The Life of Gabe and Mandy

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night..." Psalm 92:1-2

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Summary

Pictures at last!

Playing "Take Two" was a favorite pastime for many.

Justin and Darrell on the rock that provided hours of entertainment for us in camp! ;-)

Jack, doing his version of the hoods we see people driving with around here.

Climbing Jump For Joy, a 5.9, and using my shoes for the first time. I'm about 30' off the ground there.

A view from the trail to the top of Yosemite falls. It was a hard hike but the views were spectacular! The hike up was grueling and hot, but I enjoyed running all the way down the trail in 50 minutes! (It took me 3 hrs to hike up).

A beautiful view of Glacier Point that we enjoy while in our campsite!

I love cooking outdoors... and indoors too for that matter.

Me, Sarah, Merrie, Annie and Abby at the entrance to the valley through the tunnel.

Some of our group on a rock by Vernal falls.

Eden, Hannah, Annie, Alyssa Abby and Me at the base of lower Yosemite falls.


As I think back over all the fun and exciting things I've done in the past two weeks there's more I want to blog about then I could.

*Merrie's 16th birthday party.
*Learning how to replace brake pads and fixing the shocks in my Jeep.
*Selling my Jeep for more than I paid for it in less than 12 hours!
*Buying a new digital camera and some rock climbing shoes.
*Using the rock climbing shoes to do a really nice climb in Yosemite. BTW 5.10 makes the best climbing shoes!!!
*Using my new camera to take over 4oo pictures!
*Waking up at 1AM to hearing a man Scream, "Get out of here bear!"
*Seeing a bear up in a tree not more than 10' from our tent and less than 5' from the Gramms!
*Hiking up to the top of the third tallest waterfall in the world.
*Killing 10 mosquitoes in one swipe.
*Meeting new people.
*Hearing Darrell sing a solo at the campfire.
*Watching two Dad's cook pancakes for a group of 58 people and not making any regular shapes! *Hiking to the top of Nevada falls with my 8 year old brother.
*Leading a whole bunch of hikers into a dead end because I lost the trail due to flooding.
*Staying up until 1AM playing Dutch Blitz and Take Two.
*Spotting a bear with a van full of girls. LOL!!!
*Caravaning home with Uncle Mike & family and trading songs on the radios.
*Read Justin's blog to hear about this one

There you have it in a nutshell. If you want anymore details just ask!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Okay, on a totally lighter subject... We're packing, ahem! I mean we're supposed to be packing for a one week vacation to Yosemite. We're planning to leave tomorrow morning early.

Yesterday we were supposed to be doing all the baking for the trip and we were having pizza night. Pizza night turned into spaghetti night when we discovered that our oven was not functioning properly. It was such a relaxing problem for me since I didn't have to make all the pizzas for a change! =)

We ended up having over 50 people come, some from as far away as Jordan, and I really enjoyed the fellowship.

Around 11 we had our special friend share a presentation about her ministry in the mid east. It was very enlightening. She, Melissa was such an inspiration to me in joy, contentment, peace and love! I was impressed by her sacrificial love towards the lost and towards the believers.

There's a lot more that I would like to blog about but I'd better get back to packing! The Gramms are on their way over to spend the night so we can car-pool up together in the morning! FUN!!! If you've never been to Yosemite you should!

In closing:

A small contingent of Dortignacs drove out to the Creightons today. It happens to be Mr. Creighton's birthday, and also their one niece's first birthday whom they lamented that Alex was never able to meet. As you can imagine they're pretty torn up inside.

Zachary has been allowed to visit yesterday and today. He came expecting to stay, bringing all his stuff, but the social worker wouldn't hear of it and has picked him up the past two evenings.

Please continue to pray for their family!!!

Here's an article about the accident that Alex was involved in.

Schofield soldier killed in training

Nine others are hurt in a truck rollover in the Mojave Desert

FORT IRWIN, Calif. » A 25th Infantry Division soldier was killed and nine others received minor injuries this week when the truck they were in rolled over and caught on fire.
John Wagstaff, National Training Center spokesman, identified the Schofield Barracks soldier last night as Pfc. Alexander E. Creighton, 23, of Romoland, Calif.

Pfc. Alexander Creighton: The California man, 23, talked to his mother just 12 hours before he died
The nine soldiers were treated and released from Weed Army Community Hospital following the Thursday morning accident. The Army did not release their names.
Creighton, 23, talked to his mother less than 12 hours before he died, and the Hawaii-based soldier had planned to meet his parents today to spend some time together.
"We were going to drive up there and meet him," Charlotte Creighton of Romoland, Calif., said last night.
Creighton said her son, who had always been into "military kind of stuff," was considering the Army as a career.
Before joining up in June, he had been working in construction with his father.
"He was a good man and a good son and a good brother," Creighton said. "He was a man of dignity and character. He sure will be missed by a lot of people."
In addition to his parents, Charlotte and Jim, Creighton is survived by four sisters and 10 brothers. Services are pending.
The accident occurred at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, and Alexander Creighton was pronounced dead at 9:34 a.m.
Creighton was a passenger in the truck, but it was not known whether he was in the cab or sitting in the rear of the vehicle.
All 10 soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Lt. Col. Bryan Rudacille. Although the 10 were part of the current training mission to the National Training Center, they were members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is not going to Iraq this summer, but was supporting the training of the 3rd Brigade, the Army said.
This was the National Training Center's first training death since 2003.
The center -- one of two used by the Army to train soldiers in counterinsurgency tactics for combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is located north of Barstow in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The other is the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.
The accident occurred on a dusty, unimproved road in the eastern remote end of "the box" -- a training area as big as Rhode Island -- close to the mock Iraqi village of Al Sharq, which was under the jurisdiction of soldiers of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry.
The accident is being investigated by the Fort Irwin Criminal Investigation Department and jointly by the 25th Division and Fort Irwin safety boards.
"The entire Army Hawaii community is saddened by this loss," said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii.
More than 5,000 soldiers, the majority of them soldiers belonging to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team under the command of Col. Patrick Stackpole, have been in "the box" for the past two weeks as part of their final training mission before deploying to Iraq this summer.
Besides the temperature, which can climb to the high 80s in the day, the Tropic Lightning soldiers have had to endure gritty dust that can be whipped into a sandstorm without warning. Combat training operations have occurred around the clock, with soldiers getting two hours of sleep at most on any given day.
Yesterday was the final day of the exercise, and the Schofield Barracks soldiers will spend next week cleaning their equipment before going on leave or returning to Hawaii. All of the soldiers are expected back home by Memorial Day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A shock!

We just heard word that a friend was killed in military training practice yesterday.

His name was Alex Creighton. We've been blogging about their family over the past few months. One thought that is kind of amazing is that if CPS hadn't kidnapped his youngest siblings his family wouldn't have had the opportunity to spend 2 days with him one month ago. Good can come out of every situation to them that love God!

Apparently he was inside a vehicle that flipped over and burst into flames. He's the only one who couldn't escape.

Please keep the family in your prayers!!!

"...Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

God Is SOOOO Good!

On Sunday Dad shared about the second fruit of the spirit. Something that God commands us to have. Such a cruel command, huh? Not really! I mean, who wouldn't want to rejoice always? Dad pointed out how we can only have joy if we believe the promise in Romans 8:28. A lack of joy is a warning indication of little or no faith... A time to ask, do I really believe God?

It was exactly what I needed to hear. God knew that too! "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!"

A couple of days ago Mom was going to take my Jeep to the office, but she came back into the house a minute later saying, "Mandy, your radio is gone and I think you better come and look."

Dad and I went to have a look and we discovered the glove compartment was opened and Willie's check book that he left in there for some unknown reason was . . . sitting on the passenger seat!! The front of the dash had been gently pried away, and the radio cover plate was not there, but Dad saw it on the floor, and put it back on with no problem, he was also able to push the front of the dash back in too! We'd been told that it wasn't unusual for people to break windows to steal stuff from cars in this neighborhood, (And the broken glass in the streets around here confirmed that claim), so I was immediately very grateful that whoever it was didn't need to break any windows! One of my doors was left unlocked.

Basically it was just another way that the Lord was proving to me that He has everything under control. Whoever had broken into my car decided not to take anything, and even left me with a gift... a blue cigarette lighter that was sitting on my seat!

EDIT: This afternoon I discovered that they took my Christian CD's, broke my light, (which is a clue that they did it at night), and they left me a black cigarette lighter too! I'm thinking about listing them on ebay if anyone is interested! JK!

A special thank you to everyone who helped to make my birthday so special! I feel so blessed!

Heidi and I shared a dessert since our family has 4 birthdays and an anniversary within 8 days of eachother!

Note the hand over Kaylee's mouth! (Not mine!) Most of the candles were already blown out for me and Heidi! Actually Heidi didn't quite catch on with the blowing, she kept saying, "pwff" under her breath! lol!

Look at Heidi's face! What was she thinking? Kaylee has eyes only for the cake! My family is so precious!!!