Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Happy Apple Family

This week was a good week in the Reuss household. Our new MacBook arrived! This had been a battle of sorts in our household due to my old computer's EXTREME inadequacy and Adam now might be the happiest guy in the world because he can simply open 4 windows at a time on a computer if he wants to and not have to keep the power cord plugged in all at times. When you get married, you obviously have to merge all sorts of fun things. The computer is one of those things. Adam brought to the table a lovely Dell while I brought in the coveted 2005 iBook. But sadly, it's 2010 now. And if you do the math, 5 years in computer world is a very. long. time. Now what made us wait until we were at the point of this frusteration? Apple pride. With the recent popularity of iPhones and iPads and everything else that Apple is creating, I wanted to be a trendsetter in the Apple world with my 2005 computer (keep in mind, I was totally just a follower 5 years ago). I didn't want people to think I was just hopping on the trend train with this latest purchase. But I totally am and it's fantastic:-) Adam and I are perfectly satisfied with our phones and computers and now I might actually be able to blog in a reasonable fashion without cursing 50% of the time:-) Not to mention Macs are very pretty to look at:-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is it Lee Day?

For the past 2 weekends, Adam and I have been slaves to yardwork. Thankfully, when we moved in to our 15 year-old home, it didn't need any immediate massive renovations, just some cosmetic changes. Well almost 2 years later, we are getting around to the outside! I am not what you call, "A Green Thumb" :-). I tend to kill every living flower/plant within a couple of months, through no fault of my own:-) If you remember, our garden crashed so badly last year that we never ate any of our produce. So Adam and I headed to Lowes and stocked up on flowers, weed killer, grass seed, tools and 4 truckfuls of mulch (not from Lowes). Remember how at Lee they would always put down fresh mulch on Lee Day and Homecoming? That's how it smells around here and I love it! We planted lots of things that I really can't remember the name of....except hydrangeas! I have a vision of a huge hydrangea bush where I can go outside and pick fresh bouquets for my table:-) We didn't do anything dramatic, but we were proud of ourselves. Trust me, if I had a lot more money, this place would be looking freakin awesome. Now here's the problem: The daisy-looking-flowers have only officially been in the ground less than 2 weeks and some of them are already dying! They've been watered, topsoiled, weeded, everything! Any suggestions?

Adam has also said that neighbors just aren't as friendly in Virginia as they are anywhere else he's lived. We actually hang out with our immediate neighbors, but in 2 weekends that we spent in our front yard, we have had every single neighbor within a 2 house radius stopped by to say hi. We also have awesome neighbors across the street that have loaned us any tool we ever needed (including their mildly autistic son who has joined us for hours upon end!). It's great!

Before and After Pictures of Everything:

This is after we painted/replaced siding on our house last summer

The 18 bags of leaves I bagged


Afters: (I realize it doesn't look like a whole lot on pictures but I promise it is!!)

Adam's buddy, Matthew, just helping out

How our neighbor decided to increase the resale value of the neighborhood:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Youth Pastor is Youthtastic

So I'm sure every single one of you out there has read the blog, "Stuff Christians Like". It's absolutely hysterical and whenever you read it, you find yourself secretly agreeing with every single point this guy makes. So when my husband showed up with a mohawk last week, I decided he needs a blog dedicated to being a youth pastor. Since I'm nowhere as creative, I thought I'd just go ahead and recopy this onto my blog. Half my friends are married to youth pastors and the other half grew up in youth groups, so I thought you might get a laugh.
(Beware, it's kinda long. The bolded ones are my favorite)

I owe you all an apology.
I’ve been so focused on detailing and chronicling what we call the “Metrosexual Worship Leader” that I’ve effectively ignored an equally exciting species of church employee – the Youth Minister. Today, I want to make up for that.

Below you will find more than 100 statements about youth ministers. I encourage you to score your youth minister. More than that, I encourage you to email this or tweet this or facebook this to your youth minister. Together, we’ll give the fascinating creature known as the “youth minister” the attention they deserve.

The Youth Minister Scorecard.

1. Has at any point made one of the students cry because they are so competitive in the sports. = +2 points

2. Always stacks the team they are on in any games they play. = +1 point

3. Drives a car a church member sold them for $1. = +1 point (Tammy Two Tone might as well be)

4. They think burping is gross. = – 2 points (Oh, the complete opposite)

5. They can burp the entire five points of Calvinism. = +10 points

6. They are awesome at Frisbee golf = +1 point

7. They are awesome at Ultimate Frisbee. = +2 points

8. Their toddler can throw a Frisbee farther than you can. = +3 points

9. They know how to fix the youth group van when it breaks down on the side of the road. = +2 points

10. They’ve had a “talking to” from the elders. = +2 points per each talking to

11. They have a goatee. = +1 point (Or a mustache, or a fumanchu or however you spell it)

12. They are professionals at pulling off epic pranks. = +1 point

13. There are still three counties your youth group is not allowed back into after one of those epic pranks. = +2 points

14. They work at another job because they love the youth but can’t afford to live on the salary the church pays. = +100 points Not true but so sad!

15. They are just using the youth minister job as a stepping stone to being a senior pastor. = -100 points Thankfully, no.

16. They have a baldhawk haircut. = -3 points

17. They have rapped at youth group before. = +1 point

18. They have rapped at “big church” before = +2 points

19. They are no longer invited to big church. = +3 points

20. They are known to regularly cheat at youth group games because they want to win. = +2 points

21. They refuse to use “youth slang” like “Phat” because that’s just not how they talk even if the “kids are all doing it.” = +2 points

22. They have been known to wear fanny packs on mission trips. = -3 points

23. They are willing to call “fake” on the camper who always sprains their ankle to get out of helping clean up the cabin. = +3 points Or the youth that claimed her tampon went through her stomach when she jumped off the dock.

24. They are so hyperactive you think their blood type might be “5 Hour Energy Drink.” = +3 points

25. They refuse to let college kids come back and hang out awkwardly in the senior high youth group, much like that college sophomore that went to the prom. = +4 points

26. They have been known to toilet paper houses. = +1 point Or there wife has been known to...

27. In their hands, toilet paper is like a paintbrush in Michaelangelo’s hands. The texture and rhythm of what they can do with two ply is breathtaking. = +3 points

28. They once made someone pee in a Mountain Dew bottle because they didn’t want to stop during a road trip. = +3 points

29. They are the church’s version of a centaur, half youth minister/half worship leader and know how to play acoustic guitar. = +2 points

30. Often tells you that they “married up.” = +1 point

31. Often tells you how “hott” their wife is. = +2 points

32. Is single and often gets set up on awkward dates by church members. = +2 points for each date

33. Once convinced the church to pay for an official youth group event that may have involved going to a U2 concert. = +15 points

34. Justifies iPad purchase as “something I need because a lot of my students have one.” = +3 points

35. Has eaten a live goldfish as part of a sermon illustration. = +2 points Or a cricket:-)

36. Is currently writing me an angry email about “goldfish rights” = – 10 points

37. Dresses 12 years younger than their actual age. = -2 points

38. Willing to fit 10 kids in their 2002 Honda Accord if it means they’re coming to youth group. = +1 point for each kid

39. Named youth group something extreme. = +2 points We went from GetEpic to CJ7

40. The extreme name starts with a lowercase “i,” e.g. “iExperience” or “iYouth.” = +3 points.

41. The extreme name contains a capital X, e.g. “Xkids” or “Xfactor.” = +4 points

42. Is regularly offering to shave their head if the students accomplish certain goals. = +2 points.

43. Designed a cool youth group room at church, complete with working traffic light, a booth from a coffee shop and a mural. = +3 points

44. Has more toys in their office than Michael Scott of the Office. = +1 point for each toy.

45. 80% of their wardrobe consists of free t-shirts from camps and conferences. = +1 point

46. Had to explain to church elders that a summer mission trip is not the same thing as a vacation. = +2 points

47. Is on a first-name basis with the people at the laser tag arena or local skate park = +2 points

48. Has popped and repaired a “jumpy thing” before. = +3 points

49. Has been known to take students off-roading in knee deep mud in a church van on the way to camp = +3 points

50. Was in a hardcore band that caused no small degree of musical ruckus before “settling down” in the ministry. = +2 points (haha, I think of Brandon Baldwin)

51. Has a tattoo and explains that if you look at it in the right light, it has deeper meaning as a witnessing tool. = +3 points

52. Tells youth group that the Psalms are kind of emo. = +1 point

53. Has referred to our Lord and Savior as “This Jesus guy” or “Big Dude” on multiple occasions. = +2 points

54. Their refrigerator at home is full of leftovers from youth group events. = +1 point ... Mostly hot dogs and baked spagetti

55. Can easily distinguish Dr. Pepper from Dr. Thunder in a blind taste test. = +1 point

56. Has full knowledge of all the names of Target and Sams Club knock off sodas. = +2 points

57. Has ever purchased “sandwich cremes” instead of Oreos. = +3 points

58. Regularly rocks an oversize backpack or satchel bag with sewn-on patches. = +2 points
Adam has about 5

59. Proactively shaved his head to hide the fact that he is going bald. = +2 points

60. Convinces the kids in his youth group that children’s shows like veggie tales or 3,2,1, penguins are actually cool so he can simultaneously hold a youth event and entertain his own children. = +3 points

61. Has ever placed a slip n’ slide inside the church building. = +3 points

62. Believes that most of life’s problems can be solved with a well run car wash fundraising event. = +3 points

63. Staged a successful, “Get this church a Wii” campaign. = +1 point

64. Has been known to keep tabs on the students by spying on their facebook statuses. = Not sure about this one. (I tend to take on that role)

65. Often confused for a student since they look so young. = +2 points

66. Was ever at a restaurant having a beer with his family when he saw a student, felt incredibly awkward and then slid the beer toward his wife as if it were her’s. = +3 points

67. Still making Chuck Norris jokes. = – 2 points

68. Devotes an entire month to talking about sex and abstinence. +2

69. Also uses luggage to demonstrate sexual “baggage” in this same lesson. = +7 points

70. Had to hold a serious conversation with his students during which he explained why they had to retire the phrase, “that’s what she said.” = +2 points

71. Is a girl and constantly rages against the perception that only boys can be youth ministers. = +2 points

72. Has some sort of other worldly sense that alerts them whenever someone sneaks out and breaks curfew during a retreat. = +3 points

73. Believes no youth retreat is complete without a “fear factor” session, complete with habanero peppers and beef & peas baby food. = +3 point

74. Requires that all movies watched on youth group van be motivational sports movies, like Rudy, Remember the Titans, and the Sandlot. = +1 point

75. Wakes up at 4:30 am on youth retreats and runs down the halls singing “Rise and shine, and Give God the glory glory” at the top of his lungs while banging on doors to wake everyone up: = +10 points

76. Has a sense, like Spiderman, whenever two kids are “making purple” at camp. = +1 point
(Once again, the wife.)

77. Will interrupt kids making purple with a rain of water balloons. = +2 points

78. Bought every student a copy of the Stuff Christians Like book. = +100 points

79. Will kill you at Guitar Hero. = +2 points

80. Owns Justin Bieber CD because it helps them relate to students, but secretly loves it. = +2 points

81. Owns their own megaphone. = +2 points

82. Is no longer allowed to hold “Youth Sunday” after that unfortunate “mongoose incident.” = +3 points

83. Considers any game that does not end with at least one person vomiting to be a personal failure. = +2 points

84. Knows the value and importance of the liability forms they make kids sign before any event. = +2 points

85. Often has the fire department involved whenever they hold a lock in event at the church. = +3 points

86. Has the teenagers volunteer in the screaming baby nursery as a way to encourage abstinence. = +3 points !!!!!!!!!

87. Is willing to sew your stitches for you. Seriously, I’ll do it dude. = +3 points

88. Regularly holds some sort of mustache growing event. = +2 points

89. Happens to be a girl, but still insists on participating in the mustache event. = +weird

90. Has a “parents voice” that is about three octaves lower and slower whenever he has to talk to adults.

91. Tries, unsuccessfully, to turn cleaning up the youth room into a fun game! = -2 points

92. Has a map, much like the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter, of all the popular makeout spots that kids try to hide at camp = +3 points

93. Believes that when it comes to youth group events, it’s always better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission from the Senior Pastor. = +3 points Adam probably says this about 3x a week

94. Overuses the fog machine, turning every event into a smoky, pineapple flavored haunted moor. = -3 points

95. Has ever said the phrase, “If it was illegal, there’d be a sign telling us not to do it.” = +3 points

96. Found a way to get the youth group room outfitted with a better sound system than the sanctuary. = +2 point

97. Tweets more than Jon Acuff. = +3 points

98. Owns a skateboard or snowboard. = +2 points

99. Had to sign a legally binding document with the church administration that they would not go near the baptismal again. = +3 points

100. Turns any youth group trip to a restaurant into an eating contest. = +3 points

101. Knows how to multiply cheap pizza almost as well as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. = +3 points

102. Buys shaving cream and marshmallows in bulk at Costco. = +3 points

103. Is often asked by parents, “What do you do all week?” = +3 points He gets asked all the time!!!

104. Once sustained a wrist sprain during a foosball game. = +3 points

105. Ruined their cellphone when they were throw into a pool/lake/crick by the students. = +3 points

106. Prior to joining the church staff, the office they have was called by it’s correct name, “Closet.” = +3 points

107. Does more things with Duct tape than McGuyver. = +2 points

108. Has ever accidentally left a youth at a rest stop while on a road trip. = +1 point

109. Had someone in the church ask, “Do you think someday you’ll want to be a ‘real’ minister?” = +10 points Always a favorite:-)

110. Insists on regularly doing a Song of Solomon/True Love Waits medley message. = +2 points

111. Often reminds girls in the group that, “the butt is not a billboard.” = +2 points

112. Has swam in the church fountain. = +2 points

113. Owns all the Nooma videos. = +3 points

114. Owns a Nerf gun that is so big they had to register it with the state. = +3 points

Did you add up your score? What does your total mean? Here is the breakdown:

0-10 Points: Temporary Help

You’re not a youth minister. You’re a random person at church that was temporarily asked to help out with the students. You actually kind of don’t like teenagers and are counting the days until they hire someone full time.

11 – 30 Points: Amateur Hour

You wouldn’t know how to lob a roll of toilet paper in a perfect tree covering arc if it came up and bit you. You think Lady Gaga is the sister of Lady Antebellum and your car is way to nice to be owned by a youth minister.

31 – 50 Points: Minor Leagues

Now we’re talking. You’ve been to a Skillet concert or two. This isn’t your first goatee (unless you’re a lady.) You know the joys of discount pizza and off brand sodas. Congrats, you’re in the minor leagues of youth ministry.

51+ Points: Legend

Seminaries have classes dedicated to your escapades. Your work on the Johnson house in 2008 is still discussed at the Charmin factory headquarters. You’ve put so many kids in your car it made Circus clown cars seem lazy. You are a legend my friend. You will go down in the Youth Minister Hall of Fame. (Which I made up for this post but would probably be in Ohio if I had to guess.)

How did your youth minister score? How did you score? Hopefully high. (Only time that sentence can be said about youth ministers and be positive.) Big shout out to all the readers who contributed to this list. There were dozens of folks.