Saturday, January 31, 2009

Special Day

I wasn't sure whether I would be able to post on here for a while - our internet and international phone line was down from last night until noon today. It was especially frustrating, as we were awaiting news of Joia's friend's baby to be born sometime this morning. Thankfully, he has now arrived safely and sound - you can check out her blog if you want to read more.

Shaelyn was up early this morning - not sure why, as she hasn't fallen asleep very easily the last little while either. Two nights ago, Tim and I were just about to go to bed ourselves, and out comes Shaelyn from her room. Tim told her that Daddy and Mommy were going to bed now, and asked her (jokingly) what she was going to do? She said, "Watch a movie!" =) She went back to bed instead! Today she had the hiccups, and called them "hook-ups". I still get the giggles every time I think of it!

I woke up fairly early (because of Shaelyn I guess), but then must have fallen back asleep a while later. I was awakened to, "Breakfast is ready!", and yummy eggs and bacon cooked downstairs. It was such a special treat, and the girls enjoyed "helping" Daddy get everything ready. I hadn't felt very well the last 2 days, so this was especially nice.

Here are a few pic's of Kyla the last little while:

"This chair is just my size!"
She likes to get comfortable when reading books.
This was a new "do" today.
This is a video of Kyla, saying "Please" in Spanish. She is saying "por favor". =)

I'll have to get some pictures of the other two on here soon. Think that's it for now - have a great day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Psalm 23

I was just forwarded this and enjoyed it - so thought I would post it on here. Hope you will be blessed by it too! =)

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship!
I shall not want = That's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul = That's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of Righteousness = That's Guidance!
For His name sake = That's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That's Testing!
I will fear no evil = That's Protection!
For Thou art with me = That's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That's Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil = That's Consecration!
My cup runneth over = That's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's Security!
Forever = That's Eternity!

Face it, the Lord is crazy about you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Planting flowers

We were sad yesterday, when our new friend Miguel (Eleo's younger brother), left to return to Venezuela. He had been here for almost a month, and we really enjoyed getting to know him.
Here is a picture of Eleo and Miguel.
Yesterday Tim went out and bought some flowers to plant in our front garden. This is really the only time of year to plant flowers (and we're actually quite late getting them in) as the heat in the summer just scorches the flowers otherwise. Today, he went to a children's meeting with Shaelyn with Shad S, and then picked up some dirt on the way home. After lunch, we all went outside to "help"! =) It is nice to have some colour at the front of the house now - we still need to speak to our landlord about getting rid of (or at least decreasing the size of) a gigantic aloe vera plant along the side of the walk way. It is flowering right now - tall, yellow flowers, and there have been several humming birds that are quite attracted to it!

This afternoon, Mika went over to her new friends' house to play for an hour. When she got back, she rode her bike for a bit, until she heard the donut truck coming around. She raced inside to see if we could get some. Tim told her we could, and gave her some money to buy a few. She then went outside by herself, after finding out how to order in Spanish. I went out as the truck came up, just to make sure he understood her, but she did a really great job, and was so excited to have ordered by herself!

We have been enjoying some freshly squeezed orange juice every day for the last few days. There is a man in the meeting here who recently quit his job as a security truck driver. The hours were really bad, and he had very little time with his family, or being able to be out to meeting. He is now making fresh orange juice, and sells it on a busy street corner. We have been getting a 1 L bottle every few days. Yummy!!
Here are some pictures of the flower-planting expedition:
Shaelyn was only momentarily interested in the flowers. Since she wasn't allowed to pick any, she found something else to do.

A box train

The flowers blooming on our aloe vera plant. At the very right, you can see an odd lump, which is actually a humming bird.
Mika helping to get some peat moss out - and kind of how it looked before.
Helping to shovel
The girls in their first few minutes of being interested.

The final product!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baptism in Obregón

We greatly enjoyed going down to Obregón this past Saturday! Cynthia was very kind, and since they weren't going to go, kept Mika and Shaelyn for the day. So we left at around 10am in a big 15 passenger van, with us, Kyla, and 8 others. Eleo drove our van down with a bunch of young girls after her regular children's meeting Saturday morning.

There were three ladies that were baptised: Juana, Hilda and Manuela. It was a very warm day (which they were especially thankful for), and there was about 20 adults, plus many children that came out to see it. Duncan Beckett spoke first in the gospel, and then Shad K spoke on what the Bible teaches about baptism. Both messages were very good. Because of lack of space in the little hall, the baptism was held in a mechanic's yard (for lack of better description). It was all dirt and sand, and needed to be sprayed down with water so the dust wouldn't be too bad. I believe the meetings they originally had were held at this same spot, before they got the place where they are now.


Mostly the whole group of us during the meeting

Shad speaking

Shad is in the tank here. He told how each person got saved just before they got in.

This is Juana, she was saved in August. None of her family came.

Hilda - she was saved in October.

This is Manuela - she was saved in November, and is a good friend of Hilda. She has lived a very rough, hard life. Last year her daughter and son-in-law were killed in a car accident. Since she has been saved, her life has markedly been changed, and she has been a wonderful witness of God's grace. This past week, she met a friend she hadn't seen in quite a while. She told her that her life had been changed by God, and that she was going to be baptised. This woman went home to her husband and told him what Manuela had told her. The husband couldn't believe that anything could change Manuela, and went over to see her a few days before the baptism. He did everything he could to trip her up, and when he was leaving, he told Manuela that his sole reason in going to see her was to trap her, and that he was amazed how different she was! When she was in the tank to be baptised, Shad asked her (as he asked each one) if she had trusted the Lord Jesus as her Saviour. She answered, "With all my heart!" Then he asked, "And now you desire to be baptised?" She said, "With much thankfulness." It was very touching.
After the baptism, the three ladies had prepared, and then served a meal of cooked soy, cilantro, tomatoes and onions, that you ate with hard tortillas. It was quite good.
These are the 3 ladies afterward, with another friend (top left). Top right: Manuela. Bottom left: Hilda. Bottom right: Juana

We left around 430pm or so, and since Shad's wife Debi was heading up to Hermosillo for overnight, I decided to ride with her. We had a really nice chat on the way up.
Yesterday I just had 2 children in my Sunday school class, and we made stars out of play-dough - which they enjoyed. We all had a nap in the afternoon, which was nice too. Today is "clean the house" day, that I usually spread out between Saturday and Monday. I'm also going to get my necessary blood work taken today, so I will take my first trip to the hospital alone to go and do that. The timer has just beeped to tell me lunch has is ready, so I better go feed my hungry family!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rainy Day

We were sad to find out this morning that Joia's neighbour, Frank, passed away earlier today. Joia, Philip and Keenan were all really close to him, and his wife Myrtle. They didn't actually know if he would make it until Christmas, as he was so ill, but I know Joia was especially glad that he was able to meet Moriah. Please pray for them, as well as Myrtle and her three children right now. It's a very difficult time.

The last couple days here have been mostly cloudy and gray. After breakfast Tim said, "Tut, looks like rain!", and I thought, "Yeah right! It hasn't rained since November!" But it did sprinkle in the morning, and then rained quite a bit around noon.

This afternoon after the girls were all bathed and in bed, I sat down on the couch "for a minute" and fell asleep for over an hour! It was wonderful nap, and I actually feel quite refreshed!

Last night was a pretty late one. Eleo came for lunch yesterday, and we enjoyed some yummy Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice soup (our favourite), and then later in the afternoon, Tim and I decided we needed to tackle a mountain of paperwork in our room that has been needing to be looked after for a long time. He had already cleared off his desk, so had some misc. papers already to be to be filed, so we decided to do it all. I started, and got quite a bit done by around 6pm. Tim had taken Mika and Shaelyn out to ride bikes and water the plants in the front, and then we got ready for supper. We had already decided we were going to have a "Woodford Family Fun Night", with a special supper and some games. We have been reading some books that Mika got for Christmas from Grandpa and Grandma (we're already on the second one!), and they have a family fun night - so we thought we would try it. "Supper" (if you could call it that!) comprised of fruit smoothies, popcorn and chips, with brownies and icecream for dessert. After supper we played hide and seek, turning off most of the lights in the house to play. We had a lot of fun - Kyla would go outside with the person who was going to find the others, and we'd set a timer for 2 minutes. We found some interesting hiding places, and had lots of laughs! Even Shaelyn was able to sit still (as long as she was with someone else) and hide pretty well.

After the girls were in bed, we continued tackling the "mountain", and had it all finished shortly after midnight. It was a great accomplishment, and I'm so thankful it is done!

Mika has been enjoying learning to "um-track" (subtract) in school, as is also learning to count by two's right now. School is going pretty well, and Shaelyn has been joining us these last few days too, and doing some things as well.

Think that's it for now - here is a picture of Tim spraying the trampoline the other day
while the girls jumped on it in their bathing suits.

Here is a video of Kyla enjoying some veggies. I wish you could have seen her stuff more than one at a time in - her cheeks were so full, and she just didn't want to stop eating! =)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Picture

It's been a restful sort of day, which I never mind. This morning just before 9am, Eleo picked me up and we went to my appointment with an OB doctor. This one was very nice, and spoke English very well. He's been a doctor for about 20 years, in OB/GYN for 18, and studied for a couple years up in the States. The appointment was about an hour long, which included an ultrasound. Here is a picture of our little "Timbit". I made sure to tell him before-hand, though, that we didn't want to know if the baby was a boy or a girl - so we still don't know.

It is a profile picture of the baby's head, with his/her hand up above. The doctor said everything looked really good on the ultrasound, so that was reassuring more than anything else! He gave me this picture, then also a DVD of the entire ultrasound. The girls were pretty happy to see it when I got home.

Just before lunch, Tim went outside with the girls to clean up our backyard. We've been noticing the girls coming in exceptionally dirty, and are realizing the back has to be swept and hosed out fairly regularly. They did a great job with that, and then after lunch, Mika and Shaelyn put on their bathing suits, and went out and played on the trampoline while Tim sprayed them off. It was 26 C, and they quite enjoyed it. They then enjoyed an afternoon without a nap, and we are now enjoying that they will be going to bed very early! =)

The last few days there hasn't been too much going on either. Saturday was a clean up day - both at home and also our turn to clean at the hall. I stayed home with the girls from meeting that night though. They have all been feeling a little warmer than usual, and grumpier than usual too! On Sunday, dinner was a flop! Thankfully it was just us, and there weren't any company to disappoint. I had put some chicken legs in the slow cooker with nice sauce before I left in the morning. I have had some trouble with chicken here before - going bad before it was dated - but this smelled okay when I put it in. When we got home from meeting, though, all I could smell was rotten chicken! I wasn't sure it was my "pregnant" nose though, so started preparing some rice on the stove to go with it, and then planned to check with Tim when he got home to see what he thought. The rice was just about done, when I ran upstairs to do or get something - and when I got down, the rice had burnt to the bottom of the pan! When Tim got home he confirmed that the chicken definitely was inedible! So we fried up some onions, and cooked some burgers instead! Most of the rice was salvagable, so we had that, and the vegetable I had cooked along with them. It was pretty disappointing though!

I went up after dinner to put the girls to bed, and ended up staying with Shaelyn for longer than I had intended as she wasn't settling. I was quite tired afterward, and just laid down on our bed to rest a while - unwilling at the time to face the mess downstairs. Tim came up a little after I laid down, and we both slept for a while. When we got up, Tim had to leave right away to pick up people, while I was getting the girls ready upstairs. When I came downstairs, the dishes had all been done, and the floors swept and mopped. What a wonderful surprise! What a wonderful husband I have!!

School and Spanish class starts back tomorrow, which means back into routine. I have decided I love having a break from routine, and then I love when it starts back in again. Mika is excited, because we are starting subtracting tomorrow! We were talking about it at supper tonight, and Shaelyn said, "Daddy, we're starting 'um-tracking' tomorrow!!" Tim said, "Oh, what's that?", and she said, "It's a game!" Should be a fun game. =)

We are looking forward to going down to Obregón (where Tim was for the week) for a baptism on Saturday! There has been good interest and attendance, with up to 26 adults this past week. Three of the ladies that were saved have said they would like to be baptised. It will be nice to go back down there.

That's it for the last couple days. Tim is putting the girls into bed, and I have dishes to wash up, so better get at it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday already...?

Wow, I don't know how this week flew by so quickly! We finally got back into the swing of things this week (Spanish lessons for us and full-time school for Mika) - so that's been really good! No more sleeping in though... =) Tim also has been going up to help Shad Sluiter with the children's meetings in the tent this week. He's taken Shaelyn every day, and Mika on the days she doesn't have Spanish class. Yesterday he even did the lesson! Thankfully Kyla has been sleeping while Mika and I do school, and while I have my Spanish class. Sure makes things easier - although I know it won't last too long. I've been waking her up at 7am though, so that we can all have breakfast, get dressed, etc - and then she goes back down right around 9am for a while.

Today after Spanish class, Eleo called to the 2 English-speaking OB doctors at the hospital closest to us, CIMA, and made an appointment for me at each one. Eleo has helped so much already. It may seem like such an easy thing to call to make an appointment - until it's in another language! I'm very greatful for the help! One appointment is Monday, and the other is Wednesday, and then hopefully I can easily choose which one I will go with to deliver this baby. Hard to believe I will be 27 weeks on Tuesday - that's almost 3/4 of the way! I feel like the baby (and I) have had a huge growth spurt in the last week or so. It's harder to bend down to pick things up 'cause my tummy is protruding so far.

Tim and the girls should return from Children's meeting soon, so I should start thinking about lunch...hasta luego!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tim's Home!

Yay! Tim arrived in Hermosillo yesterday morning - and there were four girls in our van that were VERY happy, and excited to see him. =)

I thought I would put a little bit about where he was and what he's been doing on here. A little bit of history of what we know that's been done in the city Ciudad Obregón first. The taxi driver Tim got a ride from the bus station with said there were about 500,000 people living there. It is a nice little place, and has a fairly "small-town" feel about it. Two years ago Shad Kember and someone else visited and had some meetings. In March, 2008 they returned for another series. In August there was a seedsower distribution, and Shad moved there, and had gospel meetings with David Alves Jr. for a few weeks. At the same time, Duncan Beckett from New Brunswick went to help, and several others (the others only stayed for a little couple weeks). They have an apartment there. So Shad has been there since then - going back and forth from Phoenix, but usually in Obregón. He was back in Phoenix over Christmas and New Year's, and then this past Monday he returned, and took Debi and their 3 kids still at home (they plan to be there for 3 weeks). So Duncan has been there too since August, except he left for the month of November.

They have been working in a very poor area in the north-east part of the city. They have a little hall there where they have children's meeting then gospel meeting every night of the week. They also have several home Bible studies. In the four months they have been there, there have been 4 ladies saved - one each month. Some enthusiastic new believers, and bringing in people often. It's not really funny, but the joke kind of has been that the kids call the gospel meeting, "la reunion para las mujeres" (the meeting for women) - men have generally been slow to come out! I think that has been a little discouraging for them. Last week they got some invitations and calenders printed, and went going door-to-door. They also went out visiting old and new contacts once the holidays were past. The results were really good from that, and the attendance about doubled! They had approximately 20 adults out each night - with 4-5 men! They've also started several new Bible studies with some new people who are interested in hearing the gospel. They've been pretty encouraged.

The other day, Duncan & Shad found a woman at the university that will teach Duncan and Debi Spanish (Duncan has just spent the last year in Nicaragua with Mark and Brenda Bachert, but never took any formal Spanish lessons). This woman has studied Spanish, English and French, and seems to be quite enthusiastic about teaching. Hopefully that will go well for them. Tim really enjoying being there - he preached every night except for one, so he's definitely been practicing his Spanish! He hopes to go back and visit again, but we're not sure when that will be. I'm sure your prayers for them there would be very much appreciated!

We were noticing on the calender this morning, that one month today my parents fly in for a little over a week! The girls are pretty excited about that - especially since it is around their birthdays! We then look forward to Tim's brother Mark and wife Rebekah coming for the March Break! Yay for family visiting!! Anybody else want to make any plans to come???? =)

Speaking of visitors, we met another of our neighbours today! We had actually finally met the ones on the other side of us (not the ones with the candy canes and pointsettas), and then this afternoon Mika was out riding her bike around the block, when another girl came out and rode around with her. Her name is Ana Paolina, and she is 7 years old. When Mika asked if she could come over and play on the trampoline, she went home to ask her Mom, and brought her back with her to our house! So Juanita and I got to spend an hour talking while the girls played - she spoke English, and I spoke Spanish! The girls are supposed to get together again tomorrow afternoon and play for a little while - this time at Ana Paolina's house. This is definitely another one of the blessings of cooler weather - people actually go outside! It was so nice to meet someone else - AND practice my Spanish! =)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Today is Tim's Dad's birthday - I will refrain from stating his age, but I believe it's over 29!! =) I was thinking today of a couple things I remember Tim saying that he thinks about when he thinks of his Dad. The first is that he remembers him often-times sitting in his chair with his Bible in his hand - that has had a big impact on him. Also, he can't remember his Dad saying anything bad about anyone. Yesterday I emailed Tim's Dad and mentioned how proud I was of Tim that he was always willing to try things - even if they may be difficult. What I actually forgot to say in the email, is that that characteristic reminds me of him! Dad, we wish you a very Happy Birthday, and hope you had a really great day! We love you so much!

I love this picture of Dad and Mom!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fond memories...

This morning Tim sent me a text message saying, "Happy 9th Anniversary!" Today is the anniversary of when Tim and I started seeing each other - and he remembered (and I didn't - but don't tell him that!)! ;) Thanks, Sweetheart - I love you! Wow, it's hard to believe that 9 years has gone by since then - sometimes it seems like such a long time, and sometimes such a short time. A lot of water under the bridge since then! Our 8th wedding anniversary is coming up in May. The Lord has blessed us so much! Amazing how unfaithful I can be to Him, and how faithful He is! I was reading in Joel yesterday, and was appreciating these words, "Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;" (2:13). What a promise! What a wonderful God we serve!

Things here have been going "okay". I had quite the plans to get a list of things done while Tim was gone, and right now have only crossed one thing off! Shaelyn got up during the first 2 nights, but thankfully slept through last night, and her and Mika have both decided the last couple days that they didn't need naps! Kyla has been sleeping really well at night, but her naps haven't been that great either. So the afternoons have pretty much been shot. We did get out yesterday and get some shopping done, which I was quite happy about. It seems odd that that is an accomplishment since I did it all the time in Canada, but it's the first time I've been out with all the girls by myself here in Mexico. We also made it to meeting last night, and sat through the whole thing!

This morning has been little better about getting things done, so hopefully the day will continue like this. Dinner is currently bubbling on the stove, and my 15 loads of laundry are finally away (well, maybe it is only 8!). The girls have been getting along fairly well today too, so that helps.

A couple prayer requests:
1. I know I mentioned them the other day, but my cousin Rhonda, her husband Shawn, and daughters Alexandra (5.5) and Mackenzie (3) left yesterday for Zambia, Africa as missionaries. Please pray for them as they travel and then adjust to a very different country and culture and try to learn the language. Also for their family, who will be missing them too.
2. A friend of ours had her 3rd baby yesterday morning by c-section, and while the baby boy is doing fine, she has had some complications, and I would just ask you to pray for her and her family right now too. Yesterday was a very bad day, but apparently this morning she was doing a little better.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting towards the end of the day...

So today hasn't exactly gone as "planned". I am learning though, slowly...very slowly, that many of the unplanned things are actually the things God brings along that He wants me to learn from, and I need to be okay with that!

We have managed to eat two meals so far today (we don't usually have a problem with that) =) - and I've done school with Mika, which was good to get at. She is looking forward to starting subtraction soon, as she is doing pretty well at addition. She is also reading everything she can get her hands and eyes on to - which has been neat to see as well. She is usually pretty good about helping out, and watching her sisters.
All three girls went down for a nap after school - Kyla managed to sleep for an hour, and neither of the other two did at all! The last time Shaelyn came out of her room, as I was heading upstairs she said, "Mommy, I didn't do anything! (her new favourite thing to say) I'm not trying to disobey!" As I top the stairs, there she is with her shirt off, and a dress that is too small for Kyla on. Guess it will be an early bedtime tonight!

I have gotten half of my mountain of laundry done, which I'm happy about, but then I was sitting at the computer for a while today, because we were sent a couple links from the New Year's Revolution that I "had" to watch.
This one is of my brother Jeff and his wife Marianne (who organize the revolution), and Tim's brother Mark and his wife Rebekah, singing a song by Matt Redman, "Never Let Go". I am currently listening to it for the 5th time, and hope to get to the end without tears this time...oh, forget it already - I just can't. It's really good - hope you enjoy it. It was neat to "see" them there (I still haven't seen too many other pictures of it yet) and hear them sing - they're so great, and wow do I ever miss them!

Kyla, while still being a corker and getting into lots of stuff, has been pretty fun(ny) lately, and even getting somewhat better at sitting through meeting. When she got out of the bath this morning, I thought the shape of her head and her hair looked so much like Tim's sister Joia's son Keenan - but she smiles just like my sister's daughter Katja, and she sounds like my brother's daughter Gracia. Guess she's quite a mix. Her favourite thing to say right now is "Yeah!" - in response to almost anything, except to whether she would like to get into trouble, which gets a resounding no that sounds like "Newwww!" She likes making lion, dog and cat noise (when she sees any animal), and the other day I started counting something, "One..." and she said, "Doo..." =) She is very snuggly and cuddly, and will just randomly come up and put her head up against you. She currently eats the same amount as the other two put together on a regular basis. We think she's decided she doesn't want to be the "little" sister anymore.

I figured I didn't need to say as much about Shaelyn, as she seems to get posted about fairly regularly! I think I'm almost ready to get our final meal ready - and finish the laundry, so I better get off of here. Here's some pic's at the bottom of the last little while:

May I introduce you... Turtle Pumpkin Pie! This was the yummy Christmas dessert that Tim and I got to enjoy all by ourselves! =)

This was our second Christmas when things arrived from the US mail, and also packages that were sent along from Seedsowers.

This was the outfit Mika came out with the other day. Her shirt was tucked in, and skirt hiked up so that everyone could see the "bow" on her skirt!

Kyla also was sporting a nice outfit that day, which Daddy helped along by rolling up her pants!

Our New Year's Eve get together

At the beach on New Year's Day.

The beautiful sunset we got to enjoy!

We got sparklers for the girls that they enjoyed one evening.
This was one of the tries to get a somewhat normal family photo. It obviously didn't happen!

This next picture we took Saturday. Tim went out and rode bikes with the girls, and when they were done, Mika came in and asked if she could take Shaelyn for a walk around the block. It was rather cute!

Something else funny, was that Tim was practicing riding his bike sitting on it backwards (sorry, I missed a picture for that!). When Shaelyn saw him she really stared, and then said, "You silly goose, Daddy - you're riding it backwards!!!" Then proceeded to try sitting on her trike backwards and riding it! =)
The three girls this morning

Mika and Shaelyn with matching french braids

Kyla making herself comfortable on the floor to colour!

Just the beginning...

It's 11:30am. I've accomplished getting the 3 girls bathed, dressed and hair done, and the family and company is fed and the company is now on their way home. Why does it seem like I should have a whole lot more done? I have mounds of laundry that need to get started, but thankfully other than that the house is in relatively decent shape. I am hoping to get our Christmas decorations down (Mika wasn't sure why they should be going away just yet), and there is another mound of clothing needing to be ironed that needs to be tackled at some point soon too!

This is going to be an odd week since Tim left yesterday for Obregón for the week. I thought he was going to leave Monday or Tuesday, but this worked out better. We had Eleo and her brother Miguel, plus Daniel from Newfoundland and Bethany from Arlington, Washington (they have been at seedsowers, and then visiting Dan & Joan Harvey in Chihuahua) here for dinner yesterday. Then Tim was driven to the bus station, and was on a bus by 3:30pm. He and Duncan had the apartment to themselves last night, and today Shad and Debi K, plus their 3 kids at home, plus two other guys from Phoenix arrive today. Should be a busy, interesting week for them! Tim has been looking forward to this for a while, and plans to return on Sunday. Our Spanish classes resume Tuesday.

Here at home I am looking forward to getting back on schedule (it obviously hasn't happened yet!). The girls are outside playing for a little bit (the trampoline has been getting hours of use), and then I hope to get some school done with Mika. That maybe will happen after lunch. Everyone is a little over-tired, so hopefully naps and bedtimes are going to happen at reasonable times again, so we'll play it by ear.

That's it for now - hope you're having a great day!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

These are some verses from Proverbs 2 that I read this morning - verses 1-12:
"My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil,

I have so enjoyed reading a Proverb a day for at least most of 2008. There is so much in it that has convicted me, encouraged me, helped me, and blessed me. The verses above the Lord used to speak to me just this morning - a complete answer to my prayers. You see, like usual, only more recently than normal, I've been struggling with anger, impatience, self-righteousness, unthankfulness, pride...these things especially, but the list really could go on and on. Some days are okay, and then others just seem out of control. Yesterday I woke up grumpy and fought an internal battle a good part of the day of how useless I was as a Christian, a wife, a mother, etc. But I prayed about 2 things very specifically yesterday morning, and before the day ended, the Lord answered my prayer. Not that I had prayed without believing it would happen, but I guess I hadn't thought it would happen so quickly. This morning I prayed again before reading my Bible - I thanked Him that He has brought me as low as He has, so that it can only be with His power and Spirit working in me that will make a difference in my life. I asked Him to keeping working in me and through me that I would bring glory to Him in some way. I was so encouraged when I opened my Bible after that and read these promises from His Word.

This is perhaps an odd way to start off a "Happy New Year" blog. This all may sound familiar too, since I wrote a little of some of these same struggles last year. But I hope through some of my struggles you can learn about God's faithfulness, love and grace - and even learn from someone elses mistakes.

We have had a very enjoyable last week together as a family. We have been pretty relaxed - sleeping in a little each day, and trying to do fun things together. We have been able to talk to several members of our families over the holidays. There was meeting on Saturday night, which Tim spoke at, and then I told the two ladies that I was picking up while the others were away, that I would pick them up at 940am the next morning. One in particular said, Oh, so early? But I told her that I was doing the snack the next day, and also doing Sunday School, so they both agreed that was okay. We were at the hall by 950am, and Nobody was there! I couldn't believe it! One of the ladies asked if I had a key, but I didn't, so I called Tim, and he was still a ways off, so we waited until a couple minutes after 10am when Tim arrived. I flew into action, getting every thing already - and then as I was passing Tim on the way to doing something I said, "Guess meeting will be a little later this morning." He looked at me and said, "Steph, meeting doesn't start until 1030am!" Wow, did I ever feel foolish! I tried to then explain to the ladies my confusion, and they seemed to understand. I likely will never forget what time morning meeting is again! =)

Sunday school has been going pretty well. Tim takes Kyla, and Mika is in the older class, so I have Shaelyn, and usually 1-4 more two to four year olds. I get another lady to check my notes before I teach, and that has helped a lot. We just went through creation, and are talking about Adam and Eve now.

Sunday night Duncan Beckett and Diego Alves arrived to the gospel meeting. They had driven straight through from Vera Cruz, and there were some other vehicles on the road behind them. The Dennison group arrived around midnight, and the Sluiters the next morning around 8am. Eleo and her brother Miguel flew in on Tuesday night. So Duncan and Diego stayed overnight - Duncan left the next morning to go down to Obregón with another brother from here, and Diego is staying with us until this coming Sunday.

Monday was my sister-in-law Marianne's 30th Birthday! I'm sure she won't mind me mentioning that! =) She was so busy getting ready for their New Year's "Revolution" they have held for the last 4 years, that I don't even think she noticed it was any other day. Marianne is one of my very dearest friends. She is a wonderful wife to my brother Jeff, and Mommy to Jared and Gracia. She is generous and thoughtful, and has encouraged me and challenged me in my spiritual life more than I could say. I love you, Marianne!

Tuesday night the meeting tripled in size from when everyone had been away, plus the Dennison's have Joe and Judy and their family from Detroit staying with them this week too. It's nice to have everyone home again.

Wednesday night there was a meeting (supposed to be from 7-8pm, ended up being 730pm-845pm), and then we had a pot-luck supper afterwards, then some singing and Bible Jeopardy. I actually stayed home from the meeting (Tim went with Mika), and got a phone call from Tim's brother Mark and his wife Rebekah! They were at the New Year's "Revolution" helping this year, and tried to get it so I could see (from their phone to our computer) what was going on live. Unfortunately I couldn't, but I did hear some great singing going on, and also got to talk to them, my mom, Marianne, and a special treat - my cousin Rhonda. She and her husband Shawn, and their two little girls, Alexandra and Mackenzie, are leaving in less than a week to move to the country Zambia, which is in Africa. They are going to learn the language(s) there, so they can tell the Zambian people the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we have just moved from our family and friends, they have been especially on our hearts and in our prayers as they prepare to leave soon.

Tim picked me up after the meeting was over, and then we got there for the evening. It was very nice, except for the fireworks and gunshots that go off outside at this time of year. We enjoyed the evening very much, and got home a little after midnight.

Yesterday around 2pm, we headed out with all the others and the young people to the beach. It was a sunny day, around 25 C outside here. It wasn't quite so warm at the beach, but it was nice, and Mika and Shaelyn had fun splashing in the water a bit. Some of the kids played football, then bocce, others took walks along the beach, or sat in the sun. It was a nice day, and it ended with an absolutely gorgeous sunset! We took hotdogs and also some stuff for a fire on the beach. We were given permission by one guy about the fire, but then after we had it started, someone else came along and told us it had to go out. John kept him talking for long enough that at least our hotdogs got cooked, but that was it. We left the beach around 7pm.

Tim got to sleep in yesterday a bit, so I guess today was my turn. The girls have also been sleeping in, so that's been nice. We got a call this morning to say that Joan Harvey from Chihuahua is coming with some others for the weekend, so we'll have a couple more young people staying here for a couple nights, then we're invited to the Sluiters in the morning with the entire gang for brunch. I'm hoping to make a couple egg casseroles and some cinnamon raisin bread.

I think that gets me caught up now, except for pictures - so I'll have to get them on in the next day or so. It totally feels like Saturday today, but I'm glad it's not - I need another day before Sunday!! =) Tim and the girls are out on their bikes right now, so I'd better go and get some lunch ready!