May 2016 Update

May 2016 Update

Greetings from Columbus, TX. 

Last night, I finished the required two weeks of training and orientation to work at camp this summer, so I thought I would take a bit of my free time to eat a bowl of blueberry-banana-walnut oatmeal at the local coffee shop and type an update about all that is happening.

Last week was specified photography training. Unlike last year, the camp photographers will be using Samsung Galaxies to take all of our photos instead of using Canon DSLRs. This was definitely a disappointment at first, but I am trusting that God will use the unexpected change to grow me as a photographer and as His child.

Full camp orientation was this past week, and it was great to finally meet all of the staff members for our team. I am looking forward to building stronger relationships with them as we work together this summer.

Already, God has been sanctifying me through this summer job.  Before I sign off, I want to share a journal entry that I wrote on Monday about what God has been teaching me.

Monday, May 23, 2016

This morning, I read the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den as it is recorded in Daniel 6.  Growing up, I always imagined that Daniel was calm and at ease as he entered the dangerous pit of lions. Surely his faith in God kept him peaceful. However, I now doubt that was the case. He probably did not expect to live through the night.  He did not know the end of the story.  He probably dreaded the pain that he was about to face.

But God.

God delivered him.  God gave him a reason to be calm. God protected him.  God brought him through.  

Right now, I am not at ease. I am uncertain. I do not know the end of the story. I am dreading the rough road that I am about to face. 

But God.

God gives me a reason to be calm. God will protect me. God will bring me through. God is in control of my circumstances and the victor over my sin.  I only need to rest in Him. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Fortune Cookies

Top Ten Tuesday: Fortune Cookies

This weekend, I am starting my second summer of working as a camp photographer.  Unlike last summer, I have not pre-written posts to appear while I am gone.  Don’t be surprised if this blog is silent until mid-August.

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I am incredibly excited to see what the Lord has in store as I help a team of about 30 college students re-create camp at churches in Texas and Louisiana.  I know that the Lord has planned wonderful things that will shape the lives of the workers and children each week.

Although I do not think that pieces of paper can predict what the next few months hold, I have opened some fortune cookies with interesting messages lately.  Here is what some unknown writer thinks will happen to me this summer.


  1. You do not have to worry about your future.
  2. The skills you have gathered will one day come in handy.
  3. Traveling to the west will bring you unexpected happiness. (Ignore the fact that they spelled traveling wrong)
  4. You will be rewarded for your efforts.
  5. You will become an accomplished writer.
  6. You will bring sunshine into someone’s life.
  7. Your virtues are priceless treasures.
  8. The best teacher is also a student.
  9. Find outlets that satisfy your creative side.
  10. Your past successes will be overshadowed by your future success.

Camp in the City, here I come!

An Egg-celent Egg-speriment

An Egg-celent Egg-speriment

Welcome back the elementary-education-major side of Kat’s 9 Lives.

Today we are going to do an experiment to show young minds the importance of taking care of our bones…because bones keep us upright, and no one wants to look like this:

Just pretend that you are back in fifth grade for a minute as I walk you through the steps of the scientific method.

1. Question – How do different drinks affect our bones?

2. Hypothesis – We are often told that milk is good for our bones, and we are discouraged from drinking soda.  Therefore, we hypothesize that milk will strengthen bones and soda will weaken bones.

3. Experiment – For our experiment, we will soak eggs in three different liquids: 2% milk, Coca-cola, and distilled white vinegar.  Bones and eggs are both strengthened by calcium carbonate, so any affects to the eggs’ shells are similar to what would happen to a bone.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 seal-able plastic containers large enough to hold an egg
  • 2 % milk
  • distilled white vinegar (although most people do not drink white vinegar, I included this liquid out of curiosity)
  • Coca-cola
  • Refrigerator
  • Permanent marker
  • Patience



  • Place all three eggs in separate containers.
  • Fill each container with a different liquid so that the egg is covered.
  • Seal each container, and refrigerate for several weeks.


4. Analysis – Observe the eggs at different stages over the next few weeks.  I placed the eggs in their various liquids on March 1.  Here is how they looked on later dates:

  • March 6
Within five days, the Coca-cola had stained the egg brown.  The milk had not visibly affected the egg.  The vinegar had completely eaten away the shell from the egg, leaving a rubbery lining around the egg white.
  • April 3
After a month, the egg soaked in Coca-cola had deeper stains. The egg soaked in milk still appeared unaffected, but the milk itself was spoiled. The egg soaked in vinegar was slightly swollen.
  • April 21
The Coca-cola continued to stain the egg, and the shell gained a rough brown crust.  The milk still caused no external changes to the egg. The vinegar continued to deteriorate the lining of the egg, and it had swollen a little bit more.


5. Conclusion –  This experiment proved that Coca-cola can effect the composition of bones (as seen by the bumpy substance that formed on the egg shell after a month of soaking).  This experiment did not prove that milk will strengthen bones.  There was no observable change to the egg soaked in milk.

Irresistible Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Irresistible Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Next to Christmas and my birthday, today might be the best day of the year.  Why?  Because today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day.


In honor of this wonderful holiday, I am going to share with you my recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Cookies.  In my opinion, these cookies are simply irresistible.


I must confess, though, that I have substituted one very important secret ingredient.  This ingredient truly makes the difference in the coconut oatmeal cookie recipe.  The recipe you see below is how I made the cookies one time when I was out of my secret ingredient.  They were still delicious and quickly devoured, but they were not quite the same.

You can guess the secret ingredient all you want, but I will neither confirm nor deny any guesses:)


Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup shredded coconut


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
    • Beat butter and sugars to form a cream
    • Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.
    • Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a flour sifter.  Sift into the egg, butter, and sugar.
    • Beat with a hand mixer until all ingredients are completely combined.
    • Stir in oatmeal.  To make mixing easier, I like to add one cup at a time.
    • Add coconut.
    • Form teaspoon-sized balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool 1 minute on the pan before transferring to parchment paper.
    • Let cool, eat, and enjoy!



    **Note: Pictures were taken of a half-batch of cookies.

    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Proats

    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Proats


    Fridays are my free days, and the best things in life are free.  On Fridays, I am always free from class, and I am usually free from work.  Pure relaxation.

    A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and enjoyed a short, free run through the quaint village of Old Salem.  When I got back to school, I emptied out the storage closet on my hall and set any unclaimed furniture in the hallway with a sign that said “free.”  After lunch (which I consider free because I ate in the cafeteria), I took advantage of my free gym membership (special “thank you” to my college for providing that!) and swam at the nearby YWCA. 

    Once I was back in my room, I needed some post-swim fuel.  In my mini-fridge, I had frozen strawberries which were technically free because they were left over from an RA event.  I also had a single-serve pack of chocolate protein powder (a free gift with a purchase of Quest bars) in my closet/pantry.  Some simple mixing and microwaving made a perfect (almost free) snack.


    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Proats


    • 1/3 cup oatmeal
    • 1 scoop (or one packet) chocolate protein powder
    • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries + more for topping
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup milk or an additional 1/2 cup water (I used cashew milk because it’s what was on sale at Aldi that week)


    • Combine oatmeal and protein powder in a large microwaveable bowl.
    • While stirring, add water and milk.
    • Mix in 1/4 cup strawberries.
    • Microwave on high 1 minute.  The oats should have a thick, fudgy texture.
    • top with more strawberries, if desired.
    • Eat and enjoy!


    Special thanks to Angie, Mollie, and Scarlett for hosting Fiesta Friday this week!


    You Do Not Realize Your Worth

    You Do Not Realize Your Worth


    What are you worth?  According to the Humans For Sale website, I am worth $1,818,826.  Really?  Hmmm.  Good to know.

    Sometimes, I feel like I am worth a lot more than that.  On days that I present an outstanding lesson or swim a few extra laps at the pool, I feel extra-worthy.  Maybe on those days, I am worth $2 million.  Then there are the days that I feel completely unworthy.  When I yell at a friend or do poorly on a quiz, I hardly feel worth 10 bucks.

    I recently read the book 800 Grapes by Laura Dave.  It was completely a frivolous read.  There was no real literary or intellectual merit.  However, one statement that the father makes to his grown daughter instantly caught my attention.

    You do not know your own worth.  That is my job.

    That statement could not be more true.  Within a few hours, I can go from feeling worth $50 to $500,000,000,000.  I do not know what I am worth.

    But my Father does.  He thinks that I am worth enough to count the hairs on my head (Luke 12:7).  He thinks I am worth enough to know my every move (Psalm 139:2).  He thinks I am worth enough to provide my every need (Phil. 4:19).  He thinks I am worth enough to send His Son to die for me (John 3:16).

    I do not know my own worth.  That is my Father’s job.

    Top Ten Tuesday: Would You Rather?

    Top Ten Tuesday: Would You Rather?

    This semester, I posed a series of “Would You Rather?” questions on the whiteboard outside of my dorm room.  Below are the humorous responses from girls on my hall.

    Would you rather…

    1. be a seal or a giraffe?


    2. marry a pirate or a prince?


    3. never drink coffee or never drink water?


    4. have a mermaid’s tail or a unicorn’s horn?


    5. meet Han Solo or Hope Solo?


    6. see pigs fly or fish walk?


    7. hear mountains sing or snakes roar?


    8. watch a horror movie or a chick flick?


    9. eat sushi or tacos?


    10. go skydiving or scuba-diving?