Friends

Honduras day 7

We did it!  We have a concrete floor in the church.  It consisted of loading the mixer with 15 gallons of water, 7 cubic feet of sand, and 100 lbs of cement, then repeat.  That is what the whole day consisted of.  It was hard work but rewarding.  That was also the project that Bob our missionary coordinator wanted accomplished by our team. Tomorrow we hope to finish up the platform at the front of the church.

I feel blessed that we have done so much while we are here.  Also thankful for the great group of guys that we have on the trip.  The project that we have been working on was just the right size, and within the skill set of our team members. Thank you God for the wonderful plans that he has for us all.

~Chad

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Honduras day 6

En primer lugar quiero dar las gracias a todos los que han estado siguiendo y haciendo palanca para mí mientras yo estaba en Honduras.

We have touchdown we finished moving all of the dirt into the church today.  Tomorrow we will begin pouring the concrete floor.  It will be hard work, but rewarding to be accomplishing such a large project.

As part of the process of spreading and leveling dirt you have to pour MANY buckets of water on it to get it compressed to a hard surface so the concrete slab will not crack.  This water is collected from a nearby creek.  As I had been told the days before by those who have gone to collect water it is quite an experience.  This is due to a school of tiny fish that like to nibble at your toes.  The reactions of them team members has been varied. From screams (at the teenage girl decibel) to being reminded of a spa treatment.  I was glade I went on the last water run and able to experience it for myself.

~Chad

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A Bad Case of the Swollen Heart

My heart is so full tonight.  Here in New Mexico, so far away from my friends and family, how could it even be possible that I could feel so supported and loved?
Between talking to the kids on face time, and catching up with my mom, Stephanie, and mom-in-law, my heart just feels like it might bulge out of my chest.  Plus it is just one of those times in life that I can feel Gods presence with me.
Jesus lover of my soul have mercy on me.

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Please be in prayer for our poor car, it is shifting hard and I’m going to try to get it into the Dr. today, As well as for our next assignment, for only the right door to open up.

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A Sad Day in the Neighborhood

I suppose the one bad thing about Mary Beth visiting is having to say goodbye.

Mary Beth drove to Shiprock early this morning and picked me up from work, then drove us down to the town of Gallup 100 miles away.  I was a little tired, but my heart would not let my brain rest.  Such a short visit, and I wanted to soak up every last minute of the rest of our time together.  We talked a little about the morning, our visit, Myra, and her up coming maiden greyhound bus ride.  We turned on the iTunes Radio to praise music, turned up the dial and sung our hearts out to God.  I think that is one thing that I like most about Mary Beth.  She challenges me to not be a tourist to the “Christian experience” but to learn from the master as a disciple working actively at becoming more like Jesus. With a few growing moments, laughter and tears, it has all been good.  Phone calls, texts and Facebook are great, and I am so thankful for them, but they don’t 100% replace face to face, heart to heart discussions.
Gallup came upon us quickly, and as we pulled up to the bus stop, we both let out some nervous laughter.  It was a bit of a dive, and was this going to be a bigger adventure than she bargained for?

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We were very early, so after we got bags checked and tickets printed, we ventured further down the road to find some breakfast.  We drove a ways before something popped up on the horizon.  With only one choice, McD’s (besides Vergies, but after one look at that we vetoed it unanimously), we headed strait there.
Chad had better come home soon, as I am not taking nearly good enough care of myself.  With very little time for running to the store or cooking, McDonalds coffee has become my substitute for his well balanced nutritional meals.  I ordered my McDonald’s coffee, and decided to chance it with their oatmeal and we sat down to enjoy our breakfast.
This is when it all went down… I don’t believe in betting money, but Mary Beth was going to attempt to make an impossible shot with her straw wrapper and asked what the chances were that she would make it. Obviously without thinking I said, “if you make that shot I will lick the floor.”
SWOOSH nothing but net…
Seriously!! How did that just happen!  She turned to me with a little sparkle, obviously enjoying all the squirming in my seat that I was doing.  I backed off of my stool, and quickly but not with out attracting a LOT of attention, got down on my knees and licked the floor.  We were both roaring with laughter.  Me in my scrubs dressed to the nines of a professional nurse on my knees licking x1 the floor in McDonalds.  I jumped back up in my seat without taking a bow trying to ignore my new audience.  That set the tone for the next half hour.  It didn’t help that I was on the tired side. Mary Beth saw all my true colors totally unfiltered.  After breakfast we went back to the convenience store/bus stop and grabbed some snacks for the road.  Knowing I had a longer drive ahead of me, and work again tonight, She didn’t let me stay to see her on the bus.  We hugged goodbye and I quickly jumped in my car.  I didn’t want to cry again.
I received periodic texts throughout my drive back updating me on the status of her adventure, and maybe to make sure I was still doing OK staying awake for the drive.  Staying awake wasn’t a problem though, not today.  I had received a second wind with all the laughing and caffeine I had for breakfast.  That and running over the whole visit and how it went in my head.  Yes, I am truly blessed to have such good friends.  What a blessing you are to me Mary Beth.  Thank you for coming to visit!

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Farmington for the Day

How many days off have I actually spent in Farmington? I might be able to count them on one hand.  So today was dedicated to just that.  We had a slow relaxing morning, not making it out of the house until around 11:00am.  Our first stop was Hastings, a book store here in town that is a lot like Boarders was in Salem.  We each got a coffee and headed for our favorite book sections.

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When our coffees were gone, and we both had our caffeine fix, we headed out to take a daylight tour of the town of Farmington.  We decided on a pizza place for lunch.  With our bellies full, we made a plan of attack for the rest of the day.  I have been wanting to go to the junk yard just outside of Farmington since shortly after we got here.  I had seen a few license plate Pinterest projects that I was dying to try.  We were having a blast finding so many license plates in good shape when a guy driving a giant fork lift came over to us and explained that most of the cars in that lot were impound cars…after clarifying what cars were what we were relieved to discover that we had not taken any plates off the impound cars, but we all three got a good laugh out of it and the gentleman was nice in pointing us in the direction we were actually supposed to be.  Phew, crisis everted.  We felt like it was a pretty successful trip, as we found several different kinds of plates in good condition.  I was so excited and can’t wait to use them, especially the so beautiful turquoise New Mexico plate!

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What a fun partner in adventure!
We had a deadline to be back to the house at 5:30pm at the latest, so I would have at least twenty minutes to get ready for work and make a lunch.  We made it back into town with more than an hour to spare, so we stopped at two trading posts on Main Street to find a small but pretty Navajo decorative piece for Mary Beth’s book shelf.  We found a little something at each store, a tile sand painting and a small pot.  I wouldn’t have spotted the second place but I am sure glad we discovered it.  I may have to go back and get some Christmas gifts. It was the best trading post type store that I have seen in our two months here.  With a half an hour to spare at home I rested my head a few minutes then dressed and gathered my things.  It is sometimes hard to go to work, but I am so blessed to have a job that I LOVE.  Seriously delivering babies, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Valerie, a coworker who has been so gracious to car pool with me, picked me up.  Shiprock has been a good work experience, and I am going to miss the friends I have made here when I leave.
I talked to Chad on face time today too…he was glowing.  Mission trips are so good for the soul, and I am so glad that he has this opportunity and is having a good time.

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What to say about today

It was amazing to wake up to the beautiful view of red rocks this morning in Sedona.

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I wanted so badly to hike up in the hills and stay there.  They are just so beautiful, peaceful and thought provoking.  A place to think and get life kind of sorted out.  What an amazing gift we have been given in the beauty of nature and all the forms it takes.  We got dressed and ready to go.  At breakfast Mary Beth invited an older lady to sit with us.  I think our breakfast discussion with her may have been the highlight of my day.  We learned about her childhood in New Jersey, how wonderful her little sister was as a kid, life as a Girl Scout troop leader and much more.  I need to remember to open myself up to those type of opportunities to learn and love on someone else more often.  We may have gotten out of town later than we had planned, but it was well worth it.  The scenic drive to Flagstaff was also worth the extra time it may have taken and we took advantage of the time to chat. Mary Beth may know my entire family tree now.  The Grand Canyon was no disappointment either.  As opposed to the rain and snow we experienced when we went as a family, this time it was slightly warm with wind gusts that made you fight to hold your hair back as you smiled in delight.  We found a little trail that led down into the canyon and followed it down a few switchbacks.  It was far enough away from the rim to minimize the sounds of talking and laughter from above, and you could actually hear the quiet roar of the river below.  What an amazing feeling standing on a ledge against the red rock of the canyon in almost compete silence, only the very faint sound of the river. I could have stayed there all day.  It may have been the longest period of silence I have experienced in weeks, or perhaps months.  I could feel my heart just opening up to soak in the wonder and beauty of one of the most amazing sights on earth.

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After some major traffic, we made it to Tuba city around 2:30 and got lunch.  We had wanted to see the Hopi Mesas, but did not see them on our map nor any signs anywhere, even after driving through the Hopi reservation.  It was a pretty long drive, but with the hymns playing on the radio we could sing the miles away.
Gallup for dinner was an interesting experience.  I had been told that there was this restaurant named Earls that had good food, and the Navajo people came to your table and showed you their wares as you ate.  I am not big on buying things because of our limited space, and I hate to have to say no thank you, but I was assured it was low pressure and a worth while experience to have.  It wasn’t at all what I thought it would be like.  It was an older looking place and the food was OK. The people selling their wares were low pressure.  It may have had something to do with the time, but there wasn’t much variety, and nothing that really caught my eye.  We watched the sunset as we drove towards Shiprock.  It wasn’t as much fun to show Mary Beth the area in the dark but we do have a few more days, and a few more opportunities to see it.  For now we are just glad to be off our bottoms and wondering with all this car time if we shouldn’t be more proactively trying to prevent a DVT.
Goodnight from Farmington.

Categories: Friends, National Park, national parks, new mexico, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

Laughter is Good Medicine

I woke up this morning in Phoenix, or, should I say Mesa, at my aunts house. It was already pretty warm outside at 7:30 so I took Myra on a short potty walk.
I may have to stay around here a little longer as I have been completely spoiled. Check out this breakfast of champions!

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Sliced strawberries and pineapple with whip cream on top (it has to have dairy to be a well balance meal right?).  We stayed out on the front porch and enjoyed the warmth and slight breeze, as we talked for several hours about life and all that entails.  About 11:30 we decided that Mexican food sounded really good, and so we got all put together and headed for lunch on the town.

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I was keeping an eye on my watch, as I was scheduled to pick up a friend at the airport at 2:30.  Towards the end of lunch the minute hand was moving closer and closer to 2:00pm.  I was thinking we were pushing it as it was going to take 20+ minutes to get to the airport from my aunts house.  We payed and quickly got out to the car and on our way.  A few stoplights into our return drive from the restaurant Aunt Heidi says, “you know it’s only one here right?”.  I had forgotten about the time change between Farmington and Mesa.  I didn’t have to rush, I didn’t have to sweat it.
We got back to her place and I refilled the water bottles and packed the car.  We talked a bit more about drawing and art, and before too long, it was time to say goodbye.
The directions to the airport were very straightforward, so with the address plugged into the GPS, off I went. As an Idaho farm girl raised at least an hour away from the nearest freeway, you would think Phoenix traffic would be a bit intimidating, but this GPS thing makes me feel like I have a super power.  Well, today it wasn’t quite as helpful as usual. As I sat in the front parking lot at the address given me looking for my friend and talking on the phone we realized that I was not at the same building she was at.  I drove in a few circles, and about three U-turns later found her on the other side of the street in a rental car return maze that could have only been dreamed up by airline staff out to have a good time at my expense.  All dressed up cute in her business clothes Mary Beth was ready to kick off her heels and head out of town.  It was now three and the traffic was starting to slow, and we just wanted to get out of town before true rush hour hit.
We had discussed the “plan” and changed it a few times before we decided to head towards Tuzigoot, so we could take the scenic route to our Sedona destination.  About 11 miles out of Verde Valley we saw a sign for Agua Fria National Monument.  I kind of have a personal goal to see all of the national monuments and so I couldn’t exactly pass this one up.

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This sign was almost immediately off the freeway off ramp, and was accompanied by a rather washboard looking dirt road.  Thinking there must be a visitors center just up the road a ways, we headed on.  Now, I haven’t done a lot of dirt road or gravel road driving in a while, and found myself going much too fast.  After a sharp turn/ loose gravel combination that made our lives flash before our eyes, we decided on a slower pace.  Maybe 5 miles into our gravel road we turned around because there was no sign of a visitors center and I had less than a quarter tank of gas.  Being stranded in the desert on a gravel road in the heat of the summer seemed like a scenario to avoid at all costs.  It was very beautiful though, and I promised myself I would look up more on the significance of the park later on.

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The drive into Sedona was as beautiful, just as it was last time, and I enjoyed getting to share this jewel with a friend.

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We found our hotel and then quickly headed back out to explore.

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It got dark quickly, so we returned to the hotel, took Myra for a walk, found a cool bug, and then it was time to crash. Looking forward to a few more days of laughter.  Thank you Aunt Heidi for being such a wonderful host, and Thank you Mary Beth.  I may have laughed to the point of tears a few times today, and like you would say, “it is good for the soul.”
Love you guys!

Categories: Friends, national monument, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

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