Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're in Canada!!

We were very excited to arrive in London, Ontario this afternoon at 4pm. While it was a chilly afternoon, we got a warm welcome from Tim`s brother Mark and Rebekah. Tim`s parents came over about an hour later, and then another brother Rob, his wife Ada, and their son Brayden whom we hadn`t yet met came after supper. We had a very enjoyable evening together!

All of our family were quite delighted to finally be out of the van, and onto our ¨native land¨. The trip in general went quite well, even though we didn`t leave until 230am Monday. We drove through until that evening, then got a hotel for the night. Tim and I especially enjoyed having the big van to stretch out on if we needed a nap, and that our cooler fit in without any problem. Tuesday we left around 11am, and drove that day, last night, and then a good part of today. We made lots of stops at parks, etc, where we could get out and stretch our legs and run around, as well as have something to eat. We sang lots of songs, listened to some great ministry, saw some prayer answered, enjoyed listening to some of the Chronicles of Narnia, the girls read lots of books, saw lots of cows, and coloured pictures, and of course, we all ate lots of snacks too! =)

We have lots planned for the next few days, so I`ll try to get on here again soon and maybe post some pictures.

Happy Canada Day, tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Katja!!

Today is my sister Liz and Trevor's daughter Katja's 4th birthday! Here's a cute picture of the birthday girl - she had her birthday party yesterday.

A picture of all 3 pumpkins: Kiernan, Ellie & Katja
Family shot!
Katja with a kitty
Katja is a sweet, beautiful little girl who I don't get to see enough of!! She loves animals, helping her mommy and daddy, and telling her little brother what to do!! =) It will be Very interesting to see how she and Shaelyn get along together this summer since they are just a few months apart!

I've been thinking about this verse for a while now: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Psalms 20:7) There are so many outward things we can put our trust into - things we can SEE! But, dear Katja, I pray that your trust will be in the "name of the LORD our God". Even though we can't see Him, He never fails, He never lets us down, and He is completely trust-worthy - unlike all of the things we can see!

This is the end of the birthdays for the month of our immediate family, however, my cousin Rhonda's is on Tuesday - she was born two weeks after I was! She and her husband and girls are serving the Lord as missionaries in Zambia, Africa, and they are back in Canada for the first time right now, and will be at our family reunion in a week. I can't wait to see them! Happy Birthday, Rhonda! =)

One more Shaelyn funny: Yesterday she saw some bananas on the counter that I was ready to make into some muffins - they were a "little" past their prime! She wrinkled up her nose, and said, "Oh, Yuck!"
I said, "Shaelyn, you know we don't say that about food!"
She replied, "Well, they just look like a bad word!"

We are almost all ready to go. Yesterday was a totally crazy day!! We had been planning to take our 8-seater van up north, but since it still has Ontario license plates, we can't get insurance on it outside of Mexico. So...we'll be taking our 15-seater (but with one bench out, so it's legal to drive in Ontario!). That was fine, except yesterday it wouldn't start! It has a brand new battery in it, so then we were thinking maybe it was the alternator. Tim left in the afternoon to go and see about checking the battery, but when he got to AutoZone, their battery-checker wasn't working, and the van wouldn't start! So he called me, and we went and boosted him, and followed him to another place. Found out it wasn't the battery. It wouldn't start again, so we boosted him and went to another place, and they said they could fix it. We were to go home and call back in an hour(!?!) We couldn't believe this, because practically nothing like that happens in an hour any place, let alone Mexico!! An hour and a half later they told us they were done, so back we went to pick it up. It wasn't the alternator itself, but a plate off of it (or something...) - they "happened" to have the part, and fixed it. As Tim was paying, the other guys were closing up shop. We were so thankful to the Lord to find out this problem today and have it fixed before everything closed - and not tomorrow after we leave, and be stranded somewhere in the heat, in the middle of the night. Of course, that still might happen, but we're thankful the Lord is in control of these things, and thank Him for His miracles today! =)

That's it for tonight - I'll likely be on here next when we're in Canada!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two More Days...

We're excitedly getting ready for our trip north. We will be leaving Sunday evening after gospel meeting, and try to drive the whole night as well as the next day. We'll see how it goes...! =)

Today is Tim's sister's husband Philip's graduation. He is graduating from his Family Medicine residency - CONGRATULATIONS, Dr. Philip!! I don't think a person often gets to where they are without the help, support and love of those around them, so another Congratulations to his wife Joia, and children Keenan and Moriah! We pray the Lord will continue to direct your steps, and use you for His glory!! Lots of love to all of you!

Tim has been extremely busy the last several days, helping out in getting our friends' house built - frying in the 46 C heat, and today he is helping another friend with some car work. All this amongst trying to prepare for several meetings before we go, and then some when we arrive in Canada, as well as a fairly long list of other things than need to get done.

While we have been getting packed and preparing the house for us to leave, yesterday we took a "break", and took our friend Fabiola and their two children, Angel and Mirando to the Hermosillo Zoo. It was a fun day, but so incredibly hot being outside in the sun. We took almost every opportunity at the shady spots to stop along the path. Between us we drank about 9 liters of water in less than 3 hours! It was a fun morning, and then the girls and I had a sleep in the afternoon.

Vivian is taking more and more steps - I think she is the most courageous of all the girls in her attempts at walking solo - not to anyone or anything. She's sure to be running before too long!

That's about it around here for what's going on. I'm not sure if I'll get back on here before we leave, but I'll definitely be updating some, at least, on our trip. I know we won't have internet access at least for one week, and we'll just have to see about the rest! =)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Somebody's walking...

Our little Vivian took her first steps today, and I even managed to get some of them on film! There's a video clip of her at the bottom. She is, of course, quite proud of herself, and it's always such a fun thing to see them wobble along!

It's grape season here in our part of Mexico, and Tim bought some of those delicious purple delights today for 15 pesos (just a little over a Canadian dollar) a kilogram!! =)

Speaking of Tim, my hard-working husband spent most of the day out in the searing heat with our friend Cristian, getting a house ready for a family to move in. He looks a bit like a lobster, he's so red, so I think some sunscreen will be applied before he leaves the house again tomorrow at 830am. He did have a hat and an extra shirt to cover his neck, but I think they were put on a little too late! I was out the other day between 930am and 1030am and I got burned even at that early hour! They had a productive day though, and hope to be finished tomorrow.

While we missed Tim being gone most of the day, the girls and I had a really fun time together! This morning they rode their bikes while it was still relatively cool in the high 20's. We remembered today that the pool is closed, but will try to go tomorrow morning to burn off some energy there instead. Just to answer a question from the other day, we live in a gated subdivision with about 100 houses in it. There is a pool in the middle of it, and it's the one we use. After the girls were hot and sweaty, we came inside and they helped get some things ready for our trip. I put on a video for them part way through the morning and got the back yard tidied, and quite a bit of packing done, plus a few loads of laundry. We played "Whack-a-mole" and a Dora board game all together, then "Simon says...", and then sang "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes", which ended in some hysterical laughter, especially when we tried to see how fast we could sing it. There is a video of that at the bottom too. Then I taught them how to sing it in Spanish. Vivian woke up in the middle of "Simon Says...", and tried to do jumping jacks with the rest of us as she sat in her highchair. Lots of giggles. After the bigger girls were in bed was when Vivian finally decided to take her first steps, and then we spent the next hour or so cuddling, giggling, tickling, playing, and just generally enjoying one another. It was nice not to have anything pressing to do, so I could do that with her. While the day wasn't perfect - Tim wasn't there, of course, and Shaelyn missed dessert for hitting Kyla and then lying about it, then Mika got a delayed start in our game-playing for not obeying. But on the whole, I had a good attitude, which I think makes a big difference on the rest of the house.

I've been thinking recently about a book I'd read several years ago, "Created to be his help meet" by Debi Pearl. I appreciated the book some then, but as I opened the book again last night I realized I needed another reminder of what I was called to first in my life. Before I was ever called to come here, I was first a child of God, then a wife, and a mommy. While I've struggled a lot with some (most) of the changes these last 2 years have brought us, I'm thankful that, as I read this morning in 2 Thessalonians, "He is faithful". I was thinking how much of a difference it makes in my relationship with Tim or our girls when I choose to smile, hug, and forgive, rather than scowl, turn away, or be disgusted. Anyway, just wanted to mention the book, as it's got a lot of forgotten reminders in it of what the Bible teaches on a wife's role in marriage.

Tonight we were at Tirocapes for the gospel meeting. Sandra was there. She is about 15 years old, and her parents own the building the meetings are in. She has been coming fairly regularly, and listened well tonight. There were another few teenaged girls who came, as well as several children. It was pretty hot, and none of the children sat very well, but we're thankful for them coming anyway!

We got home Very late after dropping people off tonight, and I put some chicken noodle soup on for a quick supper for us all before heading to bed. Just before we ate, Kyla somehow spilled her soup on herself that had just been poured into her bowl. Thankfully Tim was right by her, grabbed her, and got her pj's off as quickly as possible and brought her to the kitchen and put her in the sink. Unfortunately it is so hot out right now that we don't have any "cool" water coming from the tap, so we took the cold water from the fridge and added some warm to it, and ran it over. There is a red "sun-burn" looking mark on her tummy, but no blisters, thankfully. We thank the Lord it ended so well, knowing it could have been much worse! It was almost as traumatic for Mika and Shaelyn as it was for Kyla, but all are safely asleep in their beds now, and hopefully they'll all sleep a little later tomorrow.

Here are some pic's of the baptism last night. This is John about to baptise his son Brady - what a great Father's Day gift! "So those who received his word were baptized" is the verse behind them, found in Acts 2:41.

That's it for tonight. Just these videos at the end!

Vivian's first steps...

The girls singing...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lots of stuff...

First of all, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my sweet husband, my dear dad, and my dear dad-in-law!! Each one of you is so very special, and I love you so much!

Some funnies from Shaelyn (age 4) recently:

"...and we had fun at the pool...! We were so kind to each other this year!"

"Mommy, will you get down on the floor and be my horse? I want to whip you!" (We had just watched the movie Black Beauty)

"You just went through a red stop sign, didn't you, Mommy?
But you're really sorry, aren't you, Mommy?
And we love you anyway, don't we, Mommy?"

Last evening the girls were getting into their bathing suits, and Shaelyn said, "Hey Mommy! Look, Kyla and I match!!" They weren't wearing anything! =)
Here are a few random pic's from the last little while. These are our Mexican cow-girls riding their "horse"! I accidently left the bread within reach one day, and the bag hadn't been closed properly. I don't think she was a bit sorry!

Mika and Shaelyn helping to mop up a spill. Tim brought back some "real" corn on the cob from the US when he returned from Duncan and Bethany's wedding. The girls husked all of it for us for lunch.

It wasn't really good as it's not in season, but it sure tasted great to us since they don't sell anything but cow-feed type corn on the cob here. Mika told us it was the BEST corn she had ever tasted! It's all in your perspective, isn't it?!

Vivian has started climbing onto this box in our kitchen, and will stay there for quite a while. I've considered taking it with us to meeting, thinking maybe she would stay still if she had it!

Monday was my 33rd birthday. Tim and I get to be the same age for two months, and then he's WAY older than me for another 10! =) My birthday was the last one for another whole week, and then there will be another "series" of birthdays after it in July. On my birthday I got special home-made cards, special cards in the mail, special gifts, several special phone calls (one from Mozambique from Tim's brother Andrew), special (and funny) e-cards, special phone messages, a special facebook 'note' (thanks again, Bekah!) and several special emails. They were all very appreciated, and made the day even sweeter! We decided to go to the beach for a couple hours, so after I got my Spanish homework done, we had a quick lunch, and off we went.

Here are some "twisters" we saw on the way. We saw probably 12 or so of them.

It was a little breezier than usual, but a lovely day!

The waves were quite high, so the girls wore their lifejackets, but Mika was only in the water for a little bit because she got stung by one of these:

Thankfully they are only baby jellyfish now, and it only stung a little, but it's the end of our beach days in Mexico until late September, likely, as between the stingrays and jellyfish, it's too dangerous to go in the water until then. We also found out that Vivian will do almost anything to get out of touching the sand. It's like what the other girls were like at this age with grass - too funny! We thought this maybe would be better to take to meeting than the above box, and just set her down, put a circle of sand around her, and she'll be stuck there the whole time!! =)

The girls quite enjoyed swinging in the hammocks. We headed back after about 2 hours, got everyone showered off, went to Carl's Jr. for supper, then off to meeting in Tirocapes. One of the other ladies got me a cake for my birthday, so we celebrated a little after the meeting! It was very yummy - mango!

Tuesday Eleo and I had a short, early class, then we all left for the children's museum. It is called "La Burbuja" (The Bubble) - any guesses why?

Lots of neat things to try out - and not just for kids!! =)Magnets.
The kid's size Walmart - the girls had a blast!
Vivian wishing she could shop too!
Mika and Shaelyn waiting for their special design
Seeing what it is like to ride in a wheel chair.

Using some 'diggers'

One of the girls' favourite: If you look closely, at the top are Kyla's footprints (helped a little by Daddy).
Guess whose face this is, and what's the design right next to it?
We had a nice day celebrating the end of school, and were so glad Eleo was able to join us!

You'll think I'm a terrible mom, but Vivian was really upset after a meal one day, and looked so hilarious, I had to take a couple pictures while she was in "the depths of despair"!

Poor little baby! She went to bed directly afterward, and woke up much happier!

"Hey Viviana, What book are you reading?"
"Anne of Avonlea, of course!"
"This is such a great read - you should check it out when I'm done!"
"Ahhh, that was a super book! I love the 'Anne' series!" =)
A video of Vivian. When she stands up, she says, "Gu Guuuu" (Good Girl!)

Friday we had John and Michelle and the boys over for homemade pizza. I was even able to cook all three pizzas at once in the oven, so that was great!

Today we had a pot-luck at the hall for dinner, and this evening Brady D. is getting baptised after the gospel meeting. Tomorrow, John and Michelle and family are leaving to go on vacation up north, and by the time we return here in August, they will have packed up their house and moved to Phoenix, AZ. They are re-located because of their boys' schooling, and we will miss them dreadfully here. They will thankfully be back the last weekend in August for a visit, and we plan to have a proper good bye and send-off then. Please keep them in your prayers as they leave for vacation, and then move. Please pray for the assembly here - it's very difficult for them as everyone is so close to John and Michelle and their boys. Please pray for Eleo and for us as we figure out our new responsibilites and the challenges that will be coming our way.

This next week will be busy as I'm finally getting down to packing! We leave one week from today! We are very excited to be able to see our family members and friends in just a short while!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Catching up...

It's been ages since I put an actual update on here! The nightly meetings in Tirocapes finished last night, and will now be held each Monday and Wednesday at the hall, and in a home on Saturday nights. The attendance was really good overall. At least 15 unsaved adults were in, and I'm sure at least 40 teenagers and down. Please continue to pray that the Seed will fall on good ground and bring forth much fruit!!

Other than meetings, I've been mainly busy with Spanish lessons and keeping up with things here at home. Tim was gone for the last two weekends. The first in Obregon, and the second in Washington for Duncan and Beth's wedding. It was nice to have him here this weekend.

The pool in our community is finally filled, and we have taken advantage of several mornings to go in. Last Monday, I told the girls it would just be a fun day. Tim wasn't home yet from the wedding, I didn't have Spanish class, and "we'll just swim in the morning, and in the afternoon, and in the evening if we want to!" When we arrived at the pool, the lady across the road hollered over, reminding us that the one day the pool is closed out of the week is....Monday. I admit, I had a crummy attitude. One that needed to be changed, because the girls caught on to it right away. We went back home, and I was thinking the whole time of what we could do instead. So...we got out some rubbermaid containers, put them in the back yard, and filled them 1/2 full of water!
Kyla and Vivian - Plan A
Shaelyn and Mika
All four
Plan B - Vivian in her own bucket
Worked pretty well, and they had fun for quite a while.
On Tuesday morning, Tim still wasn't home, so we decided to go to the pool again. It was open, and we had a great time - I even got some pictures - which was interesting, since I had Vivian in my arms almost the entire time!! =)

Mika, diving for "jewels" that she brings along

Shaelyn, enjoying the kiddie pool that's just her size. She's so close to being able to swim.
Kyla-girl - with beautiful goggles! =)
Vivian - who LOVES the water. She is not happy when she has to get out!
The view of some Bouganvillea flowers across the road. So pretty!
The special Welcome Home sign that met Daddy as he came in the door.
While Tim was up in the US, he found this neat "ball" for really cheap. It's good for both indoor and outdoor use. Blowing it up:
Daddy helping them roll...

Mika's turn....
...and even Vivian tried it out!
On Wednesday, I went out with some other ladies to celebrate the 70th birthday (along with some other June birthdays) of one of the sisters, Margarita. She was the first one whom John and Michelle saw saved here in Hermosillo. We had a nice brunch, and I got to see what Mexican's eat for breakfast - and it wasn't cereal and toast! Tamales, beans, sausage, eggs, tortillas, fresh fruit and yogurt. They also made omelettes, which is what I had, and it was very yummy!

We used to celebrate June birthdays when we were in St. Thomas, so it kind of brought back some bitter-sweet memories of times past.

It's too close to bed-time for me to keep at this - my brain is going all fuzzy! I have a couple videos at the end though, that likely only the grandparents will really appreciate!! =) G'night to all!