Friday, August 24, 2012

First week of the school year, plus the last month in general...

I can't believe it's been an entire month since I've updated!  This is the longest I've gone, I think - so much for my great resolve to get on here more often!!  =)

We are finally winding down around here after a very busy summer - our Bible Exposition (Exposición Bíblica) that we have been working on for 2 months is on this weekend, and then the pressure will be off for a bit.  It looks amazing, and I can't wait to see all the pieces put together.  I will show pictures when it's done.  If you could please pray that folks will come in and see it, and listen to the message of the gospel in the first part of Genesis.  Here is the invitation:
It says,
Illustrated Creation
-Creation or Evolution?
-Is there evidence of a Creator? 
-Did dinosaurs really exist? 
-Would you like to go through the Garden of Eden?  Come and see it! 
-What bad thing happened in the Beginning, and what did God do to make it right?
You will find the answers to these and more interesting questions at the Bible Exposition 2012

So, catching up since last time, we had the craziest whirlwind week of children's meetings back a few weeks.  Edgar Roseyón from Puerta Vallarta, with his wife Raquel (Eleo's sister) and their two sweeties, Priscilla and Daniel, came up, and Edgar spoke.  It went Monday to Friday, 10am - 12pm in Tirocapes, and then 6 - 8pm at the main hall. 
Each group was divided into 6 'countries', then there was a special "Biblethon" game at the end when answering questions. A person could get 'gold', 'silver' or 'bronze' medals for their team by attendance, saying the verse and completing and returning the homework. They also got a 'gold' medal for bringing a friend. 

We had approx. 130 children in total in Tirocapes (86 the last day), plus a grandma who came every day, and a mom who came once. 
Pictures from Tirocapes (Photos compliments of Eleo):
Taking attendance

Edgar giving the lesson

Snack at the end, and putting their nametags away

Score board

Receiving medals

Some of the end-of-the-week prizes

Shaelyn and Priscilla - both missing their top 2 teeth!

Some of the Olympic Team Committee helpers  =)
Pictures from the main hall (again, photos compliments of Eleo):
71 children came out to these meetings - most listened very well.
Taking attendance

Some of the 'homework' pages given out

Playing Biblethon

The teams competing in the parking lot

Edgar preaching

Adding up medals

Two of the youngest competitors: Alisa (1 yr, 5 months), Daniel (7 months)
Nathaniel was elsewhere, training.  =)

The whole group the last day

Other Olympic Team Committee  =)

These girls were an amazing help
Mikaela and Alycia left the Tuesday after the children's meetings ended.  I couldn't tell you how much the girls loved having them here.  They were such a great help, and we're so glad they were able to come.  We all miss them.  Erica has been here since the middle of June.  She flies out this coming Tuesday.  We're preparing ourselves for the shock of her not being here. =(  All three girls helped around the house (I've barely done dishes for the last 2 months), plus helped with the girls, plus helping with all the extra curricular stuff like helping prepare for the children's meetings and the Exposición.  Having teenagers in the house was different - but a very good different - I hope I've learned as much as I think I have from them!!  =)

It wasn't exactly planned to happen this way, but when we drop off Erica at the airport Tuesday morning, we will continue on as a family for a few days of vacation just by ourselves.  We haven't had family vacation in a long time, so this is highly anticipated!!

Here are some random pictures from the last month:
Alisa LOVES mopping.  Just watch out for anything at the level of the tip of the mop handle - she's knocked things off counters more than once!

One night when we got home from meeting, something at the gate caught my eye.  Someone's bird must have escaped because this little guy was pretty tame.  Mikaela even got to stroke his tummy before he flew away.

Preparing gift bags for the children's meetings

Wish this picture wasn't blurry - I love it!

We were invited to a girls' tea party at the Cain's.  The girls got all dressed up and had their hair done nicely.  Vivi did eventually take off her sunglasses, thankfully!  ;)  It was a fun time!

Vivi and Nathaniel

Part of Tim's birthday present!  ;)

Happy Birthday to my Love!

Tea party in the girls' bedroom
Here's some pictures of Nathaniel - possibly the most content, sweet, chubby baby in the world. Several weeks ago he was weighing 16.5 lbs (Alisa weighs about 18), so it will be interesting when we go back to the doc's in a couple weeks to see what he'll be.

Look at those chubby legs!

Who could ever resist those soft cheeks and arms?

Love this little boy!

A neat picture Tim took one afternoon

Alisa the clown.  She thought she was pretty funny with these goggles on!  ;)

Tim and Edgar with Nathaniel and Daniel

The day of Tim's birthday, Shaelyn wanted to do a circus show for him.  Here she has the fearsome Holly performing.  If you look behind her, there are pictures she coloured for the 'show'.  One is of a strong man, except she coloured it with eye lashes and added a pony tail - it's her apparently!! =)

 Shaelyn wrote this, and put the Mini-Wheat "Bible" on the paper for Tim.  It says, "The Bible tells me so"
This is Jairo with sticker eyeballs on his eyelids.  He thought they might come in handy for an afternoon at conference!  ;)
 Mika wrote, "Mom Dad" with the chain of her locket!


This past Monday was our 1st day of school!  I decided not to worry about Vivian at all this year since she really shows no signs of wanting to do school, and I figured that would be easier in the long run.  So, I just ordered books for Marika (grade 4), Shaelyn (grade 1) and Kyla (Senior Kindergarten or K5)
The school room.  Nice, neat, clean and tidy - at least, it was!! ;)

Bulletin board with the verses we are learning (we're down to the last few verses of Jonah ch. 4), a calender, schedule, verse to encourage, cupcakes to put stickers on for learning verses, and Chore Packs.

Main bookshelf.  New items this year are large, plastic baskets (from Target) for each of the girls. They have their workbooks in them, pencil case, crayons, etc.  Working great so far - and wish I'd thought of it years ago!

I wanted to try getting pictures of everyone the first day of school - we included 'official' students and 'non-official' students!
Our Marika-girl.  9 years old, Grade 4

Our Shaelynnie.  6 years old, Grade 1

Our Kyla-Kyla. 5 years old, Senior Kindergarten (K5)

Our Vivi. 3 years old

Our Alisa-baby. 1.5 years

Our Nathaniel-Chubby-Cheeks - 4 months

Our six sweeties!
Okay, more random things.  The van we imported - Tim had to get his Mexican driver's licence, and now we have Sonoran plates - yay!  Now I need to go for my licence here...

This past Monday, Tim and Marcus went down to a place near Tirocapes and held a gospel meeting in a lady's home.  Her name is Rosa.  She was one of the first ones saved in the beginning of this work here, and has several family members not saved.  Her daughter Lucía, plus 5 other unsaved neighbour ladies attended.  They hope to meet fairly regularly.

After our trip to California, we will come back for a few weeks, Tim plans to head to the state of Chihuahua for their conference, and then we will leave shortly after that for a short trip to Ontario.  We'll actually be in St. Thomas for their conference, and will get to spend Thanksgiving with our family - I'm so excited!  It will be a quick trip though, only 5 weeks from when we leave til when we get back. 

Exciting news: Tim's brother Rob and his wife Ada are expecting a new baby in the New Year - this will be baby #3 for them - they have 2 boys.  Also, my brother Jeff and his wife Marianne are expecting baby #4 in the New Year - they have 2 boys and a girl.  We're so happy for them!

More exciting news: I'm done my official Spanish classes!  "I squeezed 3 years into 4!" as a dear brother-in-law of mine once said! ;)  And while it took much longer than I had hoped, I'm so very pleased they're finally finished!  I plan to do some 'unofficial' lessons for review in the months ahead, but that's it.

Some recent funnies:
We are almost finished memorizing the book of Jonah!  We have about 3 more verses of chapter 4 to go.  The other day when we were practicing chapter 1, at the part when Jonah tells the shipmates that he is a "Hebrew", Kyla said, "I am a 'hero'..."

Her newest phrase these days is, "Like, Seriously!"

Vivi has been singing: ♪ By and by we're going to see the snow... ♪

Shaelyn handed me a paper with a verse in Spanish she had copied on one side, and a picture she had drawn on the other.  "Here Mommy, this is for you.  It's Spanish on this side with the verse, and the other side is in English."  ;)

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (Psalm 62:8)

I have loved reading through the Psalms recently.  I only read through them once a year, and it always reminds of God's faithfulness to me!  This particular verse takes me back to after Shaelyn was born, and I first experienced post-partum depression.  While in "the depths of despair", a Bible Bite by Peter Ramsey arrived.  If you get the chance, please click on the link and read it - we have such an amazing God!

Alright, I think I'm done for now!  =)  Hope to be back soon!