Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

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Favorite Food

Healthy Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge!!!!!!

(Click Picture for recipe)
I'm for anything that says "Healthy" & "Fudge" together

Favorite House Tips

Simple Daily Cleaning Routine and Natural Homemade Cleaner Recipes on 100 Days of Real Food

I love this blog & love this little simple reminder on how to clean rooms
I need little reminders... almost a check list to keep my life in order.

Favorite Reminder

95 Motivational Quotes

Favorite Books for Summer

19 funny books to read that are sure to make you laugh. These funny books for women and for adults are great if you're looking for some humor!

Favorite Beauty & the Beast
My graduation cap for my Master's degree graduation @ CSUF :)  Beauty and the Beast

Best college graduation cap EVER!!!

Favorite Peencha

Favorite Video

I literally laughed till I couldnt see through the tears.....

Favorite Funnies

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 36 Pics

Just Funny Pictures

If everything I ate said this, maybe I wouldn't eat so much...

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 36 Pics

Morning Funny Picture Dump 32 Pics

Morning Funny Picture Dump 37 Pics

... when I saw my dad on Father's Day

GIPHY! ( October 12, 2013 at 12:20PM

... what I have to remind my dogs of every Friday night

GIPHY! ( June 23, 2016 at 09:09PM

... when all the kids are trying to explain Snapchat to me

GIPHY! ( June 19, 2017 at 05:17AM

... me at 4:00pm today

GIPHY! ( June 19, 2017 at 12:43PM

Happy Weekend Y'all!!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thankful Thursday #130

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This week I am Thankful For:
{numbers go with One Thousand Gifts Journal / just ignore}

406 / Changing Bunk Beds.
I am SOOOO thankful that one of the sweet girls let me have the bottom bunk.  I would have just slept on the floor otherwise.  Someone should have videoed me just TRYING to get up on the top bunk of the bed. We'd go viral, for sure!

407 / Quiet morning time.
I did enjoy getting up a little bit earlier before the kids found their energy.  This little retreat area was just down the path from our front door of our dorm. It was just so beautiful in the morning light.

 408 / My girls.
It was just so wonderful spending time with all my girls.  They are such special young ladies & I am so lucky & blessed to know them & to have the opportunity to try & help steer them onto straighter paths as they grow up

409 / Back up
I have been in situations where misunderstandings can happen & no one has your back. That hurts. Especially when its people you consider friends that dont stand up for you.  So when I had someone stand up for me in a big way this past week, it just comforted my heart so much.  There's nothing better than having someone stand up for you & putting their own word on your character because they believe in it.

411 / Final session.
The last session of camp was truly full of the Holy Spirit moving in my girls.  So much emotion was happening & I know they left with a renewed sense of closeness to God.

412 / Future Nurse in our dorm
With all the sickness happening, I was so blessed for the young lady that is going to school to be a nurse. She was on top the game handling situations no one else wanted to deal with...... Puke.Yes, I'm talking about puke.haha... but also she was on top of our dehydration problem. She had to leave to go to school at night & she brought back bottles of water for all the girls in our dorm.  She was just amazing having with us.

Here is is fixing another leader's foot that had something stuck in it :) 
414 / Getting to know the High School Girls
I just loved getting to talk to the HSM girls that I got to room with.  They are incredible! Simply incredible. How they lead the middle school girls & the wisdom they already know &share with these younger girls.  I am impressed every time I get to know more about these girls.... & love they accepted the "old gal" in with them this week.

The games were Christmas theme & the girls added to the fun with Ugly Christmas Sweaters

415 / Baptisms.
There really is nothing like watching all of these people get baptized.  They did each one individually & each one made me equally smile AND tear up.

So funny note - guys, you may not appreciate this one.... but during camp, it seemed like it was contagious to start your period. All the girls everywhere were starting. & then we actually had 3 girls in our dorm that started for the very first time.  Remember when you started for the first time? It's a mark on your life.... but I loved that these girls were surrounded by friends that were like "Cool!"... & being the "dorm mom" I told them, "We're celebrating" haha... & told them we were going to have a "Moon Dance" - which confused them all.  I told them that in days ole, women in families would take their daughters out under the moon & they would celebrate this new phase of life.  I dont know if this is true or I dreamt it but I swore I heard it somewhere before... anyways, I said, We're going to do our own Moon Dance .... so before we went to bed on the last night, I got my wireless speaker, & my Spotify & we got all the girls & danced to Girls Just Want to Have Fun... haha... Tell me that these girls wont remember their first period when they're older?  ... but it was funny because everyone ewas like, "Next year, we're having a dance party EVERY NIGHT'... I agree.  Totally will.

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417 / Ricky had me a surprise.
Ricky met me at Panera on my way home & then had to run to Home Depot & I just wanted to get home. I opened the door & he had me a surprise sitting on the counter.  Isnt he the cutest.  (I had surprised him during the week too by having a card sent to him through the mail that let him know I missed him.... we love each other) ;)

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418 / Starbucks after 4 days
I get what people say now about good coffee. After drinking the coffee at camp, I just wanted to get Starbucks. It was almost like a detox at camp but as soon as I was behind the wheel of my car, you know the first place I stopped.  It tasted like heaven.

419 / My own shower
Let me tell you.... camp showers just dont cut it. They were so small, I couldnt even bend over to shave my legs. I had to bend them up & then keep my balance. Fun times.  I think I just stood in my own shower at home an extra 10 minutes just because.

422 / Father's Day
Blessed to have an incredible dad in my life.

425 / Lunch outside
We had a small break in the heat & I love eating lunch outside during work.  Let me inhale fresh air instead of stale, stuffy, office air.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Confession time....

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.... OK... I get it... congrats & all.  But I REALLY REALLY REALLLLLY dont get the whole Beyonce thing. How her having these twins is like the 2nd coming of Jesus.  Why is it such big news?  I mean, it was in the top headlines of the National News.  Really? I mean, I get the world needs some light news, but does it have to be ALL Beyonce ALL the time?  I just dont understand the craze.  Maybe its all just a sign that I'm getting old.

... I honestly could eat a quinoa salad from Panera every single day of my life.

... Speaking of Panera, Ricky made a good point. It's funny they has changed their menu for healthier items & got rid of sweet tea & gotten rid of ketchup because of high fructose corn syrup... yet, they have a whole side of their entry full of sugar filled pastries & cookies. Because those are healthy.

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... this is the day that I always dread.  The beginning of summer. & not because it has anything to do with summer. But its the day that the sun starts SETTING 1 minute earlier every day.  NOOOOOOO. I like sunlight. I like sitting outside & reading till nearly 9pm. & I know its awhile before its really dark before 7, but I know its shifting.  I hate so dang much the drives into work when its dark too - that's beyond the worst.  So I'm going to be out enjoying the longest day of the year.

... being away at camp, it was kinda crazy coming home & getting caught up on news. I was so detached from all the latest happenings in anything news related.... & once I saw the news again, I wish I was back at camp totally unplugged.  I get why people avoid the news now.  #ignoranceisbliss

... I get that people like leather seats because they dont stain, but I gotta say, black leather seats + shorts/short skirt/dress = 3rd degree burns waiting to happen. OUCHHHHHHH! I keep a blanket in my front seat all summer long so I can sit down without the need to go to the ER.  That's some dangerous stuff.

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... my vertigo has been on a kick for weeks now. ALL THE DIZZY!!!!!.... If I get pulled over & have to walk a line for a alcohol test, I just need to know now whose going to come get me out of jail because I'm totally going to fail.

.... every time Kroger has their Starbucks K-Cups on sale for $6.99, my favorite sales out first. The House Blend. I thought I found one hiding in the back, snagged it up & proudly purchased it... to get home & found it was DECAF.  #whatsthepoint

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...I can't believe we have yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy... nor Wonder Woman.  My super hero loving husband is disappointing me.  ... but in all honesty, its my busy weekends that are disappointing him. We cant ever find a time to go. UGH.  He's already told me he's not waiting on me for the new Spiderman.

... & speaking of movies, with Beauty & the Beast on Blu-Ray now, I think this is a conversation that happens every night now
ME: Want to watch a movie?
HUBS:  What do you want to watch?
ME: Beauty & the Beast
HUBS:........... seriously?  Are you going to ask every night?
ME:  So do you want to watch it?

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What's something you need to get off your chest today & confess?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


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I know I talked a lot about camp yesterday & how much fun it was & all the good side... & bad side... lets not forget all the hurling going on. Total bad side...

But the weekend had a topic we focused on all weekend.


When I heard that, I was so excited because I relate to Peter.

Peter, the one who dropped his nets to follow Jesus & wanted to learn all he could from this man who was teaching new truths on God... & the man who turned away from God, heart broken that he did just as he told Jesus he wouldn't do - deny him.  & the man who got to see his friend in a risen body after they witnessed his crucifixion & tell him he loved him.  & the man who Jesus told that His church would be built through him... even after his failures.

I get Peter.  I understand Peter.

So I was excited for the kids to learn about Peter & how his story could tap into their own lives.

Each night, we talked about a word the represented Peter's Story....


Peter dropped his nets to go to Jesus.  Left everything behind. His career as a fisherman.  His family. Everything he knew & was comfortable with.  ... & we were reminded how we need to DROP our concerns that hold us back. The things that we dont want to do for Jesus because we may be uncomfortable. The worries that we can come up with. They will always keep us in a place of comfort that isn't helping anyone.  DROP our own nets as fast as we can.....dont let them hold us back.

We were reminded how in the middle of a storm, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. Took that step of faith to stand on the un-standable, keeping his focus on the One who would give him the power to stand.  .... & we were reminded that in the storms of our life, because there will always be storms, that Peter showed us that its better to be in the middle of a storm WITH Jesus, than safe in the boat without Him.  Jesus will protect us, get us through those rough times - we just have to stay near him & trust in Him until the winds calm down.

We looked at what people were saying about Jesus & Jesus looked at Peter & said, "Who do you say that I am?"... & Peter replied, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God".  Peter spoke loudly what he knew to be true.  Even if it wasn't something others agreed with.  ... & we were reminded that we need to speak up, voice our belief in Jesus to others. Share His word. Share who He is.  & we took it a step further in our group & I asked the kids "Who would people say YOU are?"... & we got a lot of words - a lot not so flattering. It was eye opening I think for the kids to voice how they thought many saw them.  We want to change that.  We want others to say about us, "Who is so & so?... Oh, they're a Christian.  Oh, they are a Jesus Freak.  Oh, they are a Kingdom Worker.  Oh, they are the kindest, giving, generous, loving person.".

WHO WE SAY JESUS IS... We proclaim it

This was a powerful one.  We got to see how Peter failed Jesus. Denied him. 3 times.
Failure at its finest.  But we saw that in the end, Jesus had Peter proclaim that he loved Him... & Peter's world was turned around.  Failure doesnt have to hold us back. Jesus forgives us.  & failures are going to happen.  We asked about failures in our small group & the girls asked me what one of my failures were - & I said, "Are we just talking about today or all time?... because failures DO happen every day. We aren't perfect... but we were reminded that Peter made an impact in God's Kingdom & in our own lives & failures, we are called to be Kingdom Workers. We are to take our own talents & abilities God has given us & we are to LIVE FOR HIM by using these talents & grow the Kingdom of God however we can.  We can take the story of our failures & put an "AND THEN" on it & finish the story in a glorious way!

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It was an amazing lesson to take to heart... every single day....every single message

& I love going to these events for Middle School kids because as you can tell, all of these points are things that even the "old folk" like me needs to be reminded of.

It's what makes the Bible so cool ... its timeless... ageless... eternal.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The weekend I survived Pukefest... or what I call MIX CAMP

sooooo yeahhhh - camp involved a lot of puke this year.

At least it wasn't mine!  That's ALWAYS a good thing. Praise the Lord!!!

Anyways, before I jump in, I wanted to thank everyone for the sweet comments & messages about being away at an amazing opportunity to serve doing middle school church camp & away from the comfort of my home & leaving my hubby & doggies.  Always tough for me.

When I got home, my email was so overwhelming, I may not have gotten back with most of you (& by most of you, I mean like 99% of you - & the other 1% was because of a question) - so I am back in routine this week & cant wait to read your blogs & comment away.

& a heads up, this is going to be long.  I get it if you dont want to read it all... but I gotta document it for myself & memory sake.  I'll sum it up if you dont want to read - IT WAS AWESOME... anyways, I think its worth reading ;)

So yeah - Camp started on Tuesday, but I ended up working & leaving from work to take care of some things & then headed up late.

But I am not going to start a youth event without my usual stop.  STARBUCKS!!! Its tradition. Caffeine overload to handle middle school kids.

When I got up to camp, all the kids were in the first session & I tried to text our youth pastor & he couldnt find a cart to come get me... so I ended up starting my camp trip by dragging my luggage & sleeping back & pillow through the pouring rain.  That's fun.

Hiding under my car hatchback waiting for the rain to let up

I went in to find my room & saw all the other girls had taken all the beds.... except the top bunk.....

Uh Oh!!!!  I just planned on sleeping in my car. haha.  This 45 year old girl wasn't going to climb up a ladder 10 times a night - I have a 45 year old bladder after all.  I was rooming with 5 high school girls & 2 college girls so they have the ability to get up & down easier than me.  & bless her heart, I had one sweet girl change beds so I could have a bottom bunk.  I am forever in her debt.

I headed over to the worship center a little upset, feeling my age in the first 15 minutes of arriving but my feeling were instantly perked up when I walked in & I was swarmed with girls running to hug me & excited that I was there.

The first night was rainy so it limited our game time but it made for a good group time.... here's all our Indiana campus together in our "Family time"

The first night when we got back to our dorms, it was like ENERGY CENTRAL.  The kids could care less about the time scheduled for "lights out" & even in my own room, full of teenage girls, no one wanted to settle in.  I have to say, I so enjoyed spending time in the room with these girls. Listening to them & their stories & laughing & sharing with one another.  I honestly love these sweet girls & am always impressed by them.

Morning Meeting Time... all the girl leaders +1 - the girl on the far left is at another campus but we'd love to have her at ours

But every morning started with a youth leader meeting right after breakfast... which I didnt go to, because you know..... the C-word. When you are at a camp with a few hundred kids, its going to be eaten at breakfast so my routine was to go over & get coffee & a banana before anyone came in to eat & before smells were drifting.  I would come back & have some alone time to start the day while every one was away or one of the sweet college girls came back & sat with me & chatted until the meeting started.  I had never really spent a lot of time with this particular young lady & she just won me over throughout the weekend (she's the same one who switched beds with me too)

After the meetings, we'd have a morning session with some morning games, some early morning worship & then a small lesson to get an idea on what the main event lesson was going to be on that night.  & then we'd be sent to small group time with our individual groups... usually about 16 people each.

  They are just THE BEST!! Honestly, the best group of girls a leader could have.

It would be time for lunch right after our small group & then we'd have some free time.

One day, they scheduled our MIX game during the free time & it was so much fun.  It was super funny because NONE of the girls wanted to do it in my group.  (Getting that 8th grade "too cool" factor happening) & I asked them if I did it, would they do it. They all were excited for that.  In the end, they all came up to me & said they were so happy they did it & it was one of the most fun things they've done before.

Some times, people need that push to do things they'd otherwise not try..... #lifelessoninbubbles

How do you not love running through bubbles?

& Please note, we had to fight off a "Sweaty Getty" from stealing our snowman we had to build... & my scream totally made them run off.  I'm proud.

A lot of free time was spent either in the pool, or the lake, & I even pulled out some cards & we'd just spend it on the front porch of our dorm & play some games & I'd brought my speaker & playing some christian music  & sing along.  It all just went by so fast & we had so much fun just having the funniest conversations.

It would be time to clean up, go to dinner & then back to the worship center for our Night Session - that was ALWAYS so powerful.  So deep & meaningful.  These were some GOOD TALKS. & the worship time was just so uplifting.

We'd close out the night with either another quick small group time... or one night, we had a worship session outside & did a prayer walk & ended it singing praises under the stars (one of my favorite things) & another night, we ended up having a Christmas scavenger hunt that ended with a Popsicle party in the middle of a field.

Scavenger Hunt goodies

This is camp... for sure!  SO MUCH FUN!!!

The worst part of camp were the kids were just going down fast.... so many pukers!  It started on day 1 with 2 boys that threw up... but they were both from another campus & their dorm was far away.  We'd thought we'd be safe.  We were wrong.

2 nights later, one of my girls looked at me in the middle of a session & said, "I GOTTA GO TO THE NURSE NOW"... & she just felt awful.

That same night, another girl in our dorm left too sick....& the day after that, another one of my girls left nauseated & feeling awful.

The doctor & nurse on staff there thought it was from dehydration.  The kids werent drinking any water... & it was SO HOT.  & plus, they are kids. They are running & running & running. So between no water & all the moving, they think dehydration & exhaustion was key.

I actually had 2 more girls that got sick but they both laid in the nurses room & slept for 2 hours & then woke up & drank & ate & they perked right back up & was able to stay. SO GLAD!!!

But the worst of it was the last night.... I got woken up at 2:30am with the news, "We have someone who threw up all over her room".... OH JESUS... HELP ME...

I ended up walking with her over to the nurse... again, at 2:30 am (MERCY) & bless our sweet little college girl's heart - she's studying to be a nurse so she was OK with the room & cleaned it up.   THANK YOU LORD!!!!... I stayed with the girl & she said she was feeling better so we walked back to the dorm, ONLY for her to throw up 4 times on the walk. Nope - back to the nurses office.  I was just trying to hold it together.... I dont do well with things like this.

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We finally got back to the dorm about 3:30... only to be woken up AGAIN because they said she had been throwing up NON STOP for another hour & they had to call her mom so we needed to pack her up. Luckily, her small group leader went & got it all together. So you could say, that night was a bad night.

& while that was awful, there of course was AMAZING moments that made it all worth it - even through all of THAT yucky stuff.

The conversations that we had... the questions asked & the discussions that were struck up with debates, the relationships & friendships that were formed or strengthened....   It's just the best time. What camp is really all about.

& the last night... I get teary eyed thinking about it.  It was just so special because we had the opportunity as leaders to go pray over every one of our kids in our small group.

Having a close relationship with a lot of these girls already, it was just so touching to be able to pray with them one on one asking for God to help them show them their talents that they can use to become Kingdom Workers.... & knowing some of these girls, I loved speaking into them the talents that I saw in them.  It was just so moving.

My poor girls... they were all so emotional.  I cant blame them being an emotional gal myself.... but I told them, "You have to stop crying - you're all already dehydrated" haha... it was just the best moment of the entire trip for me & I know for them too.  I know they all walked out that final night feeling a renewed closeness to God.

But OF COURSE, the most ultimate part of church camp is when kids make the choice to follow Jesus through baptism.  I think this just has to be the COOLEST WAY EVER to get baptized. In a lake, with your family there & surrounded by hundreds of people who are praying for you.

They had the decision time on Thursday night so parents could be called & told what was happening so they could make the trek up to camp the next evening.  & there were even 2 kids that one had their grandpa come in the water with him & baptize his grandson (cue the tears) & one where a father baptized his daughter after just getting baptized himself  months ago (cue the sobs on that one... it was so touching what he said before)...

We had 2 kids from our campus get baptized & it was just such an honor to watch & celebrate with them.

29 lives changed.... forever....

It was definitely an amazing time... exhausting & trying... but so worth it. I am so thrilled I went.

LEADERS SURVIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
& then it was time to pack up & leave all the fun behind... & hopefully all the germs too....

but when I left, I was sooooooo excited to see Ricky.  I was so busy through the days that I probably talked to him maybe 10 minutes the entire 4 days I hadnt seen him....

so when he met me at Panera so I could get some really good decent food, when I saw his truck pull in, I started crying.  Honestly. I'm a sap. I was just so excited to see him.

I never really got why the people on Survivor cried so hard when they saw loved ones after 30 days on an island... now I get it. I hadnt seen him for 4 days & was that emotional.

I was a sap when I got home & saw my fur babies.... I think they were equally happy to see me too.

& then the happiness continued when I got in my OWN SHOWER & could lay on my OWN BED.

There really is no place like home.

I thought I'd take a nap or be in bed early... but I actually wasn't too tired or drained. Nothing like I thought I'd be.  Which I'm really happy about.

I did though skip church on Sunday & decided to sleep in - though I was up at 7:30 - so not too bad sleeping in... but I had my own little church playing the worship songs from the weekend on Spotify & reading the scripture we went over during the week... & drinking my OWN DELICIOUS coffee. Not camp coffee.  There's a difference. Truly.

& then it was time to remember in all of this, days pass & its really Sunday & its actually Father's Day. Time to celebrate my daddy!!!

Sorry... this is the "you're 45 years old & hung at middle school camp for 5 days" look

I had gotten him a fitness tracker - especially after the stents being put in his heart - I want him to be able to track his heart rate & check his sleep activity with his sleep apena.  I'm actually proud of myself for thinking of this gift for him.

My dad walking to the barn to check out his heart rate on his fitness tracker

My mom kept saying she thought I grew while I was at camp.... I told her I was like the Grinch.  Except it was my height that grew 5 inches with the fullness in my heart....

It took a bit to get the tracker set up but after getting dad going & hanging out for awhile... its time to get home & get back to real life.

Work.  ugh.

I'd rather be at camp.

Even with puking kids.

How was your weekend?

Did you go to camp when you were little?

What did you do for Father's Day?