tchau for now :)


There is just no way around it, saying goodbye is always hard. Rinitini left for New Zealand today. She’s ready. God has called her to the other side of the world and I know that it’s time for her to go in obedience to his calling. I can’t wait to see what God does while she’s gone.

I’ve known Katherini for years, but really got to know her in the last year or so. I came back from Brazil last winter feeling cold and a bit out of place — Boone seemed so lonely! Most of my friends did not call Boone home anymore or were working and traveling abroad. But God knew just what I needed and he provided a precious friend for me in Kathryn.

We made some pretty awesome memories this winter, spring and summer and I’m so thankful for them. Whether it was my experimenting with gluten-free, dairy free baking or running on the greenway, driving around town, hiking, making earrings, wandering around Boone, studying scripture at Earthfare, well, we had lots of fun and plenty of adventures.

Kathryn is warm and loving and has the gift of making everyone feel at ease. Her gentle spirit and self-deprecating humor make me smile. She is the perfect hostess — she just loves on you without over thinking all of the details. I am thankful for the way she has loved me and encouraged me. I know that she will be an amazing asset to the team in New Zealand, but oh Kathryn, know that you will be sorely missed here in Boone. I’m going to miss my rides around town in Stallone, deep discussions over hot tea, laughing at the way you pronounce certain words, and of course the adventure you bring to my life!

…but now it’s a really great story


I love this print! As soon as I saw it I thought of quite a few adventures with Sari

Like the time we decided it would be a good idea to offer to sing at our friend Yaneth’s church without any preparation…good thing we abandoned the idea of singing in Spanish, we struggled enough with the english version of the song.

Or what about that time that we paid for gas and then drove off without a single drop in the tank and were flat on empty?

Oh another good one, that night when we pulled into a very dark alley in Georgetown at 1am with a flat tire and enlisted the help of five very big and very intoxicated men.

There are more, so call me if you need a good laugh…

We do usually exercise excellent judgment, but we have had our moments…but like I said, bad decisions [sometimes] make really great stories.

xoxo, Jem

The Little Things

I recently started Financial Peace University and during the group discussion portion of the class we started talking about what we spend our money on. It was interesting to really stop and think about where my money actually goes. I’ve done this before, but saying it out loud somehow made it real or something. Anyway, I don’t necessarily think about it day to day as I spend it, but I really don’t make very many large purchases. It’s a lunch here or a coffee there and an Earth Fare run or a movie night…after a cursory glance at my checking account most of my purchases are under $20, it’s just a lot of little things really add up.

And so it is in life. Since coming home from Liberia in July, my plans have been largely up in the air. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to stay in the States and not go back to Liberia this year. God really made it clear that he was closing that door for now and that He has me here. This is of course a major change in plans. I am back at home with my family unexpectedly and without a job and am now trying to figure out a plan. I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all. I miss Liberia so much and am still trying to process everything that happened this summer and I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing now and where I am in the recovery process. I honestly feel pretty good now, but I’ve realized that I am definitely not where I was pre-Dengue fever and sometimes that is really discouraging. Yesterday I tried to go running and I found out that right now I’m still fairly physically limited. It’s even more frustrating now that I’m feeling like I’m completely fine again to realize that I’m still working through the recovery process.

Instead of seeing little tasks that I can accomplish in steps, I’ve been facing huge mountains that seem insurmountable right now. I’ve been freaking out about finding a job and a place to live and then on top of that thinking that I might need to move in order to find a job and on and on…slowly I’ve realized that those are really just made up of “small purchases.” So, yes, all of that probably needs to happen, but it doesn’t all just happen in one big sweeping movement. I can start with the little things; updating my resumé, networking, taking time to just be still and listen, talking through some of the things that I experienced this summer and really just spending a lot of time in the Word and in prayer.

So, thank you Dave Ramsey for that little nugget of truth.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

our lake of shining waters

Kathryn took Sarah and I canoeing on Price Lake on Tuesday. The setting was quite picturesque in my opinion. We had a great time singing Disney songs, chatting and trying to switch places a couple of times. Just a little FYI – you should not attempt to stand and move around in a canoe! It almost ended in disaster for us.

tootsie pops made the adventure sweet


Kathryn was the power in this little boat! Look how intense she looks! Generally speaking, she’s better at this kind of thing than me or Sarah…S, do you concur?


Our own little Pocahontas rowing around the lake. Sarah provided wonderful entertainment. She was also excellent at helping us keep time…

learning to steer

I tried my best to steer…I think by the end of it I was kind of sort of getting the hang of it.