Thursday, July 28, 2016

You Might Be The Youth Pastor's Kid If......

1- You know where the church secretary hides all the good snacks.

2- The pastor teaches you to throw rocks at church camp.

3- You're the only one to get 12 hours of sleep at youth camp.

4- You can fall asleep despite the rocking worship band playing.

5- You have "church camp sheets" that only get used once a year.

6- You hear your parents talking about camp and you wonder what cousin you get to spend a week with this year.

7- You are potty trained at youth camp.

8- You're first "real" concert is to see Toby Mac.

9- You can sing along to all the songs on the Christian radio station but have no idea the lyrics to the songs you're friends are singing.

10- You know all the VBS songs weeks before VBS.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My 20th High School Reunion

I travelled 400 miles to go to my 20th high school reunion this past weekend. 20 years ago I couldn't wait to graduate and move far away from these people. I've been looking forward to going back and reconnecting for weeks.  How time changes things.

This was not just a high school reunion. It was a reunion of my childhood. I grew up in a one redlight town in the 80's and 90's. We had 43 people in our graduating class and most of use had known each other since 1st  grade. We grew up together. We had slumber parties together. These are the people we talked about our first kisses with. We were cheerleaders together and went to band camp together. As a youth minister's wife I spend a lot of time with teenagers. I listen to a LOT of teenage girl drama. This weekend I smiled, hugged and laughed with lots of those who caused MY teenage girl drama.

Time changes things. Marriage, babies, tradegy changes things. I looked around and didn't see an extra 20 pounds here or extra wrinkles under the eyes there.  I saw the bright faced 18 year olds that used to be.  I saw dreams that worked out and some that didn't. We laughed together because the music was too loud and we were "out past our bedtimes".  We stood in the middle of Main Street for our class picture. The same Main Street that we rode down in floats in the Christmas parade and marched down in the Homecoming parade.

I had a terrific time! These were the friends of my youth. They shaped who I was for better or worse and helped to catapult me into the woman I have become.  It was great to catch up.

There was no pretense or pretending or trying to be better than someone else.  I am who I am and that's it. And even though 20 years ago I didn't feel like that was enough this time it was.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Why Legoland is the safest place in Dallas

Two weeks ago when we went to Dallas for a short vacation we spent a morning at Legoland. First up  let me tell you I thought it was a little overpriced. It was $90 when I paid for 4 of us and we probably stayed 3-4 hours. For that much I want something to keep me occupied all day. (To be fair we did not take advantage of the outside water play because I just did not want to take the time to undress and redress 3 children into water gear and then back again)

The two best parts of the place were the 4D movie and the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride.  The laser ride cart was built for 5 ( seriously how many attractions can seat a 5 person family all together and everybody gets their own laser gun?) it was great because the 2 year old could operate his own laser gun and thought he was big. The 4D movie was entertaining and short enough to keep even the 2 year old's attention.

There were lots of places to build Legos and see how they work and lots of already built scenes. One of the places my bigger kids wanted to play was the play land with slides, nets, stairs and giant foam Gate is serious. At the entrance to the play land there was a lady, an employee, standing guard. She made sure each child met the required height and she made sure there was a parent present before a child was released. This was GREAT! I knew my children were going no where until I showed up (I never left I was almost constantly trying to track them through the playland). Then there was the tweenager. The exchange went something like this:

Girl: my mom and dad are over there ( indicates somewhere in the crowd around the corner near the cafe)
Keeper of the Gate ( KG): well I can't let you out if they're not here
Girl: I'm just going to walk over there
KG: I can't let you out if they are not here. Please step to the side to these others can get out.
Girl (stomps to the side, crosses her arms, rolls her eyes): I am not a baby! I am 10 years old!
Me: giggles off to the side
KG: I will call my manager and she will take you to your parents. Please put your arms down to your sides.
Me: Those are my kids.(motions to my kids waiting patiently behind Attitude Girl) And thank you for not letting them out without me here. I know they will not be abducted.
KG: (motions at Ms Attitude) See what I have to deal with here?

Just for the record I did see Ms Attitude with her parents a short while later so she was not trapped forever in the playland. BUT, the rigidity with which the Keeper of the Gate guarded those children ensured safety.

So in the end Legoland may be overpriced but the safety factor is pretty high.