Thursday, October 26, 2006


"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." ~ Ephesians 4:29

This month the pastor at my church challenged us as a church body to make this a personal goal and desire. What would it look like if more people strove to do this? How would my witness change if I spoke to build others up and encourage them and not judge them or tear them down? It's easy, too easy, to compare, bicker, resent, argue over the triffle things in life that really in the bigger picture, don't matter a whole hill of beans. Imagine for a minute what it would be like to set the little things aside and see things from God's perspective. We are not here on earth to destroy each other...that's satan's job. As Christians we are here to be Christ's AMBASSADORS to be his representatives. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to him. May my walk match my talk.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Africa Night!

Friday night I invited my senior girls over for an "Africa Night!" I wanted to have an entire night to share about my trip this summer, eat, learn and hang out so this was it! Nine girls came and shared first in a home made curry dinner. Yes, Joani, wonders never cease. I cooked a foreign meal from scratch and it turned out pretty darn good if I say so myself. So the girls were seated at the table with bowls and glasses. No silverware, no napkins. I wanted to give them the full Indian experience that I had eating at the home I spent the night at while I was in Durban. This time I got to sit back and enjoy watching them fumble and figure out how in the world to get the curry and rice mixed and in their mouth. They also had to figure out how to pass food and pour drinks with only one clean hand. A very rich experience indeed!

After dinner we sat around and talked over a cup of hot 5 Roses Tea with milk and sugar...very European but popular with ALL the people in Durban. They also got to sample some curry flavored "chip snacks" for lack of a better term. Caiti, one of the girls brought amazing cupcakes to wrap it all up. Thanks Caiti!

We moved into the family room for a slideshow/power point where I shared some history and general info on South Africa as well as update them on the current and future ministry plans of the Embrees and ministry opportunities in S.A.

The night wrapped up with a little lesson in Zulu. I pulled together some basic words from a beginning Zulu book I bought and had them guess different terms. They did surprisingly well! For those language buffs that are ACHING to know some for yourself..."Halala" means "welcome," "Sawubona" means "hello," and "Hamba Kahle" means "Good bye."

Hamba Kahle for now!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Thursday night was our kick off bunko game for this year! For those who don't know bunko is a mindless dice game that really is more of an excuse to get together and catch up than it is a game taken seriously. There are 12 in our group, three newbies this year since Carrie, Jane and Deanna moved out of state. We met at Kroon's for school color/jersey night. Wasilla, Houston and Palmer high were all represented. No Colony, it barely opened before our group graduated high school. Crazy to think it's not that old, or I guess that we ARE that old! Good times were had! We might have to come up with a bunko cheer...any takers, Amanda??

Monday, October 02, 2006

October in Alaska

Another picture of the fall color on our trip back home from Kenai this past weekend. Pictures don't do it justice but it gives you an idea!

taste of fall

Our trip down south this weekend proved to be one of the most spectacular trips down I have ever had. Fall was in full "bloom" and the sun was out w/out a cloud in the sky! The drive from south Anchorage to Kenai is about 3 hours and covers an incredible landscape starting along the ocean surrounded by mountains moving down through the mountains that wind around turquois blue glacial lakes and rivers...the mountains that are currently bright yellow, green and red along the tundra line. Absolutely beautiful! Alaska is a place like no other.

The drive reminded me of the verse in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

Believing in God the Creator of the universe I just sat in the car in awe of all that surrounded me. I don't understand how people can look at the creation that surrounds us in Alaska and not believe there is a Creator God who put it all in place. Why?? That boggles my mind even more...for our ENJOYMENT!! The best part? This is only a tiny eye drop drip of what heaven will be like! Man I ACHE to be there some day! I can only imagine! What we see now PALES in comparison to what we will experience. THAT is AWESOME!!

For other incredible pictures click on the "My Adventure Buddy" link to Carrie's blog. She is currently taking a one month road trip around the states and is passing through the Teatons in WY and Yellowstone...she is a fabulous photographer! Thank you Jesus for blessing us with incredible scenery!!


Friday night 6 of my senior girls spent the night for a Bible study sleepover. This summer after our trip to Mexico 8 girls committed to read through the Bible in a year. We met once for a shorter time about six weeks ago but had a full fledge overnighter devoted to it this time.

We are following a similar format to two other groups of teens from WBC. There are 8 "check points" throughout the study where we get together to get our next reading sheet, talk about what we've read, things we've learned and questions we have about different passages. We are also paired into "Barnabas Buddies." Barnabas is a man in the Bible that was known to be an "encourager." Our Barnabas Buddy is a girl that we are accountable to throughout the year to touch base with once a week and encourage to keep on track.

Our study time and sharing was awesome. I wish we would have done this type of study in years past. I love hearing what other people are learning and to be challenged personally to keep up and be reading my own Bible daily. We had a fantastic night of fellowship! Blessings on you girls! I am proud of you!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kenai River Marathon

This weekend was a two for one bonus trip down south. Not only did I get to see my senior girls and some other WBC youth run at the state cross-country meet, I got to run in a race myself! About a month ago Rebecca Buchanan asked me if I'd like to join a marathon relay team for a race in Kenai. I eagerly said yes, not having or making the opportunity to do a fall race very often.

I didn't realize at the time but this was a first annual marathon in Kenai and all in all it went really well and was a great course. There were four on our team, Rebecca, myself, Kristy Smith (a friend from high school that teaches) and Trisha Kenny (another teacher friend). We each took a leg of the marathon and had a blast! Our overall unofficial watch time was 3:18. There were about 6 other relay teams, two high school teams...runners that had just competed in the state meet!! They ran significantly faster than we did. :-)

After doing a couple relays with my youth girls and now this one, I really like racing on a team. It breaks up the length and you have your own personal cheering section at check points and you work together. I highly recommend trying a relay race it's diffent but a blast!

This is a pre-race picture of our team. The weather was drizzly with a nice chill, how's that for a meteorology report? Hence the winter coats and pants! The baby is Toby Rebecca's son...he was not in the race but was a trooper car rider! Rhett, Rebecca's husband was our check point transporter. Thanks Rhett!

Grand Finale!

Another post race photo op. Johanna, one of my senior youth girls, comes from a family that RUNS. I think they have run since they knew how to walk. :-) Her dad, Mark, is the head coach at Colony and has had the privilege of coaching his son (former CHS graduate), daughter Jo (senior) and daughter Heidi (freshman). Merry, their most awesome mom, got to go down with the team as the team cook. For those who don't know Merry she is a FABULOUS cook! Everything (even the flour) :-) is from scratch. Merry has also been a mentor to me and holds a special place in my heart. The whole family does.

This was Jo's final race at the state meet this weekend. She was the first Colony runner to finish and had a great race! I am glad I got to be there to celebrate the event. I am proud of you Johanna!


This weekend was the high school state cross-country meet down in Soldotna. Two of my youth girls from Colony High made it to state and competed, Erin and Johanna. They both ran hard and did an awesome job! Erin pushed herself so hard that she colapsed at the end. After getting her feet back under her, a little and some water she was up for a picture op. Great season Erin! I'm proud of you!