Monday, June 22, 2009

That's right, everybody!
Only 19 more days until the wedding!
The question is...
is anyone else out there getting as excited
as WE are???

Monday, June 15, 2009

Whew! What a weekend!

I had to put the party guy graphic on this post because this weekend we had a little bit of partying going on!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I left work early on Friday so that I could attend Arvin's funeral. It was a wonderful celebration of a man who lived his life loving his God, his family, & his nation.

After the funeral, I was able to go for lunch with Stephanie (mmm...Fazolis!) & then we did a little shopping at Hobby Lobby & the dollar store. After that she headed out to meet up with her mom & I continued on my own trying to get some wedding stuff hunted down.

Friday evening the ladies of my church gave me a bridal shower. It was such a fun time! Instead of doing any little shower games (that always make me groan) Debbie (Steph's mom & co-planner of the event) just asked me to tell Our Story. It was so fun to go over the circumstances & things that the Lord used to bring Mike & me together. I've gotta write it all down in detail at some point. Then I got to open a huge mound of presents. I am seriously humbled & almost in shock that so many people are celebrating our marriage. I felt very loved. My church has always been such a support. The Lord has really used those people in my life.

But let me tell you about the funnies that occurred during present opening. At our first shower we got a toaster. I was very happy. I love me some nicely toasted toast & the current toaster just wasn't cutting it. The new toaster is fabulous. We registered for it & assumed it had been taken off the registry after our first shower. Not so much. At this shower, we received THREE more toasters! Each time I opened one I just couldn't help but laugh - teeheehee! And the other big laugh came courtesy of Janet, my sweet little ladies' Bible study mentor (she's a huge blessing to me). She gave me a gift with a card that read,

Dear Mary Ann,

Here's a little something to make your wedding night extra special.

Love, Janet

What??? I couldn't believe she was gonna give me a flimsie in front of all the church ladies! I turned ultra-violet red & tried to skip opening it but of course they wouldn't let me! So I opened it. And then I about died laughing! Inside the box was a floor length, long sleeved, high-collared red flannel nightgown. That lady has a seriously fabulous sense of humor. Love, love, love her!

The partying continued on into Saturday. When I bought my house I (somewhat rashly) made a promise to my third/fourth grade Sunday School class that I would have a party for them. Well, it has taken a long time for me to make good on my promise but on Saturday I had 5 of them over to my house for about 3 hours. A couple of them brought lots of nerf guns (oh my!), we played with perler beads, the Play Station, watched part of Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia, made english muffin pizzas & hot fudge brownie sundaes. All in all, it was a fun time. I have some super great kids in my class & they have been super patient waiting for this little get together. They asked if we could do a sleep over next time & I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to say NO. ;-)

I also did a ton of cleaning, straightening, & ridding this weekend. I had a total car full to drop off at Goodwill when I loaded up all of the recyclables & a few yard sale leftovers. It's such a relief to get rid of unneeded stuff. Ahhh!

Yesterday was a nice day of worship & wedding shopping. I intend to attempt another No Spend Week this week. The exceptions are some salad/fruit groceries I'm going to get tonight & anything wedding related. Other than that - no spending! Anybody else wanna join me?

What kind of fun adventures did you have over your weekend?

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Friday Plans

Today I am only working half a day (yeah for getting off of work early!). No, I'm not leaving work just to get a jump start on my weekend. I am actually going to attend a funeral for a wonderful man from my church. He was the daddy of my sweet Vienna friend, Missy. He was also my Sunday School teacher all through my college years & the guy who wrangled naughty children during Children's Church. When I was little I was a bit terrified of Arv; when I grew up I realized how ridiculous that was. He could make you obey, but he was the definition of sweetness & kindness.

I have an Arv story that I just love to tell. Since his passing I think I've made Mike listen to this story every day. It was the 4th of July several years ago. Justin & Cody & I all went to the lake where several families from our church were having a picnic. Arv was there with his wonderful wife Wilma, Missy was there & a couple of the other kids with their families. We were playing a silly little game of woofle ball. I was wearing flip flops & they were seriously hampering my running efforts so I kicked them off. Immediately the warnings about stepping on a bee flew at me from all directions. I shrugged everybody off b/c surely that wasn't going to happen! Well, what do you know, right as we were ending the game I stepped right on top of a bee & it GOT ME! I don't think a sting has ever hurt so much. Of course, I felt like I couldn't tell anybody b/c then I would get the 'we told you so' lecture & my pride just didn't want to hear it. I walked over & sat at a table by Arv & he must have seen something in my face b/c he asked me what was wrong. I leaned over & told him I had gotten stung. He totally understood why I didn't want to announce it & he snuck over to the cooler & got me some ice without anyone noticing. He was already one of my favorite people but that day he was right at the top of my list!

I'm sad that Arv is gone & we won't enjoy any more visits in the Shaklee room of their house. But I'm rejoicing that he is no longer in pain or confused. I am fully confident that he is now with the Lord.

Below I have posted his obituary. I am blessed to consider all of Arv & Wilma's children my friends & you can see in the words below how much they respected & enjoyed their daddy.

Arvin LeRoy Workman, an emeritus professor of communication at Indiana State University, went to be with the Lord Sunday, June 7, 2009, in Asheville, N.C. Born in Pierson, Mich., on March 28, 1931, he was 78 years old. He attended high school in Terre Haute and graduated from Gerstmeyer Tech (1949), where he lettered in track and football. He earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University, and again lettered in football. After obtaining a doctorate at Michigan State University, he taught for 26 years at Indiana State University. He retired as director of Television Services. A captain in the Naval Reserves, Arvin was called to active duty during the Korean War. He retired from the Navy after 36 years and, while never able to swim, was fond of saying "nobody can swim a thousand miles." Arvin served the First Baptist Church of West Terre Haute as a deacon, superintendent, Sunday school teacher, and treasurer. He deeply loved his family and modeled a dedicated work ethic, godly character, and unconditional love. His passions included designing elaborate treasure hunts, writing poetry and stories, and taking road trips to see friends and family. Arvin's unique trademark with his children and grandchildren was the gift of two-dollar bills. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Wilma; his son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Lisa Workman of Chandler, Ariz.; his daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Kevin Martin of Asheville, N.C.; his daughter and son-in-law, Jenny and Ron Pitcock of Fort Worth, Texas; and his daughter and son-in-law, Missy and Kai Soltau of Vienna, Austria. He loved his 12 grandchildren, Christine, Levi, Joshua, Sawyer, Keegan, Graedon, McCade, Delaney, Finley, Madeline, Henry, and Eliza. He also is survived by two sisters, Joycelyn Workman of Aurora, Colo., and Marlette Randall of Monroe, Mich.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting Steamed

I wish I was referring to some sort of spa treatment when I titled this post "Getting Steamed," but as you can tell from my little graphic, that's not what I'm talking about. Lately I've been thinking a lot about anger. When I was younger I didn't really struggle with anger at all. I was always too afraid to get mad. If I got mad at someone they might get mad back & then what would I do??? With age has come some (at least a little) emotional maturity & confidence. That confidence is totally due to the realization that the Lord loves me & He considers me valuable. But with all of that, comes the ability to get angry. It hasn't happened all of a sudden, but little by little I've been more comfortable with speaking my mind & letting others know I'm mad. And sometimes I'm MAD. Yesterday 'grumpy' would have been too nice of a word to describe my attitude. Ever just wake up some days with a furrow on your brow & angry eyes? That's how I woke up yesterday. Then I walked into work & the a/c was back on. And the thermostat was set to 62 degrees. That makes me ANGRY. And then all the guys wanted to tease me about being cold & blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I feel like I am working with 7 younger brothers - so annoying!
But here is the worst part - I failed to let the Holy Spirit 'renew a right spirit in me.' Stubbornly I held onto my funk (even sending Mike kinda un-nice text messages) all the way through my long work day. I'm ashamed now. I was convicted & I hardened my heart against it. Didn't I have a right to feel angry? I freeze to death at work all day, my dad won't come to my wedding, I'm tired, I haven't been able to go running, I want surgery to fix my stubbornly un-perfect body (yeah, that's how far off the mark my thoughts can go in one day if left unchecked), & so on. After work I got to see Mike for a while & he really helped me get straightened out. Seriously I don't know how he puts up with me some days...
I'm so grateful that the Lord forgives me of such stupidity, cleanses my heart, refreshes me with His Word, & gets my spirit right. When there is a twist in my attitude that puts me cross-ways with God, there is nothing more painful. Where would I be without His forgiveness & love? I'm so grateful that His faithfulness is not dependent upon my faithfulness.
Lately at my second job there has been some very tense interactions with customers. As a result of the new computer system we have been slower filling scripts; we have made some mistakes; some special items haven't gotten ordered on time. Add all of those difficulties to the normal difficulties of out-of-stock items, no refills remaining gotta wait for the doctor to call, too soon to fill, & insurance problems that we have on a daily basis, & you have a recipe for disaster. And I have discovered something - people are angry. Yeah sure, you see people walking around the grocery store or mall & they seem harmless enough, but as soon as you tell them they might have to wait for something or they might have to pay for something then presto! chango! you've got a meanie on your hands. It scares me. I had realized when I first went back to work in a retail environment that most people lack common courtesy (which is a TRAGEDY). But the fact that many people feel it is completely acceptable to yell in a public place in the face of a total stranger who is trying to serve them, really blows my mind. One night it was so bad that one of the pharmacists & I were in the back corner of the pharmacy crying. And the customer didn't care one bit. I think she was strangely satisfied that we were so upset.
I'm so grateful that I have the Lord to help me with my anger (and all of my other emotional issues, heehee). If not, I could totally be one of those Mt. Vesuvius people - ready to erupt & destroy at any moment.

I pray that the Lord would help me obey this verse...

"Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God."
James 1:19b-20

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feeling Just A Little Satisfied...

When I got to work this morning I knew something was different the second I walked through the door. I think that I have mentioned before that I am the only girl on our 8-person staff. Generally the temperature in our lab & office is about 18 degrees Celsius. That's about 65 degree Fahrenheit. Say it with me girls - BRRRRR!!!! I have a space heater at my desk & it gets turned on nearly every day (even on the hottest days in August). So, getting back to my original observation this morning. When I walked through the door I didn't feel a bit of temperature difference from the outside air. It was about 72 degrees this morning. And the air conditioning in our part of the building is broken. Heehee! That means I am seated at my desk right now in my jeans & shirt feeling totally comfortable. Not cold, not hot, just right. The guys have been whining like crazy about how they are sweating & it's just a terrible situation. Cracks me up! Is it bad that I'm just a teensy bit glad they are all hot for a day since I'm usually shivering all the time? ;-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

My 'Thank God It's Friday' Moment

I overslept this morning. I have been just a little stressed lately & definitely overtired & well, I just didn't get up on time. I zoomed on in to work where my boss was very cool about things. I am eternally grateful. When I discovered that today was National Donut Day, he even sent me out to get donuts for the crew. What a guy, what a guy!
One donut later, we were in the lab trying to get the second run of doses drawn & out the door. Recently it has been a much greater challenge than usual. There are five reactors in the world where they create molybdenum. This isotope is used in the core of our generators where over time it decays down into the isotope Technetium-99m. That is what we use to compound our medications. Since the moly is only produced in five places worldwide, when one of them shuts down due to a problem or even for routine maintenance, the whole market goes nutty. Right now we are in week two of a shutdown that includes three of the reactors. The market has gone beyond nutty. We are trying to scrape by with about 30% of our normal activity. And Friday is the worst day. Today every millicurie has to count!
Which brings us to my 'Thank God It's Friday' moment. I was working on drawing up some heart imaging agents. I knew that we didn't have much extra material so I was trying to draw my doses as close to the prescribed amount as possible (explanation, due to the nature of what we are trying to measure we are allowed to go over the prescribed amount by 10%; example, customer orders a 10 millicure dose, we can give them up to 11 millicuries). I thought I was really paying attention to what I was doing, but alas! that was not so. I was recapping a needle after drawing the dose & I stuck my finger. Finger was bleeding; finger was radioactive; dose was contaminated with my cooties; dose had to be trashed. Not good times 4. Thank God my boss was able to draw material from another kit to cover the dose I wasted. Thank God also that my finger wasn't too hot & now is almost down to background level.
Like I said, thank God it's Friday!

Highs & Lows

The last week has really gone by in a blur. I have been working a ton b/c of the new computer system implementation at my second job. The end may be in sight for the extra hours. Hopefully by the week after next I'll be back down to 11 hours a week instead of 15-22. I have had a stress headache, poison ivy, & some other mystery rash for about 2 weeks now. I think I just need a good nap. Oversleeping for work every day does not count as getting some extra rest ;-)

I didn't get on here to gripe about my schedule. I actually wanted to update some stuff. There's lots going on out side of the realm of work - especially with the wedding only 36 days away! I'm so glad it's almost here but totally freaked about what isn't done yet...

Anyway, tomorrow Mike & I are having a massive yard sale. We have stuff that we don't use anymore, clothes that don't fit anymore, fixtures that we have taken out of the house (like a kitchen sink, ceiling fan, etc.), extra furninture, extra kitchen stuff, & on & on. I can't wait to get it out of the living room & dining room & out on the lawn to sell, sell, sell! I was also able to schedule a pick up with our local mission. Which means that anything that doesn't sell will be easily removed for us! God is good b/c He knows that I in no way want to lug that stuff back in the house or try to stuff it all in my compact car to haul away. Blessings!

On the wedding front there has been some sad news. My dad has decided not to be there. I'm not going to elaborate on family drama but I do want to clarify that he does not have a problem with Mike or our upcoming marriage. He has other reasons that I don't understand, but I am determined with God's help to be over my hurt & disappointment so that I can fully enjoy my wedding day. It's such a celebration - God has done a wonderful thing by bringing me & Mike together & we are so happy about it. We are grateful for His leading in our lives & we want to say the vows, make the promises, & smile & laugh & visit with family & friends that have made time to be there. From the very first day that he put a ring on my finger I told Mike that I wanted our day to be happy. Not filled with stress or emotional drama (not even the good suspenseful kind). I want to walk in with a smile & run down the aisle with a big whoop when it's over. So that's what our plan is - to be happy. But if you want, please pray for us! I've made it two days now without crying about it, but I know it's probably gonna surface again. And I have decisions to make about the ceremony. And my mom is so sad to be alone at our wedding. Please pray that the picture taking goes well. If you're going to be at the wedding, make sure to share some love on my momma. She will need it.

On to other wedding news, the invites are in the mail & reception details are coming together. My big goal for this weekend is to get our engagement announcement sent in to the local paper, get the engagement pics passed out to family that wants them, write out the order of the ceremony, decide who to ask to walk me down the aisle, & come up with a schedule for the wedding day. And I might meet with my flower friend. Whew!

I hope you all have sunny weekends & wish us much success on our yard sale!