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Big Trip 2

Nine years ago we embarked on what is known as “The Big Trip”, a 30-day, cross-country odyssey that took us to Seattle and back. The Big Trip was built around two events that I was attending – National Bible Quiz Finals, which was being held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that year, and the National Church Business Administrator’s Convention, which convened in Seattle.

I had the brilliant idea that it would be great fun to take the whole family along for a once-in-a-lifetime road trip. In the end, it actually was a brilliant idea. We began the journey on July 3, 2001 and returned to North Fort Myers on August 1. In between, we got caught in a monsoon at Turner Field, saw friends in Michigan, did our week in Iowa, traveled through the Badlands, froze at Old Faithful, experienced Montana, Wyoming, and eastern Washington, the rest of the gang saw the Seattle zoo and we all saw the Space Needle, celebrated Summer’s 5th birthday in Wyoming, endured Nebraska, and visited family in Missouri.

It was epic.

Tomorrow we begin The Big Trip 2, though this one will be less big and carry less passengers. Only Summer and Sawyer will accompany Trudi and I on this one. Once again, it is a journey based on the fact that I am attending National Bible Quiz Finals. This year it’s in Troy, Michigan.

When I can, I’ll be posting bits from our travels on my Tumblr account. That’s why the look of this page has changed – to include the Tumblrstream on the right side of the page. (See it?)

Time to load the van…

Belated Merry Christmas

Enjoying the Christmas break with family. Heading out to see the National Treasure sequel this afternoon. We saw Enchanted while at the beach last week. Everyone enjoyed it and we would recommend it. Hopefully Disney gets this one right, too.

Picture is of Tammy, Terry, and Luke, as we sat down to Christmas dinner at mom and dad’s.

Confessing past sins and making future promises

I’ve quit speeding.

No, I didn’t get a ticket. I haven’t even been stopped. It isn’t a fear of getting caught, or what might happen to my insurance rates, or even the example I’m setting for my daughter – who should be getting her driver’s license any month now – or for my son – who hopefully won’t get a license for quite a while.

Nor have I paid much attention to guilt-trips, sermons, or lectures on the evils of speeding.

Nevertheless, I’ve traded in my lead foot for the law-abiding kind. No more “flowing with the traffic.” No more doing the limit+9.

This is a major change for me. Since I began driving, I have consistently gone as fast as I thought prudent. That usually meant that I would “safely” speed, going 5-10 mph over the speed limit, so that law enforcement wouldn’t feel compelled to pull me over. Of course, if I was in the middle of nowhere, that also meant that I would feel safe to go even faster. Or if I was on the highway, I would stay behind the fastest vehicle.

But over a month ago, I was contemplating a podcast sermon to which I was listening. I don’t remember what the sermon was about. It wasn’t about speeding. It wasn’t about integrity. But as I thought about Jesus, one thing led to another, until I was thinking about integrity…and speeding.

All my thoughts suddenly coalesced into one thing – I can’t speed anymore.

So, for more than a month, I haven’t, and I don’t plan to again.

The current vacation we are on was the big test for me. How would I do driving over 200 miles on the Interstate while under pressure to arrive as quickly as possible?

It was good. It took longer, but there was much less stress. I feel as though I am honoring Christ in this way. And I’ve also noticed how fast 99% of the drivers go. I try to keep out of their way.

(However – as you can see from the picture – I still take an occasional picture while driving.)

Beach Bums

It is absolutely perfect weather this week. Sorry if you are in some miserable place with miserable weather.

There’s not a whole lot to do around here, but that’s okay, since I’m not looking to do a whole lot. We’ve been to WalMart a couple of times, found the bank and the post office, and have spent time at the beach and by the pool. Of course, the girls and Trudi have spent more time there than I have.

This picture was taken yesterday, before the morning chill had lifted. Today it is mid-to-upper 70’s.

Not in church on Sunday

Rarely am I not in church on Sunday. In fact, I don’t know when I last missed. (I’ll save my reasons for another post.)

But today Trudi and I skipped going to church.

A friend of ours blessed us beyond measure with a week at a condo on Marco Island. (If you don’t know where that is, look it up…there’s not much south of here that’s still in the U.S.) We had a very relaxing day today, getting up very late, having breakfast, taking a walk on the beach, watching football and movies and generally doing nothing.

Tomorrow we return home to take Sam to his basketball game, then we’ll come back to the beach for the rest of the week. Looking forward to it.

Scrooge is over, now we’re pooped

That title is more literal than you might guess. We finished Scrooge on Monday, with mixed results. The cast and crew got better every night, and Sunday was a great crowd, full and very responsive.

Monday was small and “appreciative”. All-in-all, everything went very well.

Now it’s over, and I’ll be spending most of the rest of the month out of the office. Yesterday was full of several errands and about 30 minutes in the office.

Today is the “pooped” part. Our septic tank at the house has backed up. Barry the plumber – a very nice man from church – is currently trying to determine whether there is a clog or if we need our drainfield redone. (“A drainfield for Christmas for me?! Oh, you shouldn’t have!”)

In the meantime, I missed the opportunity yesterday to wish my brother-in-law, Terry, a very happy birthday. So, happy late birthday, TS!

New Family Addition

There are probably few opportunities left for us to have vacations with the whole family. Shae will be a high school senior this fall and after that – well, you just never know.

We all had a great time in Orlando – right after Fine Arts – at the end of April and beginning of May. We were given a week at Orange Lake. The free week cost us quite a bit – trips to Universal and Islands of Adventure, along with the premiere of Spiderman 3 at the new IMAX – but it was all worth it.

Along the way, it looks like we picked up a new member of the family.