Hopeful Thoughts


Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

And then there were three…

At 3:30 in the morning on July 28, 2010, I got up to go to the bathroom, as is normal for most pregnant women.  The difference this time?  When I got back in the bed, I felt the spill of a gush of water.  ”Crap!” I thought, “he’s not due for another week and my sister won’t be here for two more days!!”

I knew the process had begun, though, and there was no changing the course of events.  My life was about to change forever!

I leaned over and woke up my husband, told him what happened, and then called the midwife on call for my birthing center.  She told me to go back to bed and come in to the center at 9  AM when it opened.  ”Great!  I get to go back to bed!” I called my mom to let her know what happened, and then crawled back into the bed.  But, there was no more sleep.  I laid there for a couple of hours before giving up on sleep and going to do some laundry.

I called my sister about 6:00 AM to let her know what was going on.  She was waiting for her ride to the airport so she and her kids could go to my parents’ house.  The original plan was for her to spend two nights with my folks, and then come here on Friday.  Over the course of the next 2 hours, between my mom and I, we were able to find her a flight into DFW for that night, landing at 9 PM.   I was so relieved that she was coming, even though I didn’t know if she would arrive before or after the baby.

I tried to sleep again at 7, but mom called again almost immediately after my head hit the pillow.  I couldn’t get off the phone again before I walked out the door to head to the birthing center.

We arrived at the birthing center just after 9:00 AM, where I was examined.  The exam revealed that there were essentially no other signs of labor and I’d only experienced a partial rupture of the waters.   I felt crampy, but I wasn’t having “waves” of individual contractions like I expected.  I was told to walk and pump in 30 minute intervals to try to get contractions to start.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, 12 hours after my water broke, I wasn’t even dilated to a 2, though I was slightly effaced.  My midwife began mentioning the “H” word (hospital).  She was concerned that I was going to need pitocin to get contractions going stronger since I didn’t seem to be progressing.  They were also concerned about the possibility of infection.

At 5:30, I wasn’t any further along.  The midwife decided to break the rest of my water in hopes of jump starting labor, but she was really talking hospital at this point.  We set back to walking and pumping, only I was instructed to do squats every time I had a contraction.

As the evening progressed, I could tell my contractions were getting stronger, but not fast enough for my midwife.  She was still really concerned about the length of time that had passed.  I told her my sister was on her way and asked that I be allowed to wait until she arrived before transferring.  She consented, and agreed to stick it out with me as long as I wanted.

The sun set, and things were still moving slow.  The midwife realized how tired I was, and mentioned that I would be able to rest at the hospital.  I was exhausted, and the idea of rest was so appealing.  My husband and I both really wanted to avoid the hospital, but there came a point that we felt we were just postponing the inevitable.  We began to ask questions about what we could expect to happen at the hospital.  Even so, something told me it was all going to be OK once my sister arrived.

It must have been around 9 PM when it was suggested that my sister meet us at the hospital.  I knew how many people were praying for us.  I’d been posting updates on Facebook and seen all the responses that were coming in from church friends and family.  Regardless of what happened, I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I told the midwife that I didn’t want to go anywhere until my sister arrived at the birthing center.

My sister’s flight was delayed an hour and then they were stuck in traffic, but I stuck to my plan and waited for her to get there.  She finally arrived after 11:00 PM.  A check by the midwife revealed that I was dilated to a 4.  Still a long way from 10, but certainly progress in the right direction.  She was still talking hospital and even mentioned that a c-section was a possibility.  The baby was face up when he should have been face down. After chatting it over with my sister and husband, we all decided that we wanted to stay.  The midwife consented, but only if I agreed to an IV for antibiotics.  Of course I would agree to that!  I was going to be allowed to stay!

We weren’t out of the weeds yet.  A deadline was set.  If I wasn’t to a point where it was apparent that a baby was coming soon by 3:30, I was going to the hospital, no more negotiations.

The details of the next 4  hours are fuzzy.  I was so tired that I slept between most contractions, and even through some of them (the mild ones).  I fell asleep sitting up on several occasions!  The contractions continued to get more painful.  Because of the baby’s position, they radiated around my middle and down through my thighs.  Not fun!  My midwife patiently observed and waited.  I could tell she was convinced that I was going to be headed to the hospital.

My 3:30 deadline arrived and I was checked.  My midwife’s analysis?  ”Hope, you’ve made a liar out of me!  You’re dilated to a 9!!”  I knew she was thrilled to be able to tell me this, and I was thrilled to hear it!  We discussed the tub, but I was told that wasn’t going to be an option because of the face up position of the baby.  However, I was allowed to take a hot shower.  The water felt so good on my aching body!  It was so relaxing that I felt my contractions seem to wane and become less intense.  This concerned me, but I didn’t mention it.  About 10 minutes later, I leaned over on the seat to cope with one of the contractions that did come and I felt a strange sensation that I could only identify as a need to push.

“I think I need to push!”  I called to those outside.  I was whisked out of the shower and back into the birth room.  After nearly 2 hours of pushing and an episiotomy, Grayson Parker was born at 5:50 in the morning on July 29, 2010.  7 pounds and 2 ounces, 21 inches long, with a dimple!!!

Praise God!  We did it!  No hospital, no pitocin, no pain meds, no c-section.

I’m not going to look down on anyone that has those things as part of their delivery.  They are not bad.  For me, however, it was important that I have my baby naturally.  I’m only 5 feet tall, and I’ve heard negative comments all my life about things I wouldn’t be able to do because of my small build.  I have to short friends and both of them had complications with delivery.  I think I felt deep down that I had something to prove for the short people!  :)

It was an experience that I will cherish and I am so thankful that everything fell into place.  I give God the glory that it did, because, without His divine intervention, I would have been just another medicated hospital delivery.

Singing Praises

It never ceases to amaze me how our God answers prayers and provides for our needs.  He does things in ways we would never expect and could never imagine on our own.  Often, just when we can’t see any options, He provides in unexpected ways.

Recently, I’ve been very frustrated with my “job options”.  When I quit teaching a year ago, the plan was to begin tutoring out of my home in order to bring in a little extra income to support what Ryan was making working full time.  This seemed like an easy goal, so I built a web site, made flyers, printed up business cards, and even paid for an ad in the local homeschool association parent newsletter.  Over the first summer, I had one student, and didn’t get another until November when two kids came twice each.  I finally landed a consistent student in January who stuck with me through the end of the school year, but my one kid for this summer fell through.

When things seemed bleak back in November, I took advantage of another opportunity and began selling Premier Designs jewelry at home shows.  I’ve done direct sales before, and this seemed like a great way to make a little extra cash and maybe even meet parents who needed a tutor for their kids.  I enjoy the jewelry parties, but my heart is in education.  I want to work with kids, and it was really bumming me out that Hope4Math couldn’t seem to get off the ground.

Rewind to the spring of 2008.  I was teaching Geometry for the first time ever (something I was a bit apprehensive about doing, but wound up loving!)  There was a young lady in one of my classes who REALLY struggled.  She struggled so much that her mom hired a tutor.  When she continued to struggle, the tutor called me directly to touch base and see if we could work together on a plan to help her succeed.

I’m not sure how the conversation lead to this point, but the tutor, we’ll call her “Kay”, and I hit it off over the phone and I let her know of my future goal of quitting full time teaching and pursuing a tutoring business of my own.  We ended up meeting for lunch and she shared her knowledge.  We kept up communication during the rest of the year, and the following fall, I received a phone call from her.  She and her husband were expecting another baby, and she was hoping I would be able to sub for some of her tutoring sessions after the baby came.

I started working for her in January of 2009 two afternoons a week.  Kay eventually took back most of her students, but I remained on one day a week from that point on.  During that time, I’ve learned about her business and met most of her students.  We’ve become friends as we’ve shared her new baby, both of our husbands being laid off, and my own coming bundle.

What does this have to do with God and His provision?

Kay’s husband lost his job before Christmas this year, and just this month received a job offer in another state.  To make a long story short, I’ve been asked to essentially take over the business that she has spent the last several years building.

I’ll be going from one student to a full load almost overnight.

God is awesome!

Staying Cool at 35 Weeks

I knew being pregnant in the summer wasn’t going to exactly be “fun”.  I expected to be hot and uncomfortable.  I didn’t expect to be unable to be cool in my own home.

At 35 weeks pregnant, I’ve gained 28 pounds and am finding it much harder to assume comfortable positions around the watermelon that now resides where my stomach once was.  Add to that the fact that our air conditioner hasn’t been functioning for nearly 2 weeks, and it’s pretty hard to take.

We knew the AC unit was old when we bought the place.  However, it WAS cooling the house.  At least it was until we woke up on June 21, the morning after the big party, to a house nearing 85 degrees at 8:30 in the morning and we heard a grinding noise coming from the unit.  NOT cool!  We shut it off, since it wasn’t working.

So, we called our Warranty company to send out an AC repair guy.  Due to busy schedules, no one could come out until Tuesday.  On Tuesday, the brilliant man who came out told us that there was absolutely nothing wrong, that it was just old.  He claimed we needed a new unit.  We turned the unit back on and left it running and grinding, however, so we could at least cool the air a bit.

Unhappy with this diagnosis, we called the AC company and asked that they send us another guy.  This guy came on Wednesday.  This time, the unit was cleaned, inspected, and we were told we needed a new fan motor, which couldn’t be replaced because the unit was so old they didn’t make the bracket needed to install it.  He also tried to sell us a new unit, naming a price that he obviously pulled out of thin air.  He claimed the warranty would cover part of the cost, but he didn’t tell us which part.  These guys left, we still had no cool air, and later that night, the unit completely quit running altogether.  Ryan even resorted to going to Wal-mart at midnight to purchase a small window unit which he finished installing in our bedroom at 3AM.

We again contacted the warranty company and asked that they send us a different AC company, because we felt the prior company wasn’t being honest with us about prices.  We were finally assigned another company last Friday afternoon, but were unable to contact them until Monday.  When I called this guy, I was told that he no longer worked with our Warranty company.  He listed several other companies that he would be happy to do work for, but not ours.  Needless to say, our confidence in the resolution of the situation was wearing thin.

The call was re-dispatched at least twice more, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that we finally got another AC guy out to the house to look at the problem.  This guy didn’t really tell us anything different, but it’s what he didn’t tell us that made us a bit more confident.  He didn’t give us any estimates until he could talk to the Warranty company to see what they were willing to do.  At last!  Someone who seemed trustworthy!

However, our problems were still a long way from being solved.  As I write this, it is Friday, a full 11 days since we first called the Warranty company with our complaint.  We are waiting on them to decided what to do.  They asked for a copy of our inspection report, which we’ve sent.  However, no feedback has been given.  Since this weekend is July 4th and many people will be off work on Monday, we can’t expect anything to be done until Tuesday at the earliest.

In the meantime, we’re spending lots of time in the bedroom and not even able to enjoy the rest of our house.  I tried to cook once, which only resulted in my nearly having heat stroke with the additional heat from the over.

I’m trying to enjoy the cooler weather God has provided though the rains over the last week.  I’m grateful for the break from the 100 degree days.  However, I will be much happier when this whole situation is resolved.

We OWN this place!!!

The front of out first place!

The front of out first place!

It’s official!  As of noon on Friday June 4th, 2010, we are HOMEOWNERS!!!  We were hoping to be official a week earlier, but getting documents from a seller all the way in Hawaii caused us to push closing a week.  No big deal, though.  It just means our first payment won’t be due for another month!

Home ownership is pretty cool.  We’ve already been living in the house since September, since we started out as renters, but now we can really start making this place our home.  It’s got a few quirks, but we’ve also found some cool surprises.  The furnace is about 50 years old, all three bathrooms will need updating, the apartment needs foundation work, none of the electrical is grounded, and the yard is a MESS, but we discovered that the front yard has a fully functional sprinkler system!

sprinklerWe’ve also discovered that my husband is pretty handy.  The hall sink hasn’t worked properly since we moved in.  There was a plumber out right after we moved in back in September who managed to get the leak to stop, but we’ve been living without any hot water since that time.  The seller paid for us to have the valve replaced, but the faucet knob was so stripped that you still couldn’t turn the water on, so we weren’t much better off.  Ryan decided that this was going to be his first big home improvement project.  We went to Lowe’s, bought a new faucet and some tools, and two days later, our sink is fully functional!!!

The original faucet.

The original faucet.

Ryan begins to take out the old faucet by removing the drain pipe.

Ryan begins to take out the old faucet by removing the drain pipe.

Notice there is no water spilling out.  He's doing great!

Notice there is no water spilling out. He's doing great!

No more knobs!  The faucet itself was a bit of an issue to get off.  Ryan ended up sawing off the drain mechanism in order to get the final parts out.  I guess it was too old and rusty to get out any other way.  Good thing we planned to trash it from the beginning!

No more knobs! The faucet itself was a bit of an issue to get off. Ryan ended up sawing off the drain mechanism in order to get the final parts out. I guess it was too old and rusty to get out any other way. Good thing we planned to trash it from the beginning!

The naked sink.

The naked sink.

Shiny new faucet that runs both hot and cold water!  Complete with a working drain.  All we had before was a hole!  It's been almost a full day since it went in, and no problems to report.  Way to go Ryan!

Shiny new faucet that runs both hot and cold water! Complete with a working drain. All we had before was a hole! It's been almost a full day since it went in, and no problems to report. Way to go Ryan!

So one project down of many more to come.  We’re going to hire someone to paint the outside of the house once we get our tax credit, but we plan to tackle many of the other projects on our own or with help from friends.  On our “To Do” list:  landscaping, interior painting and drywall repairs, new tile floors in both bathrooms, new counter in the master bath, new grout and caulk for the tubs in the master bath and the apartment bath, moving two interior door ways to create a true galley style kitchen with more counter space, a new roof, new locks on all the doors, … there’s more, but I can’t think of it all right now.

We are really excited to own this house and are grateful for God’s provision in being able to do so.  We never would have found this place without Taylor and Allison who clued us in last spring that it was coming open to rent.  We’re thankful to Charlie, our landlord, for letting us know he was going to sell it instead of just putting it on the market.  We’re grateful to Ryan’s dad for helping with the downpayment.  And were grateful to our incoming renters.  God used each of these pieces to provide, and now our baby will be born into a house!!

Christmas Decorations!

This is our first year of marriage to live in a house.  Our apartment was so small that we could only put up a little 4 foot tree, and it was always in some awkward place and in the way.  Not to mention, no one could enjoy it but us.  We hardly ever had people over simply because our space was so cramped.

This year we have room for a full size tree!  I went to Target and bought a 7 foot artificial Cashmere Pine.  It’s placed right in front of the window so, not only us and our guests can enjoy it, but also those driving by can see the glow in our window!I picked our ornaments to match our pretty new curtains, and Ryan helped me pick out the tree skirt to coordinate as well.  We spent a lot of time searching for the perfect topper.  I wanted silver wire and lights.  We found lights, and we found silver wire, but we couldn’t find the two together, so I settled for just silver and we moved on to search for the perfect wreath to hang over our fireplace.   We found it at Michael’s, who also turned out to have our perfect tree topper!  Now I have to return one, but our tree is perfect!

It was a special treat this year to have Ryan’s Mom and Grandmother join us for Thanksgiving dinner.  They hung around on Friday long enough to help us string the lights and hang the ornaments.  Thanks!

Christmas1

Christmas2Oh, and did I mention we were distracted on our shopping trip by a little something to use year round?

foyer

Finding Balance

As I lounge on my new couch COUCHsavoring my first cup of coffee of the morning at 11:00 AM, I am convicted by reading all the Facebook posts from my friends who rose much earlier than I did this morning.
Statements are made like “It’s a Monday” and “How can I become a morning person?” and “Time to start another work week.” And what am I doing????
Sipping coffee at 11:00 AM from this mug:  (Since I’ve been too busy to blog lately, here’s a quick version of the Coffee Cup Chronicles!  This mug was given to me by my college friend and suite mate, Elaine.  She was quite influential in my decision to be baptized as an adult who’d only been sprinkled as a baby. )

ElaineDon’t get mad at me because I’m home on a Monday morning and you are not.  I, too, fight a weekly battle with the Mondays. Some weeks I walk out the door at 8 AM to a sub job and some weeks I ease into it at more like 10, but each new week is a chance to try again to get it right.

When I was employed full time, I did what I had to do in the time I had to do it, otherwise it wouldn’t get done.  ”Tomorrow” simply wasn’t an option, because it was full of other things to be done.  Now that I pick my schedule, I find myself saying “I’ll do that later” far too often.  It’s a horrible thing to have to say about myself, but, truth be told, I get LAZY!!!!

I’m hoping to get better about utilizing my time instead of letting it slip away.  But, in the meantime, I just want all my working friends to know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Lost Routine. If Found, Please Contact ASAP.

Well, I’ve been back from Argentina for almost three weeks now.  I really thought life was going to slow down and settle into a routine once I returned home, but that hasn’t been the case.

I arrived home on a Sunday.  Tuesday I was scheduled to fill out my paperwork to into the Substitute teacher system in my district.  I planned to spend the rest of the week working on the house and getting re-acclimated to the US.  I figured I’d start subbing the following week about 2-3 days per week and work on building up my tutoring business.

However, the plane landed, and I hit the ground RUNNING.

The day I returned home, there was a big party in our back yard.  An older couple that attended our church is serving as missionaries in Tennessee.  They are in a very poor area and have lost a great deal of financial support since the economy crashed, so our housemates organized a fund raiser to help them out.  We all had a great time and it was a lot of fun.

This little corner of the patio was the perfect space to function as a stage.  Our back yard is AWESOME!

This little corner of the patio was the perfect space to function as a stage. Our back yard is AWESOME!

RemiAndEliDancingLounginggroupGrilling

Monday morning I got up around 9:00 and noticed a missed phone call with the prefix of the school I just resigned from.  There was no message, but I just knew they wanted me to sub.  I didn’t call back.  My house was still a wreck since I didn’t have much time to unpack before I left the country.

I spent the whole day unpacking and organizing the house.  I worked so hard that I haven’t had to do very much with any of the main living areas since then.  The living room is pretty much how we want it (especially since our new couch arrived TODAY!)  Not to mention, my HUGE kitchen is in working order with all my stuff put away and EASILY accessible.

COUCH

Tuesday, I received another call from the school.  This time I returned it, and, sure enough, they wanted me to come in as soon as possible because it was a math teacher who was out.  I explained that I had to fill out my paperwork that afternoon and Wednesday would be the soonest I could start if the sub office would even let me begin that quickly.

Tuesday should have been an easy day, but when I got into my car, it wouldn’t start.  My neighbor and I hypothesized that it was the battery.  She took me to buy a new one.  I also managed to get rides to the district’s Central Office and the BTCL that night.  Late that evening, Ryan learned how to install a car battery. Luckily, that was the fix!  Yeah for my awesome husband!!!

Wednesday at 8:00 AM, I headed up to the school to sub all day, and then I had tutoring immediately after until 6:30.

It turns out that the teacher is VERY sick.  After 3 weeks, he is still in the hospital and not expected to be released for at least two more weeks.  Thankfully, there is another Math certified sub in the district, and she and I will be able to split the days, but it still winds up being a much more demanding sub job than I expected when I decided to sub.  Because I worked in that department, I am expected to teach as much as possible.  The teachers there are working hard to provide copies and plans, so all I have to do is show up, but I am working the entire time I am there, including grading papers.  The difference is, I don’t take them home.

I am praying that he will get well and take his classes back soon.  I’ve spent a total of 9 days there so far. Coming up, I will be teaching 4 days next week and at least 2 the following.  There’s even been the murmurings of “what ifs” and would I be willing to come back.

Where’s the routine in that???

Argentina Day 9, September 13, 2009

Today was our last Sunday to work with the kids at the two churches.  We taught the kids about how Moses lead God’s people out of Egypt.  Emily D. took on the job of telling the story this time, and she did great!

We went to the City Bell church for their morning service.  We had about 6 kids to work with.

The City Bell kids working on their craft.  They used cotton ball to make the pillar of cloud and tissue paper to make the pillar of fire.

The City Bell kids working on their craft. They used cotton ball to make the pillar of cloud and tissue paper to make the pillar of fire.

This was a sort of sad time, because it would be our last time to work with the people at the CIty Bell church.  We have come to love them, and it will be difficult to say farewell.

The girls say Good-Bye to TIna.  She is the lady we were able to assist with some home repairs.

The girls say Good-Bye to TIna. She is the lady we were able to assist with some home repairs.

After the service, we found out that the Nigerians from our hotel had come.  They had actually been moved to La Plata, but figured out how to get rides back to City Bell to be able to worship with us.  Most of them have been signed to Argentine Soccer teams, but Lawson and Emmanuel would be returning to Nigeria that evening.

Team women posing with the Nigerians after church.

Team women posing with the Nigerians after church.

Don, Ken, and Greg take a photo with the Nigerian Soccer players.

Don, Ken, and Greg take a photo with the Nigerian Soccer players.

After we all had our photo opportunity with these guys (which we thought was a good idea because they might be famous soccer players one day!!!) they blessed us with some of their native praise music.  I need help from my husband to post video, but I plan to do that when I am back in the US.  Keep checking back!  In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the performance.

SingingNigeriansDancingNigeriansAlainaWithNigerian

After lunch, we went back to Kurt and Lore’s house for a real Argentine Asado.  This is basically a big cook out.  Kurt fired up the grill and we dined on sausage, and big pieces of beef.  It was a lot of fun.

ArgentineGrillMEATMeatAndMate

The Asado was also a time of fellowship with the Short Term team and those who are Full TIme missionaries in Argentina.

OldMenRambowsCoolBaby

All that food sure can make you sleepy, though.  It was a beautiful day to be out!

Barbie and Alaina take their siesta.

Barbie and Alaina take their siesta.

After the Asado, Emily D, Evelyn, and I rode to La Plata with the Rambows.  We got to do a little shopping at the “Hippie Fair” that sets up in the plaza every Saturday and Sunday.

Then, we headed to La Unión church in La Plata to help out with the Sunday School one last time.

We headed back to the hotel for our last night when the evening was over.  The ladies decided to debrief over mate before turning in for the night.  We have all purchased our very own mates to take home with us, and this was our first chance to use them.

EmilyEvelyn

Argentina Day 7, September 11, 2009

We planned to go to “Bliss” for breakfast this morning. They serve coffee and pastries, and Kurt had brought us some of them a few days ago. However, when he arrived, he told us that his wife had suggested “Sutra” instead, as they might have more variety. So, we changed plans.

We actually didn’t remember that it was the same place we’d had dinner at the night before until we pulled up! The lovely little spot for a fancy dinner becomes a hot spot for coffee and Wi-Fi in the morning hours. We dined on toast, “media lunas” (half moon shaped rolls), fruit salad, fresh squeezed orange juice, and coffee. There was an assortment of jams as well as “dulce de leche” (caramel sauce) to go with the bread. Yummy!!!

SutraSpreadSutraBackteamAtSutra

Cool tree in the lot next to Sutra that I just had to take a picture of.

Cool tree in the lot next to Sutra that I just had to take a picture of.

The larger part of the day was spent cleaning the church, finishing repairs, and generally getting the place ready for the visitors that would come that evening to hear our talk about Sunday School programs.

Demonstrating the Argentine method of mopping the floors.

Demonstrating the Argentine method of mopping the floors.

Due to a scheduling conflict when the dates for our trip changed, we had to move out of the hotel today and into Kurt and Lore’s house for one night.  They had a nice little coffee service set up for us when we got there.

Coffee Bar

Coffee Bar

We also got to learn how to prepare Mate (ma-tay).  Mate is a traditional tea that is made with loose leaves and served in a traditional style cup.  It is sipped through a straw that has a filter on the end of it to prevent the leaves from being sucked up the straw.

HopeMatesEmilyMates

Mate components.  Photo credit to Evelyn M.

Mate components. Photo credit to Evelyn M.

We had a late lunch of pizza and relaxed in their home for a few hours before going back to the church to give our talk.

About 20 people came to hear what we had to say. I think it went pretty well, but there are pieces of the puzzle that will still need to be addressed for the outside churches that came in. For example, where are they going to get simple Bible stories for their lessons? Curriculum is expensive, and it takes weeks of training, as BTCL showed me, to learn how to craft your own.  We came prepared to leave story materials with the church in City Bell, so they will be in good shape.

After the workshop, Kurt and Lore served us dinner. We had the Argentine version of Shepherd’s pie. Pretty much it’s what we have in the states, except it has boiled eggs in it!

We really enjoyed spending time with the Grothes. They have a beautiful house and showed us amazing hospitality. They are doing a great work for Jesus here in this country.

Argentina Day 6, September 10, 2009

This morning was a little rough. There was a prayer meeting this morning at Kurt’s house that Evelyn and Emily went to. Ken and I were supposed to meet with Kurt and Greg at a later time while the two other ladies went back to rest.  There was  a miscommunication about the meeting time and I wound up missing it. Hope its OK!

In fact, the whole schedule today was a little rough. We were supposed to go to the Orphanage at noon, come back to the hotel to rest, and then go out around 5:00 to pass out flyers on the streets of City Bell to promote Kurt’s English class.

Here’s what wound up happening.   We left the Orphanage early and planned to go back at 5:00 because many of the kids were

A beautiful sunny day at Hogar Betel.

A beautiful sunny day at Hogar Betel.

at school during our originally planned time. Evelyn was able to share with some of the kids about Jesus, but our time was cut short.

So, we went back to the hotel and worked on planning for Friday’s presentation on Sunday School programs. When we went back, we were only able to spend one and a half hours before we needed to head downtown to pass out flyers.

BalloonManLoveCrossBalloonLotsOfBalloons

For dinner, we went to what probably equates to a very high end restaurant called Sutra.  SutraFrontThe meal was around 350 pesos for 6 people, including dessert.

The girls split a Chicken with Asparagus entree and a salad called the “Bonnie and Clyde”.  I’ve also included a picture of the “Romeo and Juliet” salad that Don ordered  because it was so pretty.

ChickenBonnieAndClydeRomepThe exchange rate is $1 to 3.8 pesos, so it was really less than $100 for all 6 of us to eat at this really nice place. It hits home when you realize that dessert was a fancy

chocolate fondue.

.FondueSignFondueSutra

After dinner, we returned to the hotel. Emily and I ran into our new friend Emmanuel from Nigeria who is also staying here in the hotel with his soccer team. He requested the number for the Taxi service, and for our team so that he can explore the city and get in touch with us more easily about church.

Now we are very tired and need sleep!!!