Sunday, January 30, 2011

A little bit of culture

Sunday was another great day. 

After church, we went to Chamorro Village.
They were having a cultural festival.

We had lunch (*including red rice) and walked around the different booths to see local arts and crafts.

Of course, almost anywhere you go on Guam, you can see the ocean. 
It's one of my favorite things about this small island.

boys, rocks, water..........you see what's happening here









nope, don't know the cute kid,
Just taking a picture of the carabao
Don't know what a carabao is?
(I didn't either until we came to Guam)  
In short,   it's a domesticated water buffalo
But if you are still curious, you can read more about it here.


Zion enjoying local produce. 

You might recognize it as "star fruit",
here on Guam, they call it a Star Apple. 
Zion ate two,  they were a quarter. 

Pretty good treat!










Guam has bits of influence from many, many different places.
But the language is mostly a Spanish based language influence from the 1500's and the Spanish settlers that arrived here.  The U.S. purchased Guam from Spain for 20 million dollars at the end of the Spanish / American War in 1899.

Most of the dances that you see give you a Hawaiian feel, but from what I have read, this style of dance is not traditional, but rather a reflection of embracing the different cultures Guam has been influenced by in the last one hundred years.  Either way, I think it's cool to watch!

video


video

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rain or Shine

Since it rains every day, (for at least 10 minutes)  any outdoor event in Guam is labeled as, "Rain or Shine"

Saturday was one of those days.

Mike and I had another day of "Divide and Conquer" as parents outnumbered by kids.

Mike, Michael and Isaac went to the boys' school for a Fun Run. (in the rain)

Michael met up with some buddies there,
and rumor has it,
he left his dad and brother in his dust and finished 3rd right behind the twins from his soccer team.
Zion and I headed to the Short Course Swim Meet - Zion's first swim meet!


Coach gives a pep talk to the team before the meet







It was also raining off and on from 8am until he swam his last event at 11am,
but the weather didn't dampen his competitive nature.

He was first in his heat in both the 25 free and the 25 back.

So proud of him!

You can see the videos here.
Thank you Sam for the swim cap.  It makes Zion faster, I am sure of it! :)

Busy Friday

Our weekend started on Friday.

The boys were out of school and Mike took the day off.   There were a few errands to run but by early afternoon, Mike, Michael and Isaac were gearing up for a game of paintball. 



It was a wardroom affair,  (*that's military speak for:  all the guys Mike works with left work early to go and have some male bonding time.........)

They had a great time! 
Zion and I had a date, so he wouldn't feel too left out of the paintball adventure.
He picked Chuck E. Cheese (not to eat, just to play games!)
It is brand new, clean and huge, so I agreed to go.

He had a blast playing H2Overdrive!  





















We met up back home for "Make Your Own Pizza Night"



and we had an extra guest.





Some friends of ours had a date night and we watched their daughter.

She is the "Princess" of the Thornton house
and "Uncle Mike" is right around that little finger.

Of course, Isaac and Zion think she is pretty adorable as well,
 and are hoping for a "little sister"just like her.

And I agree with them!




A great Friday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

More on Haiti - one year later

I don't know how many times I can blog another blog without being a "FAKE" blogger,

but I really enjoy the writing of the following people in Haiti, so there is no reason to say again,
what they have said (and lived) so well.

Happy Reading!

celebrating life  by Heather Hendrick

by Tara Livesay

Remembering.......

healing......

Haiti is a strong word

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turning 40

Most of my friends that I went to school with turned 40 in 2010.

Some of them I have reconnected with on Facebook, but for the most part,
I haven't seen most of my high school friends in 20+ years.

One of my dearest friends was Shelley Walden.

I spent hours at her house and her parents were THE BEST to me.

She was one of the first of my friends to get their driver's license
and I remember
much to my surprise
my dad letting me go to the movies
and she drove. 

We saw the movie, WILDCATS, with Goldie Hawn.

It is a coming of age memory that I will never forget.

Last year, before Shelley turned 40, her husband emailed me and invited me to a surprise birthday party he was having for her.  He asked me to dig up some old pictures and bring along.  She and her family live in Florida, and the boys and I were just returning to California from Guam when the party was scheduled.  I just couldn't make it. 

And, I am a year behind digging up photos.........but came across these in the past couple weeks.

I thought I would use the World Wide Web to say.......

 Happy 20th Anniversary Shell

of your 21st birthday!~  



Monday, January 17, 2011

Camping

Nothing like a room


with a view


for only $10


on a long weekend


in January







Saturday, January 15, 2011

Foster Care Update

If you missed part one of the this story........  click here.

I have had a few people ask me how the process is going for foster care.

All of our paperwork is in, and we have had our personal interviews and our family homestudy.

We estimate about four to six more weeks until everything is processed and we are approved for foster care.

Isaac and Zion both told the social worker that they want a little sister. 

I am not sure, when placing children, how much they factors in, but the social worker thought it was cute!
We are asking friends and family to continue to pray for us and the child(ren) that will be in our home.

Each situation will have its own story, and it will be a hard story.

For many obvious reasons, we won't be allowed to share these stories on the blog, so if you would like to be on a personal prayer list for us, please email me at MikenMelda@aol.com and I will add you to the email update list.

For now, please pray for these two little boys.



Again, I can't tell you their story, but they need a home.  They have been in a shelter here on Guam for some time.  I believe that God knows what they need, and if we are part of that process, I pray that we will be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.

Thank you for your love and support!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2010 - looking back, looking forward

I was thinking about 2010 - the year in review
What would I want to say about last year?

What would I want to remember in 20 years?

Is there anything that changed my life?

Our family?

Almost everything about last year, brings me back to the day we landed in L.A. after spending Christmas in Guam with Mike. 

We landed at 5am on January 12th. 

Rented a car.

And drove to San Diego.

The boys slept - we pulled up in the drive-way and went back to bed.

When we got up about 2 in the afternoon, there were a couple of messages on our answering machine that
didn't make sense to me.  One person was asking about Mike and Haiti - and I thought they were confused about where he was.  I didn't know about the earthquake. 

We aren't a TV family.  We never have the TV just "on" for background noise. 

We went about the afternoon, warm and sunny in San Diego.

The boys visiting with their friends and finding out what everyone got for Christmas.

It wasn't until later in the evening that I decided to turn on the computer and send Mike an email that we had arrived home and all was well.

That is when I found out about the earthquake in Haiti.

That is when 2010 became something different for me.

I can't even explain all the emotion.

The things in my life that changed instantly,

and the things in my life that are still changing.

I have a greater vision

a bigger passion

a more sincere heart

What is happening in Haiti?

 - a year later -

there are stories of hope

and success

and love

and changed lives

But also, there are stories of things that haven't changed much at all. 
But the good news is;
It's not too late to help. 
It's never too late.......

For more information on how to get involved in Haiti and the ministries there.
Check out the links below.

Who is Heartline?

What do they do in Haiti?

Student sponsorship

The Women's Program

Host a Purse Party

Teen Mom Home

Do you and a group of friends want to travel to Haiti?

Check out the Guest House here!

Have more questions?

Email me!~  I will do my best to find an answer for you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

For the LOVE of Auburn

A few months ago, after the Padres baseball season ended,  I did a blog about the Padres, and why they are my team.  You can read that story here.

Since tomorrow will be the end of the season for the  2010 Auburn Tigers football team - I wanted to do a similar story about my love for Auburn.  Like the Padres, the love runs deeper than just game day.

My dad graduated from Auburn in 1968.

He was the first person in his family to graduate from college.  In fact, my grandparents, pictured here, grew up in the depression era, and they didn't finish high school.  They had to quit school and work to keep food on the table. 
I was born a couple years after graduation and I had this "little tiger" shirt from the Alumni Association.
When I was too old to wear it, I played with it and put it on my dolls. 

I am sure my brother had one too when he came along, (well, a blue one anyway)

We didn't take a lot of vacations or have extra money for trips when I was growing up.  But I do remember a couple weekend trips to Auburn.  It was an amazing place to visit.  So big compared to our little high school. My dad would show us around and talk about things that were the same and things that had changed.  Dad would tell stories about "The Barn"  (that was what they called the building where the basketball team played)   it was no longer used for basketball games, and later burned. 

There are other things that true Auburn fans need no explaination of. 
And they don't always have to do with the football team.
Here are a few examples:

Jim Fyffe

Tiger Walk

Punt Bama Punt

The Plains

Samford Hall

Toomer's Corner

"The Flush"

The World's Best Lemonade

Gutherie's

In 1990, Mike got accepted to Auburn as part of the Navy's NECP program.  We moved there in early summer 1991 and lived there for a little over three years.  Mike graduated in June 1994 and went to OCS.  I stayed there until he finished OCS in October.  If I could move anywhere tomorrow, my first choice would be back to Auburn.  We loved everything about living there.  And we created our own Auburn memories while we lived there.  We stood in line for over an hour on the last night before the Sani-Freeze closed down.  It was too cold to eat ice cream, but we did it anyway....to show our love for Auburn Tradition.



We were also present in 1993 when Alabama came to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn to play football for only the second time in the history of the IRON BOWL. 

Our student ticket price:  $4.00 each

Memories of the come-back win - PRICELESS!

So tomorrow I will be watching the National Championship game in full orange and blue as the Auburn Tigers take on the Ducks of Oregon for the title.  I will be too nervous to sit,
and will be screaming at the TV like someone there can hear me.  

But regardless of the outcome of the game: 

It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Swimmers!!

A few videos of our favorite swimmers!  :)

video

Maddy


video
Ellie

video

Michael


Great job guys! 
So proud of you all!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Happy Birthday
to the Thornton family's favorite 9 year old!




(and the sister that Zion always wished for!)