In case you don't have a calendar, it's JULY. My last month in Chicago.
Life been crazy busy lately, so here's a few quick updates.
My friend Ellen came to town! She's one of my favorite people and it was so awesome to be with her for a few days. My Aunt Patty and Uncle Steve were also here that weekend, and they took us to a Cubs game!
|Chelsea, Ellen and me @ Wrigley Field|
|Signature Room--96th floor of the Hancock Building|
My other aunt and uncle Bev & Mark came with cousin Dahkota the next day, we met up and went on a bike tour of some of the lakefront neighborhoods. It was really fun! Highlights included Oprah's house, Lincoln's statue, the first Playboy mansion, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the lakefront trail. We got pizza after that and the next day we went to the conservatory and saw the bean!
Believe it or not, the next weekend another aunt and uncle came to visit! Doris, Darren, Matthew & Jacob stopped by on their way to vacation in Wisconsin/Michigan and took Hannah and I to a Cubs game.
It was so fun and a big blessing to have all these visitors! Fun to show them around where I've been!
Anyway, work updates:
Grace Seeds is good as always! It's getting pretty busy as I wrap up my time there! We've had some new partnerships this season which is exciting. One partner, Growing Solutions Farm, is run by students with autism, and has a huge space! The first 3 weeks of harvest they had between 70-90 pounds each week of greens! Linda and I are so proud to partner with them and they are happy to donate the produce to a pantry just a few blocks away.
My last big project with Grace Seeds is redesigning the website. We've had two trainings with a consultant which have been great to learn from, but it is a little overwhelming! It has been rather humbling (but exciting) to see how little I know about websites! It's a work in progress, but the new site is starting to take shape and I couldn't be happier with the way it's looking.
Lastly, we are preparing for a mid-summer celebration and fundraiser next weekend (the 26th) which should be a fun event once we get all our ducks in a row!
BUILD has been so much better lately. It's no secret that I was a little burned out at Spencer, so summer programming is a refreshing change of pace. Don't get me wrong- it's still exhausting and frustrating at times- but I actually enjoy going to work now which is awesome. Only one family from Spencer is there this summer which is sad. The rest of the kids are from other parts of the west/northwest sides of the city where BUILD works, but I would say that a majority of the ones at summer programming live in the Humboldt Park area where we run.
The bucket list?
Making progress! Probably not going to get to everything on it which is ok because I know I will come back at some point! Recent things I checked off: Nickel Creek Concert at Taste of Chicago, Movie in the Park, Summer Dance, more random coffee shops. This Friday for our last community day we're going to do several more things which will be really fun!
July 31-Aug 2 is our end-of-year retreat in Indiana and after that we are free to go! Eek! I'm going back to KS on the 5th or 6th and then......
Ethiopia! Dad, bro Aaron and I are going to rural Ethiopia for 3 weeks! We know some missionaries there and will support them however needed. So, yes, it is a mission trip. However, I'm also looking at it as a cultural exchange. We're going to learn about the developments that have taken place in recent years (my dad was there in '93 and '05 so he can tell us about how it's changed over the years) and see what the body of Christ looks like there. It will be cool to experience a different kind of worship and everything else that they do there!
After that.....that's a million dollar question.
So far I've applied to one organization called Communities in Schools---it's a big nonprofit that works in schools around the country to keep kids in schools. They do this by connecting kids to community resources like food assistance, mentoring, outside activities, etc. I really like the organization so I applied for a couple open positions in Kansas. I'm also looking to apply for similar positions in Kansas City Public Schools and Denver Public Schools. We shall see! Prayers are definitely needed and appreciated!
That's all I've got for now, keep it real.