Thursday, July 28, 2011

E.P.I.C. Student Ministry Update- Aug 2011

IMAG0851.jpg by gkhamilton
IMAG0851.jpg, a photo by gkhamilton on Flickr.

Summer is in full swing, and our student ministry has shifted gears to demonstrate an even greater emphasis on the importance of serving those around us. IMG_8157.JPG

Our E.P.I.C. Wednesday night teaching series, “Made to Make a Difference,” has inspired our middle and high schoolers with stories of young people who have made an impact in their world through their acts of service.

After a few brainstorming sessions, our students have decided that our time and resources would be best used to create and distribute care packages for the needy in downtown Portland. Other ideas for future student-led service projects are also being kicked around, focusing specifically on our local community.

Our fun summer activities so far include:
IMAG0857.jpg Garth and Ben climbing Washington State’s steep Dog Mountain, pounding out 2800 feet in less than 1 ½ hours

IMAG0871.jpg IMG_8243.JPG Holding a special E.P.I.C. session at Garth and Kathy’s house to plan for our upcoming urban service project

IMAG0704_edited-1.jpg Sending in the “hands team” to assist our hands-less diners, to illustrate the importance of food distribution to the hungry

IMAG0670.jpg IMAG0695.jpg IMAG0669.jpg Working at Skyline Memorial Gardens for three days over Memorial Day Weekend as a student fundraiser/ministry opportunity; The “Gate 1” portion of our group is featured in this last photo

IMAG0787.jpg Our wildly successful Dessert Auction, featuring Jeff Buckles’ second appearance as auctioneer

IMAG0774.jpg Graduation parties for Kenny Degman and others (our church’s own Michaela Cochran is pictured with her older sister, former AChoG student/graduate Bethany Bird)

IMG_8203.JPG IMG_8169.JPG IMG_8236.JPG Celebrating the last day of school with a round of Musical Pies the following week

IMG_8256.JPG Going ahead with our anticipated water balloon toss, just as a surprise torrential downpour in July (!) was starting to taper off

In Christ,
Youth Pastors Garth and Kathy Hamilton

Here are a few bonus photos for this month:
IMAG0757.jpg IMAG0764.jpg
Kez, Kenny, and Derek battle it out on the PS3: Playstation 3 Move "Sharp Shooter" motion controller vs. the regular Move motion controller

IMAG0629.jpg Students work together to build competing human pyramids.

Wow, this pie went EVERYWHERE!

IMAG0650.jpg Our younger students get their first driving experience at Skyline Memorial Gardens.

Sorry, but neither the terrifying student driver video clip nor the infamous “ear discharge” photo will be posted here on BlogSpot. For the love of all things decent, please hit me up for those privately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Listless in July and August (No Top 5)

IMAG0933_edited-1.jpg by gkhamilton
IMAG0933_edited-1.jpg, a photo by gkhamilton on Flickr.

Due to my extremely crowded summer schedule, my “Top 5 Recent Vacations” BlogSpot list is on a two month hiatus. Kathy and I returned late last night from our family’s annual Banks Lake, WA camping/boating trip, and this morning I’m flying out for Delta Care Team training in Atlanta a few hours from now. Pile on top of that our local student ministry, my day job at Delta, Oregon State Campmeeting at Warner Pacific next week, various camping/backpacking trips and day hikes, along with an unexpected (but very welcome) preaching opportunity for a week from Sunday… and it doesn’t seem that I’ll be at home to blog for a while.

My #4 Vacation destination entry(s) will be posted to BlogSpot in September (hint: it’s one final domestic destination). In the meantime, I’ll be sure to post an E.P.I.C. Student Ministry Update before the end of July and a short entry about this week’s Banks Lake boating trip in the next few weeks. Maybe I can use my flight time this morning to round up a few photos!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Video: Our Baby's Heartbeat!

VIDEO0121 a video by gkhamilton on Flickr.

Click the “play” arrow on the video above for footage of our baby’s heartbeat reading from last week. On Tuesday, we had a substitute OB/GYN who allowed me to shoot photos and video of the procedure this time around.

At 140-150 B.P.M., I am thankful that our baby daughter’s heartbeat is still going strong. We are truly blessed!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Gonna Be a Girl!!

Bonus: This weekend, I've added additional photos, stories, and video to my four previous Blogspot posts (not even including our baby's heartbeat video, to be added tomorrow). Cheers!
IMG_0003_20weeks.jpg by gkhamilton
IMG_0003_20weeks.jpg, a photo by gkhamilton on Flickr.
By the end of April, Kathy and I had waited over four months for what the sonogram picture above revealed: We’re gonna have a baby girl!!

Just the thought of being able to hold her in my arms is enough to make me yearn for September 7th to come early. If you look closely, you can see her holding up tiny hands next to her head. Adorable!

IMAG0230.jpg We made it through Easter Sunday without knowing her gender, but the joyful truth came out the following Tuesday.

IMG_0005_20weeks.jpg After the gender reveal, this was another one of our favorite sonogram photos, back from Week 20. Her little feet are forming perfectly... we can already imagine them kicking around those soccer balls.

IMAG0247.jpg We celebrated the next evening at Baskin Robbins, after we wrapped up our E.P.I.C. student ministry session at church. The big B.R. was having their annual $.31 scoop day. Call us big spenders, but for big occasions like this you just have to splurge.

We only have 10 weeks of pregnancy left, but my wife Kathy is still getting out and staying active:

IMAG0575.jpg She’s still working at the Portland Clinic…

IMAG0613.jpg IMAG0618.jpgShe’s still hiking

IMAG0833.jpgShe’s still coming along with me for live music and events (See last month's May 30 Blogspot post at for stories, pictures and a video from our recent Portland Timbers game on Kathy's birthday weekend. She had no idea that we were going!)

IMAG0791.jpg IMAG0155.jpg IMAG0799.jpg ….And she’s still staying beautiful!

Here’s a fun story that happened on the Jeep drive home from that short Horsetail Falls hike, pictured above:
IMAG0626.jpg Kathy requested a quick rest stop at Multnomah Falls. Bored, I started browsing through the various name-engraved products in the gift shop while waiting, in search of inspiration for baby names. Kathy eventually walked in to find that all three employees had joined me on the impromptu name hunt!

So, did we finally decide on a name for our baby daughter? Maybe. We'll announce it as soon as we're sure. In the meantime, I'm planning to post a video of her latest heartbeat recording here on Blogspot tomorrow!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tomorrow on Blogspot... A Pregnancy Update!

IMAG0794.jpg by gkhamilton
IMAG0794.jpg, a photo by gkhamilton on Flickr.

Rather than go straight to this month’s # 4 pick for my Top 5 Recent Vacations countdown, I’m bowing to increasing pressure (via Facebook private messages, texts, phone calls, emails… I kid you not) from my Blogspot fans for a pregnancy update.

Well, there’s no need to get your meticulously preserved MC Hammer pants in a bunch… I’m working on a Blogspot update to post here tomorrow evening. I’m including sonogram pictures, a story or two, and (if I can figure out how to correctly embed a video this time) our baby’s heartbeat reading footage from earlier this week!