Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Fun

So, I have thought about blogging tons since I posted last, but then something would come up and I just didn't make it here. It's so good to stop, take a moment, and write about what's up. I'm writing this more for me than for you, but, you can read it if you'd like. This Summer is shaping up with some amazingly good memories. *grin*

I've been to Worlds of Fun twice with my friend, Sonya. We have rode the Mamba, the huge roller coaster, several times already. I am now REALLY afraid of heights,(age has brought this on) so as we go up the 205 feet long hill I sing Jesus Loves the Little Children. I'm not even kidding. I don't look around I just look at my feet. Totally. Then when we are about to do the hill, I look up. Sonya said as we were about to go down the first hill at one point, "This is the best part!" I agreed. She grabbed my hand on another trip on the coaster. It's fun to have such a fun friend to ride rides with this Summer. *grin* I still have my hands up, and love every moment of it. *grin*

I did a Royals Game with my brother and sister in law. That was really cool. I think we all got some sun, even with using the sun tan lotion. We had fun, and I was incredibly blessed to spend some time with them. We left before the game was over, but I was glad to see that we had won because lately when I have watched the games, we lose. I was glad we won. *grin*

Last week I also saw Def Leppard and Poison at the Sprint Center with family and friends. The show was a lot of fun, even with it being a blast to the past. *grin* We were up really high, and that kinda had me stressed, but overall it was fun. My brother takes really good care of me at all events like that. I don't listen to either artist any more on a regular basis, but it was fun to sing along with the bands for an evening. Truly.

Tutoring is now underway and I'm enjoying getting in the swing of things by doing game-based activities. The kids have enjoyed it too. I miss the kids, but don't tell them that! *grin*

I purchased a new bed a few weeks ago and am breaking it in. My old bed had been from my childhood. It is so good to have my first "new" bed. Totally. *grin* Sleep has been a big priority this summer, as I HATE the feeling of being tired. It has been fun to sleep, take naps, etc. Very cool.

I'm reading when I can too. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, and I'm enjoying the time to read this Summer. I love it!

This coming week I have various activities planned, with VBS three nights this week.

I love Summer. Love my job, but also love Summer.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Making Memories

I sit here tonight with Karen gone, and I wish I could rewind time and live the past 24 hours all over again. However, that's not how He chose time to work. *grin* So I am sitting here thinking about what I haven't written but want to remember. This is totally a post for me more than you, but if you want to go ahead and read on, you can. I am blessed that you take a few minutes to read my journey this side of Heaven. Truly. *grin*

1. Sleeping in is one of my favorite Summer activities. I will admit, the older I get, the earlier "sleeping in" can be. At the same time, I don't mind. Just getting to sleep and not need to be anywhere right away is a blessing beyond words.

2. Karen and I enjoy talking and bouncing things off each other. I love it, and it was a priceless couple of days. Truly. I am blessed to have Karen in my life. Totally. *grin*

3. Karen and I did the Prayer Room and Prophecy Rooms. It was a REALLY fun afternoon. The Prayer Room is still one of my favorite places on the planet. Sharing it with friends is always priceless to me. Truly. *grin*

4. Yesterday we had to wait an hour between the break out session and the evening session. We went outside to wait for doors to open for the evening, and the crowd waiting wound up leading us in singing outside. It was one of those moments that I knew how rare that was, and how everyone joined in singing. It was priceless, and even though we were sweating like crazy, I was good with it. It made for an amazing memory, and is one I won't forget. Ever. *grin*

5. Jay continues to make me laugh and smile daily. While that isn't new news, I just wanted to share that. Due to a situation I don't want to fully explain, he has adjusted to some changes this week. I know there have been rough moments for him, but he's done well. He even did well with Karen, as she isn't a dog person and loves him from afar. I am blessed, as he behaves better than some of my students. Totally.

Two posts in one week. I'm not sure if this trend will continue, but, I am enjoying writing again.

I pray your day was full of some good memories too. The older I get the more I understand how precious moments and memories mean to me. They are truly priceless. Completely.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bethel Breakout and Worship Night

I have been looking forward to today for about two months, and I was so excited for today that I am not sure how to put it into words. My passion for music is deep in me, and when I heard that Bethel Music and House Fires were coming to KC, I ordered tickets the day they went on sale. *grin*

One of my favorite parts about days like today (and very similar to the Barn-A-Bubble) is that what God does in the meetings can't always be explained in words. I mean, I can tell you what happened, but, you won't get the full experience being there. That being said, I write this blog more for me than for you. *wink* So, here's the tidbits I want to grab hold of from tonight.

1. Corporate worship can be powerful and beyond words. We were on row #5 tonight, so that meant I could hear the entire auditorium singing. I LOVED every moment of that. It is Well, Take Courage, and Child of God were among my favorites tonight. For real.

2. Breakout session we were on row #1, and it was also powerful. Worship and getting to know Bethel Leaders was really cool. I'm new to the Bethel World, in a way, so it was cool to hear stories and testimonies. A true Highlight was Gabe, who had us laughing tons. He's Mexican, and I smiled when he got up to preach.

3. Gabe spoke about being able to cheer each other on in the race of life. I do that daily in the classroom, but I took about 4 pages of notes. It was AMAZINGLY well done.

4. The music....gosh, can we rewind and do it again? *giggle* Bethel doesn't disappoint, as we were there....totally there.... The Lord moved on hearts and it was amazingly cool.

5. I love how He brings people from different chapters of my life to these events. I had a friend from my current church, one from two churches ago, and friends from 20 years ago, all in that room. Yes, people are important to me, and I was so blessed to be there with people I love, even if we don't hang out any more. Truly.

6. There was a gal next to me who prayed A LOT for me. While sweet, it was borderline annoying because she thought I was cognitively challenged and spoke to me in ways that made me frustrated at times. That wasn't her heart, and I know that, so overall it was okay. It simply caught me off-guard in a sense.

7. Karen has been here and we enjoyed the experience together. We both had things deposited in us that we're praying about, but, Karen will never know how much I enjoy time with her. We go deep and it totally blesses me.

8. I enjoyed the "House Fires" set too. They opened before Bethel, but have similar hearts toward the Lord in Worship. It was AMAZING.

9. Perhaps my favorite moment tonight was when I looked around and saw hands raised in worship. I typically only experience that during Onething, but, this year he's given me live worship through Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Hillsong Young & Free, and now Bethel. I love how He knows what we need before we do. *grin*

10. I would LOVE to go to Bethel and experience their culture for a weekend. Karen and I have been praying for a road trip there. I pray that He makes that happen. It would be worth every penny to get there. *grin*

11. Bill Johnson preached briefly about various topics (again, took several pages of notes) and I was inspired by it. He is a deep well, and I was glad he was with us. *grin*

So, I may have more to share, or I may not. I do know that at this point I'm tired and want to crash. *grin*

Thank You Lord, for today. *grin* I loved every moment of it.

Totally.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!! *grin*

Friday, June 09, 2017

Camp Barnabas, Term 1, 2017

I just returned from a week at camp, and wanted to write a little bit. While I'm tired, I am not ready to sleep just yet. When I do, I will sleep tons. This is more for me than for you because I type faster than I handwrite.

I arrived Saturday at 4pm at camp. I picked a bunk, and met my roommates. One was a returner, but the rest were new, which I loved! I really enjoy meeting new people, especially in the Barn-a-Bubble. *grin*

It was raining during rotations, so we didn't walk far to our rotations and I was secretly happy about that. We did training rotations, dinner, and camper cards. I realized one of our campers was a returner, and was really excited about that.

After camper cards, we normally go to IP for worship and a speaker, but due to the rain we were in the dining hall. I was the speaker for the evening, and I was excited. After that, we went back to our cabins for family time.

Family time was full of laughter, and was very short. I loved that because I know how sleep is limited after that first night, and I rested well that night.

On Sundays, we had training and then campers came at 4. It was raining, and it was the first Term I have attended with Camper Arrival in the rain. That being said, the teens did a great job of welcoming the campers even though it was pouring down rain. It made for a great memory. *grin*

My cabin was amazing from the beginning. One camper I had had before, and all of the others were new. I find it amazing how people all go out to camp to serve for different reasons. I truly believe God let me have CP to be able to connect with people who have challenges. Over and over again, I connect with campers. They are my main reason to go out and serve there. *grin*

Each camper has a story, and I love to be around that story for a week. Each of our girls had their own story and personality to go along with it. Those young ladies will never know how much each of them touched my heart. Truly.

Staff did an activity board this year, and I really liked that the campers had a voice in what activities they could participate in. They still have some kinks to work out on it, but, it was neat to try something new. I also love how staff is always trying new things to improve camp.

My favorite change out at camp is that they added crosses with lights on them on the main paths. I've been going there for eleven summers, and it was pitch black on the path to get back to my room. I always had a flashlight, obviously, but I felt so much better walking with light on the path. Staff will never know what that means to me. Truly. *grin*

Our cabin did various activities, and I was blown away by how much the campers loved each other in our cabin. Sometimes they have a love/hate relationship because they've all been to camp together for a long time. However, the girls truly liked each other and cared for one another. That's the Barnabas Way! *grin*

I wish I could explain to people what Barnabas is like. It's not like anything else I've been involved in, and unless you're there it's hard to explain. People love on a level you don't see outside the Barn-A-Bubble. Truly.

Since I spoke to the volunteers the night before campers arrived, I had more conversations with people than ever before at camp. God used me in several lives to encourage the young people who are in college and wanting to go into Special Education. God also used them to encourage me in some unique ways. It is indescribable what EACH interaction did to my heart. None of the people out at camp will ever know how my heart was touched. *grin* And that's okay, God knows and He continually blessed me throughout the week. *grin*

I was stretched this week as I served time each day in the kitchen. *giggle* Okay, now stop, it's not THAT FUNNY! *giggle* One of the words I heard in the beginning of the week from the teens that came to serve was that they felt "inadequate". I often felt that emotion in the kitchen as I am NOT a cook. You would think that since I served two weeks in the kitchen last Summer, I would be a pro, but with new staff I felt even more out of sync. However, the world of Barnabas is incredibly supportive and understanding. *grin* I love that, as I got to know people I wouldn't have otherwise, and we had a lot of good laughs along the way. *giggle* My favorite moment was this morning when we all chimed in and sang, "Living on a prayer". *giggle* I know, you had to be there, but it was FUN.

It was the first term I didn't sit in the Wellhouse at all with a camper. We did go in during sick call hours for campers, but we didn't stay for a length of time. That was a first. I loved that! *grin*

I did have a first in my eleven years out there...I had a tic on me! Ahhhhhh! I found it while using the restroom, and it was located on my lower back. Once I found it, I did what they told us in training and had a nurse remove it. We waited to see if it was alive and moving, and it was alive. Yeah! I received a tutorial from the nurse about tics, and learned that it was excellent that the tic was moving. The nurse told me that if the tic is moving, it's good because that means the head is out. I felt a little weird after having a bug in my skin, but, was thankful I found it right away. *grin*

One of my ongoing prayers the past few months is that I would be a "legit" (my word these days) follower of God in all I say and do. I cannot tell you how many people stated that they love my online posts. They also mentioned briefly in training about our online footprint that we leave when we show Barnabas things online too. I have pondered that a lot, and will continue to do so because people watch us all the time.

It goes back to one of the core values of my church, "Be living proof of a loving God to a watching world." The Barn-A-Bubble has that down to an art. Yeah, we have bumps here and there, but gosh, if the world could see that bubble what a wonderful world this would be. Truly. *grin*

I'm different tonight than I was one week ago. It was an experience that left me aching to go back in July. Yes, I'm returning for Term 7. *grin* At the same time, I see sleep and rest in my future.

By the way, Jay stayed with a friend and her family while I was gone, and I'm so glad we're back together. The family sent me a video of Jay eating ice cream, which was precious. *grin* He was spoiled there too. Life is so good!

In between now and Term 7, I have Karen coming for Bethel, a concert with Scienceguy, the Kellogg's coming, and about 20 books on my Kindle to read. I love Summer Break!

Thank You, God, for Camp Barnabas. It was amazing.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Awesome...I LOVE MY LIFE!



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Daytrips, Camp, and Precious Stones

The past few days have been SO GOOD! I went from working A LOT to get everything done, to sleeping in and relaxing with Jay the Wonder Dog. It has been INCREDIBLY nice. I only knew how much I was working because Jay would stare at me from afar because my laptop was a constant on my lap. Jay and I have enjoyed bonding this weekend. Truly.

Friday I went to Springfield and had a wonderful time with Karen. She is a gift from God, and our afternoon was full of laughter, pizza at the best place ever, and chocolate cake as we watched people and cars go by. It was FUN. I know, you can't get it from reading a blog, but any time I see Karen, I'm blessed. Our friendship is two-way, which is rare these days. Every moment was a joy, and I didn't want to leave. Our friendship is priceless, and I wouldn't want it any other way. *grin*

I spent yesterday getting my house in order. The pitfall of the beginning of May is that the dust gathers because I'm so busy working. The bonus of after school ends in May, I have time to clean my house and feel like a real adult. *giggle* While I was tired last night, it was well worth it to get my house in order. *grin*

I leave this week for Camp, and couldn't be more excited! I am excited for what God has for us out there, and to be back in the Barn-a-Bubble for a week! I love it, and will do another week in July too. Yep, I'm so excited for Summer! *grin*

It wouldn't be a complete blog post without mentioning Precious Stones Ministry this morning. I co-taught with a rock-star team, and we had so much fun! Many of our families (I imagine) were off at the lake! It was SO NICE to have a handful of kids. We all stayed in one room and it was a ton of fun. My favorite moment was when I arrived, and one of our little guys saw me in the window. I bent down and we touched hands, and then he opened the door. IT WAS SO CUTE! I asked him how he was, and he said good, and even said, "How are you?" That's a rare thing, and it was precious. It was also memorable when his favorite helper came and he ran into her! I adore each of those kids. Totally. It was also good to have BlondeGal back with us! *grin*

So this week will be relaxing with friends and preparing for camp. I will finish a book or two too! *grin*

Did I mention I love summer?

I already miss my students, but that's okay. They're in my prayers daily. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME. *giggle*

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day #2

Hiiiiiii, again!

Second day in a row to blog. Crazy, right? I mean, I go months and don't make time to blog, off school two days and blog both days. Go figure. *giggle* I will not commit to blogging daily, but I do enjoy it so it will be more often now that school is out. *grin*

My favorite part of break (and we're just two days into this) so far has been not setting an alarm. I'm not sleeping in super late or anything, I just enjoy sleep. *grin*

I will confess I'm not totally done at school. I am, but I'm not. I had to move rooms again, which is part of the joy of my job. However, this move is one that I'm THRILLED about, as I moved into a SPED POD! Yes, we have enough programs that amount to four rooms connected together. I think this will be a gift from God. Totally. *grin*

I have lived on an island of sorts in my world. Obviously, my para is with me and I can't imagine the job without her, so I'm not alone by any means. At the same time, I'd love to have help with some of our littles. I feel like a fish outta water, and I believe the pod will allow for us to share kids and be creative. I ADORE EVERY KID I WORK WITH, so please understand that. I just have some littles that stretch me out of my comfort zone as I am used to big kids.

The crazy part?

I miss the littles already. Go figure. *giggle*

So, I spent the afternoon in my room arranging the room so that it can be used for summer school. I didn't finish, but I almost did. I will go back up tomorrow and finish. Truthfully, I like it without people around. Productivity works really well with music and work put together.

So, the end of the year is character-building for everyone and it's great to be at home with Jay!

Not setting an alarm?

Priceless.

Thank you, God for Summer Breaks. Love my job, but love the breaks too. *grin*

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Awesome.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Year #18 Is A Wrap

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!

It is hard to believe it is the first day of Summer Break, as this year was my hardest year as an educator. I am proud of the kids and the challenges they overcame in order to end the school year. I am looking forward to some rest more than anything.

The end of the school year is always so bittersweet. Letting go of my sixth graders was a mix of emotions, but I was excited for them more than anything, as they step forward into the Middle School land. After the early release of school, I walked over to take a picture of one student with all of his teachers. That blessed me, as that kid meant a lot to me throughout his career. However, the most memorable moment came from one of my girls.

She came over and hugged me and held on. I didn't expect it, as she isn't typically a gal of emotions. She held on, and I just let her. When she pulled away, she had tears in her eyes. She was a little embarrassed because she turned to her Mom and said, "Okay, let's go." I am blessed because I get to tutor her this Summer and will LOVE every moment of it.

Each year is unique from the year before, and I look forward to a Summer of recharging my batteries in order to serve my amazing students next year. This Summer will be full of Camp Barnabas, tutoring, sleeping, and reading. I can't wait for my reading time, as I haven't gotten to do it as much as I would have liked to this year. *grin*

Day 1 of of 71. Yes, I counted. Best. Job. Ever.

Totally.

Today will include lunch with a friend and a movie later for a belated birthday celebration.

For now, I think I'll read my book. *giggle*

Life.
Is.
Good.