Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pancake Supper: Mardi Gras Style

Last night, we had a Pancake Supper at our church. The youth and their parents put on the dinner for the church members and community. We tied the Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) in with Mardi Gras.

We, the youth, are headed to New Orleans; so we thought that it would be very appropriate. We had jazz music playing in the background half of the time and a life jazz ensemble half the time.

For us, we had a good turnout. Over 200 people came out during the night and we made about 1,000 pancakes and 800 sausage links. Here are some photos from the event. Since this is a "personal" blog; most of the pics will be of our family.

Isaiah & One of the Teenagers

Bethany and a Family from the Church

Isaiah, Jacob and Bethany Eating

Bethany Being Bethany

Jeff (me) Making Pancakes

It was a fun event. We had a great time and the parents who took charge of the event did an amazing job and made the night a HUGE SUCCESS. We not only had a blast but we raised enough money to cover the hotel cost ( 3 hotel rooms - 4 nights ) for our trip.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Middle School Logo ??

I am working with the synod office in a few different areas. One area is to help develop and pull off the first ever middle school gathering. I think that I am more of a sounding board and throwing out ... have you looked at it from this angle ??

However, one of the jobs that was assigned to me was to see if I could come up with a logo for the event (gathering) and to come up with one that would "stick" and be used for years to come and tie in with future themes ....

So, here is what I am proposing:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mardi Gras

I decided that I would be in a Mardi Gras hat when we went to Panera's on Sunday. Needless to say, there was one girl in our group who wishes I would not do stuff like this, I embarrass her.

I had the hat and beads on earlier for selling tickets for Pancake Dinner on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)

My Wife Will Love This Photo

N O T !!!

So, here is the story of why the photo is on my blog and why my wife would not like the photo and then some ramblings .....

Roy Almquist said the following: It is painful and a sign of our brokenness, that our synod sends hundreds of gifted, motivated young people on mission trips while our city congregations struggle and our city cries out for mercy.

Roy is a former bishop in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod and he was speaking about youth mission trips and service. We are to contemplate on the statement as we get ready to go to the Gathering. We are going there to serve the community of NOLA.

The quote has us question our motives and to take a look at our own backyard, what are we doing for the community around us. There are many hurting and need help and instead of helping them, we head out .....

Why ?

Is there theological ramifications that go with it or does it "really" matter because if you go - you are still out serving - it does not matter where ...

Things to think about .....

So, back to the picture. Why in the world do I have four teenage girls in a bikini jumping at the beach ?

Well, I was doing a search on the former Bishop and trying to get more information and trying to get a better feel of him and the context of his quote. When I did the search, it took me to a church in Pennsylvania and this picture (up above) was the first picture on the churches EASTER web page .....

Anyways, my wife would have gone through the roof if she was on the trip with the church group and all the girls in the group on the beach was in bikinis.

So, this post hit on a few things I guess but if you would, I would like to hear feedback on the quote. I have placed it in a few places to get feedback and the responses have been interesting. Here is the quote:

It is painful and a sign of our brokenness, that our synod sends hundreds of gifted, motivated young people on mission trips while our city congregations struggle and our city cries out for mercy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

David & Goliath

Okay, so it isn't funny .... but it is geared for junior higher's to roll their eyes :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Snow ....

I wanted to take about 90 seconds and just let everyone know ....


I woke up this morning to come to snow and the white stuff was all over the grass / driveway and cars ... even though it was not much, it covered everything ....


God, can we please be done with winter and get to Spring ??


There is my 90 second break, now I have to get back to setting things up

*deep breath*

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My boys, now 11 and 10 are deep-thinkers and they definitely think outside-of-the-box. Two of their favorite topics to discuss (at times) is time travel and teleportation. Thy discuss this among themselves and they also share their stories with their classmates and very matter-of-factly talk about how they will (someday) create these devices.

I can see my boys having this conversation someday (segment from the Big Bang Theory):

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.

I have only watched three full episodes of The Big Bang Theory and last week was the first time that Stacey and me watched it together. We laughed pretty hard.

Now, the show can be "distasteful", so that is a bad thing. We don't watch it too often because it is on too early in the evening - 8 pm. However, last week, they showed it later due to the tv schedule.

Here is a video from the show. The segment is called Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. Maybe my humor is twisted but I find this so ammussing. I am going to preview some clips and load them on here. All clips that I load will be "clean"

The guys in this segment crack me up:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

At the Cleveland Clinic

It has been a long time since I have blogged. I have been in a funk and have not really had the time to sit down and blog. I have wanted to blog about the Extravaganza but I have not done so.

I am sitting next to my wife and she wants the comp, so I will allow her to have it. I just wanted to drop a note to say that I am still alive. I am currently sitting at the Cleveland Clinic waiting for Bee to get out of her MRI.

It is also going to be a very busy weekend; hopefully, I can grab a deep breath somewhere.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Britney Spears & Bebo Norman

Bebo Norman has done a song about Britney Spears. I was listening to Air1 in my office as I am finishing things up for Sunday and the song came on. I was captivated by the soft voice and the lyrics.

I "googled" the song and a youtube video popped up. An individual did a video to the song (using britney clips) and I thought that they did a good job. So, here is the video and the lyrics underneath the video:



Britney im sorry for the lies we told
we took you into our arms and then left you cold
britney im sorry for this cruel cruel world
we sell the beauty but destroy the girl
britney im sorry for your broken heart
we stood aside and watched you fall apart
im sorry we told you fame would fill you up
and money moves the man so drink the cup

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you
yes coming back for you

britney im sorry for the stones we throw
we tear you down just so we can watch the show
britney im sorry for the words we say
we point the finger as you fall from grace

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
and i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you

yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah

britney i do believe that love has come
here for the broken
here for the ones like us

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
and i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
i can see it coming back for you

its coming back for you... yeah


How many people do we stone or throw under the bus?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Orleans: Jackson Square

One of the most beautiful places in the city especially on a sunny day with the temps in the 70's in January. We really enjoyed the walk. "Outside" of Jackson Square is where all the "street vendors" were. It makes it a great place to be. Here are a few picks:

When I am back in July, I am going to purchase some art for the youth room from a street artist.

New Orleans: Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street can be rowdy and it can definitely be Triple-X. However, here is the G-rated pics from a early afternoon journey from our restaurant:

Monday, February 02, 2009

New Orleans: Run Forest Run

Bubba Gump

We went out to Bubba Gump's one night that we were there (the first night). Here are a few pictures:

Bubba Gump Movie Items

Bubba Gump Paper ( with food )

Run Forrest Run

If everything at the table is good, you have the Run sign up, if you need something; switch to the red (stop).

Having A Cold One

I look bad in the pic and no, it is not because I had too many drinks ! I limited myself to one drink a day and I did not hit that every day. The beer was called Purple Haze. It is from the Abita Brewing Company. I decided if I was going to have a drink, I would have something that I never had before.

BTW, in this photo, I had been up for 37 hours straight. Why, you ask, I will tell you that soon; it was the crazy travel - it was unbelievable.

Overall, the food at Bubba's was good and with the price and the location, I am sure that this will be a spot that we hit when we are down in NOLA with the youth.

New Orleans: Random Photos

The Tin Man Celebrates

The picture did not come out as good as I was hoping for. He was celebrating because I threw a dollar into his tin can. He was good and was fun to watch. I love watching them down there - hamming it up to make money.

Street Jazz

They were pretty good. As we were walking down to Jackson Square, they were on the street playing. The were drawing a pretty good crowd for a Saturday afternoon.


The Riverwalk (this is a view from there - looking away from the river) was only a few blocks from the hotel. We did not go down there to shop or to eat. I am sure that our youth will do some of that this summer. However, we went down there to walk - it was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday - the sun was out and it was in the low 70's.


The jester announces the ferry. We did not ride the ferry as well. If it was warmer during the whole week, we would probably accomplished that task.

Jeff & The Alligator

Yes, I know that I am not smiling, but an alligator is about to eat me, would you be smiling :)

New Orleans: Our Hotel

Our hotel and convention was at the Shearaton in downtown New Orleans. The hotel was located on Canal Street (500 block) and the location (in my opinion) is fantastic. The location (hotel) is close to everything, yet it is in more of a "quiet" area. But the restaurants, casinos and clubs are close by (if that is your cup of tea). Here are a few pics of the hotel and the view:

Hotels From The Riverwalk

The Bed In The Room

Looking Straight Out Of Our Window

Steamboat Going Down The River (From our Room)

Looking Down Out Of Our Window


We were on the 47th floor. I would have been very happy with this hotel, if this was was the hotel that was chosen for us for this summer (with the exception that the wait would have been long on the elevators).

We got an excellent deal on this hotel through travelocity with our combo package (flight+hotel).

New Orleans: Cafe Du Monde

One of the things that we knew that we wanted to experience when we were down in NOLA was Cafe Du Monde. Here is a little information from their web-page if you do not want to navigate away:

The cafe was established in 1862 in the French Quarter. It is a traditional coffee shop: coffee and beignets are about the only things that you can get there. You can also get oj, soft drinks and now iced coffee. However the coffee and beignet is the stable and for $4 for both, it is a must.

Here are a few pics from our trip:

The Cafe

The Bag & Beignets

Jeff Eating a Beignet

Stacey Ready To Eat A Beignet

Powdered Sugar Will Get On You (Stacey)


When we go down to NOLA this summer, I am thinking that this will be a must for our breakfast - everyday. A great way to start off the morning as a group on NOLA.

Back in Town

We are back in town. It was a great trip. I will make a few posts soon regarding the travel, the convention, the food in NOLA and then the Super Bowl Party.

It was a great adventure and I think (99% sure) that I am looking forward to going back to New Orleans in July with 36,000 other ELCA folks (mostly teens)