Another Dinner Party

Last night we had the Prezkutas over for dinner, as well as the Bergs, the Coulters, and Glen.  It was a lot of fun just sitting around talking and eating.  We had Stephanie’s chili, which is always excellent, and I’m sure Davie was really happy about that (since he wants to eat chili 3 times a day when he grows up and gets married ).  I really don’t have many specifics to write about, except that we broke out into a medley of VeggieTales songs during dinner again this year…So here are some pictures:

Our expanding sukkah!

                        Jessie & Abby                                                                                   Corinne & Zach

                          Elianna, Rachel, & Colleen                                                                 Bill & Betty

                        Josiah & Jessie                                                                    Emily & Abby

                                           Glen                                                                               Sarah, Micaela, & Hannah


Abby & Hannah                                                                                                Thomas


YoPearceOws Sukkot Dinner

So last night we went to the “other Pearce’s” house for dinner.  Since it was so cold and rainy we didn’t eat out in the sukkah, but they decorated the dining room to have a Sukkot feel to it.

the decorated dining room
Some of the group played pictionary after dinner

But I didn’t….but I kept myself plenty entertained.  One of the ladies from shul had given Kim a giant bag full of yarn and different crochet projects in various stages of completion….you could tell the woman had been a beginner, as we couldn’t even tell what certain things were supposed to be….but that made for lots of laughter and fun!

Hannah and the massive bag-o-yarn…
take note, the thing on her head is a doll dress

Hannah & Micah

“I wanna stay, I wanna work….”

I know you’re jealous of my awesomely cool hat, ear warmers, and nose warmer,
but they’re mine, and you can’t have them…..

Jonathan sporting a cool new sweater, hats, and a nose warmer of his own

I finally got the new top for my convertible, so I didn’t get rained on this morning. yay!  The weather was absolutely beautiful on Saturday, so I put the top down for the day….

Today, however, is cold and rainy, and it’s supposed to snow tonight, so that will make sleeping in the sukkah all the more fun….
So, now we’re in the intermediate days of Sukkot (my all-time favorite festival!!!!), and it’s gonna be one dinner party after another!  Tonight the Yopearceows are getting together at the ‘Other Pearces’ sukkah for dinner, which should be fun.  Then tomorrow night we’re having the Prezkutas, the Bergs, and the Coulters (?) over for dinner in our sukkah (and when I say ‘we’ or ‘our’, I’m referring to me and the Youngs, since I’m staying in their sukkah), and we’ll have another big group over Thursday night.
Last night we brought the TV out to the sukkah and watched “Ushpizin”, which rocked!  What could be better than watching an excellent Israeli film about Sukkot in our sukkah during Sukkot?  Unfortunately, I was so tired that I fell asleep during it, and would only wake up when Rachel asked me a question about it…..Anyway, here are some pictures of our sukkah:

The decorated sukkah, complete with our traditional ‘Hut Sweet Hut’ sign

Thomas rejoicing in the sukkah , with Abby & Rachel in the background

Chavurah on Saturday was lots of fun.  We met in the Golosows sukkah, and did some p&w time, a short Bible study, then had a couple of people share their testimony.  Then we prayed, had havdalah, and ate dinner, ending the night just hanging out laughing and talking.  Tamar came, and brought 2 new friends with her, so I had 3 guests there.   One of the coolest things about that is that one of Tamar’s guests lives in our apartment complex, so G-d is already opening doors for us to minister to our neighbors.  She didn’t meet her there at the apartment, but through a new person at her church, getting the ‘this is a friend of a friend of a friend’ thing going on for me…

Sunday morning we had our traditional 2nd day of Sukkot service at Roeh, and then did kiddush and had a small oneg in the Congregational sukkah:

I must say, the 2nd best line of the day was when Barry looked at me and said “It smells like citrus in here”, then realized it was because of the etrog (the traditional citrus used as part of fulfilling the commandment in Leviticus 23:40)….

The best line of the day had to be when Hannah ate a chunk of tomato off Thomas’ face (he had just eaten spaghetti and had sauce all over his face), and Thomas yelled “Hey! That was mine!”  Man, I was laughing SO hard!!!!

Chag Sameach!!!!

“….when I think of His goodness, and what He’s done for me,
when I think of His goodness, and how He set me free
I want to dance, dance, dance, dance all night, all night, all night, all night…”

Anyone else feelin’ a little Pentacostal up in here today?  I am…

Some more good tidbits from the weekend:

  • Pretty much every verse that Troy mentioned during the Bible study at Chavurah were verses I had taken note of while reading the passages earlier that day….and then, at the morning Yom Kippur service, Bill used most of those same verses at the beginning of his sermon! 
  • Hanging out with the family at mom & dad’s on Sunday….Ger & Jen stopped by with the girls, and we had a great time sitting outside talking
  • Lots of hugs from Burt
  • Praying and singing with Lynne until about 4am on Yom Kippur. (so Sunday night/Monday morning)
  • Our afternoon midrash session….I always feel bad for enjoying it so much on a day appointed to afflict our souls, but….
  • Jay saying “I’m gonna shove sap right up your branch”
  • “….like television…”
  • Breaking the fast together as a congregation
  • Troy calling Dave a punk when he hijacked his plate of food after we broke the fast (really Stevetta stole the plate, she just brought it to Dave so it would be hidden at a different table )
  • Me and Jay’s new response to mosquitos….

I’m exhausted….hopefully I’ll have a chance to rest more this week, as well as get some things unpacked at the apartment so life can feel a little bit normal again.

I’m excited for this weekend, as Friday night is the first night of Sukkot, my all-time favorite Holy Day (which isn’t just a day, but a week!)  I’ll be staying in the Youngs sukkah again, which should be rockingly fun.  Saturday night our Chavurah is going to meet in the Golosows sukkah, which should also be fun.  I just hope the weather isn’t too cold, as I don’t like freezing all night (though we did good last year, since we had so many layers of blankets).  But either way, I’ll be happy…afterall, it’s a commandment to be happy during Sukkot

A post telling amusing things from this weekend will probably be forthcoming later today, though I’m not gonna promise anything.

Well, I made it through Friday without falling asleep in the middle of anything, so that’s good. Right after work I went and cleaned my old apartment, finishing right before it was time for the office to close, but when I went down to the office to return my keys they had already left.  I ended up leaving the keys in the rent drop, sealed in an envelope with my name and apartment number on them….

Because I had a little time and nothing to do after cleaning, I headed over to Scott & Anna’s and hung out with Anna and Alyshia.    I was really glad to have that opportunity, as I haven’t been able to hang out with Anna for a long time, and I’ve missed her.  We had fun talking and giggling, getting in a little girl talk

Services on Friday night and Saturday were good.  After service on Friday Emily went through the mikvah, yay! And Thomas and Hannah were so cute, coming into the sanctuary later to find me, and how Thomas wanted to do things like me (he took off his shoes during p&w because I did, etc)….I love kids!

Saturday after shul I went with the Youngs and both sets of grandparents to Cinzetti’s!  YUM! Cinzetti’s is THE BEST Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to, and it’s a buffet, so you get to try a little of everything.  So it was good food, good fellowship, and a messy floor (because of the kids, not because the place is dirty)

Chavurah last night was a much smaller group than usual, but that made for more bonding between those of us who were there.  I laughed SO much last night, and it felt SO good to be a part of the group.  A few highlights of the evening:  Troy punching Evan in the face; Vanessa asking if Des Moines was a city; Evan dancing the ‘Teddy Graham Shuffle’; singing the Gummy Bears theme song with Stevetta and Evan; Evan referring to me as ‘our resident chazzan’; Deuce learning one chord on the guitar and making up a Chavurah song; and huge hugs from Ingrid.

Today I am doing my laundry and trying to get things together for Kol Nidre tonight.  For those who don’t know, tonight is the start of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year.  It is a day of fasting and prayer, a day of repentance and soul searching….There is so much more to say about it, but I don’t have the words nor the time right now…

May your fast be an easy one.  Shalom.