Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gav's Last Day

... Of school in Tembagapura!

Can you believe it?!?!  I hardly can!  Gavin is officially finished with school in Tembagapura!  I have no idea where the time went. I know people always say that, but time moves at warp speed here!! Nothing moves faster. We really just got back from Christmas vacation!

When we first arrived on site, Gavin was only in the 2nd grade!  He was so little!  This picture is from our first day arriving in Tembag!

Today on Gav's last day of school...

Once the kids had had enough of all the photos, we finally made our way to school. I'm pretty sure Gav was relieved to get that over with. ;)

Then the afternoon came...  I have not been looking forward to this for more than a week now. Gavin's farewell at school...  You would think that I would be a professional with these things because I have gone through two of them already. I mean, it's not like Gav's going to boarding school tomorrow...!!  He will be with me all summer...  But, this hasn't gotten easier. If I really sit back and think about it, I'm thinking it is only getting harder... What happened to my house full of kids?  "And then there was one..." Is starting to become my least favorite saying...  

But for Gavin's sake we motored through all the farewells. The video that Gav's teacher Mr. Gary made was great and if I could upload it to the blog, I would. (I just don't have it yet.). Gabby also wanted to do a video for her brother and it was just as great!  There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd!

Mr James, the school's principal, gave a little farewell speech. He has been a teacher of Gavin's since Gav was in the 4th grade. 

After the videos, the kids had an opportunity to come express their farewells to Gav. This one from Tristin was especially sweet, because these two boys have been around each other for the last 6 years, and they don't always see eye to eye, but they always work it out. :)

Gabby went up and told Gavin how much she would miss him. :). Who knew? ;)

One of the interesting things about this school, is that the kids are very good at saying good bye and also saying hello to the new kids. There is always someone coming and going. It's just part of life here. No one stays forever. ... Well mom, at least I hope not. ;). The kids all learn to adapt to the continual changes of the student body. They are very good at adapting. 

Of course no farewell is completely done until every last picture is taken... Sorry Gav, bare with me... You will appreciate the photos when you are older. :)
Gav and Mr. James

Our shrinking family...

Proud pop and Gav. Just one last photo in front of the school. :)

And no, leaving Tembagapura is not complete until we get together with friends and have our Hot Stone dinner at the Lupe!  Between the three families, there are eight kids. Counting Gavin, five are in boarding school which means only three left!  We are not going to say that too loud because after January, another one is gone. And a year from now, this will be us all over again with Gabby!  Heaven help me!

So as I sit here in a quiet house, I keep thinking of all the times when I couldn't wait for the kids to grow up. Parents, don't do that. They grow up to fast!  Who cares if they make a mess and are loud, someday, your house will be clean and quiet...  

You know, Mr. James had to keep telling the younger kids that this wasn't good bye forever... Gavin, along with his boarding school siblings, will be back for Christmas!  I just have to keep telling myself the same thing...

God bless you Gavin!  xoxo

PS. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara! ;)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Work Share - Gabs

Every now and then parents are invited to the school to check out what their kids have been up to. Yesterday, I was invited to a math challenge work share with Gabby. Noooo problem!  I don't have a problem going in and showing Gabs who's boss. ;)

I watched a video written and edited by Gabby and then we played two math games. The pictures below will tell the whole story... ;)

Ha ha!!  I think Gabs had no idea what was coming her way!  Little did she know that I had a math Natzi for a father!  I did learn a few things once upon a time ago...

Maybe next year sweetheart you will over take me... One can only dream. ;)

Memorial Day 2016

Today, Memorial Day, is a day to remember all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Sometimes being overseas, we kind of miss out on days like today. We don't have family around to go fishing or golfing with. We don't have the stores with all the advertisements. We just don't have all the fanfare here that a three day weekend brings back in the US. 

Most Americans, along with all the other guys from different countries have been working all weekend.  Memorial Day is just another day here on job site. So when I asked our security guys over for dinner one last time before we leave for the summer, it didn't dawn on me until this morning that it was Memorial Day.

I had decided to make chicken parmesan a couple days ago, but when I remembered that it was Memorial Day, I thought I should do a traditional barbecue dinner. Good ole fat juicy burgers! Oh wait, we are in Indonesia!!  There is rarely any such thing here... So I went back to my original plan and made chicken parmesan. 

I must say, the guys loved it!  At least that's what they said... I told them anyone can cook when it comes out of a jar. ;). I think they were just enchanted with a home cooked meal that they didn't give a hoot what was served.

Finally my flag plates and napkins that I bought last summer came in handy!

The guys giving Gavin a pep talk about being in the military. :)

The other guests. 

Telling multiple military stories. 

Memories for everyone!

On behalf of our family, we would like to thank those who have given their life that we may enjoy the freedom that we have everyday!

Never forget!  God bless you all!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

4th Place Finish

Chris and I went down for the Trikndo golf tournament today. Trikndo is a company that supplies heavy equipment to the mines. We golfed with a couple who just moved to site, Mark and Terri. We had the highest handicap of all the teams. I believe it was 14.875!  We should have had the tournament in the bag! But.... We did not... We finished at even par for the day, but even better we had a great time!  Well, I'm not sure that's better.... I just want to win ONE tournament that I play in!!! Good thing we will be here for a while... ;)

I now have been golfing for a few years here but never seem to take very many pictures. So today, I thought I would change that streak... I should not have wasted my time and concentrated on my game!!!  Needless to say, I did not play well.  Thank goodness for Mark and Chris! I am going to have to be careful, or Chris is going to be beating me on a regular basis! ;)

Since this is Gav's last weekend on site before we go home for the summer, he decided to tag along with us for the day. He was a trooper and walked the whole course and never once hit a ball! Silly kid! 

Mommy and Gav. 

Gav not very happy with mommy... Oh wait, his emotions didn't change... Who knows what he was thinking... ;)

Chris teeing off. 

Me teeing off. 

Gavin messing with my phone. 

Our 4th place net team. 18th hole. 

All tournament fees were donated to one of the orphanages in Timika. The kids came out and sang for us. 

In the club house waiting for awards.

Then it was time to go back up the mountain. We have lots to do in the next three days to get ready for our summer break!  It was great to get down the mountain one last time and of course, finish in the top 5! :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Martial Arts - Gavin

Since Zedd and Jarrison, Gavin's best buddies, have gone off to bording school, we have been trying to find him something to do outside of school hours. Tembagapura is not really equipt to entertain a teenage boy, unless he wants to find trouble in the jungle.... and we don't want that. :). Gavin had also been working out at the gym, but you can only do that so many hours in a day... So we turned to a good friend of ours to help us out. 

Vince is an ex military, special ops guy who has extensive training in martial arts. Vince asked Gav if he was interested in training and Gav of course said yes. So the two of them started training about eight weeks ago. They at first started in the gym, then moved to the squash courts, and then finished in our back yard.

Here are pictures of Gavin training outside. Anyone jealous?

Gavin and his teacher Vince. Thought I better feed him at least one time for all he has done for Gavin. ;)

Training is now over for Gavin because he only has a few days left on site and Vince has gone back to the US. 

Vince, from the bottom of our hearts, Chris and I just want to say thanks for all the time you put in to training Gavin. Even though it was a short time, you taught Gav many moves that may one day save his life. For that we will always be grateful!

Take care friend! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Going To Work With Dad

Every morning when Gavin wakes up, the first thing he does is begs me to not have to go to school!  He is bored. His two best friends left for boarding school this last February, and currently there are only two other girls in his class. He keeps telling me he is in prison!

Yesterday, Gavin woke up and got his wish!  He didn't have to go to school because he was going to spend the day with dad at work!  He was estatic... Well as excited as Gavin will ever be. ;)

I don't have any idea on where in the mine these pictures were taken, but here they are. Enjoy!

Pretty awesome experience for a 14 year old!

Now Gav, you have 3 days left of school. Suck it up! ;)