Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


You had me at juice…

IMG_4487This has been the best Valentine’s weekend ever!  It began by Mo surprising me with a night away together SIN KIDDOS in Santo Domingo on Friday night.  We don’t get dates very often here, so we get pretty excited when it happens.  I am afraid that we may have offended our kids a bit by peeling out of our driveway so quickly.  In hindsight, maybe we should have been a little more subtle…


Due to some very kind people and being rewards’ members, we were able to stay at the Marriott in Santo Domingo.  We seriously felt like celebrities!


We had lunch together and planned to have a nice dinner that night but we didn’t want to leave our room.  It was so luxurious and it smelled SO good and it had this humongous television.  I was having major cognitive dissonance!  Seriously, our two worlds were colliding!

The next day, after breakfast, we worked out at the hotel gym IN AIR CONDITIONING!  I think that I may go back and live there.


We enjoy spending Valentine’s Day with our kiddos.  It’s just something that we usually do as a family.  In the states, we would cook a nice meal, use the nice china, sit at the formal dining room table, and wear fancy clothes.  Celebrating it here looks a little different.

When Mo and I returned on Saturday, the girls had made us the sweetest Valentine’s surprise.


Then I made plates of sweet treats to give to my family my bible study ladies, and some of our friends in the community.



On Sunday, Mo took the boys surfing.  After cleaning the house, the girls and I packed a picnic lunch, and went for a hike into the mountains.




We also took our books and enos, and spent a couple of hours just relaxing where we were.  Seriously, when it was time to go, none of us wanted to leave!  Definitely something that we need to do again!



Can you see the girls hanging in the background?

Monday nights are pretty busy in our house.  We moved our women’s bible study to 4:30 on Mondays, instead of Tuesdays.  Then, the Surf Ministry is at 6:30.  Normally, for bible study, I serve coffee/tea and some sort of sweet treat to the ladies.  Tonight, my sweet ladies got together before group and made natural juice and empanadas as a Valentine’s surprise for me.  A few of them brought gifts as well.  I could not believe it and felt so special and honored!


This week is the week that Mo cooks dinner for the boys.  When he saw what the ladies had done, he jokingly said, “It’s because God loves you more.  My boys show up wondering what I am cooking for them!”  He cracks me up because this is one of his jokes.  Like, we are in competition for God’s love. Like, if something good happens, it’s because God loves that person more.

After the meeting, Mo told me that almost 40 boys came tonight and a couple of new boys joined the group.  One of the boys told him that he didn’t really care about going surfing. He came because he heard that he could learn more about God and the Bible.  Seriously…SUPER COOL!!!

God must love Mo more! :O)


An update

By Tamara

It’s been awhile since we have posted pictures.  We wanted to update everyone on some of the projects and events that have been going on in our little world.  Enjoy!

IMG_5808Sandy is getting bigger, and suddenly grew these ginormous ears!  We have enjoyed adding her to our family and really hope that she doesn’t get much bigger.  Because of all of her inbreding, she is slightly crazy but we love that about her!

DR tabby's visitMy sister, Tabatha, and my nephew, Brennan, came to visit for a week.  We had a great time introducing them to our neighbors and our crazy life here in the DR.  My sister fell in love with the hearts of the people, and my nephew loved just being able to run around and carry a machete.  This is definitely a boy’s dream playground!  There is something to do and explore all the time!

DR braceletsMy friend, Julia, is moving to Santo Domingo in July to teach school for a year.  Her mother, Carol, and she came for a visit while my sister was here.  They brought crafts for the ladies in the village to do.  Everyone had a wonderful time and were able to walk away with several beautiful crafts.

IMG_5812Also, while my sister and nephew were visiting, my friend, Nacho, who lives in Santo Domingo, had a friend from the states visiting.  They came to La Represa, and we went on a long hike up the river.  There is an area about 45 minutes upstream with 2 large pools of clean water.  We had lunch, swam, and sunned there a bit before heading home.  The walk is really good exercise.  Who needs Crossfit? LOL!

Photo on 3-27-13 at 2.51 PMWe were gifted a bunny from one of our neighbors but had to decline the offer for several reasons.  1) We don’t need another pet! 2) Bunnies are not food…they are pets!  We simply have to draw the line somewhere!  I am sure that my kids would never look at Mo or I the same if we ate Peter Cottontail!

IMG_5823I introduced everyone to this beautiful lady, Dominga,  HERE after her house burned.  Mo and Chicho were able to get her house fixed.  While they were working, I was able to sit and chat with her.  I would like to write another blog post about her because she is such a precious person.  Here’s the thing though…Dominga is not her real name.  It’s Eugenia (pronounced Oo-Heen-e-a).  I can’t wait for you to get to know her better also!

IMG_5833This is the finished product…no more hole in her house!  Also, while they were working, we figured out that there were termites eating away at the rafters holding her roof in place.  Mo and Chicho fixed that while they were at it too.

DR church ladiesI have been working with the ladies at the church on Friday afternoons doing crafts.  They seem to really enjoy it.  In this picture, we painted placques for their homes.  It is always nice just sitting and chatting with them.  Well, mostly, I listen while they chat and try to figure out what the mess they are saying.  I am slllllooowwwwlly understanding more and more.

DR Special ProgramThis is the Special Program kids that Lauren, Lexie, and I work with 2 times a week.  This particular week, we made Prayer Journals.  We are going to learn a bible verse a week.  With the help of Bersey (who is the girl in the yellow and brown shirt in the front), I explained that these books were a diary between God and them.  My hope is that they write down the things that God places on their hearts.

DR quinceaneraLauren and Lexie attended their first Quinceanera this past weekend.  They were both invited to be participants.  However, Lexie declined when she found out that she would have to dance with a boy.  A quinceanera is a huge party that is thrown for girls when they turn 15.  This party was for Cristal, Pastor Thomas and Sonja’s daughter.  It was a very neat experience and very beautiful.DR lauren dance party

This is Lauren’s dance partner, Gabriel.  He seems like a nice guy.  I think that he developed a bit of a crush on her.  However, she continued to remind him “It’s just one dance!”.  Please, Lord, let her continue to feel this way about boys until she is 30!DR chicho

Many of you may be wondering how Chicho’s wife, Sonja, is doing.  Well, see for yourself!  She is doing very well.  She ended up needing 5 pints of blood total.  She is home now so that she can love on her babies and heal up.  DR baby

Seriously…how precious is this baby!  I held her today and did not want to put her down.  Several of the ladies in the village are starting to have their babies.  I am in heaven!  I LOVE other people’s babies!!!  They are the best kind because I can love all over them, and still get to sleep through the night.

Anyway, I don’t know if I praised my husband enough the other day.  I am so proud of him for listening to what God was asking of him.  His ability to surrender himself to God’s Will has amazed and inspired me!  Chicho came by the next morning and told me that his wife would not be alive if it were not for Mo that day.  The doctor told Mo that she was 2-3 hours from death.  God is soooooo good!!!