Monday, May 29, 2006

Knik River Bridge

My favorite local scene again, but in spring. Knik River bridge is one I drive across to and from Anchorage. I took a picture of it in late summer years ago before I left for college and kept the picture on my wall all through college. I decided this year to get a picture of it every season. Fall and spring are the most challenging b/c if you blink you miss the season. Literally we have about 2 weeks of each. This was our "spring" taken about 2 weeks ago. We are now in full on summer with the past seven days being in the upper 70s low 80s! Thank you Jesus for SUNSHINE and warm weather! For a peek at the winter bridge click back to my January far that's my favorite season picture. Gotta love Alaska!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gold Nugget Triathlon

I competed today in my second GNT (Gold Nugget Triathlon) and had a blast! A couple of things made this race particularly fun this year. One...I got to train with a team. We dubbed ourselves team "Surf 'n' Turf." It consisted of myself, one close friend, Katie Conover, and three new friends, Wendy Bredburg, her sister Natalie and their sister in law Brandie. The second great part about today was the weather. It was INCREDIBLE!! Probably the nicest spring day we've had yet this year! Last year I recall rain, wind and chilliness!! This year was awesome! I don't know my ranking or times yet, they come out online tomorrow, but I felt great and had a blast...that's what matters most!

The GNT is one of the largest all women triathlons in the nation. Women of all ages, ablities, shapes and sizes compete...from age 10-80. There were 1100 women registed this year! The race consists of a 10 lap swim in a pool, 10 mile bike and 4.1 mile run. Swimming is my toughest and running is my best. Woohoo for running!! I enjoy all three, at least my interest in swimming is growing. I figure it may be the only thing I can do when I'm 80 so I better learn now! :-)

The picture is of me and Katie post race at her sister's house. She had a birthday BBQ with a bunch of people afterward. Happy birthday Conover! Thanks for introducing me to something so fun!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A giRl tHinG...

Monday the high school girl youth leaders put together a full day retreat for all 9-12 grade girls. There were several girls from WBC and a handful of girls from other local churches. All in all about 35 girls came and it was...AWESOME!!

We broke the day up into four main sessions covering the following hot topics, Friendship, Faith and Life, Dating and What about Me?? It got going at 9:00 a.m. and went until a little after 8:00 p.m. The day started with a time of worship, singing and then broke into a quite time alone...prayer stations focusing on four areas of prayer: confession, thanksgiving and adoration, suplication and submission. After that the sessions began! Carrie Lambing headed up the session on friendships and went through "seasons," spring, summer, winter and fall friendships. Janeen Maxwell and I headed up faith and life touching on worship, fellow-SHIP (different than cruise ship), and the BIBLE. Jen Howell and Tammy-wa headed up a totally fun session on guys and dating. Then Sarah Novak and Amanda shakin' Bacon wrapped it all up with "What about ME??" A session that focused on healthy habits, eating disorders, exercise, time management, stress etc. A LOT of ground was covered!

In the mix of all that Brianna did a crafty key chain deal and another break led to the true Alaskan craft session...making purses out of duct tape! Talk about creative juices!! There were some stellar purses designed. All in all it was one of the most fun days I have had in a long time. It was a blast preparing and doing. An incredible group of leaders and an awesome group of girls. I'm thankful I got to be a part!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

MExiCo oR buSt!

Tonight we had our 2nd Mexico meeting...just the children's ministry team this time. Each girl is going to be leading a lesson/Bible story one of the 5 days we are there. Tonight they reviewed their lessons and we talked about songs we're going to attempt to SPANISH, woohoo!! We decided, after listening to our CDs that having a copy of the lyrics would be most helpful. I don't know if you've ever listened to music in another language, most of you probably have, but it's hard to hear the words when it all blends together in a melody. You can memorize just about any music if you listen to it long enough...just the way music works, but it's nice to know what you're saying!

Why the mug shot look you ask? We're a serious group...strictly business. Actually that's not even close to the truth. They were posing as a interview committee, but it came out to be more of a mug shot look. Nice ladies! !Buenos noches!

Phrase of the day... "Dios le bendiga." Leave a comment if you know what it means.

(girls from left to right: Natalie, Mayerly, Emily, Diana, Cathy, not pictured: Elizabeth)

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Woohoo! We had our first Merge meeting tonight with the sophomore gang that is going to Chicago this year. It was an awesome training night at the Parker pad! Tammy-wa, you are the hostess with the mostess bar none! Thanks for opening up your home during a busy season.

Merge, formerly known as SEMP, is a week long experience geared for high school students to "merge" with God's mission of love and restoration. What in the world does that mean you ask?? Basically, it's a week for kids to be inspired and trained to live and love like Jesus did in their OWN encourages them to be able to go home and serve where they live and be confident to share their faith. We had three leaders speak on outreach and give some general info on how the week will be laid out when we get there. There are 16 sophomore students going and 6 leaders. Dan, Steve and Sean will be leading the guys and driving us around Chicago. Sarah and Brianna will be leading their girls and I will be overseeing the logistics part of it all.

The team will be flying out July 15th and will be spending a week on Wheaton's campus. We'll be there with several other youth groups from all over the country. Last year there were about 1,000 youth participating...not including all the leaders! Most days we do service projects and outreach with other youth groups. It's a great opportunity for our students to connect with other teens. Merge ends on Friday, but we will be staying an extra day and half to hang out, bond as a group and check out some of the Chicago sites...Six Flags is our big Saturday shabang before we head home on Sunday.

I am very excited about going again this year. I feel somewhat bonded with this group already b/c I was able to go with them on their 8th grade campout a couple years ago. They are an AWESOME group of teens! The leaders going are incredible too! Stay tuned for more later on Merge!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mexico training #1...

We had our first Mexico team meeting yesterday out at the Howell's (youth pastor's house). It was a packed day (3-9 p.m.) with lots of information, intro stuff and great fellowship! Our team consists of 6 Junior girls, 5 guys, myself, another girl leader/interpreter, and 3 guy leaders. The girls going are Mayerly, Natalie, Diana, Emily, Cathy and Elizabeth. The guys going are Alan, Nate, Shane, Cameron and Jeremy Burris.

There can be up to three ministry teams on this trip but b/c of the smaller group size we'll be focusing on two: children's ministry and sports ministry. I am excited that it is a smaller group b/c I think it will allow for more intimate bonding with the whole team.

Cody is in charge of the sports ministry team and Eddie will be helping out. Amber Shea will be the interpreter for that ministry. I am in charge of overseeing the children's ministry with my girls. Mayerly, one of my girls, will be our group's interpreter. Mayerly is from Columbia and speaks Spanish fluently. She actually volunteers at my school 2 days a week workingin the Spanish Immersion classes at Larson. Mayerly has been to Mexico a couple times prior as an interpreter and she is excited to be going this year with her own group. Kris, our youth pastor, will be overseeing the group as a whole.

I loved having yesterday with the team to get to know some of the students better and their desires/expecatations for going on a trip like this. There are a handful of guys AND girls that are interested in possibly seeking missions in some form in the future. I am EXCITED to see how God will use this trip to stir in their hearts and plant seeds for future ministry! He has gifted them all in unique and awesome ways!

We will be meeting 3 more times before we actually take off for Mexico. Hence the "training #1" title. :-) Stay tuned for more...