Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm sitting on the couch at my parents' house with Emma and Alex and Ga and watching the Macy's parade, which has taken a brief down-turn while starring "Lance Bass" for a few minutes. I lost interest.
What a great day - it's one of those days that really does serve to make you thankful. From huevos rancheros for breakfast with mimosas to the delicious turkey dinner, the food is delicious. Plus, football is on pretty much all day long so we can watch and analyze and hopefully turn the sound down and make up the conversations on the sideline and all of the play calling in the huddle. BEST DAY EVER.
But seriously, how many days are we thankful for what we have? I'm not thankful very often, that's for sure. But all good things are from God, so today I thank Him for my family, and for relaxation, and for delicious food and even for watching parades and football.
Have a great thanksgiving! God Bless, everyone.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Crazy for Jinks! (X-treme)

We're crazy for Jinks! I went out with my friends Dana and Becca to see one of our friends, Brian Jinks, in the musical "Crazy for You". He did a great job as Pete, one of the cowboy trio, and we had a lot of fun at the show - and eating pizza and Dave & Babies style buffalo chicken artichoke dip. We finished off the curtain call by waving our "extreme" arms at the stage, but sadly, it was missed by all. But it was a great night! Bravo, Jinks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I have a friend who believes that contemporary Christian music (aka Praise music) is not appropriate for a Christian to listen to. Now I know that sounds weird, and I thin it is, too, but here's the reasoning: Christian music should be only Scripture set to music - sharing our own stories of faith and struggle are not really Christian. So that made me kind of upset, because I think that fellowship (even the indirect sort that we experience hearing Chris Tomlin talk about his faith) is important in our lives. If we're listening to music that is Christian but is glorifying the individual instead of worshiping God, then that's a different story. But I go back to "It is Well" and "Come Thou Fount" - both traditional hymns with beautiful music and lyrics that have stood the test of time, even in the conservative church - that are great stories about the lives of two people struggling in their own lives. Anyway, I just thought about that today while I was raking leaves at Bill Woodhouse's home (before the delicious veggie soup and lemon bars! Thanks Jan!).
Which reminds me...cinnamon raisin bread is on the menu for today! I'm excited to get home and enjoy the warm fire.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Almost there...

The longest weekend ever has commenced....and will hopefully be over soon! I can't believe how crazy last night was! We had a great group of kids come and they were pretty energetic. Maybe when they come tonight, they will have spent all day playing outisde and will be tired from that. Great kids, though, just hyper!
Tomorrow is Suzannah's baby shower which is so fun - I hope I have everything together for it! I had no idea it was so much work to pull all of that together. I hope she enjoys it and it's not too busy for her. I am so excited for baby Dylan to come into the world!
Pray for my sanity for this weekend - and for finances. It's not cheap to put on a baby shower and to run a VBS for these kids (thank goodness for reimbursements on that one!). But until then....well...pray! :)
P.S. They just opened a Sonic in Pittsburgh Mills! (Tarentum). Yay!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Whoa...things got busy quickly! I am happy about that, though, because in the winter basically all there is to do is be cold and drink tea. That's good in moderation, know. You've gotta keep things moving.
This weekend is the Spiritual Renewal weekend - it's actually going to be pretty cool for that congregation, I think. They're really working to create a community in a church that's been without strong ties for a long time. I'm excited to be part of it!
Get this - tomorrow, we're praying in one of the "pods" that overlooks the city. For those of you from elsewhere, those are basically just these amazing overlooks on Mt. Washington (a slope that is up above the river and overlooking the Point) that are perfect for prayer groups. Despite the cold, I think it's going to be a great way to get things rolling. Plus, what a view!
Be praying for this weekend - it's a big deal for the camp and for the church downtown. This is a big step!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Seriously..this is my job?

I'm cutting out fish today - a lot of fish - for the fishbowl project. In the room next to my office, there's a room full of people having a worship service. Outside my window is a gloomy November day dropped right into happy October, and I'm full of Abigail's coconut coffee. And we have internet! Woo hoo!
I have been reading "Quiet Strength", which is Tony Dungy's autobiography. I really do recommend it, especially if you like football (he's the coach of the Indianapolis Colts). He has been such a faithful follower of Christ throughout his career and in everything that he does. What a great role model for his own players and staff - and to all those little guys who think they might want to be a football player when they grow up! How cool that God provides Coach Dungy's experiences to relate to so many others.
Plus, I love football! Go Steelers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today's "Internet Cafe"

Haha...I mean it, really - I'm like an internet cafe junkie now. How did we ever survive without email? I've just sent out about 1,000 emails to get things set up for Promo Visits, but I'd be totally irresponsible if I didn't check my email and respond daily. Today I'm actually not at a WiFi hot spot, I'm at the library. For those of you who've seen Gilmore Girls, just picture that town, and that's basically what I'm looking out on right now (the square with a little gazebo - only here, it's the "diamond").
Anyway, back to work - I'm figuring out how to make this awesome craft for next Friday's lesson that looks like a fishbowl. We'll be learning how to be fishers of men (Matt. 4:19). It looks cute, but takes a bit of prep on my end!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Howdy, y'all. It's Monday, and I'm all back to work. Only, not "at" work exactly, at Panera mooching their free WiFi, which is fabulous (kudos to you, Panera). Not having the internet up and running at work is tough, but it also provides for a change of scenery which is awesome. Plus, I got to eat delicious food and hang out for a few minutes with my friend Teddy who works at this Panera (I asked him for the hookup with the big cup for water - I'm still using those little tiny plastic ones!).
This week's plan is to have a bible study curriculum ready for K-6 graders at FPC's Spiritual Renewal Weekend, so I'm up to my eyeballs in crafts, games, songs, and snacks to use to make this really fun for the kids! I need to find a great craft that is "vine and branches" themed - anyone? We're also talking about being fishers of men - and for snack, we're having goldfish crackers that we will "catch" by putting a little peanut butter on a prezel rod! Fun stuff.
Time for me to get back to the daily grind - peace out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So much joy!

How lucky am I to get to hang out with some of the cutest kids ever? I love getting to be a little part of their lives and getting to be a kid for a while when I see them! Here's Mara - she wanted her picture taken and she posed just as if we were in the studio! What a sweetie.

Back to Life

Have you ever experienced the feeling of coming "back to life"? That's sort of how I feel now - I just started to get things all pulled together, to be comfortable at work after all that hustle and bustle of summer camp is over and I've gotten used to the fact that it's a quiet, lonely sort of place to be. I have been so thankful for the wonderful people that I work with that I'm also blessed to call my friends.
Today is one of those rare and wonderful weekdays where I am not at work - instead I've been watching Mike & Mike in the Morning for hours and eaten cinnamon rolls and had English Breakfast Tea. It's delightful on a Wednesday morning to be worried only about whether or not Kobe Bryant will be traded!
This week has been a good one for making progress - getting church visits set up. Hey, if you have a church that would love for me to visit and give a little spiel about Ligonier Camp, you just let me know and I'll be there! I'm really excited to get out and meet the kids and families whose lives have been (or will be) touched through the ministry of the camp.
If you're feeling down, my prescription is definitely a few cinnamon rolls and ESPN. ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Did I Mention....

I saw the Steelers in person at training camp!! We sat right up front and got to watch them practice for a while before a huge thundercloud ran us all down and we got soaked. It was awesome!
Now of course, it wasn't the only time I have seen a pro footbal player up close - after eating dinner with Big Ben last Thanksgiving, these guys are like my close personal buddies. (For those of you who don't know, I saw Ben Roethlisberger at a restaurant last year and it has been a grossly exaggerated story ever since).
So blogger is being a little dumb and won't let up upload my sweet pictures of the team, but don't worry - as soon as possible, I will have them up.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's been so long...

Hi everyone...sorry to leave you hanging. I am out at the camp working hard (although I confess that I am tired and ready for a day this weekend to relax!) and watching kids grow in Christ and as a community. These campers go home tomorrow, and our new set comes in on Monday afternoon (this is our long weekend - normally it's Sunday incoming). I am loving it here - I'm drinking a "spritzer" which is just like a fruit juice soda that we sell at our camp store and smelling my wonderful brand new candle. I am so excited about this summer and just a few minutes updating this old blog helps a lot. I miss all of you out there in Illinois! You'll be in my prayers.

P.S. This photo is of the staff practicing our commissioning song, In Christ Alone. It was so much fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Botanic Gardens

If you haven't taken the chance to go up and see the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL you should! It's not in full bloom yet, but it will be in no time and it's definitely worth the trip. Check it out!


Every once in a while, I like to take an adventure. Now, reasonably, as a college student, I have no money so my adventures have to be rather small and rather nearby. So today, I decided to drive the half of the Lake Michigan circle tour that I hadn't driven yet, which is north to Wisconsin. I started out on 94 going north, and then got off when I didn't feel like paying tolls anymore and drove along the lake. It was nice and relaxing. Plus, Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion was on, and today was a talent contest among people in their 20's. And it was good music, too - I mean, enjoyable varieites of music, like and old-time jug band and an Andrews-sisters-esque group. Lots of fun and pretty great for the drive. I got out and sat by the lake and had my dinner and it was fabulous! It was a great day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ready Now

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen (right). I love the weather, the smell, the feel of the breeze, the four or five sweltering days we get, campfires, kids yelling and having a blast, people living free of so many of the inhibitions that are imposed by the current society and doing the dorkiest things. I am excited, I'm anxious, I'm ready to go now and not ready to go at the same time. Bittersweet, I suppose, entering the realm of "real job". But so cool at the same time.

A plea for help.

Help me understand - how do you just kill person after person - not thinking of their futures, as husbands or wives or mothers or fathers or teachers or slackers or cancer-healers? How does it feel to make others suffer and still realize that it can't make up for the lost feeling you have - the feeling persists - and the only solution is to take your own life? I hate being reminded that we, as humans, are capable of so much evil - that's something I've always struggled with - the ugliness that is caused by separation from God. And yet, so often when I have the choice to go God's way or my own, I choose ME, what I want, for me to be in control. And that choice is ugly. This past day's events are a reminder to me to always show love, to everyone, because no one should feel that lost, that far gone that nothing can fix it, that there's nothing but darkness and despair from now on - they should know there is a hope and how to find it. I'm not saying that we should have stopped this, should have seen it coming, or are at all responsible for tragedies in Blacksburg. Only that we should love fully in all of our encounters with others - to represent Christ in the way he deserves, because we are given everything we can never deserve.

Orai sempre. - Pray continually.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Well, I'm still sick - this stinks! You thing one of the four meds. they gave me would have worked, but no, I'm still stuffy, coughing, sore-throated and to top it all off, my ears are plugged up now. I dislike being sick because I just feel tired and lazy all the time and I usually like to be active! Fortunately, this week has been a relatively easy one, so I've had time to relax and drink a LOT of water.
So, today I was thinking back over some pretty amazing vacations we took when I was small, including one to Ichetuknee Springs in Florida (shown above). You can tube from the top of the springs all the way down the river, and it's beautiful and slow and relaxing. I also rememberd a vacation where we stayed at the Wigwam Village Motel in KY, but that is another story for another time...
Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Even in this modern day...

I have been in my bed sick now for a few days, recovering and taking care of myself. It's offered me some time to research a few things I learned about a few months ago at Jubilee 2007. I wanted to look more into the organizations that Gary Haugen (CEO if IJM) talked about, specifically International Justice Mission (IJM) and Amazing Change, two groups supporting the abolition of modern-day slavery abroad. You can sign a petition, read literature about slavery (then and now), and hear stories about the amazing things being done by God through this movement. I know that I have other ministries in my life that take up most of my time, but I just can't abide the thought of young women - as young as five or six - being kept in a semi-truck trailor and sold off into the sex trade. I want to do what little I can to help these women have a new hope and to make the threat of slavery known. We are not all called to the same type of ministry, but I think we are called to be compassionate and aware and supportive. Check it out: and

Monday, April 9, 2007

In the words of Aaron Shust...

My Savior loves, my Savior lives...Really, Aaron wasn't the one to actually say that the first time, but I've got to give some love to that hometown boy! Happy Easter (late). I had a great Easter, though, with church at good old PPC (although I will make no comments regarding the choice of organ prelude), followed by some awesome resurrection rolls. Recipe to follow. Then I headed up to NW to the Johnston's for dinner, where we enjoyed a schmorgasboard of wonderful food and great conversation. It was pretty cool, toward the end of dessert, Grandpa Ralph talked about the first easter dinner held in that house 150 years ago, and could even go home and look in his great-grandfathers journal to see the details. How cool to have such a strong family history in one house! And then Steve had to go and play in the front drive with his little red tractor. I guess Jen Bell was right when she told me that I might as well get used to it, because boys never change...thanks for the wise advice, Jen!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ewingwood in Concert

Just thinking about Tuesday at the Ewingwood concert, with The Morning Light and Jamestown Story. It was pretty cool to see people go wild for a bunch of boys from the Beav' playing their guitars and singing - I think some kids actually attempted to crowd-surf, despite the relatively mellow music. It was cool, though, watching my little brother and his friends play music, work the crowd, and sell their merchandise just like a "real" band. I did get down on my knees and thank God for letting me not be in high school anymore - after watching the new trend toward lots of makeup and teeny clothes and high-maintenance "look at me" lifestyle, I would fit in way less now than I did four years ago. Seems impossible. Just kidding - but I really was thankful that I have found friends and a church and a job that doesn't revolve around how I look, but that I am a child of God and therefore have worth. Anyway, a little off topic there, but I guess you could say the concert was an inspiration in many ways. Alex and Forrest, I'm so proud of you and Nashville is one city that is not going to know what happened once you two show up.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Girl time

Today has been considerably less productive, but what's a spring break for? I just sent some emails and uploaded some photos and then went to lunch with Alex and Mom and Dad (at My Hero, great subs) and then got my nails done with Mom. It's not something we do regularly but it's a fun girly thing to do that's pretty easily altered. If we get more brave, maybe we'll go get some tattoos! Anyone who's met me knows that's not happening!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

All good things must come to an end...

I was just thinking about this coming summer without Greg Davis. G-Diddy, working with you was a great experience and we will miss you a lot. Thanks for the good times. God Bless you and your family as you take your gifts down the road.

Break is amazing!

I've been on break less than two days and I feel like I've gotten a ton done! I relaxed, ate pancakes at the wonderful Maple Syrup Festival ( and bought peanut butter chocolate fudge. I've been a little under the weather lately with a cough, so we spent time watching old movies with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth and taking naps. This morning I got down to real work, though, getting a master list for our 2007 Summer Staff and keeping track of whose got a contract/sent it back and all of that. It's been really great to see things come together. Mom helped me to keep track of all my lists and now I think I have a comprehensive list done! Ten points to me. And ten points to God for supplying an amazing staff.

Let's start at the very beginning...

Wow. I got a nice big binder full of information about my new job at LCCC. And before I say anything else, I have to say that Sal rocks my socks for how incredibly detailed and specific he was with his information. I feel so blessed to have been given a great start through someone else's preparation. Way to go, Sal.
Of course, now I have to begin to think less like a summer staffer and more like a year-round staff. You know, seeing the big picture - the time we spend together doing summer camp is only three months out of the whole year. I am excited to be starting this process of planning summer camp (which, thanks to our stellar interns and other year-round staff is already going really well) but I am nervous as well - there are so many things to think about! God tells us that he will never give us more than we can handle, and I really do have faith that He will equip me - but it seems overwhelming now. My pastor, Chris, always says that God only tests those He wants to use: He grows us stronger and stronger through our struggles becuase He has a purpose, a place where suddenly we realize why we go through the things that test us. I'm looking forward to where God takes me.