My life will slow some after Monday. Tomorrow is the last day of preschool. Well, I must say, I did enjoy my first year of teaching 2 year olds. It went a lot smoother than the first year I taught 4th graders. It will be sad to see my kiddos go. They really have been a great group. Tomorrow night we have a special program where the kids sing some songs and we have refreshments. It is hard to believe that Abby has just one more year of preschool before heading to kindergarten. It has been neat being at school with her, seeing her with her friends, and watching her during chapel. She is full of facial expressions.
A lot has happened since I last wrote, and I will try to not leave anything out. Back on Easter weekend we headed down to Dallas where we watched our youth compete at Leadership Training for Christ (LTC). They were great! I was proud of them! This year we decided to take the girls with us. They enjoyed staying in the hotel and watching the big kids sing, do their puppet shows, and their drama skits.
We got back from LTC just in time to go to the Easter Egg Hunt at church. The girls had lots of fun gathering eggs with all their friends and showing off what they found to Wes, Grandpa, Gina, and I.
everyone else's lines too. (During the program she would often mouth other people's parts which was pretty cute.) She had a blast practicing at home for the big day. She sang her songs and read her lines so much at home that Abby memorized many of them as well. Before the program started a mother of one of the boys in her class came up to me and told me she had a cute story. She had told her son that she was going to bring her camera to take pictures of him during the program. He replied, "OK mom, but can you get some pictures of Avery too? Because she is fine!" Ha! We didn't tell Avery, but we laughed about that for several days.
The whole gang. Avery's class has 14 students and the other kindergarten class has 12. I am hoping the classes stay that small all through out elementary. Isn't that great?
We have been having the middle schoolers and high schoolers over for small groups on Sunday nights and the high schoolers over on Monday nights for Word Up. It is always nice to have them in our home. It is during these times that I can really fellowship with them and get into their lives. I had missed that over the 3-4 months we weren't doing it it because of everything going on with Wes's cancer.
Speaking of cancer, Wes got another fantastic report from MD Anderson. They didn't find anything! Praise God! Such an answer to prayers! They recommended a plan of surveillance which will include regular scans, X-rays, and blood work. Wes has healed very well. He feels great. He has almost all his energy back. There are times like when he mows the lawn or goes on long walks that he doesn't feel quite the same, but for the most part he feels great. He has gained some weight back. His hair has started to grow back some. It is a little fuzzy, which makes it hard to know if he should shave his head and wait for it to come back fuller. His mustache area started first - which is kind of funny. Once again, I want to say a HUGE "THANK YOU!" to those of you who kept us in prayer and offered encouragement. We feel extremely blessed by all our friends and family.
I started a new job this month. I have been working out at my friend Wynn's gym in town for about 4 years now. In the past, Wynn had asked me if I wanted to be trained to teach step or weight lifting classes there for the adults. I wasn't very interested in that, but recently she asked me to teach a kid fitness class. I agreed and have loved every minute of it. Basically, the class is for K-5th graders, and we do all different sorts of physical activity- from obstacle courses and relays to games and lifting weights. We have a lot of fun. I get to crank up the music and wear a one of those cool wireless mics. I would have loved on of these in my fourth grade classes when I was teaching. Avery loves it and gets excited about going too. It has made me start thinking about teaching PE sometime in the future.
The biggest event we had recently was my Dad getting married. YAY! Dad and Gina, (my "Mother-in-Love" as she calls herself) got married on May 2nd. The rehearsal dinner was a blast. It was at an Italian restaurant downtown. We had a hoot dancing, visiting, and laughing at people dancing. Every time someone clanged their glass Dad and Gina kissed. I think that was their favorite part. They were hoping to get married in our beautiful prayer garden at church, but the rain changed those plans. It still turned out beautifully in our church. All the grand kids got to walk down the aisle before Gina was escorted in. Heather was the photographer and I can't wait to see her pictures. Our friend, Henriann, took some great engagement pictures in the prayer garden. It was neat visiting with everyone at the reception. All the cousins enjoyed playing with each other during the wedding festivities.
A few days before the wedding Abby stated, "After Grandpa and Gina get married they have to become parents." Avery chimed in with, "Where are they going on their honeymoon?" I responded with, "Africa". She got so excited and shouted, "Can we go with them? Can we go with them?" I had to explain that people go on honeymoons by themselves.
Two weekends ago we took our Seniors and Juniors on a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge. This is traditional trip we take before our Seniors graduate, but this was our first time to go to the Great Wolf Lodge. What a cool place! I highly recommend going there. We had a great time at the indoor water park. They had huge water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river and fun play areas for young children. Avery and Abby spent the night at Nana and Paw Paw's house then joined us Saturday morning. Avery wasn't tall enough to go on the scariest ride, but she was able to go on some big ones that start 6 stories high. When we got done riding it together for the first time, she said, "Can we do it again?" That's my girl! When we piled on with 3 others from our youth group we went especially fast. Wes and I thought Abby would be able to ride on the raft with us, but she was just an inch too short. Some of the other life guards had been letting children her height go, but when we tried there was a strict lady up there. Abby was so sad she cried. She did go down a smaller ride and had a blast swimming/floating down the lazy river over and over again. I am so glad my girls love the water as much as I do.
Thursday night I was invited by one of our High Schoolers, Lauren Hurley, to the 2009 "Scholars Among Us" dinner at the Tanglewood Resort on Lake Texoma. The Denison ISD Education Foundation honors the top 10% and Socrates scholars of the Class of 2009 graduating seniors. Each student got to invite a teacher/educator who has had the greatest positive influence in their life. Lauren was in my first group of fourth graders that I taught and has been in our youth group since 6th grade. I felt so honored to be her guest. It has been a joy to watch her grow up into a beautiful Christian lady, and I am thrilled that she will be heading off to ACU in the fall. 14 out of the 51 of the students being honored were in my classes at Hyde Park. They are all grown up now, but of course, I have not gotten older at all. :) It was neat to see them and give them hugs. They played a video during the event which showed pictures of the students and teachers. The students had also been recorded saying some special things about why they had chosen their particular teacher. What Lauren said made me cry. "Mrs. Encalade is one of the sweetest, most sincere, Christ-like individuals I know. As a teacher, Mrs. Encalade made English a fun subject and encouraged students to work to their full potential. As a mentor she has been a great friend. I've been so blessed to have her as a role model." I am so proud of you Lauren, and I know God will use you even more as you continue to seek Him and live for Him. Love you, girl!
"Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event that brings more than 3.5 million people from 4,900 communities across the country together each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that takes too much. Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event that empowers everyone to help fight cancer by raising money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. Teams of people camp out at local high schools, parks, or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Relay For Life symbolizes the hope that people lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face the disease have support, and that one day cancer will be eliminated."
We had team of 62 from our church attend the event. There were maybe a thousand people there in all. Wes led the opening prayer for the event. They had different activities such as the survivor walk, survivor/caregiver walk, and fun little contests. It was incredible to see so many people gathered for a great cause. Our church raised over $4000.
Nana and Paw Paw took the girls home late that night and for the rest of the weekend. It was a nice treat to get a break from the girls. Usually when the girls are gone for a while we are busy with the youth. This time Wes and I were able to sleep in, relax, get some errands run on Saturday and then we celebrated our anniversary by going out to eat and watching Angels and Demons. We ended our anniversary with some yummy ice cream from Coldstone. Happy ten years, Bookie! I love you! Thanks for a great date! I am so blessed to have a husband like you! Can't wait to see what God has in store for the rest of our life.
Sunday at church we had our ground breaking service. We are adding an additional building that will have a gym, large youth suite, classrooms, and large kitchen. It is exciting!