Thursday, May 28, 2009


So it turns out I'm getting old after all, and I had to get glasses. Several months ago I went to hear a speaker in one of the large auditoriums here on campus. We sat in the very back and I could not read anything on his presentation! It was at that moment I decided I needed to face the facts and go see the eye doctor.

So a couple of weeks ago I did just that. After discovering that I'm near-sighted and being fit for my new glasses, I stumbled out into the parking lot in tears. I called Nic bawling. I could not believe that my 24 years of perfect vision were coming to a close. Not to mention I was floored by how expensive a few pieces of plastic glued together could be! However Nic was the super sweet husband he always is and reassured me that we could afford them and that he was certain I would look super hot in my new frames! Have I mentioned how much I love that kid?

Anways I went to pick them up today. I've been trying to wear them around the office so that my eyes get used to it. I can certainly tell a difference, colors are bolder and fonts are a lot bigger! Maybe these things won't be so bad after all.

Me with my new glasses and new cell phone. (Thank you Verizon for your two year updates!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hitting the Trail

I've had an on and off experience with running over the past few years of my life. Until I graduated from college and started getting more and more out of shape, you wouldn't have been able to convince me to run for exercise outside of sports for any amount of money. As I came to realize how badly I was out of shape (and how dangerous it was getting to my health) and how few opportunities I had to exercise through sports, I figured I'd give running a try. At one point, I was running 3-4 times per week after work and got myself into pretty decent shape. April and I have started training to run a 5k a couple of times since we've been married, but have never actually completed one.

I certainly don't consider myself a runner, and I doubt I'll ever get to the point where I can say that I truly enjoy running, but I do see it as an effective and necessary means of getting the exercise I need. This summer, I want to get back in the habit of doing it regularly. One of the great things about where we live is that the head of the Huckleberry Trail, which is one of the nicest public running trails I've ever used, is right by our house. It goes between Blacksburg and Christiansburg - I'm not sure how far because I've never had the endurance to get beyond the five mile marker. April and I have both been running on the Huckleberry this week. Here's hoping that we can keep this up, build up our endurance and overall health, and enjoy the outdoors!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day and bugs...

We had a great long Memorial Day weekend with family and friends! Hotel Roanoke was absolutely fabulous. Friday night we had dinner at this cute little BBQ place across the street from Center in the Square in Roanoke. They had the best fried okra there that I've ever tasted. It literally melted in your mouth. The menu said they included some sort of "secret sugar" in the batter, I don't know what it was but I want that recipe!

Aside from the food, it was a great time to meet up with family and friends that we hadn't seen in a while. Monday afternoon all of my former college roommates met up in Chatham. It was such fun to be back together again, I hadn't seen a couple of the girls since last June! Hopefully it won't be another year before we're all together again.

Elizabeth, Megan + one, Me, Emily, Lauren

As for the bugs, Nic comes running into my parent's house Monday morning like a little kid, screaming "There are bugs everywhere! All over the backyard! I've got to get a picture this looks like something at the zoo." Get a picture is exactly what he did (hence the one below). To his credit it was pretty crazy looking, apparently all the baby larvae decided to hatch at one time. Pretty ridiculous and gross. I chose to stay inside, I decided I did not want to pick bugs out of my teeth/hair/eyes!

Bug Invasion. Don't be deceived all those little white dots on the tree trunk and ground are bugs!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anniversaries and Friends

Yesterday we celebrated three years of being married. Seeing as it is the "Leather" anniversary I got Nic a nice leather journal. He got me a gorgeous fern for our front porch and pretty flowers for the back porch, our house is getting prettier by the minute. We celebrated with a dinner out, cookie cake, and Ben & Jerry's. This weekend we'll celebrate even more in Roanoke. On the agenda, Hotel Roanoke, the Taubman Museum of Art, dinner downtown, and the Festival in the Park. I can't believe we've been married 3 years. It's crazy to think about because it really doesn't feel that long at all. My oh my how time flies!

As a sidenote I'd like to give a shoutout to my friend Elizabeth. Yesterday Mabel & I went to visit she and her new baby Trey at their home in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. It was so much fun catching up. We went on a long walk on their gorgeous property and Mabel loved the freedom of being off the leash (she even got to go swimming). It's always so much fun hanging out with Elizabeth, she's one of my all time favorite people. Hope it's sunny where you are!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Reading List

I'm trying to catch up on some reading this summer since that was one thing that I didn't make time for this school year. I feel disorganized about my reading list because I've started a bunch of different books and don't know which I'm going to finish first. I always just seem to grab the book that's closest to me when I feel like reading. Here are some I hope to finish by the end of the summer:
  • UnChristian by David Kinnaman. We saw this author speak at a conference this year. He is the president of the Barna group, who does research about how people think and act in terms of religion and the church. He has done a lot of research about the perception of the church among those outside of it in the younger generations, and wrote this book out of that research. Not only is his research interesting, but he has a good heart and challenges the church to respond well to the criticism being spoken against it.
  • Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. April has been reading this book and has thought a lot about what the author has to say. He lives in Philadelphia, which makes this extra-interesting to me, having lived there and seen the difficulties and problems he describes in the book.
  • How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee and Stuart. I've read parts of this book, but would love to read all of it and take some time to think about how it applies to the Bible studies I prepare and teach.
  • God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas Kostenberger. I've heard this book recommended by multiple people whose opinions I trust. It is a long discussion of all the biblical texts dealing with marriage and family issues in the light of how these things look today. My perception is that the stances it takes are a little different from the way I usually view things, but I'll be glad to have a fuller understanding of these issues from reading this book. This is a subject I'd like to do more study in, both for the sake of my marriage and family, and since I'm around college students who are always asking questions about marriage and getting married.
  • The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Always wanted to read this one, and I picked up a cheap copy from Amazon recently.
I'll be sure to post some reviews and thoughts once I get into them. I got a bit deeper into UnChristian yesterday, and am now committing to finishing that one first. We'll see how much I actually get done this summer - it's hard for me to read at night right now because I'm too hooked on watching the NBA playoffs. If anybody has any other suggestions, please let me know!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where'd everybody go?

There's a definite change to Blacksburg this week-nobody's here! Seriously I think this might be the quietest I've ever seen this place. This week is especially quiet since summer classes don't start until next Tuesday so it would seem ALL the students are gone.

Last week we had the chance to say goodbye to several students (some just for the summer, others for good). We had a reception after the Friday night graduation ceremony here at the BCM for the graduates and their families. It was so much fun meeting parents; I was amazed at how much people look like their parents! Whenever I would say that, the students would say really? I don't think so. I guess it's one of those things that's easier to see from the outside. So I guess after making such a statement I should say Mom & Dad, I guess I'm starting to look more like you guys every day after all!

Our friends Micah & Jess came down to stay the night Friday. Micah's cousin was graduating on Saturday so we got the pleasure of hosting the Reynolds fam for the evening. It was so much fun catching up with them! They're such fun people and I miss them a ton. Saturday was full of Graduation parties (with a Birthday party thrown in there). By the time we got home we were exhausted but it was certainly a great day!

Below are some pictures of Pandapas Pond/Mabel. My friend, Karin, and I went there one day last week before she left for the summer. It's such a beautiful place to get away and only about a 5 minute drive from Blacksburg! Enjoy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Growing My Vegetables

One thing I've wanted to do for a couple of years now but have never had the resources to try is to have a small vegetable garden. Thankfully, we have a spot next to our apartment here that, while it is not ideal, I think will be able to support a small garden. A few weeks ago, I dug up a small patch of ground (maybe 6ft by 4ft), and I planted a few small plants there last weekend. We went to a local produce stand and picked out some tomato, cucumber, green pepper, and yellow squash plants. I'd like to add some herbs and maybe a few other vegetables, but there's not a ton of room left, so it will be a pretty modest garden if it succeeds.

I've swiftly killed every plant I've ever owned (including a cactus and bamboo plants that are supposedly really difficult to kill), so I don't have huge hopes of growing anything that will actually produce results. However, it's been fun to research and actually get outside and make some of the process happen. Call me a tree-hugger if you will, but I enjoy trying to do this in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. I hopefully made some good dirt by composting leaves from last fall, and have implemented a rain barrel system so I can water the plants with rain water instead of using the hose. Here's hoping that we get to eat some delicious, fresh veggies this summer!

Our Garden

Close Up of a Pepper Plant

Monday, May 11, 2009

Passion 2010

I love getting mail, snail mail that is. Today I received an unexpected package from Six Step Records with three brand spanking new copies of Kristian Stanfill's new CD Attention inside. A few minutes later as I was jamming away to Mr. Stanfill I got a phone call from a representative at the Passion Movement.

Now as much as I'd like to say people call our office all the time asking for me that is just not the truth (probably about 1 out of every 10 calls is for me and that's a stretch). However about a month ago I bought enough spots to take about 20 students to the Passion 2010 conference in Atlanta, GA next January and he was calling to follow up. He simply wanted to say thank you and talk about what's going on at Virginia Tech! Needless to say talking about everything made me so excited to go!

If you've never heard of Passion I strongly encourage you to check them out here. It exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship and prayer for spiritual awakening from around the world. I went to two conferences as an undergraduate student and got so much out of the event. I remember one evening in particular, we (myself and thousands of other students) were all singing inside the Gaylord Arena in Nashville, TN and for a moment I stopped to think man this is what heaven is like. Thousands of voices singing in unison to praise our Great God!

Friday, May 8, 2009


It's hard to believe, but the spring semester is wrapping up for the students here at Virginia Tech, and that means April and I have been here working at the BCM for an entire school year. We've gone through the cycle of what happens in a typical year here, and had a chance to get a good feel for the community and rhythm of the ministry. Although I'm sure every year will be very different due to people and circumstances, it feels good to have this first year behind us. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and of knowing some of what to expect as we head into year two.

So what are we going to do over the summer? I feel like I get asked that question a lot these days, and understandably so, because what the heck is somebody who works in campus ministry going to do for the three months when the campus is empty? One way I often answer is "I'm not really sure," because we haven't experienced a summer here yet. Here are a few things that we do know we're going to be doing:
  • While most students are gone, there are still some around for summer school and jobs in the area. BCM has a Tuesday night summer Bible study, so we will be a part of that. We're also looking forward to spending more time with the students that are around now that life is slower and they're not as overwhelmed with school.
  • We want to prepare for the fall. It seems way too early to be thinking about what's going to happen in September since it's only May now, but we would love to have some good plans in place so that we're ready to invest more time and energy in relational things when the students return.
  • Reading and studying. I haven't done enough of that this year, and I want to take some time to grow and learn.
  • Camp. That's right, April and I are going to be working a week of Centrifuge (a Christian summer camp for high school students) in June at Union University in Tennessee. I last worked camp there in the summer of 2004, so this will be a return to the good old days for me. We're excited to be able to go do this together.
  • Vacation! We've planned a vacation to the Outer Banks in July for just the two of us - this will be our first vacation by ourselves since our honeymoon (which was about 3 years ago now). We'll also be doing some other travelling to visit family, friends, and people who support our ministry.
  • And finally, we hope to give a little more attention to this blog this summer to share our thoughts on life here in Blacksburg and other things that are going on in our world.
I always wanted to spend a summer in Blacksburg as a student, but it never worked out. I'm very excited to see that dream come to life this summer!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I found this quite humorous today. I thought you might too. I guess it does pay off after all to pay attention in Middle School English class.