Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Until They All Come Home"

"Until They All Come Home" was the theme for this year's Freedom Ride for FCA.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect and a good sense of patriotism was in the air.

I was at the registration table as a volunteer bright and early (6:30am).

A biscuits and gravy breakfast was served between 7-8.

The Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard was present.

Here is Greg and Nathan watching the ceremony.

A group of riders.

My favorite picture of the day is Nathan waving a flag in front of this line bikes.

One of the riders let Nathan sit on his bike.

Just before the bikers started their engines.

Waving the riders off.

The pin all the riders received for their participation.
Thinking of and praying for all our soldiers, until they all come home!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Evening, Officer.

Much to my inconvenience, Nathan vehemently stated that he wanted to dress up as a police officer for Halloween.  And much to my dismay, he didn't forget what he wanted to dress up as.  I don't know where this desire came from but I didn't question it simply because I was glad he didn't want to be Batman.

Well, this week my friend, Cori, invited us to her church's Trunk or Treat event but I had yet to buy Nathan's costume so I had to scramble the day of, typical of the new Me.  But remember the old Me?  When I used to have it all together?  Ok-maybe you don't, but I do!  Obviously, I found the costume in time and we were able to go have fun with friends.  Pictures from our night:

My friend, Cori and Camden, who was an Indian.

Blades with Camden and Case, who was a cute little pirate!

In addition to Trunk or Treat, there was a great feast of chili & cornbread, my absolute favorite. Regrettably, we had dinner with Greg before we left, probably good though because I could have made a total pig of myself with all this scrumptious smelling chili!  I had a small bowl of white chili, which was superb so now I gotta figure out how to make it.

There were also fun games, here is Nathan 'bowling' for a spider ring.  Really cute idea, here.

All Nathan really cared about though, was getting his grubby fingers on some cupcakes, so he walked on the cakewalk twice.

Rianne and Cori handing out candy and Nathan trick or treating.

 As we all talked about costumes, my friend Layne stated her kids "...don't get a choice...", she explained that she bought her kids costumes on clearance last year for a total of $6!  And they were GREAT costumes.  Can I do the same?  Can I just make Nathan wear what I buy and not give him a choice?  Why do I feel so bad for that?  I wish I had taken a picture of Layne with her girls but I only caught this one of her handing out candy from her trunk.  

 Nathan and I need to talk about why he no longer smiles for pictures.  I wonder if Greg is poisoning his mind.

The nicest ladies and sweetest friends, Cori, Monica, & Rianne.  And my mushroom hat!
Officer, your on popsickle number THREE, you need to take it easy and slow down.

Thanks for the invitation Cori, we had fun!!

For those wondering where Greg was...where do you think?  Watching the Rangers in the World Series!  His childhood dream has come to pass.  It's special, people, you don't even understand!

Crazy Hair Day.

Wednesday was crazy hair day at Nathan's school.  Nathan's crazy hair was totally Flock of Seagulls.  The real highlight though was a teacher who made her hair a Christmas Tree! Seriously, how FUN is that?!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Do Lists...Inevitable but not Impossible

Upon returning to work this week, I had to start, yet another, work related to-do list.  I was getting buried in a mountain of tasks, this is the list I had to start to keep track.  I highlight the items I've completed.  I mention it because I know that seems odd to people.  I picked this up from Jim Myers, my boss at the Fairmont Hotel in the early 90's.  He would highlight what he could mark off his list.  For some reason, it stuck with me.  Weird to think I've been doing this for almost 20 years.  Even stranger, that I remember specifically who I adopted this habit from.  More puzzling that that is the fact I've been able to use the words: odd, weird, strange and puzzling, all in one post! hahaha!  All right, back to work for me...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jack and Jim.

This is Jack's head on Jim Bob's body.  
Taking suggestions on how to caption this picture, can't figure it out b/c
the body is saying "You wanna a piece-a-me?" but with a big friggin smile.

Flowers. My favorite.

These flowers were anonymously left at my house.  I have a feeling they were left by a friend of mine who blesses my life in so many ways.  When I overstate how grateful I am for something she's done, she just says "That's what friends do.", expecting nothing in return.  I've learned so much from her and I'm so thankful for her friendship in my life.

Hey Friend, thank you for everything and for these flowers.  Love you, mean it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mazatlan, Mexico

We have returned from Mazatlan, Mexico where we participated in a Homes of Hope project to build 2 houses for 2 very poor families.  I'm trying to find the words to wrap around this experience but words fail me.  It was an experience of the heart & the body. It was humbling in ways that I cannot articulate.  It was intense in ways that tested my limitations.  It was one of the most moving experiences I've had.  And even though, I'm completely exhausted and drained by the the last 4 days - I would sign up to do it all over again. 

The neighborhood we built in is called a 'squatter village'.  The land doesn't belong to anyone, so the poorest of society set up 'housing' here. This is not a government recognized suburb, so there are no 'services' provided. There is no plumbing. There is no trash pickup. There are no paved roads. Electricity and water is spliced in and each neighbor is dependent on each other for each of these. A picture of the neighborhood.

Traditionally, the men work while the women stay at home with the children. Our two teams were quite a spectacle but understandably the curiosity about each other went both ways.  This was a neighbor and her little girl that we told about the children's program we would be host each afternoon.

Another example of a house in the neighborhood.

We started out with a cement foundation. 

 Homes of Hope provided the tools and supplies that would be needed.

Our electricity line for all the power tools we would need to power. 

 Day 1: The men marked the foundation and cut aluminum beams to build the frame.

The women painted the siding for the house.

Day 2: Completed the frame and raised all the walls.

The women drilled the siding in place on the outside of the house.

The men hung the drywall inside the house and we worked on the mud, tape, sanding.

Day 3: The men added the roof and everyone continued to work on the drywall.

The house was completed at the end of the 3rd day and we had a small dedication service for the family of 6 that we built the house for.

Our team.

Some pictures of the children's program. We played games and provided small crafts.  The kids were so bright and well mannered.  They took nothing for granted, each working diligently on their projects, doing their very best.

On the first day, I took a group picture and I felt if I could provide each of them a copy of the picture it would be a real treasure for them. So I had 30 copies made and handed the picture out on the 2nd day.  Later, I would see kids out and about with their pictures - it really warmed my heart.

As I walked in the neighborhood, I met Brigette.  She was a very happy little baby, enjoying her bath time.  I asked if I could take her picture and her mother proudly let me.  Brigette was just to cute in her little bathtub.

This is our entire group from church, a total of 33, including the kids, who also pulled their weight in this house building.

What an incredible I'll never forget...