Sunday, December 29, 2013

Update #9

Whew!  Got another update in before the end of the year.  Tried to work on getting through some of the books on my list & swapped out some of the original ones since I kept reading books that weren't on my list.  I also have my list on Facebook now since DocStoc was being stupid and kept taking it down...that's a rant that I won't go into again.

#88 read Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick
Yeah so this is why I should blog more frequently or at least type up a quick synopsis after I finish reading a book- otherwise I kind of forget what I read 4 months ago.  : )  But basically he talks about believing God for the impossible and living out audacious faith.

"With God's help, I intend to incite a riot in your mind.  Trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear.  Then flip the switch back on so that God's truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying dormant inside you for years.  In short, I'm out to activate your audacious faith.  To inspire you to ask God for the impossible.  And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential...if you're not daring to believe God for the impossible, you're sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life...if the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, there's a good chance it's insulting to God."

#42 read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Such an interesting book that my friend Kim let me borrow.  Bauby was the editor of the French Elle when he suffered a massive stroke and was in a coma for almost 3 weeks.  He then suffered from locked-in syndrome, where he could only communicate by slightly moving his head and eyes.  His memoir was written by him blinking his left eye to select letters one by one as they were read off to him.

#225 smash something
Not nearly as exciting as if I had gotten a picture of the deer that I smashed into on the way to Michigan.  But I was going 60, it was dark, and despite the fact that I caught it solidly on the back hip, it may have actually hobbled away without dying.  I was really lucky that the grand total of repairs was only $25- big shout-out to my favorite mechanics at Eskew Automotive!!

#201 play the piano in public
For our county trustee Christmas dinner, I busted out a classical masterpiece for playing the piano in public... The 12 Days of Christmas.  Not my best performance ever, but people couldn't really notice since it was a sing-a-long.  I think I should be good for another several years before I play in front of people again.

#99 read Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed by Kate Hurley
 Apparently there needs to be some clarification with this title- the emphasis is really on later, not naked.  This was a great book where Kate mixes a ton of humor with a lot of honesty as she discusses being single- the joys, the struggles, how the church deals with singles.  She really spoke to a lot of people- those who are struggling with being single, those who are content (but other people aren't for them), and everyone who swings between those two extremes.

"I do not want to give you the 'contentment sermon.'  We will talk about how important it is to be thankful for where we are in life, but we will also talk about the need to be honest about our feelings.  We will look at the paradox of being thankful while still being honest about our frustrations."

#98 read When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin
This is one of my friend Kristen's favorite books.  Definitely tugs on your heartstrings and I have to say I now know way more about hearts & surgeries than I ever did before.  But that's all I'm saying about the book because I don't want to say anything that will spoil it!

#141 go to 10 Colts games (8 done)
First game of the season that I went to was a huge win against the Seahawks.  You know it's a good one when your voice is practically gone & your hands are sore from clapping so much.  It was also the game where Robert Mathis got the 100th sack of his career.  The man is a beast.
Game #2 was a win against the Titans (yay for dominating the division again like normal).  Love getting to spend time with this guy!!
And game #3 was a Christmas present from my fantastic roomie, Sarah.  Aside from seeing my third win of the year in person, they also had a Colts Homecoming week where a bunch of former players were down on the field at halftime.  The best part though was getting to see Eric Dickerson & Marshall Faulk inducted into the Ring of Honor.  This might mean I was kind of a weird little elementary school girl, but Eric (along with Bo Jackson) was my childhood idol, so it was great to see him out there.

Good news...there is hope on the horizon of actually accomplishing some interesting things on my list by the next time I stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Update #8

Wow the titles of my blog posts are sensational, aren't they?  Currently taking suggestions for exciting future titles that keep track of what update I'm on.  Without further ado...

#183 plant a garden
While I can't take credit for the whole thing (and this is less than half of everything planted), I do help my dad with his garden every year.  The man is amazing...multiple kinds of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, melons, & squash, as well as beets, okra, asparagus, green beans, corn, strawberries, radishes, onions, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and probably other stuff that I've forgotten.

#163 run a 5K
Had a blast bonding with Hols doing this.  We ran the Color in Motion 5K down at the state fairgrounds.  While I had blue boogers for a week, this was a really fun event...even if it did involve running.  : )

#142 go to 10 Indians games (4 done)
Buddy time with Ashleyne & Kim.  If you aren't friends with them too, you should be.  They are fun. F-U-N fun.

#38 read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
I don't even know how to summarize this book in such a short space.  It's the incredible story of Louis Zamperini and the journey he traveled.  He was a young Olympian in the Berlin Olympics and then became an airman in World War II.  After crashing into the ocean and surviving 47 days at sea in shark-infested waters, he and his one surviving crewmate were captured by the Japanese.  He spent the next two years being severely mistreated in various POW camps.  After reading the devastating statistics about the emotional & physical aftermath dealt with by POWS, as well as their 30x higher suicide rate, it was no surprise that Louis came close to destroying his marriage and family.
But God was not finished with his story yet.  Louis attended (was dragged by his wife to) a Billy Graham tent revival and turned his life over to God as he had pledged to do when he was floating out in the middle of the ocean.  His life transformed, he later went and met with his former Japanese guards in prison, opened Victory Boys Camp for lost boys, and became a motivational speaker.  Such a good book and it really made me more aware and appreciative of all of those who have ever served in the military and the traumatic experiences they have endured.

#157 go to summer camp
Technically this wasn't on my list before, but it was way better than other things that were on it.  After all, who would have thought I would be going to summer camp for the first time at the age of 32?  It was our first time taking kids down to Woodlands Camp in Cleveland, GA.  Aside from being quite a trek, it was a really great camp and I loved getting to spend time with these 8 kids.  If you really want to experience what camp was like for them, here's a video of their week (Jacob & Ashley were their counselors).

#146 go to the Indiana State Fair
Yes, I have lived in Indiana my whole life.  No, I had never been to the state fair before.  Finally you can all stop harassing me.  It was a big week for me...summer camp and the fair...if I ever get ballet lessons, my childhood will finally be complete.  (Yes, you may roll your eyes at this point, Mom.)  Kristen, Ashleyne, and I had a decent array of fair food, but I know that we can conquer even more next year!

#176 ride a horse
One of my last times with Laekin before she heads off to college.  I love my high school girls and all of the fun times I get to have with them.  We went down to Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park to ride.  It was really peaceful and quiet in the woods there.  Although it was her first time riding, she was an excellent horsewoman.  And all good outings are made better when they're followed up with a ButterBurger & frozen custard at Culver's.

#224 plan a scavenger hunt
For my first time planning a scavenger hunt, it turned out pretty well.  Some of my senior girls and I headed to downtown Noblesville for some fun & a picnic.  With my lovely assistant Holly, we sent them running around taking lots of pictures & videos and rewarding them with candy & prizes.  Their final task was to solve a word scramble in tribute to our dear Dasha who moved a week ago.

#169 play dodgeball
Definitely the first time I've played since junior high or high school.  While I definitely threw like a sissy girl, I caught some balls and never got out.  But most importantly, all of the old people took down the high school kids.  A fitting ending to our last week at the park for the summer.

#180 keep score during a baseball game
I know this makes me kind of a dork that this is on my list.  But I love sports and I love statistics.  And sometimes you just need something to keep you distracted during a Cubs game.  2-0 game with very few substitutions or crazy plays so it was a pretty easy one for me.  Had to know how to score a wild pitch and a guy thrown out trying to stretch out a single into a double.  That was about it.  No run-downs or anything where I had to really pay attention.

By the way, this next year is looking good in terms of me keeping up on my activities.  My dearest sister Holly has started a new list (be sure to check out her blog...if you're reading mine, there's no way you shouldn't be reading hers), and one of the items on her list is to help me with 31 things on my list during her 31st year.  Woohoo!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2 Years Down, 8 to Go...

So...things we've learned after I've completed year 2 of this journey:
     a)  I am not what you would call a consistent blogger.
     b)  Reviewing books is also not a strong suit of mine.
     c)  After a lackluster effort to close out 2012, I am still on pace to finish in time.

#218 visit the Rhythm Discovery Center
Lily & I had a weekend together at the beginning of December, and one of our outings included going to the Rhythm Discovery Center downtown.  They have a lot of interesting educational information, but most importantly, they have tons of hands-on things for kids to do.  There are giant chimes hanging from the ceiling, xylophones, an 8-foot gong drum, shelves full of percussion instruments, soundproof rooms with drum sets, and much more.  If your kids like to bang, shake, or rattle things, or just make a ton of noise in general, this would be a great outing for them.

#141 go to 10 Colts games (5 done)
It was a pretty incredible game to be at to wrap up the regular season.  Aside from beating the Texans (always lovely), it was also Chuck Pagano's first game back on the sidelines.  Great moment caught on the big screen as you could see the pure joy & emotion on the sidelines.  Also happy to catch Bruce Arians celebrating in this picture.  He did such a great job this year, and I hope he enjoys his first head coaching job in Arizona.  Bonus moments in the game: Deji Karim's 101 yard kick return for a TD was straight up the middle of the field and finished right in front of us in the end zone.  And the halftime show involved monkeys wearing Colts jerseys & chaps...riding dogs...herding rams.  You cannot make this stuff up.  Go here to see it for yourself.

#80 read My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
This is a great daily devotional that his wife created from her notes on his sermons and lectures.  So many good takeaways, but here's one I liked that included a reference to the title:

"Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point- a great crossroads in our life.  From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest- our best for His glory."

#257 play 20 classic Willman games in one day
This was a little brutal.  As it turns out, 20 games is a lot to try and play in the course of the day- even with doing modified versions to try and shorten them.  But it was great sibling bonding time and we even convinced Brit to join in for a while.  Next time we will stick to a handful of classics instead of giving ourselves an added stress of trying to rush through a bunch.

The games we played were: Trumpet, True Colors, Scattergories, Guesstures, Split Second, Midnight Party, Outburst, Win Lose or Draw, Taboo, Bazaar, Trivial Pursuit, Squirrel Game, Strawberry Shortcake, Madcap Marathon, Mad Magazine, Monopoly Deal, Euchre, Peanuts, Phase 10, & Yahtzee.  Since we're Willmans, we also came up with a scoring system.  And the big winner was...Travis!!

#200 tune my piano or buy a new one
My dad bought this piano for me online as a housewarming present when I moved into my apartment 8+ years ago.  But I was poor at the time and couldn't afford to get it tuned, even though it sounded pretty awful after him driving for hours with it on his trailer.  Then since I rarely played it, it never seemed worth it to me to get it tuned.  It was moved again when I moved into my roommate's house a few years ago, but still it sat untuned...until her fateful Christmas party this year.  Then after several friends of hers that are in a band played it throughout the night, the guilt & shame washed over me and I was finally convinced that it was an embarrassment to me, as well as to my years & years of piano lessons growing up.  Whew.  (Side note: Everyone was right.  It definitely does sound much nicer when I play, especially since several of the keys were broken too.)

#84 read Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
Lots of stuff to chew on in this one, especially for someone who likes her nice, safe, un-risky life.

"Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness  and providing for the family.  So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud- just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend- woven around church (mostly).  This is life for millions of people.  Wasted life.  We were created for more, far more."

"To make others glad in God with an everlasting gladness, our lives must show that he is more precious than life...To do this we must make sacrificial life choices rooted in the assurance that magnifying Christ through generosity and mercy is more satisfying than selfishness.  If we walk away from risk to keep ourselves safe and solvent, we will waste our lives."

#136 renew my passport
No, I am not getting ready to flee the country.  Yes, it appears I am smirking in my new passport photo.  Apparently I tried to smile really big while keeping my mouth closed.  Awesome.

#140 go to 10 Pacers games (2 done)
This game was so much fun!!  It was Lily's first Pacers game & she was so proud to be sporting her Big Roy jersey.  She had a blast and was very entertaining for the people around us.  Her shining moment came after the 1st quarter when she made it onto the big screen.  They kept her on so long that she started blowing kisses.  To see more about her big adventure, go here.

#48 read Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
Yet another convicting book to read.  To hear about these missionaries' passion and servant hearts was just incredible.  To them, nothing was more heartbreaking than knowing that there were people in such remote places that they had never had the opportunity to hear about God in their own language.  Their devotion to spreading His Word despite the risks they knew they were taking, and which ultimately led to five of their deaths, is truly awe-inspiring.  It was an honest, heartfelt account of the struggles they dealt with, the shortcomings they felt, and how the survivors continued to minister to the Aucas.

"...may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance.  May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was.  May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of the darkness.  Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha.  May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility."

#215 buy some art
My art was photography that I bought in greeting card form.  One of my former youth kids was selling his photography to raise money for a trip to Nigeria.  He went there as a photojournalist for Global Hope Network to photograph their mission work.  Check out his work.

#139 go to the Children's Museum
I hadn't been to the Children's Museum since I was a kid, and while it definitely would be more fun with kids along, we managed to find enough to keep ourselves entertained.  I went with Holly & my friends Kim, Ashleyne, & Kristen as a post-birthday celebration.  Highlights included playing some old-school video games, an epic battle of Jenga, seeing Christian Bale's Batman suit, Holly & Kim almost getting in a fistfight voting for their favorite superheroes, all kinds of cool geckos, and trying to avoid the crazy girl dressed as The Constructionator.

So as I finish my 2nd year, I will once again say that I will attempt to make a better effort to do some fun & exciting things before I update again.  : )

Tally for the 1st two years = 64/300 completed!!