Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Summer Lovin' List

Well, here I am, two days away from graduating. It is so weird to think about... I mean, when I was in high school, college looked so far away. When I began college, the "real world" looked so far away, yet here it is, knocking at my door. We have only a few boxes packed right now, and it feels like NY is so far away... we have the whole summer, right? However, I know that summer will zip by as everything else has. Crazy. I guess I will make the most out of every moment because life passes so quickly. I should make a list of things I want to accomplish over the summer. Why, yes! Yes I will!!! *cue inspirational music* Okay, here we go... uh... ERG! I can't think with all of that stupid inspirational music!!!!! *music dies* Thank you! Sorry readers, I had my morning cup of coffee. My bad. Now then:

1. Go hiking on Grandfather Mountain

2. Lose ten pounds (I don't think this could escape any list... except for maybe a grocery list)

3. Finish reading the Spirit Flyer series with Travis

4. Watch Up Close and Personal with Mom

5. Ride on the ATV

6. Go to the beach

7. Play frisbee

8. Take an apartment hunting trip to NY

9. Take NY certification tests

10. Apply for jobs in NY

11. Hike in TN to see the "balds"

12. Go on a cruise with the Engebretsens

13. Play Beatles Rock Band with Dad and Trav (and Mom if she will participate LOL)

14. Take a trip to see Ivan and Linz's new place in TX (and help set up/paint, etc.)

15. Get a better tan

16. Get closer to Jesus

17. Get closer to Travis

18. Read The Essential 55 (Thanks, Mr. Davis!)

19. Buy new "teacher" shoes

20. Crochet (Yes, I am an old lady...I married an old man at heart, so I just have to fit in...stop judging me.)

This is just a small list; I'm sure I will think of more later and go "Oh darn! I should have put that on the list, but now I can't add any because it was at a solid 20!" Yes... I wouldn't be able to give up a nice list containing an even 20 items. I know. OCD. Let's discuss it no further.

If you have anything groundbreaking to add to my list, let me know! If it is crucial enough to my summer, I just may break my perfect 20-item list for your idea. That would be just positively shocking, I know. What's on your perfect summer list? What are your plans?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Bizarre Dream

To begin, you must know of some things that have happened recently or are going to happen soon in my life:

1. I am going to be in Tennessee over the summer.

2. I am going to be in South Florida over the summer.

3. Last night something not too pleasant happened: I was getting the mail (Travis was in the car), and some guy with loud rap music started coming my way. Naturally, I looked over at the SUV, and the music went off. As he pulled by with his window down, he muttered something under his breath to me (I'm guessing it was derogatory). As he drove off, I looked after the car, puzzled and offended. I got back in the car, and Travis and I drove to our apartment (a very short distance- like literally several meters). As we were walking up to our place, the guy came
back! I looked over, and once more, his window was down and he muttered something again! Both times I could not tell what he said, but I guessed they were not words of encouragement or happy, colorful butterflies on a spring morning. The freaky thing to me was that he came back. Our apartment complex goes in a circle, but he was coming the opposite way the second time. What this means is that he had to have literally pulled into a parking spot, turned around, and come back. Thankfully, I was visibly with Travis that time. I do not know why he came back, what he was expecting to do, but I am thankful for my Lord who was with us the whole time. After that, my mom suggested I call the police to see if they could patrol the area some, so I did. After spending some time peeking through the window every time we heard something, afraid that the guy was going to come to our door, a police woman came and asked some questions. Then she did some paperwork near our apartment in her car to keep watch. By the grace of God, we have been safe!

Now, on to the dream:

In my dream I was at some house in a woodsy area, and, no joke, an alligator dressed in a freaking bear costume was trying to break in through the door! My dad had to go out and shoot the thing!

1. Alligator = South Florida
2. Bear costume = Tennessee
3. Breaking in through the door = creepy, pervert guy


Monday, April 26, 2010

Reflections on "Love For a Child"

"It's kinda nice to work the floor since the divorce
I've been enjoying both my Christmases and my birthday cakes
And taking drugs and making love at far too young an age
And they never checked to see my grades
What a fool I'd be to start complaining

What about taking this empty cup and filling it up
With a little bit more of innocence, I haven't had enough
It's probably because when you're young
It's okay to be easily ignored
I'd love to believe it was all about love for a child" -Love For a Child (Jason Mraz)

These are just a few parts from this intense song. I listened to it today, and it breaks my heart every time I hear it because of its truth. Teachers know this truth more than anyone. (Obviously I am speaking in regards to the line about grades.) Why doesn't that one student ever get their homework done? Why is it that we
know he or she has the capability of getting amazing grades if a little effort fueled the already existing intelligence, and, yet, he or she is failing...everything? Because of this simple fact: parents have an impact.

Some parents just don't seem to care enough to use this amazing gift for their child's benefit. They let precious hours go to waste when they could be spending time with their child working on homework, discussing the importance of education, or helping their child study for tests. I'm sorry if you are a single parent with a job. I'm sorry if you are tired when you get home from work. I'm sorry if it is easier for you to flip on the T.V. and relax, letting your child do whatever he or she chooses, homework or play. However, in most cases, you
chose to have that child (even if you chose to have sex prior to marriage/without protection- that was a choice).

If you did not choose to have the child, do not ever regret the fact that God blessed you with one. God will never give you something in life that you cannot handle without His help. Therefore, do your absolute best with that which God has provided you. If you cannot, to put it bluntly... loving parents with fertility issues want to adopt. If
you cannot take care of your child, the most selfless decision would be to give that child up for adoption. This will allow your child to have a better life.

Now to discuss the first line... the one involving divorce. If your husband/wife cheats on you or abuses you, please get out. There are issues in marriage that can be so painful that they actually can affect your child more than divorcing. However, an irreconcilable difference= easy, fake way out. Any difference can be irreconcilable if you choose to stick your feet in the sand and make it that way. Good grief! People can get divorced over the way they put the toilet paper (which, by the way, the CORRECT way is over...just sayin')! However, people have, by the grace of God, worked through serious issues like finance issues and child raising differences. It can be done!

Sorry to say... because of divorce, child raising becomes more difficult, thus parents give up. "Taking drugs and making love at far too young an age": this line really gets me. I could never understand what it is like to grow up without the influence of both genders, both parents. True, there are children who grow up in incredibly stable homes, with two incredibly stable parents who still make choices that ruin their own lives. True, also, that there are children who have messed up lives and grow up to be wonderful, successful people. There are
always exceptions. However, I will say that a bad childhood, a broken childhood, can cause serious issues.

The satire in the second line is beautifully heart-wrenching and painfully true. No child would prefer two Christmases and two birthday celebrations to two parents at one Christmas and one birthday celebration. To another child in an unbroken home, this may seem a lucky, even unfair situation: getting more gifts! However, my fondest memories are long drives to rehearsals with my mom and playing catch in the yard with my dad... not items that my parents bought me.

Children need more innocence. Children need to be able to go outside and play without fear of being violated by some sick adult trying to take that innocence away. Children need to be able to play video games without the games exposing them to excessive violence that can be found in the real, adult world. Many games even expose students to real-world sexuality. Granted, these children are getting the games from someone, some
adult, but I suppose that is what makes it even sadder. Children should be able to go to school without being tempted by drugs, without feeling pressured to have sex with their boyfriends or girlfriends. Heck! They shouldn't even feel the need to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But wouldn't you? I mean... otherwise you are a loser, right?

Children need to stop being ignored... this doesn't mean "children's rights"... that is only a way to ignore them more. You see, when we give children (beings whom God has specifically instructed to obey older beings by whom they are being raised) "rights", we are treating them like adults. Not only is this not not Biblical, it is illogical. However, I digress. To return to the "ignoring" point, it is making us ignore them more. After all, if children are treated like adults, they get to make their own decisions. If they get to make their own decisions, we don't need to take the time to think of what will be best for them, so we can ignore them more. We ignore adults many times! Why? Because they can make their own decisions and fend for themselves. Giving children excessive "rights", places them in an
adulthood level. If adults are ignored, and children are now "adults"... children are ignored.

need innocence! They need a lack of rights! They need to be told what to do because they are CHILDREN. Should a child be treated horribly and lack human rights? Absolutely not. However, the less freedom we give them, the less bad, uneducated, and naive choices they will make. We can ignore adults because by the time they have become adults, they are too intelligent (and too stubborn) to try to train further. Children are still learning. Give them that time... and take the time to realize when they need you to educate them further on something. I promise you, if you don't take the time, someone else will. In this day and age, you do not want that.

As I said, this song breaks my heart as a teacher, but it also breaks my heart simply as a woman who knows she will someday have children. If a song can stir up emotions and reflections such as these, it must be good. It is a sad, but great song. "Love For a Child" by Jason Mraz. Now that I have poured out my feelings on it, check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Time to "ketchup" on things in the Engebretsen life since I have been too busy to post much.

1. Travis and I had our 4th monthaversity on April 19th. That is 1/3 of a year! I cannot believe we have been married that long. It seems like just a month ago that we married!

2. I am sick. In fact, my mentor sent me home today to get better; I tried to insist to do
something before leaving, but he wanted me to leave so that I will be healthier tomorrow, my last day.

3. I have one more assignment to submit, and then I am good to go for the rest of my semester. This means I have a free finals week. :D Sorry to those of you who have to take finals, but I think I have done my time (being in the evil Elementary Education Program).

4. Travis picked up my cap and gown today. It is official.

5. Travis and I will be packing like crazy soon. Correction: I will be packing like crazy soon. Travis has finals, but since I am free, I will be running around.

6. We still have to get together with so many people before leaving:
- Beth Jones
- Michele and Tony DeVos
- Mechelle Sieglitz
- Sarah and Ryan Gray
- Sorry if I missed ya!

7. Travis and I have two Sundays and one Wednesday left at Calvary Chapel Tallahassee. :(

8. Travis and I have one Saturday left with our home group Bible study. :(

9. I still need to order graduation announcements.

10. I am so OCD that I have to finish this off with 10... just because it looks better that way.

Now that my thoughts are in order and I have realized all of the stuff I need to do before getting out of Tally, gotta go!!!! BYE!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Awesome Salsa

1 Tomato
1/2 medium onion
3 green chile peppers (I used chiles cubanellos- not very spicy, but still tasty!)
6 sprigs fresh cilantro
Salt to taste.

Chop everything up into small chunks, mix them, and let them sit/blend for 30 minutes. Delicious!

I made this today for my third grade class (of course I had to like quadruple the recipe), and they LOVED munching on tortilla chips and salsa while learning about Mexican food. It was a lot of fun, and, not gonna lie, my mentor and I pigged out on that stuff. It was soooo good! So please try it! It will make all of your dreams come true... for real.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel named "college"! How exciting! Graduation is just around the corner, and I can't wait. There are so many things to do, though. For example... PACK! I am excited/sad for this week to end. I am going to sob like a baby on Friday when I have to leave the students. :( However, when this week ends, it will be time to look forward... to graduation day, to seeing family, to moving, to a cruise, to spending time in Tennessee with my parents, visiting my sister in Texas, etc., etc. We have a new journey ahead of us, one bound to bring difficult and enjoyable changes. The enjoyable? More stores in which to shop! The difficult? No money to shop. the end.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eaten Alive

Why is it so difficult to let old hurts go? How does Satan get such a stronghold on me sometimes with things that have happened years past? I guess it is the curse of a teacher. We teachers learn to reflect, reflect, reflect. Whether it be on our lesson's content, classroom management, planning, or some other facet to a teacher's profession, we reflect on the thing itself and the way we handled it. For my profession, this reflection, this thinking through and making judgments on choices and events is helpful and necessary. However, I find it becoming a crutch in my life outside of my profession.
God did not mean for us to reflect on everything. Should we reflect on some things? Of course. It is a basic skill of the human mind. Should we reflect on wrongs done to us? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, we are only human. We do not have that amazing capability to forgive and "forget" as does our Heavenly Father. How wonderful his forgiveness is: so full, so complete! We, too, can forgive completely and fully, but we do not have that mental capability of forgetting the wrongs done. Only Jesus. Only our God, so powerful and wonderful, could actually have no recollection of wrongs we have done against Him. Doesn't that blow your mind?
I hate bitterness. I hate that my reflection and incapability to let things go leads to bitterness. Is it ironic that I can actually be bitter at myself for being so bitter? I was at Home Group (Calvary Chapel Tallahassee) last night, and someone said something to another person who was sharing. When I heard her say it, it woke me up and saddened me. She said, "Yeah, that is bitterness. Bitterness will eat you alive." I have been bitter about things for so long that I feel like I have been eaten alive. Am I still here on this earth? Yes. Is the same happy-go-lucky Brittany who encouraged others unceasingly, felt slightly confident, and was overall content here? ...No. I feel like bitterness has eaten her up...most of her. Every once in awhile, I will find myself looking in the mirror thinking, "I feel like I look good. I feel like I'm beautiful." That is when that little bit of her decides to come out and make me happy. Another time she comes out is when I just feel like telling other people that they are beautiful, smart, funny, or wonderful in some other way. During those small, few times when the old, happy, silly Brittany decides to overcome the bitterness, I like me.
At some point, perhaps I will force bitterness to regurgitate the old Brittany and give her back! Unfortunately, as of now, I fell like she continues to be "eaten alive" by bitterness. What does bitterness leave? An empty shell that is filled with anger and the nature to criticize myself. These two components breed jealousy and more bitterness. That bitterness then continues to attack any happiness or confidence I have managed to allow myself.
Sorry for the rant. Perhaps you, too, have had similar feelings. If so, when you pray for yourself in this area, please try to throw me into your prayer as well. The feeling of inadequacy hurts every day.
Now stop reading about my mopey, bad day! Go have fun! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Praise My Lord Jesus!

Well, I haven't posted for awhile, but a few days ago, my computer was healed! Hallelujah! Glory to God! Not only does it have a brand new hard drive, but the information from the old hard drive was salvaged! I am beyond thrilled to say the least. Yes, we needed to shovel out the $100, but I would gladly pay for the priceless pictures, documents, e-mails, etc. By the grace of the Lord, my computer was saved!
I am finally writing my blog on my own computer... imagine that! Now Travis, although he is an excellent sharer, does not need to share his computer anymore. I was very thankful for him and his laptop... oh wait... excuse me... his "
MacBook". Let us not get confused.Anyway! My mother-in-law and sister-in-law just left; they were in town for the Florida State University Preview Day. :( I wish they did not have to leave so early today, but Kristin wanted to get back to South Florida in time to go to the beach. She has to study tomorrow for her Chemistry test. Yes, her teacher had the audacity to schedule a test the Monday after spring break! Ridiculous? I think so. He should have not only not scheduled a test right after spring break, but he also should have ensured that he tested them right BEFORE spring break so that he would begin NEW material after the break. A fresh start. Oh well, I am not going to continue to rant about incompetent teachers, but I could! Trust me, that could be a blog in itself!

Ahhh, how nice it feels to be working on my own computer... just throwin' that one out there again.*

Now onto other topics, lest I bore you. I will be finished with my internship in two weeks! That is IT! I am jazzed! Am I ready to teach a class all on my own? Am I ready to move to New York, leaving Florida behind? Am I ready to officially "grow up"? No. No. No. Do I believe God can get me through it? Absolutely. Let's do this.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Having a "Hard" Time

Well, it turns out that I fried more than my RAM apparently. Travis took my computer into the "doctor's office" today, A.K.A. a Mac service place in Tally. There is no retail store, but the Apple Care dude informed me of the service place available. I was happy to learn that I wouldn't have to take my demon-possessed computer all the way to Jacksonville or 6 hours south to Palm Beach Gardens to complete the exorcism.
Anyway, Travis took my computer in today, and apparently I fried the hard drive, too. Yayyyy. This means that if nothing can be recovered, I won't have any of my lesson plans from the entire semester, any of my pictures, etc., etc. If they, by the grace of Jesus, can recover some stuff, it will cost me $100 because that is apparently not covered by Apple Care. However, I would GLADLY pay $100 to get my stuff back! Fortunately, my mom said that when hers crashed, they could recover a lot of the information. I hope that is the case with mine. I will be praying tonight for my computer, which is really praying for a semester's worth of work.
It will be so nice to have my computer back, and I am sure Travis will appreciate not having to share his anymore. He has been so great about sharing his for my Facebooking, blogging, and e-mailing. I am very grateful for his good sharing skills!
Well, now it is time to prepare for tomorrow's lessons and perhaps do something else productive, especially since my afternoon was eaten up by a long, comfy which I did NOT want to give up for the sake of getting work done. Nighty night! Please keep my Macbook Pro in your prayers. Oh! Before I go... let me educate you on a Macbook Pro vs. a "laptop".
I was on the phone with the Apple Care guy, and I explained that I had the laptop sitting on the bed. I asked him if that could have caused it to overheat. He then proceeded to inform me in a chuckling tone, "Yeah, it's not a 'laptop', it's a Macbook. It needs to be on a desk or table."
For real. I'm sorry Mr. Mac Pro, but the last time I checked, my "Macbook" can be flipped open, placed on my "lap", and OH BOY! Guess what? It still FUNCTIONS!!!! Imagine THAT!

...Elitist much?

Now that
you have been informed about what a Macbook is and where it needs to be to survive, I bid you goodnight and hope that you don't make the same mistake as me and call such a sophisticated machine, a "Macbook" *cue angelic music*, a vile, ordinary "laptop". Nighty night! :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Does Technology Hate Me?

Well, it's official... technology hates me. The Friday before spring break (I had to drive to Orlando on Monday), my brakes decided they had had enough. New brakes = $800. A few days ago, my cellphone decided that the front touch screen would, indeed, look better if it was rockin' the "smashed in" look. I think it is like someone wearing ripped jeans... the "cool" tattered look for the cellphone. Thankfully, my mother in law has kept some old Verizon phones, so I can transfer my information to one of those. Thank goodness that wasn't going to cost me.
Then yesterday, after finishing my PowerPoint for today's math lesson, my computer decided that it was just about time for the RAM to crap out. Now, I wasn't a fan of this choice, but computers tend to have free will many times. Thus, my computer rebelliously made loud beeping noises as I attempted in vain to turn it on. Evil laptop of doom. Well, about $70 later, we had some new RAM for my lovely little laptop. Survey says? Ding ding ding! "It turned on! All right! Epic win! Let's turn it off and put BOTH gigs of RAM into it and see if it is cured! Ok....turn it on... it's turning on.... it''s taking an awful long time... it'" I think my computer felt gypped out of it's spring break. After all, I had a rest from lesson planning. I had a rest from working my tail off for school. Did it get a break? No way, jose! It still worked the entire break. That is my theory.
So, long story short: my computer hates me and is fried despite the $70 we spent on stinkin' RAM. Oh, and the cherry on top: there are no Apple stores in Tally. Thus, I am writing this post from Trav's Mac which still seems to be on okay terms with him. I wonder if it will now revolt against me to side with my computer. Regardless, I will now try to post this before his computer craps out as well.
It seems that everything I touch these days breaks. Welcome to the real world, Brittany. The world of the married... where Mommy and Daddy's plastic does you absolutely no good. I feel like a birdie tossed out of the nest. The only problem is, my wings are powered by technology, which happens to be failing and letting me fall. One word: ouch.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter, all! What a glorious day this is: the day the Lord rose again, thus proving to the doubters that He is the real deal! Others may claim to be the true Heavenly Father, but only Christ Jesus fulfills promise after promise. Only Jesus could defy death and raise Himself up again. If Jesus weren't the true Lord of all, we wouldn't be celebrating historical events surrounding Him.
Our pastor was talking about this concept this morning. We celebrate Thanksgiving not because we
theorize that the American Indians and pilgrims joined together and feasted; we celebrate it because we know that it actually occurred in history! We don't celebrate Independence Day because "some of us believe" that the Americans fought for their freedom from the British government and won on that day. We celebrate events that happened! Jesus died and rose again, thus, we celebrate Easter. Jesus was born, thus, we celebrate Christmas! MY birthday does not get that much attention! Even our presidents and other important historical figures do not get as much attention around their birthdays as does our Lord, Jesus.
Therefore, I hope that you take some time today not just to go to church because you always do for Christian-themed holidays. I hope you take some time today to pop in a worship CD and glorify the Father who died a bloody, exasperatingly painful death for you on the Cross. I hope you open up the Word and give some private time to Him to thank Him for that private time He spent on the Cross for you. The time when the Heavenly Father actually had to look away from Jesus' bloodied, sin-covered body. The time when Jesus was, for the first time ever, spiritually alone.
For those of you who haven't accepted His gift, make today the day when you allow Christ to resurrect you as well. He is risen! You can be, too.

Happy Easter, and praise Jesus!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

T.A.B.L.E. Talk?

Hey there! Just thought I would use my first post to explain the meaning of my title, "T.A.B.L.E. Talk". First, take a moment to think of my name (Brittany) and my husband's name (Travis)... Got it yet? For those of you who haven't yet caught on, T= Travis, A=Andrew, B= Brittany, L= LaRae, and E= Engebretsen. Simple as that! We discovered this when we were dating, and I thought it would be a positively perfect name for our blog.
Now, on to business! I am 20 years old, and I am going to graduate from Florida State University in May with a B.S. in Elementary Education. My hubby is 21, has graduated with a Bachelor's in Finance and Entrepreneurship (double major), and will be graduating in May with an Masters of Science in Finance degree. We were married in December (it was a beautiful Christmas wedding) and have loved the married life ever since! Well, let's hope we love it since we dated for four and a half years prior to marrying!
Life as a newlywed still in school and living off of savings is difficult to say the least, but I feel blessed with that which God has provided us. I love my husband, as silly as he may be, and I truly do not deserve him. He is just one of the many blessings! Some more blessings are found in our sets of parents- their generosity and love are overflowing!
Well, enough blabbering! If you know me even a teensy bit, you know that I can talk for hours and write for pages! Therefore, I will end this by saying goodnight and thanks for reading my very first post. God Bless!