Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family Vacation: Destination Colorado

Family Vacation... has been both restful and eventful... Eventful because we got to drive to the top of Mt. Evans. I was not prepared to be climbing mountains so my Mom and I just waited for my Dad at the top.
It's also been quite eventful because we have two little pipsqueaks to keep us busy.
Here is Waveland entertaining my father... she is seriously the funniest little kid.
And Eddie. Who can deny this precious face anything his little heart desires?
A group of us climbed St. Mary's glacier, it was a fun day hike that was the perfect opportunity to get out of crazy hot Denver. Here are my Mom and Dad, holding hands... whoooo!
Waveland and her pony... I mean her Daddy.
Rochelle along the banks of the melted glacier.
Pretty cold, huh Dad?
I decided to do a little "off-roading".
The women, minus little girl Waveland.
The bottom of the glacier. I was jealously watching a couple guys hike to the top and snowboard down the glacier... pretty cool.
Mom and Dad
Waveland, Jordan, Rochelle, Joanna, Dad and Mom
Waveland was pretty tired from riding her pony... I mean father, all day.
The other days we sat around the pool and hung out...
I also went ahead and invested in a camera... here are some pictures from today and from the camera.
Me and my Mama
Eddie and Mom
Edwin loves the pool.
Waveland and her Daddy take a stroll around the pool.
The boys entertaining Waveland.
In the pool Waveland tried out her new floatie.
She was adorable floating around in her little flowery floaty.
All that swimming is hard work, we better get some yummy watermelon.
The day was hot until finally the sun started setting... whew 100 degrees or so.

I love swimming.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jesus is better than a cup of ramen...

After my last down-er email I decided to do something about it... why? because I hate being in the "i'm lonely and life sucks" mood. Because my life doesn't suck and I have many many things to be thankful for... i.e. the box that came and provided dinner.
So my remedy to my homesickness for Japan was to make some of my personal Japanese favorites....
like miso soup (instant? yes but still oishi!) and what is this boiling water for, you might ask?
THIS!!! My ramen in a bag that Jin and I got at OK grocery.
Oh I know. "Comfort food" can't really comfort you... but man, it doesn't hurt to eat a little bit of the things I'm missing.
But boy, oh boy, I forgot how hot ramen is. Wheeew!

I'm glad that I know Jesus is with me no matter where I am. That way, when I'm bummed about missing America or missing Japan or my friends or food or whatever I know that Jesus is my constant.

I'll never need comfort food when I'm abiding in the Lord. So just a reminder to myself for whenever I feel down. He is, has been, and will always be faithful.

Beginning and end, Alpha and Omega...

everything. That's Him. (better than a cup of ramen)

let's be honest, shall we?

I miss Japan so much I could throw up...
okay, that's an exaggeration.
I miss Japan so much I could impulsively buy a plane ticket, a bus, and a train and show up at the Witthofts house.

I'm impulsive but not that impulsive.

Sometimes I wish I were that impulsive.

I've been super lonely recently. So lonely I wrote my teammates about eating cheese in America (cheese is super expensive in Japan)... how desperate must I be for some sort of communication with them, that I would write about eating cheese?

I'm weird.

"What's brought this on?" You might ask.

Many things... in two days I'm going to see Mary. It's not her fault but seeing her will seal the deal that "I am home". The girl who I shared almost every moment with in Japan, will be getting off a plane and getting into a rental car to go to CO Springs with me for debriefing. Can I avoid this? I'm trying... unsuccessfully but I'm trying.

When I arrived home today I found my boxes from Japan on my doorstep. Thank you USPS. I joyously unpacked my blankets, some random clothes, presents, dvds, and other assorted goods. This doesn't help the fact that I'm trying to downsize but it's fun to receive something you sent yourself; another time, another place. I smelled the clothes and although they've been traveling for a month and a half and who knows what kind of smell that is I convinced myself it was the smell of my old apartment. Good ol' 303. I unpacked my beloved picture of Kie from 2006 on the bridge in Kyoto. I love that picture...

no, I love that girl.

It was a bit too much for me though when I unpacked my food. Jin Rood, if you're reading this. I burst into tears when I unpacked my kochijan cause it reminded me so much of you. I had sent this box partially with the intent on sharing it when Mikey was in town. No offense, Michael, but I'm kind of glad I don't have to share it. Real sake cooking wine, miso soup mix, ramen noodles, goma oil, tempura crumbs, motchi, goma seeds to put into my rice balls, Korean crushed red pepper, and my personal favorite in the collection....

real soy sauce. I just haven't found anything that compares to my soy sauce from Japan.

I think I'll eat the ramen tonight. Maybe even with the miso soup... mmm mmm mmm miso.

It's funny cause I'm crying as I write this...

it's just weird to be back. I don't want to admit it but with every passing day I lose the feeling of what it was like to be there. It feels like a dream or another person or like I'll wake up and be there. I don't lilke this feeling but I can't not feel this way either.

I don't hate America. I don't hate my friends and family. In fact, I like being back. It's just different. And for the longest time, I've feared writing that because I didn't want to offend anyone. But let's be honest, shall we?

It's just going to take me a little while.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Cleaning time. Organizing time.
Whatever you want to call it, today has been a productive day for cleaning out my life.


I called it quits but hallelujah I made it through 90% of my criz-ap! seriously people. it is SAD how much stuff i have. I feel gross.

Forgive me Jesus for being so greedy.

Here are some of the fun things I found....
art supplies.

uhhh... i'm not really sure what all is in here. this is my "give away" pile (minus the blue bin). My rule is: if it fits in the blue bin I get to keep it.

like a true Schupbach child I have a billion books. 90% of which I have forgotten about since I lived overseas but 100% of which I am TOTALLY excited to return too. I have an awesome collection of books. I love my books. I'm so excited to have such a wide resource of authors, stories, and knowledge. (notice the books are in the blue bin)how could I have forgotten that I am the owner of the WICKED piano/vocals book? it was a gift to me when I graduated college from my dear Susie, but I didn't bring it to Japan knowing I wouldn't have the opportunity to play it. But now I have been reunited with my old friend...
I even called Mikey up and said, "Hey guess this song..." It went like this...

Dum, dum, da da "oops"... dum, dum "oops"... da da da dahhhh "oops" "oops" "oops"

But he told me later the "oops" was his favorite part. (and this is where all the girls say, "awww")

where was I? Oh yeah, fun treasures.
I also found glitter. I happen to be a fan. A big fan. Glitter is too much fun to leave on the paper... so I "accidently" spill it on me when I use it. hee hee hee just kidding.

kind of.

Anyway, the sad thing is this...

I have too much stuff. I have about 7 bibles I never use nor even remembered I had. That made me sad since there are many parts of this world where Christians can't even get the bible. I read in a magazine once where this area of the world, they tear the books out of the bible and give them away to their pastors, teachers, and believers because even having one book of the bible is better than having none.

I hope I can maintain these thoughts through my life and live more simply.

Any thoughts on your stuff? On living simply?

Or just glitter? :D

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Recently, funding/money/giving/tithing has been on my mind. Probably because I am in the midst of fundraising for my time at UCLA. It's easy to become consumed with it when I have a goal I am praying to make and the goal seems "impossible".
Reading through the Old Testament has been good for me because God is continually doing the "impossible" through His people the Israelites.
(side note: I am aware that God does the impossible in the NT as well.)

One thing that stood out to me in particular was the giving patterns of the Israelites.
2 Chronicles 31:4-5 is one example of this.
And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the LORD. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.

Now... I'm not posting this to challenge anyone to give specifically to me...
althought if it does inspire you to become my donor, let me know...
I am hoping to challenge myself and anyone else to consider your tithing more carefully.

I've been on both ends of the fundraising pole. I've been asked and I've asked.
I want to adopt an attitude that gives in abundance and gives from my firstfruit. I think my attitude has been more "held back"...
Anyway, just some thoughts as I live life.
What are some of your thoughts on giving? tithing?
Is there anything you wish people who fundraise knew?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Apparently Jamie wasn't happy with the last post... I forgot my normal flip flops...
so "wedding shoes" became "everyday shoes"....
and then my nickname became "shoes"
and that kind of works with my last name too. Hmm intersante!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Normal is all in the way you look at things...

Mikey came to visit Illinois. It was great showing him my ol' stomping grounds... the theme for our week together was road trips and meet as many people as possible. Thanks Mikey for being such a good sport.We spent a lot of time in the car... I was pretty much deliriously hyper for most of it. Road trips means bridges... woo hoo Besides taking in some fun sights we also ate at some "home cooking" type restaurants. Everyone will be proud of Mikey, he almost survived the week without sriracha....
good thing his girlfriend (me) is going through Asian food withdrawl... i sent myself a box from japan before i left full of yummy japanese goodies... and it still hasn't arrived. I am pretty much kissing that box goodbye. :(
Here's good ol' Cracker Barrel with Grandpa and Mikey on the rockers.
Grandma Icenogle, myself, Grandpa Icenogle, and Mikey We went looking for Amish people... seriously, this is for real ya'll.
ahhhh i love the country.
I ventured into some new recipes (including tiramisu) and even made some old favorites...
Jin's Korean burgers...

Hmm... I wonder what I was thinking here.
Oh here's a nice one of us on the Constitution Trail.
Hanging with Grandma and Grandpa (not pictured) Schupbach
We went to a wedding together. Congratulations Jonna and Andy Eiffert.
Mikey and Marcus Burrier helped Andy Kampman move a couple of concrete blocks in Iowa City.
Kelli and I couldn't help because we were hard at
After the hard work, the boys tossed the frisbee around and even played hacky sack.
It was great being in Iowa City... although it made me miss the Witthofts. I felt like walking into the Java House and saying, "Hey. I used to work here." But i knew that would be pretty ridiculous. But if I were to move to the midwest, I think I would settle in Iowa City. It's such a great little big town. Ya know? The feel of a big-ish city but it's really not.
Did you know shaving your head makes you insta best friends with other bald people?
A crazy friend visit was from Eli and Katie Suddarth (formerly Katie Brannan). They were in Chicago for a long weekend and decided to roll on down to Normal for a quick stop/visit.
Soooooo great to see them. I love Katie.
Our last night was spent with Uncle Bob, Aunt Kay and my parents at their roastery. My Uncle and Aunt roast coffee for a couple local coffeeshops and some retail to individuals. It was so much fun to see the whole process.
Here we are on a bunch of beans....

Here's how you make coffee..
here's the beans...
Here's Uncle Bob explaining the whole process... the beans go in on top...
and a computer generates how hot the roaster must get for each different type of roast. For example the espresso roast is completely different than the cafe blend roast... (and that's the extent of my knowledge but Kay and Bob can give you all the details).
After the beans are roasted they are dumped into a cooling tank. This basically mixes and cools the beans off....
Lastly, we enjoyed the coffee! It was delicious. We even got to take some home with us. :) So if you are in CA and you want to try some... just ask Mikey. :)I was enthralled with the art work. Niiiiiice.Awwww.... it was a long but fun visit. I was excited to show Mikey Illinois but honestly, I was more excited to show everyone Mikey.