Back to busy

Haven't posted since the debates...hmph...I'm officially back in the NYC-constantly-busy mode. It's OK. Its just how things are here. The break was nice, and well timed. Returned to completely full weeks of work, men's accountability, home fellowship group, youth leader's planning, and youth group.

To recap, Friday was work late, gym, home for some number one and computer games. Saturday I headed out to the Meadowlands in the morning for the practice rounds with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloons. Speaking of which, are you interested in being a balloon handler on my balloon in the parade? If so, let me know by Tuesday of this week. This special, one-time-offer (until next Thanksgiving) goes out exclusively to my blog readers. I've actually already hooked 4 folks up with spots, and the deadline for applications is past, but I'm in good with the girl in charge of stuff so I could probably slide one or two in late.

So, like I was saying, practice rounds in the Meadowlands parking lots, then back to the 'boken to hit the gym, then home for a couple hours to put Sunday's lesson together. Over to C&M's for a ride into the city, where we (Cregan, Kathy, and I) presented all the stuff we've been working on for the youth leaders - this year's strategy, our ministry basis, roles and responsibilities, etc...was supposed to include budget but we didn't have the copies with us. But the church has already given us a pretty solid non-official nod at our first number, so from the sounds of it this should be a huge year for the youth ministry. After the meeting all the kids showed up as we were taking them to the Metrostars game. Let me tell you what, there is a reason Giant's Stadium doesn't have to open up anything but the lower level seating for this soccer team. Whew. There were a couple fights in the game, which made it more interesting, but still... Anyway it was fun being out with the kids. (Click on the picture for more...notice me, wearing my A's hat, in full support of the LAST MEANINGFUL GAME of our season, which we politely gave to the freakin Angels...the long wait to Spring training begins again.)

Today was church, youth group, home for some computer time, evening service here in Hoboken, then groceries.

Figure I owe the blog a solid since I've been so shoddy lately, so I offer you pictures from way back when I was on vacation.

This is Bedford, our tour guide at the Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley, CA. Bedford was an older gentleman but he had a good sense of humor and seemed to know about as much as a fella could know about the history of the mines in the area, and especially the people who ran them. Empire is the oldest and richest gold mine in the Golden State, it began operations in 1850 and closed in 1956. There are approximately 367 miles of tunnel in its system, and during the 106 years of operation, only 26 deaths occurred, very few of which were due to what you might imagine a typical mine accident to be (cave-ins, suffocation, etc.). You'll find a lot of pictures from the estates that sat above the mines (where the rich folk who owned them lived) and a few as well of a massive mine map that the mine used to map out its own tunnels as well as the other major mines in the area (its the dark room with a big metal network behind glass). I thought it was fascinating. They even had info on competitor's mines in the area so the whole thing was kept secret the entire time the mines were operating.

Click on Bedford to see my pictures from my stay in Nevada City (CA) with the grandparents. You'll also find pictures from the Draft Horse Classic in there - just look for the massive horses. Also a couple from the running trail along the canal that I ran on and a couple from the lake my grandparents live near. They're all mixed up, thanks to imagestation's photo-upload "chaos" function, which cannot be adjusted.

That's the mountain that taunts me. Click on it for more Yosemite pix - notice how close you can get to the deer in the morning when they come to feed on the trees near the cabins. Cool, but also sad. A friend at church tonight said the Bison in Yellowstone are the same way. This shot is from early in the morning, the air was cold and clean and tasted good when you breathed it. I love the air in Yosemite, but especially in the morning. Its one of my favorite places in the world, hands down. Side note - ran into a buddy from GCC who was there with his wife - Jeremy...something. I could of sworn he was a year behind me but a brief scan of the Crimson for his year turns up nothing. I'll probably never see him again, but he was always a cool kid, so it was nice to see him.

Well, here's what the deal will be for the rest of the fall. I'll work all week, usually too long, try and get to the gym 3-4 nights a week, the first Monday evening of every month is MCM (leader's ministry at church, where the leaders for the various ministries have a worship/lesson/prayer time), Tuesdays are Men's Accountability, Wednesday's are Home Fellowship Group, and Thursdays are gym and cleaning. Fridays are gym and chinese food and leave me alone, except for the weekends we pack up and head out of town (mainly for Young Life camps upstate with the youth group). Saturdays are the various Saturday cram-ins (including putting lessons together) and Sundays are church-youth group-church.

This will be my third year working with the kids here, and I'm excited. We've got a new set-up, new material, and already it seems like a really good plan. Today's lesson and small groups went really, really well and Jenny and I were both excited about that.

Ok, gotta run. Enjoy the visuals.

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