Mark and I travelled to Lake Latonka (off the Mercer exit of 79) for a retreat this weekend. The team of people that are going on the mission trip to Mississippi gathered for some fun, camaraderie and worship. We arrived on Friday evening and were taken a little back by how fabulous the accomadations were. I was told we were going to be staying at a cabin but this was definetly a huge house that has 6 bedrooms and a pantry that I would love to have. The downstairs area had a ping-pong table a flat screen TV that we played Guitar Hero on. That was my first time playing and I did okay but I would rather have had some practice time before I performed in front of an audience! Mark and I being the only couple on the trip stayed in the master suite. It was about 2-3 times bigger than our bedroom at home. So we were very pampered, although we didn't get the chance to try out the jacuzzi tub. Thank-you so much to the Smith family for allowing us to stay at their wonderful retreat. On Friday we just ate and played. The team of Marlaena, Ryan and I won at Cranium, although the teams were all very close. We had a lot of funny moments, like when Mark had to get his team to say 'mermaid' and when Ryan had to act out 'Marilyn Monroe".
On Saturday Pastor Terry came up with team member George (who is recovering from surgery) and lead us through some worship and had us discuss the 'story' that we are going to be participating in. All of us on the team have been to the Gulf coast before and have some expectations of what the trip will be like but we know that when it comes to doing God's work there will always be surprises.
After lunch we particpated in 'the Glenn Brooks experience.' Glenn every year comes up with a unique activity for us. Last year he had us divide in groups to make a puzzle that he had spray-painted black and then gave each of us a handi-cap like big gloves, earplugs and a blind fold. He then made us stop before we had a chance to finish it which he said was like our trip because we would never be able to finish everything we started and others would come after us to help complete the task. This year we filled out a survey of miscellanious facts about ourselves earlier in the week. (favorite color, first job, favorite class in high school, which foot do you put your sock, shoe on first ..etc..) Glenn had us stand around the ping-pong table and then had us take two steps back and turn around with our eyes closed. He told us that the survey was just a decoy and that it had little to do with our activity. When we were turned back around we saw a t-shirt in our favorite color in front of us and some fabric paints to decorate our shirts. It was fun to see what everyone came up with.
We then had some prayer time and then Mark and I had to leave for our next event. Unfortunetly our t-shirts wern't quite dry and got a little ruined. :(
We then drove to Cranberry Twp. for sweet little Meredith's first birthday party. My sister Bev drove my girls to the party so we met them there. Meredith is so cute and seemed to be really enjoying her party. We arrived in time for cake which she had all smeared on her face in typical baby fashion. One of her favorite presents was a little wooden wagon that she sat in and had some friends push her around in. It had her name on the front and is the perfect size for her to push, but really low for an adult. I worry about the state of her mom and dad's backs in the future.
On Sunday one of my tennis friends had a gathering at her home. It was so nice to have a chance to socialize with everyone when we aren't playing tennis. It's amazing how different we all look in regular clothing. People commented how much taller I seemed, of course I was wearing 3 inch heels. The food was great and we all had fun. In the past Connie has had her party around Christmas time, but we all agreed that this was better because Christmas can get to be pretty hectic.
All in all a very fun and relaxing week-end. I didn't even tell you about my girls events. Hopefully Laurel will share about her weekend on her blog. It was her birthday on Saturday.