Monday, November 30, 2009

Progression of Joblessness

Click on the image above to see how unemployment rates have change around you. Watch Wyoming to see why republicans here think they're doing something right.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Graham Family

Graham Family

Becky is a nurse at the local hospital. But she is so much more to her three kids.

And in January we will begin construction on a home for all of them so that she can continue to be everything they need.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Longoria Family

Longoria Family

Amelia Longoria (holding the baby) has a lot of people depending on her.

At the moment this includes her daughter and her daughter's baby, another daughter who has a developmental disability and will always depend on her and two other granddaughters and a grandson from other children. A lot for one woman and a single-wide!

But next year Habitat will begin construction on a home for this family and this Amelia will be able to depend on us for a little bit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Deeds Family

Deeds Family

Kat Deeds has been through a lot in her life already. With daughter Chloe, who just stared kindergarten, son Ethan, 2 1/2, and another daughter due in January she has somehow managed to work (at night as a caregiver, so she can bring her kids), go to school, take care of the kids during the day AND complete all her sweat equity hours.

Kat has a plan. And that gets her through. And it gets her kids through. And soon she will complete one more step of that plan when she moves into her Habitat home.

Deeds Family

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pehringer Family

Pehringer Family

Darla has always worked so hard, cleaning other people's homes, in order to provide a good life for her daughter Sarah. In just a few months, however, she will be moving into her own home!

Darla and Sarah are currently working on completing their sweat equity requirements so they can move in when their half of the duplex is complete!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Murphy Family

Murphy Family

Chuck and Jennifer are looking foward to moving into their new six bedroom house to accomodate them and their five children (three of the children were with relatives when I took the photo).

While the home is being kept affordable because of the small size of each room (the house is a total of 2200 sq ft), it will offer privacy and comfort they currently dream of (the have a sizeable entryway in their current home, so one person sleeps there).

With R-44 in the ceiling, R-21 in the basement walls and a tankless water heater, it will also mean much lower utility bill than for their current trailer and more money for other needs!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Borzenski Family

Carisa has moved into her home! We received the certificate of occupancy at the end of October and she will get to have her first Thanksgiving as a Habitat homeowner!

Carisa has multiple sclerosis and is managing it well with medications. But due to the likelihood that she will eventually be in a wheelchair, her home was built to ADA specifications and she also has a garage so that she can get in and out of a vehicle even during the winter snows.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Fall Apple Tree
Apple tree after an early hard frost

It's been almost three years since I've celebrated Thanksgiving, but it there has hardly been a day that I haven't gotten to see thankfulness.

In Nicaragua, water, electricity, a tin roof, nothing could be taken for granted. And here in the US there is hardly a group that can show gratitude better than Habitat homeowners.

After surviving illnesses, bad marriages that began when they were too young to know better, addictions, disabilities and other obstacles, they are often able to see blessings more clearly than those of us who have been given so much more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009


I like the idea of home. I've spent a lot of time liking it for others.

But I don't have a home of my own. Someday, when I have a home, I will have seasonal flowers and other changing accoutrements.

In the meantime, I have my blog header.

audaciousness header spring 2009

Audaciousness June Title

July Audaciousness

August Audaciousness

October Audaciousness title

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ready for Winter?

Cause it's here!

Snowy Pine

Nov 13 068

Nov 13 072

And I've got the four wheel drive engaged!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is it Too Soon to Talk About Christmas?

I hope it's not too early!

I've been listening to Christmas carols for over two weeks. Yes. Since before Halloween.

I tell myself it's because the last two Christmases in Nicaragua didn't feel like the same Christmas. That Christmas in the summer weather is different. So I'm just extra excited when Christmas comes around after three years!

But, maybe I just really like Christmas.

So to celebrate Nicaragua AND Christmas AND New Year's I've put together a little something.

Vista from Granada Belltower Cakendar
This is an approximation of the cover, copyright rules don't let me take it off of Zazzle

A 2010 calendar of Nicaragua.

I have no idea who would pay $25 for it (other than me), but just in case you (or someone you know) wants one too, here's your chance!

AND $5 of each one (basically what I receive after all is said and done) goes to benefit the Academia de Atletismo in Nicaragua!

Click here for more information.

By the way, if you just want photos, I'm working on putting together a book of Nicaragua. Again, I know I want one, but if you want one too it will be coming to the blog soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tax Credit Extension!

Oct 30 009
Carisa's Kitchen

The tax credit has been extended for first time homebuyers! And while I personally believe the extension is a dubious manner to stimulate the economy, I am excited that it makes life easier for me!

Before the extension, the tax credit was available to our families as long as we closed the house before November 30th. To do so doesn't require certificate of occupancy, just the number we will be setting the mortgage at (I had done a little brainstorming to take the construction pressure off myself).

However, because we sell the homes for no profit, but do attempt to cover our costs with the mortgage, our number needed to be estimated very carefully. That was the work I had scheduled for this week.

But now our glorious government signed an extension (on my birthday no less!) which makes my life a whole lot easier. And it ensures the families a little extra help!

Monday, November 9, 2009

And Back Again

Propeller Plane

I'm back! And I think (hope!) the interview went well. I'll know in about a month.

I got back on very small plane.

Sheridan from above

There were 30 seats, so it wasn't the tiniest in the world, but there were four passengers other than me so it felt a little lonely!

Leetle Plane

I don't think God is the co-pilot here, but they sure do have an ethereal glow about them!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grad School Interview

Sheridan Sunrise
Sunrise in Sheridan

Interviewing for an MBA program this morning!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Something Bigger

Something Bigger

We regularly have volunteers from the local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center (Wystar) helping us on construction. It is one of the best relationships we have. The guys have been incredibly hard working for us and we offer them (hopefully!) a bit of repreive from their normal routine.

One of the guys decided he wanted to hold a fundraiser for us with his band and proceeded to organize the whole thing. During the concert he mentioned that Habitat is part of his 'something bigger than himself'.

Finding something bigger than yourself (generally God) is the second step of a 12 step program. And while Habitat will not itself restore sanity (I've found quite the opposite!), I certainly believe that it creates balance in my life.

Yep! I have been so fortunate that takes me 40, or 50, or 60 hours of giving per week to just about balance out what I receive in life!

The main problem with this equation is that it never quite comes out right; the more you give, seriously, the more you receive. But I'll keep trying!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Raylinds Luquez

Raylinds Luquez

My name is Raylinds Luquez, I'm from Rivas, Nicaragua. I am fourteen years old.

I have a small family, my mother’s name is Biatris Luquez and my sister is named Abigail, she is three years old.

My father died almost two years ago. After he passed away he left an empty space in our hearts and home.

I am a discus and javelin thrower. I belong to the athletic team of Rivas and I am really happy to be a part of it because they have given me the opportunity to prove myself and my family that everything is possible through hard work. They have shown me that they believed in me and they have encouraged me to improve my skills by saying all the time that I have a lot of potential.

Now I can see that they were right, because the 23rd and 24th of October I won the first place in javelin, second in discus and third place shot put. I will proudly represent my country in the Central American’s tournament in a track and field competition that will be taking place in Costa Rica.

Raylinds Javelin

This is going to be my first time outside of Nicaragua and I am really excited about it. My only concern is that I need to get a passport, but for my mother it will be impossible to afford it since her income is not enough. She does her best to provide food on our table, Mom works as a secretary in a surveyor's office.

The cost of a passport and the associated paperwork is $25, but at a salary of less than $200 per month, this is out of reach for Raylinds' mom. We are hoping that a grandfather and uncle who had expressed interest in helping will come through, but I consider it completely uncertain until actually paid.

Fortunately, we have a donor who has already expressed interest in helping too! So there is no doubt that Raylinds will be going to Costa Rica to compete at the end of November!