Sunday, December 30, 2007
"Merry Christmas!! May be this is your first time to celebrate your national busiest festival in China, there is not so much jolifications here, but our your best Chinese friends want to send our heartfelt benedictions to you and your family. I hope you have a great time in Yidu and your family have a wonderful festival.
You are very fair and kind, I can use a Chinese idiom ( 贤妻良母) to describe you, it means you are a virtuous wife also a eximious mother, you have this typical visualize on your body. Hence I want to thank you for your goluptious meal.
I don't know what your like and what presents to give you, I just write this card and let brad replace me to give you."
Friday, December 28, 2007
On Christmas morning, we woke up and opened stockings. Everyone got homemade stationary and bagels! Then we sat down to a delicious breakfast on the palette. About 9am we started opening gifts and did not stop until 2pm! It was not because we all went overboard shopping, but rather each gift was thoughtful.
From Katie and Kim, I got a new lamp for reading in my bedroom. They also are getting my IPOD fixed which has been broken since leaving to come to China the first time. (Major props for remembering this!!!) Kim gave me some yummy brownie mix and Katie gave me some kid art. (Post more on that later...)
Brad and Amy's gift had me rolling in the floor literally. They made me a choose-your-own-adventure book based on my life in the future. Options included opening a bakery here in Yichang, opening a "Bread and Breakfast" and having 12 children none of which had the name Kermit. They are pretty witty people.
While at home this summer, I fell in love with the Plain White T's song "Hey There Delilah". (Thanks Caitlin who would sing at the tops of her lungs with me!!!) Sometime I made the comment that all I wanted for Christmas was for Brad to learn to play this on the guitar. (This was when we first got here mind you...) Well, he did better than that. Amy and Brad wrote a song called "Hey There Beth Quarles"!! Not only did they write it, but they went to a recording studio with Kim and made me a CD. Brad played guitar and all three of them sang. I laughed because it was so funny. But it also made me cry because it was just so thoughtful. What great friends I have!!!!
Other great gifts included:Frosty Friends and China ornament, potholder and books from Mom, organizer and pot holders from Nana, potholder from Aunt Nancy (seeing the theme?), stationary and notebook from the Smiths, and a letter delivered on Christmas Day from Aunt Sue. Thanks everybody!
After unwrapping presents, we watched half of "It's A Wonderful Life" before dinner. We met up with many of our Family and friends here at our beloved UpDown Dining Hall. After a nice Chinese Christmas feast, we came back to Brad's to sing, share Christmas story and play White Elephant. I think I got the best gift at the party. I won a martial arts show from Chen Tao's boyfriend.
This post cannot do Christmas Day justice at all. Other than the fact that I missed my family in the States, it was beyond perfect.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I shudder even thinking about going to KTV (Karaoke for those Stateside). I was not blessed with musical genes. I don't like the sound of my own voice. I can think of a million other fun things to do besides KTV. My students have been dying for me to go with them so a couple of weeks ago I folded. Because taxis are so crazy here I thought there was still a good possibility I could die on the way thus solving the whole singing problem. Nope.
While cramming into a little room with TV and huge karaoke machine, I began to realize just how much my students love singing. I was excited... maybe I could get out of it because they liked the spotlight so much. Nope. To add to my despair they turned on Britney Spears' "Baby, Baby" or whatever that song is called. I got to fumble though the song. They clapped and wanted another one. Shoot me now.
After looking through their English song choices, I made my selection. I found the perfect KTV song. One I will use forever from here on out. Avril's "Boyfriend". It is super fast, more chanting than singing and the Chinese love it! (Note: make sure to bleep or cough in those not so nice word choices) You will go home singing it too.
After 2 hours of singing, explaining "My Humps" probably is not that great of a song and being ogled at by the hundreds of other KTV patrons, I got to come home and crawl into my bed. KTV for 2007 check.
Mark belts out "God Is A Girl"
Kitty sings ballad to her boyfriend
Amanda acting all camera shy...
Spending time with my students makes it all worthwhile!
*Belt is one of my many nicknames that for some reason has stuck
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Each year before Christmas I take one day where I am not too busy and do as much as I can. Normally I will pick a place for lunch, finish up whatever shopping I have left, grab some hot drink, go home to Christmas music, write cards, create some gifts, wrap, make something good for dinner and spend the night watching a Christmas movie. A magical, Christmas making day all to myself... Elf Day. A tradition of 4 years.
Elf Day is America was a little different. I would go to Panera or Baja for lunch. Hit Target and Green Hills Mall. Peppermint Cafe Mocha from Starbucks. I could also find all supplies I needed with little to no trouble at all.
Elf Day in China consists of noodles, running all over town looking for something as simple as wrapping paper, calling people to translate some word, hot milk tea, dinner that is just mediocre and freezing in the confines of my own home.
However, wherever, Elf Day is spent, it is special to me. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. Many people can get bent out of shape because it is such a commercial holiday, but you know what? With Christmas comes joy for so many people. It is a day marked on our calendars where you can have a reason to show people that you love them. It is commercial because we make it that way. This year while shopping I challenge you not to get caught up in the busyness of it all, but to think about what would make some one's day. Don't see it as a list, but thoughtfully spend time thinking about the people you are shopping for. While wrapping gifts or writing cards, take the time to pr*y over each person. Do something outside of your comfort zone... make a gift for someone you don't know very well. Finish your Elf Day by reading of the love that was given to us from someone greater than us. Remember Christmas is about love and nothing more.
One class to go until Elf Day 2007 begins... :)
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
We are planning our trip during Spring Festival. Right now it is looking like we might go to India for 2 and a half weeks. I have been told they have real milk there so I am okay with that. Will post more on that later.
Kind of quiet week.
I woke up early this morning while it was still dark. No reason really. It is nice to sit wrapped in my blanket, drinking hot milk tea, Christmas light twinkling, a little music in the background and just talking to Father. I have so much to be thankful for and so many worries/stresses to turn over. I am not so good at that last part.
This is a good time to be here. With Christmas just around the corner it makes it easier to talk to people about our Lives and our Father. I have always loved Christmas and don't get me wrong I do miss driving around Brentwood looking at lights or perusing Target's decorations aisles. But I love Christmas in China. Explaining to people what we do on Christmas. Hosting parties for students to play White Elephant. Baking lots of good food. Caroling and having people think the foreigners have lost their minds. Spending time with my teammates and making Christmas, a time that could be hard being away from home, very special. Sharing what Christmas is really about with everybody. A "tender Tennessee Christmas" is great, but a Crazy Chinese Christmas is pretty fabulous too.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Dinner- Fried Noodles (not bought, but made)
Dessert for tomorrow's lunch- Peppermint Cake Roll (my first roll cake ever made!)
Shopping- new fleece blanket for bedroom; fabric to make Christmas cards
Errands- long shopping trip with friends; post office; dropped off pictures to be developed; grocery store run
Around the House- washed millions of dishes; ironed Christmas table runner and skirt; met repairman to fix water heater; entertained 3 random guests; blogged; emailed
Relaxing- watched The Nanny Diaries but fell asleep the last 5 minutes
Thanks to other Domestic Divas- Kim "The Perfect Pancake Baker" Gaugler, Amy "Roll Cake Advice Giver" Pratt, Katie "My Chinese is So Good" Mcgunninal and Brad "Mailer of Christmas Packages Ahead of Time" Ellis (so I guess Brad would not be a diva... what would he be called?)
Just another day in China...
Friday, November 30, 2007
*note: John Travolta shaking it dressed as a woman in the movie Hairspray ranks right up there with Hugh Grant's dance in Love Actually. Oh to hear Caitlin giggle at that...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I had everything prepared each couple had a pan, bowl and supplies in their own little area. (Did I mention that 2 girls turned into 8 boys and girls. The original 2 did not even come!!) I also printed out little recipe cards for them. It was a smashing success! 4 pies were made, students were happy, and nothing was broken this time. We also enjoyed listening to Christmas music, looking at Thanksgiving photos and catching a few minutes of the movie G.I. Jane. Each had a piece of pie and were sent home with more in tow.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
8:30am- head out to pick up turkey (ended up having to drop it off at a restaurant to be cooked... my gas in my oven was out... ultimate domestic goddess status will have to be achieved another year)
9am- get back in taxi close to tears because our turkey was soooo cooked
10am- who cares about turkey? we had bagels for breakfast! thanks to allrecipes.com and Amy/Brad I was able to enjoy another Panera-sque meal. kudos!11:30am- run last minute errands before spending the afternoon in the kitchen and set tables
12:30- 4pm- cook pumpkin pies, sweet potatoes casserole, birthday cake, battle the turkey problem with Amy, repeatedly say "I'm sorry" to Brad because my TVU player is not working so he missed UFC (points for anyone who understand what I just said...)
4-5pm- shower, clean and mop my kitchen! (I am not sure you can understand what a feat this is! one hour to do anything I pretty much pleased... talk about how far we have come from last Thanksgiving)
5:30pm- begin eating a fabulous dinner with our Family (yes, 5:30pm exactly when we planned... food all done, everyone arrived on time...beginning to rethink the fact that we are in China (not often does everything go this smoothly!)... last year I showed up 20 minutes late and food was not done!)
5:30 - 8:30pm- eat, sing some songs, talk about what we are thankful for, read Book all with family and love every minute of it!!!
9pm- settle down to watch Macy's parade...oops! did not account for all the times differences/schedules... I got a glimpse of the Kermit the Frog balloon on the news. will have to do!
9:30pm - now- say goodbye to Amy and Brad, climb in bed to watch a little Gilmore Girls, get back out of bed to plan class (oops it is not Saturday!) and blog because now I am on my second wind...
All in all a pretty perfect day!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"She who hoots with the owls in the evening can not soar with the eagles in the morning."
This acrostic poem was written by one of my students...
"Turkey frying in the fire
Unconditionally I love food
Run to the frying turkey
Kiss the cross and pray
Eleven o'clock pm. We share the turkey
Yeah, I full. Thanks, food."
Love it! :)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Lots of things going on right now that need healing. Relationships, my little sister Rachel, my spiritual walk and my heart. Everyone that knows me knows there is no way in Hades that I could be a doctor. I cannot stand to see people suffering. Right now there is a lot of aching in my heart for people I know that are suffering. In some instances there is not much I can do. However, I do know the ultimate healer. He is my Father. So I will do my part and hand things over to this great Doctor and I ask that you do the same.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Yesterday like so many others the past couple of weeks was tough. Finally, I decided I need to go run it off so I grabbed my mp3 player. Didn't work. Borrowed Jumping's mp3. Couldn't figure it out. Thankfully Katie's worked and she put it on her workout playlist. I hit the pavement and just ran determined to get this crazy energy in me out. On my way back home, near the point of exhaustion, I saw a free table in the bamboo park. I sat down and this song started playing. It was such a good reminder to me that when I am weak, He is strong. I listened to the song a good 5 or 6 times before getting back home. It was what I needed. I am still working through and pr*ying about everything, but I am starting to let go and let someone take control who is much greater than me.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have this class I often term as "the bad class." In reality I love them all and do spend time outside of class with them more than any of my other students. However, in the classroom they are a teacher's worst nightmare. They talk, sleep, come in late, no homework and just treat me like I am anybody standing at the front of the room. I have tried write offs, singing to sleeping students, making them stand, everything. I even gave them a speech about how wonderful Chinese students are supposed to be, but they aren't and if I wanted to teach sleeping students I could go back to America where there are plenty of them. Yesterday we had a break through! Our chapter was talking about movies so I asked them to create a movie trailer for something already out, something coming out, or something they created.... They did awesome!!! I was rolling in my chair, crying from laughter. I got to see quiet little girls come out of their shells. I got to see these punk boys listening to others. Amazing... I get to teach them yet again today so we will see how it goes.
On a day where the rain is coming down in torrents, you really just want to crawl back in bed and not face anything, my "bad" students were the ones to get me through it. For that I am truly thankful for my students.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
On Friday night Lord Richard Whittington was murdered in his own home. The following night a group of people came together for dinner and to solve the mystery. Presenting the Whittington Hall characters...
This afternoon as I spend a little time quiet (also known as that hazy time after you wake up from a long nap) I am thankful for talents. Last night Brad, Peach and I went to our brother Daniel's house for dinner. After dinner Daniel played the classical guitar for us. We sat jaws dropped and listened to sounds that came from this crazy dear man's fingers and guitar. Amazing! People here have amazing talents. Amy has the talent of writing. Everything she writes is so elegant and thought provoking. Kim and Dawson both have the gift of music too. I always love it when they sit down at a piano. Katie and Brad have the gift of ministry. Both know exactly what to say to encourage,make people feel comfortable and loved. My Chinese friends blow me away with their bilingual skills! Today I received a paper lily from a student. How can one person sit down with just a piece of paper and create something so beautiful it looks like one of Father's creations itself? Talent.
My mother is an artist. She can paint a beautiful seaside or make a beautiful dress with no second thoughts. Her creativity always floors me. Now I am not near as creative as her, but I know she passed that gene on to me in some ways. I am thankful.
My father has the gift of being emotional. I have seen my father angry, cry, and love with fierce passion. I love that about him. I am probably more emotional than him in some ways, but I am thankful we have that in common. Just big old teddy bears.
Yeah, I am thankful for talents and gifts.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
One dream that I know I expressed with several people before I left was to make my life simpler. It was a practice I thought would be easy here and one I wanted to bring home. However, in all of my goofball ways I have managed to pump my schedule to all new levels, have more stuff in this little apartment than one can imagine accumulating in just over a year, computer has more programs than I don't even know how to use,etc. etc. Simple would not be a word that I would use to describe my life at all.
Today I stopped my Myspace account. (Well in the process.... they make you give reasons, email verification and several other tedious steps in hoping that you will get frustrated and just keep it. Pressing on though.) While it is not a huge step, it frees up maybe 10 minutes each day which is normally wasted anyway by just looking at other profiles. I hope to sit down this week and re-examine the craziness which is my life. Hopefully I can plan out some good ways to simplify my life a little more.
Simplifying is a discipline.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I am so thankful that I have the ability to walk, see, hear, run, be active and be happy. Much too often this is taken for granted. I am blessed to be able to walk to class each day and clear my head along the way. Blessed to see the older generation playing croquet in the bamboo park each morning. Blessed to hear China's national anthem for hours at a time during weekends on campus. (It really could be worse... I could not hear it.) Blessed to be able to pick up a basketball and shoot a few hoops with my students. Blessed to cook, surprise, write, read, share Good News and a million other things just because I do have good health.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
"For G-d said ,"Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." Man that is a good verse!
"Hey Amy! Check this verse out..." (Beth)
"Yeah. Where is that?" (Amy)
"2 Cor.4:6" oh! I have that tattooed on my back!
Followed by fits of giggles...
Lesson learned: When getting a tattoo remember what it says.
Just thankful that I am still so moved by the verse. :)
Starting today until Thanksgiving I am going to blog everyday about things I am thankful for. (Yes, I will blog about life and such things too, but really want to try to remember to be in the spirit of gratefulness as well.) Please feel free to leave comments about things you are thankful for as well.
Today I am thankful for parents. This morning I got to see Clark, Eden and new baby Justin and I was just reminded of how wonderful parents are. To watch Eden sit with her Book open and holding Justin in one arm and then seeing her glance down at her son with smile and pride...Wow! What a feeling that must be. His name was picked because it means "upright" and that is what they want for their son. Thank Father there are so many good parents out there. I think of my friends' parents and just the amazing job that they have done to instill in their children good character. A hard job with awesome responsibility, but I am sure great rewards too.
I must say I am blessed to such great parents. I can say my parents taught me the difference between right and wrong. They taught me to be loving and forgiving. They taught me that life should be about service because that is what they have done themselves. So today I sit a world away thankful for my own parents and parents in general. Hopefully one day I will have that responsibility.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Books (anything written in the English language is fine!)
Socks (for some reason now I like fun prints... maybe because they make my students laugh a lot)
Long sleeve shirts (one day I am going to learn to pack better)
Danish Wedding Cookies (Keebler pink box... been craving!)
Oven Mitts (I am a little hard on mine... have gone through 3 pairs..)
The thing I would really love most though is a letter. I don't think people understand how nice it is to read a handwritten note about life in America. It makes you feel connected. Not that I am not grateful for packages, but it is disappointing to not hear about the sender. So if you will, 90 cents is all it takes to make my Christmas or any day for that matter.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Friday night girls traveled in from all over Hubei province and we started the weekend thinking about what it means to be an ideal woman. After catching up with old friends, finding places for 40+ girls to sleep in our homes, and relieved that Lucy walked up (I was already sorting out in my head how to figure out to call her mom and tell her that we have not talked in over a week...) the Yichang women went to bed ready for a new day.
Saturday morning after waking up early to make/invent soup (much to the dismay of Brad who so graciously slept on the couch of our Yichang host headquarters) and deliver bags of muffins and loaves of homemade breads,all the girls got together to discuss what it meant to be a virtuous woman. Scattered throughout the weekend we handed out fab door prizes (thanks Sandra!), had fun singing (yea Amy!) and got caught up in some general silliness (one word...Barbie!) In the afternoon, we had some free time where girls went out to explore the city. We were able to share in our newly expanded foreign foods section of our supermarket. PTL! In the evening we gathered for a banquet and then finished the night talking about a woman of wisdom. This time we crawled into bed after making it through maybe 10 minutes of Maverick.
Sunday morning waking up even earlier, we once again went through bags of muffins and the best pumpkin bread (Brad the Baker strikes again...) We talked about what it means to be a woman who surpasses them all and how great it will be to be able to lay crowns down at the throne one day. We took supper together and felt renewed. The girls packed up, got on buses and trains, and went home thinking Yichang has perfect weather and that we are pulled together.
Looking back, I don't think the retreat could have gone much better. Everyone chipped in from Yichang to make sure all aspects were covered. Cloud seeding might have even been involved. We made some really sweet new friends and were encouraged by the Growth of some since last year. So tired yes, but absolutely happy.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
You had your before picture, this would be the after one... ;)
Friday, November 2, 2007
In just a few hours, about 50 girls will be filing into Brad's home. (He is either thankful he will not be there, or sad that he can't join such a beautiful crowd!) We will kick off a great girls weekend of fun, food, forming friendships, and thinking about how to be a "woman who surpasses them all."
Please be Thinking about the weekend for us. As you can see we are pretty excited!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Last spring I bought a mirror to have so I could put on my eye makeup a little easier. 2 kuai. Good investment I thought. 2 days later I knocked it off my desk and it shattered into crazy amounts of pieces. As I was sweeping it up I thought to myself,"It is a good thing I am not superstitious."
I am beginning to rethink this whole bad luck thing though. As of late I have the hands of Midas, but not in a good way. In the past 2 weeks the repairman has been to my house 4 times. He will be coming again tomorrow. Toilet, sink, lights, you name it.
Last week while making hot chocolate I fell in my kitchen. I put one foot on the little rug and it slipped out from under me. I ended up with one leg in the kitchen and one leg in the dining area. That was some major pain.
Yesterday I decided to cook an easy dinner with the pre-packaged meals they have begun to sell. All you have to do is throw it in a wok. I cooked one package and started another one when I noticed that it had a funny texture. I had bought intestines! Threw it out and send Brad to the restaurant to get some food. (A little reminder of the banana pudding incident of August 2006.) I also burned my thumb yesterday while trying to scrape pumpkin from the shell. Burning hands is not new to me, however this burn was a whole new level. (Thanks Dawson once again for the aloe you gave me last birthday! It has turned out to be the most practical gift anyone has ever gotten me.)
Today I put batter into a blender which I have done successfully 4 times this term. Peach came in and said blenders scared her. I said no worries. My blender then proceeded to spew pumpkin soup all over the dining area, floor, water cooler and both of us.
Did I tell you that I did laundry yesterday? Well I hung all my pants up to dry and this morning they were all still soaking wet. I got to wear a skirt on one of the coldest days so far. 3 people have already told me I should wear more clothes...thanks.
My English skills have gone to the wayside. (Just ask the other Yichangren.)
It is raining now and I have class in a few minutes. Please pray that I don't lose my life between here and the W building!
In conclusion, maybe there is some truth to this whole mirror 7 years bad luck thing.
Monday, October 29, 2007
There is probably someone you have in mind when it comes to doing things for others. They might even appreciate the fact that you thought of them. However, wouldn't it be the greatest compliment to hear "I can tell (insert name here) loves God because he/she treats others so well." Shouldn't our motivation to do good come from our love of the Father?
This week I am challenging you my friends to do something good. Don't do it to be acknowledged. Don't do it to get another star in your crown. Do it out of pure love. You might be surprised at how doing "good things" can creep into your lifestyle once you start. Whether you have 10 minutes or a couple of hours, something simple can mean a lot.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Wednesday: After my students left, I sat down for awhile to read on my book. I am currently reading The Kite Runner. (Amy was kind enough to edit it for me because I almost threw up and one point.) I am really enjoying the rawness of this story that is set in Afghanistan. I digress... after reading my book, I met up with friends to watch Nightmare Before Christmas. I think that should be required of all people right before Halloween. Then I came home and my friend Peach ended up staying the night. We stayed up til 2am!
Thursday: Class in the morning went well. I am really enjoying my students this semester. I ate lunch with 2 students and then came home for a nap...Yes! I slept for about an hour and a half. I got up to start preparing for the second mass of students coming over this week for dinner and a movie. They were supposed to come at 4pm. At 6pm I sat with no students, 6 pots of spaghetti noodles, and smells of sauce coming from the crock pot. Can't forget the 6 loaves of bread, buttered, garliced and toasted. (Insert chirping crickets here...) I went to Amy's for dinner. Kim and I went to McDonalds to grade outlines and tests with an ice cream reward! When I got home I painted a shirt for Sports Meeting (keep reading) and then decided I had to find my camera cord. (Why must we decide to do such trivial things so late at night?) At 10:30pm I found my cord in a drawer I know I looked in a million times. This was after I cleaned my office (again!), my bedroom and my cupboard for horrors. (You know everybody has a catch-all. Mine is just exceptionally big.) I settled into bed with my book and I must have fallen asleep before 11. Good.
Friday: I got up at an insane hour to finish my shirt. Sports Meeting is a big track and field day that all students may participate in. There are no classes that day. For once there is a sense of unity among the students. Because I had so many students in it this year I thought I would do something special to cheer them on so I painted a shirt. I painted a shirt in Chinese! It says I love my students. So at 8am I show up with Katie and Kim to Sports Meeting at right away found my students. They loved it! They were excited that I even came. At the beginning of the meet there is a parade of all the colleges. I was pumped because I know every single kid in my college. That is pretty unique and I am really fortunate. The college of international communications only has 3 classes of students right now and I teach all of those kids. It is great because I see them so often I can build some relationships that the other teachers can't because they have so many different students. Anyways, I was really proud of my students marching in the parade and then running in so many races. It was a good morning! After sports meeting, Amy, Kim and I went shopping to get some last minute costume items. I came home and made lunch for Jumping and myself. Nice stir fry! We watched the movie Reign Over Me. I also really enjoyed this movie because it was a good character study of someone who was really suffering from emotional pain. Then we trekked back out to visit our gym that we joined last year. Our gym has been closed for a few months now, but they are reopening this week. It feels like a real gym now! Lots of treadmills, elliptical, bikes for spinning and even a hot yoga room! That is pretty exciting. After looking around I opted to come back home. While the others worked out, I was painting and putting finishing touches on costumes for my friends and me. I also reheated the spaghetti dinner for the foreigners to eat. They got home, we ate, listened to Brad read books and played ASAP card game. I ended my evening in my living room were I fell asleep working on my costume. All in all a busy but very good day...
3 naps and 1 night going to bed before 11 (although 2 more night were very close!) was the outcome of my determined week. That is pretty good for me. My friends are making a 3 times a week to the gym rule. Can you imagine? Me committing to something like that 3 times a week! I can't even go to bed before 11pm or take a nap that often. I will still work on this sleeping thing and then we will THINK about going to the gym that often...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Some days you just feel like this... Still in good spirits though considering the chaos that had been my week. Maybe even back on the path to determined.... ;)