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The week that was

June 13, 2011

It has been am amazing week here at CSC.  We had a work team here from Colorado – their “job” was to keep our kids busy all week.  They did a good job! In the process they kept all of us busy as well.  I spent about 3 hours total in my office all week.    That is a little bit scary to think about to be honest!  Getting caught up is going to prove quite a challenge I think.

It was a good week though.  The kids had VBS, biking, eating out, swimming, snorkeling, eating out, olympics,  crafts, eating out,   Zip line,  mountain top experiences, eating out and Bible studies!  The kids were dragging by the end of the week, ( not because they had not eaten)  but that was good because all the adults were dragging as well!

Added to all the work team activities we had  6 birthdays at CSC!!

The kids had a great time.  It was a week to remember for all of us.  We have lots of new kids so all the extra excitement and  busy schedule made for some pretty wild days for us to try to keep everyone doing what we wanted them to do and not taking advantage of every opportunity to do what we didn’t want them to be doing! The new kids are going to be a little shocked to know that there are not ALWAYS 13 white people around that will let them crawl all over them,  borrow their camera and play with them all day long!   Reality will be tough for a bit!

We survived the week  with only one bike accident and one house parent with his arm in a cast.  Oh yeah….and about 10 kids with jelly fish stings!

Here are some photos of our WEEK THAT WAS!!!

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Fun in the Sun

May 23, 2011

Yesterday was a great day.   Our three House fathers put together a great  day of sports, games,  and activities.   We had badminton, running relays,  basketball, tug of war, water balloon games and ended the afternoon with our homemade Slip and Slide (Thank you Tammy and Rikki.)

A cute story is that three of our brand new kids just came out of Isolation a few hours before the big event.  These three kids were very confident that they were not going to like it here, that they were going to run away and go find their birth mom.  We kept telling them that they just had to wait, that their mom will come and visit and that they WOULD like it once they got out of Isolation.  Well….they did!  What an introduction to life at CSC..a full day of games and activities!  They already have friends and participated in everything offered!   They are no longer planning to run away, but they do want their birth mom to come and meet their new friends and see their new home.

After all the activity everyone got treats for being good sports and great competitors!   We ended the event with a prayer….it was a wonderful day.

We even got to have a birthday party before  the day was over!  Madelyn turned 3 and Jolynz 1!

Here are about half the photos!   More to come in a few days.

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Is it tuesday?

May 16, 2011

The last couple weeks have been filled with lots of comings, goings and activities.  We have had four sets of visitors,  and have kept 60 plus kids happy and busy.  Lots of my time has been taken up by our visitors.   I love visitors, I love getting to know new people – especially the ones who are adopting our kids!   It has been a wonderful couple of weeks – but most days I lost track of  what day of the week it was.   It seems that every day of the last couple of weeks has been Tuesday.   Tuesday,  just a normal day to get stuff done.  Tuesdays are good.  But  I have just had two weeks of Tuesdays!   Being I usually write my blog on the weekend….I guess it is understandable that I have not written one.  

But,  to help make up for the fact  that the weekend just never seems to get here …..I’ll share a few photos from one of my recent tuesdays!

Enjoy.

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Going…..Going….GONE

May 9, 2011

Seems like we have been saying lots of goodbyes lately.  We have had 25 kids leave for adoption already this year!   Five more are matched and accepted, just waiting for final paperwork.   That will be 30 kids gone,  in less than six months.   We are hoping and praying that that number will grow significantly over the last six months of the year as well.   As we are saying goodbye and singing our  traditional goodbye song I often wonder why we are so “happy” to say goodbye, why we are “happy” to make ourselves cry,  why we are so “happy” to wave goodbye to the vehicle carrying our kids away – the kids  we have poured our lives into.  Our goal is a family for each of our kids. We are happy when that goal is reached,  but not always so happy to actually say goodbye I have to admit.  Then I turn around from waving at that vehicle leaving and see  the playground that those kids will likely never play on again (not for a long time anyway.)  But, on that playground  I can see the reason we are here, the reason we say goodbye.  There are the new kids running around,  quickly becoming loved CSC Kids and already wondering and asking when it will be their turn to be in that vehicle heading out the driveway.  When our goal for them will be attained.   Hmmmm. That is what CSC is all about,  loving these kids, then sending them away with a piece of our hearts…. and the most amazing thing is that giving away bits of our hearts to these kids has only served to make more room for more kids !   I love how that works.  This is not true just for us here in Cebu – I know that many of you who read our blogs have fallen in love with some or all of our kids, some of you are Foster Friends, some of you long time supporters.  Thank you for giving your hearts to our kids along with us.

We also see lots of hello’s and goodbyes for our kids…. recently I watched one of our new  kids say goodbye to loving grandparents who are too old and sickly to care for him, they love him enough to give him  the hope for a future that they know they cannot give him.   He had trouble understanding that fact on the day he said goodbye….but he will understand in the years to come.

We often get to  see  CSC “Kids”  who were adopted  years before come back to see us –  and  to look for birth family.   Hello’s and goodbyes.  That pretty much sums up our lives here.

For some reason a quotation by C.S. Lewis I had seen years ago popped into my mind recently – so I had to find it.   Love the internet.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal.   Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries;  avoid all entanglements;  lock it safely in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.    But, in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless…it will change.  It will not be broken.  It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”   C.S. Lewis

I guess I will keep on giving my heart to these kids…. and saying goodbye.

Here are just a few of the recent hello’s and goodbye’s we have had.

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Graduation and Easter eggs

April 21, 2011

We had our graduation ceremony on tuesday.  Nine preschoolers graduated and four kids graduated from grade 6.   We also made sure that each of our kids got an award for being “best at” something!

Thursday we colored 15 dozen Easter eggs.  We don’t have all the fancy smancy kits that you can get in the USA.  But we get some pretty fancy eggs.  The kids use crayons, scotch tape,  and balloons to create some pretty colorful eggs.

Enjoy the photos!  Sorry about the sideways ones.

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A banquet and blessings…..

April 18, 2011

       The CSC banquet on saturday night was amazing!  I can say that even though I was not there.   I can say that even though our internet connection did not work well.  I can say that because I have an inbox full of positive reports and amazing stories.  Makes me jealous to be honest, but keep those reports and photos coming!

        Good things are happening here in Cebu too!   Four kids went to Manila to finish up final paperwork – their adoptive families will be coming soon.   We got to tell another  little guy that he has a family now!  Ginda is improving – I know because she is back to sticking her tongue out.   Jacob is out of Isolation and was with us at Teacher Myrna’s retirement party.  It was quite sad actually….we talked about when Teacher Myrna’s husband died in 1996.  Jacob remembered him and got quite emotional.  But, he loved being there and got to present Teacher Myrna with a gift.   We admitted two new darlings today.  They have what I call “the new kid look” in their photo.   Hopefully that “look”  will be gone in a few weeks.

     We are starting summer vacation here.  The kids will be home all day every day starting on wednesday.   Our playground can get a little crowded when there are 60 plus  kids flying kites (which includes getting kites out of our kite eating tree) , riding bikes, skateboarding, learning to walk,  splashing in the pool,  riding  scooters,  playing basketball,  playing badminton, trying to find a quiet place to talk, chasing grasshoppers, chasing each other, singing songs and a few dozen more things that they can come up with! It is a fun time though!  The first week in May we will start our summer “fun classes” so that will mean some driving to and from but will give the kids something different to do each day.   Before we know it it will be the end of June and school will be starting again!

Here is a little bit of the last few days around here….

I included a photo of each of our three residential homes also;  the Cherne, Duterte and Eicher homes.

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My favorite vacation spot

April 16, 2011

I went to my favorite vacation spot this week.  The Cabana resort in Moal Boal.  This is a little place   2   1/2 hours away,  right on the beach, with a wonderful coral reef just a few meters from shore.   So….I spent some time with the fishes.  Here are a few photos to prove it.   Notice the sea turtle down in the corner of one of the photos –  he did have a head attached to his body.   He and I shocked each other a bit finding ourselves  face to face about 5 feet away from each other – took me awhile to get my camera aimed,  and he was not about to pose for a photo…so this is all I have to remember our short time together.   I love God’s creation!

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This is BANQUET WEEKEND in Minnesota!   I will write a blog about that tomorrow!