So this past week I was in Panama City Beach with my former youth group from Starkville at a Big Stuf summer camp...we had a blast! Now, I don't know who in their right mind would have a youth conference in Panama City...but thankfully, we only got hollered at as we walked...that's about as racy as it got. After driving through PCB when I was about 10 with my family, I quickly informed my mom that I never wanted to visit there again-I think she was relieved.
Onto a happier note! I met up with the youth Sunday. Good news for Rebecca: Ft. Benning is only 3 hours and 45 minutes from the beach! So yes, I am planning another trip before summer ends! We spent Monday-Thursday in this fashion: 7:30 was our breakfast "slot" (1500 people there...had to have a flow.) 9:00- start of big session. 11:00-the kids get to be crazy with Big Stuf interns, the leaders get to go to seminars that were awesome. Noon-lunch. 1-5: free time! 5-11:30: dinner, session, quiet times. We spent two of our free times on the beach, which was great. The ocean felt awesome, and not a speck of oil in sight! Our group also competed in the ultimate frisbee tournament they held on the beach. Again, I question the thought behind this. For all 1500 of us, there were two gatorade jugs of water on the beach. I repeat: two. Plus, the kids are most likely dehydrated, since they've been drinking coke from the machines and not water...With that said, we had a youth get extremely overheated and Cameron and I spent about 1.5 hours inside with her bringing her temperature back down and getting fluids into her...She bounced right back after a nap. ha! The sessions had a large praise band and lots of high energy music-I think our kids were a little taken aback at first! We had a great time with the kids and got to spend a lot of good time talking about our relationships with God-hopefully the truths will stick!
I got back yesterday, and proceeded to take a four hour nap. Then, I slept about 10 hours that night. And I just woke up from another nap. I'm telling you--those youth conferences don't allow any time for SLEEP! Especially when you're up til around 1 AM having super awesome dance parties with 13 year olds. Lindsay and I impressed them with a super incredible dance that we made up on the spot. Some of our girls like to make up dances to songs, so we thought we'd join the fun. Highlights: my "worm", and Lindsay's headstand. Things got crazy... The nights also were long due to much talking with my bedmate, Lindsay Sistrunk. Not much sleeping...more like lots of talking. This week also reminded me how much kids can eat. We thought about $100 of snacks would take care of them for 3 nights. Nope-they pretty much disappeared in one night!
Brian and I are excited about this weekend because we're actually here for the whole thing! We're planning on hanging out with some friends and maybe going to check out a state park if the weather cooperates (AKA, it's not desperately hot outside...). Next week I'm taking "Intro to the Army" class number 1-I'm pretty excited! It's an all day affair, and we were told to bring a lunch-should be fun! Some of the girls and I have started having lunch over at one of the wives houses every Friday. We eat, make a craft (earrings this week!), and end up spending about 2.5 hours with each other. We have a lot of fun and it gives us a good reason to get out of the house. Which currently is in a state of disaster, as I am in the midst of laundry and no one was here to pick up after Brian this week...kidding! He actually maintains himself very well! Just a lot of dirty dishes and stinky PT clothes. I've decided that I'm going to dedicate a clothes basket just for ACU's (his uniforms) and his PT clothes, because they belong in a class of their own. That class being "stinky, full of dirt, and wet". Not his fault though...it is July. In south Georgia. You wonder why I stay inside or only venture to the pool for outdoor fun!
In some of my free time lately I've been reading a lot-it feels so good to pick up a book for fun! I just finished "Her Mother's Hope" by Francine Rivers and "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis. Both incredible reads that I highly suggest! Francine's book starts in the 1800s and follows a generation of women and their coming of age, stories, and relationships with their mothers and how those relationships shape who they are. She's a Christian fiction writer, so there are incredible faith related details that I guarantee you can identify with! There's a sequel due out in the fall-I might pre-order it...
"The Great Divorce" was my first venture into C.S. Lewis. Our college minister loved him, and I've had this book for awhile so I decided to read it! It's an imaginative story of what Heaven and Hell might be like as well as showing how all must be left in order to follow Christ. I flew through the book at lightning speed because it was so good! I think I'm going to read it again more closely now that I know what happens. It follows a guy who decides to get on the bus to Heaven, and it follows him around as he overhears conversations with ghosts (the people from Hell) and the souls from Heaven. It shows how past hurt, pride, and many other things get in the way of these people accepting Christ and considering all as lost when compared to knowing Christ. It's really good-another good one that I think a lot of people could identify with!
Now I've picked up "The Help" which I started yesterday and have read about 100 pages! Follows life/relations in Mississippi back in the 1960's-it's being turned into a movie, and I have a friend who's working on it-pretty cool! More on this book as I get deeper into it. I also bought a Barnes and Noble cheap book called "Ask a Mexican!"-it's a compilation of a column that's written in a California newspaper, and it deals with social mores, questions from people about Mexican traditions, slurs, reasons why Mexicans do certain things...it is hilarious. And refreshingly not politically correct, but rather true! I actually think I will be able to learn a lot from it! As well as all of the curse words in Spanish, as it outlines them. Probably a good thing to know when teaching teenagers. Then at least I can stop the madness....ha!
Feel free to recommend books...I'm always looking for a good read!