Thursday, November 20, 2014

Decision Making

Dayton and Abigail celebrated their first anniversary June 16th.  They celebrated  a few days early because Ronen was due a few days before their first anniversary. They knew Abigail might not be feeling up to a dinner out. Even though we live very far apart, we got to see a lot of Dayton and Abigail during their first year of marriage.  Twice they came to visit us in Alaska for over a month each time.  We also got spend a lot of time with them in the lower 48 as we traveled around to Family Week, family reunions and Trey and Deborah's wedding together.  It has been fun seeing them grow together and seeing the love they have for each other.
I thought because we love them so much, it might (with their permission) be okay to poke a little fun at them. I want to go back to that time of decision making and show some cute pictures that say more than words can tell.
The picture below was taken as Dayton was firming up his decision to ask Abigail to marry him. We are at Nate and Katie Waller's Wedding Feast and they are dancing a brother and sister dance. Abigail and David are dancing together. Remember at this point Abigail has no idea that Dayton is interested in her.  You can see Dayton dancing with sister-in-law Devin and keeping an eye on Abigail.

The picture below shows Abigail watching cute Dayton.  At this point Dayton has asked Paul for Abigail's hand in marriage, but he doesn't know that Abigail knows.  Paul told Dayton that he probably wouldn't mention it to Abigail until after our visit was complete so he would have time to mull it over.  It turned out that it didn't take us long to decide that we thought Dayton would be a fine husband.  We thought if we went ahead and told Abigail she could observe Dayton in person but without any pressure and then take those observations home with her to think and pray.  In reality it didn't take her that long to decide she wanted to marry Dayton.  In fact, in this picture I think she had already made up her mind but she hadn't told us yet. I can't help but wonder what is going through her mind as she looks at Dayton there in the pool :)
Dayton quickly makes up the cool points though with this back flip into the pool.  Abigail definitely looks impressed here.
Below the kids (Paul included) are making a whirlpool in the pool.  You can see Abigail chasing Dayton but not daring to get too close.
They turn it around and now Dayton is chasing Abigail.
Dayton and Abigail got first and second place in the ping pong tournament and the decision  was made, the deal was sealed.
As I post this, Dayton and Abigail and baby Ronen are in Alaska visiting again.  They love being married and they can't imagine being married to anyone else.  Yahwh is faithful as He guides our decisions!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sukkot in Alaska

All around the world believers gather together for Sukkot, keeping Yahwh's appointed times the best we can until His return.  During Sukkot Yahwh tells us to live in temporary dwellings to remind us of the dwellings the Israelites lived in for 40 years in the desert.  Here in Alaska the cold makes camping out difficult so there aren't any big gatherings.  This year we decided to hit the road in our temporary dwelling and visit other believers who "...keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah." Rev. 12:37

We spent the first two days of Sukkot in Nondalton so we put a sukkah up over our dining room table.  The kids went out and cut some boughs and then Caleb put them together with David's and my help.  We celebrated the first day of Sukkot with Lavonne and Josh and Regina. The first two nights Paul and I camped out with the kids in the living room and then we headed to Anchorage and our motor home.
 Our first stop was Wasilla and the Martin's house.  We had a wonderful time catching up with them.  They invited some friends over and we had a great time of worship. We had fun sharing stories from our trips to israel with their friends Daniel and Michael .  We discovered that we'd both stayed at the Jerusalem Hills Bed and Breakfast and become friends with the Singerman's. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures.

Next we headed up to the North Pole.
We enjoyed the view of Mt. McKinley/Denali as we drove north.
Jack and Jamileh Waid and their three boys hosted the northernmost part of our Sukkot trip. Jack is the base historian at Eilson Air Force Base and he is an awesome tour guide. Below we are standing under the oil pipeline that stretches from Prudhoe Bay to Valdex, AK

Next we went to see the "Lady of the Lake".  It's a B29 that ended up half covered in water in a pond on the base.  

You can see the cowling, tail and part of a wing sticking up out of the frozen pond.
 Jack shared the history of the plane with us.
 Jack is also an experienced shofar maker.  He had bought a case of kudo horns hoping that he would have someone to share them with over Sukkot. We were very happy that Yahwh sent us his way. They had some more friends from the area over and we made a party of it. Making the shofars was a great experience.  He very patiently helped the kids make their own.
 Above Joshua is getting an idea of how a real kudo looks.
 Above we are all practicing and making sure they work.
 The Waid's are also experts in Krav Maga.  They teach the self defense classes on base a few times a week.  We had a lot of fun letting them show us some of the basic moves. Above their oldest son Andrew is giving Paul a lesson.
Above we are saying goodbye as we continued on our journey. The Waid's want to get a Sukkot gathering going in Alaska next year. I think that's a great idea and we look forward to seeing them there.

Next we were going to go to Tok but some of the kids of the family we were going to see there got sick so we headed straight to Kenny Lake.  Our first stop in Kenny Lake was to visit the Riggins and their friends.  Again I forgot to get my camera out, but we had a good time of fellowship with them.  Their friends had just moved up from Texas and are spending their first winter in Alaska.  The kids all played a fun game of Risk.

Next we went and visited the Henry's also of Kenny Lake.  We met the Henry's in Aniak, Ak many years ago and we enjoyed catching up with them.
Their oldest son Dawson loves to study the bible and is also studying Hebrew.  He and Paul could have talked nonstop the entire time we were there.
 Their daughter Beth Ann is carding and spinning some wool for a neighbor.  She got it all out for us so I could see how it's done.  Very cool!
 Kenny Lake is on a plateau between the Copper and the Tonsina rivers. Paul and Thad and the kids went to the edge of the bluff overlooking the Tonsina river.  They climbed down a little ways.
 Anna is carefully climbing over the edge.
Sarah is showing off a head of broccoli that came from the Henry's garden this summer.  You gotta love the endless sunlight of the Alaska summer!
 Dawson, Beth Ann, Anna and Quentin playing a game of Settlers of Catan.

Before we headed back out to Nondalton, Lonny and Kristy Elliot took Paul and I out to eat.  We always enjoy our time of fellowship with the Elliot's. We appreciate the prayers they bring before the Father for us.

We had a great Sukkot!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Joshua turned 13

Joshua turned 13 last spring and to commemorate that special occasion I put together a slide show. I can't believe how fast my kids are growing up.  Joshua is a true blessing.  He loves to draw and create things and he's a natural athlete.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

April Down South

After Trey and Deborah's betrothal we headed down to Colorado to take Dayton and Abigail home. We spent a day on the slopes with them. Thankfully the kids picked up on skiing quickly and had a blast.

Abigail and Sarah taking a break.
Next we went to North Little Rock to visit my brother John Mark, his wife Sandy and their daughter Catherine. We celebrated Paul's 52nd and Anna's 15th birthdays there. Sandy had an awesome cake waiting for us.
The next stop on our trip was Family Week in Kentucky.  We had a great time reconnecting with lots of the friends we met on our trip to Israel and celebrating Passover and Unleavened Bread with them.  
We got to do lots of dancing.
It was raining on Passover so we headed to the Tennis Center to have our supper.

After Family Week we headed to North Carolina for the Versteeg family reunion.
We got to stay for a week with my parents and had the opportunity to help out with a few odd jobs. In the picture above and below the kids are planting grass plugs in the front yard.
Paul and Quentin spent some time working on the motor home.
We also got to spend some time with my brother David, his wife Misty and their kids Makayla, Maris and William.  Here Caleb is holding William. 

My Dad harnessed up the mules to the wagon and gave rides.
Quentin driving the mules with Grandpa by his side.
Dayton and Abigail going for a ride in the wagon.
Before we left we gathered at Grandad's for our annual family picture. This year Ronen was in Abigail's tummy so this is a five generation picture. Every year I wonder if this is the last time I will get to see my Grandad whom I love very much.  He will be 103 this year. I never dreamed it would be the last time I saw my Dad. But it was and I'm glad we got to spend that time with him.

Tennessee and the Lupinacci's was our next stop. Kenny and Diane are a lot of fun and we love being around them. Their son-in-law Caleb, took Paul and the kids to a swimming hole and caves while Kenny and Diane and I swung on the rope swing. Their daughters Tali and Kendra fixed us supper and we enjoyed a good time of fellowship together.
Diane couldn't quite reach the rope swing seat but her gallant husband lay down so she could step on him to climb up. It was very cute and I did capture it on film, you can watch it here.

The music and the clips of their music video are of Kenny and Diane's daughter Angela's singing group Teshuva.  You can see the rest of it here
(Abigail, Dayton, Will, Sarah, Barrett and Devin are all dancing in the video.)
Kenny taking his turn.
Our next stop was to visit the Fleming family.  They were also a lot of fun.  The are so hospitable and so creative. We loved checking out all their inventions and projects.

 The kids got to help the Fleming girls exercise their horses.

We ate supper and fellowshipped in the back yard as we watched a storm roll in.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spring in Nondalton

I'm going to jump back to last spring for a post. Dayton and Abigail came up to visit us and we had a lot of fun.  They came just as Deborah was making the decision that she wanted to marry Trey and with all the excitement I never posted a blog about their visit, so here it is...
Dayton and Abigail relaxing during our Shabbat study. The gold fish in the background reminds me of a movie we watched once where the fish followed the main character everywhere he went.

Dayton and pregnant Abigail heading up the mountain on a glorious day with the rest of the older kids.
I have to say, we live in one of the most beautiful spots Yahwh created.

 Joshua trying out his new snowboard.


 Towing on the frozen lake behind the snow machine (that's what they call them here in Alaska)
Abigail and Sarah
Dayton grew up snowboarding in Colorado, so he's pretty good.
He was showing the kids how to do it.

Down the mountain we didn't have much snow last winter, but the ground was frozen so we were able to go touring on 4 wheelers.

It wasn't all play and no work.  Dayton helped put a new floor in one of our apartments.
Then we all had a great time driving down the Alaska Canadian (ALCAN) highway together.