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Erin plays oboe with her middle school advanced band.  This is the last concert of her middle school “career.”  High School marching band, here we come.

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North Texas Tornado Outbreak

The Dallas area was hit with 13 tornado touchdowns Tuesday afternoon, right as the school day was ending. Lori had already picked up Evan and made it to Erin’s school. Rather than picking up Erin, they went in and hunkered down while an EF3 tornado formed directly over the school (the one that hammered Forney a few minutes later).

Nathan’s school was also on lock down, and Phil huddled in “the vault” at CAM Center with the CAM staff. By God’s grace, no one in Dallas lost their life.

Some photo highlights of the day…

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looking southwest from CAM Center. Tornado traveling north-northeast.

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The world is about to end, but we still have to have our Mesquite Bar B.Q. advertisement!!

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A "hook echo" directly over CAM Center.

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CAM staff huddle in "the vault"

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At 12:44pm, Phil was at the SpeeDee oil change getting an oil change for Lori's van. 2 hours later the building was destroyed.

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SpeeDee Oil Change, Galloway Avenue, Mesquite

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SpeeDee Oil Change, Galloway Avenue, Mesquite

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Forney, TX is adjacent to Mesquite, just to the east. The Buhler family, good friends of ours, live a half mile from this house and dozens of others that were destroyed by an EF3 tornado. This is the tornado that formed directly over Terry Middle School in Mesquite (Erin's school, which was mentioned by name on the news). It touched down just a few minutes later and only a couple of miles to the east. This all happened right at the end of the school day, creating chaos for both students trying to leave their buildings, and parents trying to pick them up. Lori and Evan made it in to Erin's school in time to hunker down while the storm passed.

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While this house is largely unscathed, a piece of flying debris ended up impaled in its roof.

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CAM Family News is published about 3 times per year for missionaries and staff of the mission (edited by Phil and produced by CAM’s Communications department).  While this publication is intended for an internal/personnel audience, Erin is featured in the Fall 2011 issue, so we thought we’d share it.

In this brief interview with the editor, Erin shares her thoughts about our recent visit to Colorado, the site of next summer’s week-long, once-per-decade mega conference for all CAM missionaries (Convocation 2012).  Click on the image to the right to enlarge the article.

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Click on photos for a larger image.

10.  Took a Ride in a Model A
in Cassopolis, MI with Bob and Diane Sumption, the parents of our Mesquite neighbors.  Top speed = almost 40 mph!  It was a great 20 minute ride around Diamond Lake.

9.  Hunted for Minnows and Mayflies
with cousin Johnny and Aunt Lorrie at Pokagon State Park, Angola, IN.  A great two nights at the Potawatomi Inn.

8.  Went Canoeing on the Manistee River
from Tippy Dam to High Bridge, with friends Dave and Sue Taylor from Kaleva, MI.  The trip included a sandbar picnic and jumping into the river from a tree-limb rope swing.

7.  Introduced Nathan, Erin and Evan to Yooper Pasties
with Grandpa Darrell and Grandma Carol, at Bessie’s Pasties in St. Ignace, the same place where Phil ate his first pasty almost 40 years ago.

6.  Played bocce ball in the shadow of the Mackinac Bridge
with Grandpa Darrell, at Fort Michilimackinac State Park.

5.  Explored the world’s longest cave in the world
On the way home we spent an afternoon at Mammoth Cave in southern Kentucky.  The cave is 53 degrees every day of the year.  A nice break from the heat above ground!

4. Rounded up the Michigan cousins
in Grand Rapids and Hazel Park (there are a lot more that aren’t pictured).

3. Visited our Old Kentucky Home
Actually, Lori’s parents’ home.  We spent a couple days with Gramee and Papi coming and going.  They live in historic Richmond, only 2 miles off of I-75.

2. Enjoyed the “Beeman Bed & Breakfast” in Sterling Heights
Ray and Maggie have been gracious hosts to us for the past 15 years when we visit Michigan, even when they aren’t home (it began with house-sitting for them in 1995).

1. Visited great friends, family and ministry partners all along the way (3,600 miles).
We enjoyed church picnics, bonfires with s’mores, farm-fresh corn, swimming in Lake Michigan, and reconnecting with great friends and supporters from Fellowship Chapel, Kaleva Baptist Church and Aetna Calvary Church.

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What do Philadelphia and Phoenix have in common?  Think beef.  It’s what’s for dinner.

I’m hanging out this weekend in Phoenix with my good friend and fellow CAM missionary Eric Weaver.  Eric is from Lancaster County, PA, and knows a good Philly Cheese Steak when he sees one.  Even though we are 2,398 miles from Philly, Eric introduced me to Corleone’s in suburban Scottsdale, with authentic Philly beef and Cheese Wiz imported from PA, and cooks behind the counter with a Philly attitude.

Also enjoying the Saguaro Cacti everywhere I go…

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12.5 inches

12.1 inches was the 1964 record for Dallas.  But when our snow stopped falling early this morning, we were at 12.5.  Enough to bring down a pretty big portion of the ONLY tree in our yard, and enough weight to threaten our aluminum carport (it is visibly bowed, but the snow is melting off fast).

The biggest threat posed by this snow storm?  Tonight’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony.  Our satellite dish was covered in snow.  But Nathan got up to the roof and took care of it.  Nathan wins the first gold medal for saving the Olympics!

Nathan Saves the Olympics

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7 inches and still falling.  This will set an all time record for Dallas if another half inch falls.

  

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