Straight on Through

Things in my head and now …. not

Honduras Lift Off….




And excited.

And ready… (I think).

I think I do this every year.  I think I could have done more in the house… cleaned that closet I have been meaning to get too, made Al some extra dinners while I am away, more done in office, spent more time loving on the dogs…..   ARRRRGGGHHH… you get the drift.

Right now I think. “Oh I’ll miss my husband, Brad, and two weeks of Survivor, my dogs, and the rabbit, my computer (how will I live without my computer????), my studies, my friends, driving, movies, TV…

Bottom line is – once I get on my way…. wrapping my head around what I am doing in Honduras… all of my worries here and the “should have, could haves” melt away.  I see the kids that I have come to know so well over the years, old faces that light up with excitement as we recognize each other…  new faces that by the time I leave I will know and have stamped their name on my heart.

All the things that I think I’ll miss (with a few exceptions – like hubby Al), I don’t.  We are so busy that what seems normal here like computer time and TV, are not missed there.  We stay busy – we build relationships as well as walls to house relationships!  Night time comes and we are overjoyed and exhausted…. the days are so full.

So… this night before I leave I am thankful for all of you here that are a part of little piece of this world.  You really do complete me.  And there – is another piece of me that is found in Honduras.  Hard to explain but ever since that first time, I have known that as long as I am able, I will go.  As long as God says “yes”, I will be there.

See you all when I return on March 1st.  I know my blog posts will be full of stories and of pictures.

Take care everyone!



February 17, 2009 Posted by | Life thoughts | 1 Comment

Monday Mind Dump

My birthday was on Monday the 9th and it was quiet.  It was actually really nice.  I had celebrated on Friday with Al and friends as Al was leaving on Wednesday, and that felt like my birthday…. this actual date was a nice quiet day.  I did a little reading, even had a nap!  I seen Brad in the afternoon and he gave me great card. Then Justin took me out to dinner at Applebees and then we came home and watched a movie.

Tuesday my weigh in was my lowest yet and I am ok with with Honduras coming up here in a couple days I wanted to stay low as my exercise routine and my food choices will be unavailable for 10 days.

On Wednesday Al returned from Florida and we had a nice dinner and talked about his trip into the evening.

Thursday SURVIVOR started and Sandi drove me nuts!!!  Not helping the team… crying…. not knowing what a pace was…..   man…. I could go on and on…

On Saturday Al brought me a dozen beautiful long stemmed roses in a variety of colors.  GORGEOUS!  He also took me to a movie and let me pick so “He’s Just Not That Into You” is what we seen!  (What a trooper Al is!)  Then we went out to dinner at China Garden – YUM!!!  I love Chinese food!!!  Great Valentines Day!!!

On Sunday we had Chance for the day as we will probably not get a chance to see him the next couple weeks with us being gone.  He hung out with Justin and Justin’s friends and had a great time.

Today – I run…. last minute things to get and do…. working out – and now off to get my hair trimmed so it is not in my face in Honduras!

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Just me | Comments Off on Monday Mind Dump

A Year ago Today

A year ago today I woke up in a shady hotel in Choletecha Honduras…

I spent the day with a team of great people in 120 degree weather…

I received a birthday card with 2 Lempiras in it (18.3 Lempiras = $1 American) so basically I was given 8 cents)  NICE.

The people we were working with in Choletecha made me a chocolate cake

I assisted in baking (yes baking in 120 degree weather) over 300 cookies for a VBS event in a poverty area

We rode around in a bus with no air conditioning for hours to different areas to see the worst case scenarios

Our last stop was in a small village where kids came to get donuts and cookies hardly wearing anything at all as they had nothing.

I witnesses the Feed The Children bags that we bagged in Brainerd, Minnesota with the hearts and hands of our community being placed in the hands of these children.

How great is our God?

Best Birthday ever…

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Devotion in motion | 2 Comments

Monday Mind Dump

  • Not a lot to report from last week from last week early on other than the norm…
  • Friday however was a blast!  Al took me out to China Garden to celebrate my upcoming birthday since he would be in Florida when it actually happened.  I haven’t had Chinese food in about three months – YUM!!!  Then we went to hear a band in Breezy Point with some friends and we had a great evening!
  • Saturday early morning I drove Al to the airport.  I ran errands throughout the day and Chance and I went to the movie Push Friday evening.  Review here
  • Sunday afternoon Suzette and Karol came over and we watched Mama Mia together.  Suzette hadn’t seen it before.  This “getting together” has been two years in the planning… how sad is that?  It took up two years to get the three of us together at the same place at the same time.  Great afternoon.
  • Today – I turn 42.  Whoa.  Justin took the day off and is taking me to dinner tonight.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Just me | Comments Off on Monday Mind Dump

Biking Goals for 2009…

I am so looking forward to spring 2009 and beyond!  I have some new biking goals and if anyone out there is game to join me – let me know.  here is the tentative plan:

ironmanThe Ironman: (April 26, 2009 in Lakeville, MN.):  The Minnesota Ironman Bicycle® Ride, now in its 43rd year, is the longest running century bike ride in Minnesota. With routes of 100, 65 and 30 miles, this single day bike tour has something for every cyclist. Held every year on the last Sunday in April in Lakeville MN, the Minnesota Ironman is the start of the cycling season in the upper midwest.

lakesTour of Lakes: (Saturday June 6) The Tour of Lakes Bicycle Ride is a one day recreational ride for cyclists of all abilities. It is not a race. Experience the beautiful Brainerd Lakes area as you ride past lakes and forests on low traffic rolling to flat terrain. An occasional hill can be found as well.  Our tour promises an abundance of beautiful scenery, fresh air, terrific rest stops and a different route each year.

The ride is held rain or shine. You can choose the short route or challenge yourself with the long route.

The Tour of Lakes Bicycle Ride is a non-profit event hosted by the Paul Bunyan Cyclists Bicycle Club. Any surplus revenues are used to promote safe cycling in our community.

beststrawberrieseverTour of Saints ( Sunday, July 12): Each summer from 200 cities across Minnesota,cyclists gather in St. Joseph to pedal quiet byways, sweat over challenging hills, relish the summer-rich morningand savor fresh treats along the way.  The tour starts and ends at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota.  The course traces 35 undulating miles of scenic byways, with a 50-mile option you can choose along the way.  Riders enjoy rest stops with food and drink spaced along the scenic course.

riderimage2Minnesota Aids Trek: (September 12 and 13th) A 1 or 2 day 100% volunteer supported, bicycle trek benefiting people affected by HIV / AIDS, and vaccine research.

We’ll start out bright and early on the morning of Saturday September 12, 2009, from a location to be announced.  Gear transported by trucks.  Snacks and fluids are provided at pit stops, approximately 15 miles apart.  Lunch provided at the third pit stop.
Dinner and overnight camping at the Grand Casino Hinckley Campgrounds; see below for information about hotel alternatives.  We are working on arrangements for a limited number of resort chalets at Grand Casino Hinckley.
Sunday September 13, 2009 we leave Hinckley for Duluth.  Pit stops and lunch provided, also celebratory dinner at Duluth.  Motorcoach transportation leaving Duluth for the Twin Cities at about 5:30 p.m.  Bikes and gear transported back to the Twin Cities.

This is the plan as of this date.  Contact me if you want to do any of these of more details.  I would love to be able to get a few people to do this with.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Insane Moments, Just me | 1 Comment

A Journey Through Kinship

In September of 2002, after a speaker had come to Wal-Mart and talked to us about Kinship Partners… I made a decision to become involved.  I went in and picked up the information forms, filled them out and was soon on my way to becoming a Kinship Partner.

Looking back – I am still amazed that here we are 7 years later and that once funny little 7 year old I had met on a fall afternoon, has become such an amazing part of our life, and now a teenager that we still love to hang out with and be a part of his life.

So how did it all begin?  What did we do then?  What do we do now?  It began with saying “yes” to being a mentor in a child’s life.  Our own boys were 11 and 13 at the time, and we were already doing the sports events anyway – why not bring someone along who may enjoy getting out and doing just that?  And with that decision the door opened to Chance.

After the initial interview, I was mailed a list of possible kids who fit into the area we lived in and the types of activities we were involved in.  Chance was actually chosen off that list because of his name.  It spoke to me.  I wanted to do just that – give this boy who I had never met before, a chance.

I remember the day I met him, and hoping he would like me… and of course that I would like him.  I don’t know what I was worried about.  This cute little red headed boy came out of the house and my heart knew this was a match.  I had no idea that decision to become a partner was going to be a decision that brought this young man into all of our lives as almost one of our own family.

In the past 7 years we have:

went to Warrior football games watched movies biked snow angels played board games made homemade pizzas video games cookies cleaned ditched for Sertomas Cub Scouts had sleep overs made smores car races mastered Bomberman on Wii gone swimming kayaking corn maze sledding fishing shoveled snow together cleaning up at Mink Lake going to do bids with Al attending family gatherings outdoor concerts rollerblading (well… Chance attempted) talking on the phone birthdays miniature golf Valley Fair grilling on the deck school plays Harry Potter (all of them!) Playing “Pass Master” for an hour and a half in the car until our voices gave out weekends at the cabin raking leaves at Camp Jim hanging out with Justin (Chance calls him his brother) listening to IPOD Bowling making popcorn with m & m’s in it Halloween parties School Plays watching Pearl Harbor (again…. and again) helping at the Soup Kitchen Kinship Events picnics Ice fishing “hunting wabbits” years of Knex talking a lot Monopoly on Wii and also the old school board game hanging out camp fires going to movies Four wheeling Skate boarding Watching LOST reading the same book laughing at fortune cookies

I have recently become a Kinship Ambassador.  Mainly because I know first hand that this is an incredible program that is extremely important to our community.

There are a few things  I hear often as a Kinship Partner of why people are unable to commit and I would like to respond to those  here:

  1. I am too busy with my own kids. (That is great! As a Mentor you can bring your Kinship Partner along with what you are already doing with your family – sports events, picnics, going to the park, hanging around the house, watching a movie…)
  2. I don’t have any extra money to be a mentor. (Kinship discourages  Mentors spending much money on the kids. You are suppose to bring them into your every day life. Working on cleaning out the garage? Have them come over… renting a movie, working in your garden, going to the library, walking  in the park, sitting and talking, going to the fair or outdoor event, it fits well). Make times like going out for ice cream, to a movie, or out to eat, a special occasion.)
  3. I just don’t have time to take on one more commitment. (Kinship asks that you try to spend an hour a week with the child. Does that always happen for me? No. Some weeks I barely get to talk to him, and other weeks we spend several hours together. You can at least call them on the phone and talk to them about their week for a few minutes the times you are unavailable. And again, don’t make the Kinship relationship a burden. It isn’t. You do not need to plan special projects and outings for your time out. Simply make them a part of what you are already doing.)

7 years ago Chance came into our lives.  I had no idea that he would come to be such an important part of our family.  I look forward to many more years with Chance and we do not regret for a minute making the decision to be Kinship Partners.

This is an update to a blog I posted about a year and a half ago (previous post).

February 5, 2009 Posted by | Just me, Life thoughts | 2 Comments

Monday Mind Dump

  • Last week was actually a great week.  Looking back over it now I really seen some positive things coming out of what for one day was tough – but passed quickly.
  • Monday evening I had dinner with Julie, Key, and Sandi.  I love getting together with these three and they are such a great support to one another and to me.  I always get so much out of just having time with them.  Thanks girls!
  • Tuesday – weigh in was 1.6 down…. I am in maintenance mode and I always panic a bit here as after working so hard you don’t want to head back the other direction.  It takes me a while to level off…  and I am nervous about Honduras where I have no control over what we eat… I just need to keep the mindset that whatever happens, I can fix it when I get home again.
  • Tuesday was an incredibly tough day.  I don’t even know how to describe.  I felt it coming on, I thought it might be a bit, but I wasn’t expecting the overall overwhelmed sense of sorrow.
  • Wednesday – it all turned around and I actually felt fantastic… giddy and “world conquering”.  What a nut case I can be!  I was emotionally exhausted, and faded as the day went on but the gloom and doom had passed.
  • I started reading this book called For Women Only, and while it is a small book, it is one that you want to take piece by piece and read through slowly.  From chapter one I have really taken a lot away from this and had a real eye opener to the way I handle some things and how they can change.  I am impressed already with the results.
  • Thursday group in the a.m.  Always a good time!
  • Friday Al and I went to the movie Underworld.  Hmmmm…. a real guy movie.  I am not sure if I am going to do a review on it or not yet….  ok. review is here.…  We had dinner at Grizzley’s afterward and the food as always was SO GOOD!!!
  • Saturday – I went snow shoeing for the first time with Betty Vosberg.  It was a blast.  I am such a winter weather pansy, but it was like 40 degrees out on Saturday and I may have finally found something I like to do in the winter!  See post here on the snow shoe experience.
  • Sunday was fun with a Super Bowl Party at out friends Andy and Laura’s.  We munched on great food and watched what was actually a pretty entertaining game.  That’s huge coming from me as I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.
  • Still working on Monday…. had the inevitable long over due eye exam, am now catching up on a few posts and then considering seriously a trip out to the Grandparents that is once again…. long overdue.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Just me | 1 Comment

The Review of The Spiritual Boot Camp

Oops!  I jus realized I never put in the final thoughts of this commitment….  so here goes…

To refresh everyone – the commitment was to spend more time in the Bible, in prayer, and in taking care of me.  I had set time commitments, and have blogged each week and how it went:

SBC Week #1

SBC Week #2

SBC Week #3

And now this is the final results.  Yes, I did more of all three.  The Bible time was easy as the studies I am in at this time made it a must anyway and I dove in to prep for the commitments I had made.  I wish I would have studied more in one area, and had originally meant too, yet that never really fully developed and I think I may have over committed myself doing the three studies that assisted in making the original plan difficult.

The prayer area also was a lot the way I usually do prayer – in my car, getting ready in the morning, while working out…  while I did have some deeper moments of prayer time – longer and more in depth, it was not as much as I had planned, even though I made the time I committed to without a problem.

The Body part was something I had been working on anyway and the Boot Camp just caused me to step it up a notch which I did and am happy with the results.  I upped my classes at the YMCA and put myself with others who help me to commit.  I have reached my goal wait during this SBC and now need to maintain…. hopefully, for life.

And really… looking at that last part, “maintaining, hopefully for life“…. I guess that is really what I hope for with all three areas of this SBC.  I worked the program, I seen and recorded results, and now I need to maintain for life.

*Anyone who joined me on this adventure, I would love to hear how it went.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Devotion in motion | 1 Comment