It has been much too long since I've been faithful about updating this blog. There has been SO much going on around here, but would you buy the excuse that my plate has been a little bit full? ;) Some days I wake up, spend the whole day being busy, then arrive at night feeling like morning was 3 days ago. It's a double-edged sword, too, thinking about how much got done but turning right around and realizing that somehow the t0-do list still didn't shrink!!! Anyone else ever feel that way? I'm sure I'm not the only one!!
Anyways...I'm going to do a quick run-down to get you up to speed on what has been filling up our days lately, but I sincerely hope to find the time to fully document each of these things! Putting the pictures on Facebook is one thing, but there are stories behind the pictures too!
I think Thanksgiving is where I last posted about daily life! It feels like a year ago and a month ago all at once!! Well, in December we were excited that a group of basketball players and coaches came down to put on an Upward Basketball Camp. It was a wonderful week of busy activity, but we really enjoyed getting to know the guys who came and appreciated all the work they put into teaching our team how to put on a basketball camp. Lawson was invited by the coaches to participate in the camp, and he really loved it--Jordan loved going to the gym just to hang out and practice dribbling! Mission UpReach is planning on using what we learned this school year when our DESEO team goes into schools to teach kids about health, character and God.
Lawson's 7th birthday fell on Wednesday during the week of the Upward Camp. We invited the Waldrons, the Whites, and the basketball guys to come over for dinner and cake. Lawson was thrilled to get the cowboy boots he's been wanting for a while, along with some other fun gifts! I think he really enjoyed his birthday a lot, and I was SO thankful for all of our friends here who helped make it a really special day.
We were invited to attend the Christmas program at Western International, the bilingual school in town. It was very cute and we really enjoyed it a lot! After the program we went to eat with one of our teens and her family at a DELICIOUS new restaurant in town. I had a wonderful grilled chicken breast, but unfortunately EVERYONE who ordered the (tasty) beef spent the next week VERY sick!! Phil first, then Donna, Richard, and Jon. Laura was spared b/c she was already on antibiotics, but the rest had some pretty hefty doses of antibiotics along with scattered use of IVs and the like. We pretty much spent the week before Christmas waiting for all of the food-poisoned people to get better!!!
Jon, my wonderful trooper husband, spent all of Wednesday sick, but still spent Thursday and Friday in Jorge's wood-shop working on the presents we had planned for the kids. I spent Friday and Saturday painting...then we were so excited to spend our first Christmas in Honduras!! We had a WONDERFUL day and enjoyed everything about it--EXCEPT running out of water in our cistern!! :/
The day after Christmas we headed to spend a week in Roatan with the Waldron family! Talk about being blessed--some friends of the Waldrons own a condo on the island and have blessed them with the ability to take a free vacation the past two years! We graciously accepted their invitation to join them, and the week of fun and fellowship and rest was just what we needed to re-group and get ready for 2012!
The week after coming back from Roatan, we welcomed a group from Oklahoma and Texas who came to do a dental/optical brigade. The brigade was a success, and we just LOVED the group who came down! I'm starting to realize that the interaction that we get to have with these groups truly is a refreshing blessing! It's always so fun to hang out with other 'gringos'--even if it is during the busy craziness that we call brigades!!
For me the highlight of the brigade was the last day when we were able to hand out Magi boxes from Healing Hands International. Have you ever been on the giving/packing end of this program? Its fun and fulfilling, isn't it?? Well, if you LOVE being on your end of that--you should come down and participate in the HANDING OUT end of it--it was an AMAZING BLESSING to my heart. The smiles on those kids faces brightened my day in a very special day!!!
The next week, we were SO excited to go pick up Kathy, Jon's mom from the airport!! We have had such a wonderful time having her in our house--and she has been such a help as far as watching the kids and helping around the house!
We were thrilled to attend a wedding at the church building of a couple that has been living in a common-law marriage for the past 20-something years--they have four sons also. Some of our team members have been evangelizing in their village and this couple had decided they wanted to be baptized...but first realized that they needed to be rightfully married in the eyes of God. It was a joy to witness their union and the example of obedience and faith that they have shown to the the church.
Tuesday, the 31st, Jon went to the airport to pick up our sweet friend Ashley, who will be working here with our team. She's a very capable RN and she will be a blessing to the work that is going on here!! SO, so, so proud that one of Mayfair's former teenagers is working here with us in Santa Rosa!
Last week Jim, Jon's dad, also joined us and we have enjoyed some quality family time! We spent a couple days this past week vising Copán Ruinas, Copán. It's an adorable little town, located near the amazing archaeological site of some historic Mayan ruins. We enjoyed some delicious local food, beautiful weather, a relaxing swim, a great day of sight-seeing and (to top it all off) we were there the night that the Mayans celebrate their new year! In case you haven't heard, 2012 is the last year on the Mayan calendar...so Jon has been telling people that we witnessed the beginning of the end of the world! Ha! I'm not too worried about it, but at least if it is, there'll be quite a homecoming in Glory Land!!
The day we came home from the ruins we were to host a bonfire for the ENTIRE church in the field across the street from our house. It was fun, but it was also pure, mad, craziness!!! My stomach lurched when I saw the bus pull up FULLY LOADED!! It turned out great, though! I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
Exhausted as I was after (Wednesday) picking up Jim, (Thursday) going to the ruins, (Friday) coming back and hosting the bonfire, I also had to finish preparing for the Ladies' Class we were having Saturday. I LOVE teaching, but this was my FIRST TIME EVER to teach in Spanish. My stomach was nervous and I was terrified that I would stand up and suddenly forget every Spanish word I've ever known, but after much prayer and preparation it turned out really well!! Several ladies told me that they enjoyed the class and thought the material was very good. They also said they understood me very well (YAY!!). Getting that *first time* behind me feels good, and I'm looking forward to more opportunities to share with the sisters here.
This morning we met at the church to hand out some Magi boxes from Samaritan's Purse. It was a wonderful morning of activities, a skit, fun songs, lots of smiles and laughter and seeing some sweet, sweet kids receive gifts from some generous givers!
In addition to all this activity, we've also had our regular things--
taking care of 3 kids plus housework,
Jon's daily work in the town and office,
monthly bonfires at the house for the teens,
worship on Sunday
men's meetings every other Monday
praise and prayer worship Tuesday
discipleship classes Thursday
small group on Friday
youth group on Saturday
Among other news, we have been battling some illness here at the house. It seems that since we've arrived I've pretty much had at least one sick kid non-stop. It's never been super dramatic--just fevers, ear infections, coughs, etc. Lawson's the one who's currently sick, and I'm sad because tomorrow is supposed to be his first day of school. I'm hoping he might be able to go b/c he's not had fever today, but we'll see how he is in the morning! We feel that this will be the best way for them to really pick up Spanish. I've been in prayer that going to (Spanish) school will be a good experience for them and that they will have good teachers. I really, truly hope that it's harder on me than it will be on them...because I will miss having them at home with me!!!
Anyways there's the run-down of what's been going on! And it doesn't look like it's going to slow down!! We take Jim and Kathy back to the airport this weekend, then the next day a group is coming for a brigade--Life is going to be practically non-stop til September!
Thanks again for all of the support and love that you have shown us!! Please remember to keep us and the Mission in your prayers!!!
Be blessed, friends!