Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Couple of Layouts

Here are a couple of holiday layouts.
The first, is obviously, of my favorite boy.
I love this picture.

I am So Thankful For You

The second is of Debbie Mayberry's three grandchildren. I went over to her house Saturday to shoot holiday pictures. This is one of my favorite pictures of the three little ones. It was totally unscripted, but the baby (Lance) was content to lay on the floor below the Christmas tree, and I talked TJ and Chloe into joining him. They look so happy in this picture (and ornery).

Say Cheese!

Both layouts use sketch challenge templates from The
The thanksgiving layout uses Heather Roselli's Fall Smell Kit, while the Christmas Layout uses the Holly Jolly Kit, both found at

I'm going to start posting pages here, as I get them designed. This will help "motivate" me to make more digi-layouts--if I can share them with others.
Have a scrappy day

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More pics from Collin's visit

So, here's some more pictures of my favorite boy.
He looks so serious in the first picture.
He's such a cutie, and well, such an ornery fellow.
I love him so much.

The first two sets of pictures are from Friday morning, out in the horse pens.
Collin had to check out Baby Blue's Ann, his newest horse, and of course Smokey and Joey, the other two colts.

He also needed to play with Nikki and Happy, the dogs; make sure the cattle were ok; and try out his jumping skills while playing on the hay bales.

It's almost like watching a little William--(other than the horses--that's a new addition to the farm) William tried all of these tricks.

The other set of pictures are from Silver Dollar City.
We rode rides, Collin tried on some goofy hats (ok, so he didn't like the one that got put on his head).

It was fun, but we we're all tired by the time we came home. Collin wanted to leave early, so he could go riding back at Mike and Marrisa's arena.

I'll post some more pics later.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The guy who has stolen my heart

Well, for a bit more than 48 hours, Collin is here for Thanksgiving. (If you don't know, or have forgotten, this is my 6 yr old nephew)
He arrived late last night, and Will will fly back to Buffalo, NY with him crack o' dawn
on Saturday morning.

We're trying to cram a whole bunch of stuff into two days, including of course, a bunch of pictures taken by yours truly.

I thought I'd post a couple here. He's been out riding horses and playing with his puppy (more of a dog now). It's been a good day.

Happy thanksgiving y'all.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Something Funny

I found this on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, the quiz (I put the link below) "comes up" with a funny obituary.

Here's what mine said


You can make your own obituary by clicking here.


Friday, November 17, 2006

My newest column

This is up on our website right now. I thought I'd post it here as well.
If you like it, my column by clicking here. Leave a comment, so my bosses will know that someone reads my stuff.

At this time of year, do Americans truly know the meaning of hunger?
By Kaylea Hutson
As I drove home a few days ago, I passed by multiple restaurants, fast food establishments, grocery stores and other places where anyone with money can purchase food.

For a mere $1 at some places, I can buy a variety of items. Obviously, more money equals more food.

Without money, I can rely on services provided by local non-profit organizations such as Crosslines, Watered Gardens and the Salvation Army.

At a certain income level, I can even utilize government assistance to provide food
for my family and myself.

In America, there are lots of resources available to ensure that people do not go hungry.

That's not the case in other countries.

During my recent trip to Brazil, I saw first hand the effects of hunger.

This included young children who look smaller than their age, because they have suffered malnutrition for an extensive period of time.

I also witnessed women and children standing on the side of the road, begging for pocket change as cars stopped at red lights.

One instance, I hope stays burned in my memory, happened when a car I was riding in pulled up along side a young boy, maybe six or seven, begging for change. What made the image so heart wrenching is that he held his infant sibling in his arms.

I do not have a recorded image of the young boy, because in a split second I realized I could either take a photograph or dig for money. I let my heart decide and I chose giving him money.

Later in the trip, I saw what I assume is his mother, holding the same infant, watching her young son plead with passing motorists for change. This time, I was not in a position to give money (I was sitting in the rear of a Kombi.) So I took the picture that appears with this column today.

The woman's eyes are haunting, because there is a desperation that seems to resonate deep within her soul.

According to Alda, the college student who served as my Brazilian translator, families often beg to subsidize the limited amount of money provided by the government each month-about $15 Reals (or roughly $7 American dollars) per child.

Some women without financial support turn to other options, including prostitution, to feed their children.

Another instant, which reminded me of America's blessings, took place at the boys' orphanage I visited outside of Maceio.

While the 20 boys living at the facility know they will have three basic, simple meals each day, extras like sorvette (ice cream), pizza or even cake, are considered luxuries.

During our stay, we purchased several quarts of ice cream and the related toppings, to create a "sundae bar" for the boys.

It wasn't really that unusual. I've made similar "spreads" for youth groups I've worked with in the states.

The boys' eyes grew wide as they realized that they could not only have a scoop of two different flavors of ice cream, but they could also have bananas, chocolate sprinkles and a mixture of chocolate and strawberry toppings.

They grew even more excited as they learned that their treat included seconds (and for some thirds). It's amazing how much ice cream 20 boys can eat in less than 30 minutes.

Towards the end of the party, one young boy, Henrique, came in for seconds. We did not give it a second thought, and gave him an additional treat.

We finished putting everything away, boiled water to wash our dishes and prepared to leave the kitchen.

There we were greeted with a heart breaking sight.

Henrique was so excited about having the ice cream that he was sitting at the table, slowly finishing his sundae. By now, the ice cream had turned into a chocolate puddle. He didn't care. It was still a treat and he was going to enjoy every spoonful.

Most American children would have turned their nose up at what Henrique was savoring.

I realize we have hunger in America. I know people suffer when their incomes only stretch so far, and can barely cover rent and utilities.

In Joplin the number of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch is growing each year.

But I also know this. In America, we take for granted that there will be food to purchase or donations to receive.

I know as I sit down to Thanksgiving this year, I'll encourage my family to think less about "filling" ourselves to the brim, and instead focus on the fact that we are together.

I also plan to find ways to continue to give back to the community. Because, as one Brazilian friend phrased it "America has been blessed by God."

How will you use your blessing this holiday season?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What I've been up to

Well, since I "surfaced" on Monday, (I'm finally feeling better), I've been working non-stop--I had two school board meetings so far; missed one by accident, and may have a fourth meeting on Friday (need to check if MSSU's Board of Governors is meeting this week).
But we got one print edition to "bed" and I'll have my share of next week's print edition done by Friday...then next week, I can work on the after Thanksgiving issue.
It's a crazy time, with pushed up deadlines.

I am hoping to have the rest of the of the photos updated this weekend (I'm staying with friends who have wireless net access).

I'm also hoping to have all of the articles, including a couple of new columns and such, updated on's website this weekend.

Outside of the newsroom (yes, I can get out), I've been working on a hand quilting project.
I pieced this quilt from the scraps left from Heather (Hoffman) & Tim Underwood's wedding quilt. I started quilting it when I moved to Colorado (April 2005), because I wanted to finish "un finished projects" before starting anything new....

Well, I now have three "unfinished" projects, this quilt, a "grandmother's flower garden" quilt, and an applique quilt. Each is a challenge, because it involves learning a new technique. I'm trying to finish them (they seem to be never-ending) before starting something new.

I'm good at starting things, lousy at finishing things. It's more fun to start a new project, I guess.

Anyway, I thought I'd stick a note on this to say that I'm doing well, the mosquito bites are healing and the insurance problems are finally getting better (I think the computer glitch has finally been fixed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield). Hooray!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The mosquitos won

Well, I went to the Dr. Wednesday, and he put me on malaria treatment medicine.
I'm sure I don't have the disease, but he wanted to be safe, not sorry.
The quinine is driving me crazy...making me dizzy (more than usual), and leaves me with a metallic taste in my mouth. It also makes me drowsy at times....

I'm sitting in the scrapbook store and the noise is about to drive me crazy (because I can't hear much over the ringing in my ears). In this case, the side effects may be worse than the actual illness.

But the antibiotic is helping heal the bites. So I don't look too terrible.

Anyway, I'm still processing the trip. Every time I look at pics, it makes me sad. I miss the boys terribly.
I'll write more when I can. I stayed home from work today to rest, so I can hit the ground running on Monday.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

I'm home

I'm tired, but can't seem to unwind.
But I'm home. I volunteered to help with election coverage, but they just laughed.

Lessons learned on the trip.

1)Pepto Bismal tablets are your friend.
2) Advil PM can make you totally spacy...I'm still feeling the effects of the ones I took last night/this morning...I'm not sure when I took them.
3) Chocolate Milk Mix (powder) does not pack well...the mix I brought home for the fifth grade class now covers everything that was in my large suitcase...
4) If in doubt, put items in a zip lock bag. See #3.
5) Starbucks tastes really good after 17 days in Brazil.
6) There's no place like home.

I'm going to go to the dr in the morning, to double check that the pesky mosquito bites heal...Debbie "suggested" I call, so it was the second call I made as we traveled from Tulsa. I couldn't get in tonight, but he could get me in at 8:15.

I'm going to spend tomorrow re-entering society, setting up my desk at the paper (we've moved to the Big Nickel office) and just adjusting to the "frantic" pace of the USA. It's seemed like I was in slow motion and everyone else in the airports were moving at warped speed this morning.

I'll try to upload the pics from the previous blogs tomorrow or Thursday. Then I'll start wading through the 1,500 pics - plus pics I took in Brazil.

Thanks for your prayers. I look like I have had a bad case of chicken pox on my arms. (My friend Denni suggested I just think of myself as the pooka dot woman).

Monday, November 6, 2006

We're off in a few hours

In a few hours (well, it's 7:30 Maceio time, and I think we have to be at the airport at noon), we'll be headed back to the states.

BTW...Bob's hamburgers at the airport, well, my stomach did not appreciate the treat. Thank God for Pepto Bismal tablets.

The luggage is packed, our boarding passes are picked up, and we're starting to say goodbye. The boys are heading to school soon, but we should see them one more time before we go to the airport.

This has been an amazing trip. I'm not sure how to put it all into words. I'll update our trip progress as I get to net cafes...I know there's one in San Paulo, I'm not sure about Miami.

Talk to ya all soon.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Flat Stanley Reporting In: #8

Oi guys and gals, by the time you read this, I’ll be on the plane, headed back to the United States.

It’s been a great trip. I think I’ve learned something new every day.
Today, I learned about cashew nuts. Have you ever eaten them before? Well I found out today that the chacarra has several cashew trees.

Since it’s spring here, the trees are budding and starting to produce fruit.

Cashew nuts grow on the top of a fruit, that kind of looks like an apple.
Each fruit grows just one nut. When they get red, like an apple, Brazilians pick them to harvest both the fruit and the nut.

You can’t eat a cashew nut raw, it’s poisonous.
In order to eat it, you have to cook it. The fruit can be eaten like an apple or made into a juice.

Kaylea took my picture next to a green cashew fruit/nut with the help of one of my new Brazilian friends.

It was really interesting to see the tree and the clumps of cashews growing on the branches. Now I know why cashew nuts are so expensive in the U.S.
Well, that’s all from Brazil. I can’t wait to see everyone back at Emerson Elementary. To my fifth grade friends in Mrs. Meintel's class, I’m bringing back a few Brazilian treats to share with you. I hope you have had fun learning about Brazil along with me!

I'll leave you with a picture of my friends in Brazil. I can't wait to tell you all about them.

Until later,
Flat Stanley

Picture info:

Hey look everyone, I'm as tall as a cashew tree. I'm next to a bunch of new nuts growing on the cashew tree.

Cashew fruit/nuts growing in a tree.

An upclose look at a not quite ripe cashew nut/fruit.

The boys living at the International Christian Children's Home in Maceio, AL Brazil.

Quick note

In case you are following the blog, and are curious, we just heard from Bob. He made it home safe and sound. No major delays at San Paulo...we had heard there were 50+ hr delays earlier this week, but his flight was only 1 hr late.

We're going to head over this afternoon to check in early (and maybe get a milkshake at Bobs--like McDonalds...)
Our flight leaves Maceio at 2 p.m. tomorrow. We have one stop before getting to San Paulo, and then a 5 hr layover before heading to Miami.

This afternoon, we're going to have an ice cream party with the boys...we bought eight things of ice cream, chocolate and strawberry toppings, chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream (we have to whip).
It should be a blast. Debbie's dad decided the boys needed one HUGE ice cream party. So thanks to Grandpa, we're having one.

I'll try to write one last Flat Stanley before we leave. Benedito showed me how Cashews grow...the chacarra has cashew trees. No wonder they are so fruit = one nut. It's spring here, so the cashews are just starting to grow. I got some neat pics of Stanley with some green cashews.

Anyway, thanks for following this blog. Let me know if you've enjoyed it.
Talk to ya soon.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

1,361 and counting

That's how many photos I've taken as of 11:28 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.
I'm sure I'll go over the 1,500 mark before we leave on Monday.

I'm already trying to process everything I've seen here. I'm not sure I'll ever be the same, and I think that's a good thing.

It's going to be hard to leave, because I've fallen in love with the boys here. Too bad I can't package them up and bring them back to the states...

Anyway, If I don't post before we leave, I'll try to update this if I have time in San Paulo, so you'll know we're at least on the way. We're not sure how long getting through customs will take there...or how long it will take in Miami.

If not, I'll update this when I get home. (I should be home and awake by Wednesday).

(Look what worked! But I'm too tired to sit here and see if I can get past blogs up...that will wait until I get home.)

Destination Brazil: Travel Blog #11

Leaving the chacarra grounds, you never quite know what sights will greet you in your travels.
You might see a family traveling down the road using a horse and cart, someone literally riding on horseback into the doorway of a construction store to place an order or a woman standing in the middle of the road begging for coins, holding a baby in her arms.
The sights, sounds and even smells, of Brazil will stay with me for a while.
It’s been an interesting experience to step out of my comfort zone, leave air conditioning and “fast food” behind to stay in a boys orphanage for two weeks.
I know now why Mark Mayberry fell in love with the people of Brazil, and why he and others have returned again and again to help out those in need.
It’s the same reason his widow, Debbie, returns to Maceio. Americans are blessed. The need in Brazil is great. In fact, it’s down right overwhelming.
Mark Mayberry and the others who helped to start the orphanage in Brazil saw it as a chance to provide some help, comfort and even a new life, for young boys without much hope for a future.
As I prepare to leave Maceio in less than 48 hours, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with having to say good bye to Alan, Benedito, Lucas, Marcos, Gabriel, and the other 15 boys who have found a place in my heart.
The orphanage stands as a testament of Mark Mayberry’s vision. As the young men mature, hopefully the education and skills they gain here, will allow them to pass on the blessings they have been given.
I’m sure it will take some time to process everything I have experienced in the last two weeks. I’ll share more photos and stories once I return.
In the meantime, I’ll spend the next few hours preparing to leave, not knowing if or when I will return.
Thank you Bill Hood, for providing me with this opportunity. It’s been a trip of a lifetime. I know I will return to Joplin a different person.
It’s been quite an adventure.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Destination Brazil: Travel Blog #10

Bob Arnce of rural Joplin wants no recognition or publicity for his actions in Brazil. He does not travel to the country for fame and glory. He only does it to serve God.
“This is what I should be doing,” Arnce said. “If what I do here brings glory to God, that’s all I’m concerned about.
“I’m a servant here, just a worker.”
Ten years ago, Arnce began coming to Brazil along with Pastor Wayne Wood’s traveling team. He joined the group at the request of the late-Mark Mayberry.
“Mark talked me into going with him,” Arnce said. “I wasn’t doing anything but playing golf and fishing.”
In the last 10 years, Arnce has traveled to Brazil 18 times. Sometimes he comes with a group, other times he travels alone.
“I want to give back a little, like everyone else,” Arnce said. “There’s an awful lot of need in Brazil. I felt like this is where God wanted me to be.”
Arnce said he enjoys working at the International Christian Children’s Home in Maceio, because the projects he completes ensures the boys will receive a good start in life.
However, he has other concerns that draw him to the country.
“The ones outside of the (orphanage) fence are special to me,” Arnce said. “They boys in here, they’ve got it made [by Brazilian standards]. The ones outside of here, I’m concerned about.
“They would give their eye teeth to be in here. They may not know where their next meal is coming from. That’s the tragedy of it all.”
Arnce believes coming to Brazil fills a calling, placed on his life by God.
“If we didn’t have this orphanage, 20 boys would be on the street,” he said. “I wish I could do more, but I can’t. There’s so much need here, we are limited by what we can do.”
Many of the boys, he said, never had a bed before they came to the orphanage.
“I’ve seen where they lived, some were in cardboard boxes,” Arnce said. “Here they have a wholesome environment, good food and have clothes.”
They also learn about Jesus, which is important, he added.
“You do what little you can,” Arnce said. “I’ll do this as long as I can.
“I always take home more than I brought in blessings. When you are in the Lord’s will, and know you are doing what the Lord wants you to do, you get a certain satisfaction in the accomplishments. It’s a blessing.”

Bob Arnce, rural Joplin, works on a set of shelves for the new storage/classroom at the boys orphanage in Maceio, Brazil. This is Arnce's 18th trip to the country. Kaylea Hutson |

Bob Arnce of rural Joplin began traveling to Brazil at the encouragement of the late-Mark Mayberry. Kaylea Hutson |

Flat Stanley #7

Hi guys and gals.
I'm so glad you are learning about Brazil's new president. The day after the election the newspapers here in Maceio had a picture of President Lula kissing a Brazilian flag.

The election, which took place on Sunday, was a run-off election, because no candidate received a majority vote in the election which took place in September.

I saw President Lula on the television news after he won. World leaders appeared on the broadcast to congratulate him. Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, was one of the people to send a message to President Lula. He's been sick, but he looked really well in the footage.

Of course, it was all in Portuguese, so I didn't understand much of the news.

People hope he will be a good President, and maybe do things to help the poor, because of his background.

Yesterday, I went to a new friend's house for a late lunch. Maria used to cook at the orphanage, but now has her own store (next to her house in what was probably a garage originally).

Her house is quite small, but very nice. Part of her kitchen is outside under a partial roof, because it stays warm here most of the year.

Anyway, for lunch, Mary made us a lasagna and a yummy chocolate dessert. She gave Kaylea a copy of the recipe, but it's in Portuguese. We'll have to try to translate it, so we can make it in the United States.

After lunch, we sat outside in the courtyard and tried to talk to each other...but they didn't speak much English and we didn't know much Portuguese. Mostly we just laughed and had fun.

After a while, the adults went inside, and I had a chance to talk to the kids about school and life in Brazil. They mostly wanted to know about America and what Missouri is like.

They also wanted to know if we had animals and horses in Missouri. One of the girls is learning English and Spanish in school, so she brought out her English book. It had a small dictionary in the back, and we used it to talk to each other.

Are you learning any foreign languages at school? What else have you learned about Brazil (they spell it Brasil here)?

I think we are going to try to "tie-dye" with the boys today, because it's a school holiday. I'll try to get some pictures. Maybe the boys will help make me a new outfit!

Talk to you soon.
Flat Stanley.

Photo information
New friends - Debbie Mayberry and Janna Stevens sit with our new friends during lunch.

The Kids - These are some of my new friends. We had fun laughing when we couldn't understand each other. The gave me a chocolate Popsicle--which was like a fudge pop.

Recipe - Magdalena (another Brazilian friend) copies down the chocolate dessert recipe as Mary (far right) tells her what is in the treat.

New Friend - Despite language barriers, Mary and Debbie Mayberry have remained good friends for many years.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Oi from brazil

Hi all
Well the cream and benydryl seems to have done the trick. The tide is turning, the mosquito bites are shrinking and not itching as much...yea!!!

Tonight, we'll celebrate Mikel's birthday. So I need to keep this short.
We're having pizza, and other special treats.

We went to the Hippa fada (outdoor market) by the ocean today. I found lots of neat presents. Can't talk about it though, because some of the recipients will be reading this....tee hee....I even bought myself a couple of things...a checker board with coconut shaped pieces. It's soooooo cute! & a bracelet.


Well, I hear something happening with the b-day, so I'll go. I'll write more tomorrow. I may not get pics posted until I get home, because I haven't made it back to the net cafe yet...(and it's a HUGE trip to do it).
I've managed to get some posted to, so buzz on over there to see what pics I've been able to upload to yahoo and e-mail in.

Talk to ya tomorrow.
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