Sunday, December 19, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

Last week we had our Christmas service at the Latino church. The kids got up and sang a few songs, and our youth took turns sharing about what they've learned in class over the past few months. It was a fun time: here's one of the short videos.

Searching for that special Christmas gift?

Kids don't really need that $100 toy that's all the rage this year--just get them a box!

But be careful around Santa--he's a little suspicious!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Friendly Visit

Two of my friends from Bible school came to visit last night! It was a quick surprise, and it was so good to see them again. We hadn't seen each other in 5 years--and we've all covered a lot of ground in that amount of time. Alicia got married a few years ago to a world-renowned jump roper & has traveled around the world, and Amanda is on her first furlough from Thailand. She just finished studying the language a few months ago, and is heading into a tribe when she returns in January. They were only here for the night & half of today before heading out so Amanda could share in church tomorrow. Thanking God for a visit from friends!!

Hope you're doing well--have a great week!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkeys

You may remember last year's Pablo el Pavo, from Mexico. This year, Tammy the Turkey spent the morning at the spa, and came out nice and juicy! I forgot to take an "after" picture though!

Another "turkey" joined us for dinner this year. Some friends got together at my house this year, including this little guy. He kept us all pretty entertained for the afternoon. He loved getting zerberts, and bent almost completely backwards! It was fun to hear his belly laughs.
His mommy & I went shopping at 9pm at the outlets & found some great sales--the lines weren't even bad yet. And it certainly beat waking up early to go on Friday!


Hope you enjoy these fishlips!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

3 Girls & A Dog

No, "3 Girls & A Dog" is not a remake of an '80s''s who I've been helping out lately. I've been spending a few nights a week with three high school girls and their dog. Their younger sister is very sick and is often in the hospital. Mom stays with the younger sister in St. Louis, and when Dad is there also, I stay with the older three girls. It's been fun getting to know them--and nice to have people to cook dinner for! I'm getting used to band practice, football schedules, soccer practices & youth retreats. Please pray for me as I help out this family, and for the family as they go through this hard time. Thanks!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This weekend the Latinos from the Spanish church wanted to go camping--and camp we did! We had about 8 tents set up, a large bonfire, boiling lard, campfire games, devotions, exploring, and soccer. BOILING LARD? Yes...boiling lard. You'll soon see the picture. Camping was a great way to spend time together, hang out with friends, and get to know a few acquaintances better.

There's a distinct possibility I could've stayed in this tent for months...but I actually stayed in a 2 person tent with a friend. That one was a bit small for two for one night. :-)

Here's that boiling lard: heat it up over the fire, toss a little salt with it, and fry the pork!

I'm not even sure how many layers we had between us, but we certainly weren't cold!

Up early enough to see the fog rise off the my book, waaaaay too early!

Breakfast was good!

This baby basically put herself to sleep last night at 9pm, slept all night, and then woke up happy! What an easy-going baby!

Getting up early had one plus

Emanuel and I had a fun time exploring the woods--the boys were forced to hold hands with an adult, but I think by the end I may have gained a friend. It helps to sing ridiculous songs!

We played "Pato, Pato, Ganso", had a three-legged race, and a foot race.

Then we hit up the playground for all it was worth, and Ronda and I got quite a ride in the barrel! A friend pushed us, and had us going pretty high.

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

Friday night we had a scavenger hunt for the youth at the hispanic church. Here are a few photos:

A creative re-enactment of 'American Gothic'
Help a stranger do their laundry...except these girls are helping someone fold her NEIGHBOR'S laundry!!
Doing "The Worm"
Extra points for your whole team on a rope swing over water (they are at a shallow creek)
A picture of a mustache
Re-enacting a scene from a Disney movie

Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as we enjoyed our evening!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Picture Day

Last week a friend in Louisiana offered to put a table together for me at my home church. So, last week we took a LOT of pictures in childcare! Here's all 9 of our kids, and the three regular teachers:

We also taught the kids hide & seek last week, and this is where these two decided to hide! It was a great spot, until we started calling their names & asking where they were. "I right here!!" So cute, these kids have been a blast to work with!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sometimes...'s like herding cats

Here are eight of our nine kids. I told them to "come stand up here" to do their memory verse for one of our helpers this week. In my head I briefly envisioned eight cute little toddlers lined up in a neat row in from of the bench I was sitting on. My visions were quickly adapted to "please everyone participate this time!" The kids are learning Psalm 100, and they are into verse three already!

Psalm 100
Shout with joy to the Lord,
all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness,
Come before Him with joyful song.
Know that the Lord is God,
He made us and we are His.

Hopefully by the end of the semester they'll have the entire 6 verses memorized, and you can see a video of it! Well, if they choose to participate that is... :-)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yay, It's the Weekend!

Many people get excited for the weekend, as a time of rest & favorite day? Tuesday--when my weekend is officially over! So, what went on this weekend? Let me show you:

Thursday night: Local high school volleyball game (one of the girls in my youth group plays)
Friday night: Local high school football game (it was pretty amazing, and worth going to, and the girl in the band from my youth group did great)

On Saturday nights I go to the Spanish church about 30 minutes away. (This week was BikeFest on the lake, which means church was 60 minutes away this week.) This week we recognized the leaders in the church, and established the specific roles each one of them has. It takes many members to make a healthy Body! We also honored our interim pastor for his time leading the church for the past two years. Church finished at 9PM, then we went to go have dinner in the fellowship hall!

Sunday morning, I went to English church at the same building, did Sunday school, church service, & lunched at Pizza Hut (& ran into an old friend from when I was a student here!) I got home just in time to show up late to a surprise birthday party--I figured, "surprise, I showed up!" worked just as well. Then I went home & rested my eyes for 8 minutes (did I mention it was a busy weekend?!) Then I got ready to go to a concert:
Matt Maher opened, & I was waiting for him to play more songs, so I didn't get a picture of him. This is Addison Road.

Tenth Avenue North--these guys were unbelievably hyper (I kept wondering how many CafPows they must have had before going on!) But they had some great things to say, and really spoke truth. We got home from the concert at midnight...

So this morning, I thought I'd try something new in Toddlers. Something I've loved for many years now, and thought maybe the kids would appreciate, too:

Yea. Right.
I laid down, and asked for a pillow: I got this blue "bottom of the slide" cushion...
Someone offered up a dolly...
I asked for a blankey...can you see the little piece of material on my feet?
I asked for a bottle, and got a dolly bottle...

Then came the ATTACK OF THE CWOCODILES MISS CARRIE!!! You should be afraid. You can probably tell from my face that the attack actually did hurt a bit--but I was also confused about "Is he red or white?" from one of the kids...and I happen to know that all our cwocodiles are gween...

Monday afternoon I was blessed to be able to spend over 3 hours talking in Spanish...and now...bedtime! A very early, and very welcome, bedtime.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Please Take a Moment

UPDATE--Hannah won the contest! Praise God! Please continue to pray for her & her family as they go through this difficult time.
Hannah, 12, and her family just moved to the Missionary Training Center here in Missouri over the summer. Just before school began this semester, she was diagnosed with a serious medical condition which requires a bone marrow transplant. The family's medical bills are quickly adding up, and there is a way you can help. (Well, two ways really, because obviously, prayer is the most important way!) Mike's Chair, a Christian band, has decided to do a charity concert, and they are leaving it up to their listeners to decide who of the top three videos should receive the donations. You may have heard about this on Christian radio--it's been talked about for a few weeks now. You can go to this website to vote for the video that Hannah's four sisters made.
CLICK HERE TO VOTE (Scroll down and look along the right side of the page.)

Thanks for your time to vote, and for your prayers for Hannah & her family!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I want to tell you about one of my students. Each day we go outside to ride bikes (or tractors, or whatever is available to sit-n-scoot!) Today we only had four of our nine students in class. I overheard one of our older ones humming a song that I thought was familiar, and as I hummed along, I recognized "...Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow..." I sang some of the words, and one of the other teachers was singing it, too. Then our little 3 year old joined in on the chorus! We teachers got distracted with other students, and soon I heard the words change: "How wonderful, how marvelous, is my Savior's love for me!" As I was reveling in the well-rounded 3 year old before me, she pedaled off, changing tunes again at the top of her lungs: "OLD MACDONALD HAD AN ELEPHANT, E-I-E-I-OOOO, WITH A PPPPFFFTTTT HERE!!!!"

...I wish I could say I taught her one of the hymns, but, no, I introduced MacDonald's elephant...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roles in Missions

What do you think of when you picture "MISSIONS"?

Do you see...
...David Livingstone, whose heart belonged to Africa?
...inner-city ministries?
...a few weeks in another country?
...or someone you know personally?

This week on campus, there is a conference being held: Field Ministries Week. This is a chance for the students, staff, and visitors to hear first hand about New Tribes' mission work around the world. Since I'm in childcare during the mornings, I'm not able to go to most of the meetings, but this afternoon I was able to attend a one hour session. It was great to hear about the work God is doing in Africa and Latin America. I wanted to share two quotes with you from this afternoon.

"You are not Muslims, and you are not Christians--you are men of God!"
-Islamic Leader in Africa

This really struck me, because the leader was speaking to NTM missionaries. I'll let you decide for yourself if it is a good thing or not to be identified as men of God rather than Christians. I thought it was pretty neat, because the leader's impression of a Christian was a Roman Catholic priest who brought religion to Africa. The NTM missionary he spoke to has made it clear that his purpose for being there is to "share the sacred writings with him". The people are trusting this missionary because of his presentation towards them--he has even grown out his beard, because in their culture, teachers and respected men have long beards. Hope this gives you some food for thought--do you want to be identified as men of God?

The second quote has more to do with the roles of missionaries. The list above includes many different types of missions. There is no "correct" answer, so long as all on the list are guided by God. Here is one more aspect to mission work:

"We need finishers. In some cases, the New Testament has been translated. The plea is for fledgling groups to be brought to maturity. They have been taught enough [scripture] to survive, but not enough to thrive."
-Missionary from Latin America

Missions work is not solely about tribal missions, VBS, inner-city kids, translating scripture (the list is long!) Missions work is about bringing people to the point where they can thrive in their relationship with the Lord, which is so much more than just the Gospel presentation.

How can you help people to thrive in their relationship with the Lord? Start praying now about how God wants to use YOU!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

With a Sad Heart

Please pray fervently for the victims of child abuse in NTM. Pray for healing for them and pray for justice. The horror of the abuse and the failure of NTM to act when this came to light has brought me to tears.

“At the request of NTM and with the consent of the former students of the NTM school for missionary children in Senegal, GRACE conducted a review of the situation at the school in the 1980s. They presented their report to NTM and the former students on Monday [August 23, 2010].

Individuals in our organization abused children. People in leadership at the time were culpable through inadequate screening and training, creating an atmosphere of legalism and autocracy, and not addressing the abuse properly. This means that we as an organization are responsible and have sinned against these students.

True repentance, as the GRACE report points out, will be seen in our actions, and we pledge to act. Our current leaders are reviewing the recommendations in the report, and will meet with GRACE this week so we can fully understand them and move forward in the right way.” -NTM

Please pray for the victims of the abuse, the people in GRACE who have conducted this report so thoroughly, and the leaders and members of NTM. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thomas & Didymus

Readers, meet Thomas. Our toddler class goes outside each morning for about 20 minutes, and today we found a little friend! We live near Lake of the Ozarks (a pretty big lake), but we were quite surprised to find a baby snapper no where near the lake. The kids all enjoyed looking at him for the 30 minutes we "owned" him.

After about 5-10 minutes, the kids moved one of our outside toys and found Didymus ("Twin"). So now were were doubly surprised! We scavenged for more, and moved all the toys, but didn't find anymore turtles. My new neighbors told me the turtles still had their umbilical cords attached, so they were likely a week or so old.

After class I took Thomas & Didymus on a walk, and we ended up at a creek that feeds into the lake.

Thomas & Didymus appreciated the clean(ish) water, and decided to stay for the duration.

The Toddler Room

This semester I'm in the Toddler room again. Some of my co-workers and I worked over the past few weeks to get our room ready. We went from the walls looking like this:

To looking like this!I'm really excited about how the room turned out. We moved some of the things around, and I think it worked really well today.

This morning was our first day in class. We had 9 kids show up, ranging from 1 year & 9 months up to 3 years old. It's quite an age range when you see them in person! They all did great, we hardly had any tears, and some of the kids weren't ready to go home when their parents showed up!

Thank you for your prayers for them!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mr. Amazing Turns 1

Cooper the Nephew turned one at the end of July--here are a few pictures I've gotten so far!

Friday, July 23, 2010

"They pray to cows"

What is the importance of language and culture study in a country or tribe?

This question is one of the main ideas that are confronted at NTM's Missionary Training Center (MTC). During the three semesters here, students learn that you cannot merely learn the language of a people group without learning the culture. This is why we struggle in a "classroom" type language study in high school. It becomes even more apparent when you are learning the language.
For example, when I was in Mexico, I had much more to do than learn the language. I could easily learn the words--that is simply memorization and pronunciation. But in order to communicate--which is much deeper than speaking words!--I had to know the culture of the person I was talking with. I had to learn how to talk to the waitress at the restaurant: in the U.S. we rarely raise our hand to signal the waitress to come to us for help, we may make eye contact or nod in her direction, subtly "asking" for her to come to our table. In contrast, the Mexican waitress may not revisit you (as you take the biggest bite off your plate like so often happens here) unless you signal to her with your hand. Neither waitress is correct or wrong--it is just a difference. One way that we simulate this experience here at the MTC is through a class called "Dobu." A handful of our staff on campus dress up like the Dobu people of Papua New Guinea simulating their language and culture. This week I had the opportunity to guide some youth from a local youth retreat through the Dobu village. It was fun to see students who, though they have a language and culture of their own, felt so strange in another culture that they were speechless for a few moments. Their manner of greeting was obviously not the correct way--in fact, none of the students in my groups tried to shake hands with the Dobu men. Each group had around twenty minutes to build a relationship with our tribal person, and to try to learn some of their thoughts on gods, prayer, and good versus evil.Afterward, we debriefed together in a classroom. One of the girls said, "They pray to cows!" Those of us on staff were confused, because we knew that was not a part of the culture! Through talking with her, we realized that she had heard the name "Tau" and heard "cow." One of many mistakes that would be made in a real cultural experience!

Please pray for the many missionaries heading overseas for the first time this summer. They will be hit on the tarmac by waves of heat, humidity, smells, and culture. They struggle often on a daily basis with these changes that are so different from their own customs.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Did You Know?

By clicking the "Follow" button on the right side of the page, you can follow this blog? You'll have a few choices (Google, Twitter, Yahoo, etc) of how you would like to follow the blog. It should show up on whatever page you choose--then you'll always know when I've updated!

...which I'm planning to be much more frequent in the coming year!

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Old House

When I came home from Pennsylvania, this is what I found where my old house used to be.
Don't worry! It's my house from 2007:

There are a lot of changes being made on campus, and one of them was to tear down the 500-600 row of student housing. The main reason is to make room for a larger, all-purpose building. The maintenance team on campus is in charge of leveling out the ground, and changing the infrastructure to allow for a larger building. They've been hard at work this summer. Please keep them in your prayers as they are working in hot weather to get th

Saturday, July 10, 2010

En Casa

I made it home to Missouri last night, 4 days later than planned! Monday while driving to my cousins', I realized I was only 7 hours from my best friend in Wisconsin. I hadn't seen her in a few months, and the more I thought about it...she and her husband are heading overseas in one month! So I thought for about 30 seconds, and called her to tell her I was coming the next day. It was great to spend time with them for a few days.

Now that I'm home, it's unpacking & hitting the ground running. I still have paperwork to "translate" from one phonetic alphabet to another for the Linguistics Department. I need to choose a paint & paint the Toddler Room. And then just the little things around the house (like cleaning it up after 4 weeks of sitting!)

Thank you for your prayers as I traveled around the eastern U.S. I'll send a better update soon!

Monday, July 05, 2010

How Far Behind Am I?

The past three weeks contained a lot of visiting & driving. I saw cousins in Indiana, family & friends in central Pennsylvania, family in southern Pennsylvania, and friends in West Virginia. I saw elk, exploded a soda-Mentos (above), & shared in three churches.

I'm now on my way to Wisconsin to see friends. It will be over four years until I see them again, because they are heading to Asia to serve & I am heading to Paraguay. It could be a long time before I see them!

Thank you for your continued prayers during this trip!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heading to PA

In the morning I'll begin the drive to PA. Please pray for a safe drive. I'll try to update on the road, but don't really know when I'll have internet access. I'll put up pictures when I can!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Task 1

Post-mowing. Who knew it was so warm at 7:30am?!

This weekend is very full. Thursday morning I started out mowing a playground on campus. By 11am I was cleaned up & helping at the NTM-Crossover registration tent on campus. I finished there at 7 :30pm, and went to see Caleb Rowden, Finding Bethel, and heard Gracia Burnham speak. Home at 9pm & in bed shortly after!!

Friday morning registration started at 8am, and I left at 1:30pm to head to the chiropractor. Picked up some oil & a filter to have my oil changed tomorrow. For dinner I'll be eating with a friend and her mom. They're from Korea, and I will be having my first real Korean meal!

Saturday holds another 8am-3pm registration time and getting a friend to change the oil in my car. Sunday holds church, and packing up for 3 weeks in Pennsylvania. Monday morning I begin the 16 hour drive to Jersey Shore!

I hope you have a great grace-filled weekend!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"The Zoo"

Yesterday Holly and I embarked on a trip to St. Louis to go to the zoo for a few hours, and pick up YuJong and her mom from the airport. The good news is, YuJong and her mom are now on campus. The other news technically isn't bad, it just didn't go as planned. We happily started off at 10:45am, for a 3 hour drive. This would give us a good 2+ hours at the zoo. You see, this would be exciting, because THIS zoo is FREE. Parking only costs $11. Doesn't this sound like a good way to spend a few hours in St. Louis? We thought so, too. Things went well until shortly after hitting I-44 (a mere hour into the trip), when it started to rain. Not just a little rain, but rain so hard that people were pulling off the road or driving with their hazards on. I figure, hey we can make it to the next exit at least--I don't want to sit on the side of the road. We get to the next exit, and sit in the parking lot of a gas station for about 5 minutes. The rain let up, and following the que of a work truck, decided to head back on the highway. We soon caught back up with the storm (which was obviously not moving over 50mph like we were!) I drove a while in the storm, then decided, this really isn't smart, so I pulled over again. Traffic passes, and there soon seems to be enough of a break in traffic that I'm comfortable driving again. See, I'm not afraid of the rain--it's those other people out there! We decide to stop at Panera in Rolla, since it's just off the highway, and we both like it. We eat there, taking about an hour, since we keep catching up with the rain. A man gives me a mocha drink instead of mango (I'm now standing in lining saying outloud "mocha, mango, mocha, mango: I think I differentiate pretty well, and I know I said 'mango.'" Back on the road, not many miles down the road, our traffic starts stopping. We've already seen 2 vehicles in ditches at this point, and I'm thinking we've another. But no. We crest the hill to discover that we're only rubbernecking. The damage is on the other side of the highway: an 18-wheeler had rolled on it's side, the cab appeared to have jack-knifed, and it was blocking the lanes and shoulders both 100%. There was no way the mile of parked vehicles were going anywhere soon. Traffic was being diverted on that side to the service road, and some traffic was still able to move. Things were less exciting from there on out; we soon came into St. Louis and found the airport. We had realized we weren't going to make it to the zoo, and while disappointed, looked forward to people watching at the St. Louis Airport. That did not disappoint! We saw: a group of about 30 future National Guardsmen (they had all the backpacks, but didn't know how to stand in formation; on the way to bootcamp maybe?), a soldier walking with his very happy 2 year old daughter, a friend's doppleganger (look-alike), a daddy-less family that had just said goodbye, a friendly walking Samoan bobblehead, and YuJong and her mom! We packed up the car and headed home, round trip it took over 9 hours. Sadly, it took us 5 hours to get to St. Louis, and 3 to get home. We had the foresight to start counting the animals we saw early in our trip, with a grand total of 11: Beta fish, dogs, buzzards, dead skunk, dead armadillo, deer, buffalo, cows, horses, rabbits, and a turtle.
Next time, we'll leave earlier for the zoo!!!
(And maybe go on a non-rainy day.)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Vacation in Louisiana

This week I had the chance to go to Louisiana. My home church, Shreve City Baptist, had revival for four days. It was great to join my church family for those meetings. Cooper's in town this week, so I've been getting in a lot of time with him! He's a true joy.

Cooper flying

Isabelle, Zoe, and I had a mani-pedi afternoon. Zoe did my nails, I did hers, and Isabelle did her own. It was fun--and VERY colorful!

Cooper has two bottom teeth, and is working on the top ones!

And we all just had a great time cutting up!