Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh, Deer!

Well, deer hunting season is officially over here in MN, so I guess I better post a picture of my poor dead deer. I hunt over at my aunt and uncle's house, and I shot this year's deer on opening day at 72 yards from a tree stand in their woods. She is a nice-sized doe, and I shot her through the spine, so she felt no pain (just thought you soft-hearted animal lovers might like to know that).
Here she is after being gutted (by my dad) and driven up to the house.
I always hunt with my dad, and I really enjoyed sitting in the stand with him this year. It was a beautiful day--the sun was shining and it got up to 55 degrees in the afternoon! We even got to see a squirrel climb a tree about three feet from our faces. It was sooo cool! And despite the feigned melancholy in a previous section of this post, I think you should all know that I really do love deer hunting. I love having one-on-one time with my dad, I love carefully scoping out the area for any sign of deer activity, I love how excited we both get when we finally spot a deer, and I love how proud Dad looks when I shoot the deer! Thank You, Lord, for another safe, fun, and productive hunting season with my daddy!

Christmas #1

Last Saturday marked the beginning of our Christmas season. Well, it was the official beginning; I (Julie) started Christmas in August. Actually, this celebration was later than usual this year. Normally, we celebrate Christmas with our mom's parents on or around Halloween, because they leave for Arizona usually the beginning of November. But this year, some very special people were coming home this past week, and so they decided to wait a few weeks to make their escape. Our Uncle Shane, who has been driving truck in North Dakota, was here for the week, along with our cousin Ross and his wife Brittany, who flew up from Lake Charles, Louisiana. Our cousin Sam has been training in Washington as part of the Army Ranger program, and he flew in about a week ago. He will most likely be deployed to Afghanistan sometime this winter. We are so proud of him and his willingness to serve our country. It was so good to see all of them again! A big change this year was the location of our get-together. It has always been at Grandpa and Grandma's house, but this year, something was wrong with their well, so they had basically no water. That is not a good situation when you have 21 people coming over! So instead, we went to our Uncle Dave and Auntie Amber's house.
Taylor and I hung the ornaments on the tree.
The Gooch's dog, Reese.
It has always been tradition for us girls to bring our American Girl dolls. This year, Taylor was excited because she finally has a doll to bring to! L-R: Taylor's Chrissa, Julie's Felicity, Amy's Kirsten, and Katie's Kit. Missing is Hannah's Josefina because they hadn't come yet.
Grandma and Mom
The Guntzel Girls
L-R: Ross, Brittany, Grandma, Julie
Grandpa and Sam
Taylor, Hannah, and Amy getting ready for our Christmas carol sing-along. Hannah's Aunt Mary is in the background.
Grandpa and Grandma admiring a very adorable Santa Claus painting from Carson.
Our great-uncle Bruce opening his big box of homemade muffins. He told Mom once that on Sundays, he makes a batch of muffins (the mix kind where you just add water), and eats the whole batch while he reads the paper. Mom thought it was a shame to always make those kind from the mix, which are ok, but not anything compared to homemade, so last Christmas we gave him a big box of homemade muffins for him to take home and freeze, and we did it again this year. I think we made 6 or 7 kinds, and he was thrilled!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Last Thursday, Kyle and I (Julie) were playing on my parents' bed and I kept trying to get a picture of him, but he would never stay still long enough. At one point, he turned his back to me, and I quick dropped down on the side of the bed, with the camera poised. I heard him move a little and then stop abruptly when he realized I was gone. Then I heard him slowly crawl over to the side of the bed, and here is the adorable look I got when he peeked over the edge of the bed and saw me. I wish I had been video taping it because the most contagious little giggle goes along with that grin! A bit blurry, but we take what we can get!

Formal Hair

On Friday, I (Julie) decided that I should practice how to do Katie's hair for our church's winter formal, just in case she decides to go.

Isn't she pretty? She got her dress this summer for $10, brand new!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Cake

A week or so ago, our pastor's wife ask me to make a cake for the re-commitment ceremony of a dear Christian couple at our church. I was so thrilled! It was a small ceremony; the only people there were our pastor, the couple, their children, and their son's girlfriend. It was a surprise to the wife, and I heard everything went wonderfully. I was excited to try out some of the new tools I have gotten for cake decorating. Light blue is the color they had on their original wedding cake 25 years ago.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's that time of year!

Last Friday, when it was rather slow at work due to deer hunting, Dad helped me (Julie) put up the lights I had bought. I ordered a wreath from a fundraiser to put up too, but it hasn't come yet. Last night on when Mom and I went to Bible Study, we drove by the store so I could take a picture in the dark. A little blurry, but aren't they pretty?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ensenada 2009: Part 5

Well, now that I've been home for almost five months, I figure it's time to finish posting Mexico pictures, like I promised. Better late than never, right? I hope you enjoy these!
In between ministries, we were given one afternoon to sightsee. Our group visited la Bufadora, which is one of only three ocean blowholes in the world and is located right by Ensenada! The ocean waves fill up a cave until the pressure builds up enough to spew the water straight up into the air. This is a huge tourist spot, with merchants lining the street for what seems like miles, right up to the blowhole.
People line up all along the railing to get a glimpse of the blowhole. I am in the bright green sweatshirt on the right, taking a picture and getting wet!
Then our translator Felipe, being a typical guy, decided he should go behind the fence and climb up on the rocks to get a better view. We, of course, followed! And the view was better from there ;-).
Our youth pastor, Jerry, and daughter Callie pause for a picture along the railing to la Bufadora.
Everyone got some great souvenirs that day. Several of the guys bought these sweatshirts, and Dan and Mikey just had to show them off!
Later that night, we all went to a local taco stand for supper. The tacoes were quite different than ours. They are made from corn tortillas, carne asada (as opposed to ground beef), cilantro (instead of lettuce), guacamole, and salsa (if you choose to add it, which I would advise against, unless you have an extremely high pain tolerance).
This is Dan's "a bit too hot" face. Just to give you a clue of how hot some of the sauces were, I will tell you that at least one member of the team threw up after eating a taco smothered in what she thought was guacamole. Turns out it was habanero sauce. Whoops!
As we were eating tacoes, a young homeless man named Alejandro approached Jerry and asked him to buy him something to eat. Jerry bought some supper for him and they struck up a conversation, with the help of Felipe, of course. We learned that Alejandro had left everything behind in another city and come to Ensenada to find his brother. He soon learned that the address he had been given was wrong, and he had no idea where his brother was. He also had no place to stay, so he was sleeping under a local bridge. As they talked, Alejandro began asking questions about Jesus. Before we knew it, Alejandro was praying to accept Christ! We saw Alejandro on the streets the next day, and were able to give him a Spanish Bible and direct him to a Bible-preaching church nearby. Praise the Lord!
Boy, food in Mexico is crazy-expensive! Just kidding! The peso sign looks the same as the dollar sign, so this food was actually 125 pesos, or about $9.42. Tacoes cost about 89 cents each, and you could buy a glass bottle of Coke for 40 cents, provided you had an empty bottle to trade in.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Camelot and Kissing

Last night, some of us went to Bemidji High School's production of Camelot (Amy is sick and Dad didn't feel like going). I (Julie) thought it was very well done, and especially the three main actors were spot-on. I do think that story is interesting--that whole part of history intrigues me. Ok, any part of history intrigues me. The part that bothered me though, was the scene were Guenevere and Lancelot are found kissing in her bedroom (Guenevere is married to King Arthur). Besides the fact that they weren't supposed to be married and that you feel bad for Arthur and fear the consequences for those two, I felt bad for the girl who played Guenevere, because she really had to kiss Lancelot and make it look real. Now, I have no idea how she felt; maybe they really like each other, and maybe she has kissed many other guys. For me, though, that first kiss, and especially one that passionate (they really did make it look real--no fear of cooties in those two), is reserved for one man, and one man only. I know, I know, it's only theater and it's not for real, but even if my greatest desire in life was to be an actress and this was the play that was going to launch my career, I don't think I would go through with that. Once that first kiss is gone, it's gone. If it pleases God to bring me a husband someday, I am not going to cheat him out of that first kiss. Call me a romantic, but it just makes sense that you can only have one first kiss, just as a person can have only one first birthday. I'm not saying it is a sin to kiss someone if that someone doesn't end up being the one you marry (I'll leave that up to God), but it would take some of the magic (metaphorically, I don't believe in abracadabra) out of it, don't you think? **Disclaimer: I don't think about kissing all day, and there are many other things that I think are more important in a marriage relationship, but I think I'll just tackle this one for today, and leave the rest until I actually have a little experience. Oh, and I am not ignoring the part of Lancelot in this, he had to kiss just as much as she did, but I can't pretend to know the guy's part.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not-So-Wuthering Heights

I (Julie) have been reading "Wuthering Heights" recently, as it is also one of the books on my list to read someday. So far, I'm not impressed. As with "The Scarlet Letter," which, by the way, I did like a little bit better by the time I finished, but not much, I'm not done with it yet, but I'm not foreseeing it getting much better. For anyone that has not read it, basically it's the story of this man, Heathcliff, who is so in love with this girl, Catherine, but he's beneath her socially, he leaves for a few years, she marries someone else, and then he comes back determined to win her back and destroy everyone else who is close to her. Then she dies, and he is more obsessed than ever. He is just a mean, depressed person, and he wants to make everyone else's life miserable. What a sad life! Now, contrary to how it might sound, I do love to read, and most of the books I read, I really like. Here are some that are on my list that I have thoroughly enjoyed:
"The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy "Wives and Daughters" by Elizabeth Gaskell "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
I'm sure there are more that I will remember as soon as I post this, but as I am not at home, I don't have my list in front of me. I am getting so excited for my trip to Poland! Please be praying that there would be more Americans coming forward to serve on this team; especially needed is an adult (over 21) who would be able to act as a guardian for another girl from our church who wants to go, but is only 17. Under the policy of International Messengers, she needs an adult guardian, and as I am only 19, I don't qualify. It is also looking like I will get to spend about 5-6 days with Marie in Belgium! I praise God that He has opened these doors!