Friday, November 21, 2014

Catching Up: Part 3

Homemade Donuts
Even after hearing about Brett Norman's passing, the Sunday (Nov. 9th) continued on as normal, even if we weren't feeling so normal at that point. We went to church and then headed over to Wilbur and Vernelle Unrau's house for Sunday dinner to celebrate Serena's 18th birthday a little early. Even in the midst of the sadness, it was a very
special time, a joyful time to celebrate Serena's life.

Outside the Unrau's windows was snow! We got the first official snowfall of the season. (Official in that it was sticking on the ground. smile.) It was a family tradition for me (danae) growing up to make donuts as a family for the first snowfall of the year that stuck on the ground, so on Thursday, I made some dough, and Etien, Joyce, and Serena helped me cut them out with cups and a Snapple bottle. ;) We fried them up and frosted 'em over. They turned out yummy!

Serena, Joyce, and Etien
Cutting Out Some Donuts.

Lustre Snow in November!

The day before the donut day, Linette came over with bunches of things for Operation Christmas Child. The kids helped her organize the things into boxes that will be sent out to share Jesus' love to several kids around the world. What a great accomplishment, and it definitely looks like they had fun doing it, doesn't it?

Mawin and Silas being dorks. :)
Photo Credits: Linette Uchtman

The crew and their beautiful boxes!
Photo Credits: Linette Uchtman

On Friday, the whole dorm went to Ron Reddig's benefit dinner and auction in Glasgow. It was such a great time! So many came that we knew, and Ron Reddig had coached several of the guys in basketball so being there had special meaning for them. Miraculously, the dinner raised $111,665! This community is so generous. GOD is so generous. And faithful. And good. It was awesome to be a part of seeing that miracle.

That Saturday, Ibrahim and I, along with several of our kids, went back to Glasgow to Brett's funeral. It was so well done but so hard too. So much pain for those left behind. We can't forget to keep praying for that family and those close to Brett.

Thursday was a big day for the dorm! Basketball practice began. People have been waiting for that all year! :)

It was also time for Maya and Chen to give their senior chapels. They ROCKED it! Maya talked about true beauty, bravely sharing the story of her own personal search for beauty and her realization that we are all beautiful in God's eyes and in the eyes of those who love us. Beauty isn't perfection. It's being comfortable with ourselves and being loved.

Chen talked about friendship and the importance of having good friends. He also talked about the importance of trust and reliability in a friendship, that God is the truest friend who will never leave us or fail us.

I was so proud of them!

And last but certainly not least, it was SERENA'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! :) It was so special to celebrate her. :) Her room was decorated with balloons, and there were cupcakes at school for her. Several of her basketball friends joined us for dinner, and she blew out 18 candles on top of her favorite type of cake made by the one and only Jean Toews: Angel Food Ice Cream Cake. Mmm!

Serena's 18th Birthday Cake :)
Photo Credits: Ibrahim

For devotions, we played games, but first I shared a verse for this special lady.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

    yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

    your walls are continually before me."
Isaiah 49:15-16

Serena, happy birthday to you, sweet girl. I am so grateful for your life. You are energy, joy, laughter, and loyalty. You are on God's mind, and I picture God's hand covered in Indian henna . . . your name as part of His henna design. Your name always before Him. Your heart always held in His hands. Be strong in the next year. Stay close to Him. My prayer is that You always stay close, that You reject the American dream in order to experience His wide and difficult and worth-it dream for your life. I love you, sweet girl. I am so glad for your birthday. Many more, Serena!

Whew! Thanks for taking blog overload this week. I think I'm all caught up for awhile. ;)