Tag Archives: max oestreicher

99 Thoughts on Raising Your Parents

with my daughter, liesl, starting her 9-month gap year experience in europe and india, and with my son, max, starting high school last week, my kids have been on my mind quite a bit. so, it’s funny that i forgot to announce here on my blog that the three of us — me, liesl and max — wrote a book that recently released!

it was a blast writing a book with my kids. we went on a 3-day retreat to my silent place in the california desert and framed the whole thing, getting some of it written. then we came back to it a month or so later on a vacation and spent a few more days. they really did write a big chunk of it, and we all spoke into each other’s writing, tweaking and plussing.

anyhow: it’s a book for teenagers, in simply youth ministry’s “99 thoughts” line. it’s available anywhere you buy books, but we’re selling it on The Youth Cartel store, of course. parents, order one for your teenager! youth workers, pick up a case!

here’s the back cover copy:

99 Thoughts on Raising Your Parents: Living the Sweet Life at Home

Liesl and Max Oestreicher aren’t perfect teenagers, and they’re the first to admit it. They get in trouble, they fight with their parents (and each other), and they frustrate their teachers from time to time.

But they do have something that a lot of teenagers really wish they had: a better than average relationship with their parents.

99 Thoughts on Raising Your Parents is filled with ideas from this sister-and-brother duo on having fun as a family, appreciating why moms and dads do what they do, and finding the best ways to handle arguments and disagreements with your parents. (They’ll also divulge a few secrets about rules, independence, and getting permission!)

Even though the teenage years aren’t easy, you’ll find that a little bit of patience, understanding, and communication will go a long way toward experiencing a more solid relationship with your parents, and Liesl and Max are ready to be your guides along the way!

nick’s kids choice awards

max (my 11 year-old son) wrote a great blog post expressing his frustration over the results of nickelodian’s kids choice awards (which he had been in anticipation of for weeks). pretty funny reading.

here’s a snippet:

for best movie, the nominees were:

iron man
bedtime stories
high school musical 3
dark knight

guess what one won? wrong! guess again… wrong again! one more chance… wrong, wrong, wrong!!! sadly, high school musical 3 was the victor, but fear no evil cause at that moment i swore my vengeance on that movie. and no more shall people have to suffer from the stupid musical singings of zac efron and vannessa hudgens, i promise you good people. my tactics are not violent, only that i will send out energy from my palms which will cause them to be unable to sing any longer and all the cds and dvds of high school musical movies will shatter spontaneously into millions of pieces. you can rest at ease people with good movie taste.

monday morning update

the weekend that was: ah, thanksgiving weekend. great family time. we had a couple families over for thanksgiving day. one of them was my cousin and his wife and baby, who live in LA. they spent the night thursday, and we had a great time with them through friday late morning. the rest of the weekend was filled with massive to do lists, which included decorating the house for christmas. this included a challenging moment when we discovered that the nice fake tree friends had purchased for us last year (we’d always had real trees prior to last year) was too tall for the ceilings in our new house. but it was only about 8 inches too tall. so i used a variety of metal-working tools to hack off 8 inches. and, voila, we now have a decorated tree that nicely mushes up into the ceiling! also had to do a little wire splicing when i discovered i’d cut through one of the light wires. got the lights on the outside of the house also, made our christmas shopping lists (and did a tiny bit of shopping), planned max’s birthday, and a whole bunch of other stuff. friday night we had a family night at the movies: max and jeannie saw bolt, while liesl and i saw twilight (i’ll try to post about this movie later this week). saturday night, liesl was out, and jeannie, max and i watched fred clause while eating cookie dough. sunday morn was church (a really wonderful communion service), followed by bits of the sad chargers game interspersed with decorating. and sunday night we hosted our home church at our house. we had a really meaningful time of writing down things we need to release and things we’d like to embrace on paper. then we wrote one of each that we really want to move forward on onto small colored pieces of paper, then fed them through a shredder. after some discussion about these in triplets, we came back and the person leading had turned those shredded pieces into confetti. we all took a small bunch of the confetti and put it into little round clear boxes (used by people who collect and sort beads). we’re each keeping these to remember to pray for each other. really cool.

where i am at the moment: i have a couple days home before leaving for our canadian convention, and i’m taking them to do some writing and shopping. jeannie and i have a lunch date today, followed by some christmas shopping; but otherwise, i’ll be writing (the “middle school ministry” book is due may 5, and i still have about 7 chapters to go!).

on my to-do list this week: after getting some writing done, and working on my seminars for the canadian youth workers conference, i’ll be in toronto from wednesday on. should be a wonderful event.

procrastinating about: i’m not really procrastinating about writing, but it feels like it, because i have so much to complete. i also have a magazine column due today. i suppose i’m procrastinating about getting caught up on email and facebook messages, since i’m not finding the time for them.

book i’m in the midst of: finished anne rice’s amazing called out of darkness, and started reading steven covey’s (the younger one) the speed of trust, which is shaping up to be a fantastic read.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: still soaking in all my 80s christian alt i wrote about last week. started listening to christmas music over the weekend, and have been laughing over the gift i received of colbert’s christmas cd.

next trip: wednesday, to toronto, for the canadian youth workers conference. come home next monday.

how i’m feeling about this week: a little stressed at the moment, and don’t feel like leaving town again; but i’m excited about the convention.

bonus: today is my son max’s 11th birthday. crazy. i’ve been telling him for years that the teenage years don’t start at 13 anymore, but are usually considered to be 11 – 20-something. so he’s convinced he becomes a teenager today, which is awesome, because he’s really still a kid who loves being a kid. i had to tell him, “well, this is the year when you start becoming a teenager.” pop over to max’s blog and wish him a happy birthday!

four pieces of randomness

a small handful of things that didn’t seem to warrant full, individual posts…

i really like facebook, and use it all the time. and i have a pretty good amount of “friends”, mostly due to my job. in fact, since latin america seems to have caught on to facebook, and i travel to our ys conventions in argentina and guatemala most years, i have a bunch of spanish-speaking fb “friends” with whom i cannot even communicate, other than the occasional “hola!” on a normal day, i get 2 – 5 friend requests. but tuesday, i was at my writing spot, and noticed that a TON of friend requests were coming in. i’d seen a virus-y kind of thing on facebook recently, where a comment told me my picture was on some other site (and it was clearly not from the person who theoretically sent it). so i started to think i might be getting slammed with some kind of virus thing. when it got to 45 friend requests, i twittered about my concern. when it got to 95 requests (in less than two hours), i was really starting to freak out. by the time i got to the office, there were 150 friend requests waiting for my approval. i wasn’t sure what to do with them. then, i noticed in one of them, that the person had tipped me off to the fact that a ys online survey told him to do this. i saw our internet peeps had sent out a survey about our weekly emails. so i clicked through the survey, and there at the end, was a little “joke”; something like, “click here and add marko as a friend on facebook. shh! don’t tell him, and this will be our little secret.” well, there you have it. over the last few days i’ve had a steady stream of friend requests — about 300 or 400 now, i’d say. crazy. i might have to fire someone.

my awesome son max had a few words, as kids are prone to do, that he pronounced wrong when he was little. one by one, these fell by the wayside. jeannie and i loved each one of them, and were always sad to see them go. the last hold-on was that he has always said “callerpitter” when he means “caterpillar”. the other day, caterpillar was on his weekly spelling list. jeannie and i groaned, and were so sad to see the veil removed for him once and for all. he likes being a kid, and insists he’s going to keep saying it callerpitter, and even says he’s going to spell it that way on the spelling quiz.

saw an amazing movie on the plane to nashville. it’s called henry poole is here, and stars luke wilson. it’s the story of a terminally ill guy who buys a surburban home down the street from his childhood home to basically sit alone and die. but his neighbors won’t leave him alone, especially when one is convinced she sees the face of christ in a badly done stucco job on his back wall. it’s wonderfully slow paced, and a beautiful story of mystery and healing. i teared up multiple times.

i’m reading anne rice’s spiritual autobiography right now (anne rice is the massively popular author of a bunch of vampire books, and also the brilliant newer series, christ the lord). in a bit i read yesterday, she revealed that her given name, which she used until she was in elementary school and decided to start using the out-of-thin-air name “anne”, was… howard. seriously.