20 July 2008

Day 2--We're Finally Here!

Day 2
Julie: “We can’t be more than ten miles from the hotel where we’ll spend the night before heading into Disney World Monday morning. Just a second ago, we spotted the Disney World fireworks show in the nighttime sky and we’re more excited then we have ever been. Elissa is keeping a lookout for Disney signs and I’m not sure whose smile is bigger: her’s or Becca’s. We’re trying to decide what park to start at tomorrow morning…right now I think Animal Kingdom is where we’ll begin. For now, we are looking for a quick supper and an early night to bed so that we can get an early start in the morning. Sending magic and wishes from Florida to Texas, goodnight!”

Becca: “I was the last one to get up this morning and I ate Elissa’s leftover breakfast. I never knew she was so good at making waffles. The whole way here I either slept or listened to my iPod with Elissa. As we pulled into Disney World, Elissa and I saw the grand finale of the Disney World fireworks and got totally excited for this week!

Sara: “We have finally arrived in Florida and it was a crazy trip. I started off pretty patient, but I’m not going to lie, there were times the kids drove me absolutely nuts! But I guess I’m just not used to being around kids this age for 20 and ½ hours in a car at a time. The good news is, I can never stay aggravated long because one of them will laugh hysterically, let out a deadly fart, or smile really big and yell, “DISNEYWORLD!”, and I’m in love with them once again. I’m pretty sure we are headed to The Magic Kingdom tomorrow where we will go on safari rides, watch 3D animal shows, climb huge trees full of wild animals, and so much more. I’m excited to let go of the everyday life and become a kid again. It is going to be a great time of bonding for me and my parents/sisters, us girls and our cousins, Nanette and her kids, and all of us together. Once I’ve taken tons of pictures, I’ll start posting them on the blog so that our readers can see what we’ve been up to. God has blessed us so far by giving us such an easy drive and I know that He will continue to bless and watch over us throughout this trip. I’m excited for the memories we are going to make this week! Please keep us in your prayers and we’d love to hear from anyone at anytime. Give us a call or feel free to leave comments at the end of each blog! We love you! Goodnight."

Disney World//Florida Family Road Trip 2008!!

Day 1
So, for the next few weeks, my personal blog is going to turn into a family blog, as it follows the Martisek and Eernisse families to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My parents, myself, and my and three sisters are on the trip: John, Julie, Sara, Emily, Claire, and Becca Martisek. Also, my cousin, Nanette Eernisse, and her three oldest kids are with us: Emily, Ethan, and Elissa. We started yesterday, July 19th and arrived in Orlando, FL today, July 20th. Our Disney park passes are for Monday through Thursday and we’ll leave for home sometime either Thursday or Friday. It is going to be an amazing trip full of long winding roads, multiple “potty” breaks, four Disney theme parks, and tons of family fun! Join us on this crazy ride and feel free to leave us comments on each blog entry as we go!

[These are blog/journal entries from yesterday, but we couldn’t find wi-fi anywhere so I’m posting both yesterday’s and today’s this evening.]

John: “We pulled up to the house about 11:15am honking the horn looking for bodies. To my surprise, Mary is at the front door and out pops Elissa, with Nettie not far behind. I think honking the horn got everybody stirred up. We left just after 12pm, and I knew we had 8 hours of traveling ahead. We made our first two bathroom stops in Edna and Houston. One problem, I was talking to Mary on the cell phone when I accidentally missed the I-10 exit, taking us to downtown Houston. Here was the problem: in downtown, everyone’s restrooms are “out of order” due to the many homeless people in the area. We stopped at a Valero and a CVS; this did not relieve the Disney World crew. We continued on our trip with the goal of catching up with Emily, Claire, and Becca, who were in second car, coming from Hallettsville. Finally, we caught up with them at a Love’s, just past the Louisiana state line. Continuing on, we made a stop in Vinson, LA for gas and another quick potty break. Our final stop before the half way point was in Lafayette, LA, were we ate at Wendy’s for dinner. At this point, the kids moved into Sara’s car, while the adults moved into the suburban. This made for a great time, as we got to discuss more things from the heart. Nettie bragged about her mother, with two comments sticking in my head, “She’s the greatest mom,” and, “I don’t know what I’d do without her.” In fact, we got to joking and talking so much, that I missed the last exit for the hotel, which caused us a delay of 30 minutes. Ok, it’s 11:30pm, and now I’m going to bed.”

Julie: “It is midnight in room 275 in the La Quinta Inn in Slidell, LA. Elissa just got out of the shower and we are out of towels. (Grammy, I promise I will do my best with the hair!) Today we played the “ABC” game in the car, Nintendo until the batteries ran out, and counted all the trains between Beeville and Slidell. If there are any better traveling kids in the world, I sure don’t know them! Tried to decide today which Disney characters are our favorites…Emily is on the look out for Hanna Montana, and the rest of us are still thinking! We’re also wondering what Disney surprises might be in store for our birthday girl on Monday. Stay tuned for more info!”

Elissa: “I’m doing the bicycle with Claire on the floor. I had fun at Wendy’s. I packed my special blue coconut shampoo; it smells good!”

Becca: "Claire woke me up this morning at 9am and I figured it was time I started packing. I was ready to go by 11am and we ended up leaving the house at 12pm. I figured I could have slept for another hour, but I slept all the way to the Wendy’s stop. This was when the kids joined Sara and I in her car. I’ve been up ever since. It has been fun so far!"

Claire: "As much as I hate car games, I had fun playing the “ABC” game with Emily and Elissa all the way to Louisiana! More tomorrow…"

10 July 2008

A Summer For Growth

This summer has been an interesting one to say the least. Going into it, I was not quite sure what to expect and, quite frankly, didn't care. All I knew was that I wanted to get away from school and life in Waco. So once again, I found myself at Zephyr. And oh, what a place to be found.

This is my third summer at Zephyr Baptist Encampment. Howevever, this summer I have served as the Program Assistant to our Associate Director. This new job has been a greater learning experience then I could have ever imagined. At the beginning of the summer, I prayed that God would place strong ministers and leaders in front of me to teach and grow me as I learned even more about camp ministry this summer. As always, He has provided. I have been able to serve and work along side some of the most interesting and coolest Christians in the ministry in South Texas!

Coming at it from another angle, this job has also streched and grown me personally. [P.S. Sometimes, being streched hurts] The adjustment that I had to make this summer, moving from a regular summer staffer into my new title, was not the easiest. I have had to learn to be "the boss" to many of my friends and to sponsors who are quite a bit older than me. This has not been easy, considering that I have worked along side many of our current summer staffers and my lack of knowledge and experience according to some sponsors. On the bright side of the adjustment, I have been continuously uplifted and assisted by my supervisors, much of the summer staff, our many camp directors, and plenty of others! What a blessing it has been to feel the love of the Lord through their encouragement and support.

I have met so many cool people this summer! Just to name a few: Alan Frans, Student Pastor at FBC Round Rock; Cathy Harwick, Children's Ministry Consultant; the Justin Graves Band and Justin's wife and daughter, Michelle and Gabby; Otto and Hotrod, Christian square dance callers; Lindsey Gerdes, Assistant Youth Pastor at Bay Area Fellowship; the Larson family from California, the Flecher family from Corpus Christi, and many others! These people have blessed my life so much more than they will ever know and I will be a better servant for the Lord because of their example of dedication and service to Him.

Luke and I have also had a great summer together. I have been falling more in love with him each day as I have watched him lead our summer staff. God has grown him so much through his job as the Staff Supervisor and it has been an honor to be able to work along side him. I am so amazed by his patience for people and his love of this camp. I am so blessed to be his.

God is continuing to do a great and mighty work in my life as He is preparing me for a life of complete service to Him. I can see and feel it. My calling into this ministry is constantly being confirmed by people and situations that God is placing in my life to teach and stregthen me. As I sit out here on the front porch of the office, typing this post, I am in awe of what God is doing right here, right now. At Zephyr, in my life, in the lives of the kids out here this week, in South Texas, and all over the world. What an honor to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.