Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer Has Begun!

Yes, it is definitely here! For youth minister families, Summer = BUSY, BUSY, BUSY and FUN, FUN, FUN! It is not that I don't like summer, it is just the busiest time of the year for us. We have two weeks of camps and one mission trip to Mexico. And those are just the big trips. That is not counting all the activities around here or other short trips.

Thankfully, Wes has two interns this summer who have already been a big help - Matt Porter and Lauren Cox. Lauren stayed with us for the first week. She was a joy to have around, and it was nice to get to know her right away. Avery couldn't get enough of her. Every time she was gone, Avery would say, "Where is Lauren? I thought she was going to spend the night with us. When is she coming back?" Matt Porter actually graduated from our youth group three years ago, so it has been neat to see him all grown up as a spiritual leader for our teens. Abby calls him "MaP", no matter how many times we tell her it is "MaTT". I know we confused her by telling her to call him "Mappo" one time, which is a nickname. He is part of an awesome Christian/Acoustic/Rock band, The Matt Porter Band. Check it out. He writes many of their songs. We actually had a fun little concert at church this evening on the lawn. Lauren also plays the guitar really well. Avery was a little confused tonight as to why Lauren was not playing with Matt.

Two weeks ago we celebrated a joyous occasion as Wes married Karla and Blake. Karla graduated from our youth group four years ago. She is such a sweetie and it is hard to believe she is married! They met at ACU. She is going to be a teacher and Blake will be a Youth Minister. Sound familiar? (Just like Wes and I) I remember her telling me when she was in high school that she wanted to marry a youth minister too. I told her to start praying, which is exactly what I prayed for in high school. We are excited that they are going to be at a church about an hour drive away, so hopefully we will get to do lots with them. Their rehearsal dinner and wedding were precious and brought tears to my eyes. On a side note Wes is actually preaching at his third wedding this weekend, so he has become quite the wedding pro.

We hired one of our teens to babysit for the rehearsal dinner. It was so cute - when we got home I immediately checked on Avery who was still awake. Her first words were, "How did it go, Mom?" So grown up!

Last Sunday we had our annual Senior Night Out, which is where Wes and I take the Seniors on a special trip. We taken our Seniors to Beavers Bend, Six Flags, Medieval Times, just to name a few. This year we played Laser Tag, Whirly Ball, ate at the Magic Time Machine, and then went to the Main Event to play all sorts of arcade games. Guess who had the highest score in Laser Tag out of our whole group? Yup - Me! I know you are probably surprised, but it is true. I beat a bunch of tough guys, including my husband. Yes, I am pretty proud of myself! The second time we played another church group joined us. Guess who came in second place? Yup - Me! I really haven't played Laser Tag that much in my life, but I have discovered I really like it. Apparently I am really good at killing people (not sure that is a good thing). Not to worry, scrapbooking is still my favorite hobby. Next we played Whirly Ball which is a combination of basketball, lacrosse, and bumper cars. This game was a first for all of us. If you have never played you should definitely get out there and try it. One of our Senior girls told her Mom that I was good at everything that night, but I really wasn't nearly as impressive at Whirly Ball as I was with Laser Tag. I have 4 big bruises to show for that game. The smallest one is a good 2 inches wide. The sacrifices I make for those teens, I tell you! I just took a picture of the worse bruise which has gotten a lot lighter (and I don't like the way my legs look) so I am not sure if I will post it. We had a great time with everyone and it is hard to believe that this group of Seniors were entering the 5th grade when we first moved here. Yes, we are getting old! It is so hard to see our Seniors leave each year! That's one of the hard parts of this job, for sure.

The last couple of days I have been preparing for our middle school and high school girls small group. Lauren, our intern and I will be teaching them this summer every Sunday night. I am excited! I always love teaching our girls! This summer we are using a curriculum called His Girl which should be great. Lauren had a good idea to have them keep a journal/scrapbook as we go through the class. Each week we will add something to it. We have many girls who like to scrapbook and journal so hopefully this will be a good learning tool.

Okay, I know this is a long post, but I am just trying to catch you up on things.

The girls are doing pretty good. We have had more fights around here which has led me to pray more and more for peace between the girls. I know they are acting perfectly normal, but I just want them to be best of friends. Is that too much to ask?

Good news - Abby has been a better eater these last few days. The last five months or so she has been a really picky eater, which was not normal for her. When she was younger, she would try anything and eat just about anything. The closer she got to two, that began to change. I know that is normal, but I didn't like it. I began to find any way possible to sneak the foods she wouldn't eat into the foods she enjoyed. For example I would cut up different kinds of fruit and stick it in yogurt. Or I would put broccoli or carrots in Ramen noodle soup which became a favorite of the girls for a good long while. I often put pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, or bananas in Abby's peanut butter sandwiches. You would think she wouldn't like it, but she ate it all up. I have also been known to puree carrots and sweet potatoes to put in her spaghetti sauce. Most recently I have made V8-Fusion popsicles with pureed carrots. Both girls loved these! Ha! I buy the Tropical Orange flavor of V8-Fusion. It is 100% juice and has a full serving of vegetables and a full serving of fruits. Each serving has 100% Vitamin C, 80% Vitamin A, and 10% of Vitamin E. It contains juice from sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow tomatoes, squash grapes, oranges, and pineapples, and no added sugar.
This is about the only juice I regularly buy for the girls, anymore. I know you are probably thinking, "GROSS!", but my girls love it so do some of my friend's children. The majority of the time, these sneaky food tactics work. What can I say, I really care about the health of my kids. Thankfully, Avery is a pretty good eater. When she doesn't want to eat something she will eat it anyways to get something she does want to eat. (We will say something like, "You can have more macaroni and cheese when you finish your green beans.) This phrasing hasn't worked extremely well with Abby. But, these last few days have given me hope that she will become a better eater.

One last note, Sarah Jones, who went with us to Sea World posted some pictures from our trip on her blog recently. She is a wonderful photographer! Check out the cute pictures at Our Family.

Our lovely game of Whirly Ball!

Just one of the bruises from the game. It was march darker and uglier before.

Yes, that is Superman (our waiter at The Magic Time Machine)
carrying Taylor, one of our crazy teens.

The Matt Porter Band jammin' on our church lawn!

Avery and her "BFF" (best friend forever) Grace at the concert. Avery just learned this term off a new shirt from Nana. She has called many of her friends this. Ha!

The girls when they were on friendly terms.
That Ariel shirt cracks me up!

The girls being best of buds - back in the day.


Monica said...

You are right busy busy busy. The life of the youth minister's family is always fun. I hope you guys have a fun and safe summer.

The Best Family said...

sounds like our busy, busy lives... but it is so much fun! That is a pretty awesome bruise! My boys are always either the best of friends or the worst of enemies, but i will say that as they get older, the friendly time way outweighs the time spent on enemy grounds! They sure are cute!

Miranda said...

Your girls are so's hard for me to picture them fighting at all!

laura said...

I hear you on the busy summer life of a youth minister! Travis has already had 3 camps and is about to leave for basically the whole month of July, leaving me alone with a 3 month old. Yikes! O and I wanted to let you know, Susan started a blog! I have a link to it on my blog if you want it. She just set it up today so it will be a while before it's up and running, but check it out. Have a great, busy summer