The kids swam in the Cranberry Classic this weekend. The video below is of Chan swimming the 50 breaststroke on Saturday. Usually this is his least favorite race because there are so many ways to get disqualified in it. For example, you have to touch the walls with both hands, you can't accidentally do a scissor kick, you have to watch how many strokes you take in the beginning pull out. It is way more complicated then it looks. Both He and Avrielle did a great job. Overall, I think dropped time in every event they swam which shows that all their hard work and effort is paying off. Sometimes practicing is hard work and swimming laps over and over again isn't a ton of fun, but it's days like this when they see their improvement that make it all worthwhile. If you want to pause the music to watch the video, just click on the blue music box on the sidebar and then push pause in the upper right hand corner.
It has been a while since I last updated because we have been super busy last few weeks. If you scroll down you can see all the different pictures. Here is a quick update for those people who I don't get to talk to all the time. Last Monday, David's Dad fell at home and is now at a rehabilitation nursing home. He is beginning to feel better as of yesterday, but all of the family was kept really busy last week figuring out the best way to help him long term. David's aunt also collapsed just a few days ago, and the doctors are still trying to figure out what happened to her. Our dear friend Kent Richardson had complications from his surgery and was in ICU this week. My friend Caroline lost her mother. Katja called last night and said that my grandma was in a lot of pain because she is not getting circulation to her feet, and she wanted to take her to the hospital too. Our family has felt pretty stretched lately with our own trials as well as bearing the burdens of others. Is is so hard to see people around you suffer difficulties. The good news is that the Lord promises us that when we are weak, He is strong. He is a refuge, and stronghold in times of trouble. We can cast our anxiety upon Him because He cares for us. I don't like hard times, but I do enjoy the comfort and peace of knowing God is sovereign, loves me and has a perfect plan that He is fully able to carry out for my good and His glory.
Mattie has been one of my best friends since I was 8 years old. We grew up next door to each other, and I could say so many nice things about her and share so many funny stories that I would be blogging forever. I will say one thing though. Because she was three years older than me, she would always say, "Do as I say, not as I do." For example, she would smoke and tell me not to, or she would go to a party with people and then tell me not to hang around them. As we have gotten older, she can now say with confidence, "Do as I say and as I do." She is the best role model I have ever had, and I am so thankful for her friendship and her example of a godly woman who loves the Lord. Her actual birthday is on Thanksgiving, and next week I will be giving thanks that God brought her into my life to influence me for so many years. Happy Birthday Mattie!
Mrs Osborne opening her present. We got her a gift card for a tea house, and a little bag of her favorite English Breakfast Tea. We asked her to step out of the class while the kids set all the tables. Shannon, Hannah, Avrielle and Me I had to take a picture of these cookies. My friend Wendy made the cookies in the shape of peaches. They were so beautiful, and tasted good too. We were in awe of her labor of love! The 5th and 6th graders.
Chandler's favorite subject in school right now is History. Over Veteran's Day we took him to see a Civil War reenactment that was amazing. We totally immersedourselves in the time period. The actors talk in first person, and they camp out for the whole weekend. We were able to see their weapons, clothes, food and living quarters. It was so exciting that we went to the library to check out more books about what life was like then. The soldiers recreate the battles and even shoot canons. At the end of the war President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg address. It was so realistic.
Katja came over for Halloween this year. Avrielle was a jelly fish, Chandler was an army soldier, and Katja was the tooth fairy. Katja even handed out little pieces of chocolate money. A two year old little girl who saw her, ran over to her mom pulled on her shirt repeating, "Mom it's the Real Tooth Fairy! She came to Halloween can you believe it???
If you have tried to call David lately, and he doesn't answer his cell phone, it is because it doesn't work anymore. Why might you ask??? It sort of drowned when he fell out of his boat and into the chilly waters of Lake Castaic in the rain last Monday. David was fishing alone when he was trying to kick the trolling motor which was stuck with his foot. He lost his balance and fell clothes and all into the lake. I' m glad he is a strong swimmer and was able to pull himself back into the boat, but now I know what I am getting him for Christmas; a new cell phone and an inflatable life preserver. Make sure you tease him a little about this one...It's too good a story to let it go unmentioned.
Baby Reese went to heaven on her first birthday last Thursday. You can read about her precious little life if you click on the Kostjuk family blog. Please pray for Todd, Ashley Gavin and Lexi as they make all the plans for her memorial service this Saturday.
I am happily married to my beloved and my friend, David, and I am a mom to my precious children, Avrielle and Chandler. I started this blog in January,2008 as a way to keep our friends and family updated when my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Little did I know that my dad, a non smoker, would be diagnosed with lung cancer also only two weeks later. My dad passed away on March 22, 2008, only 2 1/2 months after his diagnosis. These last few months have been a trial, but God has been good and faithful, and kept us in His hands.
We added a guest book at the bottom of the blog page. Please sign it and add a picture if you would like. It is really easy, I promise! We would love to see who is out there reading. Love, The Smith Family
Chandler: "Mom, could I just marry my sister? That way I don't have to kiss anybody new."
Avrielle: As we are trying to find my car in the crowded parking lot, "There it is mom, I memorized your licence placemat."
Mom to Avrielle: "It's time to brush your teeth." Avrielle: "May I appeal, I need to defrost more from waking up."
Mom to Chandler: "If you're not thankful for your dinner, maybe I should take it away, and all you will have to eat is some bread." Chandler: "Sounds great!" Mom: " Ok, since that didn't work, How about if we take away all your toys too, so you will see how much you have to be thankful for..." Chandler: "I'll just play with my bread!"
Chandler as he is trying to throw a dirty kleenex into the trashcan. "He shoots, (it lands on top of Avrielle's head) He SCORES!!!
Wow Avrielle, that was a quick shower. Did you wash your hair? "I only put conditioner on it, because I washed it last night and I just needed to remind it that it had been washed already so it will obey me this morning."
Chandler: "Dad, could you please make sure you take the right sandwich to work tomorrow? I don't wan't you to leave the healthy one for me by mistake."
Chandler: Can you not put gel in my hair this morning? If I get it cut later, it will hurt because it will be like they are cutting through a wall of steel!
Chandler at Trader Joes: Why does nanny have to take so long reading every label in the freezer aisle? Can't it be the "try out" aisle instead???
Chandler telling a story at dinner: "Not yesterday, but the yesterday before..."
Mom to Chandler: Your closet is a mess. Yeah, I know, it's always an adventure because I get to find new undiscovered sightings. Mom: What kind of undiscovered sightings? Well, you know, like, I'll put something in there when I'm seven and then discover it again when I'm fourteen.
Mom to Chandler: What is the most important thing you learned from Papa? He taught me never to hit people with the golf ball when I'm chipping.
Mom to Avrielle: What is your favorite memory with Papa? He took me to the American Girl Store, and walked all around with me explaining the history of all the dolls until I found the one I wanted.
Chandler, What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it's like God has cubbies for each person, and when you do something that pleases Him, He puts a trophy in your cubby."
Chandler after hearing the bedtime story of Corderoy. "Mom, some stories are so good, I feel like I want to cry inside when I hear them."
How do you like the pistachio Chandler? It's sort of medium low on the scale of goodness.
Chandler while looking at a pre -cancer picture of David, "Wow Dad, I don't remember that you used to have an afro!"
Chandler, you need to wipe the chocolate off your face! Do I have to mom? If I leave it on, I can taste it again later!
Avrielle while watching Taming of the Shrew in the park: "I love the play mom, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
Chandler: Mom, can you please buy some more string cheese? It really puts you to work! Mom: I thought you don't like doing hard work. I love hard work when it comes to my food!
Chandler to mom: "Do I have to open my Christmas presents? I want to warm up to the day first."
Avrielle watching Taming of the Shrew in Hart Park. "Mom, I like the play, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
"Avrielle, You have been really quiet since the debate has been on, do you have any questions about what is going on or what they are talking about?" She look over to us very seriously, and said,"Mom, I think I understand what they are saying, but I only have one question. How can they stand there and talk so long without having to pee?"