Monday, August 30, 2010

What Were We Thinking?

Three years ago, when we were leaving for Honduras, I drove from Illinois to Texas with my most prized possessions, including eight cases of photo albums. Eight cases spanning the first 31 years of our marriage. Everyone got to keep some of my stuff for me, but my photo albums had to stay at my sister-in-law's house. I knew she would care for them in the same way I had.

Since arriving in Texas on August 6, I have been a bit nostalgic. I have made several trips to Janet's to look at my pictures. Every time I have had a few minutes or a few hours, I have headed to Janet's. Sometimes she was there and sat and looked at my pictures with me. Sometimes she was not and sat and looked by myself. I have stayed up late at night when I should have been sleeping. I have looked at the albums as I came to them. Ideally, I would have lined them up in chronological order. But there was not time for lining up the albums.

I have laughed and I have cried. I have remembered things I might have otherwise forgotten if there was not pictures to capture the moment. I have relived the richness and fullness of raising three children, of having extended family, and having good friends on this journey called life.

Saturday night and tonight I have been on a mission looking for four certain pictures for a special project. At least, I found those pictures, but in the process, I have rushed through some albums. I may not get to look at all the pictures this trip. But I will be back to finish this journey.

The above picture was taken in 1979. Marc and I lived in Amarillo, Texas. It was BK (before kids). This was a popular hairstyle. But we both did it. And we wore that way for a long time. Who would have ever thought Marc once had that much hair?

What were we thinking?


Sunday, August 29, 2010

God Is So Good

When Marc and I left Honduras on August 5, there was still a lot of food in our warehouse. We needed to get it out before the mice ate it. Marc asked Milton, Luis, and Timoteo to help get rid of it. Lots of food went to the feeding center in Moa Loa, to Santa Katarina and other places. The guys proudly reported all the food was gone.

Just yesterday, Marc found out he was getting another container of rice meals. We had not even mentioned the container yet, but we knew the money for shipping would have to be covered. When a food container is concerned, God always delivers the money, usually within 48 hours. This time was no exception. The full amount was waiting on us when we got to church this morning. This was before we made public the knowledge that we would need these expenses covered.

It is really fun to be serving such an amazing God.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby Birds

At least once a year, birds build a nest and have babies in the rafters on the front porch of my
in-law's house. My father-in-law loves the baby birds. He loves them enough to clean up the mess on the porch below.

There are baby birds now. And they are getting almost too big for that nest. Last night and this morning they were peeping over the top of that nest. Aren't they cute?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She's Home

My mom finally got to come home from the hospital today. It was after 7:30 p.m. before we pulled into the driveway.

Thank you for your many prayers. It has been a very long week. I am going to bed.

Good night.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Traveling With The Tindalls

Marc and I left Borger Saturday morning. We were headed for Venango, Nebraska. I was really excited. I had never been to Nebraska and I always love to enter a state in which I have never been. And I like riding with Marc and seeing things I have never seen before. Marc mapped the route we would take. He chose the route along the eastern edge of Colorado.

And we just thought the Texas panhandle was flat. I believe that is the flattest country I have ever seen. We went for miles and did not see a person, a house, a cow, a fence, a high line. Not a single living or nonliving thing.

I never thought of Colorado as a farm state, but eastern Colorado is every bit as much of a farm state as Nebraska and Kansas. We saw fields of corn, maize, barley, sunflowers.

It was only an eight hour drive from Borger to Venango. Venango's claim to fame, besides being the home of Steve and Rachel Tucker, is the buckle of the wheat belt. And I was glad to have arrived at the buckle of the wheat belt. But going north, we thought it would be cooler in Nebraska than it was in Texas. Were we ever wrong.

We got to go the field and pick sweet corn. Enough for supper and enough to take to pot luck on Sunday. We came back, shucked the corn and less than an hour after we picked it, we were eating the corn. It can't be much fresher than that. It was delicious sweet corn.

In the same way I want to show Casa de Esperanza to guests, Steve wanted to show me his farm. And I wanted to see it. I was impressed with the part I got to see. I got to see the corn, of course, and the sunflowers too, up close. The sunflowers up close were a sight to behold and much prettier than the ones we whizzed by at 70 miles an hour.

The next morning we were at the Church of Christ in Ogallala, Nebraska, where Marc did his usual outstanding job of sharing our work. And then. Just imagine pot luck in August in the middle of farm country. More sweet corn. Green beans, cucumbers. Canteloupe and watermelon sweet enough to be dessert.

We then drove three hours to Denver to have a wonderful, but much too short, visit with Linda and Larry, Marc's aunt and uncle. It has been way too long since we spent time with them.

We drove back to Texas today. Out there in those flat lands of New Mexico, we could definitely see what the weatherman meant by scattered showers.

We will be hanging in Borger until next week.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Gallbladder Surgery

On Wednesday, my mom continued to have tests and it was discovered she had a really bad gallbladder that needed to be removed. The first words out of her mouth were I want to go to Amarillo.

Thursday morning we met with the doctor and stated the desire to transfer to Amarillo. He said that was fine and he would start those arrangements. I asked him if he thought it would be afternoon before that happened and he said, "at best." I explained I was taking my kids to the airport but I would be back by 1:00 p.m. He said all these things take time and that won't be a problem.

I left for Amarillo in sister-in-law's van and left her sitting with my mom. I wasn't five miles from the hospital when Janet called and said they were completing the transfer papers. Over the next hour and a half, Janet and I talked several times on the phone. My phone was ringing as much as Marc's does when we are in Honduras. We decided I would stay in Amarillo and she would drive my mom's car over. Fortunately, I thought to leave the keys with her.

We still thought we had more time than we really had. I had to leave the airport about thirty minutes sooner than I had planned. Not being there with my mother when she was put in the ambulance and leaving Janet to deal with it and pack all of my mom's stuff and my stuff added to the already conflicting emotions swirling around with Matt and Nicole leaving. Of course, Janet is perfectly capable to do all these things, it's just not her mother. Or for that matter, even a relative. And we all know if I had wanted the transfer to be complete before noon, it would have not been complete until late afternoon.

I hugged the kids and headed for the hospital. I beat the ambulance and did all the admitting before she arrived. That helped. Janet got here about an hour after the ambulance. And we traded car keys and showed each other where the cars were parked.

My mother's surgeon is a trauma surgeon. It was a couple of hours before we were able to see him. He decided that gallbladder needed to come out and the sooner the better. He said it would be this morning, but didn't give us a time until last night.

For the third night in a row, I stayed in the hospital with my mom. Last night, she had a really bad night. I was thinking about 2:30 neither of us would get any sleep, but we both went to sleep shortly after that and got some pretty good rest.

This morning she was sick again. It was bad.

Surgery started pretty much on time. Her gallbladder was enflamed to almost three times its normal size and the surgeon had to do a full cut. He had hoped to use a laproscope. Mom came through the surgery fine. She is back in her room full of pain meds, and resting not so comfortably.

Please keep my mom in your prayers. With the full cut, she has a longer recovery than we had hoped for.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Leaving For Costa Rica

Today was a big day for Matt and Nicole. They left for Costa Rica to begin language school next week. This is one step closer to them being in Honduras with us. Matt and Nicole were excited and Baby Haley was just her normal, sweet, happy self.

I drove them to Amarillo in my sister-in-law's van. Them, their six pieces of luggage, 5 carry-ons, car seat and stroller. The van was completely full. At first thought, that seems like a lot of luggage. But they are moving to Costa Rica for a year and that is all they are taking with them. The lady at the Continental counter kind of stared at them as they walked toward the counter. Nicole said we are moving and you will just have to charge us whatever it costs. Amazingly, all six pieces weighed under fifty pounds. We were not too sure about two of them. It only cost $90.00 for the extra luggage. I promise I never moved for $90.00

I am excited about this new stage in their lives. As a mom, I am a bit apprehensive as well. Right this minute, I am not sure when I will see them again. I don't know how expensive it will be to call Costa Rica from Honduras. I know I may not get to talk to them as often as I have become accustomed. I know they will have dial-up internet. Thank goodness for yahoo chat and email.

As I write this, they are in Houston, ready to board their flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.

Don't forget Matt, Nicole and Haley in your prayers as they begin this new adventure.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Monday, my mother had retinal surgery. Things went well. Extremely well. I was supposed to take her back for a follow up visit yesterday. We were to leave for Amarillo at 6:00. I got up at 5:00 to find my mother up and sick. Before we could leave for Amarillo, my mom decided she had to go to the emergency room. We went to the local er and a heart attack was ruled out and we were dismissed. I called the eye doctor and explained my mother was ill. I was told it was imperative that I bring her for her follow up. I loaded her in the car and we left for Amarillo. Everything with her eye was fine. But as we headed back for Borger, she felt worse and worse.

With encouragement from my sister, my sister-in-law and my mother's doctor, we headed back to the local er yesterday afternoon. This time she was admitted. Tests are being done. Please pray for my mother. She is in so much pain.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Haley Comes To Texas

Yesterday Matt, Nicole and Haley arrived in Texas. Texas, the lone star state. Land of cowboys and cowgirls. Haley came with her cowboy hat. Isn't she cute? She doesn't really like wearing hats so we had to snap fast to get a picture.

We will be having lots of fun this week.


Saturday, August 14, 2010


Shortly after Marc and I married, we moved to Lubbock, Texas and Marc finished college at Texas Tech. After completing his degree, Marc had a job in Amarillo for three years. He received a promotion and we moved back to Lubbock. I was happy about that. I had liked living in Lubbock. And I liked it the second time as well. We lived there for eight years. Longer than we have lived any where else.

Lubbock was a great place to raise our family. Two of our kids were born there. We liked our church and our home. We had good neighbors and great friends. The schools were good. I would have been content to live the rest of our lives in Lubbock. But that was not to be.

Thursday afternoon we went to Lubbock to visit some relatives. We went to see Carolyn and Rich. Carolyn is Marc's cousin, whom I quickly claimed as my own cousin after meeting her the first time. We also saw Marc's Aunt Hattie and as a bonus got to see Mel and Donna, too.
I visited way into the night. I think I am getting too old for that. But, I haven't been to Searcy yet so I probably will do it another time or two.

So many things in Lubbock are different. And so many the same. What pleasant memories flooded over me as we drove past parks and the library. Lubbock still has a Taco Villa and a Der Weinerschnitzel. You don't see those restaurants very often. We liked both of them. The sign on Der Weinerschnitzel said "5 for $5.00" Dating myself just a bit, Marc and I could remember when we could get 5 for $1.00.

Now there are freeways all over and around Lubbock. As we entered town on I-27 and drove across town, I could see the big bell tower at the Broadway Church of Christ. Many good friends and many good memories.

We had a wonderful time in with Carolyn and Rich, just not enough of it. But the stroll down memory lane was pleasant for me as well.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pay Day

Everyone likes pay day. I always liked pay day. I usually had something in mind on which to spend my hard-earned money. Usually something I did not really need. I never ever had to wait until I got paid to buy food for my children.

I love watching the Hondurans that work for us on pay day. I am a receipt nazi. Marc is not. There is so much activity and so many receipts while groups are in Honduras. Marc just can't keep up with all the receipts. This summer he hired someone just to help him keep with the receipts. He hired an eighteen year old from our church named Kelin (Kaylene). She was good help and was thankful for the job. After one week, Marc paid her. She was jumping up and down and was so excited. She had never had money of her own.

The ladies that work at Casa are equally fun to watch. It is a law that we have to pay our employees a month's pay once in June and again in December. Everyone knows they are going to get it and are expecting it. Yet, when those dates roll around, and I actually give it to them, there is excitement and gratitude. Every one thanks me and is grateful for this extra pay. There is excitement from everyone, Dilma and Nadia are usually the most excited. Dilma gives a little clap.

Sometimes on those big payroll months, I worry just a little about it being covered. It always is because God is so good all the time. When I hear the gratefulness from each of our employees and see a little clap or their faces full of excitement, I quickly forget all my concerns.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Excitement Abounds

Today, Marc played golf with his dad. I ate lunch with my sister-in-law and we relived our trip to Italy several years ago. It was a good day. A very good day.

This evening I was sitting at the computer trying to plow through some of the paperwork on which I am so behind. Marc said, "do you want to go to Wal-Mart with me?" Never wanting to pass up an opportunity for Wal-Mart, I jumped up so fast, no one knew what was happening. And Marc said, " and Sonic, too."

Man, oh man, it doesn't get much better than that. Wal-Mart and Sonic in the same evening. We went to Wal-Mart and Marc got a new toothbrush. I got a new atlas. Aren't we exciting? Then on to Sonic. We sat there sipping on our drinks and then came back to Marc's parent's house.

That is what vacation is for; trips to Wal-Mart and Sonic.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Adventures In Traveling.

I never get much sleep the night before a travel day. Wednesday night was no exception. I tried to get as many things done as possible. It was way after midnight before I called it a day. I slept fast because I was up before 4:00. My only thought was I will sleep when I get on the plane.

We checked in at the Delta counter only to find out our plane was delayed two hours. We had a four hour layover in Atlanta, so everything should still be ok. When I have choices, I would rather be waiting in Atlanta not Tegucigalpa. I feel a little more confident I will make that connecting flight.

We got to Atlanta and had to be pulled aside in customs because Marc was carrying some of Lanetta's beef jerky. Funny thing. She made it in the States and brought it to Honduras. She left it with Marc, but when we tried to bring it back in the country, that was not a good thing. Marc was going to show them which bag it was in and they screamed, "don't touch that bag." It was his bag after all.

Once we got through customs and to our new gate, we discovered the flight to Oklahoma City was delayed an hour. We grabbed a bagel and considered that supper. Soon the flight to OKC was delayed another hour. Our original plans were to land in Oklahoma City around 11:00. We were thinking 1:00 before we even land. Marc began to wonder if the rent car counter would still be open. Before we could find out, our flight was canceled. Delta graciously rebooked us to Oklahoma City this morning and sent us off to sleep in the Sheraton and gave us $24.00 worth of meal tickets. Trust me, the Sheraton was a lot nicer accomodations that we would have found for ourselves in Oklahoma City. I slept very well. Very well.

We did not even have a crack of dawn flight this morning. And we had been rebooked in first class. Not bad for using frequent flier miles.

When we got to Oklahoma City, our rent car was gone, so they upgraded us. We had a very pleasant drive to Amarillo. No traffic. No mountains.

We got to Amarillo and ate at the Cracker Barrel. A wonderful way to start our visit in Texas. And then to continue that welcome, I got to see a beautiful west Texas sunset, the place where God created sunsets.

We are here. Loving on family, with a lot more of that to follow. I am sure I will rest well again tonight.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The End Of Summer

Another summer in Honduras is history. The last few people left Monday. I tear up when everyone leaves, usually worse when the last people leave. I was smiling when the last ones left Monday. It was our Borger folks and we will see them next week. Made saying good-bye much easier.

What an awesome summer it has been. Awesome in more ways than one. We made no trips to San Pedro Sula and no groups had to leave early because of political crises. The airport was open every single day. We know. We were there.

In the way of work, it was also an awesome summer. Forty five wooden houses built and three block ones. There were feedings at dump every Monday and every Wednesday and some Fridays. Even when the pots were not taken to Anita, hungry people were fed. Weren't they Nicole. Hundreds of food bags were delivered in several villages. Vacation Bible Schools. Clinics. Clothing distributions. Children were loved on and played with. A new soccer field was built. And clothes lines. Visits to the hospital. Two different times late night blanket runs were made to the hospital. Parents have to sleep in the floor and the hallways and wherever they can find space. Our groups went in with blankets and placed them on sleeping bodies. Most didn't even wake. Wouldn't you love to see their faces when they woke up and found a blanket. I hope they slept a bit warmer. A couple of days some of folks worked on the new classroom at Manos Felices. Manos Felices is near and dear to my heart. I was glad we could help. I am sure I haven't covered everything. Wonderful devos. Wonderful singing. Wonderful fellowship. When it was all said and done, there were twenty five new Christians. Praise God.

The weeks the groups are here are exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time. And the weeks fly by so quickly we don't know what has hit us. It is so cool to see people fall in love with a child or a family, or some specific ministry. To watch them work harder than some may be accustomed. To watch people from different places come together, work together and leave as friends. We always have new friends as each group leaves.

I did not know which way was up yesterday. I worked all day plowing through the paperwork. And did not even make a dent in it. Marc was already talking about next year. I wanted to wait a day or so. But it is hard to contain his excitement.

We leave tomorrow. I always think if I had one more day, I would have more done and be more ready to leave. I just take a lot of work with me. We will spend most of our time in Texas. An awesome summer comes to an awesome end as we spend precious time with family. I don't think I am quite ready to do 5000 miles in five weeks as we usually do.

Give me a few days and I will be wanting to think about next year, too.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Rain, Rain

Honduras has two season, a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy season usually lasts from May through November with a good break in July. This year the rain started in April and we saw no break in July. We have had two tropical storms dumping inches and inches of rain on us. In June there was about 35 inches and I haven't kept track in July. But a lot. A whole lot. I have live places, like Lubbock, Texas and Los Angeles where there is not 35 inches in one year, much less one month.

The never ceasing rain and the overcast skies that come with it, make me long for the heat in the states. Heat means sunshine. I bet this girl does not complain about the sunshine when she gets to the States this week.

The heavy rains of September and October are yet to come.

Electricity is expensive in Honduras. In the dry season, we hang our clothes to dry. This year the electricity bill has been so high, we have not used the clothes dryers, even though it rains everyday. Karen hung ropes in the house and the clothes are hung there everyday. It works very well. Most of the time, everything is dry by morning. Unfortunately, clothes don't dry as fast in my house. Sometimes, I use a line or two in the afternoon to get our things dry. It is hard not to laugh when I think about only three years ago never imagining hanging my clothes inside Casa de Esperanza.

God is so good. I have clothes to wear and a house in which to hang them to dry.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Denis has planted flowers and has this place looking great. There are flowers in many places around Casa de Esperanza. Two of the places with the most flowers are all along the sidewalk between our house and Casa and by the store. With all the blloming flowers, we have seen many butterflies hovering over the flowers. The butterflies are in all sizes and colors. I love watching the butterflies.