Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Month Off

My break has been so amazing. I am very blessed to have such a great amount of time off, and have definitely welcomed the much-needed vacation from school, work, and stress. I know that this won't happen in the "real world" once I escape this world of college, so I am soaking up every minute of this fabulous time.

Here are the highlights of my luxurious break in chronological order...

1. Cookie Making

Every year, a bunch of us girls get together and make frosted cookies, almond bark pretzels, and caramels and then go around and deliver plates of these goodies to the elderly. It is SO fun! We have done it since we were in Jr. High, and the tradition has never died. We joke that we will still be doing it when we are all married with kids and living in different states; this will be our one re-uniting event.

2. 2 Peas in a Palette

This is Kristi and I trying not to get stressed over everything we had to do. Actually, this picture was taken at the end of mot of our Christmas cards, but this is us spending a couple of hours getting details straightened out in a very "organized" (Kristi: *wink wink, I'm sure your mom would beg to differ) manner. Hats off to Kristi and I for completing at least 30 cards total! We had fun with it all.

3. Ski Trip

Here is Tracy, Heather, and Polly posing in front of a beautiful sunset at a gas station on the way up to Michigan.

Tracy, Tammy and I on the ski lift.

Packing it up after a long, good day of skiing/boarding/blading!

What a fun trip! It was a great group with a lot of good memories.... buying "lunch" at Meijer's at 4:30 in the morning, traveling for 4-5 hours in a car before even seeing traces of sunlight, tearing up the hills with my snow blades (everyone knows that snow blades rise above the coolness of snowboarding... they are in a class all their own... I mean, don't get me wrong, I still think snowboarding is way cool, but snow blades, having originated from the skiing family, make skiing look classy, and anything that can do that is cool), getting lost many times on many different occassions resulting in many detours, getting beat by an 11-year-old in ping pong (that really was a crush to my ego, thanks to Holly's little brother.... kidding! But he was pretty good), riding the ski lift with my two favorite T's, playing Rook most of the afternoon, seeing Tracy among other girls jump really high in the food court at the mall, watching some Xtreme Japanese show that I thought was absolutely hilarious, and, of course, the 7-8 hour car ride home! Ok that's enough memories.

4. Christmas

First, I have to brag about my nieces and nephews. :) From left to right: Sophia, Noah holding Lola, Oliver holding Naomi, and Domniq. Aren't they cute? I love them. I remain the famous "Aunt T" or "T" or sometimes, even "Taryn." It always catches me off guard when one of them calls me "Taryn," because I'm like "What? You actually know my real name?" All those kids hold a special place in my heart. My heart is going to just have to keep getting bigger as more babies are born, because those kids take up so much of it!

My mom is one of the most creative people I know. For years, she worked as a seamstress who did sewing alterations as a business at home. She gave that up about 5 years ago when our family did foster care for awhile, because that consumed a lot of time. However, she has taken advantage of her extreme talent ever since... a couple of years back, she made purses for us girls for Christmas that were completely unique. We've always got a lot of compliments on them. She also made "memory quilts" for her two sisters and herself when both of their parents died by taking material from my Grandma's dresses and hankies and material from my Grandpa as well as some of his ties, and made a quilt out of it with chanile (sp.?) on the back! She recently began her own personal business called "Sutsie Pie," (that is what her and my dad used to call us when we were babies), and so now everything she makes us has clothing tags on it! It's really professional-looking. Each family got a REALLY soft blanket (I'm addicted to mine, I sleep with it every night) and she also made us girls purses again this year out of real vintage material that she found and some old jeans. You will see us displaying out choices in this picture, and my mom is holding the 2 that weren't chosen. She will hopefully continue to make them and sell them, as well as mostly baby blankets/silkies/clothes for the brunt of her business.

I love Christmas time. I love being with family, and I love the theme of Christmas. I love the special bonds we all share. I love the carefree spirits and the fun times. We celebrated Christmas Eve day with my family, and then on Christmas, my parents and I went over to my Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Jeff's house and spent it with them, and my two cousins, Trevor and Trent. We played games most of the evening, and I had fun competing against my Uncle Jeff during the games (not that I'm competitive or anything). I was fresh in Rook when we played, so that was an easy win. Dutch Blitz and Rummikub were also fun to challenge them in. I love games!

5. Sleepovers (I can no longer refer to them as "Slumber" Parties, because we don't ever sleep)

Just kidding, we do. But usually not until after 2 or 3 a.m.

H, Kristi, and I had fun that night. Pictures are proof. Needless to say, it was an early morning. Poor H had to get up for work, but Kristi and I didn't begin our day until around 11.


We celebrated my birthday tonight early because I'm going to be gone over my birthday. Here is a good sibling shot. It took us about 4 tries because my brother has issues keeping his eyes open. After every picture, my mom would say, "Tate, your eyes were closed, "and Tate would shout with all seriousness, "No they weren't!" but he was in denial, because they were.

Here is a picture of my cake. It was luxurious (that is my new word, can you tell). It is buckeye cake... chocolate peanutbutter cup fantasyland, basically. It was AMAZING.

So, that about wraps it up. This is a really long post. Of coursre, you know that if you are still reading. Anyway, don't worry, because I'm leaving this Saturday and am going to be GONE a whole week in Florida! Expect a sunny update when I get back.

I love you all!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Tracy, Part III

This is Tracy Part III.

For those of you who are faithful, tuned-in readers of my blog, you may recall that I said Part III would be coming sometime in December. Since I did not want to let you down, nor become a blogger who is careless enough to just promise words like that and then not fulfill them, here is "Tracy, Part III."

Tracy is cool because:

1. She snowboards. That right there says "cool," in my opinion. Not only does she snowboard, but she is fantastic at it.

2. She has a green ipod mini AND an ibook. She does technology in style.

3. She likes to run. And sometimes, she even runs with me.

4. She drives a ruby red Honda... some trusty wheels.

5. She is one of my only other friends who will rap-dance w/me with NO SHAME. That's the only way to do it.

6. Her middle name is Jo. Just kidding, it's Janiqua. Just kidding...

It's Jean.

Well, it's kind of awkward to end on # 6, but this whole write-up is awkward because there is an element missing. I know what it is- it's Tracy in her physical form. Every other time I've written a Tracy tribute, she has been here aiding me. I gander the reason she isn't here this time is because I feel confident after the first 2 Tracy posts' successes, so I'm just going for it.

Tracy, this is to you...

my crazy, humorous, laughable, smiling, bright, spiritually minded and brilliant room mate.

I will be starting a new series this Spring which covers both of my other room mates. The next series will feature Tammy, Part I. Try to contain your excitement.

I love you all.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Snow Ho Ho

First, let's get you laughing.

Now that I have you in the mood for snow, I'll talk about that. I just returned from the (annual?) Alto ski trip. It was really fun. It was one of those trips where I knew I would have fun, but when I got home, I was even more thankful that I went. So, good report on that! We skiied or snowboarded (or in my case, NEITHER, I snow BLADED) at Nub's Nob all day Thursday. The weather was perfect and fun times were had by all.

I hope you are all in the Christmas spirit, because Christmas Eve is TOMORROW! I am starting to get really excited. This year, my brother and sisters will be with us on Christmas Eve, so it will be fun having them here all day. We always read the Christmas story out of the Bible before we open gifts, and this year I already mapped out what I want to read. I am very excited to be the narrator.

I trust that you enjoyed the Calvin and Hobbes... the other morning, I came downstairs and my mom was checking her e-mail and ROARING at these comics. I don't think I have heard her laugh so hard in a very long time. I don't necessarily expect the same reaction from you, but if you enjoyed them at all, let me know your favorite. I know which mine is. :) Have a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

I love you all.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

You Choose

I got a perm two days ago, and I can only think of 2 good descriptions as to how I appear at the moment. Pick your favorite one and try to visualize. Sorry, I'm not posting a picture.

I look like...

1.) I stuck my finger into an electrical socket and all of the charge volted through my body and out of my hair,


2.) I am bi-ratial.

(Those of you who have seen me, pick the most accurate choice and let me know.)

Moving on.

An exciting tidbit is that I am officially done with school for this semester. I know that as you read that, the same excitement and peace of mind and joy of heart and outpouring of relief is not occurring inside of you like it is in me, but I just thought I'd share. I am done with my first semester at ISU as a junior. Only 3 more to go.

Then what?

The joys of the future. You know, some days I wish this is how it was: I would go retrieve the mail from our front entryway (we have this mail slot, and the mailman always puts the mail through it and it falls all over our back steps for us to pick up) and I would find a big, square, white envelope addressed to me. The return address would be Heaven. In it would be a memo of the outlook of my next week. You know, just a slight forewarning from the Father in control. Wouldn't that be nice?

Well, it would, but then why would we really need faith? Why would we need to trust in anything other than the letter we got every week? Why would we need to pray? While knowing my life's story would be handy, I love the feeling of being free in Christ and all He has in store for me, with completely open palms and an open heart. There is nothing better than sweet surrender to One in whom you know has your life in His hands. Not for our glory, but for His own!

So what am I going to do when I graduate from ISU? Your guess is as good as mine. We'll just wait and see what God has written in my many memos.

Kristi and I are ending the chapter of "Christmas Cards 2005" in our book of business. We have learned a lot through our first-time experience designing cards for customers, but I would say overall, it was a very positive experience. I believe we both designed 15-20 cards each, so it was a good start! We hope to have some returning regulars next year and some newbies, as well. Until then, we will be behind the scenes, perfecting our system and continuing our design in other areas of expertise. I will let you all know when we get a website up. It will hopefully be within the next few months.

It is one one one a.m., so before I encourage my early-morning spell, I am going to wrap it up and hit the sack. I love you all, and travel safely as you man the icy roads, enjoy your family Christmas get-togethers, and don't miss me too much before I return again.


Heather, I am not going to let a comment like that go unnoticed. I did some research. After about 3 Google image searches, I was shocked to find the below image sporting Richard and I together appear on my screen. It looks as though someone else has already had the same thoughts as you, Heather, and was nice enough to put together a visual comparison. It's official. "3.) Richard Simmons" is now a legitimate choice.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I wish I was 2 again

I have a lot of things to say tonight. It is rare when I come to my blog posting box with a lot of ideas.

This morning, my sister, Tonya, came to work out on our treadmill like she does most mornings. She exercises in the basement with the TV blaring SO loud. Which reminds me- last week, she was over exercising, and Tasha, my other sister, was upstairs in the kitchen with me because I was helping her with her Christmas card. (As you can see, my sisters just unexpectedly drop in some mornings, and this was one of those rare occassions when we were ALL there because then Melissa showed up 5 minutes later and questioned what was going on.) Anyway, Tasha commented, "It sounds like the Pumpkin Festival down there," which made me laugh, because it totally did. Those of you who are Mortonites and live w/i 2 blocks of the P Fest like me- you know what it sounds like. Loud, distorted, blaring music and screaming. Well, that's what it sounded like from our place in the kitchen.

Anyway, I'm escaping the point I really want to make. So today, while Tonya was over, I went to the playroom because I knew her kids would be there. Wrong- kid. I sat down on the chair next to Sophia where she was watching a movie.
"Sophia, where is Domy?"
"Domy at Skooool," she reported.
"Oh yeah," I remembered. "What is this movie? The Grinch?" I ask.
"Nooooo," she answered. She was right. I don't know what movie it was, but after close inspection, it wasn't the Grinch. Anyway, I started to stare at Sophie, because I LOVE staring at little kids. Why? Because they don't care. You could stare at them all day and they wouldn't think twice. Don't get me wrong- I'm not some sick, twisted pedafile who stalks kids, I just like to observe. I find it enthralling. I was watching her, thinking about how EASY she had it. It was 9 in the morning and she was sititng there watching a movie already. Then, she'd get to go home and play until lunch, take a little nap, play some more, get fed supper, play some more, get bathed, and tucked in.

(a picture I took of Sophia this June, my favorite one of her)

I thought back to when I as a kid: I used to fill my days with nintendo, dolls, and running around outside making imaginary friends and "clubs" with my best friend, Sonja. When I got older and went to school, my brother and I would walk home together when I was in kindergarten and 1st grade, and I'd get a chocolate pudding cup out and eat it while watching "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego." Every Saturday morning, my dad and brother would return from the paper-route with donuts from Kroger, and I'd bring my cat, Whiskers in, and we'd watch cartoons while eating donuts. Every night after supper, all of us kids would either have to do dishes or sweep.

The memories of childhood swirled around me in nostalgiac wisps, and I became "homesick" for my youth. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to the sweet innocene of childhood and relive every carefree moment.

My favorite memories of childhood:

1. My mom used to make me PB&J but with actual butter on it, too, or a balogna and cheese face for lunch

2. I would play in the sewing room where my mom sewed (she was a seamstress for her job) and one day, before pre-school, she told me I had to go on the time out chair because I didn't pick up my blocks fast enough (I was probably being onery)

3. My best friend throughout life, Whiskers, our gray cat who lived 16 long years and had to be "put to sleep" on March 14, 1998 because he had cancer in his eye. It was one of the saddest days of my life.

4. My actual human best friend, Sonja, who lived 2 doors down. We spent every second of every day together, and have many great memories. I was the leader in that friendship most of the time, and we actually shared a paper-route for 3 years or so.

5. Oh, the paper-route. It got handed down to me from my brother, and I had it for about 6-7 years. I don't miss getting up at 5 a.m. every morning. My dad faithfully helped me EVERY time.

6. When I was real little, my dad always had to tuck me in. I insisted upon it. I couldn't sleep without it.

7. Getting beat on by my brother. As much as I hated it, I deserved it. I was a classic "little sister," and he loved to use me as a punching bag to get a rise out of me.

8. Walking to school from kindergarten until my senior year in High School. All 3 of the schools I went to throughout my school career were w/i a 10 minute walk.

9. Our family trips to Arizona. All of us would pile into the station wagon, then the van, for a 2-day drive to AZ. THOSE were the days... oh, the memories. My dad wouuld always get so mad at us when we'd misbehave.

10. Going to get ice cream with my dad at the yogurt place at the 4-way stop where Domino's now is.

Ok, that's enough memories. Onto my next topic.

So, this is the spiritual part of my post. I'm going to write a little bit on temptation.

Here is what I was thinking. I am going to use an analogy. I am very blessed, because I love food, and most of my good friends know that I can sit some nights and eat A LOT, but I don't weigh 500 lbs. to show for it. I have a fast metabolism at this point in my life, so I usually don't think about the consequences of eating a lot of junk food late at night in a few hours' time, which is the worst thing to do if you are watching your figure. :) Anyway, my point is, because I don't have immediate or even really long-term consequences of that action, I am kind of careless about what I allow myself to eat. I don't feel guilty about it. Is this a good thing? Probably not- I mean, sure, I can get away with it, but that doesn't mean I should do it.


There's my lead-in to temptation and sin.

A lot of times in life, we are TEMPED. Tempted to do things that we know are sin, yet somehow it is easy to justify when we don't have immediate consequences. However, just because we may be deceived into thinking we can "get away" with this sin, that is completely wrong. It may be a temporary good solution in our minds when Satan has us at the brink of sin, but it is not true. There ARE consequences. We can be thankful that Jesus Christ died on the cross for those consequences. However, that doesn't give us the go to take advantage of that act and continue in our life sinning. We need to make a conscious effort to avoid sin as much as possible, and when we DO slip up, ask for forgiveness. One way to know that we are where we should be spiritually is if we geel guilty after we sin. A lot of times, we may stumble and sin consciously because we are human. However, if we do that and don't feel bad about it, sometime is really wrong. We need to be having those little guilt pricks, and we need to be feeling the stab of conviction. That is a sign that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in OUR life because we are in tuned to Christ and what we know He wants... so even when we do slip up, we are prompted to ask for forgiveness.

How does this relate to my food analogy? Just as I am careless about my eating habits because I don't see immediate consequences now, sometimes we can be careless about sin because we are able to subconsciously justify it.

Be careful. If you are starting to get careless with sin and you are letting Satan manipulate you into slipping up more often than usual, he will soon have you in the palm of his hand. He seeks who he can devour. He is evil.

James 1:2-4

"My dear brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

It gives a whole new meaning to patience!

1 Cor. 10:13

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

James 1:12

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. For when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

How to fight temptation?
1. The minute it invites you, even if it is as simple as a thought, dismiss it. There is nothing more powerful than averting a thought process from even occurring if it doesn't have to. Don't even tell yourself not to think about it. That will only reinforce what you don't want to be thinking about/doing.
2. Recite Bible verses. That's what Jesus did. Use the Bible as a tool against him.
3. Pray for someone.

Ok. Enough for tonight. I love you all!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Let's see how smart you really are

Count the number of F's in the following text:


How many?


Wrong, there are six - no joke!

Read again!


The brain most likely wasn't able to process the "F" in "OF".

Incredible or what?

Anyone who counts all six F's on the first go is a genius; three is normal.

So... in an attempt to avoid studying for a final I have tomorrow, I am surfing around the internet and trying to find cool stuff to occupy my time. Look what I found for you guys! I've actually done that test numerous times and counted all 6 F's this time, but I guess you can say I had a slight advantage since it's probably my 8th time ever doing it.

Well, I'm going to go eat a brownie and try to study. Love you all. And let me how you did on that counting test... no lying!


Friday, December 09, 2005

O the Weather Outside is Frightful...

From where I sit on the couch, I can hear the snow plow outside.

Taking a walk in the falling snow is a favorite of mine this time of year. It is so peaceful and serene, and almost dreamlike... your feet pushing against a fluffy earth, the whole world around you frosted with white, puffs of breath coming out in warm bursts, and the pretty snow falling softly all around you. Picturesque...

I wonder why God created snow. Why did he create the burning desert? Two polar opposites, yet both beautiful in their own way. Kind of like personality. Kind of like no two snow flakes are the same.

Wow, nothing like writing a stream of consciousness... ever done that? Just write out every thought that pops into your head? It serves for a crazy chain reaction of thoughts that connect, but not really.

Let me disconnect from that activity long enough to give a brief update and include some spirituality.

First order of business:
1. Our Christmas tree has been up since the day after Thanksgiving. Going out to a tree farm and finding the perfect tree, and then cutting it down and decorating it has always been the tradition in our family... but a couple of years ago, we bought a fake one. For shame. My mom could hardly believe she was doing it at the time, because getting a REAL one was such a tradition. However, our hotel-sized tree has really made me happy with its tall, sparkling beauty and my Mom's Martha Stewartish decorating.

2. 2 Peas in a Palette has been swamped with Christmas cards. Every spare moment of my time- even 'hanging with the T's"- is filled with me designing. Good thing I love to design or else my life would be a drag right now. Anyway, although Kristi and I would love to go jump off a bridge right now, we will look back and appreciate all of the business that has been showered upon us during this season, and the opportunity to utilize this God-given talent to help others enjoy a break from worrying about their Christmas card! Look for a "2p" on the bottom right-hand corner of your Christmas cards to see if we designed it.

3. Finals are next week. Fortunately, I only have one kind-of test to study for. Otherwise, I just have projects due. I have a huge Flash Tutorial I have to have completed by Wednesday which includes video, audio, screenshots, 2 lessons, and a quiz, which requires some intense action scripting. Sound like jibberish to you? Try doing it! Nah, it's fun stuff, just very time-consuming. I also have "jury," which means for my private piano class, I have to go play one memorized piece and one sight-read piece in front of a jury who will examine my every move and write comments about how I play. Scary. I'll be glad when that's over.

4. I'm going to Florida over Christmas break. It's official, because I got tickets. I'm staying at TP's grandparents' place and Tracy, Tammy, and possibly Loona are all coming! You could not even fathom my excitement. I LOVE the beach. I LOVE the sun. I LOVE the ocean. I love it all. Besides, we are going to have a lot of fun.

5. Our House Plant, "Dad," is dying. His name is Dad because we had a Mum named "Mom," that pretty much died over Thanksgiving break since no one was home to water it, plus it froze. Dad has a few burnt looking leaves. Perhaps I can nurse him back to health after this post.

The T House has a Christmas Card:

So last week I read Psalm 139 and determined that it is probably my favorite Psalm, if not quite possibly one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It is worthy of being included in its entirety:

Psalm 139- KJV

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This Scripture both comforts me and convicts me. The Lord is so involved in my life in every possible way... these words explain that it is impossible to escape the Lord. He knows our every thought, and He is with us wherever we go. A comfort-- but also a true realization that He is there, even when we sin. When we do things that we think are behind closed doors or that only we know about-- He is there. To have that perspective all of the time is a challenge.

Also- to know that God wove us together and created us all... that we are "fearfully and wonderrfully made," makes the relationship we have with Christ so intimate. Doesn't it? "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

What a beautiful prayer!

TP and TZ just wandered in... it's 1:36 A.M. and none of us can sleep. I best be off...

I love you all, and may you all be safe and warm and fuzzy during this winter weather, holiday season, and joyous time!


Monday, December 05, 2005


Thursday night, Heather and Katelyn spent the night at the T House. We hung out in my room for awhile... and this is what happened.

Tracy attached a liking to my stuffed person labeled "Mom" on one side and "Dad" on the other. Tammy is pictured with her for moral support.

Heather decided to brush her teeth in my room.

This weekend, we took our annual girl's shopping trip to Chicago.

Kristi and I rode with Heather, and diligently "worked" the whole way up to Chicago... while managing to keep Heather company during a few scares... one being when Heather screamed REALLY LOUD which made me scream REALLY LOUD while she suddenly braked her car in front of a semi on the highway because a deer ran across. Sheesh. Kristi got so scared her face turned white and her lips turned blue. Seriously.

Random picture... we were trying to symbolize how we almost died 3 times on the way up to Chicago. Do I look dead?

Laura and Gab at Chipotle.

Tracy and I got a lemon and lime stuck in our mouths and had to walk around the rest of the weekend with them like that. People usually didn't noticed until we had to start talking.

All of the girls who went on the trip... in the snow!

Kristi and I "being" the structure.

Walking to our cars after a long day of shopping.

Laura and Tracy, looking hip.

A lost shot in Chicago. Note the nicely placed stores in the background for full effect.

Well, needless to say, it was a fun trip with great times had by all. We even got to see bird bounce off of a car, hit a semi, and drop dead right in front of us on the highway (on the way home). We also got to go to Harvest Bible Chapel and hear Rick Donald speak, as well as attend a Fernando Ortega concert afterwards. He is amazing, with a definite God-given talent! He sang and played the piano beautifully.

I hope you enjoyed this photo-story. Have a great week! I love you all!


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Stuff that wastes my time Take 2

Your 1920's Name is:

Luvenia Fannie

You Are Japanese Food

Strange yet delicious.
Contrary to popular belief, you're not always eaten raw.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

You Are 70% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom

What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

Your Personality Is

Idealist (NF)

You are a passionate, caring, and unique person.
You are good at expressing yourself and sharing your ideals.

You are the most compassionate of all types and connect with others easily.
Your heart tends to rule you. You can't make decisions without considering feelings.

You seek out other empathetic people to befriend.
Truth and authenticity matters in your friendships.

In love, you give everything you have to relationships. You fall in love easily.

At work, you crave personal expression and meaning in your career.

With others, you communicate well. You can spend all night talking with someone.

As far as your looks go, you've likely taken the time to develop your own personal style.

On weekends, you like to be with others. Charity work is also a favorite pastime of yours.

Your Birthdate: January 2

You're so intuitive, it's like you have a sixth, seventh, and eighth sense.
You connect with others freely and easily - and you tend to have many best friends.
Warm and caring, it's hard for you to close your heart to anyone.
Affection is like air for you - you need to give and receive it to survive.

Your strength: Your universal compassion

Your weakness: Your unpredictable mood swings

Your power color: Mauve

Your power symbol: Butterfly

Your power month: February

You Are a Little Scary

You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.

You Are 26 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Your Observation Skills Get A C

You tend to notice the big things in life...
But the details aren't exactly your forte

P.S. Thanks for the idea, H.

Love you all. T

Friday, November 25, 2005

Stuff that wastes my time (but I love it!)

First off... I found this picture on my friend's website and it cracked me up. Good thing I still don't watch Sesame Street or else I would be crushed.

Secondly, I will own up to the fact that surveys are for the most part... stupid, juvenille, and shallow, but I found this on my friend's site and I broke down. I haven't done one of these since I was probably a sophomore in High School, so here goes...

Favorite Animal & why:Cats because they are playful but don't bark and smell and sniff
Favorite fruit & why:Strawberries because they are delicious
#1 guilty pleasure:Eating late at night
Favorite Bible verse:Genesis 1:1, where would we be without that one?
What is your biggest pet peeve?Slow walkers
Favorite meal:There's a few: sloppy joes, chicken enchiladas, bacon cheeseburgers...mmm
First thought when you wake up:I won't fail if I skip that class or "GO AWAY," depending on if anyone is there or not
First thought before you drift off to sleep at night:All I know is that I'm usually hugging a pillow
First thought when someone ate the last bowl of your favorite cereal:They better buy me another box
Favorite day:Fridays. Bright, blue sky sunny ones.
Person you would take to go ice skating:Tracy
Person you could stay up all night with:Heather
Person you would go on a road trip with (4 hours )Laura
Person you can always joke around with:Kristi
Favorite candy:Reese's Peanutbutter Cups
Birthday & favorite birthday memory:January 2, going to Chuck E Cheese with Abi when I was 5
Best vacation spot:Arizona, they have everything there
Favorite cartoon character:Garfield
Favorite school teacher:Miss Tinnes
Pepsi or Coke?Pepsi in the can, Coke from the fountain or glass bottle
Grape or Cherry?Cherry
Dairy Queen or 31 Flavors?DQ, I have to be faithful
Cinnamon or mint?Mint
Oreos or EL Fudge?That's tough... depends on if they're double stuff or not
Crest or Colgate?Crest
Owl or early bird?Owl
Beach or slopes?Beach for sure
Pepperoni or sausage?Pepperoni
If you could ask God one question, what would it be?What is your favorite verse in the Bible?


I love you all!


Thursday, November 24, 2005


So... I'm mainly posting because I am sick of looking at the "Blanc ou Gris" post. It was a dramatic era in my life that I am well over, so it's time to move on.

Anyway, about this time of month in November, I get asked this question a lot, "What are you thankful for?"

My mind immediately points me to the one and only factor that is responsible for blessing me with the 4 main things I am thankful for the most: God.

They all start with the letter "F." I don't know how that worked out, but it just did. I wish they had all started with the letter "T" since it is Thanksgiving and I'm a T, and, well... anyway.

I love my friends. I am SO blessed with so many great friendships! When I look at how many relationships God has put into my life over the years... some of them going WAY back, and others having blossomed in the past couple of years or so... it astounds me. He has seemed to bring the right people in at the right time in my life, and I am very thankful for it!

What can I say? My family is very close. I cherish the bond we all share, and it is something that is easy to take for granted when it has always been this way. I also appreciate the love and support that they have never ceased to show me, and the direction they always provide. I am especially thankful for my caring mother who, as the "baby" of the family herself, understands my perspective and will do most anything to spoil me. :-D

How amazing it is that I was brought up in a family who loves the Lord! I couldn't have asked for a better heritage... I have been taught about Jesus ever since I can remember, and He came to live in my heart when I was 12. I actually recollect "asking Jesus into my heart" at my friend's house at about the age of 8- even the community I grew up in is very faith-based. Not everyone gets the privilege to have the knowledge of Jesus and the Bible and His teachings surround them in such an entirety. I am thankful for this opportunity of faith and my church of love in my life.

What would a "thankful" post be, written by me, anyway, without the mention of FOOD? Anyone who knows me knows my deep appreciation of this topic, and that eating is a hobby of mine. *Big smile* My family was all going around the table when we celebrated Thanksgiving (early on Sunday), saying what we were thankful about, and when it got to me, everyone had to make fun of me for about 5 minutes before I began... I'm known for any of the following: a great capability to prepare a structured, drawn-out speech, a tendency to have prepared a power point presentation with pictures and music of the things that I am thankful for, or the ability to write a story or narrative directed towards the holiday.

Now, let me just clear this up: I've only actually fulfilled option B at any point in my life, the power point with music and pictures at Christmas one year, and it was for my mom on a special occasion (and yes, I made the whole family watch it). Nonetheless, my family still teases me for being the one typical of putting on some sort of theatrical preformance to fulfill this requirement of stating the things I'm most thankful for.

So, upon completing this task of mentioning only 3 of my thankful-fors, which is Family, Friends, and Faith, my dad contributed the "food" option in which I immediately structured in to the speech. I mean, seriously. Why didn't I think of that before? *tsk tsk tsk*

Anyway... on a more serious note, there are a lot of blessings in life to be thankful for. However, on Tuesday night at boy's club, Kyle had a very good point to make to the 20 little boys seated around the room, their hyper energy trying to be contained as they listened. He asked, "We are thankful for the good things in life. Do you think that we should also be thankful for the bad things, too?"

All the boys shouted, "NOOOO!"

"Well, let's see what the Bible has to say about that." He opened up and read a verse that basically says...

We should learn to be thankful and content no matter what our circumstances.

As I stood there, I knew the obvious answer when Kyle asked it, even though the boys', and often our human-like natural tendency is to say, "No, DON'T be thankful when bad things happen!"

We may know this simple truth, but how often do we apply it when the situation actually arises in our life?

Do we rejoice when things are going GREAT? YES! Good, we should. But do we apply that same enthusiasm and thankfulness when situations aren't panning out as we thought they would? Check the focus. If it's not 100% on Christ, it's easy to become ungrateful, and of course we will, because we are too wrapped up in our desires and what we think ought to happen. Is our desire what Christ desires?

Philippians 4:11 & 12 (NIV), "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty..."

Christ loves us, and wants what is best for us. He disciplines those He loves, and He will allow us to go through tough times in order to strengthen us and teach us. That's the bottom line! If we keep this as our prespective... then how much more thankful we will become, through the sunny days AND the rainy ones!

I love you all, and may you all have a blessed Thanksgiving in Him!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Blanc ou gris?

When people get older, their hair tends to turn a certain color... either gray, or white.

I am glad to announce that when I am 75 and my hair is completely one of those shades, it will be white. Do you want to know how I know that I will have a head full of white rather than gray?

Today, as I was looking at my hair in the mirror, I noticed a few strands of.... spray painted hair? No... it couldn't be. I haven't been around paint in awhile. I look closer, and what do I see? A few pieces of hair that are bright white. To prove my theory correct, I pulled a strand out and examined it closesly. It was definitely white.

I'm 19 years old and I'm already showing signs of extreme aging.

At this rate, in about 5 years, no one will remember that I am "Taryn, the girl with dark curly hair" because my hair will be completely white. They'll see me and be like, "Wow, that lady dresses really young for her age. She looks about 65 but dresses like a teenager!"

Ok, so I'm being dramatic. I'm not worried about it... really, I'm not. I am finding humor in the situation. Everything will be ok.

Highlights of my weekend:

*Going to One World with my parents

*Sleeping in until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning

*Watching "The Top 100 Kid Stars" on TV while eating Subway... in essence, the art of "chilling," something I'm not capable of letting myself do very often anymore

*Attending a phenomenal bible study on Joseph

*Revisiting Dutch Blitz (it's been awhile)

*Trying to take some potential Christmas card shots of the "T House" inhabitants

*Hearing that the Bears WON

*Eating BBQ turkey, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, frozen fruit cups, rolls, and some extraordinary chocolate
chocolate chocolate cake for an early Thanksgiving celebration with my family

*Attempting to figure out my sisters' personality types

*Beating Kirby and Pete in ping pong doubles with Brittany's aid (Brittany and I were viscious ping pong doubles champs in 8th grade, let me tell you... it appears as though we still have the touch)

*Sitting here at 12:01 a.m. with the knowledge that I get to sleep in tomorrow and every single day for the rest of this week

Non-highlights of my week:

*Finding a few white hairs on my head

Verse for today:
Romans 12:11-12 (NIV) "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spirital fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."


I love you all.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Personality Take 2

I know I did a post about this awhile back, but I have new readers since then... and besides, I never tire of this topic.


It's my favorite. If there were such a job, I would be a personality consultant. Actually, there probably is, but I think I'm going to stick to graphic design and multimedia... especially after my last post. *grin*

Click here to see my personality type description

Click on that to read all about me. Since... I know that most people's goal in life is to have my complete personality memorized, this link shoud help you all out tremendously. Kidding... but this link will give you the opportunity to take a test and figure out what your type is... so do it! Seriously. You'll never regret it. The secret of life will finally be revealed to you about who you are... ha ha.... but really, it is very interesting and freakishly accurate!

I love you all.


Monday, November 14, 2005

I Love what I Love to do (and God, too)

I love 2 Peas in a Palette.

I'm not just saying that because I am Pea #1 and it would be unloyal of me not to. I'm not just saying that because that is the business I am associated with and I feel it is my duty to make such proclamations. I'm not just saying that because it flows good together.

I'm saying it because I DO! I sent Kristi, my trusty business partner (Pea #2) a text this weekend that said, "I love our business." She was baffled and confused at my statement... I'm not quite sure why, because isn't it good that I love it?

I love what I do. I love designing and creating... some days, it's a real pain, and it takes huge amounts of patience, time, and ideas, as well as requiring an open mind, but it is fun. Not only do I love "graphic" designing, but I love multimedia design. My favorite is to put music with pictures and video. Have you ever tried watching a movie on mute? The music adds such an emotional impact and emphasis. I love the effect it has when you find the perfect music to go with a certain set of pictures and video... it is amazing and exciting at the same time.

I also love photography. What inspires me the most is human emotion- particularly in children. I count my neices and nephews a blessing (for many reasons but also) in that they have been a real great source of this "human emotion" that I am trying to capture in photographs. Currently, my favorite subject is Ollie. He is the easiest to work with, and is willing to let me take endless shots of him being a little boy.

Ever since I have found myself pursuing these interests, I see my life in terms of pictures and movies. (Kristi- you were telling me about this in church today and I wanted to expound but never did). Kristi, as a photographer, does this too, but you start to see every event in life in terms of "the perfect shot." A certain view or perspective or person becomes an excitement, because you can see how it would make a great picture if only you had a camera nearby. Or... a certain experience or song or conversation becomes the perfect material for a video... every time I hear a song, it automatically gets translated to video in my head. Weird, huh?

Anyway... my only other passion in life is writing, and PLEASE don't get me started on that. Writing to me is like therapy. It always stems from inspiration but is often inspiration in itself. Many of life's experiences and stories get the wheels turning in my brain, and they somehow formulate a story that pour out of my fingers onto a keyboard without any former plans. Seriously. Some days, if the inspiration is there and I have even just a topic of what I want to write about, a story will magically evolve when I sit and type... a scene will be set, characters will come to life, and a story will be told. How this happens, I have no clue. I just know it's a God-given talent that I hope to use in the most effective ways possible to keep building His kingdom and not my own!

I am very thankful that I really enjoy what I do... and that I know what it is that I WANT to do. It never ceases to amaze me how much God has blessed me with this knowledge... now I just need to make sure and use it for His glory!

This weekend was a good "business" weekend, hence my initial topic being one of appreciation towards the word in quotes. Kristi and I both (Kristi especially) got a lot of Christmas cards and other business-related design done, as I always try to take advantage of being in town to show my client's the work I've done for them.

Well, Kristi just left about a half hour ago... she misses me terribly ever since I've moved away and since she hasn't come to visit me in over 2 weeks, it looks like the only time we get to be together is when I'm in Morton. Sad. Ha... I'm just giving her a hard time... she's coming to visit me this Thurs. night, so that should be fun. We actually both worked on homework projects tonight and had fun hanging out.

Well, it's 12:30, so my computer just announced to me (yes, it talks, I have this little voice activation that tell me what time it is every half hour) so that means time for bed so I can get my 7 hours in tonight.

I love you all!


Friday, November 11, 2005


My dad sent this website to me this morning. Check it out!

"We don't always see what we think we see." Follow the directions at the top. Get ready to be amazed.

Of course, I love you all.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jeremiah's Prayer

"I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Correct me, Lord, but only with justice-
not in your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing."

Jeremiah 10:23-24

Oops... I guess I thought my life was mine. This says something different.

Alright, so maybe I know that my life isn't my own- it belongs to God. However, how often do I live that way? It's a challenge, really. Life is all about self these days. Most of my thoughts are about self.

-Stressing? I'm thinking about myself- and probably throwing a pity-party, too.
-Worried? I'm being self-centered. If I wasn't so worried about myself, most of what I "worry" about wouldn't matter. Also, it's important to check to make sure that self-worth is in its correct place- Christ.
-Angry? Is it because of a misfortune that happened to... my SELF?
-Doubtful? Something may not go MY way... instead of trusting that no matter what happens, God is faithful.
-Jealous? Stop comparing my SELF with others and judging them and start imitating Christ, instead.

I could go on, but you get the point. The brutal truth of the matter is that we all spend a great deal of time focusing on our self and our life. We feel as though we have ownership to it and how it should unfold.

What did Jeremiah's prayer say? "It is not for man to direct his steps."

Thank goodness for that. Although we sometimes wish we had the reigns, it is so nice to know that Someone more powerful and mighty and awesome is directing the way. I believe that God gives us choices in our life that are beyond our capability to handle so that we learn how to fully rely on His grace and guidance. If everything were easy to figure out, why would we ever come running to the throne of grace? Why would we ever fall on our face before Him? Why would we ever plead for guidance and wisdom? That is the point. God wants our hearts, and sometimes the only way to get them fully commited to Him is to give us challenges. As we continue to seek His face, He delivers us- and in the end, we are so much more stronger because of it.

"Correct me, Lord, but only with justice- not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing."

Correction is a bittersweet feeling. I have learned to love the taste of chastisement because it means that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in my life. What does the Holy Spirit do? He comforts, guides, and corrects. The Lord corrects those He loves... so when you feel the sting of correction, remember that you are loved!

The Lord is powerful and mighty, and is capable of "reducing us to nothing." Sometimes, I feel as though I have a sugar-coated vision of God. He is just, but He also judges, and His power is not to be underestimated. It's important to respect and revere God in His awesomeness, and not take for granted our many blessings.

I came across this prayer of Jeremiah tonight and wanted to share it, because it struck me in its reality.

Love you all!


Monday, November 07, 2005


Don't worry... I only have 18% battery left on my laptop so my post can't be THAT long because I'm too lazy to go find the power cord. Although, my post material is going to be pretty rich, so I don't know... I may just have to go find it.

This post is dedicated to one of my lifelong best friends. Her name is Heather.

I always knew Heather existed, but we weren't close friends until a couple of years ago. Do you ever just happen upon a person in life who seems to share the same values, beliefs, ideals, and opinions as yourself? You have a conversation with the person, and you're like, "YEAH!" because you are seemingly always on the same page?

That's how I first got to know Heather. We would sit in my driveway after she was dropping me off from something or at a young group event and just talk for hours, sharing our views on life and our stories (because we've always had the same close group of friends). It started there, and has continued to grow into a great frinedship ever since.

God has really blessed me with her, because she has been there in the past couple of years through thick and thin, dark and light, cloudy and sun, tears and laughter, fruit and chocolate. She's been there through it all, and I think I probably owe her some money by now if we ever counted the many hours she has sat and listened to me ramble on about my life and what I think or what I do. I love the quote, "A true friend is someone who knows everything about you... and still loves you." Other than Laura Braker, I think she is the only other friend who fits that quote perfectly. She knows all of my flaws and imperfections, but instead of loving me in spite of them, she learns to love me for them.

If I want it straight-up, honest, and real, I go to Heather. If I need to know if ths skirt on sale at Gap is ugly and that is why no one has bought it, I go to Heather (although even if she said it was ugly, I'd probably still buy it if I liked it enough. I've been told I can I can get away with a lot because my taste is.... well, unique). If I want to sit around some night and do nothing other than talk and eat junk food until 2 a.m., I go to Heather. If I want to have e-mail marathons and 2 hour long phone conversations, I go to Heather. If I want to laugh my head off or bawl my eyes out, I go to Heather. If I want to share a really rich chocolate dessert and expect for there to be enough for the both of us to be satisified... I order 2 desserts (like tonight at Applebee's :-)

Anyway, the bottom line is that Heather is an excellent friend, and I thank God that she is in my life! If you're not convinced, here are 10 reasons how I know she is a quality friend:

1. She sleeps in the same bed as me... and ENJOYS it! (now... THAT is a feat)
2. She has chauffeured me around many years with a happy heart (even though I have never ceased to spill food in her car)
3. She is capable of being the lead role in my future dramatic novel
4. She is willing to try anything with me- like golfing, fishing, and climbing mountains (*wink wink*)
5. She understands the importance of stopping the car immediately if there is a gorgeous sky or awesome view, because a picture must be taken
6. She's a great date at a fancy steak restaurant (another *wink wink*... H, remember my Uncle Ducky?)
7. She buys me random food items, such as giant peanut butter cups loaded with tons of candy on them
8. She can always manage to make me smile for some reason or another
9. Her wit is unmistakable and indispensable
10. She is a woman of God who shines Jesus everywhere she goes
10. She has beautiful blue eyes
10. She is my friend (which says a lot with how much she is willing to put up with :-)

The joy of Jesus is reflected in her life by what she does, and the sparkle in her eyes speaks of the love she has for Christ.

Vote for Heather!

Ok, that was random but I felt like this post was a campaign for her or something.

2% battery left. Sorry, H. Time has run out...

I love you all, and H too!