Redeeming Grace Church

Cross Current Christmas Party 2016

As is the tradition on Cross Current Sundays, I went home with my best friend, Abi. We usually spend the afternoon hanging-out before returning to the church building for our monthly, youth-group meeting. However, on the evening on December 18, we would be returning for our annual Cross Current Christmas party. This year’s theme: “Dr. Seuss”.

Around 3:40 PM that afternoon, “costumes” became the focus in the Rawlings’ home, the main focus at least. Mr. Rawlings, Noah, and Abi had technically been piecing their’s together all afternoon. After having put on the basics of my costume, I went to see if Abi, who was making her ears in the kitchen, was ready to do my hair. Sarah snatched up the opportunity before Abi came in and re-did it 😂. My best friend arranged my scarf and then I stood aside and watched people run around, busy with one thing or another, until we left. Abi looked so adorable as “Fox in Socks” and Noah looked ridiculous as “Sam I Am”. Little Eva, who must have felt left out, put on two mismatch tops and hand sanitizer in her hair and on her clothes before announcing that she was “a Who”. 😂

The party was a blast. Although there were several people who did not dress up, the majority did:

  • Mom – a Who
  • Tristen/Me – Kox
  • Haydn – Horton
  • Mr. Rawlings – the Grinch
  • Mrs. Rawlings – Horton
  • Noah – Sam I Am
  • Abi – Fox in Socks
  • Isaac – Dr. Seuss
  • Mr. Morgan – a tree stump with an ax
  • Lilly & Sydney – Thing 1 & Thing 2
  • Liam – the Lorax
  • Ainsley & Cailin – Thing 1 & Thing 2
  • Cameron – the Grinch
  • The English family – 1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Ryan & Katie – Thing 1 and Thing 2
  • Mr. Ballard – Cindy Loo’s Dad
  • Mrs. Ballard – a Who
  • Hunter – the Grinch
  • Patricia – the Cat in the Hat
  • Mr. Villa – the mayor
  • Charis – the mayor’s son
  • Maddi – Cindy Loo

Mom won the costume contest (thanks to her big bow) and Cameron and Ainsley won the pie eating contest. For the lip-syncbattle: Cameron won “best lip-sync”, Mrs. Ballard and Hunter won “most creative”, and Joanna and Lily won for “crowd participation”. Honorable mentions included Noah’s “The Grinch”, Charis and Maddi’s “Baby”, and me and Abi’s “Love is an Open Door” (which, I would argue, should have won “most humiliating”😂). After playing a fun game of White Elephant, I ended up with two boxes of Little Debbies and one box of Honey Buns. Yum!

Once the party was over, Abi and I changed out of our costumes and spent the rest of our time together running around with food or a cup of punch in our hands, arms linked, and bodies shaking with laughter. We were practically the Dolly sisters from BBC’s Mr. Selfridge and I am sure this act caused us to look like the idiots that we are. I love that I can be weird with her but, then again, isn’t that what friends are for? 😂

Redeeming Grace Church

Airsoft Party October 2016

On October 29 the youth of Redeeming Grace Church had another Airsoft party. It was scheduled for 10:00 AM but my family and the Rawlings family arrived shortly before then. We were glad to welcome members from three additional families to our group. The more the merrier! The “party” was scheduled to end at 12:30 but, because of the time spent waiting for people to arrive, getting geared up, and taking breaks, we were only able to play three rounds of the Airsoft version of “Capture the Flag”.

Toward the end of the last round, Haydn was the only member of my team that we had lost. The other team was in jail except for Hannah, but she had to leave. When my team began collecting prisoners, I was cast as the prison guard. Although none of the prisoners attempted to escape, there were many humorous conversations about how they were going to get rid of me. The last advance was made when my team went up the hill hoping to capture the other team’s flag, leaving me alone with the prisoners. It wasn’t until the second time Abi yelled across the property that we understood that the game had ended. I had a great time playing Airsoft with you all! I hope we can do this again soon!

Redeeming Grace Church

Cross Current October 2016

So many beautiful memories were created at Redeeming Grace Church during October’s Cross Current. Because Halloween was coming up, game time’s theme was “fear factor”. It had been rumored that we would be making smoothies with insects and then have to drink them, so many people (myself included) were considering not going. Despite this, more than the usual crowd showed up.

Although there was no smoothie making, our adrenaline went up when we were asked to smash an egg on our head, to find out whether the one we held was boiled or not. If you refused to try, one point was taken from your team. While the eggs were being passed out, I shook mine and was relieved to find it solid. As it turned out, all of the eggs were boiled. Oh, the power of suggestion XD.

The other games we played included a relay (which required us to fetch plastic crickets from a tank) and a taste test during which the adults (and a few brave youth) tried cat food. Our snacks included puppy chow but this, thankfully, was simply corn squares covered in peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. Yum! Thank you, parent-youth for making tonight so memorable. I can not wait for next month!

Redeeming Grace Church

Church Picnic September 2016

September’s church picnic was very calm and peaceful which made the whole event very relaxing, instead of chaotic or busy. My fellow youth and I, as usual, set up and put away everything that goes into Redeeming Grace Church’s picnics. I very much enjoyed working along side of my friends at the beginning and end of the evening while hanging out with them in between (eating, catapulting pumpkins and watermelons, and playing volleyball). I had a wonderful time and, as always, I am looking forward to our next church picnic.

To see more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Redeeming Grace Church

Cross Current September 2016

On September 18, my church held it’s once a month youth meeting for Junior and Senior High: Cross Current. As always, I had a blast. Most of the memories were made during game time, which is not surprising.

The first activity was assigned to the men. They had to undo frozen t-shirts and put them on. The person to do this first won. This proved to be more tedious than one might expect because the t-shirts were frozen solid and the water given to help undo the articles of clothing was freezing cold. In the end, Mr. Ballard ended up winning.

The next game split our group into boys and girls who each had to form a human tower. The first group to finish won. This ended up being the boys because, in general, us girls were a little overwhelmed by the task and so the quality of our problem-solving skills drastically dropped.

The final game is one of my all-time favorites: the Three Legged Race. In case you don’t know, this game is just like any foot race except for the fact that it requires, instead of one runner per team, two runners who have their legs bound together. The trick to this game is how you and your partner run. I have found that in order to move quickly each person in a pair needs to wrap their arm around the other. The closer you are to one another, the more smoothly you will be able to function. If not, you and your partner will split and fall like a tree struck by lightening. I paired up with Hunter, a boy around the age of my younger brother, and our team ended up winning. Despite the fact that Hunter ran on my foot for the entire race and that it took multiple people to undo our tightly bound bond, I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to Cross Current next month.

To see more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Redeeming Grace Church

Here to Stay

img_0180In 2003, five families (including my own) planted Sovereign Grace Church. We attended there from when I was two until I was around age eight. For complicated reasons we left SGC and attended Fellowship Greenville for the next six years or so despite a never ceasing longing to return to the church family we loved so much. In the fall of 2015, we left FG and began visiting Redeeming Grace Church (what SGC became). I admit that my siblings and I were not terribly happy about this sudden change of plans but the youth at this church were more than happy to be our friends and, little by little, each of us began to “cross our fingers” in hopes that we would stay. A year later, on August 28, 2016, we were invited on stage where Assistant Pastor Aaron Campbell officially welcomed us as members of RGC. In other words, we’re here to stay. My family and I are beyond blessed to be a part of this amazing church and I am excited to see what this new chapter holds for us.

Redeeming Grace Church

Heritage Lakes Outreach

cefr6257On August 14, my church held an outreach event for the neighborhood near our building: Heritage Lakes. A huge thank you to everyone who help set up and/or came! Since we were invited to do it again, I am looking forward to another event like this in the future. I am looking forward to that event not just because of the outreach part but also because of all the wonderful memories I made with my fellow youth while we worked together to make this happen. This was such a great way to connect with our neighbors! I hope we can do it again sometime!

To see more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Redeeming Grace Church

Christmas in August

mikl5655On August 13, my family and I had the privilege of hosting Cross Current’s “end of the summer” party. From a jumbo yard version of Twister to an epic water balloon toss, everyone had a lot of fun. So, why did we call this event “Christmas in August”? Because the main event of the night was when we lit two Christmas trees that had been laced with fireworks. Yep! A little family tradition of ours. The winners of the water balloon toss (Noah and Isaac) each shot a flaming arrow into a tree which set it ablaze. With Abi manning the hose, multiple cameras rolling, mothers squirming, and babies crying, tree burning was a hit, as always. I hope we can do something like this again next fall!

North East (2016) · Redeeming Grace Church

Until August

A445E5E4-03AF-4FDB-AF14-676B6556B82FOn May 27th the plan was to pick me up from school and leave for this summer’s two month trip North East. Dad stated that this plan made him feel rushed, and when we’re rushed we usually forget something important, so we changed plans and decided to leave Saturday morning. This allowed us to go to the Rawlings’ house Friday night for dinner which was a chance to exchange our final goodbyes.

Before the night was over it was whispered among the children that the plan had changed again: we would be leaving Sunday morning. There was an attempt made to schedule a sleepover that night, but it failed.

Saturday my siblings and I were informed that plans had changed yet again and that we would be leaving after the church service. “We’re never going to leave to this town!” We joked.

The next morning Ansa walked up to Sarah who, upon seeing her, exclaimed, “You’re not supposed to be here!” Ansa pretended to be about to leave which caused Sarah to cry, “No, no! You can stay!” A similar exchanged occurred between Haydn and Cameron and Abi and me XD. I will say it is harder to say goodbye when goodbyes have already been said and you’ve made peace with them. Never the less, they were said we were soon gone.

I’m really going to miss you guys’ warm smiles and tight hugs! Have a great summer, but try not to have too much fun without us ;). See you in August! North East, here we come!

To see more photos from this event click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

P.s. For those of you who have been waiting for the beginning of my summer posts, again, thank you for your patience.

Redeeming Grace Church

Taco Lunch

IMG_5068The taco lunch my church hosted on April 24th was another fundraiser for the upcoming mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I am so thankful for the hands that prepared it, people that paid for it, and mouths that ate it. I’m not exactly sure how much money we raised, but it was a lot. So many wonderful memories were made the night before, when the youth met up took cook and then decorate, and the morning of, when the youth joined forces to set up and serve. I’m so glad we were able to help out and had so much fun doing so. I am looking forward to more events like this in the future!