Proud Parents

I am a happy wife with a loving husband. I have three adorable, sweet, and energetic children. Our intention with each day is to serve the Lord. Our blessings are numerous.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trey's trip to Nicaragua

In October I went on a medical mission trip in Nicaragua. The region we traveled to was the Rio Coco river which serves as the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. It was a tiring trip that took 3 days of travel in order to reach our destination. I flew from Abilene and joined the rest of the team in Houston. We in turn flew to Managua which is the capitol where we spent the night. The next day we spent 8 hours on a converted yellow school bus and finally arrived in Wiwili on the Rio Coco. We overnighted in Wiwilli.

Wiwili was the Sandinista (Marxist) stronghold during the Sandinista-Contra civil war back in the 80's. There is still some tension in the area with memories of the U.S. supporting the Contra rebels that were based in Honduras. Siempre Rojo y Negra was the flag colors and rallying cry of the Sandinistas as well as a saying I thought might come in handy. Fortunately, I never had to use it. One picture shows me next to the tail of a Russian made bomb that was left over from the war. It seems the U.S. and the Soviet Union have had scuffles all over the globe. The children's text books have descriptions of bombs, land mines, and grenades in order to protect the children from their natural curiosity.

From Wiwili, the team rode in 30 foot hand dug canoes that had been carved out of huge trees that grow along the river. The boat captain said it takes about 1 month to carve out a canoe. We had motors attached to the boats and traveled at 6 mph. It took about 11 hours to reach our final destination of San Andres. Along the way, we landed on the Honduran side of the river twice to take breaks so officially we had been to Honduras but only to relieve ourselves. Yes, we went to a country only to pee on it. Along the way we saw terrain that resembles Hawaii with lush vegetation, banana trees (or some variation), coconut trees, and coffee been bushes. Surprisingly it was mountainous and somewhat cool at times. Early in the trip I was the first to spot an alligator that was about 7 feet long -- pretty proud of that one. Unfortunately it was early in the trip and we hadn't pulled out the cameras yet. Another strange sight was seeing a dead cow in a canoe and the passengers of that canoe seeming like it was just an every day occurance. We saw hundreds of people along the river who would stop in their tracks to watch the gringos pass by. Maybe I was just seeing things, after all I was tired and dehydrated. Did I mention a monkey playing the banjo with midgets serving pitchers of beer. Who's gonna read this anyway? Maybe I'll blame the sightings on the anti-malaria medicine which has some strange side effects. Everyone on the trip saw what I saw but then again -- the malaria medicine.

We finally arrived in San Andres to a warm welcome. This area is so remote that it had been 8 years since a medical team had been to this area. The area is home to over 42,000 indigenous Miskito indians and the government has designated only 1 doctor for the whole region. The community was simply a collection of shacks with tin roofs at best but some still had the traditional palm leaf roofs.

We served close to 1900 people medically and the dentist pulled close to 500 teeth. I had a translator, Harold, who had developed into a very good pharmacy technician by the end of the first day. To the left, Ernest is seen after he cut up coconut for my pleasure. Strangely enough, many of the indians had anglicised names. Back to the subject, our translators needed to know English, Spanish, and the native Miskito language. The Moskito language resembled the Hawaiian language in its written form. The Moskito phrase for "examine this" or "check this out" is monkikak which is pronounced "monkey cake".

We had a new patient walk into the pharmacy every 50 seconds on average. The idea is to see as many as we can for the short time we are there. While waiting for their turn in the clinic the people stood in line, many with bare feet. With the farm animals doing their "business" in the same areas that the people tread, needless to say parasites were a major complaint. Overall the people were clean in that they bathed and washed clothes daily. They unfortunately needed some education in drainage and infectious disease control.

As people stood waiting their turn, local evangelists associated with and supported by churches back in the U.S. preached the gospel. Thousands of study bibles were handed out as well as reading glasses for many of the people. Hopefully some of the message was received.

Life is hard for these people. About the only job available is clearing brush with a machete for the landowners for 30 cordobas per day. That is the equivalent to $1.50. The women do most of the work while a large number of the men are alcoholics. Life expectancy is short and was demonstrated by how young they start their families with 15 and 16 year old girls showing up with more than 1 child of their own. We didn't see many elderly people. Of the 1000 or so population of San Andres, there are 280 families of which 80 are single mother households.

Our boats ran a taxi service for other communities along the river to come to our clinic. The flow of people was well organized and constant. The Moskito people were hit hard by the civil war in the 80's and again by Hurricane Mitch in the mid-90's. The community we served had all of their homes washed away by that storm. They were still kind and thankful people.

Returning down the river, we approached a Nicaraguan military checkpoint (looked like a bus stop shelter) and the first boat with a French doctor and some translators didn't stop. The soldiers rattled off 3 shots in the water in front of the boat from their AK-47 rifles. That was a little disconcerting but we only found out about that little episode after everyone reached the final destination. Chalk up one more good story for the folks back home. By the way, most people didn't realize there would be left over military ordinances, alligators, and trigger happy military personnel on this trip.

I was sure glad to see my beautiful wife and energetic kids who happened to be more interested in the plane on which I arrived rather than the fact that their daddy had just come home. After taking this picture, I was glad to find out Evan had only spilled his drink on his pants. The smile on my face represents the joy of being home but also concern in what my right hand is holding. I promptly returned back to the real world.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Trey turned the dining room into a fort today! An old back injury of mine resurfaced today - and I really didn't feel like I could physically take care of the kids. So Daddy came to the rescue before he headed off to the pharmacy. They played with flash lights and any toy that lit up while they were in "the dark cave." They even ate their lunch under there. I have lots of childhood memories playing in a fort with my was fun watching them.

Their shirts say, "I am definately up to something" appropriate!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Snuggling is one of our favorite "Guffey" passtimes. While daddy was at school with Evan, Andie and I got to snuggle. In her hand is one of her blankets. Not only does she like to hold it - but sniff it. She thinks you're pretty neat if she offers her blanket to you for you to sniff. Just before this picture, she had me sniffing every square inch of this one. And she really thinks you're tops if she sniffs you.

Our queen bed feels as though it has gotten a lot smaller these days. It really shrinks "when the sun comes up." That's when the kids are allowed to snuggle in our bed.

Thanksgiving Feast at Evan's school

Today, Trey went to visit Evan at school during their Thanksgiving feast. He found Evan's class on the playground. Trey got a kick out of watching Evan play while not knowing his daddy was there. Trey snapped the picture as Evan was jumping off the equipment. The teachers did a very cute job of setting the table and making head dresses and pilgrim hats. They ate just as the original pilgrims and indians did.... Capri Suns, meat & cheese squares, crackers and cookies. At least they ate how the pilgrims would have loved to - prepackaged, ready to go food! Young Children's World has been a great experience for Evan. I like the new buddies he has made. He lights up telling me about his friends. He can list off most of the boys in his class. I asked him if he knew any of the girls names. "I don't know" shrugging his shoulders. "Evan is there a girl named Natalie?" Evan looking lost, "I guess so." Trey and I laughed when we noticed that the kids were sat boy, girl, boy, girl. I'm sure it stays more orderly and controlled when you're sitting next to a gender you don't find as identifiable as you're own.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

3 month photos

Here are all three kids at 3 months of age. We had a really hard time getting the shot of Dean. He is so much bigger than the other two. He did not fit well into our hands - not to mention he didn't like the pose either. Aren't they sweet?


I got to go shopping at Canton's Trade Days last weekend. It's a shopper's dream! Much to my husband's surprise, I did not buy much. But the trip was a nice break from my mommy routine. I loved getting to hold and love on Dean the whole time. He is a wonderful side kick. It was a nice time with some great girls from my church. I'm ready to go back when any of you are.

The older kids stayed with Trey's parents - Papa & Mimi. They said the kids did great. They love how affectionate Evan and Andie are. There were a few strikes to the kids good behavior that the grandparents did not discover until I arrived...Evan tore off a section of wall paper in a bedroom. I call it a Curious George moment. The paper was slightly lifted at the edge, which is what caught his attention. (Fortunately Mimi was able to fix this.) While I was talking to Evan about the wall paper, his cousin, Joel, jumped on the white bedspread. He had just run in from playing in the dirt - so he added some altertation to the white bedspread. Joel's momma comes in and orders him off the bed. Being obedient, he jumps off the bed - but crashes into the bifold closet doors. Yes, the door is now off it's track, resting against the clothes. It was also noticed that Evan had taken a large metal tonka truck and made some dents/scratches on their piano. I'm sure in was in a moment of crazy hyperness that he and his cousin get into - but a little painful for his parents to hear about. The piano is now being moved to storage until the kids can control themselves a little better. I'm glad they would prefer to get rid of the piano instead of the grandkids:)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Guys night out" Hog Hunt

The ladies in our Bible class have a monthly girls night out. The guys decided they wanted a turn to have a guys night out. Trey had the guys out to our ranch for a camp out and hog hunt. Some fun stories came from the gathering. Pictured is a 3oo lb wild hog. We always want these killed because they ruin the land and crops. Good job guys!