Friday, December 31, 2010


Today we headed out to one of my favorite villages, Nuevo Oriental, to set up a clothing store. We took all of the clothing, blankets, shoes, etc that were donated by people back home and organized it in a building in the village. It is kind of like a glorified yard sale. We organize the clothing on tables and then allow the people that live there to enter and "shop" for stuff. We charged 20 Lemps ($1) for 10 items. They then could sort through and find the type/size of clothing that they wanted and then purchase those items. We have found that by accepting their money for the items they are able to keep a level of dignity and they have a sense of ownership. We then take the money that we make from the clothing sales and donate it back to the local feeding center. We ended up making $140.

We were also able to play with the kiddos all day. That village has a TON of children. Which is of course one of the main reasons I LOVE it there.

We played duck, duck, goose and tug-a-war.

We walked around and helped the people shop. The line to get into the place was SOOO long!

We ate at Carnitas tonight for dinner. I clearly enjoyed the food! :) I think that because I'm only here for a week it is acceptable to gorge myself on food because I soon won't be able to eat these delicious meals! The restaurant makes some of the best food I've eaten in this country.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today we headed to my friend Amber's ministry. She started feeding homeless people a meal out of the back of her truck. She would drive from spot to spot feeding them food and building a relationship with them. About 6 months ago she began renting a building in one of the sketchier areas of town. The building is HUGE and Amber has huge dreams for the location. It needs a lot of TLC but it is an amazing project. They have already opened the doors and are allowing some of the homeless community sleep in the rooms. They are now feeding 4 days a week out of the front room and they have church service every Sunday morning in the building.

Our team spent the day painting rooms. Building benches to be used as seating for their church services and scrubbed the entire building clean.

This evening we went back to Amber's to serve food to the homeless. We bought 30 pizzas to distribute as a special treat. They normally get beans and rice so pizza was a welcome change. We ended up having way more pizza than we needed so we loaded the extras on the bus and started driving the streets looking for people to give some to. We didn't have to go far before we found people sleeping on the streets or families walking around. We would pull over and ask if they wanted pizza. At one point the kids we gave pizza to started jumping around and cheering. A piece of pizza made their night......I was humbled to tears.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The team is finally all together! woot woot! The remaining 5 of us flew in today.

The team spent the morning at an orphanage called the "Mother Teresa home." Our teams have been going to this orphanage for the last couple years and I just love it there. The facility is far from luxurious and they are way under-staffed. However, the place is run with love and kindness. The kids have their basic needs met but due to the under-staffing most of the kids aren't loved on nearly as often as what they should be. Our teams love going there and spending a few precious hours doing just that....devoting our time to simply showing them God's love for them.

After the Mother Teresa Home the team headed to the city dump. Over 1,200 people (men, women, AND children) call the dump home. They find shelter in the scraps of cardboard or plastic they find and they make entire meals out of the "trash" that the rest of us throw out. The team took beans, rice, tortillas, and water out to the dump and served a warm meal to those living there. For most of those people it will be the only warm meal they get all week.

After handing out the meal our team put on a make shift carnival at the dump. We had games, prizes, popcorn, cotton candy, and so much more. The kids LOVED it.

Our final stop was Bencaleth. It is a special needs orphanage. For those of you who have followed my blog over the years you've heard me speak of my Izzy. Jen and I found Izzy nearly 3 years ago dying on the side of a mountain. She has come a long way since then and is now living in this special needs orphanage. It was the perfect way spend my first day in the country! The team spent time pushing the kids around in their wheel chairs. Much to the kids delight Mike insisted upon playing bumper wheel chairs. Some of our group was content to simply sit talking to the kids.


We made it safely. The team is finally all together. I'll post more later when we get back for the night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

And so it begins

We woke up at 2:00 this morning and headed for the airport. With everyone being on Christmas break people were flying from all over. Myself and 2 others were going from Columbus, 14 people were flying from Canton, 1 from Providence, 1 from Kentucky, 1 from Nashville, 2 from Pittsburgh, etc.

When I arrived at the airport I found that our flight had been delayed and that I wouldn't make it to Atlanta in time to make my connecting flight. As I began questioning the people at the Delta counter they gave me a number to call to work it all out. So I got on the phone and began what would be an hour long phone conversation in pursuit of a solution. I had a wonderful and friendly lady on the other end and she did her best to accommodate myself and the other 2 with me. However, no matter what she did there was just no way that they 3 of us could get to Honduras before Wednesday. We could fly out today and go to Atlanta but the flight out of Atlanta going to Honduras was booked solid tomorrow. So we are having to wait until Wednesday to fly out. I cannot express to you the amount of sadness I am carrying with me right now. I awoke this morning preparing to head to the country that I love so much. I expected to be hugging the necks of those brown people I cherish. Instead I spent 7 hours driving to Columbus, working stuff out, and driving home. And now I wait.....

The girl flying from Providence is delayed until tomorrow. And the two going from Pitt will fly in on Wednesday.

8 of the 14 flying out of Canton made it to Atlanta in time for their connecting flight. The other 6 missed the connecting flight so will be spending the night in the airport tonight and hopefully will make it to Honduras tomorrow.

So as of right now 10 of our 22 are in Honduras. 6 are stranded in Atlanta. And 6 of us will be flying out in the next day or two.

Please continue pray for safe and speedy travels for the team. I'll keep you updated the best I can as things unfold.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Sunday

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

---Philippians 3:12-14

Saturday, December 25, 2010


This years Christmas traditions were much different. My sister and her husband had to go to his family's Christmas the morning of Christmas so we got them that evening.

For the past 24 years I've woken up in my own house, opened gifts, ate an omelet (Daddy makes the best omelets), and then we go to my Aunt Cindy's house to have Christmas with the entire family.

This year my sister and her husband missed out on all that. I'm a tradition girl so this was hard for me to deal with. However, as I sat here surrounded by my family I remembered the importance of this season. It doesn't matter if we get up early and carry on our traditions. What matters is being together as a family. Most people aren't as blessed as I am. God has given me an amazing family and so many other blessings.
Some of my favorite moments of the day were watching Clayton with Grandma. We don't know how much longer she has to live and watching him make memories with her brought tears to my eyes.

Clayton helped EVERYONE unwrap their presents. He bounced from one place to another ripping wrapping paper from packages.
Bob and Whit had this made for my parents. Isn't it amazing.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jack Johnson - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

I just love Jack Johnson and I love this song!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Every year my sister, mom, and I get together and make cookies, fudge, buckeyes, etc. All of the essential Christmas treats! :) This year was no exception. The only difference is that Clayton is now old enough to help. I know I usually don't let it show...but I just adore my nephew! :) He is the greatest gift there is. I love doing the simplest tasks with him so I loved baking with him! He kept running around the kitchen saying "I'm excited" in his two year only little voice. He loves to help in the kitchen. Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE this holiday?

Monday, December 20, 2010


My family and I loaded up into the van tonight and headed to Wheeling to see the lights at Oglebay Park. It is one of those rare moments when we can all (Mom, Dad, Whit, Bob, Clayton, and me) get together. We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel and then drove around looking at the lights. I just LOVE this time of year. I love everything about it.....lights, trees, snow, music, EVERYTHING! We sang Christmas songs and Clayton exclaimed over ALL of the lights. He wanted a picture of everything!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Sunday

"LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago."

---Isaiah 25:1

Saturday, December 18, 2010


"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do,
and liking how you do it."
~Author : Maya Angelou

Friday, December 17, 2010

Honduras donations

Myself and 22 other college age students will be flying to Honduras in just 10 days (December 27). If you would like to donate money or items to our trip you can still do so. We are collecting old clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, towels, etc. Just let me know and I'll make plans to meet up with you to pick up the stuff! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

heavy heart

There are days when Honduras is on my heart even heavier than normal. Today and yesterday have been days like that. Two of the employees at the orphanage where I worked (whom I adore) are going through the loss of their mother. My heart breaks for them and I want more than anything to be there with them through this. I want to be able to alleviate their pain and stress even slightly. Standing on this side of the border is harder than ever on days like this. I'm reposting a blog that Karen posted with the story of what is happening. Please be praying for this sweet family whom I love.

"For about three weeks now two of our employees mother had been admitted to the hospital. She has been through quite a journey. They did not think she was going to make it long upon her entering the hospital. She went into a coma and was hooked up to all sorts of machines. The Dr.'s told them that it was only in Gods hands if she would get better. Well this Sunday she started to move around and talk. Monday they took off the oxygen and she even drank water. Things seemed to be really looking up. Well Tuesday morning she took a down fall fast and was not doing so well.

This morning at 1 we got a phone call from Dilcia saying her mother had passed away. It was the middle of the night and she was all alone and did not even begin to know what to do. Shortly after we got another phone call from Reina sobbing and wanting us to help. They needed us to bring them some money and go get a casket. They do funerals here in Honduras a whole different way. The usually just prepare the bodies themselves and they keep the body at home around all of the family and do an all night vigil and then the next morning they all walk to the cementary to say to their finally good byes and bury them.
Well they did not have a casket and Dorian and I were clueless as to where to look in the middle of the night to buy a casket. Dorian found out from our guard that there was a place in Ojojona and Dorian headed there to see if he could find one. Sure enough he did find someone who would sell him a casket. Then it was off to Hospital Escuela to get the casket to Dilcia so they could get their mom out of the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital they would not let him in since he was not family. Dilcia soon came out and they let him come on in. He went with Dilcia's brother to the morge and got their mother. She was just throw aside on a bed in a plastic bag. They picked up the plastic bag and placed her in the casket.
To make all of this even more frustrating. They found out their mother had passed away yesterday at 4 in the afternoon. The only reason Dilcia knew is because she stood up to look over a wall to see her mom laying in her bed and it was another woman. So Dilcia at 1am asks the doctor where her mom is and they tell her she is dead and she died yesterday at 4!!!!To say all of this those of you who have been here to Honduras and have been to Hosptial Escuela might understand this a little more.Her mother was in the emergency room part in ICU. The family could not be in the room with her. They had to wait in the emergency room. There was someone there 24/7 incase their mom needed something. There has been lots of long nights and days and there still is a long road ahead for their family. Please keep them in your prayers! Anyone who would like to help with funeral costs send me a message!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm home in Ohio again and I get to stay until after Christmas! woot woot! :) I was gotten out of bed by my favorite little boy. The second he walked through the door he was shouting my name and running back to my room to find me. There is NO better way to wake up. After breakfast we headed outside to play in the snow together. He lasted way longer than I thought he would. We were out there for about 45 minutes and when we came in he cried because he wanted to stay out longer! He clearly got my love for snow! :) I can't stay out of the snow. I LOVE it. Snow seriously turns me into a 5 year old all over again I get so giddy about it!
I taught Clayton how to make the perfect snow angel. It was his first snow angel ever and is quite possibly the smallest snow angel ever made! :)

He LOVED it when I threw snow at him. The closer I got it to his face the more he laughed. I also love Molly in the background of this picture as she races back to me with her stick.
My 2 favorite snow buddies! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"Truth is everyones gonna hurt you,
you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
---Bob Marley

Monday, December 13, 2010


I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my friends Christi and James this weekend. And I had not only 1 date but 2. :) They both spoil me more than I deserve. The wedding was perfect and we had a ton of fun at the reception.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Sunday

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

--- 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Project 320

Today I...

Took a shower.
Brushed my teeth.
Filled the coffee pot.
Filled the Christmas tree stand.
Ran the dishwasher.
Ran the washing machine.
Used the toilet.
Washed my hands.
Did some more dishes.
Rinsed salad greens.
Ran baths.
Topped off my iron.
Fed my kids glasses of fresh, clean water.

Water, water, water...

Is it fair that today I whine & worry over trees & toys,
when today 4500 moms just like me are worrying whether their
children will live or die?

Over contaminated water?

When I think about how healthy and safe my family is, I have no worries.
I need nothing.
I am so blessed.

But those other moms need us.
Together, we can relieve some worry.

So a fellow blogger friend of mine is doing an online fundraiser to help raise money to build a well in Africa. Africa is to her what Honduras is to me....its her passion. Her heart song. She goes to bed thinking of the thousands there who are starving or thirsty. She wakes up seeing the faces of children who are caked in dirty because they have no water to bathe in.

She is in fact the same friend who lead me to the shopping site called Water4Christmas that I told you about last week. You know the site I told you ALL to visit and shop from. In case you missed that blog you can still go to the link at and shop! The money raised on that site goes to fund the building of wells in West Africa OR if you are all done with your holiday shopping and you just want to donate towards the project then go to fund a well through charity No one should ever have to go without water. They shouldn't have to worry about sickness or join me in donating towards a good cause!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Live as if your were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.
-- Gandhi

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway. -- Fr. Jerome Cummings

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hard work

We've all heard the some variation of the saying "you've got to work hard to play hard." Well I have experienced first hand what that saying feels like over the past 2 weeks. I was lucky enough to get to spend a week at home with my family for Thanksgiving but arrived back in Virginia Beach last Sunday evening ready to work again. Since that time I've worked NON-STOP! In 11 days time I will have worked a total of 157 hours. Oh yes, you read it right 157 crazy long hours in just 11 days. I fly out Friday morning bright and early to head home for a wedding. However, instead of coming back I get to stay and spend 2 1/2 weeks at home and then 10 days in Honduras! I have the world's best employers. They are far too kind to me. Believe me I realize how rare it is to get so much time off for the holidays and I'm thankful for the chance to spend some much needed time with my loved ones!

However, in the mean time I've had to work my butt off in order to be able to afford so much time off! So I've been working hard so that I could play hard for a month! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sanctus Real - Lead Me

I love this song. Heck I just love this band. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shop with a purpose

Its that time again....when we run around from store to store shopping for everyone on our list. If you are like me you end up WAY over spending in your pursuit of that "perfect gift." Well this Christmas I challenge you to cut down on that spending...or at the very least shop with a purpose. Below are some of my favorite ways to shop with a purpose. I hope you will check out each of them and buy from them instead this holiday season.

The first store I'm going to lead you to is Mi Esperanza. It is a store that I personally shop at multiple times a year. "Mi Esperanza means “My Hope” and began in 2002 with a vision to provide assistance for women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Providing micro-business loans and skills training to women living in extreme poverty does this. Many of the women are single mothers who are supporting their families without any type of assistance or opportunity to change their life circumstances. Their lives are about survival and trying to meet the most basic of needs of life; food, clean water, education, healthcare and shelter. Through Mi Esperanza, women are finding a new sense of hope, self-empowerment and stability. Mi Esperanza brings HOPE to women, young and old, by giving them educational and financial tools that enable them to change their lives and the future of their children." You will LOVE anything you buy from Mi Esperanza and the money you spend will go a long way to help this ministry continue doing the wonderful things they do.

The next "store" I want you to look at is called Water4Christmas. This site is full of an assortment of goodies that you will love. All proceeds go directly to building fresh water wells in Liberia, West Africa. Last year this organization raised enough money to build two wells in Liberia, Africa simply through the goods sold on their site. Help us in beating that goal this year. I was a personal fan of their notecards and journals. There are people all over the world literally dying of thirst....all while we have the convenience of turning on a faucet and getting running water. So this Christmas please join me in shopping so that others can have water. Go check it out!

Please, please, please join me in shopping at these stores or other stores like it this year. It will make your shopping seem so much more purposeful and justified! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Sunday

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me
will never walk in darkness, but will
have the light of life.”

Saturday, December 4, 2010


For the past 6 or 7 years much of what I've done in life has revolved around our little group of friends. Kris, Coz, Michael, Addy, Colby, and I have spent many nights watching movies, going out to eat, having camp outs, going fishing, going mudding, or just hanging out together at one of our houses. I have more memories with these 5 people than I can count. I'm so blessed by each of their friendship. This past summer Michael added to our group by marrying Nikki. Their John Deer themed wedding was the perfect reflection of them. The wedding was outside in the middle of an open field. The entire day was an amazing testimony to their love for God and their love for each other. It all still seems a bit surreal to me when we go out and there are 7 of us instead of our usual 6. We've spent so many years just being the 6 of us that it is going to take some time to get used to. However, I couldn't be happier for Michael and Nikki.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Story of Jonah as Told by The Cutest Little Girl

My friend Anna sent me the link to this video yesterday and I just fell in love with it. This little girl is adorable and hilarious! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lion King

Last night, Jessie (the lady we live with) took us out for a Christmas surprise. We got all dressed up and ate dinner at a really fun little restaurant called Crackers. They actually bring you a little fire pit to your table so you can make smores! After dinner we went to see the Lion King on broadway. The show was amazing! I've seen the movie the Lion King a hundred times and yet I sat captivated the entire show. I could easily get into going to the broadway more often! :)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cold Tangerines

Colby recently gave me the book Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist to read. She had just finished it and couldn't quit raving about it. Well if you know anything about me you know that I love to read. I generally have at least 2 books going at any given time and about 100 more on my shelf that I've bought to read "next." So when Colby handed me this pretty orange book and recommended I read it I could have quite honestly told her I'd get to it after the other 99 that I still had to read. However, for whatever reason I grabbed it and threw it in my bag before leaving for Thanksgiving. I spent almost every night curled up in my bed pouring over the pages of this book. The author, Shauna, is more raw and open than any other author I think I've ever read. She writes about her deepest and darkest moments of life. She gives detailed descriptions of her failures and short comings. And she allows you, the reader, to truly just be honest with who you are because she is being so honest too. It really is quite remarkable. I find myself wanting to sit down with her at a coffee shop somewhere. I can imagine sitting across from her at a table in Starbucks and just chatting like we are old friends....because after reading her book I feel like I know her and I feel like I owe her the same level of honesty she has offered to me. The following quote is from one of my favorite chapters of her book...

"Secrectly, I do absolutely lean on my own understanding. I do it so that I don't feel so out of control and blind to the world, so that I can have a plan and manage my life and not feel like something's coming around the corner that I can't predict and don't have insurance for. I believe in my own ability to figure out my life, and top-secretly I don't want it to be all misty and mysterious. I don't want to say that the future is in God's hands and could go any way He chooses. That sounds terrifying to me. I want guarantees. I want the future in my hands. I want to know what's coming, know what to expect, put away money for it, buy insurance for it, and receive an e mail confirmation."

And here I thought I was the only Christian who felt this way. How often do we each rely on our own understanding? I know I do on a daily basis. God is constantly tapping me on the shoulder saying "remember me? Yea I'm the one who spoke you into existence and if it's all the same to you I'll take over now." So why is it easy for me to speak the words but so much harder for me to convince my head/heart to believe them? I know that life is better when I hand the reins over to God but yet the mere thought of that causes me anxiety. BUT I'm committing to being better at that. Committing to let God lead...even if it means walking blindly through this phase of life.

Oh and if I didn't mention it I really LOVE the book Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist and I think you all should go out and get a copy of her book. I'd loan you mine but I have written all throughout it.....its THAT good! :)