January 24, 2008


Last Wednesday signaled the start of another semester for PHC'ers and to continue what began fall of '07, here's the stack of textbooks for this spring:

(warning: technicalities follow concerning the courses ;)

On the list of classes for this semester, we've theo II, ush II, westlit II, and rhetoric. The middle two look to be largely the same as last semester with minimal changes in the schedule, while theo is vastly different. Not only are the quizzes solely based on supplementary readings (compared to the Grudem text only during theo I) and for the final, two essays are required from some unknown chapters within Grudem. I guess then the only reason for using Grudem is to discuss the chapters within the discussion forums (DF's) and apply stuff to the final. We'll see what happens. Rhetoric looks enjoyable and...interesting. There's no textbook for the course, with the main reading all on PHC's site. Also during the course, a couple of speeches are required, so watch out Providence church, you may become the audience at some point. ;)

Other than that, not much is happening besides replacing a broken latch on my Mac. And hunting last weekend...Emil says he's going to post on that...we'll see if he actually does. ;)

Words of wisdom: never ever ever break the latch on a PowerBook...the WHOLE bottom encasing needs replaced with a price tag of almost $300.

Also, iced white chocolate mocha's from Starbucks taste really good...buy one sometime. :D

January 21, 2008

Of being a temporary Candler...

As indicated by my last post, I stayed with the Candler family while working at SMI...

On Sunday, the 6th, I headed over there with a few of the Candlers (I believe Sierra told me she wished to see the rest of her family by the end of the day ;) and once we arrived, we hung out for awhile since the remaining family hadn't arrived as of yet. The evening was spent playing games (Scotland Yard, Dutch Blitz, anyone?), listening to Pastor Joe Morecraft, taking pictures, enjoying fellowship...oh yes, and eating dinner!

during a thorough examination of Emil's blog

behold...her Lady-ship

so this is what i look like in glasses... *shudders* but not to worry...i will survive!

While my days working remained largely the same with packing packets and folding envelops, the evenings were quite the contrast compared to during the day. On Monday, Anne King came over to spend the evening with us and later on that night we watched Lemony Snicket's A Serious of Unfortunate Events. I've probably never seen a movie quite like that before but Jim Carrey's (Count Olaf from the movie) impression of a velociraptor is downright hilarious. These two posts contain some of the information from the transpired events of Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, after dinner and cleaning up, a few of us headed over to Morton for a walk that turned out more to be like a race. ;) Nearing the end once the van came into sight, I just kept telling myself, "only a hundred yards left, Ashton...only a hundred yards left *pant pant*," after which my legs felt like rubber. Needless to say, it proved my lack of exercise in the area of jogging/walking/running. Overall, though, we had a great time together discussing things such as Mr. Candler's history in the Coast Guard, whether Underdog would be a good movie to watch, and my personal aims in the political arena.

Then...let's see...Thursday we loaned out Bourne Identity from the library to watch at the King's house. We all loaded up into the Candler's Excursion to head over there, and after spilling popcorn everywhere, everyone settled down for an evening of Bourne. Though it didn't end there. Once the movie finished and we traveled back to the house, some of us decided to stay up later with even more talking about some rather interesting subjects (example: "what'd you say about a mortgage?" and everyone bursts out laughing...inside joke about selective hearing *grin*). Sadly, Friday came and I headed back home after work. Not to say that I dislike home, mind you. :P

Yet, as Sunday approached, the time came again to become a Candler, yet with an addition: Grace came with us. Yes, two of the Bandy's stayed at the Candler home with no permanent damage done to their family as far as I can tell. ;) Over the weekend, apparently they also watched Bourne Supremacy, so Josiah called on Saturday to see if I could bring over the third one: The Bourne Ultimatum. Of course, I obliged. ;) So we watched it Sunday evening, marking their completion of the Bourne trilogy.

looking through the Providence church folder of pictures...laughter ensued after a few moments of silence

more picture-viewing

after the movie

When I returned to SMI that Monday, I decided to leave my camera and computer at the house; here are the results...rather good pictures, too:

Once work was complete, Mr. Candler, Josiah, and I headed back to the house. Grace and I then bid all a reluctant farewell, and we turned south, headed for home...

Well, actually we went west, north, west, north, west, then south. But yeah...south is the basic concept. ;)

January 12, 2008


Yes, the intriguing part. But I'll provide some background to it first so the reader may have a better understanding as to this surprise birthday party y'all may have caught wind of...

A few weeks ago, Mom and Dad went on this apple cider buying craze, whereupon they bought around maybe 15-20 bottles of that sparkling special stuff one might find at the grocery store, such as Aldi's or maybe Walmart, depending upon the brand. Naturally, I wondered as to the reasoning behind the whole thing, and Dad told me that Mom enjoyed the stuff so they were buying a ton since it only comes out around the Christmas/New Year's season. (I'm still doubtful about the seasonal part of it) It started out that we bought 3-4, then it accumulated more...then some more, and more after that. Naturally, I played the gullible person, because no one can really resist that stuff. ;) But did they stop there with the household items influx? Noo...definitely not. Apparently during the same time period, some wine glasses were purchased with my full knowledge of it being done, albeit me not knowing exactly how many. Grace said they showed me one box just to confirm any suspicions I might have at the time. And, not only that, but when I went to Dad's office with him last week, he intentionally drove to Sam's with me to look at the prices of some tables and chairs. He even asked me to tell Mom the prices!! Goodness, this is almost frustrating looking back on it all...all this information going over my head without me knowing a thing.

Also, after a week or two of arranging, the plan was for me to work at Samaritan Ministries International this past week, including next Monday. We talked with the Candler family and it was decided for me to stay with them while working (that'll be next week's post ;), and since my birthday fell on Tuesday, I was to drive home that evening right after I left SMI to spend the rest of the day with my family. Being the loving son that I am, I also stopped by Starbuck's on the way home and bought Mom and myself iced java chips, me to drink on the way home so as not to fall asleep and Mom to drink when I arrived at the homestead. Oh yes, and that reminds me. Dad, in addition to all the plotting, arranged with my supervisor to basically bar the door to keep me from leaving the building until 4:30 that evening. Yeah, I believe they enjoyed thinking things through beforehand. ;)

As I was driving, I realized that the time was ticking away a little too quickly considering my stop at Starbuck's, so I even brought the speedometer up to "xx" mph!! And in a 55 mph zone later on, to boot! Dad called me a few minutes before I arrived, asking something about me dawdling at Starbuck's and taking up too much time and the food was getting cold, etc., and the entire time he called I kept asking myself why on earth he was telling me all this. But, my unsuspecting self continued in its unsuspecting way. And the phone call didn't help with my speed, either...rather it made me go faster when I was already...er, anyway. The funny part is, I had it all planned out what topics I was to bring up during dinner: the overabundance of rain we received while I was gone, how I repeatedly flashed my brights so everyone would know I was about to turn into our street, and other things I currently forget. But those thoughts slipped my mind later on...

So I turned into our driveway, stopped the car, got out, examined all the stuff I had to bring in, decided to bring all the stuff in later, and walked in with my Mom's java chip, my keys, iPhone, and a W-4 in hand. I opened the door, strolled naturally into the kitchen like always, Dad came towards me saying "hi Ashton!" with a grin on his face, when suddenly from three separate rooms, a total of 38 people overall from the Bandy, Candler, McDonald, and Sanford families jumped out and screamed, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASHTON!!!"

So you gotta imagine the picture. Here I am, shocked beyond belief, standing there giving a dumb grin with a java chip about to fall over in one hand and a nice ol' W-4 sticking out in the other. Garrison and Tiffany become the paparazzi and snap pictures like crazy, grinning all the while. Mr. McDonald calls out "speech! speech!" and I respond, "hi...um...I'm 19...um...thank you for coming..." and everyone bursts out laughing. They all sing "Happy Birthday," Dad prays over the meal, then everyone scatters to their assigned seating throughout the house. So the evening began. We ate food, played games, and enjoyed the fellowship together. It was quite the evening. ;)

Thank you all for such a wonderful birthday! It's a blessing to know each and every one of you... :)

January 11, 2008

An intriguing week...

taken a few minutes ago with an iPhone then edited within iPhoto followed by a successful attempt at uploading within Safari, despite a few technical problems because of blogger--an epitome of Mac-ness

More tomorrow...

[i apologize for any heart failure after seeing that picture]