Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hand and Foot

While in college my good friend, Kim, invited me over to her apartment one evening to play games. Her grandmother was in town and a noted card shark. As I remember it the scene played out something like this: Kim, Kim's grandma, me and a single guy-that I beleive Kim was attempting to set me up with- sitting around a table eating M&M's and popcorn while Grandma was solemly explaining the sacred and extensive rules to a game called Hand and Foot that she played religiously with her friends. I know we played a long time that night and this game became one of the regular games played at any get together at Kim's place... whether in Kansas or Japan.

Kim didn't manage to set me up with any guys, but she did play a huge role in getting me to Japan. While we were both living in Japan Kim had several parties at her house. This almost always included great food and extensive games of Hand and Foot. We even figured out how to play with a lot more people or as few as three.

I believe it was the year I learned Hand and Foot that I introduced it to my family over the holidays. During the holidays my family spends together we always inculde a lot of hours playing games. Some times it is cards sometimes it is a board game, but alawys fun. And Hand and Foot became a fast favorite with everyone.

A couple of weeks ago Kim sent me an email asking if the Hand and Foot that is ALL OVER my families' blogs is the same Hand and Foot that her grandma taught me. Although I think it has changed some in some of the finer points and rules in my family, it is essentially the same. I have taught many, many people how to play and I know my parents are still teaching people. My grandmother loves to play with whoever will take the time. My cousins begged my parents to play with them over Christmas. It and Rook definately make an appearance at some point during a family get together. And today Lizzy heard us talking about it and insisted on playing 'Hands and Toes' with us. She was, however, a little disterbed when Peter used his foot. She kept saying over and over, "Dad, I don't have a foot."

Kim's grandmother passed away a few years ago, but her legacy lives on through the family of a shy college student that she played cards with. Thanks for sharing her with me, Kim.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I have been to Florida, soaked in some of the warm sunshine, and returned to the cold again.

This trip was with Young Life. The guys in my office were generous enough to take me along to the Young Life All Staff Conference. This conference only happens every 4 years and is a huge celebration of the mission of Young Life. Over 4,000 staff from across the US and 60 countries around the world converged on the Marriott World Center in Orlando. I roomed with the other Admin in my office, Betsy. We were fortunate enough to get 3rd floor rooms that over looked the pool. I enjoyed drinking a cup of tea on the balcony each morning before the long day began.

During the week we had some amazing speakers, Earl Palmer, Dale Bruner, and Donald Miller (writer of Blue Like Jazz). There was also a surprise visit from Jeff Foxworthy. He did a show for us and then the next morning he and his wife spoke to the general session. They are volunteer Young Life leaders and she was involved in Young Life in high school. Jack Hannah, the animal guy from David Letterman, made a surprise visit with some of his animals. He provided some of the best laughs of the week. He also has a personal connection with Young Life as his daughters and son-in-law have been involved in YL. We also had a visit from Ben Stein and his movie producer. He brought his film that comes out in February called Expelled that addresses the issue of intelligent design. We got the opportunity to preview the movie. And I highly recommend that you go see it. His producer was also a YL kid in high school. It is amazing to see how YL reached so many people and they, in turn, make a difference in the world.

Friday we ventured to the Magic Kingdom. It was fun to enjoy the 'Happiest Place on Earth' with my friends. We had to get a picture of the girls in front of the castle. We also got stuck in the Buzz Lightyear ride... this is Matt and Mel hanging out waiting for the ride to continue.

All in all it was a fantastic trip with good friends. It was so good to get away to soak in some sunshine and spritual encouragement.