Celebrating Reformation 500 with Little Luther

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is far too big a deal to be limited to just one service! Our celebration started with Luther’s Deutsche Messe at Hope Lutheran in St. Louis on Reformation Sunday, and Little Luther was there with us:

There were other services we could have attended between then and now, but the big event was tonight’s Reformation 500 service at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. We were there early enough to have a nice walk around the campus, and Little Luther got to see all the sights:

Little Luther also joined us for dinner at our favorite restaurant, Seamus McDaniel’s!

The celebration isn’t even over yet…we still have the American Kantorei’s Reformation concert at St. Paul Des Peres on Sunday afternoon!

Chickadee Thursday

Today, Chickadee and I got to accompany The Bigs to Concordia Seminary, where they were singing for chapel with their Kantorei Kamp. And since it’s the 22nd, Dolly came along, as well. It’s been three months since she had her picture (intentionally) taken with Chickadee!

After The Bigs were back at camp, Chickadee and I went down to the Delmar Loop to look for the eight brightly decorated pianos that are out on the sidewalks as part of “Make Music St. Louis.” She really enjoyed playing a bit here and there as we walked!

That’s just a tiny glimpse of the fun the two of us have been having this week while her siblings are at Kantorei Kamp. We’ve also visited the St. Louis Zoo, been to the Missouri Botanical Garden, went swimming at the YMCA, rode the St. Louis Carousel at Faust Park, enjoyed a walk through the Butterfly House, attended Matins at Hope, played at the playground (before it got too hot!), shopped at the American Girl Store, toured the Route 66 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum one more time, and went out to lunch at Three Kings Public House. It’s been a busy week, but we’re not done yet…there are a few more fun activities on the schedule for tomorrow!

Blessed Reformation Day!

Blessed Reformation Day!


Our Reformation Day festivities started yesterday at church, where we celebrated Luther’s German Mass, and sang many of my favorite Lutheran hymns:

Today, we had our traditional Reformation Day celebration. We read Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World this morning, and watched the “Reformation Polka.” We also had a celebratory dinner…beef stroganoff and buttered egg noodles with roasted carrots, and butterscotch haystacks (instead of Luther’s “Diet of Worms”) for dessert:

I’ve been holding on to this picture of the Fab Five in front of the Luther statue at Concordia University: Chicago since we visited last May…the same statue where I took a picture of Ryan on his graduation day in 2001!

I hope your Reformation Day was as pleasant as ours!

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary, and I can’t think of a better excuse for being sentimental, so you’ll have to forgive the trip I’m taking down memory lane today.

Our first home in St. Louis was at Park Clayton Apartments in the Dogtown neighborhood. The apartment itself was pretty basic, but the neighborhood was the perfect place to live in and get to know St. Louis.


Shortly after moving in, Ryan and I both got jobs at the Brentwood Target…he worked security, and I was the store’s operator, answering the phone and doing some basic clerical work.


I can’t mention our early days in St. Louis without mentioning Concordia Seminary. I’m not going to lie…I have more mixed feelings about this place than any other St. Louis location. But it was the reason we moved down here in the first place, and it was a focal point of our lives for several years, and continues to be part of our lives even today, so I have to give credit where it is due.


Another place we spent a lot of time was at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Bridgeton. In his first year at the Seminary, Ryan was assigned this congregation as his field work church for two years. In his second year of field work, I also started working there, as a DCE intern.


We have lived in two other apartments in the St. Louis area…first at The Pavilion in Maryland Heights, following our move back to St. Louis after Ryan’s vicarage in Green Bay, WI.


And then at Village Green in Chesterfield, for just over a year. This was definitely the nicest apartment that we lived in, even if it wasn’t in a charming neighborhood like Dogtown!


Of course, we landed permanently in Belleville about eight-and-a-half years ago:


There are other important to us places from our early marriage I could mention…places we both worked, like the International Center, Circuit City (of blessed memory) in Chesterfield, and Concordia Publishing House. I could also talk about the hospital where four of our children were born (Mercy Medical Center, formerly St. John’s Mercy). I could even mention other specific Dogtown locations, such as the former Chuy Arzola’s Mexican restaurant or the former Gewinner’s Market (both places that were significant to me in the pregnancy cravings department when I was awaiting Turkey’s arrival). I will mention the St. Louis Zoo, as we spent the morning of our first wedding anniversary there…what can I say? It was within walking distance of our apartment, and free, which was great back then when we had no money! We did the same again today, thirteen years later, this time with five additional Markels joining us!



And of course, Seamus McDaniel’s in Dogtown, also within walking distance of our first apartment, and home to many family celebrations over the years, just as it was today.


Sure, we’ve gotten older, but we still look happy to be together, don’t we?


I can’t really think of a better way to spend our anniversary, than going to a fun place as a family, enjoying a meal together at our favorite restaurant, and then taking a walk (or drive, as the case may be), down memory lane!

Cakeway to the West–An Unveiling

Today, we drove out to Concordia Seminary to the unveiling of one of the Cakeway to the West cakes.

I wonder what this could possibly be?


Of course, there was a bit of speech-making:


And then the big unveiling:

A a bit more talking:


Nothing like a big group photo!

Do the children in front holding the signs look familiar?


I’m glad we got to see the big moment for one of the cakes!