Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today was SO cool. Quite literally. We had lectures in the morning and stuff and then we had lunch. AND THEN... a few of us were just hanging out in the PC room when all of a sudden, Heidi walks in and says, "It's snowing!" So we all get up and go outside to see it. Out of nowhere, it just started snowing. And I'm not talking about little flecks of snow. These snow flakes were MASSIVE. It was neat. Then, since today is Thursday, we had intramurals, so we played soccer in the snow. Very very slippery, it was. I didn't play very well because of that reason and I was mad at myself for that later. After soccer I worked out in the weight room. My abs KILL. And I was late for dinner, but no one noticed, which was good.

I really don't have a lot to say today, but I was excited that it started to snow and I wanted to share that joy with you guys. Even though they said it will go away and get warmer again. Apparently, that's typical in Sweden. Weird.

peace, love, and bipolar weather.
kay league race rick hardy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I see London...

Yep, that's right. In exactly one week's time, I will be on my way to London, England with Colleen and Christy. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to England, and now I finally get the chance. Cool beans. Originally, we were going to go to Ireland with four other people, but it didn't end up working out. I'm just glad I get to travel Europe!

We planned our sojourn yesterday in an hour and a half, and got everything paid for. We are hitchhiking into Vetlanda, taking a train from Vetlanda to Gothenburg City, flying into London, and staying there until Sunday morning. Then we will fly back to Gothenburg City, take a train into Vetlanda, then hitchhike back to the school. I'm sooooo excited. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and post them on my Facebook.

Speaking of pictures, if you want to, you can go here and see tons of pictures from random happenings at school. One of the staff is a great photographer and posts his pictures on that site. There are also a few students who takes lots of pictures for the website. So, check it out!

Please please please send me mail! I miss you all so much.
Kaeli Riccardi
Brunnsvägen 31
S-570 15 Holsbybrunn

peace, love, and London Calling.
kay league race

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slacking off

I haven't journaled in about two-ish weeks. That's why no posts have been happening on my part. Sorry about that. I still haven't journaled, but I figured I'd at least tell you what I've been up to lately.

Soccer has been going good. My team pretty much pwns. Yes, we pwn. It sucks being the only girl on the team and having to play the whole game, but it's good exercise. All the guys are really encouraging. In fact, last week the ball was passed to me and it was just me, one person on defense, and the goal keep. I ran as fast as I could with the ball, shot, and it would've gone in if Manuel wasn't so good. But I didn't hear an "Ughhhhh!" from my team. It was more of a "Nice try, Kaeli!" On the topic of exercise, I've started to work out a bit, so by the time I get home, you better watch out. I'll be ripped and I'll finally be able to beat Pops in arm wrestling. (Ok, not ripped, but at least toned.)

God is really teaching me to trust Him. I have the biggest trust issues, but He's making it so that I have to rely on Him with every little thing in my life. I am such an independent person and I always want to take things into my own hands and deal with it in my own power, but I can't do that. I need to just hand it over, but that is SO HARD. Cory actually called me out on that when I spoke with him last night. It was kind of a swift kick in the pants, but I'm grateful for it because I really needed it. I just need to put that into action now.

So there hasn't really been a whole lot of communication in my room since I've gotten here. We all get along, it's just that my two roommates are pretty shy until you get them talking, and I didn't do that. Normally, I'm one to get anyone talking, but for whatever reason, I sort of thought they wanted to be "left alone." Well, on Thursday night, (I can't remember who, but someone) asked a really thought-provoking question, and I answered it the best way I could. Then I had deep questions I asked and we all talked about them. It was actually really neat. So we decided to make it a thing on Thursdays - Though-Provoking Thursday. We will save up any questions we might want to discuss for Thursday nights before we go to bed. As it turns out, Maddie had been praying for more communication in our room. There you have it.

I started another theme for a day of the week. It's called Sweatpants Monday. Mondays are already pretty bad because it's the first day after the weekend, so I came up with the idea (since we are allowed to wear sweatpants to class) to wear sweatpants all day on Monday. Today is the first Sweatpants Monday, and more than have of my classmates are wearing sweatpants. Awesome!

Cory's birthday was on the 23rd so I called him to wish him a happy birthday, and I mailed him a package. I'd say what is in it, but he reads this thing sometimes and I don't want to give it away before he gets it.

I've made two really good friends since I've been here - Rebekah and Colleen. They are so much fun. I really want to kidnap them and bring them home with me to Florida so you all can meet them. Bekah cuts hair (she finished beauty school before she came here). I wanted to get my hair cut, so she thought of something fun to do to my hair. She actually had a dream as to how she was going to cut it. It's the same length that it was on one side, and on the other side, it's slightly shorter. It's an asymmetrical hair cut. I like it. There's a picture of it on my Facebook under Swedish Shenanigans. Check it out.

So that's really all I can think of when it comes to what has been happening.

peace, love and sweatpants.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deep Sea Thinking

What we did in class last night was really interesting. Jesse told us to get out a sheet of paper, and we obliged. Then he said to take a few minutes and write down five reason why we believe in the Bible.


Wow. That was hard to pinpoint. Yes, there are the obvious reasons like, prophesies have come true, it gives truth to all aspects of life, outside manuscripts and eyewitnesses that prove it. But why else we believe in the Bible?

So I just want you to marinate on that for a bit. Chew on it, digest it. Why do you believe in the Bible?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Worship last night was really good. I fely like God was laying some things on my heart that had to do with the hurt that I've experienced in my life with my dad (sorry for all the prepositional phrases in one sentence). I went over to Coral's afterward and did the typical emotional girl thing - cry. I explained to her what was going on and she basically helped talk me through my trust issues and other problems. I don't usually hold grudges (mainly because I'm so forgetful) but we came tot he conclusion that I was holding a major grudge against my dad and I need to let it go. Then it will make it easier to trust and call God my Father, but it will definitely take time. It's a process.
Chris (the son of the founder of Torchbearers) is our guest speaker this week. Because of his hand motions for everything he says, I can't look at him when he talks because I get so distracted. I have noticed that he tends to ramble and that makes it hard to pay attention. BUT he did say that he didn't mind if we took a five minnute nap during his class, as long as we didn't snore. And he was being dead serious. I took a ten minute nap today.
Other than lectures, I have just had two meetings to go to today - our group project meeting, and the SLC meeting. I didn't really do a lot besides that.
I wrote Cory a letter today and I plan on mailing it soon, I just have to find out where to buy envelopes. Also, I need to go buy some Swedish chocolate so I can send it to the Gawlowicz Gang. I got to talk to my sister today and that was good. I can't believe that she is already four months pregnant. It's crazy! Her and Josh's birthdays are tomorrow. I'll have to remember to call them.

peace, love, and still falling asleep in class.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Days 19-23

Yeah, I know. I skipped a few.

I haven't journaled in a few days, and I feel bad about that because (1) the whole point of me journaling is so I can look back at my time here in Sweden to remember where I was and see where I am and (2) because my friends and family want to know what I've been up to (at least, I hope so. I'm not really sure who reads this thing).
On Wednesday night, we had a time of worship at around 9:15pm. The other praise team led it and it was awesome - it was just straight up acoustic everything, and very soulful. I don't even know if that's a word, but it was that amazing. I can't describe it any other way than that.
On Friday, I worked with Kristin again, but this time we had to clean the chapel (including the Bik). It was a long process, but we got the job done. It was also Coral's birthday, so after lunch, a few of us girls took her into town for some Fika. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time. Bekah is obsessed with Spiderman and as we were walking through a store, I spotted a Spiderman beanie and bought it for her.
Other than that, I was just having a really weird day - I can't really put words to it. I told Coral later that night and somehow, she completely understood and said whenever that happens to her, Matt (her husband), prays over her and she's better. She prayed over me and this Funk that was following me around all day started to lift.
I was challenged that day by one of my friends here to a game of Battleship. Well, I'm basically a pro at that game because last Christmas when I played my family, I was undefeated. So I accepted the dare. I won the first game and got a little cocky. Well, the next three games, I got owned in the face. Then I had to open my stupid mouth and say whoever wins this next game buys the other person Jolla Jolla (I think that's how it's spelled) pizza. Let's just say I don't want to talk about pizza for a while. I'm pretty competitive, so that did not sit well with me that night. I had a very angry dream and I think I punched myself in the face at some point while I was sleeping. I woke up with a bruise under my right eye.
Yesterday was pretty uneventful, except that I went to watch Trevor and Nate's basketball game with a bunch of people. They got spanked. Oh, and Jesse taught me how to change my guitar strings.

peace, love, and what feels like a new guitar.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day Eighteen

Today I had a MUCH better day, thanks to encouraging friends, and the like. Class today was interesting. Jesse's dad spoke again, but this time on personality stuff, or something like that. The four groups were Analytical, Amiable, Expressive, and Driver. He told us to go to the corner in the room of the one in which we thought we belonged to. I had aspects of all of them, so I just sort of wandered to each one. There's this test that you can take on his computer to find out which one you are, and it turns out I'm an Expressive, but almost on the Amiable side. Neat, I guess.
Today was also my last day doing pots and pans after lunch. That's exciting. My new duty is to clean the hall in the chapel right after breakfast, but it's tiny so it's not so bad.
After dinner, Christy, Colleen, and I were invited to go to Brad and Cece's for some Fika. It was amazing! We had pancakes (similar to crepes) with ice cream and chocolate syrup and strawberries. Mmm... delicious. Then we all just say in their living room and talked. They have a seven week old daughter named Kayley. How cool is that?

peace, love, and knowing one other person with my name.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day Seventeen... well, sort of

I'm not really going to post what I wrote for day seventeen, because it is just wayyyyy too personal. I apologize for any inconveniences I might've caused in your daily routines.

BUT, if you haven't already, you can go ahead and check out yesterday. And click the link to watch the music video. It's great. It really is.

peace, love, and...

Day Sixteen

We played pretty well this morning, which was pretty encouraging. It's hard to get used to playing with a new set of people, but it wasn't too horrible. The speaker was Jesse's dad and he talked about trusting in God - something I'm finding particularly difficult lately. I'm basically just being a pansy, for lack of a better word.
It was sort of rainy today after lunch, and it got a little colder, so because of the weather, no one was outside. I got my guitar and went out to the pavilion to just pour my heart out to God. I've been thinking about Sennit lately and I'm worried, to say the least. That's really all I can say right now about that without tearing up. Also, my relationship wth my dad sucks, so that's pretty fantastic. I've noticed I have a really hard time trusting guys that I look up to as father figures. I am so apt to open up to their wives or other adult women (Heidi, Coral, Beth), but when it comes to my "dads" it's just difficult to be open. It's even hard to me to open up to JJ sometimes, for fear that he might treat me like my dad has - even though I KNOW that's not true.
I have a hard time calling God my Father, as stupid as that seems. I don't really know what to do about all this.


For family groups tonight my family and Joel's family got together for a fantastical slip 'n slide event. It was so cold, but thankfully, that water from the hose was insanely warm. We ended up getting dirty and the dirt ended up getting muddy, so it evolved into a mud fight. That was pretty fun. Then we got cleaned off and ate, drank, and were merry. We watched another David Hasselhoff music video. Wow, he's a retard. Then I called Cory and it was great getting to hear his voice, as cheesy as that sounds. His birthday is coming up!

peace, love, and don't hassel the hoff.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day Fifteen

Seven of us hitchhiked into town today. We split into two groups - Kristin, Spencer, and myself in one group; Jenn, Christy, Thaddeus, and Alex in the other. We (my group) ended up walking for a half hour before we got picked up by a nice middle-aged woman. She spoke English and asked us where we were all from and stuff. After telling her I'm from FL, she said she has a house there. Neat.
We got some things at the grocery store and the sports store. I bought a much-needed pair of cleats, socks, and shorts, and only spend a little over $100. The cleats were probably $20-$40 cheaper here than they would've been in the US, and they're just as good.
On the way back, we only walked for about 12 minutes before an older man picked us up. Either he didn't know how to speak English, or he didn't want to. So he only spoke to Kristin. He dropped us off right at the door of the Barn. As a side note, let me just say I look like a pro in my football gear.
After we ate dinner, the few of us that are playing tomorrow morning for church decided it would be a good idea to practice again. We only practiced for 45 minutes because innebandy started at 7pm. One of the guys had been dissing me a lot because apparently when they played last night, his team owned. So of course my response was to talk some trash and say my team was going to beat his (even though we had no idea who our teammates would be).
At 7pm, we all walked down to the gym, still talking trash. There ended up being four teams, and luckily enough, he was on a different team than me. I was ready for the throw down. I had some great players on my team. We didn't end up playing his team until towards the end, but we tied 0-0. Oh yeah, and he checked me into the wall; I decided to play a little harsher after that. Then we played him again two games later, and my team won 1-0. I don't think I need to say anything else about that. =)

peace, love, and victory.

Day Fourteen

Supervising went pretty well this mornig. Cleaning the dining room wasn't that bad, it was just time consiming. We played musuic from my laptop and had some neat conversations. Apparently, on Sundaym a few if us frim SLC are leading swrhip. That will be very interesting considering how last minute it is. We are praticing tonight. Sersiouly, that's all there is to report today. It was pretty uneventful.

peace, love and not caring about spelling.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Day Thirteen

Today has been a pretty busy day. It's Thursday, so that means pancakes for breakfast. I actually wasn't tired in class today so that's a first. The last hour we talked about how to share the Good News, which is definitely something I needed to hear because I am not entirely fantastic at that.
Our first intramural football game was today. The first two teams played at 3:15pm and the other two at 4:15pm. I was in Lag 3 which played the second game. They made a rule that there has to always be one girl from each team on the field. It's a good rule because it makes it fair for everyone. But at the same time, it sucks for me because my team is the only team with one girl, so I have to play the whole time.
I played forward, which was new to me since I'm used to playing mid. Sometime in the first half, I assisted Josh from England in a goal. We were up by the goal, I had the ball, I passed to Josh, he scored. Our team ended up winning (7-2, or something like that) so that was pretty encouraging. Nate and Trevor called my team the monster team because apparently we have good players.
I was reppin' my A-Team shirt at the game, and we were trying to come up with a team name. Since I was the only girl, the guys wanted to include me in the team name. How nice of them. Ideas bounced around from Kaeli's Klan, to Kaeli's Kids, to Kaeli's Krew, to Kaeli's Boys, etc. Then Joel noticed my shirt and suggested the K-Team. So that's our team name now. I feel so honored.
Elke wanted to meet with a handful of people, myself included, after dinner. I thought I was in trouble. As it turns out, we are going to be supervisors for Work Day. Just for tomorrow. We were picked at random, but if we do a good job, she might pick us again later. I'm cleaning the dining room tomorrow with Kristin (pronounced Christine), and that's it. It should be fun - she's a neat girl, and she's teaching me Swedish.
Class tonight was pretty difficult. Gah-lee. It's been all about the importance of the septuagint, different people that translated the Bible, and characteristics of the NT. Lots and lots of information.
I asked Jenn if she would help me with my ball-handling skills in football, and she said she would be delighted. Hopefully by next week, I'll be a little better.
I haven't done my devos since I've been here and I sort of feel convicted about that. I just don't know what to read, and I didn't bring any devo books with me. That was stupid of me. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

peace, love, and the K-Team.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day Twelve

There's something here in Sweden that is similar to a Good Will back home; it's called Erikshjalpen, which means Erik's help. There's a really cool story behind it, and if you ever get the chance to look it up, do so. We took a tour of Erikshjalpen after breakfast. As we were listening and walking, I noticed a lady bug on Bekah's shirt. We named him Steve and determined that he was a germaphobe, self absorbed (he cleaned himself every three seconds), deaf, somewhat retarded, and he had lame legs. Literally. But we loved him and took him on the tour with us. He even stayed with us when we got back to the Barn. He really liked Bekah's jacket.
We had class tonight, and it was more mind-boggling discussions and questions and resolutions.
I wrote a song today - it's simple and short, but it expresses what I was feeling at the moment. I really needed God to just intercede in my life and cradle me in his love. I was sort of at a loss for words, hence the shortness. I tried to record it, but for whatever reason, I couldn't. I shall try again tomorrow. In the mean time, here are the lyrics (it makes more sense when they're in order):

God break me
And make me Yours
God save me
And make me Yours

For You are strong
And You are mighty
But I am weak
And so unworthy

For I am small
And I am weary
But You are all
And still You love me

peace, love, and poetry.

Ps. This just in! I recorded the song and it's now on my myspace music page. Go here to check it out. It's called "Make Me Yours" because I couldn't come up with a better title.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day Eleven

At breakfast, I sat at a table with Zack (intern), Nate (intern), Tyler, Luke, and Bekah. Bekah and I were slightly outnumbered. Anyway, the guys started talking about stupid guy stuff, and then they talked about paintball. I chimed in and mentioned how I have a full auto paintball gum and they all stopped and stared at me. Nate didn't believe me and asked me if I had one, just to make sure they heard right. It was pretty funny.

I feel like my head is going to explode. Today's lectures were so intense. We were talking about inerrancy and if there are alleged errors in the Bible. We went over many examples of Scripture and came to the conclusion that inerrancy is not a good choice of diction. There's more but if I tried to explain it, I know I'd be off because I can't think straight at the current moment.
We had the rest of the evening off, so Megan got her violin and I got my guitar and we did some praise and worship; that was cool. After dinner, I went to the chapel and did about another hour's worth on my own.
Around 9pm, Danielle, Christy, Jillian, Kristin, and I went on a walk up the hill and back. It was completely black in some places, but I have never seen that many stars. Ever. (Cue David Crowder's "Stars.") We had fun talking, mostly of things we want to accomplish in life. They were all freezing and in their winter coats, and I was in a hoodie with my sleeves rolled up. And I was still warm. Gah-lee.

peace, love, and cold-blooded.

Day Ten

Laundry day - finally. This morning, my roommates and I woke up early to drop our clothes off at the laundry room which was good because I was running out of things to wear.
Lectures were good today. Jesse is doing them this week and it's basically an apologetics class - sort of. It's pretty challenging and I'm excited about that.
After lunch, I had about three hours to kill, so I grabbed my guitar and went out to the pavilion by the football field. I was playing loud and singing louder. Eventually I played the song "How He Loves" and almost cried. That is one amazing song. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
The day passed by quickly after that. I went over to Heidi's after dinner for a cup of my favorite tea (English Breakfast) and that was fun. I ended up taking the cup with me to evening lectures because I wasn't done. Mmm.
Cory bought me a book called The Shack before I left for Sweden. I read a few chapters, but got hooked on the Twilight series in between so I put that book on hold. I finished the series last week, so I started reading The Shack again. Man that's a scary book; but it's definitely really good. I'm in chapter five now.
Dan locked up tonight and was wanting to borrow my guitar, so I waited till he got to the Barn (main building) and gave it to him. Then I read The Shack some more. If I don't go to sleep now, I'll be exhausted in the morning.

peace, love, and pages.

Day Nine

Church was good today. John Poysti spoke about leaving the past in the past. (I'd write more, but I'm journaling about this two days after the fact, and I can't really remember.) Before church started, there wasn't a whole lot to do so I grabbed my guitar and went out by the tree in front of the chapel. I was just playing and singing and praising God, and Megan came out with her violin and played with me - it sounded amazing. Pretty soon, there were about ten other people out there with us, just worshipping our God. It was awesome.
Jesse, Dean of Students and worship leader, mentioned something about if anyone wanted to be on a worship band, they had to sign up for the Spiritual Life Committee. So, I did. Big surprise, right? We had a meeting after lunch, just seeing if there was anyone interested in playing for Worship Together tonight. Megan, Manuel, Dan, Spencer, and I agreed to do that. Worship together is like an hour of praise and worship music, along with some other things. It was an awesome experience.

peace, love, and togetherness.