Whew!! What a crazy, busy, exhausting, but yet oh-so-rewarding weekend we had!! It was Disciple Now weekend here in McKinney, Texas. If you're not familiar with what that is, it's basically a huge retreat for sixth graders through twelfth graders. They get put in groups of 6-10 students. Each group has a leader. And the entire group has a host home where they stay for the weekend. There are about 5 Bible study lessons the leader teaches at the host homes. They also have some crazy fun activities at church, praise/worship concert (I'm calling it a concert...it was loud and dark!), and our youth minister speaks. Everyone goes to church on Sunday morning and the parents all pick the students up right after church.
Before kiddos Tab and I worked in the youth department and hosted students a couple different times. Then we had kids and I didn't really know how that would all work. This year I decided to throw caution to the wind and I signed up to host!! Tab had not one football games this weekend but two! Lucky him! (I'm being super sarcastic!) He actually had one game he drove to, so he did get to be here more than normal which was a huge blessing!
Our weekend started on Thursday night...the boys spent the night with M and G, so Ebby Lee and I had GIRL TIME! We had dinner and then we headed to church to meet our leader and the students we'd have that weekend.
We had 6 sixth grade girls and Ebby Lee couldn't have been happier!!
She had school on Friday, but as soon as she got home this is pretty much what she did. She waited patiently for the parents to drop those girls off!!
Bowen took no time in making the girls feel at home by digging into their bags, finding make-up, and applying it on his face!!! Luckily, it was our leader's make-up and she was so sweet about it!
Saturday morning we had to be at church in the morning for the Food Fight! This is a crazy fun competition. Each group is assigned a parking space. We all have an hour and a half to go door to door asking for canned goods. Then we race back and you have to have all your canned goods in your parking space by a certain time. Oh! And....you need to be as creative as possible with your canned goods in your parking space.
During competitions, the groups receive points and late Saturday night the team in first place gets a surprise treat...it's called the Phideaux Bowl and is a HUGE ice cream sundae. The youth staff shows up at the host home's house to surprise the students. Super fun!
These girls look ready to collect some canned goods. Don't they?
Nixon had a playdate and Bowen was on my hip. :)
My friend, Amber, and I drove the girls all around a neighborhood. Ebby Lee totally thought she was twelve! They went door to door in the rain.
We had just a few minutes to turn that big pile into a "creation".
Not too shabby, huh??
We went back to our house for lunch (provided by our "Cooking Coordinator" who happened to be Andrea!!) and another lesson. Then it was back to church for Crazy Game #2.
At this point, I'd dropped ALL kiddos off at Marla's. So thankful she watched them for the afternoon/evening!
Game #2 was called "Bigger and Better". Have you heard of it? Each group was given a pen. We had to load up and go door to door asking people if they had anything they'd like to trade that was bigger/better than the pen. Once you had something you loved or time was up (whatever came first) you raced back to church and had to have your item in your space in the gym. All the items were then placed in a silent auction on Sunday morning. All proceeds were going to "sponsor" a boy in Africa.
Bless our group's little hearts!! They quickly got a Chia Willie Pet (from Duck Dynasty). I seriously think that was the biggest money maker they had the entire time!! They also had a Bath and Body Works candle, Harry Styles from One Direction cardboard stand up thing, and then they got a flower painting. The sweet lady that gave it to them said that it was worth a lot of money. These girls were determined that it was going to bring in TONS of money at the silent auction. hahahaha! The leader and I let them choose and totally decide. They felt confident about this painting. You should have seen their faces when we got to the gym and they saw treadmills, chandeliers, air hockey tables...oh my! But we had fun and raised a little money!
Then it was time for PIZZA!! When you say, "Pizza", middle school boys come RUNNING!
Our leader, Alex, and I could not stop laughing! Those boys were CRAZY!!
We had praise/worship time with the band from church. AMAZING!! There's something about over 600 kiddos worshiping Jesus! So sweet to watch!
Then we headed back home for the last session. This is when Tab got home and put the kiddos to bed. So I stayed up until midnight. Yes, I'll say that again. I stayed up until midnight playing games, eating chips and dip, drinking way too much soda, and having a blast with middle school girls.
This was definitely one of those times when I thought, "Oh, I'll sign up to help to bless someone else and I received all the blessings." Those girls were so sweet. They left "thank you" notes for my kiddos and totally captured their little hearts! On the way home from church, Bowen kept asking, "Where are the girls?'". Sweet boy thought they had all moved in with us I think. It was definitely a weekend the Slaughter Family will always remember!!