Last Haiti Post

Monday came, and we heard there was going to be protesting going on, but we didn’t worry to much about it. Until we heard of multiple people that tried to go somewhere and couldn’t because of roadblocks. Harold was supposed to be having devotions out at the school, so we planned to go along. After hearing different reports, he called the school, and the school was closed for the day. That was when I started to get concerned that we wouldn’t make it to the airport. And I was ready to come home, and see my family 🙂

We decided since we weren’t going anywhere, we would visit Aubrey and Emily up in their school room.Hati, Owen, Misc 165 Hati, Owen, Misc 170_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 171_edited-1Hati, Owen, Misc 172 Hati, Owen, Misc 174The boys “helping” fix the tire.Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 233_edited-1And that’s all for my pictures 🙂

Now, for the rest of the story 🙂 We were planning to leave around 11:30 because our flight left at 2:00p.m. Sherita put a casserole in the oven, we played with the girls at their recess, and packed up. I don’t even remember what time it was when Soney (pretty sure I’m spelling wrong :)), came back from checking things out on the road. Soney was going to drive us to the airport. He lives at the mission in another building, and is a nice, quiet man. Anyways, he came back and said he thinks he can get us to the airport, but we must leave now. I have to confess, I was a bundle of nerves. After quick, tearful goodbyes we were off. Sherita threw some food in a bag for us. I ate a bit. I wasn’t very hungry 🙂

When we started out, we didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Soney took us a totally different route. There were 4 of us all stuffed in the back seat. Harold was in the front between Soney and John Harold, who also decided to ride along. They didn’t want anyone on the back in case of trouble. We’d heard reports of rocks being thrown, fires, and even some with guns. As we bumped and jarred our way along, I prayed like crazy for safety 🙂 We started coming up on this hill, that when you looked down, you could see a river bed with a bit of water running through it. I’m thinking we are going out around, until Soney makes the turn, and starts driving towards it. I wasn’t the only worried one 🙂 Harold told him he really doesn’t want to get stuck in the mud and water. Soney just smiled. I was thinking, “This guy is not thinking! We are going to sink, get stuck, etc.” But nope, we kept on going. There was another missionary couple that had come into town on Sunday evening because of the protests, Elwood and Anita Martin, and they decided to follow us to the airport. I was sure they were not going to attempt crossing a river in their van, but they did 🙂 They’ve been in Haiti for quite awhile, it probably didn’t even scare them 🙂 While we were driving through the river bed, we came to the 1st road block. A measly row of tires across, blocking the way. Soney spoke to the men, and they kindly moved them. Coming up out of the river bed, it was fairly steep, and we saw a group of men, and big rocks across the road. Soney puts his head out the window, and they are talking back and forth. More like yelling, I thought 🙂 And then John Harold talking loudly, lots of arm movements. And they are motioning, hurry up, hurry up, and start moving the rocks. Now I might add, none of them looked happy about it. And one fellow in particular sticks in my memory. He planted himself directly in front of the truck, waving his arms, yelling, and glaring. He did NOT want us going through. More yelling, lots of praying, and we went through, much to his unhappiness. I guess there were enough other men that were willing to let us pass, that they overrode him. That, and the hand of Almighty God.

Well, we made it through that, and then the truck started acting up 🙂 Something with the 4 wheel drive they thought. We’d go a bit, then lurch to a stop. It sounded like something was dragging. We kept going for awhile like that, until we really came to a stop 🙂 Like jerked to a stop. There were people in the street laughing at us, it was that bad 🙂 So we stopped, threw our bags into Elwood and Anita’s vehicle, and they took us the rest of the way to the airport. They truly were a Godsend. God knew why He put it into their hearts to follow us!

We made it into the airport, kindly refusing the offers to help us, and moved to check in our baggage. A man in an orange vest grabbed our suitcases, put them in a separate lane, and motioned us to where we should go. More on him later. To make a long story shorter, the computers were having issues, we waited and waited, seeing that our plane was boarding. Finally, we could tell the line was moving, but before we knew it, another line was open, and a bunch of the people behind us started being checked through before us. A man we were talking with, wasn’t standing for that. He made sure he told them that is not ok 🙂 We got checked through, and our man in the orange vest was motioning us, hurry, hurry! And we were worried about missing the flight. Then we get to the line where we were to be in, and Mr. Orange Vest holds out his hand for money. You would have thought we would have known better, right when he grabbed our bags, but the orange vest made us think he was with the airport. Wrong 🙂 Well I had literally spent and gave every last dollar away that I had with me. And we were in a hurry. And Burneil and Mindy had a $20. So they gave him that and asked for change. He pulls out a $5. Yes, they said, and one more $5. He opens his wallet, saying, “No more.” Needless to say, as we walked away, I looked back and he was grinning like a bandit 🙂 So now you know, watch out for those orange vested guys too, besides all the others 🙂

They checked us more thoroughly when we left Haiti, than they did in New York. Our personal bags were checked, and we were all patted down. And finally in the plane, and ready for take off.

Our flight home was good. They did warn us of turbulence when we were descending into New York , because the weather wasn’t nice. I was glad they warned us, or I may have thought we were going down 🙂 I got a bit sick from that, but no puking, so that was good. I do remember praying, “God, just please get me on the ground!” 🙂 After we landed, we had to wait a bit in the plane, something with the weather or snow. Then they told us our flight was very close to being diverted to Philadelphia because of the weather issues. You can imagine our relief that that wasn’t what transpired! Do you see why it seemed like one thing after another kept happening, but it always worked out? That was the prayers of you, of church family, of friends, of family, that brought us home!

When we walked out of the plane, the pilot said, “Welcome to reality :)” That reality hitting us in the face in the form of wind, and cold, and did I say wind & cold?? 🙂 It was one tired and happy lady that walked in the door late that night, to be welcomed with a hug from the man I love, and balloons and a note for me from the children. Home never felt so good 🙂 And as I peeked into my children’s sleeping faces, I thanked God for bringing me home to my family. And I slept good that night 🙂

* A side note on the mother of the twins. I couldn’t remember her name. It is Mirlonde. She was ill from tuberculosis, and didn’t seem to be making improvement. Anita Martin, that I talked about in this post, works as a nurse down there, and she told us about a hospital that helps TB patients. Anyways, I am happy to tell you, Harolds took Mirlonde there, and she will have to be there for a bit without her family, but she is getting stronger. I am so happy for her! It pained me to see her so thin and unable to care for those sweet babies. Sherita told me they went to visit her, and took the twins and the rest of her family to see her, and she said she reached for her babies right away. I know she must really miss her family while she is there, so continue to pray for her healing.

And if you want to see my sisters post from when we were there, just click on the link under the blogs I follow. It’s Living 4 Him.

May God bless each of you!

Moms, you matter!

I hope your week is going better than mine. I’m sure some of you are having a much worse week, and probably some of you a better week 🙂

Our week began with Dale spraining his ankle. So I knew I would need to help out a bit more in the barn. Mon. during the night, I didn’t feel quite right, and Tues. morning I pushed my way through milking, feeling nauseated and having stomach ache. It progressed to feeling worse during the day Tuesday 😦 So now hubby and I were down for the count . It’s good we have good help around here 😉 Anyway, things are looking up! Today I feel good, maybe not quite as much energy, but good 🙂 And Dale says his ankle is better, but I’m not so sure 🙂 It looks pretty nasty.

It was while I was sick, that the thought came to me how important we moms are. Yes, our families can function without us, but it isn’t always pretty 🙂 In the space of a few minutes, the house can look really bad when Mom doesn’t feel good enough to care 🙂IMG_20150221_155837I like pictures with a post, so throwing in a few off my phone 😉

Getting off track here, but right now my 3 yr. old is singing “Do Lord, O Do Lord, O Do Remember me”, and I just think it’s the sweetest thing when she sings 🙂

I think that sometimes as mothers we can feel overworked and under appreciated. I know I do. But being sick for a day put some things into perspective. I realized how much they do appreciate me. They were always saying to each other, “Be quiet! Mom doesn’t feel good.” And doing things like cleaning up, putting dishes away, folding wash, etc. to help out.

I think the very simple things we do for them are appreciated, even though they may forget to thank us. Yesterday, strawberries were on sale at the store, so I bought 2 boxes.2015-02-26 08.07.23Jenna had a grin from ear to ear, Tristan shoveled them in his mouth like they were ready to leave his bowl, and Kirsten lit up when she saw them. Something so simple, and they were happy.20150225_160154Yes, that is my foot on the chair 🙂 I didn’t edit pictures, and I have a sudden love of pictures taken from this angle 😉

We are serving our families. It’s what God has called us to do. It is not always easy. In fact, some days feel very hard. But it is in these things we do, that our love for them shows.2015-02-26 06.49.28So today, if you mothers out there are struggling along in your day, remember you are showing God’s love to your families. If that wash pile looks overwhelming, that sink too full of dishes, that child too stubborn and full of way too much energy, that floor too dirty, take heart! The little things you do matter!20150220_172201And if you’re a mother that can’t take care of your family the way you want to, whether you have the flu, are handicapped, or whatever the reason may be, God sees you where you are. He cares about your feelings. And you are still your children’s mother. If you can’t do the basic things, you can pray for your family. Maybe read a book, or provide a snuggle.

Some days our giving tank can just run dry 🙂 But all it takes to brighten the day, is a smile or hug from those dear little souls that God gifted to us.

And to end this post, a sunset picture from the other night. It’s when I see a sky like that, that I see the love of our Creator. A reminder that He is there. We just need to take the time to see it.20150220_173006Also, this post is great encouragement if you want to check it out 🙂

Another Haiti Post

I ended the last post with our visit to the twins.

One thing I forgot to talk about was church. I felt like taking my camera, but didn’t know if that was being respectful, so I didn’t. One thing they don’t lack is enthusiasm 🙂 I liked how heartily they sang. Stanley Fox preached the message, and John Harold, a young Haitian man we learned to know a bit, translated. The energy was high 🙂 And I loved how Stanley preached, and how fast he translated. What really amused me was when Stanley started preaching in Creole, and John Harold switched to English 🙂 Quite interesting!

After visiting the twins, we headed back to the mission so the boys could nap. I think we played some Skum or Black Thirteen, and then when the boys woke up, I took Owen’s pictures for Sherita. Hati, Owen, Misc 135I don’t want to post them till family and friends see them, but I sure had fun! And isn’t he the cutest? 🙂

I think Sunday was the day we crawled up on the roof to look around. The view from up here…Hati, Owen, Misc 101 Hati, Owen, Misc 102 Hati, Owen, Misc 103 Hati, Owen, Misc 104 Hati, Owen, Misc 106Loved this gate with the flowers!Hati, Owen, Misc 100Hibiscus..Hati, Owen, Misc 107_edited-1Walking the streetHati, Owen, Misc 162Lois Ann and Kimberly on their way to see the twins. Lois Ann is Aubrey and Emily’s school teacher. Kimberly is my cousin’s daughter. I enjoyed getting to know both girls.Hati, Owen, Misc 099_edited-1A few more from the street..Hati, Owen, Misc 139 Hati, Owen, Misc 163This was on our way back from taking a peek at Patrick’s house. He is another young man we learned to know a bit. I say young, even though he was older than me 🙂 I guessed him to be 21. He was 34. I don’t know why, but everyone down there looks younger than they are 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 156Aubrey didn’t want her picture taken. I took that as a challenge 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 158 Hati, Owen, Misc 160Madame Albert ~ a beautiful lady with a sad story of her own She was so sweet though. Sherita was giving her a dress that Tina ( Sherita’s sis-in-law) made for Madame Albert’s daughter.Hati, Owen, Misc 164Monday morning this young lady came that was cut by a knife her boyfriend was wielding. She cried as Sherita washed it. I felt so bad for her! It was actually pretty deep, and they told her to go to the hospital to get it stitched. She said she had no money to go, so Harold gave her some, and she left with the understanding to come back the next day. I found out she did come back, but was unable to get to the hospital because of the protesting on Mon.

And I again underestimated how many pictures I took, so I will finish up my Haiti trip with another post. Did I say how many posts I was doing on Haiti? 🙂 Bear with me. It’s not every day you get to do a trip like that 🙂

Hope your week is going well!

Moments with Jenna

Bits and pieces of her days…20150219_092213Helping put socks on the radiators to dry. She loves helping with wash!jenna and kinsley 001 jenna and kinsley 002I love watching her and listening to her as she plays with her dolls 🙂20150219_090930This is the Queen of the coffee table.20150218_144133I love her so much, but it’s just great to get a bit of quiet when she naps 🙂

Focus on what’s important,

Capture the good times,

Develop from the negatives,

And if things don’t work out,

Take another shot. ~ Unknown

jenna and kinsley 005 jenna and kinsley 006 jenna and kinsley 007I couldn’t get enough of her drinking her hot chocolate with her 2 Hershey kisses. It’s our thing, you see. You cannot have hot chocolate without some more chocolate 😉jenna and kinsley 008 jenna and kinsley 009 jenna and kinsley 010Good to the last drop. Yes, she is her mothers daughter 🙂jenna and kinsley 003 jenna and kinsley 004Let’s see what is on the top shelf.jenna and kinsley 011 jenna and kinsley 012If I’m working on picture books, she is right there. She loves using my CM pens.jenna and kinsley 013Doing her thing 🙂 jenna and kinsley 021 jenna and kinsley 022Photographer in training 😉jenna and kinsley 023jenna and kinsley 025 jenna and kinsley 026 jenna and kinsley 028 jenna and kinsley 029My little helper ❤

We are a bit snowed in here, and my computer wasn’t letting me edit, so another post it is 🙂 Sometimes computers really annoy me! I did pretty many sessions in the past 2 weeks, and when I want to edit and can’t, it bugs me 🙂 There is always another day, I suppose 🙂

Happy weekend!

Laughter is good medicine

Heard around here…

After listening to another episode of why boys are better, stronger, smarter, etc., than girls, and how much better he can do things than she can, big sister pipes up with this. “Devan you sure have the talent of bragging, and it’s not a God- given talent either!” Ohhh! Ya think? 😉

Kirsten says ” Mom, I don’t know why, but my chest hurts sometimes.” Devan says, “Good! Maybe you’re getting smallpox.” Where do they come up with this stuff??! I think they like each other a little bit. Some days I have to wonder.

After hearing too much boy talk, Jenna says, “Awesome, Dude!” and “That’s cool!”

Sometimes, you just listen and smile 🙂

Nephew love

Sweet Trevor and his baby blues…arrows trevor 021_edited-3I enjoy trying out new things with my editing. It’s how I learn 🙂trevor 030_edited-1This guy gave us a run for our money 🙂 We are used to that 🙂 Thank goodness for a tall table to put him on so he couldn’t run away. And for smarties! 🙂 The things we do for pictures 🙂trevor 035_edited-3And this is the one his mommy picked.

I’m blessed to be able to capture my nieces and nephews as they grow up.

I hope you are having a wonderful day! Stay warm if you can 😉

More of Haiti

I’m telling you folks, it is winter for real around here! Winds, snow, cold, cold, cold. But I’m cozy right now, and I’m thinking about that time we went to Haiti 🙂 If only I could have brought that weather home! Church was cancelled today. So we are spending time at home. This morning, I put pictures in photo albums. Now, it’s the middle of the afternoon, had a 1/2 hr. snooze, and I’m blogging 🙂

Are you up for round #2 on Haiti? Here goes….

I believe the last post ended on our Sat. morning there. We ate our breakfast, and readied for our trip to the beach. It was not a super sunny day, but nice and warm. Our drive took us an hour and a half. The back was where I rode. We stood the whole time, and it didn’t even seem long 🙂 Too much to see!

Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 171_edited-1A Haitian man showed us this fellow. Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 173So much beauty! It was hard to believe how beautiful this beach was, and then to see the filth elsewhere.Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 180Yes, flipflops all weekend. Now, its long johns 🙂Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 170_edited-1This trampoline was put to good use while we were there 🙂 I was only on it for a bit. I’m too much of a klutz to stay upright too long, but it was fun 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 040 Hati, Owen, Misc 044 Hati, Owen, Misc 046So much cuteness!Hati, Owen, Misc 050Hati, Owen, Misc 035_edited-1Only the Creator could make something so beautiful!Hati, Owen, Misc 049 Hati, Owen, Misc 052_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 058_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 060The flowers were like therapy for my eyes 🙂 Just stunning!!Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 172 Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 178Have I made you sufficiently jealous?? 😉 Yes, our time there went too fast. I just couldn’t believe I was on the beach in another country, while my people back home were trying to stay warm.

All too soon it was time to pack up. and head back to the mission. We wanted to go out for supper, and Harold doesn’t like to be out on the roads after dark too much, so we headed for “home”.

Ok, back after a little break to help hubby milk, make supper, and bathe little miss.

It was neat eating out at a restaurant in Haiti. The food took maybe a little longer to come out, but it was presented very nicely, and the waitstaff was great!Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 189_edited-1 Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 190_edited-1Trying to occupy little Owen.Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 191My salad. It was beautiful and yummy. But I do not like tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, or quite that much cabbage, so it was passed around and the plate was cleaned up 🙂 I just realized I sound kind of picky 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 063Sunday morning before church, burning off some energy 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 071So much cuteness!Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 194Dealing with a drunk man at the gate. He was crying and saying “I love you” 🙂 He was hungry he said, so they offered mangoes. “No, no!” He didn’t want that. Harold decided he was not hungry 🙂 Hati, Owen, Misc 081In the afternoon, we went to visit the little twins and there sick mama. I really could have brought them home! They were such dolls!Hati, Owen, Misc 090_edited-1Everyone wanted to hold them 🙂Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 196 Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 197 Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 200Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 204Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 205Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 202 The mother was skin and bones. Her face looked healthy though, and she was beautiful. But she is too weak to take care of her babies, so her mother and sisters help. You can see their home. Simple block walls. Dirt floor. 2 rooms. I was astounded. We have so much in America. Too much. But they hung curtains at the window. The beds looked clean. Her mother (the twins Grandma), was washing clothes when we came. And she may have been using a dishpan and scrubbing by hand, but the clothes hanging on the line were clean! You could tell she worked hard. Misc. and Haiti, Jan. 2015 207Some of her wash line was barbed wire. Really, it made my heart break seeing their poverty. Hati, Owen, Misc 080 These girls. Beautiful! The one in the white dress told Sherita she was thirsty. She said she had nothing to drink. So sad! Hati, Owen, Misc 085Beautiful child. I gave them smarties. I think they liked that 🙂Hati, Owen, Misc 087_edited-1We couldn’t understand each other, but I motioned if I could take her picture, and she nodded and gave me this lovely smile. If only she grows up to follow Jesus. She is just precious!Hati, Owen, Misc 091_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 092_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 093This was their “yard”. They had 2 pigs. Hati, Owen, Misc 097_edited-1 Hati, Owen, Misc 098_edited-1This was where they cooked. Just totally opened my eyes. You can read about it. You can picture it. But until you are there, you just don’t really see how some people have to live. And to them it’s probably all they knew. I had to think, why did I grow up where there was always plenty? Why do they have to struggle? So many things go through your mind. You just feel like giving all your money away to them. The Grandmother said they were hungry. They had used the last of the rice. Do any of us have any idea what that would be like?! To not know when you can eat again. We did give her something then to help, but this is not just their family. So many more! I know it’s something Harold doesn’t always know how to handle. When so many have need, but you have to watch how much you give as well. There is always those that will take advantage.

I must close this post. I still have more pictures, but we shall have to do a 3d post 🙂 I best get to bed. Tomorrow morning I’m milking, and that alarm goes pretty early 🙂 It is supposed to be below zero, and windy 😦 Ahh, the perks of farming 🙂