Archive for the 'memories' Category

a favorite youth min top 10

once upon a time, i used to work on a middle school youth ministry event called ‘youth invasion’. the premise was a group of churches joined together with their middle school ministries and ‘invaded’ some low income neighborhoods and fixed up the exteriors of homes for residents who were unable to do so themselves. a big part of the week involved middle school kids and hundreds of gallons of paint.

and because it was a youth ministry event, there was the requisite event t-shirt. tonite, as i was sorting thru old t-shirts for a t-shirt quilt, i found the one from ’99. and it has one of my favorite top 10 lists ever for a youth ministry event:

10. don’t eat the paint

9.  paint freckles leave you with a really groovy tan

8.  clean sponsors are happy sponsors

7.  throwing buckets full ‘o’ paint at the house will not speed things up

6.  even michaelangelo used a drop cloth

5.  keep the karate kid jokes to a minimum (“paint da fence”)

4.  don’t use the time to practice auto paint and body on the church vans

3.  paint no dogs

2.  paint the correct house

1.  don’t eat the paint



childhood memories

so, as a little kid, i grew up on sesame street and schoolhouse rock. tonite online, i stumbled across this gem from sesame street. i didn’t remember this song having verses!

i’ve been sucked back in…

for those of you who don’t know, i’m a tulsa, ok native. in tulsa, they have a aa farm team for the texas rangers–the tulsa drillers. when i was probably in 6th or 7th grade, my dad bought a billboard in the outfield for the business he owned. with the billboard came four box seat tickets right above the home team dugout. my dad has never been remotely interested in team sports but he viewed the tickets as a freebie and he’s never passed up something free. consequently, we went to a lot of baseball games. and it being aa ball, there are a lot of guys barely out of high school or college–late teens early 20’s. and to a boy-crazy middle-school girl, sitting above the dug out was a little bit of heaven.

the guys playing ball were mostly really nice guys. they’d talk to me and explain the game to me. i’d only played part of a season of softball, so i was a little clueless. but thanks to those ball players, at one time, i could keep score and calculate an era or batting average. and in the process, i really fell in love with baseball. even though, i grew up and started dating real boys instead of daydreaming about baseball players, i’ve always been fond of baseball. i followed the texas rangers (parent club of tulsa) and the aaa club for the rangers where tulsa players moved onto conveniently located in oklahoma city.

when i moved to san diego, i tried to engage with the hometown padres, but i just couldn’t connect. i was an al girl. i missed dh’s and pinch hitters who were more likely to pull out a big play than the ones i’d seen in the national league. i’d been to a couple games a season most years since i’d moved out here, but just never really connected. about a month ago, a dad of one of my small group girls got us tix to go to a game. two of my girls play softball and the third thought a pads game would be fun. the seats were amazing. they were on a special deck of mostly season ticket holders called the toyota terrace. we were just a few rows back, about at 3rd. and the game we saw was awesome.

the pads were playing the reds. it was tied going into the bottom of the 9th and the pads won it with a bases loaded, no outs walk to kevin kouzmanoff. i could not believe i’d just seen a major league game won on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth. it was also the game where kevin kouzmanoff came alive. he went 3 for 3 with 2 rbi’s. and just like that, i was sucked back in. to the point, that i’ve been checking box scores, watching the games on the local sd network that shows them all, tracking the pads standing in the nl west (currently 1 up on the d-backs and 2 on the dodgers after beating them tonite in 12).

so as you can tell, i’ve been sucked back into a little baseball obsession.

baby, it’s cold outside

brrr….it’s almost 11 pm here in chilly san diego. yep, you read that right. tonite is supposed to be one of the coldest nights in recent years here. i just checked and the current temp for my neighborhood is 32. it’s supposed to drop down to 25 degrees…that’s cold anywhere, but it’s really cold when the typical low is in the lower 40’s. i guess i shouldn’t complain though, we could be under a layer of ice like my friends and family in tulsa.

it is a little nice to have a taste of winter. it’s just too bad kids here won’t get to experience the fun of a snow day. one of my favorite memories of growing up is waking up to some white stuff on the ground and turning on the morning news to watch for school closings. it was always a good sign to see a few schools up there. i can remember holding my breath until the list scrolled to the “l’s” and our school, leonard, popped up. there would be much rejoicing. the breakfast would become french toast instead of cinnamon. the jammies would stay on and one of the local tv stations would put on a half hour of cartoons when the schools were closed. after the cartoons were over, we’d get dressed and bundled up to go out and play in the snow. we’d come back in to warm up with hot chocolate. we’d make popcorn in the middle of the afternoon. i could take a nap (i’ve always been a fan of naps). i loved those days.

for tonite, i’ll just have to stay snuggled up in my flannel jammies under my fleece throw in front of the space heater and enjoy my memories.

remembering allan

in the summer of 87, a guy–allan–that i’d grown up with in youth group and had dated for about a year when we were in hs, called and asked me to come over to his house for lunch. i’d only been home from college for a couple weeks and he’d graduated from hs about a month earlier (at the time, i was 19, allan was 18, but he was two years behind me in school.) we made sandwiches, went and picked up his little sister from cheer practice and just hung out. we watched st. elmo’s fire and chatted, catching up on life. it was cool that we were still friends even after one of those drama-filled high school break-ups. we had fun that afternoon and laughed a lot. late the next afternoon, i stopped by the church and the youth pastor asked if he could talk to me. allan had committed suicide earlier that day. it didn’t seem real–it’d been less than 24 hours since i’d seen him. to this day, it’s still one of the saddest moments and memories of my life.

allan didn’t leave a note and in the days and weeks after, there was so much confusion. i think i watched about st. elmo’s fire about a hundred times looking for a clue. allan’s parents were so great considering their loss. his mom especially tried to make sure i knew it wasn’t my fault and that there was nothing i could have done. i did understand it wasn’t my fault, but i think on some level i’ll always wonder if there was something i could’ve done, something i could’ve noticed so that maybe allan would still be here.

the past few days i’ve been working on references to resources that we’ll put in the notebook for this year’s CORE training that youth specialties, the company i work for, hosts for youth workers. this year the topic is “helping hurting kids”. among the topics that’ll be covered during the day are suicide and depression. but it wasn’t until this morning, it finally dawned on me why i felt so emotionally involved in this material. allan. in 1987, depression among teenagers wasn’t exactly a big topic. fortunately, now there’s resources and training on all kinds of crises that kids encounter.

in being part of a company that offers training and resources to help youth workers help kids who might be having the same struggles allan had, i’m finding a little more healing for the sadness i still carry over his death.

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