Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas at the Zoo!

Christmas at the Buie's is all about our animals, naturally, since we are outnumbered 4 to 2. They rule in our house. Yes, they are all reasonably well trained (as well as you can trains cats), and they know who their masters are, but let's be honest... the own us. They even have their own Christmas tree.
I even waited until Christmas eve to decorate my mantel because Hazel likes to get on the mantel and perch. She likes to be up high and look over the whole room. I think it makes her feel important.
Christmas for the cats is like a wonderland of all things cats love: shiny things, lights, bells, paper, ornaments and a huge tree in the living room to climb. It's like a cat's dream come true.

This was Charlie's first Christmas so he was especially amazed by the vintage silver strand of beads I pulled out of the magical box. In fact, the strand of beads never even made it on the tree.
Mostly they stayed on the dining room table which became the cats play room for most of the month of December.
Scooter and Conner look a little less thrilled about Christmas this year. They're old hats at this. They've been around the block a time or two. "Just give us the treats and let's be done with this." Their stockings were filled with new toys, bones, and treats to last for months...but in reality will last about 2 weeks.
This was our first year without George. We had a brief moment of sadness when we came across his stocking. Not sure what to do with his old stocking, we just left it in the box. We'll deal with it next year.
But we are super excited to have added one more stocking, Charlie, to the holder. We order these stockings from Pottery Barn several years ago and of course they are no longer available. I ordered a similar one for Charlie but it ended up being super tiny compared to the other three. Honestly, I love it because Charlie is so small and is the youngest member. It's perfect! :)
And yes, even the cats get treats in their stockings. Here is Charlie being introduced to catnip for the first time. Wow! He loved it. He got toy shrimp filled with catnip and was in little kitty heaven. :)
Merry Christmas from the Buie's Zoo! We sincerely hope that you and your furry friends had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 3

from my journal: December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! I'm sad I'm not with him today but I'm having a wonderful experience, one I wish I could share with him.

Today in Nicaragua, the locals are celebrating Mary's birthday. There will be parades, parties, dances & fireworks later this evening, I am told. Hopefully we will have a chance to go down to the local town square to witness this celebration.

This morning's devotional was from Psalm 27 - The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Also, Ephesians 6:10-19 - Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Today we went to a village that inspired me. These people once lived at the dump. The city of Diriamba sold very small plots of land for dirt cheap to encourage people to move out of the dump. And so they did.

This little village is now called Kilombo. Our church has sent teams down to help build houses. There are now 30 one room houses built out of concrete bricks and they have a solid foundation. The goal is to build 150 more homes. It only costs $1800 to build ONE of these homes in Diriamba. $1800. If you had $1800 dollars what would you do with it? Pay off some student loans? Buy yourself that Christmas present that Santa forgot? Go on a long vacation? This amount of money would buy a family of 4 (possibly more) a home for years to come. Oh, how blessed we are.

Our second stop today was to the dump. I can honestly say I. HAVE. NEVER. I didn't take as many pictures here as I wanted because I just stood in awe and stared for quite some time. For as far as I could see there was trash. The smell was almost unbearable. There was smoke rising from different areas of the dump from burn piles. Looking down under my feet, I realized I was standing on people waste but also people livelihood.
There were men, women, children, mothers & babies all living off the trash of the people of Diriamba. They were thrilled to receive the rice and beans and toys (for the children) we gave them.
My prayer for them is that the people living at the dump will one day have their own Kilombo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 2

from my journal:
December 6, 2011

This morning's devotion was on the front porch of where we are staying - a concrete building painted pink & green. The grounds are lush with native plants. The flowers here are beautiful.
I did not sleep much at all last night - perhaps it was the new environment or perhaps the excitement of what today would bring. I woke up at 5:30am ready for the day. I'm excited to meet the children. I know it will be hard but I'm so glad I'm here!
the evening of December 6th
I am physically exhausted from today's endeavors. But it was a good day. Today we packed 300 "blessing bags" that the women of FBC Minden made. A bag of rice and a bag of beans were placed in each bag. We packed bags of toys for the children and brought them to a local school The rice and beans were distributed to the adults and the children were delighted with their new toys.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 1- Traveling

Last week I was on a truly life changing mission trip to Nicaragua. I went with an awesome group of women from my home church in Minden, Louisiana. There were eight of us; our team name is Team N.O.E.L. (Nicaraguan Outreach Expressing Love). The goal of our trip is to pass out clothes, toys, and food to those who have literally nothing in the poorest parts of Diriamba, Nicaragua and surrounding communities. We were there for a week and had limited internet connection so I wrote a journal entry instead of blogging each day. These are my written journal entries I wanted to share with you. I have backdated them so they are dated on the actual date they were written in Nicaragua.
December 5, 2011

We arrived in Nicaragua. It is well past 1 am and I am weary from traveling. I will make this brief. The people here are nice. I am looking forward to seeing the country in the light of day and photographing some of its beauty in the coming week.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rice Cake Anyone?

Oh, and in case you were wondering how I'm feeling about my yeast free diet... these two clips from one of my favorite show (Designing Women) pretty much sums it up.

Happy Birthday Buie!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Brent Buie, who turns 34 this coming week. I'll be in Nicaragua on his actual birthday so we celebrated early. I hate to leave my man on his birthday and actually have been putting off this trip for years because it always falls during his birthday week, but this is the year I'm going. I figured if I'm ever going to go to Nicaragua with my mom, I should while we don't have kids yet. I still feel guilty leaving B on his birthday, though...

Isn't he cute in his new William Sonoma Chiefs apron I got him? ;)Birthdays are a big deal to me for some reason. They are a thing to be celebrated. Another year of living. An excuse to be around friends and family. And that is exactly what we did.
Buie though it was going to be a quiet dinner with just the two of us but when we got to the restaurant, there was about 8 of his close friends waiting for him. He was shocked!
Thanks for making his night so special, guys! And to my husband, I love you! Happy 34th birthday! Can't wait to have many more birthdays with you.