We've crossed into another state and are now in Wisconsin! We attended church at Bethlehem Baptist this morning and really enjoyed it. It was different going to a large church - I dropped Jeremy off at nursery at the beginning of the service (an usher told me that I should check him in right away because sometimes it fills up and there is no room left!) I received a computerized sticker matching his number and a pager in case he needed me. Jeremy went right in and had a great time. I know this set-up is common now in big churches but it is amazing to me with only small town church experiences! The sermon was on idols of our hearts and how anyone or anything that is more important or more of a priority than God is an idol and how really that is the baseline of fighting the good fight. It is our default nature to focus our time and energy on things of this world. Definitely a challenge I need to continually apply to my life. I was thinking how easily things like education, sports, scrapbooking, work etc can become idols. If you are interested, the message will be posted here.
After church, we found a Co-op (pronounced "cub" - it took as awhile to figure out what store they were referring to when we asked for a suggestion at church!) grocery store nearby and bought groceries for lunch to eat in a nearby park. My sister Janine and friend Susan would have loved this grocery store! It was organic to the core, i.e. they sold nothing but organic and most of it was local. The turkey breast sandwich meat we had was "organic, free range, hormone free, antibotics free and nitrate free! Now this is probably what I grew up eating and never gave it another thought :) The other thing that blew me away there was the "junk food". They had a bulk section and I thought maybe I'd buy some smarties for us to share. Nope - only one kind of dark chocolate candy and that was it! Oh and carob chips (carob is like chocolate but better for us I guess.) All the chocolate bars they sold were organic as well so between cost and the high probability that my kids probably wouldn't eat it anyways I didn't get any chocolate. I guess we're eating healthier already! :)
Nathan said the playground we ate lunch at was the best he has ever been to! It was just a playground across from an apartment building but it had quite unique structures for the kids. I'll try to upload a picture or two of it tomorrow night!
We drove another 4 1/2 hours stopping for supper at a town along the way and then arrived in Madison around 8:30 pm. All of us, except for Daniel had a good long nap which made for a mostly quiet trip! After we checked in it was off to the pool right away (which works really well - they always have excess energy to burn and running and yelling in the hotel room is very annoying) and then to bed.
I haven't mentioned the weather yet. It has been really nice weather. Not a hint of rain and sun all day. In fact, it has been quite hot! We've had the air conditioner going non-stop. We haven't actually seen a thermometer but we're estimating 30C and up the last three days. When we were at the park today the kids were running but I found it hot, hot, hot!
Tomorrow is off to drive around Chicago and onto Grandville (close to Grand Rapids). It will be about 5 hours driving but we're going to try to arrive at our hotel earlier and maybe get the kids to bed earlier!