Sunday, August 2, 2009

We're Back!

Yes. It has been awhile. A LONG while. I have so much to post that it is a little overwhelming, but I think I am up to the task. :) In 2 short weeks we will be going back to school. Summer will be over. I feel mixed emotions. I really start to miss my students in the summer- but once it starts it is like getting on a roller coaster that doesn't really stop for 9 months. We had a training day last week and I was able to go to my room for the first time and I have to admit- I have missed it and it feels like home to me. I am also getting all new appliances and new tables and a new desk. It is like Christmas! I can't wait. Our ovens/stove tops were a little shady. Every time we turned one on it started to smoke. Plus- one of my students accidentally melted plastic all over one of the burners and it really stunk. I am excited to go work in my room this next week and unpack all of my new supplies and prepare for my new kiddos. Yay! :)

Ok. Where have we been the last few months. We haven't been home that's for sure. We have only been home a fews weeks this summer- the rest spent traveling with family and working 2 different special needs camps. Patrick and I really have a heart for teens- obviously- we work with them 9 months out of the year. I am so thankful that God lead me to marry someone who shares an equal passion for loving kids who need to be loved. That is why I think I love my job so much. I get to work with my husband and watch him work so hard with kids- some who don't want to be loved and don't want to learn. He has an amazing ability to motivate and inspire kids to be good at science - even when they think they are not. I have had so many students come tell me how much he has helped them. Kids will come and tell me that without him they wouldn't have passed the TAKS and wouldn't have passed science. It is really neat to be able to see him work SO hard at something and see results- kids who are finally understanding science that have had a hard time in the past. It is pretty incredible. All that to say- that we were able to go work at 2 camps this summer together that were life changing.

Camp Barnabas. We were able to go with our church in June to this camp in Missouri with about 50 high school students. Each student was paired up with a child who was disabled - mild to severe. Our high schoolers were responsible for their child 24 hours a day. I was a cabin mom in a very tough cabin. Our girls were mostly non verbal and couldn't do anything on their own. Watching the girls from our church care for them so unselfishly was so humbling. I learned so much about serving others. It is so much easier to serve others whole heartedly when you have no choice. When I got back to Dallas I realized that it was harder to be unselfish when surrounded by people who could do things for themselves. It hit me that I want to live my life like I did at Camp Barnabas- loving others without condition- like God has called us to do. No matter what. It is such a hard thing to do. I really want to love my students that way too- especially the hard ones. That is my vision for this next school year. I hope to write more on that later as I process it before this year starts.

Ok- finally- pictures from our trip to Camp Barnabas!

One of my favorite campers, Mia. She laughed so much- it was awesome. She was such a joy to work with.

My Cabin. This was on Oregon Trail night. We had so much fun blazing the trail. :)

Nerd Night. Yes- that is Patrick's actual lab coat from school and his actual glasses from his Science class. I am wearing his "math counts" shirt from when he was a math-alete. I am married to a math-alete- I am the luckiest woman in the world. :)

She had on his lab coat- she is so precious!

One of my campers Alyssa. She was so sweet. She smiled constantly.

I took this picture. It is one of my favorites. :)

Patrick's cabin praying over the cross.

Kaiya with the camp dog. He sat with her the whole night.

One of my 9th graders in my small group that I lead. Emily did such a good job loving the kids that week. I was so proud.

Those are a few pictures from our summer. I have much more. We also just got back from another camp and I can't wait to share about it. I really am excited to get back into blogging. My drought is over. :)


kelly said...

yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! i was just thinking i'd pop over & write something like "please update your blog!!!", but you did!!!
and CUUUUTE background!!
see you soon :)

Marci said...

Jen, your post encourages me as I am going through a rotten, sad time right now. Thanks for your comment on my blog and thanks for the fun update about Camp Barnabas.

Stacy said...

Welcome back glad you decided to give all of us an update. Really, I'm glad to know you made it back from the wedding way out in the country. I didn't realize my speedster husband left you behind until I turned around and you were gone. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I'll see you in a little less than 2 weeks...yikes!

Christy said...

so glad you posted! i love the background on your blog - it is precious. glad to talk to you yesterday! hope the punch turns out yummy!