Saturday, May 31, 2008


CNN Article

Tugucigalpa, Honduras has long been known as one of the most dangerous airports to land at. I, fortunately, have never had the experience. We fly into San Pedro Sula. There is much controversy in Honduras as to why it has been allowed to continue to be the commercial aircraft airport. Many blame the political corruption.

Here are some You Tube Videos showing the challenge the pilots and crews have to land at the airport in Teguc.

I don't know the reasons or the politics behind the airport. I do know that the last plane crash there was in the early 90s and to my understanding no one died. But daily the roads in Honduras kill. If you've never experienced driving (okay I just ride, that's enough for me - hubby does the driving) in a third world country - well it should be on your list of things to experience. We take so much for granted here in the states. Here's some pictures a fellow blogger has of merely the potholes around Honduras

I can't find the video I've seen of someone driving. But what traffic laws they have aren't enforced or followed. No 'staying in the lines', passing is allowed and done at ALL times no matter if it's a horrid blind curve. Cows are allowed in the middle of the road. Horses are allowed to stand in the middle of the road. People walk in the road, cross the road and chat in the road/highway. Children play in the road or walk along it and don't flinch when cars swerve to get around them. Everyone drives FAST!! Bridges that were there the day before might have washed away and not be there. no street lights. Many keep their headlights off at night even if they work to "save gas". Many don't have functioning headlights, etc etc

So while I am horribly sad for the families who have suffered such a loss over the air crash and will be praying for them. I also realize that there will be much talk about it and conflict over it while just outside the airport is an even larger problem.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bad blogger

Well, we've had a full few days, but did I take a single'm crazy!! Some bloggers are so good about taking pictures of the most mundane things in their lives and always having their cameras on the ready. not this one...sorry!!
My niece has been in town. She is the most amazing beautiful curly haired little girl ever and I've enjoyed just staring at her and loving on her, my kids have been all over her and spent a few hours with her yesterday - no pictures.
yesterday my kids and I and a friend and her kids went to the 'free movie' and had a good time - no pictures

After playing with their cousin, the kids headed to Spanish class - no pictures
After Spanish class John Mark spent the night with his friend Alex - no pics
MaryKyle's friend Taylor spent the night here - no pictures
Today, we went to the church bldg where a bee keeper came and did a presentation about bees. A bunch of our friends and neighbors came, and Holland (niece) came and stayed with us while Grandmama ran errands...all of us picnicked afterward got it no pictures...BUT I did learn that there are 40-45 thousand bees in a single healthy hive.
honey bees visit appx 2 million flowers to produce one pound of honey.
most wild honeybees are extinct in the US
queen bees will lay appx 2000 eggs per day
rub some beeswax on your kids tennis shoes laces and they will stay tied.
So it's been productive and educational, just no photographs to help us I'll just have to read the blog to remember instead....
oh yeah and I painted 21 sand pails for a friend. Oh wait I DO have a picture of those!!! hooray for me....!!!
I know, not too's somehow easier to remember to take pictures of still objects then when lots of kids are running around needing me....I'll do better tomorrow. We are having grandkid portraits made tomorrow, going to a party, and visiting with family. Should be a full yet fun day!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Big Sis!!

a wild game of Beyond Balderdash!!
Very Pregnant with Holland

on Holland's first b'day. Aren't they precious?!

Yesterday was her b'day and this weekend is their anniversary. They are actually coming down here and leaving my gorgeous niece with my parents for a few days and going downtown and enjoying the four seasons (I think). With my new baby nephew on the way very soon it's a much deserved break!! I can't wait to see my niece some since the last time I did she was feeling so horrid, but she sure was snuggly and hubby and I ate that up!! She is a doll baby and we all love being with her any chance we get even though it's not very often. It's going to be hard not to try to steal Mom and Dad's time with her!!
My sister is a wonderful Mommy. I'm loving her having kids now since for so many years it was just me with the crazy little one stories. I love hearing her tell Holland stories!! She is an amazing Aunt (my kids are well blessed when it comes to Aunts for sure!!)!! MaryKyle loves that Aunt Laura Beth will scrapbook with her...that's right her Mommy hates to...but Aunt Laura Beth fills the void...THANKS LB!!! She is an amazing cook. If you ever saw the cakes and cookies she can do you would think she is a professional. John Mark will never claim me as his b'day cake maker no matter how many I do for him. "Aunt Laura Beth is my cake maker" he says!! He will reassure me I do well, but assure me she is the true so true I tell him!! She is a gifted decorator, Her house is simply amazing. She has a green thumb. She is an organizer. She is brilliant. She can even tackle construction projects. She and her husband have remodeled two houses now (still working on the 2nd, but it looks awesome!). Yep my sister is just plain awesome and I love her!!

our butterflies

Aunt Laura Beth and Uncle Brian got the kids a butterfly kit. You get the 'cage' and send off for the larvae and get to watch the process of them growing as caterpillars into their chrysalid all the way to coming out as beautiful butterflies. It was an amazing experience to see. I so wish we'd been able to get more pictures, but they are sent in a jar and then hang in the top of the 'cage' and can't be disturbed and such so it was too hard we found to get pictures before the butterfly stage. here are a few of our painted lady beauties on their release day...

the kids kept a 'butterfly journal' every day during this. We were amazed that they grew 1/2" in a day one day as caterpillars. They just ate and ate just like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, it was amazing to watch them grow really every morning they had changed. Then they hung on the top of their little 'bowl' they came in and quickly...i mean some in minutes it seemed...spun their cocoons. And guess what happened? Their HEAD'S came off. their heads hung outside of the cocoons and detached and fell into the bottom of the bowl. When they immerged the head was totally different. I just always had the vision of a caterpillar growing wings. I knew when I thought about it it wasn't true, but when they say they come out a 'new creature' they aren't kidding. It in NO way resembled the previous creature!!

So the day they came out they were out in about 30 min. And then they must hang to dry before they can fly...and not be disturbed, they are delicate at that point......WELL...first do not be alarmed by what looks like blood in the 'cage' and on the sugar water papertowel, it's just part of the process of the colors on the wings, etc...

BUTTTT.....DO be alarmed by the butterfly with only part of a wing and what you can't see in one picture is the SMUSHED butterfly on the side of the cage. We had a neighbor come over to play that exciting day they came out of the cocoons. While MaryKyle and John Mark screamed for him to stop he got overly curious & shook and smushed and by the time I got there, there was nothing that could be done. We thought we'd lost them all. We ended up only losing two (one was only half immerged and the one crushed on the side of the cage). We didn't release the one with the partial wing. We let him live the high life his two weeks on this earth feasting on fresh orange every day. The morning we got up and found him laying on his side about to die, we took him outside on a fresh orange slice and placed him in the japanese maple to enjoy at least his last few hours in the wind and sun!!

Other than that fateful horrible day watching these amazing creatures be crushed, I HIGHLY recommend getting this and letting your kids watch the process!! We all (Even some of our neighbors and friends) got into watching the progress every day! Just be sure to put them out of reach when others are around that might get so intrigued and don't know how delicate they are.

Monday, May 26, 2008

weenie roast fun!!

Well last week we celebrated the end of the year with MaryKyle's Brownie troop. We had a fun weenie roast at my parents house. MaryKyle wanted to know "why do all my friends and their parents think GrandMama and Papa's is so awesome?" i asked her how many people did she know that had a park/playground and a fire ring for weenie roasts with built in benches even? She said "oh, weellll..." as if she was going to list a bunch and then said "WOW, we are lucky!!" ha ha ha!! I agreed!! thanks Mom for letting us use your home and property while you were out of town and thanks Daddy for all your work mowing and getting everything ready for us!! Everyone (parents and kiddos) had an abosolute ball and look forward to doing it again!!
MaryKyle done with cooking and ready to eat!

MaryKyle's best friend Taylor. They are in Brownies and Spanish together and cry everytime they have to say goodbye to each other!! amazingly I don't seem to have gotten a picture of them together at the cook-out.

our awesome leaders presenting the girls with their badges and goodies

Then Friday night this week we headed over there just to have a family weenie roast. mom had just gotten back in town from Nashville and we had invited them over to eat so she wouldn't have to do anything or worry about it, but Daddy and I decided a weenie roast sounded fun and simple!! So we just got the stuff for that...even smores and with dark chocolate for John Mark (his favorite!) Weenie roasts are just too fun!! Daddy whittled John Mark a Bowie knife while we were sitting around the fire. He LOOOVES it and has carried it all over with him since. He heard my stories of doing pre-1840 reenactments as a middle/highschooler and about how I was good at the Bowie knife and tomahawk target pitching and was convinced he could do it with that wooden knife. He tried to set up his own target in our backyard, and even though it didn't work, he is still convinced he will find someway that it will!!

John Mark with his cool knife!

playing whiz kid after the weenie roast before heading home

Monday, May 19, 2008

Trujillo, Honduras summer adventure

Oh my goodness our summer adventure is fast approaching!! We leave on June 19 and will return on July 22.

There are so so soooo many things to get done before we leave our lives here in the states for a month, it's just a 'bit' overwhelming.
the kids are beyond excited to see their friends again. Our plan right now is for them to attend school there to increase their language skills. Hubby and I will be going to a Spanish school.. So hopefully hopefully hopefully we will come back with increased Spanish skills!! We always do so much better there than trying to speak Spanish here.

We have been blessed to receive buddy passes for the direct Delta flight there. What a wonderful gift!! Now we are just praying that we are all able to get on the flight easily as we will be flying standby both ways. I'm not too worried about it though, we'll get there and eventually we'll get home!!

Some things I must do in the next few weeks to get ready:

-ensure everyone has the clothes they need

-clean the house clean the house clean the house

-go through recipes and copy ones I can use there and shop for
any ingredients I'll need to take with me that I can't get there (like chocolate chips!!)

-clean the house

-get two more large suitcases (one down one to go, THANKS Rachel Mc)

-keep sending emails and making contacts about rental houses

-ensure there is a month supply of dog food, etc on hand for Sydney (our furry family member who won't be able to make the trip, but will be well cared for in our absence)

-pack a first aid/medicine kit

-get our anti-malarial pills

-purchase a few cleaning supplies I want to take with me (who can live without chlorox wipes)

-purchase the supplies our team needs for our Sponsor project

-oh yeah, and CLEAN THE HOUSE!!!!

There is so much more, but this is a good start for me to look at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just some fun days

We are relaxing a bit before we head off to Honduras in a few weeks. School hours aren't so long now, we are taking it easy as the kids will be in school there this summer plus we are taking some work with us. So for the kids at least, we've had a few fun days. Today they played outside most of the time, it's so much fun to watch them and listen from afar. They are truly best friends and just love being together (don't get me wrong they spat like any other siblings, but there isn't any rivalry between them and they really love being with each other).

the rainy days they've played on the 'flying turtle' and zoingo boingo in the garage, we've worked in the yard, aerating, weeding, planting, etc We picked some fresh strawberries and cooked with them...overall we've just been relaxing and enjoying each other!

For those wondering we did SORT OF here from our youngest. We only got hi and bye, but we appreciate that SOOOOO much. that was actually Friday (long story that doesn't really matter) and on Sunday her bio mom sent me a sweet happy mother's day text on my cell. So we are still praying that the future will allow us to stay connected in some way to our baby girl!!

our blueberry bushes are filling...yummy!!

Daddy pruned the willow, now you can see under it and the herbs are getting some sun

the chives are blooming

the tomato plants are in the ground (the ones we germinated)

strawberry picking was fun and yummy!!enjoying our bounty!!

homemade chocolate cupcakes with strawberry ganache filling, chocolate glaze and a vanilla buttercream icing. Daddy liked them, they were a bit too rich for Mommy but I loved making them. I LOVE baking fun cupcakes!!!

John Mark bouncing on the zoingo boingo!! So much fun!!
Mommy on the flying turtle

Daddy's turn - chasing John Mark on the Zoingo Boingo!!
All the pictures this day of MaryKyle were blurry...another day...

Monday, May 12, 2008

I have this amazing Mom who deserves to be celebrated every day, not just today.

She is my Mom who when she realized she would be spending countless hours in her laundry room when we were small, painted it bright yellow so she could smile every time she walked in!

She is my Mom who has always made us promise to sing zippadee doo dah at her funeral (yes she's serious!!)

She is my Mom who did napkin notes and cut our sandwiches into fun shapes and many other things to let us know when we were away from her that we were still in her heart and on her mind.

She is my Mom who sang us to sleep with a song that said "I believe the Lord above created you for me to love. he picked you out from all the rest because he knew I could love you the best" and she made me feel that way every day when I was awake too!!

She was the coolest room Mom EVER....she threw the end of the year parties that kids in the other classrooms wished they could come to!
She not only supports my Father and has moved places she probably didn't really care for with a smile on her face, but she also loves my Daddy with all of her heart and it shows. Everyone who is around them knows they are still IN LOVE! It is wonderful to see and even friends of mine from years past comment on what an impact it makes on them to see people who have been together for so long still in love and affectionate!!

She is my Mom who did everything for me, my husband and daughter when I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and bedridden with a new baby, and hubby had just started a new job. Somehow she did it without letting on how exhausting and worry-filled her days were.

She is my Mom who made silly posters and brought her signature smiley face balloons to walk the Crohn's walk.

She is my Mom who LOVES yellow smiley faces!!

She is my Mom that would make us rice crispy treats for breakfast sometimes and say "it's just about the same as putting sugar in your cereal"

She is my Mom, who when I became engaged to a man she'd just met (hubby and I only dated 3 weeks before getting engaged) she said "Well I prayed every day of your entire life that you would find a wonderful Christian man, I'm not going to argue with how He does it!!" And jumped right into wedding planning!!

She is my Mom who prayed every day for me and still does

She is my Mom...the one who let me go. The one who let me make some really stupid mistakes without saying a word and picked me up every time and assured me I was capable of anything and everything!!

She is my Mom who made moving all over the country as a military family an adventure and made every house a home (although hubby blames my furniture moving on her...ha ha)!

She is my Mom who, though terrified of water, took swimming lessons as an adult to help her get over it because my sister and I loved to swim.

She is my Mom who was my absolute favorite Sunday school teacher (alongside my Daddy) ever!

She is my Mom who every Saturday morning made biscuits with chocolate gravy!!

She is my Mom who filled our house with fun traditions.

She is my Mom the one who will thankfully not hold it against me and understands that all I had to give today was a hug and a kiss and a "happy Mother's day"
she is my best friend!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's in a name??

Mommy, Aunt, Hey you????

Today the Mother of my youngest daughter called....yes the one that left two months ago. The last child we fostered and the child my heart yearns to hold and hug every single day, just about every minute. We built a relationship with her bio Mom over the two years we had her, we felt like that was in the best interest of our little girl. So she called today out of the blue just to see how we were holding up and how we are doing. Funny, when I got the message I didn't leap to call her back. Is that bad? But it was like making the choice to get back on a moving roller coaster or not. but then truly, how could we not?? in steps my knight in shining armor husband who immediately called her back for me!! But after chatting with him a few minutes, as was usual, she asked to talk to me. He explained I might not be able to talk, but I agreed to and now she is planning to have our beautiful little one call me on Mother's day she says. She has a visit with her on Sunday and said while she has her she will have her call us.

Sounds wonderful huh? But who do I say is on the phone?? Do I say "Hi Aaliyah it's Mommy" or what??? I have no idea......I don't want to upset anyone for fear I'll never hear her precious voice again. It's already been over two months since I've heard her, smelled her, or felt her.... MaryKyle the other day was crying because she said "I'm starting to forget what she sounded like"

So here we go....I don't know if she will really truly call or not....I could never ever ask for a better Mother's day if I can just stop dreaming of it and not allow myself to get too disappointed if she doesn't. Then if she does then what do you say when you have one more chance - maybe your last - to talk to your child??? pressure....

thus is my life...sorry to post my ramblings.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just my sweet kids

It's a bit deflated already in these pics. It had little hands and feet twisted in...still cute though!So last weekend I camped out at the mall with my daughter. We Mommies didn't sleep the entire night, after all it wasn't "quiet time" til after 3am (& we had to be up to leave by 5:15) plus who can sleep on a cold hard mall floor (well all the brownies in our troop did actually eventually fall asleep). We had a fun time overall, although we did all decide we didn't plan to do it again! There was a balloon lady there that made such fun things, different than the usual balloon artist. The babies were what everyone wanted. Some got gowns, some footed nighties, all got a cap and a rec'g blanket and a real diaper...they were so cute. MK insisted on drawing her own face on her baby. Too cute! Well, it took me days to recover from no sleep. Yes, for those that know me well you know that I'm normally an insomniac, but I do need at least 4 hours of sleep to function. I think no sleep on top of days of little sleep just got my body so wiped out now I'm dealing with allergies/sinus stuff...ICK!! Never been knocked down this far with sinus stuff. So I missed church today, in fact I slept til after noon when hubby called to check on me to say they were on their way home from worship. OH MY!!! I couldn't believe it. Here's some flowers MaryKyle brought me tonight after worship to help me feel better. She had spent the day at Mom and Dad's and picked me azaleas from all of Papa's that all all over their 13 acres. She was so proud of how she arranged them and put a bow on the vase, etc. She also made me a card with her own poem.
My kids are so precious!! Just the other night when I started feeling so bad John Mark walks over to me and said "Mommy what feels bad?" I told him I was just super stopped up and it was making my head hurt, etc and he asked a few more questions and I said "are you going to try to fix me or something?" it was just so funny to have him asking so many questions and sounding as if he was thinking of what to do to help me. He said "No, I'm sorry I can't now, but when I grow up and become a Dr I will!!" So instead for now I just got my back patted and a hug and kiss.....PERFECT and better than any Dr for sure!!