Friday, December 30, 2011

Where are you going again?



Belize is located in the southern portion of the Yucat√°n Peninsula in Central America and borders Mexico and Guatemala, facing the Caribbean Sea to the east.

We will be working at a school about 16 miles from Dangriga.

Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America. Creole is also often spoken by locals, as well as Spanish in the western part of the country near Guatemala.

Religions common in the country are Catholics and Christianity. Some other practices common are Jehovah's Witnesses, Hindu, and Voodooism.

Fifty-eight percent of the population is under the age of nineteen.

The Constitution offers freedom of religion. This allows denominations to partner with the government in running the educational system, denominations also provide many social and family welfare services.
Light of the Valley school where we will be working was built and is maintained to Belizean government standards by the Baptist Association of Belize.

This school currently has around 300 students. Grades K-8. Some classes have 42 students.


Some facts that are not so easily found, starvation is real. I got to meet the missionaries we will be working with for lunch today. She spoke about starvation not hunger but starvation like it was normal as we sat at a restaurant where we could order from 50 different items. She talked about children being abused and her going to talk to parents. She talked about poverty. I don't think my head and heart have grasped the depths of what we will see. However, the truth is that the same God that loves me loves the children of Belize. And so we go. We go to love and share the gospel. My friend that went last year gave us a book of pictures with all the children's faces. I can't tell you how excited I am to love up on these beautiful children.

Please help support our team and mark your calendars for January 14th at 9 am at the Applebee's in Pelham. For 5 dollars you can eat all the pancakes and sausage you want!

It's The Most Wonderful Time



I am usually the momma behind the camera. I would call this Christmas an epic fail in the picture department. I forgot my memory card for Disney World and settled for husband's work camera which proved to be pitiful. The pitiful Disney picture post will come later. The kids got up at 4:30 am and daddy let them. Thanks to apple we had a techno connected holiday.




I am not complaining. I get text like this all the time. My daughter can face time her grandparents whenever she wants.




And after dealing with loss this year, family is so much sweeter to me.

I even gave my sister a facial with cranberry sauce Christmas Day night. She looked so refreshed with cranberry sauce up her nose and on her face. Too bad she didn't know I was going to do it.





Blessed that my children spent time with two great grandmothers this season.



This picture makes my heart explode.




The Auburn gifts are always still favorites.





Sister is always trying out new fashion.


Pink BB guns for 6 year old little girls.

Her other request to Aunt Pam, "I want a guy who can cock my BB gun."

I am sure you can buy one at Wal-Mart but Mommy Roach tries to stay away from Wal-Mart during the holidays.


Thankful that the men folk tested out the safety of the BB guns by setting up target practice. The kids seem to be enjoying their presents.

This picture is part Christmas over load and part Butler County but you can thank my brother-in-law later for the material.

So thankful for the gift of Jesus and thankful for a family who believes.

We would not have reached our goal for our mission trip without the support of our family.


By the way 80 days until BELIZE!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Disney or Something Like it



I have rescheduled this trip too many times. I wrote about it here. I rescheduled for a December trip thinking the kids would be out of school and I would love to see Disney at Christmas. Needless to say, I had no idea I would be in a boot ... again. I mean we have been to Disney a few years ago. We had a great time and the kids still talk about that trip. This trip was to be part relaxation and part Disney. You see Disney will wear out the triathletes of the world. It is not for weary parents needing a break from work. We were hoping we could have a nice balance on this trip. That is still my plan. In fact I have done very little planning in regards to the trip. I hope I remember to pack. Right now I am barely wrapping up Christmas shopping.



I am excited to see my kids enjoy the parks. I am excited to not have anything on the calendar of events. I don't want anyone to wake me up or tell me what I have to do what day. I may be in a boot but I will be there with my happy vacation face on wearing my happy camper clothes.I sent husband an email the other day telling him I would cry when I drop Lulu off at the vet. He quickly replied, "I love that you cry about a dog that eats our couch."


I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and spend some time celebrating not just the birth of a Savior but the salvation that came through Him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Broken Road

The first - this is how the story started. Broken ankle.

The second - this is the second surgery. Hardware removal.


The third - this is the third surgery. Bone fusion.


These are the numbers.

Yesterday, I stepped of a curb during a fire drill at school and I felt my ankle roll - both ways. I landed on top of it. I am in a boot for 4 to 6 weeks. Pretty sure my toe is broken. God is good- the bone fusion held and did not break or come apart from the screws. There is some soft tissue damage just from rolling the ankle. I am okay. I have friends and family in worst conditions. My friend's child is fighting cancer again. I have friends that have lost their parents this year. There are 147 million orphans in the world. There are over 925 million people hungry in the world.
I am heartbroken to be in a boot and experience pain again. I am heartbroken for my husband and my kids that they have to deal with a broken momma again. But we are all on a broken road at some point. Having to be mended. Needing a new direction. Needing rest. Needing healing. Needing love. And with all the different broken roads we travel there is only road that gives you healing, love, direction, rest, mending. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tiny Twirler



Twirl - To rotate or revolve briskly; swing in a circle; spin

Daughter has really been twirling her way through life since she entered the world almost 7 years ago. She is fire and ice. She is drama and fun. She loves candy, ice cream and popcorn. She is always moving, always talking, always thinking and if still - she is asleep. She is a good reader and a good daughter. She fights like a boy, throws like a boy, and is always in need of a bath. She is still tiny. She is a tiny twirler in my life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Boy







You are my favorite son.



When I was pregnant with you, everyone said, "boys love their momma!"


It is true.



More true is how much I love you.



Favorite Boy quote: "A boy is the only thing God can use to make a man."



My personal quote: "You smell like a boy and you look like one too."


I pray his wife likes me.


If not she can sleep in the barn and he can sleep in his room.


I am slightly kidding.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fired

Have you ever been fired?

I have been fired.

I was 16.

It was my first job.

My daddy got me the job because he worked on the library committee with the city library.

It was suppose to be job I could work at after school and during Christmas holidays.

If you know me at all you know I am kinda loud.

I like to talk to people.

I will talk to people I don't know.

I need communication.

Even at 16 I knew it would be a stretch to work in a library.

I mean I love to read books.

I enjoyed reading.

I just thought I would learn to whisper.

Most of my friends were worried I didn't know a lot about some guy named Dewey.

I started work anyway.

I learned real fast that Dewey was into numbers.

I am not into numbers.

The librarians were serious.

All the time.

I mean like joking not really kosher in the library.

Putting a Romance book in Non-Fiction which I called Not False was Not Funny.

My official title was PAGE.

Not like turn the page but PAGE as in file the books.

That was my job.

That was my only job.

I told my friends to visit me.

I was bored out of my mind.
The librarians called me into their office week one and said, "you are really sweet but you must not talk to the patrons."

I seriously thought they were talking about old people.

I made an effort to only talk to non-white headed people.

This continued for another 3 weeks.

I was called into the office for round 2 of counseling, "you may not tell people where books are, you may only instruct them to the Librarian. You may not talk to the patrons."

I just couldn't help myself.

I could not be silent.

Week 3.

I was called back into the office and told it just wasn't a good fit.

I was so happy.

I mean I like old people.

And come to find out, I like patrons too.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some Happy




Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.


Through tears there is always laughter in our family.


It is how we work.




I think it is how most of us work.


Sometimes we laugh so we won't cry.

Sometimes we laugh because we know our families so well.




For some of use we need a card, a joke or a hug.


For some of us it is a diet mt. dew, flowers on a table and apple cider in the crock pot.

Planning for our mission trip husband and I talked about how we wanted this Christmas to look different. I mean these pictures tell us how stressed our Christmas can be.







So this Christmas we hope there is more of a focus on what is real rather than what is not real. My dear friend, Jenny Funderburke, a kid minister and momma of two created an online Family Advent calendar that provides a great way to sit your family down and focus on the season. You can find it here. I am super excited about it because even though we will be traveling some during the holidays this will be easy to access away from home.






I have always decorated if not before than right after Thanksgiving. December 1st rarely made its way into my home without a Christmas tree to welcome it. I am happy to report that a pumpkin is on my door and ghost on my dining room table. I have joked about it for two weeks but could not bring myself to stress out about decorating with an already full plate. So we have decided to embrace the ghost and think it will top our tree as the ghost of Christmas past...I am completely kidding. I plan on something more festive for all involved.


I wish I could share all the happy stories we have been experiencing while preparing for our mission trip. If you look over to the right side of my blog you might notice God has used lots of people to support our trip. There are lots of stories of family, friends and even people we don't know who have given selflessly so that others might know Him. It makes you humbled.


It makes you cry.


It makes you laugh.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brother In Law

Brother-in-laws


My sister let me go on all her dates.

All her dates.

I can't remember any boy she ever dated that I did not meet and even tag along on their date.

I had my favorites.

This boy just happened to be the one.

I mean he cheers for the wrong team but the heart keeps no record of wrongs.

His mother went to be with Jesus this week.

And since we have all cried enough for the day I will just like to say...

I learned through grief that in-law is family.

That when your family hurts you stop and you hurt beside them.

Please pray for this family in the days to come.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

I think sometimes God gave us Thanksgiving so we could get focused before Christmas. I mean eating turkey in November is not in the Bible but thankful hearts and praise are all throughout. Psalms 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.




I could list the million things I am thankful for today. I could list friendships that I treasure. I could tell you about my family who I love and depend on so much. I could tell you about how my kids are my true blessing from God. I could write an entire blog about the blessings that surround me. I could tell you I am thankful for being able to get our passport today.


I could tell you I am not thankful that it cost more to leave this country than it does to feed my family for a month!




I choose to tell you that I am also thankful for heartache, for pain, lost friendships, broken ankles, divorce, embarrassment, death, tears, harsh words and for lessons learned. Those stories tell you not who I am but who He is through me. 2 Cor. 12: 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I am a sinner. I am in deep need of a Savior.
Thankful for it all this Thanksgiving. Praying that you all look around your table this Thanksgiving and give thanks for His love endures forever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dog Days

The yard sale was big success on so many levels. We were able to raise some funds for our trip and love on some people right here in our own community. It is very humbling to watch people rummage through your belongings that you have discarded or to watch a child pick up a broken toy and beam with excitement. I mean really that is how Jesus sees us - broken and discarded and then He picks us up with excitement and shows us to His Father and says "look who I bought for you."
After the yard sale I came down with the dreaded stomach virus. I felt like dog. Not this dog. Lulu could never feel that bad because she is a Lab. And Labs are happy 100 % of the time. She is a lab in a 16 pound body. She is not real sure how to jump yet. She still can't go downstairs but has mastered going up them. She recently figured out how to climb on the ottoman to then get to the couch. I am pretty sure when she weighs 100 lbs. she will still think she weighs 16 lbs. She loves water. She likes to drink it, play in it and spill it. At her recent check up the vet tried to give me the serious new puppy talk. "Mam, she will be a large dog. She will need a firm master and you should always reward positive behavior. Distract her with appropriate chew toys. Never allow co-sleeping. Promote good dental hygiene. Never feed food from the table. Poopy Scoop the yard weekly so she has a fresh area. Practice leash walks and socialization daily....etc" Right about that time I looked over at Lulu and I believe I heard her say, "I am a dog. You are my mommy. Let's go home before she sticks something else up my nose and hinney."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pretty Sure

Pretty sure these babies will go first.



Pretty sure I am way too excited about having a yard sale.


Pretty sure my kids are way too excited about using the potty on the airplane.


Pretty sure my husband should come home from traveling cause I am not a good single parent.



Pretty sure Lulu pees more than any other dog on the planet.


Pretty sure momma kitty is packing on some extra weight for winter.


Pretty sure I still have pumpkin decorations out in my house.


Pretty sure I watch Good Luck Charlie way too much.


Pretty sure Yard Sale is this Saturday at 7:00 am

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things I am keeping

Lulu met the horses today. I think they were fast friends. Lulu was really hoping they would play chase. We encouraged through the fence sniffing and no inside the fence activity.

The kids are growing so fast. It seems like it was just yesterday when paci's and diaper bags were everywhere. I was a nap time enforcer. The clapper for first steps and there is not an Elmo video I have not seen. Today they tell me what they are wearing, what they want for supper and then they fix it.


They have and make memories without me all the time.


So for today, I am keeping some things as their mommy. As their mommy, I will not correct these sayings.



Son, "I keep bless you-ing" (sneezing)


Daughter, "Pretznels" (pretzels) and Plublix (Publix)




Nope for today, those sayings stay uncorrected.




For today we made some memories with just me and them.




For today we laid in the grass and giggled about nothing.




For today we went to Plublix, ate pretznels, son kept bless you-ing and all was right with the world.




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stamps Helps Missions

Stamps our "ranch romeo" invited us to use his other home. I spent some time asking the postal workers if they could start feeding Stamps a little more. We have lots of furry things at our house and we could use some help. I was told the post office is having hard times and that they have told Stamps to work for food. I am not really sure there is a Stamps solution and since Momma Kitty still sits beside him in the yard as they watch the sun go down. I am guessing he is ours to feed.

The United States is thankful for my service and I am sure they will send me a resolution to commend my hospitality.I mean this cute little boy sang at the Veteran's Day program and this little girl agreed to wear red for just one day! Anyway, letters are coming to a mailbox near you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Let's Get It Started





Starting the process.





I like to jump into things head first. My husband likes to take his time. So together we usually find a middle ground. We missed the first deadline for the mission trip because we were praying and waiting. I guess we thought some big billboard would say, GO TO BELIZE. The billboard didn't happen but saying yes did. After saying yes the world started spinning and it has been exciting.





Today we all got our passport photos. I must say to see your little ones faces so excited about going on a trip to share Jesus is something that has brought me the greatest joy. We also signed, sealed and stuffed our mission letters. I am excited to see who God uses to partner with us on this trip. Just by sharing where we are going and who we will minister to, I have been able to have some great conversations with people at work and in the community.


We are getting ready for our first fundraiser which will be the all familiar yard sale. Makes me thankful to go through each room and collect boxes of things to sale. The children in Belize that we will meet barely have walls and a roof on their home. They own very little in material wealth. The gospel in their community is the only hope.


Our second fundraiser, we are auctioning off 4 Auburn vs Samford football tickets. Lower level in the south end zone. Highest bid wins.


Keep the emails coming. I love to hear from you. mommyroachof2@gmail.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Mission Trip









What if we could go on a family mission trip? What if our kids got involved in “missions” at an early age and what would the impact be for their lives as believers? What if we are obedient as a family to God’s call for each of us to go? Matthew 28:19-20. These are the questions Joey and I began to ask ourselves over the last year. Our home group read through Radical. A book that would transform how we thought about missions. We were wanting to "GO" last year but when I experienced 2 more ankle surgeries we learned we would have to wait for God's timing.





Like most parents, we wondered how we could go on a mission trip and how would we leave our children behind. We knew we wanted our kids to go with us. As parents we try to talk to our kids about how blessed their life is and even find ways for them to serve others. However, as parents we have spoiled them beyond measure and as parents we want to let them experience different realities more than we want them to get the next new video game. Our prayer was for a family mission trip. Husband and I have never been on a mission trip and knew it was something we wanted to experience together. Then the opportunity came to go with our faith family on a family mission trip to Belize. This will actually be the second time a group from our church will take families on a mission trip.





Our faith family partners with Light of the Valley school in Belize. Our family met David Rhodes the missionary we will be partnering with almost 2 years ago. He taught my children how to eat a banana upside down or right side up but they thought he was super fun. On this trip we hope to have VBS in the mornings with the kids at our partner school. VBS is dear to my heart here at our local church and I am excited to share that with the kids of Belize. We hope to provide some training for the teachers of the school. Most have a high school education and don’t get much training as far as teaching methods and classroom management. In the afternoons, our kids will spend time in the classrooms with the Belize students and the adults will work on projects at the school. One afternoon we will deliver rice and beans in a nearby village.





We are so excited about this opportunity for each of us to be used by our Heavenly Father. Most importantly, we need your support through prayer. We firmly believe that through prayer and faithfulness, all things are possible - Matthew 21:22. As you can imagine, a trip like this requires financial support from a number of people. We will be having fundraising opportunities to help with the financial cost. We look forward to seeing not only what God has in store for us but what He will teach us through this process.






If you'd like more information about our trip, or how to make a tax deductible donation, please send us an email mommyroachof2@gmail.com and please follow our journey on our blog.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

LSU and Spooky Sliders




Since all I can hear about is LSU this week, here is my LSU recap. The boyfriend and I enjoyed a weekend away without kids in tow to LSU. And though the outcome of the game was less than desirable we had a great time. I got to meet the boyfriend's big boss, enjoy the biggest and fanciest tailgate of my life. Ate gumbo, gator and stuff that would make you scream "Geaux Tigers!" The overall fan base in Baton Rouge is a little scary. I would not say that most were hospitable. They love their purple and gold and EVERY single fan wears it from head to toe. I am use to the Plains where everyone says hey no matter what team you cheer for, where a handshake and a "good game" are often heard, where southern hospitality is the norm and dressing up like pimps is for Halloween not ballgames.

Speaking of Halloween we went low key this year. I cooked up some Spooky PW sliders before we left out the door and can I tell you, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. They were yummy. Don't skip a step. We went and visited family, home group leaders and close friends. My children only knocked on a few doors of people we did not know. Daughter rocked her costume and son is starting to be too cool or too big for costumes. Sad.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Lunch Break

On husband's lunch break he loves on Lulu the dog. On my lunch break I love on our two kids and help mark their shirts for Track Attack!! I love my job. I love working with kids. I love the funny things they tell me. I love things they teach me. I love to hear them laugh. I love it when they give me a bear hug. I love it when they say "I saw you at the grocery store!" I love that they think I live at the school.
But I love it for these moments. For the moments I get to hug my own kids at school. For moments when they are still little enough to want to hug me at school. For moments when I hear "mommy" in the hallway and know it is mine.




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lunch Break Emails

Husband comes home for lunch now. We spoiled him this summer and would have his lunch ready for him. Now he has someone to spoil. He sends me pictures on his lunch break. He will send an email that says, "hurry home, she (not him) is lonely." "She is a digger."
"Your flip flops are toast."




Monday, October 24, 2011

Newest Little Roach: Lulu

I have another post about my recent trip to Baton Rouge but I needed to put out some happy first. You see if truth be known it probably was one of my most favoite weekends minus some hiccups. Me and my boyfriend. No kids. No kitchen. Hotel. Auburn footbal. New puppy. Those are all makings of perfection. We ended our weekend away at Arby's where all good puppies come from in the town of Grande Bay, AL. It was pretty much love at first site. I pleaded for the name. Lulu. (Winner J- Mo) If you have known me for a long time you know Lulu was my name growing up. Having a sister with also an M name made life difficult. One of us needed a nickname and since sister had her name painted on her glasses, I got the name LULU.


Lulu had a hard time getting comfortable on the long drive home. I mean can anyone with a tail do this? She is talented.




We made the 3 hour drive to Greenville and surprised two other little Roachs with the.best.present.ever.!



Even Tbone, sick with strep, gave a thumbs up to his new little friend. When I think about the trips to the creek the kids and her will take or the dips in the pool...my heart sings.



Then it was another couple of hours home to meet the brother dog. They did the smelling of the rear dance. Yoda is not really sure why Lulu cares so much about being friends. Yoda is a loner. And all the puppy hype is a bit overrated to him.




However, Lulu has started to make her mark. Just like with any new baby in the family we have big plans for her.


And just like a new baby, sleep is a process. But one thing is for sure...my heart she already has.



"Happiness is a warm puppy"- Charles M. Schulz











Saturday, October 15, 2011

The legend of Stamps



I received word two weeks ago that Stamps aka Romeo of Roach Ranch was dead on the side of the road. I went to investigate after school but the crime scene had been cleaned up. I told Momma Kitty and her babies. We had visitation and tuna casseroles with milk. Momma Kitty was sad and even she disappeared a day in what I thought was a search and rescue operation. However, husband came inside the other night to inform me STAMPS is ALIVE.

I saw Stamps yesterday taking a nap by the pool. He has a swagger in his walk and I think he is nursing an injury. Mommy Kitty was licking his paws and seemed thankful her boyfriend had returned from the grave. If a cat has nine lives, I am pretty sure Stamps is on number 6. I am also pretty sure he and roaches will be the only thing that survives a nuclear bomb.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This will not make you cry, well maybe.

This baby will be picked up next weekend. Her current momma sends me pictures like this... It makes me want to drive right now and go get her.

Oh my, she is so sleepy. She needs me to rock her and give her a bottle. Oh wait, different baby. Fur included.





I think she smells the bacon we cooked for supper tonight.






Oh my goodness. I.AM.IN.LOVE.

She still needs a name.

If you pick the name I will send you a basket of sweet potatoes.







Monday, October 10, 2011

Keep ' Em There Highlights

I am still trying to find words to describe this event to people who ask me. It started as a conversation in a room with just a few people. God grew it into a few hundred people event. I think this is the moment I looked up to see the clouds clear and the sky opened with bright sunshine. People were just flowing down the back yard and I began to cry. God doesn't have to use us for His purpose but He does. Last night He used not just me but He used hundreds of people for His glory.
In second grade, I had bad hair. My mother took me to get 2 perms so I could be like Annie and my best friend Katie. I had fried hair. My hair grew after recess so I would wear a toboggan. My sweet teacher convinced me to take off the toboggan and loved me with my big hair. That sweet teacher is the mother of one of the missionaries we are trying to Keep in Africa. Having her sitting on my lawn as we celebrated her baby in Africa was another tearful moment.

The music was the best I have heard in a long time. I seriously could have listened to them all night. These group of guys made a song just for the event and are allowing all that came to the event download it for FREE. For those that don't know husband is a blues lover. He and his buddies were in blues band in college and I am pretty sure this is partly why husband was so happy last night. Well that and Kevin said yes to sharing in driving the tractor.


There were hayrides that sometimes did not seem so safe but God provided and to my knowledge we did not lose any children in sink holes, off trampolines or under trailers.






These were my parking attendants. They fit hundreds of cars in the "front yard." Thanks Boys!For the few good baptist that followed the rules and parked across the street or at the bank you will get a free ice cream cone from Dairy Queen. I am so kidding but that would have been nice. To my home group peeps (plus Kev and Frankie) you are like my family. I read this quote: " The purpose of fun is to live it." You make me live it.





1 Corinthians 4: There are different kinds of gifts but the same spirit distributes them.

I watched so many people use their gifts and talents to make this event happen. I know I will forget someone but I still want to try to give shout outs! To the food peeps: if you served,cooked brought or donated the 500 hot dogs, 300 chips, 300 brownies, drinks, and ice you are all awesome! Silent Auction people who donated, worked and organized you were awesome. (The necklaces are still taking orders!) Timbali crafts people if you went to pick up or sold them we appreciate you. Light and generator boy we could not have had power or lights without you. If you brought a table, used a weed eater, dropped off buns, stuck checks in my refrigerator all week, prayed, planned, rented an outhouse, painted a sign, spread the word, brought a friend, showed up, gave money you were used and you are loved.



I look so rough in this picture, I think it was my bedtime but I can't tell you enough how blessed we all were to score Bruce. He is the most humble and talented person I have met. He brought an energy to this event and gave himself completely. I just have to figure out how I can get him back in my back yard...except this time I am going to be barefoot. But that is another story.



And then there is this Alabama boy and his wife. He called us in a room. He shared his heart about his friends. He shared his heart about Africa. He called us to action. And I forgave him for his crimson and white, and Keep 'Em There was born. $5900 at the end of the night. We all said, "no way" and then we said, "of course"...God is that big.

It is simple. The Clyburns and McAdams are doing what God calls us all to do.

Take care of the poor and the orphans.


We are not done. Our friends need monthly sponsors. 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 100 dollars, make a commitment. Let God stretch you.




Click on their link and then click Sponsor Me on the left side!


Peace.