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Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Craft Goal Update

Project # 21
Special Orders for Hope By Design






We're getting there, slowly but surely!

The flowers are for hats, the second and third hats are for photography props and the last hat is for another friend's daughter. 

9 left!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More moving fun...

I'm here, in our own "remodeled"apartment at last. 


After yesterday's post, Mark decided to call the office and see how things were going and when we would be able to move back into our room.  Here's the side of the conversation that I heard. 

Hello.  Do you speak English?  Yes?  OK, I like in 1803 and we're currently in room 1506 for the remodel. 


[he didn't say this, but let me just introject here...IT'S NOT A REMODEL!  IT'S A FREAKING REWALL PAPER! Now, back to the story] 

Yes, well, I was just wondering when it's going to be ready for us to move back in.  [pause] you mean it's already done?  It's been done?  We can move in whenever?  Great.  Thanks for letting us know.  


So we are now back in our room.  And it's delightfully nice.  The walls have stripped white and glitter wall paper.  There are two new light fixtures, to be fair.  And the floor was redone in the bedrooms and polished so I guess it was more than wallpaper, but it was not an entire remodel.  I'd say it was more of a facelift. 


Now here's the scene that played out today at around 1:00, a mere 10 minutes after a phone call from the office asking if they could immediately send up a cleaning crew to deep clean my bathroom.  I said no, due to the fact that my kids were finally sleeping and would be until 3:00.  They offered to come by at 3:30.  We made a date. 


At 1:10 my doorbell rang and it was the office guy (seriously?) and he had a handyman there who wanted to take the light fixtures down (I have no idea why).  Of course I let them in.  They went straight toward the kids' room. 


I ran over to the door and said, "Oh, the light in there?  I'm sorry, but the boys are sleeping."  [Accompanying this were my awesome hand gestures in case there was some language misinterpretation.  I needed them to understand that the boys were sleeping.] 


They looked at each other and I could see them shrugging, like, "ehhh...no big deal.  They can go back to sleep."


At this point I physically stepped in front of the door, effectively barricading it.  


I repeated, louder and slower (because that's what you do when someone doesn't speak your language, right?) "I'm sorry.  The boys are asleep.  You'll have to do their room later."


I could see them contemplating moving me to get the job done...all 100 pounds of them.  I was shocked that they would consider it.  Two 100 pound smokers verses me?  BRING IT ON!  I've got everything to lose.  If the boys woke up, my peaceful afternoon and evening would die.  


I think they saw the fight in my eyes and wisely promised they'd return after 3:30.


And, wonderfully, the boys slept until 3:00, thanks to my intervention.   



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Overwhelmed!

We got a note on Saturday night stating that we needed to be out of our apartment by 8 am Monday morning.

For two freaking days.

With all of our stuff.

So we  I moved out. [Lt Wonderful had to work].

And tomorrow we move back.  And it's possible that Lt Wonderful will be able to help.

I'm so tired of moving.  Hopefully it will be the last time...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Obligatory Post Vacation Pictures

I feel somewhat obligated to share what we've been up to lately. 

We went on vacation.  I know you think we vacation often, but this was the first one in over a year and a half that was a vacation type vacation.  It was wonderful.  

We went to Puerto Princesa, Philippines.  It was beautiful, relaxing, fun and tasty, all things a good vacation should be.  And I have pictures to prove it.

 Here we are on the airplane, pretending we don't have two out of control little boys. 

Said boys wrestling in the taxi.

Theo asleep on the chairs at the airport.  He only slept for about 45 minutes, but it was wonderful. 

We ate Crocodile.  And Goat. 


And rode tricycle taxis (this was the highlight of Tate's vacation)


And we went to the Underground River

And tried our hands at snorkeling

And ate CRAB!


 And rode more taxis. 

We went to church

And found the perfect play dough utensils. 

We had a great time together!

And for those of you keeping track, this was our little luggage hill this time.  Not too shabby!

We had a great trip!  The only things missing were three beautiful girls.  Hopefully our next real family vacation will include them!

Peace and love, 
Jenni 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If I were...

...Asian, I'd be a Filipino.  For sure.  They are like Nicaraguans, totally lovable, friendly, helpful and generally great people.  And they love color.  And they're nearly all bilingual, which is immensely helpful for me.

...not lobster red right now, I'd be enjoying a massage.  As it is, I'm enjoying Aloe with some numbing concoction.

...at home I'd be enjoying the Autumn color.  That really is my favorite season and I'm sad to miss it.

...parenting wisely, I'd be forcing my baby to go to sleep.  Instead I decided that we only have two days left of vacation.  A little family fun jumping on the bed and wrestling never hurt anyone.

...anywhere else, with anyone else, I wouldn't be nearly as happy as I am now. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lameness Quota Reached

Sorry guys, I know I've been bad about posting.  Totally lame.  But now that I've reached my lameness quota for the month I plan on doing better.

We're in the gorgeous Philippine Islands!  It's the Thanksgiving holiday in Korea and everything was shut down, so we googled the cheapest flight and here we are! 

Well, to be fair the cheapest flight was to Taipei, but since there was a typhoon right over Taipei, we thought that it'd be best to avoid that.  So for $100 more, here we are.

Yesterday we went to the Underground River...AMAZING!!  It's a must do if you're here.  The boys had a blast.  [Although to be fair, they had a blast sitting under our lunch tables playing with their monster trucks in the sand.  They are easily entertained.]

Today we're beach bound after Theo's nap.  Until then we're just enjoying a lazy day in the sun!

Peace and love and lame,
Jenni

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Happy Place


We're going there tomorrow. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Update


I am often emotional when I visit a church for the first time.  I think it's the realization that all these people that I never knew existed are worshipping the same God I am and even though I don't know them personally, I will see them in Heaven.  I really believe each time I visit a new church is a glimpse of what heaven will be like-on a small scale.  

Today I saw more color here than any day prior.  It would seem that the weekends are really a time for people to kick back, relax and be more informal. I enjoyed watching it!  On our way to church it was raining and everyone had their umbrellas out.  Really, it was just sprinkling so I didn't need one but a nice lady came up and walked with me, covering me with her umbrella.  Our church here is one of the largest in Seoul and everyone was heading there this morning.  I told her it was my first time and she told me it was her first time at this church as well.  We didn't go to the same service (we went to an English ministry service and she went to a main campus service) but I was humbled by her kindness, nearly to the point of tears.  

It felt so good to be in place and hear English.  I don't mind going for weeks only hearing Spanish but not being able to communicate here has given me a new appreciation for my home language.  

Now, if I could just learn how to say "no" in Korean we'd really be getting somewhere!

***********************

In case you're curious as to how we spent the weekend, allow me to show you.  I even have a few pictures!

Yesterday we spent the day out and about.  I had Korean Starbucks.  They don't have Pumpkin Spice-heartbreak for me. 

We went to the base in search of a hiking backpack that we could put Theo in for when we go to the National Parks around here.  We went to every store on base just in case one of them happened to have one.  After 3 hours we admitted defeat.  We went out into town and just happened to see a guy carrying one around.  Mark chased him down and asked him where he got it.  It just so happened that there was a garage sale on base yesterday and it was the only one there.  Heartbreak. 

We did manage to get Tate some sunglasses.  Can I just say, isn't he adorable rockin' his aves?




Remember this?  Well, he found his bush.  A long time dream realized.  In my defense, we were at a park and there was no bathroom around anywhere.  It became an emergency.  I did draw the line at pooping on the bush though.  We have standards in our family. 




And how do we watch TV in the apartment?  Ghetto style, for sure.  The boys are loving the TV.  Since we don't have one they are literally in awe of what it can do.  I am equally in awe of how long they stay glued to the thing.   Animal Planet is pretty interesting!



We went to the playground and all of the boys enjoyed the slide. 







And I watched. 




There were tears when we left. 



Then we drove home.  Remarkably we went back the the same way we came.  This almost never happens because we get lost.  The tallest building in the picture is our apartment. 


And here is the view from our apartment at night.  I remembered, see?



We ran into this at the E-Mart (Target-esque) here in Korea.  This is painted on a parking spot, next to the handicap signs.  We assume these spots are reserved for pregnant women...maybe pregnancy looks different here? (I really don't want to be grotesque, but I just kept flashing back to the Butt Pregnancy sketch from SNL a few years back). 







Friday, September 17, 2010

Consequences of a Small House

We are loving the transition to a small apartment, and I'm not being sarcastic.  It's freed us up a lot and we like the size, it's perfect for us!  I think we would downsize at home if we could but with three girls coming home sometime in the hopefully near future it won't be happening.

Anyway, back to the story.

Here is our clothes dryer.  It's full of clothes....


And these are the consequences of having such a dryer in our living room area:




Yep, those are Dad's chonies on the boys' heads.  And they are thrilled about it.  

At least they're clean, right?

**************
Let me also say (especially after the whiney post yesterday) that I met some wonderful Korean ladies at the park today!  And one was even in (gasp!) an orange shirt!  I think we'll be friends!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Neutral

I've been asked a lot recently how I like Korea.

I have yet to come up with a great response to that, so for now I'll just say that it's neutral-literally.

We've driven all over Seoul and I would have to say that 98% of the cars here are either black, white, silver-grey and a select few are beige.  The rest are delivery vehicles and they are typically a different color.  I can count 4 cars that I have seen that aren't a neutral shade.

The parking lot at the grocery store...neutral. 

The people in our area tend to dress the same way.  Black pants, white shirt.  Grey pants, white shirt.  A pale blue shirt may be thrown in for a little bit of diversity...if you see someone in blue you know that they are the risk taker in the group.

I asked the other day how to say "no" in Korean.  I've learned "thank you" and I knew "hello" from Arrested Development, so I figured I'd round out my Korean vocabulary with "yes" and "no".  I was told that Koreans don't really say no, they just say yes in a way that implies no.  I'm not sure how accurate that is, but that's what I was told.

All this to say that I don't really understand Korean culture.  I'm trying hard not to compare to my beloved Nicaraguan culture, but it's hard not to.  I feel so at home in one, I understand one and the other is completely foreign to me.

I'm sure how I feel is how most Americans feel when they land in Nicaragua.   Everything is different and a little crazy.

I love the crazy, it's the extreme order of things that gets to me.

I love color.  All neutral all the time gets to me.

I love communication.  I can't communicate here.

We're going to try and get out of Seoul this week to see other parts of Korea.  I've seen some of the traditional dress and it's colorful and pretty so I know somewhere out there are Koreans that will appreciate my bright teal shirts and green flowing skirts.  I just have to find them.

The bottom line is that I feel like an outsider who is tolerated.  And I don't think that it's the Korean people that make me feel this way...they are very polite and accommodating.  I just don't understand the culture and the big city lifestyle is so new to me that I'm having a hard time adjusting.

I would probably feel this way in any big city.  The fact that I'm in one where I don't speak the language just magnifies my feelings.

So here's to finding someone, anyone, here in Korea that can appreciate my crazy-cuz I've got a lot of it and I'm rather fond of sharing.

Peace and love,
Jenni

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our New Digs

For those of you curious about our new digs, here are some shots of the apartment.  Please excuse the mess, I took the pictures on Monday morning while we were still unpacking.  (We arrived after 10 Sunday night).  Although a bit disheveled in the pictures, I assure you we've got it all together now!  

We live in a two bedroom one bathroom furnished apartment on the 18th floor.  We've got three of each type of dish and silverware.  There's a dishwasher (Praise Jesus!).  Each room has it's own air conditioner unit, and there's a washer but no drier, but we do have a drying rack. 

Here's the scene when you come in the front door.  Right in front of you is our great room...the dining room and living room.  You can see the couch and chair in the background, as well as the TV.  The boys' toys are stored in a drawer under the TV and it's worked out very well.  They can open the drawer by themselves and I don't have to go searching for toys. 

To the right of the photo is the kitchen and pantry.  To the left is the the boys' room.  The door at the very end on the right is where our washer is stored.  


This is our kitchen.  We have no oven so I invested in a crock pot.  I love that thing at home even when I have an oven, and I'm sure I'll use it even more here.  We have a serious water boiler that gets water boiling in less that 3 minutes.  It's amazing!


This is the boys' room.  We have since pushed the beds together in order to make room for the pack and play.  Theo is almost old enough to sleep in a bed, but not quite (he fell out of the bed twice the first night).  There are two "closets" and their clothes fit fine.  There's even a night light!


This is our room.  We've got one closet but we've managed to make it work.  The beds are hard as rocks so we bought a memory foam cover at the PX (Army Exchange store).  We also have a desk and a dresser, as well as...

A wonderful nook!  We can open the blinds in the morning and the sun shines right in.  It's a great place to do some reading.  Plus it's got a great view of Seoul, especially at night.

Our bathroom.  We have a stand up shower and a tub.  The shower is also a sauna. I'm not crazy about saunas, so I haven't used it. 


The view from our bedroom.  The outside of the windows are dirty, so please excuse the spots.  For you Seattle-ites, we live in a Capitol Hill-esque section of Seoul.  There's a California Pizza Kitchen close, a huge park with a nice track (4 laps = 1km) and they do skating lessons there.  Speed skating is huge here. 




This is our garage.  You give them the keys and they drive your car into the garage and the car goes up or down to store it.  Ours doesn't fit so we just park out front.

And lastly, this is me after a tough day grocery shopping.  Food is insanely expensive here...$6 for 4 apples is a good example.  And it's not just apples or even just produce, it's all spendy.  Luckily we can get to the Commissary and shop there.  

Here I'm eating my first authentic Korean meal.  It was noodles, rice, onions and other veggies.  I have no idea what it was called, I just pointed to a picture and that's what I got.

So, that's our home in a nutshell.  Hopefully I'll get some pics of the landscape at night, it's really a pretty cityscape.  

Peace and love to you all, 
Jenni 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tate Quotes: Korea Edition

"Theo!  Don't bite your shoe!  It's new."


That's right, son.  We only eat old shoes in this family. 

***********
Setting: Downtown Seoul during rush hour (pretty much anytime, really.)  FYI, Seoul is like NYC.  Big and always busy.

Tate: "Daddy...I have to go potty."
Mark: "OK Buddy, I'm looking for a place for you to go."
Tate: "Dad!  There's a bush!"

***********

Theo: "ball.  hahaha.  Tate. hahaha.  ba. ba. BA. BA!"
Tate: "Baby, don't talk to me.  I'm trying to sleep."
Theo: "Huh?"
Tate: "Don't talk to me.  I'm trying to sleep."
Theo: "Huh?"
Tate [slower this time]: "Baaaaby, dooon't talk to me.  I'm TRRRRYYYYYING to sleep."
Theo [smiling mischeviously]: "Huuuuuh?
Tate [frustrated]: "BABY!  I'm trying to sleep!  Leave me ALONE!!"
Theo [laughing]: "Huh?"
Tate: "Baby! Stop!  I'm trying to sleep!"
Theo: "Huh?  HAHAHAHAHA"

I'm sure it's not as funny to read, but it was really funny in the moment.  Theo knows how to get his brother's attention, knows how to frustrate him to death, and Tate hasn't figured out the value of ignoring yet.  He'll learn in time, I'm sure.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We're Here!

I'm sure you're all waiting to hear how our flights went.  After the last disaster to Nicaragua, we have quite the reputation to uphold.  Or destroy, whatever the case may be. 

We really set ourselves up for success by leaving the house at 5 am…and it just us and our 11 closest friends, I mean suitcases as well as 7 carry on friends.  All told it was well over 500 lb. of luggage.  Seriously.  We had an airport shuttle guy coming for us and Mark had talked to him a couple of days prior and advised him how much luggage we had.  (It's excessive, I know.  But three of the suitcases were full of Mark's work stuff and two of the checked bags were car seats, so we were technically well within our limits).  Mark explained how much we had and the man said that he's bringing a Honda Odyssey so we'd be fine.  Mark suggested that he consider taking out the back seat in order to fit all of us.  

When the driver showed up it was clear that he had not heeded Mark's advice.  Five minutes later it became clear that we would be taking our bus to the airport as well.  FRUSTRATING. 

The kids woke up well and were happy (largely due to the copious amounts of fruit loops given to them) so as soon as both vans were loaded we were off.  Mark driving Gus and the boys and myself with the poor planning driver.  

Once we got to the airport, Mark unloaded our stuff and then ran over to help us.  Ran over where, you ask?  Over to the other side of the median.  Company cars are not allowed to pull up curbside, so we had to make 3 trips back and forth to grab our luggage.  With two boys.  And car seats.  Without carts.  

Once we got all of our luggage into one place, we then had to bring it all into the airport.  We were thrilled that the US Airways line was empty!  We haul our stuff in and the lady tells me that the flight has been changed to a United flight and we have to haul our stuff another 6 miles to the United counter.  

All of our luggage, minus one lost bag.

I mustered up a smile and started trying to push two carts, a stroller and pull two carry ons.  All with a backpack on my back and holding Tate's hand.  The nice lady from US Airways took pity on us and pushed a cart for me.  Mark had left to put the bus in long term parking, but at the last minute he turned around, saw what was going on and had pity on us so he risked a parking ticket and helped.

We just put all of our luggage down by the corner of the check in area and I went to stand in line.  People from every side were either glaring at me or giving me looks of sympathy.  The line was all the way out past the rope divider, so I thought it would be a while.  I grabbed bag tags and started filling them out.  Then a nice lady informed me that before I got in line she needed to weigh all of my luggage.  I told her that was fine, but it was over by the corner of the counter.  The only (ha!) things I had with me were our two rolling carry ons, a backpack, Tate's backpack, my purse, the stroller, two car seats and one bag we intended to check.  She weighed all of that and then told me that she'd just hold everything but the carry ons so we could maneuver through the line easier.  I was thankful. 

Much to my dismay, the line moved quickly.  I barely got the bag tags filled out because every 45 seconds or so I had to stop and take three trips back and forth to move our stuff 3 feet.  When we got to the front the lady there asked where my bags were.  I pointed to Mt.  Luggage in the corner.  She gasped.  "Th-th-those are all yours?"  "Yeah.  Unfortunately we'll be gone for a couple of months.  And my husband's work had to send stuff, too."  She narrowed her eyes and looked at the 25 feet between me and my bags.  "You know you're supposed to be in control of your luggage at all times, right?"  She asked.  I remembered that it's September 11th.  The absolute worst day I can think of to be in the air.  I kicked myself.  "Yes, ma'am.  I have been watching them while I stand in line.  My husband had to park the car and with the line this long we couldn't risk losing our spot."  She rolled her eyes at me.  I seethed.  "Look, ma'am.  I'm doing the best I can with the cards I've been dealt.  I'm sorry that I couldn't bring the bags over here, but it would take up half of the length of the line and I would never stay on top of-" "Oh honey, I can see you're doing your best.  I'm sorry I snapped.  Let's just move you over to your bags and when your husband gets here we'll check you all in together, OK?"  

I sagged with relief.  If this lady was on my team I knew we'd make it through in one piece. 

I hauled all of our carry ons over to Mt. Luggage and waited for Mark.  I was able to tag all of the bags, paint my nails and teach Tate the history of Pi while we waited for Mark.  

When he showed up we ran to try and grab my new friend.  She directed us to the kiosk nearest to us, we gave her our passports and she went away to get us checked in.  She came back a couple of minutes later and asked for our Visas.  Mark and I looked at each other in panic.  He hadn't needed one before, but now we did?  Mark explained, "I was just there a couple of weeks ago and didn't need a Visa."  She said, "Well, aren't you staying for a few months?  Anything over 90 days you have to have one, and you only have a one way ticket."  Mark and her went back and forth for a while, until she understood that we would be leaving before the 90 day mark, we would possibly have to come back but we'd be leaving before our time expired.  

Then came the fun of tagging all of our bags.  It wasn't a problem until we got to the boxes and tote that had Mark's work supplies in them.  The suitcases had all been around 50 pounds so we didn't have to pay.  The two boxes were a little under 50 but the tote was 135 pounds.  You aren't allowed to check anything over 100.  The great shuffle began.  We somehow managed to stuff 35 pounds of stuff into the other boxes.  $800 dollars later we were on our way (we'll be reimbursed, don't worry). 

Next stop: Security checkpoint.  On September 11th.  With two children, two rolling suitcases, one backpack, one laptop bag (with two laptops) one rolling child's suitcase, one purse, one stroller, two blankets, two neck pillows-all without coffee.   Somehow we managed to make it through the checkpoint without any disasters, in spite of the fact that I didn't get my liquids bag out of the suitcase.  No one caught it.  We made it to our gate with 5 minutes to spare for boarding which is just about perfect!  

Once on the plane we got the boys situated.  I thought to myself (for the millionth time) how wonderful it is to be traveling with Mark.  Not only for the pleasure of his company, but also because I get a break from the boys!  I can go to the bathroom in peace!  

As soon as we took off Tate announced that he had to go potty, despite having gone on the way to the airplane.  The flight attendant wouldn't let him get up, so while I prepared an airsick bag, Mark tried distracting him.  Luckily it worked and within 5 minutes the seatbelt sign went off and we were able to get him to the bathroom in time.  Both boys decided that sleep wasn't a part of their itinerary, so we just kept them occupied.  Theo did manage to fall asleep with about 30 minutes to go, so he was well rested for our layover in San Francisco.  

We landed early and headed off to find breakfast.  We walked the entire International Terminal and the only thing to eat were Coach purses and Swarovski Crystals.  Since neither of those sounded particularly appetizing we opted to leave the International Terminal to find a restaurant.  It was a good choice.  We were even happier when we got to go in the special "you have kids and therefore need to be separated from everyone else" line when we went back through security.  We were able to skip right to the front and get through no problem!

Tate and Theo thoroughly enjoyed the layover, taking full advantage of the ability to run around and climb on everything…and I do mean everything. 







The boys pretending that the side of the escalator is a slide

The flight from San Francisco to Seoul was 12 hours.  TWELVE HOURS.  

We were pleased to see that we had 4 seats for the three of us when we boarded.  We used every inch of space we were given.  Theo spent much of the flight walking around greeting everyone and trying to get food.  Tate spent most of the flight zoned out watching Chicken Little (yes! for On Demand video entertainment for FREE!). 

The flight was a blur, but here are a few highlights that I'll never forget:
-Mark talking to Theo, very seriously.  Theo is facing Mark, Mark's holding onto Theo's hands saying, "Theo, it's time to sleep.  You've only slept 30 minutes today and you were up 3 hours early.  It's bedtime, you need to sleep."  Theo was dancing, smiling, shaking his head and saying "no. No. NO. no. nooooo. No" as Mark was making his speech.  It was priceless. I admit, I laughed out loud. 

-Mark asleep and Theo on his lap while we're going through turbulence.  Theo is clapping his hands and yelling, "WWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" over and over again at the top of his lungs.  So funny.  I also laughed out loud at this one. 

-Mark giving Theo a child's sleeping supplement (from the natural path) and it having the opposite effect on Theo.  

-Tate falling asleep with his feet from right below his knees down in the aisle. 

Theo did finally fall asleep for about 5 hours, but it took a long time and a lot of patience (and lest you think that Mark did all the work, I was the one that finally took him and forced him to sleep).  When we got into Seoul we were the last ones off the plane.  We went through Immigration fairly quickly because we were directed to the "persons with Special Needs" line.  I'm not sure what that meant, but I didn't care at that point.  

We collected most of our bags quickly, minus one.  It just so happened that the bag we were missing was the one with Theo's crib in it.  After his sleeping antics, I must admit that I shed a few tears.  We had to walk about a mile (it seemed) with all of our bags to get to our rental car counter.  Luckily a nice Korean man helped us, otherwise I think I would have collapsed due to exhaustion.  We'd been on the road for about 26 hours at this point.  

As soon as we arrived at the counter they knew that our luggage wasn't going to fit in any rental car they had.  We anticipated this and planned to hire a taxi to take some of our luggage and we'd go in the rental car.  It took about 2 hours, both of us and 8 Koreans to decide that this was the best plan.  During these two hours I became "That Mom" who let her kids play and wrestle on the floor.  Oh yes, I did. 








Finally at 10 at night we arrived at our hotel.  The boys went right to sleep and we collapsed as well.  We were lucky that Mark didn't have to go into work on Monday morning. 

So, there's the flight story.  Nothing terribly dramatic, but there were definitely some great moments.  We're here, we have some food and have even more stories to tell.  I'll just start with this one, though.  

Doesn't Korea look good on me?  Or not. 

Peace and love, 
Jenni 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Took the Plunge

And started, officially, Hope by Design.  I'm super nervous about stuff like this, but I feel like it's time to make the leap and do it.

H.O.P.E. by Design (Helping Others Provide Esperanza) is a non profit in the making that supports women by teaching them to crochet and knit and providing an avenue for them to sell their goods and receive a fair price (70% of the sales price.  10% goes to Verbo Nicaragua to help them meet the needs of Nicaraguans and 20% goes to costs of materials and right back into investing in women and children by buying more tools to help more women).

Right now we have mostly baby and children's items, but we're always adding more!  Please swing by facebook and check us out!

Thanks for the love, friends!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Maricela!


My Darling Daughter,

Today is your birthday.  I so wish we could be together to celebrate you.  You deserve to be celebrated.  You are smart, caring, wise beyond your years, and so incredibly strong. 
You are special just because you are you.  I love you simply because you exist.  Before I even knew you, I loved you. 

I am so proud of you.  The work you are doing to trust and heal is inspiring.  

I will ALWAYS love you.  I am praying that this is your last birthday without us. 

Maricela, I love you forever. 

Love, 
Mom