Monday, April 19, 2010

My sister came to visit!!

My sister Sarah came to visit me last week for 3 1/2 great days!  We got to do some sight seeing, some catching up (I hadn't seen her since 2 Christmases ago) and lots of laughing, since Sarah is funniest one in our family. 

We went to the Science and Industry Museum... where we bought matching shirts!  The shirt says Pluto: 1930-2006.  Revolve in Peace.  Get it?!  hahaha.  I also ordered a math T-shirt, but you'll have to wait in eager anticipation for that one.

The museum had a whole agriculture section.  This display talked about uses for manure.  The pile shows city kids how much a cow can poop in one day.  Notice the floor.... 2 days of poop... 3 days of poop....   I'm not sure this is the best recruitment strategy for luring people into agriculture!

Sarah bought some dehydrated astronaut ice cream.  It was terrible.  Just in case you have the itch to try out being an astronaut you should maybe taste this first. 
We ate some Chicago-style-deep-dish pizza.  I don't actually love it (and you know I love me some pizza) cuz it's kinda cassarole-ish.
Sarah and I took a guided tour of downtown on a bus (with fur!) where you can sit outside on top.  It was like 75 degrees and the perfect day to walk around downtown.  We got off at Millenium Park, Navy Pier, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Water Tower Place.  Sarah tried on some shoe inserts at Water Tower place and the person was like "There is DIRT in your shoe?!!?"  It was only like a tablespoon's worth, but I suppose people who walk around downtown all the time don't really have much opportunity to get dirt in their shoes.
This is a sculpture in Millenium Park called "the bean".  You can see yourself and the skyline in its reflection.
These flowers were out downtown.  Last weekend I went to an urban youth workers conference and one of the presenters said "It's not very many flowers in my neighborhood.  So whenever I am at the grocery store I try to make sure I stop and smell the flowers."
Sarah thought it was funny/sad that this dog's whole yard is made out of concrete.  Poor guy.
This building is called Merchandise Mart - it's so big it has its OWN ZIP CODE!  I learned this on the tour... it was really interesting, if you come to visit me I volunteer to go on the tour again with you!

City Lesson #83: Grocery Carts

So I really try to appear like I know what I'm doing.  (Who doesn't?) 

Well, what had happened was.... the other day I was at the Burlington, and since I was alreay out I decided to go into a couple of other stores.  I went into the grocery store thinking I was just gonna grab a couple of things, but then cases of water were on sale.  And you know how it goes when you go into the grocery store listless....

So, when I came out I had my cart with $50 of groceries and 3 cases of water.  But my car was about 12 rows down in front of the first store I had been in.  An annoyance, to be sure, but not quite a crisis.  Except that this store has electronic locks on it's carts.  If you go a certain distance from the store the wheels will lock up - which I can understand.  Nobody wants to buy new carts every week.
I found this picture online to make my post more interesting ... my store doesn't have any warnings like this. Just so happened I was trying to cross from the sidewalk in front of the store to the rows of cars when my cart locked up.  I couldn't even drag it back toward the store!  People were honking and trying to get past me.... so much for pretending I know what I'm doing in the city!

I was trying to find some kids I could pay $1 to help me carry my stuff to the car.... or a stranger who wanted to stand with my cart (in traffic) while I went to get my car... Then I saw one of the store employees standing outside on break who had already been watching me and was smirking.  I told him I had no idea my cart would freeze up and could he please stand with my stuff while I went to get my car?  

You know how people look when they want to roll their eyes but they can't because they work for the store?  Yeah.  But he sauntered over and stood with my cart - and even helped me load my stuff into my trunk while I blocked traffic.  

So much for prentending like I know what I'm doing! :-)

Ready for Summer Camp!

It's only 55 more days until summer camp!!!! 

We have a petting farm .... most of the animals have resigned themselves to their fate.

Although they are not left weaponless! :-)
We gave Rosie the goat some tennis balls so she would look less alarming.  As you can see, she doesn't go out of her way to appear inviting.
Cabin leader or jail wardon?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter and Traditions

I love Easter!  It's certainly my favorite Sunday morning of the year!  And even though church was great today (I cried my way through baptisms and praise dances and the reminder that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me!!) ... I was missing my family and Paul Baptist and the traditions of Easters past.  Here are 10 of my favorite reasons to love Easter:

1 - Easter Nests
On Easter Eve we always made Easter nests.  Us kids would get a kitchen towel and fold it up into a nest and place it by our bedroom doors.  Then "the easter bunny" would come in the night and lay easter eggs and candy and toys and coloring books and bubble gum in our nests.  We used to put fake grass in the nests until we realized the hassle of getting our jelly beans back out of that static electricity mess.  Nevermind the fact that I had to be threatened out of bed on a school day - on Easter morning we were up and at em!  I was mostly trying to see how much candy I could eat before we left for church.  Now my mom even mails me an Easter-nest-in-a-box, complete with a new kitchen towel!
Easter morning:  Sarah with her nest
2 - Ham, beans, cornbread, and deviled eggs
I don't know if there's a prescribed Easter meal, but many years we ate ham and beans with cornbread.  I'm not all the way sure I even like this meal - but I like it on Easter Sunday. :-)  My grandma Irene makes the best deviled eggs ever, so those came with every holiday meal!

3 - Sunrise Service
Churches in my community have an Easter Sunrise Service at the Paul Cemetary.  We gather at 6 am for a time of interdenomenational worship - celebrating that the grave couldn't contain Christ!  I loved this tradition, even though I never loved mornings.  After the service we would all go to Connors Cafe family restaraunt for breakfast.

 4 - Dying Easter eggs
In the comics today the Family Circus was dying eggs and one of the boys said "Daddy, how long do we have to help you with this?" hahaha.  If you know the Schenk kids, then you know we can make even the most simple task complicated and competitive... so when we got older dying eggs was quite the process!
Megan and Matthew dying eggs
5 - Family Easter egg hunts
We would have Easter egg hunts for days when we were little.  You'd be surprised how many places you can hide an egg in the living room!  I remember being mad that baby Sarah had adult help.  Pretty sure she'd be the best at this now though.

6 - He is risen indeed!
I was reminded of this greeting today ... when you see someone on Easter you greet them by saying "He is risen!" and the person responds "He is risen indeed!"  Today especially I have been savoring the memories of this greeting - the truth that it affirms and the fellowship it provides.

7 - Canasta
Okay, so this is also kind of an every holiday thing for us.  My grandma Irene taught us how to play Canasta when we were kids.  She had a lot of patience - we would drop our cards all over the floor, lose interest half way through, be poor sports, and forget the rules of the game.  It's something most everybody on my mom's side of the family plays ... and beating grandma is the general goal! :-)

Grandma playing Canasta with Sarah when she was in kindergarten
8 - Stuffing Grandma Vi's Easter baskets
I comandeered the job of stuffing Grandma Vi's Easter baskets.  I love anything to do with organizing ... I could go to work everyday taking people's mountains of mess and putting it into logical and flexible storage solutions. :-)  So this was an Easter highlight to be sure.  And the baskets always ended up even ... minus the candy I ate while I stuffed.

9 - Easter Hymns
I've been walking around the house all day singing (the first few lines) of these hymns.  20 points if you can sing what comes next:
Christ the Lord is risen today, aleluia ..... _____
Up from the grave He arose! ... ____
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing that we can be born again__
He lives!  He lives!  Christ Jesus lives today ... ____
The nice thing about hymns is that you can sing them even if you can't sing.  Except for that one note in Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus ... ____

10 - Frilly dresses
I saved this for last on purpose because I found the cutest pictures!  I'm sure these aren't all Easter, but you get the point.  I'm glad my mom took a lot of pictures when we were young.

Megan, Dad, Matthew, Mom
Grandpa and Matthew


Keep your lips to yourself!

Each year Beechpoint hosts a weekend Purity Retreat focused on God's design for dating, relationships, and sex - a message that challenges the cultural norms of today.  Campers ages 10-18 attend with a parent or mentor, and there are 3 levels of sessions designed to challenge kids (and adults!) to choose purity.  Please join me in prayer for the 95 participants who came to Purity Retreat - that the weekend would remain real to them when they are home and that they would live out the decisions they made.

"This weekend taught my daughter the importance of saving herself for the man God has for her.  I realize the importance of the retreat.  I didn't have this when I was growing up." - mother

All of the kids that I meet with every week were able to attend Purity Retreat!  Jabri, Jabari, Tamyra, Tavaris, and Kenya.  I loved being there with "my" kids!

"When I get home I am going to be more of a gentleman, be more respectful, and be cautious when I choose who to date." - boy, age 13

Dominique roller skating.

"I learned that God loves purity.  After Purity Retreat I am going to change my attitude."

An object lesson on building healthy relationships.

"I learned that people should keep their lips to themselves." - girl, age 10

Andrew came to Purity Retreat with his father - a great opportunity for them to spend some one-on-one time together. 

"This weekend I learned more about my student and the deep things he had been hiding.  He shared about the pain and hurt of missing his father.  God spoke to me this weekend about the need to understand and protect our youth because they are precious to God." - male mentor

The weekend ends with a ceremony where campers can choose to take a vow of purity.  Scroll down and pause the music before hitting play on the video.

Purity Retreat 2010 from Megan Schenk on Vimeo.

The suit with the FEATHERS

Someone told me I should get in the picture with Mr. Percy so you can be sure that I'm the one really taking his picture, not just finding it online somewhere.  Which I could do ... just as soon as I am with someone I can hand my camera to.  I rode past today hoping to catch the Easter suit.  No such luck... but here's one from the other day!

I told you that he was happy to have his picture taken. :-)  My friend called me the other day tellin me he had on a cheetah print suit.  Sad to have missed that one!