Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Weight of Silence

I'm reading again! When I travel, it's hard to spend much time reading - there's too much other fun stuff to do! But now that I'm home... Although there seems to be plenty to do here. As soon as I finish this post, I'll dig into ObreroFiel and work for an hour before my morning walk with Peanut! But I still take time to read!

The Weight of Silence is one of the saddest books I've read for awhile. It's the "tense and profoundly emotional story of a parent's worst nightmare, told with compassion and honesty." One commentator said, "Heather Gudenkauf masterfully explores the intricate dynamics of families, and the power that silence and secrets hold on them. When you begin the book, be sure you have the time to finish it because, like me, you will have to read straight through to its bittersweet conclusion." I DID manage to put it down before finishing it - after all, life has to go on around here! But it wasn't easy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I've been reflecting recently on my expectations. We all have them. Some of my expectations, I've had to put aside - some died a slow death, others died instantly. And I've had to deal with that, hopefully in a positive way! But there are some expectations that will never fail us, and those are the expectations we have of our God. At least I HOPE we will always expect the best from Him! My friend Betty put it beautifully:

By Betty Henry Taylor

Lord, I expect that You
are going to be the same
today as You were
yesterday. The same
God Who fathered
Abraham and Isaac and
Jacob; Who made a
shepherd boy into a
king. Who, through a
maiden, fathered a
King of kings. And, O
dear Lord, I expect
that You are going to
work in and through
my life to the extent
that I open my heart
to You. These things
I expect. May I not
enter this day expecting
anything beyond what
You desire to do.

Isn't God good?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

El Paso

Someone asked me today if El Paso was like Laredo or McAllen, Texas. NO WAY! Not even close! So, I decided to try to describe (in part), this amazing city where my children Ken and Esme and granddaughters Maria, Lluvia and Eden live.

Dessert - of course! Hot in the summer, gets pretty chilly in the winter, but nothing like up north of course!

The homes are all shades of brown, from a very light beige to dark brown. Except that now and then a yellow one sneaks in, but even that is a "brownish yellow". Once in awhile a white house surprises you, and I even saw one a shade of blue! Very surprising! You don't see many green lawns, just a lot of yards with stones in whites, browns and blacks, cactus, and other dessert plants. In fact, my children's back yard is just dirt! Makes for dirty kiddos, but that's OK! They do have a nice big shade tree though. Hopefully soon the landlord will put in some kind of ground covering. Their front yard is all white stones with a desert plant or two.

The city is built around a mountain, if I remember correctly it's the Guadalupe Mountains. To get from one side of town to the other, you can either drive through town, or drive over the mountain on what is called Transmountain. The view is amazing and beautiful from up there. A good place for a picnic, but a bit cool this time of year! There aren't a lot of very tall buildings - nothing like Chicago or New York! The downtown is small compared to other cities.

There are definite areas of the very wealthy (Wow! The homes are amazing and there's lots of grass there!), high middle, low middle and poor. People refer to the different areas of the city as "west side" or "east side". I haven't quite figured out which is better - neither, I guess, they're just different! Near where Ken and Esme live, there are blocks and blocks of "rentals", some nicer than others, some in groups, others duplexes. But just drive a couple blocks and you see amazing mansions! Many mansions are built up high on the hills and mountains surrounding El Paso. Why they would build on a sand mountain is hard to understand. Several homes had retaining walls built below them - apparently erosion is happening!

The people are mostly Hispanic. But they've totally integrated into the U.S. life and many of them can't even speak Spanish. Although I did hear a lot of Spanish there! But it definitely has an El Paso accent!

El Paso is a clean city, and really beautiful. I always enjoy my stay when I visit Ken and Esme. It has some super restaurants: Nothing But Noodles is a favorite! As is Al-Zaituna, where they serve delicious Mediterranean fare! I could name more, but you get the picture! There are great parks and a very fun zoo in El Paso too!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Camp Las Buenas Nuevas

Sometimes I like to put crazy stuff on my blog and these pictures definitely fit that category! They're also wonderful memory pictures!

When I was a kid, my parents started a camp, because they had four kids who needed a camp! And there were none around - at least that we knew of!

They joined with other missionaries who also had children in need of a camp, and off we went!

To Valle de Bravo, an absolutely beautiful forested mountainous area of Mexico. Also a COLD area of Mexico! Nights were CHILLY, if I remember correctly! Days were gorgeous and warm.

Tents were our "cabins." At first we basically lived in the outdoors, later my parents and other parents set up a tent for cooking, eating, etc. Our "bathrooms" were latrines that we built upon arrival. Our "baths" were taken in the stream - and this wasn't a warm-water spring! Yikes! It was cold! And our drinking water came from a spring 'WAY up the mountain - we took lots of trips up there for water!

In later years we found other spots for our camp - some that had a few more comforts than Valle de Bravo! But, you know, they weren't any more fun! Of course I speak from the viewpoint of a kid who's just HAVING FUN! I know it was a ton of work for the parents - who did it gladly and sacrificially!

Check out these "old fashioned" pictures!

Believe it or not, there I am on the left! The others are Lois Fountain, Elaine (my sister), my mother and Sarah Fountain. Aren't we SOMETHING?? Imagine girls wearing skirts to camp nowadays???!!

My dad is the one with dark glasses. My brothers are Lee (red sweater) and Keith (on the right)

There's the whole bunch! I remember most of them, but a couple I can't place! Sometimes memories fail us!

The parents took turns teaching us.

Here's my dad giving us a Bible lesson.

Thanks to Margaret Pentecost, one of the missionaries in the pictures,
for sending these to my sister and then on to me!

I treasure them!

Aren't grandkids great??

When I visit my U.S. grandkids, they always load me up with wonderful gifts,

usually lovingly handmade gifts.

Elia and Josie are learning to knit,


I now have a hand knit necklace!

And they're sewing up a storm!

So, an "I love you" heart is now gracing my pillow!

And an I LOVE YOU card AND envelope from Ada

will soon be added to my 2010 memory book!

Ken's havin' a birthday....

And here's what his loving wife got for him!

An early birthday gift!

How fun!

While I was with them, we had an evening of 'Smores!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ken and Esmeralda's church is starting a Saturday evening service once a month, hoping to, in the future, have it more than once a month. They call it a "contemporary" service. By my standards, and probably by yours, it really isn't the NORMAL contemporary! But, we did have a guitar (imagine!), and a piano (wow! Instead of the organ!), choruses interspersed in the formal hymns, and the preacher wore jeans! Wow! In fact, even the worship team was dressed very informally - yep, jeans! And in one of the songs there was clapping!

The preacher happened to be my son, Ken. He spoke on the widow's mite in the gospel of Mark, and did a super excellent job! And I'm not even biased!

That's granddaughter Maria listening attentively to Papi.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This much snow in November??

Does it really snow this much in El Paso in November?? Or maybe we´re not in El Paso!

What do you think??

I´ll give you a hint....

These pictures we taken in White Sands, New Mexico!

I've heard so much about the white sands of New Mexico, but never imagined....

They´re amazing!

You feel like you´re driving through snow - and it´s piled high all around you!


But as soon as you step into it, you KNOW!

Yes, it feel wet, but definitely not as chilly as snow!

And today Dakota learned how to retrieve a Frisbee! If it fell curved side down, she would scratch it till it popped up, then she´d grab it and bring it back to Ken.

As time went on, as Ken threw it further and further, as Kota ran down those steep "snowbanks" and back up again, she got slower and slower - at least climbing back up!

Finally she just laid down beside Maria.

OK, I've had enough!

She slept the entire way home (about 1 1/2 hours), even slept in the car while we stopped for lunch. Ken offered to have her get out and get a little exercise, but she was having none of it!

What fun!

Next time we´re going to take along more supplies, set up a little tent,

take a nice lunch along, maybe some "snow" (SAND!) toys, some lawn chairs, plenty of water,

and spend all day!

Want to join us?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Three Little Pigs

Three little pigs joined the Hanna household in the last couple days.

Since there are three little "muñecas" in this household, there is one piggy for each.

These piggies were expensive at Target - except that now Halloween is over, so they were half price! So, we jumped!

The three little muñecas are very happy with their three little pigs!

If you look closely, one is a vam---, no I mean a cute piggy with a black cloak and hat.
Very cute.

One is cold, so covered up with a nice white blanket.
Just cause the blanket has eye holes and a nose hole, has nothing to do with anything.

And one is a wonderful pumpkin!
"He has a mouth," said Lluvia.
Yes, he does.
Don´t all piggies?

I Want You Here With Me

I´m visiting my children Ken and Esmeralda and their three little girlies. Now, any of you have little girlies - or little boys - you know that they get up early! And since I sleep in the same room with all three, it´s hard to get up before them and find a quiet spot to spent time with Jesus! But the last two mornings, I´ve managed it! Yahoo! It´s nice that the last couple mornings they´ve slept in til 8 AM too! That´s a HUGE help! First, around 7;15 I hear Eden (18 months) squirming, because she´s cold, so I get up, cover her, then quick leave the room! I head for the quiet living room and read my Bible and pray - for at least 15 minutes, sometimes even more!

I found a great poem about spending time with Jesus. It´s by one of my favorite singers, Keith Green! I still have a number of poems by him, so for the next few weeks, you might be getting more of a taste of Keith Green! Which is always good!

I don´t remember if I already shared this poem. It´s very convicting to me, so even if I have, it´s always a good reminder, to me, more than to anyone else!

I Want You Here with Me
By Keith Green

I want you here with Me,
But you've been keeping other company.
You can't sit still!
It's plain to see, you love the world
And you're avoiding Me.

My Word sits there upon your desk,
But you love your books and magazines the best.
You prefer the light of your TV
You love the world
And you're avoiding Me.

You used to pray. You were so brave.
And now you can't even keep
One appointment we've made.
Oh, I gave my blood to save your life
Tell me, tell me, is it right?
Will you leave Me
Alone again tonight?