Friday, February 28, 2014

"Doesn't everyone eat bologna with a straw?"

We woke up early this morning to hang out at Sophie's house before school. These girls are so sweet and I love getting to hang out with them and talk about God's love. Audrey was excited to go to visit her brother at Clemson, Maggie and Elise were #flannelfriday twinning and all the girls were talking about bracelet patterns they want to make this weekend.

We ran upstairs to visit Trulock and KCraig before school actually started. It rocks getting to teach with coworkers like them who love our kids and are always up for being silly and crazy and climbing into recycling bins.

In a text this morning I challenged CILT girls to write lists of 100 Things They Loved. Then at school we watched Jessica's Daily Affirmations and wrote lists during our 10 Minute Write. My kids we're so focused as they wrote their lists, trying to think of more than 100. I was pumped when a couple CILT girls sent me pictures of the lists they made too.

Tonight the Fitzgerald house was hopping. Henry had Sean over for awhile to hang out. Audrey had neighbor Izzy spend the night and they started on a craft using pages from discarded library books. We' kind of got stuck in the construction phase of the project.

Audrey and I picked up Pizza Hut for everyone and Big Cookie ingredients from the grocery. I like having her as my sidekick this week.

Ellie invited her friends Grace, Kate and Ashley over to spend the night. They will all be Session 1 CILTs this summer and I can't wait to be one of their counselors in the Longhouse. We devoured a whole pan of hot, gooey Big Cookie together.

It was a low key night of list making and talking and snacking and laughing. I'm a fan of each of them and am so glad we got to spend some time together. They're definitely camp crazy and they kept talking about the snacks they want to bring, whether they'll pack in drawers or bins, which counselors they miss, other kids they know that are CILTing and how much they miss singing in the Green Cathedral and getting close during devotions. 99 days till campers arrive at Tecumseh. Not like we're counting down or anything...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"I got a book on dust mites because I really like them. I ask my mom to wash my sheets on low so that my dust mites won't die."

English classes just wrote Da-Zi-Baos because in the book the Red Scarf Girl there were negative Da-Zi-Baos in Communist China. Our students wrote positive Da-Zi-Baos accusing their friends or teachers of doing good things. These kids made me laugh when I read the things they were accusing me of doing.
Only a few minutes after I returned to my quiet classroom from monitoring lunch I heard my door open. My 8th grade hooligans stormed in-- somersaulting, running, standing on chairs all at once in flurry of crew neck sweatshirts and Nike Elite socks. These seven boys were coming to make sure I was looking up Jim Gaffigan, a comedian, like they had just told me to. We watched part of a sketch together before they had to go to their next class so they wouldn't be late.

The Friendship Bracelet Club returned with an enormous amount of energy and creativity this afternoon. I taught the girls to play Family and they tried to figure out Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Oprah and Justin Timberlake before their own identity was guessed.

Our numbers have dwindled to a consistent 30 attendees and we're okay with that. These girls crack me up with their screenshots of friendship bracelets they need to make and their conversations of who they have to give one to next.

Tonight the Fitzgerald kids and I went to Steak n' Shake for dinner. We all love cheeseburgers and milkshakes and hanging out together. Three days into this adventure of #fitzweek, I'm so impressed with how they get along and treat each other well. Ellie, Henry and Audrey are all consistently positive, helpful and kind.

We watched Modern Family together when we got home before the kids split up to finish homework or do their own thing. Audrey finished her poster for her big Social Studies project and I gave her french braided pig tails for tomorrow. Everyone is excited for the weekend.

I just discovered Fashion by Mayhem in this article of the Huffington Post and I'm obsessed. This 4-year-old girl Mayhem and her mother have been making paper dresses for the past 9 months. The dresses are fun, intricate, playful, creative and just flat out awesome.

They get inspiration from award shows, Project Runway, movies and Mayhem's imagination. Mayhem helps with every single dress and learns more skills of ripping, folding, weaving, wrapping and tearing every time. You can follow them on Instagram @2sisters_angie to see more. Apparently the article has blown up and they're now getting tons of followers, media requests and offers. I'm thinking paper dress making should be a new clinic this summer at Tecumseh.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"The world needs more Miss Wrights and less Debbie Downers."

Thoughts of the Day:

My students wrote about Kid President's statement, "The world needs to stop being boring," in their 10 Minute Write. These kids are brilliant. They have such good ideas and plans about about making this world a better, more creative and entertaining place. When you're in 7th grade you are in this in between world of still being a kid but starting to have the freedom of a teenager. I hope that they will choose to make the world better and live up to their potential.

I went to the Hawthorne's country club in Hamilton Proper this afternoon to work out with Ellie and Audrey. It felt like EVERYONE was there. Who knew that it was the place where everyone hung out? Ellie and Molly were there along with a dozen Young Life guys. When we went upstairs to eat dinner in the restaurant we saw the Devoe's and a couple other families we recognized too.

The Fitzgerald's have a dog named Daisey. Despite my indifference to animals, I think Daisey and I may become friends by the end of the week.

Audrey had basketball practice for her 4th grade team tonight. Oh my. I have mad respect for the elementary coaches after watching them defend, motivate, encourage, block and dribble with these girls. I can't imagine taking on that role. Meanwhile, Audrey was a beast dribbling with both hands, working on her spin move, making long passes and banking shots for her team.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"I love the beat of this song, it makes me want to dance like a white girl."

Highs of the Day:
1. Finding a way to turn taking notes into a race to make school more fun
2. Visiting KCraig's room during 5th period
3. Talking to 8th grade girls and guys during B lunch
4. Getting friendship bracelets from Elyse and Cassidy
5. Having time to make friendship bracelets
6. Hanging out in the kitchen with Audrey, Ellie and Henry today as we talked about camp and school
7. Cheering on Henry and the rest of his team at his basketball game
8. Snapchatting Ellyn and Soaps with Ellie and Audrey
9. Eating brownie right out of the pan with the girls before bed
10. Making fun plans for the rest of this week

Top 10 Things I Miss About Camp on this #tecumsehtuesday:
1. Hearing Ellyn's stories everyday
2. The luxury of being with Smoon and Jamie every day and never having to coordinate plans to make that happen
3. Heart to hearts with River Village kids
4. Walking to the Green Cathedral after breakfast with a cup of coffee in my hand
5. Teaching the Choctaw girls to say, "Rest hour is the BEST hour!"
6. Standing with CILT counselors as we watch our kids sing their graduation song at the end of a session
7. Discovering you get to be on the blob during lake time and then running and jumping off the end of the dock to swim out there
8. CILT girl cabin time at the end of the night while you're waiting for everyone to return and just eating and taking and laughing together
9. When I finish writing a Parent Letter that I'm really proud of and realize that the process made me love and appreciate that kid even more
10. When someone is REALLY excited when I give them a friendship bracelet

Monday, February 24, 2014

"My hair is crazier than Jordan doing the Little Tea Pot song."

My students spent the past week creating board games in group. They have to come up with the concept, build the game and write directions. It's obviously a fun assignment but they have to work together, think through details and make sure that other people will be able to play without getting confused. It's so fun to see what they come up with.
There were five different flappy bird games...

Miss Wright's Camp T Adventure is a journey through their 7th grade field trip...

The Safari Adventure had SO many plastic animals involved...

In Trick-Or-Treat Mania the player with most candy in their bag at the end actually got to keep it all.

Tonight YL gathered for a Red Carpet Club. Ellen is hosting the Academy Awards in a week and we're getting a head start on all the celebrities and glamour. I was so excited to see Kaelyn, Malena, Erin, Chloe, Julia and Natalie when I walked in tonight.

Our upper classmen guys like Chad, Brannt, BGrad and Max killed it at Club tonight. Natty B was a fabulous Red Carpet for the event.

I love getting to see Jenna and Marie and was so impressed with Meg and Audrey's dresses.

Once a month we get to gather for a Club like this and it never fails to be a great time. There is so much energy packed into the gym.

Kocher created an awesome game of different poses that the kids had to act out. Things like, "show off your dress for the paparazzi," and, "you thought you were going to win an award but didn't and the camera zooms in on you anyways." All of the prompts led to some amazing pictures of these kids.


When you're on the Red Carpet with celebrities you have to try to get their autograph so we practiced with some Autograph Bingo tonight. Each kid had to fill in the squares on their paper by finding a Junior, a gymnast, a leader that's a parent, someone who went to Timber Wolf, someone with a sibling in Wyld Life, a leader that works at a school, someone who plays two instruments, someone that came for the first time tonight or someone that moved here in the last year.

The prize was a neon orange YL snapback and an iTunes gift card so everyone wanted to win. The room a flurry of signatures and looking for the person that could fill in your last square or who remembered the names of three camp characters. Natty B was victorious and elated to get the sweet prizes.

It wouldn't be a red carpet event without awards, and we had a whole stack of paper plate awards to hand out. Ryan brainstormed all of the categories and Kocher put together these awesome plates that are wearable.

I cracked up the whole time as Ryan read through the awards and called kids up front. Some of them included:

  • Best Instagram and Facebook Account for a Pet Beagle- Natale (and Rosie) Brosius
  • Most Consistent Flasher of Gang Signs in Group Photos- Connor Thrall
  • Most Likely to Retweet Miley Cyrus- Kate Olthoff and Jenna Jaronsinski
  • Honorary HSE Ambassador to the Entire Country of Ethiopia- Mitch Rankin
  • Best Post Club Photos (In the "Physically Lifting Other Humans" Category)- Audrey Renshaw
  • Subtlest maker of Awkward Faces in Group Photos- Natalie Willman
  • Most Likely to ask a Leader a Question About God at 6:34 am- Nick Barr
  • Most Likely to Run Camp Tecumseh One Day (in the event that Sarah Wright is incapacitated somehow, God forbid)- Maddy Wilson
  • Best Dance Moves- Brannt Farris
  • Most Likely to be the Last to Leave Young Life at the End of the Night Because They're Taking Group Pics With Their Hands On Their Hips- All the Sophomore Girls
  • Most Likely to Start the "I Believe" Chant at Some Point During Club- Nick Cefali
  • Person With the Most Dead Animals Hanging in their Home- Haleigh Devoe
  • Best Person To Talk To If You're Wondering If You'll Have a Snow Day Tomorrow- Olivia Kegley
  • Most Likely to Kidnap and Marry Ed Sheeran- Hannah Huston
  • Finest Club Theme Attire- Jacob Everidge
  • Most Likely To Own A Pet Dragon One Day- Karl Wingert
  • Most Likely To Roll Into Young Life 5 Minutes Late Holding a Polar Pop- Brian Gradison

Tonight I got to see girls that I haven't seen for months and ones that I get to hang out with all the time. We laughed together and we prayed together. Tonight I got share in something hard that's going on with one of my girls and celebrate with another one. Life is like that--always both sides of the coin. It's a juggling and balancing act and I get to see God working on both sides. Thankful for his grace and hope and love in all circumstances.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Oh no, where's Rainbow Bright?"

We woke up early this morning-- the fam was heading to church and I was going back to Indiana. The boys were wide awake and full of smiles. Redford is more expressive every time I see him. I can't wait till he starts walking and talking too! Linc is so cute and quite the dapper hipster. I will miss these guys.

I rolled into Camp Tecumseh to visit Quilt Camp at about 11, just in time to chat with Jamie and Mel and help pin the rows of Mel's book quilt together. This was Jamie's first quilting experience and she not only made one for herself but made the blocks for her nephews' quilts.

I'm so glad that I got to see Bethie and eat lunch with her. She's the best mom and I love seeing her in her element here. She's an entertainer, an organizer, a big ideas person, the most charismatic host and a friend to everyone. Quilt Camp is so successful because of this woman and I love her so much.

I finished the last part of the journey this afternoon and made it back to Indy. I picked up a new bouquet of friendship bracelet string, got groceries, unpacked my apartment and even ran three miles. It was a big afternoon.

Tonight Malena, Julia and Hannah came over to hang out. These three are each so special and the kind of people that you can't help but love because they leak Jesus and build you up. We talked and laughed and looked through my friendship bracelet stockpile and Hannah picked out her very first one. On nights like this I'm extra thankful that I live in Fishers now so that I can hang out with these girls.

Confession: Hannah should have received a bracelet from me years ago, she's one of my great friends, has led multiple cabins with me and is someone that I look up to. Somehow it just never happened. I often think I've given bracelets to friends and am shocked when I learn they've never had one. I'm relieved that Hannah got one tonight.