Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Days

We have been out of school for three days now and I'm happy to report that the electricity has stayed on the entire time. School has been called off because of ice on the roads. The funny thing is that most of my family has been to the mall a time or two. Still, I'm thankful for the time to get some stuff done.

One of our family traditions and I've been held to it every year is every time school is called off I make cinnamon rolls. I thought I'd take a picture of them for everyone to drool over. They were very good if I do say so myself :O) They tried to make me do another batch on the second day, but I told them that the second half of the pan was just going to have to suffice. Today we had goodies from people in the church. I foresee some dieting in our near future.

The little ones have been busy playing outside with the promise of hot chocolate if they stayed out long enough. This ploy has only worked today because the other two days have been bitter cold. (No we didn't try it on the other days!)

So here's what we've been up to.

Joel is now home from college and living in the office. He keeps the coffee pot going for us and we've been enjoying just having him around...even though I get put in head locks every now and then. The first semester of college was great for him. Now that the semester is over he's enjoying reading just for fun. He's tried to hold it over the other kids that he's already out of school, but since they've been out too it has sort of fallen flat for him.

Both Kayla and Noelle have pretty much had the same schedule this last semester. They were both in fall color guard and also had parts in the fall play, "Music Man". They now are in winter guard and had so much fun in the fall play that they tried out for the spring children's play. They both got real parts this time! They were townspeople in "Music Man" (and very entertaining I might add). In the children's play, Noelle's character is sort of an airhead that gets distracted and Kayla's character giggles and laughs all the time. typecasting there.

Angie is enjoying first grade and is learning to read. Her slow start in life makes it a bit more difficult, but she's a hard worker and generally tries until she gets it. She is our resident chatterbox and we just know she's talking to make up for all the years she didn't talk.

Ryan is still working on the potty training so please keep praying for him. He did have an appointment to have a pediatric GI done to see if there's any internal problems, but because of the weather they are having to reschedule it. I have to call in January to get it set up for February. He's all boy and keeps his sister on the run.

Jim is still plugging away at the church. He went to a men's retreat in the fall called "Men's Encounter" and has since found a place with that group of men. They meet once a week to hold each other accountable and to encourage one another. It's really given him the boost he's needed. As I write this he's at the House of Bounce with the 4th Grade boys class. Yep, he's still my oldest kid.

I've taken on some more hours at work doing various secretarial duties at central office. I really do love it. The hardest part is that I'm gone all the hours that the kids are and there's no down time to get some stuff done. The older kids have been helpful in keeping laundry and dishes going. I'm still doing my Close to My Heart business too. In February I'll be travelling to the Philippines to do some mission work with a group my parents travel with. My part will be to teach three different times for a group of about 150 women. They will be attending a conference at a Christian college with their husbands. Some of them will be students there I believe. My mom and I are leading the women in a study of different women of the New Testament that were touched by Jesus's life. I've been using the time off from work this week to plan some of those lessons. Please be in prayer for me because this is a tremendous opportunity and very much out of my comfort zone. I honestly feel that the women there could teach me more than I could teach them. I do believe God has called me to do this so I know He'll provide what I need.

Well, that's what we've been up to. I know it's short on pictures this time. I'll try and get some around Christmas.

Until the Next Grand Adventure,

Yvonne and crew

Monday, October 20, 2008

Talking Politics

Today in first grade the kids got to vote for president. Much to our dismay, Angie voted for NO'Bama. She couldn't remember his name; only that it started with a "B". We just couldn't figure it out since we talk politics all the time around here. We finally asked her what made her make that choice. She said, "He has hair!" Ok, we want a re-vote. Seriously, if only it were that easy!

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Been a While

I know...I'm a bad blogger right now. It seems like once school started we've been on a dead run. Here's an update on us.

Joel is doing well in college. He absolutely loves his freedom and we're happy that he has it. He's earned it. Recently the dorm he's in had an open house night for parents to come see the rooms. Of course we jumped on that one. We got there and we were pleased that we could actually see the floor! I think his room mate has had some influence on him. The other thing we noticed was that they were playing elevator music. Maybe it was for our benefit, but it seemed that they actually enjoyed it. I asked why he couldn't have gone through that phase while living at home. If you'd like to see his Acts class you can actually watch it online here. You'll need to scroll down just a bit to see the class selections.

Here's a prayer request for Joel. The furniture rescue place where he was working slowed down with work that they didn't need him anymore so he's without a job and is looking again. Please pray that the right one comes along.

Kayla is busy with color guard. Since she is a senior this year she has a solo part in the halftime show which is just beautiful. The band is doing a patriotic theme this year so it's very moving. At one point the girls are running with HUGE red, white and blue flags. They say they are so heavy. Kayla also decided to try out for the school play (Music Man) and got a part as a singer/dancer/crowd. She was happy with that. She and Noelle both got the same part so they do a lot of singing and dancing for us around here.

Here's a prayer request for Kayla. This is the year that she's doing a lot of thinking and praying about where to go to college. Please pray that God leads her to a place that best brings out her gifts and talents. She has a very strong desire to go into missions.

Noelle is also in color guard and the school play so it's nice for her to have a big sister that chauffeurs her around in a cute little red car. Their schedules are the same so it's nice for us not to have to worry about dropping off or picking up. Noelle was chosen as the Freshman Student of the Month for October. Mrs. Mize nominated her because Noelle had heard in another class that her husband had recently had surgery. Noelle made it a point to go in and see how her husband was doing and Mrs. Mize thought that was so thoughtful.

Here's a prayer request for Noelle. She really wishes that she had a close friend. She has girls that she hangs out with, but there's not any one person to call a best friend and Noelle really misses that. She's had a really good friend move away recently and is finding it hard to replace that.

Angie is full swing into First Grade. She loves her teacher, Mrs. Fowler (which half the time she says Flower). She is fortunate enough to be in the class with the two deaf children and their interpreter. She learned so much sign language last year. The word is that they are going to keep the same kids together with the deaf kids so those kids can develop friendships. She is learning to read, spell and do math. It's difficult for her because of her neglect, but she's hanging in there. The picture I posted is from a school event for fall.

Here's a prayer request for Angie. Right now she's having a hard time not talking in class so she's not getting her work done. I think it's hard for her to focus so she moves on to something she would rather She's also having trouble with obedience and not trying to be the boss. Please pray for her school progress and for an obedient, pliable heart.

Ryan is talking up a storm now. It's very rare that we don't understand what he's saying even though he doesn't say things as clearly as he should. He told us the other day he told us that he wanted to be "inkable hook" when he grows up. HUH? Translation...the Incredible Hulk. He's one busy little boy. He's recently learned to pump his legs on the swing so he can do it himself.

Here's a huge prayer request for Ryan. He still is not potty trained. He's not even close. He is refusing this process and I'm really weary from it all...ok so this prayer request is for me. Please, please pray that he just gets this and the sooner the better. We've been working for about a year and a half and it feels like we've made no progress.

Jim recently went to an event called "Men's Encounter" and loved it. He was a wonderful husband and dad before this, but he's even better now. He's now committed himself to getting more and more guys to attend the next events. He's also helping with the concession stands at the soccer fields once a week and also has been going into Angie's class once a week on his day off to help listen to the kids read. I love this man!

Here's a prayer request for Jim. Right now on his plate along with his regular job is an event the church does as an alternative to Halloween. It's a lot of work getting volunteers all lined up. Please pray that he is able to find all the helpers he needs and that it all comes together.

I have been busy at work since school started which is why there's such a long dry spell in between blog posts. At the beginning of the year the central office hired me to help my boss with the free and reduced lunch applications. That lasted about two weeks. They've since asked me to stock, order and keep track of the money for two milk vending machines which gave me another half an hour a day. Then the superintendent of schools asked me to help out at central office getting a huge report ready to send to the state. It involves spreadsheets and knowing the Powerschool system inside and out. I'm learning it as I go. So now, I go to work at central office from 8:30-10:00 and then go to the High School from 10:00-1:00 and then back over to central office until 3:00. My most favorite new thing is that two evenings a week I go to aquasize at the High School pool.

Here's a prayer request for me. I have been asked to go to the Philippines in February with the group my parents and Joel have gone with in the past. There's a lot to do to get ready for that, including raising support. Please pray that God takes care of all the details of this trip and that I am able to glorify him through my service.

Well, if you've read this far, pat yourself on the back! I'll try and post more often. We love you!

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew

p.s. Kayla says I never take pictures of her or Noelle, but in my defense, they're not here a whole lot so I'll try and catch some soon. They might be sleeping though! LOL

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saying Hello...Saying Goodbye

As you can see, I started this post a while ago and I'm just now getting back to it. First of all it was pretty emotional. I was working on it and started crying in my proofreading. Then the girls came over to see what was wrong and when they read it they started crying too. Anyway, we're doing a little better, but that doesn't mean we don't miss Joel because we surely do! Ok, here's the origional post...

We could hardly wait to get to the airport to get our Kayla last night. It was a happy reunion as you can tell from the pictures. Her plane was right on time and all went smooth except for one glitch. We discovered that one of her bags is in luggage land. This bag has all her photos from her trip so please be praying that it is found. Update: It was delivered to our house the next night :0)

After we left the airport we drove around Tulsa looking for a place to eat. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory which was an excellent choice. The food was wonderful, but what was even more wonderful was that we all were finally together again. Meal time at night is really important to us and if at all possible we really try to be together.

The little ones pretty much haven't let her out of their sight. As I type this they are both perched on her lap listening to her read a story. They really missed her. We all did.

This morning Joel moved his stack of stuff out to Ozark Christian College. I'm so very thankful that it's very close by and I can lure him home with food or the prospect of a free laundry. We're so excited for him and his next Grand Adventure. He came to me last night and hugged me tightly and talked about those Grand Adventures. It's been our goal to make life with our kids as grand as possible no matter what the circumstances.

So, before I start bawling (oops too late...) here are some pictures from our last 24 hours.

Until the next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and Crew

p.s. The picture of Joel's room is to show that he actually did have a floor. I didn't see it much ;0)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome Home Kayla

We are just a few hours away from seeing our Kayla again. It's so emotional I can't even describe it. I do know that the anticipation is better than Christmas! We leave at 2:00 today to go to the airport. I have tons of stuff I should be doing, but can't focus on any of it so I'm blogging :0) A couple nights ago we were talking about what we could do to welcome her home and I said, "We should fill her room with balloons." I was really only half kidding, but the idea stuck so for two nights we've been blowing up balloons and passing out...blowing up balloons and passing out. Ok, not really. We did have some manual pumps, so everyone but me used them. (OK, I take that back...I see that Noelle used the old fashioned method as well.) They hurt my wimpy arm. I opted to blow them up the old fashioned way. Here's some pictures of the process. I will get more pictures at the airport.

The funny thing is that we've had to do it when the little kids are asleep so they won't spill the beans to their sister when we go and get her. They keep hearing mysterious POP noises every now and then and they are so baffled. I guess we were overzealous and filled a few of them too full. It's hard to fill a room with balloons and we were just trying to take up as much space as possible with each one LOL!

Below is Alyssa Stewart that came to help one of the nights.

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and Crew

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Lots of Love"

Angie has been bugging me all summer that she wants to do the "lots of love" (Locks of Love) thing that Noelle did. Poor kid. Her hair is sooo thick that it's extremely hot. I finally gave in and let her. I do miss her pretty long hair, but now she has cute short, curly hair. It'll take me some getting used to, but she already loves it. I'm sure our morning brushings are going to be less tearful and I do look forward to that.

We got Angie's first grade teacher's letter in the mail yesterday and both Jim and I are thrilled that she's the most sought after teacher in that building. It's a double bonus because she and her family go to our church. I'm pretty sure that the two deaf kids that were in her class last year will be in her same class again which is awesome. Angie learned so much sign language just from watching last year.

Only 12 more days until Kayla comes home. We're excited about that. I think she's really going to miss it there though. She's had wonderful people to be with. The last I talked to her they were gearing up for another typhoon. Wonder what those are like? Not everyone can say they've been through one!

Joel's burns are healing nicely. He's putting in some very long days and he thinks it's sad that a 19 year old is ready for bed by 9:00! He's moving to Ozark Christian College in two weeks (the day after Kayla gets home) and will be able to plunk down the entire amount for the first semester just from scholarships and hard work this summer. We're going to miss him, but at least he's only 15 minutes away and I have perks like home cooked food and a washer and dryer.

Noelle is gone this week to Chicago working with a group from Christ's Church on an inner city mission. I've only gotten to talk to her a couple of times, but it sounds like the group is doing well.

Ryan...well, we're still working on the potty training thing. Please be praying. He's actually showing some interest in trying and doesn't fight me when I suggest we go in for him to try. Maybe it's the mini marshmallows I bought as a bribe? Man, I've tried everything that's for sure.

Jim and I are still busy at our work stuff. We've had several kids come through here this summer on anywhere from overnight to a week and from 7 months to 15 years. Our kids don't even act surprised anymore when they come home and there's another kid or two here! I have opted out of having any come for a couple of weeks simply because I'm getting ready to do a garage sale and that entails a lot of work. Sometimes they make it easy to say no when they say things like, "Would you be able to take a mouthy 16 year old girl for two weeks?" Um...NO sorry. My life is crazy enough.

Well, that's us at the moment. We're sending you lots of love!

Until the next grand adventure,
Yvonne and crew

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rough Day for Joel

Joel recently started working full time at a place called Furniture Rescue. They basically take your beaten up old furniture and make it look good again. This involves a lot of grunt work which is where Joel is finding himself, but he likes it. It's a 40 hour a week job. Once school starts his boss will work around his college hours.

Today I got a call from a gal in the office there saying that they'd sent Joel home. He had some stripper solution splash on him. He's had tiny bits on him before and he says it burns like fury. You have to run and hose off. Today he was getting an end table out of the solution and didn't realize that some of the stripper had pooled in an area where there was a cubby space on the table (hard to explain). As soon as he leveled the table to begin scraping it, the stripper came rolling at him and splashed over his apron. He ran outside and started hosing off. In the process of taking his shirt off he got his face too.

When he got home I decided to call poison control to see if he needed medical treatment. Basically after a few phone calls I found out that the shower that Joel took would stop the burning. It basically took the top layer off. It's not supposed to get worse or blister so the poison control lady said to just have him put hydrocortizone cream on it and neosporin to keep it from getting infected. Close call! Of course he had to look tough for the camera!
Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew
p.s. Why does he always get hurt when Jim's out of town?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guess What Today Is?

Four years ago today is when Jim fell through the ceiling at church and we started that huge stressful time. Joel and I were just talking about it the other day and neither of us could talk about it without choking up. How blessed we are to still have Jim here! I seriously don't know what path our lives would have taken without him. I do know that God would have been with us no matter what. I'm just glad He chose to heal him.

The month before his fall we had given Jim a Father's Day present that said that we wanted him to fulfill a lifelong dream to skydive. He was pumped. The accident happened before that could take place. This year for Joel's graduation present it was decided that he and Jim would make the jump (moms...don't be mad at me!)

Last Friday was the day. There's a place not far from here that does tandem jumping so Jim scheduled the appointment and on the long awaited day we made the trip. Lots of people had the same idea that day so all total we were there about 4 hours. I was so mad at myself because I brought my camera, but left the memory card in my computer. I do have pictures, but they're on the camera and I can't get them off until Kayla comes home. She borrowed my cable for her camera. Anyway, both jumps were filmed by another jumper and Joel ended up buying the still shots too which is what I'll post a few of here.

I was totally shocked how soft the landings were. They sort of just softly touched down rather than my idea which would have been rolling head over heals until they came to a stop. After seeing lots of other jumpers land I felt better about the guys' jumps.

Now those of you that know Jim know that he has motion sickness when in enclosed spaces so the plane ride did him no favors. We totally didn't even think about him taking medication. He said the plane ride was miserable, the free fall awesome and then the parachute part really turned his already sick stomach. By the time he reached the ground he was as white as a sheet and his motion sickness really stuck with him the rest of the day...bummer for him. He says that next year when we give Kayla her jump for graduation that I'll be the one to have to take not so sure about that!

All in all it was a good day and now he can say he's checked one of those "always wanted to do things" off his list. We're just glad that he was able to be here to do it.

I'll leave you with some shots of Joel's jump which he said was awesome! Just think...some day we'll be doing that trip in reverse! What a ride that'll be!
Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and Crew
p.s. We talked to Kayla last Sunday night and I'm afraid we've officially "lost" her to the mission field. She's already talking about how she can get back to Taiwan.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Some Kayla News

I thought I wouldn't have a picture to post, but this is a screen capture I did of Kayla when we were talking on the computer.

I just wanted to catch you up on what Kayla's doing. We've been able to talk to her a handful of times (not enough for me!). We have downloaded Skype (free...there's other stuff on there that costs, but the part we downloaded didn't cost). The Pagels have Skype too so we can talk over the Internet without a phone bill, but the cool part is that both our computers have a webcam so we can see each other. If you have the capabilities you should try it. You'll need to search for ThePagels <---typed just like that. They are 13 hours ahead of us so the best time to talk to her is after 8:00 at night here.

She looks great and is having a ball. From the activity we see going on behind her, the Pagel kids love her. Scott and Angie Pagel love her too which is understandable. She's a super helper. Scott told me that she embarrassed herself once though. She has a habit of calling everyone "darling" and one night right after she got there they all were playing a game and Scott didn't realize that it was his turn so she told him, "It's your turn, darling!" Then she was embarrassed so she tried to explain herself by saying that at our house we're not allowed to use words like stupid or dummy so she came up with a nicer word. Scott told me that he chuckled inside because she was really telling him, "It's your turn stupid!". It now makes me think about all the times she affectionately called me darling! It's usually when I'm driving hmmmm....

This week and next she is away from the computer so there's no contact or news (which I'm struggling with greatly!) She's at a missionary conference with the Pagels and then the following week she'll be helping teach English at a sports and English camp. This week another girl from the youth group went over so she'll have someone else over there to hang out with (even though the Pagels are great!). I asked Kayla if she needed me to send anything with Audrey and she asked for a couple more shorts and brown sugar since they couldn't get it over there. I was able to get that together for her so they should be baking soon :0) Kayla said that when they go to Costco to shop all the people walk up to their cart and peer in to see what Americans shop for. She said she does stand out and that it's weird. She's been shopping and told me that she bought a shirt. Bethany the 12 year old pipes up from the background and said that it's a very BRIGHT shirt with lots of colors. I can't wait to see that one! She also bought a Chinese dress.

Please pray for her and for us here missing her. She's doing a wonderful work and we're so proud of her.

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and Crew

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Long Overdue Post

Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Let me catch you up on what's been going on. I'll try and find a picture here and there to post too.

My grandpa is doing good in recovering from surgery. It'll take time to be 100%. It was a very precious time to all (or most of us) get to be with him the day before his surgery. He led us in a communion meditation from his bed in the hospital and in a time of prayer. It was so special and even more special because he came through the surgery doing well.

Joel is a graduate now and into the working world. He took some of his money and bought a moped because the price of gas is so high and he was tired of paying it. It's great if it's not raining :0) He had taken it to Sonic to work one day and just as he got on the moped to come home the sky opened up and poured. He said that as he turned on to our street it became a light drizzle and as he pulled in our driveway it stopped and the sun started shining. He just kept telling himself, "120 miles to the gallon, 120 miles to the gallon..." Too funny.

Kayla is gearing up for Taiwan in 9 days. I'm trying not to think about how long she'll be gone. She's really my third arm around here. She's in charge of three days of VBS while she's there so she's been writing lessons and getting all of us involved in cutting out craft stuff. She got me signed up on Facebook so I can keep in touch with her and be able to view her pictures.

Noelle is taking a PE class for the entire month of June. It runs the same hours as a regular school day and when she's all done with it she will have completed all the credits she'll ever need for PE in High School without dragging it out. They go bowling, putt putt golfing, swimming, etc along with the normal game type activities. She comes home pretty tired. Last week the guard practiced from 3:00-8:00 on some nights so that's a LOT of physical activity. She's pooped most of the time. I don't blame her. Right at the end of the school year they had an awards banquet for the color guards (Jr. High and Sr. High). Noelle received an award for being the most valued guard member for the Jr. High. How cool is that?

Angie is taking summer school classes this month as well and is loving the first grade building. They go on field trips and do all kinds of fun activities. She even got to tour a chocolate candy house and got a take home treat (which I got none of! I need to teach her to share more!) If the weather is nice she's outside from the time she gets home until bath time. She's becoming a little brown baby. I think her skin tones make that happen pretty fast.

Ryan has been home with me since school got out. He's loving being at home, but has started asking about "school". I told the CP center that I'd like to keep him home with me and they wondered when I'd be bringing him back. He does have speech therapy there and really needs it. I told them I'd bring him back on the 16th of June so as to give me at least three weeks with him. I had REALLY wanted to get the potty training thing done and over with in that time, but he's being a little stinker about it. I have an appointment for him to see a child psychologist to see if he has tendencies towards his mom's aspergers or anything else that might be hindering him in this area. Please really keep him (and me) in your prayers. It is a very trying time that I'd like to be past.

A few months ago we bought a rental house that needed some fixing up. It's over in Newton, KS where my folks live so Jim's been going over and working on the house to get it ready to rent. It was a lot of painting and fixing up stuff, but I think it's close at this point. My dad will be managing it and says that he has people asking about it so hopefully soon that will be in motion. He is currently in the garage on his next project...a new top for the Miata because the old one leaked so bad.

Me? Well, since school has gotten out I've been cleaning out closets and sorting stuff for a garage sale (and taking care of Little Man). Last week our case worker that had our kids before the adoption called and asked if we could do respite for baby Tyler again. When we did respite for him before he was only scooting. That was two months ago and he's now running and into everything. I said, "sure" because he was so cute. Then before he actually got here (she set that up a couple of weeks in advance) she called again and this time wondered if I'd take a seven month old little girl (her name is Zebbie). I hesitated because as you know, Tyler was on the schedule to come. She told me that she's really cute and a good baby. I covered up the mouthpiece to the phone and asked Kayla if I should take her and if I did would she help. What do you think she said? Yep, so as of today I have two babies (Tyler came today and Zebbie has been here since last Tuesday night). So far as of 8:30 tonight they all were in bed (including ours) bathed and asleep and the house it picked up! No, I'm not super mom. I have super helpers. Oh, and I'm taking care of the dogs across the street too but just until tonight. Anyway, I wish I was allowed to post a picture of the kiddos because they're super cute, but I'm not allowed to so you'll just have to take my word for it :0)

We all also travelled to Jim's parent's house for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was wonderful to see lots of family and also meet people that we didn't know before...many that told us that they had prayed for Jim four years ago when he feel through the ceiling. How awesome is that?

I think that catches us up. Now to go find some pictures for you :0)

Until the Next Grand Adventure (and hopefully not so long in between),

Yvonne and crew (plus Tyler and Zebbie)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Prayer Request

If you would, keep my grandpa in your prayers. He's 84 years old and had a heart attack yesterday. He's having triple by-pass surgery on Monday and the doctor says his chances to not make it through are 30%.

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew

Friday, May 2, 2008

Locks of Love

Noelle has a new look! After quite a few years of growing her hair out she decided to cut 10 inches off of it for Locks of Love. That's an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair. Whoever receives this hair is going to get curls! Noelle and Kayla poured over hair style pictures for quite a while, but when it all came down to it, Noelle's hair did it's own thing. It falls in beautiful curls around her face. She does say it's taking some getting used to! We think it makes her look older . She's almost ready for high school. I just can't believe that.

Joel graduates on May 15th. You are all invited! I have the invitations and we're working on them, but life is just crazy! I need about 10 more hours in the day.

Until the Next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I grabbed this photo of Joel right before he went to work so you could see our good news. Sorry the picture is a bit fuzzy. A big whoop and hollar was heard after he opened that letter. We couldn't wait to share. We're very proud of him!

Here's the letter:
Dear Joel,

Congratulations Joel, you have been chosen to receive the President's Scholarship from Ozark Christian College. Your past achievement and future goals for Christian service have been recognized and appreciated by others. The capability and commitment you have demonstrated are a great encouragement to us as we look forward to your coming as a student in the fall.

We are looking for students who love the Lord, His Word and the people for whom He died. There is a tremendous need in our day for dedicated and well-educated Christian leaders.

The President's Scholarship is awarded to you with great pleasure. It will supply $11,220.00 towards the cost of a four-year degree, or $15, 300 for a five-year degree.

Joel it will be a pleasure to have you as a student at OCC. If you have any questions about this scholarship please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.....

Yours in Christ,
Matt Proctor

That's our good news. Keep praying for an obedient heart in Ryan. I think we're seeing junk from the past and it's not fun.

Until the next grand adventure,

Yvonne and crew

p.s. I'm going to try and post the picture I had of Kayla on Prom night here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Quick Funny

Yesterday was a yardwork day. We got the kids to pick up all their toys in the backyard so Joel could mow. Then we sent them out front. Joel came in a bit later to get me because he wanted to show me something. I told him that if it was a critter that I didn't want to see it. He just smiled so I followed. What it ended up being was a bird's nest on top of one of the fence posts right by the house. It had four turquoise blue eggs in it.

So, of course we had to get the kids to give them a little nature lesson. Ryan was the first to go up on Joel's shoulders. "What do you see, bud?"

Ryan's eyes widened and lit up with excitement. "CANDY!" Out of the mouths of babes....

Still haven't gotten Kayla's other picture up. When I do it will be in that post so keep watching.

Until the next Grand Adventure,
Yvonne and crew

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This and That and Catching Up

It seems like there's never enough hours in the day (and night in my case) to get stuff done. I'm way past due on updating you on our happenings so here's a brief picture update for you from the most recent and working backwards.

Yesterday Angie went to "Aunt" Stacy's house and helped her plant flowers. Stacy even got her her own gloves! Stacy told me that she did the whole pot by herself from start to finish. After that Ang was off to play with Stacy's dogs :0) Angie had an earth day project to do so this is what we decided would be fun for her. She loved it. The fun thing is that Angie brought the pot home to me! What a cool surprise!

If you're on the kids' facebook then you have probably seen Prom pictures already. I'm sad because I only got one of Kayla in her dress. She had a SUPER busy day and when she got home she had about 15 minutes to change. I ran her outside and took this picture and then the camera died. (oops, the picture disappeared again. I'll add it again later) No time to change the batteries. Thankfully I had gotten a picture of her hair that morning. She went at 6:30 to get it done. It lasted the whole day thanks to bobby pins and hair spray :0)

Kayla went with a bunch of girls from church. They all went out to eat at a nice restaurant and then after Prom went back to Becca Stout's house (a girl in their group). Becca is the sister of Joel's date, Rachael so both kids ended up at the same house which I was glad for. Larry the dad has been all three of the teens 6th grade Sunday School teacher.

Like I mentioned, Joel took Rachael Stout. I remember way back when we tried out at Oronogo on Spring Break back in 2000 that the Stouts took the kids to the YMCA while we had a meeting so the kids all have been friends for a long time. Joel and Rachael hang out in a big group of friends from church. They went as friends since neither is dating anyone right now. They had a great time. Rachael has a laugh that is catching so she's a lot of fun to be around.

They went to the tux shop together so Rachael could help Joel match her dress and the shop suggested that if she didn't mind (which she didn't) they could use her shawl to make a tie and handkerchief for Joel's tux so they actually matched exactly. They looked sharp :0)

You probably got a notice on my "oops" post. I accidentally hit the wrong button when I was uploading pictures to get ready to post. Kayla has a little girl in her two year olds Sunday school class that she loves. This little one lost her mommy in a car accident this past year so it has especially touched Kayla's heart. Kayla had an art project to do so she took a picture of her and painted it on canvas with her hands. She did not have a brown paint color so she mixed her own brown. The only thing done with a brush at all is the eyebrows, eyelashes and the pupils of the eyes. I just know Grandma McQuistan is smiling from heaven because there's another artist in the family. I just look at her work and am in awe that anyone could do that kind of art.

I don't know if you can tell by the photo, but this is a fairly large canvas. I'm anxious to see what kind of a grade she will get. Her teacher already entered one of her drawings with colored pencil in a contest and she got second place with that.

Please be praying for Ryan. He's going through some REALLY rebellious times right now and we're trying to find the consequence that really gets him. He's so laid back that it's hard to find what works.

I just realized that I didn't do "Gotcha Day" photos so that will have to wait for another post. I've got to get ready for work :0)

Until the Next Grand Adventure,

Yvonne and crew

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Great Day

Today was a great picture taking day...lots to blog about.

As one of Kayla's high school courses she is working with a lower grade school art teacher and learning how to teach...kind of like student teaching. One of the requirements is that she turn in a scrapbook of her experiences so today Jim met her there and took pictures of her with the class. She's going to be a great teacher in whatever field she goes into.

Tonight there was an exhibition of winter guards and drumlines from Joplin and Webb City that we went to. Ryan loved the drums. His little hands were going along with the drummers. Angie of course loved the color guard. It's extremely hard to get good pictures because of the gym lighting, but we have a couple.

Noelle's guard did a performance to "What Kind of World Do You Want?" and it's actually on video that you can see it. Scroll down to the bottom of this blog to watch it. Every time someone views their video a donation is made to Fisher House which houses military families that need to see their loved ones in time of crisis. It's shot from far away, but Noelle is the first one that moves when it comes up. She also has the longest hair in the group.

Kayla's guard does a very cute and impressive routine to the song "Walking in Memphis". It's filled with fun elements and difficult tosses. I wish I had it on video for you because it's so fun to watch.

Anyway, that's our day. Tomorrow is another photo op day since it's Prom. Joel is taking a very sweet girl from church named Rachael. Kayla is going with a bunch of girls. Not only does Kayla have Prom tomorrow, she also has a flute solo to perform for competition and final competition for color guard. She's going to drop at the end of it, but what fun memories.

We love you guys,
Yvonne and crew