my bird and her cards

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stopping in tonight to give you a little scoop on a brand new Etsy shop I'm in love with. Shannon, the one guilty of making these adorable cards, happens to be one of my very best friends. She started making these just for fun {just like anything worth doing does} and found that there was a bit of a market for them.

All of the animals are hand-stitched along with the original {and kitchy, as she likes to call them} tag lines. The first card shown in the lineup I've got goin' here is one I've already ordered for a wedding I'm going to this weekend. Isn't it adorable?! {She also makes them with penguins :) }

Anyway, I loved these cards so much and was so excited about what she was doing that I decided to share it with all you lovely blogger world people.

And They Lived Happily Ever After - greeting card

I Whaley Like You - greeting card

Hurray It's Your Birthday - bunny card

Respect the Stache - greeting card

These are just a few of the gems she's got up in her shop. Shannon is a very talented writer as well...and if you don't believe me, check out her blog on travel, life and other thoughts. Okay, go make friends now!


left my heart

Friday, July 27, 2012

Well. It's that time already -- tomorrow I will be headed back "home" to the states and begin a new phase of my life there. Living in Honduras and spending all that time loving, teaching, and learning from kids has been amazing. I have no regrets and I am excited for what is next.

During the past several years of my life I've lived in many homes. Many states, many countries. I've lived with new people that have many times become family to me. Through all of it, I think I'm beginning to realize that things change, people move, I move, life moves. And so all you can do is cherish the time you have and realize that little pieces of your heart will be spread across continents with those you once shared life with. And that's okay. I just hope I still have pieces of my heart left to leave when I'm old and gray.

I give thanks for the time I was given there and pray that I would return sometime to see the family I left there. Thanks for all of your interest, support, love and encouragement though all of this.

1// me and all the "toros" the bulls, as they like to be called as workers.
2// all the kids we get to take care of right now
3// the cruz girls, also affectionately known as the "guirras"
4// our high school honduran housemates, nelson and jose in their shnazzy school uniforms
5// josiah, my "nephew". auntie eva's gonna miss him.
6// all of us volunteers at give hope 2 kids
7// the letters i tried to write to everyone i left.

See you soon, Hondo. 

Día del Indio

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yesterday in Honduras it was Día del Indio {day of the indian} when everyone essentially celebrates Cacique Lempira, an indigenous war captain that fought against Spanish rule. And apparently his name means "Lord of the Mountains." Interesting, Wikipedia, very interesting.

Anyway, aside from all the history shmiffory, this day is awesome because all the elementary kids dress up in their traditional garb and parade down the dirt road carrying arrows and the like. It's hilarious. And all their head pieces and makeup are so much fun. They sing songs and their teacher was apparently going to do a dance {he didn't. disappointing.} We had horchata with lime in it and fried corn torillas with cabbage, meat, cheese and sauce on top to eat.

p.s. I know this first picture is blurry but it's just the result of me sprinting up 
to the road with a camera to see them marching down to our place. 

 I will also mention that the teachers at the school notified our house moms the day before that these kids needed costumes for this event {typical}. So I gladly helped them whip up some leftover curtain material loin cloths with pictures of corn on them {not weird at all.} Also, can we notice that the girls are the ones holding the babies, refusing to let them go for the picture? {also, so very typical}.

Dear Honduras, you are hilarious and I am going to miss you next week.


blog friends & happenings

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh hello wonderful people,

Just popped in to suggest making friends with the lovely Ms. Gabi and her blog over at Kneadle and Bread. She's got some awesome pictures from her time in Brazil and other great posts about fashion, food, design and Boston {love that city!}. Today she's featuring her July sponsors {including yours truly} so go check it out and say hi.

In other news, we are looking forward to our next volunteer group making an appearance in the jungle house tonight. So today is a cooking, cleaning, and squeezing in a few choice to-do items kind of day. 

I'm glad our house doesn't look like this like it did the day before the last group came. Yes, that is in fact all of our belongings relocated into the living room. I never thought I'd cook pancakes inches away from several mattresses, a bedside table and a screwdriver set.

Keep it classy.

Love Yo Mama

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

These ladies right here are our incredible house moms that spend their days taking care of the 10 children we have at the orphanage + their own. And yes, they are incredible. I've always known that but today they had the day off to go into town and enjoy themselves. Relax. Take a break. {Just to remind them what that means exactly :) } Who took care of the kids you ask? That's right. This girl. 

Holy freakin' macaroni you guys. We had so much fun playing grocery store, cars and imagination games that I never really caught onto. But lemme tell ya, 11 kids all together at once was cah-razy at times. Lunch was made, delivered, and eaten -- nothing short of a miracle, toys flying in every direction, kids on the hammock, look at this, look at that, where is so-and-so, everyone suddenly needs to use the bathroom at the same time, wash your hands! whew! 

But you know what? It feels good to be needed and I was reminded again what a miracle it is that these kids are happy, healthy and loved. I really love them.

All this to say...give a big, huge, shout out to yo mamas today! They are superwomen. Seriously. And thank your dads because kids need dads. Moms need dads. 

I don't think I'll ever give birth to 11 kids but if I do, at least I'm practiced. 
Now off to eat dinner that somebody else made -- thankful!

Speaking of mom's...the soon to be mama over here is responsible for the new look up top here on this little blog. she did an awesome job -- thank you!

Three Dollars Worth

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine…I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
--Wilbur Rees

Just yesterday I read this and realized what a grave problem we all have when this is true. And it is true. We do ask for this. Okay, so maybe this isn’t the kind of thing you shout on rooftops but the message seeps through the way we live our lives. We are scared to hand all of it over to the unseen.

There comes a time when we’ve got to jump off the cliff in our faith walk. You either believe it – you believe Him, or you don’t. What happens when you jump? When you trust in the image of the invisible? Real life happens. Miracles are witnessed. Hearts are purposed towards what they were always meant for.

Our God is so capable. So big. So good. In the past year I have seen ten kids find a new home, students learning how to read, people finding jobs, strangers become family, babies being born, lives being renewed, teenagers saying no to what the world has to offer and yes to things that last forever, communities coming together and people putting their total trust in the One who made them. These are miracles. This is what makes life worth it.

So my prayer today is that He would explode my soul and disturb my sleep. Transform me. Help me ask for and believe in big things.

What makes your life worth it?

{photo cred goes to Kate from our group a few weeks ago. thanks, lady.}

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

Thursday, July 12, 2012

-- Fitting both me and Monica into one pair of very large jeans. We tried to take pictures to no avail due to lack of mobility. Couldn't find the camera. And oh, was baby Kelly confused about that moment.

-- Getting kicked out of not one, but two pools at the hotel last week . The first offense being that we were too rambunctious for the neighbs at 9am and needed to callense, {aka, be way more quiet}. The second offense was wearing "regular clothes" over our swimming suits. what? If anyone understands the rational behind that please inform me, I'm at a loss.

-- Everyone asking why my skin was falling off my forehead after the sunburn incident. Yeah, I know, I'm a snake, okay? This is what happens to gringos.

-- So at the department store here the attendants always put the stuff you decide to buy up on the counter until you're done shopping and then you go and get it. Weird and slightly annoying but, okay. So Monica and I are at the counter paying, and obviously forgetting this standard procedure because pretty soon we're eyeing up and inspecting this great brat that's, I'm sorry, what? 5 bucks? Well in the middle of all of it comes marching up it's rightful owner. Oh, um, sorry for putting our hands all over your brand new items...ah...yeah.  Didn't at all stop us from marching right over to the department to treat ourselves to the same sweet deal. Thanks for everything, Carrion.

-- Getting these new cups that change colors on their own. For some reason that was super exciting upon discovery. And I'm now drinking way more water just to see it change. Simple pleasures.

-- Reading this book, "Through the Gates of Splendor" by Elizabeth Elliot. She was the wife of one of the missionaries in Ecuador that attempted to reach the Auca tribe. I don't plow trough books very often but I read this guy in 3 days flat. It's that good.

-- The kid's newest discovery of play dough. Oh! if we could only do that all day. Their favorite is making cakes, torillas and little balls. I, unashamedly, am having just as much fun with it.

-- The abundance of  wintergreen Life Saver mints that were put in the library by a group. Trying to exercise self-control.  Really, I am.
Feliz Thursday, friends!
*Thanks for the photo, Erin : ) Couldn't remember where that one came from!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

We love passion fruit. We put it in our shampoos and our fancy hand soaps. I don't know about you but I don't even know if I ever knew what passion fruit even looked like until there were hundreds of them growing on the property. Much to our delight, they were coming in by the barrel full and I think I'm in love.

So this passion fruit, or maracuyá as they call it here {way cooler, don't you think?}, is super crazy inside! How do you even eat that? Well, you don't really. We made juice out of it. It's my favorite juice in the whole  wide world. So if you ever get lucky enough to come across one of these guys, you gotta try this:::

Okay so all that juice is going to make your face scrunch up into some unrecognizable sour form unless you add some lots of water to it and of course, sugaaaaaaaaar. 

I've got no fancy tricks for you, just straight up jungle style passion fruit juice. But it's incredible. And if you had no idea what a passion fruit actually was before you read this, I'm proud to be the individual who informed you. 

why am i always too cool for sunscreen?

Monday, July 2, 2012

after we sent off our first group it was time to spend a few fun days down at the beach before our next group comes this weekend. we also took our second set of house parents and their three awesome daughters down for their vacation time. we got to hang out in the water, play with the babes and just laugh a lot. those girls are so much fun and we're glad they got some time away. 

of course, yesterday morning before hitting the beach i was asked if i had any sunscreen. i replied with
 pfff no! {like i don't need it or something}. well, that decision still continues to haunt me after 23 years of life 
and some good sunscreen advocates at home. oh well. maybe next time i won't leave the beach so crispy.

ps, erin, if you're reading this, thanks for your sunglasses. we found them at the bottom of the pool the morning after you left and took turns wearing them. i'd be happy to send them back to you when i get back to the states later this month, just let me know. 


clover hill visits

Sunday, July 1, 2012

this week an awesome team from clover hill church came to kick butt on some projects. it was particularly special because clover hill is brayden's church and his parents came along with to visit. it's amazing what can be done with a few extra hands. the library and storage area got a complete overhaul of organization. {this is the "in the process," i failed to get any shots of the finished product but it is impressive, people.

we are also in the middle of some major office construction so many of the guys got to experience how honduras cement mixing works  -- lots of muscle and back bending required. but much of the base is done now and i think everyone enjoyed getting to know the hilarious and hard-working men that head up all the construction here.

the group was a huge help with running the library program and kindergarten, and i think the kids enjoyed some activities that we wouldn't have been able to pull off if it were just us. 

the group was also able to go see one of brayden's last soccer games before the end of the season and went hiking up to san luis, a remote village from where some of the kids from library come. it was a good experience for them to see a whole neighborhood of people who live with no electricity, live very simple lives and are very, very happy.

we all headed up to school one day to show everyone how english class worked and to hand out reusable bags of school goodies for all the grades. the kids were so happy to have brand new supplies and enjoyed learning some new english songs and showing off their skills.

thank you clover hill for working so hard and loving those kids. we appreciate all your effort, organization, cooking, digging, playing and teaching. looking forward to seeing you next year!

photo credit goes to michelle from the group. thank you for all your wonderful shots of this week!
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