Sunday, June 23, 2013

Picture Post and Update!

Hello!!!  I just noticed yesterday that it's been over a month since I've updated - yikes!  We are just days away from leaving to head to Canada, so between unpacking boxes, I've been attempting to pack some bags!  I didn't want to leave the blog completely hanging, though, as then I would have too much to catch up on when we get back.  So yesterday I went through all 1000 photos my parents took while they were here, plus the few off of my camera, and Tim's phone, and came up with this conglomeration!!  =)  I did edit out the many, many beautiful pics of flowers and trees that our neighbours and local park have that Dad and Mom took.  If you have facebook, you can check out my dad's pics there.
While this has nothing to do with Mexico, it's a special picture to me.  This is my dad with his two sisters, Deb and Brenda, just before Dad and Mom came to visit.
This doesn't have anything to with Mexico either, but Dad and Mom stopped in St. Thomas on their way to the airport to congratulation Uncle Lyle and Aunt Doris McCandless on their special wedding anniversary.  We got a bonus of having Mark and Rebekah in the photo as well!!

Having Dad and Mom came was such a blessing.  We never would have been moved in by the 15th if they hadn't have come!  I'm sure they were ready for a vacation when they left!  They were also great at taking pics of our kiddos that I don't always get - so here a few:

Marika and Shaelyn

Vivi and Alisa, 'studying' their Bibles

Last dip in the pool at the old house!  Eva even came over to join in.

Flowers Tim got me for Mother's Day.  The mums didn't last more than a week, but I have the others hanging in my orange tree, so they're shaded a good part of the day.  As long as I water them twice a day, they seem to stay bright and cheery!

Group hug with Kyla, Vivian and Alisa

She calls herself, "Leeseece"  ;)


Nana with Nathaniel

Sweet baby boy!

My Mika

Shaelynnie and Vivi - two peas in a pod

Alisa had the giggles

Another hug with Vivi and Alisa

Cowgirl Shaelyn on her way to help at the new house

Painting, painting, painting...

Finishing up the living room

Hmmm, where did she get this idea from...?

Ah HA!!  ;)  Gotcha, Dad!!

I love this one of Marika and Shaelyn!  Mika is laughing hysterically (and screaming) at Shaelyn's "driving".

Scraping paint off the outside/repairing the roof.

Whatever it takes to get the kitchen cupboards in before we move! =)

Me and my littlest girl

The day the house got painted

The painter

Taking one of Many loads over before moving day


Moving bricks is hard on your hands!

and the eyes?  ;)

Mom took the kiddos to the park a few times.  They got freezies each time!

Love this sunset picture!

Kitchen almost done
Getting things ready to go

Guys making the banister for the stairs

Thankfully we had great help from several of the young guys, plus Alison and Madeleine took all the children to their house from 8am until 9pm - plus served us lunch!!
The vans, and some of the workers


What do I say???

Lots of muscles at work here - this was heavy and awkward!

The garage

Lunch break at Cains, along with Eleo!

I felt like we were true Mexicans with this truck loaded up with the heavy stuff - it was piled High!!!

Good-bye, San Diego #37!!  It was a wonderful 4.5 years, and we made lots of memories, but we're happy to be moving on, too!

Good byes to the neighbourhood kids - some hugs and tears.
I think we were all at the new house with all the stuff at about 930pm.  Besides the fact that one of our workers quit the day before we moved, we had just the regular stress/excitement of a moving day.  We all had beds to sleep in, and were all fed by the end of the day, so all was good!!!

Alisa put her dolly on the back of the toilet, and she got on the front to be the conductor of a "choo-choo"!
Out for hotdogs. Again, if you've never had the delicious, soft buns these hotdogs come in (plus all the delicious toppings), you really can't imagine what you're missing!  It was a wonderful treat!

Just behind the park where the hotdog stands are, there is a museum.  For some reason, they have been practicing for something over the last 2 months (they're done now), and we got to enjoy some traditional music and dancing - it was quite pretty!

Guillermo (his name is William in English), has been working for us since January.  He has done all the tile work, and a lot of the rest of the work on our house.  We have been so thankful at his hard work and patience.  His last day was Friday, and we were all sad when he left.  
Guillermo with his 'watchers'.  They would often end up with grout on their toes!!

Vivi cleaning up.

Mommy and Shaelynnie

My two biggest girls

Nana with Marika, Shaelyn and Kyla

This man has worked so hard the past 6 months, especially.  How thankful I am to have such a hard-working, perfectionist, creative, loving husband!!  Needless to say, some of the days around/after the move ended like this!! ;)

Definitely will be a Bible scholar!

These two are so cute together.

BEACH DAY!  We moved on a Wednesday, and the next Monday, we took a trip to Kino Beach.  Tim really didn't want to go, as there was so much left to do, etc, but we all agreed that even if just for the girls' sake, we should go.  And we're really glad we went.  It was a(n almost) perfect day, a perfect picnic, wonderful time playing, etc.

So, the men snoozed, and we girls, plus Nathaniel, played!  I even went in the water, which is a rare occurrence for me, but we had a blast playing in the waves!  Alisa finally got over her fear of the water, and loved playing at the shore.

Mom and the girls
What made it not quite perfect is that three of the girls got stung by jellyfish, and the worst part, we saw 2 dead sea snakes (almost like eels - think, The Princess Bride), that we found on the beach on either side of where we were in the water - Blech!  I couldn't go in the water again after I saw the second one.

It seemed like the time Flew by, and we were on our way to drop off Dad and Mom at the airport in Tucson!  I really like this picture of them on the way up!  Same spot where we stopped to take the Griffin pics when they were here.
After dropping them off the second time at the airport (their flight was delayed the first time), we headed to our hotel to drop off our things, then out to do a bit of shopping, and then back to bed.  The next morning we got the rest of our things checked off the list, then went and picked up Cortney from Iowa, and headed back home.

Things were low-key the first 1/2 week, then a bunch of young guys came each day to help finish up some of our left-over jobs that hadn't gotten done, like: handles and locks on the doors, pulls/knows for the kitchen cupboards, painting jobs, etc, etc, etc...  We had 3-5 extras at meal times, so between starting back to school with the girls, and making meals and having cold snacks for hot and thirsty workers, the next two weeks flew by again!! Here are a few random pics:
Mika bathing Nata in the sink.

Is there anything more fun than playing in a big box?  Not much!


It was his birthday!  =)

Shaelyn helping to unload the wheelybarriow - isn't that what you call it??  ;)

Nathaniel was being a clown, putting toast on his head!

Our bedroom - finally tiled, and awaiting grout

Downstairs bathroom almost ready...

...and finished!

These are concrete beams and Styrofoam forms for the roof of the shed that's been built.


My laundry room!!  =)  The other side of this odd-shaped room is the master bathroom.
One night I stayed home from meeting, and heard a voice over a loud speaker.  That's not terribly unusual, but generally it goes past, and you don't hear any more.  I went out on the terrace, and just down the street, there was a special meeting that was being held by a priest and some nuns.  The road was blocked off by a police car.  You can see a small 'tent' in the middle of the picture.  It was being held by 4 men over the priest.
After the message, they started walking down the road past our house towards the monastery at then end of our block.  They sang/chanted the whole way.  It was interesting to watch.

Here's our room again - they were working in the bathroom (through the door) this time.
We don't have a garage at this house, and so far we've had several things stolen that have been left out the back.  It seems to be while we're away at meeting, and has been totally random things like a stroller, some tools, empty water jugs, etc.  We knew we wanted to build some sort of shed, but we weren't sure where, and we were a little worried, because one of the workers we had, who would have been making the shed, had made two door frames, without seeing the need to use a level!  Anyway, we decided to smash out a bit of the cement 'porch' that went along the entire back of our property, and put the shed right against the back and side walls.  Taking out the small amount they did took a whole day, because the wall part was concrete!
Digging the foundation

Moving the old outside sink

Some of the young men were telling one of the men at meeting about our concerns about the shed, and this man is an albañil as well (translated bricklayer/constructionworker - maybe Jack-of-all-trades), and he said he'd be happy to come and help.  It ended up the other guy (non-level-user) left (to our relief), and Juan has been building since, with the help the first two weeks, of the guys.

Putting on the roof
Then was the pouring concrete-on-the-roof day - which was amazing!  I have a video of it, but here are a few snapshots of the guys doing a 'bucket brigade'.  Shoveling concrete into buckets, carrying buckets, lifting buckets to roof, pouring concrete on roof.  It was a really hot day, too, and these guys worked so hard!

Jairo, Tibi, José Luis, Tim, Daniel and Juan
Now just needing the outside 'coat'
Outside done (except for door), and Tim painting the inside

After the young guys finished their other jobs, and helping with the shed, they decided that it would be possible to knock down the rest of the cement/concrete 'patio' (actually an old canal) along the back of the property.
HARD work!

Getting it done!

New way to do it - way quicker!!

Shaelyn needed to burn off some energy, and this was just up her alley to do!!

Alisa getting a ride!



Putting on pulls/knobs in the kitchen

Kitchen done except for the island - I love it!

Mixing cement is hard work!

And a big mess!
Under our stairs, we have a funny-shaped cubby that we were hoping our computer would fit into.  It didn't quite.  This 'wonderful' computer desk was left by the previous owners of our first house in St. Thomas.  It was one of those things we needed, but would replace 'right away'!  Ha ha!!  It's now been adapted to its' new surroundings.

Finally grout in our bedroom!

Looks so messy!!

The terrace also got tiled.  Shaelyn helped put in the spacers.

"Helping" mommy with the dishes!! ;) 

Nathaniel didn't want to be left out!

Silly girls playing

Love these crazy girls!

Cortney playing with the girls

Shaelyn reading a story to Vivi and Kyla

Alisa loves playing in the sand!  I asked her who told her she could go outside, and she told me, "Vivi said so!"  ;)  The little rascal says whoever 'says so' whenever she wants something she's not supposed to have!
We got a second day (in a month) at the beach with Cortney! It was another wonderful day, and finding no snakes made it even better!!

Alisa raring to go!

Mika and Cortney having fun in the waves

Nata Loves the sand, too.  He bee-lines it to the door anytime it's open, so we decided just to let him go and have fun, and clean him up afterward.

Love that sandy smile!!

Tim found some seaweed, put it on his head and was trying to scare the girls.  =)

Nathaniel was really tired, and lay in the hammock for about an hour, but never slept

Building a tub

It worked!!

Alisa and Cortney

Alisa climbed up on the back of the couch to watch the load of gravel and sand get dumped off.

Kyla helped make meatloaf one day
Our time with Cortney was wonderful, and went by far too fast!  We joked that she would go home and drive her mom crazy by sweeping 5 times a day like she did here!  ;)  I drove her up to the airport (left at 430am), and came right back again - kind of a crazy day!  The next day was my birthday, and while I was away, Tim cleaned up our room (swept/mopped), emptied out all the junk (tools) we'd been storing in there, brought in our bed and dresser and set everything up!!!  Yay - it was the best present!!  I was so happy, and it was super to sleep in our Own room, finally!  We had been sleeping in the one of the girls' rooms upstairs, which had been fine, but it's just nice to get things where they're supposed to go!
I got some beautiful flowers and a lemon cheesecake from my sweetheart!!  xo
I think I mentioned before that a couple from here, Abisaí and Carmen, with their children, Keren (6.5) and Abisaí Jr. (2) are moving down to Iguala, Guerrero, as missionaries there with Duncan and Anna.  We had a going away meal for them last Sunday.

An impromptu hug of friends who will miss each other.

Lots of familiar (5 year old) emotions went over me this day, remember our own goodbyes to beloved family and friends. Please pray for this family, as well as their extended family and friends who will miss them so much!
We won't be here for Eva's birthday, so she invited us a few days ago to go and celebrate with a few friends!  They even had one gluten-free cake, which Alisa enjoyed!

There is a big circus in town, that has lots of animals, and it is free to go and see them during the day.  Tim took all the girls on a date the other day, and then for icecream afterwards. They had a blast!
Big horses and little ponies

There are lots of elephants.  They would let two out at a time from under the tent to go and bath themselves and get a drink.  The girls really loved seeing them!

Finally a picture of our house painted, plus the trim and chimney

The backyard

The shed up til now
Just a few pics now as a final view of what things have been done/finished:
Our bedroom

The master shower
The rest of the bathroom will wait till we get home...

Spare room / Nathaniel's bedroom

Tim's office

Please excuse the disaster - Kyla, Vivian and Alisa's room

Upstairs bathroom

Marika and Shaelyn's room

The stairs finally grouted!

The girls had a friend over yesterday, and had a (hot chocolate) tea party.  Alisa was the only one I got a picture of though - boy, does she make us laugh with her funny sayings and looks she gives!  Her two most recent funnies are when she says, "Peek-a-doo!", and the other day I told her she looked like a dirty little piglet - she looked at me for several seconds, and then said, "No Piglet, me Pooh!"
She sure enjoyed her 'chokate'!

It was almost overwhelming, looking over all the pictures, and realizing how far the house has come in the last couple months.  I think we are finally seeing a slightly less amount of dirt entering the house, too, which makes things a little easier.  So thankful that most of that work is behind us now, and we can pick up our concentration on other things again!  We're so thankful for God's hand on us, and the help He's given just as we needed it.  I've been enjoying reading through Hebrews, recently.  So thankful that even though I constantly fail, I know I can trust in my God Who never leaves me.  "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)

Well, this is probably it until we get to Canada, likely!  I am happily caught up!  Good night!