Category Archives: Andy

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.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 3

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 Cowboys had breakfast prep. This means that you have to be in the kitchen by 6:45 to make breakfast for everybody. I like having this chore on Monday because it gets it out of the way early. Although truth is that the only chore I don’t really like is Building Maintenance because it involves cleaning toilets. I have that in common with many of my co-workers and the employees at that Road Ranger in Illinois.

This was my day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe and Jordan cutting lunch supplies. Everybody makes and packs their own lunch. You eat lunch at your work site.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna bageling.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie, right on time!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Schoff Boys waiting for breakfast.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The breakfast prep team has to do a little skit to announce what is for breakfast in the morning. We had cereal.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Heat Waves had breakfast cleanup. Andy and Emily doing dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Andy doing dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jentry.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Hailey clearing the tubs.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Donovan changing garbage.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Heat Waves cleaning up after everybody had packed their lunch.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Not going to lie, the Cowboys got probably the easiest work assignment. While most groups installed insulation and hung drywall, we puttied, caulked, and painted. Lots of window trim and doors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe puttying.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan puttying.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna painting trim.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie and Tiffany painting doors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Lunch!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan and Cousin Kari painting doors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan and Anna!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
It still hadn’t stopped raining!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A masterpiece.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna knocking out that door.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jake from Missouri.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Pretty flower!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys didn’t come to play (okay maybe a little bit)!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
More closet action!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Cleaning up for the day!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
More cleanup!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie was our inventory master!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A hard day’s work.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
More hard workers!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A FEMA trailer. The woman who’s house we were working on lives in the FEMA trailer. She is 91 years old. I sent this picture to Flat Earth Joe because he believes that eventually we will all be rounded up into FEMA camps. If recent events are any indication, those FEMA camps will be abandoned Wal-Marts and Toys’r’Uses, but I wanted him to see FEMA at work.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Long shot of clean up.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We took people to Sonic. That meant somebody had to go out in the rain to get the van.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Guess who that was?

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Sonic!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
This game is called Signs. Megan is really, really bad at it. She was always in the middle.

YouthWorks has a nightly cultural event. This was easily the weakest that we ever had. Monday night’s cultural event was listening to a speaker from Nehemiah’s Vision. She came to the building we were staying at and spoke for about 15 minutes. The bonus was that there was more free time before worship in free time.

Not pictured: Kolbe really likes the song CARAVAN and the boys from the other churches really, really like the song COUNTRY ROADS.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 2

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.

+++++++

I woke up on the cold hard floor of the Methodist church in Saginaw. I got dressed and prepared myself mentally for the day.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Based on the amount of stores that cater to both, Texans LOVE donuts and pornography. I imagine some probably do both at the same time. I’m not here to judge.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Statue in the church’s beautiful courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Fountain in the same beautiful courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Their women’s group made us a delicious breakfast.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
A staple of every Methodist diet, egg casserole!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The lady who made us the breakfast did taunt us with a description of dish she described as “too much”: Breakfast Lasagna. Sign me up lady!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Myrtle.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Donovan discussing the courtyard.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon still thinks it is a thrill to pump gas. I’m not afraid to exploit his youthful enthusiasm.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Gas station breakfast food. Hard pass.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The church televises their worship services into their fellowship area. We get it, you’re good with technology.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Congregating to worship an awesome God!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We went to their acoustic service. It was great music lead by a great musician!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
They sit in the front row at our church too…

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The lady in the middle was a Pastor at the church. The one on the right was a member of the congregation that recently became a Pastor and was getting assigned to her first church. She gave the sermon. I loved this worship service. There were two things of note that happened. 1 funny and 1 tragic. The funny thins was that they discussed a couple in the church that had gotten married the previous day in “Detroit or Chicago. Some Yankee town.” The tragic thing was a member of their congregation was killed in a car accident on the previous day. He left behind a wife and 2 small children. Happy Father’s Day.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer taking Communion

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jentry taking Communion

Something else unique about this church was they did the light a candle thing in the corner. This is something I’ve always affiliated with Catholics because I’ve only ever seen it in Catholic churches. Really, mostly in movies. I lit 2 candles.
Shortly after the worship service, we hit the road for Vidor. Another 7 hours or so in the van coming up!


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We stopped in a town where a buffet was recommended to us by one of the Saginaw Methodists, but it required a 30 minute wait, so instead we went across the street to a string of fast food restaurants: Jack in a Box, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Subway, and Texas Burger. I recall an unsavory taco experience at a Kansas City Jack in the Box on another mission trip with Shawn Karber. So Jack in the Box was a hard pass for me.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I went to Texas Burger because I might never get a chance in my life to try Nolan Ryan’s Texas Beef Steak Fingers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
They taste kind of you how you imagine.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The next stop was Buc-ee’s in Madisonville, I’ve always been a big fan of Buc-ee’s. At least since Carla, Mom, Alexis, and I stopped at one on our way to see Elainie graduate in San Antonio.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
If you’ve never been to a Buc-ee’s, it is the single greatest gas station chain in the world. It is the exact opposite of that Road Ranger in Illinois.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I wanted to buy a Buc-ee’s hat to make it my official Mission Trip Hat, but none of them were my flavor.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The last 2-3 hours we drove through some major rain. But when we got to Vidor: BASKETBALL!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
On Sunday night we worshiped and we prepared for the next 4 days of hard work.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Worship!

After the worship service I found out I was part of The Cowboys. At YouthWorks they split you up into several teams. You work with that team the rest of the week on chores and at your work sites.

The Cowboys consisted of:

Humble Narrator
Tiffany
Kari – from Missouri, but really Madrid, but really Boone (who turned out to be my cousin)
Anna
Jordan
Kolbe
Maci
Mackenzie
Megan
Ellie from Missouri
Jake from Missouri

In the next 4 days, the pictures will concentrate heavily on those people because these are the people I spent the majority of my day.

The Cowboys had breakfast prep on Monday, so I had to make an attempt to get to bed early, to rise early. Even though trying to sleep the first two nights of a mission trip is a fool’s folly.

Not pictured:

Kolbe really, really likeS the song CARAVAN.

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 1

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.

+++++++

A few things I should clarify before I get into my mission trip experience.

For the 4th straight year, we booked our mission trip with YouthWorks. I have been on 7 youth group mission trips now. YouthWorks is by far the most organized group we have ever been with. They have you organized from 6:45 AM to 11 PM.

We decided to take our Mission Trip to Houston because of Hurricane Harvey. Plus it was farther away than our past mission trips, which appealed to the kids on the trip. A couple of them badly want to go on a mission trip to a foreign country. Texas is kind of like another country. So close enough.

This is the first year that YouthWorks offered mission trips to Houston, so it was a learning experience for them as well. When they got back to us about some of the details of the mission trip, they originally stated that we actually would be going to Beaumont, which is about an hour east of Houston. Then a few weeks before we left; Beaumont became Vidor. To this date, nobody I know knows how to pronounce Vidor.

Vidor is just east of Beaumont. If you do any research on Vidor, you will find out it is considered one of the most racist towns in America. It was a Sundown Town. Meaning at one time, white people were the only people that were legally allowed to be outside after the sun went down.

Vidor is allegedly not as racist as it once was, but I only saw one black person my entire time there. He didn’t live in Vidor.

Now that you have some context, let’s discuss Day 1 of the Mission Trip.

We gathered at the church about 7 AM. We took the obligatory group photo:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
First without Autumn

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Then with Autumn. (Can you find her?)

We prayed and then hit the road. 2 big white vans and the Sharps in their own vehicle taking a separate route.

Houston is about 15 hours in the car, without stops, so we planned on stopping for the night in Saginaw, Texas at a Methodist Church to stay the night. It was going to be a long day in the car.

Some highlights:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We stopped somewhere in Kansas at a McDonald’s for lunch. The first time I’ve eaten McDonald’s since January 15, 2006.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Selfie with my van. Tiffany was driving. Maci, Mackenzie, Kolbe, Megan, Anna, and Jordan in Yogi Bear’s van.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Shortly across the Oklahoma border we stopped for gas.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
It was a gas station/casino. It had the grossest bathroom I’ve been in since a Road Ranger in Illinois that still haunts my dreams.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We tried to stop in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma for supper, but the whole town lost power, so we went to the next town.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
We stopped at this super sketch A&W in a gas station. It only had 2 employees.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
They weren’t real happy to see 15 customers come in at once. But they managed to serve us.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
But behind the sketchy gas station: Goats!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe & Jordan enjoying the goats.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
I think Kolbe might have his own goats at home.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan, Jordan, and Kolbe

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Goats!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan’s Selfie Game is Strong

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Very strong!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Goats!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
One of the goals of the trip was to make it to Texas by sunset so we could take pictures with this. It threw me off how short the days in Texas are.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mission Trip Kids

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Plus Adults

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
MacKenzie, Anna, Jordan, Kolbe, and Anna

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer and Jentry

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan and Kolbe (who are significant others, but for some reason wanted to tell the YouthWorks kids that they were twins).

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Emily and Hailey

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mackenzie and Megan

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
More Megan and Mackenzie

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan, Mackenzie, and Kolbe

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Tiffany

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci and Mackenzie

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci, Mackenzie, and Tiffany

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Emily, Jentry, and Hailey

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon and Jentry

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jaxon, Jentry, and Alan

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer, Jaxon, and Jentry

We got to the church in Saginaw about 9:30 PM. Staying there was quite an experience.

We met Dale there. He showed up wearing all Oklahoma gear, which I thought was awesome considering we were in Texas. Turned out that he played for Oklahoma. He played for Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl against Joe Namath’s Alabama team.

I was impressed with the church’s commitment to technology. They had audio visual inputs all over the place. They had a computer kiosk where you could make your offering. The checked people into their Sunday School with scan cards.

The Baptist Church we were staying at in Vidor had cots, so we made a calculation that we didn’t need to bring air mattresses for one night in Saginaw. This was a slight miscalculation. This church had the hardest concrete floor covered with the thinnest carpet in the world. It was a hard sleep, but the people at the church more than made up for the experience.

We went to bed and called it a successful Day 1.

Not pictured: Kolbe’s infatuation with the song CONVOY, which he mistakenly thought was from the movie SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. Kids.

Some of this Brain is Off Limits; I’m Off in a World that You Don’t Get; ‘Cause You Ain’t Ever Been In It!

Reminder, you have until next Tuesday at midnight to vote on what pictures I enter at the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. Click on the link below to vote:

BOONE COUNTY FAIR PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY SELECTION

You must have a Facebook account or a Google+ account to vote. You vote by leaving a comment on a photo.

As of this writing, only 7 pictures have received votes. Thank you Sarah Karber and Michelle Haupt!

+++++++

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


Week 146 - Black

A BLACK photo is a photo of anything that is BLACK. Remember that there is multiple definitions for the word BLACK.

Happy photo harvesting!

+++++++

The world wasn’t ready for these FACELESS PORTRAIT pictures on Monday. I’m not sure that the world is ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

Faceless Portrait - Alternate

All of these pictures were taken with my trusty Pixel 2 on my recent mission trip to Houston (actually Vidor). There will be much more on the mission trip starting tomorrow. So buckle up!

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 144 & WEEK 145

It was a great and trans-formative trip, but it is good to be back in the Cyclone State!

Here are the submission for SELF-PORTRAIT:


WEEK 144 - SELF-PORTRAIT - ANGIE DEWAARD
ANGIE DEWAARD


WEEK 144 - SELF-PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT


WEEK 144 - SELF-PORTRAIT - CATHIE RALEY
CATHIE RALEY


WEEK 144 - SELF-PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
TAMARA PETERSON


WEEK 144 - SELF-PORTRAIT - LINDA BENNETT
LINDA BENNETT


Here are the submissions for FACELESS PORTRAIT:


WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - SHANNON BARDOLE--FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 145 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 146 - BLACK
BLACK!


BLACK! What a great theme! What is a BLACK picture? A BLACK picture is a picture of anything that is BLACK. Of course, there is more than one definition of BLACK. I look forward to your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very black Monday.

And What You Gon’ Be When You Grow up Chris? I Doubt They Will Get It!

Those of you that know me well or are paying attention to this here blog know that tomorrow at 7 AM I hit the road for a Mission Trip to Houston. We will leave Saturday morning. Stay a night at a church near Fort Worth on Saturday night and then carry on to a town near Houston on Sunday.

We will work it to the bone for 4 days and then start the return trip home on Friday morning. We will spend Friday night in a Tulsa hotel and then be home at some point on Saturday.


Mission Trip  - Day 0
Last Year’s Mission Trip Group

If you wish to follow along and see sporadic updates of our adventures in Houston, the best path is to follow us on Instagram:

@boonefumcyg

If you are too old for Instagram, then you will have to wait for my inevitable blogs.

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Here is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is SELF-PORTRAIT.

A SELF-PORTRAIT is a picture where the photographer is also the subject.

But don’t be afraid to be creative. Take a picture of yourself in a reflection that morphs your appearance. Take a picture of something that defines you. Take a picture of something that reflects your influence in the world.

Or take a picture of yourself in the gym mirror. It is all good.


Week 144 -  Self-Portrait
SELF-PORTRAIT

Happy photo harvesting!

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The world wasn’t ready for these WORK pictures on Monday. The world might not be ready for them now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

WORK - ALTERNATE

You’re welcome world!!

You Still Wonder Why I Existed, I Exist in a World That’s Real Different!

I need to start this post with yet another apology. On Monday, when I posted the submissions for RELIGION and THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE I did not post a second picture submitted by Andy.

This was not an error of carelessness like in some past weeks. I legitimately didn’t know that it was a submission.

You see, he sent me a picture of Hawkeye propaganda. I didn’t realize that it was a submission for RELIGION. I thought he was committing a hate crime and I nearly called the police.

However, I remember that in some societies, being a Hawkeye fan is considered a mental illness. With the way this society stigmatizes mental illness, I thought I better just pretend like nothing happened. Back away from the propaganda and nobody gets hurt.

But the ordeal wasn’t over. You see before Andy sent me the picture of his boat, he implied that I might not publish his submission. I let him know that I will publish ANY submission that doesn’t get me in trouble with the law.

He then sent me a picture of his boat with the following explanation:

I feel closest to God in my boat on water at sunrise or sunset…

I can relate to this sentiment. I don’t fish (much), although I did catch a fish worthy of a Master Angler Big Fish award once, but didn’t turn it in due to my modesty. I also often feel closest to God when I am in nature.

I texted back:

I was worried it was going to be some Hawkeye garbage.

He then sent me the picture of Hawkeye propaganda with the commentary that they go together. I didn’t put together that the pictures went together. I thought that the propaganda was on the boat, because it is.

I have since rectified the situation. If you click on the link below, you can see Andy’s submitted Hawkeye propaganda:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 142 – RELIGION

Now that bit of unpleasantness is behind us, I need to remind you that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is:


WEEK 143 - WORK
WORK!


A WORK picture is anything that involves WORK. A person WORKing. The tools somebody uses when they are WORKing. The results of WORKing. If you don’t know what WORK is, ask an immigrant. They get the job done. We all know that Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo.

The world wasn’t ready for the following RELIGION pictures on Monday. Not sure the world is ready now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 142 – RELIGION

Before I get into the participation and the tommyrot and the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE quoting, I want to point out the historical significance of today. Today is the 2 year anniversary of The Great Turtle Race Robbery of 2016!

If you don’t know about The Great Turtle Race Robbery of 2016, let me give you the short, short, short version.

During the football season, me and few fellow computer miners engage in a spirited bit of gambling. The winner each week gets to claim a red solo cup filled with change. Well, maybe not exactly filled, but there is some change in it.

At the end of the season, the person with the most red cups is proclaimed The Witch and they get the travelling trophy. A Franklin Broomworks Children’s Broom.(Incidentally, I agree with Franklin Broomworks and their hardcore child labor policies.) In the event of a tie, the title of Witch gets conferred in a tie-breaking competition that is determined by the people that are not involved in the tie.

In 2016, the tie-breaker was a turtle race.

The 4 people tied for first place were Joe (AKA Flat Earth Joe), Michelle, Cathie, and Humble Narrator. Before our traditional year end banquet at Zeno’s in Marshalltown we congregated at the Colo Outpost of AMOutdoors. What happened next is something conspiracy theorists have been discussing for 2 years now.

But don’t take my word for it, roll this conspiracy’s Zapruder film.

NOTE: If you are an email subscriber to “An Artist’s Notebook and are in the Outlook list, you will have to go to the website to view this atrocity. If you are in the regular distribution list, you already had to come to the website, so this message isn’t for you:




As you can see, the Red Turtle (MY TURTLE), clearly wins this race! Yet inexplicably, the Orange loser turtle is somehow declared the winner. Rigged! I can only speculate at what level the Russians were involved.

That being said, if you are into hunting and fishing, you could do worse than checking out Micky’s hunting and fishing website by clicking on the link below:

AMOUTDOORS

Just don’t trust the guy to run a turtle race. He is as crooked as dog’s hind leg. Depending on the dog, crookeder.

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Participation rates!

Tommyrot!

Here are the submissions for RELIGION:


WEEK 142 - RELIGION - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - SHANNON BARDOLE
Shannon Bardole

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 142 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 143 - WORK
WORK!


WORK! What a great theme! But what is WORK photography? WORK photography would be a photo of somebody doing their job, at their job, the tools for their job. But WORK doesn’t just happen at a job. WORK can also be done for fun. Like gardening. Or landscaping. Or mowing. Wait, mowing isn’t fun, but it still counts as WORK. Along with doing dishes and dusting.

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 COMMENTARY DIVISION

In recent weeks, 3 people have earned their very own Photography 139 avatars by leaving comments on “An Artist’s Notebook” entries.

Welcome to the Photography 139 commentary world:

Joe Duff
Linda Bennett
Tamara Peterson

Do you want your very own Photography 139 like giants in the blog post commentary industry like:

Angie DeWaard
Andy Sharp
Jesse Howard

All you have to do is leave a comment on an “An Artist’s Notebook” entry and I will gladly create you your very own Photography 139 avatar!

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 POST NOTIFICATION

I’m currently using a post notification plugin called MailPoet. I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but it will stay status quo until I get back from my mission trip to Houston at the end of June. At that time, I will (hopefully) have the free time to play with a couple of different plug-ins.

If you use Outlook to view the post notification emails, let me know and I’ll switch you over to the Outlook subscription group.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very labored Monday!

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Oh wait, that isn’t all I have for today. If you are out and about from 4-7 today, I will be hanging out with the Boone Area Humane Society taking pictures for their booth and mascot at Ericson Public Library’s Summer Reading Kickoff.

If you don’t want to come see me, come to see Hope:


Summer Reading Kickoff

Just to make it clear, I will not be in the dog costume. I am about a foot too tall for the costume.