Monday, February 06, 2006

Changs and Quakes... oh my!

A lot has happened in the past couple days so I'll just do a brief update of what's been going on:

After work, Bek, Jess, Lindz and myself got all pretty to head out to PF Changs for my birthday celebration dinner. I had a blast and our waiter was great... i must say that I was impressed with how much we girls could eat (lettuce wraps, spring rolls, wontons, mongolian beef, orange beef, honey chicken, moo goo gai pan, changs spicy chicken, 2 things of cheesecake and a great wall of chocolate). i'm suprised we could walk. I'm also super excited about my present. The girls got me a basket full of goodies for an at home pedicure (along with a gift card for a pedi at beauty brands. score!) Overall the night was a lot of fun. Jess is planning on launching a singing career in which bek and i will be backup dancers.

Favorite quotes from the evening:

"I'll call myself J-E-S squared!"
"You don't have to have morals if it's imaginary!"

Overall, the night was great and I felt so loved :). so thanks girls!


Never... repeat... never... underestimate junior high boys. (both for good and evil).

This weekend was youth quake and myself along with 4 other parents were able to take 7 girls and 9 middle school age boys to youth quake in Wichita, Kansas (woot). I had so much fun and if it's one thing i learned this weekend is that middle school boys are at the age where they need to test the boundaries. In safe environments they need to see where and how far they can push. I learned to pick my battles and feel better equipped for our next big middle school adventure and youth quake next year.

My favorite moments of the weekend I think came after campfire on Saturday night. For those of you that don't know, campfire is a time of winding down and worshipping before we go and do family time.

Saturday night after a day of chasing down the boys, coralling them into sessions and keeping them in the main sessions (it really is like having 9 2 year olds!), I was exhausted and my patience was more than a little thin. I was thankful that when I sat down they were a) all accounted for and b) away from the water cooler and styrofoam cups (which they had been making tiny little holes in all weekend so that cups would leak when people filled them up--i guess the temptation was just too much).

I noticed a couple of things that night at campfire... and realized some things about myself.

One of the older boys, Kyle, had really started to distance himself from the other 8th grade boys. I think (though he'd never admit it) that he was tired of them. During campfire, he another boy, Cole, sat apart from the other boys. I also noticed that they really got into it and at one point, during one of the songs, that kyle was crying (like a man cry--trying to hide the fact that he was doing so).

During the song, I could sing of your love forever, I got all emotional, and started to cry because I love these kids so much and I realized that the reason that the frustrated me so much was because I want so much for them to take something from the weekend, for their faith to take root and grow and when they don't seem to care it seems like a personal affront. So i had a nice little cry (which is becoming typical on youth weekends--this loving your kids is emotionally taxing). During family time that evening, we went around the circle and the kids and adults shared what had impacted them the most over the course of the day. So when it got to my turn, I said that campfire had impacted me the most and then hannah got teary-eyed and the choked up crying voice thing that I hate (and probably the oprah ugly cry) and told them i loved them and thta i wanted them so much to take the message they were trying to teach them and let it work in their lives. Then after we'd gone around in a circle, we did a popcorn prayer and was so suprised to hear the kids voluntarily pray (i had expected silence). i was blown away. After that, things seemed to go much better with the boys. (Plus i think it also helped that I let them dump Buckets and buckets of ice into the 8th grade girls room --which was also my room--to get them back for the shaving cream they squirted on them.)

All in all the weekend was good and I think i love my kids even more and appreciate them more than at the beginning of the weekend :)


Dutch Not German said...

Someone once said that having kids is hard, and I said, "Tell me about it, I have thirty of them." Now granted, it's not quite the same, but I feel your pain when you pour so much of yourself into your youth. It is exhausting and wonderful. Keep up the good work!

Kristy Laughed said...

I totally agreed with Julianna! Parents talk about how hard it is to love two or three kids enough... and after this month, I almost wish I only had two or three. Hannah, I think it's wonderful that your youth have such an amazing impact on you! Know that you are having an amazing impact on them to simply by loving them all!

Jamie said...

I think the "loving your kids" thing is the reason we get so frustrated with them, at least I do. I love them and want so much for them that when they don't see it the same way, I get frustrated and want to shake them. But it's all out of love... Can you imagine what this'll be like when we have kids of our own PLUS 30 others?! Geesh!