Wednesday, July 26, 2006

this is why

this is why i love blogs...
I am having a bad night, feeling incredibly "attacked" with some things and just need to cry or scream or both...
and i flip on my computer before praying that I can get some sleep... and I read my beautiful friends blogs...

ang's keeping me informed on wedding festivities
em made eye contact with elvis and was "swooning"
zach needed to have a talk with her or elvis or both
fitz is hiring backup dancers (yes, please) and is going to buy an eye patch and pirate hat...
holls hasn't changed her nasty blog for ages

and Paul wrote me an email of lots of random inner thoughts and ended with, "maybe i could just buy a boat and take it to japan. if we're going to start pirating soon, we are going to need a boat. want to go halfsies?"

thank you everyone for making me smile...
Paul, thanks for keeping my pirate obsession up and going... what kind of half-hearted pirate would i be without you?
fitz, totally want to be your back-up dancer (and again, i would LOVE to be a pirate with you as well... but I can't promise to not plunder your village and make "booty" jokes.)
emily, can't believe you saw elvis and he winked at you...
holly, thanks for informing us of your toenail...
ang, wedding madness is fun! let me know if you have any fun pictures of anyone else...

Kelli Burrier, I can't wait until our next get-together... wish I had the energy to tell you about life right now... sorry I've been weird in my emails.

And everyone else, if you have a moment say a little prayer that I can get out of this funk I'm in...

Monday, July 24, 2006

*A night out*

Last night I had the huge honor of being invited "out" with the guys on our team. And I would like to take this time to boast on our guys and ultimately on the Lord.Our team for SIJ 2006 top: Priscilla, Jane, Ojen, Christy, Joni, Jo, and Mary
Bottom: Cole, Ryan (i put this picture in, just for you Ryan), John, Mike, and Jeremiah.
Christy looks so "at peace" in this picture.
Jeremiah teaches Jane and the rest of us how to fold origami cranes for our table decorations.
Joni looks excited as she folds her crane.
Mary, you are a BABE! All this was going on while the guys were finishing up in the kitchen. We had an amazing dinner of "oyakudon" (right, John?). It was delicious.

Here Mary captures me pouring her some tea, I have this strange look on my face because I was going to say something and so I just have this funny smile on my face. Everything was so great. The food was amazing, the conversation was fun, the men looked sharp and the women looked beautiful. It was so much fun to "dress up". I pulled out the dress (guys you can skip this part if you want, ha ha) that I wore to Nicole Farley's wedding. It's probably been that long since I've worn it. But it was so much fun to actually wear it again. John Lee put the finishing touches on dinner. The women weren't allowed in the kitchen all night but I managed to sneak in a couple of times to take some pictures.
Mike Cain

Then we had dessert. It was amazing. They had ice cream on the bottom and crushed up cookies on the top (aka dirt) with a flower "planted" on top. It was really thoughtful.

After dinner we sat around and talked and traded stories about life. That was probably one of my favorite moments because it was fun to ask interesting questions ("If you could learn any language, what would it be?") and we managed to get Mark to tell us some funny stories from his high school days.
John, Priscilla, and Jeremiah finish up dinner.

The men gave each of the women a journal with personal "thank yous" and affirmation written inside. It was so touching and just incredible to think of the preparation and planning that went into this night.

Of course, I managed to embarass myself before the end of the night with the re-telling of the "Mormon story" which is just... well, I'll save that for another day. But lately the last few times I've gotten embarassed Ojen's been next to me so I always hide behind her back. Mary managed to capture the moment here. Ojen, your back is just too protecting and safe. ha ha! Just like the woman who always ran to her closet to escape confrontation. I'm going to run to your back. Ha ha!!

Thank you John, Jeremiah, Cole, Mike, and Ryan for not only a great night out but an incredible summer. I am serious when I say that I praise God daily for you. It's been awesome having stellar men around and I know it is the work of Christ in each of you.

You have been some of the most thoughtful, caring, considerate guys I have ever met in my life. You have shown your hearts to be one of those that truly trusts and seeks the Lord first. You are the men who fight fiercely for the Kingdom but also fight in protection for your sisters and the Bride.

Thank you for your friendship.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Oh, to love You more

I had an interesting day... I am learning so much about the Lord, life, and about myself... I was deeply grieved over some sin in my life today. We had a bible study on 1 Thessalonians and our study has reached chapter 4. Check it out here
We talked about sin and how when we choose sin we cannot choose God; and in verse 8, when we sin we are not rejecting man but rejecting God.

Talk about some heavy stuff. I was really burdened with the feeling of inadequacies and just guilt. I tried to talk to my Dad but we could only "chat" and I thought about writing some people emails just to vent... but I couldn't and I knew that the One I needed to talk to most was the Lord. So I got some good time with the Lord and just talked to Him.

I am total junk without Jesus. I just want to weep with how in myself I have no hope and how often satan is trying to speak lies to me. I am so thankful that there is hope in the Lord. That I can raise my head when life doesn't make sense, that I am not beat down.

Yet, the night continued and as if that weren't enough, I managed to spoil some plans made by my friends by opening my big mouth. It would take too long to explain but in talking to Mark I've realized I am far from Who I want to be like... life is so crazy, so random, and so interesting...

I don't want to be like the man in James who looks in the mirror and forgets what he looks like. I think it is healthy to feel the way I do, to be burdened by my sin and to feel the weight of it. I am not, however interested in letting satan win and to be beat down and to think that forgiveness was not completed on the Cross. I am interested in letting God claim the victory and glory in my life. I am interested in becoming the most effective for my God.

The funny thing about my life is, recently, I was challenged to pray, "God, reveal to me my hidden sins and even the sins I'm trying to keep hidden." and then all of a sudden I am overwhelmed with how my behavior is. It's like I get to see "me" from another's perspective.

There is so much I want God to change in me... so much I feel is left. This makes me sad, not because I want to be perfect but mostly because I just feel like I am not loving Jesus as He deserves. I feel like my heart could burst. There is so much I want to give, so much I want to say...

and instead I say the wrong things, and give the wrongs things...

to make this a short story, I've found two life verses I want to adopt into my life. My previous life verse was: Isaiah 43:4 *Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for you life*

And while that is still a verse that ministers to my heart my new life verse (or maybe "season" verse is better) is the following two, they go hand in hand.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 *May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.*
Ephesians 4:29-30 *Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.*

It is only the hope of Jesus's return, Jesus coming back for me... that gives me the encouragement I need for today. To know that He will take my hand and take me Home... oh, God I do not deserve this. But Lord, thank You.

Oh, to serve You in a way that would honor You,
Oh, to show You how much I love You,
Oh, to love You more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Japanese Prom

Hey, there! Thanks for stopping in, the following are pictures from my "Japanese prom". aka the Yokohama Fireworks~ but we all got to wear Japanese yukatas and do our hair; so the best way for me to describe it is as a Japanese prom~ I hope you enjoy Japanese Prom 2006!Joni did my hair, so I had to flip my hair upside down so she could start from the bottom and work her way to the top. (Doesn't Kie look like a gangsta behind me?)
This is just a plain scary photo but there is the start of my hair; Joni is a fabulous hairstylist. For someone who has never cut her hair in 25 years, she sure does know a lot about doing hair.

Mary and I getting on the monorail. I was honored to wear Ayano's yukata while Mary got to wear Naoko's yukata. The thing in the middle is called an "Obi".
Ojen and I decided we were "made for" yukata modeling. Here we work it on the train to Yokohama.

Here we are, on our way to Yokohama. Ojen (SETer), Ayano, Joni (SETer), and Jo.

Joni, Jo, and Ryan watching the fireworks.

Ojen and I enjoying the fireworks together.

Japanese fireworks are amazing. Seriously, you will never see anything quite as amazing as the fireworks here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

to zoo or not to...

I'm having trouble posting pictures so the following is our trip to the zoo and there are some great shots of the insectopia and the lions cage (we could go inside) so... when my blogger decides to behave I'll post more. Until then, enjoy the following....

Zoo 2

The gang hanging out; John, Mike, Masashi, Ryan, Mamoru, Cole, Emi, Priscilla, Christy, Kie, and Joni

Our tour guide, Kayla, pointing out our next destination

rhino... look at how close we got...

the many faces of kay kay...

Oh she's so tired. She spilled apple juice all over her clothes so we had to take them off, change her diaper, and wrap her "sarong-style" in her blanket. She fell asleep in Ojen's arms... ahhh cute.

I was tired too. So Ojen carried Kay Kay and Joni carried me. Yay for naptime!

When Kay Kay woke up she was hilarious! This is one of her faces that I adore the most, when she purses her lips and pouts. Isn't she a darling with her hands on her hips? This is our trip to the zoo... yay!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Sara, this is for you, sister! Because a) don't forget what I wrote about you below (two posts ago) and b) because I can imagine you enjoying this picture story.

To everyone else... here is a little tale I'd like to share with you....

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to dance... and dance she did. When her new friend Ryan told her, "hey, I can swing dance." the young girl thought, "wow, let's teach the students" So one friday night, Ryan and the young girl (we'll call her Princess Joanna) danced for all the students to see. Round and round they danced, executing all their moves like professionals (story may be a bit dramatized) until just about the end. Ryan's elbow managed to make precise contact with Princess Joanna's nose, making a loud crunching sound....

It was at that moment, that Princess Joanna knew...
these pictures must never be posted...

But what fun would that be?
(this picture may or may not have been digitally altered)
On a side note: my nose is fine and having the SETers here has been great. We have been teaching the students to dance to which one girl said, "I was so surprised to dance like this because no one in Japan dances like this."
and one guy said, "I love to learn this. I never thought we would dance like this, can we do it again?"

Once again, I have to sing the SETers praises. ha ha Praise God for them! They are fabulous. It's so much fun to have a group of our peers here from the states and so much fun to dance. Even if I had broken my nose, I would have kept dancing. The students are so funny. They're like, "You really like to dance, don't you?" and I was like, "how can you tell?" to which they replied, "Cause you haven't stopped laughing since we started."
ha ha
Thank you Ariel for sharing your dance partner. Ryan has been a great teacher and also for sharing your swing mix.
Thank you Katie Brannan for all the swing club meetings we went to and for burning me the swing mix you did. It's awesome and I love it.
Thank you Fitz, for being YOU.
Thank you Jerry, for these awful pictures of my awful face. ha ha

the end.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm convinced...

We have the best summer team... rock on California and Arizona... meet the SETers (summer exchange travelers) for 2006.
John Lee







Jerry (with BEST club Yuri)



And because this is just hilarious and ridiculous...
Ryan getting "unleashed" from the zoo...

Rock on SETers, you've been a source of joy, laughter, love, and encouragement. I am SO very thankful that God has brought you here.

Monday, July 03, 2006

*Leave your name and I'll

1. respond with something random about you.
2. tell you what song or movie reminds me of you.
3. pick a flavor of Jell-O to wrestle you in.
4. say something that only makes sense to you and me.
5. tell you my first memory of you.
6. tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. ask you something that I've always wondered about you.

1. You are a dedicated flowergirl. I tried and tried to persuade you to waste your summer by talking to me... but you were not easily swayed. You are the best flower girl to ever have worked BGI. I've noticed with you, that you fiercely love me. Even when I was putting you through some awkward-come-bail-me-out moments... thanks Sommer. I have needed you more than you realize.
2. Jack Johnson~ I listened to a lot of "Brushfire Fairytales" that summer
3. wooo wrestling you?! That would be an interesting match... I'd do the flavor peach.
4. golfcarts and winding hose, mudslides, and margaritas. ha ha!
5. I think Joel introduced us and was like, "Here is another one of your cousins" Who knew I had so many. We have a ton of funny and (stupid?) crazy memories from that summer. You were such a pal to put up with me. One of my favorite memories was when you would make me mudslides at your apartment. Yummy!!
6. a bird, quiet but beautiful and something always good "comes out" when you open your mouth. (like music but in the form of advice or counsel)
7. did you ever eat pizza from all those restaurants on your refridge?

1. What can I say about you? When I saw your name on my little comments section I almost burst into tears. You are a friend that I wish I could stick in my back pocket and "hog" all to myself. I would take you out when I am lonely, sad, silly, and hyper~ you are like all the flavors of the Baskin Robbins ice cream. ha ha
2. Lifehouse's "You and Me" cause you teased me in the car for having "actions"? Remember that? Also, pretty much any Shane and Shane.
3. hmm... this is a delicate decision that must be considered heavily... probably chocolate but we would be laughing too hard
4. yes please!
5. i know we had hung out prior to this but when i think of you... i think of the parking lot at SMR. We were laughing so hard, you wiped away (and then ate) your tear and I slapped my knee. I remember hearing about you and thinking, "hm, she sounds nice" but THEN I met you and I knew instantly we were soulmates. Fitz, I hope you know no matter how much time passes between us that I consider you one of my greatest friends. Our time "together" was short but I always think of you and think you are one of God's greatest gifts in my life. Your music, your BEAUTIFUL laugh, your love for the Lord, your hair in pigtail braids and your love for your friends... I am honored to be called your friend.
6. a lion~ wild, free, and protective of her own...
7. How do you share your beauty with so many while managing to always find more to pour out before the Lord? Also, can we hang out more in the future, Lord willing?

1. I love our little moments together. From our first common bond of using ASL and watching Tim get hit on by junior high girls to our love of strawberries and icing I've enjoyed watching God use you in my life to help shape my heart and my attitude. You are one of the loveliest people I have ever had the opportunity to be friends with, your laugh alone could heal many lonely hearts. :)
2. "Faithful" by 100 Portraits. You sang that at Kampmans wedding and everytime I hear it I think of you.
3. strawberry
4. Mexican restaurant when you took your Deaf friend out for dinner... ;)
5. The "band" was at a concert and I had drove to see "you-know-who" and I met you and we found our insta love for ASL and then our insta love for laughing at how junior high girls thought Nox was their age... I was astonished at how bold those girls were. ha ha OH, no wait! I remember introducing myself to Nox cause I didn't have any Christian friends at 24/7 and I knew Nox through Jonah and I remember you and Rachel were giving Tim this look from the stage, like oh man, here comes another girl. But I was just interested in a SOLID Christian friend. I had never met anyone like you all. I was adopted by the band. Ahhh and then I wanted to get to know you and so we went out for pizza. OHMY!! That pizza was so good. And that started our dinner dates.
6. a koala, so adorable!
7. Can i have an autographed CD when you're discovered and made rich and famous?


1. You are a precious gem and rare friend. I really regret the time I didn't spend with you because I think I blew it. You are hilarious, beautiful, random, silly, and the most refreshing thing? Is that you are not a typical-playing-by-the-books Christian. You are a breath of fresh air.

2. Born Free... i think you and I think Africa... and this was the first "african" song that popped into my head.

3. something really yummy so when we get tired we could stop and eat some... how about mango or banana?

4. front desks=fun

5. hanging out at your house, going to Jesse Bradley's to play deluxe yhatzee.... eating yummy brownies and your WAY cool chalkboard wall. man, that rocked.

6. what was timon from lion king? a merekat? that's you, funny full of life and in Africa... ha ha!

7. can you tell me your secret to being so confidient?

Jordan (you!! pavy lion! ohmygosh, I can't believe you remember that. I laughed so hard)

1. It's an art being you. I know no one like you, although I've tried my hardest to be like you. I've always wanted your highest opinion of me and always hated when I made you mad or when we didn't get along. For some reason God knit my heart to yours... from wearing your clothes to trying to get you to hang out with me, I've always wanted to be your best friend. I have always looked up to you and thought there is no one who can make me laugh like you do. I really admire and love you.

2. Always Always!! Alison Krauss's "When You Say Nothing At All" will remind me of you. We were riding in your truck and this song played on the radio and you were singing it and I thought, "ohh this is such a great song."

3. lime jello

4. Cameron football game

5. I was laying there and you said, "Ohhh she even has little fingernails." ha ha! Okay, I don't remember that but I do remember all the little lessons you've taught me~ from wearing my hat low over my eyes (i think of you everytime i wear a hat) to telling the line in front of you on a turning signal "okay, let's work together. we're all going to get through this" to punching people properly (not swinging wildly like a girl) to my intense hatred for "itsy bitsy spider"

6. a golden retriever... ha ha! that was just mean!

7. what do you think of life, honestly without jokes?


1. You have the best laugh, when you are tired and you aren't aware of anyone watching you. You just start laughing and crying... I think you are the most loveliest when you don't care who sees you or not.

2. Probably Richard Gere and Jodie Foster in... oh what's that movie? Sommersby (just cause we watched it all the time)

3. anything sugar free since that is our favorite. :) and heart shaped since we always made jello in your heart shaped pans.

4. winter coat fiasco (ha ha)

5. well, I was coming out of the womb.... just kidding. My first memory? Probably on North Ave. when you would comb my hair in front of the fire and put it in the pink sponges so it would be curly the next morning.

6. a protective Mama bear. cute but ferocious if ever her children are threatened. :)

7. how are you both my mother and my best friend? (this is something I'd like to learn for my own daughter someday)


1. you are the person I can get completely crazy and adventurous with and the next minute dig deep into God's character. I've never had a friend who could balance that so well. Thank you! Thank you for challenging me in my walk and in my mud-sliding abilities.

2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/Elizabethtown

3. green apple, only because it would give us more energy than coffee so we could wrestle longer.

4. i'm sorry about your last running experience... squeeze!

5. Hil Peps introduced us, I can still picture you standing there. And you said, "My name's Kelli" and I was like, "Kelli? With an i? I've been praying for you." And then wanting right from the start to have a very intentional friendship. I had never met anyone like you. Oh, there is so much I could share here... but I'll move on. :)

6. a fish, seriously, could I pick anything else?

7. how do you share your heart so freely after the things we've walked through?

Holly (thanks for this idea... this is for you)
1. I'll never understand our friendship, but I'll always be thankful for it. I'll never know how we made it, but I'll always praise God we did. I'll never beat you in wrestling, but I'll always talk trash and try. I'll never realize the depth of how you've changed my heart, but I'll be a better person because of you.
2. Drum roll and.... kick! *All by myself, Don't wanna be, all by myself anymore. All by myself, Don't wanna live, all by myself anymore* (can we watch that with Rachie someday when we're together?)
3. strawberry, but only because it's pink
4. sometimes you just gotta talk about things for two hours.... oh, yeah and guitar players can rock your dancing boots off in any culture. tee hee hee
5. you "chaperoning" when I "studied" freshman year~ tee hee hee
6. one of those little dogs that wears clothes and diamond collars and has a bow in their hair and rides around in a very stylish PINK purse.
7. I have two: why are you so gracious to me, sharing your beauty with me always?
and how the heck did we ever get Rach to live with us when I had that huge poodle hair?