"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Filipino Inmates Pay Tribue to Jackson Again

This is AWESOME! Where did they get all of those flags... in a prison?

Famous for their rendition of "Thriller" in 2007, the prisoners at the Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the central Philippines have once again choreographed a tribute to Michael Jackson.

Filipino Inmates Pay Tribue to Jackson Again

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ENOUGH

I realized something about myself yesterday... I am an abuser. An abuser of commas. Its a common problem (or a comma problem), it can affect anyone. It can be carried out by anyone. Sometimes by adults, sometimes by children, and sometimes even the English are guilty of it.

"What?!" You're thinking. "I'm not like YOU! I don't do that!" Be willing to be honest with yourself, have you ever done anyone any of the following:

1. Used a comma to separate the subject from the verb.
2. Put a comma between the two verbs or verb phrases in a compound predicate.
3. Put a comma between the two nouns, noun phrases, or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object.
4. Put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it (except for cases of extreme contrast).

Still feeling high and mighty? Do everyone a favor, make the world a better place by following these simple rules for preventing comma abuse:

1. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
2. Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.
3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.
4. Do not use commas to set off essential elements of the sentence, such as clauses beginning with that (relative clauses). That clauses after nouns are always essential. That clauses following a verb expressing mental action are always essential.
5. Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series.
6. Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun. Be sure never to add an extra comma between the final adjective and the noun itself or to use commas with non-coordinate adjectives.
7. Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.
8. Use commas to set off phrases at the end of the sentence that refer back to the beginning or middle of the sentence. Such phrases are free modifiers that can be placed anywhere in the sentence without causing confusion. (If the placement of the modifier causes confusion, then it is not "free" and must remain "bound" to the word it modifies.)
9. Use commas to set off all geographical names, items in dates (except the month and day), addresses (except the street number and name), and titles in names.
10. Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation.
11. Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading.

For more information and examples on how you can help stop this pandemic, please visit the following site to get help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/02/.

Because its never to late to have a better tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Take This Heart of Stone and Make it Yours

"God will comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
and the oil of gladness instead of mourning."
~Isaiah 61

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Jonah Day turned into Dee Dah Day!

Well, Nick is in Houston right now, and when he's gone... strange things start to happen in the Wann household. For starters, the battery in our fire alarm in our bedroom is low and every minute or so it makes a loud, obnoxious beep! I can't get the ladder in to take it down without him, plus even if I could get to it, I wouldn't know what to do - that's his job! So I guess I will just have to bunker down on the opposite side of the house and try to sleep through it tonight.

Secondly, I get the urge to blog! It might have something to with the fact that according to major studies, I have 30,000 words a day that, like all women, I need to get out of me daily! Men apparently only use 15,000 words a day which is certainly true for Nick. Sometimes when we get home I feel like little Pigwidgeon in Harry Potter, fluttering around, making nonsense syllables at him. Sometimes I sense he's overwhelmed by all that I have to pour out, so I joke that I am giving him the gift of my silence and then I shut up and try to let him get some mental rest after a long day at work! He's usually a pretty good listener, but I know that no one wants to hear me talk 24/7.

Nick and I have a running joke, when we have hard days - we called them Jonah days. Nick says that its because we feel like we are getting swallowed. Today actually wasn't a complete Jonah day, there were some high points! But there were also a few sad, bittersweet moments.

Lately I have been seeking out scripture on waiting on the Lord. I mean, we all have things that we are waiting for. Some of us are waiting for our babies to come, a big change in our marriage, for a husband or a boyfriend, for a big move, a new job, to buy a house, or a new semester at school... something. It can be so frustrating and scary, even when its exciting. I wanted to share a devotional on waiting on the Lord with any one who wants to read it. Its from a book by the pastor at my old church in California, Menlo Park Presbyterian. His name is John Ortberg, and the book is called, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.

I'm not very good at introducing these things, but its just one way of working for a God, who works so hard for me! The inspiration for the reading is Isaiah 40:31:

Those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Its a wonderful reminder, that no matter how difficult our struggles, we have a God who has already overcome the world!

An unbelievable price was paid to gain a toehold, a few feet of Omaha Beach in Normandy. It was paid in blood. At the end of D-Day, in one sense not much had changed. The vast majority of the continent of Europe was still , as it had been the day before, under the power of the swastika. There was just this one plot of ground, a few feet of sand on an obscure stretch of beach in one lonely country that was not under the dominion of the enemy. But that one tiny stretch of land was enough.

The truth is, by the end of that one day, everything had changed. Now there was an opening. It was just a tiny crack, but it would get a little larger every day. The Allied forces would get a little stronger every day. There would still be a lot of fighting, a lot of suffering, a lot of dying. But now it was just a matter of time.

Between the initial landing on Omaha Beach and the final firing of the final shot there was a long gap. But the truth is that victory was sealed on D-Day. After D-Day, Victory in Europe day was just a matter of time.

I think sometimes in Jesus' life, as when he was on the Mount of Transfiguration or when he called his friend Lazarus out of the tomb, Jesus soared.

At other times, as when he wept over the defiance of Jerusalem, when he was frustrated with the slowness of his disciples, when he faced the opposition of the religious leaders, life was tougher. Yet he kept running. He did not turn aside from the course even when it ran uphill. He could run a long way.

But when it came time to take the road to Calvary, he wasn't soaring. When the cross was placed on his bruised and bleeding back, he wasn't running. He walked. He was a young man, but he stumbled and fell that day. All he could do was get back up and walk some more.

Sometimes walking is all we can do. But in those times, walking is enough. Maybe its when life is the hardest, when we want so badly to quit, but we say to God, "I won't quit. I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'll take up my cross. I'll follow Jesus even on this road." Maybe God prizes our walking even more than our soaring or running.

In any case, at a cost that none of us will ever fully understand, Jesus walked to Calvary. He took upon himself, on the cross, all the brokenness of the human race.

After the Sabbath day, before Jesus' friends went to care for his body, the stone was dislocated, moved. In one sense nothing had changed. Pilate and the chief priests were still in charge; Ceasar still reigned and didn't even know the name of this obscure Messiah in a remote country.

Nobody knew at first, except a couple of women, but that was D-Day. Now there was an opening. Tiny at first, no bigger than the entrance of a tomb.

Every time you "wait on the Lord", every time, that opening gets a little larger. The darkness gets pushed back a little more. The light gets a little stronger.

And one day liberation will come. Make no mistake; There will still be a lot of fighting, a lot of suffering, a lot of dying. But D-Day has already happened, when hardly anyone was looking. At the end of that day, everything had changed. So you keep walking, because what we wait for is not more important than what happens to us while we are waiting.

Now its just a matter of time.

Ode to Ian "the Owl" Davidson

One of two of my beloved bosses from Houston is retiring at the end of this month. The old team in Houston had a good bye lunch for him today that I couldn't attend, but I got to send a note. This is my farewell note to him, I'd say I'm going to miss him, but I know I'll see him again, and I would go to work for him again in a heartbeat!


My Farewell Note:


This is my cookie jar that I named after Ian for two reasons:

1) I miss his histrionics every time he saw a pastry; he would go on and on about how unhealthy it was, but he always found it in him to eat it anyway.
And the second, nicer reason:
2) He has the rare ability to recognize wisdom when he hears it and to put into action.

That's why I always call him "Ian the Owl", just to myself of course, but I think most people would agree.

Even though I liked to "gently" poke fun at him so often that he often lamented out loud whether or not I had any respect for him at all, Ian is actually one of the people in this world that I most like and admire. I always called him a charmer too because he has a way of making people like him... maybe that's why I always felt the need to pull him down a peg or two. I don't know, but I adored working for him. He always kept things lively and he had so many colorful Scottish expressions. My personal favorite: "Happier than a pig in shit." That's more French than Scottish, I guess but only Ian could get away with making it sound charming and harmless.

I've recently begun to understand what makes a person love their job, and working in the WMS team was the best working experience I have ever had. Its not what you're doing, even if its something you've always dreamed about doing. Its not the people you work with, although that helps and there were wonderful people on our team. Its the leadership - its having bosses or managers, that inspire you, that get you excited about your job... in spite of the countless setbacks you encounter trying to get a project (ahem, Grosmont) off the ground. Its leaders who encourage you to grow in your position and are always ready with helpful advice. Ian was always that kind of boss, and the reason that we had a such a close, successful team.

I know that Ian will do great things wherever he goes for the reasons I already said, and since I'm an engineer and I love bulleted lists and summaries, let's state them one more time...

IAN DAVIDSON:
- wisdom
- charm
- charisma
- leadership
- great boss

And I could get even more sentimental, but I know I'll see Ian again, so I'll just say good bye for now!

Stori

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chick Flicks Galore

I found this on another blog, and I thought I would fill it out. Who doesn't love thinking about their favorite movies? Also, I am running out of things to Netflix, and I was hoping if I tagged a few people, say Adrienne, Jessica, Hannah, Emily and Krista (and Lauren, though I know your blog is sacred to cooking), they might list their favorite movies and give me a few ideas.

The topic: Your 10 Favorite Chick Flicks, mine are in no particular order... I also threw in my favorite quotes since that's why I love them so much.

1. Nottinghill
"I'm just a girl, standing in front of boy, asking him to love her."

2. Legally Blonde
"Whoever said orange was the new pink, was seriously disturbed."
and
"The rules of haircare are simple and finite, every Cosmo girls knows."

3. Pride and Prejudice
"You have bewitched me, body and soul."

4. Bringing Up Baby!
"'He's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.' I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?"

5. Breakfast at Tiffany's
"Two drifters, off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see... We're after the same rainbow's end, waitin' round the bend, my huckleberry friend... moon river and me."

6. Funny Face
"I love your funny face... your sunny, funny face."
and
"I would never tell a woman, what woman's got to think, but tell her if she's got think darling, then THINK PINK!"

7. Bridget Jone's Diary
"No, I like you very much. Just as you are."
and
I also love, "As I happen to have a very high regard for your wobbly bits!" from the sequel.

8. Steel Magnolias
"In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight."
and
"Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face."
There's so many good ones from Steel Magnolias, even my husband loves this movie!

9. French Kiss
"The key to French waiters: If you're nice to them, they treat you like shit. Treat them like shit, they love you."
Pardon my french there...

10. Funny Girl
"Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein... what a beautiful name!"

Honorable Mentions - Pretty Woman, Any Disney Fairytale

Call Your Mama

So I just got an email from my mom stating the following:

Stori, was reading an article about Insulin Resistance (IR)ada metabolic syndrome, you might want to pull it up on the Internet. here are some symptoms, I am going to try the chromium myself. Let me know what you think. Love you lots mom

Powerful carb and sugar cravings
Depression/moodiness/irritability
Difficulty concentrating/poor memory
Bloat and gas
Borderline or high blood pressure or cholesterol
Hirusutism (excess hairiness)
Severe PMS

What can help

Berries
dark leafy greens
healthy fats: avocados, nuts seeds
mega 3 enriched eggs

Supplementing daily with 200-600 mcg of chromium


So this explains the Thistlethwaite love of sweets, and also why all the women have beards, haha. Its nice to know that your never to old to have your mother inquire about your gastrointestinal issues.

I had to confirm with Nick on the moodiness/PMS, but I think already know the answer. Did not our wedding song have the line "You put up well with this beast that I am in a cell..."?

Well Mama would be proud to know that just today I have eaten:
  • A smoothie made from Blueberries (Banana and Milk) for breakfast.
  • 20 Almonds for a mid morning snack.
  • And I am currently snacking on a Spinach Salad for lunch!
This makes me seem more virtuous than I am... its really just to make up for the 5 cookies 2 giant spoonfuls of cookie dough that I ate yesterday. Yummm... carbs...

But although this sweet inquiry into my health was much appreciated, I have been to the Dr and been told that my blood sugar whatever is at perfect levels.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Songs About Texas

"I sing songs about Texas,
I sing them often as if she was some old lover... I used to know,
I wish I could follow them back to the homeland everytime,
I hear one on my radio..."



If you know this song (gosh I love this song!) then you know where I was this past weekend. Yep, that's right, I went to old San Antone for the most wonderful weekend that I've had in a really long time.



The reason I couldn't say where I was meeting up with Nick is that one of the main purposes of the weekend was to throw my dad a surprise retirement party. I don't think he reads my blog, but I didn't want to say anything and ruin for him!

I flew in Thursday night and my dear friend Lacey picked me up. I got to spend most of the next day with her and her 2 year old son, Kye, who I had never met. It was such a wonderful time! Lacey and I became friends before she found the Lord, and one of the biggest blessings of my life has been getting to see her "sanctification process" and watch her passion for God and his word grow. She's one of the few people that I can talk to about all of the concerns of my heart and know that she has been there too and will not judge me. I had the best time catching up with her and talking to her, and I can't wait to see her again! She's one of my dad's favorites of my friends, so she came along for most of the Retirement festivities. That's her little boy, isn't he just precious? She is one of the best mom's I have ever seen, and I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful role model for when I become a mom one day.


Friday night was the big surprise party! Classic Thistle - he walks in and says "How many of these things am I going to have?" Haha. He was happy though, and he really liked the BBQ pit that we all chipped in to buy him. We mostly just hung out by the pool. This is my cousins, Landon and Braelynn, with my neice Kendall. How goofy is this kid? She loves hanging with the big girls, especially "Yandon".

Saturday we all tubed the Comal river as a family! We had so much fun, even my 73 year old granny did the tube shoot, and we managed to stay together as a family. Saturday night was more of the same, except that we busted out the Kareoke machine. I emceed that night (ie hogged the stage), but we all had fun. You should have seen my cousin Alli try to invent dance moves, according to the names that we gave her (Alli, do the cheese whiz!). She's such a ham!

Sunday it was time to go home and we headed over to our friends, Tim and Chelsea's house. They have a really cute, historic house, and I love the way they decorated. I'm also coveting a painting of two little green owls that they have on their mantle! Tim is Nick's childhood best friend since they were 6 and 4, and also the best man at our wedding. I'm so glad that my husband got to spend time with him. I love his wife, Chelsea too! She's one of the nicest people I know, and we have a lot in common. Aren't I a lucky girl to have such wonderful friends?

Ok, I feel a bit like Pollyanna, but I am a very "fo-tunate" girl, and this weekend was one of the best ever!


"So sing me one more song about those dusty plains,
them honky tonk angels, and their lonely beehive pain,
wish I was stowed away on some fast moving train going home...,
yeah I'm going home."

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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