Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Laney & Melissa!

Keeping with tradition, Monday night Kristin, Laney and Todd came over along with Peter, Melissa, Joshua and Gabe so we could celebrate Melissa's birthday (which was the 27th) and Laney's birthday (which was the 23rd).

Kristin brought a yummy mexican casserole and we made guacamole which I think is officially my favorite thing to eat.

And I made these:

I think I won this Sprinkles mix at one of our girls' monthly Bunco nights. And I finally found the perfect occasion to make them. It was a lot more intricate then I was expecting. I thought it would be as easy as opening a box of brownie mix or cake mix, you know just add water and 2 eggs. NO, this was actual baking with homemade icing. Y'all, I do not do homemade icing. But I was already to far in when I realized what was entailed to turn back. So I persevered and one hour later, with an incredibly messy kitchen, I did it! And now I want to do it again. This is so not like me. But in my eyes it was an accomplishment. Maybe I'll actually be one of those that starts to enjoy cooking and baking. Oh, my husband would love that. But he would probably look at me and ask, "What did you do with my wife?".

The tods loved the cupcakes, so I think they turned out okay.

Isn't this the most darling little dress ever? Target, why do you torture me with all of your clothing cuteness?

Kristin and I got Melissa a gift card to the movies and a coupon for one night of babysitting.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Weekend

This was a fun weekend!! We had lots planned.

Our reunion with Amanda, Jackson and Curtis was perfect!

This was in our church office the moment Jackson and Ella saw each other. It was as if they had never been apart. They immediately started screaming each other's names and ran around just like normal. It made me so happy to know that they still remembered each other and were so happy to see each other.

Friday night, Heath and I had a marriage conference at our church to attend. We left straight from it and headed over to Sunni, Xavier and Ava's house. We got their pretty late and Amanda, Sunni and I immediately headed to the movies to see Baby Mama while the hubbies stayed with the sleeping babies! It was SO GOOD. If you're thinking about going to see it, you definitely should! It had been a long time since we have had a girls' movie night and it was much needed.

Sunni hosted the Jones at their house for the weekend and we also stayed their Friday night. After our movie, we stayed up so late talking and catching up. Then the next morning the babies woke up bright and early at 7:30. Xavier made us some amazingly delicious bacon, egg sandwiches. And we literally stayed in our pajamas half the day. The only reason I got out of mine, was because Heath, Ella and I needed to leave to make a birthday party for our friend Andy.

The Tods had a great time playing all morning long.

I think the girls are making breakfast for Jackson.

Hanging out watching movies.

More movie watching...

And more movie watching.

I think this is the only picture of the three of us that we took. Of course it's with the greatest dip ever that we devoured in 5 minutes flat (with the help of our husbands).

Saturday night, after the birthday party, Heath, Ella and I made it back to Sunni's just in time for bath time!

It was so sad to say goodbye Saturday night! But we were so thankful for this weekend. This weekend actually came a lot faster than I thought it would, so that's my hope for our next weekend of fun.

Thanks Sunni for the yummy food and for letting us stay over!!

And Happy Birthday to Andy and Melissa! Corey, Andy's wife, threw a fabulous party for them at our Pastor's house.

I love this sweetness!

And I really love this silliness!

Josh and Ella always have a good time when they are together!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Checking In...

I only have a second but I am SO excited!!

Amanda, Jackson and Curtis will be in town in a couple of hours and I CAN NOT WAIT! It's been 5 weeks since they moved and we are so excited to be reunited. I bet Jackson has grown so much. I can't wait to see him and give him the biggest hug. I know Jackson, Ava and Ella's reunion will be so sweet.

Gotta run. Be back with pictures from our fun weekend.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Honduras: Thursday

Thursday: The Hospital

This is the day I dread for weeks leading up to this trip. Every year, our group visits a hospital in the city. This hospital is kind of like Parkland Hospital here in Dallas. Anyone can go there rather you can pay for it or not. So there are a lot of families who are very very poor there. The sadness and gloom is so heavy when you walk in the doors it's hard to breath. The hospital serves all ages, it even has a NICU. The problem is, since most of the people in the hospital are poor, what happens is the person who is sick or injured can not get to the hospital in time and whatever was wrong ends up getting way worse very quickly. In fact, the fatality rate is over 50% if you enter the hospital. In other words, odds are if you are admitted you probably won't leave alive. I know that sounds very brutal, but it's one of the very sad realities of living in a country were poverty is so prevalent.

Needless to say, it's a tough day. There is much prayer and pumping myself up that I must do even to just walk through the door.

The only areas we visit are the children areas, mainly the children with broken bones or infections. We make fun goody bags and hand them out and just spend time talking and playing with the kids. They are totally confined to these beds, so you can imagine how bored they are.

This little boys name is Andrew. This is his story:
I was in this room that only had 3 kids in it. I was playing with the little girl in a picture above and notice Andrew, but didn't go over to him because he was with his doctor. When I turned to leave the room, the doctor called me over and said that Andrew asked if I could pray for him. So of course! I asked the doctor what his story is. She spoke english fluently.
She said that Andrew broke a bone in his leg. Since his family couldn't get him to the hospital quickly enough, his bone got infected. She told me that in 2 weeks (which would have been 2 weeks ago) they are doing a surgery to try to fix the infection. If that surgery didn't work than they would have to amputate his leg. She is actually the hospital's psychologist and she had been visiting Andrew because he is depressed over maybe losing his leg.
I was so overwhelmed with sadness over his story. The psychologist was amazing! Very sweet and gentle. She is a gift from God for those people. We talked for a very long time and she spoke a lot about Jesus and how thankful she was for our group, how much the kids needed this.
I can't stop thinking about him and wondering how he is doing. I got her email address so I could keep updated. I emailed her a few weeks ago and never heard back. So I don't know if I typed it in wrong, or maybe my email went to her Spam folder, but I'm so praying that I will be able to reach her. If you guys think about it, could you pray for Andrew and for the psychologist?

I really, really, really wanted to go visit the babies in the nursery this year. We didn't get to do that the year I came before, but I had heard that in years past some people were able to. So I was hoping. While we were standing in a hallway waiting for our next place to go, Curtis came over to me and asked me if he lets me go see the babies, will I be able to function for the rest of the day? :-) Yes! I was so excited! WELL...I was not expecting to happen what happened or I would not have been jumping for joy.

When we got to the floor with the newborns, one of the nurses told us that only 2 were allowed to go in the nursery (to pass out baby quilts and diapers) and 2 were allowed to go into the NICU. Before I could even blink, for some reason I was chosen to go into the NICU. Now let me tell you why this is significant. I have this horrible fear (sadness) over anything that has to do with babies/children that are suffering in anyway. I can not handle it. It will put me down for at least a day if I hear something. This is the reason why I never watch the news nor read books (like The Kite Runner) or watch a movie that even remotely has something bad that happens to a child. I take drastic measures to try avoid it. But before I knew it, they were putting a gown on me (and Kim) and I was walking through the door. What was inside was a mix between PRECIOUS and awfulness. Some of the babies looked almost normal size. My little Ella was only 4 1/2 pounds when she was born and a few of the babies looked about her size. But then there were some that I can't even believe they were breathing they were so tiny. There was so much sadness. And this isn't a state of the art nursery like we have in America. Remember, it's a very poor hospital, therefore the equipment is very old and behind what we have.

The first thing I noticed when we walked in was this group of women with an instructor. They were doing "kangaroo care" with their precious preemies. It was so sweet!

Part of me did not want to take my eyes away from the floor. I just knew I would lose it and I couldn't do that in front of all these mothers. God and I had a moment in that room. The one thing that I can NOT handle more than anything I was able to do and had the strength to do it. I knew that was only of the Lord and His abundant grace. Yes, I was shaking and crying the whole time, but I was able to keep going. We each had a stack of preemie diapers that we brought and the nursing staff told us that we could put one diaper on each incubator. Diapers are like gold over there. They just can not afford them. In San Jose, probably 90% of the babies either had nothing on their bottom or they wore clothes but with no diapers. So they would soil themselves everytime. Heartbreaking! My friend Michelle, who went into the regular nursery, said the mothers were BEGGING them for more diapers! It's so sad.

At one point, a mom came in the room and walked straight to one of the incubators. She put both hands on the glass and just stared longingly and sadly into it at her precious baby. Every once in a while she wiped a tear. And every once in a while she would open the little round door and stick her hand in and stroke her baby's arm. She couldn't hold her baby, only touch her. It was too much to handle. I wanted so badly to speak to her, but have I mentioned I know zero spanish? So I just walked over and gave her a hug and she immediately broke down. I called Angela, our translator over, and I was able to speak to her for just a minute. I just can't imagine. I know that many families here in America also have to go through similar situations and it's heart breaking and I'm so sorry for those families. Some of you bloggers know exactly what this mother was feeling.

I do have one picture of one of the babies that was in way worse shape, but I will spare you that. It's so sad. I know I keep saying sad, but I just don't know how else to describe it. I was hopeful because a lot of the babies looked like they were in pretty good shape and their mother's were so sweet and they looked so cute laying on their chests. I know God is watching over that hospital.

On a much lighter note, after the hospital we went to a village called Agua Blanca.

This place was like a breath of fresh air. It's beautiful and so peaceful feeling. Communion Baptist has been working with this village for many years. They planted a church here a few years ago and were established enough to become an independent church. They were having 3 days of a revival to celebrate and they invited us to the first evening service of the revival. They also presented a plaque of appreciation to Curtis and our church for helping them throughout the years. It was very special. I loved this church. It's an open building and it's not what we would consider beautiful, but it was. The view from their church was unbelievable.

The Boys!

This is my good friend, Kim! We have known each other since the good ole days at DBU. Her and her husband with on the trip. It was so fun getting to hang out with her for a whole week!

This is the little girl I got to watch while the family listened to the service.

Friday was a much more light hearted day filled with TONS OF FUN! I can't wait to share!

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