Tuesday, February 23, 2016

AWANA Grand Prix 2016

February 6th was the AWANA Grand Prix!! 

This year Faith made a car to race with PopPop. 

Gabe's Car:

Selah's Car:

Mig's Lightning McQueen inspired car:

Mig raced first - half of the time, he decided Lightning McQueen should race backward:

He didn't place, but had fun:

He got a pep-talk from little sister:

Selah and Gabe were up next:

In their last round, they were in the same heat and got to race each other. It looked like Selah's car was going to beat Gabe's until the final stretch when Gabe's car pulled ahead! So exciting. 

They also walked away with participation ribbons. 

Last up were Faith and PopPop:

They didn't place either. 

Even though no one placed this year (or so we thought), everyone had fun! 


This week we found out that the judges votes for AWANA theme were tallied incorrectly and the trophies were given to the WRONG CARS!!!

We actually had a winner in our family:

CONGRATULATION, Selah, on a FIRST place car!!!

We were blessed with another exciting and fun AWANA Grand Prix!! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016

The first day of the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) was Monday, February 8.

Chinese New Year celebrates the new year according to the lunisolar calendar. Celebrations will run from the evening before the first day to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. 

In China, they take off from work for most of those two weeks. They hang red signs (or couplets) on their doors and windows, have big feasts and give red envelopes filled with money to their loved ones among other things. 

We celebrated by having Chinese noodle bowl for dinner (noodles symbolize longevity) with steamed buns (which were a favorite of Faith's when she was in the orphanage), we had mandarin oranges (which symbolize wealth) and fortune cookies. We all wore red, too! 

Some friends from church bought Faith this beautiful new dress as a Chinese New Year present. How sweet is that?!?

We also decorated with red, a big hanging dragon and these lanterns, which we will light on Monday, February 22nd for the Lantern Festival. 

 We celebrate Chinese New Year to show Faith how important her past, her birth culture, and her birth country is to us. And so, by celebrating Chinese New Year, we celebrate Faith and the gift she is to us! How neat to be able to have another reason to celebrate!

Happy Year of the Monkey!! 

Spelling Bee!

On January 12th, Gabe and Selah participated in a Home School Spelling Bee!

In usual Gabe style, he spelled with a smile each time. 

Selah was one of the littlest spellers, competing against students up to 8th grade level!

They both were eliminated on the third round - there were some tough words in there! I was so proud of them! They both did great and had a really good time, too!! 

It is amazing that my kids, as home schoolers, have so many opportunities that they can take part in. What a blessing to have these activities available for them!! 

Way to go, little spellers!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Family Party Pictures

 I never pass up an opportunity for family pictures! While we were all together, (except my step-sister, Amanda and her fiancee, Bryan) I seized the moment! 

GiGi, PopPop and all the grandkids! From left to right: Adrik, Tali, GiGi, Charli Kate, Mig, PopPop, Faith, Gabe and Selah. 

All of us (minus Amanda - so sad she couldn't be there). 

Gigi and PopPop with the Stepanovs:

Our kids with GiGi and PopPop:

GiGi and PopPop and the Sernas:

My Step-sister, Amanda couldn't make it, but our other Amanda was there!

This is Amanda Smith. She is like family - like a bonus sister, actually! She and mom taught together - mom was her mentor and they clicked from the start. Amanda is included on all of our family get-togethers and is really part of the family! 

Again - such a sweet party and such sweet people gathered to celebrate! 

(Mom - just let me know what sizes you need and I'll get you prints. HA!) ;)

A "Six-Tea" Party!

Last month, my momma turned the big 60! Rachel and I really wanted to honor and celebrate her in a very nice way. 

Rachel works for a Wedding Venue in Georgetown called The Union (when she is not planning her own business' weddings). We were able to get The Union for the morning of Mom's party! 

Mom loves tea and coffee, and so we decided her party would be a tea party/brunch. I found an image on Pinterest that said "Happy Six-Tea" and knew that was the perfect theme! 

We decorated with tea cups, tea pots, pictures of my mom's 60 years, and flowers and it turned out beautiful!!

The party was a sweet success thanks to the help of Aunt Barb and Amanda!

AND The Union was the perfect place for it! There was even an RV out back (my parents love camping in their RV)!

How cute are they?!?

We ate brunch and visited. Then, Rachel spoke a little about the sweetness, strength and wonderfulness of our mom. My mom has devoted her life to people, first through ministry, then through teaching special needs children and now she is totally devoted to her grandkids and husband. She is pretty wonderful! 

We watched a slideshow of pictures set to music and then let the birthday girl blow out her candles. 

Mom opened gifts surrounded by children,

Family and friends:

It was a special party for a special person!

Happy Birthday, to you....

And many more!!!