Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday Mentoring

For the past year, John has worked with an inner city ministry, mentoring school-aged children on Saturdays. Last Saturday was the first session of the year, and I joined John and the other volunteers on a field trip. We took approximately 130 kids to a movie...at Times Square. This involved a very long subway trip, with very excited children, and many many many trips to the bathroom. It was hard work, but I really enjoyed getting to know the kids. I was with a group of 18 first and second grade girls, most of whose parents are recent immigrants from the Dominican Republic. We had one itsy bitsy girl in our group (I could hardly believe she was in second grade) who knew no English. I was so grateful that my Spanish wasn't too rusty!

When the girls found out I was getting married in a few weeks, all 18 of them started jumping up and down and asking if they could be flower girls. It was very sweet.

Later in the day, one little girl stared at me at length, her face deep in thought. Finally, she piped up: "You don't look like you're from around here...are you Canadian?" I tried so hard to keep from laughing.

By the end of the day, both John and I were completely exhausted. I had forgotten how much energy elementary school-aged kids have! I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work with the kids and share the gospel with them. I'm sure I'll have many entertaining stories to share with you as the school year progresses!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Sister's Visit

Last weekend my sister flew out from the west coast for a visit. Her visit coincided with my move into a new apartment. Not only did I get to hang out with my sister, but I also had free slave labor for a few days.

Some of you may think that moving into a new apartment is not a big deal. Well, usually it's not...except when you are moving out of the fifth story of a walk-up building. My sister was such a trooper-tirelessly lugging suitcases down the stairs. She also was a huge help in painting the new apartment.

Before we did the big move, we made time for a little fun. First on the list was frozen yogurt at 16 Handles, a self-serve frozen yogurt shop. 16 Handles is an amazing place where you can fill your own cup with any of 16 different flavors of frozen yogurt! Then, after you get totally carried away with fitting as much yogurt into your cup as possible, the cashier weighs your cup and charges you by the ounce. Warning: if you have no self restraint, you will end up paying $8 for a cup of frozen yogurt.

On Day 2 of Adrienne's visit, she accompanied me on a train trip to Long Island to pick out a mattress for the new apartment.

Below is a picture of our final celebratory dinner before we began work on the new apartment. I made sloppy joes.

Very early Monday morning, we packed up all my stuff, ran to the Home Depot to pick up paint, and cabbed over to the new apartment. We painted the living room a beige/tan color ("Oat Straw") and the living room a dusty blue ("Cloudy Day").
The lighting isn't great, but you get the idea. I'll post more apartment pictures soon! All in all, my sister had a great visit. I couldn't have done the big move without her help! Thanks, sis!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weddings, Weddings!

Weddings are certainly a joyous occasion, and John's family has double the joy (and work!) this year. Two weeks ago John's sister married her college sweetheart in Wisconsin. It was a beautiful wedding, and we felt very blessed to celebrate this occasion with John's family. During the wedding, all I could think was "Wow, John and I are getting married in five weeks." Here area few photos from the wedding.

This is the lakefront resort where the wedding was held. The scenery was exquisite and the weather was perfect.

I'm not sure what's happening in this photo, but it cracks me up.

Sarah looked stunning.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trip to Seattle

It has been a busy past few weeks! I have no idea where the time has gone. In mid August we spent a week with my family on the west coast. Several family members and family friends came over to my parent's house to celebrate our engagement.

What are we looking at?
My cousin's new baby! Only two weeks old in this picture.
My dad hogged the baby the entire party.

Two of our friends from college (now married and living on the west coast) came to the party. It was great to catch up with them.