Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good To Go Back Home

A couple of weekends ago we went back to Abilene for our ten year college reunion at ACU. Yes, we are that old! I will always consider Abilene as one of my homes. (I guess I have three homes, Kenya, Abilene, and Denison.) I will always have fond memories of the 11 years I spent in that great town. (Notice I said "great" town not beautiful.) It was especially neat to take the girls and show them where I grew up and to show them ACU's campus. We even showed them one of my Christmas trees that we planted in our front yard when I was in middle school. It is really tall now and it brought back sweet memories of Christmas with my family. Wes and I drove them by different places we lived during our college years and shared stories of different things that had happened during our time in Abilene. It was pretty sweet that they actually cared and seemed interested.

When we arrived on Friday I headed to the Queen's Tea, an event that honored the homecoming queen nominees from 10 years ago, as well as this year's nominees. My good friend and old roommate, Holly, was being honored. The nominees got to invite friends and family. It was fun catching up with friends that I hadn't seen in a long time.

The nominees from our year and friends.

Soon after that I met up with Wes and the girls for some shopping at the ACU Bookstore, dinner with Paul and Audrey, Summer and Chad, Julia and Cory, and all their little kiddos. It was pretty fun watching all the kids get along like they had known each other for a while.

Julia, Baby Lila, Summer, Kristin, and I in the Campus Center.

Ava, Emma, Addie, Avery, and Abby had more fun pushing each other in the stroller and sliding in the Campus Center.

After dinner we went to the carnival. Yes, ACU does homecoming very well with lots of family oriented activities. The carnival was lots of fun! I was glad the girls were in good spirits despite the long day and no naps. The petting zoo was the biggest hit. The girls thoroughly enjoyed holding chicks and a bunny and feeding the goats and llama.

Abby trying to get the bean bag into the wildcat's mouth.

Let's try fishing!

Can we take it home, Mom?

What do you like better, the lollipop or the chick?

Could we at least take the bunny with us?

What a sweet bunny. I was afraid she was going to take off from Abby.

Goats with bandannas? Really?

Reaching up to the llama who is sporting a bandanna, too.

The carnival didn't wear us out too bad, so we kept the good times rollin'. We headed over to Taylor and Heather's house to visit and see even more friends. On a side note, Heather and I were in the same youth group at Hillcrest from 6th-12th grade. I am so thankful that they provided a place for all of us to get together and hang out and just catch up.

We headed back to the hotel pretty late that night which made me even more thankful that I had decided not to wake up for our club breakfast. Sorry ladies!

The next morning we met up with Alexis and her gang and Amy and Ginny for the homecoming parade. We had a good time watching the parade go by. It seemed like a bigger deal when we were actually in it. It seemed like we put an awful lot of effort into our floats for club. Ha!

Watching the parade.

After the parade we headed to Chapel. It was wonderful to worship once again in Moody Coliseum. We felt a little bad skipping out towards the end to meet our Denison ACU students at Betty Rose's Bar-B-Que. Amy and Ginny got to come with us, too. The girls had fun playing while we visited. Seeing all our old youth group members in Abilene brought my heart a lot of joy. Just knowing how much my experiences at ACU helped shape me made me happy that they were getting to experience some of the same things. The relationships and experiences are truly priceless!

I gave in to Wes and went to the football game. Thankfully, Amy and Ginny were there too, and we met up with some other friends once we got there.

Willie the Wildcat and some random boy who wanted to be in the picture. Was he hitting on our girls?

That night we had a special dinner just for our class. Childcare was provided which was a nice plus. About 180 people from our graduating class made it, which is awesome! We had some good laughs and shared some good times.

Best friends since middle school and high school. Lauren we missed ya!

It was wonderful to see Amy again. Her and her family are only in the states for less than a year before they head back to Paraguay where they are medical missionaries.

Hall-mates, roommates, we sure had a lot of fun together!

Cory and Julia - I have fond memories of doing our Bible study together and going on a Spring Break Campaign.

Summer and Chad - lots of fun times with you all, too.

Greg Jones and Wes - these two could get into some serious trouble together.

Crazy guys!

It was was truly a wonderful weekend! It was such a blessing to meet up with everyone again. There have been births, deaths, sickness, health, hard times and good times. But through it all we recognize that God is good. He does have a plan and He will take care of us. Sharing that belief with a large group of friends through the years provides strength and encouragement that really cannot be explained. Thank you God, for blessing us with great friends!

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Magical Hand from God...

OK, so I am struggling with what to title my blog entries these days. I decided on this particular title because of a funny story about Abby. Recently I walked into her room while she was standing in front of her chest of drawers with her back to me. I reached over her to get something off her chest of drawers and this is what she said, "Hey, you snuck up on me. I was like - is this a magical hand from God or something?" She sure keeps us laughing! She has some great facial expressions too. This can be great except if she is sad/mad/frustrated, then the whole world knows and starts asking, "What's wrong, Abby?" which often makes her even more upset.

Last Saturday Avery had her second soccer game. It was a very tight game, but they won 3-2. Avery scored the 2nd goal to tie the game. It was thrilling! We were so proud! I didn't think I would get so excited about a bunch of 6 year olds playing soccer, but I really do. Nana and Paw Paw came up for the game and then took the girls with them to Arlington.

Stretching before the big game.

There she goes...

This girl can hustle.

A proud hug from Daddy.

Snack time after the game.

The girls in their new dresses from Nana.

Wes and I joined Dad and Gina that night to go to a Teen Challenge of Ft. Worth annual banquet at the Bethesda Community Church where Gina used to attend when she lived in that area. Teen Challenge is a Christian drug and alcohol ministry for women ages eighteen and older. Gina volunteered with Teen Challenge while she lived there. It touched my heart to hear the ladies give their testimonies and pour their hearts out. You could tell that God had really been at work in their lives. I was also amazed that they were courageous enough to share their testimonies with such a large crowd. They also sang several songs. They were wonderful! I felt like I was in Sister Act. It was truly a powerful night!

On Wednesday evening Wes and Abby left for Houston. They picked up Blake and headed down to visit Wes's parents. Wes's dad has been undergoing proton therapy treatment for prostate cancer at MD Anderson. The doctors caught it early and the treatment has been going well.
The house felt empty with the two of them gone. I got a lot done while Avery was at school, and it was special getting to spend some one on one time with her. Right after school we headed to Nautilus for Kid Fitness where we had our first class of the fall. I had 14 kids which was awesome! I have so much fun doing fitness activities with them. My highlight was doing a special version of The Hokey Poky with weights. I would really enjoy being a P.E. teacher someday, I think. Avery was a little sad that I didn't let her participate in all the activities because I didn't want her to be too tired for her game. After Kid Fitness we headed to the soccer fields for Avery's make-up game. Her coach called us after Wes had already left for Houston to let us know that we had a make-up game. Wes was so bummed that he had to miss it. Thank goodness for texting! I tried my best to keep him updated. Her team won for the third time 4-0. The Denison Ponies are undefeated! I love it!

Tomorrow some of our middle school and high school girls and I will head down to the McDermott Road Church of Christ in Plano for Daughters of the King, a special conference for middle school and high school girls. It is an all day affair and I am looking forward to spending time with our girls and learning some new things.

I have to tell you one of my favorite things to eat lately - fruit smoothies. I make it with about 2 1/2 cups of sliced frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup of frozen blue berries and fat free, sugar free vanilla ice cream. I blend it in the blender and presto I have a delicious, healthy snack/dessert. The rest of the family enjoys them too.