On a mission trip...that is! My husband and I will be leaving on Friday for Costa Rica. There are 17 of us from our church who will be spending 9 days with missionaries there. This is my first mission trip and I am excited (and nervous). We know the missionaries there (Jeff & Danette Cooper). In fact, I taught Jeff when he was in the 2nd grade. We don't know what all we will be doing, but we do know that we will be hiking into the jungle and sleeping in tents as we minister. I have two pictures that I copied from another mission trip in the jungle where we will be. The following picture shows one reason I am a "little" nervous. I don't like high places and we have to cross over a log. It rains there every day all year BUT this is the peak time (I've been told) so there will be lots of water under this log. I asked how long the log was and was told that "it's only about 25 feet across". I was also told, "it's only about 20 feet down". I may be the first one to scoot across on her bottom!This next picture show the hike through the jungle. We have been told that it's about a two hour hike. I'm not as nervous about hiking as I am crossing that log! I'm trying to get everything packed tonight because we are having to take our luggage to the church Wednesday night to weigh it and pack it all in a trailer. It's difficult to know exactly how many clothes to take and keep your luggage under 50 pounds.
I won't be posting again until we return. I would appreciate your prayers. I am expecting to see great things from God as we minister to the people there.
Here's the 2009 version of Granddaddy & Gigi with their grandbabies. It is fun to look at how they've changed. It's not so much fun to see how I have aged but pictures don't lie! We had an absolutely wonderful time. The weather was beautiful six out of seven days...can't complain. The children had a great time. Granddaddy cooked breakfast every morning until we convinced him later in the week that cereal, sweet rolls and Pop Tarts would be just fine. I think Zack would have rather had the biscuits and gravy all week!
This is our daughter, Amy, and her family. Keith (the oldest) would have spent ALL day in the ocean with his net catching the little fish & crabs. Zack (middle) became a pro at riding his surf board, and Griffin was a master sand castle builder....but preferred the pool (takes after his mom).
Our son, Chris, and his family. Breanna (oldest) is so precious.....loved catching fish with Keith. She amazed everyone by picking them up with her fingers and bringing them to the pail of water. Maddie (middle) is her daddy made over!! She loved the beach and the pool. It didn't matter where we were....she was having a good time. Emma was happy wherever she was and not afraid of the water. She loved playing in the sand but when she was ready to leave the beach she would just walk toward the condo and we knew she was ready to go. She has grown so much....not a baby any more.
These are the six reasons that I smiled so much this week. They are truly GRAND. The week passed entirely too fast.
The clothes are all washed and they are all folded on my bed....ready to be put in the luggage. The week I look forward to for a year is beginning tomorrow! I will be spending an entire week with my children and all six grandchildren. It's loud, active, and full of happiness. LET THE FUN BEGIN!!! The picture above was last year. Gigi (that's me) must have beach pictures each year. Is this a happy time? Absolutely not!! Usually the photo sessions ends (and usually begins) with someone unhappy. It's quite difficult to get six children to look at the camera at the same time (and you can forget about everyone smiling). I'll hear, "The glare is hurting my eyes" or "Do we have to make ANOTHER picture?" from the smaller children. From the adults I hear, "Why do we do this?" "I'm not doing this again!" But somehow we always do it! Memories.....In the one above I remember that Emma was only six months old and she wasn't happy at all. Griffin and Maddie were being their usual happy, do what we want to do, selves. The three older ones were being great. Mamas and daddys were getting aggravated because this was probably the 10th picture we had tried to get with everyone cooperating!
This picture was made in 2007. Again, you see Griffin and Maddie doing their own thing! I love it! Granddaddy was probably saying, "Just make the picture!" 2006 at the beach shows how little Maddie was. Will we go through the complaining and never getting a picture where every person smiles or looks at the camera this year? YOU BET WE WILL! Get ready Amy and Chris. Gigi must have more pictures to add to our collection.
If you have read any of my posts about my favorite things, you already know that my favorite food is vegetables from the garden. I absolutely LOVE any of them....peas, green beans, corn, squash, okra, and tomatoes.....add a slice of onion with the meal, some cucumbers in vinegar, and make some hot cornbread and I am in heaven! Being a girl who was raised on a farm, I have so many wonderful memories and thought it was exciting on the days my mother and aunts would spend time under a tree shelling peas, snapping beans, and cutting off corn. I didn't realize then how much work it was....I just saw how they laughed and talked as they worked. As I got older I found out that it was work---but work that I truly enjoyed. When I married there wasn't any question about gardening....it was something that was a part of me. So each year we have had a large garden (usually with my brother-in-law). Those days of harvesting our "crops" would be times that I would pull out the pans for shelling and my mother-in-law and I would do our canning together. It would be those times where she shared knowledge with me that I will treasure forever.
As the years have passed, I no longer have my mother, aunts, or mother-in-law to share these days of shelling, etc. It's during these days that my mind goes back, and I remember the things they taught me.....maybe not in words....but in observation. There's a song that we used to sing many years ago in church "Count Your Blessings". It's on these days that I am counting my blessings for having these people in my life. People who HAD to work hard but I NEVER heard complain. People who had few material things but were rich in the things that mattered. People who taught me that it is important to sit with family and work....to slow down and enjoy life at home.
I worked at school with my daughter, Amy, last night helping her hang curtains in her new classroom. When I got home my husband had picked a bucket of peas (our first this year). He had even shelled this big bowl himself. I was thrilled....I'm counting my blessings for him today!