Monday, March 29, 2010

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I'm so thankful for teamwork. Yeah, me and Mr. McGoo, we're a team. We do life together and work as a team. Tonight I took a moment to think about how well we work together and smiled with thankfulness. I'm so glad that I don't have to do it all by myself.

Palm Sunday

Yesterday marked Palm Sunday - the day we remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on a donkey... the beginning of the week that leads up this His crucification and ultimately His resurrection.

On this day, Palm Sunday the King of Kings and Lord of Lords chose not to enter the city by way of a golden parade, rather he chose a donkey. Not any donkey according to the Word, but a colt, "which no one had ever ridden" (Mark 11:2). I find this tiny detail intriguing... not only did Christ humble himself by coming to earth as man, not only did he humble himself by choosing against a big expensive parade and decorative entrance into the city as He surely deserved for He was about to beat sin, He chose a donkey as His transportation... not any donkey, a donkey that had never been ridden according to scripture. He could have chosen the strongest, best donkey out there... but instead He chose the least prepared donkey for the task. I find this interesting because isn't this exactly what He had done all throughout the Old Testament, all throughout the later New Testament, and surely today - choosing the least likely to accomplish the task? A horrible speaker, Moses to "TELL" Pharaoh to let His people go, an adulterer David to have a heart like His, a Paul that persecuted those for the cause before He met God on the road to Damascus, and then there is His desire to use unequipped folks like you and me to do mighty things for His glory!

As Jesus made His way through the roads, people laid their coats down before him and set palm leaves down for the path... "Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in the highest!" (Mark 11:9-10)

Palm Sunday is a week before Jesus' resurrection, which is the cornerstone of our faith. According to Josh McDowell,
the basis of the resurrection and the importance of it is given by the apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 15, verses 13 to 17, Paul wrote, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is vain. Your faith also is vain. Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact, the dead are not raised, for if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.” What the apostle Paul does here is base everything that Christ taught, lived and died for upon the resurrection.

This week I want to prepare my heart for acknowledging and being thankful for the crucification and most importantly being joyful and focused on the resurrection! This is bigger than Christmas, this is what it's all about - Christ died for ME (and you) and because He raised 3 days later we have victory over sin and death! How cool is that?!

I hope you all can take a moment this week to prepare your hearts and minds for the full celebration to come Easter day, when we all shout together - He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Friday, March 26, 2010


The Lord is showing me that we have a choice... we have a choice to live by the Spirit and testify to the Gospel in word and deed, or we have a choice to settle in, be comfortable and look like the culture around us. Too often, I fall into the latter category - how am I any different? But the Lord is reminding me of a new way - an uncomfortable yet so much more rewarding way - the way of Matthew 25:31-45. It's time for a new generation of believers to really "get it" and begin living out our faith in tangible ways.... not because we are saved by such deeds, but because by our faith we have been called to action (James 2:14-26).

I want my life to be Interrupted, interrupted by a calling to step out of the American Dream and start caring for others more than myself. To be different for the cause of Christ because Christ gave it all for me! I have a feeling the Lord is preparing me for just that as Mr. McGoo and I raise support, prepare, and look forward to our mission trip to Ethiopia with great expectation. We are being blown away by the provision of our Father! We knew he would provide through ministry partners, yet He continues to blow our expectations out of the water! Check out our fundraising thermometer to the right!!! What a testimony to our God and how BIG HE IS! God is good and we're so encouraged by the prayers and financial support we've already received. The Lord is truly building a ministry partnership for us and we are so thankful for those who are joining "Team Ethiopia". God is definitely showing up and showing off!

To testify of some folks that are definitely GETTING IT and being spurred on by the Spirit, I have provided an amazing blog post below. Sarah is a friend of a friend who has just returned from a 10 day medical mission trip to Haiti. Her boldness and vulnerability below encourages me and yet challenges me. If you click the title of her blog post, it will link you to her blog. Check out this incredible reflection. Praise God for those walking the walk and talking the talk!

Dear All, Reflections from Haiti 2010

I’ve had a very difficult time talking about Haiti since I returned. I don’t know how to answer questions...especially the vague ones like “How was your trip?”. I just don’t even know where to start. It was so big and powerful. It was so heart wrenching and life changing. It was too significant to respond to that question with a one-word answer like “good” or “great”. I just can’t sell it short like that. From the moment I sat down in my seat on the flight back to the states from Port au Prince I wept. I didn’t cry...I wept. I wanted to stay. There was just so much left to do, so much left undone. I love Haiti. I love Haiti’s people. I love Haiti’s desire to rebuild. I want to help Haiti rebuild. Ten days was just not enough. But for now, ten days is what I have. I walked away with the best ten days that I have lived in a long time. I walked away with the best ten days that I have loved in a long time. I learned to love in Haiti, a real love like Christ offers, an unconditional, radical, crazy love. So what am I bringing back from Haiti? A sense of freedom. Freedom from the American dream. Wreckage of the disgusting idea I used to have of what success looks like. Abandonment of the desire for wealth and the idea that material things will fix us or fulfill us. I could go on and on, but I will keep this relatively short. I want to paint you a picture of Haiti even though I can't possibly accurately explain it to you. The images I have witnessed were painful, reassuring, and uplifting all at the same time. The heartbreak I saw was widespread across an entire country. If I could make you feel the touch of an orphans hands on my face, an innocent child whose parents are somewhere below the rubble of a building, I would do it. I want to show you picture after picture of a country destroyed, 300,000 homes flattened, the small amount of industry they did have in piles of concrete along every street but yet an incredible nation of people who still long for rebirth and renewal. Since I’ve been home I’ve thought so many times of my Haitian friend who lost his family in the earthquake. After escaping a collapsed building he ran home to find his house in crumbles. There among the rubble was the tips of his brother’s fingers. He dug up his brother’s and sister’s cold bodies from the mess that was once his home and right now he is ministering to his people. Feeding them, clothing them, and blessing them. The rug has been pulled from under the nation of Haiti. Every meaningful monument and symbol of hope has collapsed alongside 200,000 Haitian lives. I can't help you smell the bodies of those buried beneath The Cathedral in Port au Prince as they were praying to God, but I can provide the imagery to help you understand the urgency. I can't help you understand disasters, nor can I say that I understand them. All I know is that when disasters like Haiti occur it's an opportunity to wake up and serve, a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ today. We are asked to make disciples of nations. We are asked to serve in the land that we are given. We are asked to give up control. Control of our hands, our money, our time, and our future plans. Why are we so hesitant to do this? Maybe because there is something to be said for “having it together” in America. Well, Haiti has taught me to break free from these expectations. I don't want my plans. I want God’s plans. How can we be okay with self indulgence when there are infants being left in dumpsters to die? How can we be okay with living for self when there is over a million people sleeping in tent cities without food and water? Isn’t time to take care of each other and love each other like Christ has loved? After leaving Haiti, I have returned with ten days of memories, amazing friendships, and millions of reasons why it makes so much sense to live a crazy radical life of love like my Savior, Jesus Christ.

God Bless.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idol Weekly Results: 11 to 10

After a dreadful performance Tuesday, American Idol says goodbye to Paige tonight. The top 10 contestants are now established and we now know the ten folks that will travel on the American Idol tour this summer.

In my opinion, America made the correct vote tonight - however I truly thought a few could go after Tuesday's performances. I hope these folks get better as they get more comfortable on stage - so far about half of them are lacking in their performances. Ready to be wowed a bit more!

What did tonight do to our American Idol Elimination Brackets?

Here are your weekly AI Elimination Bracket Results, as well as the number of additional weeks the contestant will be plagued by America's decision tonight and a reminder about the plague of last week's decision also:

Allison - 20 pts - no weeks, no weeks on Lacey
James: 20 pts - 1 week, no weeks on Lacey

Mrs. McGoo: 19 pts - no weeks, no weeks on Lacey
Candace: 19 pts - no weeks, 1 more week on Lacey
Kelly: 19 pts - no weeks, 2 more weeks on Lacey
UFrank: 19 pts - no weeks, 3 more weeks on Lacey
Josh: 19 pts - no weeks, 4 more weeks on Lacey
Cindy: 19 pts - no weeks, 4 more weeks on Lacey
Mr. McGoo - 19 pts - 2 weeks, no weeks on Lacey

Alan: 18 pts - no weeks, 3 more weeks on Lacey
Leon: 18 pts - no weeks, 5 more weeks on Lacey
Julian: 18 pts - 5 weeks, 4 more weeks on Lacey
Riser: 18 pts - 6 weeks, 2 more weeks on Lacey

Highest possible points (perfect brackets) = 21 points.

Next week results are also worth 2 pts each...

He'll Show Up

I've been in some cool conversations with friends as of late about God's movement in our lives right now. It just seems like God is showing up BIG all around me and in the lives of people I know. It is a very neat place to be.

I heard a man share this weekend about how much the Lord worked while he was on a short term mission trip and how often he's seen that happen in the many trips over the years. While he shared this reality, it was almost like a light went on about the reasons behind this - he began to share how he knew the reason God did so much during these journeys was partly due to much preparation by the trip attenders as well as an intense prayer life before, during, and after the experience. The trip participants prayed with anticipation of what God would do during their journey and travels. This struck me... we're serving the same God whether we go to Ethiopia or go to work... He hasn't changed. But the reality is, folks like you and me often have to "go away" to a far away place to see the hands and feet of God moving miraculously. What's the difference? We know God hasn't changed.

The difference is me. The difference is the prayer life I lead while here in everyday land, as compared to the prayer life I lead prior to departing on a mission trip, or the prayer life you lead during a dramatic time in your life. Why does God seem to move more in those times? I say it's because we're calling on the name of God expectantly. When life is going great, how often am I at the foot of the cross begging Him to show up? How often during my daily walk do I call on the Lord with expectation to move? Like Psalm 5:5 says, In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." God desires us to call on His name with anticipation of His moving!

While searching a bit for scripture online about praying big and asking the Father expectantly, I came across a blog article that struck a cord. You can read the entire article here. But here are some big points,

There’s a story of a young girl who wrote a letter to a missionary to let him know that her class had been praying for him. But evidently she’d been told not to request a response to her letter because the missionaries were very busy. So the missionary got a kick out of her letter. It said,

“Dear Mr. Missionary, we are praying for you. But we are not expecting an answer.”

For many Christians, this girl’s letter is an analogy for their prayer lives. We pray all the time for the healing of a loved one or the reconciliation of a broken marriage, but we secretly believe it’s too late. We think we already know what God is going to do. So we pray, but we don’t expect a positive answer.


They can’t possibly imagine that God would actually answer their prayers.

But He did. And He does. Not only does God answer our prayers, but He can do so in the most miraculous, mind-blowing ways. We rarely see this happen because our prayer lives are so faithless. We are like the man in James 1 who asks but does not believe.

I challenge you to test God in this. The next time someone calls you with a prayer request that you immediately think you know the answer to, resist that reflex. Instead turn it over to God in genuine trust and see what happens.

In the last several weeks, I've been testing God on this... I've been praying with anticipation and expectation of His wonderful power and provision. And you know what? He shows up! Maybe not always in the exact way I asked or in the same way I thought I needed it, but He has yet to prove me wrong about showing up. He wants to show up and show off! Let Him!

I only pray that this is not only a season in my life or the life of my friends - but that I can begin to develop a lifestyle of prayer and expectation regarding the majesty of our Lord! Colossians 1:9 reminds me to "pray without ceasing"... and in essence, do not cease to BELIEVE He'll show up!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'm not Super Woman. I cannot do it all.

Really no surprise, the statements above... I know everyone knows them to be true, however lately, I've been living life like I think I'm Super Woman or think I can do it all.

I have fallen into a trap that I've seen before - the trap of over commitment and believing I'm Super Woman. I can tell when it has happened when I look down at my schedule and see there is something everyday, usually two or three things a day, and never a moment to catch up. I usually succeed at this type activity for a time, but like with every superhero - a villain or "Kryptonite" is not far away. My kyrptonite shows when I begin to lack adequate rest and time to take care of myself, time when I begin to have a breakdown and realize, I am not as strong as I must think I am, and I must set limits!

This Friday I began to set those limits, admitting that I could not and cannot do it all. Admitting that unless a limit or two is set, I will hit rock bottom and not have the energy to give my husband, my family, my friends, or my coworkers. Rock bottom consists of being drained in every regard: physically, emotionally, and most harmful - spiritually. Even though I want to do it all - when you have work, school, husband, mission trip, church, friends, family, study needs, house cleaning, dogs, home repairs, working out, cooking, reading, driving to and fro, NCAA basketball, birthdays, weddings, wedding showers, baby showers, etc, etc etc - - there are times when the answer has to be no - sometimes because of a scheduling conflicts, and other times just for a moment's breath and much needed rest.

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Awe: Story #3

I've already mentioned in Story#1 and Story#2 that God has been at work in regards to our pursuit of the short term mission trip to Ethiopia. We have been in awe at the way the Lord has had His hand all upon this process thus far.

To add icing to the cake we had another experience Thursday morning that just seemed to say that God is all over this!

We received a post on our Facebook account Thursday morning from the wife of the founder of The Forsaken Children who is currently living in Ethiopia with her husband and two children. They are there in Addis Abada working with some of the same children we'll be involved with this summer. Karyn Bridges posted the photo below on our Facebook page with the following comment:

Hey Guys! This is Desselign. He is the guard at a compound in our Ethiopian village. If you believe in signs this one would be a good one, huh?

Did you notice his shirt?

More Ethiopia tidbits:
According to the BBC, Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country. Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonized.

Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest states. Almost two-thirds of its people are illiterate. The economy revolves around agriculture, which in turn relies on rainfall. The country is one of Africa's leading coffee producers.

According to Wikipedia, the Flag of Ethiopia (shown above) is a flag that was adopted on February 6, 1996. The three traditional colors (green, yellow and red) date back to Emperor Menelik (1889-1913) and were first used in a flag in 1895. The current flag and emblem were adopted after the defeat of the Marxist Mengistu regime (in power from 1974-1991).

I love how they describe the many components of the flag... The emblem is intended to represent both the diversity and unity of the country. Blue represents peace, the star represents diversity and unity, and the sun's rays symbolize prosperity. The green recalls the land and hope for the future, yellow stands for peace and love, and red is symbolic of strength.

In Awe: Story #2

Well I've already shared Story #1 about how God played a huge part in getting Mr. McGoo to be a part of the upcoming short term mission (STM) trip to Ethiopia with our church. Now, I will share Story #2... a testimony of God's provision and "Oh How He Loves Us" (David Crowder Band, anyone?)!

We knew that applying for the STM trip to Ethiopia would require faith that God would provide the funds to get us there. We don't have the money to pay for it ourselves, so that was the end of the story - TO GO, GOD MUST PROVIDE. We signed our applications and turned them in Sunday, March 7th. Over the next week, we worked on writing our support letter and request for ministry partners.

On Monday (this Monday, March 15th - so roughly 7 days since the STM application was turned in), the hubby and I began to email and mail out our support letters. We are still in the process of doing so. Monday, we were excited to get the word out and begin the journey of sharing about our trip and inquiring who would want to join our team as ministry partners. Honestly, I was anxious about how slowly funds might come into the mix... desiring and praying that we'd feel a firm confirmation of our pursuit of this trip.

And God more than showed up...

By Tuesday mid-morning we $600 worth of support + the $200 we turned in for our applications. Current total $800.

I found myself overwhelmed! Humbly broken! I believed, but wow! God you blew us out of the water, I couldn't contain the feelings inside - complete AWE of our Lord. I quickly walked to the bathroom, closed and locked the door. I cannot remember the last time I was overwhelmed by such humility before the Lord... I dropped to my knees (yes in the bathroom floor - thankfully I work for a smaller company, helps the clean factor a LITTLE)... I dropped to my knees and tears streamed down my face. I cried. I lifted my hands with tears flowing crying out to the Lord in my heart and mind. Thank you God! Thank you God! Thank you Lord! I had a complete worship service there in the bathroom, just me and my God. He blew us out of the water. Thank you Lord.

By Tuesday night we had $100 more... current total $900.

God you are so good!
By Wednesday afternoon we had $500 more... current total $1400.

I almost couldn't handle it... thankfulness beyond belief!

By Thursday afternoon we had another $130... current total $1530!


Let me put this back into perspective... Within 36 hours the LORD had provided for 1/4 of our journey! A complete fourth of the "large" number we have to raise is done! God is big folks - REALLY BIG! He's reminding me and Mr. McGoo right now that we are so small... and God is bigger than the box we put Him in! Amen!!!!

Thank you to those that have already began to pray for us and/or financially support us. We have been overwhelmed in a way that I hope changes our lives forever. We wait in great anticipation to share and testify what God continues to do in this experience!

Story #3 (yeah, there's another God story already!) coming soon...

More info from National Geographic about Ethiopia:
Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the northeast African region known as the Horn of Africa. The country has a high central plateau, with some mountains reaching more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The Great Rift Valley splits the plateau diagonally. The western highlands get summer rainfall; the lowlands and eastern highlands are hot and dry. Most people reside in the western highlands as does the capital, Addis Ababa—the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). The population is almost evenly split between Christians, living in the highlands, and Muslims inhabiting the lowlands. The Oromo, Amhara, and Tigreans are the largest ethnic groups.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Awe: Story #1

Prior to turning in our short term mission trip application for Ethiopia, I knew in my heart that the Lord was going to provide for our trip. I knew He had legitimately put the calling on my heart to care for the "least of these" (Matthew 25:31-46) and was beginning to work in my hubby's heart in a big way also... that God had said GO this summer... and later I knew that Ethiopia was the trip I was supposed to be on... and that He'd show my hubby if he should go or wait until the next time... I KNEW... but still, the past few days I find myself in AWE of our God. No other way to describe it... I am in AWE of His MAJESTY...

Let me give you some cool testimonies of the work our Father has been doing over the last several weeks...

Story#1 -
Mr. McGoo and I had talked about looking into going on a mission trip together this summer prior to Central Church putting out their short term mission (STM) trip options. We have never been on one before together - I have never been on one outside of the country and Mr. McGoo has never been period. Before Central posted their scheduled trips, the Lord began to work on me regarding orphans, widows, and our duty as believers. I began to know that whatever trip I wanted to attend, it would be working with children and orphans in some shape or form. And then the STM listings came out - - - Guatemala or Ethiopia were the choices. After some prayer and time, the calling for Ethiopia began to become more evident... from reading the book my hubby had gotten me for Christmas, When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa to having a heart for Africa for years to writing blog posts like the ones here and here... Ethiopia was the trip.

Then Mr. McGoo became aware of some Study Abroad opportunities for his schooling - the trips would be very productive, very interesting, and would help to excel his graduation date - - - although Mr. McGoo still had an interest in the STM trip, we decided it best for us in the long run to pursue separate trips - me to Ethiopia, he to study abroad. I began praying that God would open up and close doors as He saw fit and desired. I prayed that a particular study abroad trip would succeed because it was exactly what Mr. McGoo would love to do. I prayed!

Days before the STM applications were due, Mr. McGoo got word that his most desired trip was canceled due to little pursuit by other students... and later that day he also received another call that the second study abroad opportunity had filled to its limit and Mr. McGoo could not be admitted. The professor of the full study abroad program stated that Mr. McGoo's application was the strongest of all, but due to him also pursing the other study abroad trip, they had to admit other students that first inquired about theirs... Uhhhh... sign?

We took it as the Lord working and closing doors as He saw fit... so Mr. McGoo applied for the STM trip to Ethiopia with his Mrs. --- praying that God would provide.

Story #2 coming on the next post. Here is some fun fast facts about Ethiopia, as well as a small geography lesson below.

Fast Facts about Ethiopia from NationalGeographic.Com
Population: 77,431,000
Capital: Addis Ababa; 2,723,000
Area: 1,133,380 square kilometers (437,600 square miles)
Language: Amharic, Tigrinya, Orominga, Guaraginga, Somali, Arabic
Religion: Muslim, Ethiopian Orthodox, animist
Currency: Birr
Life Expectancy: 42
GDP per Capita: U.S. $700
Literacy Percent: 43

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idol Weekly Results: 12 become 11

Tonight we quickly went from the TOP 12 on American Idol to a Top 11 to compete again next week. This evening we said goodbye to Lacey.

Here are your weekly AI Elimination Bracket Results, as well as the number of additional weeks the contestant will be plagued by America's decision tonight:

Allison - 11 pts - perfect bracket thus far
James: 11 pts - perfect bracket thus far

Mr. McGoo - 10 pts - no weeks
Mrs. McGoo: 10 pts - 1 more week
Candace: 10 pts - 2 more weeks
Kelly: 10 pts - 3 more weeks
Riser: 10 pts - 3 more weeks
Alan: 10 pts - 4 more weeks
UFrank: 10 pts - 4 more weeks
Josh: 10 pts - 5 more weeks
Cindy: 10 pts - 5 more weeks
Julian: 10 pts - 5 more weeks
Leon: 10 pts - 6 more weeks

Next week results are also worth 1 pt each...

3 years

Three years ago, I said "I DO" to my best friend.

I cannot believe it has been three years already. I am blessed beyond measure and couldn't ask for more in my mate.

God has done some amazing things with us already in three years time, I cannot wait to see where He leads us next.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. McGoo. I love you.

Happy St. Patty's Day, folks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Losing My Mind

It's official. I was beginning to think it to be true, but I now have proof. I am losing my mind.

It all started this morning when I got up to get ready for the day... I took my cell phone away from the bedside and began my morning routine. By the time I got ready to head out the door, I questioned towards my hubby, "Do you know where my phone is?". He didn't, so I busily searched high and low and thankfully found it oddly placed next to the dog food container, where I apparently laid it prior to feeding the dogs. It was behind a lamp, thus not easy to see. I found it though, and headed out the door to work.

So this afternoon, before Laura and I did our bi-weekly walk during our lunch break, I changed into my workout clothes and silenced my phone so my coworkers would not be bothered by it while I was out of the office walking. Because I had forgotten to grab my lunch from the house this morning, we ended our walk a little early to allow me time to run to my parents house and snatch a pot pie to go. I made my way to my parents house, grabbed what I needed and headed back to the office to make my grub before I had to be back at my desk. I remember having my phone at my parents and I remember leaving my parents home with my phone... after that I went blank about my phone.

Around 2pm or so, I found a need for my cell phone and discovered it was MIA...I retraced my steps once- being ever so nonchalant to find where I left it... no phone. I retraced my steps a bit more fervently and adamantly again, looking in the frig to be sure I didn't drop it while putting a coke away, looking in the bag of clothes I changed out of to make sure it hadn't fallen in, .... hmmmm.... no phone.

So I shared with some coworkers, I can't find my phone - they suggest places to look, I retrace my steps a third time, getting more annoyed than anything... in the car? no. Bathroom? no. Trash can? no.... hmmmmmm. NO PHONE!

Some serious time has started to pass at this point, I even inquired upon two male coworkers insisting they were hiding it from me... no phone. Hmmm.... three coworkers decide to trace my steps for me and offer a new pair of eyes... no phone. Coworker number four searches the car for me... no phone. WHERE DID IT GO?!

Did you leave it at your parents? I don't think so, but I feel crazy so maybe I am. Go check... drive to mom and dads again - NO PHONE. Come back to the office, everyone is somewhat anxious now... where could it be. NO PHONE. NO PHONE. NO PHONE.

Did I mention the part about the phone being ON SILENT and so therefore calling it was not a legitimate option. Where is the "Where's my droid" application when you actually need such a beast?! No Phone.

Everyone consoles me. We'll find it somewhere. Send an email out telling the office to look out for it....
I tell my hubby what's going on, he replies,
ok, so let me get this lost it this morning and then found it and have now lost it again

I had no choice but to answer, "pretty much!" ................................................................DEFEAT...........................................................

And then a customer calls, one who I am not familiar and as they ask for pricing, I grab my price guide and customer list binder to prep for the customers' question... I pull the binder out, open it up to the pages I need.... and THERE IT FALLS..... MY PHONE!

My phone had been filed away in a binder ... I wanted to SCREAM when I saw it, but held professional for the call until I could get him off the line - - - - "Thank you, have a good day". CLICK....

and somewhere along the way, I lost my mind!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Raising Support

You might be wondering what this meter or fund raising looking thermometer is for that you see in this post and even more specifically on the right of my blog page. This thermometer is something that you will see on my blog until June, when my hubby and I travel to Ethiopia for missions. It will track our raised support progress over the next several months.

We are joining a team from our church, Central Church, to serve an organization in Ethiopia called The Forsaken Children. In order to make this trip possible, Mr. McGoo and I are on the hunt and praying for over $6000 of support to be raised by our trip dates: June 12-19.

The cost of the trip alone amounts to $6,000 for the two of us ($3000 each) and then there are costs associated with multiple vaccinations needed prior to departure, updating our passports, and possibly buying items for the children we will be serving if the monies are available.

Support letters are going out this week via snail mail and email.

In addition, we have created a Facebook Group. If you're interested in joining the group or sharing it with others, search for "Ethopia Bound McGoo's" and request an invitation to join. We will post updates on our financial needs and successes, as well as how the team is preparing for our journey.

We are looking for folks to become ministry partners with us... folks that want to join our team... although we are the ones going, we need folks on the team that will send us there by either financially or prayerfully supporting us.

Mr. McGoo equated it to a NASCAR racing team (I know, surprising he even thought about NASCAR, UFrank must be wearing off on him)... although there is a driver on the track, who often gets the recognition for his/her accomplishments, the reality is an entire team stands behind that driver. An entire team makes the race/the mission possible. Without the team, the driver would not succeed. Likewise, although we are the ones GOING to Ethiopia to serve the street children of Addis Ababa, we need an entire team of folks behind us. Will you become part of that team?

We're so excited to see what the Lord does through this entire experience! Info on how to support will be in the support letters going out, as well as on the Facebook group page. Donations are tax exempt.

Questions? Email us on this topic at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Photos

Friday studies and Saturday am exam. Skipping lab to enjoy the Sec Tourney with my hubby, father in law, brother in law and niece on Saturday and then headed to the hosting festivities of a coed wedding shower for friends. Sunday we enjoyed Sunday School with our awesome class, watched an intense SEC Championship match (GO CATS!), and then enjoyed dinner with my rents. A good weekend.

Here are some photos from the shower festivities:

The invite for the evening. (above)..
ps. Johnny will NEVER forget Erin Marie's birthday after this evening together - NEVER!

Photographic artistry by Laura Dawson. ha!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2010 American Idol Elimination Brackets

So after an interesting elimination announcement tonight on American Idol, we are now to the TOP 12 and the American Idol 2010 Elimination Bracket Challenge can begin.

Anyone want to play?

Think of the NCAA basketball bracket done during the March Madness Tourney... this is similar but American Idol style. The goal is to predict who will be the next American Idol.

To Play: Turn in brackets by end of the day (midnight) Monday, March 15th. Turn your answers in via email (using the bracket made below) or by posting on the comments section of this blog post.

YOUR goal in this elimination bracket challenge is to select every Idol contestant that will REMAIN each week, ultimately choosing the NEXT American Idol.

If you are filling out the bracket supplied below, do NOT write down the person you believe will not make that Top list, only write the folks down you believe will stay each week. If you want to leave your choices on the blog post, you'll write you answers opposite - go to the comments section and list the names of who will leave each week. For example: 11. Casey, 10. Crystal, 9. etc - listing the person that will be voted out and unable to proceed in that top X week.

Let me know if you need more clarification, I'll gladly explain. Ultimately I'll post everyone's selections on the comments section of this post for all to see whether you email or go ahead and post it yourself.

Point System: Each week you will get points for each person you choose correctly to stay in the game. Therefore, if you get the right person out of the game from the start, the first week you can accumulate up to 11 points. If you get the wrong person, you'll only get 10 points. The point accumulation will continue throughout the entire competition.

Each week, Mrs. McGoo will tally up your points according to how many Idols you correctly picked to be in that TOP round. Every two weeks the points available for a correct pick will increase, as seen on the bottom of your bracket sheet.

Winner: Person with the most points at the end, WINS. If there is a tie in points, the person with the actual American Idol pick WINS. If there is still a tie, the person with the most fully correct weeks WINS. If there is still a tie, I'll pick a number from 1-50 and those who have tied will guess what number - closest to the number I choose WINS.

PRIZE: Winner gets bragging rights and a choice of one of three $10 gift card options: Starbucks, Target, or Home Depot.

American Idol 2010 Elimination Brackets

Let the games begin. I'll post weekly updates on how everyone sits in the standings.

PS. You don't ACTUALLY have to watch the show regularly to play - make a guess at it if you want, I don't mind... you may even do better because you won't over analyze it like the regular watchers will do. Often it's a combination of who American likes popularity wise AND who sings well... so the choices definitely get tricky at times!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


NO. I am not pregnant.

Sorry I had to start my post with those words, because I know some of the folks that read my blog and simply by creating the title as I have, the question or insinuation will occur. Trust me. So I set the records straight from the start of the post. Now onto actually writing what I want to verbally vomit about.

Parenthood is the title of a new TV show on NBC... we are only two episodes in and I'm pretty sure that I'm hooked. Like we need another show to watch, but I love it so far. Cracks me up, makes me smile, relate, empathize, etc. The characters are awesome and the dynamic of the entire family is a hoot.

Here is what you have going on in the dynamic of the show if you're interested. Characters are below... you have a mom & dad (Zeek & Camille Braverman) with four adult child: 2 girls and 2 boys. One boy, Crosby is the slacker, still trying to put his life together, figure out what he wants to do, who he wants to be with, does he ever want to settle down? The second boy, Adam is the guy that seems to have it all together, a family of his own with a beautiful wife (Kristina) and two children (girl, Haddie and boy, Max). There is a dynamic to his own family all on its own - teenage daughter and younger son just diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. You can tell Adam is the oldest of the bunch, he holds that first born stance in the family for sure. Then you have the daughter that is "I am woman, here me roar". Julia is a lawyer and even hyphenated her name with her husband's rather than taking his name completely. Her family extension is living out the over working mom life, along with trying to balance time with her daughter, Syndey and her hubby, Joel is Mr. Dad and seems to be left out of the mix with his wife at times. And the last, but not least daughter, Sarah is the child that married the wrong man and lost her way. The first episode begins with Sarah and her two children (Amber, girl and Drew, boy) moving back to Sarah's hometown to move in with her parents looking for a fresh start. And there you have the Braverman family... welcome to Parenthood.

Looking forward to the next episode.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something New: Weight Watchers Tasty Soup

Thanks to the most recent Bunko Divas hostess, LaLa, I have a new recipe and was able to make this simple dish tonight. I do not know the name, all I know is that it's tasty soup and I was told it was a weight watchers recipe, I believe. Here is what it's made of...

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of ranch style black beans
  • 1 can of shoepeg corn
  • 1 packet of ranch seasoning
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of ROTEL
  • 3/4 cup of water

I have no idea what shoepeg corn is, so I got my hubby's favorite instead, white corn. And instead of doing 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey, I wanted to keep it simple and prepare only one meat so I chose the leaner ground turkey for a full pound. Cook the meat along with the chopped onion, and add it to the pot of all the other goodies. Cook and simmer in the pot for 30minutes and wha-laa - a warm tasty simply treat.

I made it this evening and am thankful LaLa shared it with me because it will be added into my arsenal of dinners. Only thing I worry about is the remainder of the evening - - - there sure were a lot of beans in that soup... high fiber. Wonder if that will affect anyone in this house? ha ha. Only time will tell.

Bon Appetit!

Paint in My Hair, Paint Everywhere

Paint in my hair, Paint everywhere,
Paint in the room, no longer looking gloom.
Painting done there, Painting to do everywhere,
Painting the living space, Painting all over the place.
Updating the house, not being quiet as a mouse,
Enjoying the changes, making new arranges.
Hoping the end is in sight, it will be a great delight.

Well we completed the painting process last night for the guest room. I'm not even thinking about a third coat, so I hope it doesn't need it. So far the verdict is such: I love how bright the room is and how much larger it now looks. I'm looking forward to adding all the necessary accents to pull the room color pallet together - looking to get curtains and a few accessories to go with my new decor pillows. Once all the pieces are put into place, I'm certain we'll love it. The jury is out until then... but AT LEAST I like it better than the dark green (my hubby - typical male with desired dungeon/dark color tastes - thinks differently, so I'm hoping to pull it all together soon so maybe he'll say that he likes it). Only time will tell.

We wore ourselves out last night... from cleaning up after the major project conducted by some guys we hired (more on that later - we opened up our layout a little in the house from the living room to the kitchen), to starting the second coat of paint in the guest room, to completing the second coat of paint, to cleaning up our mess post painting, to putting everything back in its place in the guest room, to cleaning the floors from the mess of painting and the previous project of the day, to attempting to get some rest (much after midnight) - we are worn out!

But I'll say this, changes are definitely happening at the McGoo house... I cannot wait to have it all complete and post many photos, complete with some before & after shots. Today we are getting a dishwasher installed... goodbye "roll-able, must plug into the wall and hook to the facet dishwasher" that took up tons of square footage in our kitchen - hello modern dishwasher that will go UNDER the counter (novel idea)!

We will definitely have to have an open house party or something of the sort to show off our casa once all the changes are complete. Looking forward to that day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Weather, Good Friends, Nice Weekend

We had a great weekend and I think seeing the sun shining and enjoying the non cold temps gave everyone a little more pep in their step. We were able to visit with new and old friends both Friday and Saturday night. On both occasions we ate delicious grub and more than enjoyed the company of friends.

In addition to the normal weekend occurrence of school, we enjoyed the amazing weather in full by taking our furbabies on a walk. We were out and about for about an hour and took them to the U of Memphis to enjoy some of the open spaces/fields available around there. They LOVED IT! And so did we! We had to wait for a train to pass in order to get to the university and that seemed to perplex Dexter - what is this thing? Once we got the open space at the university, Kodi Bear enjoyed wandering about at his own free will - he's good like that. Dexter, on the other hand, had to be leashed at all times because we know he'd be gone for good if we let him off... so to help my pup out, I took a few laps back and forth on the field to get Dexter running. He is FAST! I did my best not to trip and fall (not a small feat for me! seriously!), as well as keep up with him so he could run as he desired - you could tell he was having a blast, tongue sticking out everywhere and all. The fun part of this process was that once we ran across the field from one side to the other, Kodi would follow. Dexter and I would stop - so Momma could catch her breath and get ready to run back. Kodi would stand behind Dexter and I and once we took off again, he'd wait a few seconds and then chase us or race us back. It was hilarious. I'm sure my hubby would have a thing or two to say as he watched this process occur more than a few times, while sitting on the bench relaxing. I'm sure I looked like a dork as usual.

Below are photos I took of the boys before we went on our walking excursion Saturday. I caught Dex laying out in the sun like an iguana! Right next to the sliding glass door, he was sprawled out enjoying the rays. Very cute - so I had to get some shots. Here are a few of my favs...

Both of our furbabies - Kodi on his bed (not so excited about Mom's photo shoot) and Dex front and center ready for his close up!

While taking multiple photos of the beast (Dexter) as he laid out in the sun, I caught this AWESOME photo - he's yawning, but it looks so cool!

As I mentioned earlier, Kodi wasn't all about the photo shoot. He mostly gave me the look that says, "What are you doing?"

Along with the fun times with friends and the pups, the hubby and I continued to tackle some home projects. We finally got the guest room primed (lots of speed bumps along the way - i.e. emotional break down last week, pure exhaustion, etc). We also put our first coat of paint on the walls last night and are in hopes of applying coat #2 this evening. The dark greenish color is definitely gone, now we're working towards completing the Castle Stone color... only time will tell if the color turns out like I desired after the second coat.

Today is the first week day of my hubby's spring break... he's a trooper - instead of enjoying the sun somewhere outside of Memphis, he's at home in the midst of home projects. More on that later.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Show Love

Today I'm wearing my SHOW LOVE Tshirt (example to your left). The shirt not only shares the message of the orphan crisis in the world and our call to action as believers, but it also supports the Dunlap Adoption fund. I love it! They are quality shirts and I am honored to be in possession of one. If you want one too (you have two to choose from, my hubby got the lighter grey one), check out the Dunlap Adoption blog and order yours today! Each shirt supports the Dunlap families' pursuit of adopting a boy (or siblings) from Ethiopia... giving a child or two a FOREVER HOME and sharing the love of Christ with them.

In other news, today has been a good day... in addition to my hubby's amazing surprise and MUCH NEEDED, by the way, he came and got me for lunch today. I always love seeing my man midday. It puts an extra smile on my face, especially for the afternoon hours of work. We enjoyed the Memphis Pizza Cafe and had some great "what does the summer hold for the McGoo's" kind of discussion.

The plan tonight is to work on staying stress free... maybe complete the priming of the guest bedroom, eat some Turkey Tostadas (a new recipe I'm going to try), and reading a bit about the Respiratory System in my A&P2 book. We'll see how it all unfolds.

Oh, and such powerful truth is spoken in this blog regarding orphans and our call as believers... wow! This family is doing a WORK for the Lord and for the least of these. They are an encouragement, an inspiration, and are speaking truth with a challenge! Check it out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I am overwhelmed by the love my God and my husband have for me tonight. Tonight I know what it means when the Bible talks about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church. God loves me beyond measure, in a way that is often hard for me to comprehend. I am reminded about this love when I see the cross... that Jesus died there for me! And I've been blessed so much in that my husband is a beautiful tangible example of that love for me here on earth!

Let me explain how it went down...
I went straight from work to The Shot Nurse to receive multiple vaccines and have lab work done for necessary titers for school. After spending $303 on such activities (OUCH!), I found myself light headed and on the verge of blacking out. Being cognizant of what was going on, I told the nurse and they laid me down, gave me a bottle of water and made me chill there until my color came back to my face. (ps. the idea of giving a shot is so much better for me than receiving them, or having blood drawn in multiple tubes). After I passed the "I'm alright" test, I left The Shot Nurse to head home.

In my mind what awaited me at home was a loving hubby, two cute furbabies, and a laundry list of to do's. I knew we had to work on finishing the priming of the guest room, read some for school, and possibly begin the first coat of paint by trimming the room out. I arrived home and visited with my hubby for a bit... somewhere in the midst of the discussion, I hit a wall and broke down... tears, feelings of being totally overwhelmed, being tired, neck/shoulder pain that had begun Monday, and ultimately an emotional breakdown ensued.

Lovingly my hubby comforted me and let me know it was all okay. He then suggested nonchalantly that we take a night off, we forget the priming tonight and mess with it another night. Through my tears, I resisted a bit, talking about all the necessary to do's, and how things need to get done... to which my hubby asked me to trust him and ensured me that everything would be alright and he would take care of it. I agreed, and my hubby suggested that I go get into my comfy sweats and begin to relax.

I did what he asked, slowly feeling better every step along the way. Once I changed into my favorite sweats, I came back to the couch and made myself right at home. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. "Baby, someone is at the door! Are you expecting someone?"

My hubby made his way, answered the door, and before I knew it, our amazing massage therapist friend, Jeanne walked into our home. She smiled at me, and I began to realize what was going on!

My hubby had scheduled a 1hr surprise home massage for me (he planned in on Monday) and I was blessed to enjoy every single minute of it. God could not have orchestrated a better night, better time to make this happen and my man was the vessel God used to smile upon me. I love my husband and was made to feel so special tonight. Not to mention I've had some intense neck/shoulder pain since Monday and Jeanne did some magic on that tonight.

Here's to sleeping wonderfully tonight, loving my husband, and being overwhelmed by my husband's love for me (a reflection of Christ's love for me too)! Thank you God! Praising You tonight for such a treat, knowing EXACTLY what I needed right when I needed it!!!

What Kind of Coffee Drinker Are You?

So my hubby and I got into a little discussion about coffee drinkers last night. Let me start off my saying, my hubby is NOT a coffee drinker, so he doesn't get it. We passed three Starbucks on the same street in about a three mile radius, thus sprung the discussion.

So my question to you is:
What kind of coffee drinker are you?

Are you the type that HAS TO HAVE IT every morning right when you get up? If not, watch out!

Are you the type of person that HAS TO HAVE IT once they get to work or they are unable to function?

Are you the type that enjoys it, maybe drink some most week days, but not necessarily on the weekend?

Are you the type that only has it once in awhile?

What's your coffee obsession/routine or lack there of? Are you addicted?

For me, I'm a coffee lover but not a coffee addict. I enjoy coffee, it's a delicious treat. I have a cup every weekday once I get into the office, something to warm me up especially this time of year. And lately I get a Starbucks stop every Saturday morning before class for an Earl Grey Tea Latte that gears me up for class. But coffee for me is not a need. I enjoy it at home on lazy days where I can take my time getting ready and enjoy a cup while reading or catching a show. I can drink it in the morning or the night, without worry if it's decaf or not because it doesn't affect me.

I love my coffee though... what about you?

Ha. Just found and old post I wrote about coffee a time when I HAD to have a cup of joe to function at work... I think the change happened when I started to work out. Here's my past post. Funny how things change a bit.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Home Owner = Constant Project

If you're a home owner then I'm sure you'll understand what I mean by "Home Owner = Constant Project". The reality is, whether you have an old or new home, there is always things to change, always projects to unfold, and always things on the wish list.

For me and Mr. McGoo, a To Do List of home projects needing to be tackled is always underway. We have an older home and there is plenty to do. "Project flooring" was completed a few weeks ago, maybe a month now. It has made the home look TOTALLY different and we love it! And around the same time, we completed "project take the door away". So yesterday we began "project re-do guest room". The guest room nearest our bathroom, and technically the first bedroom on the right when you enter our home (there is not an entrance there anymore) is currently a disaster zone. Last night we sanded down all the puddy around the new drywall that was put into place when they removed the door. We also filled in all the holes in the walls and sanded down any bumpy rough patches that we could find. The room is currently coated in dust from this endeavor, and although I did my best to vacuum up as much as I could last night, an intense cleaning is in my future. We'll have to wipe down everything and clean it up before the next step... primer... paint... and finally putting the room back together.

Currently the bedroom is a dingy darkish green. I (yes, the pronoun has changed here because Mr. McGoo hates painting and I know this will be a solo endeavor once the paint cans are popped open - he did tons with the sanding and will help clean up and prep, and I really don't mind painting. I'll turn on the tv in there and get to work while enjoying a cheesy Family Channel movie) will change the room in a big way by taking away the dingy darkish, not so nice looking green, and replacing it with a neutral CASTLE STONE. The bedroom will instantly look bigger with this neutral lighter color. Currently the bedding is a neutral, masculine pattern that's simple with thick lines of tans and browns. I will keep that bedding but add an accent color now that I have a neutral pallet on the walls. I'll pick my accent color by choosing a few pillows to add (one solid, one or two patterned) and once I have the accent color I can then choose some curtains to put up in the room also. Looking forward to the change.

All of these changes - at least the ones with the walls and putting the room back in order will need to be completed by the weekend. My father in law is coming back in town to stay a bit and this room is where he stays... want to get the project complete before he arrives. Time to get down to work!

Day 22 w/Jillian Michaels

We shredded today.

Yup, after a week's hiatus due to life being CRAZY, we're back to the Jillian 30 Day Shred. We tackled Day 22 today. Felt good to workout again. I'm happy that even after a week hiatus, we didn't settle and get out of the routine for good. We woke up this morning and got the job done. I love how my days go when a workout happens in the morning, makes a big difference.