Friday, June 24, 2011

Lutheran Friends and Organists

On Friday, the last day of the organist workshop, we had an opportunity to take a group photo.

What a lovely group of people we shared the week with at the seminary.  They came from several different states; Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado.  Everyone was very supportive of each other and delighted in each other's progress.  All came away with new knowledge and the desire to continue to improve their organ playing.

Before we left the last session with Kantor Hildebrand, we took a picture with our little group.  Ruth and I really enjoyed visiting with each other and escorting these lovely young ladies to the various services at the chapel, to practice times, to meals, and to the dorm in the evenings.

Outside while saying our final good-bye's we were able to grab a picture with Sandy.  She was there chaperoning two of her students but also to continue working on the Kenyan Lutheran Hymnal project.  Ruth and I didn't get to spend nearly as much time visiting with Sandy as we would have liked.  But she had important work to do!  I encourage you to support this project and help get the Lutherans in Kenya a hymnal they can use in worship.

It was a great week, the organists learned a lot.  I learned a lot.  I was spoiled by all the good food that I merely had to show up to eat and not worry about shopping, chopping, sauteing, frying, serving, or even cleaning up afterwards.  That will make going home a shock.

If your church organist has not attended this workshop, I would encourage you to give him information about it.  It is very well done.  Better yet, share the information not only with your organist, but your pastor and elders, and encourage your church to help cover the cost of the workshop.  And if your organist has been to a class in the past, see if they'd like to go again, and continue to deepen their understanding of our rich Lutheran worship and strengthen their playing skills.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Fun at the Sem

The organists attending the workshop this week sign-up for different practice times throughout the day on the three organs on campus.  Hannah, Bethany, and Monica tried to always sign-up at the same time so the other free-time is available to them.  The first morning they signed-up for the early-morning practice time.  So we all trudged over at 6:30am for them to practice.

Hannah had her turn on the organ in Kramer Chapel.  It was rather nice to sit there in the early morning listening to her practice hymns and the liturgy.

Matins is at 7:10am and afterwards we eat breakfast.  The seminary kitchen staff is sure providing lots of good food for tummies!

The Theology of Worship class begins at 8:15 and here is the group walking from the cafeteria to Loehe hall.
Ruth, Bethany, Hannah, and Monica

On Tuesday, my mom along with a friend drove up to visit us for the day.  What a nice treat to see her!  I'm glad she didn't mind the three hour drive to see us!

One of the things we did with mom is to drive downtown Ft. Wayne to visit St. Paul's Lutheran Church. When David was a student at the seminary, we attended there.  We were the youth directors, we sang in the choir, and he did his field work there.  It was our first church home as husband and wife and we have many, many good memories.  It was neat to go back and see it all once again.

After our short tour, I drove to find the home David and I lived in during his first two years of seminary. I didn't go the most direct route, but I got there and did take a picture.  I was too afraid to ring the door-bell, but lots of memories flooded back while looking at the home.

I then tried to find the mansion we lived in for a short time during David's fourth year of seminary.  In my mind I knew how to get there, but as it had been 15 years, the memories were a bit faded, so I stopped to look at a map.

After the dust bunnies cleared, I kept driving, but never did find the mansion.  I can't remember the address or the road name, so it was a little hard.  I'll have to do some more digging at some point and then try again another time.

While touring St. Paul's and talking with the secretary, I found out that Julia, who was the secretary when we were there, is still working at the seminary.  So this morning I found her office and was delighted to visit with her once again.

Julia is such a treasure and I was so happy to have her help while I learned the ropes of being the youth director at the church.  I still make her apple pie and think of her every time I do.

It is definitely been a good week so far!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fun at the Sem

After early service on Sunday, Hannah and I drove to Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN for her to attend an organist workshop.  Not only does she get to learn about the theology of worship and tips on how to play from Kantor Resch and Kantor Hildebrand, but she gets to spend time with two friends, Bethany and Monica who are also here attending the workshop.

Bethany's mom also came as a chaperone as did Monica's organ teacher.  Fortunately for me, I know both of them and get to enjoy my time visiting with them and listening in on the classes and practice times.

I think we're going to have a good week!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Last night David took me to a new restaurant for supper.  Five Guys Burgers and Fries had been open for awhile and we had yet to check it out.  It was worth the wait.  The burgers were fantastic and the fries were delicious.  There were peanuts in the shell for customers to help themselves to while waiting for their order (which didn't take very long).  If you have one near, try it, I think you'll like it.  We'll definitely go back, and we might even take the kids. ;-)

I've made this Mediterranean Chopped Salad a number of times this spring.  We love it.  I never think to take a picture, though, as I'm too busy gobbling it down.  Trust me that it is quite pretty, and then make it yourself as soon as possible.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large English cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
14 medium red onion, sliced
2 or 3 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs.  Set aside for a few minutes to allow the flavors to combine (I do it while I'm cutting the veggies).

Stream in the olive oil slowly, whisking all the while to make the dressing.

Add the cut-up veggies and tomato and gently toss to coat.

Last year when my mom was visiting she told me I should try buying the tomatoes on the vine in the store.  She said they tasted pretty good, not garden fresh, but not store-bought-out-of-season-bland either.  Well, I finally took her advice in the last month.  I agree with her assessment.  They're good in the salad above and also as a serving bowl for Tuna Salad.

What?  You don't know how to make the tomato a serving bowl for tuna salad?  I didn't either, but I happened to read it somewhere and decided to try it.  It works really well!

Wash and stem your tomato.  Turn it stem-end down onto your plate.  Cut it into 6 wedges without cutting all the way through.  You're goal is to cut it down far enough that the wedges will open and create the "bowl" for holding the tuna salad.  Makes for a quick and easy lunch or supper.

Want another way to serve chicken legs and thighs without BBQ sauce or frying them?  Try this yummy recipe:

Lemon Chicken

1/3 cup olive oil
3 pounds of chicken legs/thighs washed and dried
salt and pepper to taste
2 large lemons, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, halved and cut into thick slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram (I used oregano)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp pepper

Lightly oil a roasting pan with a bit of the olive oil and arrange the chicken thighs in it in a single layer.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and squeeze on the lemon juice.  Lay the spent lemon wedges on top of the chicken.

In a separate bowl, combine the onion, garlic, herbs, black pepper, and remaining olive oil and pour the mixture over the chicken thighs.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

When ready to bake, remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake the chicken thighs, uncovered for 1 hour.

Happy Eating!

Monday, June 13, 2011

VBS Float

Our small town has their annual celebration the second weekend of June.  Each year a parade is enjoyed on Sunday afternoon.  For as long as we've lived here and I don't know how many years prior, our church has held its VBS the week prior and the older class (4th-6th grades) make a float for the parade during their craft time.

This year, Mindy helped Pastor (aka my hubby) with the float idea and then helped lead the children in creating it.  The theme was River of Life and a paper mache tree idea was founded.  Angie and family were here the first two nights, so they helped tear all the paper needed to create the tree.  I promised I'd take pictures of the completed project, for them to see.

Here are pictures as they're putting it all together on Sunday noon before leaving for the parade:

Here are a couple of pictures of the children who were able to ride the float in the parade and throw out candy to the kids (and adults) along the route.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Boo Hoo

Next week is the CCA.  We're unable to go due to a wedding my husband will be officiating.  Boo Hoo.

I hate missing this wonderful conference.  I get to see friends and visit face to face with them, yet this year, I'll miss seeing them and trying to cram in as much conversation as possible in the few moments we can spare.

I rarely get to sit and listen to all (or any) of the sessions because of looking after the children.  But I do get to attend the wonderful two Divine Services and the daily Matins.

We also always visit Kopp's and enjoy the best custard each day.

I'll look forward to next year, but only after having a sufficient pity-party for myself about this year.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


We said goodbye this morning to Angie and family.  But not before getting a couple of pictures.  Sad isn't it, that they were with us for almost a week and I only took a couple of pictures right before they boarded their vehicle and drove west.  Oh well, that just means we were too busy talking and enjoying each other's company and didn't have time to think about pictures.

I'm going to miss this gang - especially Baby Boy's smiling face each morning

I'm sure you can imagine the fun they had together.

Friday, June 03, 2011


I don't know how life can get any busier, but it sure seems to without me noticing that I'm meeting myself coming and a going.

It is graduation season which means in our neck of the woods, graduation open houses.  We've been to two already with three more I think in the upcoming weekends.  It is nice to not have to cook for those meals.  And this year we've been lucky that the ones we've been invited to are all on different days.

Music lessons are winding down.  Hannah will have her violin recital tomorrow and that will mean the end until summer is over and fall begins.  With the high gas prices, we decided it best to take a break from running here and there each week for lessons.  Practice will still be encouraged though.

Tonight is the first of the summer small town parades.  Oh goodie, lots of "parade candy"  which means various colors of tootsie rolls.

I've been hosting Angie and family since Wednesday as they're here visiting relatives.  We're their B&B and we sure enjoy having them here.  They'll have to head back to their home on Sunday.  We love being a B&B for friends, so feel free to ask me.

VBS begins on Sunday night which means I have to start looking at the lessons as I'm one of the teachers this year.

My husband took me shopping last week for new clothes.  It was the first time in a long time that I can remember enjoying the experience.  I had fun trying on the clothes he picked out for me.  I was smiling, and there were no tears.  I might even try it again.

I had a call from a friend's son about knives.  I hope I didn't scare him when I couldn't answer his question.  I simply shared with him what I knew.  I hope he was able to make a decision after the phone call.  I was a little bit flattered that he thought to call me when he couldn't reach his mom.  I'm glad to help him any way I can.

It suddenly turned hot here, and the kids talked me into taking them to the pool on Wednesday.  We only were able to go for about an hour, but we were the only ones there so it was super nice.  Now that the general school population is out we'll have lots of company next time we go.