Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Oh goodness, I feel like I was gone a very long time. And since I have been home I have hardly had time to catch my breath. We got home at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon after a long 18 hour bus ride, and I immediately got to unpacking, running errands and trying to make a video slideshow of pictures for camp for our after camp party that was last night. Because I work 9 hours a day and have various other things going on, this kept me up til late hours on Sunday and Monday nights, which has left me with a new cold, exhausted and just trying to keep my head above water.

In addition, I got my PE application sent out yesterday (the application was basically a 6 page resume I had to write to convince the board that I have enough experience to take the 8-hour test over everything civil engineering so I can become a licensed engineer) and have been crazy busy at work trying to make a July 1st deadline.

Also, my sister and her boyfriend are in Columbus for the week and they head out Saturday evening. I am supposed to work on Friday, but I would rather head up to Columbus to have more time to visit them - so I am also putting in extra hours at work so we can leave earlier to go up and see them. Which also means trying to get laundry and things around the house done before we leave again. They live in Colorado and we don't get to see them often so the extra effort to get more time with them is totally worth it.

I say all this not to complain or to try to make anyone think that I am busy or important, but more so to explain why I haven't updated the blog til now, even though I have been home since Sunday, and to explain why I don't quite have it in me to write about camp yet. Young life camp was wonderful and difficult all at the same time. I still haven't had the opportunity to totally process it all yet, or put down in words what I want to share from it. But that post is coming, just as soon as things settle down a bit.

Also, thanks to Chloe and Kari for guest posting while I was gone! It was lots of fun to come back and see what you all had to say. You should definitely check out their blogs if you haven't already.

Ok, I think that's all I got for now. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Young Life Camp is DOPE!

Hey Friends!  My name is Kari and I am guest blogging today for Anne while she finishes up her amazing week at Young Life Camp.  You can regularly find me at The Adventures of One CrAzY Lady documenting my crazy life as a recent transplant resident of Chicago.

So Anne and I go way back, way before there was ever such a thing as a "blog".  We met our Freshmen year of college through an amazing ministry called Young Life.  If you've never heard of Young Life or you're barely familiar with it, I HIGHLY suggest that you go here and read more to discover all the amazing ways that God uses the ministry of Young Life to reveal to high school kids His deep and burning love for them {AND US!}.

After meeting Anne my Freshmen year, she seemed to be a good candidate for a roommate when it came time my Junior year to fill a room in my apartment.  We lived together for two years and then started leading Young Life together at the same high school for roughly 4.5 years.  As fellow Young Life leaders leading together, side-by-side at the same high school, Anne and I became very close.  She became someone that I would laugh with, be frustrated with (not at) and would really lay it all down with her because of the vulnerability we had through a shared ministry/mission.  We both were going after the same building of high school girls - we both have/had a desperate yearning for them to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.

So you work all year long as a Young Life leader - you work all 4 years long - all the while your beloved high schoolers are completed their high school experience and you walk alongside them.  You pray for them and with them.  You share your life with them as well as your faith in Christ.  You hope and you pray that somehow, somewhere, either through you or however else that they may see a glimpse of Our Father's amazing love for them.  That's where Young Life camp comes into play.  Young Life camp happens once a year during the summertime.  Let's get this straight - Young Life camp is no ordinary camp - it is the resort of all camps everywhere.  There is nothing "rough" about going to YL fact, it could be considered as a mini-vacay...heck!  A full vacay!

However, I'm not going to paint this picture that YL camp is all hunkey dorey for the leaders - because it's not.  It's hard.  Don't get me wrong - there's NO place I'd rather spend my summer (this is the first summer in 11 years that I won't be attending a YL's a sad summer) but it's physically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually draining to lead a group of high school girls at camp.  You are constantly "on" from the time you get on that bus to the time you arrive back to the parking lot in your hometown.  But!  It's T.O.T.A.L.L.Y. worth it!  Just think: you get to be a part of God's work for an entire week - seeing what He's doing in the lives of hundreds of high schoolers from across the country.

This is what Anne is doing as I type this.  She's probably sleeping on her mattress which is quite possibly located on the floor of the cabin due to a lack of beds.  She'll wake up early tomorrow, spend some time with the Lord and then go out and do nothing but love on some high school girls and try to show Christ's love to them.  It's hard, but it's so amazing!  God is at work at Young Life camp!  God is SO present at Young Life camp!  God is doing amazing things as we speak (Young Life camp or not)!

How is God moving in your life?  Was there a time in your life that His presence was so strong?  Do you have a place that reminds you of Young Life camp?  Have you ever been to camp?  Please share!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with pictures of Anne and I from the past 4 years that we went to camp together as leaders :).  Thanks for listening to my rambling :)

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  
- John 10:10
Sharptop, Georgia 2006

Lake Champion, New York 2007

Windy Gap, North Carolina 2008

Rockbridge, Virginia 2009

Be praying for Anne and the rest of the group as they finish up their week at Young Life camp.  Be praying for the hearts of these high schoolers that they may hear what God is trying to tell them and that they may see Him at work in their lives and that ultimately they will give their lives up for Him and follow Him whole heartedly!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

guest post::answering my own question

Hello there, Anne's readers!  I'm Chloë from tryin' to throw my arms around the world, and Anne has asked me to be a guest blogger while she takes high schoolers to summer camp to hear about Jesus!  Be sure to pray for Anne, and also especially for the youth this week.  Who knows what amazing things God can and will do in all of their lives!

Anyway, to introduce myself, I'm a girl who's been married almost a year to a dashingly handsome law student (first anniversary: 4th of July.  oh yes we did.), I work as a receptionist, I'm a retired dance major, I'm a Jersey girl to the core, and as of late, I've become something what others like to call a "runner".  Still not sure what that exactly means. 

So Anne had asked me to write about either
something God has been teaching me,
or about my recent habit of running,
so I naturally thought: why not both?

Today, I posed this question to my running readers:

If you were told that you had to stop running forever,
what would you invest that once-reserved running time in doing?

...and it made me realize that I don't know how I would answer, nor would I ever actually want to have to answer.  How would you answer, should you replace the word "running" with something that occupies much of your own time?  Is there enough additional space in your hearts and time in your lives to be filled with God's dreams that would easily fill that void?  Have I personally become so consumed with getting every single one of my training runs done and with my dreams of running the Boston and New York City Marathons that I'm failing to find God's dream and purpose for my life today

Sadly enough,
I can't say no.

I was fortunate enough to run my first marathon for Team Samaritan's Purse, which gave me the perspective of not doing it for myself

But what about now?  Now that my biggest concern is not raising funds and awareness for others, but for improving my time, my pace, my abilities, all for me?  Have I become so consumed with running that I haven't invested into the lives of people, into serving others, into the advancing of God's kingdom?  Do I really not know what I would do??

Not being able to easily answer that question has taught me a lesson that I would like to share with you today.  Don't ever love something so much that should God ask you to give it up, it would be nearly impossible for you to say no.  {Matthew 6:21}

If God were to ever want me to not run anymore, He shouldn't have to cause me injury in order to do so.  He should just be able to tell me so.  So leave room in your lives for God to do crazy things.  I'm not saying it necessarily means He will today, or that He will take away one aspect of your life to replace it with something of His calling, but if He does, would you really want to miss it

I know I wouldn't.

Thanks so much, Anne, for allowing me the privilege to post on your blog today!  Can't wait to hear awesome God stories when you get back!

And thanks to you all for reading!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Young Life Camp

Here is a sample of what I'll be up to this next week...

We will be at a different camp with a few different faces, but I know it will be a blast! See you next week :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Post Dedicated to My Pets

When I saw that Kristin from Windy Poplars was doing a Kindred Connection about pets this week, I of course could not resist joining in talking about my animals. If you have pets you should totally link up this week and join in the fun.

Windy Poplars

1. What pets currently reside at your house?
We have 3 pets. A dog named Moose (he's a flat-coated retriever, we think) and 2 cats, Topanga and Mr. Feeny.

2. What is one really strange thing your pet(s) does?
One strange thing Moose does is what we affectionately call his happy dance. My dad called it this the first time he saw Moose do it and we thought it was funny so now that is what we call it too. On occasion Moose will roll onto his back and kick his feet around in a frenzy. We think he is maybe trying to itch his back. Not sure. Either way its funny to watch him just roll around and kick his legs everywhere like a crazy dog. Afterwords he always gets up and shakes and then he feels so much better.

3. Now fess up here: give us your nicknames for your pets (we KNOW you have them- and we KNOW they're good)!
Well, sometimes I call Moose Puppy-face or Moosey-dog or Moose-doggy-dog. Topanga gets shortened to Pang or Panga or Missy Pang, and Mr. Feeny just gets called Feeny sometimes.

4. Are your pets spoiled or not  (grin)?
Probably a little bit. It could be worse though :)

5. Insert pet pics here :-)
Here are a few of Moose. We got him when he was a little over a year old, so no puppy pictures :(

Here are a few of Topanga and Mr. Feeny when they were kittens. (Topanga is the gray one and Feeny is the black one.) The last one is what they look like now all grown up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Goodness, I am not really sure to begin. Life is crazy this week and yesterday I was ready to quit it all. Thank goodness for a good night's sleep and a husband who reminds me that I don't have to do it all on my own. I feel better today and ready to tackle the week. And it's going to be a crazy one. Here's what is going on in my life right now:

1. Young Life Camp - NEXT WEEK! I'm not going to go into all that is entailed in preparing for a week at camp. If you've been as a leader you already know. If not, just know that there is a lot that you have to get ready before you leave, in addition to just knowing that you are about to experience one of the most physically, spiritually and emotionally draining weeks of your life. Couple that with an 18 hour bus ride there and back, and a full time job that has its own demands right up til you leave and as soon as you get back, and it can be a little overwhelming. Which brings me to...

2. Work. More specifically, the PE. The PE is an 8 hour test over all things civil engineering, which, when passed, licenses you as a professional engineer in your state. It is offered twice a year, once in October and once in April, and  you must have 4 years of experience to take it. October will be my first shot at it. An the application is due July 1st. And I will be at camp next week. Which means I need to get it done this week. And I haven't started. And I have heard that it takes quite a while to complete. Awesome.

3. State baseball tournament. LCA made it to the state baseball tournament and are favored to win it all. Their first game is tonight. And if they win, they play Thursday. And if they win that game they play Friday. And if they win that game they play Saturday in the state championship game. This is awesome because some of the guys that Derek is very close to are on the team. Two of them will be starting pitchers in 3 of the 4 games. We are so excited to go watch them and cheer them on. But couple that with work, needing to get my PE application done, and having lots to do to get ready for camp, and you have one busy week.

Now I'm not complaining at all, so please don't hear that. I'm just a little stressed out. There's more stressful details to each of these things that I won't go into. But I guess I just needed to vent a little, because sometimes writing it all out makes it seem manageable, and to explain why I haven't been great at updating the blog and probably won't be until we get back from camp. But prayers for camp and everything going on are appreciated.

On a happy note, my friend Sarah is living with us for a couple weeks! This is so much fun. She is wonderful and listens to me when I feel stressed out and provides great encouragement. Also, I told her how I broke my camera and am going to have to get a new one and guess what! She has an extra one! And she is letting me have it! So buying a new camera is one less thing I have to do this week, and I'm sure hers is nicer than the one I would have bought anyways. So thankful for her. (Also, since she is living in our house she is taking care of our pets for us while we are gone which is also one less thing we need to worry about.)

So I think that's it for now. And I should be able to start posting pictures again soon. Thank you all for continuing to read even when I have nothing visually interesting to share :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dollar Tree

While Derek and I were on vacation in Marco Island, we had a fabulous time during the day enjoying the sun, beach, pool, and all our little adventures I wrote about here. Marco Island, does not, however, have much of a night life. Besides going out to eat every night, there's not a whole lot else to do. The beaches close at 9:00, and you can only play putt-putt and relax in the hot tub so much.

So one evening we had finished dinner and were driving around trying to think of something we could do. There just happened to be a Dollar Tree store right near the house we were staying at. So Derek came up with the idea that we each got 15 minutes and $3, and we had to find 3 things for the other person.

Now I don't usually just go perusing the dollar store to see what's in there. Usually I go in looking for a specific thing, get what I need and get out. Well, let me tell you, they have all sorts of fun things at the dollar store. It was really hard to choose only 3 things for Derek. But this is what I came up with (sorry there are no pictures - but you should probably get used to is since I no longer have a camera):

1. A 3 pack of Bible card games including Bible Go Fish, Bible Trivia, and Superheroes of the Bible;
2. One of those little battery powered personal fans (it makes total sense if you know Derek and how he is ALWAYS hot); and
3. A pack of airheads, one of his favorite candies.

Here is what Derek came up with for me:

1. Neon glow in the dark necklaces  - you know the kind they sell at fireworks for like $5 each;
2. An aluminum water bottle (which I have been wanting for a long time now but they are so darn expensive, unless you go to the dollar store!); and
3. Chocolate covered raisins - delish!

It was such a fun game, and we went home with games to play that night. You better believe we played all 3 of the Bible card games that night. And then we wore our glow necklaces while we relaxed in the hot tub. Not sure why, I guess because it was dark and it seemed like the thing to do.

We decided that this is a game we should play once a year since it was so fun. If you are ever bored, I suggest you give it a try :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I love Miscellany Monday because it takes the pressure off of trying to come up with something to post about. Every Monday, I know I can just write the random goings on in my head, and I don't feel bad about it, because everyone else is doing it too! Ok, so here's my random:

1. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation when you get back from vacation? Oh my goodness this past week has been so busy. (Hence the lack of posts.)

2. My camera is officially broken. I took it to a camera store and they said that you have to send it back to the manufacturer to get it repaired, and for the cost, it's not worth it, you might as well buy a new camera. Awesome.

3. Regarding comments from the last post - Marco Island is in South Florida, gulf coast side. It's just south of Naples. And yes, Jenna, the picture was taken at Kokomos - thanks for the recommendation - it was yummy!

4. I am loving my herb garden right now. I've been adding fresh herbs to everything I can. They are so good. I'll have to share my pesto recipe with you soon. It uses lots of fresh herbs and is very tasty.

5. I have been a failure at running/working out in any way. Vacation didn't help. Neither has the hot weather. I'm pretty sure that I have lost all in shapeness that I gained from running the half marathon.

Ok, I think I'll leave it at that for now. Head over to lowercase letters and join in the fun. And Carissa has a brand new baby girl, so if for no other reason, head over there to look at the precious pictures of her little bundle of joy :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marco Island

Well, we made it back from vacation yesterday, and had such an amazing time in Marco Island. Here's what we did while we were gone:
Saw a rainbow as the plane landed in Ft. Lauderdale

Spent A LOT of time at the beach
I'm sure you are shocked to see a picture of Derek in the shade :)

Swam in the pool at our house
{Confession - This picture was taken not to show the pool (although it is the only picture we got that had the pool in it) but to show the imprint of my face on the glass doors. Can you see the smudges? Yep, that's my face. Ran straight into that door the first night. It's actually a really funny story that I'm not quite ready to share yet, but when I saw this picture I couldn't hold out on you all and not post it. Maybe I will work up the nerve to share the story behind it one day.}

We went out to eat every night! {Bonus points if you can name the restaurant these pics were taken in}

We played put put twice {And I didn't lose either time!}

We ate ice cream

We went out on a catamaran
I didn't get a picture of them, but on the boat we saw dolphins jumping out of the water - so cool!

We also went on a bike tour of the island
And this was the last picture I took before I dropped my camera on the bike tour and it broke and we couldn't take any more pictures on vacation :(  {Add getting my camera fixed to my long list of things to do now that I'm back}

But I think we got good pictures of most of the highlights. The only thing I really wish I had my camera for was the awesome sunsets. But we still had our video camera, so we video taped one of them. 

All in all it was a fantastic vacation. I think vacationing is good for your marriage. It really grows you and you learn a lot about each other. When it's just the two of you and you have no real responsibilities and you can do whatever you want, it puts you in a whole different situation than you are normally in.  You don't have anyone else to worry about and you can do absolutely whatever you want, which sometimes you have different ideas of what you would like to do. But I feel like we vacationed really well together, we had a ton of fun and did a lot of cool things together and made a lot of memories. And if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend vacationing in Marco Island :)