Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cruise pictures

We got the software downloaded, so we could view our pictures from the cruise. So here are the pics.

This is a picture of Derrick and I on one of the semiformal dress up nights.

This picture just cracks me up we are on an island and for some reason there are chickens everywhere. This picture happen to be taken on Key West, but the same was true in the Grand Cayman island.. Why are they just wandering the street? Why did the chicken cross the road, that is the question!

this is one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen, it was taken in Key West.

Derrick and Foster... so close you can feel the love!

This was our boat, Rhapsody of the Sea. Prior to leaving on the trip we did find out that this was one of the boats, a girl went missing on, not too long ago. That was a little strange... however everything went well when we were on it, so I can't complain. Right before we left Royal Caribbean was put through the ringer due to the husband disappearing off a boat in Turkey, then a few younger girls disappearing in different ports. That said many people disappear everyday for unkown reasons all over the world.

This is a lovely picture of me and the blue iguana in the Grand Caymans. The Grand Cayman islands were hit by hurricane Ivan in 03 and are maybe 20% built back up, I was not impressed at all by the town, looked like Tijuana, Mexico very dirty. However the ocean was gorgeous.

Grand Cayman, 7 mile beach, very famous beach, very clear blue water. This is where Derrick stripped down to his speedo! That is right he wore a speedo.... we do have pics! Money talks, I can be bribed to posting them....

This is another funny picture... it makes me so laugh since we ate and slept on the boat (pretty much that is all we did) Derrick and I had to get a picture of ourselves with the chef. This was taken at the midnight dessert buffet. Yes that is what we all need is a dessert at midnight.

Derrick and Foster went deep sea fishing in Cozumel, Mexico. Derrick was the only one on the boat to catch a fish.... he knew what it was as soon as he got eh fish up - it is the fish that killed Nemo's mom! lol you can only know that if you have seen finding Nemo way too many times. It is a barracuda... I can say it I can't spell it! Lets just say Foster was on the boat, but didn't have such a great time.

Even after a week together on a boat with no kids... we still love each other.

Hey look at this Derrick and Foster are still friends after a week together too.... lol

This is Liz and I after the trip - oh wait where is Liz? She literally ran to go get the car! Should I take that personally? OK, I am hailing a cab!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Letter

We recently got a letter from someone that we have been helping. I won't say who it was so they have their privacy. But I will say this, sometimes we help people and we never hear from them again, sometimes we help people and we keep trying and trying and trying but they never get better. No matter what we think when we help someone it doesn't really matter, because well, we have done our part. We've helped, and no matter how many times they may or may not come back isn't up to us. So if someone knocks at our door we open it with open arms.

Here is the letter....

Today; being my fourth day of stay in this, my voluntary incarceration for crimes of the soul, transgressions against my fellow man, and willful disobedience of God - I wanted to say Thank you! Thank you for becoming a part of my life when it was needed the very most. Thank you for opening the doors to your home and the windows of your heart at a time when, by and by, I was lost and cold...wandering my nights and finding myself closer and closer to death - in one way or another. The sun has begun to shine brighter and the days become full again. I sleep now. You have brought my to a point at which I am able to myself in a clearer light... You have brought me to a time in which I have began to wonder. I only pray that I will have the direction to ask the right questions - and that I am able to hear the answers. . . . . Yes, to you, and all those dear to you - I say thank you!

Yours in faith, hope and love,

This letter makes me smile in my soul. It gives me great hope and joy, it helps to keep going to keep reaching out and touching lives. To never grow weary in doing good works.
Derrick and I have housed and helped over 26 people in the past 6 years. We have had both truimphs and great disappointments, in doing so. It is always a journey. It is something like this letter that gives me even more passion and compassion to keep going.

Have a great day - - - - JOY is in this place!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So about the trip

We went on a 7 day cruise, with our friends Liz and Foster. Derrick and I started off in a hotel the night before we left, partly because of the BIG Windstorm that was suppose to hit, and partly because we didn't know what to do with ourselves we were so excited to go on vacation! We flew To Austin TX where Liz and Foster live, we wanted to see their new digs. The place was great and in Liz's great sense of style it was all repainted, and looked WONDERFUL. Since I have stolen her colors to paint my new house, I now I have new colors to choose from (I did pick out the kitchen color all by my self!) Anyway - we had a great time seeing Austin. It has been 6 years since I had been to Austin, it was like I remembered, a fun and lively town. For those of you unfamiliar with Texas - - the Texan people have a small issue with football. They are football fanatics. So in Texas style - I bought the orange longhorn hat! I will wear it when I enter my first timed running event - More about that later.

Anyway we spent the night in Austin then we got up nice and early to drive to Galveston where the boat was! It would be hard to leave on a cruise from Austin (no water) lol you don't know how many people looked at me funny when I said we were going on a cruise from Austin! LOL silly people don't you know I am a geography major - I know where the ocean is! (sort of)

We were a little loopy on the drive from being exhausted, Derrick and I couldn't sleep in the hotel - so excited to go on a cruise and then out seeing the sights the next night in Austin, plus the time change - we were all sorts of tired and happy on the drive!

We boarded the boat and were off! The first port was Key West FL, then to the Grand Cayman Islands, you know where you have your off shore account, so the IRS can't find your money - oh you don't have one? lol Then we went to Cozumel, Mexico. Let me tell you that Cozumel had the most beautiful beaches I have seen. Just as breathtaking as Hawaii, if not more! Just gorgeous. Liz and I thought about jumping off the boat and staying there. But reality has to set in at some point darn responsibilities!

Everything is included on the boat, except alcohol. So once you are on, you are good to go. We had breakfast most mornings - up in the cafe, it was a buffet. Then lunch their as well. Dinner was a nice dinner with a lovely waiter named Allan from a country I can't spell. Dinners were very good, we had lobster, prime rib, and other wonderful things! Yes the Desserts were great too.

That is a little to explain about how the trip went - I will put up some fun photos as soon as I can figure out how to download them off of our new camera! In the meantime here is some that we had taken on the boat - they take your picture every five minutes -
This first pic is not that great of everyone EXECEPT for Foster, so we had to buy it! This was taken as we were boarding the ship! Take a good look at how white I am - so there is proof that I am tan now (yes I still look pale white but a little darker of a pale color I think!)
This is a picture taken at dinner after the Superbowl, Derrick and I were in Seahawk garb and mourning the loss.
This one as you can guess was taken in Keywest, when we got off the ship - lots of fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

While we were gone the kids got to PLAY & PLAY!

The kids had a great time while we were gone, Grandma Mary kept them going and going! I had to include some of the kid pics. We missed them so much! Yes, I cried when we left them I couldn't help it John looked at me when we were saying goodbye and said, "stay here mama, stay here." yes that was all it took! We had a great time with just Derrick and I, we got to reconnect, that is hard with two little ones, and an older child as well. You get pulled in all directions, so it was really nice to take some time for ourselves. Grandma was a great sport, and we SO appreciated everything she did for us. We knew the kids were in good hands, so we could relax.
Grandma found a big picture book with a picture of the United States and cut out pictures of mom and dad and pasted them to the map to let the kids know where mom and dad were. First in Texas, then out on the water in the boat. It was really a great idea, everyday John could move mom and dad around.
Here is a photo of the kids Superbowl Sunday dressed in their Seahawk attire - yes they were representing! Aren't they just too cute. Yes, we watched the Superbowl on the boat - Derrick and I both had on our 12 th fan shirts! The Seahwaks were JACKED, JACKED I tell you. The officials really screwed up - it is pretty bad when the guy for the Steelers goes on JLeno and says he doesn't think he made the touchdown! JACKED. OK, enough about the Seahawks!
This pic was taken at Auntie Lala's (LavYonne) and Uncle Brad's house in Sequim. Grandma ventured over to their house for some help with the kids, John and Josephine, had a wonderful time hanging out with their cousins. I love this pic, John looks like he is going to pass out! Grandma hopefully got a little rest! Although Josie wouldn't let anyone else hold her but Grandma. Where on earth did this girl get such a strong will from? LOL We will never know!

Up up and Away!

We are back! And what a wonderful and relaxing time we had. I was going to wait and get all organized and then do the blog pics in order, however I think that would take me too long - so I will post the pics on, as I get them going! Here is a pic of all of us parasailing. We had to peer pressure Derrick into going, but once he got up there - I think he may have had a good time! We are in Key West Florda when these were taken.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Shout out!

It has been a little while since I have done this, so I would like to give a shout out to Karen K. I just love this woman. She is the kindest nicest, most giving person! I must say she is an awesome friend. She will call to leave me messages, even though I don't always call her back in a timely manner. But does she complain ? Why no, she is very nice about it. No Karen you are not the only person I don't call back in a timely manner, just about everyone! (bad Emily) So there you have it you won't feel singled out. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate Karen. I am stealing this fun pic of Karen from another blog - So smiles Karen I love ya!

By the way Karen treated me to an Natalie Grant concert over the holidays, we had such a good time. Natalie Grant was great - but the comapany was even better.

Cya - Em