July 2010


I love home so much.

I love my family, though it’s been reduced to just Mom, Dad and Kaylin at home. I love my bed, my room, my laptop, my moon chair, my dolphin and seal stuffed animals. :P

My family is adorable and got me the greatest welcome home present ever — food. Pizza and chips with pineapple peach salsa. I have the best family. :)

Whenever I get home from Del-Haven I de-stress by unpacking, starting the laundry, taking a LONG shower (a luxury I cant afford at D-H), and blow-drying/straightening my hair (something else I can’t do there). I’ve found that, despite my protests that I like change and am unpredictable; I love routines. I even make little rules for myself, like, I can’t get on the computer until I’ve done all the things I mentioned. Oh, also, I eat. I eat a LOT when I get home. Unfortunately I’m a stress-eater.

This week at Del-Haven was like the good parts of the first week and the bad parts of the second week combined. So…I don’t even know what to say about it. I enjoyed it, but there were a few girls that I just sort of wanted to smack. Thank goodness God gave me patience, though, and I only yelled at a girl once (I would tell you about it, but really it’s an uninteresting story).

The funniest thing that happened this week was when a girl from the inner-city went fishing for the first time. She caught a fish, and got it in her paddleboat, but thought that it had flopped out. Three minutes later she shifted around in her seat and found it under her butt. Sheri tells me that both of the girls almost fell out of the paddleboat, they were freaking out so much. You should have heard the girl, Makayla, tell the story though…she told it about five times, and all of the girls almost died laughing about it every time. :)

So many of those girls have horrible home situations. On the first day, Sheri (the head counselor) talked about how her Dad left when she was only 8. Soon after that she was invited to church, and she heard that God could be her perfect heavenly father. I love Sheri, she’s not afraid to be emotional — while she was telling this story she teared up, talking about how much it meant to her that she had a Father who would never leave her, and always love her unconditionally. After that lesson, two of the girls stayed in the chapel, crying. Sheri talked to one, and I just sat with the other, while this 11 year old, tough, inner-city girl cried next to me.

This impacted me so much this week for two reasons. First, before I left…I got in a bit of a disagreement with my dad. It wasn’t big, I was just super frustrated with him. The last words we traded weren’t spiteful, but they weren’t exactly loving. I regretted that so much when I realized how amazing I have it — two loving parents, still together, who love me and care about what I do with my life. It’s rare. I forget how rare it is. Also…I realize that my Dad isn’t perfect, and I can’t expect him to be. I do, however, have a Heavenly Father who is perfect, and will more than make up for anything my Dad may do wrong.

I could ramble on and on, I’m in a “reflective mood”, haha, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.



I am in a bad mood. I am determined to change that.



Great friends, old stuffed animals (washed today!), silly bandz, jazz, comfort food, AVPS, rearranged room, Lucky the fishstick, Cabin Maple, Laura, Emma, watermelon creamslushes, inside jokes, youtube, twitter, facebook, pillows, the word “splendid”, Sheri’s coffee in the morning, hair already straightened, bags already packed, lists, saying “cuss” instead of actually cussing, Audrianna’s question, a letter on the way, an old photo album, What Wondrous Love is This, violin over, Fall on the way, my Mom, old favorite songs playing on the radio, a four day break from the internet (believe it or not, I actually enjoy being away from it!), The Lord’s Supper, this moon chair I’m sitting in, my new “Lists” journal, the promise of a hang-out next weekend, last night’s sunset, Jess’s show on Saturday, Japanese Cherry Blossom, the way one certain boy smells (NOT TELLING), a renewed fondness for pens, getting my Mom to like my music, hashtags, “*____*’s”, entertaining dreams (even if I CAN’T control them… ;) ), “I love pretty scenery!”, “IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE!”, ideas, sisters, “Ask and you will receive”.

I feel much better. :)


  1. One of my old friends, Grace, got married today. (…and so it begins…)
  2. I’m doing something I thought I would never do right now — singing along to Bad Romance…but it’s by Glee, so it’s acceptable…right? :/
  3. I’m eagerly and somewhat impatiently waiting for the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire to get in at the library! It’s killing me that I’m that I’m number 253 (ahhhh). Also, the third book is due within the next month…so…yeah. I might cave and go buy it. :)
  4. I went to bed with wet hair last night, and the result this morning was chock-full of hilarity. Wish I had a picture for you, but just picture Jen Pringle from Anne of Avonlea….that was basically me.
  5. Went to Worlds of Fun yesterday! Mrs. Saylor texted Sierra half-way through the day and asked “Are you having worlds of fun?”. …We were.
  6. Darren gave me silly bands yesterday! YES. I got a guitar, mic, panther and a frog. I already traded the panther and the frog with Kaylin. It’s crazy how much fun those things are.
  7. I have my iTunes on shuffle and am forcing myself not to skip anything…because I’m trying to cure my musical ADD.
  8. I keep getting distracted. Right now I have tabs open for mlia and facebook. …just listened to Mine, Mine, Mine (from Pocahontas) with Kaylin. :)
  9. I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled that I’m going to Del-Haven next week, and that VBS is right after it. Thank goodness I had this whole week to recover from Ivy Bend, though. I don’t think I would’ve survived otherwise, haha.
  10. Kaylin’s looking at the Hercules soundtrack, and it made me remember that the first time I saw that movie was while I was babysitting, after I put the kids to bed. :) I miss babysitting. I haven’t in ages!

Ok, this is getting rather pointless, so I’m going to end it there, at 10. :) Hopefully I’ll have something of substance later.


Just finished this book last yesterday — it was another book that I willingly substituted for sleep.

It’s a book set hundreds of years in the future, where, to ward against rebellion, the rulers of what used to be America set up a cruel reminder that they are in charge. The rulers have a lottery to select 2 tributes, a boy and a girl 12-18, from each district, and force them to fight to the death in the wilderness. This “competition” is called “The Hunger Games”, and every district is forced to celebrate it, the very murder of their children.

Honestly, it’s rather horrible. The parallel to the Roman gladiators is obvious, but the fact that it’s in the future is frightening. Is our culture, with its obsession with competition and sports, vulnerable to the same acceptance of just…monstrosities…for the sake of entertainment?

Anyway, this book is a must-read. It’s a YA novel, so not very difficult to read, but impossible to put down. :)




The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the incarcerated being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the “sentiment of an invisible omniscience.”[1]

Bentham himself described the Panopticon as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”[2]

In a novel I finished last night (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks) the author, E. Lockhart, uses Michel Foucualt’s “idea of the panopticon as a metaphor for Western society and its emphasis on normalization and observation”. She explains it well in the book, but I’m going to have a crack at it here — after all, you’ve only fully grasped a concept when you’re able to teach it.

Panoptical behavior is the awareness of the written and unwritten rules of our culture/peers, and following those rules even if no one is watching. For example, it isn’t wrong to pick your nose, but you most likely wouldn’t do it in front of your friends. If you’re panoptical, you wouldn’t pick your nose even when you’re by yourself because you wouldn’t in front of your friends. There’s this part of you that feels like they’re watching you, that they could appear at any moment and squeal “Eww, gross!”.

This concept vastly intrigues me. I see it everywhere. I can see some of it in myself. It makes me wonder…what is my motivation for the things I do? Is it always because I know it’s what God wants, and I love Him? Or is it because I want to preserve my reputation?

Just something to think about…


Del-Haven, in the two weeks I’ve spent there this year, has been a mix of trials and encouragement. At the moment, though, I just want to focus on the good. Here’s a small list of moments I loved.

  1. Sha’Nifa running up to me and giving me a hug as soon as she saw me
  2. Playing basketball with Trumane and John — and earning their respect by out-shooting them
  3. Alyiah, finally warming up to me, standing with an arm around her while we watch the stars
  4. The older girls asking to be able to say goodnight to everyone before I turned out the light, and then reminding me to pray
  5. Kelsey, when she heard I wasn’t going to swim: “Awww, sad face!”
  6. Making a “what not to eat on a date” list with Derria and Laura
  7. An air-squeezed-out-of-me hug from Dayonte before she left – a camper who got extremely angry at me when I had to use an unusual tactic (ice water) to wake me up in the morning.
  8. Leading all the different versions of “Lord’s Army” with the kids :)
  9. Playing “the floor is lava”, hide-and-seek, freeze tag, etc
  10. Beasting everyone in Foosball. Just sayin. :P
  11. Bonding with all the counselor’s over Despicable Me — “IT’S SO FLUFFY!”
  12. One particular night at the little kids camp when a little boy came out of the bathroom with NOTHING on, John yelling “RUN, Raymond, RUN!” — thankfully I didn’t see it happening, but just being there when it happened was hysterical.
  13. On that same night, the trees were literally sparkling with fireflies — it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen
  14. Sarah Jane. Enough said.
  15. Eating pancakes with chopsticks with the campers :)

There are so many more moments that I loved, but they’re already starting to wash away from my memory. :/

One more thing that I loved though, was listening to Sheri’s (the head counselor) devotions. Every year she presents the gospel, though never forces the kids to come forward, say a prayer, anything. She faithfully plants the seed, explaining in detail how Jesus came to Earth, lead a sinless life, then shows how he died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. Every year it strikes me again.

It’s distressing how quickly I become calloused to what Jesus did for me. How he hung there, suffered and died for me. And every year at Del-Haven I’m reminded of how much he loves me. I love it. I love seeing the faces of the kids (even if 3/4ths of them aren’t paying attention, or falling asleep), hearing the gospel for the first time.

My heart is so burdened for them…I miss them all so much. I may not ever see them again. They may have already forgotten me, but I hope they remember that most important story, the songs they learned and the verses they memorized.

Pastor talked about Haiti last Sunday, about how there’s a group of girls and women there, falling in love with the kids like I did. I was on the stage, holding my violin and struggling not to cry as I remembered argumentative Otenell, ornery Jackenson, sweet Rose Guerlin…I miss all of them. Haiti feels so far away, in the sense of the time that’s past and just…well…the location. And yet, as much as I want to go back, there’s something also in me that whispers “move on”. Maybe one day I’ll be able to go back, but right now it doesn’t feel like God is calling me to be there.

I’m starting to ramble, so I’d better wrap this up. Ivy Bend is in five days! So close! I’m excited, but I feel oh-so unprepared. I’m trying to avoid my concern that it won’t be as good as last time. Like always, I don’t want expectations, I just want it to be what it will be.

ANYWAY, haha, I’ll blog about Ivy Bend when I get home!