Friday, June 27, 2008

Depths of Despair

If you love something, set it free; if it comes back it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lindsay and Graham's shower

I had Lindsay's shower for baby Graham a couple of weeks ago. I made the cutest gotta see it. And, although I am not usually a fan, I made a diaper cake that was precious. That's where the pictures stop...I was too busy lovin' on that sweet baby to take any!

Kind of Charlie Brownish, but so cute!

I don't think there is anything better on earth than a baby shower!


How fun is Facebook? This morning I found my best friend from 4th grade. She moved away after 5th grade and I haven't seen her since. I wonder who I will find next...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Emily's Recital

The Saturday that we came back from Honduras, Emily had her dance recital. It was downtown at the Cannon Center. She did a great job. She is really good and quite coordinated...must be some sort of genetic flaw! It was also our 11th anniversary!

Last day in Honduras

Friday, June 20, 2008

This week, in review

I have had to hardest time finding time to blog this week. Mainly because of Facebook, I fear. I haven't felt well all week, either. I am afraid I brought home some kind of friend from Honduras, but I don't know for sure. Emily had gymnastics camp all week. She was the youngest and by far the smallest, but she held her own. She's just such a little athlete. She has another week of it next week. Tyler will be going to Tye-Dye Camp. As he says, he was born to craft! Ha! They are taking these camps at Harding, which is about 5 minutes away from our house. They only last an hour or so a day, so it really isn't worth it to come back home. I have stayed some and Becky has come up there and we have used the library to do some stuff for camp. (She didn't even tell me once to be quiet!)

Tonight is the Camp Rock premier, at 7/8 Central. (That part always has to be added by Tyler!) They cannot wait!!!

I do have one more Honduras album to post and then I need to post about EK's recital. Maybe I'll get caught up on blogging before camp!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Honduras, Days 7&8

We woke up Wednesday morning and went to Olga's house. She is one of the girls that helped in the kitchen. She lives in a barn with 22 other people. She wanted us to see her house. I guess I just got overwhelmed by heat on the way there, because I tossed my cookies on the way there. I was really dizzy and nauseous for quite a while. Plus, I was eaten alive by fire ants. Not a good start. Andy drove me and the other non-walkers (sick, injured,etc.)to join the rest of the group at Made In Honduras. Diane (we used her beach house) has taught this community of people that they have valuable trades and talents. They make things and sell them in this store. They get 100% of their sales. We spent all the money we had and gave these people the best day of the year. Many families will eat for months off this day. It was wonderful. We then went to town. The plan was to eat and shop in town for several hours. Some people went to the beach and played volleyball. My group ate at Chicken Express (We had the OK that this was safe!). Our soldiers, of course, followed us and we treated them to lunch. We got lots of looks with these guards with us. We also ate more ice cream! I was feeling Ok, but just really weak. We walked back to camp and waited on everyone to get back. I rested for a while, and actually went to sleep. Not a good sign. We were all supposed to eat supper and go worship at the teen center some of the group had been painting. I couldn't eat much and stayed back while the rest of the group went to Mahogany Bay. 2 of the teen girls were sick, too, so we just rested. I packed some of my stuff and just waited. Brent came back early with sick kids. Everyone came back late and no one really went to bed. We had to be up at 3:00 am anyway! I got up at 3 and threw up. Randy gave me phenegren and we walked to the end of the road and waited for our bus. Then I had some phenegren gel. I slept the entire 7 hour bus ride to San Pedro Sula. That was a huge help. I did not sleep at all to Atlanta, but it was a great flight. We had individual movie screens and airplane food never tasted better! I had pizza and ice cream in Atlanta and got to Memphis a little after 10:0o. It was good to be home, but I will always wish I was in Honduras.

Honduras, Day 6.3

Honduras, Day 6.2

Honduras, Day 6.1

Honduras, Day 6

I am so close to getting to the end of these posts, I can taste it!

Tuesday was another fun day at school. We had the K, 1st, and 2nd graders. We seemed to know them the most since we had spent the most time with them. They are the sweetest kids and so funny. I hated to leave school. I know I will go back there one day, but it just seemed so final leaving this day. We left after lunch and came back to camp. During the day, another one of our groups took the 9th graders from the school on a field trip. They hike through the jungle to a waterfall and swimming hole. After they got back and the school kids left, Brent wanted to take some of the kids back up there. I had visions of a nap, but I knew I would never forgive myself if I missed out on this. Jennifer and I headed into the jungle after them , but they were way ahead of us. All of the sudden, 2 of the soldiers appeared with us. They were following us to make sure the old ladies got to the falls! So sweet. It was a long little hike and we finally made it. It was very slippery and rocky and I was so scared I would fall. How would people explain to my kids that their mom died on a mission trip falling from a waterfall??? It was very steep terrain, but I did get up there. All the boys were so surprised that the old mamas made it! This was so much more than a swimming hole. They were diving off of 25 ft rocks into the falls. They had the best time and afterwards told Brent that Jim wouldn't let them just over 4 feet. They thought Brent was the coolest, but he just assumed it was OK with Jim and they had been doing this the whole time. Jennifer jumped, but I didn't. I was the photographer ONLY. I used to be more of a dare devil I guess.

We got back to camp and bathed in the river and then ate dinner. It was Alexa South's 16th birthday, so we walked the miles and miled to town and went for ice cream. It was so worth it. Laurie Willis made cakes for her. It was this night that we realized the soldiers from camp had followed us. Our teens really made some good relationships with them. They were not there to guard us, just the mahogany trees. But throughout the week, they had become really protective of us. They followed us all the way into town to make sure we were safe. Then they walked us all home. We were so thankful for them!

Honduras, Day 5.3

Honduras, Day 5.2

Honduras, Day 5.1

Honduras, Day 5

So I am now a little more than 1/2 way through with my Honduras posts. We had such a wonderful Sunday and really felt more confidant about our Spanish skills for Monday's school. Some groups went and worked more at Little Hands and the septic tank, and others painted. My group went back to the school to work with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They really responded well with us and we had lots of communication going on. The kindergartners get out about an hour before everyone else, but most have to wait on older siblings to walk home. They came and found us and mobbed us while we were trying to work. It was wonderful and so much fun. We ate lunch at school and then Emilson took some of us to the "fruit man" to buy pineapple. We bought 5 of them for less than $5 American. They were wonderful. And gone in minutes.
Today was a glorious day. I decided to take no more showers. Instead, I decided to bathe in the river. Totally rinsed hair and shaved legs did me a world of good.
Everyone made their way back to camp and then we ate dinner together. We had spaghetti of all things. No garlic bread, though!

We got word of a single mother that needed some help with her house, so Brent, Jim, Rachel, and Chris look a jungle trek to see if we could help. There was apparently a big communication problem, because when they got there, there was no house. She needed a house built. Brent said we could have done it if we had know ahead of time.

Honduras, Day 4.3

I think this is Honduras Day 4.2, for real

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Facebook affair

I feel unfaithful...I have started Facebook for my teenage buddies, and I am trying to get that up and running and have neglected my blog. I am so tired of do Honduras slideshows. It is my goal to finish that this week. Hold me to it! We have had a great "first week" of summer vacation, even though I've been out of school a month and Tyler 3 weeks...preparing for and going to Honduras took a chunk of that time, so now we are in the throws of vacation. Tyler swam about 15 hours, we've signed up for the summer reading club and the library, swam at Joy's (40+ people went!), we've watched tons of tv, slept late, and cleaned closets. I also had Lindsay's shower Thursday, but I will post some pictures of that later!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I need more sleep

Brent just informed me that I posted the same slide show 2 times. Sorry. I will fix it tomorrow.

Honduras, day 4.2

Honduras, Day 4.1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Honduras, Day 4

This day was one of my favorites. We were originally going to divide into 3 different groups and walk to the various churches. There are 4 churches of Christ in Trujillo that have split off from each other for various, probably long-ago forgotten reasons. Just like the U.S., huh? God worked wonders, and all 4 churches decided to come to our camp for worship and an afternoon of fun. These groups had not met since 1992. No one really knew what to expect. We set up as many chairs as we could and each of the groups arrived one by one. They all brought their own chairs from their respective We had no idea if anyone was mingling since we didn't know where everyone was from. With our limited spanish and no English on their parts, there was not a whole lot of interaction. The 4 different ministers led us through worship. We sang songs in spanish and english and Jim and Emilson together delivered Jim's sermon. Jim had on flip flops and had to put on Justin's shoes before he preached. Apparently, that wasn't proper for preaching! So we had church and afterwards began to meet people. I met the most precious teenager named Blanca. She spoke no English, but was very patient in speaking slowly so I could understand her. We had a wonderful conversation and spent the whole afternoon with her best friend, Nelia, and Leah, Rachel, Rachel, and many other of our teen girls. Nelly, as Blanca called her, spoke tons of English. All the boys and men played soccer all afternoon. All of the leaders of the 4 congregations reconciled and met for a long time planning their futures. It was a wonderful day. Everyone left before suppertime and we spent the night playing cards and just talking. It was truly a day of rest and much needed by everyone. It was on this night that I discovered the glow-in-the-dark roach/beetle thing that lived in our cabin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Honduras, Day 3.3

Honduras, Day 3.2

Honduras, Day 3.1

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Honduras, Day 3

This is the day that Mr. Rooster decided to show off. He started cock-a-doodle-doing at 3:00 am and kept it up until pretty much Thursday when we left. There we many schemes made to off this alarm clock. Anyway, breakfast this morning was huevos rancheros. We divided into 3 groups. One group went to paint at a place called Mahogany Bay. Another group went to start a septic system for a single 19 year old mother of 4, one of whom has cerebal palsy. My group went to the missionary's house that is working with Little Hands, Big Hearts. This is a group that helps families of children with disablities get assistance with healthcare, nutrition, physical therapy, etc. Their house is up on a hill with a mudslide of a driveway and I believe the driveway was about 1/4 mile long. We covered about 1/3 of it with sand and gravel to help with traction. They are also needing a security wall built around LHBH, but tree stumps are in the way (like 100 tree stumps) We worked on getting some of the land cleared for that. They have 4 children and I loved spending time with them. They had a puppy that they wanted me to play with. After playing with this dog for a long time, Andrew said, "He has ringworm." Nice. This was hard, hard work. Harder than most of the teens had ever done. We left LHBH and met the rest of our group at the beach. The beach is very narrow. It is normally pretty clear I hear, but it was cloudy due to all the rain they've been getting. There were tons of sand dollars. There were also tons of sand fleas. There is a missionary vet that we worked with that actually lives in a house on the beach, so we got to rinse off at his house. We walked a couple of miles on the beach to a restaurant called El Delphin. It was pretty much the nicest restaurant in Trujillo. We had the place to ourselves and it was a nice catch-up for everyone. We had shrimp, fish, corn, a baked potato the size of a golf ball, and tortillas. AND SOFT DRINKS. We left there and walked (up the steepest hill I have ever seen) to the town square for ice cream. They had melon ice cream and it was wonderful. It really wasn't safe for the ladies to trek the few miles back to camp at night, so we piled into missionary trucks and went home that way. As gross as I was, I couldn't bear to shower in the icy shower.

Honduras, Day 2.2

Honduras, Day 2.1

Honduras, Day 2

We woke up Friday morning and had a breakfast of eggs and fruit. Our camp had purified water, so we could eat fruit washed in it. That was a nice surprise for me! Many of the missionaries in the area came and talked to us about their work. Then we headed off to Trujillo Christian School. A 45 minute walk uphill through the jungle. No one expected it to be as hard as it was. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We got there and had a little VBS for the 6th and 7th graders. We sang some songs, read the good Samaritan in Spanish, and did a wordless skit of it. Then we did some crafts with them. The 7th grade girls really like Brent and giggled whenever he came around. It was kind of awkward, as it would be with any middle-schoolers. I am not sure any 6th and 7th graders speak the same language as we do! After that, we ate our back lunches. Dogs just walk everywhere and came in to join us for lunch. After lunch, we all had different jobs to do. I painted a classroom and Brent picked up and burned garbage. Some of our guys poured a concrete floor in one of the rooms. Many just loved on the kids. God heard my prayers and sent someone in a car to get the elderly women! We got back to camp and painfully showered (COLD WATER) and ate a dinner of fried chicken and plantains. After some card games, we went to bed.

Honduras, Day 1

Honduras, Day 1

We left for Trujillo Thursday, May 29. We spent Wednesday night at mom and dad's since no one close to us was going to the airport. Stoney, who was taking Meghan anyway, picked us up at 3:00. IN THE MORNING. I took Tylenol PM the night before, so I was pretty much in a stupor. We were the very first ones at the even before the janitors. We left a little after 6:00 and I slept HARD from Memphis to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula. I am sure that was a blessing for all around me. We got off the plane and had to go through customs, which I had never done before. Then we got on a bus (an old prison bus from the U.S.) and piled all our luggage on a flatbed truck. It was raining, so we stopped a got a tarp. After 8 long hours, we arrived at our camp. It's kind of hard to explain where we stayed. There is a man from New Orleans that owns a mahogany and cacao plantation in Trujillo. The plantation is no longer functioning since Hurricane Mitch, but there is a camp where the plantation workers used to stay. That is where we stayed. The Mahogany trees surrounding the camp are protected by law, so there are soldiers that stay in the camp to protect the trees. They are the same age as most of our you can expect many stories of the soldiers to come! We hired a lady to cook for us. She lived 8 hours away, so she slept in the kitchen. We ate rice and chicken and went straight to bed. All the adult women stayed in one cabin. There were 6 of us. 2 of the cabins had bathrooms (I use that term loosely)and they let the old ladies have one! We had a sink and a toilet and a hose of cold water for a shower.

Still no Honduras pictures

Sorry. It's just not happening. I think as soon as school was out, somewhere in outerspace a satellite sent word to the world that I could do sewing work again. It is uncanny how many orders I have gotten just in the past week.

Tyler spent the night with Zach last night and Emily is loving being an only. She is my late sleeper, so I got to sleep until 8:00 this morning and she woke me up by bringing me breakfast in bed! (A granola bar in a princess bowl)

As soon as I finish all these orders, I will start putting Honduras slideshows together.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


It is 10:00 Sunday night and I should be off to bed. I am still so tired from Honduras, but my mind cannot turn off tonight. I have gotten home and done all the laundry and cleaned the bathrooms and done Emily's dance recital and done our new church wing dedication. I have edited all 600 pictures taken over the last week and a half. All things that needed to be done before I begin processing. Processing the stark poverty and the pure joy that I have seen. Processing the bond that 42 people have after a trip like we had. Processing everything that God does to set up his will to be done. And processing that Grandmother is gone. My Grandmother Parsons died the Saturday that I was in Honduras. I knew there was a significant chance that she would while I was gone, as she has been sick for many weeks. I did get to call home on Randy's phone, and got no answer with mom and dad, their cells, or Becky. I just knew in my heart. I have struggled the past few months with the realization that her passing was not far off. She and I were so close growing up. I am going to be very candid about her, so please don't be offended if I say things that don't sound very grandmother/granddaughterly. (Is that a word? It is tonight.) My grandmother grew up in family full of older brothers in a mill village. From what I know, she did what she wanted to do and her brothers got her out of trouble lots. She had my dad when she was barely 18 and was divorced by then. She married the man I consider my grandfather while my dad was still a toddler and was married to him for 55 years. She didn't have to take a lot of responsibility most of her life and it really affected how she viewed life. She was very sheltered and her world view was very limited. I guess she was just a result of her environment. As I said before, as a child and even a teen, we were very close. As I grew older and matured into a young woman, I began to realize that I was "outgrowing" her. She did not identify with who I was and what I did and believed in. She loved me fiercly, but our relationship could be strained at times. She needed me to be the same girl I was at age 12, and I needed her to be an adult. A few months ago, I was discussing how I would feel when Grandmother died. He reminded me to remember EVERYTHING about Grandmother, not just the recent years. I began compiling a list in my mind that I need to get on paper (or screen?). So here it goes... I am calling it "Good Times With Velma."


1. Going to A&W and Kmart just the 2 of us when Becky was a baby.
2. Playing in the white gravel around the tree in her backyard.
3. The wagon that she pulled us around the block in.
4. Picking blackberries
5. When she stayed with Becky and me in Pensacola while mom and dad looked for a
house in Charleston.
6. Christmases...we would circle everything in the Service Merchandise catalog...
and get it.
7. Drinking coke for breakfast
8. Her endless supply of junk food
9. The trip we took to D.C. in 1984
10. Her INSISTING on taking us around the block in the wagon and we were WAY to old
11. Her horrible one ever had heads.
12. She bought me Guess Overalls
13. Before my first date, she took me makeup shopping
14. She would always take me shopping in high school. I would have to try everything
on and when I would come out of the dressing room, she would sigh, "Oh,
Elizabeth!" like it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
15. Her reading Little Red Riding Hood before bed when we were little
16. My senior year spring, Becky, Justin, Grandmother, and Granddaddy
in Gatlinburg.
17. Gatlinburg, period.
18. She took me to see Reba McEntire 2 times.
19. She took me to get my hair "made big" the summer before high school.
20. She would buy me Paul Mitchell hairspray and stick it in my purse.
21. I said one time that I liked cheesecake and it was ALWAYS in her freezer.
22. She screamed, "THERE'S MY BABY GIRL!!!!" across the campus my freshman year
at Harding.
23. She told Brent as he was about to walk down the aisle at our wedding that it
wasn't too late.

Grandmother was ALWAYS saying inappropriate things. That is an understatement. I was mortified most of my adult life by this, but it was always good for a laugh once we go out of earshot. She called the Vietnamese family across the street from them "The Vietnams." If she saw someone that was different from her...fat, dressed differently, etc., she would grab whoever's arm she was closest to and whisper, "I wish you'd look!" That got old by the time I was 18. She started preparing for her death before she was 50. She was always giving stuff away, like giving us her jewelry and sentimental gifts. And there was always a long history lesson that went along with each gift. And many times, we heard the same history lesson over and over again. She would call on random days and say, "Remember what you were doing 14 years ago?" Seriously???

I missed her funeral since I was in Honduras and I am so sad that I didn't get to see all the family and friends that were there. Her friend Edna said that she would have loved it...I am sure all the people and the gossip.

So, I guess this is my own little memorial. I will always remember Grandmother as the fruitcake that had her ears pierce with me when I was 7, ice skated with me when I was 12, always had Roller Coasters (Remember? Like spagettios?) when she cooked tamales for the adults, and would do anything for us. Apparently, at the funeral, I was elected as the next person to take Velma's place. At least I'll always have good lipstick and purses.

One more thing...the Walgreens AND CVS pharmacists were at her funeral. Classic. Drug stock will never recover.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Jennie tagged me while I was away...

What were you doing 5 years ago?
1. 8 months pregnant with Emily
2. Still unpacking boxes
3. Getting Em's nursery ready
4. Sewing, Sewing, Sewing
5. Watching Thomas ALOT

What are 5 things on your To-Do list today?
1. LAUNDRY from Honduras
2. Emily's ballet recital
3. Clean guest bath for Pattersons
4. Begin editing Honduras pictures
5. Send birthday card to Granddaddy

What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
2. White cheddar Cheez-its
3. almonds
4. watermelon
5. anything caramel

What are 5 things you'd do if you were a Billionaire?
1. Pay my mom to quit her job
2. Buy my parents a house
3. Build a new Trujillo Christian school
4. Build a new SVCC preschool
5. Go to Disney World 3 times a year

What are 5 of your bad habits?
1. Biting my nails
2. Being impatient with impatient people
3. holding in bad feelings
4. Being a people pleaser
5. Watching too much TV

What are 5 jobs that you've had?
1. Yogurt puller at I Can't Believe It's Yogurt
2. Babysitter
3. Recruiter for Harding University
4. Teacher many places
5. Children's minister

Name 5 places where you have lived.
1. Portsmouth, VA
2. Huntsville, AL
3. Pensacola, FL
4. Charleston, SC
5. Searcy, AR

Who are 5 people you want to tag?
1. Dallas
2. Shannon
3. Danna
4. Amy G.
5. Amy W.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog

We are home. I have THOUSANDS of pictures to go through. We are beyond worn out and need to regroup our family and household. We had a grocery run and have started laundry. I will TRY to start posting about Honduras tomorrow.