- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pictures at the beach from bottom up
My big strong football all Va state son sleeping on the way home from the beach next to my second youngest grandson
my kids- all the as yet unmarrieds
the Nags Head beach we were on- almost isolated this time of year
Bethany [ who just got back from a mission ] with Eric [ who just got back from a mission]; they are almost engaged
Christmas morning and the littles waiting to come up
big ones just hanging out
Erin with her son Marcus- Erin is our new fundraising coordinator and my daughter.
My kids at the Virginia Dare festival Park

We are on our way home from our every other year family Christmas reunion at the beach. We had 16 of our kids, 5 of the spouses of said kids and 11 grandkids making 12 kids under 5. We will miss them while we are in Guate for the next 3.5 months. My heart always seems to be in two places. Guess that's better than in no place. Anyway thought you might want to get to know us better before all my blogs are about the poor and desperate and end with asking for your help and money. Sometimes I think we get so involved with needed charitable work we forget our families need to grow too, just in different ways. Grandkids need to know grandparents. and siblings need to reconnect as do parents and children. It was fun and sometimes hard this last week. And it made me appreciate family and the affluence I have. I think about the poverty among the Mayans every time I spend money on me and mine. All of us in this country are so wealthy compared to these people we are working with. You never get used to the fact of looking inside a one room house and seeing no possessions. We did not spend much on Christmas materialism[ gifts] but did enjoy our beach houses, each other and good food. Hope you had a nice Christmas and we appreciate all you do to help us help the Mayans.


an interesting blog about Lake Atitlan


Thursday, December 23, 2010


Every other year our family rents two big beach cottages. All the married kids and grandkids that can, come and spend a week together. The next year, they go to their in-laws. This year we had 15 children, 4 spouses of the married kids and 11 grandkids and one almost fiancee. It has been wild with 12 kids under 5 and lots of fun.
No. 18 of the grandkids was born on Monday while we were here. His parents live here. He is the cute little baby. Eleven of my kids are in the picture looking at the ocean.
Two things have happened here that made me think of Guate. One was yesterday when we went to Manteo. We are at the beach at Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks. It is very close to Manteo where the first English child, Virginia Dare was born in the US in 1587. She was born on Roanoke Island where Manteo is located. We went to Roanoke Island festival park. It has an excellent interactive museum, a settlement village, an accurate reporduction of the Queen Elizabeth II ship they came over on and an Indian village. The long houses the Indians lived in were so much like many of the houses the Mayans in Guate live in now. The ones with the corn cob walls. They ate the same things too. Corn, beans, and squash. They had no cows but made a milk from walnuts and added squash. I have always thought the Mayans were about 100 years behind the US civilization, but now I wonder if it is 400 years. And is it behind or just simpler.? One picture is of my 3 year old grandson in full pirate gear after our festival adventure.
Today my husband I wondered down to the end of Nags Head before it heads into Hatteras. There were probably 10 or more beach houses sitting in the ocean at high tide. They are ruined but still perfectly good houses with good windows and wood and deck rails, etc. Why they are being allowed to fall into the ocean instead of being moved and used is beyond me. Only in the USA can we afford such waste. In Guate, they would have been dismantled and every piece of wood, etc. used. I like that part of Guatemala and dislike the US attitude of affluence that has no bounds.
Well back to my vacation. We head to Guate in a couple of weeks. After a month or two, I will appreciate the USA more.
Have a wonderful Christmas from my family to yours and remember how blessed you are. A picture of my whole group that is here with us now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Christmas Story

We have come up with a way of letting you help us to take more mamas and toddlers. I think you are going to like it . You commit to $20.00 a month for a year. For every $20.00 you sponsor one mama and her children in the program. They get the weekly lunch, child development class, children's playgroup, formula and incaparina as needed. You get a picture emailed to you of your little family and a short bio on the circumstances of their lives that make them need your help so much. So come on, everyone in the USA can afford $20.00 a month. On the day that I thought of this program, we had our own real Christmas story in Los Robles. Joel, with twitter travel, tells it better than I do and with pictures. Just click on the right hand side of the blog and scroll down until you reach Friday's entry. The one about the kidney thing. Anyway, Joel had had a very productive, tiring, get up at 3 in the morning and start working kind of day. The kind we love to give our volunteers. So that afternoon he is relaxing and up walks a man anad woman each carrying a week old baby. They walked for 2.5 hours to get to us because they heard we had formula. TTL we did have formula. The woman did not know she was having twins. She gave birth, her husband is unemployed and they are poor. She only has enough milk for one baby and they need formula. We give it to her and enroll her in the program. And now get this, she only had one baby outfit. Can you even imagine? The other little babe was wrapped in her only old sweater. Just like the Christ child. We gave her clothes and told her to come back. Join our mama/toddler program and give as many $20.00 monthly sponsorships as you can so we always have formula for these babies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Our Clinic Blessing

We had a major clinic blessing today. Joel, our volunteer, went into the city today with a big truck and Juan, our guardian. They were going to pick up the 140 rubbermade buAckets of clothes, shoes, etc. that my husband and I had shipped down backin Sept.Also we had been told by a wonderful medical group that they would be receiving exam tables and we could get a couple. I gave him my wish list of other things we needed and we got them all. Two beautiful nice exam tables, 3 stethoscopes, an electric machine that checks eyes, ears and nose and a baby scale. We were told they had all come in last night and we were the first to get the opportunity to take them. What a blessing to our clinic.

Made It To 34

Today is my 34th wedding anniversary. Maybe there are some of you out there where your 34th is full of nothing but fond memories and your marriage has been a total success. Mine has been a success, especially if you think about how abusive the upper middle class homes Jody and I grew up in were. But we have our ups and downs. I have my moments where I wish I could redo things. You see when Jody met me I was in law school and had one child by my first marriage. Said child went to a "free" school where Jody volunteered at. He used to ask Jody to come home with him and play ball. That went on for a year until a mutual friend set Jody and I up. Our first date I told him I was not the mothering kind and Mattie would be my only child. Jody has told me later he thought that was a bunch of malarky and paid no attention. We went quickly from dating to marriage to having 5 kids in 6 years. Quess he was right on that one. Then we went to having 10 bio kids and 8 adopted. Youngest now is 5 and oldest is 42. And 18 grandkids. Then all the kids in Guate. We have shared kids, a for-profit buiness and a non-profit. And my PTSD and his thyroid disease.. It has made for a sometimes bumpy road and a great friendship. We always have something to talk about or argue about if we so choose. I recently got a blessing for a sinus infection and the first thing that came out was "have patience with your husband". But we made it to 34. Took a night off with the help of daughter Sarah and her hubby and kids and went to Raleigh, stayed in a motel, ate out and had fun. I am so grateful to have him as a companion to share this wild adventure of a life we are on. just wish he wasn't so tight with money.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Pics I promised

I have not been able to upload pictures from my home, that is on top of a mountain and only has satellite connections, for months. So I go to my library which has dsl to do it. Sounds like Guatemala, huh, but it is my home in the Appalachia mountains of the USA. Anyway today we have 12 inches of snow on the ground with 6 more coming down and my pictures are uploading. Go figure. So the last four pictures are of the children in Nueva Victoria who are now eating 3 meals a week for the next 6 months thanks to Pauline and Sherman. The last picture is of the mama and toddler program. They are the 100 that get to come and eat lunch, have a child development and prenatal class and receive formula and incaparina. They are financed in part by a wonderful Utah group. If you remember from past blogs, we started this program after in infant in our community died because the mama had no breast milk. It is hard to produce milk when you don't eat. Formula costs $30.00 a month. When you live on a dollar a day, you can not afford formula. Come visit us for a week and we will show you all the children suffering from the effects of malnutrition.
On Tuesday my wonderful volunteer Joel,gets to tell the extra 100 mamas and toddlers that came last week we can not afford to do this for them until we have more funds. We only have budget for the 100 we are currently helping. These women and children have faces and desperate eyes when you see them up close and personal and it is heartbreaking to turn them away.So far we have pledges of about $100.00 a month for the next 100. Per 100 women and children,it is $250.00 a month for the lunch and programs, $250.00 a month for the formula and $150 a month for the incaparina. And $60.00 a month to transport the mamas from afar. I need more as i can't take new mamas unless I can also give them formula and incaparina if they need it.So please pass this on. Donate in someone's name for Christmas and we will send a card and pictures of the women and their children they are feeding and educating. Push this donate button or write me and I will send you my address to send a check to.
My family and I [ we paid our tickets and our living expenses out of our personal family fund ] are going to live in Guate for the first 4 months of the year. Send me formula and I will take it down.

thanks for all you do.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


While my husband and I were in Guate a couple of weeks ago, we visited Nueva Victoria. Joel, who is running things in Guate now for a couple of months, went with us. We were there to check out things esp. among the children and to measure for the benches and tables that a Eagle Scout team are going to make in Jan. While the men were measuring, I went,camera in hand, to find children. It did not take long before I had 25 following me and laughing with anticipation. I guess I am kind of stupid because it took me a while to realize their looks of anticipation probably had something to do with the candy/food they were going to get. Candy/food that I had forgotten to buy. My next thoughts were "oh my gosh, what am I going to do?". I always have food in my car as I have blood sugar problems [ don't worry Joel , they are getting better] and in Guate when you leave for a normal 2 hour trip it can take all day. So we head to my car, me and my 25 tag alongs that is fast approaching 50 tag alongs. I am praying the whole time reminding Jesus of the fish and loaves that He multiplied for his own crowd of tag alongs. I knew I had one and a half small whole wheat french bread loaves I had brought for sandwiches. So I pulled them out and starting dividing them. The kids swallowed them whole and it only took care of about 15 of them. I had a hugh gallon bag of raw food bars my husband makes for him and I. They are made from dried fruit and nuts and we love them but our kids hate them. But it was all I had. So I start handing them out and the kids swallow them whole. Pretty soon the whole bag is gone as mamas are bringing their toddlers for food. I realize then the kids are literally starving. So then and there we start our Nueva Victoria feeding program.WE COULD DO IT BECAUSE A WONDERFUL COUPLE BY THE NAMES OF SHERMAN AND PAULINE HAD SENT $5000.00 RIGHT BEFORE I LEFT TO USE ON FOOD.The program feeds 120 elementary kids ages 4 to 13 3 times a week. It costs $800.00 a month. The mamas cook the food and the teachers hand it out during school. They get rice, beans, tortillas and an egg. And i don't worry about them as much. Not sure I can upload pictures as it is snowing and my satelittle is crappy. If not i will go to the library on monday and do it.
Joel , our volunteer, has written two great blogs since he arrived two days ago. here are the links for them

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


". Dominga said that an additional 15 new people showed up for the food program this week. She had to turn them away; she feels that the people do not understand that it is a question of set funds - that they feel she is wielding her power and that she chooses not to allow them. These new people are angry at "her". Starting at 80 people four months ago, they are now feeding 140; she has had to reduce portion size to make extend the food for so many additional people"

I got the above message in an email this morning from our accountant. It made me cry. I was already in an about to cry mood as last night I dreamed that Juanito [ the boy in yellow in the pictures] was begging me too feed the children. That they were hungry. So I have this dream and I get this email and I cry. The mamas we are turning down have a good likelihood of being pregnant or nursing and that 15 we turned down did not include the children with them. Please consider supporting our feeding program so we can start it in more communities and not have to turn down women and children in the communities we already have a program in. Consider giving a loved one a $50 gift card [ or a $10.00 one] that will enable us to feed that many more children. We will send a card with a picture of the children they are helping. You can mail us a check [ write 20.vicki@gmail.com for the address ] or do the donate button on http://www.casadesion.blogspot.com.

Now let me tell you about Juanito. Two Tuesdays ago I brought 2 big cakes for the mamas/toddlers program. This little boy followed me to the kitchen with them and just stood there salivating and making sure he was first in line. Not too bad a plan since there were 50 mamas and 100 kids there. As he stood in the door longer and longer without a mama to come collect him, I started asking questions. Here is what I learned. He was 8 years old. His name was Juanito. He walked 3 miles by himself to come to our feeding program as his pregnant mama is drunk all the time and never watches him. Neither does his dad who beats him and the mom. So I became his mama. I invited him to come any day of the week he wanted to for food. I promised him he would have the first peice of cake as I was the one handing it out. And I hugged on him as much as I could. Remember Juanito in your prayers. He needs them. just one of many sad stories of the kids we help.

Merry Christmas
Vicki 20.vicki@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pics From Our trip

We spent alot of our time getting the new volunteer house ready for teams.It is awesome. First is on San Andres side of the Cerro Lec bridge so it is only 15 minutes to our Los Robles property. Second they are going to close the road from San Andres to Pana in a month or two to "fix" the bridge. They expect it to stay closed for several months so if we were in Pana it would be close to an hour and a half to the projects. But volunteer teams can still do the footbridge and ride a pick up to Pana which will only take about 15 minutes. It is a short walk to San Andres which has a nice market and great cultural experiences. Here are some pics of the master bedroom, the living room and dining gathering area and the house from the backyard. It comes with a cook and guardian [ who also speaks English ] . Cost will be $30 a night and that includes your meals. It has a great commercial kitchen.Plus two fireplaces and a terrarium. If you have a team coming after April or in December, let me know so we can book it for you.
The other picture is of Samuel. He is so funny. He has gotten so when he is told to come say hola to me, he naturally lifts his pants leg to show me his braces. I laughingly told he does not have to do that anymore. He walks completely normal and if you did not know he had braces , you would never quess. He has two sisters who need financial support to continue in school. Some of you that fell in love with the family, let me know if you want to be the ones.
Also we are getting ready to send out our 2010 Christmas card. If you would like to receive one, write me at 20.vicki@gmail.com with your address. Or do the same to donate to our projects.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Joel's Next Great Blog

Let me do a little more explanation on Joel's pictures. BTW, Joel will be managing our programs for the month of Dec. and half of Jan. so we can expect many more great pictures. The first one is the market where we buy our food and where the Mayans' make their living. Food is more costly. For exam. tomatoes have doubled in the last two months. Second there are many less tourists and since the Mayans can not afford much of the food, the vendors are suffering.
Our mama/preschooler program continues to grow. We are now averaging 45 to 50 mamas and over 100 children. You can see the line of the women waiting to get their incaparina or formula. Also the children really enjoy the weekly movie. I need more dvds for them in Spanish and would like some of the Nest videos or some Christian ones or ones that teach some character values. If oyu have some , please send. Also need a cd player and another dvd player. I need money to take more mamas/ children in the program so if oyu can help we would appreciate it.
The man and the two boys are Juan, Juan Carlos[12] and Erwin[8]. They are the sweetest family. So humble and hardworking. The mother left when Erwin was 3 months old. How a mama can do this, I don't know. Juan took care of the boys until Erwin was 5 and then they went into an orphanage. We had them to dinner last night and the boys told me of many beatings with wooden sticks at the orphanage. Four months ago
they begged their dad to take them back. He did , but he was living with them on the steets until we took them in. He has legal papers for both boys. He is now the guardian at Los Robles. The boys just hugged and hugged me last night. How I hate to leave them. They need clothes, both regular week clothes and Sunday clothes. They go to church and the boys will be baptized in January when my family moves down there. Erwin is the exact same age as my Tony, just one day different. If you want to send them anything for me to take when I go, please do. Erwin needs a tie. He is too big for the little ones and too small for the big ones. We also need a financial sponsor for the family. We want to build them a small little house of their own.
Well we are on our way to the airport to return to our children who I have missed terribly. We have a new volunteer house that is so nice. Brand new with good water pressure and only 15 minutes from our facility in Los Robles. We hired a guardian there named Samuel who is bilingual and can translate for your groups.
Please pass this to as many facebook and other groups as you can. We need much more help. Also keep oyur eye out for grants we may qualify for. We took a census of the 3 maain villages we help and I have all the stats. And remember 100% of what you give goes to the programs and the families.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

How the School Year works in Guatemala

My sil thought it would be a good idea to explain the Guatemalan school year so you would know why we are asking for money at this time. And I agree.

It is really quite simple. They start the new school year sometime in Jan. and end the last of October. The inscription , or registration, fees are due now. Plus they have to buy their uniforms and books and everything esle they need ahead of time.
Hope this helps.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Help them stay in school

While here in Guatemala we have many people come to us for needs they can not have met any other way. On Tuesday I had 7 delightful 12 and 13 year olds come to me and ask me to help them stay in school. You see they just finished primario or 6th grade. Their parents have been able to pay that as it is only about $120 a year. But in basico and 7th grade they enter a new financial world. A world where they have to have uniforms and black shoes and pay a higher inscription fee and buy all their books and pay for all their supplies and bring 4 rolls of toilet paper for the bathroom. Most parents can not afford this and the kids just drop out. These kids and their parents don't want them to drop out so they are asking me and I am asking you for help. For $350.00 a year , you can keep a kid in school and help them break the cycle of poverty. Here are the kids. One of the girls is Samuel's older sister. Michele. You can get a picture and a twice a year letter from your student.Write me at 20.vicki@gmail.com and let me know if you can help.

Monday, October 25, 2010

After the tent pics are the ones we took when we were giving out food, shoes and clothes in Nueva Victoria . When we return, we will be checking out what they have now for a school for the 120 elementary kids starting in Jan. I guess what they don't have will be more outstanding. We need bookbags with school supplies for about 500 children.


The bottom picture is of a new family we were trying to help. The woman is pregnant and had no food so we hired the man to be a gardener. According to community rumor he was one of the people involved in our robbery. Oh well. No good turn goes unpunished. Altho I don't really believe that it seems a good saying for this picture.
Next is a picture of our fearless, loyal cook, Dominga, and her mom and son. They all live in one clean room with no private bath.
Next pictures are of tents. Inside and out. In all we have done 160 Shelter Box tents. We know there are 2300 more families that need them. Checking out all our tents will certainly be part of what we do.


I have not been able to upload pictures at my home now for over a month. It is very frustrating. But my downs son is now receiving home tutoring as the new school he was supposed to go to was a daily 3 hours bus ride.. Too much for a child who is developmentally about 5 and mimics every cuss word he hears. So he receives home tutoring and will be homeschooled when we live in Guatemala. The homeschooling is happening at the library so the lady does not have to climb my 1.5 miles of unmaaintained dirt road. The plus side is I can upload pictures at the library that my stupid satellite will not do.
The pictures will be of what we will be dealing with when we go down in a couple of weeks.
The bottom one is the children. So many are starving. Look in her eyes and see if you can pledge $10 to help me buy her family a bag of corn.
Next is the land that the people of Nueva Victoria went together on and took out a loan to buy when there land and house for all 400 plus people was destroyed by TS Agatha. We bought them a 100 pound bag of corn and 10 pounds of black beans per 63 families. Can you contribute so we can buy mmore while we are there?
This group of people in the Dept. of Nahuala had nothing. thanks to Shelter Box and the Rotariians, we were able to set up tents for each family . Safe Homes bought each of these 13 families 100 pounds of corn and 10 pounds of beans. They have been cut off from help as the main road oyu had to travel to get to them was so covered with mudslides it was unusable. over 100 people killed on it from the slides.
Some of the people of Nahuala.If you want to give for food for the over 1000 people we know of who are starving here are the costs
100 lb bag of corn is $28US. This will supply a family of five with tortillas for two weeks.
A 100lb bag of black beans is $95 US.
A 100 lb bag of rice is $80 US.
A carton of 30 eggs is $5 US.
A basket of food with a cooked chicken is $35 US.
A water filter providing a family clean drinking water costs $50
Next picture is of me with my twins. I take terrible pictures and am really more beautiful than this.LOL
Next picture; One of 3 little boys all 6 years of age that we are helping because they can't walk. We need funds to bring a physical therapist to our clinic to work with them. We have one available for $10.00 a session. There are 15 children who would come and receive services.