Archive for December 2013


Friday, December 20, 2013

I'm home!!!!!!!!!

A few months back when I was booking my flights home for Christmas, I realized I could come home on the 19th for over $100 less than on the 21st (which was my original plan).  So, I went ahead and booked the cheaper flight but decided, with Erin, that we wouldn't tell anyone and surprise mom and dad by coming home early :)!  I almost ruined the surprise SO many times over the last couple of weeks, but we were able to pull it off!

Yesterday morning I packed my bags and headed to the airport.  It was a full, but fairly easy day of traveling.  Erin and Faith met me at the airport and then we headed back to the house.  I knocked on the door to be greeted by dad; mom stayed on the couch thinking it was Erin at the door until I walked around the corner.  A few tears and lots of laughs were shared.  It was a really fun and successful surprise! (Erin has a video you can see on Facebook or instagram!)

 Flying first class is awesome!!  I wasn't able to use the money I'd budgeted the last two months to take a few days off with a beach trip, so I put it towards an upgrade on my flight!  Have you ever seen so many buttons for reclining your seat in an airplane?!! It was awesome!
 I got to see a rainbow from above (top right), which was SO cool!  I also had to get warm with some Starbucks in Miami (I enjoyed some for you Jenn!) and then caught up on the latest celebrity news during my 5 hour layover.
 Sunsets are gorgeous from above.  I didn't get a really good shot of the beautiful colors on the other side of the plane, but it was breathtaking!  I'll pick a seat on the other side next time!  We also had a delicious meal on the flight home and then it was like Christmas opening all of my mail from the last two months!  (I LOVE getting mail!)
 Finally home and reunited my my family and sweet puppy dog!

I'm so happy to be home.  I thought it would be major culture shock or at least feel like a transition, but I just feel at home.  It was pretty awesome crawling into my own bed last night, brushing my teeth with sink water, and doing laundry today, but it hasn't felt out of place or anything.  I just feel like I'm home.  I'm so happy to be home.

Now to start the Christmas celebrations!! The next three weeks are super busy but I'm going to soak every minute of it up before I head back to Haiti!

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Christmas is Coming!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Despite the fact that it is 80 degrees with a gorgeous breeze here today, Christmas IS in fact just around the corner and I can barely contain my excitement!!  Christmas means that I get to come home for a few weeks, see family, hang out with my friends, hold my sweet puppy dog, and just be home!  Oh I cannot wait!!!  So so SOON!!

Our little Haitian Christmas tree I absolutely adore!

As I prepare for my time at home, here is what I am most looking forward to during this little vacation from Haiti:

  • Seeing my family!! 
  • Holding my sweet puppy dog
  • Seeing all of my friends and getting to be part of one of their weddings!! I cannot wait for the wedding weekend!
  • Good food that I don't have to cook, dishwashers, and all the holiday treats that only come once a year :)
  • Worshiping at Grey Stone - I miss my home church so much!
  • Giving everyone their Christmas gifts!
  • Getting a pedicure
  • Washing my clothes in my own washer and dryer!
  • Sleeping in my own bed
  • Brushing my teeth with cold water from the faucet
  • And walking around barefoot without getting grossly dirty feet :)

Before heading home though, we've got a pretty busy weekend ahead of us! HFMS is hosting the KOFAEL Christmas party this Sunday, which I'm also very excited about!! All of the ladies are bringing their kids, we're making sugar cookies for them to decorate, we'll have cake, games, and Christmas fun!  We are going to have a packed house but it is going to be SO much fun!  The ladies will also each get a special Christmas gift that Elisabeth is bringing. They are going to be so excited!!

With one of the KOFAEL ladies at the last meeting!

Well, I should probably get back to working on things here.  Christmas is SO soon!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?  

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Dear Mr. Rooster

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dear Mr. Rooster,

We need to have a heart to heart.  You see, I am not a morning person and it has become very evident that you are.  I enjoy, no I need, my beauty sleep in order to function at 100% here, and your screeching has made that very difficult since your arrival.  I am not sure why you find it necessary to begin howling at the top of your lungs every morning at 4:30am, but it has got to stop!  You may or may not be aware of this, but your cock-a-doodle-do is 100x louder than any other rooster on the block.  Seeing as how my window opens right up to the yard that you roam every day and night, it is even louder for me when you start crowing.  You may be pretty with all your rich coloring, but I promise your voice is no where near as attractive.  I know having that pole tied to your leg is probably uncomfortable and may be adding to your ridiculous screaming, but seriously - it has got to stop!  If you can't stop completely, lets at least work on taking the volume down about 10 notches.  I mean really, is it necessary to cock-a-doodle-do so loud that you wake up the rest of the roosters in the neighborhood?? I think not.

If this pattern of ungodly loud sounds continues at 5am every morning, you are going to find yourself being sold to the highest bidder, or in a nice tasty casserole very soon!  Every morning I consider punting you over our razor wired gate, so take this as your first and final warning: Your life will becoming to an abrupt end here at HFMS one way or another if this continues.

Your sleep deprived neighbor upstairs

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

For your viewing enjoyment.  Play it over, and over, and over to experience the joy of this rooster at 5am!

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Stomach Bug with a side of Sinus Gunk

Monday, December 2, 2013

Well folks, we here at HFMS have decided to close our doors for a couple of days.  It seems we've come down with this crazy contagious stomach bug, and I'm also fighting a sinus infection.  Usually once you're 24 hours free of all symptoms it's safe to say you're no longer contagious and can go about normal life.  That however is not the case with this bug, which we clearly learned the hard way. This thing is potent and no joke...hence the reason we are quarantining ourselves (and our house) for the next 48 hours.  Enter if you dare, but don't get mad if you too come down with this thing.

It's been a rough couple of days and I'm about ready to stop being sick.  Hopefully I'll get my appetite back soon so I can start an antibiotic to kick this sinus infection.  Until then, I've got a nice supply of Gatorade, tissues, and TV shows to catch up on. My energy supply is on!  There are tons of things that need to get done but my brain has simply checked out and can't handle it right now.

So, until I'm feeling better, I'm officially taking a couple of days off to rest, recuperate, and get well!

Until then,  Orevwa!

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Bon aksyon de gras (Happy Thanksgiving)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving (a couple days late) from Haiti!!!

Our Thanksgiving was not typical by any means. Our plans changed multiple times, I've been missing my family, and we didn't enjoy the normal traditions surrounding the holiday.  However, our day was still filled with multiple reasons to be thankful and we are learning to thank God even when things don't go as planned.

On Thursday, Emily and I were feeling pretty down and homesick.  We decided to take a trip to the Apparent Project and do some Christmas shopping to help get us out of that funk.  It was SO nice to get out of the house and do something "normal" for once.  Our days rarely go as planned here, so it was no surprise that Thanksgiving also had its up and down moments.  We enjoyed the rest of our evening with a pieced together meal of:  BBQ chicken, homemade mac'n'cheese, peas, and sweet potatoes.  We also finished the meal out with a nice helping of Grandma Great's Ranger cookie dough recipe followed by a movie.  While the day did not fit into our "American Thanksgiving", we made the best of it and actually really enjoyed the night!

Mine and Emily's Thanksgiving festivities!

Friday, we were able to spend the afternoon at the Hambrick's where we enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast and fellowship.  It was SO nice to see some friends and feel like part of a family.  We were definitely needing that little pick me up.  I cannot thank them enough for including us in their Thanksgiving plans.  Getting together with friends and taking time to relax and regroup makes such a difference here! It was definitely a needed time for all of us. We unfortunately picked up the stomach bug they had just gotten over, but that's another story for another day.

Thanksgiving table at the Hambrick's - fully equipped with personalized name tags!
The spread!

I also got to Skype with both sides of my family, which was quite the treat.  I miss them all so much, but for a moment it felt like I was back home!

So, in true Thanksgiving style here are the things I am most thankful for this season:

1. My Family - their love and support is what gets me through each day. I can't imagine being on the mission field without my family behind me.  Their support means the world to me.  God truly blessed us all when he created our family!

2. My Friends - both here and in the States.  I am so thankful that the Lord provided me with good friends.  I can't imagine what life here would be like without the Hambrick's and Emily.  I'm so thankful the Lord planned every aspect of this journey even down to those small details! I'm also so thankful for all of my friends back home who write, call, and check-in with me regularly.  I love and miss you all!

3. For power! - I cannot put into words how much having power impacts my day for the better here.  It is a true true blessing and one I am very thankful for!

4. For technology- and it's ability to keep me connected with friends and family back home.  It meant the world being able to talk face to face with everyone this week.  There is nothing like getting a call from a friend or seeing a smiling face on the other side of the computer smiling back at you. I really needed that this week and am so thankful we have access to the technology that provides these services.

5. For peace of mind. - things are not always easy on the mission field, and there are days filled with self doubt, but I am so thankful that the Lord continues to give me peace about being here.  When those hard days arise, it is His peace and joy that push me through! That is something I never want to take for granted.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived the Black Friday madness.  We love you all.

Bon aksyon de gras! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

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