Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Girls Head Back to State

After a somewhat frustrating regular season and getting the fourth seed in the District Tournament, the girls pulled it together when it mattered. They went into game one of Districts and took Valley United into two overtimes with a score of 2-2 with Stephanie scoring the first goal and Julia scoring the second. The game then went into the teams first shootout of the season. We are not sure who was more nervous in the shootout, the coaches or the girls. It came down to Shakopee's final shot with Lauren making it and winning the first game. The next day, the girls went on to upset a very strong number one seeded Lakeville team 2-1 to win the District Title. Stephanie scored both goals for Shakopee. The weekend was the best the girls have looked all season.

The girls then moved onto the Regional Tournament where they took on Minneapolis' top team. Again, the girls played into two overtimes with a score of 0-0 and a shootout followed. Our goalie, Dani Drier, was able to stop 2 of the 4 shots that Minneapolis took. Our girls went a perfect 4 of 4 in the shootout and with the assistance of an extremely vocal and excited hometown crowd they won the Regional Championship sending the team to the State Tournament for the fourth year in a row.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fun at the Zoo!

We have done so many things since the last update.... Maya went golfing with Stephanie and Matt last Saturday. Sunday we all went tubing down the Cannon River. Wednesday John, Maya, Julia and Stephi went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and today they went to the Como Zoo and Conservatory.

So much to do, so little time! This weekend will be spent on the fields as the girls fight for a place in the state soccer tournament. Their game on Saturday will be against their arch rivals, Valley United. Each of the past 3 years the team seems to be up against Valley to the very last game. Last year, that very last game happened to be the state championship....

In the next coming weeks look for updates on soccer, a trip to Valley Fair and a weekend in Duluth. Never a dull moment in our household! Until then... au revoir!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Taste of Minnesota

Taste of Minnesota with no Minnesota vendors??? We ate bbq and cheese curds from Wisconsin... I guess St. Paul is close to Wisconsin, but we were expecting something a little more. Poor Jarrod left some of his food in the bottom of the porta-potty after the other boys kept him spinning on the Tornado. This was after they all rode the Gravitron, which spins so fast that you are literally lifted off of the ground. Frankly we're surprised that he was the only one that was sick!
Maya got to experience her first 80's band when we stopped to watch Hairball, dubbed the world's ultimate 80's Rock impersonation act. Obviously not the kids' choice of music. So, John and Michelle stayed to enjoy the music and sent the kids off to explore the rest of the festival.
Later, we all watched Bret Michael's (former lead singer of Poison) Rock of Love Bus Tour sing and then enjoy some fireworks over the Mississippi river. On the way home Maya was so tired she fell asleep in the car... still suffering from some jet lag.

Independence Day 2009

After a morning of relaxing and getting to know Maya a little better we went to the home of our friends, Mark and Darla Teslow for a typical 4th of July barbeque. We spent the afternoon playing some volleyball, eating some great food, jumping on the trampoline and of course, playing in the pool. There were alot of kids there for Maya to get to know and they did their best to make her feel at home. We are so impressed with her ability to communicate and fit it. She had no fear and jumped right in quickly learning the game "Jump or Dive". As usual, Michelle took plenty of pictures to honor the event.

After the sun went down we all settled around the bonfire. Josh and Aaron set up all of the fireworks to put on a small show for all to enjoy. Maya got to taste her very first s'more. And our friend Doyle proceeded to make the most AMAZING mini doughnuts over the fire.

By the end of the night we were all exhausted and ready to for good night's sleep so we could be ready to spend the next evening at the Taste of Minnesota.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Welcome to Minnesota!

In preparation for the arrival of our foreign exhange student, Maya, we spent the day completing the final clean sweep of the house. Most of the time was spent on emptying and cleaning Stephanie's room for Maya to stay in. I don't think that room has been that clean since the day we moved in almost 4 years ago!

At 3:30 p.m. we headed to the airport with nervous excitement to greet our new houseguest at the baggage claim area. We got there and met several other families that were just as eager to meet their students as we were. One family from Eden Prairie had just become a host family 1 1/2 weeks ago and was feeling a little anxiety because they had so little time to prepare. For another family, this was 'old hat' because they have been hosting foreign exchange students for several years. I enjoyed talking with them because they gave me some insight on what to expect the first few days Maya would be here.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m. some of the students walked down the hall and met their families... but no Maya yet... After about 10 more minutes of waiting Stephanie spotted her. Maya immediately recognized the girls (Facebook can be an amazing thing) and waived. Julia held up the sign we had made for her and when we finally met she gave us all big hugs.

While waiting for her luggage at the carousel several of the other French students that were waiting made comments about Julia and Steph. When asked to translate what they were saying, Maya stated that the kids all thought they were 'superb'. I think Julia and Steph were likely the oldest of the children that were part of the host families.

On the way home we talked alot in the car. We bombarded her with questions, which she happily answered. Upon arriving home, we gave her a quick tour of the home and the girls helped her settle into her room. John ordered pizza and we ran to the grocery store to get a few things and then to pick up the pizza. When we got home all of the girls were sitting in the living room. Maya was on the computer checking her Facebook page... she already looked like a part of the family. We all sat and ate pizza, watched television and talked. Shortly after dinner it was apparent that Maya was extremely tired. Poor girl could barely hold her eyes open. John finally told her she could go to bed anytime she wanted. She gladly took him up on the offer and went downstairs to shower and go to sleep. After a long day on an airplane and the 7 hour difference from France it was approximately 2:30 a.m. for her... I was impressed she made it that long.