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July 8, 2016

Submerged!

Last week, the church put on Vacation Bible School for our town of Seagraves. This was my second year to be director and it was just pure fun.

Now, being a director has more responsibility than just the prep work of ordering the materials and getting enough helpers. My job during VBS is literally* putting out small fires.

One of those examples would be on Monday, when we discovered that we did not have enough cups or napkins for  the snack rotation. I had fifteen minutes to run to Dollar General. Now we may be a small town, but we at least have a Dollar General... so I ran in the store and grabbed everything I needed. Of course, my hands were not big enough for the amount of items I selected. I juggled tumbled, and fumbled my way to the counter and... no one was there. Like, I could not find anyone who worked there. Usually there is a little bell but the bell wasn't working that day. Finally, I just started yelling, "is there anyone that can check me out?" A cashier came to my rescue... slowly... and then because I have a chip in my debit card, I was punished by having to insert it into the machine the "special" way that takes 100 years longer.

That being said, we had a really good turn out of kids this year. It was honestly just a lot of fun! This year, Aaron and I did skits in the opening and closing rally. I was Jules, he was Verne. Get it? Jules Verne? I'm not going to lie, Aaron had to point that one out to me. Our sanctuary was decorated as a submarine and Jules and Verne were crew members. It was such a fun way to introduce to the kids what they were learning that day. At one point I had to fight an octopus off stage. Which, I guess I am a pretty good actress because all day long I had kids coming up to me and saying things like, "do you remember when that octopus grabbed your leg?" or "what color was the octopus?" or "why did you let the octopus on the submarine?" My favorite was when a little boy from our church asked if Aaron was my boyfriend because he saved me.

Kids are the best! I love their imagination and I wish I could have captured each of their faces as they suddenly were in the deep blue ocean and out of West Texas every time they entered the church.

*Not literally, I just like to mess with my husband... He hates when people use "literally" incorrectly. No literal fires were involved with VBS.

June 16, 2016

My Short White Legs (or) My New Years Resolution to Blog More: Day 1

My New Year's resolution was to start posting on my blog again, do a pull-up by the end of the year, and lose ten pounds. It is mid-June and this is my first blog post of 2016, I haven't even attempted a pull-up and I am pretty sure I gained ten pounds.

I am rocking 2016.

Honestly, I am not entirely sure why I stopped blogging for a while. Perhaps part of it is that because I am constantly hearing how selfish millennials are with all of our social media. Being one myself, I wondered if blogging is included. The word "millennial" has become such a dirty word. I am ready to not have being born in between the years of 1982 and 2004 haunt me. 

The other reason is it's hard to get it started when you have been gone for a while.

We came back from youth camp today and it was such an awesome experience, I figured it was blog-worthy (and hopefully not seen as selfish).

Youth camp was awesome! This is the fourth year we have taken our kids to Circle Six outside of Stanton. This was my first time going as a sponsor so I wasn't sure what to expect. The band, Sixteen Cities used songs that are scripture based, which pleased my music minister husband who is not a fan 7/11 songs (seven words eleven times). I am always a little bit anxious with these bands that are geared toward youth because sometimes they turn to giving concerts, speaking from experience, of course. They were very good at making the worship about God. And not as important, but kind of important, they were very talented.

I also appreciated the speaker, Ky Martin. He wasn't a speaker who manipulated kids just to get a quota of salvation decisions. His sermons were very applicable to our generation, especially. He talked about how having a relationship with God is like a marriage, we may have passion at times but emotions are fleeting. We need to also be devoted, and that includes reading the bible, prayer, mediation, and going to church.

Of course the kids had a lot of fun in between worship. There was zip lining, archery, rifle range, pool, paint ball, and gaga ball. And I loved bonding them with fun games and coming back with a lot of inside jokes (that's where the title came from).

First thing that popped up when I googled gaga ball.



I included a picture of gaga ball because I figured I wasn't the only who didn't know what it was. Basically you try to hit other kids feet with the ball to get them out.


I love that our anniversary fell on the last day. It is definitely representative of what we want our marriage to be: serving the Lord.



August 3, 2015

My Minions

#49 Tuesday 


Today I got to hang out with my sweet nieces. We brought the kiddie pool out and Elizabeth and I had fun playing with little water squirters. Afterward, we had hamburgers. My mom, Roxie, and I road on the golf cart while Keeper and Elizabeth raced us on foot. Of course, we stopped at Nonnie's house to get animal cookies (Keeper included). 

#50 Wednesday 


Mom and I were going shopping for my birthday when we received a call that UPS was there to deliver a package. I guess he didn't want to drive down our dirt road so my Nonnie met him in the neighborhood next over with her gator. I wonder how city people get their deliveries?

#51 Thursday 


In the morning my Nonnie and I ate our traditional breakfast at IHOP. In the afternoon, Elizabeth, Savannah, and I went to go watch the Minions movie while Roxie and her Mimi hung out.
Super cute movie, especially when you have an eight-year old giggling next to you.

 #52 Friday 


We had a full house for dinner. My sweet family came in to see me. We had prime rib, baked potato, salad, berry cobbler, and ice cream. In other words, we all wanted to go into a food coma afterwards. Except my nieces. They wanted to go swimming and keep eating. Oh, to be young again.

#53 Saturday 



My dad usually gets us breakfast tacos when we are in town because he knows how much we love them. It was extra special today because he cooked a special breakfast (and taught me how to make the edges of my pancakes crispy). It was so touching because it was done out of love and specifically for me. Definitely helped my journey back home.

#54 Sunday 


A donut shop opened in our town while I was a way. I know for the city slickers who read my blog, a new business opening isn't a big deal because it happens everyday. Well, for small town living it is a big deal because there aren't a whole lot of places to eat. Aaron saved me a blueberry donut and it was quite delicious.

#55 Monday 


Aaron and I cooked popcorn the old-fashioned way and used our butter olive oil we got from New Mexico.  It was very fun to hear Aaron give me a count for every kernel popped while I was working on the blog. "One, two, three!..."



July 27, 2015

Vacation part 3


#42 Tuesday


We said our "goodbyes" to Albuquerque (I am never confident when spelling that word) and headed toward Santa Fe. We took a shuttle from White Rock to the Bandelier National Monument where we explored Pueblo ruins. One of the coolest things we saw were the cave dwellings. The cliff was made of volcanic tuff so it was easy to carve homes into the cliffs. Such an indescribable feeling to be around that much history.

#43 Wednesday


On Wednesday, we explored the plaza of Santa Fe. There were so many shops and museums. We definitely didn't see all of it. Let's just call it a future goal. About once a month, Santa Fe hosts "music on the hill" where they invite a band to play. This picture is deceiving because we were not that close. We ate at a delicious Salvadoran restaurant and then my phone failed to give us proper directions. In fact, the only time it located us was when it informed us that we reached our destination. It took all the credit for my work of reading a map old school! Long story short, we were an hour late to the concert so we were way in the back by the porter potties. It was still fun, the band was a fun latino band and it was fun to watch all the little kids running around. 

#44 Thursday 


Now Aaron and I are planners. Both of our jobs required it. However, when we tried to be spontaneous and go white-water-rafting, all the spots were full until the next week. Instead we went to the art district. I am sure the people who were selling the art took one look at our twenty-something, tshirt and shorts cladded selves and said, well they aren't buying anything. We arrived earlier than some of the places were open (man, artsy types don't like to wake up early) so we missed some places. Actually we missed a lot of places because there are a ton of art galleries and we got our fill after seeing about half of them. 

We went to a roadhouse featured on Diners Drives-ins and Dives. Note to self, to recieve a $34 lobster, one must make reservations one week in advance. Afterward, we went back to the plaza where they were having a couple of bands playing. It was so fun to watch people dance. I mean, there were some adults who decided they didn't need no partner and just let the music flow through them (I am sure no substances aided in that decision). There were also street musicians on the sidewalk surrounding the plaza. When we went to "powder my nose" we saw a street magician who used Aaron's college ring in a magic trick


#45 Friday 


On our way back to Seagraves, we stopped in Santa Rosa to find a blue hole. The water was cold and clear. It was so clear, that underneath the step the built on the natural ledge looked like it was about five feet away, when it really about twenty. Keep that in mind when I say that because the pool is eighty-one feet deep, it looked black. I decided to go for it and jumped off a cliff into the black abyss, where scuba divers were doing their thing. I don't think I've ever swam so fast. It is rather unnerving to be swimming over something that deep and dark (and cold).

#46 Saturday 


Reunited and it feels so good! While we were on vacation, this baby substitute was with her grandma and grandpa. She was spoiled by being walked everyday so we decided to keep it up.

#47 Sunday 



Nope, that suitcase is not me being to lazy to unpack. It is me repacking. After doing all the laundry on Saturday, I had to repack because I am traveling to Round Rock to spend time with my family. I have to leave Aaron behind because the rest of the world doesn't get vacation days like teachers. Unless you are Samantha Brown. I wish I was Samantha Brown. 

#48





On my way home to see my folks, I stopped in Abilene to see my sweet friend, Kayla and her kiddos. I am so glad we got there at around 11:30 because that place fills up fast with young families! As Kayla put it, not a whole lot of places have playgrounds.

July 20, 2015

Summer Vacation part 2

#39 Saturday 


We packed up our tent and hit the road to Amarillo, our last spot before we headed to New Mexico. We can't take any trip without going to a zoo. When we parked our car, we noticed a handful of people were using metal detectors in this empty lot. I'm not sure what they were looking for but I bet it is buried treasure. 

The zoo was small but the animals were so active. The lions started roaring, like all three were just roaring together. I haven't seen lions do anything but yawn. Everywhere we went around the tiger exhibit, they followed and paced near us, so while the lions were roaring, we looked behind us and one of the tigers was pacing. Still wasn't as terrified as I was with tarantulas in Palo Duro Canyon.


After the zoo, we went to the famous "Big Texan" featured on "King of the Hill," "Man vs. Food," and "the Shaytards." If you aren't familiar with this, they have a challenge that if you eat a 72oz steak, you eat it for free. While we were there, we saw four people attempting it. One man was ten minutes from having to be done and he threw up. Fortunately, we were seated upstairs, so it didn't ruin our meal. The restaurant has such a cool ambiance. They have old Boardwalk type games- fortune teller, shoot-out, and love tester to name a few. Unless you have a problem with taxidermy or gluttony, it is definitely a place everyone needs to visit at least once.


We were then on our way out of Texas. Before we did that, we had to stop at the Cadillac ranch. This is a place I have been wanting to go for a while. It is a row of Cadillacs halfway buried and the visitors add spray paint. We added some art. Mine is the heart. Aaron added "ADH." I apologize for the foot picture but it was really muddy around the cars so my flip flops got stuck and my feet came out. 


We arrived at our destination! Aaron and I are doing a road trip so we get to experience a bunch of different places. Before we arrived to our destination for the night, we stopped at the coolest truck stop      called "Russell's". They had a legit old car museum and a chapel on top of other things you would expect to find at a truck stop. What a great find.

After another hour or so, we arrived in Tucumcari, NM. This is a town that was booming when Route 66 was the only way to travel. Once a bigger highway was built next to it, the town had way less visitors. This story sound familiar? How about the movie "Cars?" I don't think this town specifically inspired the plot but I do know the motel we stayed in inspired their motel in "Radiator Springs". We stayed in "The Blue Swallow Motel" which included our own garage next to our room. The decor was vintage and adorable and the owners were very accommodating. 

# 40 Sunday
 
Can you believe all of that was one day? Aren't we all glad I split this week into two blog posts?


Like I said before, we love zoos. When we arrived in Albuquerque the first place we went was the zoo. This zoo had a lot of animals we have never seen before. They also had a ton of babies (animals). The first animal we saw with a baby was a howler monkey. The mom saw us trying to look at her baby and I thought she would hide it. Instead she came right over to us and posed so we could best see the baby hanging off her belly. Here is the rest of the babies I can think of seeing: giraffe, hippo, elephant, crocodiles, and a chimpanzee. The zoo was like a labyrinth! The lady we got our tickets from failed to give us a map so we were just wandering along. The problem with that is we had to catch a train that went from the zoo to an aquarium/ botanical garden. We asked a kid working there how to catch the train to the aquarium. Despite his clear (vague) instructions, we missed the train. We finally figured out how to get there and  waited for about five minutes when we realized we were at the wrong train! (Thanks kid).  We were at the "African train." We had to be at the "Asian train." So, just like Bugs Bunny, we took a wrong turn in Albuquerque and ended up in Africa.

Once we got there, we had to speed through everything so we wouldn't miss the last train back. The aquarium was small but had a great variety of fish including Sharks, Stingrays, and Seahorses.
 
The botanical garden was lovely! It had beautiful sections such as a castle and oversized statues, an English garden, Japanese garden, a train garden, and a butterfly room. Like I said, lovely.

#41 Monday 

 
Today, we rode on the longest tram in the Western Hemisphere up to Sandia Peak. They have a restaurant up there and you can see where the ski lift is during the winter time but we just went hiking.  For some reason, I was more terrified hiking in Palo Duro Canyon with tarantulas than in the mountains with bears. Logic.

We had a picnic at the bottom of the mountain and then went into "Old Town," historic part of Albuquerque. A lot of beautiful art, music, and clothes. 

We ate at the Backyard Grill which is basically a fancy Mexican food restaurant. The food was fantastic. I definitely over-ate but oh my gosh I didn't regret it! On our way back to our car, we stopped into an interesting looking store. It was this olive oil/vinagarrette store and the sales lady gave us so many samples! Who knew olive oil came in other flavores? I ended up with a dark chocolate vinagarrette and a butter olive oil.  Who knows, I may actually cook!





July 18, 2015

Summer Vacation Part 1

This week so much has happened that I am doing the first part of the blog tonight. Look for the second part on Monday.

#35 Tuesday



We rotate weekly who hosts small group and today's home is filled with sweet animals (horses, corgis, and cats) and sweeter kids. I probably say this in every blog, but I absolutely love the support and comfort I feel from these great couples.

#36 Wednesday 



Because Aaron and I are going on vacation, Lucy gets to stay with her grandma and grandpa. I'm not going to lie, I was way too upset about leaving her. 

#37 Thursday 


Vacation day #1 and we headed toward Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX to primitive camp for a couple of days. Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States and it is simply breath-taking. Our camp set-up included a fire pit, a place to hang our trash, and a picnic table with a pavilion. There were several other campers in the area which was fine by me. It was a lot easier to justify the various bumps in the night which were inevitably all the serial killers that ever existed. 

It took a month of convincing, but Aaron agreed to go zip lining over part of the canyon.  Another family went and they were super sweet. The mother and son did it while the father and daughter watched. The scariest part of zip-lining was getting up there! The bridge swung with every step you took; we finally figured walking on the middle board stabilized it.



# 38 Friday


Yesterday, Aaron faced his fear of heights by doing the zip-line. I faced my fear by hiking a trail with tarantulas. Of course, I knew there was a possibility of seeing them. I didn't know they existed in Texas until I was twenty. I think people were keeping that little factoid from me. I have always had an irrational fear when it came to spiders of any shape and size. Anyway, we were hiking a trail, admiring the beauty of God's creation and Aaron (dumbly) mentioned seeing a tarantula. Crazy Chelsea over- powered logic Chelsea and I spent the remainder of the trail shaking with my hands up to my chest making popping noises with my water bottle. The whole time. Just "click" "click" "click" the entire time we are walking. On our way back to the beginning  of the trail, I'm walking right behind Aaron holding on to his shirt and... we see a tarantula. Logic Chelsea, however quiet she is thinks "hey, this isn't so bad, he is just minding his own business, enjoying the trail. He kind of looks like the hand from The Addams family." Too bad embarrassing crazy Chelsea took over and I started crying and froze and acted like the spider was chasing us with a gun. Aaron heroically encouraged the over-legged over-sized monster off the path. 

Spending the rest of the day paranoid with every glance Aaron took, we finished it off by seeing the musical "Texas." This is an outdoor musical set up in the canyon. People are encouraged to sign in and say where they traveled from. The person who travels the farthest wins a little triangle and within the fifty years of showing this, they have never had someone from within the continental United States win the award. Before the show, they fed us barbecue, had a decedent of Quanaw Parker give us some information about the Cherokee, and had a live country band made up of members of the cast.The show has awesome special effects and set, greater music, and even greater dancing. The finale had me in tears and I was definitely a proud Texan by the end of it. (As if I wasn't already.)


July 13, 2015

It's Okay, I Make Lamb

#30 Wednesday
 

 

 
Merry Christmas! Oh, I'm a little early? All over the world, music ministers and their families get to experience Christmas for six months.
 
 
 
#31 Thursday
 


 

Aaron and I celebrated the passing of a quarter of my life by going to a museum at Texas Tech and eating Greek food. We were having such a good time at the museum that we didn't realize how long we had been there. Eating Greek food is a rare occurrence, meaning this is the first time I ever made Aaron eat it. We had a good time eating gyros and quoting every "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" line we could think of.

We then went to Joyland, an amusement park, and unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that. My phone was about to die and I didn't want to risk taking it with me on a lot of rides. The last time I went to Joyland was on a mission trip about ten years ago. It reminds me of a sedentary carnival. Our favorite rides were the water slides and we rode those several times. There was one waterslide where you road what looked like a cafeteria tray down a steep drop. Almost lost Aaron on that one.

#32 Friday

Aaron went to work. I didn't do anything. I was so exhausted by turning another year older I recovered by staring at a tube full of flashing lights and sound while trying to combine my molecules with a bigger, softer object.

#33 Saturday

 
I finally motivated myself to weed my herb garden. Half the battle was figuring out what was a weed and what was an herb. My nose was a great tool in that effort. The other half of the battle was it started raining big, fat, heavy, drops. I am so tired of weeds.
 
 
#33 Sunday 
 
 

Aaron's parents finished their cruise to Alaska and came to our church on Sunday. I am sorry this is a blurry picture. Although I am a twenty-something girl with a camera, I refuse to claim I am a photographer. After church we ate some pot-roast and looked at pictures from their trip. I think it is going to take twenty years of convincing my weak-stomached husband to go on a cruise.


#34 Monday
 
 
I could not go to sleep! No matter how still I laid, how comfortable I was,  and how tired I was, it just wasn't going to happen. So I gave up, and took important quizzes to determine what objects/ animals best represent me. Here is what I discovered: if I was a Disney cat, I would be Simba; based on my dessert preferences, my personality is traditional??; the Malcolm in the Middle brother I am is Jamie; and the "To Kill A Mockingbird" character I am is Scout Finch 

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