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Thursday, March 31, 2011

122/365

Happy Birthday, Aunt Karen!!

TODAY is the birthday of a lady (practically family!) who has probably had the most influence in my life, my Aunt Karen. Many people know the story of how she became part of the family, but for those of you who don't, here it goes...

Years and years ago, there was a lady who worked on staff at my church who needed a place to stay for a week or so while she found somewhere to live. I must add that this was back in the day when  the Campbell clan only consisted of Carrie, Rach, and Monroe (so, we're talking many years ago!) :) So, after week one and two... and after week three and four, she was still there... AND GUESS WHAT! She is still here!  Who knew a week-long stay would last 24 years and counting! She has definitely become part of our family.

I have so many great memories with Aunt Karen. Growing up I spent hours watching Barney on her bed and eating candy from her candy stash. Every one of my friends who came over growing up knew where the stash was. :) She used to take us to the botanical gardens to feed MASSIVE goldfish, she kept us excited with "discovery club" and the "rose buds" (whatever that even means!) at church. Treasure hunts, candy hunts, easter egg hunts etc... were an almost daily routine. She always had fun adventures up her sleeve!

Along with adventures of fun, she brought us on many scary adventures as well- atleast I thought they were scary at the time. NURSING HOME VISITS. I used to be scared of nursing homes, and the thought of an elderly person coming close to me just made me nervous. As a child I was so shy, but Aunt Karen purposefully took myself and my siblings (and the rest of the church kids) to the nursing home regularly to go visiting. She would always pray with us that we would be a blessing, and would encourage us to go around and talk to the residents of the nursing home, even those who might be a little more frightening to be around. So, as I grew up, this became more and more normal for me. Then as I was a little older, she would take me after church on Sunday afternoon's to visit some of the shut-in's from our church. One in particular who I loved to visit was Mrs. Mixon. I cannot tell you how many times  we would sit there (starving!) and just listen to Mrs. Mixon talk about how she had been praying for us, and we'd listen to her talk about Jesus. How encouraging to see the reality of Christ in this lady.

Aunt Karen has always encouraged anybody she knows to look for ways to minister to others, and to look for ways to make other people feel comfortable. Often in life we get so discontent with our own circumstances. We get so consumed with what we are going through and what "trials" we have in our lives, and yes, often we are going through truly difficult times. BUT, it's amazing that even in the times of pain and hurt, when we choose to look for others to minister to, it causes our problems to pale.

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for Aunt Karen's influence in my life. She's encouraged me in my walk with the Lord in so many ways, teaching me the reality of Christ not only by the words she says, but by the way she lives. She is a true servant of God, and I thank the Lord that I have been able to see her live the love of Christ in such a close way.

SO, happy birthday, Aunt Karen!! I love you and thank God for you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

121/365

On Monday night Stephanie Richardson and I went to hang out with the gang... to celebrate (if that's the right word!) the departure of Yijun. She left to go "home" to Portland today, and I'm so sad to see her go, but excited for the time I was able to share with her here! SO thankful for the fun memories made with all of these ladies (in the pictures below) over the last few weeks. The Lord is so sweet to give us such great friends. I mean, who ever thought that I'd have the opportunity to get to know so many friends who grew up half way across the world? AND I have gotten to know them WHILE living in this little city in ole' South Carolina. So neat. I'm SO thankful for Yijun and her time here in Clemson! 



Crazy face... always need to get this shot!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

120/365

Picnic Lunch...

This week we have missions conference at UBC, and we had a picnic lunch to get to know our missionaries better. Of course most of the families who came had small children, so, as you can imagine, lots of laughter and tears took place at Nettle's Park. I tried to leave the tears out of the pictures... here are some of the smiles!

Picnic lunch... looks like Andrew's about to take Dan out.
While the adults eat, the kids PLAY!  
Mary was excited about this weed. We had a lesson on root structure (Thanks to Mrs. Bailes and Mrs. Prince
I knew enough to keep them entertained!)
Blake is just the most precious little boy!

So thankful to have Jr. and Andrea here this week!!

It was so sweet to see Josh help Jillian tie her shoe :)
Daniel's becoming so independent. Sad. But good!
Ready... Set... GO....!!!
Weeeeee!!!
Mary and Jillian LOVED the little gator (I think that's what it was....)
I'm not sure what was being communicated here but I think it was
probably like... "hey, let's be friends!" It was fun to see all the little
kiddos play together!

Becky (Mrs. G) and Mom... two pretty awesome ladies if you ask me!

First picture of her sucking her thumb. This was new for her!!
Sweet little Kathryn was so excited to play
on the playground! (can't you tell?!)

Blake was holding on to the bar by himself! Strong little boy!!
Sweet little Zoe was fascinated with the rocks :)... so cute!
Thankful for this time with part of the body at UBC... I love my church family!

Monday, March 28, 2011

119/365

Kendall James Millsaps

Today I got to meet the one and only Kendall Millsaps!! He is just perfect- SO thankful for the safe arrival and health of this little boy. Congratulations to Jonathan and Brooke!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

118/365

ERIC FISHER was voted to be our new pastor at UBC! I'm so excited and thankful to see what God is going to do in our ministry... very, very thankful! Can't wait to have that Fisher family in Clemson!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

117/365



This is the story of my friend Yijun and her relationship with Jesus... SUCH a blessing! I'm so thankful for her!

Friday, March 25, 2011

116/365

JDC

Today as I've been working I was reminded how thankful I am for one of my dearest college friends in all of the world... and best of friends, Julia Dawn Clement. :)

I must admit that if it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have made it through Accounting OR college in general... walking to class (sometimes barefoot in the rain, sometimes kicking big squishy green alien-looking objects across campus) day in and day out just wouldn't have been the same! We literally walked through college together, the only thing separating us was our chapel seats (always on opposite sides of FMA...).

When you go to college, you just don't ever know who you're going to meet who will change your life. I must say, knowing Jules has definitely changed my life. She's such a true, honest friend. She's been there for me no matter what. She has spent so many hours listening to me talk about NOTHING, and has also spent many many more hours listening to me talk about things of value. She has been that true friend who has stood by me through it all... four years of change, confusion, laughter, hurt, growth in my walk with Jesus ... AND, I am SO thankful for her!

So, for today, I want to praise Jesus for my one of my very best friends in all of the world, Julia Dawn Clement. Everybody needs to find a friend like her and hold on for dear life! I just love her!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

115/365

:)

I meant to post this last week... thought I'd just post it late. To Lou, Katie and Roe Roe, Daniel misses you!!

video

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

113/365

Don't wanna go home yet!

Our retreat ended around noon on Tuesday, but alot of us stayed around Charleston for the afternoon. We spent several hours becoming lobsters on the beach (literally!), and then went to the market and walked the battery downtown Charleston.

BEAUTIFUL day at the beach!

Achieng at the Battery downtown Charleston
SO thankful Victoria could come!!! 




This is one of my favorite sister groups (minus Grace :)) of all time...



Waterfront Park... Downtown Charleston

The girls had fun walking around in the Pineapple fountain- Victoria even climbed up it!
Must say it's easier to go up than to come down. They all provided great entertainment for
EVERYBODY sitting around the fountain! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

112/365

Isle of Palms... awesome place!

Many, many summers of my childhood, the "Fanbell Annual March to the Sea" took place. The Fants and Campbell's would pack out a house on the Isle of Palms- ALL 14 of us! Great memories were made (and lasting scars for some of us!) on that Island and to this day it's my favorite beach spot. In fact, Charleston (as you can see from prior blog posts) is somewhere I can't go too long without visiting! So, for the CI retreat to be in this city was an excitement for me!!

We spent the afternoons doing various and sundry activities (I love that I just used the word sundry.... not sure what it means, but I just love that word and wanted to get it in my blog!), including laying out on the beach, wandering around historic Charleston, shopping... you know, the typical things you do in Charleston. There were a few in our group who had never been to Charleston, so it was exciting to show them around.

Amy Ledbetter, Steph Richardson, Achieng Adongo and me on Sunday. The beach was pretty
overcast and CHILLY, so we just went out for a little while. We decided to make this our
shopping day. Tough decision :)

SO MANY starfish and sand dollars were on the shore. In all of my trips to the Isle of Palms
I've never seen as many as we saw running up and down the beach!
(thanks to Mark Lopez for the GREAT photo editing here... :))

Caleb was PRETTTTY excited about this massive shell.......

Carli's dad was able to join us for the trip!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

111/365

Cross Impact Retreat 2011


This year for Clemson's Spring Break the CI retreat was in Charleston, SC. We stayed at a beach house right on the Isle of Palms, and our speakers were Jeff and Deanna Bartlett. We had a great retreat filled with many sessions, time of worship and prayer, encouragement in the Word, REST, relaxation on the beach, and last but not least, Shrimp and Grits from Poogan's porch! :)

I am so thankful for the working and moving of the Spirit in our group. There were many focuses during the time we shared together, but one emphasis was on small group involvement and relationships. It's so important to be willing to be vulnerable with other believers. When we struggle, we need help. And we WILL struggle! We must be willing to have accountability with each other- we're a TEAM! 

During our time together, Deanna had several sessions with the ladies. She has started a women's ministry in Anderson, SC called "Women's Life Fellowship" (http://womenslifefellowship.com/), and it was so neat to see her burden to reach and encourage women in the community- starting with US! 

The first night she spoke to us she talked about the importance of being STILL. It's so easy to start the day off, spend time with the Lord, pray a quick prayer and be on our way. But HOW OFTEN am I sitting down before Jesus, truly spending time worshiping and adoring my Savior, and then taking time to listen to HIM. I am so quick to run to the next thing, I hardly stop to listen! BE STILL. 

This is just the beginning of the conviction and encouragement the Lord performed in my heart this weekend... I could go on and on (and if you catch me in person, WARNING: I will go on and on!). What a great, refreshing weekend! Thankful for Cross Impact and the work that the officers did in putting this retreat on. Thankful for the Bartlett's willingness to give of their time to come share with us, thankful for the encouragement from other believers... AWESOME God, awesome weekend focusing on Him!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

109/365

Ran...

I'm so thrilled that my dear friend Ran is getting married tomorrow! (I'm writing this after the fact, so she really got married this last Saturday, but let's just pretend that I finished this entry on time!)

Friday night we had such a fun time getting ready for the big day! Ran, her bridesmaids and I stayed at the Hudson house (across from the church) and had just the best time practicing hair, doing nails, etc. One of her bridesmaids (and one of my very good friends- SO thankful for her!), Yijun, who moved with her husband to Portland last year, was back to visit for the wedding. HOW MUCH FUN to catch up with her!
Yijun and me... allll the way from Portland :)


All in all, a great night gearing up to such a sweet day. I was so thankful and honored to be a part!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

107/365

Kat and Andrew Bougie are having a BABY!!!!!! I think it's a GIRL!!!!!!! :)

She is just so cute... I can't wait to meet her!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

106/365

Hodge Podge...
Benton, Matt, Rach and Kathryn... family picture time! Sure will miss them
when they move to AZ this summer!!
Congrats to Wes and Gretchen on their engagement!!
I had alot of fun on Sunday celebrating the engagement of Wes and Gretchen. I met them (along with Carli and Lee) at the Botanical Gardens in Clemson, which was just beautiful! We had alot of fun taking pictures- I'm thankful I could share (in just a little way) in the excitement of this time in their lives!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

104/365

This weekend has been a great one filled to the brim with FRIENDS, laughs, worship, BEAUTIFUL weather... all-in-all a great weekend. I thank the Lord for giving us a time to stop and relax in the midst of a busy, busy life.

The weekend also consisted of a long run with Sarah, Jon Ledbetter and Brient... a 10 miler (or almost 10 for me... I couldn't finish I was dead) at Isaqueena trail. Now let me ask you a question, please. Is it smart to plan a long run on VERY hilly terrain when you have done most of your running on flat terrain? I think not. Sadly, Sarah doesn't think this way, so she planned a great adventure for us! Typically this time of year the experimental forest is closed (Isaqueena trails/Isaqueena dam), but on Saturday the gate was opened, so we drove in a little ways, parked and went on our way. Unfortunately as our run came to completion and we headed off the trails, we realized we had been LOCKED inside the forest! 9-1-1 got a little call from us (simply because every Clemson recreational department on campus is closed on Saturdays!! We tried our fair share!)... "we are stuck in the forest. Can somebody please let us out?" :) Life is never dull!

Saturday night Katherine and Andrew Bougie, Josh Millsaps, Brient Hobbs and I  were able to hang out. The evening started off with a beautiful trek around downtown Greenville. It was the happening place- people everywhere enjoying the awesome, spring weather. After enjoying downtown, we went back and grilled out at Katherine and Andrew's place and just relaxed. Can I just tell you that Katherine Bougie is an incredible, INCREDIBLE cook, and Andrew is definitely great with that grill. What a fun night!


I love these two... so thankful for them!
Josh came up for dinner...

We bought dessert from Brick Street Cafe, located downtown Greenville.
The pieces of cake are HUGE and just absolutely delicious...
If you're looking for a fun place to go for dessert, this is the place!

We were pretty excited about this cake... :)