Monday, July 11, 2011

Recent articles

I recently found two interesting links on CNN relating to the rise of the Hispanic influence in the United States. The first is of particular interest as it discusses the changing face of America's youth. These are our future college students, the young men and women who we will cross paths with on the campuses in San Antonio. The second is a video discussing the historic Hispanic influence in the great city of San Antonio, our future home, with such a beautiful, exciting, and vibrant culture!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Halfway Point

As usual, the summer is flying by! We have completed four of the eight weeks, and each week has a specific theme with all elements intentionally designed around it. So far the themes have included:

*Week One: Intimacy with Christ
*Week Two: The Word of God
*Week Three: Relationships
*Week Four: Identity and Position in Christ
*Week Five: Prayer, Faith, and the Promises of God

Elisabeth has really enjoyed living in a dorm with other students, staff, and KIDS! There have been five other staff kids to play with so far, and last Friday a new staff family joined us with two more girls. This coming week more kids will arrive, and in a few weeks there will be a dozen kids running around the dorm. Fun times! She has taken up coloring, and I even caught her coloring on one of the walls one morning (notice the blue to the left). I was able to clean the crayon off the wall, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of her in action!

We still enjoy our morning walks and seeing the geese around campus. We even discovered their secret afternoon hangout: the pond outside Elisabeth's window. This is the view from her dorm room:

We have students who watch the children at various times throughout the week, and they have been great at organizing fun activities for them. Last week some of the boys wanted to dress up as ninjas, so they made toilet paper belts and headbands. Elisabeth wanted in on the action:

With Miss Skye and Miss Emmie (Emily):

I'm always amazed at how little time we actually spend at the beach when we're down here, considering we're so close to the ocean, but we always have to fight to make it there. Elisabeth's first trip this year was a quick one on a Friday evening to take our annual program group picture. It was actually past Elisabeth's bedtime so she and I were there just long enough to snap the photo and then head back to the dorm. She was having a blast giving sand to the girls in the first row:

We have taken one family excursion to the beach, and it was actually on Elisabeth's half birthday, June 9. She had an absolute blast splashing in the water, digging in the sand, and helping her daddy make a sand castle!

We love any opportunity to celebrate life's little joys and milestones, so we continued her half birthday celebration later in the day with cupcakes from a darling little cupcake boutique called Cami Cakes. We took them to the campus dining hall for dinner, and Elisabeth polished hers off like a champ.

This has somewhat backfired, however, because she has learned the word "cupcake", and the dining hall on campus happens to make amazing cupcakes (along with everything else--their food is incredible!) Whenever she sees a cupcake, which is almost daily, she starts demanding one with a strong sense of urgency in her little voice, and I actually have to ask people to hide them so she can focus on eating what's in front of her.

A few weeks ago we took a one-day trip to St. Augustine, 45 minutes south of Jax, and the oldest city in the U.S. Every year this is a favorite road trip destination for students and staff. Naturally rich in history, there is so much to do and see. Our excursion began with a visit to the new Pirate and Treasure Museum, which actually kept Elisabeth enthralled the entire time. I wasn't sure how she would do in a museum, but we took a chance and ended up having a lot of fun.

After that we walked over to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest remaining European fort in the continental U.S. Elisabeth was less than thrilled to be detained for a picture after just getting out of her stroller from the pirate museum!

Our final stop was Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth, but we didn't have time to actually go through the park. Rather, we spent a few minutes gazing at the beautiful peacocks roaming the grounds. Magnificent!

We will be in Jax through the end of this month, and then we'll head back to Kansas to regroup before taking a house-hunting trip to San Antonio.

We hope you are having a wonderful summer!