Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brayden and Andrew

Not only is today special because Brayden Lukas was born, but it is also the day that Tim's youngest brother Andrew left to serve the Lord as a missionary in the country of Mozambique, in Africa. He has left "indefinitely", and we really don't know when we will see him again. Andrew is one of the hardest working, self-less young men that I know, and we pray the Lord will bless him as he serves Him there.

"Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)

Andrew was really hoping that Ada would have the baby before he left, but he was leaving this morning at 8am, and she wasn't due until the 30th. Ada went into labour yesterday, and Brayden was born at 230am, so Andrew was able to meet his newest nephew before leaving - how special is that!! =) Andrew is currently in Atlanta, and will soon be on his flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. He sent the pictures he took this morning, so I thought I would put them on here too.

Brayden Lukas

Proud Daddy, Mommy and Son

Cutie-pie!
Uncle Andrew and newest nephew
Grandma W and grandson

New Nephew!!

We are excited to say that Tim's brother Rob and Ada had a little boy early this morning! His name is Brayden Lukas, and weighed in at 8 lb, 8oz! We are so happy and excited for this little miracle baby that God has blessed them with! Pictures to come, of course!! =)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kiernan!

Today my nephew Kiernan turns ONE!! You will notice, no doubt, that his birthday comes just a few short days after his mommy's (the 16th), and since I already put all about where they're from then, I'll just put some other stuff about him instead. Mr. K is a chubby, content, and cute little corker who winds himself around any unsuspecting heart that happens to catch one of his terrific smiles. Kiernan will be a big brother next spring!

My verse for you, sweet Kiernan, is:

"and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred
writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
(2 Timothy 3:15)

What blessed conditions you have been born into, little one, with parents who love God, and have His Son as their personal Saviour. May you listen carefully to the Word they teach you, and with wisdom take it for yourself, and obey the One Who lovingly created you. We pray for you, and love you very much!

Big sister Katja and Kiernan

Trev, Katja, Kiernan and Liz - June '09

Saturday, October 17, 2009

6 months old!

No, not these pies, these were the only way we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this year, and it was a whole day late! Tim didn't seem to mind! =)

Yummy pumpkin and pecan!
My beloved husband brought these home for me the other day - how sweet is that!!!
The same day I received a card from Mika that says, "Happy 'I love you' Day Mommy" Inside it says, "I love you very much Mom I think of you a lot. Mika" =)

Okay, finally getting to our little six-month-old! Here is our sweet little Vivian yesterday on her six month "birthday".
"What's with all the pictures, already?"
Taking a break to chew on her fingers.
This was a conversation betweeen Shaelyn and Kyla Saturday morning. Shaelyn was showing Kyla some marks on the wall and counting them.
Shaelyn: "Say 'One', Kyla."
Kyla: "One."
Shaelyn: "Two."
Kyla: "Two."
Shaelyn: "Four."
Kyla: "Four."
Shaelyn: "Eight."
Kyla: "Eight."
Shaelyn: "Nine."
Kyla: "Ten."
Shaelyn: "No, Nine!"
Kyla: "Ten!"
Shaelyn: "Say 'One', Kyla"
Kyla: "One..."

=)

What else is new? Oh, I don't think I mentioned before that after we got home from our trip, our Spanish teacher, Eleo, told us she wouldn't be speaking any more English with us - only Spanish! At first, I was kind of stressed just thinking about it, but since we've started, I think I've already been making some progress. Yay for progress! Eleo and I have also been walking in the mornings, which has been great, and we've decided for the 1/2 hour we walk we'll speak English so she doesn't lose it.

The girls started Spanish classes again last week, and Love it. Mika and Shaelyn each have their own 20 minutes or so, two times a week with Eleo. Mika is also in an all Spanish Sunday school class, which she also enjoys. Shaelyn and Kyla are in the "nursery" class, which is all Spanish as well unless it's my turn to take it - which was yesterday. The class is held in the upstairs kitchen, and not only has it been extra hot outside the last few days, there is no a/c vent in that kitchen, and we were having a pot luck that day so there were several slow cookers heating it up more - it was suffocatingly hot! There were 9 kids four and under, so it was relatively interesting! =)

School here at home seems to be getting better all the time. Mika is progressing well, and we are getting past the review part now and doing some different things. Both Mika and Shaelyn are quite happy in what they are doing. I still am having difficulty knowing what to do with Kyla during class. She takes part in some things we do like poems, stories, crafts, etc, which is fun, and I have a couple books for her to "do school" in, which she likes to do a little bit. She also plays by herself some, but it still is a lot of time to occupy. The last couple days have gone pretty well, and Shaelyn and Kyla aren't fighting as much as they were the first few weeks, so that's been a blessing! I guess likely every day will be different in how things go!!
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To end off, here are a couple verses I enjoyed this morning, speaking of the Lord Jesus:
"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." (Hebrews 2:17-18)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lizzy!

Today is my "favourite" sister's birthday!! =) Liz and Trev happily live in the southern boondocks of Saskatchewan, Canada. They have a sweet little girl, Katja (3), an adorable little boy, Kiernan (1 yr in a week), and are expecting baby # 3 in March!

La familia

I've been wondering what to do for this post, since for the past year I have been putting characteristics, or things I appreciate about each family member on their birthday. I believe Liz's was the first, and I've decided I will say a little about the person, and then put a verse "just for them".

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)

The media says that what a person looks like is the most important thing - and if it's not how you look, it's what you eat or drink. Sometimes it's hard to not to think like they think.

Lizzy, I think you are beautiful - inside and out - and I mean that. I pray that above everything else, you will always put the Lord first in your life, Trevor second, your children next, and everyone/thing after that - God has given you special gifts for you to care for, and only a certain amount of time to do it. I pray you will always hold God's Word up higher than anyone else's word, and that you teach your children His ways.

I love you so much, kiddo, and hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

Trevor and Liz

Katja

Kiernan

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can think of so much to be thankful for today, and everyday!!

1. Thankful to my God and Father for giving me the gift of everlasting life.
Romans 6:23 "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"

2. Thankful for the Lord Jesus, Who suffered on the cross to save me from my sin.
Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"

3. Thankful for the Holy Spirit, Who lives within my heart, and is my Helper and Comforter.
John 14:16-17 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper (Comforter), to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, ... You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."

4. Thankful for a wonderful husband, my sweet Tim, who is my best friend, and the love of my life.

5. Thankful for 4 beautiful daughters, Marika, Shaelyn, Kyla and Vivian, who are a blessed gifts from God.

6. Thankful for our beloved families who love us, pray for us, and encourage us.

7. Thankful for dear friends, far and near, whom we love so much.

8. Thankful for each one of my brothers and sisters in Christ in all the world.

9. Thankful for a home, a vehicle, clothes to wear and food to eat.

10. Thankful for peace in my heart.
Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I could go on and on, but will just leave those few.

We didn't have any "celebrations" here, for Canadian Thanksgiving. We will have to wait until the American Thanksgiving before we can buy a turkey. I am planning to make a couple pies tomorrow though, "just for fun"! =) We did some Thanksgiving crafts today in school, which was fun for everyone. Also enjoyed a couple calls from family members, and it was nice to catch up with them!

Tomorrow Marcus C. is coming, and will speak in the meeting in the evening, and stay at our place overnight. He and one of his sons, Isaac, have been up helping Duncan in Obregón for the past week and a bit. Mika is disappointed that his daughter Evelyn won't be coming too, but she stayed at home with the rest of the family.

That's it for tonight. Hope everyone had a wonderful day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Trip - Mexico to Canada

I just realized today that I actually blogged the major details of the first part of our trip on August 18th & 19th, so I won't add too much to these pictures except a few brief descriptions.

We left Sunday afternoon around 3pm. Here's our cute chaufeur! =)
Kyla only slept from our house to the outskirts of Hermosillo!! While she doesn't look like it in this picture, she thankfully was relatively quiet and happy while the other 3 slept!
Shaelyn
Mika (that looks SO uncomfortable!)
Viviana
Snuggling with the chaufeur, and happy to finally be on the road!!!
We had no trouble crossing the US border without Vivian's passport, and then made it to a town in New Mexico that night. Here's our spaced-out girls the next morning after way too little sleep! (You'll notice I didn't post any pictures of how spaced-out we looked!)
Vivian snoozes on...
We thought this was kind of funny. I don't remember exactly where this was on the road the next day, but it is a similar scene to what we would see here in Mexico (only many times the load is close to double that!).
Kyla is giving her zebra a little drink
The girls keeping occupied during a loooong day.
We saw this white thing up in the distance, and couldn't figure out what it was. On our GPS it was a "green" spot, so we thought some sort of park or something. We didn't see any water, and we weren't close to the ocean, but in the middle of no-where, there was miles of white sand dunes!! Unfortunately, this was the best shot I got of it.
One of the views on the way
TREES!!! We crossed over a mountain, and as we started up, all of a sudden there were forests of trees all around us. We're used to cacti (or "cactusti" as Shaelyn calls them), so seeing so many trees caused quite the excitement! Mika started off, pointing at them, and exclaiming, "Look at that huge tree! See that!?!" Shaelyn does everything that Mika does, so when she started too, we heard this a lot! I posted a video at the bottom of Shaelyn talking about them, and you can just barely hear Mika telling her to "shhhh!".
I love how it looks like this mountain has snow on it - but it's just a cloud behind.
We stopped for lunch at a little park that had a stream running through it. It was so great to get out and stretch our legs, and let the girls play a bit.
Tim and Kyla checking out the stream
I love this picture! I have to admit though, as much as Shaelyn is SO like the Woodford side in so many ways (ha ha!), she laughs like me! =)
Mika loves to swing, and was totally enjoying being out of that carseat
Both girls swingin'
Balancing down on the rocks
Shaelyn didn't want to get her dress wet, so she pulled it right up! =)
Vivian did Not enjoy the water!
More balancing
All the girls!
Windmills in Texas
This picture doesn't give a very good idea of what this was really like, but we passed miles of cows!
A short change of scenery for Kyla and Vivian
After two and a half days of driving, we were just pulling up to the area where we were planning to spend the night. We put in the details into our GPS of where we would be going in the morning, and it said we would arrive in London, Ontario, Canada at 730 the next morning. Tim and I kind of looked at each other, and then started talking. "If we kept going, the girls would be sleeping for the whole last leg of the journey." "I feel pretty good right now, what do you think about keeping going?" "If we got too tired, we could just stop." "Let's just see how far we get!" We made our last pit stop: we changed the girls into their pj's, and brushed everyone's teeth, the van got filled up with gas, I filled up on coffee, the lady inside gave us a whole bag of popcorn for free(!), and we were off. Everyone, except me, fell asleep for the next couple hours. When Tim woke up, we switched spots, found a better position for Kyla to sleep in, then turned on the Bible ministry CD's that we had been given. Listening to those we did quite well at staying awake the rest of the night. I tried to sleep around dawn, but we were just crossing the line into the state of Michegan, and that was almost "home", so I never did catch any winks.
Kyla, finally comfortableMika woke up around 6 or 630am and couldn't get back to sleep
The sunrise was beautiful!
It was so great seeing all the Green, and mist made everything look so pretty!
We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, then were off again. We crossed into Canada with no troubles, and made it to Mark and Rebekah's at 1130am. Poor Mark and Rebekah. They had been expecting us Thursday evening, and we called them Tuesday night (late!) to tell them we hoped to arrive the next morning. I know how much I plan to get done the last bit before company arrive, and that was taken away from them!! They received us graciously anyway, and we were SO glad to see them! =) Total hours driven: 38. We figure we actually drove more than 100 hours in the 6 weeks we were away!

video,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Trip - London to the North

After we arrived in Canada Wednesday morning, we excitedly pointed out all the familiar things along the way to Mark and Rebekah's. It was so great to finally get there, and see them!! Tim and I both got a little rest while Mark and Bekah watched the girls for us, then we all headed to St. Thomas in the evening to go to our friends, Cam and Erin's. The girls were ecstatic about seeing Leah, Rebekah and James again, and we had nice evening visiting with them, while the kids played.
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On Thursday, Tim and I took Vivian, and went back across the border to do some necessary shopping. Very interesting (though not at the time), after crossing 2 borders, many border patrol stops, etc, with no problems at all that Vivian didn't have a passport, we got pulled in to customs at the US border! After we went in, we had no further problems, and were able to go in, but we thought it was kind of funny (later!).
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Tim's tiredness caught up with him later that day, so he ended up going to bed early. I took the girls and went to Thursday night Bible study in St. Thomas. How wonderful to see our "home" church family again!
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Friday morning, we got a very special visit. Our friend Ruth, who used to live in St. Thomas but is now teaching English and studying Chinese in China, had been home visiting for the summer, and was scheduled to fly out Friday. Ruth and her parents, John and Jean, came over to Mark and Rebekah's on their way to the airport for a visit and light lunch. It was so nice to sit and chat with them!
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Tim and I at lunch
John and Vivian
Jean and Vivian
The girls popping "bubbles"
Steph and Ruth
(Those names looks funny together to me, because my name is Stephanie Ruth!) =)
Ruth, Jean and John
It was so special to have that visit!

Friday Tim got all the vehicle registration stuff done (what we actually had gone to Canada to do), so that was a relief to have that done. That night, all the Woodford's came over to Mark and Rebekah's for supper, then to celebrate Tim's (belated) birthday.

Mark and Vivian
Everyone at Tim's birthday supper
Mom made a cake, and Tim had a little help blowing out (All) the candles! =)
Foot massage for Ada afterwards - how sweet, Rob!
Bekah and Mom
On Saturday, while Dad, Mom, Andrew, Rob and Ada left to go up to the cottage in Gowganda, Mark and Rebekah and us went out to Uncle Jim and Aunt Nora's cottage just northeast of London. For some reason I didn't end up taking any pictures, and was able to "borrow" this one from Rebekah. Tim's other aunt, Heather, and Uncle John were there along with their crew, Alex, Allyson and Lindsay, as well as his Uncle Dave. It was really nice to spend the day with everyone. Mika and Shaelyn especially had such a ball playing with the kids.

Here is (I think) Lindsay holding Vivian, Aunt Heather, and Allyson. Can you tell the girls are twins?! Please correct me if I'm wrong!
Exhausted after a long day of playing. You can see plainly in this picture that Shaelyn has no concept of "personal space"! =)
We went to meeting in St. Thomas on Sunday, and enjoyed visiting with all our brothers and sisters in Christ there! I SO enjoyed being able to hear the worship rise up in my native tongue. It was still hard to pay attention to everything with all the little girls close by, but it was great anyway! =) That night after meeting, we drove the 3 hours up to my parents, to get us a little closer to our final destination on Monday.

Here is Papa meeting Vivian Estelle for the first time
It was just shortly after we got there, and put the girls to bed, that we found out our new nephew had been born that evening - son to my brother Jeff, and his wife Marianne!!! Lucas' two older siblings, Jared and Gracia, were actually at my parents sleeping, and didn't know yet.
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Gracia and Jared meeting their new cousin Monday morning
We wanted to get going in good time, but after we left, we were going right past the city where Marianne was in hospital with Lucas. So, while Mark and Rebekah watched our girls, Tim andI were able to go and get a quick visit in with them.
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Lucas Jefferson S., born just the night before
Marianne and Lucas
Marianne and Steph
How Mark and Rebekah took the girls shopping while we were visiting!! =)
After picking up a quick lunch, we were finally on our (LONG) way up to the cottage!
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Here is the picture of my Mika and I at The Sound of Music
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I'll just do a little update here, and put on our pictures since returning home. The doorbell just rang a bit ago, and it was our next-door neighbours, with 2 plates of carrot muffins!! How sweet is that! They brought them over to welcome us home!

Kyla in a new outfit for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa
Shaelyn giving Vivian a bottle
Being a big girl and holding her bottle all by herself
Like I said before, the weather has been just beautiful the last few days, even getting chilly!! This morning it was 20 C when we woke up, with humidity only at 35%! So, we've been taking advantage of the great temperatures, and getting outside as much as we can. While we were in Canada, Tim picked up a "front seat" mount for a bike. We have a "back seat" one already, but thought this would be handy to have. The other night Tim got it all set up.

Vivian outside watching all the going's-on
Shaelyn on the back, Kyla in the front, Tim the chauffeur in the middle, and Mika riding sola!
Monday morning - the first day of school! Our white board:
Bulletin board:
School room: One side
Other side
Shaelyn and Mika, ready to start!
Getting going...
One of the girls chores in the morning is to make their beds. Mika has been doing this for a couple years, but Shaelyn has just started. This was her First attempt, and she did it all with no (physical) help! Great job, girls!
New swimsuit covers from Grandma
Cute baby Vivian
Tuesday night, Mika lost her 6th tooth! Thankfully two have already grown back in, and hopefully no more fall out before some more have a chance to! =)
There have been very few times in my life when I've sewed. I really like the idea of sewing, but really haven't done too much of it. I have decided though, that I'm going to make the 3 oldest girls and I matching aprons for Christmas. I bought a pattern and material while in Canada, and then yesterday cut out the pattern. I am nervously excited about starting!
School this week has gone relatively well. Mika is doing well, Shaelyn is doing well, but I'm still struggling with what to do with Kyla. She doesn't want to play by herself, but she doesn't want to sit and colour at the table where we are, either. We'll hopefully get into the swing of things soon.
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Here's a video of Kyla singing (part of)"Jesus Loves Me"
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