Saturday, June 26, 2010

No pictures, but we have internet!

I realized something I left at home - our camera cord! We were so excited to be able to download pictures, but now we can't... Unless I can find one around here to borrow.... You'll just have to wait until we get back!

Also, forgive me for rambling in this post...there's so many things in my head and it's hard to type them all out!

This past week there was a tropical storm over the entire country. We were driving through it our first day here and saw the first signs of flooding. Thank God that we got through in our little compact rental car! However, the rain ruined some of the roads that were not paved in Moca. We were able to visit a lot of people but not as many as we would have liked because of the rain. We had church one night, but a lot of people didn't come because it was raining.

On the other hand, Sam was able to visit with many people that he had relationships from years past and I was able to talk to my favorite pastor and his wife on the phone. We also were able to spend a lot of time with Sofi. She is now 16 years old, but we met her when she was 12. She is a little girl that was working on Pastor Quina's farm at the time and was staying with her aunts. Her mom and dad were alcoholics, so she was in a since orphaned. Her mom died a few months ago and her dad is not a part of her life. It's amazing that this girl comes from such a hard home life, but still has a light in her eyes and an amazing smile.

A couple of years ago, Quina invited Sofi to come live with her full-time. She pays for Sofi's school and gives her a chance to earn money by working around her house. She's a girl in need of a lot of love, so it was good to spend so much time with her. She is terribly shy, but will open up to us a little when we're there. I pray that we can continue this relationship we have with her for many years. I look forward to knowing what God has in store for her life!

We are now in San Juan de la Maguana staying in an apartment next door to our friends Miguel and Kristen. It's so fun to live life down here and have a place to ourselves (that has internet by the way...we're crazy spoiled). We were able to buy groceries last night and get unpacked and settled in to stay over the next week. We plan on visiting old friends and pastors as well as spending time in fellowship with Miguel and Kristen and seeing the ministry that they have built here.

Sam left for the capital today to pick up his friend Ryan who is leading worship for a youth group trip about an hour away from here. It's an 8 hour ordeal for him to drive to the capital and back, so I'm at the house about to get started on some of our laundry and I'll be hanging out with Miguel and Kristen this afternoon.

On another note, Michael has slept through the night since we've been here! Thank you God for that! He's able to keep a good attitude even with no air conditioning because he can sleep at night and take his naps! Miguel and Kristen have a little girl about 6 months older than Michael named Samantha. She's been sick the last couple of days, but we're looking forward to her getting better so that she can play with Michael! :)

Thank you for praying for us!! We feel God's hand on us during our trip! We'll update you again soon!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DR so far....

Hi from the Dominican Republic!! Sam and I are here for almost 3 weeks with Michael. We decided not to lead any youth group mission trips this summer since we wanted to take Michael with us. We're just here spending time with pastors and friends that we have met in years past. It's actually so great because we can focus on building relationships and getting Michael used to the culture (and the temperatures...ahhh!!)

We flew in 2 days ago to Santo Domingo (the capital city) and stayed in a hotel downtown. Our room had a spectacular view overlooking the ocean. We're not at a beach, so it's rocky ocean, but still so beautiful. We went out that night and had some tacos (leave it to me to find Mexican food in a Caribbean country) and people-watched in this plaza where people love to hang out on a Sunday night. We had live music from a Bachata band and watched the children riding around in their PowerWheels. Sam also got to catch a little of the US Open.

The next morning we were able to spend some time in the pool on the roof, but the rain quickly moved us out. It continued to rain for the next few hours while we drove our rental car up to Moca. It was about a 3 hour drive and it rained the whole entire time! We made it to Moca, however, and we are now staying in Pastora Quina's house. She is a woman pastor that we have worked with in the past and we just love her. She is so hospitable and welcoming. We're staying in her house and she is feeding us for the next 3 days. We will be visiting her churches (she has four) and visiting with people and loving on them. We're really looking forward to it.

Michael has been doing very well. I'm not sure if he realizes he's not in America anymore. He's been his usual self....jumping off of things, doing 180's in the air, playing with a ball, etc. He's eating the food pretty well, too! We did bring some oatmeal and mac and cheese just in case we need it in the future!

Please pray for us if you get a chance. Pray for health and safety for Michael especially. Also pray that God will give us opportunities to love on people, encourage people, and share the Gospel as a family.

We leave for another city on Thursday. I will try to have some pictures to post soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What'll ya have??

If you've never been to Atlanta, you've missed out on one of our greatest traditions... The Varsity! It's a hamburger/hotdog place downtown that has grown famous for it's greasy burgers, fries, and onion rings (which will make you sick if you eat a whole order by yourself...just FYI...I learned from experience). While our friends were visiting, we made sure to stop by The Varsity.
One of the trademarks of this place is how speedy they are at taking your order and getting your food out to you. It's actually a little stressful! I've been there numerous times and still get stressed out when the cashier is yelling "What'll ya have?" at me. I always order the same thing, but sometimes I just like to look at the menu, ya know?

Another trademark of this glorious place is a Frosted Orange or the "F.O." as some affectionately call it. It's like an orange creamsicle in a cup....delicious! Since it was Michael's first Varsity experience, he had to taste some french fries and F.O. He loved it! He also loved wearing a Varsity hat!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I shall call him "Squishy"

Some good friends of ours - Jeff, Rachel, and their son Reid - came to visit us recently. They're from Michigan, but they lived in Georgia a few years ago. We were great friends, so it's always nice to pick up where you left off and spend great quality time together. We had a list of things to do while they were here - eat at their favorite BBQ place, go out on the lake, visit friends, and see the 'new' Georgia Aquarium. It's not so new to us anymore, but it is to them!

We took Reid (almost 4) and Michael (almost 2) with us to the aquarium! They loved it! Michael loves to look at animals and especially fish! We had so much fun!

I remember going to the aquarium when I was pregnant with Michael and telling Sam how I was looking forward to the day when we could take our son here! It was a lot of fun watching him enjoy everything!
One of my favorite parts at the aquarium is this HUGE glass wall where you see into a tank of ocean life. There are whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, other types of sharks, manta rays, grouper, little fishies, coral, etc.... it's HUGE. I could sit there for hours watching the fish...
Another one of my favorite parts to see is the penguin exhibit where they have the "Penguin Crawl". You crawl through this tunnel and you poke your head up inside of the penguin habitat. You are surrounded by glass, but it's so fun to be face to face with a penguin. This picture is of us crawling through... The picture of us with our heads up with the penguins didn't turn out...bummer.
Here's Michael face-to-face with a baby penguin! He loved it!
We had such a great time! I can't wait to go back again year after year! I hear that they have plans for a new dolphin exhibit! I would LOVE that!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hopscotch and Turtles

We had a little visitor in our driveway the other morning....Mr. Turtle! Sugar and Michael played with him for a little bit and then we set him free! Neither one knew what to think about him, but we had fun with him while he was here! Thanks for visiting, Mr. Turtle!
We've also been having a lot of fun with our sidewalk chalk! Grandpa drew a hopscotch board for Michael. He loved jumping and trying to get his little feet in the squares!
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Michael loves being outside more than anything in the world! He has been this way since he was born. I remember him crying as a newborn and taking him outside to calm him down. I think the outdoors just relax him. He could stay out there all day if I would let him. He loves exploring in the dirt or having an adventure through the grass! I'm usually the one wanting to come inside because it's too hot or the bugs are bothering me! I think we might have the next Bear Grylls on our hands....ha!