Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is finally here! I am so excited!

I think Christmas is my favorite holiday because of the anticipation and expectations. I don't mean for presents...I mean just the whole feeling of waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. That feeling is such a wonderful reminder of what the Jews (and the rest of the world, even if they didn't realize it) felt as they waited for their Messiah to come. And He did come, on Christmas!

I am in awe each year at how wonderful the whole story of Christmas is. We were promised a Savior, and He came as a baby. This year, I was struck again by Mary being a virgin and pregnant. I am sure everyone thought she was tricking Joseph, that she had slept with another man. But she was really carrying the son of God.

I want to share a couple of line from my favorite Christmas songs:

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Sleep baby Jesus
My Father and my child
Beneath this broken cross of sin
Stained with men's denial
And though you now are breathless
With thorns upon your head
Your body has been broken
So your children can be fed
(this one is from a Bebo Norman song that I love, "Mary's Prayer."




Merry Christmas from Bech and me!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last night, we had a bunch of people over for a game night. It was very impromptu, but it turned out to be very fun. Bech and I usually love to have people over. We had a good amount of people over while we were in Oxford. Then last year, we had people over all of the time. A lot of that was due to the fact that there is really nothing else to do in Malawi, but we really love to have guests over. We both like to cook for others and just try to create a fun experience.

Since we have been in Jackson, we haven't had very many people over. We have just been in a slump. I think part of it is that we made good friends last year then left them. So we aren't as energetic about making new friends. We also are just so busy. Last year, we could spend all afternoon getting dinner and our house ready. But I have so many MCF activities going on during the week so that makes having people over hard. I think, though, that we broke our slump last night. We played Taboo and Balderdash.

Bech is off work for the next two weeks, which we'll be fun. I still have work, but my First Pres job is only part time, so I will get to spend a lot of time with him. Last year, we worked together and got to spend lots of time together. Now, we have a lot less time together, and it's really hard. I am so excited to spend lots of time the next two weeks.

Christmas is almost here! I can't wait. I went to Brookhaven yesterday and wrapped presents all day. Only 6 more days!

p.s. Happy 27th Anniversary to my Parents :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

things i love

Since I have nothing exciting to talk/write about, I thought I would share a few items I really love right now. Maybe if any of you are still struggling to figure out what to buy for christmas gifts for others, this will give you a few ideas

1. OPI nail polish
This brand of nail polish is the best ever, seriously. It is pricier--about $8 per bottle--but it's totally worth it. The color below is "Dear Santa," from the 2009 Christmas Collection...I have it on my toes right now. I also love "Melon of Troy" and "Don't Socratease Me," and I know "Cajun Shrimp" is a really popular summer color. (The names are part of the fun!) You can buy OPI at specialty salon shops, nail salons, and even Kroger (at least in our town).


2. Uggs
I used to things Uggs were, well, a little ugly. Then Ugg came out with it's cardigan line, and I immediately fell in love. I finally bought a pair about 2 months ago, and I am hooked! If you have never tried on a pair of Uggs, you need to. They feel amazing. They are lined with wool and are so soft.

3. Glee
Ohmylanta...I love this show. It is amazing. If you haven't seen it, it's about a high school glee club. The storyline is hilarious and the singing and dancing is great. The show comes on Wednesdays at 8 on Fox, but you can watch in online at fox.com.



4. Bath and Body Works' Fresh Balsam scent
Because of my love for all things Christmas, I have often looked for Christmas scented candles. Usually the tree flavors aren't very realistic. This candle, however, is amazing. It smells like a live Christmas tree. I have bought a candle and soap, but I think Bath and Body Works makes various other things in this scent. You can buy at the store or online, but watch for deals. They always have tons, like free shipping, two for one, or percents off.
5. Urban Decay
I have a serious obsession with Urban Decay. It started my senior year of high school when I went to New York. I got an Urban Decay makeover in Bloomingdales. I love the eye shadow colors because they are just so fun.

This color is Midnight Cowboy Rides Again. It is a great neutral that has a ton of sparkle. If you want to try out Urban Decay eye shadows, its a good place to start.

A great gift for someone is an Urban Decay eye shadow palette. Urban Decay sells palettes with 6, 8, or even 16 different colors. I absolutely love these (I have three at home). This one pictured is the Book of Shadows, Volume II, and it is sold out everywhere but urbandecay.com. You can find Urban Decay via their website, the sephora website or stores, and the ulta website or stores. Again, watch for sales. Sephora and Ulta always have great sales.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There are two exciting things I need to share about. The first, and by far the most important, is the news that Josh and Emily Ketchum, two of my favorite people in the world, are going to have a baby!!!!!! Oh-My-Lanta! I am very excited for them :)

The second exciting thing is that it snowed last Friday night. Now, for some people, snow is not a big deal. Courtney would actually probably love to have a winter without snow, after her two years in Laramie (by the way, Courtney, I just almost linked to you, but alas, you have your blog blocked to the general public). I, however, think snow is a big deal, a VERY big deal. And so I curled up in front of the fire (and by fire, I mean gas heater, but it has a similar effect), turned on the Christmas tree lights, and made Bech watch White Christmas. He fell asleep pretty quickly, but I enjoyed it. So here are some pictures of the snow and of our tree!




Thursday, December 3, 2009

my first tag!

I got tagged for a blog post by Catherine Carter. Here are the rules:
Rules for the award:
1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it.
2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

After such a depressing last post, I figure I need a good lighthearted post. So I will try to keep all/most of my answers like that.

1. I hate to spend money on gas...like I absolutely hate it! And I love to find the cheapest gas around to buy. Right now, Murphy's express on County Line is the cheapest. My family has been known to call me before and tell me they found cheap gas somewhere...it makes my day.

2. Bech and I both miss Malawi a lot more than we usually tell people. We are very homesick for Malawi and sometimes feel pretty dissatisfied with American culture.

3. I would really like to name a little girl Rilla. Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) named her youngest daughter Bertha Marilla, and called her Rilla. Bech has nixed this plan from the beginning, claiming people will call her "Gorilla," so I don't think I will have a little Rilla. But I still think it's a beautiful name.

4. On the subject of Anne, I was obsessed with those books when I was young. I used to actually make my mother call me Anne. Weird, I know. I still like to reread those books every year or two.

5. I love to reread my favorite books. I don't like to rewatch movies that much, but I can reread a book I love 20 or 30 times. My favorite books to read: anything by Chaim Potok, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Chronicles of Narnia, and many many more. I also reread Agatha Christie books once I have forgotten who the murderer is.

6. I once ate almost nothing but ice cream for 3 weeks. I went to a program called Governors school, in which rising 11th and 12th graders live on a college campus and take some classes. We were living at the Mississippi University for Women and the food there was disgusting (although they did have an ice cream station). I would usually eat an apple and yogurt for breakfast and then ice cream for lunch and dinner. I think I ate two real meals the entire time I was there.

7. I love glitter and sparkle. This urge is really crazy right now because of all of my fun sparkly Christmas ribbon, ornaments, and decoration. Bech is going crazy because he hates glitter. Well he doesn't hate it...he just hates glitter on our floor. But I hate when he leaves random socks on the floor, so I think we are even.

Okay, that was not 10 things. But I am tired of doing this, and the Mustard Seed is having an open house today that I really want to go to. Plus I think I just broke my phone...yay! Not really.

I tag Courtney, Katy, Emily Ketchum, Emily O'Dell, and Liz.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


First of all, its now December!!! Yay! Bech and I got our tree Saturday from the fairgrounds. Half of the proceeds from the trees there are going to Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. We got it up and decorated and it looks pretty cute.

Other than that, this past week was kind of rough. Ansley, my little sister who was diagnosed with Chrone's disease about two months ago, w
as not responding to her medicine well. So she was in the hospital for 3 days last week. She was able to come home for Thanksgiving dinner. But because mom was with her at the hospital for most of the time, Katy and I were in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out really good, I think. I guess you'll have to poll the rest of my family for an unbiased opinion.

Plus, we had some surprise guests for Thanksgiving, but not for a good reason. Wednesday night, my great uncle fell and was flown via helicopter from Brookhaven to Jackson. He is my grandmother's oldest brother, and he's 91 (we just celebrated his 90th birthday party last year). My grandparents got in the car in Florida on Wednesday night and drove all night. They got to Jackson at about 5 or 6 in the morning. But that did mean they were able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with us. My uncle is still alive and fighting, although I don't think the long term outlook is too good.

To top it all off, Saturday night I spilled a drink onto my laptop. Needless to say, it doesn't work anymore. We took it in Sunday night to get it checked out, and left with a new desktop. We had really wanted to buy a desktop in the near future, just not right now. But they were able to transfer all of our files off of the laptop and onto the new computer, which was my big concern. We had all of our Africa pictures on the laptop, and I was so worried we had lost them forever.

So now we own one of these. I will keep all liquids away from it, and it should last us a good long time (I hope!).

Finally, I went out on my first Black Friday ever. Katy, Dad, and I left Brookhaven a little before 4 to head to the Jackson stores. We hit up Target, Best Buy, Belk, Gap, and Wal-Mart. It was fun, but very tiring.

I will try to put a picture soon of our christmas tree...it's so cute!


Friday, November 20, 2009

I feel like I'm a horrible poster now that I'm in America. Which is probably fine, because its not like a ton of people are reading this blog. But I do like to keep it updated.

Anyway, Bech and I have been pretty busy lately. We are about to head up to Oxford for the LSU game...we are going to win this year. I just know it. Ha, we probably won't...but maybe! I am so excited to be in the grove, especially when it's cold. Plus my whole family will be there, which will be very fun.

Last week, Bech's aunt, cousin, and future uncle (he's engaged to Tanta, Bech's aunt) came into town, so we got to spend lots of time with them.

Also, last weekend, I ushered at a visitation. I'm an intern with First Pres, and they ask interns to help out with visitations and funerals. I have never been able to do it before, but I was able this time. Also, the woman who died has a daughter Bech's age who he was good friends with in high school, so I really wanted to help.

The woman was pretty young (57) and an amazing lady. I have never seen that many flowers and that many people. It was supposed to be a 3 hour visitation, but ended up being 5 hours, because there were so many people. What an amazing testament to someone's character to have that many people there. She was a wonderful woman, and people loved her.

Please just keep this family in your prayers over the holidays. She left behind 3 grown kids and a husband, and I know Christmas is going to be so hard for them this year (and probably for many, many years to come). I feel mostly for Bech's friend (and my friend too). I have absolutely no idea how I could ever function without my mom, and I hurt so much for her.




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last weekend, I was at Twin Lakes for RUF fall conference. We had a pretty good group...kids were there from Rhodes, Memphis State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Delta State, Hinds, JSU, MC, Belhaven, and Millsaps. The State music team led worship and they did an amazing job. I was so excited and encouraged to see that many college kids loving the music.
In the younger circles of the PCA, there is a big movement to sing hymns set to guitar music. Some of these hymns are actually the same tune you would sing in church (Be Thou My Vision, O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, and Amazing Grace are a few like that), but most of the hymns have been set to new music. A few are actually new words as well, but most are the words that have been sung in the church for years and years.
I absolutely love singing hymns. Not only do I love it, but I actually believe that hymns (as opposed to more modern praise and worship songs) should be a big part of worship. Please know, though, that I don't think anything bad about people who worship God in more contemporary ways. This is just a personal opinion. There is actually an article on the RUF site that is a good resource when looking at hymns vs. praise and worship style songs. Its by a guy named Kevin Twit, who has been a big part of the hymn movement.
I believe in singing hymns for a couple of reasons. The first has to do with the age and legacy of these hymns. It is so amazing to sing a song and know that Christians from 300 years ago worshipped God with the same song! I love to have that connection to the past Christians, who are now worshipping Christ in heaven.
I also love the words. No offense, but I feel like some modern Christian songs have very little depth to them. I think the words must have been written rather quickly. Also, the songs tend to focus on what we do to worship and glorify God. Hymns were not written quickly. They required time and lots of effort. The words usually focus a lot more on our depravity and sinfulness and how Christ has saved us. For example:
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you tarry 'til you're better,
You will never come at all.
Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners Jesus came to call.
These lyrics are from Come, Ye Sinners...this is one of my favorites. I feel like there is so
much within this song to focus on and ponder.
Another great hymn is A Debtor to Mercy Alone. Here's the last verse:
My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.

That hymn was written by Augustus Toplady, who also wrote Rock of Ages.
I have so many favorite hymns, so I'm not going to talk about them all on here. But if you are
interested, go here. That link will take you to the music section of the RUF site. It links to
some RUF cds, which I would highly recommend. The Indelible Grace cds are great...I love
them! They just released a Christmas cd and an acoustic cd, and I can't wait to get both.
Anyway, just wanted to put some thoughts out there...if you disagree, feel free to comment!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am absolutely adoring fall. Last week, there were a few warm days (that's Mississippi for you), but its been chilly this weekend. Bech and I have been going to the farmers market and cooking a bunch, which is always fun.

Saturday night (which some of you call Halloween, but it was really Reformation Day), David and I took 15 Millsaps students to Canton to the Canton Corn Maze and Haunted Barn. We had a great time. It's pretty far away (at least 45 minutes). It's been raining in Mississippi for seriously the past 2 months, so the corn maze was REALLY muddy. Some of us went in the actual corn maze which had lots of mud and puzzles. We were so gross, but it was great.


I try to make some sort of snack each week for MCF. This past week I made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing...here's the recipe. They taste so good...sort of like an early Thanksgiving treat!


Okay, I know Bech and I are weird because we take pictures of our food. But sometimes food is just so pretty! Here is a salsa verde Bech made for our chicken the other night.


Here is some grilled chicken with salsa verde, mashed sweet potatoes (made with sweet potatoes that Bech's brother grew), and green beans with lemon juice. I just love all of the different colors.



This weekend is going to be busy. It's Mistletoe Marketplace, which is a huge Christmas market put on by the Junior League of Jackson each year. It's one of my favorite times of the year, probably actually my favorite second to Christmas. Plus, we have RUF fall conference this weekend. I am going to be very busy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

random thoughts

There is not really anything exciting going on in our lives right now, so I thought I would just share some thoughts on various things:

1. There are several things that were new to America last year that I think are ridiculous. The first is "Twitter." Seriously, no one should update the world on every little thing that happens to them. It is boring. No one cares. Okay, yes, your subscribers care, but they shouldn't. I have been told that you have to have a twitter account in order to read someone else's twitter update. I have also been told that news channels and other similar businesses/organizations/etc. have good "tweets." So I guess thats a semi-good reason to have a twitter account. Other than that, it just weirds me out.

Also, snuggies are creepy and not very attractive. No one needs to walk around wrapped in a blanket at all times. And the animal print snuggie totally weirds me out.

The Jonas Brothers tv show. Need I say more? Maybe the Jonas brothers were popular before I went to Malawi...I don't know? I babysit a lot, and some of the kids are a little older. Plus Bech learns all about them from the "seedsters." And I don't really like them. They can't act. Plus I dreamed I was dating one of them last night, and I am very upset that the Jonas brothers have made their way into my dreams.

2. Okay, enough about what bugs me. Here's what is cool: when your head pastor/boss tells a little story in staff meeting about his good friends R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson...whoa! I wish I could tell little stories about my good friends Derek Webb and Donald Miller. Seriously though, how amazing is that? I work at a cool church.

3. I am loving fall. It is not as cold this week as it was last week, but it is still chilly. Every Tuesday I cook something for MCF. This week I made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing...oh my goodness! They are SO good! I found the recipe here. You should try them out...today...or maybe tomorrow. That's how good they are. And they are pretty easy to make.

4. This Saturday, MCF is going to a corn maze...I am so excited! We are going to this place. I have never been to one of these, but I think its going to be really fun.

Okay, enough boring-ness. I am going to put up some pics of our living room soon, because it's almost all together!

Monday, October 19, 2009

the grove

We had a wonderful, albeit tiring weekend. Friday night, we ate at Sal & Mookies with Cortney and Colby...so good! The humus there might be better than Keifers, if that is even possible.

Saturday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn to head to Oxford. The game wasn't until 6, so we didn't need to leave that early, but we wanted to be in Oxford for most of the day. We pulled in at 10. Mom and I got to do some furniture shopping (I found a really cute end table for our living room...now I just have to sand and paint it), while Bech hung out some with Hunter. We hung out at the condo and made pepperoni bread (best stuff ever) and a dip, then headed to the grove.

If you have never been to the grove, you are missing out. Basically, the campus of Ole Miss is built around some grassy, tree-filled expanses (the Grove and the Circle). On game day, these areas are filled with tents and overflowing with people. Most people dress up for the games. Girls wear dresses or sometimes nice pants, boys usually wear khakis and a button up. Blaise, who is pledging, had to wear a blazer and tie like the other pledges. People either make lots of food or get it catered. Some of the tents go all out...they bring flat screens so they can watch other games, or even hire live bands. Plus there is lots of drinking (therefore lots of funny drunk college students).

We went to the game after the grove, but only stayed until halftime...it was freezing! We were all huddled up under blankets.


This is Mike, one of Bechs good friends from ceramics at Ole Miss. He is a grad student, and he is really good. Plus, he's getting married next spring!

Here is my "frat-tastic" brother!



We had a blast...the grove can be a little overwhelming sometimes, but I think everyone should get to experience it at least once in their life!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

jackson

Bech and I have been enjoying living in Jackson. Belhaven is such a fun neighborhood and we are exploring places around it. One fun place we have found is Underground 119. It's actually downtown (so only about 5 minutes from our house). It's a jazz/blues bar. We went this past Thursday night and heard the Tiger Rogers Quartet...they were great.


I've been to the Thai house several times with students. This restaurant is amazing. So far, I've stuck with the coconut soup and pad thai, but next time I'm getting the red curry.


This has nothing to do with Jackson, but I just recently bought my first sewing machine. I know, its kinda dorky that it's the Project Runway edition, but I loved everything about this machine, including the price. Brothers are what they use on Project Runway, so they put the logo on the machine. But it works great...I just started working on my curtains. My moms machine just broke, so we are actually both part owners of this machine. He has been christened "Andre"...if you watched second season of PR, you'll know why!


Finally, Christmas is out at the stores! Well not all of them. But Hobby Lobby has all of their christmas stuff out (including fake trees and wreaths)...I had to resist buying ornaments today! Plus Bath and Body Works has tons of Christmas/Fall scented candles/soups/etc. I am loving it all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This month, Bech is featured in Portico in a article about young artists. There are about ten young artists talked about. A photographer had to come take lots of photos of Bech for the article, and she was kind enough to send us all of the pictures.


Here is a set of mugs from Bech's thesis show.

I love how she arranged all of the pottery.

Here are a few of Bech hard at work. He is using a wheel at Mustard Seed...no wheel of his own yet! Hopefully that will change soon.


If you are in the Jackson area, there is going to be a special show/party tonight from 5:30 til 7:30 at the Auditorium (in Fondren). All of the artists will be there with their work. It should be really fun.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CSA, Pesto, and Fall!

Bech's brother Josh is running an organic farm right now, called the Flying M farm. It's located in Canton. There are several other organic farms in the area and Josh knows the other farmers. Recently Bech met Tony Woods, another farmer who is running a fall CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, its just a way individuals and families can support and enjoy an organic farm. We pay $25 a week for 13 weeks, and each week we receive a box full of good things that were freshly picked that week.

Last Wednesday was our first pick up day. First of all we had lots of different types of peppers, along with some squash (green, yellow, and gem squash) and cucumbers.


We also had some tomatoes. Bech made an amazing cucumber and tomato salad with these little tomatoes...so good!

Also included were micro-greens, arugula, and lots of fresh basil. I love homemade pesto, so I decided to put the basil to good use. Here is everything set up...I use Giada's pesto recipe:
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove (I like to use two, but I also LOVE garlic)
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
about 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

I used my food processor, but you can also use a blender. Pulse the basil, pine nts, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then stream in enough oil to get it to a consistency you like (I like mine a little thicker, so I probably only use about 1/2 cup of olive oil). Finally add the parmesan and enough salt to get it tasting good.

I made a whole jar like this to put in the freezer, then had this jar left over. Bech and I love to make homemade pizza, and pesto is so good on pizza!



Finally, fall has come to Mississippi. Usually it takes a while for cool weather down south. We have been having rainy, humid, kinda hot days. But yesterday and today the weather has been amazing! I just looked on the weather channel website, and its currently 59 degrees here. I am so happy! I absolutely love fall and fall weather. I decided to make a fun table arrangement yesterday because of the cold weather.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

things are good here. well except i really wanted to make meringues tonight for mcf, but it is pouring down rain right now (which it has been doing for seriously the past week or two)...and you can't make meringues if its humid (which is about 90% of the time in mississippi). oh and bech's car broke down and got broken into (they didn't really take anything, but still...and whoever the guy was, he got blood all over the seats...um, gross). i did want to share about two new things i am obsessed with.

the first thing is derek webb. well i have loved derek webb for a while, but he has a new cd out, Stockholm Syndrome. i really like caedmon's call when i was younger, because my counselors would always play it at kamp. and then derek webb broke away from caedmon's to do solo stuff. he came to millsaps my freshman year to play a concert (which is really crazy...i mean millsaps is not the kind of school that attracts christian artists, very strange).

i bought his solo cd that night, She Must and Shall Go Free. each of his cds has a central theme to it. the first cd is about the church and Christ's love for her. i actually got to hear him again a few months later at summer RUF in Panama City. Courtney totally humored me by going early to his "suprise concert" and meeting him with me. i would share the picture of courtney and me with derek, but we are not looking so hot, seeing as we just came off of the beach. plus he's a little guy, so my head looks twice the size of him...not such a cute picture.


since then he has realized 4 more cds (well not counting House Show), and each has had a very specific theme. also, each has been musically very unique. derek is really talented at both lyrics and music. the words on this latest cd are really convicting. he is selling it via his site for a great price, so i would check it out.


the second thing i am loving right now is The Help. this book is about the relationship between black housekeepers/maids ("the help") and their white employers during the early 1960's. the book is set in Jackson, MS (and the author grew up here, so almost everything she mentions specific to Jackson is true). i absolutely loved this book. i couldn't put it down. it gives a great view into the mid-desegregation world. i think lots of people here about segregation in the south, and just want to judge the south. but everything is complicated and hard, and this book helps to explain it all. seriously, though...you should all read it...it is an amazing book!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When I was in 8th grade, I had a teacher for math who I loved. I thought he was wonderful. He taught us math, but he also talked to us a lot about other things in life. The summer after 8th grade, it came out that he had, over the course of several years, been molesting teenage boys from our schools. I was devastated. I feel like it was a defining moment in my life, of realizing that people aren't always who you believe them to be, that sometimes your heros have totally screwed up their lives.

I'm not as naive as that anymore, but yesterday was still really hard. Go here to read about it. Pete's first year as a counselor was my second year as a kamper (Barn 4, K-Kountry). I loved Pete and thought he was amazing. It's just hard to realize that he wasn't who I thought he was. So please pray for the boys involved in the investigation. Pray for his wife, Katie, who is wonderful. Pray for his daughter Riley. And pray for the many, many, many kids (and even people my age) who are feeling totally betrayed. I can't even begin to describe the amount of kids who would claim Pete as being someone who impacted their life. I know they are probably going through so many emotions right now. And also pray for Kanakuk. Kanakuk is an amazing place. The fact that Pete was able to do this while working for Kanakuk does not show the kamp as being lax, but rather Pete as being pretty crafty. Because Kanakuk is an amazing place and it changes the lives of so many kids. I don't want parents not to send their kids to kamp because of this (although I know it will be hard as a parent to trust Kanakuk after this).

Monday, September 7, 2009

...

It's finally done with...we sold the car!!! We heard that the people wanted it for sure last week, but we waited til everything had been transfered to put it on the blog. We had just been jilted (okay, so maybe jilted is way too strong of a word to use!) so many times last minute, that we wanted to have it all done just to feel sure. But the couple we sold it to is the sweetest couple!

So here is one last look at our Toyota Carina, called, "the Shaba." (after Alan Shaba, the man who helped us find it)

And here is the couple who bought it. This is Josh and Rebecca Harper. Josh's mom works at the ABC office in Clinton and basically is amazing. She takes care of getting all of the missionaries their money each month plus a bajillion other things!

We got to meet Josh and Rebecca when they came last spring to visit Malawi. They decided to come spend the next year in Malawi. Josh is teaching many of my old classes and Rebecca is teaching the 4 year old preschool (called Reception over there). Anyway, we think they are both just great, and are excited that they have bought our car.

It's amazing to see what God's plans are. We were so stressed and upset to have not sold our car before we left. But now I wouldn't have wanted to sell it to anyone else and in any other way. God is good...if I have learned anything this year, its that God is good.

p.s. Josh and Rebecca, if ya'll are reading this...I stole this picture off Rebecca's facebook...sorry!

p.p.s. My brother has the flu/swine flu...not sure which one :( So pray for him, and pray that the rest of my family doesn't get it. Katy, Mom, Bech, and I have all been around him.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

almost christmas...

Okay, so, no, its not really almost Christmas. I mean, not technically. But yesterday, I was in Michaels and I saw the Christmas ribbon! It's already out!

Christmas is my favorite holiday...I absolutely love everything about Christmas. And I know decorations aren't everything, but it was hard to go from this tree every year:


(tree at my parents house)

to this tree this past year:

(tree bought for MK2000 at Shoprite)

I am just ready for everything about Christmas. So I have decided to go ahead and make my blog Christmas themed. Because I'm ready for Christmas and you should be too!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This past week, I have been missing Malawi so much. I think it is because all of the new people are there, and school just started last Monday. Plus, I picked up the yearbook from the ABC office this past week (which, by the way, looks amazing! I am so happy with how it turned out!!!).

All of those things added together make me very homesick for Malawi. I am so glad to be in Jackson in my job right now, but I also wish I could see all of my students!

You all can be in prayer for all of the new teachers right now. I remember being so terrified those first few weeks, not sure what I was doing, still trying to remember every students name, on top of living in a brand new place with total strangers. Soon, in a few months or even weeks, the new missionaries will feel so comfortable and at ease, but the first little bit is hard.

My job is still going well. We had a retreat this weekend for the core group of Millsaps Christian Fellowship. It was great! I loved getting to know some of the girls, and am so excited to spend time with them in the future! We already have a girl’s night in the works. Our first MCF large group is on Tuesday night.

Bech is enjoying his job as well. It is tiring, but not boring at all. I will have to get him to post on here about all of the “Seedsters.”

If anyone from last year is reading this blog (the Robbins, the Hirotos, the Ketchums, Andy, Megan, Vicki?), we had people over last night and taught them the “paper game” (I think some people call it “paper gossip” or “paper telephone”). And one of the guys was a better drawer than Dan or Bech. I know, I know, I didn’t even think that was possible. But this guy’s drawings were absolutely amazing! We saved them, so maybe I can upload a picture of one or two of them. We had fun, but we missed playing the paper game over at Duplex 2.

We are about to go to a concert of “Elijah” by Mendelssohn that the First Pres choir is putting on tonight instead of a Sunday night service. I am sure it will be wonderful. First Pres has a great music program that we are enjoying.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

as promised...


Our bedroom...we still have a few boxes in here to unpack, and we need to find a dresser for my side of the bed (the purple plastic drawers are hideous...they are even sparkly!). I am loving sleeping more than a foot off of the ground and minus a mosquito net.


The kitchen...we just added that metal rack, because we don't have much storage space. Please note the flame colored Le Creuset round dutch oven...just like Julia Childs! I totally did not plan that (but I love it!).


Here's a full view of the kitchen. It's not huge, but I like it.



Built-in's


Bech's mom gave us these chairs, but they were painted a yellowy-white. So I painted them chocolate brown and recovered them in a fun stripe.

Friday, August 21, 2009



okay, so it's not pictures of our new place, but heres a video from malawi. this is taken from the car on the way home from lucius' house?




this video is from a sunday at lucius' church. i feel like both of these movies give you a little taste of malawian life....enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

settled in

We have a working computer!!! I picked it up today from the Apple store. Let me just say, I absolutely love the Apple store. First of all, it is just a really fun store to be in. I love being surrounded by all of the Macs (maybe that seems a little weird…I’m sure some of ya’ll understand what I mean). Second of all, everyone who works there is wonderful. Seriously, all of their employees are so helpful and so kind. My computer repair should have cost a LOT. It wasn’t cheap, but the guy who helped me figured out a way to make it a lot cheaper.

Alright, enough about my love for the Apple store. We are pretty much settled into our lives in Jackson. Bech started work Monday at the Mustard Seed. The Mustard Seed is a home and day center for mentally retarded adults. Bech works with the “seedsters” (their nickname, not mine), during the day. The great thing is that they sell painted pottery as a fundraiser, so Bech gets to help with that. It’s not full time ceramics or anything, but it is still some!

I am still really liking my job. The Millsaps students move in this weekend, and we have a core group retreat next weekend. I am excited for Millsaps Christian Fellowship to start up.

I also feel like we are starting to get settled in our church. We have been going to early church, which I enjoy. Ligon Duncan, the head preacher, is on sabbatical right now, so Derek Thomas has been preaching. Wow…that is a treat! Dr. Thomas is such an amazing preacher. Plus, he is from Wales so he has a great accent. Dr. Duncan will start preaching again in a few weeks (he also is a great speaker), and we’ll get to hear Dr. Thomas on Sunday nights.

Our house is almost unpacked. After living in the Boersma’s house (the house on campus we moved into in January), this house seems a little tiny. But we love it. It has wood floors (which is good…I hate carpet) and lots of old house character. Plus it has a gas fireplace. I will try to put some pictures up this week, if we get some paintings and prints hung.

I am missing Malawi a lot. I didn’t realize I would miss it this much. Mostly, I miss the people. I talked to Emily Ketchum Friday before they left (Josh and Emily are going back for another year). It made me so sad to not be going back with them. I know we made the right decision, but it is still hard.

You can be praying for all of the new people over there right now. I know they are dealing with so many emotions! I am sure they are freaking out in the grocery stores and crying when the power goes out, just like I was.

Alright, well I need to work on some other stuff. I will get the pictures up this week!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Our computer is currently not working (which sucks, but I am so glad it waited til we got back to America to work!), so I don't have any fun picture posts :( Sorry...when we get it working again, I will post pictures of what we've been up to.

This week is going to be crazy! I babysat today and will babysit on Wednesday, which is a good source of income. Plus I have work and some college activities this week. Plus, we move in this week!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay! We are very excited about this! I painted some today and will finish up painting the kitchen tomorrow. Then we will move everything in on Thursday and Friday.

I am just so ready to unpack everything. We packed everything up last May. So it has been 14 months since I have seen all of this stuff. I am most excited about my KitchenAid mixer (especially after mixing cookie dough by hand this past year!). But I also can't wait to sit on our couch! It will be like Christmas for us!

We still haven't sold our car. I have just stopped worrying about it. It will sell...I guess its just not supposed to sell right now. So I am just trusting that God will work it all out in His time.

Bech's eye problems seem to be okay, as of now. He is in major job hunt mode, and nothing is working out. So please pray that he will find a job!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just a quick update from us...we're good. We are still trying to get back into the swing of things here in America. We both have phones, and I've been working. Bech is looking for a job right now.

Our computer is messed up, so we won't be putting up pictures any time soon. There is now an apple store in Mississippi, so hopefully they can fix our computer!

We move into our house in a couple of weeks. Mostly, we have just been enjoying time with family. We were able to go to Oxford this past weekend and see some good friends who we missed a lot.

Finally, Hunter would like to say hello. He is sitting over my shoulder and would like to "give a shout-out to all those different peeps."

Um...thanks, Hunter???

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have really been struggling with faith lately. I have posted on this blog about our car that we were trying to sell before we left. If you have read those posts, you know that twice we have had people who wanted our car and weren't able to get the money together. Well the morning we left, Bech met with an Australian business man who decided to buy our car. He was going to transfer the money from his Australian account to our American one. It didn't work. He says the bank is not letting him do that.

So we are back at square one...the car isn't sold. The money from the car is going to be used to pay taxes, put deposits down and pay our first months rent, and just get our apartment set up. Plus, Bech had to go see the doctor on Monday and had some minor laser surgery on his eye (which was not covered by our insurance!). We are stressed about money, but it's not like we don't have it! It's just in Africa in the form of a car.

I have to remind myself that if I really believe what I say, that God is in control, that He is sovereign, that He loves me and will take care of me, then I need to let this go. I need to just totally trust Him in this area. So please pray. Pray that our car will sell, but more than that, please pray for my heart (and Bech's heart as well). Pray that I will trust God to care for me, just as He has cared for me this past year in Africa and throughout my whole life.

Finally, I want to share some lyrics. These are from Hold It Up to the Light, by David Wilcox (one of my favorite musicians ever). He is talking about making a decision, but it is a great reminder to have faith.

"I said God, will you bless this decision?
I'm scared, Is my life at stake?
But I see if you gave me a vision
Would I never have reason to use my faith?"


Sunday, July 5, 2009


Here are two videos that I have been wanting to upload for a long time (but couldn't because of the slow internet). They are from the safari Emily, Katy, and I went on. This is Jacob, being chased around by Robert, the warthog. Enjoy!



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

...we're back!

We are back in the US of A, and I am so happy! We got back Monday at about 7 p.m. and headed straight to Little Tokyo for some much needed sushi. We have just been spending time with our families and enjoying being home for the past two days. I start my job tomorrow, though!

I did make my much anticipated Wal-Mart trip to see the shampoo aisle (and was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices...I mean, do you know how many different brands of sour cream there are? a LOT!). In case there are any overly curious readers out there (and by that, I mean borderline psycho, but not really), I picked the new "hydralicious" Herbal Essence...I am very happy with my purchase.

yummy!



I have a post I'm working on about a crazy day we had in England...I'll try to post it soon!