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.