Monday, August 16, 2010

Rafting the Dechutes with 20+ youth

Our raft going down Box Car rapid
( Can you find us?)

Friday night Michael and I and our two oldest got back from a 3 day, 2 night raft trip on the Dechutes River. We left early Wednesday morning and put in at Trout Creek near the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. We rafted a few hours until we came to our first camp site. We got there a bit early, around  2:00 pm and had lots of daylight left to explore the campsite, how water wars, swim in the river, set up camp and have endless fun.

You should have seen the gear boat that our teaching pastor took all by himself down the river. It was so loaded with tents, food, backpacks, stoves, and everything else we needed to live for the three days away from home. I wish I had a picture of his boat. It was truly a site to be seen.

Like I mentioned before we had 20 something junior high and high school kids. There were four pastors on this trip and another male adult and two women. These kids were so well behaved and worked their hineys off when it came time to set up and tear down camp. They also did most of the work when it came time for our meals. All us women had to do was stand around and direct orders. There was no complaining!!

Day 2! After breaking camp and loading everything back in the gear boat on Thursday we headed down the river and had many hours of hot sun, water gun fights with the boats, white water rapids and swimming. We stopped off at a huge rock mid way down to do some rock jumping. The brave kids and adults which included my daughter and husband jumped off of a huge cliff into a pool of deep water.  many of the others took the safer route and jumped off smaller rocks. It was so amazing to watch. However, I didn't participate. I am so nervous about injuring myself and putting myself into unwanted pain. I just watched and tried not to freak out.

That night we found another great camping spot. This time with shade. It was right along the train tracks and we had the pleasure of watching and listening to the train several times that night. The sun went over the large rock like cliffs early and we had relief from the 90+ degree weather. That evening the kids all sat upon the boats singing, talking and laughing. We had delicious smoked pulled pork that one of the leaders made and lots of fruit. Just before bed my daughter gave a little talk on her time in Argentina. Most of  the leaders were eager to go to bed early and get some much needed rest. The kids stayed up a bit later watching shooting stars. Day two is over!!

By day three we were a bit sunburned, and a little tired. But... we still had lots of desire to hit the big three class rapids that would be coming up. The big gear boat that our pastor was guiding was dropped off at one of the launch sites  several miles from Maupin. He was glad to ditch the boat and took over the boat that Michael had been guiding. He has had a bit more experience on the river, especially the big rapids that were coming up  and Michael was happy to get the break. That afternoon we hit two big rapids- Wapanitia and Box Car. These were incredible rapids. There were photographers perched on the rocky shore to take pictures of the people going down. These are the only pictures we have of the whole trip.

Around two that afternoon we reached Maupin City Park, our destination. What a high we were all on, but definitely a  tired and ready for a heatly meal and a good night sleep in our own beds. I praise God that the trip went well and there were no catastrophes, a  few scratches and sunburns but nothing severe. I was so glad that I went and can't wait to do it again!!

                                   The other three boats !!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Fun

It's been one week since Mandi has been home and life is getting back to normal. There is no normal when one child is gone, out of the country. I must admitt that I took her absence real hard. I had no idea that I would "freak out" so much!! Those, by the way are my daughter's words.

Mandi had such a powerful, wonderful mission trip. She came home with a desire to go again in December if God leads. I tend to see the dollar signs of another trip and  have a hard time seeing how this next trip can be funded in such a short time. Mandi on the other hand has great faith that God will provide if it's the right thing for her to do. She is already thinking outside the box on what fundraisers she can do and creative ways to raise money for this trip. Nothing is impossible with God!!

Two days after Mandi got home we headed to Grants Pass for a family reunion. We had a wonderful weekend reconnecting with Michael's side of the family who I have met only once or twice. There were about 30 relatives hanging out at the Kuhlman house. We swam in the pool, and ate lots of great food. I am sure that I gained whatever little weight I have lost at bootcamp back this weekend. It's hard to be "good" when everything is so yummy!! On Saturday we rafted a portion of the Rogue River. Michael and I took all the kids. Amanda has lots of rafting experience and took one of the relatives down. Jeff does too and he took one of the cousins. Both kids did exceptionally well navigating the rapids. I was so proud of them! Michael had Josh in his tahiti and I had Emma!! After pulling out at one of my favorite parks, Indian Mary park, we had a big picnic with everyone else who didn't go rafting.

We were suppose to go home Sunday but Jeff and Mandi wanted to raft again. The first river trip was such a hit that they decided to go again. Sadly, Michael threw his back out earlier that morning and we were not able to join them. They went down another section of the river, a little rougher part, with Uncle Dave and other family members. By the time they got done it was too late to drive home. So we got to spend another day! Monday we hung out by the pool until four and finally headed home.

My next adventure is coming up next week when Michael and I get to be chaperones on the middle school and high school youth group rafting trip. It will be a three day trip. We get to camp out at night and be in the water during the day. I can't wait!! I am so glad Jeff and Mandi OKed us to go. The younger kids will have fun with Nana and Papa here in Redmond.

This summer is going by too fast. It's amazing how the kids get busier as they get older. I am glad that we have one more month of summer vacation to enjoy before school starts up again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Argentina trip 2010

I want to direct those who look at this blog to my daughters blog for the next couple of weeks. She created a blog for her missions trip to Argentina.  (click on the highlighted link) She left this morning early for an 11 day trip to San Nicolas, Argentina to work in a children's home. She went with a team of six people from our church.

I wept like a baby this morning when she flew out. I have not experienced much anxiety in my life time, but last night I couldn't sleep a wink. My heart was racing and I had a hard time breathing. For several hours I prayed asking God to grant me peace. It worked because I did fall asleep. I know she is in wonderful hands! Our God is omniscient and oomnipotent!! All powerful and all knowing! She is also with a wonderful team who will watch out for her.

Please keep Mandi in your prayers- and me too!! God has amazing plans for her and she will grow through this experience.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here's what has been going on!

It has been  a month since I last post on my blog. Life just keeps moving forward and really doesn't wait for me to catch up!

The last couple of weeks have been nice ones for our family.

The kids were able to spend some wonderful time with their Nana and Papa. Even as I type the boys are on their week 2 vacation with them. (They have returned) Oh how I miss them! The house dynamics have drastically changed with just two children here, and they are girls. I have found that the house stays much neater with less kids. Yes, that's a plus, but I miss the noise and fun that Jeff and Josh bring to the family. I just can't wait until Saturday when they get home! (Yeah, they are home)

Last week Michael and I had a chance to get away for a little R&R. We were sent on a little  pastoral retreat by some friends in our church. So, for two nights we were blessed to stay at a retreat house  in West Linn called the Elderberry House Oasis.  It's a place for Christian workers to go to get some encouragement and much needed break.  What a ministry this couple has. Their house is in West Linn and is in walking distance to the Willamette River. Their view is breathtaking with many places to relax both outside and in. They even have a prayer shed that is perfectly set in their beautiful backyard. It was a nice place for Michael and I to sit and read our Bible and spend some time in prayer. The accommodations were so comfortable, but more importantly the couple who host this is simply wonderful. God's love truly shines through them and they have such a heart to minister. There were many times in ministry that we really needed such a place and we searched and searched the inter net for something just like this. I am so happy we have found a place we can go to and even recommend to others. If you would like more information on this ministry click on the link above labeled Elderberry House Oasis.

After two days in West Linn, we found lodging near the airport. We were planning on attending the OCEAN home school convention but decided to play hooky and spend some more wonderful time together, just the two of us. The weather was gorgeous. Really the first nice couple of days of the summer and it was our 16th anniversary, so.... we spent the day driving the old Colombia Gorge Hwy that took us to all the beautiful waterfalls. We stopped at each one and hiked some of the trails they had to offer. The highlight was hiking a 5.4 mile hike from Wakeenah Falls,the falls just before Multnomah Falls to Multnomah Falls. We thought it was .5 miles, not 5 miles. We didn't realize this until we were about half way there. This hike was magnificent! It was physically a bit difficult but definitely worth the effort and sore muscles we had the next day. I can tell bootcamp is working. A month ago this would have been a much harder hike for me.

Mandi leaves soon for her mission trip to Argentina. She has 9 days to go! Praise the Lord that she raised all the money that she needed for her trip. She has created a blog to update those who are supporting her financially and through prayer. If you want to know how to pray for her and follow her trip please follow her blog the next couple of weeks. I will try and update it frequently throughout her trip.

The last week has been spent weeding my garden area. It is amazing how fast those pesky weeds grow. It's a good thing I have four very active children to help me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Boot Camp!!

I have finally come to that point in losing weight where I better "fish or cut bait" or another not so lady like idiom "@#&$%* or get off the pot". I have spent years procrastinating, and so much money on exercise DVDs and diet books. I almost have a full library now!! My 36 birthday is just days away and I have remained roughly the same weight since my 10 year old daughter was born. I can sit here and give myself every excuse that pops into my mind. Like...I don't have time, I'm in pain, my plantar faciitis flared up, I had cancer ( that one is getting old now)I'm too tired, I'm fine the way I am ............. but,  frankly, I am so tired of being sick and tired. I need to make some big changes, not little ones. I don't want to say that I'll start Monday and then have Monday come and go again.


What better way to spend my 36 year than to finally get my rear in gear!!

My goals are no longer to lose 10 pounds in one month and to eat like a bird, but to live healthy. Eat right and exercise! I think "they" have been saying this all along and I am now just getting it.


This morning I made my first step in achieving this life long goal. I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to go to my first class of Brundage Boot camp!! Last Thursday I went to a meeting with my hubby who is fully supporting me in this in almost every way except to join me in the early morning workouts.(He says he will be cheering me on at home from his elliptical after he sleeps another hour.) I practically signed my life away on Thursday saying that I will be at every workout and if I don't- they will come show up on my front lawn. I knew when I heard this, there would be no excuses for me and I would get the accountability that I so longed for and needed.

I have never done anything of this kind before. I haven't even moved my muscles like I did this morning for who knows how many years. I left the workout this morning feeling so proud of myself for showing up and busting my rear end. I feel muscles I have never felt before. I am sore, shaky, and I can't believe that I can't wait to go back on Monday!!

I am looking forward to having a better outlook on life. I want to be able to keep up with my kids and not feel so out of shape. I want to feed my body healthy foods that give me energy! Plain and simple, I just want to feel the best I possibly can.


If I can lose some weight and look better along the way, then I say bring on the pain- good pain that is!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mandi's 1st Mission Trip to Argentina!!

Mandi is raising support to go on her first Missions trip to Argentina. She has recently sent her support letter to close friends and family. I am posting this on my blog because there may be some people who follow my blog and would like to hear about Mandi's trip and support her in it. More importantly, she is asking for prayer! If you are interested in supporting Mandi in prayer or in donations and you didn't receive a support letter, you can copy and print out the donation slip at the bottom of this post.

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello! I pray this letter finds you well. I am writing to let you know about an opportunity that has come my way. But first I would like to let you know what has been going on in my life this past year.

I am completing my 8th grade year at Central Christian Schools. This has been a wonderful year that was filled with much growth and memorable experiences. This year at school I went on many school trips including Generation Unleashed and Fall Retreat. Both were amazing experiences that helped me grow spiritually.

This growth has rekindled an interest in going on a mission trip; something I have been considering for the last two years. At the beginning of this year I had my heart set on going on a youth mission trip to China. However, my parents had an uneasy feeling about it. The more I prayed about it, the more I began to feel the same way; but still I felt called to go on a mission trip.

A couple of months ago, I learned of an opportunity with our church to be a part of a team going down to Argentina this summer to minister to the Sunrise Children’s home. They have taken teams there for several years. The trip is July 16th -27th. Twelve people from our church will be joining some others and heading to San Nicolas, Argentina. Sunrise Children’s Home is a place that takes in children that are abandoned, abused or neglected. Many of the children have been rescued from the streets and from the prostitution trade.

With the blessing of my parents I am pursuing this trip with great excitement!

On this trip we will have an opportunity to help meet some of the needs of the children like bringing clothes, shoes and school supplies. We also plan to build a storage place on the premises that will store the donations the home receives. Further, we will be taking the kids on special outings; doing things with them that they normally don’t have the chance to do. Most importantly, we will be playing and spending time with them and showing them a lot of love.

I don’t know what the future holds for me in missions, but I am starting to think about what I can do occupationally on the mission field and am looking at which colleges would help me meet this goal. This mission trip will be my first glimpse of mission work in another country. I look forward to serving along side my team and showing God’s love to the orphans at Sun Rise Children’s Home.

I value your prayers for our team and those whose lives will be touched by God through us. I am asking for you to pray for safety, good health, smooth travel, and financial support. Just knowing that you are praying will give me peace as I go into an unfamiliar place.

In addition to your prayers, if you are able, I am asking you to help me raise my support of $2000 to cover the cost of the trip. To make it easier, I’ve included a page that explains the process for giving and a self addressed, stamped envelope.

To find out more about the Sun Rise Children’s Home that I will be visiting, please view their website at

This is a journey that I believe God has called me to and I would greatly appreciate any level of support you are able to offer.

Thank you,

Mandi Kuhlman

If you are interested in supporting Mandi financially or prayerfullly on her first mission trip to Argentina you can send your donation slip to:

Redmond Community Church
237 NW 9th Street
Redmond, OR 97756

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Anita Renfroe Hit!!



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