Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reflections on the Beatitudes

Luke 6:20-26
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."

{poor, hungry, weeping, hated, insulted, nameless}
or
{rich, comfortable, well fed, laughing, highly esteemed}

Which would you rather be for a season?
Which would you rather be for eternity?

It is our choice to decide which path we follow and our choices have earthly and eternal consequences. Charles Spurgeon speaks on the results of this choice as well:

"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him." Isaiah 3:10
"From the beginning of the year to the end [...] it shall be well with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed, he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed, he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed, he dwells in God; he is well provided for, for the Lord is his shepherd; his is well endowed for Heaven is his inheritance. [...] O beloved, if God declares that all is well, then thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn."

Something to think about!

Remembering José

There are always faces you remember in the camps, for various reasons: you prayed with them to receive Christ, you witnessed their heart softening to the gospel, they sought you out for prayer, they talked to you about their faith, they invited you into their homes to share food with them, etc. This year, I remember a little boy's face because of an apple, cereal, and a shy smile.

We were packing up the van at the end of the night when a boy of about 8 years old caught my attention. He was sitting on a neighboring truck just watching our progress. I decided to take the time I was wasting and talk to him instead. Before I even got past the introductory questions he handed me a bag of puffed wheat cereal from DIF (pronounced "deef": the social services branch of Mexican gov't) and told me that I could have it. There was no explanation, only a shy smile that curled the edges of his mouth.

I started sharing with him about God's love, how special he was, and how life with God means you can talk with Him about anything. José shared with me that his parents were separated and that he lives with his mom in Sinaloa (where we were) while his dad is in Mexicali (the capital of Baja). I told him about how God is the perfect dad and how that is only possible because God is the creator of the universe. Yet in my little faith, explaining God's perfection as a father seemed like such a small thing in the sea of words José's thinks or hears about his dad.

As I was at a loss for words, José hopped off the truck and ran away, yelling over his shoulder that he was "coming right back!" Minutes later he returned, climbed up on the truck, and handed me an apple. Something compelled this precious little boy to share his food with me again. And something caused his smile to get a little bigger as he shared. I may have even caught the glimmer of a white, little tooth.

I asked José what he know about Jesus since he had already finished my prior story with the statement that Christ rose from the dead. He shrugged this time, smiled, and asked about my work with the team. He was curious about loading the van, how we fit all of it in there, and what we do every night. I was eager to return to a conversation about God. I felt I needed to cram as much in as I could. But José was content to sit and talk about our ministry.

I looked down at my clipboard to gather my thoughts at one point and saw the cereal and apple waiting for me. They reminded me that I wasn't operating in my own time table or within my own plans. This was God's little José, God's night in the camps, and God's conversation to lead. So we talked about the van, our project's home base, and how far we had to drive. And I left feeling like I hadn't accomplished much. I hadn't told José how to receive Jesus, I hadn't even asked him if he believed in Jesus. But, right before he ran home, I did see a few teeth in José's full fledged smile when I thanked him for sharing with me and told him he was very special. And for that reason, no matter what God's plans are for his life, I will always remember his face.

Quien Soy Yo?

Who Am I?

Who am I to have a heart in the shape of Haiti, or Mexico, when God has a heart in the shape of all nations?

Who Am I?

Who am I to say that I will only go or do certain things, when I have failed to pray for God's will to be had and his heart to be made mine?

Who Am I?

Who am I to say my heart is not big enough to include any other place or people group when God created my heart to be as big as it needs to be?

Who Am I?

Who am I to have a heart in the shape of anyhting when God's heart is the shape of the world?

Hitting the Ice

When you grow up doing something it is refreshing to do it with someone for their first time. Fresh eyes bring a sense of appreciation and awe to normal things that we don't think twice about; things like, ice skating. This year we had the privilege to teach Ophelia, the sweetest indigenous woman ever, how to skate for the first time. (Last year we took her to her first movie.) Walking her into the building made me appreciate the cold air, floppy un-accustomed ankles, and slick ice in a whole new way. I realized how strange and exciting it is to be gliding on ice with blades attached to your shoes. And I realized how much trust must be placed in the arms of the person who is not only holding you up but also saving you from hitting the cold floor over and over again.

Ophelia, Melvis, Marce, Italia, the whole Loyo family, and many more rocked their first trip on the ice and by the end most of them could skate free of both the wall and human aid. Debora, Israel, and Adrian (also first timers) were going backward by the end of the day. I will never take roller blading or ice skating for granted again. (Though, what more am I taking for granted?)

Tacos afterward kept the party going and I was surprised when my quesadilla arrived with meat inside. I uncharacteristically rolled with it and bit into the meat to realize that I loved it! What really sealed the deal were the flour tortillas that held it all together. I wanted the secret but didn't have the confidence to ask until we were leaving. I finally walked up to the Dueña (owner) and asked her how she makes them since my tortillas are never that good. They were unfortunately bought from a different place and she didn't know what ingredients they used. She did however, in true Mexican style, give me an entire package of them to take home. I felt so blessed but returned to my group with a sheepish grin on my face...

We ended up polishing them off with peanut butter that night. It was good day off and one I will not soon forget!

The whole crew on the ice and some of the crew in the van on the ride home.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We Are Not Sufficient

A couple weeks ago my devotional time had a theme: not feeling sufficient. And how only when we recognize that we are complete sinners, does grace enter in and make us ready and able.

Spurgeon writes, "When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined [...] and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. [...] Nothing is moe deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. [...] Oh thou poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from the text and come and thou art to Jesus - 'For let our debts be what they may, however great or small, As soon as we have nought to pay, our Lord forgives us all.'"

My C.S. Lewis, Narnia devo also touched on this topic. The passage was about how Caspian was only ready to lead once he admitted that he was not sufficient to be King. Then in my "Spiritual Leadership" book it talked about needing to be humble and sacrificial in leadership. In this book, Samuel Brengle describes leadership as, "[...] not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice or every idol, a hold uncomplaining embrace of the cross, and by eternally looking unto Jesus crucified."

So what is the point of all this? I was able to make a list of all the ways I need to be humbled as a leader and recognize I have nothing to offer apart from what God has done for me. I was woken up to the fact that leadership is nothing to do with my qualifications or abilities but rather everything to do with God's sufficiency and power. It was humbling in the best way.

---------------------------------------------

A quick story to go with this... the leader of the Culiacán Project, Chucho, is an incredible disciple of the Lord and his heart is often broken for the lost around him. One night we were having a time of prayer and he broke down before the Lord. After hearing his sobs, his precious daughter, Sara-Jael, came up to him and laid her hands on him and started praying. This little girl has been watching her dad be faithful to pray for people under his leadership for years, and when he was humbled before God she emulated his faith to pray for him. We are not sufficient. But with God, and the body of believers he places around us, we are more than able to accomplish everything God calls us to do. Sara, at three years old, gets that. I will never forget this picture of encouragement and God's provision.

Culiacán in Pictures

I took less than twenty pictures the whole two weeks of Project this year. I took so many last year that I was not motivated to document everything through a lens this time around. Instead I just experienced it.
Here is what I have!
 The BEST tamales I have ever had... and I got to eat leftovers for a couple days. =)
Yes, this is a tiger in a cage trailer... there was a baboon and chimp as well, in the bed of the truck in a cage.
 Were you aware I was this white? I try to forget...
 All of the materials needed for burning CD's and giving out tracts in every language.
 Student David with Marce from Oaxaca (wah-ha-cah) loading up our van.
 The girls with Jemima!
 The group from our church here in Porvenir... we were a big chunk of the people there this week!
 Diagnosing papers... doing the final counts for the last time this year!
 The sunrise at the airport on our way home.
 Our Porve airplane team.
 One of the camps...
How we do most of our laundry there, by hand!

Campo El Sol: The Sun Camp

Something about this camp lent itself to being a place of prayer and faith. (Not my faith mind you, I am still extremely surprised God did anything through me in this camp as I was feeling lazy and completely unmotivated.) The first night we were there a very insistent woman requested prayer for her entire family one by one... as well as her neighbors. We were with her family for at least a half hour hearing requests and laying our hands on people. While I was annoyed at first that she followed me more closely than my own shadow, I have to admit that her faith in prayer was amazing. She never seemed to waver in the knowledge that God will answer prayer.

Later that night I was directed to a woman who was weeping, that I might pray for her son who doesn’t know the Lord. This precious hermana, Licia, was so broken by her son’s lack of faith that hers shown brightly in contrast. I felt my lack of faith, that God could move in "El Sol," keenly as she talked with me. We both prayed in a blend of languages; English, Spanish, and Nahuatl. The moments when she broke down in her indigenous language were the most beautiful and heart-wrenching. I was so encouraged by her reliance on God and knowledge that He is the most important part of anyone’s life. I left our long conversation feeling incredibly challenged to have faith like hers. With her belief in God and heart for prayer I can’t imagine her son living in darkness much longer.

Our second night in this camp, I was blessed again with a Christian who came up to me to ask for prayer. He had brought his brother, sister-in-law, and nephews to watch the movie. He asked me if I could pray for his brother’s perpetual stomach pain and afterward stuck around to talk with me about how hard his life is in the camp. He told me there is not much light in the camp but he prays and reads his Bible all the time. I cannot imagine the faith required to serve the Lord in such a hostile environment. He still clings to God when he can’t see the outcome, when he can’t sense God moving. If that’s not faith I don’t know what is. The question is, ‘Do I have it?’

Heart Languages

When I went to Culiacán the first time, last year, I always hoped to see a change in countenance of the people that heard their indigenous language playing on my machine. I never saw a huge change in people’s faces though. There was gratitude and smiles but I was looking for something more drastic I guess. 

The second night of camps this year, at about the fourth room I visited, a timid woman opened the door. Who wouldn’t be timid when you have a curly-headed, white girl asking you questions for the first time ever? When the oddness of having three strangers at her door (clipboard, papers, and language player in tow) wore off we played her language for her. Only a few seconds into the recording her entire face lit up with a broad smile. Her face completely changed as she leaned forward to catch the words. I couldn’t help but smile with her and appreciate her language in a whole new way. Mixteco never sounded so beautiful as that moment when it’s words reached out and touched her heart. When I expressed to this woman that her language was wonderful I felt connected to her heart through her native tongue. It was an incredible experience and one I was fortunate enough to experience a couple more times that night. More proof that God speaks all languages!

On this same note, I feel like Spanish is slowly infiltrating my head and becoming a heart language for me. English is still much more comfortable but as I worship, pray, and communicate in Spanish I find that it fits me. I even find myself praying in Spanish, without realizing I'm not speaking English. Praise God for that heart change! I used to hate it when I had to learn it in school and now I can't imagine not speaking it.
At a camp... waiting for the sun to go down so we could start the movie.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

400 and Counting

I have never shared anything incredibly exciting on these commemorative posts but my favorite verse still to this day is on my 100th post, and a quote from my favorite author is on the 200th. I missed the next landmark but post 300 was about how much God has changed my heart about living in Mexico.

But after a verse, book quote, and Mexico, I was at a loss for what to talk about for my 400th post. So what about something else that makes my heart tick?... organizing and purging.

This is one of the things guaranteed to make my day feel productive; throwing out useless space-stealing stuff and making functional the things that can be used. I mention thins only because the other day I opened what we call our "magical closet" to find that I just couldn't stand looking at it anymore. I had a whole long list of other things to do but instead I grabbed a trash bag and took over the hallway with piles of egg decorating kits, half used bottles of bug spray, and a lone rubber ducky. This closet had been the dumping grounds for every girl to come through Ventana and you could tell. It is magical because it literally has everything in it you could need. The problem is, there was also a hundred things you never would.

Two trash bags and a couple hours later I was done... and ready to punch anyone who added something where it doesn't belong. Sure, you could put the batteries next to the wall hooks... but don't even think about adding a book to the stack of papers or a towel in with the gift wrapping supplies. I know, I know... it won't look like this for long, but a girl can dream! =)

Anyway, I just thought I would share the new and improved magical closet with you. I missed the opportunity for a "before" shot as I dove into the mess, but here is the "after" and anyone who saw it before last week can attest that it used to be frighteningly messier.
I love trash cans.

Culiacán Farmer

I have an affinity towards farmers. Maybe because I went to Cal Poly or maybe because I now live in the cowboy town of Porve. I think though, that it is more because I am drawn to the type of person they are. I love how their hard work ethic and determination reveal itself in the sun worn lines on their faces and the calluses on their hands. I also like that their lives are full of the harsh realities of relying on the weather for their livelihoods, yet their smiles always seem to reach their eyes. Farmers spends their emotions wisely I think. Many may think this makes them hard and calculating. I feel it makes them wise and patient.

All this is maybe why I was drawn to the farmer selling oranges at the camp the first night. Despite missing half of them, his remaining teeth were startling white against his tan skin. His hands were deft as he moved the fruit around, organizing and picking out the bad ones. He seemed accustomed to hard work as he did generosity. When he insisted I take an orange I recognized a good heart, when it was one of his perfectly round and blemish free oranges I saw a great spirit. I was sad to leave him after talking with him but I was overjoyed when I looked back to see him hungrily absorbing the book of John and Romans we gave him. As hard as that man works, God works harder. I have hope for that farmer... God is not done with him just yet.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Culiacán: What I Learned

If the word Culiacán rings no bells, click on this post from last year: What's up with Culiacán? You can also check out the 15 other posts I wrote about it last year but that might be excessive seeing how I am about to write even more about this year's trip. haha But it is an option if you go to March 2012, the whole month is Culiacán posts since we were there for 5 weeks last year.

This year we went for two weeks to Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. And going a second year meant I was more comfortable with the people, plan, and project. But it also meant I was in for deeper lessons about myself, and further stretching in my role as a missionary. The thing that stuck with me most from this trip was the fact that without God, I am nothing. 

Those two weeks were also enough to show me that:
1. I am prideful (I'm always learning this).
2. God doesn't need me for His work, I am just blessed to be a chosen to be a part of it. 
3. God is powerful enough to even use ridiculous me. 
4. He is faithful in all things, powerful in all places, and mighty to save in all hearts. 
5. His plans are far reaching and far more complex/complete than we can imagine. 
6. God loves me (despite em being me) and that's incredible!
7. I am just along for the ride and God is the one operating it (and changing hearts along the way).

More stories to come!

Church Drama

Showing up to worship practice and seeing a lake in the middle of your church is not a common occurrence... I don't think. I should have ceased to be surprised by the dedication of my church after seeing some of the skits and missions events they have put on but alas, I was still shocked to see sand, rocks and plants lining our stage. I half expected to see fish swimming around in the water but it was lifeless. When we finished worship practice we were still without an explanation but were more than ready for the next morning church service to see what was going to unfold.

The next morning the lake was still there awaiting it's debut as the Jordan River. And the church was awaiting it's debut as the setting for 2nd Kings 2. Below is depicted our Pastor Marcos giving the message, Elijah being taken up into paradise, and his servant Elisha taking up the mantle of his teacher and crossing the Jordan on dry ground. Our church lake had a drainage pump that made a path appear in the water that the actors could cross on as well as a hose to fill it back up in preparation for the second crossing. All in all, it was very impressive and I don't think the story of Elijah has ever made more sense. Props to Saul for making the lake and to Giovanni and Jonathan for acting out the message. Thank you Marcos for being dedicated to making the Bible come alive for us!

I encourage you to read 2nd Kings 2. If you feel intimidated by the Old Testament or think it will be boring let me get you motivated by telling you that this one chapter alone includes:
a man being taken to heaven in a whirlwind,
a jacket parting a river,
a flaming chariot and horses of fire descending on earth,
a guy ripping his clothes off,
dirty water made clean forever,
and bears mauling 42 kids for calling someone a baldhead.

Read on and Enjoy!



Camp Ventana

Let these pictures speak for themselves on how many people came down for work projects this month:
Our 15 passenger van (minus all but one bench) on the way home from the States.
Trip one of three into Costco.

We had two weeks of Camp Ventana this year with a group from SLO the first week, and two groups from Hydsville and Idyllwild the second week. We had over 50 people come in total and on top of that we fed over 400 other people in different outreaches that we did. It was a ton of shopping and we got home two border crossing attempts later around midnight. I felt so good to crawl in my bed after stuffing every fridge and freezer we have to capacity.

After a crazy week of cleaning, planning, and organizing, Camp Ventana came. It was a crazy two weeks and I have to be the first to admit that I didn't lead very patiently at times. I was so stressed some days that I would forget the reason we were serving people in the first place. I learned a lot about what is and is not godly leadership as I made my blunders and snapped out commands. But God is good and I was blessed by feedback I got about how students were impacted and leaders were encouraged. Only possible because God moves despite me! =)

To help you make more sense of what we do for Camp Ventana this is something I sent to the pastors from the second week. I feel like it gives a good sense for what we do when the groups are here:

"I was blown away when I thought of all your groups accomplished this week. I am not about numbers, or even limiting your impact to the tangible projects that were accomplished, but I wrote out a list yesterday of all the things your groups did that they may not even be aware of:

Painted (and scraped) an entire kindergarten
Fed over 400 people
Beautified the local youth room
Played with and loved on three towns of kids
Made this town beautiful
Provided encouragement and blessings to a ton of families in the area (in every project you did)
Brought light into this community and spread God's love

Blessed widows and children alike (James 1:27)
        -orphanages
        -painting house for widow's
        -Club days
        -painting kinder
        -cleaning elementary
        -weeding for Ramona and Consuelo

Your impact reaches so much further than this list too. So many locals were encouraged and so many of us were empowered by your love and time spent here. Thank you for bringing Jesus to this town in your own unique ways... we are truly blessed!"

A Porvenir Birthday

I will admit it, I love birthday presents. I don't expect them from people but I do feel very loved when receiving them. It was no different when Roberto asked if we would like to go horseback riding for my birthday. I jumped at the chance to see Porvenir in a different way so we ditched our soccer game and mounted up.
The view was incredible and I thank God that I am privileged enough to work and live in this area.
We tried all getting in one picture but, with my ipod in my hand, our horses were just too big to all fit in the frame. I got a corner of each of my riding buddies but that was all I was going to get.
Ashley did so well. This was her first time on a horse out on trails and she rode the whole way home on her own! Props girl!
My artsy picture of the day. Magorro was a great partner in crime and we even got to run a few times in the river bed. You did great buddy! Though after three hours on you, walking was a bit sketchy for a few days. =)

Biola Missions Conference

A few weeks ago the Ventana staff women had the privilege of leading the students on an adventure to Biola University for their annual Missions Conference. The whole campus comes to a standstill for this conference as the students are given the opportunity to dive into the missions tent, interactive prayer walks, and main sessions with visiting worship teams and keynote speakers. This year, thanks to my mom, I was able to pull off a living room environment for the surveys we took of students walking by the mission tent. Carrie said we happily stuck out in the sea of corporate booths with their professional banners. Our splatter painted cardboard letters were a lot cheaper anyway! It was a hit and it made the week so much easier to tell people we were the booth with a couch. Instant recognition!
The main sessions were so incredible and though we missed a couple, God knew where we needed to be. I was so impacted the last night that I wept through the whole session. Sorry Carrie for the snot I am sure I left on your jacket! I saw that God has a lot of work to do with me in regard to missions and I have to be more willing than I am to follow Him.
We got to bond as staff women a lot since we were in a hotel together off campus. We went shopping around and ate out together and were able to really grow closer as we discussed everything we were experiencing at the conference. It was so nice to get away with these ladies!
International drink bar with our Mexican Hot Chocolate... we branched out but this was the only thing we liked! Go figure.
I did one of the interactive prayer walks at Biola with Janet, a staff member at Rancho Sordo Mudo (the local deaf school in Guadalupe) who was there with her own booth. It just so happened that Haiti and Deaf Culture were in the same walk. I don't think it was coincidence though since we both were able to see the walk through each others eyes as we cried through the things that break our hearts. I was asked to pray in the Haiti walk, also not coincidence, and I lost it. Janet said they had no idea what was coming when they picked me to pray, but I didn't know either. God only knows why He wanted me in that moment to intercede for the country I love so much. Processing through the deaf culture half of the walk with Janet was such a blessing too. Her heart is so powerful for those who are without a language and being able to talk to her about it was eye-opening. This verse was posted outside the rooms we walked through and I felt like it was truly fulfilled when we prayed with each other about the deaf and Haiti. It was a beautiful moment to "carry each other's burdens."

Roommate Date

Another Porvenir snap shot, courtesy of Ashley and I having a roommate date.

Without a car we had to get creative and find things to do locally so I decided to use my two years of knowledge and plan a day for us that was close and cheap. We hopped on the bus in town and drove to Francisco Zarco (known as Guadalupe by many) to check out the Russian Museum, something I have been wanting to do for a while. You might wonder why Porvenir, Mexico would have a Russian museum... crazy thing, Guadalupe Valley was actually colonized by Russians as an effort of the Russian government to fix the economic and overpopulation problems Russia was having. So there is a museum commemorating the culture and adversity of the first settlers to this area. They came with the clothes on their backs and little else and started working the land here, developing wineries and farms. They brought their families and their culture to the area and to this day you will see Mexicans that look like Americans that descend from these Russian settlers. The museum, though small, was fascinating to me. They had pictures of the Russian schools and the deeds and titles of the land in our area. They even had old wine in a jug, dishes made of wood, and the tools used to till the land. There was so much to read and experience in that little old building.
I was so pleased with all of the things I recognized from my trips to Russia; the style of painting and the clothing was so familiar. I even talked to the young girl working there about how I had been to Russia and she had a lot of questions for me about how the culture is now. It was fun to share experiences with her and to ask questions about the museum and everything we were looking at.
After we were done traveling back in time, we went to the store attached to the museum and did a little unplanned wine tasting. Why not, right? Well turns out that we both like wine when it is suuuuper sweet and in our excitement of liking wine for the first time, we bought a bottle of it and stuck it in my purse to continue to our next stop. We walked to a store attached to another winery, "Sol de Media Noche," where we sampled different cheeses, breads and wines. We bought a whole loaf of garlic bread and ate half of it for lunch. It was a good girl day. We also liked the wine we tried there, a white wine made from grapes that are designed to taste like mangos (below) but decided a bottle of that could wait. After bonding over food and culture we hopped back on the bus for home and congratulated ourselves on a cheap, local date well done. Who needs a boyfriend when you have a roommate!?

Organic Mexico

Being in a farming community has many advantages. In SLO it meant a weekly farmer's market of all the best fresh local produce. In Porvenir it means an organic farm within ten minutes down a dirt road and the highway. Twice a week the farm opens to the public and everything that is fresh that day is plucked strait from the dirt and presented in an array of greens and yellows. We go about once a month, or whenever we have visitors, and I always spend way too much money. I can't help it when I see the farmers bringing the peas directly from the field and smell the fresh baked bread! It is all too good to resist. Another reason to come visit!?
Still not sure what this is...
From Cilantro to Beets (for a peso a beet, you could get twelve for a dollar!).
Jars of fresh made spaghetti starters, olive oils, and pomegranate juice.
Trying not to take everything home.
Nothing better than flip-flops, sun, and fresh snap peas!

Mexican Critters

There has been an overabundance of critters running around here lately and I have had to rescue quite a few things from being eaten by our dogs. You wonder how any dog that can look like a cute little bat this easily would ever want to harm a fly, but don't let her fool you...
This is the little chick I rescued right outside our fence as our three dogs stood with their noses pressed against the chain-link wanting to munch it. As she chirped loudly and aimlessly I was praying hard and fast that she wouldn't run towards the fence. Rather, she saw me and bounced happily over to me as I scooped her up. I was almost late to church because of this little girl but our neighbor across the street was happy to take her in and I felt like the morning was very productive.
This raccoon head was in the park. Needless to day, I got there too late to save this critter...
Mali, the dog above, tried eating this beetle as I took a picture of his little tracks when on a run one morning. I distracted her long enough to snap a picture, take off running, and have her follow me safely away from the hard-working fellow. You can see how close her paw and my foot were from it though!
Micah and Brock saved this lunar moth from the nosey dogs as well, they were amazed at how big it was. I was pleased when they came running strait to me to show me how awesome it was... I think I am turning into the critter lady!
Jovie watched this hole for days... the result? She caught the first and only gopher I think she will ever get. She is too slow to catch any other ones. I think it was a fluke that she got even one, but who knows, maybe she is learning by doing?
This toad was another close victim of the dogs. They would have munched him in an instant but fortunately Taylor came running for us out of her fear of toads. I was the only one willing to snatch him up but I almost got Jessica to kiss him. I placed him gently on the other side of the wall in the catholic church grass and now hope that he won't come back to our property. I bonded with the warty, gooey old man... he did after all feel comfortable enough with me to pee on me, and he deserves a better life than being our dog's afternoon play thing.