Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long overdue update

It's been a few weeks since I last wrote in here. So much has gone on, and I've honestly just been lazy about writing everything down here.  

As you've probably caught onto, I've been participating in a job hunt... it's kind of like an Easter Egg hunt, but way harder.  I'm glad it's not really an egg hunt, because then I'd have no clue and no say in what job I got, but it would still be easier.  Any way, the past month has been filled with job interviews, phone calls, questions, emails, lots of traveling -which by the way, Petey (the car) went over 68,000 miles on Sunday... if you recall, it went over 65,000 on September 13 <-- just a little over two months ago!  [ check out the video by clicking here ] To celebrate Petey's victory, I recorded it!  Can anyone guess what musical soundtrack is playing in this one?
video

Anyway, back to the story... the past month has been filled with plenty of things to keep me busy.  And to keep me dependent on God.  A job is a big thing.  I mean, it's not just a job; we're talking about my career here.  It's not the job I get to just pay for gas in my car or for college, it's going to be supporting me for the rest of my life.  I know that this job may not be the one I stay at for life, but in all honesty I hope it is.  But even if it isn't, it is still setting the foundation for my career.
I feel like this describes my thoughts on the job hunt...
Not exactly something you want to go into without consulting Him first, right?  I prayed for guidance and direction on the job decision [quick input, I was given two job offers on the same day, with a 2 week deadline to decide].  I asked for discernment as to where I should go/be [one was in Ohio, the other in Colorado].  This prayer often leads to some kind of hint as to where He's trying to get me to lean.  At first I didn't quite figure anything out.  Meaning both offers were similar minus the location.  Not much to go on there.  But after consulting a ton of people, spending time in the word [funny story to tell you about that one when I'm done], researching, writing pros and cons list in the shower [loving my crayons by the way, haha], and just sitting still, I finally accepted an offer last Wednesday.

I.Q.
Wahoo!  (p.s I love the movie I.Q.)



What an exhilarating moment, saying that "I formally accept your offer" over the phone, running downstairs and telling everyone(because I was home home at that time, the day before Thanksgiving), and just feeling peace about it was so cool!

<--That's how I felt, like Einstein on a motorcycle yelling "Wahoo" (you should watch the movie I.Q. It's great!)

God is good, and I know He's up to some pretty cool stuff.  I just can't wait to see what it is.  But until then, I have quite a few recaps to tell you about:


1. Funny story I mentioned earlier. :

I had been praying for discernment when Brandy told me to read the Bible, because sometimes God speaks through his word.  So, not being one to turn down advice, I did.  I've been reading the Old Testament for most of the year and at the time, I was in Judges.

[[Little bit of background, Judges is a time where Israel kept turning from God.  After a while, they would realize their mistake (we're talking sometime 40 years before they'd realize) and then they would cry out to God and He'd send someone to save them all [kind of sounds familiar... hmm]. The time of the Judges was pretty brutal, violent, and gruesome.  The book starts out with an entire army losing their thumbs and big toes to keep them from fighting.  It's a gross book in all honesty, but definitely an interesting read]]

When I went to read that morning per Brandy's advice, I started in Judges 20. After finishing the book of Judges (chapters 20-21), I let Brandy know that I didn't think God had anything to say regarding my job hunt that morning. It is definitely one of the more gruesome passages, ending with someone being chopped up into pieces... which in the end puts the point across to Israel that they have some major issues going on and they need to wake up!

2. Henry - our dog

Sometime in the past two weeks, I have managed to take a few power naps on our really comfy couch in our living room.  They've been enjoyable, catching up on the tv shows I DVR (aka Grey's Anatomy or currently Once Upon a Time).  After one nap, I woke up to find Henry sleeping on my head.  I guess it was comfortable up there.  I thought I'd share a picture with you:
Henry-man decided sleeping on my head was the most comfortable place to be
3. Staff Ride - Helmets required :)

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine (Rachel) picked me up and we headed down to Marmon to trail guide for the day.  When we got there, we realized there were 2 others there from our summer staff, so Jane decided we should all go on a staff ride - meaning a ride where we actually go to interesting places that you can't take public riders to... It was so much fun!  I miss being down there.  It's so cool to be surrounded by fellow believers who get what's going on in your life.  I've been so blessed by the people I met and worked with, and I continue to be!

We ended up spending the night and having breakfast at the Farm (totally unintended, I blame the washing machines, haha). It was great catching up with friends!

We had a blast on our staff ride!  (no laughing at the helmets, we forgot ours and had to borrow some)

4. Baking

I love baking!  The month of November marked the month of me trying many different recipes to figure out what I wanted to make for Christmas.  These treats were definitely my favorite: [ check out the recipe here ]
Don't these look delicious!  Bite sized s'mores
5. Horse Show #2

Yep, we had another horse show, and I actually remember my camera this time!  It was my first canter show, so naturally, I was terrified <-- I don't think that's actually true. I was pretty okay with it.  After all, I had just spent the entire week focused on the job search, how much harder could riding a horse be?  Anyway, it was a good day. I got 6th out of 7 and 3rd out of 4, not too terribly bad for my first canter show.

It was a fun filled day where we got to see an old friend ride and Lauren pointed up to the next class too! 
Putting on chaps is way more complicated than one would think

Concentrating really hard

That's my "that could have gone better" face

We were "twins" - according to Lauren
6.  Hard Tack Candy

Every year (for the past 4 years) I have made candy with some wonderful people.  This year there were only 4 of us (technically 5 towards the end of the day) and we made a grand total of 64.5 lbs of hard tack.

It makes for a long day (we leave at 7:15, pots start boiling around 8:30, first batch goes on the slab at 9, we left at 5 = a lot of work).  It may be long, but it's so much fun, especially when you add in lots of candy, good food, an OSU vs. Michigan game (with fans from both sides in the house). All in all, I'd say it was a good day.  Check out some pics:
64.5 lbs of hardtack!
 We did have some issues though.  4 people + 4 pans of boiling sugar + 1 marble slab + 4 pairs of scissors + 3 marble slabs = disaster at some point.  We ended up throwing half of a batch away (it was cloves, so it wasn't that big of a loss), but man did it make a mess (not to mention the putrid color it was at first).


 The start of disaster for this batch of hardtack


It ended up in the sink... but it looks like a pretty vase
Not only did we mess up that batch, but the pans started to boil over when we were working on other things.  It made quite the mess on the stove...

We kinda made a mess...
All in all, it's been a great two weeks.  It felt like they went on forever, but at the same time, so quick!  It was nice to be home, spending time with family, spending time with friends, bowling, four wheeling, getting muddy, having lunch with the Hoovers <-- gotta love that!  I can't believe there are only 2 1/2 weeks left of this semester, and then I'm one away from graduating!

I hope that you all had a great two weeks, and I'm looking forward to updating you on Country Christmas later on [if you have a moment, check out Marmon's website: http://www.marmonvalley.org to learn more about Country Christmas, it's a great event to take your kids to!!!  I'll be working there this weekend!]

P.S. About the job thing, if you're curious, please feel free to email me about it, because I can't really say much about it here as far as details go. 

God Bless!!! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stop!

This past week (well more like the past two days) I was in Cleveland!  Yes, little farm town me was in Cleveland, but at least it wasn't downtown :) Before I get to my point, I have to share a picture with you that I saw on Thursday.  And yes, that is a Shrek doll on a little kids car, on a big car hauler... haha!

This was on a car hauler... totally made my day :)
I was there for a job interview.  It feels like interviews run my life right now, and I'm not complaining about it.  I am extremely blessed to have them right now, so I will just give praise and say thank you to God for what He's given.

Anyway, the title of this post... Stop!  On my way to Cleveland (via the turnpike... can you say 70mph-->Yay!), God stopped me, literally and figuratively.  Once I got on the turnpike, I grabbed my little ticket and then put it somewhere.  I thought I put it in my lap, but turns out I didn't.  I had probably been driving for about 45 minutes before it dawned on me I had no idea where the ticket was, meaning by the time I got to Cleveland, trouble would be near if I didn't find it.  So like all bad drivers (<--confession of a 21 year old, oops.  Normally I'm not a bad driver) I started to search for it.  After say 5-10 minutes of this scary driving, I realized this was a dumb idea and pulled over at a service plaza.  I parked the car and started searching.  Of course it turned out to be in plain sight.  Ugh!  So I took the ticket and clipped it to my visor, ready to return to the road. 

Doesn't seem like much other than a confession that I can be a bad driver, right?

That's what I thought too!  Until about 15 minutes more of driving and God and I had a conversation.  They normally start with, "Hey God, what are you doing up there?" :)  I went to Him to talk about the job search, my family, my friends, school, my future, stuff like that.  But in the moments of silence, I realized something.  The ticket getting lost was much more than me realizing I can be a bad driver. 

So often in my life, I have issues, like issues with people.  Stuff that is small enough to be overlooked (like the 45 min of not knowing I had misplaced the ticket), but big enough that it starts to bug me. Enough that it nitpicks at my attitude, slowly breaking it down.  And then I do stupid stuff to avoid whatever I need to do to resolve the problem (like the bad driving instead of pulling over).  What I really need to do is Stop! and fix the issue instead of letting it ruin my attitude and my actions.  If only it was that easy, huh?  But maybe it is that easy, and we just choose to ignore that fact.  We make a bigger deal out of everything. 
And the ticket was found!

I got back on the road and got to Cleveland safe and sound.  I'm totally being spoiled by interviews; I mean with the hotels, the fancy food, the nice places, I'm extremely spoiled!  But the interviews went well, it was a nice place.  Looking forward to what God's got in store for me.  I just sometimes wish it was here sooner, but I know that I truly will miss what I'm doing right now and should enjoy it.

Here are some pictures from my hotel... holy cow!



  
Oh did I mention it snowed yesterday?!?! Yep, first snow of the year, 11/11/11. Kind of cool, yet not entirely welcoming to wake up to before your interviews.
This is what I woke up to...




Petey was really cold.  Wanted to be in the garage.... Poor thing


Like last night.  Ashley came over and we definitely just chilled on the couch catching up on life.  The CMA awards were on in the background (we DVR'ed it. Love DVR!), but we just got to enjoy spending some time together.  Good stuff. 

Well to those reading this, I'm heading down to Marmon in about 20 minutes with a friend, so I should probably make sure I've got everything!  Great time to spend with friends and horses.  Love it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Post. New Look. New Direction



This post is a bit different than my last ones, just kind of updating you on my blog status and the future of it.  Did you notice that it looks different?!?!?! I'm so excited for it!

[[ For those of you who just read my blog through emails, and don't visit the blog (which is fine, I'm glad you read and keep updated on the crazy things in my life), you should come visit.  Click here to see my blog.  It has had a complete makeover. ]]

Back story:  These past few weeks, I've been reading other blogs and have found this whole new community of people that I'm excited to be a part of.  It's a new thing to do with my free time (yes you can laugh at that).  It's been really neat to meet other people in all walks of life.

While I'm learning not to compare myself with others, it's hard not to compare your blog to someone else's blog.  Being a computer science major, I saw things that I could definitely be doing using the skills I have learned in html and css and all of that jargon.  So, I considered it a challenge to make my blog unique <-- one of the items on my { Day Zero Project }

My blog is still going to have the main purpose of sharing the craziness that is my life with my family and friends.  It's never dull in the Bennethum household, and I'm sure you'd like to hear the adventures that occur in my life.  However, I've really enjoyed sharing exactly what God has been doing in my life with you.  Through my analogies that I love, He's been doing some really cool stuff.


I renamed my blog from Country Jam to "ExtraOrdinary Love in Ordinary Life." God's love is amazing and has completely changed my life.  He loves me so much, and it's my challenge to myself to find His love in my every day life. From the leaves on the trees to my professor's funny anecdotes for the day, God is constantly showing His love, I've just got to take the time to see it and believe it.


So that's my new direction. I'm going to try to be more involved in the blog world, participating in things and posting with other people.  I'm not sure where it'll end up, but I hope that you stick around to see what God does.  I'm sure interested in it.  It should be an exciting ride.




By the way, do you like the changes?  I do.  It was fun to try to figure out all the fun behind the scenes stuff.  Be on the lookout for fun, new things.  I'm officially checking this one of my Day Zero Project, even if I plan to continue it.  It looks pretty now :)   1 down, 100 to go!

Oh and last tidbit, my camera has now been found.  It was MIA for about 2 weeks, but it is now home, safe and sound!  Expect pictures soon!
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