Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is it over?

What a weekend! It was cram-packed from Thursday night through yesterday--but it was fun. A few posts ago I talked about how my summers are always non-stop go, go, go--well this weekend was the official kick off to that race. The life of Children's and Youth Minister's are odd in that when most families think of summer as a time to go places and enjoy seeing sights and friends they haven't seen in a while we in Ministry are actually "working" all summer. Fall, particularly September, has been my time to take some what of a break and get away for a week having some fun. It is especially important to me now that Teensy and the boys are here. Fortunately most of what I do in the summer involves the boys so they can come along and play with Dad while he works. It's the week or two that I'm out of town that are hard on us all.

Park has a tradition which precedes my ministry of taking elementary kids on outings each Friday called: Friday Fun Ventures. Last year I did the fun ventures as they were done in the past just to get an idea what it was all about. This year I changed up the format, moved them to Thursday (most families leave on Friday for weekend get away and this took a lot of kids out of the mix), and called them, "FunVenture" with the tag line, "wherever we go...we'll have fun." We have a great line up of really fun places that the kids are really going to love. They look forward to all of the adventures and hanging out together and can't wait until the next week when we do it all again.
This is the summer shirt I designed. Before Mildred busts me I will fess up to giving one of the best graphic artists I have ever met the idea that she turned into the master piece you see. There are some shirts that I have actually designed that should have never been printed. I would love to gather them all up and burn them. Two come to mind in particular the first being a music camp t-shirt in which I took two notes and wrapped them around the text of my shirt. The notes looke like graceful ballerina's in "spin" mode. It was all good except for the fact that the way the notes are placed make them look like breasts. I have never seen that image just the graceful notes, but I don't readily notice stuff like that--call me naive. The other shirt was a Spring Fling shirt that I tried to vibe with a 60's feel...well, it turned out looking like some kind of bad hallucination. It was really bad. A single digit percentage of men do not think wearing a purple shirt is cool. Why do men think wearing pink or purple take away masculinity?
Losing 5th graders to the 6th grade kills me because I feel like I'm giving up my own kids. I've invested a lot of time into those cherubs and to just watch them walk of into the jungle is scary to me. I just don't think a 6th grader has what they need to cope with the environment of a youth group. Knowing that I lose them in June, I have always had one final party to say goodbye. Here I call it the Final FunVenture. I can plan some blowout stuff that makes the kids get really excited! It wears me out, but the kids have fun and that's what matters. For the blowout party this year I planned a trip to Incredible Pizza and an IMAX showing of Spider Man 3. Before I knew it I had a truck load of kids coming--they came out of the woodwork.
While I was at this event my Dad stopped by to see Teensy and the boys, my wife's parents came for the weekend, and our good friend Jill and her daughter came from Fort Worth to see us for the weekend. I was going to come into a house full of company! We get really excited when we have company because we just love to have company--for real. I get all giddy because I get to cook a lot and make stuff that we normally wouldn't make. I made Ina Garten's coffee cake muffins and they were so good. Kendra makes this Hawaiian bread in the bread machine that we use for French Toast. I also made Creme Brulee and the ravioli lasagna that I posted about which is always good. We just love to cook for a crowd, call us weird.
Teensy and the boys really love the attention. Kendra and I are convinced no one comes to see us they just come to see the kids and we happen to be there to provide their care. We don't' get to see Kendra's parents very often because they live so far away, so when we do get together we try to get as much visiting in as we can. Our kids call Kendra's Mom, "Granny" ; and her Dad, "Poppy." Granny gets on the floor and rolls around with the boys and runs and plays which makes her their favorite toy! They had to go home early Sunday morning so we had a good day Saturday playing and getting caught up. Jill and her daughter, Reagan, planned to stay until Tuesday when they had to head back home. They live in Fort Worth.
Monday I went back to Incredible Pizza (two trips in a week is too much in case you were wondering what the overload limit is) so Reagan and the boys could play. As I was dropping off the crew I saw something totally and completely unnerving to me. I have dozens of pet peeves and you get to hear about two of them now. First, he parked in handicapped parking and didn't look handicapped at all. I wish those hanging signs actually said what the handicap was. It really drives me crazy when people who aren't handicapped use a friend or family's sticker to get better parking. He wore those Jersey shorts which had ridden up between his thighs, enter the second pet peeve. I can't stand when overweight people's shorts ride up--it drives me crazy! I am a portly guy and make sure I don't have v-short syndrome. It doesn't take much to shimmy those shorts back into position! He had a double whammy because he was illegally parked in a handicapped space that should have been left for more deserving folks and had v-short syndrome. He was doomed. I watched him inside, and he didn't exhibit ANY problems as he rode the go-carts, jet ski's, and played the round of mini-golf, not to mention the hurt he put on the buffet! I was curious if he would just sit around a huff in disability, it was a little mystery I wanted to solve. I'm sure he saw me with those pursed lips of disapproval. Shame, shame on him.
After our incredible experience we went to Target to spend some gift money sent by Jill's parents for Teensy and I had to pick up some things for dinner. Kassie and her girls were coming over for a barbecue and we wanted to make sure we had plenty. Kassie is another good friend who lives one neighborhood over. I grabbed some more chocolate milk (Chubbers calls it, "chocky") and picked up a tenderloin (pork) and some Parmesan blend. We barbecued chicken, grilled the pork tenderloin, roasted some squash and zucchini then broiled some cheese on top, baked some beans, and had some watermelon. Next time you grill chicken try this: Get your chicken good and seared don't worry about cooking it to the bone. Once you have a good sear on it take it off the grill and put it in a baking dish, cover it with barbecue sauce, then cover the pan in foil and bake it at 400 for around twenty or thirty minutes. It gets this light smoky flavor and stays tender and juicy plus the barbecue sauce doesn't burn. I love the trick.
Everyone but Teensy and I went to the Splash pad in our neighborhood. A splash pad is a concrete surface with water effects. The kids get soaking wet but don't have to worry about drowning! We love the splash pad. Chubbers is out on getting sprayed so he will run in when the water goes away and run like the wind when it starts back up we get so tickled at him trying to get out of the way of that water! It wears Titus out, we love it when Titus wears out! After the splash pad it was bath and bed for the kiddos.
We had our Aero bed inflated in the game room for Reagan and Jill, but Titus insisted on sleeping on that bed. Jill agreed to sleep in his room and give her spot to the boy. He was thrilled with the idea of sleeping on the blow up. As we were all winding down, Reagan ran across the Miss Universe pageant and decided to watch. They had narrowed the field down to 15 and it was swimsuit time after the break. When the break was over the announcer said, "Welcome back to the Miss Universe pageant, it's time for swimsuits and here comes Guatemala." "Guatemala! Guatemala! who would name their kid Guatemala!" Titus was stunned and shocked to realize that some parent had named their child this horrible name. He was convinced that their country of origin was their name. I couldn't convince him otherwise and he probably still believes there are people in zebra bikini's named Guatemala, Brazil, and India. What's a Dad to do? I really got a kick out of that.
This weekend Kendra's brother and crew are coming which means more fun! We'll celebrate Titus' birthday and Devin's son, Reese, birthday. I'll let you know about that later.
This week being a short week means--crazy! I have a lot of summer stuff getting ready to blow up in my face and I have to get on the ball wrapping up the last minute details that must be taken care of. The first is a huge event I'm coordinating at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, that's Friday. Then I have two big events coming up plus some other small stuff as well as normal worship stuff. Oh yeah and this Sunday is promotion Sunday which means it will be crazy with all of the kids freaking out at their new classes and teachers. Looking forward to that one!


Donna said...'d I miss the birth of Devin's son???? That boy can sure crank 'em out, but I'm quite certain he's only contributed to the birth of 2 girls.
My favorite of all your bad t-shirt designs is the two boobs on a pregnant belly. One day I'm going to make a quilt out of all your bad t-shirt designs. You actually did have one AWESOME shirt.....Power Zone (had to go to my closet to remember the name). That's a good one William.

Tracy said...

your activities are leaving me exhausted and i'm just readin about 'em! and all the food sounds won-der-ful! o i forgot to thank you for the recipes! they look lovely - now all i need is some company who actually shows up and maybe i can make them. those kids at your church are awfully lucky is all i have to say - so many fun things to do. wow.