- Great big hugs and snuggles first thing in the morning
- Hearing my sweet girls voice as she begins to have conversations with us
- Sweetest words ever: "I love you, daddy!"
- Having my daughters fall asleep in my arms on the couch (best sleep ever!)
- Looking forward to favorite routines like watching Caillou together right before bedtime.
- "Outside play, Daddy"
- Watching Nadia reach her hand up for mine as we walk down our mountainous driveway...
- continuing to hold her hand as we walk down the street.
- Watching my children learn...
- Hearing things repeated we have taught (i.e. look right, look left, no cars, go!)
- Excited little voice announcing my presence after being gone ("Daddy home!)
- Sharing life with their awesome mommy
- Watching Nadia take care of Lydia
- Excitement about school craft projects
- Playing catch with my two-year-old
- Jumping on the pillows (pippos)
- Dance parties
- Tea Parties
- Building palaces
- Reading to Nadia
- Nadia "reading" to me
- Talking on the phone to Nana, Grandaddy, Jor Jor, Al, Pat, Poppa, and Seph
- Nighttime cuddles
- Going on walks and looking for doggies
- Nadia rubbing my ear as she goes to sleep
- First smiles
- Hands grasping my fingers
- Lydia staring into my eyes
- Enjoying holidays through their eyes
- Kitty kisses
- Mimicking airplanes
- Going to the zoo
- Playing hide and seek
- Making our noses honk and beep
- Reading with all the voices, just like Mama did for me
- Helping them enjoy the things I enjoy
- Recognizing the responsibility of raising another human being (or two...!)
- Watching my wife teach them far better than I can
- Being surrounded by three beautiful girls!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
As we got older the cousins got married and their spouses were added to the mix and not too long after that we all started having kiddos of our own. In recent years the "whole" family has only gotten together during the moments of sadness, the passing of our matriarch "Mema", and most recently the death of my own mother. Such is life. We all grow up. We get busy with our lives and time moves on. Not to worry, we do still get together albeit not all at the same time. Just this past weekend I saw my mom's two brothers and their wives, 1 cousin, and 2 of another cousin's children. Of course we "see" each other on Facebook and do our best to keep up with all the happenings.
As I think about all these things and the holiday season coming up I am painfully reminded of a huge hole in my heart and a big difference that will be felt this year. You see, this is a year of firsts. From now to next July each event will labeled as the first _______ since mama died. I always looked forward to pulling up to the house and walking through the front door, finding my mom usually in the kitchen, and giving her a big hug as she pulled herself away from whatever the next meal or project was. I will always remember the way she played with my Nadia. I was looking forward to watching her continue to do so as she would spoil my children as all good grandparents are supposed to do. (I had another grandparent explain to me the other day that it was in the fine print of the grandparent contract!) One of the things that brought me the most grief at her passing was that my children would not know their Gamma. I am pleased to say that at least for now Nadia will still name her in our family picture at my and Becca's wedding.
We all miss you, Mama! Dance, jump, and sing, and say, "hey" to Jesus for me.
Friday, May 6, 2011
There are a lot of good programs out there that we can support. A lot of them require a little money as well. This one does not! All you need to do is visit A Hope To Dream and fill out the nomination form. What a great way to share the love of Christ and take care of the little ones in our midst.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Before we begin let’s go back to last night. Thank you
What a great day! Today I loaded up the bus and headed out with Dr. Michael Pruett and Dr. Ben Lyons alongside our translator Christian and we headed out to Los Piques. We had a short day as we were all needing to be back to Los Muermos by 5:00 for a special presentation with the Mayor of Los Muermos and the director of the clinic alongside all our translators/dental students. We also had to say good-bye to Dr. Trotter this morning. He was flying home early so he needed to leave for the airport by 12:00. His chair had the potential for being one of the busiest so we decided that the Los Piques crew would head back to Los Muermos around lunch. Even so we were still able let Foundation intern Michelle Nance pull two teeth and I got two more as well. So, all told for the week for the assistance in order of numbers of teeth pulled 1st:
After we got back to town I was also able to walk to the school where Dr.
We had a great presentation with the Mayor of Los Muermos, Leo, the director of the consortorio in Los Muermos, and all of our translators. I was able to combine our pictures to show each of them the work that had been done throughout the week. The mayor expressed his words of thanks to us. Leo gave each of the dentists a beautiful piece of wall art made from a local tree here in
After we finished the presentation we loaded up the vans and headed to The Cliffs Preserve. Our stay here is a gift from the foundation to us. And what a treat it is. Many in our group, including myself, are seeing the
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Today started out on a bad note as it was raining quite a bit as we made our way to breakfast and then on to the clinic. The rain lasted only an hour or so here in Los Muermos proper, but apparently it rained most of the day in some of the other places. We got to see a lot of blue sky today. By the end of the day we could see the tops of two volcanoes. They are a lot taller than I thought given the little bit we were able to see yesterday morning.
I stayed in Los Muermos and worked with Dr. Bill Trotter today. Here in the town of
Because of the set up in the mobile unit and the need for two translators Dr.
Just before lunch time
We took a walk through the town after we were finished with dentistry. There were several shops and several restaurants that we saw. One of the little restaurants was called Moe’s! How cool is that? However, it was certainly not the same. It was actually the Moe from The Simpsons. There was also a man on the street selling all kinds of sea creatures (snails, mollusks, and some kind of squishy ink thing) out of a wheel barrow. We have seen all kinds of things here.
Dr. Pruett and Dr. Lyons were once again treated to lunch at their clinic. I will be heading out there tomorrow for some pictures with them. Tomorrow we will be bringing our dental work to a close. We will also have a special presentation with the mayor, the local dentist, the director of the clinic, all of our translators, and all of our team. I will prepare a slideshow to show pictures from all of the clinics and our work here in the area.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Tuesday April 26, 2011
This morning at breakfast we were treating to a nice surprise by our creator. We had heard that we would be able to see the volcanoes from the bed and breakfast we are staying in. So far we have not been so lucky. But, today as we were sitting down to breakfast I went to the window that more or less overlooks the town and could see the volcanoes below the cloud cover. I made this announcement and several of us ran for our cameras. It was really cool. I hope we will be able to see them in all their glory before the week is over.
Today I went to Estequilla with Dr.
Estequilla is only about 5 minutes from the cost of
But, in spite of that everything is very green. This is due to the 56” of rain this region gets per year. As a matter of fact today was the first day that I have seen significant blue sky since we have been here. Perhaps this was due to being so close to the coast. As we made the hour-drive back to Los Muermos the cloud cover returned and it looked as if we might be in for a good rain shower tonight. We’ll see.
The week is going well. We are hearing good reports from all sites. One pair of dentists was treated to lunch by one of the patients. She brought them a meal prepared from items on her farm (fresh chicken, zucchini, carrots, etc.). Then, this same team who had just treated the principal of the nearby school took them to see the school and gave them a tour. What a neat point of connection for these dentists!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Today the dentists spread out around Los Muermos, Los Piques, Estequilla, and Cumbres Altes. For all teams there was a slow start to the day which is to be expected at the beginning of any mission trip. My plan is to go with a different set of dentists each day to be able to share pictures of everyone in the group as well as all the different areas. Today, I accompanied Drs. Brooke Loftis and
We had multiple extractions and multiple cavities to be filled. We had slight problems with some of the equipment, specifically the generators which slowed down progress. I believe most of the kinks have been worked out with all groups and our speed and production will only increase. I await the reports from the other teams.
As I reflect on the day I know that dentistry is certainly not a field in which I am called. Dr. Loftis was in the middle of doing an extraction and Rebecca and I were struggling even to watch. Her nurturing side was coming out as she was feeling bad for the patient. Afterward we were mentioning our thoughts and she said something which I feel all dentists must feel at some level. “I have to think about the fact that once I do the procedure the patient will feel much better and will not be in pain.”
The plan for tomorrow is that the attendings, Dr. Bill Trotter, Dr.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
April 24, 2011
Rebecca and David met us at the hotel this morning at 10:00. I rode with Rebecca on to the church and David walked over with the team a little later. I finished my devotion last night around 2:00AM. I emailed Rebecca and Dave so they could print it out for me. I met Pastor Boris briefly before the service but not to gain any detail about the service. He confirmed through Rebecca that I would help administer the Lord’s Supper. I was never sure when I was going to be called on to share my devotion but I was ready. One of the lay people helped to lead the beginning of the service while Pastor Boris was leading the singing from the keyboard. Rebecca was singing in the band during the morning service. Eventually, I was called on to come forward. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were calling on me to recognize me or to come speak. Eventually, the translator came through and said that I would be sharing a little bit from the word. Then, I knew I was on.
I had read over the message briefly from my seat because I wasn’t sure what it may have been since I finished so late. I think it turned out pretty good. I wish I was more able to preach extemporaneously, but that is very difficult to do through an interpreter. The service lasted from 10:30 until 1:00. It didn’t seem like it was that long. There was great variety within the service. At one point the children came up and did a piece. I got some video of that. Pastor Boris used a lot of different scripture in his message. Fortunately for us they had a PowerPoint going so we could read the references and find the English translation. They have been studying through Philippians. Today, we heard chapter 2 verses 5-11, the attitude of Christ.
At the end of the service the men’s group came up to sing. Rebecca wasn’t sure how good they were going to be, but actually I thought it was very good. Pastor Boris was a part of that group as well. He has a really good voice. We got a picture with him out in front of the church. He will be coming to Los Muermos on Wednesday to meet with Jerry Bowling, Pastor Ivan, and myself to talk about future partnership and how we will move forward from this point.
For lunch we went to another great restaurant. I can see why PV would be a great vacation spot. Most of us had fish at the recommendation of the Hughes’. I had Congrio which is eel. It was a great whitefish that did not taste fishy at all. We are now travelling to Puerto Montt. This afternoon we will meet with Leo and make preparations for the team. Decisions will be made as to who is going to be staying at the clinic and who will be travelling to the villages. Each group is going to have a translator with them who is also a dental student. We hope this will be a great experience for these students. It will also be good for our team as they will know some of the dental terminology as well.
Upon arrival to Puerto Montt we took a tour of the clinic and one of the mobile dental units. Pictures were good, but it is much better to see the places in person. The dentists were able to ask questions of the local dentist (Alex) and the manager of the local clinic (Leo). After taking a look at each of the chairs here in Los Muermos we were able to unpack our supply bags and repack the supplies into the teams that will be spread out. There will be three chairs here in Los Muermos and three elsewhere in the surrounding villages. We are eager to get started with our work tomorrow.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today we were shown around the lake town of
Friday, April 22, 2011
April 21-22, 2011
We got away from
We arrived in
After rechecking our bags we all headed over to Dunkin’ Donuts for a snack which allowed Jerry and I some time to chat about future partnerships in
Now, we are waiting to board the LAN flight in about half an hour to make our way down to Puerto Montt and PV. I think we all would really like a shower and a nap. Hopefully, I will find some time to work on a devotional message for Sunday. The butterfly idea, resurrection, and new creation seems to be a great theme.