Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Celebrate, before it's too late. Your fear of the future's your greatest mistake."

After school on Wednesday I picked up Alex and Katy P from school. Starbucks has a buy one get one free deal this week on their holiday drinks every afternoon so we switched up our fiesta routine to get some caffeine. We tried the peppermint mocha, Carmel brulee and chestnut praline and wrote lists about the Top 10 Holiday Things We're Looking Forward To. Our drinks tasted just like Christmas and we were all smiling and squealing as we thought about what's to come in the next couple months. This season is packed with anticipation, traditions, friendships, whimsy and joy-- my favorite things.
We talked about God's reign and rain this afternoon and about planting our seeds in good soil. I love conversations with these girls because they want to go deep, they want to know Christ more, they bring ideas to share. These girls are readers and we talk about books and share chapters and ideas. I love that we spur one another on.

Today was just too much fun. For starters, I wore a dress again for No Pants Thursday after celebrating No Pants Wednesday yesterday. This is actually a really big deal. People noticed.

We're doing some creative writing in class this week and today I got to share Annie's camp version of "The Things They Carried" with all of my students. Here's just a part of her words,

"They all carried one or two bubble wands. They carried a plethora of Nike running shorts and white V-neck t-shirts. They carried small colored beads looped between the laces of their tennis shoes, to remind them of the camp creed. They carried beaded animal key chains- all of which were made by campers who would do anything to make their counselor smile. They carried the responsibility for ten little heads of hair each week--twenty hands and twenty feet to watch over. On their wrists they carried friendship bracelets, brightly woven threads of string worth more than any jewel. On Wednesdays they carried wolf shirts. On Fridays they carried tired children back from closing campfire and a bittersweet sadness that another week was done. They carried stories. They carried words. Words of encouragement that would never leave them even long after the hot days of summer. They carried friendships that would last forever and a passion rooted deep within them to love and be loved. But most of all, they carried each other."

I love it so much. Annie has a way with words and did such an incredible job of painting a picture of camp. This idea of writing about what people carry works so well for my students and they put their own twist on the prompt all day.

The Friendship Bracelet Club met after school, filling up the LGI room with sweatshirt orders, brightly patterned backpacks and voices that bounce off the walls and multiply the energy. Usually our group has shrunk by this time of year but I'm loving that it's still so large. We played Backpack Dutch Auction again today and the teams raced to be the first in challenges like getting a selfie with Bella and Edward (cardboard cut outs in front of the library), putting their gym uniform on over their clothes, a lunchbox zipped inside of a lunchbox zipped inside of a lunchbox and the tallest stack of books.

I love getting to hang out with all of these girls. Many are my students but there is a large group that I know just from these Thursday afternoons and seeing them in the hallway.

Today Saba, Erin and Courtney came to visit from the High School. They were 7th graders the year I started teaching and came up with the Friendship Bracelet Club. If not for their enthusiasm there wouldn't be an FBC today. Now they're Juniors and it's crazy to think I've been doing this for several years. I love that they're still making bracelets and that they want to come back to help out.

Today was Izzy's birthday so we got to celebrate with her. Last week at the lock out she told me her birthday wishes were an Instagram shout out and a bracelet from me. Both dreams came true!

Usually by the time November rolls around the FBC attendance numbers have dropped but that doesn't seem to be happening this year. We're still quite the FBC army. Just wait till we're all wearing matching sweatshirts! (Don't forget to order yours by Nov 25th!)

Can you spy the girl in the picture above that doesn't go to Junior High?

That's Carolyn Kata in the front row with the yellow scarf. Kata and I were counselors at Tecumseh together for years and today she came to town to go to a concert. I was thrilled that she could come early enough to experience FBC in all it's glory and meet some of my girls.

Kata is a die hard Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers fan and has got me listening to their music too. When she saw they were coming to Indy on their tour she invited me to come with her. Venturing down to Fountain Square, we found a quirky diner for dinner and then went to Radio Radio for the show.

Carolyn got us tickets for the pre-show-- Stephen and his band came out and played a couple songs for just six of us. It was kind of funny to be so up close and personal, just hanging out with the guys. Right away I could see why people like him so much, he's just so charismatic and genuinely happy to see fans.

We got to take a picture with the band before they headed back stage. The openers were Caroline Brooks (well known for her song Parachute) and the Saint Johns. Both groups were great but we couldn't wait for Stephen to come out again.

It was a small venue and the stage was so quirky which was fun. The drum head had this logo for the tour that Carolyn loves. They had bright bulbs plugged in up front, a red lit heart in the back, four harmonicas, his water poured into mugs and some weird instruments I'd never seen before.

I sneaked a picture of the set list before they started playing and then snagged it at the end of the night for Kata to take home. When Stephen, dressed in all white, and the guys reappeared everyone in the audience freaked out.

This man put on an awesome show--he's full of quirky energy, good at talking to the crowd between songs and so obviously in love with what he's doing. I was so excited to hear some of my favorite songs like 4th of July, See You Later See You Soon, Satisfied Man and Gravity performed live. It was an awesome night and I'm so glad Kata invited me.

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