Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gracia!!

Today is my brother Jeff and Marianne's little girl Gracia's birthday!!
Happy 5th Birthday, Gracia!
Jeff, Marianne, Jared (7), Gracia (5), Lucas (2.5)
So excited we get to see these sweet folks in just FOUR days!! Happy 5th Birthday, Gracia - we love you, and can't wait to see you!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Under Attack

Dear friends,

I would like to ask you to pray for some missionary families over in South Africa.  They are under the attack of Satan right now, and are asking for us to battle with them in prayer.  If you would like to read their latest update, it is here. Then, please go to your 'closet' and earnestly pray for Mark and Gwen, and Hans and Rachel, their young children, and the new work there.  In the several years they have been working there, only in the last few months have they seen some people saved, and then more recently, baptised.  Satan, of course, is very opposed to this, and is trying to cripple them.

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
...God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."  (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 24-27)

Thank you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Alisa!!

Today is our sweet little sunshine Alisa's 1st birthday!!  How thankful we are for this adorable girl the Lord has blessed us with!! We love you so much, Alisa - have a Happy Birthday!!
Hard to believe this is her one year ago!
Five Precious Girls

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick update...

Here I am after only...well, it depends whether you count the last update, or the birthday post!!  ;)  Anyway, not so long as last time!

Are you ready for some good news?  No lice!! YES!!!!!  As of right now, we are all currently bug-free, and VERY happy about it!  =)  I plan to check the girls every few days for the next bit, just to make absolutely sure, but we're sure pleased right now.

Ready for some not so good news?  No, me either.  But the fact is, Alisa had a fever for about 3 days straight, along with a little diarrhea.  While she hasn't had a fever since yesterday, I just discovered this evening that she is now covered with a rash. I'm hoping the rash is circumstantial, and is just because I recently changed our fabric softener.  She has continued eating and drinking, so I wasn't particularly worried up until this point, but I might just make a doctor's appointment for her tomorrow if she hasn't improved.  She's been extremely grumpy (with good reason), but thankfully has slept quite a bit. Please pray our little pumpkin will be feeling better soon! Hopefully she be up and at 'em again by Friday, as it is her birthday!

Did something I've never done before today, and that is take ALL the girls to my OB appointment!  Tim has been crazy busy trying to get the floor at the hall done, and so wasn't able to watch the girls like he usually does.  They were quite well-behaved, and enjoyed seeing the ultra-sound of the baby, even though he/she was doing its best to keep hidden.  We got to see some wiggling toes and fingers, so that was fun!

Thankfully, despite how busy Tim has been, he's been able to make it home for lunch most days, so we still get to see him a bit.  Our conference is this coming weekend, and the new tile floor in the basement still needs to be sealed.  The kitchen, bathrooms and hallways are now done, so they plan to finish tomorrow.  I'm so proud, and so thankful for a husband that is such a hard worker, and does such a great job at what he sets his hands to do!  This past Saturday there was a major clean up at the hall to get ready for the coming conference.  Tim had children's meeting in the morning at Tirocapes, and went directly to the hall afterwards.  We had pizza for lunch, and then started at it!  I must say, I was extremely proud of our young people too, and how hard they worked - 6-7 hours straight of washing windows, cleaning chairs, painting, sweeping, mopping, etc - it was great to see!  Afterward, Tim left to go to a Baby shower I was supposed to go to, but couldn't because of Alisa's fever (thankfully it was for both guys and girls), and narrowly missed being made to have his face painted!!  ;)

Our girls also surprised me with some hard work and cleaning.  The other day Alison and I were busy with conference planning, and Mika and Evelyn thought it would be fun to surprise me - they included the little girls too, although apparently Vivian "just played!"  =)  Here were their lists of accomplishments:
Great job, eh!?! I was duly impressed, and a few days later they were most pleased with some special "Award" cards I made up for them to thank them for their hard work!
Crazy grin!
Quite proud of her bike-riding skills!
Three sweet monkeys that I love!

Yes, those are the only pictures I have taken in the last week, plus. I somehow missed that picture-taking gene that others in my family and extended family have!

Satan seems to be working hard around here, and we can see his hand in many things recently. Sometimes it feels like we're slogging through mud a bit, just trying to walk from Point A to Point B. We are thankful for the words that say, "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
This morning I started reading in Joshua, and was encouraged by reading the account of the children of Israel crossing the Jordan river. I appreciated reading this: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) We very much appreciate each one of you that prays for us, and the work here in Hermosillo!

Gotta get to bed, but wanted to quickly update before the rest of the week flies away....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Keenan!!

Today is Tim's sister Joia and Philip's son Keenan's birthday!!
Five Years Old!!!

3 little sweethearts!

Philip and Joia, Keenan (5), Moriah (3) and Caleb (4 months) 
Happy Birthday, sweet boy!!  We love you so much, and hope you have a super day!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

40 days

I should be sleeping.  I could be folding laundry or sweeping the floor - it definitely needs to be done.  However, it's been ages since I blogged, and although I've been trying to get here for weeks, it just hasn't happened.  So right now, with all the girlies in bed, I am sitting down and writing about our goings-on.

What's the "40 Days" about?  Tim preached recently on when the number 40 is mentioned in the Bible - it always has to do with testing and/or trials.  I feel like we've been in the middle of some "40 days" recently, and because of the busyness associated with that, I haven't been on here much.  Ever notice that you just can't multi-task when on the computer?  I really can multi-task doing almost anything (not saying I get much accomplished, but I can do it) - but I can't when I'm on the computer.  I can't listen to someone telling me something, I can't watch the girls ride their bikes, I can't watch the baby and make sure she's not getting into something she shouldn't, I can't fold laundry, and I can't check hair for lice.

Yes, we're still working away at getting rid of the nasty bugs, but things have started looking up in the last few days.  Vivi and Kyla have been clear for over a week.  Yesterday Shaelyn was clear, and Mika only had four.  I found out she had nits about a week and a half ago, as well as me!  =P  Have I said yuck yet?  YUCK!  Alison has kindly come to check my head twice now, and I have been doing olive oil treatments every three days, plus combing my hair to get rid of them.  I think we're getting close.  It's frustrating reading on the internet about lice as there is lots of contradictions out there regarding "facts".  For us, the vinegar (to dissolve the "glue" of the nits), mayonaise and olive oil treatments (the fat in them smothers anything alive) have worked really well for us, as well as picking out the nits, of course.  Plus we added teatree oil to our shampoo and conditioner, which will hopefully keep further ones at bay!  Between checking heads, the extra laundry and cleaning and just daily living, we haven't had a ton of time for much extra.  I was telling my mom last night that it was when I finally got to the point where I realized I couldn't do much else than what I'm doing that I finally had peace about it all.  The girls haven't done school in a week and a half, but with where we are now we can start again tomorrow.  While it took me 2 hours to check less than a quarter of Shaelyn's head in the beginning, I can go through both hers and Mika's now in about 1/2 an hour each - definitely progress!!  We would appreciate your continued prayers though, that we (I) would be patient, and learn what needs to be learned through this, but as well that we will be done with this problem soon!!  =)  The Lord knows how much I love routine, and for some reason He is allowing this and we are very much not in a routine.  I know His ways are best, but it's been difficult with this continuing on.  Perhaps I'm just not a very fast learner!!  ;)

My original title for this post was going to be A Dessert Party, Birthdays, A Wedding, Visitors and More...  It would sure be disappointing to not have any pictures of the events that title boasts, wouldn't it?   =) I'll do my best to post a variety from each one at the end, although most certainly weren't taken by me! 

Going back to the last time I updated (almost a month ago) to Valentine's Day and Shaelyn's birthday (Feb 15th).  Jesse and Emily thought it would be fun to do a Dessert Party for Valentine's Day (and who could/would say no!?!), so although we had the party on the Monday instead of the actual day, it was a super fun evening with lots of hearts and sweets!  I know I've mentioned Jesse and Emily before, but don't think I've written who they are actually.  They are a young couple from Washington, who were commended by their assembly there, and moved down to Mexico in August, 2011.  Jesse spent a year in Nicaragua with Duncan, and Emily was best friends with Bethany - they both stood up for them at their wedding.  After Bethany's death, they felt the Lord was directing them to a different sphere of service.  They have been taking Spanish lessons with Eleo since they moved here, and although they live here in Hermosillo, they frequently visit Obreg√≥n, and plan to move there after their lessons are over.  They have a blog called Walking in His Light if you care to visit and see some pictures.
So, the Dessert Party.  Jesse and Emily invited the Cains, Eleo and our family to their house for desserts, and to play games afterward.  We ended up eating some hors d'oeurves first, so we wouldn't completely make ourselves sick with sweets, and then got to the good stuff.  Here are some of their pictures if you are interested.  I will post a few of Madeleine's at the bottom, since I forgot to take my camera.  We had such a fun night, and although I told them we Really shouldn't do this again soon - it was only because I ate way too much!!

Shaelyn's 6th birthday was two days later.  We had a nice day together, and the Cains, Jesse & Emily and Eleo all came for homemade pizza.  Her favourite gift is a plastic bird that Tim bought for her that sings (LOUDLY) when you push its button.  It stays fairly high up, and I can tolerate it as long as I'm at the opposite end of the house!! ;)

Two days after that we headed up to Phoenix for Duncan and Anna's wedding.  We were able to get a little shopping done on the way up, so that was nice too.  The day was perfectly beautiful, and it was a very kid-friendly wedding.  Marika and Shaelyn were at the "Kid's Table", which they were just thrilled with!  It was a really nice day, and we were thankful to be able to share it with them.  Duncan and Anna plan to move to Hermosillo the end of this month, and will be taking Spanish lessons from Eleo as well.  They'll be living about 5 minutes away.  We spent Sunday with the Spanish believers at the West Phoenix Gospel Hall, and got some visits in with friends and fellow missionaries we haven't seen in some time.

We drove home on Monday, and had some hitch-hikers come with us.  Well, not exactly.  Emily McC was down for the wedding, and was going to spend a week in Hermosillo with Eleo!  =)  We were delighted that they could come with us, and had a nice visit down.  It was great to see Emily again, and we were thankful for some extra time we were able to spend with her.  She and Eleo had an extremely busy week, getting together with the young girls, making special treats, and then they had a night with all the ladies, and did a presentation on Spiritual Gifts.  It was such an encouraging time together, and all of us were blessed by them.  At the very beginning, some wrapped gifts were given out, and those who received them were told that they could open the gifts any time during the evening.  Only one did before the end.  Then at the end, everyone who had a gift was to open it, and stand at the front.  We were told, just like these gifts, our spiritual gifts can be left "unopened", when we don't look to see what gifts we have, as well as "neglecting" the gifts, and not "stirring up" the gifts that we have.  All the gifts that were given to the ladies had to do with the spiritual gifts spoken of in the Bible, and could be used as tools to "stir them up"!  A very profitable time.

Em left on Sunday, then Marika's birthday was on Tuesday.  She wanted a similar cake to the one I did last year, so Tim and I enjoyed doing it together.  I don't know what I would do if I didn't have his ideas and extra hand in decorating cakes.  Her special gift was a locket, with Tim and my (at her request) pictures in it.  We invited 3 families from Tirocapes for the afternoon, and after eating pizza and cake, all the kids (15 altogether) played, riding bikes, and scooters, and just having fun till we needed to leave for meeting.  There were a few who slept through meeting!!  =)

The birthdays don't stop yet though - Alisa's first birthday is in two weeks, and Vivian's is the middle of April.  She has been quite confused at both Shaelyn and Mika's birthdays, thinking it was her birthday, and wondering where her cake, etc, is!

We're now working on our conference that is also in two weeks.  Planning meals, and trying to get cleaning projects done, and just all the details worked out.

To add more stress to our lives, we found out we're getting some visitors.  For 10 days.  Five of them.  *Sigh*
Just kidding!!  We got a surprise phone call a few days ago, and my brother Jeff, his wife Marianne and their three sweeties are coming the end of this month!!  This is their first visit, and we can't wait!!!!  =)  The girls are already planning all the fun things we'll get to do while they're here!

Pregnancy - I'm 31 weeks now - hard to believe this little Bean will be joining us in less than 2 months, Lord willing.  I think this just may be one of the easiest pregnancies so far, and I'm so thankful for that.  Recently, my back has started to get slightly uncomfortable in certain positions, but other than that, things are really good.  I had gained quite a bit of weight over Christmas as we were living in a hotel during seedsowers and eating out a lot, however, I've only gained very little since then (although I look like I'm ready to pop).  Everyone is sure that it will be a boy.  This always makes me smile when people tell me, because everyone is sure it's going to be a boy Every time!!  ;)  We'll see what the Lord has for us soon!

The girls are all doing pretty well.  The weather recently has been exceptionally beautiful, with high 20's, low 30's during the day, then cooling off in the evenings, so they have played outside a lot, and just loved it!  Alisa is scooting all over the place, and will even stand in one place by herself.  She doesn't have the putting one foot in front of the other figured out quite yet though, so I'm pretty sure she'll be like the other girls and not be walking until after her first birthday.  Vivian makes us laugh so much recently.  She really is a clown, and says things, and makes faces to make everyone laugh.  Kyla has been sticking closer by me recently, wanting to do things with me, and just being helpful.  She and Shaelyn still fight the most, which always keeps one (Mommy) on her toes.  I find it difficult to keep the balance of them spending sufficient time together learning to get along, but allowing them their separate spaces as well.  It's not always well balanced.  I've been struggling a lot with Shaelyn and her attitude and disobedience recently, although realizing 1/2 of her problem is me and my attitude and reaction with her.  One of the hardest parts of parenting, I think, is self-control and showing love unconditionally.  The same with Mika, with the recent busyness, I've been expecting her to be more responsible than she is - I'm having trouble balancing this as well.

Some recent funnies from Shaelyn:
Shaelyn: "Your hair looks a little greasy, Mommy, but don't worry, I love you anyway!"  Thanks, honey! ;)

Shaelyn: "Daddy, if was a bug, would you kill me?"
Tim: (Repeating to make sure he understood) "If I was a bug would you kill me?"
Shaelyn: "No, if I was a bug!"
How do you answer that?

When I was putting the girls down for their nap, I was telling them they were to go to sleep right away, as they weren't to get up until they had slept. Shaelyn sat up and said, "And we can't mess up our hair like this,(rubbing her head) and then get out of bed and Say we slept, can we?"  Um, no. How many times has That been tried?

Some verses I enjoyed a bit ago, reading through the book of Deuteronomy: 
chapt. 1, v. 31, "and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place." 

chapt. 10, v. 12, "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,"

chapt. 33, v. 27, "The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms."

Dessert #1: Trifle - Made by Emily

Dessert #2: Pavlova - This came from our house, decorated by my husband - he doesn't think there needs to be any special occasion to make this dessert!!  ;)

Dessert #3: Brownie - This also came from our house, and was baked in a heart tin.  Mika received some special pink spray for food, so Tim made the heart on top of icing sugar.

Dessert #4 - Heart cookies with cream cheese icing and fruit - Made by the Cains

Dessert #5: More hearts, but this time they were little cakes - Made by the Cains

Desserts #6, 7 & 8: Chocolate mousse (Cains), Chocolate pudding (Emily), Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the DELICIOUS flan that Eleo made.  It was definitely one of my top 3!!

Marika and Evelyn - Best Friends

Alisa and Marcus  =)

I love this picture of Alison and Marcus!

While the others played Catch Phrase, the littlest girlies and I played Dora Memory in the kitchen!  =)

Decorating Shaelyn's birthday cake.  Tim did the first part...

...and I did the second part - with lots of his input!  =)  This is the first Barbie we have ever owned, and it remains in our "cake decorating cupboard" with her legs broken off  so that she would fit in the cake!

Shaelynnie was quite delighted with her!

Vivi liked the cake part...  =)

Miss Alisa Bethany - our sweet little sunshine!

Helping Shaelyn unwrap presents

Duncan and Anna's wedding - here is Anna and her dad Andy


Mr. and Mrs. Duncan and Anna Beckett!!

Big smiles!!

An Etch-a-sketch that Mika did

Starting Mika's birthday cake.  Tim cut out the "stream"

The end result

The Birthday Girl with her locket

She loved her cake!

This is the same picture as the last one, but I love the sisters around her!

Playing "Pin the Nose on the Snowman" that we didn't get to playing at Christmas!!  =)

Opening presents - these were some neat books from Jeff and Marianne - Mika was ready to ditch all her friends to go and start reading them!  ;)

From Trev and Liz - a 3D Horse puzzle

Tim is helping Kyla on a Pogo stick.  Mark and Rebekah sent money down for the girls' birthdays, and Mika and Shaelyn went together and bought this.  It has had Tons of use already, and they are always finding new tricks they can do on it.

Miranda and Angel

That's it - I'm finally caught up!! Now if I can just update a little more frequently, it won't take me so long to get at it!! =) Good night!!