Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New kind of adventure...Part 1

What I really wanted to label this was "My dogs are barkin' my eyes are droopin' and I am SOOO grateful to live in the comfort of a home!"

Back in November Jeremy and I were asked to be a Ma and Pa for a Handcart Trek.  We would be the Trek parents to a group of 10 teenagers ages 14-18.  I was totally stoked, we quickly got a sitter lined up to trade our 6 kids so we could have 10 teenagers.  We would get to dress up as pioneers in the 1800's ...

and pull a handcart.
In this handcart would contain cooking items, sleeping bags, padding, tarps and a 5 gallon bucket of belongings for 10 people.  Then we would head out into nature and pull this for three days up hills, down hills, through snow (OK one little bit of snow), through a mud puddle or two...we would camp out under the stars...If it was only under the stars it would be tolerable, but the bugs, ugh the bugs!

Let me introduce my "family" and tell you what I think of them.
This is David.  He is SUPER quiet.  He is a hard worker and does anything he is asked.  He has a great smile he loves basketball, in fact that might have been the only animated conversation I saw him talk about.  One of my favorite parts of trek was when the boys returned from the Mormon Batallion. He was the first to return to our "family" and the girls were so thrilled, they gave him a big hug.  His face lit up, I don't think because it was the girls but that he was appreciated.  He is a faithful young man and will make an amazing missionary!

This is Cybelle (pronounced cy-belle, not cybil).  She stole my heart as soon as I learned she could play the guitar.  What I was surprised to hear was that she sings and plays the guitar.  She also has a great smile and very easy going personality.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She is honest, quiet, and so nice!  The last night she sang "I'll Follow you into the dark" while playing the guitar.  Oh how I wish I had batteries in my camera, it died at the end of day one.  It was beautiful.  This day in particular we talked a lot about death.  Husbands who started the day pulling their carts and by the end the wife was burying him, or the new mom who had to bury her baby, or even a husband who had to bury his wife and child.  It was devastating.  This girl is very talented!
This is Quinn.  He started off a little on the shy side but I can tell you he is anything but shy.  I would say he speaks his mind.  He is easy to talk to and is very inquisitive.  One quality that I admired the most about Quinn was something that you wouldn't necessarily notice unless you were paying attention.  Quinn can be a gentleman.  One incident that stood out to me was when the four girls were pulling the cart.  The boys had been pulling the majority of the time, the girls wanted to do their share.  They pulled it up a hill then down.  Going down hill is equally as hard as going uphill.  you really have to dig in your heals, not slip but keep walking.  It started going pretty fast and most were not paying attention.  It was Quinn who ran to the cart grabbed on and slowed it digging in his heals and sliding.  I don't think anyone noticed, but that touched my heart.  There was another time when I was helping pull (trust me I think the family would agree it is not a help and it was a miracle I didn't trip and end up under the wheel of the handcart!)  Quinn pretty much told me to move so he could take over.
On the left is Caroline.  She is the all american girl that you want to be friends with.  She is bright and always chipper.  She has a great laugh and is fun to be around.  She is friendly, but can be quiet.  She is a really sweet young lady.  There are people I feel drawn to because of the spiritual strength and she is definitely one of them.  She loved out baby dearly, enough so that we "adopted" a second baby, that we named Alfredo.  She even drew him a nice suit coat with a flower!  I can't think of a particular incident but overall she has a very Christ like attitude.

On the right is Ashley.  She is spunky and fun.  I doubt anyone can tell her what to do.  She has high standards, and is extremely social.  I think I heard "Build me up buttercup" a fair number of times, I think it was an inside joke I was never in on, but none the less I enjoyed that she was always having fun and singing...I love listening to music, even when it is from the backside of a handcart.  One of my first impressions is when we were waiting to start the trek.  A song was being sung and she stated that it was inappropriate for this, she then said she did like the song, but that this wasn't the place to sing it.  I admired that she stood up for her beliefs.  It made it easier for me to speak up when something wasn't appropriate.  I am grateful for that example.

This is Alexis, I think you pretty much know what is on her mind, because she is easy to read...well actually she pretty much tells you!  She has so much energy and is a social butterfly!  I think in any 5 minute period she was saying hi to at least one person.  She is one that I would be grateful if she had my back!  She is loyal, and not fake in anyway.  She is one of those "scary" softball chicks (yes they scare me, they are tough and I am a wimp!) she also plays basketball.  She is also a neat girl!  Plus she said she was glad that I was her "Ma."
 Secretly I think it was because our last name is Jacobs so she could call us Team Jacob!
I wish my camera didn't die because I have no better pictures, or solo pictures of these two.  On the left is Nate and the right is Todd.  It took about two days before I got the right names to the right faces.  I ended up deciding, if he was bleeding it was definitely Todd.

 Nate is an athlete as well.  For his senior year he recently got elected as ASB President.  He seems like a nice all american guy!  I would say if Caroline was the all american girl, he is the all american boy.  I don't think I ever heard him complain.  He was very helpful.  He is an athlete as well (Yes all our guys were athletic...and the girls too...except Cybelle, who said she only played street hockey when she was younger.)  Nate was very easy to talk to, I am glad I got to know him.

Todd and Nate are very similar but are very different.  Todd is very confident.  He seems to be laid back, but definitely competitive.  I heard through the grapevine that he was captain of the football team.  I am not sure that it is true, but it wouldn't surprise me.  He is athletic and a leader, I would say that he is another one that you probably couldn't get him to do something unless he wants to, yet he still did everything we asked.  I wish trek was about one day longer, because he opened up a little more as the days wore on.

I was so pleased with this group, but sad that we missed out on getting to know our other two family members.  I have served in the primary and in all honesty teenagers scare me.  (remember I am a self proclaimed wimp!)  This group was easy going but they worked hard.  I told them they were all rockstars on multiple occasions.  The proved to me that there are great teenagers in this world, which give me hope for my children's future.  I have a love for these kids and am so impressed by their personalities.  They varied so much but shared a common quality, they are all great youth!  I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this experience with them and that they accepted me as their "Ma" shich yes they even called me "ma" which was a little disturbing because it made me feel so old.

In my next post I will share a little more about my experience, but definitely wanted to document my feelings for this awesome family!

1 comment:

Handsfullmom said...

What an amazing experience! I've been reading an autobiography of a pioneer woman and I am constantly overwhelmed as a I read of the sheer amount of work they had to do on a daily basis. I have NOTHING to complaing about. I can't wait to hear more about your trek!

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