Nicholas attended the kids' program for the first time this year, and seems to have really enjoyed himself making various crafts and learning about the armor of God. Simon seemed to be quite happy in the nursery for the first few days, but then was traumatized by seeing part of Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space and tearfully refused to go back for the rest of the week. (As I recall, Nicholas was terrified of the Fib as well. One of these days I really must watch the video for myself and figure out why.)
For the adults, the speaker in the mornings and evenings was Dr. Bill McRae. I'd never heard him speak before, but he was very good -- a very clear communicator, easy to listen to without being in the least fluffy. He spent the morning sessions talking about the integrity of the Bible, particularly with reference to the quasi-historical allegations presented in The Da Vinci Code, which he believes Christians need to be aware of and prepared to talk about with those who have read the book. So if I learned nothing else last week, it was that the Council of Nicea not only did not elevate Jesus to deity (rather, it simply put into credal form what the various Christian churches scattered around the Mediterranean verifiably believed, agreed upon, and had been teaching for the past couple of centuries), but it had nothing whatsoever to do with choosing or even confirming the books of the Bible, as Dan Brown's book alleges. The canon wasn't even on the table at Nicea.
Anyway, it was all quite informative without ever turning into an info-dump, and as the week went on he moved on to talk about how the canon of Scripture really did come together, why books like the OT apocrypha and the Gnostic "Gospels" were rejected by the early church, etc., and then wound up with a discussion of supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible, the various categories into which they fall, and how they can be thoughtfully faced and addressed by the thinking Christian. All very practical and interesting... and then in the evening, Dr. McRae talked about the letters to the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2-3, and what they have to teach us about different types of congregations and different kinds of Christians -- ourselves and our home congregations included. So that was a different kind of ministry, challenging and thought-provoking in its own right.
I won't even get into how good the food was at every single meal, or how much of it we all ate, even the kids (who are ordinarily somewhat picky). The only real downside of the week was that I had a terrible time sleeping. Our room had an air conditioner, but it only served to make me roll about in a cold sweat instead of a hot one every night. I was relieved to get home and back into my own comfortable bed again.