Saturday, June 18, 2011

Photo blog: Tour of Fort Wayne

"Tall Hannah" and I decided to give Jessi a whirlwind tour of Fort Wayne yesterday. I think we hit all the major hot-spots!

First stop: The Vera Bradley Factory - where the purses are made!

Heading downtown, we catch a glimpse of the rainbow smokestacks

At The Fort

At the confluence of the three rivers: St. Joe, St. Mary, and Maumee

Cotton trees! Makes it look like it's snowing on a breezy June day.

Jessi really hit it off with her new friend, Chief Little Turtle

Connie in Headwater Park

Jessi and Hannah with Major General Anthony Wayne

Part of the downtown skyline

The Courthouse

Cool Time Capsule, buried in 1999, to be opened 2100.

Fort Wayne's modern art... not this city's strongest feature

This is where the city of Fort Wayne started! 

Enjoying the cushy reading cubbies in the children's section of Allen County Public Library.

Reading my favorite children's book at the library

Me and Jessi hugging at the Tin Caps' baseball stadium

Tee hee hee - tin caps!

We could not find any of the city's famous mastadons, but we did find this big sneaker!

The grave sit of Johnny Appleseed. It says: "He lived for others."
We think that's a cool way to be remembered.

Last stop: The DeBrand Chocolate Factory, where we had this amazing thing...
It's DeBrand ice cream in a milk chocolate cup, drizzled with milk and dark chocolate,
sprinkled with pecans, and topped with a piece of DeBrand dark chocolate.

... And the general concensus was: "Mmmmmmm..."

Next weekend we plan to visit a bunch of parks and gardens... stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Photo blog of a Cactus Fruit

Until today, I didn't even know cactii have fruit! But today one of my students brought me two of them, so Jessi and I decided to make a mini-adventure out of it.

Looks kinda like a cross between a plum and a mango...

Jessi, looking slightly concerned,
and possibly doubting the thrill of this new adventure.

Me, looking slightly more optimistic.

We peeled them and saw the fruit
underneath was a fabulous shade of red.

It was SO sticky, with tons of hard little seeds!

Jessi's first impression upon tasting it was puzzlement.
"That is not what I expected!"
She describes the cactus fruit as being "a disappointing raspberry."
For having such a rich color, it was surprisingly unflavorful, yet we felt like it had the potential to be awesome, if we could just have a few less seeds. As it was, every bite was full of seeds that were the size of pomegranate seeds, but without the juicy casing... too small and too many to spit out, but too big to enjoy. Interestingly enough, it felt and looked like it had a big pit in the middle, like a peach, but it didn't; it was just through-and-through mushy and seedy. It's not that it tasted bad, it just was less than we anticipated. Jessi said it reminded her of Christian people who are so full of theological and doctrinal jargon that it takes away from the sweetness and richness of a relationship with Jesus. So disappointing, to look satisfying and yet be so lacking in taste and riddled with pits. I'm just thankful Jesus isn't like a cactus fruit!

At any rate, now we can add one more weird thing to our list of "Have dared to eat..." Apologies to anyone out there who is an avid fan of cactus fruit!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to life as usual...

Usual? What is usual?

Jessi is here with me now... a little younger than my last roomie (I realized last night that I am twice her age!) but she's a hard worker with a great attitude. I asked her last night what she thought of her first day here, and she said it felt "natural" to be here. Pretty cool, I think. She's met our families and some of our staff so far, we went out to lunch with some friends, grocery shopped, bought baby clothes for the newest addition to my international family, bought a grad gift for our first ever youth night graduate, and went to a softball game.

Today we're starting work! There are laptops and binders, charts and lists spread all over the house, and toys and mats sunning outside after a good cleaning, all in preparation for Summer Kids Club, starting tomorrow . I've been sitting at my little corner of the table, lesson planning and creating lists of my own, thankful that I'm working with teens and adults, not the mass of insane children who will magically appear tomorrow (that's sarcastic, Pam, although I know you have the magic power of making it happen!). Meeting with the good Pastor in about five minutes, and then its all phone calls and emails to finish up final prep for the mission trip in two weeks! The sun is shining, the breeze is refreshing, the ducks are enjoying our swimming pool, and my Kelsey is sitting next to me with an absurdly huge mug of coffee.

Life is good and beautiful and precious... as usual.