We enjoyed the last 5 nights in a cabin near the Smokies in eastern Tennessee. Today we drove to central Florida and will be here for about a week as we enjoy a variety of activities as family and visit my mother as well. We hope to enjoy a day at the Kennedy Space Center (it’s a great educational outing!).

I’m beginning to feel a lot better and am hoping the improvements last. I do periodically take a nitroglycerin pill to help with some of the ongoing chest pains, but those do seem to help me get through the times of fatigue.

Here are a bunch of pics taken over the past week (including a couple from today):

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Mission Accomplished

It’s done. The whole original plan for this trip, a plan that dates back a year and a lifetime ago is done: bring Cameron up to Moody Bible Institute. After having left our home in Mexico just over 3 months ago, the thought of this day loomed large and small and large again. And then, in the blink of an eye, it had come and gone and is over. We sure will miss having our first-born home with us as he’s been for over 18 years. We’re glad he’s in a great place with great people and has a great opportunity to learn, to grow, to mature, and to explore the life that God with which has blessed him.

We have a day tomorrow to visit one last day with relatives, including Beth’s other sister, Kim and most of Kim’s family who have come to town to bring Cameron’s cousin, Victoria to MBI. Cameron will enjoy having his cousin on campus. He’ll finally have a chance to spend time with her…in between working, studying, attending classes, putting in his many hours of practical ministry involvement, and maybe getting some sleep.

On Monday, we hit the road south. We’ll be spending a few days in a cabin near Newport, TN. I’m looking forward to seeing the Smokies again and getting a chance to take some pics of some beautiful scenery. From there we’ll beat a path to Florida and have a brief visit with my mother before heading back to Dallas and getting us on the road to Mexico again. Hopefully, I’ll have the stamina to do all this. I tire rather easily still and think I’ll get to bed early tonight.

Here’s a few pics from the afternoon…


Bed made…clothes hung up and put away. He had more stuff than I thought he did, but when all was said in done, with the help of another student and a little cart, we managed to get everything up to his 4th floor room in one trip! I noticed at least two cargo trailers that had arrived for other students! Yikes!


“We see you Mom, and no, you can’t stay.”



At some point around this picture, Beth leaned her head on Cameron’s shoulder who shrugged her off and said, “Mom, I can’t get lice the first day!” It helped to laugh. We forgot to cry, but we knew we wanted to.  🙂

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The tall brick building is Cameron’s dorm. He’s on the 4th floor and has a view of a parking lot, and some other buildings, including a portion of the Willis Tower. It used to be known as the Sears Tower.

The view of the Willis Tower from his room. He can see just the top 1/3 of it or so (the black tower in the background). With all the new construction, who knows how much longer the tower will be visible from this vantage point…



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Our Very Own BFG

Dayton was born tall. He’s still growing. We’re blessed to be able to spend time with some of his cousins. As you can see in the picture below, Kris’ youngest child (Kris is Beth’s youngest sister) barely surpasses Dayton’s knees!


Here are a few more pics from our evening at nearby Lake Michigan…

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Today we went into Chicago for the first time on this trip. We visited the Museum of Science and Industry.

Later, we drove into the Loop and stopped in at Moody Bible Institute for Cameron to get some information regarding his upcoming enrollment and orientation. An an MK, he will be arriving earlier than almost all other students since MBI receives their international students a couple days early in order to provide them with a special orientation time (including shopping trips since many international students come with very limited quantities of clothing and virtually no dorm room items that they may need). After those days, he’ll have an additional new student orientation that is several days long as well. We’re glad he’ll have ample opportunities to get adjusted and find his bearings along with others some of whom will likely feel even more out of place than Cameron may.

Here are some pics from the day:

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An Evening Stroll

Beth’s mother has been staying with Beth’s sister here in Chesterton for a few weeks. She flies home tomorrow, so we had one last family outing to the family favorite junk food restaurant for gyros, hamburgers, fries, and such. Then, we went back to the house and decided to enjoy a warm, muggy evening walk to make room for ice cream. (You’ll be proud to know that I declined any dessert!)

There are some lovely small town scenes around the neighboring blocks. Fortunately, Kris knows a lot of people with the nicest flowers on their lawns, so I felt at liberty to snap a few shots here and there.

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A Beesy Day

Taking a picture of anything moving can be challenging. Taking a picture of something that moves without warning and without indicating in what direction and at what velocity it will be moving is even harder. I took an awful lot of pictures in a short period of time in order to come up with a few shots that aside from being slightly out of focus (which is a common problem that I have even with non-moving subjects!), at least managed to capture the subject. Here are what may be the best pics of the bunch (not all of these are of moving subjects but most were moving, not to mention it was windy). Until I downloaded the pics from the camera, I had no idea that I was getting bee tongues in some of the frames.

[Note that some pics have more than one subject, and to my surprise the large butterfly was under attack on more than one occasion (see the last three butterfly pics). I thought it was only people that don’t get along!]

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I don’t know how many times I’ve driven through Valparaiso, IN, but until today, I had never ventured a few feet off the main highway and onto the campus of Valparaiso University (founded as a Lutheran school).

There is a small art museum that we decided to visit (Brauer Museum of Art) since it is so close to where we’re staying and more importantly, admission is free! While I can’t say I’m a great art lover, I enjoyed their eclectic exhibits. The stained glass windows on the chapel were lovely too. I would like to see it at night with interior illumination. It’s hard to make out the detail during the day. [I kept the flash off for all the photos, so I wasn’t sure how well they would come out. I also used mostly automatic focus for convenience.]

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