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!