Monday, July 13, 2009

It Was All About Sam

For my birthday Steve and Sue got me two tickets to the Brewers Game for July 12. It was the last game of the first half of the season, we were playing the Dodgers - the best team in baseball. But the real story of the game was the National Anthem. Steve and Sue got tickets through a friend from their church how have a son, Sam, who has a brain tumor. He's had surgery once but they couldn't get it all out.

Sam signed up for Make-a-Wish and was accepted! His wish: to sing the National Anthem at a Brewers game.

I was so excited to go to this game!! Stories like this mean so much to me - I get emotionally involved so easily. When I first saw Sam, it was at the tailgate party. He was the 'man of the hour' and was with Cory Hart, the honorary chair of Make-a-Wish for the day. They were getting in the back of a club car to go to the Brewers' Club House. Camera crews were filming the whole thing - I heard it might be on Fox Sports.

Well the National Anthem came up pretty quickly. Those that know me well know that I take my patriotism very seriously. The Anthem is very important to me, and I've been at some events that have been very special. But when a six-year old boy with a brain tumor sings our National Anthem - missing a few words, slurring others, sometimes off pitch - it was the sweetest rendition I've ever heard. Most of it sounded great for a boy his age. That boy wanted to sing our National Anthem at a Brewers' game in front of 42,241 people -- and he did it.

Want to see Sam sing? I dare you to not shed a tear! The last 4 seconds are the best!!! Click here to see Sam singing on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Family Camp at Fort Wilderness

Last week Katie and I took Sorin up to the Northwoods for Family Camp at Fort Wilderness – it was one of the best weeks of our marriage. Now we’ve only been married since November 2005, but only our trip to Europe in 2007 it can compare. Maybe it’s just my adventurous nature starting to find release. Maybe it was the fantastic food. Maybe it was having tons to do or nothing to do. Maybe it was having two sets of grandparents there to take Sorin (even for a night). Maybe it was meeting so many great people from across the Midwest. Maybe it was sleeping in a tent for the first time in Too Long.

While I’m tempted to describe a play-by-play, I’m pretty sure that’s unnecessary. (My two main followers were also my two main babysitters up at CampJ)

What’s it like to be at Fort? Each morning you wake up for breakfast at 8:15. Can I just interject here? (Is it possible to interject your own blog post?) I couldn’t believe how late people woke up at camp. Admittedly I’m a morning person. I love seeing the sun come up, especially in the middle of God’s creation – in the woods, over the lake. But at Camp no one was moving before 7:30/7:45. I couldn’t believe it. I thought people would be up at the coffee shop our out on the docks having devotionals or a quiet time. I guess it’s vacation for most people, so that means a little more sleep.

After breakfast it’s off to a gathering for worship and listening to a speaker who is there for the week. This was from about 9:00-10:15 (at the latest). Our speaker for the week was Mike Moran from Kettlebrook Church. He went through 1 Peter and did a great job. The only other scheduled events for the day are lunch and dinner. So there’s plenty of time for play. And play we did.

Katie and I went out on the kayaks one afternoon. Another afternoon I went with my mom. Steve and I water skied a few afternoons. I went on a walk to the Pointe with my parents. We did a lot of sitting around watching Sorin play. He likes splashing in the water. We went on a lazy Tube Float down the Wisconsin River for 2.5 hours. We had a few campfires with wonderful s’mores. We heard a great message by the Wrangler, Jonathan, as he compared the disciplines of God to the disciplines of training a horse. It was one of the best 30 minutes of the week. Fort is just a great place to vacation.

In summary, it was a great week at Fort because the food was great, my family was there, we met great people, we played a lot, laughed a lot, and had great conversations with old and new friends. Once again my lack of writing skills is diminishing this blog post. Still, you should consider a Family Camp at Fort Wilderness for a week’s vacation.