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2006

Fort Totten VBS...


We were blessed with the opportunity to share the Gospel with kids from the Spirit Lake Nation Reservation of North Dakota. We had 25 kids total over the 2 days. We had our hands full! And that is the reason there aren't many pictures when we were actually with the kids. :) We bussed kids from Ft. Totten and St. Michael's on the reservation to St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Devil's Lake. Many of these kids weren't Christian and had been told that their god was the same as the Triune God, so it was awesome for us to be able to share the truth with them. It was an adventurous, fun, and tiring 3 days. A deer took out our coordinator's car as he and few others were on the reservation attempting to promote the VBS. We adopted a doll that scared just about everyone when they first met her. She was named Clarice and went with us everywhere. We were blessed by our friends Myron and Jenny who hosted us while we were there. Thank you!! We hope to do this again next year, the Lord willing. {pictures}




Christmas...


Had a wonderful time at the Rosin's. It was an unusual Christmas that could have easily been mistaken for a Fall weekend. Attended Christmas Eve and Day services at St. Andrew's in West Fargo. I really enjoyed the sermon and readings for that day. I put the readings and a quote in the Word link. {pictures}




A day with my friends...


And that's just what it was. {pictures}




Norwegian Treats...


Spent one Saturday in December with friends making Rosettes and Fattingmann (we're still not sure about the spelling.) {pictures}




Crane Hunting...


So I've taken on the world of hunting... not very successfully though. I took these pictures when I wasn't officially a hunter yet, so my only weapon was a camera. I spared you the cleaning pictures! {pictures}




Fall Update 2006


Hey there! It's been awhile so I thought I should send out an update on our life in ND-aka North Dakota- not New Dawn.

Life in Jamestown is good. Married life is wonderful. So many blessings, joys and laughter mixed with enough bumps to keep remind us we are human and in need of forgiveness and grace daily. We have been blessed with a summer together. I haven't had to work and Dallas' schedule hasn't been too demanding so we've had a summer off so to speak.

And so what have we been done with all our time together? Well we've done things like: listened to books on cd or reading aloud to eachother- our replacement for TV since we don't have one; become addicted to a free computer game called Transportation Tycoon (much like Simcity); biked all over the Jamestown area; checked out what Jamestown has to offer (yesterday's discoveries included Goodwill and the Farmer's Market- woo-hoo!); a week of VBS; visited his family up here for baptisms (we're God-parents for his cousin' firstborn) and a wedding; a week up at Encounter Camp where I was in the kitchen (where my skills from time at GEV and LD washing dishes and finding my way around a big kitchen came in very handy) and Dallas led the Recreation Encounter (this was an awesome camp format- 4 parts- Word, Worship, World, and Recreation- led and prepared by the kids under the supervision of pastors/youthworkers- really good skits and new songs too!- if you want details just ask!); The Mexico Mission Trip- work project and 3 VBS with only 16 people- 1 van - 1 FULL trailer of school and medical kits, clothes, toys, and quilts with only 2 mishaps- a lot of growth seen in the kids we took down- stayed with the pastors family and were at their house every day working- they were so grateful - and I was the cook and Dallas was the spiritual "Life Encourager"- he did great with all that we saw and experienced down there (boots/drew he could have been the life encourager- he was holding out on us); a mini-honeymoon daytrip to the Medora Musical and Teddy Roosevelt National Park where we saw wildlife- wild horses, prairie dog towns galore, deer, pheasant, one lonely buffalo- and a breathtaking landscape of yet another beautiful place of God's creation; a short trip to the cities to help a friend move out of her apartment, transport her 2 funny dogs to ND and see good friends (thanks again heather and katie!); hosted our parents- mine were just here and we had a great time together- we took them out to the rifle range at Pipestem Dam park to do some shooting and even got my mom to take a few shots!- it was a great time- dallas' parents usually are here to work on a house they are renting out in town... which leads to the next paragraph...

Some things I've been learning this summer: how to shingle a roof- dallas' dad was just out here and we finished shingling the garage roof; fix a bike tire and purchase the necessary parts for it; how to make a bed frame (I made ours! I did! So no longer is our bed on the ground! yeah!); how to say and the importance of saying "I forgive you" and "Please forgive me"; how to cook meals for small armies quickly; how an internet phone works; an appreciation for those who wrestle the intricate details of making quilts; that at our local library you can loan a fishing pole; how generous people are at Concordia Lutheran- they threw a pantry party for us- our cupboards are still packed!; how to discern what things are worth "discussing" and what things you just let go; and that our apartment shakes ever so slightly when the trains pass by.

And the Fall doesn't look like it will slow down much, but that's ok because I am so grateful for the life we've been given. Dallas' work will pick up here as Sunday School and Confirmation starts up again. He is also working with a church in Bismarck two Sundays a month to jump start a youth night. He is driving an afternoon school bus route too. And Lutheran Hour Ministries asked him to be a workshop presenter this Fall and Spring... so I'll be his chauffeur to and from the airport (not sure which airport- maybe Minneapolis- so Kristen- I might be calling!). As for me, I have a week and a half of hunter's safety coming up- :) yes that's right- I'm going to be a hunter... well someday. I need the basics first. :) I was asked to help with leading a portion of Sunday School music time. Looking forward to learning more about that. And a new development as of yesterday, I decided to find some flexible part-time work. The apartment is in as much order as it can be and I've got more free time and want to meet people and get out into the community more.... Soooo... I've got an application for a job as a Respite worker through Easter Seals/Goodwill. At this particular chapter their Respite workers helps out families with children of disabilities by things like watching their child so they can get some free time alone, to do errands, etc. Each family is given so many respite hours. So if they wanted they could even use them all up for example on a family vacation for some extra help. Also at this chapter they do Elder Care. In this case Respite workers help elderly out with daily tasks like shopping, cleaning, chores, etc. I'm really excited about this- especially about the Elder Care portion. I'll keep you posted.

Well that's it from my end. Drop us a line when you get the chance!

In Christ,
Elissa





Summer Update 2006


Hey! What a crazy week and a half it has been... we are all moved in and settled... still have plenty of things to do: number one being our phone. We are going to try out the internet phone through a company called Packet8. The great thing about this is that we get free long distance in the US and Canada. So I can call you for free or you can call me and I'll call you back. :) We have yet to get it up and running because my phone is still charging up. :( And because of that we still don't know what our number is yet. ;)

The apartment is cozy and is starting to feel like home. :) Not a lot of room to spare-especially in our closet of a kitchen! ;) If you ever come to visit you are welcome to stay with us- however bring your own sleeping mat- we've got plenty of blankets to go with it. Our lease is for 6 months, but I think we'll stay here longer and save up/pay off loans for a while. It's in an older building- actually a huge blue house converted into 7 apartments. It's got the ornate wood trim, high ceilings, old radiator heaters, beautiful wood doors, and wood floors hiding under the carpet. We've got a community washer and dryer down stairs and a closeline outside- complete with a small frog that has put up residence. It's got it's quirks- namely the heaters- the thermostats are zoned weird. So we have control over our neighbors heat, and someone has control over ours. So it's best we all just be friends. :) Speaking of neighbors... I've only met one so far... Drew is his name... nice guy. Fellow musician and gourmet cook. :) Has offered supper several times, but we've had company over or already ate.

The apartment is in a great location... 3 blocks away from the post office, bank, grocery store and main street. We can walk or bike just about any where. Church is only a 15 minute walk.

Jamestown itself has a well developed community- with a lot to do in the area. Dallas and I went to the kite festival the other day... I've never seen such kites before... five stories high... a huge barrel kite... a funny snorkeling man kite complete with fish swimming around him. Dallas and I spent an afternoon out there rollerblading around and taking in the sights. They advertise well about what is going on in the community- little signs up in every restaurant and most businesses. There is a park a block down and across the river from our house with a walking path, frisbee golf and a great fishing spot where the two rivers meet. Dallas and I biked out to the Pipestem Dam the other day... 20+ miles- difficult miles... lots of hills and rough terrain. I'm still feeling it. ;) There are places to camp and tons of trails to either hike or bike. The rifle range is out there and we've already tried that out. Beautiful country- flowing grass, rolling hills- yet flat enough you can see the horizon. I feel like I'm on vacation somewhere. It's slowly starting to hit me that this is home.

There is a huge reservoir in town too- haven't made it out there yet. Dallas has biked around that, so I'm sure we'll make it out there sometime. There is a herd of buffalo close by- tourist spot that we can bike too as well. We purchased me a bike with some of the wedding money- full suspension. I'm liking it a lot.

Ooo! Another town festivity is the annual junk week. In the spring people put their junk on the street for pick up and people drive around scavenging. I was able to partake in that when I came up for a week before we got married. We found some great stuff for the apartment- it was fun!! I'm looking forward to it next spring. :) It's the little things right?

Jamestown is a train town, and we live only 2 blocks away. Thankfully our windows face away from the tracks...

I'm helping out with VBS next week and looking forward to getting involved and meeting more people.

Well that it is from me for now!
I hope this finds you all well!
Love,
Elissa




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