Monday, October 6, 2008


This is a bit out of posting order, since we actually took the rafting trip in August. But I just realized that I never posted the few pics that I took. We had a blast, well until we got to the end of the river anyway! I'll tell you about it...

We load up about 7:30 and head out. We always stop somewhere for a hearty breakfast, as it's a full day of activity and not much time to stop and eat along the way. But Darlene, I gotta tell ya, this is a bit "over the top" don't ya think?! *hehe*

Gayla was not to be outdone! I think the story that she and Darlene came up with was, "they were sharing." Uh huh.... ok....

We left the restaurant and I should have realized something was "up" then. There was a group of about 4 ladies who chose to drive their own vehicle, "because the van was crowded and there wouldn't be enough room." Little did I know....

In the space of about 2 hours, we had arrived in Baldwin, MI and were loading up on the bus, to head to the Pere Marquette river and put our rafts in for the trip. It was calm, peaceful, no strong arming to be the first in the river. It "turns out" however, that my team was the first to put in the river. As soon as our raft was clear of the shore, we started paddling like crazy! I just knew that other team had "something" up their sleeve! They had been whispering all morning. We rowed for about 30 minutes with no sight of the other team. My team mates started suggesting that we slow down and find a place to pull over and "let the other team have their way with us" to get it over with. Sort of take the fire out of their bosom, so to speak. But I KNOW them. They would do it there, AND at the end of the trip. I had no desire to be attacked and drowned TWICE on the trip. So I said "KEEP ROWING!" haha An hour into the trip, they start bartoring with me. Trying to get me to see the sense in what they were saying. I don't know, maybe I'm just getting too old. But the thought of yet another all out water war (after 8 years of them!!) just did not sound enticing to me! Again, I suggested to keep rowing! All this time, we don't hear nor see hide nor hair of the other team. They never caught up to us even once. And we slowed down several times and just floated. Next thing you know, we round a bend in the river and I say, "Well for crying out loud! We're at the end already!" The trip down river is about 2 1/2 hrs, but I think we finished it in about 1 3/4 hrs. So we row over to the shore and all of us decide to jump in the FREEZING cold water and get ourselves wet, so when the other team comes along, they won't find us still dry and DRAG us into the river for a good dousing!! Well, that "sort of" worked. But when they finally came drifting around the bend.... our eyes were met with a raft full of women dressed as PIRATES!!! They had bandanas on their heads, rings in their noses, rings in their ears, eye patches on, one of them had a viking hat on! They had plastic swords, it was HILARIOUS! We all had a good laugh over it, and thought everything was good. But we couldn't leave well enough alone. "Someone" started a splash war and that was the end of it! Then it was "Katie bar the door!" I don't know how many women came at me with teeth bared and claws extended! haha I ended up with a TON of cooked spaghetti noodles being dumped down the back of my shirt! Have you ever tried to run away from someone in waist high, freezing cold water? Have you ever tried to get cooked, sticky noodles off of wet skin? It doesn't happen very easily, let me tell you!

We finally called a truce and sat and waited for the bus to pick us up and take us back to the main bldg, so we could change and head to the motel. We stayed at The Shack Bed & Breakfast. It's a wonderful, peaceful place.

We all got cleaned up, a bit rested and then headed into Fremont to Spanky's pizza. It's the yearly trek that we take after the rafting trip. Their breadsticks are to die for!

See what I mean? Does this woman love bread or what?! Breadsticks AND garlic toast! Wow I hope Hannah brought plenty of mouthwash!

My pretty girls! Monica and Sarah. 2 of my rafting mates!

My youngest girl, Hannah and I. Another rafting mate!

Good ol' Amy! She's been hanging around so long, she's just one of the family. We call her our "adopted" daughter. The last rafting mate!

The WHOLE gang! The last one on the left is Karen. You ever hear the saying "Still waters run deep?" That describes her to a T. LOL Then the last 3 on the right - NOT to be trusted!

The other 2 members of the ATTACKING team! The one in the pink - Debby - was wearing a viking hat on the raft! She "looks" innocent.... but let me tell you! LOL Then Bea here, she is just too nice. I don't know how she got caught up in that groups canniving!


First annual

This was so much fun. I'll tell you how I came up with the idea. I had dropped some weight recently, and needed to find a home for some of my clothes. I had considered dropping them off at Goodwill, but they charge way too much for used clothing. Then I thought about selling them on ebay. But finally I realized that we had several teen girls in our christian academy that could benefit from some gently used clothing. The idea of a clothing swap entered my mind and I began searching for ideas online. I came across a set of guidelines and it is basically what I used to set up our swap.

Prior to the swap, I had organized the tables into different sizes and categories. Skirts - small, skirts - medium, etc... I also had several racks rigged for hang up clothes, dresses, suits, etc... As the ladies arrived with their clothing, I would ask them how many items they brought, and then give them the appropriate number of tickets - to use to "purchase" their swap items. The tickets also served the purpose of winning the give-aways that I had throughout the evening. I would call out a number every 15 minutes or so and whoever had that number on their ticket got to choose a gift from the table of give-away items. There was a pretty Fall wreath, a set of Autumn fingertip towels, an Autumn scented candle, a set of Tupperware bowls, and a tablecloth to choose from.

I sat out fresh veggies & dip, cookies, mini donuts, popcorn - popped fresh by my hubby prior to the event, soda pop, water and coffee. The ladies that had their clothing all sorted and ready for the swap were invited to partake of refreshments while the others finished sorting theirs and getting ready for the swap to start.

I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out! Especially with it being our first one. At one point, there were over 30 ladies chit-chatting and swapping clothes! It was great fun!

The teen girls really got "into" the swap! Teen girls do that all the time anyway - trade clothes! So this was right up their alley. Some of them even brought in purses, fingernail polish, etc (things they bought but never used).

Girls trying on clothes in one of the changing areas we had set up.
Good thing they're all related, huh? LOL

I had 4 different changing areas set up, with mirrors for the ladies to be able to try things on.

Someone made her try this on, but she didn't like it, so took it back off! LOL

It wouldn't be a swap without SHOES!

There were some REALLY cute pieces of jewelry brought in! As soon as I said "START SWAPPING" I headed straight back to the jewelry table, as I had my eye on the cutest silver bracelet, before the swap started. As I was walking back there, I noticed one of the other ladies walking away fastening it to her wrist! LOL I had a good giggle with her about it! But I was happy that she got something she liked.

UhOh, I think I left my camera laying somewhere and "someone" got ahold of it to play around! haha


ALL Ladies and Teen girls are invited to join us!

Saturday, September 20, 6:00 p.m.
In the Fellowship hall

1. De-clutter your closet of unwanted clothing, shoes, hand bags, jewelry, belts, scarves, & hats. Let go of clothes you haven't worn in over a year. How about that blouse you bought that still has the tag on it. You plan to wear it some day, right? Bring it in & trade it for something you WILL wear! All sizes are welcome.
We respectfully request that no pants, shorts or immodest tops be brought to the swap.

2. Launder them. Be sure they're clean before you swap them.

3. Bring as many bags of clean, fashionable, new, gently used, or never worn clothing as you'd like! You'll receive "Swap" coupons for the items you bring, so the more you bring, the more you get to swap. At the end of the evening, all unclaimed clothing will be donated to a local charity. Please contact me if you know of a charity that could use unwanted clothing.

4. DO NOT BRING undergarments, bathing suits, or clothing with stains or holes.

5. The first hour from the time the event starts, you will enjoy hors d'oeuvres & fellowship, while we sort the clothing. Clothing will be organized by item (shirts, dresses, skirts, culottes, etc..) to make things simple. When the announced swapping begins, swap til you drop. Food & fellowship will continue throughout the night!

6. Dressing areas & mirrors will be provided. We recommend you wear something comfortable and easy to change in & out of.

7. NO FIGHTING over items! If you both love the item and can't decide who should have it, we'll flip a coin! Divas or Fashionistas. (heads or tails)

8. Have fun! Chat, Laugh, Swap! Take advantage of your night out with the Girls!

Next year I'd like to have some bigger give-aways. I know several ladies that do home parties of some sort: make-up, tupperware, Pampered chef, etc... Some of them have already agreed to set up a table and have a give-away during the event.


Normally when I see a photo like this one, I'd say it's "Double Double Trouble!" But I'll be nice, since they DID host the meeting! LOL

Our Phebe Fellowship for August was hosted by these lovely ladies. Darlene (deacon's wife), Jane, Amy & Gayla (Gayla is Mom to Jane & Amy).
The fellowship meeting was a fashion theme, and they did a great job hosting the meeting, and making it fun! THANK YOU ladies!

They served us a delicious dinner of homemade sloppy joes, chips, fresh veggies and cookies.

They decorated the tables with these cute purses, filled with colorful tissue paper and flowers.

We start them young! It's never too early for a girl to start attending the ladies fellowship meetings!

Just hanging around, fellowshipping, waiting for the fashion show to begin.

This was such a cute idea and the ladies had so much fun with it.
It was "Things that a woman might wear."

1. The "Tea Length" skirt (she has tea bags fastened to the hem of her skirt)

2. The "seersucker" dress (she has dumdum suckers fastened to her dress)

3. "Bell bottoms" (bells fastened to the back of her skirt)

4. The "Printed" dress! LOL

5. "Bloomers" (she has silk flower petals fastened to her culottes) A lot of ladies called these "petal pushers" too. But the correct term was bloomers.

6. The "Tee" shirt (golf tees fastened to her shirt)

7. The Head"band" This one was too easy but most everybody missed it! Her headband actually has musical instruments fastened to it! LOL

8. "100% Cotton" dress (cotton balls fastened to her dress) I had to giggle when Molly came out sporting this dress. She was smiling all secretively and before some of the ladies even started to write, she was whispering the answer to them! LOL

9. "Pony tail" - I could NOT guess this one!

10. "Boxer" shorts. I don't know about you ladies, but last time I heard, boxer shorts were worn by men! I think they were trying to pull a fast one on us! Figures, it's Darlene in them too!

She rounded out the evening by bringing a great devotional called "What's in your purse?" It was centered around the verse:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

We ended the evening with a surprise food shower for one of our home missionary families. The Levine family are members of our church and are on deputation to go to the country of Tibet. (Sheryl is in the middle there with 2 of her college buddies, girls from our church Amy Kline on the left and Hannah, my daughter on the right) We had a great response to the food shower and they were blessed and refreshed by it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

JULY MEETING - "Diamonds!"


"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8

That was the theme for the Phebe Fellowship's July meeting that took place, Tuesday, July 8, 2008. We had 32 ladies present (we even had several missing tonight), and a tremendous spirit! We had such a wonderful time of fellowship. Monica did a great job keeping the meeting upbeat and moving along. Opening your home to 32 women at once is no small chore. There is the cleaning, cooking, decorating, etc. Not to mention the clean up afterwards. It really is a lot of work, and I would like to express my appreciation publicly to my precious daughter in law for all her hard work. She accomplished all this with 2 little ones under foot. THANK YOU MONICA - I love you! And if you truly could "read your mother-in-law's mind" you'd see that I think you are a JEWEL! ;-)

Our hostess for the month was as I said Monica Tharp (our youth pastor's wife). I thought I got a picture of her helpers, but I didn't! I was trying so hard to remember all that I needed to take pics of. I'll get it right one of these days! She had Sarah Tharp, Kylie Ferguson and Danielle Carmoney as her helpers. They did a fine job with the theme decorations! I know what a treasure helpers are, when you are hosting a meeting of this size. So THANK YOU girls! I love you too!

When the ladies walked in, they saw all sorts of sparkles, and glittery color! It was beautiful. There were candles lit all over the house. And you could smell fresh bread, as the hostess and her helpers were just finishing up some of the last minute baking.

.The food was delicious and presented in such a lovely way.

These were the "gold coins" that were finishing up baking, when the ladies arrived. It is homemade pizza dough (just give Monica a hunk of dough and she's a happy woman! She can make it stand up and sing and dance!) with pizza filling sealed in the middle, then brushed with an egg wash and baked to golden perfection.

Then there were the, ever popular, chicken salad stars. I wish I had a dollar for every time these have made their appearance at a ladies meeting. LOL They are just so yummy!

They also served these delicious little tarts. To make them, you cut a crescent ROUND in half and roll it into a ball. Press it down into a sprayed mini muffin tin w/ a tart shaper, like this one, and bake until light golden brown. They will still puff up like crescent dough is prone to do. But AS SOON as you pull them from the oven, use your tart shaper to press them right back down. They will stay that way and you can fill them either with sweet or savory fillings. The top shells are filled with chocolate pudding, the bottom ones with cherry pie filling. Then they were all dusted with powdered sugar. It of course, melted once it touched anything moist, but I kind of like how it just stayed on the edges.
I feel bad that I somehow didn't get it in the pictures, but one of our new ladies brought a delicious cheesecake tonight too. It was half cherry and half blueberry and I don't think she had any leftovers to take home to her kids! THANK YOU Hannah! It was goooooood!

And I can't forget the cool punch they whipped up! I don't even know what all was in this punch, but it was like a party in your mouth - so many flavors and colors! It was all sparkly and colorful and wonderful! *hehe*
It's SO refreshing to have our college girls home for the Summer! They just bring such a freshness and liveliness to the meetings! I love it. Here they are just chit-chatting and giggling with some of our ladies over a game.All good Baptists love to eat Amen?!
Singing "This little light of mine" and "I'll be a sunbeam for Jesus!"My favorite picture of the night. I wish I would have recorded this, so you could hear it. The prayers of God's saints being offered for our beloved missionaries. I can imagine it sounds like music to the Master's ears. I always enjoy this sweet time of our fellowship together. What a precious way to end a perfect evening.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monica did a great devotion on "Diamonds in the rough." Describing us as Christian ladies.
"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8
One of the characteristics of a diamond is its clarity. That involves whether there is the presence of any impurities or inclusions in the diamond. Depending on its visibility, the grade of a diamond will go up or down. As a Christian, any impurities in us will bring us down in grade as a Christian too. Others may not even see our impurities or our sins because it may not be visible with the naked eye, but remember that Christ can see our hearts. He knows what the scale of our clarity is.

Diamonds don't automatically shine and sparkle. Diamonds that are uncut are rough and aren't like the diamonds we wear in our jewelry. Only the cut diamonds sparkle. A diamond has to be cut by someone who is skilled in diamond cutting for it to sparkle and reflect light. Only the cut Christian woman can sparkle too. We as Christians have to be cut by our Master Designer in order to sparkle and reflect the light of Christ in the way that we should. An idea cut for a diamond causes all the light to be reflected back through the top of the diamond so that it reflects the maximum brilliance that it can.

When we allow Christ to mold us and to work in our lives and to cut the lines in us in the way that He as our Maker wants, then we reflect His light to the maximum in our lives. If we are living that way and allowing Christ to mold us, there are just some things that we will do if we are going to reflect Him in our lives.
  • D- Delight In The Lord

  • "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall
    give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4

  • I- Increase In Love

  • "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in
    love one toward another, and toward all men,
    even as we do toward you." 1 Thessalonians 3:12

  • A- Abide In Christ

  • "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,
    and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
    for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

  • M- Minister To Others

  • "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." Romans 12:13

  • O- Obey God's Word

  • "And hereby we do know that we know him,
    if we keep his commandments." 1 John 2:3

  • N- Never Give Up

  • "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great
    a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,
    and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run
    with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto
    Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was
    set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set
    down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1,2

  • D- Die To Self

  • "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
    but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
    in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me,
    and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Our dime collection is coming along. We collect dimes throughout the year, and then at Christmas time, depending on how much came in, we send a nice size love offering to 2 or 3 of our missionary families.

Tonight Amy Maxwell (our treasurer) let us know the balance of our Phebe Fellowship account. She also let 2 ladies draw names to choose the missionary families that we will send $25 love gifts to this month. It was The Burgeois family, and the Rene family.

Summer camp is just around the corner - July 21 - 25. We have asked for all the help we can get with donations to help towards the food supply. Many folks have graciously volunteered to supply paper products and food for the week, greatly easing the initial expense on the church this year.

Also, August 12 is the date of the Ladies annual rafting trip. We will head to Baldwin, MI to raft the Pere Marquette river, and then stay overnight at the Shack bed and breakfast. That is always one of the highlights of our Summer, for the ladies. Rafting will be $20 each. And the cost of the room, when split 4 ways, should be around $20 each.