Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guate Trip, Day 4

This was a Sunday, several kids weren't feeling so great and it was raining. These three factors made for a different day for us. We went to church and then came home and crashed for a couple hours. That's when the rain started. Perfect for Sunday afternoon naps (everyone but Eliot...) Once everyone felt a bit more rested and the rain let up, we took the kids to a cathedral that has ruins behind it. We decided to spread out and have quiet time with our team devotionals out in the ruins. The clouds decided to show us all they had and we found ourselves stuck in the little pockets of the old buildings. It was past the point of being inconvenient, it was truly something to behold! I'm not sure I've ever seen rain like this! The "walk" home was even more entertaining since the streets were flooded and the rain showed no signs of lettingup. By the time we were home, we were soaked from head to foot and were all laughing like only a good, cleansing rain can make you laugh. We spent the rest of our evening inside, ordered pizza and played an amazing game of "Mafia." It was a pretty great day in the middle of our trip!

Can you see two of our leaders carrying girls across the "river"? Such fun!It's quite a bit deeper than it appears!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quick break!

I wanted to pause in our trip details to guide you all to the Lauers Blog. Here's the link. Many of you have kept up with their story and I wanted to point you back there in case you haven't been keeping up lately. Little Noah has been in the hospital since Friday, all the details are on the blog. Keep them in your prayers!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Guate Trip, Day 3

On Saturday we moved into a new hotel where we had the whole place to ourselves. Then we piled into our "minibus" and headed to Cuidad Vieja to a local soup kitchen. We met a woman named Myra who is part of an unbelievable family. To make a long story short, Myra's mom was made aware of children in her neighborhood that weren't eating lunch most days because they were left alone during the days for multiple reasons. They started feeding these few kids lunch and those kids brought a few kids, and so on. They've had to limit it to Saturdays now because they have between 50-60 kids. They don't have the space or the money to do it, but they do it anyway. There are MANY Friday nights that they don't know what they're going to serve the next day, nor do they have the money to go get the supplies but they haven't missed a Saturday in FOUR YEARS! It's still a struggle but they've committed to it. The faith of this family is something to be learned from. Through the last four years as they've gotten to know these kids they've become aware that none of them are in school. So, logically, if you don't have enough $$ to feed them, you should commit to starting a private school for them, too, right? These people are nuts. I couldn't have been more taken with them. And if you don't have the $$ to do it, you should plan on starting school in January, right? Seriously.

They are looking for people to sponsor each kid each month for their education/food/school supplies. This motivates me to push it with my Arbonne business even more so I can sponsor a bunch of these kids! Anyway, we had a cool opportunity in that they have people willing to start the sponsoring but don't have anything to give them so we were able to gather their info and take their pictures while we were there. Myra was so excited to get this done! She's had it on her list of stuff to get done but wasn't sure how to even start! So, most of us played with the kids and helped clean up lunch while Lee took each kid's picture after Melissa and Myra took their info.

If you're interested in sponsoring one of these kiddos, please contact me and I'll give you the details.

After we got home, dried off (a little rainy today!) and headed to one of my FAVORITE places in Antigua, Rainbow Cafe. It was a little surreal being there and watching Eliot and Madi playing together during dinner. Great food, Great friends, AHHHHH!

Eliot was helping them find new places for their water jugs. He just couldn't stop serving on this trip!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guate Trip, Day 2

***Day 1 addendum: We went to Monoloco for dinner with the team and that's where I finally met Lindsay and Eliana!! It was so great! I also got to meet a few of the other moms that I've "known" through facebook and blogging. So great!! That's also where I reunited with my ridiculous friend, Melissa and her Madi!!

Okay, Day 2: We took a "minibus" out of Antigua into a gated community to Amor Del Nino. This orphanage had just moved into a new, really nice facility and the kids were amazing. Our team jumped right in, pulling out the soccer balls and bubbles, pulling weeds out of the entry way gardens, picking babies up to cuddle with, helping with lunch and finally adding a few coats of paint onto a few rooms. We were all really impressed with how well this orphanage was run and how well these kids were being cared for!

Eliot had a great day! He jumped right into playing with the other kids. He was pretty clingy at times to us, but overall he acted like this was a normal day. We kept "losing" him when he was off playing, meaning normally it's easy to spot him in a group of kids since he's the dark one. We had to keep reminding ourselves what he was wearing so we could locate him!

Eliot was so curious about this little boy who was crying. He kept getting closer and closer. It was pretty cute!

The orphanage staff invited Eliot to eat with the toddlers. He kinda invited himself anyway by taking one of the other kids chairs who was late getting to lunch. Don't worry, we added a chair for Eliot when he showed up.

It was a little tricky to process seeing Eliot sitting with Guatemalan orphans eating lunch. Still not sure what to think, especially since many of these kids are already promised to families who are still in process. I'm still overwhelmed with how blessed we are that he's already home.

After we got home, we took the team through the markets and then settled in for some good Guatemalan cuisine...

By the way, these were the leaders for the trip. I would lead with them again in a heartbeat! They were amazing!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guate Trip, Day 1

I have to break this up somehow since I have a gazillion pics! Thursday we got up at 3:15am and got into Guatemala City by 1:30 that afternoon. Eliot didn't sleep but 20 minutes on the plane but he loved it. Upon take-off from STL, he kept saying "weeeeee!" and "More pwane!". I guess he's not scared to fly!

He's so excited!

Notice the sun is rising...

Horton Hears a Who was our inflight movie

Here's his 20 minute nap... on my arm.

The team on our Mercedes Bus. The driver held a sign reading Heidy Noore. (Apparently that loosely translates to Katie Mohr)

"We're here!!!!!"
Once we arrived in Antigua, we settled into our hotel. It was a weird feeling. It wasn't earth-shattering or highly emotional, it just felt normal to be there. Everything was as it was before. The main struggle for me was knowing that a year of our lives had passed by and it didn't even feel like it. Eliot was tired more than anything. With waking several hours early and no real nap, he was c.r.a.n.k.y. He was pretty intrigued with all the brown, spanish speaking people but I'm not sure he really understood anything except how tired he felt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guate Trip pre-view

I'll let these pictures tell how our trip is going....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday?

Not totally sure of the objective of the activity, we tried out Muffin Tin Monday. I think the point is to mix up the regular hum-drum of lunch, so you spread it out in a muffin tin. The only tin I have has twelve spaces and that could hold a lot of food, so I made a few doubles, only putting a little in each. Check it out:

(Contents: chicken nugget, goldfish-from the garden, peas, strawberries, raisins, edamame, applesauce and apple slices, peanut butter-for dipping apple slices. No, I don't have a goldfish garden, but when reading other mom's blogs, they're always pulling fresh veggies from their gardens with their kids. I can't do it all, so I'll just pretend.)

When I put this baby-buffet in front of E, I was reminded of how fun it is to watch a toddler process through new things. He recognized all of his food but it was in little cups. He kept looking at me like, "What is going on here?"

Some Eliot observations during lunch: since things started separate, they were to remain separate. When a raisin fell in the fish or the apple in the strawberries, they were immediately removed and put safely back into their respective cups. He also figured me out with spreading things out and put all the raisins into one cup instead of two and used his spoon to move the applesauce into one cup. And in true boy fashion, he figured out he could spin his "plate" to get to new food.

In other news: Yes, Eliot has officially had peanut butter. I waited as long as I could! He loves it!!!! Woo-hoo!

And in other, other news: We went on a blue hunt!! Eliot is really stuck on green still, which was the motivation to have our focus move onto blue. He was feeling a little more feisty today so the pics aren't very good. And apparently, Daisy wanted to get in on the action...