Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home Sleep Home

We're home again! Our 60th Warm Beach Family Camp was tons of fun! God blessed us with convicting and thought-provoking teaching, great counselors and cabin mates (the best the boys have ever had at Bible Camp), wonderful praise music, lots of fun activities, fellowship with friends, and gorgeous weather (especially the second half of the week).

It was also an exciting year because we had 17 people from our church at Bible Camp this year! It has only been our family the past couple of years since we have been here. Praise the Lord!

Here are some picture and video highlights from our week:

Our little friend Seamus is ready to go canoeing
married vs singles softball game (the marrieds won 9 to 7! Yeah!)
Will's ready to ride for his first time (ride 'em cowboy)

hanging out at camp
Moonlight mini-golf

our camp in the woods
getting ready for our trail ride
Chris, Will and Carrie on our canoe ride

a hula dance
commissioning the Camp Board (Chris is on again this year)
Will at the Board Shop
Keegan, Zack and Andy canoeing (it was our boys' first time)
The Surge choir
Now it's time to catch up on our sleep (and the laundry).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Good To Be Home

The Annual Convention meetings went well (at least the ones I made it to) and pretty quickly, too up until the forum on constitutional changes. But it is always good to see some passion at our convention. Chris' "sermon" (it wasn't really a sermon, but a application of the sermon the night before) went really well despite the computer crash. God is faithful and answered the prayers of His people offered on our behalf. PTL!

But of course the best part of the convention was seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and there is never enough time for that. The Ekelunds threw a BBQ party for the sem grads over the past few years and it was a great party! Thanks guys!

We enjoyed meals with friends, long talks, going to the cheap theatre in Fargo, seeing new babies and babies that are due soon, walks through town, tornadoes, fantastic praise music (it was like what I imagine it will be like in heaven)...

It was hard to say goodbye to all our friends but I was too tired from the lack of sleep to even cry. But I am still riding the "convention high" and am basking in the joy of all the wonderful friends God has blessed us with. I already can't wait until next year's convention!

Now we just have to finish the unpacking, the yard work, the laundry... :o)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Basements and Banquets

The beautiful blue sky disappeared suddenly and the black omnious clouds were looming on the horizon. We were walking to the church for the Pastors' Banquet and the alarm went off. The tornado alarm!

The funny thing is, we should have been more worried. When we arrived at the church, we all mingled about for a while and joked about the fact that we would all be safe because the church has a basement (although none of us were in the basement).

Then the word came that there was a tornado and we all needed to go to the basement. As people continued to file into the "safe room", news came that a funnel cloud had been seen in the distance.

funnel cloud over town (from The Daily Journal)

By the time candles were collected, the warning was over and we all went up to eat. But it rained like gangbusters, the funnel cloud blew over downtown and snapped a power pole, and it freaked out all the people that were downtown for the parade.

a trailer that tipped during the storm (from The Daily Journal)

And when it was all over, we walked back to the house under sunny blue skies and chirping birds.

It all made us realize that only God is in control...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lessons I Learned On The Road

We left on Tuesday for Fergus Falls with a couple from our church to attend our Annual Convention. I love coming back to Fergus! (and the sun is out here which makes it even better)

After 3 days in the back seat of a truck and sleeping in a fifth-wheel in parking lots, I have learned a few new things about being on the road.

1. Coffee drinkers have to stop more often

2. It can snow in June (we had snow a couple of times in MT)

3. you can't go wherever you want to in a fifth-wheel

4. ginger works best on straight roads (the ones in ID and MT are like being in a jackhammer)

5. the world doesn't stop even when you have a massive hard-drive crash (Chris lost EVERYTHING on his computer 2 days ago, including the sermon he was working on to preach at convention on Monday)

6. Montana is REALLY BIG!

7. ND has beautiful rest stops (it has to have something going for it)

8. Aliens make great food and have really yummy ears, but Space Aliens isn't as much fun without the boys.

9. You feel more human after a shower.

10. It's great to have friends! (we are staying with friends while we are here in Fergus) Thanks Martinsons!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summer Kick-Off Picnic

Today was our church picnic at a park close to the church. The weather this week has been pretty bad and it didn't look too promising this morning either. But God does answer prayer and He even cares about the weather at a little's church's annual picnic. Eventually the sun came out and it was a beautiful day!

We ate lots of good food, enjoyed great fellowship, celebrated our high school graduates and played fun (yet exhausting) games like Ladderball, Bocce ball, soccer, softball, handball and touch football.

cookin' the meat

waiting for a hot dog

our grads: Jon and Jeremy

Ben was all ready to play with the big boys

our godson, JD, in his favorite tree

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sonja's Shower

Today was Sonja's baby shower at church. I had lots of fun making pink and blue decorations, choosing a devotion to read, and planning shower games to play!

It was very nice and we had a good time! We can't wait for the baby to come and see if we'll need to buy a pink frilly outfit or a toy tractor!

since it was a morning shower, we had fruit, muffins, scones and donuts

trying to guess the baby items in the mystery bags

Friday, June 6, 2008

VBS Work Day #2

Well work day became work week, but we got quite a bit done and it looks really great so far!

The picture tour is in order from walking down the hallway to the fellowship hall and then into the first classroom (the chicken coop).

notice that we keep our chickens safely fenced in so they can't escape

every tree should have a tire swing

Now into the chicken coop...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Confirming His Faith

Yesterday was Zack's confirmation. It was a very special day to see our oldest son make a public affirmation of the faith he received at his baptism. We had lots of family there to help us celebrate, which made it even more special. In fact, a few days before, Zack said that would be his favorite part. He wasn't looking forward to being in front of the congregation. (We told him that that's not anyone's favorite part of confirmation.) :o)
But he did a great job and we are so proud of the man that God is shaping him to be! We pray that he will seek after God's will for his life and continue to grow stronger in his faith all the time. It was also a good way to think about our faith and how we are continuing to grow and model it to the world around us.

After church a friend of ours came and catered a Mongolian Grill lunch for our family. It was lots of fun and there was TONS of food. We had so much left over that we had our final Family Nite of the year at our house and had it again. It was a great way to end the year but we were EXHAUSTED by the time everyone finally left a little after 11pm!