Gift wrapping is one of my very favorite things to do.  Tim always makes fun of me because he thinks I spend too much time wrapping gifts.  But I can't help it, I love doing it.  Sometimes I end up liking the way I wrapped a gift better than the actual gift itself...

Each year, I come up with a theme for all the gifts we give.  I love coming up with a new theme each year.  Last year I used old grocery sacks and leftover yarn, giving all the gifts a very textured look.  This year I needed something less time consuming than the yarn wrappings, but still aesthetically pleasing.  I also wanted to consider earth-friendly options, when reasonable.

Here's what I came up with:

TA-DA!  I was inspired by the really cute polar bear pics I stumbled across in the LIFE online picture archive (thanks Jennie Orr for introducing me.)  Each gift was adorned with a cute polar bear, and a "merry christmas" tag that I typed on the typewriter at work.

Materials used:
  • Reused newspaper from the recycle bin at the Pourhouse
  • Reused scrap paper from work used for printing the polar bear pics and typing the tags
  • Glue stick
  • Scotch tape
  • Hemp to tie packages together (leftover from my junior high hemp bracelet phase)
  • Black acid free scrapbook paper (not recycled or reused, but leftover from other projects)
So even though I could have been a bit more eco-friendly than I was, I am still very pleased that I didn't have to purchase anything to wrap my gifts.  I also love how they look!  If you have any creative gift wrap ideas, let me know!  I am already planning for next year...


my chair.

Greetings blog czars.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a fixture of life at Hotel Feltonia - my chair.

 (chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs")

A lady who used to share our building at work, decided to join a religious order.  Before she got thee to a nunnery, she sold all her possessions.  This chair was one of them, and I was kind enough to offer her a new home.

I love my chair.  I love the color and the fabric, I love that it reclines, I love that it's not too big nor too heavy.

However, it has become a source of marital contention for two reasons: 

1) My husband thinks I am ridiculous for purchasing another item of furniture for our home because, frankly, we already have too much stuff.

2) When he comes home from work and wants some wife cuddle, I refuse to leave my chair because I love it so much.  (I mean, seriously, look how happy and comfy I look in my chair with my slanket!)

So, this past weekend, I was pretty much camped out in my chair because I was battling the onset of a cold/sinus infection and indulging in my drug of choice (Grey's Anatomy) when my chair unexpectedly attacked!  While I was in the reclined position, I reached over to the coffee table for a tissue, and the chair suddenly snapped into the upright position.  My upper arm got caught in the chair and I struggled to get the chair to return to the reclined position so that I could be released.

My first response was panic, and all I could do was utter little gasps of "ah ah ah ah!".  Then the pain came, and it was pretty painful.  After I released myself from the chair's grasp, the shame started to wash over me.  I had just been the victim of a couch potato casualty.  My excess arm flab had become a safety hazard.  I could hear a spandex-clad Billy Blanks jeering at me from inside the TV, "You wouldn't have them arm flabs if youda just got them wangs out (1) like I told you."  Touche, Billy.

To the right is a picture of the bruise that the chair gave me.  Gross.

When I told Tim about my recliner injury, he said, "that's what you get for not cuddling with me."

I guess Tim won this one (2).



(1) "Getting your wangs out" refers to an exercise in which one extends both arms to each side like airplane wings and then circles them around (not like airplane wings).  It is a colloquial phrase - please do not look it up on urban dictionary.

(2) Marriage is not a contest...except for when I win.


christmas illuminated

I think I have said it before, but Tim and I love Christmas!  So much, that I thought I would write some more about it.

For those of you who don't know, my husband is a regular Clark W. Griswold when it comes to Christmas, particularly Christmas lights.  One of his favorite traditions from childhood is hanging the big bulb Christmas lights around the house with his dad.  He loved it so much that when he went to college he continued the tradition (1), and when he decided to propose to me he did it with Christmas lights (2). 

I also grew up with a love of Christmas decorations.  I always had my own tree that I would decorate in different ways each year, and even bought some cheesy light-up angel for my dorm freshman year.  We are two peas in a pod when it comes to Christmas decorations. 

This year, I thought I would walk you through our Christmas traditions.

First, we went Christmas tree hunting with the Felton family the day after Thanksgiving (another tradition).  Below is a picture of Tim's brother Dan and his son Alex helping us find a perfect little tree for our house. Next to that is Tim's brother, Nick, posing next to another one of the candidates. 

We finally found the perfect little guy, and brought it back to Bloomington the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  We got back in the early afternoon so that we could start decorating right away.  Tim put up the tree and I baked some gingersnaps and made tea.  Then we pulled out all the lights and spent the rest of the night checking fuses and measuring gutters.

The next evening, we decorated the tree.  Josh, Tim, and I got out all our ornaments, and took turns putting them on tree.  This way, we all got to see each others' ornaments and say, "Ooh, that's a nice one," or, "Good placement."  It was a Feltigan tradition in the making.
A few years ago, Brett's Christmas gift to us was about 15 boxes of Christmas lights and an angel tree topper dressed in red.  Tim loved the lights, of course, but the angel seemed a little odd (mostly because of her unconventional red dress).  We placed her on the top of our tree this year, but added an IU symbol to make her red apparel seem more appropriate.  Also, you may be wondering where the yellow contruction paper rocket ornament came from.  It is leftover from the year we didn't have any ornaments and asked our friends to make some from construction paper.  It was really fun, and we tried to save them all, but only a few survived the move.
The next day, after troubleshooting some extension cord/outlet issues, Josh and Tim finished the lights outside.  To the left is a picture of them reveling in their masterpiece (Josh is hugging Tim, but its hard to tell)!  Tim was on a serious high after that.  He started walking around the house exclaiming, "We need some Christmas lights here, on the ceiling maybe," and, "Wait, I'm concerned because the kitchen doesn't have any lights yet."  I had to remind him that Al Gore was already judging us, and that Josh just might crank the thermostat down a few degrees for every strand of lights he put up.

Finally, we ended up with two trees (upstairs and down), outside lights, a strand around the garland above dining room archway, a couple strands for the Christmas cacti, and a strand for the glass head.  You'll have to come by and experience for yourself the wondrous holiday spirit that is bursting forth from our little home.


(1) In college, Tim dressed in Brett's coveralls to stay warm while hanging Christmas lights.  When he got the coveralls on, he started talking to himself in some hillbilly accent.  He developed this character of some redneck who strings Christmas lights for a living and hung all the Christmas lights as this character, mostly for his own entertainment.  When Brett came out to see how it was going, Tim responded only in character.  Brett was extremely annoyed by this behavior.
(2) Here is a picture of Tim's Christmas Eve proposal!



go my favorite sports team, score a goal unit!

Faith Hill and I have one thing in common - a love of American football.

Okay, that's a lie, I don't love football.  I just thought that would make a great opening line for this blog post about football. 

The truth is that I grew up a basketball fan.  I accompanied my father to University of Evansville basketball games, watched Bobby Knight's Hoosiers win championships, and decorated my room with Reggie Miller posters.  I knew nothing about football except that the Superbowl provided an excuse for parties, high budget commercials, and "wardrobe malfunctions."  In high school, I was on the dance team and we were obligated to attend all the home football games, but I spent more time socializing than watching what was going on on the field.   (Nope, I didn't even notice our star Cornerback prancing around out there!(1)) Football was totally lame, I thought.

Then I started dating Timothy Bernard Felton.  I was quickly indoctrinated into the world of touchdowns and quarterbacks.  Tim's dad grew up in Johnstown, PA, and got his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame.  So Tim inherited his allegiences to the Steelers and the Fighting Irish (Remember Rudy?).  I soon realized that if I wanted my relationship with Tim to work, I had to start watching football.  You know what?  It's not so bad. 

This year, I reached a milestone in my repertoire of football experience.  I attended my very first Notre Dame game.  I was amazed by how much a game can impact an entire University.  The campus was crawling with fans, mostly alumni, touring the Cathedral and reminiscing in front of their old dorms.  Students took advantage of the crowds and sold burgers and brats out on the lawn.  The Notre Dame Marching Band performed its traditional concert on the steps before leading the march into the stadium.  I now have a better understanding of why Notre Dame fans are so loyal and avid (and so might say, obnoxious).  Walking around before the game, I sensed the tradition and energy that emanated from the South Bend soil.  Here is a picture of Tim and me with "Touchdown Jesus."

In college, I took a class on Catholicism in early America.  I remember my professor explaining that Notre Dame football was an invaluable symbol of Catholicism at a time when Catholics faced fierce discrimination.  Entire parishes and neighborhoods would seriously pray for the players to win because Notre Dame football was more than a game, it was a part of their Catholic identity.  Knowing a little about this rich heritage helped me to better appreciate all the traditions involved in game day.  Even though Notre Dame lost to Navy, it was a really enjoyable day and I am glad that I went.

However, the following week I got to attend an even more important football game.  On Nov. 14th, Tim participated in the Turkey Bowl V, an annual pick-up football game in Bloomington.  The Turkey Bowl originated in the Feltons' backyard in Newburgh when the Felton brothers and their friends were home for Thanksgiving.  Tim brought this tradition to Bloomington and it has become a Young Life leader tradition, although anyone is invited to play.  Tim insists on playing each year, though he inevitably gets injured.  This year I strongly suggested that he consider sitting out, but there was no stopping him.
Here is a picture of Tim after this year's game:

In addition to the broken nose, he also messed up something in his left shoulder, and scraped a chunk of flesh from his right elbow. 

In conclusion, although I never liked football when I was a kid, I now have a fondness for the sport.  While I may never become a superfan, I will always love having an excuse to invite friends over and eat fun sports-themed snacks (2).

That's all for now.



(1) Tim played Cornerback for our high school.  Seriously.  Need proof?  Click here.

(2) Like this:


gobbles and jingles all the way....


I don't know about you, but I am so very excited about going home for Thanksgiving this year.  Tim and I haven't been home to Newburgh in a really long time.  We just let ourselves get so busy - going here and there and doing this and that, and those four pronouns can really take it out of you.

Anyway, we get to spend Thanksgiving with our three loving families and eat lots and lots of delicious food.  One item on the menu can be featured to the right.

This is Tim Street, with his friend, G. Obble.  (Tim is the one on the left).  This picture was taken last week when he helped our friends at Schacht Farm harvest their turkeys.  Look how big and tasty he looks (the bird, that is)!  We are taking some turkeys home to our families and saving one in our deep freeze, you know, for a rainy day.

I am also excited about eating mashed potatoes and gravy with my grandma's corn (that is drowning in butter) and Tim's mom's cranberry-orange relish (which only Maggie and I can truly appreciate), and whatever new dish my dad cooks up this year (last year's green bean casserole was really good).

One of the best things about Thanksgiving, is that it is the kick-off to the Holiday Season!  The month or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the BEST.  This will be our second Christmas since being married, and we are very excited about creating traditions for our family and our community in Bloomington.  We want to remember God's gift to us through Jesus Christ, and taking time to ask ourselves how we are embodying the love of Christ in our Christmas activities.

In thinking about Christmas, I stumbled upon this group called Advent Conspiracy.  Check out their website, it looks pretty interesting.  I haven't visited all the pages, but basically, it seems like there are many people out there who have said to themselves, "Wait, what has Christmas become?  I feel more and more stressed and tired and broke every year!"

Their suggestions for a more fulfilling holiday season are:

Worship Fully
Spend Less
Give More
Love All

Sounds simple enough, but practically incorporating these ideals into our family's deeply entrenched Christmas traditions will take some creativity and real effort.

Part of my goal to "spend less" this year is to wrap my gifts both beautifully and as sustainably as I can.  One of my very favorite parts of Christmas is getting all my crafty supplies out and turning my gifts into works of art!  Tim says I spend way to much time creating gift wrap that will only be admired temporarily, but I love doing it anyway.  Last year I tried to use only recycled materials, and I want to do that again, but with more creativity and spice!  I surfed the web and found this website that had some good tips.

Top 10 Green Gift Wrap Ideas

Anyway, I may write more about this later, but in the mean time, please share your thoughts, comments, ideas, or resources with me.

In conclusion, I will share a joke I just made up:

What kind of key does Dr. Turk use to get into Sacred Heart Hospital on Thanksgiving?


I am so clever.

Have a very Thankful Thanksgiving!




This is a belated, but spooky, blog post about Halloweeny type things.  First let me show you some sweet pics of the punkins that me and my nephew-brother (1), Braeden, carved.

This was Braeden's first time carving a pumpkin and we had lots of fun pulling out the punkin guts.

We took our pumpkins into the bathroom because it was too bright in any other room to really view the final products.

EEEEK!!!!  That's a scary punkin' face.

I made an XRA punkin.

After Halloween, our nephew (just nephew), Alex, celebrated his 3rd Birthday.  Before his birthday party he had been on the phone with Batman (as he does from time to time) and invited Batman to his birthday party.  Tim's brother, Dan (Alex's dad), realized how incredibly rude it would be if Batman stood Alex up, so he called his brother Tim for help.

Here is the solution they came up with:

Yup.  That's Uncle Tim beneath that Batman costume.  I wish I had a better picture, but I was laughing too hard to get a good shot.  Alex is showing him his toys, as Batman fumbles awkwardly for Batmanish things to say.  Luckily, Alex was too young to notice that Batman kept waffling between a terrible Christian Bale impression and a stereotypical Native American one.

We've decided that this is a great way to earn some extra income, so if you need a Batman for your next birthday party, let us know.  (He can also do Superman, Spiderman, Hannah Montana, etc.)

Before I conclude my spooky Halloween blog post, I wanted to tell you all that as I was thinking of a title for this post, I remembered this joke I heard once (2) :

What kind of bee makes milk?




(1) Braeden was my stepsister's son so he was my nephew, but then my dad and stepmom adopted him, so now he is my brother.
(2) Dan Palmer, Young Life Club, 2009



Josh just reminded me that I left out an important detail in recent Hotel Feltonia history.  Please note the following changes:

....Jimmy moved in 'cause he needed a place to stay while he was off work.

Jimmy smashed into the house 'cause his brakes went out.

Jimmy moved out 'cause he went Japanese....

He says that his brakes went out and I believe him.  But it is logical to assume that since he smashed into the house late at night, that he was smashed himself.  If this is true, than he sobered up real fast, because he did not seem drunk when he came running into the house frantically exclaiming that "something really terrible just happened."  Of course, I would guess that smashing your car into the side of a house would be a pretty sobering experience.

This occurred in August, and in case you were wondering, no, it is not fixed yet.  Our landlord (who looks like Brett Favre) came over and sort of pushed the wall back into place, and we have to use Zombie style blockades to "lock" the door.  Oh well, we don't really care, its in the basement and its not our house.  Oh, the advantages of renting!  Seriously, who would want to buy a house when your friends are just going to end up smashing it eventually?


my 3 month hiatus, pt. 5

Sunset Hill Happenings
Bloomington, IN
June - Present

A brief history of Hotel Feltonia:
  • Tim & I moved in.
  • Josh moved in 'cause his lease ran out and he was job-searching.
  • Ryan moved in 'cause he needed a place to stay temporarily until he found his own place.
  • Brandon moved in 'cause he was supposed to be our roommate.
  • Brandon moved out 'cause he realized he didn't love us anymore (j/k he still loves us just not roommate kind of love).
  • Josh moved from upstairs to downstairs 'cause he found a job in Bloomington and became our roommate.
  • Ryan moved out 'cause he found his own place.
  • Jimmy moved in 'cause he needed a place to stay while he was off work.
  • Jimmy moved out 'cause he went Japanese.
Several others have stayed at Hotel Feltonia for short stays, and anyone is welcome!

Monday Night dinners

Will, Colleen, Kevin, Josh, Tim, and I have started eating dinner together every Monday night. After eating, we hang out and talk about things, and get updated on each others' lives. We usually take some time to pray for each other. Guests are welcome to join us anytime, and we have acquired some semi-regulars: Bridgett, Alan, & North Milner, and Louis & Leah Malone IVs, and Whitney Lee Dather. If you haven't been and want to come, just let one of us know you want to come. We may ask you to bring a side dish or a beverage or something, but you are always welcome.

Poopy Puppies

Will & Kevin got dogs.

To the right is Joaquin. He is some sort of crazy mutt thing. Every week we come up with some new breed that we think is in his heritage - Terrier, German Shepard, Pit Bull, hyena, etc. What we do know is that he is very energetic and loves to lick your face. He also knows how to give high fives.

This is Joanna and her pack leader, Guff. She is a pure bred Bassett Hound. She is more stubborn and more complacent. Joaquin wears her out and then she collapses and is the cutest thing ever. They are both really fun and sweet, but also pretty high maintenance for the Roses. Will and Kevin really wanted to get their puppies at the same time so they would grow up together, like Will and Kevin grew up together. Later, after doing some reading up on puppy-rearing, they discovered that getting two puppies at the same time is universally discouraged in the pet world. Shramped.

So the Roses have been trying to choose the right combination of puppy-rearing philosophies and even enrolled the pups in a Puppy Training class at PetsMart. I have gotten a bad reputation for being the "crazy aunt" that doesn't discipline them and encourages all the wrong behaviors. Oops. I am trying to be better, though.

A few weeks ago, Jo and Joacho graduated from their Beginner Puppy Class and this is their graduation picture. (I edited out the weird guy that was sitting in between them) They plan to do the Intermediate in the spring, where they will hopefully learn to stop eating Jose's poo.

I think that's good for catching you all up on the last 3 months. I'll try to keep caught up from now on.



my 3 month hiatus, pt. 4

The 10k
Indianapolis, IN
Sept. 27

I am not a runner.

I have always hated running. In gym class, we had to run a mile every month, and every time I panicked and ended up walking most of it. I grew up a dancer, and in general, dancers don't run. The muscles that you refine to be able to perform an arabesque or grand jete are not the same ones you need to run a 7 min-mile.

When I was a senior in college, I decided to take a jogging class (looking back at my college transcript, I think I was an underachiever). It was one of the best things I ever did. I ran twice a week and our instructor taught us about different types of running schedules and stuff like that, which was all new to me. When the class was over, I continued running off and on through the summer.

Then I lived in Chicago for about a year, with my good friend, Alyssa, who is a for real runner (I think she has an endorphin addiction). She encouraged me to run my very first race - an 8k race called the Shamrock Shuffle, April 2006 in Chicago. It was really fun, and the only thing that could have motivated me to run in February and March in Chicago.

After the Shamrock Shuffle, I went a long time without running. Then Colleen, Jess, and I signed up to run the Evansville Half-Marathon together. We ran it in Oct. 2007 and it was really hot and terrible. But I made it to the finish line, albeit, after almost 3 hours, but I didn't care! I was just ecstatic to have made it the entire 13.1 miles without collapsing!

After the Half-Marathon, I went a very very long time without running. I ran a 5k this past summer, but it didn't really turn out so well (we don't talk about it). Then I signed up for a 10k Sept. 27th in an effort to make up for the terrible 5k.

10Ks are my jam. The perfect distance for me - just long enough to have to train for, but not long enough to make me wonder if I might die.

My goal was to run under 12-min miles, and I ran about 11-min miles! I know that sounds really slow, but it was a true accomplishment for me. I think that I can run faster, but I just have to work on it. Anyway, the race it self was kind of lonely compared to other races I have run. There weren't a lot of people enrolled, and I ran most of the race with just a couple of other runners in my sight. I didn't like feeling like I was running alone, but it did motivate me to run faster to try to catch up to people. (And also, I did not want to get passed by the speed-walkers).

So....now I am back to not running at all. I am really bad about consistency. I can feel all my muscles turning to mush again, just in time to gorge myself at Thanksgiving. Sometimes I feel like a bear preparing for hibernation - whenever it starts to get cold I want to sit inside and eat all the time.

But when winter is over, and I am done hibernating, I'll be ready for another race!



my 3 month hiatus, pt. 3

XRA Fest '09
Bloomington, IN
Sept. 11-12

A few years ago, the boys of husband&wife decided to start a record label. I am not entirely sure of the original motivations behind it, maybe they thought it could make some money to help fund the band, maybe they wanted to help produce and promote friends records, maybe it was just the cool thing to do. Whatever the motivation, Mike, Will, and Tim all shared it and Crossroads of America Records (XRA) was born. Though they only have a handful of releases under their belts, the boys put a lot of time and energy into it. They toil out of a love of independent music and the community of people here in the midwest who create it, listen to it, and support it.

This summer, XRA decided to host a music festival featuring all the bands on the label. I think the idea was to promote the bands and the label, but also just to get all their favorite musicians together for one extraordinary weekend of music.

They booked 2 shows: Friday, Sept. 11 @ Russian Recording on S. Walnut and Saturday, Sept. 12 @ Uncle Fester's. A ton of people showed up for the shows and it was an overall success, but it is hard for me to describe in words exactly how amazing and fun it was.

It wasn't just that the music was good, or that the people were great and fun. It wasn't just that we had a barbecue at the Roses, or a super sweet post-show dance party. It was just...everything.

Saturday night, I was at Uncle Fester's watching some of my very favorite people playing some of my very favorite music. Surrounding me were more of my favorite people, and as I looked around at them, I knew that they were watching their favorite people play their favorite music. Before I knew it, we were all singing together, and then we were pumping our fists in the air, and then we were climbing up on the stage. Then we stopped singing and started shouting the lyrics, and some dudes took off their shirts because there was nothing left for them to do but take off their shirts, and in that moment we were all experiencing the pure joy of music.

Now, I know that I sound like some crazy hippie from Woodstock, but seriously it was really fun. I think I understand a little more how Woodstock could have had such a huge impact on people.

Below is a link to a video from XRA Fest Saturday night. It doesn't really compare at all to actually being there, but it is still really funny to watch everyone getting up on the stage and acting like an idiot.

XRA Fest 2009 - 9/12/09 - Alexander The Great - "NYC" w/ epic finale

Can't wait for next year!



my 3 month hiatus, pt. 2

Visiting Jaime Michelle
Asheville, NC
Sept. 4-7

For those of you who don't know, the Felton line-up goes like this:

Jeff (35), Dan (32), Jaime (29), Tim (26), Nick (23)

Jaime is smack dab in the middle of all the bros! Talk about middle child complex. If you ask her about it now, Jaime says she is really grateful for each of her brothers and adores them! But I am sure there were many times growing up when she didn't feel that way.

Tim especially must have been trying for her. Tim is 3 years younger than Jaime, and he remembers following her around everywhere. Jaime used to make Tim walk 10 feet behind her at all times. Tim's mother, Maggie, told me that Jaime was quiet and timid, and Tim "demanded attention." He asked a million questions and talked a lot. (Does this surprise anyone?) Just recently, Maggie described the following exchange from Tim's childhood:

Tim (distraught and crying): Mom, Jaime hates me!

Maggie (consoling): She doesn't hate you, she just wants some time to herself right now.

Jaime (screaming from her room): No, I really hate him!

Since Jeff moved from Philadelphia, PA to Noblesville, IN, last summer, Jaime is now the farthest away sibling. Because of this, Tim and I don't get to see her as much as we would like. That's why we were determined to visit her in Asheville, NC this summer.

We reserved Labor Day weekend to maximize time with Jaime. When we got there, we went dowtown to watch some drum circling, and grab some dinner. We spent the next day at the river that runs along Route 9 and played in the waterfalls, made dinner at home and watched a movie. Sunday we went to a sweet festival downtown, and just hung out at home and talked. It was a GREAT weekend!

Jaime showed us this sweet hole in the middle of the river at Rte. 9! I tried to convince Jaime's dog, Buddy, to get in.

Tim poses for his calendar "Hunks in Waterfalls" coming out in 2010

This is Jaime's roomate's dog, Sythia, and me. We went for a run together and became BFFs.

I always look forward to spending time the Felton siblings. In addition to the fact that they are all great people, I think I am extra fascinated by my in-laws because I never had siblings growing up. I am grateful to have 3 stepsisters, but my dad and stepmom got married when I was in college, so we didn't really grow up together. I am intrigued by Tim's relationships with his brothers and sister, and I love hearing them all tell stories about growing up together. I wonder if they are ever weirded out by how much I like to talk about them...

Well, that's all about our trip to Asheville.


my 3 month hiatus, pt. 1

Hello Blog.coms,

So, I see that my last post was Aug. 7! Man, you guys must really be missing me by now. I kept telling myself that I was going to write more meaningful posts about things going on in the world, like politics, religion, international affairs, Lady Gaga, etc. But I just ended up being absent from the blog-scene for 3 months. So I guess it's back to the ego-centric ramblings about my life, for now.

This is the first of a series of posts catching you all up on my life. Hopefully I am not too boring.

Sharp Top Cove
Jasper, GA

June 28-July 5

I realized that I never told you guys about Young Life Summer Camp! Actually, most of you reading this probably went to camp, or have been before, and so I don't need to explain what it is. But on the off chance that you happen to have no clue, lemme 'splain.

Young Life is an interdenominational Christian outreach organization that serves middle school and high school age adolescents. It exists throughout the United States and in many countries across the globe. I have been involved since I was a wee teen myself back in Newburgh, IN. In college, I was a volunteer leader at Bloomington High School South, and now Tim and I are on the "Committee" which serves sort of like a Board of Directors for the organization at the local level.

Anyway, we went to CAMP! I mean, leaders take kids to camp every summer, but this was the first summer that we took a group of adults as Adult Guests! Tim and I loved getting to know other adults from our area better, and experiencing YL camp from a whole new perspective. I loved watching Young Life leaders care for young people in such a sincere and simple, yet intentional way. In the midst of hilarious skits, delicious food, and amazing facilities, the camp speaker described Jesus Christ in a way teenagers can understand. Young Life does all this without alienating religious jargon or arm-twisting appeals. I love it. At Young Life, people are accepted exactly where they are.

Plus it is tons of fun. Here are some pics of the adults having some kid fun.

Anne, Abbi, and me getting ready to drop from the "Big Swing"

Tim and Brett Rice sliding down the stand-up water slides!

Tim and me on 1800s night. Remember that beard? Ew.

Okay, so who wants to go to Young Life Camp next summer?



Hey there blogbuds.

This is a blogpost dedicated to the ever-changing terrain that is Tim Felton's face. Speaking as objectively as I can, I would say the face possesses some conventionally attractive features: good symmetry, strong brow, proportionate mouth. In fact, it has even been compared to the likes of Tom Cruise before.

However, these features are not what I love most about Tim's face. I believe two things make Tim's Face stand out above others: Variability and Elasticity.

1. Variability - Tim's face is constantly changing. The design of his facial hair, the bushiness of his eye-brows, the depth of the bags under his eyes....always different. He also changes up his look by varying the length (and greasiness) of his cranial hair. It's unpredictable and exciting.

2. Elasticity - I like to smoosh Tim's face with my hands. He likes to smoosh my face too, but my little flat Asian face is not nearly as elastic. Tim's cheeks stretch out and squish together really nicely, providing minutes of entertainment for the smoosher. Tim also enjoys contorting his face for his own personal entertainment. I have caught him doing this in the bathroom mirror before, when he didn't think I was watching. (He also makes up voices to go along with the faces, but that's another blog post for another day).

If you haven't seen Tim recently, I will update you on the latest look. He had been growing his facial hair out since the end of October and it was longer than you would ever desire a beard to be (unless you are a wizard of some sort). Unkept and scraggly, it was an excellent place to store excess condiments and cookie crumbs.

In case you didn't know, I am not the kind of wife that cares about her husband's physical appearance. I don't care how he dresses or what his facial hair looks like (1). In fact, I sort of enjoy when he looks a little gross, it keeps all the hot ladies at a distance. This being the case, I encouraged Tim to see if he could muster the endurance to grow the beard for an entire year.

But he couldn't do it. A few weeks ago, he decided he was done with the beard and told me he was going to shave it off.

Here is a picture of the beard-removal process (2). He paused for a moment at this point wondering if he should leave the three long pieces hanging down. Josh and I begged, "Please, no." So he continued buzzing.

In typical Tim Felton style, he collected the beard trimmings, created a grotesque beard-ball, and placed it on my plate while I was eating my sandwich. This is my grossed out face.

This is a picture at a friend's wedding later that day.

Josh is just sprucin' it up a little, I mean it is a fancy occasion.

In conclusion, I will leave you with a little collage I made to highlight some of Tim's best looks over the last couple of years. Enjoy.


(1) This is apparent if you have ever noticed how he dresses or what his facial hair looks like.
(2) I apologize for the chest hair exposure, I realize no one wants to see that, but I was just too lazy to try to crop it out.


On Stealing Blog Posts.

In which intellectual property is snagged from under my nose.

When you start blogging about your life on a regular basis, you start to experience things through bloggy-colored glasses. For example, you are going about your day and you hear something intriguing on the radio and it gets you thinking, and you think to yourself, "this would make a good blog post." Sometimes, I even start piecing together witty descriptions and clever insights in my mind, preparing for what I might compose later in my blog post.

Well, a few weeks ago, some friends and I witnessed the Grand Opening of Will Rose's mud oven. As we were enjoying the backyard pizza bonanza, I had one of those blog-post premonitions.

I am totally blogging about this later. I need some good pictures though. Crap, I didn't bring my camera....

I asked Colleen if she had a camera, but Josh eagerly intercepted with, "I have my camera in my pocket." He reached into his pocket and tossed the camera to me.

Sweet, now for some blog-worthy photo ops.

I snapped a few pics, and asked Josh to please send the pics to me or post them on the ol' facebook, and he agreed.

The next day, I open my Google Reader only to find this post waiting for me over on Josh's blog, Bravo Deploy Satchmo. (What a dumb name for a blog, by the way (1)).

I got scooped!

Oh well, it was a pretty good blog post, pretty much as good as I could have written about the night (except I probably would have included less about the actual pizza and more about how cute Brett and I look in this picture).

Anyway, if you wanna find out more about the Rose-mud-oven-pizza-parTAY, check out Josh's version. You could also just start reading his blog as it's pretty entertaining(2).

I will be back soon with an original post....unless Josh has already taken that idea too...


(1) see this post.
(2) Was that a good enough plug?


move, pt. 2

Welcome to Sunset Hill! (1)
yo yo yo bloggle-heads!

I am sorry that I have been out-of-blogmission lately, but life has been very busy. I have several things I will be blogging about in the near future (you can't wait, can you?), but first things first.

Sunday, June 14th, Tim and I said "Good-bye" to our super cheap, energy efficient, west-side Cooperative apartment and said "HELLO!" to our slightly less cheap, super cute, window A/C-ed, nearer west-side house! Unfortunately, we are not buying the thing, just renting it, but it's all very exciting nonetheless.

I don't know about you, but the process of moving makes me want to vomit a little. I hate packing and moving and unpacking. I always end up losing things, and breaking things and realizing that I have never once in a year-and-a-half cleaned behind the oven...and I get exhausted from it all. So, I enlisted some back-up.

This is Barbara Wenstrup. She created her own major at the University of Cincinnati in order to pursue a career in Professional Organizing, and she LOVES moving. The process of moving incites as much enthusiasm in her it does nausea in me. We hired her mostly for her energy, which is always bubbling over.

In addition to our PrOrg (Professional Organizer), we also have some great friends who lent us their cars and arms for the day! Thanks to Apr-izzle-Wizzle, Jeff Mahrt-heart, Jimmy Mann (a Bloomington legend), and Daniel Robison (the voice of WFIU) for your carloads of help!

Thanks J'Millionaire, and Roses for hours of hard labor, Badgers (and badger fetus) for the use of the trailer, and Orrs for the specialized skills you brought to the table. Also special thanks to the Mushmouths for lending us your baby for the day.

Oh yeah, and thanks to Jessica for her...charm.

Overall, moving day was really fun and exciting. That night we had dinner in our new living room, seated around the dining room table that is now functional. It is my favorite room and I love gathering around a full table with home-cooked food and smiling faces.

Though we are enjoying the extra space and the proximity to downtown, the main reason we moved into this house is because we long to live in more intentional community. What I mean by "intentional community" is simply making an effort to share life with others. Will, Colleen, and Kevin Rose(2) live down the block from our house. This makes sharing life together more convenient. We eat together. We pray together. We help each other with household projects. We share each others' space. We take care of each others' pets(3).

I have never really lived in a neighborhood where you borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor or watch each others' kids. I have had neighbors who I think would do those things, but I have never thought to ask. I have grown up learning how to do for myself, make decisions for myself, provide for myself. And though I believe a sense of personal responsibility is valuable, I believe I have lost-out on a really precious sense of communal responsibility. Taking care of your neighbor, and letting your neighbor take care of you. It has been really great so far.

We have a houseguest, our friend Ryan, for a few weeks, which is really fun. And we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our roommate, Brandon, who is allegedly moving in any day now. He is stealthy.

So come over and hang out with us at our new pad. You can eat with us, play games, watch movies, do Tae-Bo, or sit on our front porch and heckle passing cars!

(1) The Roses discovered that the name of our little County neighborhood is "Sunset Hill." From the hill on which our neighborhood is built, you can look east out onto the city. It is a pretty sweet view. And if you are downtown (or the parking lot of B-Dubs), you can probably watch an equally sweet view of the sun sinking behind our little hill.
(2) Will's brother, aka "The Guff"
Well, we feed Jose when the Roses are gone. I am sure they would return the favor, if we had a pet. On a side note, when Jose is hungry and cooped up inside, sometimes he goes a little crazy and attacks your ankles. It is so cute.