Monday, August 31, 2009

New Cottage

It's been a while, but not because I haven't had anything to blog about!! We just spent last Monday to Saturday with the Woodford family up in the far north near Englehart. While our hearts were warm being all together, our other parts were very cccccccold there - and it's not just because my blood is adjusting to Mexican weather, either!! =) We were way out in boonie-land, so we had no internet or cell phone use. Nice for a break, but not nice when you actually Need them! I will post more about our week later, but now we are near Port Loring, a little further south, and getting a little warmer, but we still don't have cell phone use or internet!!!! Again, very pretty area, but boonie-land! =) I will do a thorough job of updating when we return to my parents on the weekend. Right now we are just in town at a friend's house, so thought I would update here quickly.

Some REALLY exciting news that I didn't have time to put on here before we went up to the last cottage, is that my brother Jeff and his wife Marianne, had a baby boy last Sunday! His name is Lucas Jefferson, and was 7lbs 11oz. Little brother to Jared and Gracia. We were able to stop briefly at the hospital Monday morning, where I was able to see Lucas, and both Tim and I saw Marianne. Their whole family are on their way up here today, as well as my sister Liz, her husband Trevor and their 2 pumpkins, Katja & Kiernan. I can hardly wait to see them all!!

Just in case I haven't mentioned on here before...I LOVE our family!!! =) Last week with the Woodfords was SO nice, and now we have this week to look forward to as well. We've missed them so much!

Okay, need to get off of here. Pictures (hopefully), and more updates will come as soon as possible. Have a great week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

En route...again! =)

Currently, we are at my parents' house 3 hours north of London. Tomorrow, we will head up about six hours to a place near Englehart, where we will spend the next glorious few days at a cottage with Tim's family.

We have had a busy last few days. On Thursday, Tim, Vivian and I went back over to Port Huron, MI, to do a bit of shopping. After crossing the Mexican/US border, then the US/Canadian border, plus 2-3 border patrol stops, with NO trouble at all - we were told to go inside as we were going over Thursday! Only the guard at the booth was a grump, thankfully, and the other border guards were nice, and had no problem allowing us to continue on our way. We thanked the Lord again for allowing us such a great, and relatively problem-free trip up from Hermosillo.

Friday morning we had a visit with our friend Ruth, and her parents (who are also our friends!=) ). Ruth teaches English, and is studying Mandarin in China. She had been back to Canada on a visit, and was just leaving to go back when we arrived. We really enjoyed the visit, and were so thankful it worked out to get together!

Friday evening, Tim's parents, brother Rob and Ada, and brother Andrew came to Mark and Rebekah's for supper. It was such an enjoyable evening - although we were missing Joia & Philip and their pumpkins! The girls were ecstatic about seeing their grandparents, and aunt and uncles again!

Saturday morning, we left for Tim's aunt and uncle's cottage just about a 45min drive out of London. An uncle, and his other aunt and uncle and their 3 children joined Mark and Bekah and us there. It was a cloudy, rainy day, but we had a good time chatting and playing games.

Today was my first English meeting in a year. It was so wonderful to sing, and hear the prayers of worship in my mother tongue. I sure appreciate it a whole lot more now than before we left! There was a pot luck for lunch at the hall, which was delicious, and besides the enjoyment of seeing so many local familiar faces, there were some unexpected visitors that were there too! In the afternoon we got all our things packed up, and the van packed, and then Tim and Mark shared the gospel meeting tonight. We stopped for a bite to eat, and then drove straight here. All the girls woke up when we got here, and were Very excited to see Papa and Nana.

It is now very, very late, but since we won't have internet for the next week, I thought I would post now, and just catch up a bit. I'll get back on here just as soon as I can!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We're here!!

Although I never would have believed I’d be saying this, I’ve enjoyed our last few days on the road. The days have been extremely long, but the girls have done quite well, so it’s been nice. I’ll just go back and start to tell a little more thoroughly about how our trip went.

I mentioned Vivian’s passport hadn’t come before we were to leave – what to do?? We had to be back to Ontario by this Friday for sure, and we really weren’t sure how the trip was going to go. After looking on-line at Canada’s definition of a Canadian citizen, we decided we would take the chance going across the border, and if we couldn’t get across, obviously the Lord had a different plan in mind.

We left Hermosillo about 430pm Sunday afternoon, and then waited at the border for an hour and fifteen minutes – the longest wait we've had so far. When we finally reached customs, we handed a very friendly border patrol officer our passports, and Vivian’s birth certificate. He looked everything over, asked a couple questions, and we were THROUGH!! After eating supper, we went sort of back roads up through Arizona towards New Mexico, and I almost hit a wild pig that was standing in the middle of the road. I’m glad for several reasons that I didn’t, and one is that he was Really big!! We travelled until 1am, got a nice room in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and got a pretty good night’s sleep. We found out from John D that the passport didn't arrive until Monday night at 7pm!! They're now going to mail it to us here in Canada.

We were up shortly after 8am, had breakfast there, and got on the road. The girls were a little restless – especially Kyla, who kept wanting “Out, out!” We went through two other border patrol stops, having no trouble at either of them. We changed course out of the Chihuahuense desert, and up into the mountains toward Texas. We stopped for lunch at a nice little town, picked up a couple subs for us all to share, and then found a great little park where we ate, then the girls played on the playground, then we all went down to a stream that ran through the park, and splashed a bit in there. The girls slept for a while after that, then we stopped again mid-afternoon a little playground where Tim and the girls played “raña” (tag), and burned off some energy. Tim and I were able to share in the driving pretty well. Again, it was about 1am when we stopped for the night. just before Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Tim went in to check prices, and it sounded like they were pretty full. The lady at the desk was really nice, and asked Tim if we had anything we could get a discount with? AAA? Was he in the military? Anything? Nope. Oh well, she told my Canadian husband, who lives in Mexico that we could get a military discount! We thought that was pretty funny, and then we thanked the Lord for getting a good deal on a room. The continental breakfast in the morning was Amazing! It was a buffet, and everything fresh and hot and yummy!

We left a little later Tuesday morning, and after getting gas, it was 1130am before we were finally on the road. It had poured the whole night before, and rained a little that morning too - thankfully not too heavily. Kyla was especially wiggly, but after we stopped for lunch, she and the other girls slept quite well, and the rest of the afternoon went well. We had supper late, and were getting closer to our destination of Effingham, Illinois, when we decided to look on our GPS how long our trip would be the next day. When we put in data, it showed if we kept driving, we could be there early the next morning! Hmmmm....what to do? We thought maybe we would try it, and if it didn't work out, we could just get a hotel room if we needed to. We stopped and got gas, brushed teeth, and I was getting a coffee to "help", when the cashier lady came over to talk to me and the girls. She was very friendly, and offered us some free popcorn! She was chatting to the girls a bit, and said, "Where did y'all get your pretty blue eyes?" Shaelyn immediately answered, "GOD!" =) When we got into the van, everyone settled down pretty well. I started out driving, and didn't have any problems staying awake. Tim slept until about 230am, and drove shortly after that. We decided to listen to some ministry CD's to help us stay awake. Mark and Rebekah had sent all the CD's from the Langstaff Missionary Conference that was in May. We had listened to several along the way, and we finished the last 3 last night. I tried to sleep around 530am, but then we crossed over into Michegan, and I got too excited to sleep! =) We stopped for breakfast around 830am, got to the border around 1030am, and crossed with no problems!! We are so thankful the Lord granted us such a great trip together. We sure enjoyed seeing our "native land" again, and arrived in London to Mark and Rebekah's at about 1130am. Total driving hours: 38.

One of the fun things about the trip was the time Tim and I could just sit and chat - especially if the girls were sleeping. We don't often have that much time to do that, so it was really nice. We also were greatly encouraged by the CD's we listened to, and were able to reflect a little on our last year in Mexico. We also played lots of games of "peekaboo" over our seats with the girls.

Some funnies from the trip: When Shaelyn saw some hay bails, she said, “Look, there are some hay balls!”
Seeing the many animals along the way, Mika said, “Oh Mommy, just seeing all those horses – it makes me think that we need to get one!”
Mika and Shaelyn were in the very back seat, while Kyla and Vivian shared the middle seat. If one of the girls behind would put their feet up on the seat, Kyla would immediately say, “Feet down!” Shaelyn really enjoyed singing along the way, but Kyla didn't enjoy it quite the same and would say, "Pop it (Stop it), Saynyn!"
When we were going up over the mountains, the girls were amazed by all the trees they saw - both Shaelyn and Mika stared out at the vast forests, and said about 100 times, "Look at that HUGE tree - see that!?!"
While were still in Mexico, the word "Canada" or "Tanada" as Kyla says it, came up often. One day, Kyla was talking about "Tanada", and I said, "Oh, do you want to go to Canada?" She replied, "Yes...shoes!!", and ran to get her shoes. She wanted to get them on right away so we could leave!

We were amazed by the beauty and diversity of the land across the United States - it was truly a wonder to see, and we are thankful we got the opportunity to see so much of it.

Since I hadn't slept all night, Tim and I were able to get a couple hours sleep this afternoon while Bekah watched the girls, then they all had a nap, which was nice too. Tonight Mark needed to go set up the tent for the Iron Horse (train) Festival in St. Thomas. We were invited to Cam and Erin's for supper, and enjoyed spending time with them and their family for a bit, and then Mark, Cam and Tim went to get things ready for the festival.

Tim has been feeling a cold coming on for a couple days now, having headaches and a sore throat. Now tonight he has a fever as well, so we would appreciate your prayers for him, that he'd feel better soon.

We will likely be getting out to meeting tomorrow night in St. Thomas, so that will be great to see some of the folks there again. Planning to have a visit Friday morning with our friend Ruth who is leaving to return to China Friday afternoon. So glad it is working out to see her! Then most of the immediate Woodford family will be coming for supper Friday night, and we'll have a visit with some of the extended Woodford family at a cottage near-by on Saturday. Sunday we will be in St. Thomas, and there will be a pot-luck for lunch, then we'll leave that night to stay at my folks overnight, and head up the 6 hours or so after that to a cottage near Englehart for a week with Tim's folks and most of his siblings. We are looking forward to being able to spend several days with them.

It's still hard to believe we're actually here! I have had a funny feeling in my stomach as we drove around the familiar roads today. It almost seems like it's a dream, and then it seems like maybe we never left. Please pray for help as we switch to a new time zone (it's 3 hours different here than our home in Mexico), for Tim to feel better, and that we will be able to serve and honour our Lord in all we do here. We all need some rest and recuperation from our trip, so it's nice we'll be able to stay here in one spot (more or less) for a few days.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Almost half-way!!

We are currently in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and just about to head out the door, but just wanted to put on a quick update here.

Since we still did not have Vivian's passport, we weren't sure if we should leave Sunday afternoon or not. We decided we would, and left about 430pm, and got across the border WITH NO PROBLEMS!! We have thanked the Lord much for His continual care over us since we've left. Almost hit a wild pig in the dark Sunday night in AZ, then stopped in Lordsburg, New Mexico around 1am. We "raced" trains across New Mexico, saw tons of cows through Texas, and arrived here in OK about 1am. We've crossed two time zones so far, and one more to go. Hoping to get past St. Louis, Missouri tonight.

The girls have done exceptionally well, and we would appreciate your continued prayers for safety.

We'll update again when possible! Have a great day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, my Tim!!

Today is the Love of my life's birthday! My sweet Tim is 10 months older than me, so I now have that long to tease him about being "old"!! =)

How do I love thee, my Tim? Let me count the ways - one for every year:
1. You love the Lord, and want to serve Him above everything else.
2. You love me!!
3. You are a wonderful Daddy to our girls.
4. You help me willingly, when you could be doing something else.
5. You are a gentleman.
6. You read your Bible daily.
7. You pray for me.
8. You pray for our children.
9. You love my crazy family.
10. You reach out to people who don't know Christ - and introduce them!
11. You are the handsomest man I know.
12. You listen to me, even when it's just ramblings.
13. You want to be more like Christ.
14. You are generous with what God has given you.
15. You are a thoughtful husband.
16. You stand up for what you believe in.
17. You don't just take the easy road, but the road you believe God is directing you on.
18. You play with our girls.
19. You laugh with us.
20. You have the greatest smile!
21. You are my favourite singer.
22. You are my favourite preacher.
23. You make me laugh.
24. Alot! =)
25. You take your responsibility of husband and daddy seriously.
26. You often think of people to pray for that I forget about.
27. You are interested in people and in their lives.
28. You remember important dates!
29. You are not satisfied being a mediocre Christian.
30. You make me feel treasured.
31. You are the best hugger, and I love to be held by you.
32. You have eyes for no one else but me. I am your one and only.
33. There's no one I'd rather spend the rest of my days with than you!


I love you, Sweetheart! Have a really Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pre-birthday party

This morning we had a tremendous rainstorm which cooled the air down considerably. After breakfast, we opened up all the windows and doors, and enjoyed some fresh air. Didn't last long though, as even though the temperature was below 30 C *gasp*, the humidity was 80%!!

This evening we had friends come over and swim, then they stayed for supper and we had a cake for Tim's birthday. There is meeting tomorrow night, so we thought we would celebrate tonight instead. I was having a bit of a scattered day, and was feeling rather splattered. But since I can't translate either of those words into Spanish, I told my friend that "My brain isn't working today!" =) She seemed to understand!

Would appreciate your prayers in regard to some "GI upset" happening in our house right now. It would sure be nice to be done with it before heading on our trip Sunday.

Here are a few pictures of the day:

The girls playing with bubbles outside while the air was cool(er) this morning

Mommy and Vivian

The cake

Happy Birthday, Tim!

Wow! And this will change again in the morning!! =)

We're enjoying counting down... =)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Simply Irresistible!

Four Sleeping Beauties, from oldest to youngest...







...and Kyla's three stitches!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ONE WEEK!!

Okay, I'm feeling the pressure to get everything done now - can't believe we'll be leaving one week from today to go to Canada! YAY!! We have all the packing, plus celebrating Tim's birthday to accomplish this week, so that should be fun! =)

Tim and Shaelyn and Michael arrived around 630pm Friday evening. It was great to have Tim and our Shaelynny home, and to see Michael again. We wish we could have had Sharica and their kiddos come too - maybe next time! =) Tim and Michael were out the door again right away to pick up kids for the young people's meeting, and I got the food ready. We arrived a little before 9pm, and thankfully had just enough food! There was a little bit of a "problem" with Shaelyn just before we left though. Our girls are only allowed to be outside the hall if they stay on the sidewalk. Usually, we really don't have any problems with them obeying (that rule), and we were just bringing out the last of the things and locking up when I heard someone yelling Shaelyn's name. She had gotten off the side walk about 20 yards away, and as soon as she heard her name being called, she took off in the opposite direction - which happened to be towards the busy road. There "happened" to be a man walking by right then and grabbed her (I think he may have been an angel) just before she got to the road. Have I mentioned recently that "Safety is of the LORD"!?! How thankful I am we didn't have two accidents that day - Shaelyn's could have been much worse than Kyla's. The girls and I didn't get our load of peeople and then ourselves home until around 11pm, and Tim and Michael were even later than us. We did get a chance to visit with Michael then though, even though it was so late. We slept in a bit, and had pancakes for a late breakfast, then Tim took Michael to the bus station a little after 12pm. He is now down in Obregón for a couple weeks to help out there. I haven't been doing too well in taking pictures the last little while, but here is one of Michael and the 3 older girls:
Last night I went to a baby shower with a sister from the assembly here. I didn't know anyone but her there, but it was really nice to sit and chat with her for more than two hours. I got to practice my Spanish, and learn more about her and her family - so that was great!
Kyla is doing quite fine, and hasn't been too bothered by her stitches at all. She keeps pulling off her "headbands" though, so she's got black "whiskers" sticking out of her chin. She's asleep right now, but I'll try to remember to take a picture sometime this week before the stitches come out on Friday.
That's it for now, I'll maybe lie down for a bit since the rest of the household is sleeping too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Stitches

I'm not "in stitches", but some stitches are in Kyla - 3 to be exact! With all the accident-prone children in our house, I would have thought we would have dealt with stitches before now, and yet somehow we haven't. This morning, Kyla was on a chair in our room, and fell off. Concrete and tiles are very unforgiving, and I knew as soon as I saw her chin she would need to have them stitched. I surprised myself at how calm I managed to be, also needing to calm Kyla and mostly Mika down, who were Very upset! It took about 10 minutes to get us all into the van, and off we went to "Urgencia" at the hospital where Vivian was born. She was looked at right away, and they immediately started getting the things to sew her up. One of the nurses took Mika into another room to watch a video, another took Vivian and kept her by the nurses station. Poor Kyla was beside herself - probably more from fear than from pain, and the three stitches seemed to take forever to get done! My arms were aching afterwards from holding her, and I just held her arms down. Someone else held her legs, and another held her head. Poor baby. We were in and out in an hour, which was nice.

After it was all done, she was pretty much back to her old self again. After a shared package of M&M's, she was better still! =) My heart did a serious lunge every time she tripped though. I gave her a bath when we got home and washed all the blood off her and got it out of her hair, then she went to bed and slept for well over 2 hours.

I forgot in the other post with Kyla's funnies - she calls bandaid's "headbands". =) She is now saying she has a "headband" on her chin!

We are so thankful to God that Kyla didn't hurt herself worse, and that we also actually had a vehicle (the Dennison's 12 passenger van) to get us to the hospital with. It was nice that Shaelyn was with Tim up in the US, so I had one less child to watch out for at the hospital. As we have been reminded ourselves over and over lately - "Safety is of the LORD". Amen.

Heard from Tim about 1pm, and they were all doing well, and hope to be back here by 6pm. I have a few things to do to make the house look like I have accomplished a thing or two in the last couple days! =)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Of course!!!

Tim and Shaelyn left this morning at 5am, so I was thinking, of course, that things would maybe go a little more smoothly here without Kyla and Shaelyn fighting. Just got word from Tim that they crossed the border after only waiting an hour, and got the ladies to their flight on time. However, Shaelyn is apparently saying, "I want Mommy right now!" Hopefully the rest of the trip goes alright for them. Just a few minutes ago, Kyla came to the top of the stairs saying, "Potty!" I headed upstairs, and there she was at the top with no bottoms on! She took me to the bathroom where she'd apparently decided it would be fun to take off her shorts and pull-up and "play" in the toilet!?! There was water all around on the floor, and some toilet paper. I thought, "Good thing there was only a little bit of paper left on the roll!"...until I flushed the toilet and found out that there had been more on the roll than I had thought!! All fixed now.

Some funnies I've been writing down:
The other day at dinner, Mika seemed to a little piece of something stuck in her throat, and water wasn't washing it down (there was no distress of choking or anything - she just said it hurt a little). Finally, after trying a couple things, she went up to her room to lie down for a bit. A few minutes later she came downstairs again. "Mommy, I've been thinking. I think if I tried a little bit of cake (she knew there was cake for dessert), the cake is nice and soft, and the icing will stick to whatever is caught in my throat, and it will go down!!" =) We persuaded her that carrots and peas were heavier and would push whatever was in there down! She did seem better after a couple bites, and got some cake too!!

Shaelyn has been having some trouble recently with not telling the truth, so we've been talking about it a lot together. The other night at supper Kyla had a mess under her highchair, and Shaelyn said, "Kyla! Why did you make a mess on the floor?"
Kyla replied, "Tause!" ("Because!" - Her answer for almost everything)
Shaelyn said, "You tell me the truth! Why did you make a mess?"

Kyla has such funny ways of saying things, and I need to get some of them on video. She talks with funny lisp that always seems to end in a spit! Her voice is kind of quavery too sometimes, so that adds to our enjoyment! I'll put a few of them here:
"pimer" = timer
"bupth" = cups
"barbage" = garbage
"Otay!" = okay (if her answer isn't "tause", it's "otay [whoever says something to her]". She says it with such gusto, and at the funniest times, we usually laugh. The other day she was in her bed not happy about having a nap, and I finally called in to her, "Kyla, you stop fussing and lie down and go to sleep!" Her answer? "Otay, Mommy!" And she did). =)
"Ooptadathy" = oopsadaisy (she says this at just the right times, and is hilarious!)

Finally uploaded - The video of Vivian's first time in her exersaucer

video

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I LOVE Mexican food!

Well...most of it anyway - I'm getting used to the hot stuff little by little! =) I mentioned Alex in my last post. He is from Puerto Vallarta, and works with his parents at a seafood taco stand. I had heard from Eleo (who was just there) that they are really good, but both Tim and I had reservations, as it just didn't seem right to put fish in tacos! Anyway, Alex offered to cook us a meal, and who was I to decline??!! So today he deep-fried shrimp and fish in a delicious batter, and served them with tomato salsa, avocado salsa, mix of cabbage and carrot, limes, and a home-made thousand island-type dressing on warm flour tortillas! I cannot say "yum..." enough! =) I helped out a little with some of the salsas, but felt like a bumbling novice along side him as he expertly chopped up vegetables, and made everything from memory. I even managed to take a few pictures:

From L to R: Eleo, Perla, Alex, Tim
I got to try more different foods last night as we had a special going away for one of the men here who has been transfered with his job, and is moving most of the way across the country. I really enjoyed them too.

The other day Mika and Shaelyn found their bibles and bible cases, that had been put away on a shelf. Kyla was feeling Very left out, so I gave her my Gideon's bible I got in grade 4, and she has been carting it around and "reading" it everywhere! =)

Today was our last Spanish class until the end of September. After Vivian's Spanish exam this morning, Eleo gave her an hour of music theory and practice... ...she's doing really well! =)

Tomorrow is going to be a quiet day. Well, relatively quiet. Tim is taking Eleo and two other ladies up to the airport in Tucson, and will be taking Shaelyn with him. I was hoping it could be me that could take them, but Vivian's passport hasn't come yet. We would appreciate your prayers that it will arrive before we leave in 10 days. We aren't allowed across the border without it. After he drops the ladies off, he plans to get some shopping done, and then head on to Phoenix. He'll pick up some mail and parcels there, stay over night, and then pick up our friend Michael R from Ontario, who is coming down for a couple weeks to help out in Obregón. He will come to Hermosillo and speak at the young people's on Friday night, stay over, then head south Saturday morning. We're glad it's working out to get together with him while he's down here!

I tried to upload a picture of Vivian in her exersaucer, but it's not working for some reason - I'll have to try it again sometime. Good night!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Two weeks from today...

...we leave for CANADA!!! Yay! So looking forward to seeing our "northern" family and friends for a short visit!

Friday night "we" (okay...I stayed home and kept the girls out of the way) got Shad and Cynthia all packed up, then their family of four, plus Shad's dad and Kelly, plus a young man Alex from Puerto Vallarta came and stayed over night at our place. I think that's the most we've had crowd in here - 13 - and only one on the floor! They got off around 9am yesterday morning, and it was really hard to see them go!

Alex is staying with us for the week, and the girls are enjoying having someone else to tease and play with. =) Friday night I also picked up Eleo from the airport after her being gone for a month. It sure was great to see her again, and the girls were SO excited to see her too!

The rest of yesterday was trying to get tidied up and putting everything in order - and speaking of ordering, I ordered Mika's school books for next year! I ordered a couple pre-school books for Shaelyn too, and hopefully we can do 2 days a week or so with her. We even got to bed shortly after 10pm, which has almost been unheard of the last couple weeks.

Shaelyn quotes in the last couple days:
"Mommy, you're da best girl in da whole wide Mom!"

"Look! I'm running myself around!"

There's been a couple more funnies, and try as I could to remember them, I couldn't - but I'll put them on here if/when I do!

Tomorrow we begin Spanish lessons for a few days. These will be our last lessons until we return to Hermosillo the end of September! I'm not looking forward to all I'll be forgetting! =P
Eleo and a couple ladies fly out of Tucson on Thursday, and we're hoping that Vivian's Canadian passport will be here, and then she and I will take them up and then do some shopping!! If not, Tim will go, so that's okay too.

Today we enjoyed having Eleo here for dinner. After the girls went to bed, I lay down too...and ZONKED! Tim woke me up at 6pm, and I had no idea what day it was, etc. I knew I was supposed to go get ready for meeting, but I couldn't think for the life of me where the meeting was we were going to! Now that I've napped, I'm good to go for a while yet!! =)

Guess that's it for now! G'night!