Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've been home alone this week with the cat. Ben left this past Sunday afternoon to go to church camp with the youth group. I decided to post something so that you, our avid readers don't think we dropped off the face of the earth. Now, I'm not a writer and I'm definitely not funny when I write, so I apologize and promise that when Ben returns he'll take over again! :) This week has been uneventful to say the least. I've worked at my part-time job at Bath and Body Works and went in for a second interview with a preschool today which hopefully I'll be getting the position. Other than that I've just been "spring cleaning" our apartment and getting things in order for when my brother and sister come to visit next week. I will definitely post pics of everything we do! I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week!


**Ben gets back Friday, I'm sure he'll write all about how camp was, so stay tuned!**

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Camp Expectations

Tomorrow I will pack up 13 teens (9 girls, 4 guys) and make an estimated 2 hour trip to Crestline, CA to go to Thousand Pines Christian Camp. Youth Camp is a special time in a young person's life. Going to youth camp should be on everyone's bucket list, its that important! There are some things that I love about youth camp that does not happen in the realm outside of youth camp. I have generously made a list of 5 things that you will only experience at youth camp and no where else.

1. Youth will be shame free for one week: I don't know what it is about youth camp, but every experience I have had with youth camp I have seen kids (including myself, back in my glorious days as a camper) forget about what others think about them. I can remember doing some pretty ridiculous things, and wearing some ridiculous outfits that normally would not be apart of my ordinary attire. I didn't care what other people would say because this behavior is always encouraged at camp. Not only is it encouraged it is a competition to see who can look the most ridiculous. I once saw a kid drink his own urine for $5 (This one I did discourage, yet $5 dollars would buy icee's for the rest of the week). You have some kids that choose not to participate because they think they are too cool for these "childish" games, yet they are the ones that are not cool at camp because they will not see how long they can hold their breath before they pass out.

Example of not having shame (I am on the right. I know, I know I'm pretty hot!!)

2. Everyone sleeping in one bed:
This doesn't happen so much in the guy's cabin. But I have heard stories of pushing two twin size beds together and then 30 girls climbing in with their PJ's on all cuddled up. This isn't done because of a shortage of beds. There are of plenty beds. Maybe this is done to strengthen unity, maybe in order to keep warm on those cold summer nights, or maybe only scholars that study the instinct patterns of female gendered mammals hold the true reason.

3. Junk Food and Regular Bowel Movements:
Camp is filled with junk food and cafeteria food (some camps bring there own cooks to prepare food). Which ever way it is done campers eat good! And not so good! I can always count on someone carrying around a half melted stick of raw cookie dough, usually chocolate chip. With three square meals a day, junk food of various types, skittles, and snow cones you are sure to stay regular (and it usually comes in a rainbow of colors).

4. B.O. and AXE
The smell of B.O. and AXE usually creates a cloud of smog inside the guys cabin. Many guys come in from rec time sweating and dirty, but instead of saying, "Hey I better take a shower real quick" they say, "I'm glad I brought a can of AXE for each day I am at camp", and continue to coat themselves in the musky flavors that claim to attract the opposite sex like a swarm of locusts God himself sent down to help free His people. But the only thing that is really freeing about a guys cabin is getting the heck out of there into some fresh air. (I hear the girl's cabin smells like perfume and burnt hair due to hair curlers/straighteners, and always breaking a few fire codes with them all being plugged in at once).

5. The Camp Boyfriend/Girlfriend:
"OH Johnny I'm so glad I met you here at camp. I have known you for 3 hours now and I truly understand the definition of soul mate. I knew you were the one when you didn't have any shame while running up to me in a batman costume waving the $4 you just won by eating a live cricket that had been dipped in chocolate chip cookie dough! I can't wait to climb into my small twin sized bed with 45 of my closest friends tonight and tell them how sweet you were to take me to the snow cone hut, and how you smelt so wonderfully of sweat covered in AXE! Alas, it will be Friday soon and we will go back to our separate towns and churches. Promise me you will write and visit on fall break..."

This is a common monologue of a young teen girl at youth camp; it is usually followed by this monologue 3 days later...

"Susie, we have grown so close these past couple of days. But during worship last night I felt that God was telling me that I am just not ready for a serious long distant relationship. I hope you understand, I mean you have to, this is what God is telling me and you can't argue with Him. Maybe I'll be more mature and ready next summer...(dramatic pause)... pray for me, goodbye".

In all seriousness though youth camp is a great experience and one that look forward to every summer. Tons of great decisions are made and many choose to dedicate their lives to Christ. So if you are heading to camp, or have already gone this year I hope you had/have a great time.

God Bless

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Typical Tuesday (nothing insightful)

Today was a typical Tuesday. I have started to dread Tuesdays. A typical Tuesday will consist of waking up and heading to the church or running errands that need to be done, that is if I'm not working a morning shift at Barnes & Noble. If I have Tuesday mornings off like I did today I will generally try to spend time with Melissa, because it will be the only time i get with her on this day. We ended up doing laundry this morning which is not the best time spent with the one you love, but apparently my clothes were reeking of corn chips and butt as Melissa would say. I then spend time in my office being productive by researching the newest version of dodge ball, reading tweets and facebook statuses, and gathering crazy ideas that I can test on the youth group.

After I have poured creative juices into my morning it is off to staff meeting. I look forward to staff meeting, it allows me to toss around ideas and sit around with the other staff of the church. It's one of the times when I'm reminded that I have a say in things and that being the youth pastor means I am not just doing another pointless dead end job like selling the NOOK, or unpacking shipment at Old Navy. I am actually fulfilling the purpose that God has laid out for me at this time in my life. I feel like I am making a difference, even though not all of my ideas are considered (and that's a good thing because some of my ideas consist of the head pastor dressing up like a robot to illustrate his sermon).

After staff I hurry down the freeway, well not really because by this time the freeway is blocked up with bumper to bumper traffic, to go to class. I then sit in class and usually think about everything but what is being taught to me. I then come home kiss my wife hello and thank God because tomorrow is Wednesday, the second busiest day of my week.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My wife and I decided to start a blog together after reading some of our friend's blogs. We have some exciting times and boring times as do all people. Both my wife and I grew up in small Oklahoma towns (her's was smaller), and now we live in southern California. not just a small SOCAL town either, we live in Anaheim. Home of Disneyland, the Angels, the Ducks, and a million tourists. We are officially perma-vacationers.

Needless to say it has been quite a culture shock. I have been here for a year and my wife has been here for 6 months now. She still won't drive on the freeway, but I can't say that I blame her they are a lot different than one lane streets and dirt roads. We pay way too much for our small one bedroom apartment where we can hear the sounds of the neighbors screaming MARYLIN!! (their little girl) switching between Spanish and English. We have a cat, Jenga, and one car. We also have each other, and we are happy!