I was invited to a Haitian wedding a few weekends ago, and, for someone who is pretty well versed in the American wedding industry, it was like nothing I've ever seen before...

Some of the decorations: this section was the front of the church where the brides and grooms sat.
Yes. Plural. As in, more than one.

We showed up "on time" for the wedding, which actually started several hours later.
I think that's pretty much the norm for weddings here as no one seemed fazed by the late start.
This beautiful little gal was making the most of her waiting and resting in the shad.

Finally, the processional starts! And it goes and goes and goes and goes. The bridesmaids and groomsmen did a choreographed dance s-l-o-w-l-y down the aisle.

Yes, she was beautiful. But, no, she was NOT one of the brides.
Yeah, I was fooled too.
Apparently, its customary to dress up in your finest (including veil and flowers if you have them) to attend a wedding.

"Pretend bride" number 4. Turns out there were 2 real bride and grooms.
This is pretty typical, I learned, as it is more economical to split the costs of a wedding.
Makes sense to me, but I'm pretty sure its not a trend that will catch on in the States.

The groom with the maid of honor.
Or mother of the bride.
Or mother of the groom.
Not sure.
But I do know he was the groom.

One of the brides, waiting for her turn to walk down the aisle,
sharing a sweet little moment with Pico, who walked her down the aisle.

There is NO rushing the processional here. They take their time.

The other groom saying his vows.
I loved how his son was looking up at him the whole time.

One of the happy couples.
Don't worry, they really were happy.
 It's not customary to smile for a photo in Haiti.

Finally, my favorite part...they all loaded up in a tap-tap and drove off into the sunset.
Or down the street to celebrate.

Congratulations, happy couples!

Haiti is a bender of time, and while this may sound dramatic (you have my permission to roll your eyes) our life in America seems like a memory...already.  It feels like we've been here a lot longer than 3 weeks. In a good way.

This past week was full...

Deepening relationships, 
new experiences,
seeing the beauty of the body of Christ caring for a widow and her children,
witnessing the public decisions to live for Christ by 25 precious Haitian friends,
and, of course, managing to fit in some fun with our buddies at HFHM.

Full, I tell ya. 
Our bodies are tired but our hearts are so very full.

Everywhere we go Ella gets a new hair-do. She's a good sport about it.

Earlier this year we wrote a lot about our friend Philimone, who passed away from mouth cancer. We got to visit his widow, Myline, and their kiddo's and see the house that the Body of Christ built for them. They are doing well and the local church is doing a great job of caring from them. 

Peeking in at the baptisms.

25 new believers, some from far into the provinces here in Haiti, who had been waiting for the opportunity to be baptized, made their public profession of faith here at Our House of Hope. I cannot even begin to explain the joy of watching this.

These next two upcoming weeks are the busiest weeks for us as we have two very large teams back to back, so please pray we will be sustained with energy.

Broken record time...

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who are praying for us! 

And again, for those of you who feel led to participate in the ministry happening through Until the Whole World Knows, click on the "Support Us" button at the top of this page. We are so grateful.

I am not gonna lie to you: I'm tired and perhaps a bit cranky this morning as I write this. Don't feel like I should admit that, but I like to keep it real.

But as any busy momma knows, life doesn't stop because I'm tired or cranky. It just keeps moving on. Good thing, too. Life keeps going and I am praying to re-position my feelings behind my great Sustainer and what he has for me today.

Jeremiah is out with the three big kiddo's working with one of our Haitian pastors and I am grateful for a few minutes to sip an extra cup of coffee and snuggle with the Zoob and get caught up on a few things around our room.

Yes, I said our room.



 All 6 of us are sharing one bedroom & bathroom this summer. Everyone is doing pretty stinking amazing considering the challenges that come with sharing one room and bathroom. The only exception is in the romance department, but...eh, ain't nobody got time for that anyways down here, ha!

My cooking skills are dramatically improving. At least in the department of cooking for large crowds. Not exactly finess cooking, but I can fill you up.

Bettine's smile makes me smile...

One of the small teams staying with us this week is a group of photographers and videographers working with Feed One and Convoy of Hope. It is their first trip to Haiti. They are uber cool and make me feel old, but I have so enjoyed talking with them and am trying to absorb their energy. Remember the day that you could stay up till the wee hours of the morning and work all day and still have time to be crazy. Yeah, me either.

I  can't wait to see their work that comes out of this trip.

And now, for those things that needed catching up on...

Happy Thursday!

Obviously, mosquito's are a problem here. Beyond the discomfort of the bite itself, they carry all kind of nastiness. I shudder to remember the dreaded Chikungunya virus of last year...not to mention dengue fever, malaria, etc.

With that said, insect repellents everyday aren't exactly a great health option either.

Hmm...do I want to give my kids cancer or let them get malaria? Quite the toss up, eh.

Needless to say, I did my research on more natural mosquito repellents to use this time around and played around with a few concoctions before settling on one that I am thrilled to report is working amazing!

I've had several people asking me about the recipe, so I thought I'd post it on here.

Here's my now tested and tried favorite natural mosquito repellent recipe:

  • 2oz witch hazel
  • 3 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops Citronella essential oil

I pour the witch hazel in a little sprayer bottle (I found mine in the travel section at Target) and then add the oils and shake it all up.

I apply it on myself and the kids once in the morning and then sometimes I'll reapply if I know we are going to be out at dusk...aka: mosquito feeding frenzy time.

I'll also diffuse it in our room at night before bedtime (minus the witch hazel) and it works amazing!

Here's the thing...it smells and feels great going on! Nothing is greasy and nothing burns my kids skin...and I have one kiddo with major sensory issues who ALWAYS cried about applying bug spray in the past.

There ya go...watch those pesky little blood suckers run away in terror.

Whew, that went by fast!

Week two has come and gone, we all are feeling more settled, everyone is healthy and thriving, and as always...life is never dull here.

Jeremiah spends any and every down minute fixing or working on something.

Eli and Sasha. I think he may try to fit her in his carry-on to bring her back with us. Think she will fit?!

Sophie and Dafka, two of the best playmates my kiddo's could ever ask for.

Ezra likes to stay cool by making homemade icee's.

Visiting our buddies and fellow RFBC missionaries, Reese and Amber.

Family walk after dinner one night. Once again, Zoe missed the memo to smile.

One of our Haitian church plants in Bon Repo.
This building also houses a school and it is slated to be our next site for a playground!

Two ladies from our Bethel Baptist team visiting the Bon Repo school. They are the perfect example of the beauty of long-term relationships in international ministry...they truly "do life" together with their friends here in Haiti and are united in caring for the people. 

Um, I'm pretty sure I can't do any of these math problems I saw on display at the school. 

I needn't worry...this guy could do them for me.

On Saturday I got to attend my first Haitian wedding.
More to come on that experience later, but for now...just a few photos from the day.

Our HFHM kiddo's celebrated their end of school with a big cook-out and celebration!
I was graciously allowed to help fix the meal and was given my share of pointers on fixing some Haitian dishes in the future.

One of my favorite Haitian dishes is their beet potato salad. It doesn't look very appetizing, but I think it's super yummy.

Their community way of cooking is just beautiful. And fun. Lots of fun.

Ella and Samanza were in charge of face-painting.

Eli decided that face painting isn't just for girls.

Ella got to experience her first "tap-tap" ride this week as she joined up with the World Reach team to work out in the Croix du Bouquet area for the day. 

Of course, squeezed in between all the pictures is the reality of laundry, runs to the hardware and food markets, keeping the House of Hope operating, school lessons fit where we can, and meeting the needs of our four kiddo's. We are finding deep joy in serving together as a family and again (I know, I know, I sound like a broken record!) I am continuously overwhelmed with the grace the Lord extends me every day.

I'll never get over it and I never want to.

As always, thank you so much for praying for us and supporting us.


**To give to the ministry of Until the Whole World Knows find the Support Us button located at the top of the page!**

Ezra: Mom, can I play minecraft?

Me: You have to read two books first.

**Ten minutes later**

Me, upon seeing Ezra playing minecraft: You finished reading your books?

Ezra: Well, I just read one book, but I read every word two times. It was kinda boring. I already knew what was going to happen.

Yep, folks...this boy is feeling better.