Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The last day of June

On this last day of June, I sat at my desk and flipped over my calendar from June to July. It is admittedly a little premature seeing as today is still June, yet it was a necessary move. I was tempted to switch the one on my bulletin board as well, but resisted the urge; there are just some things you can't rush. Anyway, I flipped over the page from June to July to write something in and all of a sudden realized that I'm a crazy person. The first 8 days in July are relatively sane, though not lacking in things to do with that whole 4th of July thing in there. But after those 8 days, the craziness begins.

The first excursion is gonna be pure fun. Three of my favorite people and I are going the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and are going to see three plays including this one...which happens to be my all-time favorite musical. Ever. Plus we're staying a nice hotel, close to downtown so there's no need to drive, we can just walk. The next excursion three days later will be a quick trip that can't be talked about right now. I'll be home one day and then up to Shasta for a Houseboat trip with a youth group...but not my youth group! Opinionated Friend asked if I wanted to go on her youth group trip to lead music and I said yes. I'm looking forward to just hanging out and not being in charge! I get home to do a Flea Market Fundraiser, preach for the vacationing Pastor and then run my own trip the last week of July. No kidding, I think I've lost my mind.

And yet, I'm looking forward to almost all of it. Plus, there's a outside chance that I'll get to meet Baby #3 on one of those trips...depending on if he takes after his brother and makes his entrance into the world early. I'm looking forward to the adventures. I'm looking forward to the challenges and I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store along the way.

Yep, July is packed and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Messy Night!

Water, spaghetti, whipped cream, jello, soap, cake, pudding and a really disgusting game of twister (spaghetti sauce, applesauce, nacho cheese sauce and may0). It was fun!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Five: Talkin' 'Bout...Pop Music

Mary Beth at RevGalBlogPals says:

Happy Friday to you all!

The sad news of Michael Jackson's untimely death has me thinking about music and its effects on us - individually, as cultures, as generations. Let's think about the soundtracks of our lives...

1) What sort of music did you listen to as a child - this would likely have been determined or influenced by your parents? Or perhaps your family wasn't musical...was the news the background? the radio? Singing around the piano?
I remember listening to country and folk a lot. The Kingston Trio is Yo Momma's favorite and I can sing a lot of those songs! Papa Bear liked country then. I remember him making me sit and listen to George Straits song "The Chair". It's a good song but I had no taste for country music then. We would have family sing-alongs around the piano at G.G's house, lots of church music. And I clearly remember making the family sit around while I performed songs from "The Sound of Music". Aaah...memories.

2) Going ahead to teenage years, is there a song that says "high school" (or whatever it might've been called where you lived) to you?
High School, ahhhh, high school. Mrs. Frey's Jazzercise class...I requested this song all.the.time!

The video quality isn't so good but I loved that song. Loved it! Okay, I still do.

3) What is your favorite music for a lift on a down day? (hint: go to www.pandora.com and type in a performer/composer...see what you come up with!)
It depends on the kind of down day, actually. If I'm mad it's Meredith Brooks song that rhymes with witch, especially driving home with the top down on the race car. If I'm just down I typically turn to Amy Grant, Jennifer Knapp or Shane & Shane. No particular song just uplifting stuff.

4) Who is your favorite performer of all time?
Amy Grant, no question.

5) What is your favorite style of music for worship?
I prefer "contemporary" music for worship but happen to really dig hymns that have been tinkered with a little. This is one of my favorites:

Bonus if you include a video of any of the above!
I included two! Double bonus for me :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The stuff in my head

No pictures from Messy Night...I didn't get around to getting them off the camera today, so y'all will just have to wait (Yo Momma). Random stuff floating through my head tonight so you'll get some dots.
  • Went to Costco yesterday for supplies for messy night...cake fight! Got in line, there were plenty of cashiers and no really long lines but that didn't stop the lady who got in line behind me from coming within a hairs inch of my backside with her cart. The person in front of me would move ahead an inch, I would move an inch, the lady behind would move an inch and a half. Geesh! I was good and didn't glare at her...it was hard.
  • Reading the book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" which is about punctuation. Which is making me hyper-sensitive about my punctuation. Should it be hairs or hair's or hairs'? AAAAHHHH!!!
  • All day Wednesday I kept getting whiffs of jello, which, seeing as how I was wearing the same pants as the day before when I had made jello, made sense. All day today I've been getting whiffs of cake, which, seeing as how it was plastered into my hair last night, made sense.
  • At a meeting tonight someone made a comment about someone else that was so dead on true it made me laugh, but was also sad; they haven't known the other person for that long. It's kind of scary at how quickly our personality traits become visible to other people. Okay, don't want to think about that.
  • K and I got pedicures today. I like having pretty toes.
  • What happened to June?
  • Went out last night (after messy night and yes, I showered before going out to the movies) with Opinionated Friend and 3 others to see "The Proposal". So good. So, so good. Got home at midnight but totally worth it! Happy Birthday O.F.!
  • August 20th, I'm so excited about August 20th!
  • Papa Bear made a comment to me last week in fun that went awry; it touched a sore spot I didn't know was there. I've been thinking about that all week. Specifically, when did my self-worth get attached to how busy I am? Why do I take pride in the fact that my calendar is full to overflowing? Why, when I am actually taking down time, do I feel guilty about the down time? By the way, Papa Bear, I'm sorry for growling.
  • In my next life I want to be creative enough to be a really good cake decorator. It just looks like fun! (watching ace of cakes as I type)
  • Baby #2 is due soon. Woo-hoo! Come on, baby, get here all ready!
  • This post is getting way long and it's time to end...
  • Good night!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things I love about my job

My hands are currently a nice berry red. Fingernails and all. They are soon to be a very berry blue. Why, you ask? Well because tomorrow is messy night for the youth. And I have finally figured out (after years of messy nights!) how to fill water balloons with jello! The tea kettle is calling time for jello! Pictures tomorrow!


Monday, June 22, 2009

My civic duty

I had jury duty today. Called on Friday, they said to call again today. Called today and they said to report at 1:30pm. So I did. Went into the courthouse, sat outside the courtroom. One of my youth group members mom was also there and we chatted until the Bailiff called my group in. Grabbed a questionnaire on the way in, filled out my name, age and gender and the judge said "get out". Okay, well, not really quite like that. The prosecuting attorney requested a conference with the judge and defense attorney so we had to leave the courtroom. A few minutes later we were all called back in and dismissed. They decided to waive the right to a jury trial. The mom of the youth group member had been there since 10:30 that morning so I felt pretty lucky that my time only took a couple of hours.

I didn't read the whole questionnaire because I'm a rule follower and the judge said not to, but I couldn't help glancing at it. I read the first question and initially thought, well, no I don't know anyone who has been through that. But as I was walking away, I realized that I do. I do know people that question number one related to. I know a lot of people that fit that question. I don't think I would have been asked to stay on the jury.

It's always a little nerve wracking to get called for jury duty. I don't mind spending the time to call or go in but the thought of actually serving on a jury is what makes my nerves shake. Two years ago when I was on call for jury duty I knew someone who was a defendant on trial. Their case didn't come up that week, but the thought of walking into that courtroom and seeing this person there, I knew I would dissolve into tears. In a strange twist of fate that person is awaiting trial again. When the jury summons came I did a quick Internet search to make sure their trial wasn't supposed to start this week.

As much as I was happy to not spend the week in a courtroom, I'm not bitter about being called for jury duty. I would hope that if I were ever to need the services of a jury of my peers, that there would be people there who willingly served. Plus the whole process fascinates me...more people watching!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walks, naps and stars

After VBS today I skipped work. Went to lunch with K instead and then for a walk in the park. It was lovely. Hot but lovely. I went to work intending to actually do something but sat and talked with Fabulous Office Manager instead and decided I wasn't working today. Just couldn't do it.

So I went home, changed into cooler clothes, turned on the TV, NCIS was on, and I curled up and took a nap, occasionally stirring to see what the NCIS crew was detecting before taking another little nap. Loveliness.

Tonight I went to K & N's house for home group. Adventure Boy spotted me and got a huge smile on his face "Brittany!" Yes, my heart melted again for this child. Train Guy came out later to give me a hug goodnight and we shared many smiles through the window as he pretended to kind of, maybe go to sleep in K & N's bed. I'm blessed.

A little while ago I drove home with the top down on the race car. About halfway home I looked up (don't worry I was at a stop sign). The night sky is so clear tonight. The stars were just sparkling away, a plane was flying overhead, its not too hot, not too cold...just a perfect night. A great way to end a great day. I love my car. Life is good today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Body of Christ

***Okay, I have to preface this whole post with this: I'm tired. Really, really, tired, Too much caffeine yesterday meant not enough sleep last night and I don't want to overdo it today with the whole caffeine thing because, well, sleep is good. So, if this doesn't all tie together really well, forgiveness and understanding is appreciated. Thanks.***

A few years ago Opinionated Friend worked with me at the church. She was in Children's Ministry then and yet when I was looking for someone to go on our Houseboat trip as a chaperone she jumped at the opportunity. Turns out God did some talkin', as God often does, and a few months later she was the full-time Youth Director at the Church-around-the-Corner.

Ever since I started in Youth Ministry (going on 10 years) here, youth going to this church and youth going to Church-around-the-Corner have been friends. They've even youth group hopped, when the groups were on different nights. We've been doing activities together for a long time now, which given the history between the two churches has caused a little humor to rumble through (Church-around-the-Corner was started by people who left the church here.). Anyway, since Opinionated Friend is over at Church-around-the-Corner, the partnership between our two groups has gotten even grander. So grand, in fact that it's their church that I'm at this week leading VBS music.

Two months ago when youth group here was canceled, kids from my group went to her group for the night. Last week, when her group was canceled, kids from her group came to my group for the night. I like that, it's cool.

Yesterday, as we were sitting around talking O.F. said, "You should come on my houseboat trip and lead music." Hmmmm...I'm thisclose to figuring out how that can work. And then, there's today. Today the youth here are cooking and serving dinner for our monthly Community Dinner. Youth from Church-around-the-corner are coming to help. In fact two youth from Church-around-the-Corner are sitting in the library here right now doing a Bible study together. They just walked in, sat down and started. Cool.

To me, being the body of Christ means that the walls of the churches start dissolving and stuff like this happens, church happens and it doesn't matter what the name of the church is on the door, all that matters is the people are learning and growing in Christ and showing that to the world through their actions. As much as I like my chosen church organization, I think we might be much better as the body of Christ if we could let go of all the stuff and just let God work no matter what name is on the sign outside.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Tuesday Dots

  • Today at VBS we did a do-wap version of "I Like Banana's" (and if you've ever been in youth or children's ministry you know what song I'm talking about). It was so funny to watch the faces of the adults as we sang! Pure joy. I think the kids liked it too.
  • Randomly in the middle of one of the songs the lyrics to Silent Night went up on the screen. Ummmm....no.
  • R-girl and I took the race car down to Costco for our annual Community Dinner shopping expedition. It's always amazing to see how well we can #1 pack the cart and #2 pack the car. The guy at the checkout was very impressed with our packing abilities. He even commented that he didn't do as great of a job as we had. Seeing as how it's his job, I think he'll get some practice. The first time we did this there were 4 of us with all the food...if you've ever been in a Mustang Convertible you know there isn't a lot of space in the back seat or the trunk. R-girl was relegated to the back seat with hot dog buns on her lap that time. Memories.
  • Today's newspaper has a story about the opening of an I-HOP in town. It was packed on opening day. Not sure what that says about local eateries.
  • Opinionated Friend bought coffee this morning for me (VBS is at her church this week). I got her call as I was pulling into the church parking lot from getting, you guessed it, coffee! We coordinated for tomorrow.
  • Just posted on the Mississippi blog www.ca2ms.blogspot.com about housing in Mississippi. Hat tip to Yo Momma for the info.
  • It's only Tuesday and it feels like it should be Thursday.
  • I was watching The Closer last night which is in a new season. Anyway, besides loving the pink trench coat that Brenda Lee Johnson was wearing, I found myself all of a sudden completely obsessed with getting a glimpse of her cell phone...I'm pretty sure I have the same type of phone! And that's when I knew it was time to turn the TV off and go to bed.
  • And now that I have written all this random stuff on this fine Tuesday afternoon, I am off to a pool party with Middle School Students. Yes, you may pray for my soul and my sanity. Thanks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

VBS Monday

Okay, so this VBS is so much calmer than the one we run...I'm taking a lot of notes and thinking of ways to change many aspects of our VBS. It can be better. But anyway, the calmness means I might have blog time woo-hoo!

Today was a little rough. I played the Youth Director card and didn't do what I was supposed to, so our band wasn't as tight as it could be. No biggie. The order was play as kids are coming in, sing one song, have the Pastor do introductions, etc., play 3 more songs. I can handle that. We get it all together and start. In the middle of the first song the 2nd string on my guitar goes "POP!". D chord is now gone. The song is in the Key of D. Not good. We finish the song, the Pastor gets up, I exit stage left and rush through my case to get a new string. The drummer pops around the corner and says "what can I do?" No other guitars available, I tear the old string off, put the new string on and am just about to head around the corner when the Pastor says "let's sing!" Aack! Not yet! Stalled for one song, I tuned and we were back in the game.

The drummer later looked at me and said "I've never seen someone put a new guitar string on that fast." I'm not a professional, I just fake it well.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

See you on the other side

It's been one of those, well, months. For the last 4 weekends I've been at parties. Baby Showers and Graduation parties to be exact. One each weekend. It's that season of the year, which is fine but I realized yesterday that I'm tired, again. Being the introvert that I am this being with people most of the day everyday for the last four weeks has taken it's toll.

This week I volunteered at another church to lead music for their Vacation Bible School. I'm happy to lead the music, honored to be asked and am prayerful that it all goes well. But here's the catch. Their VBS runs from 9am-12noon. I don't do mornings well and I'm already tired. I know that God put this challenge before me for a reason, so I'm just gonna trust in God's ability to carry me through, put a smile on my face and a song on my heart and go for it!

Add in my job and blogging might be kind of quiet for the week! See you on the other side!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Going to the bank

Going to the bank is not something that I've really been fond of ever. Being someone who isn't fond of small talk, makes the time spent with bank tellers not so much fun. Not that they aren't perfectly nice people, but what do you say? Nice weather? Yeah.

So today I had to go to the bank. I've had deposits to make for a while now and needed to get it done. When I pulled up I noticed a difference right away to the bank. A big difference. Instead of entering through one door, there are now three. Walk in one, look for a green light walk in another, look for another green light and enter the bank. In between door number two and three are metal detectors. If it doesn't like what you have, you get locked in. YIKES!!! I tried to open door number three a little too early but it still let me through...and when I got in the bank employees erupted in applause and cheers. I got a sticker that says Awesome too.

Of course, when I got out I immediately called K and asked "have you been to the bank lately?". She had and she yet she didn't warn me. What a friend!

I'm happy that the bank employees feel safer, especially after their experience a few months back, but I have to say, going to the bank is less appealing to me now...though I did get a sticker out of it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5 movies that make me cry

Every so often I feel like I need a good cry. But being the "tough chick" that I am, a good cry can be hard to actually make happen. Enter movies...or a really good TV show.

Movies have a way of hitting that closed off part of me and unlocking the floodgates of tears. Any time I need a good cry, I pull out the ones that have proven to be floodgate releasers and settle in. Here are 5 that start the waterworks going.

  • Life as a House...the first time I saw this one I literally cried for an hour and a half afterwards. Every time I thought I was done crying, a scene flashed through my head and it started all over again.
  • Steel Magnolias--same scene gets me every time. When Sally Fields character lashes out at her friends after the graveside scene I know the tears are coming.
  • Boys on the Side--just thinking about it starts the tears!
  • Armageddon--I think I see a theme going on here...
  • Fried Green Tomatoes--definite theme happening
What are 5 movies that make you cry?

Monday, June 8, 2009


The peacock has a name. It's Albert and it turns out he's quite the traveler...and he may be injured. You can read the story here for yourself. Today I'm hopeful that Albert is found safe and sound.

Hat Tip to Meg for the head's up!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

That's the night that the lights went out...

Last night just as we were about to begin youth group the power went out. The youth room is in what could be called the basement of the church on the side that doesn't have any windows. So when the lights go out it gets dark. Really, really dark. I just happened to have retrieved and replaced flashlights in the youth room the day before for just such an occasion so I opened the cabinet I was standing next too and grabbed a flashlight. Yes, I was a Girl Scout; always prepared is my motto. I'm glad I was prepared too because the emergency lights that are supposed to go on in the hallway on just such an occasion did not...another thing for the buildings and grounds team to check out!

I had no sooner turned on the flashlight and demanded of the one young man screaming hysterically (in that "I'm being funny pay attention to me" manner)** to shush when the power went back on. After being accused of creating the sudden blackout and demonstrating my inability to do so, we went on with the evening.

Games were played in the big hall with lots of windows, fun was had and we headed back downstairs. Everyone had settled into their places when the power went out again.*** This time it was darker. Hysteria ensued. Again, I was standing right next to the bookshelf that held the other flashlight...hhhmmmm. Knowing that this could go on all night long, we tromped into the room across the hall where the windows are and proceeded with the evening. Due to the nature of our discussion the boys went into one room and the girls went into another. About halfway through our discussion the lights went back on. But by that time we were so used to it being half dark that when the lights went on there was an immediate demand to "turn them off!"...but something else was happening too. A mood had been created, a gate had been opened and the girls were into what was happening. They were talking, participating, enjoying the discussion in ways that hadn't happened in a while. Twice the door was opened by boys and twice there was a demand to "get out! Girls only!". And then suddenly, one of the girls looked at me with that metaphorical light bulb lighting up over her head...wait a minute...the boys are going to hear our answers to these questions aren't they? Yep. And we're going to hear theirs? Yep. A tide had turned, our time in the dark was now done, it was off to see the light.

**One of the young women in the group kept saying "I don't like the dark, I don't like the dark" all the while covering her eyes with her hand. We all got a giggle out of that.

***And again I was unjustly accused of causing the blackout. Geesh.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What I'm thinking about...

Sunday was our annual Youth Sunday extravaganza in church. Or more aptly described "Youth Director goes crazy trying to coax youth to pray/lead children's time/sing/speak in church" Sunday. I finally let things go about a week before. Didn't have a clue as to what would be said during Children's Time, didn't know who was going to pray at offering, didn't know if there would be enough people to usher and really didn't know what was going to be said by the one young lady doing her testimony. Wouldn't you know it all turned out just like God wanted it to?! Go figure.

In leading up to the morning, I spent a lot of time thinking about the statistics that have been thrown about lately. Those that say young people are leaving the church, leaving religion, and so on and so forth. I get frustrated with those surveys. Frustrated because they don't tell the whole story. For instance half of the young people that I work with have never been to church before because their parents don't go to church and no one else is taking them. Or how we graduate students out of the youth ministry program into "real life" and "real church" but don't offer them anything to help with that transition, just expect them to show up on Sunday morning and be a "real adult".

Last summer a very fabulous young woman and I went to a conference with a group from our church. Midway through the conference I asked her how her experience was. Her response? "I'm frustrated. I keep sitting in seminar after seminar and people expecting me to speak for my generation yet when I do, they dismiss what I have to say. I wonder why they want me to say anything if they don't want to hear what I have to say." I think this young woman has a lot to offer the world and know that God is working through her in incredible ways. Do I think that she might be one of the one's that walks away from the church? Yep. And it's not because of lack of faith in God or belief.

Today I'm thinking about my role as a Youth Director, as a Christ Follower in how I encourage the young people of today to hang with a church that is in desperate need of their wisdom and gifts...and thinking about how to relate that to a church that needs to hear it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Song running through my head

I don't want to work today, work today, work today.
I don't want to work today, I want to go back to bed.