We came back to Hastings for two weeks. The kids had swim lessons everyday. Robin and I finished booking the Listening Room fall season. I wrote all the artists bios for our brochure. I had umpteen planning meetings for my upcoming trip to the LCMS National Youth Gathering. Then we drove to Indiana to stay with Paul's folks and chill on Oliver Lake (for which our Ollie is named) for a couple days. Last Wednesday Paul and I drove home and left them there. We had two days at home together with no children. We went to $1 beer/burger/fry night at The Reno with friends. We bought a 2007 Honda Odessey. We saw Live Free or Die Hard. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (OH MY GOSH is it great). I did some laundry and packed up.
Friday night/Saturday morning at 1am I met two other adults and fourteen high school kids in the church parking lot and we drove to Omaha where we caught a flight ultimately leading to Orladndo, Florida. Every three years the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod puts on a national youth gathering. This was my second trip as an adult leader. 25,000 teenagers plus their leaders and a slew of volunteers met in Orlando's Orange County Convention Center to worship, hang out, go to concerts, hear fantastic speakers, have Bible study, jump on bungee trampolines, do service projects, and all kinds of amazing things.
The theme was CHOSEN and we learned all about how God does not love us because we have value, but we have value because God loves us. It was a message of undeniable grace--freeing grace--and the kids learned so much and had a ball (as did I). I also got to see Ben and Jon and Stefan and Bill and all kinds of crazy Lutherans I wish I saw more often. Sweet. I also ran the 5k for which I've been training. 12 kids said they'd run; the night before we were down to 6; when 5:30 Sunday morning rolled around it was just Kasey, Cammie and I. Cammie and I finished in 36 minutes and Kasey in 25.
Now I'm back for two weeks and then my pal Angela and I take off for the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival. Can you say Gillian Welch and David Rawlings? Ray LaMontange? Chris Isaak? And so many more equally brilliant smaller names. Awesome.
As for today, it is our 11th wedding anniversary and in celebration we are making sushi. Wish us luck.
I'll try to keep posting. I miss it. I miss hearing from you guys.