off to camp- round 2

This week is Blake’s turn to go to summer camp. On Monday, Emma and I got to be a part of the road trip team and drop off everybody at Camp Kellogg. It’s a long drive, but thankfully it’s a pretty drive along the MacKenzie Pass. This isn’t Blake’s first time so he thinks he’s an expert. He wasn’t anxious about anything, just ready to get the fun started! There’s something pretty special about friends, games, funny camp songs, and adventures out at the campground. I hope these great memories last a lifetime.



picnic in the park

Sunday afternoon was Mission Church’s family night at the park. It was everything a picnic at the park should be: relaxing fun. Sometimes too many of us are busy and task-oriented during our weekend services, so it was great to have an event with no other agenda except to have fun. I think that’s a task we can all embrace.







multi-site church

Over the past year, Mission Church has been working on becoming a multi-site church. That means, simply, that we have more than one campus. So far there is Bend, Redmond, and online. And we’re working on Madras (more on that another day). It’s incredibly exciting for us to watch this multi-site idea take shape.

This morning for Sunday services we got to visit the Redmond campus. Brent facilitated the service, but the sermon was done by video by Ryan Emerick, one of our teaching pastors who is actually the official Redmond campus pastor.

I got to sing some harmonies on the worship team, which was a lot of fun. But the best part was watching people interact and engage in worship. I admit that the first time I was ever in a “video venue” church, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. But after awhile I realized that the teaching was just as good and just as valuable even if it was on a screen instead of in person.

Sometimes Redmond is a video venue, sometimes Bend is. And the online campus always is. But the message is the same. It’s definitely a new model of doing church for us. But we’re willing to follow God’s leading wherever that is, even if it involves a whole lot of technology.







When I was a kid, every year we would get the big Sears Christmas Catalog. I loved that thing! I could spend hours upon hours looking at all the pages of clothes, tools, and other department store stuff. Of course, the toy section of the catalog was where I spent the most time. I could come up with an impressive wish list if I really wanted.

Now that I’m an adult, my catalogs look a little different. I’ve been having lots of fun looking through the Rainbow Resource Homeschool Catalog. This thing is huge! We’re talking 1360 pages huge. Bigger than the phone book huge. I like browsing through some of the pages and finding products I might not have ever thought about using before. Then I look them up on the Rainbow Resource website to get a closer look tosee if it’s something I might use.

Another catalog I’ve been reading through is from Lego Education. The stuff is a little spendy, but it’s got some pretty cool stuff, especially when it comes to engineering. Who knew?

I know that some people would rather have a root canal than research school stuff, but for a teacher like me, it can be pretty exciting! Almost as exciting as a Sears Christmas Catalog. Not quite, but almost.



more eating adventures

Last night we were driving along the main drag in town when we noticed that the new restaurant on 3rd street was finally open. So of course we had to pull in and check it out! We have been watching the building remodel for a long time now, and we were really curious to see it inside, as well as find out what kind of food they serve.

It’s called The Laughing Planet. I think the premise is that they try to select, prepare, and serve food in a way that will make the planet happy. The atmosphere is bright and modern. The food was yummy. Everything was fresh and there are a whole bunch of healthy options. I think the vegan crowd is really going to like that. And the service was really good, especially considering it was their first day of business.

I had the Holy Mole burrito. Brent had some kind of chicken and steak burrito but I forgot what it was called. The kids had quesadillas. All good. We’re ready to go back soon and try some other things on the menu. Bowls, smoothies, juices, and more. Happy eating!




summer camp- day two

Entering God's construction zone

Entering God’s construction zone


After getting totally rained out yesterday, we were so grateful that the weather cooperated today.  It wasn’t too hot, wasn’t too cold, it was just right!  One of the best parts about these kind of church events is watching a diverse group of people work together for a common (and wonderful) cause.  I think that’s a great definition of the church.  Not just my local church, but the general and universal church.

We couldn’t have been successful without our many student (jr. high and high school) volunteers.  For my class, the preschoolers, we needed all the hands we could get since we were working in  an outdoor space.  That means NO WALLS which makes containment of all those energetic little bodies a lot more challenging.  But because we had great helpers, we didn’t have to worry.  What a blessing!

If you have ever worked a summer camp or vacation Bible school before, you know that when it’s all over you have two clear feelings:  satisfaction and exhaustion.  Which means that after I finish writing this post, I’m going to bed!  And I’m sure I’ll sleep soundly with sweet dreams about legos and camp songs and stories about Jesus.

Blake is ready for his role in the skit.  He played the part of God, so we had to make sure he knew it was only for the skit, and not real life!

Blake is ready for his role in the skit. He played the part of God, so we had to make sure he knew it was only for the skit, and not real life!

At the beginning, every class had a blanket with blocks to play with until it was time to start.

At the beginning, every class had a blanket with blocks to play with until it was time to start.

Emma helped lead the songs and motions.

Emma helped lead the songs and motions.

Keeping little bodies busy:  popping bubble wrap!

Keeping little bodies busy: popping bubble wrap!


this time last year


One year ago today, Brent and the kids and I were in the middle of our incredible sabbatical.  What a trip!  On July 23, 2014 we were walking through the humid heat of Washington, D.C.  There are so many things to visit in the city, it’s almost overwhelming.  We didn’t necessarily enjoy the heat, but we did enjoy all the museums and monuments.

If I could describe the city with one word it would be this:  impressive.  You simply cannot see all of those amazing sights without leaving with some kind of impression.  There was so much we experienced that was big, bold, historic, and on a grand scale.  Nothing about the nation’s capital is small or subtle.  But with all of that, the one thing that made the most lasting effect on me was something much more personal.  At the National Mall, standing in front of the Vietnam Memorial, I could not keep the tears from coming.  And although there were patriotic reasons for the emotions, most of the tears came because the little girl inside of me just loves her daddy.  Here is the prayer I wrote on that day:

“Dear Lord, these last few days I have been humbled by some very poignant reminders of the sacrifices that our country’s military make.  Some of them give a few years of their lives.  Some of them give many years and make a career out of service to their country.  And then there are some who make the ultimate sacrifice.  They give their lives.  They give up the futures they and their families had planned.  Lord, please help me to never be flippant or take for granted what these soldiers have done.  May I always remember that every soldier, whether living or dead, matters.

Lord, on this day, there is one soldier for whom I am especially grateful.  I walked along a memorial wall today that was filled with names of soldiers who never returned home, who had given their lives.  And I was overwhelmed with the feeling of gratefulness to You for the one name that was not on the wall.  I’m thankful to you that this soldier was able to make it through the fight.  It wasn’t quick, or easy, or peaceful.  But somehow You found a way to get him home.  As I looked at the long black wall today with so many names, I don’t know why some made it home and some didn’t.  But Lord, from the bottom of this daughter’s heart, thank you for bringing my daddy home.  Amen.”



summer camp- day one

Today was the first of three days of summer camp for Mission Church.  We had so much fun!  Thinking creatively, we didn’t do it at the church building like we normally would have. Instead, we had it at a local park, with the intent of pulling in kids from the community that wouldn’t normally attend our church.  And I think it worked because I saw quite a few faces that I didn’t recognize.

We are calling it “God’s Construction” and teaching about how God is the creator of the universe and everything in it.  We’re also taking this opportunity to use a bunch of legos and blocks and other building materials.  So cool!  I get to teach the toddler and preschool class this week.  This was kind of last minute because my friend (who is more of a preschool expert than I am) had to go out of town last minute.  But I’m enjoying the process of selecting lessons and activities and supplies.  Of course the best part is getting to know the amazing little kiddos in the class.  What an amazing age!

In the middle of today’s camp, we had a serious rain delay.  But everyone took it in stride and now we have a fun memory to tell everybody about when they ask us what we did.  Most of all, the kids had fun, they felt loved and valued, and they learned more about God.  You know, the really important stuff.  Hooray for summer camp!


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    bins of activities waiting for eager campers


getting set up. The canopy came in handy during the rain delay.


The big kids had some fun too.


You gotta love camp songs!


making a maze. In case your wondering, I did NOT steal the stop sign. We bought it at a flea market in Texas about 15 years ago.

no more stalking!

Confession:  I have been a Pinterest stalker for quite some time.

I could tell you that I go to that site for research.  Which might be true some of the time.  But really I just think it’s cool to see what other people like and to get ideas about fun stuff like decorating and travel and parties.  After months and months of exploring the site without actually signing up, I finally broke down and made my own account.  I’m so weak!

Some of you probably have some extensive Pinterest experience.  But I know that’s not true for some of my readers (I’m talking to you, Mom and Dad).  For you non-Pinterest people, the site in an online bulletin board where you can “pin” things from the internet to your “board” so you won’t forget the great idea that you found on the internet.  It’s sort of like an online idea book.  And it really cuts down on the bookmarking of websites.  Now, instead of adding a bookmark, I can just “pin” it to one of my “boards” on Pinterest.  Warning:  it can be a little addictive because you will never ever ever run out of things to research!

My new board is pretty little compared to most.  Right now it’s got a few ideas for school next year and some plans for my upcoming Vacation Bible School class.  These are all noble causes to be sure, but don’t be surprised when you start to see some boards dedicated to different rooms in the house, or holidays, or even traveling in the RV.  If you’re curious, you can visit my profile.  If you’re reading this in your email, you have to go the blogs website, then you can see the profile by clicking the little P over to the right, right next to the little envelope.  The P, of course, stands for Pinterest.

Once you get there, just start clicking on whatever you want.  Or start a new search.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Happy pinning!