how did i end up here?

Thursday, May 31, 2012


















well folks, these are the latest pictures i have of central america. brayden and i headed down to managua to visit my good friend john who's working with another ministry there. since i didn't know when i'd have the freedom to travel this much again, we decided to take our visa trip to renew our 90 days to nica. 

it was a wonderful trip -- i WISH i could have gotten some pictures of the absolutely out of control public transportation crowds. i have never been smooshed that close to strangers before.we got to visit john's work, a little bit of downtown managua, eat at some sweet places and, of course, go to the movie theatre in the mall {a real treat for the country folk we've become}.

well of course things are all fine and dandy until we try to get back into honduras. VERY long story stort, the honduran immigration office didn't do my extension right and gave me 5 days to, quote, abandon the region, unquote. WHAT? what does that even mean? turns out, after a long argument with the governmental officals of honduras, it means i basically had to get to belize, guatemala or costa rica by, well, the next day. all of which may nor may not actually do the trick. yeah RIGHT! we are tired. hungry. and ready for home. option number fourteen appeared to be trying to get back into my own country the next morning. {more dramatic but definitely the easier option}. SO in attempts to salvage a few hundred dollars, safety,  and my own sanity, the next thing i knew i had landed in the good ol' us of a. this is my deportee story. 

dear honduran immigration department, thanks for nothing! you're crazy!

all joking and drama aside, this whole thing has come with a bag of mixed emotions. good to see everyone at home but my heart is broken for not being able to say goodbye to anyone in hondo. 

the good news: looks like i'll be going back in two weeks if all the cards line up. 

oh what a life! 

krafty karens

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

every few months i get this itch to get all crafty and sew something i'm actually supposed to wear. lucky for the world...most of these things aren't acceptable enough to leave the closet. over the weekend we got goin again on some pinteresting and, well, one thing led to another. here are the dresses we made using this lovely tutorial. for someone who's a little sewing challenged i would recommend following her directions...they're really good and simple if you're not into measuring.




i might actually wear this one sometime -- maybe even bring it along on a little fleeing the country road trip i've got coming up this week. i'll keep ya posted per usual. 

the overcoming

Monday, May 21, 2012

"although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
-source unknown







walking up that dirt path. a man with machete in hand and rubber boots passes on the right going to work. the chickens running crazy right outside the wood slatted house. a woman peers out the kitchen window as she throws another tortilla on the open fire for breakfast. just-washed clothes hanging out on the barbed wire fence and the small kids run around, their feet pattering all over the dirt. and the sun...the suns is bold coming over the peak of those green mountains. it's a new morning.

sometimes living here overwhelms me with the all the need and all the suffering that goes on. broken families, not enough food, the back-breaking labor, sickness, and loneliness. 
yes, these things happen in america, but there's something about seeing it here in raw form. it's kids who think twice before buying a new pair of sandals. where a three liter of pepsi means a party. widowed women walk with food baskets on top of their heads selling their goods to the neighbors. the boys make their soccer goals out of cut wood and young workers fill in holes on the road hoping for a little extra cash from those who pass.

but above all the need there are greater things. kids laugh with friends. there is a job to do today. students get to go to school. there is love. family. peace. life. tomorrow is a new day.

those who know their Creator are the most joyful because they know this isn't it. life is not a daily grind to get ahead -- it's an opportunity to celebrate blessings. and there are greater things yet to come.

today i got to see a boy learn to write and learn sentences in english -- i mean really learn them!
today we get to live with ten kids who have a safe, loving home to stay in.
today there are fresh coconuts from the trees.
today baby kelly learns how to walk.
today we have an abundance of food and water in our house.

this is the overcoming of suffering.


photo credit goes to the lovely visitors {again}. 





awkward & awesome thursday

Thursday, May 17, 2012

awkward::
-- the rag roll experiment roomie monica and i tried. except we used an old t-shirt that was left behind by a group. may or may not have been washed. 
-- the gazillionth time i tried to kill a scorpion in my bathroom and missed. {and when i say i,  i really mean some guy way more valiant than me. "a" for effort, but the scary thing is still creeping around in there somewhere looking for his potential killer.
-- getting told by my sweet roommate that the skirt that i made had ripped in the back a little. claaaaasic. wonder how long i was sportin' that look before anyone noticed.
-- coming back from the chicken coop with eggs, only to trip on the porch, crack my big toenail, and spill the eggs everywhere. ugh. monday fail. 
-- having a conversation with a honduran friend at the dinner table about how a baby is going to learn to play the guitar. he changed the subject to "can you please pass the bread. " i'm still yappin about the baby. 5 minutes later..oh..you wanted the breeeeeaaaad. facepalm. 

awesome::
-- discovering monica's incredible bread-making skills thanks to the visitor's expertise. does there need to be a limit on carb intake?!
-- the rain is back and it's totally making everything super green and jungly looking around here. just call it jurassic park and you'll be right on. 
-- looking forward to getting so see a good friend in nicaragua next week and tying in a visa trip with it. 
-- last saturday's adventures. reliving my childhood only on a much larger scale. 
-- hanging with people who love seinfeld.  instant. amigos. 
-- making friends with other bloggers. always makes my day.




carry on, friends!



the {how did i get out of this alive} weekend

Monday, May 14, 2012

so happy to have spent the weekend with some give hope 2 kids friends and go on a little hiking adventure. further down the road from us there's a great place to do some bouldering {that's what the professional outdoorsy club calls it, of which i am clearly not a member...}. it was an awesome time to get to know another beautiful spot of this valley and let the sun add to my always-increasing freckle collection.

some of the guys doing all that fun well-digging work spent the day out there too. the only reason i'm able to type this thing up right now is because my non-bouldering self was hauled up a few large rocks by these guys as we yelled in unison to the trinity {en el nombre del padre, del hijo, y del espiritu santo...} for some life preservation. why the most entertaining things never make it on video, i'll never know.
they spent the day cliff jumping and catching fish with their handmade harpoon. professionals!! p.s...these are the same men who catch fish with their bare hands at night with a flashlight in the rapids. no. big. deal.

on our way back we did some repelling off the main bridge {i am too easily convinced.} for some of the guys it had to be explained why one would need a harness to jump off a bridge instead of just launching  over with one hand on the rope. my unofficial nickname for the day was super mujer, being the only lady who took the plunge.











photo credit for picture #1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 goes to the wonderful visitors. 
{visitors, please let me know if you'd like your names posted on here.} 
it was wonderful to meet you all! thanks for being such a fun, encouraging bunch of people 
and great photographers.

indoor plumbing is for sissies

Thursday, May 10, 2012

so it all started when the mostly reliable water source became a little less reliable. lots of left over dishes, lots of drip-drip-drop showers, yaddah yaddah yaddah. something had to be done. i could tell you the story about the water leak scare in our house, a consideration to knock out the concrete floor of the kitchen, the easy fix of an un-glued pipe, the cow stepping on the waterline and the adventures of outside dish-washing…but I won’t. 

the brilliant brainstormers and innovators over here decided it was time to dig a well and get a new, very reliable water source goin’. after some logical location selection and a grouping of a few good men, they started digging. and digging. and digging. and then they hit water. oh, wow! let me just say that for a non-country living girl i was thoroughly impressed, alright?!

Here’s some footage from the well-digging escapades..
and my limited but heart-felt participation in the matter.




{cute, right? yeah. i won't be living that one down for awhile.}

this whole thing sure made me think about all the people in this world who don’t have access to water, much less have it in their house! we are so spoiled. life got real easy when water stared coming out of the faucet again. were we happier? maybe for the moment. but then it becomes just another thing we expect out of life.

things like that don’t make people joyful. we’ve got to look somewhere else for that folks or we’ll find ourselves a lifetime later with empty pockets still searching for the next greatest thing.

Today we are more thankful for water and we find our joy complete in the one who created it.



a day of margin

Sunday, May 6, 2012

yesterday we got to listen to a talk on "creating margins" in our life -- to not run on full capacity. to take breaks. and spend time in relationship. to clear our brain and rest. 

so today we created margin. went to the creek. read. talked to family and friends. no cooking allowed. and {almost} no dish-doing...which is real easy when there's no water coming out of your sink. 
                                                                                                                 {more on that to come soon}
call it a sabbath
call it a margin day
call it doing nothing

but it happened. 
oh, happy day!











hope you've had a restful weekend, too!

things i love

Friday, May 4, 2012


currently loving the lumineers...maybe all you cool people have already checked these guys out. and if not, i'm sure you're still cool. anyway, this video's makin me crave a live show sometime soon. 
might have to wait 'till july for that one. 


first trip to the mailbox in quite a while...thanks for all the love, people!! it absolutely makes my day getting to hear from you -- even if it is 2 month old news ;)

happy friday.
make your weekend worth it


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