Thursday, June 22, 2006

final Mexico meeting

Last night we met at the Howell's for our final Mexico briefing and prep time. Amber reviewed some cultural things with us...children's games, interpreting tips etc. and then we broke up into our ministry groups to practice with our team interpreters. It is exciting to be at this point in the process. All the pieces have been pulled together, children's lessons, games, crafts are ready to go. The girls have done an AWESOME job preparing!! This by far has been the most prep for a youth trip that I have ever been on. I am proud of all the girls going. Now we get to look forward to meeting the people in Rosarito that I've heard so much about. A handful of people on this year's team have been one or several times before so they will be enjoying a reunion with people.

We are meeting tomorrow night, Friday, in Wasilla and then heading in to town to fly out that night. The plan is to spend Saturday at a water park in San Diego and drive into Mexico Sunday morning. I won't have computer access down there, but will update my blog when we get back after the 1st of July.

On a personal note, thanks to those of you who have mailed notes and cards or given me a card or personal word of encouragement the past few weeks. It means the world to me to know that there are people dedicated to praying for me and the teams I will be with this summer. You have no idea how encouraging it is. Thank you!! Blessings on you too this summer!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mayor's Marathon

Last year three of my youth girls and I decided to start a "tradition." We entered the Mayor's Marathon Relay race in Anchorage. Yesterday we competed in it for the 2nd time and had a least I think we all had a blast...aside from getting up at the crack of o-thirty on a summer day!

The relay is broken into 4 segments, my leg 7.1 miles, Johanna ran 2nd for 8.1 miles (our endurance girl), Erin ran 3rd for 5.5 miles and Emily brought it home with 5.5 distance, 26.2 miles. The weather was perfect this year, slightly over cast and in the low 60s. The general course leads from Bartlett High to West High in Anchorage. During my leg we had a crossing with a moose and all the out of staters (New Yorkers) oooed and awed with excitement over it! It was a blast! I love talking with people on the way about where they're from and sometimes why they are racing...cancer sponser etc. You meet a lot of interesting people from all over. Only one more year left girls!!


This past Thursday night we had a youth group reunion with one of our old leaders, Sarah. She moved a couple summers ago to NC where her husband is going to seminary. Blessing of all blessings, they are back all summer in AK working and interning. Ashley is working at WBC helping some with the construction of our new building along with leading the college group and preaching occassionally on Sundays.

Soooooo, the girls have been ACHING to have time with Sarah and catch up. They all came over to my house that night and we sat around talking, not hard for girls to do, and hearing everyone's stories. It was a natural fit to have Sarah back with us. We MISS not having you here Sarah!! It's great to have some time together though and I know that God is preparing your awesome family for incredible future ministry! You are dear to my heart! We love you!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

summer bridge shot...

Mom and I were in Anchorage this weekend for a Beth Moore conference. An excellent speaker/ teacher of the Bible. Beth has written books and several bible studies. I have yet to do one, but have heard great things about them. I hope to do one this fall called "Believing God." Her focus this weekend was from II Kings hitting on spiritual warfare that we battle daily and how to overcome it. There are SO many lies, doubts and fears we buy into b/c satan wants nothing more than to tear us down and destroy us.

One of the things that struck me the most was putting so much weight on "statistics." Whether it be odds of survival against a deadly disease, academic performance, self-esteem, overcoming an addiction, odds of staying married/healthy marrital relationship etc. One of the "stats" that has weighed on me the last several months is the percentage of divorce, extramarrital affairs and pornography. Sometimes I am bogged down by it and I think marriage is a farce. What's the point when the odds are likely a marriage will be destroyed by one of those stats. Really, though it's a fat lie from satan. Those things definitely DO happen, A LOT more than they should, but I don't need to throw marriage out the window b/c the odds are poor of having a healthy marriage. God is bigger than any stat, whatever it's in relation to and He has the power of ALL things...mainly over satan, who one day will be bound by all the havoc he is causing right now. Satan has NO power over God and that is FREEING!! As Christians we can live daily in VICTORY b/c sin has no stronghold over us! Praise the Lord for that!

So, that was a longer summary than I had in mind, but all in all it was a short, but good conference. She is a dynamic speaker and I recommend going to see her sometime if you have the chance.

The main reason I am posting a blog today is to share my latest Knik River bridge picture...summer time! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Curtis Menard Memorial Run

My dad and I ran the CCM Memorial run this morning in Wasilla. Curtis was a family friend that I knew through Wasilla Bible Church. I used to babysit their kids when I was in high school. Now Gabrielle is in middle school! Curtis was killed in a private airplane crash in August of 2001 leaving behind his wife of 9 years, Carole and four children. Sullivan at the time was 10 months old. A very hard hit for our community, church and family. Carole is an AMAZING woman and continues to be a good friend. I enjoy stopping by occassionally to see how things are going.

Today was the 5th annual memorial run. There was a great turn out and perfect weather! So dad and I ran it this year (5K) with personal goals in mind. And yes, Dean and Dale, he STILL beats me! The Ellers are little competative, particularly with running stats. I had a PR at 23:30 minutes and dad ran it in 22:48. I figure I have age on my side so I'll pass him up eventually. :-)

Eagle takes flight...

I'm adding some fantastic eagle shots Carrie took while we were down in Seward this past April. Incredible shots Miss Photographer! Eagles are such a majestic bird. They were all over in Seward. An awesome sight!