Top 5 Children's Books For Preschoolers and Toddlers

reading, library, children's books, christmas list

With the Christmas season around the corner I thought I would share some of our favorite books. Books usually aren't the most popular Christmas gifts; but they should be.  I have a 3 1/2 and a 2 year old. Not all the books I read to my older child holds the attention of my younger one but there are a few that they both love. Those are the ones we tend to read the most. We don't let the kids use electronic devices except for special circumstances and when they do they get bored quickly because they are used to reading and actually playing with things.  I'm also an ESL teacher in Honduras so I'm a huge advocate for literacy. We try to read for about 30 minutes a day. Reading has done wonders for my three year old's vocabulary and is helping my two year old, as well.  If you can't do 30 minutes just commit to reading one book a day. Not only will it help your child developmentally but it's great bonding time


7 Ways to Make it Feel LIke Fall in the Tropics

Fall, flatlay, essential oils, cinnamon, lemon, organic

 I'm a missionary in La Ceiba, Honduras. We are two minutes from the Caribbean Sea and at the edge of a jungle. There are mountains, rivers, beaches, and islands. We basically live in paradise.  However, vacationing to paradise and living in paradise are two very different things. I guess we get used to it or take it for granted because, well, it's where we live. Every year when Fall happens in the U.S. everyone starts wearing scarves and boots but we still live in shorts and flip flops. I miss the cute and cozy winter clothes. Even though I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which isn't much different from the climate here, we still had some nicer weather and all the Fall vibes. Seasons don't change much here. It's hot and hotter, rainy and rainier. So I vicariously live through all the pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest wishing I was somewhere cooler; longing for those Louisiana fall days. I know there are many people in the Southernmost states that can identify perfectly with what I'm saying. So I thought I'd make a list of some of the things I do to make it "feel" like Fall even though it's 85 degrees out and not a dead leaf in sight.


Why it is Beneficial to Write the Word of God

letterboard, bible journaling, succelents, flat lay, gratitude

 We all have different learning styles. In case you don't know there are seven different ones.
  • visual 
  • aural 
  • verbal 
  • physical
  • logical 
  • social 
  • solitary
 It's very interesting topic and many people have a combination of styles. You can go to Learning Styles to read more on the topic. I believe my style is verbal/solitary with a little social.  Because of that I have always had to write things to learn them. I would re-write my notes in college. Anytime I needed to memorize something I had to write multiple for it to get it to stick. It made me think of the men who transcribed the word of God. The scribes in the Bible copied the Old Testament Scripture. They studied the scripture, the knew the scripture. Unfortunately, they were mostly opposed of Jesus regardless of their knowledge of the word of God. I began to think that if I wrote the word of God daily, certainly I would learn it better.


How You Can Help the Immigrant

immigrant, help, migrant caravan, honduras
It has been called a Humanitarian Crisis, the mass exodus of over 3,000 immigrants making their way to the U.S. border from Honduras. I know that most U.S. citizens have a very different viewpoint on immigration than I do. I'm not here to argue or talk politics. I'm here to explain what I see, how I feel, as a missionary living in Honduras.

First, let me summarize what is going on.

I have lived in Honduras since 2001.  When my husband, who is Salvadoran, and I moved here from El Salvador we had major culture shock. Honduras is easily 10 to 15 years behind other Central American countries.  For example, we pay triple the amount for electricity and they cut it off for hours at a time whenever they want. When we need to get any kind of governmental documents it's always a huge ordeal because there is never any paper to print them out. The majority of streets, within the city, are not paved. Taxes are ridiculously high, we pay over $4.00 a liter for gas. There are no jobs and no governmental help or support for anyone. Not to mention it's one of the most violent countries in the world.
My husband and I are missionaries from El Salvador but we work here to survive. We both have good paying jobs (Honduran standard) but we barely make it month to month so I really can't imagine how people survive on much less. Less than $2 a day to be exact.


The Art of Hospitality

flower, hospitality
Did you know the real meaning of hospitality is actually kindness to strangers?  Yes, strangers... people you don't know.  Hospitality is a quality that Jesus holds in high regard and one that we should practice.  God gives us love and compassion and if we put that into action we get hospitality.

Leviticus 19:33 "When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them."

1 Peter 4:9 "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

Titus 1:8 "Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined." 

These are a few, of the many, verses on hospitality but more often than not it's a quality or characteristic we seem to overlook. Unfortunately, you could say that it's rarely even practiced.


3 Important Tips on Marrying an International

I recently took engagement pictures for a friend who is marrying a Honduran. It brought back memories when I was preparing to marry my husband.
One of our fun engagement shots in the middle of Bamboo trees.

International marriage or transnational marriage may be terms you've never heard of before but I can assure you it's becoming more and more common.   Thirty something years ago a transnational marriage may have been something the occasional soldier did but not an everyday thing.  With air travel at its height and travel being much easier there are more opportunities to meet international people.

I honestly had no desire to marry internationally. I was kinda against it (for myself). I was living in El Salvador and not looking for a mate but God's plans are greater than ours. He had the perfect Salvadoran for me. I actually thought the differences wouldn’t be to different and love covers all (Or so we thought,lol.) I believe something that was in my favor was that I had been living in the culture for 4 1/2 years prior to marrying my husband so I had learned quite bit about Salvadoran culture. However, I was not an expert by any means; I'm still not. Especially since every country is very different. After 6 years of an international marriage and living 12 years in three different Central American countries I think I can speak from experience.


Waiting for the Blooms

flower, plant, garden, red flower

Even though you can’t see it, God is working.

Since coming back from Colombia I’ve felt bombarded and overwhelmed. I came home and immediately started classes. My third grade class is a difficult one but that’s not what I’m going to write about.  I teach Language Arts to both third grade sections. I have to go back and forth between classes and bring all my stuff with me. I am the homeroom teacher of Third A.  I was in Third B giving a class, when the bell rang I gathered up (or I thought I did) my computer and all my teaching supplies.  At that time,  I went back to my classroom to finish the last class of the day but didn't use my computer.  After getting home, I didn't check my computer. The next day, after Bible class, I had Spelling with Third B. So I got all my supplies and went to the other classroom. As I was getting ready to show my students a video I realized my computer charger was not in my bag. I started to panic because my computer is my life here at work. Remember, I live in Honduras so to replace it would be a huge ordeal. I asked the homeroom teacher of Third B about it and she said she found a computer charger but didn’t know whose it was so she put it in her desk. However, when I opened the desk drawer it was not there.


Hold Your Hands Up High

hiking, mountains, nature, Honduras
I took this picture towards the end of a short jungle hike. I came and I conquered! I took it just playing around but as I was looking at the picture I was reminded of the time Moses had to keep his staff in the air. As long as his hands were lifted high, Israel prevailed. If he dropped his hands, the Amalekites gained the advantage. It made me think about how difficult it must have been to keep his hands raised. I probably couldn't even do it five minutes and with the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit, his brother, and a friend he was able to maintain his arms uplifted for many hours until the Israelites defeated the Amalekites.

Top 5 Children's Books For Preschoolers and Toddlers

With the Christmas season around the corner I thought I would share some of our favorite books. Books usually aren't the most popul...