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Mariah McCommon

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December 7, 2014

Christmas Spirit in Stockton

December 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

In honor of the Christmas season approaching quickly, our hall in the dorms decided to have a contest for the best decorated door. Christmas themed of course! Here are most of the doors. We had a lot of fun with it :)

1512498_10205574486829356_8906749340618824271_n 1654269_10205574487309368_1996379679490474613_n 10173562_10205574488349394_2109602010206830495_n 10348457_10205574488549399_5697423729265639294_n 10407491_10205574486389345_489343294913152531_n 10432464_10205574486669352_8964130677008118903_n 10847953_10205574487629376_8775767342639893437_n 10850176_10205574488789405_7949425290711194040_n10532932_10205574487909383_7724202299436617459_n

Me and my roomies door is definitely the Olaf one. We aren’t too worried about the contest because we just wanted to decorate but I’m anxious to see who wins!

I’m stressing out over these finals coming up this week but we are almost there! I hope you all have a great week and good luck on your finals!

Katie Linsey

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December 4, 2014

Inside Look: Musical Talent at MNU

December 4, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey guys! So, this semester at MNU I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really awesome, unique, talented people. It’s been really fun getting to know people and finding out about their passions and talents. Through learning about people, I’ve discovered that quite a few of my friends are musically talented and love using that talent as a way to connect with people. Here’s a video of some of my friends talking about their passion for music and giving us a little glimpse of their talent. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing all the amazing talent at MNU… so make sure you watch till the end! :)

Hope you have a great week, friends! See you next week!

-KT

Luther Okeyo

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November 30, 2014

Thank You So Much!!

November 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

I know it’s a little late, but it’s been a weird week. I’m still getting over the fact that my football playing days are over. Well let me start over, we lost our playoff game last week to Southern Oregon University last week. It’s been an amazing season, and a wonderful career here at MNU. I have so many great memories that I can take with me for the rest of my life. I just want to thank some of the many people who were able to make all this possible for me.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn't certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn’t certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I've known him. He is more than just coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I'm honored to have gotten to know him.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I’ve known him. He is more than just a coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I’m honored to have gotten to know him.

I mean I could spend all day thanking countless people for all they have to help me get where I am today. I’m just grateful I got to do something that only 1% of all americans get to do. I was able to play college football. Now I get to follow my mom’s footsteps and become a college graduate. I just want to thank everyone who had a part in shaping me to become the man I am today. I want to thank MNU for providing a platform, most of all thank you God for guiding through this huge part of my life.

Now I just have to get used to just being a regular student now.

 

Mariah McCommon

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November 30, 2014

A Thanksgiving Selfie

November 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I was fortunate to celebrate the holiday with both sides of my family which means two delicious meals. I feel like I have to run a marathon to work it all off but we all know I don’t run unless I have to.

It  was such a blessing to take a nice little break before finals coming up here soon. Honestly I wish I had more time at home, but I’m also anxious to be back on campus. I keep telling people how I feel like I have two completely different lives: my life at MNU and my life at home. It’s crazy how fast time flies too because I’m pretty sure I just started college! I’m still getting used to the whole college thing but it gets better and better each day. I learn something new all the time!

I’ve always been a family-oriented gal and have grown up with a beautiful family. We always celebrate the holidays together at my grandparents house and enjoy time with each other. Thankfully, most of my family is pretty close with most of us being in KC.

Since the weather was so nice this year, we all went outside and had a good time! That’s where the selfie comes in. Say hello to my little sis and my pops. They’re kind of weird.
selfie

My mom was somewhere else at the time of this photo, but pretend she’s in the back climbing a tree or something and that would be my family in a nutshell. Oh how I love them.. I can’t even begin to describe how much God has blessed me with these silly people. Ladies and gents, family is so important. They are more than just parents or siblings and aunts or uncles. They are your support system, your friends, and they’re even like your own personal cheerleading team. I know some people may not be able to say that about their family and I can’t even imagine what that’s like because I’d be lost without mine.

Family is what I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving and I treasure all of the memories and time I spend with them! It’s hard to leave them, but Winter Break is approaching soon and I have to survive that whole finals thing first so we’ll see how that goes!

Have a blessed week and remember to still be thankful!!

Aaron Merrell

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November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Break and Visiting Friends

November 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!  I had a great time with family and friends, and of course I had to do some major shopping Thursday evening and Friday morning (and yes, I did sleep from 7am-2pm on Friday).

Then today, my friends Rico, Annie and I went to Abilene, KS to see our friend Ana.  We also met up with Ana’s friend who we’ve all come to love, Jordan.  We toured the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Childhood Home in Abilene, and also went to such glamorous Abilene hot spots as Taco Grande, Pizza Hut and Sonic.  We also had the opportunity to visit the local park/playground.

Of course when one is as close as we were to a Braum’s restaurant you have no choice but to go.  I tried a holiday flavor and it left me bitter, once again, that we don’t have one here in Kansas City.

This trip and a few others have shown me the importance of visiting friends at home as often as you can.  This can give life to their stories about their houses, their families, and what they did back home during High School.  Even if it means having to survive a small, old town for a day, you can have an amazing, eye-opening time!

Here’s a bonus picture of Ana, Annie and I on horse swings made of recycled tires in Abilene today:

FullSizeRender

Hope you all have an awesome week, and I’ll see you next weekend!

-Aaron

Katie Linsey

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November 27, 2014

9 People I’m Thankful For At MNU

November 27, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Since today is Thanksgiving, I figured it would be appropriate to give shout-outs to the people I’m most thankful for at MNU. I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know everyone on campus, but these people have made my experience at MNU extraordinary. Here’s my top 9… love you all!

1. Christa Johnson

Christa Johnson

This girl is not only my roommate, but also my best friend at MNU. When we decided to be roommates in May, I honestly didn’t expect to become so close with her so fast, but it happened. She knows me better than anyone else at MNU and I can completely be myself around her. I wouldn’t trade the late nights and early mornings for anything.

 

2. The Gangstas

The Gangstas

The girls on my hall are great and I’ve become extremely close with a group of them. We like to call ourselves the “gangstas.” Don’t really ask me how we came up with that, because I don’t have an answer. The “gangstas” group consists of Christa Johnson, Hannah Bostic, J.D. Andrews, Ashton Mason, Natalie Cumberland and myself. It’s been a joy doing everyday life with them at MNU. They are an answered prayer in so many ways that they don’t even know. We laugh hard and dig deep and it’s the best group I’ve ever been a part of.

 

3. Ana Weissenbach 

Ana Weissenbach

This girl is my RA, but more than that, she is a dear friend of mine. I have a strong feeling that Ana would act with the same selflessness and genuine care about everyone she meets even if she wasn’t being paid to do so. That’s the thing about her… she just genuinely loves people and shows the love of Christ in everything she does. It’s seriously inspiring. I look up to her on so many levels and I’m so blessed to be able to share the joys and struggles of life with her this year.

 

4. Dani Morgan

Dani Morgan

This girl is the reason I am at MNU. Sounds a little exaggerated, I know, but it’s really not. When I came to SCOUT at MNU my junior year, I was extremely blessed to have been able to room with her and Alex (the inseparable duo). We hit it off and decided to keep in touch. Then, when I ended up at SCOUT again my senior year, I was welcomed into her dorm like it was my own home. Even while I was still in high school, she managed to show me a glimpse of the community at MNU just by the way she loved me and cared about me. Now that I’m at MNU and get to see her everyday, I’m the happiest person.

 

5. Pete Brumbaugh 

Pete Brumbaugh

Pete Brumbaugh, otherwise known as Phonathon Pete, was my boss for the past 6 weeks. He deserves the biggest shout-out for being one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. He genuinely cares about all of his employees, and I can confidently say he genuinely cares about me. He wants to hear about my life and realizes that there’s life outside of the workplace. He has been one of my greatest encouragers during my first semester at MNU and I’m excited for the future of the Phonathon with him as my boss!

 

6. My Blog Bosses (Kelly, Kim, and Amy)

MNU Blogs

This team of people that live in Dobson deserve so much recognition for all they do. When I initially interviewed with Kim and Amy, I knew immediately that I wanted to be on the blogging team. Kelly, Kim, and Amy are all amazing people and getting to know them has been so fun. I’m super thankful for this job everyday. I enjoy it so much and I owe them all a giant THANKS for making this experience one to remember. The blogs wouldn’t exist without these people!

 

7. Britney Lewis

Britney Lewis

This girl is an amazing friend on so many levels. I met her at a Youthfront get-together over the summer and through the MNU Facebook page, and I’m so glad we’ve become friends this year. She is so in tune with The Lord and that is so inspiring to me. It’s been fun travelling to LaCygne with her and growing with her. She’s super fun and is definitely a light in my world!

 

8. Mario Flores

Mario Flores

This guy is my brother (theologically speaking, of course). I met him two summers ago at Youthfront and I realize now what a divine appointment that was. We kept in touch a bit throughout the school year and following summer, and now I go to school with him. It’s so weird to me, but I am so thankful that I get to experience the community at MNU with him. I can trust him with anything and know with confidence that his advice is given with my best interest in mind. He is super wise and loves The Lord in a beautiful way. I’m forever grateful to be your little sis!

 

9. Deanna Williams 

Deanna Williams

Deanna is a person I look up to on many levels. She is a fantastic role model for all the girls on campus because of the way she loves God and loves people. She is so selfless, pouring into young people for the sake of Christ. She has given me great advice and been there to listen when I need someone to digress to. I absolutely love seeing her around campus and on Wednesday nights.

 

So… there you have it! The people that make my experience at MNU the best I could ever imagine. I’m excited to continue meeting awesome people at the awesome place. :) Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy the rest of your break!

-KT

Mariah McCommon

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November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Nice to see you again!

So I was at work the other day on campus and I was full of Christmas Spirit. It seems like Christmas is all I can think about right now. Yeah yeah, I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but for me Christmas started as soon as Halloween was over. So I was listening to Michael Buble Holiday on Pandora and had a wild idea! Neighborhoods are starting to put up their Christmas lights so naturally there are going to be amazing displays around Olathe. I know I’m going with some friends and I hope you guys will find these useful and go see the lights and have fun with friends! :) These below were gather from http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitychristmasdisplays.htm

Olathe map:

North JoCo map:

South Joco map:

Here are more links to enjoy more shows!:
http://www.kansastravel.org/overlandpark/hainlinechristmasdisplay.htm
http://www.cindydteam.com/Christmas-Lights-Displays

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

Aaron Merrell

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November 15, 2014

Playlists and People

November 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

What’s up everybody? Hope everyone had a great week!

So tonight I went to a Hunter Hayes concert, and it was SO good. The Railers and Dan+Shay opened for him, and they were both fantastic, even though I had never heard of The Railers before. I know these three don’t fit some people’s definition of country music (it obv has to have something about cars and an unintelligible accent duh) but they were about as country as it typically gets for me.

See, I don’t really get to deep into any genre of music, I just like a little of everything. Imagine some Love on Top followed by some Turning Tables and maybe a little Bad Blood and that’s my typical playlist.

I think my taste in music and my time living overseas has been what helps me understand people. Just like music artist and their genres have different influences, people have all sorts of different backgrounds.

We can’t begin to try to understand someone until we know where they come from, what they’ve been through, and where they’re going (and maybe even what kind of music they listen to).

So, the moral of the story is rock it to whatever you wanna listen to, no one is forcing you to listen to something else. But, at least give something else and someone else a chance.

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Have an awesome week!

-Aaron

P.S. This week’s episode of Scandal was so good.

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.