On December 18 the drawing for the 2015 "Second Annual Rifle Raffle" was held. There were two prizes: a Ruger American in choice of available caliber, and a Buck 110 Folding Hunter knife. The winners were notified, and the prizes were presented at Ron's Sportsmen of Kellogg on January 5th, 2016.

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Pictured above are (back row) Ron Hurd, owner of Ron's Sportsmen; Ed Warren, teacher at SVCA; (front row) Faith Snyder, rifle winner; Bobbie Gibson, knife winner; Kloe McDonald, SVCA K5 student; Hannah Jutila SVCA 9th grade student, Brenda Erickson, SVCA Office Secretary.

Miss McDonald, Miss Jutila, Mrs Erickson, and Mr Warren were all top ticket sellers, and graciously consented to be present when the prizes were awarded.

A very special "thank you" to Mr Hurd, who provided the rifle, and to Buck Knives of Post Falls, who donated the knife. You have made a significant contribution to the health and well-being of Silver Valley Christian Academy.

Thanks, also, to everyone throughout the community who purchased tickets.

K5 2015 01I have kept track of some of the prayers offered to God throughout this first quarter. These prayers are so sincere and beautiful!

Each prayer holds a pinch of 5 year old solemnity, a pinch of understanding, and a ton of tenderness towards their classmates and teacher.

The children pray for many things that are of the upmost importance in their lives. Lost teeth, sick dogs and cats, baby sisters and brothers, lost toys, family members, doctors, shots, clothes, Barbie dolls and foxes.

The list is long. Here is a sampling:

  • Dear Holy Ghost, we host you today and I am sorry when I don’t listen to Mr. Smith. None of us want to be mean. Do something.
  • God, will you fix Hadley’s kitty? He’s really, really, sick! Make Hadley stop crying so much. It’s not good for her.
  • Will you help _______ to be nice when she plays in the playroom with us? She threw something at my head but I forgave her and then we got to play kitchen. Now we can be friends!
  • Dear God would you get me some better snacks in my lunch?
  • Help me to listen. I don’t want to end up crazy.
  • Thank you for the day, the sun, the smoke, the hot lunches, friends, Mrs. Smith, Iris, Hadley, Kloe and me. Amen

After Bible Class one morning, we were talking about Eve and her disobedience to God when she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One student said; “she was probably just hungry and didn’t remember what God said.”

The Silver Mountain Mountain bike trail complex contains some of the most challenging mountain bike trails in the Northwest. While Silver Mountain has run its own home-grown "Silver Race" series, it has never hosted a circuit race. On the weekend of August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd that all changed, and Silver Mountain hosted its first-ever stop of the Northwest Cup (N-Dub), the premier Mountain Bike Downhill series of the Pacific Northwest. Other venues for N-Dub include Port Angeles, Mt Hood, and Stevens Pass.

Just a couple days before the start of the event a representative of Silver Mountain called to see if Silver Valley Christian Academy was interested in providing personnel to staff a "valet bike parking service" to help get some very expensive bikes locked up for the nights of Aug 21-22 and 22-23. The following morning, the 20th of August, we were able to confirm that, yes, we would provide personnel, as an SVCA fund-raising event.

For the racers, the first day of the weekend was for "test and tune," and getting acquainted with the trails. Day two was filled with qualifying runs. The third day, Sunday the 23rd, was the day of the race for Junior, Expert, and Pro categories.

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Cindy and Denny Carlson check in bike number 734 for the night.

Read more: Valet Service for Northwest Cup

A small slice of "real America" gathered on July 4, 2015 in the Kellogg City Park. I would find out later just how much "real America" the gathering was. It was, after all, the 4th of July. (More about that "real America" as we go along.)

SVCA will have a booth at all the community events around our valley this summer. This was the second event at which we put in an appearance. The first was the Business Expo, in the Courtyard at Silver Mountain's lower terminal. Expo is put on by the Chamber of Commerce.

On the morning of the 4th I arrived a little early and began setting up the canopy for shade. With temperatures expected to be in the upper 90's it was going to be needed. I was by myself at this point, and these "pop-up" canopies are not made to be set up by only one person. Brenda, the lady pictured below discussing some of her wares with a prospective customer, saw my dilemma, and came across the path to help. With two of us, it only took a few minutes to finish setting up the canopy. A big thanks to a "real American."

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Read more: Real America

On March 15th, Silver Valley Christian Academy decided to take Silver Valley Worship Center's 'big red bus' and some youth to 2015's Rock and Worship Roadshow. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Rock and Worship Roadshow is a concert held annually by Compassion International in the Spokane Arena. It's an outstanding outreach for Christ through music to cities across the United States. Providing people with nine different Christian bands, a great message and only a ten dollar admission fee at the door, it's not something people would usually pass up! This year, the Roadshow provided a concert of the following artists and speaker: MercyMe, Crowder, Matt Maher, Tedashii, John Guerra, I Am They, Group 1 Crew, and speaker, Shaun Groves. With hands held high, singing, jumping, fist-pumping and head-banging your heart out, the Roadshow is a great fellowship opportunity to worship and show the love of Jesus to the communities in the area.

Read more: Experiencing the Worth It

VilmaFundacion Salvacion (Salvation Foundation) is an orphanage in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. It was started by a married couple who are friends of my brother-in-law, Mario Rolando Solares, who grew up in Huehuetenango. Mario and Janet live in Spokane and visit Guatemala and volunteer at the orphanage about once a year for a month. They have come and shared at chapel about the orphanage and the ministry there.

Fundacion Salvacion is a Christian orphanage. It is not sponsored by any specific organization. The children come from situations of abandonment, abuse, neglect, or from families that are too poor to care for them. There are usually about 100 to 125 children, ranging from infant to 18 years old, living at the orphanage. In recent years the grade school children have been attending a bi-lingual school staffed by mostly American missionary teachers. The idea is to give the orphans an edge in the market place by being bi-lingual. Orphans still have stigma and difficulty entering the work force as they near adulthood.

Read more: Fundacion Salvacion

youngscientistThe students of Silver Valley Christian Academy held their annual Science Fair on the evening of March 6th, in the Fellowship Hall of American Lutheran Church of Kellogg, Idaho. Family and friends of the students, along with the whole community were invited. It is estimated that over 60 people responded to the invitation and enjoyed a highly entertaining presentation, several hands-on practical experiments, and some great cookies.

In the image just above and to the right Mrs Smith, K-5 teacher, is seen conferring with Annika, one of the younger scientists who participated in the exhibition.

Continue Reading - Science Fair, 2015

BetsyJust about everything these days, it seems, runs on a computer. While God's love is the ultimate power behind the operation of Silver Valley Christian Academy, the office computer, "Betsy" as she is affectionately known, is still an integral part of the operation, and has been for many years. Earlier this school year Betsy became very balky, and nearly went into "retirement." Her balky demeanor persists even now. As can be seen in this photo (that's Betsy on the left) even the foliage in her screen-saver suggests that she is in the Autumn of her life.

For several months the secretary, Mrs Erickson, has been making do with a laptop computer that can't run all the software that Betsy has accumulated over her many years of service. Mrs Erickson only calls on Betsy for the things that are still loaded onto her hard drive that can't be transferred to the laptop. But, the laptop is not a good replacement for Betsy.

Continue Reading - Betsy, the Office Computer