Wednesday, August 8, 2012
It has been quite a summer! It was so full that we haven’t had a chance to update the blog. So here is the start of a two-part blog post. Enjoy!
June began with the kids scrambling to get their projects and papers done to wrap up the school year. Of course, the end of the school year means graduation and saying goodbye to the seniors. The graduation ceremony was very well done. The small size of the graduating class allowed for a lot of personal touches to make the ceremony special for the graduates. This was a far cry from my graduation experience at one of the bigger high schools in Indianapolis! It was exciting to see and hear about the growth the graduates achieved while at Cookson.
After graduation it was all about our Cookson Family Vacation. Every year we are given the go ahead to plan and take a vacation as a Cookson family. As Melissa and I began planning our trip, we tried to think about what the kids would like to do. Like most teenagers, many of our kids are into music. So I came up with a crazy idea—to pack up the family in the van and drive to Kentucky for a four-day music festival. When we suggested the idea to the kids they were really excited about it. Well, mostly excited; several of them were concerned about the twelve-hour drive to get there but I guess we couldn’t blame them for that!
The festival we attended was the Ichthus Music Festival in Wilmore, Kentucky. Ichthus is a Christian music festival that has been going on since the 70s. Several Christian bands come out including big names like Chris Tomlin, Switchfoot, and the seemingly ageless Toby Mac.
To say that this was a big undertaking would be putting it mildly, but here’s how we pulled it off. We were able to load all our gear in a trailer that we pulled behind the 12-passenger van. We left early on a Tuesday morning and started the ten-hour drive to Louisville, KY. We had to stop in Louisville for the night because we couldn’t get into the festival till Wednesday. Thankfully our friends at Southeast Christian Church allowed us to stay the night in their mission’s house. Melissa’s parents met us in Louisville and took us out for a meal and picked up Kaylee, our 3 year old, who was going to spend her time with them in Ohio.
Wednesday we finished the drive to the festival and set up camp where we lived for the next four days. We camped in tents in a field and cooked over the gas grill we brought. The concerts started at noon and went nonstop till midnight. Despite the high heat and little shade it was a lot of fun; some of our favorite concerts included Switchfoot, Red, Chris Tomlin, Emery, Family Force 5, and The Almost.
Sunday morning we began making our trip back, but we made a swing up to Ohio to pick up Kaylee from Melissa’s parents and to stay the night before making the big trip back on Monday. To break the trip up, we stopped in St. Louis for the night at a hotel with a pool and let the kids have one last fling before getting back to Oklahoma. We made the final leg of the trip on Tuesday and we all survived!
Several parts of our vacation trip stick out to me. The first being the opportunity to share the concert/festival experience with them, which is something I really enjoy. Another bright moment for me was to see their excitement about going to new places. Several hadn’t been past the Mississippi river and a couple hadn’t been out of Oklahoma; so traveling that far was quite a new experience for them. They got to travel through 5 states, 4 major cities, and see national landmarks like the Mississippi and the St. Louis Arch. Melissa and I also enjoyed getting a chance to show the kids where we were from. Staying with Melissa’s parents gave them a glimpse into her childhood and a chance to see lots of embarrassing pictures! We also got to drive through Indianapolis, so they got to see some of my old hangouts (Skyline Chili!) including where Melissa and I lived and went to church in Danville before we moved to Cookson.
June ended with unpacking from our vacation and some days off to help us gear up for July; which you’ll hear about in our next post.
Posted by Brandon and Melissa at 8:37 AM