Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AWANA Games 2011

For the past 2 months, I have been working with the 3rd-6th grade girls AWANA team.  I train a team to compete against other churches from around the Chicagoland area.  This year was different than in the past, to tell you the truth, I don't feel like my whole heart was as involved this year.  I have been working in AWANA for the last 21 years, and I grew up in the program, so you can say that I am a lifer!  I love AWANA for all the differences it has.  There is always a story time, game time and bible memorizing time.  Something for everyone I always say.  I went to AWANA because of the Games.  Fun, different and exciting games.  I stepped back from my responsibilities this year because of Ava and the boys schedules.  I did agree to coach, but found myself not committing a lot of my time to it like in the past.  I had to confess that to the girls this last week, and humble myself to ask forgiveness of them.  I tell you this only because God is so good and His ways are far beyond mine.  We competed on Saturday and we won!  God was there in those girls and used them to show me that He commands all and wants all of me, He blessed them inspite of my selfishness.  Lesson learned.

Mary hand made this cake,
it looked just like the shirts!
It was great tasting also!

Pasta party at my house the night before the competition
The girls painted their nails blue! 

the girls watching past AWANA games competitions 
picture before the competition and after with our medals! 

Thank you God for being with the girls even when I failed them!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Costa Rica update

I was able to speak with Tom while they are in Costa Rica.  They are doing a lot of work for the people of San Jose and surrounding communities.  Tom tells me that they have been working on a lot of homes, making them bigger by adding bedroom or a kitchen, porches and just fixing them.  The homes there are just made out of metal and a few boards.  Very different then what we are used to.  The neighborhood they went into yesterday was very dangerous as they couldn't leave their truck their for fear of it being stolen.  So all the group put things on their back and put their work belts on and carried the material up a large mountain.  It sounds like Trevor has been "kicking butt" with his unbeliveable athleticism.  I am glad that Trevor and Andrew have had a chance to talk with the children of this area and to be able to shine Gods light on them.  If you have a chance, you can access the blog here.

Thanks for your prayers and good wishes for them.  Some pictures from their blog below.

Tom Trevor and Andrew built this bed 
handing out goodies to the locals 

the house on top of a mountain that they had to walk to
they doubled the size of this house 
Andrew with the girls even in Costa Rica...hummmm 
Trevor working hard 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My what big eyes you have!

OK, I was going thru my camera pictures and Tyler took these pictures of Ava.  It made me laugh, all I could think of was those cartoons that always have the huge eyes.

Interesting story, when I was younger everyone told me my what big eyes I have.  Now I can say that to my daughter, how cool is that?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Big Boys

While Tom has been gone with the "little boys", the big boys have been very busy.

Have I ever told you that Tyler is involved in like everything?  He dosen't "do" sports, but he is president or runs just about every other thing at our small school.  One project he is very proud of is that he is President of the Ecology Club.  He takes this very seriously and he is committed to making us use our resourses and not waste what God has given us.  Tyler implemented a "5 cent for the future" at our local grocery store.  For every reuseable bag you used, instead of using the cheap plastic or paper bags from the store, the store will donate .05 cents to the school, who will use that money for scholoarships.  He was so excited about this program, and he made sure that I always used my reuseable bags.  They got their first check and they raised over $500.00.  This is awesome for our "small" community.  Thank you Tyler for thinking of others and our planet!

this picture was in our local newspaper


Austin started to play LaCrosse at school.  Now I know this isn't a new sport, it has been around since the 1980s at least.  But, here in the midwest we just don't get around to playing these new sports!  Well Austin is loving, did I say loving, I mean LOVING IT!  It is a really rough game, and I haven't quite figured out all the rules yet, but it is a lot of running, hitting, ball tossing, ball catching, more hitting, more whacking of the stick and try and score game.  Now in Illinois it is still not a sanctioned IHSA sport yet, so the school dosen't "officially" recognize it, so the boys can not get a "letter" in it.  But who cares, Tom and I are loving watching Austin get involved in the school and he gets to hit someone other than his brothers and people cheer for it?!  Go figure?!

Austin plays midfield, so he had to come back and cover defense
he is raising his stick so the ref knows that there are
3 people on defense (its a rule)

Austin has just "nailed" the guy in black
he had the ball, opperative word, had! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Missions in Costa Rica

Today, Hubs, Trevor and Andrew left for Costa Rica.  They are a part of a group of 15 who are going and helping the local Missionaries who are there already.  They are going to be doing some work in the community.  Building, helping, organizing just about anything that needs to be done.  The Missionaries there said that there are a lot of children who are eager to hear about Jesus.  Trevor and Andrew were really excited about going, they went to the dollar store and bought lots of toys, balls, frisbees, and for the girls, socks, hair accessories, books, pencils, crayons coloring books and so much more I don't even know.  I pray that they will be able to be open to God and to be used by Him.  If you want to follow along, this is the link to the blog.  Hopefully they will update it with pictures (there is nothing as of yet)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notice anything different....

Yep, I did it.  Ava got pierced ears.

Here she is eating her fruit snacks while they mark her ears with a pen...

then they did both ears at the same time.....

look how nervous I am,
I needed a shower after because I was sweating 

she didn't cry, right away, it was kinda like a whimper with some huge crocodile tears...

then all smiles with fruit treats on her teeth....

then a train ride....

she is doing great, we clean them 3 times a day for 6 weeks.

The boys were soooooo mad at me for getting her ears pierced.  I'm not really sure why, maybe they don't want their little princess growing up!

Now, Trevor says he wants his done!  Ya Right!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck O' the Irish

To tell you the truth, I am a little Irish.  I'm just a wee bit Irish, but I think I have the ole' luck on my side.  We had a beautiful day here yesterday and today.  I am glad to see the snow gone and the sun coming out and signs of spring popping up.  The ole' luck gave me some special time outside with my Russian Angel.  We did our best and put on our green and laughed and giggled all morning.

little blury, but did this on my own 

not sure why the tounge is out 

saying "cheese" 

pretending to talk on an old cell phone 

and yesterday we were outside doing some good jumping:

yes I see Andrews eyes are closed, but on the other picture I have, Avas were closed so I picked this one!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Total 180 degree turn!

Tyler has surprised us once again!  Remember when we went to all the colleges last summer  here and here.  Tyler was looking into International Relations and Affairs, his goal was to work in a foreign embassy.  His favorite school was Syracue in NY.  Well I made him apply to several schools within a 3 hour drive of our house and he got accepted to all of them with many of them giving him a full ride and/or scholarships.  Well just 3 short weeks ago, Tyler came home from school and said he now wants to go to Western Illinois University and Major in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice!  What!  Where in the world did that come from?  It's like he just switched him mind at the last minute.  First of all, we are way behind the 8 ball then because applications needed to be filled out and most of the other kids did that way back in December.  Well he sent his application and was accepted, so Tom and Tyler went to look at the campus.  I do say, it is an U G U L Y campus, kinda old and yucky.  There montra is, you don't go to the University for the buildings, you go for the education.  Ya I guess that is true, but come on, spruce it up a little!  Western Illinois is the top school for Law Enforcement in the state.  So my son who surprises me all of the time like here and here will be a Leatherneck.  I, as his mother, is a little worried about him in Law Enforcement, but he is super smart and will do the best he can in what ever Major he chooses!

and just so you know, a Leatherneck is a Marine!  They used to wear leather around their necks to protect them in sword fights!  I know, you think I'm so smart, but I looked it up!

I ask all of you out there, how in the world did you choose a Major when you went to College?  Tom nor I went to College, so we are completely baffled on how you know what you want at 18?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Turnabout 2011

It's that time of year again where school dances are all around.  This year Tyler was asked by his best girl friend.  This is a girl that has shared so much of Tylers life since they were in Kindergarten together (I love her, truly a great girl).  I am sad that his time in High School is almost over.  He has grown into a nice young man and he has loved all of his school years.

(Ava was trying so hard to grab Tylers flower!)

The whole gang!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eiffel Tower

Austin had a project at school to complete in a 6 week time.  This is for International Night and it is thru the foreign language department at the school.  This was our first one as they only have it every other year.  I have to say, I was really impressed with the projects that the boys did.  The boys were able to build, construct, design, or create a project from the area they are studying.  They could also make a dish or desert from their country.  There were also boys who had played instruments from their country.   Austin is taking French, so he chose to do the Eiffel Tower.  He wanted to construct it out of metal, and he knew how high he wanted it.  Austin and I went to the hobby store to see what we could find, and we didn't really have any luck there.  So on our way home, we stopped at Home Depot, and wa-la, right in the aisle of carpet and tile were these long metal pieces and he had a great idea to use them.  He also used some gutter screening and some other metal material that he picked out.

He did a lot of the work himself, with a little of Toms guidance and he was really proud of his work.

The foreign language teachers judged all the items and Austin won 2nd Place.

I am proud of him, because this momma has no clue on how to create or do crafty things.

Congratulations Austin on a Great Job!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

From Sun to Snow...

Tom and I, and David and Kelly planned a trip to Wisconsin Dells to stay at a waterpark and then ski for 2 days at Devils Head with the family.  What cruel and unusal punishment did we put ourselves in.  As I was skiing and bundeling up, all I could think about was the nice sandy beaches of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.  Oh how this old gal, would much prefer to sit on the beach then to sit on a chair lift!

Don't get me wrong, I used to live in Aspen, so I loved, liked skiing, and I have taught all of my kids and David and Kellys kids how to ski.  It is amazing now to see all of them and their abilities love it and ski for hours, and hours, and hours at a time.  They never seem to tire out!

On Saturday, we woke up and drove to the Dells and checked into the water park. We stayed at Mt. Olympus and we rented a 2 bedroom suite. It was a really nice room, and wonderful to have the extra space, and an extra bathroom and rooms with doors so that Ava Grace could sleep and we didn't bother her. Ava Grace loved, loved, loved the water park. There was so much for her to do and explore. At one point she was walking around the place with Tom and I just following her, and we laughed at ourselves because she was in charge at that point. Her favorite by far was the huge water tube slide. You had to walk up A LOT of stairs while carrying a tube, who needs a stair master after climbing that! It was super fast and Ava loved it so much. She would cover her eyes when we went under the waterfall and then squeal with delight when we splashed down in the water.

Just before going down the tube slide

Tom and Ava on the tube slide

after the big splash of the tube slide

David and Sara going up to the tube slide

(isn't he fasionable)

Sunday we woke up early again and went skiing.  Let me just say that the worst part about skiing is the ski rental and then getting everyone ready.  You would think that with the ages of the boys they could do it by themselves, but nooo there tends to be that Mom could you help with this...Mom could you help with that...Mom where are my gloves....Mom wheres my jacket....Mom help with this...Mom help with that...blahhh that part I could do without!  For the most part, once they have all their stuff and skiis on they are good to go.  In fact, It is hard to even get them to come in for lunch or dinner!

Ava with her skiis, are they not the cutest things?

all dressed and ready to go!

the magic carpet on the bunny hill

Monday we woke up and did it all over again, except we had to drive home....that was not fun!

Andrew getting some nice air on a jump
Trevor on the same jump with some nice air
I have to say it was a great weekend and there were no broken bones!  Ava loved swimming and skiing!