Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Mission Oak Inn

A post or two back, I mentioned that Karen and I had a belated anniversary celebration at the Mission Oak Inn. It's probably the loveliest B&B, with the best food and most beautiful setting, that we have ever stayed in. Plus, Denny and Jan, the proprietors, are some truly delightful Christian people. We are already making plans to go back there every year as a way to celebrate our marriage together. If you live in the area, it's well worth the money.

My Extreme Run

Saturday was my first attempt at an "extreme" run, which is basically a 5k cross country run, with obstacles. The obstacles were:
  • a 100' slip and slide
  • a 14' ladder wall
  • a 20' military crawl through sand under ropes
  • an 8' wall climbed using a rope.
  • crawl through two 3' diameter culvert pipes, half submerged in a muddy pit
  • run though 50' of muddy field
  • run 4 up/down sand hills
  • go over, under, through, and over 4' walls
  • race through a maze of 55 gallon drums
  • walk a 100' balance beam, consisting of 2"x8"s balanced on edge in a zig-zag pattern
  • military crawl through 100' of mud pit under ropes (glad it wasn't barbed wire!)
  • swim 20' under ropes through a muddy water pit
I finished the race 63rd overall, with a time of 37:34. It was a LOT of fun, much more so than your typical road race. I am definitely going to sign up for another one. I hear that the Spartan Race is pretty amazing, and the Warrior Dash looks like a good time too. Any compatriots out there looking to join me at the next one?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cub Scout Day Camp

As I mentioned in my last post, the boys and I have spent the last three days at Cub Scout Day Camp, which means we have had three full days of all the BB guns, archery, leather work, knots, human foosball, crafts, drag racecars, DNR visits, flag ceremonies, Scout skills, and Slip and Slides that we can handle. Nathan and I got to be together all day every day, while we only saw John at lunch and the beginning and end of the day. It was a total blast, but they were some long, very hot, days. Below are some pictures:

 Nathan with Animal Jim's Mammoth Mercury: 2000 horses under that hood...

 We missed the balloon, but we hit the target, Dad. That's good isn't it?

TWO Bullseyes, Dad! Woot! Woot!

 John with the Mammoth Merc. He is probably more interested in how to make the car that fast in the quarter mile, whereas Nate would be the one who would want to actually drive it...

 John got to lead the flag ceremony one evening, giving the commands to the color guard in front of him.

 Nate and human foosball.

 Nate and BB guns. He has already put in his request for a Red Ryder to come his way this next birthday. I think he's pretty sure he could resolve Mom's rabbit problem.

Nate got to be part of the color guard raising the flag one morning.

Where you been?

Contrary to what may have been the impression that I have left of late, I have not traveled to the edge of the earth and fallen off. Here's what I have been up to:

Immediately after the kids' school year ended, Karen and I cut out with them for parts South, specifically 7 days at Walt Disney World and two days at New Smyrna Beach. We were one exhausted, tanned, happy, sandy bunch on our return, which was good because...

Our church's associate pastor had resigned his position to become a senior pastor at a church in Washington state and his last Sunday was just four days after Karen and I returned, sans kids from Indiana, where we had left them for the next week-and-a-half to party while we got caught up with life, laundry, and each other. I had just enough time to wade through approximately 250 emails, send some belated birthday and anniversary cards out to parishioners, open the mail, and write a sermon before Sunday came and we said tearful goodbyes to Jim, Darci, and Lucy.

That Sunday night, Karen and I checked into the Mission Oak Inn, finally making use of a gift certificate for that place which we had been given for Pastor Appreciation back in '09 (I think! It's been a while in any case). It was also something of a belated anniversary celebration for us since we were enjoying the actual day with our kids rather than alone. We ate field green salad with garden tomatoes and peach balsamic vinaigrette, linguini with alfredo, garden peas, giant scallops, and shrimp followed by chocolate cheesecake. The  next morning was cool and beautiful, with a mist rising over the lake and fields, and a breakfast of good strong coffee accompanied by southwestern eggs and stuffed French toast. We spent the day up in Bolingbrook shopping and hanging out together, ate lunch at Ikea and shared crackers and cheese with something bubbly that night. The next morning was another elegant breakfast then back to work and home, hitting the ground running, especially since we started leading youth group until we find a new associate for our church.

That Thursday we picked up my truck, which finally had its bumper repaired (don't ask), and we packed for Indiana again to get the kids. We left on Friday, returned with them Saturday, at which point detox from their long vacation began. Sunday was ministry and worship, and Monday started a new whirlwind week. Monday-Wednesday was Cub Scout Day Camp for the boys and me, with stops by me along the way to do Skype interviews with the Elders and a couple of our leading candidates for our new associate pastor, and lead the morning men's Bible study and youth group. Meanwhile, Karen has run Sara to summer sectional flute lessons, and Ashley to World of Wonder classes down at Bradley, where she is learning all about drama and acting (skills I hope she keeps confined to the stage and doesn't bring into the house!). All of which brings me up to today and this humble blog, which if you are still reading, ought to give you a reward of some kind, because I am freshly tired again from thinking about the whirlwind of life we have been living. But all of that to say, here's where we've been, I'm hopeful life will settle a bit in weeks to come, and there's a lot of things I've meant to write about that I haven't yet, so stay tuned...