Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beautiful Sunset, Even Better Sunrise...

For Christmas Kellen and his girlfriend gave us a date night, and last night we finally cashed in on it.  Mike and I ended our evening by watching the sun go down on our beautiful island. Yesterday was the most beautiful and sunny day of the year so far. I love our views (and I loved my company)! 
But even better than God's handiwork is that when the sun rose this morning, Jesus was not in the grave! He arose so that we can walk in new life, evidence of His grace and compassion. Now we are to  share that grace and compassion with others (which is not always so easy, I might add). Hope you can see God's handiwork around you, including in yourself, because He created you in his image. Happy Resurrection Day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Brief Bit of Freedom...

Thursday morning Kaia got her braces off, but she traded one annoyance for another, as now she has to wear a retainer (which she has made it clear she does not like)!  The other downside is that sometime after her surgery, she knows she will have to wear braces again. For now though, she is enjoying eating nuts and other things she has been forbidden to eat in awhile. Who knows, maybe she will find jelly beans in her Easter basket!
The next step is getting a tooth extracted on April 11 (the day after her birthday).  Surgery is scheduled for May 23.  That is Memorial Weekend, so we will definitely be laying low that weekend.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's Spring???

Wednesday was the first day of spring....check out this picture I took at school Friday morning...

Thankfully, Saturday was a beautiful spring day! The whole family headed to Maple Valley for Kaia's gymnastics meet. My niece and her family were also in Maple Valley, visiting my brother and my sister-in-law. They came over for the meet, then we all got to hang out on my brother's alpaca farm, Liberty Alpacas, enjoying the sunny weather and time with family.

Here's Kaia showing off the ribbons and medal she won...
Meet Commander, their Komondor guard dog. He's bigger than the girls, and almost bigger than my bro!
They had fun feeding snacks to the alpacas...

Bradyn and his mommy were even cuter than the alpacas!
Jaelyn having fun with her second cousin...
Now one more week before spring break. Hopefully the beautiful weather sticks around awhile longer.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Changing Lives....

To anyone who thinks short term mission trips doesn't change lives, think again! Meet Wu Jia Wei...
We first met her in 2008, but it was in 2010 that our team began providing a private tutor for her, as she had no schooling past fifth grade (she's much older than she appears), and would not be prepared for life outside the orphanage doors. Juan, a sweet college age girl we met through the church there, has been her tutor ever since. Last summer we were told that the orphanage would send her to a vocational school, but we weren't holding our breath. Yesterday I got an exciting update from one of our team members in China. So rewarding to know we helped instigate this opportunity...


She is now back to the school in Shenyang, studying Arts and Crafts. There are about 16,7 students in her class, about the same age range, three of them are the same age as hers, some of them are 17,8 years old, some of them are early 20s. She is now assigned as a Class Committee member in charge of study, by her teacher. She is very proud of that. The teacher praised her Chinese writing. And what she had learned from Juan, now is part of her study. Juan was very happy to hear that, and me too! 


Josh n' Josh...

Last weekend Josh and his girlfriend attended the ROTC Ball. His girlfriend has participated in ROTC the past three years, where she is currently the commander of the color guard.
Did you notice Josh's new haircut? Had to go short to get out the bleach and arrow! Can't remember the last time he had it this short.

Yesterday Josh was honored to be chosen to speak at the local Rotary Club luncheon. He and fellow team mate CJ represented the wrestling team well. I was fortunate to have the day off for an unused "snow day," so I could go watch him speak.  Unfortunately I was in the back of the room, so did not get a clearly focused shot.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Another Qualifier...

Last weekend Kaia had her second TNT gymnastics event, and made qualifying scores in her second event, the Double Mini Trampoline. It is sort of like a vault, only two jumps on a tilted trampoline.
video

She qualified for power tumbling at the first meet. Now she has two more meets to qualify in the regular trampoline. Here she is getting second place for her tumbling event. She's got the pose down!

Before we headed off the rock for Kaia's meet, Jaelyn had her final basketball game. I missed the week before due to my trip to Nashville, when she scored a basket. She didn't score one this week, but not for lack of trying! There were only 16 or so girls that signed up to play in the 3rd/4th grade division, so they practiced together, then divided into two different teams each week. As you can see below, Jaelyn was the tiniest, but she never let that intimidate her (the girl on her far right is nearly twice Jaelyn's size)! Her best skill is definitely her dribbling, as she has quite the ball control. She is excited that soccer is right around the corner though, since it still remains her favorite sport.

For the first time in his high school career, Josh is not playing a sport. He chose to forgo a spring sport, and is instead, a volunteer, interning with the middle school wrestling program. He is really enjoying it, and definitely sees himself following in his mother and father's footsteps someday as a coach.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Three Down, One to Go....

Josh heard back from University of Idaho. Now he is just waiting to hear from one more school before he makes his decision. I think he is tired of me documenting his decision, as he refused to smile for this photo, so Dad decided to photo bomb it! It could also be the fact that he was opening his mail at 6:45 am today!