Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joia!!!

Today is Tim's favourite sister's birthday!! =) Joia is a beautiful, creative, friendly, joyful, fun-loving, picture-taking, card-making, Sonic drink-favouring, scrapbooking, blogging, husband- and children-adoring, Christian woman. =) I stole a whole bunch of pictures off her blog today, so got some good recent ones!

Joia

Joia and her husband PhilipTheir two beautiful children: Keenan (2 years) & Moriah (5 months)
A family photo from yesterday!!

We love you, Joia!! Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Berry Cute...

Okay, you can likely tell that the socks didn't come with the outfit, but they were both so cute, and the colours matched so well, that I had to put them together on this little 11 lb girl!!

Yes, we went to the pediatrician's on Thursday, and Vivian is 11 lbs! =) He kept calling her "gordita preciosa" (little precious fat girl), which I thought was really funny. It is not offensive to call people fat here - just a fact of life, I guess. They use it liberally with adults or children (I got called fat many times when I was pregnant), and that's just accepted.

Here's another couple pictures of the little cutie - we haven't used it often, but she will take a soother, which is nice.

Yesterday we had a really nice day together. Spanish class first in the morning, and after an early lunch Tim and two of the girls had naps, while Mika and Shaelyn had some quiet time, and I got my homework done. We decided we would have a Family Fun Night since the young people's meeting was cancelled, so Tim didn't have to go. We went swimming with Michelle, Brady and Jacob at their pool, then when we got home, we all watched "Joseph" and ate popcorn. Mika just recently found an old science experiment book of Tim's, and wanted to try one of them out, so Tim got two glasses of water, some string, salt and ice cubes, and they went "fishing". Here is a picture of them fishing for ice cubes. If you're interested, you put the ice cube in a glass of water, lay the string across the ice cube, sprinkle salt over top, and wait a few seconds before pulling up the string. The girls thought it was really neat when the ice cubes stuck onto their sting.
While I was making some very healthy mac n cheese for supper, Tim played a few games of hide and go seek with the girls. Then while they were eating, he made smoothies for everyone. All the girls were in bed and sleeping by 830pm. Tim and I then had supper ourselves, and settled down to listen to some ministry CD's from Toronto Conference this year. I made it through the first speaker, and was totally asleep through the next one! =) Tim thought he was really good, so I guess I'll have to listen to it again!
We've had a fairly low-key day here, and Mika and I are just about to go make some rice crispie squares while the other girls are sleeping - yum, yum!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is Tim's Mom's birthday!! We were blessed just recently by her coming and visiting for a week - it was so nice, and the girls loved being able to spend time with her.

If I could just use one word to describe Mom, it would be "encourager". It doesn't seem to matter the age, or from which walk of life they are from, whoever Mom meets, she always seems to have a little word or verse or something that encourages. Thank you for that - you are a blessing to us, Mom!

Hope you've had a wonderful birthday, Mom - we love you!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Much better!!

As you've likely guessed, we are back in the cool! The repairmen showed up a little after 4pm, and the A/C was back on around 6pm - Hooray! Thankfully today was overcast with a bit of a breeze, so that made things much more bearable. We had the windows and doors open all day rather than closing them up. Last night was better than the night before too - the temp dipped below 30 C finally (all the way to 28 C!!), and we also put the girls' mattresses on the floor so they could both benefit from the ceiling fan. Poor Vivian has a bit of heat rash on one side of her head though, from laying down and sweating; hopefully that will go away now. She had another great night again, going 7 hours straight - yay! The other girls didn't have such a great night. They didn't go to sleep until quite late (around 1030pm or so) because it was so hot, and then were up at 6am! To top it all off, they didn't nap this afternoon either, so very shortly after 8 tonight all three were in bed!

This morning we had Spanish class, then Eleo babysat for us as we had to return to the hospital to change Vivian's birth registry form. In Mexico they use both the father's last name, and the mother's maiden name for a double last name. When a woman gets married here, her name doesn't change at all. So when we were in the hospital, we didn't get my maiden name on Vivian's birth registry ('cause that's not my name now), so were then unable to register her properly so that we can her Canadian certificates and a passport from here and there. Hopefully now everything is okay, and we can proceed to the next step. Her first doctor's appointment with the pediatrician is tomorrow evening at 5pm, so we'll get to see how much she's grown too!

Hoping to get to bed in good time tonight, and actually using the covers! =) Good night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's HOT! **Update**

**UPDATE at bottom**

I guess summer is officially here, and with it, the wonderful heat that goes along with it. We are generally comfortable in the house (with A/C), and out of the house when we are out in the evening, or are at the pool. It hasn't gotten below 30 C any night recently. Right now it is "just" 32 C (90 F) in the shade, with humidity at 32%. All of this said, we don't have air conditioning right now, and are feeling the heat immensely!

This past Friday, our landlord's friend who does all the "fixing-up" jobs at our place, told us that the A/C wasn't working, and he'd be back to fix it. Yesterday, two actually A/C guys came over - took out the filters, then went up on the roof and cleaned out the lines, along with some other stuff up there. Afterward, our landlord told us that he had bad news - we would not have A/C overnight, but these guys would be back between 8-10am to finish up - they just needed a part. We thought it wouldn't be too bad - we kept the doors and windows shut while it was so hot out, and as soon as it started cooling off, we opened them all up, and some breeze came through. We also found all our portable fans, and are extremely thankful for all the ceiling fans we bought when we moved here - they are worth every cent! Nevertheless, it was still a warm night, and nobody got a really good sleep. Except for Vivian, who went 7 hours between feedings again last night!! Yay!! =)

Well, it is now 315pm, and guess what? Nobody has come all day (except for Eleo for our Spanish classes, but I don't think she knows how to fix A/C!). Tim tried calling the landlord to see if he knew what was up, but there was no answer. The girls have actually gone down for a nap (there is a small fan on each of them, plus the ceiling one), and when they wake up we are heading to the pool for a while. It is frustrating here with the water though. It was really hot in Panama when we were there, and had no A/C for 3 weeks, but the water there is in pipes underground, so you could shower and get cooled down. Here we have a tank (black) on our roof to hold the water, so no matter how long you run the "cold", it's warm! Tim and I decided this morning though that we would rather be in a place where it's warm and the water is warm than a place that is really cold and there is no warm water! So, enough complaining, we have lots to be thankful for. It's still possible that the guys may come today - they showed up after 4pm yesterday. Here's hoping they do!!

**Okay, so we heard at 630 this evening that they won't be coming tonight - "maƱana" (tomorrow) - hopefully that is the case. Thankfully, it looks as if things are cooling down outside, and there may even be Rain - hooray! There is a nice breeze blowing right now, and all the windows and doors are open. I made a mistake when I put the temperature at 32 F earlier; it is an electronic thermometer, and it was switched to Inside! It was at least 2 degrees cooler inside than outside. I was thinking this afternoon how very thankful I am that I am no longer pregnant - I was so hot then, even on cool-ish days, I can't imagine what it would be like now. We've gone through 3 of the large Tupperware jugs of water today already.**

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Month Old!

Today our sweet Vivian is one month old - I can hardly believe it! She is growing so quickly, and is definitely over 10 lbs now. While yesterday she spent most of the day sleeping, generally she is spending several hours awake during the day, and looking around. Somehow, she has also managed to escape being hurt by the loving, grabby hands of her sisters!

This afternoon after the other girls went to bed, Tim and I had some fun and laughs while we tooks some pictures of Vivian. While no where near the great photographer Tim's sister Joia is (oh WHY don't we live closer?!?) =) - we got some cute ones and thought we would share them. Their daughter Moriah was 5 months yesterday, so our baby girls are almost exactly 4 months apart!

Here is our youngest cutie-patootie in a pretty dress from Auntie Bekah (and Uncle Mark, but I'm sure he didn't pick it out!), and a soft, green mink blanket from my cousin Jennifer:



She kept turning her head towards our mirror (her left), or up at the fan, so it made it a little interesting trying to get the pictures taken. Here's a funny one of her looking up. Her nose looks quite pointed!

Tried too to get some tummy pic's, but all she wanted to do was eat the blanket! =) I love that little head!

Vivian is doing pretty well over all - usually going 3 hours between feedings, and even went 7 hours the other night! Unfortunately it only happened once! Her cheeks are really filling out. I am feeling really good post-surgery - almost completely back to my "old" self, with only the occasional incision pain when Shaelyn or Kyla ram into me. I can already fit many of my regular clothes, and am even able to run up and down the stairs.
The other girls seem to be going through mid-toddler crisis, and as frustrating as it is, I do feel sorry for them too. I am looking forward to getting back on schedule, and hopefully that will help the crying, tantrums, fighting, crankiness and inability to sleep. Tomorrow we are back to Spanish classes again, so that will be good.
The pool is closed today for cleaning, but it has been really nice to get out almost every day for an hour or so for a swim. Today it was 30 C at 8am, and in the sun at noon it was 43 C! The pool still feels cool compared to the air, so that's good - don't know how long that will last for though.
We're hoping to end off the day today by playing some games, etc. together - just to do something fun here with just us. That's it for now. Will blog again later!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Home Alone

This morning Tim and his mom headed out around 8 o'clock for Phoenix. Just before they left, we were having breakfast, and I reminded Shaelyn that Grandma was leaving today. She said, "I know. Who's coming now?" Amazingly, we have no company coming (that we know of!) in the near future - it's pretty much the first time since February that this has occurred!

We really enjoyed having Tim's mom with us for a week. Sure wish the temperatures had cooled off a bit so we could have been outside more, but other than that it was good.

The day here "alone" went pretty well. Vivian had some good sleeps through out the day, although none of her sisters slept this afternoon. I did get about a half hour nap, which made the evening a little easier to handle. I had thought of going out to meeting, but when no one slept I decided against it. We all went to the pool for about 45 minutes to wear off some energy - then home again for some supper and right off to bed.

It is amazing now that the temperature has gone up again (36-37 C most days), the girls really can't play outside anymore, which makes things even more "interesting" for us (the house seems to have gotten smaller). I am hoping to set up some sort of schedule for us in the next couple days so that at least we are in some sort of routine. We resume Spanish classes again next week, and I'm glad for that as I feel like I've digressed in the language in recent weeks, and it will also help to make the routine "work"!

Tim is staying over in Phoenix tonight, and then hopes to get some stuff done in Tucson on his way home tomorrow. Hopefully he will be home sometime early evening but that all depends on how things go. I'm off to bed now, so here's hoping and praying that the night goes by quietly and uneventfully! =)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy 8th Anniversary, my Tim!!

Eight years - can it really be? So long, so short - so much packed into that time. So many changes, challenges, struggles, joys, sorrows, marriages, births, deaths...and here we are - in Mexico! =) Tim, you are the love of my life - God knew exactly who and what I needed in a husband, and graciously gave me you. Thank you for loving me, for being a godly husband, a wonderful father to our girls, and so very much more. I love you!

Hard to believe it is Tuesday already - tomorrow is Mom's last day here! Thursday morning Tim will be driving her up to a friend's place near Phoenix - we'll miss her being here. Guess I'll back up though, and share a little of what we've been doing the last few days.
Friday was the Sunday School Treat. The children did the story of Noah's Ark, and (from what I heard) it went really well! I didn't actually get to see too much, as we were trying to keep our little animals (that's what our class got to be) in line. Thankfully Tim took a few pictures, and someone video taped it, so I'm hoping to see that sometime. There were several parents and family members out to see, so that was neat.

Mika is 3rd from the left. Her verse was "I am the Door; by Me if anyone enters in, he shall be saved." John 10:9

Here is a video of her saying it in Spanish at home:
video


Shaelyn is in the front row on the left-hand side (looking to her right) with a turtle "hat" on. Her verse was "...all things were created by Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16


Here is a video of her saying her verse in Spanish at home:
video


The whole group


Saturday afternooon we went to the beach for a few hours. Vivian has had a lot of "firsts" these last few days! The weather turned out much nicer than we thought - it was supposed to be hotter than the 36 C it was at home, but the breeze cooled things some. The kids had fun playing in the sand and waves, and I took no pictures! =P

Sunday was a busy day, and there was a nice taco lunch made at the hall, and several people came out for Mother's Day. I got to read part of a book Sunday afternoon, so that was great!

Last evening we went to a circus. We have been to a circus here, but Tim saw the people advertising for this one and thought it looked much better, and bought tickets. It was really amazing! There were a bunch of animals out the front - zebras, camels, horses, giraffes; then when we went in, there was already a tiger cage set up inside, and there were 16 tigers!! We got a few pictures of them, and then someone came and told us we weren't allowed to take pictures - what a ripper!! There were lots of animal shows with horses, camels and even a buffalo that a man rode for about 15 seconds around the ring - I'd never seen that before! Clown shows, martials arts acts, juggling, balancing acts - and the neatest of all, was a flying trapeze! It was truly amazing - we could hardly believe some of the stunts they did, and we were all very thankful they set up nets for them! Here is a picture of some of the tigers. If you click on the picture, it looks neat how some of their eyes are glowing.




This morning we went, for the 3rd time, to a park where we would like to check out their children's museum, and guess what?? It was still closed!! Grrrr.... They say it is because of the swine flu still, and is supposed to be open in a week. We'll see. Since that didn't work out, we went up the little mountain to show Mom a view of the city. Here is a picture of her with the oldest girls:



We then came home for lunch, and for dessert we had pecan pie that I made for Tim for our anniversary. He was nice enough to share! =) After lunch Tim took the girls swimming, and they've just gotten back now. I think Mom is going to babysit the 3 oldest girls while Tim and I go to meeting tonight. Guess that's it for now - will update again in a couple days.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mom-swap

Wednesday was bitter-sweet for us as my mom left after 3 weeks of being here visiting, but it was also the day Tim's mom flew in. Tim went with the van up to Tucson (they left at 530am), and didn't arrive back home here until almost 10pm! Tim's mom had been up at 130am Ontario time, and when she went to bed here at 1030pm our time - it had been 24 hours she had been awake. I thought the day had been long for our girls having to wait for them to get here, but it was definitely a longer day for Mom! We spent the day cleaning, and then made it out for a swim in the pool, and a quick trip to Burger King for supper. I let Mika and Shaelyn stay up until "Grandma" arrived. My mom made it safely back to Canada, and I even got a chance to chat with her a bit this evening.
This is a picture from a few nights ago. The girls often beg to sleep in the same bed together, but Shaelyn always ends up bugging Mika, and they have to be separated so they'll sleep. Well, it finally happened that they were both too tired to bug or be bugged, and they fell asleep together!
Sunday afternoon at dinner, Mika informed us she had a puppet show upstairs for us to watch. She has just watched the Sound of Music, and loved the puppet show on there. This is my mom, Shaelyn, Tim and Eleo watching.
The puppet show. We actually laughed alot - mostly at the comments from the peanut gallery (Tim), but also at the poor animals she had tied up with string. Their necks were all in quite interesting positions!
Tim snuggling with Vivian
A sleeping cutie-pie
Two sleeping cutie-pies
Ready for the pool - the temperature has been approx. 35 C the last several days, so the pool has been great!
Another picture of the three "biggest" girls
Our VivianaThis picture is for Rebekah =)
These next few pictures are some of Mika's "creations". She is a very creative little girl, and loves to spend lots of time with construction paper, glue, tape, ribbon, stickers, etc. The other day I thought it would be neat to take some pictures of some of them, since they likely won't last too long. These are all her own ideas.

This is a mobile. It is actually hanging from our bedroom ceiling, over the Vivian's bed! =)
Of course, this is a volcano. I have no idea where she got the idea to do this, but thought it was neat.
A six-page book she wrote.
This is a poster on her bedroom door. She copied this "fairy" from a book, and then wrote the verse: "Rijoys (Rejoice) in the Lord always".
This is a bow for Vivian's head. It has the letters H B V on it for Happy Birthday Vivian for her two week "birthday". =)


One of several crowns for one of our many princesses.

She has also made fairy wings, kites, innumerable posters, cards, etc.

It is wonderful to have Tim's mom here. In this picture she has the 2 girls on either side that she was reading a book to. For some reason they got their own books, so she was reading "Beauty and the Beast" to herself! =)

Grandma snuggling with Vivian

Today I got my teeth cleaned! John's parents have come down to visit for a while, and his dad is a retired dentist. He purchased a portable dentist machine, and has come to offer free cleaning services to whoever is interested. They set it up in the basement of the hall, and John called to see if Tim and I would go this afternoon. They figured it would be easier trying it out first on someone who spoke English! So I was the "guinea pig" to try it out - Tim was supposed to go, but ended up not having time. He and Mika have "appointments" this next week. Here are Dr & Mrs D here. The glasses he has on have magnifying glasses as well as a light on them. There were a few glitches as this was the first time using it, but over all it went well, and my teeth are nice and clean and smooth now! =)

That's it for today. Tomorrow is the Sunday School Treat, and there is a play about Noah's Ark, and the children have verses they've been memorizing. I will post more on that in the next couple days, with some pic's. Good night!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fun in San Carlos, Two Weeks Old, and Skinny Ankles Again!! =)

Wow, it's almost been a whole week since I blogged! I had actually thought I had blogged on Tuesday, and wasn't too far behind, but alas, I was sadly mistaken! =) So, I guess I'll back up to Monday and go from there!

We had to be out of the house Monday as some men were coming to fix a wall. That worked out anyway, since we wanted to get to a Children's Museum. We headed off, and found out they were closed every Monday! =( We felt a little better after visiting DQ, and decided we would head home and have a swim. We got home and found out that the pool was green, and couldn't be swam in until the next day. Tim had the brilliant idea of spraying off the girls while they jumped on the trampoline - that went over very well! Our wall also fixed, and a toilet replaced, so that was good! We also went to Taco Bongo for supper, so that was yummy. The first time for Mom and Vivian!

Tuesday was relatively non-eventful, although the girls got to go swimming finally, then, after they went to bed that night, Mom and I emptied out all the kitchen cupboards and drawers (a much bigger job than we anticipated!) for the de-termiting the next day.

Wednesday morning we left about 10am to head to San Carlos. We booked in at the Best Western, which was a neat change. There were only 22 rooms, and a really nice pool, which we had all to ourselves. It also had a complimentary breakfast, which was nice. The kids played for about 2 hours in the pool, then we went out to the beach where John and Michelle, Cynthia and Phyllis and about 20 young people had gone for the day. I stayed in the van, as I didn't think it would be good to walk so far in the sand, and was glad I had. After we got back to the hotel, my mom surprised us with a note and some money for Tim and I to go out for supper by ourselves!! We had a nice hour plus away, and when we got back all the girls were asleep!!

Thursday we enjoyed more time at the pool, then hit a neat American restaurant for lunch. It is run by a couple who don't speak any Spanish, and who love to spoil kids. There was only a couple other people in the restaurant, and our girls got Spoiled! We headed home after lunch - got there around 430pm, and Mom and I got to work. We cleaned all the cupboards, then she kept the girls occupied upstairs while I put the stuff back in the cupboards. Then we dusted, swept and mopped the whole downstairs. It was 1230am before we got to bed, but felt much better about the house being cleaned after that insecticide was in the house.

Friday we didn't really do much, and today has been a pretty low-key day too, although Mom and I took Shaelyn and Mika shopping in the morning to get new flip-flops, bathing suits and sun hats, then Mom took the 3 girls swimming this afternoon. Right now we are heading out to get hotdogs, and see if we can find a market to look through. Don't know if it will be open though, we might have to try again next week. That's it I guess, except for some pic's to show how the week went! Oh, I also noticed that my feet were finally back to their original "shape" again - hurray!! =)

This is a picture of our yummy shrimp dinner we had at the Sluiters the week before.
Monday night 12-13 young people were over at Dennison's, and came over to see the baby.
Sweet Vivian
Kyla being silly
Here are the girls in some special shirts my sister-in-law Marianne made them. Mika's says, "I am the biggest sister"; Shaelyn's says, "I am the bigger sister"; Kyla's says, "I am a big sister". They are so cute!
Here they are with the littlest sister!
Being goofy in our hotel room closet.
Our hotel from the pool
The pool from the hotel
A cute shot of Vivian sleeping
Mom and Phyllis at the beach
Friday morning at the pool
Shaelyn had a little stick and was "fishing".
Mika
Sun bathing
I thought this was a cute one of Kyla
The bottom of our hotel bed were concrete and then only one mattress on top. We decided to see if it would be more comfortable with two - don't know if it made any difference or not. We slept well anyway!

A cool lizard we found down at the beach.

The girls at the American restaurant. All the walls were painted with cartoon characters from many generations!

The owner of the restaurant's husband. The girls got a ride on his scooter.

Mom and the girls having "picnic" supper upstairs while I was cleaning downstairs.