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Quote of the month...

"Standing tall is a very admirable thing. There are very few stories in history of heroes who slouched to the rescue. Likewise, most individuals don't look up to people who are drooped over."
from Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye

my family

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

52 Weeks of Blessings- week 52-- my new web cam

With this handy-dandy little camera, I can be seen by family and friends far away.  If those friends and family have one too then I get to see them too.  Closing the gaps of miles one small camera at a time!  

Friday, December 26, 2008

Foto Story Friday #29 -- Guatemala cont.

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Our bus driver and our very comfy bus.
As we left the ruins, we were stopped by the banana train.  Each tree produces only one bunch of bananas at a time.  There are quite a few bananas in one bunch though.
Famous chicken place.  People who frequent Guatemala will bring home buckets of this chicken.  They have opened up chains in some of the major cities here in the US, but its been said that the quality is not as good.   
Delivery bikes!
Inside the market, these huge things hung from the rafters.
They have musicians and dancers performing throughout the day.
As we were heading back to the ship, we passed this artist.  He was doing this one from a photograph.  He had several finished works with him for sale.
Santo Tomas de Castilla is the only port in the Caribbean that does a 'thank-you' send off for the cruisers.  
We were fortunate to be the only cruise ship in port that day.
The skyline around the port.   Such a lush environment!
Sunset gives these clouds a bit of color and the mountains silhouetted 
I loved how the mountains look.
After all the dancing, the taxi drivers honk their horns and holler their thanks for you spending money. It was pretty cool to watch.
Getting farther away from the port.
The cargo ships were also in port getting loaded with containers.  That was fun to watch them hoist the containers up in the air and slowly maneuver them into place on the ships.
Another beautiful day!
Next week, Mexico.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

52 Weeks of Blessings- week 51 -- peace and comfort

For me this blessing project has been an opportunity to look beyond the everyday blessings of food and shelter.  I have tried to dig a little deeper for the blessings I post.  Yes there have been the basics of a warm home when it is -20 without the wind chill, family and friends but also I have mentioned my testimony, youth programs that help me to teach my children to choose the right and be accountable for their choices and my Saviour.  

This week I would like to highlight Nana, Troy's grandmother.  
I have known her a mere 16 years and what a blessing it has been to have her be a part of my life. She is so talented.  These hands were tools of creation. Countless cards, {She made these when Shantel was born.}

{Nana made ornaments for each grandchild and great grandchild until this year.  These are just a very small sampling.}
{see the bear off to the side?  She made two of them for our open house.}
and paintings
they have made.  

When we all lived in Vegas, I made a point of going over to visit with her and Papa.  The kids enjoyed playing with the toys their dad played with as a kid and hanging out {as much as little kids and 'hang out'} with their great grandparents. She took me to her ward's SuperSaturday Craft days.   I never got the opportunity to really know my grandma Grace because she didn't drive. I feel it is very important to know your family and extended family.  I urge you to visit with your family members and get to know them.  I want my children to be able to say that they knew their family.  We have been so fortunate to have her near us again.  She is 81 and she chooses to no longer take her medications for various health issues, one of which is diabetes.  This has caused her body to weaken, her eye sight is starting to fail and she is often confused.  It is hard to watch someone you love go through this.  It is hard to watch her daughter and son-in-law deal with the stress of this.  It is hard to watch my own children learn these lessons and to watch them watch their Nana become old and frail.
How does this story mesh with the title of peace and comfort?  I feel peace and comfort in the knowledge that when she is ready to pass on, she will be with her husband, her parents, family and friends who have already traveled this path.  Yes, it is hard to see, but to have lived your life the best you knew how, to have loved and been loved, that is peace and comfort for you and your family.  Will she be missed when her time comes?  Yes!  But it is peace and comfort to have fought the good fight and won.  
Today she asked me when Christmas was.  After I told her, she just said, "Thursday. I was just wondering."  Will she be here for Christmas? New Years?  Easter?  4th of July?  Her next birthday?  Thanksgiving?  No one knows, but we hold to that peace and comfort given to us by our Saviour!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Foto Story Friday #28 -- Guatemala Quirigua Ruins

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

As promised  we continue on to the ruins.....
I took so many pictures here it was extremely hard to choose which ones to share.
When we got off the bus at Quirigua, we were directed toward the restrooms and on the way were given worry dolls and shown the line.  In the bathroom we had to share the space with these lovely 8-legged creatures!
And then we saw this sign:
After our potty break, we headed down the path.  The trees amazed me, how they just twist around each other.
We were greeted with a field of pillars.  
They were completely covered in hiroglyphs Each one told the story of how the king, Sky Burner, defeated 18 Rabbit of Copan.  Then went on to tell the history of the past year or two.  
There were 3 right in a row.  I was very impressed with all the detail each side presented.  
He lost his nose.... gives this face an Egyptian feel. When this site was discovered most of the pillars had fallen over.  They were all righted and a protective cover built over each one.   
I have no idea what this square says, but it is interesting.
This is Sky Burner's tombstone.  The marker of his death, but not where he was buried.  He has not been found, but they have a few ideas.
This beautiful tree is the Mayan Tree of Life.  
The mound you see behind the trees, is a candidate for Sky Burner's burial house.
This site was different from Lamanai, in that there are no visible temples here.  There is a palace though. 
Close up on the carvings of one of the many alters on the site.
Our tour group sitting on the steps of the palace.  
The sign at the top of the steps.
Looking down
At the top there are buildings
And steps down into the courtyard {for lack of a better word.}
Of course, I had to get across the area and look at the back side.  You see where the trees are?  If you got near, you would see the edge of a ravine where the river once flowed. 
Looking across the palace courtyard.
I wanted to get an angle to show the size of the area, but I'm not sure it was possible.
The site is still active.
The same place as the above photo, from across the yard.
And right across the way is this active area.  The guys were sitting in the shade having lunch.
Another angle on the courtyard.
The building at the top of the stairs, had these windows, and I just liked how these two pictures turned out. 

Another alter.
Some were big and others small, each decorated all over!
Another pillar.
See how many Pillars Sky Burner had built?  A friend asked the guys mowing the grass how long it took them to get it all cut and he said when they had gas about 2 days and without gas 2 weeks with machetes!
This was my favorite pillar, I loved that it was at an angle.
As I was nearly running to catch the bus, I looked up and saw the sun shining through the trees. Although I didn't capture the rays, I like how a shot up shows the dense vegetation.  I will continue with Guatemala next week.