Choose Kindness

Posted by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

My best friend has a heart of gold.

She really and truly does…….

I am honored just to know her and call her “friend”.

But then, to know she is my BEST friend – the one I can always count on,

no matter what,

is just nearly unbelievable.

I am beyond blessed.

Go here and read this post.

You’ll see just how AWESOME she is!

There is a handy dandy little PayPal button at the bottom of the post that says DONATE.

Click on it if you’d like to help her.

I did!

Filed in Life,Randomness | 3 dorito bits so far

Madrina, part 2

Posted by on Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Santos and his teacher

So after huffing and puffing up the hill to the home Santos lives in with his family, as I wrote about last week (or the week before!) – we finally arrived. Whew, not a moment too soon, lemme tell ya. I didn’t think I’d make it much further.

In the small home, there were two rooms. The room we entered has a table and two chairs, a piece of furniture that looked sort of like an “armoire” which they likely used as a closet and a HUGE loom that Santos’ father uses for his work. He is employed as a weaver which earns him about $30 a month. This is the income that supports his family of 10… the dad, mom, and seven boys. And the grandfather that lives with them. Can you imagine?

Loom inside of Santos’ home and his grandfather

That is Santos’ grandfather standing in the window, and part of Santos down in the right corner – but it gives you an idea how stinkin’ MASSIVE that loom is – taking up 2/3 of the room. Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder about the poor souls that carried those massive pieces UP that hill to get it inside the home – it had to arrive in pieces and be built on site.

Anyway, Santos’ dad, whose name is Margarito, did most of the talking, while his mom, Amalia nodded and smiled at me a lot. You have to remember – they only speak in their native tongue of Katchiquel, a Mayan language. So Margarito spoke, the teacher translated into Spanish and Jenny, from Mayan Families Organization translated from Spanish into English for me.

He said, (and I paraphrase because I can’t remember the exact words now) “We are honored to have you in our home and want you to know how much we appreciate what you are doing for Santos. To give him the opportunity to go to school and better his future is something we couldn’t do without your help. We feel sure that God will bless you many times over for your generosity.”

It was very sweet and made tears come to my eyes as I listened to the translation.

He went on to say that they would be honored to have a photograph of me to hang on their wall – to remember me by. I looked around when I heard this, noticing a clock, a calendar, and a picture of Jesus on the other wall. And they want to put ME up there??? Whew, that’s a little pressure!

Three of their sons were still at school so they aren’t all in the photo – but aren’t they a cute family? After I took this one, I handed my camera to Jenny’s husband and he took one of me with the family – sadly, Margarito’s eyes are closed in it.

(I have no idea why the color is so off in this photo!)

Before we left, Margarito had Santos deliver a gift to each of us, telling us that it was something for us to remember them by and a sign of their gratitude. It was most unnecessary – which of course, made it all the more meaningful.

We were each given a small woven bag, perfect for cosmetics or something, and inside was a woven bracelet. I love it and smile each time I see it in my purse – thinking of what a precious family they are!

The second room of the house had two full size beds in it and a basket hanging above one of the beds that the baby sleeps in….  nine people in two beds. Amazing huh?

This is one bed and the basket above it. I really liked seeing that life jacket over in the corner of the bed – since this is a lakeside village… I’m glad to know the boys are protected when they get in the water.

Such a wonderful visit to their home! I’m so thankful to Mayan Families for making it happen!

Filed in Life,Me,On the road again,Randomness | 2 dorito bits so far

My babies are growing up

Posted by on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

My sweet Beebo went to the Spring Gala this past Saturday night.

I love this photo of my daughters!

But how in the heck did they get this grown up??

Filed in Kids,Life | 4 dorito bits so far

*blah blah blah*

Posted by on Monday, February 20th, 2012

**Sometimes coming up with a title is far too much work.**

My poor little (and big) dogs had super long toenails because I seemed to have misplaced the toenail clippers and couldn’t remember to purchase new ones for the longest time. So one day last week, I was flipping channels on the tv and I as I passed “Animal Planet“, I caught a piece from one of the Animal Cops’ shows, where the officer was saying that these poor dogs were so neglected by their owners, which was clearly evident by the condition of their feet and over grown toenails.

I immediately looked at Sydney’s long toenails and felt really awful.

Well, color me embarrassed.

So I bought new clippers and wrapped Sydney up in a blanket like a burrito (because she tries to BITE me as I clip them) and got those babies all neatly trimmed. Even though I broke out in a sweat in the process! That stupid dog might be small but it’s like wrestling a BEAR to get the job done.

Which kinda explains why her stinkin’ toenails are “neglected” in the first place. The clippers being misplaced was merely a sign of self-preservation. Of my hands!!

So after all that was said and done – I had to tackle the big dogs’ toenails. Lillie, my weimaraner, is such a sweet girl – she just lays there and lets me do it without much trouble at all – just a few flinches here and there. But sadly, her toenails are so darn THICK, it’s hard for me to grasp the clippers tight enough to actually cut them off because of my wrist issues. After several attempts, I had to call Mr. Lucky in to help me out.

I said, “Just cut a LITTLE off the end. I’d rather you cut too little and have to make a second cut then to cut into the quick and make it bleed.”

And what did he do? He cut a GIANT piece and Lillie yelped and it started bleeding!

I was like,

“DUDE…. what the HECK?? What did I just SAY???”

He was all “Oops.”

Lillie was running around the kitchen, like “something sure feels FUNNYYYYY on my foot!!” And I was chasing after her, trying to get her to lay down so that I could hold pressure on it to make it stop bleeding. I’d finally get pressure in the right spot and she’d hop up and start lapping the kitchen again. Leaving little blood drops everywhere. Meanwhile, she was giving him the evil eye the entire time, clearly knowing it was his fault she was hurting!

It was total chaos.

It was about this time that I fired Mr. Lucky from toenail clippin’  by the way.

Mr. Lucky had to run over to his PT clinic to get a styptic pencil to apply on her toenail to cause the bleeding to stop. We finally got it on and the bleeding stopped. Thank goodness.

A few hours later, the girls and I had to leave for a bit. When we returned home, Lillie had licked that stuff off her toenail while we were away and she’d started bleeding again. He managed to stop the bleeding on his own. And then he wrapped her whole foot in some sticky gauze stuff he uses in his sports medicine kit.

You know what happens when a dog has a bandage on their foot? And before you say, she chewed it off – I’ll tell you… she didn’t. She still hasn’t, more than 24 hours later. But what she does do is lift her back leg really HIGH as she steps. She looks like a prancing pony.

It is HYSTERICAL.

Mr. Lucky offered to take it off last night. I said, “I’m sure it’s done bleeding but…. leave it on. It’s way too fun to watch her walk like that!”

I swear, I think she likes it. You should see her prance around the yard when she goes out.

Filed in Around the house,Just plain funny,Randomness,Things that crack me up,Weirdness in my world | 2 dorito bits so far

Madrina

Posted by on Monday, February 6th, 2012

Sometime this past November, I was looking around on the Mayan Families website, as I have been doing regularly since my trip to Guatemala in January of 2011. They offer so many ways to help: sponsoring a student for school, offering one-time medical help money, or food money for a particular family. The opportunity to help a family in need are all over the place in Guatemala.

Anyway, I decided to sponsor a student. His name is Santos and his photo looked so cute – I just couldn’t NOT sponsor him.

When we arrived at Mayan Families in January, we had several things planned to do with them while we were there but I asked if there was any way possible for me to meet Santos and his family. He attends school in the San Antonio Palabo school that is one of the seven Mayan Families schools.

Our hotel was in Panajachel (the upper blue circle) and the Mayan Families main office is there as well. We rode in one of their trucks to all the areas we visited surrounding Panajachel – literally up and down the sides of mountains we went.

Lord knows there was plenty to see everywhere we traveled! I was LOVING all the bright blue sky over head and the lush greenery…. it is truly beautiful.

The day we went to the school that Santos attends – it was just my sister Lena and I and Jenny from Mayan Families. In Guatemala, school starts in January so there was a LOT going on at the Mayan Families offices – getting loaded backpacks together and distributed to something like 2000 students, taking photos of each student for the website, and who knows what else was going on all around us…. there was a lot of people everywhere we turned. Anyway, with that being said, you’ll know how extra special it was that even with ALL THAT going on – they still managed to get me to San Antonio Palabo to meet Santos!

The drive from Pana took nearly 35 minutes (including the time we stopped to pick up a load of firewood to deliver to the school since we were going there) on switchback curves up the mountain – passing over roads that had places in the pavement totally washed out from the previous seasons’ rains, whew! I tell ya, it was enough to make this old girl a little squirrely sitting there. But our driver, Juan Carlos, knew his way around with no hesitation – he grew up there and drives those roads every day so to him, it was just another day on the job.

We finally rounded a curve and there was San Antonio Palobo, built literally on the side of the mountain.

Believe me, this photo doesn’t do justice to the area. It was built on the side of a STEEP mountainside. But goodness gracious, was it BEAUTIFUL!! We stopped at the school first to meet Santos and his teacher – who would  go with us on the home visit because his family only spoke Katchiquel, a Mayan dialect – and we would need the teacher to translate from Katchiquel to Spanish. Then Jenny, the gal from Mayan Families, would translate from Spanish to English for us gringos.

As we piled out of the truck, Jenny said, “Grab some wood as you go!”

Ha.

I piled some wood in my arms and up, up, up we went. Lena and I were huffing and puffing and thinking we should have gotten a lot LESS wood, if we’d had any idea how many steps UP we had to go! (Ok, maybe it was only ME huffing and puffing and I was doing it so loud I thought it was both of us!) Needless to say, we eventually reached the school and stood there looking stupid as the teacher ran up and down about 6 or 8 times carrying massive loads of wood. She seriously put me to shame – the way she did it like it was a piece of cake!

I was finally introduced to Santos – and they explained to him that I was his “Madrina” which means “Sponsor” in Spanish. Of course, being that it was the second day of school and Santos came from a predominantly Katchiquel-speaking family – I’m not totally sure he understood what “madrina” meant at first. He kept looking at me like “who the heck are you and why is everyone staring at me??”

It was such a thrill to meet him – even if he didn’t get it at first! He is super cute, huh??

Wait til I tell you what his parents said to me when we went on the home visit! It made my eyes tear up!

Filed in Kids,Life,On the road again | 3 dorito bits so far

For what its worth

Posted by on Monday, January 30th, 2012

My heart is near to exploding with a sincere humbleness – born of the opportunity to visit with such precious people as the Guatemalans. They are such a poor people – but oh so rich…. in warmth and generosity and kindness. It’s so hard to put into words….

Once again I return home feeling as if I got so much more out of it than I gave.

I look around my home and see all the material items that “mean” something to me. And I wonder how in the world I can be so selfish. We have it so good in this country – and most of the time we don’t even realize it! I know I am totally guilty of it.

I have oodles of photos to share and stories to tell…. I promise to start soon.

Filed in Life,On the road again | 5 dorito bits so far

Angel(a)

Posted by on Friday, January 13th, 2012

Today my sweet friend Angie (Angela) is celebrating her birthday in heaven!

I still can’t believe she is gone from earth, after that tragic accident that killed her and her husband David on June 12th, 2010. She was a kind, sweet spirit that touched many, many lives. I pray for her kids all the time – I just hate that she had to leave them so soon. It seems just so….. wrong.

It is what it is though…. all things happen in God’s time – even when they don’t make sense to us. That seems to be the hardest lesson for me to learn, especially when it comes to things like losing a loved one.

I miss you Ang. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You will always hold a special place in my heart, filled with many memories of good times together. I can’t think of a better angel to have on my side. ♥

Filed in Life,Me | One dorito bit so far

4,000 pairs

Posted by on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In an unprecedented event, Mr. Lucky was off from work today, a random Tuesday, while I worked. This practically NEVER happens. I mean, seriously… maybe one other time that I can think of during our 17+ years of marriage. So last night, I was saying, “Oh good! You can move all that junk back into place in the garage! {because we moved it over the weekend to free up the windows so our new windows could be installed} You can finish the laundry I didn’t get done! You can start dinner for me!” All these plans I was making – you know, so he didn’t get bored on his one and only day off.

Ha.

As if….

He said, “Oh no. Don’t be making plans for my day off – I have plenty to do already!” Yeah, yeah, whatever.

I said, “Gee. If I didn’t spend my day off doing laundry, you’d be naked most of the time. It’s not gonna kill you.” One of my pet peeves… why am I responsible for all most of the household chores when we BOTH work?

So when I came  home at lunch he was actually doing laundry! I was secretly surprised but ever so appreciative that he was doing it!  When I got home tonight, I avoided the laundry room – in hopes that he’d finish what he had started without me saying anything.

A few minutes ago, while I sat here looking around on Pinterest, he came through with a stack of folded clothes and said,” I just want to point out that you have something like FOUR THOUSAND PAIRS OF PANTIES! I don’t even know how or WHY that is possible.”

Haha.

Me either dude.

All I know is that I now  have 4,000 pairs of CLEAN and NEATLY FOLDED pairs of panties. And I didn’t do it!

How awesome is that???

P.S. It’s the little things, you know? They make me happy.

Filed in Around the house,Hubby,Just plain funny,Things that crack me up,Weirdness in my world | 4 dorito bits so far

I hope to see Jesus soon

Posted by on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Someday I do hope to see Jesus – my Lord and Savior. But not anytime soon, I hope.

The Jesus I want to see soon is the young boy I met last year in Guatemala. You might remember the story I wrote about him here. I have thought of him and prayed for him so many times, too many to count over the past year.

There are many sweet faces I look forward to seeing again but I tell ya, the face of Jesus is one that I will be HUNTING for on every street corner.

Filed in Kids,Life,Me,Memory Lane Mondays,On the road again | 2 dorito bits so far

hello new, goodbye old

Posted by on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

All the Christmas decorations are put up for another year. The house is back to normal once again.  Today we ate a hearty meal of pork roast, cabbage and black eyed peas (blecht!).

December always rushes in, on the heels of Thanksgiving, so full of anticipation and excitement as the promise of family time approaches and it goes by ever so quickly.

January arrives and with it, comes reality. The reality that another long winter is to be survived before we will see days filled with sunshine and warmth. As you already know, I do NOT like winter.

At all.

Those heavy grey days make me so sad and weary.

But ……………

I can not complain much. When I look ahead – I realize that in just 14 short days, I will once again be traveling to Guatemala on a mission trip.

Guatemala, the land of many colors and LOTS of beautiful sunshine.

The place where last year I learned just how blessed I am to have a roof over my head, food on our table, and a bed to sleep in each night. My children have two parents in their home – a rarity for the Guatemalan children that I met. And my children have the privilege of attending school instead of working for mere dollars a day in order to eat. We have shoes on our feet and probably most importantly of all, we have our health.

Once again, I look forward to the challenge ahead of me and I praise God for allowing me to opportunity to once again serve others.

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Filed in Life,Me,On the road again,Randomness | 2 dorito bits so far

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