“Zip Clear”

On Friday Paul and I “played” on the ropes course.  Paul went down the zipline; I was very proud of him!  Here are our pictures…

Paul on the two-line bridge right at the entrance

Paul on the heebie-jeebie

me hanging off the two-line bridge

Paul about to climb the Zip Tree

Paul on the zip tree ready to go down

Paul going down the zipline

Paul going down the zipline amongst the trees

 

 

 

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

We went fishing again tonight…no, I didn’t catch any red fish or blue fish…just yucky, slimy brownish/gray ones…but I did catch 4 of them!!  I caught the most…

Paul, Master Angler-here's what he caught

I caught 4 fish but I only have pictures of three of them…they all look the same…in fact, it might’ve been the same fish…who knows?

Open and Vulnerable Heart

Today is Monday, May 25th.  It is Memorial Day and I am laying in bed, relaxing…we have the day off and we are taking advantage of it…

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Three months ago, today, we rolled into Great Oaks with a 14 foot trailer and a car in tow, knowing that our lives were about to change, but not knowing what to expect.  And, three months later, our lives are still changing and I still don’t know what to expect…

Somedays it feels like it’s so natural to live here.  Like we’ve been here forever.  Other days I feel like a stranger, like I’m a guest in someone else’s house.  We’ve had lots of guest groups come and go in the last three months and I think Paul and I do a pretty good job of at least “pretending” like we know what we’re doing (even if we really don’t).  There are days that I know exactly what I need to do and everything just “flows.”  And then there are other days when I feel completely lost, like a sheep looking for his shepherd, some direction or guidance to help me along the way.

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Three months and three days ago I left my comfort zone to move here to central Illinois.  I left my friends, my family, my familiarity to move somewhere 16 hours away, to an apartment I had never seen, to a place I had only visited for less than 48 hours, and to be with new friends whom we hardly knew.  And yet, here we are.  I enjoy our little apartment, cozy and quaint as it might be (it’s easy to clean b/c it’s so small), I enjoy our new friends and I love having neighbors so close by.   Our backyard is 105 acres of hiking trails, a pond full of fish, beautiful trees, and wildlife (if you get up early enough or stay out late enough to see it).  How many of you can say that you have flocks of turkey and deer in your backyard?

This weekend everyone here at camp had family in to celebrate birthdays.  One of our sweet little friends turned 1 on Saturday and another one turns 3 next Sunday.  They both celebrated birthdays this weekend with their grandparents, aunts/uncles, and friends…it made me miss my family…

I miss my mom.  I miss the way she always knows the right thing to say (even when I don’t want to hear it).  I miss my dad.  I miss the way he grabs me to hug me, even if I didn’t always want to be hugged.  I want to show them my world.  I want to show my mom the kitchen where I work (she wouldn’t believe all the cooking that I do).  I want to show my dad the pond and have fun fishing with him (we used to go fishing when I was little and looking back, I wish I would’ve appreciated that time a little bit more).  I want to show them the ropes course (my mom would absolutely LOVE it) and the hiking trails.  I want to show them my world.

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Today I am sad.  I enjoy my new life (please don’t read into this and think I am miserable b/c I am not) but I do miss my life in Texas.  I think I still have that right to be a little homesick.  This is my home now, but I think my heart is still in Texas.  Our license plates still say Texas, our driver’s license still have the Texas seal, and my heart still longs for the familiar.  Maybe soon all of those will change.

So, to make myself feel a little better, I think Paul and I are going to try to find some Mexican food in this little place they call Central Illinois.   They don’t know what real Mexican food is…

I Enjoy Being A Girl

Today has been a good day already…and it’s only 11:20AM.  Definitely a girly day for me…

Paul and I have been working so hard for the past two weeks with no break, not even on the weekends.  I’ve been cooking, helping with registration, cleaning, cooking, facilitiating the ropes course, cooking, cleaning…do you see a theme?  I’ve been working 12-13 hour days, somedays from 5:30AM-8:00PM with no break…long hours on my feet and hard on my body.

So, today is my day…I’m off today…no cooking, no cleaning, no facilitating, nothing…and I love it!  I actually am wearing nice clothes (not jeans and a t-shirt), make-up, and my hair is down (not in a ponytail)…I enjoy being a girl!!  🙂  I would much rather wear a skirt and a nice shirt than jeans…however, for the work that I do, those days are few and far between…so here’s to a  girly day, complete with a massage this morning, watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, playing on the computer and then…this afternoon my friend and I are going shopping, out to eat, and to a movie…just us, no husbands and no children!!

(Don’t worry…Paul had his day off yesterday…complete with a trip to Best Buy and Game Stop, along with a trip to get our oil changed and to the Chinese buffet)…

The Wheels on the Bus

This is what happens after it rains for 13 hours STRAIGHT and a school bus gets stuck in the mud…at 8:45 at night…in the dark…while it’s still raining with 55 girls on the bus, screaming that they are in the woods and are going to be attacked by vampires (they had been watching the movie, Twilight, on their way here from Chicago…

it also scraped up against our sign trying to back out...before it got stuck again

these are the ruts from the 1st time it got stuck

close up of the tire ruts...if I stepped down in the rut, the mud was up to my mid-calf

These are huge tire ruts in the grass with a tree that had to be taken out to get the bus out

“Bloggers Block”

You’ve heard of people having “writer’s block…”  Well, I’ve got “bloggers block.”  I don’t have much to say these days, it seems.  Life goes on, not too exciting.

You get up with the help of the alarm (and the wonderful snooze button), you get ready for work, and 8 hours later you come home (or just open up your door since you live 5 steps away from the office) and you end your day…

However, I have been thinking lately…nothing too extravagent…just thinking…what is ministry?  What does it look like?  What does it mean to be a minister?

Am I minister because I am a Christian?  Am I a minister because I have a degree from Seminary?  Am I a minister because I work for a Christian camp?  Am I a minister because I answer the phone, schedule guest groups, cook meals, clean bathrooms, facilitate on the ropes course, wash aprons, replinish toilet paper, etc…what does it mean to minister?

I struggle sometimes to know exactly what that means and what I am supposed to do with it even if I do figure out the answer.  I guess until I find out I’ll continue answering the phones, cleaning toilets, and cooking 460 mini corn dogs!

Wrigley Field

Paul and I have been married for almost 3 years (on May 13th).  For our 1st two anniversaries we went to Arlington (Texas) and made a weekend out of it:  staying in a hotel, eating out, and going to a Rangers game.  Well, obviously this year we can’t go to a Rangers game.

Well, about a month ago I saw an ad in our local newspaper, classified section, selling 2 tickets to a Chicago Cubs game.  So, I quickly called the guy and bought them, thinking we could continue our tradition of going to a baseball game for our anniversary.  So, we went this past Sunday, May 3rd to Wrigley Field in Chicago to watch the Cubs.  The experience was neat but it is a little weird cheering for a team that you don’ t know (although Milton Bradley plays for the Cubs now, which I was excited about because that meant I knew one name on the roster).  Anyway, we had a great time!!  We enjoyed our anniversary baseball game, even though it was a little early.

 

Probably the funniest thing we saw at the game had nothing to do with the game.  We were walking down the ramp to leave and we saw about 10-15 people standing underneath a “No Smoking” sign…smoking…

Callie in her Cubs shirt

Paul sporting his Cubs shirt

Callie in front of Wrigley Field

old fashioned score board...they look out the "windows" and watch the game to change the score with little numbers...no jumbo-tron either...

us

Rooftop seats; businesses around Wrigely Field sell seats on top of their stores

Wrigley Field

the view

the shuttle we took to and from the game