Friday, October 30, 2009

Yom Kippur & Sukkot

We left for Bible Camp a day late so we could stay in Nondalton and celebrate Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It is a day of fasting, prayer and repentance.
The day after we got back from Port Alsworth was the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Last year we made a Sukkah (temporary shelter or booth) in the basement and slept in it. We couldn't do that this year because I'm teaching GED classes there. The Bible tells us to build a Sukkah and dwell in it for seven days. Nehemiah 8:16 describes building Sukkot on the roof, in the courtyards or in the courts of the house of God. In true Alaska fashion (it wasn't snowing yet, but it was wet and cold) we built our Sukkah right in the living room. It made it very easy to dwell in all week.Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16 and Nehemiah 8 all tell us to rejoice with gladness during this festival as we remember how God brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. So we gathered together and praised and worshiped God and did a little dancing. The Martin's have some dance costumes they use in their ministry and we all dressed up for the occasion.

In Jeremiah it says that at the end of this age when Jesus returns, God will bring His people out of the countries where He has scattered them. It will be such a miraculous event that it will overshadow when He brought them out of Egypt.
Jeremiah 23:7&8 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming," says the LORD," that they shall no longer say, 'As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,'
"But, 'As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.' And they shall dwell in their own land."

More Family Camp

The kids spent much of their time trying to see how many kids they could fit on the tire swing and how fast they could get it to spin. This is also the swing set that Caleb headed off to (without anyone noticing) while we were supposed to be taking family pictures. In the last post you'll notice that Caleb was in the first picture. But then he missed the next four pictures, including the one that was supposed to be a family photo... For those of you who guessed that he was also missing in the bathhouse photo, I'll give you that one since you can't see him standing behind Paul.
John and Darcy Lorentzen and their 2 yr. old daughter Makyia came and visited us just before family camp and then ended up going with us. They are the parents of Madison and Amanda that came and sang at our house last spring. We got to visit them in North Dakota on our trip and we really enjoyed their visit to Nondalton.
Paul helped fly people home after Family Camp was over so we got to be one of the last ones to leave. We took our extra time to go visit Michelle and her four boys. I don't get to see Michelle very often, usually twice a year at Family Camp, but she is one of those people that I feel close to even though we don't see much of each other. It must be the Holy Spirit... As you can see she is pregnant with number eight.
Darcy is looking on as Michelle's youngest boy Noah and Sarah play.
Michelle's husband Jeremy was gone bear hunting, but he is a master craftsman and he built their cabin. It's made with kids in mind and is probably the funnest cabin anywhere with it's indoor rope swing.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family Photo Scavenger Hunt

Twice a year we go to Tanalian Bible Camp at Port Alsworth for Family Camp. It is always a great time of fellowship with believers from villages all over the area. Just before the fall camp, Arctic Barnabas hosts a Ministry Family Retreat where they bring families together who are working in cultures different than their own for the purpose of leading people to Christ. Our kids look forward to having fun with friends they've met over the years and making new friends. This year they organized a family photo scavenger hunt. They gave us a list of things to take pictures of and if we had the entire family in the picture we got 200 bonus points. We had a blast running around taking pictures of ourselves.
In the back of a pickup with a sign saying Nondalton or Bust...

In a canoe, 400 bonus points if no one gets wet... (We should have gotten "large family" bonus points for this one.)

Heads together in a circle...

Family Photo

Picture with an "A" in it...

With a pig...

Looking up at the sky...
An aircraft made out of family members... (having a large family really helped on this one)

Family name written with rocks...

Turning cartwheels... (Anna can actually do one.)

Posing as trees...

An old vehicle...

Mom and Dad kissing...

Wearing clothes inside out...

Clothes with no one in them...

Directive sign...

A contradiction... (It took us a while to think of what to do for this one.)

Something more than 200 years old... (We found the oldest looking tree around.)

Shoes lined up on the dock...

Another photo with an "A" in it...

Posing as Mannequins...
(I told Caleb that mannequins look like people only they're not alive. I don't think I gave him a good picture of how to look like one...)


Eyes close up...

Pocket contents...
(We were running out of time here... They gave us an hour time limit and there were a lot of other activities going on. So, when we could get the whole family together for an hour we went and took as many pictures as we could.)

Levi, our photographer.
Did you notice anyone missing in any of the pictures?
We didn't either until we met up with one of our kids who was looking for us. He had turned left when we went right and was playing on the swing set when he realized that none of us were there with him and we were supposed to be together taking pictures...

Back up the Mountain

We had so much fun climbing Castle Rock that the next week we took Regina, Tia and the Martin's up with us. Regina's dog Havilah went along too and Regina's ATV was piled on with several kids at all times.

Quentin is behind the bug mask in the above picture trying to keep his feet dry in a swampy area. The bugs were thick and bug masks were coveted.
The Martin's enjoyed the ride.

David and Benjamin, my climbing boys...

They look small in the vast rock field.

Lavonne and Josh
The fall colors were gorgeous and Sarah's fleece made a nice match.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Helicopter Rides

An organization called Nature Conservancy came to Nondalton for a month to see how many streams in the area around the proposed Pebble Mine have Salmon in them. They used a helicopter for their work and when they were finished they invited the village down to learn about how they found and counted the fish. They got a really good crowd because they announced that they were going to give free helicopter rides. On the way down the kids asked me if they could have my turn if my name was drawn. I told them "no way, I'm 46 years old and I've never gotten a ride in one. You've got your whole lives to get one." Quentin, Lavonne, Josh A. and I all got a free ride. It was really cool!We flew around an old volcano behind the village and then back down to the lake.
I got a good picture of the house from the air. Our house is the blue one on the lower left with two dormers in the roof. There is a walk-in basement where I teach GED classes and where we keep our thrift store. The blue building on the lower right is the apartments where Lavonne and Josh and the Martins live.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mechanical Men

Quentin loves all things mechanical. We have an old laptop and he practiced taking it apart and putting it back together again until he could do it in 11 min and 28 secs.He then turned to a not so old computer that best buy wouldn't warranty when the power supply went out because when they opened it we had spilled some French Vanilla on the keyboard. They agreed that the French Vanilla had nothing to do with the power supply, but since the computer would soon be non-functioning anyway, they wouldn't work on it. Quentin got it apart and then he and Paul figured out that one of the diodes on the power supply was bad. They took it out and it works great (it must have been an unnecessary part to begin with). Quentin cleaned the keys and it's as good as new. As the junior apprentice, Joshua gets tools and makes sure Paul's back stays scratched.

It works!
When Grandma Effie (Paul's mom) was here, she built some shelves for the boys and a box with a lock on it for Quentin. Quentin then helped the little boys make boxes so now they all have one. Quentin has been scrounging various electronic parts for projects and he was excited for me to see his latest invention.
He took an old switch from a Honda 4-wheeler and somehow convinced me that I didn't need the buzzer for our Taboo game anymore. He mounted the switch inside his box so that if the door is opened before he deactivates the switch the Taboo buzzer sounds the alarm. It works great! I haven't heard it going off except when he's showing if off because he keeps the key to his box well hidden. Now if I could just get him to sit down and do his Math without me nagging him everyday...

Quentin gets his mechanical genius from his Dad. It never ceases to amaze me the things Paul can fix. We got a very old and very sturdy like a tank sewing machine into the thrift store a few years ago. I used it some, but the tension got messed up and I couldn't get it straightened out. Paul dug deep into the google archives until he found an old service manual. He learned how sewing machines work and was able to make this one run like new.

Our phones are fixed... they were out for a week and I was kind of getting used to it...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yom Teruah

Yom Teruah, which means "Day of Shouting", and is also called the "Feast of Trumpets", occurs every year on the first day of the seventh month (Tishrei), which by observation, fell on 21 September this year. In Hebrew the word month means "new moon" or it is sometimes referred to by the word for moon. Each month starts with the sighting of the new moon. Yom Teruah is special because it is the only "appointed time"(The Hebrew word translated feast is "moed", and literally, according to Strong's concordance, means 'an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season'; thus "appointed time") listed in Leviticus 23 that begins on the first day of a new month. We can predict when the new moon will be sighted, but according to Hebrew tradition, the new month does not start until the moon is sighted by two witnesses (YHVH controls the clouds). Therefore, no one knows the day or the hour that the moon will be sighted and thus begin Yom Teruah. It sounds a lot like Matt. 24:36... and it would also fit nicely with the sounding of the trumpet and shout at the Messiah's return.(1 Cor 15:52 and 1 Thes 4:16)
As a family, we have started observings God's "appointed times". I don't know why we as Children of God ever stopped, but it is clear that we will be celebrating at least some of them, if not all of them, in the Messianic Kingdom to come (Eze 46:1-6,11 and Zec 14:16-19) so we might as well start now. I don't think that God ever intended us to stop celebrating His "appointed times." By observing them we are reminded of what He has done in the past and what He will do in the future.
Paul loves to study the Bible and he is a great teacher. I love being his sounding board and I have learned so much as he has been studying. As Yom Teruah drew close, I started thinking about the practical side of things you don't think about until you actually celebrate something. A new moon is difficult to see in the best of circumstances, but I didn't even know which way to look! Through my googling, I discovered the moonrise and moonset times for our area and the declination. I also discovered that you look for the new moon where the sun was about two hours before the time you are looking. The new moon had been sighted in Jerusalem before it was even possible for us to see it in Alaska, so Yom Teruah had started, but we wanted to go through the motions of looking, blowing the shofar and shouting when we saw it too. These times have been great opportunities to teach the kids. We built a fire on the beach and made a celebration of it while we watched and waited. Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day and we discovered that a mountain was situated right were my calculations said we were supposed to look for the new moon. Oh well, maybe next year we'll climb the mountain so we can see better and when Yeshua returns, seeing Him will not be a problem.
We all took turns blowing the shofar anyway.

David and Quentin harmonizing.

Abigail and Sarah.

Caleb had fun tending the fire.

Regina came and brought Nakita.
The Martin's joined us.
Lavonne and Josh.

The phone guy still hasn't showed up to fix the cut line. I'm still enjoying the peace and quiet, but 17 homes, Tribal and the school are without a phone and I think most everyone else is ready for them to be fixed.