Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Friday, May 25, 2012

Going to Honduras!

Wow...I have waited five years to type those words!  God has very interesting timing sometimes.  He put Honduras on my heart and took His time bringing it all together. may remember back in this post about how God led our small group of Bible study ladies to do portrait sessions for needy families in our community.  It had all started from a conversation with a friend in the pick-up line at school.  (Love those pick-up line conversations while we wait for our kids!)  My friend grew up in Honduras and I was sharing with her how I had this big dream of going there and taking family portraits for people who might never have had the opportunity.  She got  emotional and told me how she has no pictures of herself growing up because there was never money for pictures.  She called me the next day to tell me that God reminded her that we didn't have to wait to go to Honduras because we had people right here in our community who couldn't afford a family portrait.

A few months after that first portrait session at our church, my parents told me they were going on a mission trip to...Honduras.  (insert blood pressure spike)  I mentioned in passing that I was dying to go there and do portraits.  I explained my big dream to them and we just kind of left it at that.  I had no real thought of going--it was just a wistful dream.

My parents mentioned my dream to the group leader with the mission board and he got all excited.  Hmmmm....who knew?

A few months passed as I prayed about going but got no definitive answer.  And to be honest, life was so busy that sometimes I forgot to pray about it. 

Last week, my dad called and asked me again if I was still thinking about going.  It was decided that Jeff and I - and my parents - would pray hard the next two days about me going.  The trip is in three weeks, so we didn't have any time to dink around. 

The beginning of the trip is a conference for pastor's wives in Honduras. They are very poor, life is hard, and they are discouraged. Some of them are not in favor of their husbands being in ministry. The conference is an effort to encourage and support them. Most have never stayed in a hotel in their entire lives, so that will be a treat for them.  The second part of the trip is a series of medical clinics and I would get to help by using my 'nursing' skills.  I was so geeked about that!

Monday morning, God spoke to me in my quiet time about 'ministering to those around the world who are suffering,' and a verse in Colossians 2 about why He is sending me.  "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in order that they may whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  

We had set a Monday night deadline.  On Monday afternoon, I texted Jeff to see what his thoughts were.  He said that if I could offer the team something that no one else could, he thought I should go.

I arrived at school to pick up my kids and who should I see coming out the door?  My friend from Honduras!  I had not seen her in weeks.  I told her I might be going and she and I talked for a few mintues and then she headed to her car.  Suddenly she turned around, came back, looked me in the eye and said,

"Can I just tell you something?  If you go to Honduras and take pictures for those families, you will be giving them something they will treasure for the rest of their lives."

My jaw dropped.  I was just so stunned. I'm going! 

I went home and got my passport out.  It had expired just one day before.  Not.even.kidding. 
The good news is that I can get it expedited.  If you want to pray that it will get back to me in time, I would be most grateful!

And here is the fun part!!!!  You...yes, YOU, can be a part of this if you want to!

At the pastors' wives conference, each woman will be provided with a new dress and a pair of shoes! How fun is that!? And after they get all dressed up, I will be taking their portrait. :) 

And the FUN PART!!!  YES, I'm getting to that!!!

We are looking for sponsors for dresses, shoes and portrait.  There are three options and should fit any budget.  Here are the details:

- Dress and shoes only:                                $50
- Portrait only (Printing and framing):         $10
- Dress, shoes and portrait:                           $60

I think there is an attempt to match sponsors with a particular woman for the dress and shoes.  So if you would like to do that, please indicate that desire and they will try to accommodate you (make sure your current address is on your check so they can contact you).  If there is any money left over, it will be split up and given to the women to take home to help purchase food for their families.  The organizers are hoping for $50 per woman to take home.  There are 66 women coming.

If you want to help, a church that some of the team attend is handling the donations:
Christian Fellowship Church
6711 Pilliod Rd.
Holland OH  43528
Please note in the memo that you are sponsoring "Honduras Women"  Dresses or Photo Prints

The purpose of the portrait is NOT to give them a glamour shot that they will pine after.  It's to remind them of how God wants to bless them, how He sees them as His beloved Princess Daughters, and that this special weekend is only a foretaste of what awaits them in heaven someday.  (My Honduran friend will be translating that message from me that will go on the back of the framed print.)

The trip is from June 13-21st.  If you want to pray for the team we would love it.  I am hoping to blog from Honduras--no promises as I don't know what kind of internet connection I will have--but I will do my best to post each day.  I get to be the trip photographer for ANM (mission organization), photograph women and hopefully families, and be a nurse!  I even get to take my stethoscope and wear scrubs.  So fun!  I'm geeked beyond words.  haha 

I am so grateful for my sweet family who is making the sacrifice for me to go.  I will miss Molly's birthday and Father's day.  :(  They are so supportive of the trip--I am very blessed.

And my parents are making me mention that if you want to donate to my trip, you can.  haha  I hate asking for money.  Blech.  The donation process is different if you are contributing to my expenses so you will have to contact me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birthday post pre-empted by:

This was going to be Jillian's 13th birthday post, but alas....her brother upstaged her.

While waiting for the kids to come out of school this afternoon, Jake tripped and fell, slamming his face on the running board of the van (the side door was open).
He screamed and blood went everywhere.

It was the first time I have ever seen blood spurting each time a heart would beat.  A little fountain of blood would go up from a cut under his nose.  He had blood spatters all over his face.

Kinda freaky.
But I did want to be a nurse.
I'm thinking I should get an honorary degree.

His teachers wanted me to take him to ER to make sure he didn't have a concussion, so two of them volunteered to take our other kids home while Jillian and I went to the hospital.
Jillian was a very sweet nurse all the way there and held the cold compress on Jake's owie.
Once there, they put him in a neck brace as a precaution since the head will always snap backwards when you hit the front of it.
He was in the brace for about half an hour but was a pretty good sport about it.  
He told us he thought it was fun riding through the hospital halls on the bed with wheels.

They checked him all out and said he was okay and that he was 'very lucky.'
We know it was God who protected him.

He's taking that neck brace to show-n-tell tomorrow.  Oh yeah, baby.

This was how it looked AFTER we got home.  It looked way worse than this when we headed to the hospital.  Poor little guy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day.
My sweet hubby surprised me with a card and gift certificate to a SPA.
Woohoo...a S.P.A.  !!!
OK--I've never been to one, so what do you all suggest?  I'm thinking a massage... or maybe a facial and manicure?  Help--I can't decide!

The kids--thanks to their wonderful teachers--had made coffee mugs that they decorated.  Oh my goodness, they are so cute!  I will enjoy them for many years.  

They also made cards that were adorable.
We went out to lunch after church and then headed out to the deck to relax.  Perfect!

Then it was time for Mommy to get pampered.

First, some kisses.
Note the corsage from Jeff.

{Thank you, Jillian, for taking all these pictures.}

 Then, I got my hair done.  Thank you, Katie!

Then it was time for a message.

 Next on the agenda was a manicure.

Jake decided I needed a foot bath.  Jillian gave him the idea.  He said he was being like Jesus...washing His followers feet.  I was a bit dumbfounded--but Jake said he saw it on our Jesus video.  So cute.
He added his own feet which I'm thinking was only to show the world how bad I need a tan.  Sigh.  

Here is my new cup collection!

I am so thankful to be a mom.  There were many years when I wondered if I would ever get to be one. 
God was smiling.
Because He knew what was coming.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Heading into Mother's Day...

Celebrating GIRLS!  Big girls, little girls, all girls. My girls.

Or grils.

Or gourls.

Or however it gets pronounced at your house by adoring little brothers and sisters.

I love being a girl!

Thank you, Jesus for all my sweet daughters...for my Mom, Mother-in-law, sister and sister's-in-law...grandma's, aunts and cousins...for my friends...and for all the women who have graced my life through the years.  Each one is a precious gift from God.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


I came upon this sign awhile back in a public restroom here in Massachusetts.  It was hanging above the toilets.


You feel you have to tell people not to drink out of the toilets in the public restroom?  There were fully operational sinks three feet away.  Is there a real danger of people walking in, seeing the sinks, and then making a decision to enter the toilet area, stoop down, and start lapping from the bowl?

How dumb do you think people are?

The only creatures on earth who would drink from a toilet are dogs and toddlers.
Neither can read.

I'm reasonably sure that no mother would invite her toddler into a public restroom to drink from a toilet, so we can cross that possibility off the list.  And most dogs would not be accompanying their owners to the local craft store.

So why....then...would we have a need for this sign?

I love the 'Note:' at the end....  Just in case you were grossed out by the colored water possibly looking like someone didn't flush, you can rest assured that the water is just a bit discolored.  Um....wouldn't THAT be enough to deter someone from the temptation to drink from the bowl?

Only in Massachusetts....the over-the-top- tax-and-make-stupid-laws state.

Hello....legislators...we are NOT this dumb.  Even though some people in our area did vote for people like Barney Frank, the REST of us know not to drink from a public toilet.  Thank you very much.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Naps for Mom's. Do they exist?

I don't normally nap.  I just don't like to.  I think it's because I can't stand to be sleeping while others are awake.  I might miss out on something.

So anyway...

The other day I had a splitting headache so I snuck upstairs to lie down for awhile to see if it would help.

Within room started to fill up with little people.  They came in quietly.  One came over and stared at me about an inch away from my face to see if I was REALLY asleep.  I pretended to be, so they began discussing the situation in loud stage whispers.

Before long, they settled down on the floor to watch the spectacle of their mother sleeping.  DURING THE DAY.

Jake went out and soon came back with a blanket.  He spread it out over me and tucked it under my chin.  How cute was that?  I almost hugged him....but that would have given away the fact that I wasn't actually sleeping.

I was lying on my side on an antique wicker couch that once belonged to my great-grandma.  In order for Jake to get the blanket on 'correctly,' he climbed on top of me to smooth out the wrinkles.

Well that was comfortable.

Then he decided to join me.  He chose to put his head on the opposite end of the couch, and wedged himself between the back of it and my legs.
With his little feet in the small of my back.

Again....that was comfortable.

Then he got bored.
So he wiggled up and off the couch and shushed everyone who was in the room.
The other kids were now playing a Go Fish, which had started out quietly.  Now, however, several disagreements had broken out and were resulting in louder voices.  Much louder.  The din was actually hilarious in view of the fact that SOMEONE was trying to nap.

Jake decided to get back up on the couch.  He climbed over me but that caused the blanket to come off.  So he fixed it--by climbing all over me.  Then he wedged himself back into his little nest and returned his feet to my back.
And ripped in:  passed gas.
This caused the other kids to go into gales of laughter.
Which caused one of them to also loose control of Mr. Sphincter and rip one.
Which caused even more hilarity.

Excuse me, people...I'm trying to rest!
Oh never's not going to happen and I am actually feeling better just from having you guys near me, trying to be sweet and caring.
Although I could live without the passing gas.

It's a good thing I'm not fond of naps.  It would be a daily frustration if I had to try to sleep with all that ruckus going on around me.