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Rico and Laurel have decided to name the newest Casas boy Chase Asher.  He is a happy baby (Laurel say’s he’s already smiling.) and a good eater, unlike big brother Ian.  I haven’t had a sleep report yet, but I would suppose that means he’s doing well in that department also.

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Ricardo and Laurel had a healthy baby boy on Monday, December 1.  He weighed 7 lbs. and 1 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long.  Everyone is happy the critter is out amongst us now.  Ian seems to be doing well with the little one.  No name has been chosen yet, but I’ll update the journal when it occurs.



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Fruit of Labor

Today has been a productive day.  Truman and Stan have killed 3 deer this season.  Stan and the boys processed most of one to make some hard dried sausage.  Yesterday and today all of us pitched in to strip the meat off the rest of the bones.  Tamara is starting some jerky with some of it, and Stan and I made the rest of it into breakfast sausage to freeze.

I don’t really like processing the meat a lot, but I do enjoy eating it.  The dried sausage turned out really well.  We got the recipe from an older couple in our community.  He showed Stan how to make a smoke house several years ago.  We’ve used it for jerky a lot.  This is the first year, however, that we’ve make the hard dry sausage we like so much.


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The Roof is up

Well, we’ve gotten as far as partially roofing the ‘green house’.  It’s decked and papered and partially shingled.  We’ve been blessed with some rain, and Stan still has to work to make a living, so it’s getting done a bit at a time.  Rico helped with putting shingles up last night and wants to come out this weekend if we haven’t finished by then.
The boys were hunting rabbits a few days ago and found a 3 foot long coral snake.  They dispatched it with their shot gun.  So, even though they didn’t get any rabbits, I felt they did a good days hunt.
Now for the pics:

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We’ve been busy working on the little building I call our ‘Green House’.  I suppose we will have to paint it green after all is said and done.  The site where the building stands is where Laurel Beth’s greenhouse use to be.  After she stopped gardening, she sold it, but the site was already cleared and waiting for another structure.  I was so use to saying something about ‘being down at the greenhouse’ when I was looking for one of the chidren, it just seemed to stay fixed in my mind that that location is the ‘greenhouse’.  Since it will be housing people instead of plants now, I’ve just altered it to being the Green House, rather than the greenhouse.

Enough of that.  Here’s the progress pictures.

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Green House

Here is what we did this morning.



Well at least we got one wall up…..sort of.

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Madalyn returned from Honduras safe and sound.  She enjoyed her visit, but was a bit frustrated by her lack of language skills.  She has been offered a job as paramedic at our county emergency services as soon as all her paperwork gets finished.

Simon accepted a job in California, so will probably be there until after the baby is born in January.  After that, who knows where he will land.

Rico and Laurel are doing well.  Rico has started his own marketing business and has lots to do.  Laurel had to suffer through Ian having his first round of real fever this week.  There is nothing so helpless feeling as seeing your child suffer, and not being able to do anything to make it stop.

Oliver has a part time job, and is looking for a full time one now.  Hopefully, this one will either work into a full time, or he’ll find another one.

Kathryn is happy since it looks like we’ll be keeping the grand piano for a while to make sure tunings and other adjustments hold up properly.

Tamara is still planning on starting EMT classes in September.  She’s plugging away at her math book which is all that holds her back from graduating from high school and getting her driver’s license.

The boys, Truman and Edward, you’ve read about more than anyone else.  They are still into fishing.  They are growing up too fast, though.  I can’t believe my youngest is 11.

Stan and I just keep on doing the same things.  Work, school, keeping up with children.

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Stan walked outside the other day and found the boys had expressed their fondness of fishing on our driveway.

I love Fishing

With my older eyes, I didn’t notice the importance of the love emblem.  Here’s a close up.

p style=”text-align: center;”>love

They have definitely gotten the fishing bug.

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I thought I’d put a copy of Madalyn’s journal entries on this journal so family can keep up with her.

Copied from Madalyn’s Journal:

Check out my pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/gondorianwildflower

11 June, 2008
I know I haven’t posted my last update yet, and here I am writing another update, without the first having even been “published”, but what can I say…in a country where internet access is few and far between, my last update is outdated, so here’s my new update.

Things are going well. Spanish is still difficult, though I am learning new words a little bit at a time. We went back to the health centre in Taulabe today, got to watch another baby being born. I got an IV on the pt., which was fun…found out that in Honduras, the nurses are taught to make the patient tense up before getting the IV, which is really hard to deal with when the IV is in the pt.’s hand. I had the pt. relax her hand so I could get the IV…the nurse thought I was really weird, but I got it first try without any problems, so he didn’t complain. 😀

I got a SIM card for my phone, so I’m happy. I don’t think my texting works internationally, but I’ve been able to call home, which is very nice.

Saturday evening we went to church…was able to follow about half of what was said, the rest Nancy translated for us. Sunday we went to the open market, where we saw all sorts of interesting fruits and vegetables. The cheese and meat market were a sight to behold…the meat market especially. In the afternoon, we went with Josh and Becky to the camp (it’s a camp in the mountains where the church youth group has activities). They were practicing on the “high ropes” course, a really nifty setup with steel cables that you have to walk across, then rappel down…wish I could have tried.

Monday: recorded voice overs for an educational video/documentary about the Santa Barbara Mountain National Park at a local recording studio/tv station. Becky was supposed to record it, but found out we weren’t busy on Monday, and asked if one of us would, and as I like voice overs, I said yes. The video is supposed to be done in a week or two, and they said they may post it online. If they do, I’ll post the link. Then you can make fun of how awful the English translation was, and how I stumble over the Spanish names…

Monday and Tuesday I was (moderately) sick. From what I hear, it was only the normal thing for traveling out of the country – upset stomach, diarrhea, etc. I’m feeling much better now, though I’m still not eating much. I’m getting some studying for paramedic done…going back and re-reading the medico-legal chapters. I need to go back over A&P before too long, especially the cellular level section. Tomorrow we are supposed to go back to the health clinic, and help out some more.

It’s weird, weather wise, down here. For the first few days, it rained almost every afternoon, but now it’s rather hit or miss. And for such a tropical country, the sun is rarely out. Temperature wise, though, it’s extremely comfortable.

Until next week – same time! same channel! ….er, or something along those lines.

6 June, 2008
Yes, I’m alive! Adela and I arrived in Honduras about 1100 (Honduras time – 1200 our time), and had no difficulty with immigration or customs. The airport was really busy, though, because of the plane crash in Tegulcigapa (spelling?). Kurt and Luis’ son, Josh, met us at the airport, and we headed to Siguatepeque. We stopped on the way and had lunch at (of all places) Pizza Hut.

The country is beautiful. Very green, and fruit grows all over the places. There are fruit stands all along the road sides…Josh stopped at one and bought us all coconuts, which the vendor wacked the top off of with a machete, and then we all got a straw and drank the milk…yummy! They also sell loads of bananas, pineapples and mangoes. Country life is blended with city living in a unique manner – people sit on the center medians of main highways like its a park bench, and semi trucks and buses stop for pedestrians without fussing – at least not much. Cows and horses graze unattended on roadsides, chickens forage where ever they can, city and country alike.

We are staying at Luis’ house. Adela and I are sharing a room, and so far are getting along pretty well. 😀 Luis has three children – Becky (21), Josh (19), and Nancy (17). They all speak perfect English, and are extremely friendly and helpful.

Adela and I have gotten to go to the health clinic in Taulabe twice – yesterday and today. Nancy went with us, since our Spanish is so poor. 🙁 But Nancy is lots of fun, so that’s cool. The clinic is very different from anything in the States. They give shots, dispense medicines and take care of minor medical situations. They also have a maternity ward behind the main clinic. Yesterday we went to a remote mountain village (I can’t remember the name) and set up a little clinic in the church there – a one room concrete building without electricity or running water. While there, one of the nurses and I went to the local school, and gave the children a dental hygiene lesson, and gave each of them a toothbrush. Today we worked in the maternity clinic, where we assembled and folded our own gauze pads, and watched a baby being born.

My time is limited, but things that stand out are transportation – we have been traveling in the back of a pickup truck – like a Ford Ranger, not the extended cab – and been fitting about 8 people in it. Yesterday, on the way to the village, we rode in something like a Chevy Blazer, and fit about 10 people in it…very fun! We’ve been catching the bus on the way back from the clinic.

Food – absolutely terrific. Tons of fresh fruit, and this really yummy dish called baleadas – flour tortillas with beans, cheese and cream, with lots of different types of toppings. I had one with chicken and avocados today.

Climate – I love it. Warm, but not oppressive. I’d say it’s about mid 80’s in the day, and maybe in the 60’s at night. It is a bit humid, but not horribly so. And it rains every afternoon, which will probably eventually get old eventually, but right now is really nice, since it’s been so long since we’ve had rain at home.

Things difficult to adjust to: Pace. Everything is so laid back, even in the health clinic. I’m used to a workplace where, if you have patients waiting to be seen, you try to expedite everything – take care of the current patient, get them discharged, clean the room, get the next patient in. Here things move a LOT slower. And the same goes in home life too. Instead of having a schedule or list of things that need to be done in a day, the attitude is more that of “if it gets done, it gets done, but I’m not going to rush anywhere”, which frustrates me a little bit. I still haven’t gotten a SIM card for my phone that works (Kurt had one, but the carrier doesn’t have any signal here at the house, so I have to get a SIM card from the other local provider).

Another thing I’m finding very different, is not having easy communication back home. Partly because I haven’t gotten a phone card that works yet, but also because we have no internet access. The internet cafe is a ways from the house we’re at, and we’ve been told it’s fairly dangerous to walk to it, so we can’t go unless someone takes us. And we aren’t supposed to use our own laptops at the cafe, but use their computers, so as we don’t make targets out of ourselves (los ricos Norte Americanas).

I really miss everyone back home. Oh, and Adela and I have been taking pictures, and Nancy took some pictures yesterday at the clinic, so as soon as I figure out how to upload them from the internet cafe computer, I’ll post some of them.

I’ll write again as soon as I can.

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It seems things have been changing fast around here. Madalyn finished her schooling and then left today for a month of clinic work in Honduras. I’ll miss her singing every time she comes rolling in from a shift.

Simon and Lindsey came down last week, and we got to visit with them for the first time since they got married. (Except for an hour or two when they were passing through from Florida to California) We found out they are expecting their first child in January.

Laurel and Rico are expecting their second child in late November or early December.

Oliver moved into Austin. He is renting a room from a man in south Austin. He will be closer to work and hopefully will be able to save a lot on gasoline. He exchanged his Mazda for our Honda Rebel, so that should help out on gas cost also.

Tamara and Kathryn are singing in the Wimberley Chorus Fourth of July concert, so practices are starting up for that now.

We are down to one normal size dining table. There are only 6 of us eating together now. It seems kind of lonely.

The young boys have a bedroom all to themselves now. So far (3 days) they have kept it immaculate. I’m hoping it will continue to be so.

Well, I’m off to round up boys for school.


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