Monday, August 26, 2013

Leaving Idaho

We have just spent a week plus with Cheryl and her family in Wilder, Idaho.  It was good to see these grandchildren.  
It was peach time.  The peaches were ripe and we had them everyday.  I will miss having them when I get home.
 Cheryl is working now, so I tried to help her as much as I could.  I canned several quarts of peaches for her.  They will surely taste good this winter.

One evening we were invited over to Gary and Patti Rose's home.  They have recently moved here to Idaho.  They were friends of ours when we lived in California.  It has been years since we have seen them.  It was so good to catch up on our lives.


This is farming country around here.  Can you guess what crop this is?


Josie has become quite the cook.  She fixes the meals most days when Cheryl is working.  We enjoyed watching her work in the kitchen.

Emily helped her Grandpa by sewing on a button on his shirt.

Emily also had a quilt to finish up.  I helped her get ready to finish it.  We cut the binding and I showed her how to sew it on. (She doesn't like to sew like the other girls).

Grandpa and I helped her with the hand stitching on the binding.
Now it is finished!!


One night Josie had a friend over and they built a campfire.  We sat around the fire listening to Grandpa read a story.



There was a beautiful sunset that night. We've had a lot of smoke in the valley from the forest fires up north.


There is an Arabian Horse Ranch around here.  They have made several items from horse shoes.  They were interesting to see.





Howard needed to go to town and get some tennis shoes. We took Emily and Josie with us.  It was a fun day.
Saturday, Harold and Cheryl took Emily back to Pocatello to college. It's about 4 1/2 hours from here.
Sorry the picture is out of focus.  I guess I was out of focus at 6:00 am!   This is Emily's second year.  She is going into nursing.

RaeAnne lives in town now, but she came out and spent Friday night.  Saturday we  went into town and went to see "The Lone Ranger" with the girls.

Josie, Grandma and RaeAnne

I feel a little short between them!!

Josh is working at the airport.  We did see him one evening and morning.  He is going to come out to the airport to see us before we fly out.  Cheryl brought us early as she had to work.

Well, tonight we will be sleeping in our own bed!  We will probably get home about 11:00 tonight.
It has been a great summer!  
Thanks again for your prayers.  We appreciated that very much.  We are so thankful we could volunteer with GraceWorks in Wasilla this past summer. 











Friday, August 16, 2013

Denali


Monday we left Wasilla and drove up to Denali National Park.  It was a beautiful drive up.  We stayed at the Denali River Cabins.  We stayed there one night last year, but didn't have time to go back into the park.  This year we scheduled a two-night stay.  We are still catching up on sleep, so had no problem going to bed early.
The shuttle bus picked us up at 6:30 am.


After picking up people at other hotels we arrived at Denali.

We had originally planned on taking the shuttle back into the park, but when I had trouble with my back a couple of weeks ago, we decided to upgrade to a tour bus.  This is our tour bus and our driver.

We really thought it would be like a tour bus.  It was comfortable, so it was ok.

We did see some animals while we were in the park.



We saw a grizzly with two cubs. 

About 2 hours into the tour the bus overheated and they had to send another bus out to finish the tour.  


Our driver was telling us that three years ago she had two little cubs stop right in front of the bus and play for a couple of minutes.
If you go to You Tube and search for Denali cubs you can see the short video.  It is very good.
 It was a crystal clear day, so Mt. McKinley was beautiful.



We also saw a moose with two calves and plenty of caribou.



We were told that when the fire weed blossoms get to the top of the plant that winter is 6 weeks away.  The fire weed blossoms are definitely at the top of the plant..




 

We drove out to Kantishna which is at the end of the road.  It was gravel road except for 15 miles at the beginning.

We didn't get back to our cabin until almost 10:30 pm.  Too long of a day.  Howard and I are not tour people and we felt it was way too long.  We enjoyed talking to the people on the bus, but would have preferred to stop when we wanted to take pictures, but unfortunately private cars are only allowed the first 15 miles.

Well, we were up at 3:00 am and are on our way to Boise to visit Cheryl and family.

We are "sleepy" in Seattle.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

5th week in Wasilla

It is hard to believe that our 5th week is over with , and our time with GraceWorks has ended for another year!
We had two teams here this last week.  One team was from North Carolina and the other one from Pennsylvania.  We enjoyed getting to know them.  They were great in the parks working with the kids.  It was a cooler week and was rainy.  Both nights of our block parties it rained.  Both parks have pavilions so that helps.
Howard and I got away a little bit one afternoon.  We had some shopping to do.  We stopped by Lake Wasilla and took some pictures.

It is a beautiful lake.  When it is warm we see people swimming in here.  I think it would be very cold!


I don't t think I ever put in a picture of our housing here at First Baptist.  We housed the men in the back half of the fellowship hall.  We put up dividers and made that the men's quarters.  It made a nice open space for them.


On Thursday Jay, our director here in Wasilla, took the staff out to lunch at a Mexican place.  It was a thank you to the staff for their work this summer.  We then drove out to Laverne Griffin camp.  This is the camp that GraceWorks sends about 30 kids to every summer.  I did see one of the boys, Josh, that we had in our park at Kanchee two years ago when we came up to Anchorage.

We did go to the block party here at the church on Wednesday night.  And then on Friday night we went to the block party at Wonderland park here in Wasilla.  It was a cool rainy night, but there were still kids that came, along with their parents.
One of our teams were in Walmart and started talking to a man there.  He only has one hand.  He is homeless and his girlfriend is pregnant.  The team invited him to dinner Friday night and they came to eat with us.  They went to the block party afterward and we hooked them up with a local pastor that is doing a church plant in Wasilla.  The pastor had just been handed $200 from one of his church people and was asked to use it as he needed.  Our team leader and the pastor bought this couple a new tent, air mattress and bedding and set it up for them that evening in the woods where they had been staying.  Pray for Jay and David as they work with this couple to get them housing and work.
I also met a lady at the block party and we are e-mailing back and forth.  She is going to meet my friend Carolyn that works at the church here when she gets back from her trip.  Pray that we can both minister to her.  She recently lost her husband to cancer and her daughter has stage 4 colon cancer.  I believe God put us together.  We usually are too tired to go the block parties.
This is what GraceWorks is all about!!
Snow cones at the block party. It doesn't matter that it is cold and rainy.  We also have a popcorn machine.  The bouncy house did not get set up because of the rain.

Hot dogs and chips for everyone that comes.  We figure we cooked about 3,000 hot dogs this summer at our block parties here in Wasilla.

Everyone huddled under the pavilion.


The kids love the face painting.

Scott, president of Global Partner Ministries, (GraceWorks works under them) is talking to two of our staff people.  Diane (middle) was here the last two weeks and was such a help to us.  Anna has been working in Palmer this summer.  She brought 16 people to church last Sunday from her park ministry in Palmer.  We will see how many she is bringing today.  Anna is moving to this area, so will continue to work with the people she has met.  There are a lot of homeless teenagers in Palmer.  She just draws people to herself.  Pray for her as she looks for work and housing in this area.

Howard and I are driving up to Denali tomorrow for a couple of days.  It will feel good to just get away and relax.  I am hoping we can see lots of wildlife.

Thanks again for all your prayers for us this summer.  We could not have done it without those prayers.  We are hoping to have GraceWorks in Wasilla 10 weeks next summer.  We need cooks for the first five weeks.  If this is something you would like to do, let us know.  We are planning on returning for the second five-week session.




Sunday, August 4, 2013

4th week in Wasilla

We have finished out our fourth week here in Wasilla.  
Last Sunday, Anna, a team host here had invited people from her park to come to church.  She drove over to Palmer, not knowing how many people would show up.  She had 13 people ready to come to church with her!  PTL
After church we got the rooms ready for the new team to come in.  It was a youth team from Applewood church in Colorado.  There were 31 on the team including their sponsors.  It was a good week.  There was a marked difference from the week before.  The week before had several older gentlemen and they were up at 5:30 to sit and talk in the dining hall.  Believe me we didn't see the team much before breakfast was served at 8:00!
Someone asked last week, what pilot bread was.  It is a cracker that doesn't really get stale.  Here is a picture of the box and what the cracker looks like.  

We don't usually get out a lot during the week.  One night last week we went with Jay (director) and his friend, Diane and drove over toward Palmer to a U-pick place.

How would you like this setting for your garden?
We picked several things.


Back at the kitchen with our pickings.
Do you know what this is?  I had never had it before.  Never knew what it looked like.
It is what is on the left of the relish platter.
It is kohlrabi.  It tastes kind of like the core of a cabbage, radish, texture of a jicama combination.  We all liked it.  

My back got a knot in it this week.  I had to spend an afternoon and evening lying down.  Someone loaned me a heating pad, after three hours lying on it, the knot finally went away.  So thankful there was someone up here who could help out and do the things I normally do.
I have been ok since then.  Please pray that it doesn't come back.
Yesterday we rolled up several of the air mattresses.  We have two smaller teams coming this week.  We were able to clean two rooms and put them back into SS rooms, and won't have to use them next week.
We have a team coming from NC and one from PA. This will be our last week in Wasilla.
Yesterday we drove up to Talkeetna for the afternoon.  We wanted to eat once more at the Denali Brewing Company where Howard got the great sweet potato fries last year.  We walked around some.  It was quite crowded, because it was Saturday, I think.

We stopped on the way back at the Kahiltna Birch Works.  They tap birch trees in the spring and make syrup.



This is the evaporator.  They do 75 gallons of syrup in a day.  The sap runs for  3 weeks in late April or early May.

We stopped at Walmart when we got back to Wasilla and picked up a few things.  That finished out our week.

Pray for us this week.  It is the last group coming in.  We want to be wise stewards and not have a lot of left overs, but still feed the teams well.
We are also getting tired by the end of the day.  Pray for daily strength.  We have liked working with our staff here in Wasilla.  It's been a great summer.
Continue to pray for the families we minister to in the parks.