Home from Camp

Hi friends. It’s been awhile. Over a month in fact since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been away at camp as a camp counselor! We have limited access to internet so there was really no way for a blog post to happen. But that’s okay.

This summer was one of the best summer’s I’ve had at camp. It was also one of the hardest. Camp is such a special place that I can’t really put it into words. I’ll try anyway:) I decided to collect some of my favorite camp counselor quotes and create a few of my own to try to express how amazing and unique this experience is.


“Three and a half weeks flew by. I already miss being called Elf, the basically non-existent water pressure in the showers, laughing with my co (counselor) until we cried by the end of the week because our children were just that crazy, fighting to get my girls to sleep, carrying my sleeping campers back from campfire, starting one match (more likely one box) fires in the rain. I miss the family I have at camp and pigtail Thursdays. Now it’s back to real life where socks with crocs aren’t actually fashionable and sleep is  an actual thing (until college starts).”

“My backpack could rival Mary Poppins magic carpet bag.”

“Silent conversations across the table with my co are the key to survival.”

“Chocolate and Jesus get me through most of my days.”

“Camp has taught me more than I could learn from anywhere else.”

“Camp breaks you down farther than you ever thought you could go, but somehow you always leave refreshed.”


This summer, I was a mother, a teacher, a cook, a firefighter, a nurse and a doctor, a friend, a confidant, a cleaning lady, a horse wrangler, a student, a singer and an actor, an author, and so much more. Where else could I go to get the same experience? And why would I want to?



Just a quick update

Hello to everyone reading this:)

School has taken over my life once again.

It is a little bit crazy around here right now!

What were we doing...

What were we doing…


First day of school:)

I really enjoy my class schedule and professors this semester so even though it’s crazy, those are college classes for ya. And even though school is a big priority, I have been able to spend time with my counselor friends (who are another big priority) several weekends since school started. We have had great times hiking, eating food, playing Apples to Apples, and talking at various people’s homes.

It has been a fantastic senior year so far, in large part because of the time I get to spend with them. Camp people are special people<3

This coming weekend, I have the opportunity to visit my Ann Arbor friend on Friday. On Saturday we are going to a college visit together. After the visit we are driving down to Columbus for yet another camp party:) I think this is the most I have seen camp people outside of camp, ever. Pretty soon though we won’t see each other quite as much as life has a way of living. So we are taking every opportunity we can now.

I am still enjoying riding lessons and volunteering in the ER. I hope to start piano lessons again this week after summer break. I am also trying to spend as much time with family as I can. My school year life has begun–busy, stressful, exciting–and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Michigan…and Michigan

Hi all! These past two weeks have been very busy for me with not a lot of time at home. First, I traveled up to Ann Arbor to visit a couple of my CILT girls. We worked on a lot of CILT work, and we feel like we got a lot done. We both finished all three of our lesson plans for the activities we are going to be teaching. My activities are outdoor cooking, hiking, and survival skills. It was a lot of work to plan activities, bible verses, rainy day activities, and prep materials for each day, but we made it through–thank goodness we were doing it together!

I spent three days up there, and we were basically working non-stop on CILT. If we weren’t working then we were talking about camp:) Can you tell that we are a bit obsessed? (In a good way!) We also took a shopping trip to Walmart to stock up on “counselor things.” We went a bit crazy with the yummy candles and fun pens.

A trip to Walmart with friends is always fun, but this time I was driving. Which would have been fine, if I had known the roads. Something different in big cities that I am not used to is the fact that lots of driving is done on the highway, just to do basic errands. Has anyone heard of “weave lanes?” They are things of evil! Basically what happened was I exited, but I exited right onto another lane of traffic that was exiting as well from another highway. Instead of just merging together, everyone had to switch lanes with each other. It was kind of crazy, but it worked. These are probably a lot easier than I am making them sound, but even my people who live up in Michigan say that they are really dangerous and hard to do.

Google images “weave lanes”

I also ran into a round about. I have seen them before, but I just think that they are more trouble than they are worth. That’s all:)

I also had my Camp Med up in Michigan this past weekend. I had probably the best time of my life. The camp was focused on Cardiology so we had a lot of hands on labs, including a dissection and practice with EKGs! We had class lectures as well because this was a 1 credit college class, technically. We stayed in the dorms and ate in the dining hall. In between class, we were able to scope out campus. The faculty was amazing and the camp leaders (also faculty) were so kind in showing us around campus and answering our many questions about the college. I fell in love with the college, so it is definitely high on my list, as well as their equestrian competition teams. Currently, I ride Western, but I really want to learn English. They have both teams, but I would love to compete hunt seat. So I talked to my riding instructor, and she agreed to start teaching me some showmanship and start teaching me hunt seat. The horse I ride does almost everything…including cross rails!!!!!! I am just so excited right now:) And I am excited about something other than school, so that feels good 😀

I have just a couple more weeks to complete my CILT work so that I can graduate and become a counselor! I am terrified, but also out of my mind excited. My camp director just sent us our “assignments”. I am going to be counseling the “Pilgrims”–3rd and 4th grade girls. They are the best:)

Now I am off to CILT work and volunteer in the E.R. this afternoon! Have a great day!

The Past 5 Weeks

A few more than five weeks ago I posted a post with some pictures that perfectly described my state of mind at the time:). Since then, I went and returned from Spring Camp, started volunteering, went to school and studied whenever possible, and…FINISHED SCHOOL.

Let’s get into it shall we?

Spring camp turned out to be more of a soaking wet, freezing cold Winter Camp. However, we did get to have campfires and cook over a fire amid the snow hikes and near-ice fishing so I guess it all balances out. Despite the arctic temperatures, I was able to have a fantastic weekend with my camp friends.

It doesn’t look like it, but there was a lot more snow on the ground!

Then, the next weekend, I actually got to start my volunteering in the Emergency Room! I love it so very much. I volunteer every Friday in the afternoon, and every time I leave to go home, I am just so happy. it has made me want to be a doctor even more than I ever wanted to. I love interacting with the registrars and the patients/visitors.

Oh! I turned 17!! 😀 I  had a wonderful birthday day-day and weekends on either side of it:) The Sunday before, my family and I went out to dinner and then the weekend after we actually did presents and cake/ice cream.


Age of Adeline...my absolute favorite movie:D

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album. I also got a Fitbit from my parents! But I didn’t have a clear picture of that.

Cake was really good...

Cake was really good…


And then came final’s week.

And then I wasted time taking pictures.


My mom showed me this video when she was helping me study for my Bio final. It is perfect for anyone in final’s week.

But I made it through…with all A’s. What a relief!

And then I finished school.


google images 🙂 School’s out, let’s scream and shout!!

google images :)

google images 🙂

I had an appointment with my guidance counselor the week after I finished, and he told me that the only classes I need to graduate would be Modern American History, Economics, and Physics. That is really exciting because now I can fill the extra spots in science!!

My classes for next semester: Anatomy and Physiology 1 (A&P), College Algebra 2, Computer Science, Modern American history, and Latin 3. Then I am hoping to take A&P 2, Econ, Physics, and Sociology in the Spring. I have been waiting to take A&P for several years now, so I am really excited–for all of my Senior Year classes!

I have applied to one college so far, I should get that decision this summer. The rest of my colleges are on the Common App which doesn’t come out until August 1.

I have a busy summer up ahead:

*Studying for my second, and hopefully last round, of the ACT and SAT.

* Camp Med: This is a three day camp in June for Juniors and Seniors. We get to stay on the college’s campus and work in their cadaver and Physiology labs, and work with faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Physics, and Psychology on topics that have to do with Cardiology. We also get to attend sessions about college and medical school admissions to figure out how to better prepare ourselves and our applications. Plus, I get college credit for this!

*Visit from Grandma Rychener!

*Summer Camp: I will graduate CILT and become a camp counselor! Lots of work between now and then to make sure that I will actually graduate, but finally all of this work is paying off.

So anyway…I took this past week to be on Summer vacation for real, and I will start the work for real this week:)







Delicious Fish Marinade…and Such

Good Monday afternoon! I don’t know about you, but my morning started slowly and then WHAM it got crazy. I took my first Chem exam this afternoon. I think I did pretty well…I usually say that, and then I don’t do well:) I felt confident about it though.

Finally, this afternoon I can just sit back and relax and do homework. (I don’t think that sentence should ever be written again. Somehow relax and homework don’t work together.)

Anyway, I have a wonderful fish marinade recipe to give you and then some things that are coming up this week!

It is super, super simple! Yay! Right?

Combine: (to taste)

Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Garlic powder

Marinate it (the fish). Grill it. Enjoy it!


Tonight, my youth group is going to see the new movie War Room. Have you heard of it? It sounds pretty good. I will let you know what I think;)

This weekend, some of my CILT girls are coming to spend the weekend with me. We have tried for a long time to put a party together, and it has been all talk. Finally, two of us said, “you know what? Be here at this time.” Guess what? It worked!

A Special Visitor

Hello! This week is almost over, and that means that camp is almost here.

Like I said, on Tuesday I held a fun game day at school. I had about 10 kids show up, and we had a great time. We managed to get several games (including two water games) played before we had to pack up and move indoors due to rain. We then played some indoor games. The kids were crazy, but they had a good time:)

My cousin, Rachel, got married a few weeks ago in Idaho. We weren’t able to go to the wedding, though. Her husband is starting graduate school in New York in the fall so they are making the long, cross country trek from Idaho to New York. They stopped to see us on their way!!! We haven’t seen her for about 8 years. We met at Panera Bread and talked for a few hours. I really wish we could see them more:( Both of them were really nice, and I had a great time.

My grandma put on a theater organ concert today. She made it very fun and interactive. She looked like she was really having fun while playing:) I am always a wreck when I have to perform anything, but she just makes it look so easy.

It rained a ton here today. The pond across from our house has risen above the fishing deck and over its banks. I kind of hope that it won’t rain this much for camp because of our campfires and such, but on the other hand (again!) I like it to rain.

I guess that is all I have for today. I am signing off now for about two weeks until camp is over. I will undoubtedly have plenty of stories then. See ya later!

July 4th Weekend

Happy Monday! Did you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend? I did, for most of it:)

On Friday, my mom and I spent all day at the racetrack near our house. (It is a fundraiser for the school.) We got there at 8am and did not leave until 10pm. We were ushers for their national racing event. Then on Saturday we were there from 8am until 3pm. We got very sunburned, and we were very sore. Please explain to me why people spend $50plus to see cars race down a 1/4 mile track time after time after time.

Anyway…:) On Saturday, after the ushering, we headed on down to one of our family friend’s house. They have a beautiful house down near Ashland, set in the woods, landscaping, relaxing. We ate dinner there (always tons of food!) and then drove over to the Ashland balloon fest. The balloon there are very neat to watch. We just stayed to see the balloons rise into the air, and then we went back to their house. We made a fire, made s’mores, and set off fireworks. He accidentally bought mostly smoker fireworks, but we also had poppers, sparklers, and some other kind of popper.

On Sunday, we went to church and then relaxed the rest of the day. We watched the final Hobbit movie. It is good, if you know the story, then you should watch those and the Lord of the Rings movies! But I also recommend reading the book first.

Tomorrow, I have a fun game day planned at the school. I am inviting incoming, current, and past students from my school to come and play games and eat snacks with me. I have to teach a number of games from my game file for CILT, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.

Speaking of camp, I get to go off to camp next week! This time next week, I will be in Bible Ex (Bible Exploration time) with my cabin, probably with my stomach growling, ‘It’s time for lunch!!!’ This is the part of the summer that I wait for every year.

This week, we are going to clean out our room. Get rid of lots of clothes, just put our mattresses on the floor, get rid of a bunch of junk, make it nicer in there.

I have some work to do to get ready for tomorrow and for camp, but I think I will get outside today. My garden really needs to be weeded and watered. I don’t know about where you live, but for the past several weeks it has rained so much, and then about the middle of last week, it just stopped. Now I have to water, and water, and water:) Oh, well.


What did you do for your weekend? Anything special?


Supporting my Camp Family

Hi guys. A few days ago, one of my great friends from camp texted me. She told me that one of our counselor’s twin sister was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Let me tell you, word spread fast around the camp people:) Soon, that friend had shared it on our camp group text. Another camp friend shared a link to support her by buying a t-shirt. I just want to ask as many people as possible to pray for her. Her name is Jackie.

They have raised a lot of money and have sold way over their t-shirt goal. So again, I just ask that you all pray for her healing and comfort. Also that the doctors will know what they are doing:)

That’s all for right now. Thanks guys:)


End of School and SUMMER

School, technically, ended last Wednesday. I still have a few things I need to get done: French, Lit, and history.

Overall, this should be a relaxing summer and I am already enjoying it very much! I took a lot of pictures with people for lots of great memories as this is my last year at my school after 11 years. *Sniff* 😦

As Wednesday was the last day of school, our P.E. teacher, Coach, set up an outstanding field day themed ‘Down on the Farm’. She asked me to man the ‘Pig Out’ table. And of course…once the students were all finished I just had to try it! So I asked one of the teachers, going by the name Genevieve Elizabeth o’Shinseki (just for the blog!) to face me.

unnamed (8)

On your marks…get set…





And the result

And the result
















Don’t mind our hair…in any of these pictures…

Noni came to watch the events. We had a wonderful time! unnamed (24) 

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn











This is our friend, Katy. She is going to public school next year so we won’t see her every day, but we still will see each other at church on Sundays! unnamed (29)






These next two pictures are with Miss Horner and Coach. Miss Horner is another teacher at school (3rd and 4th grade). I had her as my 1st grade teacher. I will miss both of them tremendously.

Miss Horner

Miss Horner














And finally…my beloved Chemistry teacher (she is the RRT that I followed.)









So now you have faces to put with names! As to this summer, I am taking my driving road test on Wednesday! Pray that I pass the first time!!

I have summer camp later this summer, our VA trip with Noni in June, just swimming with friends and reading. OF COURSE, tons of CILT work to do before camp, but that’s fun…right?

Yesterday was the first day of the yoga challenge. Is anyone signed up to do it? I got the first email yesterday. I’ll post about that soon as well. Tell me about your summer plans.


Hi ya’ll:)


I had an exciting yet mostly slow weekend. Yesterday morning I survived the SAT! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I was more nervous about the math sections than anything else. I had to leave a few blank, I didn’t want to lose points. For the others that I didn’t know but could almost figure out, I used the process of elimination and guessed from the two or three left. In order to study for the test, I ordered How to Crack the SAT from the College Board. Their test strategies really helped me to answer some that I wouldn’t have been able to answer on my own. I feel like I could have done better on my essay, but those 25 minutes flew by! I followed a very basic outline. My mom read somewhere that the people who score the essays are really looking for structure and complete thoughts. They only spend a few minutes on each essay. I feel like I did a pretty good job in that time frame, so I’m happy:)

Yesterday afternoon, I was just so tired. I walked the dog and laid out in the sun on the hill across from our house with him. The day was gorgeous! Blue sky and huge white fluffy clouds and warm sun. Beautiful! After my mind slowed down a bit, I just relaxed the rest of the day. We ordered Chinese food because I took the SAT and tucked in for the night.


This morning, we went to church. Our pastor is starting a series on Revelation. So far it is really interesting and I learned a lot:) This afternoon I have been working on some Bible study stuff for camp and blogging!


Now, onto the name of the post. Today I decided that I am going to do a Whole30. Mainly because I want to see if I can do it. And also because I want to see if it makes me more alert and not so tired. So therefore, I want to get the blog back onto the fitness side of things. I still want to write about everything I am doing, but also yummy, healthy recipes and how I am progressing in fitness. So there you are! My goal for the month of May. The Whole30!