Insights into these Shoes' Soul

Welcome to our blog! You'll get glimpses into the fabric of our lives... find out what is happening in our family, learn what our latest adjustment is to life in the US, find out what is going on in our minds, see what makes us smile, and hear what makes us tick. You'll also get ministry updates! We hope these insights into our souls will make you smile, keep you informed and challenge you to pray for us.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Volleyball, Guardian Angels and a New Apartment

Volleyball

Volleyball season is over, but not before an exciting finish!  Her team was regional runner up in the NCCAA Div. II.  They were ranked #10 in the nation and earned the chance to go to the National Tournament, held in Kissimmee (Orlando).  We were able to attend 1 of the 2 days.  They won 2 of their 4 matches, which placed them 5th in the nation!!  Not bad for a 3 year old program!  The coach received “South Region Coach of the Year”.  Dawn was ranked 3rd  in the southern region in her position as a middle.  She was also nominated for 2nd Team All Region and National All Tournament Team.  She didn’t receive the awards, but it was special just to be nominated.  She had a great time playing, yet is relieved to have a break from it now. 

She doesn’t sit still though…she has a part-time job at Trinity’s campus coffee shop, she plays ultimate frisbee, is on a team in a bowling league in town and somewhere in there she’s doing school work (we hope!).  Over Thanksgiving break she visited her roommate in Miami.  Still can’t believe we let her go to Miami by herself.

Guardian Angels

We’ve always said both of our kids have very active, special guardian angels.  Dawn’s kept her alive several times when she was younger.  They are a special gift of God!  Recently she and a friend went on a picnic in a park and were literally stalked by an aggressive coyote.  It even stood in front of the car in the middle of the road as they left.  It was quite scary for them.

But the most recent incident was yesterday on her way back to Trinity after Thanksgiving break.  She was on I-75 in the Tampa area and had cars on all sides of her.  A screwdriver or long piece of metal flew out of the back of a pickup, bounced all over the highway and smashed into her windshield on the driver’s side.  She didn’t panic, held the car steady and tried to avert her head in case it came through the windshield.  The windshield held despite 2 points of impact.  As you can see  it suffered some damage, but Dawn was safe.  Praise the Lord!  We were so relieved when we heard about it.  It could have caused a chain reaction crash or worse.  cracked windshield 11-30-09

A New Apartment

Devon has moved into his own apartment!  His roommate is his best friend, Kyle Vrooman.  They grew up together in Haiti.  He was able to get Kyle a job at the same moving and storage company where he works, so Kyle moved down from Titusville, FL.  They’ve both been living with Devon’s grandparents in Naples while they looked for an apartment.  (yes, they are very gracious grandparents!!)  He is so excited to be on his own.  When he’s not working (he works long hours!), he’s playing ultimate frisbee, camping & fossil hunting on the Peace River, visiting his alligator wrestling cousin (REALLY AND TRULY!!) in Miami, fishing or having some other extreme adventure.  He has kept his guardian angels busy since he was very young!  We’ve often shaken our heads  in amazement and commented that God must have assigned extra angels to Devon.  We excited for him about this apartment.  He’s having fun garage sale-ing for furniture and setting it up.  Who knows, maybe we’ll eventually get an invitation to a meal some day?!

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Incredible Video Testimony that Explains Why We Do What We Do

This video is long, but totally worth the investment!  This paints a great picture as to why we do what we do.  It will be worth it to watch the whole thing, but I would especially encourage you to watch Alison @06:35, Dana @14:41, Scott @21:00, and Dan @32:02.

image This is a video of a church service on Nov 3, 2009 at one of RMI's churches, CrossRoad Church UMC in Jacksonville, FL.  They tell their story of the broad impact of the partnership they have with their Sister Church in Tiburon, Haiti, through RMI.

RMI_rgb%20(jpg%20logo) For your convenience, here are some timestamps…

  • 00:00 – Pastor Scott Crawford (Community Life Pastor) gives an introduction to their Sister Church Partnership.
  • 06:35 - Alison (Recent Team Member) shares her story, specifically related to RMI’s Hope for Kidz child sponsorship program.
  • 14:41 - Dana (recent team member) shares her dramatic story of Kingdom impact, salvation, being a God Parent.
  • 21:00 - Scott shares more Kingdom impact.
  • 26:15 - Scott shares message from Haitian Pastor Lundy to the congregation at CrossRoad Church UMC.
  • 32:02 - RMI President Dan Shoemaker thanks the congregation for their compassionate partnership and impact.
  • 37:38 - Sr. Pastor Gee challenges his congregation to live below their means to make a difference.

Finally, here is the video:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now what?

We didn’t even have time to see who makes that special “no escape” system for Duke (see the previous entry!).  He dug under the fence again this morning and went to Walmart AGAIN!!  Thankfully he didn’t get hit by rush hour traffic.  He’s so friendly, he searches out anyone who will be friendly in return.  Thankfully each time that person has called the number on his tag to find his owners.  He’s like a cat with 9 lives!!

Now what do we do?!?!?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The perfect way to keep Duke inside the fence!

I saw this on a friend’s blog (Thanks Pastor Mike!) and it sure seems like a great idea of how to keep Duke inside the fence!  I wonder where we could buy such a contraption?

By the way, Dan has fixed the fence and reinforced the rest of the perimeter.  Good thing our yard isn’t any bigger!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The dreaded 3 a.m. phone call

A parent’s worse nightmare….the 3 a.m. phone call letting you know that one of your children is in trouble.  Dan and I got that call last week. 

It was Walmart asking us to come get our DOG.  He was found shopping at Walmart again (see our Feb. 9, 2008 blog entry)!  It was hard to comprehend how it could be possible…he sleeps inside the house with us.  But it seems that when he was let outside for his nightly constitutional, he was left there.  We both thought the other one had let him in.  I guess he got bored and decided to go walkabout, again crossing the busiest east/west road in the county at night (he’s a black dog), through the parking lot and right to Walmart. 

Dan got dressed and retrieved Duke (leaving a $20 reward to the employee that found him).  The next morning we found where he’d pawed aside the heavy 12” X 12” pavers, tore through the chicken wire the dug under the fence to find freedom.

One would think that we could write a blog about Dawn’s team and how they came in 2nd in their region and are now able to go the the national finals (in Kissimmee this year – hope we can attend some of the games!).  It’s so cool!

Or how Devon is looking for his first apartment in Naples.  His childhood friend (fellow missionary kid and his best friend), Kyle Vrooman, has moved down and is working with Devon in the shipping warehouse.  They are staying with Devon’s grandparents in Naples and hope to find an apartment in the next couple of weeks.  He is so excited!  Maybe he’ll take Duke off our hands!  HA HA 

But no, the dog gets the headlines this time around.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ranked #10 in the nation!

This news is just so cool!  Dawn's team, Trinity College of Florida, is now ranked #10 in the Nation in the NCCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll.   http://www.thenccaa.org/top10rankings.html

www.thenccaa.org

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You can’t go around hugging missionaries!

 

Missions Conference logo - flag globeDan and I were at our daughter’s college  (Trinity College of Florida) missionary conference last week for 3 days.  We set up our booth the first day and were prepared when classes were dismissed.  Dawn walked by our booth with a group of her friends.  When she got to the end of the table, I was standing there and she gave me a big hug.  One of her classmates gave a gasp, her hand flew to her mouth and she said, “Dawn you can’t go around hugging the missionaries!”  Dawn turned around and said “She’s my mom!”.  Her friend’s eyes flew open wide and the look of chagrin on her face was priceless.  Everyone around had a great laugh about it.  She knew Dawn was an MK, missionary kid, so she figured that due to that Dawn felt a real affinity toward missionaries and was going around hugging the missionaries.  She didn’t know we were her parents.  It really was hilarious!  (The rest of the week, whenever I saw her, I reached out and gave her a big hug.)

On the first day of the conference, I had an interesting conversation with the Child Evangelism Fellowship missionary at his booth.  He is what I call a ripple effect.  He quit the military to become a missionary because of the ministry and influence of my dad who was a CEF missionary to the US military in Germany.  When he got to the US for CEF’s training institute, my dad was one of his teachers.  One can never tell how far out your ministry will ripple!  It brought tears to my eyes.  I wish my dad knew how far his ripples have reached!  (My dad died of ALS in 2002.)

As the students were milling around, perusing the booths, the school’s 4 Haitians found our booth.  One of them picked up the Creole hymnal that we had out and found her favorite hymn.  She started singing and the others joined in.  They stood there and sang all the verses.  A crowd formed and listened to the impromptu concert in a foreign language.  It was cool.  Each one of them made an effort to find us from time to time during the 3 days to say hi and talk about Haiti.

We were able to have great personal interaction with the students at our booth, at meals and in chapel.  It’s been fun to meet Dawn’s friends, too, and to see her going through “the college experience”.  Dan was one of 5 missionaries chosen to share in an evening chapel, which gave him a unique setting to touch every student.  He shared Amanda’s testimony (see our previous blog entry!) and gave a great challenge to the kids for personal missions involvement.

The last day we had a 45 minute workshop where 18 students learned that being a missionary is a rewarding, fullfilling life. They received a challenge to consider becoming green: taking their home culture (blue), mixing in a new foreign culture (yellow) resulting in a new unique culture all their own (green)! God needs more who are willing to become GREEN.

Since the school is small, we were able to get to know students by name and have several opportunities to interact.  It made for a much better missions conference experience for us; it made it very enjoyable.

We got home Saturday, but not to the empty nest that we had when we left, but I’ll save that for another blog entry!

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's been 2 weeks

It's been 2 weeks since Dawn left for college and she's already come home for a weekend visit.  She was sweet to want to come keep me company while Dan is out of the country for 2 weeks (Haiti).  He went to Haiti to be with a new Sister Church team as they met and began to make forever relationships with brothers and sisters they never knew they had.  [That part of the trip went very well!  He said the Haitian church received them exceptionally well - the town's mayor presented the team with the key to city.  That's a first for our teams!] 

The 2nd part of Dan's trip is administrative meetings with RMI's missionaries and the RMI national staff.  Rob and Becky Thompson, RMI's VP, will be flying to Haiti tomorrow, Tuesday, to join him.  They will see the house they are to live in, take measurements and make plans on what they will need when they move there in March.  Rob and Dan will also be meeting with all the Sister Church pastors and School Directors.  

We are relieved to see that Tropical Depression Ana seems to be heading north of Port-au-Prince and the Cayes area.  Hopefully it shouldn't interfere with their trip there.  A great site to follow tropical weather is http://www.stormpulse.com/

Back to Dawn's visit.  I have been "home alone" while Dan is gone, and this weekend was her last chance to get home before classes start, so she came home to keep me company.  We had a great mother/daughter Dawn 1st weekend home from college, supper at PF Changs 8-15-09 aday (garage saleing, a movie, shopping and supper at PF Chang's) on Saturday, then she was off to the beach with friends and a girls sleepover here at the house.  Of course, there's laundry that needs to be done before she goes back!

She's settling in at Trinity:  Getting to know the area (all the essentials....the mall, Target, Walmart, the beach and the grocery store), getting to know the school staff, getting to know the team, oh! and her roommate situation was changed (Julianna will now be her suite-mate and Yolanda will be her roommate).  She's enjoying it and looking forward to the start of classes.

It was really nice to have her home again!!!  I sure have missed her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The start of college life

#1a

Being the first one to arrive, Dawn was able to choose her room.  Yes, that's a full size frig and microwave in the room.  Since Trinity doesn't serve breakfast and some weekend meals, they provide the frig and microwave in each 2 person room for the students to fix their own meals.  The rooms are spacious and the furniture is nice.

#4a She chose to be by the nice big window.  We were able to find a place for everything and get everything in place.

#5aaWhat did we do before the invention of those stacking plastic drawers?  The desk area will have to serve as part dresser, part kitchen counter and part study desk.  Dan was able to get her computer and printer set up and running.  Now to get some studying done!

#7a The first practice - meeting teammates, getting new equipment and warming up.  Dawn's roommate, Julianne, is standing next to her in the white shirt.

#8a 

#10a The first of many pep talks from Coach Mark.  Classes start Aug. 26.  Their first tournament is Labor Day weekend in Clearwater, which we hope to attend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How do you say goodbye?

#3a How do you say goodbye to someone who is leaving for college?

#2

You invite her friends to join her at her favorite sushi restaurant, Mr. Mee's.

#1a You make sure her brother, Devon, is there.

#9a

Then you go midnight bowling.

#6a

You rejoice that the siblings are finally getting along!

#7a You make sure to include school friends.

#8a And include church friends.

#10a

And volleyball friends.#5a

Yes, include lots of volleyball friends!  Left to right, Courtney (Mississippi College), Dawn (Trinity College), Brad (Warner College - the only men's volleyball college team in Florida) and Anysia (St. Leo University).  They were the 4 musketeers this summer.  If they weren't playing volleyball, they were at the beach, or just hanging out.

#4a

The family!

[By the way, the going away party was a great success!]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My thoughts exactly. (A friend had this on his blog.)




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Did you hear that?

first_steps,jpgWait for it.... wait for it....  There, did you hear it?  Another baby step toward adulthood was made yesterday!!  Dan took Dawn to the bank to set up her own bank account, complete with an ATM card.  Yep.  Yet another step toward leaving home.  She leaves for college this coming Monday.  She has 3 weeks of pre-season volleyball training before freshman orientation and classes. 

Sorting and packing are being done during the morning and afternoons this week, plus getting some volleyball coaching and then practice with some friends in the area every evening.  Time is getting short!  She is excited but apprehensive about being in shape and getting back "on top of her game."

We the parents get stuck with doing paperwork, ordering books, filling out more forms and worrying about how to pay for this venture!

Debbie

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The pictures say it all!

 

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P1060175 a

P1060179 a

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Dawn has long dreamed of owning a PT Cruiser.  Doesn't it suit her?  We surprised her with it while my mom was here.  Dawn's graduation gifts paid for a quarter of it and we made a step of faith for the rest of it.  We were excited and thankful to find a used one at a great price and thank everyone that helped make it possible. 

Now that she has wheels, she is beginning to understand things like having to pay for her own gas, insurance, oil changes, etc.  She looked hard for a job in June, but so did 32,000+ other people (Unemployment in our county is among the highest in the US!).  She didn't have much success.  She does have an occasional dog sitting job, house cleaning job and official volleyball coaching with her high school coach's summer volleyball camps.

She's trying to get in shape for volleyball, going through things in her room in anticipation of packing for college and trying to figure out what to take and what not to take. 

This is the summer of transitions, freedom-wing tryouts and pre-empty nest.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My mom was here too!

When Dan dropped Bea off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport for her trip home, he picked up my mom.  They had scheduled back to back visits since we only have 1 guestroom.  My mom stayed for 10 days as well.  (Allegiant Air again) Again, it was seeing her out of context.  Instead of being in South Carolina, there she was in our house...and in Florida no less!

 P1060185

P1060121 a Mama joined us for our church's luncheon honoring graduating seniors. 

We enjoyed showing her around our new corner of paradise, did some shopping, and a lot of yakking.  I was especially thankful that she was able to help me with my Haitian paintings.  Due to the style of art, Haitian paintings are notorious for being difficult and thus expensive to frame.  The next best thing, I figured, was to have her continue the painting around the sides.  (She's an accomplished artist.)  She worked on 6 or 7 of them and did a fantastic job.  I could have never done it on my own!  They now have a nice finished quality to them.

She was also here and able to witness a very exciting happening in Dawn's life.  But we'll save that for another entry.  It deserves an entry all by itself.

The time went by too quickly.  You have to come again, Mama!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bea was here

My sister, Bea, had her first vacation in 20 years -- at our house!  We had a great 10 day visit.  She joined us on our week vacation on Ft. Myers Beach.  We did a lot of yakking, had some beach time, a little shopping and a bunch of relaxing. 

P1060076 a See!  Bea really was here!

P1060005 aDawn and her Aunt Bea

Since we only see her when she's in South Carolina, we had to keep pinching ourselves to remind us that we were here at home and she was the one out of context.  It was fun, especially since my family hasn't come to see us too often.  We can thank Bea's visit to a $9 ticket (yes, that is $9.00!) from Allegiant Air, Columbia, SC to Ft. Lauderdale (Dan had to travel 2 hours to Ft. Lauderdale to pick her up).  It was their inaugural charter flight, so she was pleased to find it! 

Anyway, the time went too quickly so you have to come back more often Bea!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hope for Kidz packets are in the mail!

It's been a busy week at RMI!  After much work, blood, sweat, tears, and the work of many volunteers, the Hope for Kidz packets for the upcoming 2009-2010 school year are now in the mail. 

Hope for Kidz packets in the mail a

We are excited about the new look of the materials.  We also think you'll be pleased at the new information that is enclosed with each child's packet. 

Marilyn McLaughlin and her team in Haiti did a fantastic job of getting the pictures and all the needed info.  Rob did a great job of re-designing the new look and all the information that now comes with the packets.  There are 3,000 kids up for sponsorship!  What a great opportunity to change a child's life forever.  Let's pull together to see that each child gets sponsored!

And a special thank you to all of the Hope for Kidz Coordinators.  We appreciate your efforts to get the word out and finding these kidz sponsors!

Debbie

The latest edition of theBridge is out!

theBridge front page Spring 2009_0001

The latest edition of RMI's theBridge is in the mail.  It is jam-packed with news items, useful information and touching stories.  Please take time to read it - you'll find that it will be time well spent.

You can also find it at http://www.rminet.org/portal/publications.htm.  If you are not on RMI's mailing list and wish to get theBridge to keep informed on the Sister Church Program, get ideas for your Sister Church Partnership and learn about the latest happenings in RMI, please call the RMI office toll-free at 877-RMI-5439.

Debbie

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Devon's big announcement

June 3 Devon came over for a birthday steak dinner.  I guess Dan did a fantastic job on the steaks because he ate and ate!  Since this was his 22nd birthday, he decided that it was the perfect occasion to make his special announcement.  He said that now that he was turning 22, it was probably time that he "grew up", matured, etc....and that he decided it was time to get brand new Crocs.  We were shocked, surprised, happy and relieved.  Now, if you know Devon, this is a momentous decision.  For several years now, he's taken great pride is his mis-matched (yes, one tan and one black), used, abused, cracked and falling apart Crocs.  They have been one of his trademarks.

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They even have extra "vents" that have developed.

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The one issue he said in his announcement was that he'd be getting the new Crocs when he got the money together to buy them, then he added that the ones he wanted were camoflaged color/designed and were on sale at the Bass Pro Shop.  What a kid.  So, after recovering from the shock and awe, we sent his sister and he to the Bass Pro Shop with our ATM card to get his crocs.  [We hadn't gotten him anything because he wouldn't tell us what he wanted!]

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Happy Birthday Devon!!!  We love you!  Enjoy the new Crocs!  (At least they match!  Wonder how many years these will last?)

Debbie

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dawn has graduated

May 22, 2009

Dawn & her diploma

That's her senior picture on the big screen behind her.  She earned the long blue cord by going on a student leadership trip.  She was excited, needless to say...and so were we.

The graduation parties have gone on and on, one after another - and she's attended them all.  We go on our week's vacation tomorrow, and Dawn's party at the beach is scheduled for Monday AND Tuesday!  Yep, a party animal.

My sister, Bea, from South Carolina, is here for 10 days.  She'll go on vacation with us.  She is the first family from my side that has come to visit us in over 20 years!  Congratulations, Bea, for being the first!

Debbie

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dawn is graduating!

Yes, it is happening and we want YOU to know about it!

Front a

Name card a

Inside announcement cropped

IMG_3916-Edit The proud senior!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This is what we feel like

When I saw this on a friend's blog, I couldn't help but recognize it.  This is what we feel our lives are like right now...a mixture of gleeful joy, sheer terror, wishing it would stop but glad it hasn't yet. 

joy and terror

This week is the "calm" before the storm.  (Is this what "calm" is like?)  Dawn is furiously working on the last bit of schoolwork.  Friday is the last day of her senior year.  Monday - Wednesday are finals.  Friday the 22nd is graduation.   The next day, Saturday, we are taking a week of vacation on Ft. Myers Beach.  This way Dawn can have a week long graduation beach party.

Oh yeah, in the middle of that vacation week, one of my sisters, Brandi, is flying in for a 10 day visit.  (we have to go to Ft. Lauderdale to get her - 2 hours away)  The day she leaves, my mom comes for a 10 day visit.  [First time we've had any of my family come visit us in over 20 years!]  A week after she leaves, we have to head to North and South Carolina for church visits and our yearly dental visit.  That takes us to July!!

Almost forgot, Dan has some travel during June too.

Dawn is looking for a job for June and July.  We're pursuing students loans for Dawn for college and praying like crazy we can find a way to pay for college [please pray with us!!!!!!!!].  And we're looking for a car for her, too.  Only the Lord knows how we can accomplish all of this.  She'll also be getting ready for college in July.

Early August we'll be taking Dawn to college and getting her settled in.

Maybe August 18 we'll have a chance to catch our breath.  Why that date?  I don't know, I just pulled that date out of the hat. 

Now you can see what that photo grabbed my attention!

Roast Lamb and Mothers

They say that you should never try a new recipe onRoast lamb guests.  But we like to live on the wild side.  Slow roasting it for 2 1/2 hours or so resulted in a fantastic roast for our Mother's Day meal.  Out of the 9 people at the meal, there were 3 mothers. Dan's parents came, Dave, Rosie and Alysa (Dan's brother, wife and daughter) and Devon was there too!  We had a great time together.  We 3 moms got some great cards from our kids, some of which were funny and some serious but all meaningful.  After all these years of being overseas, it's especially nice to have family nearby and be able to get together!

As to the taste of lamb....it tasted just like the leg of goat that I used to prepare in Haiti, but this was boneless and was all meat.  It turned out well!

Prom 2009

Proud parents that we are, we can't help but show you a couple of pictures of the excited senior (yes, she had a date with the same friend as last year, but since he was running late, the pictures are of just Dawn).

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You are supposed to notice the new haircut and the absolutely perfect shoes that she found at the last minute.  [She needed flats because she is freshly out of her ankle brace and has to be careful not to re-injure it.]

She had a great time and is counting down the days to graduation.

[I guess it was a sign of the times.  While she partied away, Dan and I went grocery shopping and went to bed!  What an exciting life we lead.  :) ]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

If you saw what we saw yesterday

...you would have been bursting with pride!  Dawn signed her official Athletic Letter of Intent to play volleyball for Trinity College of Florida (http://www.trinitycollege.edu/).  It was a tough decision since several colleges were looking at her.  Trinity College is 3 hours north of us in New Port Richey, FL (just north of Tampa).  It is a small evangelical christian college whose main emphasis is ministry and missions.  It seems to be everything she's been looking for: not too far from home, christian college with missions major (she feels that God has called her to the mission field), in Florida, near the beach, not in a really freezing cold climate (remember where she was born and raised!  She couldn't bear to not be near palm trees), AND she'd be able to play competitive volleyball.

We made an overnight trip there last month.  Dawn was able to sleep in the dorm, meet some of the volleyball players and attend a couple of classes.  We were impressed with what we saw and heard, but more importantly, Dawn had a great time.  We toured the area before we left and found that the beach was very nearby.  That was important to Dawn - is it any wonder considering where she was born and grew up?!

Trinity volleyball coach, Mark Sawyer, was able to come to her signing event at her school. 

IMG_2286 Dawn and her 2 coaches, Liz Ferguson (senior year) and Tom Baxter (sophomore and junior year as well as 3 years of club volleyball).  She was so excited to have them both there!

IMG_2282 Congratulation hugs from her senior year teammates.

IMG_2267 The signing table, her various high school awards, the cake and a Trinity Tigers t-shirt.

IMG_2293 The moment of truth!

IMG_2296 Dawn was able to share a few words.

IMG_2299 Cutting that beautiful cake was difficult - but it was all gone by the end of the day.  A lot of classmates, teachers and friends showed up to help her celebrate.

IMG_2303 Trinity volleyball coach, Mark Sawyer, with Dawn and her Letter of Intent.

IMG_2305 She's committed now!  No turning back.  But no problem, she is very excited about it.

IMG_2306 What more can we say?

IMG_2311Devon and Dawn, 2 great kids to be proud of!

 

We left the decorations up and 3 hours later, we did a 2nd signing of the letter.  Her 2 volleyball arenas have been her school team and club volleyball.  The club's end of the season bar-b-que dinner was that night, right there in the cafeteria.  Club coach (and her former high school coach), Tom Baxter, has been the most influential person in Dawn's life since we returned to the states.  We have appreciated him, his dedication and willingness to work with Dawn.  He saw potential in her that first volleyball camp she went to the week after arriving in the US.  He took her under his wing, and in these last 3 years, has taught her the game and given her incredible opportunities to learn and advance.  He brought her from knowing nothing about the game, fresh from the outback of Haiti to being a fantastic player, winning a state championship and being capable of being a sought after player.  How can we thank him enough??

Since this was the end of club party and the end of Dawn's high school volleyball, he wanted to be able to recognize Dawn - thus the decision to have a 2nd signing.  It was just as exciting and happy of an event as the first one.  It was a novel idea, but to Dawn it was a perfect day!