Sunday, June 24, 2012

~Belair Graduation Ball~

Here is a pictoral of Renee's Grad Ball. She was Cinderella and her date was Prince Paul! Don't tell anyone that is what I called them! Precious, Precious Kids! Renee was the 5th form Valedictorian and Paul was the 6th form Valedictorian. A very special weekend for both of them!

Graduation Day!

In our line of work we experience many graduations. This year there was a personal graduation that was the highlight. Renee is a graduate. She has been at the top of her class every year here in Jamaica and that is quite a feat. 

The language (Patois),  the work load (British model), the culture adjustments from the states to Jamaica (Renee has been a missionary kid most of her life, but she experienced 8 years living in the US), the hot temperatures, the differences in every part of her life made her adjustment huge and she did it with grace, perseverance and rose to the top!

When she entered Belair School she was in the 1st Form (7th grade). When that year finished her teacher suggested that we consider moving her to the 3rd Form (9th grade) as she was advancing so rapidly. We prayed about the move and told the administration that we would try it for a couple of months, but with all of the adjustments to missionary living, we just weren't sure she would be able to handle the workload with all of the other challenges. She again was at the top of her class at the end of 9th grade so we realized that we had made the right decision.

In Jamaica you graduate in 5th form (11th grade) and Upper 6th form, (13th grade). So because of her skipping 8th grade she graduated in Jamaica!

She was called to the principle's office a couple of weeks ago and they informed her that she was chosen to be the valedictorian. To say she was honored is an understatement. Last evening she received the outstanding academic award, the faculty award, she played a violin solo, she received beautiful plaques and trophy's and lots of affirmation! God is so good.

I will post the pics to take you through the wonderful ceremony!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day...

Church was so good this morning. Pastor Dwight's message was "Not Many Father's", taken from I Corinthians 4. There were two points, Spiritual Fathers Warn and Don't Shame, and Spiritual Fathers bring life through the Gospel.

It was a beautiful service. We had invited a couple and only the wife came. She so desperately needs to be in a church where she can mature and find relationships. I do pray that she comes back although her contact person (us) won't be there. We introduced her to some of the ladies. May God just keep drawing her back.

The words of the worship songs were meant just for her. I really sensed as though everything was "God-Directed" for her.

Then the fathers were recognized through a powerpoint with photos of them and things their children said about them. I think Denny was surprised to see his photos and comments from Renee. It was beautiful. They were each given a notebook journal. It was so nice.

We went to a restaurant for lunch and enjoyed one another. Of course, thinking about our last days in Jamaica and what this week will hold did bring a melancholy feel to our lunch but we will cry through the next week and work the sadness through our emotional system and think about the wonderful times that we have experienced with precious people here on the island.

....I wish I were a dancer...

Renee has been in dance classes since she was two years old. She was born to dance! I have observed a lot of dance classes and recitals over the years. Some children like it, some are pushed to do it, some resent it, some are scared to death of it, and some just plain live to dance. Renee dances in the house, walking along the path, dances all the time!

When I was a kid, there weren't dance studios in town or after school classes. I guess I was deprived. I do think that if there had been I would have asked mommy to let me join. I have this jealousy of Renee when she dances, wishing I had the chance! Now I am too sedentary to make a split or leap across the stage!

Last evening was Renee's last dance recital in Jamaica and for that I am sad. I must admit I only had eyes for my girl last night. Now that she is entering a new stage in her life, I have to wonder when the next time will be that I will see her dance under the stage lights. So I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. As a matter of fact, I have gone to the rehearsals every day for the last two weeks. I became a dance mom I guess I could say!

She danced three dances and they were stunningly beautiful. One was a duet that she actually choreographed, the next was a duet with a male dancer that is from the Bahamas, and the third dance was her entire dance class. Just beautiful.

There were pictures of the dancers at the entrance. Here is Renee between 2 pics of her.

and pics with her friends after the show. Many of her teachers were at the recital as well. A very lovely evening.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

..something else checked from the Bucket List!

Today was Jamaica Zoo Day! And a great day it was! Since the countdown for departure has begun we have been clicking things off the list! I think this might be the last "tourist" day we will have until we leave Mandeville and head to Montego Bay to fly out.

Jamaica Zoo is located in Lacovia, Saint Elizabeth. It was only an hour from the house. It had real animals, haha! and a restaurant.

 When you first enter there is a playground and then a place where you are able to handle certain animals. The certain animals that Renee and I really don't want to touch!

The Parrot was more to my liking!

Monday, June 11, 2012

...mommy missionary....

Amazing how many people you meet when you have children. True anywhere you live, yet I find on the "mission field" children make ministry opportunities that sometimes you would never anticipate. I know this to be true because we lived on the "field" without children in the eighties and now with our girl on this field since 2008.

From violin performance opportunities, dance recitals, art exhibitions, school life to birthday parties! Renee's birthday falls right in the middle of exams so we try to schedule her party around the school exam schedule so her birthday party was on Saturday and what a time it was! On Friday night we had a photo shoot with 7 girls and on Saturday we met at the neighborhood pool with 15!

I called it the 16th birthday/graduation/farewell party on the invitations. Most exams were finished by Friday, so all the kids were in a celebratory mood! Because Renee's birthday falls in hurricane season I also had to pray for good weather. Can't have a pool party in the hurricane! Thank God the weather was good on Saturday and the party a success! After four years of the same school friendships, our relationships with the parents have deepened and God has used our family to bless not just the students lives but also the parents. They come from all walks of life and we have one common denominator....our babies!