Friday, February 27, 2009

circus clowns!

We were suprised last night with 2 tickets to the circus from my landlord! I made the mistake of telling Flor right away and she could hardly eat, or do anything for that matter except for ask me when we were going to leave!

This is a video of Flor first taste of cotton candy... it was hilarious!! She liked the taste but couldn't get past the texture and how it melted in her mouth... She makes the best faces.

She was so excited to see the elephants and payasos (clowns), not so much the lions, but we didn't end up staying past intermission, so we didn't see the lions anyway. As far as she knows, we left at the end. She loved it!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Milestone moment!!

Wednesday nights Ashli comes over and we watch LOST. Last week was hard because I thought I'd just put Flor to bed before it came on and then I could watch it. Well, that didn't go over well with her. She was scared to be upstairs by herself. She cried and ended up sleeping with me on the couch until it went off. Well, tonight I thought I'd just let her lay on the couch and sleep while we watched... about 20 minutes into the show, she asked me if she could go to bed. Of course!! But I explained to her that I was going to stay downstairs with Ashli. She asked if I could turn all the lights on and I said sure I would! So, I tucked her in, turned ALL the lights on upstairs, she told me that she wasn't scared, :), and never heard another peep out of her!! I am so proud of her!! It makes me feel so good that she is getting comfortable in her home and with me.

As for LOST, abc went black about 10 minutes before the show went off, so I'll have to finish it online this weekend... so NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's been almost 8 weeks...

... and a lot has changed! Daddy's been in Colorado on a job since New Year's and Flor and I have been counting down the days until her abuelito came home, and he finally did!! We stayed up last night to meet him at the airport, and that is all she could talk about all day. Of course, she was a little shy at first but it didn't last long... and talked about him all the way home too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What a busy week!

Flor was so excited yesterday! After she spent the afternoon with aunt Connie (who sent her home with a bag full of goodies!), she got to go play with her "Tete"! She shrilled just at the thought of getting to see Fernanda (aka Tete to all the ol' ADN fam). She has been telling me all week, "Tete es mi amiga." or "Tete es mi hermana." SO SWEET!! They had a great time feeding each other at dinner, then playing with all of Fernanda's toys. (She was so sweet for sharing with Flor). Rosa tagged along as well. Flor said that she was her baby and wanted me to take her home with us! She talked to me all the way home about how crazy Fernanda dances. It amazes me to see these two girls together again, playing just like no time has passed since they lived together in Guate!

This morning was our first time to go to church since we've been home. Flor was all about it this morning, but then a little clingy when it was actually time to drop her in her class. I assured her that after her class and my class were finished that I would be back to get her and she shook her head in affirmation, so I headed to the sanctuary. Well, she made it through worship, then I saw her name flash across the screen. (I didn't even have to check the number, there could only be one Flor, right?) As I passed through the doors, I just followed her crying until I found her snuggled up with one of the children's pastors. He was so sweet telling him that they loved her very much and that we would just try again. Maybe a little each week until she gets used to her class. So, she came into the sanctuary with me, and was really great the entire service. I even noticed her mocking pastor Rusty at one point. Every hand motion he did, she would do. It was quite comical to me.

This week has been good, and a learning experience for us both. "We're" learning boundaries and how no means "no". But she's also feeling more and more secure every day. She stills asks me, or more like makes the statement that I am her mama, several times a day. Also, almost every time we go anywhere she asks me if I'm going with her, if we're going together, then again that I'm her mama. But I can see that she is getting more and more comfortable if I get up, she's not asking EVERY time where I'm going? Where is that? I don't see it.... etc.

That's not to say that I'm not learning and adjusting everyday too. :) I really appreciate your prayers for both of us!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's a GIRL!!! (or 2!)

Congratulations to two beautiful babies today for becoming apart of two amazing families!!! The Byars and the Clarks are now proud parents of two precious baby girls!!! Hopefully they will be travelling in the next month or two to pick up their girls!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home at last

What a sweet valentine! Yesterday we played all day, exploring all the new toys in her new room in her new house. My sweet friends "broke" into my apartment and decorated with streamers and balloons to welcome Flor! I have to keep assuring her that this is our house, that I'm staying here too, that I'm not leaving. She sticks pretty close by... right now she is squished up beside me so much I can hardly type with my left hand.

I just had to post this picture from today. She came over and asked me to tie her baby onto her back, just like she's seen the nannies do every day her entire life. She played the rest of the day like this. Everything else she did, she had that baby right there on her back. It was the sweetest thing!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Goodbye, Guatemala... hello Alabama!

Getting ready to leave Guatemala... this time taking Flor with me!! We had to get in our last photos before our ride came to pick us up and take us to the airport.

So glad Stephanie had her iPod with her. Flor loved listening, watching, and playing with it.

Goodbye, Guatemala!!

No idea what the movie was, but for sure those headphones were way to big!
Flor ate all of her food, then the rest of mine, then the rest of Stephanie's. The girl can put away some food!!
Pretending to be asleep.
Flor looks so grown up talking to her Abuelo on the phone. Not sure he understood a word she said, but loved every minute of it.
There were so many friends and family at the airport to meet us. Including a very special friend from Amor del Nino, Tete!! (aka: Fernanda) What an exhausting day, in so many ways!
But I am forever thankful to finally have my girl home with me!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Can you believe this face?

Well, tomorrow is the big day! We head out tomorrow morning at 10:00am. We've got two lay-overs, Miami and Memphis, Immigration in Miami, a pretty late arrival in Huntsville tomorrow night... so we'd appreciate every prayer tomorrow!!

Last visit to Amor Del Nino

We took our last full day to visit with Shyrel and the kids at Amor del Nino. It was such a bittersweet day, saying goodbye to everyone, but it was great spending time with the kids.

Stephanie fell in love with a few of them, I do believe. Tanya took up with her pretty quickly, which is uncommon for Tanya, so that says a lot about Stephanie.
Adriana and Danny are Flor's best friends from ADN. I love how unhappy she looks in this picture for having to "share" me. She kept saying over and over, "ES MIA!" (She's mine!)

Shyrel had a long talk with Flor before officially saying goodbye to her. I love the look she has on her face here. So much love.
Mama Shyrel getting her hugs and kisses from Flor.
Flor's last meal with her friends.
Flor sitting on her old bed. She'd finally out grown her pack and play into a toddler bed.
Stephanie and Jenny
Flor, Adriana, and Danny laughing
...and playing.
Goodbye to Hannah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

an evening of rest

After the Embassy Appointment and our celebration lunch at Chili's(!!!) we headed back to Amy's to crash. We spent the night in playing with Flor and laughing our heads off. Flor fixed my hair, colored, and played with toys Amy had in a basket in the living room. We talked to family back home and even got to see Darrell, Brennan, and Tanner on webcam. This day was unforgetable.

Embassy appointment... CHECK!!!

The Embassy appointment with (almost) without a glitch. We arrived on time. I only sat in the wrong area for a few minutes. (haha) No problem. Made it to the right place, and started talking to a few other parents that were there with their children waiting on the same thing I was. There was a very nice gentleman (lawyer) with one lady who helped me make sure I had all the right documents in order, which I already knew I did, but it was nice to have someone who has done it before to help. I turned in everything and paid, then waited some more. When we were called back for our first interview, the lady asked me when I first met Flor. March 2006. Well, my NEW passport shows that this is my only trip... soooooo, thank God that I brought my old one. I just know that He put that thought in my head, saying, "I'll need that to prove I've visited before." So glad I listened. Of course, I didn't have it with me!! But the interviewer was nice enough to let me run get it and come right back to her! I RAN out to get a taxi that just would not go fast enough, ran upstairs, burst in the door like a crazy woman, telling Stephanie I NEED MY OLD PASSPORT!!! It was in the first place I looked, thankfully. So here we go again, run downstairs, run outside, grab a cab, and head BACK to the Embassy. I get to go right back to the same lady, which goes so smoothly, then again waiting for the next interview. It wasn't but about 10 minutes before she called our name. I raised my right hand, and there it began. It was short and sweet and I'm pretty sure they fell in love with Flor too! It was all over with an "APPROVED!!" We go back tomorrow for her visa.
All of this was done between 7:15 and 9:15... I was so shocked to get back and see it was only 9:30!! I felt like it was AT LEAST after lunch! It was such a long morning, but other than the passport thing, which really turned out to be nothing because God was watching out for me.
Oh!! Another cool thing was since I had to take 4 taxis instead of only 2, I thought I would run out of cash, but before leaving the last time, I looked and saw I had Q25, and can you guess how much that last taxi ride was? If you guessed Q25, then you were right!! God is good, and He sees even the smallest detail.. and provides!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Our second day together was great! I got to take Stephanie and Flor to Antigua, where I lived a few years ago. So, we packed Flor in the car and took off. No carseat, so we just stuck Flor in the seatbelt and drove very carefully.

We parked the car and walked over to the artesian plaza to pick up some souvenoirs. It is such a beautiful plaza and Stephanie was able to get gifts for Brennan and Tanner and I got a few things for Flor as keepsakes.

As trip to Antigua would not be complete without lunch at Mono Loco! My favorite place to eat. Of course, I had chicken quesadillas and shared with Flor. Stephanie had the same and actually tried the guacamole! (she said she liked it.)

Antigua is surrounded by 3 beautiful volcanos: Agua, Fuego, and Pacaya. Aqua is the biggest that you see in the background of these pictures, but Pacaya is the only one that is active. It can actually be seen smoking almost daily and at night red fire can be seen at the very top!

Walking in central park is an adventure all in itself. There are so many people and things to see. It is always a busy place.

All three volcanos can be seen from central park, unless the trees get in the way.

Another famous tourist picture op is at the golden arch. No, not McDonald's. Just one arch. Just past this arch is another of my favorite restaurants, Frida's.

We had the pleasure of being able to visit Senora Maria, my Spanish teacher from Cano/El Quetzal Spanish school. She is an amazing Christian woman, who not only helped me with Spanish, but taught me a lot about having faith and being a servant. She also works in her spare time with the church visiting the rural areas on Guatemala, near Tecuaco, to spread Jesus' love. She has such a sweet spirit. Our Spanish lessons usually turned into Bible studies, which was just fine with me. I truly have a special place in my heart for Senora Maria. She took the time to visit with us and prayed over Flor after we took this picture.

Afterwards, we went by some of the ruins in Antigua. I'd never actually visited them in all the years I'd lived in Guatemala. No time like the present. Antigua has such history and it would take a week to visit all there is to see just in the 8 block area of "downtown" Antigua. But we had fun wondering around the beautiful grounds of these ruins in particular. Flor got hot and found a small area of shade to sit in with her baby.

I think she liked Stephanie just a little bit. What do you think?

We did actually stop by McDonald's to cool off and eat some ice cream. Flor was very proud of her ice cream cone, which she thoroughly enjoyed as she ate it very, very slowly. That night we went to The Westin in zona 10. Chris had helped us get his employee discount (you know, since I'm his sister and all). I have never stayed in such a nice hotel, in the States nor in Guatemala. Most comfortable beds ever. Stephanie snapped a picture of me giving Flor her first bath. It wasn't really her first bath, but it was the first bath I gave her as her mommy. You can tell by the picture that she loved it.. and that she is very ticklish!! >

Chris was amazing in helping us last minute getting a room at the Westin. But not only that, he had a little surprise left in the room for Flor. This sweet, HUGE teddy bear with a little note attached saying, "Congratulations!" Flor was so surprised!!