Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Good Week!

Late last fall, Jordan, a senior in our youth group approached Wes about an idea she's had rolling around in her brain. She said she wanted to begin a weekly devotional just for our Middle School girls to share some things she's learned or wished she knew when she was their age. Since the beginning of the year, her and another HS girl have been leading these devos and they are doing an amazing job.

Around this same time, Jordan also quit her job and began volunteering at the Grayson County Homeless Shelter. Two weeks ago, instead of their usual study, they took the Middle School girls to the Shelter to make dinner (Granny's famous Taco Soup recipe), spend some time with the kids there (who happen to be some uber-talented kickball players), and just be a blessing to all those associated with the Shelter. It was a tremendous success.

So much so, that I suggested we take our High Schoolers during Word Up (our Monday High School study). Once again, it was a huge success. I just love seeing our young people learn what serving others can look like in their daily lives. We brought the girls this time, charged them with the crucial task of putting ice in cups and laughed watching them have a lot of fun with other kids their age. We had another mean game of kickball - it's not easy to play on a muddy field with monkey bars and a merry-go-round in the way, but we managed. We praise God for opportunities to partner with organizations like this and take part in life touching ministry.

Wes's cousin Kyle got married this past weekend in New Orleans. We decided to drive there. As we pulled up to Avery's school to take her out early, Abby said, "We're here, at New Orleans!" We met Nana, Paw Paw, and Granny in Tyler and caravanned to Alexandria, LA. On the way there, Abby said, "You know who I am gonna marry?" "Who?", I said. "Daddy", she replied. When I asked her why she said, "Because I want to live with him." We stayed the night there and went on to New Orleans Friday morning. Shortly after arriving we made our way to Deannie's - Wes's family was craving some good Cajun Seafood. So while they ate Soft Shell Crab and Shrimp Po-boys, Crawfish Etouffee and Gumbo, the girls enjoyed some Pizza and I played it safe with a hamburger Sorry, I'm sure all that Cajun food is delicious, but I just can't bring myself to eat something when I see its whole body...especially when it's called a "mud bug". I guess it's like Granny said, if I was brought up on it like they were, I'd probably love it too.

Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner. Wes's Aunt and Uncle rented out Broussards for the rehearsal dinner, and it was wonderful! Leg of lamb, prime rib, pastas, salads and bananas foster made for an amazing meal and we had a lot of fun catching up with Wes's family. At one point we asked Abby what she thought her favorite part of the wedding would be. She exclaimed, "When they kiss!"

I couldn't resist taking this picture of Abby before she put on her nightgown when she was looking down at the street below. This will be good for her senior video or wedding video.

The girls really enjoyed looking out our hotel window.

Saturday morning we went for a walk in the French Quarter. Wes and his mom caught a glimpse of Maggie Gyllenhaal walking her dog as we waited in line for beignets at the world famous Cafe Du Monde. What a treat! Paw Paw wasn't sure everyone could eat a whole order, but we did. And they were delicious. After that we walked around Jackson Square and saw the St. Louis Cathedral where the wedding would be later that day. We considered a street car ride, but decided it would be best to head back to the hotel, rest up and get ready for the big evening.

The powdered sugar got everywhere, especially when the wind blew. But, it was worth it!

Abby loved them!

Abby getting close to the pigeons at Jackson Square.

Debbie and Ernie in front of the St. Louis Cathedral where Kyle and Michelle got married.

Nice face Abby! We are in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.

The wedding was at 3pm. We were shuttled over from our hotel, the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel , to the cathedral... what a beautiful structure! After the memorable ceremony, a "second-line" band led the wedding party and guests from the cathedral to Pat O'Briens on the river. The reception was a blast! The toasts were touching, the food was delicious, the cakes were beautiful, and the band was amazing. Early on the bride and groom were treated to a special presentation by "The Seasoned Four". Four older gentlemen (friends of the groom's father) came out dressed silver sequin vests and berets and danced (about as provacatively as you wanna see a 60 yr old man dance) to "All the Single Ladies." It was a hoot! The flower girls (Avery and Abby's second cousins) passed out "light up rings" to all the guest. They were seen all over the dance floor. We absolutely loved watching our girls dance with their cousins... or watching Abby dance all by herself on an open dance floor. Wes's dad was just precious dancing with the girls. Wes and Avery did the Cupid Shuffle...pretty darn well, I must say. We got the whole place restaurant dancing with "Hot Hot Hot". And Wes and I even got to slow dance a little before the evening was over.

All dressed up and waiting for the shuttle bus.

Inside the Cathedral before the wedding began.

During the "second-line" parade. Abby was loving all the dancing.

The happy couple.

Wes and his mom dancing.

Abby and Sara Grace had a ball together!

Abby and Paw Paw dancing.

Avery's turn with Paw Paw.

The cousins dancing.

The next day we left for a long drive back home. The girls did awesome on both the drive there and back. They kept busy by reading lots of books, watching videos, and playing their DS's. They took turns riding in Paw Paw's car. Avery rode in their car first. She then tried to convince Abby that she wouldn't enjoy the ride with them because they didn't have a DVD player. Tricky, tricky! I told Abby she would be just fine. They would love to hear her read her little books and she could color and play her DS. Sorry, Avery - you were outwitted!

We had a memorable weekend! Thanks Encalade and Young families for making it all possible!


Ashlie & Alfred said...

What a beautiful family. you all look so fabulous in your dressy clothes for the wedding! Alfred and I spent a lot of time in the Square and around the cathedral when we visited N'awlins a couple years ago - so much fun!

Jeff and Amy McKissick said...

you've been busy!