Monday, March 30, 2009

Surviving "SURVIVOR: Laughter Island" Weekend!

(A lot of the decorations were loaned to us by Carol and Larry B. We named this guy "Crush" after the one in Finding Nemo")

This past weekend was our annual Women's retreat at church. Our theme was Survivor: Laughter Island. We are all survivors of something in our lives, for example I have survived unwed motherhood (twice), divorce, open-heart surgery, losing my sister to breast cancer...and turning 50. Not to mention 6 teenage children/step-children (so far), and a twelve year old who has been acting like a teenager for as long as I can remember.

Anyway, since 3 of my bffs are on the women's ministry team at our church, they recruited me to help out. Lisa AKA Our 7 QTpies is the chairperson, and Jody and Anna, (who is moving forward and happily), are the others on the board. On Thursday night, while Lisa and Anna went to borrow some "totally awesome" decorations from another church member, Jody and I went shopping for groceries and supplies for the retreat. We were not at Wallyworld long, when the other two called and said they'd meet us there. After shopping, we decided to go to Applebees for half-price appetizers and ended up staying there until midnight...and then went to church to drop off all the groceries etc that we had bought. It was after 1:00AM that night before we got home. Yes, we are crazy...but I love my crazy friends!

Friday night, the retreat started out with an "ice-breaker" game, literally. The contestants had to get as many marbles out of an ice-filled tub as they could...with their toes. We were afraid some of them would get "cold feet" and not want to play this game, but they were all good sports. Above is my daughter Jessica, searching for her marbles. Below, is our bloggy friend, "Daisy" trying her feet as it it. Looks like fun, huh?

Next, we had a delicious meal, prepared by our good friend, Jody (who also has a blog called "Make a Joyful noise, even if it hurts Momma's ears!)" It was called Javanese dinner and was a mixture of all sorts of things, like chicken, gravy, rice, veggies, pineapple, and coconut. Some people were a little nervous about trying all those things layered together, but it tasted absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much Jody!

After dinner, we were treated to a hilarious skit by Betty and Cheryl. I won't go into the was not recorded and no pictures were taken of it...which is a good thing! It just wasn't the type of thing you'd want to fall into the wrong hands! I did hear rumors of one picture existing on someone's cell phone, however. After the skit, it was time for our awesome speaker, named Karla Heeter. Karla is a cancer SURVIVOR, the author of "The LMNOP's of Surviving Cancer" and one funny lady! I didn't actually get any pictures of her at the retreat, as I was too busy laughing while she was speaking to us. This is a picture of her though:

She was talking about the importance of pap smears and mammograms etc. as ways to prevent cancer...not exactly things you would think being humourous, but she brought up some of the things that we ALL do when we go in for these tests...for instance, why do we hide our underwear inside of our jeans when we are told to disrobe from the waist down and cover up with a large paper towel??? I know I do...and you know you do too...which is why we were all laughing hysterically. Check out Karla's website here.

After Carla's entertaining and informative talk, we listened to another good friend of mine, Sarah (AKA Sassyfrazz), sing "Held" by Natalie Grant. Here is a short video snippet of her singing:

Then it was time for testimonies. We heard 3 very moving testimonies from 3 of the ladies at the retreat. Obviously, I will not go into any details, or even tell you who these women were, in the interest of privacy. They are not my stories to tell...but they are definitely all SURVIVORS!

When the "formal" part of the evening was finished, we had fun just sitting and sharing snacks and fellowshipping with one another. We had some other games and things planned, but everyone seemed to enjoy just spending time together. Above is Jody's little one, "K". She was the littlest lady there of all. We also had 2 grown men (running the sound and video), and one cute little man there as well...but I didn't get a picture of him. I had the bandana on my head, but K kept grabbing for it, so I put it on her. Pretty cute, don't ya think?

Eventually, everyone who had decided to stay settled in for the night and some of us were watching a Tim Hawkins video. Everyone else only lasted about 15 minutes into it, but I SURVIVED and OUT LASTED everybody! Since no one else was up at that time, I took a picture of the clock to prove how late I was up. I'm sure I could have stayed up the rest of the night, but what does one do all alone in a church overnight while all their friends are asleep?

(if you look closely here, you can see the two men that were allowed to be at most of the retreat)

The next morning, as Jody was flipping pancakes and making sausage for us, the ladies played a few more games. One was an egg/water carrying relay. That was great fun, but I didn't get any pics of it. Another fun game that morning, was digging for plastic bugs in "used" kitty litter.

Above, fellow blogger, Cindy, (Canoearoos) is trying to find treasures among the soggy wet kitty litter. Actually, it was brand new kitty litter, with a few appropriately places tootsie rolls in it. Anna had gotten a little carried away with the amount of water she'd poured in this tub...but that made it even more fun. I just noticed I do have a picture of the "little man" that was there. He's being held here by Betty. He is Sassyfrazz's youngest.

After breakfast, was a fun Fear Factor style eating contest. Above, is Kathy preparing Betty for her particpation in it. The ladies were waiting for their course of the dinner to be revealed here.

Below, Padma makes a lovely expression after downing her "hundred year old ostrich egg", which was really an apricot floating in sauerkraut juice! Mmmm....I actually love sauerkraut juice myself, but even I would have a hard time with the apricot in it. Ewww!

All of the ladies were great sports about it though, And Carol H. even lucked out with a yummy cupcake for desert...but she had a hard time swallowing the gummy bug topper on it.

The retreat ended with door prizes handed out by our amazing Ladies Ministry team shown above. Thank you so much, Jody, Lisa and Anna, a great time was had by all...How are you going to top this one next year??


Qtpies7 said...

I was going to resign, but after what Cindy said, noone would take my place, LOL.

I think we'll do the same thing we did this year, next year......... let God lead. We mostly just got out of the way and did what it seemed God wanted. (confirmed by more than one of us having the same thoughts) It just worked so well to get out of God's way. Follow hard, lead softly. We screwed up in so many ways, and it turned out so amazing! All the glory goes to God.

Thank you for helping us so much!

Sarah said...

It was a great retreat! I think the Women's Ministry did an amazing job!! I love all your pictures! I had no clue you were videotaping me!

It truely was a great weekend!!

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