Posts tagged ‘Sunday Dinner’

Harry Potter, Memorial Day & Malcolm…

I’ve had a busy few weeks, and am just now getting around to posting about it!  I attended LeakyCon 2009 in Boston recently.  It was  a lot of fun, and I came home with the dreaded LC1F09 (or the illness everyone got from LeakyCon!).  I’ll try to give a run down of my time there with pictures!

My friend Abbey that I went to LeakyCon with is on the Leaky Cauldron staff, so I ended up helping out with a lot of the registration stuff.  We spent much time in the coat check putting together name tags and registration bags.  Here is a picture of what we did:


I even got a LeakyCon Staff shirt, though I’m not on staff!  I actually had a lot of fun doing that, even though at times it was stressful and chaotic during the actual registration.  I think we pretty much handled it well and everyone got in to the conference that was supposed to!

So the first day was just registration and then Opening Feast in the “Great Hall”.  Across the street from our hotel was “The Castle”…it was a huge building that looked like a castle in the middle of downtown Boston!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any shots of it from the outside.  Inside however, it was decorated to look like the Great Hall from HP!  It was really awesome.  All the tables were decorated in Slytherin green, Ravenclaw blue, Gryfindor red and Hufflepuff yellow.  Here’s a few shots:

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The banners were amazing, though I’m still trying to figure out why the Slytherin banner was purple and green…I of course got tons of shots of the Ravenclaw banner, as I claim myself to be a Ravenclaw.  The Great Hall is where most of the big events of the conference took place.

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Here is me and Abbey rockin’ it Harry Potter style at the opening feast.

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And what would a party in Boston be without some street dancing?? (Abbey, MJ, Jeff and Josh)

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The highlight of opening feast: finally meeting Hank Green of the NERDFIGHTERS!  You should seriously check them out the vlogbrothers on YouTube.  I’ve meet John 3 times now, but this was my first Hank sighting 🙂

So that was the first night…Abbey and I made our way back to our hotel room after a bit of chilling in the Leaky Suite.  We jammed ourselves into our air mattresses, tucked between 2 beds in the room.  We were sharing with 4 other people, so there were 6 people in a 2-4 person room.  Cozy.  The next day however we were upgraded!  Due to some issues with the hotel the Suite was upgraded, leaving an extra room in the suite and because the staff knew of our cramped conditions they offered it to us.  I unfortunatly forgot to take pictures of the sweet suite (get it??) but it was amazing.  We all had our own cot, bed, couch or air mattress so no one had to share.  And the room was huge.  On the other side was a huge kitchen, 2 large round tables, 2 bedrooms and an outside patio that was AMAZING!  Sure, sleeping at night was a bit of a problem since the LeakySuite is where all the staff hung out at night, as well as some of the confrence speakers and random attendees that tracked down the suite.  Often times the party didn’t break up until 4 or 5 in the morning.  I would usually put on my iPod to drown out the noise when I was ready for bed, which was about 3 or 4 am!  I did manage to get some shots of the balcony:

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You can just see Boston in the background of this shot 🙂

Okay, so day 2 – I spent the morning watching a vender booth for Julie May who was at the key note speaker that day.  Abbey and I rode to Boston with Julie and Kelly.  Julie makes beautiful glass work jewelery and also prints.  She does some of the jewelery in HP colors, so I got some Ravenclaw color earrings 🙂  You should check out her website and order stuff!  That afternoon was “Nosh with the Nerdfighters” which I was in the front row for with Abbey.

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And here are the Vlogbrothers themselves!  Hank & John Green.  They’ve emassed quite the following, and no wonder!  Their videos are hilarious, engaging, informative and they also do a lot of work to decrease “world suck”.  Gotta love them!

Oh, and Hank writes and sings songs.  Some of them Harry Potter themed.  Here is my favorite, and a little vlogbrothers dialouge, too!  Accio Deathly Hallows:

Sweet, sweet nerd music.  You should also check out DFTBA records for more nerd music.  It’s a record company Hank started to release the music of YouTube musicians.  I’m particularily excited about the Doctor Who band Chameleon Circuit!

Okay, so that night was the Wizard Wrock night at the Castle.  I’m not really a fan of Wizard Wrock.  I’ll listen to it when it’s there, but I don’t go seeking it out.  What is Wizard Wrock?  Well, you may have guessed, but it’s band who only sing and write songs about the Harry Potter world.  There are bands called: Harry and the Potters, The Moaning Myrtles, The Remus Lupins, The Parselmouths, Swish and Flick  and others…It was fun just to go and hang out with my new HP friends.

with steven

Here’s Steven.  Kelly found him in the hotel lobby day 1 and brought him up to the coat check room to help us with registration!  He’s now on Leaky Staff!  Go Steven!

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And this is me and Abbey with Farrah LeWinde.  She is a lot of fun and managed to get Hank to donate a dollar to LeakyCon (you can see it poking out of her shirt…).

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Here’s a shot of one of the bands.  I think maybe it’s Harry and the Potters?  They sang one song that I really liked (and one of the only ones I could understand the words) called “Bacon”.

So, Day 3 – I managed to get to some programing!  The first I went to was on Father’s in the Harry Potter world where I found myself defending Lucius Malfoy – who knew!  I’m also apparently on YouTube somewhere, as they were filming the session and the camera woman asked if she could film my answer.  I’ll try to see if I can find it!  I also went to a completly amazing session about the symbols and other liturature that influenced Harry Potter by John Granger.  He has a lot more books than the one I linked to.   You should check them all out 🙂

That night was the LeakyCon Ball.  Everyone got dressed up and rocked out to the music.


Me, Josh and Abbey in our fancy clothes!


They had the Department of Mysteries veil set up, so Abbey and I got our picture taken in front of it

under the veil

And peeking under it, trying to find Sirius Black (the biggest question I have for the whole HP series is what’s behind that veil)!!

I had a great time at LeakyCon – got very little sleep, got swollen feet riding in a car for 20 hours on the way home and contracted the LC1F09, but I had a great time.  We got to Abbey’s place at 6:00 am Chicago time and crashed on Memorial Day.  We woke up at 1 pm to get ready for a Memorial Day party at Le Chateau Oiulmette.

We were both EXHAUSTED but it was nice to get back and see our friends and have some great grilled food!  There was also Smashminton to be had, which I did not play because I feared I would fall over from exhaustion!  Abbey got the LC1F09 very bad so she ended up sleeping during the party and went home early.  She’s just now starting to get better.

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Enjoying the Smashminton…

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Our host, Rev. Tripp in his seersucker and suspendies.

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Of course, the obligatory foot shot, showing of my new Ravenclaw socks!!! 😀

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Sarah and Evy enjoying the game.

Here is a bit of video of the day at Le Chateau…Obsquatch and Trish trying to “team up” for some Smashminton glory!

Sadly, I didn’t make it very long at the party and we left around 8ish and I went home and went straight to bed.

The next day, Justin and I celebrated Malcolm’s 3rd birthday!  We have a tradition of going to our regular pet shop and getting Mal and new toy, then walking to the other pet shop that carries special treats and getting him a “cake”.  We then go home, sing happy birthday, give him is treat and then the new toy!  It was, of course, raining on his big day so instead of a big walk he got a car ride.

at the store

Waiting to go in the puppy shop…


Our pet store guy giving Mal some treats!


The cake…isn’t it cute??

And here we are singing to the Birthday boy!

I was sick, so you’ll have to excuse the shaky voice…

Well, that’s it for now.  Hope you are all doing well 🙂

June 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

An Update of my life…

Hello all! Thought I better update before I got way behind! I’ve had a busy week! Last Saturday (that is, June 21st), Justin and I met my sister and her family up at Wisconsin Dells at the Noah’s Ark water park for a day of sun and slides! Justin and Nicole went on practically everything – twice! My sister Shannon did a few slides, while John, Hannah and I claimed the kiddie park! I’m not really a fan of water…or slides…or being wet, but I had a good time in the wave pool and the 2 lazy rivers! Hannah LOVED the red slide at the kiddie park, though she did not so much like getting water in her face! I think she went down that slide about 100 times! By the time we got to supper she was passed out! Poor baby. Here are some pics from that day:

Hannah also liked the turtle shaped slide. Here she is with her daddy, John.

There was a bucket at the kiddie park that will fill with water and then douse anyone who was standing under it…can you find Justin??

After the water park, Nicole hopped in our car and came back to Chicago with us for the week. This is a tradition we started the first year Justin and I were married and living in Chicago, but unfortunately last summer it just didn’t work out. This year we made the most of it though!

Sunday night we had people over for dinner and I made Chicken Coconut Curry then watched X-men 3. Nicky lounged on the couch.

Malcolm really liked having Nicky around all week! You can see he has laid claim to her in this photo.

On Monday, Justin took Nicole to the Hancock building downtown and also to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. They walked along the lake front, looked at the shops downtown, and Nicky got some photos of graffiti. Here are some pics:

Nicole on the platform, waiting for the ‘L train

A view from the Hancock Observatory…they had a BEAUTIFUL clear day to see the city! Justin got one shot where you can see a building all the way up in Wilmette!

The monster piece of Cookie Dough cheesecake that Nicky had for lunch that day at the Cheesecake Factory!

On Tuesday Justin took her to Devon St, the Indian/Pakistani neighborhood. They had Indian food for lunch (I hear the curried lamb was fabulous!) And hit a bunch of the shops. Nicole got a beautiful Saree that is pink, purple and orange. After Devon St, they headed for Belmont St. and hit The Alley as well as a few other shops. Nik got some really neat books from The Alley. Sorry, no pictures for this day!

On Wednesday I took over and we headed to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. The aquarium is always my favorite. I love all the fishes and other water creatures! Beluga whales are my favorite to watch! At the Field Museum we went to the Mythical Creatures exhibit. That was one of the main things I wanted to do while Nicole was down here, because I knew she would enjoy it! Unfortunately they didn’t let us take any photos inside the exhibit. But here is a neat one of the Belugas…a mommy and new baby!

Thursday was our shopping on Clark St. day and going to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. On Clark we hit a bunch of different shops including few antique stores, Bon Bon’s, the Paper Trail, Kopi, the Brown Elephant (where Nicky found some plaid pants) and ate at Huey’s Hot Dogs. After lunch, we drove downtown and picked up Justin after work and then went to the Oriental Institute. Our good friend Sarah works there and was going to give us a tour, but turned out she had to move that week, so it didn’t work out…we still had a great time there and got to see my favorite kind of stuff – Ancient Near Eastern artifacts!!

Description from the OI website: “This colorful striding lion, its mouth opened in a threatening roar, once decorated a side of the ‘Processional Way’ in ancient Babylon (the Biblical city of Babel). The ‘Processional Way’ led out of the city through a massive gate named for the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, Ishtar, whose symbol was the lion. Each year, during the celebration of the great New Year Festival, the images of the city’s deities were carried out through the Ishtar Gate and along the ‘Processional Way’ past some 120 lions such as this one to a special festival house north of the city.”

Here is Nicole and with the “lamassu”, the bull (which is Sarah’s ‘boyfriend’). Again, from the OI website: “This colossal sculpture was one of a pair that guarded the entrance to the throne room of King Sargon II. A protective spirit known as a “lamassu”, it is shown as a composite being with the head of a human, the body and ears of a bull, and the wings of a bird. When viewed from the side, the creature appears to be walking; when viewed from the front, to be standing still. Thus it is actually represented with five, rather than four, legs.”

And here is Nicole with King Tut!

Friday was a day of driving to Minnesota. Justin and I had a wedding reception that night, and of course I forgot to bring my camera!! Grr…argh! Hopefully I can get a few shots from someone else (hint hint Susie!). We had a good time and it was fun to see some old friends I haven’t seen in a long time 😀

On Saturday my mom, grandma, Nicole, Justin and I headed up to Rochester for some shopping and family time. I got a few new work shirts (which I needed desperatly!) and Nicole found a new pair of pants and a RECORD!! Yes, actual vinyl, not a CD! I’ve introduced her to to love that is vinyl records and gave her my old record player that’s been sitting at my mom’s house for the past 5 years collecting dust. I’m so proud!

Sunday was a birthday lunch for my little sister Robbin. We had ham and salads and DQ Ice Cream Cake…Mmmm! It was good to spend time with the family. Here’s a picture of my dad and Hannah playing together (my dad is wearing Hannah’s hat).

July 4th is this Friday, and we’ll be heading to Madison to spend the weekend with my best friend Susie, her husband Erik and our goddaughter Jannah! I really can’t wait. I’m sure I’ll have another post next week with pictures from the weekend! Malcolm will be spending the holiday with Randy and “Uncle” Albert (the basset hound). Happy holiday to you all!

July 2, 2008 at 11:59 am Leave a comment

Birthdays, Indiana Jones, and Sunday Dinner

Hello all! Time for another update. This weekend was once again full of fun and friends! I have a feeling that this summer will have very few empty weekends! We’re already looking forward to many weddings, a week long visit from my niece Nicole, camping, traveling and other fun! It will be an expensive busy summer, but I’ve very much looking forward to it!

So, on Friday we celebrated the 2nd birthday of our dog, Malcolm Reynolds Thornburgh. He seemed very enthused when we sang “Happy Birthday” to him…I think he really just wanted to eat the cake! He also got a couple of new toys, including his new favorite – a squeaky, stuffed warthog that we named “Piggy”. Piggy is about the same size as Mal, so it’s really fun to watch him play with it and try to carry it around in his mouth!

Here’s the birthday boy with his cake…he looks really excited to have his picture taken, doesn’t he?

The next day, I hosted an Indiana Jones Movie Marathon!  It began at 12:30 pm and we watched the first 3 movies in a row.  There was food, themed beverages and games!  I made trivia questions to go with each movie and a few bonus questions.  The winner of that game got an Indy “action figure”.  There was also the Last Crusade Cup game.  I had the table covered in all different types of cups and glasses and each one had a red sticker on the bottom.  Most said, “You have chosen…poorly” but one said “You have chosen…wisely.”  The goal was obviously to choose the correct cup.  The winner got a pack of Indiana Jones trading cards.  I thought that was pretty clever if I do say so myself 😀

Here is the table, covered in the cups, glasses and mugs.

Close up of the center piece I made for the party.  The “stones” are boxes wrapped in packing paper.  It was covered in bugs, a monkey and a snake!  The ball on top is one of those Styrofoam balls painted brown to look like the big rolling rock at the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

Themed beverages, from “Temple of Doom” – the “poison” was ginger ale, and the “antidote” was blue kool-aid.  If you don’t get it, go back and watch the opening sequence of Temple of Doom!

Here are some of the people that came to the party enjoying the show.  We had about 15-18 people in and out throughout the day.

After we watched the first 3 a group of 6 of us went up to Evanston and watched “Temple of the Crystal Skull.”  It was a good day all around!

Of course the next day was Sunday, so that meant Sunday Dinner!  We all trekked down to Marcie’s place in Hyde Park as she is going to England for the summer, so we won’t see her again until September!!  Her place is AMAZING!!  We had a great time with everyone there.

Here’s some of the group – there were about 13 of us there that night 😀  Marcie made salmon.  It was really good!

Here’s Leo enjoying the culinary delights!

And some of the entertainment for the night – Hank has just decided that he’s a baby dolphin, so he regaled us with his tricks.  You have to do the real dolphin hand signals for him and he’ll follow!

Trish enjoying the cake before the rest of us could get any! 😀

A good weekend full of food and friends – always gotta love that!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying a good week!

June 3, 2008 at 12:25 pm 5 comments

News in the Thornburgh World

Well…now that it’s been officially announced in church, I thought I would share with you all my husband’s news: Justin is going to be applying to seminary to become a pastor!


This be him. He’s a wonderful husband, and he’ll make a terrific pastor! We’ll let you know more as events unfold, but the plan is for him to start somewhere in the fall of 2009, so we have sometime to prepare ourselves!

How do I feel about this? Happy, scared, nervous, ecstatic – all at the same time! I’m so happy that my dear love has finally felt his call and figured out what he wants to be when he grows up. Ever since I’ve met him, he’s been in a limbo state of not knowing where he was going in life, and not being happy in his current situation. I’ve been hoping since them for him to discover who he is and go for it, and I’ve been seeing that unfold since he found his new path. I’m very happy, and very proud!

Of course, I then have to think, what does that mean for me?? I’m going to be a pastor’s wife?? Really?? Me??? It’s frightening, but I can handle it. I just have to make sure to make my boundaries clear. I support Justin whole-heartedly, and will always be there for him! But he knows who I am and what I will be, we’ll just have to make sure everyone else knows about that 😀

Of course, one nice thing about Justin “getting a life” so to speak is that I can now see 1) where we are going as a married unit and 2) where I can go as an individual. In a way, Justin discovering his path has opened the doors for both of us. Once he has finished school and gotten his first church, I’m hoping I’ll be able to go back to school and finally go for my dreams!

So, we ask for your support! It’s going to be an interesting 3 years once he gets started! We’re hoping to be able to stay in our current apartment, but that will very much depend on what we can afford once school begins.

In other news, we had a nice weekend with a Sunday dinner cookout to get the week started right!

Our Host

This is our host Tripp. He grilled an AMAZING chicken marinated in curry. Wow was is tender and delicious! We have 2 grills – one for meat and one for veggies, as a few of those who come to Sunday dinner are vegetarians. I really hope they’ve read my post on Seitan = Satan! There were many people there, and a few new faces! We hope that this will be the first of many summer Sunday dinner cookouts to come! Here’s some highlights of the night:

This is Hank

There was a really fun game (I thought) where the object was to bounce beanie frogs off the bouncy thing and get them to land on numbered score cards worth 1-6 points. Hank found it much easier to simply thrown the frog directly on the point card that you wanted rather than going through the hassle of bouncing it and possibly missing your intended target. That Hank kid is a genious!

Sapperstein and Tripp’s mommy

Tripp’s wonderful mother was visiting this weekend, so she joined us for dinner. Also, last Friday, Tripp, Justin, Tripp’s mommy and I went to see “IRONMAN” – go see this movie! Drop what you’re doing now, go to the theatre, buy a ticket and see Ironman. It’s amazing!!! The script was wonderfully written, the casting was spot on, and the story was perfect! I give it 6 out of 5 stars!

Okay – also, we had a crasher…Roger!

At least he brought some wine 😀

There were fun times with “smashminton” as well – It’s like badminton, only there’s no net…or boundaries…or rules…or score keeping…basically it’s just running around the yard like a crazy person trying to hit the birdie with your racket and swearing. It’s good times 😀 Bethany had a bit of trouble with the concept though – you’re supposed to hit the birdie with your racket, not catch it!

A good time was had by all, and we’re looking forward to this coming Sunday at Carly’s place!

May 8, 2008 at 10:21 am 2 comments

Pesach 2008

Last night my friends and I had our annual Sedar supper. This year it was hosted by Tripp & Trish up at Chateau Ouilmette. It was a great night filled with good food and good friends. The table was beautiful, set with all the required accouterments.

The Table

Of course, the symbolic Seder Plate was set with Marror (bitter herb) symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Egypt, Z’roa (shank bone) symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice) which was a lamb that was offered, Karpas (parsley dipped in salt water) the salt water represents the tears and pain felt by the Jewish slaves in Egypt, Charoset A sweet, brown, pebbly mixture, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build, and the Beitzah (hard boiled egg) symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered.

the plate

We read from the Haggadah, which contains the order for Passover. Haggadah, meaning “telling,” is a fulfillment of the scriptural commandment to “tell your son” about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah. Sarah Sapperstein provides the lovely books and the leadership for our Seder every year.

The Haggadah

We did have a bit of comic relief (well, maybe more than a bit) in the form of the “Ten Plagues Finger puppets” which were provided by Tripp. I have to say the most disturbing plague to me now is HAIL… it looks just like a clown!! Aaahhh! My friend Roger was kind enough to model the finger puppets for the camera:

10 Plauges

There is a part of the Passover that calls for the youngest at the table to read the “Three Questions” this year, that role was filled by Zoe, a beautiful 3 year old…she didn’t so much read it out of the Haggadah as repeat most of the words that her mom read to her, and then quickly became distracted by Roger! It was very cute though 😀

the three questions

The wine was flowing, the food was amazing, and Tripp made a fantastic Matzah ball soup! It’s always good to get together with my friends on Sunday night, as I’ve discussed in a previous post, but I look forward all year to the Seder meal. Dayenu!


Matzah Ball Soup

Some of Us

As Justin and I were leaving the meal, we passed the Ba’hai temple in Wilmette…it looked beautiful with the moon in the background, so we stopped and took a picture. It’s HUGE building, and I’d love to go to a service some day and see the inside! Hope you are all doing well and had a great weekend!

April 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

Sunday Dinner Fun

My Chicago friends and I attempt to get together every Sunday dinner for a “family” meal. This past Sunday Justin and I hosted at our apartment, the Llama Nee Inn. A good time was had by all, and the main dish was cooked by my hubby. It was tender, and delicious…it was cow tongue. Yes, you read that correctly. COW TONGUE!! It really was amazing.

The Tongue

This is what the tongue looked like before we cooked it. Pretty awesome, huh?

Anyway…Justin began his preperation by putting the tongue in a pot with bay leaf, salt, and an entire head of garlic. It then boiled for 3 hours (tongue is all muscle, so you have to tenderize it if you want to eat it!).

Boiling the tongue

So after it boiled for the 3 hours, it was skinned, cut and sauted with veggies and tomato sauce.

And of course, our chef had to take the first bite!

The Proud Chef

Sunday dinner has become one of my favorite parts of the week. It’s an event I can look forward to after a long week, or a nice way to start off a new one! It’s nice to able to get together with our community of friends here in Chicago and share fellowship, food and beverages (whatever kind you prefer). The crowd sometimes changes, but the warm feeling I get from an evening spent with friends never does.

April 9, 2008 at 12:05 pm 3 comments

Song lyric of the week…

"I bring you pain, the kind you can’t suffer quietly/Fire up your brain remind you inside you’re rioting/Society is slipping, everythings slipping away"
- Slipping from Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog

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