Sunday, June 27, 2010

Surprising Gift

Gift, who was like a big sister to Abegail and Emmanuel at the AFAA house in Liberia, happened to be with her family at a picnic at our neighborhood park. So her Mom and I arranged to surprise her. As we walked up her mom said, "do you know those children?" At first she said no, and then saw E-man. (who had just finished a big mad) Oh, E-man, Abegail! Abegail and Emmanuel were so much bigger she hardly recognized them. It has been three years, but took seconds for them to catch up.
So we finally got to meet infamous Gift who is now 18 and was 15 at the AFAA house with A&E. She has a story that is movie worthy and a presence that is awe-inspiring and it was awesome to meet her and have A&E see her again.
And of course she got to meet Annie too
The whole Bender family, Gift, Jody, Assata, Musu (studying on student visa), Naemi, and Abegail who's apparently re-enacting the first Thanksgiving for them.
Then it was off to Annie's birthday party at our neighborhood pool
Cake Time
Cousins who are now both six (OK Annie will be six on Thursday)
Presents!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

E-man's Soccer Tournament

E-man's soccer tournament was about an hour away out in Poolesville, Maryland on a farm with horses and lots of land which the girls loved. It was still hot, but games were only 20 minutes just the right length. E-man's team won all four games and now qualified for a regional championship in Lancaster, PA. The picture above was taken around 7:30 this morning when it was still cool and before it was jam packed with soccer players and soccer Moms and Dads.

Loving the farm life!
Look Horses!
Enjoying Daddy's father's day present, a cooler for all his diet coke and the rest of the snacks for kids who eat every 20 minutes. It even has wheels. We are really living the upscale soccer tournament life. In this tournament the port-a-potties had mirrors, cause that's what I want to see my face smothered in sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat.
Watching with Coach Mo!
Seriously, we're at another soccer tournament? It's exhausting to be a sibling of A&E
Champions for the U-7 division (7 years and under)

Cake Time! Annie's birthday party is tomorrow. She's having a swimming party at our neighborhood pool so the girls decorated two beach/water themed cakes

Sunday, June 20, 2010

All Stars are Hot, Hot, Hot

Waiting for blue hair spray and soccer tattoos to get pumped up!
And that doesn't mean they were on fire, it means it was 95 degrees and all the girls were dying from the heat. Saturday they lost both games but came out roaring to go and won 5-1 today. A great time with a great group of girls and of course some of our favorite coaches.
Happy Father's Day
Go Abegail Go!
They had these balls there attached to a string, every time you kick it, it comes back to you and works on using both feet and the rest of your body.
Guess who kick the ball the most out there?
On Saturday after more than eight hours on a hot soccer field we headed to E-man's practice for next weekend's tournament. At the end, Coach Kephern and Coach Mo got in on the action and challenged some boys.Keph's Kids: Everyone loves Coach Kephern, even the siblings want to pose with him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Abegail's All-Star Hair

Abegail got long braids in her hair. It just happened it was the week before All-Stars, which happens to be the last time we got her hair done. (Yes, I'm not good at keeping up with the hair thing) So we are calling it the All-Star tradition. The salon was a hoot again this time trying to put E-man in line, having him sweep hair off the floor. All the women are from Western Africa and they are not pleased with my reports on E-man. "E-man you need to be a good boy for your mommy. She loves you. You are in a nice family now." (picture that in a Liberian accent) It did make an impact for about a half hour. I might just have to visit these women even when Abegail doesn't have All Stars.
Annie brought home this picture she painted of herself in art class. I thought it was so precious, I framed it. A keepsake for sure!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

VA Beach Weekend

Our first weekend in a long time with no soccer games, so we headed to Virginia Beach, about three hours south of us. We really lucked out on fabulous weather and had a great time. Now back to the soccer games, Abegail's All-Star tournament is this weekend followed by a tournament for E-man next weekend.
We are in a cartwheel phase. I actually now have a rule, no random cartwheels, not in the house, not in the supermarket, not in the parking lot.
Eman saw these bikes you can pedal as a family and drive and he asked us every five minutes if we could ride it. Scott and I had no desire, but on our way out of town we agreed. It was an hour rental, we made it 25 minutes and steered into every bush, cripple, and stroller on the boardwalk. We were also passed by ever cripple and stroller on the boardwalk.
School ends next Thursday already! Today is the one year anniversary of us leaving Minneapolis and coming to DC. The days are long but the years are very short!