Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get Your Guns Up

Last week my daughter posted pictures all over Facebook and other places of Haley wearing LSU clothing. Marc claimed it was child abuse. Perhaps, others thought the same thing. Uncle Rick and Aunt Janet arrived Monday with a Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleader dress.

Yesterday Haley was for the Red Raiders as she wore her new dress all day. Nicole tried to show her how to get her guns up. Haley smiled as Nicole worked with her. She must like being a Red Raider. Haley looks good in red and black.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures

It has been said that simple minds have simple pleasures. With that being said, I must have a simple mind, because the last two days I have certainly enjoyed simple pleasures.

After arriving in Little Rock yesterday morning, we went downtown to eat. We then watched Camille play in the park and the fountain. We climbed the stairs to the bridge. We stood there watching the river traffic and the park. A large barge was coming up the river. We stood on the bridge and watched in fascination as the barge passed under the bridge on which we were standing. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

After church today, I have had the simple pleasure of playing Candy Land and Go Fish with Camille. I am trying to enjoy every single moment of these last few days in the States.


Friday, September 25, 2009

A Beautiful Morning

A beautiful view from Clingman's dome

After we got our car fixed, we finally left Atlanta around 3:00 on Tuesday afternoon. We drove to Black Mountain, NC to spend some time with friends. A lovely evening of fellowship. We then drove on to Sylva, NC. Marc spoke Wednesday night. We had never been to this church and met many new friends. It is always exciting to see new people get excited about Honduras. We look forward to a long relationship with the good folks at Sylva. Thanks to our friends, Terry and Jody for hosting us.

Thursday morning we had a long drive ahead of us as we were headed to Searcy. We studied the map and chose the route that went throught the Smoky Mountain National Forest. It was a good choice. The drive was beautiful. The tops of the trees were crowned with reds and oranges and the fall slowly creeps in. In about two weeks the forest should be blazing in full autumn beauty.

We decided to drive up to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in North Carolina. Again, a beautifu drive. We could not get that far and not walk the last 300 feet to the peak. The peak is over 6300 feet above sea level. Three hundred feet is equivalent to climbing a 30 story building. It was not an easy trek, but oh so worth it to see the more of the beauty God created.
It was awesome.

We hiked back down and made the rest of the drive to Searcy.

I can't wait to start hugging those grandkids before I leave for Honduras.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Haley Grace, Honduras, And Points In Between

Yesterday Marc preached at our former church in Antioch. As usual, he did a splendid job. After church, we ate lunch and took a nap. I visited with friends, washed some clothes, and began to get things ready to leave this morning. I never even thought about the television. I walked through the room a couple of times and saw the score of the Niners game and later the Cowboys game. I guess Marc paid attention to the games and not much else.

We left Antioch at 4:45 this morning. It was not bumper to bumper traffic yet, but we certainly were not the only people on the road at that hour either. I continue to be amazed by the traffic out there and decided I would take Tegucigalpa traffic any day. By some amazing feat, we were across the Bay Bridge, bought gas, returned the rental car, rode the train to the terminal, checked in, shuffled things out of our checked luggage to meet that 50 pound maximum weight limit and were sitting at our gate at 6:40. Amazing by California standards.

We have been on vacation and we knew nothing of what has been happening anywhere, except for the football scores. We were shocked to find out Atlanta has been receiving historic amounts of rainfall. Many roads are closed. Most schools are closed. Rivers are rising. Rapidly. We were expected at friends' house tonight.

When we turned our phone on, we had two messages. One was from Nicole. Haley Grace had her two month checkup today. She now weighs 13 pounds, 6 ounces and is 24 inches long. Wow. She is getting so big, so fast.

The second message was from Marc's mother saying she had heard the ousted president of Honduras was back in the country. We were shocked. Marc texted Karen and she called. He then began to try to call everyone he could that might have some information. We know very little. Karen received calls from all the kids' schools that school was being dsimissed early. Zelaya is in the Brazilian embassy. There is a curfew tonight and probably will be all day tomorrow. I am only speculating that the airport will be shut down for a few days. We hope to know more about this situation soon. Of course, we are in prayer about this.

After we rode a train to the baggage claim, walked a mile looking for the right bus, and rode the bus to where our car was parked, we thought we would soon be on our way to our friends' home.
We unlocked the car anticipating a small snack before heading north. Airlines do not feed you and it is a long way from San Francisco to Atlanta. There was water in the floor on the passenger side of the front seat. And the seat was wet. And the ceiling was wet. Just on my side. I decided to ride in the back seat. The windshield was wet, also. On the inside. The only thing that was wet in the back seat was our atlas. It was soaked. I moved a few things so that I could sit in the back seat and discovered that seat was full of ants. I still opted for the back seat than the soaked front seat.

Even though every thing was shut, we determined the sun roof leaked. We would have been ok for the evening with a wet interior. Marc turned on the car and several warning lights came on. The car was only going about 3 miles per hour. Marc fished the owner's manual out of the glove box and handed it to me to see what the warning lights were. One of the lights was a reduced power light. Duh! No one really had to tell us we had reduced power. The car was just barely going.

After several miles, we stopped for that little snack. Bad idea. If possible, the car was going even slower than it had before and we were in the worse part of Atlanta. Thank goodness it was still daylight. Marc kept going. I was praying, and I am sure he was too, that we didn't get killed. That prayer was obviously answered.

At times, the car would go faster and at times it would not. We finally found a place that could look at the car at 7:00 at night. I was beginning to wish I had eaten a second donut at Betty and Bob's this morning. I guess it would not have made much difference by that time of day any way.

The shop did a diagnostic on the car and thought they had fixed the problem. The mechanic drove it around the block and said all was well. We paid and left. We drove one block and the same thing happened again. We crept back to the shop. We callled our friends and told them we were not going to make it tonight. We called a cab and began to unload our car. We waited for fifty minutes before the cab came. He took us down the street to a Howard Johnson. The desk clerk upgraded us to the room closest to the wi-fi. We walked next door to Waffle House to eat.
With holding patterns and all to get to Atlanta from San Francisco took about four and a half hours. To get from the Atlanta airport to the Howard Johnson in Duluth took over 5 hours.

That chicken sandwich sure tasted good.

Our stomachs are full, we have a warm bed in which to sleep and we are safe. We have much to be thankful for.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


We are in Antioch, California this week. We lived here from 1992-1996. We have many wonderful friends here. And many precious memories. We are visiting with friends and doing some sightseeing and relaxing.

As most people know, Antioch has been in the news as of late. The young woman who was kidnapped 18 years ago was recently found in a back yard in here Antioch. This story is horrible and remains in the news as investigators are continually searching for more evidence, possibly that involve other kidnapped victims as well. This story is still making national news, but in this area there are frequent updates.

Yesterday we were having breakfast with friends in Brentwood. We drove Lone Tree Way between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. Just a few minutes after we drove that street, there was a drive-by shooting at Deer Valley High School. I have been kind of out of touch with news and I don't know if this made national news or not.

Deer Valley High was being constructed before we moved from here. The boundary lines had not been drawn when we moved to Los Angeles, but there was a good chance, based on where we lived, our kids would have gone to high school at Deer Valley.

No city likes to be in the national spotlight for this kind of news. Please pray for the people that are involved in these situations.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

California Here We Are

The boots
The top of the Golden Gate Bridge on Friday afternoon as the fog was rolling in.

The view of San Francisco from the Marin Headlands on Monday morning

The Golden Gate Bridge

Dried fish for sale in Chinatown. Of course, I opted not to buy any. The smell was worse than the look.

"The Giants"

We arrived in California on Friday afternoon. We just could not wait to see San Francisco. We grabbed a bite to eat at Mel's Drive-In and headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove across and stopped at the vista point. We were there as the fog was rolling in. We could hear the fog horns and stood there and watched as everything literally disappeared before our eyes.

We went to Danville to be with friends over the weekend. Marc preached in Walnut Creek on Sunday and, as usual, did an outstanding job. After church and potluck we came on out to Antioch.

Yesterday we were tourists in San Francisco. We started the day up in the Marin Headlands. The fog was so bad we could not see anything. We went down and parked and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. We then went to Fishermen's Wharf, where we both had hot clam chowder in a bread bowl, the real San Francisco treat.

We rode the cable car and saw the sights of San Francisco. We spent the next few hours walking, one of our favorite things to do in a big city. Instead of driving to the front of Coit Tower as we have done in the past, we walked the stairs in the back. Marc said the only difference in that and being in Los Pinos was we were walking on paved streets and stairs. And the stairs were all the same height. Oh yeah, Los Pinos is at 4500 feet above sea level and San Francisco is at sea level. I was still huffing and puffing when I got to the top where we saw beautiful views of the city.

We have been more shocked by prices in the U.S. this time than we have ever been before when we returned from Honduras. I think the biggest shock we saw were some rubber boots (galoshes) on sale for $249.00 - $349.00, regularly $750.00 to $1500.00. At least at that price they were Gucci galoshes. Just think at regular price, you could have one pair of green galoshes or a house in Honduras for a poor family.

After walking down some of the steepest streets in San Francisco, it was "Take me out to the ballgame" time. We bought tickets to see the Giants play for $10.00 a piece outside AT&T park. I was so excited. We decided to eat ballgame food. Unfortunately, our food inside the park cost a whole lot more than our tickets. For $10.00 a piece, we got tickets high about left field hanging over the bay. We didn't really care. We were having a great time. When the giants (giant people) walked in and sat in the next section, I was slightly distracted by their shenanigans. The Giants beat the Colorado Rockies.

We had a great time and a great day off. Marc will be preaching again this Sunday at Antioch. We are enjoying visiting with friends and taking some time to relax.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall Trips

We have scheduled some fall trips. If you are interested in any of these trips, please let me know.

October 17-24 we have a small group coming. This will group will build a house or two, do a food distribution, feed at the dump, visit the hospital and Casa de Esperanza.

Thanksgiving week will be mostly housebuilding. There will be 15-25 houses built that week. We will feed at the dump on Wednesday and have a traditional American thanksgiving on Thursday. If you cannot come build and wish to make a contribution to help build houses, please send your donation to:
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705
Please mark your check "houses"

December 9 we will have a Jesus banquet at the dump. This will be a sit down meal for all those people at the dump. If you want to be a part of this, you can come for a few days or for the whole week, but please make your plans to arrive in Honduras on or before December 8.

Beginning December 12, there will be a group coming from Mississippi State. Right now that is a group of 10 or 12. Anyone is more than welcome to join that group.

We have had some interest in a trip right after Christmas, beginning December 26. If you have any interest in that, please let me know.

There was a lot of work that did not get done this summer when groups had to be cancelled. These small groups will only be able to accomplish a small part of what did not get done in the summer. I hope you will choose to be a part of one of these groups.

Please pray for all these groups, for the folks that are coming and for the work that will be done.


Monday, September 7, 2009


Two years ago our friends in Columbus started raising money for a new cottage at Casa de Esperanza. They decided to build this cottage in memory of Bill Brumley. Mr. Bill had been an elder in Columbus and a friend to many. The plan was to raise the money and in July 2008, when the Columbus group was in Honduras, to build the cottage. The airport in Tegucigalpa was closed in July 2008 and the group did not get to come that year. In spite of that, they wanted that cottage built and sent the money. Local laborers were hired and the cottage was started in September of last year and basically finished in December.

Before the cottage was complete, Michael Brumley, Mr. Bill's son died. Again, the family decided to do a memorial that would benefit Casa de Esperanza. Money was donated to build the Michael Brumley Memorial Library as a part of the new cottage. The library was built as the front room of the new cottage.

Several people made plans to come to Honduras this past July. Included in that group was Mrs. Jackie Brumley, Mr. Bill's widow. We planned to dedicate the cottage at that time. Due to the political situation, none of the July groups got to come to Honduras. This was the second year in a row our friends from Columbus were unable to come.

As we began to make plans for our visit to the States and what churches we would be visiting this time, an idea was hatched to do the dedication while we were in Columbus. It was Marc's idea, but I whole-heartedly agreed it was a great idea. Not only could all of the Brumley family be there, but all the people in the Columbus congregation who had helped raise this money.

Yesterday morning, I sat behind the Brumley family as Marc told how God was a weaver, weaving our lives in the lives of not only the Brumleys, but the entire Columbus congregation. How God uses tragedy and weaves it into triumph. I had my tissues out before Marc got started good. Some of the Brumleys did, too. Perhaps others did as well.

Marc had planned it with Karen for the children to call at a certain time. Marc's phone rang and he answered it and the children from Casa de Esperanza began to sing, in English, "I Love You With the Love of the Lord" to the Brumley family. How sweet was that.

Marc did a great job of dedicating the new building and expressing our gratitude to the Brumley family. It was a moving and meaningful morning.

Again, we thank the Brumley family.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

The First Week

Camille is feeding the horses
Camille is watching a humming bird

Camille on the beach at Proffit's Porch

We have been in the States for a week and have enjoyed ourselves immensely. We have spent time with our kids and grandkids. Since Camille is traveling with us this first week, we got to enjoy having both of our granddaughters at the same time. Camille is a sweet cousin to little Haley. She also has been a real trooper as we travelled and visited so many different people.

We are in Columbus and have made the rounds visiting as many people as possible. We have eaten at Proffit's Porch and Pepper's. I fully expect to eat at Mi Toro before I leave tomorrow. It might sound like all I care about is eating. I guess that is partially true, but we have and will enjoy great fellowship with our friends as we eat. Good food, good friends, and good fellowship. Doesn't get much better than that.

As I have been at Nathan's, at Nicole's, and here in Columbus, I have had several rounds of missing Ryan. It usually does not hit this time of year and caught me off guard. I do think he would have been a great uncle to these girls.

We have had a relaxing and busy time so far. Tomorrow, Marc teaches Bible class and then we hit the road visiting several more churches over the next four weeks.

I am thankful for this time with family and friends.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Midnight Ride

Remember reading, and maybe memorizing, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem about the midnight ride of Paul Revere. I thought about that poem this morning. Shortly after midnight.

Miss Haley Grace started crying about 9:00 p.m. Nicole rocked her. I walked with her. For short periods of time, we got her quiet. After Nicole fed her at 11:30, we thought she was asleep. We quickly found out she was still awake and unhappy. Nicole said she always goes to sleep in the car. So, at 12:15 we loaded her in the car and went for a ride on the streets of Baton Rouge.

I am quite sure when Nicole buckled her in the car seat, I saw her smile. She was probably thinking I have these two wrapped around my finger. I think she was asleep before we got out of the parking lot of the apartment complex. But just in case, we took a nice long ride.

It was almost 1:00 when we returned with a soundly sleeping baby. And I can assure you both of us fell into our beds. We did not hear another sound from Haley until 5:30 this morning.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Riding Bicycles

Linda and Fitto

The kids are enjoying the bicycles. All the bicycles were repaired this summer. The kids are glad they are in working order again. Everyone rides the bikes. Even Erica and Joselyn get out there and ride those bikes. I am sure Erica and Joselyn have never had a bike. And the bike path is great. A great big thanks to the Kansas group for repairing the bikes and for building the bike path. You done good.