Jog'r Part 2

So you may have read in Kyle's post on Monday that we began training for our 5K race this week. Let's just say you don't really know how out of shape you are until you start "training". Wow. Even though it hurts now, I am so excited about getting in shape and healthy. I want to be a healthy mom and wife in all areas and I'm looking forward to what the Lord teaches me through this experience (as well as losing some more baby weight!)

Here's some of my NEXT girls (with me) getting geared up for the race:

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Jog'r Egg Nog'r

If you've got a Facebook profile and Carrie is one of your friends, you might have noticed that her profile picture has changed in the last week to a photo of a group of young women in running stances, seemingly taking a lap around some office. Well, that would be she and three of the other fairer folks in our office posing for an idea that they had. It all started with Kara Krouse, henceforth referred to as "KK."

A while back, KK got really interested in fitness and eventually became interested in taking on the challenge of a "sprint" triathlon. If you're not familiar, a sprint triathlon is quite a bit shorter than a real triathlon but just as taxing; a 300 yard swim followed by a 13-mile bike ride, wrapped up with a 5K run. KK entered the Blacklands Sprint Triathlon that took place just a couple of weeks ago in Plano, and had a blast. So overcome with excitement was she about the triathlon that her exuberance soon overtook the women-folk in the offices and inspired them all to enter the Jog'r Egg Nog'r 5K Race in December. Yes, combining running with egg nog...

So, in order to do something that we normally wouldn't do (but maybe will after this thing!), Carrie and I will be entering the Jog'r Egg Nog'r 5K Race in December in Dallas (around White Rock Lake, which is a beautiful place to do anything outdoors!). It's going to be cold, but the race doesn't start until 9:00am (so it's not one of those crazy things where you have to be there at like 4:30am like some great football game). I know that a 5K is not just really far (only 3.3 miles), but the running that I have been doing for the past few years, when I've actually done it, has all been sprint stuff and bleachers. This is on top of the lifting that I do four days a week (I am NOT bragging, just stating a fact). My main objective is to have a ton of fun and get a cool t-shirt, plus sip egg nog once the run is over. Overall, I'm pretty sure that both Carrie and I are planning on the primary objective just being to have a blast and to build even more comraderie within the NEXT offices (the ladies are hoping that everyone on staff will get involved!).

So, that being said, we are beginning to "train," so please pray that we don't pull any muscles or anything (seriously). We hope that all of you are doing well and are planning on having a great week, because Monday is here and has dawned bright, crisp, and beautiful here in the Metroplex. We are praying for all of you and look forward to seeing our Lubbock and West Texas family and friends in just a few short weeks!
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Oil in the Water, Oil in the Empanadas

After taking a day to rest, I (Kyle) am back in the NEXT offices! What a trip!!! Let me quickly list some things that happened:

1. CRAZY flight stuff - smoothest landings and takeoffs I've experiences in years, but the logistical side was a total nightmare! We were already on the plane at DFW ready to take off for Miami when our pilot came over the PA and said that they were getting "something that could be potentially hazardous" checked... a puddle forming underneath the left engine. Although I knew there could only really be three things it could be (oil, fuel, or water), he said it as nonchalantly as though our plane had begun leaking chocolate milk (which would still have been bad!). 30 minutes later, we were back inside the terminal, staring at a screen telling us that our flight had been postponed until 1:30pm; busted fuel pump. This meant that we would arrive in Miami already too late to make our flight to Maracaibo. Therefore, we took the chance of going to Caracas (the capital) and making a flight to Maracaibo the next morning.

2. American-started riots - well, not actual riots, but near enough. There was drama at the ticket booth in Caracas and the luggage counter in Maracaibo. Some people were mad that we had arrived an hour and a half earlier than them at Caracas International and had been put on standby quicker than they had. There is no real logic in what they were yelling about. No one came to physical blows, but many verbal ones were dished out, of which I had no clue, because Spanish isn't one of the languages I speak. Also, Maracaibo's American Airline's service desk kept claiming they didn't have our luggage until our partner, Ernesto, had American on the phone and they suddenly appeared with a black suitcase and big yellow and black North Face duffel.

3. More oil-production than I've ever seen (including West Texas) - as we stared across one of the world's largest lakes (Lake Maracaibo... more than 100 miles across at some points) I understood how the claim that there was nothing alive in the lake could be true... just within my line of sight, I was told there were some 7,000 drilling and pumping platforms, and it certainly looked to be true. The exact same sight that you would see staring across the flat West Texas landscape on a typical night was amplified greatly in the myriad lights on the waters of Lake Maracaibo, as 10 million barrels of oil were pumped that one day.

4. Oil in the water? - That's right, there is so much oil in the water of Lake Maracaibo that nothing lives in it. There was oil flowing out of the river banks in the towns around the lake. There was oil floating on the water in numerous puddles (Venezuelan "lakes") in the towns. There was even a nice sheen of oil as I looked at the water in the toilet. Showers here made it seem as though you were worse-off than when you got in.

5. Oil in the empanadas - Oil, seemingly mineral oil, in the breakfast empanadas; Clint and I are still recovering

6. Numerous people taught / preached to some 50 people - the cool thing is that I felt I was supposed to speak on the courage that we have in Christ and the pastor came up afterward and told me that it was as though someone called me and told me what their congregation was going through, as they had just tragically lost a girl in their congregation and I spoke directly on courage to face death and hardships

Anyway, I'll stop there. Thank you all for your support and prayers while Clint and I were hanging out down south. To go ahead and answer the question: No, I did not fulfill my goal of playing ultimate frisbee with Hugo Chavez, but I did bring back one of his political party's shirts that I got from one of his supporters, HA!
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Lost Luggage

Well, the good news is that Kyle and Clint finally made it to Maracaibo this morning (after a shuffle at the airport) around 9:15, and then drove an hour and a half to the city where they are staying (I forgot the name of it!). The bad news is they still don't have their luggage. They are supposed to be getting it tomorrow. The had a fairly successful teaching time even though they weren't able to get through all of the material they wanted because they were so late getting there. Please pray for Kyle in the morning as he preaches at a local church there and pray that their luggage arrives.
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Kyle in Venezuela

Kyle embarked on his journey for Venezuela today! Please be praying for safe and smooth travel. Kyle and Clint have already faced some obstacles. Their first flight was canceled due to a problem with the plane. This caused them to miss their connection from Miami to Maracaibo, the only flight of the day. The new plan is to fly from Miami to the capital, Caraccas, spend the night and take an early flight in the morning to Maracaibo.

Please pray for the boys to get plenty of rest tonight so that they will be able to jump right into to teaching tomorrow. Pray that the Lord speaks through them to the church leaders they will be teaching. And, pray for me and LK back home!
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My sweet girl (in blue!)

She was too cute not to take pictures this past Sunday!

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Sports Nursery

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to paint the nursery for a friend of mine. Holden is one year old and he has a sports theme in his nursery. Jenny, Holden's mom, loves browns and she loves silhouettes, so I decided to combine those elements in this nursery as well as a 3D element-both the soccer ball and baseball are real balls attached to the wall Here is the result:

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