Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gabi Just Posing...

Gabi with her big smile, having fun and posing on the playground...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Making New Friends ....

Gabi , Bella Teya and Neyvada enjoyed meeting (and already went swimming with:o) Alana, her dad Charles (who drove many many miles and helped them with this big move,) her daughters.. Emani and La Tanya. We are all excited to have them here and wish them the best of luck in the new chapter in their lives....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thought for the day...


Don't judge people by the clothes they wear. God made the people ; a tailor made the clothes...


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shaving Cream...

After the snow fun Gabi, Bella and Teya had new doo fun with shaving cream.. Neyvada wanted no part of it:o)

Friday, August 22, 2008


Gabi , Bella, Neyvada and their friend Layla had fun at the summer snow event.. Matteya.. not so much..I do not think she is a fan of snow :o)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My friend Esperanza took this picture of this bus named " Esperanza" on a Guatemalan road when she was there last month visiting her family...Esperanza means "HOPE" in spanish... i love this picture .. We all have a heart.. and in our hearts we should always have hope, always have faith and always have love...Where we have hope we can always have a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives, specially in giving to those in need, to those who are sick and to those who are lonely and giving them hope... God gives us that.... He guides and directs us.....When one door closes another door or chapter in our lives opens, even if we get off path and choose the wrong one...we have hope and faith to get us back to a right path...

"May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and ,until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Irish Blessing

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lots of Fun Colors...

Who says you can not have fun at a furniture store... was a kids furniture store and they even gave us popcorn:o)

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School Pictures....

Gabriela , Anabella and Neyvada were all ready and excited for their first day of school....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Marilu's Grandma Making Tamales in Guatemala

Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce Recipe

(Tamales Colorados)
These banana leaf–wrapped tamales are covered with an outer layer of foil, which ensures that they stay closed when steamed. Alternatively, the foil may be omitted and the tamales tied with kitchen twine. (Parchment paper may be substituted for the banana leaves, as well.)
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. canola oil1 1-lb. piece boneless pork shoulderKosher salt, to taste4 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped. 1 small white onion, roughly chopped, 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar13 14" x 14" pieces fresh or frozen and thawed banana leaf, trimmed of hard edges, rinsed, and patted dry1 tsp. achiote paste (ground annatto seed and spices); optional ,2 cups masa harina (corn flour for tamales; preferably Maseca brand)1 cup rice flour1⁄4 cup capers, rinsed15-20 large pitted green olives1⁄2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut pork into 3"–4"-long slices about 1⁄2" thick and set aside.
2. To make the chile sauce: Purée tomatoes, garlic, chiles, onions, and 1⁄4 cup water in a blender. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly add purée, vinegar, sugar, and salt; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 40 minutes. Set sauce aside.
3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast 10 banana leaf pieces in skillet, one at a time, turning once, 20–30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Alternately layer banana leaves, dull side up, with 14" squares of foil; trim protruding leaves.
4. To make the corn-flour dough: Put achiote paste and 1 quart warm water into a bowl. Mash paste with your fingers to dissolve. Add masa harina, rice flour, remaining oil, and 2 tbsp. salt; whisk. Transfer mixture to a medium pot; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until dough is very thick and pulls away from sides of pot, 6–8 minutes. Transfer dough to a bowl.
5. To assemble the tamales: Place about 1⁄2 cup dough into middle of a banana leaf; form dough into a 4" square. Top with 2 pieces pork, 4–5 capers, 1–2 olives, 2 slices bell pepper, and about 2 tbsp. chile sauce. Fold sides of banana leaf over filling to make a snug rectangular package. Repeat process with remaining dough, pork, capers, olives, peppers, and a little chile sauce to make 10 tamales in all. (Reserve remaining chile sauce for another use.)
6. Place a large collapsible steamer inside a deep wide pot; pour in enough water for a depth of 1". Line steamer with the 3 remaining banana leaf pieces. Arrange tamales in steamer, standing them upright. Cover pot; boil. Reduce heat to medium and steam tamales, covered, until firm and cooked through, 45–50 minutes. Unwrap; serve tamales hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update from Abby's parents..Please continue to pray

About a week after Abby’s Leukemia diagnosis, she had elevated liver enzymes and the doctors were very concerned about it. Abby initially tested reactive to Hepatitis C, so the Docs ran some more specific and accurate tests to verify. Those test came back last week NEGATIVE for Hep-C. Her liver enzymes have also now come back into acceptable ranges (for Leukemia), so we praise God for that, and sincerely thank everyone who prayed for Abby.
The doctors will watch her liver numbers closely as she was 12 times higher than normal when all this began. It is truly an answer to prayer. Thank you for praying with us. We hope you will take joy in this answered prayer too.
Abby has a very important clinic appointment on Wednesday. It will be her 29th day of treatment. Her doctors will do a bone marrow aspiration and spinal tap to determine if she is in remission. If she is not in remission, they will need to continue giving her high doses of chemo until she is in remission. We are praying and fully expecting that she is in remission on Wednesday.
Remission (no Leukemia in the bone marrow), on the 29th day of treatment means that her chemo for the next six months will be less severe and most important to us, her chances of survival (statistically speaking according to the Doctors) are much higher (as opposed to not being remission). We know that God can heal her, no matter what the statistics say, but of course we are still praying for good news on Wednesday. We believe God heals both miraculously, and through the providential gifts of healthcare and medicine as He sees fit to His glory.
So far, Abby has not experienced most of the harsher side effects of her treatment. We are very thankful for that blessing from God. She is weak and very tired most of the time. Chemo has a cumulative effect and each week she gets more tired. She struggles with being constipated and an aching stomach. She is such a sweetheart. She has had the best attitude during the last month. Thank you again for praying for her

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kindergarten Already??

Where have these past 4 1/2 years gone?? It seems like yesterday when our precious Guatemalan baby girl named Ana Gabriela , was placed in my arms. Gabriela Noel came home on Christmas day 2003 at 14 months, she was just a baby of 3 months when she was placed in a Guatemalan Orphanage. It is so hard to believe she is not a baby anymore, but will always be our blessing.. God has truly blessed us with this bright eyed little girl. She has such a huge heart and a personality just as big. Her smile is as big as a rainbow and her laugh fills a room. She loves helping and being a big sister. Gabi has had a busy summer with spanish camp, brain camp, kindergarten boot camp and some fun play camps with rock climbing and swimming. Summer is almost over and she is off to big girl school. I get to stay with her the first day and i will treasure every second of it because like my friend Amy (awesome mother of 7) said I will blink and she will be be graduating from high school.... and again i will be asking where have all these years gone?? and why so fast.... You have blessed our lives little Gabi girl , you are a joy and we love you!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gabi and Mommy Day...

Today was Gabi's day to pick out new school clothes for kindergarten.. We went shopping at Target.. we love bright and cherry Target. We had lots of luck there. Gabi is my little tom boy and is a little picky about her clothes.. she mentioned to me before we even entered the store ,we were not looking at dresses... we found lots of fun plaid knee length shorts, tops and yea.. a few boy t-shirts.. but they were cute.. Then we had lunch, ice cream, and then more shopping at J. C. Pennys and Old Navy. Then at 5:00pm it was meet the teacher day at her new school. My little Gabi girl is so fun and we had a great Gabi and Mommy day!!!

Ummmm.... Custard...

The girls having fun sister time at a new custard restuarant in town..

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Orphan Care in Ethipoia....

Ready, set, DONATE!
One of my favorite things about blogging is reading other peoples blogs and getting to take a little sneak peak into their lives and celebrate how God is using them. My friend Amy's awesome buddy Angel and her husband Russ (who I am so proud of and inspired by) are heading up Red Letters Campaign and they are partnering with Children's Hopechest to launch orphan care in Ethiopia for 1000+ children! This will include supporting Hanna's Orphan Home. This is going to take some major fund raising and so therefore fellow bloggers it’s time to JUMP out of your comfy chair and get to work! You know you have some kind of talent, some kind of connections or some kind of heart and want to actually be a part of this amazing opportunity. Don’t just sit back and read- YOU be His hands and feet. So- what they need right now are DONATIONS of GOODS!!) Do you make something or own a fun store or business??? Would you be interested in donating to the fundraising efforts of RLC? All donations will be used in a Project Ethiopia Raffle Fundraiser or auction. If you have any items you can donate, please contact Amy at Also, feel free to contact Amy with any questions. (another Amy) Anyone who donates for the RLC cause will get some great publicity from the RLC website. It's a great way for you to help a good cause while getting free advertisement for your business. They will also take donations of services (photography sessions) or vacation time (week at a condo). Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions. They want to hear from you. This is gonna be REALLY cool if we get lots of great donations. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!! We are excited to get this going. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST THIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON YOUR BLOG IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!! :0)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Teddy Bear Poems...

friends... gabi , izzy and teddy bear..

If Teddy Bears Ruled The World......If teddy bears ruled the world, Oh my, what a wonderful place. Everyone would be happy. There would be a smile on every face.
We would picnic every Sunday, at our favorite old oak tree. We would sing and dance and prance about, just playing joyfully.
We would all be nice to each other ,and always lend a hand. Ready with a bear hug, we would always understand.
We would all be happy when something nice happened for one of our friends , and our friendships would last forever. Nothing would cause them to end.
We would be kind to everyone ,not just those in our own home, but to everyone through out our world, wherever we may roam.
Yes, if teddy bears ruled the world, what a wonderful life this would be. Our hearts would always be happy ,as we danced by the old oak tree.
(Janis MinerCopyright 1997 )

A Collector's Bear...
I'm a very special Collector's bear..So handle me with extra care! I need someone who knows to treasure me more than money can ever measure..Someone who's learned that life is love ,someone who watches stars above! A person who stops to smell the flowers..A person who walks in April showers.For I have so much love to share....that I'll go with you anywhere!
(Linda Katzopoulos)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blessings x's 4....

Every perfect gift is from God....... Gabriela, Anabella, Neyvada, Matteya and i had the greatest pleasure meeting Alejandra, Alondro, Andrea and Allison. They are the quadruplets born to a family here from Gautemala. These precious little baby girls are so beautiful and perfect. Gabi, Bella and Vada had fun holding , playing and feeding them. They went through their toys and gathered stuffed animals for the babies and 4 year old sister Vanessa . We brought diapers , formula, clothes ,wipies and food for the family. We are so excited for this family. These little girls also have a 10 year old sister wh0 still lives in Gautemala. We will pray that they will get to meet her someday..... We will go back to visit them in a few weeks..

A Baby is a Miracle
This little tiny baby was sent from God above, to fill our hearts with happiness, and touch our lives with love. He must have known we'd give our all and always do our best, to give our precious baby love and be grateful and so blessed.