Thursday, April 19, 2007

I passed 8th Grade Math

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Great Book

New Book I'm reading called Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. Incredible story based on the biblical characters Hosea and Gomer. And a wonderful reminder of God's love and grace. Great gift for Mother's Day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Jim vs. Roy

I'm counting down the days (4 more) until an all new Office episode. 4 weeks of waiting and it's gotta be good. This video is very satisfying in the mean time.

Monday, March 26, 2007

My visit to American Idol

I got a last minute phone call on Wednesday to join my mom at the results show taping of American Idol. I told her that I couldn't come because I was at work - so sad. When I got off the phone Andy and Nadim told me I was an idiot and should leave immediately. That was all the encouragement I needed.

So, I made the long trek to CBS studios in LA with my mom Wednesday afternoon. My dear friend Shannon came with us - isn't she pretty? After going through security one of the guards asked me a question which I thought was "do you have to pee?" I lightly chuckled and said "yes", thinking "that was a weird way of asking"... He started walking me back to another area which I thought was strange. SO I asked him to repeat what he had asked. He said "I asked you if you're VIP" to which I said "Oh, I thought you asked me if I needed to pee" Several people saw this play out and he and I both laughed very hard. Very awkward.

The show was fantastic. They had a crowd warmer, that got everyone dancing and laughing. Then they announced all the "Idols", then the judges. Everyone walked through the audience and shook hands when they were announced except for Simon. He just walked straight to his seat - very funny, it's actually not an act. All around fun show to watch. Surely not as much fun as a Tuesday night show would be. But we had a blast and sang along and danced together. Great girl time.

Afterward we got to hang out for a couple hours. Visit with some of the performers. Shoot the breeze with Ricky Minor - probably the nicest, most inclusive, and interested person I've ever met. Some hang time with Justin Guarini - he asked for Shannon's number, Classic. Randy was just chatting it up with everyone, he was way cooler than I would have expected. Elena (who got cut a couple weeks back) was there. She was my favorite! Incredible sense of style. We talked clothes for about 15 minutes. She's already working on an album and has gotten some offers for television. I got to meet Blake who I love watching perform - he was very down to earth, clearly creative, all around nice guy. I spoke to Chris Sligh briefly. Asked for a picture with him so that I could brag to Josh. I told him that my co-worker was a huge fan of his and blogged about him all the time. He asked where I worked and I told him "Simply Youth Ministry". He then paused and said "Oh, Josh?" He admitted to google searching his name and coming across Josh's site. How funny is that?

We concluded the night with dinner at Maggiano's at the Grove and then a long drive home. SO much fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Want to be in our next catalog?

Creative Expression, Your Name in Print, Save Some Money - WIN, WIN, WIN

Want to be in our next catalog? Starbucks is "Now Warming" and we're "Now Accepting" all high-res photographs, art, illustrations & design...created by YOU.

Our heart behind this is to find out "What is youth ministry to you?". Show us a snapshot of your youth ministry through any means of creative expression...well, interpretive dance might be hard to capture in print. All submissions welcome. If you're not creative, include others in the process...extend it to your students to participate, or create something together in a small group setting. Create a wall mural in your youth room and take a picture of it for us - since that would be hard to ship - two birds with one stone, now your youth room looks sweet too.

DON'T FORGET to include all of your contact information: name, position (pastor, volunteer, student leader...), church, city, state, and email - most important.

NOTE by submitting your art you are releasing the right for it to be reproduced by Simply Youth Ministry & affiliates.

Art/Design Specs:
5.25 x 7.25 (smallest) to 8.5 x 11 (largest)

Should be 300 dpi. Please send through to

Please mail to:
Simply Youth Ministry
Attn: Natalie
26981 Vista Terrace, Unit C
Lake Forest, CA 92630

April 30, 2007

We're giving 20% off coupons for all submissions. What a great opportunity to goof off for a couple hours and chalk it up to responsible efforts to save your church some money. Well done!

I can't wait to see what you come up with!


Friday, March 09, 2007

More birthday celebrations...

Last night I went with my family to see Wicked at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, to celebrate my mom's birthday - some more. We actually call it her birthmonth, because that's about how long we celebrate for. I've sang Happy Birthday to her 4 times so far. Actually 3 different times, but at one meal she made us sing twice so that she could get it on video.

SO we went out for dinner at a restaurant called Citizen Smith. Outstanding! Highly recommend it. It's southern food, so we ate lots of good fried stuff. Onion rings, Friend Green Tomotoes (which I've always wanted to try), JalepeƱo Macaroni & Cheese, I ordered Filet Mignon which came with mashed potatoes and smashed peas - so good. It had a very cool, urban vibe. Chandeliers, dark wood, wall sconces, tall windows with dramatic drapes...very cool.

From there we walked to the Theater, about 5 blocks. I had purchased everyone's favorite candy for the show - which was a hit. Then to boot...the show was amazing. I didn't know much of the story line or really anything going into it - but I absolutely loved it.

When in the LA area, I would suggest this for a solid (but expensive) evening out.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Postcards - as promised

These are 2-sided Full Color postcards 6"x4" 300 dpi CMYK. Designed for outreach. Print these off and give them to your students to invite their friends to Easter Sunday at your church. See easter backgrounds on a previous post for themed art for your powerpoint presentation.

Easter Invite

The Price is Paid

*NOTE: 2-sided printing can be complicated on desktop printers. If you're able to get these printed by Kinkos or another professional printer then you're set...otherwise, just print one side and let them fill in the backs themselves. Have fun.

Black Sheep Bistro

Amazing Dining Experience in Old Town Tustin. Excellent for a special occassion. Eric and I went last night with my parents, grandparents and a couple friends to celebrate my mom's birthday. Seats about 40 people, feels like you're at someone's home and their hosting a large dinner party. Natural converstaion from table to table. They seat one table a night, serve very slowly to give a real atmosphere of valuable time together. Incredible service and then the foods amazing! Lots of mediterranean inspired dishes, from France, Spain and Italy. Really so good.

Look for an opportunity to go.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Easter Backgrounds - Yours for the Taking (2)

Easter Backgrounds - Yours for the taking

American Idol-less

Last year I became a loyal watcher of the show American Idol. But most of the contestants this year leave me feeling a little bored. Favorite for me has become Blake, but I don't think he'll win. Do I continue watching in hopes that I'll care at some point? Or do I reclaim those 3+ hours a week and do something worthwhile with my life? Hard to say.

Never Under Estimate

Never under estimate the fun that can be had while playing a game of Jenga.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Contest Week at SYM

Contest Week at is bound to be a hit. Check out the site each day to see what we're adding.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ransom Student Ministry

On the podcast last week Matt McGill suggested that I re-design the logo for one of our listeners, Eric Smith, youth pastor of Ransom Student Ministry. I've had some back and forth with Eric since and here's the progress we've made thus far. Any favorites?


I just got the greatest travel bag for all of my equipment - The LowePro Media backpack from Best Buy. This thing holds my 15" powerbook, Canon Digital Video Camera, Canon Rebel, and all accessories in 3 unique compartments - plus the space for all of my carry-ons:) Plus it's a backpack...Hands free and evenly distributed weight! No more switching shoulders.Here's pictures of it fully packed. This thing's amazing.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Shuffle Up and Deal

Matt McGill had mentioned this on our podcast last week and I thought it was a clever idea: Hit Shuffle on your iPod and post what the top 5 songs are...
Reet Petite - Jackie Wilson
This Poem Sucks - Mike Myers
Don't Fear the Reaper - MIT Logarhythms
Nice to Meet you Anyway - Gavin Degraw
Sitting On the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

Now that is a random mix! I challenge you to do the same. Forward to a friend, or add a post here.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Favorite Car

I have a volkswagon bug - due for a 60,000 mile check up and I know it's going to cost me some coin. My turning signal just broke. My trunk cover has been broken for about a year. I need new wiper blades. I need to wash it. I have an appointment for Wednesday while we're in Indy, so maybe I'll like it again after it's shiny and working.

However, I think I've discovered my next car. FYI- I change my mind monthly about "my favorite car" and still haven't purchased anything, so bare with me. It's the Honda CR-V EX-L. I hate the name, but I love Hondas and I like the look and features. New model, white, navigation system, digital audio reader, seat warmers, 24/30 miles per gallon...pretty dope.

Valentines backgrounds

Just Added! 15 Valentines Day backgrounds for $5.99. Here's two more for free...Happy Love Month!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Woohoo! NYMC

8 more days til the National Youth Ministry Conference! We just got our team shirts. Going simple. We had a fashion show today - here's some pics.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mammoth - Report

So...I was horrible. My first run was my best run of the day. Following that I had one serious face plant - thought I had broken my nose. I pulled muscles in both of my quads since my momentum threw my body forward, thus my board back and around nearly hitting me in the head...BEHIND ME! That freaked me out but I shook it off. The next run (Getting off the chair lift) I randomly turned backward and fell on my tail bone. And since I fell the whole way down the slope, I kept hurting the same spot over and over again. That was the end of my efforts at Snow Boarding.

I spent the rest of the weekend at our house, in my slippers, with snow falling outside, and a cup of hot chocolate in my hand. Eric's aunt taught me how to play Sudoku - love it, Eric's mom taught me how to knit - I started a scarf, we watched Arrested Development DVD's, went in the hot tub, ate dinners together, read a lot. It was an incredibly relaxing, special, bonding weekend.

FYI. My tail bone still hurts. I have trouble putting my shoes on, because it hurts to bend over more than 90 degrees. Woohoo, snow boarding.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I leave for Mammoth today for my first try at Snowboarding. I'm borrowing clothes and a board from Julie Brazelton, so I'm going to look really cool. Andy gave me a lesson this morning, so I at least know that I'm supposed to bend my knees, lead with my shoulders, and lean on my toes and my heals to turn. Apparently I'm expected to whine a lot...we shall see. I'll post pictures when I get back.

Josh owes me lunch

Small wager - lunch at Chili's. Josh told me that the 5 main characters from high school musical are in their 20's...I strongly disagreed and challenged him to lunch if at leaast two of them were under 20. I won.

The Story of Jim & Pam

This is fantastic. Fills my heart with joy.