Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Last Days of Spring

Can you believe it? Only 2 more days of Spring, and Summer will be here. I know I can! In just 6 days my mom and I, and possibly good friend, will be going on vacation to Creation East, our annual Summer event. That is, if it doesn't get rained out.

I just wanted to post a few updates on my life. Nothing particularly important, just what I've been up to. I won't be on here next week while I'm camping, so this may be my last post for a couple of weeks.

First, my mom aunt, cousin and, myself have decided to go on a joint diet! We started at different times, but record our weights, in complete confidentiality, to each other, via e-mail, every morning. My starting date was June 3rd. So far, I have lost 7 pounds! WOOHOO!!! Ok, so some of that was water weight that dropped off pretty fast after I stopped pigging out at Dairy Queen :) But, there is nothing like group accountability to help one change their life style!

Second, please pray for me. I haven't been to the doctors yet, but, it seems I am getting more signs of arthritis, or something. Like this morning, while I was doing floor exercises. My left elbow was making loud cracking sounds every time I moved it. It didn't hurt, but it was a bit worrisome to me, as I couldn't really make it stop.

Third, I DID get to go swimming this past week!!! :) My dad and I went to the wave-pool on Sunday afternoon, Father's Day. That evening my mom and I went to my church to hear the Wesley Bell-Ringers from Utah perform! They are a group of about 14-20 year old teenagers that tour the U.S. every summer. This is the groups 42nd annual tour. They are going to be on CNBC or one of those early morning news shows I believe this Friday. If you have cable, watch for them!!! They are a great group of kids, and even though they don't all actually read music, they are great performers! They also have a very nice conductor. They are affiliated with their home United Methodist Church in Utah as well. We barely fit them in our little church!!! We had a great audience though, and they enjoyed being there, or at least seemed to be enjoying themselves :) It was the groups first time in West Virginia, so it was something new for them to experience.

Fourth, tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut! Maybe I'll post a picture after it's said and done, if I'm happy with it :) My hair dresser, Allen, is so good! He's been doing my hair for 2 years now. It took me years to find a hair-dresser that understood my wacky, inconsistent, and very stubborn half curly/half wavy hair. He also knows me and how indecisive I can be...So, he's the perfect hair dresser for me! My mom's getting hers cut by him tomorrow too, because she's always jealous when I come home from having him do it. Maybe we'll get a picture of the two of us together tomorrow, after we're done.

Fifth, I am now up to 18 students. For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to set a cut-off, but they keep coming in. I prayed for God to give me more than I could handle and what do ya know!!!! You really do have to be careful what you pray for :) In fact, I may have a couple more coming my way, PLUS I have 4 students returning in the Fall, or at least planning on it!

Sixth, I've got about 7 weeks left at home until I move into my Morgantown apartment. I'm quite excited, but also a little sad. I know I will still be home every weekend for teaching and church. But, I've really enjoyed being home this past year. I'm 25 and single, so it's about time I move out, and stand on my own two feet, again. It's kind of hard to meet single Christian men, when most of my time is spent with my parents, at home :) I am very grateful to them though, for letting me live at home this past year, catch up on some of my finances, and just take a breather. Now I'm rearing to go get that DMA degree!! :)

Seventh, tonight they made the decision on my position as choir director, BUT.....I don't know the results yet. I'll be in suspense until they tell me. Either way, I'm ok. I'm definitely not leaving as the pianist, either way.

I should go now. We're having another movie night tonight. I have ONE MORE piece of REALLY WONDERFUL news that I want to share......

my best friend Sarah is due to have baby #3 in about 6 months!! I just found out last night, and she said it was ok for me to tell I just have to share this wonderful news!!! :) Please pray for her and her husband. They will be quite busy between their future plans with school, and possibly law-school for Stan, and having three children. The great news is, Christian and Luke will be 4 and 5 when this baby comes, so they will be big enough to help out! We are all hoping for a little girl this time....but, God will bring them what He chooses, and we will love him or her just the same either way :)

Movie time!!! Hope you all enjoy the beginnings of Summer time :)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HA! Just Kidding..

This is NOT from the end of today's mom just thought it would be hilarious to take my picture during one of my much enjoyed cat naps...the cat doesn't look like he's enjoying it very much though :) In case you didn't know this about me...I sometimes take naps in VERY acquared positions...this COULD have something to do with why I'm always sore when I wake up!

Doesn't it look inviting?

This picture turned out so well, it almost looks like I went to Hawaii for the day! Can you believe this is in West Virginia?!

Well, today was SUPPOSED to be a perfect day for swimming. And, it was. Except, everything in the world was keeping ME from enjoying it! Let me give you a quick review of what my day was like today.

HOT! I took a nice short walk (1 mile) with my mom, and then declared that it was a perfect day for swimming. Although she didn't want to swim, she was sweet enough to agree to come with me for the day. However, she preferred we go to a nice quiet state park, instead of a crowded, noisy public pool. PLUS (and this is a KEY POINT in the story) we wanted to save about $3.50 on a pool admission ticket.

Ok. So, we looked through some West Virginia State Park pamphlets and decided that either Tygart Lake State Park or Audra State Park would be nice places to swim. I called Audra and they said the swimming season was open, and there were no life guards anymore, so no admission. PERFECT!

We get in the car. I'm wearing my bathing suit because I can't WAIT to get into the nice cool water. I pack the towels, water bottles, etc. and we head off. As we are driving out I look at my mother and ask, "Should we go to Audra or Tygart?" Audra is a nice park, but Tygart is BEAUTIFUL and they are basically the same distance from home. So, we decide Tygart would be nicer.

Hear comes the adventure. First, we drive through Bridgeport, where we see a DETOUR sign. There is a huge sink hole in the road. So, they have to send everyone back around Bridgeport, towards Shinnston, and over Rt. 50 past the F.B.I. center. We had to drive all the way around, just to avoid a 4 mile strip of road, because there is a gigantic whole in it.

Still determined, we continue our, la, la, la...we are taking our good old time and chatting, laughing, just enjoying the nice quiet and sunny day.

OK. We arrive at Tygart. So, we drive, and drive, and drive, and drive, AND DRIVE!! WHERE IS THE SWIMMING ENTRANCE????!!! We can see the lake the whole time, but don't know how to get into it. FINALLY, we stop at a park ranger station, where people register for camping. I get out and here comes the rain on my parade.

"I'm sorry, but we don't have swimming this season."....wait a minute, "WHAT?!" No rhyme or reason, but I can't go swimming, even though there is a HUGE lake of beautiful, warm, clean lake water. The park ranger tells us we can only go swimming IF we have a boat to swim off of. Does that make sense to you?

So, I go back to the car, deliver the disappointing news to my mom, after a short bathroom break (we've been driving for about 2 hours to get here!!) we continue on....distraught :(

Suddenly, happy, cheerful, talkative Elizabeth is solemn. As we drive AWAY from Tygart lake, we decide to stop at the lodge/restaurant and at least enjoy some ice cream over the lake view. Those are the pictures you see here. Isn't it beautiful?! Can you feel my pain?!!

Once the ice cream was finished, and I parted with the beautiful lake, we continued home (still considering driving somewhere else to swim for the day!). As we drive, several miles, we run into ANOTHER detour sign!!! So, we have to drive all the way back towards the park again, and start over! Ugh....

While mom and I were driving, she was asking, "What do you think God had in mind for us today, that we would come all the way out here, spend our whole day looking for a place to swim, and find nothing?"

Well, an hour and a half nap later, once I have calmed my emotions of disappointment, I think I have some fresh perspective on the day.

1) That was the first quiet, non-stressful day away from home my mom and I have had together in a long time. We get plenty of days at home together, but we are both great at busying ourselves. If you are in the car, driving through the woods, there isn't much left to do but watch the road, and talk, or listen to nature.
2) Although I didn't get to swim, the lake WAS beautiful. We watched boaters, and water-ski boats skim the water. Watching them have fun, was almost as fun as doing it ourselves.....almost :)

3) I was able to experience the generosity of my mother, who filled up my gas tank, after a long day of driving in circles. Not like she isn't generous to me quite often (she and my father), but today I was particularly thankful!
4) Our day together meant I wasn't sitting at home reading a book. A book that I thought I had to read 3 chapters of by tonight, but later found out the meeting was cancelled, and I would have made myself do all that reading today for nothing! So, instead I got to be outside.

5) We discovered the "no swimming" rule WITHOUT my dad, who most likely would have been quite upset, had we driven with him all the way out there, and then had to admit "No, we didn't call them before we left the house, to make sure they were open!"

6) We now have a paper with info. on boat rentals that we may use in the future if we get a group together.

It's 8:30pm, and getting dark outside. Enjoy these beautiful pictures, and think of me....hopefully I WILL make it to A POOL (notice how I'm not being very picky anymore?!) this week.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

No pictures this time! I am just enjoying the air conditioned house, and decided to type a bit, before I go out into the scorching sun again :) The weather in WV has been BEAUTIFUL this past week. I'm so thankful that my Chick-Fil-A job ended so I can spend most of my days enjoying being outside!

I will post a picture sometime soon, but in the mean time, I would like to ask for your prayers for a very special person. As some of you know, I have been sponsering a child through Compassion International for a few years now. His name is Billy, although he is 14 years old now, and I believe likes to be called Bill instead of Billy. He is such a sweet kid, and his letters have ministered to me more than I could ever do for him. As any of you who have ever sponsored a needy-child know, you usually end up getting more out of it than they do.

I am asking for prayers for Bill because in his last letter to me, he told me he was being treated, for about 6 months, for tuberculosis. In the letter, it sounded like he was doing better. However, this week I received an envelope from Compassion with pictures of Bill (newer ones) and a message with bad news. They said he has been suffering from some sort of lung disease, but that they don't know exactly what it is. It could very well be a continuation of his tuberculosis. I have to admit, regretedly, that I haven't been that faithful of a friend to Billy. He hasn't received a letter from me in a very long time. Well, as soon as I got that message, I wrote him a letter the next morning, and put pictures in it. It will go in the mailbox first thing tomorrow morning. He will not receive the letter for about 3 months, because that's about how long it takes for the letters to go through translators and customs. I have been told that sponsored children treasure ANYTHING they receive in the mail from their sponsors. They love letters, and save all of them....shame on me for not writing more often. Please pray for an accurate diagnosis, and full recovery for Bill. From his letters, he seems to be very strong in his faith, but I keep encouraging him. He needs all he can get right now. Also, pray for his parents and sibling, and friends, that the disease doesn't spread to others.

On a lighter note, my dad and I played tennis yesterday, for the second time. I am getting much better! Also, when I weighed in this morning, I was 5 pounds lighter than Tuesday morning, when I started! I was quite happy with that. It's amazing how hard it is to lose weight...I just keeping chugging water (about 10-12 BIG glasses a day), exercising about 2 hours a day, and watching what I eat.

There are only 16 days left until my mom and I leave for Creation East!! We are excited. We seem to be more layed back about it this year, not planning so far in advance. We've been there enough times by now, that we know how to shop, pack, and plan for the trip. We will not be volunteering in the prayer tent this year. We just want to go and relax and enjoy being ministered to. We are both looking forward to it! We will be leaving Tuesday, June 24th, and the festival runs from the 25th-28th, then we will return Sunday the 29th.

I think that's about it. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm SO GLAD I took a year off of school. Even though I've already had a lot of time off by now, I'm savoring every moment in these last two months of freedom :) Early August I will be moving into my new Morgantown apartment, and although we are planning on one more big family vacation, mid-August, on the 18th of the month, school will begin, and I'll start my doctoral studies.

Sundays are too nice to spend all day on my computer, so I'll go now...hope you all have had a restful weekend! God Bless.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I think I know why Jesus got up early in the morning to be with God. It seems like the most peaceful time of the day. As those of you who know me at all know, I am NOT a morning person. I like staying up late watching t.v., and sleeping in. However, last night my mom and I actually went to bed at decent times, and low and behold, I was up at 5:56 a.m. this morning! I looked at the clock and thought, "No way! I did? I'm actually up before everyone else?! WEIRD!" So, what am I doing with this wonderful morning? Enjoying the peace and quiet. Feeling the cool breeze come through my window, and taking in the scenery of the morning, and the sounds of the birds. It brings back memories of being a kid. I used to wake up around 5:30 or 6am every morning for school. But, as an adult, it's more enjoyable because I don't have to rush to get ready for school.

I think I like this change, and just might try to make it a habit! The way I see it, we only have so many hours in a day, and I'm one who needs 8 hours of sleep, typically, to stay healthy. So, why have I been waisting 3 or 4 hours of each day in the dark, watching t.v., when I could be enjoying these peaceful and calming morning hours?

While I was trying to post new pictures the other day, I managed to get two up on the site, and then was having difficulty. So, I have decided to try again this morning. The picture above was taken 2 summers ago, when my mom, friends Sarah and Lynn, and myself took a spontaneous trip to Kentucky. It was the year Creation East got rained out, and the car was already packed and ready to go! I just wanted to share this picture because it's one of my favorites. Sarah is such a great friend to me, and I really enjoy any time we get to spend together.
I guess that's it for my morning thoughts. I'm going to go enjoy the morning weather and get a nice big walk in...till later, God Bless! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008



Rainy Days

Today is one of those days, also part of one of those WEEKS of just keeps coming! I love it though. It's refreshing, and relaxing. The only down-side for us, is that we have to keep our new bikes inside until the roads clear up. There are stones and streams running through and over all the roads, so it's not good for riding at all.

I am taking advantage of this quiet time to do some things I NEVER do.

1) I'm reading the first book I've read in.....a LONG LONG time (and that's an understatement). I have to admit, that's not because I never have time, it's just because I rarely motivate myself to read. I am reading a book called "Too Small to Ignore" by Dr. Wess Stafford, CEO. of Compassion International. I just started it, but it looks like a great book. My mom and I both sponsor children through Compassion, so I'm hoping this book will make the reality of what my sponsored child, Billy, lives with on a daily basis, a reality to me as well.

2) I'm going to post pictures today!!! We'll see how this goes. But I'm going to try adding at least some, to make things more interesting.

I also wanted to mention, that my diet and exercise routine is finally off the ground, at the same time! Usually it's just the exercise, and not the diet, but I'm on day 2 of doing both, and I've already lost about 3 pounds! If I can make it past tonight, I'll know I'm on a roll (night-time snacking is my biggest weakness!).

I'm going to talk less this time, so I have time to work on pictures....ENJOY!! :)
(PICTURE ABOVE: My mom and I on Valentines Day (my 25th birthday)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Signs of Summer

Every year I tend to think "summer is here!" WAY before the official 1st day of summer. However, this year I have some pretty good proof that summer IS here.

1) My beautiful sunburn all over my shoulders and neck. The first hot and sunny day we got this year, this past Friday, I couldn't resist 2 hours of biking, walking the dog and hiking in scorching hot weather

2) The wet dog, Jack. I soaked him down with the hose after our walk, to cool him off.

3) Strawberry Shortcake. The official summer dinner at our house. We've already had it once this week for dinner.

4) Company! We haven't had out-of-state company stay with us (aside from my brother) in 8 years!! My aunt and uncle are visiting us from Lancaster, PA for a few days. I'll miss them lots when they are gone. I even gave them my bedroom hoping they would stay longer! :)

5) Hot nights, even with the windows open.

6) Exercise happens every year. I'm like a bear. I hibernate and eat for 8 months, then try to shed it all off in 4....only problem doesn't work that way!!

7) Bugs...I was attacked by swarms of them while riding my bike this evening..I have the bug-magnet tee-shirt in my laundry pile to proove it.

8) Gas prices...yeah, ok, that's all the time...but doesn't it usually seem even worse in the summer when you're trying to travel?

9) Smores and bonfires...we've got the ingredients, as well as a very LARGE pile of wood in our back-yard for the fires. (Left over from the dead trees we had cut down in our back yard)

10) Longer days. Isn't it wonderful having day-light until 9pm?!

There you go. 10 solid proofs that summer is here!