Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Days: Days 21-31

Here it is! I know this has taken me a while to finish, but these past few weeks have been really tough for me.  No worries! I have finished my 30 days! Enjoy!

Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget.

This was really hard because I don't have any pictures of stuff I wish I could forget. I guess I wish I could forget this idea in my head that I have to do everything myself, but I know that I just need to trust God and that everything happens for a reason; for the better. Romans 8:28

Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Writing. I enjoy writing and was told many times in high school and college that I am good at it, but I have trouble getting the words and thoughts from my head onto paper.

Day 23: A picture of your favorite book.

The B-I-B-L-E. Yes that's the book for me.

Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change.

Ignore the colors :)
I wish I could change some of my bad habits; like biting my nails. This picture was taken when my nails were the longest. I grew them out as a Christmas gift for an associate who slaps my hands when she sees me biting them. Sadly, I bit them a week after Christmas.

 Day 25: A picture of your day.

I work at the Mart.

Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.

two of my favorite people.

Day 27: A picture of you and a family member.

Well there's two family members in there.

Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of.

That's right! I am afraid of the dark. I don't like not being able to see where I am, or who's next to me. It's creepy.

Day 29: A picture that can always make you smile.

Grandma!! Knowing she is in Heaven with Jesus makes me happy that I will see her again someday!!

Day 30: A picture of someone you miss.

My second family! Dudley and Kay (not pictured)

Day 31: A picture of yourself (again).

I know this is only 30 days, but there is a day 31 in the instructions so here it is.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jenny Day

Today started out with a blast; a blast of freezing cold water, that is!  I have only taken a cold shower twice in my life before today.  Once because we had to turn off the hot water for repairs in the laundry room, and I needed to take a shower.  I bravely suffered through the cold.  The other time was because we had to turn off the hot water for some reason I cannot remember at the moment, but no body told me!  How do you not tell every one in the household that the hot water is turned off?!  When my parents woke up, my mom just laughed and said, "Oops, we forgot to tell you."  Yeah, that's really funny mom.  It's really funny to turn the shower on and all that comes out is freezing water.  I'll tell you one thing though, I sure woke up in an instant that morning.  Talk about wake up call!  Since then, I have made it a habit to turn the faucet on and check the temperature of the water before I hop into the shower.   I hate cold showers.  It ruins the moisture in my hair, not to mention that the water is so cold that my skin cannot stand it for a second.  This morning was just that case.  I had spent the night at Connie's house in order to avoid driving across town more than I needed to this weekend, but mostly because she's my best friend and I enjoy hanging out with her.  To get the whole effect on my cold shower to top off what a great weekend I had, let's rewind back to Friday night, a night that I will never forget.

Friday, February 18 was our This Is Not Goodbye- Part 2 party at my good friends, Scott and Susie Derouin's house.  In case you didn't notice, I did say Part 2 because we had a Part 1 (obviously) the week before.  And if you haven't read my previous blog, Scott and Susie are beginning their steps into ministry by moving to a new church that is growing in their ministries but lacks the leadership.  Scott and Susie were the leaders of my College and Career Sunday school class at my church,  so as a last hurrah, we had two going away parties, so to speak.  Anyway, Friday night was our Part 2.  It started at 6:30, but I didn't get there til 7:00pm because I was waiting at home for my sister, Megan, as she was coming straight from school, MSU (that's a whole other issue in itself as I am a U of M fan).  To avoid bringing many cars to the Derouin's, I waited for Megan to get to my house and then drive together along with another friend.  We entered the house and Scott tells me that they couldn't start the evening because I wasn't there yet.  Every body waited to eat.  I felt so bad.  They could have started without us, but they said some things weren't ready anyway.  I think they were just saying that to cover up. Regardless of that fact, the food was worth the wait. We ate some yummy lasagna, spaghetti, green beans, bread and butter, and for dessert we had brownies!  And we had coffee!!  I probably shouldn't have had three cups of coffee!  I'll get more into that.

At some point in the evening, I had Scott and Susie open a gift that I had been working on for them.  It was a scrapbook of their time with the coolest people in the world, the HBC College and Career class!  (I think this is when I had finished my first cup of coffee.)  Everyone enjoyed the pictures, mostly because they were in them.  It was nice to go down memory lane for a bit and remember the good times.  I told Scott not to cry and I could see him tearing up before he even opened the book. He's such a cry baby.  After that I went up to Scott with my empty mug and said, "Please sir, may I have some more (coffee)?"  That was my second cup of coffee in less than an hour I think.

Other then that, it was a typical Friday night at the Derouin's.  The Wii was out and in action.  Connie schooled everyone in basketball.  Megan apparently schooled everyone in archery.  I, on the other hand, was in the other room playing a nice quiet game of cards. Yeah right.  I hate playing cards.  It's so boring to just sit there and place cards down on the table.  Where's the fun?  I was playing Bananagrams with some friends.  For those of you who have never heard of Bananagrams and are trying to imagine was that entails, stop thinking right now!  It's a scrabble game where you create your own mini scrabble board, and you can shuffle your words around as you get new letter tiles.  It's a really fun game.  If you've played it enough times like Susie and I have, we play the game really fast so you better keep up.  To finish off the night, we had to play Catchphrase because this game only gets better after 11pm!  Some of us ended up staying til about 12:30 in the morning (even Connie), but we knew it was time to leave.  We can't have Scott and Susie forever, however I am coming over every week to spend time with their family.  Their son, Caleb, and I are calling it Jenny Day (hence the title).

Saturday was a fun day too, mostly because I didn't have to work!  I had plans to meet up with Connie and another friend at a restaurant for dinner, but the other friend bailed out.  Connie and I quickly changed our plans.  I ended up going to her last coaching game for basketball, then went to Patty and Joe's house for dinner.  BTW, Chicken Shack is AMAZING!!  Then, of course, we played Just Dance on the Wii and my new favorite game, Family Feud for the Wii.  This game had us laughing so hard.  For example, one of the questions was "Name a food that is difficult to eat with a fork."  The number two answer was spaghetti.  Spaghetti!! Really?!  How else do you eat spaghetti?

Sunday, February 20, 2011 was a day that I was hoping would never come; Scott and Susie's last Sunday with our church.  I already told you about my cold shower, so we don't need to get into that again.  Connie and I left for church.  I hung my coat up.  I went to the bathroom to check my make-up and my clothes.  I walked down the hall.  I entered my class and immediately started crying.  I have no idea where this emotion came from because I wasn't too sad all morning.  I knew our time with Scott and Susie was coming to an end and I thought I was beginning to accept the fact that I won't be seeing them every Sunday and Wednesday.  And the funny thing is that neither Scott or Susie were in the room yet and here I was crying.  I had to leave the room right away because I didn't want to cry in front of people.  I don't like to be vulnerable.  I pulled myself together and walked back into the room.  I sat down as everyone was making fun of me for crying.

Then Scott walked into the room.  Now I started blubbering and quickly left the room as I was about to fall apart.  I had the waterworks going, the crying noises, even had trouble breathing, and I was shaking.  I could hear everyone in the room tell Scott that I had cried and that I just needed to collect myself.  I came back in the room and told Scott not to look at me.  I was still shaking at this point.  I could see him out of the corner of my eye, but I looked away as I knew I would have to fix my eye makeup once again.  He asked why i was sitting by myself, and someone mentioned to him that I wanted to sit by myself because if I was going to cry again, I wanted to cry by myself.  Well that lasted a whole five minutes when someone I was trying to avoid walks in the room; Susie.  And guess where she sat? That's right, right next to me just to torture me.  I held it together though.  I made it through Sunday School.  I sure am going to miss their faces at church.  For the past two weeks, however, their son Caleb has been asking me when I am coming over for Jenny Day.  He just has to melt my heart.  Caleb is such a sweet kid.  I didn't realize he really wants me to come over as often as I can.  I will definitely make time for Derouin's as they will always be in my heart and prayers.

Sunday night was Flocks night.  This was an incredible distraction of Scott and Susie leaving.  I love my Flocks.  For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, I am not talking about my own personal flock of sheep.  I am not Little Bo Peep.  Flocks is a home Bible study group and we meet every first and third Sundays of every month.  It's so great and such wonderful fellowship with awesome people.  We had a good study and great discussion, even though Joe (the leader of the pack) was picking on my friend Andrew which is why I chose not to say any answers aloud as I would have to explain them.  I'm just kidding.  I did shout out some answers, but whenever Andrew did, Joe would say "what do you mean?"  Poor Andrew.  Joe's wife, Patty, jokingly said that all of  our names were on a dart board and the dart landed on Andrew's name for the night.  After our study, we ate dinner.  Miss Vicki made some delicious pulled pork, and or course we had to have some orange soda!  My brother Mike is in my flocks group too.  He hasn't been feeling well and he had been waiting to get called in to plow snow for the night.  He was going to call his boss to call in sick when he did get the call to be at work at 9pm.  He ended up snow plowing for 20 hours!  Anyways, me and Andrew stayed at Patty and Joe's with Mike till he had to leave for work.  We played Just Dance on the Wii (we love the Wii) and their kids beat Mike in a lot of dances.  It was pretty funny.  I did a few songs myself but it is so tiring and makes you sweat.  We even got Andrew to do a song when we pulled out the Michael Jackson version of Just Dance.  I was not even going to try to the MJ dances because he moves pretty fast I would not be able to keep up.

Despite the fact that I was sad 50 % of the time, I had a really great weekend.  I have such wonderful friends and family in my life; people who would drop what their doing to help me with anything.  Patty even told me to text her when I got home Sunday night because of all the snow.  I can't remember the last time it's taken me over an hour to get home from Warren but I got home in one piece.  I love them so much and you all know who you are.  Thanks for an awesome weekend!

Jennifer Nicole

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Is Not Goodbye

February 6, 2011 was not an ordinary Sunday.  I cried on my way home after watching the entire game of the Super Bowl with a few friends, as well as all the commercials.  And might I add that the Eminem Chrysler commercial was amazing!  May I also note that I was not crying because the Steelers lost.  I just want to make that perfectly clear.  I watched the game, but I did not care who won or lost.  OK.  So, rewind to around 8:30. in the morning.  I was just putting the finishing touches on my outfit while getting ready for church.  The night before I had bought a suit vest to wear with my black trousers and red hot high heels.  I was looking pretty chic, if I do say so myself.  I was feeling good.  Someone at church even said I was looking skinny!  What better news could I get?!  Well earlier that day I got some news, but I wouldn't say it was good news.

The time was 10 a.m.  This was right about the time when I got the news that shook the nation.  OK, so maybe not the nation, but my Sunday School class for sure.  Scott and Susie, our teachers, are going to be leaving our church to help out, and hopefully join full-time, at another church which is growing in their ministry but lacking the leadership.  We have a common bond with this other church because the senior pastor used to be the youth pastor at our church.  This is incredibly bitter sweet for me, because Scott and Susie have been more than just teachers to me, they are my friends.  I cannot imagine Heritage without them, or their two boys.  Susie and I in particular go way back to when our church was Ryan Road Baptist before we moved locations to 14 Mile and Van Dyke.  I didn't really know her then, but I knew of her.  It wasn't until I was in high school and she and Scott became leaders in the youth group that I really got to know Susie.  She has this way about her that just makes you want to be around her and learn from her.  She's very blunt and in your face sometimes, but that is what I love about her.  She gets straight to the point without getting off at any exits.  Example:  A bunch of us college kids were at their house and out of no where she asks my brother when he and his girlfriend are going to get married!  It was really funny and it totally put my brother on the spot!  That is how Susie is, and she's great at it!

I've always enjoyed the times I have spent with Susie; from girl's sleepovers in youth group, to 4th Sundays with the college class, to even spending an entire weekend with her family to help paint her front room.  If you don't know the story of me painting her front room, check out my blog.  It was legendary!  BTW, I apologize if many of my sayings are odd, but I have been watching How I Met Your Mother lately.  Anyways, I digress.  Susie has been an incredible friend to me over the years.  So incredible in fact, that she said I was one of the people she was afraid to tell about her family leaving our church.  I didn't know I meant so much to her.  In fact, while I was painting at her house, she wanted to tell me about her and Scott's plans on going into the ministry but they didn't have all their information and plans all worked out at the time. I kind of thought at the time, which was back in September, that something was going on.  I wanted to ask her if they were planning on moving, but I was not prepared for any answer.  She has encouraged, more like forced, me into speaking at a weekend getaway with the ladies of our church.  And when I say getaway, I mean all of us ladies hanging out at the church for two days.  We didn't sleep over, but we did stay late Friday night, and return early Saturday morning.  We've had some really good times with the ladies from church and I will miss that fellowship.  I feel like Susie has been pushing me to do things so that I might one day take a step forward into the ministry somewhere, maybe organizing ladies activities or one day teach a Bible study.  Who knows what goes on in her mind, but I know that she wouldn't push me if she didn't think I couldn't do it.  That is what I love about Susie.

Scott and I, on the other hand, have an brother/sister friendship.  I have this problem where I must win at the game of wits.  I just have to have the last word, and it has to be awesome.  Scott's age is a really good target for me because I like to remind him that he is ten years older than I am.  He and I go back to my youth group days.  Like Susie, I saw him as just my leader, not really a friend.  Over the past five years, however, Scott and Susie have become really close friends of mine that I know if I just stopped by their house, they would OK with that.  I enjoy their company, and hopefully they enjoy mine; otherwise, they have been lying to me all these years!  I have sincerely enjoyed our friendship and the things I have learned from him.  He knows a lot about the Bible and I can always go to him if have questions or concerns.  We like to joke around and drink lots of coffee.  He knows I have to have his special coffee on Sunday mornings.  Who's going to replace that?  Who am I going to play catchphrase with other than Scott and Susie after 11 p.m.? Who's house are we all going to hang out at on 4th Sundays?  Truth is, no one can replace them.  We'll still have those moments, just maybe not all the time.  They'll have a new church family to get to know and make memories with which is always a good thing.

I know God will do amazing things through Scott and he'll be a great pastor someday.  God's plans are always better than our own, which is why I have kept my feelings to myself.  Actually, I have blatantly protested their leaving, but I hope they know that I am joking.  I hope they know they mean a lot to me, and I will visit them at least once a week.  I love their family so much, and I can't imagine not seeing them every week.  Susie said even if we don't see each other every Sunday, we'll see each other again in Heaven.  I want that day to be soon.

Jennifer Nicole

Thursday, February 10, 2011

30 Days: Days 14-20

I am in the middle of a few blogs that just aren't ready, so please enjoy my days 14-20.

Day 14: A picture of someone you can't imagine your life without.

Jamie Pepin. We met in youth group 2002 (correct me if I'm wrong). She's an incredible friend, the greatest friend God has given me.

Day 15: A picture of something you would like to do before you die.

I would like to get married and raise a family.

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you.

My dear friend Fay. She is an amazingly godly woman and someone I aspire to be.

Day 17: A picture of something/someone that had a huge impact on your life.

Scott and Susie Derouin.
What can I say about these two. They have been wonderful friends and mentors to me over the past 10+ years. I love them dearly!

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity.

Sometimes I just don't see it.

Day 19: A picture of a letter.

Jamie Pepin wrote this to me at her wedding!

Day 20: A picture of somewhere you would love to travel.

Paris, yes!
But Europe in all it's beauty I would love to see!!