First - I apologize for the lack of pictures. I forgot to shrink them before logging on here in the ship and I don't want to waste precious internet minutes doing non-internet work. I'll try to remember to post them later. Remind me.
Wow, 7 weeks went by and we didn’t update the blog even once. Time off always feels incredibly slow and yet when it’s all over it seems to have flown by way too fast. The last two months we really enjoyed seeing our friends and spending time with our families. One of the highlights was being able to spend some time with Ron’s 97-year-old grandma. He hasn’t been able to see her too much over the last several years between her moves around the country and ours, so it was nice for them to be able to catch up.
One of our favorite things about being home is being able to go to church. This year I was excited to have Crystal Lewis sing in one of our services. She has some great songs out, but she really amazed me in person. She is much better live than on a recording. She has such a cool, unique quality to her voice. If you haven’t checked her out yet, definitely look her up on iTunes or Spotify. Or better yet, go see her in concert. Now, usually I don’t look forward to the summer sermon series because Kenton is generally on vacation during the summer and other speakers fill in for him. That’s not to say that the other speakers aren’t just as good as Kenton, but since we get to go to church so infrequently now, we really look forward to hearing our usual senior pastor speak. This summer changed my mind though. Mike Erre was filling in for Kenton and he did a series on The Lord’s Prayer that really hit home for both Ron & I. I’ve heard Mike speak before since he was the Senior Pastor at Mariner’s sister church, Rock Harbor before coming onto staff at Mariners not too long ago. But this time he really blew me away. At the end of summer Mike took over the Senior Pastor position at Fullerton Evangelical Free church. I’m not saying we’re defecting to his new church, but I’m not saying we’re not either. One way or another, Mike has our attention.
Another highlight was having the opportunity to go on two camping trip to some of the most beautiful parks California has to offer. First we went to Redwood National Forest with some friends and enjoyed hiking up Morro Rock and seeing some HUGE trees.
Our second trip was to Yosemite National Park. Ron had been camping there several times before and has even conquered the hike up Half Dome, but I had never been. Ron was so excited to show me one of his favorite places in the world. My parents hadn’t been either and thought it might be fun if they came along as well. Man, was I missing out all these years! I can see why he loves it so much. The breathtaking views, the beautiful nature, the abundant wildlife, the plethora of hiking options… the list goes on and on. I can’t wait to go back there! I fell in love with Camp Curry and am really looking forward to trying out that kitschy little campsite if we can snag a spot there next year. I feel like I’ll want to dress up in turn of the century clothing, use only candle lanterns to see at night, and spend the evenings listening to scratchy gramophone records, chatting in an antiquated dialect and swirling brandy while sitting by the crackling fire. Ok, none of that will probably happen. I don’t do costumes. Or brandy. And a gramophone just seems really impractical for camping. But in my head, I expect to be transported back to a much swankier time. Anyhow, here are some of the photos of our trip… you know, right here in 2012.
We also had the chance to take a quick weekend trip to Phoenix, Arizona. We’ve been through Phoenix before but never really spent much time there. During the weekend, we met with some people at a huge church calledChrist Church of the Valley or CCV. They showed us around and we saw how they ran their church and services, listened to the hearts of many of their pastors and administrators and pretty much fell in love with the place. We also got to drive from Peoria to Goodyear to check out our friends’ Wayne & Christy Searcy’s new home and visit with Wayne (Christy was in California and ironically enough, took us to the airport on our way to Arizona. We got to visit with the whole Searcy family in two different states over the course of a single weekend). After spending time with some great people, checking out the area, and enjoying an incredible church, we can safely say we think we would like to call the Phoenix area home one day when we are done sailing around the world. Thank you to everyone from CCV for showing us an amazing time. We sure wish we could join you there right now but are patiently looking forward to seeing what god has in store for us down the line.