Friday, February 29, 2008


Awhile back I pcomised a friend of mine (Erica) that I would be better about this whole blogging thing. She complained that I didn't do it nearly often enough. So I committed to writing at least 15 blogs a month. For those of you that checked my blog so frequently this month and got excited that there was something there you can thank her. However if you complained about how hard it seemed to be to keep up with my blog for awhile there ...again thank her!:) So in the coming months I promise to work hard to stick to this 15 blogs a month thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Short lived

So....Katty made it through 4 days of kindergarten before getting kicked out! :) She was already a little young to be starting anyways but they thought two years of Kinder would be good for her. However, apparently she was up dancing on the table, taking her shoes off and playing with them, etc. etc. The teacher has a class of 40 students and decided that she couldn't handle that and Katty! And really must I say again ...she really is my child!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

I realize that Valentine's Day was yesterday and that some of you would much rather be rejoicing in the fact that it has come and gone. However, as we celebrate (or boycott) this "love" holiday I can't seem to help but ponder what it all means. Why does one holiday bring such joy to some and bitterness to others? I can’t think of any other holiday that brings such division among human beings. I’ve heard all the arguments for and against it and I've found myself on each side of the fence throughout the years. However, this year has found me simply sitting on the fence wondering why the heck we have a fence in the first place? So as I've sat pondering the issue I've come to a few conclusions that I want to share with those of you that live for the holiday, those of you that boycott the holiday, and those of you who like me find yourself sitting on the fence not sure what to think.

I have now spent 2 Valentines Days in this country. (Honduras) Both years I’ve been shocked and amazed to find that V-Day is almost bigger here than it is in the states. Every restaurant, store, and road seems plastered with decorations meant to make you in the Valentine’s Day mood. However, the difference between here and there is that here it is called the Day of love AND friendship. Makes all the single people out there less inclined to hide in bed when February 14th comes around. Reminds us that love isn’t limited to relationships between a man and a women. I know people think adding friendship is just a way to sell more cards and make those who would rather skip the day more apt to celebrate it. However, I’m growing to appreciate the “and friendship” part more every time I think about it.

I’ve been guilty of being one of the loudest boycotters out there against this “hallmark” holiday. There was a day when I may have picked up a sign and joined a group protesting the “stupid” holiday outside a flower shop. (ok so probably not but I would have been chanting with them in my heart/mind) For whatever reason through the years the desire to fight has left me and the arguments that used to ring so true seem pointless now. Why is it we have such a problem with having a day to celebrate love? We V day boycotters used to complain that it was a Hallmark holiday invented solely to sell cards. We couldn’t seem to figure out why there should be a day set aside for love. Shouldn’t we be loving and expressing that love every day of the year? In the past 48 hours I’ve sat pondering all of that once again.

It has hit me though that isn’t the point of any holiday to simply have one day in which we recognize that which we celebrate (or should be celebrating) every other day of our lives? Think about it….Christmas comes but once a year. It is a day to celebrate Christ’s birth. Just because we recognize and celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean that we don’t have to appreciate the precious gift of His birth any other day of the year. Thanksgiving Day by no means limits us to only being thankful for the blessings of life on that one day in late November. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day doesn’t mean that we spoil our parents on “their” day and treat them like crap the rest of the year. Each holiday is simply a reminder of the love, appreciation, and celebration that should be happening EVERY day.

I have looked up and researched the origin for why we celebrate Valentine’s Day. What was it that triggered its birth in the first place and what made it significant enough to be added to every calendar you buy? The results to my search could have kept me reading for days. I could fill you in on just about every detail of what makes February 14th what it is today. However, as I mentioned in my last blog… 1. this blog is plenty long enough already and 2. if you were capable of getting to this blog I’m confident that you can also handle a google search. (with the exception of maybe Bonnie! he he) I will leave you with this…. my research proved to me that there are plenty other reasons for this holiday than the cliché “hallmark wanted to make more money” argument. Does this mean I’ve climbed down off the fence and been converted to stand fighting beside those of you that love this holiday….no. I simply still sit wondering why it is we ever built this fence in the first place. What have those on the “love valentine’s day and anything to do with it” side of the fence done to invoke such a riot from those on the “not so fond of the holiday” side? Surely it is more than just an I have or don’t have a boyfriend, husband, reason to celebrate love issue. So what is it that fuels this war? So I would say I have at best become sympathetic to both sides but am choosing to simply celebrate the same way I celebrate every day I’m given to love those around me.

***sorry to post two ridiculously long blogs back to back .... BUT it is the weekend you know so what else could you have to do but read my blog! :) Plus they dealt with similar topics that I couldn't seem to get out of my head so you all get to be on the receiving end of these never ending questions.

Definition of love

Ever taken the time to figure out what love really means? I have and believe me it isn’t easy. In light of the recent “love” holiday I have once again picked up my search for the real meaning of love. I’ve searched high and low for an answer that I feel is complete and real.

Someone once sent me an email that talked about this exact topic….the only difference was they were having kids do the defining. They asked kids ages 4-8 to tell what their definition of love was. Their answers came quickly. The simplicity and purity of a child’s mind make some of these answers more profound, true and touching than anything most of us could come up with. Here are just a few of my favorites.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth. Billy - age 4

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”Terri - age 4

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,” Nikka - age 6

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.”Chris - age 7

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”Rebecca- age 8

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” Jessica - age 8

Webster has more to say about love than just about any word I’ve ever searched. I’m only going to give a portion of the definitions I found. Not because I’m picking the ones I feel will best help me convince you one way or another on love. I just figured this blog would be long enough without definitions such as “Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing” added in. Not to mention the fact that I feel certain if you were capable of getting on your computer to check my blog you are able to look up all of what Webster has to say. For now this is what I took from Webster….

*a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

*a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

*used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like

*a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.

*sexual intercourse; copulation.

*affectionate concern for the well-being of others:

*strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything:

*the object or thing so liked:

*the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.

I then began to search my bible. The bible is full of the meaning of love. Scripture after scripture jumped out at me. However, the two that stuck with me and have been ingrained in me through the years ….

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that who so ever should believeth in Him will not perish but have ever lasting life.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 –“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

I feel certain that if you had asked me my definition of love when I was a kid my answer would have been much the same as it is today. My definition was, is, and forever will parents. I was born out of the amazing love they share and have spent 22 years reveling in the fact that it simply seems to grow with each passing day.

They are by far the 2 people in my life that have taught me the most about love. Their love for one another has become my example for the way love should be. I know the doubters among us are probably sitting back thinking that at some point in my childhood I slipped on my rose colored glasses and forgot to take them off. I can assure you though that they aren't my definition of love because they did it perfect. I'm not under any false illusion or misconception that their marriage didn't suffer hard times. They aren't my example to live by because bad days didn’t exist or because the years (and now distance) have erased (or faded) memories of such days. Trust me bad days came and went with the passing years. I remember some of them as if they were yesterday. There were fights, disagreements, tension, and all the normal things that come with difficulties of life and marriage. Yet my parents remain as my definition of love BECAUSE those days existed and yet their love for one another remained intact. No matter what happened in life or within their marriage they worked it out. Even in the midst of their fights I NEVER doubted their love for one another....or for me and my sister. They are my example of love not only because of the way they love each other but the way they each love people in general. I could write a book on the times they loved “the least of these.” Times when I stood back proud to be their daughter. Times when I wanted to brag to anyone who would listen and shout to all the world about how great they really are. Times when with tears in my eyes I watched them act out what love really was to people they knew and to people who were perfect strangers. However, for today we will stick to the love of their marriage and the amazing ways it has impacted this life.

I could give you example after example...story after story that would help you understand what makes them my model of what marriage and LOVE is really supposed to look like. Far from perfect their marriage speaks volumes to this heart because of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will say this ….I have a father who cooks, cleans, and was/is very hands on in the children rearing process. Although not overly or extravagantly romantic my father found ways of spoiling my momma and ALWAYS made sure to speak with words the emotion that was always spoken with his eyes. As for my momma she serves my daddy as if she was created for the job. Not because he asks her to or because he expects it but because she wants to. (even more so she serves him when she doesn’t want to because it shows her love) She meets his needs even before they are expressed. She has spent countless nights not only being at the games while he coached but also kept score, stats, and did anything else he needed. She attends events that he is expected to be at simply because he enjoys her being there with him. Above all else their love is expressed in the little things they do. I know I still have yet to completely figure out what love is. I’m not sure I ever will or will be able to. Love is ever changing and can never be grasped fully. We will never (even with the greatest of earthly examples) even begin to be able to comprehend the fullness of God’s love for us. A love that sent His son to suffer and die for us.

Who or what was/ is your example of love? Do you even have one or remember what taught you the meaning of that four letter word? I know I am blessed to have two parents who love each other and me more than words in a blog could ever express. I'm blessed to have such an amazing example to live by. I’m blessed to have been raised in the church where love like God intended was explained to me. I pray that this blog reminds each of you of those people/things that have taught you to love. I pray that it motivates you search within yourself for YOUR definition of what love really is and then you strive to act that out in every relationship God has blessed you with...and even in the relationships that you view as less than a blessing. Remember....
“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,” Nikka - age 6

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Today as the first day of school! Yay hooray! Yippee Skippee! Woot woot! ...and all that. I now understand why mothers say they look forward to the first day of summer and the last day of summer. The first part of summer is always nice because they are home all day and you can do fun stuff with them. However, by the end of summer you are most definitely ready for them to NOT be around all day every day! This year we have 3 in 3rd grade, (Pamela, Brayan, Rudy) 3 in 2nd grade, (Yovani, Marvin, Fitto) 2 in 1st grade, (Mario, Cindy) and 5 in Kindergarten. (Katty, Francisco, Fernando, Daniela, and Monica) Leaving only Antonio and Maryuri in the house every day from 8-11:30! Talk about a quiet house. :)Little Francisco was so excited about getting to go to school that he wore his backpack all morning....even during breakfast.

The whole gang
Katty in her school uniform all ready for school....heck she is getting old

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Leap of Faith

Today as I was standing out front playing with the kids I turned as I heard Katty call out "Mommy" I then had a one..two..three count warning as she launched herself off of the wall and into my arms. I was shocked to find her body come flying at me and managed to snag her out of the air before she plummeted to the ground. Of course as soon as I sat her down she wanted to do it again....and again...and again. You get the picture. I stood watching her throw herself off the ledge and sail through the air without a thought of what would happen if I didn't catch her. Time after time she threw herself into harms way certain that my waiting arms would break her fall. That scene has played and replayed in my is almost like someone keeps hitting rewind and watching the same movie clip over and over.

I'm struck by the wreckless abandon that comes with being a kid. The carefree and trusting way they live their lives. I've sat trying to remember ever being that way. Seeing as how I can't even do a trust fall without breaking someone's nose with my flailing arms it is hard to remember a time when I was every so trusting. When I was a little girl my daddy was my hero. He seemed larger than life and always chased away the bad things of the world. I'm sure I questioned him lots about every little detail in life (just ask him....I was the question girl!) ...yet when I really needed him I never doubted that he would come through for me. He wore the father title as well if not better than any dad I know.

So if I had a great example of trust as a child and am not suffering from any traumatic trust experience why is it that now that I'm older I seem to have lost my ability to trust? Why must I question every little detail of life and demand evidence that it really is safe to throw myself into the unknown? Why is it that even as our Heavenly Father stands with His arms outstretched that I find it so difficult to believe that He will catch me? I walk around scared as though at any moment someone will pull the rug out from underneath me and I'll go tumbling. I can't even tiptoe to the edge of the unknown and look over without getting nervous. So you can forget me running up to it and throwing myself over the edge in faith that my Savior will be there to break my fall. So for now I'm praying that I can some how find a bit of the carefree girl within me. The one that if for no other reason enjoyed the thrill of sailing over the edge because life is just too boring when you constantly keep both feet firmly planted on the ground. So I encourage you all to be like little Katty. Test how much trust you have and throw yourself over the edge. Take that leap of faith that you have been fearful of for so long.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back at it

As some of you may already know I started back to school this semester. After a semester off I reenrolled at Malone and am now taking classes there as well as through the University of Pheonix. However, since the first day that these classes started I can't for the life of me figure out why I continue to take classes. Am I doing it for me or do I feel like I have to in order to please the world? More often than not I choke on the words as I tell someone I haven't finished college. I always rush on before I notice their disapproving stares to explain that I'm taking classes or that I plan to finish one day. I give any excuse to avoid the condemnation that always seems to follow such an announcement. I act ashamed of myself for choosing the path less traveled. Like not ever finishing makes me any less of the person I am today or as if a degree could ever define the person God is creating me to be. So again the question remains.... am I taking classes for me or because I feel like I have to in order to deafen the roar of the world? I've heard your arguments. I've seen your doubtful stares as I talk about being able to do life without a degree. I've been witness to your disapproval and I've listened politely as you explain the importance of education. I'm not doubting its importance...I'm glad there are people out there willing to spend time, money, and energy in going to school. It is obviously neccessary if we are going to continue to have doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. I'm just doubting my place within the college world. I mean as of right now I'm charted as being a history major. It was one of the only majors I could finish from here and finishing from here was the only way I was interested in finishing. When I asked what types of jobs that could get me I was told I could work in government, business or even in public history! (museum studies, etc.) Sounds just like me huh. How many of you wanted to laugh as you pictured me in ANY of those jobs? As those images play before my eyes I realize that graduating with a history degree is me simply getting a degree to say I have one because I will NEVER use a degree in history. So yes the question still remains...why? What is my motivation behind any of this? I love you all dearly and take your warnings/suggestions to heart. For now I'm committed to doing these classes with excellence. It isn't hurting me one bit to work my brain a little for a change! :) Not at all sure what the long term goal is going to be or what any of it looks like....just wanted to take the chance to spill my heart. If you are lacking in things to pray about feel free to add this every confused girl to your list!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Katty again

My dear friend JT blessed me with this early Valentines present today. He took this picture that I already had fallen in love with and made it better. I not only love it because it speaks truth straight from this heart but because he cared enough to take the time to do it for me because he KNEW how much it would mean. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU dear friend.


As most of you know I would claim any of these kids as my own...and do on a daily basis. However, I make no attempt to hide the fact that if I could only choose one to take for life that Katty would win...hands down. She has penetrated the deepest levels of my heart. I didn't know what the term "love more than life itself" meant until I met her. She is mine in every sense of the word....ok except maybe when it comes to the legalistic end of things....but since when does that matter! :)

She hangs all over this dog. She lays on him, sit on him, sticks her hand in his mouth...everything! Absolutely no fear what so ever. She always tells me he is her friend. If it weren't official before it is now....She IS my daughter!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Sometime last week Jen and I arrived home to find Dorian leading Tinbon (affectionately known by me as T-Bone) toward us. Before we had even gotten out of the car Dorian was telling us that we needed to go back to the city because Tinbon needed to go to the vet. It was then as my gaze fell upon the poor dog that I noticed the mass amounts of blood covering his body. He had gotten in a dog fight and was in bad shape. Without another question Jen helped load him in the back of the truck and headed for the city. After 4 days at the vet Tinbon was able to return home but for now has to wear that ridiculous looking thing on his head. As for our other dog...Damasco. Due to the fact that he couldn't seem to resist the urge to eat the neighbor’s chickens (I make jokes but it was a serious situation. She started threatening to kill him if he didn't stop) he has now found a new home with some friends of ours from Ojojona. Who knew having dogs could be so eventful.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cardboard Box

So yesterday after nap the kids and I were outside playing when one of them came around front dragging a cardboard box that had been discarded. I watched as the rest of the kids came to check it out and then joined in playing with it. Thinking there had to be something great about this box I too went to investigate. As I got closer I could hear them talking, giggling, plotting, and scheming. They were astronauts loading in their spaceship. Then they were policeman catching crooks who were hiding in a box trying to get away. They jumped on the box and pinned the "crooks" to the ground. After that they were in a car heading to Teguc.....and the list goes on. They played with this stinkin box (that held no super powers or special features) for at least 2 hours. I joined in for awhile before retreating to grab my camera and simply soak in the simplicity of it all from a distance. We live in a country (USA in case anyone was confused) where kids can't seem to entertain themselves unless the device in their hands is the latest of technology and requires 4 AA batteries. They aren't interested in going outside to play and their imagination extends far enough to pretend the video game they are playing is real life. I know I'm probably exaggerating to some extent how bad things are. I'm sure some of you still have kids that play outside but I know that all of you know what I'm talking about. So coming from a world of virtual reality, computer simulated environments, and gaming watching children entertain themselves 2 hours was wonderful. They didn't need fancy toys or expensive gadgets...they simply needed a card board box, one another, and the world of make believe.

When was the last time we allowed ourselves to be so entertained by something as simple as a cardboard box? Instead of watching tv tonight take the time to play in the snow, play cards, make something, or simply dig out an old cardboard box and figure out how many different things it can become when you use your imagination.

Water Fight!

So the kids and I took advantage of the unusually way warm day and had a water fight....ok so really the way the story went was that I was warm and feeling ornery so filled the water gun when no one was looking! They happily obliged my immature plea for a water war as they all scrambled to find Bowls, bottles, and anything else to help them with the battle!

Even soaked Daniela never stops smiling!
I was obviously the image of intimidation!
The boys quickly learned that half the battle was finding ways to block the water.

This was our water source. Sometimes it was a fight just to get to it.

I had just surrendered my gun and still they were relentless!

Some of them weren't as happy as others to be soaking wet.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Honduran "wild life"

I saw a squirrel today! I was sitting on the back porch doing my devo and noticed movement in the trees....took me a second but I finally found him. I know I are all probably thinking woo hoo who cares it is just a squirrel. BUT I have lived here for over a year now and have NEVER once seen a squirrel! (or any other form of life unless it comes in the form of a creepy crawly thing I would rather not have around) Not to mention that I love squirrels and used to watching them out back of our house or on campus. So it was a big "take me back to home" moment! I sat watching him for a few minutes before I ran inside to grab my camera. He then was ever so kind to wave at the camera as I took his picture. He really was quite cooperative! :) So be glad to know that squirrel do exist here and they look much the same as the ones you find at home.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Beauty of Creation

So many times in life I'm struck by the time and detail God spent on even the smallest seemingly insignificant things. As I sat doing my devo on the porch I noticed a bug on the wall. The beauty of this tiny creature captivated me. The brilliant orange color of its wings stood out against the bland color of the wall. It was reminder to take notice of the beauty God has placed before me. To notice His handy work everywhere I turn. Take time today to notice beauty in places you normally don't take the time to look at or appreciate.

sweet moments

I would love to share with you every time that the kids did something sweet or every time they tugged at my heart strings. However, if I did that I would spend more time on my computer than experiencing such moments. So instead let me tell you one that has stuck with me the past few days. One that reminded me of how glad I am to be here to experience such moments.

A couple of nights ago I awoke to hear Antonio crying out for me. As usual I scooped him up and carried him back to my bed so I could snuggle away whatever bad dream he had been having. Well despite the interruption to his sleep and the long night he still woke up earlier than normal the next morning. Of course if he woke up earlier than normal that meant I needed to be awake as well. I woke to his gentle nudging and his sweet whisper saying "mommy." Although he was awake and it was clear he wasn't going back to sleep he wasn't quite ready to get up. He simply shook his head when I offered to go to the playroom with him. Then he silently moved from his sitting position beside me and crawled on top of me. Once there he curled up with his arms beneath him and his head nuzzled under my chin. Eyes wide open and not moving in the least he seemed content so just lay quietly. Covering us both back up we laid like that as morning came and woke the rest of the kiddos. Within moments they too were in my room relentlessly vying for my attention. The quiet moment was over but not forgotten. Even as I got up to begin the day I could feel the warmth of where his little body had been resting on mine. It was the sweetest of moments and one I will cherish it forever.

The gift of giving

There are moments here when this momma heart sighs with contentment. Moments when you know despite the ways you have messed up ... by the grace of God something is getting through to your children. God has given me many opportunities to see this being played out lately.

Our kids being like any other normal child from 2 -10 years of age have this problem with dilly dallying their way through getting dressed, brushing their teeth, showering, or any other day to day activity. Now just times that by 15 and you have a typical day here. Getting them ready for anything seems to take FOREVER. They will be sent to their room to do something and finally reappear 30 minutes later. It makes for craziness as you wait on them for breakfast or need to get them off to class...not to mention what they were getting into as they did the things they shouldn't be doing instead of what they should be doing. I long ago learned two tricks to raising children. 1. They love competing and racing one another. 2. They LOVE candy. So last week sometime I started doing competitions between the girls and boys. The first one to get dressed, make their beds, clean up their room, and be sitting at the table won. Meaning if all the boys made it to the table first and were sitting quietly they each got a piece of candy. It took them awhile to catch on. The big boys would hurry through getting ready and would be sitting down but the little ones would be nowhere to be found. As the days went on the bigger ones learned to help the little ones. They learned that cheering had no place in this game or they would be disqualified for failing the sitting quietly part. The girls managed to win the first couple of days but once the boys found a routine of who did what and who help whom the girls had no chance. The girls haven't won a day since. A couple of days ago the boys had won yet again and were sitting proudly with their candy in hand. As I walked back into the kitchen to put the candy away I stopped dead in my tracks as I watched the boys each bite their candy in half and then stand up and give the other half to one of the girls. I found tears prickling my eyes as Brayan explained that the girls hadn't won in awhile and so had watched the boys get candy day after they shared. about a proud momma. By no doing of my own they seem to be shaping into beautiful young people. Don't get me wrong they still do all the rotten kid type stuff but I'll definitely take the bad with the good that I'm seeing!