Monday, May 30, 2011

Family Fun at Polaris Point

 Just sayin'.............


The Navy has some PRIME real estate!










We had a great day with our CEC family
at Polaris Point on Sunday afternoon.




























Good food




Good fun
Face plant?



Big guys taking a turn - yes they did!







Saturday, May 28, 2011

Busy week

WOW!

The last update was a week ago.

No super great photos from the week, but busy nonetheless.

It was Jonah's last week of school - he had a field trip to visit his new middle school,
and also a field trip to Onward Water Park.

Only On Guam - OOG - would a school take kids to a water park.  I mean, I'm totally good with it.
The schools in San Diego were far too paranoid about getting sued to the point that the principal once flipped out on me and my PTA pal for asking about a "jog-a-thon".   (*really, what could happen at a jog-a-thon?  someone fall and need a band-aid on their knee?)






ANYWAY..... in addition to field trips, we had aikido, swim team practice and ultimate frisbee.
Like I said before, we really try to keep these boys busy so they are too tired to cause trouble.
Seriously, boys can think of the craziest things when they have too much free time.

(Like playing baseball on the roof of the house, yes....another thing to add to the list of things I never thought I would say.....)

Michael took a try at racquetball this week.  You can see that video here.

And Zion still thinks he's a rock star.  You can see that video here.

Lots of fun stuff going on for Memorial Day Weekend.

Jonah's brother, KC, is here spending the weekend with us.  They are having a good time together, and obviously missed each other, (even though they are trying to play it cool)
KC is 8, so he and Zion are having a good time together too.

Photos of the weekend activities coming soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Planet Hollywood

We went out to celebrate Jonah's promotion with dinner at Planet Hollywood.

He was super impressed with the TERMINATOR!







Mike was NOT impressed with Sly hanging over his head.

Do I look like that??

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jonah's promotion

For those who missed it - Jonah is our foster son.
His name is not Jonah,
and we can't show you photos of him,
but he is part of our family,
and I want to add his accomplishments to our blog.

Given where he has come from - the last six weeks at our house have been a turn-around for him.
In fact, he was STUDENT OF THE MONTH for the month of May!

He finished the school year strong with A's and B's
(and one C in Chamorro language)
Since he was born in Chuuk, he doesn't know the local language.

We were very proud to be able to attend his promotion and support him.

We let Zion miss the morning of school, and he went too.

Jonah and Zion are big buddies.
Jonah has a younger brother about Zion's age, so I think it feels familiar to him.






Moving on to middle school may not seem like a big deal to most of us.  
But the drop-out rate for kids here in Guam is sadly large.
In the statistics that I found online, over 3000 students dropped out of the four high schools on the island
from 2003-2007.  That sounds crazy to me, but it's a reality here.  

By celebrating with Jonah his accomplishments, 
we hope to instill in him a drive to do well in school and graduate!  

Congratulations JC!   We are proud of you!  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aikido

Isaac and Zion started aikido this week.

They still have four weeks of school left - but we are looking for summer activities to keep these four boys active and busy enough to go to bed at a decent hour all summer long. 

You can judge that statement if you want,
I'm not changing my mind.

Here are a couple photos and a video of "how to fall" without getting hurt. 
That may sound silly, but it's obviously important, because a friend of the boys just broke his arm there. 





















video

Friday, May 20, 2011

Keeping up with the Jones'

It's not what you think.........

We had the Jones family over for dinner.

They go to our church, Bayview!

There are 6 Thorntons and 7 Jones - so "keeping up" means a lot of food!

5 lbs of hamburger + 5 lbs of chicken = tacos for 13!!





Some of their girls and some of our boys! 

Our baby and their baby - aren't they adorable?!!!

We are working together on HOPE Sunday
And we are excited about what God has put on our hearts!


(*click on the words HOPE Sunday above to read more!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New things coming..........

Isaac and Zion started aikido this week.

Photos coming soon.

Jonah has a 5th grade graduation promotion party tomorrow.

It's a big deal here on Guam.

We are proud of him!

Finished strong in the last month with good grades.

On to middle school in the fall.

He has two field trips next week.

One to visit his new middle school and one to the water park, Onward,  where Michael and Zion have swim team practice.  

So..........photos of that coming too!

Otherwise, all is well at the Thornton  Casa!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fab GabGab with the Gillams

Really, I can't think of a better day.

Sunday, a day of rest.

Starting with a great Sunday morning at Bayview Church.

Followed by a relaxing day at the beach with our great friends,  the Gillams.

We declared on Easter - that we should do this again, and so we did.

I have to honestly admit that I worried about the foster care situation messing up our perfect balance of harmony that the Gillam/Thornton kids have, but really, it hasn't changed.  So thankful that everyone plays well together and peace, love and harmony continue when we are all together. 

Here ae some photos of the day.


Our prime time picnic spot

Zion


Jonah



Frisbee time






Sam and Kevin - love birds  :)



Ellie and Isaac

Melda and Michael

Zion and Ellie (gosh, are they cute or what?!)

Swim meet Sat.

Michael and Zion had a swim meet on Sat.

I volunteered to work the meet as a timer.  

So, no photos of the meet.  

But I got to train with one of the best, Sam.........and it was fun to time the meet with her. 

It was also hard to see who was swimming and cheer for how they were doing, because you really need to pay attention to your lane and your swimmer, so you give them the most accurate time.

BUT....... Zion and Michael both swam in the 50 free only - and gave it all they had.

Zion shaved off a little, for a time of:   51

And Michael took 3 seconds off, for a time of:  33 - fast enough for a B time.  

Good job Michael!

Congrats also to Maddy and Ellie, and the other Tsunami swimmers who improved their times!

The boys will continue to swim over the summer, but the meets are over until the fall. 

A great first season as swimmers!    I am proud of both of you!

Mike, Jonah and Isaac went hiking. 
They are becoming regular Boonie Stompers!
I'll try to get photos of that too, (next time!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We ate at the Governor's House!

Well, you will just have to believe me.  
Because, there are no photos.

Mike and I (and other foster parents) on Guam had dinner at the Governor's House last night as part of,
May, Foster Care Month in Guam and also the First Lady's Foster Care Initiative.

It was nice to sit with our friends, the Taylors, who introduced us to the need of foster care on the island.

It was also nice to meet other foster parents and share in a common bond. 

One thing I really enjoyed about the evening was the Governor talking about partnering with faith based organizations to have foster children in Godly homes.  He mentioned in his speech that we are doing God's work.  I am pretty sure you wouldn't hear that in the states from a Governor's mouth. 

Below is the press release from the launch of the initiative which will include billboards on the island and public service announcements aired during prime time television.  I will try to get a clip and share it later in the week. 
On a more personal note:  Jonah continues to do well in our home.  He is almost finished with 5th grade and will have a promotion ceremony next Friday.   At our next court date, in June, it is possible that his younger brother, age 8, will be coming to live with us over the summer.   Typically, the court tries to keep at least two siblings together if possible.  He wasn't placed with us initially because of the location of his school and transportation issues.  Please continue to pray for our family.

First Lady Launches Foster Care Initiative


Calvo Partners With Community to Help Needy Children

Immediate Release: May 13, 2011
Christine M.S. Calvo has found her calling as First Lady is the same as it always has been as a mother and wife: family.
A new initiative from First Lady Calvo will help find loving homes for the more than 200 children on Guam who need foster care. The First Lady launched the program yesterday at Government House—the house of the people.
“We are home to some of the strongest and most loving families in this world. But I'm sad to say many children here do not know the joy a hug can bring, or the security a kiss goodnight has,” First Lady Calvo said. “Here on Guam—on our small island, more than 200 children need a strong, caring home, and only 27 foster families exist to help them. I cannot, as a mother, allow Guam's children to grow up without the love and support of parents and siblings.”
During the launch event, Shirley Perez, a longtime foster parent shared her heartfelt story. She told the First Lady about how she touched the lives of children, and more importantly, about how the children touched her lives.
“I'm not able to have children. But I raised a girl from when she was two, and a boy from when he was four. They call me 'mom.' That's the greatest gift I could ever get,” she said tearfully.

First Lady Calvo's initiative has two components:
• Recruitment: First Lady Calvo, in conjunction with the Department of Public Health and Social Services and the Foster Family Association of Guam, will help identify interested and qualified families to become foster parents. They will work with village mayors, the military, churches, and faith-based organizations to help find these wonderful families.
• Support: First Lady Calvo will work with community organizations and responsible corporate citizens to support current foster families. She recognizes becoming a foster family is not right for everyone, but everyone can help foster families and foster children. By supporting current families, through the Foster Families Association of Guam, you can do your part to help shape a lifetime of happiness and success.
Just the Start

The first event that is part of this initiative is an appreciation dinner for foster families. The First Family will host these angels on earth at Government House tonight. In the coming days, First Lady Calvo will roll out public service announcements, billboards, and community outreach events.
“I'm so proud of my wife,” Governor Calvo said. “From the very beginning, I said this administration will protect our most vulnerable. Christine sees the tremendous need for more loving foster families, and she has taken on the responsibility of helping the children who desperately need these caring homes.”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

AWANA memories 10-11

Last night was our AWANA awards night. 

The end of our AWANA club year.

It is always bittersweet for me.

I love AWANA and even when I don't feel well, I still enjoy going to AWANA and seeing, "my kids"
in my Sparky class.  They always have hugs for me and really can make my day. 

Here are a few snapshots of my kids, and then, "my kids".  :) 



Zion moved up to T&T this year,
but he asked for one last picture with Sparky
at the beginning of the AWANA year!


Crazy hair night - Zion won


NERD night - yeah, we won - that's how we roll!


Our great Children's Director - "Grandma Jan"



video


Sparky Game Time

 
Isaac on dress-up night

We averaged between 25-30 Kinder-2nd graders every week

Sparks that finished book 1
Good job!

Isaac - this is his new expression for my camera
CRAZY BOY!


Zion's award from completing Book 1



SO proud of all my boys and all my Sparks.

Thankful to all the leaders that make AWANA happen each week.
Thankful to Grandma Jan 
for all the behind the scenes things she does to make every 
Sunday and Wednesday run as smooth as possible with over 100 children!  

And thankful to all the parents that bring their children to AWANA each week to learn God's word.
SEE YOU IN THE FALL!!