Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reading Material

These are my textbooks for the next year. The professor (me) is not very strict about them all getting read, though, so that's nice. These are a collection of books that have been sitting in my room unread for far too long, books I've seen around the house and wanted to read, and a few I have seen a lot of buzz on/looked interesting so I purchased them thanks to gift cards. (Side note: Ever since I found out companies make a ton of money through unused gift cards, I am obsessed with making sure I use every penny.)

The pile consists of, I believe, all Christian non-fiction/Christian books. At first it started out as books about timing and God's will, but then it just became all types. That being said, my game plan for the order of reading them is nonexistent. Once I finally knock out (not literally...) the newest Sarah Dessen book I started last month I will pick whatever book I feel drawn to and start. I also plan on reading the whole Bible...or at least the Old Testament.

The Books:
Love Does by Bob Goff
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
Cameron Townsend by Janet & Geoff Benge
Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge
Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer
Weird by Craig Groeschel
A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan
Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray
Indescribable by Louie Giglio and Matt Redman
Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado
So, You Want to Be Like Christ? by Charles R. Swindoll
Where is God When it Hurts? by Philip Yancey
Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
Mending Your Soul by Ramesh Richard
Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus
Empty Promises by Pete Wilson
The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick
Soul Shift by Steve DeNeff and David Drury
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson
Torn by Jud Wilhite
Walking with God by John Eldredge
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge
Desire by John Eldredge
Waking the Dead by John Eldredge
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dave Carnegie
God Came Near by Max Lucado
The Call of a Lifetime by David Drury
Traveling Light by Max Lucado

The reason I'm sharing all this (aside from the fact that I'm obviously obsessed with sharing): I want recommendations. If you think there's a book I should read that would be beneficial for this time in my life (that sounds so cliché) I would love to hear it!

- rl

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Branson: Day 3

Our last day in Branson was really just the day we left. There's not really much to say about the day. We woke up, checked out shortly before checkout. Then began the search for breakfast. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I'm not much of a breakfast eater, which always adds a layer of difficulty when it comes time to eat breakfast. I usually will just find something on the menu, though, because I know it's a pain for me to be so picky. Anyway, we couldn't really all agree on anything, so we ended up just heading back over to Hollister and having Sonic. Simple. We can justify our non-breakfast food (the little sister and I had popcorn chicken) with the fact that it was after ten.

On the way home, we listened to The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie and Korie Robertson, as well as Mark Schlabach. It was pretty fun to listen to, because on the way there we listened to Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson and Mark Schlabach. I really enjoyed learning more about this Louisiana family that we watch on TV. If you don't know anything about their history, I highly suggest at least looking some of it up on Wikipedia. It's pretty unexpected. If you can buy the book, though: even better.

One of my recent addictions is looming. It actually started back in November, but it has resurrected since we switched rooms and I remembered how much I love it. On our trip, my little sister picked out a yarn that she liked and I was able to start and finish a hat for her on the ride home. It takes three hours, tops, to make an adult sized hat.

At least four years ago, when we went to visit some friends that lived outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, they introduced us to Rib Crib. On our trip we saw multiple locations, so we knew we had to stop at the one in Durant on the way back. Since I don't eat ribs (it's not that I'm picky, I'm just not very good at it), I just had an appetizer of cheese fries. Either they were The Best Cheese Fries Ever, or I was Really Hungry. I ate them all, though, which is something I hardly ever do because recently my stomach seems to like to eat "small" portions every hour...aka I get full fast, but am hungry quickly after. Don't ask.

Then, finally, the Red River, which is the sure sign that we're almost home.

Thank you for reading about our little trip!

- rl

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Branson: Day 2

On our second day in Branson (also the first and last full day), we (as in us children of the family) woke up late, which kind of threw off our eating schedule. We (as in the whole family now) drove around town trying to find something to eat. We eventually landed on Belgian Waffle and Pancake House. My parents used the word "brunch", so I had a pancake and fries. Not at the same time, of course.

Then we walked around Branson Landing, a newer, outdoor mall type area sandwiched between the downtown area and the river (lake? I have no idea).

We even fed the ducks some...

Branson Landing
Loved the architecture.

Part of the reason we decided on going to Branson for a few days was to escape the Texas heat. Sadly, it pretty much followed us. The humidity was something ridiculous (100%? Is that even possible?), so we headed back to the hotel after walking around for a few hours and decided to head over to the Splash-a-torium, where we swam for a few hours. The Splash-a-torium also had a long slide, and I reluctantly agreed to go down it with my dad. Boy am I glad I did! It was so much fun, and now I'm sure that the next time we go to Hawaiian Falls I may actually go on one of their water rides!

This trip was actually supposed to be somewhere entirely different: Chicago. My family was going to drop me off, then hang out in the city for a few days before heading to Michigan to hang out with some guys my dad knows through classes. But, because I ended up not being able to go this year, we decided to not go all the way up there. We still wanted some Chicago style pizza, though, so after spending a few hours in the water, we changed and headed over to a pizza place in Hollister, Missouri that had a lot of good reviews online. Mr. Gilberti's Place definitely did not disappoint! We had cheese bread and pepperoni deep dish pizza. It was cool to find something so tasty in a hole-in-the-wall type of place! 

After returning from Hollister, we weren't quite ready to head to the room, so we went mini-golfing at the hotel. We did pretty well for the first couple holes and tried to keep score, but then they just got crazy and we only focused on trying to get the ball into the hole.

Seriously. They were impossible holes. Especially in the dark! We had to bring out iPhone flashlights to even see some of the holes.

Tomorrow: Day 3!

- rl

Monday, August 26, 2013

Branson: Day 1

Last week, my family and I (minus my older sister, who doesn't really vacation with us anymore since she moved out - boo!) headed for a little mini-vacation to Branson, Missouri. Last June I went to Big Cedar Lodge just outside of Branson, so I knew how pretty the mountains were and looked forward to being surrounded by them again. The rest of my family had never been, or not recently at least, so it was kind of a new place for us to try out.

We stayed in Branson, and we're not sure how we felt about the whole thing. It just wasn't quite what we expected. It was still a good time nonetheless, so I decided to split up our three days there into three different blog posts. First up, day one! Like every trip, our first stop was Waffle House. Since I'm not really a breakfast eater, I had some sort of grilled chicken sandwich/grilled cheese.

We went from the flat Texas and Oklahoma terrain...

to the hills (mountains?) of Arkansas and Missouri.

I found this "cellular airtime" sign at a gas station in Fayetteville to be hilarious because Cingular has been gone for, what, five years now?!

At our hotel we had a mini-golf course! We actually played the next night, but I'm getting ahead of myself here!

It was actually a pretty grounds area. Nothing really compares to the area that Big Cedar is in, though.

While preparing for our trip, my mom looked into lots of different restaurants, and she knew she wanted to visit the one with the giant chicken out front!

We ended up eating there for dinner the first night, but we weren't too impressed. I had chicken tenders, which were alright. LOVED the french fries, though.

Ahhh, I love sunsets.

We drove around outside of Branson, which is when we came across this zipline tower. I really wanted to go, especially after watching a YouTube video of it that night, but we never quite fit it into our schedule.
What's better than a roller coaster and a sunset in the same shot?!

I can't say I apologize for all the sky photos, because I don't. I absolutely love pictures of sunsets.

When we got back to the hotel, the little sister and I played Mexican Train. This is her vlogging about how she won the first game. She wasn't looking so happy when I won the next two games, though! Ha! (: 

Tomorrow: Day 2!

- rl

Friday, August 23, 2013

What I've Been Up To This Week

 Hanging out in a coffee shop with my best friend (before she leaves for college!)...
 while playing chess on her iPad.
 Playing Mexican Train with my family...
 and then witnessing a blue moon.
 Taking the dog...
 to get sno cones at Bahama Buck's!
 Playing physical chess...
with this nut.

What have you been up to?

- rl

(p.s. It seems I cannot figure out capitalization for titles, but this is my blog so no one can really say it's wrong! Booyah!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Day I Finally Felt Texan

 (photo by my mom)
 Can you spot the longhorns my mom took pictures of? (photo by my mom)
 (photo by my mom)
(photo by my mom)

This past weekend, my family and I went out to a farm. Kinda. I'm not sure if our friends, who own the land, would call it a farm, but it's way more farm-y than our house in the suburbs. On Friday night I had reiterated to my family that I wanted to shoot a gun, so my dad coordinated for us to go out there Sunday afternoon. I had shot one about six years ago, but only a single shot, and for the last couple months I've been wanting to try my hand at it.

Before we actually started shooting, I did some shooting of my own with the animals they have. (Punny!) The horses are definitely my favorite. They were a little weary of the sound of the camera, which may have been why they kept running away. We had to follow them a few times, but I liked the shots I got of them. 

Now on to the gun shooting. We, a 12 gauge, .45 pistol, and a revolver or two. I think. I don't know gun terminology, I just grabbed the guns and held them where I was instructed. And I think I did pretty good! I don't have any plans to get my CHL anytime soon, but you can definitely see my not-too-shabby shots in the last picture. Mine were the yellows and greens. I think those were with the .45. 

I definitely hope to go shooting again some day! I can't say I was a huge fan of the kick on some of them (especially that 12 gauge!!), but it was fun! But first I'll have to get some real ear muffs for the occasion instead of the little ones that go in your ear. Those didn't do much for all that noise.

- rl

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My First Scarf

First, I wanted to thank everyone who has responded on my previous blog post. I didn't expect such an outpouring of response. I truly appreciate - and am amazed by - the number of people who have prayed/are praying. I still don't know whether or not I will be going, but I am definitely seeing the benefits of staying.

Now the reason for this post: I knitted a scarf! I feel like that is the obvious first thing to knit, but I don't recall ever actually completing one. I've loomed a few, but never knitted. A new stitch for me, too! Basic, but one I had never learned. It's about six and a half feet long. I don't know why it curls, but I think that means I'm supposed to block it. Um. Right. I've done a little research on that, but I don't think I'll do it on this piece since I'm just going to keep it for myself, maybe even to use in Chicago one of these days!

I'm currently working on looming some baby hats for no particular reason. They're my favorite to loom, though, because they only take about two hours, or two and a half episodes of Supernatural, which is how I judged the time.