Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas at the Home

Hope. The Christmas season is the epitome of hope and a special time of year at Methodist Children’s Home.

We strive to maintain a balance between sharing the message of the season and creating lifetime memories for our youth. Each year, our residents witness the generosity of so many faithful supporters of the Home. And each year, our residential campuses celebrate Christmas as a family through worship, opening gifts, munching on treats, and spending time together.

Carols and Candles is our annual Christmas worship service. The Waco campus and Boys Ranch meet at the chapel for this service on the night set aside for the campuses’ Christmas celebrations. The Waxahachie campus youth participate in youth group activities at First United Methodist Church Waxahachie prior to returning to campus to open their gifts.

Presents fill the living rooms when the youth return to their homes as if Santa has delivered goodies while they were away. As soon as the teens enter their doors, excitement ensues, and present opening begins!

Following the evenings’ events, youth and staff enjoy snacks and time spent together. Goodies range from homemade, decorated cupcakes to Buffalo wings. Although the evening goes by too quickly for all, we hope the memories for our youth will last a lifetime and the spirit of Christmas will remain in their hearts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An MCH Christmas in Tyler

Every year the Home’s outreach offices hold a Christmas party for its children in foster care. Various offices plan different events for the children. This year, we’ll take a look into what Tyler did for its Christmas party. Marvin United Methodist Church of Tyler hosted this year’s event.

Children were invited to make holiday crafts and enjoy snacks. Stories were read to the group and, of course, they were greeted by the head elf himself, Santa Claus! A birthday cake for Jesus was served and everyone sang Happy Birthday to celebrate His birth. After the festivities, there came what every kid looks forward to at Christmas – the presents!

By the expressions on the children’s faces as they open their gifts, we know MCH and its faithful supporters have done their part to make the kids’ Christmas a little merrier this year.

Below are some fun photos of the children from the Tyler area celebrating Christmas with the Home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GAPP Christmas Party

We are celebrating the Christmas season across Texas and New Mexico with parties and activities for our youth and their families. One of our recently expanded programs, Grandparents as Parents (GAPP), had its second annual Christmas party for the grandparents and their families Friday, December 10, at the MCH Waco campus.

The hum of conversation and children’s laughter filled the party room. A dinner was provided for the families and everyone enjoyed playing Bingo and participating in the cake walk. Prizes such as DVD players and holiday decorations were given out for Bingo and drawings.

The evening couldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa! The big man in red visited MCH that night and got to meet some of his best fans. The children were overjoyed to be able to give Santa hugs as he met each of them.

Here are some fun pictures from the event.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All-Stars and Champions

Our athletes have been working hard this year. And it’s paying off!

Football All-Stars
Denzel, a cornerback on the MCH six-man football team, was named 2nd Team All-State by the Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL). In addition, Chance (wide receiver) and Christian (quarterback), also members of the football team, made TCAL All-State Honorable Mention.

Denzel was selected to play in the TCAL All-Star game with the Division 1 West Team on Saturday, December 4, in Bryan at Allen Academy.

“It was a new experience,” Denzel said. “We practiced from 6-9 p.m. Friday night and were ready to go for Saturday’s game.”

Although Denzel’s team lost, he was thankful for the opportunity to play in the game.

“I got to play all four quarters of the game,” he said. “I covered my position really well and the other team stopped throwing the ball in my direction, so I missed out on some of the action toward the end of the game.”

Like the other all-star players, Denzel was chosen for the team based on his stats throughout the football season. Being selected this year was a big accomplishment for Denzel, and his home parents – Larry and Jeanean Slonaker - and peers attended the game to show their support.

Basketball Championship
Like many youth on our campuses, Denzel is involved in multiple sports. This year, he also helps manage the boys’ basketball team. However, the weekend Denzel was playing in the All-Star football game, his basketball team was competing in the Coolidge Basketball Tournament where they won the championship!

In the opening game of the tournament, MCH defeated Live Oak Classical 54-35. During the semi-final, the Home was matched against the host school, Coolidge. According to Coach Kevin Henry, the game went down to the wire and MCH pulled out a 47-45 victory. The final game was against Buckholts and the Bulldogs won 51-38 to earn the championship.

“It was a great win for our team,” Coach Henry said.

Congratulations to all of our athletes! You’ve done a great job so far this year. Here are some pictures of our stars.

Denzel in his TCAL jersey

Denzel with his home parents

The MCH Coolidge Basketball Tournament Champions

Christian, number 13, in this season's play-off game

Chance, number 11, in this season's play-off game

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kick-off to the holiday season at MCH

Who wouldn’t want to be in a house filled with laughter, the aroma of hot cocoa and a room filled with Christmas decorations? That was the scene at one of our homes this week. Nine girls and three staff members had fun decorating their home’s Christmas tree like a true family – with some witty banter, many smiles and a lot of love.

As the girls were wrapping garland and hanging ornaments on their tree, Mr. Miller, one of the home parents was making homemade hot cocoa for the group. After the tree was up, the girls were treated to cocoa and marshmallows. Laughing and sharing stories gathered in the kitchen, the girls and staff filled the home with everything anyone hopes to fill a home with – love and happiness.

The Home will be filled with events such as these throughout December as well as Christmas parties, the Candles and Carols worship service and other holiday activities to celebrate Christmas and what the season means to MCH.

What a way to kick-off the beginning of the holiday season!