I was so close to not going on the mission trip last week,
but I am so glad that I asked off of internship and went with the group.
It was such an incredible week, and we all fell in love with the kids, the staff, and the home.
The title of this blog is the hash tag I added to all my tweets during the mission trip.
I will add a few of my tweets along with this blog post,
just because they give a little more detail about the trip.
They will all be in pink.
This children's home is the nicest I have seen,
with the best group of people running it!
I don't know how those house parents do it, but I am so glad they do!
We arrived at the home on Sunday, just in time for dinner with all the homes.
How many stops will we make on this 4.5 hour drive? So far we are at 2. Still have 2 hours to go.
After dinner we spent time playing games, or basketball with the kids,
and then had some time to learn about the history of the home.
It is called the Fosters Home for Children,
but it is not a foster home for children.
Foster is the name of the family who started it.
They have children ranging in age from 0 to 18 years old.
The average stay is 8 months, but some have been there for over 6 years.
If you are ever in the area of Stephenville, TX, you should stop by and give them some encouragement.
On Monday, we woke up and hit the streets to pick up trash.
The children's home has adopted a highway, and they have the 2 miles right outside the home's gates.
We look good in orange.
It was cloudy that morning, which was perfect, because it was hard enough without heat.
We split in to 4 teams to tackle the highway, and my team was awesome!
Look at all the trash.
Picking up trash on the side of the road; pretty sure someone could get drunk off the stench coming from my trash bag
It was hard, but we made it fun - stickers, ant bites, cactus and all!
On Monday afternoon we held VBS for all the kids at the home.
This being the 3rd week of VBS our kids have done in a row, it was a little rough.
Our kids were able to stretch themselves and pour out their hearts to the kids all week though.
There was lots of basketball played,
as well as Little Sally Walker, playing on the playground and many other games in free time.
Pretty sure I just got motion sick on the swing set. It's a rough life.
I spent a lot of time with this girl.
I'm going to miss her when she leaves us!
Monday night we stayed in the activity center after dinner for a movie night.
We watched Mirror, Mirror, but mostly the girls just did each others' hair.
Later that night, after our devo, everyone was starving.
To Walmart and Whataburger we go!!
We had a little trouble with GoogleMaps which lead to:
Hungry tired teens, and not being able to find the Whataburger don't mix!
It was a long day, and a long night that ended in disappointment.
On Tuesday we spent most of the day with the kids while the house parents went to a funeral.
Some of worked on a float for the 4th of July parade.
Here is the finished product.
It was a Wizard of Oz theme, and the kids were munchkins!
But that is Wednesday.
Tuesday night, I think we were all a little stir crazy.
We had spent the entire day in the activity center, and we were crazy-exhausted.
Here is a tweet from one of our youth girls:
and here is my reply.
Yes. We had a combo war.
It got out of hand fast.
Wednesday we started the day with the Stephenville parade.
After the parade, we picked up some of the kids from their home and went to the town festival:
There were lawn mower races
A petting zoo
free ice cream,
and I got to spend the whole day with this sweet girl.
After the festival we went back and had some pool time at the home.
I've been through 3 outfits today thanks to sweat, pizza, and swimming, and they've all been red, white, and blue
We ended the night in town with a fireworks show with all the kids.
Thursday we left in the morning, after a donut breakfast with the kids from the home.
I spent the last morning with a sweet girl that I grew close to over the week.
She showed me her room, and her collection of stuffed animals and horses.
And she gave me a bracelet so that I could remember her.
Her name is Carol, and she is so special to me,
but I can't post a photo because of privacy issues.
On the way home we stopped in Waco for a tour of the Dr. Pepper Museum.
It was the most wonderful, exhausting, uplifting week.
I'm so happy I was able to miss work:
1) Because I honestly don't know what Michael would have done without me.
That trip needed a Mom, bad.
and 2) I can't imagine not knowing those kids.
We are already on the Home's schedule to come back next summer,
and I am counting down the days!
God is doing great things in Stephenville, and great things in the lives of our teens!