Thursday, September 12, 2013

The truth about being a mom on the mission field

You will hear a lot of missionaries talk about the difficulties of living overseas. You will hear them talk about bathrooms, food, language barriers, housing, and even shopping. But a subject that is not often talked about, a subject that is kinda taboo is their kids. I have been on the mission field since I was 3 years old but NOTHING could have prepared me for being a mom on the mission field.  As parents we strive to protect our children, we try to keep them from any harm or hurt. Overseas that is impossible and I worry about it every single day of my life. There are certain things we take for granted in America, things that we don't think about daily but would make your stomach turn if you realized you didn't  have trustworthy healthcare and real law enforcement. Let me explain a little and give you some examples. 

A few weeks ago kylee began throwing up in the middle of the night. While I understand thousands of kids do this everyday in America  and it's no big deal, the parents of those kids did not have to run through a list of questions-did she drink water out of the faucet and I didn't see, did she eat meat that wasn't prepared correctly, did she get bit by something that I didn't notice.  Then after asking those questions think about if she went to the hospital what would they do, would they try to take her appendix out just because it would make them some money? What scheme would they try to use my daughter for so they could make a few bucks? Is she even being treated for what is actually wrong? Now I am extremely thankful that she  was able to get better after a few days on the BRAT diet but that didn't keep me from staring at her all night begging God to just heal her little body so she didn't have to go to a hospital here.  Another example is how many times has your child ran through the store at Walmart? Probably a million, do you ever scream bloody murder for them to stop running not because they are driving you nuts but because if they fell and busted their head open you don't know if they would make it to the hospital because there are no ambulances or emergency medical teams? I do. I feel awful that I'm constantly telling my energetic little 4 year old to stop playing. But I can't help it, it is far to big a risk here. We have to be on red alert with Kylee 24/7. Just the other day we got out of the car at the store and a man followed us gawking at her just waiting for us to take our eye off her and let go of her hand. My dad and Joey had to tell him to get away from her and not come back around. Do you know what it feels like to have that pit in your stomach? To know that everyday little girls are bought and sold here just because of their blond hair and blue eyes. To know that if something happen no cop would care.  I burn with anger over these pathetic human beings. I hate when men look at her, It infuriates and terrifies me.

These are daily occurrences for us,  I understand that I am supposed to trust God and I do whole heartedly. But don't mistake trust for ignorance. Nowhere in the Bible does it say to be oblivious to what is going on, or to just run wild and God will take care of it. I believe strongly that God takes care of us and that he watches and protects His children but I also believe that He wants us to be responsible and intelligent in the positions we put ourselves in.  God in trusted me with this amazing gift, He gave her to me to take care of. And I will do that no matter what till my last breath. 

I guess why a lot of missionaries don't want to talk about this is because it's not uplifting, it's gut retching, and it makes me sick to my stomach and brings tears to my eyes just writing about it now. No one wants to think about those kind of things. 

Parents hold your children close watch them closer , enjoy seeing them play at the park, run, laugh, talk to people, and even get their dr check ups. Because if you didn't get to see those would miss it greatly.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Ok so being a competitive person I often say things like "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" or "no pain no gain". I honestly believe those silly slogans, I don't think a person can fully appreciate life until they have had struggles and faced hardships. 

I think our relationships with God are the same way. People always say that God won't give you more than you can handle. The facts is that's simply not true. Throughout the Bible God gives people far much more that what they could handle. Take Paul for example, 
2 Corinthians 11:21-30

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Paul was pushed beyond every possible limit. He was broken, worn, and tired. He says that he is weak but God made him strong. If you don't believe me that this was more than he could handle then read a little earlier in that same letter Paul says this

 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor 1:8,9,)

Does that sound like someone who had it all under control on his own? No. He is saying "what we went through was so hard and burdensome that we literally thought we were going to die. But we went through all of that so that we would rely on God"

You see God allows us to go through lots of things. Things that are far to big for us to handle. But He does this because we must learn that anything that comes our way can be over come through God. We serve a God who can move mountains so taking care of our problems no matter how big they may seem is a task that He has no problem handling. 

I think that this very thing is why I like racing so much. It challenges me, it makes me find strength bigger than myself. It's the perfect time to talk to God and it helps me realize that without Him I am weak, but with Him I am strong. 

So next time you have reached a task that you feel is more than you can achieve, wether that running a race, a task in your job, or struggles in your family remember that God won't keep you from the hardships but He will pick you up and walk with you through them!



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Settled in and we could use you help!

After a long process of settlin in and I am so happy to say that it finally feels like home! Kylee is making friends and Really loving it here. I can't believe my baby is starting kindergarten this year?! Wow! She is going to start ballet soon and she is so very excited. 

My shoulder is not doing any better and I get it checked on Friday. I'm ready to know what's going on and get it better! I am praying for no surgery but due to the increase of pain and swelling I am thinking surgery might be the only option.  

Ministry is going great here Praise The Lord!! We are so excited about all the opportunities God is opening up. Joey and I are working towards raising support for our family. We want to be able to stay on the field full time and to do that we need to be able to support our family. We would like to ask all of our friends, family, all our brothers and sisters out there to prayerfully consider supporting us financially. We need to reach the goal of $1,000 a month. Any amount of monthly support you can help us with would be greatly appreciated!  Without the prayers and support of you guys we could not keep going. We know that God has put each one of you in our lives for a reason and we are so thankful for that. So please pass this on, share it with your friends, Church, Sunday school class, and anyone else you can think of :) 

We know that this is where God wants us an we are trusting in Him, knowing that He will provide! 
Thank you again for all your support and encouragement!!!

Joey, Jordan, and Kylee

Ps if you would like to financially support our family we would love for you to email your commitment amount to us at  so that we can keep track of our goal. Money can be sent to PO Box 1331 Athens TN 37371 (please add a note that it is for "schools support")

Monday, July 1, 2013

A little (well a lot) of transparency

As pretty much everyone knows by now I was supposed to be competing in my first ever half ironman this September. Well after my shoulder injury it's for sure I will not be able to do it, even if I don't have to have surgery I have lost so much training time that I would not be ready. I understand that to most this doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but to me this was my dream. I have invested so much thought, money, and most importantly time into this, and unfortunately I cannot get any of it back. I can not explain to you how frustrating and disappointing this is to me. I can't help but feel like a failure even though there was nothing I could have done to stop it. 

Needless to say With all of this going on I have been a downer to be around, I feel helpless, useless, and just plain grumpy. I HATE having my arm in a sling it makes me so mad to not be able to do the things that I usually do to help the family and just to live normally. All of this has made me extremely home sick....which is funny because I actually love mexico. I love the people here, I love the smile they get when we say we live here, and I love a good taco on the square on friday night. But I miss family and friends from home, and the ease of knowing that a doctor who speaks English is around every corner. And this shoulder thing has made me miss all that a little more, and not have the attitude I should be having. I want to take a minute to say I'm sorry to my family for the moody-ness, I love you all so very much and I am so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to work together here.......I mean wow! 
Dad- I I love watching you minister to people, it is the most amazing thing I have ever seen, you truly are a blessing to this country and to me, one day I will be just like you!
Mom- I am in awe of how you can fix a meatloaf and make me feel like I am back at home, you are the best friend I could ever have, and you work so very hard, we would not survive without you.
Joey- I have no clue how you put up with me, I am so thankful for the love you have for my family and this ministry, I could not imagine someone better out there for me...and us!
Kylee- sweet girl you are simply amazing, you never complain and always smile, how do you do that? You are the greatest helper that any of us could have ever asked for, thank you for choosing everyday to serve God with all your are the biggest asset to this ministry!

So here is my promise....I am going to stay positive! God is in control not me, He has a perfect reason for everything and I know His plan will be better than I could ever imagine. I am so excited that God chose us to be here and to serve here and I am ready and willing to do just that. 

I ask that you will continue to keep our family in your prayers, we cherish those prayers so very much. I am in the process of finding a place to have an MRI done on my shoulder to find out if its torn. You would be surprised to at how hard it is to find that stinking machine lol. Once we know what the damage is then we can assess what I need to do next. Please pray we can find somewhere that I can get it done and that the cost is not to much. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

One proud mama!

We met a man not to long ago and his 4 year old son is in the hospital here with leukemia, they also have a 2 year old little girl who spends most of her time sitting at the hospital waiting. We had talked to the family today and they told us their son, Erik was going back for new treatment tomorrow. Kylee heard us talking to them and decided she wanted to give him a gift. So shortly after she came down stairs with a basket full of toys. I thought most of these toys would be things she didn't want or what have you, but I was very wrong. My daughter came to us with a basket of her most prized possession, a batman costume that she puts on daily, her favorite Christmas present a remote control helicopter from her uncle Justin and aunt Jecka (Jessica), a rapunzel baby doll (for the sister who is bored at the hospital), and much much more. I was in awe to see her wanting to give this stuff away, and thinking that she might not realize that if she gave it to him she wouldn't get it back I explained to her what she was talking about doing, but still she insisted. My dad begin to say "it's ok Kylee we can get him something you don't have to give your stuff we know its your favorite", and in the sweetest voice you could imagine she begin to explain to us "guys he has to sit in a hospital bed all day and can't get up so he can fly the helicopter, and batman is so tough I bet he loves super heroes, and his sister is very bored sitting there all day so she will need toys". By now we were all in tears, how could someone so young be so giving? I can tell you right now I have never in my life been so proud! God most certainly blessed us with a little girl who has a servants heart!

Shoulder news

Well I got to talk to my Dr today and as of right now I'm in a sling for most of the day. I am no longer going to be taking the ibuprofen because its not working so I'm not interested in taking it for no reason. My dr says that most likely it is re-torn so for right now the only thing I can do is make it comfortable. Please keep me in your prayers as we figure out what's the best thing to do!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little update on my shoulder

I've had a few people ask about what's going on with my shoulder so I thought I would update everyone. Over 3 years ago I had surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff it took me months to recover from the surgery but I haven't had any real pain since. I occasionally have some aches in it but nothing that a couple ibuprofen can't handle. Well almost a week ago I started having intense piercing pain in my shoulder which took me by surprise. I started ibuprofen and icing it and it didn't seem to help, so I called my physical therapist to see if they had the name of the surgical group who did my surgery (cut me some slack it's been over 3 years and have slept a few times since then). Well they had switched to a new filing system so they didn't have a clue, but I talked to the PT there who said it didn't seem normal, but could be a flare up and to try ice and ibuprofen (been there done that). He told me to do some PT exercises and give it a few days and if it wasn't better I was going to have to call the Dr and get advice, which would be great if I knew who the Dr was. The PT also told me that while the Dr here in Mexico might be fine they will almost certainly try to get me to have surgery wether needed or not, sad but VERY true fact. You see surgeries bring more money, and if a "clean up" surgery won't hurt me why not get me to do it (even if it won't help). 

Anyways, it's been almost a week and I haven't seen any improvement, thankfully today I found a file box with the MRI results of my surgery which had the name of my Dr on it.....Score! So tomorrow morning I am calling to see what they say....of course it will take me 15 min to explain that I am in Mexico and I can't just swing by to talk and that's why my phone reception isn't great. Hopefully they can give me some advice on what to do next, cause this ain't no fun, and ain't nobody got time for that!

I'll let y'all know what I find out but keep me in your prayers!

Much Love 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How big is your brave?

Have you ever been different from who you really are because you aren't brave enough to be yourself? Have you ever done less than your full potential or worse- less than God's potential because you weren't brave enough to just go for it? 

I have been thinking a lot about this, about how many times I back away from something because of fear. How many times I don't just jump at the opportunity to share the Gospel, to speak up. 
Why do I do that? 

Unfortunately our world is driven by fear. We are afraid to be ourselves, afraid of what others think, afraid of how everything will turn out, and the list goes on and on. This is simply ridiculous, who wants to live a life of fear? And what's worse is we fear nonsense things! I don't know about you but I'M DONE WITH IT!! I am made by the perfect creator, how can I fear being imperfect? I was created to share what I know about God, how can I keep it in? It's ok if I'm a little (or a lot) crazy, I am loved by my Heavenly Father. 

I love the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles! In the video everyone is dancing enjoying life with no fear of how they look. I especially love the line "show me how big your brave is". What if we all did that, what if we showed the world how big our brave is! What if we were brave enough to be confident, happy, and most importantly brave enough to tell everyone we met about our Savior. 
We are called to be courageous, bold, BRAVE! 

So here's to dancing like there's no one watching, signing at the top of our lungs, being a little silly, and proclaiming the name of Jesus from top of every mountain! 

I wanna see you be brave!

Here is a link to the video :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home sweet chetumal!

Well let me just tell you it feels great to be here! We are getting ready to head to our house which is only about a 15 min dive from here. This town already feels like home and the people are awesome! I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers and encouragement. I will continue to keep everyone up to date on life here and can't wait to show y'all some pictures o out new home!


P.S. Kylee is doing awesome and already love it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day ten and car down but we are here!!!!

Because we were so busy yesterday I was able to post so let me catch ya up!

It was determined yesterday that our van was broke beyond repair. Basically our head gaskets and pistons were cracked so it was going to cost more to fix it than what it was worth. We had not paid very much for the van almost a year ago, and by the grace of God we were able to sell it and get all but $400 back!  God is so so so good!! We had to rent a uhaul type truck and were able to put the trailer that was attached to our van inside it. We were also able to take some of the weight of dads trailer which will definitely help with the tire pressure and blow outs! It was expensive to rent the uhaul but we are very glad that we could find one to rent.  

After we got everything loaded on the truck we took of to escarcega. When we got to escarcega it just didn't look like a place we needed to be staying. So we made the decision to drive the 4 more hours on into chetumal. It got dark about 2 hours before we got to chetumal. We are so thankful to be here and very glad to be out of the car! Please Continue to keep us in your prayers as we adjust to life here!


P. S. kylee could not be more happy to be here :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day nine...and I'm speechless

We got up very early this morning so that we wouldn't have to drive in the dark. We went to start our van and it wouldn't start. Being that its Sunday we could only get one "mechanic" here and well he had no clue what he was doing. As of right now we have no clue what's wrong with our car....we think it could be the catalytic converter but we hope not. Basically all day we have been going back and forth with a guy who pretty much just wanted money. So for now we will wait till morning to find out what's actually wrong and pray we can get on the road soon!

We are thankful that this happened before we left the hotel and not while we were on the road! God is always watching over us!!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day eight.....another blow out.

Well we had another crazy day,we left our hotel this morning and went on our way and about 20 min down the road we blew another tire...that's 3 total. We got out quick to change the tire and our jack wouldn't work. Again we were on a very busy hwy and trucks were rushing by. So dad decided that we need to go buy another jack and just as Joey and I were going to leave with Kylee we heard a popping noise (like fire crackers or gun shots), so we left as fast as we could not wanting to leave mom and dad. Right as we got to autozone dad called me and asked if we were back because there was someone walking around the trailer, I told dad no and he said he would find out who it was, come to find out it was a man on a bike trying to flag traffic away for us. The man on the bike stood in the hot sun with a white hand towel telling the oncoming traffic to move over he stayed there till we finished, dad called him our angel on a bicycle. My heart was racing and all I wanted to do was to be back with mom and dad. We bought the jack and brought it to them. As soon as we got back Joey started working to change the tire, then the policia showed up and we thought it was going to be a problem. It was two officers with ak47's and they were the two nicest men I have met. They told dad that they were there for our protection and would not leave till we left. They went on to tell us that the popping we had heard was in fact gun shots and that it was a bad area. Bear in mind we had stayed the night in this town....God has taken such amazing care of us!! We got the tire fixed and they helped us get back on the road. We have figured out that the tires are getting to hot causing them to expand so now we are going to have to stop every 45 min or so and check them and let them cool down (it was 103 here today). This could not even begin to describe how afraid and stressed we were and it does not paint an accurate picture of today. All I know is we are thankful that the policia showed up and patrolled around us, and our angel on a bike kept traffic from coming over on us!!

We went the rest of the way to Villahermosa and are here now resting till morning. We will need to leave very early so we don't have to drive at night tomorrow. Please continue to pray we are in the home stretch with only one spare left. We could not be more thankful to God for His protection over us!


Day seven......weak but not broken

Today was a very emotional and stressful day, we were able to get the tire this morning praise The Lord, we did have to pay duty fees on it which is very frustrating. As soon as we went to go jack up the trailer the jack broke, luckily there was a Walmart pretty near buy and we were able to buy a new jack. We got everything packed up and left the hotel around 12:30, but we got detoured due to construction in Puebla and ended up not getting out of there till 1:30. It was about a 2 hour drive over the last of our mountains, it was steep and very curvy, but we were able to get down them with no problems.

About 30 min later we here a pop and think we blew a tire on our car, but what happened was the pins holding our lift gate on the trailer popped out and our gate fell down. Thankfully we were able to get it held closed with an extra ratchet we had. About 30 min after that we realized that two of our tubs had fallen off the trailer somewhere and we could not go back to look for them because it was a very busy hwy and it wouldn't have been safe. Right now I am praying that it is my stuff and not Kylee's (we have a manifest and will know when we reach chetumal). we told her that it was not her stuff and while I understand I may have lied to her, if you could have seen the look on her face as we drove off with her knowing some of our stuff was missing you would agree my lie was justified....I honestly didn't know what else to do. We tried explaining that we would replace anything that was missing, and that didn't help much. Just as I felt as lost as I could feel I hear Kylee singing from the backseat "I will bring praise, I will bring praise, no weapon formed against me shall remain", that is a song by hillsong called "the desert song", if you have not heard it I urge you to.

"This is my prayer in the desert when all that with in me feels dry, this is my prayer in my hunger and need my God is the God who provides. And this is my prayer in the fire in weakness or trial and pain, there is a faith proved of more with than gold so refine me Lord through the flame. I will bring praise I bring praise no weapon formed against me shall remain. I will rejoice I will declare God is my victory and He is here......all of my life in every season You are still God and I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to Worship"

There is a lot more to the song, but today this part hits home. We have gone through so much on this trip, and I know that satan wants us to stop, because then the Word of God will not be spread in to this part of the world. But for everything satan has thrown at us God has provided and blessed ten fold. In our weakness and trials and pain right now we know our Faith is strong enough to move mountains and we serve a God that will help us push them! We will not be broken or torn down by satan, we have every reason to worship, praise, and serve God no matter what the circumstance. We know that whatever is in those tubs God will provide a way for us to replace it and maybe, just maybe it will be a blessing to someone who finds it. We are thankful to God for our safety, and that is what is most important to us!

Thank you again for your prayers!


P.S. we drove till about 11:00 pm tonight because right now we are in a stretch of road that hotels are few and far between. This was our first time having to drive at night, it was not fun, there are no street lights and lots of cars. We hope to not have to drive at night again!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day six....and still in Puebla

Today was spent gathering things we needed for the rest of the trip like extra bearings and things. So we found a mechanic just about a block from our hotel and he was kind enough to come and help us take the wheel apart and find the bearing size. He got the bearings off and it was time to head out to the parts shop....which we thought was his shop....we were wrong. Anyways Joey, the mechanic, and I take of driving towards the parts shop and the policía pull is over. Very long story shortened they "fined" aka bribed us to give ten dollars (which would have been more had the mechanic not been there) for two tickets (there just so happened to be two officers hence the two tickets).....still have no clue what we did wrong....pretty sure we didn't do anything wrong. Well we got to the parts store and we had to park a little ways from it in front of a store entrance. So I had go with the mechanic in the store while Joey waited with the car, the mechanic was so funny and protective of me....he wouldn't let me walk next to the road in the sidewalk lol. We got the parts and headed back to the hotel to put the tire back on, and can safely say that our bearings are in excellent condition and once we receive the tire tomorrow we are good to go!

We have fought off and on with customs all afternoon but we are hopeful that we should get the tire tomorrow. Please pray that we are able to get the tire and be on the road tomorrow and that we have no problems once on the road.

Love to all

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day five....looking around puebla!

Today since we are still in Puebla we decided to look around a little bit. First of all there are a lot of stereotypes about Mexico, it's not safe, it's very dangerous, be cautious with the people there, etc. well allow me to be the first to announce 90% of those warnings are wrong. Now, don't get me wrong if you are wandering the streets at night in a bad part of town or hanging out in a trucker town something bad could very well happen. But isn't that true in America too? If you head down into the streets of Chicago at night you might see some stuff that you really ought not to be seeing. I guess the point is if you do something stupid, something stupid might happen to you, sorry if that sounds harsh but it is what it is. The people of Mexico are amazing,they are sweet and helpful, today Joey and dad were driving and got lost they asked a taxi driver where our hotel was and he lead them back to the hotel (several miles away) at no charge. Everyone has been so nice and they all just want to talk and get to know us, I love it!

We had a realization today that our last name in Spanish is escuelas (schools), while our last name is already an odd name in English it is extremely funny in Spanish. The folks here laugh so hard every time we tell them our name. Mine and kylees name have no translation into Spanish but it's funny....Pepito Escuelas lol, everyone cracks up when they hear it. We came to realize about our name while talking to a man who lives in Mexico City who gave us some awesome information about which route we should take when we leave here (one more crazy big mountain to go).

Kylee is loving getting out and about in the town and talking to EVERYONE she sees, I love hearing her speak spanish it is simply adorable. Today she asked "is this really what mexico looks like", we said yes and she said "I'm so happy we are here". You have no clue how happy I am to hear those words come out of her mouth, as a momma you worry if your baby will be happy, or miss being in America, well I'm happy to report she is gonna be just fine here!

Now for the exciting news (I saved the best for last), there is a volcano erupting in Puebla! Now before anyone gets worried, it's only ashes and small spurts of lava. They said its a stage yellow 3 I think, anyways they too us up on the roof tonight and we got to take some pictures, you can't see the volcano very well for all the ashes. But still super cool! As of right now nobody has had to be evacuated and they are thinking it will just die down.

We'll keep y'all in the know!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day four.....and stranded

Well folks since we had to use our spare yesterday and NO tire store had them, we are stranded in Puebla (driving over a very large mountain with no spare is not very smart). Thankfully with the help of Linwood Smith, a M.E.I. bored member, brother in Christ, grandfather figure to me, and a man who has been there for our family since before I was born, we are getting a tire shipped from the states. We are so very blessed and extremely thankful for his help, and we expect to be back on the road by Friday (we hope).

While being stranded isn't great for our travel time it is very nice on our bodies (and vehicles), Kylee is enjoying just being able to run around, play, and swim! We are also getting to spend a lot of time speaking Spanish, which is great, I can't wait to be able to just talk without hesitating.

On that note I have a very funny story to tell y'all! So I've been trying to get mom to use the Spanish that she knows, but she just doesn't feel confident. So yesterday I was telling her that when I don't know a word I say "como se dice" (how do you say) and point to what I wanna know the word for. As silly as that sound they respect the fact that I'm trying to learn. Anyways, so today mom was trying to get a box of Kleenex's from the lady at the hotel, so not knowing how to communicate that (and wanting to use more spanish) mom held up the Kleenex box and said proudly "como se dice" and the lady looked at her, chuckled and said "Kleenex". Bless my moms heart she can't catch a break...the one word she tries to learn is the same in English and Spanish lol.

We will continue to keep everyone up to date with everything going on! Just keep those prayers coming!

Hasta luego

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day's been a James 1:2-4 kind of day

We had a little bit longer drive ahead of us today, so after breakfast and Kylee doing some ballet in the hotel lobby we hit the road again (our lives for the past two weeks have been a Willie Nelson song). It was hotter today so unfortunately it was a little rougher on the vehicles, causing dad and moms check engine light to come on. We got them some antifreeze and checked everything out with the help of a sweet older man who worked at the gas station, we ended up giving him a pair of needle nose pliers we had (he was so excited!). We are not looking forward to finding out what all needs to be replaced/repaired in both vehicles once we reach chetumal (going over a lot of mountains while pulling trailers takes its toll especially after 3,000+ miles). Please keep that in your prayers, because repair expenses are no fun, especially after such a big move.

We didn't go through many towns today other than around mexico city and through a few what I call "trucker towns". These trucker towns are bad news, they are nasty and look so sketchy. They have semi's pulled off to the side all over the place but there is nowhere to get gas or anything like that, just several "motels". We just tried to barrel on through them, I did however manage to snap a couple of pics of them. We didn't see much of Mexico City thanks to a new road that takes you around instead of having to go straight through. We have been to Mexico City once before and it's not a place I would advise going, it's not very safe and there is a lot of bad things that go down in the city.

Shortly past the Mexico City bypass we blew a tire on the trailer, we are pretty sure that at one of the stops to get gas they over inflated It. So we had to pull over on a very busy four lane hwy to change the tire. While I can safely say that we have no future with the Indy 500 pit crew (my dad had said before that he wanted us to look like the pit crew if we got a flat while in MX) we did pretty good for a hand crank jack and a tire tool. I think it was under 15 minutes, I assure you that fear was the driving force behind us going so fast. About two minutes after changing the blow out it started raining, so we got it done just in the nick of time! The rain caused several accident (which we were not involved in) which caused a two hour back up on the hwy we were on, and this doesn't even tip the iceberg of the thins that have gone on today, from getting lost to expensive tolls its just been a long day. Right now I want to plead to you to continue praying, we need your prayers, we cherish them. Today was by far the hardest day we have had it was very exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. I honestly cannot begin to explain to you the stress that this trip entails, and we are by God's grace handling it as best we can.

Tonight we are staying a little ways outside of Mexico City, and we are hoping to not have as many mountains to go over tomorrow. We are all doing well just very tired and ready to be done driving. Dad and Joey have driven the entire way due to safety reasons like pulling the trailer etc. and I know it has been extremely difficult on them, and my dad in particular with his bad knees. But we are all pressing on and trying to keep our spirits high! Thank you again for your prayers and support!

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


P.S. highlight of the day: the sweet old man telling Joey that he knew what he was doing and to let him add the antifreeze because the car needed it....he was speaking Spanish so fast and pointing to the radiator and all I caught was "refrigerante en el carro" (antifreeze in the car) to which Joey replied "ok" lol. I laughed so hard I was crying.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day two in Mexico on the road to Chetumal!

Well we had a good nights rest after our busy day yesterday and even got to connect to wifi to call family (boy technology is great)! Kylee got to go swimming for a little bit before bed, where of course in true kylee fashion she made a friend,who was also four. We hit the road bright and early and even though we are in Mexico let me just tell you it is cold going through these mountains. We got about two hours down the road and had to stop at a large policía checkpoint (again more guys with big guns). They looked over our cars and tried to ask us some questions but with us not being fluent in Spanish and them not speaking any English the talking didn't last long (ignorance is bliss). The one man literally could not stop chuckling because of the language barrier, one good thing is as long as you put forth an effort they really appreciate it. Anyways, after looking in the cars real quick we were back on the road (no, Kylee didn't get to hand out any coloring pages.....she was asleep).

One really cool thing we have seen since we've been driving is fake cop cars, not dummy cars, actual life size cardboard cut outs of cop cars. Now, you might be thinking what dingbat would fall for something so silly....well I can name you four right now lol. All joking aside they should totally put these things up in the states! Something else we have seen that should not be started in the states is pay toilets. I'm telling you I bet me, mom, and Kylee have payed over ten bucks today just to potty! Now that's a money making business if I've ever heard of one! Although the folks here have been very friendly I take my "bathroom companion" (monkeys fist) with me every time us girl head to the potty. For those of you who don't know what a monkeys fist is there is a pic of it below (its the pink ball, nothing complex but I think it would do the job), you can never be to careful when it comes to my baby girls safety!

Well after driving over mountains, mountains, and more mountains, as well as fog so thick that you couldn't see the car in front of you, we made it to our hotel where we will have our devotion and Lord's supper on this awesome Sunday. Just a few more days of travel, so keep those prayers coming! God has blessed us so very much and we are trusting in Him

Love to all

Saturday, May 11, 2013

After a whirl wind day.....Hola from Mexico!

Well to say today was eventful would be an understatement! We headed across the border a little after 8:30 and quickly found out we were in the wrong we had to cross the border...again....back to Texas......then again.....back to Mexico (I wish I were making this up). Finally we got in the correct lane and the Aduana (customs)begin to question us about what we were bringing with us in our tubs, so my dad handed them the manifest of our boxes in Spanish (brilliant idea of my dads, saved us so much time and headache) and they read over it. Several GI joes (army guys with big machine guns) went back and forth looking at our vehicle in all the windows looking very stern.....until a sweet little girl in the back seat smiled the cheesiest smile at them and they all started laughing.....that was the moment that changed everyone's attitude! Pretty soon kylee was hopping out of the car with pictures she had colored handing them out to everyone she saw (army guys with guns included). They all started talking to my dad about what we do and why we were coming to Mexico and before we knew it they were waving us through with only paying a little duty fee (which could have been so so so much worse).

We then made our way to get our vehicle permits and that was not a whole lot of fun. We waited in 4 different lines for about 2 hours. Again shout out to my dad for having all the paper work and everything in perfect order (he saved us so much time)! The only "problem" we had was my dads name is Russell but everyone calls him Rusty so needless to say they could not wrap their brains around how that could be the same person (does nobody in Mexico have a nickname?). But, we got that cleared up and headed to our next Aduana (customs) checkpoint. This checkpoint was fairly quick and again we gave them our handy manifest and told them we had already paid duties and they shook my dads hand and sent us on our way.

We then started our drive to get to Saltillo which was pretty easy going once we got out of the giant pothole land of Nuevo Laredo. We were pulled over by the policía one time to tell us to be careful pulling our trailer (I kid you not) then told us to have a good day. We didn't stop to much other than for gas where Kylee gave everyone she came in contact with a picture she colored....she has been busy!

Anyways, we are checked into our hotel and ready to get some rest! Please continue to pray for our safety and travels!


Ps highlights of the day....Kylee telling the army guy she speaks Spanish and then counting to ten. And also Kylee telling her poppy "well papa we are Mexicans now" I think I peed my pants a little. Oh and her new favorite thing is to tell us we are grumpy Mexicans. She is a handful!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Update On the Trip

Well we are on the road again after a set back do to a tire blow out (and several hours waiting on a tow). Thankfully we are all safe and back in the swing of driving....and driving....and driving. Kylee has been a trooper thus far however she does not understand the concept that it is going to take several days to ghetto mexico, everyday she asks we are going to Mexico today, then we say we are on the way and she says you said that before. But with 50 questions aside she is being amazing!!! Please continue to pray for us as we are traveling. Our path takes us by New Orleans (today) through Huston (tomorrow) and then crossing the border in Laredo (who knows when lol).

Love to all


Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's almost time!!

Well friends it is almost that time.......we are just a little over a week out from our long drive to Mexico! Here is just an update on what all is going on, We have been packing up a storm and are almost done, just finishing up the little details. Kylee asks every day if today is the day we leave for mexico (needless to say she is a little excited). Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to leave and especially for our very very long drive. Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Love to all

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It will all be worth it!

As most people know already I am gearing up for my first half IronMan 70.3 miles (please note I put "first" because I think I might do another one....sorry Joey). This has been a crazy experience, I have trained and pushed my body to limits I NEVER thought it could reach. I'm very proud of how far I have come, and am nervous about how far I still have to go. Right now I am in a "rest" period of my training meaning, I have cut back on my intense training for one month and then I start the home stretch of 4 months of working my tail off.

Now as some of you may not know I am ultra competitive, I can't help it, I don't even know how to turn it off. As embarrassing as this is to say I find myself checking the race roster often to find out how many girls there are in my age bracket (insane...I know). Now don't get me wrong I don't think I am going to qualify for the world championship or anything...but....I can dream of placing, can't I?

I am blessed with one amazing support system, my family goes out of there way to help me have time to train....they are simply awesome! My poor husband has been told more times than he can count that "this is gonna be my last race" or "I'm never gonna do that again", he just smiles and says "sure" and then buckles in for the next race season. I can only hope that I am as supportive of him as he is of me.

This whole experience has been so much fun (and awful at the same time), and I'm really glad that I'm doing it. I strongly urge everyone to do something that pushes you to new limits and breaks you out of your comfort zone, i promise you wont regret it. There is a saying that i absolutely love because it pretty much sums up how I feel:

It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require will power.
You will need to make healthy decisions.
It requires sacrifice.
You will need to push your body to the max.
There will be temptation.
But, I promise you, when you reach your goal,

I can't wait to earn that title IronMan! It's gonna feel good!!

Ps still packing....and we will be heading towards Mexico the first week of May!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter, eggs, and a beach photo shoot

So we did a little Easter egg hunting at home this year which was so much! I so wish I had a picture of her coming into the living room to see the eggs hidden....her face was priceless. We also colored some eggs which gets more fun as she gets older, she is starting to experiment with mixing colors and its so neat to her her talk about the new color she made. After Church on Sunday we made a little trip over towards the beach and took some photos. So I wanted to share some pics on here.

As far as our to say? Well it's getting closer, and we can't wait!! There is still so much to get done but we are working hard on it all. Please keep us in your Prayers as we finish up everything during our last month in the last month in the states!

Love Always

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Kylee

Today our sweet girl turns 4....I can't believe I just typed those words! It seems like yesterday that we were bringing her home from the NICU completely unaware of what would come. God has blessed us with the greatest gift we could have ever received, and we are so thankful. It is so hard to believe what an amazing young lady she is turning into, our tiny baby is growing right before our eyes. I was just telling a friend of mine (who welcomed a new daughter into the world) a few days ago that daughters are such a joy, Kylee brings joy to our lives in so many ways. I honestly cannot imagine our lives without our girl, and I am so glad that I don't have to know what that life would be like.

To my angel,

Happy birthday my sweet sweet baby! You are and will always be my little girl. Thank you for all you have taught me, I owe you so much! You have made me a mother, you showed me love that people dream of, you showed me that a smile can fix any problem in the world, and you have shown me what true faith and trust really are. I am so, so proud of you, you have already done so much in your four years! I know that anything you choose to do you will succeed at, and I know one day you will be an amazing dolphin trainer (if you still like that when you grow up)! I love you more than all the sand on the beach, stars in the sky, and dolphins in the ocean!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Mommy are we selling this? Or taking it with us?"

I have said many times before that God knew what He was doing when He gave us Kylee. She is our perfect angel, she is kind, loving, caring, and loves God with all her little heart. It takes a very special person to be able to travel and adjust to new cultures and Kylee is one of those people. She really does love the adventure of going some place new and meeting new people(she is her poppy at heart). So naturally when we started talking to her about moving to Mexico she was excited! She loves Mexico and enjoys speaking Spanish a lot.

We were at the Mexican embassy the other day getting some info and it was me, dad, and Kylee, let me just set the scene for walk through a door into a medal detector and then to a desk where two "security" guards tell you to sign in (which we still have no clue what we were signing in for because the guard spoke less English than I do Spanish). You then make your way into a large room with tons (at least 50) people sitting in chairs none of which spoke English. So we go and take a seat (again not sure of what we are waiting on) and about 15 min later a man comes in the room and says something in Spanish really fast (I caught good afternoon and visas), by this time I was pretty sure we were being deported but we just sat there. Soon people started getting up and going to a window to talk to a cashier and I thought how do they know when it was their turn? Just as I was about to go see if maybe it was our turn at the window a man came in and asked how he could help us....saved by the gentlemen who spoke English! Now you might be wondering what any of that story has to do with Kylee, well the entire hour that we were there she used EVERY Spanish word she knew (even if it was in the wrong context). She loves people so much, she wants to talk and interact with everyone she meets no matter the language barrier, age difference, or cultural differences. Those are the exact qualities a missionary needs!

God instilled in her so many characteristics that would be such great assets in her life, even little things like being willing to try new foods, that's not something your average 3 year old does. She also "almost" never complains, when we travel and are in a car or plane for long periods of time she just goes with the flow and is very content. But I think my favorite trait of hers is her encouragement. She can lift a spirit so quickly! She is always smiling and knows the perfect thing to say, she loves to tell you how great you're doing and ask how she can help. I love to listen to her tell people what we do, it usually goes something like this: "we do mission work and my poppy rescues kids, we travel a lot I've been to Trinidad, Costa Rica, and Mexico....And we are moving to Mexico" then people look to me to tell them the truth (because they assume this big tale she told must be a lie). My favorite is when she says "we do mission work and I'm the helper!". She is so excited to serve God, and I am beyond thankful that I get to serve Him beside her! Love you KyKy!

Love always
One very proud mama