Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sarah Fun Day

My looong weekend came to an end and we went back to the working world. Today was another break from work. The teams left at 5am this morning. I woke up early to see them off. Those who know me well know that I am not the nicest version of myself when I wake up in the fours. I was, however, surprisingly chipper this particular morning. I am definitely going to miss those guys. I can't wait to hear their stories!

Two of the female students were not going on outreach but their flights did not leave until tonight. One of the girls was Sarah Barthel, who left after two weeks when her mom died. The other girl was Brittany who is getting married in May to a guy currently stationed in Iraq. I did not want them to spend the day sad about missing their friends. I decided to turn it into Sarah Brittany Fun Day! I added Amy and Amy's friend, Sarah and Brittany, one of our mission builders. So the count stood at two Sarahs and two Brittanys. It was a good time. Everyone knows how much I love Sarahs. We took them across the island to teach the girls how to surf. Gena and Kristy met up with us later. I taught three of the girls to surf. It was so great! They all stood up! I got the leash caught around my neck and I thought my ears were going to come off. Very scary! Other than that, lots of fun. Also my friends were surfing at our local beach and saw a shark. Scary.

There has been some talk of different options for me going overseas. There is the Philippines basketball boomerang in the summer, around the world touring our outreach destinations with Amy in the Fall or staffing the summer DTS in the Summer. I am praying about what I am supposed to do. There are some exciting options but I just don't know what.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Flashing at the Hilton

Yesterday I had some fun times. Me, Amy and Sarah hitchhiked across the island to the tourist part. The hitching was really effortless. We got two rides from nice women. It is nice to hitch with women cuz you can assume they won't be shady. On the way home we met up with some fellow YWAMers who had one of our giant green vans. We laid out at the Hilton and pretended to be guests. It was good times. I did have an embarrasing moment poolside. I took off my tanktop only to discover that part of my bathing suit rode up, exposing one of my boobs to the public. I quickly pulled the bathing suit down. I scanned the crowd to see if anyone's face showed an "I just saw a boob look." No one seemed to have noticed. Miracle! It was still embarrasing. Luckily it was not near as bad as in high school when Jocelyn came off a water ride at an amusement park and inadvertantly exposed herself to the cutest guy in our church youth group and his girlfriend. She did not even notice right away and had to be told by the couple.

We did some shopping and I got stuff for almost all of my family members. Yay! This is important since my Christmas with them is on December 3rd. I still have a few more things to get so hopefully I will pick up some stuff when I take the students into town.

Last night a bunch of us went to a local church where some of our YWAM friends were leading worship. I love it when our people lead worship. They are so talented! Sherry sang and I also feel really proud to be her friend when I hear her sing. She has such a beautiful voice.

Then we came back and watched Coach Carter. Amy was in a weird mood and kept doing strange things with her exercise ball. I solved this problem by throwing a pudding snack pack at her.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving a day early

We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early here in YWAM land. It was really good. I have discovered that I really just need a bunch of people and a lot of food including turkey for Thanksgiving to be good. Family is nice but as long as I have turkey, I am good. Christmas is not the same, however. I need more than just presents. I helped serve at our Thanksgiving. There was soooo much food! They cooked 13 turkeys! The only thing that ran out was the corn. I had to fish through the corn juice to find the few morsels that were left. It was really interesting to watch which of the delectable Thanksgiving treats people chose. Luckily I served the stuffing, something I don't like. If I had liked it I would have been tempted to eat it.

After dinner, my friend, Gena cut my hair. She did a pretty good job. She wants to be a hairstylist so she takes even a trim for a friend pretty seriously. Last night, Amy and I decided that we would go to a spin class at the gym in the morning. The gym here is not very smart. They have offered me two ten-day passes for free so far and have never even told me how to become a member. How do they ever get anyone to join if they keep giving free passes?

The spin class was very similar to being tortured by enemy soldiers. I thought that my MS 150 biking experience would make things easier. I was wrong, very wrong. I was ready to quit after 20 minutes of the hour-long class. Luckily Amy and I were never ready to quit at the same time, so we stuck it out. Also we were in the back corner and we were afraid that the instructors would ridicule us if we quit. I was proud that we made it. Then we picked up Amy's friend who was on her way back home after teaching in Korea for a year. Her name is Sarah. I love Sarahs. It is always nice to be in the company of Sarahs.

Speaking of Sarahs, I probably mentioned our DTS student, Sarah Barthels earlier. She is the student who left after the third week because her mom's heart surgery went bad. Her mom died and so she did not return. Well, this week, she came and surprised her fellow students. She will be here until the day the other students leave for outreach. I did not know she was coming and it was so great to see her again. I hurt so much for her when her mom died. The students leave early Tuesday morning and she does not leave until that night. I have decided that Tuesday will be Sarah fun day. I want her last day here to be really fun.

Crazy story- One of my housemates, Alicia, is 36 and never been married. Some of the staff here thought she would be good with a guy they knew from back home. He is 39 and divorced with two kids. The two of them started talking on the phone a lot. Things got really serious and after they had been "phone dating" for about three months, they got to meet for the first time in his home town over Thanksgiving break. Talk about a lot of pressure! It was the first time they had ever met each other. She is still there right now. A few days ago Tony proposed to Alicia. Now they are planning on getting married in April. Crazy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

YWAM Sports has come to an end.

I had such high hopes for my basketball team in the playoffs. I thought that unlike volleyball, that we really had a chance. Apparently I was mistaken. We lost our first playoff game by ten points and are therefore, no longer in the tournament. This definitely sucks. The worst part is that no one really played to the best of their ability. Only one of our local players, Marci, played really good. That chick was on fire with at least 5 three-pointers. I played okay but definitely not my best. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. At least now I don't have to scrounge around for rides.

Yesterday was so busy for me. In the morning we commissioned the Fall school students during our base-wide worship. Commissioning is where we pray for all the teams before they leave. The teams leave next Tuesday. I can't believe it is happening so soon. After we prayed for the teams we still had a full-length worship service. This meant we went about an hour longer than we normally do. Then we had a fractal meeting which is a meeting with all the heads of the various departments. This went until it was time to get the mail. (My favorite time of the day) and then we had lunch.

After lunch, we left for our Housing outing. Gena and Kristy and I took 3 of our 4 housing students out surfing on the other side of the island. There were no waves but we were determined to teach the girls how to surf. The water was ridiculously shallow for some reason. When I was paddling on the board, my hand would graze a rock, even when I was pretty far out. It was a bit unnerving. I am not a very good surfer but I can teach almost anyone how to stand up on their first lesson. I got both housing girls who wanted to surf to stand up and it was such a good feeling. It was almost as good as teaching my Young Life girls how to surf. I got one good ride myself but got really freaked out at the end of the ride when I could see the bottom was only like a foot away. The bottom of the ocean there is reef and not sand so it can cut you up.

After surfing, we arrived late to dinner and I had someone save some for us. I scarfed down my food. Then I changed out of wet clothes and into basketball gear and we left for the game. Such a busy day!

I got approved for my proposal of a new position for myself. I call it Community Relations Coordinator. I will be in charge of Kairos- our community outreach for the students. I will also be responsible for our image in the community, find opportunities for the staff to serve outside of our YWAM duties, call businesses and let them know of our willingness to serve, solicit donations and whatever else I think of. I am excited because I think this will be more fun/fruitful for me. I will still be doing housing stuff part-time but Gena will be the head. She is nervous because she has a job in town too, but I really think she can do both with ease.

I really like being here and I feel this is where God wants me. Once in a while, I do miss home, or more accurately I miss a specific stage in my life. Lately I miss living in the duplex with Lindsay, Lucy, Big Sar and Emily Stone. What a sweet time that was! I am lucky that my living situation now is living with a bunch of girls but it is not the same. I need to appreciate the past but not dwell on it too much.

Yay I come home soon! Yay Thama is coming to visit!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Waxing party

This week I did a lot of painting. It is getting old but the office bathroom is looking so much better. It is also nice to have something I know I am doing when there is nothing else I have to do. I also got to monitor the bathroom patterns of the people who work in the office. I will be posting a chart on my website. Not really.

Last night Kristy, Amy, Julia, and I went to Wal-Mart and Costco. This is pretty standard YWAM free time procedure. It is a bit like working at Camp Cho-Yeh, the options are limited. We do, however, have world-class beaches unlike Livingston, Texas. When we got back we watched Office Space. Such a quality film! It did make me miss Austin some. Oh, speaking of Texas, I was wearing a Longhorns shirt and the other day as I was walking down the street, a guy was walking towards me, also wearing a Longhorns shirt. He was probably in his late forties. Instead of the usual Texan-to-Texan talk of where are you from and such, he says "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" To which I replied, "I live here." That was the extent of the conversation. How odd is that? It was like seeing someone you know from home so you say hi but it someone you don't like so you just say the minimum and move on. Very strange indeed.

Today I tried to sleep in. It is a shame when I cannot sleep past 10am. I used to be a champ at sleeping in. YWAM, what have you done to me? I was planning on going to the beach. I need to be tan for Emily's wedding. Everyone expects the girl who lives in Hawaii to be tan and I definitely do not want to let them down. Instead of going to the beach, Amy convinced me to go to the mall with her. I realized that since I am doing a family Christmas on the 4th of December, I should probably be getting the presents pretty soon. I ended up getting Shella's present so I was at least partially successful. Then there was a "waxing party" at my house. Sara, one of my housemates, has a sister who is trained to do waxing and such. She came over and people paid to have her wax armpits, upper lips and eyebrows. Don't worry, there were no bikini waxes involved. I personally did not participate in any hair removal but I did take part in some tasty treats.

Then Amy convinced me to go with her to the office. This was after I made fun of her for wanting to go to the office on her day off like a big dork. She wanted to print off stuff for support letters and then ended up printing invitations for the bridal shower we are throwing for Sherry. I ended up going the humorous route instead of the cute route. The front has a frightening picture of Jonathan, the future groom, making a strange face and dressed in a girl's shirt and jeans. The caption says, "Here's your chance to make Jono smile..." and the inside has the details about the lingerie shower. I think they are funny but I hope the other hosts don't get mad that they aren't very fancy. After invitations, we watched Amelie. It is such a cute movie and it always reminds me of my hearth-tending former roommate, Emily Stone. I miss that girl.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What is a garberator?

I am around Canadians quite a bit here at YWAM Maui. For the most part, they seem just like Americans. I am always a bit confused when they start referring to kilometers, liters and Celsius. The other day we were playing Loaded Questions and someone’s answer included the word- garberator. Apparently this is what Canadians call trash compactors. Weird!

Last night my basketball team, the Born Again Ballers won another game. Whoohoo! We start the tournament on Monday and I think we have a real chance. I am talking with two of my teammates about having a basketball boomerang. A boomerang is when our base goes back to a country we have been to in order to do another outreach. There is usually a short training time before hand. We are going to be praying about going to the Philippines.

Last night after basketball, the power went out in our whole town. It was pretty crazy. I ended up taking a shower at the other girls’ staff house. Our shower is outside our house and the night before I had taken a cold shower with two uninvited roach guests. The other girls’ shower was so much nicer even by candlelight. It will be hard to return to my shower. My house is the cooler girls’ house except for the shower part.

Today the team who just returned from Borneo spoke about their experiences. It was so good to hear about what happened there. They had so many amazing stories of miracles, healings and people coming to the Lord. It was intense. I hope the next Borneo team has as good of an experience.

I am putting my car up for sale. I still don’t know what God wants for my car situation. I feel a peace about it like something big is going to happen. I don’t know what. I know the peace is from the Lord because having peace about no car is not my style. It is more my style to try and get instant gratification and buy a new car right away. I am confident God is asking me to wait.

Please pray for my brother. He is having a hard time in the army at Ranger School.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Goodbye Wolverines, the end of an era!

Today was our last volleyball game. True to form- our referee was a transexual. This was the same transexual who almost decapitated me with her back row attacks. We won one of the three games. It was against the number one team. We played the best we ever have as a team. I played really crappy, however. It was definitely a shot to the pride since we had several fans in the house. God keeps teaching me the humility thing. I hate that lesson. I hope he doesn't have to teach me that lesson tomorrow. I want to play good at my basketball game.

Today I went shopping for housing stuff. I am so tired of Costco. Somehow buying toilet paper is not as fun as it used to be. I get to be kind of a biznatch when I have to go shopping for Housing. I hate it. In the afternoon I worked on painting the ceiling of our chapel's bathroom. It looks so much better already. I think I will work on it tomorrow too.

I put in a proposal to have a new job here. I call it community relations coordinator. It would encompass many different things. I hope it works out. The leadership team has to pray about it and talk about it. I will let you know how it goes. This position would allow me to use my gifts and strengths more I think. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Prank calls for adults

I am so excited because my friend, Thama is coming to visit me. She made her plane ticket so it is really going to happen. I can't wait to show her my life here. The funny part is that she is coming only a few days after we see eachother at Emily Ray's wedding. I told her I wanted her to come that soon. I have a few other people who are likely to come visit but no one anytime in the near future so I told her to come soon. And she's coming! Yay! I can't wait!

Last night I invited some of the girls over for a game time. We played my favorite game, Loaded Questions. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and slowly got the hang of the humor part of the game. After game time, somehow we started prank calling. I say we, but it was actually me that did 90% of the calling. First we called people we knew and then we moved on to businesses. I called Wal-Mart and asked about adult novelties, about other random things. It was a good time. I also called McDonald's and said I left my underwear in their bathroom. I was surprisingly good at not laughing despite the fact that there were ten people in the room. I closed my eyes to help keep me from laughing.

I ordered some great Christmas cards from Costco. Now everyone on base is ordering them. My Costco card is really getting around. We have ordered four different sets so far. The Costco people probably think I am crazy now and oddly obsessed with Christmas cards.

My friend, D-Ray is engaged! This is so crazy to me! I can't believe it! They have been dating for six months. The funniest part is that her name is Susie just like his mom so she will be Susie Ray #2. Haha. I think they are going to have a long engagement. I want to go to the wedding so bad. I hope I can go.

I already had some quality friends here when I arrived like Gena and Sherry who I knew from my DTS. My two newest close friends are Amy and Kristy. We hang out a lot. It is pretty funny that my main friends are a Czech girl and a girl named Amy. In late high school/early college, my main friends were a Czech girl (Sarah Stojanik) and a girl named Amy (Khoshbin). Funny stuff!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Transvestites are strong

Yesterday Gena and I went shopping for housing stuff all morning. It was tiring but we got all the stuff at the ten different stores that we needed to buy. We used some of our garage sale money to buy a mattress. This is not fully our department's responsibility. We usually do not even have enough money to make this an option. One of my Housing DTS students has lost two mattresses already. The first was infested with bed bugs and the second had mold. She was sleeping on an inflatable mattress. We found the cheapest new mattress on island for $149. She was super-excited about having a real mattress. It did not seem to matter to her that the mattress was covered with three prints of fabric: two mismatched floral and one American flags. Talk about classy!

I had the afternoon off and just chilled. I was feeling a bit sick but I could not put a finger on what exactly was wrong. I got to talk to Emily Ray, which was very good. We mainly talked about our number one complaints right now: her shortage of quality friends and my car being out of commission. No fun but good to talk/commiserate.

We had our final volleyball game before the tournament. We lost which I am almost positive means we are in last place. This would mean we play the first place team in the tournament. This means we probably only have one game left. This last game we played decently but the other team had an amazing player that we couldn't contain. He/She was definitely a transvestite. Thankfully (s)he played by the more restrictive guy rules. If (s)he had been allowed to spike from the front row, one of us may have been decapitated. Seriously!

After volleyball, I went over to the place Amy's mom is renting to take a shower and sleep in a non-YWAM bed. The two-faucet shower is amazing! In the morning when we woke up, Amy's neck was throbbing. She felt too bad to go to work. I felt fine and planned on being at work when it was time for the students to come. Then I was suddenly sidelined with a quick-onset of explsive diarreah. Not fun at all. I spent the next hour running to and from the bathroom in five minute intervals. After the eruption subsided, I felt weak and afraid to eat possibly ever. Amy and I basically spent all day laying on a futon and watching cable. I am going stir-crazy at this point. I think my stomach is no longer trying to wage war on my bowels. Tomorrow should be a better day. It better be since I am scheduled to have lunch with a lady from my church. Free food. My stomach better not plot against me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Garage Sale Success

Blog 11-7

Sorry I have not written in my blog in a long time. I am a big slacker. I had a really busy weekend. On Friday night, there was a harvest party for the staff girls. Many people on staff come from parts of the world that experience four distinct seasons and they miss that being on Maui. It ended up being very fun. The hostesses had Fall-scented candles all around and hung Fall-colored leaves from the ceiling. Since the leaves don’t change here in Maui, one of the girls painted green leaves Fall colors. Pretty clever!

They had Fall-themed snacks that were very tasty. My favorite was definitely the Jello jigglers. It had been far too long since I had had any Jello. What a wonderful surprise! The jigglers were in the shape of leaves and pumpkins. We also played some games. A lovely time was had by all. The only downfall was that because of the unholy amount of baked goods I consumed, I was subject to an uneasy stomach for the rest of the night. I really need to learn self-control but those jigglers were so delightful!

Early Saturday morning we had our base-wide garage sale. This was my first big thing as housing head. Gena, my assistant and I worked the whole sale and I had my students work in shifts. The whole thing went awesome! We got rid of so much junk and made $277.70. That is way more than we have made at any other garage sale. Man, I must be a good housing head! Just kidding. There are definitely some differences between Hawaii garage sales and those on the mainland. At home, people start coming as soon as you put up the signs even if it is not officially time yet. Then by 11am, no one is coming anymore. At this garage sale, we had steady customers from 8am to 1pm. We were supposed to end at noon but people kept coming and buying stuff, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we were obviously cleaning up. It was good and I definitely learned some things for next garage sale. At one point, we had a female customer in a dress in our tangerine tree picking tangerines. It was a sight to see. It is crazy that we have so much money in the housing department right now. We have about $300 and this is after we got a bunch of stuff for our guest/speaker house. I am considering using the money to purchase a couple of mattresses. One of my housing girls is currently sleeping on an inflatable air mattress. Her previous mattress had mold inside it and the one before was infested with bed bugs. We could use 50 new mattresses but I doubt we will ever have that much money to spend on mattresses. But if we purchase them a few at a time, it is do-able.

After the garage sale, I took a nap. Then Gena, Sherry and I used our ten-day passes to 24-hour fitness. I worked a lot harder than I expected. I am seriously wanting to join the gym but the start-up costs are high. We’ll see. On Saturday night I worked on a present for Emily and Van’s wedding. I hit a few snags but I hope to remedy the situation. On Sunday we went to church. There was an Indian piano player there as a guest musician. He was good, I suppose, but I could not take my eyes off the power point presentation that accompanied all his songs. It was full of pictures of him with orphans and other pathetic looking people. And there he is with a weird front to back comb-over and cheesy grin. Creepy.

Sherry and Jonathan and I were bored after church. My car’s transmission had been malfunctioning again. Jono discovered that the transmission fluid was bone-dry. Apparently there is some kind of leak. I miss Toyotas. My corolla and I got along great! He refilled the transmission fluid so the car works now, but I feel like I am just constantly waiting for something else to go wrong. Dumb old American cars! We went into town to alleviate our boredom. Then we had a terrible dinner of “whatever is left in the kitchen.” I don’t think it was called that officially but it is definitely what it looked and tasted like.

At night we had a going away party for our base director and his wife. I really didn’t want to go but my conscience would not let me skip. The desserts were good but the whole thing went long. The base director has not really been in the picture for the last six months so I don’t really feel his absence. I have never been on staff when he was in charge. I was only a student. After tearful speeches, I was tired and went home. Thus ends my hectic weekend.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Awkward Eighties Dork

Last night we had an eighties party/dance. It was lots of fun. I had put together an outfit from things I found at a thrift store. I did not fully realize until I put my outfit on that I had gone for eighties dork. Most people were dressed as funky eighties people. I brushed out my hair, something any self-respecting curly-haired person never does. It got really big and scary. People were shocked at how different I looked and I loved watching the double takes. I made an awkward dork face in all pictures.

Today Gena, Jono, Sherry, Amy and I went to the gym. Amy is a member and has been harrassing me to join as well. She has almost broken me down. Today we went as part of a ten-day free pass thing we got on the internet. The gym was pretty nice but not near as nice as the one my dad belonged to. Amy and I worked on arms and back and she kind of acted as my personal trainer. She competed in a fitness show once (like a combo of body-building and a pagent). Apparently there are no roids or super manly women, just fit women. Anyway, she worked with a trainer and knows how it works. I think if I had someone counting on me to go with them to the gym that I would be less likely to not go. I know Amy would want to go a lot. She had been waking up at like 4:30 am to go with another staff member. She is hardcore. So, I am about 75% sure I will be joining the gym.

In other news, I finally got my housing prize in the mail. We have been waiting for him since before the students arrived. It is a lifesize cardboard cut-out of a police officer. He is amazing! I plan on loaning him to the cleanest house each week. Tomorrow at worship, I will be unveiling him. I am excited to see how people respond.

I have a busy weekend coming up. On Friday some of the girls are throwing a harvest party because they miss the changing seasons of the mainland. I don't know what the party will entail but I believe there will be board games and baked goods. What more could I ask for? Then on Saturday morning we are having a garage sale. My department is hosting it and the proceeds go to us. It will be interesting to see what the local hippies purchase. Then on Sunday I have church and then a going-away party for our base directors. Hopefully I will get some chill time in.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Born Again Ballers With Special Guest Win!

We had a basketball game today and it was so fun! We won our second game so far. I finally got what I have been wanting since this DTS began. We had Lindsay Lieser play on our team. She is a DTS student who played four years of Division 1 basketball in college. The students have growth groups (bonding time with their team) on our game nights so she has not been able to play with us. This time I convinced her leaders to let her play. The only stipulation was that her whole team come so it could be a growth group. I arranged enough transportation to get my team and the 12 person Bangladesh team to the game. It was so fun having so many fans. About five other people from the base came as well.

This week we are doing something called "Angel-Mortal" week. This is like a secret santa thing between DTS students and staff. Some people get really creative. My anonymous angel this time is really good. So far I got some fake teeth and a bunch of candy. Today the person really outdid his/her self. At the basketball game, I am running down the court and I hear my name. I turn to see the Bangladesh team holding up individual pieces of paper that spelled out GO_ HIGHTOWER! It was really clever. Everytime I came off the court, one of the Bangladesh guys would wipe my face with a towel like a prize fighter. I also got two ice-cold Gatorades. It was a sweet deal.

So, with my cheering section and an NCAA basketball player on my team, the other team really ad no chance. I only scored two points but I had pretty good defense and actually got a few rebounds. Winning is so fun! I mean playing at all is fun but winning is FUN! We are playing a scrimmage on Friday. It is awesome to play this much basketball.

Today after work, I took Amy around to photograph various sites for a gift she is making for her boyfriend. We took this new staff member, Rachelle with us and it was nice to see some of the island through fresh eyes. It is sad but true that sometimes you can become numb to the natural beauty of this place.

Yesterday was Halloween but it didn't feel that much like it. Halloween is not exactly frowned upon at YWAM Maui but it definitely isn't celebrated too much. If I were in Austin, I would go to 6th street to gawk at the outlandish costumes. Here the same kind of thing happens in Lahaina but everyone here looks down on it so much. Maybe next year I will find someone willing to go. Sherry and I hung out and wanted to eat crepes but the crepe place was closed for Halloween. We ended up going into town to eat crepes at IHOP. Mine was good. After we got home, desperate to celebrate Halloween, I watched two episodes of the Simpson's Halloween specials. It should tide me over till next Halloween.
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