Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Katja!!

Today is my sister Liz and Trevor's oldest daughter Katja's 5th birthday!!
What a sweet little princess she is!

Here is the whole family at Christmas: Liz, Trevor, Katja, Keenan (2.5) and Ellie (1)The three cute kiddos!

Katja, was a sweet, special girl you are! The Lord has a very special plan for your life, and I'm so excited and thankful to know you, and to see what He has in store for you!

Here is a special verse just for you today:
"these...who have turned the world upside down," (Acts 17:6)

That sounds funny, doesn't it? This verse is in the middle of a story in the Bible when some men were telling other people about the Lord Jesus, and the people of the city didn't like it. They said they "turned the world upside down..." with the news of Christ. You have the potential to do this too! Uncle Tim and I have prayed for your salvation since before you were born, and we pray that when you are saved, you will live your life telling others about Him too!

Hope you have a wonderfully Happy 5th Birthday, Katja! With lots of love from all of us!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Christians, read your Bibles!"

(The title is a quote from dear Mr. Arnold Adams - he was often heard saying it. I thought it was appropriate for what I was writing in this post.)

I feel full right now. Contentedly full, but not of food - I feel full after enjoying reading my Bible this morning.
I don't always feel full after reading. Sometimes my "stomach" is still growling because I don't take enough time, or I'm not concentrating on what I'm reading - just reading to read.
I love the days when I know and feel the Lord's presence with me. When He's speaking to me, and I'm willing to listen. My heart and mind are at peace (yes, even with 7 rambunctious children in the house!!) =).

This morning I started my daily reading in Proverbs 23. I've been thinking quite a bit about child-rearing recently (for some reason), so the verses in the middle were helpful. Then verse 17 and 18 caught my eye:
"Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
There are lots of days I really wish I didn't care so much about how my children were being raised. All the time and energy that goes into correcting, encouraging, etc - it seems like it would be so much easier if I just let them away with everything. These verses really spoke to me. I am not to give up, I am not to be lax or lazy in raising and discipling our children, I am not to try to do it all on my own - I need to "continue in the fear of the LORD all the day".

I started the book of Hebrews today as well. I've been reading 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon in the last few days, and was reminded (again) why I need to continuously read my Bible - I forget what it says!! How encouraged I've been through my reading recently. Today, in Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it."

Just wanted to post a little what I was encouraged in this morning, and I'll leave you with just a few more verses I read:
Hebrews 2:18, "For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
3:12,13 "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."
4:14-16 "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

BUSY weekend!

Soooo, next year, I think it's a good idea if we don't plan to have our annual Sunday School Treat, the last children's meeting of the year in Tirocapes, Father's Day, company staying and the Cain family leaving for vacation all in the same weekend. It was just a little nutzo!! Thankfully everything came together quite nicely, and we're at the sit down and relax end of it! =)

First of all, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my one and only - my beloved husband and the best Daddy in the world to our 5 precious girls! I love you so much, Sweetheart!! Happy Father's Day, too to our two favourite Dads - Gary and Bruce - we love you both so much - thanks for your wonderful, godly examples!

We have done a play for the last 3 years here for the Sunday School Treat. The first two (Noah's Ark and The Great Supper) were both put together by John D, and this year (Paul and Silas) was put together by Eleo. Some people were made bursting with creativity, and Eleo is one of those people. She also had Alison, Marcus and Madeleine Cain, Emily C and my Tim who helped by painting, hanging curtains and backdrops, sewing, putting together costumes and props, etc, etc, etc. The results were truly amazing!! Last night we had 130 people come out to see it, and heard the gospel clearly presented. Joia took all these pictures - I had totally forgotten my camera, so thankfully she rarely forgets hers!!

Here are the two youngest classes. They are people in the New Testament who tell their testimonies of how God has saved them (Mary, Martha, Bartimaeus, Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, Ethiopian eunuch, Paul, etc)

Shaelyn was Mary
Kyla is in the littlest class, and they all said a verse together

Mika was the Ethiopian eunuch Paul and Silas

Caught by the police
Before the judge

Paul and Silas being beaten (by a pool noodle)

(There was a lot of giggling going on at this point, by both Paul and Silas and the audience)

Taken to prison

Put into stocksTalking with some of the other prisoners

After the earthquake with the jailor

Telling the jailors' family about salvation

The whole group

Mika again


We were really pleased our neighbours came out to see the girls. Please pray for Ivan, Elvira and their daughter Mariana.

Very exciting news - after the meeting in Tirocapes on Wednesday night, Lupita professed to be saved! Please pray for the salvation of her husband Jesus, and their children Cristofer, Yolei and Gabriel. Also on Wednesday, Lupita's neighbour, Pedro attended the gospel meeting for the first time, and seemed quite interested. He was one of two or three people who were entombed in a 'dirt-slide' while putting 8' water pipes in under a road a few months ago. Pedro got out, at least one of the other men died. Tonight at the gospel meeting Pedro was out with his wife Lourdes, and their 3 children. Please pray for their salvation.

After meeting tonight, Joia and the kids and us went out for yummy Sonoran hotdogs, and then went up the little mountain Cerro de la Campana to see the city lights at night. It ended up being fairly late getting the kiddos into bed tonight. Hopefully they'll sleep in a bit tomorrow. They continue to get along fairly well, for which we are very thankful!! Tomorrow we are hoping to go to Kino Beach for a few hours and enjoy a picnic lunch!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

They're here!

Tim, his sister Joia, and her two kiddos Keenan and Moriah arrived Tuesday night around 8pm. About 1/2 an hour before I was expecting them. The upstairs was pristine clean, the downstairs...well, if I'd had that extra 1/2 hour, if would have been too! =)

The kids are all getting along fairly well. Seven children in one house, with six of them 5 and under, makes for some interesting times! They have coloured, played games, swam, ran around outside, played on the trampoline, played with plastic animals, read books and watched a video that Joia brought for our girls (Word World - pretty cool!). Last night Joia, the kids and I went to Taco Bongo after the kiddos swam for 1.5 hours! There they played on the playground, and were well ready for bed when we got home!

Yesterday the young people went to the beach, so just Marcus and Alison were home with Evelyn. We wanted them to come for lunch, as the Cain's will be leaving on Sunday, and we won't see them until we get back from our trip to Canada the end of August. The younger children needed an early nap, so we made a cheese pizza for them at 12pm, put them into bed, and they were all asleep by 130pm, when the Cain's came over and we had a quiet, adult meal together (more homemade pizza) - wierd, yet wonderful!! =) We then had some yummy birthday cake. Is this not the most beautiful cake in the entire world? It is - because my Mika (8 yrs old) made and decorated it, from start to finish! I'll put some more pictures at the end to show its development.
Today we went to a delicious shrimp place for lunch. All the kiddos (except Mika) are now down for a nap, and I think Joia's getting a rest too. Time changes are definitely harder on adults!

Here is a picture of Alisa's toes. Odd perhaps, but the reason is that her toes are different than the rest of ours. Her "big" toe is shorter than her other one, and none of us can figure out where she "got" that from. Funny, eh!?!Here is a picture of when our school books arrived for the fall. =)Shaelynnie was helping me clear off the table after lunch one day, and was going to get the stool so she could put the strawberries into the fridge. This was the result: Whoops! =) Now here is Mika and her cake. Except for turning on the oven and greasing the pan, she made this cake ALL by herself. I only directed sometimes, but she did everything! Then it was time to ice it. Thankfully she's seen me do this Lots of times, so although she did have a few questions, and I directed a little in this too - she iced the entire cake herself - I didn't do anything!Starting to decorate the bottom border:Two colours:Next the top:Starting the writing. She wrote it out with a toothpick first, then with icing:
Next she wanted to add some flowers:
Happy Mika, proud Mommy!
The side detail:

I thought it was going to be a lot more stressful, because I was afraid that Mika would get upset if something she tried didn't work (and I had no idea if it Would turn out well or not). But she wasn't stressed at all, and was quite content (with good reason) with all she accomplished, so it turned out quite well. I think she is continuing on in her lineage of Woodford cake decorators!

We have meeting tonight, the Sunday school treat practice tomorrow night, the last children's meeting of the year in Tirocapes on Saturday morning, then the Treat on Saturday evening. It will be a fairly busy weekend! =) Eleo, Alison, Madeleine, and Emily (from NS) and Tim have all been working like crazy with the props for the treat.

Probably won't be posting again until next week, and hopefully I'll have some pictures of all our visitors then too! =)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Catch up again!

I'll get a update post in here now that those bunch of birthdays are over - June is as busy for birthdays as February is, I think - still more to come this month!

Tim was away again in San Luis Rio Colorado (SLRC) helping out while the regular missionaries there (Dan and Joan H) are away for a few days. SLRC is where we went at Christmas-time to distribute the Seedsowers (Bible verse texts). Tim left today to go up to Phoenix, where he'll pick up his sister Joia and two children, and bring them down here for two weeks! Can't wait to see them - we are all quite excited!

Mika finished up her math for the year today!! Yay! I didn't think this would happen, so it's kind of neat that she got an extra adreneline boost, and I think we'll be done completely this week! Our school books arrived the other day for the fall, so that was exciting for everyone. Kyla starts JK, Shaelyn will be in SK, and Mika in grade 3. Vivi will be getting into trouble!! =)

I've gotten to know our vet better recently, and I told him today, I hope I don't see you again soon! Our Holly was spayed a couple of weeks ago, and she has pulled out her stitches...wait for it...THREE times!! It was partly my fault (the 3rd time it happened) as I took off her cone so she could eat and drink properly. Five minutes later, she was apart again. Let's just say that cone isn't coming off until a week from now!!

The girls and I have started into Spanish classes again! I told Eleo today that I'm so slow I'll be her student for the next 5 years. She kindly said, "Better slow so it sticks than fast and it doesn't." Let's just pray it sticks!!

Eleo planned a special breakfast for all the ladies last Friday, and since there were so many of us going, we had it at Alison's instead. It was a delicious brunch, and some nice chatting, and I had only one daughter to look after for four hours! Madeleine very sweetly babysat the others for me. It was an nice morning.

Our Sunday school treat/play is this Saturday coming. This is the 3rd one for us here. The first year was Noah's Ark, last year was the Great Supper, and this is the Philippian jailor. Thankfully other people than me are responsible for the creative juices that flow in making up and organizing these things. I just practice the girls' lines with them - and that's lots for me! We are looking forward to seeing it all played out. Lots of family members come (last year we had 130 people), and of course the gospel is clearly presented. This year we will have Shad and Cynthia S with us, along with a bunch from Obregon. Sure looking forward to seeing them, too!

Our sweet chubster Alisa is almost 3 months old - I can hardly believe it! She is 13+ lbs, and a darling little smiler. She has kind of pointed ears that we were chuckling about recently, and someone said, "She's part elf (ears) and part dwarf (short and chubby)!" Too funny!

Vivi is still doing well going on the potty - definitely getting the hang of things. She was even dry when she woke up from her nap today! Yay!

When it was my Dad's birthday the other day, Kyla said, "We should send some stickers to Papa for his birthday!" What else would a person want, really?

Shaelyn said to me the other day, "Mommy, when will I get married? I mean, when will I turn six?" Does she really think that will happen the same time? =)

Mika baked a cake today - ALL by herself! I turned on the oven, and greased the pan, that was it! She took it out of the oven and everything - I am so proud of her!! Of course, I think she might be prouder, but anyway! =) Tomorrow she is going to try to ice it, and then we'll celebrate my birthday on Wednesday when Tim and Joia are here.

Enjoying some verses in Job recently - it's amazing reading in this book about His great power. Two of the many I appreciated:
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:" (Job 13:15)

"For I know that my Redeemer lives," (Job 19:25)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ada!!

Today is Tim's brother Rob's wife Ada's birthday! Having just given birth to their second little boy, this birthday will be extra special, I imagine. Oh, and maybe turning 30 has something to do with it too!! =)

Rob and Ada
Rob, Ada, Brayden (1.5) and Joshua (newborn in picture - 3 weeks old now)
When I think of Ada, I think of joy. Take a look at that beautiful, smiling face in the pictures, and you can see why! "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

(Galatians 5:22-23) The joy she has from the Lord just extends out to everyone around her, and we are so blessed by the 'fruit' so evident in her life.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Ada! Love you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Today is my Dad's 65th birthday!! My mom pulled off a surprise party for him the other night, so she was pretty pleased with herself!! =) Here's the sweet couple here:
Here are Dad and Mom with their Mexican grandchildren:

Dad with Lucas, one of his 'closer' grandchildren. "Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness." (Titus 2:2)

While I don't think of you as "old", you're older than me, so I think this applies! =) Actually, it applies, because I believe you actually are what Paul was writing to Titus about - and I'm so thankful for that! Thank you for your godly example!

We love you, Dad - have a wonderful birthday!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jeff!!

Today is my brother Jeff's birthday! The one who teased me mercilessly when we were younger, and the one I look up to despite it all! =)

Here's my favourite brother with his beautiful bride of 10 years, Marianne! Here's a picture of the whole family last month - they had just sold their house.Their 3 sweet kiddos: Jared (6.5), Gracia (4) and Lucas (almost 2) It's kind of funny - in the last few days we've had someone here who reminds me of Jeff, as well I was talking to someone about a brother/sister pair that we both know, and telling her how they reminded me of Jeff and I, and how much I miss the talks, etc, we used to have before we were both married. You just never know how short those special times will be with people sometimes.

Jefferson, I miss you! You've prayed for me, teased me, blessed me, been straight with me, cried with me, laughed with me (and at me!!), talked with me, encouraged me and loved me!
I am so thankful for you.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Hope you have a superbly wonderful birthday - we love you so much!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feeling chatty!!

Whew - it's been a long, hot day! However, my girlies are in bed and asleep, the house is tidy, and now I feel like talking!! But since I can't do that, I'll do second best, and write! =)

Today we had our third picnic for the assembly here. It was probably the smallest so far, and definitely the hottest (mid-40's, but low humidity, thankfully!), but a very nice time. I took my camera, I really did! But I did not take a single picture. Hoping that one of my picture taking friends will share with me anyway! I think I drank about 5 litres of water today - at least it seemed like it. We made up about 60 litres of drinks for the picnic (about 40 people), and it was all gone at the end of the day!

It's been ages since I really wrote, so I guess I have lots to say. Tim is currently up in Canada. He and Shaelyn left on Thursday, and flew up to Detroit. Today was his cousin's wedding in Indiana, so Mark and Bekah, and Mom W picked up Tim and Shaelyn, and drove them down to the wedding. Apparently it was wonderful: God-honouring, with a well-presented gospel. Congratulations to Philip and Jennifer Lindquist!! They stayed for a supper afterward, then left at around 8pm, and arrived in London at 1am their time. Tim and Shaelyn fly back on Tuesday. The other girls and I have been doing quite well despite them not being here. Yesterday was a little different, as I needed to get some shopping done, and thought that instead of waiting until later on a Friday, we would try to get out early. We left at around 10am, and were home around 12pm. Made lunch, the little girls napped, then we went swimming a little later. When we got home, Mika made us sandwiches for supper, we read some books, talked to Tim and Shaelynnie on the phone, and then they were into bed.

The weather has steadily been creeping upwards, and I must say, I don't know that I'm ready for the humid summer weather just yet! Thankfully the evenings have remained coolish, which is such a relief. Yesterday it was so hot, all the water coming out of the taps were hot, and the girls couldn't wash their hands if the water ran for long. The pool also has remained relatively cool, and is still refreshing to get into. Shaelyn is pretty excited about swimming this year, as she's finally learned to swim! She puts on her goggles, and swims like a little fish!

Here's a picture of something fun we tried a week or so ago. Mika found a graham cracker recipe that she and I tried. I didn't roll it out thin enough, so it was more like a biscuit, but good anyway. Tim had the idea to "roast" some mini marshmallows over our stove, add chocolate kisses and the crackers, and we had some yummy s'mores!! =)

This has been a regular occurance recently. Vivian's just past needing a nap in the morning, but it's hard for her to wait for her afternoon one sometimes. Her daddy was helping keep her head from falling!

Here are our sweet girlies! Alisa has used the Bumbo seat several times lately, and I think she likes the sitting up position. She does Not like to lie down, so this is a good option!!
A regular school day in the Woodford's school room. Thankfully you can't hear the noise that often accompanies this view!! =) We are almost done school for the year - just 4 weeks now, so we'll be done the end of June. I had been thinking about trying to speed along, but I find that stressful, so I think we'll just go at the rate we're going. I was excited to get our schoolbooks for next year ordered already - that's always fun when we get the new ones in the mail! Hard to believe Mika will be starting grade 3, and Shaelyn will start SK! Kyla will be doing some JK stuff, but I'm not sure how much she'll be doing regularly. While she enjoys being around the other girls, she doesn't sit still for very long, so we'll just have to take it slowly with her.

Our sweet Alisa. She looked so adorable sleeping on her daddy's arm. Irresistible!
We were trying to get a picture of this chunk-a-lunk! She's rolly-polly, and like a barrel around the middle, but we don't think the picture really does justice of how chubby she is in real life!

Sweet smiles!
Sisterly love. While all our girls have loved their baby sisters, I don't think any of them have shown the love Vivian has for Alisa. I have never seen her be jealous or anything with her so far, and it has been very sweet! She truly adores her. Mika was trying to look like she was only a head! =)
Kyla wanted to take a picture, so Vivian and I
Like I said, a regular occurance.
Vivian is being potty trained! If this is TMI for you, please skip down to the next paragraph! =) We have never done this before, but decided to try her without clothes on at all, as we had read others doing this, and it working well. Today is day 4, and she is doing Really well! Hardly any accidents, and telling us when she needs to go. She's quite happy to run around in the buff, however doesn't understand why she's not allowed to go outside!! I took another picture of Vivian having fallen asleep in a funny position, but I'm not posting it - it was her first day of using the toilet, and I think she was a little stressed out by it all! She had "gone" on the potty twice, and when I came out of the kitchen, she was leaning against the couch kind of funny. I went over to the other side, and sure enough, she was fast asleep standing up!! Her one leg kept giving out on her, but she would right herself, and continued snoozing! Too funny.

Here are some more pictures of Vivian and Alisa from today - Vivi is the queen of funny faces:

I've greatly been enjoying my daily reading in Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther of late. Some of the ladies at the meeting have been talking quite a bit about reading and praying recently. In Nehemiah, it shows how spontaneously one can pray, when the king asks him a question, and it says, "So I prayed to the God of heaven." (Neh. 2:4) and then went on to tell the king what was on his heart. I've been especially encouraged in the praying "area" by Alison C. I enjoy both reading my Bible and praying, but sometimes praying takes a little more perserverance for me. She has been encouraging me to not just mention names when I pray, but to pray specifically for people. She is often telling me about people she's praying for (she has several lists of people), and how she takes breaks up in her room during the day to pray for people she has on her mind. I haven't had a specific prayer list for several years, and I've recently written one up again, and am enjoying praying for my dear family and friends more regularly and more specifically. I just read yesterday, "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" Pretty convicting, isn't it!?! I thought of LOTS of things today that I'm thankful for!!! =)

Another verse I enjoyed recently: "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11-12) So very thankful for my Heavenly Father who loves me!

I've been thinking that I haven't done any updates on the girls recently, so thought I would add that, too. Our sensitive Mika is 8, with creativity bursting at every seam of her body! She is often dreaming, making up stories, drawing, making crafts that she's thought of, and reading books. She likes to have some time to herself without the noise and bustle of the little girls around. She and Eva have made the play house out back into a "Sea Museum", with sea shells, crab shells, plastic fish/sharks/whales, etc, with pictures of other sea creatures taped up on the walls. While not always willingly, she is a great help to me by helping with the girls, especially Vivian, and helping with cleaning up. She's very dependable, and now that she not taking naps anymore (Yes, she just stopped a couple months ago!), I've been enjoying spending more one-on-one time with her, which is incredibly special to both of us.

Our Shaelyn is 5, and despite her seemingly out-going-ness, is quite shy and insecure in front of others. She loves animals, loves to draw, ride bikes, swim, and while she's always like to look at books, has recently learned how to read, which is opening up a great big world for her as well. She is learning to be more responsible, and helping out around the house. When she was sick a while ago and threw up, I held her while she was crying and said, "Don't worry, Honey, this happens to everyone!" She immediately stopped crying and asked, "Even pirates?" We just never know what that little girl might say next!

Our spunky Kyla is 3.5. She has more energy than everyone in our house put together, most of the time. She is often being told to mind her own business, but underneath her nosiness is a real servant's heart. She loves to help people, but sometimes gets a little carried away. She has wonderful ideas, but I often tell her to ask first before she does something. She's a bit of a dare-devil, climbing up trees after Mika and Evelyn, and flying into the pool. She loves to snuggle, and gives amazing hugs!

Our Vivian is 2. She reminds us alot of Shaelyn in many ways, especially with her sense of humour and temper, and how she gets embarrassed easily. She has a hundred different funny faces that keep us in stitches, and says, "Huh?", "Okay, Mommy!" and "OH!" at the most hilarious times. She and Kyla are often a pair, and are either playing wonderfully with each other, or fighting like cats and dogs. She is a really good cleaner-up-er, and loves to help me with the dishes. She's at a really funny age right now!

Our baby Alisa is 2.5 months already. It's really true that time flies, because I just can't believe she's so big already. I haven't weighed her in a couple weeks, but she sure is chubby! She's generally happy most of the day, but has fussy periods in the evenings especially. It's been nice that she's been enjoying her Bumbo seat, because she's happier there than in her swing, and it takes the place of Mommy's arms sometimes, 'cause she's SO heavy! We love to smooch her chubby cheeks, and cuddle her as much as we can!

The outreach in Tirocapes on Wednesday nights continues well. Not only are there several people coming out to hear God's Word, but it's also been a great opportunity for several of the young guys to share the gospel. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Speaking again of praying, tomorrow would have been Duncan and Bethany's first anniversary. Please pray for Duncan.

Okay, it's past my bedtime, and I think I've chatted enough now! =) Sundays are always busy days, so I need to get to bed!