A-Camping We Will Go

Every year for the last 11 years, our family has gone camping with our kids’ school, Trace Academy. Trace started this tradition the very first year it opened, believing that the “shared adversity” of tent camping with everyone would build unity. For our parent-involved, “family owned and operated” structure, unity is very important.

Some of our families had never been camping until they joined us, and some will never do it again after they leave. I wasn’t in the first group, but I may very well end up in the second after freezing at night for the past two years.

I am not built for the cold. I know, I know. There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing. That may be true, but, living in Florida does not lend itself to keeping cold-weather gear on hand. This year, I watched the weather report; I knew we were in for nights in the low 40s. I pulled out my ancient thermal underwear, got my fuzziest, thickest socks, piled on the blankets, had a little heater. Still, I froze.

Even my hot flashes weren’t helping.

There is nothing longer than a night with no sleep. O.K., I shouldn’t say NO sleep: I probably got a couple of hours scattered throughout the 7 hours I laid there shivering. The next morning, I was the teacher on for the day–and even before that, I was a part of the worship band during the assembly that starts our day. But God gave me grace, and I was able to get through it and even enjoy it. But man, when we got home, did my warm bed ever feel so good.

Now, before those in colder climes call me wimpy because anything less than 60 is cold to me, let me just state that all people are different, and I am one of those who would rather sweat than shiver. But, I want to look on the bright (think warm and sunny) side, so here are the things I like about camping with our school:

#1 sitting around the campfire with friends
#2 cooking outdoors
#3 the change of scenery
#4 knowing my kids are having such a great time with their friends
#5 once it finally warms up, I love the beautiful, Florida fall weather
#6 the assembly time, laughing at the MCs’ antics and being a part of the worship band

Next year, though, I’m seriously considering borrowing an RV. Our neighbors have one–about a 20-footer I’m guessing. That should do the trick.

Thankful today for

642. A weeklong break
643. Hair cuts
644. Protection
645. Coffee–not because I need the caffeine, because I drink only decaf, but just because I like it
646. Slow mornings
647. Health
648. My far-away family
649. S’mores

What Do You Know?

I haven’t been able to write lately, because I’ve been at school every day, breaking in a new batch of 6th graders. Here are my observations from my first week teaching middle schoolers:
1. They are older than 2nd graders
2. They can actually carry on intelligent conversations and ask thoughtful questions
3. I love not having to teach math
4. They are good writers!
5. I can read their handwriting without much trouble
6. I love not having to fill out a homework sheet
7. Now that I have teenagers, middle schoolers aren’t so scary
8. I love not having seat work!
9. I can keep my expectations high and not have to worry about being disappointed
10. I know more than I thought I did


Thankful today for:

579. my co-teacher Jenni. She rocks!

580. my school being right across the street

581. my 10 6th graders. They rock too!

582. that my kids are old enough to get themselves up, dressed and fed