Thursday, December 30, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : , ,
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I went to an awesome school growing up. It was a private school that had kindergarten through 11th grade (yeah in Colombia we have 11, not 12. We instead have a year in between kindergarten and first grade called transition were they prepare you for real school, so it's the same amount of years). Being in the same school for 11 years (I got there in 1st grade) allowed for me to make friendships that through the years have become almost family.

Even though many of my friends live in different countries and in different parts of both Colombia and the States we have managed to keep in touch and maintain a closeness that have fed our relationship through the years. A couple of my friends who still live n Bogota decided to have a fondue night to welcome me and Caleb to the city; it was so nice to see them in their own apartments, with their grown up jobs, next to their husbands or future husbands and to remember how much life has changed in just a couple decades. 

We shared stories from back when we were in school. Caleb heard about things he never knew and realized how much I've changed and how much my essence remains untarnished. We talked politics, art, love, plans; and of course I got updated on everybody's life. 

A couple of my girlfriends couldn't make it, so Saturday the 8th we will try again, and again I will be filled with joy from their presence and a hint of sadness because I am missing every milestone of their life. 

I pray for them every day and I believe they will serve the Lord with me one day and our relationship will start to take the shape it is meant to take and we will love each other with His love for us and this great relationship we have right now will seem weak in comparison.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under :
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We are in Colombia!!!

Our flight left at 6am, which means we had to be at LAX at 4am, which means we had to leave Palm Springs at 2am. Yeah, lots of fun... and I'd do it any day if it meant seeing my family and turning the tables on my husband (no more making fun of Jo because she has an accent, at least not anymore for the next two weeks!).

There was a mistake with my ticket so we ended up being at the counter for almost 90 minutes which made us late for the flight which made us have to run to get to the gate, which made us the last people at the gate; they were actually waiting for us, which made our carry-ons the last bags there and therefore the ones that had to be checked in.

The problem was our laptops, our movies, our books, our entertainment was all in those carry-ons. Our solution: fashion magazines woo hoo!!!

We had a layover in Miami and since there was a blizzard up north all flights had been canceled; everything was crazy and our flight was delayed, the magazines were an absolute life saver. Plus I got a few great ideas for Spring. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under :

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Isn't the view just exceptional? I literally sat by that window for an hour watching four shows; just couldn't get enough of it.

On other news: Momma gave us all money to play at the casino, and just like that cousin won $4000 ($2800 after taxes) at the Bellagio while we were visiting our Vegas family who now lives in Virginia but were conveniently visiting Vegas at the same time we were. It's such an amazing story he won money; he had just given money to someone without expecting anything in return. He felt like God wanted him to give money to a certain person, he obeyed and then he won. He felt so spoiled and blessed by God. It was fun to hear him recognize God in a chain of events that most call simply luck.

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For our Christmas day night Momma had a plan, a fun plan! She got tickets to Jersey Boys and I was a bit worried I was going to have a hard time liking it since most of their music is not the kind of music a 28 year old girl that was born and raised in Colombia would grow up listening to.

Well not only was I wrong about not listening to their music as I was growing up, I was also wrong about not being to like the show; even if you've never heard one of their songs the show is outstanding; I LOVED IT.

Obviously we did what is always expected after a great musical, we went around casinos and streets dancing, and singing, and pretending we were performers too; I mean that kind of behaviour is simply mandatory after 2 hours of broadway in Las Vegas.

It's been a couple days and we still want to buy the music off of iTunes, I think we might have to so we can put on a show at home for our old pets and new pets.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : ,
So many stories, so many late nights, so much to tell!!

Husband, Kris and I drove to Palm Springs Thursday night to meet up with Momma and Poppa. The plan was simple: drive to Palm Springs and wake up early to drive to Vegas and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas there.

Well we weren't going back to San Diego after Vegas so I had to pack for Palm Springs, San Diego, a trip through LA and MIA and 15 days in Colombia; and it all had to fit in my wonderful Scion XA.

I never leave my house for more than a day without leaving it clean and organized. The thought of coming back from a trip to a messy place makes me cranky already; I can't imagine what I would be like if I actually did come back to a mess. So cleaning and organizing was part of the itinerary too. All of this crazyness wrapped into one day caused for us to leave at 1130pm to Palm Springs. We arrived around 2am and headed to bed almost immediately, a 7am wake up call was in the near future.

Like the great kids we are we jumped out of bed at 7am, got ready to leave Palm Springs and at 830am we were all packed up in the rental car and ready for Vegas Baby. We drove through the desert, no freeways for those of us who live on the edge right?... right?

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The ride was gorgeous, and I was loving it even though I wanted to throw up and felt like my head was trying to escape my body. Since I moved to the States I have been getting crazy motion sickness, I must admit it is not a fun new peculiarity the one I decided to acquire. 

After 4 and a half hours we were finally at what seemed to be the busiest hotel in Vegas. After trying to sort out a mess with the concierge, we made it to our rooms.

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All the sickness, and all the busy-ness, and the crazy amount of people; all of it simply seemed insignificant compared to what I could see sitting in my room. Both Husband and I lived in Vegas for a couple years, most of it wasn't new to us, but that is the magic of the city; even if you've seen it a thousand times Vegas is always grandiose, always monumental, always dramatic and impressive; always Vegas.

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And just like that Christmas Eve turned into a unique, fun filled experience that had just started.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under :
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So Sarah Wagner told me about this wonderful app for my phone called Diptic and now all I do is try and tell stories with my pictures. It's been diffficult since my last few days have been all about shopping for family, packing and organizing my house. But last night we had game night with a few friends, we had a great time, laughed about awkward dates and the whole event gave me an opportunity to use diptic... and here it is is!
Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : ,
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Yesterday my K and I went to see The Tourist with free tickets that Miss Lederer kindly gave to us. It was raining, which is really uncharacteristic of San Diego, so we decided to wear comfy clothes, rain boots and head over the theater. As usual we danced everywhere we went, you just have to dance more so if you have an umbrella!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : ,
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We love you all!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : ,
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Every Friday night we are at Washington Elementary, the school where Urban Church is currently meeting. Once their after school program has ended we come in to start setting up chairs, lights, decor, and every other thing you need to make a  church happen at an elementary school cafeteria. 

We try to stay involved with the school and help in as many ways as possible and we have noticed some children are not as priviledged as others. That is why we were excited when we started working on a relationshp with Toys for Tots

We had donated toys to them years prior and we had come to help them sort through all the donations they get. But this year we partnered with Toys for Tots in a new way; not only did we collect toys for children but we also became a distributor and one of our stops was Washington Elementary. 

That is how last Friday was not only the the last day of school before winter break for the kids but it was also the day we got to see them smile over gifts they were not expecting. 

We started early in the morning, we wrapped the gifts, sorted through them making sure the kids were getting age appropriate gifts and then loaded up a van with everything. We got there and set up the gifts for the kids in the library before the kids were there. We put nice tags in them and waited for the kids to be called into the library. They didn't know why they were there and we just invited them in, played games with them, read them a story and then we told them those gifts were for them. They were so happy to see they were getting 3 gifts each, some of them were trying to peek through the wrapping paper as we indicated they had to ask their parents if they could open them.

This year we, Urban Church, were able to give over 100 gifts to 2 different schools and 60+ families. Pretty wonderful, considering we're a 20 month old church of 140 people. Nothing is more rewarding than loving people; nothing is more important and certainly nothing is more eternal than offering the unconditional love we have been given.