Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Meet Macie!

Yesterday, Bryan, Angela and Daniel drove all the way to Yakima, Wash. to pick up our new puppy! Her name is Macie, and she is 11 wks old. She was rescued from a puppy mill in Washington, along with a few of her brothers and sisters. We adopted her from Yakima Valley Pet Rescue.
They think she is a labrador retreiver mix. She is mostly black with a slight brownish tint, and has white paws, a white "batman logo" on her chest and a tiny tip of white on her tail.
She is basically the cutest puppy ever. She rode the whole way home with them, sleeping in her bed, and right when she got home, she peed in the grass! She is yet to have an accident in the house, and she didn't even whine last night! A bunch of people came out to see her yesterday, and maybe she was just too tired out to whine. She is a really good dog, but a biter! She especially likes to bite my hair.
This is Macie and I kissing.
How many Koreans does it take to wash a puppy? Four!
Angela and Macie. Not sure what Macie's face is doing here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

St. Paul Rodeo 2008

The Bernard family is all about traditions. My family has their own traditions, like all the kids dressing up and doing the nativity play at Grandma Ullman's house on Christmas, millions of family reunions, and the innate ability to procreate. Now that I am married, Bryan and I have to chose which traditions to take part in, and when to create our own.

When I was little, every Fourth of July was spent at my Grandma's house in West Salem. The day would kick off around noon, when my brother and uncles would go into town and buy the biggest package of fireworks we could find. We'd then go back to Grandma's, eat some frozen blueberries, jump on the trampoline and pray the sun would sink faster.

As soon as we had the go-ahead, we were lighting fireworks.
Eventually, the parents and my aunts, uncles and grandparents would come out with their lawn chairs and blankets to ooo and ahh about our fireworks show.
For a couple years of high school, my brother became obsessed with Whistling Pete bombs, and would spend hours preparing for our Fourth of July show, just so he could scare everybody's pants off by the occasional eardrum-busting sonic boom created when he would duct tape two of the Whistling Petes together, then smash them with a hammer and light the fuse.
My favorite part was lighting the fireworks, because I am a slight pyro.

I remember sitting with my aunt, Denise, and watching our fireworks, rating each one on a scale of 1-10. Those were fun times, but times that are a thing of my past.
Instead of homemade shows, Bryan and I now let the pros do the work. For the last three years, we, along with an assortment of our close friends - and sometimes family, have attended the St. Paul Rodeo on the Fourth of July.
This year, eight of us went: Alicia and Ben (back from training for a visit), Jason and Lauren, Kyle and Kari (plus in-womb baby), and Bryan and I.
Working for the Independent has really changed my outlook on the rodeo, since we write about it all the time, and I know more about it. Being "Press" also allows me to get away with more -- in the picture-taking realm. At one point during the show, I ended up in very close proximity to some crazy bulls that were so mad about being shocked with a cattle prod, they decided to try and climb out of the pens. Luckily, the only side effect to being so close was getting a minimal amount of bull poo flicked onto my camera. Bryan wasn't very happy that I was that close.

Anyway, I've included a few photos of our adventure this year, and I hope you enjoy our new tradition with us! Happy belated Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mission to AZ

As I have mentioned before, Bryan and I are a bit unconventional 23-year-olds who enjoy spending every waking moment with high school students. On that note, our "vacation" this summer was spent over the last two weeks on the Navajo Native American reservation in Kaibeto, Arizona on a mission trip with 8 of our high school students and 40 students from Salem Heights.
The trip started at 5 a.m. on Thursday when the crew set out from Salem Heights. I did not accompany them on the first leg of the trip, because I had to finish the week of work. So I got up, saw them off, and went back home to sleep for a couple of hours and then went to work at 8:30.
After a mad rush to finish my work before my flight left for Phoenix on Saturday morning, I got to be around midnight on Friday night, and then took off for the airport at 3 a.m. (with my parents' taxi service). The flight was no problem, I only had a carry on, so no baggage to check. I sat around and tried not to fall asleep. The flight was short -- only 2 hours, and I mostly slept and read Catcher in the Rye -- which, by the way, is exactly like having a conversation with my older brother. I'm pretty sure it has to be his favorite book. Anyway, I got to Phoenix unscathed but more tired than I could handle. Thank the Lord for Starbucks venti iced white mochas. I ate at the airport Chile's for breakfast, which was overpriced, but all I wanted was somewhere to sit down and look like I belonged.
I learned three things in that airport.
#1: Arizonians must love uncomfortable whicker. Or maybe the miles of fibrous furniture is a combatant against bums like me sleeping in the airport.
#2: Never trust a mission trip time table. "We'll be there at 9 a.m.," really means "Maybe we'll see you at 1 p.m."
#3: Starbucks has the ONLY comfy couches in the airport. Literally. If you don't mind coffee stains.
In my third hour of sitting on the big tan Starbucks couch, a family of four came to join me. The parents were Australian-born, but they had moved to California 10 years ago for his job. They had two kids: Tim and Emma, who lacked their parents' accents, but were very cute nonetheless. Tim stuck to his ironman video game, but seven-year-old Emma loved to talk.
I was on the verge of drowning in boredom, so I welcomed the company.
Their family was taking a tour to the Grand Canyon before moving back to Sydney, Australia. The dad said he had to send all of their possessions on a freighter, which takes two months to get to Australia. They were glad to be moving back, except for the fact that the kids would have to start school right away - no summer break, because it is winter there!
They were a nice family, and we sat together off and on for two hours.
I finally got out of the airport and into the stifling Arizona humidity at around 1:30 p.m.
We met up with the group, and continued on North, up to Page and eventually Kaibeto late at night.
The next day, we went to the church service and the canvassed the area to promote the Vacation Bible School we would be putting on the next five days.
Monday through Friday, we did the VBS at two locations, Kaibeto and White Mesa. I worked at White Mesa while the rest of our Korean group stayed at Kaibeto. The church at White Mesa wasn't even a church, it was Benny's (one of the Christian Navajos) three-room house, which was in the process of a remodel.
We had about 30 kids up there in the middle of nowhere. It was a bit crazy, with fist fights on the first day and no bathroom besides a fly-infested outhouse around the back.
Matt and Tim coordinated a Bible study for some of the older (troublemaker) kids, which worked really well, and a couple of the fist-fighting boys even accepted Christ. I had the chance to talk with a seventh-grade girl named Samantha, who was already a Christian, and just needed some encouragement. Hopefully we will stay in touch, because she doesn't have many friends way out there.
Throughout the week we were all pretty tired, and some drama ensued...but it always ends up for the best (hopefully). I had a lot of good talks with some of the girls in our youth group, and that was great to see them growing, and wanting to grow more.
On Friday night, one of our girls wasn't feeling too good (she threw up 9 times) and then she started to hyperventilate. She got so bad that she couldn't control her breathing and we had to take her to the hospital -- which is 40 miles away. I went with her, along with two other leaders, and it was a scary trip. She was getting very tired, and her arms were cramping up and getting numb. It was my job to keep her awake and keep her breathing. By the time we finally got to Page (where the hospital is), she was falling asleep every two breaths, and I couldn't hear her breathing when she was asleep, so I had to keep waking her up. I was scared we would have to stop and give her CPR, but the Lord got us to the hospital, and it was amazing how much better she was, just knowing she was at the hospital.
By the time we got her in a bed, she was sitting up and smiling.
The doctor said it was most likely an anxiety attack, tipped off by the vomitting.
Back at Kaibeto, the students had gathered to pray and one of our students stayed on his knees until he heard she was home.
After about an hour in the hospital, she calmed down, and we got her back to Kaibeto by midnight.
The following morning (Saturday), our whole group loaded into the vans, as scheduled, and headed back to Salem.
Despite more heavy breathing episodes, falty transmissions, flat tires and little sleep, we made it back to Salem by 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night.
I was glad to be home from my "vacation," but not so happy to head back to work the next morning at 8:30 a.m.
This is Dan beating up Daniel. Apparently they wrestled every night...and Daniel says they "tied" every time. Does it look like a tie?
This is R Jay (one of the Mesa kids) attacking a hula hoop around Zac's neck. He was definitely a biter/dust kicker-upper.
Tim being tough with the rowdy boys. They weren't too thrilled with game time apparently.
We all love this photo...only because Wonmo looks like such a weirdo.
This is the inside of the Mann's house, which we used for VBS at Mesa View. The kids love song time.
Esther and Sun hula hooping.
Jane, Carolyn and Angie being starfish at Lake Powell.
Siera helping Treyton with his craft.
Our group at the lake.
Game time.
Sang with one of her little ones.