Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One cockroach...

...or two? That is the question! =P This morning Tim saw a cockroach in our kitchen (anything smaller than a mouse has no problem slipping in through the spaces between our outer doors and doorjambs) - it then ran into the laundry room and disappeared. As I was getting used to the idea that I would likely have to constantly wear my shoes inside now, I walked into the kitchen and Tim said, "Hey...there it is!", and smushed it with his foot. (I only let out a 'little' yell at the sight of it, and then happily swept it up!). So, like I said at the beginning - is there still one more (or a family of them) living close by?

Okay, next topic! We have a dryer!! It was totally a miracle, as far as we are concerned - yesterday Shad Kember was at the hall while Tim was there working, and he said, "I heard you guys needed a dryer, and I have one in my van!" We have a propane hook up for a dryer, and this one had already been converted to propane from gas. While it is not hooked up yet, it is here outside, and ready to go whenever somebody who knows what they're doing can do something with it! =) It hasn't been as bad as I thought, hanging out all the clothes to dry, but it will be nice to have a dryer for 'emergencies'!

Tomorrow, Tim heads up to Tucson with Andrew to take him to the airport. They plan to leave after lunch sometime, and then Tim will return hopefully by supper on Thursday. It's going to be wierd! Andrew has been with us for 4.5 weeks, and we will so miss him. When Mika heard that he will be leaving tomorrow, she started crying.

Yesterday I had to go out and get groceries. It was the first time that I went to Costco by myself, and ended up not being as bad as I thought it might be (probably not a big surprise to many - just me!) Then, I was to go to a Walmart, "just up the road" to get a few more things, and pay our water bill. So, I headed off down the road from Costco, and started thinking that nothing was looking familiar - but since I had only been to this Walmart once, I didn't think too much of it. Further on down the road, I passed the University of Sonora, which I am pretty sure I've never seen before, and was getting to be right down town, where I knew there was not any Walmart. I had forgotten my cell phone (not for the first time), so I couldn't even call Tim to ask where it was - so I headed home instead. Perhaps needless to say, I know where the other Walmart is now! =)

Spanish classes continue to go pretty well. Yesterday, Mika and Shaelyn had their first Spanish "class". Eleo had a LeapFrog game of Memory for them to play. Each set had the same picture, but under the one was the Spanish name, and under the other was the English name. They really enjoyed it, and definitely learned a few words. They didn't have a class today, but will have one tomorrow, likely. Because Tim will be gone Thursday morning, it looks like our class will be cancelled that day. It will kind of be a nice little break!

Okay, I'm off to do laundry - but will just leave you this verse that I enjoyed this morning: "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Beach

Yesterday we drove an hour west of Hermosillo to Kino Beach. It was a beautiful spot, and we enjoyed watching the sun go down just after we got there. Here are a few pictures:

Relaxing with friends
Watching the waves roll in
Mika, with her sand castle and seashells
Shaelyn going in to catch a wave
Kyla - with her mouth full of seashells
Looking down the beach to the east
Beautiful sunset
A cake for Eleo's birthday (on the right)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A new day, a new week...

How can it be Monday already?? We left on Friday morning after breakfast to drive up to Tucson, Arizona, where my parents flew out from. The drive up went pretty well - it took us 7.5 hours including border crossing and lunch break. As we passed the Mexican border crossing, we saw people with suitcases with all their clothes spread out over the tables - everything had been taken out of their vehicle. We thanked the Lord again for how well our border crossing went! Kyla seems to be learning how to sleep in the vehicle (perhaps she has just resigned herself to it), which makes traveling much easier. The girls also used their DVD player again, which made for some actually peaceful driving.

We stayed at a hotel close to the airport, where we greatly enjoyed a huge outdoor pool and hot tub! Yes, shockingly, it was cool enough to enjoy it! Dad and Mom took the shuttle bus from the hotel a little after 9am on Saturday. It's hard to believe they're gone, after we have spent the last 7 weeks together before, during and after the move!! The girls really miss them and have been asking for them. Yesterday when we sat down for lunch, Shaelyn asked if Nana and Papa were going to come for dinner?

Yesterday was probably the best Sunday here so far. Kyla slept in until I woke her up at 9:10am, which meant she made it through meeting pretty well. For a snack at the break someone had mushed up cantelope, and then put them in small bags and frozen them - they were then cantelope "freezies"! I really enjoyed them. The last few days have just been scorchers - even inside we have felt almost suffocating hotness.

It sounds like the hall opening will be delayed now by a week or two. Andrew has been working there every day, and Tim went this afternoon to help too - and is hoping to go each afternoon from now on.

This morning we started school. I was able to get the girls going by 830am, and it went pretty well. Mika took some convincing that she was still able to do the work she was doing a few months ago, but we only spent a little time on each thing, so that went alright. I have some work books for Shaelyn on colours and shapes and sizes that we did one page of today. We all sat together through Bible story and verse memorizing, then separate times at the table for phonics (M) and colouring (S), back together for science (God's World), separate again for math (M) and magnetic letters and numbers (S), then back together while I read a chapter from a book my Mom left here, called "Sunshine Country". Mika especially enjoys listening to reading - we have already gone through Charlotte's Web, Stewart Little, and several of the animals in the Green Forest. We were done a little before 10am, which was my goal, so I was pleased about that.

Our Spanish teacher, Eleo came to the house at 9am. She nonchalently told us yesterday that she would give us an exam in the morning to see where we are with the language. Then she nonchalently told us this morning that today was the last time we would speak English together! Aaaaah! =) Tim was finished his "exam" at 1015am, so he went up and played with the girls while it was my turn. He hopes to be able to take them swimming most days, but the pool is closed Mondays for cleaning. The first thing Eleo asked me to do was read for her. I read the whole first chapter of John (which I had never noticed was so long until I read it in Spanish out-loud!) Then came the exam. I found it was really hard, not knowing many of the words, and especially not knowing how to convert tenses, etc. Out of about 8 pages, I was totally unable to do about 3 of them, and I ended up guessing for a lot of the rest. She will come back tomorrow and we'll have a better idea of where to start us off. The good news was that she said we have good pronounciation - so at least that's something positive out of it! For me, that's thanks to my brother Jeff, who insisted on me speaking properly when we were in Chile together 10 years ago!! =)

About 3/4 of the way through the test, my stomach started feeling funny, and closer to the end, I wasn't sure how much longer I was going to be able to sit still. After Eleo left, I went upstairs and laid down, feeling more awful than I have felt in years, it seems. My stomach was really upset. I ended up falling asleep for about 1.5 hours while Tim watched the girls and made them lunch, and when I woke up I felt some better. After lunch, Tim left, and I put the girls to bed. My stomach has started hurting again, but not as badly as before. I am thankful that none of us, except for Tim with his sore ear, have been sick before now. Tim's ear does seem to be doing better - the antibiotic he started taking has made a big difference.

I must admit I am still struggling with the adjustments here. I don't know if I thought I wasn't going to struggle much, or what, but I find everyday life in general really overwhelming. I am hoping that by started school and Spanish lessons, even though it's more work, will help us to get on a schedule, and help some with the adjusting. Tim seems to feel more and more at home, which I am thankful for, but I think part of my problem is the girls. Mika has started arguing with everything I ask or tell her to do, and complains a lot about what's going on. Shaelyn ignores when we speak to her or tell her to do something. You probably think that sounds like just normal childhood behaviour, but it seems it is especially excentuated right now. Both of which I think is partially how they are dealing with stress and adjustment in their lives, but I'm finding it hard to know how to deal with it. If you think of it, I would greatly appreciate your prayers about this.

I was encouraged the other day by an email I received that a friend of mine sent out, from Reach Hearts Ministries, at reachhearts.com, speaking about when we have words of defeat and express our failure. She quoted Isaiah 40:27-31, and also Isaiah 41:8-10, 13, and then did a paraphrase of what God has said:

I faint not.
I am never weary.
I have understanding without limit.
I have chosen you.
I will not cast you away.
I have rescued you from the ends of the earth.
I have called you.
I have said unto you, "You are my servant".
I give power to the faint.
I increase the strength of those that have none.
I renew the strength of those that wait on me.
I am with you.
I will hold your right hand.
I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
I will uphold you with my victorious and righteous right hand.
I will help you.
I will help you.
I will help you.

In light of such words, how can we say, "I give up"? How can words of failure torment our minds and cause us to pack it all in? The everlasting God (Elohim: God of all power, authority and sovereignty, the God of all gods and the Highest of all) will help us. The LORD (Yehweh: the self-existent, eternal One, always present with and near to His people) will uphold us. He doesn't even just pass out strength and then leave us on our own. No, He will help us and even beyond that, He will hold our hand in His and guide us through. How can we not be built up and renewed with strength as read and ponder these words? May we say with the author of Psalm 121...
Psalms 121:1-8
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Cling to these promises. Memorize them. Repeat them over and over as you cast away all words of defeat. Our strength and help comes from the LORD our God. With His help, you (and I) CAN do it!

It's amazing how we can know these things, and yet still struggle. I hope and pray you will be affected by HIS words, and be blessed by them too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More news...

Yesterday and today I spent some time in the pool with the girls. Tim worked at the new hall Monday and Tuesday - they are getting it finished for the grand opening on October 5th. Last week while he was swimming, he got some water in his ear, and it never felt like it came out. Since then, he has had lots of pressure in it, and pain. Today was so bad that he didn't go to the hall. Thankfully, he was able to speak with a doctor, and was able to get an antibiotic for it.

Here are some flowers around the pool
Yesterday afternoon, I heard some rain drops on our tin roof overhang in the back yard, and rushed outside to get our clothes all off the line. I got them off Just in time! It rained and poured, and blew wind like I don't know what! We actually had water coming in our front door for a while it was raining so heavily! Then I went out to pick out Tim, and roads were totally flooded! The pictures aren't too clear, but the water was up to the top of the tires in some places.

We've been out a few times to some taco stands, and they sure are yummy! Tonight we went and got burritos from a place the Dennison's referred us to. They were really good too!

All of us (except my Mom) got 2-3 hour naps this afternoon. My Dad put black garbage bags over the windows in the back two bedrooms so that it's darker in there (and then we don't have to hang blankets over them). It seemed to make a big difference, as the girls had the best naps since they got here.

Not too much else going on here - just finishing up with odds and ends unpacking. We leave early Friday morning to go up to Tucson, AZ to where my parents fly out of. Andrew plans to stay here (he just wants us to leave the van for him to use!) =) I told him Tim's bike was here, so I'm sure that will be fine!! Thankfully the others live close by, so he should be fairly well taken care of.

Will likely post again when we return on Saturday! Hope this gets everyone all caught up!

Pictures #1

This is kind of the rest of our trip pic's - sorry I didn't get them in good order. This one really should have been #1, but because they uploaded so slow it kind of turned out wrong. Anyway, hopefully you get a little picture of how things went! I do have some more pic's of our last few days at the pool, and a massive rain storm we had yesterday, so I'll put them on later.
Some of the scenery as we were passing by...
Cool-girl Kyla!
Snoozy, cutie-pie Kyla!
Mika and Shaelyn watching a DVD in the back seat.
At a lunch stop
Our truck
Another stop, in Texas - we're making supper here.
Mika - very absorbed!
This picture's on a funny angle.
I'm NOT sleepy!

Just before the picture of Shaelyn crying, Kyla had a "blow-out" just outside of Albequerque, NM, and we pulled the van off the highway to get her all cleaned up. Shaelyn decided she needed to use the potty, and we had a portable one with us, so we sat her out beside the van on the potty. She never did go, but Mika decided she needed to, and sat on it, just as about 50 motorcyclists came up the ramp beside us, and drove on by. We really laughed, thinking of the sight it must have been for them!! =)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures #2

Here are the girls in Phoenix, in the back yard of the Vizzini's. They have a little splash pad, that they loved!

One of the vans and trailers we rented to go over the border.
Unloading the truck.

Loading the vans...

Here we are in Mexico - Mom is setting up the kitchen (I still don't know where anything is!) =)
Dad and Tim putting the bunkbeds together.
Saturday morning after we got there. Shad and Cynthia brought us breakfast, then lunch.

The girls found the dress-up clothes quickly.
Sunday morning before meeting.
Our garage (looking out from the kitchen window) filled with Empty boxes.
We had the outside of our house sprayed for bugs and spiders. This is a cockroach (it was at least stunned, if not dead), and a huge black widow spider. I put a penny beside it so you could see how big it actually was.
Tim putting up one of the seven ceiling fans we bought when we moved here.

Pictures #3

Well, I have finally been able to upload some pictures, although it takes about 15 minutes (no exaggeration) to just get five on here! So, I will start with these, and see about uploading some more!

Here is Dad and Tim getting ready to hang stuff on the walls.
Kyla girl, being silly!

Mika, enjoying colouring

Shaelyn having a bath in a rubbermaid bucket in our back yard.

Looking into our laundry room from the kitchen.
Our new stove and range the owners put in before we moved in.
There is very little counter space, so we bought a table to help a bit.
Facing the living room from the kitchen.
Living room
Facing the front door (and stairs) from the dining room.
Facing the kitchen from the living room. The closed door is a small, 2-piece bathroom.
Facing the dining room from the living room.
Our very messy bedroom (the only messy room in the house right now, because all the things we don't know where it goes, goes in there!)
Facing our bathroom and walk-in closet from our bedroom.
The girls bedroom.
The girls room, facing out into the school room.
The spare room/nursery.
The spare room/nursery
The school room. On the right you can see the door that leads to our room, on the left the door leads to the girls room.
Facing the upstairs bathroom and stairs from the school room. The door on the right goes into the spare room/nursery.
Down stairs.