Thursday, November 08, 2007

random and funny

last october our church staff went to a conference in atlanta. we were treated to music from a variety of artists, many i had never heard of. my favorite performer i heard during those days was a guy named dave barnes. if you haven't heard of him, check him out (especially the songs "until you," "what am i gonna do" and "butterflies," just to name a few).

he happens to be coming to orlando this tuesday for a concert. i already have a meeting scheduled during part of the show, but i'm hoping i'll at least get to catch some of it.

some friends and i were talking about how much we enjoy his music and they told me he has some pretty funny videos on you tube. so i checked some of them out when i got home tonight, and this was one of my favorites. it's pretty random, but gave me a good laugh and some good tips for your upcoming valentine's day.

my morning

i usually try to do something energizing on wednesday mornings since it is a youth group night. recently i've been going to the gym, but today i decided to get out and explore an area of town i've not really been to before. so i braved the orlando traffic (it took close to 45 minutes to drive about 9 miles!) and headed over to winter park to enjoy the coldest morning of the season so far. here are some pics i took to document my excursion.

as i walked down park avenue, i saw this really cool old car.

this is a shot of the amtrak train station.

central park.

most of the benches in the central park have these dedication plaques on them. this was one of my favorites.

this was by far my favorite find of the morning. a time capsule buried into the ground back in 1976.

since it was cool enough for me to wear a long sleeved shirt without sweating, i was in the mood for something warm. determined to not get something from a chain coffee shop, i found this shop. this is the inside of the shop, and below... the outdoor seating area of the shop. while the mocha was good (although so strong that i was still jittery when i got home), i'm sad to say that the organic cookie i picked up was a letdown. i'm a big fan of cookies, and this supposedly good for me cookie tasted anything but good. at least i know better for the next time around.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

chili's in lake wales

i love the melted part.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

rocking out

I think that in the years to come I will look back at this summer as one of the busiest I've ever had. I could write a lot, but just wanted to post two pics I took with my cell phone this past weekend. My favorite band, Lifehouse, came to Tampa and I got to go to the show with one of my favorite people, my cousin Justin. The first pic is the band after their last song and the second shot is one of Jut & me.

The show reminded me that I love Lifehouse and my cousin Jut even more.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

weekend menu

For the first time in about 7 years I had a weekend during the summer to do almost anything I wanted. While I feel a little guilty about all of my friends that are working hard at camp, I have to admit it was a blast. I ate with a different person at every meal this weekend. And I ate out, so I need to be hitting the gym again this week. Here was my menu for the weekend:

1.) Lunch at Qdoba with Selig, one of my high school students. We ran some errands and I forgot to pay for the fax I sent at Kinko's, so we made our way back there before heading home.

2.) Mid-afternoon snack with Travis at Chick-fil-A. Check out the monster fudge brownie a la modes that they hooked us up with.

3.) Dinner at the Puckett's with other Christ Kingdom staff. Bubbalou's pulled pork and homemade whipped cream!

1.) Panera breakfast with my friend Anne. We use to help out with the middle school students at UPC back in the day. It was great to see her. And I ate healthy there with a smoothie.

2.) Lunch at ABC Pizza, an old restaurant in Tampa. $7.99 for a large pizza and 2 liter bottle of Coke! Even better was getting to visit with Martha, a friend of mine from high school. We'd not seen each other for at least a year, so I loved catching up with her.

3.) Father's Day Dinner with the pops. He went for the steak, I just had a side salad. My body needed a break.

1.) My traditional Sunday morning Panera breakfast bagel where I catch up on some of my one-year Bible reading and usually see a Puckett or two.

2.) Lunch at Chipotle with my small group.

3.) Another side salad dinner, this time with my roommate Dan. We went to Bennigan's, where my friend Beau (one of my favorite Circle F folks) works. We got to sit in his section and hang out with him.

All that to say I've definitely been putting my Cingular rebate card to good use.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

feeling the love

Things are good, but the past week or so has been kind of emotional because camp at Circle F has started and I'm not there for every bit of it. I've been there off and on and I'm glad I've been able to make it work. The first set of campers arrived on Sunday and I was there yesterday to help take cabin photos. We have the cabin take a regular picture and then let them do something fun for the second one. Below is the picture the Pioneer Girls had me take with them. Sad and fun all at the same time.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

hits & misses

Some moments from the past few weeks:

hit: Last Tuesday I got to have lunch with Ande, which was really encouraging and refreshing. He cracked me up later in the week with a phone call confirming that I am on the bulletin board at Cheeburger Cheeburger.

hit: From 2004-2006 I led a Life Group of guys during their 7th and 8th grade years. They are now freshmen (sophomores as of Tuesday) and one of them, Andrew, is moving to Maryland with his family in June. So we had a reunion/send-off for Andrew and it was a good time. Cool to see these guys come back together after doing different things the past year.

hit: Vanilla Coke is back! Now I just need the folks at Chick-fil-A to serve it again.

miss: I dropped several hundred (gulp) bucks on a new radiator and CV boot for my car and I've got a feeling something else is going to go on it soon. While the expense is a miss, the hit is that I unknowingly drove with my busted radiator for a while before I noticed it was leaking. And my car never overheated. Definitely God watching over me because car trouble is one of those things that can set me off.

hit: I got to have lunch with Lisa, Beau and Ashley from Circle F. Joe and Kristin came over, too, and Jamie's on his way this week. It's like the Circle F Inn at our place.

hit: Back in my U-Life days we had an award show called the Golden Frogs. I decided the youth needed something like that, so last Wednesday we celebrated the randomness of the Christ Kingdom youth with the 1st Annual Golden Ninja Awards. I felt like it went well, but I got confirmation today when I asked one of the students if she was proud of the Ninja she received. She nodded and told me it's standing on her dresser. Below is what one (that's right - we had six models of them) of the Ninjas looked like and under that is a shot of the winners.

miss: I saw Shrek 3 today and I don't know if it was because I was tired or not, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the first two.

hit: Today at church one of my students invited me to take communion with her and one of her siblings. Without the prompting of a parent or anything! I loved it.

I'm sure there are more of both, but that's all I can think of right now.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Cousin Jeremy has a new cd coming out on May 22. You should buy it. You should also eat at Chick-fil-A, watch Scrubs, Lost and Heroes and read Ender's Game and The Kite Runner. But for now, just buy this cd.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

muggles rejoice

Summer is looking good. And it definitely has nothing to do with my west-facing bedroom heating up from about 5:30 until sunset every afternoon. No, my friends, the trailer for Harry Potter 5 went online today and it looks pretty sweet. Although I don't remember Ron pumping his fist in the book like he does here, this preview makes it look like an awesome adventure. The kids are growing up, and I'll be there to support the rebellion beginning July 13.

Monday, April 09, 2007

i won!

Around 5:00 this afternoon I found out that Travis (one of the guys who was in a small group I led for two years) was playing guitar with a band in a talent show over at Timber Creek High School. I always enjoy getting to see him and don't get to do that quite as much now that we go to different churches. It was so good to see him (and snag this quick photo for my phone).

I'm definitely one of those people who doesn't realize how much he misses someone until he sees them again. I felt like a bit of a dork when he was on stage because I was so excited. I was there with his parents cheering for him, and the thought crossed my mind that one day I might get to cheer for my kid doing something and I'd be even more proud.

But right before I had that grown-up moment, I won a raffle during intermission. The prize was perfect: a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

busy busy

A quick summary of the week:

1.) I've gone to the gym two times a week for three weeks in a row. Whoa.

2.) For the first time ever, I went to Circle F to visit friends and not to work. I thought it'd be weird to watch people do the things I was doing just a few weeks before, but I really didn't mind. A bunch of people came in to visit. Big Dave and Steph were there, so it was a bit like an Assistant Director Summit. We also got to hang out with Steph and Clint's little girl, Maddy. She may look innocent in these pics, but Maddy taught me the valuable lesson that diapers do not offer anyone complete protection. Enough said.

3.) Amy and the children's ministry hosted a Good Friday Celebration and it was great. The youth got to help with the set-up, games and egg hunt and they did an awesome job. Below is one of my high schoolers, Andrew, in what is probably my favorite shot from the event. If you can come up with a caption for it, post that bad boy in the comments section.

Hope you had a good Easter!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

slacker blogger

Tonight I ran into my friend Kelly at the gym and blogging came up in our conversation. I have been a slacker blogger. Things have been busy, but I've also still made time for relaxing and attempting to take better care of myself (hence the gym trip and ordering fruit cups instead of waffle fries at Chick-fil-A).

Not only are we still working on the cookies that Dan purchased (see last blog), but just a lot of life has been going on.

In no particular order, here are some of the things that have been going on (pics available for some):

1.) I joined Facebook. It's cool.

2.) My friends Amy and Russ got me a Chick-fil-A travel mug that gets me unlimited free refills at the Waterford location. Amazing.

3.) Evie turned 2 and got this sweet cup.

4.) Ryan and Jenny became a dad and mom to Hannah Elise. Hannah is already looking forward to turning 2 and getting a cool Evie cup.

5.) I lost one of my favorite Circle F'ers, Heath.

He was a counselor that worked for 2 summers and I adored him. He was such a solid guy. I really don't get why he's gone and it still makes me sad, but I am seeing God work in it. Despite the sadness of it all, it was so good and inspiring to gather with camp people and mourn together. And my family and friends have been incredibly supportive.

6.) I finally left the 80s behind and purchased new furniture. Loving the papasan.

7.) Connor (how great is this kid?!) and I made dinner for a family in our church yesterday. Thanks for the recipe, Anna!

8.) I am no longer the Assistant Director at Circle F. This is taking a little bit more to get used to than I thought it would, especially in light of Heath. I'm still working part-time, but Roger has come to take over and he's doing awesome.

9.) I had green beer on St. Patrick's Day and hung out at a piano bar. Good times.

Have something to share? If you read this, hope you are doing well.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Tonight when my roommate Dan came home I heard the familiar noise of plastic grocery bags swishing around as he opened the door. Traditionally Dan returns from grocery shopping with an arsenal of Marie Callender's microwave meals. Tonight, though, he proudly carried the following items from Publix:

Looks like my cookie addiction is nothing compared to Dan's.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

nephew cousin eli

It has been forever since my last post and a ton has happened. Some good, some bad, some just sad. By far, the most exciting thing that has happened has been the birth of Eli Henry Casella. He is the son of my cousin Jeremy and his wife (my cousin-in-law) Kierstin. I got to speak with Jeremy the day Eli was born (January 29) and we decided that since I don't have any siblings and therefore don't get to be an uncle, I will be known as Uncle Cousin Jason to little Eli. We're thinking we may have come up with a new kind of family relationship. Good stuff.

Anyway, below are a couple shots of the little guy and the proud parents.