Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Swear! Your Children Were Safe!!

Funny story...

Last weekend, some wonderful teens from our church went on a retreat at a camp close by.  Leni was with them the whole time and I joined them for the day on Saturday.  I hardly sleep well in my own bed these days so the prospect of sleeping in a strange, camp bed did not sound at all appealing.  

Anyway, knowing that I wouldn't be contributing as much to the weekend as the other adults involved, I was more than happy to do some running around the day of the departure and take care of the supply gathering in order to have it all loaded in the van for them.

Among my couple stops that morning was the hardware store.  As I was wondering around, a friendly employee meandered over to see if he could help me find anything.  This being the only hardware store in town, I pretty much know where everything is, but I humored the guy and chatted with him for a few moments.  He asked if I was shopping for some project and I said that I was actually gathering supplies for a church youth retreat.

Big mistake.

I followed his eyes to my basket where the only items collected so far were duct tape and box cutters.  

Church youth retreat?

I can only imagine what the poor guy was thinking.  I'm not gonna got awkward.  I joked about it to try to lighten the moment but I think he seriously thinks we took kids to Gitmo instead of a legit retreat.

Ah well...he's not the first, nor the last person I'll meet to think I'm nuts.  If only he could have been with me a couple days later at Sam's club when, at one point, all I had in the cart was diapers and bourbon.

Keep it Real!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

About $10,000.

That's how much our church raised last weekend to go toward the mortgage of a new wing of our building.  Back in August of 2009, a few months before our arrival in Los Alamos, Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church dedicated a new fellowship hall with more benefits and amenities than I can mention here.  

Although the photo above doesn't do it justice, I promise it's a beautiful building and, more than 2 years later, we are still learning how to best make use of it.  As great as it is, it came with a hefty mortgage, as you can imagine.

Fast forward to this past weekend's aforementioned fundraising event.  In order to raise money to pay down the mortgage, a host of people (working on several different committees) put together an evening to remember.  It included dinner theater, the silent auction of more than 60 items, 4 live auctions, and an incredible meal.  You can't even begin to imagine the planning and volunteer hours that went into this event.

Leni participated as a member of the cast of the comedy dinner theater production.  He attended weekly (sometimes semi-weekly) rehearsals since the first week in January.  I went to most of these practices to just enjoy the hilarity and, towards the end, be the prompter when they started rehearsing without scripts.  It was quite educational to see the behind scenes portion of such a production and begin to understand what really goes into any number of the stage performances that I've seen in my life.  

After having watched rehearsals and knowing which parts were coming easily and which were challenging to the cast, I was very excited and, admittedly, a little anxious for the one-night-only performance and I have to say, I wasn't in the least disappointed!

Here are some pictures, although I do have to admit that a couple of them were taken during the dress rehearsal when I had better views.

The entire cast

Leni SINGING during the show.  I spared him the torture of posting the video :)
While people were enjoying their meals during a break in the dinner theater scenes,  there were some karaoke numbers and it was super fun to see who came up and what they sang.  This rendition of Copacabana really got some of the members of the crowd off their feet!  Quite a highlight!

Adding to the fun of the evening was the presence of my brother and sister-in-law.  
 This was the first very large fundraising event that the church has done in several years and certainly since our arrival.  I knew that it was a complete success and that people had a great time but had no clue how it measured up to past events.  The next morning, while chatting with the choir director before the worship service, he told me that it was the best events he'd seen put on since he joined the congregation in 1991!

Bet you wish you'd heard Leni sing, huh?  It was....I'll say....priceless.  Stop by sometime...I'll show you the video :)

Keep It Real!