Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Update from Sunny, Hot, Buggy Hoduras

Well, the title pretty much says it all ~ the bugs LOVE our bug repellent...they lick it off of us and commence to biting.  Got some hydrocortisone and all is a little better.

We went to a new church this morning for VBS and had 95 children!  That's awesome! All were attentive, participated, very polite and had lots of fun.  This afternoon we went to a Boys Home right outside of town.  These guys are in this home by court order ~ could be neglectful parents, or they could have been homeless, or some kind of run in with the law.  We had 75 boys & the staff at the home.  ALL ages, 7 or 8 to 17 or 18.  They all listened, enjoyed the craft & loved the candy we brought. 

In between the 2 we had a couple of free hours in town ~ Greg, Amy and I hit the streets...we shopped at the fabric store, found a great little sewing/craft notions store and hit a few others.  The sewing notions store had great prices on sewing machine needles, lace and beads.  I got 3 packs of needles, 7 yards of lace and 2 long strings of beads + individual beads for $6.  I had figured out what I wanted fabricwise on our first trip into the store, so todays expedition was relatively easy.  I got about 14 yards of fabric for $40.  All the fabric is 60 inches wide ~ one of them is 92 inches wide!  And I've got some $$ left, so I may go back there too! 

Here are some pictures!

Greg found a "Bob Ross" happy tree in Honduras!

this precious little boy is deaf

Our frosty treat indulgence only came in Vanilla ~ they were out of chocolate!

shopping trip goodies!

Disney fabric for Lauren

at the Boys home

hard at work on the colorful scratch off cross craft.

And what is happening at home while we are here ~~~~~ its SNOWING in Mississippi.....Amy is a bit peeved that she is missing that fun!  Angel is saving Amy a Ziploc bag full of snow, so she can at least see it in person!


Monday, January 27, 2014


We are having an awesome time in Honduras.  The weather is hot, the bugs are biting (guess who forgot the bug spray?  Made a trip to store this a.m. for it), the work is happening, the children are laughing & singing, new friends are being made, old friendships being re established, lots of water being drunk, Bible events being retold, beautiful voices being lifted in song!  I don't care whether we don't speak Spanish or they don't speak English ~ love, smiles, hugs & friendship bridge the language barriers! 

We LOVE it down here ~ Amy has already asked to come back next year!  I think she and Mirna have decided to adopt each other.  They are having so much fun together.  Mirna is our interpreter, along with Amanda, and they are doing a fantastic job. 

This morning at VBS we had 34 children ~ but almost 50 folks when you add in the teens, adults & babies that stayed for the fun.  This afternoon, at a different location in a much smaller community, we had about 10 children. 

Amy is doing her part at spreading the love ~ she brought a bag full of rubber band bracelets she had made on her rainbow loom and is giving them away.  I think tomorrow, Mirna will get a bracelet making lesson if there is time.  The kids all loved their bracelets and most picked bracelets that matched what they were wearing ~ even the boys.

At the afternoon location, Greg got to help the construction team with their project.  They were mixing cement the old fashinoned way, with shovels and building a 6 foot wide x about 20 long concrete pad in front of the church.  Tomorrow, another 6 foot section will be added.

Here is a few pictures (out of the tons we took)

music time

Greg as Paul & Silas' Phillipian Jailer

helping with crafts

shovel work ~ Carl & Greg

bracelet time ~ Amanda, Mirna & Amy

All in a days work~
If I can't get on here till late tomorrow, I want to wish my awesome husband a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Adventure Begins

Hi from rainy, loud, beautiful El Progresso, Honduras.

We arrived last night after a very long, exhausting day of lines, weather, travel changes, and lack of sleep.  We were supposed to be at our local airport for a 6 am flight, we got there about 4:30 (after waking up at 3 and not being able to go back to sleep).  Our flight into Houston was delayed for 2 + hours because of the winter weather.  When we got off the plane, the steps and handrails outside the plain were covered in ice.  The bad weather caused their skytram that took folks from one terminal to another not to be safe.  They were taking the passengers to the terminals by bus ~ they only held 18 people at a time, so it took quite a while.  As we were waiting for the bus, our plane took off. 

A nice gal at United Airlines, worked very hard to get us a flight to Miami and then connect to a flight to Honduras.  When all was said and done ~ we were in airports or planes from 4:30 am to 8:30 pm ~ very long day!

Unfortunately, the rest of the teams flights aren't being at all cooperative ~ their Friday flights out of New Orleans were completely canceled.  They did get to Houston this morning but missed their flight like we did yesterday.  They are stuck in Houston till tomorrow and will hopefully be here around noon.

Greg, Amy and I donned rain jackets today and hit the streets, taking Amy to our favorite stores in town.  We brought some Gospel DVD's and Greg gave one to our fabric store guy (who speaks really good English).  He was thankful for the dvd and said he was going to hook it up to the stores pa system and play it.  He also asked for one in English to play for his kids and help with their English skills. 

My sweet Honduran friend Mirna came to the airport last night to see us.  She is such a doll ~ she is 18 now and I've known her for about 7 years.  I've always referred to her as my Honduran Amy, as their personalities are similar.  They took us to dinner last night and came and got us for lunch today.  Tonight Greg is going to a Mens Church Meeting with Mario (Mirna's foster dad) and tomorrow we are attending their church. 

Here are a few pictures of our day!

Veiw outside our hotel window ~ look at that mess of electrical lines!

guard stand outside hotel across the road

huge Honduran grocery

Vanilla!  Haven't been able to find it without water as the first ing. though.

lots don't have power here ~ so dairy is sold In small bags they would use in a day.

floor to ceiling fabric stacks ~ making the most use of available space

he's got some cotton now ~ I see a quilt coming!

we love this one

a Cookies & cream stuffed Oreo ~ this doesn't make sense!

edible gummy penguins ~ took this for Allen!

lotsa hot sauce down here!

my sweet buddy

cupcake Amy holding store bought Honduran cupcakes!

our favorite drink ~ Orange Mirinda

We had decided to eat our Atkins for breakfast & lunch and eat a regular dinner while here.  So we brought all our goodies ~ ran out of our carry on goodies yesterday while on our trek here (airlines now just serve a drink ~ no peanuts or pretzels, you have to buy snacks).  I was looking forward to a Mirinda ~ till we read the nutrition information....33 carbs for 1 serving and that bottle Amy was holding was 2 1/2 servings.  Argh!  We both drank 2 sips of hers but that was it.  Those sips were great!

We are ready for the ministry work to begin ~ hopefully tomorrow everyone will be here!

I am thankful for ~
sweet hugs from my buddy
air conditioning
packing a raincoat
getting here safely
re-establishing some friendships & contacts
2 sips of Mirinda
walking around town with Greg & Amy
diet coke & bottled water
the camera Angel gave me to use!
comfortable tennis to walk in
an internet connection
encouraging notes from back home!
prayers from friends & family

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sewing Projects

Amy decided months ago that I needed to start sewing & selling doll clothes again because....Mom they are just so cute & you sold a lot before!  Ahhhh, flattery!  And before, she and her dolls were excited to get each of the new outfits!  We picked out some new patterns.  I cut out all the pieces to one pattern on Tues., its a cute set with pajama top and pants, bathrobe, slippers, sleeping bag, pillow, and tote bag to hold 2 18" dolls.  I decided to be smart and fuse the pieces to interfacing so they don't wear out as quick.  I cut out 2 bathrobes from a yard of fabric & cut out 2 pairs of slippers from the scraps.  I thought the slippers were so cute that I would sew them first ~~~~~ ARGH!  I never got them right, tried & ripped out the stitches 4 or 5 times.  They can just look cute pictured on the envelope (I will probably try again at some point)

Wed. was supposed to be our sewing day with friend Angel, but her daughter was sick & had a dr. appt.  We were going to work on quilted wall hangings for the fair.  I decided to machine embroider my squares and had 2 of them completed.  So I took this time to go ahead and finish the others.  I also embroidered some handkerchiefs for Greg for his birthday next week. 

Today, I took my first Heirloom sewing class.  I was so excited as I had wanted to take one of these classes for years.  The project was a little baby bonnet done in white Swiss Batiste with lace & embroidered piece accents.  The class was supposed to last from 9:30-12:30 ~ no one was done by the end time...I left at 2:00 and am not finished completely.  When I left, there were still folks working.  What was done is pretty, I do have one little section to hand tack.  I just have the little hem left on the back to thread the thin ribbon through & attaching the ribbon to the front sections to try under a baby girl chin!  I NEED a granddaughter to wear this little jewel! 

My thoughts on this type of sewing ~ hard comes to mind!  Time consuming!  Very detailed!  Extremely feminine and pretty!  This could be a one of a its kind project, haven't decided if it will be repeated!  I do have enough swiss batiste to do another one, but I would need to buy the lace & I need a smaller needle for this fabric.  This class is a requirement for another other classes.  In March is an heirloom dress class ~ I don't think I am ready for that larger project yet.

Lots of projects ~ nothing completed!  Tomorrow is another day! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When Amy Has My Camera ~

Yesterday we worked outside and got lots done ~ and noticed some things that needed to get done quickly...  the weather started out cool but didn't stay cool all day!  We ended up at 70 degrees with bright sunny skies.

Here is Amy's take on the day ~

these little guys are everywhere

tools for the day ~ plus rakes, a tarp & hedge clippers

Those bushes are GONE ~ the ones on each corner remain
 I've been wanting to get rid of those bushes for a long time ~ they always look scraggly and trimming them doesn't help much because they are just sticks underneath.  These are in front of our garage.  When we cut down the ones in front of our bedroom window ~ we found the window sill was rotted.  We replaced all the windows on the back of the house 2 years ago ~ now its time for the front windows.  I am thankful that its just 4 that need to be replaced!  Greg and Will spread mulch where the bushes came out & this summer we are buying Encore Azalea's to plant.  The corner bushes on each end of the garage stayed & the one at the end of the house but the rest are history! 

the Globestar flies over our neighborhood frequently ~ there are 4 or 5 based about 7 minutes from our house, this plane is huge & quite loud when it flies over.

After we cut everything and loaded it onto the trailer, we made a run to the local dump to get rid of the mess.  While there we found a couple of treasures ~ we got 2 wood pallets and some wood , probably left from someones building project...perfect for some of Greg's upcoming wood projects.  Sitting beside one of the dumpters was a wood "potato" box ~ it had a huge crack in the lid...Greg is going to fix the lid with wood glue & Amy is going to use it for her bunny hay & feed. 

Then we ran the rest of our errands, Amy & I took Rosie for a walk, the boys spread the mulch & cut the pallets apart. 

Great Holiday Monday!

I walked across the street to talk with the neighbor for a minute ~ her husband was busy sanding a wood item ~ then he cuts his eyes up at me & tells me this is all my fault ~ then I noticed he was sanding her kitchen cabinet doors...after seeing mine painted she wanted hers done too.  Hahahaha ~ I forgot to ask what color she had picked!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Barn Builder

Greg has a new talent ~ he has advanced his wood working skills to encompass barn building ~ on the 18" doll scale!  Greg made this for our little Tapley friends for Christmas for the American Girl Horses ~~~~~~

guess Amy needed to photo bomb the picture!

This is the 2nd year Greg has made the girls a gift for their dolls ~ last year it was beds.

Angel (the mom) has started a special  board on her Pinterest account ~ Doll Furniture Ideas for Mr. Greg! 

Next she wants school desks for the dolls and a table & chairs.  Since Sarah is having a doll party for her May birthday ~ I had already asked Greg to make her an Adirondack chair.

We've found this link on pinterest for a gal that makes doll furniture and mades the plans for most available for free ~
Greg used her plans for the beds and stable!
Between last night and today ~ Greg has gotten on pinterest and set up his own account!  He is finding lots of stuff that it never occurred to me to look for~

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Funnies from Pinterest

yes...yes they would be ... especially during JAWS
Yep, a good indication your about to get zapped is when they play that scary music!

This is for my Amy Lynn!
this seems logical to me!
older than the internet. And then I can throw in Color tv and air conditioning!
and home computers & color tv & calculators
my kids have heard this so many times!
I can totally relate to this statement!
I am 5'2" ~ and can totally relate to this!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grandma's Walk of Fame

A lovely friend gave me a cross stitch pattern before little Robert was born that could be stitched and then stamped with tiny newborn footprints & personalized with his name & birthdate ~ his was done and I took it to their home and we inked his precious little feet!

We did the left foot first & he wasn't really excited about the right foot being done ~ Its a little smeary.  I brought the little picture home & it sat, safely, on my desk for 18 months ~ unfinished.  I just added his name and birthdate last week.

Now I am stitching another ~ Roberts little brother, Thomas, will make his world debut in Feb.

I started his picture, yesterday!  My plan is to have a Grandma Walk of Fame Wall ~ hopefully with lots of little footprint pictures of my grandbabies!

I also finished this yesterday ~

Now it just needs a frame ~ then it goes to our tiniest Tapley sweetie!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Menu for This Week & other food stuff

Amy wants me to go back to doing the menu by days ~ so I will give it a try ~

Sunday night we had homemade Chili with grated cheese
Monday was Pork Roast (cooked in crockpot), cooked broccoli, carrots, green beans
Tuesday ~ spaghetti
Wed. ~ fried ham slices, baked sweet potatoes, a green vegetable
Thursday ~ Tortilla Crust Pizza's
Friday ~ Bacon Burgers (venison), mashed cauliflower, cooked broccoli
Sat. ~ Chicken Enchiladas (low carb tortillas)

We are gearing up for Honduras.  This time the team is about 10 people and we will be doing Bible School/Backyard Bible Clubs, or whatever you call them.  We will be eating breakfast at the motel ~ packets of oatmeal or grits or something similar, sandwich lunches out in the ministry areas, and dinners out in town.

We are trying to figure out our food situation ~ we can control it at home, and we can control it when we go out to eat here.  Down there is going to be trickier ~ so, do we carry our atkins stuff for breakfast, lunches, and snacks?  Do we eat a packet of grits for breakfast (ok carb wise but not great)? Or do we just eat what everyone else does and not worry about it for a week? The last option would be by far the easiest.  But whats easy is not always whats best.  We are going to carry our peanut packets and some bars for snacks.  We can get diet drinks down there~ don't know if they make Diet Mirinda (my favorite Orange drink, and its made by Pepsi down there) but since I only get Mirinda there I am going to risk that! 

We haven't decided what to do yet.  We are both stuck weight loss wise ~ maybe eating regular and then starting over when we get back would jump start the weight loss again.  We've still got days to decide ~~~~~

Monday, January 13, 2014

A New Business Venture?

I have found several pictures on Pinterest that I would love to turn into cross stitch ~ but drawing a cross stitch pattern out by hand and trying to figure out the spacing is tedious & very time consuming...I have done it!  And after all that work ~ it may not even be appreciated because no one else knows the time it took to do the work and then to stitch it.

Greg bought me a new toy last week that will greatly help ~ its a computer program that makes cross stitch designs.

Ethically, I can't take someone else's art and make a cross stitch design and sell it ~ that would infringe on tons of copywrite laws.  But I can take one of my own pictures and transfer it to cross stitch & sell the design OR take an idea and make it my own (there are a couple of those we are working on now!).  And since I am married to a computer wiz/engineering genius, he is having a blast with this program!  So we shall see where this adventure takes it ~ it could be the beginning of Jackson Publishing!

As he was playing around the other day ~ he found an awesome, very special lettering font & promptly made me a picture to stitch ~

I have the border to do and then its done!  This is for our tiniest Tapley buddy ~ who has a loving spirit, precious laughter, beautiful eyes, sweet hugs, loves all things Minnie Mouse & happens to be hearing impaired.

Last night, as I was stitching, Greg was figuring out how to letter some art I found.  Then he will transfer it to the cross stitch program & a new pattern is born!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Project

Back in October, I pleated 4 or 5 dresses to smock ~ then life happened and the smocking didn't ~ I pulled out 2 to get started on & one of them is almost finished!  The top picture is the stitching around the neckline of the bishop dress,   The bottom pic is the sleeve detail.  I had pulled out turquoise, yellow, and hot pink threads to smock with but the fabric is so bright you couldn't see the smocking.  I finally settled on using 4 strands of white.

In 2 weeks I am going to take my first heirloom sewing class ~ I am excited about this opportunity!
Below is a picture of the project the class will do ~