Monthly Archives: March 2013

I am at this moment streaming the Kansas Western Kentucky game, my fan is blowing on full speed and I am laying in bed……Only one more sleep stands in the way of a week at the beach…. 9 of us are heading to the Honduras Island of Utila for the week of Semana Santa (Holy Week, or Spring Break) tomorrow morning… if you look on the map below you can see that the red A is where we will be…. Tomorrow night we will spend the night in the coast town of La Ceiba and will then wake up on Sunday to catch the ferry to the island on Sunday morning. I am not going to be traveling with my laptop so the blog will be silent for a week. Sorry ๐Ÿ™

You can be sure that I will recap when I get home, and dont worry the island has college basketball on TV ๐Ÿ™‚ So I will be cheering!

I wanted to give a quick update on the end of the school week and Science Fair. The Science fair although I can’t say went flawlessly, it  did happen and it is now over. (thank goodness)

My kids did a great job and they were very excited to show off their projects. I am proud to say that one of my third grade girls Kensy, was given the best overall presenter award! I was so excited for her…. she certainly loves to talk so it is very fitting….  Much to my surprise my kids in third grade, who made a telephone out of cups to show how sound moves, WON! I could not believe it. They won 1st overall over all the 3rd grade projects, 2nd grade projects and 1st grade projects. It was a long day on our feet but one that was kind of fun (so hot).. It was nice to meet some parents, and see my kids proud of the work they had done.

Last night we bid farewell to Jason (resident tour guide at the D and D Hostel Brewery). He is heading back to New York. It is a bittersweet goodbye see as that he arrived just a few weeks after us and was apart of our family here. He is on to bigger and better things and I look forward to seeing all that is in store for him. He will be missed. Here are some pictures from our celebration.

My roommate and I. Knowing that our mutual cheering will only last so long ๐Ÿ™‚

With no school today, Kylie and I spent our day with last minute packing, cleaning, watching Honduras play Mexico and stopping by the orphanage to visit my favorite buddy…… Arturo is still as cute as ever…. so are his sisters.

Artruo and his sisters…

going to take him home.

Hope yall have a wonderful week. I know I look forward to the sun, the sand, the ocean and relaxing…. warmest to you Kristina

The title of this post may be a bit strange but I can assure you I have a full explanation for it.

I think God is using one of my kids to teach me how love works. What it means to love unconditionally. What it means to love with no bounds, with no expectations, not tangled up in an agenda or expectation but loving without  any expectation of something coming in return. Loving purely because we are all his children and we all deserve to be loved fully and wholly. Loving because each person is made in the image of the most high king and father. Love with patience. Love boldly and intentionally. Love not because you chose do so, but because he has simply beckoned us to do so.

If I am honest, I do not like it. It is hard. I get angry. This child does not listen, does everything that I ask him not too. He will not sit down for anything. He laughs at discipline and thinks throwing things is funny. There are days, most days actually that I would rather send him out of class then deal with him. There are days that are the best because he is not in class. There are days that he is jumping off his chair and I would not be upset if he got hurt. He gets under your skin and is defiant. He is disruptive and difficult.

But if I am even more honest with myself I know what I am to do……

The more he pushes. Push back with love. Demonstrate through my actions that I have not given up on him. That he matters to me. That I care about the man he is growing up to be. That I want him to learn. That I do not want him to get hurt. Tell him that I care. That I truly deep down love him……. I love him just because the father loved us first and that is it.

It is that simple.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4

I have been meaning to make a post dedicated to things that are the new normal in my life….. and the longer time passes the more normal these things seem to be and the less interesting they appear to make themselves worthy of their own blog post…..but here is a compilation of things that seem very normal to me now…. (including a few pictures) So what is normal in Honduras?????

  1. Water in a bag. Bottles are more expensive to produce and distribute, so if you are thirsty just reach in the fridge at the local shop and grab what is about the size of a zip lock bag filled with water. You cut a hole in the corner with your teeth and squeeze out the water. As well You can buy just about any of your favorite sodas in a to go bag. Which means a plastic bag with a straw out the top. 
  2. Hitching home from school in the back of a parents car. If your lucky one of your own kids will drive by and they will for sure offer you a ride home.
  3. Living in what used to be stores…. Our house is in the back of what would look like a strip mall sort of thing…. new normal.
  4. Bulls and cows grazing on every bit of free grass around. On the side of the road, on the soccer field or next to school.
  5. Checking the fruit and vegetable stands nearly every day for when they will get Mexican avocados in not the antacid ones. If you did not know there are more than a few types of avocados in the world and the antacid ones taste like medicine.
  6. Manually placing the hoses in the barrel of the washing machine. If you forget then you flood the house. (We have all flooded the house before, some of us, I wouldn’t dare say names have done it more than a few times.)
  7. Listening to the bats in the roof. Above our heads. You have already heard me tell of the rat mouse hybrid thing that is in our house here and here
  8. Our one shower that is in the kitchen of our house. So you shower with lots of people cooking, eating dinner or breakfast. 
  9. Our one shower that has a electric water heater that hangs above our heads without grounding wires (Because that is very safe….NOT).
  10. The toilet in our room is flushed by a string that I connected to the flap in the bottom of the back of the toilet. (I am a plumber)
  11. Hoping in a taxi, even if it is full of people already going different directions. Its like carpool. The taxi may drop off ten people before you get out. 
  12. You can buy everything in single quantities at the store….. meaning, one egg. Yes one egg, or one stick of gum. You can separate packs of things and buy a single. I have seen a man buy one single cigarette from a pack, at the gas station.
  13. Seems as though every other man in town carries a machete. They carry them to work but it can throw you a bit off guard when you see if at first.
  14. The bank surrounded by 8 men with heavy machine guns, all day every day.
  15. Hoping in the back of the police car to hitch a ride. Personally it makes me feel safe (although I know they have their fair share of corruption problems in this country) if something is going down I know I in a vehicle with 6 men with big guns.
  16. Buying oranges from the back of someones pickup truck. The truck is filled to the top with the sweetest juiciest oranges. So good.
  17. Best of the 80s jams on the radio on the way to school. Hondurans love classic rock.
  18. Creatures crawling everywhere… flys, ants, small insects or large ones…. so normal. Unless it seems big and poisonous we simply ignore them.. too many to kill them all.
  19. Boiling water. To kill bacteria. Used to that.
  20. Filling up our water jug at school with filtered water. Twice a week my roommates carry the jug to school and home. 
  21. Seeing Hondurans wearing t-shirts that say everything from Greenville YMCA to Oklahoma Sooners, to DARE and to Race for the Cure. You know those old shirts you just took to goodwill last week……….you can be sure they will make there way south soon..
  22. Howdys eyelashes…. Look below. Howdy has honestly the most beautiful eyelashes, longest I have ever seen. Moments before this picture I was just taking my finger through them and he did not even blink. So long and incredible. I adore his sweet face.

18. Watching Louisville game from my computer. Getting used to it. They keep playing I will keep on streaming.

 19. The park in our towns every changing merchandise and produce selection… See the below pictures of the watermelon stand that just appeared today at the park. It is now watermelon season and you can get a giant watermelon for 20 limpiars. About $1.00. I bought one today. So good.

As well please notice the swimming pools for sale in the background…. apparently now is the time to buy your new pool for your house. Even some with special features…. ๐Ÿ™‚ (We are so tempted as the temperature continues to increase to buy one for our porch).

I am sure there are many many things that I may add to this list but for now I will post this one… The new norm is good. Hard to believe I have been here since August. Time is flying by.

Warmest to you today… Tomorrow is the last day of preparations for the Science Fair that take place Thursday. Wish us all luck, we all need it, it has been exhausting….. night to you!

Back in Pena Blanca after a memorable weekend spent in Guatemala. Rio Dulce is a town nestled on the river thats opens to the Caribbean.  It is a beautiful town, filled with sail boats, local fisherman and fancy yachts that have made there way South…… Guatemala as you are already aware is one of my favorite countries and once again this weekend it lived up to its expectations…. Here is a map….

You can see how is it nestled just on the border of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras…. 

With our visa run trips, we must be out of Honduras for a minimum of 2 days to be able to renew our 90 day Visa so these trips although are a chance to explore a new town, in all reality the sole purpose is to get our new visas…..

Friday afternoon we departed after school for our 6 hour + journey. Windy roads got the best of my roommate and she rode most of the way with her head out the window…. As we approached the border we saw a long line of eighteen wheeler trucks parked on the side of the road. We bypassed them to reach the border and quickly learned that the border crossing for vehicles closes at 6:00 pm. It was 6:30 pm.

Instead of driving over the border, we instead walked over the border. 12 of us jumped out of the car, grabbed our bags and were told that we would abandon our bus, and our bus driver would drive the bus over in the morning (He would sleep in it). At the other side we were told that we would find a bus to take us the rest of the way once we got to the Guatemala side. So ladies and gentlemen this is what we did. It honestly sounds more adventurous than it was. In no time we were in a new van on our way to Rio Dulce and at our hostel. Passports were stamped.

The rest of our weekend was spent relaxing at the Backpacker hostel right on the water. We hired a lancha for the day to take us down the river to the town of Livingston. Our early morning began on the boat with wine and beer in tow. The sun came out and it was a beautiful day on the water. While stopping off in Livingston to eat, drink and shop we ordered a plate of nachos……. See the picture below for proof but they brought us a plate of doritos (Red kind) covered in like cheesy sauce. (Not what we thought we were ordering). We had cocktails while watching a rugby match between Wales and England on a computer streaming with some English guys staying on a sail boat docked out from the shore. It was the perfect day.

Sunday morning we departed early for home, Honduras, and were home early. This week is a short one at school. Three days of classes (now only two left) and one day of Science Fair, Thursday. Friday we do not have school because Honduras is playing Mexico in Futbol so our Spring Break is starting a bit early. We are off all next week for Holy Week/Semana Santa/Spring Break.

Wednesday is family dinner. Thursday is Jasons last night fiesta at the D and D Hostel Brewery nearby.  Friday pack and clean for Spring Break, get nails done for $2.00 next to our house and then Saturday depart for Spring Break.

So for now enjoy some pictures below from the weekend….. as well I am one happy girl with my Louisville Cardinals being the number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and knowing that I will get to watch basketball on the island during Spring Break….. My kids today completed a bracket. If the name had Mexico in it and or was Flordia or Miami they picked them. However for the final matchup my kids chose Louisville vs. Oklahoma (no idea why??? well I know why they chose Louisville :)). Overall winner according to my second grade glass……. LOUISVILLE! I have brainwashed them good ๐Ÿ™‚

It was really hot today, my kids were a bit loud, rowdy and I was just not geared up for the day. Needless to say the day came and went….. now if only the week would move a bit quicker… Spring Break is on the horizon and I anticipating…. Enjoy pictures from the weekend..

The Caribbean.. with my Louisville red geeky glasses.

Yummy doritos with cheese….

Philip and Me. His hair braids and all…

Nearby beautiful sailboat

Ky and Me on the Boat


Special extra picture below… my roommate Molly took this of us watching the Louisville Syracuse game, the first one, when Louisville lost. Notice Jason in the background (from New York) so excited….. To say I am looking forward to march madness… would be an understatement… so excited for the Cardinals!

As well, I am a work in progress learning patience with my kids and loving them well… I am learning more and more everyday. Being humbled by seven and eight year olds is a beautiful thing…. and it happens nearly every day. I read the below message here and thought it was a good reminder for the day. Happy Monday to you wherever you are….

Usually my love is all tangled up and totally conditional.

Rather than giving love FREELY and LAVISHLY, I hoard my love, my words, my compliments, my kind gestures. 

Help me love them without conditions.

Help me love him regardless of his attitude.

Help me love her no matter how she responds.

“use your freedom to serve each other in love.” galatians 5:13

heres to using freedom to love others well…..

I saw a friend from high school that posted a picture of their family roasting peeps over a fire. I miss the cold weather. The change that comes with seasons. I am missing this time of year when the aisles of Easter candy are in the stores, robins eggs, the last month of solid skiing on the slopes, knowing the promise of the coming spring. This time of year is one of my very favorites

Some say they are green with envy over my pictures by the pool from this past weekend but I must admit I equally share the same envy. The grass is always greener on the other side…. This is an expression I can resonate with. As a friend said, “what people don’t realize is that they can grow there own green grass right where they are.” So true. Today it is raining…. last night it rained all evening….. and its raining now. I like the rain. I like the sound on our tin roof. The rain gives permission to slow down…. it is the most perfect weather to read a book, drink coffee and lay in your bed a bit longer… After a day with my kids that I would rather not talk about (not a good one to say the least) I am grateful its Wednesday… for my yoga mat, for the coffee and the rainy weather…

Here are some pictures from this week. Happy Hump Day yall…

Homemade Wheat Bread. First time making bread and first time success. It is all gone….. (not paleo but so yummy and so worth it)

View from the pool and the lake on Sunday. Jane Austen along for the day….

My roommate outside on our porch drinking a beer, trying a coosie for the first time. 

Had to capture all my kids standing on their chairs to see the horse walk by… Yes a horse all by itself walked by our classroom… love this place sometimes its too much to contain.

My roommate Kylie dying her hair on our porch earlier this week…. A bit nervous about the box that was only $1.25 But it worked and looks beautiful I might add.

The 3rd grade Volcano Science Project we have been making. Proud teacher. They have done a great job.

As well my kids sang the Louisville Cheer again: C____A____R___D___S! In honor of the upcoming Big East Tournament. Best recording of it to date. They have gotten the motions and the shouting down for sure…….

This morning started at 4:30 am with yoga and again I practiced at 6:30 pm. After a long day at school I decided to take it all out on my yoga mat.. thank goodness for that… July is creeping up on me quickly and I want to be sure my body is ready for 28 days of intensive training….Speaking of time…. One month (correction from what I first said was a week) from Sunday my mom will be in Honduras. (so excited)

 As well if you are looking to hear a song that I have been playing over and over over again. Click here

“The cross has taught me to live, In mercy, my heart now to sing. The day and its trouble shall come, I know that your strength is enough”

Desperately needed this reminder today. Warmest to you on this Wednesday