Yesterday I had a day off mami-duty. Call it a warm-up for our Egypt getaway, I left the house at 9:20 and wasn't back till nearly 9:00 pm at night. Not a full twelve hours but the kids were asleep by the time I came home, and even thought I had my phone with me, I didn't call home and I didn't get a call from home the whole day. bliss
The reason I was away from home all day was that our Coffee Break group was treating us to a special one-day retreat. They brought in a guess speaker from northern Alberta, Joanne VanBeek, a associate pastor at a Alliance Church in near Edmonton, who grew up CRC and was one of the first people involved with Coffee Break Small groups when they first got going in Alberta. In the morning session we spoke about friendships, in the second personality types and how they affect and enrich our friendships and in the evening in a joint session open to spouses, we discussed the importance of Equality in marriage for satisfying relationships. In between the sessions we had two half-hour long Worship times, a 2hr, 4 leg version of the Amazing Race and in addition to Lunch and Supper.
I actually was part of the Worship team, which should surprise any of you who have heard me sing. But Joyce D. who was organizing the Worship time was short of people willing to play instruments (our pianist otherwise occupied with the Brooks Music Festival), so I volunteered to shake some maracas. Joyce did a fabulous job creating a inspiring and joyful line-up of songs, played guitar and led singing with Mary and José singing and manning the overhead projector. I believe I managed to keep good rhythm, and not embarrass myself and enjoyed participating in this way.
The Amazing Race portion of the day was a lot of fun. My team, Lil and Rhonda were great sports and even thought we arrived last we did our best. We got off to a great start quickly arriving at our first task (Bake Chocolate Chip cookies and then deliver to 4 different church members) , but we found the venue locked, and I didn't have my church key with me. So we wasted about 10 minutes right there, before one of the race facilitators arrived. We quickly and smartly cooked our cookies, despite another gaffe in oven management.. We then raced out of there to deliver our freshly baked cookies. It took a bit of doing but we found the address eventually (sadly falling prey to the race cliché of driving around without a map). The clue then sent us off to the Ropp's Pet Store in town where after finding the clue mug hidden in the store we directed to aquarium filled with mice ( 58 little colorful little mice). Lil quickly bowed out of this task, but Rhonda and I booked thru it, quickly and efficiently moving all the mice from one aquarium to another by their little tails. I later heard that Joyce D. had coped with this experience by imagining the mice to be really really tiny cats. Our next clue sent us a bit of ways out of town to the Veenstra Farm. There we were told to put on overalls and enter the shop. There we had to paint the Beehive shelters for the Slomp family farm. We had to do them in 4 different colors, spread bee larvae on trays and add some beehive insulation to the protectors. We arrived at the time as another team ended up leaving in second place, but unfortunately that was already their last task since they had done the Pet Store first, and we had a whole other task to complete. The last task was making food hamper for a family of 4 at the Brooks Food Bank. Anna-Marie met us a door and walked us thru the process. While my teammates assembled the hamper, I restocked the shelves. Another fun exercise. After-wards we teased Linda and Karl that they could have gotten all 15 of their Beehive shelters painted if they had made us do not just one but 5.
The race was the most fun when there was another team at the same task. Watching them work and laugh together was a lot of fun. I do wish we all had to do the same tasks at the same time, instead of doing them in different sequences. Not realizing that we weren't all heading to the same task meant that we were unable to determine how were doing, and apparently one of the teams the mice moving task was hoot, with much squealing and shuddering, and it was a shame that we didn't see those freakouts.
I imagine a few more TV's will be tuned in to the race tonight as a few our ladies had never seen a episode of the race and are now more than a little interested in it.
( I will hopefully be able to add images of the yesterdays mayhem later, when I hear back from Linda and Jose our designated phototogs.) Thank you to José for these! More pictures of my race here: 2007