Monday, July 20, 2015

D5 - 07/20/15

July 20th
1. Today there was something happening at the church and I wanted to see what it was but Mae didn't want to stay. I will just go by myself next time.
2. At the school because there was the church thing I got ice cream and candy
3. I talked a lot with Edwin and Erika (part of family) and they are cool
4. I helped Freddy with homework tonight and with English and it was good.
5. I took a shower and I feel pretty clean which is weird.
6. It actually feels cool and I like it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

D5 - 07/19/15

July 19th
1. I had ice cream twice today and it was so good.
2. Mae and I climbed a mountain/ hill and it was so beautiful and it felt so good.
3. It was sunny and hot today and I got a little sunburned but it feels good.
4. I talked with the family that is in town today and most of them seem nice.
5. I feel so dirty but I am waiting to take a shower when the family leaves (hopefully tomorrow).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

D5 - 07/18/15

July 18th
1. We ate at lucilas house today and she has a beautiful river next to her house.
2. I think my hearing is getting worse.
3. Today was daylis' birthday and there was a party and we had cake.
4. I saw the moon tonight walking Mae home and it is weird to me that my family can see the exact same moon at home.
5. My host families whole family is here for the birthday and I feel uncomfortable because it is hard to understand them and I don't want to butt in on their family time, but they are all really nice so it's ok.

Friday, July 17, 2015

D5 - 07/17/15

July 17th
1. Campamentos haven't been the best only because it's hard for us to do them every day.
2. I am so excited for route picnic.
3. I listened to a lot of music today.
4. I danced in the rain today.
5. I am excited for the other fun things that are happening on this trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

D5 - 07/16/15

July 16th
1. This morning we walked to Jorge's house and he said we would get the roof in about 10 days!
2. Mae and I had ice cream and it was so good.
3. The house we ate at today was super far away and the walk was so hard.
4. A man said he was praying for us and it made me feel so good and appreciated.
5. I have had a great night with the family and we danced and talked and I am really happy going to bed right now:)
Love yall and i am having a great time! Talk to you Tuesday!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

D5 - 07/15/15

July 15th
1. I got about 4 hours of sleep last night and even woke up jasmine because I was having a freak out.
2. The girls and Freddy scared me but popping out from behind the door.
3. The kids didn't have school today because it was a track and field day.
4. The kids climbed in the maranon tree for us and got Mae and I fruits and then we cooked them for the kids and they like them. It was so fun.
5. I ate an amazing meal at Gisele's house and it was noodles and a bunch of sea food.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

D5 - 07/14/15

July 14th
1. Today was very long.
2. Mae and I tried to dye our hair and it was a fail.
3. I like talking to Valentina.
4. Jasmine came today and took pictures of me and some kids.
5. I had a mental breakdown with jasmine and I think she thinks I am crazy and I didn't explain myself well but even if she doesn't know what I am truly feeling it's fine because I feel better.
^*1. I told Freddy he could come stay at my house in the United States and he was so excited.

Monday, July 13, 2015

D5 - 07/13/15

July 13th
1. I think I have hit the two week slump. I am always tired.
2. I miss my family.
3. Today Mae and I talked about life and how it if different from here.
4. I have a really bad headache and I think it's because I'm dehydrated.
5. My laundry is outside and I am praying it doesn't rain tonight so it drys.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Daily 5 - 07/12/15

July 12
1. No one does anything on the weekends here.
2. Mae and I made our own breakfast this morning (and it all only cost $1.15).
3. There was a baseball

(WAH!!!  I didn't get the whole message!!)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Daily 5 - 07/11/15

July 11th
1. Today was a very chill day.
2. It rained a lot.
3. I had eggs for breakfast again (mmm)
4. I read a lot in my book.
5. I drank ants because they were in the hot chocolate.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Daily 5 - 07/10/15

July 10
1. Today was frustrating.
2. I stood in the pouring rain waiting for Mae.
3. Jorge stood us up, but here it isn't rude I guess.
4. I got really dirty at the campamentos.
5. I drank good tea with cinnamon today and had great eggs for breakfast.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Daily 5 - 07/09/15

July 9th
1. I accidentally woke up an hour  early and got halfway to the school and realized.
2.  (sorry folks, this one is private.)
3. There was a fiesta at the school for San Juan celebration and all the kids dressed up and danced.
4. Thirty kids came to our campamentos, which was hard but still fun and good.
5. I caught bugs and made bracelets with the kids tonight in my room.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

daily 5 - 07/08/15

July 8th
1. Mae and I walked down to the huge greenhouse and met Jorge and the project is coming together.
2. Mae and I had juice here for the first time.
3. I actually felt clean for a little bit of time this morning. 
4. Campamentos was a success today, even though less kids came. 
5. I at a funny fruit today with the girls.

Tumblr Post #2

Another Tumblr post today.
I am thankful for the post, but clearly I am going to need to speak with the social media manager to increase the number of posts and to make sure that my kid is front and center.

I'll let you know how that conversation goes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

daily 5 - 07/07/15

July 7
1. I talked to kids in the school. 
2. I had my first campamentos. 
3. I at with Miguel Martinez and his house and yard is so pretty.
4. We think we figured out
 what our cbi project is!
5. Jasmine came today for her first meeting here and Basillia talked to us for a good 45 mins strait.

Monday, July 6, 2015

daily 5 - 07/06/15

July 6
1. I was presented in front of the school today.
2. Mae fell in the river.
3. We had our first meeting for the project. 
4. I think I ate the beak of a chicken.
5. I washed myself in the river, but I still feel dirty.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

daily 5 - 07/05/15

While Ella was still at headquarters, I texted her and asked her to send me a daily text of 5 things from each day in her community.

Even if the texts didn't go through, she would have them on her phone as a reminder of her adventure.

Shockingly, our first 5 things showed up today.

July 5
1. I ate hot dogs for breakfast.
2. Mae and I went down to the river and had a good talk about life at home.
3. I wrote letters in the hammock.
4. I taught
5. I am sooo dirty.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Ella's community is a small village called Vaquilla.

Now that she is in community, communication with the outside world is very difficult.

We know that she doesn't have a bed.  (Thank goodness she took a cot.)
The bathroom is a latrine.
She is taking bucket baths.

In her very brief texts, she has said that her family is very very nice.
She will be working with the community on health and environmental education.

She is doubting her Spanish and feels very stressed about being able to properly communicate with her family and the people in the community.

Her community partner is a girl named Mae.
I am not 100% sure, but I think Mae could be from the Seattle area.  (I don't know where I got that from)

It is SO weird to not have her here with us for July 4th.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Ella got her family assignment today.
I got kinda tickled when I got the text picture of the family description.
Seems she forget that I don't really know or speak Spanish.

Thankfully, my dear friends Terry, Linda and Gracie helped me figure out what this piece of paper says.

She left to go into her community today and her communication will be very limited.

She was very scared.
I could tell the self doubt was creeping in.

I know without question that she is going to do great.

I am excited for her to have this experience.

There is no doubt that she will come back a changed person.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Amigos Tumblr

We saw the first picture of our girl on the Amigos Tumblr today.
I feel like I check every single day 100 times a day.
And finally, she is there.

I wish I knew more.

She is at headquarters.
She is excited.
She is kinda scared.

Here is the link if you wanna read the update.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


stay away mosquitos!

Well, Ella made it.
With her 100lb back pack.

She is at headquarters for a few days to get additional training and get her family/partner assignment.

She is nervous and excited.
There are lots of volunteers.

And she has learned that she doesn't like plantains.
She isn't really suppose to use her phone, but I am glad to be in contact right now.
Text away my dear daughter!

home for a few days

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Amigo!

Our sweet Ella Bella left for Cocle, Panama today.
It is almost too unbelievable to even say outloud.

I am so proud of her that I can barely stand it.
I am so scared for her that I can barely stand it.

She'll be gone 7½ weeks.
She will be living with a host family and be completely immersed in the culture.
She will be treated like a local - not a tourist.
It is possible that she won't have electricity or running water.

It is likely that she will take bucket baths and have to hand wash all of her clothes.
It surreal to watch my baby take malaria pills and preplan for her life off the grid.


sad sister selfies for snapchat

Since she was a young girl, she's had a desire to travel and to serve.
She found out about this program on her own and made it a priority for herself.

She did not have to be persuaded to make it to the meetings.
In fact, it was the other way around.

She worked many many hours earning a good amount of her trip money on her own.
Our amazing family and friends were so kind and showed her so much love with their kind words and support with their very generous donations to her travel expenses.

incase she forgets
As a mother, I can honestly say that all of the fear and trepediation that I have felt leading up to the adventure is eased a bit by knowing that she is following her dreams and has so many people sending good vibes into the universe for her safety and comfort.

Godspeed my sweet Ella Bella, Godspeed.

i'm counting on you, st. Christopher

Thursday, June 4, 2015


the family

It is hard to believe that Sam has officially graduated high school.
How can that even be?
It is so strange to think back to that time in my own life.
God willing, we have given him what he needs to navigate through this crazy life.

We are so proud of him!

the friends

Friday, May 1, 2015

The me i think i am

I was driving around in circles this morning thinking about things.

Wasting time.
Trying not to be at home or anywhere else that someone might ask me to do something for them.

And then it hit me.
Like a ton of bricks.
And with extreme clarity.

I am a grudge holder.

44 years into this freak show and I am starting to understand the me that I think I am.

Naturally, I had to have a conversation with myself about this revelation.

And naturally, I had to convince myself that it is okay to own it.

But it is so clear now.
As hard as I try, there are just somethings I can't let go.

I am pretty good at forgiving.
I am awesome at saying sorry.  (Apparently to a fault - according to my family)

I am not so good at forgetting.

And today - right this very moment - I am okay with that.

I wonder what I'll learn about myself tomorrow?

Thursday, April 30, 2015


My drivers license expired and I didn't know it.
So here I sit at the DPS office waiting.
Everyone in this room is given an identity in the form of a number.
My number - A26.

I just sat down.
There is a TV screen flashing many different combinations.
In the world of A's - they are on A20.


Over an hour into this process.
Sitting and waiting for the robo-voice to call my number.
Waiting and waiting and waiting.
I am aware of the many different people around me.
I took my seat on the back row so I could see them all.
There are more men here than women.
There are a few kids - one in particular that cries a lot.

There is a deaf dude walking around passing out a card asking for donations.
I smile and wave and do not give - not because I don't want to, but because I gave my last $2 to a guy that asked me for money outside.
There are a few people talking on the phone.
So so loud.
If the one lady has any sort of medical trauma while here, we will all be able to give the paramedics her medical history because she is talking so incredibly loud.
The fella beside me is trying to pick up an extra shift at work.

Mother in front of me quizzing her kid on French vocabulary.
She is very encouraging.

Lady 3 rows up and 4 chairs over is a social worker.  She is here with a young lady that is trying to take her drivers license test.  Social worker is lovingly holding the most beautiful baby while the young woman takes her test.

There are lots of couples here.  Is this a date spot?  Why is my husband at work?

I wonder if I started singing if anyone would join me.

Besides breathing, I wonder what I have in common with all of these people.

I did run Into a mom from the school.
That is always good incase I need her to vouch for my whereabouts.

In my range of vision i have counted 17 people on their phone and 2 people on iPads.

There are 3 people here wearing sunglasses on their forehead.  I want to ask so badly if that doesn't bother them.

None of the women are wearing clothes that need to be pressed.
Tshirts and knit tops all around.

Young woman comes out to her social worker and they hug and make a sweet baby sandwich.  From what I gather, she just passed her drivers license test and this is going to make a great impact on her life with her baby.  Social worker over the moon with pride.

A different Young girl comes out with her permit and her mom hugs her and they laugh together.  The visual and social difference between the two young ladies that both came out filled with pride is almost ironic.

It is a true social experiment in this building.

I am only 1 away.

They are calling A25 again.
Maybe they skipped out and I will be called

A25 report to cube 11.

Hot damn, I am up.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Challenging Blog - I mean, Blogging Challenge

Jeff has a load of cousins.
And even though we have been married for 24 years, I haven't met the majority of them.  And oddly enough, neither has he.

But I have met Jeff's cousin, Dawn.
She is a lover of words.
And she likes to help people write.

And I am always curious about what she has going on.
So I read her stuff.

She is offering a 14-day blogging challenge.
And for some strange reason, I am compelled to participate.

I LOVE to write.
I am always driving around thinking of things I would like to blog about.
Not because I want people to know my business, but because I love putting my thoughts down and sending them on their way.

I am not the best writer.
I also don't really give a flip about proper grammar.
Surprisingly, I have quite a few friends that are grammar Nazi's.  My hope is that they teach me a little proper grammar while I teach them to lighten up a little.  (one can hope)

So here I go.
Gonna do the 14-day challenging blog.

Maybe it will set me free.
Maybe it will make my eye twitch.
Either way, I am up for the challenge.