Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Days 13 & 14 w/ Our Finn Girls: The Last Days

Just realized I never wrote about the last couple days with our lovely Finn girls, so I decided to do that.

Day 13:  Monday.  The Last Day.  Unfortunately, I had to make cupcakes that day for a wedding on Tuesday so that's pretty much what I spent my day doing.  Had to run to the store in the morning for some ingredients and then had to make 200+ cupcakes.  Kind of a boring day . . . but oh well.  Anyways, the girls (Rachel, Emma, Tonja, & Josefine) had been out late . . . excuse me . . . quite early . . . in the morning and slept in.  Then they along with Tara headed to Moulton Falls (it was a HOT day) and walked a bit and then sat down on the rocks and waded in the water.  Josefine went in a bit more than the other girls.  :)  Anyways, after they got home they packed.  That evening there was volleyball at Rick & Kathy's so we went and spent the evening there.  We had so much fun talking and joking around and simply being "different".  Haha!

Day 14:  Tuesday.  Up early to head to the church as the girls and the last of the Finns were leaving that morning to head to Seattle.  At the church everyone said their, perhaps, slightly teary, good-byes.  A few last hugs and good-byes, waving, and then they were gone, with prayers for safe travels headed right after them.  I actually had to head into the church to frost the cupcakes then so I did that and then went and did a little bit of shopping.

It was really so good to be able to experience hosting the Finn girls and I'm sure everyone who hosted someone was blessed by it.  I would so do it again in a heartbeat.

It is a bit ironic that I was a bit hesitant about hosting them, and really selfish on my part.  I truly would not trade that experience for anything.  I would encourage others to host people.  To have that experience.  I have regrets about the times when the girls were here, that I didn't get to know them better.  That I held myself back so much.  As soon as they were gone, I wished I would've asked them this and this and this.  Wondering about their lives.

When they were gone, it was like such a hit back to reality.  Like bammm!  The fun, the blessed times, done.  I know life moves on.  And really, the fun and blessed times weren't done.  They were just different.  Things change.  We move on.  But the memories are there.  Unchanging.

Midnight Sun, Kuopio, Finland

But now, I truly wish to go to Finland.  To Scandinavia.  I've always thought it would be cool to go there.  Now, I know I would really want to.  And I hope and wish and dream.  Of a time maybe I can go there.  Maybe, someday, I will be able to go.  And if not, well, I know God has a plan for me.  Whatever that plan is, I simply need to be content.  To seek His will.  His way.  But right now, I know I can't go.  Right now,  I need to find a job.  And to be content with the way things are.

And now I will quit writing before my post gets even longer.  Simply filled with writing.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Days 9, 10, 11, & 12 w/ Our Finn Girls: Conventions

Day 9:  Thursday.  The first "official" day of Conventions.  Held at the Skyview High School.  They have a lovely auditorium where the services are held.  Services at 10:00, 2:00, & 5:00 with food and visiting between services.  Days of being blessed by the fellowship and God's word.  After the evening service we went up to James and Leah's for the youth gatherings.  Volleyball.  Singing.  Listening.  Food.  Visiting.  More fun and blessed times.

Church Service
(Picture credit goes to the Foreign Mission Facebook page.)

Day 10:  Friday.  Read day 9.  Really, that could pretty much sum up every day of Conventions.  We were truly blessed.

Youth Gathering (I've been hearing there was like 600 or so young people there!)
(Picture credit goes to Vivian Walikainen from Facebook)

Day 11:  Saturday.  We all ended up sleeping in during the morning service.  Us girls headed to Uncle D's for lunch and then to church for afternoon and evening services.  Then to the youth gathering in the evening.

Day 12:  Sunday.  More church.  Youth gathering.  Thankful for a slightly later curfew.  :)

Have a wonderful day and be blessed!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 8 w/ Our Finn Girls: Bus Ride, Shopping, & More

Wednesday.  In the morning we had a continental breakfast from the motel.  Then on the bus driving.  Errr .. riding.  We went to the Woodburn Outlets and were there shopping for several hours . . . a few hours too long.  Don't get me wrong . . . it's not that I don't like shopping, just with the shops they had there I didn't really find anything!  Except a pair of Nike's that I wanted ... well, that I still want from the Nike Outlet.  And . . . on some of the different Finn girls' blogs I've seen that several of them purchased the sames ones I wanted when they were out here!!

Umm . . .the only picture I took that day . . . with my phone! :)

 Oh well though . . .  Anyways, they don't have very many choices for lunch their either besides Subway, so we got that for lunch. :(  Then back on the bus to go back home after a wonderful trip!  Back to the church we went.  From there we headed home for a couple hours  . . . and then we headed back to church for the first service of Conventions that evening.  Coffee after church and then we all headed to Rick & Kathy's for volleyball and another enjoyable evening!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe

A delicious and simple meal.  Simply throw everything in the crock pot and cook it for several hours, shred the chicken, and it's done.  Then boil some pasta real quick and your supper's ready! 

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe: AJcrazies by AJK

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken

2 lbs. chicken - breasts or tenderloins
1/3 cup water
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing (dry)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz cream cheese

Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot.  Pour water over top.  Sprinkle on the Italian dressing.  Add the cream of chicken soup.  Cube the cream cheese and set over top.  Cook for 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.  Shred chicken and serve over bow tie pasta.

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe: AJcrazies by AJK

And it's as simple as that.  Enjoy!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 7 w/ Our Finn Girls: Trees of Mystery

The second day of our bus trip to California.  First thing in the morning we checked out of our motels and then went next door to a restaurant for a buffet breakfast.  Not so good.  To say the least.  Anyways, after that us 3 girls and Sari went on a walk to waste some time and went down to the beach in Crescent City.  Got back and hopped on the bus for the short ride to Trees of Mystery.

Everyone walking in after we got off the bus.

Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox

Pretty much right away we headed up to go on the Sky Trail.  The best part of the whole place!  Ha ha;)

Jonas, Me, & Rachel in the gondola.  Not sure what he thought about being with us but he had been waiting for the shuttle when we went to get on it so we just rode the gondola together, too.  :)  It was a little bit scary at times but then it was just fun!  The whole thing goes at the same speed at the same time so there was several times when we slowed down a lot which was when people were loading and unloading from the gondolas at each end. 

Tara & Sari 

At the top waiting to get back on.  There was a place you could go up to look at the view, but it was all foggy so you couldn't see anything.

Me, Tara, & Rachel .

Our view heading down. 

Hey, we know you guys!  Fred & Anna-Karin and some of the other Finn girls. 

Looking down out of the gondola. 

After we got down, we talked with one of the Finn guys for a bit while he was waiting for some of the other guys to get down from the trail that you could go down from at the top of the Sky Trail.  Then we headed down the trail and spent quite a while in the gift shop.  Then back we went up to go on the Sky Trail again and found Josefine, Emma, and Tonja waiting in line so we joined them!

Tara, Rachel, Me, Josefine, Emma, & Tonja.

In the gondola - Sari, Josefine, Tonja, & Rachel. 

In the gondola - Me, Emma, & Tara. 

Hey, we know you girls, too!  We were with these girls part of the time, as well. :) 

Sari by the 2000 year old tree (??). 

Emma, Josefine, & Tonja. 

Rachel, Tara, & Me. 

Some of the Finn girls:) 

Just sitting outside and visiting, waiting until it was time to go eat lunch. 

The Finn guys along with Anna-Karin and Fred. 


Right in here somewhere we went to the lodge across the street to get some lunch.  It was another one of those kind of ehhh..... meals.  Oh well though, the food wasn't the part that mattered; it was the fellowship and fun of being with everyone!

Fred & Anna-Karin - Our awesome group leaders!! 

After we left Trees of Mystery, we drove a short ways to the Tour-Thru tree.  Obviously the buses weren't going through it, but we stopped and walked up to it.

People coming from the bus. 

Part of the group. 

Johanna, Louise, Sofia, Josefin, & Marlene.

The Finn guys - Oskar, Samu, Kent, Alex, Anders, Vilhelm, Josef, Jonas, Martin, & David - being "different" . . haha! 

Emma, Tonja, & Josefine. 

Me, Rachel, Emma, Tonja, Josefine, Sari, & Tara. 

The WHOLE group (that went to California) . . besides one of the group leaders who took the picture, Marianne.

A lovely picture of the beach through the bus window. 

We headed to Roseburg, Oregon, where we were staying that night.  The motel was lovely!  We got our rooms and then headed out to look for some supper, after we waited for "our" girls.  We walked a long way going uphill to find something to eat.  I should have worn tennis shoes; they probably would've prevented me from getting the big blisters on my feet!  Anyways, we ended up with supper at Dairy Queen . . . with a grilled chicken burger . . . that tasted like a hot dog!! Ewww . . . excuse me, but while I have nothing against hot dogs, if I get chicken, I kind of expect it to taste like chicken . . . 

Back at the motel no one was really around doing anything so Rachel & Tara went swimming and I just hung out until I decided to start running on the treadmill.  I did that for a while until I decided I needed to change clothes and put on tennis shoes if I was actually going to run so I went and changed.  And proceeded to run for a while until I was looking like a dying cow.  And it was like 11:00 by then and I figured I probably wasn't supposed to be in there anymore!  Meanwhile, other people had went swimming and been in the hot tub.  Awhile later, we found a bunch of the group in the conference room playing games so we went in there for a while and played a couple games.  Then we all headed outside for some volleyball.  What would be a day without volleyball?!  I love it though, even if I'm not very good at it, so it's all good!  Played volleyball for a while and then headed back inside to the conference room, where some had slowly straggled in from outside and were playing games.  Didn't look like anything I really felt like doing so I headed back to the room.  Later Rachel went to give Sari the key and they were outside playing volleyball again.  Which resulted in a disappointed self, especially when I found out that they had stayed up til like 3 in the morning.  What?!!  What all fun did I miss out on? :(  Oh well, I'm still thankful for all the fun times I DID have!

Well have a wonderful day, as always!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Days 4, 5, & 6 w/ Our Finn Girls

Day 4: Saturday.  I didn't take any pictures but Rachel & I went shopping at the mall with the girls in the morning and early afternoon and then we came home and got ready for the wedding at 4:00.  We went to the wedding and then that evening, Tara & I ran to the store and then met up with the Gilkerson's and their Finn girls at Yo Factory.  After that we headed over to Rick & Kathy's for a fun night of volleyball.

Day 5:  Communion Sunday.  Our group had to serve in the kitchen that day.  After church, Tara & I headed over to Mint Lake where a bunch of young kids had went.  Rachel was already there with our Finn girls.  Had fun sitting in the sun and visiting.  Some people were in the lake swimming or wading or whatever.  Some people were playing volleyball (obviously!).  Made for a fun afternoon.  After that we were all invited to Kelly & Becky's for a barbecue birthday party for Alex (one of the Finn guys).  So we headed over there for supper, volleyball, and birthday cake.  And it was a fun evening. :)

Yes, everything was fun.  I know I keep saying that.  But it's because it's the truth!  I truly had such an amazing time those couple weeks!  Those were the days that made my summer amazing!!

Day 6: Monday.  Well, early morning start.  At the church at 7:30 along with everyone else going on the bus trip to California.  It was such a pleasure to be able to join the Finns on this trip along with a few other Americans.  It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

This was a fairly simple day, during the day.  The evening though?!  Oh my, FUN!!!  We stayed at a motel in Crescent City.  Rachel, Tara, Sari, and I had a room together.  Once we were settled in our room we headed outside and waited around for some other people.  Our Finn girls and a couple other awesome Finn girls came with us and we headed into town to find something for Supper.  We ended up at Denny's . . . it was an okay supper.  After supper we headed out and there was a Safeway so we went there.  Some of the Finn guys were there, too.  It was quite the amusing shopping trip.  The funnest time at Safeway I've ever had.  Just thinking about it makes me laugh!!

After Safeway, we headed back to the motel . . . having a lot of fun as we went!!

Emma, Louise, Josefine, Tara, Tanja, Sari, Me, & Josefin

When we got back, some of the girls asked if we wanted to play volleyball, so we took our stuff to our rooms and headed out into the grassy field behind the motel to play volleyball.  Fun times, I'm tellin' ya!

(Stole the pictures from Rachel since I didn't take any that day.)

We were there until about 11:00 until we had to be in the lobby . . . to make sure everyone was there I guess?  Anyways, we were in there for a while until most everyone said good night and headed to bed.  Except some of us . . . well, we didn't go to bed right away!!  We were just standing around outside for a bit.  First, we were watching the boys being crazy.  It was absolutely hilarious!  They were climbing up the rails and throwing suitcases up and having another guy catch it and climbing on the roof and climbing in and out of their bedroom window.  Oh my!  Ha. Ha!  (Okay . . . am I even supposed to share that? :p ) After they finished with their fun, we played some volleyball in the front parking lot.  That is, until we got yelled at for being too loud (Sorry, Sir!) and headed across the street to the empty Subway parking lot and played volleyball there.  And then we said good night.  For real this time.  And all went to bed.  Until the next morning . . . .

And more later on that:)

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 3 w/ Our Finn Girls - 4th of July

On the 4th of July, all the Finns and their host families were invited to John and Deanne's house for dessert and then a barbecue supper.  We arrived in the early afternoon and enjoyed the day with lots of visiting, volleyball (and volleyball watching!), eating, and the like.

People visiting. :)

Morgan - and as you can see behind her . . . people playing volleyball!  I put my camera away after this so I only got these couple pictures there. :(

After the barbecue, a lot of people went up to Carl & Becky's for dessert and fireworks.

They have this absolutely gorgeous view from their house!

People visiting there in the early part of the evening.

Josefine, Emma, & Tonja - beautiful as always! :)

Rachel, Tonja, Josefine, & Emma visiting.

People playing volleyball . . . what else would you do?!  But that was just the pros....

People watching/listening to the program thing they had before the fireworks show started.

I had taken some pictures of the fireworks but they didn't really turn out, so I won't bother sharing them.  As with all those days, it was an amazing day that I enjoyed!  Hope you all had a lovely 4th as well!