Friday, June 17, 2011

Catching Up!!

My handful of faithful readers, may be wondering where I have been the past few days.  I am still here, just haven't taken the time to blog lately, so I am going to try and catch up. 

Memorial Day Weekend
On Memorial Day weekend we went downtown to the river and got to see the annual firework show.  Some of our friends were invited to see the show from one of the rooftops near the river, so we lucked out and got to go with them!  In the past we have taken lawn chairs and sat close to the river to watch.  It was a different perspective to be level with the fireworks instead of under them.  Both views are beautiful!!

Tori waiting on the show to start!

Yeah!  The fireworks were amazing!

Another pic of Tori with the River Market and the river in the background

Our friends who were sweet enough to invite us along!
Gymnastics for Tori
Tori is very excited to be taking gymnastics this summer at a gym near our house.  She has taken dance for several years and has loved it, but has said for awhile that she wanted to try gymnastics.  So far she has done well at everything athletic that she has tried.  I think she gets most of that from her dad, because he is very athletic and very flexible.  I never did master the splits completely in all my years of gymnastics as a little girl and Tori does it with such ease already.  The first day of gymnastics she moved from Level 1 to Level 3.  The teacher kept asking me if she had taken before.  She really is just naturally gifted in this area.  I know that I'm her momma, so of course I think she is wonderful!  :)  It was cool to see that someone else recognized her natural ability.  I am just so proud of her.

Practicing her back walk over.

Practicing her cartwheel...trying to keep it very straight and not get off the line.

First time on the balance beam.  :)

Sewing the Seed
Our mission group, Sewing the Seed, met again this past Sunday night to finish up the fleece blankets that we are sending to the orphanage in Peru.  We made over twenty blankets in one night!!!!  We will normally always meet on Saturday mornings, but we had a deadline to get the blankets completed.  There were eight or nine ladies there again at this meeting and we worked hard whipping out these blankets!  Two of our volunteers left today to go with a group to Peru and they took the finished blankets with them.  They will be hand delivering them to the orphanage.  The past two summers I was able to visit the orphanage there, so I am so excited to see how it goes for them and see pictures!!  Another group leaves next Friday to spend a week in Cajamarca and Robert will be going with that group.  This will be the first year that he goes and I stay behind.  I pray for his safety and that God will do amazing things through him there.  The fact that he is bilingual makes him a huge asset to the group...especially when they are going through the different
airports, etc.  :)    Here are a few pics of some of the ladies working! 

Vacation Bible School--Bright Lights, Big City
We have had an exhausting, but fun week at VBS this week!  There were around 650 kids there each day!!In the past few years, I have been a coordinator of some sort and not taught.  Since I wasn't sure if we would have foster/adoptive children in our home by summertime I did not commit early on to help coordinate.  Since we ended up not having more children in our home, I was able to commit at the last minute.  So, I got to teach Bible study!  It was fun to actually be in a room, teaching instead of roaming the halls checking on people.  The theme was "Bright Lights, Big City."  Every day the kids got to visit a different place in New York City (in their minds, of course) and learned neat facts about those places.  I taught 1st grade Bible.  All the Bible stories this week were focused on Jesus' teaching while He was on earth, the miracles that He performed as a man, and His crucifixion and then resurrection.

One of the fun things that I did this week was get to team teach with one of my sweet friends, Kacey.  I can't imagine how exhausted I would have been if I had done it all by myself!  :)  She came up with the best idea of having the kids make a book of all the things that they were learning throughout the week.  It turned out great and the kids were so proud to look back through their books on Friday and realize how many things they had learned!
Carson and Tori posing on the sidewalk in front of some "skyscrapers" in NYC!
I learned a lot about NYC that I did not know this week! :)  It has been on my bucket list for awhile, but now I've added a few more places to my list of places I want to see there.
The kids got to make a book this week that told about the places we went in NYC and then the Bible story that we learned.  Here is one of our kiddos gluing her picture and verse of the day in her book!
Here's another sweet girl with her
 finished book on Friday.

Another proud "VBSer!"

Yeah!  One of our groups showing off their finished books.  Each of their books had their picture on the front!



Carson's Cast
The big news for Carson this week was that he got to get his cast off on Wednesday afternoon!!

Waiting to see the last cast pic!

The nurse sawing it off!  :)'s almost off!!

Love that expression!  Looks like he's thinking, "Wow, I still have an arm under there!"

He was very proud of his dirty, stinky cast and convinced the nurse to let him take it home....he can be quite the charmer when he wants to be!!  :)
Robert and I also celebrated our 10th anniversary this past weekend, but since I'm pretty sure this is the longest post I've ever made I'm going to write about that later!  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Randoms of Today

Yeah!!  Tori made it through 1st grade!! Today was Tori's last day of 1st grade!  She was so excited this morning before I took her to school she was jumping off the walls.  She told me that she was going to scream when she got home this afternoon; she'd be so excited.  I'm thinking I better plug my ears, becuase it's almost time!!!! 
I am so proud of how hard she has worked this year.  She is a great student and I pray that God will give her a love and passion for learning.
Here she is before school this morning!

This picture is just for fun....while Tori was at school Carson and his friend, Spencer, were having fun playing.  In case you can't tell by the picture, they are pretending to be the blue and gold ranger on Power Rangers.  They found my tall boots in my closet and they have pot lids for shields.  Is that funny or what??!!
Yeah!!  In about thirty minutes summer will officially start in the Cortez house......let the good times roll!!

The Shed is Done!!

I have wanted a shed since we moved into our house almost four years ago!  I am happy to say that my husband and I have fought a hard battle with this shed and we were conquerors!!  I will not be putting one of these together again any time soon.  It took MANY hours.....I'm acutally scared to add it all up.  But in the end my husband and I got to practice being patient with each other under frustrating conditions, while standing out in the hot sun!  Oh, good times!! :)  Do you think that God may have been equipping us with the patience that we will need as a couple to raise a house full of kids?!!

You may remember me posting a few weeks ago about my brother coming up and helping us build a shed in our backyard.  That was the same night that Carson broke him arm, so the shed project got put on hold.  They were able to complete the whole base, though, which was a huge help and we could not have done that without him.

This picture is from Carson's birthday party, but you can see the shed base in the back left corner.  It stayed like this for several weeks, because it was either too rainy, too windy, or we were out of town and not able to work on it.

Finally we had a pretty day and we mustard up the courage to tackle the shed.  I must say it was quite intimidating. It took us the good part of three days to assemble this thing with just me and Robert working on it.  I am not a hard worker when it comes to using my hands and being outside and more over I am not very strong.  So, I wasn't sure how much help I would be.  It was fun to see how we worked together and figured out how to make it work.  I used my brains (which is what I prefer to exercise) to read the instructions and then hold pieces and he used is muscles (which is what he prefers to exercise) to screw and blot the pieces.   Ha, ha!!

It was hard.  It was a test of endurance, but we made it!  And we still liked each other when we got done! Now, if it blows away in the first big storm, I definitely want my money back!!!!