Thursday, February 28, 2013

Girls v Boys (part 1)

I showed up at the 8th grade girls' basketball game after school. I love when it works out for me to come cheer them on. I love it even more when I have fun kids to sit with in the stands. I'm so thankful for these girls and the way I get to walk through life with them.

Yesterday with Sabrina I told her about how when I was in HS I would always get a little weirded out when people came to watch just me at a play or tennis match. I don't know why, I'm just weird like that. But because that's how I reacted, that's how I expected kids to react when I started showing up in Young Life. But Saba reassured me, "No, I really like when you come. Keep doing it." So I will. But I don't take these kid's acceptance and excitement for granted.

Tonight we had our second Young Life Club-- Girls v Boys style. We showed up in our pink, the boys came dressed in blue. I love that I get to work alongside Abby and Molly who love these girls so much.

Ryan has added a new member to his band, Carter Conaway. I knew Carter played guitar but I didn't know he was this good. They rocked it tonight and I'm so excited to have them play together every week. Natalie Willman is a rare gem... she's also really good at scurrying in this state and making unique chirping/squeaking noises.

I'm all about dressing up together, being part of a team and having everyone work together. And group pictures, I really love those too.



The first game was a smashing success. Butler and Drew cracked eggs on Hannah and Chad's heads, then dropped the egg into the cups Brooke and Nick were holding up. A yolk in the cup equals one point for your team. It was eggcellent.

The boys aren't too into the singing part of Club quite yet, but we got them to join in for A-team and Rhett served as their swaying coach.

We tested each gender's ability to complete tasks the other half routinely accomplishes. The girls had to lather up and then shave (with plastic knives) before putting on and correctly tying ties.

Nat, Soph and Kendyl clean up nicely don't they?

They boys were giving a supply of makeup and asked to help each other get ready. Funniest thing of my life to watch. Ryan held up the eyeliner and asked what to do with it, Grant couldn't figure out what the blush was for. Lipstick was their go-to tool. At first they were only drawing on JB's face and the other two thought they'd get out of it.

All three off them ended up looking just beautiful. These guys are awesome.

Our last game was a Girls v Boys balloon relay. You had to blow up your balloon till it popped, then the next person could start.

I've played this before but the balloons have never expanded this much. Don't worry, no one passed out. And every single time a balloon popped we all jumped from the noise. We were neck and neck till the very end, the boys ended up beating us with just a few breaths.

We sang "Lay My Burdens Down" together for the first time tonight and it took me back to weeks of singing this song in a circle with Carmel kids at Club and Campaigners. This is what it's all about. Inviting kids into a relationship with Christ where they can experience his amazing grace and give up their burdens to him. They don't have to carry them alone any longer because we serve a God that's bigger than all of that.

We want to invite these kids into that kind of life that Bob Goff describes as, "A way of living and loving. A life that is full of ABANDON, WHIMSY and LOVE. Because something happens when we get engaged, doesn't it? It changes everything. This way of life is contagious. Other people will watch us and start seeing life as something more amazing, more whimsical than before."

Tonight Emily O'Bear came for the first time and I couldn't be more excited. She was in my first class ever and has been a Tecumseh kid for years. This coming summer she'll be moving into the Longhouse to be a CILT too. I love seeing Lauren every week and am so thankful for how involved with Young Life she has been this year.

KCraig shared her testimony tonight about how words, both negative and positive, have been so impactful in her life. She told us a story about how Christ used his words to bring healing, transformation and hope to a woman's life. We watched a video about the power of words. All of this is applicable to our lives, so important, so clearly connected to what God is asking of us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blizzards, basketballs and dance moves

I picked up Sabrina today for an after school snack. Hanging out with YL girls is the best and Saba is so special--I've known her since my first year teaching and love that we have become friends.

After watching the 7th grade girls' basketball team I drove across town to the talent show at Geist Elementary. I stayed with the Hendrick's sisters for a week at the beginning of February and while I was there Hadley and her friends got into the school talent show. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to cheer on their dance to Eenie Meenie Miney Mo Lover. Don't you love the tu-tus?

There must be something in the water because all the kids in this town are incredibly talented. I'm always amazed at the Junior High talent show at the end of the year, this was no different even though these kids are several years younger. I watched multiple dance routines, gymnasts, piano players, vocalists, cheerleaders, comedians and my favorite act of all was the most phenomenal hula-hooper I've ever seen. She hula-hooped while dancing to a medley of three different songs that had her dancing, twisting, jumping and spinning all over the stage.

We had our own cheering section with the Hendicks family, Jimmy, Milly, cousin Grace, neighbor Laura and Kendyl. Hadley was a rockstar and so precious. Love that girl.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thoughts of the Day

"I think Jesus had in mind that we would not just be "believers" but "participants." Not because it's hip, but because it's more accurate, more fitting that way. He wanted people who got the "do" part of faith, not because He wanted activity, but because He wanted our faith to matter to us. It's not just being politically correct; it's about being actually correct. We need to make our faith our very own love story." -Bob Goff, Love Does

Ways I'm Seeing God Show Up Today:
1. Hearing Bailee talk about what she's learning in Mark
2. Talking to Chloe about the first chapter of The Story
3. Dinner with Emily and Rachel, good friends that are such a part of my history and future
4. Working with people like KCraig and Lori that really get that teaching is about so much more than just the academic piece
5. Roommates who make me laugh, watch funny videos, plan chambray shirt days and share so well
6. Catching up with Annie and hearing her joy increase this semester
7. Starting to read the God Box from Mrs. Dewolf and being encouraged to pray like this mom
8. Getting to be up on the 8th grade floor for two days and seeing so many of my kids multiple times
9. When people go out of their way to be helpful
10. Fresh ideas and the audacity to try something new

Precept #6
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.  -Blaise Pascal

Monday, February 25, 2013

A little bit of much needed whimsy

Tonight we had our third week on relationships and started our third Lent Project challenge. It was a crazy night. We tried out a new schedule--going right into groups and having songs and announcements at the end. Our girls were so hyper tonight. Not going to lie, I was a little overwhelmed. Sometimes that happens. On nights like this I've got to trust the process.
I still love hanging out with girls like Natalie, Maddie, Hayley and Mariah even when everything is nuts. Tonight I'm thankful for a quiet conversation as everyone was leaving. Moments like that are what I want to be about.

We never even went down to the basement gym tonight since we went right into our lesson. I was confused to hear music wafting up from that side of the garage when I was heading out to my car. I had to investigate what was going on down there. Pushing open the doors, I found Haleigh, Haley, Natalie and Mariah having a spontaneous dance party. Two seconds later I'd dropped my bag and coat to join right in. Sometimes you've got to just dance it out.


Sometimes I just need a little bit of whimsy like this. You know when you're tired, frustrated or just not really feeling it? The smallest things can turn your day around. Thank goodness for mini dance parties with these girls, for surprise texts from friends far away, for drawings from Malena, for seeing a pic of Lincoln and mom, for a new chapter of "Bread and Wine", for hearing your favorite song on the radio. It's the little things, like putting your friend through a basketball hoop.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quilty, Quilty, Quilt Camp

This weekend I got to return to Camp Tecumseh, one of my favorite places, with my mom Beth and Sarah Briggs, two of my very favorite people. Sar is getting married in May and this was the weekend to make her wedding quilt. 

This is the 5th quilt the three of us have tag-teamed-- the first for Sar, a wedding quilt for our old roommate and friend Jenna and two baby quilts for friends. We'd picked out fun blues, greens and yellows and were excited to make another quilt we'd all love.

There's not a whole lot to write about the weekend because Quilt Camp is a whole lot of sewing. We sew and then we eat, then we go sew some more, then it's time for another meal before we sew again. We sit at this table for most of the time, unless we were laying out all of the blocks. But I love the simpleness of it all. I love that we just get to be together and not be stressed or worried about anything else going on.

We each have our own jobs, we're an assembly line super machine. Mom sews, I match the pieces together and Sar irons. With all three of us working we can get done with each section extra fast. All the other ladies in the room wanted their own assistants to speed up their projects.

By dinner on Saturday night we finished the wedding quilt! The borders took us longer than we expected but we love the finished project. It's off to the quilters now so it'll be all finished by the big day (fingers crossed).

There was still more weekend left and a whole bag of fabric just waiting to be made into something beautiful, so we did something we've never done before. We decided to start a second quilt. Yep, we're that crazy.

I chose a lot of the fabrics from Sar and Ben's quilt plus threw more of my favorite pinks and oranges into the mix. We were cutting machines-- 64 10" squares, 64 of 3 different lengths of polka-dot fabric to run through the whole thing. Then we started sewing again.

By late this morning we completed all 64 blocks and got the whole quilt laid out. I'm in love with it. We say that every quilt is our favorite, but this is a really great one. Sar and I even convinced mom to start sewing the rows and we finished four by lunch!

Sar and I were easily the youngest girls at Quilt Camp this weekend but we were surrounded by so many women that come here not just for the sewing but for the friendships. Ruthie and Kathy come all the way up from Kentucky to sew together, Deb and her best friend Ginny came for the very first time together, the three women that organized all the 50's games and decorations are like the three amigos and I'm pretty sure my mom is close friends with all of the ladies there. Quilt Camp is all about relationships. While we sew the room is a buzz of conversation and no one wants to head home on Sunday. I'm so glad that I get to share this with Sar and my mom, two of my very best friends.

p.s. My t-shirt quilt from the December quilt is completely done now. Mom brought it down this weekend with the binding all finished as one of my belated birthday presents. I love it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Unlikely Trends

Lizzy Dale and I had a breakfast for dinner date at Cracker Barrel tonight. She's so good at slipping into her old person persona after so much practice lately. We both got the Old Timer's Breakfast and I tell ya' the crowd of Senior Citizens in that place sure are on to something. I'm planning on joining that crowd for 5:15 dinners more often.

On this blustery cold Wednesday I'd like to take us all back to a warmer time in the summer of 2011, aka the Summer of the Birth of the Wolf Shirt.

My good friend Shelby sent me this article today. These people are on to something too. My costume box bursting with denim is ready for this comeback.