Category Archives: Religion

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 86

First of all, thanks to everybody who voted to determine what pictures I will enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I have the 6 entries determined and will be ordering them this weekend.

Pufferbilly Days is September 7, 8, and 9 this year. You can see the photos at the new KWBG Building. That is located on the corner of 9th and Keeler. I don’t know for certain, but my sister Carla will most likely be entering photos as well. She did last year and did very well. There is also a fair chance that frequent WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE contributor Mike Vest will be entering as well.

Other Pufferbilly Days activities you might enjoy watching. Bethany will be running in the 10K. I don’t that Willy is, but I bet he does.

I normally don’t recommend going to parades. They are boring. Too long. Also, they are boring. However, you might want to give some consideration to going to the parade this year. While it isn’t a certainty, there is a pretty good chance I’ll be in the parade for Boone First United Methodist Church. Represent!

Also, on September 8, I’ll be opening the doors of the Union Street Theater* for an Iowa State-Team Out East Game Watch. All Cyclone fans are invited! Hawk fans, I think I can find an old analog television I can set up for you to watch in the garage. Kickoff is 4 PM. There will be snacks. You never know, I might have a popcorn machine by then. Probably not though. I have an electricity thing that I need done and all my electrician type friends have fallen through.

There is a rumor that Baby Got Rack will be competing in a barbecue contest on the Sunday of Pufferbilly Days, but they don’t list such a contest on the Pufferbilly Days website, so stay tuned for more information on that. Otherwise, you can come down to the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday to support us as we compete in the barbecue contest down there. Although, admittedly, we won’t be going all out down there. If there is a Pufferbilly Days contest, we will be bringing out the Cow. Probably Sir-Pigs-a-Lot as well. Stay tuned!

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FEAR!


WEEK 152 - Fear
FEAR!


I would describe the difference between a FEAR photo and a SCARY photo as a SCARY photo is a picture of something SCARY while a FEAR photo is a reaction to something SCARY. However, feel free to interpret the theme any way you see fit.

Happy photo harvesting!

+++++++

A week or so back, a nice little storm ripped through Boone. I used it as a good opportunity to knock out Page 86 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 86
Page 86 – Use Exposure as a Metaphor

This is the water tower that is about a block from where I live. The exposure compensation for this picture was set at -2.3.

Although I took several pictures, only one can be physically adhered into the physical PHOTO JOURNAL. The physical PHOTO JOURNAL is housed at Photography 139 Studio. It can be seen by appointment. It is protected by the Photography 139 security dog when I am not there.

Here are the ones that won’t be in the book:


Page 86 - Reject
-4.3

Page 86 - Reject
-3.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.7

Page 86 - Reject
-3.0

Page 86 - Reject
-4.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-2.0

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-2.3

Page 86 - Reject
-3.7

Page 86 - Reject
-4.0, but this one also had a lot of Photoshop tinkering done to it.

Next time we check into THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will probably visit Page 52, but nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes and Iowa football players getting arrested. For mistaking a police car. For an Uber.

*The Union Street Theater Movie Club’s August meeting will be August 26. Projector rolls at 6 PM. This month the double feature is bird themed. The B movie will be BIRDEMIC 2: THE RESURRECTION. The feature film will be the Alfred Hitchcock classic THE BIRDS. Snacks may also be bird themed. Or not. I have to talk to a guy.

Focus Stack II

There are only a few hours left to cast your vote for what pictures I will be entering in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. If the poll ended this second, this would be the results:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 2 vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo….

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
Is tied with this photo. So tomorrow there would be an emergency runoff election.
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 4 vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a one vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo…

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
Would be tied with this photo. Tomorrow there would be an emergency runoff election.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 2 vote lead.

There still is about 7 hours to vote, if you haven’t voted yet.

+++++++

Once again, I’ve been messing around a little bit with focus stacking. Here are 2 images I created with the technique:


FOCUS STACK - LILY

Coneflower - Focus Stack

I think I’ll continuing playing with these technique more in the future.

The Juncks – Vol. 1

REMINDER

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 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.

As of this writing, if the polls closed, there would need to be a run-off election in the categories of Photoshop and Photojournalism.

The other 4 entries would be:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

+++++++

Hitting that 2016 backlog again. Just a few more Sundays and I’ll have all of the 2016 backlog knocked out. Definitely before 2019!

Here we check in on a portrait session I did with the Juncks. You can tell that it is old because there is no Maven!


The Juncks - 2016

The Juncks - 2016

The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


You think working with toddlers is hard work… try getting David Junck to look at the camera!!

There is one more collection of pictures from this photo shoot on the way. Don’t worry, there is plenty more of Gretchen being adorable coming your way!

Flowers, Always and Always

REMINDER

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 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.

As of this writing, if there are no votes between now and the end of the voting, these will be the Entries:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

+++++++

A friendly reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is TREE:


WEEK 151 - TREE
TREE


A TREE picture is any picture that involves a TREE or a TREE byproduct.

Happy photo harvesting!

+++++++

I must have flowers, always and always.
-Claude Monet

Monet is one of my favorite painters and his work is definitely an influence on my photography. There was a point that I could argue that my most popular photo was named after Monet’s personal garden. I called the photo “My Giverny”.

I respect Monet’s love of flowers. I like to have a wide variety of flowers in my yard. Of course, I always have to visit the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair.

These are the balance of pictures from my trip to the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair last year:


Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

I have more State Fair pictures to share at some point in the future. The near future.

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!

Decorah Waterfall

A quick announcement before we get to the meat of this entry.

I will be working a concession stand at the Boone Municipal Band Festival today for the church. I will be there. I think some of my family. Some of the kid’s from the youth group. I think the money will go to the youth group, but I’m not entirely sure.

Unfortunately, we have no freedom with the menu. We are being forced to serve beef burgers. I know. Gross. The loose meat sandwich is an abomination that will burn in hell next to the only thing more evil than it. The open faced sandwich.

Oh, you don’t think I’d forgotten about the open face sandwich had you! Oh no, my hatred for you still burns. IT BURNS!

That being said, you could do worse than come out and buying some water or chips or tea from us. You can even buy a stupid loose meat sandwich and then just throw it in the trash where it belongs.

You will be doing 2 good deeds that way. Supporting a good cause and making sure there is one less loose meat sandwich in the world.

Also, the Municipal Band Festival usually has pretty good music.

We will be working the concession stand from 2-7.

While I know I’m not selling you on the food, I had forgot to mention there would also be pie for sale. Delicious homemade pie!

Come and get it!

+++++++

Back in May of 2017 I went on a little road trip to Decorah to see their waterfall. I would call it by name, but I’ve seen it spelled about 4 different ways. So we’ll just call it the Decorah Waterfall.

Here are some pictures:


Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

Dunnings Spring

The last 2 pictures are from the Ice Cave. I didn’t go very far into the cave because I was travelling alone and I didn’t want to get stuck in a crevice without somebody being able to point and laugh at me or pull me out. That is the price the Lone Wolf* has to pay to be a Lone Wolf!

*Scientifically documented.

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.