Friday, December 12, 2003

post date: December 12, 2003
10:05 PM Big renovation news I forgot to mention earlier: The permanent surface for the gym was delivered today. Right now it's stacked in boxes right on the subfloor. The workers should begin installing it next week. 9:39 PM Fun time with the junior highers tonight. The girls were all dressed up and the guys were wearing shirts and ties. Lots of laughter, lots of joking back and forth (esp by Nathan Ondracek and his crew), and a song by each group before they left—twice it was "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," once it was "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," and one rendition of "Frosty the Snowman." Three of the groups had young women leaders who attend Moody Bible Institute—Sharon, Ashlee and Meredith. They all knew Mark. "Everyone knows Mark," Ashlee said. 6:18 PM Friday night shout-out (while waiting for the first wave of kids to arrive) to Grant and Fern Brown in Westboro, WI, to Skip Olson, to David and Steinhart and the good folks at Forest Park Baptist Church, to Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley, a good friend and a good man, to Greg and Ellen Chadaranek and their boys for giving me chocolate last Sunday (it helped!). And very special congratulations to John and Linda Sanduski on the birth of Steven Christopher. This is a huge answer to many prayers. It was wonderful to see Leif Jonasen at "Two From Galilee" and also in church on Sunday. Ditto for Paul Shackley who was with us last weekend after a long recovery from his accident. And a special hello to Buddy and Leanne Nichols in Chattanooga, TN. 11:12 AM We're in "full party mode" at the church. Tonight the Allied Force hosts a coffee house at the church. Also tonight our Power Connection junior high ministry is having a progressive dinner for 70+ students. The kids will be coming to our house for the main course—ham and potatoes and fruit sauce and something else. Marlene and I went out last night to buy last-minute supplies. We expected a smaller crowd for the event but there have been lots of kids signing up in the last couple of days. The party schedule continues tomorrow night as SC2 has its progressive dinner and the 20/20 group has a Christmas party. 11:08 AM Renovation update: The subfloor in the gym is now completed. The permanent surface will be installed very soon—perhaps next week… I toured the new office/classroom area yesterday with Howard and Bob. The drop ceiling is being installed and the rooms are being painted… . Lots of workers hurrying from place to place… . We are on pace to finish most of the work in the next month, but as with any big project, there are hundreds of small details that crop up as you near the finish line… . We have moved the start date for Wednesday night suppers from January 7 to the 14th to make sure the construction is sufficiently finished so we can use the gym and all the new rooms… . Yesterday we received an estate gift of $30,000 that we deposited in the Legacy Campaign Building Fund. 10:40 AM I was hard at work on my computer, concentrating on something or other, when I heard a noise by my desk. It was Nick crouching down to surprise me. He and John Mark arrived in Oak Park about 10:30 PM last night. We talked about Eli Manning winning the Maxwell Award as the nation's outstanding college football player, and we discussed his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy tomorrow night (possible, but maybe White or Fitzgerald instead). To celebrate his successfully finishing his first semester of college, we're going to eat lunch at the Onion Roll, an Oak Park deli that I've never tried before. Josh swears by it.

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