Friday, June 27, 2008

Guatemala Countdown!

Friends -

I'd be grateful for your prayers. Our flight takes off for Guatemala in the morning at 6:00 am. However that translates into leaving my house at 3:30 am to get to the airport at 4:30 am! Oh my! Please pray for my strength and stamina for the duration of the trip. One night without sleep can really throw my body into a tailspin! Whew!

However, with all the things I could ask you to pray, the most important is this... Please pray, first and foremost, that our great God would be glorified in all things on this trip and behind here at home!

"All things" on the trip being our encouragement to the missionaries, the relationships with the teachers attending the seminar, hearts being open to the teaching on abstinence, for our ministry at the orphanage to reflect the love of Christ to the children and workers, the relationships within our team, for unity within our team, for us each to have a willingness to "give up, give in, and give over for the sake of the rest," for our health and safety to be given a "hedge of protection," and for our willingness to stretch, trust, and grow during our time in Guatemala.

"All things" here at home being Reid's strength and endurance as he fills the role of Mom and Dad, the boys to enjoy their time with their Dad and to be helpful with the chores around the house, for the gracious women who have offered to help with the children while Reid is at work - please pray for their strength as well, for Reid and the boys' health and safety, and for some lasting memories to be made while "Mom" is gone. May they enjoy their time without Mom reminding them to do their "reading time" and limiting their time on Wii. Ha-ha!

May our entire team return with a deeper relationship with Christ, and a deeper understanding of His love for all nations. It's so cool to think that I'll be meeting some of my brothers and sisters that I will spend eternity with in heaven. Wow! That's amazing!

Thank you in advance for your prayers for me and my family!

Oh give thanks to the LORD,
call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:1-3

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday we had a SURPRISE Birthday Party for Franklin! Here are a few photos from our fun day at the pool! (This is my first attempt to post a slideshow directly to the blog! Let me know how you like it!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Swim Meet

Before I begin this blog I must share a question that I have been pondering for over a month. Here is the question...
Will I ever again be able to type a blog entry and post pictures on the actual day an event takes place?
All of my blogs currently begin with..."A few weeks ago," "Several days ago," "A while ago," "In yesteryear..." Okay, not that bad, but you get the idea!

That being said, let me begin this long overdue blog...

Several weeks ago, the boys competed in their first swim meet. Here are a few highlights of their first swimming competition...

Weston awaits his first event. He's excited and nervous...

Weston takes a beautiful dive into the water...yes, that is a dive right now for Weston!
Weston finishes strong and happy!
Franklin waits for his next event.Franklin dives in to swim the anchor leg of the Free Relay! Go, Franklin, Go! Another nice start for the boy who "didn't want to swim!"
Franklin stroking freestyle to the wall.
Mason patiently waits to approach the blocks.
Swimmers take your mark, BEEP!
Mason smiling through the backstroke!
Mason gulps some air during breaststroke. Gulp, gulp!
Unfortunately, Braden couldn't compete due to his broken thumb. He still had a wonderful time signing "I love you" to his picture-taking Mom! :-)
It was a GREAT first meet. To be honest, I had forgotten how long the meets last. We arrived at home after at 10:30 pm. It was a late - but fun - night!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mamaw's 90th Birthday Luncheon

My Mamaw recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Our family got together for a luncheon in her honor before the BIG party with all of her friends. (Blog entry later - I hope!) The celebration today could stand alone because it was so special!
Connie, Heather, and Allyson did a beautiful job decorating the tables with picture representing Mamaw's life.
Connie even had a special "Family Tree" cake made that had everyone's picture on it! Amazing!

We opened our time together with - what else, but - a family prayer. The circle filled the room!After our wonderful lunch, all of the great-grandchildren performed something special in honor of Mamaw. Heather's children sang Allison Kraus' "Going to the River to Pray." Henley and Danford did a beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday." Yes, there was a little "arm-twisting" for that one! Ha-ha!Our boys would not agree to singing, so they performed an amazing Magic Show! Braden ended up with the quarter in his splint! Oh, my! Colby Grace, Caleb, and Camden read a beautiufl poem that Colby Grace had written for Mamaw. It was an acolaid about her lemonade! Finally, the Tate boys ended the show with some help from their cousins...There's a Bear! Where? Over There! Where? Over There! After the humor of the children, there were a few tearful tributes to Mamaw. Nearly everyone spoke - even my New York city cousin (that's for you, Hunter!) We all shared stories about warm memories with her. My favorite was when Wendy talked about wearing my Mamaw's shoes to church b/c she forgot to pack hers! Too funny! When I spoke, I read a blog entry I had written about her in April. And, yes, I cried! Imagine that?
After all of us had our say, Mamaw got to say a few words! (I think she liked that!) Her wish for all of us was that we would have the kind of family she has been blessed with. God is so good!

Mamaw has been a wonderful mother and grandmother to all of us. We are so grateful for her life! It was a joy to come together and celebrate her life! God has blessed her with a long and full life!

Braden Thumb Update

Braden went to the orthopedist today for the final check-up on his thumb. After looking at the X-Ray and examining Braden's thumb, the doctor only had two words to say, "You're healed!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Swimmers Start

This summer the boys are trying out swim team. The older two boys were on a "feeder team" one summer in HP, but that was a long time ago. Reid and I decided that it would be great for all of them to have at least one season on a swim team.

For me, being on a swim team was always something I enjoyed. I think it helped me become confident in the water, and I doubt I would have become a PADI certified scuba diver if I had never had some serious instruction. (Yes, another surprise about me from my early 20s!) Additionally, one of Reid's greatest fears about doing a triathlon is the leg of swimming. Therefore, we decided one year would be a good investment in their much scuba diving or triathlon competing as they may do! Whohoo!

Here are a few pictures from the very first day of swim practice! (Sorry, these are from May, but I'm doing the best I can!)
Weston's got "the swimmer's look!" He does great in the water, and looks like a little barracuda swimming after some bait!

Braden's group got to blow bubbles and swim a few feet from the wall! He wasn't too sure about the water at first!

Franklin takes a dive - go, go, go! Franklin really didn't want to swim. The water was too cold! However, I think he secretly enjoyed even these early practices!
Mason took it all in, but really put forth his best! I know it was a hard practice for someone with very little previous exposure. He did great!
These were the photos from Day One of swim practice! Since that time, they have all improved tremendously! Their event times are dropping, and they are enjoying the sport. Braden even swam in his first event at the swim meet tonight! (Photos soon I hope!)
Tonight at the meet...
Braden - at age four - is swimming all the way across the pool and swam a 25 yd. freestyle in tonight's swim meet! Even after missing two weeks of practice b/c of his thumb injury! Way to go, Braden!
Weston was the Backstroke Bullet! He looks amazing swimming freestyle and backstroke! He is doing so well, and seems to love the water!
Franklin is giving his all - even though he originally didn't want to swim! Tonight, he placed first in his heat in freestyle, and pulled it out for the anchor leg of the free relay!
Mason has already shaved 6 seconds off his freestyle time - in two weeks! Tonight, he pulled his free relay up one place by passing another swimmer who was a half length ahead when Mason dove into the water. He did fantastic!
For now, I know they are not Olympic material (unlike my cousin AJ who will be competing in the Olympic Trials in less than 2 weeks!), but they are learning and they are enjoying it! For that, I am proud! Go, go, go!
I'm so proud of all four of them for trying something new, putting forth their best effort and not giving up when it was hard. Go, go, go!