Thursday, December 11, 2008


We have some fantastic news! We are just so pumped that we wanted to share it with all of you!


Isn't that great?

I mean...she actually has an infection. That is so good b/c it means that she doesn't have some sort of lifelong allergy, or metabolic disorder, or malformed intestines! She doesn't have crones disease, or celiacs disease, or a wheat or milk allergy! It is just a bunch of really hard to find bacteria living in her gut.

We just give her medicine, and in 5-10 days, she should be gaining weight, eating again, and having solid poopy!

I just can't explain how relieved we are. God has answered our prayers. Thank you for your prayers and support and offers for groceries, and love. It means so much!

So we go back to the Doc in a month or so to re-weigh, but he told us that her appetite should improve very soon.

And tonight, she ate a hamburger patty (from mcdonalds) like 8 french fries and a half of an oreo. Oh, and an ounce of juice! That may not seem like a lot, but compared to practically nothing, it is a ton! to bathe the kids.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Skinny BabyM

Well...I really haven't been posting much. I have a lot on my mind. I am worried for one of the first times in my life. I mean really worried. Now, please, don't give me any comments about how I shouldn't worry, and how worrying doesn't add a day to your life, etc. If you have ever had a child with a serious health issue, or even a potential minor health issue, you know, that worry (aka concern) is really unavoidable.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not worried like this: sitting, anticipating all of the bad things that are going to happen, and then giving myself an ulcer over what might not ever happen. When I say worry, I mean that many times throughout the day, thoughts of concern and desire for the best for my baby girl come to my mind, and I have to stop and pray for her. Thoughts of how I can help her permeate my life as well as varying plans to "solve" the problem. is the problem. BabyM is very underweight. She weighs only 15lbs 10oz and she is a month short of 1 year. She should be weighing closer to 19-20 lbs. Even for being petite, she isn't even on the charts.

We have been working on this "issue" for about a month now, and the first 5 days she gained 10 ounces and we really celebrated! But, in the last 3 weeks, she has grown 1 cm in lenght, .5cm in head circumference, and only 2 ounces. That is really not good. If she was a healthy weight, she should be gaining 2-3 ounces a week, and she is already underweight.

We have been force feeding her all of the fattiest, carb loadiest things we could find. Cream with her meat, butter on her veggies, yogurt with her fruit, etc. Well, she has also had diarrhea on and off since we started feeding her, but we live in Guatemala! Every one I know has diarrhea on and off. Well, now, the diarrhea is keeping her from gaining weight.

We will do a second round of feces and urine tests tomorrow (the first set came back clear). We are cutting out all dairy (all the things we were giving) as well as all wheat. Not an easy thing. I think we can find some health food stores here that will sell some dairy and wheat free stuff. It is hard to help the girl gain weight w/o typical wheat carbs and dairy fat.

All that to say, please pray for our little girl. Please pray that we can find what is wrong. Please pray that it is no more serious than lactose intollerance.

We have been trying so hard to make some progress with her eating and nursing. She just won't eat much or nurse for very long. And then I go to the doctor today to find out that all that work was for 2 ounces. 2 ounces in 3 weeks. 3 weeks!

Anyway, now that this is out in blog sphere, I will post more as soon as I know more. Thanks in advance to those of you who read this and will pray for our little precious baby girl.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What did I do today?


I make green bean casserole w/o canned green beans OR French's fried onions.

Therefore I made french fried onions.
A bunch.

I made 4 skillets of cornbread for cornbread stuffing.

I made two pumpkin pies and one pecan pie. (Crust from scratch!)

I hard boiled 15 eggs for deviled eggs and for the stuffing.
Oh, and this is the rosemary and sage that we buy here for the dressing.

Anyway, Brandon is brining the turkey tonight, I will be making the stuffing and baking my green beans in the afternoon. I will be baking some yeast rolls and finishing the deviled eggs. Brandon will cook the turkey in the morning, and I think we will be ready! We have 32 confirmed people.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BabyM's Birth

I don't think I ever told the world about the birth of BabyM. I mean, everyone (at least everyone who reads this blog) knows that she was birthed, but I wanted to recount the story of "how."

Don't worry, I wont get "too" graphic. If you don't like this kind of thing, then don't keep reading. It is a wonderful memory for me!

Well, b/c of our finances and lack of decent insurance at the time, we had decided to have her at my mom's house instead of a hospital.

We found these two midwives in Midland (about 2 hours away from my mom's house going the speed limit). We did prenatal visits in their clinic, had all of our questions answered, and on the third day past my due date after walking and walking and walking all around Lubbock, my water broke at about 12:30 in the morning. The breaking was much less violent than it sounds, and so I wasn't entirely sure that it had broken and I didn't want to wake everybody up over a false alarm.

Finally, after some Internet research, at 2:00am, I woke up Brandon to call the midwives. Now, if you didn't know, my labor with Deacon was like 5 hours long, it had already been 1.5 hours and the midwives were 2 hours away. They told Brandon to time the contractions and call back when they were 5 minutes apart. Well, they never were consistently 5 minutes apart. Well, we called back at like 3am and they said they would come. They fell back asleep.

They showed up at 6:30am and BabyM had not yet showed up. About that time I got into the bath hoping to ease some of my pain. My contractions were all over the place. Some lasted 60 seconds, and my longest lasted over 3 minutes. 3 minutes can be a very long time.

Anyway, a little while later I got out of the bath and after a check, found out I was dilated to a 9 and had transitioned in the tub. I HIGHLY recommend that. Transition with BoyD was so hard that I didn't think I would make it through, but this was totally doable!

It took a long time to go from a 9 to a 10 b/c for me at least, moving made the pain worse, and the midwives were very laid back. All that to say, finally, they got me on the floor on my knees to move it along.

It worked. I dilated the rest of the way in about 10 minutes. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life, but then it was finally time to push. I pushed through 3 contractions before the midwife said "ok...stop pushing NOW" to which I said "I CAN'T" (b/c stopping pushing when you feel the urge to push is really impossible) and she said "you can and you will."

Turns out that it appeared that BabyM's umbilical cord was around her neck and one of her hands was coming out with her head. Those can both be problematic.

Well, it all turned out ok, and she was born at 9:56am. Having her at home ended up being such a blessing. After she was born, I got her on in my arms for like an hour! They did the after birth check with her there with me and it was so calm and wonderful. She didn't scream and she nursed so well right away. The midwives stayed and checked us all our for a couple of hours, and then they left us to our selves! Brandon did all of the post birth checks like temperature, pulse, respirations, mushing my mushy belly, etc.

Oh, at about 7:30am when BoyD woke up, I was in the bath tub and my brother came to get him and he hung out at their house until after lunch when he came back to my mom's house to meet the baby, see me, and take his afternoon nap.

All in all, it was beautiful! Here are some photos.

The extra people in the photos are first my mom, and then the two midwives.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Please Pray for My Friend

Final update: PRAISE GOD!! Well, right now Larry is in surgery ICU. The doctors have said that it is a miracle. He is doing so much better than he should be doing. He is recovering well. Thanks be to God. I know that He is not obligated to heal, nor does he always do it. I have seen first hand (as have all of us) when God doesn't not give us the answer that we desire. And I want to praise Him in these circumstances as well. is SO FUN to see him say 'yes' sometimes. Thank you for those of you that prayed. I don't understand it, but the "prayers of a righteous man avails much."

As of the middle of the night, the surgery went well, the half of the heart that had died was starting to "come back to life" a bit b/c it was getting blood flow. He has scoliosis and so his chest cavity was very strange so they had trouble with that, but last word is that the surgery corrected everything and they were just waiting for his blood to clot so that they could sew him up.

Thank you for praying. I thank you on behalf of the family, too.

Original Post: I am going to ask you to pray. The husband of one of my dearest friends went to the hospital today with a heart attack. Two of the three arteries leading to the heart are totally 100% blocked and the third is open by a string. He has been on blood thinners since he entered the emergency room but he must have surgery if he has any chance of survival. So...he will have a very bloody, very dangerous surgery where he might die. And then, even if he makes it through, he will have a long, very long recovery. This is what the doctors are saying, and my friend is at the hospital, waiting to know if her husband of over 30 years will be alive in the morning.

Now, I have seen many prayer requests on blogs, and I know that it is very easy to read them and think "oh, how terrible, I need to remember to pray for them"

Please stop right now. Please just offer up at least one petition for my friend, Robin, and her husband, Larry.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Harvesting Corn

We harvested corn!
We were Guatemaltecos for a morning. It was really fun.

We told a friend of ours that has a bunch of land with corn that needed to be harvested that we would love to come and help one morning if we could. She said that she would talk to her family and told us the day.

The next day she called to tell us that we couldn't come, b/c her family said that we were too "special" to do that kind of work. It is dirty, difficult, tiring work. We protested for several days in order for them to extend the invitation to come. They were very worried about it.

The reality of it is, is that it wasn't any harder than working in the garden on a hot May day. It was dirty and there were quite a few bugs (including one that looked like a crab but the size of a fire ant) and dust but it wasn't that hard to do and Brandon and I had a good time chatting and trying to keep up with the Guatemalans.

BoyD and our Spanish teacher had fun exploring! All of kids just hung out together in the grass and dirt. BabyM had fun too! She was in a sling of one of the Guatemalans for quite a while.

After we finished, Patty's grandfather had lunch prepared for us. It was amazing! The whole morning turned into a really fun time.

That was also the day that BabyM started to eat a little again! For those of you who didn't know, BabyM is very underweight and her doctor here (as well as her pedi in the states) had said that she really needs to gain some weight. We started feeding her more and I tried to nurse her more, but we were having to force feed her and she basically stopped nursing for like 3 days. We were very worried, but all is well. God is good and answers prayers and her appetite just spontaneously picked up! She is now nursing again, eating more, and she gained 10 ounces in 6 days! PRAISE GOD!

Anyway, thank you for all of you that prayed for our little princess. If we can keep this up, she may get back on the charts by the time she turns one. We are under orders from Grandpa to fatten her up with ice-cream and french fries. Here's to you, Grandpa!

FYI...for those of you who are health conscious, this was her first sampling of fries, and she only ate 2. The box of fries was for effect!

The Retreat:
Here are also a few photos from the camp that we went to on our couple's retreat. We left early b/c BabyM wasn't eating. It wasn't an american style couple's retreat. The men and women slept separately and there was mandatory 6:30am devotions. I think it would have been fun, but I was so incredibly stressed out about her not eating.
The kids with BoyD were his babysitters for the weekend. They were fantastic and really loved on him and BabyM.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas in November?

Christmas comes to Guatemala a little earlier than in the states. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so about the middle of November (the beginning for the very enthusiastic) they all start decorating. I wanted to share a little about our decorating evening.

We don't have that many decorations so it really didn't take that long, and we bought our dinky little fake tree at the Hiper Paiz, with "Wal-mart Guatemala" stamped on the box.

I need to get a Christmas tree scented candle to make me think that my tree is real. BabyM helped daddy spread apart those plastic and metal branches.

BoyD got the honor of putting the star on the top.

BabyM kept herself busy with her biter biscuit and watched the festivities.

When we explained to BoyD the diffence between stockings and a bean stalk, he wanted to experince the stockings first hand.

BoyD got to eat a candy cane off of the tree, and when I told him to "hold up your candy cane" he took me very seriously.

The almost finished product. (we have since added some shiny globes to fill in the holes so you can't see the metal "innards" of the tree.

After the kids went to bed, Brandon made us a fire and a little pallet on the upstairs balcony in the chiminea. We sat out there and enjoyed the fire and drank some decaf coffee flavored with French vanilla creamer and had a wonderful time. Here are some photos of what we experienced.

All in all, it was a wonderful, festive, evening.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Woman's Bible Study

Well...we started today. We had our first women's Bible study in our home this afternoon. We had 7 women (myself included) and I think it went wonderfully. We have decided to meet every 2 weeks and we are just reading through Ephesians.

We first had lunch at 1pm, and then by 1:35 or so we just started reading. We discussed and questioned and got through like 6 verses. At 2pm we gave prayer requests and prayed for each other.

I really enjoyed it. I hope they did as well. One woman was very quiet. I am wondering what is going on in her head, as she is a wonderful woman, a christian woman, but doesn't believe in "religion" or "church." When asked for prayer requests, she replied "God knows my requests." She is totally right, I just wonder if she enjoyed it or not. I guess that is really the Lord's business.

It was very good for me to not "teach," and just let the Bible speak for itself. I think we will have at least 2 more next time assuming that all 6 of these women come back. I hope they do. I liked their input. I like them.

Please pray for us. Pray that this will continue to grow and that we will continue to grow. Pray that I can be available and godly, and represent our Christ well. Pray that God will bring in unbelievers and that these women can find their own place to minister.

The women's names are (for those who like to pray for specific people):
Patty, Hortencia, Gladys, Lety, and Edna.

Next time we might have Margarita, Nelly, and 2 Carlas. We'll see.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

While I was out.

Ok...I went to the movies this afternoon with a girlfriend and Brandon graciously stayed home to watch the kids. I left while BabyM was still napping. When the movie was over, I called home to let Brandon know and I hear this story.

I am putting the link to a you tube video of the mess that was made, and if you are into that sort of thing, you can click on it to see it, but be warned: It is totally gross.

BabyM had apparently taken off her diaper during the nap (we do velcro cloth) and then at some point pooped. We don't know exactly what happened, but the aftermath was poop all over her. On her legs, her hands, her arms, her dress (clean bottom!), her pacifier, her mouth, her face. There was poop prints all over her bed, her bumper pad, and she had practiced standing b/c there was poop prints on the railings of the crib, as well as the ledge and the floor. She even managed to fling a chunk onto the heater that was on the floor next to her crib. Her diaper was dry and clean on the floor next to her crib.

We aren't sure how much poop she ate, but she had it all over her paci and mouth. We'll see how that turns out. Brandon got her all bathed and cleaned up. He gets the dad of the year award! I know of some dad's that shy away from even changing a contained poopy diaper, and Brandon was in the trenches. I am so proud of him. You know you love your baby when...

To end on a cleaner note: Here is a little picture of our little man as we were leaving to go to church. He looked so precious!

And how old do you think this kid looks?

Ok..please pray. I am going to try to start my women's Bible study this week if I can get it all together. Oh, and in a town not far from us, there have been 20 abandoned newborns in the last year. We are trying to get some information about the possibility of fostering one of these babies. Please pray for that as well: That the Lord would go before us and make His plan for these children very clear.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's been a while!

Well, I've typed two blogs over the last few weeks that never got published. I would save the post in order to add photos from our other computer and then by the time I got to adding them, they were out of date. Oh, well.

The first photo is one of my mom and my daughter, hand in hand. We were driving from Dallas to Lubbock on our last trip back in the states, and BabyM kept reaching up and patting and holding my mom's hand. It was so precious, and I am so glad that we got to take a picture of it.

Well, the orphanage work is going really well. I just feel like there's not enough time to do all that I want to do. I would love to go every day and work with all of the children, but b/c I have other responsibilities right now, (aka boyD and BabyM) and my babysitter (my sweet husband) has another job, I can only go once a week for two hours and can only work with 20-30 kids each week out of 113. Anyone want to come and volunteer? I will write the curriculum for you! :)

Ok...I have to comment on the election: We'll see. That is really all I have to say.

Madeline is "talking" but no words yet. She turns 10 months in 2 days. She is trying to walk. She walks for a bit holding on to one hand, but she really prefers to crawl. She is super fast. AND she has 6 teeth!

We had lunch over at some friends' house for "Dia de los Muertes." Here they serve a typical food called fiambre. It is a salad of sorts with almost every veggie and meat that they have here. It is really red b/c of all the beets that they use. The dressing is just plain vinegar. Here are a few photos:

For dessert, we got squash boiled in it's shell with some ginger and brown sugar. The taste was really similar to pumpkin pie, although the texture was different.

We had a really good time. From there we had a really interesting political discussion. They were of course hoping Obama would win. They are Latinos, and they are coming from an international perspective. It was enlightening.

We are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving here with some friends. Our guest list is at 40 so far (including us) so we will be having a pot luck. If we can find the 20 extra seats, it will really be fun!

Well, I have the opportunity to go to bed reasonably early tonight for the first time in many moons. So...good night, and it is good to be back

Wait...If you have the time, please click on the link below to see a really cute video of Deacon singing the story of the three little bears. It is too big to post here.

And then let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything: Long but informative.

Well, I have been crazy busy and so I have a lot to blog about, but no time to do it. Here goes a sort of summary of the last couple of days. (these are carrots that I bought in Zunil, a mountain village on our way home from Fuentes)

BoyD has graduated to a big boy bed! We turned his crib into a toddler bed this last weekend with the fear that we would be up all night putting him back in his bed. Well, we closed his bedroom door, he went to bed just fine, and he woke at 7am and got up and knocked on his door to get out! It went incredibly well. We put him in his bed b/c we are going to be travelling a lot very soon and having to take around 2 pack-n-plays would be much more difficult. Anyway, this morning he woke up at like 6:30 and we weren't ready for him to get up, so we put him back in bed with some books and he was content until 7am when I went to get him up. Hopefully it will stay that way.

BoyD loves his preschool. The first day, he didn't really want to talk about it (he said...Mom, will you not ask me again what we did?) I guess I was nagging. But, the second day he told me all about it and sang me a song in Spanish that he sang at school. Pretty cool.

He didn't go to school this week b/c he has the chicken pox. He was vaccinated so it wasn't very severe, but he has the little blisters that itch and all that, so until they all scab up he can't go to school. Sigh.

We got a package brought to us from the US filled with cloth diapers that I bought used on line for half the price. they are these awesome diapers that work like disposables but you wash them instead, and we are going to save SO MUCH MONEY! This way the pre-school can also do cloth with him. Very cool. And almost all of the diapers are 1 size fits all so I don't have to worry about which diapers are BoyD's and which are BabyM's.

BabyM has started to scoot. She isn't crawling just yet, but she really doesn't need to b/c she can get to wherever she wants to go by rolling, rotating, turning, and scooting. Nothing is really out of her reach anymore. Also her hair is really long.

I am going to start a women's Bible study here in my house pretty soon. Please be praying about this. The women who are interested are Gladys: the woman who works at our house. She is completely uneducated (although she can read) and loves the Lord but is living with her boyfriend. The next woman, Hortencia is a great friend. She also loves the Lord, but doesn't go to church b/c she likes the reverence of the Catholic church but she isn't Catholic. She has serious problems with a church that takes and doesn't give, and she believes demonstrative worship is incorrect and irreverent. (Loud instruments as well). Another lady is Edna, our language teacher who as far as we can believes in Jesus, but claims no religion. Interesting, but her first real encounter with the Bible has been with Brandon during language school. The other woman is Nelly, a CAM missionary (a Guatemalan) who loves Jesus and is in a sense discipling me. Very mature believer. Finally, there is a woman from our church but she might not be living in the country much longer, and she also works during the day. Please pray about timing and interest.

We are going to the city this weekend for a Peacemakers conference with CAM. It will be really good to fellowship with some other CAM missionaries and to get some additional training.

Finally, I went to the orphanage today. I forgot my camera, so I will take it next time to get some photos. It was fun, challenging, strange, a little frustrating, and incredibly sad. We had 22 7-9 year olds, both boys and girls. We played a name game, we read John 3:16, we made those salvation bracelets with the 5 colored beads, we drew, and we gave them a snack (gelatinas...homemade jello in baggies) It was hard b/c I have no authority with these kids. Some of them wanted to please me and so obeyed, while most just didn't care. They only obeyed when it benefited them. They were very easily distracted (2 hours is a long time for a 7 year old to sit still) and I don't think I really communicated anything that I wanted to communicate. By the time we got to explaining the significance of the colors, they were tired and antsy.

One of the little girls is there b/c she had fallen off of a 2nd story landing more than once, and the hospital where she went advised the authorities. They sent her to this orphanage and no one has come to visit her yet and it has been several months. Another little girl is there b/c her father is in prison and her mother is dead.

When it was snack time, a bunch of other kids came into the cafeteria (where we were working) for their snack and they all wanted some of the jello that we brought, but we didn't have enough. It was really sad. They were eating some sort of gelatinous mush in cups. Not even Nelly knew what it was. Anyway, there were quite a few mentally retarded or otherwise disabled kids that were hanging out where we were. They wanted jello, so we snuck a few of the extras to them. They kept hugging us and following us around. There was one little mentally retarded girl in a wheel chair (like 6-8 years old) who kept reaching up for us to hold her, or hug her or something. I just leaned down and hugged and kissed her. I wasn't sure what she wanted. It was so incredibly sad. As we left, we walked by the little ones eating their snack. There were 8 or 9 little kids (1-3 yrs old) sitting on a curb eating their snack. Several were filthy in clothes that were old and didn't fit right. Finally, when we left, one little girl was hanging on Nelly and told the woman who let us out that Nelly was her mommy.

I just kept thinking that all of these little children are alone, without parents. I am not sure which is sadder, that some of them have no family at all, or that they have family, but have been taken away and often times not even visited by what family they do have. The little toddlers not getting read and rocked to sleep. They mentally retarded don't get someone to cherish them and believe in them.

I wept at the sadness the entire way home. I am still crying. 2 hours a week is not enough. I am going to ask you to please pray for more workers. I would be happy to organize curriculum and everything if there were just more people who would be willing to love on these children. My heart breaks as our Lord's heart breaks for these little ones. Please pray that God will bless this work, that we would know how best to minister.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fuentes de Georgines

This is our trip to Fuentes de Georgines. It is a hot spring about 45 minutes outside of Xela. They have 4 different pools, bungalows for camping, a restaurant, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The water is fed from a volcano and it has a lot of sulfur and other minerals so it has no amoebas or parasites and it needs no chlorine b/c the water is constantly filling and spilling over into the other pools.

It is always foggy up there b/c it is in a cloud forest. It was sort of a mini vacation for us, as it is so incredibly relaxing. Today it was so busy but when we go during the week, there are often times only like 10 people there. The Guatemalans in the photos are our friends Hortencia, her daughter Carla, and Carla's son Alejandro who was born on the same day as BabyM.

Just so you know, if you come to visit us, we will take you here. SO COME TO VISIT! :) It cost about $3.00 to get in, plus another $3 for parking and you can bring in your own food. The water is normally the temperature of a hot bath in the first pool (the other pools are consecutively cooler) but today, we could not even put BabyM down in the water b/c it was too hot. I think they cleaned the spring or something and so more water is coming out making it much hotter. The other pools weren't too hot, but they are much shallower and you can't really swim. Anyway, it is incredibly beautiful and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First day of "School"

Well, Deacon started his first day of school today. We are only taking him for 2 days a week, but normally it is 5. This school is really cool to let us bring him 2 days a week for half the price. It is called Colegio El Pilar (Colegio is just a private school) and its Catholic. We can walk to it from our house. Its Catholic, but there are no nuns, priests, religion classes, or anything other than a statue of Mary that would suggest that it is Catholic. Most likely we can't keep him there when he gets older b/c of the ministry that we have with Evangelicals. They don't get along so well. So sad. Anyway, I am attaching some pictures. Like I said, he goes twice a week from 9am to 12:30pm. I am thinking that he will have a lot of fun and for 1 hour every day they do lessons in English. Knowing that at least some of the teachers speak English makes me feel better. Deacon is speaking Spanish like a pro, but we wanted him to learn some more and to have some friends here, and this is the fastest way to accomplish this. Anyway, enjoy the photos!Deacon getting ready for his big day.He likes the way he looks! This is his uniform more or less. He wears jeans, a white collared shirt, and a gray sweater that the school gives him that we don't yet have.Here we are getting ready to walk to school.

This is the outside of the school. It is totally enclosed with a door that is locked from the inside with a key so the kids can't leave with out the guard letting them out. It sounds incredibly harsh, but outside the school is just a street. (And I can go in when every I want, the kids just can't "escape")

This is the inside patio area (directly behind the doors in the previous photos). The ground is all dirt, but they have some good playground equipment and a beautiful garden.
Deacon inside his classroom getting situated and meeting his companeros (friends). When we walked in, he just started walking around the room looking at the toys, etc. All the other little children were seated quietly at their desks. We'll see how that goes. I go to get him at 12:30pm and will post later how everything went. Finally, here is a photo of the walk back from the school to our house. Don't we live in a beautiful country?