Showing posts from February, 2011

A Multiple Oven Affair

My Saturday was dedicated to YLM's annual volunteer recognition banquet, Have a Heart. It was held the week AFTER Valentine's Day in order to coordinate with the quarterly board meeting, but the tables were still decorated with red confetti and candy hearts :) For the 3rd year in a row, I was the sous chef. It was a joy to cook in such a CLEAN kitchen (see my last post)! I helped Chris, Paige ( one of the Snowbird Servants), and Paige's daughter Amanda make lemon pepper chicken, mac n' cheese, biscuits and green beans, with sheet cakes/peanut butter fudge cakes (well, all we did was slice those...) for dessert. The servant event group from a suburb of Albuquerque that usually comes to help wasn't able to make it, so things were simultaneously calmer and more hectic than in the past, both due to a lack of teenagers! The menu wasn't overly complicated, but we did have a slight problem cooking the chicken fast enough in the industrial kitchen so at one point there

Kitchen Nightmares

One of those TV shows where a celebrity chef bails a failing restaurant out of the hole in a couple of days, or what happened in YLM building #6 (industrial kitchen/dining hall) last week! The health department showed up and failed us on a number of counts, so the decision was made to close the Hot Meal Program for 3 days (thankfully there were no servant events that needed to be fed) while a crew of volunteers did everything short of scrubbing the place down with a toothbrush. I didn't make the connection at the time, but one of the RVers pointed out to me that, like the plumbing adventures a couple weeks back, God totally ordained this to happen while they were all here to do a majority of the work! BEFORE: AFTER: That's a new stainless steel table! This closet is my favorite part...who knew it was so big??? Anybody got some white gloves? Until next time, blessings!

RV Wars

YLM's "RV park" is full this year! The mission loves hosting the "Excellent Eight" (the pack has grown...they were formerly the "Super Six") each winter because they are such dedicated workers, and I love having the extra company and activity for a few months. Many of these retirees have become close friends as I am now in my 3rd year here. This year, however, there has been some friendly competition brewing over how the RV pads are numbered. In reality, they're not, but the Snowbirds seem to disagree on whether Site 1 is closest to the dorm or if that's Site 4 and Site 1 is closest to the church. Chris and I have stayed completely neutral...yeah right! (that used to say RV no 1) But if anybody asks, you didn't see a thing! Until next time, blessings!

Aisle 13

I learned early on in my time here that plumbing is in aisle 13 at Lowe's. This is what aisle 13 looks like on a weekend during a city-wide water emergency! Until next time, blessings! P.S. Thanks for the prayers--all water has been fully restored to the YLM campus and the boil order has been rescinded!

Northward Bound!

It's official...Chris and I are going to Canada! Lots of groups talk about how cool it would be if they could fly us in for a visit/to do some in person PR for the mission at their schools/churches. Most of the time it winds up being just talk, but Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park, Alberta was serious when they brought up the subject during their servant event in August. Today we got a phone call from the pastor and we're leaving on April 13!!! Our schedule includes the following: 4/14: presentation at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, meeting with the group from there that is planning a May YLM servant event 4/15: playing tourists in Edmonton, including the West Edmonton Mall (maybe the biggest one in the world?)! 4/17: speak about the mission during the sermon at 3 services, help with youth fundraiser In the meantime, we are still dealing with the aftermath of our recent Canada-like weather in El Paso. The whole city is amid a "water emergency" until 1

Bucket Brigade

Yes, Snowpocalypse 2011 hit El Paso too! We only got about an inch of snow that's mostly gone by now, but our main issue has been the COLD. It arrived on Tuesday night, and has been a fixture since then. Two nights ago we hit the second lowest temperature EVER for El Paso, -4. I think it's on its way out now though--we're supposed to break freezing today and then next week we'll be back in the mid 50's/low 60's for highs. Temperatures that low in the desert are causing 2 main problems, so schools/city offices have been and are STILL closed, even though the roads are perfectly clear: 1. Blackouts. One literally just happened as I am typing this! El Paso Electric claims they weren't prepared for the surge in power usage that resulted from everybody trying to keep warm (Do they live under a rock?), so they've been systematically issuing rolling blackouts throughout the city so as not to stress the grids so much. It's been our turn 5 or 6 times over the