vacation

Hike up Mt. Pilchuck

Today at 6:00 a.m. myself, my sister Keren, my dad, my little brother Benjamin, my friend Josiah, and Keren’s friend Crystal all hiked up a mountain that resides about a two hour drive from our house, called Mt. Pilchuck, not to be confused with “Woodchuck” or “upchuck”. Regardless of the light the name may cast on the mountain, it is actually a very beautiful and fun hike. We’ve done it once before, and it took us about 3.5 hours to summit. Today, we made it in about 2.5 hours. There is BEAUTIFUL scenery on the way up, and lots of fog. :) At the top of the mountain, when the weather is clear, you have the best view in Washington State (or so it is said). Unfortunately, we did not have this pleasure, and it was very misty at the top…which added a mystical surreal feeling to it all. The hike is mostly dirt with scattered rocks, although in some places, you have to climb over some slightly large boulders. At the top of the mountain, there is a large collection of boulders, and an old fire lookout at the top, where we stopped to eat lunch, and rest. After about 45 minutes, we started heading down. Josiah and I decided to run, so we ran all the way down the mountain (and I mean ran), and cut off about an hour of time. It felt good, getting to the bottom, passing up everyone as we charged in our mad dash down the mountain (with our backpacks). No doubt we were taken several times for aspiring marines. :D

Here’s a whole bunch of AWESOME shots I got on the mountain…enjoy!

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Monday, September 1st, 2008 Uncategorized 62 Comments

Vacation to Winthrop

Well, we just got back from our vacation to Winthrop, which is in Eastern WA!

We had a lot of fun…and the drive is beautiful. So many cool things to see…although there’s not TOO much to do down there. :)
We stayed at a nice place called the “River Run Inn”, which has little cabins for people to stay in. There’s a pool room about a 3 minute walk from the cabin, which also has wifi, so I was able to get on a little.

Basically, the routine went:

Wake up – little kids watch Curious George on TV – eat breakfast – swim/I get on internet – eat lunch – swim – eat dinner – watch a movie (usually Pixar) – watch a little olympics – sleep – repeat. :)

Here’s some pictures I took!

My brother Benjamin

My brother Benjamin

My brother Daniel (has Downs Syndrome)

My brother Daniel (has Downs Syndrome)

My sister Keren

My sister Keren

My little sister Sarah

My little sister Sarah

My little brother Josiah

My little brother Josiah

I FOUND A GREEN LAKE!!!

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Monday, August 25th, 2008 Uncategorized 135 Comments

Trip to Waldport Oregon

OK, so here is the long awaited post on my trip to Waldport Oregon for our church’s VBA!

It was an AWESOME time…just like the last. They were both awesome, yet in different ways. I really couldn’t choose between Waldport or Latah…there are different qualities in each.

NOTE: You can click on any of the pictures to bring up the full image. Please do not use these images without permission. You can also move your mouse over the image to view captions.

Saturday, July 12: We drove to church at 11:00 and loaded up our stuff into the different cars, and the trailer. We left our church at around noon, and hit the road. The travel time is pretty long…top of Washington to the midwestern part of Oregon (almost EXACTLY in the middle of Oregon, and right on the coast), so it was about a 7.5 hour drive. We arrived at around 7:30 p.m, and the people at First Baptist Church of Waldport had dinner all ready for us. There are some GREAT people in Waldport. After dinner, we unpacked all of the cars, got our sleeping bags, suitcases, etc, and put them into the cars we were taking to our houses we would be staying at for the rest of the week. I was excited, because I got to stay in a trailer on the grounds of the church…so all my stuff was right there if I needed it. :) Two other guys stayed with me…my good friend Cameron Partch, and my other friend Kevin White. They are both older than I am…around 23 years old…but we have a great time, and lots of good conversations.
After we took out all of our VBA stuff and put it in a room inside the church to set up the next day, we set up a new volleyball net that Cameron actually MADE. It’s awesome…SUPER strong. The previous net was somewhat of a joke, because it was so flimsy that it kept breaking. This new one is a NICE net.

Here are some cool pictures I took…these are some of my favorite pictures EVER that I have taken.I said I would upload more pictures for this post, so you’re getting more here. It’s taken me FOREVER to upload them all.

A view from outside First Baptist Church of Waldport. It's beautiful.

A view from outside First Baptist Church of Waldport.

Another view from the church

Another view from the church

A silhouette of Dustin, a friend of mine

A BEAUTIFUL sunset behind the church

A BEAUTIFUL sunset behind the church

Dustin against the beautiful sunset

Dustin against the beautiful sunset

Dustin, David, and Ryan against the sunset

Dustin, David, and Ryan against the sunset

Sunday, July 13: Today I got to sleep in for quite a while because it was Sunday, and services didn’t start until 10:00 a.m. I got up at 9:00…and was very surprised, because my fold-out bed in the motor home was actually very comfortable, and I had a great night’s sleep. At 10:00, they had the youth sunday school, where four of the older young adults in our group (around age 22-25) gave their testimonies, some of which were very moving. After the Sunday school, the actual service began. It was a really good service. I and three other people sang one of the songs that the kids would be learning during the VBA, which is actually a very cool song, with real sign language for the hand motions. It sounded really good, because we sang in 4-part harmony, with one other person playing the piano.

After service and lunch (which was a barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs), we got busy setting everything up. We had several carports which were used as tents for different activities outside, which we set up, plus LOTS of crépe paper and such that we had to hang inside. There was a BEAUTIFUL hand-painted “undersea” backdrop for the stage, made by someone from our church as well. After we got everything set up (which took about 3-4 hours), we got to play a little volleyball before bed.

Monday, July 14: Today was the first day of VBA! We had quite a few kids…I think it was about 91. I was working with 7-10 year old boys, and I had 4 in my group. There were about twentysomething 7-10 year old boys total. The ones I had were actually really good, so that made me happy. A lot of the kids that we minister to in Waldport are children of druggies, or alcoholics, etc. Many of them are living with their grandparents. Anyway, all of the themes for the day were the same as Latah…see my previous post for what they were. The day went well, and we had a good time with the kids, all of whom wanted to come back. After lunch, it was our work party day. We all left at 2:00 p.m. in groups of about 5 and went to different houses to do work. Me and 4 other guys went to an elderly lady’s house, and helped pull creeping ivy from her yard. It wasn’t fun work, but we had fun talking with each other while working, and we even came up with a REALLY cool version of the next day’s song. It was the basic tune of the song, but with the other 4 guys doing a chant in the background, and me singing it in a thick scottish accent. When we got back to the church, we performed it in front of everyone, and had them rolling with laughter. Once I get that video from the guy who took it, I’ll see if I can get it posted on here. After dinner we played some more volleyball, before having our guy’s Bible study, and going to bed. I have some notes from some of the Bible studies, which I’ll post later.

My friend Cameron preparing for Bible Study

My friend Cameron preparing for Bible Study

Tuesday, July 15: Second day of VBA. Again, it went excellently. However, one of the kids in my group had to leave, because something was happening with his dad…and they had to move temporarily down to Texas. They didn’t know anything about it until today. Today was a free day, so after lunch, our whole group went to a large aquarium, which was about a 15 minute drive from the church. It was really cooL! Lots of cool fish, sharks, and stuff. My favorite part though was the very small “petting zoo” part, where I actually got to touch a couple of stingrays and some sharks!!! When we left the aquarium at 5:00 p.m., we went and had a picnic dinner on a grassy area outside. I got a coca-cola can, and started shoving my trash (like potato chip bags) inside it…when I decided to see how much stuff I could fit inside a coke can! It became a huge joke, because everyone started bringing me their trash, and I was shoving it into every nook and cranny inside the small coke can. In the end…I was able to fit 12 sandwich baggies (ziplock bags), 22 of the “personal-size” potato chip bags, and one paper bag that came from the aquarium giftshop! So now it’s sort of an inside joke with everyone, because I was so obsessed with trying to get the can COMPLETELY full…:D

Here’s some pictures from the aquarium.

YES! Where it's OK to be weird!!!

YES! Where it's OK to be weird!!!

A puffin-like bird

A puffin-like bird

The "petting zoo" part of the aquarium, where we could touch different sea creatures

The "petting zoo" part of the aquarium, where we could touch different sea creatures

Wednesday, July 16: VBA was AWESOME today! Today was the day where we talk all about Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross. I was SO excited, because after one of the story sessions where the story was told about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and then talking about how Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead, etc, and the kids were told how to say the prayer, one of my 8-year-old boys came up to me and said “I prayed the prayer along with the lady!”
I said: “Oh, that’s really awesome! Have you never asked Jesus into your heart before?”
He said: “Well, when I was three, I did, because my mom told me that I would be a sinner, but I never really understood what I was doing. Now I do understand, and I feel so happy!”

We were all SO excited…it made our whole week.

Also, we were REALLY excited…we broke our all-time Waldport record for most number of kids on a particular day…103 kids!!! Our previous record was 102.

After VBA, it was another work day. One group went down the highway and picked up trash, some other groups went to houses and did weeding, and the group I was in stayed at the church, weeding the flowerbeds and putting down beauty bark. Afterwards, we had dinner and Bible study.

Here’s a couple pictures of the kids at VBA:

Kids at VBA playing games

Kids at VBA playing games

Leaders are just big kids. :D

Leaders are just big kids. :D

Leaders are just big kids.

Leaders are just big kids.

The kids in my group

The kids in my group (left to right: Orien, Josiah, Tyler, Jonah)

Thursday, July 17: We had another decision for Christ today! We were all excited. We don’t usually have more than 1…if that! So it’s good to know that we’re making a difference! After the VBA today, it was another “off” day, so we went to the beach! It was a REALLY nice beach! There was almost NOBODY there…only about 5 people (besides us). We set up the volleyball net, and played several games, and also played a really fun game of Ultimate frisbee…with a MASSIVE field on the beach. I played REALLY hard, and my feet hurt really bad because I’m flatfoot…and I took my shoes off for the running. But I still had a BLAST. There was also a big sand ridge before you get on the beach…about 15 feet tall, that runs the length of the beach. It was probably created by the tide coming up JUST to there so many times that it washed all the sand up to it away. Most beaches have something like that. Anyway, lots of us jumped off of it onto the sand below…it was really fun! It’s REALLY psycological, because you look down, and you’re 15 feet up. But as long as you don’t lock your knees, you land fairly soft. So I have a TON of awesome pictures of people jumping in the air.

Here’s some of the pictures from the beach:

Waves on the ocean

Waves on the ocean

Bekah jumping off the "cliff"

Bekah jumping off the "cliff"

Dustin jumping off the "cliff"

Dustin jumping off the "cliff"

David jumping off the "cliff"

David jumping off the "cliff"

Little Emma jumping off the "cliff"

Little Emma jumping off the "cliff"

My friend/prayer partner Jesse

My friend/prayer partner Jesse

Cameron, a good friend of mine

Cameron, a good friend of mine

A picture I took of wheat, with the ocean behind

A picture I took of wheat, with the ocean behind

Moss-covered rocks outside the church

Moss-covered rocks outside the church

Friday, July 18: Today we packed back up all of our stuff after the VBA (we had yet another decion for Christ today!). The trip back was long, but still fun. It was longer than we expected…we left at 3:00 p.m., and we didn’t arrive at church until around 11:00 p.m., then we had to unload all the stuff, and then load our luggage into our own cars before coming home. I didn’t get home until around 12:30 a.m.! Yikes…

So there you have it! Yet another AMAZING week, which God has really used in my life. My next post will probably be talking about some of my Bible reading and the studies we had.

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 Uncategorized No Comments

Additional Latah pics (July 7, 2008)

Just to let you all know, I’ve updated my Latah post from about 1 1/2 weeks ago with some pictures. I’m also going to put some here.

I got in the mood for taking some cool, people shots, and I got some AWESOME ones! I was SO happy with the way they turned out.

Go West Young Man

One of my sister\'s friends

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Monday, July 7th, 2008 Uncategorized 21 Comments

Trip to Latah

Hey all! I just got back from an AMAZING trip to Latah Washington, for a VBA with our church! (VBA is our church’s name for VBS…the only difference is that instead of Vacation Bible SCHOOL it’s Vacation Bible ADVENTURE. Much more clever, wouldn’t you say? :D)
I had a GREAT time there, and also an amazing time of growing in the Lord.

The following is a list of things that we did, or that happened during our trip.

Sunday, Day 1: We left church at 8:00 a.m., and drove for about 6 hours until we reached Latah, Washington. There, we unpacked, and set up some carports that we use as tents for different outdoor activities. We also set up a volleyball net after dinner, and played a couple of games. The scenery is AMAZING in Latah…rolling green hills of grass and wheat.

Bible Study was held at the Hogan’s house, for us guys. We all went outside, and sat around a bonfire. Ryan Hogan (an AWESOME guy there that I met last year, who JUST got out of Marine boot camp) was there with us, and made the fire the MAN way. He put some sticks and logs on the fire pit (one of the large metal ones), then threw about a pint of diesel fuel on the fire. :) The fire went about 20 feet into the air! Oh yeah. :twisted:

Our massive diesel bonfire

There was also a nice sunset, of which I got several cool pictures.

A beautiful sunset behind a barn

Monday, Day 2: Today was the first day of actual VBA. The theme today was “You are a precious jewel to God”. We had 48 children today, which is very good for Latah. It’s not a very large town, so kids also came from surrounding towns. The way we have things set up, the kids show up at 8:45 a.m., and the VBA starts at 9:00. We have several different rotations…first is large group, where they learn the song and verse of the day, and hear the Bible story for the day. Next came crafts, followed by Bible Study, games, snacks, Heroes of the Faith (basically a story about some famous person that relates to the theme of the day…today’s was on Amy Carmichael, who saw the children in India as God’s precious jewels), then finally, another large group where they review the song and verse, and get to see an awesome skit. :) The skit is always the best part, because our church has so many people who are great actors. They make them really funny, yet with great points.

Today was also one of our free days after VBA (we have one day free, the next is a work day, next day free, etc.), so we went into Couer de Alene Idaho, and set up a volleyball net at a park, played some volleyball, walked through the town, etc.
We had a Bible Study every night (except for one, where it was so late that we just had to have our guys prayer time by itself. Normally we have a 45 minute Bible Study, and then another 20-30 minutes of Bible Study). It was awesome again.

Tuesday, Day 3: Today was the second day of VBA, and the theme was “You can know what is Right and what is Wrong”. The Heroes story was about “Eric Liddell, who followed his convictions, and wouldn’t run in the Olympics because he believed it to be wrong to participate on Sunday. The kids were amazing the whole week…last year they were a LOT more rowdy, and hard to control, but they were ALMOST as good as gold this year! ESPECIALLY for 7-10 year old boys!!! Today was our work day, so after the VBA, we ate lunch, then went into town to the local rest home, and visited for about 25 minutes with some of the seniors. Me and another guy had an older gentleman who was really nice, but who would repeate EVERYTHING you would say, sometimes with a rather humorous answer. Here’s a sample convo, with actual responses.

Me: Did you ever live on a farm?
Senior: Did I ever live on a farm yes I lived on a farm.
Me: That’s cool! I have a friend who enjoys farming. Did you have cows?
Senior: Did I have cows yes I had cows.
Friend: Did you have any other animals?
Senior: Did I have any other animals pigs.
(he always said the question like a statement, and tacked his answer on the end).

Me: Were you ever married?
Senior: Was I ever married yes I was married.
Me: Oh! Who were you married to?
Senior: Who was I married to my grandpa. ( :shock: :shock: :shock: I don’t think this is what he meant…:))
Friend: [trying REALLY hard to stop laughing under his breath] Oh? How many kids did you have?
LOL. We were trying to figure out what in the world the guy was talking about…but I think at that point he didn’t understand us. :)

After the rest home, we went to do different jobs in groups. Me and a couple of other guys went to the Hogans house, and cut/laid dripline for their farm. We met back at the church at around 6 PM for dinner, then went back to our normal houses we were staying att (all of the guys were staying at the Pfaffs)

Wednesday, Day 4: Today’s theme was “You can be sure you are going to heaven”. This was a great day, as it was the gospel story. The day went well, and I think a lot of the kids got it. (One middle school girl later wrote a tearjerker letter to her leader, telling her how grateful she was that we came, because now she can truly know that she is going to heaven, and that Jesus loves her, etc. It made EVERYONE’S day.).
Today was also a free day, so after lunch, people went to one of three activities. There was boardgames/outdoor games at one house, horseback riding at another, and firearm shooting at the Pfaffs. :twisted: Guess where I went? Yep…shooting. It was great. I did it last year, and it was just as fun this year. We had several different rifles to choose from: There was a .223 Remington, a 30-06, an OLD flintlock rifle, a Kalashnikov, and a semiautomatic AK-47. :) The AK-47 was the best, because you could rapid-fire it, and shoot about about 5-6 rounds per second. :D
For pistols, we had seven .32 caliber sidearms, a flintlock pistol, a 9mm pistol, and a .40 caliber. I shot every weapon mentioned except for the flintlocks, and the 30-06. It was a blast (LITERALLY. :D).

Our arsenal at the Pfaffs house

Afterwards, we played a HILARIOUS game of volleyball…it was basically a no-scored, ALMOST rule-less game. :) NOTHING was out of bounds, and the point of the game was basically to keep the ball in play. The ball could go over or under the net, and each team could touch the ball as many times as they wanted, as could a single player. The only rule was that the ball could only bounce once on the ground, otherwise it would have to be restarted. We started keeping track of how many hits we could get without breaking that rule, and we reached our record at 93. :) It was so funny, because we used a superlarge foam ball, and people kept getting hit in the face (we had about 30 people playing). :)

Thursday, Day 5: Today’s theme was “Your life has purpose”. The Heroes story was about Svea Flood, a missionary who reached just one boy before she died, but the boy reached an entire tribe. We filled up a bucket with water for game time…and when I saw the water, I almost choked. See the next picture…this is tap water…NOTHING added!

The copper-filled tap water in Latah

It was also a work day today, so me, my sister, and another guy went to a park and stained the wood on the entire big toy in the park for the town. That was actually pretty fun. Other groups had other jobs.

Friday, Day 6: Today, was the last day of VBA. The theme was “You can make a difference in the world”. The Heroes story was about Rochunga Pudaite, who was a boy who was sent by his father to a school over the mountains to learn to translate the Bible into their language. After VBA, there was a picnic, and many farewells to the kids (some of them tearful). We then packed up all of our things, and left at around 3:00 p.m. On the ride home, we stopped at a gas station, and I found something that made my eyes do this: :shock:
A 32oz can of Monster Energy drink! :shock: :shock: :shock: The thing was MASSIVE! I couldn’t let that opportunity slip by without being able to say I did it, so I bought it, and shared it with a couple people in the car. The problem was, we all got on a caffeine high, and we were all laughing almost the ENTIRE car ride. :) It was a fun car ride back though.
We “rowed” out the window of the car during the trip (for those of you who haven’t seen/done this, it’s where one person on each side of the car rolls down their window, and acts as if they are rowing the car along the street. It’s HILARIOUS to watch other drivers’ expressions. :D As soon as the car starts getting closer, you row faster, and it looks HILARIOUS. :D :D :D)

Anyway…that brings us to now! I’m back! So if you took the time to read this, you will know what an amazing trip it was. I can never explain how great an impact it had on my life…but it was great. Thank you all for your prayers! I am SO looking forward to our next outreach to Waldport, Oregon, which is next month!!!

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 Uncategorized 69 Comments

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