31 October 2007

MAD 9 photos

All the girlies (minus me seeing as I took the photo lol)

Bouncy castle fun


Some of the girls

Salsa time!

Tashy girls.

Noel on MAD crew

Waiting to be fed!!!!!


The girls listening to Marko

I was talking today with one of the girls who was on the trip, she's apparently been talking all about what Marko spoke about with her mum, dad, brother, cat... basically anyone who'll listen since she got home on Sunday. She's been so excited from his message, I hope it continues to excite her and help her as she grows in faith, so she can in turn excite other people with the good news.

29 October 2007

MAD 9 report

Having just typed this title, I have just reminded myself that I have not yet wrote anything about what I learnt at Summer School! But I'll get on with what happened at MAD 9.

We had 16 booked up to go on the trip, which was 4 more than last year, and an additional person from Bannside who worked at the event this year. However we had 2 boys booked to go, one decided a day or so before we left that he didn't want to go due to lack of other boys and the boy who was left wanted to go home on the Saturday - I drove him to Ballymena, his parents picked him up there. This was such a shame cos i know these two boys would have really enjoyed the whole thing and got loads out of it. However on a more positive note, we had a few girls come along with us who've only recently started going to the youth fellowship. They've always been part of the GB so it's great to have them growing deeper in their faith and joining us for that adventure.

This year the weekend was great. The choices of seminars and afternoon workshops and co-ordination of all that was so much better than last year. Having most of it all planned for you or pretty much set in stone made it much easier from a leaders point of view and saved much of the hustle and bustle of people fighting for stickers to get into the various workshops - so much smoother this year from that perspective.

Marko was a fantastic speaker - keeping the message very clear and very simple but also very powerful and also keeping the attention of everybody. I'd never heard him speak before but I've been inspired and encouraged by all he did and said.

Andy Flan lead worship this year. Quite well I thought, but maybe not as good as it could have been. There were a few occassions during the praise where I felt he didn't really lead the young people that well and went in his own direction - I dunno I could be wrong, but I've felt that way before about times when he's led. However I do like Andy and I love how he tries new and creative things with songs to give them a new lease of life. Some of our girls loved the worship, and for one reason in particular - the lead guitarist - apparently he's "hawt". This all made me laugh cos he's someone I went to school with.

Food - the cooked meal we had was a huge improvement on last year. However on the whole i felt it could all be healthier. We had packed lunches on saturday and sunday consisting of a sandwich, can of coke, packet of crisps and a chocolate bar after which I felt so fat and heavy, but this may be due to me having cut down on chocolate and crisps etc - but would it not be possible to have fruit, yoghurt and juice with the sandwich?

Sleeping in the church hall - last year the girls were very fortunate as we ended up with our own room in the church we stayed in so sleeping was much easier. This year we arrived at the church and were told all the girls were going in the main hall and the leaders were going upstairs, however we decided as leaders to stay in with the girls and had agreed a time for lights out and lights on with all the other groups. It was an interesting experience - they all got quiet quickly but got up really early to wash their hair in the sinks and put their make up on etc.... need to remember to pack ear plugs for next year lol.

On the whole a great weekend I'd give it a 9/10 just hope for MAD 10 it's a 10/10.

28 October 2007

Monthly review 2

I'm just getting round to putting the google stats for this blog for month 2 (13th September-12th October 07) now seeing as I was away for the first half of October, then running like a headless chicken for work for a week and am now just back from taking our young people to MAD 9. Having just sat down I have now found the time to do this.

I fear I may be wasting my time with no one interested in any of this but for those who are interested here are some of the stats (obtained via Google Analytics) from the last month concerning this blog with last months numbers in brackets:

1. There have been 442 (291) visits.
a) 261 (193) of those have come via referring sites including blogger.com, geekypants, marramgrass.org.uk, twitter.com, bebo and Alan in Belfast
b) 154 (90) of those visits are direct traffic
c) 27 (8) of those visits are from search engines
2. Searches that have brought people to this site are:
- banbridge babes (7 times)
- portadown babes (3 times)
- supersimbo (3 times)
- god pie (2 times)
- lurgan babes (2 times)
- "god pie"
- 'banbridge babes'
- 6pack blog
- 6pack blogging
- bannside youth fellowship
- catch them young babes
- god pie video
- how to catch and keep them
- nightreach northern ireland
- school babes

I'm wondering should I remove the babes in my name now!

3. 398 (269) visits came from the UK
36 (19) visits came from the USA
3 visits came from Ireland
2 visits came from Germany
1 visit came from India
1 visit came from Romania
1 visit came from United Arab Emirates


So true of not just ministers, but all sorts of people who work for or volunteer in church. If it's you, rethink your priorities and rearrange!

25 October 2007

Number 1 song on the day you were born...

HT to marko for this link to a site that tells you the number 1 hit on the day you were born, or pretty much any other date you look up. Mind you it's for the US charts and not the UK charts.

What about my birthday? "Beat It" by Michael Jackson

24 October 2007

Circle time

This morning I spent some time delivering posters to advertise the Road Trip training for youth and children's leaders being held in our church on 30th October. I drove round the houses of our leaders of organisations and left some into the local schools for teachers who might be interested. I arrived at Bridge Integrated Primary School and called with a teacher who is a member of our church, it happened to be lunch time so I went to the staff room with her so she could have her break.

We had a chat and a catch up, then she invited me to meet her class, which I thought would be fun so I said yes. We collected her class from the playground and headed into "the room with the interactive whiteboard" - this was sounding way cooler by the minute!

Every Wednesday afternoon they meet together in this room, play a quick game and then talk about different things. Today they were talking about Halloween and how dangerous fireworks, sparklers and matches are. I was really impressed, such a simple and fun idea. I was so sad I never had this at school! But has also given me ideas on how to use this principle better in our children's ministry.

I really should visit schools way more often!

22 October 2007

5 things achieved on holiday

1. I finished reading Harry Potter at last. It was so so sooooooo good, but I was so sad at the end cos now there's no more to read, it's all over. But then again I could just reread them.
2. I got Rob into sudoku. He had a go at one then had to try another and another, then we had to buy a sudoku book for him.
3. Drove on the right hand side of the road again.
4. Learnt to cook with minimum supplies and choice
5. Lots and lots of relaxation and chilling out!

Loving it!

21 October 2007

Home again!

We arrived home last night from our holiday. We had a good time away but are glad to be home and getting back to normal again.

Currently have a Sunday roast cooking.... yummmmmm..... we were really missing some food and I was really missing cooking in my kitchen! Heading out shopping for loads of groceries to stock up again tomorrow and get cooking loads this week.

I'm already back into work having been at a youth club last night and at church this morning for Bible Class and so on. This afternoon I'll be getting lots of info sheets sorted to give out tonight for our trip away next week to the MAD weekend.... so much to get stuck into straight away, but I'm glad to be back into it all again.

03 October 2007

What do youth pastors do all day?

HT to Josh Griffin for this video. If only it were true.....

One more day to go!!!!

This time tomorrow we'll be in London and starting our delayed honeymoon! I can't wait!!!!!

Today though has been a little rushed.

Well actually to start with I went to get my hair cut, so that wasn't too rushed really... was hoping to have been more drastic with my new hair style however it's much the same as usual only a lot shorter.

After that I went to the church to do a few bits and pieces before I go, however upon arrival I found I didn't have my keys with me, so I headed to the post office to post some things i sold on eBay.

Then I headed to meet some youth leaders in a church near Banbridge to talk to them about ideas and resources we use that could be useful for them as they set up their new youth group.

Rushed home after that, had lunch, then hunted house and car for keys and couldn't find them!!!!!!! Phoned the church warden to see if I'd dropped them last night. He said there were keys left behind last night... sighed a sigh of relief.

Washed dishes then ran out the door back down to church, and here I am now in the church, sitting waiting while things print to give to people before I go and in 15 minutes I'll be headed for a meeting about nightreach in Banbridge.

After that, there's a few bits and pieces to do like delivering some of these print offs, sewing some trousers and finishing off the packing for going.

Oh yeah and cook dinner lol. Just can't wait to be away!

02 October 2007

Campaign for real beauty

I've always loved what Dove's campaign for real beauty has done. After just seeing their new advert, I'm impressed further. Just thought I'd share it here:

Such a simple message but so often one we don't remember.

HT to Marko

01 October 2007

Pulled over....

On Saturday night I met up again with some old school friends who I've spoke about before and how we're trying to meet more regularly. We spent the night at one of the girls' houses watching TV, eating chinese and having a chat.

When it came to getting the chinese the choice was to wait an hour and a half on delivery or go pick it up in 20 minutes.... so obviously we waited on delivery.... only kidding, I went to pick it up with one of the girls. On the way to pick it up we were chatting away about all sorts, when some people in the opposite direction started flasshing their headlights. I said to my friend how people seem to flash their lights at me sometimes thinking I have full beams on, but she said "do you not think it's a sign that the police are ahead?" and she was right. We saw them ahead like 2 seconds after she said this and all of a sudden i was being pulled over! I didn't understand, I hadn't been speeding! All of a sudden my heart started racing thinking I was in trouble and I didn't know what for. The policeman smiled at me as I rolled down my window and informed me that one of my headlights was out and needed replacing. I smilled back and kind of giggled nervously over it all, said cheerio and that I'd get it sorted.

I'm still laughing at how I reacted to being pulled over... definitely have to sort the headlight out though.

Change of plan

Poor Rob. He's supposed to be going to London tomorrow for a training course for work and they told him today that it's cancelled, so now we're hunting for a flight for him for Thursday and looking at tube maps and train timetables to work out how he'll get to London for heading away on holiday.

How frustrating, but means I'll not be on my own the next few days until I'm in London.

Meanwhile I'm still working on the packing and getting ready to go, and have a few loose ends to sort out for work before I leave. I have all Stewie's food ready to go with him when he goes to stay with some friends while we're away, but still feel there's so much to do before Thursday morning!

Last minute...

I am coming to learn that when planning anything with young people that they'll not commit to anything any sooner than they really have to, which makes me calmer and more patient each event I plan now... you know learning from the past and so on.

Today was the deadline for booking forms and money to be in for the MAD weekend. I had booked 20 places with PCI last June and have been asking for booking forms and deposits ever since. In June/July I had received 2 forms and up until last week that was all i still had. However tonight after the deadline I have 15 (including leaders).

Patience is very important in all of this and some faith that it will all work out good in the end.