Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beach Days

We were given good advice to enjoy the first few months in our new host country, Haiti.  During this “honeymoon phase” we were advised to act like tourists and take lots of pictures.  It’s been fun to see the beauty of Haiti and also see it through the kids eyes.  Hopefully you can see we have been doing just that!

The past two Sunday afternoons, we have gone to the beach!  The first Sunday, we went to Rainbow Beach, my favorite of the two.  Here are a few of my favorite pics.  Drew was there, I promise, but he was in the water the entire time and we didn’t get too many pics of him. You can see the rest at





Last Sunday we went to Port Salut.  We ate lunch at a restaurant right on the beach—lobster, chicken, banan peze, and rice and beans.  Delicious! This beach was fun too, but it was a very long way to the water so it was not as easy with kids.  There were fishing boats lining the shore and even a fishing net hanging across the beach.






Just like where we lived in Florida for 5 years, there are little lizards everywhere! The lizards in Haiti look a little different, but they act the same.  Drew got pretty good at catching little ones in FL, and has found he can catch them here too.  Uncle Jeff would be proud!

IMG_3440IMG_3439We also “inherited” a giant lizard when we moved into our house in Haiti, more specifically an iguana.  His name is Spike and he belonged to Devon Shoemaker when they lived here.  Tessa LOVES to feed him and Braden loves watching him.  Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in Spike’s head, though, when Braden’s watching.  Spike can really stare him down…



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spiders… BIG ones

Our large spider count is up to three, and that is the live ones we’ve encountered.  The count would be five if I were to include the dead ones we’ve found!  I have never liked spiders.  They skeeve me out—give me the willies.  But I knew there were tarantulas here.  They like to hide in dark places and since no one was living in our house for six months, I have been expecting to see them.

On Saturday, one of the guys working on our home doing some repairs found a live tarantula on the front “porch” area.  Up to this point we had seen 2 dead ones, but not one alive, so we had to take a picture before Wilfred killed it.  He sprayed it to death with crawling bug spray.  I made a mental note.  We think he had been in the rolled up area rug that was out there.  Rob had moved it earlier that morning.


That night, our friend and co-worker Amy was hanging out at our house and out of the corner of my eye I say something skitter across the floor.  I chalked it up to the fan blowing a dust bunny across the floor, but fifteen minutes later this spider was on the wall above Amy’s head.


By the time Rob was done killing it our living room looked like this


Rob hit it with a broom and stunned it, it fell in the couch, then thinking it was dead he tried to sweep it up and it crawled under the coffee table.  We thought it went under the couch, so he turned the couch over, but didn’t find it.  Then he turned over the coffee table, still no spider.  Mind you, this spider was about 3 to 4 inches and FAST!  When he took the drawers out of the table it was crammed into a corner behind the drawers.  Rob later looked it up and found out it was a Cane Spider.  Apparently they are harmless and eat cockroaches, but it was freaky!

Today, I was organizing, cleaning and unpacking stuff into the main bathroom.  The water was off in there when we first moved in so we hadn’t used it much yet.  I was being cautious knowing that tarantulas like dark places so I wasn’t completely surprised when I opened the cabinet under the sink and saw a tarantula skittering about under there.  This one wasn’t as big as the one on Saturday, but it was still a big, hairy spider!  Rob wasn’t here so I ran into the kitchen and got the bug spray and told Caline, our house helper.  I sprayed it but it skittered out onto the floor and Caline smashed it with a metal dust pan she came in with.  Made another mental note.

Next tarantula I see, I run for the metal dust pan and bug spray.  Maybe I can kill the next one all by myself.



Here are a few snapshots of the last week here!  Lots of new adventures!

Tessa’s first ride on the four-wheeler

Josette tied up this swing and told us it was a Haitian swing :)  The kids LOVE it!

Drew and Tessa “helped” Caline make doughnuts.  They are amazing and the kids had so much fun.

Climbing anything they can find

We bought shrimp from a guy who came to our door selling it.  They were HUGE and yummy!

Can’t leave Braden out!  He is constantly wanting to sit on the four-wheeler, motorcycle or the truck.

I have been trying to upload this post for 3 days… I think that there were too many pictures.  Rob showed me a tedious way of doing it so hopefully this works!  I have been reminded many times these last 2 weeks that everything is slower here!  I am thankful to have internet!


Changing the world, one family at a time…

You have got to see this video of RMI’s plan to provide “Homes today for Haiti’s tomorrow.  You can get much more info here.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

The New Adventures of Drew, Tessa and Braden…

We’ve had 2 full days now in Haiti.  Most of it has involved unpacking and getting settled at our new home.  We are sleeping and eating at RMI’s guesthouse while we get our home ready.  The kids are loving it so far and really enjoying all the new things they are exploring.  Being a missionary kid sure can be fun!  Here is a running list of the new adventures of Drew, Tessa and Braden:

  • collected and opened too many varieties to count of seed pods… after all, almost every tree and plant is new and Drew has to see what’s inside.
  • climbed up and down the “cliff” to our garden.
  • tree climbing   
  • IMG_3148 




  • first taste of Haitian mango, abricot, and pineapple.
  • first ride on a four-wheeler.


  • Drew’s already starting to use the little creole he knows.. and using new phrases he learned today… and doing it all on his own!
  • made new friends… missionary kids and Haitian friends.
  • collected coconuts, drank fresh coconut milk, and tried coconut meat.
  • played in the rain
  • saw our first sunset from our new home


  • collected breadfruit with the help if Calene, Josette and Marita.  This involved a HUGE branch reaching high up into the tree and using the branch to twist off the fruit.  Of course, Drew wanted to cut it open to check out what was inside.
  • played with Marita


  • rode in the bed of a pick-up truck (a very short ride, Grandmom, I promise)
  • got VERY dirty
  • sat on motorcycles—Braden’s favorite (no rides)
  • IMG_3118 IMG_3113



  • met and fed “Spike”, the iguana who came with the house—Braden thinks he’s hilarious
  • drank boxed milk and didn’t flinch (Mommy snuck that in.  They didn’t seem to notice a difference)

Being a missionary isn’t all fun and games, but we sure are enjoying our first few days!



Our first morning in Haiti, at breakfast, Drew made a comment about there being flies around.  It was said with a little trepidation, like he wasn’t sure if they were going to bite or not.  They were simple black flies, but they are always around in Haiti.  We usually eat outside so I didn’t want him to be nervous about them so I said, “Oh that’s just Jack, he can’t hurt you.”  I’m not sure how it developed, but by the end of the meal we were naming all the flies, only they were family members.  So far, Aunt Amy, Uncle Dan, Justin, Jyden, Malachi, Aunt Shari, Mom-Mom, Uncle Chip, Aunt Karen, Grandmom, Pop-Pop, and Mattie have visited us at different meals.  The kids get a good laugh and have been looking forward to new flies coming around!   As a plus, we have a fun reason to be thinking about our family 3 times a day!  I’m sure we’ll start seeing the rest of our family and our friends. If you haven’t come flying around our mealtimes yet, I’m sure we’ll see you soon.  And if we shoo you away, please don’t take offense :)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moving Day is Here!

As I write this blog post, I am sitting in a hotel room right next to the  Miami International Airport.  We will be getting up pretty early in the morning and MOVING TO HAITI!  It’s pretty surreal that this moment is here.  We’ve been talking about it for over a year now, working hard to raise the funds (and WOW, God did some amazing things to bring in just what we needed), and we have been looking forward to this moment for a long time.  Tomorrow we get to show the kids the country and people we have fallen in love with and where God has called us to serve.  We can’t wait!

Pray for our family as tomorrow will be a long day.  Our flight departs Miami at 9:40 am and arrives in Port au Prince at 10:40 am (a 2 hour flight, Haiti does not observe daylight savings time).  We expect the 90 mile drive from PauP to take about 5 hours (it usually takes 4 hours, but we are allowing extra time with kids.)  It is a rough ride, so pray especially for the kids, and specifically Drew who is the most likely to get car sick.  We expect to arrive at our home in les Cayes around 4 or 5 pm.  Pray for us as we settle in these next few weeks!

Here is our new address:

c/o Agape Flights CAY 24905
100 Airport Ave
Venice, FL 34285 

We are humbled by the support we’ve gotten from so many of you over the last year and a half of this journey.  We don’t take it lightly! Thank you so much for your continued prayer and support as we take the next step on this journey!


A Most-Important Decision

Last night Drew made the most important decision of his life—He asked Jesus into his heart!  It was a precious moment that brought tears to my eyes!

We were staying at Eddie and Kelly Reynolds’ house this week while in FL and we were all enjoying a fire in their fire pit.  Drew really likes fire (as many of you know!) and we let him stay up late to enjoy it.  The adults were talking about salvation and Drew was sitting on my lap and I could just see the gears turning in his mind.  He asked me what being “saved” was and we talked about admitting to Jesus that you are a sinner and asking Him to forgive you of all your sin and asking Him to come into your heart.  We talked a little more and it sounded like it was something he wanted to do so I told him to go talk to Daddy about it.  He went over to Rob and told him he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart!  So they went inside the house and talked more, Rob shared scripture and told Drew what he needed to do.  Rob said Drew prayed all on is own—so precious!  He was excited to tell everyone and we made lots of phone calls today.

I was especially struck last night about the big job Rob and I have as Drew’s parents to guide him in his newly professed faith.  Our desire is not just to see our kids “saved” and that’s it.  We want to see them develop into Christ-followers:  people who love the Lord and want to serve them with all that they are.  We hope they see us living our lives that way.  Drew made the most important decision of his life last night.  We were privileged to be a part of that decision!  What a huge responsibility we have to guide him over the years in his journey of faith.  We can’t wait to see the person he becomes in Christ!