January 1st we celebrated 18 years of marriage! That’s 6,570 days together as husband and wife! So thankful that in the hard times we fought for our marriage and didn’t give up. Those seasons developed our character and made us stronger. I love our crazy, fun-filled, adventurous life and thank God that we get to share it together serving Him. The Lord is so good to us and all glory and praise to Him for His faithfulness and grace. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the years to come!
We woke up on New Years Day to receive notice that we had experienced an earthquake during the night! It happened 32 miles out from us and was 8 miles deep. We didn’t feel it (we were so tired after the lock-in Friday night and New Years Eve fun). The kids had some friends spending the night and they were all awake and said they felt it. They said they thought it was just from the fireworks..ha! (People here shot fireworks ALL night on New Years Eve). No damage here and no tsunami watches or warnings thankfully.
As of January 1, my Dad is officially a “retired” fellow! My Dad has worked for YEARS to make sure our family was well cared for. He worked night shifts, tons of overtime hours, 12 hours shifts, day shifts, and eventually worked his way up to an office job at the plant. He never complained (at least in front of us) and he taught me what true work ethic looks like. He made sure I had everything I needed & even most of what I “wanted”. Even through his hard work and long hours, he was extremely active in my life. He was a band parent and came to all the football games, band competitions and concerts I was in, he made sure I went on all the youth activities at church, went to Maywood Camp each summer, and even helped send me to Russia twice on mission trips! Dad and I also played co-ed softball together on his team from work for a couple of years. Even after I got married, he has continued to spoil me and my family and still makes sure things are special for us. He is an amazing Dad (& Papa to our kids) and I am so proud that he is ours. Thank you for all your hard work and beautiful example of workmanship over the years. Enjoy your retirement Dad!!
One of the neat things about living on an island is that we are constantly learning so much about the ocean. We didn’t grow up near the ocean (we grew up in North Alabama) and only went to the ocean for vacation once or twice a year. Now the ocean is literally in our front yard and back yard. It is currently rainy season here (y’all it rains almost everyday and some days it rains all day) and we have “northern’s” – cold fronts – that come in too. When the northern’s come in, it affects the tide and during low tide, the water near the shore is gone. That means you can literally walk out all in the ocean on the rocks that are normally covered with water. Friday night, a northern was coming in and the tide was really low so we all went exploring with some friends who live down the point from us.
David found an octopus between some of the coral rocks! It took him a little bit to actually catch it because that little thing could squeeze into the tiniest spaces between the rocks. It inked purple a couple of times when he was trying to grab it and finally, he got it. We all held it and took pictures of it and it was super neat. When we put it back in the ocean, it inked black everywhere and disappeared back into the coral.
Earlier in the week, Wyatt had set a couple of little fish traps just to see what he could catch. When he went to dump out one of the tubes, he didn’t realize there was a fireworm inside it too and it stung him on the finger. Bless his heart, it hurt him for almost 2 days before the pain and redness went away. Lesson learned…look inside your trap before you dump it out on your hand! We are enjoying learning about the ocean, the tides, and the animals and creatures that live in it though.
We are taking weekly Spanish lessons. While English is supposed to be the primary language of the island, Spanish is rapidly taking over as more and more people move from the mainland over here. Because of that, we feel it is necessary to learn Spanish so we can reach both English and Spanish speakers with our mission work. We have the sweetest, most patient Spanish teacher (Kennia) who comes to our house on Monday & Wednesday afternoons from 2:00-4:00pm to teach us Spanish. She is a Spanish teacher in the schools here and she grew up here in Roatan. We have had lessons for exactly one month so it was time for our first test this week. It was 4 pages long but thankfully, David made a 90 and I made a 91 and we both passed our first test! We are learning so much and thankful for the opportunity to learn a new language. We still aren’t great at speaking and understanding it but after a month, we are proud of our progress so far. Spanish is not real easy for us because one word can have so many multiple meanings or one object (like a ball) can be several different words. We are working hard and being faithful to study each week though and praying that the Lord will help us with our language acquisition.
And being that Alabama is “home” for us, we can’t let this pass by! To get internet here in Honduras, it was cheaper to get an internet/cable package so that means we have basic internet and a lot of channels for cable TV. We joked that we lived in South TX (at the Texas-Mexico border) the last 5 1/2 years and cable was so expensive there we didn’t have any TV. We move to another country and get both internet and cable for way less than it costs in the States. Because of that, we have been able to watch the Alabama football games since we arrived (and y’all, we are HUGE Crimson Tide football fans). We watched the National Championship game (and boy was that a great game) and sure were happy to see our team pull out that win! ROLL TIDE