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 caramel...so 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.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Exchanging Dirt for a Towel

Whoops, I forgot to write yesterday. We got Sunday off, which was so nice to relax after two busy days. I went to breakfast at Pig 'n Pancake with my friends Jill and Zach and then we went to Cannon Beach Bible Church. I thought my home church was small! This church was tiny with about 40 people and 15 of us were program staff from CBCC. It was a good sermon and the pastor used lots of Greek words which was fun because I tried to remember them from fall quarter and would write them on my bulletin. After lunch I went to Seaside with a new friend in search of a watch. I did not find one but bought some cute earrings instead. Then I napped and walked on the beach while calling some people. Then the three Summer Staff Ministers hosted SNL (Sunday Night Live) with some worship and sharing their testimonies. It was a really cool time and afterwards I had a lot of great laughs with some new friends.

Today we had more decoration and then learned about all the paperwork we have to do to keep track of kids, injuries, our hours, days off, etc. :S After the not-so-fun stuff we split into our age groups and went on a photo scavenger hunt requiring us to get pictures with big dogs, little dogs, Haystack Rock, several restaurants, seagulls, rolling down a sand dune, and more fun things. After dinner, my table hung around for an hour and a half having the most random and hilarious conversation. I got a great ab workout from all the laughter. I think it's going to be a fun summer. :)

Getting to the title of my post...one of the parts of training today was about thinking about the dirt we brought with us to Cannon Beach and what it is we need to give up to God so we can focus on Him and our task to serve (towel = washing feet) the kids, their families, and our co-workers this summer. It was really powerful. As I sat looking at my cup of dirt, I thought about the past year. Wow, so much has happened. A lot of good, some bad, some awesome, and some awful. I am so blessed that God gave me this opportunity to work here. I'm missing out on seeing my family and friends and doing so many other things this summer, but it's for a reason--because He wants me here to learn something, to grow, to touch people's lives and be touched as well. I know what I've been holding on to, what to give up to Him and I've known for awhile and tried. But tonight as we were asked to do this again after so many convicting sermons at Bethany this year I still realize, I don't really know the "how". I know the "what" and "why" but applying it is not clicking for me. God has so much prepared and planned for me, better than I could ever imagine. Why can't I just give it all to Him and follow? How do I let go? I don't know that there's an easy answer. I think maybe it's just something I have to do each morning: wake up, give it to Him and then live that day with God in my sights. It sounds simple so why am I making it so difficult?

Lots of things to think and pray about. Right now I need to sleep though because somehow I convinced my crazy (not really) new girlfriends that I would run to Haystack with them at 7am. :P

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I get paid to have fun!

I would love to write a little something each day this summer so I can remember all the awesome, fun, memorable, and God things that happen. Today was day 2 of training and I got paid to have fun! We spent the morning doing a challenge course. I did this really fun swing thing. You get in a harness and run down a hill while eight other people run the opposite direction pulling the rope attached to your harness that runs through a pulley 30ft in the air. This catapults you up and then you swing. It was so much fun. After that we decorated classrooms...I drew and cut out dozens of crystals for the 4-5 year old room's theme of journey to the center of the earth. And today we finally found out the age group we will be working with. I got K2 (4-5th grade) which is exactly what I wanted and I was really excited. My team is not complete yet because some people are still arriving but so far the guy and girl seem cool. In our separate groups we then had a sand sculpture contest. Our awesome VW bug(very detailed) on a road did not win grand prize although we kept in line with our Route 66 theme.

After dinner, a handful of us walked to Haystack Rock and back and then sat and talked on the beach until the sunset. I finished the night playing 3-on-3 basketball with 5 of the guys on staff. I made one basket all night :( Those jr. high skills are a little rusty apparently.

All in all it was a wonderful day! I think I'm really going to like this place. Not that I had a doubt before, but it's very confirmed now. I can't wait for the guests and kids to arrive, but I don't want to rush things because I feel like this summer will already fly by too fast.

Off to bed now and I get to sleep in a bit since we have tomorrow off and church isn't until late morning.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Dream Come True

I've pinched myself a couple times but the sound of waves and the feeling of sand between my toes won't go away. I am really spending my entire summer working at Cannon Beach! I have wanted to do this ever since we came here over ten years ago. What a blessing for it to work out this summer.

I drove down yesterday with a friend who goes to school with me and is also working here. My housing situation had been changed a few times and I requested a switch from the old, tiny dorms to the new and nicer ones. Unfortunately the room I got was not that great, teeny tiny storage that was mostly taken over by the two other girls. Everything was dirty so I had to clean before unpacking. Oh, and one of the girls had pet bugs in cages and apparently some got out today? ewww So, I was able to request a room switch with my friend from school and two other cools in a bigger, cleaner, and bug-free room! I'm all moved in and decorated.

I made myself a promise that I will go to the beach everyday this summer. How could you not when it's about 100 yards away?

I am working on Program staff which is with the children and I find out tomorrow what age group I get! The staff seem really fun so far. Training was long and full of those "learn everyone's name" games. We had our first of many bonfires tonight. It was so fun to see the stars and getting to know some fun people by asking all sorts of crazy questions.

I should probably go to bed now so I can function tomorrow. We have to do a challenge course.