Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lessons from the Couch: May '09

The month of May was a month of WOW in the world of CouchSurfing for Mike and Melissa. For one whole week the Harrington's had new friends and old friends crashing their couch each and every night. They continue to love the experience of CouchSurfing and were encouraged and impressed with each of this months guests.

Tuesday May 5: Matt and Owen - Motorcycle Tourists

Your dumpster-dived shrip-gumbo-non-gumbo was delicious, and was wonderfully complimented with your new CS dessert creation (Caramel Scrumtious). Mike, thank you for introducing me (Owen) to the awesome Settlers of Catan, and I'm sorry you were defeated by yet another couchsurfer on your home turf (don't worry, I know it was a fluke, so you can continue to wear your crown as the king of that game with 67 wins). The tea, ah the tea. Melissa, you won our hearts over with the first cup poured, as well as the dozen or so after that :) thank you! We thank you both for such a warm welcom and such generous hospitality; we are truly grateful. We hope that your jouneys will bring you either to one of matt's World Race Countries, or to me in Mali during your Africa trek! Thanks again for everything!
Love Owen & Matt

Tuesday May 5: Mike and Melissa

What we learned:
  • Mmmm....Caramel Scrumtious...(recipe to be blogged)
  • Embrace adventure! Never ridden a motorcycle? That's okay! If you have a good friend that wants to travel the US with you by motorcycle - take it on!
  • Seek out wonderful tea - always!
  • "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

Wednesday/Thursday May 6-7: Spencer en Route to Costa Rica

For all you couch surfers outh there you should know that these two have started me on this CS experience and i am hooked. They are both loving and caring people. it truly is an honor to know such a pure copule. I see glimpses of hope for true love every time I se them together.

Somthings I learned while surfing & visiting:

  • Try as much tea as you can!
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, sleep with your head toward the TV. The bar adds extra support for your pillows.

Take care and safe jouneys fellow CouchSurfers


Wednesday/Thursday May 6-7: Mike and Melissa

What we learned:

  • Elk meat really is tasty! Especially spicy Elk sausage mixed with eggs...mmm.
  • Sleep heals what ails you.
  • Some friends just love late nights more than others ;)

Friday May 8: Lisa and Jason en route to Portland, OR

I have a feeling that we'll be daydreaming about sheep, wheat, ore, and brick as we cross the rest of Wyoming. Someday we will take the Catan crown from Mike! Thanks again for hosting us and please look us up if you are ever in the Portland, OR area. Have fun at the World Cup and during your trip across Africa. Make sure you bring plenty of tea!

Many thanks,

Jason & Lisa

Friday May 8: Mike and Melissa

What we learned:

  • There is A LOT to think about when considering the purchase of a new bike.
  • Not everyone travelling to Portland from the East Coast is vegetarian.
  • Have courage! Be entrepreneurial!

Saturday May 9: Fred en route to New York

Dear Mike & Melissa,

Thank you so much for the ragin' party last night! Never have I had so much fun talking about world record eyebrows, or our crazy dreams or even methamphetamine (the funnest conversation of all). your cast of character friends were tons of fun, and I can't believe how hard they like to party! Of course, I can't forget about the delicious food - my Irish instincts were totally obsessed with your delicious potato salad, and the muffins were scrumptous. As well, your beer was both tasty (except for spice Mexican, darn my weak stomach!) And ver effective. And thankfully you have a great church where you allowed me to attend and therefore wash away the terrible sins of last night (party!) So, to wrap it up, your hide-a-bed is like a heavenly shiatsu massage, your beer flows like the rivers of Jordan, and i am going to tie my nipple hairs together and jump rope all the way to Chicago!

Thanks again! God Bless!


Saturday May 9: Mike and Melissa

What we learned:

  • Apparently we are party animals!!! Wowzer ;)
  • Not everyone loves the Mexican Chili Beer.
  • Our church is welcoming to awesome Californian/New Yorkers that CouchSurf.
  • Grandma's Potato Salad has the power to win the hearts of many.
  • People are placed in the Guiness Book of World Records for simply having the "longest eyebrow hairs"

Children Answer the Question: What would you do with $5?

Melissa Harrington recently conducted an informal survey of children ages 5-7 to find out what they would do with $5. As is common, the children show a great understanding of the power and grandness of a small gift. The following are answers to the question: What really nice thing would you do for someone else, with $5?

"You could use $5 to buy your mother a mother's day present." -A.R.

"You could save the $5 and then give it away later, when you have more money." - D.S.

"You could probably buy a house with $5. Or a toy car." - Z.G.

"I think you could buy a car for $5." -J.M.

"I would get somebody an oil change. You can probably do that for $5." -H.H.

"I would buy some toys." - T.S.

"You could probably buy some food." -D.S.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What would you do if you had $5?

On Sunday, May 3rd, the Harrington's attended Emmaus Road Community Church as normal. They sang worship songs, listend to a teaching on Social Justice, took Communion and left an offering at the back of the Sanctuary located in Laramie's Civic Center. What was different this Sunday, was that the Harrington's, and other church attendees, left the church carrying an envelope. It is this envelope that leads to the question "What would you do if you had $5?" and the following interview with Melissa Harrington.

Harrington Times: Can you explain why attendees of Emaus Road Community Church left the service with envelopes?

Melissa Harrington: The envelopes were given to couples, families and singles as a point of application to the days lesson. Member of the teaching team, Brad Eakins, walked the congregation through James 1:27 - 2:12 which begins "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Each envelope held either $5, $10, $20, or $50 for the members of the congregation to use as a blessing within our immediate to world community. It was a day when, instead of being expected to give your money to the church, the church gave you money and expected you to bless others.

HT: What amount was in your envelope?

MH: $5

HT: How did you react to this giving of envelopes and what you found in yours?

MH: About the envelope, I was thrilled and impressed. I think Jesus would be much more impressed to watch the Body of Christ give money away during worship services as opposed to collect it for bigger buildings. As far as our $5 be honest, I was a little bummed out! Mike and I practice similar giving habits, always willing to give to someone who may be in need. We've handed stranded travellers $50 or train-hoppers a $20, so a $5 bill seemed, well a bit disappointing, for me anyway, this in no way reflects Mike's perspective. Now, let me clarify, Brad suggested that we team together, pool our resources etc. I also knew, that Mike and I would be willing to "supplement" our $5. Anyhow, we chatted with our neighbors, one of whom made the reccommendation to buy five $1 reusable bags, fill them with food then donate them to the Soup Kitchen. That got me to think that maybe there was something worthwhile to use our $5 for.

HT: What will you do with your $5?

MH: We have not come to a final decision, but I have put some extensive thought into some possibilities. We have a couple friends who are need of some funds for some worlds missions - we plan to offer them a larger offering for support, but also to tack on $5 encouraging them to use that money to bless someone or many people in parts of the world where $5 can really stretch in significant ways. I also suggested to Mike, that perhaps we'll take a $5 challenge. Each of us being equipped with some multiple of $5 such as $25 or $50. With that money we would each seek to bless people $5 at a time. Some thoughts I've had include: Paying for the coffee of a customer behind me in a line, Leaving a $5 bonus tip or tip for something small like a cup of coffee or donut, or placing my $5 in a donation can trusting that it will serve it's purpose without my face attached.

HT: Do you have any comments or thoughts you'd like to leave our readers?

MH: Initially, I really thought it would be best to combine our money or supplement the $5 with other monies we had set aside for similar purposes. However, after spending some time reflecting on the purpose of the envelopes and of our God, I realized that it was ridiculous to assume that God can't work in $5! Who am I to think that only large sums of money make a difference? What better way to see the power of God and significance of "small" offerings in the lives of people? I found myself facing the issue of pride - believing that we already had a beautiful habit of this in our lives, yet we've overlooked the power of blessings in smaller packagaes. What I really want of readers however, is their action. I would love for friends and family to join us in answering the question "What would you do if you had $5?" I hope to see posts and comments that reflect great ideas that readers may have and eventually ways they have chose to spend their $5 for the good of others.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons from the Couch: March '09 - April '09

March and April Couchsurfing (and hosting) held some very special and unique experiences for the Harrignton Family. As they approach one year of being hosts, The Harrington's are continually amazed by the opportunity and experiences they have recieved via the Couchsurfing avenue. This season did not only bring them great guests and stories, but also their first publication outside of The Harrington Times. The Harrington's were able to share part of their Couchsurfing experience with REACH, a University of Wyoming Publication. Find the magazine on campus or stop by the Harrington home to check the article out.

Saturday March 14: Lindsay from Cheyenne, in town for the beautiful Steinken/Schroeder Wedding.

Hello My Friends!
Thank you so much for housing my puppy and I. We had an enjoyable sleep and were glad to have a place to eat and sleep and play. Mike, I am sorry my Dog doesn't like you, maybe you did something unforgiveable in a past life? I don't know. But we are Grateful!
We thank you for all the wonderful tea and Bread! We both do love you!
Lindsay and Lucy

Saturday March 14: Mike and Melissa

Time with Lindsay and Lucy provided:
  • Pleasant reminders of why Lindsay is a dear and beloved friend.
  • Beatles Songs
  • A chance to witness a beautiful Wedding Ceremony and celebrate the beginng on a lives lived together. Hoo-Ray!

Sunday April 12 - Easter Sunday: Family and Friends

The Harrington's made the bold decision to host Easter in the small basement apartment. Many family and friends took them up on their offer and the death and resurection were celebrated in the company of 14 friends and family.

Melissa and Mike, Thanks for having a wonderful Easter Celebration. Love ya, Mom and Dad!

Thanks for the great food! It was delish, even if it was dumpster food :) Molly

Thank you for having us for Easter and all your love. Papa and Grandma

Thanks for inviting me! It was a joy to share Easter dinner with you again. It was all delicious. Love, Katie.

Merry Flippin Easter! Xavier's B-day...Ok, Ok...Thanks for having was nice :) Travis

It was great to see you guys! Happy Easter! Thank you for the great meal! And for sharing the Shell-a-Bration! Hahaha! :) Happy Easter Seester & Mike! Luella

Happy Easter you guys! And thanks for having Lue and I to your humble abode. Safe Travels. -Alex

(Refused to sign: The Bartholomew Family).

Sunday April 12- Easter Sunday: Mike & Melissa

  • It is possible to feed 14 people using a small oven, storing things in a small fridge, and keeping within the months food budget (so long as you have a few supplementary food items).
  • You can even feed them Chicken Kiev and Teriyaki Salmon!
  • Making Mii's is fun! Playing the Wii is even more fun!
  • Teaching new people to play Catan - AWESOME!
  • Melissa will never have the right to claim a NEED for bigger space - she sufficed just fine.
  • Family and Friends that are like family, make for the best get togethers.
  • Smiles - all day!

Tuesday April 14: Carolyn & Ana - TOMS Vagabonds

Thank you SO much for opening your home to complete strangers. Our stay was absolutely lovely. We really appreciated your flexibility with us coming late and found your hospitality to be indicative of the nature of this entire town! may your Couch-Surfing adventures be as wonderful as you make them for others! Cheers! Northwest Vagabonds.

Tuesday April 14: Mike & Melissa

  • Hoo-Ray for TOMS Shoes! Check 'em out!


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