Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet the New Homeowners! (Part 1)

I am posting this with my HTC Hero phone from the set of a TV film (in between takes) that is being filmed in downtown Portland. The hour is getting very late and remote blogging is tedious, so please overlook any misspellings or awkward phrasings.

We finally did it! Cinco de Mayo is no longer solely a celebration of Summer's (my little sister) birthday or Mexico's independence.

May 5th now marks our independence from apartment living. We bought our first house!!

About two weeks ago, which was more than eight weeks after we submitted a bid on our house in Beaverton (in addition to the initial six weeks
IMAG0001.jpg of house hunting), the home loan funded and Diana our realtor handed me the keys as I finished my Delta work shift at PDX Airport. Both Shawn our mortgage broker and Diana agreed that buying a HUD house with an FHA loan resulted in one of the most complicated home purchases that they had ever seen. It was worth it, though!

Kathy and I had initially agreed that we didn't want to bother with a fixer-upper, but she fell in love with the house when we first toured it on March 7th
(and also later that month with our parents). IMG_4984.JPG
This house was actually my second choice, but I needed no persuasion other than the look on Kathy's face as we walked from room to room. How could I resist?

With a roomy floor plan and a 1/3 acre lot (check out the back yard!), this three bedroom/ two bathroom home stole our hearts. Both the appraiser and the building inspector whom we hired assured us that the recommended repairs were numerous (my dad compiled a seven page list of action items) but minor. Aside from some weathered exterior siding and considerable dry rot in the master bathroom, the house is solid.

Bo, as I lovingly call my dad, had been meticulously helping us track the financial portion of the transaction ever since we first made the offer on the house.
Once I got the house keys, Bo eagerly accepted our offer to spearhead the lion's share of the necessary clean-up/ repairs prior to our move-in date. Bo has been putting in long hours each day to fix up our house, even while Kathy and I are working our day jobs and serving in student ministry.

After Bo replaced the locks, we started the work by scraping the toxic "popcorn" texture off of the ceilings of the family room and kitchen.
We were covered in white powder and debris at the end of each day.

The following Saturday, we invited our friends and church family over for a clean-up day to prepare for the next round of work. We are so grateful for good friends! Amy, Allen, Bo, Eleanor, Gary, Kenny, Peggy, Tom, Wendy, and our friends Mike and Kym dropped by to help us out for the day, and some of them helped out during the week, too. We scrubbed the windows and walls (who knew that they were actually white underneath?)...

...pulled blackberry bushes (Kym and Gary are outside my window in this photo)...

...killed weeds...

...and started taping off areas that of the rooms that needed to be protected from our painting project the following week.

In addition to all of his hard work, Bo also met with my friend Mike to plan out some of the upcoming plumbing fixes.

Diana our realtor even sent some pizzas over to us for lunch!

It's a shame that we didn't take any adequate "before" pictures… the house had been severely neglected by the previous owner (even before he was evicted), and it originally looked pretty nasty. It seemed like a totally different house (the interior, anyway) by the time we headed back to our apartment that evening.

My film shoot is about to wrap for the night/ early morning, so I will give an update on our priming and painting in an upcoming post. I plan to upload some photos to this post when I get home [Update: Photos added 5/29/10]. There are only two more days until we move in!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Student Ministry Newsletter- July 2009

[May 8, 2010] I know, I know... Everyone's waiting for me to post photos of our new house (Diana, my realtor, handed me the keys at work this past Wednesday!). I hope to get those pics up soon, but first I decided to raid my archives for a student ministry newsletter from last summer. I'll be posting the rest of last year's ministry newsletters as time allows, and check back SOON for photos of our new house!


Aloha ChoG Student Ministry Newsletter- July 2009IMG_2126_edited-1.JPG

The Class of 2009 has made it! We had several seniors graduate from high school this year, and four were core members of our student ministry at Aloha ChoG. From Aloha High: Kevin Gade, Alissa Degman, and Sam Fleig. From Merlo Station: Emmaleigh Mallery.

Aloha High's graduation ceremony was well attended and highly emotional, and we heard that Emmaleigh gave a wonderful speech at her own graduation. The last time we checked, Alissa, Sam, and Emmaleigh were planning to attend PCC and Kevin was heading for Warner Pacific. We are so proud of them and pray God's blessings on them in their future.

Our graduates, as well other young people who are hopeful of a brighter future, can relate to our new teaching series, "Leaving the Old Place." IMG_2015.JPGWe've been following the story of God using such an unlikely leader as Moses (and Aaron, to support his leadership) to deliver the Israelites from slavery… not that high school is slavery!

Two of our biggest fundraisers for International Youth Convention 2010 helped us pick up steam for the big event next summer.

IMG_2024.JPGIMG_2048.JPGThe first, our annual rummage sale, was held here at the church on Saturday, May 30. IMG_2019_edTMP-1.JPGThe students worked hard on Friday night sorting the donations and setting up the displays. Then they stayed all day Saturday to assist the "rummagers" and ring up purchases. IMG_2025.JPGThe sale was well attended and, thanks to the abundance of donations, is tentatively scheduled to make a second run this fall.


Our other fundraiser, the June 14 dessert auction, brought in more cash for IYC. IMG_2184.JPGThere was quite a variety of treats to bid on, from cheesecake to freshly baked cookies. IMG_2174.JPGWe got a kick out of watching the King's Kids "bidding" on items, too. To top it all off, Tom Peterson made his sophomore (no, not sophomoric) appearance as our energetic auctioneer.

The next Friday, a few of us took a campus tour of Warner Pacific College...

...Followed the next day by a beach trip for a couple carloads of our students on July 20th.
To our surprise, Seaside was featuring a "Father's Day Cruise-In."

After gawking at the classic cars on display, we toured the shops and wasted some pocket change at the arcade. The sun eventually drew us to the beach, although the air remained a bit chilly.

Some of us were even bold enough to brave the icy cold water!

Our upcoming car wash at the Burger King on TV Highway is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 [2009... This is a past event]. All of the proceeds will go to our IYC 2010 fund. We could use volunteers to help us out for any amount of time during the day. Please let Garth, Kathy or Wendy know if you are willing and able. If nothing else, we would love to wash your car!

In His Grip,

Youth Pastors Garth and Kathy Hamilton

And for those of you can't get enough of our student ministry, here are some bonus photos:

Our graduates eat pizza, receive gifts, and get prayed for (students are laying hands on Alissa in this second photo) at our School's Out Party.

Derek takes a tumble during a Wednesday night game of soccer at church.

IMG_2343-1.JPGMickey D's

IMG_2043.JPGBen directs traffic towards our rummage sale fundraiser, all while trying to find his way out of a plastic bag.