Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008!

I don't have everyone's email addresses, so I decided to post our Christmas "letter" on the blog! Here it is :-).

December 2008
Dear Family and Friends,

The last two nights at youth group, we've had our annual Gingerbread House Making Contests and talked about the 300 plus Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled when He came to earth to be our Savior. The probability of one man fulfilling only 8 prophecies by luck or by effort is staggering (10 to the 17th power!), and Jesus fulfilling over 300 is definitive proof of His Lordship! We are so grateful to serve a risen Savior and have been overwhelmingly blessed by His work in our lives and those around us in 2008!

We began the year with more work on the youth center at church. We were able to knock down a wall (with the help of several wonderful church members) to enlarge the main room, allowing up to 55 high schoolers to squeeze in there for youth group! (With that many kids, we are thankful that Oregon doesn't have too many warm evenings, or it begins to smell like a locker room after game time!) Shortly after the new year, Dave put together a high school mission team to spend a week in Ensenada, Mexico. We held training meetings each month leading up to the trip, as well as putting on two major fundraisers--a dinner talent show and an all-church garage sale! Through generous donations, the team raised enough to cover travel costs and had an additional amount to bless the church we were partnering with in Ensenada!

The summer was, of course, a busy time. We did some home improvement projects, adding a deck to the back of our house and carpeting Dave's "man cave" (also known as the laundry room) downstairs. It has been so nice to have those things done, especially for enjoying barbeques outside! We spent 10 days traveling to, working in, and traveling home from Ensenada the end of June--a challenging but very rewarding time! In July, Dave became "Dr. Wienerschnitzel" for our church's VBS--complete with spiky white hair to give that mad scientist impression! Immediately following VBS, Dave once again had the opportunity to speak at Hartland Christian Camp in California, along with his dad. His mom and I got to go along, and I was able to speak to the girls one of the nights when Dave spoke to the boys. We also enjoyed playing in the church softball league, taking the youth groups rafting on the Deschutes, and I led a Bible study during the month of August for the girls.

I continued to work in real estate this past year, but with the current economy, I have decided to get out of it for a while and pursue other things. I keep very busy with youth group activities, and I have been co-teaching the J-high Sunday School class with one of the dads. Dave and I have enjoyed lots of wonderful family time this year. Our niece, Sophie is now 16 months old and is a joy to be around as she discovers and delights in the things around her! We are also experiencing the toddler stage with Dave's parents' puppy, Blue! Dave has had the opportunity to preach in church service several times this year.

We are so grateful for each one of you and pray this Christmas season finds you drawing ever closer to our Savior!

With love,
Dave and Amy Bertolini

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Family Time with the Bertolinis

Dandy and Ashley came down for family pictures the 1st of November, but I haven't been able to post them til now because we were giving them as a surprise for Dad and Mom and Gpa and Gma for Christmas. We spent a couple days at the beach with Dad, Mom, Dandy, Ashley, and Blue and Red (their dogs), this past weekend and celebrated early Christmas (because I couldn't wait anymore to give Mom the picture!) and Ashley's 21st birthday (which was actually yesterday).
We took a Nintendo Wi to the beach and all enjoyed "bowling," "tennis," "golf," and "boxing." It was a lot of fun, though I'm sure we looked ridiculous! While Dandy and Dave mastered the art of staying in one place and flicking their wrists, Ashley and I were jumping all over the room, as if playing the sports in real life! We also enjoyed walking on the beach--again, God blessed us with beautiful weather. We are especially grateful for that, as we hear reports that it might snow this weekend! Mom and Ashley brought a little tree, so we could maintain the Christmas spirit, and we went to Moe's for lunch before we left. Though Mom was sick the whole weekend, she was a great sport, and we all had a good time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Oregon Coast!

Lately, there has been a lot of emotional strain and drama through work, so we took a day off and enjoyed some time at the beach. A couple from our church generously let us use their beach house for a couple nights, so we left Sunday afternoon after church, spent all of Monday at the beach, and came home early Tuesday morning to be back at work at 8:30am! Though it was quick, it was such a nice, relaxing time to be able to spend together without our cell phones on--well, most of the time anyway! We slept in, did some Christmas shopping, ate a picnic lunch at the beach, and really enjoyed some needed time together just relaxing and getting refueled. We praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation, the wonderful sunny day (it was 70 degrees!) at the beach, and His faithfulness to us as a couple!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Youth Group Harvest Parties

Well, we survived last week :-)! It was a flurry of Harvest parties, then the church Trunk 'n Treat and then Dave preached on Sunday. The Harvest parties for J-High and High School went really well. We had a scarecrow stuffing contest (which was very fun! We gave them some straw and some old clothes and a sheet for the face. They turned out great!), a pie eating contest (no one got sick this year, so we called it a success!), and a Bible character costume contest. We had everyone from Ruth, to Noah, to a leper (which was quite disgusting!), and of course Mary. I dressed as King Eglon, complete with pillows in my shirt and the hilt of a "sword" sticking out. I was quite proud of my costume, and it was a great excuse to wear sweats to youth group! It is exciting to watch the groups grow.

As our pastor has been on a missions' trip to Peru for the last few weeks, Dave preached on Sunday and will preach again this Sunday. I always enjoy his preaching, though it makes for a very busy week for him as he prepares his sermon and 2 youth group nights. We are excited to have a new church website coming online sometime this week where you will be able to download the sermons, see youth group pics, etc. (http://www.graceindallas.org/ Check it out!).

Wildhorse Canyon!

A couple weekends ago we took our high school group to Wildhorse Canyon--the Young Life Camp in Antelope, Oregon, for their High School Discipleship Camp. Josh and Anna took their youth group as well, so it was fun to hang out together. This was the first time we had been to this camp, and we were thrilled! Not only do they have the largest zipline in the Northwest (that drops you into a freezing cold lake at the end), a giant 3 person swing that drops you 60 feet and then you swing out over the canyon, an indoor skate park, and 4 b-ball courts, the food was fabulous and most of all, the speaker was really good! We are looking forward to making this an annual event. I will hopefully post some pictures of our weekend later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Pics

Here are some pictures from our fun Saturday in Eugene!
This one is for Dave's grandparents' annual Christmas calendar :-)...every year around November, my mother-in-law asks me for pictures from this past year and Dave and I have to go out and do a photo shoot right then. So, I am very proud to say that we got our 3 pictures for the calendar spaced throughout the year this time!

This last weekend was my brother-in-law, Josh's b-day. We took the opportunity to take some fun family pictures in the beautiful Fall weather! We also enjoyed going to Izzy's and playing with Sophie! She was very enthralled with the box Josh's b-day present was in and proceeded to climb into it herself. Uncle Dave had fun pushing her around in the box making "Vroom" noises. Anna called me the next day to tell me that Sophie was now pushing her baby doll around in the box making those same noises :-).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Student Leadership Retreat

This past weekend we took our student leadership team to the beach for a weekend of leadership training. This is my favorite youth activity we do all year because it's all the "good kids" and we get to stay at a beach house! This particular year is extra fun because our two best couple friends are helping us out with youth group this year, so they were there, too! When we got there on Friday night, we had a rousing game of Boys vs. Girls Cranium. (The girls dominated, of course :-)!) On Sat. we shared testimonies, sang worship songs, and Dave taught on leadership. We also had fun putting together a video to share the "Rules for Youth Group" with the rest of the kids in a fun way. It turned out great!
And God was so good to us--the weather was perfect. Saturday was absolutely beautiful! The kids had fun playing on the beach and even getting wet! On Sunday when we woke up and packed to go home to church it was raining. We knew we had been given a blessing to have such a perfect Sat. on the Oregon Coast.

The only unfortunate part of this weekend is that I get sick every year! Inevitably, there is at least one kid sick and therefore I and 0ur friend Kenny are now sick.

Yesterday was See You At the Pole--the national pray around the flag pole event at schools. We had an awesome turnout this year. Dave went to the junior high (the youth pastors split up so there was at least one at each area school). I guess there were over 70 kids at the junior high. Yesterday evening we had the rally with all the area youth groups. We enjoyed a great time of worship, testimonies, and encouragement to continue praying for our city.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Princess Sophie turns ONE!

August 18th, 2008--Sophie Jean Kintigh, our adorable niece, turned one! This year has gone by so fast! We are having so much fun watching Sophie really come into her personality. She is sooo close to walking, and though we don't really have a clue what she's saying, she will readily carry on a full conversation with you! She enjoys talking on the phone, playing with her many toys, and going down the slide that was Anna's awesome garage sale find! Josh and Anna are fabulous parents.

Finch Wedding

We think Dave may have been in his last wedding for a while this summer! Dave's good friend, Andrew Finch, married his college sweetheart, Kathleen Studenny. We enjoyed seeing some college friends at the wedding, as well as the close proximity of the church to TCBY :-). Dave was thrilled to get out of the tux at the end of the day, especially since the shoes they gave him were 2 sizes too small!

Summer Camp

Hartland Christian Camp 2008!

Dave once again had the opportunity to speak at Hartland Christian Camp for a week this summer. He spoke each morning to about 350 high school kids and his dad spoke in the evenings. My mother-in-law and I got to go along for the ride, and as you can see, we even got to drive a bulldozer (is that what that is?). Anyway, it was very fun and just might be my next career if the real estate market continues in this decline :-)!

On the Wed. night of the camp, I had the opportunity to speak to the girls on the topics of self-esteem and purity while Dave encouraged the boys to live as godly men.


Earlier in the summer, we took our high school group to Ensenada, Mexico for a 10 day mission trip where we did VBS, a sports ministry, lots of clean up and a building project at the church we were assigned to. Some other highlights included camping in a field of tents in 115 degree weather, visiting an orphanage, sharing testimonies and some major team bonding (especially since we only had a shower every 3 days! We were so proud of our students and plan to make this an every other summer trip.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

We had such a great time in Disneyland celebrating our 3rd anniversary! This is right in front of the big Christmas tree in the middle of Main Street! What a fun break from work and the cold Oregon weather! We enjoyed high 60's all week and even went on the water ride in California Adventure!