Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hey everyone,

Praise God, the sun in shining today! We've had so much cold and rain since the New Year began...

This week has been crazy: because of the last week's ice and such, I missed three days of work and have been scrambling to catch up ever since. It seems the more I do, the more works comes in! But it's good; it's good to be needed. It's good to be serving.

I've been to Borders (bookstore) twice this new year, and it's not enough, I'm such a book addict I need more! But Hannah and I went with my friend Sarah, and we sat in the coffee shop, turning pages, sipping chocolate-covered cherry mocha or green tea (Sarah's choice, obviously not ours) and smiling at baby Noah, her one-year-old son as he crowed in his stroller when Sarah fed him bits of lemon pound cake. I had only a small stack of books which begged my purchase, but I only left with a couple of blank journals.

One book, "Jesus Land: A Memoir" by Julia Scheeres, looked fascinating. It's the author's recollection of growing up as a girl in the 80's with two adopted brothers who are black. I only read the first few made me mad, but it interested me too, and I'll have to read it another time. The second, "Ali and Nino, A Love Story" by Kurban Said, is a fictional novel written "in the fashion of Scheherezade" which clinched my decision to buy IT when next I visit Borders. Amazon's description reads: "Set in the years surrounding the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union, Said's tale of an Azerbaijani Muslim boy in love with a Georgian Christian girl..." (Georgian being her nationality, the country of , not our fair state). And thirdly but NOT least by any means was "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace...One School At A Time" by David Oliver Relin. He's an American who built schools over in Pakistan! How cool is that.

There seems to be a flurry of books either written by or at least set in the Middle East or "over there" in those countries we're all fixated on and/or don't really like. I love reading about them. I want to know the way "they" think, why "they" think that way, and how can I relate to "them"? And get rid of the "us" vs. "them" mentality. It should be "we" because we're all human, right?

In news completely unrelated to books, I've begun attending a Bible study group, a community group, taught/led by Chuck and Mary Nell Hall on Wednesday nights. Hannah and I scoot from her hip-hop class up Hwy 46 into the hill country to George and Cindy's ranch for approximately 2 hours' of fellowship. The thing I love about this group of people from River City Vineyard Church is its diversity. Married couples, singles, older (I won't say old), middle-aged and young adult are all represented. It's all very reminiscent of home church back in Valdosta. Though we don't attend RCV, we're welcomed there and it's great to have friends outside our own fishbowl at TOL. I remember when we lived in Macon, GA, I attended New Covenant twice a month when we were home visiting, Ingleside Baptist the other two Sundays a month, and a Presbyterian Bible study once a week. I try to be a well-rounded believer, ha ha.

Anyway, I guess that's all that's happening. I've got trays of newsletters waiting to be stuffed and mailed, newsletters waiting to be printed, flyers waiting to be designed, a presentation waiting to be done, displays waiting to be designed...

Love from Texas,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Argh, it's been so long since I've blogged. But then I wonder, who really reads these things. Nevertheless, I press on! :)

We renamed Hannah's parakeets. The green one escaped twice in a week, so I dubbed it "Houdini," and Hannah decided to rename the blue one "Isadora." So now they are Houdini and Izzy. They are the most cheerful little creatures and bring us so much joy! Who'd have thought? We spend quite a bit of time taming them. No, they don't bite, and if they DO nip your finger, it doesn't hurt at all. We are working with them to train them to sit on our fingers and not be afraid of us.

Houdini was a natural student. He learned quickly and in one day was sitting on my finger while we watched "My Fair Lady." Izzy was much more nervous; it took her a week to finally sit on my finger in their cage for a full minute. We're very patient, and last night it paid off. Izzy sat on my finger, outside of the cage for many minutes. The thing is, the birds don't like to be separated; Houdini flies back into the cage if I take him out too quickly. They chirp and call to each other and when reunited, they smooch a lot (it looks like smooching to me).

I held Houdini, little green feathered creature perched on my finger, tiny black eyes peering at my face, head cocked to the side, listening, and I marveled at him. What an amazing thing to make! What fun God must have had, designing birds. Such brilliant colored feathers, tiny, tiny feet that grip my finger so firmly and that weird chirruping they make that I cannot reproduce.

So, that's been our experience for the past two weeks...working with these birds and enjoying the heck out of them.

Yesterday Hannah had her braces tightened. It'd been a dull, grey day and both of us were sort of "blah," when the receptionist told us there was a new smoothie place in town. Our eyes brightened, and as soon as we left, we took off for a smoothie. Man! Was it good. Peaches, dark cherries, soymilk and ice. I did a leisurely jog/walk around the neighborhood while Hannah helped Maddie do her homework next door.

Now it's the weekend, and I'm wrapping up the set of brochures I've been designing for WIM. Only one more to do and then I have to find a way to put them all together in one packet along with our promotional DVD. What kind of folder would that be? How much will it cost? What if we used an envelope instead with a custom label on it? Ideas rolling around in my head...

There are other ideas for Deep Thoughts or incidents I'd like to share, but I think I'll save them for our newsletter coming up in a couple of weeks. And honestly, at the moment, I can't recall any of them. Cheerio, and have a great weekend! --Rachael

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hey everybody!

I'm sure you're wondering about the birds in this picture. They're my new pets! The blue one is Chiky and the green one is Peca. They're really cute. They are kind of nervous about their new home, but they'll get used to it.

I looked around my room one day and realized that I'm becoming quite the animal person. I have horse models, a horse mural, dolphin figurines, and 2 new birds! WOW!!!!

My birthday is on January 24th. I'll be 12. I'm still planning. It's going to be lots of fun. One of the best things about living 975 miles away from family members is that you get a lot of packages on your birthday. Yay!

Over Christmas break, we went home to Hahira, Georgia. I hung out with my best friend Megan Anderson, who has a new puppy. It is part Chihuahua and part Boston Terrier, I'm not sure about the terrier part. She's SO cute! Her name is Cocoa because she is black with white spots. It looks like she stepped in marshmallows! Whenever you lay down and put her on you she licks you and bites your hair. It tickles a lot!

I go back to school tomorrow, but I don't care because I only have a 3-day school week. There's nothing wrong with that!

For New Year's we had a big party at some friends' house. We had karaoke, and desserts, and a chocolate fountain! ( The chocolate fountain exploded all over the person tending it, though.)

Besides all of that I have nothing more to say. Happy Belated New Year and Merry Belated Christmas!



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