Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Half term is rocking my world

Right now all over the UK schools are currently experiencing this amazing, wonderful, spectacular thing known as "half-term" which basically means NO SCHOOL FOR A WEEK!


I thought this would be my busiest time to work, but not really since mostly what I do is schools work. So, needless to say I'm a very happy camper.

Nicole, Lauren (our friend from YFC), and I drove down yesterday to a seaside town called Whitley Bay to visit our friend Libby from training. We just spent the day hanging out, and Nicole and I were introduced to British fajitas. This may sound not so appetizing to all you Texans reading this, but oh my cow they were amazing! They basically use most of the same stuff that we do except the add red peppers (which I love) and this sauce called sweet chili which is incredible! 

It was a good day, but Nicole and I crashed when we got home last night.

For the next couple of days before Nicole and I leave for London we have the house to ourselves, which is just kind of exciting.

We made blueberry muffins this morning, and we probably should clean some time today....we'll get around to it eventually.

On Thursday night we'll stay at our location manager Fiona's house and early on Friday morning she'll drop us off at the train station and we'll be on our way to London! Happy day.

Apparently I should be posting more "meaningful" stuff on my blog, which I will get around to when I start working again, but as for now I'm happy with writing the pointless stuff of my day to day life. I think my Grandma would have to agree.

It's getting really cold here, it's actually supposed to snow today and again on Thursday...haha great.

I can't wait for snow, but I really want my new coat that my mom bought me first.



Friday, October 24, 2008

Best day I've had in a long time!

So, this week has been pretty slow due to everyone being anxious for half term which is finally here!

I had a fairly not too productive week at work, which I didn't mind at all. 

I haven't been sleeping so well this week, which is weird for me. In the past 3 days I had gotten maybe a total of 5 hours of sleep.....not good. However, luckily last night I went to bed around 10:30 and woke up this morning at 11 am! It was glorious! 

Today hasn't been my most productive day, but it's just been such a great day. I woke up late and then proceeded to watch Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy on iTunes and that always puts me in a good mood! I then decided today would be a great day to change my sheets, dust my room, and do my laundry! 

I also listened to a lot of great music today, and that always puts me in a good mood. 

I bought tickets to see Wicked in London next weekend! I'm so excited!

Next Friday I leave to go to London with Nicole and Tom, and to say I'm a little excited would be an understatement. 

Nicole has never been to London before, so I'm excited to do all of the "touristy" stuff with her. Plus, I haven't seen a lot of stuff either so it'll be good to have a genuine Brit as our tour guide.....haha well maybe.

In about a week and half I'll be in a plane flying home!!!!! 


I just have to add one more thing for my Dad:



Saturday, October 18, 2008

My mother would be so proud

So, it's Saturday the 18th of October in England and I've been cleaning today? What? 

I kind of had a late start today, but I woke up and I decided that I needed to hardcore clean our bathroom. I'm pretty sure it hadn't been cleaned in quite a few months.....I don't think they have home blessing hour here in England.

Anyways, this week has gone by really quickly for me which isn't always a bad thing. 

Monday night at bible study was amazing! With my older kids we watched the Rob Bell Nooma video called "Flame" which discusses the 2 stages of love and it was so good. I encourage everyone to watch it. The kids were a little embarrassed to discuss sex, but so what? 

This week at the school went really well, Neil and I are staying busy with lessons, library periods, and lunch clubs. Next week will be pretty easy, but the week after is half-term and Neil and I are having "admin week" aka we're not doing anything at all.

Nicole and I leave for London on the 31st and we're meeting our buddy Tom Spicer so that should be really fun! I'm excited to show Nicole around London, because she's never been before and it'll be a good and semi relaxing weekend.


I am ecstatic!!! I seriously cannot wait! I'm sure the 6 days will fly by, but I think a few days at home is just what I need.

Not much else to report, but I thought I would include some pictures from last weekend at commissioning!
I love Caitlin, my fellow American and prayer buddy.

Nicole, Libby, and Lauren!

My new best friend Tom Spicer 


Sunday, October 12, 2008

And it hit me.....

This past week has been good, not too much to report really.

Yesterday all of the yfcone volunteers from Tees Valley YFC travelled down to Coventry for comissioning aka induction into YFC.

I was ecstatic to see all of my friends from training who I had really been missing.

As usual we were late to arrive and we had to go sit in the balcony, which was disappointing but it was alright.

We worshipped for a little while, and it made me so excited because I really haven't had decent worship since training. While we were singing one of my favorite songs "Came to Rescue" it suddenly hit me, that I know for a fact that England is where I'm supposed to be this year.

When I decided to take this gap year I felt deep down that it was right, but I didn't have a "burning bush" moment if you will. Well, I didn't until yesterday that is. 

It was such a cool feeling just looking around the room and seeing all the people that I've gotten to know better and better over the past month. I never really took my Dad's advice which was "Remember to look at every person you meet as a possibility for your next good friend." My Dad was absolutely right while I was meeting people at training I was homesick for the first few days and I really forgot to look at people as potential life long friends, which was daft on my end.

I have met some truly amazing people already this year, one of the whom is really one of my best friends. This person and I just had one of those instant connections and just clicked. I love this person (not romantically at all though) and I really wasn't expecting to make any friends like that, but I did and I'm glad God blessed me with a pretty great friend like Tom Spicer.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel like I finally belong here, I mean I even said car park yesterday like I'd been saying it my entire life. I know God is going to do some amazing things this year throughout the UK and he's already been doing so. 

But, I am really excited to go home and see my family and a few of my friends, I really miss them all. 

Um, side note....did everyone see the most amazing football game ever? TEXAS-45 OU-35!!!!!



Friday, October 3, 2008

Something meaningful

I've been getting some feedback lately, that while my posts are good and entertaining there really isn't much depth to them. So, in this post I'm going to attempt to change that.

Let me start off by saying that this year is nothing like I thought it would be at all, but I mean that in the best possible way. I honestly didn't expect to meet lifelong friends at training or be challenged by some of the kids here. I didn't expect I would love where I'm living or really love what I get to do on a daily basis. I thought it would somehow be a chore, and maybe it started out that way but it's not at all anymore.

I wake up every morning so anxious to see what God is going to reveal to me for the day. God is exceeding all of the expectations I had for myself. I knew it was going to be hard to be away from my family and friends, but surprisingly it is not as bad as I thought it would be. I really think God is making this transition from home easier for me so I can focus on why I'm here.

I get to work with the coolest kids on a daily basis. Most of them aren't Christians, but they're so smart and clever and you can tell there is something there. Neil and I have the chance to mentor to Year 9's three days a week during a library period. We've been focusing on The Beatitudes and the kids are really grasping what they're all about. 

Neil and I run lunch clubs Tuesday-Friday for every age group and I love these times. On Tuesday we have the sixth formers (11th and 12th graders for us Americans) and we just discuss worldly issues and stuff and it's really good to have an intellectually stimulating conversation every once in awhile. On Wednesday and Thursday is the Year 10 and 11 lunch club and I really admire these students. I get to work with them a lot more than some of the other students, because the majority of them attend churches that I help out with. One girl Kathryn is a minister in training and she's only 15 years old! She has such a heart for God and I really love talking to her and hearing her opinions on things. Every Friday we have a lunch club called Rock Solid for the Year 7-9 age group, and I must say they're my favorites by far. They have so much energy and they're so much fun to be around. Most of them are in Year 8 and actually out of about 12 of them that attend only 1 of them is a devout Christian. They're so much fun to mentor to and just to hang out with. They always end my week at school on a good note.

I also am really starting to love the local churches I work with. I mostly spend my time with Great Ayton Methodist Church. The reverend there, Catherine Hutton is really one of the coolest ladies. She and her husband Gavin along with their two sons, Joel and Aaden have really taken me in on Monday nights and just embraced me. I really love the time I get to spend with them and the time I spend with their church.

I really haven't gotten to do much work with Stokesley Methodist Church other than a Friday after school youth club that Neil and I run. Only about four kids attend, but they're all so different and fun in their own ways.

I think what I'm most excited for this year is to see how God impacts these kids lives. I'm really just along for the ride.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting in touch with my elderly side.....

Alright, so I've got to say that I really have been getting in touch with my elderly side lately. I take a nap almost every single day, wait scratch that I DO TAKE A NAP EVERY SINGLE DAY! I also discuss the weather.....no joke. It freaks me out! What is happening to me???

This really has been the easiest week so far. It's good I really needed a kind of chill week after being sick last week. Today Neil and I had a half day and we have tomorrow and Saturday off. I'm really excited to actually sleep in somewhat.

Nicole and I finally set up our HSBC bank accounts which was nice, because we've been trying to do it for 2 weeks! We attempted to set up our phone contract as well today, but we needed a bank card and that doesn't come in until next week. 

I just keep telling myself that patience is a virtue.

I've been reading "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and it is such a great book! I'm not finished with it yet, usually because as I'm reading it I fall asleep due to my elderliness. But, I'm getting there.

Oh so I got Skype the other day, and I have to admit it's the coolest thing since sliced bread. So, if you want to download it we can talk all the time!



I cannot wait!