My daughter Ruthie experienced emotions at Bible Bowl 2008 that ranged from despondency to delight, and we who joined her (with her brother and teammate, Joe) for the five days of competition all got to experience those same highs and lows with her. It was quite a dramatic week that started with great difficulty.
I’ll get to the story in a bit, but first here’s a little background. Bible Bowl is a competition similar to the now-defunct College Bowl or Quiz Bowl, but with subject matter taken from selected books of the Bible. This year the text was the Gospel of John as well as his epistles (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) and 1 Peter and 2 Peter. The strongest players have memorized and can recite the entire text (1,178 verses). More demonstration of that in a bit.
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On Monday, before the Bible Bowl competition really started, I got to take my youngest son, John, to the Georgia Aquarium. It’s billed as the largest aquarium in the world.
Here’s some video from that afternoon, in which John (in red and white) got to touch some rays and a hammer head shark:
John is a pretty sentimental little guy; as we walked back to our hotel he got a little bit quiet and thoughtful and when I asked him why he said, “We probably won’t ever see any of those animals again.” When I said we might go to aquariums in some other cities (as we did in Baltimore a few years ago) he replied, “But we won’t see any of those animals that we saw today.”
I guess the bonding from touching these aquatic creatures with two fingers went a little deeper than I thought.
It was a precious afternoon.
No, I’m not taking a vacation from blogging…I’ll be blogging about vacation…to the extent I can. We’re in Atlanta at the Marriott Marquis for Bible Bowl 2008, where my daughter Ruth and son Joe are competing in this national competition. I blogged about the Bible Bowl experience last year; it was pretty amazing. I’ll have some highlights and dispatches from the competition over the next couple of days.
Another amazing feature about our Atlanta trip is this hotel. Here’s a taste of the elevator trip to the 41st floor, where we’re staying.
Some of my family members get a little nervous about the heights, but the view from our window (at the top of this post) is pretty sweet.
The sweetest part is having all of our remaining kids together (the ones who aren’t married and/or college graduates) together for this week, and to have my parents along for the trip. We wish Jacob and Rachel (and Kyle and Evelyn) were along too, but we’re thankful for this nice getaway week.
The only downside for frequent blogging is that the daily charge for Internet access is $12.95, which is a bit pricey for family vacation. But in the food court across the street at Peachtree Center there is free wireless, so I’m just coming over here a couple of times a day to sync my computer and post updates. Probably good on vacation to not be doing too much computer activity, but this does make it nice to capture some of the moments, so that when we do our Christmas letter (as we did last year and the year before), we have some photos and videos to which we can link to tell the story of the year.
So some of the coming posts will be of a more personal nature, but for SMUG students they are:
A) A way to get to know the Chancellor and his family a little better, and
B) An illustration of how you can use your blog for multimedia family updates instead of sending photocopied Christmas letters. Not only will this method save you money (at First Class postage rates of 41 cents or whatever it is now…it’s probably been a year since I’ve purchased stamps), but the product is much richer and more interactive.