11:15 PM Renovation Update: The office/classroom area is basically finished. Today they started painting lines on the gym floor for basketball, volleyball and the Awana circle. The nursery is nearly finished. They still have some work to do in the portico. If we get the go-ahead from the village inspectors, we hope to use the gym starting Wednesday, January 14. 11:11 PM I had been working downstairs in my basement office and took a break so I could talk to Marlene who was watching the movie “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks. I had never seen it so I watched it for a while, and then I heard the front door open. It was Nick and John Mark Edwards who had been sent on a “chicken wing” run by Mark and Josh and Pat McGuin. They drove out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Elmhurst and bought 100 chicken wings—half sweet honey-flavored and half medium spicy. I joined them in the living room for a chicken wing feast and we all watched “Castaway” together. Marlene came out after a while and joined us for a couple of wings. There we were eating chicken wings, sitting in front of the fire, laughing, talking, and watching “Castaway.” It was like summer camp except that it’s 5 degrees outside. 8:06 PM It’s cold! Ten degrees right now, wind chill -1, and it will get quite a bit colder before the night is done. You tend to forget (at least I do) how extreme cold saps your strength so quickly. And to be truthful, the cold bothers me a lot more than it used to. People at church give me a hard time because I don’t even own a heavy overcoat. I used to own one years ago but I lost it—and then someone gave me one—and I lost it (misplaced it) the same day he gave it to me. So I just decided that I would go without one. But I do have a large collection of sweaters, heavy socks, toe warmers (that I use when I ride in the cold), some Under Armor, and ski masks that I wear in various combinations. A few minutes ago the whole family was in the living room where we have kept a big fire going for the last few hours. None of this should be taken as a complaint—if you live in Chicago, you have to get used to the cold. Or you end up moving to Florida—which is where I will be next week speaking at a missions conference in a town called Sebring.