Friday, July 30, 2010

birthday showers...

Hi there,
whew, another week has gone by~Friday is finally here!!! I LOVE YOU FRIDAY!!!!

Sorry but I have another quickie for ya today~no yip yap (you probably like that though, LOL!!!). I saw this card on the Clean & Simple Blog last week and totally cased it!!! I just loved everything about it, the layout, the colors, stamp set why reinvent the wheel (just changed the orientation)??? I made this one for my bestie, Sue, she celebrated her birthday on July 18th!!! I hope she had a fabulous day!!! Miss you Sue!!!!
scattered showers bday

And just a quick shout out to my favorite son in law, Nate!!!! Happy Birthday 2 U!!!!!

Enjoy your weekend friends!!!

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Scattered Showers/Paper Tray stamp sets; Aqua Mist/Spring Moss/White/Lemon Tart cardstock; Choc Chip/Rose Red (both SU!) ink; Pumpkin Pie Marker (SU!); Martha Stewart Edge Punch (Michael's); Raspberry Fizz Button; Twine

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Coffee... Jamaican Style!

posted by Ashley

For some reason, this week has been pretty crazy, so my post will be shorter than usual. One thing I have to tell you all about is the AMAZING Blue Mountain Coffee Nate & I purchased during our trip to Jamaica. I'm a self-proclaimed coffee snob: Starbucks is the only coffee strong enough to get me going and delicious enough for my picky taste buds. Whether I brew it at home during the weekdays (which comes from my Costco-sized bag of beans in the pantry) or purchase a non-fat, no-whip white mocha on Sunday mornings before church, Starbucks is the ONLY option for me. I was a little hesitant to try Jamaican coffee, but having heard so many great things about it from others, I knew I had to give it a taste (and since it was $25 for 1 pound, I figured it HAD to be good). I have to admit that this coffee is absolutely delicious! It isn't nearly as strong as my usual French Roast Starbucks brew, but the flavor is pretty great! If you ever have a chance to purchase genuine Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica, do it!
ashley post coffee

And that is all I will say about caffeine for today. Thanks for listening to a self-proclaimed coffee addict :) Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

tag your it...

I know~cheesy title (wish I was more creative in the blog title dept).

It's the halfway mark~woot woot!!! Wednesday!!

Today is gonna be a quickie, because my life just does not seem to want to slow down, just when I think there is light at the end of the tunnel~more things get added to my schedule...argh!!!

I mentioned a few posts back that this month has been crazy with birthdays. Last weekend we finally celebrated Ashley's birthday and this weekend we are going to celebrate Nate's, we also had Jess, my brother in law, and Mike's Nana (plus a week thrown in of Jamaica for the college group at church) has been an interesting and whirlwind July.

I put together a "pink" gift basket for Jess (her birthday was the 16th, while they were all in Jamaica), and made a birthday tag for it. It looked really cute all tied up with clear wrap and curling ribbon (can you believe I forgot to take a picture of it???). But I did remember to snap a picture of the tag for my blog.

bloom tag
Ok peeps, have a Marvelous Wednesday!!!

Supplies used (PTI) unless noted: Signature Greetings/Beautiful Blooms stamp sets; White/Chocolate Chip (SU!)/Raspberry Fizz/Ripe Avocado Ink; White/Dark Chocolate cardstock; Dark Chocolate Button; Twine; Rectangle Scalloped Edge Nestabilities Die; Beautiful Bloom Die

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

jamaica trip...

posted by Ashley

Hi everyone!
It seems like it's been forever since I've blogged! So much has happened since my last post. The most important event was a mission trip to Jamaica with our college group at Adventure Community Church. There aren't enough words to describe just how incredible this trip truly was and how much my life was impacted by the people there. It was astonishing for me to see how little the people of Jamaica have, with regard to material possessions, and yet they are some of the happiest people I've ever met! While we were there, our group was in charge of leading VBS (Vacation Bible School) for Parrytown Church in the mornings and Ocho Rios Baptist Church in the afternoons. The kids at both churches immediately began talking with us, hugging us, and playing soccer with us (which is called football in Jamaica). So many kids do not have both parents living with them, which was heartbreaking for me to realize. These children just wanted to be with someone who would love them unconditionally and really care about them. Oh, and of course, all the girls wanted to play with our hair! Literally, for two hours straight, the girls at Ocho Rios Baptist Church twisted, braided, and "pony-tailed" my hair. I probably lost about 1/3 of my hair from all the tugging, and my scalp was really sore that night, but it was so much fun!
Ashley rs

Having gone with Praying Pelicans Missions, I thought we would be eating PB&J sandwiches, or American food the whole time, but we were able to consume LOTS of delicious Jamaican food. Our first meal was jerk chicken, coleslaw, and sweet bread (it tasted a lot like funnel cake). We also ate a lot of fresh fruit, like mangos, papayas, and watermelon :) We even got to drink coconut milk! To be honest, it tasted like warm water (hardly any flavor!), but I was so excited to get to try some local fruits!
ashley katie rs

Overall, this mission trip really opened my eyes to the needs of those in other countries. God used this experience to help mold me and show me just how blessed I am to live in the United States. It makes me realize that more is expected of those who have more to offer ("From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" Luke 12:48b). The entire experience in Jamaica was truly life-changing!
I hope you all have a wonderful day & I'll see you back here on Thursday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

birthday girl (a little late)...

Happy Monday!!! (I am trying to put a positive spin on going back to reality, LOL!!!).

This past weekend we celebrated Ashley's {July 8th} Birthday (since she went on a mission trip to Jamaica~it kinda messed up our birthday schedule). We will celebrate Nate's next Sunday, it has been one big party at the Clark house, LOL!!! Here is a picture from our celebration yesterday (I was too tired to edit photo's, so I just picked this one with her Golden Spoon gift card (and Golden Spoon) from Jess). And as you can see from her photo~I also colored her hair this weekend too (she didn't think blonde's had more fun).

ashley bday 0005 rs

Here is the Birthday card I made for her. I decided to do the Clean & Simple Challenge (loving this sketch, btw!!). It came together pretty easily ;)

Blooming bb flower 1

Enjoy today!!

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Blooming Button Bits/Beautiful Blooms stamp set; Raspberry Fizz/White Cardstock; Ripe Avocado/Raspberry Fizz/Choc Chip (SU!) ink; Beautiful Blooms Dies; EK Success Edge Punch; Lemon Tart Grosgrain Ribbon/Lemon Tart/Raspberry Fizz Buttons; Twine

Friday, July 23, 2010 rock!!!

Happy Friday!!! I am so happy to have today off!!! It has been a crazy two weeks for me.

And I am happy to report that my favorite (and only), nephew, Nathan went home from the hospital yesterday...woot woot!!! I as so proud of how brave he was and I still am amazed that he had open heart surgery on Monday and was going home on Thursday (here is the photo of him packed and ready to leave the hospital)~he is one strong kid!!! I am excited to hear how many new things he will be able to do now once he is completely recuperated!!

I told Nathan that his auntie Gretchen would send him a care package with things to do once he got home from the hospital...I thought his package would be waiting for him once he got home~but he beat the package, LOL!!!

Here is the card I made for him (with a little gift card goodness inside). Since he is a big Red Sox fan, I decided to make it green in honor of the "green monster" from Fenway park. And I tried really hard not to "girly" it up.

dude you rock

Have a terrific weekend!!!

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Stamp of Authenticity (SU!)/Signiture Greetings; Choc Chip (SU!)/New Leaf ink; Kraft/White/New Leaf cardstock; Brown Grosgrain Ribbon (SU!); Dark Chocolate/New Leaf Buttons; Twine

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nathan update...

The surgeon met with my nephew last night to see how he was doing~and he was amazed at how fast Nathan has recuperated!!! He might even be able to go home as early as today!!

Thanks so much for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers!!!

*if you would like to leave a message for him on his hospital page (he checks it every day and enjoys getting messages), you can do it here. *tell him his auntie Gretchen sent you ;)*

Enjoy today!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I thought I would share a little home improvement tutorial. I actually did this project all by myself *woot woot* (well Mike took the knobs off and put them back on).

I am not a fan of shiney gold (outdated) doorknobs, but to replace all the knobs in our house would cost a fortune (and I would rather spend that $$ on stamps, right?).

Supplies needed: Auto primer/Brushed Metallic- oil rubbed bronze/Protective non yellowing clear finish.

Total supply cost-- around $15

doorknobs 1

Step 1
Lightly sand the doorknobs- (It really is pretty easy to scratch the lovely gold finish so this step isn't as painful as you'd suppose except when you have a lot of doorknobs than it gets pretty darn boring).

doorknobs 2

Step 2
Spray Primer (make sure you shake the can for about a minute then spray in a back and forth motion. It is better to do a few light coats rather than one heavy one). Let dry.

doorknobs 3

Step 3
Spray color (this is the fun part!!! use the same back and forth motion and a few light coats, like the primer layer). Let Dry.

doorknobs 4

Step 4
Spray protective finish. Let Dry.

Viola!!! EASY PEASY!!!!

doorknobs 5

*no scratches yet, the finish is really durable* Now I need to do all my upstairs knobs~maybe this weekend!

Enjoy today!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

one tough cookie...

Nathan has been moved to the regular floor! He is getting up and out of bed, walking around regularly. he is still in some pain but doing extrememly well. he has only one IV left, and will likely have some bandages from the operation removed tomorrow. Can you believe he had surgery yesterday??? Here is a photo my brother sent~he looks AWESOME!!! I am so pround of him!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I wanted to pop in and give a quick update on my nephew, Nathan (this photo was from earlier today). His surgery went extremely well and as planned. The surgeon was happy with the results. He was supposed to be in ICU until Tuesday and heavily sedated (for pain management), but they decided that since things were going so well they would wake him up. He is doing better than expected (breathing tube removed and off the respirator)!!! Yes he is in pain, but they are helping him manage it with medication. He sat up today and will most likely walk tomorrow (can you believe how fast that happens??).

My Brother and Sister in Law were exhausted tonight when I called~they were going to try to get a nap in for a few hours, then go back to the hospital.

Thank you so much for remembering Nathan in your thoughts and prayers!!! It means a lot to me and my family ;)

I will update throughout the week, and special thanks to Cindee for your encouraging post!!! I copy and pasted it on my brother's Facebook page yesterday ;)
**Ashley will be posting on Thursday about her trip to Jamaica~she is still catching up on sleep and laundry :) **

another HB card...

Hi all...
Boy my weekend just flew by (as usual). The Jamaica Team (from our church) made it back safe and sound late Saturday evening *woot*. I was so happy to see my 2 favorite peeps after a week away!!! They had a great experience on their first international mission trip and I am sure that they will probably add a few more trips to their passport.

I whipped up a few signs on Saturday afternoon to welcome them all back to the US, and we acted like goofy parents (don't they look excited for being so late at night?) when we saw them all coming through the gate, luckily they don't embarrass easily, LOL!. I am sure Ashley will post this week about her experiences (she took lots of pictures too!!). So stay tuned for that.
homecomming rs

I am realizing that July is a pretty busy birthday month for us!! My brother in law, Ashley, Nate, and Josh's girlfriend Jess all have July birthdays~so since the Jamaica trip kinda fell in the middle of Ashley and Jess's looks like the next 3 weekends we will be having some bday celebrations.

Here is a card I made for my BIL~as you know masculine cards are not my forte!!! I originally added some ribbon and then decided to take it off and glue on a couple buttons instead~it is a very clean and simple design. I ended up really liking the layout, so will probably make a more "fru-fru" one with ribbon in the future, LOL!
happy bday navy

And if you don't mind praying/thinking about my nephew, Nathan. He is having open heart surgery today at 6 am (EST). The surgery will last approx 4 hours. I talked to him last night and he was in good spirits (just a little nervous). I am confident he will do fine, he is in good hands, (and in one of the best children's hospitals), I just hate when kids have to go through something so scary!!!

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Rustic Branches/Scattered Showers stamp sets; Enchanted Evening/New Leaf/White cardstock; Fresh Snow/Enchanted Evening ink; Circle/Scallop Punch (SU!); New Leaf Buttons; Twine

Enjoy your Monday!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Happy Friday blog friends~
I have had a couple of stressful days, starting with a call from my son-in-love, Nate (from Jamaica), letting me know one of the kids got dehydrated and passed out. Even though it was not one of my kids, I felt terrible, like it was my own kid and then having to let her mom know what happened, because when your kids are that far away and not "up to par" all you want to do is get to them (Moms are CRAZY like that ya know!!). But she is doing fine, she slept in a hotel room last night with Ashley and I am super excited for their return on Saturday night!!!

And today (Friday) my cute nephew, Nathan is going in for pre-op testing for his heart surgery on Monday. Please keep him (and the rest of the family) in your prayers!! They are handling it pretty well, but I am sure you can imagine, they have some anxiety about the situation. Especially Nathan, who is 11. He is a tough cookie (and quite a joke-ster), so I hope he will be up and running in no time!!! I told him to think about all the get well gifts he is gonna get ;)

So with all that (and a few other things I cannot blog about), I am sooo ready for the weekend!! I will hopefully have some cards and a project from my organization vacation to share next week!

Enjoy Today!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hi Friends,
I am super busy this week filling in (extra hours) for Ashley at work, while she is in Jamaica, and checking on her kitties, Jax & Jill every day (which I really don't mind at all, LOL!). But coming off a week of vacation and jumping into a crazy week~has me feeling pretty tired!

I was excited to receive my complementary copy of Card Style in the mail yesterday~I totally forgot I had 2 cards published in this one *smile* Even though I have had several cards published, it is still exciting for me to see them in print and get my copy of the magazine in the mail.

card style Let me tell you...I have not really had time to sit down and really look through it~but just thumbing through, there are tons of gorgeous card ideas inside!!!

Here are my cards from this issue:

mothers day aqua red buttons

seasons greetings deck the halls

ok~gotta run!!!
Have a SPECTACULAR Wednesday Friends!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

C&S sketch 98

Happy Monday Friends!!!
I hope you had a FABULOUS weekend! Mike and I had fun at the Diamondback's game Friday night (but it was stinkin' HOT!!).

Today it is back to reality and back to work after my stay~cation (stayed home and organized). My craft room got a complete overhaul (feels so good!!), I will try to snap some photos this week. I also redid our filing system (which took a lot longer than I expected), re~organized my kitchen cabinets, added new curtains to the family room (Mike put up the new hardware for me), and cleaned out my closet. Such a great feeling to get some of those jobs done!!! I still have not painted my laundry room, but it is taped off and ready to go when ever I am.

Nate, Ashley and Josh arrived in Jamaica safe and sound~I sure miss having them around!! I can hardly wait for them to get back so I can hear about their experiences!!! They have a team blog here (which should be updated periodically during the week) if you want to see what they are up to.

Since I have been in organizing mode last week~I have not really had much of a stamping mojo~so I decided to use the newest Clean & Simple sketch (I ended up really liking this layout).
turning a new leaf c&s

Enjoy today!!!
Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Turning a New Leaf/Damask Designs/Polka Dot Background (SU!) stamp sets; Not Quite Navy/Old Olive (both SU!)/Kraft/White cardstock; Fresh Snow/Old Olive (SU!)/Choc Chip (SU!) ink; Square Punch (SU!); Green Ribbon (Michael's); Nestabilities Tag Die; Dark Chocolate Button; Twine

Friday, July 9, 2010

flower tag...

Happy Friday!!!
On vacation Mondays and work Mondays the same truth holds true~It doesn't seem possible that Friday will ever arrive. The differance is on vacation Mondays, the impossiblity of Friday feels like a permanent break from the world! The week stretches out before us...surely it will never end!
While on work Mondays the impossibility of Friday feels like a permanent, respiteless immersion into the world. The week stretches out before us...surely it will never end!
But sadly and thankfully, Friday always comes.
I am sad that this week's Monday has turned into Friday!!

But I have had a great week off, working on several organizing projects and a couple of home improvement things (as I type my thumb is a nice shade of gray from car primer spray paint...more on that next week). My laundry room is taped off and ready for some paint (which will hopefully happen today), and my family room has new curtains (was going to paint but Mike talked me out of it, LOL!). The kitchen cabinets, my craft room, my closet, and our new filing cabinet are reorganized. I still have a few projects that I didn't get to, but they will be waiting for me, LOL!

We celebrated Ashley's birthday at work yesterday (we will have our usual family party when she gets back from her trip to Jamaica next week). I am usually in charge of the gifts/gift wrapping for our office (which I really enjoy). So I whipped up a quick tag to go along with her gift from us gals in the front office...of course I had to make sure it all matched *wink*

flower tag and card a

Tonight I am heading to a Diamond Back's game with my hubby (I am SO not into sports!!! Luckily I understand baseball, LOL!). It will be nice to have the evening together, and of course I am bringing my camera to keep me occupied.
Have a SUPER weekend friends!!!
**not sure why my photos are fuzzy~I think it is the flickr site???

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Delightful Dahlia stamp set; White/Lemon Tart/Raspberry Fizz/Ripe Avocado cardstock; Choc Chip (SU!)/Fresh Snow ink; PTI/Nestabilities Dies; White Button; Twine

Card Supplies in this post
Pail from Target

Thursday, July 8, 2010

another year older...

posted by Ashley

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has gone by and I am now 24 years old. Some of you who are reading this may be rolling your eyes by now because to you, 24 is young. I’m not going to disagree with you, either. I still think I’m young, but I am honestly amazed at how quickly time has gone by thus far. I keep hearing that time will continue to speed up as you get older, and I am really starting to believe it! As I sit here, I can’t help but look forward and wonder how God will use this next year of my life. I have to say, a mission trip to Jamaica is an incredible way to start year 24 of my life!
I want to share with you some personal goals I have set for myself this coming year (maybe because I’ll need some accountability!). First, and foremost, I look forward to finding an internship position and receiving my master’s degree in professional counseling from Liberty University. This period of my life has taken longer than I had anticipated, but I couldn’t be happier with how God has worked everything out in His perfect timing (though it often felt like He was working against my personal schedule!). I also plan to learn how to play acoustic guitar this year. Ambitious? Absolutely! I was the kid who was involved in dance, soccer, karate, piano, and many other activities in my childhood, but somehow managed to quit everything except singing. I’m at a point in my life where I want to become a stronger musician and singer, which means I have to put forth effort while remaining diligent… this could be interesting! I also hope to begin mentoring this year. Being the wife of a youth pastor, I have really been searching for my place in that particular ministry and mentoring just seems like something I could really love and enjoy. I don’t know who the girl(s) will be, when this will begin, or even how to approach this but I do know one thing for sure: God is in control and He will lead me to the teenager in need of a mentor.
I am so excited to see how this year turns out and I hope to share that journey with you. As you know, I will be serving in Jamaica on a mission trip next week, so you won’t be seeing any blog posts from me (until the following week). If you think of it, please keep our team in your thoughts and prayers as we travel and help lead ministries. I can’t wait to share my experiences and photos with you all when we return! Have a great weekend!

Happy HAPPY B'day!!!!
posted by Gretchen

And of course I have to wish my FAVORITE daughter a very Happy Birthday!!! I too cannot believe that she is 24 today (glad I am not aging, right?).

I am so proud of all of her accomplishments!!! She has turned out to be such a wonderful young woman!!!


Ashley  picnic

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

sparkly birthday...

I am popping in with a quick post and birthday card today. I have been in organization mode all week, and it feels really good to get things in order (spoken like a true ocd'er huh?, LOL!!).

Tomorrow is a very special someones birthday~and this card may or may not be for her *wink*

birthday sparkly

Supplies used (PTI unless noted): Blooming Button Bits stamp set; Ripe Avacodo/Raspberry Fizz ink; Kraft/White/Lemon Tart/Raspberry Fizz cardstock; Lemon Tart Grosgrain Ribbon;Rhinestones; Flower Punch (SU!)

poppin' in...

Hi'ya peeps!!
Just poppin' in with a quick update~I have been organizing up a storm (on my OCD vacation), which means that my stamping time has been zero *sad face* !!! However, my craft room has had a complete overhaul and I am hoping to mess it up a bit today ;)

So check back later and hopefully I will have a card to share!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


posted by Ashley

Hey everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! I had such a great FOUR DAY weekend, which was so restful. I even got to make Fresh & Easy buttermilk pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning since Nate & I had the day off :) They were absolutely delicious (though not as good as my mom's homemade ones).

Today, I wanted to share this recipe I saw while watching The Dr. Oz Show. I absolutely love his show because he isn't afraid to talk about those embarrassing medical things that pretty much everyone wants to know about! He also incorporates healthy food recipes & beauty treatments in his show.

These chipotle tacos look so flavorful and delicious... I will definitely have to make them soon! Not to mention, they are less than $2.00 per serving (2 tacos), which is pretty amazing! Since becoming a lifetime member at WeightWatchers, I am always on the hunt for low-fat, low-calorie, but flavor-packed meals and this one looks like one of those! Hopefully I'll get a chance to make these soon, maybe once we get back from our mission trip to Jamaica next week.

Chef Lala's Cheap Chipotle Tacos
This recipe is great with whole chicken breast, fish, lean pork or shrimp.

Makes 24 tacos
2 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
7 oz chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
12 oz frozen orange juice
4 oz tangerine juice
3 oz brown onion, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
24 corn tortillas

Garnish options:
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup cilantro, shredded
1/2 cup onion, small dice
1 cup cotija or Mexican skim milk cheese
1 cup tomatoes diced,
2 avocados, sliced
1 cup, fresh salsa

Dice the chicken breast into small squares. Place chicken into medium bowl. Remove chipotle peppers from sauce, chop coarse. In a large bowl combine orange juice, tangerine juice, onions, garlic, pepper, olive oil and chopped chipotle peppers and remaining adobe sauce. Pour mixture over skewers, marinade refrigerated for 2-4 hours. Add salt to marinade just prior to cooking.

Heat non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side or until to desired doneness. Heat tortillas on griddle until pliable. Top with chipotle chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and fold in half. Serve with salsa, if desired.

Hope you all have a wonderful day... see you back here on Thursday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

showers of blessing...

Happy Friday!!!
I never thought it would get here!!! LONG weekend (with Mike) and next week off~hooray!!!
Although as I am typing this I am realizing~I will probably not want next Friday to get here that fast, LOL!! (funny how that works!!!). When we are on vacation we don't want Friday to arrive (because that means it is almost over...and while we are working~we cannot wait for Friday)!!

Mike told me that he just wants to relax this weekend~I hope he doesn't mind the few items I added to my list for him, LOL!!! We may even go to a movie too (which we haven't done in ages, since we have Direct TV, we usually get pay per view, which I really like because we are able to pause to get a snack and take a bathroom break without missing a beat).

Here is a quick and simple card for today...I really do like Orange Zest and Aqua Mist together~so fresh and really pretty!! (*note~ the leaves and stems are stamped in Spring Moss, but they are not showing up very well in the photo)

beautiful blooms orange zest

Have a super weekend FRIENDS!!!

Supplise used (PTI unless noted): Beautiful Blooms 2/Scattered Showers/Floral Frenzy stamp sets; Orange Zest/Spring Moss/Choc Chip (SU!) ink; Aqua Mist/White/Orange Zest cardstock; Dark Chocolate Buttons; Twine; Satin Dotted Aqua Mist Ribbon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jamaica bound...

posted by Ashley

Happy Thursday, friends!

I am definitely looking forward to a long holiday weekend! I wanted to share a little today about an upcoming missions trip I will be going on along with my husband and our college group at church. The whole idea about going on a missions trip started when Nate and I attended NYWC (National Youth Workers Convention) in Los Angeles last fall. During our down time, we were perusing the youth workshops and were approached by a young man from Praying Pelican Missions who asked us, “When was the last time your church went on a missions trip?” Nate and I looked at each other and both realized that our church has never done a missions trip, especially not an international one. It was at that moment when we both realized that our church would never do one unless someone stepped up to the plate and took initiative. So, with conviction and excitement in our hearts, Nate began planning the trip and Just Beyond (our college ministry) was 100% on board with the idea. Over the past few months, we have done all types of fundraisers (such as selling DELICOUS cinnamon buns during our church services, a giant yard sale, and helping a family move). Below are some photos from our incredibly successful yard sale. It’s truly amazing to see how much support we are receiving and we are all so encouraged by this. We are 100% funded and we leave for Jamaica on July 10th.



As I prepare for this adventure, I can’t help but realize just how blessed we are here in America. The national gross income per person in the United States is over $33,000 whereas Jamaica’s national gross income per person is close to $5,000. That difference is astounding! My expectation for this trip is to serve the people of Jamaica, but I am certain I will return different than when I left. I think there are times when you must get out of your cozy, comfortable lifestyle and immerse yourself with those who are less fortunate in order to gain perspective. This will be my very first international trip, so I’m not sure what to expect and I’m a little nervous about what may come, but I’m also expectant that great things will happen as we serve and love the people there. Please keep our team of 12 in your thoughts and prayers the week of July 11th, especially Nate because this is his first time leading a missions trip (and an international one at that!). I will definitely be bringing my camera, so expect lots of photos when I return!

Have a wonderful day! See you back here on Tuesday!