Sunday, August 31, 2008

Don't Take "Normal" For Granted!

It's good to be back to normal. The power came back on around 10:00 PM on Saturday night. We had the generator going and our landlord called Todd and asked him if we knew the current was back on. He quickly turned off the generator and turned on the AC. Earlier we had been so hot that we went for a drive to pick up several cases of water that a team going back to the US had left over and wanted to give us. We were thankful for the chance to cool off in the car.

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Gustav's wind and rain.

The football field below our house flooded.

Since it wasn't lightning and Nathan was bouncing off both the walls and my nerves, Todd took him out to play in the rain. He was concerned about someone seeing him in his underwear. I assured him no one was around to look.

Todd cooked breakfast for us on the grill Saturday morning. He made bacon, french toast and scrambled eggs.
He was sure to use his earplugs cooking next to the generator.


Water we used to flush the toilets and bathe with.

The missionary that was hosting a Convoy of Hope missions team called us Saturday to see if we could use about six cases of water they had left over. We indeed could. We had just about used all the potable water we had stored. Each case contained twenty, one liter bottles of water. When we got there to pick it up they had ten cases instead of six. We took several cases to church Sunday morning to give to our church members. They were grateful because as they put it they had "no wata in di pipe." They were shocked when we told them we didn't have "wata in our pipe" either. I took another bath-in-a-pot Sunday morning, but when we got home from church the water was back on. The pressure isn't the greatest and we have been advised to boil it for about two weeks just to be safe.
This little jewel was my savior during the time of the power outage. I picked it up at Wal-Mart for a mere $13.00 and it has been worth every penny. It is lightweight, and can be used with power or with eight D cell batteries. We set it up on the ironing board and slept much more comfortably.

I also took it to church Sunday morning and pointed it on me while I played the guitar. It made the heat much more bearable because there was no breeze Sunday morning.

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Here is a clip of how we had the generator hooked up and the layout of the cords. Nathan even got to play Wii while it was running. Make sure you have your sound on so you can enjoy the noise of the generator. You know, just to make you feel like you were here with us.

I enjoyed my nice hot shower this morning and am very thankful for "normal" again. Please remember to say a prayer for those that are still in the path of what is now Hurricane Gustav.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Grill And A Generator!

They sure do make surviving a tropical storm more bearable. We are able to have coffee in the mornings and meals during the day.
I was very concerned when the generator wouldn't crank with the battery thingy that came with it. The man we got it from assured us that it would crank it. It didn't. However, I remained calm.

Todd went out and got the battery out of the car. Connected the wires using the clips on the battery thingy and it cranked right up. I was able to smile again.
Purring like a kitten. Okay...maybe purring isn't the right word. Because really it sounds like a jackhammer. We have been able to run the refrigerator, charge all of Nathan's electronics (DS, DVD player), the computer and internet (Whoo Hoo!) and at the moment Nathan is even playing his Wii. Now, if I only had a camp shower. Because I am really not looking forward to the spit bath I am about to have to take. But, I will be able to dry my hair because we have a generator.

Friday, August 29, 2008

TS Gustav Update!

We lost power for good around 3:30 AM. It woke me up because the air conditioner buzzed off. The wind was blowing in loud strong gusts. Right outside our bedroom window are coconut trees, palm trees, mango, bread fruit and pear (avocado) trees. The wind blowing through them was incredibly loud. The rain had continued in spurts. As I type this it is raining really hard.

How am I typing this? Thanks to my husband's ingenuity. We have a generator that he started by using a car battery. Because we have a phone signal he was able to plug all the right plugs in and get us going. We are only running the generator an hour at a time. It is extremely loud and the sound reverberates off of these concrete walls.

Please keep us in your prayers. Pray for the people of Jamaica whose living conditions are now made worse than they were by the heavy winds and rains. Most of where we look out below us is flooded. Pray our gas will last so we can continue to run the generator to keep the food cold in the fridge. I will update as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gustav Is Here!

Jamaica is the red oval pictured above.

As a matter of fact I think he is about to be right over the Island. We were able to have VBS this morning although only nine kids braved the rain to attend. We went to lunch and went to Mega Mart and Super Plus for last minute items only to be turned away from both. All the stores and businesses are sending their employees home for shelter.

So far it has only rained and the wind is starting to blow harder and harder. And, as you can tell we still have power and internet service.

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Please pray for Jackie and Crystal. We called Jackie this morning on the way to VBS to see if we could give her a ride since it was raining. She told us that she was at Cornwall Regional, the local hospital. Four gunmen broke into her home last night. She said that they threw Crystal off of the bed looking for money. The police did come to help her and they sent them to the hospital to get checked out. Thank the Lord they survived the ordeal without losing their lives. We called her after lunch to make sure she had a safe place to go until the storm passes. She told us she was going to her mother's house.As you can tell Jackie doesn't have anything to steal except herself. She is a squatter on the railroad property. You can see the railroad tracks that she crosses to get to her humble home. We would love to find Jackie a job so she can move into a safer home. As long as she has to live where she does she will remain so vulnerable to those that have nothing better to do than take advantage of others. At times we feel so helpless.
Nathan and Crystal at VBS yesterday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Safe Trip

After a time at home for a summer vacation, Bubby and I are back home. It was wonderful to be with family and friends once again. It was especially great to be a part of welcoming our newest family member into this world. Nathan and I flew Spirit Airlines this time as Air Jamaica wasn't running any specials. This experience was better than the last. They seemed to have turned over a new leaf. Both flights from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale left on time. On both flights, we had three seats to ourselves so Nathan was able to lay down. We still had to bring our own snacks on the plane because I didn't want to pay $6 for a bag of chips.
I decided to take some pictures from the plane window this time. It was really hazy and taking the picture through the double paned plane window made them kind of fuzzy. One of the cruise ships was in port.
The water was still pretty despite the conditions. We were seated three seats from the back of the plane so I decided there was no hurry in getting off of the plane. We took our time. On the long walk to immigration Nathan's Croc caught on the tile floor and he took a dive. His DS went one way, backpack another and his pull behind landed on his legs. He whacked his knee and elbow pretty good but he didn't cry. When we made it to immigration, for the first time since we have been traveling in and out of Jamaica the officer got it right. She processed our passports without asking me fifty questions about why we live here and what we do. She made her stamps, marked her initials and dated all the right places and said, "Welcome home!"

After we got our luggage we sailed through customs without having any of our bags opened. After telling four taxi drivers we didn't need a ride, we walked out the doors, the heat slapped us in the face and Todd was waiting for us.

On the way to the Chinese restaurant for lunch we passed a local fisherman. I have seen lots of fishermen with stringers of fish but this one was the biggest of all.
If you look close you can see that most of the fish are red snappers but right at the top is a lobster. Yummy! I was starving. My white chocolate mocha from Starbucks was long gone.

Today we started a three day VBS with the kids in our church community of Anchovy. We thought we might have four or five kids but to our surprise we had twenty one kids and four adults. More about that later. After we ate lunch at KFC, we went and got stocked up on hurricane supplies since it looks like we might get some bad weather from TS Gustav. We got propane for the grill, gas for the generator, food, and batteries for my fan. Since my hot flashes have progressively gotten worse, I told Todd that he and Nathan would be miserable if we didn't get some batteries for my fan.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can Your Children Make You Laugh?

Most of the time my son gets on my nerves or as he would say I get on his because I tell him what he can and can't do. But twice this week he has made me laugh out loud.

Bubby is famous for changing his mind. For a week he will drink sweet tea for meals. Then all of a sudden, he says he doesn't like tea anymore. Or he may eat broccoli for months and then all of a sudden he doesn't like broccoli. And when we ask him why, he can't give us a good reason. We often tease him that his likes and dislikes depend on the day of the week and what the weather is doing. For instance he may not like broccoli because it's Sunday and the wind is blowing. Needless to say his continuous changes make me very frustrated.

Yesterday we went to Studio Tripp to get our hair cut before we go back to Jamaica on Tuesday. Nathan had dosed off in the car on the way so I had to wake him when we arrived. Uncle Tripp wasn't quite ready for us so I sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting area. Nathan came over to me and started climbing in my lap. "What are you doing?" I said.

" I want to sit in your lap," he replied.

"Why? You never want to sit in my lap."

He looked up at me and promptly stated, "Mom, because it's Friday and it's raining." That was good enough for me and I laughed out loud as I hugged him tightly.

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Today was one of those days that I sacrificed what I wanted to do and did what was fun for Nathan. He got to spend the whole day playing with his cousin Jacob. Around five o'clock this afternoon I picked him up and he had to go with me to get a pedicure. It was closing time and I was one of their last customers so he got to sit in the big pedicure chair beside me. He sat quietly playing his DS while the girl worked on my feet. When we finished I took him to the Dollar Tree and he picked out a bag of cotton candy.

While we were driving home, I was talking on the phone to my friend Lynn and she was asking me about Angel Ruth. As I was answering her questions my voice began to crack and before I knew it tears were flowing down my cheeks. Nathan, who I thought was engrossed in catching a Pikachu said, " Are you crying?"

"Yes."

"Why are you crying?" he asked.

"I was just talking about Angel Ruth," I said.

After a pause, he asked, " Is that something I need to get involved in?"

Instantly the tears stopped and laughter filled the cab of the little red S-10 pick-up my Uncle Olan has so graciously let us borrow while we have been home. I assured him it wasn't anything he needed to get involved in. I'm just thankful he remembers who she is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Rib And A Prayer

Sonny's BBQ has all-u-can-eat ribs on Tuesday nights here in Plant City. My cousin, Holli, her husband, Marvin, their son Harrison, their daughter Heather and her three beautiful children joined us. I really meant to get pictures of everybody but as they always are, the kids were the center of attention. Heather's youngest is Javin. Is he not the most beautiful toddler you have ever seen? Those baby blues and that blond hair are just too much to resist. He also has such a passive, sweet personality. He came to me like he sees me everyday.

JerriLynn is Heather's oldest. She is four and, like her mother, doesn't have a shy bone in her body.

Then there is Joslyn. All the bones in her little body are shy. She had a birthday party this past Saturday to celebrate turning three.
Joslyn and Javin playing.

I want to bite his face!

Uncle Harris behind Joslyn and Javin.

Nathan enjoyed trading Pokemons with Harris on their Nintendos. School was cancelled today because of Tropical Storm Fay. Uncle Howie took the boys to see Star Wars The Clone Wars. The boys liked it. Uncle Howie traded on Half.com on his new 3G iphone. So, he couldn't tell me if the movie was good or not.

And my favorite part of the evening... after we ordered our ribs, JerriLynn prayed over the food.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Cruz Anthony Monjure

I love newborns. They are just so sweet and soft and they smell sooooo good. Cruz is no exception. Every time I go visit him, I have to pry him out of his mother's arms. I don't know what she is thinking. Doesn't she know she had him for me?

Much to April's relief, Dr. Davis decided to induce. She and John arrived around 6:30 AM. They got checked in and the kind nurse started the pitocin. John chronicled every move with the video camera. April's mom and dad, Layne (Grandaddy) and Sharon (Nana), came down for Cruz's grand entrance. They live in Tallahassee. John and April have four older daughters, so we were all making security crazy "taking turns" going into the delivery room.

I think John was excited the most. Of course he had it a little easier than April did. True to her style though, she was a trooper.
Aunt Sharon was front and center when the pushing began. I stayed off to the side waiting for her report on what color hair he had. After about thirty minutes of pushing...I saw God. The miracle of childbirth is still amazing.
"Hello world!"

Look at those beautiful lips.

Dr. Davis, John, Cruz and April.

Mom and Dad with Cruz.

Nana's first inspection.

"I love you, Cruz," was all big sister Hailey could say.

Big sisters Jillian, Hailey, Olivia, Layna and Cruz.

My first time holding Cruz.

Nana and Cruz.

Leaving L&D, going up to room 232.

Dad and Cruz.
Again.

Bubby holding Cruz.

Going home.

Waiting for the elevator.

Dad and Cruz again!

The mob waiting at home.

Can't keep our hands off him.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Saw God Today...

Cruz Anthony Monjure
August 7, 2008
7 lbs. 12 oz.

Welcome to the family!