Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"I kinda like being friends with you."

I saw her head pop out first and then heard her little voice say, "Well, good afternoon Miss Wright!" Welcome to 7th grade adventures in room 201. I've got the best job. 

Maddie and I had a fiesta after school and sprung for the large queso. For the past four years this girl has been a consistent source of laughter, heart to hearts, adventure and truth. She's one of the greats. 

DREAMS COME TRUE! For years I have hoped that I would be lucky enough to be part of club #stuffalliemakes. There was a package waiting at my door after school today and inside I found these gems. I can't wait to find the perfect spot for them. Allie oozes creativity, positivity and intentional friendship. So thankful for her friendship and this surprise.

The February Varsity Project: Panama Mission Trip

Varsity FBC is in year three of advanced friendship bracelet making. Our team includes 45 girls from around HSE and across the Midwest. One of our goals is to provide opportunities for these girls to partner together to do small things with great love. Each month I give them a project where they can make bracelets for a cause. Together we can make a bigger impact than if we were trying to do it on our own.

This is Cassidy. She loves people, loves Jesus and loves the world in big, audacious, bold kinds of ways. This past summer Cassidy and I hiked Wilderness together and for 6 days I got a front row seat to her perseverance, drive, humor, compassion for others and heart for all the God has created. She is phenomenal. 

It wasn't a surprise when Cassidy decided to go spend part of next summer serving. She told us, "I have the incredible opportunity to travel to Panama this summer to tell children, women in prisons and refugees about our boy Jesus! We have a few days where we will be spending time playing with kids on the streets. It would be super cool while having that moment with those kids to also be able to give them a friendship bracelet. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder of what they learned about Jesus and his love for them."

Bracelets this month were made by Lauren Quigley, Erin Williams, Abby Hummels, Sarah Wright, Jenna Jenkins, Hadley Hendricks and Livie Costes.

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Instead of getting caught up in who doesn't like you, get caught up in who does."

A normal day in Junior High-- visitors during every passing period, collecting money for Pennies for Patients and trying to get that Pizza Party, cheese crunchers for lunch, stories about fundraising for Chinchillas/bball practice/moms/friends/riding bikes/lacrosse businesses/Netflix/crushes. There is never a dull moment. 

"Ryan Sings All Of Young Life Club" Club was the theme picked for our February Club. As kids walked in the door they each wrote a song request down on a note card and explained why they wanted to hear that song played.

Growing up, I listened to this Toby Mac song that said, "When love is in the house, the house is packed." It doesn't matter how many kids show up-- it feels packed in the Barn because these kids and these leaders genuinely love one another.

Gracie girl was back tonight and I couldn't wait to give her a giant hug. She is a beautiful human and she brings so much joy to this place. I love this friendship between Elise and Gracie. 

The beautiful thing about YL is that everybody's in. If you really wanted to, you could choose to look for friends groups in the crowd, but our hope is that everyone is just one family here. It doesn't matter if you roll up in a car of your five best friends or walk in by yourself. Once you're here, you're in. It's as simple as that.

We learn so much about friendship, taking care of each other, being genuine and showing others grace just by watching the people around us.

Everyone has a standing invitation. At Young Life you are loved, you are wanted, you belong.

Ryan really did sing all of YL Club tonight. I think my personal favorite was a mashup of Thinking Out Loud and Die A Happy Man. Ryan must have been in Straight No Chaser or something to pull that one off so well.

Most of the time Ryan played the kids song requests and read why they made their request. Almost all of them were songs that made them think of Young Life Camp or Campaigners and how they had experienced God in a new way in that moment.

Beesley gave his first Club Talk tonight about being Intentional and shared some words of wisdom and faith that will stick with us for a long time.

"What you spend your time doing speaks volumes to who you are."

"Love others well. Express gratitude. Be honest."

"Rejoice always. Pray continuously. Give thanks in all circumstances."

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"I want to get married on the beach surrounded by chinchillas."

Pennies for Patient's Spirit Week ended strong with College Day. Lucy and I were both repping Bama (ROLL TIDE) for our girls Hannah, Katie and Hools. Meanwhile I asked all my kids to donate money to the penny drive and rewarded them accordingly with candy and friendship bracelets. 

Saturday was all about lives overlapping-- my favorite. Our summer-like weather was replaced overnight with a fresh snowfall much to our dismay. But Kegs and I braved the weather to have brunch together at Rosie's in Noblesville. I nearly cried tears of joy over my brown sugar, oatmeal, blueberry pancakes. I'm so thankful for this girl, her heart for others and her character. I love that I get to be part of her story and know that so many great things are in her future.

While their mom was out of town, I picked up the Andritsch kids for a play date.
LIBRARY PARTY cause books are the coolest...

Reading in line... cause books are the coolest...

TACO & BURRITO PLACE ROUND 3.... pictures from this angle are going to be my "thing" here-- let me know if you want to go...

Goodwill finds and ice-cream...

Wilderness Girl Game Night at Erin's topped with Big Cookie camp style...

Sunday was the most relaxing-- homemade breakfast, church at Northview, Justin and I picked up Emily, his niece and my camper, for a lunch date at Chipotle (THE BEST) and then a shopping trip where her favorite find was a cat mug...

LIFE UPDATE: I'm giving up Diet Coke for a week. If you looked in my cabinet at school or my fridge at home you'd see the collection that arrived on my birthday and understand that this is a very big deal. I'm one day Diet Coke free and haven't died yet so I'm calling that a success. Who knows what will happen after a week, but I think I can make it. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"This morning my dog put his tongue in my cereal."

"Hey Miss Wright, we were just practicing our model poses."

6th period every single day. That smile. She sure makes being a teacher fun.

Lucy Dewolf just might be my spirit animal. This was totally me as a 7th grader. I love this kid. We need to plan our next dishwasher date ASAP.

Friendship Bracelet Club was all business today-- lots of friendship and lots of braceleting. We skipped the tables and just sat in a giant circle. Girls were helping each other learn patterns, we did our highs and lows of the day and, like usual, House Party was the soundtrack of the day.

FBC is a lifestyle. This hour with these girls is always one of the best parts of the whole week.

Tonight I took my pals Fudge, Shub and Gidget on a cultural experience right down Binford Blvd to Taco & Burrito Place. I've been dreaming of these tacos and quac since I was here with Smooney a few weeks ago. When I stepped up to the counter to order the man recognized me right away without prompting, "Hey! You came back!" he said. "Yes! And I brought more friends!"

We shared a feast and every bite was delicious. This is what dreams are made of. We're going to become regulars around here.

New mantra for life: 
"At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"I might get a fairy tale and anime tattoo when I'm older."

Tuesday night after a whole day of NO SCHOOL I got to hang with Maddie, Cass and Erin. This trio had been playing all weekend long so I was happy to finally join the party. Maddie drove us in the Jeep, we devoured some pizza and I spontaneously decided to get a hair cut.

Wednesday morning started early with Cass and Erin for our Wilderness girl bible study. These two have been so consistent the whole school year. I'm real proud of them and their hearts to know Jesus more and more. 

"Hey Miss Wright, we practiced taking some depth effect pictures on your phone."

After school I got to face time with Kayla Bacon and it made me so happy. She was working on a project on the porch of Kampen and I loved getting to see a bit of Tecumseh as we brainstormed together. I'm so thankful for a friend like Kayla who is all about being inclusive, embracing creativity and spreading enthusiasm.

I'm in this new routine of making three bracelets of each pattern at a time. Today I posted all these trios and asked people to name some of their favorite sets of three.

Will Smith, Carlton, DJ Jazzy Jeff
Mo, Jo, Yoda
KCraig, Johnna, Sarah
Espresso, steamed milk, cool mug
The Jonas Brothers
Glowsticks, campfire, Davey
Windows down, laundry done, House Party
Comfort Colors long sleeve, Nike shorts, Chacos
Hopi, Abnaki, Choctaw
Emma, Audrey, Ellyn
3 Sessions of CILTs
Harry, Ron, Hermione
Red, white, blue
Burrito bowl, side of chips, best pal

Tonight's Campaigners was all about friendship-- how we believe lies about distrust, division or denial, and how Jesus taught us about what friendship is meant to look like. We all shared things that our friends have done or said that make us feel loved and the things they've done or said that have hurt us in the past. When we share things like that I think we all realize that we're really more alike than we realize.

Friends are forever an important part of life and I think we'll never stop learning how to be a better friend to the people we care about most. My prayer for these girls is that they'll be surrounded by friends who will encourage, support and love them well. I pray that they'll be friends are quick to forgive, who always listen, who encourage character, people who point each other to Christ and are slow to anger. I see Christ in each of them and such huge potential. I'm so lucky and so proud to call each of them my friend.