Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Catching Up

Sheesh!  I didn't realize how long it has been since I've updated anything here.  It's been a great summer, and that's probably the reason why.

First, I graduated from UDTS with my Doctor of Ministry degree!

During graduation weekend we took the kids to Galena, IL, one of my favorite places, and visited the Ulysses S. Grant home.  We also went to the Mines of Spain and hiked on the Mississippi River bluffs.

Then, I went on sabbatical!  I used some of my sabbatical leave earlier in March to go with my wife on a study trip to Scotland and the Netherlands.  So in July I headed down to Kansas to do some catching up with family.  It had been four years since I had been back to Wichita (It's a little hard to travel 8 hours when you work on weekends and the people you're visiting work on week days.)  While there I took the kids to the Sedgwick County Zoo.

They got to take a ride with Grandpa Cliff in one of his classic Ford Falcons.

And, to our great delight, a new KU store opened in Wichita!

I also spent some restful time at home, enjoying time with friends and family.  There was a little bit of catching up to do on the house work, too.  I built a new deck on the front of the house, painted the foundation and doors, installed trim on the basement windows, and built a swing set for my youngest's birthday.  And I did some gardening, too!

And finally, I capped it all off with a personal retreat at St. John's Abbey Guesthouse in Collegeville, MN.  I did some hiking around their lake and arboretum.

One day, as I was walking, I found myself sharing the space with some friendly deer.

And as I was leaving, I drove by this interesting sculpture just outside the St. John's University campus.  It's called Lean On Me.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the artist's name.

So, that's my summer.  Now it's back to work!