Sunday, December 20, 2009

Business and Marketing Writing

Yesterday I finished my online "Business and Marketing Writing" class. This was a class that work paid for me to take, and I got to do it on work time since it is an investment in me for our little news publication that I work on.

It was a great class! I really enjoyed it and feel like I have a lot to take away from it. The class went through the whole process of business and marketing writing . . . from finding out what your company image is, writing for your audience, writing structure, grammar, editing, work relationships for the writer, and dealing with the ethics within marketing . . . and a whole lot more. I wish I had another writing class to take now. I'm sad it's over.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When You Don't Own A Shovel

Since I do not own a snow shovel (don't ask me how I survived all last winter because I'm really not sure) . . . I figured the best way to clear part of my driveway, and to spend a nice lazy Sunday morning . . . would be to make a snowman of course.

Check it out - she's even got a nose and a mouth :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cream Puff Follow Up

While making the whip cream for my cream puffs yesterday . . . I was suddenly quite panicked as I realized that I had never in my life made whip cream before - and that I may very well make a complete fool of myself by trying to make something for a contest that I had never made before (and was something I was kind of making up). I had this mental picture of my cream puffs with melted pink cream running out of them.

I was totally crunched on time . . . but with Nathan's help I was able to create my very own peppermint whip cream which I filled the cream puffs with. Then we topped them with bits of crushed peppermints and powdered sugar. They were beautiful! The pictures here don't do them justice. I just didn't have a chance to take good pictures since I was rushing out the door (Nathan, bless his heart, even had to help me put my shoes on). All in all . . . I made 45 peppermint cream puffs and 60 rum truffles for our Christmas taste testing party.

Being someone that never really grew up baking much . . . I was very proud of my handiwork and that fact that I just jumped in there and tried something relatively unusual . . .and difficult maybe? And I was flattered by the fact that I had the only dessert at the contest that was all eaten up! Both desserts too! I was told that the cream puffs tasted like Heaven. Unfortunately, I didn't win. Though my gut tells me that I was pretty close (but my gut was also full of peppermint whip cream). All in all . . . it was an enjoyable experience, and I've got myself a great new recipe!

Cream puffs look much better when they're not under plastic.

Some of my rum truffles. It's a good thing I'm blocking the fact that I had a huge mess in my kitchen when I left!

Nathan read a Christmas story to the kids at the party.

So, after all that, what do you think? Should I be a pastry chef in my next life?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The weather says we're getting snow tonight! I'm really hoping to wake up to a world of white. There's nothing better! Too bad we don't get snow days at work :-)

My Julie & Julia Moment

I'm going to go all Julie & Julia on you for a moment. Hope that's ok.

I am going to attempt to make cream puffs. Well just the "puff" part today. The recipe is from my mom. I remember her making cream puffs a couple of times for my piano recitals when I was younger. The puffs were always better than the piano part I'm sure.

This time I am going to be adding my own little twist. As these are for a taste testing contest/staff Christmas party tomorrow . . . I am going to make these bite size, and fill them with a peppermint cream. I wish I had little candy canes or mint leaves to stick in them. A good presentation always seems to help people ignore the fact that something doesn't taste great.

Hopefully more to come on this!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Extent of Christmas so Far

We make our own snow here. We haven't gotten any real stuff yet (maybe within the next few days!) But this spot sure looks like we're in the middle of winter!

This is the extent of my Christmas decorating so far: 4 pine cones I found by my house.

Today I made some rum truffles (my all time favorite holiday treat). It's a messy job.

Ta Da! The finished product! They are for the taste testing contest at our staff Christmas party on Monday. Hopefully no one will be offended that there's rum in them. Knowing Hume, someone will probably say something about it and give me a hard time. But I already ok-ed it with HR.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Safe. For Now.

When the economy turned and Christian Camping took a hit we definitely started going through changes here. Budgets were cut, vacated positions were not filled, Thanksgiving and Christmas were canceled (well . . . the party and our gifts were), staff retreat was cut, we had to actually start marketing ourselves. . . and the list could go on.

We'd been told from the beginning by our Director, that he would do everything in his power to keep our jobs. That was reassuring.

Over the last little while though . . . we've seen people fired/let go because "we are dissolving your position." It never seemed clear to me if they were letting people go because of the economy and the position needed to be taken away, or because it was about the person, their work ethic, their personality . . . Who knows what. They just seemed like iffy situations to me.

But today it was clear. 8 people were told yesterday that they were being let go. Their positions will be no more. So at least we can know for sure now . . . that we've come to that point. We all received a letter in our mail boxes today explaining that this is indeed because of the economy . . . and that if we don't start seeing camper numbers and contracts come in . . . we may not be done laying people off. There are 6 spots from people who have left recently which will not be filled, plus the 8 from yesterday and with a few others from earlier we are approaching 20 people we've lost in the last couple months. Gotta love change. It's non-stop here.

So I'm safe, for today. I guess working in fundraising in a down economy can be good job security. But we'll see.

Lookin' Good

Someone said we looked like spies . . .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I'm appalled at myself. 1 blog for the month of November? I really need to work on that huh? It's not like my life has been boring or anything this past month. It's been anything but that.

I drove 1,000+ miles in just over a week. Nathan and I went to socal two weekends in a row. It was a good time seeing friends and family . . . but it's still tiring. It's nice to be home now and know that I don't really have any plans to leave the mountain till Christmas.

Nathan and I have been watching Lost and getting caught up for season 6! I'm really looking forward to it. Today we finished season 4. With Nathan's broken collar bone . . . it's a good excuse to be lazy and watch a lot of tv.

I started a "Business Marketing and Writing" class a few weeks ago. Work paid for it. They're investing in me with this class since I do a lot of the writing and editing for our news publication. It's a great class so far and I'm learning lots.

It's getting cold here now. I think last night it dropped to 16 degrees. No snow yet . . . but hopefully this weekend! I'm really looking forward to it.

I miss Thailand. The transition back was hard. I still need to put my thank you letter together.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome Home

After many long hours of driving this past weekend . . . we headed home to be greeted by this:

It was absolutely stunning. It's the fog/haze of the valley meeting the side of the mountain, and blocking the view of the ugly valley. I'm sure blessed to live in such beauty.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday Night in the Emergency Room

Not sure if Nathan wanted to post these first. But here are a few pictures from our Emergency Room extravaganza tonight. Nathan had a wipeout on his motorcycle this evening and broke his collar bone. Hence the trip to Fresno to go to the emergency room. We did lots of waiting, had some Starbucks, watched parts of 2 Harrison Ford movies on the waiting room TV, and hung out with some other people in the waiting room. We didn't get to get back up the hill until 1:00 this morning. And the only thing the doctor did was say that Nathan has a "gnarly fracture", gave a prescription for some pain killers, and gave us a phone number of a specialist that he'll have to contact on Monday to try and get an appointment with. All that to say, it was an eventful evening and Nathan handled it like a champ :-) (and this is his first broken bone!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pictures from Thailand

It's hard to pick out just a few pictures. But here are some fun highlights and fun pictures from the trip. The rest will be up on Facebook soon.

Getting ready to fly out of the Fresno Airport.

I was excited to see a Coffee Bean in the Singapore Airport after more than 20 hours of flying.

Just got off the plane in Chiang Mai, Thailand after 2 days of traveling. Those flowers are Jasmine.

At a street market on our first full day.

At one of the temples. That's just me and the dragon/snake.

I like the orange moth/butterfly. I couldn't tell which it was.

Little girl in the cultural Thai dress.

Some of the team, at a lookout over Chiang Mai.

Where I stayed during camp. This was the view from my deck.My High Schoolers.

This was a lantern lighting ceremony that the people believed would take away their sins.

It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.

Monks in a truck.


Our elephant ride.

Looking out over the Night Bazaar where we did a lot of shopping.

On our last night in Thailand, we went on a little dinner cruise in the river.

We stopped in Singapore, and spent the night. But got an evening in the city!

Approaching the International Date Line.

So we had a date of crackers and cheese on the back of the plane as we crossed the International Date Line.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


In the last 2 days we have had:

1. The 3 hour flight from Chaing Mai to Singapore
2. Dinner and exploring Singapore
3. A night in the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Singapore Airport
4. The 6 hour flight to Tokyo/Narita Japan
5. The 8 hour 40 minute flight from Japan to LA (with crazy turbulence)
6. The 1 hour flight from LA to Fresno
7. The 1 1/2 hour drive from Fresno . . .

Now, we are finally home.

It feels really weird to be back in the States. After seeing another part of the world, I am reminded of our American culture and how it looks so different from other cultures. After living with Asian culture, I am now very turned off by the greedy, materialistic, big, loud, obnoxious and abrasive culture that we seem to have. Maybe I am just tired to traveling with a big group and the fact that we stuck out like a sore thumb. But American just seems ridiculous to me right now. It's weird to be back in it . . . and that I'll be around people that don't even realize their in it and part of it either.

The only good thing about being home now . . . is the fresh mountain air. But that's about it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jr. High

Not too much say.

High school camp ended and went very smoothly. My team (the Sally Vators) won which was great. After camp ended we went into the the city, got our Thai body massage, and shopped a little. Now we are on our first full day of jr. high. Definitely a whole different experience. I have very nice girls in my room that I like alot. But I definitely like high school age better.

But I must say, I was proud for my moment of glory last night, when I was the first person to get the flag and get a point in capture the flag. Today in rec we sent a girl to the hospital on a backboard after she was hit by the earth ball. But she should be fine.

Nothing else too newsy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just Sitting Here in Thailand

Hey everyone . . . I finally have a few moments here to update!

We are all doing well here and are enjoying our time in Chiang Mai so far. We've spent the last several days doing things like Thai cultural training, some shopping and exploring of the malls, markets, and the night bazaar (a huge outdoor market where you barter for what you want), as well as visiting one of the Buddhist temples here.

The weather is quite hot and humid. I've never been in weather like this before. It's a funny feeling that when the weather drops down to 78 or I walk into air conditioning . . . that I feel a little chilly. But it is always a welcomed break. But I'm just getting used to the fact that I will always feel sticky and sweaty.

The food has been good. I'm always up for noodles, rice and vegetables. And every coffee and tea drink I've tried has been so delicious. I did have to eat a whole roll of tums yesterday though. But generally . . . it's easy to stomach it all.

I got a hair cut in the mall the other day. That was quite the adventure since I had absolutely no language capabilities. So my hair definitely looks different than I had hoped or planned . . . but that's ok. Cuz, when can you say you got your hair cut in Thailand? But I feel a little bit like Peter Pan meets the Mullett and the Beatles all in one. Haha.

Well now camp is going to be starting within a couple hours. Hopefully we are ready! We have all packed up all our belongings and are ready to move when we hear which house we will be staying in and which kids we will be counseling. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Singapore - Sorry, I know no one likes long updates.

It is currently almost 3:30 am here in the Singapore airport. It should feel like 12:30 in the afternoon back home. But it doesn't. I feel quite awake, but still tired enough that I know I will be able to sleep on the next plane. I must be inbetween time zones, which is a-ok with me.

The majority of our team just ate at Burger King (which just seems silly when you're on the other side of the world and there are more interesting things to try), but I opted for the Cliff bar so that I don't start eating meals in the middle of the night. Better to get adjusted quickly to the 14 hour difference ya know? (To figure out the time for us, add 2 hours to your time, and then flip the am/pm and add a day). Example: 3:00 pm for you on the 13th = 5:00 am on the 14th for us.

All flights and travel have been good. Our day started on the 12th, with flying out of Fresno in the morning to LAX. Then we had our 19 hour flight to Singapore, with a brief stop in Narita, Japan (outside Tokyo) for gas. We got off the plane, looked around the airport, and I bought some bottled coffee drink that I had no idea what it was. It was delightful. I will post a picture of it later.

Now we are in Singapore, and are whittling the way the hours of the night before our plane to Chiang Mai, Thailand leaves in the morning.

This is a really cool airport. There are tons of computers around with free internet, free video games, massages chairs, a movie theater . . . and it's all beautiful too! Not what you'd normally think of for an airport.

Oh, and there's a Coffee Bean here! Hooray! I can't wait till it opens up. It's so fun to see one here . . . we don't have any in the central valley, so it's a luxury now :-)

So as I wait, I am drinking another random drink I bought. This is "MineShine" Finest Qaulity Milk Tea. It's also very yummy.

Till next time . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thailand Here We Come!

In less than an hour, our team is leaving for . . . . Fresno! Ha. And then Thailand tomorrow! We are spending the night in Fresno tonight, then flying to LAX in the morning to meet up with the rest of our team.

Then the 26 of us will be heading to Chiang Mai, Thailand . . . leaving around 2:45 in the afternoon on a 19 hour flight. I love flying. 19 hours won't bother me! When I flew to Africa, it was a 20 hour flight . . . and I never even got up out of my seat once the whole time! Since then, I have become more educated on the importance of walking around during long flights to prevent blood clots . . . so I'm much better about that now :-)

I will try to update whenever I can. But you'll probably have better luck following us on the Hume International blog.

Go to then click "thailand" from the column on the right.

Pray for us!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It's snowing right now! I love it. I've been looking forward to snow since about July. It won't stay right now . . . but it's still fun.

And it's a weird thought, that right now it's snowing and in just over a week I'll be in the 90 degree, humid weather of Thailand.

Speaking of Thailand . . . I still need about $500 to cover the cost of the trip . . . that I will have to pay out of my pocket this week if I can't raise the support.

Trusting God to provide . . . and let me know if you'd like to help ;-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh Canada

Vacation has come to a close . . . today it was back to work.

I'd still rather be on vacation. We had a great time. Not as much sleeping in or down time as we'd hoped, but it was a great time with family, and doing and seeing fun things in Canada.

And in case you were wondering, after the success of our first recap video . . . we have made a couple more . . . hopefully you will see those soon! But until then, here's a few pictures from the last 2 days of vacation.

Tim Hortons - A Canadian Favorite

3 generations all in purple - and we didn't even plan it.

Just bein' silly

Cousin Melissa and her new husband Jonathan.

After only 2 hours of sleep, and traveling since 5:00am - we were an hour and a half from home and it was time for slurpees! It was a very long day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black Licorice Heaven

This is a black licorice lovers heaven.

I left $15 of black licorice later . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sightseeing Video

Vancouver Island

Day 2 brought us to the one thing we knew we had to do while in Canada. Vancouver Island! We started our day well before 6am in order to make it onto the first ferry to the Island. We made it in time . . . but it was full. So we had to wait 2 hours for the second ferry. The time was well spent though, with crepes and tourist watching. I left the ferry waiting area with a New Year's resolution to buy a pair of high-tops within the next year.

Then we made it on the ferry, and thoroughly enjoyed the hour and a half trip to the Island. The scenery is stunning. Once on the Island, we went to the famous Butchart Gardens. Definitely beautiful, but not something to spend the whole day seeing like we had been told.

Victoria, Wee Britain,was on the agenda next. An interesting city . . . seems like San Fran, minus the hills, all cultural diversity, the bums and homeless, and the grime and construction, plus a little British feel, ocean front homes, and Canadian people. We did the scenic ocean drive around part of the Island, then headed back toward the ferry.

We stopped in Sidney for coffee and I got to experience affogado (spelling?) for the first time. Vanilla gelato with fresh espresso on top. Sooooooo yummy. Then it was back to the ferry for the classic ride into the sunset home. Here's a few of my many pictures from the day. Nathan will put his up too. I'll be getting the rest on facebook soon. So watch for those!

Sunrise. On the way to the ferry.

Waiting for the ferry, checking out our map.

On the ferry ride over.

Butchart Gardens.

Flowers, flowers, flowers.

Victoria. The Empress Hotel is behind us.

Affogado. My new favorite thing.

Sunset from the ferry.