Sunday, November 28, 2010

Boomer and Jack

Meet my nephews, Jack and Boomer.
Jack is a Puggle and is six years old. He loves to cuddle. (2nd picture)
Boomer is a Lab and Puggle mix and is a one year old puppy. He, too, loves to cuddle, but only after he licks your face 10 times. (1st picture)
Boomer likes to taunt his older brother, but once Jack growls, Boomer hides. Both are highly athletic dogs who play catch on a regular basis. Trying to capture them in a still shot took a lot of effort, but I thought these ones were simply adorable and captured their personalities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The title of this blog background is Elizabeth. This is a name that is near and dear to my heart, so I couldn't help but choose it. God has placed multiple amazing women in my life whose name is Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Jackson: My Great Grandmother, a woman whose life story is so full of worldly passion that she needs to have a book written after her. It is because of her I no longer bite my nails, a appreciate a good mani and pedi, I love big jewelry, I can handle a wheel chair like nobodies business, and I have a passion and strength for life even when it gets tough, I think too it is from her that i get my entrepreneurship and desire to be a business woman. Grams passed away in 2008, but I feel blessed to have shared many memories with her!

Michelle Elizabeth Penman (Dykstra): My sister, a woman who I love dearly. We have a similar voice, the same mannerisms, we look alike, we act alike, we both love pickle juice and a good pickled okra. She is a nurse, a wife and a mother and I love seeing her grow in faith and do an amazing job. It is from her that I have my love for doing others hair and she actually got me my first job at a hair salon. It was because of her I went to Trinity.I guess I never realized this before, but she laid out a good path for me to follow :) It is from her that I was challenged to be tough and not let others bother me. Thank you for always loving me!

Elizabeth Greenwald: The FRIEND, a woman who is what I think God meant when he said sisters in Christ. We have similar voice and unique vocabulary. We like the same clothes and accessories. So much that even though we live far away we end up with the same items. She was there for me when I felt hopeless and needed a friend. It is because of her I desire to get to know other woman of God, despite the many times I have been hurt. It is because of her that I love fashion. It is because of her I desire to laugh as much as possible. It is because of her example I feel equipped and desire to be an amazing wife and mother. Thank you for letting your light shine in my life!

Michelle Elizabeth DeHaan (Soon to be Warntjes): My friend, this is a woman who knows what it is like to walk through the valleys and allow God to bring her though it and be healed. It was through that journey we met and walked alongside of each other each week in counseling. She is a strong woman, who is passionate about justice, who is passionate about loving and being a great friend. It is because of her I did not have to feel alone many times at Trinity. Because God brought her and Jordan into Greg and I's life, we did not have to go through college being the only couple who started dating in High School. Because of her I have some amazing memories. Thank you for allowing me to listen to you and for always returning the favor! You are a blessing and I can't wait to dance the night away at your wedding!

Nora Elizabeth Penman: My niece, you are so beautiful! When I think about you I can't help but cry because you bring so much joy to my life and even though I don't get to see you all the time, I gaze at pictures of you and pray God's sweet blessing on your life. It is amazing to see characteristics of my sister in you. You are a constant reminder that God is a God of miracles and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I can't wait to be your creative long-distant auntie! Thank you Michelle and Jake for bringing her into our family!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review of Charity: Water / Published in The Courier

Pure in motives and excellent at proving it are two points worth highlighting in an age where trust amongst charities is hard to earn. “Charity: Water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects,” (“”).

Charity: Water demonstrates excellence by their method of proving what they do. Once you have donated towards a specific project and it is underway, you can locate and see it through Google gps maps.

Photographs dominate the Charity: Water website and provide those who donate more than a “word” that it got there. The photographs are not sad and full of despair, rather show those being helped as strong hopeful individuals. Many of the photos show that they are not hurting those they are trying to help by enabling them, but teaching the native people, to build their own wells and educating them along the way to make it sustainable.

Not only do they raise money to build the wells, they provide in-depth information on why they prioritize water over other needs and then giving information about the world water crisis. The way they use diagrams and reformed prose allows for the common man to understand the crisis and the cause.

Their pure motives are demonstrated through photos on their web page but also the daily tweets of photos, and the fact that 100% of their donations are going directly to water projects.

From reading books such as “When Helping Hurts”by Brian Fikkert and “The End of Poverty” by Jeffery Sachs, I have learned that working towards to root cause of problems, rather than just the symptoms, is key in providing lifelong sustainability and actually curing the problem. Charity: Water works at a main root cause of poverty in third world countries, lack of water. More organizations need to exist like this.

There needs to be people who will tend to the needs of the symptoms of poverty, but if an even larger group is not working preventatively than what good is it if we never cure the problem.

Charity: Water is an organization that provides people with an opportunity to give money without a doubt in mind of how it is being used. The people the wells and education are benefitting are actually being given a chance at rehabilitating their communities. Their creativity in branding and building a trust amongst donors, young and old, is worth highlighting. For more information on how you can donate or become educated on the world water crisis visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Ceramic Art Cafe

Within the town of Lagrange, IL is a hidden treasure, The Ceramic Art Cafe. It is owned by the sweetest retired couple who definitely have the gift of hospitality. On this fine Friday evening, the couple was so sweet to welcome all 15 of us in and provide us with a calm relaxing atmosphere that was just what we all needed after a long week of school! We each picked out items and painted till our hearts were content. The items painted ranged from plates and mugs to fairies and cupcakes. We left them there to be fired in the kiln and in a week or so we will get to see the finish product. I can't wait, I think they are going to be B-E-A-utiful! After painting, we went to Starbucks for a treat and headed back to campus in our over-stuffed van.

I feel so blessed to have such a good turn out for this event! I praise God for each one of these girls and that the Lord placed me as their RA.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reasons for Change

As you can see, I changed the look of my blog.

I decided to this out of conflict that I felt towards the previous one. You see, if you ask any blogger, the layout and background you choose for you blog takes thought and needs to reflect you as a person and what you are blogging about.

The passionate person that I am, I tend to spend sometimes hours thinking and searching for the perfect look of something. I chose the previous minimalist design because at the time, it spoke of who I wanted to be this year. I wanted to be more professional and focused.

But these past two weeks I have been reflecting a lot on my past four years of life and what is to come after the current year. Some of these reflections have been painful to realize, like the fact there there were things that I aspired to do, but because life happened I couldn't take part in them because I had to deal the reality of my life (which for those who really know me that means heartbreak and pain much of the time).

Not being stuck in the pain is key to my development as a person in these college years; I have worked hard to work through tough issues and grow as a person in all areas. I give God all the glory for the way he as healed me and given me a vision and passion for life!

Being artistic is a way that I have been able to express myself and relieve stress. The form of art changes from semester to semester, but none the less, I am a creative person who needs to be inspired and challenged. Thus brings me to why I changed my blog. To me the design is not just a template, but it is an essential creative space for me to not only share my life with those that love me, but to be inspired and encouraged.

The design may change a few more times throughout the year because the way I am feeling is going to change. Bare with me followers, and feel free to chime in when you like or dislike something (ex: its hard to read etc...)