Monday, September 30, 2013

Ministry Happens: handbell choir

I was asked to write a little thing for this week's YourNFC, our church newsletter. Topic: handbell choir.
If you're interested, here's what I wrote: (also online)

I've always been involved in music, from childhood church cantatas to high school marching band and choir to college concert band. As a child, I played handbells at my church in Tigard. We were a rag-tag group, playing here and there for special occasions and such. When I discovered that I could earn college credit by ringing at George Fox, I jumped at the chance.

After graduation, we were eating lunch at NFC with Mauri and Sherry Macy when someone mentioned needing ringers for the bell choir. BINGO! I found my spot.

Fast forward 15 years (!) and I am still happily ringing with the NFC Handbell Choir.

Sometimes the drive from Tigard is tiresome, especially the 7 a.m. Sunday call times. But these are my peeps, and I love my bell friends.

We gather each Monday evening (during the school year) to rehearse, laugh, eat, pray. We share our happy moments and our hard moments. Our ages and life experiences vary, but we're a tight group that cares deeply for one another.

Wanting to share the fun, I've recruited my sister and mother, along with several Tigard High students throughout the years. Mom calls me an evangelist, always wanting to get everyone involved with my favorite things! (Anyone want to join us?? We're always looking for ringers!)

I enjoy the musical outlet, something that's harder to come by as an adult. I enjoy the challenge and chance to grow as a musician. I enjoy brightening peoples' days and enhancing their worship experience through our playing. I enjoy the friendships I have with people I might not have otherwise met. I enjoy inviting my family and friends to come listen to the bells play. I enjoy sharing an older, traditional music style with my church family. I enjoy harassing our director when he hand writes music we can't read.

Christmas Eve is my favorite. We prepare for weeks and weeks, hoping to perfect a long list of songs both fun and reverent. On that one evening, we have three chances to share our musical gift and offering with others celebrating Christ's birth. Between each service, when we're not helping lead the larger group, we celebrate with each other with our private musician Christmas party. It's a special night.

I hope listening to our bells brings you as much joy as we get in preparing music for you!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

No. 42

I just finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - No. 42.

It was a good story - a pharmacologist who goes into the Amazon jungle to track down a researcher working for her company. It's a twisted tale with some interesting personalities. I found the story compelling, mysterious and worth reading.

However... she lost me in the last chapter. I won't give it away, but several things happened that really turned me off.


Friday, September 27, 2013


Another noteworthy sunrise:
I opened the garage door and let out a yelp. The sky was on fire!


Scavenger hunt

We had a really fun running adventure last night at the Road Runner Sports Discovery Run.

The Tualatin running store hosts these monthly scavenger hunts, and we've always wanted to try one. We finally got around to going, and it was a blast!
At 6:30 p.m., they revealed this giant map:
We scribbled down the locations and headed out on foot. One hour to hit as many spots as we could, collecting raffle tickets along the way.

Ended up running just over 5 miles and hitting 7 of 10 spots. With better planning, I think we could have gotten two more!

We all laid out our tickets and frantically checked numbers as they gave away a ton of prizes.
Free shoe and product demos, along with free beer for those inclined:
We had 30 tickets between us. Guess how many prizes we won?

Still had a great time getting exercise and playing - competition is fun!
Anyone want to join us next month? Oct. 24 - be there :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh, yes

Amazing sunrise! The photo doesn't do it justice :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sarah's tri

My BFF is a triathlete!

Sarah and Joel (and Ben?) did their first triathlon Sunday morning in Portland. I had obligations at church and missed the fun, but Brad was on hand with his camera to document the chilly excitement.

Some highlights:
So proud of you, Sarah! You're a stud :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekend wrap

Had some random fun this weekend...

THS football at Hillsboro Stadium. We creamed Century High School. We cream everyone :)
Saturday morning run - just 10 miles this week. I'm tapering! And I've had a low-grade head cold, so it was slow and short this weekend.
Free stuff! Brad and I drove around town to use some awesome coupons, including a free Jambo, a free Cinnabon and 25% off at REI.
I bought a kick-butt bike trailer at REI. I'll have pics as soon as I return it and get one that's not broken. It's the Wood-family curse.

While I played handbells at church, Brad went to Portland to watch Sarah and Joel do their first triathlon! I'll have pics of that soon, too!

Bonus... remember that awesome harvest moon a couple nights ago? Brad and I got up early that morning to run. Sun coming from the east:
Giant, bright moon setting in the west:
A beautiful morning for a run!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mount Shuksan (Labor Day 2013)

Over Labor Day weekend, Brad finally made it up Mount Shuksan, a peak that's been on his must-climb list for quite some time.

The peak is just east of Mount Baker, a few miles south of the Canadian border in the North Cascades. Here are some photos taken by him and his teammates, in no particular order. Simply stunning.
That dot of light high up on the glacier is Brad, descending in the pitch black while his teammates looked on:
Amazing :)