed to have seen so many places so far in my life. Tracy and I are having a contest of who has traveled to the most countries, he's winning with 20 something!

Friday, August 28, 2009

#8 Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo Japan will always hold a special place in my mind. It was a beautiful city with kind people, but what I will remember is the eternal impact that I had. It was my first mission trip with iWitness ministries ( and iWitness' first official trip as well. The 13 of us left on Friday the 13th, on a 13 hour plane ride. This was my second trip to Asia, I traveled to S. Korea 6 months prior in November of 2000. The most amazing part of this trip was one of the witnessing opportunities that I had. We had been walking around passing out Jesus videos and prayer walking in different parts of the city. On this day, I remember Lance asking who wanted to get up early and go with Heidi the journeyman to do some ministry. I wasn't really paying attention as my e-mail had my full attention. After no one else volunteered I decided to volunteer. So another girl and I got to sleep in late (Lance was tricking us!) and headed over to meet Heidi and a lady for lunch. The lady immediately noticed my OBU shirt and told me that her daughter went to OBU. Kind of crazy since OBU was a campus of less that 2k students.
Heidi had spent the whole semester teaching the lady English by using the Old Testament. They had just discussed that Jesus was God's son and came to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies (Isaiah 53:5- He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed). We began to tell her about the cross, how Jesus was despised and rejected for her sins, and she began to cry. We paused and conversed with her about what was happening. She proceeded to slam her bible closed and refused to let us finish the story. I persisted by saying "It gets better!" She hesitantly let us continue showing her scriptures about our risen savior. Her face transformed from utter despair to over flowing with joy. She got it! She understood the saving power of Jesus through the story of his resurrection! Transformation happened right before my eyes!
This is by far one of my most favorite "mission trip" moments. God worked in this ladies heart so she would no longer be blinded but be able to see the truth of who He is, a loving, faithful, powerful, savior.
Any of you have moments like this? Seeing God at work?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

#9 favorite place- The Eiffel Tower

Click here to view my list on The Top Ten favorite places!
At this site you can rearrange my list and create your own list!
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#9- The Eiffel Tower
The first destination on our honeymoon was Paris. We had been married a few months but acquired laughs to last a lifetime. First, we thought our hotel was close to the airport (Charles de' Gaulle) but no!; it was close to Charles de' Gaulle Highway. After a 45 minute cab drive we were quite confused and a bit frustrated to pay 50 Euros for the ride. We decided to venture the wonderful Paris on foot, who knew a three day train pass was a mere 10 Euros? We walked our feet off, first to the Arc d' Triomphe then thought, "Oh, we can see the Eiffel tower it can't be that far." Ha, wrong again! Then we decided that we don't want to pay for the taxi (remember the 50 Euros we spent the day before?) so we determined to walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral. And to top off the long day on lag jet legs (yes, lag jet) we decide to indulge in French cuisine. Needless to say it didn't hit the spot.
On night two, we discovered that we were spending our honeymoon in a hotel without A/C. It was so hot and muggy that we couldn't sleep, or was it the nap that we took instead of going back to the Louvre? So, we aren't art connoisseur?! We decided to walk back to the Eiffel Tower, again thinking that "it can't be that far, we can see it!" It was a long walk, we saw a car wreck on the way, and the Eiffel Tower lights were off! We were a bit disappointed, but we finally made a wise decision and rode a taxi back to the hotel! We really enjoyed Paris despite all the walking and the terrible food (except the coffee and a ham and cheese omelet)! The sights were spectacular; I'd suggest using the trains or taxis unless you just want the exercise!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Places!

10. Venice
9. The Eiffel Tower
8. Sapporo, Japan
7. Beijing
6. Costa Rica
5. Puerto Rico
4. Brno, Czech Republic
3. Top of a 14'er- Mount Eolus, Sunlight and Windom
2. My bed
1. The Waco Bridge

10. Venice- The last destination of our cruise on our 15 day honeymoon. We were exhausted after our trek across Europe, but we enjoyed the gondola ride and the quaint city. The thing you don't expect about the romantic city is that the water smells oddly like sewage. While you're trying to enjoy your gondola ride all you can think about is the awful stench of the water while hoping you don't tump over. The best thing, however, is that all the tourists take pictures of you on the gondola ride like you're a superstar!

Explanation of the rest to come!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Biking and Babel

Saturday night was great! We saw baby Caden, Lori and Brandon at the hospital! We then went to the house warming party. We didn't want to leave but had to head home pretty early (10:30) because Tracy had to work Sunday.
Sunday my tri-friends decided to take a bike ride at 2:00 pm. We should have our heads examined. It was 100 degrees for our 7 mile bike ride! It was great to be back on my bike. I still need to work up to 10 miles, that's how long the bike is for the triathlon. My goal is to be biking 15 miles bfr. the race. After that we did a more sensible water aerobics workout. I enjoyed my first atttempt at water aerobics. My kind fo exercise, working out but in the cool pool!
Has anyone seen the movie Babel? It was very strange. It was suppose to be a movie about the necessity of communication among various cultures, but the random sexual theme could have been left out. It was rated R for a reason.
Good news: Tracy has passed all the parts of his class! Yea!
Other news: We are moving out of our apartment in less than a month. It's kind of sad but definetly the right move. More on this later!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I slept in a little late today! I was pretty tired from yesterday's game night! Some ladies from church got together for some games! We ate, we played, and most importantly laughed (yes, you remember Erin's description of Nik's back problems, many opportunities for "that's what she said!")
This morning was pretty great! I watched last night's Cowboys game while holding Addison; 2 of my favorite things at the same time! I also fed Addison sweet potatoes (just had to add a pinch of sugar to entice her!), did day 4 of P90, and did laundry! There's been many loads of laundry this week b/c Tracy comes home every night with dirt caked on his clothes! We are heading to Austin for the McCarthy's House warming party. A big thanks to Vicki for watching Addison.
Lastly, our friends the Phifers' went to the hospital this morning to have baby Caden. Lori's water broke around 8:00am. I'm so looking for wad to meeting Caden!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Power 90 and Sitting Up!

Well, she can't walk and talk yet, but she can sit up without support! And that is one small step in the right direction.

I started Power 90, no not P90X, on Wednesday. It is Tony Horton's beginner version of P90x. The program alternates sculpt (calisthenics with weight lifting) and sweat (yoga and kickboxing) for 6 days a week for 90 days. Every other day you do the Ab ripper workout! I have done three days of workouts and can already feel the pain; it feels so good! Only 87 more days!
So far I've enjoyed the workouts and the ability to workout. The biggest hindrance, or excuse, to not work out is taking care of Addison. Now I am able to workout in my living room either while she watches or while she naps. She does enjoy watching me workout. She must be thinking "I hope you don't make me do those crazy moves later!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Healthcare Reform!

I had a pretty uneventful weekend. The best news was the possibility of Obama dropping the "public option" from the Health Care bill. I am still a bit skeptical though. I'm thinking they might sneak it in on the committee level w/o congressional approval. I'm not sure if it is even possible, but if it is, I think they will try. I was very relieved to see the health care debate reach the tipping point at the end of the week and turn a corner. Hopefully it's a permanent change, but we will have to wait and see. What say you?-Bill O'Reilly.

Also, Cari and I saw "The Time Traveler's Wife" while the boys saw "District 9." "The Time Traveler's Wife" was good; I give it 3.5 stars. Definetly a Netflix watch! It's like the best possible mix between "Benjamin Button" and "The Notebook." It had an odd time element like Benjamin Button, but MUCH, much better, and a love story like "The Notebook."
Has anyone seen "Julie and Julia"?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We're Back Home!

We made it safely back from vacation on Monday afternoon. Phase 4 was wonderful; we really enjoyed seeing my grandparents, Aunt and Uncle, the Mountains, and the top of Mt. LeConte (again).
Recap of phase 4: We left McKinney for Gatlinburg. We arrived sleep deprived on Saturday afternoon. Sunday we took it easy by celebrating Violet's 2nd birthday with a picnic at the Chimney's picnic area, complete with making s'mores.
Monday morning we headed up Mt. Leconte at the pace of a 5 year old (yes Olivia walked up and down), a pregnant lady (Meredith did a great job too!), and a Mimi with hurt knees. We enjoyed the views from the evenings sunset and the nice warm cabins! The hike down was nice, but not much to talk about. The trail was more narrow and rocky than expected. Needless to say that Meredith and Aaron got their money's worth out of their Chariot. At the end of the day William said, "Daddy my back hurts." Poor guy was bounced around all day.
Wednesday we picnicked again at Cades Cove and finally found Aaron as we drove through Cades Cove (long story of miscommunication).
We learned our communication lesson and made a plan for Thursday for the boys and kids to hike to a waterfall. The girls went to the crafts trail. Afterwards we went for another picnic.
Friday, we went to Mingus Mill and to Cherokee. The highlight of the day was definitely seeing Olivia being sworn in as a Junior Park Ranger. We stopped for yet another picnic and said goodbye to Grammy and Grandaddy. We headed to Ft. Payne to visit Aunt Cindy, Uncle Don, and Grandad Addison.
Saturday the girls went to Hammer's (kind of like Ross on steroids) and the boys went to the World's longest yard sale. Lastly, we went to Orbix Hot Glass. The gallery was very nice and I hope to return one day when they are blowing glass.
I feel tired just writing about all that!
This week has been relaxing; trying to get back in the groove of things after doing piles of laundry and unpacking the suitcases, amongst keeping up with the health care reform debate.
Addison's 6 month doctor visit was Wednesday. All is well. She is 90th percentile for height and weight! Leave it to me to have chunky, tall babies!

Addison 6 months, by lauren coe

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.

Saturday, August 1, 2009