Staff Retreat 2014 [through my lens]

Happy Monday everyone! Just popping up on the blog to share some pictures of a wonderful week of fellowship, games, sharing, action, laughter, impacting sessions,  and togetherness. Staff Retreat 2014!

I didn’t get nearly everything recorded on my camera … but here are a some of the moments I did manage to capture…

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Gathering together for some fun group games…

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Warning: There are quite a few darling children in the IGo family.

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This game. The stick is supposed to go down… ;)
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Baseball… another time I remembered to pull out my camera.
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Staff Retreat 2014

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Babies to hold… what fun!! IMG_2266

Music and games… 2 of our favorite ways to hang out together. :)

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Israel and babies: one of my favorite things.

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In the mornings we watched a DVD series by Dr. Larry Crabb on encouragement. After each session we got together with our assigned small group and discussed the previous session.

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I call this next picture, “Life in the Dorm.” (And I sure hope someone got it. . . )

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Staff Retreat 20141

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All too soon it was time to say goodbyes…

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(but not before we partook of one more meal). IMG_2335

I leave you with a picture of the IGo family… I feel so blessed to be a part of this group!

IGo Staff Photo

Ten Days in Malaysia

[Our family took  a multi-purpose ten-day trip to Malaysia. Visa work, Mom's special birthday, and lot's of family time. Dad and Mom and us 5 youngest spent 5 nights in the city of Kuala Lumpur and then took a short flight to the Island of Penang where Austin joined us.]

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We fly to KL. Some of my little siblings act like they’ve never flown before in their life. “Come on guys,” I tell them, “you’re world travelers and it’s only been a year… don’t freak out.” But despite their fears we actually arrive and get settled into our hotel room.

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The first morning we head to the Thai Embassy… because we all know that work comes before play and that we must spend some hours getting Visa work done before the fun and games can begin. The smart ones (i.e. Kelci and Nikki) also know that an excessive amount of washi tape and colorful pens add that “element of fun to every job that must be done.”

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And then the party begins. :)

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It’s been over a year since our family has been at a hotel and for us that is a very long time… so it’s fun to have courteous staff service (which here at this hotel is tops – they’re all so friendly!), sit by the pool eating pizza, and daily come back to our room with fresh sheets on the bed. :)

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One evening we head out into the city via train to see what there is to see. We have the time of our lives. And I remember that I am certainty no country gal – I love the city!

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“Hey, come over here, let’s take a picture in these unflattering mirrors!” (Okay, we’re tourists, we’re allowed to be amused by every trifle thing.)

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There are decorations going up all over the place for the upcoming Chinese New Year…. it’s  fun to get a little glimpse into this holiday!

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We also explore this beautiful mall…

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And have Mom’s 50th Birthday supper at a middle-eastern restaurant complete with authentic hummas, shwarma, pita bread, and falafel! (We all think it’s interesting how, no matter where we travel, our hearts still seem to be in the Holy Land.)

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tehe. oh issy-boy.

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This city has such a mix of peoples and cultures (this being an awesome factor).

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The next day we head to the mountain…

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…where we take a 20 minute cable car to the top.
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The mountain, the view, and the lift  brings on quite a bit of nostalgia. [Only, instead of a blanket of white snow beneath us there are ferns, palms trees and every variety of green.]

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(The day after I establish that I am a city-girl I hear the mountains and the wide open spaces calling my name [it's complicated].)

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in through the jungles… IMG_0067

Beautiful.

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This mountain is owned by one man and lying at the summit is literally a city in the clouds.

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Rather unlike some of our normal mountain rambles in the past, we find a little indoor amusement park and spend a few hours going around in little circles and laughing ourselves silly.
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Israel gets on his game face for our favorite ride of the day (which we ride over and over again) the bumper cars. For some reason or another we all get a thrill out of  having an excuse to ram into our siblings (and dad!) and making them feel like their joints are about to go out-of-place (along with their lunch.)IMG_0176

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After 5 days in KL we head to the island of Penang.

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We’re all getting hyped-up about the Winter Olympics coming up! !

And here we are… Penang and the spectacular view from the balcony.

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We spend a lot  of time just chilling together in our little apartment. It is so good to just be together and relax. There are books to be read, family movies, and of course, many intense games to get involved in.

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“It’s a Miller thing.”

(I guess Israel’s games are intense too.)

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And of course, we also head to the beach on a regular basis!

[my sisters are very lovely]

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ahh… ocean waves, sand between my toes, and island breezes.

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Nikki Ann.

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Hello, Mr. Monkey.

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Dad found us the mexican food we were craving. :)

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One of the beautiful pools we enjoyed swimming in and hanging out by. IMG_0552

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Enjoying a game of “take-one” by the pool…
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This food court is one of those places that are perfect for a family… you can just walk around to the different stands and pick whatever suits your taste… be it a burger and french fries or a plate of Indian curry. :)
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Our five days on the island went by so, so fast. 

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This trip was what we needed. What a gift to just take a week and a half to just   s t o p  and take a breath.

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Yes, this trip was such a gift. But as I sit in the airplane as the lights of Chiang Mai come into view I realize how every day is a gift. God knows exactly how many days we are going to live our life.  Each  and every one of those days – and each and every person who lives their numbered-days  - is seen by Him.

I feel this sudden desire to live each one of my days to the fullest. To make the most of where I am now because it’s where God has lovingly placed me. And where he has placed me is a gift too. 

I whisper a prayer for strength because I know that most times the days feel nothing like this sparkly city light view that I am having above reality and real life grit. But then again if this is how God views earth all the time maybe there is more reality in the sense of peace I feel now then when I lose my focus and get lost in the mess.

I have this feeling that it’s all going to fade away when we take off for paradise and spend eternity at His feet.

Let’s thank Jesus for life. For the here and now, the beauty, the grit, today. It’s a gift. Live it to the fullest.  

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