Sep 29, 2007

Busy, Busy Weekend

I'm blogging right now because I'm avoiding reading my anthropology homework. And I'm really behind! Okay, I'm really not that far behind, but I don't like to be behind at all. I'm trying to finish reading Tuesday's reading. Chapter 6: Deep Time and Evolution is killing me. That's why I'm doing this. I'm so avoiding it. I'm only half way through and there's 18 pages left. Then I have to start Thursday's reading. I'm sure Chapter 7: Hominid Evolution in the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs is going to be great! The class lectures and the secondary sources he assigns are really interesting, but the textbook for this class is awful! I mean, it's science, so it's not like the textbook is going to be like reading a novel or something. And thank goodness the professor doesn't know this blog exists because he wrote the textbook. But it's awful! Thank goodness next week's reading is completely from secondary sources and will go fast while Roger's here. I've got to get through this reading though. I have so much to do this weekend. I have a plan for every waking moment of the weekend in order to get ahead on my history research paper so I don't have as much to do while Roger's here. Tonight I'm going to organize and complete my source research. Tomorrow will be start and complete my primary source summary and presentation. Monday will be anthropology reading, maybe, and start the introduction and outline for my research paper. I'm going to need a lot of caffeine this weekend.

I'm not sure what Roger's up to this weekend. He's staying with John & Tamra. He had to get away from Walter Reed. He had a really trying day on Thursday. Thank goodness he's coming home Tuesday because he really needs to get away from there. It's hard enough to live there every day, but it seems like once a week something happens to make the place even more unbearable. And Thursday was a doozy with several things happening on the same day. I can hear the frustration in his voice. And it sucks for me because I can't do anything to help except listen and allow him to vent and pray for him. So please pray for him. I know he's more than ready to leave that place for good. He just called me. They are on there way to the church's softball team "practice" then over to another guys house to play Xbox. He needs to decompress. Don't worry, Roger doesn't play softball, although if he hadn't fractured his finger he could. He just takes pictures. And he really enjoys that. He's been bitten by the photography bug.

Okay, okay, I'm going to get back to reading. Please pray for me!

Sep 26, 2007

Stuff Going On This Week

Well, I got my research proposal back from my history professor yesterday. I made a 93, which I'm happy about and I got some good feedback from her which has helped me narrow down my topic. I met with her yesterday after my second class and we discussed my research and the topic itself. Since it's a current event unraveling as I type, it's pretty interesting to people in her field. I'll post about it specifically later.

So now I have to read all my sources and this weekend I will be preparing for a primary source presentation I have to make next Tuesday or Thursday. We'll get more details tomorrow and I need to know what she wants before I decide which primary source I will present. I will pick the one that will help me meet all her requirements. That's another way to make it in college. Give the professors what they want. Which brings me to my anthropology class. This week we are starting to cover evolution. We got the lecture from our professor in class yesterday that even if we don't agree with him on evolution and we don't have to, we should keep an open mind, yadda, yadda, yadda. I usually sit on the front or second row and I couldn't figure out why he kept looking at me. Then I realized I was wearing a Women of Faith t-shirt. I'm sure he probably assumes he knows my opinion regarding evolution, but until you sit down with me, you won't know how I feel about it. I have to say as a person interested in history and anthropology, the fossil record is exciting and interesting to me. Some scientific people can't see God in there at all, but I do. And I'm going to give him what ever he wants on his test in order for me to get the best grade possible. I'm not even going to go there with him nor interrupt class. That's just disrespectful. I'm sure that if I really wanted to discuss evolution with him, he'd be happy to meet with me during his office hours.

And some really great news: Roger's coming home next Tuesday (Oct 2nd) for a week of leave! I'm so excited! I can't wait for him to be home. I will have a lot of reading to do while he's here because the week after he gets here, I have to turn in my research paper introduction and outline and whatever reading is required for both classes, but we'll manage. My goal is once I start writing it, I'm just going to try to finish it completely so as the semester progresses, I can keep tweaking it but basically be done. Especially since I'm going to DC for Thanksgiving and the final paper is due the week after. Roger and I don't have many plans while he's here, except a David Crowder Band concert at La Zona Rosa on Thursday, because we hope to spend as much time together as possible. So don't plan on seeing much of us, if at all. :)

Just a quick note about something exciting for me that happened this weekend. I've been going to Austin Stone Community Church since we moved back and this Sunday, Chris Tomlin actually was there leading worship. It was so cool. This was the first time I've seen him at church and I wasn't expecting to see him any time soon. So that was exciting especially since our friends Jonas and Darcey stayed at our house this weekend and they were able to see and experience him too. Darcey sings on the worship team at our church in DC so I'm sure she was stoked. It was a very moving, Spirit-filled worship experience for us all.

Sep 21, 2007

One Exam Down, Three To Go

Wow, my anthropology test yesterday wasn't as hard as I imagined. There was a lot of material to cover plus no one knew what he wanted from each reading. The test review/study session was really helpful. After the test was done, I felt like I probably made a B. We received an email today from the teaching assistant that our grades were up online. So of course I had to see what I made. He did explain that they dropped the two most missed questions and applied a curve. There are two possible curves for each exam: (1) Subtract the highest grade from 100 and add the difference, or (2) subtract the raw average from 75 and add the difference. The highest raw score was 94 (+6). The raw average was 66 (+9). So they added 9 points to everyone's raw score. My score posted online was an 89 which means I really made an 80. But I'll take the 89. One point from an A. So my intial feelings after the test were correct. And now that I know how he tests and what and how to study I should do better on the next test. Yeah! I'm so excited about my test grade!

I turned in my research proposal for my history class at midnight last night. It wasn't due until 5pm today but I decided to turn it in and get it over with. I'm telling you, I love technology. It's so cool I don't have to wait until next class on Tuesday to see my grade and I can turn in my assignments online from any where. I love that professors are using technology to their full potential!

Now more reading for both classes plus extra reading and research for my history paper. Thanks for the prayers! Have a great weekend!

Sep 19, 2007

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Yikes! I have my first college exam in over four years tomorrow. Anthropology at that! And my research proposal for my history class is due Friday. I'm almost done with that. I need more prayer for the test tomorrow. Please pray for me, especially to study and retain the right material for the test!! I'm off to a test review/study session. Thanks!

Sep 17, 2007

What? A post from Roger?!?

I know… I take long breaks from the blog. Quick catch up: after several months of adjusting my anti-seizure meds, waiting two weeks, doing a blood test to check the levels, finding out that the level s are too low and increasing the meds and waiting two more weeks… I’m finally at a good level. It is supposed to be between eight and ten, I’m at 8.8. I’m not sure what they are measuring, but I’m glad that I don’t have to add any more pills to my daily regimen. Right now I’m taking a minimum of eleven pills per day. But it’s not too big a deal for me. And my right big toe has stopped twitching, so I know that’s a sign that the meds are working. If I can make it through October without having another seizure, I’ll be able to drive again in November!

The weather here is downright fall like now. Lows were in the 40s this past weekend and highs were in the low 70s. Just like I like it! It will warm into the 80s again, but fall is on its way.

I have been doing quite a bit of work for the newspaper here on post. I covered a pretty big event last week that also got national coverage. I don’t need to explain it because these links do:

The Washington Post: (click the link under gallery to see great pictures)

WUSA9 (CBS) - Be sure to click the link under related video for a great story:

NBC Nightly News (MSNBC) - At the ribbon cutting you can see my flash unit and then my head pops up with my square patch of missing hair -- nice:

Stripe - mine!

I have yet to figure out how to post the paper as it appeared with my photos.

I’m going to be going home on leave for a few days in early October. I got a heck of a deal on military leisure airfare on Continental. I don’t usually fly them, but they were darn cheap. It will be nice to be home for a few days and to spend time with Holly and to see my new niece!

I think that’s about it for this post. I do want to share a video that was shared with me that I only saw tonight. It makes a pretty powerful statement at the end. It won’t be some of y’all’s cup of tea, but I liked it.

Sep 16, 2007

Candy For Breakfast

I just read that Kashi GoLean Crunch is not as good for you as they hope you to believe because of all the added sugar to make it crunchy. Dang it! So I decided to compare the sugar content of Kashi GoLean Crunch to my regular Cheerios. Holy cow! Kashi GoLean Crunch has 13 grams of sugar in a one cup serving compared to Cheerios one gram of sugar for the same size serving. Wow, that's crazy! That's the equivalent to one Krispy Kreme Apple Filled Cinnamon Sugar Coated Doughnut or one 1 cup/30g serving of General Mills Trix cereal or one 8 oz serving of Arbor Mist White Zinfandel or one 56g Blue Bunny Heath Ice Cream Bar. (They serve Blue Bunny products in the cafeteria at Walter Reed.) And I thought I was doing something good for my body.

I was going to try the new Cheerios Crunch I read about on my box of regular Cheerios. For only a 3/4 cup serving, there's 8 grams of sugar and one less gram of dietary fiber than regular Cheerios for the same 100 calories of a one cup serving. I don't think so.

Beware of the hidden sugars in those healthy, crunchy cereals. Anybody want a 1/4 box of Kashi GoLean Crunch?

Sep 15, 2007

Back To School

Okay, school started a couple weeks ago. I'm behind posting about starting school. Yes, I've finally gone back to college to finish my bachelors degree. Since I was blessed with being able to work part time (and from home) and while Roger's still in DC, I'm going to take this opportunity to get as much out of the way as possible.

I am taking two classes this semester. History 481 and Anthropology 202. History 481 is my last history class for my major and the toughest. Both of my classes are on Tuesday-Thursday. So I travel to Texas A&M two days a week. The commute is not bad. I'm sure eventually it will get old, but thank the Lord I only have this semester and next spring to graduate. And everyone else is driving in the opposite direction so there's really no traffic to deal with except getting out of Austin. My first day of class has been the worst. As I drove away from Austin towards Bastrop, the traffic began to back up. I heard on the radio a dump truck turned over and split it's load over the entire road. So I slowly inched forward for an hour. But it was slow enough that I could read some of my anthropology homework. Thank goodness it was not a sign of things to come. So far, my commute has been easy and uneventful. And I give myself four hours to travel two just in case. I use the extra time to read before class. I've got it down to a science now.

The hardest part of the commute has been on the days I'm really tired. But of course, I have found a few coffee shops and one kolache bakery along my two hour drive. There's the usual McDonald's and other fast food places, but I really can't stand those so I don't stop there. One of the coffee shops is local, Coffee Dog, which I prefer over the mega chain Starbucks in Bastrop. But both are convenient and have drive-thru's. And of course the kolache bakery is my favorite but I try not to stop there unless it's an emergency. I'm usually tired from all this reading I've been doing. I basically spend all my time reading. The first week of class I had to read 478 pages of extremely interesting material. Of course you know I'm being sarcastic. I learned a lot but it was difficult reading. I had to have a dictionary through out most of it. I don't know why these people have to use pompous words instead of more understandable words. Some of them I have never heard of. Some weren't even in the latest edition of Webster's dictionary and I had to look them up online. It's kind of ridiculous to need a dictionary to read something. And it was pretty boring at times due to the overwhelming data. The first Saturday night I had to make myself a few cups of coffee to stay awake. It was tough. And now I get to add onto those reading assignments, work toward a 20 page research paper. My research proposal is due next Friday. And my first test is next Thursday. So my weekends (Friday afternoon through Monday) are spent reading, studying, researching and writing. I work three mornings a week. The other time during the week I'm either in class, stopping to visit my parents or reading. Even in between classes I read. I'm so glad this is all almost over.

One thing about going back to school after such a long break is how different college is now. It's the same for the most part, but it's better in one sense and worse in another. So it's better because of technology. Professors are actually using it now. We don't turn in papers physically now. We turn them in electronically using a website called We also don't get our grades in class after a test now. We go to a website, log in and get our grades there. I can do almost all of my research online now. There are so many journals, articles, documents, etc which have been digitized now. Which is good for me since I don't live in the same town as the university. And some professors are actually recording their lectures and posting them on websites so you can catch anything you miss. Or skip class completely and just listen online. Of course, human error still exists so that last option is not a smart one. I wish you could listen to my anthropology professor's lectures but only students can access it. He can be very funny, but over all presentation of the subject matter is boring. It could help anyone with sleeping problems. I'm very happy about this part of going back to college. Technology has made it so much better.

The part that's not so much better is how much more "mature" I am compared to my classmates after this long break. It's not that I look like grandma to these kids, even though I'm ten years older than most. I blend in pretty well. Someone told me last week they thought I was 27. Yes, I did hug them. But the immaturity of my classmates and the majority of the undergraduates is hard to deal with sometimes. From fashion to study habits to conversation topics to personalities to commitment to priorities is strikingly different. Most of the time, it's actually amusing. I have to laugh, in my head of course, sometimes. I asked two kids sitting next to me in my 300 student anthropology class if they were freshmen because their conversation was too much. And they freak out so easily. It really is amusing. I feel like every other class I'm calming their fears about something. And the fashionistas are unbelievable. Okay, so Texas A&M's main campus consists of about 2400 acres plus west campus right across the railroad tracks which makes the College Station campus a total of 5200 acres plus 340 acres for the Research Park. The average student walks the 2400 acre main campus. Some have classes or park in both the main and west campuses. And it's hot in Texas regardless of the mild summer we've had this year. And you should see the heels, heavy make-up and the outfits. I've seen Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, low plunging necklines, skimpy, spaghetti strap summer dresses. These girls are trying so hard. One might think they are only there for a hook-up or future husband. It's actually quite amusing. One thing that really bugs me is the lack of commitment and professionalism especially in my history class. This is our major's seminar class. Everyone has to take it. You'd think if it's your major, you'd actually care. But no, most don't. And it was beginning to seem like no one was doing the reading for class discussion, which is a major part of our grade and people were waiting for me to answer questions. So I decided last week, I wasn't going to speak up until after someone else did. Although the professor has to wait for a response, I don't feel like a big mouth or goody two shoes. Maybe I've been in the professional world too long.

This semester ends the first week of December. I'll have already registered for classes for Spring 2008 before then and paid the graduation fee which is required before you graduate. Next semester I have to take two 300-400 level anthropology classes for my minor. I've already looked at the classes available and wow, it's going to be tough to pick two. I've got it narrowed down to three possibilities based on the schedule, work load, whether a research paper is required and topic. In that order. Of course, the 2008 schedule won't be posted for another month so this might change. Because of technology, you can see most of the syllabi online and choose your classes by what ever criteria you like. As long as I pass these last four classes, I will be able to graduate next May. Yeah! I can't wait. At first I was set that I wasn't going to walk the stage but I was convinced I should. Man, I really can't wait for that day. Then it's Roger's turn to finish his degree.

Although I'm making it sound horrible, I really am enjoying what I'm learning in both of my classes. I would not ever have learned the material that's being covered and I know I will benefit from knowing it. I might actually use it toward my career. I'll try to post about the actual topics of my class later. Hope you're having a great weekend. I'm off to finish my anthropology reading. :)

Sep 11, 2007

God In The Stairwell (Sixth Anniversary of September 11, 2001)

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard
the news on September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called
his wife to say "Good-Bye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed.
I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it,
I was with his wife when he called. I held her up as she realized
he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to
Me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for
50 years!" I said.

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the
injured. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer.
I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts
of the frightened souls there, comforting and assuring them that
Their faith has saved them.

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name though
not all know Me, some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.
Some sought Me with their last breath. Some chose, for the final time,
To ignore Me. But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do.

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you.
But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well.
Seek Me now while I may be found, for I will be in the stairwell of
your final moments.

-John Tesh's version of Stacey Randall's poem "Met in the Stairwell" (read by John Rivers on KLOVE radio station this morning)

Sep 7, 2007

Baby Cyrene Pics

Click on the Flickr link below or to the right for a few pictures of Cyrene I took at the hospital tonight.

We're Aunt & Uncle Again!

Roger's sister Mirna had a baby girl today at 12:31 p.m. at North Austin Medical Center. Cyrene Elise Reyes is 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long. Mirna, Cyrene and Joey are all doing well. I hope to post a picture tonight after I visit this evening.