Lost Canyon Camp – Williams, AZ

Hi all,

Sorry to have been so out of touch.  I’ve been in and out of town a lot and today I’m heading out to a Women’s Retreat for our church at Lost Canyon Camp just outside of Williams, AZ.

Ladies walking at Lost Canyon Camp Williams AZWe’re looking at the possibility of thunderstorms and possibly even snow flurries!  Crazy, I know.  Especially for all of us girls from the desert.  We’re expecting highs in the low 50’s and lows around 30 degrees.  Brrrr.  So this morning I’ve been digging out my winter clothes with hopes that my Phoenix winter duds will keep me warm in Williams.

Here’s a link to some photos that I took there last year.  It’s an awesome camp!  They even have a little coffee shop with a great big stone fireplace. If you’re ever looking for a place for your group to get away for a weekend, a week or whatever, this is the best camp I’ve been to that allows you to enjoy nature but still have most of the comforts of home.

We’re also looking forward to some great messages from our speaker and wonderful conversations with friends (old and new).

Nancy Hann and Linda Thompson at Lost Canyon Camp
Me and my friend, Linda at Lost Canyon 2009

I’ll be driving up through Prescott Valley with my friends Linda and Debbie and we’re planning to stop at the Grand Opening of the shop that’s owned by Debbie’s daughter.  Should be a fun day!  I’ll share later about the shop too.

I wonder if we’ll get to see some Fall colors?  I hope so!

Hope you have an awesome weekend!  I won’t have access to internet since we’ll be out of range, but I hope to get some good pics to share when I get back.

Open Door Fellowship Ladies’ Sneak Away

I think I mentioned before that I was in charge of coordinating all the food and refreshments for our ladies’ (in town) retreat last weekend. We met on Friday night and much of the day Saturday, so we served dessert and snacks Friday, lunch and dessert Saturday, plus beverages thru-out, of course.

Everything went very well, from my perspective. Since it’s been years since I’ve done an event for 120+ people that wasn’t at a hotel or somewhere that had serving staff, I didn’t plan for quite enough help for the physical labor. So unfortunately a few people (Wende – Thank you!) had to jump in and do things when they should have been able to just relax and enjoy. But otherwise the food and refreshments were well received. My friend, Michelle Mozingo was the chef and made AMAZING food. Here’s a peek at the menu on Saturday. Yes, she made everything from scratch, except the breads! She really needs to start a catering business, which she kind of already does with her friend Beckie Ellis, but they just don’t call it that yet.

French Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup
with Grilled Gruyere Cheese, Tomato and Fresh Basil Croissant

Jewish Grandmother’s Chicken Noodle Soup
with Grilled open-faced Baguette of Jack, Gorgonzola Cheeses, Pancetta and Apple

Irish Beef and Toasted Barley Soup
with Grilled Pumpernickel, Smoked Gouda Cheese and Parsley Tarragon Mustard Sandwich

Spicy Asian Shrimp Soup
with Fried Crab, Ginger and Cream Cheese Wontons

On Friday night she made some amazing dips with chips for snacking. Her Artichoke Lemon Basil Dip makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I have the recipe and am going to try making it for Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

And for dessert on Saturday, Michelle, her husband Rand and the rest of the kitchen crew made a delicious puff pastry with rich chocolate ganache topped with a touch of mint sauce. Wow! It was good!

Plus my dear friends, Linda and Beckie Ellis, and 7 other ladies of all ages and seasons of life shared for about a half hour each at the event. The theme was Jeremiah 29;11 and you can see more about that on Linda’s post here. I also got a similar necklace to the one shown on her post.
I was in and out of the room a lot during the speaking times because of my tasks, but from what I heard, there was laughter, tears and huge amounts of real life stories with vulnerability shared in that room. I heard the messages were awesome. I can’t wait to download them all and listen to what the Lord had to say thru these ladies. You can find them all here to download. I would highly recommend them!

Unfortunately, since I was busy with the food, I didn’t have time to take any pictures. The room looked gorgeous though with a black, silver, white and seafoam green color scheme. Very modern and clean. All in all it appeared to be a success all the way around and now they’re planning a retreat at Lost Canyon Camp in Williams, Arizona this Fall. It looks like a great location and should be a blast.

But now that our ladies event is successfully finished I need to move on to some much needed projects at home…you’ll see a little of what’s on my list on my next post. Right now, I need to ignore everything else and work on the book that I’m giving as a thank you gift. Can’t say much about it now, but will show it later. It’s coming along well.

Note: Last night we went to a Suns game and had a tour of the arena with Alvin Adams! Ginny, dad will be excited about this one. I got his autograph and a picture taken standing with him. That will be coming soon. Have a great weekend everyone, if I can’t get back to this before that.

GO CARDINALS!!!!

Loving Well

Beginning next Wednesday night, I will be leading a ladies’ Bible study with a friend, Cathy Jones. It’s probably been a decade or so since I’ve led a study and even 5 years or so since I’ve attended a study. When we moved back to Arizona from California, we had a lot of changes going on, life was just busy and most of the studies at our church were during the day. In addition, my job didn’t leave me with much energy to venture out for extra activities, so I’m just now feeling comfortable enough with my schedule to add something else. The good news was when Cathy mentioned that she’d like to do an evening study on this side of town too, and would help me lead it if I wanted to start something.

Anyway, I’m excited about getting back into a regular group again. Anyone who has been in one of my groups can tell you that I’m not a “teacher”. I do not have the gift of teaching and will never claim to. Because of that, I rely heavily on others who do have that gift. Some of you have heard of Beth Moore and are familiar with her like an old friend. I must say that being out of the “Bible Study scene” for a while, I’ve never done one of her studies. I’ve heard many good things about them and in previewing this video series, I’m happy to take the plunge and go thru the topic of “Loving Well” with Beth and the ladies in our group. It’s one of her shorter series (4 sessions) which works well for our format of every other week in our busy fall schedule. We’ll watch a video of Beth teaching each time we meet, everyone will do their homework journal in between, then Cathy and I will be facilitating the discussion when we return the next time. No major teaching, just learning from each other and God, sharing life stories, encouraging, questioning, wrestling with new truths, applying principles, exploring, etc. Perfect format for me at this time in my life.

Plus, I’ve been learning so much about trusting God and others with who I really am and creating environments of grace, since moving back here, that I’m looking forward to including those truths in our discussions as well. I can’t imagine a discussion about loving without including them. If you want to hear more about these, download some sermons from Open Door Fellowship or pick up some books from Leadership Catalyst. They are life changing!

As of right now it looks like we’re going to have around 13 ladies with a wonderful range of ages and stages of life. We have everything from ASU students to grandmothers, women I’ve never met to those I’ve known for 35 years. It should be a rich & precious time together. I think the hardest part will be keeping our meeting time to 2 hours. With so many ladies, it will be a challenge to keep them all reigned in during the sharing time…we’ll be praying for wisdom in how to do that well.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going and try to get some shots of the group as things move along. I’m really excited!

This is a little off track, but I just read it and think that it’s a perfect picture of what I mean about an environment of grace. See John Lynch’s TrueFaced Blog post here.