Dear Resident: A Letter from an Apartment Manager

In honor of one full year of on-site apartment managing, here’s a humorous letter summing up some of the fun we’ve had on the job…

Dear Resident,

1. I bet you secretly know how to unplug your toilet, but here’s an instructional YouTube just in case.

2. Never, ever try to open the door to my apartment. If you’re knocking and I’m not answering, there’s a reason!

3. I know it’s difficult to understand, but you can’t let your guests park in another tenant’s parking spot. But no worries, because I love spending my evening playing detective to identify the unauthorized vehicle’s driver.

4. I’ll have to ask our supervisor about installing a bigger toilet and adding bars in the windows. Let me get back to you.

5. If you’re applying to rent here, giving me your financial life story won’t increase your chances of being accepted. I’m not even the one who makes the decision, so let’s just both save a little time, shall we?

6. Please wait to make out with your boyfriend until I am finished inspecting your apartment. Thanks SO VERY MUCH.

7. I cannot legally tell you how many children live in our complex, no matter how many different ways you ask me.

8. If you’re residing here illegally, don’t even bother trying to hide from me in the laundry room. Dude, I will find you.

9. If you bring your wife on a tour here, don’t argue about whether the apartment is too small in front of me. That’s just awkward for everyone.

10. It might seem like lying about your credit will work when we are about to run your credit, but just trust me on this one.

11. It’s cute that you assume your apartment manager has nothing better to do than break down all your cardboard boxes. Really cute.

12. Writing February 1, 2015 on a check that you turned in on February 6, 2015 is still going to incur a late fee, but I respect the creativity.

13. No, we do not rent out parking spots if you are not renting an apartment from us. We are apartment managers, not parking spot managers.

14. I don’t know how long it takes to drive from here to the random place you work that I’ve never heard of, but I will be nice and get out my phone to check while you text your friend.

15. If you drag your Christmas tree through the hallways (in February) I’ll trace the needles back to your door just so I know who I’m cleaning up after.

16. And on that note, I’m glad you never thank me when you walk by me vacuuming your dirt in the halls. It’s my job, no acknowledgement necessary. I’m just happy to be here.

17. Contrary to popular public opinion, buzzing our door multiple times while simultaneously calling our phone will not make us answer faster.

18. For the last time. Yes, a cat is a pet.


Your Hard-Working Apartment Manager

Sweet Days

10012987_10152362752693109_1585019742_nThese are sweet days of seminary life. Andrew is quite buried in homework, but continues to love everything he is studying. In addition to my administrative job, I am enjoying a few hours a week at the bookstore, checking customers and shelving books.

Over the weekend, we enjoyed time with my grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousins. My grandma had just had a round of chemo so I had the opportunity to help out with a few things around the house and just spend time with her. It was a special time.

Last night, Andrew took me to a fancy little organic bakery in Sherman Oaks. They have an amazing selection of gluten free desserts! I have been nibbling on a delicious blondie and I am saving a mouthwatering piece of salted caramel chocolate cake. Mmmmm. Afterward, we popped in on a few of our good friends and enjoyed some spontaneous fellowship.

Lord-willing, we will be moving to a smaller apartment in a cleaner neighborhood next week. It’s time I started thinking about packing, but I haven’t done a thing yet. This weekend, we are looking forward to a couple of nights at a lodge a few hours away. It is owned by a Christian couple who lets seminary students stay for two nights free! Andrew will be taking homework and I will bring a stack of good books.

I miss my family a lot, but I know that June will be here before we know it. We are making many small but sweet memories during this season, and I am so grateful that this is where God has us.

{Book Update} Mid-Way Through March

My new-found love for reading hasn’t dwindled yet! I’m discovering that reading simply doesn’t get old. I’ve made a few changes to the initial list I posted in January, which I’d formed before I decided before I set my 48 book goal. I’ve read a few books that weren’t on the list, and I’ve scratched Crossed (Matched Series) off my list. I really enjoyed the first audio book of the trilogy, but I got partway into listening to the second and disliked it, so I ditched it. I’m currently listening to The Book Thief.

I picked up Stepping Heavenward and I can hardly set it back down. More on that later. I’m about 140 pages into Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which is over 600 pages total. (A good stepping stone to Les Mis, perhaps?) That should make up for Crazy Busy and For Women Only, two short books I read earlier this year. I’m nearing the end of Trusting God and have fully loved it all.

There’s so much I can’t wait to dive into soon, which is excellent motivation to keep traversing what I’ve started! One classic I decided to return to this year is Jane Eyre. I cannot wait to relive the drama within those old pages, and I hope it is as gripping as I recall.

Do you tend to reread books, or is once through good enough for you? What “classic” do you return to time and again? Do tell! For me, growing up, one of those books that never got old was Snow Treasure.


{Seminary Journal} Our First Shepherds’ Conference

    1972323_10152333440573109_40077871_n Life has been bouncing along down here in LA. Last week was our first Shepherds’ Conference at Grace Community Church. Thousands of pastors from around the world flocked to the campus for fellowship with one another and refreshment, encouragement, and exhortation from God’s Word. It was a tremendously joyous week for many of us involved in various capacities. I already can’t wait for next year!


The conference kicked off with the seminary student body singing O For A Thousand Tongues and Lift High the Cross. I proudly watched my dashing hubby from the conference bookstore, where I enjoyed working most of Wednesday.


The event’s highlight for us was having my parents fly down. My dad attended all three days of the conference with Andrew, which was a blast to observe, and my mom and I spent hours cooking, laughing, eating, and talking books, marriage, and ministry. Both my parents were able to meet most of our close seminary and church friends throughout the week. It is always a huge treat for me to introduce my family to my friends, and vice versa. I also had the privilege of taking in one of Al Mohler’s sessions online, and John MacArthur’s closing session in an overflow room. Andrew and my dad came home every day overflowing with all the excellent teaching they had taken in and spilled it over to my mom and me. It was a joy to see them so encouraged and built up in the Word.

Andrew and I came home with stacks of new books, many of which I’m excited to dive into and hopefully review here in future months. The biblical resources available to us were endless!


There’s no way we could have planned the events of the week to work out better. It was a special gift from start to finish. My parents spoiled us rotten with a couple of delicious meals out, and my mom and I squeezed in an IKEA field trip as well. That store is a lot more fun with her than by myself! All-in-all, last week was one we’ll look back on with fondness for years to come. I miss my parents, but my heart is overflowing with the precious memories we shared.

{Reading Report} The Twenty-One Balloons

{Pre-written and scheduled post.}

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois

“Half of this story is true and the other half might very well have happened.”

Our story kicks off with the exciting discovery and rescue of a sophisticated professor named William Waterman Sherman, who is stranded in the North Atlantic amid the wreckage of twenty-one sadly deflated balloons. It’s the first sighting of this adventurous professor since is departure from San Francisco three weeks earlier. But that day he’d floated off the pier in one large balloon, not twenty one. How did he come to be helplessly adrift in this odd array of debris? 31GEEINKFuL._BO1,204,203,200_

Sherman’s fans in America are desperate for an explanation, and after some rest and pampering for the retired teacher, they get it. Thus the exciting tale of The Twenty-One Balloons is born, masterfully told from the perspective of this eccentric and imaginative old man.

Apparently Sherman’s change of plans is all thanks to a seagull who punctured his balloon whilst he floated, carefree, above the Pacific. But it was all for the best in the end; Sherman’s necessary crash landing led to the discovery of a secret island called Krakatoa, inhabited only by twenty families…and one incredible treasure store of diamonds. The lifestyle on this almost-magical island takes wealth, invention, and ingenuity to unprecedented (and extremely humorous) heights. Sherman’s riveted audience only encourages his far-fetched descriptions and elaborate tales of what took place on the enchanting island…until the next catastrophe that led to the discovery of Sherman and the balloon wreckage in the first place.

The Twenty-One Balloons is one of my favorite humorous family novels. Bursting with creativity and comical descriptions, it’s the perfect lazy-summer-afternoon read for kids of all ages.

Recommended read-aloud age: all ages
Recommended read-alone age: 8 and up

{Poetry} It’s a Red Cup Filled with Coffee


It’s a red cup filled with coffee
And a candle burning bright
It’s a sugar cookie wrapped with love
On a cold and starlit night
It’s the Hallmark movie channel
And footprints in the snow
It’s a Christmas pine with popcorn
And presents set below.
It’s gingerbread and peppermint
And eggnog by the fire
It’s classic carols sung with joy
And stories that inspire

Aaannnnd…I didn’t really get any further than that. At least yet. If I finish it, I’ll let you know.

I love this time of year, for so many reasons. One of the most recent is that December is our wedding month. Sharing our first married Christmas just seven days after our wedding was one of the most magical memories I have. This year is really different from all our past Christmases. We’ll be headed to Washington to visit family soon, but returning before the holiday so we can still share our own little family traditions, especially Christmas morning. I feel so blessed that LA really feels like home now, so I can say that we’ll be home for Christmas…

Merry Christmas to you and your family! If you missed my more meaningful poem about what the holiday really means, catch it here.

How to Host an Apple Tasting Party

apple tasting

Have you ever had an apple tasting? It’s something my mom did with us kids every so often when I was growing up. About a week ago, I had some of my Bible study friends over for an Anne of Green Gables with Apple Tasting Party. We watched the first Anne of Green Gables movie, ate hot soup and toast, did a lot of laughing and chatting, and competed in apple tasting.

How to Host an Apple Tasting Party

  1. Buy a variety of apples. I bought Macintosh, Gala, Red Rome, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Braeburn.
  2. Cut the apples up into small slices and put each variety in a numbered bowl.
  3. Display randomly-ordered list of the varieties of apples you’ve chosen so everyone knows what to guess from.
  4. Provide a pen and paper to contestants.
  5. Have everyone taste the apples and write down which variety they think each number is.
  6. Winner gets a prize.

It’s simple but really fun and it’s also handy way to determine your favorite kind of apple. My favorite is honeycrisp. =)

A Christmas Puzzle (And Other Traditions)


Christmas is only 44 days away and I can hardly wait. If you missed my advent book, family holiday movies, and children’s Christmas story recommendations, be sure to check them out. It’s never too early to start planning ahead for jolly family memories.

We have a few Christmas traditions coming up, many of which are adopted from things our families did when we were growing up. Some of my favorites:

1. We build this puzzle together and eat chocolate chip cookies. I usually contribute about ten pieces and Andrew does the other four hundred and ninety. Consider picking a Christmas puzzle to bring out every December!

2. We go to a U-cut farm and pick the perfect Christmas tree. We give him a name (past names are Stanley, Burton Guster, and Maurice) and drink hot cocoa while we decorate him.

3. We put on pajamas and drive around to look at Christmas lights.

4. We watch Elf and as many of the Christmas movies referenced above as possible.

There are others, but those are a few of my favorites. I’m so excited to be hand making several Christmas gifts this year, too. Nothing like getting crafty around the holidays! I may ban Andrew from my blog for a few weeks and post how his gift turns out. =)

44 days…