Sunday, September 14, 2008

A whirlwind weekend

It was a busy, but rewarding weekend. On Friday afternoon Jack and I started detailing the inside of the truck to get it cleaned up. After he went to work, I took it down to a drive-through carwash to get the outside clean. (Our white truck was orange with all the clay-dirt on our road.) I really didn't realize how stubborn that orange dirt is. I don't usually wash the truck - that is why I have a husband and six kids. But I needed it cleaned for the weekend, and so I went through the carwash. Well, that didn't clean the truck, but since I paid for the fancy schmancy wash, the fancy-shmancy sealer included in the price finished gluing the clay to the truck.

With a deep sense of trepidation, I took the the modge-podged truck to the self-service carwash. There I had to pay again for the pleasure of spraying the truck down one inch at a time with a high-pressure hose. Then I had to scrub every inch I could reach with the foaming scrubbrush. Now this wouldn't have been such a fearsome feat if my arm muscles weren't still a quivering mess from the cruel warm-up and workout the day before. After I spent some more money vaccuuming the truck, I brought it home and let the professionals wash the windows and mirrors.

I needed the truck ready so I could attend a children's ministry seminar with Debbie, Lora, Crystal, and Annette. There was a whole hallway full of different books from Cokesbury that I would have loved to buy one of nearly everything of. I took pictures of lots of them so I could remember them later, but here is Debbie modeling the one I want to get for next year's Children's Church.
We went to several different classes, and got a lot of tips and ideas for incorporating in our children's program. My personal favorite was the class on creating a computer lab in your church. I don't know if I will get to implement this in our church in anyway, but I absolutely loved what this church has done.
In fact, I loved everything about their Children's program. I spent time in the hallway talking to the Sunday School director and was so impressed. The entire Sunday School corridor is all about and completely inviting to kids in everyway. My favorite was the movie room. The movie screen is painted on the wall, there are big movie posters around the room, there is a popcorn machine, and movie chair seating. I told the director I would really love to come spend a Sunday morning there and see first hand how they put all the different rooms to use each Sunday.

The last class I wanted to take had been cancelled, and Crystal needed to go grocery shopping before the storm that Ike was pushing our way hit our area. After a yummy lunch at PF Changs (sorry gals... the pics are all blurry) we walked around the outdoor mall the restaraunt is in. I don't know when the last time was that I was able to spend part of an afternoon just laughing and wandering with friends, but just getting to do it made me realize how much I needed it. I saw this gorgeous set of bowls when we were window shopping at Williams Sonoma. I am not a very materialistic person, but I do get bowl envy when I see things like this!

We finished up the grocery shopping, and headed home. The rain slowed us down, but we made it back in one piece. Then Jack took the boys to town to see Dark Knight.

The rain we drove through on the way home and through the early evening became a huge downpouring storm through the night. I woke up at 3 and saw the rain flying at different angles, and saw trees bending precariously. This morning we woke and found all kinds of chaos on our front porch. The chairs the animals usually sleep in at night were all knocked over and scattered.
One of our porch ceiling fans had a blade torn off and the rest were badly bent.
My birdfeeder was torn apart, and the wind even tossed around Jack's drill battery.

My hanging plants were torn down as well, and the baskets are now empty. We haven't checked the backyard yet to see if any of our trees came down, but lots were down all over the area. A good portion of our residents lost their power today too. These are all just minor inconveniences for us here. I really hope all the rest of my friends in the Houston and coastal areas where Ike really caused problems are okay.

We were 15 minutes late this morning, but we did make it to church. The only row left was the front row, which gave me a clear shot of the pastor with the kids. Unfortunately, my camera has been giving me problems and I wasn't able to get a clear shot. The majority of my photos lately have been blurry, and even the better ones aren't tack sharp. It is driving me crazy.
Right after church we went to Kevin and Debbie's house for a birthday lunch for Kevin, Chet, Beth, and Crystal's son Alex. Their's is one of the houses without power today, so we cooked hotdogs on the grill and served cold food with it. It was a quiet but really fun party. I love when we all spend Sunday afternoons together and get to hang around and visit.
The kids love hanging out outside together. In fact, we never saw Alex after he got on the 4-wheeler, and Matt was gone most of the time too.

I love taking pictures of the kids on their property. There are so many great natural backdrops and pretty scenery for photos.
We had to leave the party early to get Faith to her first volleyball game on time. We came upon this car accident as we left town. (There were no injuries or I would not have taken pictures, and in fact the lady driving the car was laughing.) We found it comical that she drove into a ditch trying to pull into the driveway for the insurance company. We could hear her say as we were waved through "I didn't know that ditch was there!"

After one hour of practice last Wednesday, Faith played her first set of games today. I really like this coach and this team. Most of the girls are in class with Chet or Faith, so Faith is already friends with them. I think that made a huge difference in her feeling comfortable starting in a sport she has never experienced before. She gave it her all, though, even though she never did serve the ball over the net. Her coach made her team captain for today, and she took it very seriously. Through the whole game we could hear her calling encouragement to her teammates and cheering them on. She really was born to be a cheerleader.
THis is just a shot of Todd and Beth coming back up the stairs to the balcony that we watched the game from.
WE stopped at Sonic for happy-hour slushies on the way back to town after the games. Can you tell which flavors these guys picked?

We got back to town in time to take the kids to the Awana Club that began tonight at the Baptist church. It turns out they are changing it to Wednesday nights, so my kids won't be able to go every week like they wanted to, but they did enjoy themselves tonight.

Almost all of Faith's bestfriends attend this church, so these three spent the evening being their giggly goofy selves together.

At one point I looked over and realized that Mackenzie had given Faith a purseful of make-up to put on. Although she has been rallying to wear make-up, Faith knows she isn't supposed to wear it out in public. When they saw my lens pointed their way and realized they were busted, they started cracking up. Aren't the best friends the ones you can laugh with like this?

After running all weekend, it was finally time to head home. I saw these cloud formations as we were driving down our road home, and asked Jack to stop the truck for me to take a picture. I haven't been able to check the weather to see if these are a new storm forming, or just random clouds passing through, but I still thought they looked pretty interesting.
I took this a couple of days ago when Beth was napping, but I think it really sums up how I feel. Give me a comfy couch to kick my feet up on, and I could probably sleep very well for a long time if nobody woke me up. Things aren't going to slow down again for at least a couple of months, but I am glad for this weekend of activities. I had a lot of fun, and I needed a weekend like this. Good friends, good activities, family time, a favorite meal I didn't have to cook, and some interesting but non-threatening weather really made for a pleasant state of exhaustion.

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