Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stephen's Center Thanksgiving

I've been rather out of the blogging loop, at least for these past few weeks. The school year was dragging on and on; then November hit and wham! I feel like I blinked and now it's almost December.

This is my "sequel" year here in Albania. We all know that the sequels are never as great as the originals. The novelty loses its luster. Sometimes I feel like people won't want to read about another Marine Ball or another Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, however, is one of those holidays that gets richer with tradition. Our established two year tradition is to go the the Stephen's Center for Thanksgiving dinner.

My Albania family gathered at Stephen's Center for another delicious meal followed by the most delicious pumpkin pie (made with real pumpkins as opposed to the canned... no bright orange color!) Travis and Amy joined us this year as well as our newest friend, Matt. I was especially thankful for Amy and Travis because Travis led us in prayer. (Sometimes I feel like I'm a big chicken when it comes to leading prayer around people who have a different faith than I do, even when those people are my best friends.)

We also shared favorite Thanksgiving traditions or memories. I shared about the theatrical presentations that I wrote staring my younger brother (usually playing the native, but who once made an appearance as Abraham Lincoln), my cousin Kim and me. Other cousins would join, but it was usually the three of us. Thinking about those plays made me miss my brother tremendously. Maybe someday, I'll share Thanksgiving with my real family again.

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Americans!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above the heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

P.S. Look for a new post next week~ I'm off to Athens tomorrow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Party 2009!

Drum roll please..... Ta-da! The four of us have been planning this group costume since last spring. We are the representatives for the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant (1990). Entela represents Albania, I represent the USA and Sarah and Tracey tied for Miss Canada (because it's such a large country of course). Mom sent us these magnificent tiaras, we had the sashes printed at the printers, and the seamstress worked her magic on the dresses. (Albania is swarming with tacky fake flower.) We were set for a night of magic at the Berg's annual Halloween party.

Children were welcome until 10, then they were dismissed! The Berg's eldest daughter's band played and did so well. It's primarily made up of half the swim team, actually. Travis, seen as Gandhi below, really was rocking out!

Amy came as a Samurai warrior. She and Travis won (for the second year in a row) the prize for the best couple costume. It was an accidental couple costume, but it was PERFECT. War and Peace... Amy is so clever.

Tracey decided that her talent was "Interpretive Ribbon Dancing." Florian had a supply of ribbons (he's our P.E. teacher) so Tracey was able to wow the crowd with her mad skills. I swear, I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my eyes. I think the parent I was talking to thought I had gone mad, or was a little drunk (neither were true, I was just highly amused).

Here are a handful of the students cheering Miss Epp as she was dazzling us with her ribbon routine. Apparently, they had been waiting for our arrival with bated breath, wondering, wondering, wondering what 4 of their favorite teachers were dressing as. I love teaching. It's like having your very own fan club.

And the winners are.... Second year running and we walked away with the prize for the best group costume. Sarah summed it up nicely as she accepted our prize. "We just want World Peace!"

What beauty pageant is complete with out a brawl at the end? It wasn't as well rehearsed as our skating routine, last year, but it managed to be just as impressive.

Another great party, another great night, another great reason why I love my oversea life!