Saturday, May 23, 2009


We went on our last field trip of the year at the school I work at to... The Science Center!!

Now, It had been a while since I'd been to the science center and I didn't really remember what was going to be there, much less what our developmentally delayed, motor disabled students would enjoy, but I was cautiously optimistic that it would be a good day, and....

I think those faces speak pretty well for the day. :-D

There really was a pretty wide variety of things for the kids to do; things to feel, hear, see, touch, play with and do, so no one was left out regardless of their abilities.

Though we were in groups most of the time, we each had a child assigned us for the day (I was with the little girl in the purple who is in the first picture) for whom we decided which activities would be best and most enjoyable for them. And, though everyone had fun, and I may be a tad biased, but I really think that my child may have had the best time of all! (not because I was with her or anything, just her personality and excitement and willingness to try anything we did!)

We played in "kids town" in the water with the boats and waterfalls, which was fun, but very wet! We saw fish, turtles, alligators, lizards, snakes, and, a group favorite, sting rays.

And we went to an interactive center with sounds, lights, electricity, musical contraptions, slides, air guns, and something that (almost) everyone loved, the "hurricane simulator" (I know, in my state, right, haha)

This was probably #1 or #2 on our list of favorites right up there with the "stomach slide". We "rode" it, I think, about 5 times!

All in all, a good day.... My kids never fail to make me smile!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Zimbabwe...what's going on?

When people hear that I'm going to Zimbabwe, I'm often asked things like: "Is it safe?", "Isn't there something going on there?", or "Is that the one that's going crazy?"

Well, I thought I'd do a very simple and to-the-point breakdown of what's been going on in Zimbabwe:

1. Political turmoil: A long and complicated history goes back on this one but, basically there have been problems with government for a while now. A leader in the country has not been held in favor by the people there, nor has he held the economy in anything near a stable state (to put is very lightly!). Recently, an election was thought to possibly change some things there, but that ended up falling through and, despite more efforts to remedy things, a lot remains the same.

2. Economic instability: Inflation, inflation, inflation!!! less than a year ago, inflation hit a new high of 231m per cent!! Again, the basics are: money is worth less and less these days which leads to...

3. Hunger: Money is worth less --> buys less food. Crops are still recovering: last year a flood destroyed crops which was then followed by an incredible drought that prevented crop production again! The country has gone back and forth in allowing aid to the many hungry people from banning food staple distribution all together to allowing all basic food staples to enter the country for free (customs costs can get extremely pricey)

People of Zimbabwe line up waiting for food distributions.

Workers distributing food staples

So, you may not be an expert from reading this, but at least there's the basic rundown. But to answer some of the FAQs I get:

Q: "Isn't there stuff going on there?"

A: Yes. There's "stuff" going on all over the world. But, as my experience has gone, we can't always consider ourselves "well-informed" from what we hear on the news over here. A bad past has lead them to a difficult present; a present that they are trying to work through to a brighter future.

Q: "Is it safe?"

A: hmmm...tough question.
Some define "safe" as keeping your routine, sticking with what you know, staying in your area of the world where you can predict and manage your risk. With that definition, I'd have to say "No".
But then again, another definition of "safe" may be that you've weighed your goals against your risks. You've counted what you have on your side (the words and advice of those who've been where you're going, the opinions of those who love you, the absolute, unaltered facts of the matter, and (most importantly) the command, assurance, and person of the master you follow) and looked at what's against you and chosen with an eternal mindset. That's how I define "safe", and, no, I don't exactly will happen, there's still a lot of unknown, but, at the same time; yes, this is most certainly a "safe" choice.

Q: "So, why are you going again?"

A: I am not going to Zimbabwe to be involved in anything political. I am not going out of pity for them or a sense of guilt of the life I have verses the life they have. I am going because this is the right place at this time in my life to serve. I am going to help meet a hurting people's physical needs (as the one I follow did) as well as help them with their spiritual ones. I am going to help those that serve Him full time overseas. And, I am going to serve in any way I can; serve the people that HE loves.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


10 things I love about her...

10. The way she changes meals, just a little, to cater them to what my brothers, dad, and I really love

9. The look on her face when she's really listening to you. (even if its boring, whiny, and/or kinda dumb ;-)

8. Her "handy-woman" status; she is always confident in her ability to take on any task that presents itself around the house; painting, lawn care, pool stuff, fixing appliances, plumbing, electrical problems, auto name it! (I've always admired this about her, she can do so many really useful, not as easy as you might think, things!)
7. Her unwavering support in all my endeavors; social or academic, domestic or international, smart or well, less thought out, she's always my #1 supporter.
6. The way she dresses! Though she likes to hold on to a few of the oldies, she is always in style and always willing to share her cute outfits with me.
5. Her confidence and determination to take on anything new; she can learn and adapt to any role put in front of her!

4. The way she folds tacos just right, the amazing ice cream cakes she makes from scratch, her "better than the blue box" macaroni and cheese, the way she mixes just the right amount of enchiladas sauce and cheese, just about everything she makes!

3. Her commitment to and love for my dad. She is and has always been such a great example of a what a great wife should be.

2. Her creativeness; the amazing paintings of hers that now hang on my wall, the best "tell me a dream" stories she told us at bedtime as kids, the craft projects I grew up doing, down to the "artwork" of the decorations and wall paintings in our house.

1. Her love for the HIM. She has such a beautiful heart for Him; always seeking to know Him better and to dig into His word. She is a constant witness to His glory at work and with her friends and is so in tune to the opportunities He presents her to share what she has found in Him.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there, but an extra special one to my momma; She has been given the opportunity to shape our lives and has done an amazing job! She has given her all to my brothers and I. She is our superhero!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I bought a plane ticket today!

I'll be leaving July 17th (at 5:30am!!), flying to Washington DC, then across the Atlantic for a quick refueling stop in Rome, then to Ethiopia, change planes, head down south, make another quick stop in the Dem. Republic of the Congo for refueling, and end up in Harare, Zimbabwe by 2:30 pm the next day :-). That makes for a quick 27hr and 5 min flight over, and a 29hr and 6min flight back home on the 15th of August!

(If you didn't quite catch all that, no worries, it's all mapped out below)

So I'm not quite "Leaving on a Jet Plane" yet, but it's just a matter of time!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stress Relief

It's mid-finals week at my school, so my life has consisted of little outside of studying these past 2 weeks or so, but, every now and then, you need a little stress relief.
You know, a laugh, a lunch break, cranking up Lion King and "dancing it out", finding "packmen" on campus and taking pictures with them...the usual...
But never worry, finals will be over around 1430 (2:30) Monday afternoon...there is a light at the end of the tunnel!! And I am (obviously) not letting myself get too too stressed...
But I will be purchasing a plane ticket very soon...ah...there's no better way to relieve stress than buying a ticked to Africa! (besides the slight reversal of that "stress relief" when the credit card bill arrives...but that's weeks down the road!!)** ;-)

**the credit card thing is definately a joke! We have an excellent steward as a Father and He has yet to let me down!!