10 August 2010

grid project - week 7

Woooooo, GP Week 7 update as promised!

Sunday, July 4: Went to the Regatta/fireworks.
I spent the Fourth with one of my friends here in the Burgh. We started the afternoon with a little party up on Mount Washington--one of Fr. Bob's priest friends was having a potluck at his church/rectory, and somehow I got invited along. (For what it's worth, the taco dip was DELICIOUS!) Anyway, we rode the incline to the downtown area and went to this thing called the Regatta...it's basically a big shindig where the rivers meet--there are boat races, musical performances, kids' games, fireworks, and (my personal favorite) freestyle motocross shows. I tried really hard not to freak out with all the people--thousands and thousands of them, all crowded in a relatively small space. Luckily, I didn't have a panic attack and DIE. Anyway, we went back up to Mount Washington and watched the fireworks from the church up there before heading back to the North Hills for some well-deserved sleep. All in all, a very busy, very fun day.

Monday, July 5: Ate some raspberry sherbet with white chocolate chips.
Simple pleasures, right? It made me happy, and that's what matters in the Grid Project!

Tuesday, July 6: Went to Kennywood Park for the first time EVER!
Kennywood is a Pittsburgh tradition. For all you Minnesota peeps, it's the Pittsburgh equivalent to Valleyfair. It's strange, though--Kennywood has special days throughout the summer for different groups of people to come to the park and represent (what whaaaat), based mostly on where people live or what ethnicity they are. For example, there's Canonsburg Day, and Polish Day, and Italian Day, and Jewish Day, and more. Well, every summer there is a big event called "Catholic Youth Day" at Kennywood, and I brought a carload of youth. It was a fun day for the most part--except for the part when I almost fainted. But really, other than that it was fantastic!

Wednesday, July 7: Reminded myself why I LOVE middle schoolers.
This marked the first day of a summer program I'm coordinating with a bunch of North Hills area youth ministers called Summer Stretch. Basically, it's a six-week service/social program for kids in grades 6-8 that happens each Wednesday. It travels around to a different parish in the North Hills each week so that each youth minister only has to do one day of planning for six solid days of programming. All in all, it's a great program that I'm excited to be a part of. So when forty middle schoolers swarmed the auditorium at St. Teresa's for Summer Stretch's inaugural session, I instantly remembered why I love middle schoolers so much. They're HILARIOUS! They're open to anything, they always tell it like it is, and they have so much energy! I love middle schoolers. I LOVE MIDDLE SCHOOLERS! I can't wait for this fall when I start up a program for them! YAY YAY YAY YAY YAYYYYY!

Thursday, July 8: Had s'mores at a friend's house...in MINNESOTA.
Yes, in the midst of all the ministerial chaos, I was also getting ready to head back to the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes for a little "vacation." So after navigating my flight (scratch that, flights--three, to be exact!) to Bemidji, which involved SPRINTING through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and uttering a few..."choice phrases"...I finally made it home. It was wonderful to see my mom and dad waiting for me at the little airport in B-Town, and after a yummy dinner with them, I went to my friend Erika's house and had some quality campfire/s'mores time AND some quality puppy time too!!! She saved a pregnant dog from certain death a while back (long story), and it had some kids, so we got to hang out with them for a little bit. The puppies were each about the size of a Chipotle burrito. SO CUTE! I need to get a puppy.

Friday, July 9: Traveled to North Dakota to see my grandma and other relatives.
Pretty self-explanatory, I'd say. It's so weird...my oldest cousin on that side of the family is going to be a senior in high school this year. When did that happen?! I guess I don't see them a whole lot, so my images of my cousins are stuck on a few years ago--no matter how many times I see them or get pictures of them or whatever, they're just...frozen in about the year 2005. So in my head, my cousin Joey (the senior) is in about seventh grade or so. It's wacky. Either way, it was a lovely (albeit SHORT) trip out to the No Dak.

Saturday, July 10: Went to an ordination.
You may remember from one of my Rome vacation videos that we visited a friend, Craig Vasek, who is studying at the Pontifical North American College (a seminary for guys from the United States who are preparing for the diocesan priesthood). Well, he was a deacon then, and on July 10 he was ordained a priest at the Cathedral in Crookston, MN. It was a beautiful thing, and I felt so blessed to be a part of it!

Okie dokie, one step closer! I'll try for another update tomorrow, but we'll see. For now...

Love you, miss you, blah blah blahhhhhh!

09 August 2010

grid project - week 6

Things have gotten pretty nuts around here. I'm sorry that these GP updates keep getting pushed back and pushed back...I'll be taking the next couple of days to update you on the last...oh, month or so of my life. Please be gentle with me!

Okay, now...GP update for Week 6:

Sunday, June 27: Successfully kept score at a softball game.
I know it doesn't seem like much, but I was really proud of myself when we got to the end of the game and I had hardly screwed up at all! There's a whole complicated system involved in keeping score for softball, and I've been trying to learn it for the days when Teresa (one of the other coaches) isn't there to do it, since Jeff and Dan are both base coaches/worried about other things. As of right now, I have a basic understanding of how the scorekeeping thing works, and though there's always more to learn, I'm satisfied with the working knowledge I have.

Monday, June 28: Skip Day.
I know, I know...but it's only my second Skip Day in the entire six weeks I've been doing the Grid Project! Cut me some slack, yo!

Tuesday, June 29: Went trash-picking and found a lovely table and chairs set for my "dining area."
It's common knowledge in Pittsburgh that if you have a big item in working condition that's going in the trash, you put it out on the curb a day early so that if someone driving by sees it and wants it, they can make arrangements to come and pick it up before the garbage man (or woman, I guess) does. So one of my friends and I went trash-picking after dark on Tuesday night. This one house was getting rid of a perfectly wonderful table and chairs set, which I snatched up, and a really nifty lounge chair and a TV stand, which my friend took. All in all, it was quite productive...and FREE!

Wednesday, June 30: Had some FANTASTIC frozen yogurt.
There's a little place up in Cranberry called Simply Yogurt. It's probably the most amazing thing ever, so I took a couple of my youth group kids there after a meeting we had. It's honestly the most genius thing I've ever heard of...you walk in and pick up a cup, put as much frozen yogurt in that cup as you want, then choose from a buffet of toppings ranging from granola to gummy worms to fresh fruit to candy bars. And THEN! At the end you just pay by weight rather than the specific things you got. BRILLIANT AND DELICIOUS!

Thursday, July 1: Beat a world on Super Mario Bros 3
Yeah yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true! I've never been a huge video game person--we never owned an NES or anything like that when I was younger, but the few games I ever played were pretty much limited to Super Mario Bros 3 and Duck Hunt...and that phase in seventh grade when a particular friend and I played hours and hours of Pokemon Snap. Don't judge me! Anyway, I beat World 2 on Super Mario Bros 3 and felt really cool.

Friday, July 2: Went to a campfire and played Catch Phrase.
One of my adoptive families here invited me over for a little campfire. It was really fun to spend some quality time with this particular family--the summer has been pretty intense for them and for me, so it's rare that we get to spend time in the same place for any significant amount of time.

Saturday, July 3: Made some new friends around a bonfire.
Apparently my Fourth of July weekend was all about fire, because I went to a young adult BBQ/bonfire hosted by the other church I attend. It was so much fun--they had some sweetomatic fireworks and good food, and everyone was really nice. One guy brought his guitar, and we sang songs around the fire as things quieted down toward the end of the night.

Okay, so my plan is to have a Week 7 GP update for you tomorrow...AHHHH!