Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Marika!!

Today our precious Marika Ruth turns 8!! The years have passed by so quickly, and it's hard to believe she's such a big girl already.


I found several pic's when looking through, and thought I would put them all in, just for fun! =) I have noted, though, that we are due for some nice individual pictures of the girls, and will hopefully get some done when my folks arrive in a couple weeks. Family ones updated when Baby Bean arrives!

A few pictures of all four girls: Last summer

November

December

At a picnic Saturday, playing with her friends

One of my favourites - reading her Bible to her sisters

Mika and Shaelyn

Mika and Kyla

Mika and Vivian

Mika-girl, you are growing into a beautiful young lady already! You are a great blessing to our family, and we are so very thankful for you! We appreciate your willingness to help around the house, to play with and take care of your sisters, and to help others, among other things. I love to see you reading your Bible in the morning, and how you take time to memorize verses. We pray that this will continue, and that you will grow to know and love the Lord more than anything or anyone else!

Here is a verse I'd like you to remember: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (Psalms 32:8) Without a doubt, we know the Lord can be trusted. That doesn't mean our path in life will always be easy, but we know we can depend on God's Word to show us the way we are to go. If we listen, He will instruct us - or, be our Teacher. He's the best Teacher, because He never makes any mistakes! This verse also says that He has His "eye upon you." That means He is watching over you, that He cares for you, and that you are important to Him! It's a wonderful thing to know!

Have a very Happy 8th Birthday, sweet Marika! We love you SO much!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's been happening around here...

I love the girls' pictures they draw on the board for me - I always try to get a picture of them. This one is especially funny to me. You may be able to see the rainbow with clouds, then at the bottom right and middle there are four trees with hammocks between them. In the red one is Daddy, and in the blue one is Mommy - know how I can tell? That bump popping out is my tummy!! =) To the left is Mika holding Vivian (a circle on her arm), Shaelyn and Kyla! I love it!

Mika has been wanting to "do" hair for a while now. She has been practicing brushing her own hair in the mornings, but I still do it, but now she's started brushing, and doing Kyla's too (who is very patient, by the way). Here is Mika's first try - I thought it turned out pretty well!Two peas in a pod. These two are pretty thick these days, and actually enjoying each others' company. You can see Kyla's try at cutting her own hair here:
Again, two of my rascals:
I think Vivian has a "baby" in her tummy here, and Kyla put a diaper over her pants...(?)
I love Vivian's "shocked" face here!!
Pretty flowers my Sweetheart got me
From my Mika-girl
We went to the zoo last week, and had a great time - here was our whole group:Everyone's favourite part is the petting zoo at the end. We were disappointed not to be able to see the monkeys while we were there, but this helped make up for it. This mama goat had 3 babies!! Not sure if they were all hers or not (is that possible?)
Sweet!

I am so proud of Kyla - she is our most afraid of animals (you can even tell in her stance here), and the petting part isn't her favourite part because of some of the "scarey" goats. However, she is making an effort here to pet the donkey, and it was neat to see.
You can tell from Shaelynnie's face that this is indeed her favourite part. She runs around touching all the animals as much as she can!





I was pretty exhausted the next day, but glad we went and had such a nice time together! Friday night my Tim took me out on a date while Madeleine babysat. We had a super time out, and got back to all the kiddos fed, 2 showered, dishes done and floor swept -and she even said she had fun!! She is the greatest, and it's so nice being able to leave the girls with her without a worry!

Saturday morning was the Tirocapes children's meeting, which I opted out of going as we had another church picnic that afternoon! I unfortunately forgot my camera, but we had a really nice time despite the chilly wind. Last time (November), we did organized games and prizes, but decided this time to just take volleyballs, basketballs and soccer balls, and see how things would go. I thought it turned out really great, and all the kiddos enjoyed playing on the slides and swings too. Last time we had about 60 people, and we had more than 75 this time!

Tim found a great place where they sell pork for a really reasonable price. He loves pork, and especially ribs, so when he found some, plus a recipe on-line that looked good, we decided to slow cook them all day Saturday, and enjoy them with some friends on Saturday evening. The Cain's joined us, and we had pork ribs, garlic mashed potatoes, beans and corn for supper, followed by brownies with strawberries and blackberries! Yummy!

I had a nap this afternoon, which helped get me a little caught up, and we are looking forward to Mika's birthday tomorrow. There will be some friends coming for lunch, and although the cake is baked, it's not iced yet, so that's on the list for tomorrow morning! I decided to give Mika the day off school, since we haven't had a day off in a while - maybe this can be our Ontarian "Family Day"?!? =)

Okay, gotta get to bed here - Good night to all, and I'll post pic's of Mika's birthday in a few days!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nesting...?

I hadn't thought so, really, but looking back over the last couple days, I've gotten the house cleaned, laundry and ironing all done, clothes for the girls sorted, and then this evening I went through my Baby Boy and Baby Girl clothes boxes (determining through this, by the way, that I want one of each! =) Glad I don`t have to choose!), and now have a diaper bag packed and clothes picked out to take to the hospital. These nesting symptoms may also have been brought on from finding out our friends had their baby last night, and she was 2 weeks early. Congratulations to David and Penny and their new baby girl Felicity! As well as our other friends from here, Abisai and Carmen, and their new baby boy Abisai Jr. Now for baby names for our baby...

Today I had a special ultrasound to check my uterus. Because Vivian was delivered by emerg. c-section (cord was wrapped twice around her neck), and this newest edition will be coming along just short of two years afterwards, the general trend is to then re-c-section - something I would prefer not to do, if possible. Thankfully, I have a doctor who also is willing for me to try giving birth naturally, but wanted to check with a special machine to see that everything looks alright. While I will get the "official" report at my doctor's appointment tomorrow, the ultrasound technician/doctor told me everything looked good! Baby's head is down and neck is clear of the cord - thank the Lord!! Thankfully too, I continue to feel quite good, mostly sleeping well, with baby moving Lots all the time!

Just heard yesterday that so far, 8 men and 2 women have professed salvation since the seedsowers distribution at Christmas time in San Luis Rio Colorado. Your prayers for John D and Daniel H would be appreciated as they continue to preach the gospel there each night.

Today I went to the zoo with our 3 oldest girls, plus Evelyn, and another lady and 6 of her children. 10 children 11 and under!! =) We had a super time, with perfect weather, and it was great exercise. We were a little disappointed that the part with the hippos, croc and monkeys was closed off for repairs. Tim stayed home with Vivian, and guess what he did while I was gone? He cleaned my oven! I told him I thought he was nesting, and would likely be having the baby soon!! =) We have been having trouble with the stove (propane) in that it would sometimes leave black soot on the pan or even food when cooking. Tim looked it up on-line, and found out that the flame wasn't the right colour (it is supposed to be mostly blue, and ours was more yellow), and then realized not enough oxygen was getting to the flame, and likely has been dangerous, with too much carbon monoxide being released. Thankfully the Lord has kept us well and safe despite our ignorance in this. Tim was able to adjust the air flow coming in, now giving us a proper blue flame, and then cleaned the oven to boot! I am married to an amazing man - willing to tackle any task! Thank you again, my Tim!

In other news, the last couple nights Vivian has moved from her crib at night, and has been sleeping in one of the bunk beds with one of the girls. Mika last night, and Kyla tonight. She still takes her naps in her crib, but I`m happy this is working out well so far.

If you could please keep in mind a few things for prayer, I would ask that you please pray for Tim`s sister Joia, and family. Her husband Philip has been deployed, and Joia and the children will not see him for another 7 months. Very hard stuff.
Also, a friend of ours miscarried their baby at 12 weeks - please pray for Cristian and Fabiola and their loss.

I was appreciating these verses in Matthew this morning, chapter 19, verses 25 & 26, "Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finally, a Real Update!!

So, it's been a while since I've actually posted news about our family on here, so thought I would get at it, and post some pictures as well!

Tim left Monday morning early to go to Zacatecas, MX to help Jason and Shelley Wahls for the week. We're looking forward to him coming back on Saturday morning! I got some beautiful red roses from him on Sunday, so that was pretty special! I asked him to write and give me a few specifics of the work there, so here it is:

"There is good interest on the part of a number en El Barril. Jason & Shelly are working hard here and have quite a number of contacts both in El Barril and in neighbouring towns. It is a farming-only community, so right now there are always people at home to visit during the day (unlike in the city for example). The down side of that is that since this is the slow time of year, there is no work, and people are struggling with being able to pay for groceries, rent, medical bills, etc. Many of them have lived for years in the States (mostly in Iowa, where many were first contacted with the gospel) before being deported. Many struggle to re-integrate here and the temptation to leave their wives and families and return to the US in order to make ends meet is strong. The gospel meetings have been on-going since the New Year I believe. The first number of weeks, Jason had help, but the last couple he has been preaching on his own throughout the week, Monday to Friday.

There are some who come to hear the preaching each night, though the men are hesitant, due to their own pride and hesitance, knowing that others in the small community will likely ridicule them. We have visited a number of homes since my arrival and the theme is almost always the same as we have found in other parts of the country. Most of them have gone forward at a religious service several times and talk about some type of fuzzy, emotional experience they have had. They assume, and speak, as if they are "saved", but most show clearly by their lives and understanding of spiritual things, that they do not have Christ. A prime example is a friend of Jason, who, since God has saved him, talks about a previous incident of going forward after the pastor gave an "invitation" of sorts. The pastor asked Javier if he'd like to be saved, and he said yes. "Repeat this prayer after me" were the instructions. After repeating the prayer, the pastor put his hand on the man's forehead and said "Javier, you are saved." He left the church that night very happy. "How exciting! The pastor tells me I'm saved... but... saved from what??" he wondered to himself. To us, this seems ridiculous, yet all too often we encounter people who have been deceived into thinking they are saved by so called "evangelicals", whose teaching strays far from Biblical accuracy, and who attempt to do the work of the Holy Spirit themselves. Like Javier, many have never been made aware of their sin before God, and their need to repent, trusting alone in the finished work of Christ, when "He bore our sins in His own body on the tree." In addition to being fooled into thinking they have salvation, the pastor goes on to teach them that their salvation can be lost if they do not live a holy life. This of course, makes one believe that my security in Christ now depends on me and my works, and not on Him and His work, already finished once for all. Though some have considerable Bible knowledge they live in such confusion and darkness, when it comes to salvation.

I am sure Jason would appreciate prayer as he visits and preaches each day here, that God would work, opening blinded eyes and saving lost souls, through the preaching of the gospel in El Barril."

Tuesday was Shaelyn's 5th birthday - I'll write more about that with pic's shown below. Life certainly hasn't been dull or boring since Tim left - but thankfully we've been able to get school done each day, and the house is still standing and in fairly good order. =)

Here are some pictures - dating back a few weeks, of course!

A sweet picture on the white board drawn by my Mika
Mika had a free on-line Spanish class one morning - she really enjoyed it. Kyla enjoyed being in the picture!! =)
Vivian "changing" a dolly's diaper
Alison showed me how to make stuffed peppers, or chiles rellenos. The peppers are first cooked over an open flame.
They sit in a plastic bag for a few minutes, then the rubbery skin gets peeled off.
Cut them open and remove the spicey seeds
Fill with desired filling - two types of cheese in this case.
Then they are cooked in a special sauce. Yummy!! Can't wait to try this again!
Here are a couple pic's from when Mark and Brenda were here. Mark took the children's meeting in Tirocapes one Saturday morning.


Shaelyn, who almost never pays attention in C.M., listened with rapt attention!

Here's our Vivi, playing outside in a box with a baby - she loves her dollies!

It was our friends' birthdays earlier in February, so we made cupcakes, and the girls all decorated them. They had such a fun time doing it! About to begin:

Shaelyn:

Evelyn:Kyla:Mika: I think this one will be a talented cake decorator like her Grandma!!

This past Friday night was a baby shower for another girl, Carmen, and I. Eleo and Alison organized it, and Eleo made these two sweet cakes, plus cupcakes. Carmen's baby boy, Abisai, was born last night, and is quite a little cutie!

Our baby will be born in just over 4 short weeks!!

The balloons and cupcakes were so cute! Our kitties. They are so silly, and humour us greatly with their antics. Night time is especially hilarious, as it's their play time, and really play and fight hard together. This picture shows a little of their difference in size.
Here is Shaelyn's birthday cake. When I asked her what she wanted, she told me an animal. Okay, which one? A dinosaur - a blue one! =) So here "she" is. Freezing it before cutting it out and icing it helped immensely!
The Cain family and Eleo came over for her birthday dinner to help us celebrate. Vivian was really tired, and after 3 bowls of soup, she dozed off - until we sang Happy Birthday, and then she woke up and cried because she was startled. Nothing a little cake and icecream didn't cure!! =)
The birthday girl with her cake
Opening presents. Mika is reading the Spanish card from Eleo - Shaelyn wasn't really paying attention! =)
Gracias, Eleo!
While she loved everything she got, Shaelyn's favourite gift was a stuffed kitten and a notebook with a horse on the front from the Cain's.
Mika made her a "horn" out of a toilet paper roll (you would never believe the number of 'gifts' one can make out of those things!).
Paints and a book from U. Trev and A. Liz
We got special phone calls from Mozambique, Ontario, and Zacatecas, MX, so that was pretty exciting too. Always nice to chat with family who live so far away - something I know I shouldn't take for granted - we are very blessed! Mika's birthday is the end of this month, so we have more cake to look forward to in a couple of weeks.

I've been loving reading through the book of Deuteronomy - it's one of my favourites! Here are a few verses I've enjoyed in the last week or so:

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous
God
." (Deut. 4:24)

"Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a
consuming fire is the LORD your God
." (Deut. 9:3)

"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The
LORD your GOD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of
all the poeples who are on the face of the earth
." (Deut. 7:6)

"...what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear
the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your
God with all your heart and with all your soul."
(Deut. 10:12)

That's it for now - we were hoping to visit the zoo some day this week, but still not sure if that will happen, as tomorrow is the only day left - it might have to happen next week. Hope you're enjoying the Lord's presence with you today!