Thursday, July 8, 2010

There's Light....Isn't There??

My husband will be here in ONE week! Does he have his passport? NO! Is there any sign of hope that he will? NO! Am I remaining optimistic? YES!

Here's a little summary of my summer vacation and our time here without him:

8 dentist visits
5 trips to the Chiropractor
1 emergency room visit via ambulance
3 appointments with the Pediatrician
3 trips to Tx Children's for an EKG and a 24 hr. heart holster
1 appointment with a pediatric Cardiologist
2 appointments with the Dermatologist
4 trips to the Pediatric Orthopedist
1 orthopedic surgery

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few! And there are still more to come!

So when thinking of a title for this post, here are a few that came to mind:

~Just Keep Swimming
~Thank God I'm Insured
~Stop By for Lemonade...I have plenty!
~DRAMA Queen
~My Voicemail Greeting states my Group #
~Accidentally Took Carter to the Dentist for an Arm x-ray

*I don't ask for too much (hmm, some would disagree) but I have a small request. Please say a little prayer for my 3 kiddos as they are each facing "obstacles". And say another little prayer for Craig. Pray that he gets his passport and makes his flight next Thursday night! He's missing his family and quite frankly, we'd really like to have him here! Sank You!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Pimp

Who would've guessed that at age 20, a 6 pack of Shiner, a club called "Connections" and a song called "Return of the Mack" would forever change my life! Well it's the story:

It was 1997 and Tiffany and I were having a great night at Connections. I spotted 2 guys that I knew from High School so we decided to go over and talk to them. At that moment, the "song" came on and we all ran off to dance. It was like the coolest song of the summer. Tiffany went for Alan so I was left to dance with Craig...this "sort of a nerd" jock from High School that now had really long hair...and jeans with holes in them (and those weren't cool then). Turns out we had a really fun time hanging out with them that night and ended up chatting until the wee hours of the morning (with our 6 pack of Shiner) BTW...not sure how we scored that. Oh yea..I think Craig's fake ID. So when the sun was rising and it was time to head off to bed, Craig gave me his number and told me to call him...487-PIMP (seriously his parents number..please don't call them). Who knew that he'd later become my husband, my CPA and the wonderful father of my 3 children. Happy 9th Anniversary Craig! After all these years, you can still dance like you're 19!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rock and a Hard Place

When it's time for us to leave Angola to go on a R&R, the guards and drivers scramble to give us a list of things that they would like for us to bring back to them. Usually the requests are for shoes, cameras, cell phones and things of that nature. When I left in May, things were no different. I got the lists. Because I don't speak Portuguese, and they don't speak English, communication is difficult but we usually manage. At Christmas, when we were going to the US, my relief driver stopped by to wish us well and said something about his family and he kept saying "photo" and he used his hand to make a "flash" and he kept saying the word "after". I thought he was telling us that he wanted to bring his family by when we returned so we could take a picture of them. Come to find out, he really wanted us to bring him a digital camera. After that, I told everyone to write it down for me or give me a picture! So this time, my guard John handed me a note with 2 words: "cream, varicose". Hmmm....I'm gonna need more help here. I looked at him very confused. He then said and did something that I will never forget! He acted it out! He started rubbing his abdomen and his butt and said the word "spouse". After several minutes it hit me. This guy wants me to bring back stretch mark cream for his wife!!

So, with most of my shopping complete, I'm left with sweet John's list. His one request! Do I "accidentally" forget and save the marriage or do I grant his one wish?? Because I know that if my husband EVER, I repeat..EVER walked into our home carrying a tube of stretch mark cream for my ass....he'd never see my ass again!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

6 Month Summary

It's been so long since my last post I forgot my password! After several attempts it came to me! Whew! So here I am...

I've been so busy the past 6 months I haven't had the time...oh, and my computer was on it's last leg in Africa. I'm up and running now (thanks to my new computer and wonderful USA Internet) so let's rewind and I'll give you a very condensed play back of my "exciting" life....

Mid January ~ April

We arrived back in Africa after a wonderful Christmas holiday in the states and literally hit the ground running. With less than 3 months to go..okay 9 weeks to be exact, Craig and I started training for the Two Oceans 21 kilometer run in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a very busy time. We left for Cape Town at the end of March and spent 2 fabulous weeks at a beach house in Haut Bay. Craig's mom flew to meet us and we all had a memorable adventure. And yes, we finished our first 1/2 marathon!! I was hoping to cross the finish line hand in hand but at the shot gun start..Craig took off and I ate his dust. It was so much fun!

April ~ May

This kids were hard at work and busy with school events. The end of year was a very social time in Luanda. So many fundraisers and parties were taking place that we stayed active! I've been told that I'm not specific enough in my posts and that you still are left wondering WHAT it is we do in Luanda so here is a list of some of the events that kept us busy:

~Sam participated in a 2 week football (soccer) camp. It was held at the school and was 2 hours a day. She stayed exhausted during those 2 weeks but her hard work paid off. In the monthly soccer scrimmage following the camp, she made her 1st goal!! I usually stay home with the boys on those Saturdays so she and Craig can have some "bonding" time, but I decided to take them to watch and to our surprise she scored the game winning goal! MVP!

~American Woman's Association held it's annual dinner/dance in April and it was a blast. The formal event raised money for the orphanage and was a top notch soiree. I love getting dressed up and sharing a night out with friends, not to mention the 6 course meal prepared by everyone's favorite chef!

~Mardi Gras was another fun event we participated in. Again, a fundraiser...Cajun style! We felt like we were in New Orleans with the creole cuisine complete with bread pudding topped with bourbon sauce. Mmmm! We played casino games and mostly sat out by the pool and laughed. Great fun!

~Cinco de Mayo...with margaritas..was the most anticipated event for Craig (and myself ;-)) Mexican food is our favorite and going without for so long almost makes us crazy! Thank God for Cinco de Mayo! It came along and rescued us. Again, this was a fundraising event for an orphanage.

~St. Patty's Day! The beer was cold, the music was flowing, the fish and chips were to DIE for and the skinny dippers were out! Luckily we left before that part but I hear it happens every year. What a fun party!

~Carter's birthday was at the end of March when we were in SA so we waited until April to throw his swim party. He had a blast and I'm so glad we can have swimming parties year round! He's so shy, he only wanted to invite 4 friends from his class. I'm sure things will change next year. He also had a class performance that we went to. He had practiced so hard and got nervous the day of. We were afraid he wouldn't even get on stage but he did. He didn't say his line, but at least he got on stage.

~Sam also had a music performance at school. The 2 evening event was precious. My favorite song was about "Tidying Up the Rubbish". LOL....words that are now a part of our vocabulary. It was fun watching her perform. She enjoys it WAY too much.

So these are just a few of the MANY things we do in Luanda, Angola. We aren't running in a million different directions like we do in the states, but we do stay active. It's nice!


The plot thickens so please stay tuned. I will need an entire pot of coffee and a good 2 hours to sit down and write about the DRAMA that has occurred in my life over the past 6 weeks. I won't make you wait long...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm dreaming tonight
of a place that I love
even more than I usually do
And although I know
it's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
and presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
And it's a reality!!!

I'm so giddy that I feel like a child on Christmas Eve! Tomorrow the kids and I will begin our long journey across Africa, then back across Africa, the Atlantic and up the Gulf of Mexico to Houston! I've packed and repacked and now all I can do is pray that God will give me the strength and patience that I KNOW I'm going to need during my 6 hours of "airport" time and my 25 hours of "flying" time with the kids. Ha! If I survive this, climbing Kilimanjaro should be a breeze!

Facebook has been down again for the past 4 days so I imagine I wont be able to make a post before we leave tomorrow.....but I will just as soon as my plane lands at IAH!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Frustrated & Bits and Pieces

It is going on 6 days now that we haven't had Facebook! It is a problem that we are all having here in Luanda Sul. If I see "Oops! This link appears broken" one more time I'm going to scream!

Thank you all for your emails! I'm doing fine, just can't get on for the time being. I'm on my final countdown....6 more days until we board the plane.....destination: The United States. I get chills just saying it!

Two other things on my mind:

1) I've been a stay at home mom now for several months but yesterday really hit me as an "Ahh Ha" moment. Carter had a music presentation at school and it was so unbelievably amazing to just "go" and enjoy it. I wasn't worried about lesson plans for a sub, asking permission, and most of all I wasn't rushing here and there. I had a little moment to myself after his precious performance. This is what it's about!! I'm so thankful!

2) Tomorrow night I am hosting a dinner party for my drivers, guards and maid. I've invited their families to come. I feel that it's important that we as a family acknowledge and appreciate all that they do for us. I'm excited that my children will participate in passing out gifts to their children. This will be a teachable moment for them and we've spent the past several nights talking about the meaning of Christmas and how it's better to give than receive. The menu will be beans, rice and chicken, a traditional African meal. Of course I will add an American flare...cookies and sweets! It should be fun and rewarding and we're really looking forward to it. None of them speak English except one of my drivers so my goal for today is to write a little speech in Portuguese....and hopefully deliver it without too many laughs!

That's it for now. I hope Facebook decides to work out its problems for us on the other side of the world, but if it decides to be feisty a little longer, you can always reach me at


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Missing Memaw

The past several hours have been quite challenging for me. I'm covered head to toe with flour, my patience is wearing thin, and I'm really wishing my Memaw were here. Yep, been making least I've been attempting to make pies.

My grandmother was 36 years old when I was born so I've always had the privilege of growing up with 2 mothers. She isn't a fabulous cook but pretty decent. When it comes to food, there are a few distinct things that will always remind me of her. Turkey goulash, vegetable soup with extra celery, some rice concoction with cinnamon and sugar, dressing and pecan pies.

Over the years I have spent countless hours in her kitchen watching and learning. We've always had Thanksgiving and Christmas at her house and she has always made the pecan pies. When I got old enough I would help. We'd always make the pies a few days ahead of time so we could use the oven for the turkey and dressing and other dishes.

Well this year, because I'm away from home, when I got together with my "African sisters" to talk turkey, I decided I wanted to make the pies for our Thanksgiving get together. I mean, I've been watching and making pies for hard could it be??

HA! One VERY important detail I missed in the whole "I'm making the pies" moment........STORE BOUGHT CRUST! Sure, anyone can whip together a pie and pour it into a perfectly made frozen crust and cook it. News flash! In Africa those are a little hard to come by. So, I dug deep into my pantry and found a box of "just add water pie crust". Next best thing, right? Wrong! That still involved flour and a rolling pin.

After about an hour and 1/2 a bag of flour, my attempt at making a perfectly round pie crust failed. It really isn't as easy as it looks! How do they do it?? Mine kept cracking on the edges and I could never form a circle. At one point, out of desperation, I got the tortilla press out but it wasn't quite big enough for the pie plate.

Anyway, I pulled through and my story boils down to this:

I really missed you today! You'll be happy to know that I tried to crimp the edges of the crust like you taught me to and I did cover the crust with foil so it wouldn't burn while baking. Somehow it just didn't go right...but I tried!

To my African sisters:
My pies aren't pretty but they're made with love and I'm almost positive they will taste good. And I promise you gals that next year I will have a dozen frozen crusts in my ice chest ;-)
When we are all in Houston over the summer I'd like to invite you to my Memaw's house for coffee and pecan pie! She'd love to hear our stories ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!