Monthly Archives: April 2011

(Z)ambia

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'” ~Isaiah 6:8

One of my dreams has been to go to Africa.  Now, granted, that dream involved more like a vacation, going on a safari, exploring different cities and all of the culture.  And maybe one day, I will get to live out that dream.  But I did get to live out part of it already.

My church has an ongoing relationship with missionaries in Zambia, and has been sending a short-term missions team to Zambia for a few years now.  I was blessed with the opportunity to go as a short-term missionary to Zambia from July 23 – August 11, 2008.

While in Zambia we were working with the Baptist Convention alongside missionaries Charles and Sarah West. We spent time in the capital Lusaka, helping the West’s in a new ministry to an impoverished community. They have established a school to educate orphan children and we  helped them with some VBS (Vacation Bible School) activities and had many, many speaking/teaching opportunities each day. Our team also spent time in Kalulushi to the North of Zambia where there were many children whose parents have died or are suffering with AIDS. We again did VBS, encouraged the families of AIDS victims with the love of Christ, and shared ministry skills with local leaders and churches. We put on a marriage seminar, a youth seminar, and one of our team members spent a couple days teaching people how to care for their spouse/family member who were recovering from strokes and other ailments where they needed a lot of assistance. We provided medical supplies, as well as clothes and shoes for the orphans.

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” ~Romans 10:13-15

Words cannot begin to describe how memorable and life-changing this trip was for me.  I was stretched beyond belief, physically (yes I got injured), mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was so blessed to be a part of this amazing experience and by the people we met. I hope that I was able to bless them in return.

I have put together a slide show of some of the photos taken from our trip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(Y)ogurt

I have a sweet tooth, better yet, a whole mouth full of teeth that have crave sweets (sometimes salty, but mostly sweets).  Luckily I have this wonderful friend, Adie, that likes sweets as well, and every Tuesday or sometimes Wednesday, she comes over to my house and we go get frozen yogurt together.

You might not think this is such a big deal, but for me it is.  I am lactose intolerant. So regular ice cream and I do not get along. So luckily, frozen yogurt is easier on my digestive system and I can eat it in small doses.  We also have this one place that we love to go that has 6 flavors that change each day. There is always a vanilla, a chocolate, a fruit-based, a candy-based, a coffee/drink- based, and the an employee choice.  Our favorite is called circus animal cookie.  It starts as a vanilla yogurt with the circus animal cookies ground into the yogurt, along with cookie dough.  Then it comes out of the machine all mixed up.  I top mine with additional cookies, so I can have that little bit of crunch.  She tops hers with cookie dough.  You can get free samples of all the flavors for the day, and occasionally we will mix that with our circus animal cookie yogurt, or even get one of the daily flavors instead of our usual.  This place also has lots of other fun mix-ins and toppings.

Now that it has warmed up and summer is just around the corner, I look forward to more frozen yogurt nights to cool down with.

Do you prefer frozen yogurt or ice cream?  What’s your favorite flavor(s)? Favorite toppings?

some of the toppings available

getting the yogurt

circus animal cookies

my yogurt with the cookies, about to get mixed in on the cold slab

the final product....so good

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(X) this

I wanted to come up with a funny alternative for the letter X in the A-Z challenge.

I’m sure some/most of you have gotten or seen a MySpace, Facebook, or email message from a friend where you are supposed to (X) which of the items you have done/seen/read, etc.  So I found this list online and have (X)’d off the ones that pertain to me.  Maybe you will be brave and repost this with your items (X)’d off.

[X] I have been on some sort of team.
[ ] I have run more than 2 miles without stopping.
[X] I have been to Canada.
[X] I have watched cartoons for hours.
[X] I have tripped UP the stairs.
[X] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.
[X] I have been snowboarding/skiing.
[X] I have played ping pong.
[X] I swam in the ocean.
[X] I have been on a whale watch.
[X] I have seen fireworks.
[X] I have seen a shooting star.
[ ] I have seen a meteor shower.
[X] I have almost drowned.
[X] I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear.
[X] I have listened to one cd over & over & over again.
[ ] I have had stitches.
[ ] I have had frostbite.
[ ] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there
[X] I have stayed up til 2 doing homework/projects.
[X] I currently have a job
[X] I have been ice skating.
[X] have been rollerblading
[X] I have fallen flat on my face.
[X] I have tripped over my own two feet.
[ ] I have been in a fist fight.
[ ] I have played videogames for more than 3 hours straight.
[ ] I have watched The Power Rangers
[X] I do/have attended Church regularly.
[X] I have played truth or dare.
[X]I’ve called someone stupid. And meant it.
[X] ‘ve been in a verbal argument.
[X] I’ve cried in school.
[ ] I’ve played basketball on a team.
[X] I’ve played softball on a team.
[ ] i’ve played baseball on a team.
[ ] I’ve played football on a team.
[ ] I’ve played soccer on a team.
[ ] I’ve done cheerleading.
[ ] I’ve swam on a team.
[ ] I’ve been on a track or cross country team.
[X] I’ve been swimming more than 20 times in my life.
[X] I’ve thrown up going on a ride at an amusement park.
[X] I’ve climbed a rock wall.
[X] I’ve lost more than $20.
[X] I’ve called myself an idiot.
[X] I’ve called someone else an idiot.
[X] I’ve cried myself to sleep.
[X] I’ve had (or have) pets.
[ ] I’ve owned a Spice Girls cd.
[ ] I’ve owned a Britney Spears cd.
[ ] I’ve owned an N*Sync cd.
[ ] I’ve owned a Backstreet Boys cd.
[X] I’ve mooned someone.
[X] I’ve swore at someone.
[X] I’ve been in the newspaper.
[X] I’ve been on TV.
[ ] I’ve been to Hawaii.
[X] I’ve eaten sushi.
[ ] I’ve been on the other side of a waterfall
[X] I’ve watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
[X] I’ve watched all the Harry Potter movies.
[X] I’ve watched all of the Rocky movies.
[X] I’ve watched the 3 Stooges at least once
[ ] I’ve watched “Newlyweds” Nick & Jessica.
[X] I’ve watched Looney Tunes.
[ ] I’ve been stuffed into a locker.
[X] I’ve been called a geek.
[X] I’ve studied hard for a test and got a bad grade.
[X] I’ve not studied at all for a test and aced it.
[ ] I’ve hugged my mom within the past 24 hrs.
[ ] I’ve hugged my dad within the past 24 hours.
[X] I’ve met a celebrity/music artist.
[X] I’ve written poetry.
[ ] I’ve been arrested.
[X] I’ve been attracted to someone much older than me.
[X] I’ve been tickled till I’ve peed.
[X] I’ve tickled someone else until they cried.
[X] I’ve had/have siblings.
[X] I’ve been to a rock concert.
[ ] I’ve listened to classical music and enjoyed it.
[X] I’ve been in a play.
[ ] I’ve been picked last in gym class.
[ ] I’ve been picked first in gym class.
[X] I’ve been picked in that middle-range in gym class.
[X] I’ve cried in front of my friends.
[X]I’ve read a book longer than 1,000 pages.
[ ] I’ve played Halo 2.
[X] I’ve freaked out over a sports game.
[ ] I’ve been to Alaska.
[ ] I’ve been to China.
[ ] I’ve been to Japan.
[ ] I’ve had a fight with someone over AIM/ MSN/ Yahoo Messenger
[X] I’ve had a fight with someone face to face
[ ] I’ve had serious conversations on any IM.
[X] I’ve forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
[X] I’ve been forgiven.
[X] I’ve screamed at a scary movie
[X] I’ve cried at a chick flick
[X] I’ve watched action movies.
[X] I’ve screamed at the top of my lungs.
[ ] I’ve been to a rap concert.
[ ] I’ve been to a hip hop concert.
[X] I’ve lived in more than 2 houses.
[X] I’ve been to other states.
[X] I’ve been homesick.
[X] I’ve thrown up
[ ] I’ve puked on someone.
[X] I’ve been horseback riding.
[X] I’ve spoken my mind in public.
[X] Ive proved someone wrong.
[X] I’ve been proven wrong by someone.
[X] I’ve broken a leg/foot.
[ ] Broken an arm, wrist, hand, finger, or knuckle
[ ] I’ve fallen off a swing.
[ ] I’ve swung on a swing for more than 30 minutes straight.
[X] I’ve come close to dying.
[X] Someone close to me has died.
[X] I’ve wanted to be an actor/actress at some point.
[ ] I’ve done modeling or done a beauty pageant
[X] I’ve taken something/someone for granted.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(W)hat’s next?

Wow, the month of April flew by, and so did the A-Z Challenge. I have had so much fun with this challenge.  It has allowed me to get really creative, think outside the box, meet some great new blogging friends, and it has kept me on track with writing every day.  I’m so sad to see it come to an end.

With that said, I am hoping that you all can give me ideas of what to write next or if you know of any other fun challenges?  Help me figure out the “What’s Next”.   I am still participating in the Daily Post challenge through Word Press, but I think 90-95% of the topics are not anything I want to blog about.

Also I would love your feedback on what you thought about my participation in the A-Z Challenge, how I did my posts, what you liked/didn’t like, etc.  Any and all feedback will help me with my writing style and content, and might inspire additional posts.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(W)ine

W is for WINE!  I love wine and going wine tasting.  Some of my favorite types of wine are Riesling, Muscato, and Gewurztraminer.   Here is a picture I took in San Francisco where they had lots of bottles for sale, and you could sample some of them at the bar on the other end of the store.

The sepia tone effect I used during photo editing.  It is part of my weekly submission in sepia scenes, a weekly photography meme for sepia photos.

Do you like wine? What’s your favorite type?  How do you select your wines?

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(V)ampires

It seems like wherever you go or whenever you turn around, there is another Vampire show, movie, book series, etc. coming out.   I think since the Twilight series became popular, it started this Vampire craze amongst pre-teens, teens, and even adults. I myself got hooked on the Twilight series, both the books and movies, and I find myself watching The Vampire Diaries tv series, and the HBO series True Blood….I’m kinda addicted.

In the spirit of the letter V for Vampires, here is my list of tv shows/series, movies, books, and famous Vampires:

1. Twilight series

2. True Blood series

3. The Vampire Diaries series

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

5. Dracula

6. Interview with the Vampire

7. Blade

8. Underworld

9. From Dusk Til Dawn

10. The Lost Boys

11. Count Chocula (the breakfast cereal vampire lol)

12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer series

13. Gomez and Morticia Addams/ the Addams Family

14. Count von Count (from Sesame Street)

Who is your favorite vampire (if you have one)?

And for fun, here is a Top 10 Vampire Myths brought to you by the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency:

The Top Ten Vampire Myths

Most vampire myths come to us from the Dark Ages, when science was in its infancy and people looked to religion or superstition to explain the world around them. While many vampire myths have their basis in Christian orthodoxy, others represent imaginative interpretations of actual vampire behavior.

Vampires sleep in coffins

Bela Lugosi as Dracula

Source: This myth probably arose from gravediggers and others who observed vampires emerging from coffins and crypts.
Truth: If a vampire did spend the night in a coffin, it probably had nothing to do with sleeping preference. In the old days, many victims of vampire bites were interred while still in a vampiric coma. The truth is, vampires will sleep wherever they feel safe.

Garlic repels vampires

Source: Most likely based on observation.
Fact: Vampires have sensitive noses and can momentarily be driven off by pungent odors. However, this method of deterrence is unreliable and certainly won’t work on an experienced vampire.

A cross employed in WB’s
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Crosses repel vampires

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Crosses have no effect on vampires.

Vampires are killed by driving a stake through their heart

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Because their blood is circulated by skeletal muscles, vampires can easily survive injuries to the heart.

Vampires burst into flames upon exposure to sunlight

Source: Most likely based on observations of a vampire’s extreme reaction to sunlight
Fact: Sunlight renders vampires, with their hyperdilated irises, blind. It also causes neural pathways to fire randomly in the vampire brain, creating an extreme epileptic reaction. As dramatic as this reaction may appear, it will not be enough to start a fire.

Holy water burns the skin and flesh of vampires

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Holy water, or any water for that matter, has little effect on vampires (although vampires can be drowned).

Lugosi whispers
sweet nothings to
his next victim

Vampires prey on virginal women

Source: A reflection of Victorian-era fears over the sexual awakening of young women.
Fact: While vampires have a stated preference for the taste of young blood, they are not particular as to which gender provides it.

Vampires can fly

Source: Observation of leaping vampires; association of vampires with bats.
Fact: While they do possess extraordinary leaping ability (vampires have been observed leaping over fences 20 feet high), vampires cannot fly.

Vampires turn into bats

Source: Association of vampires with bats.
Fact: No, vampires cannot turn into bats.

Vampires are not visible in mirrors

Source: Christian religion. It was thought that a vampire, or any creature lacking a soul, would not produce a reflection in a mirror.
Fact: Vampires are visible in mirrors, although interestingly enough, they are often quite uncomfortable with their own reflections.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.