Stuff from A While Ago

Family Trip to Florida

We went in March, after a super-busy,
super stressful time at our home.
It was superb.  I tell you
spending time with the kids and husband
with no other responsibilities makes me
very happy.  Gene asked if I could choose,
would I want to live like that forever, just
lazily getting up in the morning with
nothing to think about but where to go
swimming next, and what kind of food to eat.
I think I hesitated a little long for his liking,
than I said that it’s not a realistic lifestyle for one,
and two I can imagine it would
get unfulfilling eventually.   But for
one week out of the year?
Momma Mia!


A week of Mac n Cheese every night – is this what heaven is like?

        Every husbands dream vacation includes family pictures!

 

Then there is the 20 hour drive home…No judging allowed
unless you’ve survived a trip like that yourself.

 

Speaking of Momma Mia!
in April flew down to Florida with 5 of my good pals.
The cool part was that our husbands got their
heads together and sent us away.  They even said
things like:  This is not going to happen for a long
time, so BE GONE! TAKE FIVE DAYS INSTEAD OF FOUR!!
And we said “Done deal, we are outta here!”
And the grandma’s, dads, aunts and cousins all
covered our buns for us, while we tried to tan ours.

We really had a fun wonderful *bonding* time.

The funny thing about this group of girls is that it is
not a natural group.  Our husbands were friends before
we were, and we sort of became friends by default.  It’s
odd, because I rarely hear of guys that insist on hanging
out together, but these guys did.  As they got married over
a span of about five years, we would add a new wife to the
mix. So being friends was not without growing pains,
as some are added and some drop-out.

Having said all that, what started by default ended with
true friendships and I’m not sure what I would do without
these girls. Sniff, sniff..pass the tissues please.

I got a new camera on this trip thats why it looks so amazing.
Kidding! They were taken by talented Shannon


Giddy about being free from responsibilty, and happy with
our urber-dark tans, we take the town on a windy evening.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Defining Moments – Carissa’s Post

Last time I posted about one of the major defining moments in my life.  I talked my friend Carissa into writing some of her memories of the same day.  Here is some of what she wrote:

************************************

I remember a lot of concrete. This was an orphanage for the mentally and physically disabled. As we walked up to the metal doors and waited on a mentally challenged teen to open the door, it felt surreal, almost like a horror movie.

Inside we were led up a few flights of concrete stairs. I can still see the layout of that floor. The rooms were lined up, in all their grayness, with different ages and abilities in each. The second room made me freeze. There were maybe 8-10 toddlers tied to potty chairs, just sitting there rocking.

The next room had beds for kids who couldn’t get up. The bed closest to the window was empty, but you could see exactly where the child always laid. The hollow and the pee stains looked old. The girl in the next bed looked like the Toy Story doll without any hair. I remember my heart felt a little warmer when the volunteer who had brought us pointed to the picture above the bed. It had a name on it. Someone did value her!

Then it was lovin’ time! These girls from the UK would come every day and take one kid, for one hour each and just give them attention. How cool was this! They had a room with padding on the floor and a few balls and toys. The volunteers would brush teeth, sing and play, change diapers (very, very dirty diapers) and smile a lot. I remember playing with one little boy and giving him piggyback rides. He had this piece of string that he would wind around his finger and then hide back in his teeth. After play time was over, they told me I was hanging out with a 15 year old girl. Yeah, a little strange.

Feeding time was another shock to my system. All these little kids needed to be fed in a timely manner I guess, so the orphanage workers just shoveled it in faster than I thought possible. And then it was my turn to feed. I sat in front of this 2 or 3 or 4 year old and tried to get the big metal spoon into his mouth. And then my eyes met his. I saw Jesus. I don’t know how, but that is what I saw. Jesus’ eyes were staring back at me. This was one of the “least”. I will never forget that.

Before we left the orphanage that day, they took us on a quick walk around the building. Many rooms with many kids, sitting in beds.  I don’t remember much except the empty faces. And giving my Band-Aid and my ABC gum to two excited kids. They had nothing.

It took me days to process what I had seen. Even now, 13 years later, the memories bring deep emotion with them. That day at Siret will always be with me. And I am a better person because of it.

******************************

This is just part of Carissa’s journey in loving the “least”, but today her and her husband Jon are in the process of adopting two babies from Uganda.  If you are interested in helping their dream come true, here is a link to their facebook, they are doing a t-shirt sale to raise funds.  They are an awesome example of intentional parenting. Every time I’m with them I’m inspired. 

 

      
Men’s Front                                                           Ladies Back

 Truthfully it feels kind of funny to do this, because you know, only “real” bloggers do giveaways.  But this cause is so exciting to me, I can’t help but be a part of it.

If you leave a comment on this post, by Friday March 4, I’ll enter you into a random drawing for two of Jon & Cari’s t-shirts.  One for you and one for the man in your life.  

So you’ve got nothing to lose, leave a comment! I’ll announce the winner on a pulse; and then get in touch for the address and stuff. Thanks Everybody!