Saturday, March 31, 2012

bob and me.

If you read my last post, you know that I'm a math person. I don't like memorizing things. But another thing that I like is spelling/grammar and all that jazz. I am by no means an expert in the area, but for one reason or another, I just like it. I'm one of those people who hates an improper use of "your", "you're", "there", "their", or "they're". This is me:

You know those people on Facebook (it may be you) that when putting up a picture of them self and someone (Bob, for example) always makes the caption, "Bob and I"? Well it's always bugged me. It's always been a "you put 'Bob and me' but I put 'Bob and I' so I'm smarter than you" sort of deal in my mind. I know this is completely ridiculous because there are people out there like me that like to use proper grammar. And I know that they are not doing it to make themselves look smarter, but for some reason I always think that. It's ridiculous, I know. Please don't judge me, because I'm not judging you if you always put "Bob and I". I'm sort of ashamed that I always think this, but this blog is a place where I'm honest, so I'm just going to resist the urge to erase the above sentences.

Well I got to thinking (which I do all too often) and realized that "Bob and I" is in no way grammatically correct. First of all, neither "Bob and I" nor "Bob and me" are complete sentences, but I don't really care about that. What really gets me is that some people don't realize that you're not always supposed to say, "so-and-so and I". There are actually times where "me" is appropriate. For example: "Bob and I went to the store today." "Today Jimmy came by the store and kidnapped Bob and me." If you didn't realize this, just remove the other person's name and if it sounds right with "I", then you're good. And if not, change it to "me".

Now that we've got that grammar lesson done, I'll move on to the Facebook pictures. If you think about it, why are you saying, "Bob and I"? It must be a shortened version of some sort of sentence, because "Bob and I" makes absolutely no sense by itself. I think most people would assume that "Bob and I" is a shortened version of, "This is a picture of Bob and I." Am I correct? Well, that sentence is grammatically incorrect. The sentence should be, "This is a picture of Bob and me." Why? Remove the "Bob" and it makes sense. "This is a picture of me," makes sense, whereas, "This is a picture of I," is obviously incorrect.

If you like to put "I" on the caption of your pictures, by no means am I trying to judge you for your grammatically incorrect actions. This is only my understanding of the grammar world. We all make mistakes (usually about much more important things than grammar). I realize that now everyone is thinking, "Oh wow you put 'Bob and me' but I put 'Bob and I' so you think you're smarter than me." No worries, I'm probably not smarter than you.

Now it's time to hear about all of the spelling and grammar mistakes that I have made in this post. (If you're wondering, I realized that I put "right" instead of "write" in a previous post. I was mortified when I realized this. Forgive me.)

Since everyone would rather look at pictures of Harvey than read my grammar lectures, here is his latest weekly photo:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

doubting: an update.

I am not a science person. I am a math person. I like figuring things out. I like not having to memorize much, just some formulas here and there. I can handle that. My brain likes numbers. So when I walk into biology class at the good ol' GTCC, I don't start jumping for joy. The entire row is usually empty except for me and one guy. I don't have a clue of his name and he's never spoken a word to me in his life. It's not the most exciting hour of my day. There's one girl in my class who usually asks a lot of questions, changes seats three times before making up her mind, and leaves class and comes back in at least seven times. So that's interesting. Other than that, it's just me and my notebook, and the occasional text message. I copy what's on the screen, try to focus on what the teacher is telling us, and retain a little knowledge in order to make an A on the tests.

The class isn't horrible. We talked about genes for a while...which was cool. DNA is interesting stuff. But now we're on to evolution and boy is it boring. Seeing that I'm not a science person, I don't know a whole lot about it and I can in no way prove scientifically that the earth was in fact created by God and that evolution is ridiculous. So as I sit in class, sometimes I try to decide what makes sense, what part I should believe, and what part I should just try to remember so I can make a good grade and then forget it. I've realized that it's just easier to memorize it all, take the test, and forget it, rather than trying to decide what is true or not.

Now on to the the real topic. The above paragraphs were the preface to the following paragraphs. If you remember, while in China I blogged about my doubting problem. I was very encouraged and realized that I was in no way alone and so many other people had the same issues. (Thank you for your feedback, by the way.) So I have come to give you an update. I'm doing much better. When I doubt, I push the thought out and focus on what I know to be true.

I have come to the realization that trying to convince myself that there's enough fossil evidence and that they've found this artifact and that scroll and blah blah blah, it's easier to think about what I know and what I can experience. When they talk about all the scientific stuff, it doesn't help my doubting issues because I don't understand how it either proves or disproves creation/evolution since, like I said, I'm just not a science person.

When I was at the Rise-Up conference last December, Scott Degroff mentioned something in one of his seminars about how when he and his wife talk to their kids they don't just use all the science stuff to answer their "how do we know the Bible is true and creation happened and everyone else is wrong" questions. They show them how God has provided for them and shown Himself to be real.

And I tell you what. It works. These days when I start doubting, I think back to all those times when this person's life was spared, and that guy's prayer was answered immediately. In the same seminar Mr. Degroff talked about a time when their children needed new shoes. They sat down together and prayed that the Lord would provide a way for them to get shoes. The same day someone showed up saying that they wanted to take the kids shopping so that they could buy them some shoes. They didn't just send some money or say they just wanted to take them shopping for whatever they needed. They specifically said shoes.

Um, this sort of thing doesn't just happen. It was a clear answer to prayer. I hear people talk about this all the time. They prayed for something and almost immediately the prayer was answered and God provided.

I have this skirt. It's not special for any reason, but I used to wear it all the time. I wore it to church like crazy. And then I lost it. I wasn't happy about this since I wore it very often and after I had looked everywhere I was just frustrated that I couldn't find it. One random day, a long time after I had lost it, I prayed that I'd be able to find it, not because it was a big deal, just because I liked the skirt. Lo and behold, either that day or the next (my memory fails me...not surprising) I found the skirt.

I mean seriously. It was a skirt. God answered my prayer about a skirt. How cool is that?

Just the other day I was thinking about how I hadn't been able to give a homeless packet to someone in a while, which I love doing. So, you guessed it, I was driving down the road and I asked the Lord for an opportunity to give one to someone. The same day, I was driving again and, yep, I passed a homeless guy and gave him a homeless packet.

When I doubt, this is what I think about. And it gets me every time. This stuff doesn't just happen. You think there's no God? All of these things can't be a coincidence. You believe in God but think He isn't personal? Well, He obviously has been hearing our prayers and answering them.

So next time Satan puts a doubting thought into your mind, think on how God has provided for you and how you can see how faithful He has been.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

only YOU can prevent forest fires?

On the way home from school I always pass a billboard with a large bear (I'm assuming Smokey the Bear) pointing, with the words, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires," written over him. It looks something like this:

Every time I see this billboard I get so confused. When it says "you" does it mean me? Is it talking to the Greensboro population as a whole? Is it speaking to each individual that reads it? Because I know for a fact that I cannot prevent forest fires. I would have no clue where to begin. Maybe pour some water all over the ground? I don't know.

I also don't think that Greensboro could prevent a forest fire. Greensboro has some crazy people, I tell you what. No matter how much Greensboro did to prevent a forest fire, someone would go throw a cigarette in the forest and leave it which would cause a fire....or some other similar scenario.

And I'm also wondering why Smoky the Bear chooses to say "only". Um, sorry but even if I could prevent a forest fire, I feel quite confident I would not be the only one who could. I am completely sure that there are much more capable people out there who could do the job.

I know nothing about preventing a fire. Smoky the Bear does not know what he's talking about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

no worries, we're alive.

I have finally decided to blog, lest you think that my family members were in a horrible plane crash that landed in the Atlantic Ocean on the way back from China, or that some sort of terrorist kidnapped me from my house, or that that rapture happened and you missed it, or that our family has been trapped inside of an electricity-free household because of a blizzard.

But what you can assume is that Josh, Danielle, and Harvey arrived safely from China and every day I see that kid (and really all 3 of them) I fall in love over and over again. Excuse my biased opinion, but he is the cutest child alive. Ever since they have been back I have seen them every day (except today I only saw Josh and Danielle cause the child was napping). Having them back is so much fun. After basketball season ended, my life would have become so mundane. Go to school, come home, teach piano, do homework, repeat. But, I spend a lot of my time with the aforementioned family members and I couldn't be more happy about it. (And not just because I get to procrastinate my schoolwork...I really do love them for them, I promise.)

Since they've been back we've done so many fun things that I should've been blogging about, if not for the sake of your reading pleasure than for the sake of looking back at memories.

At the beginning of the year I started to write down my "highlights of the week". I have a spiral-bound set of notecards and at the end of every week (or whenever I think to do it) I write down the highlights of the week. For the first couple of months of the year, my highlights mainly centered around basketball. For the last month, my highlights have mainly centered around my family. I love basketball, but I love my family more. And boy have I loved this March.

Here is an example from my constantly-playing-basketball life (this is the week of February 2-February 18):
-Mom and Dad got back from the Bahamas [I missed them alot].
-Had free breakfast at Chickfila with Rachel. She came to my basketball game and hung out a little afterwards.
-Beat Charlotte in the regional semi-finals. Best game I've ever played.
-Party with the basketball team.
-Beat High Point in the regional finals. Champions.

As you can see, a lot of my life revolved around basketball.

Here is an example from my more-family-centered life (this is the week of March 11-March 17):
-Sunday lunch at Granma and Grandaddy's house with everyone except Uncle Eric, Aunt Denise, Hope, Luke, and Uncle Kirby.
-Hanging out with Mom, Harvey, Danielle, Bethany, Brooke, Meredith, Thomas, Eli, and Aunt Kim at the Bicentennial Gardens/Bog Garden.
-Hanging out with Mom, Josh, Danielle and Bethany at the chapel house and helping [more like watching] them sort through stuff.
-Running, laying out, and doing school with Katelyn.
-Zoo trip with the whole family. So fun and perfect weather. Then we came home and ate dinner and played Ticket to Ride [which, by the way, is a fantastic game which you should all buy].
-Babysitting/being with Harvey almost constantly.

And as you can see here, my life now revolves around family, not basketball. I have to confess something. I haven't even put on my basketball shoes since the season ended. And I don't think I've touched a basketball. Don't tell my coach.

So you already know some of the fun things we've done since our Chinese family members arrived. Most of the fun things we do are just sit around together and talk and eat food. We're the kind of people that don't often go places or do things to have fun (other than board games), we just love being together. Jordan, Ashley, and Joe have also come home 2 weekends in a row which is so much fun to have everybody here at the same time. It doesn't happen often.

Quick picture recap (minus the zoo pictures, which will come later):

At the park. We weren't all quite ready.

Sunday Lunch at Granma and Grandaddy's. Everyone is laughing at Grandaddy trying to get Harvey to smile. Entertaining, for sure.

Mom and the Harv at the airport.

Joe teaching Harvey how to play the piano.

Jordan, Ashley, and Harvey.

First night in the States.

The two Harveys.

4 generations.

Well, there's a quick rundown on the last few weeks, and if you don't feel filled in enough, just know that I play with Harvey a lot and often tell him how cute he is. Ok, now you're filled in on my life as of late.

Friday, March 2, 2012

5 days and counting.

The seventh day of March, in the year two thousand twelve. Josh Shelley, Danielle Shelley, and Harvey Shelley move to the United States of America. I haven't seen these people since August and it's been far too long. I miss them more than you know.

These 3 people were my life for a few months this summer. I learned so much from them and with them. That babies do, in fact, take over your life and require 96% of your time. I learned to love to read. I learned right along side of them how to take care of a circumcision. I learned how to cut a pineapple. How to use an apartment intercom system. That Kunming International Hospital would be my first choice for having a baby. The definition of didactic and loquacious. That these people are pros when it comes to dealing with airport ridiculousness. That taking a 4 week old human being in public is much different then going with walking-and-talking human beings.

And I am so excited for their coming home. Well, leaving home is probably more like it. Let me rephrase. I'm excited for their coming to America, but not excited for their leaving home. I miss that home, and I only lived there for hardly more than a month. They will miss that home like crazy. They're moving to a foreign country...the States. They've lived in China for 6 years. They have no experience of living an adult life in the US. They will have a lot of things to get used to. So many things that will seem so foreign to them. The fact that it isn't exactly ok to run red lights every now and then. The fact that people won't tell them their child needs to be wearing more clothes. The fact that you can drink water out of the sink. And the list goes on.

Everyone knows that culture shock is bad. But boy, reverse culture shock just might be worse.

Life will be weird. Different. Confusing.

But I know these people. And I know that if anyone can handle it, they can. They're the best ones for the job.

The preparations are in full swing. Meals are being planned for the few days after they get here. Toys are being brought out of the basement. The crib is being assembled. And the anticipation is rising.

5 days. 5 DAYS. We've been waiting for this for so long. And now it's so close I can almost smell it. We love you. We miss you. We are absolutely thrilled to see you so soon.

So, Josh, Danielle, and Harvey. Welcome to America. Welcome home.