Friday, January 30, 2009

More Snowy Fun

Ryan all cozy and snug in his "office." Right after this he asked me to move the radiator closer to him so he could be even more cozy.

Ryan, ready to brave the ice & snow (he still has a cough, so we were trying to keep him extra-bundled). And he had just taken a shower, so he had wet hair.
My little tagalong was fascinated with my hairbrush. This provided at least 15 minutes of silent fun. I really mean silent. If I hadn't been sitting right there watching him, I'da thought he was doing something bad!

25 Random Things About Me

So... I've gotten tagged I think 5 times now.  No one need feel obligated to post, but if you're reading this and feel inspired to tell all about yourself, please consider yourself tagged. :)

1. The longest I have ever been at the same school was college- Furman for four full, expensive years. :)
2. I've been to every type of school I can think of: U.S. public, U.S. private, homeschool, classical school, bi-lingual (French-English), foreign public (Ecole Elementaire Publique de Chateaugay), foreign private Catholic (St. Cecile in Cebazat, France), and boarding school (college). I also commuted to college from my parents' house one year.
3. My favorite model of education is the classical method, especially when combined with home-schooling in the primary and middle school years. I now teach in a classical home-school/school (we have the kids 2 days a week, and tell the parents what to teach them 3 days at home).
4. I completed the Pre-Health Certificate requirements in college even though I was a music education major.
5. I still dream of becoming a nurse-midwife (Master of Science of Nurse Midwifery) -- I even know what schools I want to go for for my second bachelor's (BSN), and my master's.
6. All of my closest friends are older than I am, including my husband.
7. In college, my roommate and I shared our first name, telephone, classes, textbook, major department (music), clothes, and shoes. Is it any wonder we picked nicknames for ourselves?
8. My college nickname was Jocelyn, and a good many college buddies still refer to me and call me that. (My roomie took on the name Trinity. I still call her Trin, usually.)
9. I currently am a preschool teacher as well as a middle-school and high-school choir teacher. I'm about to step in as the high school chemistry substitute.
10. I want to have lots of children, and pray often about adoption and foster-parenting as a part of that. Ryan says "we'll see." =D
11. I enjoy writing curriculum.
12. I believe correct grammar and a grasp of how grammar works is absolutely essential to good communication and grasp of a language. Yep, that's why I'm a classical school teacher... and it helps that I've had to learn several foreign languages and understand their grammar.
13. A huge pet peeve of mine is misplaced apostrophes.
14. I speak/read/write English, French, and Spanish fluently, and can take on an Argentine, Castillian, or Guatamalan accent for the latter. I can read and translate Latin fairly well (especially with my handy dictionary close-by). I also can understand and stumble along in Italian, Catalan, and Portuguese (on my study abroad in Italy I somehow wound up translating at times... scary).
15. I'm super-excited that my husband's in seminary, mostly because I plan to read and learn along with him.
16. I dream of learning Greek and Hebrew. Irish Gaelic, too. :)
17. I also dream of one day hiking the entire Appalachian trail.
18. My senior year of college, I worked three jobs (only one of them paying), and commuted half an hour one-way to both my student teaching site and my university. The three jobs were: student teaching intern in an elementary school, student chaplain on-call at Greenville Memorial Hospital, and catering assistant at Furman's catering business (I HATE Aramark). I was also planning a wedding, trying to spend some time with my family, taking my last college class, and job-hunting 4 states away. The Lord showed His power to sustain-- me, and especially my poor fiance who bore the brunt of my exhaustion!
19. Countries starting with the letter "I" hold a special fascination for me; Israel, Ireland, Iceland, India, and Indonesia all beckon me. I want to backpack across Iceland. Ryan, are you reading this? :)
20. I have Celiac's disease (I can't digest gluten, the protein in most grains), as well as a severe soy intolerance. Thank the Lord I'm no longer lactose-intolerant, too. Yeah, the fact that I'm allergic to life doesn't stop the Szrama-mobile from gallivanting around the globe. :)
21. My dad's paternal family has a lot of Irish blood (my dad, his brother and his sister all have or have had red hair)-- I blame that for my love of all things Irish. I research Irish myths and history, and in college won a contest for my research paper on early Irish music. If you ever want to get me fired up about it, you're in for a long conversation!! :)
22. My new hero in the faith is "St." Patrick. That man was zealous for the Savior he loved, and a deeply committed pastor of his people. His writings drip Gospel and Christ-centeredness. He reads like the Apostle Paul, Augustine, CS Lewis, CJ Maheny and John Piper, when it comes to deeply enjoying and finding satisfaction in the Triune God.
23. Green beans still make me shudder.
24. As a child, my greatest disappointment was finding out that there was no frontier anymore. I really wanted to be a pioneer. I make up for it by still trying to do everything "in-house" that I can. Waste not, want not, you know!
25. I am at heart an introvert, despite being tagged as an extrovert by everyone when they first meet me. Hey! Just because you can talk to anyone doesn't mean you really are eager to share your inmost soul to them, or that you want to talk when you're thinking through something!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grown-Up Sleepovers!

Well, as I write, I am curled up with my old pal Scout the cat next to me. When did we get a cat? Well, never. :) Some of you long-time readers may remember my companion from two summers ago, when I lived with Glen & Bethany Moore, an Immanuel couple. Well, I'm back at their house, along with Ryan, Lyle, and another family from Immanuel/ Glen & Ryan's work. Why all the fun? Well, we just like having 7 adults and two babies in one house! Well... maybe more because the power is out all over Louisville, including dear little Top Porch. Ryan just went by there to check on it, and it's now 34 degrees in our living room. What's the use of having gas central heat if you still need electricity to run it!??? I do not know.

It's been a very fun break, though. Ryan didn't have to go IN to work until lunch time today, but was able to work from the Moore's house. I got lots of grading done (it had piled up during prep for the Christmas Concert), played with the babies, and did some communal cooking. Ryan & I had fun tramping through the snow, digging out our car (which performed like a champ-- we were so thankful to God for a reliable car right now!), and roughing it here in the Moore's living room. I'd never met Scott & Sunshine, and really enjoyed talking to Sunshine and playing with their baby, Jude. Of course, Ryan & I adore "little D"-- the Moore's baby, whom we've babysat before. Last night we all ate all sorts of leftovers
which everyone combined, and then I
got to make a cold-weather favorite-- Tapioca Pudding!

My choir papers lie in neat piles about me, most of them now graded, alphabetized into packets, and entered into my gradebook! I just emailed out a lesson plan to all the girls in my class, which required me to import ALL their family email addresses and create a sending list in my school email account. Why did I have to do that now? Well, usually our school office handles all the emails, but on Wednesday our school webmaster had a baby, AND all the power went down at the school, including I believe the server. So...I figured I'd better do it myself if I wanted the kids to actually have a chance to do any of their assignments. Anyway, I'm happy with my "work" done today, and am very excited about going on to more "fun" things... like reading! I've still got Wives & Daughters to finish-- it was too good to rush-- Girl Meets God to finish (it's mostly a re-read--excellent, by Lauren Winner) by Saturday, a chapter in Because He Loves Me to finish by tonight's Book Study, and a chapter in Fabricating Jesus; how modern scholars distort the Gospels, which I'm reading along with Ryan for his "Person & Work of Jesus" class! It's really easy reading, and quite thought-provoking. I'll probably write a whole post on IT! :) Oh yes, and there's always my journal to keep up... I'm a busy girl-- give me a day of peace and quiet and nowhere, no way to go, and I'm HAPPY!! :)

(Little D is taking a nap, or else I'd be sorely tempted to just play with him! He is SOOOO cute!)

Thankful for Christian brotherly hospitality,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

check out Wed Jan 14'ths post

...i finally got it to upload the image properly so that i could post it... don't know what the hangup was before... but it's up now; better late than never?

Snow Days Are a Teacher's Best Friend

I was a little concerned last night around 11, when nothing was falling from the sky at all, and I was feeling very very tired.  
Let me explain...  Lyle went with us to Moe's, then tux-fitting (we talked- about weddings, of course,- while Ryan got all measured), and then to Best Buy.  There he picked up Wall-E, I think as a very belated Christmas gift for his dad (Lyle's dad, if you are somehow reading this blog, I am so very sorry I just ruined it for you. :/).  Once we got home, the boys somehow convinced me to stay up and watch it with them, reassuring me with weather forecasts and satellite images that we WOULD have enough snow and ice to warrant school being cancelled Tuesday.  Wall-E was very much enjoyed-- it's amazing how much they are able to convey without dialogue; just electronic beeps, chirps, and grrrs as well as emotion wonderfully depicted with posture and eye shape.  I was very impressed.  I also loved the Hello Dolly clips interspersed throughout the movie-- Nicole, I thought of you & I trying to sing those songs.  We got the melodies right, at least... :)

So that led me to being still awake at 11 (barely), and wondering what I'd wear to school in the morning... which was looking very dark and soon.

I was a little concerned last night around 11, when nothing was falling from the sky at all, and I was feeling very very tired.
Well, by the Grace of God, we DID have a snow day, as Ryan assured me when my alarm went off at 6 am-- "Don't get up, Babe.  There's no way you have school today.  Don't even bother checking your email."  I believed him, figuring that at the worst Sina would call to tell me she was on her way and I'd have to drive myself.  

So, we've spent the day indoors, resting.  I worked on school stuff, got to read lots of the Bible in Ryan's new ESV Study Bible with the WONDERFUL footnotes, and am now finishing the last of my wedding thank-yous.  Yes, I know.  It's been 18 months.  But I WILL finish them!  (sorry if you still haven't gotten yours.  It's probably coming.)  Ryan's trying to kick a cold, so he stayed home (out of the freezing rain and ongoing snow), slept all morning and is now working a bit from home.  I made a pot of Cooped-Up Soup (that means anything that you have on hand and that would taste good heated up together)-- today that meant onion, garlic, tomato, brown rice, a bay leaf, rosemary, and salt simmering in homemade chicken bone broth.  Ryan says it's yummy and I'm about to try it out.   I love cold days when I'm allowed to stay home and inside! :)  

Monday, January 26, 2009

He Just Says it So Well!

“At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.”
- C.S. Lewis,
The Weight of Glory (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2001), 43.

Oh! When I read something like this, I am reminded of just how much I want to "get in"!!! Maranatha! Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

Moe Mondays

Tonight, barring snow or sleet (which, yes, is forecast for tonight-- but later tonight), Ryan & I will have a little date at Moe's, for $5.00. Yep, that's right! Every Monday at every Moe's, any burrito plus a drink is only $5.00. Combine that with the free salsa and chips, and you've got enough food for two! We always get a "naked" Homewrecker (naked meaning with the tortilla on the side, for my gluten-phobic sake...oh dear, how awful that name sounds: naked homewrecker), with its chicken on the side (because I can't eat it, either), and split it and a Dr. Pepper. I can't eat the chips either (soybean oil), so I get extra of the burrito, and then Ryan dumps his chicken in and finishes it off. We always end up both full and happy, and enjoy the $5.00 date. We like to go to the one up in Indiana, and run other errands too... like tonight we'll buy a new wireless router, so that Ryan can actually get a signal strong enough to WORK off of, and get him fitted for the tux he'll wear in Adam & Felicia's wedding coming up.

Go to your nearest Moe's now! Oh, and if you sign up for their "Moe's e-World," they email you coupons...such as the one awaiting me in my inbox for a free cup of queso. Five dollar date night just got better! :) Guess I'll be bringing my own chips tonight, too!

Transformation of Evil

“God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion: He rose from the dead.”

—Dorothy Sayers, Letters to a Diminished Church (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2004), 122-23

My friend Sina just recently told me about this website, Of First Importance, which is affiliated with a wonderful little book called The Gospel Primer. You can sign up to have a Gospel-centered and centering quote emailed to you every day. It's really cool! Anyway, this one was from a few days ago and I particularly appreciated it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Random January Shots

Sarah reminded me of how much I love electric blankets, and we pulled mine out (it's been COLD). I just thought the tag was hilarious. What would a "helpless person" be, if not one of the other categories?

I was stuck in stand-still traffic right on my way to work, and was able to enjoy 2 sermons and a sunrise in my HEATED car (I was so thankful-- my old car's heater had gone out!)
My dear friend Wendy White came up from Greenville, just to encourage and serve Sina & I. We went out to eat at the North End Cafe, and it was YUMMY!

Such wonderful godly friends.

An awesome game to which our friends Josh & Sarah introduced us: Quelf. It involved wearing targets on our heads and singing songs backwards... among other things. We are SO buying that for... some holiday!
The characters have names like "Queen Spatula" or "The Biscuit Farmer"

Sarah, strategizing. (her fiance, Josh, was a high school crony of Ryan's, and it was really fun to be around them, and keep finding out that we are basically the same couple different bodies!)

Ryan bought a hair brush!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Addition to our House

Now you REALLY can't miss it!

Thanks to Dad Elder for this Christmas gift. WE LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Go Dad, Go!

My favorite part of the whole inauguration event: my dad (Bart Thompson- google it!)'s pet project (Tweels), featured in it! Tweels-- so-called because they are tires+wheels; no need for air-- are something my dad & his cronies & Michelin have developed over the past few years. The NASA Lunar Rover rode by on my dad's sweat and tears, you could say. Go, Dad, go! For a very cool look at the technology, check out this article on the event.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Just two days ago I tried to diagram words to help them make sense to me... I know that might sound weird, but I am quite a visual person for all my auditory skills.  Anyway, the result was pretty cool (at least in my mind)... maybe someday I'll post it here.  I'm sure SOMEONE else out there has used word/idea-webs or graphic organizers to study or explain something... 

I just was reminded that this isn't a "new idea" with me-- I found this, which I did I believe my junior year of high school... maybe my senior year-- whenever I read CJ Maheney's The Cross-Centered Life for the first time, and had my world re-rocked.  I'd forgotten about this diagram, though-- just came across it now that I have most of my old files back from my resurrected PowerBook...  thank you again, Heath!! :)

Just thought I'd share!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Andrew Peterson CD

Does anyone else really really really want to buy the CD "Behold the Lamb of God" (Andrew Peterson's Christmas CD), but hasn't had an extra $15.00 lying around? If that's you, I just found out that if they are ordered in bulk, they are only $10.00 each! (if we order 5 at once. If we order 10, then they're only $9.00).

Let me know if you'd like one and I will gladly order it with mine.

As a plug, this album is by far my favorite Christmas album... maybe my favorite album ever. It's amazing. Talk about "redemptive history," talk about great story-telling... talk about the whole Bible sung in 12 tracks... it's soooo good!!! Like Handel's Messiah, except not choral, not symphonic, not Baroque... you get the idea. ;)

Listen to the album online here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pictures from the New Year

Courtney (my 17-year-old sister-in-law) came back with us from Canton, to spend a week here in Louisville! She & I had a goal of watching all the Harry Potter movies (I know, we're quite addicted), as well as pranking Ryan, exploring downtown, walking around outside somewhere, and getting a head start on "Bones," a TV serial about a forensic anthropologist which she & my mom-in-law thought I'd like. I'm happy to say that we did all of the above! :) The last Harry Potter movie was watched on the way to Tennessee (where we met Mom & Nathan and gave Courtney back, quite reluctantly), we walked all the way down 4th Street- including the Brown Hotel and the pedestrian-0nly blocks called "Fourth Street Live"- and drove across the bridges so she could see the City across the water, we (and Ryan) explored a park, and yes, I DID like "Bones," though not as much as N.C.I.S... ;) As for the prank on Ryan... we plead the fifth. ;)

Courtney & I playing around in The Brown's elevator (it was SO cold! we got to use our new winter gear!)
We went to our church's Wednesday Night Prayer service on New Year's Eve, and I was really convicted of a need to plead with God for His intervention to save our children this coming year. That conviction is staying with me. May God do great things in 2009!!
After the prayer service, Courtney, Ryan & I, along with another IBC-er, Jonathan went to the Shuey's for some Wii, "Apples to Apples," and lots of fun. I made cider and we brought eggnog, which we found out the Shueys had never had (except for Dave)! Fun was had by all, and now I think they know how to play "Apples to Apples" correctly. ;) Yes, we are the Rule Nazis, we know... and Ryan was a bit sore from Wii boxing, lol.

On New Year's Day we girls managed to drag Ryan out into the chill (it finally felt like winter) to go hike around Cherokee Park. The park system here is one of my favorite things about living in Louisville! We have lots of history here, Ryan & I ...picnic dates, big conversations, tree-climbing... Anyway, it was a good refreshing walk.

The cover for our new rock album, Spike the Volume.

Lyle came over on New Year's Day, for fajitas, "The Fifth Element," home-made vanilla ice cream (made by the boys), and of course... DDR.

While she was here, Courtney got a crash-course in gluten-free baking/cooking, and she performed admirably. We had a great time, making cinnamon-rolls, pizza, fajitas, stir-fry, Mexican beans & rice, and pancakes. Yumm!!!

Now she's gone, and we miss her! Our house feels empty... it's just us two, after a week of being around family and lots of friends. It's sort of surreal. On the way back from dropping Courtney off, we stopped for dinner in Nashville, TN, where my Aunt Robin & Uncle Duncan entertained Ryan & I with a WONDERFUL dinner. We had fun playing with the kids, as you can see.

A Luke Tower-- Lyke wouldn't sit in my lap, so I sat on him instead... :)

I've got a lot more pictures uploaded on Facebook, so you can enjoy them

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christmas Pictures, finally

I've put pictures online through Facebook, and I think my sisters in law have as well. Enjoy!