Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From the Mountains to the Beach

It's high time for another blog post! Before I get started, though, a little side note... Some of you have mentioned not knowing when I had a new post up. Now, I know this is really my fault, because when I don't post very often, frequent visits to the blog aren't worth it. However, did you know that there's a handy little service that will send my blog posts to you by email? Just enter your email address into the "Follow by Email" box on the right, and you'll be signed up for updates whenever I post. That way, you'll never miss them. And of course, you can unsubscribe if you get tired of the updates (it's okay, I'll never know!).

Okay, now on to the fun stuff. August was full of lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy the beautiful place we live in. We have my cousin Amber to thank for a lot of those opportunities, because she came out and visited us. We wanted to take her to all our favorite places and in the process had a nice week-long "staycation."

Anyone who comes to the Northwest has to see Multnomah Falls, so that was our first stop. It was very crowded. I guess that's to be expected for a Sunday in August!

Crown Point, on our way home from Multnomah Falls.

We also went on a hike in the Gorge around the Cape Horn area. It was a lovely hike, even though the weather was a little cloudy.

Wild Columbine.


The Gorge again. Such a lovely view!

Cigar Rock. Appropriately named, don't you think?

This thin, misty waterfall was a highlight of the hike. The trail passes behind it.

We also took Amber to Cape Disappointment State Park for a couple days of camping.

The moon rises as we get ready for our first night.

Amber, Christina, and Mom, with North Head Lighthouse in the bakground.


North Head Lighthouse in the morning

The North Jetty on the Columbia. We walked out on it a good distance. It was fascinating to see how the water was rough on the north side, but very calm on the south side. There were lots of birds and a few sea lions around it.

See-sawing on the beach.


Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

Another must-see for anyone visiting the Northwest is, of course, Mt. St. Helens, so this was our last excursion with Amber. We were really thankful that although it was a cloudy day at lower elevations, the clouds weren't too thick at Johnston Ridge.

Wildflowers! Still blooming in August.

We were so glad Amber could come out and stay with us, and it was very fun showing her around the area. The week after she left, we got to go to the Coast again, this time to visit the folks at our church's annual camp-out at Cape Lookout State Park. Again, we were blessed with gorgeous weather.

The beach at Cape Lookout, looking north.


Looking south toward the actual Cape Lookout.

It's been an exciting summer, and it's not quite over yet. Stay tuned for more. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Colville 2011!

We returned last Saturday night from an eight-day mission trip to the Colville Indian Reservation with Mission to the World. While we certainly faced difficulties during that time, God was faithful to provide for us through them all and blessed the trip with much success. It was a very good trip and I count myself blessed to have been a part of it. It was a real joy to see and participate in God's work on the reservation this year.

Okay, now for pictures.

Saturday, July 23
Our week got of to a rip-roaring start by...spending several hours in the parking lot of a towing and transmission shop after one of our vehicles started having trouble. We were about half-way to the reservation when this happened. Mount Vernon Towing was kind enough to allow us to borrow a vehicle for the whole week. This was just one of many times when we watched God provide for us in exciting ways.

We took the North Cascades route to Omak and stopped at the Diablo Lake overlook.

Photo op!

It was kind of neat to see the mountain pass in the evening (the incident with the Suburban had gotten us behind). I loved the shadows of the mountains reflecting on other mountains. We finally arrived in Omak somewhere around 9:30, I think. The other main team, from New Jersey, arrived after us, so it was a late night.

Sunday, July 24

We went to First Pres. in Omak Sunday morning. We've gone there every year and have always been graciously received. It's become a tradition to take a picture just outside the door after church.

Sunday afternoon we had time to go for a swim in beautiful Omak Lake (sorry, no pictures) and hike up to a little waterfall not far from the Longhouse where we stay.

Monday-Friday, July 25-29

Monday through Friday are our work days when we do our projects such as wood sheds and house painting. We also do our senior, VBS, and jail ministries on those days. I personally was involved only in painting projects. 

 We got to paint this house inside and out. It was really exciting to see it transform.

The outside before

Inside before: Moving furniture in preparation for painting.

Scraping loose paint off the outside

Washing the inside walls

Inside after: it was so much brighter!

 Outside after: not sure if this is the primer coat or the final color, but you can see the difference from how it was before!

Painting a fence on Wednesday

The final fence color was a cheerful yellow. The folks in the picture below are some of our friends from PCNJ, the other big church group on the team. Sadly, I somehow managed not to get any posed pictures of us and them together. : (  But we really enjoyed spending time with them. It's been neat to see how our two groups are able to compliment and support each other. They would help us with work projects in the morning, then run the VBS in the afternoon. From past years, I know that they have a true gift for working with the kids!

The adorable kitty at the fence project having a cat-nap.

 The third paint project, known as the "duck house." (Think Oregon Duck team colors.)
Before: The front

The back

 Duck house no longer! The front after

And the back after.

Friday Night

Friday night we normally have a big meal with our friends from the reservation. Normally we've had it at the Stampede grounds in Omak, but this year we had it at the Longhouse where we stay all week. It's a time for us to say thank you to those on the reservation who have allowed us to be a part of their lives, and to share a little more about our relationship with Jesus, Who is the reason for what we do. It's also a time for goodbyes.

This year we made a special friend in Chanell. She lives on the reservation and met the MTW team that came in June. She decided to spend the week working with our July team and we're so glad she did!

Us gals with Chanell (showing off her new slippers that we gave her as a parting gift).

 The inside of the longhouse where we had our Friday night feast, complete with delicious salmon prepared by our cook, Ron. 

After dinner we had a time of singing and sharing with our guests, similar to the worship time we had as a team every night during the week.

Saturday, July 30
Saturday was its own adventure. The Suburban was still out of commission, so some of us had to hitch a ride with other MTW team members who live in Kent. In Kent we met up with some other friends who providentially happened to be up in the area for something else. In the end, our whole team made it safely back to Vancouver around 9 p.m. It was a great week and I'm very glad I could be a part of it.