January 31. At school we did progressive face painting. A little more added after each lesson was completed. This sort of backfired on me, because the glitter that I used wasn't actually body glitter, it was Elmer's glitter glue. I didn't think it would matter. Elmer's is non-toxic, right? Well, it is non-toxic, however it sticks to the face (and all the teeny tiny facial hairs) like glue. (Probably because it's glue.) Plus, I think I ruined their school uniforms (not pictured here) as they all got glitter glue all over them. I have been soaking them since then... This turned out to be not my best idea ever. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth to get it off.
January 30. Another shot of the landslide. It's currently under repair. And by repair, I mean they stop traffic for about 30 minutes at a time, knock a bunch of rocks/boulders/dirt down the hill with heavy machinery, have another group of heavy machines at road level where they knock it off the road down the mountain (or at least clear it enough for cars to drive by.) It is always a bit tense as I drive through it and wonder if anything else is going to slip and fall on me. The more I read about Haiti, the more disturbed I am by the deforestation situation. I am not going to go as far as saying that it is the US's fault, but there is a compelling history of BAD policy towards Haiti that made deforestation seem like the only option. This is just another one of those issues in life that's, "complicated."
January 29. Got stopped at the most adorable police checkpoint ever today. And yes, Nick is dozing in the background with twin Spidermans on his lap. What, you don't do that too?
January 28. It's the end of January and I still have my Christmas lights up. Yup, I am THAT person. Pretty sure the HOA is going to come down on me pretty soon.
January 27. Church on the Beach (COTB) has a new drum. I love how you can still see the goat hair on the skin. It sounds great though...
January 26. Perfect January beach day with our kids today.
January 25. I am titling this picture *SIGH!* Last year Nick and I bought a new to us car-- really the only thing we own in Haiti that belongs to us personally and not the ministry. It was so exciting. Three days later it was in a wreck and here we are, about six months later, and thousands and thousands of dollars in repairs with a still-not-working car. I don't know much about mechanical things, but I am pretty sure there's not supposed to be enough room for the mechanic to sit inside the engine... If I could make ONE hire that I would never regret, it would be a good mechanic. We really need one.
January 24. When we were done with our lessons for the day, I took the kids out to walk around downtown Jacmel and look at all the paper mache being made for Karnaval. I loved so many of the things I saw and there were giant, fantastical creatures 10 feet high. But I LOVED the simplicity of this flamingo masks. So brilliant.
January 23. I almost didn't use this picture because it's kind of blurry, but I love how this picture shows the motion of our house. Our house is ALWAYS moving. (And it's always a mess, too.)
January 22. Pre-bedtime reading time. Nick is a really, REALLY great dad. And I am not just saying that. Side note: It was funny to hear Nick read, "I am black, I am unique" over and over again.
January 21. Took a really long drive today after a particularly heated "discussion" with my husband. On the way back I was stopped at the landslide zone on the mountain thinking about how thankful I am for roots that hold things in place so that the rains can come without disasters.
January 20. Staph day. This was pretty much the whole day. Thankful for Sarah who can do IVs. Everyone who lives in Haiti needs a good friend with that ability. But I'd be friends with Sarah even if she couldn't. She's THAT great.
January 19. Wildarne's spot as "most adorable member of the Mangine family" is secure. Man, this kid is cute.
January 18. Nico and Jerry made some unwise choices in their selection of words today while frustrated. Do the crime, do the time...
January 17. When you're kid #12 this kind of thing is NBD...
January 16. Nick snapped this one of me snugging Schneider and reading the paper. Despite us being gone for almost three weeks, he is still my biggest fan and prefers me to anyone else. That makes me feel so good.
January 15. I almost didn't select this picture as today's picture of the day because that would be three days in a row of Nick pictures. But whatevs... I like the guy, and (at the risk of sounding arrogant), I love this picture. These are two of the sweetest, kindest people I know, and I loved waking up to leave to go back to Haiti and see them all snuggled together.
January 14. Last day of furlough. Nick does his final weigh-in to see how much he's gained. Y'all. My husband gained an even 20 lbs in 17 days. That is... something. Thankfully he still has good metabolism and so it should be gone in a few months without even having to try. Or at least I am pretty sure that's what he's hoping. (And for the record, I gained a little over 5 lbs, but you won't be seeing a picture of that weigh-in.) Clearly it's time to get back to Haiti.
January 13. We brought "Fun Andrew" to the airport tonight to send him back on his way home after a great visit. We stopped first at the Observation Park to let the kids run around and play. Turns out it wasn't just the kids who wanted to play, Nick and Andrew wanted to play, too. Timed relay races were the activity of choice, using Nia's lipgloss as the baton.
January 12. This morning we loaded all our junk up and left the beach house. It was sad to say goodbye to the cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents/nieces/nephews, etc. But sweet little Abbie tried to prolong our fun by slamming her hand in the van door on her way out. Fortunately we were right across the street from the hospital, where she got a quick x-ray showing that nothing was broken. Glad it ended well...
January 11. Grandma Bev is 61. We had a party for her at the beach house and some of the kids wrote a song for her to the tune of Jingle Bells. It was VERY special.
January 10. Made hot chocolate and treats for the kids at the beach house. Preparing snacks for this many kids almost felt like being home in Haiti. Almost.
January 9. Nick and I bought Andrew Brown a new game for Christmas. Unfortunately, we won't see him until tomorrow and Nick, KC and Jon couldn't wait. So, the game is now slightly used. Sorry Andrew, you snooze, you lose.
January 8, 2013. Driving from Nags Head to Manteo we saw a truck full of sharks. Like raw, dead sharks. I did not know that kind of thing happened in this country.
January 7, 2013. Johanna and Grandad. Best of friends.
January 6. Josiah pushed the edgy look this morning. I could deal with the tousled hair and the wrinkled shirt. The pink lip gloss was too much.
January 5. Together with family on the OBX. Nico's proudly displaying this shirt Nana made him last night so we all remember the thought he wrote on the board a few weeks ago, "I love dis famlie."
January 4. Went to the fabric store with my mother-in-law, Bev, today. She's making us new couch covers and covers for our library benches. The fabric store is her happy place.
January 3. This is Nick's lunch at Tribeca Tavern today. A gigantic burger that was topped with fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and 6 pieces of bacon. So, you know, health food.
January 2. The kids are out at my mom's house. Nick is out at a meeting. I have the evening all to myself for the first time in I don't know HOW long. I had planned to take a hot bath and read this new book, but I found Amish Mafia while flipping through the channels and I am not sure I can turn it off...
January 1. In Cary, NC to celebrate the New Year. Had a pajama party with the Gilliams, the Loomis family, and the Stoners. Thankful for the passage of time and the sweet friendships we've been able to maintain through the years and miles.