Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guatemala Bound- 2 Babies and a Bird

My big story started with 2 babies and a bird. You can read more about how that all fits into being Guatemala bound in previous posts.

Anyway, we leave in 2 days for the beautiful country of Guatemala to do God's work. This will be our 8th trip there in 8 years.

The days leading up to traveling to Guatemala always give me mixed feelings. I always get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I have to leave my girls for 8 days. Then I get a different sick feeling about the idea of being on a plane. Of course, that is something that a little medication can help with. Then I start having those crazy fears about what could happen while we are in Guatemala. (I won't go there since my mom will read this.) Once I start having all those fears, I hear the voice of God speaking to me. He always reassures me that this is His plan for me right now, and He will protect me and my team during our travels there and back. Then my attention turns to what God's plan is for us and the people of Guatemala on this trip.

The thing that amazes me the most is that the people there have a life story just like mine with my 2 babies and a bird. God is working in their lives, and they each have a story to tell as well. Their stories are usually quite different from mine, yet they are still the same.

They have children they love with all their heart. Yet, their children don't wear clothes from the Gap.

They have a house they like to clean and keep tidy. Yet, their house is the size of our current back patio we are enlarging.

They have responsibilities to take care of such as washing clothes. Yet, they wash all their clothes by hand and hang to dry.

They have food to cook for their families each day. Yet, they only eat tortillas which they make by hand and cook in an enclosed kitchen causing lung disease.

They have bathrooms to keep clean. Yet, they must use an outhouse and a hole in the ground.

They make sure their children get feed with snacks throughout the day. Yet, they must rely on feeding centers to provide nutrition to their children they do not get from home.

They go to the tienda to get the basic needs for their family. Yet, they do not have cars to travel in or bags to carry their purchases in.

They put their children to bed every night. Yet, their child's bed consists of a wooden board on blocks covered by a hand made blanket. If they are not so lucky, their bed is a dirt floor.

So, I ask myself these questions:
Can I leave my children for 8 days for all of this?
Can I board that plane 4 separate times for take offs and landings?
Can I risk being in an earthquake or dealing with pick pockets while in Antigua?

The answer is an easy one! YES, YES, and YES!!!

One a lighter note, since this story started with 2 babies, could it possible end with 2 babies?

LOL! If only God were making that part of my life story as well!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Update

The very first night of summer break, we had a cove party. I didn't get too many pictures but here are a couple of the girls enjoying snacks before the party started.

Of course, our summer then started off with two sick girls. We missed about 2 weeks of sun and fun due to the girls running fevers and having sick tummies.

Elia eventually had to have blood drawn since she was losing weight and not getting any better. For an eight year old who had never had blood drawn, I would say she was a pretty decent patient. I treated Elia to a pedicure and manicure after we left the lab. (All of our blood tests came back negative. WHOHOO!)

The next Monday the kids in our cove got a great education on the justice system.

Our neighbor decided to hold a gun to his wife's head and threaten to kill her. She managed to call the police and get out of the house. In the meantime, the cops came to our door and had to escort us down the street to safety. We found a safe place at Gina Bryant's house where we dumped all the kids and dogs.

The adults stood outside their garage to watch an unreal scene play out before our eyes. The SWAT team was called in, and the situation resolved in peace!

This past Thursday we decided to get away from all the excitement in the cove so we took a day trip to Little Rock. We bought season passes to Wild River Country when they were on sale for $29 back in October. This is the same price as a one day pass so we have to go back since it will be "free" every visit for the rest of the summer. The kids had a blast while we were there.

We did face some pretty rough weather on the way home from Little Rock. There were bad storms and strong winds the entire 3 hour drive. Ava hates storms so she made sure to buckle up her lovey so she would be safe too.

We also found Ava in the backseat completely covered up.

Jake rode with us on the way home and he was oblivious to the bad weather. He was fast asleep from all the fun from the day.

This weekend involved getting last minute things ready for our mission trip to Guatemala. We leave this Friday, June 4. We are taking a team of 28 this time. We had our packing party tonight where we packed 28 extra suitcases filled with donations of shoes, clothes, school supplies, etc.

The last thing I want to mention is our patio which is a work in progress. I am posting the before picture of our patio right now. You can see how pitiful it looks right now. There is zero shade and it is a waste of space. Kevin hopes to change all that. He has already dug out where he is going to pour extra patio to make it bigger. Then he is going to build some kind of overhang to provide a cover. Then I get to decorate! I can't wait to add in my new patio furniture along with outside curtains and other decor to make it a livable space. Stay tuned to see the final results. Here is the before:

Monday, June 6, 2011

June Theme Dinner-Luau

It's that time again! For the month of June, we chose to do a luau theme since it has been so hot! We decorated with a grass skirt around the kitchen table, a flamingo backdrop in the background, and a flamingo centerpiece.

The girls got decked out in their flower headpieces, necklaces, and bracelets.

On the menu for tonight:
Baked Beans
Cole Slaw
Strawberry Shortcake

It was a very yummy dinner, and it was so nice to sit down at the table as a family!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is God OCD?

Well, our first week of summer did not follow my neat and organized summer plans. It started out great but went downhill fast!

Mondays are Maniac Mondays when we clean the house and run errands. This day went great. We woke up and everyone did their part to make the house spic and span. Then we went to my brother's house for a Memorial Day picnic. They rented a big water slide so the kids had a blast playing on that. After we left the picnic, we ran our errands. We went to Garden Ridge to look at patio furniture and Toys R Us to get Elia a new bike since she has outgrown her old one.

Tuesdays are supposed to be Terrific Tuesdays. However, Elia woke up in the middle of the night with a sick tummy and a 104 fever. So the girls and I spent all day Tuesday sitting on the couch coloring and watching TV. Grammy brought over new crayons and coloring books for Elia since she was sick. Tuesday was not so Terrific!

Wednesday was supposed to be Water Wednesday. Elia was still not well so we sat around the house again. By Wednesday afternoon I had to get out of the house so I asked Kevin to inflate our water slide so the cove kids and Ava could play, and Elia could sit outside and watch with me or join in if she felt better. Well, the water slide did not inflate due to holes so Water Wednesday was a flop. The closest we got to water was the sand that the next door neighbors had delivered for their new pool and yard. Here is Cami and Ava playing in the sand like they are at the beach.

Thursday was supposed to be Thrifty Thursday which means we spend the day doing something free. Ava wanted to go to work with Kevin so off she went. Elia and I ended up joining friends at Chuck E Cheese. Then we went to Monica's house for a little while and ended up at Jerry's Snowcones. The day was not exactly free, but it was worth any money we spent considering the week we already had.

Friday was Fun Friday but was only halfway fun. I had to take Elia to the doctor to see why her tummy was still hurting. The doc gave us a prescription and sent us on our way. We joined friends at the pool, and then headed home to get ready for our garage sale.

I am not sure if God is telling me to stop being such a planner and that He is in control. This is something I struggle with as I am sure you have too! We do not need to make plans because God has plans already made for us. It sounds like God could be as OCD as me, and would that really be such a bad thing when it comes to the plans for our lives?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," delares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity." (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Comes Around.........

Over Christmas break, we decided to take the kids roller skating. We spent a couple hours there and we were about to leave to head home when the DJ announced they would be starting the races soon. I had to put my skates back on so the competitive side in me could come out. They had adult races and no one would race me except my brother and some other dad. The three of us stood side by side on the starting line. I looked at my brother and said "You are going down". Little did I know at the time, it would be me who went down. As I crossed the finish line, I lost my balance and fell breaking my wrist bone in 2 places. I spent the next 6 weeks in a cast and 3 more weeks doing therapy. As you can see in the picture, my brother got a good laugh out of me falling.

Well, karma does come back to bite you! Jason and Holli rented a huge water slide for Memorial Day. They invited us over and the kids had a blast going down the slide over and over. Jason also had a blast to the point where the kids were coming to Holli saying "Holli, please tell Jason to get off the slide. He is all over the place." The ironic thing is that as soon the kids were telling Holli this, we could hear Jason saying "Hey big kids, be careful of the little kids on the slide". HA! Anyway, Jason ended up sliding down and cracking one of his ribs. He is in a ton of pain, but as I said "What comes around, goes around." He! He!

I am not sure what it is about my family that brings out the kid in us but I think it is time we start realizing our real age. It is sad but true!