Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seasonal Escapades

We have been going full speed since we have returned from the east coast. It is so exciting living somewhere where there is always something to do. We can't find the time to do it all, but one thing we made sure we went to was The Grove in L.A. (there are a few, so I must specify). The Grove is basically a large outdoor shopping/dining area, but it is beautiful. It includes fountains, lights and concerts. During the Christmas season, fake snow falls every night right after a dance/music performance. We were fortunate enough to go on the night when pretty girls in cute santa dresses were doing high kicks and other dance moves around the Christmas trolly in the street. Just was actually quite tasteful. It was a fun double date with Lindsay and Harrison. Patrick and I spent time sipping our new-found soy vanilla creme with an earl grey tea bag, while exploring toys in the apple store with the Huxfords.

Patrick and I also spent a little date time in Altaloma this week. We had heard all about this neighborhood where everyone goes crazy with decorations. Well.....they were right. So many people come to see it that they have to close streets down and send police to direct traffic. The home-owners actually sell hot chocolate, popcorn, caramel apples, and other snacks from their driveways. We even saw a quartet singing Christmas carols on a stage built in their front yard! It was like nothing I have ever seen. So, in spite of the warmer weather, the near impossibility of snow, and the absence of our family, Christmas continues here in Los Angeles.


FYI: Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts. After six interviews, I got the job! As of January 6th, I will be working as a Student Accounts Counselor in the Graduate Center at Azusa Pacific University. Now, I have not forgotten or given up on education. I will begin applying for both doctoral programs and jobs as an adjunct professor at surrounding colleges. The plan is to be able to work on these things while I have a full-time job during the day that allows us to have a steady income. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our First Trip Home

Well, we finally returned to Cali after an almost two week trip to the southeast. Between Jeremy's funeral and my graduation, the trip was full of a mix of emotions....but it was a great trip overall. Patrick and I took the red-eye to Knoxville. I hate the red-eye flights. In order to make sure I slept on the flight, I took a Dramamine, which throws me into a serious realm of unconsciousness. The conflict came when I could not find one possible comfortable position that would allow me to sleep with my eyes clothes. Patrick, on the other hand decided to skip a night's sleep to watch a movie and physically restrain his outbursts of laughter. Oh, the irony.

As soon as we got off the plane, we realized how acclimated we have become to the warmth of California. Apparently Phil Fulmer was tired of the weather too, because we met him in the airport on his way out of Knoxville. Patrick was sure to thank him for his many years of service to the University of Tennessee. We had a great time visiting with family and of course Justin and Katie (we miss you guys!), and even got to enjoy a little snow!

From Knoxville we hit the road for Savannah....home sweet home. Patrick and I both had our lists of places to eat, with Spanky's and Vinnie's at the top. We spent just under a week in the Low Country and didn't slow down at all. We were quickly reminded of how large (and awesome!) our support system is. We tried our best to spend time with everyone, but wish we had had more time. We were able to meet baby Penny Bolen for the first time and got to visit the students at Element on Sunday. It was so great seeing everyone again! We also had a great time visiting with family. My amazing cousins, Lori and Jason, hosted a family gathering that allowed us to spend time with everyone at once. It was great! Thank you guys! It was so great seeing everyone and spending good girl time with mom and sisters. I think we went on a Cutter's run every day we were there! The whole trip was busy, but refreshing and greatly needed.

Amid the visits in Savannah and Knoxville, and in spite of our love for both of those places and the people there, Patrick and I became more and more grateful for the community that we are building here in California. The transition has undoubtedly been difficult (especially for me), but both of us felt renewed and ready to return with eagerness to invest in the lives and community here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ode to Jeremy Frye

Written by Patrick Mitchell
Jeremy was one of my best friends, only one of a couple I ever spoke to from back home in Knoxville. He was a godly man who recognized the temporary nature of this life. I could easily look to God on this one and say, "You messed this one up." But I cannot ignore the Sovereignty of God and His ultimate control and purpose. Romans 8.28 says that God works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Both in his life and now in his passing, Jeremy is working out the will of God, a will that is larger than my eyes are able to see--a paradox. Jeremy loved nature and perhaps it is fitting that his last pleasant experience was on a mountain. Regardless, he is in the presence of a holy God and will spend eternity there. We will see him again and the reunion will be sweet. If you read this, pray for the Frye family. They are a tight knit group and are hurting deeply. Amen.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Tis the Season

The Christmas season is officially here. Patrick and I both act like giddy kids every time this year. We were strong enough to keep from listening to Christmas music until this last week, but who can stay away from Josh Groban's Christmas cd once they hear it? Yesterday we pulled out the Christmas decor. We put up our tree and reminisced of our first Christmas together in snowy Tennessee. We hung our stockings, lit Christmas scented candles and watched one of my favorites.....National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I have a old-man crush on Chevy Chase. We could watch Christmas movies all day long! We already have our DVR set to record the TBS Christmas movie marathon.

The season continued this morning when my wonderful husband let me sleep in and then took me to get Starbucks and cinnamon rolls. We are having a breakfast tailgate in "The Room" while we watch our bulldogs play the techies. About the starbucks trip---I am not a big starbucks all. I have recently, however, discovered a sweet mixture that has been haunting me since I was introduced to it on Thanksgiving. I ordered a simple Earl Grey tea when the barista asked if I had ever tried it with soy and vanilla. Although I was hesitant, I agreed....and WOW....I am so glad I did. It rocked my world. If you are a tea drinker (and you should is a much healthier alternative to coffee....not to mention soy is much better for you than milk....and vanilla is better for you than sugar and any chemically induced substitute), you need to try this. Just order a soy vanilla creme with an earl grey tea bag.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Giving thanks always and for everything, to God the Father, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 5:20

This was our first Thanksgiving away from either of our families. It was also our warmest Thanksgiving yet. We are still learning to make adjustments. When we woke up, we assumed the parade would be on since we knew it was airing on the east coast....but apparently we get that on a delay. We had a great full of many reminders that we are certainly blessed. We spent the morning serving with CCV in the town of Pomona, a suburb full of crime and poverty. We delivered a couple of Thanksgiving meals to families in the mobile home park we served in. We quickly realized we were going to need a translator in order to pray with them. CCV did an incredible job setting this event up . The event was set up so that families could come in and eat a Thanksgiving meal, get clothes for their family and then grab a bag of canned goods on the way out. Although we missed being with family and friends this holiday, the next best thing is serving with friends and loving others.

The afternoon was spent with Harrison and Lindsay, doing the typical football/parade watching. We anticipated our Thanksgiving meal all day, and finally gathered with another couple (Jim and Erin) at 6:00pm. The food was great! Seriously, I was impressed with how good of a job us girls did with everything. The menu consisted of Turkey (of course!--Lindsay's first and she did a great job!), Erin's fresh green bean casserole and sweet potato soufflé, and I contributed my first home-made macaroni and cheese, Sister Schubert rolls;we also added pumpkin cake, Lindsay's home-made pumpkin roll, and a ton of cider. There was a ton of food. We all ate too much and we all felt miserable after dinner....just like every Thanksgiving.

Patrick and I each took time to say 5 things we are thankful for in general and 3 things we are thankful for about the other. This Thanksgiving we are both thankful for:

1. Community-The new community we are forming here and the irreplaceable community we have back in Savannah (and Washington D.C., Florida, and Tennessee).

2. Health

3. Employment-It is in this time of unemployment (for me) that we have both become incredibly thankful for the times when we have both had a job. It is so easy for us to complain about the fact that we have never had a time in our marriage when both of us were making a full-time salary, but now we know to be grateful when both of us are making any consistent income.

4. Our Marriage and the continuous opportunities we have to love, forgive, serve and be Christ to one another.

5. Our reliable Honda Accord and our awesome chocolate that is two in one, but Patrick and I couldn't agree. We have spent most all our marriage with one car and I can't imagine how inconvenient (and expensive) it would be if we had to put the car in the shop. We love Honda. Lastly, Bailey is awesome. He is always there to offer us love and cuddling when we need it most.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What We've Been Doing

Things have been busy in L.A. Last Friday night, Harrison and Lindsay joined Patrick and I for the annual Winter Festival in Glendora. It was cute. Glendora's Old Town is one of my favorites. The street was lined with lit trees, local store owners serving wine and cheese, and they even had horse-drawn carriages strolling down the street. What was great was that the temperature was bearable. We even had to take our jackets off. Perfect!

Patrick and I also got to go to Dancing with the Stars on Monday night! It was awesome. We got to get dressed up and enjoy a fun, free date. We crossed Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose to finally arrive at CBS studio. We have been on the waiting list since we got here back in August. We got an email last week telling us that it was our turn, and that we needed to be in Hollywood no later than 2:30pm. Well, we got to the line at exactly 2:30pm. I am going to guess that we were in the last 15 people in line. Although it is tempting, I am not going to talk about the group of six girls that walked up and jumped in front of the entire line. Nor am I going to talk about the possibility that the fact that they all poured themselves into their mini spandex dresses that were four sizes too small had anything to do with their early admittance into the studio. We waited in line for hours. I was smart enough to bring flip flops. By 5pm we were headed into the studio....and up to the balcony with our fellow peasants. Our whole group in the back of the line joked about being the peasants of the group because they made us wait outside until all of VIPs got there to determine how many extra seats would be available. The show was great! Not only did we get to see the final three perform their freestyle dances, we got to see quite a few celebrities. I have included their pictures. Fun.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So I officially joined facebook yesterday. Wow. All of a sudden I have "friends". I have, until yesterday, avoided the facebook and MySpace worlds for a few reasons:

1. Let's be honest, I don't really have a gajillion "friends" actual friends read this blog, email, and call.

2. I'm too busy to update my own status, let alone look at everyone else's. Why do you care that "Lindsey is drinking a frappe" anyway?

3. Quite frankly, I like to avoid awkward moments of ignoring a friend request. All of sudden I'm forced to either "befriend" someone I don't want to "befriend" or forever deal with the awkwardness that results from my rejection. I mean, what is this about? Just moments ago, we were both okay with the fact that we weren't friends. Now, I'm forced to make a choice. What if we have nothing in common? What, really, is the point in our facade of a friendship? Even worse, what if I just really don't want to be your friend. What if you are an ex-boyfriend, and I sincerely don't want to know what you are up to these days. The problem is that if I reject the potential friendship request, it appears that I have not let the past go or that I may still be struggling with emotions of this relationship. Which, I must add, is a false assumption. How is one to handle these potential issues?

Regardless of my reasons why, I joined the facebook community yesterday. I don't know why. Maybe it is because I heard that my college professors had a facebook account and I felt behind the times. I can immediately feel the competition of numbers. Numbers of groups you are a part of, number of invites you get, and most importantly, the number of friends you have. This thing will suck you in. We will see how it goes. But I will not, however, jump on the MySpace wagon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Getting Settled

Things are staying busy out west. It seems we have something going on all the time. I am busy teaching during the day and job hunting every other waking moment. Thank God that my substitute job was extended to November 21st. I am busy applying to substitute in public schools and adjunct at nearby community colleges. Please be praying earnestly for the job situation.

Patrick is staying busy with work and school. He is speaking for the first time at 808 this Sunday night in the "Letters to the President" series Jeff started last week. After Sunday, the focus will be on the next Refuge, the Broom Ball event next week and campus outreach events at APU. On top of all of that, Hebrew is keeping him busy as well. He will be taking two classes next quarter so things will only get busier.

PLUS.....we are in L.A. and there is a ton to we are always on the go. In the midst of this busy season, we have still managed to take some updated pictures of our place a little more decorated than you saw it last. These pictures should give you a better idea of the layout....and how cozy things really are. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally a Sorority Girl

Okay, so Kappa Delta Pi allows guys too, but it at least sounds like a sorority. On Monday afternoon, I had the privilege of being inducted into Kappa Delta Pi -- International Honor Society in Education. Awesome! I received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago, informing me that one of my professors from my master's program had nominated me for induction. It was so encouraging, especially since I have been having such a difficult time finding a teaching job out here. Yeah for encouragement! Yeah for Kappa Delta Pi! In all seriousness, this is truly an honor. Not only does Kappa Delta Pi serve as a resource to further educate and prepare educators (past and present), each chapter plays a large part in it's community. So to Teach. So to Serve. So to Live.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's Prayer

This is my prayer in the desert,
When all that's within me feels dry.
This is my prayer in my hunger and need,
My God is the God who provides.

And this is my prayer in the fire,
In weakness or trial or pain.
There is a faith proved more worth than gold,
So refine me Lord through the flame.

I will bring praise,
I will bring praise,
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice, I will declare,
God is my victory and He is here.

This is my prayer in the battle,
When triumph is still on it's way.
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ,
So firm on His promise I'll stand.

All of my life, in every season,
You are still God,
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship.

And this is my prayer in the harvest,
When favor and providence flow.
I know I'm filled to be emptied again,
The seed I receive I will sow.


The Beginning of a Family Tradition

Saturday, October 25th 2008 marked the beginning of a fall tradition that will be in the Mitchell family for years to come.....Pumpkin Carving and Caramel Apples. Apparently Patrick and I had no real childhood since neither of us had participated in any formal carving of a pumpkin. Lindsay and Harrison (our fellow Georgians) jumped at the opportunity to be the first to partake in this experience with us. Patrick, the zealous pumpkin carver he is, bought a rather large pumpkin, which made the cleaning out quite a task. Bailey had his share of pumpkin himself, being that he licked our arms or hands with every attempt to clean out the gunk (yes, that is a word) in the pumpkin. By the way, have you ever felt that stuff? Wow. After I did the cleaning, Patrick did the carving. Because Harrison takes this very seriously, he provided the carving kit, which came with numerous options for the face of the pumpkin. We went easy on Patrick since this was his first carving and picked an easier face. He did a great job! He carved meticulously with precision and accuracy. We topped off the night with homemade caramel apples. Geez oh Pete. They were fabulous. A little hard on the TMJ, but fabulous. It was a great night and I look forward to doing it for years to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UPDATE--I'm Lame

I am lame. The last two weeks have been a whirl wind, and I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted. It won't happen again. I am still committed to posting two times a week, and this post can count for last week. I will use this post to fill you guys in on what has been going on here and then I will post some fun pictures tomorrow of our pumpkin carving last night. I am also going to be posting some updated pictures of our place, which I hope can give you a better idea of it's layout....and size.

First things first--I have "unofficially" passed the Basic Skills test in California. YEAH! I say "unofficially" because the scores were sent via email and the "official" scores will come in the mail. This means that I can now begin to sub in the public school system....which opens up a can of questions. One of those questions is: How long do I substitute teach without a job offer, before I just get another job that allows us consistent income? We are bouncing around ideas about how to work toward the long-term goal (my being a professor of education) while still achieving the short term goal (saving my income for a down payment on a house that will allow me to stay at home with our future children). I am going to be applying for adjunct professor jobs in the area, as well as some PhD programs. We will see what happens.

Patrick is loving his job. He was a little overwhelmed last week, as he had three speaking engagements to prepare for, as well as his first Hebrew test. This week (today actually) he is sitting on a panel with pastors at the church to answer different questions the church members sent in. Patrick is answering "Why does a loving God send people to hell?" Intriguing. There are some other great questions and answers by the other pastors on staff too!

We will be having our first REFUGE tomorrow night. REFUGE is a college gathering we have once a month to study in-depth and prepare to practice spiritual disciplines. We are extremely excited about the first REFUGE and can't wait to see what God has in store for the College ministry at CCV. Lastly, Patrick will be speaking for the first time at the College/Young Adults service in a couple of weeks. Please be praying that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he prepares for that.

So, there is a quick update about how things are going here. I will be posting at least two more posts this week and I will not ever go two weeks without posting again. Love you all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Annual Testing of the Mitchell Marriage

There comes a time every fall when true love is tested. Two universities, both committed to excellence in the classroom (though one more than the other) and both committed to excellence on the football field--two traditions that maintain immense respect for themselves and one another. And yet on this single day, although all energy and effort will be left on the field, only one will leave the field victorious.

And so it was on this fateful fall day, when the University of Tennessee entered into Sanford Stadium to challenge the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. What was at stake? Glory, bragging rights, pride...and yes, the relationship of a blonde Georgia native and her Tennessee bred husband. Would the clash between their respective schools (though neither attended either) be a peaceable day, or would it be one of hard feelings and hateful glances?

Let's be honest--Tennessee isn't having their best year. In support of UGA making it to Atlanta for the SEC championship, and hopefully the national championship, Patrick--my beloved husband--secretly cheered on the Dawgs. I assured him it wasn't betrayal. And so, there was no hatred, no harsh words, only gasps and cheers. Rest assured, Patrick wasn't pleased with Tennessee's play, but how can you not pull for Mark Richt?

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Tribute to Elisabeth Elliot

As I returned to scripture today after a long hiatus, I was reminded of God's faithfulness, specifically in the times when things have been uncertain and uncomfortable. I found myself looking back at old journal entries and being amazed at how much God has carried me through. I was reminded, as well, of the faithfulness of Elisabeth Elliot. I remember praying for just half of Elisabeth Elliot's strength and faithfulness.

The first book of hers I read was "Passion and Purity" and it changed me. For those of you who have not been privileged to hear her story, it is one worth reading about. The book is centered around her journals and struggles during her courtship with Jim Elliot. It was a long courtship, full of waiting, uncertainty and many difficult emotions. When I read her journal entries included in the book, I was overtaken by unbelief. She was incredibly willing to do the hard thing. To wait. To yield. To die to herself....sometimes many times a day.

This book has a different meaning to me as a married woman than it did when I was young and single. I do, however, still have moments of waiting and opportunities to yield to Christ and die to myself each day. It sometimes seems that I am actually given more opportunities to do this as a married woman than I was as a single woman, with no one else to put before myself. Everyday I face "little deaths" when I am given the chance to say no to myself and yes to God. These opportunities show up in all shapes and sizes. They can be obvious or go unnoticed. They can involve others or remain between God and myself. They can involve the way I spend my money, what I am entertained by, my attitude, the way I speak to my husband, the way I spend my time and energy, and sometimes they can even involve what I eat. Every struggle must be offered up. It takes faith to die these little deaths--faith to believe that I must die in order to live.

"It takes faith to live by it, faith to act on it, faith to keep looking at the joyful end of it all." Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here Comes the Weekend

I love Fridays. After a long week of keeping fourteen five year olds under control while using various pedagogical techniques to teach them phonemic awareness and mathematical processing, the weekend looks really nice (aren't you impressed that I can still use the big words I learned in my education classes?!). This week has been one of those weeks where I find the concepts I am teaching to be so basic, that they are extremely difficult to teach. For instance, there are moments in the my teaching vocation, where I just simply can't come up with any other way to teach position words, letters or numbers. I come up with a million creative ways to teach it, but there is always a student who struggles with these basic concepts. That is why I love Fridays. Fridays bring forth the weekend, which provides me an opportunity to regroup and come back in on Monday with the motivation it takes to create and try one more creative method to teach the basic concepts. With that being said, we have a full weekend ahead. Tomorrow night Patrick and I are heading to Santa Monica to check out the Third Street Promenade, maybe the Santa Monica Pier or even a blues club I've scoped out. I am so excited about finally getting out and doing something after a month of "getting settled." Saturday morning I am rising early to head a few cities east to take the California Basic Education Skills Test, which is required to work in the public school system. I am currently at Classic Coffee in Glendora, which is one of my favorite quaint little towns. I came to study while Patrick is in class, but needed to take a break from fractions. If I can get past fractions and pass (and let's hope I do), I will be able to at least sub in the public schools come November when I am jobless once more. PAUSE-I just got kicked out of the coffee shop because they closed and am now sitting on a bench with no one in sight, waiting on Patrick to come get me. Awkward. I'm glad I have some battery on my computer and free WiFi. Lastly, the "new" college/young adults service starts up this weekend. I say "new" because we are essentially moving the service from Tuesday nights to Sunday nights, but it is going to be great! Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Picture Worthy

My cousin has officially informed me that I am not blogging enough. I admit, things have been pretty inconsistent, but I am hoping to start posting a couple times a week now. Patrick and I committed ourselves to getting things put away around here this past weekend. Actually, he invited people over to watch Georgia play Alabama and we were pretty much forced to get it done. Although it mainly consisted of moving what was crowding "The Room" into the laundry room (where it is currently crowding all walking space), we went out and splurged on a few things that really helped tie things together. We are taking one area at a time. This weekend we finalized the bed area, the front porch, and got quite a bit done with the entry way. There is still much more to do, but I wanted to give a preview of the areas that are completed or close to being completed. We love you all!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

According to Jim

Patrick and I had our first L.A. experience on Friday night. Immediately following work, we went against traffic to the ABC studios in Los Angeles to get good seats at the filming of an episode of According to Jim. It was so exciting getting to meet Jim Belushi (the star of K-9 and Blues enthusiast). I was pleasantly surprised with how down-to-earth and friendly he was. He came out before the filming started and talked to all of us a bit. They filmed each scene 2-3 times, and sometimes more when Jim forgot his lines. It took almost three hours to film one episode. One thing we thought was interesting was that they would film alternate endings for every scene, so we are interested to see which combinations they actually use. Although I had never previously watched the show, we will be sure to watch this episode when it shows in December.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Slowing Down

It seems that God has a tendency to teach lessons in the small things in life. The big lessons seem obvious, but the small ones can be overlooked if you don't slow down to notice them. If you know me at all, you know I am an extremely task-oriented person. I work almost exclusively on a list in my mind. One of the biggest tasks I have right now is to get our little studio together. This task has become distracting and borderline consuming. I don't want to do anything or go anywhere until we have things together. All week long I have been anticipating the weekend, almost positive that I could have everything in it's place by Sunday night. What I wasn't anticipating, however, was being sick all weekend. Boo! Now, I am stuck laying down looking at all of things I wish I could get done. What hurts even more is having to watch the USC/Ohio State game on TV as opposed to watching it in L.A. as planned. The lesson this weekend has been a good one--one that I have had to learn many times. When it is all said and done, the tasks that seem so important right now, won't make a difference either way.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Knowshon Who?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Coming Along

We have quickly realized how much we miss SEC football. Patrick and I had an awesome night rooting for Tennessee at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Monday night. Although UCLA took the win, it was a great game to watch. We spent all afternoon tailgating and drinking some authentic southern sweet tea....another thing I miss about the south. Patrick and I have done everything we could do to try to guarantee getting the SEC games on TV, but we can't get around the blackouts. We ended up having to buy the UGA/Central Michigan game today. Insane.

The "settling in" is coming along very slowly. We are still waiting on our laundry room/storage room to get finished, so we have boxes everywhere. We have creatively made a small path from the front door to THE ROOM (which, is what I will refer to our home as since it is literally one big room....other than the bathroom and kitchen). We are hoping to have everything settled in by Monday.

Many of you know how difficult it has been for me to find a teaching job out here. California is in a budget crisis and has had to let go a vast majority of their teachers. If any jobs come available, the previously employed educators get dibs. I did, however, interview at a Catholic school earlier this week and was offered the job yesterday! Yeah! Although it is just a temporary position while the teacher is on maternity leave, it will buy me some time to get my credentials transferred to California. Until next time......

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Home Sweet Home

The moving truck finally arrived on Friday morning! Yeah! We spent all day unpacking and trying to get settled. It is so easy to forget how much stuff you really have until you are trying to fit it all in a studio apartment. We have done all we can for now. The outside storage and laundry room isn't finished yet, so we are at a stand-still until we can get the rest of the boxes into the storage room. I did take a break from the shuffle on Friday to go to an interview at a great school in Claremont. Last week Patrick and I hit up fifteen schools with my resume and I will hit another fifteen on Tuesday. Because of the budget situation as well as the credentialing process in California, it is impossible for me to get a job in the public school system this semester, so we have been hitting all the private schools within a 30 minute drive in all directions. It would be ridiculous to worry about it, considering God's faithfulness in all of the details that brought us to this place. We are so eager to get settled so we can check out L.A. and all of the amazing places out here. We will be sure to post pictures of our new place as soon as we get it all together. Love you guys!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Arrival

I know I am lame because it is taking me forever to get the rest of our road trip up, but we have been going non-stop since we got to California. The morning we left Vegas we were able to spend a few hours with our friend Doug before we hit the road. He is in the air force and was there for a few weeks when we passed through. It was great getting to hang out one last time. He took us around to some casinos we weren't able to see the night before.....crazy beautiful. Again, it is unbelievable how much money goes into these things. From there, we left for Pasadena, which may be the coolest city ever. I LOVED Pasadena! Old Town is such a quaint place with the best shopping and food you could hope for. We ate some great Mexican and spent the next day walking around Old Town and hanging out. The first thing I noticed was how absolutely incredible the weather is in California. It is cool in the evenings and early mornings and completely comfortable during the day. I loved the fact that we didn't have any sand gnats attacking us either. We spent the day looking at places to live, but Pasadena is a tad outrageous.....even for California.

Until yesterday, we have spent most all our time here looking for places to live. We were prepared for it to be more expensive, be we didn't realize how expensive things really are out here. It was more than a full-time job. We would leave first thing in the morning and look all day until just before dinner. After dinner, we would get online and look for places to check out the next day. We would come home discouraged most every night. We both spent ample time praying that God would make the decision an easy one. We prayed for wisdom and clarity...and it came. Without making this story any longer than it already is, we found a great studio on CCV's classifieds page online. The front house is owned and occupied by a young couple in the church and they have a brand new studio behind the house. Although it is small (and we haven't figured out if we will be able to fit all of our furniture in it), it is extremely affordable and our rent includes all of our utilities, cable, internet and the rest. It was a God-send. Yeah! We will be moving in on Friday....can't wait.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Road Trip Day 7

Day 7
So, I know this post is pretty late.....sorry. We have been crazy busy trying to find a place to live in Cali. I am, however, going to finish the road trip series to put closure on the whole thing. On day 7 we left Flagstaff, Arizona to head to Vegas with a stop at the Grand Canyon. We were a little nervous that we may not be able to get in because of the dam flooding, but it worked out that it was open. When we got to the gates of the Grand Canyon we both acknowledged that we couldn't believe we were actually here. We had seen pictures in movies and always knew what it was, but we were about to see it with our own eyes! We were so excited and we weren't let down in the least. It was AMAZING! If you have never seen it in person, you must. Patrick and I couldn't believe how off our depth perception was. It is near impossible to fully grasp how absolutely humongous it is. For as far as the eye can see there is nothing but canyon and rock. I must say that if you do ever get the chance to go, take bug spray. We were attacked by these minutely tiny bugs that we could only see against Patrick's white shirt. I can't say much more about the Grand Canyon but "WOW!" You just have to see it for yourself.

After we had a quick bite for lunch, we started the drive to Vegas. Neither of us have been to Vegas, but we had heard crazy stories. Vegas was insane. We ate dinner on the strip and walked around for a couple of hours. There is so much money in Vegas. The buildings and entertainment are huge and very "in your face." There is actually a roller coaster that goes through part of the strip. I can't explain it. It has the same effect on adults as Disney World has on children. Second to money, sexual content saturates the city. There are newspaper holders on street corners full of magazines displaying women for hire. Every few feet there are people trying to give you a card advertising a woman for hire. There are driving billboards full of provocative images. It is terribly sad. Even the coffee shops involve sexual content. We passed by a coffee shop that was named Sexpresso, as opposed to Expresso, where women would serve coffee in lingerie. That is ridiculous. We walked through the casinos and watched people squander hundreds and thousands of dollars away. You can't imagine how luxurious and high-class some of these casinos are. We walked through the famous Bellagio, Venetian and many other casino/hotels. We did gt the chance to watch the dancing fountain at the Bellagio. It was awesome and even romantic! If you ever go to Vegas, you have to see it. Besides, it was cool getting to stand where the gang from Ocean's 11 (or 12?) stood after they robbed Benedict.