Our family

Our family

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Break, Birthday boy, and Life!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

I always have such good intentions when it comes to posting on the blog. But then the days start to run away from me, and I have to lay in bed thinking about what we did when! You'd think by now I would write things down on a more regular basis, but alas, I forget! 

 
Time spent in the woods = time well spent! 


Anyways that's enough whining about what I don't do, so now I will tell you what I DO! Last Tuesday afternoon, as in April 11, we spent the afternoon out with the Pastor and his son shooting guns on their property. Now, we use every precaution in teaching our children about guns, but it is important to use that they learn how to handle firearms responsibly and correctly. They can understand that a gun does not go off by itself, and that someone is responsible for pulling the trigger.  We are blessed to live in a country where we can own firearms, and it's not a right that I take lightly. Anyways, we had a good hike out to the shooting range through the mud and across the creek. The boys enjoy spending time with the Pastor's son, and it was a good afternoon for all of us.

The kids had a short week last week in school as we had a half day on Thursday. Since Thursday is one of the morning that Emma has school, I had a bit of a free morning. Shortly after I dropped the  kids off at school, Roger called to see if I wanted to go on the mail flight with him to one of the islands. I picked up coffee for us, and I hurried out to the airport to catch a flight with Roger. I am so thankful that he has a job in which I can come along to when I have a free moment. It was a beautiful morning to be flying, and I can see that Roger clearly enjoys what he is doing. I am also thankful that  I don't have to take multiple flights across the water every day. It's not that I was overly nervous or . uncertain, I just happen to like being in the ground better than being in the air across a body of cold water! It was a morning well spent, and I am thankful that I was able to go along with him. I picked up the kids at 11:30 am., and our week of spring break vacation began! Hooray!  I am excited about having a little freedom in our routine and schedule although I definitely appreciate a routine and schedule! The weather was absolutely beautiful last Thursday and Friday, and the boys were begging to set up the trampoline. However the ground is so wet that we would have such ruts in the yard from the trampoline. We will need to wait a few days for that. We instead took a hike down to the beach where the boys tested out how waterproof their boots were as well as looked for treasure on the beach. We had to do a little grocery shopping too, and I realize that I have gotten kinda spoiled about shopping while the kids are at school! They do very well, and they don't ask for everything, but we have quite the train with a  cart and five kids! Oh well!!


On Friday night we had over a few families from school. The kids have made some good friends, and Roger and I have enjoyed getting to know some of the parents better as well. We had eleven kids here and six adults. We feasted on lasagna, garlic bread, salad, and brownies and ice cream! The kids were exhausted by the end of the evening, but it was such a good time of fellowship and laughter. I'm   thankful for opportunities to interact with other families in the school.


On Saturday I went to do a few errands for a few groceries for Sunday's dinner. I also went to JCPenny to look for an Easter dress for Emma. It's certainly not a necessity, just something that would be nice for tomorrow. However, the cheapest church dress there was $25.00 and even with my ten dollar off coupon, I knew that a $15.00 dress was not in the budget...it was definitely a want and  not a need. I told Emma that we couldn't get the dress, but then the Lord reminded me of some totes of clothes down in the basement at home. I had forgotten that when we left Wisconsin a few friends had given clothes to Emma that were too big at the current moment. I told Emma that we could go home and look in the box. As soon as we arrived home, she asked to look for the box of clothes! And did God ever provide!! Wow!! We found a whole box of 4t clothes that she can wear now. She now has about  ten beautiful  dresses and plenty of summer clothes! I love these memories that are a reflection of how good God  is to me!
God is so good to me! 



Sunday was Resurrection Sunday! Praise the Lord...He is risen! We had the opportunity to go to a  sunrise service at church...at five forty five am! We did end up being a few minutes late, but we did make it there. The sky was overcast so the sunrise was not amazing, but celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is definitely a reason to rejoice! After the service, we ate breakfast with our church family. I had originally planned to make biscuits and gravy. But my common sense caught up with me and I decided to bring fruit and yogurt! We helped clean up from breakfast and headed home by about 7:00 am. I put on the ham for lunch, set the table, and prepared for the morning service. We   went back to church for Sunday school and worship service, and the day was turning out to   be  beautiful weather! It was good to worship with other believers and it was exciting to see so many visitors at church this morning. I helped direct the children's choir, and I thought they did a great job.  Emma went up front to sing along with the children, but about halfway through the song she hopped  off the step to tell me that Aunt Hannah was here! Emma was very excited that aunt Hannah was at church and apparently she felt like she needed to let me know immediately! We headed home shortly  after church and enjoyed a lunch of ham, asparagus, fruit, fresh bread, and corn. The kids convinced   Roger to set up the trampoline, so that kept them busy for the afternoon. Hannah and I enjoyed a nice long walk in the beautiful weather.  Sunday was a bit of a long day, and the kids were ready for bed  early. However, it was truly a privilege to attend church this morning and to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior!

Monday was another beautiful day although it was not quite as warm as Sunday. The boys were up  early as in about 6:00 am., and immediately they went outside to jump on the trampoline. I let them jump for a while and then called them in for breakfast, Bible time and chores. As soon as their  responsibilities were done they bounded back outside. We did have to run a few errands this morning to take lunch to Roger, pick up milk, and shop for their Easter baskets. Roger and I usually give the children small baskets of treats on Resurrection Sunday such as kites, new toothbrushes, small toys, etc. However, we have been working hard on our budget, so we decided that we would give them their baskets on Monday night. 😊 It might seem like a terrible idea to you, but it actually worked out very well. I gave each child a name to shop for and told them the amount they could spend. Then we went to Walmart and each child shopped for a sibling. Since all the Easter stuff was 50% off, they had a great time finding small gifts for their picked sibling. It just might be a tradition that I will continue with over the years!

On Monday afternoon we went on an impromptu hike with some friends from school. I met Allison and her two girls for a hike down to the Saint George river, and the kids walked along on the waterfront collecting sea glass, and testing out how wet they could get without actually getting in the water. We decided to continue our outing at the lighthouse a bit farther down the road. The fog was  really thick along the ocean, but after we were there for a bit, the fog burned off. The kids had a good  afternoon with their friends, spending time outside, and combing the beaches for sea  glass.
 Coins that the kids have been saving 


We had told the kids at the beginning of the break that we could do something special for spring  break. We had collected $134.00 in our coin jar, and it's time for us to do something special as a family. The boys had been asking about going swimming at a hotel, and we gave them two choices  for options. We could either go to a hotel for a night, or we could do two separate things during the  week instead. They chose  the two separate activities for the week. One of the activities was getting a day pass to the YMCA and going swimming at the pool there. Roger has had to work most of the week, so I knew that this would  be a "mom and kids" activity. Those aren't my favorite as they are a lot of work for me, but I also knew that Roger would be home too late to join us. I decided that we would go to the YMCA in the afternoon...after nap time. Travis insisted that he was not tired, but he was asleep within ten minutes of laying down! We headed to the YMCA about three pm., and we played in the playground gym, and in the basketball gym,  and then got read you to go swimming. Unfortunately the YMCA had a disagreement with what the paper schedule said and what was  actually happening in the pool. But we were able to use the big pool while we waited for a water class to finish. Garett and Chandler both took the swim test and passed. Wyatt  wanted to take the swim   test, but I felt that he wasn't ready for it. Once the water class was done in  the family pool, we moved over to that pool. The water was much warmer, so I liked that  much better! However the slide wasn't open, so that was a bit of a disappointment for the kids. We did have a good afternoon at the YMCA, and I'm glad we did it. I hope that if we ever do it again it will be  on a day that Roger has off! I am reminded though of how much easier it is too take them swimming than it was four years ago. Everyone can get themselves dressed, and for the most part, everyone can keep their head above water. Emma needs the most help, but the boys are good about watching her also. It was a tiring afternoon, and I was thankful  that I had put supper in the crockpot before we left!

Wednesday was a day of appointments for the three older boys. They have  had an appointment scheduled for the orthodontist for the past five months, and today was the day! The appointment was in Bath which is almost an hour away, and since Roger was working today....well, five kids came  along! The one perk about going to Bath is that the McDonald's has a playland there which is exciting if you are a kid. We left our house in plenty of time so that we could play for a bit first. Of course the playland was quite busy since it is spring break week. We arrived in plenty of the time for the appointments which was a good thing because I had a bunch of paperwork to fill out! The waiting room held nine chairs, and we walked in with six people. The waiting room was a bit tight to say the least. However, it is my pet peeve when people talk about you like you can't hear them. " Wow, what  a bunch of kids!"    " I  wonder if all those kids are hers?"    " And four boys and one girl?"  Hello....I am right here!  Oh well, we survived the appointment with a smile, and it looks like Chandler will need braces in a year. We will have to come back in about nine months to find out for sure. Wyatt and Garett have some spacing concerns. But since it is  unlikely that our insurance would cover their spacing issues, it will have to wait. It was quite the afternoon, but now that is behind us. Hooray!

Thursday...today is Wyatt's eighth birthday. I remember the day that boy was born. He was our biggest son at eight pounds, eleven ounces. He arrived at 11:54 pm. I am so very thankful for this boy with a sunny smile and a ready hug. He challenges me to think about my responses to him, he forces me to cry out to God for grace and wisdom, and he loves with every bit of his heart. I am blessed to be his momma. A year ago, I missed his birthday as I was in Maine viewing the house Roger had put an  offer on. (That is a story in itself!)  My friend, Gretchen, made Wyatt his birthday cake last year, and Wyatt wanted to know if they could come this year. Oh how I wish! But Wisconsin is a bit far to come for a birthday dinner, so it will be our family for tonight. Today I am missing Wisconsin. We've  adjusted well....I think. But sometimes I long for the friendships that I've had for years, for the friends that understand and love our children, for cups of coffee and long talks on parenting failures and challenges, and for the deep friendships that developed through long talks. I know those relationships will come here in Maine with time, and the truth be told, I think I am working on those  friendships. Good things take time.
 Wyatt is 8!! 

Friday was a day that Roger had off of work. The kids have been anxiously waiting for Friday  to come a week they had big plans for the day. They have been wanting to go to the trampoline park in Portland, and this was the day that we were going! It was a good day to do it, as the weather was overcast and rainy. The kids had such a good time, and I'm glad we took the opportunity to do it. Emma enjoyed it as well, but she did tire before the boys were ready to go. Roger stayed with the boys while Emma and I went to Sam's Club. Sam's Club is one of my kid's favorite places to go...maybe that's because they have icees, pretzels, and yummy samples! It ended up being a late night for the kids, but it was an enjoyable day as a family. I missed being at the ladies Bible study this morning, but I'm also recognizing that my time with our kids is getting less by the day! I feel like we  have so much more to teach them, character traits to work on, and things they need to know to stand strong  in the name of Jesus Christ. Oh my....just writing that down makes it seem like an insurmountable challenge! However, being a parent  to these five children has made me realize that parenting is a moment by moment cry to my Savior for mercy, grace, patience and wisdom.  I fail at this parenting business every.single.day. But I can also rejoice in the fact that  the mercies of God are new every morning. I find that children forgive easily, and I work on having open, honest, and clear relationships with each one of them. I am finding out that parenting actually gets harder as our children get older because they are experiencing new challenges and struggles, and each child is different and unique. I am learning so much from them about by own weaknesses and failures. But I can rejoice in the victories  such as a child telling the truth when it was hard, a child who stayed in  their bed, and a  child who was terribly naughty all day but at night time announced, "I love you, mommy." I can rejoice in the the faithfulness of God, and I trust His Word.

A few blog posts ago, I asked for prayer for an unspoken request. We are still in need of prayer on this as we have some decisions to make concerning our budget and how to make everything work.  We need wisdom  and peace, and we are asking you to continue to pray with us and for us on this request. Hopefully  I will be able to give you bit of an update soon, but please continue to pray.

We love you all!
Sarah
 Fun with friends on Monday of spring break week! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Academic Fair, Family, and Blessings!

Brothers...Nate and Roger 




April 1st



The first day of April greeted us with about 5 inches or more of wet, sloppy snow! I have to admit it was beautiful, but I'm also ready to see the leaves on the trees start to bud also! Thankfully, although the weather was mostly wet and damp last week, the snow did disappear rather quickly. Now we have  mud, and I mean, lots of mud! But the good thing about children and mud is that children can be washed clean again and mud dries. I'm thankful that the children like to be  outside, and they certainly sleep better when they've been outdoors for a while.

Last week was such a busy week that it both flew by and dragged on for forever at the same time, and yes, that is possible! 🙂 We started off on Monday with both feet on the ground as Travis and Wyatt both had to bring in their completed academic fair projects to school. I have to admit transporting delicate clay projects, a model airplane and runway, homemade yogurt, and four back boards for presentation skills was a bit crazy! However, nothing was broken...hooray! On Monday morning we just had to transport the stuff for Travis and Wyatt, so at least the trips of valuable items were broken up. Chandler and I spent Monday evening making homemade yogurt. Chandler's academic fair topic was on Americas Dairyland. He had to make a project to go along with his topic, so he picked yogurt. He found a simple recipe on Pinterest, and he happily mixed it all together in the crockpot. It was a new experience for both of us, but I was pleased with how he figured out the directions. When it came time to taste test the yogurt the next morning, he insisted that we wait for Roger. I think he wanted Roger to be his ginea pig to try it out.😜
Garett's project 

Chandler's project 

Wyatt and his friend, Levi 

Travis's Project 


Tuesday is a day that I try to go to a ladies Bible study at a different church in our area. But last Tuesday, I was asked to fill in for music classes. I knew that I would have to miss Bible study, but I also wanted to be a blessing to the music teacher by filling in. So I taught music class on Tuesday morning, did lunch duty, came home and prepared supper, went back to pick up the big boys, and came home to finish getting dinner ready. We invited Roger's boss and his wife to come to dinner last Tuesday evening, and it was a time of good company and lots of stories. We have come to love and appreciate Roger's boss, and his wife is a very dear lady. I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to have them in our home for a meal, and it's something that I hope we can do again soon. The boys told them  all about their academic fair projects, and they agreed to try to come on Thursday night to see the presentations. It was a later night than normal for the kids, but this couple is dear and sweet to us and it was worth the bit of a later bedtime.

Wednesday was the morning for our monthly parent group meeting. Roger had off today, so he did errands while Emma and I attended the meeting. After the meeting, we went to pick up Travis. However, the school secretary mentioned that they were short on lunchroom volunteers for lunch duty. I don't like to see the teachers have to use their valuable time to supervise lunchduty if it can be helped. So, Roger and I did stayed for lunch duty. I also ended up with a very hoarse voice today, so I was happy to go home and take a rest with Emma. I was feeling fine, but I could hardly talk and I was a bit tired. Many kids have been sick at school this week, so we've been trying to use lots of disinfectant and hand washing to keep germs at bay!

Thursday was the day of the academic fair. Chandler and Roger taste tested the yogurt, and Chandler decided to add some strawberry jam to give it extra flavor. Chandler was not crazy about the taste, but Roger thought it was really good. Chandler was happy to have his project done though, so he wa just happy the yogurt was edible!

I spent part of the morning with my friend, Allison. We shopped for paper products for the refreshments that would be served after the academic fair. We managed to make good time on finding some that would work, so we wisely used the remainder of our time sipping coffee and fellow shipping! 🙂 I have come to love and appreciate her friendship to me, and I'm thankful that God brought a much needed friend into my life at just the right time.


After picking up Travis on Thursday morning, we headed home to clean our house. Roger's brother, Nate, his wife, and four kids would be flying in this afternoon for a short visit. I had all the boys take the sheets off of their beds this morning, and Chandler told me "I'm not too dirty, Mom. We don to need to wash my sheets!" ðŸ˜ģI assured him that we would wash them anyways. I still have a very hoarse voice, but I don't have any other symptoms of sickness. Praise the Lord!

We managed to get clean sheets on all the beds, make a snack for the refreshment table, and get everyone's chapel clothes laid out before returning to pick up the boys from school. After school we came home for a bit of downtime, but the boys were pretty wired both about the academic fair and that their cousins were coming to visit.

The academic fair started at six-thirty pm., but the kids needed to be there a little earlier. Since this is our first time having the academic fair experience, we were all anxious to see what it would be like. Each of the classes had set up their presentation around the room. We moved from room to room interacting with the students and asking  them about their projects. All the students did a great job, and it was so rewarding to see all of their hard work come together. Nate and Ruth ended up meeting us directly at the school, and the boys were delighted to see their cousins. Roger's boss, Kevin, and his wife, Terri, were also able to come to the academic fair, and I know that meant a lot to the boys. It was a long day, but I knew that the next day would be  Friday! We had already decided to take the boys out of school around noon, so that they could have some time to spend with their cousins.

Cousins 



Friday was another full day with a half day of school for the boys, a trip to a small town with the cousins, lots of outdoor play, and even a supper date  for the adults. After we picked up the boys from school, we went home where the boys immediately dug out all their nerf guns to play with Landon and Emma. Nate and Ruth have an "Emma" too, so we had two Emma Robertson at our house. The two Emma's are separated by quite a few years between them though! Charis is two, and  our Emma greatly enjoyed having a younger child around. We ended up going up to Camden, which is a quaint little town up the road. The kids had  a good time walking along the harbor, and running around with their cousins.

Roger had to work part of the day on Saturday. But it gave Nate's family a chance to see where Roger works.  Also  on Saturday we visited a lighthouse with Nate, Ruth, and their family. After all, it would be a shame to come all the way to Maine and not visit a light house! Although we didn't have great weather while they were here, I'm thankful that it wasn't pouring down rain. We did have to dress up a bit warmly , but we were able to be outside. Nate and Ruth had to leave on Sunday morning, so it was a really quick visit. However, it is always nice to see family, and I'm thankful that they made the effort to come see us.

So there it is in writing...a crazy busy week! Want to know a special blessing? Someone anonymously put $200.00 on our  school bill!  I had a hard time not skipping out of the office on Friday after the secretary told me that! God is so good! Just when it's hard not to be overwhelmed, God gives us a special tangible reminder that He knows exactly where we are at! I had many blessings last week among them being a meal shared with Rogers boss,  having family come to visit, and someone being used of God to encourage us. We are blessed! I don't know who put money on our school bill, and they might not even read the blog, but I am so very thankful for your generosity!

Have a wonderful day!
Sarah

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Life Lessons

It's hard to believe that we are in the last week in March! As I look back at the memories and moments from the month a few stand out in my mind. It was a month that was full of delights as well as a few disappointments in my mind. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything He allows, and it's another reminder to me to put my whole trust in Him.

Roger's birthday was last Wednesday, and while it wasn't a day full of excitement as far as birthdays go, it was a day I am very thankful for. The last two birthdays we have been separated from Roger on his special day. A year ago Roger was already in Maine, and I was trying to finish up the school year in Wisconsin while we waited for God's direction on housing. Two years ago in 2015, Roger was in Arizona working for American Aviation while I packed up our house in Wisconsin and finished up the school year. So it was an exciting birthday in the sense that we are all together! The boys insisted that Roger have a birthday cake, and Chandler talked Roger into having an ice cream cake as that is what Chandler prefers. (Although I'm pretty sure that is what Roger prefers as well, so it didn't take much convincing on Chandler's part!) 😄 I had managed to snag a Cabela's gift card on a discount, so the kids were delighted to give that to Roger for his birthday.

Also this past week we had sixteen ladies again for the Bible study on Friday morning. I made chocolate chip cookies and some blueberry muffins for the Bible study. Roger is always happy when there's leftovers as I bring the treats out to the airport for the pilots after the Bible study. We will have our fourth week of Bible study this Friday, and it's been so wonderfully refreshing to see these ladies come out every week to study God's Word.

Due to the weather situation on Saturday, Roger had an unexpected day off. Since he has worked every Saturday this month, it was a special treat to have Roger around for the day. We went to pick up his car (remember the one that hit a deer in early November?). The car was finally ready to be picked up, so we went to do that before the mechanic changed his mind and something else was wrong with it! After we did that, I went grocery shopping for the week, while Chandler and Roger went to the car dealership. We received one of those scratch off tickets from the Ford dealer in the mail. According to the scratch number we won $250.00. I figured there was some type of catch, but Chandler was very anxious to go see if it was right! Roger agreed to take him to the dealership. Sure enough, the tiny print in the address box was the "real" number and we "won" a $5.00 gift card to Walmart! It was a good lesson in why we don't play the lottery or gamble. It was also a good lesson in how slick some car dealers can be and how we need to be aware and careful. After that escapade, we decided to take a trip down to Portland. There is a Cabelas down there in that area. We knew that if we didn't go today then it would be awhile before Roger would have the opportunity to go with the boys. I have to admit that Cabelas is not the place that I would pick to spend an afternoon, but our boys were so excited about going. It was a good afternoon spent as a family, and for that I am thankful.

Hannah and Josh were out of town this week, so we got to watch their dog, "Mayday". The boys and Emma throughly enjoyed having her around for the week, but the dog is probably ready for some peace and quiet! Mayday was quick to understand that Emma is the most likely candidate to drop food or give her a treat, and she also understood that Travis showing up with the leash is a bad idea! The funniest moment was when Travis was giving the dog commands and Emma was mimicking right beside the dog! Travis said "sit" and they both sat. Travis said "Come" and they both came. Travis said "roll over" and they both rolled over. Then Travis decided to give them both a treat...and the same treat! But it was a dog treat!! Emma looked at it suspiciously and asked, "Is this a dog treat?" to which Travis replied, "Well, you need to be thankful, Emma!" I must admit it made folding clothes a lot more interesting as I was listening to them! 😀

Hot lunch was served today at school. I headed up a team of moms and we worked together to make  and prepare tacos, fresh fruit, and dessert for the students and staff at the school. I enjoy helping out in this capacity, but it also a day that leaves me a bit more tired than normal.

Roger came home from work tonight and told me about a snow storm that is brewing for Saturday. I told him that was not a very funny April Fools joke! He replied that the forecast is for 5-7 inches of snow! However Chandler thought Roger said 57 inches of snow! Oh dear! I'm not excited about 5-7 inches of snow, an early I can't imagine 57 inches!

One of my struggles from this week has to do with disappointments. We checked out a local music   school to see about possibly having the boys take some piano lessons. I would had thought about trying to take lessons again as well. We enjoyed our tour of the school, and the staff seemed very competent and friendly. They said that they would  get back to us about discount pricing for five lessons and times that could work. We heard back from them later this week, and that is not going to be an option. It's not the fault  of the music school, but the total for the lessons would be $98.00 a week. Don't get me wrong, that's probably a decent price for the lessons that we would be receiving, however that is just not even a remote possibility right now.

We also have a very large personal "storm" brewing that is causing me a great deal of concern. I'm not at liberty to discuss details yet, and we are  waitingto see if God will allow the "storm" to blow over. If God brings us to mind, we would appreciate your prayers. I  don't want you to walk away  thinking that I complain a lot or that I'm whining about our situation. Neither  of those is the case here. However, I DO want to look back one day and remember how God did show himself strong and how He provided clear direction, and how He worked out everything clearly and perfectly in His timing.

Happy Birthday to Roger 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Snowstorms, School, and Adjustments


                                     
                                                Snowstorm 

It's kinda crazy how fast time passes! I feel like I just updated the blog, but the truth is that it's closer to two weeks ago that I actually did write a post!

Emma is quickly adapting to "school" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she looks forward to their mornings. This past Tuesday Hannah came down in the morning, so I was able to spend some time with her while Emma was in school. There are not very  many exciting places to go in our town, but we did go to Walmart and the grocery store. 😀 I enjoyed the morning with her, and we actually picked up all the kids from school at 11:30am., on Tuesday, March 14. A snowstorm was predicted to start around noon, and it was flurrying by the time we picked the kids from school. It was quite the snowstorm with the howling winds and blowing snow. My kids were delighted at how fast the snow was falling, and they quickly went outside to build snow forts and shovel snow. We had about fourteen inches out by our home, but we had quite a few big drifts too. I was concerned that we  would have another snow day on Wednesday, but we actually ended up with only a two hour delay. I was very thankful that school was not called off. Every day missed is a day that we have to make up at the end of the year...and I'll be ready to be done as will our children!

I know I'm going backwards in time a bit, which might make it a bit challenging to follow along. But I'm just making sure that I'm writing down the memories that I remember! We had a day off of school on Friday, March 10, as the teachers had an in-service day. We also had our ladies Bible study for the second week. We had sixteen ladies from six different churches in the area! It's so exciting for me to see God's hand at work, and to see these ladies come together for fellowship and Bible study. We also had 23 kids come along with their mamas to the Bible study! Our pastor graciously offered to watch  the children in the fellowship hall while the ladies did the Bible study. I am thankful that  he was   willing to play and entertain the children so that we could have Bible study. There is a definite need for this type of ministry, and I am so thankful that God has worked in hearts and lives to bring this group of ladies together. Please pray for continued interest, spiritual growth, and for wisdom for those  leading the Bible study.

On Saturday the kids and I made lunch for the pilots and another family in our school. The boys have no concept of sleeping in on Saturday and by 8:15 am, we had made three pans of enchiladas, a rice dish, a chocolate cake, and cookies! I'm not saying that to brag; I'm  just stating that we had a busy morning! We took lunch out to the airport, and then I took the kids to a birthday party for one of the students in the school. I was telling Roger that we've made some good friends since school started. Back at the beginning of the school year, I wouldn't have wanted to attend a party without Roger. Now that we've become more comfortable and made some friends, it's easier for me to take the kids to things without Roger. I definitely prefer to do things all together as a family. But in nine months of living here, I've discovered that Roger's  job is not always conducive to that! I am learning to be more flexible (not always my favorite) and to adjust and adapt around the hours and days that he is working. I've also come to treasure the moments we have together a bit more, and I try to be aware of the days he is off and to guard our time carefully. All in all, the job is going well for Roger. As of March fifteenth he has been with the company for a year. Wow! Time has flown by! Roger also took a different position within the company a few weeks ago. He is now the assistant chief pilot, and while I know the position makes him a bit nervous, I know he will do a great job at it!

Again, I apologize as this blog post is probably a bit challenging and confusing to read. However, my iPad still has moments where it does not work correctly, so I just have to work with it! The boys are busy on academic fair projects which is also read as mom is busy with helping them, answering questions, and trying to stay sane! Thankfully, I have been helping with the researching and writing aspects, and Roger works with the boys on the project aspects! We have one child working on researching and writing about Penobscot Island Air, and another child on "Tourism in Page, Arizona".  And a child writing about "America's Dairyland",  and one researching a Maine lighthouse...anyone    care to guess which child is working on which project? 😀

I volunteered to work in the school library on Thursday as the normal volunteer was unavailable. It wasn't exactly how I wanted to spend my "free" morning as all the kids were at school for a few hours, but it's what I felt God would want me to do. I actually did have a good time with it as I read books aloud  to Wyatt and Travis' classes, helped Garett and Chandler's class pick out books and research volcanoes, and played a library scavenger hunt with the oldest class. It was a busy morning, but God blessed me in spite of not being excited about it. Travis also had a friend over after school, so I had  an extra child in the afternoon. Sometimes it works out well for Travis to have a friend over after school since I have to come back anyways to pick up the other boys.

Firday is chapel day for the students. I play the piano for the chapel service which is something I enjoy. We also had a special missions  chapel on Friday. I was able to present the Haiti video to the students, and talked for a few minutes about the trip.  The video always brings back such good memories,  and it reminds of  the deep needs of the Haitian people. I was thankful for the opportunity to share with the students about Haiti.

 Friday is our ladies Bible study day, and a morning  that I  really look forward to.  I made banana bread for the ladies, and helped set up the Sunday school classroom for the Bible study. We could just leave the tables and chairs the way at they are set up for Sunday school, but it's nice to put a little extra effort into making the space warmer and a bit more welcoming for the ladies. While I do enjoy the Bible study, I also recognize the need for someone to work in the nursery. I offered to do it this week, and we had eight children to watch while the mamas were at the Bible study. Bible study ends at 11:00 am., and Travis is done with school at 11:30. That means it is a busy half-  hour  to put everything back,  and get Travis picked up so I can go home. Usually my friend, Allison, helps me put everything back, but this week she stayed home with a child that wasn't feeling well. As much as it's a bit inconvenient to put everything back, I am thankful for the opportunity to minister  to these ladies in whatever way possible. God has presented us with the need for this Bible study, He has opened the doors, and I feel that He has already started to bless these ladies. I'm looking forward to  seeing God continue to work in our lives.

Also, today was Garett and Chandler's spelling test. I think I get as nervous about it as they do, but we are making strides in the right direction. Both boys got one hundreds on their tests, and that was a huge answer to prayer for all of us!

Well, if you made it to the end of these rambling then congratulations, and you know that I am blessed. It was a busy week, and I'm thankful that it's Saturday. Saturday is a day to relax a bit and prepare for the next week. I am teaching Children's Church tomorrow, and  we have a church dinner tomorrow after the worship service. I am still working on my lesson for tomorrow, but I have already  made white chicken chili, desert, and bread for tomorrow. Okay, I didn't make the bread, I bought it. My bread making skills are still lacking, and I don't want anyone to feel like they have lead in their stomach tomorrow.

I am going to close for now, but we appreciate you all. Our hearts are full, and we are blessed. My mind  has been mediating on Ephesians chapter three and verse twenty and twenty one. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, amen. 

https://animoto.com/play/RcUggWWkxFs8tQcmGWqEOA

This is the link to the Haiti video that I made for church. It's hard to condense 700 pictures into a four minute video, but this is what I came up with!




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter Break...and Back in Routine

This has been winter break week for the kids, (actually it was last week as this posting is so late) so we have enjoyed a few days off of school. The weather has been beautiful which means lots of walking, building snow forts, and playing in mud and melting snow!

Roger had off of work in Monday so he was able to take the three older boys flying. Roger's boss allows Roger to use one of the company's smaller planes if it's not needed. Garett has been asking to go flying with Roger for several weeks now, so I was thankful to see it happen. Garett has a strong interest in aviation, and we are trying to encourage his interest without being pushy about it. Garett was able to do some of the actually flying today, so he's been on cloud nine. Chandler was also able to fly the plane for a bit, and while he likes it, he doesn't have the same interest in it that his older brother has. Due to weather conditions, Wyatt was not able to have a turn in the front seat, so Roger said that I could maybe drop him off at work one of these afternoons this week.

On Tuesday I was able to attend a ladies Bible study at a church of one of my friends from school. This was a really good time of encouragement for me, and it was a reminder of something I'd like to come to more often. I was thankful for the time in God's Word, the fellowship with friends, and the opportunity to share our thoughts. After the Bible study, a few ladies from our church met together for lunch to discuss starting our own Bible study with ladies in the church/school. I am thankful that Beth, our pastor's wife, has a desire to help other ladies grow in the Word. The four of us came up with some good ideas, and I think it will come together quickly in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, Roger took the kids sledding this morning. Wyatt had taken a spill this morning while wrestling with his brothers, and while sledding he fell off the sled and landed hard on his stomach.   Roger said he sat really still for a while after that and then threw up twice in the bushes on the    sledding hill. It was a rough day for Wyatt! He seemed to feel better after an afternoon nap; and since  we were going to my sisters place for supper, I just figured I'd ask her about Wyatt! We had a great time visiting with Hannah and Josh and it's nice to get together to do that. The kids enjoy playing with their dog, and it was a good evening together. Wyatt seems to be back to himself, so apparently it was just a bit of a rough day.

 
Emma and Garett at the airport 

 
Top: Emmanuel and Travis; bottom: at the airport 
Wednesday morning of winter break was celebrated by having a play date with some friends from school. The boys have enjoyed getting to know some of the kids in their classes better, and I like play dates because it's a good opportunity to get to know the parents better. Bethany brought me coffee so    that was especially nice! 😀 The boys enjoyed a morning playing outside, building forts, shooting nerf guns, and eating! I'm thankful for the friendship that Bethany and I have been developing, as well as for their children and the friendships that my children are building.

Thursday was an impromptu play date with another family from school. The Philbrook's have two girls, but our children are not partially partial to gender playmates. They just enjoy having anyone to play with them! We had tacos again for lunch as that's an easy lunch for play dates as the boys certainly didn't mind! Allison and I have never run out of things to talk about so it was a good time by all. Allison has become a dear friend to me, and I am very thankful for her friendship.

On Friday we hung out at home, cleaned up the yard a bit, and just enjoyed a day without anything much on our schedule...except grocery shopping! These boys can eat...oh my! I'm already learning just how expensive our grocery bill might be when we have teen boys that are 12,13,14,and 15 years old! I think it might be time for us to look into raising chickens, and getting some seeds started for a  garden this spring!

On Saturday I made a crockpot of white chicken chili and a dessert. The kids and I took lunch out to  Roger's workplace to share with the other pilots on duty today. It was a beautiful day, and I'm  thankful that God provided Roger with a job that we can drop by, bring lunch, and see him for a few  minutes.  

I had the opportunity to play the piano for services on Sunday. It's an opportunity that I definitely   enjoy, and it blesses me far more than it probably blesses those listening.

It was a good week of winter break. Although it didn't seem like a much needed break from school because we've had so many snow days in the last two weeks, it was a good time to just spend time with our kids. The boys also have the academic fair coming up in April. Since this is our first experience with this event, I'll let you know how it goes! They each have to written  report on a topic, and do some research on it as well as a presentation board. We started on the projects a bit over break,and it was a good reminder of how God has blessed me with the Christian school. Could I homeschool them? Yes. Would I want to? No! I love our children but I am much better at just being ther cheerleader, coach and mom than being their education instructor.  God is so good to me!

Monday, February 27, we returned to school. Yay! Getting back into a routine and schedule is one of my favorite things to do!

Tuesday is music class day at the school. The music teacher had asked if I would be willing to teach music class today as her  husband recently underwent a surgery. I said yes, but I knew it would be a bigger deal for Emma than myself. Roger would be working, and I didn't want to have Emma sit  through several hours of music classes. However, the school also has a pre-k class for three her old school that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I mentioned to Emma that she could probably go to the class if she wanted to while I taught class. It was as though I had handed her the moon! She wasso excited, and she told her  brothers all about it as soon as they came home from school on Monday. I was thankful to see that she was excited about going, but I was curious to see I found she would be as excited when I walked away from the classroom door on Tuesday morning! Sure enough Emma was all excited about going to "school" on Tuesday until we walked into the classroom. I knew she would be fine though so I walked away. I think it was harder on me than on her. That was my baby  that I left for the morning! But I did have a good time teaching music classes, and Emma did fabulously in her class. I also have lunch duty on Tuesday, so it was a bit of a long day for all of us.

Wednesday was Roger's day off of work, so he spent the morning doing a few errands that needed his attention while Emma and I attended the parent group meeting at the school. After the meeting and picking up  Travis, I came home to make a meal for the music teacher and her family. I've learned over the years of making meals for people that often the best meals are the simplest ones. I made the  same meal that I've made for several years now for families that I bring a meal to. It's one my kids enjoy and it's simple and tasty. I made stuffed taco shells, hot bean dip, vegetables, chips and a dessert. I wouldn't t say that I am a gifted cook or anything, but I do enjoy making a meal for someone on occasion. What a blessing to minister to others as I've been so blessed!

Thursday was a fun morning for me. After Emma had enjoyed preschool so much on Tuesday, Roger   and I talked about allowing her to continue to attend. Since she would be free, and she seems to enjoy    it so much, we decided that we would continue to allow her to go for now. She was still a bit hesitant when I dropped her off, but she was  happy to be at school like the "brothers". I was able to go on a run...the first one in a while. I definitely enjoy and need exercise, so that would be a huge plus for me in Emma going to school. However, I also want to make sure that I am making the best decisions for my child and not allowing my selfishness to get in the way. I was also able to have a coffee date with my friend, Allison. We discussed everything under the sun as well as the ladies Bible study that will be on Friday morning. This Bible  study is one that we are both excited about and thankful for the opportunity to reach out to other ladies in our area. The kids ended up with a half day at  school  today. There was a problem with the heater and the boiler, so school was dismissed at 11:30. Allison and I took the kids to the bowling alley. We haven't been bowling since before our move to Maine so that was fun! It was a bit like stepping back in time though as it was a very "vintage" bowling alley! But we had a lot of fun and laughs while doing something fun with our children.
  
A view from my run; the boy's  fort; adventures at the bowling alley 

Friday was our kick off day for our ladies Bible study. I made some treats for the ladies who came, and Allison made coffee. We managed to squeeze in a few minutes to pray together for the study before I needed to leave to play the piano for the school chapel service. Oh, how my heart is full! I desire to encourage these ladies in God's Word especially the mamas with young children. I remember the days of fatigue  and frustration with my lack of opportunities  to study in God's Word. It's hard for me to believe but I am quickly advancing to the side of no longer being a "mom of young children"!  Emma is 3 1/2 years old, potty trained, and sleeps fairly well at night. However, I remember with  great clarity the days of four boys in four years! I want to make sure that I try to reach out to other young moms in the trenches and encourage them.  I have offered to take a turn at providing  childcare for the moms that need to bring their children to the Bible study. I want these moms to have ever opportunity to be  able to  enjoy fellowship and a study in the Bible.  We had nine ladies attend the Bible study today. I am thankful for each one that's came, and I truly enjoyed digging into the Bible as we studied on "storms in our lives". I'm looking forward to seeing what God continues to do in and through me as we continue our Bible study.

William Carey said, "Expect great things from God. Attempt great  things for God."

Dr. Pat Robertson: "Attempt something so big for God that unless He intervenes, it's bound to fail."


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Last Day in Haiti and my Summary

Friendships established over the week

Fishing boats

Joe and Debbie Lynn 

Hannah's birthday dinner and cake 



I am determined to finish up this Haiti journal even if I have to write I out by hand and take a picture of it! (Trust me, I don't know if you could read my journal scribblings from my Haiti journal as even I have to work at it sometimes!)

So after our trip to the beach on Monday evening we came back to the camp. Since we needed to be ready to leave for the airport in Port au Prince early Tuesday morning, we headed to Jocmel to stay at the mission house at the church there. We packed up our bags and willingly said good by to our mosquito friends who were waiting for nightfall so that they could eat us alive!

We arrived in Jocmel about eight thirty in the evening. Everyone was tired, exhausted and ready for bed. However the pastor of the church announced that some of the ladies were preparing supper for us. All the suppers that I've had in Haiti have been very light as in bread and cheese, porridge, or bread and peanut butter. I kinda expected this supper to be along the same lines except the pastor said that they needed about thirty five more minutes to finish the lasagna! Ahh...well, it happened to perhaps be a bit more than thirty five minutes! We all kinda sat around in a sleepy stupor waiting for supper. Around ten-thirty, yes 10:30 pm, supper was ready! It was a delicious supper of lasagna, white rice, and fried chicken. The lasagna was good with some type of ground meat and some deli ham in it. (I never saw any ground meat the whole time I was here, so I have no idea what kind it was!) It was a bit of a heavy meal at 10:30 pm, but I am blessed by the willing hearts and hands that prepared that delicious meal for us.

After we had eaten, Pastor B. (I can't spell his Haitian name) brought out a cake for Hannah's birthday which will be on Sunday. He gave her a beautiful and thoughtful speech about how thankful he and the other national pastors of Haiti are for her love and concern for the people in the rural areas of Haiti. She is truly gifted in her nursing skills, and it's easy to see that those who know her love her.

Needless to say, it was a short night on sleep! We were up by 5:15am., and on the road by 6:15 am. We traveled to Port au Prince in a van, which is the most comfortable vehicle we've traveled in and the roads are mostly paved on the way to the big city. The trip took a little over three hours, and by the time we arrived at the airport both Hannah and I were feeling the effects of carsickness. The motion in the vehicle, the heat, the diesel fumes, and the smell of trash made me feel very sick. The smells and sights of Port au Prince are indescribable. Unless you see it all for yourself, it's hard to convey what it's really like.

We arrived and  were checked into our flights by 10:00 am. We had a little time to visit with Josh's parents, Hope Ann, and Samantha before they had to leave on their flight. What a delight it was to get to know these people better this week! Josh's mom, Debbie Lynn, and I made some wonderful memories together and I have been blessed by her friendship this week. Hope Ann and Samantha were a lot of fun to be around, hard workers, and we've shared many laughs over the last week. Hannah, Josh, and I were on a different flight so we had a bit of a wait before our flight. That's okay though as it gave me an opportunity to wrap up some of my journal entries.

Summary:
Truly it would be impossible to describe all that I learned, saw, and felt on this trip. We worked many long hours, walked many steps up and down mountains, and saw God at work in every clinic we did in Haiti. I think about 22 people were saved as a result of the Gospel messages before the clinics. Please be in prayer for these souls that they will be discipled and grow in Christ. We gave away 10,000 adult vitamins; 12,000 children's vitamins; 10,000 Motrin; 10,000 Tylenol; 1,000's of stomach meds and worm medication. We saw over 835 people in the course of three full day clinics, and two clinics that were 1/2 days. We saw people with serious conditions, undernourished children and  adults, and people who came because they were curious. This week long Missions trip has put so much in perspective for me. Do you have any idea how blessed we are in the United States? I have so little to complain about, and God has truly blessed me.

A few words come to mind when I look back on this  trip. First of all...joy. These Haitian christians worship the Lord with all their heart. They are some of the most joy filled people I have ever met. I was blessed by their churches services as well as getting to meet several of the national pastors. Secondly, another word that comes to mind is contentment. I have so much compared to these people, and they have truly learned what it means to "cast their burdens on the Lord". They depend on God to provide the food for the next meal, something for their child to wear, and other such daily things that I don't even give a second thought to in my life. Truly God's grace sustains and empowers them in  a real and personal way.

I made some new friendships on this trip. It was a special blessing to get to know Hannah's best friend, Emelie, better this week. Emelie and I will always have fun memories to look back on such as our laughter at our pharmacy skills and putting on makeup in the dark! I also enjoyed getting to know Debbie Lynn this week. She is Hannah's mother-in-law, and I was so encouraged by her this week. We figured out how to count out medicine quickly, we laughed our way through the dump truck rides, and she gave me snacks to eat! 😀

I am so thankful to each one that prayed for me and our family, supported me financially, and encouraged me to go. It was a unique and special blessing to go on this trip, and it's not one that I take lightly. I would love to go again, but I'm not sure when God will provide that opportunity again. However, if He should open the doors to this trip again, I'd be happy to go.

Roger and my mom did a great job here on the home front while I was away. I'm thankful for a husband that is so faithful and consistent at being a great dad. I'm thankful for his love and support of me as I went off to another country for a week...I am blessed. I'm also grateful for my mom's help in getting the kids back and forth to school, helping with schoolwork and always attacking the never ending pile of laundry!

Thank you for your love and prayers,
Sarah

Monday, February 20, 2017

Haiti Journal ...Day 7 & 8

The beach 

Emelie visiting her friends

Moriah Baptist Church   


I have been trying to finish up my Haiti journaling blogs for quite a while now. However, we've had a bunch of snow days since I've gotten back, church activities, family time, a parent group meeting, doctors appointments, a hot lunch for school to prepare, a video presentation for church that I'm working on, oh, and more shoveling, and my iPad has not been working properly. Needless to say, I haven't forgot, but I have been busy.

We are on day seven, which is Sunday, January 29, 2017.

It is a day to praise the Lord! I slept okay last night as I used ear plugs to block out the sounds of the mosquitoes buzzing. I still woke up itching, but it was better than some of the other ladies slept last night.

The place we are staying at is a camp right on the ocean. It is beautiful and peaceful. I am enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing, and taking in a different scene from Haiti.

We had people heading many different directions for church this morning. Emelie, Debbie Lynn, and Joe headed to the church in Jocmel. Joe is giving his testimony of Gods grace and strength as Joe struggled with cancer. Hannah, Cory, Grandpa, Sam, and Hope Ann are heading to Gaya for a church service this morning. The local pastor's have an interest in starting a church up there, and Grandpa will be preaching this morning. They used an 8 seater SUV for their trip up the mountain. But since we are in Haiti, it actually held eleven people, two huge bags of medicine, and four backpacks! Pastor Kevin and I took a motorcycle ride to Moriah Baptist Church. I went along to teach a Bible lesson to the kids, but it ended up being to everyone. I had prepared the Wordless Book lesson and one of the  young men in the church helped translate the lesson for me. I guess it was okay as no one said it was good or bad!

I had the hardest time staying awake in church today! They wanted me to sit right up in front for the service...and I mean like up in front as where everyone can see you! It was a bit of a long service, but I think I stayed awake. It was the first time that I sat really still this week, and I think my body realized that it was tired!

After church the people tried to visit with me, but I could only offer lots of smiles and hugs. Then it started to rain so we walked across the road to Pastor Gabriel's house. Pastor Kevin can speak the language without even thinking about it, but my conversations are limited to lots of hand gestures and guessing!

The medical team arrived from Gaiya about 2:00 pm. They had had a church service and nine people raised their hands for salvation. Hannah said that it got a little bit crazy when they tried to do the clinic due to lack of space and everyone wanting to be first. However when it started to rain, it was clear that they needed to get off the mountain, and it was like God saying, "Its time to go." We will be praying that God will provide a national pastor for the church, and perhaps next year the medical team will do a clinic there again. The team did see about 45 people, and handed out what medicine they had to those in need.

We ate lunch at the pastor's house, and it was delicious. Chicken, fish, rice and beans, fried plantains were all a part of the meal. After lunch we hiked down the mountain to the truck that would take us back to the camp. On the way back to the camp, we stopped at a friend of Pastor Kevins. This friend had a small market place, and we had sodas...which tasted different than the ones in the U.S. However, it was a nice treat. Although I am certainly not going to be coming home   any skinnier due to all the carbs and sugar I've had this week!

We arrived back at the camp around four thirty, and spent a good part of the afternoon just visiting  and fellow shipping together. Pastor Kevin, Grandpa and Cory went to Jocmel for a graduation
ceremony at the local Bible institute there. Grandpa and Cory stayed in Jocmel tonight as they are flying back early tomorrow morning.

As for the rest of us, we are planning on attending a baptism service tomorrow he in Caya Jocmel at Moriah Baptist Church. Since Sam's grandparents help out at the mission hospital for many months of the year, Sam would like to stop there at the hospital tomorrow. Maybe we will have a chance to see the grandma and the little boy from Chota.

January 31, Tuesday
We are  waiting in the airport at Port au Prince. I didn't have an opportunity to write about yesterday's adventures, but since we have a while to wait, I will do it  now.

Yesterday was our rest day. We had breakfast at seven am, because we thought that we would be  going to the baptism service. However, Pastor Kevin had a difficult time finding motorcycles to take  us all up the mountain to the service. He found one motorcycle to help us out, so Pastor Kevin and Joe headed to the service first. Since Pastor Kevin was baptizing some of the young people,  it was important that he get to the service! The plan was for the driver of the motorcycle to take them, come back for another two people, and eventually we would all get there. Since we had an odd number of people, Hannah, Josh, and I would take the last trip (in case the motorcycle broke when we all got on it!) ...I'm kidding! By the time the Drive came back for Emily and Debbie Lynn, the clock was ticking towards mid-morning. Hope Ann and Samantha were heading to the hospital and then we would all meet there after the baptism service. By the time the motorcycle came back for the rest of us, we had decided that we had missed the baptism service and should just go to the hospital. Hannah, Josh, myself and the driver all squeezed on to one motorcycle! I wish someone had been able to take a picture but since we were  the last ones to leave camp, there is no picture.

We did arrive safely at the hospital and Samantha gave me a tour. Hannah and Josh had both been here before as this is the hospital we usually refer our clinic patients here. We asked the administrator about the grandma and baby that had arrived on Saturday. Hannah is friends with the administrator, and she was able to tell us that the baby was in a consultation room right then. No one worries about privacy acts or anything, but instead we were directed right to the grandma and baby. Although we couldn't speak the grandma's native tongue (Hannah was the best in the group), it was clear to see that she was happy to see us. The grandma was able to tell us that she was hungry, and we came up with a few snacks. None of us had very many snacks left at this point on the trip, but we came up with a few granola bars, some nuts, and a handful of candy canes. The little boy seemed to be a bit more alert, and he was actually uttering a few sounds in the room. I am praying that he will be able to get the help he needs.

After seeing the baby, we wandered around a bit, sat a bit, and became a little bored. Hannah suggested that we walk up the street to Pastor Kevin's friend's little market shop. The hospital is on the same road that the other in the team would be returning on, so we knew that we would see them coming. Since Pastor Kevin is well known in this town, and everyone in town seems to know Hannah as well, we knew it would be fine. We had just started walking when we saw Pastor Kevin and joe coming towards us on the motorcycle. We talked a few minutes and then we went to get drinks while pastor Kevin talked to a few people at the hospital.

When we arrived back at the hospital, Emelie and Debbie Lynn were there also. Emelie announced that she was going to do some church visitation, and did anyone want to come along? Emelie had a few gifts to give away to some of the ladies that are dear friends In the area, and she was going to walk to their homes to give them the gifts. So myself, Hope Ann, and Debbie Lynn went with her. I can't speak the language but I can smile and hand out candy canes! The ladies were so happy with the small items of clothing and soap that Emelie gave away. It's convicting to see people so appreciative of the little things that I take for granted.

After a few stops, Emelie announced that she had one more elderly lady that she wanted to visit, but she didn't have a gift. I rummaged in my backpack and came up with more candy canes and some unopened lip gloss. We walked into the lady's yard and Emelie started chatty with a very old lady. The lady was very happy with the gift, and she gestured for us to come into her house. It was then that Emelie realized that she had given the gift to the wrong lady! We walked into the house to find an even older lady sitting on the bed. She was delighted to see Emelie  and chattered excitedly. We did not insert most of what she said, but she seemed to enjoy our company. I found another stick of chapstick and more candy canes in my back pack. It took a bit, but we managed to say good by. By the time we arrived back at the hospital it was almost 1:00 and everyone was getting hungry. Pastor Kevin came up with some motorcycles to take us back to the camp. We had thought that lunch might be ready when we arrived back, but she we are on Haitian time it's impossible to know. I do ow that I seem to be ready to eat about three hours earlier than when it's actually time to eat!  Since lunch wasn't ready a few people went for a swim in the ocean. I waded for a Bit but the sun gave me a very bad headache. I sat in the shade and talked to Emelie. About three o'clock the cook came to tell us that lunch wa ready....yay!! The fish was very good, and I just choose not to thinking about the head being attached. After eating and fellowshipping for a bit, we took  a walk on the beach. It was beautiful by the water, but it's hard to get past all the trash everywhere.  At the public beach there were some vendors that were delighted to see white Americans! Since Pastor Kevein can speak the language fluently, he did  a lot of the bargaining. Hannah and I both bought a painting for our homes, and a few others bought a few gifts to take home.

Okay, I have more to write about day eight, but my iPad is giving me a  serious headache right now. I will write more later. Thank you for your patience as I continue to finsh this journal for this missions trip.