Saturday, January 29

My Etsy Shop

I wanted to mention that I recently started an Etsy shop. What's that? you say.

It's an online community that sells handmade, vintage and other "interesting" items.

I will be selling some of my more unique photographs that I shot while in Nicaragua.

Since it's new, it only has a few photos at the moment, but keep checking back as I will be adding more as time allows. You can check on the right sidebar for my etsy shop button.

All proceeds will go towards supporting us in our return to Nicaragua.

So click HERE if you want to see what I have in my shop.

And if nothing else, at least peruse the shop and enjoy the pictures!

Paid it All

The snow was falling today. Again.

It has snowed most days this past week and my boys are overjoyed.

How beautiful, each and every flake, so unique and yet, it takes millions to create a fairytale landscape.

And blindingly white. Whiter than white. It hurts the eyes to stare out over the fields, encased in Nature's cocoon.

Then it hit me.

This is how God sees us. Beautiful and unique. Without blemish or stain. His beautiful bride, in all her glory.

and then the song came to me:

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

May each snowfall remind you of His love for us, and what He did for us.

Tuesday, January 25

Momma's Guts

This, my friends, is what happens when you don’t listen to your gut instinct.

Last month, my baby had an ear infection. They prescribed amoxicillin. 36 hours after starting it, he broke out in a bit of a rash. I was concerned about an allergy to the meds, so I called and talked to a doctor. The doctor decided to change his meds, just to be on the safe side.

A month later, we went back in for an eye infection. The doctor (a different one) wanted to prescribe amoxicillin and I mentioned that he had a rash soon after starting it the last time. She asked for more details about the rash, and decided that she wasn’t convinced it was actually an allergy to the meds, but perhaps just a side effect of the virus he had.

I wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t an allergy. I just had this gut instinct that told me she was wrong. I pushed back on her a bit, but she was determined to try it again. Should I call in if he gets hives again, I asked. Yes, she answered, but seemed certain he would be fine and gave me a look conveying that I was overreacting. She had me give him so Benadryl with the antibiotics the first few times.

And 4 days later, here is how my baby looked when he woke up. 10 hours later, there was hardly any white skin left on his body and his poor limbs and face had swollen noticeably. I rushed him to the doctors and they started him on steroids right away.

Is there any question that he is allergic to amoxicillin???

Mothers, always, always, ALWAYS go with your gut instinct.

Doctors are specialists in medicines, but only YOU are an expert on your child. You know your baby better than anybody else.

If you don’t agree with the diagnosis or medicine, be pushy and be loud. You are fighting for your child. You don’t have to be a jerk, but be assertive. In the end, you are the one driving your child to the ER at 2 am because the doctor didn’t take you seriously and sent you home.

Lesson learned.

Monday, January 17

The Light!

Wow, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For the past 10 days, we have endured ear infections, eye infections, strep throat, numerous doctor visits (and the doctor is 45 minutes away), allergic reactions to antibiotics, hacking coughs and fevers. All 5 of us.

We now have our own little pharmacy decorating our bathroom. Complete with all sorts of syringes and cups (which make great bath toys, by the way).

Being a mom is hard, but let me tell you that being sick AND a mom to 3 sick kiddos is 10 times as hard.

And living 8 hours away from your familiy makes it even that much harder.

But today I was able to walk up the stairs and not feel like I was on the verge of collapsing (a huge improvement from the last 8 days).

My throat is now only a dull ache (as one nurse said, strep throat is the throat you don't forget, boy was she right!) and I am sleeping like the dead.

My hubby mentioned yesterday that it feels like we fell off the map. Yeah, we did. But hopefully we'll be coming out of our hole soon.

Now if I could only sleep for the next 10 days, I think I would be totally back on my feet!

Wednesday, January 12

Long Time, no See!

It's hard to believe we are almost half way through January already.

Where has the time gone???

I know I've been MIA for a while now. We've been going back and forth on getting internet access. Do we really need it? Sure, it's nice to have (and I get to keep my blog updated on a daily basis), but is it necessary? (this is a blog I hope to post soon....wants vs needs)

For now, we have decided to not get internet access.

Which means, sadly, that I will not be writing on my blog much. I will try to get on about once a week, and depending on how the week is going, may have several blogs to post at once.

I have a lot of thoughts swirling through my brain and wish that I could somehow download it all onto my blog, but until some clever engineer figures out how to do that, the only way the blogs will get from my head to here is if I make the 15 minute trip to the library, without kids. Easier said than done :)

Please be praying for us all, we've experienced quite a bit of sickness in our home this past week. We've had ear infections (which includes me), eye infections, strep throat and other mystery ailments.

It's funny, but I don't remember us ever having this much trouble with sickness in Nicaragua. It was just the parasites that kept us running (no pun intended, har har).

So keep checking back and I'm hoping that when the time comes and we get internet in our home again, I'll be back on a more regular basis.

Until then, enjoy this wonderfully new year!

Saturday, January 1


I know it's been a bit since I've written. That's due to the fact that we don't have much internet access, but also because I just haven't felt like writing much lately. Or taking photographs. Or doing any of my other hobbies.

I have enjoyed sorting, cleaning and cooking some red beans from Nicaragua. There is something soothing about sitting down and sorting beans. Millions of women, across the globe and through the centuries, have done the exact same motion. I feel as though we are connected, even though I may be sitting at my nice kitchen table, and many of them are sitting on the ground.

I also made some cuajada, the salty farmer type cheese that everybody eats there, with the beans. The boys gobbled the beans and cuajada up...I guess they miss the familiar Nicaraguan food :)

Somebody asked me a few weeks ago how we were adjusting. It was hard to know how to answer.

In one sense, we seem to be adjusting well.

The stores no longer intimidate me and I can use the card machines efficiently, once again.

I am used to hot water coming out of the faucet.

My stomach is used to the protein rich diet.

I no longer think in Spanish and it's been over a month since I forgot how to say something in English.

And yet...I still feel as though I am straddling two worlds.

It's hard to relate to the consumerism and maddening rush of schedules and frantic busyness that many people seem to be involved in.

It's hard to be empathetic when people talk about "being poor", and they own 2 vehicles, have a computer, cable TV and a closet full of nice clothes.

I still feel amazed when I walk into the store and see shelves full of books...beautiful, inspiring books!

I still occasionally forget to "schedule" a visit in and just stop by, but so far it hasn't met with any ire.

It's hard to explain, but I don't feel quite at home here, although I was born an American. It's funny how only 3 years can completely turn your world upside-down. I really didn't expect that.

And my world is still spinning, from all the moving and traveling this year. We are making some good headway with our unpacking. We picked up another piece of furniture today, thanks to a family member, and so we can now all sit on something other than the floor in our living room. Interestingly enough, I didn't give it much thought, although it probably sounds funny from an American perspective.

Our Christmas was good in some ways, but strange in other ways. On the one hand it felt wonderful to be around family again, to eat familiar foods, and even go ice skating! I couldn't get enough of the green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole.

However, it was sad, to not be around our Nicaraguan family and eat the traditional relleno, with the white bread and cabbage and tomato salad. I missed the chaos of our midnight meal and fireworks. I even missed climbing into bed around 3 am, tired but so content with such amazing camaraderie.

I find that re-entry is so very much like grief. And a long process, one that cannot be rushed. God, give me the grace to be patient with myself and learn what I can, where I am at. And surround me with others that can grant me grace as well.