Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pray for the Johnsons

Some of you may have noticed my list of blogs over on the sidebar. There is one I want to bring to your attention today. Please go and visit Pray for the Johnsons. Jessica was my secretary at IRBC the summer of 2004, and she is the niece of Dan and Michelle Stephenson who are on staff at IRBC.

Jessica and Josiah are a young couple that have faced so many trials in their few years together as a married couple. Their unwavering faith, despite these trials, is such an inspiration. Josiah is dying of cancer and it looks like his time here on earth is very short.

Please keep this special couple in your prayers during this time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish you all a very, Merry Christmas! I'm currently in northern Illinois and ready to spend lots of time with my family. I can't remember the last time we spent Christmas with my brother and his family. I'm very excited to see the kids open their presents and make some fun memories with them.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior. In the midst of the busyness, please remember the reason He came to earth as a baby. He shed His blood on the cross and if we accept the gift of salvation He offers, we can have a home in Heaven with Him. Please take the time to reflect on all He has done for us. He wants a relationship with us, not just religion.

John 3:16
Romans 3:23
Romans 5:10
Romans 6:23
Romans 10:9, 10, 13

Friday, December 18, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...Again

I fly back to my parents' today. I've had a great time with Bekah and really hate to go. Unless I can go to Japan at some point, I won't see her for four years. Okay, I better stop...I'm going to cry. Love you Bekah and loved our time together!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I thought I'd give you a little overview of my time with Bekah thus far. (Don't I sound smart by using words like thus?) Bekah did a much better job on her blog, so you can stop over there to get a better idea of each day.

Day 1
I flew into the Philadelphia airport. I was very tired from getting up at 3:00 that morning, but who can stay tired long when spending time with Bekah? We met her sister, Penny, and her two kids for supper at Chick-fil-A.

This is my new favorite restaurant, by the way. We ate there three times total. Oh, how I wish they had these in the mid-west, but it's probably best that they don't. I'd go broke eating there all the time.

Penny & Kathy
Penny & Billy

Day 2
Bekah's sister, Jane, couldn't meet us for supper the night before, so we met her for lunch at guess where...Chick-fil-A!!! It was fun to catch up with her as well.

Bekah & Jane

We did a little shopping in the afternoon and then met some college friends for dinner. Sandy was my roommate my Freshman and Sophomore years of college and Sonia was a good friend. Sonia's husband, Luis, was also a college friend. It was so neat to catch up with them and meet their families. Their kids are adorable!!!

Sandy, Me, Bekah & Sonia

Day 3
This was an awesome day. We took the train into Philadelphia from Lansdale. We were a little nervous, but made it just fine. We saw Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross' house. It was neat to be in the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution of the United States. It was amazing to walk where those men had walked. Wow! I didn't get a Philly cheese steak or a soft pretzel. I guess I'll have to go back.

Day 4
This was the day we went the Pioneer Woman's book signing. This day deserved it's own post.

Days 5, 6, 7
We are now in northern PA where Bekah lives with her parents. We have had a nice time just relaxing. Last night was Pastor Kuehlman's Birthday, so we went up to one of his favorite restaurants in NY. It was a lot of fun and a beautiful setting.

Only two more days left till I fly out. Time sure flies when you're having fun. I'm so thankful to have this last bit of fun with Bekah before she heads to Japan. She is hoping to leave the end of next month, but still needs a bit of support to come in and needs to finalize her visa. Please be praying with us as we hope to see this accomplished so she can head to the field of Japan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pioneer Woman in West Chester, PA

I'm in Pennsylvania visiting Bekah and part of our plans were to meet The Pioneer Woman at her book signing in West Chester, PA on Sunday afternoon. We got there, had lunch and stood in the large crowd to meet her. As it turns out, you needed a number to have your books signed, and we didn't get a number till after her Q & A. The numbers they were handing out were for up to two people and we were number 257, so you can imagine how long we had to wait. It was such a fun day though. We met some really nice people and just had a nice time chatting with other fans.

Two of the ladies we met were sisters and they forgot their camera. Well, they got in line much earlier than we did, so I sent my camera with them and told them I'd email their pictures. They brought the camera back and told me that it was obvious I wasn't from around the area or I would have never sent them with my camera. We had a good laugh about that.

Finally at about 6:00 (started at 2:30), we were able to get in line to have Ree sign our books. Bekah asked if she would talk to Amy on the phone (a missionary in South Africa). Amy enjoyed being able to say hi to her even though Bekah woke her up to do it.

Ree told us we were mean. Can you believe it? She also said she liked it. I guess it had to a little to do with Bekah telling me I couldn't get my picture taken with her because the camera batteries died. Then Bekah had her sign my book saying "Eat Up! Bekah's gonna win!" See, Bekah sees everything as a competition and wants to beat me in losing weight. She's been trying to stuff donuts down my throat this entire trip! (Okay maybe not.)

So enjoy the pictures. We had a great time!!!

Here is Ree during the Q & A.

Here we are waiting to have our books signed.

In this picture, she is talking to Amy in South Africa.

And here we are!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yep, tomorrow morning...very early in the morning...I'll be boarding a plane to go see my best friend one last time before she heads to Japan. We have lots of fun planned including a book signing with The Pioneer Woman, seeing some sites in Philadelphia, and visiting with some friends back from our college days. Can't wait!

(I have to give a very big thank you to my dad who will be driving me to the St. Louis Airport very, very, very early in the morning. Thanks Dadio!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Last week was difficult as I anticipated leaving camp and then had to say all my goodbyes. I know that I'm following God's direction to leave the camp, but it was hard to leave it behind. I'm so thankful that God lead me to IRBC six and a half years ago. I'm so thankful for the people He brought into my life as a result. I'm thankful for all I've learned. And I'm thankful for God using IRBC to continue to help shape me and mold me.

Here are a few pictures of some of my goodbyes. The camp staff surprised me in the office on my last day. I happened to be on the phone, taking my last official call when they all came in and surrounded me. It was hard to finish up that phone call with all of them circling my desk smiling at me. They sang a song for me, brought a yummy dessert and finished off with lots of hugs.

Hugging the camp kids goodbye.

These ladies have been such a blessing to me. I'm thankful for their friendship.

Here are the real show stoppers. The camp kids are amazing!!!!! It has been incredible to watch them grow and change over the last years. I will miss them so much. We're just missing two in this picture, Tyler and Amanda. Tyler did make it to the tail end of our little party, but Amanda was still at FBBC.

Then the camp ladies also had another goodbye for me. We met at Applebee's to have a final lunch together. My mom came along since she was there helping me pack and Mary Grismore joined us as well as my honorary mom. I'm so thankful for these ladies and their friendship.

Here's Judy and Barb. Judy gave me a baggie of her chocolate covered cherries since I'll miss getting her candy plate for Christmas. They aren't ready yet and I keep waiting for the day when I can finally dig in to them.

Lynnae and Mary - still tan from their South Africa trip. I think it's a little mean of Lynnae to finally have a baby when I'm gone! Yep, she's expecting and due in June. Mary has a perpetual smile on her face since she's going to be a grandma.

Anna and Michelle.

And finally, me with my two moms. Mary has been a great fill-in mom for me since mine was so far away. I'm very thankful for both of you.

No, James was not at Applebee's, but I thought this picture could wrap it up nicely. Boy, I'll miss this kid.

Friday, December 4, 2009

All Done!

It's all packed up and ready to go. "Go where?" I'm glad you asked. I have no idea. But it's ready to go where ever God leads me next.

My parents got to my place on Monday evening and we dove right in packing and sorting. I must say, my parents are amazing at packing! I think they have done this a few times. It would have taken me a month to do what they did in two days.

We left yesterday morning and got to their home early evening. I got everything that I brought with me unpacked and in it's rightful place last night.

Let me introduce you to my professional packers.

This one is better. If you ever move, I definitely recommend hiring these two. They'll have everything whipped into shape in a jiffy.

Love you guys! By the way, it's their 38th anniversary today! Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


So I'm supposed to be sorting and packing since I'm going to be moving next week. Okay, not really moving. I'll be packing up my apartment and putting all my stuff in storage at the camp. Then I plan to go to Illinois to spend some time with my family and getting some much needed rest.

So I thought I'd show you the progress I've made in packing. Ready? Are you sure you're ready? It's quite a site to be sure. Okay, here goes nothing.

Yep, this is it. But when you have a sinus infection, it's hard to hang your head down to pack up boxes. After packing up these boxes this morning, I'm ready for a nap. I'm very thankful my parents are coming to help next week. At this rate it could take me a month to do this myself.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

End of an Era

Well, today was my last day to work at IRBC. Wow! Where has the time gone? I'm so very thankful that God chose to use me in the ministry here. I'm also very thankful for the opportunity to work with each secretary He brought to IRBC. They have each been a blessing to me. I'm thankful God has used IRBC to continue to mold me, transform me and help me grow closer to Him. I'm most thankful for the camp families who have become my family.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post later, but let's just say the camp family made my last day very memorable.

It's been bittersweet. I'm excited to see what God has around the next bend, yet my heart is breaking over leaving.

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving Thanks

We had our Praise Banquet at church last night. What a wonderful time of praise to our Savior. One of our college guys gave the message and preached on Job. Not a typical thanksgiving message, but it was just what I needed. Somewhere in our little minds, we tend to make Thanksgiving about us. Oh, I know we GIVE THANKS for God's blessings. But what blessings to you tend to thank God for...family, job, home, friends, church, etc. Do we remember to thank Him for EVERYTHING? Job was left with nothing and yet offered praise to God. This is especially timely for me.

This is my last week at camp. Although I'm excited to find what God has around the next bend for me, it's also very heart breaking. I'm not just leaving a job, but my entire life from the last six years. Just thinking about it now is bringing tears. I know that it is an answer to prayer and I know that God will use this stage in my life to continue to draw me closer to Him, but it breaks my heart. But I choose to give thanks. I choose to give thanks for the difficult circumstances that brought me to this decision. I choose to give thanks I have no strength of my own and have to draw from His. (When I am weak; then He is strong).

I have wonderful things to be thankful for as well. But let's remember that even if God decides to take it all away, we still have a reason to be thankful - God. Job was simply rejoicing in who God was even though he had nothing..."The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21b

One of our teens sang this song last night and it was such a powerful message. Enjoy the song and let's be thankful for our Savior together.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend with Annie

Annie came up to camp for one last weekend. We had such a great time. She brought work with her and did it up in the office while I was working too. Our weekend was filled with cooking together, movies, shopping, lots of laughter and prayer. I'm thankful for such a great friend.

Here are some pictures of our fun time.

Don't know what I was thinking..."Nose check!" No boogers...good.

We bought a fresh pineapple...so good!

Our table at Applebee's was wobbly, so Annie decided to fix it.

Lynnae and Stacy joined us for lunch. We had a great time.

Oops...Let's try again.
That's better.
I'm now addicted to shopping at thrift stores and I've passed along that addiction to Annie. Don't worry, we didn't buy all that. We did in fact try it all on though. It was a shared cart and most of it was Annie's. We both found some really nice stuff for really cheap prices.

Pigeon Impossible

I have a couple posts I want to write, but am waiting on pictures from people, so you'll have to be satisfied with this for now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!!!!!!

I promise you these are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever taste. This is Judy's recipe and she is the best baker. So I hope you enjoy these as much as everyone else at camp does. These are going to my Jr. Girl's Class tomorrow night.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups chocolate chips

Mix butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.

Just try to resist taking a bite while they are warm. Mmmmmm.


You guys will be amazed by this.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This site has a free Christian audio book for download each month. This month is Desiring God by John Piper. There is a coupon code that you have put in so it's free. This month is NOV2009. Hope this is a helpful tool.

Friday, November 13, 2009


So remember when I told you I felt like this?
Well, I'm feeling much better now. But when I felt like that, it was my Birthday. I know...a pretty lousy way to spend a Birthday. Well, everyone still tried to make me feel special with phone calls and balloons.

But I'm the kind of girl that likes to celebrate. I like to go out to eat...I like when they sing to me...And I especially like presents!

Well, Judy had planned to have me over for dinner to celebrate, but since I felt really awful, she rescheduled it for this week. I showed up and she took me to the next room and it was all decorated. I thought that was very sweet. And then I look over and there are people there! The camp lades were throwing me a surprise party!!! I've never had one before and I loved it.

Judy made a delicious meal and then we played some games. I'm so thankful for my friends. I don't know where God is going to move me, but no one will ever replace these ladies. They are amazing!

Here's a few pictures of the night.
Michelle and Judy
Anna and me. Don't you like the scarf? It was my present from Barb. I love it and it matches almost everything I own.
Barb and me
Barb and Michelle

Friday, November 6, 2009

You Are God Alone

I just got back from the NARBC Conference. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with my fellow camp staff as well as camp staff from around the country. My first camp conference was a Camp Forest Springs in Westboro, WI and it was also my last (a little ironic). Not only did we have great fellowship, but the staff at Camp Forest Springs provided us with helpful workshops.

During the sessions, we were lead in worship by Matt Hoffland. I loved his selection of music, but the song that really stuck out to me is You Are God Alone. I've heard it hundreds of times and sing along with the radio, but seeing the word on the screen made such a huge impact on me this week. I thought I'd share them with you as well. What an amazing God we serve!

You Are God Alone
(Phillips, Craig & Dean)

Verse 1:
You are not a God
Created by human hands
You are not a God
Dependant on any mortal man
You are not a God
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone

And right now
In the good times and bad
You were on the throne
You are God alone

Verse 2:
You’re the only God
Whose power none can contend
You’re the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God
Who’s worthy of everything we can give
You are God
And that’s just the way it is


That’s what You are



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Camp Conference!

Well, I'm headed out on the road again. Tomorrow is the start of our National Association of Regular Baptist Camps' annual conference. Up until Friday I wasn't sure if I'd be able to go, but I'm feeling well enough, so I'm off. It's a relaxed schedule so I'll be able to take lots of naps. It's a refreshing time for camp staffers. It's like us getting to go to camp! This year the conference is being held at Camp Forest Springs in Wisconsin. We've been there once before and it was fantastic. They have amazing facilities and a fantastic staff.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where Does Your Help Come From?

Let's just say this week has not been fantastic. I've been sick. Again.

Yesterday was not a good day and I was feeling very sorry for myself. I had plans. I had things I really wanted to do this weekend that were not going to happen because I'm sick. I'm tired of being sick.

I emailed a friend who was a true friend and didn't let me wallow. Instead she helped me set my gaze on my wonderful Savior. He knew about my plans this weekend, but has other plans in mind for me.

She reminded me of Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help come from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber
Behold, He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand,
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
He will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

The author of this Psalm looked at the hills and realized that the creator of those hills is the same God to provide for his needs. I have the same God. He is faithful and powerful and can handle anything. Who better to trust with my plans. I hope that I can keep working on having the same plans as His.

Take a look at what our wonderful Creator did! Who better to trust? Where does your help come from?

And this last one is from the view right outside my window.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Flu Stinks

This is how I feel.

Yep, I have the real flu...maybe even H1N1. I started feeling yucky on Wednesday and just chalked it up to getting my flu shot the day before. I talked to Anna yesterday and when I told her I was wearing three sweatshirts, two pairs of socks, sitting under a blanket in front of a heater, she said she was taking me to the doctor. I didn't think we had an urgent care clinic and told her so. Well, she wasn't swayed by that and made some phone calls. In the mean time, I called the 24 hour nurse provided by my insurance who told me to go to ER. Well, there you have it. I had to go. Anna's homework found out we do have urgent care, so we were on our way.

The doctor didn't do the tests to find out for sure if I have it. She said that given I have asthma, she'd treat me anyway since I had been exposed. So I may have it and I may not. Bottom line, it's rotten. I'm now very sympathetic to those that have the real deal. It's nasty stuff.

I'm under strict orders not to be around anyone till after Tuesday, so that means I'll have a very happy Birthday all by myself. That also means all my work will be piling up. God knows and it was no surprise I came down with this now. Maybe He wants me to sleep. :)

Well I hope none of you get this. I hope you are all very healthy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy 40th B-Day, Michelle!

One of my camp friends turned 40 today. We celebrated last week and I thought I'd share our fun evening with you. WARNING! Camp ladies are a bit crazy.

When we were in the planning stages, we wondered..."What do old ladies do?" Red hat parties!!! Yep, we had one for Michelle. If you are going to look stupid in public, it's important to drag all your friends along as well. We had a great time and Michelle was quite surprised. See, she was planning on a nice dinner out with her husband, but was greeted at the door of the restaurant by this! (Technically, we were at the camp office, but this is what we looked like when we greeted her.)
And this was her reaction. If you know Michelle, I'm sure you'll be surprised that she didn't even scream.

We promptly dressed her to match us.

Now for some close-ups. Sorry ladies. I know you had hoped these wouldn't end up on my blog, but here they are.

And here's the whole gang.

I love you ladies so much and will miss you more than I can say. Happy Birthday Michelle.

In other news, all the Callisons at camp and Pamela Betz are headed to South Africa for three weeks. I'm so excited for them! I really would like to crawl into a suitcase and go along.