Friday, May 30, 2008

Going Home

Today long last.....I GET TO GO HOME. I'll only be in the states for 10 days and the main purpose for my visit is my roommates wedding. None the less I am boarding a plane and for 10 days I get to drink Starbucks, take bathes, play with my dog, swim in my pool, eat my momma's cooking, and see people I haven't seen in FAR too long. This past week as it began to sink in that I really was going hoe again I could hardly believe it. I mean I remember when the "how many days till I go home countdown" was in the 190's. Suddenly I was down to 7....and then 4...and then 1. This morning I woke up thinking that by tonight I'll be hugging on my parents, Sam, and Anna. It was a good feeling. Don't get me wrong I will struggle as I hug my kiddos and then force myself to turn around and place one foot in front of the other. Leaving them, no matter the amount of time, is always hard. I know that climbing into my own bed tonight will be bitter-sweet as I will love being back in MY bed but have to place pillows around me where they normally sleep.... just so I can sleep. However, regardless of ALL of that......I WILL BE HOME in a few short hours. If you need/want to reach me my states number is 740-221-1620 (cell) or 740-559-2126 (home) :) 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stop the World

The TV is talking 
The telephone's ringing 
The lights are all on 
And the radio's screaming

A million distractions are stealing my heart from You
I'm tired and empty
This life is relentless
It weakens my knees 
And breaks my defenses 
It's wearing me down and I'm desperate to hear from You

Stop the world I wanna get out 
I need an escape away from this crowd 
Just to hear You speak to me 

I need to be still before I make a move 
I need to be humble with nothing to prove 
I need Your Word to show me the truth 
And I need time, precious time

Stop the world I wanna get out 
I need an escape away from this crowd 
Just to hear You speak to me 
Stop the world I'm ready to listen 
Show me sign, give me a vision of heaven 
I can hold on to 
Stop the world I need some time with You 

Before I can find my voice 
I need to hear Your voice 
Above all the senseless noise 

----Stop the World by Matthew West

At this point in life Jen knows this heart about as well as anyone. That being said ....when she sent me this song the other night it couldn't have been more right or appropriate. It couldn't have better summed up what this heart has been crying out lately. Sometimes I'm left wondering if anyone else out there has days when they just want to throw up their hands and give up. Am I alone and wishing that I could stop life and and the world around me even if only for a little while. I have definitely hit one of those points again lately. We live in a world of distractions....a world that works so hard at keeping our focus off God and instead on the things of this world. It is a world that seems to get faster and busier by the day. There are just moments when I feel like it has gotten so out of control I can't even hold on anymore. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Never a dull momenty

So I've decided that the moment I walked onto this property the word bored/boring were completely removed from my life dictionary. Maybe it is normal for being a momma....and maybe it just comes with living in a house of 14 + children. Whatever it is I feel like it has been so long since I've been bored that I forget what it feels like!

Two days ago Brayan came out of the house pulling Maryuri (who had gone inside to "pee pee") by the arm. The part of her arm that he was holding on to was the only part of her arm that wasn't covered in a white substance. From a distance I just thought it was soap and that she hadn't rinsed her hands. However, as they came closer Brayan says "mom Maryuri stole cream and was eating it ....yes eating it.... in the hallway. Somehow in the "going to the bathroom" process she got side tracked and managed to get her hands (and mouth apparently) on a tube of anti itch cream. Telling her to stand along the wall I continue talking to Brayan about it. As I turn back toward Maryuri I notice that she is licking the cream off her hands and that her once white creamy arms are now perfectly brown and clean. She had licked all the cream from her body in a matter of seconds. Knowing we best do something Jacob suggests we read the tube. Brayan ran to get the discarded tube and sure enough as we read the label it says that if consumed to seek medical attention or call the poison control center. As that information sank in I realize that we are an hour from a hospital and there is no poison control center in Honduras. Trying not to panic I sent the kids inside for milk. Somewhere in my past I learned that milk is the best thing you can give a kid if they eat something toxic. I then sent a text to a couple of people from home to get the number for the poison control in the US. I then enlisted the help of my friend Mike and got him to call the number. (It is impossible to call a 1-800 number from Honduran cell phones) While I waited to hear what he found out I pumped Maryuri with as much milk as possible. At one point Karen was plugging her nose as I poured milk in her mouth. Before long Mike let me know that the lady he spoke with said to keep her drinking but other than that there was little to be done. She also assured him (and me for that matter) that few home products have enough toxins in them these days to do much. (Thank you Lord!) I would say Maryuri ended up drinking close to 36 oz of milk before the day was over. If you have met Maryuri...miss rolie polie olie herself you aren't at all shocked that it is she who ate the cream and then kept on eating it as though it were good tasting! That child will eat ANYTHING!

Then today the kids came home from school early....they had barely gotten through the front door when they came running saying mom you have to see Yovani. They tried to tell me he had gotten in a fight and some boy hit him. (Jacob fed them this story of course!) However, the real story came out quickly. A boy at school was throwing rocks at some bees (smart I know) and one of them stung Yovani on the face. Apparently he is allergic to bees. We didn't quite know that before but we sure know it now. I quickly went for Benadryl while Sandra (one of our workers) went for some ice. However, 12 hours later and his face still looks like the above picture. That is actually a lot better than it looked when he first got home. Depending on how he looks tomorrow we may have to go somewhere. As I said...this certainly aren't dull around here!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I've had the pleasure of spending the past few weeks with a small group from Lipscomb University. After a year of planning and preparing for this trip with Nathan and Jacob it is amazing to watch it play out before my eyes. It is amazing to get to be a part of the action as well as simply get to know each member of the team. Some of them I knew before this trip began while others were brand new faces and stories for me to greet. Either way, whether I have spent the past days getting to know them for the first time or  simply allowing this time to draw us even deeper into the friendship that started months ago, it has been a blast having them here. Each comes with their own unique purpose and personality that brings so much depth to a group of this size. They aren't our typical "torch group." In place of building houses or handing out food they have been building gardens. They have traveled from various orphanages to feeding centers breaking ground and planting gardens. Some of you may chuckle at this idea or even wonder why they would take so much time to do that. However, when you really think about it the work they are doing is one of the greatest gifts they could give. They are not just walking in and giving one meal. Instead they are building gardens that will continue to give food for months on end. Their work will fill hungry bellies with good food for a long time. Yet that isn't what I've been most impressed with. I stand amazed daily at their ability to walk in here and serve and love on me, my kiddos, and the people in this area. So to each of you (if you read this) ....thank you for answering God's call no only when He asked you to come but also daily when He asks you to serve. It has been a pleasure serving actively along side each of you. 

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day off

Each Thursday is my "day off." It means I have the day to run errands in the city, catch up on homework, or do whatever I need to do. Yesterday was spent dropping my two best friends off at the airport. Not exactly a "fun" thing to be doing but none the less was how the day began. After returning home I decided I wanted some "quiet" time. For all of you who have ever been around this place you know that "quiet moments" are few and far between. Grabbing my ipod and book I headed outside to the hammock. Within 3 minutes of being in the hammock miss Maryuri wandered over and simply lifted her arms into the air signaling she expected to be scooped up into the hammock with me. Knowing her presence could kill the whole quiet thing I hesitated only a second before happily olbiging her request. Much to my surprise once in the hammock she simply curled up on my chest and lay there perfectly still. So still that I thought she had fallen asleep. I don't know how long we lay like that....just enjoying each other's company. Before too long we were discovered and joined by some of the other kiddos. By that time I was just happy to be near them. More than that I loved that they found such joy being near me. My "quiet time" may not have looked like I thought it might but it was definitely my favorite part of the day. 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"If you have Poo....fling it now" has been raining off and on the past couple of days and as you can see we know how to be mature about that fact. One of those random rain showers came while Colbs and Nathan were working on the garden. Nathan was quick to get out of the rain but Colbs was a bit more dedicated (aka dumb) and stayed out in it. Always ready for some fun Adds and I decided to tackle her in the middle of the garden. These pictures are the end result of that!  Like I said....mature. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Favorites

I've been blessed lately to have some of my favorite people in the entire world here in Hondo with me. They are walking beside me here and experiencing the life God has called me to. Their presence in this place is one of the greatest gifts anyone could have offered me. Although our time together is drawing short I've relished in every moment we have shared together. They are the calming presence of God for this heart. They challenge, sharpen, shape, comfort, and change me with a Christ like love that is so rare for our age. Their friendship is something that I count among my highest blessings in life. They are the best the world has to offer and though I don't know how I got lucky enough to be on the receiving end of it all....I'm not complaining! :) 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mother's Day:)

I realize this blog is coming a week late and that Mother's Day was last Sunday. However, it has been a crazy week with little time to do much significant blogging. Yet I couldn't pass up the chance to blog about the experience. I spent Mother's Day here last year as well.....but since I had only been here 4 months at that point I had barely slipped into the "mom" role. The kids had just begun to call me mom and even though there was a definitely connection between this heart and theirs......I was sort of just "playing the role" back then. I mean at that point I had no idea I would be moving there or that any of this would unfold the way it did. Soooo this year was a much different experience for me. This year I no longer just "play the role" of mom....I am one. Through and through I love these kiddos like they are my own and more than that they have truly come to view me momma. All that being said you can imagine how special Mother's Day was for me. I imagine this is how all first time mothers feel when Mother's Day finally begins to apply to them as well. 
Mother's Day is a huge deal here. All of the classes have a celebration, churches order cakes and have special things for the mommas, and everyone acts like it is the biggest day of the year! Last year Karen took care of going to all of their school celebrations. (1. because I spoke VERY little spanish at the time and 2. because I really wasn't "momma" at that point) This year she was busy on the day of the Kindergarten celebration and obviously couldn't be in 3 places at once for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade celebration. Therefore, I got to go alone to the Kinder and then we both went and split the other 3 grades the best we could. It was one of my proudest moments for sure to be treated as one of the mommas. Granted it was almost torturous at times to sit for hours and I do mean HOURS in a spanish speaking ceremony. Yet there is no place I would rather have been. 
The kids were so cute about it. They all were so excited to have me there....especially Marvin. He asked me for days before if I was coming. Then the day before his celebration he probably told me 30 times (literally) what time the celebration was and double checked to make sure I was still going. The morning of we had devo as usual and after the kids got ready to go. Marvin started to walk into his room and came back to remind me that I too needed to go get ready so that I wasn't late. When we finally arrived at school he held my hand and proudly marched me straight into his classroom. He wanted to show me his desk, his seat, his everything! Then before I knew what was happening he had grabbed my hand and marched me up to his teacher where he promptly introduced me as "his mother." Talk about bringing tears to my eyes. I mean the younger kids almost always call me mom but the bigger kids are more reserved and careful with the usage of such a word. He was so happy to have me sitting next to him. There are days when I wonder if they are embarrassed to have "gringa" mommas or if they long to have their real moms sitting next to them for events like that. However, his reaction reminded me that no matter how much he misses his real mom he is always glad that I'm here as a fill in. 
Finally, Mother's Day was really here. I woke up last Sunday to get the kids ready for church. Before I could do much of anything Yovani came in and explained that since it was Mother's Day that they would be taking care of doing everything. He and the other big kids took care of getting everyone dressed, making breakfast, and getting everyone through breakfast.All I had to do was sit and watch. THEN.... As if that wasn't enough they insisted on making me breakfast. Marvin was set on making my chai tea for me and Yovani wasn't going to give up until I agreed to eat something. It was the weakest tea and crispiest toast I've ever had but yet the best of both I could have ever imagined. 
All in all it was an amazing experience to truly be a momma on Mother's Day. I can't think of any title or job I would rather have in this entire world. There is nothing else that could bring me as much joy or contentment as simply filling this role. So to all of you Mothers out there...Happy Mother's Day. (a bit late) I know from experience now how truly hard your job really is....yet how joy filled it is as well. 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pool Time

While I was out and about the other day I decided it was past time to purchase another pool for the kiddos. Although the nice big 15 - 20 person pool looked tempting I know my children well enough to know that no matter how much you spend on a is ALWAYS breakable. Therefore, I went for the smaller less appealing 5 person swimming pool. I could buy 5 of those for the price of the other. Not to mention the fact that drowning would be a lot less likely in this little pool...and THAT is really all that matters. Besides we have to remember that a couple weeks ago the kids were using pans of water to sit/play in. No matter what size the pool was the fact that they could get their whole bodies in it and wet was a huge improvement. They were so excited to get to play in it. So for now it is our new toy and we (yep I did say we....I of course had to get in too!) are loving it. 

Friday, May 16, 2008


It has been extremely warm here Karen decided to shave some heads!:) 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My little helper

The other night as I was working in the kitchen Maryuri wandered in asking if she could be with me. Happy for her cheerful company I gave my permission. Before too long she had pushed the stool over to the sink, climbed up on it, and began washing the dishes. I hadn't asked her to do so....hadn't even asked her to help in the kitchen at all. I was simply content to have the company. Granted seeing as how she is only 3 I did indeed go behind her and wash all of the dishes a second time...but it is the thought that counts. :) 

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gus Gus

Gus Gus the Mouse, a Santa Ana Honduras resident died at approximately 9 p.m. May 11th at the young age of 1 human year. Cause of death - 3 quick waps of a broom.

Exact date of birth unknown. Gus Gus was a member of the Casa de Esperanza kitchen terrorizing club and the scare Ashley out of her socks club. He was preceded in death by his parents Gus Sr. and Gusetta as well as half of his 5,000 siblings. He was not yet married but enjoyed fraternizing with the many female rats that lived in and around Santa Ana. 

There will be no formal funeral but all are free to visit him at his resting place out by the front wall. 

As most of you know I've killed plenty of animals with my car... but NEVER have I even considered willingly killing an animal. However, last night that all changed. After chasing poor little Gus Gus around the kitchen for a few minutes his short life came to an end. I truly wish you all could have been flies on the wall to witness the scene as it played out. Jacob (who DID play a part in this) saw Gus Gus first and went after him. However, he intended to simply "shove" this live mouse out the door to freedom. After missing him the first time we thought all hope was lost. However....our ever so intelligent mouse friend hid for a matter of seconds before running back out into the open. I was ready for him that time and blocked him so that Jacob could get to him. After hitting him once with the end of a mop handle the stinkin mouse headed straight for my feet and it looked like he was not only going to get away but use me as his escape route. Before I could even think about what I was doing I began hopping around, squealing, and flinging the end of my broom at him. I was in the middle of the room and with nothing to jump up on I had few other options (or so I thought...simply getting out of his way never entered my mind) than to start swinging my broom!:)  I missed the first time but the second swing brought contact.....after that it was all but more Gus Gus. Afterwards Jacob decided to get sappy and made me feel guilty about killing that poor little rodent. So now I'm forced to show some remorse and provide an obituary so that all may mourn his death. :) Either way the stinkin thing is out of the house and will stop running out between my legs when I go to use the restroom in the middle of the night! 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Trampoline fun!

Even months after the trampoline got here they kids STILL love it. They always want to be jumping and ALWAYS want you to be jumping with them. I have to admit it is lots of fun....yet I seem to get tired far quicker than they do! :) 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Honduran travel

People talk all the time about how crazy drivers are in Honduras.  They make jokes after joke about the way people pass on blind turns, the way people drive with one (or less) headlights, they way people honk for EVERYTHING, the way people go 4 cars wide at certain places in the road, and so on. However, it isn't the cars or crazy drivers that get me. It is the fact that you can be driving down the ANY road and come across live stock that have taken up residence somewhere in the middle. More than once a week you'll see a guy herding his cattle down the road.  (highways included) OR you'll have days like the above pictures where guys will be leading their horses down roads that are too skinny to pass on...meaning you have to follow behind at HIS pace forever. Then there are the random cows that like to sleep in the middle of your lane because it is just SOOO much more comfortable than anywhere else....and then they refuse to move when you come by. Heck! AND people wonder why I don't drive here! :) 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I had the privilege of spending this past week with my lil sis (of sorts) Emily and Grandma AJ this past week. They spent the week loving on my kiddos and nurturing this heart in ways I didn't even know I was needing it. On top of that they got to meet and fall in love with my Izzy which is ALWAYS special for me. However, I would have to say one of my favorite moments with them was during one of their first days here. We went down the road to one of our neighbors homes and made corn tortillas. We got to walk through the entire process start to finish. We rolled the dough, flattened them out, placed them on the "stove" and took them off and placed them in the basket. As you can see from the second picture we weren't so great at regulating the size of our tortillas. None the less it was great fun. AND they weren't just any tortillas ....they are the tortillas that we buy for Casa each day! :) It was a fun experience for sure and one I loved sharing with Em and AJ!