Christmas Pictures

And, finally, here are some Christmas pictures for you to enjoy...

Check out our living room 'mess' once everything was opened.

Washington DC

It is a day of disjointed posts, to be sure, but a few weeks ago I was in Washington DC for a campus director's conference with CCC. I love DC, and managed to get out for a few hours to speedwalk the city and take in the sites. It was late, and the wind chill was in the single digits, so I had a hard time getting many good pictures, but here are a couple I am proud of. I like low-light photos with a wide-open exposure, but they are tough to take when the wind is blowing and gusting to 50 mph. So pardon the blur if you detect any:

Above, the capital building.

The next two are of the WWII Memorial, which has been completed since I was last in Washington DC. It is really beautiful at night:

And next, Donald Rumsfeld's office. Yes, the real deal. One of the guys I was traveling with had a former student who now works at the Pentagon, and got us an after-hours tour.

Of course I actually worked on this trip, too. It was a roundtable format where other directors with similar situations to mine (large city, small team, many schools, etc) discussed and shared ideas. It was a productive and enjoyable time.

Reading is done!

I mentioned some time ago that I have been teaching Alex to read over the last several months. The program we have been working through is made up of 100 daily lessons, and is designed for four- and five-year olds. Well, today Alex finished his course! He read all the way through lesson 100 with only two or three mistakes. His reading is tremendous, and he enjoys spotting words and signs when we are out. Here he is holding up his book in triumph:

(He is wearing his Spiderman pajamas received as a gift from one of his Aunts!)

Collide Conference

Our family hopes that all of our family and friends had as wonderful of a Christmas as we did! I leave tomorrow for our Winter Conference, held each year during the week after Christmas. About 600 students from all over the Northwest will be in attendance.

Read more about the conference here.

I will have stories from the conference soon!


Alex the runner

Alex ran a 5k this past Sunday. That's 3.1 miles for the metrically-challenged.

I'll say it again: 3.1 miles. He's five years old.

He did the whole course in 49 minutes. Other racers were so excited to see him out there, and hw drew cheers all along the course. We're pretty sure he was the youngest one in the race, although there was another five-year old that we didn't see.

Anne and I ran it with him, and Allison rode in the stroller along the way. He beat me at the finish line to earn a post-race treat for he and his sister!

What's new?

Well, it has been some time since we last posted. Much has been happening, which is why it has been a while. In the last four weeks I have travelled for two weeks, once to Reno NV and once to Washington DC, and school was out the week of Thanksgiving, putting me further behind with various campus responsibilities. What that effectively means is that in the last four weeks I have been away from campus for three of them.

Reno was a mix of two different conferences. One was a training on how to effectively coach students and ministries from a distance...basically, how to use technology to allow us to build ministries even if we are unable to be present all the time. Then I was a part of a two-day retreat for other campus directors from around the Northwest, getting updates on events in other places, and having some small input into the direction of things in our part of the world.

Then Thanksgiving happened. It was quite enjoyable, as our family spent the day with a woman from our church who made a tremendous dinner. I regret that I only have one stomach at times like that. Good food always makes me sad that I can't eat more!

But the week of Thanksgiving was a hiccup in the schedule. Students and staff pretty much disappeared for the whole week, so it was difficult to make any contacts.

Last week I was in Washington DC for a national conference with CCC. The theme of the conference was a roundtable discussion of other leaders in my position, leading ministries across a whole city or large geographical area. We talked about unique challenges we face, and what things work well to address those challenges. Some topics were how to utilize volunteers, how to keep a staff team connected to each other when they are on different campuses each day, how to provide ministry for faculty on campus, and the changing nature of youth culture that will necessitate different ministry tactics.

Now I'm home, and have a couple weeks until our Winter Conference. Time will be spent catching up on some details that are way behind completion, meeting with my staff team to process their semester so far, and making some changes and adjustments to the overall function of things and the specific campus mnistries in Portland.


Happy Birthday Allison!

Today Allison turned three. We had a busy day. We started the day opening gifts (her big present was a bike), and then had a small party with a friend at Krispy Kreme. The rest of the day was spent enjoying all the new presents. I always let the kids pick what they want for dinner on the night of their birthday. Allison's choice...corn dogs and pink stuff (which is a mixture of cool-whip, marshmallows, raspberries, and jello). She also picked out 'Pink Divinity' ice cream to go with the cake, which, along with being quite pink, had a blend of marshmallows and cherry-flavoring. Surprisingly, no one was sick following our dinner. Enjoy the pictures....