Saturday, July 31, 2010

Garyn's Birthday


Garyn was 3 a week ago. I still haven't really soaked it all up since we've had so much going on.

He has certainly gotten an attitude lately. He tells us to "Stop it" & "Quit doing that" although sometimes he will throw in a please. He has soo many little cute sayings now, though. For instance, he says "I'm stuckn it" = "I'm stuck", ""Can you make it so very loud?", & he often tells me everything is "a bery kinda beautiful."

I love it all. I love his little phrases; his new found independence; his interest in anything technological; and the fact that he still wants his momma sometimes. I was thinking the other day about how heavy he was when he wanted me to carry him. I even told him he was a big boy and he could walk. But then I thought, you know I will carry him for as long as he wants and I can, because all too soon, he will be pushing me away. Don't get me wrong, he walks most of the time.....

Moving on, the party went well. It was our first at a different location. There are pros and cons I will say, the main thing being air conditioning! Any who, no one had a heat stroke and I'm sure all the kids took great naps! The theme was Toy Story. He is really into Buzz and Woody. Surprisingly, he has taken up trains again while puzzles have taken the back burner. Wii is still the biggest hit!

Here are some pics................

He was singing "Happy Birthday" to himself here.
One of his favorite gifts!
Boys are so funny crowding around to "help" open presents
We had a "3" pinata. Of course, I got pics of every child hitting it but the birthday boy! I have some before pics of him standing with it and this one....oh well



Sunday, July 18, 2010

We Will Remember....

I love the song We Will Remember. (I would love for you to go and listen to this song) On the way home yesterday, I was thinking about all I had seen and learned. That song kept coming to me and seemed to be a great blog idea....

Today has been an eye opening day to top off this eye opening week I had in Honduras. 
God has been opening my eyes to a lot lately.

 To start it off, I have finished Crazy Love. I would recommend the book and have had some similar books recommended to me that I want to read next. But that's another subject.
Living an intentional life is the lesson I took from the book. Not allowing yourself to be "luke warm" and complacent as a Christian, yet do God's will for your life. Do whatever it takes to do what you feel moved to do despite what our society may say or think about it. I was convicted by this and had begun to pray for God's will to be laid on my heart.

Then, I left for Honduras where I saw such poverty yet faith. Every Christian there, as far as I can tell, "walks by faith, not by sight" as 2 Cor. 5:7 encourages us to do. All of the staff, the many children, the volunteers that come, and even the sponsers of the children must have faith that God will provide them their next meal; that He will keep them safe; and/or that He will stretch their love across the world to the kids. Comprehending this concept is tiring when you first arrive. I have many blessings and have many family members to lean on. They were all from the Lord, but I don't give Him the credit always. However, they have very little and must have faith that God will provide at the Orphanage.

I want to remember these lessons God has taught me and change things in my life that hinder me to live in God's will and by faith. I will remember a lot more, as well. 

All the wonderful smiles the children give you when you just ask them their name or give them a hug.....






The love I felt for many children, especially Rosa..... 

The stress Brent and Bettye were feeling about the appointments to bring Azucena home and the sheer relief when things fell into place miracously......


The many friends I made on the trip. I left hardly knowing 2 people, but had faith that I would make friends and feel comfortable with my travel mates.......



The spanish lessons we had with our cooks. They always kept us laughing........


Playing Phase 10 with my new friends that also had us all laughing......

The worshipping children during the church services and their morning circles.........




Seeing my first pig slaughter, I won't ever forget that.....

(I will spare you from the pictures, trust me)

My time in the clinic, I felt nervous about it beforehand, not knowing what I would be doing or if I would remember pediatric nursing, but God handled that and I felt at ease......



I won't forget seeing Rosa's tears the night before I left or the feeling of my own heart breaking for her.....


I also will not forget this morning's church service where a lot of things came into place for me. Remember how I said I had been thinking about We Will Remember and this blog post? Well, low and behold we sang that song in church today. I teared up and knew God wanted me to remember this trip.
I also started thinking of things in my life that hinder me from living God's will. I started writing them on the bulletin and showed them to Tyler. I was saying how Crazy Love and the trip were showing me areas that I needed to change in order to live in God's will.
All the while, Pastor Dooley was speaking and I wasn't really hearing him but then as if his microphone was turned up, I heard him talking about how to live in God's will. He was speaking on how God will show you His will for your life through events and feelings and on His own time. I really started tearing up then. It was a wonderful moment to know that the ideas and thoughts I had been having over the last week were of God. He was making me aware of areas that I had become complacent and afraid to step out on faith.
Furthermore, not but 5 minutes ago, in the middle of me writing this post. My father n' law was here and I was telling him about my trip. Not knowing anything about my day or this post, he even said " So they really live by faith there." Just another statement that reinforced what God is showing me to do.

Friends, our God is amazing. I hope you know Him and are able to trust Him.
I can't wait to return to Orphanage Emmanuel and see Rosa again. If God wants us to, he will provide the way.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Triste o feliz


I can't decide whether to be sad or happy....triste o feliz
Today was my last day here at Orphanage Emmanuel. I can't wait to see my boys!
This is the longest I have been away from Garyn and I am going to squeeze and kiss him endlessly tomorrow! Tyler, too
Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder

That statement is two fold now for me. Rosa will be in my heart now forever. I still hardly know her, but I am already anticipating the next time I will get to come see her. Today was hard for her which in turn became hard for me. After lunch, I tried to talk to her and she was ignoring me. Tonight at dinner, she didn't want to come to me and then went in a corner and was crying. Her friends cheered her up some, but she still had tears. Therefore, I began to cry. I just couldn't stand to see someone that has very few friends and no real family, cry because I was leaving. It broke my heart.

This was her pose most of the night. She didn't want to look or talk to me. I eventually got some smiles out of her. It made me so happy to see her smile.....
(this wasn't from tonight though)




I told her to pray that we will be able to return in February. I hope she gets back into school. If not, I will still be coming to see her and love her.
So today was a sad yet happy day saying goodbye. I will be sad yet happy tomorrow, too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Honduras Contd.

Life here at the Orphange has been well. I feel humbled and grateful for all I have at my disposable. Tyler asked me today what did I miss besides he and Garyn. I said, "Really just you guys." Of course, with time I would miss others and some things, but I have been thinking more simplistic. I mean, makeup, hair, clothes, shoes are not important here. Well let me say that they are important, they mean a lot to the kids, but they are just thrilled to have them. They don't get "new" shoes and clothes every season. They don't have different shoes to match their outfits. When their hair is clean and lice free, it is in much better condition than at one point of their life. Straightening and coloring is no where in their vocabulary. The pastor I am with and his wife may be taking a girl they have been sponsoring for awhile home next week on a student visa. I asked them if she had any of her own clothes to take back. They weren't sure but have sent her some over the years. They brought a small carry-on size bag for her belongings. She may not even fill that bag. So to say I have felt self centered and materialistic since being here is an understatement. I hope I can remember this when I get home and change my way of thinking.

 We are still working in the clinic assessing children about 5 hours of the day. So far we have seen about 80 children in 3 days. We have cleaned lots of bug bites and ears. We had two lice treatments today and it really may not do too much good since all the girls share things. We did have a child with a candy wrapper or something in his ear. I did not attempt to remove it. So we will see if they get to it tomorrow. I enjoy working with them. We will probably only do it one more day and then try to do some activities with the kids one day.

And to finish off the day, we went to the warehouse to unload the container truck that came. Yesterday one came from California with rice, flour and beans. Today it was the one from Chattanooga with many moon pies. I mean come on, you have got to have your food pyramid covered! There were thousands on the truck. The kids usually eat one in the morning with their cereal. Unloading the container is a big event here. It was all quite humurous really. The older boys that help unload love to jump on top of it at the front gate....

I now know what I will do with the yard sale items in my garage. Tyler will be so happy to get rid of them, and I will feel good knowing they will go to a good cause. The container had some furniture, refridgerator, microwave, piano, and overhead projectors for the school. Plus many other clothes and food items. The volunteers that come for the summer also get packages and were excited for that. Its almost like a monthly Christmas. The bottom picture is their warehouse that houses extra food, clothes, toys and furniture.

Well before I go, I need for you to pray for my return home. Right now the airport is saying they are closed to repair the runway until Monday. We are supposed to be flying out Saturday. We have heard that they could have it done earlier, but we don't know. The closest airport is an 8-11 hour drive depending on road conditions (most roads here are dirt and during the rainy season, which is now, they are very bumpy and washed away). I know by then I will really miss my boys! It is bitter sweet, though, because if they were here I could stay an extra few days. But anyhow, pray that God keeps us all content while His will is done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Friends

I have been making lots of new amigos today. I worked in the clinic doing assessments on kids. There is a medical clinic here and 2 nurses on staff. Doctors come periodically and the nurses take children into the capital when something is urgent. Otherwise, ear infections and rashes just get treated here. We were doing a basic assessment and flagging children that  need meds. Rebekah that is on the trip is in nursing school. She is Pastor Brent's son's girlfriend. The two of us did the assessments while others weighed and transported the kids. We started with the toddlers and then after lunch did the middle aged boys. We worked a total of 4-4.5 hours and saw 31 kids. So I got to make lots of new friends! I am also learning lots of Spanish and trying to remember it all. The kids kknow a fair amount of English, too, so they have no trouble getting what they want.


We had to finish early because the children have bible study in the afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays. We went down to the middle aged girls (8-11). They are so small here so they look about 7. I met lots of new friends and they all wanted their picture taken.

Aren't they so beautiful and photogenic. They say foto and then take your camera from you so they can look at themselves. I have plenty more but can't get them download fast enough.
Tomorrow will be the same most likely. It feels good to be helping somehow.
I was able to talk to Tyler last night through facebook. It was very nice to have some type of contact with him. Hopefully, we can skype sometime. But I know Saturday will be here quick and I will miss being here.

I leave you with some beautiful pictures of the Orphanage. The last is our house of residence.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Honduras!

Well I’m here in Honduras!


I had a good flight and didn’t get too motion sick. I mainly just had a head ache that wasn’t gone until this morning. My company on the plane was great. I was between two Hondurans; one has been in America the last 30 years and the other illegally came to America for the last 6 years and knew little English. Long story short, I heard both of their stories over the 3 ½ hour flight. ( I think I got about 20 mins to snooze)

The American-Honduran to my right, that spoke fluent English, has started a children rescue mission and comes to Honduras 6 times a year. He is a Christian that felt called to leave his job 6 years ago and work full time to bring mission groups over to minister, feed children and seniors and hopefully start an orphanage. He asked me my testimony and encouraged me in my walk. I did the same for him. After I told him about Orphanage Emmanuel, he was feeling down about what he was doing; that it was inadequate in comparison. I really encouraged him in that what he was doing was so much more than anyone else is doing for those kids. He gave me a list of prayer requests and his website to keep in touch. To the left, was the man working in America for 6 years and hadn’t seen his wife and 4 children during that time. He was returning home after working to make money for a tractor or possibly to start a business. Though we didn’t speak the same language, his excitement radiated off of him. I couldn’t imagine not seeing Tyler or Garyn for 6 years! I really felt God placed me in that seat, I was humbled and more prepared when the plane landed.

  Once in the capital and driving to where the Orphange is, I was attempting to comprehend the views in a third world country. Extremes of nice hotels and malls to small homes, no, shacks on top of each other. You could literally take 4-5 pieces of plywood and build yourself a better home than these. You could see the people inside them eating, changing, children playing on dirt floors, clothes stacked on the floor (a stack that would fit in one laundry basket), and then you would see a mall the size of Northgate. So basically I needed Tyler there to explain to me why there was such poverty, but yet enough economy to support a mall.

  Anyway, on to the more fun stuff.....

  I met Rosa once we got here while she was eating dinner. It was a weird feeling, kinda like  the feeling you have after meeting your newborn child. I had known of her, known a little about what she liked and had already felt love towards her before meeting her. Then when I met her; there was excitement but yet I didn't know her hardly at all and couldn't speak to her! She is doing good, not in school anymore and says she is bored here. Mainly like a typical 14 year old, she acted out in school and since they can't force her to go to school after 6th grade, she isn't anymore. But she really wanted to know where Tyler was and if I could call him so that she could talk to him. I told her I wished I could talk to him! I thought it was sweet though that she wanted me to tell him she loved him. I got to see her room where she has the picture we sent of the 3 of us on her bed. She and her friends giggle and laugh a lot, saying who knows what. They want to hold my hands, play with my hair and take pictures. We have also looked at and watched every picture and video on my phone of Garyn and Tyler. Here are some of the pictures they have taken.




Church was great this morning. I almost cried about three times. I loved the girls singing and raising their hands. The fact that they have a home, food and people that love them was a little overwhelming. We sang some songs that I wish I could remember the words to, but they really spoke to me.

Well it is almost dinner time so I will try to write again. Rosa just got here and is able to eat dinner with me tonight. Today wasn't very busy so I don't know if I will have time the other days.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beach Trip

Myrtle Beach was great! Here are some pictures and stories to showcase our wonderful time with family.

The first night, we were there just the three of us. It was nice to have a little start to the vacation alone. We went to play gooney golf, Garyn's new favorite. He does a pretty good job. His strategy is to hit it a few times then pick it up and put it right next to the hole and then hit it in. :)

This is a video of Garyn, Tyler and Lorna in the lazy river.
video
The lazy river was Garyn's favorite by far. Most of the time he didn't use the tubes. He could reach the bottom and "bounced" along on his own. For the first few days, he would say "I wanna go bounce like a bunny rabbit." then he finally caught on that it was called the lazy river.

It was short but nice because I could lounge while we all took turns in there with him. This is Pop and Ryan (Lorna's friend). This particular turn had a forceful current that pulled him under easily.
The crew that went was: us 3, my dad, brother and sister n' law, their two kids plus my niece's friend Ryan. Total was 9, which as always makes for a fun trip with everyone staying in the same place for a week!
Garyn liked the beach better this year. Although, he still only liked it for maybe an hour or two. The biggest problem was the sun and he refused to wear a hat or sunglasses.
I even tried to make sand castles with him.....again, I tried


Lorna and Ryan helped keep him busy in the water jumping waves. He would keep grabbing their hands to take him back out. They loved every word and move he made!
The boy ate like crazy on this trip. He would hit everyone up for food when they were eating. Then every time we went to the beach he wanted peanut butter crackers in his wagon. He wouldn't look at me because of the sun.

Another treat was that the Cobbles and Slaughters were just 15 minutes away part of the week! We went out to eat with them and then hung out on the beach half a day with them. Garyn enjoyed the beach more having buds to play with. Here is Eli, Brayden and Garyn filling a hole with water.
The next day back at our place, Garyn played better after learning some skills from his buds!
The last day came too quick as always! We ran out for some quick family pictures before going out to dinner.
This is Garyn's favorite spot with daddy!

We watched some guys playing corn hole all week from the deck, and finally on the last night, we joined. My brother had never played and really liked it. It was great that everyone could enjoy it.

The trip was great. It was my first time to Myrtle and we plan to go back next year.
We feel so blessed that my dad gives us this trip and we can spend quality time with everyone.

Well, my next post will be from Honduras, if I can get some good internet service! Pray for a safe trip for me and that Garyn and I both survive the long separation!

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