Tuesday, June 21, 2011


we have been preparing for a month or so...
we welcomed 25 kids from 3 different churches...
we had a skit...
we sang and learned new songs...
we learned about the armor of God...
and dressed up...
and did crafts...
and had a GREAT time...
everyone knows what goes on at a vbs, but this one was the most special one i have ever been a part of; it was like "the little vbs that could." thank you to everyone who was a part of it whether you were sending up prayers of blessing or right there with us. i pray that it meant as much to the kids and their families as it did to us and that through every bit of it God was glorified. of course, i'm working on a video of it that i will hopefully post before leaving on sunday for 2 weeks of camp so be looking for that.

have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

strawberries and rhubarbs, oh my

a little birdie (my bf martha) told me that today was national strawberry rhubarb pie day, so in honor i decided to share my recipe.

this is adapted from an old "real simple" recipe, but my grandmother said it sounds like an old-timey recipe that her mother and mother in law used to make. good enough reason for me to claim it!

here she goes...

6 cups rhubarb, sliced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 homemade or store bought pie crusts, unbaked

heat oven to 375 F. in a large bowl, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, orange zest, cinnamon and salt. beat 1 egg separately, add to the fruit mixture, and toss everything again to combine well. fit one of the pie crusts into a 9 inch pie pan, fill it with the fruit mixture, and press down firmly. lay the second crust on top and press the edges together with a fork to seal. beat the remaining egg with 1 tsp of water and brush all over the crust. sprinkle with a little extra sugar and cut vents in the top pie crust. set pie pan on a baking sheet (it will run over) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. let cool for 2 hours before serving. delish with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream on top!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

summer schedule

oh my goodness. busy doesn't even describe it right now. but that is how we like it, after all, that is why we are here. to serve the people here.

this past week started our summer rotation of activities. it began with the arrival of the BAT group (can't remember what BAT stands for but it's a group of athletes from harding that are staying at the bible school and it's separate from HUF but they kind of do the same thing just with different teachers and they are only here for a month). we cook one big meal a day for them about 4 days a week this whole month. there are 26 of them so i have been arriving at the bible school at 10 and working with rosa and the other avanti peeps non-stop til 3ish. the other 3 days of the week are for church, preparing for vbs, hanging out with students/friends here, and the other things we are working on for the church.

our vbs is going to be june 18th here in florence.

then after the BAT group leaves we will be counselors/nurses at camp for 2 weeks somewhere in some mountains of italy.

then we will be back in florence for about 2 weeks before our trip to the states. during that time i am going to stia italy to learn the art of weaving in an effort that robbie shackelford has been planning. we are hoping that by teaching, supplying the materials, and having a time each week at the church where we can all weave together; some of the poor women in our community can come and make things and sell the things they make to have some money to provide for their families. i am really excited about this project and cannot wait to get it started. serving the poor was something that ryan and i really tried to focus on in memphis and i had been looking for a good way to do that here. i'm praying that it really goes well! what a better way to form relationships with these poor and seeking women than to sit around weaving together and getting to know each other weekly basis!

so then the 1st 3 weeks of august we will be in the states visiting family and friends and we are really excited about that too.

as soon as we return we (the church of florence) are hosting an italy wide 4 day church retreat where we will all be staying at the harding villa together, reuniting with friends from all over italy, and worshipping together. (ryan and i are teaching the kids classes at this retreat and we are also the night watchmen at the villa)

when i really break it down like that, i realize that this summer is going to fly by, but it's going to be a lot of fun and hopefully strengthen a lot of the relationships we have made here. fly through every new day here i keep reminding myself of 1 corinthians 3:7 (i'll let you go read it).

please forgive me if the blog posts become more sparse over the summer and please continue to be in prayer for the work going on here in italy and all the seeking hearts that we come in contact with daily.