Jeff, update your blog!

This is US in a nutshell.

I (Jeff) started the Salem Alliance Choir back up. Our new season began with a bbq/rehearsal where I shared my vision for the new choir season. God is calling our choir to be more intentional worship leaders, not only with their lives, not only with their voices, but also with their faces. It's a stretch for me to lead the choir, but I so enjoy pastoring a group of people again. And they show me tons of grace. Our first weekend leading worship is October 3/4. If you're in the area, you should stop by for a service...or two. The other exciting thing in my life is that I've lost 33 lbs & 11 inches in the past 6 weeks on Take Shape For Life. I've NEVER been this thin in my life...and it feels great. I've got 50 more to go, so I can't get too cocky. But...I am bringing sexy back.

Kara is kicking butt and taking names as a Mom. Caleb is almost fully potty-trained...just a couple of messes here and there. The home continues to be a safe & warm place to come home to...and she is the one responsible for that. One of the holes left by leaving Redding (other than friends and family) was the hole of youth ministry. Kara was born to love and lead youth. Because of two small children (who will rename nameless), she has not had the time or energy to get involved. But recently the high school group at SAC began a Tuesday night gathering which means that I can be home to watch the kids while she gets an opportunity to not only get a break from being a Mom, but also gets to finally do what her heart longs to do. I'm so excited for her...and she is too.

Caleb is becoming a small boy. It frightens us how quickly they are changing. And just when you get used to a stage in life, they change on you. He loves to read. He loves to swing. He loves to EAT. 5 bowls of cereal yesterday. He's also growing as a prayer warrior. He says prayers at night with us, and we sense a deep sensitivity in his little spirit for prayer. Kinda cool.

Sam is actually shrinking (No, but wouldn't it be funny if she were). Her curly red hair has not gone away...and we love it. She waves at people now and blows kisses. And she will mimick whatever her big brother does, which is not always a good thing.

Picture People was having a "Cute Baby" competition. So we did. Enjoy.


And Ally (our dog) is fine. In case you were wondering or if P.E.T.A. was monitoring my blog.


trip to foster lake

Does that look like a mother of 2 small children to you?

Yeah. I tried wakeboarding.

Can't you see me? It's my submarine imitation.

Kara had never been kneeboarding. Apparently it was fun.

I tried kneeboarding and found flying to be much more enjoyable.

I'm pointing out the fact that my shorts were at my ankles.

Our good friend Becky.


running hood to coast. check.

Kara came. She saw. She ran 197 miles.

Well, not exactly.

She was part of a team from church that ran in the largest team relay in the world, "Hood to Coast". They ran from Mt. Hood in northern Oregon all the way to Seaside. This is not for the weak. She trained HARD for this.

And she finished with an average of 8 minutes/30 seconds per mile. That's pretty fast. Especially for a basketball player who is used to bouncing something in her hands or shooting for a net. She was awesome.

Her first leg was about 4 miles...downhill. Sounds easy right? It's more torture on the knees than you may think.

Her second leg. 7.5 miles. At night. With only a headlamp to light her way. She started running at 1:45am. I was happily sleeping at the time.

Her last leg. 7 miles. She said this was her favorite. Because it was beautiful scenery and it rained. Once she was soaked, it wasn't that bad after that. Actually, she said, it was kinda nice.

2 vans. 11 teammates. 30 hours. And one tired basketball player-turned-runner.

The cool part - their name was the "Stumbo's Prayer Warriors". Named for our last senior pastor, John Stumbo, who's body has been ravaged by sickness and wasn't able to join the team. Their purpose was to spread the word about John, as well as commit to pray for John throughout their individual runs. They wore team tshirts that made people ask questions, and they were able to share the story with many people along the way.

John was able to make it to the team send-off prayer time. And when the team crossed the finish line, John was on the phone with them. You can follow John's personal story on the blog listed to the right.

Cool story here. This is Steve Unwin. He's running the leg that John Stumbo was supposed to run. The team met him at the finish of his leg with a finish tape made of toilet paper and cheered him through. He's holding up the bracelet that the team wore. It reads "Stumbo Prayer Warriors - Hebrews 12:1". HEBREWS 12:1 SAYS Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Kara met all shapes and sizes during the race.
These guys wore kilts throughout the whole race.

This was the view of Seaside as they crossed the finish line.

Tutu came and spent the entire weekend with us.
She was an enormous blessing as Jeff was leading worship the whole weekend and Kara was running Hood to Coast. Thanks Tutu!