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Monday, February 23, 2009

This Weekend- Pic Heavy

Location: CranHill Ranch (Rodney, MI)

Goals: Praise God, Hang out, Play Games....Survival.
Participants: 9 Middle Schoolers, 2 Adult Leaders
Theme: "Go" and "Hold Up! Wait a minute, put a little love in it!"
One of my favorite moments: When the lead singer of the band, in an effort to get the kids up and moving said: "I wanna see you dancing around, jumping up and down, and throwing chairs if you have to!" Which was followed by horrified looks on the face of every single youth leader there who was thinking: "Don't TEMPT them!" ...because we knew- they just might do it.

This was the second straight weekend of doing nothing other than hanging out with kids...whew! But I'm not complaining, I have an awesome job if a long day means: waking up surrounded by 7 sleepy girls (they're cute when their sleepy :), walking through beautiful surroundings to a hot breakfast, and spending the rest of the day until about 12:30am doing things like praise and worship, Bible Study, snow tubing, ice climbing, snow shoeing, trail riding, truth or dare and our very own "American Idol- TCC Edition." Though by Monday morning I may be tired, behind on housework, sore and posess a little less patience than I would have hoped, I miss the kids already...

First pic: We were all being bad youth leaders the first night and laughing at our kids who were stuck waiting in the hall to get into our first session. What you can't see are the thirty other leaders milling around on this side of the doors sipping coffee and enjoying a few last minutes of relative peace before the 100 or so kids pour in those double doors. The second pic: Lead singer of "Alive," the praise and worship band for the weekend.

The weather may have been cold but we didn't hear too much complaining!

Waiting for our turn to go ice climbing: (left to right) John, Josh, Kathryn, Jessica R., Christine, Amanda, Tyler, Jessica L., Rachel.
Jessica L. climbing the ice wall and Tyler- who got all the way to the top!

Warming up before going riding by the moose in the barn store. He and I go way back.
Though he looks a little non-committal to my kisses.
Side bar: Though the weekend was a success because the kids had a great time, a personal success for me was that I was allowed by the new barn manager Amy to act like a wrangler for an hour and tack up horses, help kids get on, and ride my favorite horse in the entire world- Scout -as a "lead rider." I have to say this is the best thing she could have done for me as I've found that after nearly 4 years has passed since working at the Ranch and riding regularly, my confidence has wavered a bit. Getting on Scout though, for lack of a better term, was like coming home. If I could just fit him in my trunk an keep him in my back yard (and Amy would let me!) I would take that horse home in a heartbeat. I like to think he remembers me as when I walked up to him and said: "Hi Scooter! Do you remember me?!" He promptly gave me a "horsey hug"- headbutting my chest and rubbing his face up and down my arm- something he did constantly when he was my wrangler horse in '05.

I introduced the kids to "hot tubs" from my wrangler days. This rectangular furniture fits together perfectly to make one big bucket seat for everyone to pile into.

"American Idol - TCC Edition:" Amanda and Ivy act as backup singers for Rachel and John singing his solo...

John and Tyler aren't afraid to get cozy- squished into the smallest chair to avoid being surrounded by girls in a "hot tub."

The 2 Jessicas with Ivy looking on in the background. Jessica, Kathryn, Amanda and John making faces for the camera.

Tyler as a rather convincing "Simon Cowell" judging the singers (he has a lot of practice in sarcasm:). I was Paula- all I had to do was stand up every time someone sang and clap exaggeratedly.
And I leave you with these:

This is a certain type of picture where one lets one's jowls hang as loose as possible and shakes their head while someone else snaps a picture. It didn't work so well and Josh and I ended up looking like we'd just crawled out of our beds after a terrible night's sleep- perhaps under a rock.
It was funny though. (and yes, this was at the end of the weekend)

Now if I were able to get this picture from the front it would have been perfect.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go Figure

I really don't want my blog to turn into a page that chronicles one women's struggle with fertility so I've refrained from posting anything further about the subject since my original post back in December. However, this is worth sharing as it just might make you laugh and brighten a rather dreary (but unusually warm!) day.

Since finding out about PCOS in September I've done a lot of research online and joined many a TTC (trying to conceive) forum where I could get all my questions answered without pestering my doctors with daily phone calls. One of the suggestions I've heard time and again was to purchase the book: "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. People in the forums often refer to it as the "TTC Bible" (I chose my battles) and it's praises are sung often as one of the best ways to learn about your body- whether you are TTCing or not.

So last week Friday I was headed to Barnes and Noble to buy "Eclipse" for my good friend Kim as part of her very late Christmas present and decided it would be worth it to bite the bullet and purchase the $25 text-book looking book. (Rachel later saw it on my coffee table and called it a Manual...heehee like an operations manual? :))

So I started out in the health section of the used book area- always trying to be frugal-and had no luck (though I did find a book called "The Southern Woman's Guide to the Newlywed Years" for $7 that I carried around for awhile because the first few pages were hilarious but I later put that back). Then I looked around for a health section in the new books section and didn't see it. The only other section I could think of, as I walked past a table covered in books of baby names, was the pregnancy and baby section but I really didn't want to go over there.

My heart started to race as I realized that was exactly where I was headed so I stopped, paced back and forth a few times, sighed, got momentarily really angry that B&N would put a book about fertility next to "What to Expect When You're Expecting," considered complaining if indeed I did find it there, then took a deep breath, clenched my teeth and entered the baby section covered with light pink and blue tomes. Quickly scanning the shelves I tried not to look at the covers or read any of the titles that had the words "baby" or "pregnancy" on them, and confirmed that in fact, reading all those books had made someone at B&N smart and they had not put the book in this section. I breathed a sigh of relief and started walking idly back towards the front of the store, out of ideas and no closer to finding the book.

I went to the help desk and found two people ready and wiling to help - a 40 year old man, and an 18 year old boy.

I opted for the 40 year old man and bounced around impatiently while trying desperately NOT to look at the 18 year old boy.

"Can I help you find something?" said the boy.

"Shoot" I thought.

But there was no avoiding it, I walked up to the boy- looked him in the face with all the confidence in the world- or that I could muster... and said "Yes, the book is called: Taking Charge of Your Fertility!" perhaps a little louder than was necessary and flushed purple.

Thank goodness he didn't even flinch. He led me over to the diseases section- go figure -pulled out the book, handed it to me and walked away. When I looked at the price tag I had a momentary lapse in resolve but decided I'd gone through too much to walk out of the dang store without the stupid book and headed straight for the registers.

In the end, I'm happy with my purchase- I would advise any woman who has yet to go through menopause (it even touches on that subject) to read it. It has reiterated for me the fact that 6th grade "sex ed" just did not do justice to explaining fertility and most of us are sorely uneducated about our own bodies. But next time (Thank you Bradi) I think I'll go to amazon.com!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hebrews 11:1-2

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."