Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A trip to the mall

Like any city that expects visitors,
Guam has an area of the island that caters to the tourist.

Guam is the closest tropical island to Japan, and thus, has a huge influx of Japanese people on vacation.

This area of Guam is know as Tumon.

On Saturday night, we decided to take a family trip to the mall and check it out.

Zion was very excited! 

I'm not sure what he expected.........

maybe just the idea of  "the mall" is something familiar from the states.

Isaac and Zion really enjoyed watching this HUGE display of moving parts that have pool balls going in all directions;  down ramps, up tracks and more.

 But when Zion saw THIS..

he was beside himself!  :)

Michael likes ice cream......

But he was really excited about this......

He got a GAME STOP giftcard from a friend for his birthday right before we left San Deigo.

He didn't get a chance to spend it before we left.

It was a good family outing!

(*this is Michael's happy face)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Madison!

Another wonderful day spent with the Gillam family, but a very special one!

Maddy is 11!  

Thank you Maddy for allowing the CRAZY Thorntons to share in your special day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

MUD BOWL #1 - Seahawks Soccer

 Well,  I think I mentioned before that it rains a lot here on Guam.

Did I mention that sporting events go on, as long as there is no lightning?

Well,  today it came a hard and fast, downpour.

The kind where the water can only gush down the roads,

because it is raining WAY to hard to soak into anything.

So.....this happens about an hour before game time.

And continues until 5 minutes before the game starts.

And thus,

the first MUD BOWL of the season.

It was an away game and the other team certainly had homefield advantage.

They knew where all the water pits were, and could avoid them.

Additionally, I think their goalie is either on steriods, or has been in the 7th grade for 3 years.  He was HUGE and really good!

Our boys played well, but I don't think a single player stayed on his feet.

Michael has quite a big "BOOT" with those Size 13 feet usually.
(Tuesday, he almost scored from midfield, missing the goal by inches)

Today, in the water and muck, his hardest kicks went 12 inches.

His glasses got fogged up and he had to do his best without them.

Again,  all the boys played well and hung in there.......

despite great frustration.

(*not sure what's up with the white/black socks)
Finally score was 1-2 in favor of the Oceanview team.

Very proud of all the Seahawks!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zion - De-throned!

I am the oldest grandchild on my mom's side of the family,

My great grandmother
(and me 1970)

My grandmother
June 2009

but as far as the great-grandchildren;

Zion is the "baby"         

He has had a nice, long reign as the baby, for nine years, one month, and 2 weeks.....

until yesterday

my sweet cousin Rachel

gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Just wanted to say

Congratulations from Guam

to the NEW baby of the family.

Welcome Rhys!  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

McCool Seahawks WIN 4-0

Again, so very proud of Michael
and the middle school team.

Happy for him that he has something he loves.

Happy that the group of boys he hangs with seem to be good kids.

Happy to be sitting on the sidelines in a supporting role. 

The video is not that great.
I'm learning!
Michael is a defender.
So, he comes from the side of the screen.
And then gets a header on the throw in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

history lesson in the bathtub......

Zion had a bike crash over the weekend.
He is milking it a little.........
But enjoying his time soaking in the bath.
Mike and I were totally cracking up!

Friday, September 17, 2010

McCool Middle School Seahawks Soccer

The school has a middle school team -
so Isaac, Zion and I followed the bus to the game.

The players and the coach all rode the bus.

Lucky for Michael, he can always pretend like he doesn't know the WHITE LADY taking pictures!

Really, I am okay with it.  

He's 13,  I'm not going to run up to the bus and kiss him or anything. 

Watch out for those size 13s!

They played the Saint John's Knights.

My big boy is a ROCK STAR!!!!!!!

SO, SO, SO proud of Michael today in his first soccer game.

He was, seriously
(not just cause I am his mom)
the star defender.

Played almost the whole game
(even though there are 30 boys on the team)

defending the goal

Look at that......up and over!


Not on my watch!


I said, "not on my watch"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Familar Faces - part 3 - Me and Sam!

The moment you have all been waiting for.......

Here we are!!!!!

Michael took this photo after church on Sunday.
The dads had things to do, so the moms protested cooking and went with the kiddos to TGIF's.
Then, we took the kids bowling. 

And then Sam called Kevin at home and ask him to make dinner for ALL OF US!
God bless him, he did it!

(I took a picture of him in the kitchen, but he put his hand in front of it.........
so, the last fourth of the Gillam family will remain part of your imagination!)

Not to be outdone, Mike brought over salad and we had a yummy dinner and a great day with great friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Out and about in Guam

A latte stone, or simply latte (also latde), is the term for a pillar (Chamorro language: haligi) capped by a hemispherical stone capital (tasa) with the flat side facing up. Used as building supports by the ancient Chamorro people, they are found throughout most of the Mariana Islands. In modern times, the latte stone is seen as a sign of Chamorro identity and is used in many different contexts.

In commemoration of the 200th birthday of the United States of America in 1976, Governor Ricardo Bordailo launched a bicentennial project to celebrate the American freedoms and the proud heritage of the Guamanian people.  The latte, the handiwork of the ancient Chamorros, gave rise to the vision for the Latte of Freedom.

As the Statue of Liberty welcomes visitors to American's eastern shores, Governor Bordailo envisioned the Latte of Freedom rising above Guam as a welcoming symbol of American freedom in the Western Pacific.

Just as the children of America donated their pennies to erect the Statue of Liberty, Guam's children raised thousands of dollars to make the first donation to build the Latte of Freedom.

Today, we welcome you to the Latte of Freedom, a gift from the people of Guam to freedom lovers everywhere.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Familiar Faces (*part 2) - Seabees!

So much fun to move to a place where you know somebody.

 (*this is more common the more years we spend in the Navy I think -
there is probably a formula for it, but I don't like math).

Guam is home to a Seabee Det. (detachment) and they live at Camp Covington.

They come for a 6 month deployment from either Gulfport, Mississippi, or Port Hueneme, California.

The Gulfport Det is from NMCB-11 and they will be here on island working hard until late March 2011.

Just so happens, we know a certain Seabee with NMCB 11.  His name is Mike Monreal.  He and his wife Stephanie were our neighbors in Port Hueneme WAY BACK when Michael and their daughter Victoria were still in diapers.  (wish I had a file photo of that one!) 

He's the SKIPPER!  

Totally awesome to have him over for dinner and catch up on the last few years.   Again, so busy talking that I didn't take many photos.  (but stole this one from his facebook page taken with his camera)

Great to see you Mike, and CAN DO Seabees!
PS......pretty sure you only see signs like this on a SEABEE base!  :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th

I recently read a book by Karen Kingsbury called, "One Tuesday Morning". 

It is a book about September 11th with fictional characters, but of course, the storyline and the events that take place bring tears to your eyes.

Each generation of humanity has a life changing event that can take them back in time instantly, without thinking, to exactly where they were when it occurred.

I remember my mom talking about where she was when JFK was shot.

My grandmother knows where she was when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

And I know where I was on September 11th 2001.

We lived in Port Hueneme, California and Zion was just a tiny little guy. 

Barely a month old.

Isaac was 19 months.

Michael was 2 months past his 4th birthday.

Mike was in the shower getting ready for work.
I padded into the living room and turned on the TV.

At that time, I liked to start my mornings with the "Today Show"

Of course, I couldn't have avoided what was on every channel.

It was a few minutes before 6am.

News reports were still speculating that the crash was some sort of accident.

I went back to the bedroom and told Mike.

When I returned to the TV, I saw this. 

Reports began to change.

Speculations were being made.

The feelings of terror begin to wrestle with the idea that this can't be possible.

Can it?

For the next 30 minutes, I sat numb on the couch - watching.

Then the Pentagon was hit.

The emotions involved with some level of denial start to fade. 

I felt sick.

Great friends from our first tour in Port Hueneme, the Medveds, are now stationed at the Pentagon.

Of course, the phone lines are jammed and every effort
to call Maria and check on Marko are met with that annoying message that, "your call can not be completed as dialed"

The rest of the day turned into a blurr.

The rest of the week was spent on base.  

There was no real reason to travel off base, and I didn't want to.

That added bit of security somehow made me feel better.

I can't even remember how long it was before I heard from Maria that Marko was not in the Pentagon
that morning. 

Personal relief was still bittersweet, as people they knew lost their life.

The final death count was almost 3000.

Images of hope begin to replace the images of destruction.

The first time we left the base was as a family.

We went to church.

We placed more value on the little things.

We held our babies closer.

We called family just to say, "I love you"

Instead of getting caught up in the busy weekend hussle and bussle......

We should do those things again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Dog Park

Well,  school has started and it's just me and the dog.

Honestly, she's not getting much exercise here on Guam.

We don't have a backyard for her to run in, and she naturally runs WAY faster than any of the human Thorntons.

So, we thought we would try the base dog park.

Fenced in and leash free.

The boys tried and tried to get Mia to do all the tricks.

She wasn't having any of it.

She decided to forget about the treats.

We love you even if you  can't do tricks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Photo Flashback..........

Just a few snapshots of the boys hanging around the house before our shipment came. 

I took these photos before the internet was installed, so they are a little behind the time line of being posted.

Now the closet that Michael is reading in is full of toys and books!



They found great joy in playing in the closets.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bayview - our new church

So my dear friend Sam is one of those people (seriously, unlike me) that never wants to say a bad thing.

But she will, (and I am thankful) speak the truth in love to you,

(and then immediately apologize for fear of crushing your heart).  

She is too cute!!

 (one day, I will have photos of the two of us, although, she and I both are the ones with the camera, so............not sure when that will be)

ANYWAY.......back to the story.....

So Sam says to me with all the love in her heart........

Really Melda, you have to stop saying "Mike's church"

Okay, now is where I think of all the reasons that I was saying, "Mike's church" (cause he has been here a year, and I just got here..........)

but bottom line, without excuses, she is right. are photos of OUR new church.

*Prime real estate I tell ya,
 and if there were waves,
 Pastor Mike in San Diego
would be SUPER jealous!!!

(I can still miss Newbreak peeps right??)