Friday, May 28, 2010

Many Faces of Verbal Vomit

Since my blogging "career" (using that term VERY loosely) began in July 2008, Verbal Vomit has had many faces. From a simple, out of the box layout that blogspot provided, to learning how to tweak such a standard layout a bit and put my own headers together. Then I discovered the pretty options I could use from other folks... so needless to say, over the past, almost 2 full years, Verbal Vomit has had many different looks.

Today I discovered all of these headers I had saved. Thought it was neat to look back over the headers of past. Hope you enjoy:

Typically it is definitely past time for a new background, but since school has begun - finding the time and/or taking the time and energy to change backgrounds on my blog has been less appealing. We'll see if I can get that done after Ethiopia and after my summer trimester ends (mid August).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We Have a Winner!

And the winner is... ALLISON!!!!

Oh, and yeah, and the NEW AMERICAN IDOL is LEE DEWYZE!

Although Crystal rocked it on Tuesday and quit frankly, outdid herself from what I hear - Lee must have stolen the hearts of many already, as he was crowned the new American Idol last night!

If anyone has a problem with this outcome, my first question to you is: Did you vote?! If not, sorry Charlie, don't want to hear any complaints. he he

Two of our American Idol Elimination Bracket Contestants chose correctly the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL (2010) - Allison (our bracket winner) and Mr. McGoo (sitting in 2nd place)! Congrats to you both!

Allison rocked the bracket competition without a doubt - scoring an impressive 139 points out of a possible 161 point perfect bracket. WHOA! Way to go Cuz! LOVE YOU! Please let me know which $10 Gift Card you would like for your award - Starbucks, Target, or Best Buy?!

Our final AI Elimination Bracket Competition Standings are as follows:

1st: Allison - 139 pts
2nd: Mr. McGoo - 124 pts
3rd: Mrs. McGoo - 122 pts
4th: Alan - 121 pts
5th: Josh - 117 pts
6th: UFrank - 114 pts
7th: Kelly - 111 pts
8th: Leon - 103 pts
9th: Cindy - 102 pts
10th:  Candace - 98 pts
11th: Riser - 95 pts
12th: James - 91 pts
13th: Julian - 87 pts

Highest possible points (perfect brackets) = 161 points

Thanks for playing folks! Hope you enjoyed the competition!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Shirt

I'm wearing my new 147millionorphans gear today! I have been wanting some for some time now - have purchased it for others as gifts, but until this week - I haven't owned some on my own. I'm pumped and proud to wear it. Our departure for Ethiopia is around the corner, and I knew with the intensity of the sun there, I should probably have some 3/4 length shirts on during some of the afternoons to guard my body a bit from the rays. I thought if I was going to spend the money on a few extra pieces of clothing, why not make it "worth while" in supporting a good cause.

Three reasons I'm digging my new tee: First, to know an article of clothing helped feed children in Uganda is fabulous. Secondly, the baseball Tee fits GREAT. And Thirdly, it's most comfortable and lightweight! wow!

I'm a dork, as most of you that read this very well know, and so I had to get a photo of me in the shirt to post here. You would have CRACKED up seeing my photo "session" attempting to get the right shot where I didn't look like a totally dork AND the shirt was shown well enough. Hilarious. I tried multiple angles, from taking a self photo (like the one posted) to setting the timer and putting the camera in different locations for multiple angles. I laughed at myself during the process, and especially when I saw some of the photos, and finally chose this one to showcase.

Here is my 147millionorphans/Amazima Ministries baseball tee. I love it. This shirt brings awareness to the 147 million orphans in the world, as well as supports Amazima Ministries International - which I have spoken about more than once on this blog. I'm excited about my shirt, so I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's NOT About Me

In the middle of everything else going on right now, I'm stealing sweet minutes to read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Some folks have warned me that this book will challenge me, and I'm excited to see what the Lord would like me to see through this book.

Last night I completed Chapter 2 of Crazy Love, which is called "You Might Not Finish This Chapter". I underlined my share of quotes and want to share a couple with you. The focus of this chapter is simple yet profound - IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!

I hope to meditate on some of these thoughts/ideas and better grasp the truths within them and how I might apply them TODAY. Hope you can do the same by the little morsel I share with you.

On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don't consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that life truly is a vapor.
I was convicted quickly of this one - so true. I sadly fall into this category at times. I say that I love the Lord and desire to live for Him - but how much of my average day consists of Him?!
Frederick Buechner writes, "Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever."
Love this - I read it and said AMEN out loud last night. I don't want to be this way. I want to work to live a life that is focused on NOW and focused on the eternal. Nothing else matters, why do we waste our time on it?!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4). You'll notice that it doesn't end with "...unless you're doing something extremely important." No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, "Do not be anxious about anything" (v. 6).

That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering.

When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job- I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.

Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is be enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control.

Basically these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is some how exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.
Yeah! So for a "pack too much into your life" kind of person like me, and a "to do list" person at that - this slapped me in the face. Literally. I need to hear the bluntness of Chan's wording. What stress and worry REALLY ARE! I pray that I can stay cognizant of this so that when worry and/or stress sneak in, I can proclaim my faith in God and His control, not my own. This one will take constant practice!
Friends, we need to stop living selfish lives, forgetful of God. Our lives here are short, often unexpectedly so, and we can all stand to be reminded of it from time to time. ... nothing matters except our King and God.

Don't let yourself forget. Soak it in and keep remembering that it is true. He is everything.

My friends were right - - - I'm going to be challenged by some of the things in this book. I pray that I am open to what I need to hear. Today I'm reminded - IT IS NOT ABOUT ME! And thank goodness for that, really, if it was about me, we'd be in trouble.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2.5 Weeks Away

We leave for Ethiopia on our short term mission trip in 2.5 weeks!?!
Seriously, where did the time go?! It's really just around the corner now!
We couldn't be more excited... kind of surreal really. Each time we meet with our team, I become more expectant of what the Lord is going to do in and through us on this journey.

Right now the McGoo's are pretty consumed by plenty of to do's. From school for both of us - me taking two full nights a week to do that - and the territory that comes with studies, to planning and prepping for our mission trip, to the regular stuff of life, we're finding life busy right now. We did, however, take a moment this weekend to just be together. We went on a date and had a great time. We ate at Boscos and enjoyed the beautiful weather by sitting on the patio. Then we made our way to the drive-in (we love them) and saw Robin Hood. It was apparently Mr. McGoo's 2nd time to see it - Mrs. McGoo had forgotten he already went when she planned/suggested the evenings activities. Mr. McGoo didn't say a word until the film ended, and he said, "yup, liked it the second time, too!" WHAT?! We had a laugh on that one. Oh well. It was a good evening sharing with my man. 

Below is a photo from that evening and another shot from my annual company picnic that we attended Saturday morning/afternoon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

On Wednesday evening, the Team Ethiopia group made their way to the local Ethiopian Restaurant in town, Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant. Most of us had never partook of Ethiopian cuisine and were looking forward to our first introduction here in the States. With the guidance of Ethiopian veterans, Joe & Karyn... typical Ethiopian dishes were selected and served to the group.

We had two full plates full of food... each plate with the same set of items, one for each side of the table. In Ethiopia they do not use utensils, rather we all were given a plateful of "injera" which was also placed underneath the food. It has a pancake like texture and is what you use to pick up the food off the plate and get it into your mouth. You eat the injera also. Below is a photo with each dish listed and labeled.

We had a chicken dish (dora watt), cheese (ibe), cabbage (gomen), lentils (mizur watt), beef (beef T'ibs), chick peas (shuro watt), salmon goulash (asa watt), turnip greens (habesha gomen), potatoes (den-ni), and some lettuce & tomatoes. For the most part, all of the items were cooked with an Ethiopian spice called berbere. The food was a little hot (in the sense of spicy), but not too much. My favorite combination was the beef T'ibs (beef dish) mixed with a little ibe (cheese). It was delicious - I could have kept that all to myself, but I thought better to share.

The injera wasn't bad either. Joe & Karyn warned us that the injera we'll probably get IN Ethiopia will be little more bitter, or fermented like... whereas the restaurant in town always has a fresh batch. It was good there, so we'll see how different it is in Addis Ababa.

Eating at Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant and beginning to get to know our teammates on a more person level has made me even more excited about our upcoming journey next month!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

American Idol Weekly Results: 2 Standing

Casey said goodbye to the American Idol stage last night, leaving Crystal and Lee to battle it out for the American Idol title. This week's results have CLINCHED Allison's victory in our American Idol Elimination Bracket Competition. Way to go Allison - - the rest is for bragging rights!!!

Only 4 participants left in the competition with Idol hopefuls - Allison & Mr. McGoo are rooting for Lee, and UFrank and Josh for Crystal. Still other AI Elimination Bracket Competitors are still in the placement hunt with their already established points. We shall see what happens. Enjoy the new results.

Here are your weekly AI Elimination Bracket Results:

1st: Allison - 133 pts - Lee is her AI pick - she picked this week's decision correctly... and cannot be passed as AI Elimination Bracket 2010 Champion... we'll give you an official congrats when it really happens.

Mrs. McGoo - 122 pts - No more points can be acquired.
3rd: Alan - 121 pts - No more points can be acquired.
4th: Mr. McGoo - 118 pts - Lee is Mr. McGoo's AI pick
Josh - 117 pts - Crystal is his AI pick
6th: UFrank - 114 pts - Crystal is UFrank's AI pick
7th: Kelly - 111 pts - No more points can be acquired.
8th: Leon - 103 pts - No more points can be acquired.
9th: Cindy - 102 pts - No more points can be acquired.
10th:  Candace - 98 pts - No more points can be acquired.
11th: Riser - 95 pts - No more points can be acquired.
James - 91 pts - No more points can be acquired.
13th: Julian - 87 pts - No more points can be acquired.

Highest possible points (perfect brackets) = 155 points

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, my hubby and I had the pleasure of eating lunch with the entire Mrs. McGoo (aka Wilson) side of the family. All three sisters, Mr. McGoo, mom and dad enjoyed a good meal and good company. The middle sister's hubby was at his sister's graduation that weekend. We missed the BIL (brother in law) but accepted his excuse. ;) After lunch, the ladies partook of some good girl time at Paint a Piece.

It was Mom's idea, and we had a great time together. Paint a Piece is a pottery painting studio in town that allows amateurs like us come in, grab a blank piece of pottery (any size, shape, function you desire) and paint it with their special paints. Once you complete your task, the Paint a Piece crew fires the pottery in the kiln, and whaaa laaa, a few days later you have a completed piece of art. Well... that's how it's SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!

So Mom, me, and the two sisters went to Paint a Piece. Mom had bid on, and won a 4 plate special at a silent auction event and chose to use the purchased item on a day with her girls. Mother's Day was the perfect day, as the middle sis was in town from Nashville to love on mom and attend the Crawfish Boil for a Cause. We ventured to Paint a Piece, clueless as to our future creations. We each had a plate, empty and ready for our own design. It took us awhile to get our gears moving, but Mom and Kels were the first to make their decisions. They chose to do a LETTER plate, using their initial (K for Kelsey, W for Mom) as the focal point and decorating the remainder of the plate around that focus.

Rob and I were less decisive... we pondered on what we'd want, what we'd actually keep and use, and what would be accomplish-able. After much debate, we decided on two very different designs. Rob chose to give a shout out to her church small group. The group has a trivia team that has affectionately been named SLOWATER after a teammate incorrectly wrote STILLWATER on the answer pad... history was made with that name and Team Slowater is now dominating the trivia world of Nashville. Rob designed her plate for serving snacks and cookies as their small group meetings, hoping to give a laugh and smile to the team/group. I chose to focus on our upcoming mission trip and give a shout out to my attention and heart for Africa, specifically Ethiopia at this time. I grabbed an image off of google images by way of my phone, and began to free hand the continent of Africa on this plate, with a heart around the location of Ethiopia. I then decorated the remainder of the plate with the colors of the Ethiopian flag, and wrote James 1:27 on the top.

After an hour or two of painting, we were all very excited about the look of our plates and expectant for their outcome the following Thursday. It was lots of fun, good girl time, and some creative time too.

The outcome however was no good... Mom & Kelsey received their completed plate, both very cute! However, Rob and I were told that our plates "peeled off" or did something funky in the kiln, therefore Paint a Piece has a new BLANK plate readily and available for us whenever we desire - - - Uh what?! Did they not realize how much time, attention, and LUCK it took for me to recreate the continent of Africa on that plate, and for it to actually look like I desired?! Uhhhh, no thanks. We'll take our loss for now and just reminisce about the pre-kiln awesomeness of the designs we made, right Rob?

Update: Apparently when my youngest sis, Kel went to go pick up the two plates that did make it out of the kiln successfully, the Slowater & Africa plate were THERE!!! Here are photos of the finished products HOWEVER, they would not let Kel take the plates due to some peeling/cracking on the outer rim of the plate - WHAT?! Thanks for taking a photo Kel, and putting up a "fight" to get out plates home - too bad they wouldn't let ya!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ethiopia Bound - Update 3

McGugan Mailer - 2010 Volume 3                                                            

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ethiopia - The Forsaken Children

While in Ethiopia next month on our short term mission trip, Mr. McGoo and I will be working with The Forsaken Children Organization, which works to give hope to the street children of Addis Ababa.

TFC (The Forsaken Children) just recently posted a new blog post on their site - I believe this post gives such a clear depiction of the vision and mission they have for the children and community they minister to! Check out the post HERE and learn a bit more about this awesome organization, and then view this quick video HERE about their specific agriculture project, Kota Ganate that is making a difference in a big way.

Both of these things, the blog post and the video will give you a better glimpse of why we're going to be a part of this organization. God is moving through TFC and we're excited to be a very small part of that ministry. I cannot wait to share with you about their mission more personally as we go to be the hands and feet of Christ in June.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crawfish Boil for a Cause Success!

As I've mentioned, I don't know, maybe one or two times (he he), we hosted a fundraiser on Saturday, May 8th that was titled: Crawfish Boil for a Cause. This event supported worldwide missions in Ethiopia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic... as six people in our Sunday School class, including ourselves, are traveling this summer to share the love of Christ.

We could NOT have asked for a more gorgeous day for the event, and the Lord blessed us immensely with generous friends, family, and even strangers that attended, sent donations along with others, and helped make the entire thing a HUGE SUCCESS! Mr. McGoo and I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and encouragement all along the way!

Here's a little breakdown of how it all went down...

On Friday, Mr. McGoo and I ran around (him during the day, me on my lunch break and after work hours) getting things ready for the big day. We bought supplies, borrowed tables, tents, boilers, and the like. We filled up a truck and a van full of items to prep us for the following day.

Saturday morning we picked up the last minute items and made our way to Mr. McGoo's brother and sister in law's house (Kevin & Leah) - where the festivities would be hosted. We set up (photos below) in preparation for the folks that would come starting at 2pm. We put up tents, tables, covered tables with table clothes, set up the silent auction table, put drinks on ice, began prepping the crawfish for their meeting with the boilers later in the day, posted signs, set up lawn games, etc. There was plenty to do and we accomplished it all in about 3 hours.

Starting at 2pm the folks began to trickle in... we had a blast! Lots of food, lots of great people, good music thanks to Mr. McGoo's HUGE specially made ipod playlist for the day, some yard games, and some wonderful donated items to bid on during the silent auction. From what I could count, I'd guess we had over 70 people there (not counting the kiddos running around, because there were plenty of them!)

The crawfish was UBER yummy and at times they were HUGE!

Once we counted our expenses and subtracted that from the total, and considering the crawfish was DONATED by two rock star people in our lives, the Crawfish Boil for a Cause brought in right about

$1500 for worldwide missions!!!

That's amazing! God provided in some big ways! The silent auction alone brought in over $500! Whoo hoo!!!

In addition to the money that was raised for the three different organizations (The Forsaken Children in Ethiopia, Aqua Viva Children's Home in Guatemala, and the Baseball Camp/Medical Missions Trip by Score International in the Dominican Republic), we received multiple tangible donations that Mr. McGoo and I will be able to take with us to Ethiopia and give to the organization we're going to work with - items such as Vaseline, band aids, hydrogen peroxide, latex gloves, pens, pencils, erasers, etc. People were so generous and we are SO THANKFUL!

Let me say this, we could not have pulled the event off without he help of our brother, Kevin and sister in law, Leah! They opened their home up to the 70+ people and played a wonderful host! The yard looked amazing, as always, and their place couldn't have been a better set up for the event. We cannot thank Kevin & Leah enough for your love, support, and generosity!!! Thank you!

I'm beginning to learn and understand more and more how this journey to Ethiopia has nothing to do with me. The money brought in thus far has not been about me or Mr. McGoo... God knew from the start how much He'd bring to the table through the love and generosity of others! He knew how much this boil would raise and how it would bless others! God knows what children we will minister to in Ethiopia this June even before we get there. It's not about what I'm going to do or how I'm going to do it - it's about God's glory and sharing the love of Christ to others... it's about fulfilling my calling in Christ - to be the hands and feet of Jesus - loving others! I'm just excited to be along for the ride!

Something to keep in mind - the McGoo's are talking about making this an annual event to raise funds for a worthy cause. We'll see what next year holds! Thanks again!