Thursday & Friday was fall break. I didn't know how all the details of this weekend (that began on Thursday) would work out, but I'd say God worked it out wonderfully.
Thursday morning: I played golf for the first time in about 15 year at the Covenant Classic. (I had actually played varsity golf in high school, but when you need to pay to play, I found other things to do. Disc golf anyone?) It was a beautiful morning in the 40s. I played with Tim Walters and his son. He runs Team Sports, a great place to get shirts and such for your sports team, and he used to teach math with me at Covenant Christian High School. I had a wonderful time playing at an impressive course, Heartland Crossing Golf Links.
I got back home a little before the family got back from their time at home school group. My wife is teaching a science course inspired by Rough Science. We headed up to South Bend around 1:30 were I was to speak at the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Teacher Conference.
Thursday afternoon: On the way up we saw a sign for Grissom Air Museum in Peru, IN. Since we got there 15 minutes before it was to close we just visited the gift shop and looked at the airplanes through the fence. I was reminded of another Indiana air museum we had visited in the past which inspired the name for this blog. We would have loved more time, but we headed back up the road. The kiddies were starting to get hungry and we saw a sign for Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN.
After eating one of the best meals in my life, and looking around for a while, I understood better what I had read about Amish Acres being one of the top 100 places to visit in your life. Before departing we played a ring game that was outside near the parking lot. It was a great physics game, in that you use the conservation of energy to pull back a metal ring on a long string, release it so that it has a near zero translational velocity near the hook affixed to the wood post. It took several tries, but some of us got the hang of it.
Friday morning: I left around 6:30 with one of our school administrators to the convention. I'll write more about the "Six ways, yea seven, that Scripture is integral to our math and science classes" paper that I presented later. I praise God that the speaker before me allowed me to use his projector. When we were about 3 hours from home I realized that this conference probably wouldn't supply such things. We also realized that we had left one of our pieces of luggage at home. So everyone got to get a new toothbrush and only some of the kids had their swim suits. The little ones enjoyed swimming with Mrs. Kurtz, Covenant's freshman English, since Mom and Dad didn't have their suits. Yes, several teachers from my school stayed at the Country Inn and Suites with lovely Read & Return program that we got to enjoy on our trip to Florida.
While I was gone, my wife took the children to the some Kids Health Works Museum, which was actually a block from the Century convention center. They said that it was similar to the one they had gone to in Nashville last summer (If you want a laugh, you've got to read that story on my wife's blog), but only one level instead of six.
After seeing everything there was to see there, they went to the South Bend Chocolate Factory (Again, my wife has some nice stories about that adventure.).
Friday afternoon: My session was from 11:45-12:35. The conference was over about that time, so I went out to wait on the corner for my family to find me. A little after 1p.m. the big white van pulls up with a load of happy faces who had chocolate and other confectionery samples for lunch.
On our way out of town we stopped by Potato Creek State Park. We were disappointed that the Nature Center was closed, but the Meadow Maze was a delight. Notice the seven year-old still wearing the hair net from the chocolate tour. A nearby playground made the 5 & 7 year-old think they were in Brown County State Park. Last weekend we had gone on our first ever family camping-in-tents adventure. This church camp out ended with two of our children throwing up. But overall it was such a great time, that if my wife didn't have to work all day Saturday and our oldest daughter wasn't taking a Safe Sitter class (she is looking for jobs if anyone needs an experienced and trained sitter), I had hoped to camp out at Potato Creek State Park so that we could spend part of the day there on Saturday to work on earning a patch/pin with the new Connect, Discover, Explore program that our Department of Natural Resources has started.
On Saturday we went to the Hendrick County Fairgrounds to enjoy a BBQ dinner and listen to Governor Daniels. The kids had a great time and my wife didn't have to worry about dinner. As I was driving the family to church I heard my 5 year-old boy and 7 year-old daughter talking about the coming election in the back of the van. One said, "John McCain." The other replied, "I like old people. I like John McCain." Then at lunch they were talking, and the boy said, "What's that other guy's name?" The girl replied, "Barack." "Oh yeah, I hope Barack Obama only gets 5 votes, and John McCain gets one hundred thousand million." I'm not sure were they learned even who is running for president. On the drive home from church this evening my wife asked him where he had learned about John McCain and the kindergartener said, "I heard about it on the TV and radio." I think one of his older sisters had been trying to explain what's going on. He went on to give the kindergarten commentary of "I'm scared if Barack Obama becomes president. He kills babies. John McCain likes babies. I hope John McCain wins."