Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crazy week in the life of a youth worker

Alright, so I really apologize for the scarcity of my blogs. I have time to do them, but after I got home from work I'm absolutely shattered and I just want to sleep for days. 

This week by far has been of the busiest so far since I've been employed by YFC. 

I had the day off on Monday, because Neil and I worked on Saturday so that was nice. But, that was my only real breather this week.

Tuesday wasn't too bad either, but I haven't really gotten used to getting up kind of early so that was a challenge. Neil and I just spent the day in the school, as usual. Neil brought along Jamie this sixteen-year-old guy that is a bit like his adoptive son but not really. Haha, if that makes any sense at all. Jamie is in his first year of college right now (11th grade) and he has Tuesday and Fridays off. He recently got a job at Stokesley School (where I work) as like i kind of intern in the PE department, but he can't start until his police check comes through so until then he's hanging out with Neil and I. Anyways, Jamie and I planned Rock Solid (my Friday lunch club) and that was good, we can work well times. It was a pretty slow day, we did our 6th form (11th and 12th grade) lunch time club which is always fairly easy, and then we went home. 

Oh my cow, Wednesday.....the day of all days. Neil and I got to the school at about normal time, 9:45 or so. We worked with our tutorial group and then Mr. Laffan (the head of RE) asked if I could help him for a bit which a thing called Midweek Challenge. Oh the lovely Midweek Challenge, where do I even begin? It's for Year 7 and they basically get a day off from their lessons to sit in a classroom virtually all day and do the most boring things. This week their task was to create an "eco friendly" newspaper, what a treat. The kids don't seem to be a huge fan of the Midweek Challenge, but I wasn't too bothered about helping because I adore year 7's. It's the first year to the school and they are just so adorable and little, and I love them. I helped out here for a little while, and then I went back to find Neil so we could do our GSCE RE lesson. After the lesson, we had our weekly lesson club "Mettle" which is always good, and then it was back to helping with the Midweek Challenge. Can I just say that working with Year 7's all day can be pretty exhausting. We did this till the end of the school day when you would expect our day to end, but oh no. Neil and I are now helping out at this thing called Duke of Edinburgh. It kind of reminds me of Scouts in a way but I thought I'd include a website address in case any of you want to learn more: It doesn't seem like it would be my thing at all, but oh well. That night the kids (about 60) were doing presentations on people they'd named their excursion groups after and Neil and I judged them on a scale of 1-5 so that was fun. After a long day of work, we went home.

Thursday was a bit like Tuesday in terms of work load. We had a library period with some Year 9's and a lunch club. Other than that we really didn't do all that much, and we went home after lunch time. I was quite glad about this because I was completely knackered, so I took a much needed nap. Good times.

Last but not least, Friday. Another long day much like that of Wednesday. Neil and I were again joined by Jamie, who pushed my buttons today as you will soon discover. Fridays are always a busy day, so I was prepared for a long day ahead. We got to the school at normal time and went to our tutorial group in the library and then followed that with a library lesson. Rock Solid required a few supplies, so we walked into town and purchased those and then came back to school. Rock Solid was a hit this week, and it was so much fun. This lunch time club is really the highlight of my week and I just love working with them. After the club we had a period to sit about before our last lesson of the day. I had time to read and just relax which was very nice. Our last library group was completely rowdy and they were fun, but a little too wound up. Neil was constantly having to shhhhh them and the librarian kept shooting us looks. When the school day was finished the 3 of us headed to Stokesley Methodist Church to run our weekly Friday after school club entitled Friday Night Cafe (FNC for short) and this was the most disorganized it had ever been. Neil had gotten a call right after school saying that his visa for India hadn't come through yet and he was less than pleased. His roommate had made a careless mistake, and they now have to drive up to Birmingham this week sometime to get it sorted seeing as they fly out a week on Sunday. I've never seen Neil get mad or upset at all, so this was a whole new experience for me. Jamie was very hyper at FNC and getting the kids wound up and you could tell Neil was getting annoyed, as was I. Jamie kept tickling me, which to be honest I'm really not a fan of, especially when I'm in a bad mood. But of course when boys see you're upset this only encourages them to mess with you more and I was about to go off on that child. I let it go and just shifted my focus to the kids. This was probably one of their last FNC's because it's going to be shut down for the rest of the year due to the very small attendance level. I was so relieved though when this finished as was Neil, because we were just ready to go home and relax.

And that's my week.

I would greatly appreciate anyone who reads this to keep me in their prayers. I have some medical issues going on and it's hard being away from home when this is happening. 

Thanks :)

Peace out,

Sunday, November 16, 2008


So, I decided that maybe I should start blogging a little more frequently so I won't have to have giant entries that take forever to write. 

These posts might be a little shorter, but at least they'll be coming out everyone wins right?!

Last night we had our monthly youth event known as S1 (which stands for Stokesley 1). This event is basically just a fun time for kids to come and play games and do something fun outside of our normal daily events we do in the schools. About 15 kids showed up which I was well pleased about and there were a decent number of girls! Last time there weren't any at all so I was very happy there were this time around. :)

Anyways, last night's theme was USA so needless to say I was pretty happy about that! I really didn't get to plan much for this one due to the fact that I've been away, but all in all it turned out really well. 

We started out with an icebreaker called "Drip, Drip, Drop" think of  it being kind of similar to "Duck, Duck, Goose". You have a glass of water in your hands and you walk around the circle and on each person you stick your hand in the water and lightly sprinkle them whilst saying "drip" and then you pick one person and say "DROP" then you proceed to pour quite a bit of water on them and then they chase you around the circle. This was pretty funny, but it got a bit dangerous because the floor got especially slippery and I was constantly having to mop it up.

The next game was called "Burger King" and before the event Neil (my line manager and guy I work with) had heated up about 10 hamburger patties and we proceeded to make 2 very large hamburgers and we put brown sauce (barbecue sauce) all over them. The group was then split up into 2 teams and the first team to completely finish their burger won! It was pretty gross to watch, but very entertaining. 

Our next activity tested the kids knowledge on their Americanisms. We gave them the British word and they had to tell us what it's American equivalent was. For example I would have said "nappy" and they would have to tell me the right word for it was "diaper" and so on. Haha, but the one that nobody got was what the American equivalent to "sticky bun" was, I'll give you a nickel if you can tell me what it is! The game resulted in a draw aka a tie! Ah! I sound British! :) Anyways, so I asked them how many original colonies there were in America and they could not answer that question at all, someone eventually guessed it but out of pure luck.

For our more serious time Neil interviewed me about my life in America and asked me to give my brief testimony and asked me why I had decided to come over to England for a year. Well, I'm naturally an expert now in that question, it's becoming second nature to me. After that was done with Neil had about a ten minute talk with them before they completely lost focus and we had to move on to our final game. 

It was a game called "Banana Split". The two teams that we had been using all night had to pick four representatives to participate in the game, two had the easy job and the other two had a slightly messier job. The two unlucky kids had to put a trash bag around their top half and then lie down on the floor while the other two stood on a chair directly above them. The two on the ground had to put a banana in their mouth while the two on the chair proceeded to pour whipped cream, strawberry syrup, and cherries all over them. Hence the name of the game...."banana split". It was a pain to clean up, but it was quite entertaining to say the very least.

Ha, so I hope you now have some idea of what my job as a youth worker consists of :)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's been too bad

Crazy, so much has happened since I last blogged! I've been extremely busy, but I do apologize for my lack of updating this blog that a few of you have come to know and hopefully love!


I went to London almost 2 weeks ago with two of my favorites, Nicole and Tom and if you want to hear all about if I'm referring you to Tom's blog because he explains it much better than I ever could.


So, on Sunday morning Jonathan (the guy we stayed with in London) took me to the airport where I set off for my beautiful America! To say I was a little excited would be the understatement of the century! I got there in plenty of time so once I got through security and such I bought some candy for Peyton and Claire and I also bought some normal and decent food that I could eat on the plane since I detest airplane food. I then proceeded to go to my gate and what to catch my flight to Raleigh, North Carolina. The flight actually went by really quickly which made me so happy! When we got near Raleigh I started to take pictures from the plane because I loved seeing beautiful American soil again! I got cleared through customs and went and waited at my gate for my flight to Dallas. During my wait I put my American cell phone to get use calling all different people, just because I could! It was a glorious day. On my flight from Raleigh to Dallas I was a little bit restless, very anxious to get home and see my family. The plane FINALLY landed in my beautiful Dallas, Texas and I was ecstatic! It was one of the best feelings to walk through those moving glass doors and see my wonderful family. I ran to hug my mommy and I immediately broke down with tears of happiness, I hadn't realized how much I missed her or the rest of the Raymer clan. The ride home was good I was really just taking everything in and it was a good feeling to be home. I was reunited with one of my favorites aka my dog Finn, haha I about cried. My family then whisked me upstairs to show me my new beautiful room and it is absolutely perfect, no lie. I'll have to post pictures very soon. Daddy stayed up with me for awhile and we just talked and talked and it was fun, I missed that. 


Monday morning I woke up pretty early due to jet lag and chatted with some people online. I unpacked and just kind of chilled out that morning went to Starbucks with Daddy and then later with him to the Blue Goose for lunch :) I missed eating quality Mexican food. I think one of the things I have missed most is The Heights Student Ministry so I went up to the church later that day and talked with Cobb and Steve for quite awhile, it was really good to catch up.  


Then came Tuesday...ELECTION DAY! I woke up super early again due to jet lag and it worked to my advantage, because I needed to pay a visit to the DPS office and get my license renewed and that went smooth for the most part. I had a few errands to run after that, I went up to the church to get something notarized for my visa and then Daddy and I went to the British consulate so I could get my biometrics done. My mom wanted me to have lunch with her so I brought her Cafe Max and it was good to spend some time with her. Then the most exciting part of my day...Daddy and I went to VOTE! Yeah probably usually not so exciting, but being my first time ever made me so happy and made me feel important! It was an adrenaline rush, no joke.  That night I hung out with Allison (my aunt) for awhile and we just talked and walked her dogs around the block. 


WEDNESDAY! What a happy day! I woke up and went to the post office to mail something for Nicole and then I had to rush up to the church to have a meeting with Dave. It was nice to catch up with him and tell him what has been going on in England and what God's up to. I had to then book it to McDonald's to pick up lunch for Claire and I and then I went to Big Springs to eat lunch with her! It worked out really well, because I also got to see my adorable second graders from last year, it was really fun to visit with them for a few minutes. The countdown had finally ended.... I was on my way to Tyler, Texas to visit my two best friends in this world!!!!!! It was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Haha, I think I made it to Tyler in record time, but it was the best feeling ever to be reunited with them and just spend the night hanging out and catching up.


On Thursday morning I woke up around 8 or so and got ready to have lunch with my Grandma and Granddaddy at IHOP before I had to drive back to Dallas! Even though I didn't get to spend much time with them it was really great to visit with them for at least an hour. The rest of Thursday once I got home was pretty relaxed; I just had to back for my weekend in Arkansas. 


Friday rolled around faster than I thought it would and this was what I was most excited about and what I really came for; the wedding weekend for my uncle Jordan and his then fiancée now wife Leah! My family met up with my Daddy Glynn at the airport in McKinney and we set off for Fayetteville, Arkansas! We got there and went to the hotel to get settled in before the rehearsal festivities that evening. The rehearsal was good I guess, a typical wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal dinner was held at the fancy pants Ruth Chris Steakhouse, hats off to my Nana and Daddy Glynn. It was at the dinner when I got to finally see Steven for the first time in about two and a half months :) it was really exciting! It was nice to catch up with him and see what he's been up to in Arkansas. I was pretty wiped out from the days festivities so I decided to be wise and call it a night after dinner since I had a long day ahead on Saturday with all of my duties as a bridesmaid.


Saturday, November 8 finally came and it was a beautiful day in Bella Vista, Arkansas a perfect day for a Raymer wedding! I had to be downstairs and ready in the lobby with my cousin Jayde at about 9:40 am so Leah's mom could pick us and take us to her house to the limo could pick up the bridal party and take us to the chapel. It was really cute to see how nervous Leah was, but at the same time it kind of made me not want to get married for awhile. The wedding went beautifully and smoothly, the chapel where it was held was so pretty and it was just a fantastic wedding all across the board. My date didn't exactly make it to the wedding due to the fact that he's directionally challenged, but he did show up right after the ceremony ended which I found pretty funny. Typical Steven. Then of course I had to wait around to do pictures, which always take about 50 years I appreciate them later, but at the time all you want to do is sit down and drink some punch. Steven and I then followed my Dad to the reception, which turned out to be really fun. It was so cute for Leah and her dad's father-daughter dance they danced to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman :) one of the most adorable songs ever. I have to admit I am really excited to get married so I can pick all of the music stuff out, I know I'll change my mind a hundred times before then, but I will pick every song that is played at my reception. I am a dork, but who cares.... it’ll be my day haha although I'm not hoping for it to come too soon. After the reception was over and Leah and Jordan left I got to spend some time hanging out with Steven. We drove back over to his dorm and the university so we could both change and get out of our wedding clothes. We ran into a couple of my friends from back home Tori and Aaron and we talked to them for a few minutes, which was nice. After changing Steven and I walked around campus around for about an hour and it was so nice, freezing cold but it was really good to talk to him and see where I'll be spending the next four years! :) At around 10:30 Steven took me back to the hotel, and even though I was a little sad to be leaving I'll see him in about a month so it was nice.


The family and I woke up Sunday morning ate breakfast with everyone and then headed back to Dallas! I was absolutely exhausted and I wanted to do nothing but sleep for days, but that wish didn't come true, ohhhh well I got a pretty good nap on. The siblings and I went to see High School Musical 3 that afternoon :) I swear you're never too old to enjoy HSM. Seriously. But the most exciting thing about my Sunday is I am now officially enrolled to attend the University of Arkansas starting in Fall 2009! I am totally jazzed! I know that's where I'm supposed to be and it's a really good feeling!


Monday was a pretty tough day, the day I was returning to England. I spent the day packing and saying bye to my family, which I made very difficult, what can I say? I love home. I was excited to come back and see my beautiful Nicole Weldon! Dang, I've gotten pretty attached to that child the past 2 months so I was excited to see her again! Plus next time I go we'll go together as it should be. 


Things have been pretty slow this week since I got back on Tuesday; I went back to work today but nothing particularly exciting to report there.


I did get Nicole and Tom into the Twilight books and it's so fun to see people love them as much as I do! :)


Happy day!


I'm off to finish Steel Magnolias!


Until next time,