Thursday, July 21, 2016

Traveling Back To Guatemala 2016

Last Friday we returned to Guatemala after a pretty amazing time at home with family and friends.  It was a whirlwind month packed full of outings and activities. We tried to squeeze in as much as we could to fully take advantage of our time there.  Because of that we were way more tired returning than we were going.  It was fun though and we loved every minute of it!

the boys helping us load the car before driving to the airport

Memaw and the boys on the way to the airport. Can you imagine flying with these two clowns?  It's a tough job, ha.

ready to check in

Cruz enjoying a snack on the plane

He said he was having a snack buffet.

This was our first trip home with no stroller, diaper bag, sippie cups, etc.  It was nice!  Not everything about my boys getting older makes me sad.

After a long day of travel and several delays we arrived back in Guatemala on Friday night.  

We stayed the night at our mission house in Guatemala City.  The next morning we went out to get in our car and much to our surprise we found it brightly decorated with balloons and streamers.  There was a sweet note welcoming us back and snacks waiting for the boys in their seats.  How sweet is that!  Another missionary family had done that for us before they left for a trip to the States.  It blessed our hearts and made us feel loved and happy to be back. 

the boys thought the decorations were a lot of fun

We have spent the week getting unpacked and settled back in.  In addition to that I have been working on some school stuff and David has been busy out making visits and checking on the work. We head back to Muyurco this afternoon for Bible study and are excited about seeing them again after our break.  We are also trying to get things ready for our upcoming team.  They arrive on Sunday evening.  It is a team of ten with five adults and five youth.  The boys are very excited about the teenagers that are coming!

It's good to be back home.  I am glad to be back in my kitchen and sleeping in my bed.  I'm thankful for our time away but now that it's over it's time to "hit the road running".  There is a lot of work to be done and we are refreshed, recharged, and ready to take it on full speed ahead.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Family Farewell

Our last two nights in the States were spent with family.  The first night was spent with my family and our last night was spent with David's family.

We began the evening with my family at the local Mexican restaurant enjoying a delicious meal.  People think that we get that type of food here in Guatemala all the time but we don't.  Guatemalan food is different than what you get at the Stateside Mexican restaurants.  Afterwards we drove down to Lake Hazle.  My mom brought a cookie cake for us to share as dessert. 

our yummy dessert

We took bread and popcorn to feed to the ducks and fish.  My nephew Ryder got out his remote controlled boat to put in the water.  My boys enjoyed getting to play with it a while. 

They have already asked for a boat on our next trip home.

Our last night was spent with David's family at his grandmother's house.  Memaw bought several sacks of Krystal burgers, Krystal Chicks, and Krystal Pups for everyone.  I love Krystal Chicks!  We all ate and then spent time visiting together.  

Our niece Kaylie made this cookie cake for our dessert.  Both of our families had cookie cakes and neither knew the other was doing it.  I thought that was fun and we just might have to make cookie cakes a part of our going away tradition.  You know how I love traditions. ha

Throughout the night we took photos with family members.   We most always do this on our last night home. 
David, Aunt Terry, and me

Aunt Terry with the boys

David and the boys with Uncle Roger, Aunt Lisa, and Shane

Sawyer and Ben


Memaw and the grand kids

Ms Linda, Larsen, Ben, Kaylie, Cruz, Robin, Sawyer, and David

Kaylie with the boys

Kaylie and Ben

our family with David's mom

our family with David's grandmother

David and his grandmother

Maw Maw Farmer and the boys

Kaylie and Sawyer

the kids playing Heads Up

sweet Ben

This October marks our 10th year with the mission board.  You would think that leaving would get easier over time but not with me.  It seems to get harder with each passing year.  I'm not sure if that has more to do with our kids or just my realization of how much of our families lives we miss.  Leaving them is hard and it's during these times that I just have to let the Lord carry me and remind me of the call that He has placed on my life.  I have no doubt that we are where we need to be but that does not mean that it doesn't come with a cost.  Would you pray for us as we transition back to missionary life?  Pray also for our families back home.  It is just as hard on them as it is on us. 

 Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.  -- Dr. Seuss

Monday, July 18, 2016

Some Sweet Memories

I have a few posts left from our trip to the States and I'll try to wrap those up this week.  We drove home from the beach on a Saturday and got back in the late afternoon.  My mom called to say that she knew we were tired and she brought over a pizza and a few groceries.  How sweet was that!  I am certain there was another reason she offered to bring us supper and the photo below shows it-
Mimi and the boys
She had missed them while we were gone to the beach!

On Sunday morning we joined her for church at Shady Grove in Hazlehurst.  Afterwards she treated us to lunch at the local Mexican restaurant.   My aunt and uncle also joined us. 
Sunday lunch in Hazlehurst

the boys playing on Monday morning in between a lot of errand running

I had a few more things to pick up in Jackson so on Monday afternoon Cruz and I headed north to do a little shopping.  He's a rough and rowdy little boy but in spite of that he makes a pretty good shopping companion.  I actually enjoy shopping with him these days.  He's a trooper!

Because he did so well I rewarded him with some ice cream from Sonic.  Actually I was rewarding myself with a happy hour 1/2 price Coke.  We won't tell him that though. ha  Sonic Cokes are my favorite!!!

On Monday evening we drove over to the Browns for supper and fellowship time. It is always a great time when we get together!

The Whites and the Browns

our family at the Brown's beautiful home

We had pizza for supper and then ice cream.  Here are the kids eating theirs out on the porch.

Cruz had requested for Reagan to do" the blow up thing".  What he was asking for was an experiment using Mentos and Diet Coke.  The Mentos causes the Diet Coke to "blow up" and spew out.  Cruz loves that!

backing up and getting ready

blast off!

He also asked to ride the go cart again.  Here he is driving Sara Madalin.

Malinda driving Ben

Ben on the scooter

the kids clowning around
We are going to miss this family.  They are dear friends.

One Tuesday morning I took my mom to another therapy appointment for her arm.  She has a frozen shoulder and is doing therapy two days a week.  She has five more weeks to go.  Would you pray for it to heal?  

me, my mom, and Mrs. Ann eating lunch at McAlister's Deli after my mom's therapy appointment

I couldn't help taking a photo of this crepe myrtle outside the restaurant.  They are in bloom everywhere right now and I loved seeing them while in the States.  They are one of my favorites!

On Tuesday afternoon we drove down to Brookhaven to see another movie.  This time it was The Secret Life of Pets.  It was really cute and the boys loved it.  It's been almost a week and they are still talking about it.

me and my boys at the theater

When the movie ended we drove over to the Cracker Barrel to meet David's dad and stepmom for supper.  It was his birthday and we enjoyed getting to have supper with him.

Celebrating Paw Paw Harold's birthday at Cracker Barrel in Brookhaven

Wednesday was fun!  I enjoyed a mother/ daughter day with my mom.  We began with a morning pedicure.  It has been our tradition to get a pedicure together before I return to Guatemala each time.  I love this tradition and always look forward to it.

me and my mom getting pedicures

the colors we picked out were Hot Bubble Gum and Cajun Shrimp 
(I most always choose Cajun Shrimp)

Another tradition we have for that day is lunch at Porches.  Here we are with Mrs. Celia, the owner.

That afternoon we took the boys down to the train depot in my hometown of Hazlehurst.  This is a stop I like to make with them when we are home to take a few photos.

Before I knew it Cruz had crawled to the top of the train.  When my state of fright allowed me to speak again I quickly ordered him to get down.  He keeps me on my toes, always.

my hometown

Ben, me, Mimi, and Cruz

 Afterwards we took the boys to see my Aunt Betty.  She is my late grandfather's sister.  It made her so happy to see the boys and love on them. 

Aunt Betty with Ben and Cruz

my mom, my aunt, and me

I love porch swings so getting to sit on hers for a minute made me very happy.

She's a sweet lady!

The rest of our time at home was spent saying goodbye to family and friends.  We had a Wednesday night party with my family and a Thursday night party with David's family.  I'll share those photos next.
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