Sunday, July 31, 2005

This is for Dave!!!

Before I forget, this picture is for Dave (and Scott, too)!

Sometime this winter, Dave and Scott randomly came over and hung out with Heather and I one night and helped us finish decorating these chocolate cupcakes. Actually, the cupcakes were for an event that we were going to take them to, and actually #2, Dave and Scott mostly just sat there and ate our leftover cupcakes or "mess-ups," but it was fun times.

One of my photoshop creations.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Hey guys, this is going to be short (no really, I promise)... I don't know if anyone has tried My Pictures link yet, but if you did before you will have seen that it didn't work. Well, now it does. So go to it every once in awhile and who knows... maybe a picture of you will show up! I'm picture crazy. Just another passion I want to share with you all....

:-) T

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trees and Testimonies (and some DQ consulting)

Today I scared my friend.

She thinks that I am going through an identity crisis because I claimed to be a tree. JUST BECAUSE I picked up a fallen branch with leaves and held it above my head and saw my shadow and stated, "Hey, I look like a tree." Well if you want the full story, you can go to (there's some free blog advertising for you, Kristi!) and read it, but I refuse to discuss the topic further. Because I really DID look like a tree. She's probably just jealous of my tree-like qualities. Hmph.

Anyway. To explain that silly story, it all happened when my mom, 2 sisters and all their kids plus my cousin visitng from AZ and her 3 kids and Kristi and I decided to walk up to Dairy Queen from our house. Ok, that's like 14 individuals (I did the math) headed to the best ice cream place ever, so we looked like a big herd of people walking the 3 blocks to DQ. It was pretty funny. And the ice cream was good. So good. As a fellow worker of 6 years, let me reccommend some favorites for those who are DQ dumb. The Brownie Earthquake is an excellent choice... it consists of vanilla Dairy Queen surrounded by 2 chocolate Oreo brownies, topped with hot fudge, marshmallow sauce, Oreo cookie pieces, and whipped cream. I also get mine with hot caramel. If you're not drooling yet, another good one is the peanutbutter cup blizzard made with CHOCOLATE Dairy Queen and brownie pieces. Mmmmm. For those who don't salivate over chocolate like I do, try the strawberry cheesecake blizzard or an all-time favorite, the banana split. Like coffee? The Moolattes are a must. They come in caramel, vanilla, cappacino, and my personal favorite, mocha. Those are frozen blended drinks with misty, ice cream, coffee syrup, and a couple pumps of whatever flavor you decide on. If none of that sounds good... then just let me know. I'll consult you about numerous other options.

See.... now you all want to go get a Dairy Queen, don't you! I should be in sales...

Ok, I'm going to stop talking about food (I'm hungry right now and I really want popcorn but I'm writing this first) and step into a totally different subject.

Tonight. We had two testimonies in place of Wednesday night church. Wow. Praise God! He is awesome and does such amazing things through people. A couple who recently started going to our church about a year or more ago gave their testimonies, and they were beautiful. It is always so encouraging to hear from those who are new to our church and find it such a close-knit, loving, kind, and uplifting family! Not that I doubt that we aren't for a second, but sometimes it is easy to get bogged down and almost immuned to what an awesome fellowship we have! Especially, those of us who grew up in our church all our lives. What a blessing it is for those of us who do, but I think it tends to make us blind to the great gift we have because it's all we've ever known.
Aside from our great church family, though, one thing that we as believers will always have in common is our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His mercy and grace, a gift that I am thankful for daily. There comes a point in your life when you realize that without His grace, you are so.... nothing. We are nothing without God. And with that simple phrase brings about our purpose in life- to give Him the glory in all that we do, think, say and ARE.

So here is my challenge to myself but also to anyone else willing to take it: From now on, I am going to give God the glory in all that I do.

That may sound kind of simple in principle and obvious... as a Christian, it's like, "Uh, YEAH..." I would hope that would be our goal, but when I am completely honest with myself I realize that I don't. How many times do I take the credit? How many times do I have a bad attitude about what I'm doing because I forget that I'm doing it for Him?

I've found that the more I read the Bible, even when I don't really want to, the more I want to keep going back. So, the more I try to glorify God in all that I do, the more Christ-like I will strive to be, and glorifying God will become an automatic.

It's so easy to focus on ourselves. That's all the world wants us to do... that's all Satan wants us to do. If we choose to focus on God, there's no time to think about ourselves. Tonight, following the testimonies, Bro. Ted Witzig brought out some great verses and one that struck me was 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV), "And he died for all, that thoses who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."


Our job is not to please OURSELVES. As long as we trust God, He is capable of doing that for us!

Well I am REALLY HUNGRY now. Time for my popcorn, devotions, and bed.

Love you all and have a splendid day, T

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm back...

I'm back.
And you know what that means. The second half of the report on my trip.

Above, you see pictured our cabin in Oak Creek. Beautiful, isn't it? The cabin belongs to my two aunts and uncles. My grandparents built it when they were still alive... my Grandpa loved to go down by the creek and fish while my Grandma worked in the garden. Neither are alive today, yet this cabin seems to be a sweet reminder of them every time we go up there.

The rest of the week in Phoenix was... well, I don't want to brag, but it was pretty wicked awesome. I haven't used that phrase in awhile and I thought it was appropriate to describe the condition of our trip... that, or RELAXING. Our days consisted of... sleeping in until whenever we felt like it, usually 10 or 11 when we finally rolled out of the king-sized bed we shared. Then, down to the kitchen for breakfast and out into the sun for the rest of the day. Of course, about 15 minutes into it we had to get in hte pool. It was over 110 every day we were there, and the pool was like bath water. Nonetheless, it was fun... Heather and I got pretty good at water volley ball and PIG basketball. Actually, we usually played HORSE to give ourselves more letters, and the last day we played WINNER so whoever lost still felt like a winner. Sadly, the tennis courts weren't finished but it was probably too hot to play, anyway.

On Friday night, we all went to a play in downtown Phoenix that my friend, Richelle Meiss, was in. She has been acting her whole life and is VERY talented. It was actually a play done by professional actors, so it was VERY good. It was actually Beauty and the Beast, but it was absolutely darling and the costumes and everything was great. I am always so amazed at how perfectly coordinated and timed these plays turn out... from the lighting, to the dancing, to the singing, to... everything. Everything has to happen at the exact right time for it to look right to an audience, and it always does! Wow. I was told they only practiced for 3 weeks, putting in 8 hour days. Yikes. No wonder they are all so good. We saw Brittany Esterling, Ashley Hoerr, and Katie Schick at the play as they drove up to see it from Magdalena, MX.

So this next picture is Heather and I at the play. We tried to take this pic like three times by ourselves while walking and finally just had my 15 year old cousin, Jared, take it for us.

Let's see, what else? Another highlight was just getting to see family. I usually only see my cousins only once a year, if that, so it's fun to see them and their kids. Everyone grows up so fast... time flies.

So all week, I got to hear Heather talk about wanting to climb the mountain that my aunt and uncle's house is situated on. My uncle said it was maybe a 45 minute hike to the top, so we decided to do it this morning after a failed attempt on Sunday morning (an alarm clock was "accidently" shut off). At 6 a.m. this morning, I hear Heather whisper, "Taryn, do you still want to climb the mountain?"

Ok. Number one, let me just state the obvious and say that I am NOT a morning person. It's just not a real good idea to really talk to me until about an hour after I get up. Number two- when trying to wake me up in the morning, whispers and little taps and nudges don't quite cut it. If you want to get me to respond, you hire a band to play a couple tunes by my pillow or dump a bucket of ice water onto my body. It takes me about 20 minutes to come to life. My NREM cycles must wipe me out completely. Number three, I am the master at pretending to be asleep, especially when I want to avoid getting up. And I'm really good at it, too. I wake up without opening my eyes becuase like I said before, it takes me awhile to drift into consciousness so when I do, I keep my eyes shut and play "dead." I've learned a lot about what other people think of me when they think I'm asleep but I'm really all ears :-) Hee hee.

Anyway, Heather knows those 3 secrets about me by now, but the little "softly whispering into my ear" act at 6 this morning was not working too well with me. Knowing that Heather wanted to climb this mountain, I grudingly rolled out of bed, got dressed, and up the mountain we went. I had to come to a halt about 50 steps up the mountain when my heart almost stopped (never try to climb a mountain 5 minutes after waking up in 90 degree weather) but I was ok until I leaned down onto a rock for support and got those little invisible sticker thorns in my hand- about 50 of them. I had to stand and pick them out and while I did, I gazed up the mountain that seemed to only be getting steeper.

So we stopped there. We had a pretty amazing view of Phoenix from that point, and if it had been 20 degrees cooler and I had brought along jeans, I may have ventured to the top. Heahter was a little disappointed that we didn't go the whole way, but we got some pretty cool pictures and it was fun. Below is a picture of a cactus and I. I thought I would at least throw one of those in there since I WAS in the desert with a bunch of those this week.

It was kind of funny because on the plane ride home today, I took the window seat (IMHO- always a good choice) and Heahter always likes to have the aisle seat, so this poor guy was stuck sitting in the middle of us two. Neither of us were un-stubborn enough to get up and take the middle. I occupied a lot of my time taking pictures of clouds. The image below is one I took... what a grand sight when you are right next to them! I wish you could just reach out and grab a bunch of cloud and just play with it. Unfortunately, clouds are just for looking.

Which makes me thankful, after a week of such beautiful sight-seeing, that I have eyes to see. I can't imagine going to a place like Arizona or even on an air plane without the keen sense of sight. Something I don't think about often enough... even in a spiritual sense. We should be thankful that God gives us eyes to see his beautiful creation but also an eye to see His will clearly... maybe it's not always as beautiful or as clear as we would like for it to be, but God is a loving God with a reward of peace as long as we trust, obey, and continually seek him... and remember that we are on HIS timetable... not the other way around. :-)

I suppose that's enough information about my trip. Have I hit my word limit, yet? Heather's not here this time with the egg timer. Only kidding. Thanks for reading. Have a good rest of the week... I'm sure I'll be back before long!

Love, T

Monday, July 18, 2005

Long report on my trip so far, read at your own risk

Dry heat is better than humidity. Although, is it HOTTTT here! We got into Phoenix around midmorning on Saturday morning and after touring my aunt and uncle's new addition, we made our way north a couple of hours to Oak Creek.

Oak Creek is beautiful. I won't harp on it too mucb because I know I went on and on about it in my last entry but it is truly amazing. Heather and I had a zombie day on Saturday, laying around and doing not much of anything. Jet lag. Sunday was better. We got up early and went hiking a little, and returned in time for a little church time at the cabin. We had a very nice "sermon" with my two older aunts and uncles, parents, as well as Todd and Nicole Steffen and their two little girls (who recently just moved back out here). Todd asked the "older and wiser" ones what their biggest life lessons or hardest thing about God was to grasp all their years of being a Christian. I'll share a few highlights.

My uncle Joe stated the importance of being in the Word. He said that he regretted not doing is as diligently as he should have throughout the years, but now he takes out a chunk of time early each morning to do so and he LOVES it and feels the power of it. Also, the importance of being a prayer warrior. I readily agreed... that is a lesson I have also been learning, lately. The Word and prayer are our two most important forms of communication with God... we gotta use them! The more we are in the Word, the more we will want to keep going back! And we need that guidance and wisdom.

My Aunt Connie talked about anxiety. Right now thinking about that topic, I'm reminded of 1 Peter 5:7... "Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you." How comforting it is to know we can talk to God and cast anything and everything to HIM and HE will take care of it? What about when Jesus said, "Who of you can add a single day to your life by worrying?" No one! We can't change anything by worrying, so why do it? My aunt shared the importance of trusting God and leaning on Him in all areas of our lives and giving it up to Him not matter how tough it may be.

My Aunt Chris shared some insight about remembering why we are here. She said it is so easy for her to get caught up in this world of busy-ness and tasks and must-dos, etc. that sometimes we forget what our REAL purpose is. Serving Christ. Glorfiying Him. Where is our home? Certainly not here. Heaven. It's sometimes hard to keep that eternal perspective when everything today shouts the exact opposite.

My dad at one point brought up the concept of "What we put into our ears and eyes and minds is what is going to come out." You put in garbage, garbage will come out. You put in good stuff, good stuff will come out. You put in an un-edifying and unnecessary movie, it'll come out in one way or another. You put in Bible verses, they'll come out in one way or another. A good reminder to keep in check what we put in.

Sunday morning was special, and Todd started it all by reading in Philippians 4, and excellent chapter. What stuck out to me were the verses that talked about "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right.....think on these things."
Thoughts are huge. What are we thinking about? A tactic I've tried to master these past few days is to think on good things. And if I can't, I just pray about what or who I'm thinking about that isn't so great in my mind. Directing your thoughts heavenward is always going to be a "good" thing. :-)

After that, Heather and I went down to the creek to enjoy the sun and the COLD creek streaming by. Oak Creek has a tendency to be sunny in the morning and then by enveloped by storm clouds in the afternoon, so I grudgingly sat outside in the overcast sky in the afternoon and read my book. Patches of sun would stream through every once in awhile, elevating my mood. The weather is my mood.

The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxing. We ate a good pizza place that night. This morning we woke up, cleaned up and got ready to leave. Stopped by a place to shop ont he way back (with that many girls, it's expected) but my poor dad was the only guy left tagging along. We caught some Mexcian food tonight and here Heather and I sit. I plan on some outside-time tomorrow in the pool.

Alright. Enough on my trip. Thanks to all who read these long reports. Don't feel like you have to. I mean, I realize that I'm such a captivating writer that it's hard not to. ;-) Ha. Probably not. I just like to jabber about everything! I better go, though. Heahter is sitting here looking over my shoulder with that look on her face that says, "Let's wrap it up, Taryn." Good thing.

Love you all,

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Arizona and Cars

I just returned from the Title box. I was trying to figure out what to title this entry but then realized I haven't even written it yet so how can I accurately title it? I can't. Even if I know what I want to write about, how do I know that I won't get off on a tangent? Unless I know EXACTLY what I'm going to say and I know I'll stay focused, I like titling at the end.

Well, these past two days have been chaotic for me. Ever since my friend and I "started our business," we've been swamped with work. It's actually very encouraging to know people are so willing to use us, amatuers that we are, yet I suppose we really aren't in what we do, just moreso in the whole "business" thing. We have learned a TON over the past week, though, and it is definitely a practice in organization and prioritizing!

We have about 6 or 7 projects in all, but only 3 of them are due towards the end of this week and weekend. They all require a lot of creativity and time, so it's been interesting working together and learning from it all. It's a great experience, and it is actually quite exciting. At least, it's exciting when I have time to sit and think about it.

Anyway, I see sunshine in the future. Literally. Friday night (if my bags maange to pack themselves by then), my parents, my friend Heather, and I are driving to St. Louis to spend the night and get up early Sat. morning to leave on a plane to ARIZONA! I'm so excited. I don't care if it's 112 degrees there every day, I'm still excited. Why?

On Saturday when we get in at like 10 in the morning (yeah, crazy, makes me wonder how early we're actually leaving), we're going to drive with my aunts and uncles to Sedona, or aka Oak Creek Canyon. This seriously has to be one of the most beuaitful drives. When I drove there with my uncle in his convertible jag about 5 years ago with the windows down and some of his dramatic play music playing, I felt like I was in an Omnimax. A huge expanse of mountains, canyons, and bright blue sky stretched out before me as the road wound up, down, through, and out of the side of a mountain. Absolutely beautiful. Once you hit Oak Creek, it's always important to roll down the windows to smell the rich, spicy, piney smell that envelopes the air. And, of course, to hear the creek. Our cabin sits practically in a mountain, with the creek five minutes away walking distance for fishing. A lot of memories lie in that creek... going down there with Grandpa Schupbach and fishing, blackberry picking, hiking the trail, going to Slide Rock (a big, slippery rock in the creek that flushes you down it like a slide).

Anyway, in the cabin's backyard is a patio set up on some steps with a creek running by it. You can walk on a trail that leads you who-knows-where, I've followed it many times but you can only go so far before you tell yourself to come back. I'm just looking forward to relaxing there for a weekend and basking in God's beautiful creation and nature away from everything... God is so good.

We'll drive back to Phoenix for the rest of the week, then. I'm excited to stay in my aunt and uncle's new addition (guest houses). They also have a large pool and some tennis courts, so maybe I'll try my hand at tennis. I have a feeling I won't be very good. Ah, well. It's good exercise. I'm sure that will be a fun-filled week, nonetheless.

My mom's whole side of the family lives out there, so it will also be good to see both my aunts and uncles and all my cousins and first-cousin-once-removeds. Sadly, I am probably closer to my first cousin once-removeds than I am my actual first cousins, but that is what happens when you are the baby on both sides of the family.

Anyway. Tangent on Arizona. Sorry. You shouldn't have gotten me thinking about it.

You know what I feel the most sorry for right now? My car. It has been through so much. First my mom, then my sister, then my brother (I'm surprised it made it through HIM), now me. I'm not complaining, really. It gets me where I need to go, and it flies around like a little go-cart. The license plate says TRK1974. No, my middle inital is NOT R and no, I was NOT born in 1974. That's how consistent we've been with updating that plate. Oh, well. Anyway, back to why I feel sorry for it, mostly because it's been having so many difficulties lately. About a month ago, I was driving to pick Heather up a street away and i turn onto her street RIGHT in front of her house and all of the sudden, as if in slow motion, my car suddenly stops driving. The brakes lock up on me so I quickly shift into park and my car dies. Figures. I got Heather and we sat on the hood of my car and waved people by on 3rd street until my dad came to my rescue and somehow got the thing in neutral so we could glide to the curb. It was the timing belt.
THEN, I don't know, just dumb things have been going wrong since. The air conditioning broke but then "magically" started working when we took it in and has been working ever since. But tonight I left my car in the driveway for like 5 minutes and came out and onto the driveway was leaking green fluid. Confused, I leaned over and peeked under my car. Yep, it was definitely leaking from MY car, not some hot spring erupting from the driveway or from melted lime popscicles. My dad waved it off as leaking anti-freeze fluid.
"It's needs to be fixed," he commented. I feel like I hear that phrase often about my car. It's also really loud. One of my guy friends who definitely could pimp out a car suggested that it is my cadillac converter (is that right? probably not, I know zero about cars).
Anyway. Enough on my car. A picture of my car and me, distraught on 3rd street, is included in case you were wondering what this treasure looks like. I love it. I really do. It's my friend. Until it dies and then I'll just get a Volkswagon Beetle. A green one. Or buy my brother's black Jetta.
Enough on cars, though. I'm a girl, and I shouldn't be allowed to talk about them for so long when I really don't know much about them, anyway. We'll just label that section a tribute to the Kaiser Prism.

Well, I just got rebuked by my mom for not packing, so I should probably go do that. I'm pretty busy these next few days. I just wanted to get a quick post in while I felt like it. Sorry this was kinda long but get used to it, remember, I'm a writer.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

2 Peas in a Palette

This is the mail-out that Kristi and I have for our business. Know anyone who needs a designer? Tell them about us! Thanks!

My second blog in 3 weeks

Ok. So about 3 weeks ago I got really bored and was like, "Hey, maybe I'll start a blog called T's Exciting Life." Well..... I did, but now, 3 weeks later, I can't seem to find it or remember my sign-in name OR password. Or maybe I'm just too lazy to look. So I'm starting this one and it's going to last.

Why? Because I LOVE to write. For those who do not know me well, it is a passion of mine that has always been a part of my life. It's one of those things where I do it because I feel inspired to do it. I suppose I call it my God-inspired gift. I just feel like it is something he has blessed me with, and hopefully in some way I can share it with others or already maybe have. I trust that God can and will use me, though, wherever He sees fit.

You know, it really is great to sit back and think about all the gifts God has given us. And I'm talking about talents here. I realize that there are those who ponder awhile and conclude that they don't really feel good at much of anything at all, but those are probably the very people who have millions of little gifts that are used in ways that they don't even realize. God uses us more than I think we know sometimes, and it's always encouraging to hear feedback. It's also great to hear everyone out there in college who is really excited about their major or field of study. Sometimes, I think, "How in the world can you possibly find that remotely intersting?" but then I just remember that there are those out there who think MY field of interest seems like a drag. So SOMEONE who enjoys it has to do it! And how great it is that as a Christian, we can be used all the more through out fields that we ENJOY!

Oh my, look how much I've already written and I could write so much more. Is there a word limit on these things?
Today I worked at my job of 6 years now, Dairy Queen, until 3. Then, to work I went again. My friend, Kristi Daniel, and I recently started a business called "Two Peas in a Palette." We design stuff for people... anything. Want a business card or mail-out? Let me know! I'll send you one! We welcome any business. We design t-shirt designs, brochures, logos, letter heads, presentations with pictures and music, do photo editing... you name it.

Thanks to the handy dandy AC church phone book, we mailed out around 75 business intros last week and have gotten about 6-7 projects we have to do this week. It is SO fun and exciting, but at the same time slightly overwhelming. Today was a "let's get organized so we can actually get something done" day.

After that, off to my Grandma's 80th-something birthday dinner. Actually, I shouldn't have technically been invited because it was for kids only (which would be my old parents and aunts and uncles, don't tell anyone I called them old) BUT I got fed separately with my cousin an amazing meal in exchange for sitting and typing on my laptop memories for this memory-book thing they're putting together. It would have taken them all the whole night to figure out how to open Microsoft Word to type it so it's probably a good thing I was there. ;-) Kelly (my cousin) and I enjoyed sitting and listening to the memories, though. What laughs!

Then Laura and I went roller-blading in the sprinkling darkness of the night. We decided to come home after 4 miles because it was getting a little too wet. We usually do 8 but anymore, that's not even a challenge. Oh, well. Maybe in the future we need to carry around weights. Wouldn't that be a sight.

Ok. Enough for tonight. I gotta close now or else I may get off on another tangent. If anyone actually reads to the end of this, call, e-mail, or IM me and you can have a prize or something. Impressive.

I love you all.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Proverbs 9:10

About 6 months ago, I was going through the minister line and told the minister who had the sermon, "Thanks for the challenge." and told him to continue to challenge me. Well, that he did.

He asked me if I had ever read through the entire Bible in a year.


Well, no I hadn't. In a later sermon, he hit the topic, saying, "The Bible is the most important book you will ever read- the inspired WORD OF GOD." Why wouldn't we take the time to read the whole thing? We read other books, newspapers, magazines, etc... to no avail.... yet some of us haven't even read through the whole Bible?

So his challenge to me was to read through the entire Bible. I got right one it. When I got home, I found a read-through-the-bible-in-one-year plan and I LOVE it. Every Monday, I read about the Law, every Tues about history, every Wed a Psalm, every Thurs poetry, every Fri Prophecy, Sat is Gospels, and Sunday are the Epistles. I get a taste of something new every day but it still keeps me going in order through the books, just moreso on a weekly basis.

ANYWAY, I have been doing that. I have to say that is has been a struggle sometimes trying to keep caught up on it, but it helps me tremendously in always having that devotion time with God, even if I have to get caught up a few days.

Last night was one of those nights where I had to get "caught up." I was assigned to read Proverbs 8-9, and I ended up reading a favorite verse of mine lately, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." It's an easy one to memorize so I decided to do it. But isn't that an AMAZING verse?

That's not all. I had pulled out a notebook I used to write notes in the year 2000 and was reading through some of them, and out falls a piece of scratch paper with some random numbers and letters on it. Probably a password to something. I flip it over and it ends up it is a piece of paper from one of those calendar flip things. It was from August 1998 and the verse written on it was none other than Proverbs 9:10.

Wow, I thought. I think it was then that I decided to memorize the verse and hide it away in my heart... obviously God wanted me to know it well!

It's a simple verse, but when you really think about it and break it apart, it's great instruction.
I looked up fear, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Words we know, yet it's sometimes helpful to define the obvious in order to find the real meaning of things.