Monday, December 29, 2008
Send me an email [Lparsons11@gmail.com] if you found the answer you were looking for. Also, if you invested in the Littmann I'd like to know what opinions you now have of it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Review Model 4100WS
The new Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 4100WS has the same functions as the Model 4000WS, but with one significant difference; the Model 4100WS now incorporates 3M's new Ambient Noise Reduction technology.
This technology reduces distracting room noise by an average of 75% (-12dB) over the bell and diaphragm operating range. This stethoscope is uniquely equipped to help you pick up difficult-to-hear heart, lung and other body sounds even when the world around you is filled with distracting noise.
How Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) works:
Is that really the only time you can show or experience true, Godly, unconditional love?
I've been thinking a lot about love lately mostly because the biggest example I had in regards to that characteristic came from my grandmother and she is now gone. In leaving this Earth I no longer have that constant example to look to when I need answers or examples of how to react to things. Thus, I'm left to figure out what she knew in order for me to continue on. (I'm guessing that made little sense....)
I'm trying to figure out what she knew to make her the woman she was. I want to know so I too can use the knowledge she possessed. I would like to think I am capable of loving unconditionally but do I? I would like to. I think it is necessary and something worth more than I realize at this point.
In search for my answers I've discovered, according to the world I apparently don't know how to love...or can't yet because so far I've found the only way to show love in the manner I am referring to is within the bonds of marriage of which do not currently exist in my life. This is the worlds way of seeing things though.....
I think going beyond what the world thinks of love would be best. And to go beyond the idea of love I've created on my own and to the love God would have me experience and show I think would be even better.
It is truly amazing how my Lord works. I embarked on this seemingly endless exodus for the meaning of love and just when I was about ready to say forget it, I'll finish this later God sent me this friend that wanted to talk about love too. I have no doubt in my mind that this was God's plan and I am grateful and more than willing to give Him the praise for it.
I want to know the real meaning of love and not so much the meaning of love in a romantic way. . . That will come in time but for now it's not the kind of love I want to know inside and out.
I can't wait to finish school so I can travel the world. But I think I need to understand 'love' before that can happen. I don't want to just travel for pleasure. I want it to have a purpose. A purpose that can only exist after the meaning of love is discovered I'm afraid.
I have no doubt that God will give me the understanding I need.
I want to do more than just exist on this Earth. I want to save the world from itself or.....or....I don't know. I don't want to go down in history or anything like that. I just want to do....something. Something with meaning, purpose, depth....just, something. Something more than what I am currently doing.
It's not that I'm bored and want to just spice things up. It's not that at all.
I just feel this strong, indisputable desire to go out and do something worth while.
Enough talk and idle thoughts of some grandiose future---I want to go explore the world and be humbled by my discoveries. I want to share what I've learned and be used to start a revolution unlike any other. I want to do something!!
And I will.
But I need to discover the meaning of love before that can take place.
For now I'm stuck in classrooms and burdened with talk and thoughts. Soon my time will come and I will gladly go but for now, I am here. And I should desire to be here for no other reason than because it is exactly where I need to be.
Lord, give me understanding. Let me be humbled before You and desire to seek Your Will for my future. Lord create in me the ability to wait but not be idle in my waiting.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I went with mother to Tyler as soon as Kris left for a day full of pushing her mind and expanding her realm of knowledge.....oh wait, she goes to public school so I really doubt any of that actually happened. :sigh:
I got some new toys from Best Buy and mom did a little Christmas shopping for everyone. It was fantastic.
Afterwards I had to pick T-man up from school (not public...stories are soon to come that will explain further why I despise public school) then take him home till Tres or Trey got there.
So I take mom home, help her get everything out of the car, straighten up the house a bit, then pick up Trev. From the time he got in the car until I left him a few hours later he was a non-stop fountain of knowledge. It was....well, fun. I honestly enjoyed every second of listening to him spout out the things he's learned recently in preschool. Heck, at one point during a movie we were all watching Tresa asked, "I wonder if this could actually happen in real life? That would be really cool."
His response, "No! Duh! This movie is fiction!"
Tres and I looked at each other.....
Then we looked at Trev.....
He's THREE!! lol
This kid amazes me to no end! Seeing what having a 2:6 ratio of teachers to students has done for him has really further encouraged me to homeschool my kids (should I ever have any). But my breaking point came this afternoon....
The final brick in the wall that I've been slowly building over the years around my public and homeschool beliefs.....
Kris sent a twitter after one of her finals today that said, "English test was easy cheesy! We got to use our quizzes...guess what? The test WAS our quizzes!!"
How freakin pathetic?? She didn't have to study a darn thing. No research. No effort. Nothing. She walks away with nothing.
I've had it both ways and I believe without a doubt homeschool is better.
So then comes the argument: "Homeschooling your children makes them unsocialized!" Uhm, for starters...have you even looked up the word "unsocialized"? Yeah, didn't think so. Secondly, I know plenty of homeschooled children that are perfectly well rounded and fit in just fine. I feel as though socializing is something the parents should emphasize and teach. Set up play dates at a young age, encourage your child to be social. It's a learned process just like most others.
And the second verse to that same song could very easily be summed up in two simple words...Tim Tebow . Yes, Tim Tebow, QB for the Florida Gators. He was homeschooled and look at his life now. (Google him if you don't know his story)
Why am I even arguing this point? eh, I don't know.
So, to the point.. After leaving Trev's house I concluded I had very little desire to be home so soon so I drove around town looking for something to do. After realizing what a sucker I was for thinking there would actually be something to do in Rusk, I stopped my search and ended up just driving around aimlessly. But even that got boring so I raised the stakes a little. I was already headed to Alto, unaware of the fact I do believe, so when I saw the sign to Linwood I formed an idea. First, let me explain something.... I've never successfully driven in the dark by myself through the path I'm about to take. The path you ask? From 69 headed to Alto, through Linwood, then through Atoy and back to Rusk. I am forever getting lost! I know, to most it seems like a simple route but without fail, I get lost every time I try.
So, I've got the sun roof open and Wisin & Yandel turned up, it's just me and the open road. What a rush. Okay, not so much on this journey (due to external factors, namely: mom and my intense fear of my actions causing her to worry).
Long story shorter since I no longer have any interest whatsoever in this post, I made it home safe and sound. Boring right? yeah, I agree. So let me tell you the good part then be done with this.
On the way home I had been trying to send a text to an out of state friend of mine but being that I was still driving in the middle of no where, I had absolutely no service. Also, in build up to the short story, I'd like you to factor that after all the driving around I did pre-Linwood, it's been close to 35 mins since I left t-man and Tresa's house (about 10-15 mins away from my home) and Mom knew that. I knew she would be concerned and that was something I tried to avoid when at all possible.
Here I am in the middle of basically nowhere with no usable cell phone and the thought of a worrying mother at home, coupled with having to fight the urge to drive faster not only for the rush but to get home (or somewhere with service) so I could ease my mothers mind....
That of course takes the fun out of my clear night and open roads.
But then out of nowhere I hear that gay noise my phone makes when I get a text.... pleasantly surprised I look down at the phone sitting in my lap to make sure it hadn't just been wishful thinking. Nope. 1 New Message.
Mom sent me a message at the exact time I had enough service to receive it. (I know because I checked the time stamp on the message to make sure she hadn't sent it half an hour before and been worrying ever since) The message said, "You left at 5:45. Where are you? Im worried." Classic mom.
So I responded with a quick (since I'm on 343 at this point) "Im fine"
"k. wanted to make sure you werent in a ditch" Again, classic mom.
"Okay then, back to my Tyler" (she was watching UNC)
And I was back to enjoying the open roads.
As soon as I finished reading mom's last message I went to my text I had been trying to send since I set out on this (now seemingly pointless) journey and pushed resend. As luck would have it I no longer had service.
Funny thing is, I no longer cared. I was in the middle of a valley , with dense woods on either side of me when I got that message from mom. There is no logical reason I should have had service---none. But then again, who needs logic when you have faith. ;)
Coincidence? Luck? Call it what you want, I say I have an amazing God who is mindful of what's going on--always.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
As most of you know, Mom was having surgery that same day so I wasn't sure how it was all going to work out. We had to be at the hospital around 7:30 Thursday and the surgery was scheduled for 9. It was an hour and a half procedure and the recovery that was soon to follow could have lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to the following day... so we were told. It would just depend on how Mom responded to everything. A few summers ago when she went under for gastrointestinal stuff it took 3 hrs for her to recover from the anesthesia but we were all (esp me) hoping it wouldn't take that long this time..
Long story shorter, Dr. Duncan finished 30 minutes early but the recovery time ended up taking muuucch longer than we hoped. . .
We didn't leave the hospital until 4:15. . .
Glenn was scheduled to be at Hastings at 5. . .
I had a problem.
In hindsight it was no big deal. I had to wait a lot longer in line then I would have liked but in the end, it was more than worth it. This guy behind us in line, Joel, told us he was one of the first people in line but had been there since 1:30... He had got back in line with his friend after Glenn had already signed his book. (he was on KETK too! That was fun.)
There were hundreds of [the nicest] people there along with David Smoak (I will never get over how young he looks! lol Hes almost 50 but he looks like he's just in his late 30s) and KTBB who was doing promotional stuff and passing out food and whatnot.
I was surprised when it was my turn to have Glenn sign my book, at how soft his hands were. lol
And he had the warmest smile! He looked down at my Border Patrol shirt (surprisingly I didn't see many people there wearing any of his merchandise) then reached out his hand, smiled and said thank you. I'm not even sure if I said anything back.. lol between the surprisingly soft hands, the gentle smile and the fact that I had just met Glenn...my brain was kinda like on auto-pilot I think.
It was too busy in there for a conversation or anything but I hope I at least said your welcome or thank you or SOMETHING back! lol
There was a guy from the Beck Team that said he could sign 600 books in an hour.
and I'm guessing this is why! lol
I was out in minutes!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In one day and 3-ish hours I will be standing in the same room as this guy here-->
I'M STOKED! I've wanted to meet him since I was like 16! And I can't believe I actually get to in less than two days. It's fantastic.
This is what I'll be wearing.... His fundraiser shirt for Agents Ramos and Compean
and I'll have him sign this....
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This show is gonna be fantastic! Just what I need too.... another show to record every week. (note the sarcasm) Honestly though, I really am kinda excited about it and I know Rick is too cause of the Coast Guard! lol
Monday, December 8, 2008
Today is a day of rejoicing! I am free in Jesus because he broke me. It took so long, too long, for me to get to this place. But I am here. Only because of Jesus.
I have been searching for contentment for a long time. It seemed like I was drowning while waiting for true joy, but I didn't fervently try to rise above the waves. Honestly, I've been comfortable in this somewhat melancholy and mediocre life I've been living for the past year. God has been drawing me to something bigger, but I didn't fully accept His offering. So I held onto some walls that were between God and I. I hid behind them, I painted them, made them look pretty good, but they were still solid walls. Jesus loved me fiercely and challenged me during this time, but I still didn't rest in His ideas of joy.
As I began to face these barriers between Jesus and I, my heart started to soften. I was realizing the extent of my selfishness. I was clearly seeing the "stuff" I needed to give completely to God. And then today, oh what a day, it happened. I was quiet...finally, quiet. I knew that I was ready to change my attitude and my focus. So, as simple as it sounds, I did. God took all the junk that's been clouding my image of him, put it out of my hands, and I finally let him.
I can't get over this joy! I'd been begging God for joy, asking others to do the same for me. But today was different because I let go of fear...of control. Wow!!! I am here, Jesus. I'm here, content and ready for You. I sensed You were preparing me for something this year, and I now understand your faithfulness so much more. Even if this understanding of joy is Your big thing, that's more than enough. But God, if You want more of me, challenge me. I'm ready, willing, and excited about this new-found, newly-understood part of who You are. Teach me to love like You love and to want what You want. I am amazed by You.
With a title like "Count It All Joy," I wanted to sing its truth last night, but I couldn't yet. Then today, after spending time with Jesus, I began to hum this song. We are burdened, broken people. We are undeserving. We are beautiful because of Jesus. Let's count it all joy. Joy, joy, joy! Thank you, Jesus. You are the giver and maker of joy.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
We serve a gracious, loving, empowering Father. After hearing mom replay what had happened today in her doctor visit I realized tomorrows plans I had made would have to be put off or cancelled completely, pushing me even further behind. I was feeling anxious and disappointed and then really, really down on myself because I hadn't been more content with the change for the sake of my mother. Selfishness is something I've been really struggling with lately and once again I had let it win.
After that, I felt God's push for me to go spend some alone time with Him. More desperate for Him than ever before, I went to my room, spread my Bible and journal out before me, and waited. Come on God I thought. Just speak to me, tell me what you want from me. As I should have known, it wasn't that easy, and I praise God for stretching me.
Sitting with God, seeking Him in his word, and resting before Him was just what he wanted from me. It was so simple! I have been trying so diligently to figure out what I've been missing, and God had been asking me to just rest. He wants me to just rest before Him, get away from myself, and focus on Him. Tonight, as a result, I am choosing to rest, pursue God, and stop thinking so much about myself. How do I stop this prideful habit of putting me before all else? I'm making it a daily prayer, asking others to keep me accountable, and practicing writing about anyone but myself. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
These words are simply amazing. I have to say that this song is my favorite at Christmas. I love the praise it gives Jesus, and still, it challenges me to be humble before Him. I've been battling with a lot lately; a lot of inner pain and discontent. I realized how little I was trusting Jesus and how little time I'd been spending with Him. And then, I discovered how great my doubt had become. I was no longer seeing Jesus in His majesty. As God began to soften my heart and reveal this to me, He reminded me of this song, In The Bleak Midwinter. I am so in awe of how God knows me. He is this powerful, beautiful King, yet He wants me to sit with Him as His child. Wow. Oh man, I still have so much to learn.
And today, I have been physically stretched. My body is exhausted, but I am completely content. Maybe it's the joys of Christmas, the decorations popping up everywhere, carols filling my room, the bite in the crisp winter air. Or maybe it's the hope of Jesus, a man humbly entering earth as a baby and holding His sovereignty at the same time. I love this Jesus of ours. He is good. So good. And He gives us rest. He gives us joy! He gives us people to love us, challenge, and enjoy us. Thanks for this time of year, Jesus. I love the simple joys of Christmas, but mostly, I love better understanding Your love for me.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I'll update better when I have more time.
I finished The Christmas Sweater a few days ago and I must say, even with the expectations I had given it, it was still 1ooo times better than I thought it would be. I'm anticipating meeting Glenn even more now and cannot wait to see The Christmas Sweater- ENCORE in a few weeks!
I worked with Jacob and Jared all day today and it was awesome! Gosh I love those kids! And it's not just those two, it's the entire school setting that I just can't get enough of! When we were letting the kids go to their buses at the end of the day this little boy came up to me and gave me this snowflake I had watched him make. It was so adorable!
I passed one of the teachers in the hall after I dropped the kids off at lunch and she smiled and said she was glad I was feeling better ( I didn't even know she knew I was sick). That totally made my day... or helped make it. The entire day was just amazing. This is like the greatest job in the whole entire world. I'm convinced of this and you would be hard pressed to make me feel otherwise.
Anyway, I've got to get to the hospital. Mom is over there alone and I don't like that (I'm sure she doesn't either).
Catch me on Twitter later for quick updates.
Races faster than my pen
I could write the greatest poem
The world has ever known
To catch the thoughts as they come
My pen in rhythm
With the beats
Of my heart
Pouring out emotion
Faster than my pen can set it down
The ink flows like blood
Coursing with feeling
Not flowing fast enough
Those are the nights
I feel I could write
Something that is
A good poem
A great poem
Something that is great
Is not one of those nights
It is one of those
Is a labor
My pen would love to race on
If the ink starts flowing
Let it flow
Thoughts come too slow too
Lines are disjointed
I wonder why
Ramble, ramble, ramble
The writing continues
But the words mean nothing
I'm rolling a ball up a hill
To see it roll behind me
Waiting for a thought
Like a wound
That's when it really hurts
Still the poem tries
Even though its dying
That are so painful
This is one of those nights.
Hands tightly grip the wheel
Reluctantly, I release
My foot flinches to the right-
ready, but scared
It puts pressure on the gas
and I am moving forward
Steadily, I flow into a world unknown to this heart
The complete sense of peace overwhelms my smile
All I have sought,
yet never before enjoyed this much
Leaves dance around swaying trees
Sondre soothes my ears
This is bliss
There was no plan-
Just foot to pedal
Foot to pedal
And I was off
Onto a road of joy
of rest and of peace
You are the greatest Giver
The greatest Mover
Hold my hand
Grab it in yours and lead me
Take me through the woods
Through the trees
The falling leaves
Through the darkness
Apart from you
I run aimlessly
Through the falling leaves
Through the darkness
I long to follow
I get lost
You hold my hand
Even in my weakness
You intertwine my fingers in yours
Warmth fills my body
I had to reach for that hand, though
I grabbed, accepted
Pursuing your hand
I want to know
And follow hard after you
Forgive my wandering heart
My hand that seeks another
In my self-love
I have become lost
Make me less
Hold my hand, dear Jesus
I will follow
And run after you
Friday, November 28, 2008
Days like Thanksgiving are great days for families. We come in from near and far to join together and appreciate one another. The memories you make on days like today are ones you carry with you, tucked deep inside yet easily accessible, for years to come. The laughter that fills the house during the holidays, lingers in your ears long after the decibels drop. These days, the holidays, are special days.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
(hopefully saying that will take some pressure off writing it and I'll be able to actually finish it.......)
Now that my strep throat has pretty much gone away and my body doesn't feel so yuckie.... we'll see what happens with Words.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I had a general idea of what needed to be said but so far no actual words were coming together. That is, until I decided to give the writing a rest for a while and go online for a bit. Out of habit I went straight to my email where, aside from the now 412 Spam messages I had in my Spam folder (gr!), I had a new email from my cousin Kimmy Jo (who btw, I miss dearly!! She is such a joy to be around!). I read it and was blown away by how perfect it was for my new post!! Such an unexpected answer for my prayers!
I've just spent the last few minutes thanking Him for his answer and now I'm working on getting Words. Part II finished for yall. So, keep an eye out for it in the days ahead. I'm not feeling well still or I'd have it all finished in a few hours or so.
There is a lot to be said and I hope it's received the way it needs to be. No, I don't "hope", I've been tending the fields expecting God to send the rain because I have faith and I know it will come! There is no more hoping with this one. I'm excited about how this is coming together! And I cannot wait to see what greatness echoes out from it!! =)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm sick. And we're talking major bodily pain here. ugh! Fever, chills, pain-- the works!
I wish my mommy were still awake 'cause even though there is nothing she can actually do to make me better she can, with her words, do wonders that no doctor could ever come close to doing.
Owww!!! =( I'm trying hard not to cry right now. Why am I still typing, prolonging my agony, and not in bed now? Good question.
Oh wait, maybe the answer is somewhere in this novel's worth of things that needed to be done like, yesterday. . .
This fast-paced, deadline driven society is getting old--fast!
I just want my mommy.
Now then, with that aside let me get on to the short and long of this post. . . . hmm, what was it again I was going to talk ab.... oh yes! (told you I felt bad! I honestly can't even think clearly) I need a trumpet asap. A silver Bb Bach would be fantastic but at this point I hate to be picky.
Why do I need a trumpet, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. See in a few short days I, Lauren Nicole, will be auditioning to play for JBC's choir/ensemble!! You can't tell it now because I feel so awful, but I'm totally stoked about it!
I'm not even sure how it all came about but I went to get the Spring schedule from JBC and that somehow led to me talking to Bro Orr about playing under G-Robb which (long story short) led to him telling me to call and schedule an appointment to work with him on some of the music they are working on.
Enough for now. My head is feeling all fuzzy again and I can tell my sentence structure is slipping, sorry. I'll edit this later. I just wanted to keep my non-local friends updated. Of course if you'd all just get on Twitter this kind of blog post could become a thing of the past. . . ;) jk, I don't mind one bit.
Isaiah 5:20-23 (NASB)
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!
22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
Time changes so many things. For instance, in 1950 a person could have been asked the question, "How important is it to know the difference between right and wrong?" and the response could have sounded something like this: "Knowing the difference between right and wrong is foundational for all people in society. Without it there would be chaos!"
There would have been no question as to whose definition would be used to determine right and wrong, most people understood or at least agreed on what was acceptable and what was not.
That's not the world we live in anymore, is it? In fact, if we asked the same question to high school students today, their response would most likely begin with a qualification of terms: "Whose standard of right and wrong are we talking about?" This is the byproduct of a worldview which owns no absolutes. And given the human tendency to justify actions rather than change, we have only begun to see the extremes to which human depravity can go.
The Bible is clear that discerning between right and wrong is important, but only as God is our standard. We are seeing the realization of Isaiah's prophecy being lived out before us, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
We as Christians must struggle against the tide which is building momentum in our world. We must embrace the truth of Scripture and the instruction God gives us to be people of light. For, submitting ourselves to God's high moral standard is not the absence of sophistication as some would say, it is the presence of wisdom! Stand up for Truth, or you will be swept away with the teachings of the world.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
These thoughts are usually what makes up my nightly routine of calming down in order for me to fall asleep. I find myself in this mix of being excited, worried, sad, and content amongst other things, and it's hard to regulate it all in order for me to fall asleep because it all hits me at critical mass around now. I've found that breathing and praying really help tremendously, but I've found the best way to fall asleep is to tell myself, "Be happy you're in bed right now," because there are so many comforting pros to it.
I'm alone in the sense that no one is bothering me, hurting me, asking anything of me, or stressing me out.
I'm not working.
I'm not running late to work, or any scheduled appointment.
It's as if I've entered a safe zone where nothing can affect me in any way. With that, I'm heading to bed.
What will always make me distraught yet depressed is, to some, words hold only simple definitions if that. Sometimes I feel I will never be heard, seen, felt, or known by some whom were most important, and by that, reasoning behind their importance will be unknown to them but not lost. It still remains in me, but without the means of escaping into their being.
Perhaps one day my words will travel across oceans, but now they don't seem to travel farther than my doorstep, much less do I feel the urge to throw them any farther, which could be the problem within itself. Maybe one day some words will be revealed to me and my importance will be discovered. Maybe that will give me the strength to give the words to those whom were once important, whom could be important once again.
-Glenn Beck is going to be in Tyler soon and I'm getting pretty excited about that as well. I learned today that The Christmas Sweater- ENCORE is going to be playing in Lufkin on the 18th and you can bet your lucky boots that I'll be there!
-Loud noises have started to bother me. I think it comes from being home alone so often. The same thing happened when I first started homeschooling (going from being around an entire school full of crazy youngsters to being at home in a comfortable, small-ish environment) I was in Wal-Mart the other night just wasting time before getting mom from the doctor and I was wearing Bryans Army shirt... someone dropped something behind me and after I reacted the guy next to me said, "Wow, you must have thought it was a bomb or something, huh?" I was like, huh?? But then I put it all together and corrected him.
-Metallica is going to be in Houston in two days. I thought I might get to go but plans have changed (namely, I have to work...bummer)
-The family Christmas trip is just around the corner and I'm stoked... not really but I keep hoping that if I tell myself enough then I will start to actually get a little excited. The family is going to be shopping and I'll be finishing up my cpr/first aid training (psh. like it's ever really "finished".. there is always more you can learn! I'm a firm believer in that)
I'm looking forward to it but more so than that is the Stars game that night that I will most definitely be at!! Stars-Sharks, it's going to be fantastic!
-When I run in the mornings I turn on the ol' iPod and indulge my senses with a little Run to Cadence with the Navy SEALs..... my favorite being Running Through the Jungles and Hey There Ladies hahaha I always crack up when the latter one starts playing... its just too cute! I think I've told this story before but to ensure you understand why it is I'm listening to a bunch of Navy SEALs chant to one another I'll tell it again.
When I was living at Sandra's last year I plugged my iPod into the computer in the hall cause Maegan had my laptop (I have programs created/installed that she needed and didn't have on hers). All I planned on doing was let it charge overnight so I'd have something to listen to on the way to Round Rock for one of Caleb's Jui-Jitsu tournaments.... but the stupid thing automatically deleted all my music and added Caleb and Ryan's even though I told it not to! And me, not having my own computer could do nothing at the time to regain my own sweet melodies.... I was pretty ticked too cause I had just added the new Demon Hunter CD and I was justifiably stoked I was going to have hours to listen to it uninterrupted!! Nevertheless, I explored Caleb's playlists during the journey and was rather pleased with his taste. All that to say, one morning I was running and listening to songs randomly and one if the cadences started playing and I LOVED it! =) Now thats pretty much all I listen to when I work out. Unless, like lately, I've had a craving for Metallica...
It has been recently drawn to my attention that I have a problem with saying good-bye.
But alas, the time has come for yet another good-bye and like always I am hesitant, fearing something has been left unsaid without hope of being brought up again. Strange, I know. It's like all things cease to exsist after the words are issued.
Good-bye for now?
It's almost time to start making arrangements for the Spring semester and I couldn't be more pleased with how everything is working out. Life is good. Yes, I lost a friend last week and that's still very fresh on my mind but other than that, life is good and foolish though it may be to suggest, I feel there is very little that could create in me a greater sense of pleasure and contentedness then I have now.
The year isn't totally over yet, but like I said, it's drawing near. I definitely have some things to go through before all is said and done and school starts back up again. How do I feel about the second half of this year? About everything? There are so many mixed feelings. This summer has been one that has tested my thoughts, my beliefs and faith, my ideals, my strengths and weaknesses, my mind, and most importantly my heart. I don't believe there is a word in the English language that could possibly explain how I feel about my Summer, but I can say that I'm breathing, that I'm smiling, that I'm doing my best, and I still have faith, love and family. That's all anyone could really ask for isn't it?
The Fall has proven tricky with Bryan being deployed and school not going the way I would have liked it to but still, I've experienced blessings I didn't even come close to deserving, grown in ways I never thought I would and loved stronger than ever before so, even if I had the least desire, I can't complain.
More or less it's a much more interactive form of universal mass text (and can also be used to update your Facebook status. I've never used it that way but I'll give details later on), and it's really making some changes in the way we get our news and interact with people. Twitter has been used as a search and rescue tool during hurricanes and earthquakes, and it's been used to get breaking news out faster than any other outlet of information. It bailed a college student out of jail while traveling abroad (alone) and has started viral internet phenomenons (like Sarah Palin "Little Known Facts"). I takes a little time but you can see from my side column >>> how much fun Twitter can be if you get to using it.
"How does it work?"
First off, go to http://www.twitter.com and make an account. Of course after that, everything seems a bit taunting. You don't have any followers, you're not really following anyone, but don't fret. First off you can follow me (Lauren42 is my username), and then check out some of the people I'm following.
There are many people to choose from like Kristen14 (my sis) and dallasprosports (for all things sports in the grand city of Dallas...good stuff!), musicians such as Marklee3d (Mark from Third Day....I talked about him once before in reference to Twitter. See Post: @Marklee3d WE ARE... PENN STATE). During the hurricane season I started following a few Coast Guard people that were in District 8 (very helpful!! CoastGuardNews being one of my faves and of course RyanErickson, he's always got some good tweets). If you want to be connected to the rest of the world you can follow people like CnnBrk (I think Fox News has one too... Id have to search its Twitter name though) for breaking news stories or any number of the Google News usernames for any news you want. You can also search local news stations (Case in point, I follow this one guy in Philly that follows NBCPhiladelphia. You usually find this in big cities more so than a little town like Rusk..)
"But why follow these people? What's the point in all this?"
It's all about information and having a laugh, but it doesn't make a lot of sense if that means you're checking another website (at least for some people). That's why you hook it up to your phone so Twitter can send you a text of what your friends/those you are following are doing/thinking/feeling.
It's absolutely free. The only cost is your texting plan. If you have unlimited, you're good to go, but otherwise you'll need to plan your "tweeting" and the "tweets" you receive. What you do is add your phone as a device on Twitter.com like this: "+1903xxxxxxx," and you're set! You'll receive a message from 40404 (which you should save as "Twitter" in your phone book), and you should get to updating and receiving tweets!
Not to worry. You can regulate the tweets you receive. There is an option to turn off text updates to your phone or even for a certain period of time. Example, I have updates turned off from 10 PM to 8 AM for every day. That way I'm not bothered every night by Twitter texts and what you people are doing. And when I have dates I simply text "Off" to 40404, turning off all tweets till I decide to send "On".... easy enough so far, right? =)
That's what really makes Twitter fun, being able to update from your phone. Sometimes there's something that happens right then (like a ninja jumping out from an alleyway to help a stranger cross the road). Sometimes there are moments in our lives we want to share, but we can't since we're not near a computer to write about it. That's where Twitter comes in.
And of course, there's updating from your computer. Sometimes going to the website just to update is kind of silly. That's why there's a bunch of applications you can download. I have one on my desktop that is always up and running giving me updates and letting me post updates, one I can update from my IM client, and I have two on Firefox (for different uses). That way I can update my Twitter extremely easily and quickly.
"But why have another Facebook status?"
That's the thing. It really is you're Facebook status. If you go to Facebook and add the Twitter application, you can click the option to have Twitter's Facebook application update your Facebook status whenever you update Twitter. (I have the app but dont let it update) That way you're communicating not only with just your fellow Twitter users but also with all your friends on Facebook. In all honesty though, you can add Twitter to anything nowadays. It's on Facebook, FriendFeed, Blogger, Myspace, any number of news websites or just general websites, and it's even on World of Warcraft (so Ive heard lol). Yes, people can get THAT obsessed with Twitter.
"How do I use it? Is there a right or wrong way of going about it?"
Well really, you just need to be you and answer "What are you doing?" in 140 characters, but it depends. Some people say you should update with everything EXCEPT what you're doing to make your tweets different. Really the whole point is to make your tweets interesting. You're entertaining your friends here. Make them laugh a bit. I don't care to know you're "Brushing my teeth," "walking out the door," "pulling out of the driveway." I don't need to know every detail about your day to day, but I want to know how you're doing, what's on your mind, etc. Be interesting! Be entertaining!
"What are some of the tricks?"
There are three things really.
First there are @replies. Basically, an @reply directs a tweet at an individual person or replies to a tweet of said person (hence "reply" in "@reply). Say you wanted to say something do me. You'd just type "@Lauren42 blahblahblah." An @reply is also public, so anyone can read it. (there is a more private way to do things... see below)
However, an @reply like said example won't show up on your Facebook status, so no worries about that. People also use @replies to refer to someone they're with like this: "Chilling out at Starbucks with @Lauren42," and that will show up on your Facebook status.
Second are direct messages. Sometimes a twitter conversation doesn't need to be public. Instead you type "d username" to send a direct message to a fellow Twitter user. Example, to talk to me you'd type "d Lauren42 blahblahblah" and I'd receive that tweet and I alone. (side note: if you have said persons cell phone number, just text them! I use direct messages for talking to people I follow like DallasProSports or FaithWords.... and on one such occasion Kristen got her phone taken up in class but had access to a computer so we talked via direct message on Twitter Web) =)
Third are hashtags, which are a little tricky. A hashtag is something that marks your tweet to a specific subject matter and makes it easy to find. I know, a little tough to grasp for someone just entering the Twitter World..
Try this: Go to http://www.search.twitter.com and type in phillies (big surprise that I normally use this feature for searching sports news?! lol)
What you'll find are all sorts of tweets about what's going on with, what people think about, how people feel about the Phillies. Hashtags are usually used for Twitter memes and such. Not everyone goes by them, but a lot of people do. If you tweet enough, you'll learn what the trend is with hashtags and the passing of information. Usually the big events have them like #gustav when hurricane Gustav came into town and Twitter was being used for search and rescue, and #080808 was used for anything and everything going on with the Olympics (hence the Olympics falling on 08/08/08). You won't have to worry too much about hashtags, but don't hesitate to use them if you want to!
Twitter is great fun if you just jump in and start using it! As always you can email me with questions [Lparsons11@gmail.com] or just leave me a comment here. Dont forget to send "follow Lauren42" to 40404 after creating your account! Hope to be hearing some wonderful tweets from you guys in the near future! =)
It had a song on it and I ended up reading the lyrics over and over and it really got me thinking.
Here are the lyrics.... and the thoughts are below the song
Monday, November 17, 2008
He's going to be in Texas on December 11th. He'll be in Tyler at Hastings (on South Broadway for those of you who aren't addicted to expanding your library like I am...or if you just didn't know) from 5:00-6:00 and in north Dallas at Boarders (just off Preston Rd, north of Orchid Ln) from 8:00-9:00.
You can bet your grandma that I'll be in Tyler that night! (that evening Mom has a doctor appointment a few blocks down from Hastings anyway so it works out perfect!)
I couldn't be more pleased! I'm seriously fighting the urge to dance around the room.
- Be specific. Rather than just saying "thank you" to someone after he or she has done something for you, explain what they did specifically and how it affected you. For example "Thank you so much for picking up the groceries today. I've been really busy and I couldn't have done it without you."
- Write a note. A hand-written note or letter of thanks is rare nowadays, which makes it extra special.
- Send flowers. Flowers are a great way to say "thank you". They'll make someone feel appreciated and brighten their day. You don't have to spend a lot of money. Pick up a bouquet of flowers from a local grocery store or (even better!) cut blooms from your garden and deliver them yourself.
- Give a special gift. Gifts don't have to be pricey or overdone. Find out what your friend or coworker likes. Do they like going to the movies? do they love to write? You can get them a gift card, or buy them a journal or pen.
- Pick up the phone. Place an unexpected phone call to say "thank you" to that someone you've been thinking about. You can let them know you are grateful to have them in your life. You'll be glad you called, and so will they.
- Sweeten it up. Leave a piece of chocolate (extra dark is the healthiest!) on someone's chair or desk. You can accompany it with a little note. It's a great way to sweeten their day!
- Bake. Nothing says "thank you" like a batch of homemade cookies. (I have some simple recipes if you're interested in this one...) Home baked treats can make the recipient of you"thank you" feel very appreciated for your time and effort.
- E-card. The Internet is one of the fastest ways to connect with people, especially when they live far and there's a time difference. There are a lot of free E-cards out there to choose from.
- Frame it. A picture says a million words. If a close friend has been there for you lately, and you really want to show your appreciation, frame a picture of the two of you, and note hoe much you appreciate them in your life. Maybe jazz up the frame with a few personal items.
- Mix it up. You and your family members can each write down something to be thankful for on a piece of paper. Mix up the notes in a bowl. At the dinner table, pass the bowl around and have each member select and read a not out loud. Though this can be done at any time, it may be a great way to spend part of your Thanksgiving meal.
No matter what you decide remember: simple gestures go a long way, all year long!
They didn't look super amazing or anything but there is a W in the column so I'm happy... aaaannnddd we are once again ahead of the lame Birds so theres something else to dance about!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Mark 9:20-24 (NASB)
20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
21 And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood
22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!"
23 And Jesus said to him, "'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes."
24 Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief."
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Look at the prayer of this desperate man once again, "But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" Not a powerful cry for help, but a sincere one. This man was at the end of his rope and he didn't know where else to turn. The Lord's response was not a rebuke as much as it was an aid in helping the man refocus. Jesus said, "If You can? All things are possible to him who believes." Notice the aspect of hope, "ALL things are possible to him who believes." What affect did Jesus' words have on this father? The man did not pretend to be something he wasn't, he simply asked for that which only God could give; the ability to truly believe!
Could it really be that easy? Could it really be that simple? Maybe this is what Jesus meant when He said in Matthew 7:7-8, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Therefore, let us ask, and then watch as God builds our faith so we too will know that, "All things are possible to him who believes."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Check out my other blog txunlimited.blogspot.com
I have something totally rockin' posted there for today =)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Veterans Day, once a widely celebrated holiday, is increasingly forgotten by many Americans. One need only look at the poor turnouts at ceremonies on Nov. 11. With the percentage of citizens who have worn a uniform rapidly declining, appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans is correspondingly diminishing.
To help counter this trend, VFW has long promoted Veterans Day as an opportunity to educate the public as to the meaning of this significant time each November. This task can best be accomplished by explaining the five "Ws."
Who. As a nation, we remember all Americans who served on active duty in the armed forces. While those who died always remain prominent in our memories, they have a special time of mourning reserved for Memorial Day. Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans.
What. Collective as well as individual contributions to the nation's defense are what we are remembering. The outcome of any given military campaign is irrelevant here--it's the sacrifices made at the behest of the country that are important.
Where. Across the land, the grounds of virtually every state capitol and county courthouse host monuments, memorials and plaques honoring those who served. They date back as far as the American Revolution and are as recent as the Iraq War. But paying homage to veterans need not necessarily be in a public place. Every private home also should serve this purpose when appropriate.
When. For some Americans, remembering veterans is a daily act. But as a nation, it is essential that we preserve the integrity of Nov. 11 as that one extra-special day for the American people as a whole to pause in silence or demonstrate public recognition.
All of this is particularly relevant now, with the nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly 4,800 Americans have been killed in the two war zones to date. Approximately 1.7 million tours have been logged so far with 600,000 individuals having served there. About 325,000 of them have used VA benefits and services. Many, present as well as past, have displayed exceptional courage on the battlefield, as this month's issue clearly illustrates.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
You SO have to check this site out!! Cayenne pepper is probably my favorite herb now! I might even like it better than Vitamin E (and that's saying a LOT!! lol)
This kind of thing, learning about herbs and vitamins, is so amazing to me! I can't help but be excited when I come across new information or like tonight, new herbs/vitamins in general.
I'm still so excited by my discovery so my sentences are pretty lame and have the quality of a 7 year old, sorry! lol I can't seem to help it though...
I'm like [seriously] fighting the urge to jump up and down and maybe even dance around the room a little. lol
Anyway, check it out! It's super cool!! Let me know what you think of it too! I'd love to know!! =)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I Peter 2:13-17 (NASB)
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men
16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
Votes have been tallied, choices have been made, and a direction has been set. Regardless of one's personal opinion for the selection of our nation's leaders, today is a day of unity. God knew the outcome of our elections long before the results came in last night and now it is time for us to rally around our new leaders just as God commanded us.
Look at Peter's words here, "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right." In Romans 13:1 Paul offered the same instruction, and revealed to us that our government officials were set in place by God Himself, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."
Therefore, let us follow the instructions of the Lord and pray for our newly elected President Obama and the cabinet which he will assemble for his administration. In doing this, we are obeying and honoring God. "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
If the Stars had pulled off a win the day would have been perfect!
The real test to the weekend will be my Cowboys.....
Our D has got to stop Dunn! They just have to! Johnson has to stay calm and look for smart plays. And if our RBs aren't more productive, all is lost. Barber needs to make more of the plays when he has the chance and dang it, our WRs need to do the same! TO has been avg to say the least and Roy Williams needs to show what he's made of! It's a team effort....team....one team, my Cowboys. They can pull off the win today if they just play like a team. Such a cliche sentence but still oh so true!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
That being said, congrats to the Phils tonight on their win! Chase was amazing, like always and Hamels did what he does best-play great ball. Wish Rollins would get his bat going more.. wish the same for Howard too but if not then I'm glad to see guys like Vic and Chase getting things done for the Phils. Werth had some good hits tonight as well, I was impressed.
Enough on baseball though...
I've lost focus on some things in life and these past few days I've tried to figure out how to change that or if I even want to see it changed. Last night I was going through my AOL email account, one I check maybe once every two months now that Ty doesn't email me there anymore, and I came across some emails that really slapped me in the face.
I posted bits of some but its what I didn't post that I can't seem to get out of my head. In my rediscovery of past correspondence I all too eagerly went to my desk and pulled out the old pictures he sent me of him in Iraq and of his family in FL. It felt so surreal to see those smiling faces surrounding him in the pictures. His two kids...wow, it was like I was seeing them look up at an empty space grinning from ear to ear rather than Ericka with her cute little pig-tails and Tyrell with his boyish smirk and quizzical brow starring up at their daddy. I cried-- I cried and couldn't stop myself. For what seemed like hours I read and reread his letters and surveyed every inch of the pictures of his once cherished family.
I've stopped speaking up for guys like him and it's brought in me a guilt I cannot even begin to describe. I started a website at the beginning of the year.. it was a place meant to rally support for our troops and to put approved information about the war accompanied by a chat room and Internet forum.. it was rockin! But this summer I got distracted and stopped working on it. At the time I thought the distraction was worth it but after going back and remembering what I was being distracted from I realize, it really wasn't...or was it?
So, as I sit here trying to find the drive to get this website finished I wonder, is it even worth it? Such a loaded question but one I feel must be answered before I can move on.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I found some old letters, emails and pictures from Ty tonight.... its been a sad night for sure.
My kids are little Angels. Erika 3, and Tyrell (aka Buddy) 2. I know all parents say this but they are beautiful and very intelligent. They show me what love and patience are.
I hate to think what all has changed over time for them.
I like that you have a passion for learning; most people never take the time to go look up those unanswered questions. If I had to choose something to be passionate about, that is definitely a keeper.
Loved this guy! Miss him more.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
In his autobiography, My American Journey, Colin L. Powell tells of an experience when he was a colonel in Korea.
Powell had worked hard to carry out the wishes of his commanding officer, Major General "Gunfighter" Emerson. It was not an order that he agreed with. It was an attempt to impress a visiting dignitary and he felt it was a waste of time and energy for his men. Nevertheless, he dutifully accomplished the assignment.
When the ordeal was finished, Powell felt like a fraud. With his head drooping, he was visibly embarrassed. A first sergeant fell into step with him as he walked away. "That was a hoot, sir, wasn't it?"
"It was stupid," Powell blurted out. "I hate to see the troops do stupid things. And I hate to be the one responsible for it."
The sergeant was quiet for a time. "Colonel Powell, don't worry. We don't know what that was all about. But the men know you wouldn't have cooked up something that dumb on your own. They trust you. They won't hold it against you. We went along because you needed it. Relax, sir."
It was this next paragraph in General Powell's story that struck me. "In all my years in the Army, among all the citations, medals and promotions, I never appreciated any tribute more than I did the sergeant's words at that low point."
Here is one of the most admired and respected men in the world, who was deeply affected by the kind and supportive words of a subordinate. I wouldn't be surprised if that sergeant doesn't even remember saying what he did to Colin Powell that night.
No doubt there have been people in your life who have said something to you that inspired or encouraged you at an important time.
We all affect everyone else. And we rarely know when it's had an impact on someone. What we say, what we do and how we are being, can make a profound impression on others. If we're constantly looking for ways to encourage and support others, we will surely make a difference.
Who can you encourage today?
O/D stands for Over Drive. In basic terms it is another gear. If your transmission is a three speed, the O/D makes it a four speed. It is comparable to fifth gear in a manual transmission. The reason for the O/D is to let the engine work less harder while maintaining the same vehicle speed. It does save fuel on the highway and that is the main reason for it.
Whether you should leave it on or off depends a great deal on where you drive. If most, say 50% to 75% of your driving is local city driving below 40 mph, you should leave it off. If most of your driving is highway above 45 mph, then it would be best to leave it on.
Dont laugh, I seriously had no idea what O/D meant and it freaked me the heck out when it flashed on my car the other day lol