Friday, July 18, 2008

Youth Choir Mission Tour 2008

As most of you know I was a chaperon on my church's Youth Choir Mission Trip. It was a long 5 days but 5 days filled of fun!

Day one started before the sun ever came up. Luckily we loaded the vans the night before. We met up at the church at 5:30am and left at 6:00am. Our first stop was in Oklahoma City, OK, at the Epworth Villa Retirement Center. After their performance we found out that it was one of their residents birthday so we got to sing to him. I think it made his day. They served us homemade cookies and punch. YUM! After loading back into the vans we were off to Springfield, MO, to sing at Schweitzer United Methodist Church, which is the church that we attended while we lived there. I got to see my family and good friends that I haven't been able to see in quite some time. The choir performed for their youth group and then after wards challenged our group to a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Our group had never played it before but caught on quickly and ended up beating them! Now they are ready to head on down here to TX, to challenge us to a rematch. Here are some pictures and a couple of videos of our first day. Remember to turn off my music here and to click on all of the pictures.

Click to play Away We Go
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Day two was our free day. We took them all to Silver Dollar City. This theme park is one of our families favorite to go to. My mom was able to get the day off so my mom and dad along with my two nieces met us down there. I was able to spend most of the day with them at the park. While there we went to one of their favorite areas "Tom Sawyers Landing" and found out that it was closed. This area had the balloon ride that Sam, Christina and Rachel all rode as one of their first rides. How sad it will be to see it gone. They are replacing the entire area with a new ride that should be ready next year. Part of our past now gone.

Click to play Silver Dollar City
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Day two ended at Lamberts for dinner. Our hostess, Kris, was able to meet us there and we all enjoyed a stomach filling dinner. I think you could have rolled us all out of there. There was a 40 minute wait but it was all well worth the wait. If you've never been there and you are around one of their restaurants I advise you to try them. Good food and good company make for a great meal.

Click to play Lamberts
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Day three started in Springfield, at the Ozark Food Harvest. We were split up into three groups. Group one colored plates for the kids backpack program that they have. They not only colored but also put inspiring words on the plates. Group two packed up senior food boxes. They completed a little over 300 boxes! Way to go group two! Group three inspected, cleaned, rinsed, sanitized, dried and sorted cans of food that had no labels. This was the group that I was in and we almost made it through one pallet of cans. These were big cans and were not that easy to handle in our smaller hands. We ended up throwing away more cans than we washed due to rust and severe dents. But these cans do not go to waste as there is a hog farmer that gets them to feed to his hogs.

Click to play Ozark Food Harvest
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After our time at the Ozark Food Pantry went back to Schweitzer UMC to pack up our lunch, leave the church, and then had a quick stop at Andy's Custard. YUMMY! Then it was off to St. Louis to sing at Epworth Children's Home. We had an orientation as to what they do there, had dinner with them and then they put on two performances. We didn't have the greatest turn out from the kids but those that showed up really enjoyed it. At the end of the second performance it started to rain like crazy! So we were delayed in leaving there and had an impromptu sing-a-long. Once the rain subsided we were off to see the St. Louis Arch! Once we arrived there it was a lot of fun for everyone. I'd been there previously in my life but only during the day time hours. This time we were up in the arch during the night time hours. So it was a completely different perspective.

Click to play Epworth Children's Home
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Click to play St. Louis Arch
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At the beginning of day four I took some pictures of the church that we stayed at. We were only there to sleep but it's a part of my history. It is the First United Methodist Church in St. Charles, MO. I grew up here and my grandfather was the pastor here along with my dad working here. I know that the Church has been added onto but we stayed in the older part and I recognized a lot of the inside. The lady that met us there when we arrived I found out through talking to her that my grandfather performed her marriage. Then the following morning I met a member of the church that is now a retired pastor that was a pastor while my grandfather was a pastor there. He unlocked some doors for Sam and I to see the painting that was painted in my grandfather's honor. I remember this painting from my childhood and know it well from prints. The parsonage is still across the street from the church and is still owned by the church and used as the parsonage! Not many UMC churches still have parsonages. It was a nice trip down memory lane.

Click to play Memories
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After departing St. Charles, MO, we made our way down to Memphis, TN. There the group sang at Graceland, home of Elvis Presley. It was an extremely hot and humid day and the kids held up great! I know they don't know it now but singing to a crowd that just walked by is a great experience for them. After the concert we all got to tour Graceland. It was more interesting than I thought it would be and Sam just loved it! He's always loved the music of Elvis and has even seen some of his movies so this part of the trip was wonderful for him. After the tour we ate at a local pizza place and then took off to Russelville, AR, to spend the night at the First United Methodist Church there and to perform the following morning. For the Graceland slide show I didn't put in very many captions because I took so many pictures. I even left out quite a bit of them as I think that you might be getting tired at looking at all of these pictures.

Click to play Graceland
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After a very long night they got up early and performed in two services. By the afternoon we were all ready to head on home. We stopped twice on the way home and even got caught in a thunderstorm along the way. Arrived back at our church around 8:45. We were all tired when we got there but had a ton of memories to share with everyone. I'm glad that I chaperoned this trip and got to take Sam along with me. He had a great time and I got to watch him grow up a bit. I don't know how many more trips I'll get to go on with him so I'm cherishing them now.
One last photo...Sam fell asleep in the church service on the last day. He was just so tired. Love this kid.

If you've read this far I commend you and thank you. I do hope that you enjoyed it.


Bubba's Sis said...

What an awesome experience! Looks like ya'll had a great time!

D... said...

What a great time!!! You hit my hometown of Memphis. I bet singing at Graceland was such a thrill! What pizza place did you eat? Ya'll should have had some good ole barbeque!

Lambert's is my sister's favorite place to eat. I've never eaten there tho. I'm sorry about the rides at Silver Dollar City. That bites. :(

I have been to St. Louis several times. I have never gone to the top of the arch (the lines always way too long) nor did I even realize that statue is there. Now I need to go back. ;)

Loved looking at the pics. I like how you put them in different slideshows.

cecily said...

You were in St. Louis! That's where I should have let me know, I could have shared the awesome knitting stores here. :)

RACH said...

I finally had time to look through all the pictures. Seems like y'all had a great time and wonderful experiences for everyone!

MO Treatman Family said...

Wow, that's awesome. Sounds like so much fun. Wish you had sent us an agenda. We were 20 minutes from you in St. Charles and would have loved to come listen. Sorry we missed you.

Kim said...

I had thought of that but unfortunately we only stayed the night in St. Charles. We didn't get to the church until 10:00 at night and left the following morning at 8:00. We sang in St. Louis at a children's home which was for those that have no home and are high risk kids. We were the first group to ever go there that where the majority of the group was under 21. Not very many outsiders are let in due to the kids trust issues.

The next time I'm in town I'll let you know. I just knew we wouldn't have any time this time around.

Hope that you're having a great summer!


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