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Valentine’s Day in Louisiana

February 15, 2009

Jarrod and I celebrated Valentine’s weekend in an extravaganza. I arrived on Thursday afternoon and we drove from the airport downtown to NOLA. We had reserved a hotel in the city for a nice night downtown. We settled into the hotel and decided where we wanted to eat, googling walking directions and checking the menu/prices. We’re nerdy. πŸ™‚ We decided on Bubba Gump Shrimp. After I made Jarrod go to Walgreens for a granola bar to tide me over before dinner, we made the walk to Bubba Gumps. We ended up taking side streets that were dark and a little scary for Jarrod. We had to wait when we got there, so we sat at the bar, had a drink and ordered some bread as an appetizer. When our table was ready, we went upstairs and placed our order. Jarrod got four different kinds of shrimp and french fries. I got blackened Mahi Mahi with shrimp and mashed potatoes. Absolutely delicious! We had a good time there. When we finished our dinner, we decided to go for a walk to settle the food before we hit Pat O’Briens. We walked to Jackson Square and watched the water. It was absolutely lovely. Then we met a fun friend at a visitor center that gave us a map and told us some fun, non-touristy places to go. Of course, we ignored him and went to Pat O’BriensΒ anyway. πŸ™‚ It was early when we got there (about 9pm?) but the place was packed. We were definitely some of the youngest in the crowd, but it was fun. We got hurricanes and sang along. Then it was suddenly time to leave. Mardi Gra celebrations began two weeks ago and will run until the 25th and some people take that a little too seriously. No reason to flash yourself to the entire bar. Jarrod and I started to make the walk back to the hotel. We’re party animals…We headed back a little after 10pm.

The next morning we got moving at a decent hour and walked to Cafe Du Monde for breakfast. It was super crowded and windy, but delicious. We walked back after breakfast and checked out of our hotel. 30 minutes later, the valet finally brought back the truck and we were on our way home. We ran a few errands, picking up food and Lucy, before we were home. It was raining and gross outside so we put on our pjsand took advantage of a lazy afternoon in. We watched Greys Anatomy and Private Practice with Sophie, Oliver, and Lucy. I got some homework and work work done and Jarrod read a book. That evening, we went to a coffee shop to see his youth band play some songs. More beingets and coffee. πŸ™‚ We got home and made a delicious casserole and ate dinner in front of the TV. I fell asleep well before eleven. Party animals…

On Valentine’s Day we got up and read books. In the afternoon, we ran some errands before heading up the road to Church of the King, a church Jarrod and his worship band visited a few weeks ago. They have a Saturday evening service we wanted to check out. We never get to worship together and Jarrod never gets to worship without the pressure of leading. The music was great. The sermon and theology was questionable. He used John 10:10 as his scripture for the entire sermon. He used the scripture to prove the physical existence of a personified Satan. He called God a person. (“God wants to be a person who is present in all aspects of your life.”) I could look past the non-inclusive language, but the proof-texting generalizations were too much for me. He was disrespectful to his wife from the “stage” (“Honey, be quiet, I’m preaching here!”) and he said on Sunday mornings they were having record breaking “crowds”. I felt like all the people around me had turned off their brains, listened to everything he said, and didn’t question anything. However, I was picking apart every word that came out of his mouth. I am all for differing theology. There is a place for everyone in the kingdom. I am not okay with incredible generalizations that cause people to turn off their brains. Church is not a place to check your brain at the door. Church needs to be a place where you can question, wrestle, and serve.

Meanwhile, the book I am reading is fantastic. It is Leonard Sweet, whom I have enjoyed in the past. The Gospel According to Starbucks is an easy read that compares the experience of Starbucks with the experience people have at church. Very good. I’ll write more once I finish the book. I will be writing a paper on the book for Evangelism where I will need to write about how the book communicates with a few other books. I’m not 100% sure what direction I’m going to go, but I’m more than halfway done with the book and I started it yesterday, so I have some time to figure out the details. Another good book: The Mystic Way of Evangelism.

Today we’re doing church most of the day, but I’ll definitely be watching Desperate Housewives and relaxing tonight. It’s been great to see my kitties again. I miss them when I’m in Dallas. I’m heading back on Tuesday afternoon in time for class that evening. A lot of invitations are done, which is awesome. I’m hoping to have things counted up so that I can order the rest of our supplies this week. Spring break is the time for invitations. Courtney is visiting and I’m hoping between her, Jarrod, and I, we can get everything put together and in envelopes. The envelopes are almost totally addressed and most of the supplies are ready to be assembled. It goes quicker with more than one person and I never feel bad about asking Jarrod to do it… It’s his wedding too, he reminds me… πŸ™‚

Also, in New Orleans on Thursday evening we saw a man with dreadlocks playing a banjo. Not everyday you see that. And the casserole we made was really good. Jessica, our sister in law, made it up. Here’s the rough recipe:

2 cans of green beans, drained
1 lb. of ground turkey
worchestershire sauce
2 baking potatoes
french fried onions
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
cheddar cheese
fresh sliced mushrooms

We browned the meat first, cooking it with lots of worchestershire sauce and seasoning. At the same time, I sliced the potatoes and boiled them in a big pot. When the meat was done, we took it out of the pan with a slotted spoon and put the meat in a big bowl. In the pan, we cooked up the mushrooms. When they were done, we added them to the big bowl. We also added the drained green beans and soup. Then we drained the potatoes and added them to the pan, browning them slightly. We should have added more salt or worchestershire sauce to the potatoes. Then we added the potatoes to the big bowl and mixed in a small amount of cheese. When this was all mixed up, we put it in a 9×13″ pan, putting cheese and french fried onions on top. We put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. Perfection.

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