Friday, February 26, 2010

Good CLEAN fun!

This past Tuesday our youth group tried to go skating on the Rideau Canal. We try to go at least once when it is open, but it was not meant to be. All day it had been raining and warming up, and by the time we arrived, they had just closed the Canal. Since we were there already, we decided to have a beaver tail at the kiosk on the canal. That opens up the story for the evening.......
Here is the group ordering their beaver tails. They are way too expensive, but well worth it once a year. : )
Taste good Chris?
Rosy didn't want to have one, but it looks like Leah is really enjoying hers.
Yes Jacob....that really is a beaver tail......
Once the beaver tails were consumed, something quite natural happened. We looked at the surrounding snow and well, what does one do if one can't go skating, but there's lots of great packing snow around you?
You take that snow and you begin to place that snow down the backs of anyone you can find. Kevin and I just happened to find Rosy FIRST!!!! : )
Here's Chris getting in a good shot....he got LOTS of good shots actually.
The boys must have been afraid of the girls. They hid in the Christmas trees.
A wise person once said, "It's fun until someone looses an eye!" Well, in our case it wasn't an eye, it was an eye glass lens. Hannah's to be exact. Someone hit her in the face and the force of the snowball popped her glass lens out. Here we are looking for it.
Someone took my camera and took a flash shot in the hopes that it would reflect off her lens. It didn't work. What DID work was really cool. I prayed as I was looking for Hannah's lens that God would direct me to find it. I knew that finding Hannah's lens would be like finding the proverbial "Needle in a hay stack." It was dark, her lens was not tinted, and the snow was very white. Not a great combination.
After about 5 minutes of looking, I happened to look down and saw a reflection of a distant street light on the white snow. Instantly I knew it was Hannah's lens. I reached for it and picked it up. We all could have stepped on it, but didn't. Some might say that was a coincidence, but I know it wasn't. God helped me find that lens.....................
We were back on for snowball fighting again. Rosy seemed quite determined to get me back for getting her first. She managed to several times, but I got her several times again too.....
All good things must come to an end, and soon it was time to go. We dragged our soggy coats, hats and mittens (for those that took mittens) back to our vehicles. My glasses fogged up instantly!
Here are the girls looking very soaked, but this was much more fun than going skating....and I think all of us would agree! Good Clean Fun!
Some video clips below.

Peru Retreat Weekend - Calvin, Cornwall, Oakville

I'm sitting in my easychair with my laptop computer in front of me. My TV is on and the Canada vs. USA gold medal hockey game is about to begin. I think many, many of us will be glued to the TV for this game. I'm hoping that Canada will win, but not convinced. Watching Miller in net the other night, and knowing what I've seen from Canada, we have our work cut out for us. I suggested that to a few people in our church this morning, and you would have thought I swore or something : ) Maybe we put too much stock into events like these? We have a couple in our church who are US citizens and as I bugged them about the uncertainty of the game, they told me that they were actually probably going to cheer for Canada.....go figure! : ) Well, whatever you think about hockey and Canada vs whomever, one thing that I think deserves our attention are relationships and growing together as a community of faith. That is where the rubber hits the road in life and where lives are changed. A group of 47 people from three different churches took a weekend out of their busy lives to form relationships together and begin to gel as a mission team as we continue to prepare for our Learning Opportunity to Peru this March Break. From Friday, February 19 - Sunday the 21st, 47 of us gathered at Calvin CRC. The goals of the weekend were three-fold. 1. To gather together and begin to gel as one group, not three distinct entities. 2. To get our VBS crafts prepared for our trip. Lots and Lots of cutting to do. 3. To pray about our time together and in Peru. Below is a picture diary of the weekend.....
Chris and I arrived at Calvin at about 7 pm and Annette and Ben followed soon afterwards. Annette wasted no time in getting settled into her corner of the room in which she and many other girls would be sleeping.
Now, I appreciate Annette because she has a playful side to her. Here you can see that coming out. The neat thing about this picture is that the hair dryer isn't acutally on, but it certainly looks like it is.
Chris passes the time practicing on the church drums.
Some from Cornwall soon arrived and Gerry, from Cornwall, and Annette take time out to get to know each other better before they get to work doing VBS stuff. The goal for Friday night was to have Oakville drive to Ottawa and welcome them. While waiting for them, the rest of the group would get busy on VBS craft preparations.
Marsha, and a couple of others from Cornwall, has taken the lead in the VBS craft department. Here Marsha shows samples of the crafts to us. They were pretty cool.
See what I mean!
Many people from Calvin, Cornwall, and Oakville donated VBS supplies. We thank you all for your donations and now begin the task of converting them into Crafts.
Before beginning work on the Crafts, we settled in. As Mina blows up her air matress, Hannah is doing push-ups......don't ask me why!
Rosy set up her accomodations and of course, has to have her pet dog to sleep with. Will he/she be coming to Peru too Rosy?
Soon it was time to begin our Craft preparations. Jeannine and Ben get into it.
Nancy quietly cut and cut, and cut some more, as she listened to the antics of Rosy, Hannah, and Leah. I think Nancy ended up putting ear plugs in to help bring down the noise level.
Gerry and Annette decided to stay out of the noisy frey. Smart decision. : )
The Cornwall group working hard together.
Those yellow smiles you see are really going to be visors for the kids. Nice creativity ladies!
Oakville arrived a bit earlier than I thought, which was GREAT. More people to put to work! : ) Here Marsha explains the things that need to be done. Oakville settled right in. One group ended up coming in a bit late though. Something about running out of gas on the 401.......
Hey Rob, I remember you. He's one of several parents that took their kids to Ottawa, and then stayed for the weekend because winterlude was on. You have great kids Rob. : )
Chris (Calvin) and Kyle (Oakville) are cousins. Both are quite glad to be going to Peru together. Here they are cutting toilet paper rolls and making them into.... well, ummmmm, I'm not really sure!
Patti (centre and from Oakville) gets reacquainted with people from Ottawa. She was a member of Calvin for many years and taught some of those who are going to Peru. Always smiling, always social, always thoughtful. Great to have you along Patti.
As the one in charge of this trip, my concern each time we do this is to see who will be able to come forward and handle the VBS portion. Each time we have been blessed with very gifted people. This time is no exception. Marsha, and the others from Cornwall, have been fabulous in Craft and Drama preparations. Thanks for all your work Marsha et. al!
I take alot of pictures on events like this. On occasion I let someone else use the camera, but only sparingly.......this picture is a good demonstration as to why (tee, hee). Don't I have an amazing ear?
Mina. What a bundle of laughter and joy. It was fun talking with you during the weekend. You must have glued 1000 of those tongue depressors. Do you still have that elastic on your wrist?
I think Nancy finally got fed up with the girls loud antics. She moved, propped up her feet, and kept right on working.
Everyone bedded down at about 11:30 pm. We were up again at 7:30 am for breakfast. Gerry graciously made the OJ.
Ummmm, Megan. You are not going to have the strength to get through the day with just a small coffee muffin like that!
Everyone slowly got up and began congregating in the kitchen to get some breakfast.
You had to stand in line for some of the food. Marsha held up the line trying to open up the frozen waffle package.......I'm not sure if the two boys behind her were too impressed. : )
We didn't spend much time Friday evening in the way of getting to know you. We just put people to work to make sure we could get a whole bunch of VBS craft stuff done. It went well, and people did take the time to say hello and introduce themselves.
However, Saturday morning was a totally different deal. We opened the day by filling out a medical form that Brenda, our nurse, put together. During the day she met with each of us individually to glean any pertinent medical information she would need to know for our trip. Thanks for all your work, Brenda.
After that we took some time to get to know one other person in the group. Each person sat down with someone else they didn't know and shared information about the other.
These two look like they are enjoying each other.
After taking some time to get to know each other, each person had to introduce the other. Some were in triads.
I always find it fun to get to know new people, though I don't do it naturally. I think this little excercise helped the group get to do this in a non threatening way.
After getting to know each other in two's and three's, I set the group up in thier working groups that we will have in Peru. Using some basic questions the groups began to get to know each other. Members from each church were put together so getting to know each other BEFORE we leave was paramount.
It's never easy to make groups work, and much harder when I don't know all the people I'm grouping together. Patti and Marsha had a say in who was partnered with who and that helped. Some of the groups were heavily male or female, something that couldn't necesarily be avoided. Here is a group with a lone alpha male. : ) He looks ok with it.....
Jeannine and Patti getting reacquainted during one of our breaks. We didn't have lunch during the day. We were kept plenty busy with other things.
I guess we worked Kevin too hard again......seems he does this alot in Peru too. )
We spend a good chunk of the afternoon continuing on with our VBS crafts. Here you see the group hard at work. Lots of good getting to know you stuff happened during these times too.
We needed some cutting done so Kevin got right to it. What a guy!
Nancy's younger daughter spent the day with us too. Here Marsha shows her the crafts to get a more realistic opinion as to how well liked they will be. Thumbs up!!!
The next item on the agenda was taking time to continue on with our Mission Journal Workbook. We have done about 12 chapters in the book so far in preparation for our Learning Opportunity. Lots of great questions to challenge our thinking on why we would go on a Learning Opportunity in the first place, and who it affects. Here is Chris' group getting into things.
Another break and then it was time to figure out the drama portion of VBS. Dianne took charge of this.
Each year YP have gotten involved in the telling of the Bible Stories. This year is no different, though the method is. Dianne will be involving our group, and also kids in the church in Peru. I like this idea and we will see how well it goes over in Peru.
The YP from Oakville got really involved in this portion.
Even Nancy's younger daughter took part, which is what we hope to see in Peru too. Can you guess which story we are doing?
Then it was time for Dinner. We gladly hosted Cornwall and Oakville and made supper and Lunch on Sunday for them. They brought some snacks for us to munch on.
Yes, there was a bit of a wait time to get our food, but as you can see, this group found ways to pass the time.
As a thank you for doing all the cooking and providing food, Oakville did the dishes. What a noisy escapade that was! : )
Samantha and some of these other girls from Oakville (I'm still getting to know their names) are a crazy bunch. Nice to see.
Again, this is what happens when someone else gets hold of my camera. Sorry about that : ) !
It seems that many people made use of Megan's flexible cheeks this weekend. I think she had bruises on them by the time we were done.
Here are Patti and John telling us about their red shirts and offering to give us one each as well. A great way to travel so you don't loose anyone. Thanks John and Patti for your generosity.
The evening was beginning, and everyone had worked hard, so now it was time to play for a while. Our youth group likes a game we call "whack". That tightly rolled, duck taped stick is used to whack people if they don't say some names fast enough. Our group loves it (though it's not for the faint of heart). We taught Oakville and Cornwall, and, for the most part, they loved the game.
These people DIDN'T want to play. I just couldn't figure out why : ).

After our game time we spent about 45 minutes praying about our trip through a concert of prayer. A bit uncomfortable for some, but good overall. People were then free to go to bed. Oakville did a "drive by" in downtown Ottawa and Marsha finalized all the crafts and began packing them into suitcases.
Jeannine tried to take a suitcase downstairs, but apparently the wheel dragged a huge black mark right through the fellowship hall. Here she is trying to get rid of that mark. For the most part, she did.
Sunday morning came way to quickly for me. I awoke to the preparation of Pancakes and left overs from Saturday morning (John B, watch the WONDERFUL video from your wife RE "just add water" pancakes at the end of this entry. You won't want to miss it!!!!)
Annette is quite an accomplished pancake flipper. Many hidden talents in this group.
The group enjoying the pancakes (really John, they did!).
I had to go down to get some of the guys up, and what do I find? A creative way to sleep off the ground. I wonder how comfortable that was? I trust he doesn't roll much when he sleeps.....and well, why is the air matress laying on it's side and not being used? All those unanswered questions......................
After breakfast it was time for church and then we sent Oakville and Cornwall off with some soup and buns. It was a long trip home, and they needed to make it home before that infamous US Canada game (we won't talk about how THAT one ended will we : ) )
I think that John and Patti were the last ones to leave.....not surprising : )
I think we had a great weekend together and the objectives of it were met. Thanks to all who helped with brining food, cutting up all those crafts, and working hard to get to know each other. Some great beginnings and we will see what God will now do with and to us as we go to Peru.
Oh, and the Canada/US game is almost over, and hey, what can I say....Canada is playing AWESOME!!!!!! GO CANADA GO!!!!!!
P.S.S. I just finished re-reading my blog and during that time Canada scored that great overtime goal with none-other than Sid the Kid. Yes, the BEST team did win!!! : )
Below are some video clips of the weekend. Enjoy : )