Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Loving Spring!

I love this time of year!  While I know there is still lots of snow in Ontario, here in Hermosillo we are having beautiful weather!  It's been cooling off nicely during the night, and hot if you are in the sun at mid-day, but lovely if you're not!  Flowers are blooming everywhere - in trees, on the ground - it's a flower-picture-taker's  paradise (my dad!) - hopefully they'll last the next few weeks before he gets here!!  We've had a busy last few weeks, having a lull right now, and are gearing up for busier weeks to come (did I mention we are moving in one month - ahhh!!!!)!

Tim's brother Mark and his wife Bekah joined us for March Break 2 weeks ago - it was so nice spending time with them!  Getting ready for company always take some work, so we did a 'wall-washing' and extra cleaning day one day, and Alisa "helped".  Can't you see?!?  =)

Friday we headed up to Phoenix.  It was really stormy - they got hail in Phoenix that day - thick clouds and lots of rain as we drove.  We saw giant tumbleweeds crossing the highways, too.

 We arrived later than we planned because of the weather, and had to go to pick up some mail at the V's house.  Jean had "for some reason" put in a large pork roast to cook that day, and invited us for supper.  It was so nice to get a visit in with them (and a delicious meal!), and they got a ice cream cake to celebrate all the birthdays that were around that time.

Mark and Bekah flew in late Friday night, and we got in a quick hug in the hallway before heading off to bed.  Tim and I, along with the 3 youngest, attended part of a home school conference by Steve and Teri Maxwell, while Mark and Rebekah took the 3 oldest to a children's museum.  They had a fun day, and we enjoyed our day too!  We left for home about 4pm, and got into Hermosillo  around 11pm.

Sundays are always busy days, but that one was exceptionally busy.  Thankfully, there were two extra sets of hands to help out!  That night after gospel meeting, we had the joy of seeing two believers baptized!  It's always so wonderful to see people obeying the Lord.  This time it was even more special, as it was our "own" dear Madeleine who was one of the two getting baptized.

Mark and Rebekah brought outfits for each of the kiddos.  We never got a picture with everyone In them, but here they are, anyway - so pretty!!!

We ended up staying up late Every Night - but it was great to visit with them, despite our lack of sleep!  I love this one of Tim and Nathaniel one night after all the little girls were in bed!

Here are some sweet kiddos in some sweet jammies that the St. Clairs sent down!
Mark was a great help at the house with Tim, and Rebekah helped me with the kiddos Many times!  I don't think they thought they would be spending so much of their vacation apart, but we are so thankful for their help!  They also sent us off on a date one night, along with taking our brood out to Burger King for supper!

It wasn't All work and no play, though.  We enjoyed some yummy Mexican fish and shrimp tacos, plus Sonoran hotdogs, And, we headed to Kino Beach on the Wednesday - yay!!  Although the beach never has been, nor is still, my favourite place to be - we had a really fun day, and I enjoyed looking over our pictures and seeing how much fun everyone had!
The weather was pretty much perfect!

Picture stolen from Rebekah - love these two!!

It was pretty chilly for the first hour or so with the wind, so they snuggled up in blankets for a while  after getting wet.

This little guy enjoyed his day watching the world go by!

Relaxing under the palapa

The "twins"

Love this little boy!

Tim snuggling with Kyla

A spoon and bowl are lots of fun in the sand!

Mika digging a big hole

Vivian playing in the waves




Lots of hammocks!

Tim and his two babies
We also took a trip to the park near out house.  I love this one (that I stole from Rebekah) of Mark and Bekah in front of the fountain there!
We had a super time with them, and it was very hard sending them off Friday morning!  We were not left with nothing to do, though - as that evening was the beginning of our conference!

Tim went out that day to run some errands, and this is what he found at the entrance of our subdivision.  Directly in the middle is a vehicle on its' side.  There is a four way stop there, but everything thinks it's just a suggestion - a LOT of people do not stop, and it's very frustrating.  You need to be really careful crossing.
The conference went quite well, with about 40-60 more people attending than we've had the last several years.  On the Sunday afternoon, there was a commendation meeting for the couple Abisaí and Carmen who will be leaving and going to Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, this summer (where Duncan and Anna just moved to).  Afterward, some pictures were taken with the preachers, elder and the family

Tim, Armando, David A, Abisaí, Marcus C, John D, Shad K

The whole family: Abisaí and Carmen, Keren and Abisaito
A fellow from Los Angeles, CA, paid for a bus so that his unsaved family could come from about 10 hours away and hear the gospel.  It was great to have them all there!


Alisa would like her voice to be heard!  =)  She pushed this chair up, and got up so she could "preach", too!  I wish I had gotten a picture from the front, too.  You could just see the top of her wee head poking over!
Some panoramics Tim took at the conference.

Totally random picture.  I was driving along, saw this, and had to turn around so I could take a picture of it.
This is new hotel up a few blocks from our current house.  The men in the picture are painting out the window!!!  I thought it was totally funny, and very Mexican!  =)
Alisa's birthday fell on the Saturday of the conference, so Tuesday we had her party, as well as one last meal with all the missionaries before Duncan and Anna left.  Eleo's sister and family were still here, so they joined us, along with Sarah S from Iowa who is visiting.
A friend gave me this beautiful cupcake holder on the weekend, and so I thought I would go easy on myself and do cupcakes instead of a cake.  I had found a gluten-free cake mix up in the US, so Alisa was able to enjoy her cake, too!  We also made a "real" dessert, called Chocolate Eclair Cake - it was quite yummy!
A blurry picture of Alisa looking at her candles

Sisters helping to blow out the candles
Opening gifts

As usual, my dear company helped wash up the dishes, and as soon as everyone left, and the kiddos were in bed, we started decorating (it was iced the night before) Duncan and Anna's cake for their going away supper that night after meeting.
The master designer.  Tim came up with the idea for the flag, and then decorated it - it looked Amazing!!

Duncan and Anna - we have been so blessed having them here for the last year, plus, and will miss them lots!  Very sad goodbyes!
A few random pics from the last bit:  Vivian hurt herself and got to have a bandaid, and Alisa thought she needed one, too - right in the middle of her face!  =)
Of course, if you take a picture of one, someone else wants to get in on it, too!!  ;)

Shaelyn coloured a picture for Tim and I

...and then wanted her picture taken while writing her name!
Tim bought sparklers at Christmas-time while the Griffins were here, but for some reason - either we forgot, or something - we didn't get using them. Tim brought them out the other night.  The girls were, once again, petrified when they got lit.  Thankfully most of them warmed up to it though, and enjoyed them for a minute or two.

Vivi did not get near them
José Luis is 16, and told how he got saved last week in our outreach meeting in Tirocapes, just a few blocks from where he lives.

The grandmother of a lady in Phoenix died in a small town north of Hermosillo.  None of her relatives there are saved, and she asked if anyone from here could go and preach the gospel at the wake.  Abisaí and Tim were both able to go.  The lady was about 99 years old, apparently - incredible!

The girls were playing nicely out in front of the house yesterday.  

 Alisa loves babies!  She was feeding one a bottle, while holding another on her lap.  Oh, maybe she was copying me?  =)

And...an update on our new house.  We are planning to move 5 weeks tomorrow, Lord willing.  Things are looking better and better, and we're very thankful for progress!
The back yard.  While you can't see it, there is GRASS SEED spread there, with a sprinkler that waters it each morning.
One of our workers has been smoothing cement on this wall that was crumbling and breaking down.    It's looking much better.

I meant to take a picture today to update this.  There were these holes that have now been filled in, and looks much better.

Shaelyn was learning how to spread cement one day when she came to help Tim.  This is up on the terrace where they had been working on the getting the corners ready for a corner piece then railing to go up all above.

This is standing on the car port roof looking at the terrace.  It's really looking good (and yes, I know that it likely only looks good to us!! ;)  )
The stairwell:
Before -
Between - 

Now - 
Soon to have a post at the bottom, and a railing along the top.

During the work - looking down the stairs from the top.

At the top
Looking out the door to the terrace
Bathroom upstairs:  Painted, and finally putting ready to put some tile on!

This was taken today on my camera, rather than Tim's phone, so it's interesting to see the difference in colour.  I think it's somewhere in between the two oranges! ;)
 Hurray to finally having a room almost finished!

Got a picture of this blooming tree on our neighbour's lot.
 Tim got a paint sprayer a few months ago, since we knew we would have a lot to do, both inside and out.  He has done all the ceilings upstairs, plus in some of the closets, and the walls that needed primer.  I would say that the time saved using this was well worth the purchase!

The girls were Very excited today, as they got to start painting.  We got a can of light-ish pink, and a can of darker pink.  Marika and Shaelyn's room will have 2 walls dark and one light, since they have two windows in their room.  The 3 little girls will have 2 light and one dark, since their room is darker.  Our worker who just finished the bathroom will be starting to tile this room as soon as it is painted.
Mika, Shaelyn and Kyla


This little girl didn't get too far from this bucket of paint!  ;)  She only stuck her hand in it once though, and tried to lick it.  After she found it wasn't yogurt, she was okay!!

Kyla having a turn

Proud of her work

Vivi didn't want to be left out

More spraying

Alisa didn't either

Nathaniel wanted to go home to his bed and sleep!

So cute! 
Mika showing the girls have to dab the paint off the brush! =)
We left shortly after that, but Mika stayed to help Tim do a little more painting.  The dark paint is one, and the light will go on tomorrow.

That's it for tonight!  =)