Saturday, August 31, 2013

Morning Sounds

This morning around 7:30 I decided to go for a walk.  I do this frequently at home.  I could not help but notice the morning sounds, or lack thereof.

In Honduras, for most people Saturday is a work day.  In Jackson, Mississippi, in a secluded sub-division, most of the world has Saturday off. 

In Honduras, the buses roar to life about 4:30 every morning.  They can be heard as they go up and down the streets, chug-chugging along and honking their horns.  I also hear chickens and donkeys.  People start their day early.  I hear my neighbors at their pilas and their outdoor stoves as they wash their clothes and make their tortillas.  As people walk to have their corn ground for the day, there is just a lot of conversation.  By 7:30 on Saturday, most people are up and there is a lot of morning sounds.

This morning there was a lot of peace and quiet for a walk.  I essentially heard nothing.  People were in their homes with the doors tightly closed and their air conditioners running (and trust me, everyone needed their air conditioners running).  There were no sounds drifting from any house as there is in Honduras.  No air conditioners and open doors and windows makes for a lot of noise coming out of each and every house.  Cooking and washing too, were being done inside.  Except for a few other walkers, no one was outside.  No one visiting with neighbors.  Before I returned to Nathan's, one lawn mower started.  I am sure there was many more of those throughout the day.  But during the morning, I could not help but notice the extreme difference in the morning sounds.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Marc's passport arrived at the airport and he was able to travel with me.  We had seats together on both flights, something that does not happen very often. 

I was so exhausted.  I slept until 7:30 both yesterday and today.  The air conditioner was out on the car.  Kim graciously offered hers, but we decided to drive ours on to Jackson.  It was hot, but bearable.  We are used to rolling with the flow.  The a/c is now fixed and we will be fine for the rest of our travels.

Right now, we are at Nathan and Julia's  How it does this momma's heart good to be here.  Watching Texas Tech football.  Playing Yahtzee.  One trip to Sonic.  And lots of Camille hugs.  We will enjoy precious family here until Tuesday morning.  We then will leave for Borger to enjoy sweet family time with our parents.

I am not sure what the rest of the weekend holds, but I am not sure I really care as long as we are with our kids  Thankful to be relaxing in Mississippi.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Camille hugs
Being met at the airport by Kim and Pat
Happy hour at Sonic
Let's go get a cup of coffee
Family time
Showers where I can get both hot water and pressure at the same time
Camille hugs
Miles and miles of car time with Marc
Dollar cokes and free internet at McDonald's
Cokes with all the ice I want
Girl time
Worshiping in English for a month
Visiting many churches
Visiting many friends
Camille hugs
Looking at Janet's pictures
Eating at the Plaza
Vacation time in the Smoky Mountains
And, at the end of the month, coming back home.

I am checked in and ready.  Waiting for Marc's passport to arrive from Santa Ana.  I guess it happens to the best of them.  I am going with or without him.

I will see many of you soon.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another Day In Honduras

We are leaving for the States tomorrow.  Yay!  This time Thursday night, I hope to be at Nathan's getting Camille hugs.  There is always so much to do before I leave. One day last week, I asked Matt if he would go to Tegucigalpa with me today and help me get the groceries purchased.  There were not too many errand besides the groceries and this should not have taken long.  It didn't take too long.

But,  I had meeting at school at noon and, therefore, we did not leave until around 12:30, rather late to leave.  It is what it is.

Our first stop was the bank.  The Casa store had a great summer and I was wanting to exchange some of that US cash for lempiras.  In the past, we have always exchanged cash and sometimes quite large amounts, in twentys, fives and ones.  And, I had a large amount today.  In the bank, they have to count the money far more times than is necessary.  They counted and counted and counted and counted.  Every time they counted, they pulled a bill or two out and put it in a special stack.  Then they counted again.  You can well imagine that a lengthy line was forming behind us. 

The special stack was bills that a tear in them.  No matter how small the tear, the bill was rejected.  After the money was counted 47 times and all the rejects found, they told us they could only exchange a certain amount each day.  An amount far lower than what I had brought in.  I just stood there in amazement.  Why they could not have told me in the beginning.  It would have saved a lot of time counting money they were not even going to exchange for me.

We were in the bank an hour, until 3:00.  I am very thankful tonight, as I still have so much to do, that all the other errands went much more smoothly than the bank.  Or we would still be in PriceSmart.

And, I guess Matt will go back to the bank tomorrow.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Vision Appointments

IHNFA asked us to get Josue and Olman's eyes tested.  We did not really have an option on this one.  When Nicole last took Emma Kate to the pediatrician, she asked for a reference for someone that could test the babies' eyes.  The doctor gave a name and the hospital at which the eye doctor worked.  No phone number.

One day, Debbie went to town to find the hospital ( one to which we had never been) and make the appointments.  She is taking the bus and cabs and asking where this hospital is.  Once she arrived, she was told she would have to call one day for appointments the next day.  She did leave with a number.

We did not make the appointments immediately because we had to find a day when two of us could go.  With two babies, it takes two adults.  We finally got the appointments for this afternoon at 4:00.  Nicole and Debbie went.  That meant Emma Kate also went.  Three babies.  I told Nicole I knew where the hospital was, but I wasn't sure where the parking was.

Nicole loaded all three babies in the car and left here around 2:30.  She parked at the food court and walked.  It was about the closest place to park.

And, of course, the doctor was late.

Taking Olman is never a pleasant experience.  And, today was no exception.  He screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed some more.  I don't know how the doctor checked his eyes with all that screaming.  She may have charged us more than she normally would have and called it pain and suffering.

After a very long time, the doctor was finished and the doctor said nothing was wrong with their eyes.  Whew!  Are we glad. 

Nicole got back to the food court and found she had to have purchased something to get to park for free.  She gladly bought herself and Debbie a granita and got her card stamped.  I think I would have done the same thing.

Last time I talked to her, she was in horrible traffic and did not expect to be back for a long, long time.

I am very thankful these appointments are over and that all is well.  I don't think Olman has another appointment for a while.  I hope so.  We all hope so.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Baby Josue is 21 months old.  He is still not walking, still not talking ( not even baby jibberish), still not chewing.  Still not doing many things.  But, he is making progress.  Very slow progress, but progress, nonetheless.

One day earlier this week, he stood by himself for just a few seconds.  While his little legs are very weak, he has quite a bit of upper body strength. 

He tends to cry every time we go to a doctor or any where.  He does fairly well in the car, but when we arrive, he starts crying and does not stop until we are back in the car.  Any new situation or stimulation brings a lot of tears.  Last week, I took Josue to see an ear, nose and throat specialist.  He went rigid and began crying before I got him into the car seat.  I was sure it was going to be a long day.  Once he was the car, the ride to town was quite pleasant.  We entered a different hospital and the tears began.  Yair went first and I held Josue.  In an unfamiliar environment, he sat in my lap placidly.  I was very thankful.  He teared up when he saw the new doctor.  The doctor was amazing with the children and soon, there was no more tears.  We rewarded both Josue and Yair with a cookie.  Only because there was a coffee shop in the hospital.  There is no way I would have made an extra stop with those two.

At Teleton, Josue has been in a multisensory program.  I don't really know what it is about because parents aren't allowed to go in with the babies.  At first, he cried from the time we arrived at Teleton until he was safely back in the car.  We can't go in, but we can hear him screaming the whole time. 

Four weeks ago, he stopped crying about 15 minutes into the session.  That was progress.  Two weeks ago, he stopped crying as soon as he entered the multisensory room.  Yesterday, he did so well that he got to stay longer than the alloted 30 minutes. 

There will still be a lot of medicine, a lot of doctors, a lot of therapy, a lot of trips to Tegucigalpa.  But this little guy is making progress.  We praise God daily for the progress he is making.  Please don't stop praying for Josue.  He is going to get there.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I was going to write about this welcome to Honduras day.  How Nicole and I took Maryuri all the way to Hospital Viera for an appointment.  We got there to find out the doctor is on a European vacation and the receptionist said when the doctor returned she would call Nicole.   The receptionist had Nicole's number and did not call to say the doctor was not in.  It would have made a nice story.

At least we stopped for Dr. Peppers.  It was a long way to go for a Dr. Pepper.

On the way home, I learned something that upset me.  When we got here, I did not act very nice.  I am not proud of those actions.  I apologized.  Profusely.  And immediately.  But, those words can never be taken back.  I still hear them ringing.  I am sure the other person does, too.

I came here to share Jesus.  To be the hands and feet of Jesus.  And mouth.  I failed miserably.   I keep hearing the words to the song "Angry words, oh let them never from the tongue unbridled slip" and "why do so many things seem to get in the way"

I am so thankful for God's grace.  For forgiveness when I fail so miserably.  Where would we be without it?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Appointments, Appointments, Appointments

We have had and will have several appointments.

Thursday of last week, Deborah and I took Josue and Yair to town.  I thought we were going to have hearing tests.  Instead, we saw an ear, nose and throat specialist.  He was a great doctor with the kids.  He recommended further testing for both of them.  That will be two more appointments.

Josue and Olman will have vision tests this week.  Maryuri sees a new psychologist tomorrow. 

Sometimes, these appointments breed new appointments. 

Then there are all of the Teleton appointments.  We have 5 kids in Teleton and Any starts next month.

Please pray that all goes well in all appointments.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Good Ol' Dog

Many years ago, Ryan wanted a black lab and wanted to name him Skillet.  We were in the process of moving to Mississippi.  I am not a huge pet person, but I have always allowed the kids to have pets.  I thought once we got moved, we would find a black lab.  Marc had the cutest golden retriever puppy waiting on us when we arrived.  The black lab sort of got put on the back burner.

Four years later, Nathan got a black lab, and in honor of his brother, named him Skillet.  Nathan trained that dog.  Skillet may be the best trained dog I have ever seen.  Nathan went to Harding and you don't keep black labs in the dorm.  We tried keeping him at another place in Searcy.  It did not work too well, so Skillet came to our home. (We still had the golden retriever and other dogs we had acquired along the way.)

One night, Nicole begged to let Skillet sleep in her room.  I had never allowed the dogs in the house.  I relented under the condition her bedroom door was  shut.  I awoke in the middle of the night and heard the strangest noises.  Not only had Skillet left Nicole's room and come down stairs, he had managed to get into the pantry.  He had a five pound bag of flour.  He had chewed it open and was holding the bag in his mouth and shaking his head.  Flour was every where.  And, I mean everywhere.  It did not clean up too easily.  I still wish I would have taken a picture of that mess.

And then, there was the weekend of Marc's parents 50th wedding anniversary.  We usually did not travel with the pets, but again an exception was made.  Even though it has been almost 10 years, I doubt that my in-laws are laughing yet over the shenanigans of Skillet.  Erica may not be laughing either.  But some of the rest of us can find humor in the situation, 10 years later.

When we moved to Illinois, Skillet was such a baby about the cold weather.  Cocoa, the golden retriever was not.  But Skillet was.

In 2007,  we moved to Honduras.  It was not even debatable.  Skillet would come with us.  He was perfect for this children's home.  He was so gentle with these kids.  And, some of them were not so gentle with him.  Katy rode him. 

Skillet became good friends with Denis, the groundskeeper.  They became like best friends.  Skillet would run off to go be with Denis on his day off.  I would get so mad at that dog.  I always forgave him. 

Skillet started coming to church, and even helped lead the singing. 

I always said Skillet was a good boy for going to church.  But, in reality, he just wanted to be where Denis was.

Then Haley moved to Honduras.  Haley loved Skillet.  She was so gentle with him and would just hug him all the time.  Skillet liked Haley, too.  He would watch tv with Haley.  Or let her use him as her chair while she watched tv.

Nathan got Skillet in 2001, 12 years ago.  Skillet got old on us.  And, he got feeble.  Thursday night when I got home from working in the store, Skillet fell trying to get home.  Yesterday, I knew the end was near.  I sat with him for a long time.  Some of the girls joined me.

I was crying.  Sisi, a true animal lover, was crying, and Katy was crying.  Tears filled Rosy's eyes as she tried to keep the bugs off of Skillet, something he could no longer do.  We tried giving him water and he could not drink.  I told him I loved him.  I told him Nathan loved him.  And one big tear rolled down his face. 

The girls and I sat there with Skillet for a long time.  One by one, the girls left.  Except for Sisi.  She stayed until she had to go in for a shower.  Katy came back before she went in for a shower and said she loved me.  Brayan hugged me before he went in.

Marc carried him to the house. 

Skillet was a good ol' dog.  And I miss him.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Blanket Drop

One night I went with the group when they did a blanket drop at Hospital Escuela.  I have written about a blanket drop, but I had never done one before.  I have been to Hospital Escuela many times, but never at night.  It was an eye-opening experience. 

Marc had purchased around 200 blankets.  Everyone was suppose to have 4 blankets, but some only had one or two.  As we pulled into the parking lot, there were people sleeping on the steps.  People who have sick children cannot stay in the rooms with their children.  They sleep wherever they can find a place.  Some sleep in the halls and, others, sleep outside.

I gave my first blanket away as soon as I got out of the car.  A lady walked up to me.  She needed a lot more than a blanket.  Her shoes were almost soleless and her dress was in tatters. 

Marc divided the group into smaller groups.  One group headed toward the steps to give blankets to those sleeping there.  Then they were to go inside to the children's wards where surely there would be many parents sleeping, or trying to sleep, on the floor.  The other group went to the emergency room.  I went to the emergency room.

No one should ever complain about having to wait a long time in the emergency room again.  I don' think we know what a long time is.

The er was packed and people were waiting outside.  We knew some people would be waiting all night and into the next day.  I walked in and saw a young lady sitting in one of the few chairs.  She was doubled over.  I could not tell if she was praying or crying.  I walked over to her and draped my second blanket around her shoulders.  She was obviously crying.  Maybe praying, too. 

I was going to wait on the others, but someone began to vomit.  No one, not a nurse, not an aide, no one moved to clean it up.  Since many of the group were outside giving blankets to people out there, I made a hasty path to the door. 

The 200 people that received the much needed blankets were appreciative.  We were finished in 15 minutes or less.  And, it was not even a drop in a bucket of the amount of blankets we could have given.  It was so sad to see such a large number of people tired and probably hungry and cold and sleeping or waiting everywhere.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer 2013

The summer group season has ended.  It has been another great summer in Honduras.

New mission house.  New store.  Fourteen teams.  Broken vehicles.  Teaching kids to work the store.  New houses.  New church.  One robbery.  Baptisms. Hungry people fed.  Trips to the airport.  Great interns.  Millions of receipts. 

I am tired.  Very, very tired.  But it has been a great summer.

Monday, August 5, 2013


I am very pleased with the work that Brayan, Ana, and Jackson are doing in the store.  I have sort of been thinking about adding some help and thinking who that might be.  But the last group of the summer is here and I was not planning on training anyone else might now. 

I was thinking Sisi might be good.  And, Daniela was thinking that Daniela might be good.  She begin to pester Karen about asking me if she could work in the store.  I thought this over.

I want all the kids that work in the store to know there is more to working in the store than going to sell for a couple of hours and letting the gringos buy them ice cream.  There is pricing and buying and hauling stuff back and forth every night.

Thursday and Friday I received a lot of new merchandise.  I decided to see how the girls would work.  I talked to both Sisi and Daniela on Friday afternoon.  I told them if they would work Saturday morning on pricing the new merchandise, they could go work in the store one evening this week. 

Daniela broke into a great big smile that hasn't gone away.

Daniela got her chores done and was ready to go.  Both of them started on the pricing, but Sisi had to work on homework.  Daniela worked and worked.  I told her to please save some of it for Sisi.  Sisi finally finished her homework and came in to price.

Tonight was Daniela's night to go to the store.  She was smiling all day.  Brayan worked tonight, too.  Daniela went in and did everything she was asked to do.  We were busy and it was hard to give her a lot of training, but Brayan helped her with many things.  She was willing to sweep the floor, stock the coke machine, whatever. 

She was still smiling when we left and said she liked working in the store.  Tomorrow night Sisi gets to go.  I think it will be just as successful.  I am glad the kids are wanting to do this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Anyone who has ever walked beside a friend during a hard time or anyone who has ever done any kind of ministry knows that all of us can sure make messes of our lives.  Sometimes, the broken pieces of lives can be put back together again. 

If one glues those pieces together, the glue may or may not hold.  If the glue does not hold on an already fragile, pieced-back-together pot, it can be messy.  Very messy.

This week was messy.  Please pray for those for whom the glue did not hold.  And please, pray for us as we try to love people through this and as we attempt to teach that Jesus is the only glue that will hold.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Pavilion

Eight years ago there was a blockmaker here.  It made all the blocks for the church building and for the first building at Casa de Esperanza.  When there was no longer a blockmaker, there was still concrete pads out there.

Then there is rainy season.  Sometimes, it rains for days on end.  Have you ever tried entertaining 23 kids when they cannot go outside for days on end?  It is not so fun.

It has long been our wish to have a covered area in which the children could play when it rains.  Thanks to the Borger Church of Christ for the financial donation to make that happen.  Three ladies from that congregation, among others, worked all week to make that happen by building a cover, a pavilion, over the concrete pads.

Lanetta had to stop for pictures.
The kids were really proud of this project and several worked hard.

Break time or Cal-Trans?

Someone worked hard enough to get her face dirty.

A work in progress

Many of the children put their physical efforts in this project, but 22 of the 23  got to put their hand prints in the concrete.

Twenty of the twenty two kids really enjoyed putting their hands in the concrete.

Two did not.

The finished pavilion

After so much work had been done of this project, it only seemed fitting to initiate the pavilion with a party.


Of course, Vickie  had balloons
Happy children

Hot dogs

These two may not have liked putting their hands in concrete, but they liked the hot dogs.

Coke floats, a first time treat.  And, who could not like coke floats?

There were games with water balloons and no party in Honduras would be complete without a pinata.

The new pavilion was initiated well.

A great big thank you to the Borger Church of Christ.