Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pogo Sticks & Rubic's Cubes

I think it would get easier to clean things out and "let go". Yesterday, we participated in the annual garage sale at FIA, where the kids attend school. I was reminded again, how things are just "things" to others...really 50 pesos for that amazing pogostick?? But to me, these things have such beautiful memories attached to them.  I love the hands that twisted those puzzling cubes, how it was an obsession. I loved watching the kids in the yard maneuvering the pogo stick, the unicycle, listening to Shel Silverstein, the Wild Wacky World of Mr Henry or Jungle Jam and letting imaginations soar.

So fun to watch.  I absolutely love the memories I have and continue to make, so much more to come. I am realizing that cleaning out and lightening our load is not betraying the past. It is a necessity, but still hard for me.

Anticipating the move of yet another child, I consider my feelings and emotions often. While sorely missing one who is already studying in the USA and now another? Seems like too much for my heart to bare to be away from them, but amazingly I am doing more than surviving this. It is fun to see them learn new things, meet new people and experience life. Yet it is hard to see them walk through things that I am certain I could help with, would help with, should help with?? The growing pains of life, heartache and pain mixed with the exhilaration of seeing your child gaining independence. So many of my friends have gone through this and are going through this and will go through this. I am so glad that I am not alone.  All part of life. I am realizing that being a Mom is about pouring your life into your precious children, all to give them wings and see them soar.

I am  enjoying the moments. Enjoying our family at each stage. Loving the silly things teenagers do and love being with friends. Amazing people who may not always physically be a part of lives but they are part of our journey. Instrumental in who we are becoming. Even if the "things" get sold, left behind or forgotten, the people are not! I am so thankful for such a rich journey.  As we have moved a few times, we have significantly cut down on things but not people! They will always be  part of who we are. As you might notice, I have a hard time posting pics of people other than family, I guess it is just impossible for me to choose. As I scroll through the pictures, I have been incredibly blessed by so many people! We have said "see you later" to many, not knowing if we will see them again on this earth. I just want to be mindful to embrace and appreciate all I can now.

Yes, look back and reminisce but do not stay there. Live in the present.  Take time to smell the roses.

Yes, considering the past and the future  but trying not to miss NOW. Such a delicate balance, this is so  helpful putting my thoughts down into words. Ups and downs. As my family knows, I can be a fanatic when it comes to taking pictures. I just need to have them, they help me capture the moments. For later!  Right now, as I travel along in this beautiful life, I am savoring the memories and grabbing the now times and looking forward to the future. What a rewarding choice.

I am finding that this balance is a beautiful thing. Family, friends, places & things...Rubic's cubes & pogosticks. I will enjoy them all. All part of my
life. Something quite wonderful.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Power of "Hello"

photo taken by Marlene Bray
Whenever Norhaia is in the Physical Therapy room, it is always a little brighter. As soon as I enter the room, I am greeted with an enthusiastic "hello". I immediately head for Norhaia to collect my hug and kiss. My heart swells with love and pride. A girly girl who loves dresses,  sparkly shoes,  jewelry but most of all people. She invites you right into her world, so lovingly making you feel so special with her attention. Watching her interact with the other patients and therapists is a treat. What a hard worker she is! She diligently works on the functions that I take for granted. Holding her head up straight, sitting, standing, walking, using her hands. The list goes on...... I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank God for this precious gift! Her life is to be celebrated as she brightens the world with her "hello" and a smile. That is something quite wonderful!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I did it!

No that was not it, maybe this?

or this?

No seriously, today, I completed lesson #60 of Cebuano/ Bisayan language study here in the Philippines! I was a little embarrassed to post this as I have been at this a loooooonnnng time. About 3 years?? Ha ha ha. Actually I have taken times off but always had the goal to finish the program. Some lessons took several weeks and some lessons were filled with laughter and lots of cultural lessons. I had two partners during my studies.

First was Janessa, our trusty intern who was with us a little less than a year and a half

but the greater part was spent with my friend, Mars...


Am I fluent?? HA HA. Do I understand much of what I hear? Hmmmm, alot with some gaps??! But there are so many languages that people flow in and out of here that I would have to stay a really long time to hash all of that out! I chose Cebuano/ Bisayan because many of patients speak it. It  is not the national language, Tagalog but I do feel that it communicates love, care & comfort. Although sometimes frustrating and humiliating, it often provides comic relief and keeps things light. I am just feeling very accomplished today. Rejoice with me?

One lament? I will miss the language/ culture expert, BeBe Metillo! Gwapa s'ya...sulod ug sa gawas! Elle est incroyable....ooops I mean... Kahibulongan s'ya! (is that right BeBe?)

She is a superstar and a trusted friend. I recommend her to anyone wanting to study. She tried to pitch her Tagalog course next.....need a break for a while! But for now at least Mars understands me.....I think?

I still revert to french in strange or uncomfortable cultural situations....Parlez vous Francais? Je ne comprende pas! Desole....... Oi Vay!! My brain must be in knots? BeBe says it is all in there and says it will just start coming out, WATCH OUT! I just need to try more and not worry about perfection. Believe me, it is far from perfect! Language and culture something wonderful. Today I am thankful for so many wonderful things, friends who stick with things and help me to do the same, dedicated teachers, perseverance & chances to push limits. Salamat kaayo!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


REALLY, I am not a "fan girl" but I sure love the band, Switchfoot. 

So when they sent two of their band members to the Tebow CURE Hospital last year, I was thrilled. Felt like dancing like this......

Our whole family has listened to Switchfoot's music for years. The group was founded in 1996, just before our first boy, Drew, was born!  He turned 20, just last week! We (probably D & I get most excited) love when they announce a new release and can't wait to hear. It is not just the music that we are drawn to, it is the authenticity of their message. They are able to get us thinking. "Dare You to Move", "Meant to Live", "Stars" and "Float" are among my favorites. I never in a million years thought that I would ever meet them ALL. Well, just yesterday, they traveled down to Davao City after their concert in Manila. Only thing missing? Drew!

They came specifically to meet some children and see what Cure International does here in the Philippines. What an amazing day. It was like hanging out with dear old friends.  

I celebrated a birthday almost two weeks ago. Birthdays encourage me to reflect on the past and get me thinking about what is coming. Many of Switchfoot's songs get me thinking and have postured me to get where I am today. My future is so bright and it is wonderful. I am thankful for thoughtful music that inspires me to do great things. What an exciting event to have two of my favorites collide...Switchfoot & CURE.  So thrilled to have them learning about our mission and wanting to partner with us! Seeing them touched by our patient's stories, meeting our staff, playing & praying with kids really touched me. So many wonderful things....partnership, CURE International, Switchfoot & like minded/ hearted friends!