ordinary… mostly

"We have nothing to offer each other, except a haven." — K. Nafziger



April 16, 2014
One for the road

I think that is the most graffiti I’ve ever had on a cup. If I remember correctly, it’s a grande, extra hot, no whip mocha, with an extra shot of espresso and one fewer pumps of chocolate sauce.

March 1, 2014
Daddy-daughter date

For Christmas, Youngest Daughter gave me a gift certificate for a visit to Starbucks. Today, I cashed it in. We took markers along. 🙂

Minor crisis averted

Seventeen years ago, Ordinary Spouse and I received a drip coffee maker as a wedding present. A few years ago (five maybe?), Ordinary Spouse bought me a French press, as well. We’ve enjoyed lots of coffee from these two… until this week, when Ordinary Spouse broke the French press and I broke the carafe of the drip maker.

Crisis! The only way left to prepare coffee was with a sock from Cambodia…

Khmer coffee sock
Khmer coffee sock

MochaHappily, Khmer coffee tastes just fine. Nevertheless, the free drink on my Starbucks card provided a much-appreciated caffeine jolt today, and I took the opportunity to reduce their French press inventory by one. Based on the two tastes I’ve performed on the new press, I expect that it should serve us well for years to come… or at least until our next coffee crisis shows up.

Testing the new press
Coffee crisis averted
January 20, 2014
Evening relaxation

Starbucks coffee, Rajana mug, Equal Exchange chocolate. Lovely.

Should have blogged in 2013… Part 3

(This is part of a series of things that I should have recorded in 2013 – things which were highlights of the year, but which didn’t get recorded when they were fresh in my mind. Now you mostly just get pictures.)

April 2-3 – Laurelville staff retreat to Pittsburgh

In early April, many of the Laurelville staff went into Pittsburgh for a retreat…

Downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore
Downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore

We began the day by visiting longtime friends – the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation – who have been coming to Laurelville for 50 years.

Pittsburgh Kids Foundation…and then continued down the street to visit Heinz Field.

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Such a fine group of people!

Laurelville staff at Heinz Field
Laurelville staff at Heinz Field

My colleague (and co-conspirator) and I found a spot at the field where we felt a bit at home…

Guest Services at its finest
Guest Services at its finest!

After lunch, we checked into our rooms at the Omni William Penn. Oh, look! They have a Starbucks! In the lobby!

Starbucks in the lobby
Starbucks in the lobby

We had supper at Buca di Beppo, and enjoyed time together at the hotel in the evening. The next day, the staff split up to visit a variety of places around Pittsburgh. The Ordinary Family visited the Phipps Conservatory.

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While there, I discovered the source of the previous day’s mocha…


Big news from the Ordinary Family!

The Ordinary Family has another major change coming! My frequent blog readers know that hospitality is an important part of my faith. It is one of the things that brought our family to Laurelville. Well – a new opportunity to learn and practice hospitality has opened up. Even though we have only been at Laurelville for a year, we have decided to make another transition.

StarbucksI’m excited to announce that beginning in May, the Ordinary Family will be moving to Seattle, and I’ll be a barista at Starbucks!

My time at Laurelville has prepared me for this important work. I’ll have Jesus’ words in mind as I interact with the “least of these”, offering them a warm welcome and a grande, nonfat, no whip, extra hot, salted caramel mocha:

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

– Matthew 25.35 (NRSV)

And by living and working so close to Starbucks’ HQ, I’ll be able to learn from some of the best.

Coffee and scones. Community and hospitality. Starbucks and Anabaptists. Peas in a pod, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for many blog updates from “Hospitality Central”!

Seattle: "Hospitality Central"
Seattle: “Hospitality Central”

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