Our church holds an annual outreach event called Party on the Hill (POTH) and I had been told that it was a "big deal". Being that this was our first full year cycle with this church, Vic and I didn't really know what to expect. POTH has tons of stuff for the whole family: fun boothway games for the youth, VBS, food and live music, all for FREE :)
The party kicked off on Thursday the 15th, which happened to fall on our anniversary. Vic and I had committed to volunteering for the event and so we, along with our houseguest, Chevin, trekked along to POTH to see what we could help with. It was almost already in full swing when we arrived at 5; the boothways were up, people were madly prepping and cooking up a storm and kids were everywhere. The first night was busy. Our musical guest for the evening was Laurell; I had met Laurell through a LinXus event and I thought she was really great so I told the staff I would see if she could perform. She hit it out of the ball park - she was awesome! (I may be a little biased but I thought she was the best performer out of the three nights). :)
The second night was the busiest. We must have had over 400 people come by and for good reason - Wally Buono was our featured speaker and he definitely draws a crowd. I hadn't realized that Wally was a Christian so it was really nice to be able to hear his perspective on living out God's love in a professional sports environment. Our musical guest for the evening was My Dearest Friends and they played a lot of alterna-bluegrass. I kind of felt bad for them - a lot of people came for Wally and left after that, so there weren't as many people who stayed to listen to the music but there was still a solid group of people who seemed to enjoy themselves afterwards.
The third night was a little bit of a gong show - it was Saturday and a lot of the people had been doing this now for 3 straight nights. I was getting tired from pulling 16-18 hour days and I could tell that other people were feeling it too. We had a big crowd come out - it was dunk tank night and Mac's had sent out their Frosters team so kids were hyped up on sugar. Our last speaker was Kip Morris, who is a chaplain and did a sermon, which was good in itself but he lost a lot of the crowd so it was hard for the musical guest to get the atmosphere back up again. In all honesty, she was good but maybe she was nervous because she was off key a lot of the time. Don't get me wrong, I sing and I know how hard it is, but I also know when I'm sucking. I hate being critical but as a professional, paid singer, I think there should be certain standards. So it was kind of a bummer to end like that I have a feeling that most people didn't care and had a good time anyway.
Sunday was our outdoor service; we had a string of lucky weather (rain in the morning but clear skies in the afternoon) and we definitely got the downpour in the morning. There was about 70 people still braving the rain though and sat through the service outside. We had a full band out (8 people!) but I really felt like Satan was really trying to get me down - I couldn't get into the music like I usually do (usually, I'm super stoked to be playing with so many awesome people) and I had read a few critical emails right before that just seemed to deflate my spirit. I felt so sad that I allowed myself to feel that way afterwards
But we went and had a great day after that - had brunch with Grandma, Deb and Doug (a full meal, plus dessert!) and got to catch up a little bit, then had dinner with Faye and Angus (a crab each, yum!). So overall, we were pretty exhausted from the past week.