Busy Weekend

This weekend (or really Thurs-Sat morning) my dad came down for a visit. He had some business to take care of in Dallas so he spent some time with us. It was great getting to see him although it made me miss the rest of my family a lot. I have decided that Arkansas is pretty much useless and it should be removed from the US completely. That way Texas would be much closer to Tennessee. We would still have a long drive to see most of the family but at least it would be manageable over a long weekend. Plus, if you have ever been through the state, you would know that it is beyond ugly. I mean, I have friends who purposely go a different route back to Knoxville just to avoid Arkansas all together.

While my dad was in town, he took us out to eat at restaurants Clay and I would not go by our poor own selves (always a treat). Friday night we decided to go to a Japanese place that we had heard was AMAZING....it was nowhere near as good as Wasabi. Then again, my dad pointed out that he has traveled all over and never found a place as good as Wasabi. If I win the lottery, I am totally going to build a Wasabi here. While dinner was not as good as I had hoped for (it was actually pretty good just not the best) the dinner itself did provide for one of the funnier moments of my week. The Hibachi chef was doing the standard routine. You know the deal: make a face out of oil then set it on fire, various egg tricks (all pretty impressive) and the finale being making a volcano out of the onion. Like you, I have seen these same tricks many a time. So, imagine my surprise when a lady (around the age of 45ish) was amazed by the onion volcano. She then proceeded to say how she had NEVER seen that before! Even the chef was like "seriously you have never seen this?" I began to fear that she would pass out from excitement when the volcano became a choo-choo train...Oh, how I love sharing a meal with strangers.
Then, it came time for the chef to give out the various sauces. As he was handing them out, I politely asked if they had white sauce or shrimp sauce. I have heard it referred to as both. He looked quite puzzled. So I asked again...and again. Finally, he asked if I meant seafood sauce and I said sure. The chef then sent a waitress over to the sushi bar to bring back my sauce. I miss going to a place where all you get is the shrimp sauce. :(

Saturday morning, we took my dad for some donuts (the Asian made ones of course--they are the best) and then it was on to the airport. I was very sad to see him go but he is going to visit again in May so that is something to look forward to. After the airport, Clay and I went into downtown Dallas. It was our first trip to the city and it wasn't as big as I had expected. Then again, buildings are not very tall here; everything is very flat and spread out. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore -- another day, another blog. Our pastor, Toby, gave us tickets to a Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover Live event. If you haven't checked into Ramsey's Financial Peace stuff, you really should. It is a great common sense approach to living debt-free and really building wealth. I would recommend it to anyone no matter what your financial situation is.

So this weekend was rather busy, but it was a really fun one as well.


Lesbians and Conga Lines

Last night, we had our first middle school night at United. To give you some background, for years our student ministry had separate programs for middle and high school students. At the beginning of this school year, we combined all students for one big Wednesday night deal in the hopes of getting everyone on the same page and building energy. It worked great and we decided that this semester we would launch a brand new Middle School program. Since early December, I have been working with my half-boss (as I like to call him) Matt to design a program that specifically targets where middle school students are at. Last night was the kickoff.

Matt and I were really unsure of how everything would go. We kept saying "well we know it works on paper but what happen when you throw 200 kids into the mix?" Thankfully, God step in since we had 280 middle school students and it worked way better than we had thought. Sure it has some areas that need work...Sure we had girls making out (with each other) and a conga line--both during worship but it was a really cool night.

If you had asked me at any point, if I thought I would like working with middle school I would have said no! But I really can say that I love my job. I get to design really wild and crazy games. I work with some amazing people both in personality and talent. I have a boss who isn't scared to let us try and fail. Most importantly, I get to watch students who may be kissing other girls this week come face to face with a God who adores them. Maybe it won't be next week that her life changes, but each week I know she is getting glimpses of the life God wants for her. Maybe in a month or two those kids who are running around in a conga line will realize that at some point it stopped being about running around crazy and it became joyfully worshiping the God they love in a way that is as uninhibited and as wild as they. And that's totally okay...in fact, I gotta believe that God loves it. In fact, I think it is one of his favorite things to watch his kids do...young or old.


Can't you just be cool?

So a funny thing happened to me the other day. I fear that I will not be able to convey how humorous it really was in this post but here goes. After church on Saturday night, I stopped at Walmart to get some gas. As I was pumping gas, a kid skated up to me. He may have had the largest afro I have ever seen on a white kid. It was pretty impressive and I should have thought to take a picture. I was wearing my United (our student ministry) leader shirt and I immediately thought that he had recognized the logo. We have a pretty cool skate park and although I didn't think I recognized him maybe he had been a few times. Yeah, this was not the case.

He proceeded to ask if I would buy him some cigarettes. For some reason, my first statement is that I can't because I don't have any cash (as if the credit card I just bought gas with would not possibly be able to purchase any). Then I decided that a better reason was that there is no way on earth this kid was 18. He explained to me that he had forgotten his ID and would give me the money to buy them. Again I declined. I really didn't think it would be good to contribute to the delinquency of a minor while in my "church" shirt. After I said no because I was not sure he was 18 he replied with, "C'mon can't you just be cool?" I told him I was way too old to be cool any more. To which he replied, "What are you like 30?" Yeah kid, there is no way I am buying you cigarettes now.


Favorite Tan

I hate painting. I mean I really, really hate it. The problem is I seem to forget this fact. Every few months or so, I think to myself, "Gosh it would be so much fun to paint a room." Then, I start painting a room and am reminded by how much I really do loathing painting.

When I first bought our Texas home (since we still own two houses I have to specify), I had a few days to get stuff painted before Clay moved down. With the help of some very good friends, I was able to paint a good chunk of the house. Our walls in this home are all textured and while I love the look, they are absolutely the hardest surface in the world to paint. Not to mention that it takes at least 2 gallons to do a small room. After reaching my breaking point, I called Clay to tell him that there was just no way my sanity was going to make it if I had to paint another wall. Kindly, he assured me we would just finish painting once we were done with the big move. I thought this experience had broken the thought of painting being fun that tends to creep into my life from time to time.

Fast forward three months later and we have yet to paint another stroke. That is until today when I decided we simply must finish all the painting. I am blaming my need to have a fully painted house on this blog. You see, I want to put up pictures but I want the house to be done before I post the pictures. Today, I took the first step in finishing the painting. I painted the area between our kitchen and the dining room. At first glance, it is a tiny area but it still took every last drop of a gallon of paint. In fact it was the 9th gallon of "Favorite Tan" paint I have purchased since October.

Next weekend, the goal is to paint the kitchen. I really hate painting.