Monday, May 19, 2014

day camp/summer/chattanooga trip

Next month, I'm doing a day camp here in Lincoln for work. I've been spending a LOT of time planning it lately, but I'm excited about it. As my boss recommended, I picked a theme that I'm interested in. It's called "Around the World Day Camp." I've split each day into a different area of the world, and each day the girls will learn words in various languages, do a lot of geography, learn dances, try new foods, and so much more. That week is going to be insanely busy for me, but I think it will be so much fun! I enjoy planning it, and I will enjoy delivering it. The last day of camp just HAPPENS to be World Refugee Day. I didn't do that on purpose, but it's perfect timing.

I'm also planning a few other day long programs for the summer. I'm looking forward to the summer schedule. During the school year, all my programs are on the weekend and my week is heavily focused on going to schools and checking in on girls and volunteers. During the summer, most of my work is during the week during the day, and my weekends are free. It's a different feel so far, and I'm SO excited for warmer weather and a varying schedule.

Tonight Kurt and I met with a guy from our church who is doing to do an event on the Lincoln Vital Signs. It's a fascinating report on the status of Lincoln and he wants to do some surveys to follow up on it, and bring people together to perhaps work to bring about some change. He had a small group of us over to run through his ideas for the program and see how long it took. It was a fun time of discussion and he had fake Thin Mints. I'm not entirely sure what will happen with this event and the Vital Signs, but there's a lot of potential.

On Thursday, we are heading down to Chattanooga to meet our twin niece and nephew that just turned 5 months old. I'm VERY excited, especially because I'll get to travel with my sister and 2 year old niece, and we'll all get to spend lots and lots of time together. It will be a whirlwind.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Old glogs and updates

A long time ago, when I was in college, I started a blog on a site called Xanga. I wrote on it religiously. When I went to Korea, I wrote even more. I can't even believe how much I wrote, but I am so glad I did, because all those memories are there for me to read, though my brain hasn't stored them all. Xanga is closing down, but I have all my blog posts in a zipped file and will upload them to a blog, where they will hopefully live for many years to come.

And life. I'm still working at Girl Scouts. I love it! The work is fun, rewarding, and largely un-stressful. Some weeks I don't work 40 hours. Some weeks I do, because I have to work on weekends. A big part of my job is outreach, which I mentioned in a previous post (the 4th and 5th grade group that I was leading until I could find volunteers). I got to know that 4th and 5th grade girls so well over the course of the school year. Individually, I really liked them. As a group, they were a nightmare. They talked over me, didn't listen to me, and overall were cruel and mean to each other. I did spend some time working with them, trying to get them to see the importance of being GOOD friends to each other. They didn't like that, and essentially flatly refused to hear me out. It angered be beyond belief and I was shocked at how much these girls were calloused and disrespectful of me and each other. It was depressing, because I felt like I didn't make any difference and perhaps that they were even worse off. The 4th and 5th graders at both of my elementary schools were the same. It was a very discouraging discovery at the end of the year for me.

As the girls shared their lack of quality female role models at the beginning of the year, they also seem to have learned poor interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills. I did have quite a bit of success with a middle school group, though. It was a small group of 6-9 girls, but they seemed to soak in some of the bullying-prevention/friendship skills that I was trying to teach. Girl Scouts has a fantastic curriculum that we are trying to teach to girls all over the state. It is so badly needed. That I can see.

The coolest thing I regret not writing about is my trip to the United Nations in March with 4 high school girls. I was chosen in November to lead the trip, and though I took plenty of pictures and tweeted a lot, I didn't write anything. Maybe I will soon, because those memories will fade fast. The week was so breakneck, we were sleep deprived, emotionally exhausted, and I could barely keep up with the pace, I don't know that I could have blogged, but I should have!

Today is Sunday, and Kurt and I biked to Jimmy John's to do the crossword puzzle. It was our first day on the bikes for the season. His was just fixed up and mine just needed a little air in the tires, though it does still do this weird thing where it drops to the lowest gears without me touching them. It was fun to be out on the bikes, it is a nice day, and it was nice not to use our car. I really love the location of our home, so close to downtown and many bike trails.

Which reminds me, I was recently selected to be the chair (?) of our church's Peace & Justice Committee. Kurt and I have been participating since we became members in 2012. I've enjoyed working with the folks on the committee, and though most of them are my parent's age or older, they are truly beautiful people, and we share so many values and beliefs. I was honored that they thought I would be a good fit for it, and I'm interested to see what I can do to help promote peace and justice in our church!

Since it's such a lovely day, I do believe I will get off this computer, which I've been on for too long, and go for a walk.

Monday, September 16, 2013

girl heroes and camping

I'm currently leading a group of 4-5th grade girl scouts at a local elementary school, until I can find some volunteers to replace me. Last week we talked about women they see on TV and in movies, and what role or what jobs those women have. I even had them list their favorite women in media. When I asked them what jobs women have in TV and movies they said things like dancer, cashier, waitress, singer, teacher, nurse, and 1 girl said doctor. Their TV heroes were Rihanna, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, some cartoon characters, and one girl said Amelia Earnhardt. I don't know what I expected. I hear all the time that girls have a lack of substantive women to look up to in their world, and this confirmed that. If you can't see it, you can't become it. I realize that girls will grow up and probably expand their knowledge of what women are doing in the world, but I still found it kind of sad what I heard that day from such young girls. I guess I shall try to do what I can to change that. I wonder what would happen if I asked them what the women in their lives do for work, and if that list would be much different. That may be an exercise for another day!

This weekend we went camping at Olive Creek campground. It is slated to close today for the season due to budget issues within the state, which is a major bummer. Olive Creek is an excellent campground because it's so quiet and private. Not many people camp there. And maybe that's why they want to close it, but our group of friends has grown quite fond of it. We had a neighbor at the campground this time who had a pontoon boat, and we took 2 rides on it Saturday night; one at sunset and one in the dark. It was lovely. We also played fireball, which is a very fun game that Jovi invented. At night, there were storms, but Kurt and I stayed warm and cozy in our tent. I was very happy with the tent's performance. We've only camped in it during good weather without the rain fly, so this time we staked all the stakes and properly secured all the flaps and the tent was warm, yet well ventilated and dry. I enjoyed waking up in the night to hear the storms and the rain on the tent. Also a bonus, our air mattress hardly deflated at all. Usually, we wake up with our butt and lower backs hitting the ground, but it was not so this night. It was an excellent night of camping.

Monday, September 9, 2013

puppies & pie

Yesterday was my first time at a Girl Scouts program. I helped my coworker plan it. It was a family field day. We had all kinds of those little games you play as a child, like a ping pong relay and a 3 legged race. It was over 90 degrees outside, but we had a breeze and most of the area was shaded, which helped. By the end of the day, though, I was exhausted.

Kurt's mom made 3 pies yesterday, and then invited us over to eat them! That was a lovely Sunday evening treat. She made peach pie from the peach tree in the backyard, apple pie, and lemon meringue. They were all delicious. Afterwards, we went to Kent & Alisha's house to see their adorable new puppies. They are only 8 weeks old, so they are still clumsy. It was fun. After that we went to Perkins to do the crossword puzzle.

I went to bed at 10:30 and slept until 8:30. I feel pretty rested today. :0)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

visit to Omaha

Yesterday I was in Omaha for training for work. I have not been in Omaha as often as I thought I would the past year. The Girl Scout office in Omaha is about a block or 2 from the LFS office. It's right next to an apartment complex where I placed 2 of my clients and by the middle school where I mentored a girl for a year and a half. It was a very, very nostalgic visit. For lunch, I went to the newly opened Bhutanese/Nepali grocery store/restaurant. I ran into a former coworker and an old client of mine came and spoke to me. He very clearly remembered that I helped pay for an electric bill for him before he started working. He thanked me and said he missed me. He says he mentions my name all the time when he goes to LFS now, and that nobody still works there from when he first came to Omaha. That was a little overwhelming in a good way. The food was delicious and the training was interesting. It was a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are my brutal days because I get up at 5:15am for my show on KZUM. I had a few other activities for the night, and I was more than ready for bed at an early hour. It was nice because Kurt was in a better mood, and I was happy and thankful when bedtime rolled around (at an early hour).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

4 months

OK. So in 4 months...
I turned 31
My first nephew was born
I went 3 weeks on one tank of gas
I spent a long week in Michigan with my husband
I kayaked on Lake Michigan (not my first time, but always lovely)
I commuted on my bike regularly (my first time)
I recovered from a terrible back injury
I put on weight while healing from that terrible back injury
I left my job at the state
I started a new job at Girl Scouts
I started running again after the terrible back injury
I swept and mopped the entire house (hadn't been done since May)
We bought a new car (for Kurt)
We went to Denver with a big group of friends
I started using a real planner again, the kind with paper
I joined the board of Lincoln Literacy

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend. We didn't do a whole lot. Kurt was on call, and he's bummed about work. We ate out a few times. I played Dominion with Spanky and Becca Sunday and Monday nights, which was a lot of fun. It's such a fun game! I ran 5 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Sunday. I cleaned for 3 hours on Monday while Kurt went into the office for a little while. I read Lipstick Jihad, which was an incredibly fascinating book about Iran and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Last week was in the 90s and above, and Sunday it finally cooled down. We walked to church on Sunday and biked to Jimmy John's, which has become our default place to do the crossword puzzle each week. It's close to our house, they don't care if we sit for hours, the music is great, and it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Sometimes I miss doing the crossword puzzle at Great Wall in Waverly, but it's just a pain to drive out there these days.

Friday, May 31, 2013

We got our Bikes!

Me and Kurt got our bikes back FINALLY from the repair guy! (Apparently some parts were on backorder) We got them Wednesday, picked up the locks and helmets yesterday and I took my bikes to work today. It was pretty timely because my car is in the shop right now getting a little work done. I was late this morning because getting the bike up from the basement and putting the wheel on and packing the backpack for the day took longer than I expected, but it was a lovely ride. It took 25 minutes and I hope to find a way to make that time shorter. It's a 4.5 mile ride. I'm excited to ride my bike a lot and use my car less.

Yesterday I had my first massage. It was "theraputic" for my crappy back situation. The massage hurt like hell, mostly, so it was far from enjoyable. However, between the chiropractic adjustments and the massage I'm starting to feel loads better. I suspect all this trouble started when I started to go to Good Life Fitness. I don't know what I did to injure myself so badly, but I did! The masseuse thinks it is my iliopsoas muscle. Google it. It's an important one and a hard one to fix.

I am currently at Culvers on a work break. I had a free one scoop ice cream sundae from my birthday that I decided to use on this gorgeous, gorgeous day. Time to head back!