Friday, August 29, 2008

Mowing -vs- Weed eating

We had to mow yesterday evening. All because we have had so much rain that it's making the grass grow extremely fast. I guess I shouldn't complain because there are some of you out there that haven't gotten any rain.

Well, Hubster gave me the option to mow with the riding mower or weed eat. Normally, I wouldn't hesitate to mow. I enjoy riding the mower and the tractor. I am woman, hear me roar.

But, Hubster is a little particular with the way the grass is mowed. Especially if it is connected to our house. It all has to look uniform and such. I just hop on the mower and drive and mow. I see a cricket in the grass and it sees me and we have races as to who can reach a certain part of the yard the quickest.

Or I forget which row I'm on and start a new crooked row. Usually though, the kids end up calling me and I get distracted and somehow end up scalping the grass. Hubster doesn't like that.

We have a pretty big front yard. You can see part of it here.
The only thing I don't like when mowing this yard, is that it is on a hill. I always feel as if I'm going to fall off the mower.

See Hubster's fine lined rows? He mows with precision while I mow with -well, unprecision.
His rows all have to be equal distance apart and the same number of grass on each row. My rows just end up partly scalped and with grass still standing tall where I forgot to mow.
So I chose to weed eat instead. My only problem was that our weed eater had died. The battery had died and I had to recharge it. I went next door to my neighbors to borrow hers. They have a nice one. It's big, long and heavy.

So I weed eated around the trees, around the mailbox and such. I got this crazy whim that I needed to weed eat my neighbors yard because her husband is out of town and it was a little overgrown.
By the time I got up to our house, my arms couldn't take it anymore. I'm a wimp, ok, I get it. Today, my arms are hurting because they are not used to such heavy work. I couldn't even feell them last night.
I guess next time I will just tell Hubster that I'll mow. Even if my lines don't come out perfect.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The cheese stick that wants to be a light saber

I've been playing catch up today. You know, catch up with the dishes, especially the cups, that seem to multiply throughout the day. Catch up with the laundry that tried to overtake my bed. Catch up with the food that seems to be doing it's own science experiment in my fridge.

AND, I didn't go to the store to buy food for my chihuahua. I'll have to make her a gourmet dinner or something.

I wanted to thank you all for praying for baby Hannah. The last update we got was that they were taking the tubes out and were weaning her off the meds. Please continue to pray for her and her family. She will be there a minimum of two weeks before they let her come home.

But here's a funny story. UB took him a snack to karate. Since he doesn't do karate yet, he thinks he needs to eat while we are there. He took him a healthy little snack today since I haven't gone to the store to buy unhealthy snacks.

Before we went to karate, I had to drop some books off at the library. AB makes the drop for me and then we drive over to the next place.

UB is frantically looking for his cheese stick. Blaming AB for not being able to find it. He's worried that he won't have anything to eat and now he's going to starve. "How can I watch karate and not have a snack mom?" was his question.

We arrive at our destination and I help him look for this cheese stick that needs to be eaten. After about ten minutes, he looks at me innocently and says "Mom, now I remember. I put the cheese stick in the middle of the book to mark the page I was looking at. I think it's at the library".

So right now, there is a lonely little cheese stick stuck in the middle of a Star Wars book, pretending to be a light saber while it fights with Darth Vader.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A prayer request and praise

I know I'm late posting today. All because of school. At least that seems a good excuse.

Our field up front had knee length grass growing. I was having a hard time finding my chihuahua when she went outside. It had been raining quite a bit that it gave the grass some boost to grow.

So off I went yesterday after school to go mow. The tractor has a dead battery so I just drove the mower. I like the mower because I can go fast. But I like the tractor because I feel big in it. Oh well, I can never be happy.

While I was mowing, the boys were making mud patties behind the shop. I couldn't see them, but when I ran out of gas and went to get the gas can, I saw what they were doing.

Of course, by this time I had found out that they had brought a big bucket filled with mud inside my house. My clean house that I hard worked so hard at. Then, I found a plastic bowl that I had been looking for from inside my house. Time and time again I had asked them if they knew where the bowl was. No mom, was always their response. Imagine my surprise when I see it outside filled with mud and such and they tell me that they didn't know THAT was the bowl I was talking about. When they asked if I wanted it back, I just told them they could keep it.

But while I was mowing, I was praising God in all that he does. You see, there is this couple at church that just had their third little girl. Baby Hannah. She is a week and a half old. When she was born, all was well. The day after she was born, she started having heart issues. They rushed her to the children's hospital nearby. They found out that her two arteries, one pumps blood, the other oxygen, to her heart were reversed. The surgeon did a balloon procedure two days after she was born, just to get her heart to work.

There is no surgeon in the state of Oklahoma that would perform the operation of switching the two arteries. They found one in Texas. They med flight the baby there while the parents drove down.

The surgeon that was found is a Christian. A praying one at that. He definitely believes in miracles. The surgery was yesterday. It started at 7:30 am and by 2:15pm, it was almost complete and successful. What a wonderful God.

She is still not out of the woods yet, but I ask that you all pray for Baby Hannah. She will stay intubated for a couple more days and the family will have to live at the Ronald McDonald house during their stay.

So while I was mowing, I was crying tears of joy for this baby girl and her family. I was also thanking God for my family and for all that He continues to do for us.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I went to go see Beth Moore

I won a Gold!!! I didn't even participate in the Olympics, unless you can make housecleaning an Olympic event. And even then, I'd probably come in last place. Anyway, Sunshine mom gave me this award. Very sweet!!
I only have two friends that blog ( as far as I know) , so I'll post them here to pass this award on.
1. Kari
So now you two can post your award on your blog.
I, along with 20 something other women from my church, left on Friday morning at 6:30am to drive down to San Antonio, TX to see Beth Moore. Man, was it awesome. She talked about inheritance and how God is our porti0n and we are his. She talked about how we were heirs ( or heiresses ) of God. It was great. 10,000 women all under one roof listening to a wonderful speaker and all praising the God who made us heirs. Can't beat that.
We drove down in the church bus. Usually, when you sit in the back of the bus, it's cooler than the front. Not in this case. The a/c wasn't working and while it was blowing lukehot air to the front of the bus, those of us in the back were getting none. It started getting stuffy towards the middle of our trip, which meant that the last 3 hours were spent fanning ourselves and thinking about other stuff besides the fact that we were hot.
We were sweating even before we got to the Riverwalk. But we arrived at our hotel without anyone melting or passing out. We were able to walk the Riverwalk for a while before the conference. I'm familiar with the Riverwalk and since my mom lives in San Antonio, we go down there quite often. So I guess I was like the tour guide. We all had fun. I got to know some people from my church a little better. We just moved to this church in March and it's hard to make friends in a big church that already has their own friend groups.
On the way back home from the conference, we stopped to pick up something to eat. Those of us that had sat in the back going down there, moved to the front coming home. But when we got our food and started heading back to the bus, the rain started to fall. Not soft drops either, it was pouring down. When we finally made it back onto the bus, some seats were wet as were some of our blankets and pillows. The windows had leaked. Big puddles of water were inside the bus.
We were all wet. We weren't complaining about the air then, because it actually was a little cold. Once we were dry, we started to feel the hot air again. I do believe it was worse coming home than it was going down there. We did end up stopping at Dairy Queen to get blizzards.
So as a recap, we had a wonderful and awesome time listening to Beth Moore, and we were sweaty and sticky going down there and hot and wet coming back home. Couldn't ask for a more interesting trip. But it was all worth it. Thank you Lord!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

UB and his costumes

UB also enjoys to ride his dirt bike, but he doesn't have to do it all the time. He prefers to be a superhero.

The other night, he stayed home with Hubster and I while AB went to eat with a friend. He was watching a power rangers show of some sort. I went to do something and when I came back, I noticed he wasn't there. I asked Hubster where he was, "don't know" he said.

A little while later UB comes in wearing his power ranger costume. Looking all studly I might add.

He will wear this costume all day long. During school, superhero's want to learn too you know. He'll put it on when he wakes up, wear it all day and then take it off to take a shower. It's not just this costume. It's the ninja one, the spiderman or even the thing one.

He even wore it on our trip to Wal-Mart. But AB gets embarrassed and asked him if he really needed to wear it inside the store. No, he says, I'll take it off in the car, then put it back on when we get back into the car. AB looked relieved.

See, there's a power ranger riding his bike. He's showing me how fast he can ride.
After he has showed off, he has to smile and pose.

"Do you like my big muscles mom?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adventure Boy and his dirt bike

AB enjoys riding his dirt bike. He is an amazing kid and I'm going to brag on him a little. At the age of 2 1/2 he was riding his bicycle without training wheels. By the time he was 3, he wanted a dirt bike. "No", I said "too dangerous". "Yes", daddy said "that's my boy".

For his 4th birthday, we got him a dirt bike. He was so proud of that thing. He almost ran into some cars and some people when he first got on, but that's besides the point. He soon learned that riding a dirt bike was different than riding a bicycle.

He rode his first dirt bike for a short while. Simply because if you remember me telling you, some more-on stole it from our shop. We saved some money and bought him another one.

He rides this bike like there's no tomorrow. He wants to ride it all the time. When it's a sweltering 120 degrees outside. When it's freezing cold. When it's snowing. Even when it's raining.

He wants to race dirt bikes. "No", I said "too dangerous". "Yes", daddy said "that's my boy".

He bugged and bugged and bugged some more to go riding after it had rained. He knew the ground would be soft and wet and he just had to ride in it. What kid doesn't like to walk, run or ride in water puddles?

So yesterday evening, when it had finally stopped raining, after much bugging, Hubster went outside with AB so that he could ride through the puddles. He claimed it was to learn how to ride in wet dirt, but these pictures proved otherwise.
He's quite content to ride through these puddles. Just look at his face.

"It really is fun mom"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We have started school

We have officially started school. I normally don't start until after Labor Day, but I went ahead and started with the school district here. This way I don't have to worry about not being able to finish on time.

We started last Thursday. I've been a little lazy and a little busy so I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog.

UB started Kindergarten. He's getting big. My baby is growing up. I had them make some signs that said what grade they were in. UB wanted to draw on his.
AB is starting 2nd grade. I told him what to write and on his sign ( I erased it before I took this picture) he wrote Isaac 2 end grade. He was obeying. I did say seconEND. At least he spelled it correctly. AB also didn't want to draw anything on his paper. He just put a smiley face. I guess he wasn't that excited to start seconEND grade.

So far, since it's only been 4 days, it's going pretty good. AB is starting to learn that he's got to do more on his own now since I have to work one on one with UB. He still complains some, but he does his work. Let's hope that the next 171 days go this well if not better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The scorpion king

When I went to Ecuador, I took my cell phone with me. I had already called my carrier (the one with the fewest dropped calls, although mine drop every now and then) and they told me that yes, I would have service over there. A text message would cost me 50 cents to receive and 50 cents to text out. That was OK with me since I didn't know if and when we would be able to get to a phone.

We all text ed from Ecuador. We wanted everyone to know that we were OK. We even received some from our loved ones.

Well, one day, I turn on my phone to see if anyone had sent us a message. There was one from Hubster. It said "AB got stung by a scorpion. He's fine. We love you and miss you."

OK, I don't know about you, but I freaked. I am over 2ooo miles away and I get that message. Yes, it said he was OK, but what do you mean he got stung by a scorpion?

My mominess kicked in. This message was three days old when I received it. So right away the questions started to come in my head.
Is he OK?
I wonder if he had to go to the Dr?
How big was this scorpion?
Where was he when it happened?
Is my baby OK?
Why did Hubster have to tell me this?

I tell our leader that I need to go to a phone bank before we go shopping. I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy the day without knowing the answers to all of those questions.

We find a phone bank and I call Hubster.
Yes, he's OK.
No, he didn't have to go to the Dr., the swelling went down that evening.
He was in the school room with grandma when it happened.
Yes, I promise you he's OK.
I just thought you'd like to know.

Anyway, I calmed down, cried a little because I was talking to Hubster. You see, in the 9 1/2 years we've been married, we've never gone that long, 5 days, without talking to each other. Can I get an Awwwwwww here?

But before I got off the phone, AB told me that he had saved the scorpion for me to see when I got home. He said it was a surprise for me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Whataburger burger

We recently went to a Whataburger. If you are from around Texas you know that Whataburger's are usually found all over in a Texas town. They are quite yummy, but the further south you get, the better they are. You have to order them with toasted buns and grilled onions and it makes them scrumptulicious.

Anyway, AB got a kid's meal with a cheeseburger. He finished it and was still hungry. We gave him some money and told him to go order Justaburger (the name of a burger).

He came back and I asked him where the change was. They didn't give me any, he said.

Confused, I looked at the sign with the prices and kept insisting to him that he should have gotten change.

No, he said. She took the money and said it would be right out.

I asked him what he ordered. Just a burger mom, he said, no fries, no drink, just a burger.

Suddenly I realized that he didn't know that the name of the burger was called JUSTABURGER, he thought I had told him to go order just a burger.

Kids are so funny.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day five in Ecuador

On the fifth day of my mission trip, my true love gave to me..................
5 glorious days with kids eager to learn about Jesus
4 days without hot water
3 bruises blackening
2 translators
1 wonderful but humbling experience

Friday was by far the hardest day we had. We had gotten to know the families that were there. We had gotten to know the kids. Played with them, loved on them. Or rather, they loved on us. We re-enforced what they were learning. We saw them as sponges, absorbing all that was said.

The people from the church were making us lunch on this day. They wanted to thank us for all that we did for them. But I think we should have been thanking them for all that they did for us. We played soccor with some kids that knew how to playit well. One of the girls in our group got kicked in the leg by one of the guys in our group.

We ate what they fed us. It was yummy. They grilled pork chops, chicken and beef. They made corn and steam vegetables and some yummy potato cakes. We ate and ate and ate some more. They would come around with these plates full of meat. They wanted to make sure we had one of each piece of meat. N, our leader, had eaten his portion and then another of our groups portion. It works well to have guys in our group. JB, wouldn't sit next to us after the hot dog incident.

By this day, I was doing a lot of the translating of the skit and lessons. I was nervous at first, but I didn't have to worry, because the couple of words I would say wrong, the kids would correct. It was funny. We taught them 'I have joy like a river' in Spanish. They wanted to sing this all the time. I also taught them a song in Spanish that says 'I have a friend that loves me, that loves me, that loves me, I have a friend that loves me, his name is Jesus.' Of course, that one I taught only to the group (the youth) that I was helping with. They wanted to sing that all the time as well. They really enjoyed 'I have joy like a river' in English. Some of them got it.

During Friday's lesson in small groups, I was informed right then and there that I was to do the entire lesson. Try coming up with something in Spanish on the spot. I looked at JG, who was another member of our group, and asked her what we should do. I did come up with stuff though. God is good. We did the cross trick as well. They enjoyed that.

We had taken the church some clothes from here. We found out on that day that they (the pastor and his wife) had painstakingly, unselfishly, folded each and every piece of clothing neatly and with love. They then placed this piece of clothing in a plastic bag and enclosed it with a Jesus book. Each child was to receive this gift. They were short 10 bags for the older kids.

I say painstakingly because Maria, the pastors wife, has rheumatoid arthritis. Medicine is not cheap over there. She never let on that she was in so much pain, and we only knew when we probed her and she told us.

We also had taken 150 bags filled with toys, colors, gum, candy and such. We added a little bag to each big bag.

When VBS was over, they distributed these bags to all the kids. There was no fighting over which bag was bigger. No fighting because one baggie had more stuff than others. Never heard a "that's not fair". They all just accepted these bags and the look on their faces said it all. They wouldn't even push to hurry up the person in front of them. They just waited their turn.

One little boy approached me and asked me if I could help him find someone to switch with him. He had gotten a girl bag and of course was hoping to get a boy bag. We asked around and this one little girl had gotten a boy bag. The shirt she pulled out had some stains on it. The little boy looked at it and said "no, that's OK. I'll just give this to my sister. I have this goody bag anyway"

We all cried when the kids were telling us goodbye. They hugged our necks, gave us kisses, told us they would miss us and even told us they loved us. Try not to cry when they do all that.

When all the kids left, we formed a circle and the ladies of the church wanted to sing songs with us and pray for us. Kennedy, the pastor, had gone to a pastor's convention. To hear these people pray and sing with their hearts is something that I can't explain. It's just beautiful. I know the whole group felt it. Sometimes the translation gets chopped up when even just 1 or 2 words get translated wrong. I was crying. I couldn't translate to the group. The translators did. And when they would mess up a word, I couldn't correct them. The group felt the love these people offered. I don't think any translation was needed. Those little packs of Kleenex's come in handy.

We left there before we cried some more. We went to go eat dinner and tried to not think about this wonderful, bittersweet day. We did enjoy dinner together. We laughed. Especially when the guy came out to take our order and when one person ordered the chicken, he said that was the last piece of chicken and they were out of chicken, so no one else could get chicken. Since we had had that big lunch, and had heavy hearts, we really weren't that hungry. But we still wanted chicken. So the guy said "OK, I'll be back in a little while, let me go prepare more chicken". That's when we laughed. We waited for the sound of the chicken clucking, but we heard none. We all ended up with what we ordered. We didn't even ask where the chicken came from.

We left the restaurant and went to the convenience store to buy some cokes and some dessert. For the previous couple of days, we would get together in our room (girls) and just hang out and talk. So we did it again on this Friday. It was fun.

I leave you this post with a picture of Kennedy and Maria and their 5 sons. I ask that you pray for this family. Pray for Kennedy, that he continues to preach God's word. Pray for the ministry they are doing and for the lives they are touching. Pray for Maria. For her arthritis. There are days when she can't get out of bed. Pray for their boys. The oldest is 21 and the youngest (twins) are 12.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Less Words Wednesday

Typhoid Pills: $

Hepatitis A shot: $

Airline ticket:$$$$
Mission Trip to Cayambe, Ecuador: Priceless

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Funny words

Last night we had 7 little boys spend the night here. They went to bed late and then AB woke me up to tell me that they were playing video games. It would have been OK, except that it was 3am. 3am people. I have a hard time falling back asleep when I wake up.

Off I went to the room to tell them to turn the video game off and go to bed. But I guess I wasn't that nice about it.

Why would anyone be nice at 3am.

So I guess you can say that I'm a little cranky. I'm tired too.

Well, the boys are playing video games at the moment. I'm sitting here editing my 476 photos from Ecuador when I hear one of them say...........

"Cover me. Laura is trying to kill me. I need to kill her first."

I'll take that as a sign that I need to lighten up a little today.

Day four in Ecuador

On the fourth day of my mission trip, my true love gave to me..............
4 days without hot water
3 bruises blackening
2 translators
1 wonderful but humbling experience

We started day four a little easier. We were going to take a tour of a Rose Plantation. There are Rose Plantations around what seems every corner. We went in and were given a tour about all the different areas. We were showed where they fix the flowers so that they can look their best before being shipped out. We were showed how they pack them and how the different size cuts went to the different countries. We saw them make bags of rose petals for weddings and such, and we even saw the rejects that were going to be sold in the local market. They were beautiful and I don't know what made them rejects. Slight imperfections I guess.

We even saw these beautiful blue roses. They were white roses that were dyed. They dye them blue or black and even purple I believe. They sure looked pretty.

We passed out scripture gum and tracts. A young girl even came running after us to see if we had more of a certain tract.

We went and passed out tracts and goodie bags to a neighborhood right behind the molino. We visited a day care and then walked the streets. We came across a young lady whose kids had been coming to VBS. The little boy had medical problems. Her family was the only one around that neighborhood who were Christians. They get no help from their neighbors because they are Christians. The lady feels all alone with no one there to help. Her husband works at a Rose Plantation kind of far from where they live. He rides a bike to and from work. She walks to where she needs to go. We tried to encourage her. We read her scripture and then we prayed for her. Her name was Sarah.

We went to the molino to go eat then get our craft and skit ready for VBS. By the end of this day, we had over 100 kids. We sure were tired. But in a good way.

We went to eat and then to church services. It sounded so beautiful. Here in our church we have a band. Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, keyboard and such. We also have a choir. There at that church, they have one person playing Acoustic guitar and everyone singing. It just sounds so beautiful.

After church, we realized that our translator to our group had locked the keys in the truck. While we wait for someone to come open it, three of us start to walk. We were going to pass out candy to kids. Our other translator says no. It's not a safe area. She'll walk with us. We start to walk when a car pulls up next to us. It is a pastor from a Baptist church in Quito. He says get in. We tell him that we are just walking and we'll wait for the truck to get unlocked. He says get in.
N, our leader, said that maybe this was like the joke of when God send the guy several modes of transportation. We got in.

This is downtown Cayambe. Where the church is located.

Here is a view of the snow capped Cayambe Volcano. We had been noticing that the sky was a little hazy. Little did we know that it was volcanic ash.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Day three in Ecuador

On the third day of my mission trip, my true love gave to me..............

3 bruises blackening
2 translators
and 1 wonderful but humbling experience

Day three started with a prayer walk and devotions. Some of us then went for a walk before we started our day. It is so beautiful. You see mountains everywhere. People greet you when they don't even know you. They walk their cows, pigs, sheep. You name it, they walk it.
I think this little piggy was going to the market.

We went to the molino and started helping with the craft and then we were told that we needed to do a skit. So we gather together to come up with something. When we finished VBS that day, there were close to 100 kids there. All eager to hear the 'gringos' talk about Jesus.
The kids were from around there and they were from a poor neighborhood. Most kids wore the same clothes everyday.
We went to eat dinner. We ate this wonderfully, tasty filet Mignon that was huge and was only $10. We even ate 2 big baskets full of bread with a salsa that they make in Ecuador called Aji. Boy is that tasty. I didn't listen to people when they said don't eat the vegetables. I ate lots of this.
We separated into two groups. One group went to go visit a pastor about started more works. My group went back to the molino. We were invited to go sing some songs, get to know each other better and have a devotion. When we got there, they said they had snacks for us. It had only been an hour since we had finished eating that wonderful food. I made an excuse for us and they started the singing.
Of course, in Ecuador, there is no hurry. No one is rushing to get to work. No one is yelling at you because you need to hurry up and get somewhere. It is a very laid back, no hurry kind of place. They told us to be there at 7pm. We started everything at 8pm. We didn't mind. We actually enjoyed it.
During the prayer time, we all gathered in a circle and held hands. Kennedy, the pastor, was praying and suddenly I felt it. It was as if God was in the room. I got chills and then teary. It was definitely a God moment. I felt as if I would have opened my eyes, I would have seen God face to face. What a wonderful feeling it was. Something that really can't be described. By the time the week was over, everyone in the group had felt that same thing at one time or another.
When devotions finished devotions, they told us that the hot dogs were almost ready. We all looked at each other and wonder how we are possibly going to eat. By this time it was 9pm. We sit there and talk and they bring out a bowl of chips. There were 4 of us from our group in that room. JB, the teen guy, was entertaining kids. I look at him and tell him that they are bringing us food and we need to eat. Starting with the chips. He sits down and starts eating chips.
The chips are taken away and then these huge hot dogs come out. Hot dogs like the extra long coney's from Sonic. That long of a wienie inside a french bread loaf, loaded with aji, cheese, chunks of tomato and crushed chips. This was no small American hot dog folks. The best way to describe how long it was is to compare it to the subway sandwiches. Large.
Well, we convince them to cut them in half. JB says he's going to eat a whole one. He's taking care of us women. We other wimps eat half. They come back and offer us more. I decline since I'm not even half way on the half. JB gets a half. They come back again and offer us still some more. I say that we are full. I end up saying that JB has eaten two already. He feels guilty because he hadn't and ends up eating the other half of his half. Poor guy.
After stuffing ourselves, we end up having to roll ourselves out. We get to the room and start laughing as we tell the other group what we went through, especially JB. It was fun.
I'll leave you with another Cayambe, Ecuador view.

I was missing my family lots. But every time I looked at the moon, I knew that it was the same moon they looked at.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekly Winners

Here are some pictures from my trip to Ecuador.

Go here to see more weekly winners.

Concrete cross


Red rose

Posing duck

Looking up

Hanging out

Flying above the clouds

Sunset from the airplane