Christmas thus far

I'm at home. It's great to be with family. It is also VERY cold. One day it was -41 degrees with the windchill and that is not a typo. I went out today and took some pictures before I started freezing.



IDOP - International Day of Prayer.

I don't want to stop praying just because a day dedicated to praying for the persecuted church has passed.

I don't want to stop at praying for the persecuted church.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid,for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Romans 13:1-5

Let's pray for our newly elected president.

Let's not stop at praying for him but pray also for his discernment and success in doing what is best for our country.


Carson and I

We have a vice, so sue us. Who doesn't. Ours just happens to be an arcade. Carson and I rarely get to hang out anymore due to our busy schedules and us not being roommates anymore (I'm still bitter). So we try to set aside specific time where we can just enjoy each other, joke around, be ourselves, and catch up on our lives. The tradition of Gameworks on Sundays is a tradition that started last year with us around January and just stuck because we enjoyed it so much. I've been planning on doing a post like this for months now, I guess I just finally got around to it and got some good photos. So here ya go.


I'm It.

I got tagged.

Four Jobs I've Had:
Assistant Caddy Master and the Glen View Club
Concessions and Customer Relations Manager at Camelot Pool
Coaching Jr. High and High School soccer camps

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once:
Top Gun
The Gladiator
Ocean's 11

Four Places I Have Lived:
Island Lake, IL
Waukegan, IL
Buffalo Grove, IL
Riverside, CA

Four TV Shows I Watch:
The Office
Bizarre Foods
The Deadliest Catch
Rob & Big

Four Places I Have Been:
Chiang Mai
Hilton Head

Four People Who Regularly Email Me:
Mom and Dad
United E-Fares

Four of My Favorite Foods:
Potatoes... any style
Pad Thai
Bacon Guacamole Cheeseburger

Four Places I Would Like to Visit:

Four Things I Look Forward to This Year:
Chance to win a championship
Taking Spanish
Hutch visiting

Four Friends I'm Tagging:
You can do it if you so choose. I think its fun.



This weekend Ethan and I got to go camping. We got some much needed relaxation and seclusion with just our bibles and sleeping bags (plus a few other essentials). Here are some pics.

Ask me about this...

Camp #1

Sunset first night.

Our guide

This was very high

Camp #2


Happy (cold) Campers

The Essentials

Last sunset

Drivin Home



We have no idea what it will cost us when we stop short in our submission to Christ. Similarly we have no idea what will come of submitting ourselves completely to Christ.



Sorry for the lack of posting recently but there has not been TOO much to blog about. One thing that IS blogworthy however is this weekend. It was TWIRP (The Woman is Required to Pay) week at our school and Friday was our annual Barndance followed by a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday. Both days were absolutely amazing and I had a much needed relaxing fun time.

My date Kylie (Zach's girlfriend, he was out of town) and I went to the Barndance as an 80's jazzercise couple. We got one vote for best costume.

My date to Magic Mountain was Greta. Last year Greta, Brad Claypool, Courtney Weatherly and I all went so this year was a repeat and it was every bit as good.

Face Game

Shaky Face Game

Thanks to Kylie and Hillary (and facebook) for the photos.

oh and the cubs clinched the playoffs. yes.


Fearing God.

Right now I'm in the middle of a book called the Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges. I highly recommend this book. If you do or have read it before, let me know I would LOVE to talk about it.

Actually, if you even just want to talk about the fear of God let's do that too.



School Started

Classes as you all know officially started on Thursday. I was really looking forward to the start of classes for a few different reasons:

-I started taking Spanish classes again and I'm very excited.

-I'm playing volleyball again this year and again, am very excited.

-I'm excited for new ministry opportunities that have been presented to me as a result of new incoming students.

-Reunited with old friends.

-Making new friends.

I hope you share my excitement.


The Past Few Weeks...

have been SO crazy. After all of the FOCUS leaders moved in and training started with them things got nuts. It was a lot of fun getting everything prepared for the new students to move in and the coordinators and I were so thankful for the opportunity to get to know our leaders better and spend LOTS of time with them :). Our group this year has been SO great to work with and have made our jobs TONS easier. It really seems that God has some great plans for this group of leaders and this semester so please be praying for protection and continued growth as well as hearts that are always open to see opportunities to serve! I'm really excited.

After our training week, the new students arrived and things got even CRAZIER! Between move in day, the new student retreat, and all of the activities we have to keep 1000 new students entertained for 7 days, we have hardly had any time to breathe but its well worth it. Here are some pictures from the past few weeks involving FOCUS.


So Long Sweet Summer

The summer is officially over. Am I sad? No, not really. I mean YES in some respects I'll miss how chill summers from school always are but I'm ready to get back to classes and see everyone again and get into a routine. You know, the usual. This summer was great with having the opportunity to live out in California all summer and getting to go to Thailand and FINALLY getting everything squared away with my knee. My parents also got to come out and stay for a long time seeing my brother and me and took SUCH good care of me while I was recovering. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I never would have made it through that week if my parents weren't here. 4 days after my surgery I had to move out of my apartment and into a new one which happens to be upstairs. Not an easy task when you're not allowed to lift anything let alone walk and all of your roommates are in different parts of the country. My Mom and Dad packed all of my stuff up for me and my Dad cleaned my ENTIRE apartment getting it ready for me to check out. If I tried to help all they would say was go sit back down on the couch haha (and did I say it was over 100 degrees that whole week). Needless to say I felt EXTREMELY useless but I am SO blessed to have the parents that I do and cannot express how thankful I am for them and all that they do for me! Also Charlie Weaver and John Walker came over to help out. My Dad was VERY thankful for the help haha as am I. I can't help but think thats a pretty darn good picture of community and the church as Christ would want it and it makes me smile.

But tomorrow is the day. All of the FOCUS leaders move back in tomorrow and we really start things rolling preparing for orientation and all of the 1000 new students moving in on the 26. Yikes. I love the opportunities that a new year brings with a new group of leaders and new students and can't wait to see what God has in store for us this year. It's all very exciting. Think of all the possibilities!

Oh in other news, Zach moves back in on Tuesday. Art and I can't wait.



As of tomorrow it will be officially one week since I've been home. I think. That couple of days kind of all blends together due to the time change, lack of sleep from jet lag, and quick happenings. It's been good being home though, I got to hang out with my brother who had just gotten his wisdom teeth taken out. So that was fun, him being tripped out on drugs, and me running on less than 4 hours of sleep for three days. We were a pair. A pair of what I don't know but a pair that's for sure. My parents arrived on Friday and on Saturday took my brother, my two friends Lauren and Erika, and I to the spa. It's nice to have Mom and Dad here :). They came out to see my brother and I and to take care of me while I am recovering from my surgery that I have tomorrow. My mom is staying with Lauren and Erika so she thought it would be a nice way to thank them. It was definitely a fun day. Today the three of us (Mom, Dad, Me) came down to LA where my doctor is and spent the day down here and got a hotel so we didn't have to wake before the sun tomorrow. We had a good day of just chillin and seein what there is to see. Our hotel is about 10 mins from Venice Beach so we went and hung out there for a while then grabbed some dinner at Islands and went to see The Dark Knight. Awesome. Again.

But the real reason I'm blogging is to tell you that it is good to be home. I definitely miss Thailand and maintain the feeling that I could easily have stayed, and am being a typical first time over seas goer fighting my cynicism for American consumerism and ethno-centrism. However it's good to be back and see loved ones.

Well that's all for now I guess.


The End

Welp... it's official. Our time here has come to a close and let me tell ya, we finished with a bang. We will be boarding our plane tomorrrow afternoon and have just enough time to go to breakfast, pack, and maybe if I'm lucky squeeze in one more Thai massage before we depart for the airport. But back to today. It was our "fun day". We left in the morning for the mountains to go on an elephant ride through the jungle and bamboo river rafting. We got an all you could eat Thai buffet included for lunch and an awesome elephant show along with our rides. I was amazed at the gentleness of the elephants and how smart they were. Our guide hopped off and was having a full on conversation with our elephant, who was about 15 years my senior, in Thai (I don't even speak Thai!). As we walked the elephant did exactly what he asked when he asked. The show was a blast too and we even got to take a group picture with some elephants.

The bamboo rafting was definitely a trip. It was LITERALLY ten bamboo trunks tied together and floating in the river and two guides (one in front and one in back) with big poles to steer us. When we got to the bottom, they untied the bamboo threw it in a truck and took it back to the top. I'm convinced we had the best guides because they let us have pirate wars between our two rafts (and participated some themselves) and even let us do some of the steering down the river. I was struck as we floated along by the beauty and density of the rainforest. It's amazing how God is revealing himself so clearly to these people through the beauty of His creation.

We ended the night with our host having us over for dinner at his house and a little debriefing time. It was great to spend some quality time with him and his family that we've come close to throughout our ministry these past couple of weeks. Truly we could not have asked for a better way to spend our last day here. So Thailand, here's to you. And readers, here's to YOU. Truly all that was accomplished in this short time is only because of our risen and returning Savior and all of you interceding to Him on our behalf. Lives were changed, thank you.


The Thai

Our time here is coming to an end VERY quickly. Our sports camp came to a close on Saturday and was a huge success with 129 of the Thai children professing faith and getting connected with a local pastor. Please be praying for the continued follow up and ministry that is now starting through all of that. We moved into our new location down in the city. It's a hotel thats pretty nice and another blessing to us on this trip. Being in the city is great because all of the access that we have to pretty much anything that we could want. Food, transportation, the people, and my personal favorite: Thai Massages. I had one tonight and I must say it could single handedly keep me here for a while longer. Tomorrow we are getting to go on the famous elephant rides and bamboo river rafting so hopefully I will get some good photos to show all of you from that trip. It poured down rain again today for about 4 hours so hopefully it stays a little more dry for us tomorrow. I will do my very best to update you guys one last time before we head back to the states but in the meantime here a few photos from the past two days.

This is Nukie

And this is the view from my room


the Rainforest

Hello all!

I hope all of your weeks have been going well because mine certainly has. I'm sorry this post will not contain any pictures because I'm posting from an internet cafe in the city and didn't bring my camera today because its pouring down rain outside. We are definitely in a rainforest haha.

Our week has been outstanding so far. We've had some awesome time finishing up painting our orphanage on Monday which the children were so thankful for and then said our goodbyes. Tuesday we did a little more painting at the dorms for our hosts and then finished the move to our new location. Yesterday we went to a community "college" and got to play games with the students there who ranged from 16-18 and were studying English so it was a great opportunity for them to practice language and for us to have some fun with them and then headed out to the village for a blessing service over a house that one of the teams was working on all week. It was great to see how much it blessed the Thais as we stood around praised and worshipped as they watched with tears in their eyes. After we were done they brought out the aerobics music and the ladies got to get their exercise on with all the village women. Great time. Wednesday night we headed back to the city for the night market and had some good bargaining and relaxing time. Starting this afternoon we will be helping host a sports camps for MK's here until Saturday. We're really excited to be able to spend some time playing sports and the more opportunities we'll have to make more relationships! Sorry for the run-on post and caraaaazy train of thought but it's been a long week haha. Continue to pray for us as our days come to a close!


One Week

Well, as of yesterday it has been officially one week since we've been in country. The ways that God has already moved through us, our teams, and our ministries has been so great to see and is such an awesome experience that we're so thankful God has allowed us to be a part of. Each day we can see how he has answered everyones prayers thus far so keep it up! We are so appreciative. The health and morale of everyone on the team has left very little to be desired and we have no one to thank for that except all of you who are praying and our Lord.

In my team specifically we were able to start and almost finish painting the whole orphanage this week and are scheduled to finish and move on to a new ministry site on Monday. The looks on the women's faces as they see their childrens rooms being completed, as well as the kids themselves as they come home from school make every fire ant, spider, gecko, anthill, and cobweb worth dealing with. Tomorrow (saturday) as the kids have the day off of school, we are getting to take them to the lake and a park with their sister orphanage to play and continue building our relationships with them. It's great to see each day a little bit more of their individual personalities come out each day as our friendships become deeper and our trust grows.

Here are two of the children we've been working with this week. Meet Dim, and Don

Also, when we got home today I went to get into the shower and as I reached to take off my shirt I found a stowaway. My little fiendish friend the fire ant (illiteration huh?).


Sa Was Dee Khrap

Hello from Thailand!

I apologize for the delayed post but we had some internet difficulties our first few days here. The connection is pretty slow but its a huge blessing just to have access at all!

Our first days here were such an experience. We had a chance to do a lot of cultural immersion and spend a lot of time in the city practicing our Thai (right up there by Manderin in difficulty), so you can imagine the comic relief that must have been. We loved interacting with the Thai people though, they are so helpful and understanding and many of them know a few words in English and are eager to practice on you to see how you think their English is. I really have grown to love this city and its people. One of my favorite times so far was getting to go around the city in groups of three on a "cultural scavenger hunt". We were forced to use our Thai as we had lunch at restaurants on the streets, flagged down our own song-taows (Thai pick up trucks with benches in the bed that serve as taxis), had to buy certain things from street markets, and had to learn different things about the city. One of the most interesting experiences so far was when a sang-taow I was riding in rear-ended the one in front of us giving us a... small jolt in the back. Both drivers acted as though nothing had happened and went about business as normal, meanwhile I'm in the back thinking, "Wait don't we have to exchange insurance information!?" :).

Today we made it to an orphanage that we will be helping to paint in the next few weeks and had an opportunity to scope out our upcoming projects and play with the kids. The love that they showed us as soon as they came home from school was really touching. It wasn't thirty seconds after they walked in the door and they were jumping all over us, tickling us, and wanting to play. We were able to play with them for the next hour or so and the fact that we spoke different languages never crossed either of our minds. It was great to see how much fun we had with each other and any cultural or language barriers were never even an issue. Our God is so good.

Keep praying that our team will continue to experience such blessings as we have to this point and that Christ's light would shine through so brightly in this dark place. Pray that our teams would continue to function as one unit without any dissention and that the Devil would have no foothold in our time here and our ministry.

I miss you all and can't wait to see you all again. Here are two pictures from our trip so far.


Its True...

... the day has finally come. I'm heading off for Thailand this evening til the 22nd and couldn't be more excited. We would really appreciate it if you would keep us in your prayers. Please be praying for safety in country and travel, unity among our team, and that the Holy Spirit would really work through us in our short time there. I'll be doing my best to blog while I'm gone with updates and new prayer requests. So without further ado... Heeeeeeeeere they are!



I understand that by the nature of the title you would assume that something happened recently in my life that is well, blogworthy. That is not my intention so before you read further consider yourself warned: lately, nothing has really happened that is blogworthy. That is in fact why my blog has seemed neglected for more than a month now. Trust me it only SEEMS like my blog has been neglected. I would say that twice a week on average, I sit down at my computer with the full intention of blogging. I open a new post, think about my previous weeks, and look at a blank title bar. Then about 45 seconds later I navigate away. So don't worry she has not been forgotten. I also have yet to figure out why my computer will not let me load pictures not only to my blog but to ANYTHING on this machine. Frustrating to say the least, and with work and lack of a car, have not had sufficient time to try to fix it or take it in to have the experts look at it.

For those of you who are still with me, don't despair. I will soon have many things to blog about as I leave for Thailand in less than two weeks. Yikes. Hopefully I will be able to write and update this to let you guys know how our time is going.

Now for the VERY few who remain interested in my ramblings, I'm looking for books to take with me for reading (or not to take with me but just read for fun while I'm here). I'm not picky by any means in subject matter, author, fiction or non, or anything of the sort. I would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions you have for me :).


I didn't eat lunch today

Summer has begun and up until this point it has been and will continue to be, a great time and lots of fun. This week however is lame. Two of my best friends Zach and Arthur, moved out of our apartment for the summer and another one Carson, left for Germany on Tuesday. I'm struggling. It's OK though. Carson is in Germany right now with his ISP team doing ministry through athletics and recreational sports. It's very exciting to watch throughout the course of the summer the amount of people that are being sent out across the globe to spread the Gospel of Christ. I am leaving for my own trip at the beginning of July. I'll be travelling to Thailand and am very excited to see how God will move in me, my team, and our ministry.

If you want to learn a little more about ISP, check out a video that they have here.

In the meantime be praying for the teams that are already in the field and those that will be going. Pray that they would have,

-boldness in sharing the Gospel
-safety in travel and in country
-unity among the teams
-The work of the Holy Spirit to move mightily in their lives and that work to be apparent and clear to whom they are ministering to.

I'm still awaiting the ability to load pictures without my web browser quitting. So lame again. Once that happens though I promise I'll get some images up here to make it more interesting. Maybe I'll get it fixed this weekend.

Until then I will leave you with this quote from C.S. Lewis, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."



So all is not well yet in the Mac land for me. Everytime I try to upload pictures from my computer or anywhere else for that matter, my web browser quits on me.

Any help or suggestions before I find time to take it to the apple store are welcome.

In other news, summer has officially started :)



I must say that first off, I apologize for the long delay between my last entry and this one but it is not entirely my fault. Let me explain. Each semester about 2 weeks before finals start I like to head into the library a couple of nights a week and spend some time preparing for the end of the semester. You know, write papers, study a little bit, make sure I have all my work turned in, all that good stuff. So this semester just like all the others I started my weekly ritual and headed into the library. I was doing well, I had about 7 pages on a few different papers completed, had finished some other assignments, and was beginning my studying. Well that Friday, I came downstairs in the evening planning on listening to some music and getting ready for my soccer game. Unfortunately my computer was frozen so I restarted it and got the infamous blue screen of death. I know all (two) of you are thinking "oh no!" but oh yes. It's true. Well needless to say I had to take my computer to the apple store and I had a faulty hard drive. They took care of everything for me, cleaned my computer, gave me a new hard drive, and returned it to me in a very timely manner. However, EVERYTHING was lost. All my papers, all my homework, and even all my work that I had been compiling for a portfolio due at the end of the semester. Now you might be saying "well, why didn't you back up your work, dummy." Yes, I realize that and I could make the excuse that I lost my flash drive and didn't have anything else to back my work up on but I know I should and could have found SOMETHING. So all that to say that I've been playing catch up for a while with all of my assignments and have been neglecting my blogging.

I was gonna blog about this upcoming summer and some other stuff too but this is a pretty long post already so I'll save that for my next one.



I got to play some tennis tonight with some very fun people. I really enjoyed it and even got some great coaching on my backhand which was previously non-existent. I'm excited to play again soon, now. I have a lot of respect for tennis players, it takes a LOT of athleticism and great fitness. It truly is a great sport and a very fun recreational activity. Thanks to all who allowed me to enjoy some great company and activity tonight.



I miss golfing. It is one of the things that I miss most about my summers at home growing up that I wish I had more time to do. All throughout high school I worked at a country club during my summers and got the privilege of just about all the free golf I wanted (as long as I wasnt working), and very nice courses, so I'm kind of spoiled in that respect. Anyways, I was always allowed to bring a guest and the obvious choice for me was to bring my brother. My brother and I are very close and he is for sure my best friend and we love playing sports and talking and hanging out and golf is a perfect venue for us to do all three of those things at once, how convenient. So today I got to do one of my favorite things. Play golf with my brother! We went over to Paradise Knolls off of Van Buren for a little morning golf. It was so great to have a week off of school and just take it easy and shoot the breeze with Drew. We had a great time competing in "closest to the pin", "straightest drive", and "longest drive" competitions and just being goofballs shootin with my camera and enjoying the free morning like the good old days. So bro, heres to you. Thanks so much for the fun morning and takin some awesome pictures.

More pictures will be on my face.