Monday, May 14, 2018

Aunt Nicol gets Married!!

A few weeks ago we traveled down to Belton, got all dressed up and went to a wedding!





 Byron's sister Nicol got married to her long time boyfriend, Felix.


All 4 of her sons walked her down the isle to a beautiful ceremony.






Only one Serna grand child is missing in this picture. Now that so many of them are grown up it is hard to get them all together. 








I'm so glad we were able to witness their big day!! 

Monday, May 7, 2018

We have a little writer!!

In March, while strolling through the library, Gabe saw a poster announcing a writing contest and right away, he decided to enter. The contest was sponsored by a local college and was open to writers of all ages from Texas and Oklahoma. 

He worked hard on a fictional prose story and finally had a finished product just a few days before the deadline. 

A few weeks later, a voice message was left on my phone saying Gabe had won something! They keep the exact places secret until the day of the awards ceremony, so we were left in suspence!

The whole family dressed up an went to the ceremony at the Gainesville campus of NCTC to cheer on Gabe. We couldn't wait to see if he won an honorable mention, 3rd, 2nd or 1st place in his age division. 



Before awards were presented there was an interpretive dance and a speech from an award winning author. She brought every one of the 1,000 plus rejection letters she received before actually becoming published and encouraged the writers there to keep reaching for that goal. 


Finally, awards were handed out. Gabe received 3rd place in the Middle School competition!! 




He was awarded some prize money, a nice certificate and his story will be published next Spring!!


We are SO proud of him!! Way to go, Gabe! Keep reaching for those dreams!

And with his permission to post it, here is his winning story!! (Grab a tissue - it is a tear jerker.)







Notes

Grammar was the most boring subject at Greensville Middle School. Nobody paid attention to the 6th grade teacher, Mr. Mel. He would start on a lesson and then drone on and on about things such as how he loved pronouns when he was in middle school, then he would move on to describing his annoying neighbor. Matthew Brown was no exception.
He hated the subject and, though he loved his teacher, he despised listening to him go on and on. Matthew felt around in his desk for his phone when, instead, he found a piece of paper taped carefully to the underside of his desk. Curiously, he removed and read it. It said, “Knock, Knock,” so he took out a pen and wrote “Who’s there?” He taped the message back under the desk and then left for recess.
The next day, Matthew returned to his desk and was happy to find that the paper with the start of the knock, knock joke was still there. Underneath it was written a new message, “Rachel.” So, he scribbled with a pen, “Rachel who?”
The next day, Rachel wrote, “You’ll find out if you go to the bench closest to the slide.” After grammar class, Matthew went to the bench and there was a girl with chestnut colored hair and deep, brown eyes.
“Are you Rachel?” He asked.
“Yes, I am. Pleased to meet you,” she replied. “Would you like to sit down?”
“Sure,” Matthew answered with a smile. They talked all recess about things such as annoying little siblings, pets, and their thoughts about the newest Star Wars movie. Before they knew it, recess was over, and the bell signaling that it was time for a new class period was ringing.
“I’ve got to go to my history class,” Rachel said. “Bye!”
“Goodbye,” Matthew said. So, every day they scribbled jokes on a piece of paper and left them in the secret spot on the desk for the other to find. This continued all the way up to 8th grade.  One of his favorite jokes was, “Knock, Knock? Who’s there? A broken pencil. A broken pencil who? Never mind. It’s pointless!”
 Then one day, Matthew went to his desk, and Rachel had written, “Hi Matthew! I got a phone this week. My number is 314-773-9078. Text me.” So instead of writing on the paper, they would text each other every day after school. Year after year, they grew closer and closer.
            When they were Juniors in high school, Matthew asked Rachel on their first date. He picked Rachel up at her house. He was excited, but nervous at this new phase of their relationship. They went to Rachel’s favorite restaurant. Afterward, they went to the mall to go shopping together. At the end of the evening Matthew dropped Rachel off at her house with a kiss on the cheek.
            It was dark and foggy when school let out on the last day of Matthew and Rachel’s senior year. As he had done hundreds of times before, Matthew walked home, went to his room and texted Rachel.
Rachel’s mom had asked her to stop by the supermarket on the way home for a few things she needed for dinner. Rachel was driving when she heard the clear chime of her phone, signaling that she had received a text. There was a green light up ahead.
            “I’ll make it,” she thought to herself. She pulled out her phone to read the text.
**********
            Matthew was reading a book when he heard the knock on the door. He was expecting Rachel, but instead, Rachel’s dad stood there on the welcome mat.
            “Matthew, I am so glad to see you,” he said. Matthew noticed his face was red and he didn’t look glad at all.
            “What is it? Where’s Rachel,” he asked.
            “That is why I’m here. She was in a terrible car accident. The police said she was looking at her phone when the light in front of her turned red. She…” He paused and wiped a tear from his eye. “Matthew, I’m sorry to tell you, she…” He choked on the words. “She didn’t make it.” Matthew turned pale. “Take me to the hospital to see her one last time,” he said. So, they drove to the hospital together in silence. When they got to Rachel’s room she was laying motionless on the bed with a bulging lump on her head. Matthew found the nurse and asked her what happened. She explained that while Rachel was driving she hit the car in front of her. Her car flipped. By the time they got to her, she was already gone, clutching a phone tightly in her hand. Matthew felt tears streak across his face. He immediately saw the phone on the bedside table. It indicated that there was one new message:

My Dear Rachel,
            School is out, and summer is in. Next year is college, and we are moving out of our homes to live in the dorms. I will enjoy going to Greensville Community College with you. Please come to my house because I have a special gift for you.
                                                                                                                        Love Always,
                                                                                                                        Your Matthew

            Matthew felt in his pocket and pulled out a dainty diamond ring. He cried softly and put it the ring finger of her left hand. A sudden realization came to him. It was his text that had killed his true love.

Years later, Matthew got a call. It was his old middle school basketball coach. He wanted him to coach for the Greensville Lions. So, he went back to his old school. As memories of his first love flooded over him, he walked into his old grammar classroom and found his old desk right where it used to sit. He sat down in the desk and felt the underside. To his surprise, the old paper was still there, carefully taped in place. He removed it and read the familiar lines.  

            “Knock, Knock,”
            “Who’s there?”

Monday, April 30, 2018

Race Fans!

 On April 8th, we headed over to the Texas Motor Speedway to watch the Nascar Race. My sisters and I pitched in and got Dad G. a ticket for his birthday and then we made it a family event. 


It was COLD!! We all got bundled up and brought blankets. 

This was my first race. Amanda and Brian had to teach me all about racing. Amanda is a pro. She actually was a racer, too, and loves to go to the races. 


But the cold couldn't stop the fun! The kids and Aunt Rachel loved watching the drivers come around the track as they were introduced and all of us picked out a driver to root for. 


I was rooting for the Loves Car. It is yellow with hearts...that is how I pick a car. HA!! It turns out that is not the most effective way to pick a winning car, though. 


There was a wreck right in front of us just a few laps in. 


It is so loud when those cars zoom by!


PopPop was rooting for Jimmy Johnson, number 48. Sadly, his car ended up involved in a major wreck, which knocked him out of the race. 


 Many cars had to be pulled off the track. 


The little boy in front of us was having a good time zooming his toy car around as the real race cars zoomed past. 


The triplets were rooting for their favorite driver of all, Kyle Busch. He drove number 18. 


We were sitting near pit row. It was fun watching the pit crew do their thing. 



The kids all had such a fun time!!






 Adrik is a midget racer and really loves Nascar. 




Finally, all of the laps were driven and the winner was Kyle Busch! The triplets were so excited!!



It was fun to go as a BIG family! Faith was so happy to be there with Aunt Amanda, especially. She even let her carry her all the way back to the car. 


The race was fun, but really the entire weekend was fun. We played games and ate lots of good food and just enjoyed being together. 

I have heard that plans for the next family race are already in the works. 

AWANA Bible Quiz for T&T


At the beginning of April, Selah competed in the AWANA Bible Quiz for T&T. 

She and her sweet friend, Davie have been doing AWANA together for many years now. 

They were on a team with a boy from our church. 



They started the quiz out by taking place in a multiple choice round where they answered every question correctly!


After that round, they took a written portion. Selah scored a 90%. 

Finally they competed in the speed round. Selah's team was quick on the buzzer and she was able to say the answers into a microphone many times. 



In true Serna style - she was the tiniest on stage. :)


After the scores were tallied, her team came in 3rd place!!! 



I am so proud of the work this sweet girl and her team put into the Bible Quiz. I have said it before, and I will say it again, we LOVE the AWANA program and the disciples they are encouraging our children to become.