5.30.2008

Little Updates

It's been a busy couple of weeks without Pastor Bert & Vero. Praise the Lord, He has given Eric such a gift of the language right now... and his teachings are going well and people are being blessed by the big, tall gringo!

After the crazy night of rain I posted about previously, it continued to rain, without stopping for 4 days!!! I've honestly never experienced anything like it. The sky was so dark, that we had to turn the lights on in the middle of the day! But it was a nice respite from the hot, blaring sun... and a cool breeze even picked up in the evenings and it was delightful.

Today the rains were gone, and the blaring, horrible sun was back out. I've been put on "air conditioner restriction" by my husband, who almost had a heart attack when he opened our last electricity bill! I didn't even think I was using it that much, but let's just say that our bill was about $150 more than Bert & Veronica's bill! YIKES! So, no more air conditioner for Lindsey until after we get back from America!

We have our travel dates... pretty set I think... June 27th - July 30th. I am so incredibly excited to be home for 4 1/2 weeks!! I can't wait to see you guys at CCSFS (thanks for your emails of encouragement, and for my skype buddies, it really blesses me!) and I also can't wait to see my dear friend Faith who is 6 months pregnant! Yay! It wasn't public knowledge until a few days ago... so I've kept it hush hush, but I am so thrilled. Eric, and I, and Faith and her husband are going to spend three nights camping at Bass Lake in July, and I can't wait! Bass Lake is one of my favorite places on Earth, and I am really looking forward to 3 nights without a baby (is that wrong?)

Well, I guess I've rambled enough for one evening. It's late, and I fear I am starting to not make sense! Good night!

5.25.2008

The Rainy Season Has OFFICIALLY begun!

It's been raining less than usual here for May, which is technically the first month of the rainy season. The weather has gone from unbearably hot (about a month ago) to disgustingly humid! It has been raining every few days and we've seen a few tropical thunderstorms... but nothing major. Until last night.

We got in bed around 10, and had been sound asleep when we heard the real, true, undeniable sound of the Panamanian wet season. The noise wasn't quite describable... perhaps an analogy is appropriate. It was the sound of a million, gazillion angry elephants trampling the metal roof above our heads.

I'm not sure why, but my first reaction was to leap out of bed and plant my feet firmly on the ground- awake, aware, ready. The rain was pommeling the roof so loudly that I couldn't even hear Eric speak (and I am not exagerating here people, it's the truth).

I'm not afraid of rain, or thunder, or lightening. But the way the rain sounded on my roof, combined with the loud cracks of thunder and lightening shooting down in every direction, just completely freaked me out. My first instinct was to go to Anna's room. I didn't know why exactly, I just needed to. I went to her crib, and she was sound asleep. I tilted the glass blinds upwards so that the raindrops wouldn't come through the window, and then I went outside to comfort Dewey, who was whining at the front door.

I stood in the doorway for a few minutes, listening and watching neon bolts of lightening shoot down every 10 seconds. When I got back in bed, I couldn't believe what I was listening to. It sounded like we were sleeping in a metal hut out in the middle of the rainforest. It was a new experience for me... and I have a feeling, it's only just begun...

(Addendum- a man was struck and killed by lightening while crossing the street last week in downtown Chorrera... about 2 miles from my house)

5.23.2008

We Have a Walker!!!

Anna took her first step about a month ago! And since then, each day she has become more steady and more brave. Now, at a week shy of 11 months, she can make it across the living room, but unfortunately I got a clip of only a few steps. But, better than nothing, so here it is!

video

5.20.2008

catching up with us

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted. We've just been pretty busy down here! Pastor Bert and Vero are in the good ol' US of A right now... and we pray that they are having a truly blessed time with their family and friends! And... it'll be our turn very soon! YAY!!! Eric, Anna, and I will be making a trip home at the end of June.... for a whole month!!! I can't hardly wait. I miss all of you guys so so so much. I can't wait for my first Sunday morning back at CCSFS. Praise the Lord for home!

Please pray for Eric, as for the next 3 weeks, in Bert's absence, he will be teaching on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and Saturday afternoons in spanish!!!

5.15.2008

MY NEW BLOG!!!

I started a new blog for my new hobby! It's called "While Anna Sleeps"
Check it out:

Time for a Change!

I was SOOOOO sick of the old layout... so I got a new one! I can't decide if this is the one I want to keep... so it might just change again. Just keeping things fresh people!

5.13.2008

cupcakes

Some guys from No Te Rindas are working at our house this week to build a wooden fence in the front yard. Now that we have a new dog, and a baby whose 2 or 3 steps here and there are bound to turn into real walking any day now, we need to have an enclosed yard. The guys worked so hard yesterday, that I decided I should make them a special treat. So this morning, Eric and I ran to the grocery store to buy a mix to make cupcakes.

So, I braved my crazy Panamanian oven once again, and made 2 dozen cupcakes (funfetti for those interested). I topped each one with vanilla frosting and took them out on a plate. I set the plate down on the planter, but the guys just stared at it. They know I don't speak much spanish, so they called for Eric. When Eric came out, they basically asked "What are those?" They handed him the plate and said he could take it back in the house!!!

Eric explained that they are called cupcakes. He picked one up and showed them that they needed to remove the paper and then take a bite. Each guy picked a cupcake off of the plate and began to eat it, and Eric brought the rest of the cupcakes back inside and told me what was going on. Just as we began to talk, we hear "MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM" coming from the guys outside. Too funny!

A minute later, one of the guys came to the door and asked if they could have the plate back! They proceded to eat one cupcake after another and make all kinds of "mmmm" noises. When I went out to get the lunch dishes, they all were saying "Muy, muy bien!" " Que Rico!" etc.

They have now experienced cupcakes.

5.11.2008

Anna & Me



I feel so incredibly blessed to be the mommy of this wonderful little girl. Motherhood is harder, but more amazing, than I ever expected. Happy Mother's Day!!! (I love you mommy!)



5.10.2008

today

Today is a weird, but neat kind of day. It began with a little extra sleep... as Saturdays are my sleep in day (Eric gets Mondays). Eric popped out of bed right at 7 to get up with Anna, and I was able to rest for another hour. Then, Eric took care of Anna while I did a quick sweep of the house, cleaned up Anna's breakfast mess, and scrubbed the shower. There wasn't nearly as much to clean this Saturday morning because Luci has been keeping things so tidy during the week! After lunch, Eric packed up and headed to Los Mortales with Bert & Veronica, just as the sky turned dark and it started to rain. This entire afternoon it has been dark, thundering, and pouring rain. So fun! Anna and I spent a few hours listening to Chris Tomlin and playing in the family room as the rain came down. Right now she cozy in her room napping, and I have been relaxing on the couch in front of my computer. It is so sweet to have quiet time with my baby girl... and to enjoy the sound of rain on my metal roof. I am cherishing these precious hours.

5.08.2008

No Te Rindas- Rehabilitation Center

These guys are here to find freedom from addiction. They live on a large piece of property next to a river... and sometimes they go days without food. No Te Rindas, or "Don't Give Up", is a rehab center in Potrero Grande. Financing for this rehab is extremely limited, and these guys live very humbly. Pastor Aguirre ministers to them as often as he can... and now Bert and Eric go every Thursday to lead them in a Bible Study called "One Step to Freedom". Veronica has decided to make a large meal for them every week- and her food is a tremendous blessing to the people in the rehab. Please pray for these men who are here voluntarily to get help and grow with Jesus.

Kitchen/lounging area

The men of No Te Rindas- Pastor Aguirre & his wife are in the front


The bathroom




Sleeping area

5.07.2008

Things I Miss

(not necessarily in order of importance)

1. Target- nothing beats a leisurely stroll around target. I always ended up buying way more than what I went there to get!

2. Driving a Car- I used to hate having to get in the car to go somewhere... now I would LOVE to just drive around for 15 minutes! Ah, to have the freedom of owning a car!

3. In N Out- I can almost taste the juicy burger in my mouth. Of course, Eric and I don't burgers or fast food much anymore, but man... what I would do for just one bite of an In N Out burger. YUM!

4. Animal Planet in English- the shows I used to love just don't have the same impact when dubbed in Spanish. Oh well.

5. The Nursery at Church- What a blessing to have a safe place to leave your kid for an hour while you are fed the Word of God. I truly, truly miss listening to Pastor Ray give a sermon.

6. Plastic Parks- Now that Anna is old enough to enjoy a playground, I am so sad that all we have in our neighborhood are broken, rusted, old metal swingsets with missing seats. Playgrounds back home are so plastic, colorful and safe!

7. Applesauce- I absolutely love a bowl of all natural, unsweetened applesauce with a little sprinkling of cinnamon. But, they don't sell it here! At least, I haven't found it yet.

8. Blending in- here, we really stand out. Everywhere we go, people watch us and make comments about Anna's skin, my blue eyes, etc. I miss just blending into the crowd!

9. The English Standard system of measurement- I know I am (was) a science teacher, and should know all the conversions by heart... but come on people, I'm not that much of a geek! I have to do an equation each time I turn on my Celcius oven, make a new recipe, etc. Arg!

10. Family and Friends- of course! This goes without saying! I can't wait to see you guys again!

a funny pic...

This picture just struck me as so funny! Anna's hair, Eric's face... cracks me up! I took this pic just as the wind kicked up. We were out in a town called "Protrero Grande" visiting a rehabilitation center called "No Te Rindas" ("Don't Give Up"). I will post more pics of the rehab in a later post. For now, this pic will do!

5.06.2008

Bargain Tuesday!!!


Today, Veronica and I treated ourselves to a full day out in Panama City. We got on the bus in Chorrera at 9am and arrived in time for Albrook Mall to open at 10. We ended up having such good luck that we stayed at Albrook for 6 hours and then decided to head back home! Each of us exhausted the stipend we were given by our husbands- but boy did we get some bargains! Shopping in Panama is one of the best things about living here (after ministering to the people and serving the Lord, of course!)

Vero got two pairs of capris for $1.99 each, and a bunch of shirts for $1.99 - 2.99, as well as a handful of earings. I got a pair of "Lands End" brand workout pants for $.99!!! I also got a great pair of sunglasses for $1.99, a new nightgown for $1.99, a workout top for $2.99, and a really cute top for $4.99. It was really hard to bring myself to spend a whopping 5 bucks on that last shirt... but it was just too pretty and I had to buy it.

All in all, it was a very successful day of shopping! We might have to make this a monthly tradition!
Albrook Mall- foodcourt area

5.05.2008

I am VERY HAPPY today!

Living in Panama has turned out to be more difficult than I expected... despite only having one kid and a very small house, the work never seems to end. Our water tank isn't large enough to allow me to do laundry during the day, so I still have to wait until who knows when at night to wash a load. Hanging every piece of clothing individually means that laundry takes a long time! I sweep the entire house at least 2-3 times each day (and I'm seriously not exaggerating) because the red clay dirt manages to get in and coat the floor no matter how careful we are! The bathroom needs to be cleaned now just about everyday to thwart the mildew that continues to surface because the room never truly dries out... as the rain and humidity outside keep the inside pretty moist- same goes for the kitchen. Anna is also in the "never leave me or I'll scream my head off" phase... which means that I only get time to do chores during her afternoon nap... I try to exercise everyday during her morning nap. I truly desire to spend a few hours each day studying the Word, studying spanish, working on the church newsletter and other projects, etc... but I just can't get it done!

After praying about possibly trying to find someone to come help me out, Pastor Bert met a woman named Luci, who lives in Los Mortales, who has been trying to find work as a nanny/housekeeper. We tried to hire a young girl a few weeks back, but she didn't show up, then came late the next day, etc. So I was soooooooo excited to hear that we had another option! We asked Luci to start on Monday (today) and I have been looking forward to it ever since!

Luci came this morning for the first time and took a walk around the house. We explained that we wouldn't need her to do any cooking or shopping, but simply to sweep, mop, tidy up and watch Anna while I get things done. Her price... Monday - Friday from 7am - 3:30pm???? $120 per month!!!! Pastor Bert is going to help out a little with the cost, and she will clean the church building one day per week! Eric and I are going to skim the money from our grocery budget and a little from our miscellaneous budget.

Already today she has swept and cleaned the outside of the house... including the washing machine and utility shelves. She swept and mopped the entire house (she even moved the couches!! Praise the Lord!!!!) She cleaned the bathroom, fed Anna lunch, cleaned up the dishes, played with Anna for a few hours while I studied, and now she is folding laundry. (And yes, she took a break, ate lunch, and rested- we're not Barbarians here!)

I also had Eric explain to her, that many times there may not be anything to do... but if she could just talk with me and give me an opportunity to practice spanish, and just be in the house if I need her... and she agreed. She told me an hour ago that she feels really glad to be here and is happy that we were able to give her a job. I am thrilled. She and her husband have three young sons to provide for, and I am glad that we are able to give her employment.

Right now Anna is sleeping, I'm posting to the blog, my house is clean, my dishes are put away, and I am a HAPPY HAPPY woman!

Update- Los Mortales

We have been going back to Los Mortales for a weekly Bible Study since our big outreach last month. This past Saturday we had a large group of adults and kids turn out for the teaching! Praise the Lord!!! It is so exciting to see people come to hear God's Word and be blessed! Please keep Los Mortales in your prayers!

5.01.2008

Mommy Time...

In recent years, I have become very interested in the world of graphic design, digital scrapbooking, etc. I decided that I would take an online course in Adobe illustrator, as a little "mommy time" at night after Anna goes to sleep. I just finished the illustrator course, and now have begun the Adobe Dreamweaver course, and I am having so much fun! I am currently working on the newsletter for Calvary Panama, and hope to revamp our website soon.

I just wanted to share with you this cute little "siggy" that I made in Illustrator. I hand drew the flowers, scanned them in, traced and painted them, and then layered together this design! So much fun!!!

Photobucket