Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm Back!

After spending two weeks in Barcelona and one week in Rome, I'm pooped!

Rather than tell you every little detail, I'll just share some pictures!

Here we are at the beach in Barcelona enjoying a little bit of free time:

Here we are at a shopping mall. We saw the familiar red sign and just about flipped out. We couldn't believe it! It was too good to be true!! And yes, it was too good to be true. There was no Target but rather just a mean, cruel joke. We were heartbroken.

The Colosseum!

We ran into these girls at the Forum. They're from California and we spent several hours Wednesday and Friday hanging out with them!

The Pantheon: a former site of idol worship, replaced by a "Christian" church filled with new idols to replace the old ones. I found it quite sad and would have preferred they left the old ones for the sake of historicity rather than add new ones and call them "Christian".

I'm getting ready to throw a coin in Trevi fountain! Don't worry, my Daddy raised me to be prudent with my money. It was just 5 cents. And I only threw in one coin instead of the traditional three.

Bobby wanted to see the Pantheon too.

Really yummy gelatto. I think I had gelatto 4 times over the period of 3 days. Thank goodness I walked it all off (at least I hope!). And 2 of them I couldn't finish. But I most definitely finished this chocolate mint cone. Yuuumm.
That's all! Of course there are millions more photos, but these are just a few highlights.

And now I am watching Spain play (and hopefully beat) Germany in the European Cup (that's soccer, or "fútbol" for you NFL fans out there).

¡Vive España! ¡Olé!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mere Christianity

CS Lewis' Mere Christianity is one of those books that I never really cared to read but always felt like I should because well, I'm a Christian, and the title of the book is Mere Christianity and everybody's always quoting CS Lewis and shouldn't every "good" Christian read CS Lewis?

So as a result of my imagined peer pressure I attempted to read it one day in high school. I read a few pages, then realized I didn't get a thing he said in those pages but figured it was because the TV was on so my mind was distracted, so I started it again. I read a few paragraphs. I didn't comprehend a thing. I tried again. I focused all my brainpower. And then, about 3 pages into the book, I put it down, never to pick it up again. I did read several others of his works, but not Mere Christianity.

UNTIL just a few weeks ago. I decided to give it another shot. And I was amazed. I went into it expecting it to be like the first time - boring, obscure, too "deep" for my pea-brain, but instead, I was awed. I couldn't put it down. Everything just clicked. I suddenly understood why Mere Christianity is the quintessential Christian apologetic. I loved it.

He's deep, he's brutally honest, he's witty...

So I thought I would share with you just a few of my favorite quotes:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

"The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began...Pride always means enmity - it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God."

"There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of 'Heaven' ridiculous by saying they do not want 'to spend eternity playing harps.' The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them."

"If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference."

"You will find several things going on in your mind which would not be going on there if you were really a son of God. Well, stop them."

"That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither."

""If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

"Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothin in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in."

That's all for now folks! If you've not read the book, go read it!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Birthday Party and a Dinner Party

Friday night we had a Mexican dinner birthday party for my friend:

Keeping with the Mexican theme, we had a visit from Nacho Libre and Sister Incarnación:
The kids had fun playing together:

My friend Amber made homemade chicken enchiladas and I must say that they were far better than what I've had at most restaurants. I simply MUST get the recipe.

Then Saturday night I had some friends over for a dinner party, since I'm traveling over the next couple of weeks and won't see them for a while. I made ranch chicken, potato salad, green beans and cornbread, and for dessert, we had ice cream with a yummy sauce made of strawberries, peaches, and raspberries (add a little sugar and cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes and you get a yummy fruit syrup!). It was de-licious. Well, most of the meal didn't turn out as yummy as my sister makes it, but it was satisfactory. =)

I forgot to take pictures of the food, but hey, friends are better than food!

Here we are waiting for our stomachs to make space for dessert:

Like a gentleman, Amir washed the dishes:

We had some fun with Chucky and his friend:

And on the way out the three of us girls rode the elevator. It's supposed to fit 4 people but really to fit even 3 you have to suck in your stomach, unless one of you is super petite like my friend Vero:

All in all, it was a great weekend. Now I'm out of town for 2 weeks, then I'll be back for a weekend and then gone for another week. I guess you know you've made yourself at home somewhere when being gone for 3 consecutive weeks just seems like too much! I suppose that's a good thing. =)

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm a Sap

Something is wrong with me.

I've been listening to country music lately.

And I like it.

And even worse:

A corny, cheesy, cliché, over-dramatic, poorly written ballad just made me cry.

Who am I???

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Airline Connections?

Does anybody reading this happen to have any connections to airlines, particularly Northwest?

I'm trying to get back to Texas in August to be a bridesmaid in 2 of my best friends' wedding.

I have 50,000 frequent flyer miles, the number required for a round trip to Texas from Europe, except that it's blacked out for the 50,000 mile bracket. So I either need:
a) somebody to pull some strings and convince them to show mercy; or
b) another 25-50,000 miles

Does anybody happen to work for Northwest or have a friend who works for Northwest or have some miles you're not going to use or anything else creative?

If so, lemme know asap!