Friday, July 23, 2010

Oregon Coast

Heidi and I had the opportunity to enjoy a couple of nights on the Oregon coast. Carrie and Thomas stayed with my brother Mike and his family. On our first day at the beach we were driving through Seaside, Oregon and spotted our son James having a picnic with his two friends. Judging by the looks on their faces, they were surprised to see us and no doubt spent the next hour looking under the seats for tracking devices.

We spent most of our two days hiking. We enjoyed Crescent beach and Indian Beach.

Indian beach was a special treat for me because during my childhood we had a family gathering there every year to celebrate my aunt's birthday.

On one of the beaches we spotted a bench in a prime location.

Of course we had to climb up and try it out.

Here is a picture as evidence that we made it to the bench.

And here is the view from our bench.

On the second day, Heidi wanted to climb a mountain, but the trail wasn't marked very well and thanks to my great sense of direction, we ended up on a very nice cliff face.

When we got to the point where we were leaving fingernail marks on bits of rock and small shrubs Heidi decided that her mountain top experience had been fulfilled. I call this picture, Don't Jump Heidi.

This is the view from Heidi's viewpoint. We had a great time and enjoyed a visit with my brother Mike's family on the way home.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Hummer

Every summer Westwood Baptist, one of our supporting churches, puts on a vacation Bible school program. Would you believe 900 children attend and that it takes 300 volunteers keep everything running?

The Bamford family made helping at Summer Hummer part of our time in the United States. Thomas and Jonathan got up every morning and were in the kitchen by 6:15 to prepare a pancake breakfast for the volunteers and their children.

Then, just before 9, Heidi, Carrie, and 900 campers showed up. Heidi spent her days helping with crafts, which earned her the title, "The Bead Lady." Jonathan helped with games, crafts and the afternoon water slide. Carrie was a counselor for a girls group.

And Thomas went from kitchen duty to being an assistant counselor for a boys group.

Which included learning to insist on good behavior.

Which apparently caused no hard feelings.

On Friday night the children invited their parents to see them sing their songs. Jonathan helped cook hamburgers and hot dogs for the crowd.

We enjoyed getting to work side by side with our friends at Westwood Baptist and we enjoyed our opportunity to help with Summer Hummer. We are proud of how hard Carrie and Thomas worked to make Summer Hummer a great experience.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

James's News

Congratulations to James and the class of 2010

We are very proud of James and his accomplishments during his high school years at Faith Academy. He enjoyed playing soccer and rugby and spent a lot of time working with Mr. French, his art teacher. During his last year, James took a college level art course. Below is one of his paintings.
Our main purpose in returning to the United States for the summer was to get James settled. He had hoped to go to College of the Ozarks to study art, but that college has a full enrollment and he is on a very long waiting list. We are thankful that God has blessed him with a great Plan B. Last week he moved to Oregon. Someone donated a van for him to use, he got a job at Fred Meyer, he has a place to stay, and he was accepted as a resident student at Portland Community College. He is also blessed to have some of his friends from Faith Academy, Manila living near him.
Charles is currently living in Idaho and working a manufacturing job. He had a long weekend so he flew up to spend the weekend with us. We haven't gotten the whole family together in one place for a photo in a long time, so when we went down to Oregon to celebrate James's 18th birthday, we had one taken.

Some people say we haven't changed, but I think they must be kidding. This is what our family looked like just before our first time on home assignment in 1998.