Monday, January 31, 2005

long day

It all started at 5:30am this morning, i woke up threw the alarm across the room and dozed for another 10 minutes, then i had to get up, eat, dress, wash etc then go to Starbucks for an early morning Bible Study with some of the girls from Harpeth Hall. After that I went to our all day staff meeting which started at 9am and lasted to 5pmish and even then we only covered about 6 pages of the 16page agenda so we'll go thru some of it on a more casual basis over the next week.

What's come out of that meeting has been a few things:

  • I've to do 3 powerpoint presentations with music for different events coming up over the next 2 months that'll each last about 15 minutes or so.... it's just as well i'm keen heehee
  • I've to review their youth website and help come up with ideas on how to improve it, so technically i'm not missing out on a web working group meeting in the end Graeme and Alan haha!
  • They also gave the go ahead to send a team of about 12/13 young people to come to NI in the summer and do StreetReach. I'm so excited about that cos not only will i see some of them again but some of you guys will get to meet them and they'll get to see where i live and what i do!

At the end of the meeting tho i found that my car had died and Ellie and I needed to jump start the car with neither of us ever having done it! But we succeeded in our mission, so i got a photo, we were just so excited!

Then after that excitement i drove to the church for a meeting at 6pm to come up with ideas and stuff for First Club this Sunday, which will be a good day but i've loads of work to do in preparation for that.... like the powerpoint lol.

For now though, I'm k-nackered and going home to sleep and I'll talk to you all again soon.

Thanks for being so faithful, I'm really appreciating it!
Ruth xox

Sunday, January 30, 2005

sleepy girl

I'm feelin awful tired today! I dunno what's up with me but hey i'm doin well. Sunday School went well this morning, we started out with 20 questions about Ireland which were all good interesting questions though nothing new to answer i think. After that I taught the lesson on God answering prayer which went well, the kids were a bit hesitant to discuss stuff but they did real well and i hope they took something away from it.

After that i went to church where they had all their new elders and deacons dedicated/installed/ordained. Then went off to lunch with Bo, Adam and Jamie and had a Bison burger and awesome chips! (Kinda like the ones my dad makes, they were good..... had the heinz and everything :oD )

After that I've been hangin around the church waiting for the Stuff and Mail tonight which should be fun. I'll be doing the powerpoint for it so it'll be real fun heehee.

Some more prayer requests (or reminders)

  • It's my friend's funeral tomorrow, please pray for her family. I'd so love to be able to be there but help me to see that I'm meant to be here.
  • We have our all day staff meeting tomorrow which might be tiring for all of us so pray for stamina and clarity of thought so we get through everything quickly.
  • Can ya also pray that i get everything i wanna do done before i go? I've only a week to go now and I know I'm gonna be sad to leave so pray bout that too.

Thanks again for reading, just remember how much i appreciate your support and prayers.


Friday, January 28, 2005

oh yeah....

..... i'm supposed to update this aren't i? Hmmmm so what all have i been up to?

Monday: day off, i drove to Cool Springs to give stuff to one of the kids who left it in my car then went to the mall..... absolutely amazing chinese food found me. I was just walkin through the mall and came across the food court when right in front of me was a man with a sample on a cocktail stick.... it was just so delicious i had to get more so he filled my plate with it and loads of rice so i scoffed the lot.

Tuesday: We had a staff meeting and discussed the ski trip a little bit, talked about the Stuff and Mail that will be happening this Sunday (where the kids going on mission teams will get together and write letters to the people in the congregation asking for support for their teams and so on. Also talked about the next First Club which will be on my last day here and the theme will be "Super Irish Sunday" so guess who's hosting with Caldwell? lol Also spent the rest of Tuesday sorting out what i was going to say at the Wednesday night group as i was the speaker again

Wednesday: I got some bad news from home that a girl from my church died quite suddenly. Can you all pray for her family at this difficult time? It's kind of frustrated me that i can't be there to help in anyway but I know God has me here for a reason.
So the rest of the day was filled with the church dinner and then Wednesday night youth group. I was talkin about James 1 which i had all sorted in my head but i'm not sure i communicated it so well, but i'm sure God's used it somehow and I'm happy with that.

Thursday: I joined a women's bible study at Christ Presbyterian where we looked at Daniel 9. I really enjoyed it because it was like being in class at BBC again and was a real stimulating time. They were also very sweet and gave me a daily devotional book, it was such a generous gift and it's a great book, i've really enjoyed it so far (even tho i've only read 2 days heehee)
After this i went with Jacquie back to cool springs mall so we could have great chinese food (you should have seen the smile on my face heeeeeeeeee :oD) Then we went to Walmart to buy some personal items as well as stuff to put into care packages to send to kids from the church who are at boarding school. Then we visited the Tyne House at church to see everyone and leave stuff there then off to Jacquie's to make more cookies. We did Oatmeal and Choc Chip ones this time, one word to describe them...... fantabulatic!!!!! So scrummy. We also wrote the letters for the out of town kids.
After that i had dinner at Judy's house (the lady i stayed with while i was first here) because she wanted me to meet her daughter Robin. She was so nice and real friendly. She just asked lots questions about Norn Irn, it was a good night. But after that i went home and got some kip.

Friday: namely today, i am about to leave to go and see one of the kids called Charlotte for lunch at her school, then after that I'll be sorting out my Sunday School lesson for this week. Will also be callin round some of the kids to arrange times and things to go to Waffle House for breakfast tomorrow then i'm going to go ice skating with some of the other kids tomorrow afternoon.

Things to pray for?

  • Monday is going to be an all day youth staff meeting. Pray that we know God's will for the upcoming events and the future of the ministry in the church.
  • There has been a new girl who has recently began coming to the youth group and has signed up to go on the Costa Rica team with this church, pray that she gets to know people, particularly those on her team, and that she settles into the youth group.
  • Jacquie's husband Greg has been having a rough time lately at the church he is working at, it is a new church plant, but they're already having some problems. Can you pray for Greg and Jacquie that they'll know God's will for them with this church.
  • For my last week here, i feel there's still a lot to be done, pray i don't get worn out or anything and that i'll continue to learn from my time here. For this weekend's Sunday School lesson for the 12th grade class amongst other things.

Well yet again that's another long post and sorry for the delay in getting it to you, but thanks for being so faithful and reading it. You guys rock!
Love ya!


Monday, January 24, 2005

an irish woman & some americans go 2 NC

Well I survived the weekend! A little sore after skiing and so on but i'm in one piece. I know this post is gonna be a long one cos there's an epic tale to be told......... (There's photos included but i don't have software to edit pictures on this computer so they're all linked, and for some of them you'll need to tilt your head to the side heehee)

It started on a friday afternoon with the wind gently blowing through the trees and people going about their daily lives: buying groceries, walking the dog, picking their kids up from school and leaving them at First Presbyterian for a ski trip..... you know, normal stuff. The group climbed on board the two buses and had all their luggage stowed underneath and ready to go to Boone, North Carolina. All was going well, Bus 1 was watching "Radio" while the people on bus 2 were watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The buses pulled into CiCis Pizza for about 45 minutes of extreme pizza and dessert scoffage then they all climbed back on board happy to be full of such greasy delights. The buses made one more stop at a garage about 10 exits up the interstate where i got off the bus and happened to meet Bono from U2!!!!!!!

OK, so to continue on a merry adventure....... or so they thought. They were about 10 miles from the North Carolina border meaning they were about 25 miles from their destination when disaster struck.....

(Please note i was on the first bus and was sitting in the row behind the bus driver Dana so i can only give account of what happened on this bus...... also note that Dana is a man :oS........ back to the story)

Dana looked in his side mirror as he was driving up the winding road up the mountain to the North Carolina border and noticed that bus 2 was no longer following behind us. We tried to communicate with them via the walkie talkies, there was no response. We tried phoning someone on the other bus..... there was no reception. There was just one thing left to do....... we had to turn back, but turning a bus on a winding narrow road is not an easy thing, we had to keep driving until we found a road that intersected and so Dana drove for a further 5 miles roughly waiting to find a place to turn the bus and did so with great success in the dark. When we found the other bus, it had broken down and the other bus driver Alexa (woman ;o) ) had turned the hazard lights on and had someone stop to help her try and fix the bus, so yet again we needed to turn the bus so that we would be driving in the right direction again. Eventually found another place to turn and we came back to bus 2.

It was decided that the bus would not be able to be fixed in a quick enough amount of time to help us get to our destination at a "reasonable" time (note the local time was now about 1:45am). So we piled everyone from bus 2 onto bus 1 and had littler people under neath the bus like myself moving luggage around and helping to squeeze in all the stuff from bus 2 as well, i of course joined the rest of the 92 odd people on the bus and while waiting for the bus to start moving again heard the random off the top of our heads tale of Johan Johan Sebastian Bach Johanssen and the Wood fish of Mongolia by Mark DeVries and Caldwell Tanner. After this incredible storytime we continued on our way, we left there around 2:45am and drove for a while longer on that road as Dana had realised that if he kept driving on that road, that there would be a turn that the bus would not be able to get round, or somethin like that...... so yet again we had to turn the bus around and track back for a while to find a new route. We eventually arrived there at 4:30am-ish and sent the kids to bed after a long night. Leaders however had to stay up for an extra while working out how we were to get everyone to the slopes the next day and so on with only about 4 cars extra available from the college students who drove up from Georgia to help out for the weekend. The problem being that the bus drivers were contracted to have at least 8 hours break between drives to get sufficient rest and sleep and so on, but Alexa being the amazing woman she is said she would only get about 4/5 hours sleep so the kids could get a good amount of time skiing.

Some of the hardcore skiers (spelling :oS) woke at 8am and got a lift with some of the college students, while most waited til 10:30 for the bus to arrive. We got to Beech Mountain after winding up the roads more and more through the snow, and eventually after orientation we hit the slopes at 12:30

Olivia and Leigh, Erika and Ruth

I was the only person on the slopes for the first time ever in our group but thankfully Leigh had not been skiing for a few years so needed to go to ski school with me :oD, but we got bored of it and cut class early hahaha and went in search of food, which was a successful search, i got chicken and chips...... not the skinny wee fries, like actual fat chunky chips! It was just awesome.

After that i hung round the lodge for a bit talking to other people in the group and had a bit of fun with Jeremy, then went out on the slopes and moved from the bunny slope to a green slope so i was doin real good. The day ended and i fell a grand total of 3 times..... was told that i took to it quite naturally :oD.

We arrived back at the lodge, had showers, dinner, games where we had an Extreme Makeover just before the talk to talk about the theme for the weekend, Extreme Makeover: Faith Edition. The night ended with a big birthday party for all the people who have birthdays in January....... in the midst of this i was serenaded by Adam and Caldwell with a great Irish folksong..... you know the one that goes "Ireland, Oh Ireland, Ireland, Oh Ireland......" no? Well me neither but it was funny anyways.
In the midst of all the fun of that night i was asked by the girl who's in that photo too "So how long have you been learning english for? you're very good." You can only imagine what my face looked like after that question..... it was like one of those moments where you could hear bells in the distance and dogs barking and the tumbleweed went past ya know? Flip i dunno!

The next day we woke had breakfast at 8am and we packed and ready to leave at 10:00 after the worship. We were then told good news: we had bus 2 back. And bad news: the local Sheriff wasn't allowing the buses on the road until at least midday due to the snow that fell during the night. So began the first annual "Snowed-in In North Carolina, Last Minute Talent Show". I was quite excited about it and thought, "ooooh i'll just go find a sofa, curl up in my sleepin bag and watch the show" but that's way too easy isn't it?

One person came up to me and said "Ruth, we're gonna do this bit where you get up and say stuff and people are gonna imitate your accent", so i said "Right, OK, sure" :oS Mark DeVries came up to me and said "Say 'Lucky Charms are magically delicious' " i wondered why on earth he wanted me to say it and the only reply i got was that i'd soon find out. Next minute Adam comes to me and says "Ruth you're hosting the show with Caldwell, there's a seat up there away ya go" All this in the space of about 3 minutes! What is that all about? So anyways i got up and hosted the show, had people imitating the Norn Irish accent by sayin "Bout ye?" "You slabberin'?" "Aye, yer ma!" and just cos we say this one all the time, hmmm yeah right..... "Top of the mornin to ya".... they were funny. Next was Mark getting me to imitate a guy from Alabama (Bo) sayin "How bout them Aubern Tigers?", and then he got some of the kids to imitate me imitating Bo, and so someone imitated Erika imitating me saying "Lucky charms are magically delicious" again it was quite funny. Next Caldwell hosted a improv drama thing and asked for the audience to pick a nationality and a location..... which naturally was an Old Irish Barber shop :oS. Carver and Josh had to "speak irish" while Caldwell and McLean "translated" and was apparently sponsored by me but anyways..... to close the show Teddy and Jeremy played a song while Calwell and I did an Irish dance..... not that it was good or anything but it entertained the crowd and some of them somehow thought i had actually trained in Irish dancing, my my my. In the midst of the show we also had a surprise from Mary-Pillow (yes that's her first name) where she had made a very timy little snowman..... we decided to burn it so she kissed it goodbye and tossed it in. It was all good banter i tell thee and the reason for the title of this post heehee.

After all that we found out that bus 2 was working fine but that bus 1 wasn't coming on cos it was so cold and yet again we had to kill more time so we watched some more of the First Club videos for entertainment and then played some cards and guitar and so on (side note i didn't actually play in the end, except when we were hangin out and being the fan of great music that i am *cough* ended up playing Busted's Year 3000 for some of them heehee). It was about 1:30pm and bus 2 arrived at the lodge, after much debate and discussion, we decided to fill it with as many people as possible and their bags and left there at 2:15pm leaving some guys behind with Mark and Adam DeVries who didn't have school the next day so it wouldn't be so bad if they were later getting home. We still hadn't had lunch and weren't going to stop the bus til about half way to save getting home even later than we could have so we went for about 8 hours without food (except for a couple of leftover cookies and stuff.... nutricious eh?). So we stopped again at CiCi's pizza and i stuffed myself with so many slices of BBQ pizza.... was just soooooooo good. While we were there we heard from the other bus and discovered that they had just left (meaning they were 3 hours behind us).

We arrived home at 8:30pm and were all definately ready for bed but i had to give Christian a ride home.... which was roughly a 15 minutes drive in the opposite direction from where i'm staying but hey it was cool to hear what she thought of the weekend and so on.

I got home at 9:30 and unpacked a bit then crawled into bed and was asleep right through til midday today and felt real good after it, though my muscles still hurt a bit, but life is good.

I really enjoyed the weekend, it was cool to talk to the kids and know how God's working in their lives and just be able to show them some of God's love by just bein there with them and helpin them not to worry in the midst of all the chaos. Have to say that i was thankful for all the chaos cos without it i don't think i'd have had as much fun or have been able to share with the kids as much as i did.

Well now that i've written all that i feel like i either deserve an award or that i should be able to hand that in as my next essay heehee, but thanks for reading it cos i know it's really long, but i hope it's entertained you like the weekend entertained me.

Hope you're all keeping well and that i hear from you soon!

Ruth xox

Friday, January 21, 2005

freakin out!

ARGH!!!!!!! They're bringing an extra guitar this weekend for me to play!!!! Please pray, i might just cry cos i'm not that good and so on so pray that i learn from it to either never do it again or to actually learn how to play heehee.

Other than that life is goin good. All the youth staff and Mark Schultz went to a local school to have a birthday party for one of the girls from the church, it was a fun afternoon. Now i'm gettin ready to head out for the ski trip and i'm determined to ski.... so there's another prayer point, that i actually get to ski and that when i do that i don't actually get hurt.

Well I'll speak to ya all on Monday, have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Well i went to the church dinner last night and it was all going well, real good food, (mind you they drenched the potatoes in orange cheese but we're over it now), good chat, sang a great hymn that i love and prayed...... then disaster struck. One of the staff at the church called Bill who was hosting the end of dinner worship decided to surprise me and introduce to the whole church and typically i had my mouth full and he made me stand on the chair i was sittin on and i went bright red.... thankfully the kids i was sittin with were supportive and kept goin "ha ha you're bright red" So if ever you're in Nashville and you see this man i command you give him a bit of a scolding for embarassin me! heehee.

The rest of the night was greeted by loads of people just comin up and sayin stuff like "so you're from Ireland? Ya know I've always wanted to go to Scotland." I mean what can ya say to that except "yeah Scotland's great". But if you'd like to read up on the Wednesday night school for adults they have at First Presbyterian, you can check here and here

Hmmmm anyways. At the minute I'm sitting in the youth office getting ready to do some more powerpoint cos apparently "Ruthie's very good at it", flattering and yes i do enjoy it but how do people work this stuff out? Is it tattoed on my back or somethin? Heehee, well i'm gonna go have fun doin that now so i'll speak to you again soon.

Hope all is well with you guys back home, speak soon

Love Ruth xox

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

wednesday again..

time is flyin by now, i mean i've been here for over 3 weeks! how crazy is that?

Yesterday was a really fun day for me, i got to church and we had a fun staff meeting where we just giggled the whole way through and ate bbq chicken pizza! (all coz i said it was the best and they said pepperoni was so seeing as i'm odd they got the bbq chicken and ended up loving it :oD )

After the meeting i drove to Franklin (about 20 minutes outside of nashville) to visit the Big Idea studios (the company that's responsible for Veggietales), i was so excited about this one. The company just recently moved down to Nashville from Chicago and are gettin settled into their new offices but it was really cool to go and see what all they do. Karen, who is a design director for Big Idea and originally worked for Disney, showed me round and told me about what they do. Most of their work is designing merchandise and publishing books as well as storyboarding new videos and designing the look of them. All the animation is done out of house in Canada, but it was really cool to see how they start from a drawing on paper and work with that to create the books and hats and t shirts and toys and so on. It was a great time and i left with a free DVD and a couple of books and all too, i was so happy heehee.

But onto my next quest of the day.....another high school basketball game at Brentwood Academy who were playing Pope John Paul II High School. I went with Jacquie and Adam to support a girl called Merritt for her game where she scored first and the team won 39-25, then the guys game was after that where we supported Tyler from the church too and the team won 72-44. It was a good night but it was also a long day so i was left exhausted.

Well things on the agenda for the next few days.....

  • tonight we have Lost and Found (which is being renamed Wednesday night Explosion) which beforehand we have the church dinner: they have a dinner altogether on Wednesday nights so they can have fellowship before the discipleship classes they have each week. Last week there were about 150 people there, so it's cool to meet people and get asked "so you're scottish right?" heehee
  • i've to make another banner for First Club so need inspiration on design and so on for that
  • my task for the next few days is also to make cookies from scratch.... thankfully with Jacquie's help. Then cookies will all be bagged up nicely with a note and then sent to all the volunteer youth leaders to say thanks for all the work they do.
  • have a swim meet that i may have to go to tomorrow night at Harpeth Hall. Anne Carney, one of the girls i'm living with now, is on the swim team and has been put down for the 500m despite the fact she normally does the 50m/100m. So she'll need some good support for that.
  • up coming ski trip: still some stuff to prepare, like new posters and gettin more food in for their lunches and the like, sorting out leaders information packs and so on.

So all in all i've lots to be gettin on with, guess i should maybe do that then huh? Hmmmmmmmmmmm ok well I'm gonna go, c ya all later, thanks for readin this mega long post!

Monday, January 17, 2005


Well I arrived home safe after travelling from Tennessee, through Kentucky (where we stopped for food and i had my photo taken outside a KFC...... in Kentucky.... you get it? heehee, ok moving on then), then into Indiana then into Ohio and back to Indiana again and arrived at our destination at about 12:30am and went to bed soon after we arrived.

We woke the next morning and went for breakfast.... only i wasn't feelin so good and after one frostie (i'm not conforming to the american way of callin them frosted flakes heehee) i ended up with my head in the loo throwin up, so i stayed at the lodge all day in bed feelin sorry for myself while everyone else was away skiing. But i joined the bus drivers on their way back to pick them all up at the end of the day to see what the slope were like when i was feelin a bit better, so I'm all excited about gettin to ski next week in North Carolina...... bring on round 2!!!!! :oD

So anyways we had a birthday party and loads of fun and games on Saturday night, had worship, watched the day's skiing on video and headed for bed. The leaders were all spread through the rooms with the kids and all night i had questions like "so have you ever found a four leaf clover?" " what do leprecauns look like really?" and when i woke on Sunday morning was greeted with "top of the mornin to ya". They were great kids and were so excited to have a real irish person around for the weekend.

We travelled home for most of Sunday and stopped again for food so i was dragged along to taco bell and the dairy queen for some "authenic american food" so it was a good day, but i was so glad to get back to the house and into bed, was just so tired after the weekends events and still am a bit.

Well for now I'm gonna go relax and enjoy a day off

Friday, January 14, 2005

and away i go...

Yup i'm off to Indiana today for the weekend so if you don't hear from me on monday, send a rescue team to Perfect North Ski Resort and you'll find me buried under snow there somewhere.

But on a lighter note..... Wednesday night went really well when i was talkin, the kids got so excited about Preparing Youth for Peace and StreetReach and really wanna come and get involved. One of the 13 yrs olds said to his dad "Dad if i give my $2 and you give $2 we can make a big difference to the peace in Northern Ireland" So his dad gave him $10 and told him to give that, it was just so cool and i was so encouraged by them.

For now tho i gotta rush off and pack for going away and get forms and all sorted and put together.

Speak to you all soon............ hopefully :oS lol

Thursday, January 13, 2005

photo time...

Yes so i promised these ages ago and i think people look here more for updates instead of the site so here's some pictures for you all to see

These are my wheels for gettin round nashville, what ya think?
OK so the right hand wing mirror's missing, the handle for the windscreen wipers is broke but it still gets from A to B quite well.... and it's a manual instead of automatic like most cars in the US heehee.

This is some of the girls from the 10th Grade bible study.

This is some of the girls from Lost and Found that was last night.

These guys are members of the Extravangaza Squad that help Adam put together the monthly First Club meeting.

Adam and one of the Extravanganza Squad playin foosball in the youth office.

This is the 9th and 10th grade girls activity Bible Study group where we went to a place called Brushfire and painted pottery.

This is me with Judy, my first host mom.

This is the Raines Family (from left to right: Dan, Evelyn, Farris and Anne Carney.) who I'm stayin with for the rest of my time here, they're a cool family and the girls are real nice to hang out with.

This is Rocketown in downtown Nashville, a Christian youth hangout for skaters and bikers as well as a venue for youth bands and a underground club.

This is inside Rocketown on their 2nd Birthday where I was helping out for the day, they had loads of bouncy castles and fun things goin on and a Battle of the Bands and all too.

This was me after the Rocketown party, back at the youth office helping with the crazy set up for First Club the next day.

The host for First Club was Caldwell accompanied by his dog sidekick Gomer, it was a fun morning. The theme was "You've been spotted" so we had lots of spot games and a video about spotting people before 6am in their bed and stuff, lots of good banter. We also had the performance group....

...."People in Spots" come and perform lots of situations, the one in the picture is " People in spots popping a zit" heehee

This is all some of the artwork I've been doing for the youthwork while I've been here...

The "You've Been Spotted" bulletin board.

The "You've Been Spotted" present which was used as a prop for Caldwell to jump out of at the start of the meeting. It was finished off with a cool orange lid and everything but I forgot to take a picture of that so this is the box just half done now lol.

Finally the Pancake Supper poster, it will be a fundraiser for all their missions teams and will have a Surfing/Hawaiian theme so they've called it "Syrup's Up", pretty clever i thought.

Well that's all for now, i'll have a report later about how last night went and all that jazz. C ya later.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

busy week ahead...

Yup so we've got lots goin on here at FPC youth HQ this week, we have the Junior High Ski Trip this weekend to make sure we have all the details sorted for..... on a personal note i also need to figure out stuff to wear while skiing seeing as i didn't know i would be going therefore didn't pack anything...... not that i have ski clothes in the first place lol. We've also got the first meeting of a group called Lost And Found (LAF) tomorrow night at which i'll be the speaker and telling my testimony and a bit about NI and Streereach and Preparing Youth for Peace type things, so pray for the words to say and so on, althought i've written what i think i should say i'm still not 100% happy with it so i'll be fixing it up tomorrow.

For now i gotta go cook irish food (e.g. potatoes lol) for some americans, will see ya all soon, au revoir!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

feels like heaven!!!!!

Feels like heaven cos i found a chinese take away here amongst all the drive thru fast food places..... and it was a take out buffet thing! how cool eh?

Well it've been kept well busy since i last posted, I've been putting lots of paperwork and information packs together for the ski trips, cutting out circles of papaer to decorate stuff for an event that's on in church 2moro morning (which i'll explain a bit more of in a minute), have been on the phone to people to get them to come help set up for the event and lots of other little jobs.
Today tho i have been moved from Judy's House to live with the Raines. It's a really nice house and they have me living in a guest house apartment thing at the top of their garden, so i moved in this morning and then this afternoon was at Rocketown which i mentioned in my twenty one hours later post because it was their 2nd Birthday Bash so i got a funky t shirt and was helpin out there for a bit. After that i hit the mall to look around so i could relax a bit before working tonight and all of 2moro.

Tonight I'm helping to get set up done for First Club which is a monthly event the church has for the youth instead of Sunday School for them before church where all sorts of crazy antics occur, I've been put in charge of the powerpoint (i can't escape can i? heehee). Tonight however we need to set that up, get the band all sorted as well as decorating the hall and checking sound and so on so on.

Tomorrow, there's First Club, then Church, then a 7th Graders fun afternoon, then I've a Bible Study with some 9th Grade Girls where we'll go to paint pottery afterward for a bit, then there's meetings with all the parents for the 2 ski trips that are coming up. (Side note i've been put in charge of the learning to ski group and have to make sure they're ok and learning with me and so on..... can you pray i do alright with that please?). After all those meetings i'm going home to bed and then up at about 6am for a 7th grade bible study.... i think, but maybe that's the week after.

Anyways that's my goss for now, will check in with ya all soon and thanks for all your messages guys, it's been cool to read them and know that people are checkin this thing from time to time heehee.


Thursday, January 06, 2005


I'm so proud of myself! Not only did i find my way round huge grocery store thing called Kroger but i found the Holy Grail while i was there!!!!!!

I found, drumroll please....................................................... CADBURY'S DAIRY MILK!!!!! I was so excited and so pleased with my hard work, but i'm takin my time to eat it and savour it, it's so good!!!

Anyways on a serious note. I ain't been doing too much exciting stuff here, went to the movies with some of the kids yesterday afternoon to see Lemony Snicket and have been designing a bulletin board which i'll add a picture of to the blog soon enough. Besides that i feel i've done very little the last few days even though sorting out the board was a lot of work etc.

Well this afternoon i have the challenge of putting gas (petrol to me really) in the car i'm driving about in and then i don't know what after that, but i'll keep you up to date.

Hope all is well for you and i'll be back soon with more updates

Monday, January 03, 2005

the swing of things...

well i've had lots to be said that has been buzzin round in my head to say, but when i got here to give an update my head's gone blank..... don't ya just hate when that happens.

Oh yeah the mobile/cell phone hunt..... i found out i could get a sim card to put in my own fone but when i went to buy it found out that one of the kids at the church will be getting a new phone for their birthday and could give me their old one to use the last of the credit and stuff..... so i'm still driving about nashville not knowin where i am with no way of phonin people to find out and so on. Ah well, i've survived a week of drivin in circles... i'll survive a bit more. Generally tho i'm doin well on the finding my way about

So yesterday was my first Sunday in Nashville, and at First Presbyterian. It started off at 9:45am at the College Sunday School where we were talking about making your faith portable in the world and knowing how to face obstacles when doing that.... which was a real helpful class for me never mind the college kids.
After that was church and i couldn't find my way to the church from the meeting room cos the class had all gone on into church and i decided to try get a drink of water before goin in, so eventually when i did find my way i didn't know where to sit cos there were no seats left with the young people and so on, so i randomly sat on my own at the end of a pew. The service itself was so different from my home church service too, there was so much liturgy and saying it in a Northern Irish accent with this mass American accent thing goin on around me was kinda weird, plus they used different tunes for all the hymns that i knew the words of..... so confusing, was a totally different church language to me. They also pass round this roll book type thing during the service where you've to write your name and tick a box to say if you're a member of the church or it was your first time or u wanted a visit and so on so on.... i just stared at the page for a while tryin to work out what to do, heehee.
We had communion too during the service and i have to say i must have grown fond of my shortbread and ribena in church cos the dehydrated chip of potato and grape juice they had here left a funny taste in my mouth, but it was cool to have communion with them and be a part of the family as it were.... i was also dead excited about that cos i know my own church had communion yesterday too, so it was like i was kind of at home still.

Anyways onwards in the tale of my Nashville Adventure..... i went home to Judy's after church and ended up makin some cookies and stuff with her..... so much fun, i gotta do that more often back home...... and after that we headed out to a restaurant and all i wanted to eat was chips...... no not the american kind but real chips, not french fries but big fat chips. However i was only able to find skinny ones so they had to do with some ketchup and salt, was real nice and comforting to me.

So after that i rushed off to the 10th grade (about 5th year in Norn Irish terms) Bible Study where we were lookin at Revelation and it was a real cool study to be at cos it was just readin the text and discussin what it meant, so simple but so imformative and interesting. To close the meeting, Adam (one of the Youth Workers at the church) explained about how his girlfriend came running into the office the other day sayin that they had to move to Sri Lanka straight away to be part of the aid relief for the tsunami, he said, "ya know there's somethin better we can do, we're american, what have we got????? money!!!! we can do a lot of fundraising and send it" So what he's planning on doing is giving the youth of the church a target of about $20,000 to gather up and he'll be buggin the church to match the money raised by the youth so that double is sent out to them. Cool eh? I've been totally overwhlemed by the generousity of the people here, they have such a heart to just give give give and they so want to help where ever they can. So this Sunday at their monthly meeting he'll be tellin all the youth of the church about it and sendin them out with a target of raising at least $100 each before the next monthly meeting.

Anyways i gotta go now for a meeting but can ya pray for the staff meetings i've to go to tomorrow? Should be fun, c ya soon

Saturday, January 01, 2005

happy new year!!!!

OK, so i'm feelin much better today, i got to go out and just have a simple restaurant type meal with Jacquie and her husband Greg. Turns out Greg used to work in another branch of the restaurant and knew most of the staff who worked there, at the end of the night they asked if we wanted dessert, we said no cos we were so full, so they said dinner was on the house, it was so nice of them and we were so glad of it, but left a big tip anyway. Then we went to the cinema to see Oceans 12...... very good movie btw but I'll not spoil anythin for ya. Got home for 1am local time (7am back in norn irn) and went to bed. It was a good night and glad i was able to just hang out with them.

Today's my day off so I've been out for breakfast at this place called Bread and Company where they do lots of different types of bread and buns and they do scrambled eggs with lots of stuff in them so they're kinda like omlettes but apparently not.

Right well I'm off to the mall to go shoppin for a cell phone again heehee.

Bye for now