Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Happened in Italy By: Elizabeth Bettina

Love thy neighbor as thyself- this is the commandment that the Italians during WWII followed. It Happened in Italy chronicles Elizabeth Bettina's quest to discover the history behind concentration camps in Italy, specifically in the town of Campagna. She discovers on one of her family visits to this town that the Italians housed Jews during WWII. This was a little known fact due to how drastically different Jews were treated compared to other places in the world. She discovered that Jews in Italy were treated fairly, as though they truly were in need of a neighborly love, she was in awe of how kind the Italians treated the Jews. She was also surprised by the lack of people who know this side of the war.

This novel is a bit disappointing. Bettina tells a great story, but it was not what I expected. I expected the novel to read more like a history book than like a transcript of a phone call to a friend. I am not sure if I would recommend this novel. It was easy to read, but hard to get into because it seemed to lack a true story line and historical documentation. Overall, I wish there were more historical facts.

One Year Anniversary

We just celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary. This last year has gone by so fast. We are excited to see what the next year brings to us. We spent the weekend in Chattanooga, Tn. There wasn't too much for us to do in the area we stayed-we tried to stay within walking distance of our hotel. This worked out nicely though, it gave us a chance to really catch up on our rest after being so busy. The main reason we went to Chattanooga was to visit the aquarium. This aquarium has penguins. We were so impressed with the way the aquarium was laid out. There were two separate buildings- a river building and an ocean building. John had never seen live penguins before, and as Catheryne's favorite animal, he was eager to see what the hype is all about. He thoroughly enjoyed the penguins exhibit. His favorite animal is a wolf, but after seeing the penguins, he admitted that they are ranked up there with the wolves. After we went to the aquarium we went to a 50's style dinner for lunch. They had a "pounder" contest- if you ate the whole pounder burger they took your picture and placed it on the wall. Catheryne made John take the challenge, it seemed too easy after the 3 lb. burger. The animals both seem to be glad to have us home. Thomas is supervising the typing of this email.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

High School Musical

We began our week with VBS. We have been helping with VBS since March so it is a relief, but a a bit bittersweet, to be finished with it. Catheryne has been involved in VBS before, but it has never been anything like it is at our new church. We recreated HSM 3 for the kids. We filmed parts of it and then had live dance scenes. It was amazing. The evenings started with worship, then HSM, then the kids went to their classes and then HSM again for closing. Imagine a church camp experience crammed into about 2 hours for 3 days. The kids loved it. There were also new souls won over for heaven-which is the main purpose. We weren't sure what to expect since we were so busy helping with the acting part and we are so impressed with all of the hard work that goes into this experience. Now that we have our time back it seems a bit weird to not be gone all the time. Belle definitely doesn't mind. We had some days that lasted 12 hours and the poor girl was stuck in her crate. She has been glued to Catheryne's side since we have been finished-we think it is a hint.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


We experienced our first baseball game together (along with 23 other kids/ leaders from our church). It was a lot of fun. We lead a group that is designed to plan outings for our youth group. We went to the Nashville Sounds Faith Night. We got to see a concert of a band called Philmont. They were awesome, and they are still new, so it will be cool to say we saw them and met them when they become bigger. The Sounds won, which was also an exciting experience. We missed our turn home and had to go a different route home. We drove through an area that is in serious need of Jesus. We saw some very drunk people stumbling and a few corner deals going on. It was a bit scary since we had two younger girls in our car with us, but we made it home safely. Catheryne is now on summer break and John seems to be busier than ever. He is working, helping to mentor the youth band and get that started, as well as working with his own band. Catheryne also some howmanaged to get him involved in helping her with VBS, or at least being a personal driver. VBS will be awesome, but it has taken up so much of our time. It fininally will be next week, so we will have a lot of time back to be on our own.