Traduce a Espanol!

Monday, August 24, 2015

My sweet six year old - "I Love that you..."

I did this for my son back on his birthday and I really enjoyed writing it's my daughter's turn! :)
To my sweet, smart, beautiful six year old:  Elita, this post is for you :)


...almost always have a smile for me and everyone else around you.
...have the best laugh ever!

I love that 
...there are times when you are very shy and times when you aren't - and I never know when they're going to happen.
...the first thing you do every morning is crawl in bed with me and snuggle-then ask for my iPhone to watch pbskids :)
 ...your favorite show right now is Wild Kratts 
 ...your favorite food when you were a baby was black beans...and still now prefer them to most everything else (except maybe pizza and hot dogs)

I love that you to be find pipe cleaners and yarn and suddenly you have whole new worlds or a laser maze!! karate because you "have to work hard" and you like it!
...can make a bed out of anything, anywhere, anytime and lay down and relax :) have always loved the water. Bored? You can always play in the tub for an hour or more :)

...loved your friends in K and that they loved you so much they named their class pet after you :) school and always want to do your best. 
 ...are so competitive that you got upset when the girls in your class didn't get dressed as fast as the boys after swimming lessons.


...want to grow your hair long so you can wear it like Queen Elsa's. to get messy!


...can always make your Papa laugh :)


I love that...
...for the moment, I am your hero and can do no wrong...I know it won't last long so I cherish it while it lasts.
...when it comes time to read a book, hold a hand, dance, or most everything else - I'm your first choice...again, I cherish it while it lasts :) ask Papa to take you to play soccer and have a blast.

I love that you...
...have a wonderful sense of humor
...hate it when I brush your hair, but paul can yank it out and you laugh.
...ask to do silly things-like spray my car when it's raining. 


...never give up and will persevere even if I or anyone else says you don't have to keep trying. 


...adore every kind of animal and want to be a vet when you grow up (or a teacher, or musician...and definitely a mama)
...have already informed me that when you move out of our house you are going to buy pets (we're allergic...she's not) are trying very hard to learn Spanish. love Peru and ask all the time when you are going to get to go visit


...I love that your brother is one of the few people who can make you laugh so hard you make this happy face... :)


...ask to sing in church and love getting on the microphone. to read.
...adore your brother and (most of the time) beg him to play with you. 

I love that...
 ...anytime music or a song comes on in a movie you tell me to dance with you.
...whenever I play dollhouse with you I have to be all the "boys" can find any baby within a mile radius - and then love all over him/her. take your time and remind me to stop rushing and enjoy life! never complain about your peanut allergy even if that means not getting cupcakes and treats at school or missing out on the entire buffet of desserts at a church luncheon or at Golden Corral. pick out your favorite shirt, your favorite pants and your favorite shoes (for that day) and wear them...even though none of them match. They're your faves so who cares?! :) say "mama, mama" 1452 times a day and "mama will you play with me?" 549 times a day :) have hardly any interest in video games are excited about going to Pennsylvania to "play in the snow", even though you don't like cold weather bring up God at random times and remind us that God loves us and made all of us...

AND, I love that the only thing you asked to do today was get a donut and watch the sunrise on the beach like last year :)
Wish granted!!

I love you little monkey!!  You put a smile on my face every morning! Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How our love story began...

Noe and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary!  Hard to believe it's already been 12 years.  I feel mighty old ;)  As we were reminiscing how we met and about our wedding, I realized I hadn't ever told the story on my blog of how we met!  I figured it was time to do so :)  We get asked to tell the story often and we never seem to tell it the same way.  lol  It's worth re-telling, because it's a pretty cool story - starting with how God prepared us months in advance...

...When I graduated college in '99 I got a job as a special needs prek itinerant teacher.  I had a steady boyfriend and I was living in Greensboro, NC.  I got the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Iquitos, Peru and I jumped at the chance.  I have always loved mission trips.  The trip turned out to be life-changing because on the way back I got this feeling that everything was job, my boyfriend, my name it.  God was calling me to do something...but I didn't know what.  All I knew was that I was ready to listen.

our mission team to Iquitos, Peru
     Through drinks with a friend, I realized God was calling me back to Peru.  The process was long and I won't take you through the whole thing - but rather than end up back in Iquitos (which was my plan), I ended up with a plane ticket that said Moyobamba, Peru (which was God's plan).  My boyfriend and I broke up after dating for four years - six months before I was to leave.  It turned out to be perfect timing - because it gave me plenty of time to "rebound" and be open to dating someone new.  I will be completely honest - I felt that I might meet someone on this trip...that I could possibly spend the rest of my life with.  But I can also say, that meeting someone was the last thing on my "to do" list.  But isn't that usually the case?  When you stop find your true love ;)

    I boarded the plane with a friend in June, 2001 to spend the summer in Moyobamba.  My friend spoke fluent Spanish.  I, on the other hand, had a good vocabulary but couldn't put more than 4 words together in a sentence.  "Where's the bathroom?" "My favorite color is blue." "I am 24 years old"...that was pretty much the extent of my spanish :)  I hadn't resigned from my job in Greensboro, but I also hadn't told them I was returning.  I left everything in God's hands.

my fun loving patient friend and translator who will be graduating law school soon!

    During the first week in July, after I had been there almost a month, we had a day off at the school where I was helping. Some of the teachers decided to go to the Hot Springs and asked me if I wanted to go.  I said yes, and since Noe was my neighbor - he offered to pick me up...(following is an excerpt from my journal I wrote in while living in Peru - they are all in italic)

"What fun!  Noe' came by about 10 and it was raining.  I think he thought I didn't want to go in the rain but I actually didn't care.  He didn't want to take me in the rain though so we spent the morning hanging out in the kitchen teaching each other English and Spanish.  I think he learned a little bit about me.  He looked at all my photos :)"

In a way, you could say that God "sent the rains" :)  According to Noe, that's when he began to get to know me and saw the passion I had for my students and my family. I already had an impression of him since I'd seen him lead music at church :)  Once the rain finally passed we went to the Hot Springs.  The other teachers were still there but not for long.  They had been there all day and were ready to leave...

"I didn't feel uncomfortable when the other teachers left and it was just me and Noe hanging out together.  We stayed probably another hour or hour and a half by ourselves.  I learned his parents live in Lima and he learned that I do not have a boyfriend...I didn't ask him many questions...but there'll be another time." :) (that was an understatement ;)

    I got my first bout with parasites shortly after that trip and spent many days in my room in reflection. I was contemplating why I was there...not about Noe, but my mission...

"Can I effect the lives of children in Moyo like I did back home? Am I capable of fitting into another culture and helping these children? And how can I show God's love - and  that He is the reason I am here? How can I help the church and more importantly - how do I show my faith?  I know I have to stay and find out the answers to these questions..."

The little preschoolers in the Christian School where Noe and I both worked. I helped in the preschool most of the time I was there.

one of the little girls in the special school that I literally fell in love with.  Sweetest child...
     On July 13th I wrote back home that I felt I was just getting in a groove and doing some "good".  I was understanding more Spanish (although still far from speaking it...boy I'm bad at languages!) and learning where I "fit in".  I wasn't ready to come home yet.

    A few days later I helped transport a mission team to the worship service - where Noe was leading the music.  From the first time I saw him lead I was moved...this time was no different...

"I can't wait until I can speak better Spanish so I can talk with Noe about his passion up there when he leads [music].  It is amazing the faith and love that you can feel from him when he's singing and praying.  You know the Spirit is moving him...and  when I see that, it in turn moves me - a great deal."

Noe and his brother jammin' in their house in Lima :)   
The group Jaris Canta that Noe sang in - this was at our wedding :)

    That's what first made me notice Noe - his faith.  After that, things just fell into place.  A week later the youth had an all night prayer vigil.  I went, as did Noe.  We got the chance to "talk" more (I use that term loosely because I was still not very good at Spanish! Thank goodness for my friend who sometimes translated for us! Lol) and we both knew that what we felt was something different.

"It sure does make things more complicated here, but I have to say I'm enjoying every minute with him" :)

chaperoning Noe's class to La Huarpia

    Two weeks after God "sent the rains" I pretty much knew.  We still needed a translator for deep conversations, we still didn't understand each others' cultures well and it would be many months before we officially began dating...but I knew :) When it's right, it's right.  It took a lot of patience on both sides as we learned to communicate (still does!) and it took help and encouragement from friends around us.  But 12 years later, I am still totally in love with the man that prayed, sang and joked his way into my heart :)

asking me to marry him

me saying yes :)

getting serenaded afterwards :) what you don't see is my entire family who had flown to Peru on a mission trip there in the living room :)  He asked for my hand in marriage and it was translated for them :)

Peruvian wedding! Aug. 2

US wedding :)  Aug. 9