Monday, September 4, 2017


Today is Labor Day, and I am sitting here remembering last year at this time, how we had just welcomed you into the world, and you were amazing, and you were a gift.  You were gifted to us exactly a year to the day after miscarrying your older sibling.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, but he is always working together all things for good...

This past year has been full.  It has been full of love as we have been overcome by the joy you add to our family.  It has been full of adventure and renewed friendship as we were finally able to return to Honduras as a family of 6 after 10 years away.  It has been full of sorrow as we walked beside a good friend as she struggled with breast cancer, and as we had to ultimately say good-bye to her (even though we wanted to hang on more than anything).  I struggle in my limited vision with understanding God's goodness in things like the seemingly premature death of a dear friend whose children are young and left motherless. And yet the Lord is working together all things for good... and you are one of the many tangible reminders of that to us.

You are so full of life!  You were walking by 9 months, climbing up the sofa and the window-pane by 11 months, and now you are running away with glee anytime you get your hands on a forbidden electronic device.  You are a lad of great imagination - a true opportunist.  You are an idea generator, much like your oldest sister, and you keep us on our toes chasing you around (but we are 10 years older than when she was at your stage, and I fear a bit slower).  But now there are three others on our team, and together we are by the grace of God keeping you alive. :)

You love to laugh and "tell jokes."  The other day I came to get you after your nap, and as I walked toward your crib, you started laughing and dancing your body around.  When I got close to you you took the pacifier out of your mouth, stuck it in my mouth, and giggled with glee.  I was so surprised by it I couldn't stop laughing, too.  It was almost as if you had planned the whole thing out.

You love playing fetch, and you have recently started trying to throw the ball back to us instead of simply running it back.  You also have started picking our hands up off the ground and opening them to place an object inside.

You love to eat.  Pancakes and kefir are two of your favorites, but you also love raw veggies from the garden and grapes and berries and almost everything we give you.

You love your siblings and friends and excitement, though you are starting to feel the separation anxiety pains.  We will have to see how things go at school on Mondays since you will be there much longer than last year!

Your eyes are different colors - with the left one being more hazel, and the right one more blue.  We keep wondering if they will continue to change, or they will stay that way forever.  You are strong, and confident, and adventurous, and a joy.  We love you, happy birthday!!

Photo credit: Miss Raindrop

I want that butterfly!!

I love my pacy!

I love the sprinkler!

I love playing!

I love eating!

I love climbing!

I love airplanes and making messes!

I love adventures!

I love my life!

Roatan: Part One

        I opened my eyes, stretched, and yawned.  It was morning.  Small shaded shapes came through the window onto the bed that my brother and I were sleeping on.  My brother had just woken up, too, and we looked out the window together.

A tree blocked the full view of the window, making it hard to see out, but there were six nests cradled in the crooks of the branches.  The night before we had watched a crow add a piece of straw to one of the nests.  We waited to see if another bird would come, but we watched in vain.

So we decided to climb out of bed and down the latter, for BRO and I had been sleeping in a bed up in the loft of our cabin. Since it was only 5:30 in the morning and breakfast wasn’t until 8:00, we thought it would be the perfect time for a swim.

Papa, me, Benjamin, Eliza, and Tante Corrie put on our swimsuits and took our snorkeling gear down the short path to the ocean.

                                               *** Guest Post: Miss Songbird ***

Rice and Beans and Bags of Rocks

       When we were in Honduras this Summer, we went on an old yellow school bus to visit a friend’s house.  The bus was so packed with people that some of us had to stand up.  The mountain road was bumpy, and the bus swayed from side to side.  When we went uphill it was so slow that I wasn’t sure we would make it.  But when we went downhill it was so fast that I thought we might fall off the mountain.

When we got to our friend’s house we ate rice and beans for lunch, which is one of my favorite meals.  After lunch we played hide-and-go-seek with their four children and climbed a guava tree that had branches that were spread-out and good for climbing.

After lunch my family walked down to the Congrejal River, which was behind their house.  The river had strong rapids, and there was a rock in the middle where the water was deep.  We tried to cross to the rock, but the current was strong we could barely make it.  Mama and Aunt Corrie had to help us get back to the shore safely.

The shore of the river was filled with rocks the size of golf-balls.  We gathered some bags of different-colored rocks to bring back home with us.

      If I ever lived in Honduras, I would probably work as a farmer at the Orphanage, but visit Las Mangas often to go swimming!

                                               **** Guest Post by BRO ****

Arts and Crafts

This Summer we went to work at a school in Honduras called Instituto El Rey.  I got to help in the arts and crafts and English class.  All of the students could speak at least a few words of English, and one class could speak English really well.

The first project we worked on was making necklaces out of modeling clay.  We also made wooden bracelets wrapped in string. And then we made paper bracelets.  I mostly walked around helping the students.

When I helped in the English class, I asked the students questions like, 

“Do you have any brothers and sisters?” 
“How old are you?”
“What job do you do?”
“Do you have any animals?”

During the week I made a new friend, Yeiry.  I first met her in the art and crafts class.  And then we started sitting together at snack and lunch.  Yeiry is 12 years-old and she is very kind.

I’m so glad I got to go to Honduras, and I hope I will be able to go back sometime!

The End

**Guest post by Miss Raindrop**

Friday, August 18, 2017

This Would Never Happen Here...

    Supposedly sloth parks are a "thing" on the Bay Island of Roatan, so visiting one of these parks was high up on our list of things to do while on the island.  We knew we would be spending most of our time snorkeling, swimming, and exploring the reefs, so visiting some sloths seemed like an outing that would add balance to our time as a whole.  And I mean, when else were we going to be able to hold sloths??

   Since we had to take a taxi out to the park, we went with the driver's recommendation, and ended up at ___________ sloth park.  Part of the attraction of this particular park was that we could hang out with a variety of animals, including monkeys and rainbow macaws.

  After paying our entrance fee of $10 a person, we were immediately ushered back to the sloth cage and asked who wanted to be the first to hold one.  Songbird jumped at the opportunity and held the fury creature with joy and ease.  Then the sloth was past around our group from person to person.  

   Although I know that sloths are extremely slow-moving, I could feel my heart-rate increasing when it came to Hubry's turn, and the sloth was wrapped around both he and Cuatro.  Cuatro very calmly reach out his hand to hold the sloth's gigantic claws, and I couldn't help but imagine the damage that could be done to Cuatro's face if the sloth had a single moment of intense energy and swiped at him.  As it turns out, this first animal encounter was the most controlled of all.  I would only grow more and more uncomfortable with the animal encounters as the tour progressed.

  Next stop was the monkeys.  I still don't exactly understand what was going on, because some of the monkeys were in cages while others were free to climb on our backs and run and leap off our heads at will.  I'm not sure these "free monkeys" were deserving of their special privileges, but the cages were mostly just to keep certain monkeys separated from each other, not at all to keep the people separate from the monkeys.  In fact, we were ushered in to visit the caged monkeys with hand-fulls of peanuts.  I was extremely uncomfortable with the feeling of being drop-bombed by hyper monkeys, but the children seemed to think it was the most amazing thing ever.

  The most amazing thing ever, that is, until Miss Raindrop got bit on the finger by a greedy monkey.  Our fearless guide brushed it off (even though there was an open wound and blood involved) and told her not to worry about it and to go back into the fray.  I almost had to fight him to get Raindrop back out of the cage and deal with her cut with hand-sanitizer (because who knows what diseases monkeys may have??)  After that I told Hubry I didn't want our precious babe in another monkey cage, and I was perfectly happy viewing the animals from outside their cages!

  But the next stop was the rainbow macaws, and of course I couldn't hold the eager children back.  They were going to get to feed the birds, and maybe touch them, and maybe collect some feathers, and "don't forget to put a hat on," the guide called out after them.  Hmm, this was making me feel uncomfortable again, but let's just see what happens.  It only took a few seconds of watching huge birds land on the children's heads before I knew that something was bound to happen.  And that something happened to BRO this time, and it happened in the form of another finger bite, and it happened without ruffling the feathers of our fearless guide one bit!  I decided I would need to take the baby and go to a quite place to pray and regain my composure, because I simply couldn't stand around watching the children with sharp talons so close to their eyes (the talons of a bird are a completely different matter than the claws of a sloth).

   Thankfully, the last animal to encounter was a Honduran deer, and we weren't allowed in the cage with it, so this Mama felt completely at ease.  Even though we escaped the park with only two finger wounds, I couldn't help but think, this kind of experience would NEVER happen here.  I think that's why the children thought it was one of the coolest things they've ever done.  I, for one, was glad to get back to the gentle shore and peaceful beach.... 

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Thursday morning we said our hard good-byes to the folks at the school, loaded onto the back of a truck for the last time, stopped at Las Mangas for another quick good-bye to the folks at the campus, and continued the bumpy journey down the mountain to La Ceiba (with a quick stop at the wood-man for some carved canoes).

After telling multiple missionary families that taking the ocean ferry was smooth as butter, we innocently loaded the boat, only to find ourselves sick as dogs halfway through the journey.  It seems that we were not alone, because barf bags were distributed to all the passengers, and from my vantage point it looked like about 1/3 of the passengers were utilizing them.  This math holds pretty consistent, because about 1/3 of our crew were using the barf bags as well :)  Somehow I never threw-up, but I felt so. extremely. sea sick.  Had I been in charge of Liam, he would have fallen in the ocean, because I was completely unable to do a thing.  Thankfully, Hubry was holding it together, and holding Liam in the Bjorn.

It took us all a bit of time to recover our senses, and during those moments I said many prayers to God thanking him that I was not a sailor, or a pilgrim, or in the navy, or...well you get my drift.  I don't think I was made for a life on the sea.

After settling into our perfect little cabin at the Bananarama and finding some lunch, we hit the beach.  The kids were so excited that we only had to walk down a short path to get to the shore.  And we were all amazed by the crystal clear water and white sandy beach that stretched before us. 

One of the many perfect things about the place we were staying was that you could eat in your swimsuits on the edge of the beach.  Very kid friendly!!

We would have been fine if we could have taken this little water taxi all the way to the mainland!

Hubry and I loved taking the water taxis around when we visited Roatan 14 years ago.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Instituto El Rey

"Liam, Liam, Liam!!"

Our church generously donated money for gifts for the teachers
(expo markers and water bottles, art supplies, and voice recorder)!

History Professor

Profesora Nely of arts and crafts

Growing wall

World Schooling

Preparing a dance on the stage (while no one was looking)

Los Estudiantes

"Teacher, this?"

First time using oil pastels!

She is an amazing math teacher, and 13 years ago she was my 8th-grade English student!!