Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

I can't believe it's the week of Thanksgiving! I can't even tell you how excited I am to have six (yes, six!) days off in a row. This has been a hectic school year so far and I really need the break. I am planning to spend hours on my favorite pasttime-- puttering. I just love puttering around the house: cleaning, organizing, watching TV, reading magazines, decorating, etc. So fun!

I am also so excited for Christmas! Last night I got out the Christmas decorations. I couldn't resist. As soon as I'm done posting this I am changing into my pj's, lighting a candle, putting in the Christmas music, and putting up my Christmas decorations. Love it! (Secretly, this also my way of avoiding the papers in the corner that should be graded tonight). We are getting our tree on Friday, so then I can finalize the decorations. I guess I'll have to post pictures once I have everything in it's place.

Also, with the arrival of Thanksgiving and Christmas means my due date is right around the corner. January 30 will be here before you know it! My goal was to have the nursery finished by Thanksgiving and I have successfully met that goal. (I guess I should post pictures of that, too) We are so excited for our baby girl to arrive.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Looking Back and Moving Forward....

I've had some "highlights" over the several weeks. Here are the highlights:
  • Making applesauce with the help of Mom and Dad. (Really they did most of the work).
  • Attending a prophetic conference at World Harvest.
  • Having our 2nd ultrasound and hearing the news that Amirah is a healthy baby girl.
With all the busyness of my life I often find it hard to sit down and relax, but I know that I need to treasure each moment. Here is my list of things I'm looking forward to in the next several weeks...
  • Reading "Breaking Dawn"-- the fourth book of the Twilight series. I never thought I'd read a series like this, but these books are so entertaining and I love an easy read that I don't have to think about.
  • Going to Shepherdstown next week (tentative)
  • Making yogurt in the microwave-- I've been wanting to do this for weeks now...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A new beginning....
When we took that pregnancy test a few short months ago Ysmaille and I just looked at each other with expressions that could only be interpreted as "Now what?" Our life is already slowly beginning to change. I have had a great pregnancy and feel really blessed that my biggest pregnancy concern is "What should I wear today?" I am certainly more tired and more emotional than usual (Ysmaille can attest to that), but feel energized and ready to take on this new challenge.
The journey continues...
Our nursery has slowly transformed from an office to a nursery, but so much has been waiting on finding out the gender of our little peanut (who, by the way, is now the size of a mango according to It's funny how opinionated people are on this topic. I, for one, would never even consider being surprised at the end. I like my surprises early. However, I know many people who have the opposite stance. I just know that I am a huge organizer and planner and not to know would just kill me.
Boy or girl?
Even before I was pregnant I had a dream about a beautiful daughter with curly hair (see one of my first posts). When we first found out we were pregnant I wanted a girl so badly, but as I thought about how nice it would be for Ysmaille to have a son I became convinved that we were having a boy and I was really getting excited about the idea. Several weeks ago I had a dream that we were having a boy, and that confirmed what I was already feeling. Last night, the dream changed again, and we had a daughter. Our ultrasound was scheduled for this morning at 7:00 and when Ysmaille and I woke up this morning we both admitted that we couldn't sleep last night because we were so excited. He told me it felt like how you feel the night before a field trip when you are kid. This morning we had our ultrasound and it was so surreal to watch our beautiful baby move around. The baby had his legs crossed and I was so nervous that he wouldn't cooperate and give us some proof. After a few moments we had the proof we needed-- three lines and no extra "appendage". It's a girl! Let the shopping commence.

Friday, August 14, 2009

That Time of Year Again....

I love teaching! I can't imagine doing anything else. Yes, there are days when I want to pull my hair out, climb in a hole, or even just run away as fast as I can, but there are also days when I think to myself, "Wow, this is so much fun! I can't believe I get paid to do this."

I've been working in my classroom the past week and have made some progress. My desks are arranged, bulletin board backgrounds have been put up, and I even have some ideas of what to do doing the first week of school. I thought I'd share some pictures since many of you have never been to Hamilton Heights Elementary. (Please keep in mind this is a work in progress).

I love the look of a closet filled with school supplies. Doesn't all that colorful construction paper make you happy inside? (Or is it just me?)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Haitian food in pictures

This afternoon I began making a Haitian meal to surprise Ysmaille. It took me almost four hours. The menu? Rice and beans with legume, fried plantains, and watermelon juice. I've decided to show the process in pictures rather than words.

By the time I was done I was so tired I totally forgot to take pictures of the finished product. You'll have to use your imagination.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Our long immigration journey is slowly coming to a close. Ysmaille finally received his 10 year permanent residence card this week. The only other immigration decision we will have to face is U.S. citizenship, but he is not eligible for that yet. It has been a three year journey to get us to this place. For those of you curious of how U.S. immigration works read on. For those of you who get bogged down with the details you may want to stop here. Before I continue I would like to answer a question that I get ALL the time. Q: "Isn't Ysmaille automatically a U.S. citizen because he married you?" A: "No!" As I've said it was a three year process that was somewhat costly, extensive, and often a little ridiculous.

Here is our journey:
March 2006 Ysmaille and I moved to PA from Haiti and promptly met with an immigration lawyer in Lancaster. We began completing paperwork for him, although we couldn't technically file the paperwork until Ysmaille had lived here for three months.
June 2006 We made the costly mistake of assuming our paperwork was sent out as agreed upon by the immigration law office; however, it sat for three months in a filing cabinet until we became curious of his status and called the office.
November 2006 We finally received word that we had an interview in Philadelphia so they could either approve or deny our case. The letter said bring any proof of your relationship.
January 2007 Mom and Dad drove us to Philadelphia and we met with an immigration officer. We literally carried in a duffle bag of "proof": letters and cards written to one another, plane tickets, calling cards, photographs, utility bills, letters from friends who attended our wedding, etc. The man took a brief look at our wedding photos and sent us on our way. We had been approved! Although I was delighted, part of me felt a little annoyed that I had gone to all that trouble for nothing.
February 2007 Ysmaille got his S.S. card, two year permanent visa, driver's license, a car, and a job all within a few weeks of each other.
November 2008 We had to reapply for a ten year card.
July 2009 Ysmaille recieved his ten year permanent resident card (green card).

Of course this is the shortened version. There were visits to York for biometrics, hours spent making phone calls to the U.S. immigration office and filling out additional paperwork, more visits to the lawyers office, etc. I am so glad that phase of our life is drawing to a close. From what I've seen after becoming a resident alien, citizenship should be pretty painless.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rumor has it...

Rumor has it that I am pregnant, and it's true! Ysmaille and I found out at the end of May, but kept it our own little secret for a while. We told my family right before we left on our trip. When we visited Ysmaille's family in Florida and Haiti we were able to tell them the good news. What perfect timing for us to plan our visit. We had our first sonogram on Monday. What an amazing experience to know that a baby is growing inside of you.

We feel really blessed. Things haven't always come easily for us. We've had lots of ups and downs in our four years of marriage. We've lived in two different countries and four different houses in four years. We've had uncertainties with immigration issues. This is one thing that came very easy for us and I am relieved.

I am really glad we waited to have children. The past four years have been a growing experience for Ysmaille and I as we've learned what it is to be married- to live with another person, to think of someone else before yourself, to share hopes and dreams along with fears and doubts. I will be officially done with all my graduate classes at the end of August. Ysmaille should be done with his school by February. Isn't God's timing perfect?
Timon and Pumba guard our little baby's picture that is proudly displayed on the refrigerator.

I couldn't resist buying a changing table. I ordered it on Monday and picked it up yesterday. Ysmaille got me started and then I put the rest of it together myself. Now I have to store it, because our "nursery" is still our office.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Four Years Ago

Four years ago today I stood in front of family and friends and pledged my life to Ysmaille Eliacin. I can honestly say it was the best decision of my life. Not to say we haven't walked through some difficult times, because we certainly have, but he is an amazing husband and I am so blessed and honored to be his wife.

Eric and April Lehman celebrated their four year anniversary yesterday and I really liked her "time capsule" of what the past four years have held, so I am totally going to steal the idea.

June 25, 2005 Ysmaille and I got married in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during a very tumultuous time in the country.

June 26, 2005 We left for our honeymooon in Punta Cana, DR. After eight hours on a bus and four on a taxi we arrived to our destination.

July 2005 Knowing how difficult things were in Haiti, we decided to stay another week in the DR with great friends, Karly and Tania Desrosiers.

October 2005 Ysmaille and I traveled back to Santo Domingo so he could get a visa to visit my parents in Pennsylvania for Christmas. God orchestrated amazing events to give us the visa we longed for.

December 2005 Ysmaille visited the US for the first time. My parents tried to convince us to stay, but we knew we needed to go back.

February 2006 Elections in Haiti caused major turmoil. People stormed through the gates of Hotel Montana (where we got married), turned over cars in the streets, and burned tires in protest of election results. Ysmaille got another visa and this time we knew we needed to leave Haiti.

March 5, 2006 There was a shooting at Church on the Rock. It happened right before our eyes and I knew our decision to leave was the right one for us.

March 6, 2006 We arrived back in the US and lived with my parents for 2.5 months.

May 2006 We finally rented our first apartment at 511 Center Street.

September 2006 Angela and Hans got married, the first sibling on either side to join us in marital bliss.

Much of 2006 and 2007 was a blur of trying to survive. I was substitute teaching when I could and Ysmaille was taking odd jobs wherever he could find them. God was an awesome provider during this time.

February 2007 Ysmaille recieved his green card, got a social security card, a drivers license and a job all in a week or so.

August 2007 I became a full-time employee of the Chambersburg Area School District as a EAP Reading Coach.

September 2007 Josue and Erika got married, making them the second of our siblings to "tie the knot".

November 2007 Although we didn't even own our own house, Ysmaille and I took the plunge and bought two rental units.

March 2008 Ricot and Mandy got married. Now we had three siblings who have joined the ranks as a happily wedded couple.

March 2008 During this same month we moved into our townhouse on Gleneagles Drive.

June 2008 Dukens and Angela also joined the married couples list. Four of our siblings got married in less than two years.

August 2008 I was able to transfer from a reading coach to a third grade teacher.

October 2008 We bought our townhouse on Halloween.

January 2009 We went on a cruise to Grand Cayman and Jamaica, something we really wanted to do together before we had children.

May 2009 I graduated with my masters degree in Educational Leadership.

June 2009 We celebrated Ysmaille's parent's 50th wedding anniversary in Florida, then traveled to spend some time in Haiti.

When I look over what the past four years have held I am so thankful for God's mercies. His hand has been on our life in ways we couldn't have imagined. I thank God for bringing our two distinct worlds together and for giving me the lifetime love I have always longed for. Let the world know I LOVE YSMAILLE ELIACIN today, tomorrow, and forever!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Haiti- the country I love so much. My first year there was the first time I lived on my own, my first teaching job, my first time eating a fresh mango from the tree. On this island I fell in love for the first time. I had my first kiss under the pink flowers of a bougainvillea. I got married there in a tropical paradise with family and friends at my side.

Ysmaille and I just got back from our most recent trip to Haiti. I got teary-eyed as the plane soared over the majestic mountains. When the plane landed I felt like I had come home.

Something changed on my visit here. I realized for the first time that Haiti wasn't my home anymore. I love the memories I made there, and would never change my experiences. What I experienced in Haiti shaped me as a person and have made me who I am today. Despite all that I felt disillusioned. One of the reasons I loved Haiti so much on my previous visits was because I knew my boyfriend, and later my fiance, would be waiting their for me. I knew we would go to all our old spots- Tiger Market for ice cream, Petion-ville for another painting, and the Baptist Mission for a peak at Charlie (the monkey who lives there). Now Ysmaille is my husband and we have started our life over here and it makes me really sad that somehow my love for Haiti has changed, not disappeared, just changed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Walk to Remember....

Last night I asked Ysmaille if we could take a walk around Wilson College. He agreed and then decided to park at the Coyle Free Library. I commented that was a strange place to park, but we got out of the car and began walking. As we got to the "Y" where Main Street becomes Philadelphia Avenue we noticed a girl stumbling across the street. As she passed us I turned around and noticed her pants were ripped and much of her butt was hanging out. I also noticed she wasn't wearing shoes. As we got closer we saw blood on her shirt and it was very obvious that she had been drinkinag. We asked how we could help and she just asked me to hold her purse so she could find her cell phone. She couldn't find her cell phone in her purse and we didn't have our cell phones on us, so there wasn't anything we could do. (Right at this point a bird pooped on me, but that's neither here nor there).

As we watched here stagger away we stood there deciding what we should do. I told Ysmaille we had to do something, because I was concerned she would try crossing the street and get hit. We began following her. Ysmaille put his hand in his pocket and discovered he did have his cell phone after all. By this time the girl had dissappeared from sight. We found her sitting on the steps of a house. She was very upset and crying. Apparantly she and her husband had an argument that got out of hand. We let her use our cell phone to call her sister. She insisted she was okay and that her mom would pick her up. We found out she was planning to walk to Sunnyway to meet her mom (who lived in Mercersburg). We told her we would drive her to Sunnyway. She was so grateful and said in very slurred speech that we were the kindest people she had ever met. She held my hand all the way to the car. As we walked I had a chance to pray with her and just express how much God cared for her.

We drove Ami (we found out her name on the walk to the car) to Sunnyway and she got out of the car. We didn't feel right just leaving her there so we waited in the car. After 10 minutes or so she went inside. We didn't see her coming out so we got suspicious. We figured that she may have begun walking again, so we pulled out of Sunnyway parking lot. I thought I caught a glimpse of her walking and then she dissappeared. As we got closer we sawing her lying in a field next to the road. We stopped the car, told her to get in, and asked her where she was going. She was heading to her aunt's house not far away. It was if the God in us was pursuing her. Just as we couldn't let her wander aimlessly, God felt much the same way, and used us in a practical way to show his love for her. We couldn't let her go until we knew she was safe. We took her to her aunt's house and explained everything to her aunt. They began calling her mom and I'm not sure what happened after that, because we felt like we should probably just let the family deal with the situation.

Previous to our walk Ysmaille and I were feeling let down and a little frustrated. Things have been very tight since Ysmaille lost his job. We have been praying and fasting and just believing God for a breakthrough and there are moments where our faith is so strong, and other moments were we falter because we put our eyes on things that are happening in the natural. As we drove home we began thinking of how God was leading us. Why would a couple living in Scotland drive to Main Street to take a walk? We believe God had set up a divine appointment for us. And if God was leading in that circumstance he is certainly leading us in other areas of our life. It was such an encouragement to us. I also felt so blessed. Although I might not have the extra money for new summer clothes, or the stove I've been waiting for, I do have so much more! I have a husband who would never lay a hand on me. I have family who supports me and cares for me. Material things are so temporary. It's the relationships around us that are eternal!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mexico- a lesson learned

Yesterday I started a unit on Mexico. I wanted to know what my students already knew about Mexico: the culture and the people, so I had them get into groups and make a list. I was horrified to find out what my students thought about our neighboring country. One student said, "juvie". I had no idea what he was talking about until he cleared it up by saying "jail". His perceptions of Mexicans are people who end up in jail. Another student asked, "Do they use spoons in Mexico?" When asked to give their list of things they new about Mexico one boy said that in Mexico they used camels for transportation. I knew I had to stop there and clear up some misconceptions. I told them that although different countries around the world have different customs and beliefs, we are more alike than we are different. I explained to my students that many people in Mexico live pretty much like you and I. There are good and bad people. It has NOTHING to do with skin color, educational background, where you are from, and EVERYTHING to do with what is inside of you. If my students don't remember the capital of Mexico is Mexico City, and they don't remember the main language spoken there is Spanish, and they don't remember where the Yucatan Peninsula is, I hope they do remember that you can't judge someone because of where they came from, people all over the world have the same basic needs, and yes, they do use spoons in Mexico!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An old DC Talk song...

As I was thinking about how to title this blog an old DC Talk song came into my mind. . .

God is doing it. Yo, who's doing it? God is doing a new thing. (Except for I think they might have used the words "nu thang" instead of "new thing", and I just can't bring myself to do that.)

God has really been refining Ysmaille and I over the past month. God is burning away things in our life-- our reliance on "the world" for our provision amony many. He has had to remind us that He is our source. Much of what we've gone through has been private and probably most people have no idea of the work God is doing. As hard as God's refining work is, I am so glad for his redeeming work as well.

I feel excitement bubbling up inside of me! As much as walking through the fire hurts, I know that God has an awesome plan for our life together. I am so excited to see how God will provide for our every need-- emotionally, physically, financially, etc. I feel like I just need to prophecy that God is not done with Ysmaille and I. God is taking us to a deeper place in Him, a place where only those who have been refined in the fire can go. God is truly doing a "nu thang" : )

Friday, April 24, 2009


Here is my list of things to do:

1. Laundry

2. Sweep and mop kitchen floor

3. Grade language tests

4. Dust living room

5. Pay bills and balance the checkbook

What am I doing?

Well, I sat down for a well-deserved rest around 5:00 and watched the end of Jerry MacGuire. Then I fell asleep for about 15 minutes. At 6:15 I told myself that I would get up at 6:30 and begin working on my to-do list. Once 6:30 came I changed my mind and told myself that I could certainly lounge a few more minutes. Once 7:00 came I got on the computer and now I am wasting ever more precious time. It is now nearly 7:20 and here I sit. I suppose I've put off the inevitable for long enough...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Okay. I am officially annoyed with blogspot. I can't get my pictures to go in the order I want them too. Sabrina, I know you are online because I tried calling and got the busy signal. Help me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I know I am not doing a good job keeping up with this blog. Life seems to get in the way (and facebook).

Here is what has been happening over the past month since I've written...
  • Went to a bachelorette party in Harrisburg. Interesting. I'll leave it at that.
  • Decided I am NOT getting a summer job this year because grad classes and my kitchen "redo" will keep me busy enough.
  • Dealt with the unfairness of Alzheimers as I watched my Grandpa Harnish slip away. Funeral was on Sunday. What a Godly heritage I have!
  • Found someone new to do our taxes and saved over $200 dollars for the preparation fee, plus have some money coming back to help fund out trip to Haiti this summer.
  • Made African Chicken Curry. Look up the recipe on It is amazing!

Here is what I am looking forward to (in no particular order) in the upcoming weeks:

  • The end of the PSSAs. I really hope our new president makes some changes.
  • Easter break!
  • Rita's free Italian ice on the first day of spring.
  • Catching up with a childhood friend whom I haven't seen in years.
  • Trying Sabrina's crockpot yogurt recipe.
  • Taking walks outside again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hagerstown 10 Cinema

I won movie tickets on Mix95 again last week. This time they gave me a choice of going to the theater in Chambersburg or Hagerstown. I chose Hagerstown (assuming they were referring to the theater in the Valley Mall). Much to my dismay I found out they meant the one on Leitersburg Pike. I've only been to that theater one other time, and I remember it was a little run-down. Anyway, last night Ysmaille and I plugged in our GPS and we were off to the middle of nowhere, where the smell of cow manure permeated our nostrils as we got out of the car. When we got into the theater there was one lone middle-aged man sitting at the back. Ordinarily this wouldn't have been too funny, but we were going to see "He's Just Not That Into You"-- definitely a chick flick. We looked around for seats, but had a difficult time finding one that wasn't ripped or stained. I'm not usually a huge germo-phobe, but this was grossing me out just a bit. The movie was actually really good and I tried not to think of all the butts that sat on the seat before me. All this to say... ewww. Next time I win movie tickets on Mix95 I will definitely choose Chambersburg!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My future child?

Last night I had a dream that I had just given birth to a baby girl. She was beautiful! She had gorgeous, creamy skin, wavy hair, and big brown eyes. It made my heart melt. Then before I knew it she was a toddler and her hair was a wild mess of curls. I loved it!

Does this mean I am ready to be a mother? Somedays I feel I am ready, and yet there is always a feeling of sadness when I think of giving up the life that Ysmaille and I have. I love our ability to spontaneously decide what we want to do with our day when we wake up at 9:00 on a Saturday morning. Not to mention how busy we already are. This week has been such a stressful one for us. In preparation for our cruise next week we are trying to get everything in order. We have already spent well over six hours on homework and are only about a third of the way done. Today I had to spend over two hours in my classroom (on a Saturday!) trying to get everything organized for a sub. We have literally had no free time this week. What would we do if we had a child? How do mothers do it?

I want my beautiful little "dream" girl with curly hair, but I don't know if I'm ready to give up my freedom!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I am taking a grad class on diversity. I never really thought much about adversity because I figured that I wasn't racist. I have friends from all over the world who are different colors than I am. I am even married to a man who is much darker than me. Obviously race isn't an issue for me, but what I am realizing is that I do hold some ugly prejudices in my heart. Diversity is so much more than race! How do I treat people who are different than me based on socio-economic status, weight, appearance, job title, age? It's food for thought.

Monday, January 19, 2009

After realizing that so many of my friends are using this particular site to keep in touch, I thought maybe I should find out what it is all about... I absolutely love facebook because it gives me short "snippets" of what each of my friends are doing, but I have to admit that I miss reading paragraphs. And so from Xanga, to MySpace, to Facebook, and now here I continue to post my journey online for the world to see.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- a Chinese proverb

My life has been a journey-- a journey that has taken me to many places, allowed me to meet many amazing people, and yet never forget who I am and where I come from.