Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Season

We are excited to begin the holiday season. We have already put up our tree for Christmas. We have a little black tree. We went to one of Catheryne's favorite stores-The Dollar Tree- and found some really nice looking place-mats, napkins, napkin rings and a table runner. So of course we had to set the table, and because the table was set, we put out the tree. We are spending Thanksgiving alone, which we like. We don't really like the traditional meal, and by spending it alone, we can cook what we want. Catheryne's parents and Grandma Marion are coming for Christmas. This is what has us so excited. It will be the first holiday spend with family since we have been married. We have many exciting things to look forward to besides Christmas. We are moving to a different apartment complex in March-please pray that is goes smoothly. We are looking at a bigger place and it is closer to Catheryne's work. This will make a huge difference for her. She has a lot of after school things that she ends up doing and living closer will make it easier.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 11th-by Catheryne

September 11th is my birthday. I have had a hard time with this since 2001. I know that it is important to remember the tragedy of that day, but why is it that every year on this day the media feel the need to replay the horrific images? I have had two students who also have this birth date and I wonder how they feel, as a kid, to have to share their special day with the media spewing sorrow. John always does an amazing job making this a special day and I have finally gotten over the quilt of feeling happy on it. I just feel that we must always remember the tragedies we have faced, but we must also focus on our strength. I do not think that the family members want to see this over and over again on 9/11. OK, now I am done ranting.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

End of Summer events

Our summer officially ended with our trip to upstate New York to celebrate Catheryne's Grandma's 90th birthday. It was a 12 hour drive through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It was our first time going to Ohio and John's first time in Pennsylvania. Driving through counts as going to the state, plus gas stops help with that tally =). We had a great time. We took Belle with us and she loved it! We arrived on Thursday night and left on Sunday. We spent a few hours at the lake on Friday, Belle is a water dog. She loved the smells and stepped right into the lake. We even took her on the boat. We weren't sure how she would take it, but she love it. Friday night was spent getting to know some of the relatives and Saturday was the big party. Over 80 people came to celebrate Grandma's birthday, including her friend from her first year of starting school as a child. It was so wonderful to meet new family member and to revisit with family members that haven't been visited with in a long time.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's that time...

It has been a few weeks since our last blog. We have since celebrated 4th of July with a good 'ol Southern BBQ at a friend's house. We had a lot of fun at it. We played an awesome game of Scene It, the boys on my team rocked, sadly we still lost. We also survived another youth group car wash. Our youth are going to Gulf Port, Mississippi and they have been working hard to fund raise for their trip. John and I will be going to NY soon to celebrate Grandma Marion's 90th birthday. We are looking forward to meeting family members that we have never met and celebrate with her. I have a laptop conference I am going to in Memphis. We have always driven through Memphis, so this will be the first time I actually get to see the downtown area.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Robin Hood

We are great fans of Netflix. We subscribe to it to help supplement the lack of TV programing. We have the very lowest form of cable so we can watch some TV and get weather updates during a storm. We don't get TV reception without cable. Anyway, through Netflix we are able to catch up on some of our favorite shows that we don't get the channel for. One of our favorites is BBC America's Robin Hood. This series is very well done. We just finished watching season 2 (we thought it was season 3 at first). It was such a dramatic season that has left us waiting for season 3. Very few shows really grab our attention. This has been the highlight of the last few days. John has been working night shifts to help rearrange the store. He is finally done with those, so we can get our life back to normal. It throws things off when one of us is sleeping all day. We had a small scare about Catheryne's job due to some unexpected layoffs at the school, but everything seems to have evened out and it looks like there is no need for us to worry anymore. We have continued to stay busy with the youth group at church. Next week will be the first day the youth group goes to the lake. Catheryne is excited to finally go to the lake, and we don't know if John will have to work that day or not. We are also looking forward to our first 4th of July BBQ at a friend's house.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Happened in Italy By: Elizabeth Bettina

Love thy neighbor as thyself- this is the commandment that the Italians during WWII followed. It Happened in Italy chronicles Elizabeth Bettina's quest to discover the history behind concentration camps in Italy, specifically in the town of Campagna. She discovers on one of her family visits to this town that the Italians housed Jews during WWII. This was a little known fact due to how drastically different Jews were treated compared to other places in the world. She discovered that Jews in Italy were treated fairly, as though they truly were in need of a neighborly love, she was in awe of how kind the Italians treated the Jews. She was also surprised by the lack of people who know this side of the war.

This novel is a bit disappointing. Bettina tells a great story, but it was not what I expected. I expected the novel to read more like a history book than like a transcript of a phone call to a friend. I am not sure if I would recommend this novel. It was easy to read, but hard to get into because it seemed to lack a true story line and historical documentation. Overall, I wish there were more historical facts.

One Year Anniversary

We just celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary. This last year has gone by so fast. We are excited to see what the next year brings to us. We spent the weekend in Chattanooga, Tn. There wasn't too much for us to do in the area we stayed-we tried to stay within walking distance of our hotel. This worked out nicely though, it gave us a chance to really catch up on our rest after being so busy. The main reason we went to Chattanooga was to visit the aquarium. This aquarium has penguins. We were so impressed with the way the aquarium was laid out. There were two separate buildings- a river building and an ocean building. John had never seen live penguins before, and as Catheryne's favorite animal, he was eager to see what the hype is all about. He thoroughly enjoyed the penguins exhibit. His favorite animal is a wolf, but after seeing the penguins, he admitted that they are ranked up there with the wolves. After we went to the aquarium we went to a 50's style dinner for lunch. They had a "pounder" contest- if you ate the whole pounder burger they took your picture and placed it on the wall. Catheryne made John take the challenge, it seemed too easy after the 3 lb. burger. The animals both seem to be glad to have us home. Thomas is supervising the typing of this email.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

High School Musical

We began our week with VBS. We have been helping with VBS since March so it is a relief, but a a bit bittersweet, to be finished with it. Catheryne has been involved in VBS before, but it has never been anything like it is at our new church. We recreated HSM 3 for the kids. We filmed parts of it and then had live dance scenes. It was amazing. The evenings started with worship, then HSM, then the kids went to their classes and then HSM again for closing. Imagine a church camp experience crammed into about 2 hours for 3 days. The kids loved it. There were also new souls won over for heaven-which is the main purpose. We weren't sure what to expect since we were so busy helping with the acting part and we are so impressed with all of the hard work that goes into this experience. Now that we have our time back it seems a bit weird to not be gone all the time. Belle definitely doesn't mind. We had some days that lasted 12 hours and the poor girl was stuck in her crate. She has been glued to Catheryne's side since we have been finished-we think it is a hint.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


We experienced our first baseball game together (along with 23 other kids/ leaders from our church). It was a lot of fun. We lead a group that is designed to plan outings for our youth group. We went to the Nashville Sounds Faith Night. We got to see a concert of a band called Philmont. They were awesome, and they are still new, so it will be cool to say we saw them and met them when they become bigger. The Sounds won, which was also an exciting experience. We missed our turn home and had to go a different route home. We drove through an area that is in serious need of Jesus. We saw some very drunk people stumbling and a few corner deals going on. It was a bit scary since we had two younger girls in our car with us, but we made it home safely. Catheryne is now on summer break and John seems to be busier than ever. He is working, helping to mentor the youth band and get that started, as well as working with his own band. Catheryne also some howmanaged to get him involved in helping her with VBS, or at least being a personal driver. VBS will be awesome, but it has taken up so much of our time. It fininally will be next week, so we will have a lot of time back to be on our own.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog time

As June 20th is fast approaching it is hard not look back at the past year. We have had so many new experiences being married and moving to Tennessee. We have had to face tornadoes, finding a new church, and jobs. We have met so many great people and are still meeting new people. We have had so much fun being married, we are able to do all of the silly things we have always wanted to do. Thomas seems to be tolerating Belle, they are just like siblings. I think a kitten would really make Thomas frustrated enough to keep him entertained, but we are only allowed 2 pets. John has decided that when we are able to get another pet, he wants to a German Shepard-Husky mix. Belle would love to have a playmate so I don't mind.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sun Burned and stuff

We did a car wash today to raise money for our church and it was AH-mazing! We raised almost $600. This was hosted by our youth group (Velocity), and it was so neat to hang with the kids and wash people's cars. It is also amazing how generous people are when they know they are donating for a cause. The only downside was the massive sun burns Catheryne got and the few sun burns John got. We have decided not t go with both of the independent consultant jobs. Catheryne will still do the jewelry one, there seems to be a much bigger marked for that out here. We are almost at the 1 year mark for being married. God has blessed us so much in this year and it has gone by so fast.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009


We have been looking at different opportunities to earn extra income. We are thinking about becoming independent consultants. John would sell a product called Advocare, which are health supplements. John tried their energy drink and loved it- Catheryne had a sip. It tastes like Kool-Aid, and gives you energy without the jitters. Catheryne is planning on selling Cookie Lee Jewelry. There is only one other person she found in TN who sells it, and she is a few hours away from where we are. Our goal is to be able to earn extra income to help pay off debt and be able to buy a place of our own, while also doing something that we enjoy. We want to be in a place where we could have a backyard (even a very small one) for Belle, and for John's German Shepard -Husky mix( which he is waiting to get for when we have our own place).

Monday, March 30, 2009

We're not in California Anymore

Earthquakes are not fun. Let us just put this out there. Earthquakes are scary and they have aftershocks. John is not afraid of them, but Catheryne is. We now have something that we are both scared of-Tornadoes. We had our first tornado warning of the season. It was very scary. We had strong wind and hail, then strong wind and rain. The TV was doing an awesome job of keeping us informed. We even had the warning sirens go off twice-this only adds to the scariness. Since we are upstairs, we really only have our bedroom closet to hid in. We did not have any touchdowns here, but Tennessee did have 2 touchdowns, one was about 20 miles or so from us. Luckily they were not major, just some destruction. Catheryne thinks she would rather have the earthquake over this. But hey we love it here, so I guess it is just something we will need to deal with.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oklahoma/ Travel

We drove to Oklahoma this past weekend to surprise Grandma Lila (one of the most amazing people ever). She turned 90 on the 18th, so her daughter planned a very nice party for her. Catheryne's parents flew in to OK for it as well, so it was very nice to see them. The drive was a bit hard on us, about 9.5 hours each way. We woke up at 3:00 am on Saturday to make it on time. We came back on Sunday exhausted. We are still trying to catch up. Belle and Thomas were taken care of by some friends of ours-they did an awesome job. Belle seemed to be ok, which she normally isn't after we go somewhere.
Catheryne is going to Kentucky Monday to spend the night at the Creation Science Museum with her students. It will be exciting, but probably a lot of work with this group. She has never been to Kentucky so it will be a first.
We are also planning a trip to Canada/ New York this summer. Catheryne's Grandma Marion will also be turning 90, so the family is having a big party for her in upstate New York. Since we will be right by Niagara Falls, we decided that we will go see it on the Canadian side. We also discovered a place called the McFarland House that is right by Niagara Falls (about 30 min.) So we will be going to visit that-it was built by a John McFarland.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Way Too Long

It has been way too long since we have blogged. Things sure have been busy for us. It seems that every weekend we have something going on. John has been super busy juggling work, preparing for his lifeguard test (which he passed), and church activities. Catheryne has been busy with school, church, and trying to stay fit with our Wii Fit. We have been hanging out with our youth quite a lot and loving it! The youth are so amazing. The weather here has been odd. It is super cold today and it was 80 on Tuesday. We are looking forward to visiting with family in a week or so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time to Blog

Ok, so it has been a long time since we have bloged. We have had a very busy January. The new year started with our overnighter, then a trip to the doctor. Catheryne gets occasional heart paliations and had a bad episode the Friday right after the lock in, so we went to the doctor and they did an EKG. The EKG came back abnormal, so we have spent some time visiting with the cardiologist. It turns out she is fine, she has a condition where blood flows quicker to one side than the other, but it isn't life treatening or harmful. The other tests they did all came back fine-so it is confirmed she marches to a different beat =).

We have had some really cold weather here. Catheryne didn't have school today due to a snow day. The snow didn't last long, but it has been raining like crazy all week with a threat of icing over. So, it is better to be safe than sorry with the way people drive out here.

On another note, we expreienced something that has left California years ago. Roller Skating! Seriously, they still do that out here. We went Saturday night with our church's youth group. Both of us managed not to fall! It was a total time warp. This is a picture one of our girls took, Catheryne is laughing at how long it took to take the picture, and John is reacting in his own way.

We also got our wedding pictures. They turned out AMAZING!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

All Nighter/ New Year

We have just gotten back from an all night lock-in with 7th-12th graders. We are not as young as we used to be, but it was fun. John held it down with an intense game called "underground church". Catheryne didn't play-she was making sure kids were behaving in the dark.
We welcomed in the New Year with a great time of prayer and worship. It is amazing to see this generation's love for the Lord. They are truly inspiring. We are not resolution makers, but we are dreamers. We are praying for a great year and success in our careers. We love and miss you all! Happy New Year!