Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daddy Can Dream

Somebody is joining in the volleyball action around here!

Avery is joining a 16 week training team for girls to prepare for club. Practice starts tonight. She is so young to try volleyball already but we think it's in her blood. She is such a great athlete and so far she does really good at everything she tries. So, why not.

It was so cute listening to the girls get ready together and hearing Adia give her tips. Adia even ended up letting her borrow a matching shirt. I have a feeling Kyle is in heaven right about now and dreaming up some pretty big dreams.

to be honest though - so am i!

(don't forget to look at the post below for video of Adia)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adia in Action

Here are a few clips of our little SUPER STAR!

She really has matured a lot and her level of play has really been uped a few notches. She is still a solid server as well as a super setter this year too. She works really hard - practicing 3 nights a week and having 2-3 tournaments a month. She also plays open gym weekly with adults and it has all clearly brought her game to the next level. We LOVE watching her.

I really need to get more video of her in action on the court - not just her serves. She is a great setter and #19 is an AWESOME hitter (especially for a 12's team) and it is so fun to watch them work together.

Oh and don't be confused. She couldn't get her number 10 this year (dad's old number) so she converted to mine (#22). I keep getting reminded not to get attached because as soon as she can she is switching back.

Here she gets 2 aces for the game!

You will notice in this one how close she is to my camera. She looks down at Kenyon who is being a goof ball on the floor and it messes her up on the last one. Oh well.

These are clips from thier first tournament playing together. I can't wait to show the newer clips against some great teams. I will work on it at the next one. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Passport 2 Purity

Recently Adia and I went away for a little Passport 2 Purity weekend. She has given me permission to share how it went so that other moms and daughters (or fathers/sons) could learn from our experience and hopefully do something similar. Many have asked me to share more details and so with her permission that is what I am going to do.

We had a great time, learned a lot and had some really good conversations to help her prepare for the tough years ahead of her. Passport 2 Purity is a kit that comes with 5 CD sessions, a parent manual and a student manual. It is meant for a father/son or mother/daughter to do together during a child’s 6th grade year. It covers topics like peer pressure, puberty, sex, dating and PURITY from a Christ-centered perspective! I doubted the timing many times but found out as we went through it together how perfect this age actually is for the retreat. Here is our Passport story…

Before I tell you about the journey we took I have to tell you about the prep work. The parent is meant to listen to all of the session ahead of time as well as prepare a little hands on experiment to help reinforce the point of each one. Weeks before I started listening to the CD’s, planned when and where we would go, gathered the needed supplies for the activities and PRAYED hard that God would meet us when we finally went away together.

One more thing before I go into the details is that going over this information with Kyle (my hubby) ahead of time was such a good experience. I wasn't for sure we would be on the same page with all of this and to be honest I was nervous that we were going to have to come to her with shared convictions and thought they might have to be forced. The truth is though that when Kyle and I spend a day preparing for this God totally met us. We had some great conversations in regards to the standards we want to hold in our home and also about some of the pain that came from our past mistakes. I know a few others who felt the same. The gift this program was to our whole family caught me completely off guard.

Okay, back to the point - Monday morning we headed out. Her dad and I had both written her a letter telling her how much we love her, appreciate her and look forward to watching her grow up. We told her we believe in her and that we know with God (and our) help she will be able to look back at her teen years as ones she can be proud of. After she read the letters we put the first CD on. Adia had a little guide book that it has her fill in the blanks to be sure she is following along. Each session ends with a memory verse and they are all put to music. The songs are cheesy but we had fun singing them and trying to memorize them.

We stopped and got some lunch as well as a couple treats to take back to the hotel with us.

Once we got to the hotel we got busy listening to the lessons, having great conversations and doing the suggested activities. I had kind of doubted this part of the program. I thought she was a bit old for some of them but once we got into the lessons I found them to be a great way to visualize the point and we enjoyed every one.

Here we are all setup at the hotel and ready to dive in. I actually laid the stuff all out like that and we both thought it looked staged so we decided to take a picture of her in the middle of it.

Enjoying her chocolate teacup.

Day 2 - Filling in her journal as she listened to the CD session.

And here is an example of the project we did on gaurding relationships. If you double click this to see it bigger you will see the lessons learned. Heart #1 represents a guy/girl friendship that has all the necessary safe guards in place to keep it totally pure and God honorhing. #2 is more of a guy/girl friendship that went too far. And I don't mean sexually - more of just getting exclusive/attached and the pain that might follow that. Then #3 was a long term exclusive relationship. Not even necessarily sexually speaking but more just major attachments made and the damage that can cause when the 2 weren't mature enough to begin with.
Adia, pretending to cry over the loss of innocence.After breakfast, we finished our last lesson and got ready to go out and have some fun. I had planned to have one of her best friends and her mom meet us at the mall where they could get their ears pierced together. Both of the girls have wanted to do this for years but both of their dads have been saying NO. It was so cute to see them do this together. They had to wait in line behind some 6 year olds but hey - no big deal!

After a fun visit with them Adia and I enjoyed a bit more one on one time. She knew we would be going out to a nice dinner that night. What she didn’t know is that her dad would be there also. Kyle had spent much of his last couple days searching for the perfect promise ring to give her. He had also worked hard coming up with a Purity Covenant for them to sign together. That dinner was such a precious time. I got to watch Adia squirm a bit as her dad shared his love for her and desire to always be there for her. Then they both entered into a purity covenant together. To top off the evening she was given a ring to wear that symbolizes our promise to her, her promise to us and all of our promises to God in regards to her staying pure and our role in helping her in that. She was pretty excited and so were we.

Here is our Purity Covenant (actually we revised this a little but I can’t find that document so I will share the almost final draft). I share this so you can use it to help you in writing your own. We loved reading other families to help us come up with this. The program comes with a Wait to Date contract but we didn't feel it captured our hearts/desires for this area.

Purity Covenant

To my parents:
I recognize that God holds you accountable to raise me in the
admonition of His ways.
I recognize that I am under your authority as your daughter.
I believe that you love me unconditionally and are committed
to my well-being.

I commit to God, my parents and my family:
To put Christ first and guard my heart to protect the gift
entrusted to me by the Lord.
To joyfully await the man the Lord will bring for me to marry.
To save all of my innocence and purity for my future husband.
To wait to until my parents believe I am ready to develop a loving relationship with a man.
To submit to my father's authority over my courting and marital intentions.

I joyfully and intentionally promise myself to these things.

(your signature)

(dad's signature)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Kenyon & Grandpa

Yesterday, another one of my kids got older. We had a regular school day followed by a fun evening to celebrate his special day.

Here is our birthday tradition of putting our new height on the ruler.
Kenyon is as tall as Avery was the day she turned 7.

After school Kenyon and Kaden helped me make the cupcakes.

When daddy got off work we took him out for a birthday date to Chili's. He was so excited. We were going to see a movie after dinner but he decided he would rather pick a new Lego set that he and dad can build together.

Kenyon shares his special day with Grandpa. When we got home from our date the other birthday boy was at the house (with his lovely bride aka Grandma). Aunt Rochelle and her boys decided to come over too so we could have some other boys at the last minute party.

They opened gifts together...

This was so funny because we had Kenyons face covered to surprise him with his new skateboard. Listen closely in the begining.... then ignore my loud laughing.

Had cupcakes together...

And of course they took pictures together...

Here are the cupcakes I made for our co-op. I saw this when my sister-in-law made them for my niece and thought they were SO CUTE. Mine didn't turn out too bad either.

Happy Birthday Kenyon!

We love you and you truly bring SO MUCH JOY & LAUGHTER to our home - Thank You!

And Happy Birthday Grandpa Paul!

We love you too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Birthday Girl

AYesterday something happened that seemed completely surreal. My first baby entered into her last year of pre-teen life. Although yesterday had some tough moments between the two of us (me no sleep - her hormones raging!) I have to say that I couldn’t be more proud of who she is, what she chooses to stand for and who she desires to become. She is truly amazing and Kyle and I feel so extremely grateful to God for how much he has stood in for us as we raise her. God’s word tells us that where we are weak that is where He is shown strong and oh my! That is so true in our parenting journey with this one!

Happy 12th Birthday Adia Paige!
Your dad and I love you more than you will ever know (well, at least until your first born turns 12).

and some random pictures of her...

and these are a sneak peek into the post I have been meaning to put on here for a couple weeks. This is from our Passport 2 Purity weekend. Several friends have been bugging me to put that on here but it's such a special story that it's hard to write in a rush like all my other posts. I promise I am working on it.