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Family - MNU Blogs

Samantha Moore

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November 26, 2014

Be: Thankful

November 26, 2014 | By | No Comments


I AM SO THANKFUL FOR CATS! Okay but for real there is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, like my family! Being able to spend time with my family is what is important during the holidays! So much tests, papers, project and homework have made me thankful to spend time with my family!

Comment or chat with me!!

Katie Linsey

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November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Break in KC

November 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey, friends! If you’re staying in KC for Thanksgiving break, here are some cool happenings that you can be involved in. I encourage you to take part in as many of these as you can… it’ll get you in the holiday spirit!

1. Thanksgiving at Café Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

A typical day at Cafe Gratitude… so peaceful and loving! (Photo courtesy of veganomics101.wordpress.com)

If you don’t have any lunch plans on Thanksgiving day, look no further than Café Gratitude for a FREE meal! If you stop by anytime between noon and 3 p.m., you can sit down and have a delicious organic and vegan meal (salad, entrée, and dessert). No reservations are required, but it’s first come first serve. If you would rather volunteer at this event, they are also looking for people to help!

I’ve personally been to Cafe Gratitude and it’s a great environment. Everyone there is so friendly and the food is surprisingly delicious! Since it’s organic and vegan, it does have an all-natural, “earthy” taste, but it’s still amazing. It’s definitely an experience I would take part in if you can!

For more info, visit http://cafegratitudekc.com/events/

2. Pack Friday

Pack Friday

This is a photo from one of Youthfront’s packaging events with a club I was involved in at my high school. So fun!

On Black Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Youthfront is hosting an event called Pack Friday, where people can go package meals for their Something To Eat initiative. It’s a great way to serve and give back around the holiday time. I’ve been involved in 2 of their packaging events in the past and really enjoyed them. It’s super fun if you get a group of friends or family together and go! It costs $0.25 per meal that you package and it’s so worth it. You must register ahead of time, so start talking to people and get a group together! (If you want to go and have no one to go with, talk to me and we can go together!)

To register, visit https://youthfront.com/somethingtoeat/pack-friday/

3. The 85th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Plaza Lights

The beautiful plaza lights that you MUST go see! (Photo courtesy of www.jocosiding.com)

On Thanksgiving Day starting at 5 p.m., there will be festivities on the plaza leading up to the flipping of the switch at 6:54 p.m. This will take place on the main stage at Nichols Road and Pennsylvania (by Brio Tuscan Grille). If you can’t make it to the ceremony, the lights will shine daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. until January 18, so make sure you go downtown to see the beauty sometime!

For a detailed schedule of the ceremony, visit https://countryclubplaza.com/event/plaza-lighting-ceremony/

4. Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Crown Center Lights

A beautiful place to go ice skating and look at the lights! (Photo courtesy of www.kcparent.com)

On Friday, November 28, this will take place at Crown Center Square. It’s a free event that starts at 5:30 p.m. and lasts for an hour or two!

For more info, visit https://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/tree-2014

I hope you all decide to participate in some of these events if you can! Happy Thanksgiving!

-KT

Luther Okeyo

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November 13, 2014

A Very Special Veteran’s Day

November 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

As you all know Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and now matter how you feel about the military, you just have to sit back and admire the sacrifices that they endure everyday to keep us safe, and help us enjoy the freedoms we have today. Just like Coach Willmer told us the other day, “Our freedom isn’t free, somebody else pays for it.” This day is now very special to me, you never really realize how important something is until it hits you personally. For me, this day is about my friend Cory Ellis and his family.

This is one of my best friend's Cory Ellis. He is a marine stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I'm so proud of him and I'm honored to be friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can't wait to see him again.

This is one of my best friends Cory Ellis. He is a corporal in marine core. He is stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I’m so proud of him and I’m honored to be his friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can’t wait to see him again. 

It takes a special kind of person, to able to take on the commitment that the armed forces require. The Ellis family knows that commitment all too well. First things first, this family is like my second family. They embraced me and made me when one of their own, when I was just a stupid kid high school who didn’t know any better. Some of the best moments in my life were made with this family. For example the creation of the wolf pack, the 4th of July incident, and I can’t forget the Fall Fridays when I had meatball subs before football games. They are a blessing, and I can’t even imagine who I would be  if they were were not apart of my life.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

These guys are a collection of characters but I love each and everyone of them to death. As you know Cory went into the military, he is a corporal in the marine core. Cory has probably the sharpest wit this side of the Mississippi, he has a comeback for everything, and when you think you finally got him, that’s when you fall into his trap. Ryan is an enigma all of his own, you never really know what he is going to do, but I’ll tell you this right now don’t underestimate him, this little guy has more heart than anyone will ever give him credit for. Now we have Colin, this kid is just nuts sometimes. Yet you can always catch him in the some spot, downstairs in office, usually watching Netflix. He also wants to go into the military when he graduates from high school like his big brother. He scares me a little bit, but I can’t wait to see the man he becomes. Last but certainly not least we have Morgan, the baby of household, (sorry Maddie). She is just a little bundle of joy, who can catch you slipping at any moment. She always knows how to brighten my day or completely tear me down, but I don’t care I still love her.

The parents, Glen and Tammy Ellis. Glen's nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tammy Mom.

The parents, Glenn and Tami Ellis. Glenn’s nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tami, Mom. They were high school sweet hearts and they’ve been married for 22 years

Lets start with Papa Ellis (sorry mom), Papa Ellis served in Air force. He technically still serves as a reservist. He is also a police officer for Simi Valley Police Department. He is just a big teddy bear, a little bit too old school but that’s why we love him. Don’t let him fool though, this guy still has it. Just ask Cory. Everyday this guy does all he can to provide for his family and then when he steps out of the house, he goes and protects the people of Simi Valley. He is always there for his family no matter what. He is the man, I aspire to be. Ok now here we have Mom, the best way to describe her role in the family is to have watched the movie Remember the Titans. She is basically Denzel Washington aka Coach Herman Boone in a sense. In the immortal words of Coach Boone, “This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship!” Mom is the same way, she is just and fair, but is not afraid to put her foot down. She treats everyone the same no matter who you are. She is 2nd toughest woman I know behind only my own mother.

The Ellis family is also a sports family. All the men in the family played football (I played with Cory in high school). Colin however took it to another level and also wrestles in high school. Morgan is a cheerleader and is insanely flexible. Ironically Tami is the only one, who never played a sport, but she is one of the loudest fans you will ever meet. I can’t tell how many games, I could hear her screaming at us over everyone else in the crowd, plus she doesn’t care who will hear her. She has even called me out on the carpet a few times, when I dropped a ball, or had a bad play during my high school playing days. That’s just who she is and there is no one else like her.

Anyway, this is my second family. I can’t wait to see them when I go back home for winter break. I got some stories for them and I can’t wait to hear their stories either and also have one of the famous (well to me) Ellis meatball subs. Also to all the men and women out there put their lives on the line for us here at home or anywhere else in the world, thank you so much for your service. I know it may not be said enough but I am grateful for all you do for us. Come back home safe and rejoin your families and hopefully one day, I have a chance to give a little back to you for all you have given to us.

 

Luther Okeyo

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November 11, 2014

Baker Week

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Aright I want you to picture this, it’s late in the fourth quarter, Baker has driven down to our 3 yard line and they are lining up for a 20 yard field goal. If you know anything about football you know that a 20 yard field is a chip shot for any kicker (well most kickers). The game will be won or lost on this play. George Tombaugh with the call…

If there ever was a play that exemplified our season, this is it. Every time it looked like we were down and out, somebody comes up with a huge play to keep us alive. This time it was Coop and Primetime coming up with the play this time. Throught out my MNU life, one of the biggest and parts of it are times we play Baker no matter what sport. I mean IT’S BAKER!!! Ok it’s really hard to explaining you just gotta be here to experience it.

Anyway back to the game. If you weren’t able to watch the game, you really missed out on a great game. I mean it really had everything, think about it, it was homecoming week, IT WAS BAKER WEEK, they were ranked as the #2 in the nation. Nobody really gave us a chance, to win the game. From the very beginning, the game went back and forth, but we struck first with Coop picking off a Baker pass, in which turned into a field goal. After swapping TDs, it just became a defensive slugfest with both offenses struggling to score. The score at halftime 14-10 with us winning. Javon Taylor had the play of first half with his 53 yard TD. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker started the second half off hot. They scored twice in the 3rd quarter, but we responded with a TD drive of our own. Using a little trick we’ve been saving for a game like this. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker wasn’t the #2 team in the nation for nothing. They took back the lead and had a chance to ice the game in the fourth quarter before Coop and Prime made the play of the game. But 2 penalties pushed us back to the 44 yard line. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 18, Sunshine found Simmy for a key first down, but Simmy did more than just get a first down. George Tombaugh with the call…

We ended up winning the game in overtime, on a 2 yard TD run on fourth down run by Erik May. It was a great game, probably the best game I have ever been apart of.  We took over the top spot in the HAAC, we once again shocked the world and now it’s time for us to finish the season strong. On a year where MNU was so supposed to be rebuilding, we showed everyone we are for real and we put the nation on notice.

One of the stand outs was Trent "Sunshine" Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

One of the stand outs was Trent “Sunshine” Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense.  He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense. He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Ok it's about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and on of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN. He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation total scoring. This man is a beast.

Ok it’s about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and one of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN!! He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation in total scoring. This man is a beast.

 

 

Aaron Merrell

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November 1, 2014

Future Fears

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Trusting everyone has had a fantastic week, and I hoping you’re all enjoying your weekend.  My weekend consists of hanging with friends for Halloween, spending some time at home, and performing with MNU Choirs tomorrow at 3:30!

This week, my brother gave me a great topic to think about: the future.

The future used to terrify me more than anything.  I used to think about my college plans, then about real life and grad school, and it would all get me terribly stressed out. Picking a school, picking a major, and from there a career, and where I wanted to go with that career eventually, and then about starting a family are unavoidable topics and they are every important to think about.  Though it is imperative that we remember to discuss these topics, we also need to remember that what’s going on currently in our lives is also a priority.

In order to train myself not to panic about the future, who would leave my life and who would enter, I had to stop placing so much urgency on those decisions.  Like I said, we need to make the decisions, but we won’t make the right choice unless we slow down and consider everything separately.  After we have considered this, we can think about the future and what the decision is going to mean for our future lives and families.

The future has become an exciting place for me rather than a scary one.  Just by calming down and taking a step back once in a while, I have realized how excited I am to graduate and start working, wherever I happen to move, whatever I happen to do, and whoever I happen to be with.  I know that if I put my faith and trust in Him, I will make the right decisions and follow his will, as I constantly work to make his will my will.

 

It’s all a process, but it’s not too much of a difficult one. Just continue to pray about choices, the future and ask God to make his plan clear to you!  You can find so much truth and evidence of His faithfulness to your present, which was once your future. just by studying his word, something that takes nearly no time to do every day.

 

Praying everyone has a blessed rest of your weekend and next week!

See you soon!

-Aaron.

Luther Okeyo

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October 30, 2014

Just Became an Uncle!!!!!!!

October 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Yesterday I found out that my cousin Jacque gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was shocked when I heard, I found out right before practice.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and her sister Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle's wedding a couple of years ago.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and my other cousin Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle’s wedding a couple of years ago.

Anyway enough about my cousin, its all about the baby right now. First of all the baby’s name is Leo Njinu. He was 3.2 kgs or 7.1 lbs. He is so adorable and cute, I’m mad that I haven’t even seen him yet.

Look at him he is so cute. I can't believe that I'm his uncle and i can't wait to meet him.

Look at him he is so cute. I can’t believe that I’m his uncle and I can’t wait to meet him.

Well this is a new frontier for me. It is just amazing to think that I’m an uncle now. It’s just a shame that I haven’t been able to meet him yet. Leo, welcome to the family and I’m excited to watch you grow. I can’t wait to meet you and see the man you become.

 

Luther Okeyo

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October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom (well sort of)

October 27, 2014 | By | 6 Comments

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday and I’ll be honest with you I’m a huge mommas boy. You see I’m an only child and for as long as I can remember it just been my mom and I taking on every challenge that life threw at us.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

She has accomplished a lot of things just during my lifetime, let alone here. She is my rock, my inspiration when I’m down, and she always knows just what to say (as all mothers should). We both born in Kenya, a country in East Africa. Back in the day my mom was quite the athlete and she was a beast on the track, she ran the 400 & 800 meters in high school. She then went to college and became a nurse. (She had me along the way but most of that information is classified.) My mom was trailblazer in outr family, she was the first person to go to college, the first to graduate from college and just to top it all of she got her Ph.D just over a year ago.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn't be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don't worry I'll be right behind here.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn’t be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don’t worry I’ll be right behind here. (What am I pointing at)

Sure I could tell you about all of her accomplishments but you wanna know why she is so important to me? Back when we used to in Iowa (Oh oh Midwest Shout Out!), my mom worked three jobs, found a way to put me through school, while she was also going to school to receive her masters degree, and she still was there for me when I needed like when I was in accident in the 4th grade and my bike was destroyed (I know it sounds bad, but actually it’s a funny story, but that’s for another time.) If she was able to do all that, I have no excuse. I’m going to do everything in my power to be there for her. Happy Birthday Mom, I can’t wait to see you again.

Samantha Moore

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October 15, 2014

Shout outs to my homies!

October 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

This week is all about the shout outs to some of my favorite people on and off campus! You meet so many people during your four years at MNU you could practically fill up a book of yellow pages! That is what makes MNU so amazing, is all the people you meet along the journey. So this week I dedicated to a few special people!

mnu girls

These girls mean a lot to me! They understand me and have been there for me since the very beginning when we all found out we got elected as executive members for Assocaited Student Government! Presley, Alyssa, Kristi, Lauren and Kylen (starting from the left).They encourage me to keep going even when times are frustrating. Thanks for the support girls! #girlsruleboysdrool

becca senior

This is Becca. If you have guys read my last blog you would remember that she has been one of my best friends since Freshman year and last year we lived together. Well her senior night was last night and it was amazing. They beat Benediction in a 3-0 upset. I made this collage for her from pictures since freshman year of us at her games. She is a great volleyball player and a great friend!

bre

A few weekends ago some of my friends and me went to the lake to help celebrate my friend Nancy who was getting married. It was such a fun and relaxing weekend. This is Bre, she graduated from MNU with a nursing degree and her husband Rustin also graduated from MNU and played basketball. She is such a sweet girl and we had a blast at the Lake of the Ozarks.

tailgate

This is Kristi. She is on ASG and her role is Director of Pioneer Spirit, which means she gets people pumped about the upcoming games that are happening. This was from our first football game when ASG put on a tailgate. The team won and we had a great turn out at the event. She is a great planner and a even greater friend. She also happens to be hilarious! This is someone you want to get to know if you do not already know her.

parents

These are my awesome parents. This picture is from this summer when we went on a family vacation to Colorado. These two people mean the world to me and so I felt a shout out was in order. They support me and love me no matter what and push me to be a better person. They are always showing up for me and make me want to strive to be a better person. Plus my dad loves watching sporting events so we are buds when it comes to going to different games whether it be a MNU game or the Royals.

Ramsey 3My last shout out goes to my roommates in Ramsey 3! Four of them play soccer. This was from a soccer game they had at the beginning of school. These girls let me love life and teach me how to. They are hilarious and always know how to make me laugh. We have grown so close these first few months from school and I can not wait to see where the year takes us. Thanks for putting up with me and always making me laugh!

 

Well that is it for this week! As always, comment and I would love to chat with you about any questions you have for me! Stay awesome and stay blessed!

 

Mariah McCommon

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October 12, 2014

Philippians 4:13

October 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Today I’ll be talking about something very personal to me and something I don’t normally share with strangers. I’ve never posted the whole story so here it is for the first time!

This past April I was sitting in my Civil and Criminal Rights class in high school watching a movie and noticed an abnormal bump on my neck. I had never noticed it before so I went to the nurses office. She had no idea what it was but advised a visit to the doctor. Naturally, I went to the doctor and they weren’t sure either. The next step was a biopsy and if anyone has ever had one done, you feel my pain. Those suck. They stuck a needle in my neck twice (while I was awake mind you), and let me just say it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced physically. Lord have mercy.

So then we had to wait a week or two on results and when they finally arrived, we still didn’t have a clear answer. The results came back “suspicious” of something. Now I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even like science, but suspicious is just not a good word. After more waiting, the doctors decided it was too sketchy not to remove. I went in for my first surgery April 23, 2014. Before this, I had never had surgery or even been in a hospital bed so this was all new to me.

Going into the first surgery happier than a clam

IV’s freak me out so that was really the only downside to the whole surgery thing. All went well and a week later they called and were like, “by the way, you have thyroid cancer.” So that was a real shock to me and my family, but it was okay!! It took me about a minute to process it. Cancer doesn’t run in my family all that much and that was the confusing part. Other than that, I wasn’t worried one bit. I spent the rest of that night with my best friend as if nothing changed.

A week after the first surgery, I went in for the second one to get the rest of my thyroid removed. I kept telling myself that I was going to be okay cause I knew I was. The second round was a little tougher to recover from, but I missed two weeks of school so I mean, that’s a fair trade.

Treatment for the cancer wasn’t awful either. All I did was take a radioactive Iodine pill and stay in a hospital for a couple days because I was radioactive. How cool is that! I kept singing that song by Imagine Dragons too. When I got out of the hospital, I had to keep my distance from people so they wouldn’t be affected by my amazing radiation. Beyond that treatment, all I have to do is take a cute little pink pill before bed the rest of my life since I kinda sorta don’t have a thyroid anymore. I have a nice scar on my neck now and whenever I feel it or see it, I’m reminded of how God has worked in my life. It could’ve been a lot worse, but it wasn’t and I’m thankful. I am still here with my family and friends living a great life.!

Moral of the story, nothing is too big to handle when you have an even bigger God on your side! :)

Keep calm and stay strong friends!

Luther Okeyo

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October 11, 2014

Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

October 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Every now and then you get to do something extraordinary. Today I, along with the rest of the MNU football team have the privileged to play in the first annual NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium. (YES! BABY, WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!!) It’s also the first “Defeat all Cancer Game.” It was inspired by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Pielstick.

Bruce Pielstick, whose wife of 27 years succumbed to bladder cancer just seven months ago, came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game "Defeat All Cancer."

Coach Pielstick, lost his wife of 27 years to bladder cancer earlier this year. He was the one who came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game “Defeat All Cancer.”

This is a chance to not only play football, but it is a chance to affect people’s lives. There is an article on this game:MNU’s Arrowhead game declared ‘Defeat All Cancer’ game. Every player on the MNU football team who will be on the field today will be representing someone who has been affected or is still affected by cancer. We are going to be wearing colors the represent each cancer. Today I’m going to represent my aunt Taby Mutuku.

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This my aunt Tabi, and one of her sons (everybody calls him Jo Jo). She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. Luckily they caught it early enough and she had the surgery to remove the cancer last month. It’s amazing to see how strong she is and no matter what happened during this ordeal, she remained faithful and she better care of me than I did of her and I wasn’t the one who had cancer. Her courage was so amazing and through the grace of God, she was able to be healed and now she’s fully steam ahead.

As you can see from the video above, this is so much more than a game. It our chance to change lives, to show people that they are not in this struggle alone. That there are people who are praying for them, people who have been in through their struggles and through us, their fight with cancer has reached a whole new level.

As for the game itself, it still hasn’t hit me that we get to play at Arrowhead Stadium yet.

ChrisT.-20110414191139

The hallowed field of Arrowhead Stadium, there is so much history in this stadium from Super Bowl V and the star QB Len Dawson, the sack master Derrick Thomas, and to the Mr. Everything Jamal Charles. They all have added so much to this field, and today I get to make my little mark on this field as well.

Today we are going to the NFL player experience. We are technically the home team, so we get to dress up in the chiefs locker room. We get basically full access to the whole stadium. We go in through the players entrance, and the Seniors get introduced before the game. Also we are playing our rival Missouri Valley, They are the #7 team in the nation right now, and everyone is counting us out of this game. Hey, it’s a rivalry game and you never know what could happen in a rivalry game. We are going to shock the world today, all while changing people’s lives in the process. I still can’t believe all this happening but it’s going to be an amazing experience.