North Carolina, California, Colorado, Michigan & Georgia

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Grove Park Inn

Since I last wrote we have of course stayed busy. In April we drove to Asheville, North Carolina where we attended the Ambassadors of Hope weekend put on by The Quiet Hour. We enjoyed hearing the various mission reports and also got to spend some time with my parents. On Sabbath afternoon we visited the North Carolina Arboretum and on Sunday we had lunch at the historic Grove Park Inn.

In May we had a visit from my cousin Brooke and her kids but missed seeing her husband as he was on call for the weekend. It was fun to play with the kids and visit with Brooke though. At the end of the month we flew out to California for the weekend to attend Ben & Marta's wedding. We stayed busy helping with wedding preparations but also got to visit with friends and family while we were there. After the wedding I flew back to Tennessee but Brenda stayed in California for the rest of the week.

On Friday we both flew to Denver where we met up to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately my flight was delayed several
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
hours so it was after midnight by the time we got to our Bed & Breakfast near Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed in a 75 year old log lodge in the country without any cell phone coverage and enjoyed good food and friendly conversation around the breakfast table. After breakfast on Sabbath we did some exploring by car with stops along the way for short hikes and to picnic by a rushing mountain stream. Back at the lodge we took a relaxing dip in the hot tub before heading to bed early to catch up on our sleep. Sunday morning after breakfast we went on a 6.1 mile hike to the top of Estes Cone. From the 11,006 foot summit we enjoyed panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. We didn't stay too long though since it was pretty cold and even snowed on us a li
ttle at the top. After the hike we did some more driving through Rocky Mountain National Park although Trail Ridge Road was closed due to snow so we weren't able to go as far as we had intended. In the evening we headed back to Denver and checked in to our hotel. I attended a work related class during the week and Brenda did some exploring around Denver and also took a day trip to Colorado Springs. We enjoyed spending time together in the evenings after my classes and even drove to the top of Mt. Evans one night. It was cold and very windy at the top though so Brenda stayed in the car while I hiked the short distance from the parking lot to the 14,264 summit. The views were excellent and on our way back to Denver we got to watch the sun set above an alpine lake.

On Friday
Pasque Flower
after my class finished we drove up to Buena Vista to visit Pat & Elvin. I always enjoy visiting them and this was no exception. We had fun hiking, spotting wildflowers, and visiting on Sabbath and then had to leave too soon on Sunday morning for our trip back to Tennessee. The next week we hosted a wedding shower for our friends Ray & Yormary and then went to their wedding in Georgia on the weekend. We were in charge of coordinating the ceremony so kept busy but had a fun time.

For the 4th of July weekend we drove down to the Atlanta area to visit the Gallant family. We had fun playing with the four kids and also got to visit the new Atlanta Aquarium. It was fun to see the beluga whales and the whale sharks although it was very crowded due to the holiday. The next weekend I took Friday off from work and we drove up to Michigan on Thursday. We spent the next couple of days visiting with Johanna, Keenan, Michael and Amelia. We had fun hanging out, playing games, going to the beach and eating Michigan blueberries together. Brenda, Johanna and Keenan started driving west on Saturday night and arrived safely in Wenatchee, Washington Monday evening. I on the other hand spent Sunday morning picking raspberries and a few peaches with Michael and Amelia. I also purchased some more
Hiking with Pat & Elvin
Michigan blueberries to put in the freezer at home and got a few cherries and apricots to enjoy fresh. While I was back in Chattanooga, Brenda had a nice visit with her family in Washington state. It would have been nice to join her, but unfortunately I had to be at work. I did drive up to McMinnville to pick blueberries after work on Friday and then spent Sabbath with my grandparents while Brenda was in Wenatchee. On Sunday I headed back to Chattanooga to go rafting on the Ocoee river with our young adults group. We had a good trip down the river with a group of nearly 25 people.

After being gone for 7 out of 8 weekends in June & July we have been staying closer to home for the month of August. On the first
Georgia Aquarium
weekend we hosted young adults potluck and then in the evening we had a surprise birthday party for me which Brenda had planned. My grandparents and the Colburns even came down and stayed the night after the party so I had a fun filled birthday weekend with family, friends and blueberry pie.

Over the next couple of weeks I helped arrange some appointments for my Australian friend Ross who lives in Cambodia. Ross has been in Cambodia for 10 years and started Healthland there which includes a food industry. The industry employs disadvantaged young people so that they can earn enough money to attend school while also learning valuable job skills. If you want to learn more about Healthland you can watch a short video on their new web site at Ross was sponsored to attend the ASI convention in Tampa this year so he came to stay with us for about a week after the convention and gave several presentations about his work in Cambodia. On Sunday while Ross was here we went up to the Hiwassee river with our young adults group. We were planning to go tubing down the river but when we arrived we found out that one of the hydro power
Blueberry Birthday Pie
generators was not running and therefore the river was only at about half of it's regular water level. We decided to hike to a swimming hole instead and had fun exploring and jumping off a 15 foot cliff into the water.

On Monday of last week I took Ross on a driving tour around the Chattanooga area with stops at Point Park on Lookout Mountain and at the Chickamauga battle fields. Thursday morning I dropped Ross off at the airport and then on Friday I said goodbye to Brenda for the weekend as she and some friends went to Kentucky for a girls weekend. Sabbath after church I organized a river tubing trip with a couple of friends. The river turned out to be quite slow moving and we misjudged the distance so ended up walking the second
Elisa & Zion
half of the trip. We still had fun though and I enjoyed exploring and being out in nature. Sunday I played sand volleyball for about 3 hours in the morning and then watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics in the evening.

This coming weekend Sarah will be visiting from Yemen and my parents will also be coming so I am looking forward to that. Well that's about all the news from here for now so I'll stop writing and start choosing some pictures to go with this update.

Until next time,


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Uh-oh... you look pretty natural with those two kids in your lap, Drew. Is there something you're not telling us? :)