Archive for June, 2012

Oh What a Night – at the Krause Prom

June 26, 2012

krause prom groupall The annual Krause Children’s Center prom just keeps outdoing itself year after year, and Prom 2012 kicked it up yet another notch! More than 80 volunteers collaborated to make it a magical night for the Krause kids, and turned the Krause gym into a “Masquerade Ball,” New Orleans Mardi Gras-style.

Decorators worked diligently for two days, and when the Krause kids arrived, the gym had been transformed into a sparkly ballroom filled with balloons, silk chair covers, and table cloths.

A special reward for those kids whose behavior earned them a “high level” was a LIMO ride to a New Orleans restaurant called Babin’s Seafood House in Katy, all donated by generous supporters.  All of the Krause staff stood outside, sending the festive group off as the limo driver opened the door to welcome each of the kids.

Not only did volunteers decorate the gym and donate the food and the tuxedos, but we had a seamstress, make-up artist, and hair stylist on board who all converged on the Krause Center to change the lives of the Krause kids for just one special night!

Once the party started, the Krause kids danced, they laughed, they danced some more … and prom night 2012 created some amazing memories they’ll never forget.

For Shore, It Was Bokenkamp Beach Clean-Up Day!

June 22, 2012

Bokenkamp beach The Bokenkamp kids had a special opportunity to give back to the Corpus Christi community … and they had a blast doing it! Eight residents enjoyed a day of volunteering and fun on the beach, teaming up with the Galilean Men In Mission from Galilean Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi. The clean-up crew cleared away trash from the Malaquite Beach Pavilion area on the Padre Island National Seashore, and the boys received five cents for every bottle cap they collected. The resident who collected the most bottle caps was rewarded with a free English/Spanish youth bible.

The kids loved the scenery and the chance to picnic at the pavilion. They all agreed―nothing beats helping out and giving back, especially when that includes a day at the beach!

Marcia Bennett: Renaissance Woman & VGF Resident

June 18, 2012

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The Village at Gleannloch Farms (VGF) is home to some very creative and interesting people! Recently, Marcia Allen Bennett, an 82-year-old great-grandmother and resident of this retirement community in Spring, Texas, was featured on Houston TV on KTRK Today. Ms. Bennett was interviewed after the recent publication of her sixth book, Umbrella Town, a children’s book about a young girl determined to bring brighter colors (and surprising changes) to her rainy, black-umbrellaed village. Bennett’s daughter, Michelle Bennett, did the book’s  illustrations.

See the video here

Bennett is also the author of the children’s books Mystery at Saddle Creek, Mystery at Jacob’s Well, The Backpack Cat, and the young adult/adult book Ladies of the Bomb Squad. “Umbrella Town” won first prize in the Texas Katherine Anne Porter Literary Contest. Bennett’s books are all carried on Amazon.com.

When Bennett is not at her keyboard writing, she’s creating by painting, hand-making jewelry, and playing the harp (!) on her designated “party floor” at Gleannloch Farms. A launch party was held at VGF in her honor, with a live reading of “Umbrella Town”–complete with a slideshow of the illustrations–and a white umbrella painting activity.

Spotlight on International Adoption

June 11, 2012

This “Waiting Child” video, produced by Rainbowkids, brings awareness to the children waiting for new families and homes through inter-country placements. The past two years, our Lutheran Adoption Services of Texas (LAST) program has concentrated on facilitating adoptions from Bulgaria. As with the children on this video, many have special needs. However, there are many other non-special needs children, pre-school to teens, currently residing in Bulgarian orphanages – ready and waiting for new lives in the United States. The entire adoption process could take less than 12 months for the Bulgarian children with special needs; for the healthy children, ages two and over, the process and the wait is longer.

We’d like to introduce you to these wonderful children! If interested, please contact Konnie Gregg by email at Konnie.Gregg@lsss.org or call either 512-454-4611 or 800-396-4611.

Catching Up With the Bontilaos

June 4, 2012

Almost two years ago, we introduced the Bontilao family, stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, and told the story of their road to adoption of four children from the Philippines. The children, now ages 7 through 18, are the nieces and nephew of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Alberto Bontilao. Their mother (Alberto’s sister) died in an auto accident in 2007, and Alberto and his wife Mylynne worked for two years (through piles of red tape and paperwork) with LSS, Holt International Children’s Services, and the US government (USCIS) to finalize the adoption of Delyn, Varaquelli, Faith, and Domenique. The adoption was finally consummated in October 2010, and along with the Bontilao’s three biological children, the family of nine was complete.

We were happy to receive this recent update from Alberto Bontilao:

We are very delighted to share our current status. It’s been two years only and look! How they’ve grown and very well adapted with us. It’s like we’ve known them forever. Medically speaking Delyn had her appendix removed, Faith and Varaquelli completed reconstruction of their dental work. Domenique had severe migraines. All are taken care of. Delyn is a straight-A student, the rest all get A’s and B’s. Domenique plays flute, Raquel is in Advanced  Choir, both Delyn and Raquel are Navy Cadets. Faith is very curious – sadly she doesn’t even speak Tagalog anymore. She is a fast learner with a high level of confidence.

In June they will again be adapting to a new culture, as we are all moving to Korea on my last military assignment.

We wish this family all the best in the next chapter of their lives together!

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