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Every so often we get special visitors at our home. They don’t come down the chimney, they don’t leave quarters under our pillows, and they don’t even hide Easter eggs all over the place. No…instead these special visitors leave 40 rolls of that which we so depend on every single day…double-layered, quilted, ultra-soft charmin…Toilet Paper. Unfortunately they did not leave it in its packaging on the step with a bow around the box for future use. Instead, it was beautifully unraveled all over our yard, trees, cars, and driveway (thankfully they didn’t go for the roof…that would have been a pain). What a gift! We definitely are feeling the love at the Flower home. I mean, I was really hoping that I would get to spend an hour outside on Saturday morning picking wet toilet paper out of the grass and peeling it off the cars. Thankfully, it worked out that my dreams came true and this is how I spent the first hour of Saturday morning.

Actually, we do feel the love. I think we would be doing something wrong in ministry if we never got Tee-pee’d. Also, it allowed me to meet my neighbor, Bob. We have been chumps and had not yet really met our neighbor on our left hand side. He came outside when I was picking up and said…”I know how you feel, I was a Jr. High principle for a while.” Enough said. Amazingly, Bob and his wife have been attending our church for a few months now (the joys of a growing church…you meet people who have being going there for a year and you’ve never seen them before). Hopefully, we’ll get to know them better in the future.

Here’s the aftermath (unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to take a picture of the amazing job done).

Family and Friends,

We are excited to tell all of you that “We’re Having a Baby!!!” Sorry we haven’t been able to call or tell all of you in person…but there’s just too many of you! Beth is 7 weeks pregnant and we had our first doctor’s apointment today. We even got to see the heartbeat. Please be praying for both Beth and the baby…for health, not too much sickness, and growth (mostly for the baby, not for Beth). We are so thankful to God for this blessing. We will keep you posted in the months to come.

We love you all,

Ken and Beth…and baby.

For the past three years, Beth and I have had the privilege of enjoying Thanksgiving with friends in Corona (to see pictures: go to www.billblakeyphotography.blogspot.com).

Our Assignment: The Turkey…this year, Dos Turkeys. Here are the chronicles of our turkeys.

Step One: Thaw and Brine Turkeys for 24 hours. (Brining is basically soaking them in salty sugar-water..the brine is brown because of brown sugar, not because of bile)

Step Two: While Turkey #2 continues brining, Beth prepares the oven bag for Turkey #1 (the oven bag cooks the turkey faster and seeps it in its juices…that’s a good thing).

Step Three: Taking Turkey #2 out of Brine and drying it (then place it in fridge to sit overnight).

Step Four: Do awkward pose with headless bird.

Step Five: Carve the Bird…here is some of the leftover carnage.

Step Six: Pile the Meat on a Platter…dark meat on one side, white on the other

The full carnage

Turkey #2 just out of the oven on Thanksgiving Day (cook it Chest-down so that the white meat soaks in the juices).

Step Seven: Ladies place turkey on amazingly decorated table with many other amazing foods.

Step Eight: Gorge! (The turkey is buried somewhere under the mashed potatoes and stuffing)

Step Nine: Enjoy Days of Leftovers…turkey sandwiches, turkey wraps, turkey soup, turkey burritos, turkey and peanut-butter, etc…

Every year, for the past four years, we have had a little healthy competition going in the area of those orange things that aren’t really good for anything but decorating and pie…you guessed it, Pumpkins! Every year, the competition is fierce and only promises to be more so this year. Last year, Jessi Gates won without carving pumpkins, but carved a large squash (actually 2 of them)! She may have to get creative again this year with a possible shortage of pumpkins in England. Here’s the deal…this year, we need even more competitors to step up the competition level.

Here are the rules (and these will be strictly enforced by PCC officials):

  1. There can be no use of stencils or templates for this competition…all designs must be drawn and carved free-hand. (You can get ideas from stencils, just don’t use ’em)
  2. Multiple pumpkins are only acceptable if they come together to make one design/idea.
  3. The winner will be declared through voting that will be open to anyone.
  4. Trash-talk and lobbying is allowed in the blog comments in order to gain more votes.
  5. Pumpkins will be judged based on the following criteria:
    1. Creativity
    2. Non-suckiness
    3. Pizazz
    4. That special something

Deadline: All entries must be in by Midnight of October 31st. Voting will begin the next day, November 1st.

To enter your pumpkin…

  • Take a picture of it and email it to me (I will put it on the official contest blog)
  • Or Send me a link to your blog with your pictures of it.
  • Make sure to include a Title or Name for your creation.

The Prize: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me” and the official title for the year of “Pumpkin Carving Master”.

If you want some inspiration, the college group at our church did a pumpkin carving contest last night…you can see their entries and vote if you want here.

So, this happened almost 3 months ago, we’ve been a little behind on things so we thought we’d catch up!

Tim (Beth’s brother) proposed to Christine on the top of Mt Mcginnis in Juneau, AK—she said yes! They are getting married January 5TH in Arizona.

Congrats! We are super excited for you guys.

Tim and Christine came to visit us Labor Day weekend. We went to The Hat in Pasadena for dinner. Somehow, all of us in this picture are related!

 

 

Be sure to order the Pastrami Dip, but the smallest order of fries feeds about 8 people so only get 1!

So, I was lazy about 6 months ago and forgot to renew kenandbeth.com. After it expired, some lame company bought it so they could sell it back to us for $200. Now, if you go to kenandbeth.com, there is some girl in a backpack. That’s okay…we are going to try to move on from kenandbeth.com to something new and fresh for our family.

The only problem is…Flower is a pretty common word and most domain names with flower in it are taken. We’ve already tried “theflowerfamily”, “flowerfamily,” and other similar names. Our creative juices have stopped flowing, and we don’t have any ideas.

Here’s where you come in. We need some new ideas (Beth says, “not cheesy”) for our family website name. The winner may get a homecooked dinner (if they are willing to travel to our house and pay for their own travel expenses). We may even let you stay overnight. (these prizes are only for people we know).

Any thoughts? Let the names start flowing…

Beth and I returned from a 12 day trip to Alaska on Thursday morning at about 1:30am. We went with 8 others from our church to serve at Tanalian Bible Camp in Port Alsworth, Alaska. The scenery was amazing, the fishing was great, the daylight was long, and most importantly God worked in our hearts and used us in the lives of others. We staffed a 5th and 6th grade bible camp for 7 days. These students come from small villages all over rural southwest Alaska. Many of the villages have only 1 church (if any) and that church may only be a Russian Orthodox Church (not exactly at the top of the list of churches to attend). Many of the villages are wrecked with alcohol and drug abuse and even physical abuse. Some of the students were stuck in a brutal foster care system. With that said, these were some amazing kids. Most of them had great joy and wanted to learn more about God. It seemed that God was working in many of their hearts. And they were a ton of fun. I got to teach the morning chapel sessions and the camp director, James Walsh, taught the evening sessions. Our team members were counselors in the cabins. They led some amazing cabin times and also pursued the students throughout the week…trying to help them understand and love the Gospel.

Here are some highlights of the week…

Some of the guys

Beth and some of her girls

The view from the camp chapel

My friend Lee from Illiamna, who bought me this hat

Derek’s senior picture at camp

The entire camp

My brother-in-law, JR, getting his Cessna 172 ready

Some fruits of fishing in Alaska (Sockeye Salmon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JR with a Sockeye Salmon

Burns got a couple, but I didn’t get a picture of any of them.

Our niece, Callie Jane Gates

Our niece, Jill Lorraine Gates

On our last day, our whole team went fishing at Bird Creek. It was a lot of fun.

Brandon got stuck…

Caeley got a silver Salmon

And I got one too!

Here’s the whole team from Northpoint

 

 

Beth and I are leaving with 9 others from our church tomorrow to Port Alsworth, Alaska. We are going to serve at Tanalian Bible Camp for their 5th and 6th grade camp. We will be arriving at Port Alsworth via Anchorage and our beloved family, JR and Rachel Gates (and Callie and Jill). We will be gone from July 6th to July 18th.

Of course our team has a team blog to keep family and friends updated during the trip. Here it is in case you want to check it out… www.alaska1.wordpress.com

See you in a few weeks (unless you live in Alaska).

One Camp down…2 more to go.

We just returned yesterday from the first camp of Summer Camp season. Gunner (David) Gunderson came and spoke for our annual College Retreat on Catalina Island. He and his wife Cindi were a blast to hang out with and God used his humility and commitment to the Word to work in our hearts. Vinoj and Burns planned the retreat and it went great.

Next Friday, Beth and I, and the amazing Jr. High Staff will leave for Jr. High Summer Camp in Big Bear, CA. Dave Hulet is coming to teach our Jr. Highers. The same day, June 29th, the Sr. High leaves for Sr. High Beach Camp in San Onofre, CA. Andrew Callaway is bringing the Word for this camp. Bill Blakey and Burns are planning this one and it should be a great one.

3 days after we return from Jr. High camp, Beth and I leave with Team Alaska #1 for our 12 day mission trip to Port Alsworth, Alaska to serve at Tanalian Bible Camp. We will be gone from July 6th to 18th helping out with a 5th and 6th grade camp. On July 12th, Burns and Team Alaska #2 leave for Port Alsworth for another 12 days to help out with a 7th and 8th grade camp. They return the 25th.

Please be praying for our busy camp season.

  • Pray that God would give all of us strength and help us to depend on Him.
  • Pray that the Gospel would go out clearly to all whom we encounter.
  • Pray that we would be focused on the mission God has given us through these opportunities and take advantage of every moment.

Thanks All,

Flower

We have the privilege of having Madison, Kale, and Avery Burns stay at our house while their mom and dad are celebrating their anniversary.

Scott and Mellissa, these are not staged…its been a lot of fun so far! And as I said before…fake teeth never get old!

Not quite Bora Bora…

The Wiggles…captivating