Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Did I Mention...

I LOVE THESE GUYS?!?!

I'M HOME!!!

I got back to Iowa at 3:30 am on Thursday morning... thanks to dear friends and Tiff who came to the Chicago airport to surprisingly take me home. (Instead of hanging out in Chicago til my friend's wedding on Saturday) It was so fun surprising the rest of my family the next day.
I am loving being home... eating homecooked food... donuts... showering whenever I want throughout the day and always having hot water... spending time with my favorite people... throwing the toilet paper in the toilet... smelling clean air... and doing nothing when you feel like it. Here's some of what's been happening the last week...
Surprising family...

And friends...


Eating...

Singing and listening to singing

Being with home friends...

Thanks for all the support you all gave me this summer... the emails, prayers... I couldn't have done it without them. I look forward to sharing more in the coming days about what happened.

Til then... tootles!

Off To The 1850's

Tomorrow starts our family's time at Old Thresher's Reunion... the annual event we volunteer at every Labor Day weekend. The Log Village showcases life in the 1850's, pre-civil war. We dress up in time period costumes and live the life!
Here's a few pictures from our last meeting on Sunday afternoon...
Here's where we eat our meals that have been cooked over an open fire

The whole group

Nothin' like ol' time root beer!


If you're in our neck of the woods, come visit this weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer's End...

Today I had my took my last bike ride that cost me only $.15.




Today I ate my last $.15 fruit popsicle.




Today I went to the Sias Cafe that has sustained me with cheese sticks and cherry cokes all summer and ate them one last time.




Today I slept on my two foam piece bed for the last time.




Today I battled with the broken washing machines for the last time.




Today I climbed the 66 steps to our room for the last time.




Today I said goodbye to my summer camp family and gave them the last hugs.






TOMORROW... I'll walk on american soil for the first time in almost 7 weeks.




TOMORROW... I'll breathe the clean air of home.




TOMORROW... I'll be (almost) HOME!!! (gotta go to a friend's wedding first)
* * * *


I love these people and will miss them so much! Thanks guys for helping this to be one of the best summers of my life. I love you all!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christy and Peter John




The Last-Last Day











Somehow we pr these kids lives have been touched this summer... all 300+ kids that came to camp in '08.
We know they won't forget... and we never will either.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

FYI

Just wanted to let you know that my lack of posting has been due to technical difficulties with my camera cards... they have all randomly erased all the pictures on them.  Our IT guy, Neil, has a new camera card coming from Zheng Zhou tomorrow.  I pr that on will service me better and I should be up and posting pictures again soon.
Love and miss you all!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Remembering...

There are so many things I wish I could freeze in my mind...

...like kids singing chinese songs as they walk down the hall. Kisses. Hugs. The dozens upon dozens of high fives. The smiles...

Their voices singing 'Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day...' Their happiness. And optimistic spirit...

I never, never, never want to forget.

M-n-M's & Fireworks

The store on campus that sells mnm's finally reopened today... and we bee-lined for the place to get our fill. You know you've been in China a long time when you think $.50 is too much for a tube of mnm's. It was so refreshing for the soul...

One thing I have grown to appreciate about China is the freedom they have to set off fireworks whenever they want. There was a store that opened close to the school and they started the morning off by setting off tons of firecracker around eight am. It sounded like the whole town was exploding. Later tonight, more fireworks were set off and we enjoyed them from the confines of the campus.

It's amazing how fireworks evokes patriotism in us whenever and wherever we see them. You should have heard us belting out the 'Star Spangled Banner' into the dark sky.
Good times, good times!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How We Are Thinking...


"You will remember this for the rest of you lives -- and I want you to remember that you left everything out there; you held nothing back. Don't quit. Don't give up."

- Facing the Giants -

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Camp Goobers...

Our New Tradition

- It's an official tradition -


A Canadian Farewell

The last two weeks we have had a friendly rivalry going on between all of us Americans and the many Canadians here at camp. This week they outnumbered us with their huge showing of 40+ citizens. They surprised us all tonight by getting up and singing 'So Long, Farewell' and the Canada's national anthem.

They surprised David by dubbing him an honorary Canadian citizen and presenting him with a signed teeshirt that says 'I am Canadian'

Each of the team members have been such a blessing to camp... we are thankful that G's love transends citizenship!
We'll miss you guys!

Finally.... last week


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finishing Strong...

Here's the songs that are encouraging our hearts in these last days...

You are my strength when I am weak, you are the treasure that I seek, you are my all in all...

Seeking you as a precious jewel, L-d to give up I'd be a fool, you are my all in all...

Jesus, Lamb of G, worthy is your name, Jesus precious Lamb of God, worthy is your name.

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame; rising again I bless your name. You are my All in All...

When I fall down you pick me up, when I am dry you fill my cup, you are my all in all..

Jesus, Lamb of G, worthy is your name

Jesus, precious Lamb of G, worthy is your name.

Strength will rise as we wait upon L, we will wait upon the L.

Our G, you reign forever, our Hope, our strong Deliverer...

You are the everlasting G, you do not faint you won't grow weary...
You're the Defender of the weak, you comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles...
* * *

Please keep pr for us... the end of camp is drawing near and to be perfectly honest, we are getting tired. Really tired. It's been such an exhausting two and a half weeks, but G has done amazing things. Pr for our health. Pr for inner strength. Pr for the energy to support the volunteers and what they are doing for the kids. Pr that we can finish with strength and courage.

It's been a summer that has tried our patience, tested our faith and built up our relationship with G in amazing ways. Thanks for the part you've played in that. Keep pr, we are on the home stretch and can't wait to see you all soon!