Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Father's Day Adventures

We decided to celebrate Father's Day with an adventure this year (what better way to celebrate our adventurous dads?) and decided on the Max Zipline in Provo Canyon.  We had a blast!  The scenery was gorgeous, the kids loved it, and I think the dads felt duly honored and appreciated.  I mean, what could say "Happy Father's Day" better than going down hundreds of feet of zip line with a (happily) screaming four-year-old strapped to your belly?
Step 1 - Get suited up with gloves and a harness
Step 2 - Looking cute?  Check!
Step 3 - Take a buggy up to the zip line start
Step 4 - Zip, zip, zip!

Step 5 - Don't worry, even if you don't make it all the way to the platform your helpful zip line dude will tow you!
Happy Father's Day to two wonderful dads.  Now, what should we do for next year's adventure?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mexico Fun

We worked really hard in Mexico, but we also had a whole lot of fun!  The Johnsons (the group leaders) were fond of saying that this trip isn't a "forced march" and they were so wise to remind us of this often.  I tend to push myself... um... kind of hard and I so appreciated their reminders to the group and to me as a mom and leader that it was ok to kick back and refuel a little (or, if you're one of my children, a lot!).

Mexico was hard work for my kids - different food, different language, lots of humidity, entirely different schedule - and it's easy for me to forget that so much unfamiliarity is exhausting for them.  And my kids are good travelers - just think of how hard it was for the less flexible members of the group!

So, all of that is to say that I'm so grateful that we took time to work hard and play hard in Mexico!  And eat really well - I'm glad we took time to eat really well!

We ate at several pre-approved street taco restaurants.  It was my first time eating in tables that were next to parked cars!
The tacos were amazing.  Sam loved the Oaxaca cheese quesadillas.  And Ben is addicted to Mexican Coke (acola).
We've managed to find Oaxaca cheese at the Mexican markets at home - the boys are thrilled we can make quesadillas like they had in Mexico!
More street tacos!
Ben wasn't so sure about this night's fare - tongue tacos!
I bet him 200 pesos that he couldn't finish a whole tongue taco.  He did a quick calculation to figure out how many MexiCokes that would buy and decided that was a wise bet to take!  I won't say he enjoyed his tongue taco, but he did finish it!
Second only to MexiCoke came the churros.  They were amazing!
Ben's new best friend, the ice cream cart guy
Gee, I can't figure out why they don't have see saws any more in U.S. playgrounds
The hotel pool figured prominently into the boys' daily schedule.  They worked in the morning, came back to the hotel after our 2:00 lunch, and then came back to the orphanage at about 4 to hang out with the kids for another hour or two
Ben enjoyed having strong guys on the trip to launch him!
Three noisy, mean parrots lived at the hotel.  We enjoyed stalking them.  I can't imagine why they didn't like us!
On Friday we drove to the Pacific coast for an afternoon at the beach. It was a perfect end to our week and felt great to let our hair down and just be tourists for a few hours. Sorry about the lack of Sam photos in this post - he's the little dot out there in the waves :) That was about the closest he got to shore the whole time we were at the beach, except for when I made him come in to get some ice cream and drink a water bottle. I was just proud to get a little something into him to counter all of the salt water he must of ingested!

Ben paused his boogie boarding for some souvenir shopping
Ben proudly displays his fab new shark tooth necklace
See, I told you Sam was there!

We had an amazing time in Mexico - the work, the play, the food, even the hard parts - God used it to work in us and through us.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Reflections on Serving - Sam

Reflections on our time in Mexico by Sam, age 12:

I think mexico was a very fun and enjoyable experience. I`m not saying its for everybody, mainly because of the heat. so much heat. honestly, that was my least favorite part. my favorite part is just playing with the kids, and conquering the language barrier between us. more particularly, bingo. it was my favorite part to learn my numbers, and give the kids a chance to eat skittles(we used them as counters). I learned on this trip that even if we dont speak the same language, we can still comunicate.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reflections on Serving - Ben

Reflections on our time in Mexico by Ben, age 9:

I think the times I connected most with the kids were during Perler Beads and bingo and other crafts. Those times were special cause the kids were so active and having so much fun with the things that we have at home but aren't really that fun at home. The things we don't appreciate as much. It's special to the kids because they had nothing until the orphanage came into their life, and they still don't have much, so everything is appreciated.

I was really surprised at how much they shared. They have a lot less than us, but they still shared generously. Like when they got some candy from bingo, they always would share it. I need to work on that more.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Faces of Hogar de Amor

Now can you see why we're in love with this place?

Today please join us in prayer for these kids.  Pray for the health of their parents and the reunification of their families when it's in the best interest of the children.  Pray for their education and that they would receive the schooling and skills needed to provide for themselves and their future families.  Pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual health of these kiddos - that God would bless and grow them despite and even because of the tough start that they have endured.  

Pray for their caregivers, that God would grant them abounding energy and grace for the kids and each other and that they would be blessed tremendously in their service. 

Pray that the families of the Grupo Amor church, that they would continue to give generously to these kids with such large needs and that they would be blessed for each and every gift.

Please join us in prayer for the children !


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