Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Team USA par-tay!

I am so excited for the Olympics this year!  My favorite thing is the Opening Ceremonies.  This year I decided my family is having an Opening Ceremony party!  I have been searching Pinterest for fun ideas.  I thought I would share a few with you.

I plan on decorating the house very festive.   Olympic colors, flags, rings...maybe even the huge torch will be out front!

We will start the night off by making some crafts. 

Maybe even have a relay around the house to hand it off.

We will of course be eating American cuisine...

Hot Dogs and Fries.  It is kind of gross that when you search all American food, this is what you find.  (Along with pancakes, hamburgers, and chili.)  Curious...what do you consider all American food?

I am making an Olympic themed dessert.

So cute and festive.

I am going to give the kids these cute little gifts...


I plan on having a whole bunch of fun games for the kids to play.

And of course...we plan on watching them.  Besides the Opening Ceremony I love to watch swimming and gymnastics.

What is your favorite thing to watch?  Any big plans?

Oh...and did I mention we met an one of the athletes?

Yup, that is right!  We were enjoying a fun family day at the zoo and we saw this guy with a shirt that said something like..."My Olympic dreams come true"  (Something like that) and then had the name Khetag Pliev  So Rob said, I think he is a wrestler.  So I, of course, went up to him and said, "Excuse me, are you an Olympic wrestler?"  He did not have a clue what I said...didn't speak English.  But this guy came up behind me and said, "That is my brother, I am though."  So we asked some questions and of course got Broderick's picture with him.  When we walked away he said something to his family and then laughed.  I said to Rob, "What if he was totally pulling our chain and lying to us?"  We laughed too!  Then I googled the name and found out that he was telling the truth.  He is going to be wrestling for the Canadians!  Pretty cool!  So I might be rooting a little bit for the Canadians on this one.  Anyway...

Go USA!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Most Dramatic Break - Up EVER

Did you watch the finale of the Bachlorette last night? Well...I did. I actually liked this season. Most of the time I complain through the whole thing. (Remember, I only watch it because I cave under peer pressure...and it means a night out with my ladies!) Last night was no exception. We did the finale big!  Like one of my friends said last night Bachelorette finale = Superbowl for girls!

Oh and boy was it good!  I mean, we all knew what was coming, right?  Emily, for lack of better word, had balls all season.  She wasn't afraid to get rid of losers when the time came.  That is one reason I loved this season.  She stood her ground and didn't put up with any lame-os!

The ladies and I always make a bet on who the "winner" will be.  (Last season I ended up jumping in a pool fully clothed.)  I NEVER pick the right one.  We all agreed that she was not going to pick either of them at on the actual show, but then at the After the Final Rose show she would pick Jef.  Well...of course we were wrong!  I thought night one when Jef rode in on his skate board and then threw it int he bushes he was a gonner!  Maria's exact words, "She loves that!"  I don't know...they were weird together.  I always felt like he knew what to say.  I asked Elizabeth last night if she thought he was genuine.  Her response, "None of this is genuine!"  Good point.  Jef grew on me and at the after show...I was sold.  He seems sweet and totally smitten for Emily.  We will see how long it lasts. 

I was an Arie fan from night one.  I really wanted her to pick him...or did I!?  I knew she wouldn't.  I am kind of glad she didn't.  But I tell you what...that boy was heart broken!  I felt so bad for him. But he took it like a real man!  Genuine?  Indeed.  I mean, he got on a plane and flew to see her after the show.  He gave her his journal and she didn't even read it!  I truly believe she didn't read it because if she did, she would second guess her choice.  And she should. 

Anyway...who really cares about Emily's love life? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Will there be bathrooms in Pikeville?

Yup...my sweet 6 year old asked that question on the way down to Kentucky!

After that I thought, "I need to keep a journal of this trip."

There were a few reasons.  #1  I can't remember much and #2 I wanted to write my thoughts as God was showing me things.  I am still trying to unpack and process all of the things God is teaching me.  I think of things I want to write and then my mind starts going a mile a minute and I can't gather the thoughts into a sensible post.

That being said...I thought I would share with you the funny and sweet things my kids did and said while we were gone!

Carys did truly ask if there would be bathrooms.  We had talked with them about how we were going to a place that was poor and didn't have things like we do.  I guess I know now that it is important to a girl to have a bathroom!

Broderick asked what being homesick was.  He thought that you actually get sick when you are homesick.  I explained to him what it meant.

Broderick said, "I hope this trip goes well!"  The day before we left he was out in the garage with his tools nailing some stuff.  He was getting so frustrated and crying and saying he was terrible at it.  I did my best to help and encourage him.  It didn't hit me until he made this statement why he said it and why he was nailing things.  He knew he was going to be doing some construction.  He was frustrated because he wanted to do a good job in Pikeville and "he was hoping it went well."

The first day when Broderick and Rob were doing yard work for Miss Ruby, Broderick said to Rob, "If mom were here she would be saying take a break, put your hat on, time for more sunscreen..."  (Smartellic!  He is right.  Did I tell you I packed a first aid kit for them to take!?)

Speaking of first aid kits...one day at VBS a little girl fell and hurt her toe and knee. Carys immediately said, "Mom, get your first aid kit!" We went and got Gracie some band aids. Carys was so sweet about trying to comfort her. She even put the band aids on for her.

Carys loved helping lead the songs at VBS.  She was so good at it too!  She would teach the other how to do the moves and change these pictures on the poster for another song we did. 

(Carys helping with the songs.)

Another day at VBS a little girl, Hailey, wanted some more strawberries.  We didn't have any left so we had to tell her she couldn't have anymore.  Carys offered for Hailey to have hers.  (Did I mention Carys loves strawberries!) 

When Carys turned 6 we had her give up her blankie.  (I know...we are mean!)  She had really been doing okay without it.  One night at home she asked for it, but we talked through it and she was fine.  Well, one night in Pikeville she really wanted it.  She was crying and sad she didn't have it.  Broderick said very sweetly while stroking her face, "Carys your sleeping bag is silky just like your blankie.  Pretend your sleeping bag is one giant blankie."  (Remember the #1 reason I said I kept a journal? Well, I was talking with a friend today about Carys' blankie and even said to her that Carys didn't miss her blankie in Pikeville.  How did I forget this story!!!)

Broderick came to VBS with me one day.  He was so sweet and playful with this little 2-3 year old little girl, Caylee.  She would kind of go off on her own and play with different things.  Broderick would go right with her and be so sweet and play with her.

(Broderick and Caylee)

The funniest thing I think from the whole trip was when Carys in all seriousness, came over to Rob, Broderick and I and said with a twang, "Whatch y'all doin'?"  I said, "what did you say?"  And we all started laughing!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pikeville Mission Trip

A little over a week ago our family set out on a mission trip.  We went to Pikeville, Kentucky.  This is a small town in the Appalachian Mountains.  Our church has been doing trips here for about 5 years.

We stayed at a college dorm.  It was an old Days Inn that was transformed to dorms.  We weren't exactly roughin it, but it was no Marriott either!  It had hot water and air conditioning which was awesome!

Carys and I did a Vacation Bible School at a section 8 housing community.  Most of our team have been to this same place before so they knew a lot of the kids which was great! 
Each morning we would go knock on doors and get kids to come.

Then we would gather in this room for...





prayer and a Bible story.

This is the VBS team.  We had 4 little girls on our team and a family from Alabama join us.  The little girls did AMAZING!  They worked so hard.  They loved leading the songs and helping the kids with their crafts and whatever else they needed.

These are the kids that joined us most days.  Some days we would start with 2 kids, (there were 2 girls that were always the first to show up) but by lunch time we had around 10. 

Carys was such a big help.  One day a little girl fell and she was quick to remember I packed a first aid kit and get Gracie some band aids.  She even helped put them on her.  She made some great new friends.  Some that live near us...

and some in Kentucky.  She told me last night she wants to move to Pikeville so she can play with Gracie everyday!

I even made a little buddy, Phillip.  He was the same age as Broderick and I loved talking to him.  And boy...could he talk!  Once he got started he kept going!  It was great!

Steffon is a teenager that has been coming to the VBS since our church started going down.  He has developed a great friendship with one of our team member, Alex.  One day Rob and Alex spent sometime playing basketball with him.  By the end of the day he was hugging Rob and smiling.  He was just so happy to have some male interaction.  His dad passed away about a year ago and when he was alive he was disabled.  Steffon is such a sweet teenager.

Rob and Broderick did a couple different jobs. 
They did some work for a sweet elderly lady, Miss Ruby.  Broderick worked hard racking.

Miss Ruby is also a lady that our church has does some work for over the years.

Day 2 the boys headed to a donation center type place.  It is an old grocery store that a man turned into a place where people can donate food and clothes and then others that need them can come get them.  They cleaned out some outdated food and took it to the dump.  They did some organizing, and

the highlight of Broderick's trip was knocking down a wall. 

Broderick also made a new buddy.  Jesse was with the family that joined us from Alabama.  His mom and Grandma were helping us with VBS so he hung out with Rob and Broderick most days.

The last day we all came together for the shoe drive.  We had about 800 pairs of shoes donated to distribute to people in need.  Rob spent sometime on Wednesday passing out flyers door to door and some were put on cars at Walmart.  The shoe drive started at 2:00 and people were lined up at 11:00.
They would come in with one of our team members, called a runner, and go get their foot sized.  Then they would go to a foot washing station.  They had to get their feet washed to get shoes.  We didn't wash their feet because they were dirty.  We washed them because we wanted to serve them.  At this time we would talk to them about Jesus, salvation, and then pray for them.  Carys was the most excited about this.  Her and I spent some time washing some feet.  I met a sweet lady named Virginia.  She shared with me that she used to go to church but basically doesn't feel "good enough" to go back.  I tried to share with her that Jesus meets us where we are.  That none of us are "good enough" and we never will be.  That is exactly why we need a relationship with Jesus.  I think of Virginia everyday.

While the person was getting their feet washed the runner would go get the person their new shoes.  Broderick was a runner, and he did not mess around.  He took this job very seriously. 
He would go pick a couple different shoes for the person.  Sometimes he would take his time and look all the shoes over and make sure he picked the perfect pair for the person in his chair.  Then he would kneel quietly behind the chair.

I can not tell you in one post how much God has been showing me through this experience.  (I will try over the next couple of weeks.)  I can tell you how proud of my kids I am.  They worked so hard.  They loved helping and serving the people of Pikeville.  I can not wait to go back!!!