Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Major step towards Uganda yesterday-got my passport applied for! Plus, the Amani people told us we can send our applications in without our passport numbers (since we won't get those for another month or more), and then send those later, so we're breathing a sigh of relief! I don't like to have a bunch of big stuff to do at the last minute, and Amy and I were praying we'd be able to apply to volunteer within the month, so it's an answer to prayer! :)

We were trying to figure out how to get rid of a huge amount of M&Ms at work, since now all the holiday packaging is done and we don't need them anymore. And of course, one of the surest ways to get rid of any kind of candy is to send it home with Hannah for her millions of brothers and sisters. ;) My boss is so awesome like that.
Micah really enjoyed the red M&Ms. As all 3 year olds do, he also liked just holding them in his hand 'til they colored HIM red, so he looked eerily like the victim of...well...something. I'm including a picture of the goofy kid...taken BEFORE he had red dribbling out of his mouth (that was disgusting). ;)

I was really struggling this morning at work. Several of my co-workers had something negative to say about my leaving in a month: "Why would you want to move north in the middle of winter?" (I happen to still like snow, thank you!) "You're working with refugees? Aren't you worried about, ya know, getting raped?" (ha. haha. Like Ft. Wayne is so much more dangerous than Winston Salem!) "What if you don't like it?" (Not likely) "That's great that you'll be doing something good, but can't you just do that here?" (Yeah, but what if God wants me to do it THERE?!)
Outwardly I smiled and answered the questions truthfully, but inwardly I was starting to doubt. Is this really what God wants me to do, or am I just pushing my own wants into the limelight? I mean, deep down I know that this is from God, but I still let myself get down because of their remarks. I finally had to stop myself and ask God to calm my spirit.
And in walked Courtney, one of my favoritest Panera gals ever! She's cheerful and positive, and just makes you see the bright side of things even without saying anything. She used to work at my store when I first started 2 years ago, then she transferred to a store in Winston (your favorite one, Connie). Once in awhile she'll come to our store to fill-in, and today she did just that. I hadn't seen her in months, so we were catching up on each others lives, and of course I told her about Indiana.
"That's AWESOME!" was her reply. <3
Two little words, but they picked me right up and reminded me that, yes, these opportunities (Indiana and Uganda), are AWESOME. They're amazing. Incredible. And I really don't deserve them. But who turns down an offer like this from God?! Well, I don't know who...and I certainly don't intend to become one of them! ;)

Oh, and another HUGE answer to prayer came today in the form of a major drop in my car insurance bill-an $80 drop!!! I know that as a new-ish driver I shouldn't complain, but for a year I've been paying out 1/4 of my monthly earnings to car insurance alone. I was worried that the drop in price wouldn't be much, so when my Mom texted me telling me how much my current bill will be, I almost cried. :) God is so good!!!

Oh yeah. Girls night tonight with my sisters and Mom (and Micah...so it's mostly girls) to go see Tangled! :) My second time seeing it, and their first. It's going to be fun!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekend of celebration

With Christmas on Saturday and my birthday on Sunday, our weekend was full of good food, lots of presents, and even some pretty snow! :)

We got 8 inches of snow over Christmas and my birthday!
The view from my window:

I got a jewelry box that I can put some of my pictures in...so cool! :) 
My friend Amy gave me a the devotional "Completely Irresistable" which I'm hoping to start reading soon, and Sam made me a book of several blog posts from Sister to Sister!!! So special!! <3 

Some of the gifts that Maddie, Hannah, and Meghan sent me. Thank you girls!!!

I love this...Amy sent me this pillow. It's so pretty! :D
 Talk about a deer in the headlights look! ;)

Blowing out the candles on my Eggnog cake (delicious!)
Making Oreo truffles with my little buddy :)  
 I got a laptop!!!! :D
Micah with one of his presents  
 Moriah and I made this t-shirt for Dad, as he's always singing some 70's tune for pretty much any situation you can imagine. He got the joke. ;)
 I gave Mom a Mint Chocolate candle...it smells amazing!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The world is white

My favorite little town has 8 inches of snow and counting! :D Well, actually Sarah measured and reported that there's really only 7 3/4 inches, but it's been snowing hard so I'm sure the extra 1/4 inch has accumulated on the ground by now, so we'll round it up anyway.
I woke up this morning to the beautiful sight of white...everywhere. It started snowing yesterday afternoon while my Mom was on the phone with my Grandma. She had just told Grandma that it wasn't snowing here, when the first few flakes began to fall. :) I spent the afternoon and evening gazing out the window every so often to look at the beauty of winter. Yes-it's cold, and wet, and creates problems for travel, but I love winter even still. It's beautiful, peaceful, and it quiets the world. There is nothing I love more than walking in the morning through a neighborhood covered in white, before the kids come out to play! And I got to do that this morning. :)

Moriah and I are on dog sitting duty for two of our regular families this week, and since she's sick and really shouldn't brave the cold, I bundled up and trudged through the snow around the corner to family B's home. Family A usually takes care of Family B's dogs, but when Family A is gone, we take care of them both. Confused now? ;)
But I love it when that happens, because Family B has some of the cutest, funnest dogs around. Problem is, I have only been to their house once before this morning, and I had only gone along to play with the dogs that time, so I didn't know where anything was. Plus, there was a slight confusion over WHEN we were supposed to begin our care of Moose, Roxi and Ollie, so I was half worried as I walked up to the door that they might actually be home. And they've never really met ME, so I tried to think of how I would explain things should I unlock the door and become a suspected burglar. O_O
That, however, did not happen (obviously). Though since it was kind of early and I was seeing wrapped presents still under the tree (seriously. Who leaves home AFTER Christmas and leaves UNOPENED presents behind?!), I was a little worried that maybe they were still asleep and just didn't hear me come in. So, to kill my nerves, I talked to the dogs...probably louder than I should, but hey! I wanted to make sure if they were home, they'd hear me and wouldn't clobber me from behind with a baseball bat!
"Hiya Roxi! You remember me? I'm Moriah's sister. She's sick, and can't come to take care of you today. Cody asked us to come over this morning. You do remember me, right Roxi?"
Eventually I was certain nobody was home, and then felt stupid for talking to poor Roxi like that. I'm weird like that when I'm alone in a house. ;)
Moose is named appropriately for his size, though I personally think he looks more like a bear. I can ride him like a horse. :D Now you see why I like going over there? ;) And Roxi and Ollie, I have nicknamed The Cute Little Demon Jack Russells. They are always fighting, and I feel like they're a small taste of what it's like to have twins. But separate them, and you have two little angels. ;)
So anyways, after a half hour of searching the house for the "play room", trying to find the water bowl (which was on the deck, covered in snow and ice. Great job, Cody!), figuring out which food belongs to which dog, and finding an empty food bag with no replacement food that was supposed to be for the biggest dog, I made my way back home. Half that time was spent on the phone with a groggy Moriah, with me asking her a zillion questions and her having about a million of the answers. Someday, Family B is going to come home to an organized playroom with all the dog supplies conveniently in place and the food STOCKED, if they aren't careful. ;) I don't think they've realized they hired two of the most OCD girls in the neighborhood. Our organizational urges are very hard to ignore for long!

The kids are currently outside sledding in our side yard. So far none have crashed into the creek, and no one has repeated the chipped tooth incident of Cody's from last winter. Snow cream has been devoured, and hot chocolate is running aplenty, and Moriah and I have plans for a movie. So off I go to enjoy a day snowed in at home! :D

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's almost Christmas!

There is snow in the forecast for Christmas, yet for some crazy reason this year I'm a bit cynical about that prediction. Seems like every year the weather man (or in the case this morning, the weather woman) says it'll snow on Christmas Day, and, at least here in North Carolina, it only actually snows maybe 10% of the time. Not that I don't want the snow, of course. Who (except maybe an emotionally traumatized northerner) doesn't love a white Christmas? ;)
But if it must snow this year, I'd like it to only be a dusting-maybe an inch or so. Because I really want to go to church on Sunday, and pretty much any amount of wintery loveliness is deemed as unsafe for traveling (spending a winter in Fort Wayne is probably a very bad idea...I'm losing all compassion for deluded southerners). I give the weather permission to snow on Sunday, after church. ;)

It was a busy day at my dear Panera this Christmas Eve. Thankfully, my boss is awesome at organizing chaos and was more than prepared for the swarm of orders we had. Things went so smoothly that I was able to leave two hours early! :) Now I have a four day break ahead of me...and lots of activity to fill my time with.

::Going out for pizza and our favorite Cook-Out shakes tonight with my family
::Helping prep meals for the needy with some folks from our church, along with Dad, Moriah and maybe Sarah tonight (the late shift :D).
::Christmas tomorrow...relaxation!
::Church and birthday celebration on Sunday-hopefully a quiet day
::Car repairs (possible), scheduling appointments (probable), and deep cleaning my room (definite!) on Monday
::Applying for my passport on Tuesday!!!!
And sometime today I really need to get some Christmas presents finished up!

I will leave you with the cutest quote of my day. Enjoy! :)
Neil and Betsy come in to Panera every single morning (Literally. They've never missed one morning except when on vacation!), and are the sweetest, most cheerful people I know. :) Betsy bought a Gingerbread Man cookie for her nephew (or grandson? I can't remember) who is 6 years old, and gave it to him yesterday. This morning she told me that when she gave him the bag with the cookie, he opened it and exclaimed (in a deep southern accent, of course),

"Oh my! I'm gonna feast on this tamarrow!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Little steps

Yesterday was sort of a major milestone in Operation: Go to Indiana. I finally had a chance to talk to my boss at Panera about getting transferred to the Panera near where Connie and I will be living in Fort Wayne. To be honest, it wouldn't matter to me even if I arrived in Fort Wayne with no employment and had to do an intense job search the first week back there. But God knows my needs, and He answered my prayers for waiting employment! :)
My boss was very understanding and enthusiastic about my plans for going to Fort Wayne, and said she would try to get the ball rolling to get me transferred by the time I get there. She called me within minutes of me getting home after work yesterday afternoon to say that I've been basically guaranteed a job at the Panera I was hoping to work at, AND she's submitted me for a (small) raise! How cool is that?! I had goosebumps on my arms when I got off the phone with her. :)

I got off work extra early today because business was down (yay me!), so Mom and I were able to go to Greensboro to pick up my laptop and run a few other errands. After a quick lunch at home and trying to figure out the password for our wireless internet, I headed to Connie's house to help decorate (and eat) some yummy Christmas cookies. I had a great time with Kevan, Connie and Mrs. Chandler-they're one amazing family. :)
I spent an hour this evening trying to hack into our network...my Dad has about a million different passwords for everything we use, and Mom and I don't know all of them. Since Dad has to work late tonight and can't help us, we were on our own. After failing miserably by myself, Mom remembered and tried a new password, and voila-it worked! :D Dad will be so proud of his hacker wife when he finds out. ;)

I am so glad God provided this laptop for me. <3

What is an Asiago bagel anyway?!

Here starts yet another blogging journey for me. I have this thing where with every new direction my life takes, I have to start a new blog, too. My old one just doesn't seem to fit anymore. Maybe it's crazy (ok, I admit: it is!), but that's just me. And when I think of a crazy new blog title at 2am, how can I not create another blog? ;)

But why now? Why this title? And how do you say "Asiago" anyway?

Well, I will attempt to answer all of those questions here.

Why now?December 2010, I made a decision that will change my life forever. Or, at least for the next 7 months. Actually, I made two decisions. Both are pretty big for Hannah Vincent, girl who never steps out of her comfort zone for more than 2 seconds. Both require some pretty hard steps, which in turn requires my Jesus for me to lean on. I know it's cliche, but it's true: He brought me to this, and He will bring me through this. There is no doubt in my mind about that!
First decision:I am moving from my home with my big family in little town North Carolina, all the way to big city Fort Wayne, Indiana on January 29th, 2011. My dear friend Connie introduced me to the ministry of International House earlier this month, and God tugged on my heart until I responded by commiting to serving the ministry, and Connie, for 4 months. All the details aren't worked out yet, but that's part of what this blog is for-so you can see along with me how God will bring this all to fruition!
Second decision: During the months of June and July, I will be (Lord willing!) in Uganda with my dear friend Amy, serving at an orphanage there. We aren't going with any church group-just the two of us. Neither of us have traveled outside the country before, so it will be a big adventure for us both! This type of missions has long been on both of our hearts, and we're excited that God has brought an opportunity for us to serve together! We covet your prayers as we work on getting all the details and paperwork completed to make this trip happen.
So hopefully that explains the 'why now' of this blog. My life was all comfortable and monotonous for about a year and a half after high school, and all of a sudden it's going at the speed of light! ;)

Why the crazy title?
Well...I'm so glad you asked. :) Does anyone remember the video series, The Donut Repair Club? No?! If you haven't, you missed out on a major piece of Christian childhood greatness! Anyway, to sum it up for those who don't know, the main song for the show has this line: "life without Jesus is like a donut 'cause there's a hole in the middle of your heart."
Now an Asiago bagel, on the other hand, doesn't have a hole in the middle. If it's made right, an Asiago bagel is completely whole with a delicious smattering of cheese on top. And it just so happens to be my favorite bagel. So I decided to name my blog "Life with Jesus is like an Asiago Bagel," 'cause there's NO hole in the middle of your heart. :) And I am so glad that Jesus is in my life!

How do you say Asiago?!Don't worry about saying it. I've heard at least ten different attempts at pronouncing it. Just call it the 'cheese bagel' and I'll know what you're talking about. ;)
But, if you truly want to know, the correct way to pronounce it is:
"Ah-see-ah-go"
Even if you call it Asianco bagel (and yes, I've had someone say it that way to me before!), it doesn't matter. As long as the concept of it is understood, I'll be happy. :)

The beginning of a new chapter of your life story is always exciting...and I hope you will join me as I go through this chapter of mine. :) 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good Friends

I've been home for almost a week now, and while I've had a great time with my family I still miss my new friends back in Fort Wayne. I'm glad I'll be going back again next year for a few months, but today I've been missing them a great deal so you get to enjoy some more pictures from when I was there. :)

On Thursday (the 9th) Connie and I drove down to Jefferson Pointe so she could show me that amazing mall. :D It's all outdoors, so though it was freezing (we stopped in several stores just to warm our frozen noses), it was gorgeous and such a fun experience! After making a stop at DeBrands for chocolate truffles, we passed this bakery that made me think of my dear friend Maddie. :D
I know it's extremely blurry, but we were cold and I wasn't taking a second try at a picture, so just trust me when I say that it's called Madeleine's Bakehouse. ;)

Quick stop for a picture together in front of the big tree...I loved all the lights! :)

Lian gave me a very special gift before I left. She basically dragged me into her apartment upstairs, and fished around in her small purse, pulling out this gorgeous Zho church necklace. From what I understand it was part of her church outfit. :) It's so beautiful, and so special-I have an aunthentic Burmese necklace!! :D

Two of my best buddies!! :)
Jo Lien, Connie and I, the night before we headed home.

On the drive home (Pam was driving..don't worry).
It truly was a Winter Wonderland driving through Ohio!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It's been an amazing week again here in Indiana, and I've been taking lots more pictures to share with you. :) There's still a lot of snow on the ground, and we're thoroughly enjoying the beauty of winter up north (though everyone else still thinks we're crazy).
 I'm half-heartedly looking forward to leaving, and praying about being able to come back up here with Connie again sometime in the next five months. I wish all of you could experience this place (more specifically this ministry), so you could see just how amazing it really is!
Anyway...on to pictures.
My little buddy Jo Lien. Very mischievous, and loves watching Disney animations (mostly The Little Mermaid....just ask Connie, who, poor girl, has the entire movie memorized now). He always makes me smile.
 I found this window hanging in my dresser. Really cool.
 Window hanging in the kitchen
 Connie and I use this wonderful kettle at least once every day.
 Saturday evening Connie, myself, Pam and her boyfriend Andy went to the Point of Grace Christmas concert. It was amazing!
Chris August started them off. I'd only heard one of his songs before, so it was great to hear some more of his music. :) He's got some great stuff!
 The amazing violinist for Point of Grace
 And the amazing ladies! I love her plaid skirt!
 They are so fun! Singing "Candy Cane Lane"
 They partnered with Soldiers' Hope, which sends Bibles to troops overseas. Connie and I got to write a note in this one :)
 They also had the comedian, Nazareth. Absolutely hilarious!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fun in the Northern Country


So right now I am in Indiana, and it is COLD! I've been here with Connie helping out at I-house since Saturday. It snowed on Wednesday, and we both freaked! :) We were so excited to see snow so early in the year, and all the native folks here think we're just a little crazy. But do we care? ;)

Anyways, I'll be home again soon (too soon, if you ask me. I'm really loving it here, even though I miss my family!!). But here are some pictures for you to enjoy in the mean time.

This is my little buddy! His family is Burmese, and they stay in the house Connie and I are in while they try to find other, more permanent housing. They are still learning English, so it's an adventure living with them. ;) They are SO sweet, and I wish all of you could meet them! I'll try to get some pictures of the rest of the family to share later, but so far my little buddy has been the only one to make it into my camera. :)

Muan Sang (sounds like Moy Sun) and I. Isn't he cute?

I love his smile!

He loves to clap, especially to Burmese worship music! :)

Connie crochets this blanket....

While I knit this one

And our dusting of snow!
Connie and I enjoyed it so much, and are very happy that there is a lot of snow in the forecast for the next few days! :D

Connie's artwork in the snow on the pavement. I love it! :D