Sunday, August 24, 2008

All Around Champion!!

Hannah participated in the Endless Summer Classic Gymnastics Meet this weekend.

It was a great meet that saw Hannah win
First place in Beam with a 9.2
First in Bars with a 9.2
Second on Floor 8.75
Vault score of 8.6 didn't win her a place on the podium for the event but added to her overall score of 35.75.

During the awards, we weren't sure but in the end we were excitedly surprised as she was the overall champion for the Level 4 Sr. A group.

She have a very solid Beam routine ending with an outstanding handstand dismount to end the routine.

Her floor went very well also.

This was the first time in the several years she has competed that she ended up on the top of the podium. We are looking forward to a great meet season and continuing to refine the routines.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day for the rest of us!

Today was the first day of school for Hannah and JoAnna! Hannah is starting 4th grade and Joanna is teaching Espanol (Spanish, I couldn't do the ~) anyway, they all had a great first days. Patrick is really enjoying 6th grade, Hannah loves school need I say more and JoAnna had a great first day saying the third grade was that best so far. She will be teaching Spanish four days a week and is excited.

I started my class at Armstrong on Monday. I would say I love it but I would be fibbing just a bit. It is fun getting into the books again.

Don't they look cute on the first day?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

JoAnna's Guatamala Trip

Going by boat on Lake Atitlan from Panajachel to Santiago. JoAnna, Julia and Janelle. (I won the splashing contest!)
As many of you know, I traveled to Guatemala this summer with my mom Maryanna and her partner Elizabeth on a pilgrimage with Faith at Work ( to build a school. Faith at Work works with PAVA to help bring potable water to villages, build schools, etc. This year we built a school in La Chusita.

During the rainy season, the road to the village becomes impossible to take by bus. We were given the choice to walk the last 2 kilometers or ride in the back of a truck. I chose a truck for couple of days. It felt so strange to be able to stand in the back of a pick up truck, and we hung on for dear life!

I was very excited to be able to go not only to visit the Mayan villages but to work on my Spanish after so many years. We landed in Guatemala City and then traveled to Antigua to stay. It was a 3 hour ride each way to the village of La Chusita for the days work. The village was on the side an active volcano which burped several times while we were there.
Maryanna showed her strength on the final day, as they were making the cement to put in the trenches. Not easy work by any means, and you had to keep at it once the cement mixer was working.

The first day in the village, David welcomed the group with a song. He is an extremely smart child, and when he realized I had an English/Spanish dictionary, he wanted to look up words to learn English. Many of the villagers wanted not only to know Spanish (their second language), they also had a thirst for learning English. I was asked by a mom in the village to bring her a book in English. I quickly found a bilingual book in a bookstore in Antigua, and took it to the village the next day. I sat with some young girls and read it with them, they read it to me in Spanish, and I read them the words in English. Soon after some older boys came over and also read the book, in English and Spanish. We seem to take learning for granted here in the states, what a welcome it was to experience children with a real thirst for knowledge.

How wonderful it was to be able to use my Spanish again after so many years. Sometimes laughable (especially on the first day in the village when I was surrounded by so many moms and young children), but always appreciated.

Mi amiga favorita! She checked on me often during the work day. Whenever I looked up from bending rebar or shoveling, she seemed to always be there, sometimes alone, sometimes with her younger sisters. This was on a day when I had to take a break because I was weak from being a little sick from the stomach thing. How special it was to get to know her!

What amazed me the most about this pilgrimage was knowing that everything will turn out okay, and will be wonderful in God's eyes, and most of it already is!! I hope to not be so wasteful with my day to day use of things, seeing as how in the village even watermelon seeds were a blessing to find in a freshly cut watermelon, because one seed is replanted for future growth. Amazing how we like everything seedless here, from watermelons to cucumbers. I think we have forgotten how important every little seed is! A good parable for life also!
This was truly God's tierra (land), and the people were truly a blessing to me, more so than they could ever imagine.

To give credit where credit is due, the pictures from this trip were taken by others in the group.
Below is a link to another slide show from the trip. Go to the link and select the 2008 slide show. It was put together by Kris Herbst and has some great captions.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Day of School

Today was the first day of Middle School for Patrick. He went to a peer party the other day and met lots of new friends and then had orientation yesterday to find out where his classes, locker and band rooms were. He was excited this year which we were excited about.

I kept getting lost in the hallways since it was a new school. So far World History is my favourite subject. I get to go to an new classroom for most of my classes. For band this year we may get to travel to different events. I get to choose where I want to eat lunch each day so I get to eat outside if I want. The teachers are really nice. We get to dress out for PE and play games like handball and Frisbee golf.