Tales of a Midwest Lutheran on the East Coast

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Midwest Weekend Madness!

I had to laugh - going through the Madison WI airport the TSA didn't say a word about my two things of venison sausage in my carry on. The reason I was pulled aside? Hairspray. Wisconsin for the win!

Remind me not to get up at 4:30 AM twice in one week again - though it was totally worth it. I blame it on Delta, not my dear friends Brett and Julie, who got married, nor my family. Thankfully all flights involved were uneventful, though for a little bit it looked like I might have gotten into Chicago a bit late. But I arrived on time and was greeted by the blushing bride herself and her lovely mom. Then it was off to the bachelorette party - lunch and mani-pedis in the afternoon, which is a brilliant idea. I had no idea that they give you a foot massage too! It was so relaxing I could have fallen asleep. Then we just hung out at the hotel before the rehearsal at Julie's home church. Seriously, this bride was as cool as a cucumber, and rightly so, since she had sent each of us a four-page itinerary of the weekend in advance! Doesn't she just look so lovely? I can't get over it. 

I got to see a whole bunch of my college friends, a few of whom were in the wedding too. It was such a beautiful service (no surprises there) and such a lovely day. Brett was on his (mostly) best behavior and Julie looked so radiant. The reception hall was gorgeous and the party processed in to the processional song from the end of Star Wars, and the groomsman I was partnered with and I had a mock "lightsaber" battle! The food was fantastic and the speeches epic - over all, a night to remember. This I think is one of the last weddings for my group of friends, so it may be a long time before I see many of them again. We also realized we must be getting "old" - we can't dance as much or stay up as late as we used to!!

The next day, my aunt who lives in the Chicago area had lunch with me and my mom and sister, who came all the way down to pick me up. Since I was in the area, I was able to spend the rest of the weekend with my family! Going back to Grace Lutheran was a treat - as much as I love St. Paul, I have to admit it IS nice to sit back and enjoy the service! I was a communion assistant, which was great to see all the familiar faces. I saw my Grandpa Posselt, and my Grandma and Grandpa Wittmann. I even took my dad and brother and sister out for supper one night at A&W (mmmm cheese curds!), and the whole family went for ice cream the next night! Whew! It was quite a whirlwind!

Now I am trying to get myself organized and figure out what to do with the rest of the summer - planning exciting things for the fall, mostly. I had been looking forward to these two events for such a long time, now I don't know what to do with myself! I'll find some way to keep busy, I'm sure. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Anniversary in NYC

Five years we've been  married now!?! How the time flies (when you're having fun, I guess)! We decided to spend the weekend as far away from the beach as possible (since everyone else heads there for the holiday weekend, I guess that is the downside to getting married so close to the 4th), and where better to find lots of free things to see than NYC! Our one splurge was to the Natural History Museum, where we saw real-live dinosaur bones. We just assumed that they were replicas until we were told that 80% of the bones are the real deal. Wow! They don't fool around. 

We also ate lunch in Central Park and then walked around the neighborhood, cooled off at a Starbucks and walked to Harold Square, I think, down Broadway. We took the subway to our hotel in Chinatown, with it's adorable teeny-weenie Ikea-like room. The original place we were going to eat had closed, and we stumbled upon this great restaurant where we had lamb and veggies for a ridiculous price. Next door we heard they had some "boutze," something we ate and loved in Chengdu, China, and we ate some even though we were stuffed from the other delicious place. Then we wandered around Little Italy and had some gelato. Yum! Look you can see the Empire State building in my picture!

The next day, though it was super hot, we went up to Times Square to see it in the daytime. We cooled off in Bryant Park before wandering around in a Japanese book store before calling it a day. Who would have thought that two hicks from the Midwest would be celebrating five years later in NYC!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Survived the VBS Week in Babylon!

57 kids.
5 days.
4 tribes. 
1 destination: Babylon!

Now, you may be thinking that there is now way a VBS about the Babylonian exile could be either tasteful or relevant to kids today, and if you thought that, you would be way wrong. The themes and situations that "Daniel" talked about I found to be extremely relevant to kids today, themes such as "when you are lonely, God is with you," "When things change, God is with you," "When you're scared, God is with you." The songs were catchy (a little TOO catchy, nearly), and the skits taught the stories with a very nice balance  of humor and seriousness. 

We sang, we crafted and games, we donated money to fight Malaria, and we listened to Daniel and his silly friend Ashpenaz (he's really in the book of Daniel - look it up!). 

I just have to sum up the fun we had this week with a few awesome pictures:

Here I am helping Donna, our VBS coordinator, lead the "opening celebration." You can see a glimps of the awesome Hanging Gardens of Babylon that our youth group made!

 We had a wall in the Hanging Gardens that we filled with "tiles" written with "God Sightings." The kids had some really good ones!

Here you can see a little better what a great looking Babylon we had in the old sanctuary!

Here is Ashpenaz, the King's Chief of Staff, continually trying to keep Daniel out of all the trouble he gets into for believing in the One True God! They even provided me a rhyme to teach the kids how to remember how to say the name "Ashpenaz has pizzazz!!"  
At the parents' night on Thursday the kids wowed the crowd with their impressive singing and signing skills. Daniel and Ashpenaz even made an appearance during the leader tribe cheer! This was one of the most fun VBS years I can remember!! Now though it's time for a much needed break to recover from all the fun!!