Monday, February 28, 2011

London with Bo, Part 1

Originally uploaded by gkhamilton
Last weekend, my dad and I picked London for this week’s quick getaway. Flying standby has its risks, and we were bumped off of our oversold flight to Atlanta last night. After spending the night at my parents’ house in Vancouver, we flew out to New York’s JFK airport this morning to catch our connection to London.

An hour before touching down in here in JFK, our pilot was warned by planes all around us that there was severe turbulence in our path. It turns out that the worst of the rough air was already behind us. I wasn’t worried either way… I had my netbook, my music, and a provocative MP3 message from Mark Driscoll to divert my mind. And as always, prayer was a big part of the equation.

Our layover here in New York should be brief. The novelty of ordering Panini sandwiches with our own in-table iPad (see photo) at an airport restaurant was pretty cool, and I was able to charge my gadgets and call home to Kathy to chat about our soon to be born baby.

Bo and I are hoping to snag seats in Business Elite Class on the London flight. If not, the next flight for London departs two hours later. Good things come to those who wait.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to the Ski Slopes… At Last

IMAG0291.jpg After nearly two years of ski-free living (a personal record for me), I ended my skiing hiatus yesterday at Mount Hood Meadows. My dad and I had to reschedule last Monday's ski trip due to typically dismal 2011 mountain weather all week. But yesterday, we made up for lost time.

I was pleasantly surprised to drive through light snowfall on Highway 26 for my early morning drive from Beaverton to meet Bo in East Portland. Fortunately, that was just a taste of what was to come. Mount Hood had received 7" of new snow the night before, as forecasted, and we were greeted at the mountain by a continuous dumping of snowflakes.

A defective zip tie sent Bo and I back to the ski lodge to replace my lift ticket after our first run. From there, we warmed up on a few intermediate runs before sampling the back country.
We dropped in onto the fresh powder of Twilight (our first double-black diamond run of the year), which is a jumping off point for Lower Heather's Canyon. Obviously, this photo was taken at one of the mellower sections. Bo and I spent the rest of the morning making tracks starting from Hood River Meadows, eventually making our way across the various black diamond runs which lead back to the Cascade Express chair lift.

After Bo called it a day, I headed back out for about half a dozen more runs, mostly consisting of the upper bowls (predictably, 1 Bowl had the softest powder snow) and the upper face of Meadows. IMAG0293.jpg Things got a little hairy after I unwisely followed a tree trail that dumped me out on an isolated, rocky, and cliff-laden patch of slope. I stashed my camera before hitting the worst part of it and cautiously carved my way down to the marked trail below.

Bo and I couldn't have picked a better day for me to redeem my lift ticket Christmas gift from him. The snow was nearly perfect, and the weather was reasonably calm. Depending on whether or not a local director selects me to act in a TV commercial next Tuesday, yesterday was the ideal warm up for next week's ski trip with my friend Michael in Utah.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We're Gonna Be Parents!!!

Originally uploaded by gkhamilton
The secret is out… our first baby is on the way, due on September 7th! After nearly 13 years of marriage and 36 countries visited, Kathy and I decided to finally take the plunge. We weren’t expecting Kathy to get pregnant so quickly (considering that we didn’t really start trying until the end of 2010), but we are both definitely ready for this to happen.

With the exception of the three guys in my SHAPE youth pastor cluster, our parents were the first to find out.
As I shared in my sermon a couple weeks ago, my parents were unable to contain their excitement when we shocked them with the news at the Cedar Hills Chipotle. The guy seated next to us (as well as everyone else in our section) overheard the commotion and he volunteered to take our picture. Without even asking if we were Christians, he even shared with us some encouraging words from Scripture. The hardest part for all four of our parents was keeping the secret until we went public with the news.

Then came our big announcement at Aloha Church of God… imagejpeg_2_5 “We’re pregnant!!” Will Irwin, one of our sophomores, snapped this cell phone photo of Kathy and me breaking the news to our church. Employing a bit of intentional misdirection, I made it sound like our big news was the miraculously speedy results of our church family’s prayers during my recent mega bout with pneumonia, bronchitis, flu, and a high fever of 103.6 degrees. Of course I was genuinely grateful for the prayers, and this was significantly more genuine than the excuse I had previously fed my parents at Chipotle (we used the pretense of needing advice for chimney problems at our new house, also true).

That afternoon, the news went viral on Facebook.

IMG_7583.JPG IMG_0004.jpg
On February 2nd, we had our first ultrasound, allowing us our first glimpse at our precious little one. Measuring only 2.5 cm, it looked like a tiny jelly bean. We heard its heartbeat, racing at 161 beats per minute. Our hearts were beating almost as fast!

To be continued...

Friday, February 4, 2011

E.P.I.C. Student Ministry Newsletter- Feb 2011

As Christians, we have been called to fulfill a mission. God calls us to help Him save His lost children. Most of us can easily think of at least three people who don't know the love of Christ, even within our sphere of people with which we share influence. For the past month, our middle and high school E.P.I.C. students have made an commitment two focus on three people who don't know Christ, pray for them six times a week, and miss zero opportunities to plant, water, or fertilize a spiritual seed.

Here are a few other things we've been up to recently:

Studying the life of Joseph in our Sunday morning E.P.I.C. sessions

IMG_7442_edited-1.JPGPraying for Ben as he prepared to leave for Virginia to attend Liberty University

Hanging out at Wendy's over Christmas break

IMG_7476.JPGIMG_7485.JPGIMG_7507_edited-1.JPG Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus shaving cream beard competition

Appreciating Wendy: The world's best volunteer youth leader!

In Christ, Youth Pastor Garth and Kathy Hamilton

P.S. Don't forget to order your cookies and roses for our Valentine's Day cookie fundraiser!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mike and Summer’s Wedding

As promised last month, I'm posting a few photos from October of my little sister's and new brother-in-law's wedding at First Church of God, Vancouver. Any picture with the initials "MM" following it has been contributed by wedding photographer Moneey Munni.

IMG_7985.jpg (MM)
IMG_7932.jpg(MM) I love this pic of me and Girl before the wedding!

P1000033.JPG (Photo by Lora Eason) I was honored to offer up the opening prayer as Bo walked Summer down the aisle…

IMG_7044_edited-1.JPG…and then the ceremony kept getting better and better!

Here's a great argument against using Photoshop's "Quick Edit" function (I rarely touch up my photos at all): This edited version looks like a vintage wedding photo from the 1970s! Bring on the leisure suits and mustaches.

IMG_8309.jpg (MM)
Afterwards, we all danced up a storm during the wedding reception at the Lupke Center.

IMG_7087.JPG And the honeymooners are off to Cancun! Introducing… Mr. and Mrs. Mike Sorensen!!