Monday, December 29, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

After leaving Topeka last Sunday and wishing for warmer temperatures, that is exactly what I got. Christmas week in Texas saw temperatures climbing into the 50s and 60s. Saturday we saw, and felt, the temperature plunge back into the 30s. We also saw snow. It snowed an hour or so. I am not sure Camille had ever seen snow. We bundled her up and let her go outside for a few minutes. Of course, Nathan and I had our cameras going.

After the snow stopped, there was a nice ground cover. Camille and I went outside again and made snow angels. I think Nathan might have taken more pictures of me making a snow angel than he did Camille. We had great fun.

I was glad the snow didn't last long as we all begin traveling again. Nathan and Julia left for Little Rock yesterday. Marc and I, along with Matt, Nicole and Camille, left for Shamrock, Texas yesterday morning where Marc presented our work in the Bible class hour and preached during church. We went to Wheeler, Texas and Marc preached last night.

At both places, we were again warmly received and were able to share our love for Honduras. We enjoyed great food and great fellowship and were even able to rest a bit in between.

We appreciate all the churches that let us share our work with them and all the folks that open their homes and hearts to us.

We hit the road again this week, first to Little Rock for Camille's birthday and then to Gulfport, Mississippi.


Friday, December 26, 2008


When we would travel from Memphis, California, or Columbus for Christmas, and after the shopping was done, the presents wrapped, and the car packed as full as it could be, there was always excitement and anticipation as we headed to Texas for Christmas. For me at least that excitement and anticipation existed. I am not sure it did for the kids. I thought about that song "Home for the Holidays". Phrases of the song would run through my head all day as we made our way. Phrases like "gee the traffic is terrific" and from "Atlantic to Pacific".

When we stopped for gas or food, I enjoyed seeing other families with the cars loaded and catching small pieces of conversation here and there like "when we get to grandma's...." or "I can't wait to get there."

I felt that excitement somewhat when we left Topeka on Monday and headed for Texas. I felt it more on Tuesday night as Nathan and Julia and sweet Camille left Little Rock. And today I feel it again as Matt and Nicole are driving from Baton Rouge. I don't know if my kids felt that excitement as they traveled to be with family. I hope they did and not just the drudgery of having to drive a long way.

We are blessed to be able to spend time with both my family and Marc's family, and, of course, our kids and their families.

Whether or not your Christmas is over or you are still Christmasing like we are, I hope you take the time to enjoy the blessing of family. And if you have to travel, be safe.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Tuesday, when we drove from Illinois back to Searcy, we were on ice all the way. It was bad and even worse in Arkansas.

Yesterday, after graduation and lunch, we left for Kansas City. It was 54 degrees when we left Searcy. It was 5 when we got to Kansas City. The wind was blowing across the flat Kansas plains. Today it got all the way to 12, but with the wind blowing it felt like minus 12. Brrrr. That is cold. In the morning when we get up, it is suppose to be minus 4 and that is without the wind chill factored in.

I am not use to that kind of weather. I have been so cold.

Marc had been asked to speak at Overland Park Church of Christ this morning and at Central Church of Christ in Topeka tonight. We have never been to Overland Park and did not know one soul. We have several friends in Topeka.

We went in Overland Park and were welcomed like everyone knew us. We received the same welcome tonight. No matter how cold it is outside, it warms the heart to be in fellowship with other Christians, both in the church building and the homes of new and old friends. And I definitely needed my heart warmed since every thing else was freezing.

My heart is warm, but I am hoping for warmer temperatures soon.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

So Long, Harding

Marc and I have had at least one child living in Searcy since 2001. And even before that, Nicole and I went to Spring Sing at Harding for several years. I think it was at Spring Sing that Nicole made up her mind in ninth or tenth grade to attend Harding.

I am glad that both Nathan and Nicole decided to go to Harding. Over the years, we have made many good memories in Searcy. When Nathan was in his first semester, once in a while, I would drive over from Columbus just to do lunch with him. The Christmas Nathan and Julia were expecting Camille we joined Julia's parents in a cabin and had a white Christmas, complete with snowmen and all. Less than a week later, sweet Camille entered this world. So many memories. I know a route to Searcy from the east and west, and north and south. I have made the drive in record time in times of emergency.

Our kids graduated in May. Today, we watched Matt graduate. It was a wonderful day. Oh yes, the cameras were snapping. After graduation, we went to the McInteer to take those precious family pictures. Matt's folks then treated everyone to a meal at the Dixie Cafe, one of my favorite places.

I know we have no reason in the near future to return to Harding. I wasn't even sad. Memories are great. Having our children through college is even better.

Matt and Nicole will soon be moving from Searcy. We may be saying goodbye to Harding, but we will not be saying goodbye to Searcy any time soon, as we have really good friends living there. We will still be making that visit every time we are in Little Rock.

Goodbye Harding and yay Matt.


Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Story According to Camille

Yesterday was a fun day. Marc and I left Searcy around noon. We were going to Little Rock to get Camille and take her to see Santa Claus. We got to her school, got Camille and asked for directions to the nearest mall.

We drove to the mall and waited patiently in line for our turn to visit with Santa. After paying a small fortune for a very small package of pictures, Camille asked to ride the escalator. With her little hands safely in ours we rode escalator up one level. As we got off the escalator, there was a cookie store. Marc bought us all cookies.

We walked back to the car because we had another mission in mind, an indoor playground. We were driving along looking for a McDonald's with an indoor playground. Camille is buckled in her carseat in the backseat. She is chattering away, when suddenly she is talking about Ken Harris trying to kill a baby. Marc and I looked at each other and both of us said "who is Ken Harris?" Marc said "what baby?" Camille said the baby Jesus. We immediately realized she meant King Herod, not Ken Harris. Marc corrected her and she said it the right way and told the rest of the story. Isn't it funny how kids sometimes hear things.

We found the playground and played a while. We had a great day with our sweet granddaughter. As we were driving home, Camille says can you guys pick me up from school again tomorrow. This has been fun.

Oh, how I wished we could have picked her up again today.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Traveling With A Princess

In October while Marc and I were in Hiper Pais, the closest thing to Wal-Mart in Honduras, we saw this gorgeous 35" Disney princess doll. At the same time we both said, "yes, she needs that." Of course, everyone knows she is Camille.

I thought I would find it on the internet, order it and have it shipped to Nicole's house. I have searched every site I could find on the internet, sometimes way into the night when I should have been sleeping. I could not find this doll. I just knew the doll had to be somewhere so I continued to search. I finally told Marc My Best Friend Princess 35" doll is not to be found in the United States, only in Honduras. Marc says if Poppy has to carry her on the plane, then that is what Poppy will do.

I went to town to buy the doll. Fortunately, I did not wait any longer because when I returned to Hiper Pais, there was only two dolls left. I chose Aurora for two reasons. One, she really is prettier than the other one and two, she is dressed in pink and that is Camille's favorite color.

I brought her home and she has stood around in my house for a couple of weeks. She has watched as sandwiches were made for the dump and been admired by our guests. One of my friends and I wondered if we would have to buy a ticket for her to get to the states.

This morning when we checked in at Tegucigalpa, we had all kinds of comments and stares. As we cleared security, the man asked where we got it, how much it cost and could he buy her. He was calling his wife to tell her about it, when Marc said she is not for sale.

Marc was chosen to have his bags searched. He was glad they did not want to open Aurora's box. He really did not want anyone touching Camille's doll.

The plane from Tegucigalpa to Houston was not very full and she safely rode in one of the overhead bins. As we cleared customs, one man about our age just stared at Marc in disbelief. Another asked if she had her passport. In Houston she stood at our table as we ate. She watched us eating with a smile on her face.

As we boarded the plane in Houston on Continental Express, a much smaller and fuller plane than the one we were on from Tegucigalpa, we weren't sure where she would ride. At first, we thought she was going to ride in the cockpit with the pilots. They had to move her to the back of the plane.

In Little Rock, we had to wait until everyone else was off the plane so we could get to the back of the plane to get her. We had completely humanized her by this time. Poppy was completely true to his word and carried her all the way.

Nathan was waiting when we got downstairs. Camille was home in bed.

Aurora is not through with her travels. She still gets to travel to Texas by car.

Oh what fun it is going to be on Christmas morning to see Camille's face when she opens that box and sees the doll. The things we do for our grandkids.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We had some friends in town from San Pedro Sula and could not make things work to meet them yesterday. We decided we would meet them at Wendy's for breakfast before they left town. Marc had to take Pamela to the dentist and Andrea and I had a bunch of errands to run in town. I picked Andrea up before 7:00 and Marc left with Pamela.

We got to Wendy's and were busy visiting with our friends. I ate my hashbrowns and was kind of full. I ate a couple of bites of my egg and cheese sandwich and then rewrapped it. I handed it to Andrea and told her to be on the lookout for a hungry kid to which we could give the sandwich.

We were leaving a store a couple of blocks off of Morazon and I saw Rudy on the handlebars of a bicycle. He saw me, too. I waved and he called my name. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw him jumping off the handlebars. I stopped in the middle of the street and he walked back to my car. I rolled the window all the way down and reached out and hugged him.

Rudy was dirty and had no smile. I asked if he was hungry and gave him the sandwich. We talked a few minutes and he asked about Brayan, his brother. Last time Marc saw him he did not want to talk and would not let Marc buy him any food. He did not ask about anyone.

I could only sit in the middle of the street and talk until another car drove up behind me. I told him good-bye. As I drove off Rudy was standing eating the sandwich.

I still pray for this little guy and still wonder why he chooses to live on the streets instead of a nice home. Some things you just never understand.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Area Church

Yesterday was graduation at Baxter. Marc and I went to watch as these men who have worked hard for four years received their diplomas. Graduation was fun as some of the guys with which we have worked, received top awards. Because there was so many people in from the states for graduation, there was area church at Baxter this morning.

After graduation, Marc and I also went to the banquet. I sort of grumbled as I had to be up and dressed an hour and a half earlier than I usually have to on Sunday morning.

The churches from Santa Ana and Ojojona were going to ride a bus in. A Torch bus. Marc met our bus driver in front of the clinic at 7:30. I am not sure how early he had to leave to be here at 7:30, but, as usual, Marlon was wearing a big smile.

Marc and Marlon went to Ojojona to get the bus and the people from Ojojona. They were suppose to be back at the clinic gate at 8:00 to get the Santa Ana people. About 8:15, I was calling Marc to see where they were. He said on their way. After we all loaded on the bus, Marc said they had to stop and pick up a few people that didn't get to the church building and even had to look for a few. Welcome to Honduras.

There was between 75 and 80 of us on the bus. The only thing missing to make this a true Honduran experience was the chickens.

As we neared Baxter, we saw Timoteo driving his van full of Los Pinos people. We also saw a bus from Jovenes En Camino and one from the church in Mateo.

In true Marlon style, he backed the bus in the back gate of Baxter, backed between the bus from Jovenes and a row of cars, and found just the perfect parking place for the bus.

Worship was in the ampitheater. The singing was beautiful. There were 3 0r 4 songs in spanish and then 3 or 4 in english. I knew all of them. Communion was meaningful and the sermon was good. Both communion and the sermon was in spanish and I understood most of it.

When the children were dismissed for class, Rosita and Monica walked down the main aisle hugging every single person in the end seats. The people that received those hugs were smiling.

Thirty minutes after church was over, we were headed back up the mountain. We stopped several times in Santa Ana to let people out of the bus. This is the Honduran way. We stopped in Ojojona at the gas station. A man that lives far up in the mountains brought a little jug so he could buy kerosene. He walked down to get to the church building so he could ride the bus into town. He saw no reason to have to walk down another time to get his kerosene. After filling his jug, he got back on the bus and we rode on down the road. We stopped another few times in Ojojona.

When we got back to the church building in Ojojona, what Marlon had done at Baxter backing the bus, was nothing compared to backing it through the narrow gate at the church building. Amazing is all I have to say. I wish all of you that have been amazed at what the bus drivers do, could have been here to see that.

Worship was so beautiful and even the bus ride was fun. It was well worth getting up early.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


The bathroom
The tile

The kitchen

Plumbing being installed

The dump. People, cows, and buzzards fighting for the same food.

A little one so hungry she got her food and ripped into it immediately.

The line for gifts.

Andrea handing out the gifts.

One pleased little girl.

These are pictures of work on the cottage and the dump feeding and gift distribution on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas at the Dump

Some of our friends from Tupelo, Mississippis decided they wanted to provie Magi boxes for those people at the dump that exist in such a desperate situation. They had a well thought out plan. They purchased and assembled the boxes and got them to where a container was leaving.
They made plans to come this week so they could be here to personally hand them to the people at the dump.

Best laid plans sometimes do not materialize, especially when anything in Honduras is involved. The container was not ready to ship.

They went and retrieved their boxes, repacked them into bags and put them in suitcases. Five people had their personal luggage and luggage with the gifts totaling fifteen pieces of checked luggage. I am sure that was fun checking that in and clearing customs.

We thought we would also provide a hot meal for the folks at the dump. We had the serving logistics figured out, but we did not have the cooking logistics worked out with the equipment we currently have. Especially since Marc and I were gone all day Tuesday to San Pedro Sula to get the group.

As the normal routine for feeding at the dump is making sandwiches on Wednesday, that is what we did. We provided more fruit than usual.

The people know us well enough now to know that there is always plenty of food. We made a plan to distribute the gift bags with as little chaos as possible.

Like I have already said, the best laid plans don't always work. It had to work better than if we had had no plan. More people than we have ever seen began to show up when the gifts were being distributed. It could have turned into a really bad situation.

After we cried because there were not enough boxes, it was quickly decided to have more boxes this year.

It was better that the children received something and we are sure that all the children did receive a gift bag. I saw little girls, just about our little Camille's size that were so dirty and hungry. We distributed the bags after the food was distributed. I saw little children just rip into their bags. Another little girl that was wearing plastic bags on her feet for shoes, went off by herself and opened her bag. She would take one thing out at a time and look at it and put it back into the bag before taking another item out of the bag. She was protecting her stuff. She knew if she spread it out on the ground, someone might take it from her.

While we know these gifts in no way relieved the misery of the people that live and scavenge in the dump, we hope we brought just a little joy into their lives for one day.


I know this post deserves some pictures. Right now, our internet is so slow it will not allow us to upload pictures. I will post the pictures later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Camille Is Going To Get A Cousin

As I was frantically preparing for guests to arrive, one thing that absolutely had to be done was moving the store items from one of my bedrooms back to the store. I got Dilcia and Sandra and three of the kids to help me.

We were busy carrying armloads of things from my house to the store. My phone rang. It was Nicole. She said "Hi Mom, what are you doing?'' I said moving the store back to the store and she says can you be still a minute I have something to tell you." I was pretty sure I knew what it was because I have been praying about something for her and Matt for a long time.

I wasn't really being still. Nicole says Mom, I'm pregnant. That is not what I thought it was at all. I screamed with excitement and then hung up on her.

Sandra wanted to know why I screamed and I told her. She quickly ran up to the store and told Dilcia. Both of them ran back and hugged me.

So for those of you who don't know already, I am going to be Grammy again.


Help Is On The Way

We have been praying for help with the special education needs of Doris, Monica, and Rosita. One of our employees told us of an agency in town that could help the girls.

Yesterday, Sandra, the three girls and I headed to town to Teleton. I let the Sandra and the girls out and went to park. I was not allowed inside the building as I needed a letter with which I would be allowed to enter. Sandra had that letter and was already inside taking care of business.

Teleton will be able to tutor Monica and Doris and,hopefully, help with their education. They do this for free, our favorite price. The people at Teleton told Sandra they could not help Rosita. We needed to take her to Manos Felices, translated Happy Hands.

Without having real clear directions, we headed for Manos Felices. We finally found it. Sandra took Rosita in and I waited in the car with Doris and Monica. We will be able to register Rosita for classes in February. In the meantime, Rayner, one of the AIM students, will be working with Rosita and teaching her sign.

After leaving Manos Felices, I ended up in Comayaguela. Sandra said to me " Terri, close your window, all the way." I did. We wove around the one way streets and finally got back where we needed to be.

We are thankful for these resources. Please pray these agencies can help our girls.