Monday, November 28, 2011

The Dark Side.

I am at another crossroads in parenting.

I find myself eating my words, "I would NEVER..." once again.

I have said that I'd never buy my kids a video game system. I just don't really like them. I am not good at video games and I would much prefer my kids outside playing.

HOWEVER...

Our friends the Browns have a Wii and they will occasionally come over and have a Wii date with my kids. I have said, "It works out great because we don't have a Wii and they don't have a television, so you put us together and it works out great. Instant community." I will admit it is pretty fun. I was WHIPPING the kids on one of the games. It was like a big tournament and I was the winner. Well, at least until our 56 year old nanny, Felecia, got a turn. I can't compete with that lady's stamina and guns.

Our kids have told us that we "NEED" a Wii. I laughed out loud at them and said, "Never. We are NEVER having one."

HOWEVER...

It is really much easier to just buy some family gifts this year.

It will be easy to transport.

The Wii is really a group game so it doesn't make kids lazy... right?

There are a lot of educational games, right???

(Can you see me grasping at straws to justify my turning around on my "I'd NEVER" statement?)

All those things might be good or bad justifications but if I am honest, it simply comes down to this--
  • I want my children to love me and not be mad at me that I am not going to be there for Christmas. ;) So the least I can do is try to buy their love, right? ;)
  • I want our house to be the "cool house" for our missionary/ex-pat friends to come over and chill. I think this can buy the love of our friends too. ;)

See? Look how happy this lady is. She has a Wii. I am pretty sure it will make us that happy too-- at least until a power surge fries it... Then I will be back to the drawing board as to how to win over my children, staff, and neighbors. This at least buys me a little time... ;)

So yes, I admit it. We are headed over to the dark side. I am eating my words.

And Felecia, fair warning-- I am coming after you... This isn't over.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I feel like complaining, BUT...

I am not going to.

Instead, I am going to inform you about more recent events, state our plan for going forward, and then tell you why I am grateful that I am where I am.

During the past week there have been at least 2 other robberies or robbery attempts in Jacmel involving gunfire. We are still waiting on some of the security improvements to our house to be finished (although others are done!!! -- yay for a higher wall and razor wire!)



With no improvement in the security situation and the continued need for debriefing on this situation, today Nick and I made a really hard call. This year we are not going to be all together for Christmas. I am going to stay here with the American contingent. He will stay in Haiti with the Haitian contingent. We just can't imagine leaving either set of children "behind" on Christmas, and with the realities being what they are... we just made the call.

I will be traveling down to visit Nick and the kids for a week in mid-December (and bring down Christmas gifts!)...

OH!!! BTW-- not much notice this year but if you want to donate to the Christmas gifts for kids/staff-- check out this link!!! We really need things purchased in the next week and shipped to arrive by about the 10th or 11th of December. I know that doesn't give much time for purchasing. Sorry. It seems I live behind the 8 ball these days.

Nia has started therapy. Nico gets assessed tomorrow. Josiah is a hot mess, but that is not in any way related to the robbery... he always has been. (I am reading "The Strong-Willed Child" again!)

While I feel disappointed that we won't be together for Christmas and that things continue to be so uncertain in Haiti, I am choosing the path of thankfulness.

I am so thankful that everyone in my family has been physically spared. I am so thankful that our American passports allow us ease of travel during unrest. I am thankful that my kids (for the most part) roll with it. I am thankful that our dog, Piman, is recovering after a nasty run-in with tunneling screwworm maggots. I am thankful that Nick was willing to pull said maggots out of Piman's flesh. I am thankful that Wildarne and Sanndy were number 1 & 2 in their class this semester. I am thankful that Schneider had a first birthday party surrounded by 8 of his brothers and sisters. I am thankful that Nick is ROCKING THE HOUSE in Haiti taking care of the remaining NINE kids (one of whom is a baby!)

Check out this food he prepared for the family for Thanksgiving this past week--

I am thankful to be spending good time with my mom and dad. I am thankful that my kids will get to sing in a Christmas Eve Service (IN ENGLISH!). I am thankful that I get to see my big sister every day for the next month + and that my kids get to play with their cousins. I am thankful that we get to go to a Christmas parade next weekend. I am thankful that I look forward to going to church each week. I am thankful that I get to talk to Nick every day since Skype is free. I could go on and on and on. I have really just touched the tiniest tip of the iceberg because my life really is pretty good.

There are parts of me that still feel like complaining, but it's hard to complain when I recognize all that I have and have been given.

So I am choosing the path of thankfulness this holiday season. Hold me to it, tande?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nia's lament.

After the earthquake a friend brought down some curriculum for us to use with our kids. It was all about helping kids deal with trauma. Over and over again in the past year and a half + I have thought about using it-- both in larger and smaller group settings. But I never used it. Until this past week when I started doing it with Nia. (And the boys too some, but they are kind of too little to really grasp it.)

One of the lessons talks about David's laments to the Lord. Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with the word lament, let me offer you a definition:
--

la·ment/ləˈment/

Noun:
A passionate expression of grief.
Synonyms: wail - plaint - mourning - moan - elegy

--
The curriculum used Psalm 13 as a guide and then helps lead children in writing their own lament.

With my input only on the structure, Nia wrote the following lament--

****
Dear God,
It's not fair that the bad guys came in. It's not fair that we have to suffer when other people do bad things. It's not fair that they did not come to our house only but they went to other houses too. It's not fair that they shot our friend.

But I trust you, God, because you love me, you take care of me, you protected me, you made me, you had life before me.


So... I still love you. I still trust you. I still praise you.

****



I. LOVE. THIS. KID.

(PS-- She's 8.)

And by the way-- I am working on my own lament now...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the reality of where we are


Last night I started to feel really sad. Not angry, not scared. Just sad. Sad that this is where we are at in all of this. Sad that I am not with the rest of my family. Sad that my kids have had to be uprooted AGAIN. Just, sad. And it wasn't a feeling sorry for myself kind of sad. It was just grieving the reality of what sin does. The fall is still falling.

Tomorrow Nia goes for a first assessment with a child psychologist who is certified to work in trauma-related situations. Nia has seen a lot. Her innocence has been ripped from her time and time again since our move to Haiti and yet she is so stinkin' resilient. She still, somehow, (by the grace of our Lord I suppose,) seems innocent. But trauma will leave a mark and I see it left on her. She's a bit more jumpy than normal. She's more scared of the dark. She's very concerned with whether or not things are locked. She says things matter of factly, but I can see the thoughts cycling in her head. Tonight we were taking my mom's dog out for an evening walk just down the block and it was after dark. It was just me and Nia and she refused to walk anywhere where the house was not still in our line of sight. This kind of hyper-vigilance can be "a normal reaction to abnormal stressors" I suppose, but it. just. makes. me. feel. sad. And at the same time as I am sad, I am so thankful that it wasn't worse and I am so thankful that only one child had to experience the terror first hand.

However, Nico has an appointment for the same kind of assessment on Monday. Out of all the kids, he seems to have the most uncertainty about what has happened. For example, when we were in the hotel in Miami after flying into the states, Nico asked me about 6 times (literally) if the "volo" (robbers) had followed us here. He wanted to know if they might have the key to our room. He needed to see behind the curtains to make sure no one was hiding there. He's uncertain. And I want to give him certainty. But I can't because (like I said before) the fall is still falling.

In an effort to provide them peace, I have reassured the kids over and over that we're safe here in the states. That Grandad is a gun instructor and has our "home security plan" locked in. That Uncle Jon is a cop and he will protect us. Because I do want them to rest. I do want them to have peace and feel safe again.

But then what happens when we go home? Because Grandad and his guns won't be with us and Officer Uncle Jon won't be with us. So I don't want to try to talk them too far into their security here because it's something I can't replicate when we go home.

It's hard to know how to be the parent, isn't it? This is why I need the professionals.

Would you be praying for these appointments for Nia and Nico? I love my kids more than you can imagine and I am sad to think about them having to go through PTSD and all that business. I've been there. I don't want it for my kids. But whatever the case is, please pray for the appointments to be useful and help us understand how to best love and support our kids through this.

Thanks friends...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

thanksgiving

So. Thanksgiving is in a few days.

We have this tradition in our family on Thanksgiving. We put three kernels of dried corn on each person's plate and before we start our feast, we go around the room and each share 3 things for which we are thankful. The purpose of this custom is to be mindful that the pilgrims first winter in Plymouth was very, very sparse and they lost over half their population. The feast the next year was much more abundant. And by remembering those spare times, the magnitude of our gratitude is so much greater.

Today I visited Source Church, where my family has recently started attending services. It was a really neat community of people. It's just real people-- all kinds. Lots of different races of people. Some people all tatted up, some people not all tatted up. Lots of young people, but some old people (like my parents) too. It was refreshing to see such a diverse group of people worshiping together.

But I digress.

Pastor Frank Lassen (part of the all tatted up contingent) was preaching today from Psalm 95 and Luke 17. Predictably, (with this being the week of Thanksgiving), the message was about gratefulness. Let me rewind a moment and say that I am one of "those people" who is caught up in the 30 days of gratefulness on Facebook. Trying to be mindful each day of something for which I am thankful and record it. It's not hard to think of things to be thankful for. I have a great family. I have everything I need. More than the things I need actually, a lot of things I want too.

But this concept he was talking about today goes deeper than that. He was talking about the 10 lepers that Jesus healed. (See Luke 17:11-19). Jesus healed ten men with leprosy. And out of that, only ONE came back to thank him. One. That's weird, huh? I mean really. These men were LEPERS. Literally. Lepers. They had to live totally in isolation from others-- from their friends and family. And Jesus HEALED them. Like, made them not leprous anymore. Yet only ONE came back to thank him.

When I hear stories like that I am all like, "Wow. Some people are so ungrateful." I am CONSTANTLY getting irritated with my kids for their sense of entitlement and their lack of gratitude. I take trips to the states and try to keep my mouth shut (most of the time) but I really do feel frustrated with the entitlement issues/excesses of this society. But today I wasn't being all frustrated with other people and their lack of gratitude. Today I felt really ungrateful. The spirit of the Lord convicted me that he's saved my life OVER and OVER and OVER again. (Like literally saved my life-- think earthquake, armed home invasion, etc.)

Instead of feeling grateful lately, I have felt, well... kind of put out. Like, "This is all part of suffering for the gospel." And, "It sucks that me and a lot of my friends have to deal with this." Today I was convicted that three and a half weeks ago when Nick, Nia, and I had guns to our heads and by God's grace the trigger was not pulled, God chose to SAVE me. (And Nick and Nia.) Again.

And instead of being overwhelmed with thankfulness for sparing us and saving us, I've just been overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with fear, with the financial implications, with the details of having to engage more security, with the details of evacuating our children, with the frustration of being separated (AGAIN!) from my husband. All of these things seem like big burdens. All of these things seem like a punishment.

However, when I re-frame the situation, I can't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. Yes, this was incredibly frightening, but most of the fear comes into play when I think about what *could have* happened and what *might* happen in the future, not what actually did happen.

In these 8 robberies that I've heard about in the past month or so, dozens of bullets were fired. Six people were shot. ZERO of those shots were fatal. Zero. God's hand of protection was with us. He was with us.

God was SO with us.

Part of living in a fallen world is the assumption that evil will prevail at times. We have no guarantees for life and safety. When God grants us life and security-- it is a gift.

And I am one of the nine lepers who didn't go back to thank him.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

the state of things.

Hey friends--

So as you've been hearing (if you follow Haiti happenings) there have been SEVERAL armed robberies of North Americans in Haiti since October 12 of this year.

Five of them have been in the Jacmel area, resulting in 2 people being shot, although no one was killed. There have also been 2 similar armed robberies of missions outside of Port Au Prince during this time.

We have taken many steps to ensure the safety of our family in Jacmel including several thousands of dollars of improvements to our home. We have greatly increased security personnel, and we have improved their ability to defend our family in the case of another attack.Without going into too many details, please be assured that we are taking every imaginable precaution.

Finally, on Sunday, Nick and I made the decision to for me to leave Haiti with Nia, Nico, and Josiah for a time. There were a lot of factors in this decision, but it mostly came down to the desire for our kids to be in a bit more of a secure environment while we asess the situation. We wish we could have taken all 12 children, but only 3 (Nia, Nico, and Josiah) have necessary paperwork to travel. Nick has stayed in Haiti with the other kids and our staff. This was also not an easy decision but during this time we felt that a parent needed to be on the ground with the kids who cannot travel.

The kids and I left Haiti last Monday and we've been staying with family members. The children have appointments next week to meet with child psychologists to asess how they are handling the trauma they have experiences. We do not know how long we will need to be apart.

Please help us pray that this reign of terror in Jacmel will end.
Please pray for healing for the people who have been traumatized.
Please pray for safety for our many, MANY loved ones on the ground in Jacmel now.
Please pray for the families that are separated as this situation is processed.
Please pray for the peace of God to reign in hearts in the place of fear.
AND PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS CRIME RING TO BE ARRESTED.

... As always, we are SO thankful for your support.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Psalm 35

Today I am thinking about how it is the righteousness of God that leads us to our desire for justice. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for God's mercy. I am beyond thankful that we serve a merciful God. But I was also reminded today that it is not wrong to desire justice-- for our hearts to resonate with the words of King David (the man the Bible says was a man after God's own heart) throughout the Psalms. He poured out his hurts to the Lord and asked, no begged, for evil to be punished.

I am thankful I have a scriptural precedent for the emotions I am feeling.

****

Psalm 35
Of David.

1 Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and armor;
arise and come to my aid.
3 Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”

4 May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the LORD driving them away;
6 may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.

7 Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
8 may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, LORD?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14 I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b]
they gnashed their teeth at me.

17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 LORD, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God;
do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The LORD be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On a bicycle, episode 1

Not on a moto-- Nick snapped this one in Port.


This is actually kind of funnier if you ask me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

treasures

Several days ago I made the statement that in Haiti, trauma is a way of life as opposed to an event. It really is. And I don't say that to minimize the things that Haitians go through on a daily basis, or the things that we go through on a daily basis (although I will acknowledge they are different things.)

Saving/budgeting is not really too big of a part of the culture here. It's a very here and now type of thing. If I have the money, I buy it. If I don't have the money-- well, either I borrow the money for it or just don't buy it. (I guess it's not too different from the situation in the states now is it?)

But in a country where it seems that there is always something else bad coming-- a hurricane, a job loss, a robbery, an earthquake, a flood, an accident, an illness, a death, a landslide... I can see the tendency to not worry (or plan) too much for tomorrow and live in the day. Because just because you have it today doesn't mean it won't be wiped out tomorrow.

However, as a North American, I could also see the tendency to want to save up as much as possible because you just don't know what's coming next and you want to be ready for it. Now, I would assert that the flaw in that thinking here is that the depth of need is so great you couldn't really save enough to get you through. I mean you might initially, but incident after incident after incident will leave you dry sooner or later. And then really, once that feeling of security is gone, you are playing off the same page as the Haitian people-- needing to depend on the Lord for his provision.

I would argue that it is during the most uncomfortable, under-funded, stretching times that we get to see the face of the Lord the brightest. It may not seem like it at the time, but in retrospect, I think we will find it's the truth. But it's a place we rarely get to in the states because there is always some other level of provision available-- be it a social program or access to credit that help us "afford" the hard times.

This past year has been financially stretching in a lot of ways-- not the least of which has been the robbery. But tonight I thought of this passage--

Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This year I have seen our two different storage places be overtaken by mice/rats. They ate their way through several cases of rice. They ate through extra clothing/shoes that were being stored in our depot. They ate through tarps and a bunch of our Christmas decorations. And there's a tendency to get really frustrated about that.

But if I think about what I really care about-- these things being destroyed-- yeah, they are just things. My kids have clothes they can wear. Lots of them. They were only destroyed BECAUSE they were extras. The ones in use weren't destroyed. Us storing them up for later-- could it be that was a chance we were missing out on seeing God provide for us when we needed more? Same with the tarps-- our main use of tarps is when we're going to Port Au Prince to pick up teams and to cover all their bags of donated stuff. Some of that stuff will be items we will need for our homes or to be distributed. But some of that stuff will be organized into boxes and put into out depot for the future. (Anyone remember what happens to a lot of stuff stored in the depot?)

And Christmas decorations. I love Christmas decorations. Like I REALLY love Christmas decorations. They bring me joy. A lot of joy. But they are not what Christmas is about. Last year we learned that for sure.

And yeah-- when the robbers came, they cleaned us out. We had a month's worth of money in our safe. Storing up-- keeping cash on hand for emergencies... gone. Our treasured expensive smart phones. Gone. We miss our phones, I am not gonna lie, but there's also something that feels like I don't want to replace them. They will probably just get lost, broken or stolen again. Digicel sells a $12 phone that I am using now. It's pretty low-end, but it totally works.

In everything there's a balance. I don't know where the balance is.

Am I storing up treasures on earth by having a laptop and a three-wheeled moto? Or am I storing up treasures in heaven by "giving up" hot water and reliable electricity?

Am I desiring treasures on earth by really wanting a Mangine family car? (I am over motos since Nick and I tumbled off one today-- we are fine. And yes, we were wearing helmets.) Or am I desiring treasures in heaven by not replacing the Christmas decorations?

It's hard to say until you get to the last verse of that passage...
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It's not mine to judge what stuff everyone should have. It might not even be for me to judge the "rightness" of the stuff I have. Clearly that's a more complex issue with different right answers for different people. But in the here and now, what I can do is an audit on the longings of my heart. Because where my treasure is, there my heart will be too. If I am longing after "things" in the hopes that it will make me happy, it's an indication that my heart is not filled solely by the creator.

Just something to think about...

How about you?

What do you have that you're just storing up as treasures on earth (that might be rotting, being eaten by moths or rats or just stealing your joy (and opportunity to serve/bless others) because of the clutter/lack of space in your home from all your treasures?) Are you grasping tightly and over-saving (read: hoarding) money "just in case?" Could those "treasures" be re-assigned to heaven? Heavenly things? Heavenly causes? Heavenly opportunities?

Think about it.

Because in heaven, and only there, your treasures are safe.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Strongest Superhero.

Today Manita and Josiah were arguing about who is the strongest superhero.

Manita was firmly behind "Soo-peh-mahn."

Josiah went to bat for "Baht-mahn."

They argued away in Kreyol for a bit about why their respective superhero was the strongest. Superman could fly. Batman had bigger muscles. It was getting ugly.

Finally Josiah consented--

"Oke, Manita. M'ap chwazi yon lòt moun. Li pa Soo-peh-mahn oubyen Baht-man ki pi fò. Se Dessalines. Dessalines pi fò."

Translation-- "Okay Manita. I will chose another person. It's not Superman or Batman who is stronger. It's Dessalines. Dessalines is stronger."

Um, Haitian school much?

(Okay, so that would be WAY funnier if you had a basic knowledge of Haitian revolutionary history...)

still married.

I took this picture of our hands this past January. Nick and I were on a belated 10th anniversary trip in the DR. I was looking at our hands on the vakay and thinking about how long ago it was that these rings were exchanged.

I think it's a minor (at least minor) miracle that Nick and I are still married.

This country could ruin a marriage in no time flat if you let it. I don't want to get into all the reasons-- but I think there's a good summary on Heather's blog-- HERE.

So. If you follow us on facebook you've heard the news that Nick and I were robbed. We are thankful we are all physically okay and I honestly don't feel like telling the whole story again, so if you haven't heard it yet, you can read it HERE.

The thing that keeps punching me in the gut lately is that they stole Nick's wedding ring. Actually, they also stole this silver ring as well that he wore on his right hand. He's been wearing that longer than his wedding ring. I gave it to him when we were engaged.

The weird thing is, they didn't take my ring. I don't wear a wedding ring anymore. My engagement ring got stolen several months ago by an employee in a very non-dramatic fashion. I got kind of tired of wearing a wedding ring after that and I got Nick's name tattooed on my wedding ring finger. So I wasn't wearing a wedding ring when the robbers came. I was wearing a lovely seaglass ring on my right hand, however, that Nick had recently had made for me.


When they asked for our rings it was dark. I immediately took my ring off and tried to hand it to them. They wouldn't take it.

Afterward I had several ideas why they didn't take my ring but they took both of Nick's rings. Initially I thought maybe they realized it was sea glass and, therefore, not valuable monetarily. But they didn't get a good look at it at all. Not at all. And they took Nick's silver ring that had no monetary value. A local business owner here in Jacmel claims they didn't take my ring because they were afraid of me because of my tattoos. Possible. (But that doesn't explain why they weren't scared to steal my money out of my purse or brand new iphone.)

What I've settled on is not that they were afraid of my tattoos or that they knew my ring didn't have monetary value. I think they stole Nick's ring (because they were showing their power of him. Like, "we're in charge of this and you will do what we say." And we did do what they said. We complied with everything they said. We didn't talk back or try to talk them out of taking our money. (What else could we do?)

But there was one item Nick challenged them on. When they asked for his ring he said, "I can't get the ring off. It hasn't come off in years." And again they told him to take it off. He tried to get of off (I don't know how hard he tried) and then Nick offered them his hand and said, "It won't come off. You get it off if you want it." They spit on his hand and literally had to rip his skin to get the ring off .

When I look at the items that they stole-- totaling about $8,000 in value, it is Nick's wedding ring I begrudge them the most. It only cost $300 back when we got married. But it's just such a picture of what I feel like this country has tried to do to our marriage. It's been spit on and ripped from us at times. The stresses and drama and trauma-- they try to steal our marriage. The cultural values on marriage/fidelity-- they try to steal our marriage. The heat. The kids. Attachment disorder. The finances. All marriage-stealers.

Nick has these really pronounced tan lines where his rings were. I took this picture of his hands last week. His hands still bore evidence of the "outward symbol of an inward commitment."

Then I took a picture of our hands together again.


Our hands look different than they did back in January. But even though it looks differently now than it looked 10 years ago (or even back in January) there's still outward evidence of an inward commitment.

I have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to marriage. At my core I am selfish and I have a faithless heart. I don't want to speak for Nick, but I think he would say the same thing.

I guess all of this is to say this... They can take my iphone. They can take my money. They can take my camera and my vacation and even my wedding rings... I will lay still and not talk back as all that is taken. But they can't have my marriage.

Where that is involved, I am not going down without a fight.

Friday, November 4, 2011

On a moto, episode 8, Tuba


This one is actually pretty common. Funerals are big marching band events around here. So it's not uncommon to see people riding around on motos with instruments. I only wish it were the wrap-around kind...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On a moto, episode 7, The Preschool Table

Can't fit that table you painted for the preschool in the back of your mini-van? No problem. Send it on a moto!

(I love that there's a person behind the driver carrying the table... look close-- you just see his feet! )
Today's picture comes to us courtesy of Rhyan Buettner, Director of Espwa Berlancia... check them out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On a moto, episode 6, Rebar (the accident waiting to happen)


So yeah-- here's a great idea. Let's carry, say, a dozen pieces of rebar off the back of a moto and make a whole lot of noise and sparks driving around. Ooh! Also, then when you whip around the corners, you can whip people with the rebar. Or maybe cars/other motos could get too close, run over the rebar and cause a huge accident.