30 December 2006

guess who?!?!?

23 December 2006

free cookies, fireworks, baby Jesus

Mateja and I got to plan the Christmas party for our youth group. She lives in one of the nearby villages--Kamnik--and we had the party at her house.One of the highlights of the evening? We bundled up and walked around the downtown area, passing out free cookies and hot chocolate. I think it made people suprised, warm and happy!

When we got home, her dad did an incredible firework show for us!!! (I'm bummed that John missed this show by just two days!) (These are not the kind of fireworks they sell at the 4th of July stands.)

After we got warmed up, we acted out the story of Jesus' birth! Everyone had a part and we all got to sing plenty of Christmas carols. Do you see the shepherds and the sheep? She's a happy little lamb. Can you see the great multitude of heavenly hosts? They had some nice coreography.

19 December 2006

rooted and established!

One of the things rolling around in my head for the past few years is discipleship. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? And what does it mean to make disciples?

Look at some of these resources that are available to all believers in Christ--
new life,
all God's energy,
knowledge of his will,
great endurance,
ability to please God,
a share in the inheritance of the saints,
rescue from darkness,
spiritual wisdom,
leadership from Jesus,
the Spirit,
forgiveness of sins,
(Colossians 1)

This is what I NEED. Good night! If those resources are available to me--I WANT THEM! Our team has been talking about how we want this.

And I want the girls I am discipling to experience relationship with Jesus in this way, too. Our youth group is starting to think about discipleship together. What does it mean to be rooted in Christ? What will the fruit be? As I look at this picture and think about how much I love this group, I am reminded of those first guys that followed Jesus--falteringly, zealously, faithfully. :) Look how the world is changed because of them!

Wow...so, this is what I'm praying about...

16 December 2006

life, limb AND a pink mumu

live from the capitol of Croatia.

14 December 2006


Feel free to take your time, but for the integrity of the results, please answer honestly.

What costume are you most likely to wear while doing household chores?
A. Jeans and a t-shirt
B. Jack Sparrow costume
C. Pink mumu (or is it moomoo?) (I honestly don't know)

What would you risk for clean windows?
A. Nothing
B. One limb
C. Life and limb

13 December 2006

babysitting in zagreb

Surprise! (even for me)

A few of our teammembers down in Croatia needed babysitters. Their kids had school, so Christina and I rushed down and took over.

I wasn't too excited about it before we got there, but we had a ton of fun. Not only did I get to be Mary Poppins, but I got to use my bossy skills. And I forgot how much I like playing! Daily dance parties, games, no baths, candy rewards, big imaginations. Connor, Brenden, and Christina are great JV Kids.

See you at camp!

10 December 2006

flatbread muffins

One of my secret dreams (I guess it's not too secret if I'm posting it) is to write a cookbook someday. Or at least be a great cook. This morning I was making Coffee Cake Muffins. Following the recipe that I put on my blog. Halfway into the process I had the feeling that SOMETHING was missing....It's the baking powder!!!! YIKES! Add 3 t. to the dry ingredients.

27 November 2006


I really love the team that I'm on. We just got back from Czech. We were there for Thanksgiving. I think it will always be sad to not be in the Stepanian Home on a holiday, but this is family, too. And I really, really loved being thankful with them.

The girl on the right is our new team member. Her name is Erin. She's funny.

15 November 2006

coffee cake muffins.

2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
dash salt
3 T melted butter
1 egg
1 c milk, plus more maybe

1/2 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 c finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or cashews
2 T melted butter

Preheat to 400 F. Grease a 12-compartment muffin tin. Combine topping ingredients.

In a big bowl, mix dry batter ingredients. In another bowl, mix wet batter ingredients: egg, milk, butter. Add half of the topping ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine swiftly without beating. Stop as soon as everything is wet. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist. Add a little more milk if necessary.

Spoon batter into muffin tins. Filling them about two-thirds full. Sprinkle on the remainder of the topping. Bake 20-30 min or until nicely browned and they pass the toothpick test. Then eat.

09 November 2006

saint nick

I laughed really hard today. In Slovene class we were reviewing holidays and holiday greetings and holiday etcetera. The teacher asked where Sveti Miklavz (Saint Nick) is from. The guy next to me is Camaroonian. He answered, "Camaroon." The whole class lost it for about 15 minutes. It was funny. :)

I'm confident that I am more fluent in Slovene than any other Stepanian. But still... learning Slovene has been crazy hard. I'm praying that things will stick in my mind.

07 November 2006

update on the stanovanje

Here are the painters:
Christina, Ana, Anna

Here are the shoppers:
Anna, Christina, Johnny
(ten minutes in IKEA and...TA DA!)

Here is the home:

What do you think??
I like it.

26 October 2006

she's black, right??

So. Sometimes people think that I am black.

While we were in Croatia this summer, Christina and I dressed up in silly costumes for a silly skit. One of the women in my church (a dear friend) saw me and just jumped over the language barrier, proclaiming that I was a Tina Turner look-alike! What do you think?

If people don't think black, they do wonder where in the world I could possibly be from. In the past few weeks, I've actually had to persuade a few people that I am neither Pakistani, Turkish, Spanish, Indian nor Italian. Just to name a few.

23 October 2006


"What if our inturuptions are, in fact, our opportunities?"

I'm sure I don't have the wording precisely right, but I've been turning over this quote in my mind. Sounds like Henri Nouwen, huh? Well, it is. And it's so true. I know my life is paced well, when I'm feeling this way about time. And getting frazzled by a text message...well. That's a red flag.

So, uhh. Today's a red flag day.

12 October 2006

questionable pricing

This is an interesting tidbit:
wine is cheaper than water in Slovenia.

At my most frequented coffee shop:
wine is 300 tolars ($1.50)
cappucino is 280 tolars ($1.40)
water is 400 tolars ($2).

Very interesting.

09 October 2006

the apartment

well, what do you think of a green living room? i think i like it. i think...

we're painting our flat. i've heard green is the most relaxing color for the eye. not to mention that it contrasts nicely with the bricks in the courtyard outside. the kitchen and entry will be this reed color.
we'll have a beige couch, but what do you think of this chair with these walls?
opinions are welcomed. please...

oh. and christina's room is pink. are you surprised? :)

reciepe coming soon.

07 October 2006

an autumn morning

well, really more of the afternoon,
but I must say that it's sunny, cold, clear and the leaves are getting ready to turn. funny to talk about the weather. i'm not trying to just fill space--it's just gorgeous. and beauty (I learned this at girl camp) brings comfort, healing, joy, rest.

this morning I made coffee cake muffins. I would recommend them above coffee cake because they bake so much faster. I'm always too famished by the time coffee cake comes out of the oven.

05 October 2006

in my new Slovene class...

there's 9 of us:

a Russian,
a German,
a Serbian,
an American (this is me),
a Vietnamese,
a Croatian,
a Netherlandian,
a Spaniard.

Talk about culture...

Oh, and an Argentenian. I almost forgot.

Today I made everybody laugh. And--good for me--I've been working on homework already.

04 October 2006

i'm back...

So, it's fully autumn now. The sky was blue this morning and two hours later it was downPOURING. I went to the university to sign up for my Slovene class today. When I was there I realized that it started YESTERDAY. That's a bummer. So tomorrow is my first day. And I'll have a placement test. Yikes! I'm kind of scared. But just kind of.

David and Katka are married! :) Here's some wedding pictures:

Hey, Slovene wedding receptions usually last to the wee hours of the morning. We had plenty of time for skits, musical performances, Greek dances, speed pictionary, country line dancing (complete with cowboy hats). I've never had an experience quite like it. What a party! This one ended early. David and Katka left at 2 AM...whew.

14 August 2006

quite awake

Got home from JV kid's camp yesterday. It was OFFICIALLY the VERY LAST camp I'll be at this summer. I fell asleep at 4pm for a nap and didn't move (except once) until 8am. That's 16 hours.
WOW! It may be a Personal Record.
Now I feel great!

20 July 2006

hidden talent

I'm a very, very good gunny sack racer.
Notice my dive. I'm on the left. It's all about the strategy.

Yep. I won all but 5ish of like FORTY gunny sack races at our English Camp a few weeks ago.
Bet you didn't know this hidden skill. It was a surprise to me, too!

These were two of my toughest competitors...

I was terribly sore for like 4 days afterwards, so I definitely have to brag to make it worth the trouble.
Ahhh....the missionary life...

One of the biggest highlights of camp was all the new relationships that got started. Here's a favorite picture of mine. This is hike day. Ana, me, Neja.

Man, there's actually so many pictures I want to post. So many of my favorite Slovene people were at camp. If you're Slovene, you know who you are. If you're American...well, you'll just have to come over.

Well, only two camps left. Next week we're girls camp at the Croatian coast. BEAUTIFUL and calm. I'm ready!! With Brad and Laurel Jenkins and their youth group are on their way as I type.

23 January 2006

youth group

This is a picture of our beautiful youth group on a trip to Croatia.

I can't wait to see them!

20 January 2006

winter sky, my life

It's been quite awhile. I feel like I have to have something super significant to say...no luck. I'm just going to jump straight back in. I'd love to hear comments, critique.

Here’s a poem:

mottled sky
of blues & grays & whites blending
through eyes unwatching appears muddly:blehj

until I stop—
cream : pale olive :khaki: muted indigo
swooping, drooping, peeping, suspended
through graciously vulnerable & naked trees
(humble in winter)
stare & study the perfect mottle
and see the ferocious, furious
precise & powerful beauty of glorious you.

By affection, I’m seized & consumed.
Needing nothing but you.
(until dulling)

Sorrow, I live in drunken stager…
eyes unwatching (sipping gray) train my restless heart
until I’m stopped & seized by constant gracious Emmanuel.

Seize me, dream me, bring me
constant near to You.