Category Archives: Vacation

08-03-08

The pictures in the folder 08-03-08 is from the third day of my vacation in Kentucky with Teresa.

On that day, we went to a Southern Baptist Church service. We spent 3 hours at the church service, before we snuck out the back. I’m not sure how much long it went on. There were some positives about the church service. The music was amazing. The people were friendly. The story of the church was fascinating. It was started by a former prisoner. When he got out of prison he started the church with a mission of helping other convicts of surviving outside of prison and not falling back into the actions that got them in prison the first time.

The negative was it was the only time I’ve heard hate preached from a pulpit. At least hate on a certain group of people. The weird part of it was the pastor wasn’t even talking about the group of people he hated. He just threw a couple of bombs at them for no apparent reason. It was kind of sad.

After the 3+ hour church service, we also went to the lake and watch birds. Then we went to Ernie’s pond and fed his catfish.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008













Kentucky Vacation - 2008













Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entry to its original glory:

KENTUCKY – DAY 3

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve driving home from Kentucky and a look at some Abraham Lincoln history!

08-02-08

Pictures from the folder 08-02-08 are from my second day of a Kentucky vacation to visit Ernie with Teresa.

On Day 2 we visit a tobacco farm, a gravity pull hill, Newsom’s, and Lambert’s. Plus we also visited a PostSecret display in Paducah. I think everybody knows how much I love PostSecret.

If you ever have a chance to eat at Lambert’s, I highly recommend it. Might be the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. If you every get to eat a ham from Newsom’s, I highly recommend that as well.

If you don’t know what a gravity pull hill is, it is a hill where if you put your car in neutral, ghosts will push your car uphill. I can’t remember why there are ghosts on this particular gravity pull hill, but I think a woman murdered her children here. Similar to the haunted Bannwell Bridge near Fort Dodge.

If you watch Ghost Adventures, they visit a gravity pull hill in one of their episodes.

Here are some of the pictures from the folder 08-02-08:


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

I should point out that a gravity pull hill is actually an optical illusion. Ghosts don’t really push you up a hill. I have no commentary on whether or Bannwell Bridge is haunted. I have never been there. Maybe I’ll visit before Halloween to see.

By adding these photos to The Photography 139 Photo Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” journal entry to its original glory:

Down South – Day 2

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a trip to a Southern Baptist church and a trip to a lake and a trip to a pond. Plus, some pictures where I might have accidentally desecrated the memory of Abraham Lincoln, not as thoroughly as the modern Republican Party, but still not good.

08-01-08

The pictures in the folder 08-01-08 are from a trip I made to Kentucky with Teresa to visit Ernie.

On the way down we stopped in Metropolis. Visited an illegal immigrant friend of mine. He’s a good chap. Maybe you’ve heard of him:


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

I highly endorse going to Metropolis. It is pretty cool!

By adding these images to The Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” blog to its original glory:

The South – Day 1

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will continue to revolve around this 2008 trip to Kentucky.

07-20-07

The images from the folder 07-20-07 run the gamut from pictures from the first mission trip I ever went on to pictures from the Miller Farm to pictures from a RAGBRAI stop in Ames.

The mission trip photos are from Cedar Rapids. I went with an adult group from my church.

The Miller Farm pictures were taken before June and Dean moved off the farm and into town.


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


Cedar Rapids Mission Trip - 2008


07-27-08


07-27-08


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


Miller Farm - 2008


The mission trip to Cedar Rapids was after a flood. After working the second day, you drove home. One the second day we worked in a house where they had to pull a Youth Group out of because they found pornography.

I still can’t describe how bad that house smelled. The family had left their cat behind. It survived the initial flood. Then it came back to the house. Then it crapped all over the house. Well, mostly behind the couch. The food was still in the fridge. You could stand on the other side of the street and still smell the house.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Photography Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

Jeff and Yin

Miller Farm

Cedar Rapids Trip Day 1

Cedar Rapids Trip Day 2

There are a ton more pictures from the Cedar Rapids Mission Trip than I posted here. You can peruse those by clicking on the link below:

Cedar Rapids Mission Trip – 2008

There are also a ton more pictures from the Miller Farm. You can peruse those by clicking the link below:

Miller Farm – 2008

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve a vacation I made to Kentucky.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Entry Selection Process

It is once again time for me (and by me, I mean you guys) to pick out my photos to enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Once again, I am going to leave it up to a popular vote.

The Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest allows you to enter up to 6 photos.

There are 4 Categories:

1. Nature
2. Photojournalism
3. Photoshop Enhanced
4. Hidden Treasures of Boone County.

I was told that voting for the Boone County Fair was too complicated. A computer guy even told me it was a tough nut to crack. Therefore, I have made the process as easy as I can conceive this time. I had the QA guy from the Computer Mine Beta Test for me. Thanks Micky!

I have selected 60 images for you to consider. To simplify things, I have split the 60 photos into 6 sets of 10. If you wish to exercise your enfranchisement, clicking on the link below will take you to Poll #1. Vote for one of those pictures and then move onto the next poll, until you have voted in all six polls.

The winner of each poll will be entered into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Click on the link below to start voting:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominees

Voting will end at midnight, August 8.

If you want to study up beforehand, keep scrolling down to see the nominees here:

POLL 1 – PHOTOSHOP


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10

POLL 2 – PHOTOJOURNALISM

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 3 – NATURE (FLOWERS)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 4 – NATURE (ANIMALS)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 5 – HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY (GROUP 1)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10



POLL 6 – HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY (GROUP 2)
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#1


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#2


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#3


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#4


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#5


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#6


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#7


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#8


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#9


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
#10


Thank you in advance for your time and your opinions!

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 8

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

The last day of the Mission Trip was the shortest as it is only a quick 8 hours from Tulsa to Boone. I spent most of the day driving and we stopped for lunch at an IHOB in Liberty, Kansas for lunch. Jordan’s choosing. We stopped at the Junction Creamery in Osceola for ice cream to celebrate Summer’s Gotcha Day. Other than that, the day was just bathroom stops.

I drove almost the entire day, so there aren’t many photos.

But here is my day in photos:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
#wafflelife Always stay in a hotel with free breakfast. Hotels that charge for breakfast are bull(expletive deleted)!!!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
As the kids were packing up the van, I took a few quick shots around downtown Tulsa.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Bathroom break and gas stop.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This is a stupid rule.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Stopping in Osceola for ice cream!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Watch out Anna, that lady behind you is eyeing your Cookie Monster!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This is how Summer smiles!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This is how Summer shows joy.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Emily and officially the last picture of the mission trip.

We got home a little after 6. Sadly, when we got home we found out that Megan’s car had been towed. Nobody had paid attention to where she parked and the city towed her.

After that was sorted out, I somehow got out of returning the vans to Ankeny, so I went home. Saw Naima and tried to re-orient myself back to normal life.

It was an amazing trip on just about every level. I really can’t recommend going on a mission trip enough. Especially with a youth group. It is rewarding beyond your imagination.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 7

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

Friday morning everybody works on cleaning the building. Then you have a quick breakfast (usually this is a packed breakfast), everybody says goodbye and then you hit the road for the long, long, long trip back to the Cyclone State.

After cleaning the building, the kids got to put a pie in the face of each of the YouthWorks employees as a reward for buying so many shirts.

My day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
YouthWorks!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon packed up and ready for the road!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Our toilets for the last 18 hours.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Breakfast!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan got one of the honors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Pie in the face!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This was Talia. I think she was literally in pain.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Ashley was next. She was the Site Director.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Last was Brogen.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Our super caring kids did lead blinded Talia to the water.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Group photo!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Before we headed back we stopped by the Texans’ practice field. Megan’s “hot” older brother is the turf manager for the Texans.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
He oversees their 3 grass practice fields.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
He also see the turf on their indoor practice field.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The guy is like 26 and he already has his dream job. Thanks to a degree from Iowa State University.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Group photo on the Texans logo.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A closer photo.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Overturning a practice tire.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kyle sized tire.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Schoff Bros.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I was shocked to see that the Astrodome is still standing. They are turning it into a parking garage.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Inside NRG Stadium. He is also in charge of the turf in the stadium.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We also got a tour of the stadium where Houston’s professional soccer teams play.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Also managed by somebody from Boone County. This time from Ogden. Also an Iowa State graduate. Seeing a trend?

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Most the tour was of the concourse, we weren’t able to go down onto the field because the Houston Dash had a game that night.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Celebrating in the pool at the hotel in Tulsa. (Photo cred: Tiffany)

Not pictured:

Most of the day. After we left Houston, most of the rest of the day was spent on the road with one mission. To get to the hotel in Tulsa before the pool closed at 11. We ate lunch at a Chick-Fil-A. Then we drove with only bathroom stops all the way to Tulsa. We got there a little before 10.

Andy was a swell guy and ordered up a bunch of pizzas from a local pizza place in Tulsa. I think the place was called Mazzio’s. It was delicious.

The kids got to swim in the pool until almost midnight, before the hotel employees realized they were still in there and kicked them out.

For the first time in over a week, I got to sleep in a bed. It was glorious! It was everything I remembered that sleeping could be!

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 6

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

Thursday was the last day of full mission trip activities.

Here is my day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Rattle Snakes had breakfast prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Alan and Autumn preparing the lunch prep table.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys had building maintenance.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Other Chris was nice enough to take the trash out for us in the rain.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan sweeping the floor.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna sweeping.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Since we were going to a new house, we were told that we needed somebody from Nehemiah’s Vision to take us to it. They didn’t show up for a good 45 minutes after we were supposed to start working. We lost an hour of work time.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan getting a workout in.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I forgot to make a bag this year. I also forgot to send any messages this year. I failed.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
YouthWorks shirts. They usually give away a shirt at the end of the mission trip. They didn’t do this year. So we used Methodist Men money to buy a shirt for every kid that wanted a shirt.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Shirts

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
From Wednesday night’s worship.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Ways they can take what they learned on the Mission Trip home with them.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Waiting almost an hour to even leave: thumbs down.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie found her calling. Staining.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Caulking and puttying.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Ellie from Missouri staining shelves.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A kitchen full of stainers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie really took to staining.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Fred telling his story.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna staining the bottom.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Almost quitting time.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie doesn’t want to quit.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
When we got back to where we were staying, we were greeted with the news that the plumbing in the bathrooms had stopped working. No showers or toilets. However, they had a trailer on site that was converted into showers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Thursday’s shower, quite frankly it was a big upgrade over the showers that were in the building. The showers in the building were designed for midgets. Anorexic midgets. Which is also the name of my new spoken word album dropping in time for Christmas shopping.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kids waiting for the adults to be done showering. Sidenote: Andy got locked in to his shower. Somebody had to come help him out.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna is always throwing shade at her dad for eating gas station hot dogs, but she never had one. So we made her eat one. She was not impressed. She was right to not be impressed, but at least we pushed her outside of her comfort zone.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Donovan helping grill for the Community Cookout. This is my 4th Community Cookout. In the past there has been 100-=150 people show up. 3 people showed up. Understand that it was their first ever Community Cookout, but 3 people was pretty sad. I would have thought some of the Baptists would’ve shown up. They must have found out about our dancing.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This ice cream man was the only black person I saw in Vidor the whole time we were there. Remember I told you about Vidor’s racist past. He did not live in Vidor. With Methodist Men money we bought ice cream for everybody on the mission trip.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Thursday was Summer’s Gotcha Day. The awesome staff at YouthWorks made Summer a cake to celebrate! If you don’t know what a Gotcha Day is, it is the day when a new member of a family* during the adoption process.

The last full day of the mission trip is always an emotional day. As the kids (and yes adults) realize that they will not being seeing the family** that they have spent almost every moment with for last 4 days.

The final worship service ends with a foot washing ceremony. One of the YouthWorks staff washes the feet of the adults. Then the adults wash the feet of the kids in their group. The first time I thought it was extremely weird. I know the story about when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples:

John 13:1-17 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

But still, until you go through it, it is hard to explain how powerful an experience it can be.

After the foot washing, we had our Church Time. As always, it was emotional as everybody had unpacked the experiences from the trip. It ended perfectly. Jordan told everybody what this trip had meant to him in his life. After he spoke, we prayed and ended the night with a group hug with Jordan in the middle.

Not pictured:

Kolbe convinced another adult on the trip to put together a PowerPoint with the lyrics to CONVOY and COUNTRY ROADS so that they could project them on the wall so when they serenaded the girls, they would actually know the words.

I don’t have video of this because I joined the Vidor Boys Choir on that night. It is rare that you get to see me fire up the golden pipes, too bad you can’t see it.

*With apologies to some people’s definition of family.
**See above.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 5

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

The third group from Bone First United Methodist Church was the Rattlesnakes. They had breakfast cleanup on Wednesday morning.

Here is my day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Alan organizing stuff.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer and Autumn.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Autumn balancing cups.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer cleaning dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
There was a bunch of donated furniture in the building where we were staying and a lot of it came from Iowa State University.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Finishing up dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Cleaning up after lunch prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
For the first time all week we could see some blue in the sky!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Hands in!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan and Mackenzie finishing up in the living room.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Cleaning up the ceiling rollers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna and Ellie from Missouri packing up the tarps.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan cleaning up the floors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Tiffany getting paint out of Mackenzie’s hair.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan and Anna finishing up the trim.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan keeping his selfie game strong.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Really strong!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys, without Ellie from Missouri!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
With Ellie from Missouri. Can you find her?

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe doing Megan Squats. Anna trying not to look impressed.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
On our way out of the house that had been our work site all week, the daughter of the woman who owned the house stopped by. She started crying while she was thanking us for our help. Some of the kids cried. I held strong though. For the most part.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Next we went to house where we unloaded drywall.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
2 trailers full!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci. The anchor of the drywall team!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe and Jordan

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Drywall team!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Teamwork!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Allegedly Kolbe and Anna are Big Hosses. Either they don’t know what that means, or I don’t. Take your pick.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys had dinner prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mixing lemonade!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Look at all this pizza the Cowboys made!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Luckily Megan was trained in knife work back in Boone by Brad, one of FUMC’s master chefs.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna, showing leadership skills!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Sonic run!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Sonic!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Ukeladies rocking worship!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Okay, this is bizarre. I drove all the way to Vidor, Texas to see that 2 of my cousins are chaperoning a church in Missouri. Kari and Wendy. We are like 3rd cousins or something. They knew me, but honestly I didn’t know them. I know them now though.

I’ve been telling you about how much Kolbe LOVES the song CONVOY. Below is video evidence



The group that does lunch prep has to do a creative way of introducing supper to the rest of the group. This is how The Cowboys introduce supper!

Not pictured:

Wednesday night we were told that we were no longer allowed to play secular music. Now, we weren’t the ones playing the music, it was the YouthWorks crew that was playing secular music. Normally YouthWorks plays Christian music, but this year I would describe the music as “Humble Narrator’s Junior High Mixtape”. Lots of AC/DC and Guns’n’Roses and Bon Jovi.

A member of the Baptist Church we were staying at came in and heard the music that they were playing. They were shocked, SHOCKED, that they were playing secular music in their building. And it was so hard too. That was the end of the secular music. Well, at least the end of secular music for the most part, but we’ll get to that.

I texted Pastor Sarah, about the secular music ban. She wrote back, that we were lucky the Baptists didn’t find out we were dancing in their building.

I texted to Alisa and she texted, back: “Were they playing Cardi B.?”

The Cultural Event for Wednesday night was going to the Baptist Church for Bible Study. The boy and girls were segregated into separate groups. The boys group listened to Part 3 on a 4 part series on “How to be a Real Man”.

Part 3 of being a “real man” is being romantic with your woman. The teacher used the example that how he is romantic with his wife is listening to her talk.

This was followed with a lesson how to use a compass.

I confess that it was incredibly boring and I began staring at the floor and counting the time until it was over. Then all of a sudden I heard an audible gasp across the room.

The compass guy had pulled a switchblade-lie knife out of his pocket. He was trying to show that the metal in the knife threw off the compass’ reading of true north. It was then that Andy pointed out to me that the compass guy was carrying a gun. Texas.

From what I gathered, the girls talked about “being nice”. Particularly in a blended family.

After worship and church time, the boys “serenaded” the girls with John Denver’s COUNTRY ROADS.





After that, I stayed up until 1 AM talking with Chris the Youth Pastor from the Missouri church and Donovan. It was 3 hours of conversation about the church and it was great perspective. It was perhaps the low key highlight of the trip for me.

I knew Thursday morning was going to come quick, but I’ve had later mission trip nights than this one. At least this one wasn’t spent in a hospital Emergency Room.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 4

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

The Heat Waves had breakfast prep on Tuesday morning. I believe they served burnt waffles. #wafflelife

Here is my day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Heat Waves thinking, “Waffles, so much better burnt.”

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Emily doing lunch prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Emily learning how to slam lettuce.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
All Heat Waves on deck!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jentry making sure everything is in the right place.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Andy and Kyle organizing the lunch meat.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Don’t tell the Baptists, but we were dancing in their building.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Some of these kids have moves!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Hands in!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mosher Painting Service!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Also sent this picture of Kolbe rocking NASA swag to Flat Earth Joe. He did not respond.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Clean up.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci cleaning up the floor.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Tiffany!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe painting the living room ceiling.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I believe this is called mean mugging. I don’t know. I’m old.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Paint central.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Vidor started to flood, so they called us back to the church for safety. We were actually working in a town called Rose Acres. So we had a long drive back in the flooded streets.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
But luckily, when we got back to the church they found us a new job! Filling sandbags!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We emptied the church’s sandpile.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A kid from another church estimated we filled “like 20 sandbags!” The actual number was closer to 1,000.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
When we were done sandbagging, we loaded 3 trailers full of sandbags.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
When they were loaded, the Baptist Minister wanted us to load our kids up into the trucks and put the sandbags into place. We told him that we were not putting our kids in flood water. He was not a happy camper.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The next day we talked to a guy that went with them to put the sandbags in place. He told us that there were water moccasins in the water with them.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A bonus of the sandbagging was the ground was filled with angry ants that came out of the ground and lit quite a few of us up!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
You were in store for a world of hurt if you got on top of that dirt mound.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
But at least after the sandbagging, we got to hit the showers!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys had dinner cleanup. I wouldn’t be talking out of turn if I told you that they rocked it!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
MacKenzie – Master dish stacker!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
That night, the Ukeladies helped lead the worship service.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This is what happens when you destroy your only pair of shoes sandbagging!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Hailey!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Some version of volleyball!

The cultural activity on Tuesday night was supposed to be a free night. Do whatever you want. We were going to try to go down to the Gulf, even though it was about an hour away. However, since Vidor started to flood, we weren’t able to go more than a couple of blocks away. So our cultural event was going to Baskin Robbins and Whataburger.

If you want to see what I mean by how The Cowboys rocked the dish situation, watch the videos below:






These videos suffer from Vertical Video Syndrome because they were originally posted to Instagram Stories. That is also why they are regrettably short in length.

However, that rocking would not come without a cost. That cost I will cover in tomorrow’s post on Day 5.

Not Pictured: I got to meet up with Joe Duff on Tuesday for about 5 minutes. He came to the place where we were staying, but then had to get home because of the flooding. I was hoping he would make it back for the Community Dinner on Thursday, but he has a little baby to look after, so there is that.