Sunday, December 24, 2006


Some of you have probably heard of or even been to Urbana in years past. Urbana is a huge triannual missions conference put on my InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It used to be held in Urbana, IL but is moving this year to St. Louis, MO to allow for more space. I got a flyer in the mail this past spring and was really impressed to go, personally not by any particular group or person. I registered in May and have been eagerly awaiting getting to go since then. It goes from Dec 27th-Jan 1st. There are hundreds of mission agencies, missionaries, and seminaries there. It is geared for college and career age people interested in missions.

I'm excited to go and am praying for some good connections/info while I'm there b/c I know it will be overwhelming with SO much there. I'll be rooming in a nearby hotel with 3 other girls from across the country. One is a psychiatrist from NY! Crazy the people you meet! I'll fill you in more when I get back. Please pray for safe travel/connections and health over the next week. I woke up yesterday feeling sick so I'm trying to soak in as much sleep as possible before I fly out Tuesday night!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!


Christmas is usually filled with traditions for most of us. One of our long standing family traditions is to make and decorate sugar cookies and watch It's a Wonderful Life together on Christmas Eve. There is the blending of traditions this year with Dave and Aimy getting married...sharing family time. Soooo, we did our Christmas Eve Friday night. Mom, dad and I went over to Dave and Aimy's to eat dinner, Papa Murphey's pizza, make our cookies and watch the classic story of It's a Wonderful Life. Aimy, I've found out, is equally as stoked about Christmas as my family, loves decorating, etc. and we had a GREAT time making cookies! It was surprisingly a lot more mellow than in years past. Usually flower ends up all over me and not to be outdone, flower ends up all over Dave. Maybe having a wife will change things up? Dave did comment that he LOVES not having to Christmas shop anymore! He only has to shop for Aimy and she does the rest and ENJOYS it! All you guys out there reading this probably agree. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Progressive Dinner

Tonight was our last youth group of the year...2006 that is. Instead of having a regular worship and lesson time we had a "bondfire" night...our choice to do something fun together. Our group of seniors had a progressive dinner and it was a blast! We started at the Greenstreets for appetizers, salsa/cheese dip with chips then moved to my parent's house for the main course, mexican chili mountains the out to Bacons to wrap it all up with desert, root beer floats and other baked yummies. It's been a loooooong time since I've done a dinner like that, I forgot how much fun it is! This week is finals and the end of 2nd quarter, half the year is over, unbelievable!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

keepin' it light

This year I thought it'd be fun to do a little somethin' different for school pictures so I talked to our specialist group (librarian, music and PE teachers) about dressing up for the occassion. They were a little hesitant at first but went with it each dressing up to represent their profession. As you can see the music teacher is Cher (sp?), the PE teacher is a hockey player, the librarian is Dr. Seuss and I am a communication specialist of course! The head phones are for good listening, lips accentuate good speaking, however they pose a challenge to speak with, the picture strip for you speech paths out there is my augmentative communication "time for speech," and the ASL sign for "I love you!"

The afro has no correlation it's merely to spice it all up. It DOES however do wonders for spontaneous communication with low language kids. I wore it last year for a crazy hair day. One of my students with autism came to speech that day and stopped in the doorway carefully assessing the situation. His comment as he stood bewildered was, "Miss're're just...freakin' me out!" Very socially appropriate, spontaneous AND he made eye contact (three in one, a home run)!! Something to try in the therapy room for those of with nonverbal kiddos! Maybe afros should be part of the Super Duper therapy materials under social language. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

pj bunko night

Thursday was our monthly bunko night again. The theme you ask?? Pajama night! I am all about being comfy! We met up at Bacons for the extravaganza...fellowship, dice rolling (mindless game), eating (of course), and gabbing. December we do a sock exchange. Can you guess which socks I happened to get?? But of course, John Deere! I won most bunkos too and got a purple knit hat and gloves to match! If you've been following the bunko posts last month two players were 9 mos. pregnant so we had two additions playing this time, Noah Kroon and Olivia Peppard. Total cutie pies!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

army garb...

My cousin Beth is currently in Houston, TX for military training. She is a II Lt. RN among several other abbreviations now...I can't keep up! Anywhoo, part of her PT attire is the fancy reflective "ARMY" T and construction worker reflective belt. She posted a picture, similar to this one on her blog a few months ago and I had a little fun commenting on the great attire. Not wanting to leave me out, as a fellow runner in training (definitely not for the military though!)she thoughtfully sent me my OWN PT uniform. For how riduculous this may look to some I am excited to have it! There's also a giant reflective triangle on the back of the shirt. The U.S. Army doesn't want any PT casualties. This AK runner will now be less likely to become a road casualty as the summer when it warms up 40-60 degrees! Thanks for the gear Beth, you're the best!

Maxwell wedding

Over Thanksgiving weekend Rachel Parker and Ben Maxwell tied the knot! They were married in our new building, a gymnasium currently. It was a beautiful ceremony...I can't imagine a Parker wedding not being beautiful, they do it right! Rachel was very ill leading up to the ceremony, but the Lord gave her strength and stamina to get through it and we all had a great time celebrating. God is good! They are VERY happy. :)