Saturday, August 23, 2014

I'm getting too old for this.

So shortly after moving I was asked to serve in our church by helping with the youth, specifically the young women. With that came the assignment to go to Girls Camp...less than two weeks later. Of course I said yes. I didn't know anyone, I didn't have any idea what I was supposed to be doing, but I have always loved Girls Camp and I knew it would be a blast.

Oh boy, was I right.

There is something very special about Girls Camp. You stick a bunch of girls ages 12-18, most of whom barely know each other, in a few cabins or tents for a week and by the end everyone is best friends and has had the time of their lives. It's amazing.

You know what else is amazing? I tend to acclimate to whatever group I happen to be surrounded by, so for a week I reverted back to being a teenage girl. Well, sort of. I was super awkward and attention-seeking as a teenager, so at least I...oh wait. Nope, that still happened. But really it was more like reverting to my 21 year old self : a total spaz with boundless amounts of energy (regardless of the ridiculous lack of sleep) but with at least a small amount of control and self-discipline. You people from the Villa know what I'm talking about.

But I like to think that the girls liked me. And by the end of the week I had a bunch of 14-16 year old best friends.

Girls get to go to camp for six years, four as regular campers and two as youth leaders. I was put in charge (with another leader) over the 3rd year girls, with two youth leaders to help us, and they were all AWESOME.

Camp was complete with tons of crafts, water games, skits, camp cheers, learning survival skills, dutch oven cooking, early morning, late nights, and lots of laughter. And I loved having the opportunity to discuss with and teach the girls about their Savior, their incredible divine nature as daughters of God, and their ability to do good and make a difference in the world. It was a GREAT week.

Helping each other

Warhead challenge. I HATE WARHEADS.

The camp store. Girls could earn tickets to buy things.
I may have given out tickets like candy...

Learning how to use a compass


Getting pushed into the pool. Not that I minded.

When I got home Friday afternoon, I decided to take a nap. That nap pretty much lasted until the next morning. Turns out, I'm just too old to act on that kind of energy for very long. But it sure was fun and was totally worth it!

A few weeks later I also got to go as a chaperone to Youth Conference. We teamed up with a stake from St. Louis and had it down there. Games, service projects, inspirational speakers, dances, was such a blast. And I even got roped into teaching a class on dating for a friend who couldn't make it.

The City Museum in St. Louis. Completely interactive and
made with 100% recycled materials. SO COOL.

Learning to swing.

Dancing "under the stars"

Again, I could barely move by the end of it all, but it was worth it because the youth are just so fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Playing House

It still feels kind of funny sometimes to be living and working and acting like adults. A lot of the time we feel like we're just big kids pretending to be adults.

But life is good. And life is happy. And we are loving this grown-up part of our lives.

One night there was a HUGE storm and we woke up to this...

Luckily, no damage. Whew!

But we did find out that our basement leaks. Freaked us out,
but turns out ALL basements leak around here.

Grierson Days, a Civil War reenactment they do here
every year

Manly man doing manly things.

We got a piano! Finally. And it was free!

Nauvoo, IL. Because we can.

And for your viewing pleasure, my single FAVORITE thing about living in the Midwest. Keep in mind that you can only see about 1/10th of what we could see without the camera.