Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lists...and Patience

Ok. I admit it. I am an eternal list maker. Sometimes I even make lists for my lists. It helps me stay organized, on top of things, and frankly, sane. I love the feeling of crossing things off the list…no matter what it is. So please understand that this morning when I woke up, I knew exactly what needed to be done at the job site and was ready to get started! We went to breakfast (pancakes and little hot dogs, waffles, cereal, milk & juice), picked up our lunch coolers, and headed out.
John and Chuck left right after they ate to go to Home Depot to pick up a new screen door for Aretha and some screen to fix the screen door she already had. It was a nice little gift from the teens (and adults) to her from us. (She was very excited to receive it.)
We arrived first and said our morning devotional prayers and then broke into groups to get our jobs done. (Remember my list….so far so good!) Christine and the painting crew headed in to paint the living room trim and ceiling, Erich and team went back to work on the weeds, my crew started scraping the outside of the house to get it ready to paint, and John’s group went up on the roof with Eli. We were worried that the storm was going to come in around 1:30, so I really wanted them to get working on the roof. They were a little peeved at me because I told them that the second it started to rain they were to get off the roof. (The arguments were: it’s just misting…there isn’t lightning….you’re just being a Mom ~ well, I don’t care, you don’t know that, and yes, I am! )
Everything seemed to be going along well, but then Christine came to me and said that Aretha changed her mind and didn’t want her painting the inside of her house….she wanted the outside done first. Well, we couldn’t paint the outside yet, because we hadn’t prepped it. It took Eli and Christine reassuring her that everything would get done (on the outside and inside) that she wanted, but we had to get started in the house first. She was finally convinced and they got started.
John and Chuck came back shortly after we started and the ‘magic truck’ got immediate use. We were scraping the house by hand to get it ready for the paint, and John’s truck had the pressure washer. At first, Aretha didn’t want us using it so we scraped by hand. A couple hours later, Chuck came up to me and asked why we were scraping by hand. We explained that Aretha wanted it that way and Chuck said, “She told me that she didn’t want the teens using the pressure washer because she thought it was harder on them than scraping by hand.” (??!!) When Chuck said the machine would be easier, she changed her mind and let us use it. It went so much faster after that!
We ran out of a few things we desperately needed to work (like roofing nails, drop cloths, and wire brushes) so I made a couple of runs to Nicholson’s General Store. It is like stepping back in time. Everything on the shelves was priced by hand, the cash register was a calculator, and they didn’t take credit cards. The gentleman working the store walked me to everything I was looking for and even carried it to my car. (I remembered my manners and said Thank you….even though my first instinct was to say, “I can carry it.”) 
We braked for lunch and had our sandwiches, chips, water, fruit, and of course, snacks and cookies.  Right as we were getting up to work, the rain came down. It lasted about 45 minutes so a few of us rescreened the door under the carport, a few more painted inside the house, and each of us took turns playing Zoomey, Zoomey on the porch. It was a lot of fun and a nice way to pass the time. I made the teens stay off the roof for an hour after the rain. I was just afraid that the shingles would be slippery and even though they were cranky about it, no one complained.
Each of us had lots of jobs to do, (like cleaning the pole barn, roofing, painting, weeding, hanging a door, rescreening the sliding door, and scraping the house to prep for painting) and before we knew it, it was three o’clock. No one noticed the time, so we started scrambling to get the tools put away, the place cleaned up, and rushed back to get our showers in time for dinner.
Here is where a LOT of frustration came to play. Everyone was hot and bothered, the tools weren’t getting put away, none of our jobs were finished, and the jobs we thought we had finished were getting changed/added to/added on. The ride back was a lot of venting (mostly by me!) and a lot of “We WILL get this done.” As the teens went to get showers (or snacks) Eli stopped Christine and I and told us that TeamEffort wasn’t going to be able to send another group to Aretha’s house next week or else it would put them behind for the entire summer. He told us he prioritized our tasks for the morning and listed five jobs. Christine and I looked at each other and then politely reminded him that we have 7 open projects going. He had forgotten about a few of them and told us that we would have to do our best, and that what doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done. (Augh! This is my worst nightmare! Nothing to check off my list and no time to finish what we started!)
We ate dinner and then the teens (and a couple of our leaders) went down to the pond to play games. They had a great time and Casey even said it was her favorite part of the day because she felt like the group really bonded. (Wow! See, I told you the teens ‘got’ it!) Meanwhile, Christine, Erich and I went to Walmart (shocker!) to pick up some supplies we would need for tomorrow’s work day. While we were there, we picked up a pretty birthday cake for Jen. She has spent her past three birthdays with us on mission….and since this is her 18th, we wanted to do it up big. (Which means we need to get this blog done because I have lots of decorations to hang up after they go to bed. )
We made it back in time for chapel…and when we walked to the building, our teens were first in line to go in. Chuck and John told me that the teens got there at 7pm, (an hour early!) because they wanted to be in the front row. I was so excited and proud of them….and then, they blew it! (Ok, they didn’t really…) Every night they open up the doors and then play a game with the campers. Tonight they switched it up and asked for outgoing and energetic chaperones to come up and play the game. I looked around and all of a sudden, I was called out (BY MY OWN TEENS!!!) to get up on stage. (This is another of my worst nightmares. Standing up in front of 248 strangers and acting like I am outgoing. Ugh.) I did it…because they asked me to and we were escorted outside and told that we were going to play charades. I was supposed to be a bull rider. (This just gets worse and worse!) The teens meanwhile were told that they weren’t allowed to guess the right thing….they had to make up silly things and yell them out….all the while imagining that the person acting out the charade (the other leaders and I) was ‘pooping’. Don’t worry…they will pay tomorrow….I’m just not sure how yet. 
The rest of the praise and worship session went well. The counselor who did the talk wasn’t as good as yesterday, but the teens listened intently and were good sports about it. (Ask them about what happened when Eli announced that he was our leader. It’s funnier if you hear it from them.) Our small group time was great (as normal) and tonight we went around the circle and played “What was the best part of your day…it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be the best.” I loved hearing them pick each other up with their comments during Hey Gods, Yeah Gods, and Mad Props. They are a special group and I’m blessed to get to spend time with them.
If you think about it…please say some extra prayers for good weather. We really need it nice to finish our jobs. Praying for you all nightly!

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