Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Registration at Pacific Islands University

We have been very busy at PIU over the past week with the arrival of students. It has been a lot of fun picking up the returning and new students as they come in to the airport. Today (Tuesday) was the first day of classes but students have been arriving since the beginning of last week. It looks like we will have just under 90 on the Guam campus. Registration began last Wednesday and late registration will end later this week. Except for a few conflicts and unexpected problems we have almost everybody situated in dorms, classes etc. Here are a few pictures from registration with a couple more posts on the beginning of school to follow.

Registration is one of the busiest weeks of the year for the staff. On the left here, Financial Aid Director Delight Suda, counsels a student about grants and scholarships while, on the right, Mary Lou Carruthers assigns student email addresses and makes sure that student information in the computer is all correct.

This is the scene that greets students as they come out of Guam customs and into the waiting area of the Guam airport. 
Steve Stinnette and I pose in the airport with Josh Ladd, a new PIU student from North Carolina. Josh is also the son of long-time missionaries in Micronesia, Ernie and Annette Ladd. Ernie was one of our faculty colleagues when Joyce and I first arrived in Palau in 1984. Josh was born in Palau and has now returned to the islands to go to college.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baby Shower for Serenity

Last Sunday night Joyce organized a baby shower for Samantha and Serenity at the PIU campus. I think she is really enjoying having this baby nearby! She prepared the food, planned some games and even did a devotional for the gathering. As you can see from the pictures it was well-attended by our PIU family. Samantha was very appreciative of the "diaper cake" pictured here given by our school counselor Evelyn Suda. I had to include this picture of Mary Lou (PIU IT director) and Serenity since Serenity is posing for the camera and Mary Lou is wearing the PIU T-shirt with the stylish cut and braided sleeves.

Anne and Vivian enjoyed playing with the baby
There were three grandmas at the shower with their new grandbabies. On the left is Celia Atoigue, PIU Office Manager, with her 2 month old grand-daughter, Josephine Mendiola, adjunct faculty with her grandson and Joyce with Serenity.
One more picture with babies, moms and grandmas. We have known Josephine and Haani for about 15 years since they were with us when we pastored at Yigo Baptist and Guam Evangelical Church. Haani and our daughter Missy have been friends going back to AWANA and youth group days at the church.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Student Leadership Orientation and Training

The semester at PIU has begun. Registration begins today (Wednesday)! Classes start next Monday. Teacher and staff orientation and in-service has been going on already this week. Lots and lots of meetings to get ready for the students to arrive! Some of the students are already here. 5 new students arrived from Chuuk last night and 3 of our American students have already arrived. We expect the other 60+ students to arrive Thursday and Friday night to get ready for student orientation which begins this weekend. However, the first group to arrive came in last week - the student leaders. Rob Watt, our VP of Student Life, has had the 2010-11 student council members and the resident assistants and other student leaders in all this past week for leadership training and prep for the school year. I had a chance to share a devotional with the group on Monday morning about "being the image of Jesus 24-7" and enjoyed the brief discussion that followed. We also got to interact with them when they came over to our house for dinner last Friday night (pictures are from that event). Each evening last week the student leadership team brought dinner over to one of the faculty members' house and enjoyed an evening of fellowship. I thought this was a great way to connect students and staff.

Grace, Tyleen and Jayleen are smiling and ready for the semester to start
Doug and Leeman are getting rested up for the start of the semester

Friday, August 20, 2010

Drinking a Coconut

One of the nice things about living on Guam is the availability of fresh coconuts to eat and drink pretty much year round. We have two mature coconut palms in our front yard and two in our back yard. We also have a couple new trees which Joyce planted last year. In addition there are countless coconut trees in the jungle next door. So the other day Joyce took Titus and Courage outside to find a coconut to drink. They found it and drank it right in our front yard. I couldn't resist posting a few pictures of it.

The coconut was big enough for the two of them to share it. 

Seems like they enjoyed it.

It is rainy season here so we get some spectacular clouds. But, even in rainy season, it is always warm here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am Back on Guam

After 15 hours of flying time I am back on Guam. I left Sacramento on Sunday afternoon, over-nighted near LAX. and then flew Monday to Guam through Honolulu. I arrived about 7 PM on Tuesday. It was great to see the Plaxtons, Michael, Titus, Courage and, of course, Joyce at the airport to greet me. Upon arrival we went right over to see Serenity. Even though I was pretty much wiped out from the trip I was very excited to see her for the first time. After a brief visit we headed back to our house where I tried to stay up past 9 PM to help get over jet lag. It hasn't done much good yet as I have awakened before 3 AM both mornings and gotten out of bed at 4. It will take about a week to get over it. I am already back in the office preparing for the semester which will start, for faculty and staff, on Monday. We have almost full dorms and it looks like we are headed for another exciting year at PIU. I am excited and looking forward to it.
Courage and Titus like to get their pictures taken with the baby

Picture of Mike, Sam and family in their new house
 After Joyce left I stayed with my mom and dad in El Dorado CA. It was nice to have a week to kick back there and visit with family. Thank you for praying for my dad. He started doing a lot better before I left.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our New Grand-daughter Serenity Guinefsaga Owen

We are very proud to announce the birth of our new grand-daughter and 4th grandchild Serenity Guinefsaga Owen. Here are the vital statistics:
    Time of Birth: 5:00pm on August 8, 2010    Weight:  7 pounds and 11 ounces    Height: 20.5 inches long  
Here is the info about her name that Samantha posted on The Owen Family Adventures Blog
"Serenity's middle name is Chamorro and means "well being, good fortune" and was chosen because it's meaning is basically the same as what all of our kids' middle names mean (Titus =Ungilbesul, Palauan-well cared for, not lacking anything; Courage=Eudaimonia, Greek-the good,virtuous life)."
I wanted to wait until Joyce got there and sent me some pictures before I posted about it here. Joyce got back to Guam on Tuesday night and sent me these pictures...
3 very cute smiles here
I think grandma and Titus love this new addition to our family! :) 
I am sure there will be more pictures to come!

Baymonte (my high school) Reunion

One of my main reasons for being in Scotts Valley was to attend the Baymonte High School "70's" reunion. Because we live so far away I had never been able to attend one of my high school reunions. I have seen a few of my classmates here and there, but many of them I had not seen since graduation in 1974. There was about 25 people there (which is pretty good for such a small school). I wish I could go to the big Baymonte reunion for all the classes on August 24 but I will already be back on Guam.
Six members of the class of 1974 were there. From Left to Right: Paul Grizzell, Sara Welty, Jim Course, Janet Culwell, Ted Shively, me
Sara, Renee, Jennifer and Kathy
Shirley, Jim, me, Janet and Renee
The Guys L to R: Keith Harris, Paul Grizzell, Brian Smith, Dan Croghan, Craig Wallace, Jim Course, Chris Culwell, David Newton, Ted Shively, Louis Mann and Me

Going to the Boardwalk with Matt, Kristin and Milo

We took one day while in Santa Cruz to head down to the Boardwalk and take Milo on some of the rides there. It was pretty funny to see how he handled the rides. Here are a few pictures....

Milo tried very hard to get the ball all the way to the other end of the ski ball track but needed some help from his dad. He was also a little too small to go on the fast rides so he just enjoyed playing by the exit gate
Grandma had a lot of fun taking Milo on the flying dragon ride

This boat ride was Milo's favorite. The steering wheel and bell were the features he most enjoyed. We had a hard time getting him out of the boat. He looked a little concerned on the whale ride. He was OK when he was in front of us and we were clapping for him but when he got on the other side of the ride his brow furrowed a bit. 

Milo probably enjoyed playing in the sand more than anything else.
He is pretty smart too huh? 
It was a real blessing to get to spend some time with Matt, Kristin and Milo. We will get to see them again soon at Missy's wedding

Spending Some Family Time in Scotts Valley CA

In between speaking engagements in Redding, Joyce and I spent a few days staying at my brother's place in Scotts Valley. Matt, Kristin and Milo met us there so we could spend a couple days with them before we went back to Guam. Even though it was a little cold for us island people we had a great time. It was really nice to have a few days to kick back and relax.
Speaking of going back in time... On the left is the house where I grew up (1960 until 1979). On the right is the house where Joyce and I moved into a few months after we got married (1980-84). Matt and Michael were both born while we lived there. Most of the trees in the front were planted by Joyce.
Of course I need to throw in a few pictures of our very cute grandson. 

 OK One more!
We also got to spend a day with our good friends Jeff and Christy McKim. It was a perfect day for a walk on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz

We also got to have lunch up at DeLaveaga Golf Course with Robin and Joanne Sukow. We are hoping that they will join us at PIU in the near future. Please pray for God's direction in their lives.

 Thank you, Doug and Diane for a great week. I also included this picture for all you VOM team members so you can reminisce about good times there! :)