Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 in Review

Greg and I took some time to think of all that's gone on this past year . . . it really is amazing when we sit down and think about it all at once . . .

  • We moved into our beautiful duplex in January. It's our first house! We have loved working on house projects (mostly painting and constructing bookshelves). Our neighborhood is only about 20 min from Greg's office uptown and about 10-15 min from our other family living in Charlotte; top that off with 3 other families from our church who are great friends of ours living on the same block and the location couldn't be more perfect!
  • Greg's been playing bass in the band for our church's college ministry AND for the children's ministry band 2 times a month on Sundays. He's also been brushing up on the guitar and leading worship for our Care Group (our church's twice a month small group meetings). Between official practices, practicing at home, and then actually playing on the bands, he's had a lot of time to play music this past year. (I personally love it, it's great to hear him play!). In the fall I got the chance to start singing on the Children's Ministry band, so that's been fun to do together.
  • In May we went camping with our best friends, Evan and Leah, went to a conference, NewAttitude, with them as well, and hit up Hilton Head with Greg's parents for a weekend trip. We didn't see home much that month!
  • In June we went to Charleston to celebrate our first anniversary! We had a wonderful time touring the city and eating fantastic seafood . . mmmmm . . .
  • For the 4th of July week, we flew out to California with Allie to visit Grandma and Grandpa and the rest of our family out there. We had a fun filled week and can't wait to see everyone again!
  • We went on our first backpacking trip together over Labor Day weekend. Greg's been several times before, but this was my first trip. We hiked about 15 or 16 miles over the 3 days, most of the time carrying a good 25+ pounds on our backs. It was a lot of fun and we're working on planning another trip for April '08.
  • Beginning in September, we've been assistant Care Group Leaders for the college group. It's been so much fun to get to know our leaders (our neighbors Nick and Rebecca) as well as the rest of the group. We're looking forward to those meetings starting up again in January.
The year ahead of us is looking to be full and exciting as well . . . we're eager to see all that God has for us in 2008!

Monday, December 17, 2007

2 Years Ago Today . . .

This boy took this girl to Charleston . . . it was cold and rainy . . . their noses turned pink and her hair got frizzy . . .

They sat under this tree . . . he got angry at the small children playing near by . . . she quoted Napoleon Dynamite like a lame-o . . .

But then he gave her this ring . . . and made her the happiest girl ever!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Results . . .

Last night was the actual competition for our gingerbread houses . . . the competition was fierce. We were up against 5 other houses that were very well made and decorated. A lighthouse, a castle, a house complete with swing set and garage, a skyscraper and a Who-ville house.

For before pictures, check out Greg's post below.

The movie of our blow up is kind of fuzzy, I was filming on my little digital camera. But Kiernan was filming on his much nicer video camera, so hopefully we'll get some of that footage eventually.

And here's what it looked like afterwards . . .

Thanks to everyone on our team that put in so many hours (during finals no less!) to build the pagoda and assure that the blow up would be dramatic!! (Kiernan, Rachel, Jonathan, Rannon and Jessica especially . . . thanks!)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gingerbread House

Yes, this is actually Greg posting...maybe this will be an annual event that everyone can look forward to.

In Mission 28, we're doing a Gingerbread house construction and demolition competition. In another week or two we'll post the video of it blowing up.

With Kiernan and I leading the way with our nerdiness, we designed a very mathematically beautiful...thing. I called it a Ziggarmydagoda. To the response of many rolling eyes, Kiernan brought in his scroll saw to make precision cuts on our graham crackers.

Thankfully God made girls with some creativity, because there was no way this thing was going to win any kind of cosmetic competition. They decided to turn it into just a pagoda (Buddha included) and it turned out very nice!

Oh...and Greg <3 Spartacus!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I love 'em!

A highlight of this past long weekend was the time that I got to spend with my sisters. It was hard to get all of us together at one time when we lived under 1 roof, so now that we are under 3 roofs it's a wonderful treat to be all together. Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Allie and I took a drive downtown (or uptown or whatever) and had lunch with Chelle at a one of her favorite places, Phat Burrito. It was amazing . . . the burritos, true to their name, are HUGE!

We all (including Mom!) got matching jackets from our mawmaw on Thanksgiving, so on Monday I went over to Mom and Dad's house and we had a mini photo shoot with the tripod . . . Spartacus was intent on being involved as well.

I'm really looking forward to Allie coming home again for Christmas and the days off Chelle will have from school for the holidays!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a most wonderful Thanksgiving, spending it w/ my Mom's side of the family. The day was full of cooking, football (watching that is . . . ), story telling (both true and not so true), and lots and lots of laughter. Enjoy the pictures and the great video of Allie . . .

Mom taking a quick break from cooking

Mawmaw taste testing . . .

Greg and I took some pictures for our Christmas card . . . this one wasn't the winner . . .

Neither was this one . . .

Or this one . . . =)

Allie keeping in shape during the off season

Sitting down for the feast . . . we all started eating so intently at this point that we forgot to take more pictures!

Youngest child, anyone?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sluggish Day

I've been feeling rather sluggish all day today, pretty much since the alarm clock went off this morning. It's been hard to motivate myself to do ANYTHING . . . and I couldn't figure out why . . . then I realized IT'S MONDAY! Though I may not be working anymore, my body apparently still bucks at the idea of Mondays. Mostly because I have to be separated from this cutie after wonderful weekends together.

That's him at Youth Explosion! 2000 . . . the summer between our sophomore and junior year of high school . . . the summer we first started liking each other . . . *awwwwww* (I got to tell a brief recap of "Our Story" last night at care group to a new comer and it was quite fun to tell it to someone who isn't tired of hearing it yet, haha)

This past weekend we finished up our Christmas shopping, finished the framework for our new garden in the backyard, hung out at the Rosses, Sr for the Panthers game and then CG. Full weekend, but so much fun! Greg actually got to lead CG for his first time ever on Sunday. Jeremy Oddy (our fearless leader) and his family were out of town for Thanksgiving so he asked Greg to lead our group. Greg did a fantastic job, he asked great follow up questions and led us all in a wonderful discussion about leaving our comfort zones in order to serve and further the gospel.

I'm looking forward to the rest of this week . . . Allie comes home for break on Tues, we get to have a sisters lunch on Wednesday and Mom and I are cooking up a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Quick One . .

This past weekend Greg went camping with 3 guys from church and I got to go spend the weekend with Leah! It's the first time we've hung out, just the 2 of us, since she got married back in April. It was long overdue. We didn't do a fantastic job of documenting the trip (I didn't even have my camera with me) so you'll have to imagine the pictures for yourself (think mounds and mounds of food, numerous chick flicks, walks with Henry, and an antiques mall). The conversation was great (I want "convo cards" for my kitchen table, too . . . ) and it was great to catch up.

The boys had a great time as well and did a much better job documenting . . . Greg took my camera with him and got many pictures of the beautiful fall foliage. My favorite is the picture of the fog rolling in over the mountains.

Finally, one down and five to go. I finished the window treatments in our bedroom today, leaving only 5 windows that I need to finish. Thankfully when we moved in (in January) the previous owner had left all of her mini-blinds, so it has not been a necessity to get curtains up. But the room does look so much better with the curtains, more polished and complete. There will still be no rush, just some fun projects to look forward to as I make our little house more homey =)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Dash

I will post more later about our trip this weekend up to Virginia with Greg's family for Grandpa Mickey's funeral; but I want to share this poem that was read at the funeral. It was very meaningful for all of us.

The Dash

by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

©1996 Linda Ellis

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Day Trip

This Saturday we (Dad, Greg, Ivy and I) had the opportunity to go up to Montreat to see Allie and watch her team in a match against Brenau University. (The picture on that article is of Allie!) The team played so well and we had a blast watching "real volleyball" (As much as I love playing pick-up games with M28 or at picnics, there's just something about watching an official team play. They cover the court so well and the volleys are so exciting to watch).

After the game, we went out to our favorite pizza place up in Montreat, My Father's Pizza. Seriously, if you are ever up that way, check it out. Dad was concerned that Allie might tire of it, since they get pizza there every time they go up, but I'm pretty sure that it's in the Baumgartner genes to LOVE pizza. Allie agreed =)

Speaking of Allie . . . she's been coming down with what she thought was a bad cold for the past week. After seeing her and hearing her difficulty in breathing on Saturday, Dad encouraged her to see the school nurse on Monday. She was originally diagnosed with walking pneumonia and sent to the urgent care center but the doctors there changed the diagnosis to an upper respiratory infection (which is apparently the better of two evils) and put her on a strong antibiotic. If you are able, pray that she would be healed quickly and that the infection would not travel deeper into her respiratory system.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

From Hosea

I was reading from Hosea this morning and verse 10:12 jumped out at me
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is a time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

Hosea spoke this as a warning to Israel because of their rebellion against God (this is made clear in the following verses of chapter 10), but I believe that the instruction can be applied as an encouragement (aka challenge) to me during this time of preparation that I'm in.

My favorite part of the verse is this:
Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord

What a wonderful picture of actively waiting upon the Lord. Just like Leah, I tend to think in analogies. I've been trying my hand at gardening the past couple of summers and I've learned a couple of things. 1. No matter how badly I might want my basil to grow from seeds, it is outside of my power to make them sprout. 2. If I don't properly take care of the basil seeds (watering them, making sure that they get enough sun light, etc) then I can be almost positive that they will not grow and mature into hardy plants. The same is true with my waiting and learning as I prepare during this season of my life. I can't change my heart by myself or grow in areas of sin and weakness no matter how much I might want to or how much I try in my own efforts. But I can devote my time and energy into preparing my heart, seeking the Lord and actively waiting in expectancy for what the Lord will do!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's true . . . as of last night the Ross house is a high tech establishment . . . the primary purpose of this post is to let everyone know that email is no longer the most unreliable way to get in touch with us. (Well, technically the carrier pigeon was and is the most unreliable way . . . but you know . . . ) So feel free to flood our in-boxes beyond work hours =)

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Fall is my absolute favorite season . . . and it's finally on its way. The high in Charlotte is down to the 80's (which, for me and my freakish coldness means it's almost sweater weather), the breeze is blowing, and a large pot of soup and homemade bread is on the menu for next week.

This fall also marks my "retirement" from the professional world. At the end of September I'll be leaving the job I've been at for the past year and I'll get to be a full time homemaker! I'm so so so very excited. It was a difficult decision to make, I really enjoy being an accountant (really, I do!), our savings account has really liked me having a job, and I have had a job since I was in 10th grade (with maybe a 3 month break in there during my Sr. year of high school). It's going to be a huge change for me! But Greg and I are full of faith that this is the way that God is leading us and I'm so excited for all of the 'pros' of this change! I'll get to finish up projects around the house, develop my hobbies, spend more time studying the Bible and growing in my relationship with the Lord, build relationships with many of the wonderful ladies that God's put in my path, and so much more (that list isn't necessarily in order of importance).

The next question that most people have been asking as soon as I tell them that I'm "retiring" is "Are you pregnant." No, I'm not. Just thought I'd clear that up before I got even more questions =)

I'm super excited for Sept. 28 to come along and so thankful for the time that I'll have not working before we have children. I know that's not the case for many women, so I definitely see this as a tremendous blessing, not a right to which I am entitled. So, if you think about it, pray for me as head into this new season that the Lord would use this time to prepare me for what's to come and that one day as I look back I would see that much fruit was born - and that I wouldn't waste any of my new found "free-time".

So here's to fall! Warm soup, fresh bread, cozy sweaters, "retirement" . . . here I come!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Survivor: Jones Gap

We are alive. My back might argue with that statement, but regardless of how it feels right now . . . it is alive, too.

Greg and I had a fantastic time backpacking and camping through Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina, for our Labor Day weekend. We hiked through that park in 2005 (a few months before we were engaged) and noticed designated camping spots along the trail. We thought it would be fun to go back and camp there one day . . . so we did! Greg went backpacking with a few guys in the spring and really enjoyed it, so he started planning this trip for us soon after. This was my first time backpacking (though I've been camping - what Greg calls "car camping" - many times before and really enjoyed it) and I really didn't know what to expect. I had to deal with some fears before we left, but God was very kind to not have me walk through any of them in real life.

We started out Saturday morning and hiked about 5.5 miles that day. Jones Gap is a gorgeous park with rivers and streams running through it and several waterfalls. (It's a great place to day hike!!) Besides the 25-30 lbs. we were carrying on our backs, it was a fun hike. That evening we set up camp and cooked our freeze dried lasagna and had fun playing cards until dusk. I wasn't prepared for owls making more noises than the generic "Who-who" and it took me about 3 hours to fall asleep as I tried to figure out what was going on outside of the tent. I must have woken Greg up a dozen times to ask him if we were safe. I finally fell asleep as I quoted 2 Tim 1:7 (God has not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self control). That was a verse Mom would have me quote often when I was little and afraid of, well, everything.

The next morning Greg gave me the option of going home early because of the night before, he didn't want to put me in a situation that I wouldn't be comfortable or feel safe. We decided to finish out the trip as planned and for me to bring my iPod next time to drown out the noises =) It was great to have an opportunity to really have to trust Greg (and the Lord) that we were safe . . . I'm not stretched in that very often in suburban America.

Our campsite was in a perfect location in a grove of trees for shade and near a stream for water. One afternoon Greg went hunting for crawfish and caught 4 of them which he actually cooked up for part of his dinner!

We had a wonderful rest of the hike and saw many beautiful things. After the high temps we've had in Charlotte, seeing GREEN everywhere was such welcome change! And it was amazing to think of all the "necessities" that we did without all weekend. I'm looking forward to our next backpacking trip together that we're planning for the spring!