Friday, October 28, 2011


For the first time in 3 weeks our family will be together - ALL together.  Mike's been in the States for three weeks attending to medical needs and attending his first seminary class at RTS.  I've been in the States with my family as my mom is pretty sick.  Madison has been holding down the Pettengill household, and hanging with Caitlin (an intern working in La Ceiba), and our team mate Kathy and her children.  Mike arrives home LATE tonight, and tomorrow - Saturday - we will be all together!  Woohoo!

On a fun note - when I go to the States I always take the opportunity to bring back things that I miss.  What did I bring back?

Instant Yeast
San Francisco Sour Dough bread - hand carried in my carry-on bag the whole way
Chocolate Chips
Kettle Chips - salt and vinegar
cast iron pan
Candy Corn

And most importantly - I bagged/iced/wrapped two bags of fresh cranberries!  One of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving is this amazing orange/cranberry sauce - but not having access to fresh cranberries I haven't enjoyed it for almost 4 years!  Can't even wait!

I know...probably not the first things you may have thought of, but these are the things I miss or can't get here.  I often wonder what the x-ray guys think, or when my bags get searched (as both my bags were) by Security what they think when they look at my array of things.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Do you want to live?"

If you've not been through something like this before, it can be quite a life changing experience.  If you haven't sat at someone's bedside and have had to ask them the most difficult of all questions, "do you want to live?" this kind of thing can be humbling.  Looking into the face of someone you love as they silently scream or cry (silently because there is a tube shoved down their throat), as they pound their fists as best they can on their bed, as they frantically nod "yes" when you ask the question, "do you feel like your body has failed you?"  And time and time again you have to hold their hand back from pulling out the very tube that is giving them life.  And finally, as the realization hits them - "this is what my life has become", and they rage against their very bodies, cry out (silently) "it's not fair."  Watching this and providing encouragement is all I have to offer.  It's a tough place to be...and this is where I find myself...

Prayers for my dad, my mom, the doctors and nurses as they care for her the best they can.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I'm in San Jose hanging out with my mom and dad.  My mom is in the hospital very sick.  Her current state:  she has a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lung), her kidneys are failing, infection, and intubated (a tube in her lungs).  Had a meeting with the doctor today to decide on the next step.  My mom is a "full code" meaning that she wants everything done for her.  So, based on her desires, the next step is to put in a tracheostomy (a tube into her windpipe - and the ventilator attached to that tube) so the tube is not down her throat.  This is done for long-term care of people on ventilators.  The next step is to place a feeding tube directly into her stomach so she can receive tube feedings.  And another thing is, because she has a clot in her lungs (pulmonary embolism), she is at a huge risk for additional clots because she has some unknown bleeding disorder.  So they want to place a filter near her heart so if a clot does come, it won't go into her heart - which is a death sentence.  So, that filter is probably going to be placed in the next day or two, and the tracheostomy will be placed as soon as the surgeon is able to get her in - but that still may not be for another week.  So, prayers for clear guidance of the best care for her, the hands of the doctors and nurses providing that care (she is receiving EXCELLENT care, by the way) and for peace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Invasion!    In the past we have been invaded by ants, mice, the occasional tarantula (had one in the house yesterday), but lately we have been invaded by these little goodies:

They are millipedes and they love the current weather we are having, so are breeding like crazy.  Because my doors are anything but sealed, they can wander freely under my door.  They are trying to get away from the wet ground and rain, and my house seems right up their alley.  I'm getting 2-4 of these guys a DAY in my house.  They used to kind of freak me out, but now they are so commonplace I just scoop them out of my house with my foot or my hand.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Traditions

So what do you do when you don't have a Michael's or a Target to run out and go get decorations?  No pumpkin patch to spend the day at (going through hay mazes, or eating pumpkin pie)?  There have been many books I've read about being a missionary, and one of the things that most all of them say is keeping traditions alive in your family.  No matter where you are - those things you can do.  Even in Costa Rica I managed to decorate the house - although it was only with paper rings made into a huge chain that had the colors of Fall, then the colors of Christmas.  I know...kind of pathetic...but when that's all you have...

Here, since we plan on staying forever (unless God calls us somewhere else), one of the things I want to do is bring things back from the States each time I go, or I've even had some teams bring decorations with them.  Fall is difficult in Honduras.  There are two seasons here - 1. Hot  2. Hot with rain.  That's it.  Kind of weird when you set up decorations and you are sweating while doing it.  Imagine yourself baking pumpkin cookies with a fan blowing full on your face because it's 92 degrees in your kitchen (I have a thermometer in my kitchen so I know).  Just doesn't quite go with what I remember.  Ah well.  I will persevere!  So, here's my Fall decorations - collected over 3 years of trips back to the States, and teams bringing them.
"Fall" in my house :-) - yes...those ARE real pumpkins!  I found some here in La Ceiba!!!!

Something to ask when you go on a short-term trip.  What does the family there need?  Almost every team without exception, has asked this!  We have been SO blessed to get a box of double-stuffed Oreos, or Cheez-It's.  Or even some household goods - silicon spatula, that kind of thing.  Impossible to buy here.  One thing that ALWAYS makes my day - decorations.  Silk flowers that represent any holiday, knick-nacks that represent as well.  I only have decorations for Fall and Christmas - that's when (if we do) go back to the States - during that time.  Try finding Easter or Valentines' decorations in October.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Children's Catechism

Ever's "image" of himself

Genesis with her marshmallow man

I have made books for the kids that include the questions/answers and all the verses.  At the end of each 8 week section they will get their books to keep, and we have a big feast for those kids who were able to come for most of the weeks.
Last week I started teaching the kids in Armenia the Children's Catechism.  You know, "Who made you?" in addition to weekly bible verse memorization.  The kids are eating it up!  It's SO exciting to see.  It's also very interesting to see what their bible background is.  When I asked them who paid for their sins, they immediately responded "Dios" (God).  But when I talked about who is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and their relationship with God, there were blank looks all around.  I was SO thrilled that the basic children's catechism can answer these type of questions.  And they even learned Genesis 1:27:  So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  But of course in Spanish,  Dios creó al hombre a imagen Suya, a imagen de Dios lo creó; varón y hembra los creó. Génesis 1:27.  And of course since I'm quizzing them and giving them treats if they can say it, then I'm learning the verses along with them!  How cool is that!  So, they all made "images" of themselves as a craft, then made marshmallow people that they could eat when they were done (course I looked ALL OVER the city to try and find straight pretzels to no avail, so toothpicks had to do). 

Saturday, October 8, 2011


So I have this tree in my backyard.  It's one of my favorite trees.  I use it's fruit for LOTS of things.  But I forget, sometimes, how odd it actually is.  Can it really be good being so huge?  What am I talking about? My lemon tree in the back yard.  So's a lemon tree.  But I have a LEMON tree!  My gardener wants to cut it down because the spines on it are at least an inch long and he has often been stabbed and cut by them.  But I couldn't possibly get rid of my tree.  I love it.  You may look at the picture and think that it's impossible to have juice come out of it, that it must be dry.  But au contraire.  I only need 2 1/2 lemons to make 4 liters of lemonade!  They are amazing.  No...they are NOT grapefruit...I promise!  It truly is a lemon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We want You...For VBS

(copied directly from my husbands blog)

We Want You…For VBS

Our team wants to organize a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the five missionary kids on our team. And, we’ve come to the conclusion that our kids would get more out of the VBS if it wasn’t our team doing it.

So…we want you! We are asking for a friend or church to 
come to Honduras and put on a small VBS for five missionary kidswe want youDecember 19-22, 2011. Would you or your church like an opportunity to serve a bunch of missionaries? Does your church have a knock out youth coordinator you want to loan us? Did your church put on a great VBS this summer and you want to do it again in a third-world setting?

Our kids are ages eight to fifteen. We will provide lodging and meals for the VBS organizers.

If you or your church would like to come to Honduras and put on a VBS for five missionary kids this December please contact Mike via e-mail ( or US phone (916/273-8776).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Women's Retreat

Just got back from a women's retreat.  It was a time of refreshment, study and fellowship.

Each of us was given a topic in advance and asked to prepare an hour-long discussion. The topics were based off of the personality and strengths of each person. Ashely  talked about Prayer. Kathy talked about Finding Balance. Shannon talked about the Will Of God. Erin talked about Compassion, Mercy And Justice. And, Kate talked about Loving The Unlovable. Each of us led the group in study, prayer and discussion.