Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Cami!

Today we had Cami's 2nd birthday party...if you weren't invited it was only because I did not have you in my e-vite address list. Seriously, I was in a rush. There I was last week in Central America laying on my bed when I popped up and said, "Betty, I never planned a birthday party for Cami!"

If you know me, I like to do these things right. I usually plan a theme months before, start shopping for the perfect goodie gift and then create my birthday invites with velum and photos. These crafted invitations are to reach the invitees at least two weeks before the date of the galla. Well, since I was getting back ON her birthday I realized that I had short changed my number 2. Chloe's second birthday had a giant Elmo visit for goodness sake, and my poor number 2 was getting an e-vite invitation sent out 6 days before the event.

But, though it seemed to be a very busy day for many, many of our sweet friends and family came to the park and celebrated with us "pumpkin style." We decorated cookies and pumpkins, swang and slided, and then we sang Happy Birthday

and opened presents. I think she loved it. She loved her gifts and had so much fun that she passed out cold as we drove into our neighborhood.

Thank you to all who were able to celebrate with us. Cami is and always has been my "joy bucket." When I was told I had cancer in May of 2007, I would just hold her and my fears would vanish. I felt like when I was empty of joy, holding her filled me up again. She always makes me smile when I come home tired and grumpy by running to the door with her arms open wide and screaming, "MOMMMY!" And even though when we ask her "Are you Mommy or Daddy's girl?" she answers "Paw Paw's girl," she will always be my joy bucket! Thank you God for my sweet baby girl.

my beautiful girls

Had to share these....I know it isn't "Wordless Wednesday" hear is my "Silent Saturday"!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Home!

Even though I am about to fall sweet sister asked, "when are you going to blog?" I thought I would start giving the debriefing of a wonderful week in Nicaragua.

If you read these things, you know that Thursday night before I left I spent time in the E.R. with a "migraine" or in my words the worst pain known to man, a 10 on the pain scale, or a gun shot in the head. The nurse was very upset that I was leaving the country, but the stress that causes headaches doesn't exsist when you are completely without phones, schedules or anyone to be resposible for. You merely are there to do whatever He wants you to do. It was a week I'll always remeber.
So, here are pictures of the trip:
It was very bitter sweet to say good-bye to my sweethearts.
Here is the group of the team. There were only 12 of us. Last year there were 30, so this felt very strange at times.

We arrived at the Chosen Children Ministry campus in Masya and had dinner made by our own Petrona and Rosa. On Sunday, we got ready for church...a church in Managua. But, before we left, we took some time on the porch to read His word.

Here is a picture of Guilermo and his family. This man is amazing. Girls want to clone him so they can have one like him and guys want to be him! He and his family live in Managua, but when teams from America come, he helps them with construction, interprets for the team, leads them in worship, leads children in worship, fixes buses that are broken down, I mean he is the Nicaraguan Iron man!

That night we got our supplies ready for the next day. We were so excited to head out to the school and church in the village. Here we go!We landed at the school after their school was over. Classes are from 7:00-12:00. The kids were ready to greet us!!!

We came in singing Spanish... Thankfully we had help by Guilermo's brother and Marisela, a 17 year old girl who grew up in the orphange who NOW is going into the ministry. She is amazing!

Then we did some skits (Daniel and the Lion's Den and Jonah and the whale.) If you get the chance to see Ricky "swim" on the floor you well as Danny's heartfelt role as Daniel.....very touching when you hear his Tennessee accent call out, "O Rey!" But, the exciting part of the day was when 6 children asked Christ into their hearts. Pray they will grow in that Faith and be a light to the people of Nicaragua.

Then we got to play, hug and be with the kiddos until we went to the church...right down the street. There we lead the women in bible studies. Here is the church.

Next day, we were ready for the poporatzzi!

At the school, we did Daniel in the Lion's Den. Here is an amzing picture of the kids sporting a crown from the King of Burgers.

Next, at the church I was able to "communicate" with my sweet Maria Vanessa by braiding her hair...soon I had a line of customers!

But, the best part of the day was when we got the opportunity to wash the women's feet. It was an experience I will never forget.

The next day we were headed for Paradise...which is a name to fool is a complete falsehood. Because it was the rainy season (it only rains from September to November) the mud was CRAZY. We bought boots so we could wade through the mud, but some of us fell in! You can never explain how it feels to be stuck in mud that you are not sure what is mixed in it!

When we got there the village was waiting for us.

The children sang for us and then we had a women's bible study. It was awesome. There we were on the top on this hill were our busy lives were so far away. All we were focused on was praying over the women, some in Spanish, some in English and resting in the Holy Spirit. As we were worshipping, the men were "roofing" a few homes. There homes were maybe 10 x 10 spaces framed by wooden posts. They took tarpes and wrapped the posts for walls and a roof. We were even able to purchase a bed for a family of 4. The parents had been standing all night holding their babies so their babies wouldn't sleep in the mud. And we think we didn't sleep comfortably last night! Off we went back to the bus. Only to be greeted by a charging bull WITH HORNS. I looked over at Kim and in my teacher voice, said be still, don't move. Thankfully we were able to fool the creature and he was shooed away!The best news came to me that night. Because we were 3 hours away from the orphange, we did not plan on going back this trip. I was very upset because I had written some children and the child I was sponsoring that I would see them in October. But I wanted to do the mission God wanted me to do, not what I wanted to do. Due to more rain, our leader decided the ladies would go to Juigalpa and see the kids that were had bonded with at the orphange while the men worked in Paradise. I was going to see Kari!!!!!! My sweet Kari who I sponsor has sent us two letters and Chloe and I write her about once a month. I was so excited.

When we got there, I cried tears of joy. She didn't recognize me, but when I had a friend tell her in Spanish that I prayed for her daily and was so happy to see her, she hugged me so tight. It was amazing to feel so close to someone I could barely comunicate with.

Last year, I also got very close to a little girl named Rosa. She had been through a lot and the year before would not warm up to anyone. But, she reached out to me and I got to see her again! I learned her brother and she lived there in the orphange, but she had an older brother that was 23 somewhere else. Her parents were dead and her grandmother seldom came to visit. I was so glad that I had sent her letters and pictures. I plan on sponsoring her as soon as I have $$$ to sponsor my own two girls! Hee Hee.

But the of the best moments of the trip for me was when Kari brought me into her room to braid her hair. I asked her to write Chloe a letter. She took my hand and brought me to the dresser of drawers in the cement room full of 4 twin beds. She took out an envelope that held my letters and brought out Chloe's picture. Then she took out the CD I had copied for her, Cynthia and Rosa of Daughter of the King. I asked if she listened to it and she explained they didn't have anything to listen to it with in the room. THEN Rosa started singing, "you are a daughter of the King." WOW! WoW! Terra Tucker did you have any idea? I of course started crying knowing that she had memorized it! Then, of course, just 10 minutes later it was time to go. I cried so hard leaving them.

This trip was so wonderful to me for so many reasons. I felt true peace and joy of the Lord while in Nicaragua. I was able to see people with nothing joyful because all they had was the Lord. And I was able to love two little girls as if they were my very own. Thank you Lord for all your blessings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Farm

As you all know, I leave my sweet family for a week starting Saturday......tomorrow! So, the last few days have been FAMILY time! Wednesday, Mommy took the girls to get a free ice cream (thank you Chapman's Retreat PTO) at McDonalds and then play with them in the playground. Yes, all 130 "some" pounds in that thing. I actually skinned my elbow coming down the really steep slide. (All your kids who play in Spring Hill's McD's will be able to tell you about it!) Then we came home piled into a bath (together) and got to bed.

Thursday, some teachers were taking their kiddos to the Pumkin patch in Columbia as a "field trip". Chloe and Cami were pumped! I knew God wanted us to go because I had no funds, but then Chris got paid $11...and guess how much it was for the three of us ...$11. (yea, Chris really wasn't up for it. He wanted to get some work done and these things are not his favorite.)

We all put on our tie dye shirts and headed south. I got some really cute pictures!

Here is the group of kiddos...I never got permission to paste these, so names will be left out!

Here we go to the pumpkin patch. We were on a hay ride and say soem scarey stuff on the way. I am not a big fan of ghosts and skeletons, so this was my least favorite part. So, I took pics!

Okay, so the Patch was lame...but the pumpkins were pretty!

Chloe found the perfect pumkin!

On the wayI back I got some cute pictures of the proud pumpkin fiders!

Got to love this!!!

Then in was time for education. We made butter, milk cows, learned about corn and cotton and then, well...look how cute this is. Cami just walked up and snuggled into Chloe! I almost cried!

We were lead to a cotton "patch" maze to find cotton

This was the time Mommy got blurred vision. I had this before I got sick on Sunday night, so I took 3 advil. The vision got better, so we drove home. When I walked in the door, it fely like I got shot with a needless to say, Chris and I had quality time the ER. They diagnosed it as a migrane due to stress and sinuses. I am so ready to get to Nicatagua. The word Stress dosen't really exsist for me there. I am home today in bed doing report cards and took a break to do some fun. My sweet Chris has given me my meds, so in a few minutes it will be nap time.

After all this I have to thank God for the blessings He continues to give. Who would have thought that Chris and I would have been able to laugh and love on each other more in an ER waiting room than on a date...only God!