Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sand, Sun, & Painting with Tennis Balls

I have a new (and wonderful) Sunday tradition with my friends - weekly trips to Lake Michigan to spend the day at the beach!  Today was yet another lovely day at Lake Michigan with my good friends Meredith, Jennae, and Josh.  (Justin couldn't come since he had to work).  It was definitely a hot day, so my time spent laying out and reading a book was limited and I spent most of the time in the water cooling off.  Good conversation was had by all as well as a tiring trip out to the sandbar and back!

This past week was our fourth week of Recess!  On Tuesday, we took the kids to WNDU for a field trip and received a tour of the station by meteorologist, Mike Hoffman.  The kids had a blast, especially when they got to stand in front of the green screen with the weather forecast behind them.  The week was filled with fun activities including relay races using foam pool noodles, lots of swimming, and painting with tennis balls.  We hung a white sheet outside the youth building, put the kids in rain ponchos, and let them dip tennis balls in different colored paints and throw them up against the sheet.  One of my kids was showing me his baseball windup as he threw orange tennis balls up against the wall - he was pretty good!  When I asked if he played little league, he said he really wanted to but he couldn't because his mom couldn't afford to sign him up.  It broke my heart to hear him say that; every kid should have the opportunity to play sports.

Mike Hoffman encouraged the kids this week to pursue their God-given talents and abilities, so we had the kids journal during reading time on Wednesday about what they wanted to be when they grow up and how they thought they were going to get there.  I had several kids aspire to be super stars, dancers, and singers and I had a scientist, an MLB player, an NBA player, and a little girl that wanted to work at the mall.  I just hope I can keep encouraging these kids to go after their dreams and not let anything hold them back from reaching their full potential. 

Justin and I spent the evening together Thursday night after Recess for a much-needed date night.  It might sound boring, but lately we've been having our date nights in Elkhart just to get away from the familiar scenery of South Bend and experience something new and different.  I visited the Indiana University South Bend at Elkhart campus for the first time and am so excited that I will be teaching English there in the fall!  We had dinner together and then walked the Elkhart River Walk together and talked about our upcoming wedding.  I can't believe I will be married to Justin Andrew in three short months.  I feel like we've waited forever for this, but it was worth every minute.  I love our life together.

This week starts week five of Recess.  Staying enthusiastic in the heat isn't always easy, but we will be taking a field trip this week to tour the South Bend Silver Hawks stadium!  It should be an exciting week at camp, except I can't wait until we are finished reading How to Eat Fried Worms during our reading station.  If only I could bring in one of my favorite Stephen King novels for reading time...  :-)

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