Monday, December 12, 2016

4 Books I'm Always Reading

I can not be reading only one book at any given time.  It's in my nature to enjoy a variety of things- whether it's food, music, of literature.  For the same reason I bounce between Spotify playlists- The Lumineers to Shinedown to Disney sing-a-alongs, all within a one hour- I bounce between books.   

I wonder if I should attribute this to my personality (MBTI tests- look it up) as an ENFP, meaning I'm an extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiver- which, according to Pinterest, is described as a "hyperactive social butterfly" or a "manic pixie dream girl".  Essentially, I get bored easily, and I can't do just one thing for a very long period of time before I go nuts.  However, I'm sure that there are other kinds of people who have these same reading habits. 

To clarify, I don't continually read the same four books, but one book in each of these four categories. 


While the word meditate is often thought of as a religious mental exercise, I'll use it as the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it: to engage in contemplation or reflect. 
I'll either read something regarding theology, or written specifically for women.  

Currently: Ladylike by Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle

This specific title reads similarly to a devotional, so I read a chapter every night before bed. It's a nice end to the day, contemplating life and what it means to live as a Christian woman.  It also helps me wind down from watching crime dramas way too late at night. 

Also: Hello My Name Is Single by Adriane Dorr Heins


Regardless of whether or not you're a student, there is plenty of great literature to be read, and that's where this category fits in.

Currently: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

English for my senior year is primarily classic novels, reviews, and discussions, so I have a list to choose from.  

Also: Christy by Catherine Marshall, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway.


While these titles sometimes overlap with the school book section (I read a lot of classics for fun), they're usually rereads- purely for enjoyment and nostalgia. I usually save this sort of reading for breaks or road trips.  Unless of course the book happens to be a gift, in which case I read it as soon as possible.

Currently: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

This first time I read Harry Potter was over Christmas break. It feels like the perfect season to reread the series.

Also: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Riddle Master by Patricia A. McKillip, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (These Happy Golden Years = nostalgia) and assorted books by C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen.


As a farm girl (or a Hobbit; however you'd like to put it), I love learning about what makes things tick. This winter, while my garden is bare and there are significantly less hours of daylight, I'm reading through my dad's bookshelf.

Currently: Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin

Also: Every book written by Joel Salatin, The New Biological Farmer by Gary Zimmer, and other books about holistic management, gardening, cattle, etc.

This is what a homeschooled, future farmer of america looks like. Or, at least, what they read.

So, if you see me at a conference or on a road trip, carrying a bag full of books, even if I'm only gone for a day or two, you'll know why. You might even know what's in my bag.

- Grace

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Six Quotes From My 2015

This a collection of sayings I've been thinking of over the past few days as we come to the end of this scary, fantastic, crazy, different, beautiful, year. 

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." - Jim Rohn
Makes you think a little, huh? Choose wisely in the next year. 

Most of my best memories from 2015 are centered around great conversations. What can I say? I'm a people person.

You do you. - Claudia Devitt
Three words. Well, two words with great deal of meaning behind them. Don't try to be what you're not. Which leads me to my next quote:

Don't keep it hidden.

Probably my life motto. . .definitely my life motto.

Value the opinions of people you respect. Value the opinions of your parents, your close family members, your good friends, and your pastor. 
But don't get caught up in what the world thinks of you, be it pop culture or some random stranger who doesn't like your sense of style. 

As we close this book and turn the first page in a new one, I wish you a blessed and joyful new year.

- Grace 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Youth Week 2015

Phrases that bring up great stories:

For health and strength (for health and strength): If you tell me you didn't start singing this in your head, you're lying. 
BOB Time: Though different for every group, BOB time can be one of the best parts of the day.
French braids: They're harder to do than they look, huh?
Reuben: To some, a sandwich; to others, the craziest cabin in the existence of Camp Okoboji.
Froot Loops: The community cereal box of greatness. 
Morse Code: Bracelets and necklaces with secret words and inside jokes, AKA one of the coolest crafts ever. 
Rubber chickens: What is Youth Week without them? Also, their song was amazing. 
Circle up: *cries all of the tears*
Nametags: I'm at home now without it, and I feel sort of lost. 
Storming the court...the basketball court: HERE WE GO CAMPERS HERE WE GO *clap clap*
Greatest friends I've got: you guys are the best people. 
Melodies that sound like memories:

I have a camp playlist on Spotify (message me somehow if you want it) and these are my additions to it after this past week. Some are specific to my experiences, but most are camp in general. 

See You Again
Counting Stars
By Your Side
Our Song
When The Saints Go Marching In (you had to be in Amethyst)
Shake It Off
Shut Up And Dance
All About That Bass

Official hashtags

For Health and Strength
(Do we really need more? These sum it up pretty great.)
Top questions asked:

How do I French braid? - Sam
Do I use the dreadlock in the braid? - Dalton
Do hair ties hurt girls' hair? - Jordan
What are Newton's Laws? - Yearbook Staff 
Where did the second page of Arms That Hold The Universe Go? - Me (true story bro)
Who actually won Survivor? Who got second? Third? Fourth? We'd all like to know. - Everyone
JUST DO IT - Amythest 
What is chicken roulette?  Followed by: why me? Then: please tell me you got this in slow-mo? - Me
Where are the cupcakes? - The Cabin of Gad 
We have lawn chairs, so can we be counsellors now? - Josie, Sarah, Alyssa, Reagan, and Bailey
Would these Bible verses work as pickup lines? - Once again, Amythest.

My small group was fantastic. We had awesome conversation, and worked as a team. Our skit was a ton of fun, though I think we can hand that to a few people who can do improv.  We didn't win survivor, but we did have a ton of fun. Best small group I've ever been in. 

I also have to write about my favorite camp memory to date:
Soon after I got to camp, I walked into the Mark gazebo, heard "1-2-3-GO!" and was attacked by about 15 people in the best group hug of my entire life. If that alone doesn't explain the people you meet at camp, I'll say it again: you're the greatest friends I've got. ❤️

- Grace

Monday, June 15, 2015

You Might Go To Youth Week If. . .

You might go to Youth Week ...

If you downloaded a countdown app on your phone and currently have it set for 3:30 P.M. on July 19th, 2015.

If the last week of July is marked off on your calendar and has been for 9 1/2 months. 

If...well, breakfast pizza. I need some and so do you.

If you've gone a week almost entirely without your phone, and not missed it once.

If you've ever wanted to be part of the newspaper team just so you could play with the rubber chickens.

If your cabin breaks it's own record every year for "how fast can the floor magically disappear."

If you have to locate a functioning digital camera once a year because "no phones".

If the camp fire pit means a whole lot more than s'mores.

If "B.O.B. Time" means anything to you

If you take camp snacks seriously...maybe too seriously.

If, where two or more are gathered, there will be Knockout or Nine-Square-In-The-Air.

If winning Survivor is the crowning achievement of the week.

If you've met THE Hawkeye Elvis.

If every other picture you post on Instagram is from camp. Oh wait, that's just me...oops...

If you have the camp address memorized. 

If cabin prayers are one of your favorite parts of the day for many different reasons.

If you can relate ANYTHING to a story about camp.

If the word "friends" can make you cry all of the tears.

If our camp friends understand you more than anyone else, you might go to Youth Week.❤️

(And if you read all the way to end of this post, you've probably been to Youth Week.)

- Grace

*Please share, and if you do, please give credit. Thanks. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014


*A few months ago, I wrote a post about camp, telling you all of the things that I missed about camp.  I came back from my third year of camp this past Saturday, and I thought it would only be appropriate to tell of my adventures. 
*This Is Home by Switchfoot is the soundtrack for this blogpost. :)

One of my favorite words in the world, mostly because I associate it with one of my other favorite words: home.  Camp is my second home.  Though I don't get to spend much time there, whenever I go back, it feels like I never left.  Last week was no different. 

Camp started out a little weird, honestly.  I wasn't in the same cabin as most of the people I have been for the past two years.  But I loved my cabin, and everyone in it.  Looking back, I see why I was in that cabin, and I realize that God is in charge of everything, even cabin assignments. :)

It took me about four days after I got home to remind myself that I wasn't at camp.

I miss it. 

I miss my name tag. I spent the entire week making sure that I didn't lose it, lest I had to sing to get it back, and then all of the sudden it I didn't have to wear it anymore.  
I miss waiting in line, but being the first group into the dining hall for breakfast.  Speaking of...
I miss the dining hall.  Except the "Lake-water Lemonade", that I could do without.  
I miss 9-Square (In The Air), even if there was a slight height advantage among some...  
I miss our guitar jam sessions on the CLC deck.  
I miss the gazebos. 
I miss watching basketball.  It's not camp without a game of Knockout.  
I miss music and the actions and especially the song "Prince of Peace". It makes me of think of what Heaven will sound like.  
I miss the gorgeous beach. 
I miss the crafts building and seeing all of the duct tape creations every day. 
I miss cards: Hearts, Blackjack, Spoons, all of it. 
I miss being congratulated on "My FIFA World Cup Title"...never heard that one before. ;)
I miss being picked on by the Hawkeye fans because of my ISU shirts. (Go Cyclones!)
I miss our small group and our awesome Disney themed skit. #Disneyknowsbest
I miss the dance.  That was so much fun. 
I miss watching the Staff & Counselor/Camper sports and cheering on the campers. Sorry staff...
I miss Topic, specifically the Bible Studies based off of the Princess Diaries and Lord of the Rings. 
I miss watching skits and songs, and the Talent Show.     
I miss walking back from the Pointe. 
I miss my AMAZING counselors. 
I miss being able to play Volleyball, even though I'm not very good, and not feeling judged. I miss seeing all of my friends from the last couple years, and meeting all of the new people. I hope they feel just as welcome as I did my first year.  
I miss having everyone sign my yearbook. So many signatures, so many memories.  
Of all this, I think I miss "circle-up" the most.  That was probably my highlight every night. 
I miss the late night conversations and the lunch lines and "Come to the dark side of the cabin because we have more Oreos over here" and Trust Falls and hearing about "The Four Directions", though we never saw their performance live. 

Of all this, I miss most becoming so close to everyone as a camp that, after the final worship service, you could hug any person there, and it wouldn't be awkward because you're all one huge family.  

I can't wait to go back, but until then: "It's not goodbye, it's 'See you later'". 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

"We're Halfway There..."

The flames flicker in the fire pit, and in the silence of the campfire you can hear the waves crashing on the beach below. The guitarists strum simple melodies, and then the Pastor will tell us a story or read from the Bible.  Pointe devotions only happen at one place: Camp Okoboji.

From the basketball courts you can hear the basketballs continuously bouncing on the concrete as the line of knockout players gets progressively shorter.
The CLC is loud with campers, rejoined with their friends after a year.
I can hear the sounds of scribbling in journals from the hill by the softball field; the waves hitting the beach, and the laughs of people who haven't fallen from the floating raft during Ninja.

I miss lunch in the dining hall, and listening to campers who lost their name tags forced to sing the ABCs, or worse: I'm a Little Teapot, with actions. :)
I miss reading the newspaper, and seeing Living on a Prayer lyrics featured nearly every day. 
I miss my Small Group and group building activities, even if we can't tell the difference between the back of the craft building from the back of different cabin while blindfolded. ;)
I miss correctly guessing Africa by Toto during Name that Tune.  I never thought that would come in handy.
I miss Topic. Sometimes I go back and read my thoughts about the Bible studies, and am so happy that I took notes to help me remember.
I miss skit practice in the chapel.
I miss hearing "Don't Drop that Thun Thun Thun"every 5 second, and I'm not even sure I know what it means.

I miss the Survivor challenges, and the horror stories after lights out, and the GADiators sign on the wall in our cabin.  I miss making friendship bracelets in crafts and taking selfies with everyone singing on the walk to the Pointe.  I miss the gazebo...a lot.  
I miss my counselors, and Pastors, and friends.

A few weeks ago we passed the halfway point between camp last year, and camp this year.  It reminded me of my souvenirs from last year.

I have my yearbook, the inside cover crammed with signatures and phone numbers.
I have my journal, pages filled with hand-written entries of the fun things that we did at camp and words of encouragement from fellow campers.
I have my name tag, and my Team Mark red headband, and my pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.

And, right now, I'm at home, but in 22 weeks, I'll have camp. 

"Oh, we're halfway there...
Oh! Livin' on a prayer."


Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Believe in Sherlock Holmes

He's back.
After a two year hiatus, the consulting detective is back for the third season of Sherlock. 
I haven't been a fan of Sherlock for very long, seeing as I didn't start watching it until last fall, but it is by far my favorite TV show.  As you might have read in my last post, we watched the first episode along with most of the rest of America. 
I had no idea what to expect.

For starters, I'd only watched each episode once, so I hadn't compiled an intelligent theory as to how Sherlock faked his death.

So there we were (Morgan and I) sitting in a dark room, by ourselves, on a Sunday night, wrapped in blankets (shock blankets ;) waiting for our beloved detective to make his reappearance.

The Empty Hearse

Assuming you've all watched it, here's my thoughts and things.

- Starting at the beginning, the first few scenes were great, and some weren't even REAL.
When Sherlock and Molly kissed, I screamed so loud that I scared my brother. #truestory #sherlollyforever #I'llstopnow
- Sherlock looks better with short hair. 
- Martin and Amanda are perfect together. You can almost tell that they aren't just acting. :)
- I like Mycroft more in this episode. I mean, "Let's play deductions" was brilliant.  Even if they hate each other, they are brothers. :)  Now as to why they were playing operation? The world may never know.
- I think we can all agree that we owe Anderson an apology... I mean, he did lose his job looking for Sherlock. I love the fan club because I feel like that was us.  We are The Empty Hearse. :)
-Assuming the voice of Edna Mode from the Incredibles: NO MOUSTACHE!

Favorite quote: 
"I didn’t lie altogether. I’ve absolutely no idea how to turn any of these silly little lights off."

The Sign of Three

- In this episode, Mary Morstan slowly became one of my favorite characters.
- From the purple bridesmaids dresses("Lilac"), to seating arrangements, to napkin folds. I can see it: Sherlock The Wedding Planner. :)
- Archie is mini Sherlock and I think it's cute.
- OK, I learned it on youtube. :)
- I loved the Best Man's speech.  It was awful and wonderful and hilarious all at the same time.
- Sherlock can compose music, play violin, and dance. Just...talent.
- You have to feel bad for John, seeing as Sherlock knew that Mary was pregnant before he did. Or maybe he's used to that.  :)

Favorite quote: "You're a pyschopath." "High-functioning sociopath. With your number."

His Last Vow

- I don't like Janine.  No Janine, no Irene Adler, no fiancĂ© for Molly, no "Lestrolly" (where did that even come from??), only Sherlolly. That is all.
- How many times is Sherlock going to "almost but not quite" die? I mean, he got SHOT.
- I like that we get to meet the rest of the Holmes family.
- Redbeard. *tears*
- Magnussen deserved to die. He's CREEPY.
- "I'm not given to outbursts of brotherly compassion. You know what happened to the other one." Another brother? I guess we'll find out.
- John and Mary: I love them.
- Why wouldn't you name your child after Sherlock? :) This scene is precious.
- "Did you miss me?"  FACT: During the first scene with Moriarty, in Sherlock's mind, I said "I missed you".  So you can start to imagine how loud I screamed at the last sentence. OH MY GOODNESS. I totally called that he would come back, and if you don't believe me, ask my sister, Morgan, at her blog.

Favorite quote: "Your best friend is a sociopath, who solves crimes as an alternative to getting high. That's me, by the way, hello."  

One year until season four. I suppose we will have to occupy ourselves with theories about Moriarty and watching these episodes many, many more times.

Sherlock, it's nice to have you back.


Moriarty, I missed you.