23 September 2007

Idaho ~Sept 07

I was working with American Cruise Lines this summer so wasn't able to make it up to Alaska to go commercial fishing. Well, I guess Amanda and I actually swore we would never do it again, but after so much time has passed you kind of forget about all the hard times. So because Amanda and I didn't make it to Alaska I decided to take a trip to Idaho to see her. And we had so much fun!

This is a cabin we stayed at one of the nights I was there. We of course had a blast! There was a hot spring there so we spent a good amount of time in it. And it was my first time in one too.

The cabin was about a 45 minutes drive from town so you would think there were be nobody around. Wrong... Turned out there was a forest fire two miles from where we were staying, so there was a ton of fire fighters everywhere. They had hoses EVERYWHERE! Below is a picture of some of the fighter men. They all came by our cabin and were waving and stuff. It was a lot of fun!

This is Amanda and I the night we stayed on a sailboat. Did you know that you have to have your toes pointed to sleep in one of these things? It was bad! So our whole plan was to run an extension cord to the boat and watch a movie and then go to bed. Well our cord didn't reach so we just hung out on the dock. It was pretty funny, because all the rich sailor dudes that came by thought we were pretty crazy.

My first time sailing! Yay!

Now I love big ships, but this little thing was a bit different! It was freezing cold out so we had like two pairs of pants and four shirts on.

We get out there and there's like no wind.. We're just kind uh bob'n around wondering how the heck we're even going to get the thing back to where we started.

So, of course the best thing to do in a situation such as that is to pray for wind. Well, Amanda decided that we didn't just need a little wind but that we need a near storm, so she prayed for big white caps.

And what do we get? Lot's of wind! We have no idea how to sail the thing so when the first little breeze came we nearly lost it. We're both screaming and it gets to the point where you just know you're going to go in no matter what, so no amount of yelling is going to help. But by some miracle we stayed in the boat.

We were out there for several hours and didn't even realize it. By the time we returned (putting it perfectly into shore because we are professional sailors at this point) we were completely sopping wet! We nearly went in every couple of minutes but managed to keep most of our selves in the boat. Such good times! And so many good laughs!!

21 September 2007

Arkansas ~ Sept 07

The longer I’m away from Arkansas the better I like it when I return to see my family. Maybe that’s because I’m growing up, but I’m not sure. And every time I go “home”, I plan to take a picture of the whole family to post on my blog page, but it just never seems to happen.

So, I just wanted to let everyone know… I have met and seen so many parents as I’ve traveled around. I actually like to watch families wherever I may be to see how they work together. And as hard as I look I have NEVER seen any parents as great and (I use this word lightly) cool as mine. So yes, I must say that I do have the best parents in the world. (Daddy dad! You better leave me a comment and tell me how much you love me too.) :D

My brother-in –law Robert was at work so didn’t make it into the photo either. Robert is married to my oldest sister Lynn who’s 23 and they have a sweet little girl Rebekah who is 2 ½. She’s the cutest kid you have ever seen. My favorite niece ever! Lynn is expecting another one in December. Hopefully the 10th so we have the same birthday. But I don’t think it will be so. The three of them live about 30 minutes from our parents.

Then there’s my little sister Sarah who I believe is 19. And I’m not sure how she’s catching up to me in age but I think she is. But she’s living in Missouri now and is working in a church up there.

My brother Luke who’s only 17 and has already moved to Texas. He joined the ALERT program. And I really have no idea what they do. It’s a Christian program and they do search and rescue stuff, but he is going through basic training right now. I’m actually feeling kind of bad that I told him about it to begin with, because I know that it’s pretty hard. (Sorry Lukey Luke, guess I should have mentioned I didn’t actually know what they did. Oops).

And then there’s baby Joseph. And no, just because I’m holding him in the first picture does not make him mine, though I would take him if given the opportunity. He’s 7 months old and super cute.

So that’s my family. The best family I might add. I wouldn’t want a one of them to change.

These are a couple of my friends in Arkansas. And I love them all. I guess I’m just blessed with knowing and being related to such cool people. (And if you are reading this you must fall under the super cool category also).

Myself, Cameron, Matthew and Nick.

Trent, Cameron, Matthew, Juli, Randy and Nick…

02 September 2007

Final Day on the Star ~ Sept 07

Wow… And I say that with the last bit of energy I can muster. I can’t even believe September 1st has finally come. 12 hours or more of work a day everyday for 12 weeks. If I were asked to work another day, I probably would have died. I don’t think God ever intended us to work that long without a day for rest. This job has taken everything I had out of me.

I’m on a plane now headed for Northwest Arkansas. I’m in tears and about to break. I should be jumping for joy that I will never see the American Star again. But my heart is breaking for all my friends I left behind. So many are going to hell and are happy about it. I don’t even know what I should do.

I hate religion… I hate when people try to force God on you. I don’t believe that it has to be that way. I’ve talked to so many people that have been completely turned off from God by people shoving the gospel down their throats. I have even witnessed it myself!

While aboard the Star I talked to several people about God. But how do you tell them the Truth when they believe something completely different? One example is a girl I was talking to, she said she would go nowhere when she died, that once she took her last breath on earth that that would be it. And I asked what if that didn’t happen? What if there was a heaven and a hell, what then? She says, well, I guess I will be wrong. That she can’t believe in something she can’t see. What do I say? I have nothing. I want her to know that God really will help her when she calls on Him, but how do I prove it to her?

This happened countless times. Countless times. I was so unprepared. How do I get hope out there if I can’t even remember what the Bible says about anything?

What about the guy who served God with his whole heart for seven years? Every morning he spent an hour praying and reading the Bible before he started his day. Now he just doesn’t want to serve God because he has to give up things like drinking, smoking and living with his girlfriend. I tell him that he can still serve God and that with time God with give him the desire to change. He says he just doesn’t want to.

How can you serve God and then not? Once you know the truth how can you turn your back?

What am I supposed to do? I feel completely helpless! And I call myself a missionary? What am I supposed to do?

Life aboard the Star ~Sept 07

(Chief Mate Max Taber, Danette, Captain Henry Thorpe)
Everyday aboard the Star was pretty much a struggle for me. I did get to make some really good friends and had some good time, learn quite a bit and even had some great experiences. But besides my commitment of 12 weeks, Captain Thorpe and Max are the only reason I stayed. They are amazing people and I loved working with them! I can't say enough about them.

Most people are pretty excited when they get to leave American Cruise Lines, including myself. Well, Max, Ned and I had a count down going on the bridge window of when we were leaving. This is mine, three days left to go. Captain and Max drew faces for me so I drew my own also.

(Independence Shore boat)


My last week, both Captain Thorpe and Max let me drive the launch. I had so much fun! I love the launch anyway, but then even with passengers aboard to get to pretend to be a captain! So much fun! And they even let me dock it, or attempt to dock it anyways. I almost hit a couple of boats, but either the captain or mate was there to give me good directions to get out of the mess I found myself in. I think I was getting the hang of it towards the end. But it could have all just been in my head. I never actually hit anything though, so that was good!

(Lobster pots)

I wish these lobster pot buoys showed up a little better in this picture. I just wanted to give you a bit of an idea of what we were dealing with up here in Maine. It was so much stress yet so much fun to try to get through these things. I could usually make it through a two hour watch and manage to only hit one (or two). If it was foggy out though, forget it. Didn't even try, we'd just mow them over. There was no hope for navigating around them when you could hardly even see past the bow.