Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Ol Kentucky Home

Today's post is a special one indeed in honor of a place so near and dear to my heart. A place that I was born, a place I was raised and a place that I have a feeling one day will call me back.

This Saturday the city of Louisville will be put on stage while the everyone watches the Kentucky Derby...... The Run for the Roses.

No matter near or far away the first Saturday in May always holds special meaning......
 Thank you Louisville for making me proud to call you home. 
Being the most northern southern town there is..... (my opinion if you ask me). 
For your fast horses, the sweet taste of a mint julep, your rolling green hills, your old Louisville charm, your incredible restaurants, your Kentucky hot brown, for loving basketball like more than most people love their families, for your summers spent on the lake, for catching fireflies as a kid and for making my childhood now look like scenes from a movie..... (almost too good to be true). 

You are missed but I am so glad I always have a place to go home too. 
(most certainly now that my whole family will be there)

  • The home my parents brought me home from the hospital too.
  • The house where I learned to ride my bike.
  • Where I played basketball with my dad and attempted to shoot threes from the line near the garage. (missed nearly every time)
  • Where my best friend lived next door and we would run between our yards.
  • Where my sister and I lost our hamster in his rolly ball thingy when he rolled out of the garage.
  • Where we waited on the steps Christmas morning.
  • Where we ran after golf balls that dad would hit out of backyard into the field behind our house.
  • Where we ran after the ice cream man as he drove by our street.
  • Where we waited for dad to come driving down the street with his fishing boat behind him and we would hop in the back just to ride up the drive way.
  • A place that was home for the first 15 years of my life.

  • The home that my parents built right before I went into high school. Just down the street from our old house.
  • The house I brought my new car home too on my sixteenth birthday so my friends could surprise me and decorate it.
  • The staircase that hosted many prom pictures.
  • The house that held my sixteenth birthday party, with all of my friends and ruined mom and Dads carpet.
  • The screened in porch that saw many a high school late night study sessions, Saturday morning paper readings and late nights with friends talking.
  • The house that was home for many basketball football watching parties.
  • The neighbors with the adorable kids that my mom played aunt/grandma too.
  • The house that I packed out of to leave for college.
  • The house was home for five years.

From my home in Honduras I will do my very best to pay my respects to my Ol Kentucky Home by making my kids celebrate the Derby. My roommates and I will drink bourbon in the first Saturday in Mays honor and will eat Drink and Be Merry. Happy Derby Week everyone!

More Kentucky Posts in Tow for this week.... As well no School tomorrow. Dia De Mayo (May day!) Woohoo! Whatever it means I will take it :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Were the three best friends.....Tela, Honduras

"The beach, where doing absolutely nothing is doing something"

Friday after taking a quick photo with one of my very favorite girls Jency, (lives with Alison at the Eternal Family Project) Matt, Kylie and I were beach bound for the weekend.... We hired a taxi to drop us off in the town of El Progresso. After buying a necessary chunky chocolate chip cookie (for me) at Dunkin Donuts and Ice-cream for Kylie at Baskin Robins we stood on the side of the road attempting to flag down a bus to take us further on down the highway an hour and half to Tela. Tela is a beach town that sits right on the Caribbean  We have been to this place twice last fall and could not wait to get there......

We got a bus and the next thing you know we were already on the beach, wine and beer in hand watching the sunset. The sunset did not disappoint either......Leaving school at 2 pm and seeing the sunset by 5:30 pm... not bad if you ask me. We stayed at the Caribbean Coral Inn, a Bed in Breakfast right on the water. As a guest you are staying in cabins on the beach that are apart of the families home as well. All food is cooked by the wife and she makes everything fresh ready to order. So good... 

Our weekend top moments:
  • Dinner served fresh made to order..... and the very best garlicky sauce for salad with garlic bread.
  • Saturday Morning the three of us did yoga by the sea, followed by being in the ocean all afternoon with nothing to do. 
  • Eating Pizza in Tela at the beach Saturday Night. Stuffed crust and breadsticks... it has been far too long pizza, far too long......
  • Saturday night getting in bed before 8:30 pm. All three of us. Full, sunburnt and happy. Headlamps were on and we were reading our books. 
  • Sunday morning breakfast, followed by more yoga on a deck barely big enough for the three of us. Which then led to more swimming in the ocean....
  • Sunday on our way home we stopped in San Pedro bus station stocking up on things we have not been able to buy in a quite some time, chips, whole wheat pasta for matt, grapes, granola bars, chocolate.....
  • Should not forget when Matt saved the day by grabbing the wheel to avoid hitting a bunch of rocks that were blocking construction being done..... while our taxi driver was elsewhere.....
Here are some pictures.... Enjoy

Smiling because it is Friday
Picture taken out of the bus, no filter, bluest sky and greenest landscape.


Morning... Before our yoga session.

So sunny and so beautiful

Being goofy....

This is a small collection of nearly 20 or so pictures I have of us three that night on the beach... 

Kylie and I acting natural

Matts thoughts on being at the beach

As you can tell we nearly had the entire beach to ourselves the whole weekend with the exception of a few locals in the afternoon.

Acting natural again.

Now I am back at school, just six weeks to go and Honduras is finished... for this chapter at least. It was a great weekend, much needed R and R with my two favorite born and raised Ohioans (Buckeyes/irish)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

When in Honduras...

Do go to the beach for the weekend..... Just Because.........

After school tomorrow we are beach bound...... I will catch up with all of you after the weekend.

Warmest to you....

***Ps. Happy Draft day everyone.... Broncos

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

45 days. Hump Day Ramblings

45 days.... just shy of 6.5 weeks left until I am finished in Honduras. School will be finished and I will say goodbye to my 22 little ones.... say goodbye to my five roommates and I will board a bus to Nicaragua for a week and then on to Costa Rica for a month... Where has the time gone? There was a time when this year seemed to be such a daunting thing before me. It was such a big unknown and now these 10 months are nearly complete....

Seems so strange how much time has passed.....I got my haircut yesterday in hopes that if it was butchered I would have enough time for it to grow back before I moved back to the States and need to look presentable. No worries, the hair cut was as success... all six dollars of it :)

There are few things I am craving right now, specific things I cannot wait to see and do when I get stateside. In other ways there are many things that I could turn my back on and be quite happy if I were to never experience or taste them for a very long time..... here is my current craving, desire list....

  • I crave a grande non-fat, extra hot, no foam, two splenda latte from Starbucks (ridiculous I know :)) and not just any latte but one that came after I stood  in a line, in an air conditioned room, watching as others lined up behind me for their cup of joe before their day begins.
  • I crave a cold coors light at a rockies baseball game and a big ol bag of kettle corn. Regardless of whether the season is looking good for the team. That's what I want. To sit a coors field, watch the boys play and be under the lights.
  • I long to sit on a couch. Like a proper comfy couch with cushions and pillows. Maybe even put a blanket around me because it may be cold. Watch a movie. Oh how wonderful this would be.
  • I cant wait to go for a run outside and not worry about someone cat calling, whistling, slowing down their car to watch me, or just plain starring (hence I rarely run here).
  • I long to have options for dinner besides, fried chicken, honduran baleada, the D and D, or the Chinese restaurant below our house. Sushi, sandwich place, barbecue, steak, mexican food? Options Options......
  • I cant wait to eat at a table that does not have small shrimp/lobster bugs living in it or ants running all over it. To not be afraid to eat something off the table for fear it has "extra proten" (What we call small bugs found in drinks or food).

  • I am over getting up at 6:30 am to catch a bus to go to school. I am tired and who likes school anyway.... ( I thought I graduated?)
  • I am tired of feeling dirty, dirty feet, dusty house, living in dirt.
  • I am so over showering in our kitchen, with the sometimes way too hot.... sometimes freezing temperatures, mediocre water pressure and exposed wires that can electrocute you...
  • I never want to be bitten by a mosquito again. Over those little son of a guns period.
  • I am tired of feeling like I am living in a video game of mario cart while riding in a bus or in a car, trying to avoid pot holes, or holding on for life in the back of a pick up truck to avoid being killed by another crazy driver.

You may read this and say well yes I would be "over" those things too but..... may want to ask me, "Aren't you going to miss it???".........My reply...... Yes.... More than you know.... More than I am afraid I myself can even comprehend.

Such is life... always wanting the things you cannot have.

I will miss riding in the back of pick up trucks, listening to the best of the 80s on the way to school at 6:30 am, miss not caring that I have not showered in a day or two, blow dried my hair in months, and that my feet are constantly covered in dirt, I will miss sitting around the campfire at the D and D even though I was bitten by a bunch of bugs. Most of all I will miss the family that I have here. We are all we have here and let me tell you.... couldn't have been more lucky to call them roommates, colleagues, and my now honduran family.

Loving this verse today.... in the midst of counting down and being present.... Matt shared this with my mom and I and it remains ever true in my heart today...

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Matthew 6:25-34

Scenes around our house and at school. Happy Hump Day Yall...

**** Top left: The men installing something on the internet through the roof in our house.  Top right: My favorite things right now, dark chocolate my mom brought, and sparkling water. Bottom Left: The face of a boy who has begged for my blue pen all day long. Bottom Right: cutest boy ever on the way home from school in the back of a pickup truck.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Letters to Things Part 4

I am continuing my monthly letters to things post........ Enjoy the letters written below. Happy Monday.

Dear mating geckos/ lizards in our house,

Let me start by saying I am sorry. So sorry the flash scared you and interrupted your inappropriate behavior. Perhaps next time choose a more discreet location than the center of the wall in our kitchen to create baby geckos.

From the Paparazzi Me


Dear Denver,

How I cannot wait to see you soon, to bask in all your goodness. To see Washington park filled with people playing volleyball in the summer, to attend Sunday church at DCC, to run your trails, to hike your mountains, to sit at the bar at Lola, to pretend I am back in college at our Elizabeth house with Ez and Rach, to see the snow capped mountains, to eat at your yummy food places...... i have missed you and could not be more excited to call you home again.

As John Denver made you once famous, I can hear the song now, "Rocky Mountain High"
love your soon to be resident again


Dear To Do List,

Yep that's right, conquered so many things on your list today...... took trash out, washed my sheets, fruit and vegetable shopped, wrote my kids report cards, put laundry away, completed lottery for junior league...... next time you try and make yourself so daunting consider yourself warned.

from the one who defeated you today


Dear Mom,

Thank you for coming. For putting up with my many requests for you to come, for booking your ticket and visiting Honduras. Thank you for the chocolate chip cookies that so many people were able to share and eat (the girls in the kitchen at the D and D, Ramon and Lotte, random guests at the D and D, Alison's girls, my roommates, Roman our taxi driver) everyone so appreciated it. I am so glad I was able to show you this place that has been my home for a year. My kids loved you and asked today where you were today. I think they were not the only ones sad to see you go. So grateful for your heart and how you love people well. You taught me to do that. I can't wait for you to come to Denver and visit. See you hopefully sooner than later.

 love Your Daughter

Dear Justin, (you get the longest letter)

The picture of the day we met. One of my favorite pictures. Me and you upon first meeting. My face one bewitched, laughing, caught in action talking to a stranger. You told me that I should have known long before this picture that I had just gotten myself into trouble. I don't refer to you as trouble.  Our meeting was one of the greatest things that has ever happened. I miss you. Shame on you for leaving so soon...... Could you have at least waited till I came back to Denver to see your face one last time. We had plans remember. We were going to relive our days from last summer. 
The shirt that I spilled red wine on over when I was with you........It is now one of my most treasured possessions, reminds me of one of my most favorite evenings in Colorado. 

I have spoken to your family and seems that I am not the only one who thought the world of you. Although if I know you at all your probably laughing at our many tears. You were always good at that. Behave yourself up there. Perhaps you could meet my grandfather, he was quite the ladies man in his day, perhaps you guys could be wingmen in heaven together. (he may give you a run for your money)
Do me a favor and make everyone laugh like you made me laugh. Make people feel special like you were always able to do. Have the whole room in tears from giggling.....

Thanks to you, my children at school think at many times throughout the day something is wrong with their teacher for randomly crying. Puffy eyes I now often have. Thanks so much for that....

This summer I am going to meet your family and share with them all of the good things I knew about you, although I am sure they already know. I imagine they will be just as wonderful as you were.
This fall I will be a Seahawks fan in your honor. (not sure it will last, hopefully the broncos are everything they are supposed to be). I do hope you get to see all the game this year.
I miss you. Everyday.

damn you.... love kristina (from mexico)


Read my other letters to things post below:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Miss Gloria Came to Visit

Standing in line to pay her departure tax fee at the airport this morning, she looked at me and said well, "I don't know when I will get to see you again" I said "Well, Goodness Mom could we not say it so dramatically".

Come July when I return to the States from Honduras/Costa Rica I am flying into Denver, Colorado. And Colorado............. is where I am going to stay. After a lot of consideration I was just not ready to say goodbye to colorado just yet. So this visit was not only special to share with my mom Honduras but  it could be awhile before I see her again.

As I mentioned she flew into Honduras on Wednesday. This could not have come at a more perfect time..... It was wonderful to have her here to distract me but more to share with her this place......... I am going to recap below. I will probably miss a lot of things. (this will still be a long post) but I wanted to try and remember what we did. (Sorry in advance if it is a bit long).

Last Wednesday she flew in.....Alison and I picked her up at the airport around 11:00 am. We immediately grabbed lunch and went to visit the Public Orphanage in San Pedro. This was a place that I wanted my mom to see. (my first visit to this orphanage I wrote about here) Alison, my mom and I held babies, feed them bottles and loved on some kids that nearly broke our heart. My mom became particularly attached to one little boy who had just weeks before been found in a box at the bus station in San Pedro. When my mom went to lay him down he just cried, so it became impossible to let him go..........That afternoon we went grocery shopping with Alison (she has 14 girls so watching her shop was impressive) and gathered some things before finished our night at the D and D Brewery eating dinner with all my roommates. You can ask my mom yourself but she was pleasantly surprised with everything. She kept saying she loved it. That she felt like she was in a jungle, and our cabin had really comfortable beds and an incredible shower (it really did). For less than $40.00 per night. It was so nice to stay with her, get out of my house and sleep in a comfy bed. Hard to leave it this morning.

Thursday our day started early taking the bus to school. Mom jumped in the van with all my roommates and I to arrive at school for the 7:30 am start. With a long long day at school, my mom quickly understood why it was so exhausting. It was really hot. She kept repeating over and over it is really hot. At one point we were making clocks with paper plates for math and the kids started using them as fans. My mom too. While then trying to read a book during reading class they continued to use them as fans but became very distracted. I asked the class to put them away and that they were not allowed to use them. My mom along with my kids were quite upset, it was very hot but they were driving me crazy. My mom as you can imagine was a huge hit, with lots of candy, stickers and helping with things. It was so special to see them show her the work they had done... I think they enjoyed having her at school.

That afternoon we hopped in a bus with the kids to be dropped off at the Orphanage in my town that focuses on malnourished and sick children. Despite the heat we played with the kids, pushed them on the swings for an hour before walking back to my house. We stopped by the coffee shop first, where we tasted the most horrible cake (still not sure exactly what it was). On our way home I introduced her to the family where I often buy fruit and vegetable. She was able to see the many shops all lined up (she referred to this as the mall), the families all piled in the back of cars and the variety of vegetables in the stands.

We then headed back to the D and the D for the evening. A group of us circled around the table and ate dinner, shared food and played Scategories  My roommates friend Katy was visiting at the same time from England. She made up the categories and it turned out being a lot of fun. We laughed and argued about whether our answers were worthy of points. It was an evening well spent. Kylie moved in with me and my mom for the next three nights too.....

Friday morning we woke up to have breakfast before heading to school again. My Fridays are shorter days at school so we were able to enjoy a few cups of coffee before heading in for class. It was a bit later than usual. During my lunch break we visited the Hotel Las Glorias for lunch and so my mom could walk on the bridge that overlooked the lake (She did not make it very far, she was a bit nervous as it was swaying back and forth). We also spotted the largest and most scary looking iguana. He was a few feet long (huge). We watched him jump in the lake. He swam super fast like an alligator. It was a bit terrifying...... We had some trouble getting back to school as the taxi did not come, and then had a close encounter with a herd of cattle (But we made it).  After school we met up with Matt, Ramone and Lotte to take a boat out onto the lake. Ramone and Matt were our rowers while Lotte, my mom and I spotted birds and laughed the boys. We saw a lot of families fishing and watched Matt jump from the cliff. (I did this jump last fall so mom now got to see what I had survived). It was a beautiful day and so nice to see the lake from a front row seat, on a boat.

That evening we headed back into town to my house for Family Dinner. While dinner was being prepared we sat outside on the porch and drank wine. Matt, my mom and I talked about Honduras, our time here and how much we have changed. It was really nice for her to hear from someone else what this place has meant to them. Philip and Molly were the cooks for dinner and served Fish and Chips.... (mom still talked about how good it was this morning).  After dinner finished up at my house we went back to the D and D to sit around, drink wine and hang out. We met more people traveling. A group of US soldiers were staying for the weekend as well so we talked with them and stayed up late around the fire. (there is a air force base here in Honduras so they were off base for the weekend). Mom was able to experience a common evening for us at the D and D. I think she understood why we love it so very much. It is so nice to meet people and enjoy the night outside around a fire.

Saturday morning Kylie, my mom and I slept until 8:30 am. We had no big agenda for the day except to go see the waterfall at Pulpansak. Mom and I left for the waterfall early..... (Kylie took advantage of the comfy bed in our cabin and slept in) After walking down close to the waterfall we sat in the shade (really hot again) and talked while waiting for our taxi to return. Although I have seen the waterfall three times, it still is so beautiful. Later that afternoon we stopped by the grocery store so she could pick up some coffee to take home and as well she bought me some groceries. I think we spent about $15.00 total :) (things are very very expensive... NOT).

That afternoon Kylie, my mom and Shannon (a girl we met from Canada who is traveling and staying at the D and D) walked up/ hitch hiked to Alison's house to visit all of her girls (Alison's has the Eternal Family Project). The girls were all outside playing, jumping on the trampoline and swimming so it was really nice to visit with them outside.

Moms last evening was spent just as many night before, around the campfire, talking about life, talking about living here, where people are traveling too and reminiscing about all that we had gotten to do for the last few days.

I cannot say enough about how wonderful it was to have my mom here. How much it meant for her to see this place, put faces to the names and reality to the many stories I have shared. Perhaps I could get my mom to share a bit about her trip for the blog and I think you will find that it was an incredible experience for her....... from the lady at the D and D getting bit by the tarantula, seeing our falling apart house, the children at the orphanages, Alison's home, riding in a chicken bus (old USA school bus), riding in the back of pickup truck, riding in the small tuk tuk, Experiencing our weekly family dinner the humid heat, the kids that shout in spanish, the landscape, the beauty of the mountains, the lake, my roommates and the D and D.... I think she was able to see why this place has captured my heart.........

Below are some pictures of her visit. Enjoy.

While getting the oars for the boat, we met the cutest puppy.

In front of the bridge, mom was too afraid to go up. Looking out on the lake.

Terrifying cattle crossing, near taxi crash.

Lotte, Ramone and Matts Head on the lake.
Mom and me on the boat on the canal.

Visiting Arturo at the orphanage in my town.

Mom riding in the back of the pickup truck home from school.
At Pulpansak the waterfall.
Mom in front of the massive waterfall.

Dear Mom,

Thanks for everything, for loving my kids like I do. For acting like a grandmother would to her grandchildren with my class. When mom says no (me) they would come to you and you would give them what they want. (lots of candy, bathroom breaks, more paper)
 Can't wait to visit You, Britt and Dad in Kentucky. 
Already miss you! Until then.
Love Me

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

His Perfect Timing

I am very aware of the reality. The reality of heaven and earth. That this life is temporary. The whole "live life to the fullest" saying. I get it. Our society loves to use this as encouraging words to others. Words to send you on your day. Words to meditate over your morning cup of coffee. I get it. Life that is. Its short. Its not ours to have. Life may go in a moment so you must love others well and live it up.... I do.

Or so I thought I did....

It is with a very heavy heart that I am posting at this moment. Last evening I was sitting eating my dinner reading facebook updates on my phone. Skimming across the latest updates of those near and far  away while mindlessly eating..... scanning away at others pictures and the photo of a friend appeared with a caption. The caption stated "You will be missed. Rest in Peace."

Stunned and shocked I began a frantic search to disprove this photo. As my efforts only confirmed the tragic news, tears began to fall from my face....But how could it be I thought? I just talked to him last Wednesday. We just talked about how I am moving back to Denver. He asked me when? I told him July and he said I should come back sooner. We had just joked about last August when we met. But how could it be true? Its not possible, it must have been a mistake? I thought it must be a mistake and so deeply deeply I wish this were to be true......

Tears have nearly streamed my face for the entire day with the exception of the time i spent with my roommates who shared coffee and yoga for the afternoon. I am going to sleep tonight counting my stars, my blessings and grateful that tommorow is the day that my mom lands in Honduras.

Today in my class, I prayed before my kids left to go home for the day. I do not do this normallay but today I felt compelled. Compelled to give thanks, to ask for the Lords blessing over my kids and those near and dear to me. But most importantly for Justin's family. I am sad, I am heartbroken....... but I am certain my grief does not compare to that of his family. Those that have had to comprehend the loss of someone who they call their son and their brother.

He is deeply and truly missed. To his friends and the ladies in Denver, he was nicknamed "the devil." When we met out with our friends, he told me, "You just cant resist the devil".  I laughed at him but deep down I knew his personality was contagious and his joy for life attractive. He was intentional, thoughtful, funny and made you feel like the most important person in the world. While spending one afternoon laying at pool last August, Justin admitted that he never really saw himself settling down. I told him, "you just wait, someday some girl will come along and that will be it. She will knock you off your feet." In the most honest thoughtful voice, he looked and me and said, "I think I just did."

Thanks for my first motorcycle ride, camping in the backyard and for being someone who lived life with intention and thoughtfulness that was as though you always knew it could be your last.

Miss you a whole bunch


I can choose to "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thes.5:18) because I am confident He can see beyond what I can see. Furthermore, if I could see with His eyes I would make the same choice, because God is beyond good...

Tonight I will sleep knowing that tomorrow I am going to pick my Mom up at the airport. Alison, my mom and I will then go on to visit the public orphanage in San Pedro Sula tomorrow afternoon before we drive an hour and half to my house in Pena Blanca. My mom is visiting until Sunday. I will try and update on her trip, but at the same time I want to be here with her so may recap when she leaves on Sunday.

Thoughts and prayers to you wherever you are... and whatever you are grieving because lets be honest I am certain I am not the only one.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Her Story Full Circle. Aracely

Today her story became full circle......

They were running down the hill towards our van as we came to a stop. Two little girls. One set of bare little feet. One with dirty shoes. Two big smiling faces. They waited as we slid our van door open.

She immediately embraced them in a big hug. I held back tears. I could see the similarities in their faces.... a perfect blend of all three. Those were her sisters.

With the three girls walking hand in hand, Alison and I followed behind up the short hill to their house. Her mom walked out and embraced us with a hand shake and a hug.... her mom welcomed us inside. I sat down the bags of food that I brought for them on the small table inside. Seemed like such a ridiculous gesture.

Sitting on a dirty foam mattress in the corner of a small room. I watched the chicken walk past the door to the outside. The sun was shining through the small door onto a pile of corn shucks that laid across the floor. One table, two dirty foam mattresses and a small bookshelf. That was it. What appeared to be a toilet seat dug into the ground, was just outside the back door. I assumed this must be where they went to the restroom.

I sat and watched as she showed her sisters the stickers and coloring books that she brought for them. They giggled like sisters do. But her face was different. One that seemed a bit reserved. A bit quieter. Of course she was happy to see them but her face was of an older much wiser girl. Not a seven year old girl. In some ways she looked a bit nervous. In so many ways I don't blame her.

Not wanting to leave without seeing her father we decided to walk down to visit her dad at work. Her mom locked up the house with a matchlock to the outside and we all walked down to the futbol (soccer) field where her father worked the grounds. Her sister with her hand around my waist skipped towards the field.

At first sight of her father, I knew exactly who she looked like. Her dad. (just like me). I could see it in their eyes. Made my heart melt. She gave him a big hug and I stood watching their embrace as her sister let go of me and ran to go play.

I thought to myself. 'This was her family. Her mom, her father and her two sisters."

This was their house. It was the house she would have grown up in. The house she left because she was sick. The same house that was unable to provide the nutrients for her to grow up to be strong and healthy. At two years old she left this house. She then lived in the public orphanage. She left the public orphanage to live with Alison at the Eternal Family Project Home. Where she lives now. And every week she sits at a desk in my class. She is one of my 22 second graders.

Aracely my dear, you are stubborn, charming, beautiful and healthy. Thank you for taking me to meet your family. I loved seeing you and your sisters play, giggle and take pictures on my phone.

Mom, Oldest Sister, youngest sister, Aracely and her Dad.


Today I was privileged to meet Aracely's family in person. We drove around 1 hour and half into the mountain of Santa Barbara to visit for the morning. Her two sisters still live with her parents. Her family now receives assistance through an organization that provides support to families like Aracelys that make around $1.00 a day and are unable to provide food for their kids. Her sisters are healthy (thank goodness, unlike Ara was when she was her sisters age). Aracely currently lives at the Eternal Family Project home. This home takes in girls from all over Honduras that have similar stories as Aracely's. I told Aracely's story first here.  Just one year ago Aracelys mom regained custody of her and asked that she return to live with them in Santa Barabara. Aracely only stayed one week before her mom decided she did not want her to live there with them, so she returned to the Eternal Family Project home. It is always a difficult visit for her as she has not forgotten moving back. As Alison shared with me, Aracely knows that it could happen again should her mom decide.  But today Aracely went home with Alison and I in the van. She calls Alison Mommy. We said goodbye to her sisters as her youngest refused to get out of the van. She always wants to go home with Alison. I turned my head to keep Aracely from seeing the tears that fell from my eyes. Aracely said goodbye and see you soon.

If you would like to help Alison and her mission to provide a loving home for her girls you may visit the website here.

“I was angry because I believed, and still believe, that the God who created the universe did not create too many children in His image and not enough love to go around.”

“I wanted other Americans to know that while their children were alive today, more than 16,000 other children are not, because they died of hunger-related causes in the last twenty-four hours.  I wanted them to know that another 3,000 children in the world, mostly in Africa, will die of malaria today- which is both preventable and treatable.  God wants us to care for the poor, not just care about them, but to truly TAKE CARE of them.  God told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but so many of our neighbors are starving to death while our tables are filled with abundance.” Kisses from Katie.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Best Pictures to Date.....

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain

All the pictures of the last year cannot all be my favorites so up to this point I tried to narrow it down to a few handfulls..... enjoy

1. Favorite picture of my class by far. Shooting airplanes at my computer. 

 2. Pre shot in the butt when my feet were swollen and I was having an allergy attack. In the doctors office.

 3. Taken by Matt this little buddy was at the orphanage. Can you handle those eyes? (Photo courtesy of Matt)

4. Bring your dog to church day..... not really the stray dog wandered into church (photo courtesy of Matt)

5. Halloween Party at Allisons House, Ana Paula, Matt, Aracely and Thomas being ninjas. Pure awesome.

 6. The day I put mustaches on my boys fingers. Love this one.

7. Lizzy looking back at me while watching ELF during the week before Christmas.

8. Sunset on the lake.... nuff said.

9. Taken in the Denver airport moments before leaving for Honduras.

10. Molly in the First class seats of the bus and me with my sad face sitting in coach. Our ride to Guatemala.

11, 12 and 13. Are captured of Matt being Matt. Jumping off the boat in Utila, riding a bike in our house and jumping off the dock in Utila.

14. Hiking the waterfalls. The first time we hiked with Jason. All day adventure walk....

15. Philip and Molly making the famous "Unicorns Up" pose. One time they led all of the Americans to believe that they did this on special occasion dinners to salute the unicorn (Animal on the front of the UK passport) most ridiculous thing ever.

16. Lizzy and Genessis and Genessis mom. Love this picture taken in town on the parade day.

17. One night at the D and D, Jenga dare happened and then this happened below.

18. The time I climbed into the volcano in Guatemala.

20. Protecting their manhood on a Free kick.

21. Dancing with Oscar (note how giant I look, he is very short) in our town.

22. Kate giving Matt a massage on the floor in our kitchen. 

 23. Aslys face is priceless. I absolutely love this picture of her and Faye.

24. The neighbors kids from the hair salon came over one day.... or should I say knocked on our door so many times we let them inside. They got the umbrella out and their faces are precious.

25. This is me, on my 25th birthday getting ready to drive a lancha (large boat) down the river back to the hotel.

26. This picture may very well be my favorite one of all. Daniel has these big brown eyes and his expression brings tears to my eyes. (photo courtesy of Faye).

27. Molly captured this one of me, on the bus one early morning on our way to the Beach for the weekend. God is really good..... this has been incredible.