Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A few pic's...

This morning I "found" 200 pictures on our camera that we don't use very often. It had pic's from our trip to Canada and everything! I won't be putting on anything quite that old, but thought I'd share a few that I discovered.

Here are a couple of our favourite 1.5 year old! =)

Here is Vivi helping Daddy fix a friends' bike

A tea party with all our girls and their friend Jasmin

A picture drawn by Shaelyn. The "ghost" in the middle is actually a horse! =) I love her pictures!

Mark and Bekah sent some fun things down for the girls when Eleo came home. This picture was taken in the dark - the glasses have glow sticks in them. They had lots of fun playing with them that night.While Tim and Mika were away for the Tepic conference, I went with Fabiola, and their two children Angel and Miranda to the zoo. It was Fabiola's birthday that day.

There was a baby python snake, and a tarantula there to see. Both Shaelyn and Kyla touched the snake - I was impressed!

And last of all, there are apparently some people who are in "denial" that I am pregnant, since they haven't seen any photos. Do you have any doubts now (Liz)?? =) This is me at 23 weeks. Wow, more than 1/2 way there!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jared!!

My sweet nephew Jared turns 6 years old today!! I cannot believe how big he has gotten so quickly! Jared is the eldest son of my brother Jeff and Marianne, and big brother to Gracia and Lucas.

Here's the ball-loving, baby brother-adoring little man himself!

Sweet family picture taken during the summer
Here are Jared and Gracia at Marianne's sister's wedding this fall - cuties! =)
While I know there is a picture somewhere of Jared with his arms wrapped around little Lucas, I couldn't find it. So you'll just have to take my word for it! =)

Dear Jared, How I love you, sweet boy! We prayed for you long before you were even born, and haven't stopped (and won't)!! We are so thankful for the wonderful dad and mom you have, and how they are raising you up and teaching you about the Lord Jesus.

In the gospel of Luke, chapter 15 there are 3 amazing stories about some things that were lost and then found. These are the final verses of each story:
~The lost coin - "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." (Luke 15:7)
~The lost sheep - "Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:10)
~The lost son - "It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found." (Luke 15:32)
Our hearts' desire for you is for you to be saved - for you to give your life completely over to Him, and to be obedient to His Word. He loves you so much, and has a special plan for your life!

Have a wonderful birthday, Mr. Jared! Lots of love from all of us!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They did it again... (edited)

...and I LOVE it!!

This is closer to "home" in a mall food court in Welland, Ontario.


**Edit: Just to clarify, this is Not the group who sang in Philidelphia, nor is it part of the Random Acts of Culture mentioned with it.** They are just a great group, singing a great song, about a GREAT GOD!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some totally random things...

*I enjoyed some amazing verses in the book of Daniel this morning, that I don't ever remember reading. I"ll just share one of them here for now: "...we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy." (Daniel 9:18) How great is our God!!

*I love cold pizza, and just enjoyed a piece!! Mmm, leftover from lunch today - homemade with pepperoni, pineapple, mushrooms, red peppers, and bacon!

*I will be 23 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I went for a doctor's app't and ultrasound yesterday and saw the baby making sucking motions! =)

*I have only gained 2 lbs so far with this pregnancy.

*I am still quite sick! =( My OB sent me to an internal medicine doc today who specializes with pregnant ladies. I apparently have an infection in my lungs and sinuses, so will be starting some new meds tonight.

*The rest of our family is sick too! =( I'll be calling the pediatrician in the morning to make an appointment for the girls.

*Homeschooling is going well. Mika does well and generally enjoys doing her work, even working independantly, which is great! Shaelyn Loves school, and is sounding out simple 3-letter words.

*We're having my favourite soup (and a family favourite) - Old Fashioned Chicken & Rice - tomorrow for lunch! I think I'll have to make some homemade bread to go along with it... =)

*We just enjoyed Broccoli soup the other day - Shaelyn's favourite! It's so great having warm soup on chilly days!

*Yes, chilly days, and chilly nights! Although the temperatures don't compare with you Northerners', our nights get down to around 14 C, and thankfully the sun warms us up again during the day. The house stays pretty cold still though, thanks to all the concrete and tile. Socks, slippers and sweaters for everyone!

*We're going to have our first Sunday school picnic next Saturday. It's a little impromptu, but sounds like everyone is excited and up for it! We discussed games, food, etc today, and it sounds like it will be lots of fun! Ever heard of a "lime and spoon race"? =) It's the Mexican version of egg and spoon!!

*Need to get to bed soon, so will sign off, but just wanted to share an adorable video with you of the Story of Jonah. Please take a few minutes and watch it!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Good night!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hallelujah Chorus!!

This is a totally amazing video! On October 30th, 2010, "shoppers at the the Macy's in Philadelphia were surprised when over 600 choristers who were there mingling with regular shoppers suddenly burst into Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia was instrumental in bringing it together to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "1000 Random Acts of Culture" which they'll be doing over the next three years across the country. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the singers burst into song at exactly noon."

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Change of plans...

This week has definitely gone better than last week, although our sickness still partially remains. Thankfully, no one has had a fever at all today, so that's definitely a step in the right direction!!! However, we've decided that it's best not to take our sick crew out to contaminate anyone else, so it will just be Tim and Mika that head out with the rest in the morning to Tepic conference. There were a couple other people who cancelled, so without the 4 of us either, everyone is able to go in just our big van. Please pray for their safety as they travel!

Today is Tim's 25th "birthday!! He was 9 years old when he realized his great need of salvation, and his great inability to save himself. The Lord graciously saved him then, and he has been celebrating his "second" birthday every year on this day since. What a Remembrance Day!!

This morning we sat at the breakfast table for quite a while this morning talking about Remembrance Day. The girls had lots of questions about war, and I don't know that they ever really understood most of what we were talking about. My grandpa was a paramedic in the war, and Tim's grandpa was a radio-control operator, and we are so thankful for them, as well as so many others who risked and gave their lives for our freedom!

We are looking forward to Eleo arriving back home on Saturday - we're really looking forward to seeing her again - it's been a long month! =)

I can't remember if I posted much/anything about our mini-conference 2 weekends ago - I'm pretty sure I didn't. Not only was John D here for the weekend, but his parents came down as well. His dad is a dentist, and his mom is a nurse, and together, they make an amazing team!! A couple years ago they bought a "dentist office in a box" - a cool machine that has almost everything a dentist's office has. They came down last spring, just after Vivian was born, and cleaned about 25 people's teeth. This year, by the second day they had cleaned that many! They worked several full days, cleaning, etc. everyone's teeth here for free! Their hard work was very much appreciated!! Most people would have never been to a dentist in their lives.

We had several visitors out to hear the conference, plus everyone from here that came out to hear teaching on Parenting. The four (main) subjects that were covered were:
-Dignity of being parents
-Duties of parents
-Discipline by parents
-Difficulties in being parents - plus some Q&A's the last day.
John has such an amazing gift to pass along God's truths and wisdom in a simple and concise manner. The girls all sat well during the meetings too, so I was able to benefit from them too - I am very thankful for that!

I just recently found the blog of a lady who is a missionary in South Africa. It is at http://www.risebeforedawn.blogspot.com/ if you are interested in reading it. She is the sister of our friend Amy who came to visit in 2008. Just in the few days I have read it, she has encouraged me so much. Her and her family's four (+ ?) years in S.A. have not been easy, but she has found something (Someone) to hang on to... Her post a few days ago is called, Wrestling or Rocking? It starts off like this:

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

It's time to wrestle. In prayer...
Her post is extremely direct and challenging. It reminded me of some verses I had just finished reading in Ezekiel: "But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. "So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. "(Ezekiel 33:6-7)

How easy it is, no matter where a person is, to lose focus on what is important. I was saying to Tim last night that I think that's one of (many) benefits of Christians praying together, is that we can encourage one another to stay focused! May my heart be constantly in "tune" with my Master's "song"; may my life ever be subject to His leading, and obedient to His Word.

Well, I have some girlers that need to get to bed, so I better get going. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Rob!!

Today is Tim's brother Rob's birthday! Rob and Ada's son Brayden just celebrated their son Brayden's 1st birthday a couple weeks ago, and here is a sweet family photo taken then! Great cake, Ada!! =)
Here's a picture of the cute couple!

A photo of Mr. Brayden this past summer - so sweet! He has lots more hair now, though!

Rob, as I read the following verse a couple days ago, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9), my mind started traveling on the greatness and the depths of our God that we have no idea about. As I sat and thought about this verse and you, I thought about experiences that you have passed through, that, at the time, seemed hopeless and beyond bearing. I thought about how thankful I am that we don't know the future, and how great it is to be able to look back and see the hand of the Lord working for good in our lives. We couldn't see it at the time, we didn't understand it, but He was there, working out details far better than the greatest imagination could imagine. We pray that your life will continue to demonstrate your dependance on Him in every way.

Wishing you a super day today, Rob! Happy Birthday, and lots of love from all of us!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tired, Emotional, Sick...

Great combination, don't you think??!! =)

It has been quite a week. Monday we got back into the school routine, which went fine. In the evening, Tim and I and the girls were invited to a little boy's birthday along with two other couples and their families, and it was nice to spend time with them. On the way home, my stomach wasn't feeling so great, and I thought maybe I had eaten too much chile. I felt miserable all night, and then had the flu all the next day. I think our last couple weeks of stress, late nights and early mornings caught up with me. Amazingly, I was able to still teach the girls while lying in my bed between naps! Not something I would recommend on a regular basis, but I was thankful it worked for us when it had to anyway! I didn't sleep really well that night either, but the flu and all stomach pains were gone by the next morning...and replaced with a rotten chest cold! I'm thankful for Vick's Vaporub, Hall's cough lozenges, and homemade mustard plastards that I was able to "take" for that!! I had a little "window" of feeling better that evening, and got some things done. Thankfully Tim took over while I was sick, feeding the girls, getting groceries, etc. Thursday I felt really bad again, so Tim called my doctor (since I didn't have any voice). His receptionist called back later to tell me to take Tylenol every 8 hours. Hmmm.(?) Thankfully, my doc himself called back in the afternoon, and after asking some questions, told me that I could pick up a prescription for an antibiotic at his office. Finally on Friday I felt better, and we got ready to get started back into our school (we had only had to miss one day so far), and Mika told me she wasn't feeling well. Fever. Sore throat. Cough. Sigh. Okay, put away the school books - here's some Tylenol, and hop back into bed! Shaelyn developed a cough that day too, but nothing too bad.

Saturday morning. Mika still had a fever, so all I was going to do was run and pick up the young people that help with the children's meeting, drop them off, and then head home with Mika and Vivian. It ended up with just 2 teenaged boys (one for the first time!) coming and no girls, so I decided to stay and help instead. There was a great number of kids that came - 46, plus a grandma of one of the boys. There were 17 boys this week - the numbers are slowly making their way up. After cleaning up, we headed home, then the girls had lunch and went to bed. Vivian had her longest nap in ages - 3.5 hours, so that was super! She really needed it - she's been cutting down to 1 nap, so I was hoping that one would get longer. Just before getting the dishes done, I realized we were out of drinking water in the house. Since Tim was getting ready for the meeting that night, I decided I wouldn't disturb him - I usually let him change the huge jugs of water because they're so big - and I would just do it myself! I went out to the garage, carried it in just fine, took of the top, tipped it over to put it on its stand...and CRASH, somehow it slipped from my hands and broke on the floor, dumping almost the entire contents everywhere. The kitchen floor got a really good cleaning on Saturday! =P

That night we went and picked up kids for the young people's meeting. Thankfully two other ladies prepared the supper, and there was left-over cake from the Sunday before that we had frozen that was perfect for dessert. While the meeting was going on, I took the girls to Costco to get some groceries, and supplies for the hall, and we ended our time there with some yummy, creamy twist ice cream, and a churro (cinnamon and sugar pastry) to share. Back to the hall to clean up, then take people home again. By the time we got in the house, Shaelyn wasn't feeling well. Fever. Tylenol for Mika and Shaelyn, and into bed. Saturdays are currently my longest, most difficult, emotionally-draining days. And then Sunday comes... =)

This morning Mika was feeling better (Thank the Lord!!), but Shaelyn was still feverish. We went and picked people up for the meeting, dropped them off, and headed home again. I was feeling yucky again (I think just from lack of sleep this past week), so I laid down on the bed while the girls coloured. Vivian went to bed around 11am, and I drifted off into La-la Land for a little while. When I woke up, Shaelyn was lying on a pillow and her blanket on the floor. I asked if she had a fever and she thought maybe she did. Yep. After Tylenol, she fell asleep for a little while. The afternoon went pretty well, and thankfully, both after the meeting this morning, and for tonight, there was someone else who volunteered to drive. I was so relieved. Vivian is now in bed (8pm), and the next two little girls are following in about 5 minutes.

There is a conference down in Tepic this next weekend that we volunteered to drive to. The ministry will be especially directed to young people. We'll be taking both our vans, and we are already full for numbers who want to go. Thankfully we have no extra "plans" this week other than that, but we would appreciate it so much if you would please just pray for our girls' health, schooling this week, help to get ready to go away, and safety as we will be traveling all day Friday (it's a 12-hour trip, and we'll be leaving around 530am) and then back again on Monday.

Okay, girlies are in bed - Kyla has a fever too! =( Does this mean it's inevitable that Tim and Vivian will get it too? Hope not!

Between being sick, and having little ones sick, being pregnant, and not sleeping well, there has also been the heavy burden on our hearts for Duncan, and his and Beth's families. I feel like we are praying constantly for them, and aching for the pain they are feeling. I actually feel right now a little like I do right after I give birth. Exhausted, emotional, a bit out of focus, and not always getting that necessary time with the Lord that is needed each day just because of how each day and night happen to be going. And yet, I know the Lord's presence too - I know He's close, and is carrying me through this difficult time. I love that! We know that "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (Psalm 116:15). He knows the hurt and cares of those who are mourning too, and "...put my tears in your bottle." (Psalm 56:8). I've been struggling this week with how life just seems to keep on going for everybody else. I'm sure this is a normal part of grieving, and probably people have looked at me after someone dear to them died, and thought the same thing. A friend posted this interesting article on a man named Billy Borden who died young, comparing his life a little with Beth's, and encouraging us each one to serve the Lord with all our heart in the time that we have left. Billy's journal had these words written in them: "No reserves, No retreats, No regrets."
Duncan is currently out east with his family for a while - I'm glad he is able to spend time with them.

Tim and Mika are almost home, so will get off here for now. Hope you all enjoy the Lord's presence with you this week!