Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crunchy Leaves

I love the sound of stepping on them! It's just magical and how can you not smile and be happy when the sky is blue, the trees are flame-colored and every step sounds like you just ate a potato chip? :D I'm not sure how much longer the nice fall weather is going to last, but I'm very thankful for all that we have had and every colorful leaf that has brightened those days with its color and crunch.

I had a wonderful pre-birthday weekend. My parents came over and we had a great time catching up. It was nice to have a break from school and be with my family and some good family friends that I have known practically my whole life. Good food, good conversation, and some wonderful presents including a new camera that has a touch screen! (which I discovered on accident lol)

After my parents left, I walked around Green Lake with my bff in the beautiful sunshine.

How can you top that weekend? Well you can't, which is why I have to go back to homework tonight, classes, and studying for my West-E this Saturday. :P BUT I do have a birthday this week and no school the following day so there will be room for some fun times.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Four months later...

It is a wonderful fall day, cold and overcast but I love it. I am wearing wool socks, a sweater, and sipping warm tea while I work on a creative essay for my writing class. Today is 10-10-10 and four months ago today I was just recently finished with Sophomore year and driving down to Cannon Beach for what I hoped would be an amazing summer. On the flipside, I can answer that yes it was an amazing summer. I often look back through my pictures from all our hangouts, beach days, and fun adventures and smile at the memories and laughter we shared. I got to know and work with some really amazing people. It was so refreshing to be in an environment with other college-age kids who were on fire for God and passionate about living for Him and serving others. God used many of them to change my life. God grew me so much over the past four months, filling me with His love and a peace for my unknown future that I have longed for. I am so grateful for that opportunity and would love to return next summer if that works out.

But here I sit, in my new apartment in Seattle, two weeks into Junior year. It's been good so far. My classes are not too demanding which is nice because it allows me time to hang out with friends and have more relaxing time to myself whether I work out, sleep, or have God time. I really appreciate living off-campus. The quieter and more private atmosphere is just what I needed. I feel less stressed, less distracted and like I have more time. I am still working at mailing services which I love. New this year is my involvement in an group for upperclassmen women called Falconettes and no we're not the cheerleaders. :) We are a group focused on leadership, fellowship, and service. We just got back a few hours ago from our retreat at Camp Casey where we bonded, got soaking wet on an adventure walk, and brainstormed about ideas for service and fun that we can do this year. I'm really excited for what we will do. This group is an answer to prayer for a way to feel useful and be serving after a summer filled with that.

The quarter/year has only begun and I am excited to see what God has in store for me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A New Season Begins

Today is the first day of Autumn, and my last day at home. It has been so beautiful here in North Idaho lately. The leaves have begun changing to yellow and we've had a few really nice sunny days with blue skies. It's getting colder and it definitely feels like fall. Mom put out the fall decorations today. The transition is over and a new season has come; not just for the calendar but for me as well. I had two weeks of transition time at home and tomorrow morning I will be driving back to Seattle (by myself, in my brand new car!).

I didn't mean to go this long without blogging. The last few days at Cannon Beach were wonderful. I miss being there so much. It seems like just yesterday yet it also seems like ages ago. Time is such a strange thing. My parents came down for the Labor Day weekend conference. It was good to visit with them and have them meet my friends and see what I had been enjoying all summer. The last weekend was bittersweet and so much happened. One of my good friend's dad passed away unexpectedly and it was so hard because there is nothing you can say to help. It was good though to be there with her, hold her, and cry with her. We helped her pack up her room and said goodbyes, promising to keep in touch and keep her and her family in our prayers. We were all kinda numb not believing what had just happened but we had to get back to work and prepare for a new group of kids that night. That night, Bruce, Trenton, Jill and I hung out watching Psych in the Beach Front lounge---should have definitely hung out in there earlier in the summer! Saturday was my day off but I worked the carnival to help out and go to dance on stage. A trip to Seaside with my parents, watching football, session, SNL practice and girl time completed the day. Sunday I worked session, played flag football, enjoyed the concert in the park, had evening session, SNL and then laid on the beach and looked at stars. Monday we had one final session with the kids and then spend the afternoon completely cleaning all the classrooms. There were A LOT of staples in that wall! It was really weird to see our Route 66 room all bare and white. Before I locked it up, I sat there and remembered a lot of good times in the classroom: games, lessons, and crafts with the kids; prep-time with Amber, Mitch, and Bruce; prayers, laughter, and talking; the dessert night that the guys threw for us; and now the room was empty. It felt like saying goodbye to a room in a house when you move. We had a final meeting to watch a staff slideshow and Eric gave a final send-off devotion. Staff bbq and packing followed and then a whole lot of goodbyes. Tuesday was the long drive home but we stopped in Spokane so I could buy my new car! A 2009 Silver Honda CR-V Ex-L :) I love it!

I've spent the last couple weeks here at home getting things ready for school, visiting friends, hanging out with my parents, sleeping in, and shopping. One of the weird things about being home is that my brother is not here! He's all grown up and off to college now. So, I went to Bozeman with Annie last weekend to visit my brother at school. It was really fun to see his campus, catch up with him, visit family friends, and drive around Yellowstone. I absolutely LOVE Montana scenery and landscape, especially between Bozeman and Bridger Mtn. Something about rolling hills of farmland, with a few big trees, a barn and house, surrounded by mountains underneath the big Montana sky is just so gorgeous to me! The scenery on the drive was so beautiful with yellow aspen trees, crazy big rocks, rivers, creeks, mountains, valleys--love it!

I'm really grateful for the two weeks at home to transition. I was really not ready to leave Cannon Beach or ready to go to school. But, as I've skyped, texted, and FB chatted with people from SPU over the past two weeks I have become more and more excited to move back to school. I certainly loved Cannon Beach and did not want to leave, but I knew it was time to move on to something else. For every thing there is a season. However, as I head into school I am not the same as I was last year. God has worked in my life and changed me in a lot of ways. He has re-filled me with a passion for Him and a love for children. I have new friends to keep in touch with, visit, and talk to; friends that I can count on for support, prayers, good advice, love, and laughter.

Tomorrow I will be heading out by myself, and heading west to lots of new adventures: Junior year, living in apartment, cooking for myself, learning how to drive in Seattle, Falconettes, Ivy Honorary, volunteering with 3yr-olds at Bethany, and striving to live each day in love and service for Christ.

Sadly, the amazing summer is over; but, tomorrow, a new chapter begins.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Unusual Week

This week has been quite different because it is a short week so all of our schedules are different. Also this week, we had two kids with down syndrome and autism in K2 so it required extra help and changing some things around to accommodate them. They were both really sweet though and it was fun to work one-on-one with them. I have been hanging out with friends whenever we aren't working. It seems weird and yet also time for the summer to be ending.

Monday we played beach volleyball, I had my last Bible study and then watched stuff with friends. Tuesday we had the morning off and it was really nice to be lazy and take my time getting ready. it rained really hard here all day. It was kind of cool because it hasn't rained like that all summer but you got completely soaked wherever you went. Jill, Bruce, Trenton and I went out to lunch and hung out. I had 5.5 hours of rec shift but it went really fast with running a foosball tournament, friends working with me and playing pool. Today is my day off but I chose to volunteer with 4-5s this morning and I am going to again tonight. I walked around town and the beach this afternoon and then hung out at the carnival. I was kind of lazy again today and probably should have packed or been more productive. oh well :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winding Down

Whoops, I let another week go by without posting. It was another good week! I finally got over my stupid cough, which lasted annoyingly long.

One week from today, I will be on my way home with my parents. So crazy to think about! Almost 3 months ago, Jill and I drove up scared and nervous and now we love it here!

Last week was a lot of fun. Had some good sunny days at the beach, a good group of kids and some fun adventures with friends. On Wednesday, I woke up at 2:45 am, on purpose! A bunch of us met up and drove to Saddle Mountain to hike up by the light of flashlights and the full moon. I think its a two mile hike. It wasn't too bad of a climb and lots of fun chatting with people. The views along the way were breathtaking and the scenery from the top was amazing even in the dark. We hung out for about 20 minutes at the top until the sun came up. It was so awesome to see the first speck of light peak over the mountains. We could see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens from up there. We all just sat in awe of the landscape and the colors that the sun painted across it. After lots of pictures, time praying and watching the sun rise, we headed back down. I hiked alone for most of the way down and it was really good to pray and think while I walked or ran. I think this hike was a really good closure on the summer for me. This might sound cheesy but I came up with a metaphor for this hike. The climb up was fun because it was something new but also kinda hard--not being able to always see that great, hot, spiderwebs in the face, steep; never knowing how much farther. That represents my first two years of college I think. They were really fun but as time went on--winter quarter of sophomore year especially--it got really tough. When I got to the top I was out of breath, hungry, and couldn't see very much. By spring quarter of school I was sick of classes, frustrated with myself over a lot of things, and needing something new. The time when the sun came up and was rising over the landscape lighting it up and adding colors is my time here this summer. I sat there and prayed and praised God for his creation. I was able to see so much clearer with the light and the trail we had come up. This summer has re-connected me with God and let me see where I have come from the past two years. The hike down I was alone though I knew friends were in front of me and behind me a ways. Heading back to school I might feel alone having to say goodbye to my friends here, but I know I can keep in touch with those I say goodbye to and there are friends waiting for me. After the steep section where the footing is hard, I ran down most of the mountain. I am hoping that in the next few weeks I feel ready to go back to school and stand firm in all that I've grown this summer. I may be standing alone sometimes but I want to be okay with that. At that same time though, I don't want this summer to just be a mountain-top experience, it needs to be only a vantage point on my climb higher and higher.

After the hike I napped, layed out on the grassy lawn with friends and then went to here Luis Palau speak. For Moonshadows we went to the arcade in Seaside. It was a lot of fun to play games with friends and have a lot of laughs. Thursday was my last carnival and I got to the Obstacle Course which was a lot of fun. Friday night we hung out in Fireside with Zach since it was his last night. I had volunteered with 2's and 3's during the week and met these adorable twin girls who always ran up to give me hugs whenever they saw me. They were with their family in Fireside that night and I played with them for a bit. It made me feel so happy to make the smile and laugh so much. They were so precious and I love little kid hugs!

Saturday I went to kid breakfast, napped, cleaned, went to the beach for a bit, woo-hoo meeting and then volunteered with 4's and 5's. I always thought if I came back next summer I would want to work with older kids. But after volunteering with toddlers and 4--5s this week I think I would want to do younger kids. They are just so precious and innocent! I love being able to make them smile and be goofy with them. I think I am going to help out with 4-5s again tomorrow.

I have to go do a rec shift now, but I will finish writing tonight maybe.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wind in my Hair

The summer is flying by like the wind in my hair today as we drove with all the windows down! I was talking to my dad the other day about it being okay to wait and get my new cell phone from him since it's only two more weeks....2 more weeks!?!?! oh man! It really is coming down to the end. Mike left today. It's so sad not to have him here.

I ended up getting more sick Thursday night near the end of session. I had chills then got really hot. Thankfully I did not have babysitting and my wonderful boss let me not have to do rec center. I came back to the room, checked my temperature--98.4--and then took some meds and chilled in bed. Friday I felt better as far as having more energy but congested and same with Saturday. Last night I took nyquil before going to bed and I think it still had an effect on me this morning because I felt SOOO tired and exhausted during session. It was a wierd kind of sleepy that I've never felt. I am feeling much better now except for a very sore throat from so much singing and loud talking over kids. Salt water is nasty but it makes the throat feel better.

Thursday night's session felt so long. We had a long story, we went to the park, we played a ton of gym games, lesson, worship, yet it still felt so long! It didn't help that I wasn't feeling so great. Friday morning was good and then Friday night they needed extra help with the babies so I pushed two little boys in a stroller all night trying to keep one entertained while the other was fast asleep. Saturday was very relaxing. I chose not to go to breakfast so I could get some good sleep. It was a very chill day of laundry and cleaning and some phone calls. I covered for Tasha so I got to do the show, eat with the guests, and work as a floater with the 2's & 3's. It was really fun doing the show again and I got to eat dinner with one of the girls in my class and her family. The toddlers were SO cute! It made me really miss the little ones at my church back home. There were these twin girls who just wanted to hold my hand and sit in my lap all night and this one little girl who was quite the talker and reminded me of myself at that age. I saw them tonight on my way to worship with my class and they remembered me and gave me hugs. :) Kids are so amazing!

We only have 11 kids this week which is rough because they get bored with games so quickly. They aren't super into the worship time and we one boy who is really stubborn. Worship time feels really crazy because Kids Klub and 4's & 5's have so many and it's just a little chaotic.

I love Sundays and Mondays because I get the entire afternoon off and it's so wonderful. Today, Jill, Bruce, Trenton and I went shopping in Warrenton and just hung out at different stores. Except for a Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks, I didn't buy anything. I love being able to enjoy the little things, such as all of us sitting on couches in Costco to see which is comfiest, trying on funky clothes in Ross, and driving with the music up, windows down and fun conversations. It was such a fun day!

Last night after session, Jill and I went to the park and sat on the swings for awhile just talking. It was so wonderful! It has been really great getting to know her so well and becoming such good friends this summer. We both had a harder time in session tonight and when we came back to the room she closed the door and screamed. Well I had no idea why she was screaming and she scared me so I screamed too! Then I realized she was just letting out her frustration and we both started laughing really hard and trying not to pee our pants! :) Then we went to touch the beach. We hugged and prayed and looked up at the stars twinkling down at us.

I think I will go to bed now. It is very early for me, but I am trying to kill this stupid bug that is making me feel gross. Think I will pass on the nyquil this time though. :S

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music makes me happy

As it comes down nearer and nearer to the end, I am spending every minute I can with my friends rather than blogging. We just finished another great carnival and I wanted to update this really quick before taking a nap.

This past weekend, four of my girlfriends from home came to visit. We hung out at the beach, ate good food and walked around town. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very nice but it was good to see them. Monday afternoon the sun decided to come out! We've been spending our afternoon at the beach every day playing some intense volleyball games and soaking in the Vitamin D. Yesterday we had a program outing to Hug Point and it was really fun to have everyone together hanging out on the beach and roasting hot dogs on a campfire. We sang songs the whole way back to CB. Last night was the Staff Talent Show. There were some very talented and some humorous acts! I sang Defying Gravity while Craig accompanied me on the piano. It went pretty good and was lots of fun. After that, I took a midnight run to Safeway with Olivia, Rachel, Mike and Mitch. We sang dance and Disney songs during the car rides and ate mint chocolate chip ice cream when we were there.

My class has been good this week. I guess it was not so good last night but they were better this morning. It ranges between 20 and 23 depending on drop-in kids and some not showing up. We are all getting so good at our lessons and leading games and worship. It's really cool to see each other develop over the summer. Bethany has left and Mike leaves on Sunday. We've had some new people come to fill spots and it's hard to be losing people!

Unfortunately I think I'm getting sick. Woke up with a really sore throat and tense/achy neck and shoulders. Probably a combo of not enough sleep and maybe overdoing it with singing yesterday. Despite the sunshine, I'm going to nap before kid dinner and babysitting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shooting Stars

To catch up from my last post...

Tuesday was good. There were a lot of big and good sand sculptures. Sessions and rec shift were good.

Wednesday was so relaxing! I slept in until lunch, did laundry, practice for talent show, ran on the beach and then volunteered in MidKids. It was interesting to see the behaviors that were similar to K2 kids and other ways they were different. A couple of the MidKid girls found out who I was at Sunday morning dodgeball and say hi and give me hugs all the time so when I showed up in their class they were super excited and have been even more attache to me since then. It's such a great feeling to have kids love you when you didn't really do anything. After session, Jill and I flipped and flopped forever about whether or not we should go to Moonshadows at the Astoria Aquatic Center. A 45minute drive (one way), $5, and not being able to swim because of my ears did not sound too inviting. But, we eventually decided to go and we were SO glad we did! We hung out with Mike, Mitch, and Bruce mostly. We had good conversations during the van rides. At the aquatic center we played volleyball, sat in the hot tub, and I watched everyone else go down the slide. On the way back we stopped at McDonalds for yummy good, milkshakes and fun times. I feel like I've gone on more "crazy college kid adventures" being here than when I'm at college. Mmmm it was a great night!

Thursday went well. At evening session, Bruce teaches about how we are supposed to be the Salt and Light. One of our kids shared how he has a bully at his school who makes fun of him for being a Christian but he still tries to love him by being nice and picking him for his team at games, etc. It was so touching and encouraging to hear from one of our kids. Our kids are really open this week and like to share personal stories that relate to the lesson. It's so great but hard at times because we have to cut them off for time's sake. Afterwards, I babysat for one of the girls in my class and her 3 younger siblings. We watched Balto (which has a lot of great lessons in it!) and then I told them a story about a Prince Chipmunk named Ferdinand on an adventure to find the Chocolate Acorn. When the parents came back I spoke with them for a bit about their week here, and their homeschooling experience. First, it was really neat to hear their appreciation for all the work we put in (especially on Thursdays). It was also cool to hear about their homeschooling and share part of my experience too. To end the night, a bunch of us went to Ecola State Park to see the meteor shower...unfortunately it was completely overcast and we knew this heading out but decided to still go! Regardless of the clouds, we had a good time. Jill, Mike, and I shared some good conversation as we watched the waves down below light up sporadically--we eventually realized it was from the lighthouse.

Today the sun came out! It was so warm and wonderful. I spent the afternoon on the beach with friends and then worked in the rec center. A lot of my kids were in there this week so I played games with them and the time went by really fast. Tonight's session was fun. We had water balloons, otter pops, stories, coloring and only two kids cry! My girls from back home got here after session and I showed them around a bit and then we went to the beach to watch the end of the sunset, moon setting and meteor shower. As my CB friends showed up it was a big group and eventually decided to go back up to Ecola Park. It was so amazing! Lots of stars and no lights around. We saw around 15 meteors. Some of us did star tripping too which was so funny and hilarious to watch! I could have stayed until 12:30 but the guys wanted to come back at 11 and get sleep so us girls decided to leave as well.

I'm skipping kid breakfast tomorrow so I can get some good sleep since I'll be spending my whole day off with Caytlin, Annie, Kelsey, and Brittney rather than napping. :)

I've had some good times the last few days. It's getting hard knowing that some events are our last with people. They start leaving in batches from this weekend on. :(

No time to write when the sun is shining.

I planned to spend some time this afternoon blogging since it has been awful weather all week. But...the sun came out and it is very warm and gorgeous! So, since i have to be in the rec center from 2:30-5:30 :'( I am going to go enjoy the sun and will post later. My girlfriends from home are coming to visit this weekend so I'm excited for that. Bethany is leaving on Monday so it's very sad doing so many last things with her. Off to get some Vitamin D!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I don't like session getting out so early!

Today, was a great day! But then again, I feel like they all are. :)

Morning session went great. I really love the kids this week, they are so sweet, smart, and well-behaved. The worst part about session was that I couldn't hear hardly at all. Ever since cliff jumping for the second time, my ears have been bothering me so I finally bought some drops but those made it way worse unfortunately and my hearing would come and go. It was very frustrating. After session we had staff meeting and then staff pictures which were funny to see the goofy poses. It was so great to have almost everyone gathered together and see the awesome people God brought from all over to work together this summer.

I decided to go to the doctor today so Jill drove me to Seaside. Thankfully I was the first of 5 walk-ins so I didn't have to wait very long. Using the Elephant Ear Washer, the nurse got a LOT of nasties out of my ears and then gave me a prescription for an infection. It is so nice to be able to hear again!!! It was a good reminder to not take my sense of hearing for granted.

In spite of being rushed and cut a 1/2 hour short, tonight's session was SO wonderful. It was cut short because the speaker this week always finishes at least 15 minutes early which is so frustrating! I felt bad cutting games short and I knew my kids didn't like it either but we had to get to the lesson. I was teaching tonight about Rules. I feel like it was one of my best lessons so far and the kids were really involved. They were paying close attention, had questions, good responses, and lots of comments. We sacrificed our 2nd game time for 10 extra minutes of discussion. Sometimes I wonder if anything I say is making an impact on the kids so it was really encouraging to have such a great response from them tonight. After the lesson we went straight to worship, which we moved 10 minutes earlier in the schedule because we have been getting out of session less than half way through. I helped Trenton lead tonight and I think it was the best worship time yet. The kids were all super engaged and singing and doing the motions. I loved that I could hear them all singing so well. I made eye contact with so many of them and received funny faces, smiles, and enthusiastic motions in return. I had a blast and was SO sad when Ellen came to tell us session was out. I could have spent another hour with my kids!

Bible study tonight was about Galatians 3:1-14. We talked about faith rather than the law that determines righteousness. It wasn't anything new for me but yet such a good reminder that regardless of all the "Christian" things I do, if I'm not living for the Lord they are meaningless. It tied in so well with our devotion this morning which was about having a relationship and not a religion--not reading our Bible because we have to as a check-list item but because we want to spend time with God. mmmm...sounds familiar to what I was posting on yesterday :) God's timing is awesome!

Finished the evening in the rec center with Jill, Zach, and Jordan and then Trenton joined us to go touch the beach and pray. How cool is that to walk to the beach after work with some amazing people and all pray together?!?!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Overwhelmed by God

Oh I don't even know where to start. At one point today I thought back to spring quarter at school as I was looking forward to working here this summer. One of the main things I hoped for was a major re-connection with God--to come away from friends and family (though I miss and love them) and find God again as the number one priority of my life. It's funny to say but not until today did I remember that desire and over the past few months, I've never consciously worked towards it but rather it happened day by day, and conversation by conversation. The environment, people, lessons, kids, beautiful surroundings, and God's overflowing love consumed me and I have felt overwhelmed and overflowing the past couple of weeks.

I feel like there are too many songs I want to sing, too many thoughts to journal, and too many prayers to pray. With the good amount of free time I have here and yet still feel like I don't have enough time to spend with God each day, I'm nervous for finding(making) the time once I'm back at school. What a glorious thing when we will be in heaven and can spend each second of every day of all eternity praising Him.

Though I didn't see it happening, this summer has given me exactly what I needed and hoped for. I remember struggling to spend any time reading my Bible or praying during the school year because I had no passion and it was more of an item on my to-do list than time with my Savior. I wanted to have the desire but it wasn't there and I didn't know how to find it. Slowly, over this summer, God has broken my heart and filled it with an amazing love for Him. Songs come alive each time I hear/sing them. Verses jump out at me and are so amazing. Just a little phrase someone says will stick with me for days. I'm amazed at how reading chapters at school was so dry and didn't help but here I can read a few verses and be so impacted.

I've realized the culmination of this overwhelming passion the last week but it really came to a head tonight at SNL. There wasn't a speaker but different "stations" that we were given time to go through for personal reflection. There was journaling, prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters, verses to memorize, a banner of Thanksgiving, and communion. During this time, Isaac played a medley of hymns and worship songs on the piano that was SO beautiful. He started with my favorite hymn (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) and that's when I realized how much this summer has really changed my life. It's been one of the most fun summers, a great learning experience, and filled with great friends, but it has renewed my passion for God, refreshed my faith, and revealed a new perspective on SO many aspects of my life.

I'm still not super excited to go back to school knowing the struggles I will face but God is slowly preparing my heart for it and giving me strength to survive through it. One thing that really helped with this tonight was praying for Christians who are persecuted all around the world. Most often they are physically tormented and as I prayed, I was encouraged that when I feel mentally, emotionally, and spiritually persecuted this year at school I can think and pray for them knowing that if they can do it in a much worse situation then I can too.

One more month here. God has done so much in the past two and I'm so excited to see what the remainder of the summer holds. Here's some lyrics from a couple of the songs we sang tonight that really captivated me:

I need you Jesus to come to my rescue
where else can I go?
There's no other name by which I am saved
capture me with your grace
I will follow you.

I'm falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus You're all this heart is living for.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Catching Up

Wow! Time flies when you're having fun. I did not mean to let some much time slip by without posting. Whoops. Picking up where I left off...and warning this is a long post!

Two Wednesdays ago: My mom and I spent the day together. We walked around town, spent a great time in the fabric shop, looked at pictures and videos online, sat and talked for a couple hours, enjoyed the salmon bbq, and attended Ron Cline's session. It was so relaxing and wonderful. Our conversations and laughter was very enjoyable. It was weird not having my dad and brother here with us but I'm glad for the time with my mom. I was able to share a lot of what I've been learning and just in verbalizing it all, I was able to process a lot and figure out exactly what I have been learning. Saying it to my mom rather than a journal was great too because she offered helpful feedback and encouragement! It was a great day! I will share about a fun event from Wednesday night in a separate post because it is a long story.

Two Thursdays ago was my Mom's birthday! Unfortunately, it was also the day I had to work the most but we were able to do fun things in-between my shifts. I took her out to a new little Mexican restaurant in town for lunch--we were the only ones in there! I had machaca, my favorite; it was so yummy! Then I had carnival and mom came to visit me at my booth Flick It. After clean-up, I took her to get cupcakes in Seaside and walk around. That night's session was good and babysitting was fine. We had a great group of kids this week and I really loved each session with them. Except for one girl that liked to create cliques and not join in on any of the activities.

Two Fridays ago: work and more time with my mom. We walked to Haystack Rock and back and had more great conversations!

Last Saturday my mom left after breakfast. I was sad to see her go and since then I have been more homesick. I went back to bed and slept from 10-3pm. It was SO nice and I really needed to catch up on all that sleep. Too much fun really does wear you out. WooHoo meeting was fun and hilarious as always.

Last Sunday was great! The new group of kids was so fun. In the afternoon a bunch of us went cliff jumping again. I wasn't sure that I would go again since I had checked that item off my list. But...I did decide to do it after everyone else jumped. I still took a few minutes to finally do it and needed a song to inspire me again. Craig had the perfect one: "Defying Gravity"! I jumped and though I did swallow quite a bit of water and was choking, I was not in pain and received no battle wounds this time. It was so much fun. On the way back, our car decided that blueberry pie sounded amazing so we drove on to Safeway to get the ingredients and Ellen agreed to bake us pie later that week. After session, a few of us hung out in Fireside and listened to Mike’s life story. It has been so great getting to really know people here and build such great friendships.

Monday afternoon became a spontaneous girls' day, which we all agreed was more fun than the planned one the previous week. We drove to Warrenton to go to Fred Meyer and Costco mainly so I could return and buy some things but then they all ended up getting stuff. Jill’s indecisiveness over yoga pants and food was great entertainment! On the way back we rolled the windows down, blasted some awesome music, and sang at the top of our lungs! Such good times and I’m really going to miss these girlies. Sessions went good that day and my Bible Study was wonderful. A bunch of us headed to the beach for a bonfire, complete with tiki torches. J We were all talking in British accents and it was really funny.

Tuesday: sessions were good with our kids! That morning we told them to bring sweatshirts for our time at the beach that night. One girl said “we’re going to have a bonfire?!?! You guys are the BEST!!!” We had Capture the Flag and a bonfire at the beach which went really well. During the afternoon I had my mid-summer evaluation which went well and then practiced for the Talent Show. I now have an extra rec shift on Tuesday nights since one of the Floaters has left. It was a lot of fun and I spent most of the time teaching Jill how to bump and set a volleyball and then peppering with Katie. Afterwards, a bunch of us gathered in Jackie’s house to watch Trenton’s favorite movie, Rocketeer.

Wednesday was such a great day! I slept in which was so nice and then baked cookies with my K2 staff for the Nursery gals. They were the group we were assigned to do something nice for. We had lunch with them in Fireside and gave them cookies and cards. After that Gretta and I watched Hello Dolly, singing along to all the songs while Jordan sat there and pretended not to watch it. J The sun finally came out and so Jill, Gretta and I went to meet Trenton at the beach for some Vitamin D. After session that night we had a little girls movie night at Ellen’s to watch Hairspray. As I write, I realize all I do this summer is hang out with cool people and have fun, yep it’s awesome! J

Thursday was great. Another awesome carnival which I spent part of in the dunk tank. J Mexican food with friends and then the long session and babysitting for two adorable children.

Friday’s sessions were a little more chaotic. All of our kids really bonded with one another this week which was great but it made them want to have conversations and giggle more than listen. The sun came out again and I was able to enjoy the beach for a little bit before going to my Rec shift. I usually don’t enjoy rec shifts because it is slow but I knew I needed to have a better attitude about it so I went in looking for an opportunity to hang out with kids even though I would rather be at the beach in the sunshine. God was good to me though and I had a GREAT rec shift. One of the girls from the Youth came and sat down to chat with me. I found out that she went to Legacy and we had a lot in common which provided great conversation. She then showed me her sketchbook which was amazing and I asked her to draw me something. As she sketched, we talked more and she pointed out how awesome it was that God is such an amazig artist. After she finished she asked for my email so we can keep in touch. It was neat to spend time with someone not in my age group and connect with her. I’m always amazed at what I learn from the kids here even when they don’t mean to be teaching me. After session that night we finally had the blueberry pie! But…because Zach and Ellen are retrievers and felt bad talking about pie at lunch in front of people who hadn’t originally been invited…they invited everyone and decided to make 2 more pies: apple and chocolate peanut butter. We all sat in Ellen’s cozy living room eating pie, playing Apples to Apples, playing Robot Unicorn, and laughing way too much.

And now that brings me to today! Kid breakfast, ear drops that made my hearing WORSE, lunch with Cassie and Brian, drinking a delicious French Kiss Latte on the beach in the rain, WooHoo meeting and volunteering in the nursery to hold an adorable 1year old boy all night! :D So happy!

Phew, that took awhile! My bad for not keeping up on it. I will try to do better the remainder of the summer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

God has blessed me so much

by allowing me to work here this summer! I am learning and growing more than I ever imagined. I never want to leave! :(

My friends Amy and Lauren came to visit this weekend. It was great to see them, catch up, and have them meet my new friends here. They asked what I've been learning here and it was so good to verbalize all I've been through and really recognize the things I've learned and grown through.

Our new group of kids this week is so so wonderful. We have 20 but they are really well-behaved and none that stand out as problem kids.

Monday afternoon was girls day for Olivia, Jill, Katie, and I. We went out to a yummy lunch and then walked around Seaside. We talked and laughed so much; it was great!

My mom arrived today for a 4-day visit! She had to sit and wait for 2 hours because of a head-on collision. I'm glad she made it here safely. Tomorrow is my day off and I can't wait to spend time with her!

Friday, July 23, 2010

If you get the chance to sit it out or!

This is a photo of the Ronaldo family from Soccer Mom Soccer. :)

Wow a lot has happened in the past few days! I am just having too much fun. :)

Wednesday--instead of sleeping in--K2, Midkids, and Floater staffs left at 9am to go on a joint program outing to Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was a lot of fun and I had two huge scoops of ice cream for my breakfast and lunch. :) On the way back we stopped to go cliff jumping into a river. I had not planned on going when we made the plans the night before and therefore did not wear or take appropriate clothes. However, once we got there I wished I had. Everyone was going and telling me I should too. After a lot of persuasion, my friend Zach said the line that is my title and I decided "yes I should go or else I will regret it." So I borrowed my friends shorts after she had jumped and changed again. It still took me like 5 minutes to finally jump. (video to be posted soon). It was fun and I'm glad I did it. However...I woke up this morning with huge bruises on my left shin and calf which hurt really bad and my thigh is really tender too. So apparently dancing can be dangerous. I'm still glad I did it though.

We got back to Cannon Beach and it was really windy so I decided to finally take my kite out. It took awhile to figure out how to put it all together and a phone call to my brother to find some pieces. Zach went first and did great--he could do 8 flips one way and then un-do it. Then I tried and could only get to 3 flips and would usually crash it. After 4 or 5 crashes I did it once more and broke the main pole so our kite session was over after only about 20 minutes. Thankfully the kite shop repairs the poles for free so now I have to go do that at some point again.

After session on Wednesday night we had Soccer Mom Soccer. Oh my goodness, so much fun! Everyone was totally into their characters with costumes, props, accents, and family drama. I think the "parents" had more fun than the people playing soccer. We hardly even watched the game because we were so busy making up family conflicts and getting in fights. It was hilarious.

Today the sessions went good. Thursdays are always so long and tiring. The little boy who was adopted from Russia cuddled with me during story time which was so precious, except that he kept leaning on or kicking my bruises! During kid dinner I was able to chat with the Miley Cyrus girl and older boy some too which was really neat. Sigh...I really love kids! After my rec center shift tonight I hung out with some friends that I don't normally hang out with a lot and it was fun to talk and laugh with them more.

I know I should go to bed, but I'm not tired and Facebook is FINALLY after 20+ tries (not kidding) letting me upload my pictures from the past few days. One more day until my day off and two of my girlfriends come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sand between the toes is a great way to end the day

The past two days have been busy but great! Yesterday I went to session to meet the kids for the first time. We have 9 kids total this week and only 2 of them are girls. With such a small number of kids we are very limited in games we can play because dodge ball with 5 on 4 just isn't realistic. So, we teamed up with Mid-Kids to play games in the gym this week and it's been a lot of fun so far. This group is also a big challenging because we have quite a range of maturity from a few young ones who listen well and like everything to a couple older ones that are very vocal about what they do and don't like. We also have a little boy who was adopted from Russia and English is his second language. He does great speaking and reading but I find a real barrier with comprehension. I have to explain games to him several times and play it out with him before he gets it. Even then though, he claims he doesn't understand despite playing it correctly and uses that as an excuse to not want to play. While he is a handful, I really love him and he's attached to me. One of my little boys is just so precious. He is adorable, has trouble saying his Rs which is really cute, and is so well behaved (I found out he's from a large homeschool family...ya-yeah!). I also have a soft spot for one of my girls. She has 7 other sisters and one brother and is on the verge of becoming a Miley Cyrus look-alike. She came in one session with more eye make-up on than I have ever worn...she's 10! I think her sisters did her up. She was really shy to begin with but has started opening up. I'm really hoping for a chance to hang out with her outside of class in the rec center or something.

Between sessions yesterday I planned to do some reading but took a 2 hour nap instead and woke up with a bad headache which grew worse through session and my rec shift. By the time I was done for the night at 11:30, I felt so awful. I'm wondering if it was a migraine because my head just hurt so bad and I felt like throwing up. I took a tylenol and went to bed thinking that since I was so tired, I would fall right asleep, but no. It took forever! Thankfully it went away by the time I woke up this morning.

Today's sessions were good. Between the older boy and the adopted boy I was constantly telling one to stop doing something. I really still like them though. I feel like I have to be the strict teacher too much rather than just goof off and love them.

I spent the afternoon with Olivia and Jill. We have Soccer Mom Soccer coming up for Moonshadows on Wednesday and we went to Fred Meyer to buy items for it. Basically some staff will play soccer and other will be their soccer mom (or dad or grandpa or aunt, etc). So we bought white t-shirts to decorate, juice boxes, fruit-by-the-foot, granola bars, and oranges. We plan to apply Snoopy band-aids, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen whenever necessary. :) We will dress up like soccer moms and fight to defend our "kids" against other players and parents. When we got back we used sharpies to decorate the shirts for all our "kids" saying "I <3 My Mommy" and then ours will say "Proud Soccer Mom of ...." and we also have a grandpa so his says "#1 Grandpa" and signatures of all the "kids". :) The sharpie smell got REALLY strong but it was so much fun and I can't wait for Wednesday night!

Tonight in session we tried a relay race where the two teams raced around the running track to put on costumes and then once both teams were finished they each acted out a Bible story. They were so cute and hilarious! It was way more of a success than I thought it would be and the kids loved it. I had Bible study afterwards. Then I spent the rest of the night in the rec center with my friends. I won a game of foosball, got mustard on my face (revenge for having my friend "smell" whip cream and smearing it on his face) and then we tried to balance 3 golf balls on top of each other but could only get 2. Oh, and then we went down to touch the beach! I love the feeling of sand between my toes.

Off to bed now. One more day of work until a day of rest!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I wish I could bring my laptop on the beach

because I think of so many great things to write about when I am sitting in the sand watching the waves crashing. But, my phone barely survives the sand so no way would my laptop. I guess I'll have to start carrying a notebook and pen with me, sigh, so old fashioned. :)

I woke up early and went to breakfast to say goodbye to the kids. It's always fun to hang out with them outside of class. Today I took Katie's housekeeping shift as she is on a camping trip with her family. I was excited to try housekeeping one time and join the singing group. I cleaned 4 bathrooms and made about 8 twin bunk beds. There was a LOT of sand on those bathroom floors and the new comforters for the beds are WAY too big and look ridiculous in my opinion. It was fun but I was so sweaty and sore and dead that I'm pretty glad I don't do that every week.

Even though I don't work, I love going to the kick-off meeting for program which we call Woo-Hoo! We give "High Fives" to people--little notes of encouragement that we write throughout the week saying "good job" to people. Then we tell kid stories. It's always a great time and we laugh a lot! It's so great to hear stories and learn from the kids sometimes. After dinner I went and sat on top of a sand dune for a half hour. I watched the waves crashing on the shore and the light was shining through the clouds onto the ocean. It was so beautiful and nothing you could ever capture with a camera. I spent the whole time talking to God and it was so wonderful to be alone with him and talk about some things I've had on my mind for awhile. Going to chill the rest of the night before heading back to work! I just got a text that we only have 6 kids, only 1 of which is a girl!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Worn out

I didn't post last night because I was completely exhausted! Thursdays are so long! The morning session went great, nothing special that I can remember. Carnival was excellent! I got to dance the whole time which was super fun but also very tiring. The last song of the whole thing is called "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray, and man you certainly can't. My boss cut over a minute of the song out and it was STILL really long. We kept dancing and thinking it was over but it would keep going and going. I danced with one of the girls from my class during that song. She was really shy at first but by the end she was totally into it.

After carnival I lied on my bed and just listened to music and then hung out with a friend and colored. So relaxing. I forgot how much I like coloring. Then we had kid dinner. I am getting really sick of that pizza. :P And we get corn dogs for staff lunch on Thursdays so you just feel gross eating all that "healthy" food and then dancing and running around. Craig and Mitch told another hilarious story which even the High School group came to and enjoyed. I didn't have anyone to babysit after session so I had to work in the rec center. There was 4 of us working and hardly anyone in there so it was quite boring. I collapsed into bed that night. I was sleepy tired and my body was just dead. This morning I did NOT want to get up but that's okay because I have learned how to get ready in 20 minutes and not be late. :)

This morning our devotions were about the oxymoron that Jesus, Peter, Paul, and James teach us about having joy in times of suffering. Our boss mentioned my co-worker's injury last week and how none of us wanted that or liked it but we all grew from it. It was just a week ago that it happened. I still remember it from time to time but when he mentioned it again, all the memories and images came flooding back. Then during session, we took the kids to the gym to play Gladiator--the same game we had played when it happened. It was hard to have a fun time because I was remembering the whole thing. I was constantly looking around counting kids and leaders to make sure everyone was present and okay. Mitch got out and then just stayed sitting down against the wall. After class we talked about it and he was just having flashbacks too. It's crazy how something like that can stick with you so much.

This afternoon I walked around town on the beach for a bit, just thinking and praying. I love being here and hanging out with all my new friends but it is so good to have time by myself too and I don't get enough of it. I napped for an hour and could have kept sleeping until dinner except that I had to work rec center for 3 hours. Those 3 hours are always SO long, especially since hardly anyone comes in for the first 2. Tonight's session was the last with these kids and a lot of fun. Week 4 is over and gone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

War Paint

Since there is no morning session on Wednesdays, today the Program staff played against Housekeeping in dodgeball. It's my day off but I still wanted to play. We all assembled early and put face paint on while listening to pump-up music. The guys all had basketball shorts on but then right before we started they yelled out war cries and ripped them off to reveal short running shorts. It was...hilarious yet interesting. Program completely defeated Housekeeping but then we played other games switching up the teams. It was a lot of fun. After lunch and having to use a lot of makeup remover to get my war paint off, we went to the beach for the afternoon. I have only been putting 8spf on but my tan does not seem to be getting any darker while all my friends put nothing on, burn and then eventually have nice dark tans. Grrrr...maybe I will use the 4spf next time.

Wednesday nights is salmon bbq for the guests and this one time only all the staff got to eat that meal too. It was SO delicious! A bunch of us sat on the grassy hill at Whale Park while we ate. Good food, good friends, a grassy hill and sunshine made it just so wonderful and one of those moments where you just smile at how awesome life is.

I went to the adult session then with my 3 other friends who have Wednesdays off. The speaker talked about the power of the gospel and then had an invitation. One guy went forward. I realized that I haven't witnessed someone accept Christ in a long time. Neither of the churches I attend do invitations. Part of me was sad that it had been so long for me to see this. I was really struck again by how amazing Christ's gift is and what a blessing it is to become one of his followers. As the man walked forward, my friends and I all got the warm fuzzies. :)

This wonderful day ended with watching "You've Got Mail" with a lot of my friends. It was quite the movie night because the girls quoted it, the guys had never seen it and were trying to guess what would happen and I kept saying "Shhhhhhhh!" :) It was fun though.

I found out that I get to be one of the dancers on stage at the carnival tomorrow so I need to rest up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I like Australian Accents

Today's sessions went well. Nothing extraordinary or difficult. The kids are really sweet and fun to be with. We did go to the park this morning and the sprinklers would going so we played Captain Captain and had to run across the soccer field and avoid getting wet though some of the kids enjoyed soaking themselves. :/ Then tonight we went to the beach for Capture the Flag and a bonfire with s'mores. Probably the smoothest that has ever gone AND we made it back in time for worship which I think is a first.

I had Sand Sculpture shift today and there were some great ones such as a huge goldfish cracker, a horse, and a shark with a leg sticking out of its mouth. Then, during my afternoon break I napped on the beach which was wonderful and warm! Tonight I went to the worship leader's concert because one of my students told me she was Reba's sister! I had spent an hour with her as one of the judges at the sand contest but didn't know. She doesn't look that similar but when she sang I could hear a similarity and see some in the way she performed.

In regards to my title, we have a speaker here this week for staff who is from Australia an studying at Multnomah. He is talking to us about conflict this week--how it arises, how we often respond, and how we should respond. It's fun to hear how he says some words but accent aside his messages have been really good.

I am so excited for a day off tomorrow! Sleeping in for sure. :)

Oh...and running this morning failed because I hit snooze too many times and then only got to work on time because my supervisor texted me saying where we were supposed to meet in 30 minutes! whoops

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Whirlwind Weekend

I haven't blogged since Thursday and a lot has happened--a lot that I couldn't write about until now because of time and processing.

Friday morning while we were playing dodge ball, one of my co-teachers collapsed on the floor. He bit his lip and was bleeding and appeared to be having a seizure. We found out later it was not a seizure and he had just been dehydrated. He is okay and back to work now but that was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed. I am amazed at how my body kicked into adrenaline as I ran for help, got the kids back the classroom and continued playing games with them while I heard the sirens and my mind was racing. I am so thankful that all four of us were working that day, that the kids did so well, that we had a floater come in to help when we got back to the classroom, that he is okay, and that our supervisors were there for him and us so quickly. My friends were a big help too afterwards as I talked and processed through it.

Saturday I got up early to have breakfast with the kids. With the big number, split week, and incident of Friday morning it had been a crazy week. Yet, I had grown so close to the kids and it had been one of the best also. I don't normally go to breakfasts on Saturdays because it's my day off but I really wanted to say goodbye to these kids. After that I headed to Seattle with Michael and Chad for a friend's wedding that night. It was great to see my parents and talk to them in person about my experience and friends here. And even though I missed being here, it was good to get away for a couple days.

The wedding was good and a lot of fun. Usually I sit and watch the ceremony with so much excitement and dreaming, smiling at the magic and beauty of it all. I talked about it with my best friend (the groom's younger sister) at the reception though and this was the first time that we sat at a wedding and had a different feeling. We were both kinda scared. I think it really hit me that I am old enough and getting to that age where this could really happen to me soon. Some of my friends are getting to the point where proposals will start happening and then wedding planning. I have always dreamed about my wedding and planned what I want. But on Saturday, I sat in the pew looking at the bride and groom and thought about myself standing at the altar. I was realizing the full force of how big a deal it is and how soon it could be happening. I think in some ways I am ready but in other ways I am so not, which is why thankfully it is all up to God's timing and not mine. It was good to have these feelings and then be able to share with my friend later.

Sunday I went to church with my family, brunch with them and the Randolphs and then drove back to CB with friends. When I got back, I realized how much I had missed everyone! I really like my job. :)

Today was my first day with the new group of kids. Only 11 this time which is easier to manage but harder to keep entertained because we go through games so much faster. I am excited for the rest of the week and to see how it goes.

Prayer Requests--I found out that one of my friends here best friend was killed by a drunk driver today. Prayer for my friend, the boy's family, and how I can help.
--for the newly married couple and their future together
--no rain at the sand sculpture contest tomorrow

Friday, July 9, 2010

One Third

It has been one month since I got here! I cannot believe how fast that has gone and how much has happened. Jill pointed it out this morning and then finished by saying "only 2 more months" which made me so sad. I don't want to think about it right now, so I won't.

Instead, I want to think about the amazing day it was! Best Thursday of the summer so far. Thursdays are very long and tiring with morning session, carnival, kid dinner, evening session, and babysitting. Usually I am stressed, frazzled, tired, upset, disappointed, etc by the middle of evening session. But today was different. Morning session went great, nothing special or awful. Carnival was fun. THANKFULLY it was overcast and nice and cool today. Ugh, if we had to set up, dance, play games, and tear down in yesterday's heat!!! I worked the Door Prize table today and my brother bought me an elephant ear. :) Then I went to the beach with Michael, Chad, and friends for volleyball and skim boarding. Kid dinner was fine followed by another hilarious story by Mitch and Craig that lasted over 20 minutes. Then we played games at the park followed by the salvation lesson. It was really neat tonight because the kids started a lot of discussion and we talked a lot. There are three kids that were glued to me all night and I loved it--two little girls and one boy. They wanted to sit by me, walk with me, talk to me, hug me--sigh! I really needed that after such a hard day on Monday. Babysitting was fine tonight too. It was one of the girls in my class so we went to the talent show, the park, and the rec center. I was really tired of carpet ball and Sorry! but she was having a blast so it was good.

Now off to bed to rest up for my last day before a weekend off! I am SO excited to see my parents. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heat Wave

So on Monday we were wearing pants and sweatshirts and then today it was 94 and standing in the shade was too much! Not much of a gradual weather change here. Being my day off, I slept in and then being Jill's birthday we went out to lunch to celebrate! Zach, Olivia, Jill and I went and had pizza and then ice cream and finally decided to go to the beach where it would be cooler. We ran straight into the ocean to cool off and the numbing cold felt so refreshing. Some of our friends came and joined us when they got off work and my brother, Michael, and friend, Chad, arrived in town and came too. After enjoying the beach and sunshine for 3 hours, I took a nice cold shower that felt so good. Unfortunately I was sweaty and gross again 10 minutes later when I stepped outside in my khakis and navy polo ready for the intro song at dinner.

Even though it was my day off, I switched with the other girl in my group covering for her tonight so she could go see Lion King in Portland with her brother and she will cover for me on Sunday. Today was the first day of the 2nd half of our split week so we had a bunch of new kids tonight in addition to the 10 or so that are staying all week. We did worship outside again but it was much cooler tonight and then two of the guy leaders tag-teamed telling an awesome and hilarious story that kept all 74 kids quiet and entertained for a good 20 minutes.

After session I headed to the park with Michael and Chad for ultimate frisbee with staff. However, we decided not to play and grabbed a cookie (thanks mom!) from their car and then sat on the swings and talked about memories of Cannon Beach. It is so nice to have them here to visit and have them meet my friends and talk about old times before they both head off to college in August. :(

I need to get to bed now because tomorrow is going to be a long day, as Thursdays always are.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Sun Came Out!

And it was glorious!

Today's sessions were better than last night but still chaotic. We were able to go to the park in the morning and the beach tonight and play some running games so that helped. However, rinsing the tie-dye pillow cases out has never been so messy! There was water ALL over the girls' bathroom floor and regardless of how many times we said the instructions the kids still didn't listen and had to be told again. And again. After this madness we took them to the beach for Capture the Flag, lesson, and then bonfire and s'mores. It was sandy, smoky, and sticky. But we all made it back with a bit of extra sand in their shoes and marshmallow all over their faces. I'm really sad that so many of the kids are leaving tomorrow because with the chaos I have not been able to really get to know these kids. Tomorrow we have a whole bunch of new kids come.

In between sessions today I went to the beach with a bunch of my staff. It was so beautiful, sunny, and warm out. I attempted some reading but fell asleep for awhile. I woke up very hot and went down to the ocean to try skim-boarding and cool off. I did the splits the first time--the mistake of putting one foot on first. The second time I rode for about 3 seconds then fell off. Then we headed back for fast showers and cool treats from the coach house. I walked around town to renew my library book and get my kite repaired, got a 5minute guitar lesson from my friend and then dinner. After session I watched my friends play Wii.

As I look at the clock I'm debating whether or not I will get up to go to breakfast with the kids. I am not scheduled to work by going to breakfast but I can go if I want to, aka if I want to be in the dining room at 7:15 for one last time with the kids and really good food. enh....we shall see

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm a Pony (a little hoarse)

This is going to be short because I am so tired and need some rest for tomorrow. I am so exhausted because those 18 children wore me out today, oh and the beach volleyball might have a bit to do with it too.

The kids this week do not listen. We had 4 leaders tonight. All of us are pretty tough with making the kids raise their hands and saying to be quiet but it did no good. My throat hurts so bad from having to be louder than them or saying things over and over. I hope tomorrow goes better!

My Bible study was refreshing and relaxing though, which is nice.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Unusual 4th of July

This morning I totally forgot it was the 4th of July. It wasn't until I noticed the kids running around the gym and how much red and blue they were wearing!

Last night my supervisor had warned me about a couple things with this group of kids: cellphones and don't listen. I was a little nervous heading into this morning since only 2 of us work and the supervisor has today and tomorrow off. Cell phones were not an issue because I said I would take them if I saw or heard them. But my goodness I have not had to yell so loud to get their attention. Such a bunch of loud talkers! I think I might lose my voice this week.

After session (which was an hour shorter today thanks to the holiday!), a bunch of us staff gathered on the sidewalk in front of the conference center to watch the parade. As we waited, we sung various Patriotic songs at the top of our lungs. People around us took pictures and applauded. The parade was really fun with lots of candy and big dogs.

Then a group of us decided to go on an adventure to a cool lookout point. Well, we realized we didn't know exactly where it was so we stopped at this parking lot for a hike and headed out even though some of us (me included) were wearing flip-flops or white shoes. The sign said 2.5 miles but we only made it 100 yards before deciding to turn around. Then we drove to Hug Point but instead of going down to the beach we went on this crazy adventure on a "trail" over logs, around sticker-bushes, under branches, up cliffs. It was insane but really fun. The whole time it was a misty rain so we were wet and dirty. We eventually did make it down to the beach and hung out for a bit and then a couple of the guys decided to take a quick swim in the water. The spontaneity, craziness, and fun of our adventure was so great and felt like something that college kids are supposed to do. :)

Evening session was good. We played the Jr. High kids in dodgeball. After beating them last week I was really surprised to show up and see they had twice as many kids as us and this week their kids were all a lot bigger! Thankfully no one got hurt. I was supposed to have a babysitting shift tonight but no one requested it. Usually the babysitters then help out in the Rec Center but with so few people there tonight our boss said 2 of the 5 of us could go with the staff group to the fireworks show in a nearby town. We talked amongst ourselves and me and another girl got to go. I am so glad I was able to. It was great! 22 minutes of intense, huge, loud, colorful, and awesome fireworks!

Today was quite unlike all previous 4th of Julys. No barbecue, no boating, no sunny weather, but it was still really fun!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Two Weeks Down

Thursday once again was long, crazy, stressful, and exhausting. The rainy weather prevented the carnival from happening outside and we had to stay indoors during the kid dinner and long evening session too. After session I had babysitting for three little kids. Even though the 8-month old cried for 20 minutes as I rocked him, it was so refreshing to hold a baby and made me miss all the little babies back home.

Friday morning the kids were as tired as us so it was a mellow and easy session and then Friday night was a fun-filled finish followed by a staff bonfire.

Today is my day off and I'm just catching up on sleep, laundry, reading, and relaxing. Getting rested up for a crazy week ahead! It is a split week and we are actually going to have more kids than the first week!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time flies when you're at the beach

It has been 3 weeks since I got here! It is flying by. :(

Yesterday was my day off. I went for a run again after not going for over a week and it felt really good. I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and chatting with friends. Then I went to hear the adult session followed by Retro Bowling night for the staff, which was very fun! They turned the main lights off so people's retro clothes were glowing in the dark. I got two strikes and everyone was dancing! A Reese's McFlurry finished that great night.

Today is drizzly so we had the carnival inside which worked out fine but is not desirable because we have to do less booths. I'm starting to get in a routine here with work, Bible studies, and such. The kids are so sweet and wonderful.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today, was a good day!

This is a picture of my three great friends here! We are so close already it is crazy. From left to right is Olivia, Jill, me, and Katie. Today and yesterday were Katie's days off so she went home and it crazy how much I missed her being with us. We laugh and talk so much I feel like we've been friends forever. I'm so blessed to have made such good friends here to walk through this crazy awesome summer together with.

The morning session today was fine, nothing spectacular, nothing awful. It was wonderful to have 5 hours of free time this afternoon for relaxing, resting, and hanging out with friends. In preparing for tonight's session, I felt that we really needed to bring things down a notch for this week's group of kids. The games we played last week were too complicated and not fun for these kids, so tonight we tried out charades, freeze tag, and coloring. The result = success! The kids all seemed much more open tonight. We planned to let them color for the first 15 minutes but a half hour later they were still drawing, laughing, telling stories and we were having a great time! I was able to make the stubborn boy smile and laugh several times tonight. He participated in more games and even volunteered to read verses for the lesson. He still won't sing at worship but it's such an improvement! I was so happy that our adaptations worked so well and kept the kids engaged and happy. When they were all coloring and talking with one another, no problems and no craziness, I got that feeling back--the one that says "yes, this is what I want to do with my life!"

After session I had my Bible study. I was really reluctant about it because I couldn't be in the same one with my friends since I have babysitting the night they all chose. Also, I didn't know the leader or who else was in my group. But...I love it! The lady leading it is really cool and I like her a lot already. The girls in my group are wonderful. One of them has been hard for me to read and figure her out but she helped in my class today and then was in my Bible study and we've started a little friendship that proved itself tonight on the stairs when she greeted me in a silly way and we chatted for a bit.

As if the evening wasn't going great enough, I went for a walk on the beach with Katie to share about our last couple of days. We have encouraging conversations. She comes up with the best analogies! I told her she should submit some to The Daily Bread or write devotions. I love the way she can look at a simple thing such as the tide or rumble strips on the highway and learn a lesson about our walk with God! Then Zach, Olivia, and Jill joined us and we continued the great talks.

How can so much awesome stuff have happened in 3 weeks? They have flown by, but I have soaked in every second.

Prayer Request--that I would take time for myself and to be alone with God in spite of the awesome people I want to hang out with.

Praises--that I am getting through to that boy.
--that the children reminded me of why I am here and why I am in college.
--that I have friends who listen and encourage and pray for me
--that God turns a second-option (Bible study night) into an exciting chance for new friendships and growth.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One week to make a difference

Today was my first day with the kids of this second week. We have 11 which is much more manageable than last week. The kids also seem quieter and younger especially when it comes to the games they like. There is one boy who does not want to play any games, sing any songs, or participate in the lesson. Most of what he says is mean and negative. I really want to get through to that kid. I want so bad for him to be singing and doing motions, playing all games and smiling once in awhile by the end of this week.

I had a babysitting shift tonight but no kids so I went to help out in the Rec Center. Some men came in and one looked really familiar. I did a double-take and realized it was Lightyear Luke! He had been my Kids Klub teacher when I came here and was the coolest ever. He asked for a basketball and before handing it over I asked if he remembered. With a little help he totally did! It was so great to see him and chat a bit. It's so crazy to think that 10 years ago, I was 10 years old and in his class. And now...I'm doing what he did and he's a 5th grade elementary teacher with two little kids! He's going to have me and some of the other staff who used to be in his class over for dinner later this summer. That will be such a fun time.

Oh! And another random meeting. Staff gets to eat in the main dining room on Sunday nights with the guests and I was with my friends. I looked over and there is one of my professors who is also the dean of the School of Education. I went over to say Hi and we talked for a bit. She went to Ecola Bible school at one point and then worked Wait Staff here at CBCC! She said she had been looking around at the staff because usually one of her students is here. Small world!

Okay well I need to get some sleep.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Day of R&R

Today was my day off which meant sleeping in, doing laundry, calling friends and laying on the beach. I also had the best coffee drink ever from Bella Espresso called a French Kiss Latte which is now my favorite. It is white chocolate, Irish cream, and good!!! And I also got sunburned. :( I was talking to a friend on the phone for about a half hour and apparently that is too long for me to go without sunscreen. Dang it! Only the very front of my arms are burned and then my neck and upper chest. However, I was wearing a large round shell necklace so there is a great outline of that on my neck! boooooo! Thankfully our uniform shirts have high collars and pretty long sleeves.

A few friends from SPU came to visit this evening. It was good to see them. We hung out on the beach, walked around town, and ate dinner at Mo's. I had a delicious shrimp dinner with 3 kinds of shrimp and french fries. I also had my first clam chowder. Didn't love it, but it wasn't bad and I ate it all.

Then I met up with friends from staff after the first session for a bonfire. We always have a great time talking and laughing together. There are a lot of bunnies here and tonight some of the guys were chasing this one around that kept coming back to our fire. It is so funny to watch them chase the bunnies. Then we realized why the bunny kept coming back, it was a momma guarding her little burrow of 3 babies near our fire!

Prayer Requests:
--one of the 4-5s leaders got sick and is in quarantine. Prayer that he would feel better and be able to come out soon because he is so lonely and bored.

--we only have 11 kids in class this week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Week Down

I said goodbye to the kiddos tonight. It's hard to believe the week is already over. It was busy, crazy, fun and very eye-opening. I learned a lot and I'm excited to head into next week with 1/2 the amount of kids!

Prayer Requests:
--for all the new kids coming

--My dad passed his kidney stone!
--Tomorrow is my day off!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Had the worst feeling ever!

Before I get to explaining the title, there is a lot that happened today!

I started off by missing breakfast because apparently Thursday's are the only day it ends at 8 instead of 8:30! I will remember this in the future since a granola bar did not suffice. This morning's session was GREAT! The weather was beautiful so we went to the park. The kids were great and listened and didn't cause any major problems. The time flew by and we felt great after the session. Then everyone donned 60's outfits and we set up and hosted the first carnival. It was a lot of fun and went great. I ran the Ping-Pong ball toss table and assisted with some face painting at the end. Then we had a 2 hour break and it was sunny so a bunch of us headed to the beach! It was SO wonderful to finally lay out on the beach and soak in the sun. Most of the people were skim boarding but I just chilled with my boss Ellen and a couple other girls. The end of my break was filled with a great conversation with my friend Taylor. We were on Hall Council together this past year at SPU and become really good friends. We always have such great deep conversations and today was no exception. It was really good and fun to catch up and share with each other about some cool stuff.

Evening session...SO unlike the peaceful morning, which must have been the calm before the worst storm ever. Thursday night's is a long session because we have dinner with the kids so their parent can have a night of dinner for themselves. Having the kids for 3 1/2 hours wears down everyone. We had more injuries, more tears, more "she wasn't very nice/she hit me" tattles, more flying sand, more puppy-guarding in Capture the Flag, and more "cheating" in dodge ball than I could ever have imagined! 4-5s, Kids Klub, and K2 all meet together for worship and I could see on all the other teacher's faces that tonight was not going well for anyone. Whenever we move from one location to the next, I count the kids. MANY TIMES! Tonight was no exception. We left worship and I started counting: 19. hmm....we're supposed to have 20. Maybe I missed one. Count again: 19. Okay, let's stop and re-form a single-file line. Count again: 19. Uhhh....okay who is missing? They must have gone with the other teacher back the classroom. Let's all go back and see. Reach classroom and the other teacher is there but no kid. Count all again. 19!!! I am now panicking. I tell my supervisor that we are missing someone and trying to think how that could have happened from downstairs in the worship room to our classroom. A couple seconds go by and then he remembers and states that the little boy was feeling sick so he took him to our boss!!! My heart almost stopped. Tears welled up in my eyes and I was shaking so bad. I was SO relieved! Yet I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of losing a kid. I was on the verge of tears with all the mixed emotions and the kids were asking what was wrong with me. My supervisor said "she's okay guys. Spike just loves you guys a lot and got really scared that someone was missing." I never want to experience that again!

After about 10 more minutes of chaos session was finally out. All 3 of us were exhausted, stressed, and frustrated. We talked and prayed and then left. I quickly texted my friends saying I hope their night had been better than mine, that I had almost cried in class, and we should meet to debrief later. I had an evening babysitting shift which I was not looking forward to because it was the problem girl from my class and after a night like that I wanted to just talk, cry, laugh, and pray with my friends. Babysitting was actually great though. She was really good being by herself and it was wonderful to hold a baby. After all the kids were asleep I was able to just read and sit in silence for a half hour! When the parents returned I went to meet my friends who had been chilling at the Coach House for awhile and who greeted me with hugs, ice cream, listening, and laughter. After I shared my story, I found out that the nursery, 4-5s, and 1st-3rd graders (Kids Klub) had just as rough a time as us. All of the babies were screaming in nursery so the girls were walking them all around the rec center. One kids threw up A LOT and multiple times in 4-5s (too much food before running games). I think someone peed their pants a few times. Kids Klub had similar issues as us and then a mom came up after session had been out twenty minutes and really had lost her kid, which they found after searching all over! Midkids had a great night thankfully with no injuries or problems at all!

Tonight as a I sang worship with all the kids I looked out at one teacher's face. He looked so defeated and I knew though that there is something he loves about his job to keep coming back summer after summer. Tonight was not one of those nights to make you want to come back. But I know the good times will come and the bad times have to as well, for growth and to make us appreciate the good.

I don't think I will have any trouble falling asleep tonight!

Prayer Request--that I would have enthusiasm and love for the children tomorrow, not remembering tonight.
--that I would never lose a child

Praise--our boss's dad does NOT have MS! Not sure what it is, but at least it's narrowed down.
--for my amazing friends from school, home, and here who helped me through this day and everyday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Much-Needed Day Off

After three days of conferences, I was very ready to sleep in until 10am this morning! For my day off, I went to Portland with three friends. We had a great time listening to music, singing, laughing, and telling stories during the car rides there and back. We shopped around a bit and had a wonderful lunch at this floating cafe by the river. We had some great conversations that were very thought-provoking. I've had friends ask me how it is going and I can't give a one-word answer. Instead I say something more like:
amazing, tiring, convicting, encouraging, thought-provoking, crazy, wonderful, and fun.

I feel a little overwhelmed tonight after all our great conversations and the thoughts running through my head. I have so many things I want to work on and change and I feel so far behind. But, it's only been two weeks that I've been here and I have 10 more weeks for the growth and changes I want to work on.

Prayer Requests:
--my dad is still dealing with the kidney stone. The meds help lessen and decrease the amount of pain but the issue isn't over.
--that I would not get overwhelmed and discouraged with the big picture of my goals but focus on daily, baby steps.
--for my mom's last couple of days of VBS and her teaching to the children

--for my great friends here and from SPU that are there for me and will have deep conversations with me

I like campfires, but not smelling like them

Here is the K2 staff all dressed up for the intro skit!

Well, Day 2 of Conferences is done. This morning went great. Started out with a run to Haystack and a walk back during which I found a nickel-sized whole Sand Dollar! During session, we went to the park for games, lesson, and worship. I taught the lesson today and it went really well I think. I was teaching about God's power and love using Psalm 29, Matthew 6:26, and Romans 5:8. Psalm 29 mentions that God's voice can break the cedars. To demonstrate how powerful He is, I had a finger-width stick about two feet long that I broke pretty easily. Then I had all 18 kids and us 3 leaders hold hands and stand in a circle to show the width of a giant cedar (Redwood/Sequoia) tree and how God can snap it with just a word. I hope it was a good illustration to explain the point to the kids. After session and lunch, I was on sand sculpture shift meaning I went around to the different groups asking their names and what they were making. After the contest, we typed up a certificate for every participant and then we ate dinner with the guests and handed them out.

Evening session was quite different from the calm morning time. We tried to do too much in one evening I think. We tie-dyed the pillowcases for the craft and then went to the beach for lesson, bonfire, and s'mores. It was quite chaotic and messy all night. I am so surprised that I didn't get any dye on me with the way some kids were flinging and squirting it around. I am also surprised I didn't lose an eye or get marshmallow in my hair with all the sticks and roasted white puffs shoved my way to be made into s'mores. One little girl in particular was quite a handful tonight and I was very frazzled after class because she had not listened to any instructions and her energy was causing problems in all the activities.

After session, I met up with friends and we all quickly shared about our crazy evenings. Hopefully our eyes will look less glazed as the days go by. We always have funny stories or horror stories to share. Some kids are always getting hurt, others are adorable, some won't talk, others don't stop, and we all count 47 times because we're so afraid to lose a kid! To de-frazzle, we went to the intro Bible study session about Galatians put on by 2 of our 3 Summer Staff Ministers. All of staff is required to attend a weekly Bible study throughout the summer and I'm really excited to dig into Galatians.

After this, my friend Katie finished her babysitting shift and come to find out she had been with this really sweet, adorable little girl who was one in the same as the handful that had frazzled me only a couple hours earlier. Katie told me that this little girl was going on and on about how much she loved her leaders, the lessons, the songs, the games, and was so happy we had done the bonfire and tie-dye tonight. What a God thing for my friend to babysit this girl, of all 153 kids here this week and to then come tell me this. It was such an encouragement to know that even when it seems a kid is just doing their own thing and making me crazy, I am still having an impact and making a great week for them. Katie and I then spent awhile sitting on the beach looking at the moon and stars talking about our crazy day, our hopes for the summer and after college graduation. I am amazed at how close I have become to some of the staff here in only 12 days! My friend Zach has mentioned that "anyone who is willing to give up their summer to work with kids is an pretty cool to begin with" which is why I think we all immediately clicked and the friendships are so great and deep so fast.

Tomorrow is my day off and I'm very excited to take a break from meetings and little kids and relax. I'm going on an adventure to Portland with Jill, Olivia, and Zach, it's going to be great!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Finally Came!

The first day of conferences that is. It was nerve-wracking at first, chaotic in the middle, and exhausting at the end, but...I love it! We had 18 kids tonight and it was a lot of fun. First of all, we did the intro skit at dinner for all the guests which went really well. We sang Christmas Carols, Cannon Beach Style of course, and then each age group had a dance and it looked great! We practiced a lot so it was nice to see it pay off so well. In between the games, singing, learning names, and coloring, I was able to pause for a couple minutes and look at all of them and just smile. I am excited to get to know them all better this week.

Okay I need to go to bed. Running tomorrow morning after ditching it for two days and then have a full day with the kiddos!

Prayer Request--that I don't get sick. My nose is a little stuffy and the other girl leader in my group has been sick. I am taking stuff to prevent it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's getting close!

The families arrive tomorrow! We start teaching tomorrow! I'm excited and nervous at the same time. It's going to feel good to start our actual work and put all our training into practice.

Quick update of yesterday--we had more training, teacher practice, and decorating. After dinner all of program staff drove to a beach to hang out for a couple hours. We played baseball, volleyball, soccer, football, and had a fire to roast hot dogs and s'mores. Then a bunch of us went to our boss's parents house and squeezed into their tiny living room to play a hilarious game of catch phrase.

The weather has been mostly overcast here with the two Saturdays as sunny exceptions. It's raining today but hopefully the sun will start shining more so I can start working on that tan! ;)

Prayer Requests--final preparations for the kids coming tomorrow.

Praises--My wonderful father who has been such a big part of my life. I love him so much!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Day of Chillaxin

Not much to report today. We got the day off of training but had to attend new staff orientation from 8:30 to 3 to learn about policies, safety, and customer service. Then I practiced with some friends for the worship service on Sunday night. It was really fun to get to sing again. I didn't realize how much I missed singing with the worship team at church during the summer. Then I spent a few hours on the beach talking and laughing with some of my good friends here. We stayed out until the sunset even though we were freezing and now we are watching Sleepless in Seattle! It's been great to have some time with just girls today and have some good conversations.

During orientation we made some personal goals of what we hope to accomplish this summer. Here are some of mine plus a few extra not-so-serious ones.
~re-establish a daily quiet time. At college it was so easy to let that slide and I really want to get back into the habit.
~use less sarcasm, especially when it is used to tease someone and is not encouraging even though they know I'm joking.
~while I'm away from and missing family and friends to grow in my own identity. To figure out who I am and who I want to be and base that identity in Christ. And with that to focus on being content with what He has planned for my life right now and learning to grow in my current situation rather than wanting something else.
~share the love of Jesus with children and see some come to know the Lord and others grow in their understanding
~gain a good understanding of 4-5th graders to know better if I would like to teach those grades for student teaching and career
~get a nice tan
~read most of the books on my list
~blog every day
~run to Haystack and back (about 2 miles) 6 days a week

Prayer Requests--my dad went to the ER today for a kidney stone and is home now but is still in a lot of pain. He will wait a couple of days to see if something needs to be done.
--for the last few days of training and preparation.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Week has passed

This is a picture of my K2 team from our photo scavenger hunt the other day. Left to right is Mitch, Amber, Me, and Bruce.

Hard to believe that I have been here one week. In one week I have made about 50 new friends, have run over 4.5 miles, and learned so many great things in preparation for the kids coming on Monday. Which, by the way, we've heard that this first conference is going to be one of the biggest of the summer with over 150 kids! That's a little nerve-wracking starting like that but I know it will be good.

Today we ran again in spite of being VERY sore. Thankfully our day off is tomorrow because the arch of my left foot hurts and is tender on every step. Not sure why? We spent the morning learning about first aid (which we are only allowed to do band-aids and ice) and then spent more time preparing our lessons. During the extra long lunch break, I ate really fast so I could take a quick nap. Then I woke up and put on my bathing suit even though it was mid 50s and raining. Am I crazy? Well maybe, but not in this instance. We had a practice carnival today for us to learn how everything works and for the kids in the after-school program to have a fun last day and the bathing suit was needed because I was working the dunk tank station! It was actually really fun and I would do it again. The water was warm so sitting on the bench was cold and I wanted the kids to hit the target. Then we had dinner and a K2 staff outing to Seaside to ride bumper cars and then we watched the Final NBA game. I really could care less about basketball but I will watch it and like knowing to dislike the Yankees (but why exactly I don't know?), I know to also dislike the Lakers so I joined in the booing throughout the game. :) I finished off the night with some more volleyball which was fun although not as intense and fun as the other night. Headed to be now and so excited to sleep in a bit since we aren't running!
I have pictures but my computer is being retarded right now and won't read the card so I will post those tomorrow hopefully.

Prayer Requests:
~healing for my toe. I had a run-in with a bed the last week of school and it ripped my nail which came off today. It doesn't hurt but is vulnerable and gross.
~My boss' dad (Papa K, who also works here on grounds crew) has had some tests the last few days to find a reason for his limping and weakening lately. There is a possibility it is MS and he has had 2 uncles die from it. Please pray for my boss as she helps her parents and for comfort and peace for Papa K as he is quite shaken up and scared right now. Also prayer that upon more tests and examination, the Doctors would have a definite answer and that God would heal him.

Blogging error

This link goes with the previous post since it for some reason did not work in that post.

99 Balloons

Children are so precious

K, it's late, I'm tired but I have something I really want to share so here's a real quick update of what I did today. Jog to Haystack and back, which I am VERY proud of and still kinda in shock that I did it. Learned about classroom management, learned how to strip and make a bed and clean a bathroom according to the housekeeping system here, made and practiced a skit to introduce our age group at the first dinner when guests arrive (our song is "Get Your Kicks on Route 66"), cleaned our classroom, made posters and worked on lesson plans, watched our boss's son win a little league baseball game, and attended Bible study. Very fun and long day. It is always hard to remember at night what I did that day. Now to what I really want to share.

Two hours ago I said goodnight to my parents on the phone and said I was going to bed. However, a Facebook comment informed me that my friends were playing games and I should come join. Against my better judgment since I was really tired and was getting up to run again tomorrow morning, I went to hang out with them thinking that once conferences started we might not have as much hang out time as now. When I arrived, they were done playing games and were now watching youtube videos of babies laughing, people getting hit in the head, and cute puppies. After laughing a lot, one guy showed us the following video:
We were all speechless and some were crying. We kinda talked then about how children are a parent's most prized possession and we have the responsibility for one week to protect them and teach them about God. Something I thought of was how amazing the dedication and love displayed by these parents, making so many sacrifices for their beloved son. The love of a parent is great, but how much more is God's love for each of us? And yet, how often do we ignore, postpone, or avoid that love? As a future teacher, I already was aware of my responsibility to prepare children for the world but this video made that so much clearer. Children are a gift from God. Life is a gift from God. Each day these parents celebrated with their child. Do we thank God for each day of life? I know I don't. I know I get stuck in a rut of "it's just another ordinary day." Children are a gift from God, and as a leader here this summer, I have a responsibility to take care of them and be a part of making that day special for them. I am still kind of speechless and amazed at the love of God.

And on that note, good night!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Such a wonderful day!

Wow! It's almost midnight but I cannot sleep. I have so much energy right now. I just finished playing some amazing indoor volleyball with my staff. Some of the best volleyball I have ever played. It is so much fun when other people know how to play well and you can get some good rallies and plays. Mmmm I love that sport so much!

well that was the end of my day, but rewinding, I woke up at 6:45 to join a good number of my staff for a run on the beach. The guys went all the way to Haystack and back but us few girls half jogged, half ran just part of the way and then back. Baby steps right? We are going again tomorrow and I'm actually really excited. Except the cold air makes my ears hurt really bad, so I need to find a solution for that. Hmmm

Today we learned about the philosophy of games, housekeeping, dress code, policies, the words and motions to all the songs we will be singing (my personal favorite from back in the day at CBCC "Pharaoh Pharaoh" included), and what to do if the tsunami siren goes off. We also spent time scheduling our days off (I get Wednesdays and Saturdays!) and which lessons we will each be teaching. During our break we hung out at the playground telling 30-second life stories and having swinging competitions during which I was accused of cheating because my legs are so long. Gee thanks!

After all our "work" for the day and dinner, the girls on Program Staff had a movie night (She's the Man) and then I was informed of the volleyball game starting, which brings me to 10 mintues til midnight and no sleepiness whatsoever.

I know it will get harder once the conferences actually start and it will start to feel more like work, but right now, it seems that I am the one at summer camp--making so many great friends and having way too much fun.

The theme verse we teach the kids all summer is Proverbs 3:5-6. Though it comes up often, it is a great one to keep in mind. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Our hand motions for the last phrase have our two hands parallel to each other but swerving all around like a winding path and then they snap to a straight path. It was a good visual reminder of how when we look to our own understanding, we can be going all over the place completely passing opportunities by or makings things harder for ourselves. If we trust God, the craziness gets straightened out and He makes it clear what we should be doing. Not always right away and often little bits at a time, but it's better than our crazy maneuvers.

And now I will sign out, not as Hannah, but as Spike. This will be my nickname all summer. Everyone from K2 age group down has a nickname for the kids to call us by. The only thing I could think of was something to do with the meaning of my last name "baby porcupine" but I didn't want to be "porcupine" or "porky" so my supervisor suggested Spike and I loved it because it fit with that and also my love for volleyball.

And now to attempt getting some sleep.