This will be the one item that is non-chronological, BUT it must be Item The First in terms of importance--today is Sweetie's *mumble mumble* anniversary of her 29th birthday!!!! Happy birthday, Sweetie, and thank you for making me the luckiest guy on earth. I love you!
Odd and End #2:
Going back a few days, now...Friday, I took a group of high school kids from the church out to Camp Carol Joy Holling for a "last weekend before school starts" retreat. We played paper charades (AWESOME game, btw), did a couple of Nooma Bible studies (also AWESOME, btw), played Capture the Flag in the dark as well as a couple of games of hide and seek, had a campfire with smores, did a series of trust-building games and activities...you know, starting with human knots, going to trust leans and trust lifts and trust falls...that sort of thing. We cooked out hot dogs, and then spent 3 hours in the afternoon on this:
The Camp Carol Joy Holling Commitment Course. To give the picture some perspective, it's a bit over 50 feet high, with two levels of high ropes elements, most of which involve finding very difficult ways of getting yourself and 4-5 other people across what amount to tightrope wires with various things in the way while being held up by nothing but a tether. Then, when you've gone through the 10 or so elements, ending it with a couple of hundred foot zip line back down to the ground.
It ROCKED. Seriously, incredibly rocked. I have a pretty tight-knit high school group, but I saw these kids working together in ways I never would have thought possible. And I got to participate with them, which was great for me. Well, mostly great. The course itself was amazing, but the non-amazing part brings us to:
Odd and End #3:
I came down with strep throat. And I'm pretty sure it started Friday night, while I was out at camp. Yeah, with the kids. About 3 hours after arriving, I suddenly got this horribly sore throat, and had the hardest time sleeping that night because I didn't want to swallow. Overnight, I started to get congested, so much so that by mid-morning I was convinced that I had a really bad case of allergies. I borrowed some allergy meds from the other adult sponsor which helped me feel a little better and get through the day, but I seriously was considering still not going on the commitment course. I told myself, "okay, come on...it's for the kids," and pushed on through, but by the time we got back to Lincoln Saturday evening, I was exhausted and had a definite case of the chills. Took me unil Monday (and a 103.3 fever) to get to the doctor, but sure enough, strep it was. But now, after two days on antibiotics, life is MUCH better. Much, much much much better. I still have a freakishly annoying cough and some decent congestion, but I'm finally feeling like a human again.
I still have yet to unpack my van from the weekend, though. Gotta get to that soon.
Odd and End #4:
More pics (and a video!) of the kids to share:
Yes, that's Kiddo going down the freakishly large blow-up slide and riding on the fast turny-thing carnival ride from the family day at his grandparents' church here in Lincoln. Sweetie was there with both kids by herself because I was shivering at home in a strep-induced haze, so that meant anything Kiddo wanted to do he had to do it alone. For those that know him (he's always been a little...shall we say...timid about these sorts of things), these pictures will be a much bigger deal than perhaps to the average viewer. But they're cute nonetheless:
And Pumpkin continues to grow--in the video below this picture, you can see how much she enjoys bouncing in her ExerSaucer. Fun times!!!!
Odd and End #5:
Last one, I promise. About a month ago, I announced that I was raising money for the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk in honor of my mom. Well, today we passed a milestone that I never thought was possible...we've raised over $2,000. I can't say enough thanks for all who have been a part of this--on behalf of my parents, as well as my own thankfulness. This whole experience has been incredibly overwhelming.