Monday, March 30, 2009

Zumbathon This Weekend!

The Owasso Family YMCA is hosting a Zumbathon on Saturday, April 4th, from 10-11:30AM. We are asking for a minimum of $10 donation to the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign. This campaign raises funds so that no child or family is ever turned away from YMCA programs or membership because they are unable to pay.

Zumba is a latin-dance inspired exercise class that focuses on the fun of exercise. Their motto is "Ditch the workout, joing the party". Please come and join us for a day filled with great music, wonderful people, and fun dancing...all for a great cause.

Please contact Ann Pulice if you have any questions!

(This event is open to the public. You do not have to be a member of the Y to attend.)

To see a video clip from Fox 23 news, go here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

An Eye-Opening Experience

Our family volunteered last night at the John 3:16 mission in Tulsa. They have a program called "City Kids" which is a community outreach program that meets the fourth Friday night of each month. John 3:16 actually goes out into the Tulsa community to some of the poorest apartment complexes and busses kids in so they can attend the program. Activities include a pizza dinner, fellowship, games, crafts, and a Bible lesson. Hundreds of kids attend this program and many, many volunteers are needed to help make it a success.

When we first arrived at 6, the Program Director, Steven Whitaker, gave all of the volunteers a debriefing of what would be occuring that night. It was great to see so many volunteers - especially youth - who were giving up their Friday night activities to serve God and their community.

We then went to our classrooms which were divided by age group. I took "A" with me and we helped out with the 5-7 year olds. Steve took "M" and they helped out with the 8-9 year olds. It was so sweet watching our girls helping other kids their own age. "A" made sure everyone had a nametag and a color page to work on. And when it was time to eat pizza, she ate too, but made sure to give everyone around her 2nd and 3rd pieces when they were ready for more.

After pizza, we went back to our classroom for worship songs and then a Bible Lesson taught by Pastor Noe. He talked about how God is knocking at the door of our heart and He wants us to let Him in. The kids then made a door hanger with Revelation 3:20 on it and they decorated it with stickers. After their doorhangers were covered with stickers, they thought it would be funny to put the stickers on their faces - "It's chicken pox!", they laughed! And before I knew it, they were decorating me! I had stickers all over my face, in my hair, on my back. They thought it was quite humorous and I wasn't about to stop them because I could see the joy in their faces and the fun they were having.

It's so sad the situation many of these kids are in - it's quite eye-opening for me and especially for our girls. It was so cold and rainy but still some of the kids came to the Mission in an old t-shirt and shorts - no coat! Of course, the Mission has a clothes closet and they make sure every child leaves well dressed and warm. Many of the kids come hungry and even try to stuff pizza in their pockets so they can have something to eat later that night. John 3:16 does a fabulous job making sure the kids major needs are being met.

I asked one little boy in my class who the man was that he was coloring on his color page. He replied, "That's Jesus! I love Jesus and He loves me!" I smiled and said, "Who else loves you?" He said, "My mom!" I thought that was so sweet and I said, "Tell me something about your mom," not expecting the answer he gave me. He said, "Oh, she's in jail. I just got out of foster care and live with my dad now." I can only imagine all of the things this little seven year old has experienced with his eyes and ears - breaks my heart.

That's why John 3:16 needs volunteers who can be a good, positive influence on these kids - we may be the only "Jesus" they ever see. We actually volunteered with some friends last night and they brought their kids, too. I would say "mature" 6 year-olds and older (with their parent's help, of course) could handle the responsibility. It's a great thing for small groups or youth groups to volunteer for. If you are interested, please contact the Mission at 918-592-1186 for more information.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven

We have been studying the life of Ludwig Van Beethoven this week in school.
Our book of focus was "The Value of Giving - The Story of Beethoven" by Ann Donegan Johnson. It's a wonderful book that teaches a great lesson about developing our talents and sharing them with the world. You can listen to Beethoven's music here and learn a little about his life by watching these videos...

Beethoven Lesson Plans:
Comparing Composers:Beethoven and Mozart
Ludwig van Beethoven: A Mini Unit
Ludwig van Beethoven Homeschool Lesson Plans and Resources

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Macarena Bones

Macarena bones is a cheezy but fun way to teach and learn the 13 main bones in the body and in order. This song is by Dr. Jean from her cd called "Kiss your Brain".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Discovery Zone is now open!

This week, our church is celebrating the completion of it's new facility. We are really excited about the new kid's area and my girls are especially excited about the new indoor playground area! I just finished painting a "Discovery Zone" logo for one of the walls - here's a few pics...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our Mini-Vacation To Tatanka Ranch

We just got back from taking a much needed mini-vacation to Tatanka Ranch in Stroud, Oklahoma. I took the girls (Steve had to work) and we met up with my sister and her two boys, Lance and Luke, as well as my dad, step-mom and youngest sister, Rachel. It was a great little break from the hustle and bustle of life! Here's some pics and videos of our trip...

Tatanka Ranch has the best playground! The girls had a blast!

After we played on the playground, we went exploring on the grounds. We...

dipped our feet in the ICE-COLD pool water,

played games in the rec center,

saw the outdoor kitchen that is available for public use,

admired their choice in outdoor furniture,

and went on a nature hike!

We then all walked to the lake where we rode boats and climbed to the top of the "Elvis Tower"!

After that, we went back to the playground and rec center for some more fun!

We ate a delicious hamburger and fries dinner at The Lodge then enjoyed the beautiful view outside.

My dad took all the kids fishing at sunset...

Then it was time for a movie and bedtime!

When we woke up, we ate breakfast then rode horses before it was time to go home.

We had such a great time and hope to go back again someday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Loving Memory of "Gammy"

Yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of my grandmother going to live with Jesus. I have so many happy memories of her - she truly was an angel placed here on earth to bless the lives of many, many people.

As my aunt put it best...

Remembering our beloved Mother, Mimi, Gammy, Gigi, Aunt Jewell, Judy ~
Always with a smile and a funny story . . .
Ready to help you with anything you needed . . .
Eager to give and receive hugs . . .
Anxious to hear what you have been up to . . .
Prepared to serve a fresh cup of coffee or goodies to eat . . .
Ever-bright and twinkling eyes as she talked with you . . .
Always whistling . . .

And as you went out the door you always heard:
"Have fun!!
I love you - and don't you forget it!!"

We never will forget. Thank you for the happy memories, Gammy, and I look forward to seeing you again someday ;-)

In loving memory of "Gammy"
Oct. 13, 1922 - March 15, 2005

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pottery Barn Doll Canvasses

I just finished painting three canvasses for a sweet little girl named Emma. Her mother asked me to paint the canvasses to match her daughter's Pottery Barn "Betsy's Doll" bedding. My girls are a little envious and wish they were for them - even though they don't exactly match their bedroom. I hope little Emma likes them ;-)