Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oklahoma Part 10: Saying Goodbye

Walking into Hawthorne Elementary on Monday morning, I'm greeted by eager smiles and waves by students and teachers alike. It is not unusual to receive several hugs from the kids who go out of their way to cross my path as I walk to my first class of the morning. Similar greetings await at Shidler on Tuesday, Eugene Fields on Wednesday and Central Oak on Friday. But do I really make a difference? Will these kids remember me only as the lady who played recess with them, or the one who did fun stuff in class so they could have a break from academics? Am I really making a difference in their lives, or do they accept the appearance of Character First only as a welcome break in the middle of the school day? In even 5 short years when they are in high school, will they remember anything we've taught them? Will they live their life differently because of anything they have seen? When they see me, do they see Christ? Cesar, a third grade boy stands out from the crowd of kids at Wednesday's Bible Club. His jet black hair and mischievous brown eyes glimmer with a grin as he dashes through the door, flashing a smile at me while I grin back. He came early one Wednesday, which gave us opportunity to talk. I'm not quite sure how the conversation started, but he asked about Miss. Sarah, a friend of mine and an intern for the past 6 sessions. In our communications via email she had asked about Cesar. Did he still come to club? How is he? Has he received Christ?

My Bible club team
As Cesar and I talked about Miss. Sarah and why she was not able to be here this session, the conversation was peppered with statements like, "I miss Miss. Sarah! Why can't she come back?" and, "Is she ever coming back again?" Why was he so intent on seeing someone he only saw once a week for an hour and a half during the school year? It is the love of Christ we demonstrate. Something I have to remind my self of again and again. It is not what I do but what He does. It is not what I show them, but what He shows them through me. It is not what I say, but what He whispers into their hearts So, do I make a difference? When I leave will that difference remain? No, I don't make a difference. It is the love of Christ I bring that effects lives. It doesn't matter if I come back next session, or if Miss. Sarah comes back. All that matters is that the kids saw the love of Christ. We may not see the fruit of our labors here on earth. But I pray the Word that goes out masked through character during classes at school, or openly through Bible club takes root in their lives, that through it they may learn to love the one who loves them unconditionally.
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." ~Ephesians 3:17-19

Oklahoma Part 9: Things I've Learned

While at In The Gap, I have learned,
* That preschoolers get excited about anything you are excited about -- even a cotton ball... to the demise of a particular object lesson...
* That sleep is over rated, you can survive on much less than they say
* That playing hot-potato with a group of k-1st grade boys, turns into a 'who can throw the bean bag farthest and get it first' contest.
* That to survive at In The Gap, you must know three things: how to play ultimate Frisbee, how to play Oshka, and how to play Settlers of Cattan
* How to plan for a 25 minute lesson in 5 minutes or less (And yes, it actually happens!)
* That if you tell a class you will walk out early if they don't behave, you have to be prepared to do it

* How gift wrap bows are like attentiveness, a sea bag is like obedience, and dominoes are like truthfulness
* That no matter how busy your day is, you can always find time to memorize a scripture verse
* That kids remember you for the smallest thing you notice them for
* That the teachers are watching you too!
* The worst kids in your class are the ones you will miss the most
* That no matter how hard you try, you will always have a pile of things in your room to take back to the warehouse
* That sometimes the most vital part of a Bible club lesson is not telling the kids about Jesus, but showing his love to them
* That newsletter stories are not always the grand and glorious things you hope they will be, but more often than not they will be whispers of hope and glimmers of God's goodness He hides in your path for you to find and rejoice in as you realize his love for you

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oklahoma Part 8: Fun Times!

I was looking over my posts about Oklahoma and realized that they are all very serious and solemn. Sure, there were times like that, but the majority of my time there was spent laughing with friends as we were learning. So, this post is dedicated to all the fun times! Enjoy :)
The hike through tick infested woods
Having Catherine around to make us smile
Acting like pre-schoolers during a lesson practicum! 
Sorry, Jane Ann and Crysendrea... well, not really ;)

A whole day of thrift store shopping!

Beating Camellia in verses by two whole seconds!  (this picture has aboslutely nothing to do with memory work, but we are standing in front of our favorite building in the city, the Library!)

Snack sales at C.O.

 An ice cream place reminiscent of Cooks in Michigan. We made, probably to many, memories here including Esther and I buying a whole carton of ice cream instead of a cone, then sawing at it with plastic knives so we could eat it...
Shopping at the Chinese market ...

Watching Jeriah cook...

And eating an authentic Chinese dinner :)

Inside Jokes ;)
Sightseeing in the city
Visiting the Horse Farm!
The two self proclaimed 'hicks' enjoyed themselves immensely, though there was a brief
 dispute over who got to ride shot gun...
Trying object lessons on each other

Beating all the boys at arm wrestling!
Pipe cleaners, pipe cleaners, and more pipe cleaners ;)
Walking around school looking like Noah's ark
Watching the kids 'snap to' when I walked into the room
looking like this and talking like a drill sargent, then watching their
faces when I made Camellia do push ups!

Wow, I think I'll stop there, but did I convince you? I promise, we had fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oklahoma Part 7: Whiz Kids

The story of Joseph
Tuesdays were busy days! A full day of teaching at the hardest school of the week, Bible Club immediately afterwards, then rush back to the training center with just enough time (sometimes) to scarf down dinner, then Camellia and I were off to teach Bible time at Whiz kids. Whiz kids is a Christian tutoring program sponsored by a church. The kids are paired up, one on one, with a tutor. After tutoring they come together for Bible time. That is where Camellia and I come in. Bible time is like large group at a CI or VBS. We taught the kids songs, would maybe play some quick large group games, then give a Bible lesson. Teaching Whiz kids was probably my favorite part of being in Oklahoma City. We didn't have a set curriculum to teach, we could be as creative as we possibly could, and we could talk about God all we wanted! The best conglomeration of requirements you could possibly have to teach under! The part that made it interesting was that, there were only two of us for skits, which meant we had fun including the kids in the lessons too, and also, even though we were roommates, with everything else on our plates, we seldom had time to plan very much before it was time to teach. We learned to be flexible and play off each other very well! During our 5 minute planning sessions over dinner, or, even occasionally in the car on the way to teach, the Lord blessed us with some amazing ideas and inspirations! All the glory goes to Him, it truly was not us! Some of our crazy ideas were; Daniel and the Lion's Den - standing alone, Jesus calming the storm - The peace that Jesus gives, Amy Carmichael - trusting God through seeming unanswered prayer and in difficult situations (that one turned out really well!), the story of Joseph - Being faithful in the little things (That one was fun! We actually took turns narrating and acting all the parts, switching hats to signal a change of character.) Gideon - Trusting God, even when things seem impossible, The story of a Jewish boy and a Roman soldier - Going the extra mile and loving your enemies. All of the lessons were a blast to teach, but my favorite lesson was the story of creation! We used a technique that Camellia used before in a class she taught at home. For each day of creation we had something edible that represented the things that were created on that day. For instance, light and darkness - an Oreo, separating the land and water - blue jello, animals - gummy bears and animal crackers, etc. For each day we had some of the kids try the food we brought to represent that day's creation, then ask, 'Is it good?' They would nod. Then, 'God said it was good too!' To make it a bit more interesting, Camellia and I looked up some facts about what God made on each day. It left us staggered at God's greatness! Here's a bit of what we learned... 
  • If you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the earth 7.5 times in one second. God created light.
  • The heart of the blue whale is the size of a Volks Wagon, a man can easily swim through one of its blood vessels
  • God made over 20,000 types of fish!
  • God gave Fish, native to the Antarctic, antifreeze chemicals in their blood
  • A chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body. God taught it how to keep it from getting tangled!
  • A newborn kangaroo is only 1 inch in length, but when it is grown, it can cover up to 30 feet in a single bound!
  • While a baby kangaroo is that small at birth, some newborn giraffes are taller than 6 feet!
  • A brown bat can catch 1,200 mosquito sized insects in 1 hour without using its eyes.
  • A wood pecker pecks 20 times per second. It has shock absorbers behind its beak, and closes its eyes every time it pecks so it's eyes don't pop out from the sheer force of the pecking.
  • God made a lion's roar so powerful, that it can be heard up to 5 miles away!
  • How about being frozen solid, thawed, then continued life? God created frogs that have that capability!
  • The fastest bird is the Spine-tailed swift, clocked at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour
  • The giant squid is the largest creature without a backbone. It weighs up to 2.5 tons and grows up to 55 feet long. Each eye is a foot or more in diameter
  • The Pacific Giant Octopus, the largest octopus in the world, grows from the size of pea to a 150 pound behemoth potentially 30 feet across in only two years, its entire life-span
  • In contrast, The pygmy shrew - a relative of the mole - is the smallest mammal in North America. It weighs 1/14 ounce - less than a dime!
  • There are around 2,600 different species of frogs. They live on every continent except Antarctica
And I haven't even started! What about the wonder of the human body, or even a single cell ?Who says there is no God? Who dares to say we originated from a pile of goo? Sorry, but that idea is just plain dumb!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oklahoma Part 6: "Sunday School"

Growing up in a Christian home in America, I had the presupposition that everyone basically knew who God was. Everyone had at least heard a few stories of how Jesus fed multitudes, brought people to life, walked on water and calmed a storm. Hadn't they? After all, we do live in a Christian nation, no matter what people may try to tell you. In the inner city there were many churches, and we drove past The Salvation Army mission almost every day on our way to school. The opportunity to hear about God and His message to us was every where. Every one had at least heard about it, right? That mindset was about to be challenged. It is a sunny Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City. As the team walks thorough the housing complex knocking on doors inviting children to afternoon Sunday school, we gather a small grouping and wait for the church bus to pick us up. It is an excited, noisy, rambunctious group of children we have with us! Talking, laughing, and begging Chad to go fast over the speed bumps on the short ride to the church. He fulfills their request with a smile! The first thing the kids do when we reach the church is beg to play "What Time is it Mr. Fox?" As much as we played that game, I'm not sure they ever quite got the hang of it, but it did help get the wiggles out! Singing songs, learning verses, and the Bible lesson were on the docket as well, right before a pizza dinner and prayer meeting with the "big church." My favorite memories of "Sunday School" were the times after the Bible lesson I had opportunity to share the salvation message with the kids who were interested in learning more. We use the wordless book when we do this, a book with colors instead of words. The first page is gold. It reminds us of heaven, and of God, who lives in heaven. "Do you know who God is?" I'll ask. Usually they say yes. and have a basic understanding of who He is, but other times they have no idea! God, who He is, His ways, and His plan for us are a completely foreign concept to some of the kids! It is amazing to watch their faces as you tell them about God, how much He loves them and how much it grieves Him to see them sin. They don't question how it is, or ask why He lets less than ideal situations into their life. With their child like faith, they believe, and love the one who loved them first. With wonder and adoration in their eyes, they pray from their heart.

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ...How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things."

~Romans 10:14-15

Oklahoma Part 5: Bible Club

 Twice each week we would rush home from school, dump our school supplies, change our cloths, re-pack our bags with Bible club supplies (for me, that meant lots and lots of pipe cleaners!) and rush right back out the door for Bible club. Between game time, sword drills, small group activities, scripture memory, songs, and the Bible lesson by way of skits, and helping with home work, Bible club was a highlight of the week! At the Tuesday club I had a group of k-1st grade boys. On Wednesday, I had a team of 2nd-3rd grade boys. It is amazing how close you get to the kids just by seeing them once a week for a couple of hours! But no matter how much we tried to teach them truths from the Bible, it seemed we were always the ones learning the lessons....

.....Skits are amazing! When I attended Vacation Bible School as a child, or any other time for that matter, the skits were always my favorite part! Being in the skits are even better! But the week it was my turn to present the Bible lesson during large group at Bible club, I was actually pretty worried about it. I'm fine with teaching the lesson, but I did not feel like I had adequate time to prepare for it. (Jesus calming the storm) Actually, I prepared the night before... (I do not recommend doing that!)
While I was preparing the lesson, something stood out to me. When the disciples were caught in the storm and battling the wind and waves, Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. Did He not want to help His disciples? Of course He did, but they didn't realize how much they needed Him until they realized they couldn't do it on their own and asked for His help. They could have asked sooner, they could have asked as soon as they saw the storm clouds gathering, but no, they waited until they thought they would perish at sea. How many times am I in the midst of a storm, no matter how small, and fight till my strength is gone before I ask Jesus to calm the sea? Feeling very unprepared to teach, I quickly asked the Lord to calm my heart as He calmed the sea that day. He does answer prayer! I ended up teaching that particular lesson three times last week. At the first Bible club, I had the honor of leading a little girl to Jesus, at the second Bible club that week, after the lesson, I had the honor of telling Anthony about the peace that Jesus gives in forgiveness of sins. As I explained to him how Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, he looked troubled, but when I told him how Jesus didn't stay dead, that he conquered death and sin, his eyes got wide, and a joyful grin spread over his face! He, too, prayed and accepted the gift of forgiveness that Jesus holds out to each of us. I was able to give him a Bible (which he treasures!) and challenge him to read at least 2 verses each day. Later that week, his small group leader told me what happened later that afternoon. He came up to her and said 'I talked to that lady, we were talking about sin and I prayed!' 'who's child are you now?' she asked him. 'God's!' he replied. 'How do you know?' she asked again. 'Because He changed me,' he answered, 'I know He changed me!' Praise the Lord for the work He does in hearts that are open! The fields truly are white and ready for the harvest.

Oklahoma Part 4: Prayer

About half way through the session I slumped. I was done, burned out, ready to go home, physically and emotionally drained. I don't know what happened, but I needed to recharge! It was at this point that my roommate, Camellia, and I started praying every night for our classes the next day. The change in atmosphere as we prepared for classes, and the very atmosphere of the classes were dramatically changed the very next day! Why do we wait so long to turn our burdens to the Lord?

"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear!

All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!"

That next morning, I held my breath as we walked into a usually difficult 4th grade class. The kids eagerly waved at us as we walked in, but they are always ready for something other than reading, writing or arithmetic. Camellia and I had prayed specifically for this class the night before. For the teacher, and several of the children by name. Not just that the children would behave, and that the point of the lesson would come across clearly, but that we would be able to meet a need in their lives as we taught the character quality of obedience. Amazingly this class time went surprisingly well. The class's attention was held unusually well with a skit about a soldier and a civilian boy who made the decision to go the extra mile. They loved it when we 'barked' out orders to them in military fashion. We finished class time with a quiz. As I collected the quizzes I started talking to one of the students while Camellia ended class. After some small talk he suddenly said, 'There are a lot of people in school that make fun of me, and pick on me. I get so mad! I know I shouldn't get angry at them, but I just don't know what to do!' He was visibly upset at the fact that he couldn't control his anger. He knew it was wrong and wanted desperately to do right, but he was helpless, as we all are, in his own strength. I wasn't quite sure what to say. I know the only one who can help him, but I have 30 seconds to talk, at best, and I'm sitting in the middle of a public school! A quick prayer for wisdom, and I asked, 'Do you ever go to Bible club?' 'Sure,' he replied, 'I go to church all the time!' 'So,' I continued, 'You already know who can help you!' After some thought he asked, 'God?' 'Yes!' I answered. 'Next time you get angry, pray, and ask God what He wants you to do.' He agreed to 'try' it the next time he got angry. I don't know exactly what his home life is like, but I know it is less than ideal and that God has a plan for him who has been made perfect in the image of God. Sometimes I feel helpless. The team can tell you story after heartbreaking story of child after child who's home life is terrible. Children who live with their grandparents and have no desire to, or even fear, seeing their parents because of how they have mistreated them, or because they are in jail. Children who have never known their earthly father, and hardly ever see their mother who lives with a boyfriend 10 years younger than she, 8 years older than them, and are left with most of the responsibility of caring for younger siblings. Elementary aged children who are involved in gangs and gang violence. Children who have 9 other siblings, all of whom are half or step siblings and have no idea who their 'real' father is. Children with deep emotional scars from abusive situations. Children who have never known the love of a real family, who grasp at the glimmer of hope we bring to them once a week in character class or Bible club. Each of these situations has a face. A soul that will last for eternity. Who will stand in the gap for them? "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oklahoma Part 3: Silly Bands

A canceled afternoon Bible club and an impulse purchase. Not things that would normally take anyone by surprise, and they didn't, but the outcome did. It was our second week of teaching and our Wednesday Bible club was unexpectedly canceled, so we headed to a housing project where most of the kids know us from school, to play with the kids at the park. All we had to do was start throwing a Frisbee around before kids came pouring out of the houses to play! Children's ministry can be exhausting work! Between basketball, tag, Frisbee, and anything else the kids could think of, we managed to exhaust ourselves quite thoroughly! In the middle of a game of tag, one of the kids noticed my silly bands. "Hey!" he shouted, "You have silly bands! Let me see them!" With that, he started tugging on my arm, trying to yank them off my wrist to see what shapes they were. Within seconds there was a crowed of three or four kids clustered around me, trying to see what they were. I didn't know plastic could be so exciting! I quickly snatched my hand above my head before it was dismembered, lol!, and said "They tell a story! Want to hear it?" They eagerly shouted (and I mean shouted!) "Yes!" At the excitement, several other kids joined the group that was literally bouncing in anticipation! I pulled my roommate, Camellia, and her matching silly bands into the mix. Together, we told the complete message of salvation to around 5 children! Praise the Lord for wordless book silly bands, my impulse purchase before leaving for Oklahoma! None of the children we witnessed to received Christ that day, but seeds were planted and we were able to explain some things they did not understand. I was amazed at their eagerness and interest in the things of God. Their interest was not isolated either, everywhere we went the kids were looking. Looking for something to make their life worth while. Looking for something different, meaningful, substantial, satisfying. The sad part is, they probably won't find it. Their chances of having a good role model, much less one who would point them to the Lord, are practically non existent simply because there is no one to tell them. "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Luke 10:2

Christmas Cookies!

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programing (i.e. heart wrenching stories of crazy experiences in Oklahoma City) to bring you... my new favorite cookie recipe! These are amazing! Just the right amount of chocolate, soft, quick, and easy! So far, the only complaint is that I didn't make them big enough! While mixing them up, I should have let the dough cool a bit more from the melted butter before adding the chocolate chips, (I used white instead of milk chocolate) as they started melting as I folded them into the dough. A few of the cookies have white chocolate swirls instead of white chocolate chips! The recipe recommends baking for 12-15 minutes, but I found the perfect baking time to be 10-11 minutes, as I prefer a softer cookie. Enjoy!


  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Beat melted butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Cool slightly and beat in egg and egg yolk. Beat in vanilla.

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Slowly beat into the butter and sugar mixture until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

Heat oven to 350°.

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop mounds of dough onto a silicone-lined or greased baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until set.

Cool on baking sheet on a rack, then remove cookies to rack to cool completely. Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oklahoma Part 2: State Fair!

Most who know me, know I love the Fair! So I was naturally excited when, the first week back in Oklahoma City, we went to the Oklahoma State fair. Ok, so we were volunteering at the CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) booth, to tell the wordless book, but we had time to look around and have fun too! Praise the Lord for the work he did in the hearts of those who listened, and in mine! I've never been very bold in sharing my faith, and God has a way of pushing us out of our comfort zones! I had stationed my self out side the tent where my job was to get people's attention as they walked by and invite them to hear the story of the wordless book. (my comfort zone) As I was standing there, a man stopped and looked at the walking sticks with the wordless book colors on them, that we give to people after they have heard the story, and asked how he could get one. (This man was obviously drunk... still thinking straight, but drunk all the same) I told him all he had to do was listen to the story and we would give him a stick. So he positioned himself smack dab in front of me and said he was waiting for me to tell him the story so he could get his stick... long story short, he practically told me the wordless book, then proudly walked off with his stick after giving me a smelly hug! (The Lord gives grace!) I'm glad he knew the story, but pray he takes it to heart! My favorite moment of the night came an hour or two later. Camille and I were standing out side the tent inviting people in, when Camille challenged me to tell the story with the next people that came by. (out of my comfort zone!) I finally agreed, and a few minutes later, two young men (about 17 or 18 years old) came in. (Way out of my comfort zone!) I gulped a prayer, sat down across from them and started. By the time I got to the dark page, they both seriously realized their need for God, one started tearing up. By the grace of God, both young men received Christ! Please pray for Kenny and Delven, that they would connect into a church and truly serve the one who gives perfect peace!

Oklahoma Part 1: Perfect Peace

In The Gap (ITG) Training -- I don't think I remember a week flying by so quickly! It was spent in the lodge at Eagle Springs, a beautiful place west of Tulsa in the country -- really, the country! I would sit on the porch for morning devotions and listen to the cows mooing in the field across the road, then go for a walk at night and watch glow bugs and listen to the coyotes howl at the moon! Yes, I loved it! But don't worry, I paid attention to the training sessions too! Everything from school relations, lesson planning and research, object lessons, song leading, student praise and correction, and many others.
The class that stands out was story telling. Our assignment was to tell a story without using words, only gestures, sounds, and body movement. Everyone else had to guess what the story was. There was lots of laughter, and yes, we got them on tape! In the midst of training, having fun with the other interns and home work, we always started the day with an extended amount of time alone with the Lord. I appreciated that time to recharge spiritually and put my focus where it needed to be. During one of those morning meditations I was reading Isa. 26:3 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." I asked, "Lord, what is perfect peace?" He gave me a picture. A still lake, crystal clear, no wind, not a ripple on its surface. But a storm brewed in the distance. As the menacing clouds rolled in, the trees on the shore of the lake began to bend and sway in the wind, leaves skipped across the shoreline, pushed by the wind, littering the beautiful scene, but the lake stayed as still as ever. It was still crystal clear, the water never trembled, or marred the image it reflected. It never took notice of the tumult around it because it was stayed on one thing, and that one thing never moves. "That," Said the Lord, "Is perfect peace!"

Home Again

Out for lunch with a friend, a denim skirt before 5 o'clock, a right side out hoodie, music playing in the background, and a peppermint hot chocolate from Panera. Life is good. I'm home! So much has happened since I left for Oklahoma City! There are so many stories I want to share with you all. God revealed Himself in amazing ways, children's lives changed, my life changed. Stories of God's grace and goodness, His sustaining power, and the peace only He can give in the midst of a storm. But some of you might not know why I disappeared out west in the first place. I took part in a 10 week 'short term mission trip' with a ministry called 'In The Gap.' We spent the first week in Eagle Springs. Training, getting to know each other, playing ultimate Frisbee, practicing teaching skills, and reviewing the wordless book, then it was back to the city to put what we had learned into practice. We worked with CEF, witnessing at their booth during the Oklahoma state fair, taught character classes to over 2,800 children in the Oklahoma City public elementary schools, conducted 3 after school Bible clubs a week, and taught Bible time at a tutoring program in the city. It was crazy, stressful, challenging, heart breaking and amazing, often, all at the same time. Check back often. I'll be posting stories of what God did in Oklahoma City!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Farewell, for a time

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps
Proverbs 16:9
I've been devising a way, but the Lord is directing my steps to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For the next 10 weeks I have the opportunity to take part in a 'short term missions program', called In The Gap (Some of you may know it as Character First) Where I will be teaching character classes in public schools, and Bible clubs after school hours. It is an intense schedule with little free time and lots of learning. Please hold me up in prayer as we take the character of Christ into the schools and bless the children there with the knowledge of Christ.
I don't think I will be able to update my blog while I'm gone, but I will have email access. I'll try to send word that I am still alive every once in a while :)
God's blessings on you, my readers,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zucchini Crecent Pie

I don't even like zucchini... well, usually. We didn't plant any zucchini this year, however a neighbor and a couple friends had bumper crops, leaving Mom and I to stare at the huge pile of zucchinis on our kitchen counter wondering what to do with them all. Mom is on a gluten free diet, so zucchini bread (however yummy it may be) was out of the question. Then I found this recipe from taste of home. I wasn't looking forward to trying it, because, as I've already stated, I'm not a huge fan of zucchini, but it tasted wonderful! We used a gluten free pie crust recipe instead of the crescent roll dough, and used bacon instead of ham. The tomatoes on top added the perfect mix of flavors! If you are tired of zucchini bread, try Zucchini Crescent Pie! (and no, I didn't take the picture, its from Taste of Home!)


  • 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise and quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 medium Roma tomato, thinly sliced


  • Separate crescent dough into eight triangles; place in a greased 9-in. pie plate with points toward the center. Press onto the bottom and up the sides to form a crust; seal seams and perforations. Bake at 375° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute zucchini and onion in butter until tender; stir in seasonings. Spoon into crust. Combine the eggs, cheese and ham; pour over zucchini mixture. Top with tomato slices.
  • Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Regional

An update at last! As some of you know, mom and I took the past few weeks to get away and relax! Well, as relaxing as helping the the ATI regional can be ;) Visiting old friends and old memories at ITC is always an enjoyable experience! The weekend before the conference started, Sara and Aleita planned an amazing vintage picnic complete with classy decorations, soda in glass bottles, pinwheels, burgers and hot dogs on the grill, home made popsicles, and lots of yummy pie! 15 different pies, I think, was the final count for the pie baking contest. I believe all of us girls had more fun baking, than eating them all! My contribution ~ Lemon Meringue! Before dinner we had a blast laughing away pre-conference stress with a scavenger hunt, bubble blowing contest, 3 and 4 legged races, water balloon toss, and water balloon volleyball! The picnic was a huge success; a great way to get to know new staff, and have fun with old friends!

Abby and Savannah

Three legged races

Four legged races

Water balloon volley ball!
Then came the conference. (cue the scary background music...) O.K. so it wasn't that bad, even though a crazy buckeye put me in charge of conference line running ;) Grant it, there were a few memories I would prefer not to re-live, but then there are memories such as: sitting at the birthday table for Jessica's birthday, pre-conference house keeping with Ruthie, praying with all the line running girls before a stressful meal and seeing God work things out perfectly, making and delivering coffee for special people (though I think Becky and I determined that we needed to perfect our coffee making skills), jump starting the "Encouragement Office," helping to make a card for the kitchen crew and dishpit, (excuse me, I mean "Dish Palace"), playing volley ball and ultimate Frisbee with staff after chores, walking the canal, smoothies and Jone Soda's at the Chocolate Cafe, sitting in the circle talking with Sara... The list could go on.
Most of all, I thank the Lord for the amazing friends He has blessed me with!
Nary a day went by that I went to bed without being challenged in my walk with the Lord or encouraged to seek Him in a matter.
Thank you all for letting your lights shine so brightly!
Thanks to Chad Paine and Skyler Nelson for the pictures!