May 30, 2009


...Pre Camp started yesterday at camp. This is the first summer in 6 years that I haven't been there and the first summer in 15 that I haven't gone to camp for even a week! SO STRANGE. But so funny: every pre camp for the last 6 years, it has rained on the first night. And, sure enough, it rained last night! Ha ha. Isn't that weird??

Anyway, since I'm feeling nostalgic, I thought I'd give people a peek into my past: as "Baby Speckles!" It's always fun looking at old pictures, right?? Here we go:

This is literally the only picture I have from my first year at camp. 1994. I was eight and it was probably the only year I ever got homesick. I rememberr idolizing our live-in Esther and searching for my counselor Finn's real name in her shirt -- while she was wearing it. I'm wearing the dark blue Atlanta shirt in the middle. I think the other two girls were the girls in my cabin w/ me.

These are the cabins that we stayed in in '94 and '95. It's where the littlest girls stay every time because they're small and more enclosed than a tent, so the girls don't get so scared. I wrote many letters and played many card games during Siesta on that balcony.

This was taken by my dad in '96 when he dropped me off at camp. It was the first summer after my parents split up, and camp really gave me a chance to let go and be myself for the first time in a few months. I loved camp before, but this is probably the first year that I realized it's true value in my life. My devotion to it basically exploded this year. (And yes, I'm wearing a sundress... probably w/ shorts underneath. And yes, I realize NOW how goofy that was, but trust me, I was not the first, nor was I the last to wear a dress/skirt on the first day.)

1997 was the first year I was called Speckles and it stuck for the next 11 summers. My tentmates and I became great friends, and one of them was even a CIT with me the first year. I made my first deaf friend that summer and I wish we hadn't fallen out of touch 'cause she was so sweet. (And the Troll bedding on the right? My bed. Yeah, you're jealous.)

1998 was my first time going for 2 weeks and it was the only year that I ever wasn't truly myself. My tentmates were 3 years older than me and thought my taste in music was immature, so, among other things, I totally lied about it all. (The music I liked? Spice Girls and Britney Spears. I have since seen the light, trust me.)

In 1999, I reunited with my best friend. She had gone with me in 1995 (she's on the balcony) but we hadn't been able to coordinate summer schedules the following summer so we went separately (and she met Starla, her buddy the following 2 years... I was so jealous!). Anyway, in '99 we were some of the oldest in the unit and it was the year that I realized I wanted to work there. It's also the first year I have any recollection of the CITs. And they were cool. Real cool.

In 2001, I was a Counselor-in-Training for the first year. There were 12 of us and we had so much fun! I went for 2 two week sessions because the CIT program is for 4 weeks one summer and 4 weeks the following summer. (Oh, and fun note, my CIT Director is now a meteorologist for Channel 2.) That summer I made amazing friends, many of whom I'm still close with today. And my best friend was a CIT, along with the girl I was way jealous of. The first picture is of the whole group. Of that 12, only 6 of us returned the following summer for CIT 2. The second shot is of my and my best friend's new friend. (This past summer we had a talk about that whole situation adn how I was so jealous of her. Turned out she was jealous of me, too, since H always talked about me!) We're total opposites, but we got along real well.

2002 was CIT 2 year. This year is always hard for the CIT 2's because it's essentially our (their) last year as campers. They learn so much about how camp runs that there isn't really any going back. You also have to say goodbye to the girls you've lived with for the last 8 weeks -- laughing, crying, goofing off, singing, planning pranks and campfires. It was bittersweet but so much fun. The first shot is one of us in the brand new shower house. We also had 2 Lifeguards in Training with us for two weeks. The second session, only one returned. The second photo was on the last morning. We had moved ALL of the tables and chairs out of the dining hall for breakfast and it was a breakfast to remember. (The following year, meals were changed to cafeteria style, and the sessions ended on Fridays, so this truly was a unique breakfast.)

Have I bored you yet? If you hung int here with me, thanks for letting me reminicse! I'll put in another post of my 6 years as staff soon.

May 25, 2009

So Here's What's Been Up...

Life hasn't been busy so much recently as I just haven't wanted to sit and blog recently. Sorry. I have had SOME fun things happenind recently, though:

1. GRADUATION!! On May 16, I ceremoniously graduated from college with a BA in Elementary Education. (I "officially" graduated in Dec, but LU doesn't have a winter ceremony.) As much as I griped about it and didn't really want to do it, I'm glad I did. None of my family came (I told them not to worry about it) and I was okay with that because my best friend and her family were there (she also graduated) and I know that they (or, at least, SHE) cheered for me. It was nice to kind of come full circle. For those of you who don't know, my best friend Jen and I went to high school together, then went to the same college and roomed together our first two years. She moved into single parent housing when her beautiful daughter M was born, but we got to room together again our last semester. So, of course, it only made sense to graduate together again. (I kept saying I was only doing it because of that reason, and because it was her birthday, but in the end that wasn't the ONLY reason). Anyway, here are some pics from the day. I don't have any with Jen yet (they're on her and her sister's cameras), but here are some with my mom and brother:

(That last one has become a tradition because I did that at my college graduation and at my wedding. We'll probably even do it at HIS college graduation and wedding, LOL):

I'm so proud of my youth kids. Every year, we pick out scripture and some different materials to use to deliver the message and then guide them to the result: leading worship one Sunday in May! This year we did Isaiah 65 because of how our pastors had chosen our Dwelling passages (we've been in Isaiah since JANUARY), and I'm so proud of how all of them did! I of course helped orchestrate (no pun intended) the music worship. Overall, this was one of the best youth services we've had. Two of our kids did a skit called "The Guy with a Cardboard Christ" that was pretty freaking hilarious. It was all about a guy with a cardboard Christ and the basic lessont o be learned was that soooo many people have an image of God that isn't their image. And we did our own version of this video of this poem, "Broken Open"

3. Books.
I've been doing a lot of reading, so at least my lack of posts has been due to something constructive. I recently picked up Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed off of PaperBack Swap and enjoyed it. It was one of those easy chick lit books, very predictable, but good nonetheless. I have the sequel, Something Blue on my way to me and I just finished Baby Proof (which is not a sequel like I had thought). Here are some books on my to-read list (you can follow me on, too, if you like!):
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
The Courage Tree by Diane Chamberlain
Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis
Vision of White by Nora Roberts
Testimony by Anita Shreve
I also finished The Shack about a week and a half ago and I have one word: AMAZING.

May 24, 2009

It's Been a Long Time

Since I last posted, but I will tomorrow hen I have more time to sit and contemplate what you all might be interested in knowing.

For now, enjoy this clip of Kris Allen, the new American Idol, singing one of my FAVORITE songs "God of This City" written by Bluetree and made immensely popular by Chris Tomlin.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We showed this video this morning at church to commemorate MOther's Day.

Hope you enjoyed! And I hope everyone who is a mother/grandmother/mother-at heart had a WONDERFUL day!!

May 9, 2009

My mom didnt let me watch Roger Rabbit when I was younger...

Because she was worried I'd get the wrong impression from Jessica Rabbit. Ha ha. (It's on TV right now, so I thought I'd share that little tid bit.)

J is cashing in a mutual fund that has been losing money for a few years now because he hasn't put anything in there. We're using it to pay off our smaller department store credit cards. This helps a LOT because we'll have about $100 more a month for expenses and my student loans kick in in June (blech) so as long as I find steady employment soon, there really IS a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Hee hee.

He also needs a new car. We're trying to push the one he has as long as possible, but I'm just not sure it's going to last very long. He's bee looking at cars online and has found a few he likes, but I worry that he's going to find something he loves and get his heart set on it but we won't be able to afford it. And with my employment being up in the air right now, I really don't need the stress of $150+ a month in car payments.

In other news, my graduation ceremony is on Saturday. I'm not too keen on going, but my best friend and I graduated high school together, so she wants us to walk in our college ceremony together. Plus it's her birthday, so what are you gonna do? J has to work and can't find anybody to come in, which I don't really mind. I wouldn't want to sit through a graduation of a couple thousand people. (Oh, and for those who were wondering, I WAS able to order my cap and gown. Yay!)

Our youth kids are planning the service for May 17. It's an annual thing and it's always a hit with the congregation. This year, like every year, I'm working with the kids ont he music. The other night went so well and I'm so proud of how hard they are all working! In the past, I've had trouble getting them to listen to each other and to not be afraid of the mics. This year I don't have that problem. They are all for the most part confident and listening to themselves and to each other. And the band is more youth than it has in years past. Our drummers are in 6th and 7th grade, our guitarist is in 10th grade, and our bass player is in 9th grade. Our piano player is our regular piano player, but you're only as young as you feel, right?! It's going to be a lot of fun and I'll be sure to post pictures.

I'm also going to the Cedarledge open house on Sunday the 17th. It'll be nice to go back to visit and give tours to families. And I'm pretty sure I"m to a point where I can handle being there without getting too emotional. It's werid, though. K asked me to lead worship on the 31st because she ad the woman she usually asks to fill in will be out of town. I told her I could do it, then realized that if I were going to camp this summer, I would have been gone! So weird!! I'm making plans for the summer and looking for a summerr job.... I'ver never had this kind of liberty with my summer. (Not that I'm complaining, because camp was a huge part of my childhood and made me who I am.) Should be interesting...

May 6, 2009

Worship Wednesdays #6

This week's song was chosen because of something that happened to me yesterday.

Casting Crown's "I Know You're There" is a beautiful song, but more than that, I think that the chorus, especially, is something to always remember: "I know You're there. I know You see (hear) me." God is surely awesome, and when you start to lose a little bit of faith, He seems to always shout in your face and say, "HEY! I'M RIGHT HERE!!!"

Here's my story: I've been nannying for a few years now, and my most recent family was of four kids about 10 minutes from my house. They were a handful the first few days (I mean, what kids don't try and push a new sitter?) but eventually the kids and I bonded and I thought everything was going well. At 2:00 PM today I get a phone call from the agency I got the position through saying that the mom called and said "It's just not working out." Nothing more. No reason. Just that.

So I'm freaking out because our rent is due this week and I'm like, "Crap. WTF am I going to do? That's almost $200 we don't have for rent or other bills." I start crying (because that's how I handle panic attacks) and let the lady know that if anything comes through (even just one-time gigs) to give me a call. Then I called my pastor and my worship arts director at church asking for prayers and they both calmed me down. I was like, "God will do something. I know he will."

3:00 PM comes and I'm getting off the highway for work when the lady from the agency calls me back. "How amazing is God?" she says. Then she tells me that there is a temporary job for Thurs. and Fri. this week, plus everyday next week, with a posisbility for it to turn into a permanent position. WHAT?! Apparently, their nanny up and quit on them this morning. So, not only do I not have to worry about rent this month, but if I manage to hang onto this job, it pay almost 3x MORE than the original.

So my point in my story is that GOD LISTENS. And HE PROVIDES. If I've never been sure of that before, I'm sure of it now. The way that he just provided in such a short period of time was... awesome to say the least. I know that things will rarely be fixed thata quickly because, after all, God takes things in HIS time, not ours. But isn't it amazing, how He chooses to show Himself to us??

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)