Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer Outreach

Summers around our house are really crazy!!! We go from Convention to Family Camp to Block Party to VBS all in about 7 weeks. It's a lot to do in 7 weeks. Even though we do a lot of planning in advance, there is still so much to do right up to the very end.

This year we had a team come from Marysville to help with our Block Party on the 21st. The day before the event we delivered invitations to 2700 homes!

The Block Party was lots of fun and we were very thankful for the team. We could not have done it without them. We were also thankful that God held off the rain during the event. We had lots of games, prizes, crafts, inflatables and food! The power company even came out and did a safety demonstration with their power pole trailer. Seeing what happens to a hot dog when it touches a power line definitely makes you think about being VERY careful around electricity. By the way, the hot dog gets burned from the inside out (ouch!). We all had a great time!

the power safety demonstration

Food and crafts were inside...

games were outside

all worn out

What's a better way to relax than playing video games?

Then we started our SonForce Kids VBS on Monday. We spent quite a bit of time decorating the church and it looked great! Every day the kids had to pass some kind of "test" to get into supper. It might be an obstacle course, solving a coded message or identifying a staff member in disguise. I got to teach the 4th-6th grade class. We had 12 kids and it was a joy teaching them. They were lots of fun and got along great!

My class

snack time

Craft time

Game time
Lesson time

Skit time

Guess who?

We also did a boys vs girls coin drive as a fund raiser for our friends' adoption fund for their daughter in China. Kids brought in lots of money to see who could bring in the most in POUNDS. Needless to say, we had LOTS of pennies! The girls won with 57 pounds of coins but the boys were very close with 51 pounds. The buckets were so heavy you could hardly lift one up! We took the coins to the bank yesterday and discovered that although the girls had more weight, the boys had more in value. All together we raised a little over $329! Not bad for 36 kids!

All the kids had lots of fun (and the staff did, too)! Now we just need to catch up on some much needed rest...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

As a youth group fundraiser for their trip to the Youth Convention in August, a group of us went to Safeco Field to work a concessions stand. Chris and I LOVE baseball and had never been to a Mariners' game before, so it was really hard to be working when we really wanted to be watching the game.

It's quite a bit of work and makes for a long day (leaving around 12:30pm and getting home around 1:30am), but it's something different and I like it a whole lot better than selling candy bars.

I wish I had time to take a picture once there were people at the stadium, but it's pretty busy and there isn't a lot of time to take pictures while selling fans hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and of course, beer. We're so busy we don't even know what the score is or what inning we are in until the top of the 8th when we have to stop selling beer. I have to say that I am glad we get our meal for free because at $4 for a water and $5.75 for a Major League dog, we would spend all our earnings on supper!

My grandma watched the boys while we were working and said she had never been to a baseball game before. We may have to add "taking Grandma to a Mariners' game" to our "Things We Want To Do In 2007" list.

Our booth

the view from in front of our booth

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Disappearing Boy

This is what happens when you let boys have access to a dryer and a video camera... (no boys were hurt during the making of this film)

It also involves a conversation about not playing in dryers anymore. :o)

Pool Weather

With the past few days being near 100 we decided it was finally time to put up the pool. The boys have had lots of fun! Even their RC boat got a chance to enjoy a run in the pool.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We all had a case of "puppy love" at our house this week. But none so much as Zack. We were watching some friends' puppy for them this week while they were out of town. We all loved having Freya with us (well almost all of us). Betsy, our dog, did not like having a puppy around the house at all. She didn't even eat the first 2 days Freya was here. Most of the problem was caused by the fact that Freya LOVES Zack and Betsy is Zack's girl. The second problem was that Freya LOVED Betsy and Betsy didn't want to have anything to do with her.It was actually pretty funny to watch the two dogs sitting on the floor with Zack in between. When we would put Betsy on the deck for some "alone time", Freya would lay on the floor in front of the slider and cry. It was so cute and kind of sad. We all felt sorry for poor Freya. :o(

The rest of us, on the other hand, loved having her around. She was so cute! She got a lot of love and attention and new experiences while staying at the Leingang home. The first new experience would probably simply be the noise and having little boys around all day. But she adjusted immediately and would cry when they left the room (especially Zack). They went running through the sprinkler together. She even slept with Zack on the floor of the family room this morning.

This is a movie that Zack and Will made with Freya. It is called "Freya the Wonder Dog!"

She also got to experience her first 4th of July fireworks with the Leingang clan. She went to 2 new houses, met about 20 new people and one new dog in only one day. And she did great! She just went with the flow and was very well behaved. Fireworks didn't bother her a bit, except that they interfered with her trying to get some sleep. After all, she had a really big day! So we put her crate inside so she could get some shut-eye.

Freya at the picnic

Freya and Maggie relaxing

We also took her to the river for some swimming. She didn't really swim but she did bark at everyone who came to close to our spot on the beach. She is a pretty good guard dog.

They came and picked her up today and the boys and I were at a birthday party when she left.
They were pretty sad to see her go. I have a feeling we will be hearing about getting a puppy now for a while. Sorry Betsy!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Born On The 4th Of July

This year we had lots of reasons to celebrate the 4th of July. It is not only one of our favorite holidays, but it is also my nephew's birthday. Yesterday Charlie turned one! So we went down to Portland to celebrate both a birthday and Independance Day. It was a absolutely gorgeous day with lots of sunshine! None of us could remember the last 4th of July that was that nice. (maybe there hasn't been one. LOL)
First we celebrated Charlie's birthday. My sister had a monkey-themed party that was so cute! She had monkey decorations, peanut butter and banana sandwiches and a monkey cake that took 3 1/2 hours to bake! Happy birthday Charlie! Sorry about your finger. :o( He grabbed the candle on his cake just as my sister blew it out.

He had lots of help opening gifts

Charlie loves his new blocks

Charlie got to enjoy his very own banana cake

that's a big monkey head!

After that party we went to my parents for the big BBQ picnic and 4th of July celebration. We love 4th of July! We also celebrated my dad's 60th a few days late. There was lots of family, fun, food, and of course... FIREWORKS!

Maggie thought grandpa needed a little help

I think that Chris is a little scared about how much I like fireworks. :o) I can't help it, it's genetic. Between my brother, my youngest sister and us we had hours worth of fireworks to set off. Despite setting the hedge on fire (we put it out fast!), it was a wonderful day and we even have some stuff left over for New Year's.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Beauty From Ashes

Today we went to visit our friends whose house burned down last week. Actually she invited our entire group over to see it before it gets bulldozed. We were deeply touched and blessed by their positive attitude of praise and thankfulness. As we looked over the remains of their beautiful home and could smell the charred wood, we were reminded of the phrase "beauty from ashes". So when we got home I looked in the concordance for the verse and found it in Isaiah 61.

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor ..., to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve...— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities...

They truly are a display of God's splendor!

Their biggest loss was the funds for their daughter's adoption from China that was to be paid two days after the fire. The money was in their home and was lost in the fire. While insurance will cover the rest of their losses, the cash cannot be recovered. Their daughter is in need of a routine eye surgery that if not done soon will result in the loss of her sight permanently. Please be praying for that darling baby waiting in China to come home.

Our church was so moved to do something to help our friends that they held a car wash fund raiser while we were away at camp with help from our support group. Working for 2 days, they managed to raise almost $1100! It is truly an answer to prayer!

Just looking at these pictures reminds us of what is truly important in life! Be sure to be thankful for all the blessings God has given us.

front of the house

the garage from the back yard

the house from the back yard

it is sort of surreal to look through the rubble and find items from their home (the large mangled piece of metal behind the toaster is their fridge)

the kids all played in the yard, it was good to hear their laughter

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Warm Beach Bible Camp

We just got home from the PNW district's family camp. It was a great week and we had so much fun!

The weather was predicted to be rainy and wet but God answered our prayers (ALL of our prayers) and we only had one damp day. The rest of the days were mostly sunny and not too hot.

The boys had fun this year in their cabins, going to Bible lessons, playing games, mini-golfing, and swimming. Actually, Chris and I had fun doing all those things, too! We also had a great time camping with friends of ours. I almost felt spoiled getting to see friends twice in a row!

While we were there we (the women's retreat committee) took a trip on the ferry out to the location for our women's retreat this fall. It is a very nice place. It is going to be a great location for our ladies! Now I am beginning to feel more excited about it. We have some great speakers and I think it will be a really great time for all of us.

The other big thing that happened while we were there is that Chris was elected to the Camp board. It is only for one year, and I think it will be a good experience. Maybe we can get more people from our church to come out next year in '08.

Here are some pictures of our week. If you live in the NW, come on out next year. We'd love to have you there!

Our site for the week

Zack and Andy's teepees

Will's bunk


water polo in the salt-water pool



playing Kubb- a really fun Viking game

ordering ice cream

they have a very challenging frisbee-golf course

Friday night we had the RV BBQ potluck

the sunset on Saturday night- gorgeous!

the SURGE choir on Sunday morning (Will is in the center)

Andy "bought" this broken cot from another camper for 2 pieces of red licorice (thankfully we only had to bring home the springs and the wire mesh)

packing up to go home