Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas today! We had a fun day together - so thought I'd post a few pic's before finishing off the day with the girls.
This was yesterday when we got and stuffed a piñata. Kyla could not figure out why the candies were going into this thing instead of her mouth! After Kyla went to bed last night, we played games with the girls which was fun, and they were in bed around 930pm or so.
This was last night after the girls went to bed and we set up the 8' trampoline we got for the girls' present. We finished around 1 am.
Mika slept in until 730am, and Shaelyn until 8am, so that's when we woke up Kyla too and went down to open our stockings.



The girls got little rubber bugs in their stockings, and they (I believe Tim initiated) thought it would be fun to throw them against the wall where they stuck!


After stockings we made pancakes and bacon and eggs for breakfast, then opened our presents. I think we stayed in our pj's until 1pm!!



This is kind of funny. I put Shaelyn's gift in this cracker box, and when she took off the wrapping paper, she said, "Thank you so much, Mommy!" I said, "For what?" "For the yummy crackers!" I think she was happier with what was actually in the box! =)


Tim and I
After we opened the presents, we got the girls to close their eyes, and we went outside. Shaelyn didn't close her eyes, but thought it was very interesting that Mika did!

I think they were pretty happy about the trampoline! =)

Just before lunch we did the piñata. Tim hung a skipping rope up on one end, and then held the other end while the girls whacked at it - until we needed a little more power to break it open, and I held the other end for a bit while he "helped".


Christmas dinner - yummy!
Mashed potatoes all over her face
This was what Tim got me for Christmas. It is 3 separate paintings on canvas that are contour-shaped. They are really nice, and Tim hung them in our dining room. I love them!
So we had a fun day all around - able to talk with several members of our family - and are just getting ready (at 830pm) to have our supper and maybe play another game with the girls before they head off to bed. Kyla has already found herself there. Tim actually just screwed a metal piece across the hole where the rats have come through (we had another one the other day that got caught for a bit, then got away). So that should be the end of them!
Hope you've all had a wonderful day too - enjoying family and/or friends - but we hope especially that you have been enjoying remembering the real reason for the Christmas season. That the Lord Jesus came to earth many years ago as a baby so that He could not only live a perfect life, but to ultimately die on the cross for our sins. Thankfully that is not the end of the story though. The Bible says that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:" (1 Corinthians 15:3&4) He came so that we could know the forgiveness of our sins, and could have a personal relationship with God - one that we do not deserve. He has given us His everything, and we owe Him our everything. May we give Him all the honour and glory!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moriah Joy

Wow, I can't believe I had forgotten to update about little Moriah. Here are some adorable pic's of her and her family. Moriah was born on December 17, 2008 at 4:33am. Weight: 6 lb 10.7 oz, Length: 18.5 inches

Moriah Joy

Philip, Joia, Keenan & Moriah

Keenan giving "Miah" a kiss.




Big brother loving baby sister


Sleeping pixie - can't wait to meet this beautiful little girl!

We got out our Christmas decorations finally, and the girls thought it would be fun to put on some 'boots'.

Here's Kyla giving a bottle to a reindeer.

Yesterday afternoon we had so much fun making and decorating cookies. It was so neat Tim could be there - it not only made it much more fun, but it was nice for another adult presence as well!! =) I don't think I've ever made sugar cookies with cream cheese icing, but my Mom, sister and I used to do them all the time when we were at home. It was fun doing it with our little family.

My two little helpers - armed with sprinkles to make the cookies!


Here we are starting off - what a perfect picture!


Ha ha! This is real life moments later - yes, Kyla is screaming! =)


Mika did a great job using the icing bags to decorate. She may just follow in the Woodford's steps as a cake decorator yet!

Teaching Shaelyn how to put sprinkles on the cookies without putting them all in her mouth first!

Kyla trying her best to reach the cookies



Some of the finished cookies


Mika saw a Christmas chain at James and Nelly's, and thought it was really pretty. So as soon as we got home Saturday, she cut out a bunch of red and green rectangles. Yesterday morning, when she woke up, she started putting them together. She had the chain finished before we even got out of bed!

Ahh, Shaelyn! This morning when we were done breakfast, Tim and I went into the kitchen and were talking about groceries for a couple minutes. When we came back into the dining room, this is what we found. Shaelyn had milk down the left side of her head, and the right side of the back of her chair, down onto the floor! She looks slightly sorry in this picture...maybe.

When I got her dressed, she put on a red shirt that says "Canada" on it. She told Tim she has her "Cadanana" shirt on! =)

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Ding-ger Bells"...

Well, our Christmas decorations are out, the turkey is defrosting, there is sugar cookie dough chilling in the fridge, and the sounds of "Ding-ger bells, ding-ger bells...ALL the way!" is ringing through the house! The last is thanks to Shaelyn! =) We are also very chilly and have been wearing sweaters, socks and slippers - yes, even ME - in the house! It's gotten down to 10 degrees Celsius at night, so we have appreciated electric blankets the last couple nights to heat up our bed before climbing in. So, it's beginning to feel a little like Christmas. I think we are all getting a little excited as the day approaches. Tomorrow we plan to leave right after breakfast to go to Walmart and then Costco for a last shopping trip before everything closes. We have actually never all gone shopping as a family since being here, so it should be interesting.

After the girls nap, we are planning to cut out cookies and then decorate them, as well as do some cupcakes, and we hope to make a Turtle Pumpkin Pie for our Christmas dinner. If you haven't seen the recipe for it, Joia's food blog has it if you're interested at http://www.jmddesserts.blogspot.com/ It looks so yummy - and poor Tim and I will have to eat it all ourselves!! =)

Here are some pictures from our trip away:

The little hall in Obregón - 3 hours south of Hermosillo. Shad Kember has been living here since August, and Duncan Beckett from New Brunswick is there with him right now.



The inside


Duncan and Shad


Eleo and us on our way south

We arrived in Santiago (where Tim's brother Andrew is staying) to James and Nelly Dyck's house. They have four children: Levi, Simon, Andrew and Natalia. The girls slept together in a double bed that Just fit into the room. This is how we found them before going to bed the first night.
They are raising some goats, and one of them wouldn't nurse from its mother. They took it home for a week or so and this is Nelly feeding it a bottle.


We went down the road to where the are kept, and here is Kyla "riding" one of them.

Shaelyn LOVED this baby goat. She would wake up almost every morning at 630am, and go downstairs to sit and play with it.

Friday night there was an English hymn sing, and a few of the other missionaries came over.
Marcus Cain played the piano

All the "kids" that were there except for Natalia
Here we are at a little lake called Santa Maria del Oro, which was about an hour and a half away from James and Nelly's. It was a beautiful place! You could see the lake as you came down a mountain to get to it. A very narrow road that dropped off at the side with no guardrails. I had to really watch so I wouldn't get car sick. Thankfully the girls don't suffer from that! We stopped at a little place to have lunch. It was under a grass roof, and this was the view from our table.

A couple of the men who came and played music while we were eating.




After lunch, we went on a little boat ride around the lake. Very pretty!


One of several Huge trees that we saw near the lake.
This is the view of the lake from the top.

This is a little place called El Cora where James, Andrew and Tim went one night for meeting. It is apparently up a road that winds all around, and Tim was sitting in the front seat looking at the road the whole time and felt a little car sick. It is just a little place made out of mud.

Tim spoke in the gospel with James there.

Cynthia Sluiter bought us a ginger bread house, and we took it with us and decorated it with James and Nelly's boys. It was lots of fun.

The finished product!

Their delicious smelling Canadian Christmas tree.

This and the next couple are from our walk to the goat pen where we went and brought the baby goat to see if her mother would accept her. This little colt (above) was quite friendly, and we thought these steers (below) looked funny with their long ears.

This is the mother checking out her baby. Neither seemed to want to have anything to do with the other. All the baby wanted was Nelly, and all the mother wanted was her food! I haven't heard how things went after this first day.

Above is just a vegetable stand along the road. Below is a man on his donkey. One picture I missed getting along the way was when people would go with their horse and cart to the median of the highway to cut down the long grass, and take it back for hay. We were always going to fast to get a good one.

Our last day with Andrew and the Dyck's, we went into Tepic and played at a really neat park. It had live animals and birds there, and then a really fun play area.

The whole group of us.

We then went to Marcus and Alison Cain's home. They have 4 children: Isaac, Madeleine, Sammy and Evelyn (who Mika is now friends with). Isaac was away at seedsowers in Ciudad del Carmen, but we enjoyed spending some time with the rest of the family. Here Shaelyn was trying out some roller skates, and greatly enjoying herself.

This is a little "mountain" right in Tepic where you can climb up and see the whole city - we decided to go up one afternoon.

This was the first leg of the trip. Madeleine was helping Kyla up part of the steepest part. Everyone else split off just after this and went up a differnt way, while Alison, Kyla and I walked up the road. It took the others a little less than an hour, I think, and us a little more than an hour. It was definitely the most exercise I'd had in a while - but well worth the climb.

One of the many pretty views on the way up.

Our family at the top.


Madeleine, Evelyn and Alison


Alison and Marcus

Kyla wouldn't have much to do with the girls most of the time, but she took a liking to Marcus.

This is an orange tree in the Cain's yard that we enjoyed freshly squeezed orange juice from a few times. Very yummy!

We took our crokinole board down, and played a few times, but this is the only photo I took for some reason.

Shaelyn has always liked animals, as long as they never would come near her. After the goat experience in Santiago, all she wanted was to pet any animal she saw. The Cain's had two dogs, so Shaelyn got to enjoy this one taking her for a walk! =)

A little convenience store close by. I wish we had one close enough to walk to here. They have a place that makes fresh tortillas just around the corner too!


After saying goodbye to the Cain's on Thursday, we drove up to Mazatlán - about three hours north of them. We got a hotel room for the night, so we wouldn't have to go so far the next day. Mika lost her second tooth just a few minutes after leaving the Cain's. The hotel was really nice - it had 8 pools! Definitely a tourist spot. We went swimming for a while that night, and then got some pic's of the girls by the ocean, and around the hotel early the next morning before we left.

We left Mazatlán about 8am, and got to San Carlos at about 6pm. The girls did pretty well sleeping in the van for a good part of the day. We went to San Carlos to meet a cousin of Tim's dad's cousin - if that makes sense! So no relation to us, but they had lived in Hermosillo for a while, and now are settled just less than an hour and a half south of us. They are Brian and Nina (pronounce Nine-ah). They also had their son Jamie, his wife Steph, and their two daughters Ada (the first 'a' is a short sound like in apple, not like our sister-in-law Ada) and Riley visiting them. The girls are 2.5 yrs and 11 months. We really enjoyed getting to know them all. We stayed in a little trailer for the night. The girls thought that was pretty neat. Thankfully it was warmer there than here.

The girls after waking up in the morning.

After breakfast, they took us around town and to see a couple beaches. It is a really beautiful spot. The second beach we went to had tons of pretty shells, and we collected a few. Also saw lots of pelicans dive-bombing fish.

From left to right: Brian, Nina, Steph, Riley, Jamie and Ada

This was our shortest visit the whole trip, as we left before lunch - but the time we had together was really neat. We needed to get back home as early in the day as possible.

It was really great to be away - enjoying the company of those we know well, getting to know some friends better, and meeting new friends. It was a little wierd coming "home" though. When I told the girls we were almost home, Shaelyn said, "To St. Thomas? (pause) No - Hermosillo!" It is nice to be in familiar territory again - and in our own beds!! =)

Wow this is long! I started writing this early this afternoon, and now it's 1030pm - it takes a long time to upload pictures! We had a great afternoon after the girls woke up - baking sugar cookies and then icing them with cream cheese icing, some red and green icing, and sprinkles. It was really neat Tim could be here too - it wouldn't have been nearly so fun without him here. I will have to put those pic's on tomorrow maybe. Time for bed now!