Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rainy season

We are in the rainy season here in Honduras. And it is definitely called that for a reason. So much rain! One of the first Spanish phrases I learned here was mucha lluvia - a lot of rain!

It is really beautiful when it rains and I love the sound of it.
As long as it doesn't rain so much that it prevents the bus from going to town on Saturdays I won't complain :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Our Honduran Home

For our 3 months in Honduras we are living on the compound of Hospital Loma de Luz. Loma de Luz is a part of the Cornerstone Foundation which also operates a school and a children's home.  You can read more about their ministry here -

I am still learning about the school and children's center and one day soon (as soon as it stops raining so I can walk over!) I want to visit the children's center.

Where we are living there is one entrance and it is gated and guarded. When you come in you can go straight to the hospital or turn right up the hill to the residences. There is a building they call staff housing, which is basically short term housing, like a motel, with a common room and big kitchen. They have books and games to borrow and a screened in porch with hammocks.

Then in our building there are three, three bedroom apartments.

Further up the hill are the long term missionaries with families mostly and they have houses and AMAZING views of the Caribbean!

Our house here is even bigger than our condo in Fort Myers and we aren't even using the bedroom upstairs at all. It is nice and has everything we need, but it doesn't come without a few quirks. Our favorite of which is the bathroom with 3 doors. :)

It is surrounded by gorgeous flowers and basically the jungle on 3 sides. I love it!

We have a front porch swing and a back porch with a baby swing and hammock. I could live on the porch if I could get Houston to stop trying to fall off and throw everything we own over the railing.
Thankfully one of the families that lived here before us put up this chicken wire above the railing to prevent kids from climbing and falling!

The living room - which serves as a basketball court and wrestling ring as well 

we bought this in Ceiba for a couple dollars our first trip to the city. 

a little art to make it feel homey 

the living room ceiling and the upstairs room we do not use. There is also a 3rd bathroom up there. 

Leo and Houston's room 

Our bedroom

The bathroom with 3 doors. One leads to Leo and Houston's room, one goes to the room with the shower, and one leads to the living room area. The best part is none of these doors close very well because they have all swollen with humidity, haha! 

And finally we have the laundry room. My least favorite room. There are holes around the washer pipes that lead to a storage area under the building that mice and rats could and maybe did very easily climb up into our house. Last week in La Ceiba I bought steel wool pads and we stuffed the holes and since then haven't seen any traces of rodents in the apartment! I really hope that solves the issue...
Also the dryer doesn't work. Its rusty I'm sure from the constant humidity. It's rough on metal!

 So this is it, home for now :)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Honduras 4 days in

Yep, that was super cheesy and I'm pretty sure how every single person who has ever blogged from a Spanish speaking country has begun a blog post. I'm just trying to be in the club. Really that's about as good as my Spanish gets. I'm trying... maybe in 3 months I'll be able to say something, but I'm not holding my breath.

So, we arrived in Honduras on Wednesday and today is only Sunday but we have crammed so much into these past few days.

Long journeys down crazy dirt roads full of pot holes, hiking up a mountain, walking along the beach, attending a Spanish church, walking across scary hanging bridges, and Lee has begun working in the hosptial...

We are definitely in the jungle. It is crazy.

We've had so many different encounters with animals.
Our first morning here I woke up to the sound of howler monkeys yelling in the trees outside our bedroom window. It was terrifying. We've since seen the actual monkeys and heard them yell at cars driving by from our back porch and it's still just as scary.

Our first day I saw tarantula under our porch stairs. In the span of about 90 seconds I watched toucans jump around in the trees, a weird squirrel thing run up a tree, and a giant lizard ran from me.

On our trips to and from La Ceiba we've been stopped several times because of cows crossing the roads and all along the way you can see cows, horses, chickens, ducks, and pigs.

But the worst. by far. the worst animal encounter was waking up this morning to find that one of the bananas I had left laying on the counter of our kitchen had been devoured by some creature. I'm still not over it. I couldn't bring myself to dispose of it and had to wait for Lee to wake up to inspect the kitchen. We're assuming it was a mouse/rat. I can barely even type that.

I would consider myself a pretty brave person. There are a lot of things that I can do, including holding snakes and tarantulas and moving to Central America with my 2 little children.... but I might actually have a phobia of rodents. I've been so jumpy all day knocking on doors and making loud noises before I enter rooms. I'm terrified to open the cabinets in the kitchen and all I can think about is once I go to sleep some thing is going to be roaming my house and touching all my stuff.  Don't even get me started with Leo and Houston sleeping in their own room....
So honestly, pray for me. Pray we catch it or it ran off and I never have to see it or any other mammal in the house for the next 3 months.

Okay so other reactions from my first few days - it is humid. Like everything is damp and I can hear the mold growing damp. The sun was even out for a few days and it still felt damp and sticky. We're in the raining season so I only expect more of the same. The plus side is it hasn't been too hot! I'm actually typing this laying in bed and wearing one of Lee's long sleeved shirts!  I'll do a post soon about our house here, but we are not using air conditioning. There is a unit in the bedroom but we haven't turned it on because it's pretty cool in the evenings and we have ceiling fans and a couple other fans.

I guess I went over the bad stuff first. Truthfully, I am really happy with our decision to come and am really loving it here! We have a front porch with a swing and a back porch with a hammock. I could probably live on the porch! Leo and Houston love it too! Leo and I have been spending some time in the afternoons cuddling in the hammock while Houston naps and practicing our Spanish.
I'll do a post soon about Lee's experience working in the hospital. It's going to be interesting!

It is crazy beautiful here. So lush and green and I love looking out and seeing mountains. Leo is having fun and making new friends everywhere he goes.

Tomorrow will be kind of like our first real day in our new routine. Lee has to work and I'll be free to do whatever we want for the entire day. If it's not raining I plan on hiking up the mountain again to visit the kids and their nanny's to practice my Spanish!

Our days have been starting around 5:30am. Surprisingly I have been awake before the boys! Daylight is basically 5:30am - 5:30pm and it's been an adjustment to get used to. Houston has been getting up around 5:30 and going to bed around 6:30 with Leo waking up and going to bed slightly later. I've even been getting in bed around 9pm, which is super unusual for me!

There are a lot of other families here so I think it's going to be fun to get to spend time with other people in a similar situation as us, although they are here for the long term and we are only in it for 3 months! There is a Thanksgiving potluck planned and I'm sure something special for Christmas. I'm looking forward to it and already planning my dishes to take for Thanksgiving because I'll need to be on the lookout for supplies in advance!

So once a week on Saturday a school bus comes and picks up a group from the compound and drives us about an hour and half to La Ceiba to shop. I'll do a more detailed post soon, but I was pleasantly surprised with our first trip into the city this week! We even ate at a Pizza Hut! and I found Goldfish at a store!
I feel like singing the Mary Tyler Moore theme song - we're gonna make it after all!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Leo 3.5

Leo turned 3 and a half last week.
My boy is getting so big.
He is so independent and brave and smart and precious.

I don't even know where to begin with him.  He amazes me every single day. Seriously. He is so smart and funny. He is always saying the cleverest things. Sometimes he's too clever.

Last week we were getting ready for church and I said - Leo do you know your verse for this week? and he said no... and I said well then you're not going to get any candy... and he said its okay, Miss Kaye gives me candy even if I don't say it.
and then! At church Miss Kaye was talking to them about how important it is to listen to your mom and dad and Leo says - "but it's easy to just go to time out"

Last night we went to Chickfila and I was trying to bribe him to help me clean up his bedroom before and I said - Leo if you help me clean up I'll get you ice cream after dinner. He thinks for a second and says - no, I don't like chickfilas ice cream anyway.

I should be afraid of what is to come...

But I promise more often than he says things like that he is super sweet.  He makes up the sweetest songs. Today he sang this to me -

God is with you wherever you go
God will protect you
God made dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are not here anymore
I love you

He is amazing at drawing and writing. He has been writing his name forever but now he likes to write all different kinds of letters and then ask me what it spells. Or he will ask me how to write a word and write it out perfectly. I really feel like he's going to read soon.  He knows all his letter sounds and can sound out short words and he can do a few sight words. - Dog, cat, mommy, daddy, Houston, Batman lol.
It makes me so happy that he loves to do art projects. Almost every day we draw with chalk or paint or just draw on paper.  He is getting pretty detailed and I love all his art. Its so hard to have to throw some of them away sometimes. But I always take a picture first!

Oh and back to church and the bible verses - he is great at memorizing verses. He has about 5 that he can recite and he knows the entire Lord's prayer. Sometimes he sings it in his little made up songs :)

He is so curious. It keeps things interesting. He asks me to look things up on my phone or he wants to find a book about certain subjects at the library. Today he asked the librarian for a book about worms that suck blood... and the other day he insisted we good whether or not ants have boogers.
One day he got in trouble for chopping down one of my plants but I couldn't be mad after he told me the reason he did it was that he just wanted to see what was inside of it. haha. He asks that about a lot of things - what is inside of it?!

One of his favorite subjects is sea creatures.  His current favorite show that he asks to watch almost every single day is Octonauts... I still don't like him watching a lot of TV, but he really loves this show and remembers every single thing about it.  He's taught me about cone snails, burmese pythons (pyphones to Leo :), squid, jelly fish, alligators, and so much more. He is Kwazzi, I am Tweak, Lee is Captain Barnacles, and Houston is Peso. I don't know... just the names he gave us.

One of the most adorable things is Leo now has imaginary friends. I've read that it is a sign of intelligence lol. I don't know about that, but it is fun.
For a couple months now Leo has talked about "his animals" in pretty much every situation it is - oh my animals can do that or my animals have been there before or my animals will keep us safe.
This week though the animals have begun physically being in our house.  The two he talks to the most about are his Tiger and his Monkey. The monkey swings on our ceiling fan and the tiger was sitting at our table at breakfast.

He still loves to dress up and pretend he's different superheroes. He sometimes combines different ones and powers.  He mostly likes Batman and Spiderman though.

Oh and he LOVES legos! He could sit in his room for hours and build things with his legos. I know I keep saying it but that also makes me so happy!  He is REALLY good too and comes up with some very cool contraptions. He is very symmetrical in his building too.

I'd say he's your typical boy in most things - he likes dirt, sports, being dangerous, tv, etc...

We're getting very excited about our upcoming adventure to Honduras. Leo can't wait to see mountains and I am feeling hopeful that he develops an interest in Spanish because as of right now he does not want to learn Spanish at all!
I will tell you what though, Leo will not miss the AC while we're there. He comes out often in sweatshirts complaining about being cold and we keep our house at about 75, haha, if it's a cloudy day you can be sure Leo wants to wear

As has been the case for his entire life, Leo is super tall. He was over 40 inches this summer when we went to Busch Gardens so he got to ride a lot of the bigger rides! It's crazy!
I think he's finally gained some weight too. We'll find out at Houston's 15 month appointment soon how much he weighs and how tall he is.  He's wearing 4-5T and size 11, almost 12 in shoes!!

He's still pretty picky in the eating department, but he has been more open at least to trying things thankfully. He finally eats chicken and french fries out in restaurants! haha! I NEVER though I'd be happy about that, but it's so much more convenient when he will eat SOMETHING on the menu. I think part of the difference is he decided he likes ketchup... and chickfila helps. The gateway nuggets.

And besides being smart, funny, and sweet.... this kid is ridiculously good looking.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Houston 15 Months

My sister in law asked me the other day how much Leo weighed when he was 2 and I was able to quickly check my blog and read a full account of everything Leo was doing when he was 2 years old (and basically every other month of his life) and while doing so I noticed I had not updated about Houston since his 9 month post... if I'm this bad with my 2nd kid what does this say about my future children's records?!

So this is me committing to blogging more! For my children's sake! haha!

Houston just might be one of the cutest 15 month old you've ever seen. Of that I'm pretty certain. He just makes you want to squeeze him.  He has the best smile and the shiniest brown eyes that just dance when he's happy.

He loves to dance. He likes The Office theme song! If you know me you know this is my all time favorite show so I often try to sneak in an episode while I'm cooking dinner or doing dishes and when the music plays Houston is always dancing. I just love it so much.

He is a CLIMBER! If I leave the room Houston can be found on top of the kitchen table. He climbs on the toilet, on beds, chairs, into the bathtub... He also loves to get into the cabinets and pull out every single thing, but if I just hand him a stack of Tupperware he wants nothing to do with it. lol. of course.
He loves water. Mostly dumping water out of cups, lol, but he loves the beach and the pool and his water table that we got him for his 1st birthday!

He also loves balls and playing basketball and reading books. The other day I no lie took a 5 minute video of him reading an animal book so intently... but you'll have to take my word for it because my phone desperately needs reset and I have commitment issues about deleting every thing so it didn't actually record it...
He likes to draw and eat crayons. haha. Actually maybe he just likes making messes!

We're currently working on animal sounds. He learned to say woof woof for dog while we were in Ohio in July so about 13 months I guess. And he has been saying woof for every animal since. haha! At Busch Gardens the other day he got excited whenever he saw an animal and said woof woof woof over and over.
Now he can do the trick we taught Leo about sticking his tongue out for lizard and beating his chest for gorilla. He tries to moo like a cow and sometimes will say baa for sheep.
I feel like he's going to be picking up a lot more quickly. Every time we practice he does more and more.

For a couple months he has been able to point out different body parts - head, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and belly.  He understands a lot of other commands too. Like if I say raise your hands or show me your feet he can.

I admit I was a lot more diligent with the sign language with Leo and at 15 months he knew a lot more signs than Houston, but Houston is very consistent and good with please, more, all done, and thank you. I need to teach him more!

Houston has so many nicknames from us - Housty, Houster, H-town... none of which were nicknames I originally thought of when I named him Houston.  I thought we were going to call him Hugh or Huey lol. I love when Leo calls him a nickname though. It is so sweet.
They are the sweetest brothers. I can't wait to see their relationship form even more. But they definitely fight. Leo gets upset when Houston takes his stuff and Houston wants to do whatever Leo is doing... so that's fun. haha.

Houston is still on the slim size. We go tomorrow for his 15 month check up so I'll know how much he weighs and how tall he is then. My guess is long and thin! He's wearing 18 month clothes mostly, but can still fit his 12 month shorts.
He eats okay, but definitely not like Leo did at this age. It might be due to his environment (aka my fault) because I tend to feed him exactly what I'm feeding Leo so he eats a lot of fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, hummus, etc.  He would eat every 1500 berries a day if I let him. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are his favorites, but he likes strawberries too. He also loves to walk around the house chomping on an apple.

Houston is just the sweetest, happiest, goofiest baby. He makes himself laugh sometimes and it cracks me up.  He's super ticklish and peekaboo always works to get a smile out of him.
I am so thankful he's mine.

Houston's first movie - Lego Batman on $1 day! He made it through the whole movie until about the last 15 minutes and I had to stand up in the back with him. 

Milkshake thief! 

Houston experienced his first solar eclipse this month! He slept through most of it, but we got outside to catch some of the fun shadows on the eclipse :) 

Mommy and Daddy's 8th anniversary 

We had a big flood this month! 
We were stuck at our house for a couple days and played in the rain :)

Eating markers.


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