Monday, May 25, 2009


So I didn't know that because I married the Juicemaster I would therefore become apprentice Juicemaster, but it has happened, I am officially making juice. I have mastered Orange (all you have to do is squeeze them, really), and then moved onto carrot (grating, blending, straining...a bit more complicated), but now...cherry. I thought I'd give a tutorial on cherry juice making, as it's so easy to do and I don't know why, with all the great fruit we have in the U.S., we don't make our own juices more often!

So first of all, pick/buy your cherries. Give them a good washing...and even some bleach water if you're still not sure!

Dump EVERYTHING into the blender...I'm talking seeds, stems, whatever you've got, put it in. Add water to the top and make sure the lid's on tight!

Blend, and blend a lot

Strain the blended cherries into another pot. Use a spoon to squeeze out all the juice from what is in the strainer, which is a lot because you've just blended the whole cherry (seed included). Add sugar to your liking, but not too much!

And now the best part is drinking it! Add some ice and pat yourself on the back for just having made your own cherry juice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Caraballo Zoo

I don't know how, but we keep acquiring animals at the Care Center. We have a turtle, 3 peacocks, a cat, hens, and endless amounts of dogs. We were on our way to getting a pig until swine flu made us hold off for a bit. I asked the other day when the giraffe was going to arrive.

Perfect Attendance

Perfect attendance is a hard thing to achieve, especially when you don't have parents who insist you go to school, or when it's the "norm" to stay home when it's raining, or when you just don't want to go. But this year we had 15 kids who had perfect attendance!!! It's so encouraging because these kids have to overcome so many things to come each day. Despite them not having smiles for the photo, they were really excited to get their medal with their name engraved on it!

Last day of school

We officially finished off the school year on Friday. Mother's Day is this weekend in the DR so we invited all the mothers to school to be a part of the presentations. The kids worked so hard this year practicing their parts and songs. Each student also received a bag full of clothes to take home and share with their family, which is an added help in the house. We do a program twice a year, but this was by far the best year yet. I was so proud of these guys and now our 8th graders are off to high school and that makes me even prouder!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Singing on Mother's Day

Just a few songs to get the "crowd" warmed-up for the activities of the last day of school and Mother's Day presentations. Some kids are so animated and into the singing...others look like they've just arrived into the program that day and are a bit clueless to what's going on. Either way, it's fun to be a part of!!

The presentations...

No program is complete if there aren't poems and the all-beloved pantomimes (I'm still a little scared of them). It was the best program we've had yet and I feel quite proud of all the work they did.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It has been raining and pouring every afternoon, today was no exception. The problem with where the Care Center is located is the river we have to cross to get in and out of the village. It rose quickly this afternoon so we waited awhile for it to go down. During this time, children were getting passed above the fast water and others were doing their best to find the foot bridge. Finally Alberto felt the river was low enough to get his truck through the high water, and we headed out, only to encounter more water along the path. I'm now home safe and dry...and the rain has stopped for the moment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kids Alive Care

This weekend the Kids Alive-ers from the DR and Haiti met in Jarabacoa. It was a great time to be encouraged and reminded of how to take care of ourselves far away from home and when the needs are overwhelming. The speakers were more than amazing and I look forward to meeting up with them again this week. It was fun to see others I haven't seen since the last conference a year ago...sometimes this little island seems so big! Ariel also got initiated into a full English-speaking weekend and did well, I'm proud of his tenacity and courage!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gotta get there!

So I know it's not safe to take pictures while driving, but I couldn't help this one. He's actually carrying his wheelchair on the back while someone is driving the motorocycle. I've seen a lot of great things being carried, but this one topped the list!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sponsorship Update!

As I've talked about before, we've been working on the Child Update project, which includes taking a new photo of every child. Here are a few of my favorites, if I'm allowed to have such a thing.

Smile Contest

When I was a kid, I watched a cartoon show that also had a live audience of children. During a break from cartoons, the camera would pan to the kids and they would get really excited. Well, they also had a smile contest as the camera went from kid to kid zoomed in to show their smile. So this is my verson of "smile contest". Pick your favorite! (Try to find the ones I couldn't get to smile for the life of me). Don't forget you can always click on one of the collages to make it bigger and see their beautiful little faces up close!

We had fun!

It was obviously fun and hard to keep a straight face while posing for a photo. These guys are priceless!


The AWANA program at school continues to go strong and the kids are absolutely crazy about it. They start with lots of games and competititions, then move into "manual" time where they study Bible verses and get points for memory work, then all come together for a lesson and more competitions. I love seeing how these kids are growing and maturing and changing and, despite the few fights and the scrapes and extra blood on these days, it's fun to be a part of it all!

Adventures in Babysitting!

Ariel and I watched our 10 month old neice, Grace, this weekend from Sat-Mon! We learned all sorts of things, to say the least! We didn't sleep much on Saturday night, but played hard on Sunday and didn't let the baby sleep until 9:30 and then smiled as she slept all night! She is the happiest, smiley-est baby ever. We took the nephews as well all to the grocery store on Sunday night and drove the cart around which they LOVED! Nice trial-run for parenting...we're in no rush!!

Layne and Caitlin

Layne and Caitlin used to live in Montellano and work in Caraballo with us until they were switched to Jarabacoa. This weekend they came to stay with us and it was great! Caitlin is 7 months pregnant and it was fun to talk pregnancy and labor & delivery like the "good old days"! We ate lots and talked lots and had a fun time together. They're leaving soon to move back to the States and start their family, so it was a nice last weekend to spend together.