Week 12-  November 13 Week: Goodbye Ocean, Hello Desert

We planted ourselves in Oceanside, California this week for our last week near the Pacific before heading east again.  (We all will miss the ocean!)  We could walk to the ocean, but were also close enough to San Diego to catch some of its attractions. 

Sunday morning we drove forty miles to be able to visit Saddleback Church (pastored by Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life) on our tour of churches.  It was a perfect week for us to visit.  It was the final celebration Sunday as Rick was finishing his latest series, "40 Days of Community" focusing on the power of small groups in the church.  Rick reviewed all six weeks of the program, integrated with incredible worship, and video and personal testimonies as the service.  Their church had 24,000 people in over 3000 small groups, in 13 languages, in 83 surrounding communities for the program.  The weeks included:

-Worshiping Together  Mt 18:20 (CEV), Ps 68:4 (CEV)
-Fellowshiping Together Rom 12:5b (NLT), James 3:18 (Mes)
-Growing Together  Eph 2:21 (LB) Eph 4:13 (NCV) 
-Serving Together Gal 6:10 (Mes), 1 Cor 3:9b (NLT)
-Reaching out Together   James 1:27 (Mes) Rom 10:13-14 (NLT)   

The main service aspect of the program was having the groups work together to feed 40,000 people three meals a day during the forty days!  It has been so great to have the kids see different churches on our adventure! 

The Oceanside weather was perfect all week, sunny and 70’s.  We took advantage of it with daily ocean walks during the week.  As a family, we especially enjoy beach combing.  Jenna has been wanting to find sand dollars ever since we hit the coast up in Washington and was finally richly rewarded.   

Early in the week, we got around to trying out the stunt kite we had purchased in Oregon.  We all learned to fly the double-lined kite, but Nate was especially good at it putting it into dives, figure eights, and multiple spins.  The technology of kiting has advanced in the past few years and there are even kites that are used to pull a person on a type of boogie board.   

We started the kids on individual research projects this week.  Kiting was a natural subject for Nate with all of the fun he had been having.  Jenna chose sea-life and Leah cacti.  The internet makes it easy to do research right from Harvey. 

We drove into the San Diego area a few times during the week for tours and museums.  The Taylor guitar factory was a highlight that Jenna had chosen.  The blend of music technology and woodworking/manufacturing art was fascinating to all of us.  We also visited the nearby Institute for Creation Research.  It was refreshing to learn different theories for creation and earth’s history than the billions of years/amoeba-becomes-man mantra that the National Parks and other museums preach as fact.  Again, the recent history of Mount St. Helens and how it made canyons in days that appear to be the result of thousands of years of erosion is changing views of many scientists. 

Other San Diego highlights were a San Diego Zoo visit and the Maritime museum on San Diego Harbor.  One of the ships that we toured is the oldest seaworthy ship in the world, built in 1863, the “Star of India.”.  One of the earliest iron-hulled ships, it started out as a cargo ship and later was used to transport emigrants.  The folks who sailed on this ship were true adventurers, adventure too rich for my blood…  The other ship that was especially fascinating was a replica of a Revolutionary War period ship used in the making of the movie, “Master and Commander.”  The ship replicated a vessel of that period to the smallest detail and many displays explained how it was used in making the movie.. 

Thursday afternoon was our last day to see the Pacific on our Field Trip USA adventure.  The weather was warm and during the late afternoon, the kids enjoyed jumping in the waves.  The sun gave us its grand finale Pacific sunset. 

Our schedule is usually quite fluid, sometimes being modified daily, depending on weather, timing, and other new information.  Friday had to be a travel day to the Las Vegas area.  First thing Saturday morning, I had to be at the Las Vegas airport to pick up Nate’s buddy Jordan who would join us on the road for a few days.  We were going to get an extra early start to make sure that there would be no hitches in getting near the airport for the next day’s rendezvous.  Unfortunately, we had a problem getting one of the RV slideout rooms to store.  Finally I figured out how to stow it manually and we got going with just a couple of hours delay, but not without adding some stress to the day. 

The drive to Vegas took us through the Mojave desert.  The different landscape had a beauty of its own.  Several areas had unique Joshua trees scattered about.  As we came down the final long grade toward the Nevada state line, we were aptly met by a dust storm that made it hard to even see the road!  It was a great introduction to the desert for the kids. 

Nate joined me for the drive into Las Vegas airport Saturday morning, he was so excited to have a BOY traveling companion!  The next four days would be a wonderful treat for him.