Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heard Around the House: December 2013

Mom, can you say poor girl to me?  I still have a runny nose, poor girl.

Presley, on cold weather: 
It feels like a smoovie (smoothie) outside!

Mylie, in regards to the cover of my Jillian Michaels workout DVD:  
Why does it look like she wants to hurt you?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Handmade Gifts on the Cheap

Happy Monday!  Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'm offering 40% off at my etsy shop, today only.  Use coupon code "MONDAY13"  during checkout and the discount will be taken off automatically.  Go {HERE} to visit.  

Thanks friends!
 Ornaments, great for teacher gifts, present toppers, stocking stuffers, or for the newlyweds or baby's first Christmas! Available in gold or silver, any letter!

 Do you have a custom logo or specific font that you love?  I can do custom orders specific to the size, color, and font that you want!

 This ampersand and "EAT" set are my two top sellers and a customer favorite!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Observations from The Mitten

So.  I've been living in The Mitten State for two months now and I have some observations.  First off, I have spent the last 35 years living in only hot places.  However, I have always reveled in what can only be described as "Sweater Weather", of which I had very little experience in.  Many times I attempted Sweater Weather in Arizona if the high for the day was in the 60's.  I wanted crunchy fall leaves, like real real bad.  I would get white hot jealous of people posting pictures of themselves in a sweater, sipping their pumpkin spice latte with falling leaves in the background.  In the city mouse versus country mouse division, I would classify myself squarely in the city mouse category.  In our neck of western Michigan, although we're not in the country, it has a very small town feel.  These are some neighborly folks, ya'll.

When we moved into our house, on day one, our new mailman stopped by just to say hi and introduce himself.  He literally said to us, "welcome aboard the neighborhood", and then waved goodbye as he walked to the next house.  I swear he was whistling and practically skipping as he went next door to deliver mail.  Oh, and that's another cultural difference.  Our mailbox is on our front porch, not a communal lockbox at the end of the street.  If our mailman sees me through the large picture window in the front room, he won't just drop the mail in the box, but actually knocks and hand delivers it.  Small town America, I tell you. 

We have three squirrels living in our backyard.  Presley is obsessed and has named them all, and convincingly calls them by name when she sees one.  We have Lucy, Miss Gingerbread, and Chet.  Interesting to note:  did you know that there is a squirrel hunting season in Michigan.  What the what?!?!  People here actually eat squirrel.  And when I say "people", really I mean some people.  I'm going to go on record as a firm believer that squirrels are close relatives to rodents, and although they are quite adorable, should not be consumed as sustenance in the day and age we live in where eating squirrel does not equate to staying alive.  Gary, a native Michigander (that's what they call themselves!), tells me I'm wrong and that they are delicious, but I just can't get on board with this.

We went to buy our pumpkins... from a pumpkin farmer.  There was no one there attending the pumpkin stand, just a bucket to put the money, on the honor system.  I love this.  PLUS... it was legitimately sweater AND jacket weather.

 This is Noah and Mylie's school.  It is a really old building with so much character.  As I have gotten to know the school secretary, I learned that she went to this school as a little girl.  Students back then walked home for lunch everyday.  Her parents, who are now in their 90's, still live in the same house just down the road.

I'm really doing my best to be positive, because living here is going to be so great.  Truth is, we're struggling.  Lots of emotions of loss, grief, anger, resentment, sadness.  So, in the midst of this difficult time, I'm going to focus on what is GOOD in our lives right now, today.  There is so much good, life can just be messy sometimes!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Heard Around the House: October 2013

An Original Poem, by Noah

Fall is wonderful
Fall is grand
When Fall is here its a wonderland
All the leaves, the joy never ends
We must be thankful for the fun nature lends

Presley, reading a book with a pull-up on her head, like you do.


"nectarinas"-  nectarines
"parrots"- pears
"the woodens"- the woods
"amen"- the end
"sparklers"- sprinkles or glitter
"beanie bag"- beanie (hat)

Presley, on a hike:  "My legs are no use!"

Noah, after visiting the Principal's office at school 
(I feel the need to include he wasn't in trouble):
"Now I'm not scared of her... I looked around her office and there was more than five pink things.  There's no way someone with that many pink things can be mean."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I LOVE Haitian Creations (And I Think You Should Too)

Once upon a time, when I was significantly cooler and well-kept, I was consistently cute.  Every day I got dressed in real clothes, put on make-up, did more than brush my hair, and was very attentive to the shape my eyebrows were in.  If my looks were a bell curve, I would have peaked in my hottness factor in the year 2001 while I was actively pursuing The Most Attractive Man I've Ever Seen In Real Life (that's Gary, FYI).  Then, my cool factor took a sharp turn south, where it hovered for roughly nine years while I selflessly gave life to three beautiful, yet needy, little time and money suckers.  I have been on the rise once more, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I will be cool again.

Let me share a secret... every single accessory I own right now comes from Haitian Creations.  So, as I battle the opposing forces of age and natural lameness in my quest for feeling more put together, I try to always throw on a few bracelets or a unique necklace as I head out the door to up my cool quotient.  I already love the way my Haitian Creations jewelry and bags look, but because I know the story behind them, I adore them even more.

I have written before about my anguish for children becoming orphans based on poverty.  After living in Haiti, and feeling at times that I was part of the bigger problem, I can clearly see that Haitian Creations, a branch of Heartline Ministries in Haiti, was part of the solution.  Women (and a few men!) use their God given talents and creativity to earn a legitimate income, therefore becoming capable of providing and caring for their children.  To hand out money or create non--sustainable (and in affect "fake") jobs for people, robs them of their work ethic, culture, and dignity.  Haitian Creations offers skill training, with room for creativity, and culturally appropriate jobs.  When you purchase an artisan made piece from Haitian Creations, it doesn't just look good, but it is good.  Also, I want to adamantly point out that this isn't a "pity purchase".  You know that ones I'm talking about... you buy something that you really don't even like, nor do you plan to ever actually use because you don't like the way it's made or the way it looks.  Heck, it might even be downright ugly, but you bought it because some of the proceeds went to help someone in need.   Every item I own from Haitian Creations, I actually love to wear.  It is a quality item, with a modern style, and as a bonus, I know that it is helping another momma, be a momma.  My money provides a job for someone, and allows her the autonomy to raise her children and use her gifts.

Haitian Creations is generously allowing me to give away an unique bag to one lucky reader!  
There are several ways to enter below, but if you want an extra bunch of entries, host a shopping party.  I hosted one a couple years ago, but they are even better now with amazing new products!  It is really easy, everything you need comes in one big box, you host a girls night (or mother/daughter night, because they have kid stuff too!) and let your friends buys some really great gifts for themselves or others.  This would be great to plan this fall, just in time for Christmas!

Enter the giveaway below, and spread the word!  Winner announced next week!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Heard Around the House: September 2013

Presley:  Awe... Dad shaved his beard.  How cute.

During an intense game of fake laser tag...
Noah:  Pew pew pew!!!  AHHHH!  Let's kick him in the motherboard!  (That's robot for "weiner")

Presley's Fortune
"Your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far"
True Dat

Conversation from the back seat on a cold morning on the way to school...

Noah:  I'm freezing like an ice cube!

Mylie:  That's impossible.

Noah:  No it's not.  If someone died then got left out in the freezing cold like for three days, they would be frozen like an ice cube.

Mylie:  I do NOT want that ice cube in MY drink!

First Day of School
Third and First Grades

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Please Pardon the Interuption

August 1st, we hit the ground running, almost literally.  We spent about a week in Arizona tying up some loose ends and yet more goodbyes.  Gary and I loaded up our new-to-us car with everything we own, and we set off in the wee hours of August 8th to drive to Michigan.  The plan ("plan"... how cute we thought things might go as planned now that we were back in the States!) was to find a place to rent, then I would fly back to Arizona to pick up the kids while Gary got us settled, then fly back to Michigan with the Crazies two days later.  I did indeed fly back to retrieve the offspring, although we returned to live in our (dear, patient, loving, kind, thoughtful amazing) friends' basement for the next three weeks.

So.  In case my plea for a pity-party wasn't received loud and clear, let me reiterate:

August 1st:  Fly from Port-au-Prince to Miami, Miami to Phoenix
August 8th:  Drive from Phoenix to Denver
August 9th:  Drive from Denver to Iowa City
August 10th:  Drive from Iowa City to Grand Rapids
August 13th:  Fly solo from Grand Rapids to Denver, Denver to Phoenix
August 15th (also known as "My 35th birthday"):  Fly solo plus three kids from Phoenix to Denver, Denver to Grand Rapids
August 15th-September 6th:  Lived in our friends basement like big ole' moochers
September 6th-today:  Trying to wrap our heads around the events of the last year, find jobs, and rebuild our lives

Just kidding on the pity-party part, but if you'd like to pray for us, I would love you forever.  I really do want to sit down and write out a better update, but I'm just a teensy bit distracted by the real life begging for my attention beyond the computer screen, right in front of me.  I feel like for a handful of people who are wondering about how we're faring, I owe it to you too.

 Our cozy little love nest...

We're becoming real pros at living in chaos...

When the next big huge hurdle, finding a job, gets tackled, I will write the most glorious of all updates, worthy of the wait.  Pinky promise.  Until then, would you please join us in pray for a miraculous gift of a job?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Parting Gifts

We received some very sweet, totally non-tangible, parting gifts our last few days in Haiti.  I don't want to forget the sweet send-off we received.

Our last Sunday, Pastor John and our church at Port-au-Prince Fellowship prayed for us.  Then, as if we didn't think the world of Pastor John already, he scored some mega cool points for rolling up to our house on his moto our last day there for one last good-bye.  Seriously, this man of God is one cool dude.  

After months of visiting our neighbors Ginette and Phillip's shop across the street from our gate to buy Cocas and Bon-Bons, we were invited into their home.  This is a huge honor that communicates a level of trust.  We were honored.  Also, we're pretty sure they didn't understand my attempt to explain to them we were moving back to the U.S. in my rudimentary Kreyol.
Ginette and Phillip's three children, their oldest has her mother's smile!

All of our worldly possessions... they fit nicely in exactly 14 pieces of checked luggage.

I purchased our plane tickets back to Arizona.  I sat in front of the computer screen for about thirty minutes feeling like a total idiot because I couldn't figure out why First Class tickets were $130 cheaper per person than coach.  I closed the computer and resigned to come back later when I wasn't such a moron.  I came back to the task several hours later and discovered that yet again, I couldn't read American Airlines fine print concerning ticket prices.  I booked the cheaper first class tickets assuming that I would either get an email confirmation for coach tickets, or one saying I owed more money for the swanky seats.  Turns out, God's goodness can surpass our expectations, because the tickets were indeed for first class tickets that were $130 cheaper per person than the seats with no leg room.  My kids wiped their faces with that hot towel like a boss, while snacking on warm nuts as they waited for their movie to start and meal to be served.  Then, like rock stars, we reclined to a completely flat position and thought of all those suckers behind the curtain who paid more than us for no towel, nuts, meal on a glass plate, or bed chair.  It was the most luxurious and delightful day of plane flying with three children in the history of The Krull Family.  One downside, my kids have been ruined for coach flying and think this is how we roll now.  Rude awakening to come.

We had sweet last visits with Haiti friends.  Lots of swimming and trampoline jumping with favorite friends and sad "don't know when we'll see each other again" goodbyes.  I know from experience that being the one who is leaving is easier than the one who is staying.  I pray for our missionary friends and their children, for whom these goodbyes become a way of life.

We got to run up to Indigo Bay for one last dip in the beautiful caribbean ocean.  We spent the day snorkling, hunting for sand dollars, swimming, sun bathing, and digging.  We also had some funny conversations with the beach vendors and enjoyed some of the best pickliz we ever had.  I took zero pictures because we were too busy enjoying the day.

PAP airport, homeward bound

Many unknowns in our future back in the U.S., but trusting God and taking it a day at a time.  We'll update more when we get settled in Michigan.  Thank you for praying for us and all of the supportive and encouraging emails, cards, and messages!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Heard Around the House: July 2013

Presley, recounting a dream she had
 I saw a rat in your toilet and I totally fweaked out.  Then I saw a silly gumball and I was scared so I fighted him with a sword.

Noah, describing sushi to his younger sisters
  It's a big hunk of rice with some crab strapped on with some seaweed

Noah, creating with marshmallows and toothpicks during GNO summer enrichment classes

Noah:  Clint Eastwood is my favorite actor.  I really like Dirty Harry.  It's my favorite movie.....
When can I actually watch Dirty Harry?

I have no idea what this check-list is in reference to, but I'm so glad that all three are fulfilled.  Good to go!

Friday, July 26, 2013

To The Future "Me"

Confession:  Sometimes I lay awake at night, kind of freaking out about what's next.

When we were newlyweds, we didn't have much of anything, except for the slew of gifts from our wedding and a hand me down full size mattress.  Over the next 10 years, we accumulated quite a bit of stuff.  Roomfuls of furniture and appliances, children, and a hefty collection of Pez dispensers.  Then we decided to move to Haiti and sold or gave away nearly everything and moved away.  Then we started over, except we had learned some important life lessons along the way about needs versus wants, and the collection of "stuff" was significantly smaller.  Now, we're just six days away from moving back to the U.S. and I realized, we're right back where we started eleven years ago, only this time we also have three little crazies to start fresh with.

When I think about "having nothing", admittedly I get a little scared.  I mentally begin to add up the cost of a vehicle, washer and dryer, beds, plates and bowls, towels, sheets, pots and pans, someplace to sit... and it is overwhelming.  Oh yes, a source of income and place to live would be super awesome too.  No Big Deal.

Here's the thing.  I know God will provide.  I know it because He has done it before, again and again and again.  But secretly, I'm scared He won't provide in a way that I want Him to.  So... this is me being very honest with the utmost desire to be able to point back to this time from somewhere in the future, and be able to say to myself, my children, and any one else in need of encouragement, and be able to say, "Look, that seemed downright impossible and huge, and look how God sheltered us and provided for us."

Do you have a story about how God provided for you or your family?  Could sharing it be an encouragement to others?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Silver Lining

As our time here in Haiti is quickly winding down, I have felt throughout the last week that I need to make a contribution to the blog. There have been several times I have sat down with ideas and even gotten some things down on paper to post, but they just never came to fruition. One of the biggest reasons is simply Michaela is an amazing writer, so why change up a good thing?

First and foremost I would like to express thankfulness. Thankfulness to those who have supported our family throughout this journey and walked alongside us. The kindness and encouragement through notes, cards, emails, prayer, financial support, and traveling to Haiti to visit have been priceless. We have walked a lonely road at times while living in Haiti and commonly as we would pray for God’s comfort, encouragement would come from those who support us. Again, thank you for taking the time to send the Facebook message that seemed insignificant, or dropping the "Just Thinking of You" card in the mailbox that at the time may have seemed like more bother than what it was worth. 

If there are those out there who continue to feel called to support missionaries, Michaela and I have friends serving in other parts of the world that could use the same Godly support you have given us. Below is their information:

(and their three children) working with Operation Mobilization serving in South Africa

(and their four children), serving in India

(and their three year old son) who will be working with Extreme Nazarene Ministries, leaving next week to serve in Ecuador

It has been especially difficult the last couple of days to feel the heaviness of reality sinking in. We have started strategizing the packing of our belongings that will come back to the states with us. The process of “for the last time” has also begun.

Today was the "last time" a small group of GNO kids came to the house for summer enrichment activities. (Lovensky, Myshana, Schnaider, and Loudrige)

Today was also our "last time" trip to our favorite eating out spot. 

Throughout the last week we made our "last time" trips to the Apparent Project and Heartline's Haitian Creations. We really love the heart of these ministries as they continue to offer solutions to keep families together instead of adding more children to orphanages. Not to mention they have the coolest handmade and artisan merchandise around.

And as you can imagine the “last times” only get more significant and difficult the closer we get to the day we leave. 

Already some of our familiar household items have begun to disappear as their new owners have stopped by the house for pick up. You would think going through this process from the move in Arizona would make things easier, but I was caught off guard at the emotional attachment that I have developed for our things. As I look around the house, nearly every item has a story of how God provided. I reminisce back on the countless time spent in prayer and the thankfulness we had as God always came through for us. It has been amazing to see how God used simple, and for the most part inexpensive, items to transform our house that initially had the feeling of a prison into a home of comfort and rest. 

As difficult as it will be to move from Haiti, we are equally excited about what God has next for our family. We plan to pursue a vision for God in Michigan by establishing an organization that will potentially serve teens and young adults recovering from drug addiction, military veterans, and foster families. Although Michaela and I are disappointed that we were not able to serve out two years in Haiti as anticipated, we see God’s perfect timing unfolding during this transition time. 

Once again, I cannot express our thanks for all the support throughout our time serving God in Haiti. Please continue to support and serve missionaries. 

“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:21

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Productive Haiti Day

What defines a productive day in Haiti?  

Getting at least one thing successfully checked off your to-do list.

The reasons for difficulty when you're out running errands in Haiti are many.  Super congested, crazy, and mostly unpredictable traffic tops the list.  A close second is the frequent problem of a store not carrying the item you're looking for.  The store might not have ever had it, might be out of stock, or they advertise that they carry it but in reality, don't.  Sometimes there are superfluous check-out procedures, like one line to order, a separate line to pay for your order, and then a third line to wait in to actually pick up your purchase.   

But today?  Today we were pleasantly surprised not once, not twice, but five times.  It was dreamy.

First stop was to get gas for our car.  This is usually not a problem stop... unless there is a country-wide gas shortage that happens a couple times a year, but today, pa pwoblem.

Next, a stop to change some U.S. bills to gourdes, a stop that can sometimes take a good 15-20 minutes and can often raise a little anxiety.  But today, Gary was in and out in two minutes.  When he came back to the car, I actually thought, "oh, they must be out of money and turned him away."  But no.

Third stop, a place we had never been before to buy a fuel filter for the generator.  Did you know you have to change the oil and filters on a generator just like a car?  I didn't, but now I do.  This place utilizes the three check out lines rule.  However, it seriously only took five minutes, $6.00, and then we were out the door with the part we needed.  At this point, we thought our luck had run out.  We returned to the car and said to each other, "Well, if we accomplish nothing else today, we'll consider this a success."

Onward to our fourth stop... to find an expandable funnel to change the oil on the generator.  We stopped at Eko Depot, which is a pretty fine knock-off of Home Depot, right down to the orange sign.  They were out of expandable funnels, but strangely enough had three of the expandable attachments laying hidden on a shelf.  The cashier wouldn't sell us the attachment because it wasn't meant to be sold alone and it didn't have a price tag.  Gary went to a different cashier and begged a little, and they sold it to him.  A little hiccup, but success yet again!

Our fifth and final errand was to Access Haiti to pay our internet bill.  There is no such thing to pay online for Access Haiti, so we get to go in person every month.  Sometimes available parking can be non-existent, but not today!  Again, this is usually about a 15 minute process once upstairs to the office, but today it was over in less than five minutes.  

At this point, all three Crazies began to simultaneously melt down due to "starvation".  We made it home just in time to avoid any casualties.  

This afternoon, we had some GNO kids over to play and watch Tangled.  Did you know many Pixar movies have a French language option?  But strangely enough, Ratatouille isn't one of them.  Weird.

Add in picking up five jugs of drinking water, a bit of cleaning, and homemade tortillas, and we've got one productive day indeed.

**Just as I finished typing that last sentence, Gary came back in from attempting to give the generator an oil change and turns out, they gave us the wrong part. **

Four out of five ain't too shabby.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Oh What Fun.

 This is a short documentary of my favorite things from the past few weeks...  

 This is me, trying to explain the game Pin the Tail on the Donkey to the GNO kids.  They all stood in stone cold silence, and as far as I could tell, they thought I was a total whackadoo.  It was if I could actually read their minds, "you want me to pin a what on a what?"  My enthusiasm could not be extinguished.  We pressed on.  It only took one person to stray so far from that bourik's heiny, that the whole bunch began to cheer wildly, and we all began laughing so hard.   Not long after that, the adults even began taking turns.  So much fun.

We celebrated the 4th in style with a whole gaggle of Americans, Haitians, and Aussies.  We had burgers.  Real burgers, made from real beef (I think?).  My big girl made her Mama proud, and came up with this patriotic ensemble by herself.

This girl was just there for the unattended dessert table.

The evening concluded with real fireworks set off from the roof.  It was a little sketchy but no one lost a hand.  Before we went home, April forced us into a rousing rendition of the national anthem.  Thank you Salvants for throwing an amazing party!

I'm telling you, there are legitimate reasons why I always wanted a sister.  This kind of shenanigan is one of them. Stuck in traffic, these two are giggling like crazy ladies over their diaper hats.  It was so funny.

 We have been having GNO kids over to our house on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays for summer enrichment activities.  Something that is seriously lacking in Haitian school curriculum is hands on problem solving activities.  Because of that, we have been doing a lot of activities that require using problem solving skills.  We have been having a great time with the kids and hope that they love it too.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear Friends

In May when we were visiting Arizona, we had several difficult meetings with our church leadership.  After the two weeks in which the meetings took place, after much prayer, we made the tough decision to no longer partner with our church in ministry in Haiti.  We believe it was what needed to happen for the health of our family. 

This left us in the place of uncertainty.  At the point of returning to Haiti after our trip, we didn't feel like God was telling us that we were done in Haiti, and yet, we didn't know what to do.  We took the next month to pray, talk, seek counsel, and wait.  The options that we considered were to stay in Haiti only until October until our lease was up on our house or to seek additional financial support and commit to another year in Haiti beyond October.  During this month of waiting, we had an unexpected opportunity in ministry become an option for our family in the states.

After praying and assessing the feedback we received from our supporters, among several other factors, we have decided to return to the U.S.  To make the transition as smooth as possible, we would like Noah and Mylie to be able to start the school year at the beginning with their classmates, pushing our move date up to August.

It grieves us to leave thirty amazing children whom we love, truly love.  This is the absolute most difficult part of this decision.  The "orphan crisis" in Haiti is personal to us.  It goes beyond knowing the name of an orphan.  At GNO, we know when they are happy, or when they feel sad.  We know what they want to be when they grow up, and who is most likely to be ornery.  We don't want any of them to be orphans, we want them each to know the love of a family, biological or adoptive.  More importantly, we want nothing else more for them, than for each one to know their value and preciousness to our Lord and Savior.

Frankly, we don't fully understand God's timing, and we battle moments of feelings of defeat and failure.  Yet, we feel optimistic for where God is leading us to serve Him next.  When we originally made the decision to move to Haiti, we surrendered our own plan.  We always said we were willing to stay in Haiti for as long as God wanted us here, granted we thought that would be longer, but we are still trying to be obedient to God's plan.

Thank you, truly, for praying for our family and encouraging us along the way.  We know that we did not do this alone, and that many people are part of this story.  As a family, we are seeking opportunities for future ministry, and are actively seeking God's will.

Sincerest thanks,
Gary, Michaela, Noah, Mylie, and Presley Krull 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heard Around the House: June 2013

Noah, on Moto drivers (motorcyle drivers for hire):  
Moto drivers always look so cool.  You can't stick a nerd on one of those things, it's just not possible.

Noah's bedtime commentary:  
"When I have a wife, and it's summer time and she says 'I'm hot', I'll be like, 'You're always hot.'  I know it's disrespectful to say a girl is hot, but not if it's your wife.  I'm not going to be all kissy kissy and 'hey babe' with my wife, cause that's just not my style.  Like you and Dad.  Maybe a funny nickname, but then I'll just be like, 'Hi.'  Not all mushy and junk."

 Haiti on Ice... c'mon, that's just funny

 Gary, burning his big ole' pile of dried mango leaves.  He is so pleased with himself.

Singin, and dancin', in the rain.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Some thoughts on our first week home in Haiti...

*  Our house became infested with spiders.  Straight up Arachnaphobia up in here.  They took up residence in every conceivable space, such as inside my rain boots, across every doorway (yes, I got a web to the face as I walk into one room), and in all the cooking pots.  Let the shuddering begin.

*  The roads got worse.  I'm pretty sure it isn't just my imagination and five weeks of driving on well maintained asphalt that is playing mind tricks.  I'm blaming the rain for washing away at least 9% of our drivable roads.

*  It does not seem as hot.  I mean it is hot, and very sweaty, but I'm not dying.  Many Arizona friends have tried to comiserate alongside us... but I have news for those Arizona cry babies:  Just go inside to your air conditioned homes and places of business if you're so darn hot outside.  It is not apples to apples when a country doesn't really have air conditioning or consistent power.  Meanwhile, I'll be hot everywhere, except in our car.  That sweet ride has air.

*  My reunion with mosquito bites was not as joyous as one might expect.

*  The GNO kids were glad to see us, like running and jumping, and shouting as we rolled in.  I'm glad they missed us as much as we missed them.

*  Today Woodley, a nine year old boy from Good Neighbor, was wearing a shirt that said, "Who are all these children and why are they calling me mom?"  It made me smile.  I'm still kicking myself for not getting a picture.

*  We've used our generator three times in four days.  I am still ever so grateful each time we fire that bad boy up.  I will never take him for granted.

*  Our neighbor, Ginette, owns a little tiny shop near our house.  This is our preferred stop to buy Haitian Coke in glass bottles.  If you've never had a Haitian Coke in a glass bottle, you are missing out. When Gary stopped over yesterday to buy us some cokes for the "After the Children Have Gone to Bed Happy Hour", she was so excited to see him and started spewing forth excited Kreyol.  Gary gathered she was happy to see him and wondered how Michaela and the kids were.  I will gladly stop over to see her tomorrow.  She has the greatest smile, and treats us so kindly.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Mitten

Time spent in The Mitten with our Michigan family and friends was wonderful.  I may or may not have fallen in love with Grand Rapids, Mi.  The Crazies continued their love affair with basements.  They have severe basement envy, especially of Uncle Michael and Aunt Leeshy Poo's.    Noah's dream home will inevitably include a basement.  Lucky for them, everyone they know in Michigan has one.  They spent a lot of time underground.

*  Baby Jan!  The kids' one and only cousin who also happens to be the world's cutest toddler
*  Bacon cheesy dogs a la' Uncle Michael
*  Grand Haven beach
*  Ice cream and Pronto Pups corndogs with The Longs
*  Riding on the ranger at Grandpa and Grandma's (Presley called it the "Power Ranger")
*  Lunch with the extended Krull family
*  Spending time with Aunties, Uncles, and Grandparents
*  Spending the weekend with some of the greatest friends on earth
*  Almost daily Starbucks
*  Grandma's fish fry
*  Fishing (Gary's highlight, not mine ;)
*  Basements, obviously.