Thursday, April 20, 2017


Coming from social media land, #hashtags have a certain appeal, to "tag" something you want to say to the end of what you already said, but in a cool way....I guess.  (For those who never have read hashtags before, it was written by an adult, it does have meaning, there are just no spaces between the words). Here are a few other possible titles for this post:





So, there is no topic.  That's why there is no real title.  But below are a few things that have been going on recently.

Hospital Brenda
#Cayes   #ENT  #firsttimevisit  #blownaway

We had a visiting ophthalmology team here for a week.  Their thought was to do glaucoma surgeries, but there weren't very many glaucoma patients.  They did surgeries on two people, but mostly did an eye clinic, which was still helpful and needed.  Friday we spent the day going to Cayes to Hospital Brenda.  We had heard of it before from local people who come and say they have eye problems and need to go there for treatment, but we had no personal experience there.  I was envisioning a small little clinic, but what we saw was a jam-packed, fully functional, ENT/Eye hospital, complete with surgery suites and a lab to make their own medicated eye drops.  There were hundreds of people crammed into the waiting areas, waiting to see the few doctors that are on staff.  There is no ophthalmology program in Haiti, so there is a severe shortage of eye dr's.  (The director said Hospital Brenda is working to become accredited as a teaching hospital to train eye doctors - yay!)  People sometimes don't even get seen the day they come, so they will make the long journey back home if they don't have anyone to stay with in Cayes.  Or they will sleep on a hard bench overnight to be seen the next day.

We spoke with the director in order to make connections to see about any collaboration in the future, and she gave us a tour of the facility and answered all our questions.  It was a really interesting visit and I'm glad we got to go!

Easter Break
#tonsoffun  #heisgrowingup  #upfromthegravehearose

Orrin's school break started out to be from Wed-Friday before Easter.  But then it was going to be Mon-Friday.  When I went to pick him up from school on the Thursday before, the other moms were saying the teachers may give the report cards that day and then not have school Friday.  They really wanted to know, as they said, so they didn't have to get up at 5am to make food, pack lunches, get their kids bathed and dressed and teeth brushed, and walk to school.  I am soooo lazy - we never get up at 5 to get ready for school, and I don't get near that much done in the mornings!  The teacher did come out and hand out the report cards and some school papers the kids did....and so Easter break started on Friday!

We had a really good school vacation.  We planned some fun stuff during the week, and lots of play time.  Orrin did really good keeping busy and wanting to help me out with laundry, making food, trash, making his bed, etc.

This kid!  And his "activities" and his ingenuity :)  Gotta love it!

We got to harvest some broccoli and cabbages from the garden.  The plants are growing like crazy with all the rain we've been getting!

One evening we had a picnic outdoors.  It is simply so perfect outside, and we always say we should eat outside, so we finally did!

If you have a hard time seeing David and Cassia at the gate in this picture, then you will understand why I thought it was so crazy that someone could find us in our private picnic...but they did :)  Suppertime is often interrupted, whether inside or out.

We had story hour one afternoon, and read silly animal books like "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig," "Silly Tilly," and "Click, Clack, Moo."  Then we made paper plate animals, ate popcorn, and sang a few silly songs.  It was a fun diversion.

Orrin went to gym class with the English school kids on Monday.  Joan said that he could come Wed and Friday too.  He said, "Well, I won't come on Friday 'cuz it's Good Friday and my Dad's home.  I like to be home when my dad's home."  !!!  He sure put a lot of pieces together there!  David was home part of  the day on Good Friday, and he had fun dying eggs with the kids.

Good Friday is also the day when the local people march in a procession and sing to remember Christ's death, and this year we caught it on camera.

Saturday, Orrin took a nap (which is pretty unusual) and woke up complaining of a headache.  The weekend before, he was riding his bike at the basketball court and rode into the rope that made the tennis "net" and fell off his bike and hit his head pretty hard.  So when his headache lasted through Sunday and he would complain every 20 minutes and he would sometimes start to cry, we were getting a little concerned.  But he had no other complaints or signs of something serious.  So we decided to wait til Monday and see how he was.  Sunday night we went to Platt's for a sunset singing.  He didn't play, and lay on David's lap all evening.  But Monday he got up and went to school and said he was "a lot better."  Don't know if he just got one of those after-nap headaches, then didn't sleep good at night so he took another nap Sunday and so it all continued.  Or if he just was having after effects of the probable concussion he suffered a week before.  We're hoping it is nothing serious, and praying that it was just a passing problem.

Chocolate Chips, Softner Salt, and HE IS
#thesedofittogether  #spoiled  #blessed

A few weeks ago, I used up the last of my semi-sweet chocolate chips, at least all the ones that are still in chip form and didn't get melted before they reached our fridge.  Jami had offered to send something to me if I needed it, but I had just asked her to send me something else.  I thought about asking her to send some too, but I thought it really wasn't necessary, and although it's hard to get better than fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, we would make it.  When her package arrived, I was excited to see the item I'd asked her to get....and a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips!  I know it's small...but to me, God (and Jami) spoiled me a little bit.  I hadn't prayed for chocolate chips, I hadn't asked for them.  But God saw that I wanted them, and as a parent takes joy in spoiling their child on occasion, I believe He did just that to me.

My dad recently had a cardio cath where they found a 98% blockage of his LAD artery in his heart.  He had been to the dr for a physical and told them how he felt worn out after carrying bags of softner salt to the basement.  They scheduled him for a stress test, saw some EKG changes, and then scheduled the cath.  He came out of the cath lab with a stint and escaped a looming heart attack or very possible sudden cardiac arrest.  (Don't ask a paramedic to cheer you up about your health :) ).  So over the past year, I've been thinking of my dad and all our parents and potential health problems.  (Sorry if I'm embarrassing any of you.....just know you're loved and thought of).  Orrin and I pray for them before he goes to bed and ask God to keep them safe and healthy.  I'm really thankful that God granted our request, and blessed us by keeping dad healthy.

I'll try not to be too theological here, because there's a very good chance that I won't get it right.  But here's how these two items - chocolate chips and softner salt - come together for me.  Through those things, God reminded me that He cares, He hears, and He blesses.  We all know not everything works out the way we want it to - all of us have things that we've deeply wanted and prayed for and it hasn't happened.  But we know that HE IS enough, and that's what we have to cling to in times of trouble. For these two things though, I want to count and remember them as blessings from Him!

We'll end with that, and a picture that I recently came across.  So cute :)


  1. I so enjoy reading your posts!! We pray often for you and all those in Haiti.

  2. Janella, I came across your blog and I have really enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing you love for Christ and building His kingdom here on earth. I noticed in some of the pictures that you have posted from your home that head coverings are on the ladies. What denomination is that from? I know it says to cover your head in the Bible and I would be interested in learning more. My email is primapallerina at hotmail . com (trying to keep bots from identifying my email and spamming me) if you are willing to share more with me. Sincerely, Korah

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