Wednesday, December 31, 2014

favorites of 2014

This is one of my favorite pictures of Daniella and I at her kindergarten graduation.
She literally counted down the days and hours until her big day!    
In keeping with tradition I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite pictures from 2014.  I hope you enjoy getting an inside peek into why these pictures are extra special to me.  Thank you for following along, for your friendship, encouragement, financial support, and most importantly for praying for me.  I am blessed to have each of you on this journey with me!  Wishing you a wonderful start to 2015!
The only photo of Davidson from his baptism- gotta love my boy!
My sisters and two of my favorites.  My heart is happy. 
Jaquins thinks getting his picture taken is overrated!
I also love that in the background you can see his "before" picture that
was taken at his first malnutrition appointment. 
LOVE the girls I work with.  So blessed to have them as my coworkers and friends!
Just about sums up Davidson!  (photo cred: leslee)
Love when my kiddos come to the clinic for a visit during summer break!  
So blessed to have lived and served with Kat and Leslee over the last year.  
This was taken after his momma bought me a coke at his sisters graduation party.
It's moments like this that are impossible to even process.
There was a moment when I didn't know if Fado would live.  He was so
malnourished and it literally just broke me.  Watching his sweet momma fight for
him and getting to watch as he has grown has been such a blessing. 
Saturday mornings are forever a favorite time of the week for me.  I love that there is
never an empty spot on my lap!
Leslee and I got to escape for true vacation.
We did nothing but relax and refuel.  It was so needed!
The kiddos doing "exercises!"  My days really are never boring!
I get to partner with mommas who are literally heroes and work
SO hard to fight for their kiddos!
My girl is growing up.  So proud of the beautiful young lady she is becoming.
Love when I get to be in Indiana and have time with my nieces and sisters!
The smile on his momma's face says it all.  She barely made eye contact with us when her
son, Anderson,  was admitted into the malnutrition program.  When Anderson graduated
 from the program she joked and laughed with us.  And just recently she met another momma in
 her village that had a child who was malnourished and she told that momma to bring the child to us right away.  This momma not only fought for her little guy but is advocating for other children too!
Leslee captured this moment and it is honestly one of my all-time
favorite pictures.  This little one rocked my world two years ago and
every snuggle I get with her I consider a complete blessing.
This picture was taken the first time I heard the sound of their
laughter and saw smiles on their faces.  Oh the Lord is faithful.
Rose is growing up and learning a lot in school- love watching her little mind grow!
Davidson had a melt down because I didn't bring him homework-
found a scrap sheet of paper and he was happy!  If only this lasts...
To see more pictures that were taken over the last year just click on the link below.  You do NOT need to have Facebook to see the pictures.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

celebrating christmas!

The students were just a little excited for the party to start...
Last week was busy in the school as the students finished up the semester.  Each grade spent time reviewing and then taking exams over all the material the students studied this year.  The day each of the students looked forward to though was Friday.  The kids talked all week about Friday because that was the day there would be a HUGE Christmas party in the school!  The school staff decorated for the party and the students prepared different songs, dances, and skits to share with everyone.  Even the preschool students got up in front of everyone to sing a song!  The kitchen staff and teachers all worked together to prepare a huge feast for the students.  Each child was served a big plate of rice and beans with sauce, chicken, macaroni salad, and because it was an extra special day they even got to drink pop!  The only thing that could have topped them getting to eat meat at the party was the presents that each child received!  Oh if you could have only heard the students as they saw the boxes of gifts get carried into the room.  They literally squealed with excitement!  The school staff picked out gifts for each grade and gender and they did an absolutely amazing job!  The children left the school Friday knowing that they were beyond special and so very loved.  The younger kids in Chambrun are still talking about "that day Santa brought them a present."  As I watched all of my little friends throughout the party I couldn't help but be thankful for each of their school sponsors.  Each sponsor makes it possible for my little friends to get an excellent education, to be fed a meal during each school day, and to have a party that celebrates just how amazing they are.  Friday was the perfect ending to the semester and start of Christmas break for the students and staff in the school!
Party menu: rice and beans with sauce, chicken, macaroni salad, and pop!
Davidson is still talking about how Santa brought him a plane!
(photo cred: Laura) This picture is my favorite-
Davidson tried his hardest to stay awake!  Having a party
during nap time was hard for the pre-school students=)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

road trip!

I really love when we get to take road trips and explore more of this beautiful island.  For years the US staff has talked about going to Cap Haitian which is a city on the North coast of Haiti.  After a long five hour car ride on lots of bumpy roads and curvy mountain roads we arrived in Cap Haitian!  The city is known for having great views, beautiful beaches, and historic places to visit.  
One of the things I was looking forward to the most was getting to visit the Citadelle.  The Citadelle was built in order to protect Haiti from the French after Haiti gained independence January 1, 1804.  It took from 1805-1820 for Henri Christophe to have the Citadelle built.  Around 20,000 workers were used to build the large fortress and the materials were all carried by either hand or cart up the mountain. The views from the top of the Citadelle were absolutely breathtaking.  
Riding horses up the mountain was slightly frightening but also a lot of fun!
365 cannons were carried up the mountain but none were ever shot or used.  
Sans Souci
Sans Souci is another palace that was built between 1810-1813.  The Citadelle is located just up the mountain from Sans Souci.  King Henri Christophe and his family lived in the palace.  The palace was known for having beautiful gardens and lots of feasts.  In 1842 there was a large earthquake that destroyed most of the palace.  
Labadee beach!  
There is a private beach in Haiti that Royal Caribbean rents to use for its cruise ship passengers.  It has a zip line, splash pad, water slide, jet skis, and lots of beautiful white sand.  Our guest house owner heard we wanted to visit a beach while in Cap Haitian so she used her contacts and got us free access to the private beach!  We literally spent the day pretending that we too were from Miami along with all of the cruise ship passengers!  One of the highlights from the day was the buffet that was served for lunch.  All of the food was brought off of the cruise ship and it was so good!  The buffet had BBQ chicken, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, different salads, desserts, and a table that was literally piled high with apples and oranges.  Oh where those apples good!  We spent the day walking the beach, floating in the ocean, and of course we did a lot of people watching too!  
Clearly we ate our share of the food…it was SO good!
Cap Haitian is a beautiful city!
Because why wouldn't we  stop on the way to Cap Haitian and take a picture in front
of a GIANT statue of the Ten Commandments while on a road trip?!

Sunday, December 7, 2014


One of the sweetest (and most chaotic) moments happened recently when I took a children's picture book to the village.  The kids quickly gathered around and were literally amazed at all the different pictures.  We spent at least an hour pouring over this book page by page.  We looked at absolutely everything and oh did the kids go crazy and have lots of questions about some of the things they saw.  There was a page that featured all different kinds of food and candy.  Everyone quickly let me know which candy would be his or her favorite!  And the animal pages were met with complete amazement.  Some of the younger kiddos decided the snake picture wasn't necessary and closed their eyes until we turned the page.  The photos of colorful fish and tigers were some of their favorites.  These simple moments with the kids are always some of my favorite.  Moments where they are all crowded around and learning.  Moments when I get to watch their little minds grow and experience things they have never even heard about.  The book has now been declared a "favorite" and has already been requested multiple times!