A trip to get groceries…

Winter.  The bundling.  The exact place to press with all of your might against your toddler’s squished layers to buckle their car seat, as the snot drips from your nose, convincing them that their mommy completely is sane and doing it all for their protection.
Wal-Mart trips.  Contemplating.  Wishing that last night you hadn’t used the very last of the pancake mix, leaving the cupboards echoing as you glance in them just one more time. The roll of the tummy rolls gives you determination to do it.  To go, wait in line for the best parking spot.  Walk past the red box and wonder if there is anything new in it.. yet knowing you are not coming back tomorrow to return it.. then venturing in for the cart full that will empty the checking account.  After a quick glance though the rest of stuff mart, especially the clearance section, the kids beg for treats while you reward your purse with a butterfinger, hoping it will share with you later when it’s calm.. or on the ride home. Two hours later, the trip returns the fridge to what it was created for and dinner as well with ingredients purposed by God to be together.

Routines.  We all have them.  They just might look a little different..  It was grocery day yesterday.  Determining who is in on the adventure.  Walking a block and a half past Lady, Batman, Meanmomma, Pedro, Sam, Butch, Mac, and Mac didn’t let us forget about her beautiful new addition..  Four bright shining puppies.  We walked a little quicker only to arrive.
At the route.  There are certain roads that taxis and maxis run.  We are thankful to live rather close to one.  Waiting is an adventure in itself.   There are three options. P cars… P is Private and thus not registered, H is Hired.. or more legit. Most of the time we grab a little green stripped van called a maxi. For $.50 US or 6tt you have a  little package of entertainment, community, adventure, and transportation.  And best yet, they have arrival buttons which are as much fun to push as elevator buttons.
Food.  Yesterday we hit the market first, filled up our bags with bode, okra, potatoes, and cucumbers.   Grocery options.  The store with the more traditional Trini foods or the more “foreign foods.”  You can guess which store uses more tt dollars… but it all comes down to horn creme rolls.  I am in love.  Coke and horn creme rolls for lunch, you have made me feel very much at home.
Don’t let the sugar rush fool you,  the adventure isn’t over.  How can we pack as many groceries as creatively as one can??   Picking up our market bags we had to drop off when we entered the store from Noahs’ friend who is convinced he is the best helper ever. (he is.) Cutting through the hardware store, eyeing the perfume store, past the truck filled with coconuts.   Have you ever had coconut water?  Try washing the oysters and conchs down with it.. or better yet just stick with a snow cone from Mr. T.. (highly recommended route)
Stop to say hello to the flower lady, which it just occurred to me that I don’t know her name… but she is lovely.  Bringing you back  once again to the route.  Out goes your finger and we are back in business, only with groceries on your lap 🙂  In Noah’s case yesterday.. chicken.  Mean mommy.  Driving past the man with blue legs and a construction hat and then it’s over the hills and through Petrotrin.  And we are home.  Well, almost.  A screeching halt leaves us at the side of the road, in a perfect place to search for caimans and lizards on the way home.
And we have groceries.  Two hours later, our fridge is stocked and dinner is on, roti, potatoes, and stewed chicken.  Minus the car seats, snow, and with a side of creme horns…

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Bake n Shark…

Multiple excuses surface for not posting frequently… really. The number one reason being that this blog is completely misrepresented.  For more information on that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh9CWFcps1w

How can one go on when they have flipped the bake and the shark, or the shark and the bake?  How do you pick up the pieces and move forward??  “They” say that the order doesn’t matter.  “They” say either way is fine.  But the “they” aren’t trini.

So we live, we learn.  Sharknbake is upside down, backwards, flipped the wrong way- only to represent our life 🙂

But the Glory of the Bake-n-shark is a beautiful thing.  Unless, one puts too much pepper (aka hot sauce) then in which case one will bawl at first bite of this glorious creation.

Won’t you consider coming and sharing one with us?

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He that is Big.

I remember a speaker once hammering into me the concept of “what are you doing BIG for God?”  His point partially was to expect big things from God, yet for years this question has stuck with me.  In many ways driven me bananas.

Is it in the big that the war is won?

Trinidad is much like America.  The choice to wake up and find Jesus is in the small choices.  To love our neighbors.  To love our children and not view them based on performance.  To love God.  To make God known.

That is what this adventure has been for me.  To find God alive and real in the small things.   The many trips to the hospital and blood tests.  The walks past homes that aren’t considered homes in many neighborhoods in America.  The moments of loving on and building relationships with people- that God has created and placed in my life.

To have no control each day what simple thing I could normally fix, now I must rely on others and God for.  To sometimes not even know the next step.  To not be anxious but to trust that He will work all things out for His glory.. not mine.

Tonight the only medicine we gave our children was papaya leaves 🙂  No alarms set for middle of the night fever checks.  That is awesomely amazing.

If all else were stripped away, would it ever matter what I was doing big?  Or perhaps simply whose I was each small day in comparison to His greatness?

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It’s a big deal.

Isabel is 8 tomorrow AND

we have a date:  Sharknbake here we come.

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Maja’s Hello…

Uh, this is Maja.

Something different about Trinidad is the houses. Like, the roofs are tin and the Hindu prayer flags everywhere.

I actually think the flags are scary. What the Hindu people do is they get these normal sized flags and the flags are prayed on to a certain god. Then they put it somewhere outside like on the patio or porch. They believe that if they touch, move, clean, take down, or even uncurl them or whatever when the wind curls them up, that they would offense the god they prayed to and that prayer won’t ever come true. I thought that was scary. Very.

The pop is different too. They put extra sugar in it instead of corn syrup. It doesn’t taste bad.

I am not that used to mothball smell, or the rain. It rains at LEAST once a day. The rest of the day it is as hot as… uh.. really hot.

I share a room with my mom and dad. They have a bed in the middle of our room and I have a bed in the back corner of the room. Bel, Noah, Oli, and A share a room. Noah and  Bel have their own beds and Oli and A share a bed, in front of the tv.

KFC is awesome here. I love their ketchup. It is a little bit more runny and not as tomatoey.

But, my favorite, by far, is pineapple juice.

Ok, this was all I was going to write, but Noah begged to say hi, so ”Hi!”(goodbye.)

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From the Rooftops..

Currently it is the RAIN season in Trinidad and it POURS, thus perhaps all of the stray doggies wandering about.  This is the rooftop of the guest house, the “upper room.” 🙂

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Gather and Scatter

During our last week in the US, we had a speaker named Andy Kampman.  Andy works with the US Center for World Missions.  One thing that he spoke about stuck to my heart like peanut butter, a reoccurring theme in the Bible, is how God gathers and scatters.  He will gather His people together and proceed to scatters them, carrying the message of His love to the nations.  We find this true today in cultures as well, in families, and friendships.  He gathers and scatters, gathers and scatters.  Its seems to be a season of scattering for us.

We have been beyond blessed to have a core group of people that love and support us.  It seems the past few years have been a difficult time in all of our lives;  a time of gathering and scattering.  In the gathering, we have been blessed beyond words, with vulnerable acceptance.  Tonight, I tucked the kids into bed 2888 miles away, the realization that it is definitely a time of scattering is clear.

Dreadlocks, Music, Stray Dogs, Palm Trees, Hindu Prayer Flags, Naked Fishermen, Mothballs, Heavy Rain, Petrotrin, & Bus-Up-Shut.

We are in Trinidad!

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