Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Highway Tradition

Between the last of November and through the WHOLE month of December, if you are driving on CA-1, out towards the lake, you will notice kids of all ages sitting by the side of the road,  
waving their hands 
 jumping up and down. 
But, "Why?", you ask.

They are waving in hopes that you will throw wrapped candy out the window for them collect.

So, as we do each year, we joined in on the tradition.  Carrying bags of candy, we threw handfuls of sweetness to them out the window.  Occasionally, we would stop and give them tracts and larger amounts of candy. 

Of course you have to make sure that all of the candy lands OFF the road, so as not to endanger the kids.

They loved it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Karen's Quick Visit

Just a 5 days before Christmas, Karen flew down to Guatemala to spend 7 days with us.  We had so much fun, that we extended her stay by 2 extra days.  This was a last minute trip and a wonderful Christmas present for us.  I know Guatemala is not "home" for Karen, but its where we live and it always feels good to have the kids come home where we live.  Karen had not been "home" since 2007 when she was here for Gary's graduation from High School.

We were able to spend 2 days out at the lake. 

After a boat-ride to Casa del Mundo and eating a delicious breakfast, we hiked up and down the foot path, 1.5 kilometers, to the small village of Santa Cruz.

We shopped at Nancy's store and Karen purchased a few items.
We enjoyed the Sunrise.
We took Karen to some malls to see the Christmas decorations.
And of course we took the typical Antigua photo shots.

Karen wanted to see the Pacific Ocean, so we drove down to Puerto Quetzal to have a fish lunch and watch the iguanas play among the rocks. 
We chilled in the hammocks as we breathed the ocean air.
It was a special time for all of us.  We made some good memories.  It was fun to have some one-on-one time.  We played lots of Skip Bo and Phase 10 card games, watched House Hunters International and enjoyed meals out on the patio overlooking the valley.

One of the highlights was the Christmas Eve celebrations that really got going at midnight with the sky lighting up with an unforgettable fireworks "display."

Thank you Karen for coming down to visit us.  We put her on the plane this morning, sending her back to Thomas, refreshed and tired at the same time.  We love you. 
 Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

36 years ago TODAY!!

What statements are true?

Then -- 1978

  • "Oh, Judy, you don't have to drive all the way down to Duncanville and see Tom and Mary." 
  • "Oh, but Mom, who knows I might meet my husband."
  • I had lunch with my high-school friend, Donna, at a hamburger place, once an old Gasoline station now hamburger joint on Greenville, Ave. 
  • I drove 35 miles south of home and visited old college friends of mine, Tom and Mary, who were not currently home, but were out doing last minute Christmas shopping.
  • Shy Glenn came over to the Beekman's home also before Tom and Mary return and we were able to meet for the VERY-FIRST-TIME.
  • Dec 23, 1978, 6 months after graduating from college, I met Glenn Stewart.  5 days later, December 28, 1978, we had our first date. 
 I am so glad I met you.  I love you, Glenn

now - 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stamping Day

I am so blessed to have friendships that expand over  
25 years and over
 2 continents.

Linda served in Bolivia with us, along with her husband and children.  We made memories together by playing racquetball,  raising our kids together, enjoying crafts such as stamping and making home-made cards and serving together.  

Fast forward.  

All of our kids are grown.  Linda has grandchildren.  I have grandchildren.  Linda has children serving on the mission field.  I have children serving on the mission field.

Linda and Dean are spending their Christmas holiday with their adult child, daughter-in-law and grandchildren that are serving the Lord here in Guatemala with us.  So, in honor of our friendship, we kept up the tradition of stamping.

Did you know?  

That when I was trying to decide what my grandkids would call me, I decided to go with "Grammie", just like Linda's kids call her.  The only difference, Linda is known as Grammy and I'm known as Grammie, the slight spelling difference.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Karen Meets Karen - DFW Encounter

Karen is on her way to Guatemala to spend Christmas here!

I'm thrilled to have Karen come and spend Christmas holidays with us.  Although, Karen didn't grow up here, we are so super excited that she'll spend the holiday with us here at "home".

Friday night, Karen was on "standby" from DFW to Guatemala.  As she was waiting to "be called", a flight attendant came up to her and asked, "Are you going to be on my flight?" To which Karen replied, "I sure hope so!"

And THIS flight attendant is no ordinary flight attendant. This is our good friend from our days in Bolivia.

To Karen's surprise, it was another Karen. 

Karen B. meet Karen J, again.
Sure enough she was working AA1013 heading to Guatemala City.  An old friend.  We've known Karen since 1991 when as a single gal, she flew down to Santa Cruz to visit a real "missionary family".  She spent 2 weeks with us learning and enjoying our crazy family.

 So began a beautiful friendship. 

 Our paths with Karen have crossed many times. When Gary was only 5 years old, he and I flew up in 1993 to attend Karen's wedding to Kirk.  She has helped us with child care during our Bolivia Field Conference back in the late 90's.  And most recently, Karen has flown down to Guatemala bringing her family with her along with another family and they exposed their children to missionary life.  

Thank you Karen for your sweet friendship over the years.

My Karen did not get on the Friday night flight.  But, isn't the Lord good to give Karen a chance to "reconnect" with Karen even though it was a short 10 min. visit in front of gate D18?

My Karen caught the Saturday morning non-stop flight. Can't wait to see her.  Bring it on!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Where's the Beef?

 I had to laugh when we passed a parked cattle truck, loaded with about 10 cows, parked outside of the Burger King.

Where's the Beef?
Always a good laugh!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Few Days in Pana

Glenn and I spent a few days in Panajachel at Las Buenas Nuevas.  The Good News is that it was perfect timing to rest our souls.

 We enjoyed a very relaxing time with good friends, Forrest and Carol.  We cooked up a traditional "pre-Christmas" meal including ham, corn casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce and even pumpkin pie.

We finished off a 1000 piece puzzle complete with the cold snow scene.
We enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets down by the lake.

I relaxed by cross-stitching. The others read, worked puzzles, we laughed, played Phase 10 and Skip Bo, and listened to the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network for the play by play call of the victory for the Dallas Cowboys over the Eagles on Sunday night.   
How 'bout dem Cowboys?

I'm thankful for the time away, to reflect, relax and appreciate the goodness of God in our lives.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Back Roads Route Through San Antonio Palopó

On Saturday, Glenn and I picked up our good friend, Carol (Forrest arrived on Sunday), and we headed to Lake Atitlán.  Glenn decided to drive the back way, by way of Patzicía, Patzún and then a more rustic route straight down the side of the mountain through the small village of San Antonio Palopó.  

We've taken this road 3 times before.  It is not on your recommended high speed roads routing.  It is mostly a one-lane, gravel and dirt road.  There are two spots that have several yards of rippled concrete to help with traction.  Once, going uphill on a pretty difficult climb, the rear drive wheels were slipping and sliding.  But mostly we were going downhill, so we felt confident that we could make it to our destination in our trusty Toyota HiAce (the Silver Bullet).

We came across a small hut with this huge Poinsettia tree, 
approximately 12 feet tall.

The sign says:  
You are stupid if you take this route. 
No, just kidding.  
It really says,
"...alternate route to Panajachel, Be Careful, Dangerous Curves."
We are going there?!

Glenn and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Isaiah 58:11

Isaiah 58:11

11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

New International Version (NIV)

Monday, December 08, 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Stuck in Traffic

Guatemala City traffic on the whole is horrible.  We try to avoid peak rush hour traffic between 6:00am to 9:00am.  However, we have noticed just this past week, the rush hour traffic seems to be
 ALL day long. Holiday season.

I took my camera earlier this week and documented our several mile journey from the San Cristobal Blvd towards the airport and we had several options of entertainment as it took us 1 hour to drive the few miles at 10:30 on a Thursday morning.


Purchase the Prensa Libre
Give to your local Fire Department
Purchase some Banana chips, Spider Man towels or lottery tickets
Help the homeless
(we've seen her here at the 90 degree bridge and at the aqueduct bridge coming out of the airport)
Enjoy some street entertainment
(The Silver Medal goes to...)

What does your daily commute look like? 

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Going Bananas

I noticed this bunch of bananas was laying on the 
roof top of a cabin
 at Casa Del Mundo.