Monday, February 28, 2011

project #1

is painting the walls in the Master bedroom... yep, those are clouds on the ceiling.  And they have got to go!

Friday, February 25, 2011

you know you're in Belize when

When you get to hear a group of young people playing steel drums while the crowd dances to the beat!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Walking on Sunshine...

Yesterday was moving day for us... we finally have a house that we think will be our home for many years to come.  And we are thrilled to be living and walking on Sunshine street!  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

When Tom's parents were here we drove down to Placencia together and along the way we stopped at the Maya Beach Hotel for lunch.

Mom and I enjoyed the Shrimp Po Boy on Fry Jack ( a fried tortilla) with Caesar salads.

Tom and Dad had the Big Creek Banana Boats...

The open air restaurant was cozy, the food was incredible, and the view was amazing... I can hardly wait to go back for an extended stay.  We may head down to Maya Beach for our 30th anniversary in December.

interior view from our table...

exterior view from our table...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Solar Energy Coming to Belize University

Just saw this article in my news feed this morning... it comes from The Reporter here in Belize.

Japan Offers $20 Million Solar Energy Grid to Belize
The Government of Japan has offered to build a $20 million photo-voltaic solar energy grid on 2.04 acres of land in Belmopan owned by the University of Belize to help supply Belize with clean solar-powered electrical energy.

The University of Belize will take charge of the project when it is completed and will sell the energy from the grid to Belize Electricity Limited. Money from the sale of this energy made from sunlight will be used by the University to fund its programmes.The Government of Belize will retain ownership of the cell farm and turn it over to the University at the end of ten years.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed this week between the University and the Government of Belize explains how the arrangement will work. The University with help from Ministry of Works will maintain and service the panels with help from BEL from time to time. It will take a year for Japanese technicians to make and install the solar panels.

This munificent gift comes to Belize from the government and people of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, to introduce clean energy to Belize by solar technology. Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, President Emeritus and now Acting President of the University of Belize, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of UB. Mr. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, signed on behalf of the Government.“UB is poised to become a leader in clean solar energy in the region,” commented Dr. Lewis. . . “UB students from the Engineering Faculty will, in particular, benefit from being exposed to this cutting edge technology,” she said.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Give us this day...

My religion class students always seem so carefree and happy.  Or at least that was my perception.  Yesterday I had the kids write out their prayer requests for me so that I could pray for them during the week.  I was astounded by some of the struggles they are facing.  I told them that they didn't have to put their names on the papers and that they could write whatever they wanted to write and no one but God would know it was from them.

With their heads down and their hand covering their little piece of paper so their classmate couldn't see it some of them set off to work right away.  Others sat for a long time thinking about what to put down.  As each child finished they would raise their hand and I walked over and without looking at what was written I folded it in half so that even I could not see who had written what.  

When I got home and sat down to read through their requests and pray for them I ended up in tears after reading only a few.  How easy it is to forget how hard life can be at age 11.

Their prayer requests from spelling tests to bullies to broken families.  Please keep these kids in your prayers.  And thanks for helping me carry their burdens.

Dear God, Please heal my baby sister from flues and fever and please bless my Dad so he could go to church with us and please bless my mom cause she is a hard working mom.  Please heal my family Lord God and help me to obey and respect others and my mom and dad.  Bless my two sisters. Please help them not curse cause they don't know what they are saying Lord God. In Jesus name, Amen.

I pray to pass the test we will have today in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

I want you to pray for me because I have a test Friday.

I want you to pray for my little sister who is very sick.

I am praying for my family friend and for energy and life.

Father, thank you for health and strength.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please help me to be like you everyday.

For my big brother to get well.  And my little brother would want to go to church.

I am very sad because one of my family members died on Tuesday.

Pray for my family and friends and one of them and her family have gone through a lot.  And for Miss Alida and my classmates.

Pray for me to continue to love God.

I want God to help me and my family and help me with my school work.

I have a lot of bad dreams these days.  And all my friends treat me like a piece of garbage.  One of my friends likes to treat me like I'm her maid.  She likes to beat me.  

Pray for safety because these days it's getting dangerous so very quickly.  This should go for everybody because it's dangerous for everyone.  Have a nice day Miss Alida and may the Lord bless you.

I want my little brother to be healthy again because he has the flu.  And I want to pass my test tomorrow.

I want you to pray for me to pass my spelling test tomarro.

I want you to pray for my sin and for God to help me not to sin.  No matter if the sin is small or big.  I am sorry for my sin.

Lord I am praying to you because I want you to help me with my test next week in the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

God I thank you for giving your son to die for our sin and I want you to protect my mom, dad and my sisters and brothers.  Thanks for my shelter, life and education.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

I want you to pray for one of my family that got injured on Monday.

Pray for my foot in Jesus name.  Amen.

I want to pray for those bullies in this earth.  I want to pray for those people that are sick and for my family and friends.

I want God to help me to study a lot so I could go to standard 5 and standard 6.  And have a good education so I can get work when I grow up.  I wish I'll be able to go to Comprehensive highschool.

Can you pray for my for my family and for my dad that is in Belize City.  And for me to get good grade in school too.  And for all the students and my teacher.

Lord please help me to pass my Language Arts test.  I want to bless my antie because she is very sick.  Please help her to get well.  I thank you for all the good things that you have done.  Amen.

I want you to pray for my family to get back together and not be in 2 pieces cause my grandmother does not like my mother so life is not very easy for me and my grandfather and grandmother got a divorce so it is worse harder for me and I just want you to pray to let our family be a whole again.  I miss all the times we use to spend as a family but things are not the same anymore sometimes when I come to school I am sad but I have to act like I am happy.  I really hope some day my family will get back together and all of us will be happy again.

Miss, I want you to pray for me because I have a test to take today and tomorrow.  Thank you.

Please pray for my family Lord so we all know more about God so please pray for me and my cousin that is not talking right now.

I want you to pray for my aunt that is sick.

I want you to pray about coming late to school and for my strength for my tests to pass.  And my life and other things.

Dear heavenly Father, please guide me in the way going and coming back to school.  Please help me on my test that I am going to have tomorrow.  I thank you for all that you have done, and everything you will do and also what you are doing.  Amen.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You know you're in Belize when...

You see plainly dressed Mennonites wearing flip flops.

Here is an article on the Mennonite community in Belize:

Belize Mennonites

Migrating from Switzerland and the Netherlands in 1790, to Prussia, south Russia, Canada, the United States, and Mexico, the Mennonites finally settled in Belize in 1958. Under agreement with the government they bore all expenses of removal and settling, bringing with them capital amounting to one million dollars. They are exempted from military service; and although they pay all other taxes, they do not partake in any form of compulsory or social welfare schemes.

Initially, some 3,500 Canadian Mennonites arrived in Belize, and today form communities on the upper reaches of the Belize River: Blue Creek on the Mexican border; Shipyard, Indian Creek, Richmond Hill in the Orange Walk District; Spanish Lookout and Barton Creek in the Cayo District; Little Belize in the Corozal District. Comprising 3.6 percent of Belize’s population, they have made it a point to have their own school, church, and financial institutions in their various communities. No matter in which region of Belize the Mennonites live and work, they are liked and respected, especially for the true Christian characteristics and helpfulness to others which they willingly display.

The Mennonites of Canadian origin speak excellent English, although among themselves they use the original Low German. In general though they can be said to be trilingual, since the older generation who were born in Canada speak English, the younger generation who were born in Mexico speak Spanish, and they all speak their own German dialect, or another ancient form of High German.
To set the right balance between interacting with the larger society, while still maintaining their conscientious way of life, is something the Mennonite in Belize see as happening through a closer understanding of how they honor the world. At least two large commercial stores serve the large settlement of Spanish Lookout and other communities; and interestingly enough all members of the community receive a dividend every five years relating to the amount of money they spend in the store.

The Mennonite, with their farming tradition, are well grounded in agriculture, and most Belizeans benefit from the sale of their produce throughout the country. Practicing organic farming, they grow peanut, potato, corn, beans, tomato, watermelon, carrot, papaya, sweet pepper, cabbage, and coriander. They are also involved in cattle and feed farming. Their contribution to food production is great, and a lot of the foodstuff on the store shelves come from their farms. They have established an egg hatchery which supplies Belize with eggs and chickens on a permanent basis. Milk, butter and cheese are also produced. Their personal eating habits, as well as food selection, reflect the Mennonite's origin, as they tend to select the best dishes from each country in which they lived and adopt them as their own specialties.

Seeking to exist in isolated farming colonies without the benefit of much modern technology, the Mennonite are easily identified by their old-fashioned apparel. The women wear long dark dresses with aprons and hats, while the men wear coveralls and checkered shirts.

The Mennonite, especially those of Shipyard, are skilled carpenters, and can be seen selling their furniture in Belize City and other urban centers. Those in Blue Creek, for example, have made a name for themselves in building construction countrywide, including roads and bridges.

Varying degrees of acceptance of mechanized vehicles have resulted in traditional groups moving away, and leaving the Progressive group to practice more modern ways of transportation. This is perhaps an offshoot of the Mennonite church which has over the centuries been characterized by numerous splinter groups. It seems as if being a Mennonite has evolved into a culture, since their great faith in God is what influences their dress, work, thought, and interaction with each other.
This article can be found on the National Library Service of Belize site.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thought for Today

I feel blessed to know that the boundary lines that God has chosen for me are not something that I need to dread.  His boundaries on my life have taken me to places that I never expected to go and given me experiences that I never expected to have.  God is good...All the time!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

The other day there were some kids outside playing soccer in the street when the tamale guy came by.  Tom went out to purchase some tamales and the kids started imitating the tamale guy's cry of 'hot tamales!'  Kids will be kids no matter where you live.

The tamales come wrapped in a banana leaf.  To quote Tom "they tasted like crap" and his had a chicken bone inside.  I am not much of a tamale fan so after one bite I decided I'd had enough.  They cost 1 USD but were not even worth that much.  What a bummer that my Tasty Tuesday entry was not very tasty.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 13:13 NLT

This is our first Valentine's Day here in Belize.  And love is definitely in the air.  The stores are filled with cards and stuffed animals and all sorts of things to celebrate with just like in the states. Local restaurants have special deals on meals and there are plenty of chocolate hearts to go around.  The only thing I have not seen is a flower shop... I wonder if roses are even grown here?

We are out enjoying our last full day with Tom's parents.  They leave tomorrow morning.  It has been such a blessing to have them here to see where with live and who we work with. This two weeks with them has just  flown by.

May your day be filled with joy, warmth and laughter as you spend time with those you love and cherish!

Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

the joys of the jungle

Last night as we were winding down from the day Tom spotted a small frog in the back bedroom.

After a few seconds of freaking out about there being a frog in the house I ran to find my camera.  I am learning that these bloggable moments need a photo to go with!

I decided to update my status on Facebook to share with all of our friends about our visitor while waiting for the frog to come out of hiding.  And this time Tom was able to herd him out the front door. 
 It is times like these when I wish I had a video camera!

Victory is sweet!! 

Not everyday has a critter in it but I am amazed that I no longer freak out when I see one.  Unless it is a huge beetle or some other ugly bug crawling across the floor.  I will not run for my camera when that happens... I will scream like the girl that I am and yell for Tom to come and kill it. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

you know you're in Belize when....

There are two bridges in San Ignacio and they each go one way only... and you have to wait on the side of the road for a car to pass that is going the WRONG way across the bridge!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Thought for Today

I am so grateful to be able to depend on His care and concern day after day.  
Life may be unpredictable at times but He is faithful forever.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Today I have some pork ribs in the crock pot that I dry rubbed with barbeque seasonings and then coated with barbeque sauce...mmmm the house smells nice!  I made up a batch of my grandmother's butterhorn roll dough and will make some rolls to go with our meal.  It is overcast and a tad chilly outside so this is the perfect day for a crockpot meal and a little baking.

Monday, February 07, 2011

hiking at El Pilar

On Friday we drove with Tom's parents down to San Ignacio and then over to Bullet Tree Falls Village and from there we drove 8 miles up into the Yalbac hills to the Maya site El Pilar. It is a very rough road filled with potholes and lots of rocks but worth it in the end.

Maya farmers first settled the site around the Middle Preclassic period (800 to 300 BC). El Pliar is one of Belize's largest Classic period Maya sites.  There are around 15 courtyards or plazas spanning an area of 50 acres.  We only hiked a 1/3 mile trail. 

There was so much to see from the plant life, to the birds, to the ruins that it was hard to take it all in.  Tom and I hope to go again sometime to see more of what has been excavated and hike a different trail. 

A few photos of the ruins from this Maya city

               These roots were amazing to see... the size was just incredible.                       

The canopy of trees overhead made it very cool and pleasant on the trail.

The handrails were actually sturdier than they looked

Once we reached the very top of trail we were hiking our payoff
 was being able to see clear across to Guatamala!
If you have more questions about El Pilar or want to learn more about the area you could check out some of these links:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I'm being featured!

I normally don't blog on Sunday's but I am so excited about being featured over at For the Love of Blogs!

Please head over and check out their blog... it is a very supportive place for all bloggers and is a great place to hang out and meet other people.

Have a great Sunday!!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Kriol Sightings

This sign is for an outdoor restaurant near the open air market.  We haven't tried the food yet, but we love the sign!

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Our most exciting news is that Tom's parents are here in Belize visiting with us for two weeks!  We are so grateful to have some company and thrilled to be able to spend some time with them and show them around.  They came to church with us last night and got to experience first hand Tom's teaching and the discussion group afterward.

Last night Tom began a new series on boundaries... called Can Christians Love too Much.  One of his points was about being responsible 'to others' but responsible 'for yourself'.  It was great to see that people in the discussion group 'got it'!

Religion classes with the children at the elementary school are going well.  Yesterday we talked about how God knows each one of them by name and would never call out "hey you!"  We made name tags mostly for my benefit so that I could get to know them better and not call them all sweetheart as I am prone to do.

We have to get our visitor's permits renewed once again.  We tried to get in there yesterday but we were too late, the cashier had already closed down for the day.  We are looking forward to the day when we are granted missionary status so that we don't have to do the renewals monthly but can do them yearly instead.  Hopefully in the next month or so that will happen.

Well, I need to run and  get ready for my class with my sweethearts... and then after that we are off to show Tom's parents more of this beautiful country.  So grateful for the car and that it is just large enough for the four of us to go exploring in!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thought for Today

After suffering two stillbirths our oldest son Nathan was born.  After a miscarriage we then added Spencer to our family.  What a thrill and privilege it has been to watch these two little boys grow into incredible young men.  At 23 and 20 they still enrich us as people and bring joy to our lives. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

My new favorite candy bar.  It tastes like a PayDay only not as sweet...yum!