28 June, 2008

A week in the mountains

Today I got home from a week in the mountains. We left church around 10:30 Monday morning and got to the camp around 1. We had a nice cabana. It had a kitchen and a larger room we used for storage, a cellar, and 1 bedroom downstairs. Then there were 2 bedrooms upstairs where the little kids slept. And then the adults slept in the attic. There were matresses for us and blankets and it was quite comfortable. We had no running water but we had a well. The water was safe to drink, I drank it all week with no sickness. For toilets we had an outhouse and for a shower we had the river. We had a generator so we had electicity to cook with and lights when it got dark but that's it.
We fell into a sort of routine. Breakfast and then the Bible story. Then we had activity sheets related to the story and then craft time. Each day we had a different craft. After that was free time until lunch which was around 2. Then the kids had a rest time for about an hour. Some days they rested more than others. Then we would go for a walk and usually to the river. I got thrown into the river two times!!! Neither time was I expecting it, and the first time I had my clothes on! The second time I had my swimsuit on under my clothes. The water was very cold but it was so hot, about 30 C each day, and sunny. Except for Friday morning when we had a storm with marble sized hail. But the afternoon was good again.
We went on walks and saw some beautiful things. It was relaxing but also a lot of work. We constantly had to watch the kids and pay attention to them. I had a great time with the children and I grew very attached to them. I learned a lot of Romanian and everyone is surprised when I say a sentence in Romanian or answer their question with out a translator. I guess that's what happens when that's all you hear for a week!
Today I went up into the moutains with Nelutu, Evi and their son Robert. We left camp around 10:30. We drove for about 45 more minutes to the base of the mountain and then up we went. We stopped quite a few times on the way up. It got colder the higher up we went. We stopped and played in some snow too. And we went through the longest tunnel in Romania and then to the very top of the mountain. There was a beautiful waterfall and snow on the moutains and the roads were so curvy! I took so many pictures! On the way down we stopped at a lake but it was so foggy we couldn't even see the lake! We did some climbing to get a better view, so we were very hungry for lunch. On the way home we stopped at a few stores so they could get groceries and then came home.
It has been a busy week and I have not had much rest. So now I am very tired. I have to get up early for church tomorrow morning so I will go to bed soon. Noapte buna :)

21 June, 2008


Today was a very busy day. I met the CERT team at 8:40 this morning and we went shopping and for a tour of Medias. Then we went and spent the rest of the day in Sighisoara. They are leaving tonight so after I said goodbye I came back to the apartment. Now it is 11:18 and I'm tired, but I will put up some pictures from the week. I'll add a short description to each. Monday we will leave for camp in the mountains. It is supposed to be hot, today it was 30C, and very sunny, so the weather will be perfect. We'll come home sometime on Saturday. And I will arrive back in A-town on Wednesday evening.

This girl, Ela, was in Axente Sever last year. She remembered me and gave me a big hug when she saw me on Monday!

This is the kids eating their snack in Tarnavioara. They had graham crackers and fruit snacks to represent Noah's ark.

The kids in Saes.

People waiting for the medical clinic in Saes.

Dinner on Thursday night. It was cucumber and tomato salad. Beef chunks in sauce, and mamaligita, like a corn meal hash that you mix with the beef. And also fresh apricots.

On Friday, the women in Saes baked bread just for us in their brick oven. It was the best bread I have ever had!

The pastor in Danes wanted his picture taken with me.

Playing games in Axente Sever

The bridge going out of Tarnavioara. Also a good picture of the scenery.

A cute little boy from Tarnavioara.

18 June, 2008

Romania update

Today was day 3 of VBS. We have been in the same 2 villages since Monday and today was our last day in those 2. In the morning we are in Axente Sever and in the afternoon, Tarnavioara. Today we had games, Bible lesson, crafts, and snack. The children love it so much. Some of the kids I remember from last year and they remember me too. It was hard to say goodbye to them today because they hugged me so tight and asked when I would come back.

Tomorrow we will go to 2 different villages. I don't know the names but somewhere near Sighisoara. It will be good.

On Saturday, I will spend some time downtown with the CERT team in the morning and in the afternoon, we will go to Sighisoara (birthplace of Dracula).

Monday, I will leave for camp in the mountains until Saturday afternoon. Then I will have only 3 more days and I will come home on Wednesday.

I will burn pictures onto a CD for the CERT team probably on Friday, so I will try to post some pictures then.

It is late now, 11:05 and I still have things to do, so this is all for now. :)

15 June, 2008

I made it!!!

I made it to Romania yesterday afternoon, around 2:30 I arrived in Medias. All my travel was very smooth and all of my luggage made it! (That's a big deal as I have had trouble the last 2 trips) I rested yesterday afternoon and then I slept good at night too. I only got maybe 30 minutes of sleep on the plane! Today, I went to church in the morning, and in the afternoon, I went to meet the group from CERT. We unpacked their boxes and organized all the snacks, games, crafts and medicine items. I helped make some of the supplies for the craft. When that was done, I helped sort the medicine and put it into packages for in the villages tomorrow. Then we took a taxi to church. Tonight, the choir from Sibiu was here and it was wonderful! After church I talked with many many of my friends. It was good to see them all again. There was a reception in the downstairs of the church so we went down there for a while. Then I took the bus home and had dinner.
Tomorrow will be the first day in the villages. We will go to two villages I have been to before, Axente Sever, and Tarniaviora. I am excited to see the kids again. I am not sure what I am doing, but I will find out tomorrow.
I found out some things about the camp also. We will leave next Monday and return Saturday. 20 children are going, plus 9 adults, I think. We will have a generator so we can plug a fridge in. Also, the river is not used as a toilet, there is an I will not have to go a week with out bathing! *huge sigh of relief*!!! Nothing like miscommunication! There is an outhouse behind the cabin we will stay in. Other than that, I do not know much more.

13 June, 2008

En route

I am on my way!!!! I will leave the house a little after 8 today and my plane takes off at 11:29. I will update as much as I have time for these next few weeks!!! :)

12 June, 2008


I am pretty much all packed and ready to go. I have a few things that I will pack tomorrow morning, but I am basically all set. All that is left is to sleep, wake up, and go to the airport. I hate saying goodbye. Even if it's "only" for 20 days (still a long time), I still do not like to say goodbye :( But anyway, because I am ready, I'm just sitting around at home, so I thought I would do this meme that's been floating around blogland...

Answering the following using only one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Where is your significant other? School
3. Your hair? Curly
4. Your mother? Church
5. Your father? Office
6. Your favorite thing? Sunshine
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Happy
9. The room you're in? Bedroom
10. Your fear? Rejection
11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Alive
12. Where were you last night? Home
13. What you're not? Grumpy
14. Muffins? Chocolate
15. One of your wish list items? Camcorder
16. Where you grew up? Michigan
17. The last thing you did? Cook
18. What are you wearing? Tanktop
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? Tucker
21. Your computer? Amazing
22 Your life? Busy
23. Your mood? Melancholy
24. Missing someone? Yes
25. Your car? Annoying
26. Something you're not wearing? Socks
27. Your summer? Exciting
28. Your favorite color? Blue
29. When is the last time you laughed? Today
30. Last time you cried? Dunno

Prayer Requests

***QUICK UPDATE 4:37 PM***
I went on to check the status of my flight earlier today and found out that I am on a different flight, I am now on flight 7115 and I leave GRR at 11:39. I changed this on the itinerary below also.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am leaving for Romania on Friday (tomorrow!!!!). One of the most important things people can do is to pray for me while I am there. I would like to ask for your prayers, here are some things that you can pray for.... travel
...that I make all my connections and flights on time
...that God keeps me healthy as we go to the villages and mountains
...that God touches and opens the hearts of the children and others who we'll come into contact with
Thank you!!!

11 June, 2008

Romania Update

Well, I leave for Romania in 2 days. I'll be jetting away Friday morning.
Some things have changed since I last wrote about my trip so I thought I would update you.
I am leaving on Friday morning and I will arrive on Saturday around noon. From there it is a 2 hour drive to Medias, the town where I live. I will be staying with my friend Magda, at her house. Sunday I will go to church and meet the team that I will be working with for the next week.
From June 16-20, I will be working with a group from CERT. We will be doing Vacation Bible Schools and Medical Clinics in 4 different villages. We will be in one in the morning and a different one in the afternoon Monday-Wednesday and the same in 2 different villages Thursday and Friday. I'm not sure what aspect of this mission I will be helping with yet, but I am looking forward to working with CERT.
I will have the weekend to visit or travel or hang out with friends or shop or whatever I choose to do. Of course on Sunday I will go to church and spend time with friends.
Monday morning, we will leave for camp. We are going to a camp in the mountains about 1.5 hours away from Medias. I don't know much about the camp, but I do know this: there is no electricity, no toilets, and no showers. I was told that we will use the river for a toilet and if it is warm enough we will also bathe in the river. I stocked up on baby wipes because let me tell you...I am not going to bathe in the same water used as a toilet. I'm sorry but that's pushing it. My idea of roughing it at least includes a porta-potty! :) We will be doing VBS type things up in the camp. I am in charge of games and crafts. While I have a feeling it will be pushing my comfort level, I am very excited. There are about 30 kids from ages 8-14 who will be at camp and I think 4 or 5 adults.
We will return on Saturday. I will have the next few days to do whatever comes up to do. I leave again on Wednesday July 2.
I am not sure what type of access I will have to computers but if I get the chance I will be updating my blog.
If you're interested, here is my flight schedule:

Friday June 13th
Flight 7115 (United Express/Canadair) from GRR to ORD leaves at 11:29A arrives at 11:25A
Flight 435 (Lufthansa) from ORD to Munich leaves at 2:10P arrives at 5:55A (Saturday)
Flight 3496 (Lufthansa) from Munich to CLJ leaves at 9:10A arrives at 11:55A

Wednesday July 2nd
Flight 7016 (Austrian Air) from CLJ to Vienna leaves at 9:25A arrives at 10:15A
Flight 65 (Austrian Air) from Vienna to ORD leaves at 11:05A arrives at 2:20P
Flight 106 (United) from ORD to GRR leaves at 4:00P arrives at 5:52P (this plane might arrive earlier, it is a scheduled 52 minute flight but has a tendency to only take 25 minutes!)

10 June, 2008

Of seadooing, police, and storms

On Saturday night, I went seadooing with Mike and his friend Brett and his girlfriend Karli. It was so much fun! It was really hot outside on Saturday so we were all excited to get out on the water where it was a bit cooler. I have not been on a seadoo for probably 10 years, so it was really cool for me. We had been out for probably 15 minutes when a policeman in a motorboat came up to us. We all kinda looked at each other, wondering why, because we hadn't done anything wrong! He asked us where we were headed and stuff. We told him we were just going to go around Lake Macatawa, not going out to the "big" lake (Michigan). Good thing, because he told us we were in a severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch. We kept our eyes on the sky, but the storm was still over an hour and a half away.

We decided we'd go out to the pier area and cruise around there for a while. We went around for quite a while, and then we started seeing lightening in the distance. Then we felt a few raindrops, so we decided to head back to the dock. Without thinking about it Mike took off across the water. A couple minutes later I looked back, "where are Brett and Karli??" Oh no! He had forgotten that we were in a no wake zone! So Brett and Karli were going slow and therefore way behind us. Next thing we saw was a police boat (different from the earlier one) make a wide turn, flip on his flashers, and speed toward us. Oops. :( Well he pulled up to us and asked why we were going so fast. Mike apologized and said he forgot it was a no wake zone and we'd seen the lightening so we were just headed back to the dock. The policeman went through all the usual steps of being pulled over...but he did not give us a ticket. He said if it had been sunny out and we were going that fast he would have ticketed us, but because it was bad weather he'd let us go if we went straight to the dock. That was okay because we were headed for the dock anyway. Well we got back to the dock and Karli and I got off the seadoos so that we could get the truck and trailer and help load them up. The boys took the seadoos out just a little bit and rode around while they waited for Karli to get the truck. When she pulled the truck up, a police car pulled in behind what?!?! He got out when the boys came up to the shore and he said that they had been "hotdogging" a little too close to shore. He was really nice about it though and stood around and talked for a while. (I have a feeling that the policeman out on the water called to have someone make sure we went straight back to the dock...otherwise what are the chances of him being right there?)

We loaded up and made it back to Brett's house just in time. Mike and I ran over to his house to change out of our swimsuits and then went back to Brett's to watch a movie. We had just headed over there when it started to sprinkle. And you all know what kind of a storm we had Saturday night! It was absolutely crazy! Brett and Mike work at a place that does water restoration and at about 10:45, Brett got called into work because so many people were calling with flooded houses. He ended up working until 5 on Sunday morning and then going back after a few hours of sleep!

On Sunday afternoon, I was at work, and I saw the storm rolling in. I had my camera in my purse and I took some pictures. The sky was a lot darker than these pictures show, but you can see how crazy the storm was!!!

06 June, 2008

More from Cedar Point

Remember I mentioned that I'd post a picture of our caricature? Well here it is!

I just love it! We hadn't planned on getting one, Jen and Tyler did though. So we they went to get theirs, we got one done too. The boy who did it is just a junior in high school! Very talented! We got a nice white frame for it and a blue mat, and it's hanging very nicely in my bedroom.

Mike read my blog about Cedar Point the other day and I asked him if I got it all right. He said yes, but I missed some good stories, so I will tell you them now...

On the way back to our hotel Friday night, we stopped at McDonald's for shakes. Mike didn't finish all of his so he brought it back to the hotel with him. For some reason, he had taken the lid off, so it wasn't covered. I held it for him while he used the card to get into the hotel, then I gave it back. We walked to the elevator and got in. As we did, he ended up dumping his entire shake on the floor!!!! I guess he was trying to put his wallet back in his back pocket and tipped his shake. If I had been about 6 inches closer to him, it would have been dumped all over me!!! We were all just busting up laughing....his mom and I stood and held the elevator door open while he ran to get a towel from his room. I guess we held the door for too long and an alarm started going off, of course that just made us laugh even harder!!!

So we went back to our hotel room (the 3 over to our room) to watch the Pistons game. After the game, the guys went back to their room. Mike and Tyler weren't tired so they decided to walk around the hotel. They went and checked out the pool and walked around. When they went to find their room, the number by the way was 2030, they couldn't remember their number! So they walked around and tried their key card in a bunch of random rooms! They were in the 21 hallway, not 20. I guess there were 4 wings and they all looked the same. So finally they decided to go to the front desk and see if something was wrong with their key, if that was why the door wasn't opening. Their key was fine, so they asked what number their room was. 2030.....uh....they had been trying 2130 :) So they headed back up the elevator. Only problem...the front desk was on the opposite side of the hotel as our room, so they were lost again! They ended up walking all the way around the hotel before they found their room!!! That's my guy!!! Nice adventure huh? :)

04 June, 2008

Ouch! :( hurts to type this post? So why am I doing it? I guess I'm just that dedicated LOL! Today was day 2 of my new (temporary) job. It's at this place called Creative Products and we're basically doing manufacturing work. I'm working in an assembly line that is packaging Memory Garden Markers. On Monday, I spent 7 hours and 40 minutes (it's an 8.5 hour shift, with 2 10 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break) on my feet, peeling UPC stickers and sticking them on the bottom right corner of approximately 4,000 boxes. We did just under 7,000 boxes on Monday.
Today, I got a new job. This time I was taping the garden markers to the boxes that they're in to keep them from sliding during movement. Almost 8 hours of holding a tape gun and twisting my wrist! My fingers kill!!! See that picture? The tape gun was wearing down the skin on my fingers, so I used athletic tape to bandage them up. Tomorrow, I'll start out using the athletic tape.
I think I'm going to go in search of a lot of chocolate now...and a nap sounds good.

02 June, 2008

Weekend fun

This past weekend, I went to Cedar Point with Mike and his family (his mom, dad, sister, and her boyfriend, Tyler). It was the first time I'd ever been, and I loved it!!!

We left Mike's house around 11:20 on Friday morning and got to our hotel around 4:20. After settling in, we headed over to the amusement park. We got passes that let us in from 5 until close (10). We decided to ride a few rides before getting dinner. First we rode Wicked Twister, then we decided to try riding maXair. They had just assigned us our seat numbers and we were waiting to get on the ride when it broke (people were still on it!!!), so we decided to go get dinner instead. After burgers, we walked around the park for a while looking at the different rides. We rode the Power Tower too. Mike tried his luck at a 3 point basketball game, but we all know those things are rigged!! Our last ride of the night was the Giant Wheel. We decided to get our caricatures done also, and they turned out sooooo cool!!! (I'll post a picture of that later). We planned to hang out to watch the laser show, but it started later than we thought and then it started to rain, so we went back to the hotel and watched the Pistons game (too bad they lost!)

Saturday morning we got up early so we could be back at the park at 9. One nice thing about the hotel we stayed at is that we could get in an hour before the park opened to the general public. The first ride we went to was Top Thrill Dragster. I was so scared to ride this one (read the description and you'll find out why!), but it was soooo worth it! I love it! Then we headed over to Millennium Force. Those two are usually the busiest rides, but we had less than a 15 minute wait for each one...often the wait can be 3 hours. Our longest wait for any ride was 25 minutes. We rode the Iron Dragon and Mantis. Then we decided that we needed to get something to drink, because it was really hot outside. After lunch we headed back to maXair, and actually got to ride it this time!! Because it was so hot, we decided to do the indoor rollercoaster, Diaster Transport. The boys decided to try to imporess us girls and win us stuffed animals so they played a water squirt gun racing game, Mike didn't win, because he was racing Tyler, but Tyler won twice, so Jen and I both got stuffed animals :) The Raptor had been broken the first time we tried to go on it, but when we went back, it was fixed again, so we rode it. That was our last ride of the day, as we were all exhausted. We looked around in the gift shops for a while and sat in the shade while we waited to meet Mike's parents. We left around 4.

On the way home, we stopped at Cabela's to get fudge...Tyler had never been there before, so it was a neat experience for him. We also stopped at Tiffany's for pizza (if you're ever in Dundee for dinner time, I highly recommend this and delicious!!)

I didn't take many pictures, just because it's so hard to take pictures on the rides ;) But Mike's mom took some, so if I get them from her, I will show you

This is Jen in Diaster Transport. If you look carefully, her nails are glowing in the blacklight.

The display in Cabela's

Brenda, This picture is especially for you!
This is Mike and me

And this is Tyler and Jen

01 June, 2008

Graduation 2008

On Thursday, my (not so little anymore) brother graduated!!!

Walking down the aisle (he's the tall one on the left)

Shaking the principal's hand after receiving his diploma

Nate and me

The rest of our family...Dad, Mom, Nate, Grandma and Grandpa

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