Monday, December 29, 2008

A Football Post, Not a Wedding Post

I am almost shocked at myself...but here goes, I am sure that all of you are expecting a wedding post and actually I was expecting my next one to be a wedding post also - however, I just read a story on ESPN about a football team (yes, football, Joel will be so proud of me!) that brought me to tears. So please take a moment and read this awesome story!!

Life of Reilly

There are some games when cheering for the other side feels better than winning.

by Rick Reilly
Melinda Wright
Gainesville State players douse head coach Mark Williams in celebration.

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.


It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


Friday, December 05, 2008

The Highlights of Ninevah

So as the wedding is getting closer, God is continuing to work in my heart on the wonders of Ninevah... first... today on my way home from Ninevah I stopped for gas and it was only 1.82 a gallon - that is definately a plus since I will be doing a lot of commuting during my first several months of becoming a Ninevite.

Another wonder of Ninevah is the people - there are some very nice and welcoming people in the community, they even like my dog! Which is a plus! The workers at the Mennonite Church of Ninevah are also very welcoming to me and my dog - the secretary even has treats for Tucker upon arrival - if only they had treats for me as well...maybe next time.

The Ninevah Mall - to some known as the Village Merchants, to others known as the Richfield Walmart...they have great service there - the cashier was so nice she even volunteered to do some wedding favors. They have clothes, groceries, furniture, decorations, basically everything.

Ninevah has a nice park that is within walking distance so Tucker will enjoy that. I am sure there are many wonders still to come but those are just a few that I have found in recent trips to Ninevah.

There is however one new downfall (literally!) to Ninevah....some of the houses there are made for people with really small feet and have really steep stairs that are easy for people with big feet to fall down on...I know from experience, with a small bruise on my hand to show for it.

Oh Ninevah - you will one day win my heart I am sure, just as the man from Ninevah has done already!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dave's Bear!!!

My little brother the mighty hunter made the Grant Family proud with the first ever Bear! It was so crazy to go home for thanksgiving and walk out to the garage to see this huge bear laying in the back of my dad's ranger. The funny part about the whole thing is that the bear had been trapped and moved out of our township one year earlier and was taken over 50 miles away, but as creatures of habit, she made her way all the way back to our property, just to meet my brother. She was aged at about 12 years old and dressed out (that means her weight after being gutted, sorry to be gross) at 209 pounds. I am guessing that my wedding present is going to be bear meat!

And the winner is...

Okay for all those that picked 108 - you are the winners of the RSVP contest....and I must say that I have never had so many people second guess themselves about RSVPing and the funny part is that all those that were unsure were some of the first ones to reply - so great job to all my friends who were quick replyers it makes my job easier!

So it is now less than two weeks from the wedding and I still have lots to do - actually I don't have a ton to do - It just feels like it and since the wedding is so big there are some added legistics that make me feel less organized, however I did get quite a few things checked off the list yesterday thanks to the help of Jeanne and Joel - you guys are the best!!!

It is now almost 6am and I am up and ready for the day, I think I am going to do a walmart run before it gets crazy, get all the stuff that I need for breakfast tomorrow and then get some much needed office work done. That is the plan we will see how it goes...oh and take lots of meds today since my body is not happy with the recent treatment - hence being up since 4am.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Six Days Remaining

Okay for all those that have voted so far in my poll I would like to give you a little update on what is happening with the RSVPs - so at this point we still have not recieved over half of our response cards back.....we are still missing 194 I know that they still have six days to respond, but seriously people should know by now if they are coming or not - for my sanity, please just send the cards in already - I need to be sure we can fit in the church and pay the caterer! Okay that is my little venting/reminder for the day! Hope all is going well with you readers, and to answer the question - no, at this point I am not too stressed, give me a week or two and let's make sure all the dresses fit and then ask me :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nineveh or Bust!

This title - though catchy, may cause some people to be upset, however I feel as though this is a perfect opportunity to share what has been going on in my life and in my heart. My hope is that by the end you will understand that I mean not to hurt anyone's feelings, or show disrespect for anyone's community..... so with that as my's what went down.

As you know - In one month I will be getting married, so that leads to many changes, some of which are really exciting and some of which are going to take some time to work through and process. Anyway - the decision was made that I will work full time at the church until Jan. 31st and then I will work part time from that point until May 24th. This will allow time for the kids to have some closure and so forth.

Well this week in youth group was the week for me to tell my Branching Out students, the middle schoolers, I had told the high school students the week prior and now it was time to break the news to the younger of my kids. The lesson that day just so happened to be on Jonah, my kids were in groups and they had to act out the four chapters of the Jonah. As the students began to act it out, I had a strong realization that I was acting like Jonah, maybe not outwardly but in my heart. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and he said no way - then the great fish know that part of the story, so Jonah says fine God - I will go to Nineveh, but I am not going to be happy about - even though Jonah went his heart was not in the right place.

Well, as I sat there convicted about my own heart being in the wrong place, I used my leaving as an analogy of Jonah - but I had to admit to my kids, my heart is just like Jonah's - I know I am to move to Richfield, but I don't want to leave what is comfortable, I don't want to leave my kids, my church family, my friends, my favorite little house....I have a bad attitude about moving. It is hard to admit that we have a hard heart to our kids, but I think it helped them understand that I wasn't leaving them, but God was moving me to a new place to do a new ministry.

I then told the story to the parents at our meeting the following of the parents jumped up and said we should make a sign for your car on your wedding day that says Nineveh or Bust! So lately I guess I have been like Jonah and I have seen Richfield as my Nineveh, I am so excited (and a bit nervous) to get married and start a new life, and my goal in this next month is to allow God to change my heart so I am not just saying that I am willing to go, but I have a joyful heart about going as well!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Secret Lives of Bees

I just got home from a fun night out with my favorite Hackenberg Sisters.... we went up to the mall to return some things and then went to see the movie - which I had heard was good but had never really seen an advertizement about it. Anyway - it was a great movie!!! We laughed and we cried - it wasn't even really a girlie movie - it was educational (and acurate according to the Hackenbergs and they know their bees) and it was well done. I highly recommend seeing this movie - I would not say that it is appropriate for kids but young adults and up - it is a must see. Check out the trailer.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My New Raspberry

Okay - so I finally broke down and changed my cell phone service from Verizon to At&T because that is what Joel has and let's just say it will save me lots of money especially after getting my last cell phone bill when I went over by 435 minutes - you do the math! It was really bad.

Anyway - so with the new service I got a new phone - I am not good with technology so I was just going to get a basic phone that I could text, call and take pictures....well they were having a sale.....a big sale - they had a blackberry that was 235 dollars but then after rebates it was only 50 dollars. That is cheaper than all the simple phones. So now I have this fancy phone and I can't even figure out how to use it. So if you call or text me in the next couple days and I don't return your call....sorry it is because I can't figure out my phone. I am assured that I will at some point love it, but right now I am just frustrated....I wonder if that is how married life is going to be....????

Oh and one last thing - I know that my phone is a blackberry, but since it is red I am going always refer to it as my raspberry!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Billy Graham turns 90!

I was going through my email today and got a message that said that Billy Graham was turning 90 years old and I could send him a message. I am not sure if he will actually read my message or not, but I figured it was the least I could do - wouldn't be amazing if he got thousands of email messages from people around the world.

I have never heard Billy Graham speak personally but I know many people who have and many people who gave their lives to Christ because of him. He is a faithful servant of God who models Christ in his actions, and in these days that is something that can be hard to find.

Anyway if you are interested in sending him a birthday wish you may do so at

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Man, The Myth, The Legend!

So here is .....the man that is crazy enough to want to marry me! He is an amazing Godly man! He is strong and stubborn (oh I mean bull headed) just like me! We are a perfect match. Actually in many ways we are opposites. I love camping, he loves his bed (or couch). I love to listen to music all the time, he is fine with quiet in the car. He has to have a TV in the bedroom - I don't even have a TV with cable in my house. I love details and organization and he let's just say doesn't really care too much about the details unless it is a production then details are very important.

As much as we are different, we are similar - we share a passion for God and for kids to know Him personally. We love to laugh and have adventures (especially if they includes not camping) We love life and hope to live it to the fullest! He is my best friend and he has been a rock for me on so many occasions. I hope to be that for him as well.

So here is my "hubby cakes" to be! I will get in trouble for that later, but I am the only one allowed to call him that, just like his football players are the only ones that can call him "Babycakes" so unless you are me...don't call him that....or else!!!!!!

Anyway that is Joel Wade Snyder, my man!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Ring

Well it has been several weeks since I have written and to be honest - the reason....I have been planning a wedding!!!! I would have blogged about the engagement sooner but I wanted to wait until I got my gorgeous ring!!! I have included a picture...the picture is not the best quality and does not do my ring the justice that it deserves however...I think you will see just how beautiful it is. Joel and I are so excited about getting married...the planning is going fairly well so far, we just need to get a florist and a caterer, oh and we need to pick out some music - so if you have any suggestions for good, clean, but fun dancing songs feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. Our wedding date is Dec. 13th - less than 3 months - so crazy, but so exciting!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Pink Brothel

A fun title for a fun a couple weeks ago, I decided to go along with Joel to a football meeting in Wilkes Barre (sometimes that is the only time we get to see each other, especially during football season) Anyway - it was nice to be able to chat and catch up a bit. But back to the Pink Brothel....we found a well lite parking lot and I did some work in the van while he was at his what was to be brief meeting..(over an hour) As I sat there I looked out the window and realized that I was staring at the largest pink house I have ever seen in my life...had it been another color it would have been amazing. Anyway as I sat there one of my friends called and I was telling him about the pink house and he said, isn't that the brothel house that was in the news....hmmmm - I wonder, anyway - I just thought that it was funny that I was in the parking lot of a random town looking at a pink house.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Relief Finally

So as I was just looking back at many of my recent blogs about the steroids and the treatments and such I was realizing that I didn't really follow-up in the past week with some great news....they worked!!! They meaning the steroids. For the first time in months I feel good (at least my body does!) I can take Tucker for a walk - which makes him and therefore me very happy. I cleaned my bathroom closet, my hutch, part of my office, I have been like super woman on these just feels so good to finally feel good.....but with the good does come some continued side effects...the racing feeling of my heart, the anxious thoughts, and feeling like I am running around and talking at mock speeds, but to me that is a small price to pay when I finally feel good physically. So if you ask me to go for a walk - I will probably say yes, but I must warn you...I may not be nice (but it's the steroids I promise, well a little of my own fistyness!)

Labor Day Family Fun

Two weekends in a row I got to see my niece and nephew, Kamyrn and Hayes, however this weekend I got to see both of my nieces and nephews and get a few pictures which is nice because my mom always wants a picture of the grandkids for her Christmas card. Anyway you will see below some pictures of the kids.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Please Vote

I just got home from an evening at the river with Joel and his friends. It was so much fun - we had a fondue dinner which was excellent! Anyway on the way home we stopped at Walmart and we saw Jenna (Joel's niece) and I can't remember how it came up in conversation but he mentioned that he did not see Jenna at the hospital or any other of his nieces or nephews...oh my goodness - I couldn't believe it, I thought everyone at least went to see their nephews and nieces especially if they are within driving distance - so the whole way home we talked about this topic and we are on way opposite sides of the spectrum, so we need your help - please take a moment and vote in our poll. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Progress of a Steroidal Couch Potatoe

Sick definately describes how I feel still...yuck...maybe stoned, or dizzy or some other drug adjective would also be appropriate...if only I could sleep through the worst of it, but alas no sleep is in the cards for me at least so far despite not being able to sit up or walk around without falling over I was able to accomplish a huge amount of stuff...I was super steroid worker today from the couch....listen to what I did.

  • Sent over 100 emails
  • Cleared and organized both my email accounts (that was huge over 500 emails)
  • Put together two slide shows
  • Blogged several times
  • Solved crisises in the lives of people around me
  • Got all my mile logs done for the last four months
  • Updated my sports calendar
  • Talked to several nurses on the phone
  • Caught up with some friends that I haven't talked to in years (by email of course)
  • Planned a party
  • And lots of other things that I can't seem to remember right now
  • But I did more I promise!!!
Okay - I just needed to try to find a bright lining in the crusty cloud of steroid treatments thanks for listening to my venting! Now I just have to get a couple more things done while my fingers are typing in super steroid mode!!!! If I could just sit up while doing all this I could almost feel worthwhile again!!!

Twitch Family Reunion

Nothing makes me happier than meeting up with old friends and sharing some great memories. A couple weeks ago - I got to see a couple of my boys that I haven't seen in a long time. They were students of mine at times, part of our community youth ministry, and part of the band TWITCH. Now they are all grown up and doing great things to make the world a better place. I am so proud of these guys and it was so fun catching up with them. Paul and his wife Katrina are going to be parents soon - and just got back from Tanzania and they are now heading to Penn State to work with their international studies. Sean is in Buffalo working and leading worship to which he has a great gift that God is using in amazing ways! I love you boys and I am so proud of you!!!

And the other part of the story that is funny is that while we were sitting having lunch at Perkins in Williamsport we looked over at another table and there was another girl that went to Clearfield and I had as a student and was in the same church as the two guys I was sitting with - she is also married and has a child and she introduced me to her husband as Miss Grant - wow that has been a long time since I have been called that.

Tucker and Mini Me (Angel)

At the beginning of the month I had an opportunity to spend some time with the Ptacek family dogs. Of course Tucker went along because he loves to make new friends....but look at this picture - doesn't it look like they should be related? They even have the same white patch on their stomachs. Angel is a mix between a lab and springer spaniel and Tucker is a pointer lab mix. Funny isn't it! They are so cute together...when they aren't trying to jump all over me.

The Adventure Lunch to Cruisers

For my last lunch adventure of the summer I thought it would be fun to take a litte road trip and head to the other side of the mountain over to snyder should have heard the kids trying to guess where we were going - they were a bit disappointed when we went through the Middleburg Fair and didn't stop but once we got to our final destination they were very excited to find ourselves dining at Mt Pleasant Mills finest establishments - Cruisers Cafe. It does help that I have a little in with the owner, but it is a fun place none the less! We enjoyed waving at the people passing by, listening to fun stories, and eating great food, and let's not forget about the ice cream! If you have never been to Cruisers you should check them out at Check out some cool pics of my kids!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Report just in: Steroids increase blogging

It seems that as I lay here and I can't seem to get up because I feel so crappy after my 5000mg of steroids in five short day, I am a bit antsy, my energy is scattered - I am exhausted, I want to throw up, so I am trying to lay still, but I can't sit still so I am blogging, sorry if none of this makes sense, but I did catch up on many of my blogs that I was behind on....don't worry there are many more to come so if I can't sleep tonight you will get to read all the rest of the ones that I haven't gotten to yet. Okay I am done with my bantering - I actually have to go take my shot...actually that is probably another great reason to keep blogging - procrastinating adding more drugs to my already overdosed much more can I take without wanting to keel over and die....I can do this - I know that I can, I just wish I could knock myself out for the next couple days so I don't have to feel the awful steroid withdrawl - it is not pretty - let's just say Dr. Jerkyl/Mr. Hyde....I am not kidding. Okay did I say that I was done about five sentences ago - well I am actually done now. Thanks for listening to my ranting and raving!

Milk it does your body good!

Should I be mad or should I think this is this stealing or is it my boys just making sure they have enough calcium to make them stronger...ummm the jury is still out on this was the last night of camp and I am pretty sure that they didn't need the milk anymore and it wasn't like they wasted it - they actually drank all 104 containers of milk...they are strong boys - what can I say!

Great times as a Red Shirt!

It is a ton of fun to be a red shirt at workcamps....challenging at times when you are trying to deal with your group as well as take care of programming things - however with my health it does seem to be a win win situation. This year once again I was a song leader at two camps and an MC in training at one. I think with my hands being silly this may be my last year to do music since they don't seem to like the heat or the up and down motion that seems to be required for playing a I think it will be on to MC! Which I am very excited about. With that I thought that I would show a few pictures of my red shirt times!!

Archie's BBQ

For our fun night we decided to go out for our traditional BBQ - I guess when you do something two years in a row it is then considered a tradition. Anyway - last year we did Dirty Ernie's in West Virginia and this year we did Archie's. What a treat - when we arrived our name was flashing on the outside sign - we basically had the whole restaurant to ourselves, and they even helped us out with a birthday surprise for Mindy. The food was great and the service was stellar! We loved our time there and I highly suggest if you are in the Deep Creek Area you need to check out Archies! Here is there site! Thanks for a great time!

Fun Times at the Fun Land

Pictures speak a thousand words so I am just going to highlight a few of my favorites.... don't even ask just enjoy them for what you see, but feel free to comment - that would be entertaining.

Notice those great shirts

I just want to give a little advertizement to About three weeks before camp I was realizing that we didn't even have our shirts ordered yet much less designed. Well in chatting with my new friend Sarah at one of my workcamps, I found out her dad Eli Bernard has a t-shirt company and does the design for free in less than 24 hours.....score!!! I sent him the info and in less than a couple hours I had a design - we tweeked it a little and I was thrilled....he was so great to work with and he is an amazing Christian guy that I would highly recommend that you would consider for your next t-shirt order. Anyway check it out!

I tried to get pictures that show the front and the back - not great back pictures but you get the idea. Anyway you should check it out - we were "pleased"!!!

Our first day at camp!

I think the front row of boys describes our group to a T! We had our biggest group ever, filled with some wild and crazy kids - but a very fun group for the most part - they actually only got in trouble four or five times (at least that I know of anyway!) They were really hard workers and people complimented their work ethic, now if we could just work on our thinking and acting skills at the same time, we would be golden. You may notice two non-yellow shirted people. Well the guy in the blue is our new friend Luke from Colorado - his dad was the MC so he needed a group to stay with so they picked up - I hope we didn't scare him too much!

And the person in the red shirt - well that is me and that is what I wore all week long! I did alternate between the red shirts but they were all red since I was on staff. You know me always sticking out like a sore thumb!

SMT 08 - The fun begins!

This year for our summer mission trip we went to McHenry MD - on our way down we went White Water Rafting - that was pretty crazy! I am pretty sure it was my last adventure like that - My body can't take that beating anymore. It was so hard that I had to suck up my pride and get into a different boat because I was too tired to paddle anymore...I can't believe I am actually admitting to that, but it is true so I might as well just deal...anyway - the trip down there was gorgeous! The rolling mountains and back roads were amazing - it made me wonder how people can't believe in a God that created it - it is too amazing to just happen - there has to be a design.

Well the first night we had the priviledge to stay at the Springs Mennonite Church. They treated us so well. They brought us snacks and opened their church to a bunch of strangers. They even made us a huge breakfast the next morning. What a God thing the whole situation was, especially since two weeks prior we didn't even have a place to stay. Here are a few snaps of our time there.

The last day of YL Camp

I am finally trying to catch up on my blogs - since I am stuck on the couch for a day or so more and I am getting really antsy I figured now would be a good time to catch up on some of my blogs. So we are going back to mid July for our last day at camp. Here are a few pictures from our final celebration.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Steroids

Catchy title isn't it...just a bit of a disclaimer before I go any further...I can just imagine what is going through some people's heads right now. Steroids - how could Jana talk about the benefits of steroids as a former coach and health educator, and especially with the olympics going on and all the testing that occurs there....well - I am talking about Solumedral which is an IV steroid used to treat MS symptoms, so don't worry it is legit!

Now that we are all on the same page let's talk about the highs and lows.

  • 1. I get stronger without having to do a single push-up, sit-up, or walk about the block
  • 2. I will hopefully feel good for almost a month afterwards if all goes as planned!
  • 3. I get to spend time with the nurses in the infusion section of the hospital and they are pretty fun, and they think I am important because I am on the radio!
  • 4. Contact work from the couch - I have seen more kids in one day here on the couch than I have seen all week. It is a great ministry tool and there are some great stories to tell.
  • 5. I am not sure I can think of a fifth one but it seems to be a good number to end on, so yeah if you have an idea for number five you can post it as a comment. Interactive blogging - I love it - and all because of steroids.
  • 1. Getting the IV - is let's just say awful - it took 1.5 hours to get an IV to work for me today - I am not exaggerating. After 4 IV tries and 4 IV nummer shots let's just say I was about to throw up or pass out, it was so bad that my friend Miss Karen had to leave the room. Then to top it off they were moving the needle around while it was still in my arm - let's just say that I did not like that at all.
  • 2. Five days of treatment that make me very sick at times. YUCK!!!!
  • 3. Not wanting to eat for days and then when I am hungry and try to eat something I get really sick to my stomach
  • 4. Having to back out of previous commitments - ughh I just hate to do that - I had so many things planned - one of which was a weekend sleepover for my niece Kamryn - she was so excited to come and stay over, then a picnic for my friend, and a birthday party for my nephew Hayes - he's going to be two!
  • 5. Roid Rage - and yes that does really exist and it is not fun - just stay away from me on day five and six. Unless of course you want to be entertained by my emotional roller coaster and rage exibits.
  • 6. Not sleeping - so yeah - hence why I am exhausted and up typing a blog when I should be sleeping - this is so frustrating to me. Especially since my hands feel like crap!
  • 7. Loneliness - realizing how lonely it can be during the times when people have left and you are just overwhelmed with this feeling of being alone. Silly especially since I have been so blessed to have so many people stop by and offer to help.

So I am going to try one more time to go to bed, but before I do I want to share a picture, Exibit A - and give a shout out to Richard - the IV specialist at Evan hospital - thanks for getting the IV in and doing it in one try! You are my hero for the day! Check out his handy work!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Christopher Williams

All I have to say is that it is a small world. About 8 years ago while living in Clearfield I had a group of friends that loved to go to coffeehouse concerts around the area. We all just loved acoustic music. So one night we headed to State College to hear this guy in concert. It was an awesome night as we got to hear him and Jason Harrod. I grew to just love his music, and to this day still listen to it on a weekly basis.
Which now brings me to this summer. We walked into club the first night at Young Life camp and I looked up front and thought to myself this guy looks so familiar, then after a few songs the speaker for the night announced that Christopher Williams would be singing a song for us, and wouldn't you know that the first song he sang was off the album that I owned from 8 years earlier! It was crazy! But awesome none the less, his music has been such a blessing to me over the years and it was such an encouragement to hear him play again.
One night while there he did a concert, after the concert I decided to stop and chat with him for a moment to tell him the funny story that I just shared, well as I shared it - it got even crazier....he asked where I was from and I said Lewisburg - well he went on to let me know that he went to Bucknell - how crazy is that!
Even crazier - he supports an organization called Blood Water Mission - and one of my friends David VanBuskirk was just interning for them and they are friends too! David is a friend that I used to work at Krislund with...what a small world.
Anyway - you need to check out Christopher Williams and his music - it is a must have for your collection, check out his website We also hope to be featuring him on one of our Get Real shows in the next couple months.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catching Up - Back to YL Camp

So I am going to try to catch up on my blogging now that I am done house sitting for a couple weeks and for some reason, though my head is throbbing I can't seem to fall asleep, so I guess I will blog instead. To catch up I must go all the way back to July...not bad only a month behind. Anyway - this was one of my favorite nights at camp - it is 50s night! I love this night because it is a whole evening of pure fun! The kids laugh, they dress up, they dance, they celebrate is just a blast! As you can see my girls loved dressing up, putting scarves in their hair, adding the bright red lipstick, and giving themselves moles (I didn't have to have a fake one since I have a real one in the perfect "50s spot". Anyway - I loved watching my girls let down there guard and just have tons of fun dancing, singing, and playing. I wish teens would play more, just let go of their fear of what others will think, let go of their desire to grow up and just play - not compete, just play!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another good excuse

Well it has been two weeks since I have written and I got back from camp Aug. 2nd....I do have a good excuse I promise. I do have about 12 blogs in my head that I would like to write about. Since I have been back I have been trying to rest, which is a good thing since I need a lot of that, but don't get nearly enough. These two weeks are a bit slower at work so that is good, however my office is a mess so I really need to clean that. But the real reason is that my body is not happy right now. On Saturday night I started to feel really bad again...I struggled to talk and make sense... I tried to go to church on Sunday but I had to leave early because I felt so badly. I had to have people come and help me take care of the dogs that I was dog sitting. On the couch was where I have spent much of my week. I went to the doctor on Tuesday just to be told to see my neurologist. Then yesterday I went to a nutritionist and my neurologist. Lucky me I get to have another MRI on Monday. The worst part of the whole thing is that the doctor is concerned that my dizzyness is not related to my MS - and my thoughts are please Lord - I can't have anything else wrong with me - I don't have enough energy to deal with something else. So now I am sitting, resting and waiting for the test and the results.

So that is my new excuse for not blogging...but if I get some energy later today after I nap I will try to start doing some of my blogging!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Too Close to home

There are so many other topics that I wish I could write about....but it seems that this is the one that is keeping me up as we speak so I will do a late night vent... today I got a call from a good friend of mine letting me know that he was in the hospital, I was surprised but I didn't think too much of it until I talked to his wife and she told me why he was the time of my call he was getting prepped for a spinal tap - YUCK! But the reason for getting one was all too close to home. He had lost all the feeling in his arms and his hands....and when they did his MRI they found a lesion on his spine....the possibilities are a tumor, which they think they may have ruled out...or MS but they won't know anything until tomorrow.

I was able to go and spend the afternoon with them...I answered a lot of questions, hopefully accurately, but also very factually....I didn't want to tell him the hard truth of the disease before he even knew what it was, but I just gave some general stuff to help educate them.

However, as I lay here in bed tonight and I can't sleep because my shot is kicking my butt and my body feels like it has been through the mill, I just want to cry and beg God to spare my friend....I don't want him to have to go through this...he has a wife and four kids, and that would just suck.... my heart breaks for him. I just wish I could take it all away for him.

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now, thoughts of what to say - thinking back to what I wanted people to say to me, thoughts of how to pray....when I just want God to heal his body so he doesn't have to deal with this, thoughts of frustration, thoughts of sadness, and thoughts of fear because I find myself incapable of looking at situation and not thinking about mine, which leads me to thoughts of selfishness...why does it have to come back to me...this is not about me...its about my friend...and this disease that has no rhyme or reason...please pray for my friend Todd...pray for quick accurate results, pray for comfort for his wife and kids, pray for God to heal his body and return the feeling to his hands.

One thing that I do know as does my friend Todd, that God will get us through even the hardest of times, and he will use hardships to make us stronger and to bring people closer to Himself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Off To McHenry, MD

Hey faithful readers, I just wanted to give you a heads up, and ask for your prayers. Tomorrow morning at 6am I will be departing for McHenry MD with 42 of my friends (33 high school kids, and 10 adults). On our way down we will be stopping to white water raft the nile..oh wait sorry that was what I wish I would be rafting again, however the Youghegeny will have to suffice for now until I can talk someone into taking me to Uganda to do the Nile again. Then we will stay at a great church called Springs Mennonite - who are graciously letting us sleep on their floors. Then off to Garrett College where we will spend the week doing home repair with Group workcamp. Anyway - with that being said - I will be gone for the week and highly unlikely to be blogging...sorry! I promise I will have some good pictures and stories to tell upon my return. Until then God Speed!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Night At the YL Rodeo

One of my favorite nights at YL camp - is Rodeo night - they take us all out in the woods and we get to listen to country music, play fun redneck games, like barrel relays, shovel rides, and mattress lines. It is a blast and then we finish the evening with some good ole BBQ diner with all the fixins! It is my favorite night for so many reasons! But my favorite reason is just sitting with my kids on a blanket in a field, listenin so to some good ole country music!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We are the pirates who don't do anything

The volleyball tournament at camp is not like any other....we dress up in outfits that make us look like we are going to a costume party! We were hot! Not just our looks but our temperature - it was about 90 degrees outside and we were wearing garbage bags! But I must say we had one of the best uniforms at the camp (not that I am biased or anything!) We didn't win a game of volleyball but our girls had a great time getting chips by dancing, singing and tackling guys to get frisbees! I am so proud!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Final Day at Dutch Days

It was a long hot day on Saturday...way too hot for someone like me. So hot that I actually almost fell asleep watching the parade and I love parades. We watched it from the porch swing which was in the shade, Tucker enjoyed it as much as a dog can enjoy a parade. There were lots of tractors - which I must say were some of my favorite things. The floats were fun, as were people who were all around - it was a big event!!

That evening was spent working in the soda stand (or if you are from Potter County - the pop stand) The first two hours I was in the cans - all by myself - they must really trust me.... or they must have been really desperate. Then the rest of the night was spent in bottles. We sold everything.....the drink of the night was Mountain Dew Live make things a little more exciting - we yelled live wire everytime we sold one. You can't tell that I work with high school kids can you!

The famous name quilt was auctioned off at 10 pm and it went for 3335 dollars - wow! And that is not even the highest amount that a name quilt has sold for - one year it went for 6000. I can't believe that - that is crazy!!! But what a great fundraiser!

At the end of the night I got in one of the drink tubs (don't worry there were no drinks left in it) and I just stood in the ice cold water - it felt so good. Then it was back to the house for good conversation in the kitchen while we waited for the boys to get done, doing there traditional after Dutch Days celebration!

All in all I must say that it was a fun four days at Dutch Days! I might even consider going back next year - if it is not 95 degrees every single day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dutch Days - Day 3

After a long day at work, a visit with my friends up at the Platt Family Farm, I headed off to 3 three of Dutch Days in Richfield. After getting lost taking what I thought was a short cut, I arrived and spent the evening under the pavilion listening to some great stories from the past, enjoying some beef BBQ and spending some quality time with the fam (Joel's fam.) I am very excited to announce that my name is going to appear on the 2008 name quilt thanks to Michele. I would also like to make a comment about meeting new people. Sometimes when you meet new people, you just have a feeling you are in for a long conversation about things that you don't really feel like discussing....I met one of those people, though her intentions were great, I just wanted to tell her to leave me alone (sorry I am being utterly truthful today!) Then later this same woman who was giving me her advise, thought that I was 40 - oh my!!! Not that it is bad to be 40, it is not, but imagine if you were forty and someone thought that you were wouldn't like it. I think she was just assuming that because Joel is older that I was also older. It is funny how two weeks ago I was asked what year I was in college and this week I was asked if I was! Anyway, the other funny part of the night was that at one point the announcer said, a goat has escaped, please be aware that a goat has escaped...only in Richfield! (the announcer said , only in Richfield, not me!).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Turtle Pond Tough Girls

This is the first post of a series of Rockbridge Young Life Camp Highlights. On the first night of camp, the camp does an obstacle course in the dark! It is so much fun...and for those of you who may be a little concerned about me doing such an worries...I just watched from a distance, took pictures, and designed some really cool sharpie tatoos for their arms!! Since a picture speaks a thousand words I will just post the pictures and you can imagine the rest! Just so you know they are wearing their bathing suits under their clothes!