Friday, April 29, 2011

Andrea and the kids

I met someone who impressed the socks off of my today. 
 Andrea and her husband (who is currently in India on a church mission trip) 
run a little orphanage in Croix du Bouquet, an area of PAP. 
 She and her husband came to PAP to start an orphanage 6 weeks after they married! 
 Wow, what a honeymoon! 

 Now they have 26 kids who are loved and beautifully cared for by the Brewers.

One of our favorite girls - Wilnise.  
Never stopped smiling the whole time we were there.

We spent an afternoon at the orphanage checking them out medically 
and starting medical charts for them. 

We enjoyed playing with them, giving them candy 
(hey, we are the medical caregivers, not the dentists - don't judge!), 
and receiving a gift of a spontaneous dance from the kids. 
 The song that they were singing is a Shakira song that was made popular 
at the last World Cup games. 
 It was much fun to watch the kids dance and then to watch 
our team member Stefanie join in.

I will be very interested to see how this orphanage evolves. 
 Sweet kids being loved by sweet people - it's a good start!

Melissa Fix

Jenny is in heaven!
 One of the first orders of business for my dear friend and Haitian homegirl 
was to get her hands on her soon-to-be-adopted daughter, Melissa. 
 When Jenny first met Melissa was on my first, Jenny's second, mission trip to Port au Prince. 
 This sweet baby with Down's Syndrome was abandoned by 
a desperate mother who couldn't care for this special child. 
 With lots of nutrition and medical care this baby is thriving. 
 No one knows how long her health will hold out but for now she is 
happy, healthy, content little girl. 
 And her blanc momma is pretty happy and content too.

If you would like to read more of Jenny and Melissa's remarkable story, 
check our Jenny's blog at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Little Traveling Music Please...

Well, like all best laid plans, things haven't gone exactly as planned. 
 With the storms from yesterday, our early morning flight out of town was cancelled 
because the airport didn't have power. 

After some very early morning discussions with the airline folks we managed 
to get flights out of Birmingham, bounce in Charlotte, and land in Ft. Lauderdale at midnight 
with a 6:10am flight to Port au Prince in the morning.

So - here we sit in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, outside of the secure area, 
with nothing open, waiting for the American Airlines ticket desk to open at 4am 
so we can get our boarding passes. 
 (Shout out to Erin, US Airways flight attendant extraordinaire for loading us up 
with bags of sodas, waters, and first-class snacks knowing that we were going to be sitting
 in the terminal overnight and leaving to go on our mission trip first thing in the morning.)

We had to retrieve all of our checked baggage to be re-checked for the international flight 
in the morning. Not sure why. Anyway, we are sitting here, 
with loads of baggage and telling anyone who looks at us funny 
that we are going on a girlfriend weekend. 
 A bag for makeup, a bag for hair products, a bag for shoes...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sherpa for Jesus!

I am all packed and ready to go on my mission trip to Haiti.

My clothing and personal items for the week are in the silver case. 
My camera, Ipad, and chargers/cords/etc. are in the backpack.

The black duffel bags contain
gifts for the children we will serve
shoes for a couple of friends
candy for kids (and us!)
food for us to eat for lunch this next week and to share with our translators
and supplies for our missionary friends.

Fortunately the black bags will be checked as soon as I get to the airport.
Unfortunately checked bags cost money (1st bag is $25, 2nd bag is $50).

Unfortunately as soon as our bags come off the baggage claim carousel in PAP 
there will belots of people grabbing for our bags wanting to be paid to carry them. 
Fortunately, this ain't our first rodeo.  
We have a plan of how to go through the baggage claim in pairs 
to expedite actually getting out of the airport with all of our luggage intact. 

For my friends that are praying for our team I ask that you pray that all of 
our luggage arrives undamaged and unsearched by customs.  
We have nothing to hide, but there is always a chance that we will lose the whole bag 
for no good reason if it is singled out to search.

 Pray that our team be open to what God has planned for our lives this week. 
 Pray for good health and stamina to deal with the heat, the mosquitos, 
the emotional and physical toll that these trips to this poor country takes out of us.  
Pray that we will be an effective face of Christ to those that we serve. 

I hope to continue to blog through the trip.  
There is internet at the guesthouse where we stay but I am a newbie with 
my one week old Ipad and I am not having the easiest time getting pictures to upload.  
If nothing else, maybe I can post the words and pictures when I get back.  
Nothing like breaking in new technology on the fly!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flowers Attract Butterflies, Right?

This is the rare blue-winged Eli butterfly that was spotted briefly flying around Dad's iris.
So glad I was able to capture the sighting on camera.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Today was a wonderful day of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord
and spending time with family.

Jesus is risen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Say It With Flowers

At church tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He died on the cross to save us from condemnation because of our sins.
But death didn't keep our Lord - he rose again!

The very talented women of our church's flower guild have done a absolutely breathtaking job of preparing our church building for this wonderful celebration.

From the gorgeous arrangement in the narthex...

to the lovely arrangement near the pulpit.

The arrangements on the railings near the organ and choir lofts do a lovely job framing...

the lovely sprays in the front of the sanctuary.

From the balcony arch at the back of the sanctuary...

to the flowers at the front of our sanctuary. 
Every window of the sanctuary and narthex have a unique floral arrangement to help
 remind us that Christ's resurrection is a time of joyous celebration. 

Our church is wearing her Easter finest.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dad's Garden, Part 3

Dad's garden is starting to wake and spring to life.

Even with all of the storms from last week, the garden is looking good.

The onions have been planted and are looking great! 
Here is a row of red onions and white onions.

Here is a short row of carrots on the left and leaf lettuce on the right. 

The carrots are just poking up their little heads.

Cabbages and broccoli looking very healthy.

And my favorite - Ma Parham's pole beans.
They are the most beautiful shade of dark purple when they are raw and turn green as they cook.
And they are mighty tasty!

The tomato plants are coming right along. 
They will be big enough to set out soon.

And here is the black gold that makes everything grow. 
Dad has an amazing compost pile.
Dad was growing green before is was cool to go green.

The blueberry blooms are gone and have been replaced by these cute little blueberries.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lots of Happiness Coming

When Ben and I were visiting Mom and Dad yesterday we took a walk in the yard.

Look what we saw in one of the garden bluebird boxes.
Aren't the eggs a lovely shade of blue?

Looks like there will be about 6 lovely little bluebirds joining the world soon.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peaches in Philly

It has been fun taking pictures of Allison's little Peaches on this trip. 
We all sort of got in on the game.

At Constitution Hall

In Congress Hall where the first House of Representatives met and the presidency was peaceably passed from George Washington to John Adams.

At the iconic Love Statue in Love Park.

Peaches on a chess piece in Love Park

Snuggled up with Allison at the Liberty Bell.

And at the birthplace of the PCUSA. 

This little doggie gets around!

Ben's Way to Sightsee

Ben has found a way to enjoy our vacations without rushing us through
 or being bored to death waiting for us to finish up.

He brings along his Nookcolor and whips it out whenever he has time to wait on us.

Here he is waiting on the water ferry to take us from the North End to the Charleston Naval Yard

...the USS Constitution museum and gift shop

...the visitor's center in North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts

...waiting for the movie presentation at the Independence Visitors Center in Philadelphia the President' Home Site the American Philosophical Society

At Christ Church Burial Ground where Benjamin Franklin is buried Betsy Ross' home the American Philosophical Society Library

I am kinda wondering what his memories of this trip will actually be.
Will he remember the founding fathers fighting intergalactic wars with alien droids?
Will he remember Jedi Master Ben Franklin flying his Millenium Falcon to Concord and Lexington?
Will he remember Padawan John Hancock falling in love with Queen Besty Ross?

I hope he manages to keep what he has learned and what he has read separate.

Philadelphia = Franklinville?

Yesterday was another fun day of strolling all around the historic areas of Philly.
Another beautiful, breezy, brisk day.

We, of course, did the obligatory visit to the Liberty Bell.
The building and exhibit that accompany the bell is actually very cool. 
It does a great job of conveying what a symbol of liberty the bell really is.

 And may I say that this town in Ben Franklin crazy!
The dude is everywhere!

On the facade of the Americal Philosophical Society Library is a statue of Ben in a toga. 
By the way, the philosophical society has nothing to do with philosophy.
At least not the same way we think of philosophy.
Philosophy is the old word for the natural sciences.
Housed in this library are some very cool items relating to natural science and new world discoveries.
Yesterday we saw two of the journals of Merriwether Lewis.

And here is his likeness in a fireman's helmet. 
I don't remember ever hearing about him being a fireman, but he did just about everything else!

I am telling you, this town may have been named after William Penn, but this is Ben's town. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Love Park

Our first day in Philly and the weather was glorious!
On our walk to Independence Hall we spent some time in Love Park. 
It is a nice, whimsical park right in the middle of town.

Along with the Love Statue that everyone knows about there are giant game pieces 
strewn about on the plaza - just begging to be played with.

Cute, huh?
I am sure that there is some love pun I am missing here to caption this picture with.
We are a Love-ing family?
We are under Love's spell?
Nope, those aren't it.

I 29, next birthday I 30. 

Come back and fight, this is just a flesh wound!

We have ruined our kids with Monty Python.
(And by we, I mean Hubs has ruined our kids with Monty Python.)
Actually I like Monty Python too.

I'm Queen of the World!

Who needs a flat Stanley, we are about to have a flat Ben!

Yea, I know I could have posted a bunch of pictures of Independence Hall and the like but hey, these pictures are more fun.