Friday, July 31, 2009

Back in Honduras!

Since arriving home, our life has been busier than it's been in a very long time! Our first task upon arriving back in Honduras was to look for a nanny to take care of Zeke. We had less than 2 weeks from the time we arrived until we went back to work to find someone and train her in. Fortunately, thanks to our wonderful maid, Mercedes, we found the perfect girl for the job.

Zeke's new BFF/caregiver is named Aracely. She's a kind and patient, yet enthusiastic young lady from just outside of the city. Aracely will be living in the small building in our backyard on the weeknights, and heading home to be with her family on weekends. She's still studying at the local colegio in the evenings, and would like to become a nurse someday. Aracely started working this week, and I've been able to train her in on everything from bottle preparation to infant CPR/first aid- all in Spanish! In addition to being great with Zeke, she's also been very helpful around the house- cooking and organizing in her spare time.

Throughout the past week, we've been preparing the bodega behind our house for Aracely to move into this Sunday. Unfortunately, when Tom was up checking out some leaks and tree branches that had pushed onto the roof, he put his leg through the roof and into the bodega. Today, we've got our nanny's uncle and brother helping to replace parts of the roof and also get our house's roof ready for rainy season.

Above is the photo of Tom and the "skylight" he "installed". Below is the roof and ceiling- on the floor.

The repairmen (Aracely's uncle and brother) arrived at 6:30 this morning and got right to work chopping down the intrusive branches with thier machetes.

I'm pretty proud of how cool Aracely's casita (little house) will be. It's got a shower and toilet, air conditioning, and cable! We are repainting the inside and furnishing it with a nice rug, bed, and desk. I think it will be nicer than most college freshman could hope for in a dorm room!

Today, we've got roof repairmen, a nanny, a maid, and some furniture delivery people all around the house. The ladies are going to help me make baleadas (okay- they'll probably do most of the making) for everyone, and we're going to get this stuff done! We go back to work on Monday, so we're aiming to get up to the river sometime this weekend to enjoy one last weekend of our summer vacation.

Now that vacation is over, we hope to be back to regular blogging too! Thank you for your patience!

Ezekiel's Baptism

On Sunday, July 19, we celebrated Ezekiel's baptism. We were blessed to be joined by godparents Aunt Karen, Uncle Chris, and also by Grandma Jean. Thank you so much to my parents for their help in arranging the baptism at their beautiful church and also for hosting us all for the weekend. It was such a special event!

The baptismal gown that Zeke is wearing comes from Tom's mother's grandmother's wedding dress. The lace from the petticoat was used to create the gown that Tom's grandfather and Tom were baptized in.

This gown is around 100 years old! It was so neat to have such an heirloom piece as a part of Ezekiel's special day.

We celebrated afterward with a delicious meal, followed by some Tres Leches cake- a Honduran favorite! Zeke even got to try a little of the frosting. He'll have to wait a while longer to have any real cake.

Florida Vacation

After a wonderful week up north with all the Lewandowski/Notch/Roesner families, we headed south. All the way south to Orlando, Florida!

We got off of our plane from MN just as my parents were arriving from Arkansas and we took a taxi to our hotel The Fountains. This beautiful new resort had a great pool area, screened in porches off of the suites, and it was brand new! We enjoyed a visit from my aunt and uncle, Kathy and Terry, and then Chris arrived later that night.

We spent the next couple days exploring some of the fun activities Orlando has to offer. First stop- Magic Kingdom!

Zeke took his very first ride on "It's a Small World". He was enamoured with all of the lights and sounds. He actually seemed to enjoy it quite a bit!

The other Disney destination for us was Epcot. We were joined by my cousin Scott, and had a blast checking out some of the cool things Epcot had going on.

We were very impressed by a ride called Soarin' which was a surround screen, hang gliding tour- very cool. The other thing we really loved was a space simulator ride called Mission: Space. They hand out barf bags on a regular basis, so it's pretty intense- especially for Epcot! In our "space shuttle" we each had a job. I was the Commander. I pressed my two buttons at just the right times, and our flight through space was a blast!

After 4 days of Florida fun, it was time to head back to Arkansas to get ready for Zeke's baptism.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4th of July Week- Cabin fun!

This good-looking group below is the Lewandowski/Notch/Roesner family that assembled up in Park Rapids, MN for the week. Thanks to Grandma Jean for supplying the matching shirts for our 4th of July celebration!

Throughout the week, we had a ton of fun with our family. Zeke loved meeting his cousins and aunts and uncles.

Zeke and Sam (aka BFF Cousins)

Zeke teaching Jessica one of his favorite tricks

Big cousins Natalie and Allison helping out with Zeke

Cousin Christopher doing some digging

Cousin Megan hanging out on the beach

Tom's guitar skills proved to be a hit again this year. The kids loved singing along with him to silly songs like, "Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me" and "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea".

This year, Tom entered the 3rd Annual Riboff, and ended up creating spicy pineapple (Dole) ribs that won him 3rd place in the contest!

Zeke also took his first boat ride in Uncle Jon's boat. He (Zeke) liked going fast!

This picture of Tom and Zeke on the deck melts my heart. It's just so cute I had to add it to the pictures of the week.

It was a fantastic vacation!

So, that's what we did July 4-11. In the next couple days, check back for pictures and stories about Disney and Florida and Ezekiel's baptism in Arkansas. Also we might have something new to say about the political goings-on here in Honduras. We're happy and safe back in our home. Ruby is great too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's a small, small world

Wow. Here we are again.

Karine used to always tell me this story about when she worked at Hardee's as a kid. Sometimes the line got really long at Hardee's and people had to stand around with their arms folded in front of them waiting for their cheeseburgers and curly fries or whatever. When they finally got to the front of the line, Karine was instructed to thank them for their patience. That way Hardee's was not in anyway admitting wrong-doing or culpability for being slow with the fast food and making people wait. Karine, as a Hardee's representative, was not sorry for anything. She did however recognize the magnanimity of the Hardee's guest and thank them for their patience. I always thought that was kind of crafty on the part of the Hardee's people.

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Honduras and US Diplomacy

"The Honduran people have the right to have their constitution followed...."

This is a bit of a funny spot for me. I guess I could call myself a lifelong Democrat. And here I am endorsing and republishing the remarks of a Republican US senator. This doesn't mark a titanic shift in my political point of view. But when you see the truth, you know it. And as far as I can see, this here fella is speaking the truth.

Friday, July 3, 2009


We had a fantastic visit to Minneapolis this week. While our schedule was packed, we managed to visit with many friends and even found a little time to relax in our former hometown.

We began the week with a birthday brunch with the Zabell family. Zeke met his first baby of the week, first-cousin-once-removed, Hannah.

After that, we went to our BBQ Extravaganza at Tommy and Casey's house. There, Zeke met about 20 of our friends from MN and a few more babies. The P's have been wonderful friends to us for many years. Every time we're in Minneapolis, they so generously open thier home and hearts to us. We love visiting them, and as our kids get older together, we know the fun times will continue.

Above is Kathryn, Teagan, Eleanor, and Zeke. Their dads were all residents of 5508 5 years ago. Below is Eleanor P., the 6 month old cutie putting the moves on Zeke. We have high hopes for the future!

Another of Tom's college roommates had a son around 3 months ago. Here we are with Peter, Laura, and Andrew. Andrew and Zeke may even be Johnnies together someday just like their dads.

Above Zeke is hanging out with his new friend, Joey. Below is Zeke with his other new friend, Ann. We are so lucky to have been able to spend time with these important people in our lives.

And here is Megan. Sometimes we call her Megan, sometimes Vegas, but Zeke calls her Mimi. We'd like to say a special thank you to Mimi and Kiki for opening up their home to us this week. These two friends are always so fun and funny to be around. Zeke had a blast snuggling with Megan, and doing a silly photo shoot with Kevin.

All in all, it was an awesome week. Now we're ready to head up north for a week with Tom's family. We can't wait!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peaceful Demonstration in La Ceiba

These photos were taken by a close friend of mine at a peaceful demonstration in La Ceiba, Honduras. The people are marching in support of the new Honduran president, Roberto Micheletti. They march to show the world, and particularly Barack Obama, that they want a peaceful and democratic Honduras. They fear that returning deposed president Zelaya to power will lead to dictatorship. They believe that their side of the story is not being told.

For more info: Most of the Honduras Blog links below have been updated. La Gringa's Blog particularly is a great source of current information.