Tuesday, July 31, 2012


For four years now, I have had the privilege of being a part of Josiah Venture's camps, serving with my church. It's so special to see students coming from nearby villages and towns not only to learn English, softball, or participate in the Fusion choir for a week, but also to think about God and experience Him in a way they never have before.

There are so many things I loved about this camp, but here are just a few:

- The students- they were so full of energy, willing to jump into things, excited about activities, and each one of them is so unique, talented, and amazing.

- The American Team- every year a team from Lancaster, PA comes to help out with our camps. They did an amazing job this year at reaching out to the students and not being afraid to start conversations with them. I'm going to miss them!

- Fusion in the morning- choir practices were so much fun.

- Teaching people how to bind journals- I got to teach a workshop on journal-making, which I loved. I'm so glad I could share what I learned how to do last year at JVK camp!

- The Talent Show- hilarious.

- And mostly...watching God work. He's just so good. I just stand there and watch Him in amazement. People were talking openly about what they believe. We prayed together. We shared stories about God. We learned about who God the Father is from reading the story of the Prodigal Son. The Father is calling us home. He waits for us with open arms.
The camp dance! Good tradition.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summery salad

It's been a good couple of days. Summer is so refreshing, even though July is the rainiest month of the year in our area of Czech. But I still love the thunderstorms fresh fruit, a break from school, and time to cook.

Summery salad

-  Spinach
-  Romaine lettuce
- Granny smith apple, chopped
- Tomato, diced
- Cucumber, grated
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Sliced almonds (toasted in oven with a little bit of butter, for a couple minutes)
- Watermelon (optional)

- 1/4-1/3 cup light olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- salt, pepper, to taste

Shake all ingredients together, or blend in a food processor/blender.

And have some yummy chicken with that!

21 Seasonings lemon chicken

Marinate sliced chicken breasts in 2:1 olive oil lemon mixture. Grill with 21 Seasonings Salute (from Trader Joe's, or here on Amazon- super tasty!!), or cook over medium heat in a pan. Yep, pretty simple!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home: Muffins & Soup

After a long trip with over 10 hours of layovers, it feels so good to be home!

One of the things I missed most while being gone was my kitchen. Baking and cooking are honestly two of the most relaxing activities for me. I got to bake a little with my grandma in Oregon, but it's just not the same as being in your own kitchen.

Now that I'm back, I can bake my heart out! My only problem is that Caleb is no longer around to eat everything up, and Dad travels often, so I'm going to need some taste-testers here. I mean, really, I don't think it'd be such a good idea to have a whole batch of sweets to eat just between my mom and me...wait, what am I saying?? Mom-- let's just eat muffins and cookies for dinner when it's the two of us!

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins (with Pamela's baking&pancake mix) 
Recipe from here: Confessions of a gluten-free mom
- 1 & 3/4 cup Pamela’s Pancake Mix
-1/4 cup butter or coconut oil (I used Viva bio "butter")
-1/2 cup + 2 TBS milk (or soy milk)
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp. vanilla
-3/4 cup frozen blueberries (if using not-frozen, coat with 1 tbsp corn starch before folding into batter)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ (180C). Mix all ingredients together except blueberries. Slowly fold in the blueberries- you don't want the batter to be purple! Line a muffin tin with little paper cups, or butter the tin. Fill with batter almost to the top.

Bake for 22-25 Minutes. Test with a knife or a toothpick to make sure they are cooked through.

Makes about 8-10 muffins.

But, since it probably wouldn't be good for our bodies to just have sweets for dinner, we could also have soup too. A comforting, hearty, simmering soup. Yeah, that sounds pretty good.

Sun-dried Tomato Lentil(+) Soup
-2 carrots, grated
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-2-3 tbsp olive oil
-2 garlic cloves
-2/3 cup dried lentils
-1/2 cup dried white beans
-1/3 cup dried peas or split peas
-1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, coarsely chopped
-4-5 cups chicken broth (or bouillon)- or 2 cups bouillon, 2 cups water
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp dried parsley (or a handful fresh)
-1/2 tsp spice mix of your choice- I used this Adobo seasoning
-1 bay leaf
-salt to taste, pepper to taste

Rinse the beans and peas well, then soak in warm water for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a medium/large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in remaining ingredients, and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are soft, making sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning the bottom of the pot. Add extra water if needed. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Tip: To reduce cooking time, soak beans overnight.
Keeping the soup warm while waiting for mom to finish her phone call with Grandma and Bapa! :)

Have a wonderful meal!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Little traveling tips

Traveling sounds so easy sometimes. But there are things that will be different and unexpected when you pack up and go somewhere. And as an MK (Missionary Kid) things can be especially confusing because of all the people we stay with, and places we visit. I love it, even though it can be a little crazy sometimes!

Here are a few (really) random things I often forget when traveling...I'm telling myself these tips!

1. You will miss your dog (if you have one) - it is more difficult than I realize to be apart from my dog for a long time! It's such a comfort to have Kaylee around, and she brings such stability and joy to our lives. Thankfully, we just visited some friends who had Cavaliers, so we got our fix! I was so happy.
2. You will need more suitcase space - somehow the clothes all fit on the way there, and don't fit on the way back. How is this possible?? Try rolling your clothes...it saves tons of space.

3. Don't forget a dirty clothes bag - this is one thing I almost always forget....so I'm writing this just as much for myself as for you!!

4. It is awesome to see friends or visit cool places every day, but you need a little down time - make sure to have at least a few hours to actually relax while traveling, so that you don't burn yourself out! But maybe that's more of a tip for the introverts out there....get a little recharge time!
5. You will be so happy to see grandparents - enjoy every minute with them! (Really, I just wanted to share this sweet picture with my Patty grandparents- they're so great!)

6. Bring earplugs and and an eye mask - Seriously. Seriously. I didn't discover this until last year, and it has changed my traveling experience so much!! When you stay in new places, you never know if it'll be loud, or if your roommates will need the lights on longer than you want to stay awake. Earplugs and an eye mask are my best friends now. 

7. Never travel without your own blanket - cold flights. Cold air conditioning. Uncomfortable car rides. Scratchy motel blankets. You name it. Bring your own cozy blanket...it's worth it!

8. Enjoy the trip - keep your eyes open for new places and things to see. The journey is just as much fun as the destination. 

There you go! Just a few fun facts. Now I won't forget them, and hopefully something can be helpful to you too! Enjoy your travels!


Welcome to Wyoming: Our temporary home for the week.

We've been in the States for a month now, and are in the last stretch now! We're staying with some friends in Cody, Wyoming for the week at their ranch. It's my first ranch experience...I feel very American! Ha!
What have I loved most about being here?

Of course, all the great people. :)
This is Cotter!
And the horses...
The other ranch animals... 
The wide open spaces.
The pleasant temperatures, and restful days...
It's definitely a different experience from being in Europe! I love both though...I'll be sad to leave here, but happy to be home too in a week. I'm soaking in these lovely days! Trying to take it all in, and capture it with the camera too, so I don't forget it.

Oh, and by the way...Happy 4th of July! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gull Lake and Goodbye

We just finished a wonderful week at Gull Lake Ministries family camp. This is the third time we've been here, and every time I am amazed by this ministry. 

My dad had the privilege of teaching and being the missions rep for the camp, and I am so proud of him!  I got to be a part of the adult program this year, and be in his teachings, which I really enjoyed. (Maybe I'm just biased...but really, I love his Bible teaching!) 

I don't want to forget all of these precious times in the States. It's exhausting, yes, but also so very memorable. I'm thankful for the memories I get to make with my family. 

With my buddy Haley!! She is so so sweet, and I'm thankful I got to hang out with her at GL! Haley- you're awesome!
The last night of camp Caleb led the counselors in a worship song as a choir. It was amazing. I've never seen a group of people praising God as joyously as them! I loved getting a taste of what heaven will be like some day. :)

This was not just a nice week at camp. We also had to say goodbye to Caleb. *Not-so-happy-face* He's working at Gull Lake all summer, and after that is headed to Moody Bible Institute this fall. Thankfully, we get to see him in October, but still, this is the send off. This is the closing of the "four-of-us" family chapter. Officially. :(

It was hard to say goodbye. But I know it's right. I wouldn't want it any other way. But I deeply miss having my brothers around all the time.

Praying that God will bless my brothers as they're in the States, and that He'll give our "three-of-us-now" family sweet times together. It'll be different. But I know God will bring good things no matter what. I thank Him for that!

Question of the day:

Does anybody know what it's like to have older siblings move, and you're left at home? How was it for you? Good things and bad things about it?