Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rainy night

Like most little kids I used to LOVE spending time at my Grandparent's house. It always seemed like there was more to do there than at home.... and lets face it Grandma ALWAYS spoiled us. I can remember her fixing us bowls of peaches and letting us put whipped cream on it. I can remember all of my cousins and I lining the floor of the living room with our sleeping bags when it came time to go to bed. I can remember playing spoons, hide and go seek, sardines, and other fun games. I can remember how excited we got over the newest "big catch" Grandpa had in the old bathtub in the basement. I can remember Grandpa's famous popcorn that he made with his special popcorn popper. I can remember catching lightening bugs as it got dark and going out searching for night crawlers after a good rain. Ahh the memories. 

I've often thought of how different my life and memories would be if I had been born and raised here. What stories of "Grandma's House" would I have to share with my kids some day? The other night I was once again reminded of just how different this country is from the one I was raised in. It had rained pretty much all evening and was just starting to let up as Mike and I arrived at Steve's house. Eduardo greeted us on the patio (as always) and asked if it was ok that he had "that" hanging from the rafters. I was startled as I turned to find out "that" was a big old crab. Apparently after it rains here kids go hunting for crabs instead of night crawlers. It makes me think twice about walking around barefoot in the dark! I was even more surprised when Eduardo told me that if you hang the crabs up like that all night they will be dead by morning and can be used to make a "really good crab soup!" 

Oh the differences between here and home.... I'm just thankful my Grandpa loved using the night crawlers as fishing bait instead of trying to make a soup with them! 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Auntie Ashley

I'm not sure how many of you know this. I haven't taken the time to fully celebrate it on my blog but ......MY SISTER IS PREGNANT!!! She is due one month from today. (Sept. 30th) My Dad's birthday is the 4th, my birthday is the 19th, Moms is the 21st, and Kelsey's is the 30th .... so we are all just holding our breath seeing when she actually has it. Regardless of when it comes I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNT. Yippee Skippee for that. It is some of the best news I've ever received. I'm be sure to post all kinds of pictures once the stinker gets here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Miss Katty

How this little one can look so stinkin innocent in photos yet act so ornery ALWAYS is beyond me! :) 


Yet another last friday of the month has come and gone. For these kiddos that day doesn't just signify that another month has passed it means that they get to go visit their mommas. (at least they hope) This morning was no different. They each woke up bright and early and the first thing out of most of their mouths was "I get to visit my mom today!" So we hurried around doing morning stuff (devotional, breakfast, getting dressed, etc.) and piled in the van. We made the hour trip to the city where the moms who were coming would be waiting. As we pulled up to the gate we saw Fanny (Brayan's mom) outside waiting. The rest of the kids held their breath hoping their moms were either already inside or just running a little bit late. However, as the morning wore on it became evident that Fanny would be the only one to show. The kids did their best to mask their disappointment. It is even more sad that they seemed to be getting used to and better at dealing with their moms not showing. They've accepted the fact that most months their parents will disappoint them and instead simply savor those rare months when they do show up. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Take the good with the bad

So I have good news and bad news... the good news is MY LICE IS GONE! woot woot. Dilcia checked my head today can gave me a clean report. (pun intended) However, the bad news is that although I'm no longer itching because of lice.... I'm now itching because I have scabies or some scabies like rash funk going on. Our kids have all gotten some kind of a fungus from Rosita but Dilcia claims my junk looks different. The other day while in the mountain village I held a baby that we discovered had Scabies. Jen and Sam took the baby to the doctor to get cream to heal it but I had already loved all over the little guy. So... I'm not 100% sure what it is .... but whatever it is needs to go away. 

For those of you who know little about Scabies let me enlighten you on what Wikipedia had to say... 

Scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, variety hominis, as shown by the Italian biologist Diacinto Cestoni in the 18th century. It produces intense, itchy skin rashes when the impregnated female tunnels into the stratum corneum of the skin and deposits eggs in the burrow. The larvae, which hatch in 3-10 days, move about on the skin, molt into a "nymphal" stage, and then mature into adult mites. The adult mites live 3-4 weeks in the host's skin. The action of the mites moving within the host's skin and on the skin itself produces an intense itch which may resemble anallergic reaction in appearance. The presence of the eggs produces a massive allergic response which, in turn, produces more itching."

Sounds fun huh? My favorite part is that they refer to me (or others who have scabies) as "the host." As if I invited these little guys in for dinner and am enjoying their company! I mean really! So yea .... I'm done with the lice but I've moved onto something even better! I've become so desperate to be done with the pain and itching that I willing rubbed a plant all over my body tonight before showering.... all because one of our Honduran workers promised it was a sure proof way to get rid of it. That was a good 6 hours ago and I STILL AM NOT SEEING ANY RESULTS! Heck!

We miss Papi Mike

Jen, Sam, Mike, and I got up way early Tuesday morning to head for the San Pedro airport. Once there we got Mike all checked in and made sure he was set for his flight before saying our goodbyes. I had spent the previous couple of days watching him say good bye to the kids and other friends he has made in this country. Each and every one was heartfelt and difficult in its own way. When I got back to Casa after seeing Mike off the kids all wanted to know where he was. Some insisted on knowing when he would be back while others simply refused to believe he was gone. He had certainly made his impact on their hearts and in their lives. He spent HOURS playing with them, loving on them, cuddling with them, chasing them, holding them, and yes playing on the trampoline with them. They each grew to have a special bond with him and they each are taking his departure differently. However, no matter how they are dealing with it we each can agree on one thing... we miss his presence. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike!

Today I had the privilege of celebrating Mike's 24th birthday with him. How appropriate that just a day after Daniela's birthday her "Papi" would celebrate his own birthday! We spent the day hanging out in one of my favorite villages in Honduras. It was a village that Mike got to spend a day in while here in March so he enjoyed getting to see some of the same kiddos as before. We were able to hand out some blankets/toys and simply spend the day loving on the kiddos there. It was a blast. We then went shopping and out to eat..... where we indulged ourselves in one of the best desserts in all of Honduras! All in all it was a fun day... in my mind at least.... (lets hope the birthday boy thought so as well.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Daniela's Birthday

 Today was Daniela's "3rd Birthday." For those of you who know Daniela or for those of you who simply counted the number of candles on her cake you know she is far older than 3! Heck if she is 3 she is the smartest and biggest 3 year old I've ever met! Yet her Honduran birth certificate clearly states that she was born on August 24th, 2005! Worse yet... when we tried to get it changed we were told it wouldn't be quite that easy. We would have to just wait. As my friends would say TIH. (This is Honduras) :) In truth Daniela turned 6 today. Happy Birthday Daniela! 

Why yes we do have lice

We are once again fighting off a lice out break. Cindy and SiSi have had it and just recently Dilcia checked my head and found a few of those critters in my hair as well. I mean I only have a few but just the knowing that there is even one of those things in my hair makes me itch uncontrollably. Oh the joys! :) In case you are wondering why the above pictures show our children with bags on their heads....... we have become quite experienced at killing lice and have found that one sure way is to soak their hair in listerine and then cover that with a bag for 2 hours. The lice literally began to suffocate and try to escape so that when you peel the bag away they are plastered to the inside of the bag! It is amazing really! 


Have you ever lost something important... keys, a purse, or a wallet? Before a few weeks ago I was able to say I had NEVER lost such a thing. I had gone with the guys into the city to watch them play soccer. On our way home we ran by KFC to grab something to eat for dinner. I had Ms. Izzy with me so balancing her and my wallet became quite the challenge. Therefore, when Carlos asked if he could take food home to him mom I told him to just grab the money himself and go order something. I remember him coming back and showing me the receipt and change as he asked me where I wanted the money. I told him to simply put it back in my wallet.... what I forgot to mention was that I would like to have my wallet put back in my purse. 

The next day as I began searching for my wallet I realized that it was missing. Putting two and two together I figured Carlos must have simply laid my wallet beside my purse instead of putting in back inside. Meaning when I scooped Izzy and my purse up as we left .... I didn't see the neglected wallet we were leaving behind. 

My mind immediately went to the $400 in cash that I had just stuck in my wallet after getting refunded for a refrigerator that didn't work. Just as quickly my thoughts shifted to my debit cards and charge cards that were also in that wallet. As the realization of the loss sunk in I grabbed for my phone so that I could start placing calls to have my cards blocked. However, in the chaos of the end of the Friday work day some how the people at the bank didn't get my card blocked until the following Monday. 

We never would have found that our and it wouldn't have been a problem except for the tiny fact that as Tuesday morning came around my mom got a call saying that my card had been used. By the time the week was out my card had been used almost 20 times to total over $2000. 

So I'm now having to try and fill out paperwork, get police reports, and all kinds of junk in order so that I can begin the process of disputing the charges. It is sad to say that having that much stolen all but cleaned out my bank account... leaving me all but broke! The money thing will work itself out and even the hassle of getting a new card, license, etc. is bearable. 

It is the stuff that I had IN the wallet that has been the hardest to lose. You know.... business cards, social security cards, phone numbers, etc. that you go to your purse to get before realizing that they too were in the wallet that is now gone. Every business card of doctors, lawyers, social workers, and anyone else I've met since getting here were in that wallet. Contacts that I'm now needing to rely on are gone forever. Not to mention the fact that my passport number and social security number were both in there so I have that to worry about. Ahh.... so difficult! 

Yet throughout this entire mess God has continually reminded me is just stuff .... and stuff can be replaced. I can get new debit cards and I can find the numbers to the contacts I need. I can even go in and get my picture retaken and get a new license... even if getting a new one pains me because I did actually liked the picture on the license that was stolen! The fact remains.... they are things. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Built upon a rock

The wise man built his house upon a rock
The wise man built his house upon a rock
The wise man built his house upon a rock
And the rain came tumbling down

The rain came tumbling down and the floods came up
The rain came tumbling down and the floods came up
The rain came tumbling down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood firm

The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
And the rain came tumbling down

The rain came down and the floods came up
The rain came down and the floods came up
The rain came down and the floods came up

And the house on the sand went splat!

Our kiddos sing that song almost every morning during Devotional. I've come to love hearing them sing the words.... and even more than that I've come to love the meaning behind the words. The picture above is a church in Santa Ana that has literally been built on a huge rock. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008


If you’ve followed my blog over the last year and a half you have read post after post about the heart wrenching lifestyle that comes with living here. You’ve listened (read) as I poured out this heart of mine; and through prayer, words of encouragement, and support you’ve shouldered some of the burden that I carry. The fact of the matter is there are just some days here that are harder than others. There are days that seem like they’ll never end and there are nights when my nightmares chase me into morning.
Sunday was just like that. Jen, Gina, David, Sam, Mike, and I were driving down Suyapa Blvd. (one of the main roads in the heart of Honduras’ capital city: Tegucigalpa) when suddenly a girl fell from the bus ahead of us. We watched in horror as her head struck the ground and her body rolled across the ground before stopping in the middle of our lane of traffic. Jen had barely stopped the car before David and Mike had flung their doors open and ran to the girls now limp form.
The bus driver pulled over and people began streaming off to see what they could do. By the time I got out of the car and near the scene there were more than a dozen people surrounding the girl. David had stripped off his shirt to use on the girl and was leaning over her trying to access the situation. Mike pulled back long enough to tell me she was bleeding quite a lot from her head. The look on his face was enough to tell me I should just stand back.
As everyone searched for a way to help the girl they began to debate whether to call an ambulance or not. I’m sure you are each wondering why the heck that would even be a debate… of course we should call an ambulance. However, things here are much much much different than they are in the states. Since there are only a handful of ambulances in the whole city it can take FOREVER for one to get there. Before the debate got too out of control Jen insisted that we would take the girl to the hospital. So without faltering the guys scooped the girl up to put her in our car.
With no other option and little hesitation I climbed across the seat to help them lift her into the car. Cradling her head in my lap I did the only thing I knew to do…. I prayed. As we made the trek to the hospital I allowed my eyes to take in the sight of her. Her body was covered in scrapes and scratches. There was blood coming from her nose and mouth….. so much so that she kept choking. She had lost both of her shoes in the ordeal and her shirt was disheveled. Yet the thing that grabbed my attention then and has haunted me since were her eyes. They were filled with the deepest look of desperation and fear that I’ve ever seen. They kept rolling around in her head as she searched for help.
Jen pulled into the hospital and within seconds the boys had (what seemed liked) effortlessly lifted her from the seat and onto a metal “gurney.” We got her wheeled into the ER and stepped back as the doctors took over.
They asked that all but one of us leave the ER area so Jen stayed with the girl while the rest of us retreated to the entry way. Once there Gina began using the girls cell phone in an attempt to find someone, anyone, that might know and be able to identify the girl. After 30 -45 minutes of fruitless calling Gina finally reached the sister of the girl. Shortly after that the girls brother and sister showed up and confirmed that it was indeed their sister. They told us her name was Betty Garcia and she was 17 years old. We all felt much better knowing she was being surrounded by familiar faces. After reassuring us that they were capable of paying for treatments and testing we left the hospital with a promise to call the following day. True to our word Gina called early Monday morning and found out that Betty had passed away around 1 in the morning. Her parents hadn’t made it to the hospital before she died. Please pray for Betty’s family. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for them.


While we were at Hospital Escuela the other day I ran into a little boy named Mario. When I say ran into I mean that very literally. Unlike most little ones on the streets he wasn't standing at my door begging or trying to find food. He was simply just walking along the sidewalk as I got out of my car and I nearly hit him with the door. 

I began asking him his name and making small talk. I had just bought a case of Apple Juice so I offered him a can. After thanking me he asked if he could have one for his grandma and sister. Before I knew it I found out he was 8 years old and lived with his grandma and his 6 year old sister Karen. His mom had left them to go to the states and his dad had ran out on them when Mario was really little. He went on to tell me how his father had cut off his finger. As he finished his painful story he held up his left hand to show me that he was indeed missing his pointer finger. From there I learned that he was out in front of the hospital because his sister was really sick and was on the third floor of the hospital. He was down on the street getting medicine for his sister. 

We continued talking as I made him a couple of peanut butter sandwiches (from the supplies we had just bought for the dump) and dug out a couple of stuffed bears and a blanket to give to him. For whatever reason our hearts bonded quickly and I fell for a little boy who I just happened to meet. Before climbing back in the car I wrapped my arms around him and Sam and I prayed for him and his family. As we drove away he was visibly holding back the tears that were threatening to spill out. 

Pray for little Mario. He is an 8 year old who, because of circumstances beyond his control, has been forced to grow up and take on the role of someone twice his age. Pray for his sister, Karen, as she lies in a hospital bed fighting to get better. Pray for their grandma who I'm sure does her very best to take care of them both. And pray that I don't ever stop meeting and falling in love with little kids that God brings into my path.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Last Wednesday we got a call from the 5 brothers saying that Francisco had fallen out of the pila and hurt his arm. They called back late Friday to tell us he had been to a doctor and the doctor thought it could possibly be broken. So Jen, David, Sam, Mike, and I drove up the mountain to pick him up. Of course we couldn't just take one of them so we loaded all of them up (including Johny their oldest brother) and headed back to Teguc. While the rest of us spent Saturday moving dirt Jen spent the day at the hospital with Francisco. We came to find out that he had broken not one but two bones in his arm and they had waited too long to get him anywhere so the bones had started to mend themselves. They ended up having to put him asleep so that they could re-break and set his arm. He is supposed to wear his cast for 4 weeks. 


There are days when it just feels good to go out and work... I mean really labor and sweat. This past Saturday was like that. For those of you that read Jen's blog you know about the family she helped this past April. The mom had just had a baby but the baby died and the mom was in bad shape. Jen and some others spent the day with her at the hospital and have been investing in her world since. We all took food out to them just recently and while there the husband mentioned that he was going to start building a new home for his family. Knowing he would be working alone we volunteered to come back and help. So Saturday we showed up with tools in hand to begin leveling and moving dirt to prepare the land. Let me tell you we worked HARD and moved a TON of dirt. It wasn't like at home where you bring in a huge piece of machinery and scoop up the dirt with one swipe. We moved the dirt with shovels and 5 gallon buckets. We then would carry it off the property to the river bank and dump it there. We spent a good 5 hours or so working but it was great. The ground is pretty much ready now so that we can start the building process. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Dump

Ok ok ok. I know most of you have probably spent the last week checking my page almost daily as you waited for my newest blog to appear. I'm sure more than one of you got frustrated when days began to pass with no blogs. So.... let me just go on record for saying a big I'M SORRY. Mike and I spent the last week away from Casa. We had the opportunity to see other parts of Honduras as well spend our days serving the people of this country in different ways. For the remainder of the month I promise to attempt to put up 10 or more blogs updating you on what we have been up to and exactly what God has been doing in my heart. 

Today we spent a good hour or so feeding the hundreds of people that work/live within the cities dump. I've blogged before about the conditions of the dump and just how heart wrenching that entire situation is. It still hurts me to drive in and hand out one sandwich and a bag of water to people who get most of their meals from the garbage that people like me are throwing away. It hardly seems fair or adequate. It hurts me to sit in my car and watch men, women, children, cattle, dogs, and birds not only co-existing within the same small space but also fighting over the same bags of trash. It hurts me to see their small houses or coverings that they created to shield themselves and their families.  Yet with no better solution we know that giving them something and spending time investing even an hour into their lives is better than nothing. So we sat last night making almost 300 peanut butter sandwiches. We then combined the sandwiches with a bag of water to provide "lunch" for them. 

Monday, August 11, 2008





Friday, August 8, 2008

The gang

There you have it... that's all 13 kiddos living at Casa! :) 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

God's Humor

If you've ever doubted that God does indeed have a sense of humor let me just tell you .... HE DOES! I absolutely HATE birds. More than that I especially hate chickens. They are dirty, filthy, unpredictable, disease ridden animals .... and they scare the crap out of me! So what does God do... He moves me out of the states and to what often feels like the Chicken capital of the world. NO matter where you go or where you look there are ALWAYS chickens running around. More than that they run on there own time schedule. They don't seem to know the difference between morning and night as they spend ALL night and ALL day crowing as if the sun were coming up. So again.... if you need proof that God has a sense of humor remember that he moved this bird hating girl to a country with more birds than people! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pulperia run

For those of you who know me you know that I LOVE ice cream. There are few desserts that I enjoy more! So lately I've spent time taking the kiddos to the local pulperia (family owned stories) for ice cream sandwiches. It is a chance for us to go for a walk off property and is a special treat for them if they behave for the day. I love how excited they get over such a small thing as ice cream. It is humbling for sure!