Falling in Love

12 Nov

Yes it’s true! This girl is in love!!

The morning of the bridal shower was quite a special and relaxing day for me, and a crazy busy weekend for my dear mom and sisters and my bridesmaid, Nina! Check out these pictures of a very full and exciting day!

A New Phase for Sarah Jean

18 Jul
Well, there have been quite a few more changes since graduating from college. And now it doesn’t have to be a secret anymore!
Should I start from the very beginning or just cut to the most exciting part? It was a regular Tuesday morning, I texted Philip John in the morning, he called and prayed with me for a bit. Then off to work I went, thinking about him, but trying not to text him too much because I figured this was a busy week for him. πŸ˜‰ Little did I know that he was on a plane coming to see me!
Soon after 3:00 I got a text out of the blue from my Mommy, “Hey Brittany and I are going over to the park, there’s something going on there until 4:00, wanna come check it out with me?” I was in the middle of a project but I asked the church secretary (who had been warned of that day’s events!) if I could leave with my mom. On my way out, I said, “I won’t be long, I’ll be right back don’t worry!”
Getting to the park I kept asking my mom what we were supposed to be seeing there, and she told me, “Oh I don’t know much about it, I think it’s some sort of flower display?” When we got there I immediately started looking for some flowers. We started walking down the path just as we normally do on our walks, and I saw down in the wooded section that there was a bouquet of roses there.
“Oh this must be the display!” That’s what I thought initially. Of course, I didn’t see Philip or my dad hiding in the gazebo right before the pathway. My mom and sister walked down to the roses with me and I saw something else there too. . . there were pictures of me and Philip set up, along with a card from him and an adorable photo book. I sat down to read the card, thinking he had sent it to my mom just as a special thing for me since he couldn’t be there.
The card ended with, “Call me! I can’t wait to talk to you, Sarah!” And so, I typed in his speed-dial number and waited, thinking “He may not answer right away, I’m sure he’s busy in the office, but wow this was sweet of him to think of me!” When he did answer, we talked for a while, and I told him I wished he could see the flowers that were here, and the card and pictures all set up. As I turned to set the picture down, he was standing behind me in the pathway. I dropped the phone and ran over to see him. “Wait, are you *really* here?!” And of course, he was!!
We sat and talked for a while before he even told me had wanted to ask me something. Something really important. And special. And then. . . well he asked me if I would marry him, and gave me the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. It fit me just perfectly, and you know? I said YES!
I have a video someone made of this special day. . .so if you are reading this and haven’t seen it yet, please leave me a message ok?!
And so, as of July 16, 2013 I, Sarah Jean Anger, am engaged to be married to Philip John Rains. I wish you all could meet him! I will have to write another post with our story up till this week. . . but I wanted to make sure everyone could read my exciting news!

The Next Step

8 Jun

It’s been almost one month since graduating from college! It seems so hard to believe that these past four years have gone by so quickly. I just told someone the other day – In some ways it seems like so much has changed in those four years, but then coming back home it feels like I never left!

I would love to detail all that’s happened even just this past year, but these few pictures will have to do for now. Two very special days are pictured below:

April 29, 2013 ~ my senior piano recital, including Beethoven, Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff and Bloch.

May 12, 2013 ~ commencement service at Baptist College of Ministry . . . so thankful my family got to come for the whole weekend!

Keep checking back! I’m hoping to post more pictures soon. πŸ˜€ Thanks to everyone for your prayers over the years. Praise the Lord for all He has done!

2011 up for review!

1 Jan

A post to those who still follow this excuse for a blog πŸ™‚ No I’m not promising daily posts or anything of the kind, but I thought at least owed you all a few pictures and a review of the year that completely escaped this blog entirely. Enter: 2011 (as you exit, please keep all hands in the vehicle at all times).

JANUARY

I started off the year with some time back at home after Christmas! I love spending time with my family. . .

Here’s my three Sunday School girls from fifth grade. I just love them to pieces! Β Β  FEBRUARY

My sister came to visit me at school for a whole week, and we had so much fun! She put up with a lot, as it was considerably frigid and I was outrageously busy that week during the annual conference.

Back at school, my fellowship hosted a special chapel for the student body, where we dramatized portions of Scripture in the story of Gideon. It was quite a success and my part in the whole ordeal was distributing handmade burlap snack bags to all in attendance at just the right time. πŸ™‚

MARCH

The highlight for me this month was a tour of the three cities: Washington DC, New York City, and Philly. I was unexpectedly asked to go along with the school’s chorale group as they performed in churches along the way. As a major bonus I got to see my family for two whole days!

As a special surprise for a friend, I organized a trip to Culver’s (if you’ve never tried it, you must!) in the guise of going “soulwinning.” We actually did go soulwinning (first πŸ™‚ but then just kept going, saying we had “one last stop,” which ended up being Culver’s! The real surprise was that three of her friends were in the back seat of the 15 passenger van we had been driving the whole time, and they jumped out to surprise her when we got there!

APRIL

Time for picnics and finishing up the school year. We were so thrilled to be finished with our first year of Greek class, and I was excited that the Lord opened the door for me to be able to stay two more years at school! Right after some fellow classmates found out I was not graduating but would stay for a bachelor’s degree, they asked if I could be put on the ballot as secretary for our fellowship. I was shocked to find out that I was almost unanimously voted in that next week. Clearly, the Lord was confirming that he wanted me back at school. πŸ™‚

Just a quick peek into the dining hall!

MAY

Back home for just a few weeks, I got to see an Iron Pigs game! Actually the picture below was taken literally moments before the huge downpour which rained out the game we originally went to see. My grandparents, Mom and B and I went back the following morning for a double-header instead!

JUNE

Back to school again, I actually worked in the church office all summer with these girls (and a few others not pictured). We were basically in charge of Β the paperwork for Vacation Bible School which was an experience altogether. By the end of VBS week, we had entered thousands of daily attendance cards and been through a major thunderstorm causing us to move the Carnival indoors. The top visitor count fluctuated right around 900-1000 per day (including parents and grandparents who attended “Mornings for Moms” and Grandmornings).

Β  Here we are during the thick of VBS week. . . already renamed as String Cheese, Shredded Cheese, The Big Cheese and Little Cheese.

JULY

As a part of the teen program at church, I was asked to help with the Scripture memory and Bible quizzing, which is called Prepared for Battle. The youth group is divided into 4 teams: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines – with 4 squads within each team. The paperwork after Sunday’s Quizzing and Quoting is actually quite a lot considering how many teens show up! It was actually a lot of fun seeing the progress each week and the accomplishment at the end of the summer of being able to quote John chapters 14-17!

Another highlight from the summer was heading down to Chicago one evening for a concert! We finally decided to just organize it and get down there, and ended up with 25 people in our group! Needless to say we had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed watching 5 siblings perform on 5 grand pianos on stage. I’ve never seen anything like it! Here’s a picture before the concert of the three Sarah’s who were on the trip. πŸ™‚

AUGUST

Surprise! I got to shock my family the week before school started with a surprise visit home! The look on their faces was priceless, but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it, so you’ll have to trust me. πŸ™‚ Also, school started up at the end of the month and I was again whisked back into the business of college life. Here’s a few opening pictures getting ready for new position as secretary of Fraser Fellowship and being a room leader for the first time!

SEPTEMBER

Softball season! I was asked to be catcher (of all things!), and surprise, surprise I actually caught some fly balls. I think most people, including myself, were shocked that: (1) I went for the ball and didn’t just sit there the whole time and (2) I actually caught the ball!

OCTOBER

Our fellowship decided to have a special fall activity and we had so much fun! We finally convinced the guys that the girls wanted to try skeet-shooting and I think everyone at least got to try it (can you see the earplugs below? πŸ™‚ It was the perfect fall day and everyone loved it!

Pie Contest! For another Student Body chapel, we were asked to participate in a pie contest. This is the pie we made and it won third place! Not bad πŸ™‚

NOVEMBER

Our thanksgiving story is definitely worth repeating here for posterity. πŸ™‚ My friend, Lisa, and I were praying about what to do for Thanksgiving break because we had so much we wanted to get ahead in for school that we didn’t want to be a burden to any kind family. We resigned ourselves to staying at the deserted dorm until. . . someone offered us their home and car for the weekend in exchange for housesitting and dog sitting. What a deal!

Our adventures started the day after this family left for their vacation. We were left with their car, but someone noticed that it looked like we had a flat tire! By that point most of the college guys had already left for break, so we called around until Β two New Yorkers came to look at it, convinced that we shouldn’t even drive it out of the parking lot. Oh dear. It was getting dark and they could not budge the tire to put the spare on. We used the church van to just get to the house instead…Just in time to see the poor hysterical puppy whining to be let outside!

Next we decided to tackle the wood burning stove (which they told us was the only source of heat for house yikes!). Neither of us had ever started a fire by ourselves before so we knew we had to work together. πŸ™‚ After three tries we finally had a roaring fire on which to roast our long-awaited S’mores! Before going to bed I set my alarm for the ungodly hour of 3 am to check on the fire, because we were absolutely determined to never let this fire die out again. Success at 3 am as I stoked the fire and loaded more wood onto the fire. Then, waking up at 6:30 or so, Lisa and I thought we should restock our supply of firewood for the rest of the day. We waltzed outside in our PJs just to grab some wood before breakfast. We didn’t realize though that the interior door had locked behind us and now we were locked outside of the house, with the poor puppy looking at us with curiosity. “We can’t very well walk to the church in our pajama’s now, can we?!” “No my dear, we shall take the door off its hinges instead!” Which we very valiantly tried to do, and were partially successful. We ultimately had to break in through a window instead, but vowed to bring phone, keys and a screwdriver with us at all times from then on.

Oh the fun doesn’t stop there! We had to get to the Post Office to mail out some orders, so we called the maintenance crew at church and they had figured out our tire problem! So off to the PO we went, remembering the family’s explicit instructions to check the power steering fluid EVERY time we get in the vehicle. We had a few other stops to make, and after the third stop, I accidentally slammed the lid down too tightly and could NOT open it whatsoever. We called our friend’s dad and had him pry it open Thanksgiving morning. Here’s a quick pic of one such occasion. . .

After that, we had a pleasant vacation, including a 5 am Black Friday shopping trip!

We did it!

DECEMBER

Here’s Lisa and I again, at our Sunday posts around the CD sales table! This year we decided to gift wrap the CD’s and I think we got more sales that way. πŸ™‚

The highlight of the whole semester was in December when our chorale director got us into the governor’s mansion in Wisconsin to sing at a special Christmas party Governor Walker was hosting there. We got to carol on his front steps and inside along the circle staircase. It the perfect end to a wonderful year and I’m so thankful for everything the Lord has done in 2011!

A Summer Worth Spending!

23 Aug

These past nine weeks have been the best and most rewarding moments of my life. I spent them at camp! I’ve always loved going to camp as a teen, and when the opportunity came up for me to spend an entire summer at camp, I was both excited and nervous.

I had signed up for any position, and was accepted as a counselor, which I found out included everything from preparing devotionals each night, to spending one-on-one time with each of my campers, to baby-sitting twenty-two 4-and 5-year-olds during family camp, to being a life guard every day at lakefront (and gettin a decent tan while I’m at it!).

I have seen God at work first hand this summer, answering prayers…my prayers! even my campers’ prayers! I got to lead four young ladies to the Lord over the course of the summer, three of them my own campers who I had noticed were struggling the first few days, and saw the Lord answer my prayer that they make the right decision! Here are a few highlights from the summer in the form of pictures!

Fun Afternoon

20 May

The past few days with my dear grandparents have been ever so much fun and relaxing! We had been planning a trip to the gorgeous Dayton Art Institute ever since my spring break. It was all arranged to go pick up my four younger cousins for the day, and off to the Art Institute we went! Those four kids were a blast to hang out with! *Sigh* I guess I just miss my own brothers and sisters too much. Anyway…a picture!

Aren’t we darling? Even the youngest survived the walk through the institute. They have a fun way of involving the kids so they won’t be bored. Each one gets a puzzle packet with a small section of artwork displayed on a card. Our job is to find which room # the artwork is displayed in. It was a much larger place than we anticipated, which made for quite a…

Fun Afternoon!

This morning, my nana and I went out visiting for the morning, and then out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I seriously need to get out more often. This college business only lasts so long haha! It was refreshing to be out in public again, and we thoroughly enjoyed our Chicken Picatta and Luau Salad complete with Wild Blueberry and White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. (That’s a mouthful in more ways than one!)

And tomorrow night? Oh girlie, we’ve got a full night planned! I brought back THE most hilarious college day skit from this past March…anyone who’s seen it would agree πŸ™‚ My two girl cousins who live in the area are coming over to spend the night and we are having a Girl’s Spa Night!

By the way, anybody have a good cheap homemade idea for facials? I’ve heard of one with brown sugar and oatmeal but I can’t find a simple enough recipe lol! Thanx everybody…more pix later! After I feel beautiful again πŸ˜‰

One down!

18 May

My first year back to college has officially ended! Quite a few times actually! There was the long string of “lasts”:

  • last class lecture
  • last exam
  • AND last comprehensive exam (ouch!)
  • last time teaching Sunday School to my 3 yr olds
  • last goodbyes
  • last walk through the empty hallways (I was seriously the last one to leave)
  • last time to sign out of the dorm (the thing I always forgot and got demerits for)

But I am so ready for the full summer that is ahead of me! The Lord did so much this year…even in the final few days at college I found the Lord to just be so faithful! I will try to post more later about the direct answer to prayer, but I wanted to put up just a few pix from this last semester.