Tuesday, June 29, 2004


indian_night.jpgSorry, but we neglected our blog for a while due to church camp. Monica would be the better one to tell you about it since it runs in her blood. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to camp.
Monica told me before we got married that she wanted to marry somebody that would be able to direct a church camp session like her dad does. Whoops... that is not me!! I'll have no problem sending the kids to camp, though, no matter how many times they get baptized (that's a little joke I have with somebody).
So as not to give you the wrong impression, camp was incredible! Monica's dad Larry was the camp director & Jo, Monica's mom, was the ultimate behind the scenes worker. Even Michael, her brother, was the lifeguard & a cabin checker along with Monica. It is absolutely amazing to see them all work together. Trent Tadlock was a co-counselor with me in the 13-14 year old boys' cabin. I would like to say I'm sorry to anyone who has boys that age--send them to boot camp... NOW! It was a lot of fun playing sports & swimming & going to devos all the time. Not to mention the SPAM throwing, Mud Pit & the Theme Nights (i.e. Hawaiian Night, 50's Night & Indian Night).

Anyway, we're back & I have heard that some of you went through withdrawals because we were not updating our blog. I promise that soon you will get tired of hearing all about our big move & graduate school & stuff like that. About the middle of August we will start asking for moving donations, so get your PayPal accounts ready. Camp pics are below:

Ben, Monica & Bubby, Ben & Trent's Cabin @ Hawaiian Night, Monica's Cabin, Cabin Check, Petey - the camp dog (yes, he's still alive), The Mud Pit, Mon & Ben on the golf cart

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Self-Checkout Lanes

selfcheckout.jpgAfter traveling to somewhere exciting & writing about it on your blog, it always seems a bit hard to follow up with when it comes time to write your next blog.
So what about these crazy new self-checkout lanes @ Wal-Mart? I know that by now everyone has had a bad experience with one of these Jetsons contraptions. It's not that they're a bad idea, it's that the human species isn't intelligent enough to use them yet. I will say that they need some tweaking (the machines) because it's almost impossible to go through a self-checkout lane without having a problem with the weight being wrong when you put your items in the bag, or without it thinking you put something in your bag that you haven't scanned. It can be VERY annoying & make you wish you would have done it the good ole' fashioned way! Then there are those REALLY smart people that try to scan large furniture or take their basket full of @ least 100 items that they plan on scanning one by one through the self-checkout lane. Thanks people, you're making this 21st century technology advancement thing a lot easier (or not!).

Here are a couple of articles I found about the new replacement Wal-Mart cashiers: Article 1, Article 2.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Windy City

chicago2.jpgWe've been on planes, trains & almost a trolley the past few days. Chicago is one of our favorite cities & every time we come here we dream about living in a downtown apt. & only owning a car for long trips. Ben feels right at home in the Windy City--take that however you want to.

Last night we went to my sister Sarah's graduation from her ER residency. It was a pretty sweet ordeal and we had tons of fun after the ceremony. It was at the Olympia Fields Country Club--home of the 103rd US Open last year. It is nice celebrating with doctors and enjoying a nice meal. This is huge milestone in her family's life.
We never leave Chicago without eating deep dish pizza. Today we went with Mark, met Preston and Sara Ackerman at Giordano's and had some great deep dish pizza and conversation. A random homeless man saw our doggie bag while we were walking through town and he also got to share in the good pizza. We also never leave Chicago without going to H&M</a>. If you know what H&M</a> is you are really cool, and if you don't know H&M</a>, I'm sure Monica will provide a link for you to go to.

It was a wonderful trip, but now we're going back to
Oklahoma. It's funny to think that here in a few months we'll be calling Tennessee home. We'll keep you posted on all of our summer activities and try to make them sound interesting. Oh, and just for the record our favorite brother-in-law took this picture of the Chicago skyline - thanks David!

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

A Normal Week

wes_gar2.jpgWhat can we write about? After 201 things about ourselves, you probably know everything about us. So, I'll just tell you what we've done and what we are planning to do.
This last weekend we kicked it in Springfield, MO, and had a great time with the family. It was a nice, relaxing, and otherwise uneventful besides Monica's haircut.
Thursday, we are flying to Chicago for Sarah's (Ben's sister) graduation from her residency in the ER. She is about to be a big time doctor. We are excited to see her and David and their two boys. We realize with moving and starting a new job and a new school, our chances to see our family are going to be less and less. Maybe we are also really excited about going to H&M</a> for our bi-yearly clothes shopping trip.

Some of you might find this amazing, but I have a summer job! I am making copies full-time at a place called
ImageNet. I am a high-volume, professional copy boy. I get to work downtown 20-30 hours a week. As long as all of my earnings go into our savings account and nowhere else, we'll be in good shape. Now, if we could only figure out how to live on a budget...
Hopefully, we'll have some real excitement to write about when we come back from Chicago. A couple weeks ago our nephew Garrett said, "My favoritist uncle is Aunt Monica."

Friday, June 4, 2004

101 Things About Ben


  1. >I do my best studying & reading
    standing up.

  2. >I do not have a large vocabulary & get
    confused when people use big words.

  3. >I am the only one that really thought
    my beard looked good.

  4. >My five o'clock shadow hits at noon >.

  5. >I hate driving above the speed limit.

  6. >I have determined that class=SpellE>Atkin's is a huge conspiracy.

  7. >I am not a breakfast eater.

  8. >I cringe when I think about people
    paying for pancakes at IHOP because pancakes
    are so incredibly cheap to make.

  9. >I am the cook in my residence.

  10. >ESPN is my favorite channel, not because
    I am a sports junkie, but because it shows the best part of sports -
    the highlights.

  11. >I cheated my way through 4th grade

  12. >I enjoy biblical references in movies.

  13. >I watch The Shawshank Redemption for
    the very last scene.

  14. >I cried when I watched class=SpellE>Benji.

  15. >In kindergarten & 1st grade
    I had glasses with Smurf stickers on the side.

  16. >I have been trying to develop a photographic
    memory for 5 years now.

  17. >Castaway is one of my favorite movies
    - I like Tom Hank's beard.

  18. >I was more romantic before I got married, & I
    really want to know why it is harder to be romantic post-marriage.

  19. >I am only writing this list to make
    my wife happy.

  20. >I do not read forwards, even if I
    like you.

  21. >I got a 23 on my ACT.

  22. >I have an academic superiority complex.

  23. >Coffee gives me the shakes & interferes
    with my studies.

  24. >Reading > is like morphine in my system, it
    makes me really drowsy, so I keep reading because it feels good.

  25. >I work to get paid & don't get
    jobs because I think it will be fun.

  26. >I watch TV shows until they become
    trendy & then I quit watching them.

  27. >Popularity is a turn off for me.

  28. >I've owned 4 pairs of jeans in the
    last 6 years.

  29. >On >Pac Rim > I remember thinking I would never
    date a girl like Monica.

  30. >I eat even when I am not hungry & then
    feel sick in the morning.

  31. >I have a really hard time throwing
    old papers away.

  32. >If anyone tells me I didn't do something
    when I did, it makes me mad.

  33. >I stole a little Bible when I was
    a little boy.

  34. >I think the whole world we be 100
    times better if TV was never invented.

  35. >I do not believe in preaching a sermon
    for more than 25 minutes.

  36. >I love double cheeseburgers at McDonalds.

  37. >I lose 10-20 pounds every time I am

  38. >Luis reminds me that anything can
    be fun.

  39. >I don't usually laugh at other peoples'
    jokes because it makes me mad that I didn't think of the joke.

  40. >I feel like a failure when I make

  41. >I define myself by my academics.

  42. >I have a big ego, but try to hide

  43. >I like movies about smart gamblers.

  44. >I like big dogs & despise little

  45. >I travel more for the experience than
    for the location.

  46. >I am extremely jealous of anybody
    that has a job with the travel channel.

  47. >I sweat when I am really nervous.

  48. >I use a poof in the shower.

  49. >When I go to Major League Baseball
    games, I almost fall over when I come out of the tunnel & see the
    field - it is absolutely beautiful.

  50. >I want to mow MLB fields
    with a push mower.

  51. >I am very shy.

  52. >I don't read my Bible as much as I

  53. >I love my wife more than life itself.

  54. >I only cry at funerals.

  55. class=SpellE>Abuelo's > is my favorite restaurant.

  56. >I am an idealist.

  57. >I don't think it was God's plan for
    the whole world to be a democracy.

  58. >I procrastinate when it comes to calling

  59. >It is hard for me to watch TV without
    doing something else at the same time.

  60. >I am becoming more & more like
    my parents everyday.

  61. >I have never voted in any election.

  62. >I don't even pretend to understand
    the concept of grace.

  63. >I feel like my summers should just
    be for volunteering at camps.

  64. >I do not clean up after myself in
    the kitchen (or any other room).

  65. >I have a North Face jacket even though
    I think North Face is way too trendy.

  66. >I want to canoe down the >Mississippi River >.

  67. >I have never carried a balance on
    a credit card.

  68. >I am bad about making jokes about
    money & it makes my wife feel bad.

  69. >I am a minimalist.

  70. >I love having a lot of space in a
    room, even if it means stacking stuff that doesn't need to be stacked.

  71. >I feel overly guilty if I go to Starbucks
    or Panera & don't buy anything to eat,
    so I try not to study at those places.

  72. >I want to live in >Europe > for a few years.

  73. >I am amazed at eBay, but more amazed
    at how much junk the world has.

  74. >I can get really grumpy when I haven't
    slept much.

  75. >I can never remember whether I locked
    the apartment door or not.

  76. >I do not trust car mechanics, even
    if I know them.

  77. >I think it is a great disappointment
    that Christian education should be so expensive.

  78. >I don't understand how anybody knows
    how to program computers.

  79. >I spent $150 on a pair of sunglasses.

  80. >I am addicted to video games, but
    have no way to play them.

  81. >I have also been to >Tonga >.

  82. >I have come up as extremely introverted
    on several personality tests.

  83. >I do not like C.S.
    writings because they are too confusing & hard to read.

  84. >I always look at the pictures first
    before I start reading a magazine.

  85. >I am against big business, but go
    to Wal-Mart & have a Sam's card.

  86. >I want to work for myself someday.

  87. >I used to drink pickle juice without
    getting sick.

  88. >The warmest, kindest people I have
    ever met are Brazilians.

  89. >I used to bug my brother Mark relentlessly
    when he was on the phone with his girlfriend.

  90. >I like for the washing machine, dryer,
    or dishwasher to be on when I go to sleep - it makes me feel safe.

  91. >I never liked church camp growing
    up because it was always hook-up central.

  92. >I taught kids to juggle at >Camp > class=SpellE>Funnybone > for several years.

  93. >I never wear my gold tie when I preach
    because I think it looks too gaudy.

  94. >Half of the shirts I wear, I had in
    high school.

  95. >I am very indecisive when it comes
    to choosing what to eat because I will eat anything.

  96. >It is my life goal to teach Monica
    that the expiration date & sell by date are not
    the same thing, & you don't have to dump milk out on the sell by

  97. >My favorite movie used to be Message
    in a Bottle
    until I realized love didn't have to be tragic.

  98. >I enjoy writing research papers, but
    I enjoy complaining about writing them even more.

  99. >I will probably own a portable storage
    building behind my house one day.

  100. >I am a pessimist about most things,
    but I like to think of myself as a realist, which really means I am a

  101. >I like to do a little better than
    the one before me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

100 Things About Monica


  1. >My favorite color to wear is white.

  2. >I always wished that I was funnier & more
    quick witted.

  3. >I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside
    whenever I pick up after myself at restaurants & either throw everything
    away or stack everything in a neat pile.

  4. >I hate little toy lasers, they freak
    me out!

  5. >Toasted ravioli from a fast food restaurant
    in Springfield >, >Missouri > called Pasta Express is my all time
    favorite meal.

  6. >I was born in >Florence >, >Alabama > & had a thick southern accent
    until I was 3 & we moved to >Missouri >.

  7. >In 2nd grade I swallowed
    a watch battery & my dad took me to the chiropractor.

  8. > I am allergic to penicillin.

  9. >My biggest fear in life is needles. I've
    hyperventilated/passed out 4 times while getting shots or having my blood

  10. >I was a lifeguard for 3 yrs.

  11. >I enjoy working in retail & fixing
    all the clothes after people go through & mess them up.

  12. >My dream job would be a Professional

  13. >I'm a perfectionist if you haven't
    caught on by now.

  14. >I broke my arm in 6th grade & my
    mom told me to put some ice on it, a few hours later they finally took
    me to the emergency room.

  15. >When we first moved into the house
    my family still lives in I got to pick out which bedroom I wanted, I picked
    my room because it had peach carpet which is my Grandma Duncan's favorite

  16. >My middle name is Ann after my Grandma
    Anna Mae Freeze.

  17. >I've had 3 puppies in my life named
    Sunny, Sugar & Happy.

  18. >I'm married to Benjamin Alden Thompson.

  19. >My husband is the seriously the funniest
    person I know.

  20. >I love to travel, but I also love
    to come home.

  21. >My least favorite chore is doing the
    dishes because I had to do it all while growing up.

  22. >I like cross-stitching.

  23. >I once had a 3rd degree
    burn while in >Australia > where there is no Ozone.

  24. >I love Edward Burn's films, No
    Looking Back
    is my favorite.

  25. >I also really like movies about small
    towns & movies that are pieced together @ the end.

  26. >I've had the same best friend since
    7th grade, Bobbie Frank >.

  27. >She's the one that introduced me to
    Tom Petty who is my favorite singer!

  28. I have been to a Cake concert, a Britney Spears concert & two
    Tom Petty concerts.

  29. >My first car was handed down from
    my grandparents, was a huge boat & actually had an 8-track in it.

  30. >Ben & I like to call things by
    their proper nouns (i.e. coffee table, puppy, cell phone etc.)

  31. >When I drink a Starbucks drink or
    coffee shop drink I get a headache.

  32. >I've been to Starbucks in >China >, >Japan >, >New Zealand > & >Australia >.

  33. >I love to travel & will soon be
    a travel agent!

  34. >I define myself a lot by the relationships
    I have with people.

  35. >I once went to >Hawaii > & only stepped on the beach once
    (there was a pool on top of our hotel).

  36. >I like walking along the ocean tide,
    but like to swim in a pool.

  37. >I hate being even a little hot after
    getting out of the shower & usually crank the AC up & have fans
    blowing on me.

  38. >I have a big chicken pox scar in the
    middle of my lower back.

  39. >I always turn the cruise control off
    after I use it.

  40. >I rub my feet together right before
    I fall asleep.

  41. >I'm Amish when I watch TV, nothing
    can phase me.

  42. >I have to set my alarm for an odd,
    random number (i.e. >7:23 >, 8:01 >).

  43. >When the alarm goes off in the morning
    it MUST be turned off before beeping 2 times, this is EXTREMELY important.

  44. >When I first started shaving my legs
    I would rinse the razor after every stroke, it took me between 30-40 minutes.

  45. >I secretly shaved my legs in the bathtub
    with my best friend Telina class=SpellE>Privett in 5th grade, when my mom asked me
    about it I lied.

  46. >I don't enjoy shopping.

  47. >I usually have the same haircut & wear
    the same kind of make-up for 5 yrs. @ a time.

  48. >I hate wearing flat shoes without class=GramE>a heal.

  49. >I'm 5'4 " (according to my last physical
    my Jr. year of high school).

  50. >I'm not good @ making decisions, I
    like to give people options & for everyone else to be happy.

  51. >I hate being told what to do by anybody & get
    very defensive.

  52. >I have my pictures organized from
    elementary through college.

  53. >My favorite pop is Dr. Pepper & yes
    I say pop'.

  54. >I'm proud to be from the "Show-Me" state.

  55. >My least favorite church song is Blue
    Skies & Rainbows

  56. >I like to empty the trash, especially
    on my computer.

  57. >I like paying bills, it
    gives me a sense of accomplishment.

  58. >I'm a temperature freak which I get
    from my dad, usually the AC or heat is on full
    blast in both my home & in my car.

  59. >I hate homework & struggled through
    my Gen. Ed. classes in college.

  60. >My brother & I fought our entire
    childhood & now he's one of my best friends, I call him >Bubby >'.

  61. >I wish I had the spiritual focus all
    year round that I have @ church camp.

  62. I've always liked the fact that my eyes are blue.

  63. One time I stole a key out of a bobcat that was digging ditches
    on our street & hid it in a sowing box in my closet, as far as I know
    it's still there.

  64. In elementary school I was always at the top of the class right next to
    Jimmy Philips.

  65. Whenever I'm driving I constantly look at the tires on the cars driving
    beside me, paranoid that they will go over the lines & hit me.

  66. Whenever I was younger, beginning in elementary school, I would clean my
    room before bed & lay out my entire outfit for the next day (including shoes,
    socks & underwear).

  67. I used to sit out on our back porch when I was little & day-dream about
    all the things I would do to fix up our backyard.

  68. My favorite book to this day is The Berenstain Bears and the Messy

  69. I do enjoy reading & can't put a book down after I start it, but I'm still
    recovering from college reading.

  70. I like to take random, spontaneous road trips even though I'm a grown up.

  71. I've been to Mexico twice, once to Puerto Vallarta my Sr. year in high
    school & once to Playa del Carmen on my honeymoon - both times I've seen
    the clearest, blue water & beautiful beaches & I'm pretty sure that's what
    heaven will be like.

  72. I've been to the country of Tonga.

  73. I've snorkeled in the two largest barrier reefs in the world located in
    Cairns, Australia & Cancun, Mexico.

  74. I've kept all the letters from my childhood in two shoe boxes.

  75. I tried to go bungee jumping in New Zealand, turned white as a ghost &
    nearly hyperventilated. I couldn't get my money back, but they felt bad
    & gave me a free t-shirt that said, "I went bungee jumping in NZ."

  76. I played sick from school once because I didn't want to wear a purple cabbage
    patch doll belt & my dad came home with Castrol oil, the absolute grossest clear liquid medicine I've ever tasted.

  77. I decided one day in 1st grade that I wasn't going to go to school anymore
    - this ended with my mom dragging me into the school & leaving me kicking
    & screaming with my teacher, the principal & the school secretary holding
    me down.

  78. In high school I played the bass drum in marching band.

  79. I used to change into short shorts or roll my shorts up @ the bus stop
    in junior high because my dad decided that the camp dress code applied all
    our house.

  80. I don't like confrontation unless it's with a complete stranger ("I am
    the Press" for those of you that know).

  81. My 3 most treasured possessions are a quilt my grandmother made for me,
    my photo albums & letters/memorabilia that Ben has given me since we began

  82. When I look @ my wedding pictures I wonder why I choose to wear a tiara.

  83. The 2 most important things for me to feel in my job are that I'm accomplishing
    something & that I'm appreciated.

  84. My IM name 'girlypacgirl' was made up by my friend Trent who said that
    I was the 'girliest girl' on the Pacific Rim trip.

  85. I am addicted to watching reality TV shows.

  86. I'm the biggest bargain shopper you will ever meet.

  87. I feel guilty whenever I buy things for myself.

  88. I have a lot of respect & love for my parents for putting up with me all
    these years.

  89. I think that I'm a very good friend.

  90. People come to me a lot for advice & I enjoy giving it - my name means "advisor".

  91. I like the smell of gas & of cigarette/cigar smoke.

  92. I enjoy giving gifts to people.

  93. I've always dreamed of having a big bath tub with a fountain spout.

  94. I love eating dessert & always prefer chocolate.

  95. I have a cartilage piercing in my left ear & would never get a tattoo.

  96. Going out on dates with my husband to some of our special places is my
    favorite thing to do on the weekends.

  97. I think that I will be a great mom & I know Ben will be a great dad someday.

  98. I religiously look @ expiration dates & won't eat something even if it's on the
    day of expiration.

  99. I like to plan things a long time in advance.

  100. I have been blessed in every area of my life & owe it all to God.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Night of the Twisters

We went to see The Day After Tomorrow the other night, which for those of you that don't know is about global warming & another Ice Age. Throughout the movie we saw numerous natural disasters, which included lots of tornados. When we walked out of the theater there was a huge wall cloud & pre-tornado weather. We sat around all night and watched the meteorologists get all worked up over a huge tornado warning. Ben was glued to the TV switching between all the news channels. I, on the other hand, asked if we could run to the store real quick before the storm hit & after Ben shot that idea down I cleaned the bathroom & tried to keep myself occupied.

True, you probably shouldn't get in your car & drive to the store whenever the tornado sirens are on. I guess I've just gotten used to this stuff having lived in the Midwest my whole life. In the movie there were people in L.A. that were videotaping & taking pictures of the 5 tornados that were destroying the city instead of taking cover. I would most likely be one of those people that are in awe of what's happening & if you could hear what was going on in their heads it would probably be something like, "Whoa, oh man I just died!" I'll let Ben explain his point of view

Fine, I'll explain my point of view. Tornado warnings give me ulcers, and I hate trying to prepare for a Bible class and sermon while watching a massive wall cloud overhead. The meteorologists just get so excited, which gets me excited, which keeps me from focusing on anything. They scare me when they say, "A tornado could touch down anywhere at anytime." It reminds me when I used to tell Austin that at any time a tornado could just come down and suck him up. It's kind of like how they keep telling us a terrorist act is being planned somewhere and could happen at any time to anyone. Then, you go to church and they tell you Jesus could come back at anytime. We got a lot to be ready for, and it makes me want to buy some new underwear so I will always have a clean pair for any natural disaster (and yes, I realize I just let myself open for a lot of jokes). But I would never go to the store to get undies when a tornado could be waiting for me.