Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mission Move-In -- Day 1

It's that time of year again -- MOVE-IN!

This is when we, as a church, perform an in-town "mission" trip, by spending our days serving others by moving in freshman into their dorms.

Today was the first day of move-in.

Below are some pics from move-in and the pizza party on the drillfield we had tonight.

When you have this many people, you can get a whole pile of stuff in just one load!

A pastor + a high heel shoe tree = my favorite picture of the day!
(Doesn't Jim look thrilled to carry these up some stairs?)

Amy towards the end of the day -- when all of us were feeling the burn.

Pizza, pizza everywhere... we polished off 75 tonight.

And last but not least, Kristal, who is doing her first mission move-in as a staff member! That's right, she's done raising support and is now working full-time with nlcf. :)

Tomorrow morning, we'll get up and do it again. I guess that means I should get some sleep! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Farewell, NRCC

I will probably write more later, when I have more time to think. But yesterday I said goodbye to NRCC. After working there for the last 6+ years, I'm moving on to a new career as a counselor.

While I surprisingly didn't cry yesterday, I am quite emotional today. Actually it started last night. I think I just was keeping myself busy and not thinking about it (you know -- avoidance). But it hit me today when I woke up and went to be "officially hired" at my new job. I got my new ID and new keys, and filled out stacks of paperwork. That makes it a lot more real. Plus the fact that I don't know when I'll be headed back to New River.

I'm not totally done there, because there were a few things I didn't get done that I need/want to finish. But life has changed...for the good, but it still leaves me sad. My heart has been forever touched and changed by my years at New River. I love the people, the mission of the community college, and the opportunities it gave me to grow as a person.

The Planning and Advancement department is amazing: Mark, Hilda, Joyce, Susy, Bonnie, Deborah, Brenda, Glenda and the other Bonnie have made my time there very special. We celebrated with a going away lunch yesterday, and those moments and laughs I will cherish forever.

NRCC, you will be a part of my heart forever.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anything Goes

My co-worker and friend Susy is in the play "Anything Goes" which is being performed this weekend and next by the Summer Musical Enterprise, a local theater in the NRV.

While she has a theater background, she hasn't done it in a while. She decided she'd give it another go, and made the cast with one of the main roles. She plays Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt, the over-the-top mother of Hope Harcourt, one of the other lead roles.

Today, Jeanette and I went to see her show, and we definitely enjoyed it. The whole cast did a great job -- including Susy.

Here's a picture of Susy during the bow (flash photography wasn't allowed so its blurry):

(She's the second from the left in the blue dress)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa!

I'll post more about the latest happenings later. For now, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my grandfather.

Papa Carpenter turned 85 today. My mom's dad, both he and Mema turned 85 this year, the same year they celebrated their 60th anniversary. They are incredible examples of faith, service, and hard work.

One of my favorite things about Papa over the years is his sense of humor. As a young child, he used to call me Breezy. I would say, "My name's not Breezy. It's Wendy." He had me going for the longest time thinking he really didn't know my name. Those were fun times growing up.

We used to stay with them in the summer at the river house, and Papa would get up and fix us eggo waffles and bacon. Every morning. He's a huge servant and reminds me a lot of my husband, David.

It's been a tough few weeks recently, as he broke his pelvis the very end of July. He is staying at a rehab facility trying to get better, so keep him in your prayers. He's also battled cancer this past year and has struggled with his energy levels. It's tough to see him not able to bounce around and work in the kitchen. I know its driving him nuts, too. Hopefully he'll be back on his feet soon.

Happy 85th Birthday Papa! We love you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Last Psalms talk...

The last week of the Psalms series that Mike and I split was this past Sunday, when I shared about Psalm 121.

I got a lot of my material for the from the "Stepping Up" Bible Study by Beth Moore, as well as some other Bible dictionaries and commentaries.

The link is up, so you can now listen to the message online here(Book V). If you want to download the .mp3, just right click on the link to Book V and click "Save Target As." Feel free to leave comments or constructive feedback on what you thought.

The Countdown...

4 days to go, including today. That's how many work days I have left at NRCC. I set my official last day for next Monday, Aug. 18. That's when I close the chapter on the last 6+ years and move forward to something different.

Yesterday, my boss made it "official" by sending a memo to the whole college saying I was leaving. That email definitely made it sink in more -- as people email back or stop by my office -- saying goodbye is going to be tough.

While I am so excited about what I'll be doing, and so ready to change it up, it's hard to imagine life not in these halls. Cleaning my office is a chore -- what do I do with some of this stuff? So many memories in this office, with these coworkers. We've experienced a lot of life together, shared a lot of stories and moments.

Part of what is hard is knowing that I don't have a replacement right now. That means I'm leaving and I don't have someone who I feel confident can pick up where I'm leaving off. It's not that my boss hasn't known I'm leaving. He's known that since 2005, when I told him we weren't moving after all but he still needed to replace me because I'd decided I was applying to grad school. I started that in August 2006, and he's known every step of the way what my plans were. But the state has had several hiring freezes since then, and it hasn't been a top priority. So now I'm about to leave some things hanging out there. Some things that I feel badly about not being able to do. But it won't be my job anymore, and I know I'm going to be where God has led me.

I'll write an official farewell post later... this is just the thoughts on my mind as I realize only 4 days to go. The countdown has begun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Staff Day August 2008

For those of you who don’t know, I’m on staff with a church that serves Virginia Tech students and the Blacksburg community. Each summer, some staff members scatter to various places with students for summer projects, while others (like David and I) stay in Blacksburg. We reunite each fall for an annual “staff day” to regroup and get on the same page for the upcoming school year. It’s basically like an all day long staff meeting, on steroids. This group of people is so fun to work with – we spend a lot of time laughing and joking around. We do, of course, get plenty of actual work in, but we definitely have fun in the process.

Below are a few highlights from staff day, August ’08.

This picture was the view on my walk to Pastor Pace’s house. It’s one of my favorite views in Blacksburg, looking over campus from a distance. We live about 3 miles from the Paces, so I had a nice leisurely walk, with plenty of time to pray and listen to music before staff day began.

Several folks had mentioned needing changes in scenery throughout the day, so in the early afternoon we moved over to the Swann’s place, where Amy & Kristal demonstrated leg wrestling.

After seeing how easy it looked, Jim took on Kristal, and won.

To close the day, the Pastors loaded up the team in Veronica, the big red church van. We then headed to a “secret” destination.

Here’s the view from the back of the bus…where Sarah, Terri and I were all getting quite carsick.

Here’s what it was like riding in the van.

We ended up at the Nature Conservatory out in Ellett Valley, where we ventured on a short hike.

After giving us 30 minutes to spend alone with God, we re-gathered as a team to share in a time of worship & communion.

Sarah was really excited about breaking bread together.

On the way back, Jim took the back and was begging Mike to drive faster. Kristal was not excited about that. I felt her pain from the ride there. :)

All in all, it was a great day, filled with meaningful and challenging conversation, as well as encouraging and inspirational activities to get us ready for fall kickoff, which starts in one week!

Mr. Smith comes to Blacksburg!

One of David’s favorite movies of all-time is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It was playing for free on Saturday afternoon at the Lyric. We walked downtown and enjoyed the show.

If you haven’t seen this movie before, you should. It features Jimmy Stewart at his best, and has a great feel-good message about the importance of people having a voice. Seriously – it’s an oldie but goody, so if you haven’t seen it, check it out from the library and watch it. Or if you live in Bburg, go to the free matinee on Wednesday of this week (Aug. 13 @ 2pm).

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Wow. Let's just start off by saying that since 8 is my favorite number, I knew I had good things in store on this day.

It was Jeanette's 30th b-day, so that was a wonderful occasion to start. Next, it was the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympic games, and I LOVE the olympics. So that was also wonderful. I mean put those two things together, and all the 8's, and it was a fabulous day indeed.

I started the day by going ice cream shopping so I could make an ice cream cake/dessert for Jeanette's b-day party that night. I have made a pact that I will not drive anywhere in town (to save fuel/be more green and to be healthy since everything is within 5 miles in town). I decided I would bike to Kroger with my cooler backpack because walking would lead to melting. However I was so concerned about getting home with the cold goods that I forgot to get the main ingredient (Oreos) which were not a cold item. So I spent several hours working on Sunday's message before biking to the other Kroger in town to get the Oreos. (I was wearing a yellow cycling jersey and didn't want the same Kroger workers to see me twice...I just knew they would remember
me. After all, I was a Kroger cashier for a summer in college and I totally remembered customers!)

I then joined Terri and Jeanette at Moe's for lunch, although I cheated and packed my own. I was feeling pretty good at that point and considered biking to the mall to meet them for the movie, but time didn't allow. I frantically made the ice cream cake and rushed off to pick up the two of them and Sarah. We then headed to the theater (where we met up with Kati & Jackie) to catch a matinee of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. It was a wonderful movie -- full of out-loud laughing (thanks Sarah!) and a number of tears (to quote Kati, "Who would have thought we'd have cried that much at Sisterhood 2?"). It was definitely a girly feel-good movie and in my view, a must-see.

As you can tell, Jeanette was definitely enjoying the b-day celebration.

There is no story behind this. (You only turn 30 once, right?)

We headed to Souvlaki's in downtown Bburg for dinner, before ending back up at houseofchinn for the Olympic opening ceremony/bday party.

We learned that kids aren't really entertained by the opening ceremonies. Toys are much more exciting than watching a gazillion chinese people in lighted costumes.

This picture needs no explaining.

This one might. :)

And here is me, breaking the ice cream fast. I made it. I'm not sure what day I started exactly, but I know when I did the math in my head at the beginning I think I calculated about 30 days or so. The point was not the days -- it was the exercise in self-control and self-discipline.

Some highlights of the evening were:

-Ddubb's toga
-Jim's frequent line,"China does have a lot of people."
-seeing Steve & Amy again (who were gone all summer at LT)
-"Does anyone know where that country is?"
-"Oh look, they're showing us a little globe to help us!"
-Sarah's cinnamon croissants
-"You know what China does have. A lot of people."
-"Is that an LCD screen?"
-Terri & Jackie's fashion critiques of the country outfits.
-"When will the U.S. be marching out?"
-"Those poor cheerleader girls -- they have been jumping/clapping a long time."
-Terri's funfetti cake
-The ice cream cake
-Us singing to Jeanette -- TWICE :)
-Did I mention "China does have a lot of people"?

Once the U.S. team marched in, we were all tired and said our goodnights. There were more countries still to come, but some of us had enjoyed a wonderfully packed day, and it was time to bring 08-08-08 to a close. Definitely a day that will be remembered for me, though. For very good reasons. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

more random tidbits

1) only ONE DAY LEFT of the great ice cream fast '08. that means tomorrow is the start of the olympics and jeanette's big 30th bday! :)

2) the president of NRCC just stopped by my office to say he heard i was leaving. he told me i better stay in touch, and that this place would miss me. that brought the reality of me leaving to a whole new level.

3) i am tired of all the brett favre drama. thank goodness the jets got him. now we can move on to other stories in the nfl preseason. speaking of which, the bears first preseason game is tonight, and i'm recording the replay of it on nfl network at midnight. yes, i am that excited about football season being here that i am setting my dvr so i can watch part of it tomorrow!

4) papa has been moved into the rehab facility in tappahannock and they say he might be there for 6 weeks. this will be a huge adjustment for him and mema. keep them in your prayers!

that's about it for now... i'm sure i'll post more later.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


1) annie has a great post here about the "american" dream

2) papa might be moving to the rehab facility today. keep praying for him and his recovery.

3) the white sox are playing terrible baseball right now, and are mere percentage points in the lead in the AL central. if they keep playing poorly and losing, you might want to know in advance that david and i will probably get cranky in august.

4) we have kept our bedroom clean for over a week now. like ridiculously clean where we put everything away at night and there are no random stacks growing. this is a first for me, so i am very, very proud and working hard to start new habits.

5) i just finished watching this season's biggest loser. i had to DVR them in the spring with finishing up grad school and the kidney transplant, and i finally got through the final 4 episodes i had missed. that show gives me lots of motivation to eat right and stay in shape. it's all about lifestyle choices. and the advantage of having trainer bob kick you in the pants daily or trainer jilian scream put total fear in you. i'm sure that has something to do with the success of the finalists... :)

okay, that's all the random tidbits for now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

chris & papa

david wanted me to let everyone know that his brother chris is back at work full-time now. he and the "new" kidney are doing well as far as we know. this is a huge answered prayer. thank you all who have prayed for chris (and david) and the kidney transplant. we are so thankful God has taken care of everyone.

i wanted to ask you all to pray for my papa. he fell on thursday and broke his pelvis, and has been in the hospital since. it's going to be a long recovery, so he and mema (i wrote about them recently here) could use your prayers. he turns 85 on aug. 16, and he might still be in a rehab center then, so it will be a long few weeks.

thanks for praying!

whew! what a weekend!

this weekend was another busy one, and since i know so many of you log on the internet and go straight to my blog just to find out what we did, i can't resist writing about it. :)

jeanette's free book: breaking dawn

jeanette called into K92 last monday (where she pegged danny as the liar) and won a copy of the new stephenie meyer book that was being released on saturday. i had never heard of the book, but in order to claim her prize, she had to attend a book premiere party at barnes & noble in roanoke. she invited terri, kati and i to join her, and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

the book jeanette won was the 4th in a series that has become quite popular. in fact we had other friends who are real fans, were attending the premiere at the c'burg b&n and planned to stay up all night reading it they were so excited. this was the type of thing that had an itinerary, where fans get dressed up in costumes and the store has face & nail painting, a scavenger hunt and an art contest to pass the time until the midnight release.

we were merely posers at this event, but were excited about an entertaining evening people watching and hanging out together. we got dressed up and headed to roanoke, and while hundreds were signing in to get their wristbands showing they pre-paid, jeanette was granted a special wristband that made her first in line!!!

they literally did a countdown, the clock hit midnight, and the jeanette got the book first! hooray! i snuck a picture of her actually at the counter first, despite being yelled at by an employee earlier telling me it was against the rules to take pictures in barnes'. how lame.

above is us as we were leaving...we had a security guard take our pic. not so shabby for the ol' man who didn't know how to work a camera. anyway, it was quite a night... and we got home around 1:00am. :)

steppin' out

for those of you who don't know, steppin' out is the local blacksburg festival held each year the first fri/sat in august. they close the downtown area for two days to all traffic and there are booths and vendors with crafts, information on community groups an organizations , local restaurants with food (mostly bbq sammys) and several stages with live music.

david's mom flew in town on friday and we ventured down to some of the booths friday afternoon to see jeanette & terri at the nlcf booth and to see my friend susy at the blacksburg summer musical booth. i wanted to introduce my mother-in-law and jeanette to susy, so this seemed like a great time to do so. the weather was sunny and hot, so we didn't stay out long. we met up with david after work and escaped the chaos.

in retrospect, that was a mistake, because saturday morning, when we planned to do more booth looking with mom chinn, it was raining. the rain stopped long enough for jeanette's steel drum concert in the middle of the day.

here are terri & jeanette after the concert... i enjoy taking pics of them because they know how to ham it up for the camera!


we left steppin' out and headed straight for the interstate to take mom chinn to visit lisa (david's sis) at her new place in charlottesville. once we arrived, we took a quick tour and then headed to wal-mart to shop for a few items she needed. we then grabbed dinner in downtown c'ville and returned to her apartment to put together our purchases (several cabinet/shelf things).

i don't have any pictures of this because david and i were both hard at work. we hit the road a little before 9:00pm, which meant we got back to bburg after 11:00. a long day indeed.

red lobster
we closed out our weekend by going out to dinner with mom chinn. she is a school teacher in florida, and the students return to school aug. 11. that means this is her last vacation before a new school year. she wanted to go to red lobster for dinner, and here we are after our meal. i will say that i had a delish dinner which consisted of salmon & vegetables roasted in a parchment bag. it was excellent. and i had self-control and only allowed myself two of the cheddar garlic biscuits, which are to die for.

that's about it for our weekend. today starts my two week countdown at new river. more about that later...