Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011.

This was yet another wonderful Christmas! Christmas Eve we went to church for service. It was great to sing carols and listen to Andy speak. We started Christmas morning with Christmas at our house. Lance got the Kinnect for XBOX, and I got a new camera! It is so great, and I'm just glad I have my own camera again. Around eleven we went over to my aunt and uncle's house to do Christmas with them and my grandma. We exchanged gifts, ate brunch, and then sat and talked for a while. From there we went to my dad's aunt's house. Dylan, my two year old cousin, was the star of the show. He had a blast riding around on this car/bike thing that my aunt's got him. It was pretty cute.

New Year's is coming up, quite quickly I might add, so I've been thinking about the ever popular resolutions. Every year the same thing happens: I start out doing really well with my resolutions, and then by February I've failed. And like every other year, this year I'm determined to stick with them.

So, here's my list so far...

1. Be healthy. Obviously this is always at the top of everyones list. Sad, but true.

2. Be more organized. Ugh.

3. Say "no" more.

4. Say "yes" more.

5. Be swept off of my feet.

6. Have a more regular quiet time.

7. Be more spontaneous.

8. Be open to trying new things.

9. Speak kind words more often.

10. Use less sarcasm.

What are your NY's resolutions?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Confessions.

Ok, so all of my confessions really aren't about Christmas, but I like alliterations, so Christmas Confessions it was. Now that you've finished reading that pointless sentence, we can get to the confessions.

1. I am in love with anything Apple Cinnamon scented. It's amazing. I've never been one to enjoy "spicy" smelling things, but a lot of things have changed this year, so I guess my scent preference isn't exempt.

2. I may or may not (definitely may) use men's body wash. Now, obviously whenever I shower before going somewhere I use a pretty, girly body wash. But the stuff I use is called Irish Spring, and it literally leaves your skin tingling, not to mention is leaves my bathroom smelling like a hot guy. Definitely an added bonus.

3. It's two days until Christmas!! I just bought my last gift last night. Hallelujah! I'm so excited for the Christmas Eve service at church tomorrow night. This is seriously my favorite time of the year.

4. I'm super stoked about the NYE party I'm co-hosting! Ashlyn and I are meeting Tuesday to do a little post-Christmas shopping, and we're going to put our creative heads together to plan an awesome party. I'm sure it will include a few sparkles.

5. I am slowly putting off the fact that I have to go to Walmart for the second time today. I need to get stuff for my mom's stocking, and some ingredients to make sausage balls and spinach artichoke dip for Sunday. Yum? Maybe.

6. This year I bought two out of three Christmas presents with my own money. I feel like an adult. Correction, I feel like a broke adult.

7. I am in desperate need of a haircut. Honestly, my bangs are so long, I don't think they even qualify as bangs anymore. Sad.

8. If Adele ever came to Springfield, I would pay a ridiculous amount of money to go see her. Because, let's be honest, the woman has a voice that sounds a little bit like heaven. And I'm insanely jealous of her hair.

That's all I've got, folks! Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Every time I update my blog after a long time, I always say "I promise I didn't forget about blogging". Well, this time, I did. Sad, right?

I've been forgetting a heck of a lot of things this month. I don't have amnesia or Alzheimer's, I'm just super busy. For instance, last night Ashlyn texted me and told me about what a great night I had missed. I was really, really confused, and then I remembered: she had invited me to a Christmas party at her house, and I forgot. Duh. So today I bought myself a weekly planner to keep track of all of my social outings ;)

It's officially four days and counting until Christmas. What?!?! I still two gifts to buy. Don't tell me I've procrastinated, because I have only heard that about twenty times this week. It's a horrible habit that I'm going to day.

On Saturday we went had a Christmas Carolling Progressive Dinnering Mix Event with the youth group. It was freezing, but an absolute blast. We started off with appetizers at the Woodalls, then ate our main course at the Holmes, and finished with dessert at the Stones. There was one house that we went carolling at, and the teenage girl at the house just stood on the front porch and stared at us as we tried to spread Christmas cheer. Awkward.

I'm really excited to go shopping after Christmas. After all, every girl should buy a new New Year's Eve outfit! I discovered Forever 21's $10.50 jeans this week. Never again will I buy jeans from any place else. Ever. I love the wash, and they are long enough for my dang legs! If you've never tried them before, check them out.

I hope your Christmas is filled with joy, and you are abundantly blessed!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tori: Awakened

I promise I haven't forgotten about my blog, I've just been (as usual) extrememly busy!

Tori: Tori is so near and dear to my heart. She's a senior and she is one of the most honest, caring people that I know. She has such a heart for loving others. Girlfriend has also got some beautiful red hair going on. Seriously, I'm so envious. There was major change in Tori around sophomore year, and it has forever changed her outlook on life. She is a beautiful child of God, and she glows with His love.

First, let me say that Tori practically had me in tears within the first ten minutes of her session. And if you know me, you that isn't easy to do. But the way that she was so open and honest about her relationship with her grandma, and about the anger she felt from her grandmas passing was absolutely touching. Tori and her grandma were really close. When she felt like nothing was going right, she could always go to her grandma and have the comfort of knowing that her grandma was there for here. I think it was around the beginning of freshman year (correct me if I'm wrong) that her grandma was diagnosed with cancer. After she passed, Tori was devastated. She starting looking to other things to fill that hole in her heart. By dating this guy, she felt like she was important and beautiful. Little did she know that there was only one man who would fill the void in her life.

Last summer, I got an inbox from Tori asking Ashlyn and I if we wanted to spend the night with her one evening after church. I was so. dang. excited. To me, it was a pretty big deal to be invited over to "the" Tori Vaughan's house. It was such a fun night, and I will always think of it when I think of Tori. By stepping out of her comfort zone, she unconsciously made me feel accepted. We have been good friends ever since, and I know that no matter what, I can always go to Tori and she will love me and pray for me and give me words of wisdom. Her heart for others is such a reflection of Christ, and her love for Him is wildly passionate. When I think of Tori, I remember how she was awakened and how her heart changed. She felt the Lord calling her, and she went running to Him. She surrendered her life and He is using her for the kingdom!

Have you been awakened like Tori? Is God calling you? If He is, run.

Be blessed!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daniel: Worship

Saturday morning we had our first student session. The student sessions were incredible, and God really spoke through them. I've seen God working in the lives of these students for months now, and I'm so excited that they got to share about what God is doing.

I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a little background info on the students I'll be talking about for the next few days. That way maybe you can relate to them a little better.

Daniel: Daniel is a senior at a private school in Springfield. I've known him for about three or four years now, and he's one of the smartest kids I know. Seriously, the guy's a genius. He also has a wicked sense of humor. I don't even bother arguing with him, because I know it's pointless. He plays the guitar, sings, and music is his thing. Daniel loves to worship, and it shows.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but instead be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to attest and prove what God's will is: His good, pleasing, and perfect will." -Romans 12:2

This verse sounds great right? It sounds like your typical, inspirational Bible verse. It starts off telling you what to do, and ends by telling you what will happen as a result. Well, get ready for a shock. When this refers to "His good, pleasing, and perfect will", it's not talking about the good being for us. What? If you're like me, you're really confused right now. When Daniel said this, I was thrown for a loop. If it's not going to be good for us, then how can it be good at all? The adjectives in this verse are describing GOD'S will, not ours. If we are not walking with Him, His will is going to seem like it sucks. Big time. But, if we are walking with Him, and our hearts are aligned with His, His will is going to be great for us, because it's great for Him. Get it?

Now let's talk about worship a little bit. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word 'worship'? It probably has something to do with music, so let's talk about that part first.

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!" -Psalm 95:1-2

Worshipping through music is one of my favorite things to do, if not my absolute favorite. When it's just me and my Savior, and I'm pouring my heart out through song, that's when I feel closest to Him.

I used to be so embarrassed to lift my hands in worship. The thought of doing that rarely crossed my mind, and when it did, I shut it down immediately. What if people stared at me? What if they thought I was weird? Now, I don't think you could tear me out of a worship session if the building was on fire. I'm not ashamed to lift my hands to the heavens and proclaim that He has won. I've never felt the spirit of God like I did this weekend when we were worshipping.

Now, believe it or not, there is more to worship than just singing or making music. You can worship Him in anything and everything you do. Prayer, especially, is a huge form of worship. If singing isn't your thing, pray. If praying isn't your thing (it should be), worship God with a grateful heart and attitude.

Worship is a vital part of faith. Don't be ashamed to lift your hands or pray out loud. Whatever you do, do for the Lord, and you will be worshipping Him.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hosea: Awake

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have
sent." -John 17:3

So many people try and fill their life with things. Because they think things will awaken them to life. So many people believe if they just have that thing, they will awaken, and live life to the fullest. What we don't realize, is that the only way to be awake, is to walk with God.

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." -Psalm 16:11

No fairytale is complete without the handsome prince coming to the rescue of the beautiful princess. The earth is like Sleeping Beauty, she looks beautiful and inviting on the outside, but on the inside, she's asleep. There is nothing there to offer. God is the handsome Prince Charming who comes and awakens the sleeping woman. Without the Lord, we would lay dormant in our lives forever.

His presence is the essence of life.

Without Gods presence, life is nothing. The Church is full of sleepwalkers. We look and act alive, but on the inside, we're asleep, just like the earth. In order for us to wake up, we must have God present in us. We can't be awakened by Him, if He is not in us.

If sin is present, fellowship is broken. When we sin, our relation to God does not change. If we are a Christian, and we sin, that doesn't make us not a Christian anymore. However, when there is sin present in our life, our fellowship with God is broken. Until we release that sin to Him, we won't have fellowship with Him.

Awakening doesn't have anything to do with our physical behavior, it has to do with our hearts. Is your heart ready to be awakened by the King? Mine is.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Awake: WR 2011

1. to wake up; rouse from sleep.
2. to rouse to action; become active. 
3. to come or bring to an awareness; become cognizant (often followed by to ).
This past weekend was Winter Retreat 2011. Twenty-four hours away from everything; a time for just you and God. Sean Lea led worship, and was amazing as usual. The worship sessions were my favorite, because there's nothing I love more than singing to my King.
Instead of bringing in a speaker this year, we had three different students that spoke, and our pastor led a session. They spoke about what it means to be awake, what awakens them, and how they were awakened. Hosea talked about the meaning of being "awake" in our relationship with God. Daniel spoke about how worship awakens him. Tori shared how she was awakened. Quinn talked about how sharing the Gospel verbally awakens him.

God did a lot of things in me this week. But instead of one, big, long brain-dump of a post, I'm going to spread it out over four days. Each day corresponding with a session. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn from Pastor Hosea what it means to wake up.

Be blessed! 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Guess who's back? Not Elvis or Jesus.


I've taken a brief blogging vacation because this week I didn't hardly have time to breathe, let alone blog. But now I'm back in action, and ready to confess a few things that have been on my mind lately.

1. Oh my word, y'all. I just discovered the Gingerbread Spice Chai Latte at Starbucks this week. So much better than the pumpkin.

2. Winter Retreat starts today! 24 hours away from, well, everything. <--- I'm seriously. Baptist Hill is in the boonies. Even if I did take my phone, I don't think I'd get reception. Anyways, I'm stoked to see what God is going to do.

3. I'm also in a bit of a crazy time crunch this next week. Tomorrow we get back from WR at 5:30, I have a Christmas Open House that starts at 6, after I'm done there I have to go home and sleep because we have church the next morning. Then after church on Sunday I'm working a going away party for one of the church staff members. On Monday I'm babysitting, and then Tuesday is co-op. And sometime between now and then, I have homework to do...yep.

4. All the Christmas stuff is making me seriously excited for the 25. Who doesn't love twinkly lights and baby Jesus?

5. Let's talk about how much I hate those little "FWD" messages. Honestly people, I would bet you a large amount of money that if I hold my breath while thinking about my crush and doing the hula, nothing is going to change. Geesh.

6. The Hunger Games. March 23, 2012. Enough said.

7. Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant. Again. The father is a guy to whom she isn't married, and doesn't even speak to half of the time. That family is a train wreck, but they provide great entertainment on Sunday evenings.

8. I think eight is a nice number to stop at, so have a fantastic Friday, and be blessed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

He is able.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" -Ephesians 3:20

Last night was one of the most incredible nights of worship I have ever experienced.

Last night, thousands of voices blended together to lift His name high.

Last night showed me that God is still very much at work in Springfield.

Last night reminded me that He is able.

I had the honor of attending the Hillsong Live concert at JRA last night with some friends. Mallory, Will, and I stood in line until the doors opened, and then Daniel and I met up in the VIP section. We were literally right up front. A few of the band members came out about thirty minutes before and handed out free t-shirts, and then the actual concert started. They started the evening off with God Is Able and ended with Take It All. It was amazing. There was no insecurity or second guessing as people lifted their hands and cried out to God. I've never experienced anything like that, and it has forever changed me.

On another note, Thanksgiving is this week! Say hello to yummy food, no school, and family time. I have so many things to be thankful for this year, so here's a little sampling...

-Family who is dysfunctional, but fun all the same
-Leaders that never fail in stepping up when it counts
-Close friends who constantly challenge me and support me
-A house to live in
-Food to eat
-A God who is able

Have a happy Thanksgiving and be blessed, friends!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Ok, bloggies, I promise I'm still alive. Things have just been insanely crazy around my house for, well, a few months actually. Every day I sit at the computer and think, "Oh, I need to blog today..." but then it never happens. Fail.

One thing that's been on my heart lately has been prioritizing. I've never had an issue with this when it comes to big things. Church will always come before anything other than family, and family will always come before friends. But I sweat it over the small stuff. For instance, a few weeks ago, I had planned on going to a football game. There are some friends of mine in the band that I promised I would watch march. However, my best friends from co-op, ended up having her sixteenth birthday party that night. What the heck was I supposed to do? I'd promised I would watch the band, but I knew Brittany would be upset if I didn't come to her party. In the end, I ended up going to the birthday party. I realized that five years from now, the memories that I would make celebrating her sixteenth would have more significance than the ones I would make at a football game. But that doesn't mean that decision was easy.

I have this issue with people-pleasing. I don't like to say 'no'. And sometimes, that comes back to bite me right in the tush. People ask me to do things, and I agree, and before I know it I have no free time. Not only do I not have any free time, I have no study time whatsoever. That reflected on a test I got back this week. Ouch. So this week I'm going to practice saying 'no'. I'll get back to you on that...

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Simple Plan.

I've been trying to write for the past few days, but either my computer wouldn't cooperate, or my brain wouldn't. But here I am with a working brain and a working computer, ready to share my thoughts. I'm sure they will be very insightful. Ha.

This past year has been so crazy busy, I can't even begin to describe it. And at first, I loved being busy and having stuff to do and places to go every day. But now it's gotten kind of old. Okay, really old. I just want one week where all I do is school and church. Because I feel like I've gotten so caught up in all that I have to do, that those two things get put on the back burner. Of course I still do school, but I'm not focused. Of course I still go to everything at church, but I'm not focused. They are just two more things I have to check off of my list. It shouldn't be that way. Ever.

As I was trying to plan out this next month in my planner, a verse came to me.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

It reminded me that I don't always have to have a plan. I like to micro-manage (one of many faults), so that's a hard concept for me to grasp. But it's a necessary one. So many times I say, "If my plan fails, then God will handle it" when instead I should be saying, "It's okay, God's got it covered." When did His Will stop being enough? When did I decide that my plan was more important that God's? I don't know when it happened, but it was obviously a major lapse in judgement. I'm still working out how to put His plan first, so if you have any bits of wisdom, please feel free to share.

There's a lot happening in my head, but I need to process it up there and then put it in to words, so stay tuned for more deep thoughts. (Again, ha).

I'll leave you with this video....

I may or may not have the entire first verse and chorus memorized. Just sayin'...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Street legal.

Yes, friends, the rumors are true. I am street legal. Today I got my drivers license. What,what?!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Do you remember how when you were younger, bedtime used to be a battle? I never wanted to go to bed. Now, I'm the complete opposite. When I got home from church last night, I was so excited to sleep in my own bed that it wasn't even funny. I crawled under the covers and passed out.

This weekend was so much fun. We left bright and early on Saturday morning to meet our group at Belgium Waffle House in Ozark. From there we headed down to Arkansas. I drove. Bad idea. The roads in Harrison are ridiculous. They are so skinny that I had a hard time keeping my truck in it's lane. But if I thought the roads there sucked, I wasn't prepared at all for Jasper. The speed limit is 20mph because the roads are SO curvy. I was crying by the time we pulled over for gas, because I was so stressed about just staying on the road.

Once we arrived at Kyle's Landing, we started the descent down the mountain on a super sketchy dirt road. We picked out our sites and got to work setting up our stuff. We had eight tents! There were sixteen of us that went, and I was the only girl. After we got set up, everybody set off on the hike. I always go on the hike, but this year I passed. The trail they were taking was straight up a riverbed, and I have a superb knack for really twisting my ankles. So I hung back with my dad and brother, and ended up taking a nap in my truck.

That night we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, of course. Then we sat around the fire just laughing at jokes and stories until about eleven. I had my own tent this year because my dad snores like a freight train. So I wrapped myself up in my sleeping bag and went to sleep, only to awaken about two hours later because I was so cold. I was up the rest of the night trying to stay warm.

About seven-thirty the next morning, we had breakfast and stood around the fire trying to heat up. Packing up our stuff always sucks, but it went really fast this year. When we were packed and had taken a group picture, we started the drive home. Every year we stop in Harrison to eat at Western Sizzlin'. This year was no disappointment. I had fried chicken, mashed potatoes with white gravy, a roll, roast and potatoes, ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies. And it came within being in the top five best meals of my life. Yum.

When we got back last night, I had to go to church for a rehearsal, and then there was Bible study afterwards. Ashlyn and I had fun, but then again, it's always fun with the two of us. When we came home, I sat and watched TV for a little bit before I gave up and went to bed.

This week has been/will be crazy, but I love it. Tomorrow is my birthday (holla!), Wednesday I start watching the cutest little girls, Thursday I go up to the office, Friday I have a dress rehearsal, Saturday we have an event at church, and then Sunday we have church. I'm looking forward to a very busy "birthday week".

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"I wish I had a stuffed cat."

     The title of this post is what I heard come out of my mothers mouth today. Nothing had been said about anything to do with cats, and then that just popped out of her mouth. Apparently she was looking at pictures of kitty litter cake, but still, that's not something you hear everyday.

     Last night, a good friend lost his keys after service. I didn't think anything about it until a few hours later. I just randomly got up to check my purse, and they weren't in there. My mom checked her purse and lo-and-behold, there were Daniels keys. So we hopped in the truck and drove over to his house real quick to drop them off. We ended up talking to his mom for half an hour before he actually got there. After multiple apologies, we drove home. It was an eventful night, but I'm glad everything worked out and he got his keys back.

      Today I went up to work at the office. I've been doing this for almost three months now, so you'd think I'd have the routine down, right? Wrong. I made the mistake of putting all my jeans in the washer about an hour before I had to leave. Stupid. I got out of the shower to realize that I had no jeans to wear. So I decided to start on my hair. An easy task, right? Wrong. I spent forty-five minutes trying to do something, anything, with it. I tried doing a braided headband, a plain braid, a side messy bun, and a side ponytail. Nothing was satisfying. At that point, my mom came in and told me I had five minutes. I wasn't dressed, my hair was a mess, and I had yet to put on any make-up. I hurriedly put on my foundation, only to discover I was out. I threw the bottle away, threw my hair up in a bun, and pulled on some clothes. Of course, the outfit that I put together in .5 seconds was cuter than anything I could have tried to plan. Story of my life. By this time, I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I know, you're thinking, "Wow. A mental breakdown over not being ready on time?" Yes, it's silly, but I had bombed my Algebra 2 this morning, and that was the last straw. But a phrase came to me just as I started to lose it. "Breathe." I always tell this to one of our student associates when she starts to get stressed, but I never took my own advice. Ironic, huh? I guess I learned today that not everything in my life has to be perfect. I don't always have to have a plan. I just have to trust.

      Tomorrow we are packing for our Annual Washam/Garrison Hike. Every year, the guys (and I) on my dads side of the family go camping/hiking down in Arkansas. It's so fun to sit around the fire and talk with everybody. We have to make a trip to Wal-mart tomorrow to collect all the junk food we'll be gorging ourselves on. Also on the agenda is setting our tent up in the backyard to clean it out. The last time we were camping, we had to take it down in the rain, so I can only imagine what it looks/smells like. Ick. Then we  leave at 6:30 sharp on Saturday morning, and will return by Sunday afternoon. I'm looking forward to it, but I hope we don't freeze to death.

       I guess I've rambled on long enough, so I'll leave you with this...

                                                  This song is fantastic. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


      Well, it happened tonight. I fell in love. Actually, it was more like I jumped back into love. I jumped back into love with my Creator. The God who gave me life and breath is my lifelong love. He was my first, and He'll be my last.

        We sang a song tonight that said, "Your grace is sufficient for me". How true is that? His grace will always be enough for me. Whether I know it or not, He is always sufficient. I forgot that. But I remember now. I remember that feeling of being lit on fire and having this internal flame in my soul. I remember wanting to run around telling everyone how incredible my God is. He loves me. He loves ME. With all my quirks, faults, and screw-ups. He loves me wholey and completely. He never leaves me. He will never forsake me.

        There was a video played tonight that talked about changing the world. This excites me. I want to do big things for the kingdom. But a lot of times, I get stuck. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, or how I'm supposed to be going about carrying out my calling. It hit me tonight: love. Love God, and love others. That is what God calls us to do. If we love God, and love others, everything else will work itself out.

       I'm not sure why it took me 15 years to realize this (*facepalm*), but I'm glad I realized it at all. If you're struggling with handling God's call on your life, love. Love God, and love others. You will be filled. I promise.

      Peace out, girl scout.

P.s: I realize this post is totally random, but it was what was on my heart. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Train Wreck.

    DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a mess of a blog post. If you can handle it, proceed.

   I'll start off with the exciting things that happened to me this week. Last night was Girl's Bible Study. I love that time. It's so nice to spend time with other girls just digging into God's word. Then today we had co-op. I was really bummed after first hour because I totally bombed my Cultural Anthropology quiz. Yes, that's right, I failed. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's not something I'm going to dwell on. It's in the past and I'm going move on and try harder. Then things started to look up when I got an A on my paper. English is my thing.

   Then, I came home to a huge surprise! I got a truck! It's a black Dodge Ram 1500. Don't ask me about the details, because I don't know. All I know is that it has air conditioning and it's super cute. My dad will be using it occasionally, but it is mostly mine! I'm so thankful that my parents bought this...they are the best.

   And, this week, I got a job! One of our student associates, James, has two little girls. He and his wife need someone to watch the girls once a week while James works and Abi has basketball practice. I've been praying about a job for a while now, and He is faithful.

  Something I've been thinking about this week is feelings. Imagine that, a teenage girl thinking about feelings. Shocker. The thing I've always struggled with is overreacting and under reacting. I don't want to over-analyze my feelings, because then I create problems that don't exist. But I don't want to be careless with my feelings, because then I might make a choice that isn't in line with Gods plan for me. So where do I find balance? I wrestle with this a lot. Any suggestions? Help is appreciated.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Screams and dreams.

    Obviously screams and dreams do not go hand in hand. But they are two things that have played a role in my life this past week.

    First off, screams. Rbcstudents took a little field trip to the Verona corn maze last night. Hello, haunted! I like to think that I'm not a scaredy-cat, but in reality, I am. We were but a few steps into the maze before I shut my eyes, grabbed the person in front of me, and ran. Strobe lights, creepy clowns that aren't supposed to touch you but do, and bubble/chainsaw machines kind of scare me. Luckily I wasn't the only one that was mildly terrified. A few other girls, Abi, Kari, and myself all bonded over screaming our heads off. Fortunately, we had our fearless leader, Daniel, and James to "guide" us through. If you ask me, we just made a bunch of random turns and magically ended up at the end. After finishing the maze, we gathered around the fire to roast hotdogs and marshmallows and chat. Then a group of us walked over to see some of the boys launch pumpkins. Jess and I took off when the giant creepy thing with horns started coming towards us. We ended up having a nice conversation on the way back to the fire. I loved getting to spend some quality time with some of my closest friends. It's not every day a girl finds true friends like these!

  Now we shall talk about dreams. I have lots of them. And I want to make lots of them happen. Here's a short little list of a few of my dreams:

1. Backpack around Europe before I have kids.
2. Study abroad for a semester.
3. Go on a short term foreign mission opportunity.
4. Meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, and get married (simple, right?).
5. Have kids.
6. Adopt kids.
7. Build a house.
8. Write a book.
9. Live life to the fullest, and never waste a moment.
10. Love God with all I am.

    I do realize that probably only a few of these will actually come true. So if I had to choose, it'd be 3,4,5,9, and 10. I like to dream big. I think if we don't dream big, then we will never do big things. And I want to do big things. What are your dreams?

Monday, October 17, 2011


        Hello Blogger-world! This has been one fun week! I have been really busy, but it's doing stuff I enjoy. I know there will come a time in my life where I will be busy doing things I don't particularly like, so I'm thankful for some fun things to do right now.

        Wednesday I spent the afternoon in the office with Jessie. James was on vacation so we had some good girl time. Then that night we had Midweek. Let me tell you, I really love Wednesday night services. They are so energizing and uplifting that it gives me a positive outlook on the rest of the week. We continued our study on Courage. If you haven't heard Francis Chan before, check him out. He is such a great speaker and is so encouraging.

       Thursday was round 2 of the office. Jessie and I hung out all day and then caravaned over to Parkview to serve dinner to the football team. They are such a great group of guys and I hope they have a great rest of the season.

       Friday I celebrated my bestie's, Brittany, sweet 16. We all met up at co-op and had some pizza, and then over to the mall for a scavenger hunt. We split up into teams and had to spell out sixteen with pictures of items in the mall. Here's what we came up with...

S- Skittles
I- Icee
X- XS shirt
T- Teddy bear
E- Energy drink
E- Elephant
N- Necklace

       And, of course, my team won! Then it was time for karaoke and cupcakes back at the church. Brittany is such a great friend and I was so glad I got to celebrate her birthday with her!

      Saturday was the annual JH bonfire out at the Elliotts house. There were eight of us SH students that volunteered to help. We had around 65 Junior High kids that night, so it was a huge success. The evening started off with a scavenger hunt. The Elliott's have a couple of acres so the place was crawling with students. Then we ate a dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers, standard bonfire food. Up next was the always entertaining "Capture the Pumpkin". There's nothing like 65 kids running around in the dark wearing glow-in-dark glasses while trying to steal a pumpkin. After we were tired and sweaty from playing, we gathered around the fire for some worship. Daniel did a few songs and then Quinn did a short teaching time. I was amazed at how attentive the students were during this half hour. It was a great message and I think it hit home with a lot of them. Finally, we broke out the marshmallows for some s'mores. It was a great night and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

   Yesterday we had church in the morning. As we were leaving, someone came and pointed outside saying that there was a lot of black smoke coming from down the street. We hopped in the car and drove about a mile before we came upon the fire. One of the apartment complexes down the road had caught on fire. It was so horrible to see the fire blazing and parts of the building falling off. Please pray for the families that lost their homes in the fire. Then last night was the Mark Shultz/ 33 Miles concert at church. My mom, Daniel, and I were volunteers, but once we realized that they didn't need us, Daniel and I drove over to Phoenix's house for Bible study.

   Today has just been a weird day. I knew it wasn't going to go well for me when I poured a bowl of cereal and then tried to eat it with a fork. After I finished my Algebra 2, I realized that I had yet to read 13 pages of A&P, and I have a test over it tomorrow. I studied my little butt off and learned all about the skin, only to realize I had read my syllabus wrong, and the quiz isn't until next week. Fail. Tonight I'm going and working the Nixa concession stand at the football game. It'll help me earn money towards upcoming trips and events, so I will be serving hot dogs until Jesus comes back, or 8 tonight, whichever comes first.

   So needless to say, it's been a full but fun week here at my house. I hope your week will be full of surprises and blessings!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This week has slapped me in the face.

But some really good things have come out of it.

Like, for instance, God and I had a little heart-to-heart this afternoon. I got really bored, so I threw on my tennis shoes and went for a little walk. Side note: I walked for 2 1/2 miles, and by the time I got home, I was sweatin'. I keep a pretty good pace. Anyways, I was noticing the bright blue skies and the colors of the trees, and then I started thinking. *insert appropriate response*. I heard I quote the other day that said, "The need is not the call." Ouch. I spent hours last night trying to dissect it and decide if I agree with it or not. I think I do. Obviously we can always meet a persons basic needs. Love, food, clothing, etc. But the need for something is not God's call on our life to do that something. You are uniquely gifted by God. The key is finding out what you were creating uniquely to do, and that's what you pour out of yourself. If you're operating within your gifts, you will feel energized, not empty. There will always be the need to do something, but there will never be the call to do everything. I have really struggled with this area of my life for the past few months. What am I called to do? The Lord says I am to love others. Everyone loves in a different way. To me, a calling is the unique way that God calls you to love others. I'm still figuring out what that unique way is.

"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance (endure with) to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

If you're struggling with God's calling on your life, start with the basics. If you follow these verses and are open to God using you, He will make His way shown.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Tonight we started a new series at church entitled "Courage". This is a big one for me. I like to think that I'm a brave person. But the truth is, I'm only brave when I'm in my comfort zone. When I know my friends will still love me even if I screw up. When I know I'll still be accepted. But when I'm outside of my comfort zone, I'm such a coward. I don't like meeting new people, and I don't like those painfully awkward, forced conversations. My Cultural Anthropology class has been talking about loving people that are different from us. Christ call us to love others. But we can't truly love them unless we first build a relationship with them. That requires courage. And that scares me. What if they think I'm a wacko? What if they hate me? These are the questions that ran through my mind as I tried to be a little more courageous tonight. I tried to step up and step out. No one thought I was a wacko, and no one hated me, and I TRIED. God just wants us to try. He doesn't label us as failures if we are rejected. He just wants us to keep trying, because eventually we will make an impact. I'm going to try and go a little out of my way this week to be courageous. Will you?
My second thought for this evening is "time". I either have too much time, or not enough. And when I need time, I don't have it, and when I don't need it, I get even more of it. September was just stupid busy for me. There were four days that month that I wasn't doing anything other than school. I hate that I try and rush through one thing so I can mark it off my list and move on the the next thing. Last month just flew by, and I know I didn't savor it in the way that I should have. I'm turning 16 on November 1, and I'm so excited, but I'm also a little scared. When did I grow up? When did driving go from five years away to less than a month? I remember talking with my best friend about "when we get to high school". Now I'm already a sophomore. Next year I'll have to take the ACT and start looking at colleges. I'm excited about getting older and reaching new milestones, but it's a lot to swallow. I'll have to  get a job, I'll be going to school, I'll be involved in church, and will I have enough time for it all? I pray I will. I don't want to get sucked up in everything and start skipping out on church. It is such a necessary time for me to unload all my "junk" from the week and renew my spirit.

Lastly, let's talk school for a little bit, eh? The school fairy has disappeared this year, and the school demon showed up. Algebra 2 was giving me enough problems, and then my Personal Finance teacher decided I wasn't getting enough math in my life, so I should "reconcile with the bank". Good grief, people. I tried for hours on end to try and get this woman's checkbook to balance with her back statement. Eventually, I realized if I factored in the one number he told us to ignore, it all balanced out. Yay for teachers who lie. Then, my A&P teacher decided that we should read Module 2 this week, and have a quiz over it next week. I am not the kind of person who can just read something and remember it. I have to go in depth and understand it, and then I can remember it. But memorizing thirty pages in a week is killing me. I know this is probably "normal" for all you public school crazies, but I think this is ridiculous. How are we supposed to learn if stuff is just constantly being thrown at us and we are expected to remember it. Call me crazy, but doesn't this seem unproductive to you?

Well I suppose I've rambled on long enough. Enjoy the rest of your week fellow bloggers!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The good, the bad, and the great.

    Happy Tuesday to you! I hope you had a wonderful start to the week. I've been trying to be a little better about my blogging lately, so stick with me! Things at my house have been more than a little crazy lately, but I am so super excited about things that are coming up.

   This year brings a lot of things. Good things, bad things, and great things.

   Good things:

    - My 16th. Yes you will be hearing quite a bit about this until it actually happens.

    - The Holidays! I seriously love anything holiday related. Minus eggnog. Gross.

    - School. You did read that correctly. I'm excited to learn some new things. SOME, new things.

   Bad things:

   - Graduation. Not mine, but several of my close friends are graduating this year. I'm going to miss them like crazy, and I hope they'll still come visit us little people who are still in school.

   Great things:

   - Quality time with family and friends.

       What are some things you are or are not looking forward to this year?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It makes me happy....

    It's fall! This is my favorite time of year, especially here in the Ozarks. In honor of this change of seasons, I decided to make a list of things about fall that make me happy.

1. Cardigans. Especially this one from Forever 21. I mean, who doesn't love a little stripe action?

2.  Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Lattes. Hello, love.

3.  Our annual family camping trip. All the guys, and me, from my dads side of the family head down to Arkansas for a few days of 'roughing' it.

4. That's right folks, on November 1, I will be turning the big 1-6. Oh man.

5. Boo! I for sure love Halloween. Candy from random strangers is the best.

6. The colors! The colors that come with fall make me want to go jump in a pile of leaves.

7. Bonfires make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside...and the outside.

8. New seasons of Tv shows.

   What are some of your fall favorites?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


    No, not cheese like the food. I'm talking about when you take a picture and the photographer says, "Say cheese!".

    Sidenote: I don't know why they tell you to say cheese, because the smile that produces it totally fake and well, cheesy. Pun intended.

    Back to the point. The reason for this post is to state, that after two and a half years.........I GOT MY BRACES OFF. I wish I had a picture to post, but the blog/Facebook is not cooperating. I am so dang excited. I have been smiling at everyone for the past thirty-six hours. Some random strangers have looked at me like I'm a freak, but hey, I don't care.

    So, I guess that's the end of this short, random post, because I have a crapload of homework. Yay for getting older.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


     Okay, I admit it....I've been a bit of a bad blogger the past few weeks  months. I'm hoping to change that now that school has started. Yes, you read that right. The Garrison Academy for Higher Learning has officially started school, as of two weeks ago. And, as much as I wish I were joking, school might kill me this year. I have so many classes, and I'm testing in the spring so I can go to NHS next year. AGH. <---Yep. Emilee is going back to public school. It's all at once super exciting, and mildly terrifying.

     We started co-op this past week. Oh man. I have got some classes for the books my friends. Cultural Anthropology, IEW Writing, Personal Finance, and Anatomy and  Physiology. Writing is totally going to be my blow-off class. It's always come easily to me, so paper-writing should be a breeze. A&P however, is quite a different story. After the first week, we had to read 25 pages for homework, and we have a quiz this week. I'm scared. I know it'll all work out, I'll just have to study like a mad woman and become an expert note taker.

    My dad is on vacation this week, so we decided to go camping for a few days. We went to Lebanon and camped on the banks of the Niangua. Literally, we were practically ON the river. On Thursday we went for our first family float trip. Oh goodness, where to begin? Well, for starters, the water was really low and quite cold. My mom and I were in one canoe, and my dad and brother in another. We weren't twenty minutes into the float before my mom and I started having issues. Since the river was low, there were spots where if you didn't paddle your you-know-what off, you would drag and then get stuck. Even though we paddled crazy hard, we still got sideways. So yes, we took a little swim in the river. As did our lunch. After five minutes of standing in the middle of the frigid river trying to right our canoe, we finally made it on our way. About fifteen minutes after that, we had more problems. We didn't tip over, but instead did some tree carving. Yes, we ran into a tree. A TREE. I'm sure we looked hilarious. In the meantime, my dad and brother have practically tipped their canoe over because they were laughing at us so hard. Losers. Continuing on down the river, we encountered some nice little rapids. By this time, we (sort of) knew what we were doing, and navigated them with no problem. After the rapids, there were some trees that had long branched that reached over the edge of the bank. You guessed it. We ran into a tree. Again. But this time, instead of just the front of the canoe hitting the tree, I went into the tree. There were branches in front of me, behind me, and on top of me. I was stuck. In a canoe. In a tree. So I started crying. I cried because I was cold and wet, and stuck in a tree. You would cry too. But we finally made it to the take-out point. And just to prove what amazing canoe-ers we are......we canoed 11 miles in 3 and 1/2 hours. Boom.

    All in all, it's been quite the month so far. I can't wait to see what else is going to happen in my crazy life!

P.S- It's only 44 days until my 16th birthday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A-Z About Me

{a} age ::Sweet fifteen...for another 55 days!
{b} bed size :: Twin.
{c} chore you hate :: Laundry or dishes
{d} dogs :: Chip ( Labrador/Dalmatian, 6) and Ellie (Dacschund, 11)
{e} essential start to your day :: Shower.
{f} favorite color :: Blue. (Like a peacock blue).
{g} gold or silver :: Silver.
{h} height :: 5'6
{i} instruments you play :: None...
{j} job title :: Babysitter.
{k} kids :: Uh, not yet!
{l} live :: Missouri
{m} maiden name :: Garrison...which is also currently my last name.
{n} nicknames :: Em
{o} overnight hospital stays :: Nope.
{p} pet peeve :: The sound of people chewing, and when people don't use their turn signals.
{q} quote :: "People with their minds set on You, You keep whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit." -Isaiah 26:3
{r} righty or lefty :: Lefty.
{s} siblings :: Lance: 11
{t} time you wake up :: 7:30-9
{u} university attended :: Not there yet!
{v} vegetables you dislike :: Peas
{w} what makes you run late :: Hmmmm. Uncooperative hair.
{x} x-rays you’ve had :: Just my teeth.
{y} yummy food :: Grilled chicken, ice cream, chai tea, anything chocolate.
{z} zoo animal favorite :: The elephants!

*I tag Always Ashlyn, New Year New Beginning, and Like A Thread. Your turn!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


    Remember that song from Sunday School?

I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay.

    The next sixteen weeks at church we are studying the book of James. When I heard we were spending sixteen weeks on a five chapter book, I was a little skeptical. But this morning was so amazing! We talked about trials and tribulations.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of all kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith will produce patience."

    When we think of trials, we normally don't think of the word 'joy'. But we fail to realize that when we accept Christ, we are filled with irreplaceable joy. But, whether we choose to live in that joy or not, is our choice.

    Pastor John had a great example today about withstanding a storm. If you look at pictures from a tornado, you see complete devastation. But if you look closely, you can see the trees still standing. Their tops are twisted and their bark is stripped, but they're standing.

This picture is such a beautiful picture of how Christians should lean towards the cross in times of trial.

If we walk closely with God, and we are firm in our faith, when the storm hits, we will endure.

Have an amazing week! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm Back!

          Hello friends! I am still alive! It has been one crazy week here, and I'm gearing up for another one. Thursday and Friday our church hosted a simulcast event called Global Leadership Summit. Willow Creek hosts this event every year and it's broadcast out to host sites all around the world. This year we had some great speakers and it was a really fun time. Friday night I spent the night at a friends house for her birthday. Then Sunday we had church that morning, and then that evening, Ash and I met up at Sonic and then headed over to the Woodalls house for Dteam. School started today for Nixa, Wednesday for Clever and Republic, and next Thursday for Springfield. Over here at the Garrison School of Higher Learning we don't start until the first week of September. This Sunday we are driving up to St. Louis to visit my dad, who's been working up there for the past month or so. We are going to the zoo and to a Cardinals game. It should be a fun week and I'll update more when I get the chance. Adios!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


    Holy smokes friends! It has been more than toasty here in the good ole state of Misery for the past two weeks. Yesterday we hit a record high of 108 degrees. 108!!! That didn't even include the heat index. You would think we lived in Arizona. Sheesh....

   I've been up at the office for a couple of days this past week painting offices. There are a lot of changes happening at RBC right now, and I'm really excited about it! Back in September we (finally) started a contemporary service called 10:31. We have kept growing and have outgrown our space. So, starting August 28th, we will be kicking off the 9:01 service! To accommodate the new services, the students will be moving from our Fellowship Center to the Chapel. James will be leading the Senior High, Jessie will be leading the Junior High, and Nate will be leading 9:01, 10:31, and teaching on Wednesday nights. Since all this will be happening, a few of the staff have been switching offices. Yesterday Ryan, Julie, and I painted Nate's office, and they were finishing up today. I am really excited to see how God uses these changes to bring the church together.

  Today, Lance and I went over to the pool for about half an hour. It felt so good to just do nothing! Today is also my bestie's 16th birthday! I'm so excited for her and can't believe she's going to be driving around in no time! Happy Birthday Ash!

  Have a fun and COOL week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


    No, I'm not talking about 'burned' as in "Oh you just got buuurned!", but as in a literal burn. Two of them actually. On Wednesday I gave myself a nasty burn on my arm from my flat iron. Oh the price we pay for beauty. Then tonight, while taking a batch of cookies out of the oven, I scalded my poor finger. Ouch.

   On another note, the scars from my appendectomy are still a lovely pink color. I hope they turn white soon...I don't enjoy looking like pink markers attacked my stomach. Ick.

  So now I shall go nurse my wounds...literally.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


     This has been a bit of a crazy week for me, but good nonetheless. I really enjoy being busy in the summer, but there's times where I just want to sit and do nothing. There's only so many hours in a day, right?

     Sunday morning we had church, and I absolutely love my church, but I'm always just exhausted after Sunday morning. Daniel and I led the opening game Sunday morning, and I'm so glad our youth group gets students involved in activities. That morning, our lesson was on 'Our Calling'. Determining my 'calling' has always especially difficult for me, because I've never felt like I had that niche that other girls have. I don't sing, or act, or have a great sense of style. But this week I realized that my calling is to simply glorify the Lord in everything I do. He will use me in every situation that comes my way.

    Monday we went up to my grandmas house to paint. When she asked us to come and help her with some painting, I pictured rollers and a paint can. Wrong. We used spray paint. Yes, you read that right: spray paint. She had us spray paint the wallpaper under her bay window in the front room. After inhaling way too much spray paint, we headed to Zios for lunch. When we got home, Lance and I mowed the yard. All in all it was a long day.

   Tuesday my mom and I went to lunch with Kari at Beths Bake Shop. Yum! I had half of a croissant sandwich and a salad. After lunch I went to work up at the church office. I always have a great time hanging out with the staff and the other apprentices.

   Today Ashlyn and I headed back up to the office to prep for the church-wide prayer gathering we had tonight. This is the third prayer gathering we have had, but the first one I've attended. I loved it! It was such a great time for every generation of the church to come together to worship and come before the Lord in prayer. The music was fantastic thanks to Tyler, James, Nate, and the band.

    I don't have anything to do this weekend! Except for maybe paint the kitchen.... I'm thankful for friends who have even busier schedules than I do, but still make time to hang out and catch up.

    Be blessed and be a blessing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I promise I'm still alive...

...I've just been a little busy lately. So, here I am to update you on all things Emilee.

   To start off with, from July 13-17 we had CAMP! But before we headed off to Windemere, Ashlyn and I had a girl date that included t-shirts and Nichole337 videos. We started off with Girls Bible Study, then hit up WalMart for some t-shirts, puffy paint, and donuts. After we returned to my house, we decorated our t-shirts and then watched this (our friend Nichole) fantastic video.

   The next day it was time for CAMP! We took off for Roach, MO on Wednesday and returned on Sunday.

   Here are some pics from the week:

Ash and her contraband.

Quinn, Leigh Anna, and Ashlyn on the tube.

Me and my roomie: Day 5

Oh 10th grade boys...

They attacked poor Tori.

Ashlyn, Katie, Courtney, Marlowe, Tori, Jordan, and I.

        It was such a fun week and God is moving in Rbcstudents! My dad left yesterday to work for two months up in Quincy, IL. We will be heading up there for a week at the end of August, so that will be an adventure!

      Have a wonderful weekend, and be blessed!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Foodie Friday.

      Ok friends, so I was a little slow on this food trend. May I introduce the love of my life....NUTELLA.


       I'm telling you, this stuff is the bee's knee's! I had it on a nectarine for dinner last night, and on a graham cracker for breakfast this morning. So, if you've never tried Nutella...GO BUY SOME :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trendy Tuesdays.

        Ok, I admit it, even though I'm quite the tomboy, I have this fascination with fashion trends. So Tuesdays here at Eccentric Emilee are all about trends I'm loving.

       This weeks trend: flower hair accessories.


        I am seriously obsessed with these things. They are super cute in a chignon, or even just as a headband. They're also really inexpensive and cheap to make.

         Here's a quick how-to tutorial.

Supplies needed:
  • a hot glue gun
  • alligator hair clips
  • scissors
  • silk flowers (I purchased mine at JoAnne’s when they had their spring flowers on clearance.)
1. Pull the flower off of the stem and then trim the little knobby part that sticks out of the back so that it is easy to remove the remaining flower parts.

2.  Pull off the small plastic backing that is keeping the silk petals in place.  (see it there above the flower?)

3. Remove all petals that are not firmly attached to the center and very front of the flower.

The type of flower will determine how many of the petals you will remove.

4. Glue each layer of petals to the previous layer with the glue gun using the remainder of the ‘stem’ to line up each layer of petals

5. Trim any remaining stem so that it is flush with petals
6. Glue clip to back of flower

I found this cheat to be helpful when I hot glued the clip onto the back so that the clip didn’t glue itself closed.

       I hope you've enjoyed Trendy Tuesday #1!

*all photos taken from

Monday, June 27, 2011

Missions Minded Mondays

        Mondays are all about missions. Today I want to focus on MANA. Mother Administered Nutritive Aid is an organization focused on the nutrition of children all around the world. Here are some facts from their website ( :

A child dies every six seconds from
malnutrition-related causes.

It’s preventable. And it’s curable.

There are about a billion hungry people in the world. Hunger gives way to chronic malnutrition, and in its most severe form, severe acute malnutrition kills 1- 2 million kids a year.
  • A child becomes acutely malnourished and the mother must leave what little livelihood she has – typically farming – to take the child to the nearest hospital.
  • Long walks give way to crowded waits in makeshift centers. If admitted, she remains as the caregiver in a crowded malnutrition ward, which is often a room with rows of straw mats, as the child is treated.
  • Disease is transmitted easily between the weakened children in the ward.
  • And if the child survives and returns home, it is often to siblings and other family members who have sunken into a deeper level of crisis.

     MANA offers a treatment called RUTF. Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food.

A six-week supply of MANA* brings a malnourished toddler back from the edge. Usually, for good.

Several years ago in Africa, a fortified peanut butter product – Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) –  was developed that significantly reduces the number of deaths resulting from severe acute malnutrition.
The development of this RUTF is a game changer.
  • Field doctors prescribe and distribute it.
  • Mothers can take it back home to administer it, away from the disease in the hunger ward.
  • Malnourished children digest and process it better than grains.
  • Back home quickly, a mother can provide for her other children as she nurses her weakened child back to health.
This community-based approach using RUTF such as MANA will  prevent the deaths of millions of children, worldwide.
Best of all, studies show that once a child is brought back with a full course of RUTF, they stay strong enough to avoid a relapse into severe acute malnutrition. In 2007, RUTF was endorsed as the standard of treatment worldwide for severe acute malnutrition by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, and the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition.

       MANAs goal is that one day, no child will starve to death.

image from
Millions of children who will die of severe acute malnutrition could be saved if each only had 6 weeks’ worth of MANA.  The total cost is less than $60 per child.  That’s it.  Is a child’s life worth $60?
We believe in the universal, cross-cultural truth that mothers love their children.  If we empower moms to treat their malnourished children with ready to use food, lives will be saved.

We can do this.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Foodie Fridays.

           Okay friends, from now on, to improve my blogging frequency, I'll be doing 'segments' a few times a week. Today is Foodie Friday! I'll share some of my favorite restaurants/recipes. Today I hung out with some lovely ladies from church, Ashlyn and Jessie. The fantastic Ms. Jess made some super delish trail mix cookies for her trip to Jamaica, and she let us 'sample' some.


  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.
    2. Beat applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until they are frothy and begin to firm up. Fold egg whites into applesauce mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold into the egg mixture. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, walnuts, and cranberries. Drop by heaping teaspoons on prepared baking sheets.
    3. Bake cookies in preheated oven until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove immediately to wire racks to cool.

                     Healthy AND yummy. Try 'em out. :)

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    I am a voice for the voiceless...

       We just got back from Houston yesterday! I was such an amazing week and God really blessed our group. After 12 hours on the road, we finally rolled in to Houston. Wednesday was our first full day there, and we had so much fun! That morning we went to a Hindu Mosque.

              The stone work was absolutely stunning. It was so awesome to learn about the different culture and religion. After we finished our tour, we ate lunch on our way to the apartment complex we were working with.  The first day was a definite hit! I was on the crafts team, and the first day we made paper bag puppets. The kids really liked the self-adhesive googly eyes! That night we went to the Montrose Street Church. It was a church service in the parking lot of a business in downtown Houston. There were people from all walks of life there and it was very eye-opening.

            On Thursday, we visited a Buddhist Temple.

                                                                Walking into the Buddhist temple
                                                                      Waiting to go in.
                                                                       Freaky? Yes.
    Statues in the garden.
                                                                       The courtyard.
    Some demonic statue.
    Pillars outside the temple.

    Then we hit up an Asian market.

    Part of our group.
                                                                  We are such world travelers.
                                                              There were so many vases.
                                                                              So pretty.
    Fish in a bucket. Yum.
    Katie liked the eggplant.

                  On Friday, we visited an Islamic prayer center, IKEA, and then hit up the Galleria. Here are a few  pictures from the day:

                                                                                 Nap time.

                                                                         My bus buddy and I.
                                                              Josh and I...this is my favorite for sure.
                                                                              Oh yes.
                                                                          Juicy Couture.
                                                                         Louis Vuitton.
                                                     If I was rich, this is where I would shoe shop.
                                                         And I thought the one in our mall was big...
                                                               Rainforest Cafe was fantastic.

                     Saturday I didn't get any pictures because we were so busy, and then Sunday we were traveling. It was truly an amazing trip. God taught me to be flexible and to really depend on Him. What He has in store for me is so much better is so much better than what I could plan for myself. The Bible says "Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding." Trust in God, because I promise, He will use you in ways you could never imagine.