Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homeschool Science at it's Best

These two sweet friends are studying plants right now. It called for a little hands on learnin', don't ya know. Get out of the classroom and get dirty is what I say. In their quest to find leaves of all sorts.... I'll spare you the scientific jargon, though I know you're dying to hear it.... they found this little gem. Oh boy, what a find. I know we will be able to study this little treasure too this year. Gotta love homeschooling!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy 18th Becca!








I love you sweet girl! You are such a joy to me. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time for Some Verbal Processing

Well.... It's August 26 and I am busy. That's the word that comes to mind... busy. You know, I have tried my darnedest to eliminate this year to simplify even more. I don't know what to do other than wait, hold out for hope that the BUSY will become less BUSY by January. I think I'll make a paper chain counting off the days 'til then.

My List of BUSY

1. Run Boo back and forth to class at the local JC daily
2. Homeschool Lina
3. Run Lina to Vball practice daily (that's close by)
4. Work
5. My classes start up this weekend and I just checked what's required. Oh my goodness. Can not wait until December when I graduate. That will be on less BUSY.
6. Stay connected to the husband. Shouldn't that be number 1?
7. Keep up with the kids away from home.
8. Clean
9. Cook. That's funny just writing it.
10. Oh yes.. oversee painting projects the girls took on. That's a mental busy.
11. Birthdays
12. Somehow workout
13. Somehow figure out how to get my youthful look back. Short of moving to Cali I am doomed here. Doomed I tell you. This dry weather has about added 10 years on me.
14. Make reservations for the children to come home for Christmas
15. The list goes on....

I am tired already thinking about it and my silly neck is creating an issue which I am sure is poor sleep, no Chiropractic care, and stress.

I, for some reason, thought that getting older meant slower. Nope. It means having to write everything down so you don't forget what you are supposed to get done. Ha!

I am on Vitamin D. Maybe that will help.

On a different note... the weather is changing already and I am getting a little.bit.nervous already. I really hope this change is a blip on the radar.

Did someone just say vacation?

Friday, August 20, 2010

To College We Go!

Here we go.. sending off our 2nd child to college. I knew when I had my kids it was only for a short time and I also knew the whole time I was raising them up it was for a bigger purpose of serving God in this world somehow. I also know I cherished every moment I had since it was only a short stint I got to keep them close to me. So the time has come for us to send off Rebecca and I surely thought I was ready. Uh Huh. Right.


Rebecca packed and packed and packed. She never counted her shoes as they went into the box!
We stayed in a hotel in Fulton to be close to the campus.
This spider also wanted to be close to campus. We weren't so happy it joined us.
Sister love! What will they do without her!

A tradition William Woods does each year is to have the incoming class walk across the bridge of Senior Lake. They walk as they come in and the day of graduation they walk back over as a sign of being complete.
We threw all her things to the curb and TONS of people came out to help get it to her room. We were warmly welcomed!
And a final good bye picture. Wow.. she is a big girl now and I'm not sure how that happen.
I think she will do mighty fine! We love you Becca!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Surprise!

Becca has a big birthday this month...18! She will be off to school and away from home so we decided to throw a little somethin' somethin' before she left. We took her to dinner at Rudy's BBQ to get her out of the house for the decorating committee, umm, her friends. Oh, she never suspected a thing! We did good.


When did Iget so short?


She had a blast and now we can send her into the Big World with no regrets. Thanks Ladies... and you know who you are... for pulling this off!
Happy 18th Birthday Becca!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Guatemala: San Juan and San Pablo



This is the Church Courtyard, yep... you heard me right, their courtyard.
Well.. we went down the mountain to the community of San Juan to stay for the night before ehading over to Panachel for debriefing. We had ministry at San Pablo that afternoon. It was hot, the kids at the church were more aggressive and our team was tired. In Guatemala there are 23 Mayan languages and Spanish as the country language. In San Pablo, every word from the skit, music, drama, and Bible verse was translated twice! First into Spanish and then into another language. We pulled it off though and as tough as it was, I really enjoyed it. The kids at the church needed love and structure and from what I saw they were the same as any other latch key kid but dealing with worse conditions. We were all glad, however, to go back to our hotel and then to a nice pizza dinner that night.


I wonder what the kids in San Pablo ate?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guatemala: What a View!



The village of Paquip is very high up the mountain; similar to our own town's elevation. Well, one day after construction and VBS we took a hike, sorta, to this lookout point. The pickup hauled us all up to the top of the hill and then we hiked just a little bit in. Look at this view! So worth it! The town in this picture is San Juan where we stayed our first night out of the village. The lake is so big and we had a chance to boat across this as well. More on that later. There are 3 big volcanoes that we could see; all silent... so far. Breathtaking!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guatemala: A day in the Life of the Village

So what does a day for 35 Americans look like in the village of Paquip? Well, walk with me and I'll tell you. I rose early to dogs barking, a band of children percussionist practicing or the urge to have a good cup of coffee... of which I did not get. Well, let me reword that. I got coffee but it wasn't like here at home; rich, dark and hot. Their coffee was decent but had a ton of sugar in it. No complaints though, I needed the caffeine. Back to my day...I laid there on the the concrete floors evaluating if I slept well and if I was bit by anything during the night. Slowly moving this 42 year old body off the concrete, I had to decide when to visit the "bathroom". Ya, that word is used loosely. Dirt floors, concrete stoop, plastic table cloth for a door and when it rained, and it rained, the curtain was so dirty you only hoped to walk out without mud on you. After talking myself into visiting the concrete stoop, grabbing my own toilet paper, sliding down the dirt trail, doing my thang, I came back to get ready. That is after washing my hands... twice. I washed my hair in the sink each morning just outside of our room. The rain water was so refreshing and COLD. After washing my hair and face, I'd quickly get dressed, have my quiet time with my Jesus, and off to breakfast. The people of Paquip cooked such wonderful meals for us. Eggs, fresh black beans, goat cheese, juice, corn tortillas, carne asada, the list goes on. We were not hungry, that's for sure. After fellowshiping Guatemala time, we got to work. For some that meant VBS. For others that meant construction for the day. For all that means watch the sky, the rain will come in and change all the "plans". We ended our day either early or late depending on the rain. The 35 Americans gathered after the long day in the small yellow church with dirty floors and played either Mafia or Ninja tag. We had times of worship and debriefing. We had times of journaling and thinking. But we all had times of running like crazy to stay dry. The heavens opened up and were relentless everyday. So come evening, the final run was made to the potty, teeth brushed with only bottled water, sleeping bags unpacked once again, and prayers spoken to the living God. There you go, the short version of my day.

The children whooped up on us in soccer.
When your in the church avoiding the rain and avoiding the concrete potty, the camera comes out and it's self-portrait time!

And when your on construction and your a girl doing the "hurry up and wait" thing, the camera comes out and again.. self-portrait time!


The girls were in charge of back filling the wall by the new room and pounding down the dirt tight... with a stick.

This school was just up the hill from the church. The Littles were so excited to play!

And this fine thing greeted us every meal with all its splendor. We had to remind the tall kids to duck in order to safely enter the eating area. The kind hearted folks of the community realized it scared the bageebers out of many of the Americans so they covered it up with a net. This fine hornet/wasp nest is a decorative feature and they surely hated to take it down. I'd like to see this in Better Homes and Garden.

The people of the town are t.iiii...ny! But so kind and so generous and so inviting! If my memory serves me right, at least one of these women is a widow.

So the dirt that is being back filled is being taken from this hill. Uh, huh... that's what I said too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guatemala: The Village Up High

The day we left for Paquip I knew I was entering a new world. Would I eat good yummy food? Probably not. Would I be able to remember not to drink the water? Oh, sure hope so. I knew there were no showers and we were sleeping on the floor but what I experienced was far more than a discomfort physically. What I experienced was a discomfort of my soul. How does that feel? How can I explain the awareness of my soul feeling awkward, uncomfortable? To me it is looking at this sweet face hugging my own child and wondering if she will grow up. Will she have food? Will she have shelter? Will she be protected? Will she have to work at 10 or 11 years old just so her family can make it daily? Will she know Jesus loves her more than anyone else can? What's gonna happen to her? My daughter has it made; a bed, clean water, a flushing toilet, an education, a pantry full of food. Simple facts we all have really. But for this sweet face.... will she, will she? That's my soul aching, feeling uncomfortable. And it should. By all means, I should feel uncomfortable. We all should.

Now what to do with this feeling.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Guatemala ... What a Trip!

Well, we're off! We got up at 3 o'ugly to make it to our flight on time. After meeting up at the church we caravan ed to the Denver airport. There was a great excitement amongst all of us! We were anxious about the work God was about to do. Would it be hard? Would we only eat beans and rice? Would we be visiting the outhouse more than we hoped? So many things unanswered but none the less the crew was ready and most importantly, willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

After many hours flying and making it through customs (a little stressful I might add for the first timers. Umm, ME!), we met up with Nell and Kyle and this oh so fun bus. Nell and Kyle were THE best leaders we could ask for. They lived in Guatemala and knew just how to get us accustomed slowly to hard times and then to slowly bring us back to our normal. More on them later...

Yep... we crammed, smashed, and shoved a weeks worth of clothing in these packs. And our sleeping bag. And our mat we laid on. Oh yes we did.... I can NOT believe I did that and SURVIVED!



First stop: Antigua. We had a round of the Amazing Race with the team, going up and down the streets with no map in their hand, forcing the kids to speak Spanish and jump in with both feet into the culture. It took awhile for the kids to grab hold of the experience; some felt anxious and out of control, some felt challenged, most felt frustrated. This exercise gave us all a glimpse of mission work on foreign soil. A glimpse, only a glimpse, I must say. I can only begin to imagine the reality of living someplace full time and trying so hard to learn and adapt to "their" way of life.


The day finished off at Pollo Comparo (So I think it is spelled. Probably not though. Hey.. I took German, remember?). Anyhow, it's the Chick-Fila of Guatemala. Ya, you can tell by the picture, we're getting a.lit-tle.punchy by now. It was time to crash and get ready for the loooooooong bus ride in the morning.
Day 1. Done.