Friday, September 11, 2015

Hello, again! Believe it or not, I'm going back on the road! God is so good!
Training began last week. We will be heading out today or tomorrow for our first week of the WAR of Special Forces Fall 2015! Please pray for protection on the road as our Excursion has been in the shop since Monday.
WAR SF Fall 2015 Team

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Family Trip to Alaska

Right after we landed in Fairbanks, AK
Some of you might have been aware that my parents and I went on a trip to Alaska May 17-28. In my lifetime we have been able to visit 48 of the 50 United States!! Alaska made for state #49!! We had heard that Alaska was SO beautiful and we were excited to be able to see it! Dad also made the effort to find some missionaries/pastors to visit up there. So, we not only were able to enjoy touring the beautiful state, but also were able to visit 3 pastors and their churches in Alaska! How exciting!!!

Fairbanks, AK

One thing that was very different was the amount of sunlight Alaska has in the summer! Going to bed almost felt like you were just taking an afternoon nap because of the sunlight still coming through your windows! If you weren't careful, it was easy to stay up too late at night because you lost track of what time it really was! I like getting up when the sun is already out, though. It is easier than getting up in the dark!
This picture was taken right before going to bed at 10pm!

This picture was taken right when I got up at 6am!!

The Oil Pipeline runs 800 miles from the north part of Alaska down to the south.
The Oil Pipeline
We also had the experience of going to an old gold panning area. They showed us how gold panning was done and then how things progressed even to the giant sluice machine! We tried our hands at a little gold panning ourselves...and we did find a few, uh, gold flakes. ;) They said we might be able to sell it for $16...we decided to keep our flecks.
Gold Sluice Machine
Train Ride to Anchorage, AK

We took a train ride 350 miles from Fairbanks to Anchorage! That was really neat!! The train ride took all day. Along the way we saw many different kind of wildlife: caribou/reindeer, brown bears, swans, moose, and eagles. We also passed through Denali and got within 50 miles of Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America!

Mt. McKinley

A picture of a climber 20,250 ft up Mt. McKinley.
The top is 20,320 ft.

Planes are a popular way of transportation in Alaska. There are not roads and highways in every section of Alaska, so flying is easier and faster. Many people have planes that could even be on the water!

People not only enjoy living in Alaska, but they enjoy living in log cabins! Log cabins are very popular and scattered throughout the cities. Some log cabins are "dry cabins" meaning that there is no plumbing! Many offices and churches are log cabin design as well.
A Welcome Center
This log cabin even still has a sod roof!

We walked through a couple factories in different cities:
a chocolate candy factory and a wood bowl factory.

This chocolate fountain started up on the 2nd floor and

poured its way down

to the main floor!

Glacier Cruise in Whittier, AK

We had the wonderful experience of taking a glacier cruise for a day!!! These pictures are not edited at all; they were just taken with a cell phone camera!!! Everywhere you looked, it was beautiful!!! God is an amazing Creator!!!
We saw about 26 glaciers - we even saw a calving (when the glacier cracks and part of it falls into the water)!! The sounds of the glaciers is like a gunshot (the ice cracking) and thunder. It was amazing!!

an avalanche that went over the tracks

This is the glacier where we stopped for awhile and then saw the calving! The name of this glacier is Surprise Glacier.

We also saw more wildlife while out on the cruise: porpoises swam alongside the boat for awhile, humpback whale, sea lions, and many sea otters - we even saw a mommy otter with her baby!! Another unusual site was the otters actually out on top of an iceberg!
Sea otters on top of an iceberg!

white birds flying all over the mountain

King Crab

We ate at a restaurant where Dad could eat his King Crab!

Big Lake, AK

In Big Lake, we visited a missionary, the Ferrets. One of his sons is a firefighter right there in town. He gave us a tour of the fire station. He asked if we would like to sit in the driver's seat of the fire engine!! He even had me turn on the lights!!! That was fun!! No siren in the garage, though! :)
I sat in the driver's seat of this fire engine!
I even turned on the lights!

At the church, Dad was asked to give a quick challenge about giving out tracks and soul-winning. "You never know how God will use you!" They also asked me to play the piano for their Sunday services and Mom and I to sing an a cappella duet, "Sing Praise to God!" While Mom and I were practicing at the church on Saturday, a church lady came to talk with us. She enjoyed singing, too! We ended up asking her and Crystal Ferret (the firefighter's wife :) to sing a hymn with us. Our new quartet sang "It Is Well" for the church service the next morning! How exciting to be able to participate in church services...all the way up in Alaska!

Dad gave a quick soul-winning challenge at church!
Wasilla, AK

Something unique to Alaska is the big sport of Dog Mushing!! Because we went in the summertime, there was not enough snow on the ground. We did get to go on a sled that had tires, though! The dogs took us around a little bit and you still got the feel of what it is was like! I love those dogs!!!!! I was tempted to steal a puppy to bring home!
A team of 8 sled dogs pulled us for a little bit!
How fun!!!

 You never know where God will use YOU!
sunset on the church sign

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Second Semester Memory Pictures

So here are the pictures from the 2nd Semester....
Spring 2013 Team
Tampa, FL
making pecan pie (with pecans even in the crust!)
Jacksonville, FL

Paul singing the national anthem
at a high school home game
We drank a lot of water!! :)
Enjoying the sunshine, palm trees, & a smoothie
in January! Land O' Lakes, FL

Fort Pierce, FL

Tampa, FL
The Dog & the Car comedy routine! :)
Tampa, FL

violin lessons
Krispy Kreme in SC!! :)
Snowing in SC!!?!

"Who are you? Get out of my face!...Game Time!!"
Deltona, FL
Van Gelderen's trailer
in NC

Molly Pitcher's grave, Carlisle, PA
fresh honey from the hive, Carlisle, PA
Frederick, MD
getting ready to do another comedy routine
Frederick, MD 
group lessons
Mrs. Christy Roberts helped us with the elementary
while Mr. Tim was with the teens. Yonkers, NY
Dr. Jim loves Dunkin Donuts. :)