June 30, 2008

camp wedding

This weekend, one of the girls in my camp family (the handful of us that live on the property year round) got married. She had an absolutely lovely ceremony on camp's front wall, as we like to call it. It was HOT, but so bright and sunny outside after our gulley-washer storms the day before.
I think it hit me on Thursday that not only is she getting married, but moving away from us. That makes me so sad. The goodbyes are never easy when someone feels like family. But I AM so very happy and excited for her whole new chapter of life she is embarking on.

Here's a couple shots I got:

An adorable little attendant who was trying out my sunglasses.

Her mom and dad. I went to their wedding a couple years ago. I kinda love them....a lot.

2 more camp family friends. I went to their wedding just one year ago. We are church buddies. They go out to eat with me and the bro after church every Sunday. It's a tradition I LOVE cause they are so much fun to be around.

And then there are these two girls. I haven't been to either one of their weddings.

And my favorite one of the day. PW's actions are magic on this one!

Congrats, Carlye. I'll miss you so much!

June 29, 2008

a little love

I love you, Mel.
Let's be best friends forever,

ps....i've eaten WAY too many of these cookies tonight. They are DE-licious. You always find the best stuff.

June 28, 2008

Flickr faves June 08

Recent Flickr faves. I LOVE looking at them all grouped together. You can see them bigger here.

photo short-listed

I got the coolest FlickrMail this week. Totally out of the blue. It said:

I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the fifth edition of our Schmap Edinburgh Guide, to be published late July 2008.

The photo they chose was this one.

Gotta say I was totally excited about it! Among the millions of pictures on Flickr, they may choose mine. And a picture for a place that I really loved.

So cool.

I'll let you know if my photo does get chosen.

June 27, 2008

Friday finds

I have been so busy this week, but I wanted to share these two awesome finds:

Dr. Horrible's preview. Heck yeah! I'm so ready for some new Joss.

One of my favorite photographers was on an adventure this week. The photos on this blog incredible. So much inspiration. So many ideas to try.

June 26, 2008

quick thought

"Who are we
That You should touch us with Your grace?
And who am I, O God
That You should know my name?"

These song lyrics from a song that we sing with the kids in chapel have been running over and over in my head. Gives me chills when I really think about the meaning behind them. The God of heaven and earth who upholds all things knows my name and loves me.


June 25, 2008

forever young, it appears....

Last week, I was on the phone with a mom who was interested in sending her child to our camp. She was asking me all the normal questions like "what activities do you have, what do the kids eat, what time do they go to bed, what type of buildings do they sleep in" yadee, yada, ya.... Then she said:

"Now are YOU a camper or do you work there?"

"Well, yes, we do let campers answer the phones, mam. Kinda crazy that they are so profession isn't it? They know every thing about this camp so we just rotate them through the office as an activity to answer the phones all day. Who needs to pay someone when we have free help! Tell your camper to read up on our camp before she comes because we may have him/her in the office the week they come."

No, I didn't say that. I believe I laughed out loud and said:

"No, I'm a little too old to be a camper" in a tone as polite as I could muster without laughing hysterically.

I do understand that I sound young. I do. I know I look it too cause I still get carded going to the movies. But as for sounding 14 yrs old?!! That seems like a bit of a stretch, doesn't it? Doesn't it?!

June 24, 2008

and I thought yesterday was a long day

Rise and shine @ 7:30am.
Run over to eat breakfast before serving breakfast to the campers at 8:30am.
Finish serving and run to set up crafts for the campers which begin at 9:15.
Finish crafts and rush to clean up and then eat lunch in 20 minutes or less.
Ride bike (to save time) to get the mail and sort through the bazillion packages and cards sent to dearly missed campers.
Print out all 30 dearly missed camper's emails and distribute in boxes.
Run to cottage to change and apply enormous amounts of sunscreen.
Run to pier to jump in the boat to drive for Beach day for the boy campers.
Finish driving 2.5 hours later and run back to office to answer voice mails and finish mail.
Eat dinner in 20 minutes.
Run to finish setting up cameras for first photography class.
Teach photography class (went well I think...).
Decide to take 20 minutes and watch the campers play American Eagle 1-2-3, my favorite game which has been out of commission for 2 years and is back tonight. Best 20 minutes of my day.
Go to snack shop to get a slurpie.
Go back to house to drop off camera and water flowers outside of my house which are starting to shrivel and die.
Finish slurpie and go back to Chapel till 9:40pm.
Sit and talk with brother and friends till 10:10.
Come home to write blog and try to stay awake until 12:30am when I have to close the gate and make sure all the staff is here.

The staying awake thing is proving difficult. Our TV is broken too, so I can't even use that to help, and I just don't find TV that interesting as of late. I think I'll finally get all the salt water out of my hair and just read for the final 1:45 minutes left of "me" time. I wish it was sleeping instead of reading though. I am dog tired today!

*** thanks for your comments I really needed them!

June 23, 2008

so sleepy

Worked 13 hours straight.
Ran around like a crazy person all day.
The rest of the week is only going to get crazier.
Still have about 5 things left to do before bed.
Sentences are hard to form when I'm so sleepy.

You write something for me instead.
What made you smile today?

June 22, 2008

read this

I finished this little book yesterday. I read it super fast cause I couldn't put it down. What an amazing story! There were so many amazing moments of God perfect plan being played out in miraculous ways. A definite read for the summer.

You can hear some of the story when Lisa was on Focus on the Family.

June 21, 2008

Week #1 completed

(one of our counselors with a camper in the middle of a group game)

Can't believe it, really. The weeks just fly by. When you live the entire year for 8 weeks during the summer, it feels like they slip through your fingers like sand. This year, I'm trying to enjoy each moment. To find the beauty in the moment, and not worry about them going by too quickly.

Each summer I pray that God will give me one thing to work on. One thing that will draw me closer to Him. This year, my lesson started way back in the Fall when I got this CD and then in March when I saw him live. It's such a hard thing to do, sometimes. For me, as a person who likes to have every thing planned out and be prepared ahead of time, not over thinking the future is tough. But God is slowly teaching me that when I live each moment to it's fullest, I see Him in so many new ways. He is so very evident when I am open to looking for Him in those small moments. It's something I have to constantly, CONSTANTLY force myself to do. But it's really amazing to see God work in those moments.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." -Matthew 6:34

****If you feel inclined, I know the Chapman's would love your prayers today. I have been continually (about 20 times a day) burdened for them and their grief. I know that the one month marker must be a tough one...

June 20, 2008

a conversation with a camper this week

"I like this camp. At the other camp I went to the counselors didn't care about us. They would make fun of us. They would especially make fun of us when we tried to pray. Here they love us and want to be around us.
My favorite part of the day is chapel. I like the songs we sing, and I really like the speaker. He helps the Bible make sense.
I love it here. I want to come back next year. There is something different about this place."

Moments like this make all the late nights and long days seem 100% worth it.

June 19, 2008

We played Musical Spoons today

It's one of my favorite games we do here. Pure insanity.

June 18, 2008

between 6:30-7:45pm tonight

A good day. The temperature didn't hit over 80 degrees. Imagine that! The kids are having fun. The staff is getting into the grove. God is showing up in all kinds of fun ways.

At the moment, the kids are playing Anatomy Shuffle in the gym, and I can hear all the screams and laughter through my open windows. I can hear the game master on the microphone. The birds are chirping their goodnight choruses. It smells heavenly outside after a brief rain shower. It's really quite delightful!

June 17, 2008

photoshop practice

In honor of the mid-season finale of Battlestar, which was frak-tastic. I can't believe stupid SciFi makes us wait until next year to see what happens. The show was filmed at this studio in Vancouver. We, the BSG nerds, were super excited to find it.

June 16, 2008

Day #1: completed

First full day of camp: completed.

There were lots of little bumps along the way as the new staff gets used to the way things go, and the old staff remembers the way things go.
We had a rip-roaring thunderstorm that swept through during the end of our pool time and didn't finish till about 7:00. The temperature has been perfect, and now it's almost cool outside (praises be!).

It's been so fun to see the campers again....the ones that come back every year and get a little taller during the school months.

I miss some of our staff that didn't return this year. There is a hole where they used to be.

Praise and worship was fun and loud.

The cameras came in for the photography class that I will begin teaching next week. SO EXCITED about that! I can't wait to see what the kids come up with.

Snack Shop was fun as usual. It's THE place to see everyone in the evening. I love that I can stay out till late in the evening with something to do and lots of people to be around.

We would still love all of your prayers as we plug through. We just really want God to be evident to the kids.

In other news:
Tiger won the US Open. So awesome!
I got a new pillow yesterday and man, oh man, is it a miracle. Something so small that makes sleep so wonderful!
I got so much done on Saturday. I feel a little caught up with the craziness of trying to have a "life" while camp is going on. You know, things like cleaning my house and making birthday cards and making phones calls.
I ordered this CD and this CD and this book on Amazon this weekend.

Night all!

June 15, 2008

cause it's Father's day and mine is the best one around

***note: Luke thinks my dad hung the moon. He will be happy and content in my arms until he sees Pop-Pop and then it's over. He loves my dad the best of all of us and lights up like a Christmas tree the moment my dad walks into the room. It's really quite adorable.

I just don't want to forget to say a big, huge "thanks for being my poppa" to my Dad. He's the best. Just last night, he called me to talk and let me know that the golf US Open was on (ps. Tiger was on fire and I would have missed it! Thanks, Daddy). I, of course, had no idea cause I've been living in a "hole" for the last 2 weeks. So I happily turned it on and we chatted about Tiger and Phil. He told me that he was praying for me as camp starts tomorrow. We talked for a couple minutes and then said goodbye. Simple, yet so very much my dad.

He's not big in to acts of grandeur, but he's amazing at the little moments. The hugs and smiles and acts of service. He funny and always tries to make us laugh. He loves to travel with us and see the world. He's hardworking (worked at the same job for almost 30 years!) and one of those people that is just good at anything he tries. He can fix anything. I still think all boys should be able to re-wire a house and put in a new toilet or hang drywall or fix a car 'cause my dad can. He loves kids and still works in AWANA's even though his kids have been done for about 10 years. He sings in the choir at church and has served in a bazillion other positions there. He is such a kind, gentle, humble man, and I am beyond blessed to have been granted the privilege to have been raised by him.

I love you, Pops and I'm so blessed to be your daughter. Happy Father's Day! Wish I was at home watching the Open with you!

June 14, 2008

all systems go

We start tomorrow.
130 kids show up.
70 more Monday for day camp.
We've been preparing, training and praying.
I'm so excited to see what God is going to do this summer.
We'd love your prayers.
It's all worthless if kids don't see Jesus.

June 13, 2008

Friday finds (adoption)

I didn't really have a ton of time to click around this week, but I did find a couple links to share with you. They all center around adoption for some reason.

#1 It's Frosty time! If you buy a Frosty on the 14-15th of June, 50 cents will be donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. A good excuse for some chocolate yumminess.

#2 I got an email from Focus on the Family today about this organization. Such an amazing idea.

#3 The Luoyang Building Project which is being funded by SH. I'm thinking a trip to China next year to help out. Anyone else?!

#4 I really want to read this book.

#5 Got to read this one this summer. It's been on my "to read" list since I read about Levi here. and here.

#6 Donations can still be made to Maria's fund. The total is up in the $400,000's.

#7 Jim Houser's blog was full this week of stories of God's provision and love in the time of the Chapman's tragedy. I wonder how many families will adopt after hearing Maria, Stevey Joy and Shaoey's stories?

#8 I saved the best for last........I was reminded of this (here and here) segment that Oprah did several years ago. What an INCREDIBLE stories of the miracle of adoption!

So many ways to be involved in changing the life of an orphan. Won't you ask God how He can use you?!

June 12, 2008

right quick

Time I left for work this morning: 8:20am

Time I came home from work tonight: 8:15pm

It's now 10:50pm.

I'm too tired to write anything grand.

And so goodnight, friends.

June 11, 2008

it's like being being a kid all over again

When Shay-Shay and I sat down to watch it, it was like stepping back in a time machine. You know those things that instantly make you feel like a kid again? A smell, a song, a TV show. Well, I was back in my parents basement glued to our old TV with a tape in the VCR and the red "record" light on. Next to the TV was a record player with our collection of children's records that were about to be put away forever. We would be too old for Mickey Mouse Club (the original), Black Beauty, Strawberry Shortcake and Lady and the Tramp. I could see my crazy hairspray infused bangs, my sister's as well. We were wearing our tragically horrid 80's outfits probably with big flowers or neon colors. My brother was in a neon dinosaur outfit (shorts and matching top) my mom had made him. Our dog (my beloved) Lady, a strawberry blond cocker spaniel was curled up on the floor at our feet. We were fighting for space on our gold/yellow 1980's couch with a granny squared afghan my mom made. My parents were upstairs doing something in the kitchen yelling down at us during commercial breaks to brush our teeth and get ready for bed. My bed was either a bunk bed with my sister or I had just moved into my very own room complete with a white metal daybed with gold bedknobs.

I can see it all so vividly. So many years ago. Do you ever have memory triggers like that?
I love it. Memories so real that you could swear you were back there again. How in the world are the three of us now college graduates/married (well, one of us)/adults? Isn't the bro still 8 years old with his bowl haircut and Lego's? I wish I could go back just for a little while....

June 10, 2008

"I'd be so happy I could..melt!"

***name those song lyrics.

Dude, it's hotter than Zach Braff lately.
(fyi: ZB is off the charts hot in my book. Personal preference, yes I know. I can't help it.)

Today, was a scorcher. Being in the direct sun for 3 hours didn't help either. And the freakin' humidity. It's like being wrapped up over the top of your head down to you toes in a wet blanket while you walk around all day. You would think I would be used to it by now, but, alas, it is still miserable when it gets to the 97 degree mark and then humidity on top of that.

But enough about the weather.

Things are good.
Life is beyond busy.
There are 30 things to finish before Sunday aka D-day.
Our staff is amazing.
They are troopers in this heat.

I will share more if I get some free time. But then again I did get Young Riders in my Netflix envelope today. I don't know if I can choose between the blog or the them. I was IN LOVE with them (especially Jimmy and Buck) when I was younger. My sister and I taped each episode and re-watched them way too many times. So, I may take my free hour and watch that instead of spinning a tale for you. Just being honest.

night...night, friends.

June 09, 2008

Random facts

It's true.

Your tastes (as in your tongue with food) change as you get older.

Case in point....

Things I enjoy/love now that were yuck-o before:

Onions (red, white, green, yellow)
Hot Sauce
Medium salsa
Black beans

However, there are things that I still hate:

potatoes (no matter how much I try)
popcorn ('cept kettle corn)
chicken in the crockpot (the smell still makes me nauseous)

Random fact #267
Just in case you wanted to know.

June 08, 2008

Listen up

It's been a while since I've posted about music, so I thought I send along some things I've been enjoying.

Now, I do admit that I know just about nothing when it comes to music. And by nothing I mean I haven't listened to the radio in about 2 years. I don't know what's "cool" and what's not. I have no idea what is on the top 10 at the moment. I get all my music from other people (fellow bloggers, the bro, friends, TV shows). My tastes are all over the place, too.

Here we go: (I'll do my best to put a link so you can hear it too.)

Bear McCreary
Great googly-moogly. I still am not tired of his stuff. Friday night's episode "The Hub" was just another prime example of the wonder he creates. He did a continuation of my favorite piece of his "Roslin and Adama." He talks about it here. I admit to putting that track on repeat at least 3 times every time I listen to it. BSG Season 2 and Season 3 are my faves.

I always love him, but his music is so haunting as of late. His latest album especially. He has been and continues to be one of most incredible ways that God speaks to me. His songs are like little mini sermons. The one that I've been thinking about the most lately is "What Now" (video is not his. just the song). It's Maria's story, but so much more. What will I do when I find Him?

I found them on the blog of one of my favorite photographers. Ordering their album tonight. I've listened to them about 50 times (on repeat) on myspace music. I LOVE their style.

Nick Drake
Just tonight. "Pink Moon" is so perfect. His voice is so haunting.

Can't wait for the new album this week. They are one of those "I can listen to every song on each CD without skipping any." The new one seems a little different. Fix You is my fave.

"Inside Out"
We sing this song at church. Love the words. It's been on repeat lately.

Cary Brothers

Random find from Zach Braff. Seen Cary live twice. He's fabulous. "Ride" is my fave.

Caleb Chapman
I think he's got some of that talent his dad has. Like these songs lots.

Owl City
The bro just introduced me to them. Darn catchy isn't it?!

I always listen to tunes on my Zune. I do love, love, love it. It was by far, my favorite and most valuable purchase in the last 6 months. Just throwing that little pro-mo out there for it!

June 07, 2008


A couple weekends ago, when my sister was in town and I was staying at my parents, me, my sis and mom and Luke went yard sale hunting. I found this gem (along with 4 other awesome scarves for $1 a piece). It was a little pricey for a yard sale, but was in pretty good shape, so I decided to go ahead and get it. I've been looking for an old camera so I could do some ttv's (through the viewfinder) with my D50.

To do a ttv, you have to build a tube so that you can shoot through the viewfinder of the old camera with your digital camera. This way, you don't have to find the expensive/outdated film to shoot with the camera. Genius, no?! I heard about it on the photography wonder: Flickr.

Here's the camera I got at the yard sale. Made in the 50's, I believe. All plastic except that this model has a glass lens, which is super cool. The glass and mirror were in good shape still. I had to take it apart to re-glue the mirror to the base of the camera, but other than that it was a great find.

I finally finished the tube tonight (no pictures, sorry) and closed up all the light leaks. I ran outside to catch the last of the light (at 8pm! love those long summer days). The mosquitoes are absolutely unbearable because of all the rain we had last month, so I only lasted about 10 minutes. But here are a couple of my favorites:

I think it's so cool how the vignette and the dust and scratches give it so much character. I can't wait to get some shots of people with this thing. After seeing these shots (scroll down to see the ttv's) I just have to try it.

June 06, 2008

Friday Finds

Was reminded how freakin' cool this movie is when I watched a bit of it during my lunch break this week. The colors, oh the colors. And the soundtrack and the shots. It's soooo good. This scene is perfect example (w/ Tony Scott's commentary). I want to jump in a swim around in those colors. I can't imagine seeing that in my head and then seeing it come to life.

I'm signing up for this. I will MAKE time to be inspired. And if you have never read Hula Seventy before, you are missing out.

These made me sigh with happiness. And this made gasp at the coolness of them. Oooo, I love them. She is my photog hero.

I'll take 3 of these beauties for my living room, please.

The wonder, the hilarity, the uniqueness. I haven't watched it in forever, but I still l-o-v-e it. This one is one of my favorites.

Still praying and reading along. My heart still breaks for them. Love the page that they put up about Maria on Shaohannah's Hope.

Been listening to Caleb Chapman lately. I heard him live when he was in his dad's band during his This Moment tour. He sang a song or two from his CD.

June 05, 2008

Humid hike

Long, HOT hike today. Amazing rock scrambles and brown bag lunches on the trail. New friends and catching up with old ones.

The humidity is here with a vengeance. I don't think we had a Spring. Straight from Winter to blazing hot in 2 weeks.

I will do my best to keep updating every day, but life is crazy so please forgive me if I miss a day or two.

You may just get quick posts, but at least it's something, right?

June 04, 2008

And it begins

For the next 10 weeks.
80 people serving together with one purpose: to see kids come to know Jesus.
Lots of sun time.
Lots of HOT & HUMID days.
Kids laughter being heard all over the property.
Belly flops in the pool.
Quiet moments amidst the craziness.
Unbelievable sunsets.
Crazy storms.
Boats on the water.
Glue/paint/glitter covered hands.
Taking lots of pictures.
Making new friends.
Begging God to get me through another day.
Seeing Him do things that can't be explained in earthly terms.
Singing praise and worship with 100 kids. LOUDLY!
Seeing us as a staff be used up for the Kingdom.
Eating on the staff porch.
Laughing. Lots of laughing.
Flashlight beams dancing across the grass covered fields.
Being humbled at God using me here for yet another summer.
Pulling the banana boat behind the boat.
Hearing the kids scream with delight as they fly across the water.
Seeing Jesus.

Oh, and Snack Shop. Can't forget Snack Shop! Complete with a brand new slushy machine.

June 03, 2008

beware the horror

Trying to catch some pictures of the three of us on my sister's last night in town last week.

Ever have one of those days when you can't take a decent picture?

Since I can't bear having horrible pictures of me being the first thing you see when you open Cottage Girl, I'll start with the best of the bunch. Just look at these "winners."

Exhibit A:
Somewhat decent. Luke looks adorable, of course.

Exhibit B:
Uh-oh. Am I looking directly into the sun? What in the world?

Exhibit C:
I was trying my hardest to keep my eyes wide open. This is all I got. Deer in the headlights

Beware the following horrors.....I warned you.

Exhibit D:
I just love Luke's face.
He LOVES the bro.
Again, surface of the sun? I have no explanation.

Exhibit E:
My sis took about 5 pictures of the 2 of us. They all looked like this. Dork.

Exhibit F:
I have no words. My head is turned and still.....

Exhibit H:
Dear, Lord, please make her stop! I can't bear it!

The end.
No more.
That's it.
Stop laughing.
I can hear you.

June 02, 2008

A few more

My parents cleaned up the crib that all 3 of us slept in when we were babies. Thought it would be fun to get some picture of him in in, too.

My favorite shot

My dad says the teeth marks on the wood are from me. Apparently, I loved to gnaw on wood as a tot.

I won't get to see him or his mom or dad for a while since camp over takes my life for the next 10 weeks. They are off gallivanting around the world anyway. He'll be so big then next time I see him. Waaahhh....

June 01, 2008

The new normal

I loved what Jim Houser had to say in this post.

My favorite part is:

"I want to be different. It's not that I was a bad Dad or husband last week. It's just I want the new normal to mean more than we lost Maria. I want the new normal to also mean my legacy will be different and stronger and bolder and better. How about you?"

It goes perfectly with these verses that I've been meditating on the last few days.

"Give you entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." -Matt. 6:34