Go Back To School: Christmas Style!

Free Life's Little Helpers

So of course, August is the time for our culture to be thinking about sending our kids back to school… and all of their necessities… and how we can help those less fortunate. So what does Free Life Chapel do during this time? Well we celebrate Christmas, of course! At this point, I’m sure you’re not even surprised.


The days prior were spent in the holiday hustle and bustle – Free Life Chapel style – fulfilling school supply lists, picking up decorations, shopping for back packs, putting all the little pieces together, setting up stages, and trees, and snow, and wreaths, and all sorts of other holiday festivities.

I love the dedication of the FLC team, everyone just sticks around until the job is done, and then to bed late and awake early to finish set-up and prepare for hundreds to come in and appear as though it was all just there when we all woke up if little elves just put it all together while we all slept.

How many grown men does it take to build a giant christmas tree?

Among the special fun last Sunday were snowmen, reindeer, elves and Santa himself, folks.

In the house.

Taking photos and spreading merriment throughout the building.

The stage was a winter wonderland, and the message… well, with a little help from Will Ferrell, was a great story of realizing dreams and going for the gold.


Santa took photos with children (or those who just act as such, but you’re only as young as you feel, right? No judgement.)

And Santa’s helpers distributed back packs to children of all ages and grades.

With smiles and glitter.


… and when it’s all said and done: gifts distributed, message delivered, souls restored, Santa is headed back to the North Pole, and all is deemed successful, what is left to do… but let the tear down begin. ‘Cus that’s just how we do things at FLC.

Behind The Scenes At FLC: The Preview

On the usual video announcement Thursday I am sure to be well rested for the hair and make up team to arrive. I have a well balanced breakfast as the team does their job and presents me with outfit options for the shoot, and then our transportation comes to head toward the shooting location while I view the script and sip cranberry juice.

That's me inside there.....ummmm... do you believe me????

*[this is the part where it sounds like a record screeches]

juuussttt kiddinggggg.

The only thing true about that is that video announcements are usually shot on Thursdays.

I get a text (or tweet from @lindellaustin) sometime before then about location ideas or time, and wake up accordingly.

Sometimes it’s an awesome place and i get to shoot at the beach or downtown, and sometimes it’s just by a column or cool plant that Lindell has searched out. For those who actually pay attention to the background, he usually finds some pretty cool places to shoot.

The morning of the shoot I take forever to pick out an outfit and hopefully am not scrambling out the door, putting make up on during the drive over rushing to put make-up on before I leave. Whatever the case, Lindell always knows I’m close to location because every natural and otherwise distraction becomes fully amplified – all birds have very deep conversations/arguments (we don’t know which but it gets intense), the train leaves the station and travels for 12 years right by use, the light never turns red, the homeless man starts performing his one man band – you name it, it’s picking up on that mic. Tonight, they were blasting Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and friends over the intercom for the skaters (“skapers” as said by Laylah Sierra) to enjoy. No problem, I knew I am the girl who always gets “shhh-ed” for a reason.

When I arrive to location I read over all the happenings of Free Life Chapel and mic myself up while Lindel sets up his camera (or he just tells me what I’m gonna say while he sets up if there is no script) and then I see a little red dot, he counts down and points (trying to be official), and I usually bust out laughing. I have to get it out of my system.

Just once.

Or more.

Sorry, Lindell.

Putting the mic on my belt.

It usually only takes about one run through, unless I get the giggles and keep promising Lindell that this really is the last take, and the product is what all sees as, “The Preview”.

Who is that weird man who keeps skating behind me and distracting my shot?!

I know you were all hoping for something more exciting, but thats just how we roll at FLC.. kicking butt and taking names.

So, for the night, I’m Hope and you have been reading about, The Preview.