It's been a busy time since the Poets, Preachers and Prophets Conference which is still resonating.
Wednesday - a very much needed "day off" from my holiday after a busy 3 days of Conferencing...did I mention how good the Conference was? So I sat around reading, websurfing, hanging out with the kids.
Thursday - The family went to Detroit to visit Kristen's grandparents. I stayed back as I had a meeting with Phil Struckmeyer, Pastor to Impact church, cessioncommunity's partner church. So the morning was given over to some work for various non-cession things. Lunch was in a local Mexican place Fiesta Charra in downtown De Witt - a short walk. Nice to be able to eat great burritos on tap!
It was good hanging out with Phil in the afternoon and also Ryan and Angele Gerten who served with cessioncommunity back in 2005 and picked me up on the way through from Detroit. We walked through Impact's latest plant Ignite - a second presence in Lowell meeting in a strip mall. It was great to see how God had raised up a church plant team and anointed a planter from within the body of Impact - very encouraging for cessioncommunity as we seek to engage our own church planting initiatives.
Friday - We took a day trip to Potter Park Zoo - a short drive - some different animals than we are used to in the Auckland zoo - Rhys proudly wore his Auckland Zoo hat and had a ball. The day finished with ice cream on the way home - Raegan created her own ice cream sculpture all over her face!
Saturday - We caught up with Jim and Natasha Versluys who we had got to know during the Impact Student Missions trip to New Zealand in 2005. They now have 2 kids so life has changed for our families since then!
That evening Kristen and I travelled 45 mins to her High School reunion in Jackson. This was a really fun and interesting evening. Kristen had a great time catching up with old friends - 15 years is a long time in people's lives. It whetted my appetite for my 25 year High School reunion next May. Yup I'm old alright. We celebrated not having any kids with us by heading to The Parlour - the local ice cream hangout. I ordered a double cone, thinking I would get 2 scoops. What I got was 3 massive scoops - probably equal to about 6 normal scoops. It was so big it was in a bowl with the cone sticking out of it as if an after thought. This is very typical of American food - the size and how the means transcends the end...if its too big for a cone, why bother with the cone? Its like the stuffing you don't cook inside the bird which I've blogged about before. Anyways a good night out.
Sunday - We worshipped with our friends at Berkley Hills Wesleyan in Grand Rapids - BH has been incredibly faithful in supporting cessioncommunity - both for our general ministry and in helping fund children's ministry. We shared in the service about life with cessioncommunity and introduced Ryleigh to her US church family. It was the perfect day for attendance as there was a picnic afterwards which we stayed to enjoy.
Monday - The extended family + the Bowlin family gathered in Muskegon to spend the day at Michigan Adventure - an amusement and water park. The kids loved it with rides and water galore. The highlights for me were the Thunderhawk roller coaster and the Funnel of Fear tube ride. The roller coaster was just awesome, like riding in a jet fighter! The Funnel is defined by the last part of the ride - me Josh Bowlin and Chris went down together which was awesome fun but when Kristen and I went down together I discovered where the ride got its name. The last bit is virtually a straight drop - I went down backwards into the massive funnel - it was an out of control ride!
The day was only marred by Raegan blowing chunks 5 mins from home. It was a long night...with a busy day to follow...
Tuesday - We celebrated Raegan's 2nd Birthday Party a day early while everyone was around from the day before. The Bowlins came as well as Sara Dekker (our flatmate). It was a fun day by the Hinterman's private lake (OK they share it with few others...) - swimming, playing in the park and passing the parcel! Beautiful weather complete with fairy bread, fruit kebabs and hot dogs. Raegan had a great time.
So thats us so far!