Monday, July 6, 2015

the weekend

After coming home from Street Reach on Friday, I was exhausted.  I took a three hour nap!  Well, after I started a giant load of laundry.  We ate a quick and easy dinner, after I cried for a bit, then met some friends at Powell Park, across the street from our neighborhood.  I love our little town!  And I love that in spite of all the rain we got on Friday, the fireworks were still happening.  This town spends a ton of money on them, apparently, and rain or not, the fireworks were on.

It felt amazing outside!  Because more rain was expected later, they started at about eight thirty.

The sky was beautiful on this night.  Our kids all ran around like crazy, while I sat glued to my chair.  (I was still tired.)  My friend Laurie and I attempted three pictures before being happy with one.  I love the photo bombers in the background.

The next day, I did a little bit of laundry and took about three naps.  Have I mentioned how draining Street Reach is?  I never realize it until I'm home.  We left our house at five and headed out to my mom's house for some ribs and fireworks.

It was delicious!

My nephew Tyler was there.  I love that picture of him and my mom.  He had put his hat on her head and I made them pose for me.  :)

It was a fun night.  Drew wanted to stop by his friend girl's house on the way home, so we stopped to say hi to them and came home and went to bed.

After church on Sunday, a lunch from Taco Bell and a quick nap, I drove the boys to meet my dad-in-love.  They're all spending a couple of nights over there this week, for Mimi's boy's camp.  I dropped them with him, and came home for community group.

It was a fun night, as usual!  I love these teenagers so much, it's a joy to spend each Sunday night with them.  I love our summer time community group, with the swimming.  It's fun watching how much they love one another.

It was a great, restful weekend.  I needed it, apparently.  Hope your week started off great!  Love to all.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Street Reach 2015

Last week was my second year of going to Street Reach.  In case you missed out somehow, this is a week when our youth go to the inner city of Memphis and give bible clubs for the kids in the neighboring areas.  Brinkley Heights Urban Academy is the school that targets high risk students and takes them in.  BHUA is where we stay through the entire week, and they own about fifteen different sites nearby, that we go and use for the bible clubs each morning.  Out of everything our youth does, this is my favorite.

Here is our week, in pictures.

This is the school.  When you stand where I took this picture, this building houses the cafeteria, school offices and classrooms.  To the right is the gym.

Our church had two sites again this year.  The one below is Club Que Que (pronounced Cway Cway).  The second site was at Treadwell, right behind the school.  We would have a morning send off from BHUA, then would meet at the site at ten.  The students then got their walking routes, and went to knock on doors to gather kids to bring to bible club.  We met at the site again, at around eleven, then we would have worship and the bible story.  The kids ate lunch after that, then would rotate to different stations.  The rotations were craft, bible reinforcement and recreation.  The worship team and Jonathan (who told the bible stories) traveled to each site every day.  I drove them.  So we would start here at Que Que, then go to Treadwell.

The bible clubs lasted from ten to twelve thirty.  The youth would take all the kids back home, we would break down our site equipment and head back to BHUA.  We ate lunch at one and at two, we would go do an afternoon service project each day, except for on Wednesday and Friday.  The picture below was at Urban Farms, where we cleaned up a greenhouse.

These were my sweet little friends.  Dominic is the one in my lap.  These sweet babies just wanted to be held constantly.  They don't get much of that at home, so we all were constantly swarmed with these angels.

These two little cuties are named Jennifer and D'Korian.  Jennifer and I decided that we were best friends forever, because our names are the same.  And D'Korian is one from last year.  They still have my heart.

Busted!  I caught Drew and Madison taking a selfie.  She was precious, and this was on Thursday.

Jennifer has a sister who is a year younger, named Selena.  They about tackled me when they saw me on Thursday.  I *might* have cried after the taking of this picture.  Jennifer told me that Thursday would be her last day, they had to go to the dentist the next day.  She begged me to go with her.

Here's the thing about Street Reach that I love.  Well, there are several things I love.  I love that it's in our city.  You don't even have to leave the city for a mission trip, folks!  I think it's great that people do, but it's not necessary.  The need is great within this city I live in.  These kids come from families with lots of kids, usually, so by the time Street Reach starts, they are craving love and affection.  They don't get that from home.  Even the ones who act out, they are craving the same thing, but they act out to receive that attention they want.  They long to be held.

My prayer for this week was that God would bring the kids, and boy, did He ever!  It was awesome.  I also prayed that our eyes would be fixed on Him.  There was ZERO DRAMA.  That did not happen last year.  I prayed that we would be totally spent at the end of each day, and we were.  God was so gracious to have moved in and through all of us, and we saw Him answer prayer after prayer.  It was an amazing week.  And we have some pretty amazing students.  I am so fortunate to have been even a tiny, tiny part in all of this.  I praise God for His goodness, and I thank Him for the opportunities He presents me with.  I love our youth so much and I love helping lead them.

Now for the other part of Street Reach that I love.

Our students.

They are so much fun!  I am reliving my childhood through them, and I am reminded, often, of how much I still love sleepovers!  It's the weirdest thing~after a whole five nights in a row with them, I miss them all when I come back home.  I mean, I love my family, don't get me wrong.  But I love being with teenage girls.  I feel so thankful to be a part of them.  We had an amazing week together.

If you were part of ones who prayed for us, thank you!  I can't say that enough.  If you made it all the way through this blog post, bless you.  It was long.

Love to all!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life Lately

On a lighter note, I thought I would share a little bit of what we've been up to this week, and what we're about to be doing next week.

I've done a lot a lot a lot of laundry.  On Monday, I walked into the kitchen and saw Twinkles on all these beach towels and cracked up.  I shooed her off the table right after taking this picture.

On Tuesday, I posted this picture to Instagram about what I use on my fingernails.  People always think I pay to get them done, but I don't.  I don't have the money to spend on that all the time and I'm picky about what colors I use.  I even get tired of colors pretty often, so I do them myself and change them every few days.  I always do two coats of polish, a coat of Seche Vite and I spray them all with OPI RapiDry.

And 45 minutes to an hour later, they look like this.

Also on Tuesday night, Graham sent me this picture.

He and his friend Cameron are the youngest students in a class they're taking at the citizen's police academy.  They got to do a S.W.A.T team exercise on this night.  I'm so proud of them both!

On Wednesday, my mom and I met at Ihop.  I made these turkeys smile for my picture.

You see how well Alex followed my instructions.  He really does smile, I promise.

Also, on this day, I found a new recipe and made it for dinner.

It was really good.  The kids loved it, so most likely it will be a repeat.  The next time, I may just do meatballs and spaghetti.

On Thursday morning, my friend Abbey texted me that her mom was bringing up her little twin nieces to the church.  We got dressed quickly and ran up there to meet them.  They are even cuter than I had imagined.  I love that the one on the left kept her "gobbles" (goggles) on the whole time.

Later that afternoon, my friend Scottie and I went to see our eleventh grade girls adopted grandmother.  Mrs. Audrey is in the hospital and we paid her a visit.  We took balloons and candy.  When Scottie got in the car, the balloons took over and I made her freeze for a picture.

I love her so much!  I was glad to see Mrs. Audrey looking good at the hospital and it was good to catch up with this lady.  Our time together flies because we always have so much fun.

On Friday we went to lunch with my daddy and later in the afternoon I tried taking a nap, but these guys kept interrupting me!

Todd got dressed right after this picture and rode with the sheriff's department last night.  The boys and I met some friends for dinner at Taco Bell then came back home.  I watched Parenthood.

I love this show so much!  More so than I even loved Friends.  It's so real and it makes me both laugh and cry.  Last night I did both as I watched this particular episode.

Look what was on my Timehop this morning!

If ever there was a kid who could rock that faux 'hawk, it was Noah.  I cannot stand how adorable they were!

We went to Alex's basketball game today at noon, at ECS, which is my old stomping grounds.  It's hard to believe it's been twenty years since I graduated high school.  I feel like I'm in my twenties, instead of my late thirties.

It's weird how that happens.

We are not going anywhere for the rest of today.  Tonight, Graham, Drew and I will start packing, because on Sunday afternoon we leave for Street Reach!  My favorite thing that we do.  I am so excited about this week and I would love for your prayers for all of next week.  Please pray for the kids we'll be ministering to, for the teenagers going from our church, and for all the other people there with us all week.  Thanks, ahead of time.  :)

Well, enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Love to all.