Monday, November 30, 2009

TIH


We never stop learning how the culture works ... sometimes the lessons are amusing, other times they are annoying ... and lots of times they are just sad - but either way, we keep learning. :)

About four months ago Tipap moved over to the Guest House to sort of keep an eye on things there. We did not have enough work for him at our house, and we needed eyes and ears over there.

We have a much more steady supply of sugar at our house since his departure ... man did he enjoy a sugary juice now and again and again and again. ;) But, he is still a bit of a hero at our house and the boys and little girls are happy to see him when he stops over. He is in his second and final year of mechanics school, and takes care of the yard and does odd jobs at the WWV house.

There is a cook that comes in when teams are in. The other position at the guest house is a cleaning position. We have not had such great luck in filling the position.

At first we hired Tipap's sister. There were some really good cultural reasons to hire his relative. We truly thought it out beforehand, convinced it was an excellent plan. She lasted about 7 or 8 weeks. As it turned out she was mad anytime she had to work. Troy finally told her (in the form of a list) what needed to happen daily, weekly, and monthly. She got very mad. She thought if she had to work - then the pay, shelter, and food allowance she was receiving was not enough. All of that was apparently her reward for breathing.

Even when you're annoyed, firing someone stinks. Troy hates it. It has not gotten easier. As it turned out she was HAPPY to be fired. She practically skipped out of Port au Prince. Tipap seems happier without her too. We were wrong on that hire.

The next person we interviewed was mad when she showed up. She had some anger toward someone and something that had nothing to do with us. Troy got up and walked out of the interview and told her it was obvious they were wasting time.

The next person we hired was AMAZING at cleaning. She was nice, smiley and friendly and knew how to clean very well. But she stole Vivien's clothes, guests toiletries, and food. So, today Troy fired her. She did not ask why or get mad. Obviously, she knows why.

The weird cultural lesson came when I asked Tipap on Saturday if he liked the new cleaning person and if he thought she was doing a good job. (I only asked to practice Kreyol.) He hesitated and then looked down and shook his head no. I pushed him on it. Finally, with my cajoling, he shared that she has been stealing. He told me she had taken some things from his kitchen (an outdoor Haitian style kitchen) and that he had seen her take other things. He had no plans of telling me but I bugged him until he did. When Troy talked to him he told Troy that he wanted to wait and watch her and see if she took other things ... sort of give her a chance to get worse or better while he decided what to do. He and the cook had talked it through and had a plan for observation and control of theft.

This is a very typical response. Tipap hated to see her lose her job and wanted to protect her. It is very normal for us (as the outsiders) to be the last to know. Tipap was ticked off at her and did not like her but he did not want to be responsible for ratting her out and therefore "causing" her to lose her job. Even though in our minds it is HER fault for choosing to steal -- in Tipap's mind it is his fault for telling.

We have teams for 20 days straight starting this week. We have no cleaning person. TIH!

Happy Birthday Paige Noelle

As much as we love John Mayer, we took down the automatic music/slide show - as promised.
CLICK HERE to see it.

For now
- we celebrate Paige and the beauty and grace that grows in her each day. We are so privileged to know and enjoy this young woman.

May God protect her, provide for her, pull her near to Him and surround her with prayers and people that love her in the year ahead. Amen.


P.S. Paige got to see Renald on Thanksgiving morning. He still weighed 25 pounds and was running a little fever. He will be back for another check in mid December. Thanks for praying for him, please don't stop.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekend Linkage


  • There is a ginormous relief having zero sales, zero advertisements for said sales, and zero stores to go to this next month. Nobody opened at 4am in our area. ;) 'Black Friday' in Haiti is a market day like any other day - goats and chickens and rice sold at market price - just like last week. Lots of Western practices make their way here eventually, so who knows ... maybe next year we can get up at 3am to go get reduced price dead animals.
  • Beth shared a sad and beautiful story about Natacha on the other blog.
  • Our Christmas production has hit a major snag. The USPS lost the package with the things we need - Britt mailed it a long time ago, but it is still missing - the main day of filming waits on the arrival of that package.
  • I read this article this morning. We have friends that have experienced similar situations. Many times they went to the USA as young children and grew up assuming they had all the legal rights and paperwork to be in America. Later in life they learn that some paper was not filed (by their parents) and their worlds are turned upside down. In my opinion, it is terribly sad and often unjustly dealt with by the government. Even more sad to me were the comments on this article. The lack of compassion is astounding.
  • 2010 is an election year in Haiti. We moved here on election week four years ago. That was timing that required a little extra faith. :) It will be an interesting year for Haiti.
  • Only 40 days left until the Marathon. I am not so encouraged with the training but keep plugging along. This week marked over 600 miles logged since June 1st. (616 to be exact) If you are a person that regularly visits stores that sell running shoes, let me know if I can have you search for my shoe for me. I have exhausted all on line options and need some seasoned searchers to help locate a running shoe that is no longer being made - but likely still sits on running-store shelves. I am looking for an Asics shoe that they retired last year (the new model is not good) ... if you are willing to look please write me. It is possible that only runners will understand how important a specific shoe is -- in that case, RUNNERS - I need you.
  • This is a good read if you have time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

now that i have seen, i am responsible




Albertine's name could be interchanged with so many names. We pray for these children in Rwanda, in Haiti, and all around the world.

New Traditions



A year ago we made a weird and maybe even a little bit unpopular decision. We did not buy our children, extended family, friends anything for Christmas. We made a decision and we gave it a try. We have toys, we all have clothes. We have been blessed. The kids get birthday gifts and surprise small treats throughout the year. Kind people bring us goodies to Haiti fairly often. The great need is not here. Not at our house.

In truth, we'd rather our loved ones feel no pressure at all to get anything for us or our kids for Christmas.

Of course there are many times when a gift is an act of sacrificial love, and is given from the heart - we've received that from others and we hope we do that FOR others whenever the Spirit leads us ... we're not talking about never giving gifts. It is not that at all. We're talking about the gifts that we all buy because we are "supposed to" and because our consumer driven culture might tell us we have to do it.

A friend said, "That is sad that your kids don't get gifts on Christmas morning." I don't know if it is sad or not, but we've decided we're done with commercialism-Christmas-as-usual and we're going to continue on in the spirit of new traditions again this year.

Last year we took our kids to a hotel for one night and they loved it. We enjoyed family time and enjoyed the gift of each others company. We had a blast. This year we will do the same thing after Britt and Chris arrive.

We will still give gifts
in honor of the people we love - but instead the gifts will be received by the people that need the things.

Advent Conspiracy’s job is to help you do Christmas
in a way that is personal, and one big way to make it personal is to support an organization that you feel God is placing on your heart.

You can choose what fits for you and your new traditions.
Maybe it is not an all or nothing thing, maybe it is a decision to be more aware of wants vs. needs. Maybe some purchases this time of year are only out of habit and obligation. Maybe it is simply something to give further consideration.

"Christmas was meant to change the world. It still can. Worship more. Spend less. Give more. Love all."

-advent conspiracy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HBD Annie


This little
turkey
is two years
old today
HAPPY
BIRTHDAY
TO
ANNIE GRACE!









Troy and Paige are taking the team out to Cazale for the day and night. They are hoping to see Renald. His mother is supposed to be there with him for a check up this morning. We are praying for good news and a happy, healthy Renald. Troy and Paige hope to be back in time to celebrate Thanksgiving this afternoon with a huge crew of us at the Buxman house.

The last three days have been great days for our emergency transport vehicle fund.

Please help Thanksgiving be another big day, go here to donate!



Happy Thanksgiving (Americans)

Friends,

We hope you'll all enjoy a beautiful and relaxing day with the people you love most. If you're apart from loved-ones, we pray peace and comfort over that separation. May we all take a moment to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives.

We're incredibly thankful to the families that have chosen to partner with us and support our work in Haiti - both with finances and prayers ... we cannot possibly convey how much that means to us.

So today, as we count our blessings, we count you!


Happy Thanksgiving from Haiti,

T&T&Tribe

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Odd Man Out


This morning Troy asked Noah if he wanted to come along with us to take the team to visit a Compassion project. (Aaron promotes for them and wanted to visit.)

Noah asked "What does that mean? What are we doing?" Troy told him it was a school with lots of kids. Noah said, "No Daddy, I don't want to go with you. Whenever we are at those Haiti schools all the brown kids pick at me. I will stay home."

:)

Lydie B. did not seem to mind the attention too much though ...
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bon Tuesday

We had a long, full day ... leaving little energy for long reports.

Troy went with the team to the village we lived in for our first years in Haiti. He had a good time seeing friends and co-workers from our time there. (Everybody loves the guy that is no longer their boss a lot more than they love that same guy when he IS the boss.) He has some fun photos that I will post later.

For all who know and love Pastor Rony, Troy says he is doing great and they had an awesome visit.

I wrote about Angena over here tonight, I hope you'll read it.

G'Night

T.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Feast of Aught-Nine ('09)


The stinkin mosquitoes are at their all time worst right now. Which is saying a lot. Last night at the dreadfully early hour of 11:00 something, we lost power. For the night. EDH failed to bail us out of our dilemma.

It is cooler, and that is a wonderful thing - you can lay without a fan and not be totally soaked in sweat ... but once we lost power we were feasting material for the aforementioned horrible disease carrying beasts. Despite valiant efforts on Troy's part to rid our abode of them, the air is still thick with the little blood-sucking devils.

We have a car battery in our closet charged and ready to go. (Don't you?) One fan can run off of the car battery for more than a few hours. Noah and Hope were the first to join us right around midnight - huddling in front of that fan.

At about 2am Isaac and Paige came in too. (Make that six people sharing one fan.) At 3am Jeronne came upstairs to sleep with Lydia who she heard awake and calling for rescue from the bugs. (Those of us with the fan never heard Lydie.) Phoebe & Annie managed to sleep on and off through the night in their own beds.

At 4am the car battery system failed us. From 4am to 6am it was a mosquito free-for-all. We ALL woke up crabby this morning. No exceptions. At 6am, when we were all bleary eyed but on our feet, of course EDH returned.

Not a good night.

Unless you were a mosquito.

Overlooking PAP on date weekend


Above, the Palace, the Port, the airport runway, all visible.

Below, a cute guy - also visible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Four Year Blogiversary


  • Fun weekend - parents left the kids - parents still totally dig each other - Kids did fine, despite dramatic goodbyes and tears and yelling "I love you I llllooooovvveee you - Daaadddy Moooooommmmyyyy" as we tried desperately to remove them from our legs - all is well now, the family is reunited with no plans for separation for many many months
  • Stopped by area hotel to pick up suitcase full of goodies from the Rumo family and friends ...very fun, thank you very much to all who made it happen!
Busy Week Ahead:
  • Team from Austin led by A.Ivey arrives Monday - bring on the manpris (capris for men worn by rock star hipsters such as Aaron Ivey)
  • Adoptive Dad (and friend) arrives Thursday for long weekend in Haiti
  • Thursday we will come as close as possible to a traditional American-type Thanksgiving meal hosted by the Buxman Family in our neighborhood - Bringing Jeronne for Haitian feedback and critique of American-style celebration :)
  • Celebrating Annie's second birthday Thursday ~ Prayers for her Mom and Dad and brothers in Minnesota
  • Troy's computer that I dropped and damaged is returning home, and just days shy of Troy's head implosion. Phew.
  • 22 donations came in today toward the Women's Program Emergency Transport Vehicle - we are so thankful to each of the donors and we humbly ask all who have not given to consider helping us have a big week this week. We could use a Thanksgiving week boost!
  • We started this blog four years ago this week. So much has changed about us since this began- some good, some bad - some up for debate ... The people we've met along the way have been the greatest encouragement to us. We thank you for that! It's fun to have you along on this crazy ride.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Things


Joranne's baby boy - doing great!


Vivien taught class on HIV today.
17 of 20 in the program - 2 due very soon

Yesterday was a Haitian holiday and we were able to get a lot of (boring) paper work stuff done at home as the rest of town was shut down to celebrate the holiday. Beth and I ran hills in the morning - we have a 35 mile week this week, finishing out the last 10 miles tomorrow morning. Big mile weeks equal 1am trips to the fridge to binge on everything and anything that is not a condiment. I stop just short of eating straight up barbecue sauce - whenever possible.

We were very pumped about the matching grant and hope to see more people get involved in helping the beautiful women pictured above. We will be telling all of their stories in the coming weeks and months. Their resiliency spurs us on and inspires us all.

Speaking of resiliency, please say a special prayer for Rose Marie, pictured in red above. We're doing everything in our power to bring her blood pressure down and help her get the nutrients she needs to deliver a healthy baby. Rose Marie is doing fairly well with eating and drinking as instructed. We know that prayers for her and her baby are the very best way to battle for her. She is due January 10th and we're asking God for a healthy mom and baby.

~~~~~~~~~

The Livesay kids have finally put away the scratched, skipping, 1994 Barney the Dinosaur DVD's and joined the developed world watching this odd show (on DVD) instead ... Annie is mesmerized by this weirdness, her family may even seem normal to her when she finally gets to them. :)


Tomorrow night there will be a party in Troy and Tara's tummy when they go out to celebrate their anniversary at an undisclosed location.

bird house message


Do all the good you are able to -
Any time you are able
Every way you are able
Every where you are able
For every one you can...
Until you are able to again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Matching Grant - Bondye se Bon

Hi Heartline Team,

I want to offer a $10,000 match towards the Heartline ambulance. I am so excited about what y'all are doing in the women's program. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus to these women. I love y'all's unique approach and the way you love the women and serve them. And more than anything I love the women of Haiti and agree that they deserve the best care that can be provided to them!

I graduate from Texas A&M University on December 18th and my Dad offered to get me a car as a grad gift. I have a perfectly good and actually really nice car so I asked instead if I could have the equivalent amount of money to donate to the causes of my choice. My Dad said yes but only if I took time to really pray about where God wanted that money to go and where it would most glorify Him. I have prayed about donating to the purchase of the ambulance for a few weeks now and after reading the last few posts I know this is exactly where God wants this money to go to glorify Him.

I am so excited for all that Heartline is doing right now and can't wait to continue to follow the journey on the blogs! So, I will match up to $10,000 raised by my graduation date of December 18th when I receive the money. I mean honestly I want to send the check no matter what but I want to motivate others to give also! I so badly want y'all to reach that goal!!! The ambulance is such a necessity and I know God will provide!

love in Him,
Anonymous Graduate from Texas

GO HERE TO HELP US
RECEIVE THIS MATCHING GRANT!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009




Read the story of Joranne's labor and delivery here.

Running for a Cause (is still hard)

Earlier today I covered 18 rocky miles with the sexy grannies. (aka Beth McHoul and Lisa Buxman) If I am still running these sorts of long distances at 50+ years of age, please come slap some sense into me. I really want to be in their sexy granny club some day, but without the torture of so much stinkin running.

A short run (5 miles or less) in Port au Prince almost always means at least one peculiar "you're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy" moment. As you can imagine, 18 miles can mean lots of odd and unusual.

Beth is hilarious to run with because she is beyond optimistic. Lisa is hilarious to run with because she tries so hard not to be pessimistic - specifically about her own ability to run far. I fall right in the middle of the two of them - the hard-core realist. It makes for interesting banter.

Beth says things like, "We're almost there" at mile five of 18 ... she means we are almost done with the first one-third of the run, but she just keeps it waaay positive at all times. I like when we're all limping and she says "All right you guys - we've got this! We have SO got this!" She makes me smile. Lisa, who was not very sure she could do it, Buxman - KILLED 18 really hard and hilly and rocky Haiti miles today. That was the furthest she has ever run. It was fun to be able to see her enjoy that victory. Congratulations are in order for sexy granny number two.

Today's odd/unusual/interesting/sad things along the way were:
  • Naked lady on the road stopping traffic (usually it is naked guy that we see)
  • Funeral procession waiting to enter graveyard, woman lying on filthy ground grieving
  • Jordanian UN soldiers saying "Good-job yoooou - dooo - it!" out of their giant truck/tank thing in broken English
  • Being grabbed fairly gently with two hands by a guy, turning around and watching him grab Beth too - very odd - he acted like that was a normal thing to do to a stranger - he is lucky he was not maced
  • Having a guy on a motorcycle try to convince me he needs my water more than me - I think I scared him with my death-glare
  • Many vocal protesters on our path outside the Mayors office in Tabarre - Beth grabbed our hands to hold and protect us :)
  • Two cute water boys (also known as two of our husbands) showing up at the right time with refills
  • Seeing the cute and happy fruit basket ladies on their way to market (see them most long run days -they march in a line with such purpose with their giant baskets on their heads - they ALWAYS make me smile)
  • A guy (who I assume was American or Canadian) stopped his truck to ask us if we were okay - appreciated him checking on us - very kind
We spent a lot of our run lost in our own thoughts - most of it actually. When you're physically exhausted you tend to have some really weird things come into your mind. I was listening for the umpteenth time to these lyrics ... Where there is pain, Let us bring grace. Where there is, suffering, Bring serenity. For those afraid, Let us be brave. Where there is misery, Let us bring them relief. And surely we can change - Surely we can change - Oh surely we can change Something
That song is a prayer that always causes a lump rise in my throat. Always.
I listened to that song and I played a conversation with God through my head ... you know for when I meet Him fas-a-fas (face to face).
Me - Hi Lord, I am so happy to meet you.
The LORD- Yeah, yeah. No need to be formal with me. I know your thoughts.
Me- Oh. (awkward 7 second silence) Okay then. Well, uh ... question for you.
The LORD- Right, I figured. (using His no-duh voice)
Me- Haiti ... What was that all about?

Later in the run when we did meet up we talked a lot about the Women's Program and the growth and things we need to make it better. I was thinking a lot about the birth yesterday and how differently it could have turned out - there was a bit of a scare for the midwives. I am going to write about it over at the Runner's Blog later today. I think I finally figured out how to really explain how important - scratch that - TOTALLY NECESSARY - the emergency transport vehicle is going to be. If you object to our cause. Please come read.

I used to sell tight socks for a living. (I'll just give you a minute to soak up that fabulous random tidbit.) Selling plungers would be less weird.

Selling anything at all, you learn all about "overcoming objections" - but ... selling uncomfortable socks that cost $25-35 a pair - well, that REALLY requires the ability to overcome objections. Unless of course you, the customer, have crazy bad venous and lymphatic disorders - in that case my work was easy. But I digress. The point is, I am going to overcome your objections and you are going to want to help us buy this emergency transport vehicle like you've never wanted to do anything before in your entire life.

For now, I need more ice for my throbbing gams. I guess you'll need to wait until later to be convinced.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Boy




Marie Lucie (pictured left) had her baby boy Thursday night.

Joranne had hers on her due date, just this morning at around 10:45. (pictured above) Mark him down as yet another healthy boy (7lbs 7ounces) born at Heartline.

Our boy - girl ratio is currently 4:1 !

Thanks to those of you that have chosen to support this ministry with your gifts and prayers, we appreciate you! Thank you Lord for protection and provision.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eleven Years


Last year we looked at 10 years here.

I’m sure this is not new information to anyone, but I’m realizing that as I get older time seems to get compressed and pass by more quickly. Today Tara and I have been married for eleven years. It seems like those years have passed by at warp speed – if it weren’t for the laws of mathematics and the sheer number of children surrounding us I wouldn’t believe it was possible. It’s tempting and all too cliché to wish for the time to slow down… but the truth is – I don’t care if it seems to pass slowly or if it goes quickly. Even though it’s been a wild ride – the time we’ve been together has been the best of my life. However quickly or slowly the time goes, it is time well spent and I’m glad it is with her.

Eleven years ago I had no idea what I was getting into…neither of us did. How many kids should we have? Ummm, probably not seven and then some…Where should we live and raise our family? Uh, probably not in another country.

I did know one thing for sure, though: God put Tara into my life and I knew that I wanted to marry her and make a life with her whatever that turned out looking like. I chose what God wanted for my life, and we’ve tried to do that together ever since…and that has made all the difference in the world.

I love you Tara, you are an amazing wife and mother. Happy Anniversary!

-Troy

Friday, November 13, 2009

Up and Down and Up and Down

I don't know why I expect anything less than a roller coaster ride, but sometimes I am still surprised by the highs and lows that are experienced in a matter of hours in this country. In a condensed look back on the last couple of days, here are some of the ups and downs ...



(Up) On Wednesday night we had Kim and Patrick and Solomon over for dinner. We instantly all liked each other and had a very fun evening of fellowship. We're anxious to get together again soon. Hurray for new friends!

(Down) EDH claims we owe them $1,300 U.S. but we just paid them $1,200 U.S. They came and cut the line into our box. We're not very pleased with their service practices. There is nothing that concerns them less than our displeasure.

(Up) On Thursday we went up to Healing Hands for Haiti. A friend from Minnesota is very involved in leadership of the organization and suggested that I could possibly get help if I went to talk to an Orthotist friend of his that is in town working at HHH for two weeks. This organization does great work in Haiti, they are "dedicated to fostering the expansion and quality of rehabilitation services for the benefit of physically disabled adults and children in Haiti. We believe that the best way to serve the people of Haiti is to enable them to serve themselves." I have been struggling a ton with injury and severe pain since the Twin Cities Marathon. My custom orthotics are five years old and have clearly broken down to a point that they are not helping me anymore. I was able to meet up with Nathalie and she took them apart and gave me a temporary solution by rebuilding them a bit. Noah went with us and was totally amazed by the prosthetic arms and legs that he saw. He asked if they could make him a "fake head" - we have been teasing him about it every since. It was a blessing to see the work they are doing and so great to have help getting through the rest of this marathon training with new arches for my flat feet. Many thanks to Al and Nathalie for the help.

(Down) When I got to Women's Program a little late yesterday (because of my appt. at HHH) the scene was a bit overwhelming. There was a brand new 15 year old that is already about 7 to 8 months pregnant. Listening in on her interview was discouraging. She is such a baby
emotionally it was hard to think that she and her 17 year old boyfriend will soon be responsible for another life. We fast-tracked her into the program to try to get her some support from the older more experienced moms in our group. She needs your prayers.

(Up) The ladies have been coming earlier and earlier on Thursdays. There is an excitement in the air when they come in. At 11:50 about half of the class had arrived. The rest were all in pla
ce long before the teaching began. In Haiti that sort of prompt arrival and adherence to a time schedule is unheard of - and encouraging!

(Up) Marie Lucie had arrived in labor at about 10:30 and was all settled into the labor room.
There were volunteers to help us with her while we tried to juggle all the situations at once. They did a great job of rubbing her back and comforting her all through the afternoon.

(Down) A 26 year old lady came asking to give her baby up for adoption. Beth asked Paige and I to talk to her and get the story and the information that John would need. She was so sad and
matter of fact it was heartbreaking. She had one glass eye due to an injury as a child. She was pregnant for the 6th time. Of the five children she has already had, one died. She is certain that she cannot and will not keep the baby due soon. We talked to her about the harsh reality that children placed for adoption might never be heard from again and tried to really help her understand what that decision would mean. She did not waver and has an appointment to speak with John next week. The gravity of that decision was overwhelming to talk through with her.

(Up) Joanna, an experienced midwife that is here for 8 months helping us get all settled into the new Birthing Center ministry taught class. She taught the ladies that they can PLAN and take control of when they have their babies. She taught them about allowing their bodies to recover from one baby before having another. They sat in rapt attention learning all the ways their
bodies change in 9 months and all the recovery time it takes to go back to pre-pregnancy condition. They seemed totally empowered learning that with birth control and planning they could take a couple years (or more) in between babies and in turn can improve their overall health and ability to provide for their children.

(Down) One of the ladies in the program had a 45 minute labor on Monday. Obviously that was far too quick for her to get anywhere. She had her baby girl at home. When she came with the baby yesterday we learned that she had not been nursing the baby regularly. Beth just about burst into tears of frustration, not understanding how she missed all the teaching and
encouragement she had received over the months in our program. (For all of us this was a big low, it is hard to realize that something you thought was getting through - was not.) We spent the next two hours trying to convince her that two or three minutes of nursing on each side is not sufficient and that the baby needs so much more time than she is giving her.

(Up) At 10:51 pm after a brave and beautiful day of laboring, Marie Lucie gave birth to a healthy, big, beautiful baby boy. Within two minutes of his birth Marie Lucie said, "Give him to me, I need to nurse him right away." That one sentence saved the day. A first time, 22 year old Mom that heard the teaching and believes that colostrum is good for her baby and ASKED to get busy feeding her baby. The delivery was perfect, she was encircled by love and concern. It was exactly the reason the program exists ... a young first time mom was offered tools and support along the way, then bringing a healthy baby into the world surrounded by people who care for her and want to see her succeed. Hopefully these experiences communicated to Marie Lucie, 'You are important. You are precious.' Not because we say you are, but because Jesus says you are.
Tara

One last (UP) My baby sister is one year older today. Happy Birthday Tina Elise. I love you so very, very, very much. I miss you even more than that.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Holidays Approach

Living in a climate that does not vary season to season makes it difficult for former Minnesotans to keep track of the seasons and the month, let alone the actual date. But, the other day we stopped to take a look at a calendar and - Whoa! We learned that Thanksgiving is two weeks away and Christmas is only six weeks away. Maybe you knew that???

Here are some things we thought once we figured that out ...
  1. A really great way to support Haitian women and give a gift would be to do some shopping here: www.haitiancreations.com
  2. Another really great way to support Haitian women would be to honor a friend by giving to this fund in their name: www.heartlinerunners.blogspot.com
  3. A life-changing way to help Haitian children this Christmas might be to sign up to sponsor a child here: www.worldwidevillage.org
  4. A helpful and great way to support missionaries over Christmas might be to pray for them and the family that they are separated from. There is a list of folks on the left side of this blog, when you go to their blogs they have lists too. Choose one to pray for through the sometimes lonely and challenging holiday season. Write to them, tell them you've got them covered until the New Year.
When we looked at the calendar we also realized that it is officially time to begin to plan for the Third Annual Livesay Christmas Production. Earlier this week, on November 9th, our first pre-production meeting was held.

We have begun to do casting and planning for this year's production. The tribe is EXCITED! Paige was quoted as saying, "How many more years until I am old enough to be behind the camera instead of in front of it?" See? That is what I am talking about. Such enthusiasm!

Isaac learned what his part is going to be this year and jumped up and down. Hope has rehearsing to do. Noah loves the costume planning. Lydie, Phoebe and Annie will work together this year - and by together I mean - they will fight while we try to get them to cooperate. What fun! We started talking about doing an actual set this year - the kids gave us their ideas and - we are officially in Christmas mode.

The quality of production only improves year to year ... the casting is known to include some of the greatest actors/actresses of our time- Tom Hanks, Phoebe Livesay, Gerard Depardieu, Marlo Thomas, Noah Livesay, Grace Kelly, Paige Porter, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Isaac Livesay ... Not to mention the Directors/Producers behind this year's presentation. Top notch ... Spielberg is jealous. An epic pairing ... We'll leave it at that.

In 2007 we were in MN on furlough and filmed this. Our actors were a little green that year, let's just be honest - they simply could not remember their lines. Embarrassing.

In 2008 there had been some personal growth for a few of the actors and that growth showed in their work. Others remained stagnant... and shall go unnamed.
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For us, the hardest part about being in Haiti at Christmas and Thanksgiving is the tradition we miss out on with our family and friends "at home". A lot of those traditions cannot really be duplicated in this location. Doing this fun thing with our kids is our new tradition and in three years it has come to mean something to them. If we cannot do the other things we were so comforted by each year, we need to create new things here in Haiti. All of this is simply to say, coming soon to a theater ... er, blog near you ... 2009 Christmas Extravaganza ... Watch for it mid-December.

The Onion

New York Marathon Winner Tests Positive For Performance-Enhancing Horse

November 5, 2009 | Onion Sports

Marathon Winner

NEW YORK—Officials from New York Road Runners stripped American Meb Keflezighi of his 2009 ING New York City Marathon victory Wednesday after a blood sample taken from his fetlock was found to contain high levels of performance-enhancing horse.

"Meb's fellow competitors voiced their doubts about him immediately after the event," NYRR president Mary Wittenberg said. "In addition to his remarkable speed, unusual race-day height, and distinctive 'clip-clop' gait, Keflezighi's frequent nickering caused the other runners to speculate that he may have been using a horse in some fashion."

Added Wittenberg, "Also, just before the start, he lifted up his tail and loudly deposited a 9-inch-high pile of steaming fecal matter on the pavement, an unusual occurrence even in the world of long-distance running."

Keflezighi finished the race in 48 minutes and 12 seconds, easily setting a new world record and defeating his nearest competitor by one hour and 20 minutes.

Course workers, spectators, and event sponsors have all presented damaging evidence pointing toward Keflezighi's use of equine enhancements. Volunteers working refreshment tables during the race said Keflezighi took water only twice—at miles nine and 17—consuming roughly 10 gallons each time, and was the only professional runner in the men's event to request an oat, carrot, and sugar lump station. In addition, a spokesman for Nike told reporters the company provided Keflezighi with six shoes for the marathon, four of which required special construction before being nailed onto his feet.

Hundreds of people who watched the race have also come forward with photographs showing Keflezighi mounted atop what experts now believe to be a 2-to-4-year-old chestnut-brown thoroughbred.

"Come to think of it, he was moving at a pace that didn't seem human," spectator Mark Rolland said. "And when the marathon was over, the American flag they tried to drape around him didn't even come close to fitting around his body."

"Last year he was just this small guy, but when he showed up to the starting line this year, his neck and head were noticeably thicker," said David Willey, editor in chief of Runner's World magazine. "He looked like he had put on at least a half ton of muscle."

The NYRR's Wittenberg said during a postrace press conference that if the evidence proves conclusively that Keflezighi used a horse to improve his speed and endurance, it would not only have a severe impact on his career, but could cast doubt on the whole culture of long-distance running.

"It may seem hard to believe this could happen, especially at this level," said Dr. Raymond Prentiss, a medical adviser for USA Track & Field. "But people are so eager to believe in man's ability to push the boundaries of achievement that they blind themselves to a competitor who looks a little too strong, runs a mile a few minutes faster, and stands a few hands taller than the competition."

"In Keflezighi's case, we ignored what his rapidly improving times, flowing mane, and shapely withers were trying to tell us until it was too late," Prentiss added. "The fact that he was spending an hour after each event currycombing should have been a major tip-off."

As of press time, Keflezighi is cooperating with the sanctioning bodies and has returned the $170,000 he was awarded for the victory. He has also surrendered his racing singlet and shorts, saddle, saddle blanket, and bridle for further inspection and testing by technical personnel. Officials with the World Marathon Majors series said that Keflezighi will likely be banned from future races, including Boston, Chicago, the 2010 Belmont Stakes, and Berlin.

In light of the discovery, marathon officials are taking a closer look at many of the entrants in this year's race, including British runner Paula Radcliffe, a former winner who placed a tearful fourth in the women's event after fracturing her cannon bone and had to be put down mere minutes after finishing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1
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"Faith must be tested, because it can be turned into a personal possession only through conflict. What is your faith up against just now? The test will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it. "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me." The final thing is confidence in Jesus. Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith."
-Oswald Chambers

I want my faith to be a personal possession. I want to live my life in a way that shows that I trust that God has a plan for me/us and even when I don't get it --- He gets it, and that is enough. I want to believe steadfastly on Him, I want my final confidence to rest only in Jesus. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Next Year. Amen.

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Happy Birthday to our favorite four year old boy in Haiti ... Prayers and love for you on your birthday, and always ReyRey!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Music (wo) Man


Yesterday at lunch at John and Beth's house John tried hard to send a trombone home with us. He failed. We told the kids John would truly enjoy hearing it - so it was a much better idea to leave it at his house and go over to play it whenever they want.

Rest



28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.


Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

(Yokes were put on the necks of animals, so that they could pull a plow or wagon. A yoke was a symbol of obedience and hard work.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

First Grade Musical 3

video

Hope is our aspiring singer/actress. She does this almost daily while we all sit outside of whatever room she is in giggling and enjoying her creativity. She LOVES musicals and LOVES to sing.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Boost Us

We are 60 days from Marathon race-weekend. The runners are plugging along with their training. Some train in 88 degree heat and humidity and others train in cool air that causes their sweat to turn into icicles. We're all training. We're all preparing.

We are so grateful to report that $4,086 have come in. We are thankful for each gift.

Right now we need to get serious about raising these funds. The cause is incredibly important and the women the program serves will benefit greatly. A match has been offered of $250. If $250 comes in by Sunday night at midnight - the donor will chip-in his $250.

We've been writing about the ladies and the program most days, please be sure to check www.heartlinerunners.blogspot.com for that. While you're there take our poll!

In Review:
IF the chip in meter says $4,336 by tomorrow night -- we get $250 more for the cause.


Growth & Healing

Pierre Gilles
Born March 2006
20.9 pounds to 25.08 pounds
Mirlande
Approximate age - 5 - suffering from Kwash*
25.96 pounds to 30.8 pounds
Milora
Born May 2006 ~ Suffered from severe Kwash*
From 23.1 pounds to 25.96 pouunds
Kensley
Born Feb 2007
From 20.02 pounds to 25.52

*Kwashiorkor
is a form of malnutrition that is caused by a lack of protein in the diet.