Friday, July 23, 2010

Latest Sweden Update

Well, Christen and her team made it to the final 4! Her team was one of the top four teams out of 64 teams in her bracket. Unfortunately, they did not win their semi-finals, but she can come home knowing she accomplished something great!!

They were on a winning streak! Let me tell you! In one game against a Swedish team, Christen's team won 6-0. As a sign of respect, the Swedish team gave their club flag to Christen's team. Christen's coach turned around and then presented her with the club flag. It's a huge honor for your coach to do that!! It's like being named MVP!

I'm so happy for her, but the kid is not a good loser. She's mad and so far has not talked to us about the last game. She sent me a message and when Jon called her, she told him she wasn't ready to talk about it. I just want to give her a big ol' hug and tell her everything is going to be ok.

I am so thankful for her to have this opportunity and to make it as far as she did! We serve a mighty and awesome God and I praise Him for giving her the ability to compete! I pray that the rest of her trip is enjoyable and that she comes home safely.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to pray for her!

She's in the light blue GK jersey:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweden Update

This has been such a week of highs and lows for Christen and her teammates! The beginning of their Soccer adventure in Sweden did not start out so well. They had three scheduled games, the first against a Norwegian team and the last two against two Swedish teams. They lost each game and did not score at all. On Wednesday, after their last lost, Christen called to let me know they were still going to be playing in a playoff game. If they won the first playoff game, they would get to continue. Well guess what? They won!! 1-0!! Christen was the goal keeper the entire time and not one kick on goal got past her. She stated that there were so many kicks on goal she lost count!

They had another game a couple of hours ago and guess what? They won that one too!!! 2-1!!! They have another game at 1:30 EST today.

I'm SO excited for her and her teammates. For a group of girls who just met a week and a day ago, they are doing so great! Wanna know a secret? I know how they are doing so well! Of course they have the talent, of course they have the knowledge of the game, but God is on their side. He has heard our prayers for safety and He is keeping them safe. He has heard our prayers for wins and He has given them the ability to win. The verse I keep sending Christen is: "I can do everything through CHRIST who strengthens me" Phil 4:13. I believe it has reminded her to keep her focus Christ centered.

No matter what happens today @ 1:30pm EST, I will be proud of her because she is giving her all and keeping her faith strong.

Enjoy these pictures from their first game in Sweden:

That's Christen there in the blue. She played Striker for most of the first half. Striker is the position that "should" get the majority of the goals (if there are any). She hasn't had much experience in that position because where she plays here, people believe that position belongs to only one person. I won't name names. But it's wonderful for her to have this experience and to have a coach who believes in her abilities.

Here she is the GK and wearing her light blue jersey.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Soccer update!!

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has kept Christen in your prayers. Please continue! God is surely working through this experience she is having.

I haven't posted in what seems like forever!!

Christen is in Sweden and they played their first game today. They didn't win, but that's ok. She has three more games to play. She just met her teammates on Wednesday. I tried my best to encourage her. Her next game occurs at 9am tomorrow Sweden Time (which is 3am EST). I thought we would be able to watch her games online, but so far, we can't find anywhere on the Gothia Cup website to do that.

I'm just so proud of her I could burst!! It was tough leaving her in NC on Thursday. Tougher on me than her for sure. She's having a great time, making lots of memories and I'm sure the friendships she is forming will last forever.

Here are a couple of pictures we took of her during her practice sessions while she was in NC the first couple of days. Enjoy!!

Christen is on the far right, running after the ball.

And she got it!

It was HOT outside!!

Warming up.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Weekend

This past weekend was great. Despite not feeling my best, I still had a great, three day weekend. We were able to spend time with my Mother, Nanny, brother, his crew, friends and church family. Great weekend for making memories!

I was able to get the camera out and capture some memories. I hope to get better at my photography skills. I had some fun with an online editing website.

Jon & Christen having a silly moment!

We tried some yellow watermelon.... not the best thing in the world.... The color just totally threw me off...

Spent time @ my Nanny's this weekend. (my Maternal Grandmother) This has to be my favorite part of her place. Many wonderful memories were made in this old barn. Jumping hay bales, wondering through the stored items, etc.

I saw this rope and chain on my way back from the sunflower/corn patch. The rope is in steady supply at my Nanny's house. I remember jumping rope with this stuff, tugging the chow-chow puppies w/ it and whatever else my imagination wanted to use it for. Its amazing how something as simple as a rope can invoke memories and imagination!

One of the sunflowers from my Aunt & Uncles sunflower patch/garden. They have about had it, but there were still a few still hanging on.

My mother came for a visit!! We were able to hang out at Wal Mart, my house and my Nanny's. Love it when she visists.
This picture was taken at my Pa & Ma's (paternal grandparent's) property. They are both living in heaven now. This old barn also holds many memories. Many games of house, store, farm, cops/robbers were played here. It was also a great hiding place for the more adverturous cousins during night games of kick-the-can.

The back field at my Pa & Ma's property. I was never really the outdoors type, but I did love walking this field or riding in the back of the truck to the back pond.

Again @ my Pa & Ma's property. Gas pump no longer works, but I've always thought it was so cool!!! This shed was also the storage spot for my Pa's beloved "RCs" (read--> Beer). And I always felt pretty special retrieving those "RCs" for him. He would normally indulge in one at the end of a long day gardening and checking on the fields.

Christen and her "beau". He's a great kid.
The kind of kid you don't mind hanging out with your daughter.

The pines behind my brother's house. These pines are fairly new, so no memories here. But if you walk just a little east or north of where this picture was taken, you'll find spots where incriminating memories took place! Don't ask, cause I'm not tellin!! :o)

The pond is also fairly new. Great place to fish, but I haven't been since we've moved back home. I need to get working on that....

I'll end this post with a watermelon shot from the lake. One of our church families has a lake house and they were gracious enough to invite our Sunday School class to the lake to celebrate July 4th. Fun was had by all! Even a surprise baby shower for our teacher and his wife went off without a hitch.
I'm so thankful to God for this past weekend and all He provided me with.
"give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vacation Bible School

This has been one CRAZY week. It seems that when VBS rolls around, the devil is just out to get me in a bad mood. And I must admit.... there were times.... moments.... where I almost let him win.

I help my Aunt teach the 2nd grade class for the VBS that our Church holds. All the kids are a blessing, but for some reason, they have been true KIDS. You know, talkative, active, busy bees.... etc, etc. It's been a little difficult to keep their attention.

But you have moments where God reminds you why you're there and why you put up with, endure, enJOY teaching those children. For example, when the class clown is very eager to say the blessing before supper and does such an awesome job. Or when a little girl is being made fun of and wrongly accused and her friend stands up to the WHOLE class to explain and asks the whole class to apologize. (that actually happened I believe I had tears in my eyes, she stood up to 12 boys and girls with no fear in her voice and without being asked, she knew what was right and she stood up for it)

Tonight is the last night of our VBS and I'm excited but a little sad too. Excited to have my nights back to myself and to start focusing on getting Christen ready for her trip. But sad because I really do enjoy being around the kids and many you never see again.