Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wedding shower

We had a party Sunday evening for a couple who is getting married.  He is one of the local youth leaders, she is a church planter from Kansas.  They met in Bologna in northern Italy.   We spent the previous Thursday night planning and organizing the food, games, and decorations.  (Well the girls planned, while the guys watched soccer.)  Anyway, we divvied up the responsibilities while enjoying some gelato.SDC10054   Sunday afternoon we decorated, finished prepping the snacks and organizing the games.   There was a small table with paper to write notes of encouragement to the couple, and a notebook to put them in when you were finished.    There were several games planned, including one where the bride and groom had to find each other by feeling feet.  First all the girls sat down and he went through touching each foot.  He found her foot and knew immediately.  She was more uncertain, but got it right also.  Then they had the “newlywed” game where they had Q&A to see if the men and women’s answers matched up.SDC10063    The outcome was pretty hilarious.   There was also a game that involved ice cubes in your mouth and he had to guess and see if she or someone else was speaking.   Both Shawn and I were recruited, and neither of us got through the script without laughing.  We had a good time regardless.  SDC10076Snacks, cake, and drinks were served before playing anymore games.  There was even iced coffee with whipped topping. Yummy!    They had one last thing planned before the end of the night – a practice run on the wedding ceremony, complete with flower girl and ring bearer.   The groom’s siblings, bride, and groom were outfitted most fashionably with newspaper wedding outfits, and the mock ceremony ensued.  Everyone was laughing and enjoying the moment.    The evening ended with a pantry shower, and the couple is now well stocked in non perishable food items, detergent, and paper tableware.   


  (Pictures include: The groom & Co., the 3 “lucky” couples for the newlywed game, and Shawn playing the ice game.)

Barbeque for Crescere Insieme

We had an end of season barbeque in the country as a final event for the disabled group. They take the summer off and restart in the fall.   I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a volunteer and get to know the participants in the program.  The doctor who oversees the project invited all the kids and parents to his country house for dinner. SDC10025 It was a beautiful house, complete SDC10029with a fountain in the garden and a pool in the backyard.  We went with the lady from our church that invited me to help and her family.  We didn’t realize that Saturday evening mass was also on the agenda, but stayed respectfully at the back.  The barbeque was full of all sorts of Sicilian delicacies.  There was cozze (shellfish), pane con milza (spleen sandwiches), and stighioli (cow      intestines). Shawn made the most of the meal, being polite and sampling large quantities of all of the above.  I was full, because we didn’t know the other stuff was coming.  (Not that I normalSDC10032ly care for those items, although the pane con milza is not terrible if there is cheese on it.)  ThSDC10035ey also held karioke by the pool for anyone interested.  After dinner, Shawn and the priest who performed the mass had an interesting 2 hour discussion on the differences between Catholics and Evangelicals.  Everyone had a good time and went home very well fed.  It was a good finish to this year’s program.


SDC10006       Saturday, June 20th we took a trip to Scopello with some dear friends here.  Scopello is a teeny little tourist town in the province of Trapani on the coast of Sicily.   It is well known for its clear waters, and snorkeling is very popular here.  The tonnara, where we went to swim was also used as a set in the movie “Oceans 12”.   (Shawn was disappointed, because on a previous mission trip, they wanted to swim here, but the area was closed due to filming.)    There are large rocks underwater and you can see all the way to the bottom, even in the deep water.    We stayed for several hours, swimming around and laying out in spite of an overcast sky.  We decided to go to lunch in Scopello  (Which is smaller than downtown Mt. Crawford.) SDC10009 Off a small side street was a little restaurant, which specialized in “pane di casa” (homemade bread).  Unless you knew it was there, ySDC10022ou would have never seen this little place.  There was a small seating area located in a garden, beneath some fig trees, and a little storefront where you placed your order.  It was a thick crusty bread with cheese, olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and anchovies on it.  I skipped the anchovies on mine.  It was very good, filling, and inexpensive.  After we finished eating we wandered through the center of town, and washed our hands at the very cold fountain.  SDC10013 It was charming and picturesque, and not very touristy yet.  The time spent with SDC10017good friends was refreshing and enjoyable.  SDC10021We finished out the afternoon by stopping for dessert and flavored iced tea at a local bar.  The dessert was called ravioli alla ricotta, a hot, fried pastry with ricotta and chocolate chips melted inside.   It was delicious and very messy.  At one point I had it all over my chin, hands, purse, skirt, and knee.  Well worth the mess, however, and I provided a good laugh for our friends as they helped me clean up.  We were relaxed and very full as we headed back into Palermo.  

Settimana Felice

     Vacation Bible School here is known as “Settimana Felice”.   We held ours in Termini the week of June 9-13.  Many of the kids that have been attending our Saturday afternoon program also came to Settimana Felice.  We also had quite a few kids from the local area as well as schoolmates of the pastor’s son.   Our theme was on Jesus, incomparable and amazing.  We looked at different aspects, such as Jesus is our friend, helper, leader, and Saviour.  We had animated video clips with stories of Jesus life highlighting each aspect and a Q&A session after each one. IMGA0590 We had correlating  songs and a story for the kiIMGA0593ds to learn and then do for the program at the end of the week for parents and friends.  Other activities included, snacks, crafts, and games.  Shawn and one of the other ladies in our church coordinated most of the activities, with me, the pastor’s wife, and 2 others assisting.  The crafts mostly involved painting, the first 2 days it was pieces of pasta, the next glass items.  Friday craft time was special because we had a guest from Palermo, who brought biscotti for the kids to make and then eat. IMGA0642  Each day we had different games to play, and the kids enjoyed the constant change.  Saturday morning was a surprise.  Shawn didn’t tell them what they were doing for game time until right before we needed to leave.  They were going to the turf field to play calcio (soccer).  Three quarters of our kids were boys, so they were thrilled that they got to play on the real field.  There was also a foosball table and another ball for the kids that weren’t interested in soccer.   Part of the time, Shawn played the goalie, and all the kids tried hard to make a goal off of him.  (Hence the 2 hour nap after we got home that day.)   The kids had a good time, we felt like they paid attention well during the lessons and for the most part followed instructions.  We could tell that the ones we had on Saturdays definitely had a better connection with us and were quicker to listen for the most part.  We planted the seeds and God will water and bring to harvest in His timing.

Sunday evening was the finale and program for the parents.  The kids sang several songs they had learned during the week and then acted out the parable of the sower and the seeds.  Everyone stayed around afterward for a time of refreshments and fellowship.  The pastor and his wife chatted with many of the parents for over an hour.   We were tired, but enjoyed the time with the families of the kids we had gotten to know.  IMGA0622