Saturday, May 8, 2010

AWANA camp 2010

We capped off this year's AWANA by having camp this weekend. The TNTers (3rd -6th) were invited to spend the night and the Cubbies and Sparks just came for today (actually most of the cubbies left at noon). I happened to be one of the privileged adults who got to sleep over with the TNT group. (Sleep is a very loose term for what took place!) Last night was filled with hiking, singing, s'mores and games. Today we fed all the kids (I think we had around 30 total) breakfast, hiked, games, sang some songs, fed everyone lunch, scavenger hunt, paddle boat tag, more games and a closing session. It was such a fun day even though it felt more like late October then it did the middle of May. BRRR! Joe and I are feeling our age and I think we will both sleep extremely soundly tonight (as will the kids!). What is up for debate is if Joe & I will be able to move in the morning! Here are some pictures of my kids (& Joe!) from today.

For those of you who had kids attend, I won't be posting all my pictures just out of privacy for the kids, but check out the board at church. Or I could also email you some.

My Grandma

My grandma loved watching birds. I have often thought of getting a martin house in her honor, but have so far settled on simple bird feeders. It often gives me occasion to remember my grandma and being at my grandparents farm house. I thought I'd share with you a new bird that I saw today. When we got home from AWANA camp there were at least 6 or 7 of these in my flower bed under my bird feeders (my feeders happened to be empty..I can't seem to keep enough food in them these days). I had to look it up because I don't think I'd ever seen one before. I'm pretty sure it is a white-crowned sparrow and they are most likely migrating. According to my book they live in the south in the winter and breed in Canada in the summer. They are just passing through and found my feeder helpful on their journey.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The annual concert

At the beginning of the school year I began to have flashbacks of the marathon spring concert that my family participated in when I was a kid...from Kim's fourth grade through high school (remember that Snow family??) I loved playing in it, but dreaded sitting through it every spring. I think it probably lasted four hours or more. At the very beginning school, Sara announced that she was going to get to sing in the all school spring concert (bands and choirs). I have to admit I sighed a very big sigh. My only good thought was, well, at least it is only through the 8th grade and not through high school. (Please don't think me a horrible mother.) Anyway, her concert was last night and it was so great. I love this school! I think they had the perfect plan. The staggered the concerts and served a pork chop dinner throughout so you could come and go. You could watch and be proud of your child and then you could go home. The third and fourth graders combined for about a 30 minute program and they did a really good job. Their choir director got some good music out of them. Way to go Sara!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The catch-up!

Wow! I completely skipped the last half of March and all of April. I knew we'd been busy, but I didn't realize it had lasted that long. Here's some highlights (it might be long--it's been a month and a half!)

  • We spent part of our spring break in Indianapolis with all of Joe's family. It was great to visit with all of us together. Everyone together is fairly infrequent since his younger sister lives in China. She had a baby! We can't wait to meet Michaela at the end of this month.
  • My parents stopped by for a couple of visits on their way to and from my sister's (who is in Kansas). It was so good to see them. We hadn't seen them since Christmas. It was the longest I'd ever gone between visits with them.


  • Ashley celebrated her eighth birthday on March 22nd. Much to her delight she got an MP3 player. She also got a breakfast out with mom and a beautiful rock book end. In case you didn't know, Ashley wants to be a geologist when she grows up. (Or an author...the author thing is new, but she's pretty excited about it. Maybe she can write books about rocks.)
  • I celebrated another birthday on Monday. And I wouldn't even mention it except I needed to make sure my awesome husband got recognized for making my birthday wonderful. I don't remember the last time I'd been so pampered in one day!


We have been finishing up a great year of AWANA. We had over 170 kids attend AWANA at some point during the year. The last month we've averaged 90 kids every Wednesday night. My favorite night was the meeting before the last one when they have the kids share what AWANA has meant to them. It is difficult to even put into words the kind of impact AWANA had on these kids. Our last AWANA event is this weekend with AWANA camp. I actually get to spend the night with the TNT (3rd-6th grade) girls. I'm sure I'll have some stories.

Our last four Sunday lunches have been spent hosting our newcomer's/new members class. We've enjoyed sharing our dining room table with 13 other adults each week who are interested in getting to know our church better. (The 15 kids have been hanging out at church. It is the first class we've had that the kids had to meet somewhere else.) This is one of Joe & I's favorite things to do in ministry. It was one of Joe's responsibilities in Iowa and we really wanted to carry on doing it here. This is the largest class we've ever hosted and it is looking like we are going to get to do it again in the fall. We are taking this week off and our last one is next Sunday. Tons of work, but overflowing blessings have been with it!


  • Sickness has been abounding at our specific strep! Ugh! Fortunately I have managed to avoid it. We finally took the step of getting John an appointment with an ENT. If you've ever met John, you probably could have guessed we would eventually be doing this. We kept hoping he would outgrow his issues, but it was not to be. So he could be looking at a summer break filled with milkshakes as he will probably get his tonsils and adnoids removed.
  • Field trips have been abounding for the kids and Sara has her spring concert this week. We have been so blessed with great teachers this year. I'm kind of sad to say good-bye to them. But that is the advantage of having four kids. We will probably get to have some of them again at some point.
  • My carpets are getting clean (thanks to my parents for letting me borrow their shampooer). WOW...can't even describe the dirt. And after 2 1/2 years my flower beds are finally starting to look a little bit like I want them. I got my tomatoes planted yesterday...I can almost taste the fresh salsa.
  • Today is some vacation and VBS preparation! This planner needs to get the details on paper.
Well, I'm sure I missed some stuff, but that should get you caught up on what has been going on here. I will try (and probably fail) to be more diligent in keeping this up-to-date.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ashley's newest look

No more squinting! Over the last year it has become evident that Ashley could not see. She started squinting so much that I wasn't sure if her eyes were even open. So last month she got officially checked out and much to her delight she got some glasses--two pair actually. We got a good deal and took the advice of some friends that it is handy to have an extra pair around. I like her specs so much that I just may have to get some similar when I go in for my check up this summer.