Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Just some tourists laying by the pool

I had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night I went to Saver's to get some eighties gear. We are having an eighties dinner and dance on Wednesday. I got some scary jeans that come up past my bellybutton and an ugly flowered shirt which I plan on wearing tucked in and with a belt, naturally. I have been hanging out with my new friend, Amy a lot. She is fast becoming one of my best friends. I am talking bridesmaid material here. This makes life here better. I have other friends here too but it is cool to have someone I have so much fun with and can talk about so much with.

On Friday night Amy and I bulldozed wash cloth town. Wash cloth town is what I refered to one of the bathrooms in our house as. It seemed that the only decorations on the walls were wash cloths. Someone had thought it would be a good idea to hang about 15 hooks on the main walls of the bathroom to hang wash cloths on. It looked terrible. Amy and I unscrewed the hooks and repositioned them so that they were no longer a bathroom centerpiece. Then we put up some posters. It looks so much better.

On Saturday, I took a carload of girls to Kaanapali on the other side of the island. We went pool hopping, which is where you swim in hotel pools without being a guest. It ended up being me, Amy and Kristy going around together. We swam and laid out by two lovely pools without being caught. We hammed it up and pretended we were tourists. We kept making typical tourist comments and saying things like, "I have got to get one of those things that goes around your neck. What are they called? Oh yeah, leis." Or "I must get one of those straw cowboy hats. They are so cute!" Our ruse worked so well that we were approached by an awkward scuba instructor called "Scuba Steve" who propositioned us to take some scuba lessons. I told him I would have to ask the rents when I saw them back in our room.

We also went shopping in the tourist area. Amy is making a scrapbook for her boyfriend so we tried to get some funny pictures of her. She tried to get in a fountain but underestimated the depth and totally fell in. I was in the bathroom when it happened but I did get to see the photograph that Kristy serendipitously took. Good times except that Amy ended up with a big scratch and nasty bruise to show off.

It is strange how different that part of the island seems than where we live. There it is primarily tourists so that is what everything is geared towards. On our side this is not the case. It is nice to go there sometimes and feel like you are on vacation. Many people probably think living in Hawaii is like being on vacation all the time but that is simply not the case. It's great but no perpetual vacation.

Today I took my students to church. We help out with the kids so it was fun. After church I went to Wal-Mart to get some goodies for Angel/Mortal week. This is kind of like secret santa for the DTS. I drew the name of one of the DTS students and I got him a random assortment of goodies. I have already received one present from my angel. It was a set of four false teeth. I wonder if they know about my nubs.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I didn't know that God made women this big

Long time, no blog. I used to be a more dilligent blogger, but I have slacked off a bit. That is probably a good thing, however, because it means I am more busy and less homesick. I will try to catch you guys up on what's been going on.

On Wednesday, we had solitude day for the staff. They dropped us off at various locations throughout the island at around 9:30am after a time of worship. We got picked up at 4:30. The idea of being alone to think for that long was very daunting. I got dropped off at a park in Wailuku. After spending some time in a softball dugout, I walked to Borders in Kahului, which took about an hour. The time was good. I read and journaled and prayed and thought about some issues that I was using my busyness to ignore. We were also supposed to use the time to pray about the base and see what God wants for us as far as land and property go.

Several people got the verse about abiding in God and him being the vine and us the branches. Several people also got the verses in 1st and 2nd Chronicles that talk about David planning to build a temple but not living to see it finished. It seems that God was telling us that some of us might not be at YWAM Maui when we finally get our own property. I hope I am here.

In basketball, the Born Again Ballers suffered a loss. The other team was big and powerful. At one point I was guarding a girl who was 6'6". I am sure it was a hilarious sight. THis chick had enormous feet. Some of our non-basketball playing friends came to cheer us on. It was really nice of them. I wish we'd put on a better showing.

Some lady who owns an electric company called our base. She wanted someone to help clean her offices. I took my students and we tried to clean this insanely messy warehouse. She told us ahead of time that she would give us a donation. The work was a bit gross but we only worked for an hour and a half. I thought she would give us about $50. Instead, she gave us $200!!!! What a great surprise! I bought my girls some Jamaba Juice and we are going to pray about what God wants us to do with the rest of the money. There is a ton we can do in housing but we want to do what God wants since it is his money, afterall.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Born Again Ballers are no longer Losers!

Blog 10-22

YWAM Maui sports has finally ended its losing streak! We actually won a game. The Born Again Ballers (my women’s basketball team) won in overtime. God sent us two little point guards who made a huge difference. Marci and Mandy apparently played on last year’s championship team and signed up too late this year. So, now they will be on our team. Yay! We needed a point guard more than anything else so it is perfect. We had all our normal players as well, unlike our last game. I was a bit too competitive but I don’t think it was too bad. I did not let some of our weaker players play very much. I really wanted to win one. One of our posts got hurt so a weaker player was going to take her place. I put myself in instead. It would have been really rude if I didn’t play well. I didn’t want to sit on the bench during such a close game. In overtime I scored all our points and we won by five points. I made 3 3-pointers during the game. It was so fun! I enjoy getting to play basketball so much.

Yesterday the DTS students had an all-day prayer time. As a staff, we will be having a “solitude day” on Wednesday. I am not sure how it will work but we will be dropped off at different locations around the island to pray. I’ll let you know how it goes. At night, Gena and I took Leah, one of the students, out to eat. It was fun. I am going to try to take some of the students out to do fun stuff at least once a week. I remember how annoying it can be to have to hitchhike everywhere you go.

My friend, Amy is now the owner of the first season of the OC. There has been a lot of OC watching in our house because of this latest development. I have seen a few. I had never seen any before this current spree. It reminds me of watching Days of Our Lives in High school. The plot is predictable and overdramatic. But I like watching them with a group of friends. I could not watch and still be fine but it is nice to hang out and watch TV like normal people sometimes.

Today we volunteered at the Xterra World Championship. It is an off-road triathlon. Today was a pre-race 5K and 10K. Other than having to wake up in the fives, it wasn’t too bad. All the staff volunteered because they promised to give the base $900 if a lot of us came. Not too bad for only a few hours of work. When we got there, they started asking for various numbers of people to come with them to do some sort of task. I hung back with Sherry and Jono to try to hang out with them. We ended up being the last group to get assigned a task. We finally got chosen and hopped in the back of a pick-up. After a short drive, the driver yells, “Ok, one person get out and stand here to direct the runners.” After all the trouble we went through to stay together, we were immediately separated. Pretty funny. I basically pointed towards the right direction in the 5K race. It was not tough at all. I am seriously considering training for the next X-Terra triathalon. I think it would be a great accomplishment and good way to get in shape. I did 160 miles on my bike for the MS150, so maybe I could pull it off with training.

I did not get to watch the UT game, unfortunately. For some reason, the channels here thought we would be more interested in other games. They were wrong. We did win, so I cannot be too bitter. I really want to see a whole game sometime soon. I am getting to see all Astros games so I can’t complain too much. Go Texas Sports!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Astros win, Wolverines lose

Blog 10-20

Last night we had a co-ed volleyball game. The YWAM Wolverines did not do so hot. Everyone made at least one really dumb play. There were a few shining moments but when the scores of the games are: 25-5 and 25-13, it is obvious that things did not go to well. It did not help that we played a team primarily comprised of people who were gay, lesbian and/or transgender. Several of their players were of undeterminable sex. This made it hard to figure out if they were breaking co-ed rules. It is hard to tell if no girls hit it over if you cannot tell who is a girl. We were also missing one of our good girl players but I don’t know if that would have helped much. Tonight we play basketball and I am excited because I feel more confident in my basketball skills. We will see what I think after tonight’s game.

I am pretty much the head of the housing department now. Kristy has phased out of most of her responsibilities. I hope I am not in the housing department for a really long time. I don’t feel I can adequately use very many of my strengths in this position. I know I just need to be patient. If we do get new property soon, my job will go from one of the smaller jobs on base to one of the biggest.

I got to watch a killer Astros game last night. For those of you out of the loop, the Houston Astros are going to the World Series for the first time ever. So exciting! It is a shame that my sports teams are doing so well when I am so far away. I don’t get to watch as much sports as I would like with the time change and lack of cable. I do get to watch some and the internet and my friends keep me up to date on the rest. These are times when I do miss the mainland.

Right now I am at a doctor’s office with another YWAMer. It took us so long to find the place. In Hawaii no one seems to give directions that include street addresses. You end up with directions like pass the fire station, turn left after the prison and it is the brown building on the right. These kind of directions would be easier if we knew ahead of time where the fire station or the prison is located. It can be very frustrating. I think we asked about five people before getting there thirty minutes late. Ugh!

This week we had a heated house meeting. Every week, the 11 girls who live in my house get together and have a meeting during lunch to discuss house issues. It is normally stuff like who keeps eating my yogurt or wipe off the bathroom mirror when you get it wet. This time we talked about the guy/girl issue. One girl in my house is engaged, two have YWAM boyfriends and two have mainland boyfriends. There have been some problems with couples cuddling on couches or hanging out in rooms past curfew, preventing roommates from going to sleep. The meeting was a bit tense at times but I think it was good to get everything out in the open. Our new revised rules are that guys can’t be over before 9am or after 9pm. And couples can’t lay on a bed together and when they are alone in a room, the door must be left wide open.

Sherry and I went to a Mexican restaurant the other night. People had said it was amazing. Being from Texas, I have high Mexican food standards. I thought the stuff was pretty good but not Pappasitos quality. It was also over-priced. These are the things I miss about Texas.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Magical Suitcase of Canadian Goodies

I forgot to call my pal, Emily Ray on her birthday. This may have been the first time in the history of our friendship that I didn’t call. I called her today when I looked at my watch and realized it was the 16th of October, the day after her birthday. She didn’t seem mad and I had already given her a gift but it still made me sad because I am usually much better about those kinds of things.

Yesterday I relaxed a bit in the morning. Then I had to go make up a bed at our guest housing. That is the one part of my job I never feel I have a handle on. It seems that guests are always coming and going with out my knowledge. We only have one set of sheets for each of the two guest beds so remaking a bed involves waiting for sheets to be washed and dried. We really need a more efficient system, preferably one that involves two sets of sheets.

After this bit of work, I went with a bunch of other people to the other side of the island for a birthday party for Carrie and Julia. We went to a long boarding spot and I got to do some surfing. It was fun but it made me realize that I am not in the best surfing shape. I am sore today for sure. We had fruit and BBQ chicken. A good time was had by all. Then we went back home around sunset. Our living room was filled with DTS girls watching The Wedding Planner. My roomie, Jess, and I started watching “Matchstick Men” in our room on my laptop. She brought out some nice Canadian treats from a magical suitcase that lives under her bed. I did not know the thing even existed. I am amazed at her self-control. I would have eaten all the goodies long ago. We only watched part of the movie due to interruptions by phone calls and fellow roommates. We were both tired anyway and went to bed around 11pm.

This morning there was a bit of confusion about which vans go to which church. My church leaves first so I was not a party to the confusion. I think I took the wrong van so I may have caused it. Our van system perplexes me. I hope I can figure it out better next Sunday. I drove the van for the first time. It seemed scary but I did pretty good and did not maim or injure anyone; passengers or pedestrians. I took a lovely nap in the afternoon and went to Borders with a guy friend. I hope it wasn’t a date. I did not think it was but I have been down that road before and I am not always very discerning in this area. The guy is so great but the more than friends feelings just aren’t there. I wish I could gain and get rid of those types of feelings at will. If so, my life would be much less stressful.

After a slightly revolting dinner of meatball subs, Brittany (one of my Born Again Ballers) and I joined up with the YWAM boys and assorted locals who play basketball on Sunday nights. It was a lot of fun. Brittany and I ended up on the same team and our team won both games. It was so great that our team wasn’t the loser because it had the only girls. It also helped the pride a bit when I won the second game with a three-pointer. Good times! If only I could have that kind of performance in a women’s league game. I can only hope.

And finally a word about college football and major league baseball; In case you are living under a rock, I will fill you in. The Astros have a 3-1 lead over the Cardinals and are one game away from a World Series( their first ever). The University of Texas Longhorns have finally beat Oklahoma and remain undefeated. They are currently ranked number two with a chance to play for the national championship. My teams are awesome!!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Throw the ball through the cardboard hole

Blog 10-15

I am always tired on Friday mornings. I think the getting up in the sevens is what gets me. We have worship at 8am. Our worship services are open to the public. This homeless lady came this Friday with her daughter, Violet. Violet really gets me. She lives somewhere along the beach with her mom. I don’t think she goes to school. I think she is seven or eight. One time her mom had me watch her while she went to collect cans. This guy came and tried to talk to her. He seemed sketchy so I kept asking if Violet was okay. I was in the middle of playing basketball so it was a bit difficult to keep an eye on her.

From last afternoon to last night I volunteered at this revival Maui event. We were supposed to run a booth with games for kids. I let the other people choose our game and they decided we would have a game where the kids threw darts at balloons. This is not the type of game I would have chosen but I was too lazy to be more involved. The game was pretty successful but the balloons ran out pretty quickly. I decided to cut a hole in the cardboard dart board and I bought some rubber balls at Foodland. Thus creating the wonderful game, “Throw the balls through the Hole in the Cardboard.” Despite the ghetto-ness of the affair, we were again the most popular booth. The other booths had activities like story time and Bible trivia. We were second in popularity only to the moonwalks.

It was fun but towards the end of the festival I was getting very tired. We saw some bands play: Telecast, Olivia and Kutless. It was fun but tiring. Some people are helping on Saturday too but I thank God that is not me. After the festival, I went home and went to bed right away.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Love is in the air and the living room and in the hallway

Blog 10-13

Love is in the air in my house and causing a bit of discomfort with the community living situation. Sherry and Jonathan have been engaged for a little while and will be getting married in January. Sara and Joe dated and broke up for a month and now they’re back together. Jess and Jeremy used to date, broke up for a year and now are back together. Amy and Alicia have boyfriends on the mainland so their boyfriend time is only on the phone, and therefore not a problem.

Sometimes it can feel like a minefield coming into the house. YWAM’s guy/girl policy is that guys can be in our houses until 10pm and guys can be in our rooms only if the door is open. These rules are good but often don’t curb enough PDA. I walk down the hall and have to avert my eyes as to not view kissing or cuddling. Some people have not been abiding by the 10pm curfew. Luckily my roommate, Sherry does but I can see how other people get frustrated when there is a boy in their room until late into the night. It is hard to relax or go to sleep in the midst of a cuddle-fest. I think we are going to have a house meeting about these co-ed issues to try to resolve some of the awkwardness.

Overall, as much it may have seemed that I am annoyed at the couples. It is really not that bad. I am excited that so many people are getting together. I wonder who will be the next to become smitten with a fellow YWAMer.

Today I tried to go surfing but I have a long way to go before I am good at shortboarding. It’s way harder than longboarding. I got all the way out once and then I got caught in the impact zone and spent about ten minutes futily paddling out before giving up and returning to shore. I got better at duck diving (when you push your board into the water so that you can get under a wave.) I almost have it down. I need to keep practicing even though I am tempted to give up shortboarding. Maybe I should lift weights and get more strength for paddling.

Today I dropped my friend, Amy off at the airport. She is going home to Canada to be in a wedding and see her way-long distance boyfriend, Luke. She will be home an even shorter amount of time than I was for Andrew’s wedding. I cannot imagine being home for only three days and juggling wedding obligations and spending as much time as possible with a boyfriend. It sounds super-hard.

Tomorrow I am going to help out with something called Revival Maui. I think it’s like a big concert thing geared towards teenagers. We will have a YWAM booth there. We are supposed to have a game. I suggested “Baptize the Heathens” where we throw scantily-clad Barbie dolls into a pool of water. Or “Throw Jonah in the whale.” I am not even sure what the group came up with since I missed a few of the meetings. Oh well, I will let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Born Again Ballers Back in Action

Today I got back in the swing of things. We inspected the houses to rank their level of cleanliness. I did not help clean my house very much and we got a few deductions. During our house inspections, we put up some of the fun decorations I had brought from home. My mom gave me some money and I found some really good sales. We gave the boys' staff house a bunch of stuff. We gave them curtains, a couch cover, bath mat and shower curtain. There house is pretty crappy so they were very appreciative. It felt good to make their house nicer for them.

I checked my mail at the base and I had so much! Everyone was so jealous. Thank you so much anyone who wrote me or sent support. Getting mail here sometimes feels like a test of how much people on the mainland miss and remember you. It's a really big deal.

In the afternoon Gena and I put more of the new stuff in houses. It was cool. Then we went to the mall so Gena could get make-up. After that we had a basketball game. One of our players was sick, another was at evangelism training and another had a friend in the hospital. This meant we were severely short handed. Gena generously agreed to play even though she hadn't played since sixth grade. She did decent. We still only had four players so we ended up borrowing three from the team that played in the game before ours. Our new players were Aloha, Colleen and Nikki. We didn't win although Brittany played really well. We did decent and made three new friends in the process. Hopefully we will see them again. Nikki works as a guide for the bike riding company that takes tourists down the volcano by our house. I am going to look for her next time. My goal with the basketball team was to make friends outside of the YWAM bubble so this game was very successful.

On a really sad note, I found out that while I was gone Sarah, the DTS student's mom died. Sarah was the girl I wrote about earlier who went home to Canada after her mom's heart surgery took a turn for the worst. After Sarah got home, her mom died. So sad. Please pray for Sarah and her family. I hate this kind of stuff.

A Big Change of Plans

I was supposed to return to Maui on Sunday. After spending the night with my fun friends, I spent about an hour packing. Sarah Sto-Gregor came and drove me to the airport. I got to the airport about 50 minutes before my flight was scheduled to take off. For domestic flights you must be there at least 30 minutes before. Despite being the fact that Hawaii is in the U.S, it inexplicably counts as an international flight. This means that you have to be there an hour early. I did not know this and arrived only 50 minutes early. I was told that I could not board. I started crying. I had had an emotionally charged weekend and very little sleep. This did not put me in the best position to receive this sort of news. The lady at the counter made some phone calls and told me she could get me on the same flight but the next day. She also said she got the okay to waive the 1200 dollar flight change fee. I guess the crying paid off. I don't see why they would have made me pay double what I paid for the original flight. That is just ridiculous.

At the point that all this went down, I thought my parents were still in Brenham, an hour and a half away. It turns out that they were back in Houston so I gave them a call. They were cool about it. My dad came and picked me up and the experience was a hundred times better than when he had picked me up at the beginning of the weekend. He was nice and not acusatory about me missing my flight. It was the perfect reaction since I was already upset.

I called people in Maui to get everything squared away for my job and the volleyball game we were supposed to have Monday. I got a fellow-YWAMer, Calla to be in charge of picking me up from the airport and wrangling the players. She is a quality, reliable-type person so I felt confident she could do it.

I drove my aunt Nancy to the airport later and she did not miss her flight. The Astros game was on TV that day and it was so good. They went way into extra innings and won the first playoff series with a walk-off homerun. I would not have been able to see it if I hadn't missed my flight. I also ended up getting an external hard drive and video editing software so I can edit Andrew's wedding video and make other fun videos.

In the morning, my grandparents drove me to the airport very early so I did not get stuck missing my plane again. I sat next to a very talkative lady named Barbara who had Parkinson's disease. I am not that familiar with Parkinson's but in Barbara's case, it meant her arms and legs would flail about without warning or control. I got hit a few times but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was not trying to hurt me.

When I arrived in Maui, my bags were not there. Apparently none of the bags on my plane to Honolulu had made it on the connecting flight to Maui. Yay! Calla and the volleyball team picked me up minus my luggage. We drove to the gym and played some volleyball. We didn't do too bad since we had never played together and did not know the bizarre co-ed rules. In addition to the rules I remember from intramurals in college, guys must serve underhand and cannot jump from in front of the ten-foot line. We won game one, lost game two and barely lost game three. The other team was super nice and made up of middle-aged locals. One of the guys had this really intriguing hairstyle. It was like a grey grown out mullet. The short part hung below his ears and the rest was tied back in a ponytail. He ended up being really nice and invited us to play with his team at another gym sometimes.

My team had to referee the second game. I took that time to try to get my luggage back. Luckily it was there. Then Calla and I bought gatorade and fruit snacks for our players like soccer moms do. It was pretty funny. Go YWAM wolverines!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Big Day

I slept like a rock the night before the wedding. Shella said she tossed and turned but I did not wake up once. We stumbled sleepily into breakfast. I had hot rollers in my hair so I was looking really hot. The food was pretty good. I made a plate for Andrew since he wasn't supposed to see Shella and he was a bit groggy from the night before. I made sure to include a lot of ham. Andrew sure does like ham.

I was the first one to get my hair done since I was going to be in pictures with Andrew first thing. Shella had a real hairdresser do our hair. This was a first in my wedding experience. It was nice. She put my hair half up and stuck flowers in it. I liked it a lot except that she kind of straightened the rest of my hair and then artificially curled it. I like my hair naturally curly. I put water in it and let nature do the rest.

I went over with the boys. It was fun to hang out and I go to watch the OU game. Whoohoo! UT finally won! We took lots of pre-wedding photos. Right before the ceremony, I found out that this lady was going to be cutting meat in the area where we wanted to do the slideshow. She basically threw a fit and said we couldn't do the slideshow there because the lights would give her a headache. I asked if she could move to the other end of the table and she acted like it was the most ridiculous idea ever. It seems to me that if you are serving in a wedding, you should do what ever you can to make people happy instead of being stiff and unyielding. Because of this cleaver carrying curmudgeon, not very many people got to see my slide show of Andrew and Shella.

The ceremony was pretty good. They always feel long when you are up there. Andrew cried again so of course I could not hold it in. I wasn't loud or blubbery, though. I have seen those bridesmaids and I don't want to be one. It was also so sunny at first that I began crying by default. The preacher was really funny. He kept muttering all this random stuff. I guess he did not know that everyone could hear him due to the microphone. There was a lot of giggling. Shella's nephews did not make noise but they did fidget and play with the pillow and flower bucket they were holding. I watched them to entertain myself.

There was also a bee buzzing around. It was giant and it landed in the hair of the bridesmaid in front of me. It was into the flowers in her hair. I didn't know what to do. Thankfully it flew away. Unfortunately towards the bride and groom. They remained unscathed but the congregation got a laugh.

After the ceremony, we took pictures till I wanted to hang myself. It was at least an hour of artificial posing and I got antsy. We were all antsy. Our feet hurt, we were sweaty, and hungry. This resulted in some grumpy people. All the other guests got to eat. This was the only time I was not happy to be in the wedding party.

We did this thing called the grand march. It is a big German choreographed dance. I was super-skeptical but it ended up being fun. I started with Robert Tyler/my groomsmen as my partner but he was soon stolen by Shella's aunt and I ended up next to her cute second cousin and my parents' friend, Dale. It was fun. Then we danced and we danced. Not me and Dale. Everyone.

I made a speech and didn't really cry. I was quite impressed with myself. I had thought about leaving early but I was having so much fun I didn't notice when it got late and it was time for them to go. When Shella and Andrew got in the car her nephew, Michael, started bawling. He loves them so much.

Then Thama, Emily, Jocelyn, Neha and I drove back to my house in Houston. It was really fun. I am glad we got that time together. I was a bit disappointed that they had to leave pretty early in the morning.

Andrew's Last single Day

So, I went home to Houston to be in my brother's wedding. On Friday, he and I hung out. We mainly ran errands and went to Target, IKEA and Kroger. It was so good to spend time with him. I just love him so much. We got all of our stuff together and headed out to Brenham, where the wedding was held. It was nice to drive fast for a while since in Hawaii I can only go around 60 miles round trip and the maximum speed limit is 55mph.

On Friday we hung out for a while. My aunts, parents, cousin David, groomsmen and bridesmaids were all around. We all stayed in different little houses on the property. The groom/groomsmen cabin was cute in a rustic way. Unfortunately it only had enough beds for four people. I think my brother spent the night before his wedding sharing a bed with Robert Tyler. I guess this was good practice for sleeping with Shella.

Shella arrived after taking a test. Not the most fun thing to do on the day before your wedding. We did all the rehearsal bisnass and then had a rehearsal dinner at one of the houses. This was my mom's part of the festivities. She was very anxious for it to go well. The food was good and people seemed to be having fun. A success!

The groomsmen had a wild night of drinking games and poker. Apparently my brother was wearing a lace teddy at one point. I don't know why. They stayed up until past 3am. Some of the guys slept in their cars. Ho slept in his and did not even wake up when his car alarm went off. That's some deep sleep.

The girls were not near as rowdy. I wished I could have hung out with the boys instead because I actually know a lot of them. I did not try to intrude on their guy time. The bridesmaids were nice but I had never met a few of them before that day. We kinda sat around as Shella and Andrew delivered gifts to wedding participants and tied up loose ends. Shella and I slept in the same room and talked for about an hour before falling asleep. It was a sweet time. I am glad I have her as my sister-in-law now. Yay!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Freezing with Football Players

I’m back in Houston. It feels pretty surreal. I have only been here less than one day but it feels longer. I think that is because I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. I got on the plane yesterday afternoon and got here at 7am this morning. The entire University of Hawaii football team was on my plane. They were pretty hard to miss. They got to board the plane first. At first, I thought it was unfair until I realized that their size meant they might need a little extra time to get settled in. One of them sat next to me on the plane. I think he is the field goal kicker. I was impressed at the manners of the guys. They gave up seats for ladies, helped people with their bags and were all-around good guys. They were on their way to play Louisiana Tech. I have been to a Louisiana Tech football game and it was very similar to a high school game. I am not sure how good University of Hawaii is but LA Tech shouldn’t be too tough.

I planned to sleep most of the plane ride but my flight did not go quite as I planned. Despite popping several Benydryls, I could not fall asleep. The fact that it was only 8pm Hawaii time, may have been a factor. It was also like a freezer in the plane. I am surprised I couldn’t see my breath. I used two airplane blankets but never really felt comfortable. Next time I fly, I will remember to bring a parka. I did sleep a few hours but not enough to feel good.

When my dad picked me up, it soon became apparent that neither of us were in the best mood. Our discussion soon became a verbal war with my dad turning the conversation into an R-rated one with some choice words. We are both stubborn to a fault so our arguments never feel productive just painful. The rest of the ride was in tearful silence. If I wasn’t here for my brother’s wedding, I think I would have seriously considered going back to Maui right then. Not fun at all.

It is so strange to be home. It doesn’t even really feel like home. This is the first time I have felt like that about being home. Right now Maui seems like home. This is strange to me but it is how I feel. I guess that is just more proof that Maui is where I am supposed to be.

After my lovely three hour nap, I went to hang out with Will and Katherine, the kids I babysat this summer. They really wanted me to hang out with them. We went to Jamba Juice and then played Life the board game. Then I went to a couple stores to look for stuff for our houses in Maui. We have such a small selection of places to find bedding and stuff in Maui- the Big K, Wal-Mart and a few other ones. My mom gave me a little money towards getting some stuff. It went a long way because I found a lot of great sales. I got several curtains, rugs, shower curtains and all on sale. I am going to hit up IKEA tomorrow. I am so excited about putting all this stuff in our houses. This is the part of my job I like best, though the budget doesn’t always allow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back in the Blog of things

Blog 10-5

I have been slacking off on my blog lately. I apologize to my blog-reading public. I have been working to try to finish my book proposal and so I don’t always feel like doing more writing after that. But now the proposal is done and I am going to print it and send it off when I am home. I have no idea what sort of response I will get but it would be amazing if this whole writing thing works out. Writing as a career has become increasingly more appealing to me. We’ll see.

On Sunday I went to church with my church group. My friend Gena attends there too. She has been going there for a while so she knows a lot of the people. The pastor was not there and the second service only had about 20 people, 1/3 of who were YWAMers. The church is thinking about going back to one service. The youth pastor preached for what seemed like an eternity. The sermon was over an hour and a bit rambling. Near the end, I looked at my students and none of them were looking at the pastor and they were all squirming in their seats. I could see that they felt the same as me.

On Sunday night, I was going to go play basketball but instead I went to dinner with friends. Corey and Carrie (former YWAMers) were house-sitting and invited me, Sherry and Gena for dinner. It was a lot of fun. The house they were at was really sweet. It was a duplex-type place and their part was the top floor. It had high ceilings, wood floors and several porches. The decorations were nice as well. It was a big contrast between our ghetto YWAM housing.

On Monday we had our staff fellowship. This is just a fancy phrase to describe a staff meeting with snacks at the end. This meeting was different because our base director and his wife came to share why they were stepping down from leadership. Vince was very vulnerable and honest in telling us that his pride had gotten out of hand. After 18 years of ministry and trying to please everyone, he came to the realization that he had been severely neglecting his family, especially his wife. He is going to counseling and will be trying to get a regular job on the island to support his family. It is sad to see Vince go because he is a great leader but I am glad he is doing what he has to do. I read a book by a guy named Vince McClung and he talked about how in full-time ministry he found that his priorities had to be as follows: God, then family, then ministry. You are not supposed to forsake your family for the good of your ministry. I think this is definitely true.

On Tuesday we inspected houses for cleanliness. The DTS boys had the cleanest house, which is very impressive. My friend, Wayne made a vast improvement from the week before. Last week he had drawers opened with clothes falling out, an unmade bed and a plate with the remnants of last night’s dinner on his fan. This week there was no old food, clothes were folded and his bed was made. It was a nice surprise.

Last night Brittany and I went down to the beach to play basketball. As usual, we ended up playing with some of the random guys down there. The games were fun until we played HORSE. This old guy, Moses, likes to do stupid trick shots all the time where you have to bounce the ball off your head or hook it in mid-air. I think this stuff is dumb since you can’t really do it in a game. I had to go after him and of course, I got out quickly because I can’t put my toes on the baseline, jump backwards and shoot the ball all while in mid-air. He got to follow some crazy guy we saw snort cocaine before he asked to join. This does not seem very fair to me. I try to have a good attitude with sports but this was very frustrating.

On a sad note, Sarah, one of our DTS students, went home. Her mom had open heart surgery and they found calcium deposits in her heart. Then she had a reaction to the medication and her lungs filled with fluid. She is in very critical condition and Sarah flew home to be with her. Pray for the family.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gump like you wouldn't believe

Blog 10-1

Wow, I can’t believe it is October. Time is really flying by. I guess that is a good thing since life seemed to be almost at a standstill when I was working at Soundwaves. This morning I slept in a bit and then went tanning at the beach. I need to look brown for when I come home for Andrew’s wedding. I don’t want to let people down. I know people expect someone who lives in Hawaii to be tan.

After tanning, I took a bunch of people across the island to Lahaina. I wanted to look for a wedding gift for Andrew and Shella. I invited a few people, which as usual, grew to more than I had anticipated. I ended up taking nine other people to town, dropped off two, and ended up taking seven people to Lahaina. I invited six of those people but one guy really just invited himself. It was a bit rude since he pretty much just jumped in the car. He is going through a hard time right now and being very unresponsive and disgruntled at almost all times. This doesn’t mean he can act like a jerk to me and expect me to do him favors. I told him that he should ask first and definitely showed my displeasure at his thoughtlessness. I don’t know what to do about the guy.

We split up when we got to Lahaina and Gena and I walked around together. I found a gift for the happy couple. After shopping, we all met back up at Bubba Gump’s. I had never been to the restaurant before. The creator definitely had an unnatural love for the movie, Forest Gump. All the menu items made reference to little parts of the film. Each table has signs that say, "Run Forrest Run" and "Stop Forrest Stop." This lets the waiter know when he is needed. We participated in some Forrest Gump trivia. We did pretty well until the question of what Forrest's dog was named. We made up some answers but apparently we could not remember the right answer because he did not have a dog. There is even a little fake bench scene set up so you can pretend to be Forrest. It’s a bit much but the food was decent and the place had quite the ocean view.

Fluffy shoots, she scores!

Blog 9-29

My friend, Gena, is back on base from Bangladesh. Her girls have been staying in our living room. I forgot this fact the other night. I thought it seemed strange that there were no lights on in our living room when I was coming home. I flipped the light on and realized about one second later that there were girls asleep on our couches. I turned the light off right away before any real damage was done.

I took most of my day to pick-up Gena at the airport. There was a bit of miscommunication. Gena and her girls got stuck in Taiwan for five hours. We picked them up around noon and kidnapped Gena. We went and ate at Quizno’s. Then I worked with my Housing students. I let them deliver the TP and it went off without a hitch, I think. A couple of them cleaned the bathroom and office. I love having students. It is nice to not have to clean the bathroom as much. Then we had a brainstorming session about redoing the bathroom. The room is a lot like a narrow Hell so we have nowhere to go but up. We are considering bright neutrals to widen the room and a terra cotta colored floor to camouflage the excessive amounts of red Maui mud. I don’t know how our budget will hold out but the girls are excited and so am I.

My basketball team and I worked on creating our uniforms. We want them to look professional so naturally we used puff paint and $4 red tank tops from Wal-Mart. We put nicknames on the backs of each one. There are five official members of the team and we purchased three extra jerseys for the other random people we will be cajoling to play so that we don’t forfeit. We put nicknames on the unassigned jerseys as well. So far we have, me-Hot Stuff, Brittany- Big Mack, Brenna- Snow White, Calla- Go-gurt, and Sarah- Princess. The anonymous jerseys: Coco, Fluffy and Apollo (Apollo’s number is 13, naturally.) The funniest part of this scenario is the latest team roster development. A girl named Christy called and said she was interested in joining our team. Apparently the recreation center people had given her my number. I talked to her on the phone. She is from Oregon and six feet tall. Other than that, I know absolutely nothing about her. I tried to warn her about how several of our players are borderline terrible. The funniest part is wondering what she will think when she is given a jersey to wear with the name, “Fluffy” printed on the back. It is a shame I will be unable to attend the first game, I am afraid that may be the only game Christy attends after she sees our skills.

On Friday, we drove to the other side of the island to pick up a donation. It was me, Kristy, Jonathan, Wayne and Dave- the housing department plus the maintenance guys. We drove there in the rain and with no A.C. that means windows down. When we got to the hotel where the donation was, it turns out they had about 100 lounge chairs, 5 glass top tables and about 20 patio chairs. This stuff is not exactly the bookcases and dressers we are really in need of. The place had hoped we would take all of the stuff. We definitely don’t need a lounge chair for every man, woman and child on base. Our van could only hold three lounge chairs and four patio chairs. So, we drove pretty far for a very small pay-off. Oh well. I enjoy checking out other parts of the island.

After work, Gena wanted to get some stuff she needed from town. Sherry and I took her to Wal-Mart (of course) and the mall. We picked up some hitchhiking DTS boys along the way. At night I went to church. I liked the worship but again I was not to into the pastor’s message. After church, I hung out with some of the DTS girls at their house. I really enjoy getting to know them better. There are several that I have a connection with. I am going to try to be purposeful in reaching out to those few especially.
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