Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Last Frontier

Hello. Eric here. I recently spent 10 days in Alaska at Kokrine Hills Bible Camp. It was one of the 4 great experiences of my life. Just an amazing time. I was part of a work team that goes up every year before camp and cleans up the place. There were 51 people from, at least, 7 different churches giving there time and energy for the sake of the Kingdom.

June 8-9
The trip up there was quite a journey. I left Portland at 7:30pm and finally arrived in Fairbanks (via Seattle and Anchorage) at 3:30am. And the sun was up. I spent the night on the rock hard floor of the youth room at the Nazarene church in Fairbanks. The next day at noon we boarded a 9-seater King Airplane. That was my first time on a small plane, and it was REALLY cool. We landed on a dirt runway in Tanana, grabbed our bags, walked down a hill to the Yukon river, and jumped in a boat. After a 2 hour boat ride, we were finally at camp. To recap, it took 4 planes and a boat to get here. Alaska truly is The Last Frontier.

June 10-11
I spent the first two days clearing brush around the perimeter of the camp. I learned how to use a chainsaw and cut down a bunch of trees. We made 7 gigantic brush piles, and I was really hoping to burn at least one of them. But it hadn't rained in a while, so someone else is going to have all the fun.

Monday night I got involved in an intense game of Double Pinnochle. It's pretty fun, but I still prefer regular Pinnochle. We played until 12:30am! None of us realized it, though, since the stinking sun never goes away!!! What a weird place.

June 12-13
2 days of clearing brush was enough for me. On Tuesday, I helped Paul and Mikey put the new backhoe attachment on the Kubota tractor. Paul also taught me how to drive it and change the oil. They might need to rename "Work Week" to "Man Week". ;-)

Tuesday morning I got to share with everybody about My King. Twelve years ago I committed that to memory and have since shared it with thousands of people. I cherish the opportunities and pray that my King will continue to be honored and glorified through it.

Tuesday night, Barry let me use the satellite phone to call Megan. He even paid for it! I appreciated it so much. Hearing my Sweet's voice was such an emotional boost.

Wednesday I drove a 4-wheeler most of the day, hauling brush & debris from camp down to the bank. We formed another huge brush pile that Barry burned the week after we left. Bummer.

June 14-15
I decided to try something new on Thursday and went with my new friend, Randy, up to the saw mill. Randy runs a saw mill here at home, so it was cool to see him handle that thing like a pro. The mill is a really cool part of camp. We were building a foundation for a new dining hall and building a new duplex. They would place an order for, say, four 2x6s. So someone would cut down a tree. Someone would drag the tree to the mill. Someone else would peel the bark off. Then me and Randy would muscle it up onto the mill, he'd take some measurements, and then slice away. Voila...four 2x6s, an 8x8, and some 2x4s. Man Week is the best.

June 16-17
The journey home began at noon on Saturday. I was on the third boat of the day, and the 5th plane of the day. Our boat got to Tanana just in time to see the 2nd plane take off. This was pretty disappointing because we were supposed to be seeing the 3rd plane leave. That meant we had a long wait ahead of us, laying by the runway in Tanana. Kevin and I walked into the village and checked out the grocery store. That burned an hour. 3.5 hours later our plane took off. We landed in Fairbanks at 8. My flight home wasn't until 1am. So we got some Subway, some ice cream, and went back to the Nazarene church to relax for a bit. The 1am flight wasn't so bad. I slept the whole way. We landed in Seattle at 6:00am and finally in Portland at 8:30am.

Ten days is a long time away from my wife. Other than that, it was an amazing trip. I plan on doing it again...and again...and again. Hopefully Megan can come with me soon. And I'd love to bring Jenna along and leave her to counsel at the camp. What an amazing place--such a bright light in a dark land. Pray for camp these next few weeks. Those kids need the Good News.

Hoping in God,

More photos are here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Yesterday evening the house temperature was right around 75 degrees, so Jenna and I headed out to the front yard to water the lawn and cool off in the sprinklers. She was a little nervous, but then loved it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bigger pictures

Those pictures in the last post turned out really small, so here are a few more pictures in a larger size...

I could never quite get all the kids to look at me and smile at the same time, but here are a few of my favorite ones. They are good friends and good cousins. Sometimes they act more like brother and sister (especially Jenna and Jackson) with the bickering, knowing exactly how to push each others 'buttons', but they sure do love each other a lot.

Weston is days away from crawling. He was doing that cute thing pre-crawl thing - getting up on all fours and rocking, focused and trying to figure out how to get his little body to move forward. He is scooting around quite well. He's only 6 1/2 months old...a little early to crawl, but who I am I to know about crawling since Jenna skipped that altogether.

Anyways, here is a picture of Jenna and Davis. He decorated her with bee stickers, which she found hilarious.

And then here's my grandma decorating cupcakes with the kids. Jenna would pour some sprinkles on the cupcake, and then shove the next handful of sprinkles into her mouth. Fun times, fun memories.

10 Days without my hubby is a LONG TIME.

Eric was in Alaska, working hard with a bunch of amazing people to build and prepare KHBC for the kids to come. He loved it...maybe he can post about it sometime later. Until then, I will just show what Jenna and I did in his absence.

We spent a lot of time with friends and family. We went to Julia's house one night, we had our good friends Bronwyn and Emily over, and in the evenings when Jenna was sleeping I had two different girls' nights, both of which were a blast. I watched the boys a few of those days, and together we baked some yummy banana bread. We went to the library, the park, and stayed busy every moment.

Then for the rest of the time we were in Black Butte with my side of the family for a little getaway. The kids spent a lot of time playing with grandpa and grandma. My grandma came also and brought cupcakes for the kids to decorate. It was so fun for my grandma and the kids to get to know each other better. She is such a wonderful lady.

Jenne and Ryan took the kids on some fun bike rides. Jenna rode in the kid seat behind Ryan, Davis rode on his own, and Jackson was on the 'chaser' bike.

We swam a few times, saw some wild life outside our window, and just had a great time together. The kids all slept in the "bunk room" together, and had a lot of fun together. Hope we get to go again next summer, next time with my sweet husband too!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cute little hula friends

Heidi invited Jenna and I over yesterday evening, and we had a lot of fun. The girls played and played and made a huge mess! Meanwhile, Heidi and I gabbed the evening away. It was a great way to spend our husband-less night. Thanks Heidi and Julia!

Friday, June 08, 2007

20 weeks!

Halfway there and all is good. My doctor said that I am measuring great, and that everything looks good. While checking the heartbeat, this baby girl kicked a few good ones. I've been feeling a lot of movement lately - Eric even got the feel the baby kick last week.

Here's two words that Jenna says wrong that make us laugh:
Crap-pa (Grandpa)
Chicken Maggots (Chicken Nuggets)
She loves those maggots.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fashion forward duo

A summer dress and winter boots - it'll catch on, just wait.

The man-poodle-purse and halo - this might take longer to catch on.

And here's cute Weston. He's so happy :)

And this is just a cute family picture taken while our family was in town.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Just a taste

Eric's parents and sister were in town for the weekend, and here is just a small taste of all the fun we had together!

Swinging and playing at the park!

Playing at Blue Lake's water area with the boys.

Baking (and eating!) birthday cupcakes with Auntie Keri!

A boat trip to Washington to a restaurant called Parker House.

Manicures and pedicures!

An amazing bbq dinner!

Fun times at the zoo!

MILLIONS of bubbles!!!

And a new kitty named Tabby.

Thanks for all the fun! Jenna (and all of us) will miss you and look forward to the next time we can be together.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Some days I experience no arthritis pain. And then some days, it feels almost unbearable. But I rest in this comfort and assurance,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
(2 Corinthians12:9)