Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Vivian!!

Today is our sweet Vivian's 2nd Birthday!! Since I had lots of pictures at my disposal, I used lots!! =)

The Birthday Girl

Vivian and Alisa

Four Sisters Silly Girl!

Vivi and Kyla

Five Fabulous Females! =)

All us girls
Daddy and Vivian

Our whole family

It continues to amaze us (although it really likely shouldn't!) that though we have 5 girls, they are all so completely different! It can be fun, funny, and sometimes not very funny to see the similarities and differences between them. Our first Mexican baby has much her own personality, but I think she is most similar to Shaelyn out of everyone else. She has almost an equally outgoing and shy personality - depending on the circumstances.

Vivian, we are so blessed by having you, and are so thankful the Lord chose us to be your parents. My verse for you is in James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." While we would never pretend that you or we are perfect, the Lord is, and He perfectly chose us and suited us for each other. We have prayed for you long before you were born, that you will be saved, and that you will be a vessel of use for Him.

Happy 2nd Birthday to our sweet Viviana!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Change of Plans...

I still don't have any pictures to post (well, I have them, but I'm not going to this time), but I'm excited to say that there has been a change in our plans! I had thought I would have to stay here while Tim and a bunch went up to the Bible conference in Phoenix this weekend, however, Alisa's passport came in (in record time!!), and the details have worked out that I'll be going too!! I'm very excited to say the least! =) I won't be leaving until early Saturday morning, while most will be leaving Friday, but there will be two ladies (a mom and daughter) who will be traveling with me, plus our youngest 3 girlies, so I'm pleased about that, and we should still get in in good time.

After the conference we'll all be staying in Phoenix until Thursday, as Mark and Rebekah fly in on Wednesday night - we're hoping to get some shopping done in those couple days - and then head out to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. We're so looking forward to seeing them!

The clothes distibution went really well on Sunday at the hall. There were a few out from the Tirocapes area, and lots of people loaded up with clothes and household items. I think about 90% went, so that was great! We haven't decided what to do with the remaining things yet. There were many who expressed their thankfulness to "whoever" sent all those clothes - thank you again, Jen!

Alisa is four weeks old today - my, how time flies! I really do need to take some more pictures, as she's rounding out even more. =) She's finally staying awake a little longer during the day, and still going between 3 and 7 hours during the night. I haven't been getting myself to bed in very good time lately, and have been feeling the tiredness creep up on me. I was able to catch an hour and a half nap this afternoon, thankfully! Yesterday I was feeling patient, content, rational, etc, and this morning I was impatient, discontented and irrational - it sure would be nice if I could be consistent. Napping (and a good, hard cry) definitely helped, and reading my Bible encouraged me this afternoon as I was reading in Romans 8. While my brain feels like it's functioning at a very low level, the Lord impressed on me how WHOLE and PERFECT His precious book is. For new believers, and people who have been Christians for decades; for the unbeliever, for carnal Christians and spiritual Christians; for believers with whom things are going well, and believers who are being persecuted because of their belief in God - He is everything we need!! I enjoyed this verse today, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8:26) Thank you, Lord! We owe Him so much, don't we!!

I'll try to get some pictures posted on Friday when the rest have left, but we'll see. I may not be posting for a while as we'll be on the road and busy, but hopefully I'll get a chance to write and tell how things are going. Have a good night!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's new around here...

Well, I should be ironing right now, but it's been a while since I've updated... Mika asked me the other day what that Huge pile of clothes in the corner was for??? =)

Our last few days have been full of school, playing, chores, naps (for children and parents), newborn cuddles, making meals, doing dishes, going to meetings...the list could likely go on for a while, but I'll stop there.

Tim, along with Mika and Shaelyn, took my parents up to the airport a week ago today - hard to believe they've been gone so long already! They continued up to Phoenix to pick up about 40 black garbage bags of clothes, that some dear folks from Ohio sent down for us to distribute. As a rule, used clothing is not allowed to cross the border, so we were wondering how it was going to work getting it across - sometimes they will just take everything. There are two checkpoints on the Mexican side. When Tim got to the first one, although he got a green light, the official waved him over to stop, and told him they always check big vans at night. When he found out the van was full of clothes, he told him that used clothing wasn't allowed across. Tim explained that someone had sent the clothes, and that we would be giving them away. The official wasn't happy, but said to declare the clothes at the next checkpoint, and see what they said. At the next checkpoint Tim did that, and the official there said it wasn't allowed, but he would go and check with his supervisors. We praise the Lord that he came back out and said Tim could go on with all the clothes!! It took 3 other ladies and I several hours to get it all sorted out, and spread out on tables in the bottom of the hall, but it is now all ready to be distributed on Sunday. Many thanks to Jen M and family and friends who sent all the clothes down - I will post some pic's next week.

Right now Mika and Shaelyn are playing together next to me. They have been playing for about 1.5 hours now, and they are hilarious to listen to. Mika says something, then tells Shaelyn to say something else. Shaelyn says what Mika told her to say, then tells Mika to say something else. It is so funny, but I sure am thankful they're playing so nicely together, and not fighting. This week has had its share of fighting and frustrations - probably a combination of Alisa being born, starting school, Papa and Nana leaving, getting back on a schedule again, etc. Anyway, we'll just be thankful for the non-fighting times!! =)

Speaking of school, I have been working a little extra with Shaelyn the last 2-3 days, as I was slacking off a bit with her before we stopped for our 3 week break. She has noticeably progressed just in that short time, so I took out a book today (with 3 letter, short-vowel words) that she read through on her own! She was Very excited, as were the rest of us - it is so neat when they learn to read!

Tirocapes, the outreach in the south of the city, continues with a gospel meeting Wednesday evenings, and children's meeting each Saturday morning. Just to mention some names for prayer again for salvation: Flor and Ansony - they have 2 children; Erika and her 3 daughters; Lucia and Javier - Lucia has several children; Lupita and her husband (I can't remember his name), they have 3 children. Her husbands' family are very religious, and showed up Wednesday night right when it was time to leave for meeting so she couldn't go. Although Lupita has only gone out 3 or 4 times, her husband has really not wanted her to go either, telling her that churches only want her money, no matter how nice they seem at first. Also, Amador, wife of a believer, Socorro; Rosa's husband Martin - 8 of their 9 children are not saved, either; Manuel, and his adult daughter Alma. Those are all the names I can think of right now. Please pray for two of the dear Christians who live near these folks, Jorge and Karina, that their testimony will be a bright light to lead others to the Saviour. Tim has been thinking about doing something for the school children one other evening during the week - like setting up a sketchboard outside, or something, for everyone walking by after getting out from school. Please pray for wisdom in this for us.

The temperature has nicely cooled off a bit around here - we thought summer might come early, as it's been up to 38 C several times in the last couple weeks. Today it's breezy with a temp of about 28 C or so, so comfortable. Long may it continue...

Alisa is a delightful and scrumptious little newborn, and we are all enjoying her greatly! She still sleeps about 95-98% (no exaggeration), and wakes up mostly only to eat, and open her pretty blue eyes for a few minutes before going back to sleep to grow some more! =) She is growing by leaps and bounds, it seems. All the girls adore her, but Vivian is the funniest, who says her name, "Alistha" and wants to be with her and hold her all the time. I'll have to take a video of them together, and post it soon.

Phoenix conference is coming up next weekend. Tim and Mika, probably Shaelyn, a few young people, and Marcus and Alison and family are going up on Friday. Tim and the girls will be back by Monday, which is Vivian's 2nd birthday (?!?!), and then on Wednesday we drive up to Phoenix again because Tim's brother Mark and Bekah are coming for over Easter weekend!!! They fly in Wednesday night, and get to stay until Tuesday morning - we are so excited about their visit, and plan to go see Sedona and the Grand Canyon while they're here. We are praying for Alisa's Canadian Citizenship card and passport to come in time, and would appreciate your prayers for this as well! We did cross when Vivian was a wee baby without them, but don't take that for granted.

Okay, that's it for now. Sorry no pictures this time, but will try to post some soon. My parents took hundreds of pictures while they were here, so it's hard to sort through them all.

I'll just share a verse that "hit" me a few days ago: "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ellie!!

Today is my sister Liz and Trevor's daughter Ellie's 1st birthday!! Here's a picture of the smiley little girl herself:
Ellie and her big sister Katja (4.75), and Kiernan (2.5)

The whole family last September
Dear little Ellie Belly - who can resist an adorable little girl like you, with such an adorable nick-name!?! =) I can't believe you're one year old already - I'm so glad we got to meet you last summer, at least! For some reason, the verses in Ecclesiastes 3 came to mind as I was thinking of your birthday post. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) There is a time for everything. There was the wonderful time when you were born into the Griffin (and Sharp) family, and we pray that there will be a time in a few short years that we will hear of you being born again - this time into God's family!! You are a special little girl, and the Lord has a special plan for your life, and we thank Him for you!

We love you - Happy 1st Birthday, Ellie!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is a very special birthday of my Mom's - and it isn't number 29!! =)
Here is a lovely picture of my Mom and DadHere is a picture of "Nana" and her eldest and youngest grandchildren, Marika and AlisaNana with two of our middle girls, Kyla and Shaelyn......and with Vivian

Papa and Nana and all their Mexican grandchildren

The whole Sharp family this past summer except for Alisa
Mom, you spent the last 3 weeks here in our home, and we are so blessed because of it. Thank you for your patience and endurance as you played, cleaned, cooked, baked, etc, etc... while you were here. Many happy memories were made! "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:" (Proverbs 31:28) We wish we could be with you on your special day, but are thankful for time we did have together. Looking forward to the time we can spend with you again in the summer, Lord willing.
Happy 60th Birthday, Mom, with lots of love from all of us here!