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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summertime....And the living is easy

Summertime....And the living is easy........................

One of my favorite songs. But this was not the case around our house this summer.
We arrived in the USA on April 17th after 3 months in Guatemala. We had a 14 hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale, FL where we flew from and saved about $4000.00, and the time in the car helped us decompress because life in Guatemala is so different---so much slower.
We needed this time because we were immediately immersed in the pressure cooker.While we were gone, our son Bryan had many , many problems between him and his wife and they split up. He needed help with his 1.5 and 3 year old sons.[ see a picture of them and 2 more grandkids sitting on the steps} We took the boys for a month the day after we arrived. They are fun boys and we love them, but needed extra care because they are normal tot boys.

Then the first of May, our daughter Hannah[ she is the pretty girl in pink with the bride] came home from college for the summer. She had cold turkeyed off an anti-depressant and was having a hard time. I took her to an alternative doctor I had been hearing really good things about. He started her right off on neurofeedback and after a couple of months and 20 treatments she became her old fiesty, mostly happy self. It was fantastic. I also had him do an extensive physical on me and he found some arterial blockage so I started on chelation therapy. I need 25 sessions. They take 6 hours of time each time I do one. I am half way thru. I am also doing the neurofeedback for my PTSD. They are using it with many war vets.

Our first weekend home was Easter and many of the kids and grandkids[ see the 3 pictures of couples and their kids] that live close came up . We had a picnic and, of course, the boys were playing football--even sixty year old Jody. Making a monumental play [ Jody wrote this] he was pushed out of bounds and cracked a rib, tore his hand to pieces and got reacquainted with hemorrhoids. It took 3 months to repair.

Somewhere in here Gabby had a birthday [ now 6 and in the pic with her new bike ], Scotia turned 17 and Johnny 19 and Emmie 12 , Madeline 8, Katie 5,and Karleigh 7. That is just the kid birthdays. There were also many adult kid birthdays: Jenn, Sarah, Erin, Flossie, Crystal, Rhonda and I am sure I forgot some.

We then helped our 19 year old graduate from high school and get ready for his mission. It was enough to drive us crazy and put a strain on our wallets with all the current dental and medical requirements. He finally got his call to OK City, OK. [ he is in the picture by himself and a suit on].

In mid-June we went North to MN for the baptism of our oldest grandchild [ Madeline turned 8 ][ picture of her and her family of 6 on the couch]. She has the most wonderful singing voice, perfect pitch, rhythm, good memory and played a perfect violin solo at her baptism.

Less than 2 weeks after returning we were off to Guate. Hannah burned out babysitting the 2 weeks we were gone. While there we found a house to buy giving us and other volunteers a permanent place to stay. Makes going down so much easier. Flossie, daughter no. 4 [ in picture with her hubby and 2 boys]refinanced a loan on her property that she had bought from us. The money from this allowed us to buy this house. It is 15 minutes from our projects and 15 minutes from Panajachel in a safe, gated community. All the profits from volunteer visits here will go directly to our projects.

Two weeks later we were in Washington, DC for the wedding of daughter no. 5, Bethany. More fun and stress. She is in the pictures of the bride and groom, duh. bethany and new hubby eric spent part of their honeymoon in Guate working in our projects there. And there is one of our 11 daughters all together and all but 5 of our grandchildren next to the bride and groom. Along with the wedding went bridal parties and kids and grandkids staying at our house. You can see a picture of the homemade water slide all the grandkids and our younger kids loved.

When we got home, school was starting. We homeschool our 5 youngest so we can live in Guate part-time, but it consumes time and persistance.

And those are just the highlights. We are currently getting ready for a couple of more weeks in Guatemala. We want to start the renovations on the house we bought and give some more supervision to our programs. And that's what we wanted to talk about. The school year is winding down in Guate and we have many more students who need scholarships--at least 30 more. And the infant and tots formula program is turning away mothers [ at least 60 in the last 2 months ]. We would like to add 100 more mothers and their babies. Erin will soon be posting the photos and bios of the students who are asking for help. Think and pray about how you can help. And with the formula program, the formula itself is the major cost. Thanks to WIC there are many loose cans of dried formula in this country. If you can collect it, we will figure out a way to get it down.

Remember all your donations are tax deductible and 100% goes to our programs. We pay our own travel and living expenses. The house was bought with our personal money. There is literally no overhead. We are planning our expansion for the coming year. Let us know how you want to help.

The final picture is of my daughter Erin who many of you communicate with. She is with her oldest daughter Katie.

Vicki and Jody and family

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