Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 7

1.  A visit with my sister, Liz.  I can't believe it, but I'm actually meeting my sister in Phoenix THIS Thursday - woohoo!!  She's going to be there for some seminars, but has a whole day plus that that is free!  I'm planning to take up four of the girls, while Tim stays home with Mika and the 'twins'.  We'll be coming back Saturday.  Totally can't wait to see her!!

2.  A doctor in the family.  I meant to mention this last week, and I forgot.  When we first moved here 5.5 years ago, of course, we had no doctor at all, and none of the other missionaries we knew had doctors here.  After several months, I found an OB/Gyn, who has delivered all our babies here except Nathaniel, since he was on vacation at the time.  The pediatrician who is on my OB's delivery "team", who is also the pediatrician for his kids, is the doc our kiddos have gone to since Vivi was born.  However, medical stuff can be Weird here.  They prescribe medication for Everything, and it makes me a little nervous what to actually get off the prescription list.  At first, we got in contact with a doctor acquaintance in the US, if we thought it necessary.  For the last year, we have emailed Tim's brother-in-law, Philip, for advice.  He has been so helpful, taking time from his family and work, to help us, and it has been SO appreciated! Even if we do have to go in and see the doc here, we already have a head's up to what we should expect.

3.  Coconut oil.  I love the taste, I love that it's good for you, and I love the tropicalness of the smell.  Nobody wants me to use it to cook eggs, but it seems to go okay with almost everything else.
*Funny story (don't tell Mika I told you!):  She was baking muffins the other day, and we had enough bananas to make a triple batch.  Part way through mixing them, she told me she had run out of canola oil, but still needed more.  I asked her how much, and she said, "3 cups, total".  I could hardly believe it, but it was for 3 batches, and I was distracted and didn't check - just added coconut oil in to make up the difference.  To make a long story short, it was supposed to be 1/4 of a cup per batch, not one cup!   Ewww, they're oily!  Amazingly enough, mostly everyone (but me) likes them, so they're being eaten up, at least!
**I also made garlic/cheese bread for lunch Sunday, and Tim said the flavour "wasn't his favourite", so there's another one off the list.  I actually liked the flavour, and haven't found anything yet that I didn't enjoy it with.

4.  Clothes line.  This is odd, I suppose, but I love having a clothes line!  I love having a place to be able to hang up stuff, without it being in the way.  It is so nice and hot right now, and the clothes dry really quickly!  Having the pool now, too, makes it more necessary to have a place to hang things.

5.  Lots of windows in our house.  It's quite hot here - in the 40's.  But until today, the only time we've had the a/c on is when company came over, and when we sleep.  There are four big windows in our living room, dining room, kitchen area, plus doors at either end, plus large windows in all the bedrooms.  We get quite a bit of breeze blowing through almost always, and has maintained a pretty low temperature in the house.  Plus, our last house seemed really dark except in one room, and here all the rooms are nice and light.

6.  Low humidity.  Can you tell I'm Canadian at heart?  Always talking about the weather!! ;)  The humidity  here come July, August and September can get up in the 80% range - right now, it's about 20%.  It's hot, but so glad to not have that super-powered humidity that feels like it knocks the life out of you!

7.  A UV water system.   Our friend, Emily, used a UV system while she lived in El Salvador.  It made it possible to drink the water right out of the tap!  Since she's left there, she gave us her system!  Tim has set it all up, and now it just needs to be shocked, and then we'll take some water to a lab to get it tested to make sure it's safe.

8.  That we are done with chicken pox (for now).  Kyla still hasn't gotten them, and there is still a chance she will within the next week or so, but everyone else has healed or is healing, moods are getting better, and we're not watching 10 videos a day!  SO THANKFUL to be on the mend!

9.  To be back out to meetings.  Sunday morning was the first time I was out in around a month.  It was so great to be out, and be with the other believers again.  It will take a little time to get into the "use your quiet whisper voice" groove, but Sunday was okay, and tonight was even better.

10.  Our girls working together.   The other day, I called down Marika, Shaelyn and Kyla to help me in the kitchen.  There were some dishes to put away, some food prep to be done, the table to be set, etc.  I gave out some instructions, and then they went to it!  We got our work done in just a few minutes!  Now, it doesn't Always work that way, but when I realized how well we were getting everything done, I stopped them and told them what a great job they were doing, and how thankful I was to be getting productive work done altogether, remembering the times when I did most of it myself, or was frustrated because of the lack of help.  The girls also are a big help in getting things clean around the house (if we could just MAINTAIN a tidy house, that would be even better, but step by step we go!) and it's nice to see progress in this area.  I'm sure we'll have it all down pat by the time the last one is grown up!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Joia!!

Today is Tim's favourite sister's birthday!  What a great thing to always be able to say!  =)  Joia's creativity and zest for life spill over in everything she does!  Hope that you have a super day, and are exceptionally spoiled today, Joia!! 

Joia skydiving - 2 days before her birthday!
One great thing about Joia is that there is generally no shortage of pictures to choose from.  Take a look at her blog, and you'll see even more!
A beautiful picture of a beautiful family!

Three adorable kids!

Love these two - Philip and Joia
Happy Birthday, Joia!  Wish we could be there to help you celebrate!  
Sending lots of love across the miles!!  =)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is Tim's mom's birthday!  I'm so very thankful for you, Mom - for your love for the Lord and for us; for your commitment to your marriage and family!  You are an example to me as a wife and mom, and I'm glad I get to be a part of the crazy Woodford clan!  =)

Love these two!
Mom and Dad with Grandkids - just missing Gwennie.
The original seven

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. (Psalm 79:3)
We love you, and miss you, Mom - hope you have a wonderful birthday!!  With lots of love from all of us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 6

1.  This week I am especially thankful that I know the Lord, and that He is in control of my life.
These last few weeks have been C.R.A.Z.Y. and if I didn't know that He was over all, I would have a much harder time in handling it.   
It all began several weeks ago when we found 3 of our girls had lice, then almost immediately, 2 of the kiddos got chicken pox, and now all but Kyla have had them (even the one who had had them before and the one that had been vaccinated).  Nathaniel has had them the.worst.  From the top of his head, to the soles of his feet; he has them on the palms of his hands, and even had one in his eye!  His are finally drying up, so I think he's close to being done.  Then came the colds.  Chest heaving, nose running, split your middle, colds. Then, the dog, as well as our yard, is full of ticks, so Tim had to spray the yard and we all needed to stay inside for the day.  TFor two days, we lost internet in the house, which also meant we had no international phone.  Saturday night, Alisa fell out of bed and broke her tooth. In half.  Yesterday it was extracted - so she's the first 3 year old I know that's missing a tooth - although I know she's not the first!
Sunday, I spent some time reflecting  on these recent events.  I know that in the whole grand scheme of things, this is truly a small trial.  I decided what I want to choose to take from all of it is thankfulness that the Lord is in complete control, and knows and cares about every detail of my life.  I also noticed that over the last few weeks He has narrowed my focus in.  I have been able to spend time with my children, and do things around the house that I don’t usually feel I have time for, generally because I have wasted my time doing something else.

2.  I'm thankful for a God Who pursues me.  I admit that I've struggled some spiritually the last few months.  Struggled to read my Bible, struggled to spend time in prayer, struggled focusing.  Yet, every day, the Lord was there - encouraging me to keep going, 'whispering' in my ear that He's here, and that He loves me.  I have an amazing God!

3.  I am thankful that I have a dear husband who tries to make things easier on his family.  Tim has gone above and beyond in helping me out during this stressful time, as well as keeping up with his normal workload, plus getting a bunch of work projects done around the house.  I know he didn't have to, so it's especially meaningful.

4.  One year in our new house.  May 15th, 2013, we moved into this house.  Oh, the stress leading up to that move, and how thankful I am done that all that work is over!!  =)  I love this house, and am so glad our family is here.

5.  "Going the extra mile".  This past Wednesday, I asked Mika to dust the living/dining rooms.  After doing the dishes, I then talked on the phone - for a while!  As I was talking, my dear daughter came into our bedroom, and started dusting!  It's been one of those jobs I have put off for several weeks, so it was Dusty!  I really appreciated her thoughtfulness.  Tonight, I asked Kyla to dry some dishes before supper, and told her which ones I wanted done.  She dried all of them, without being asked!  Her daddy was there to see it, too, so she got doubly praised!

6.  The pool heating up.  The temperature has been in the 40's C the last several days, and has not been getting as cool at night.  That means the pool's temperature has gone up from 68 F to 76 F today!  The girls haven't been doing so much shivering, and have spent hours playing in the pool!  So fun!

7.  Spontaneity.  I'm actually not that spontaneous of a person, but this morning, after breakfast, Tim had to go out for a meeting, and I was just Dreading the next couple of hours with cranky kids in the house.  I made a split decision to quickly clean up, get hair done, and we were out the door in about 1/2 an hour to go to the park.  The kids ran and played, and even though it was way hotter than I thought it would be, they all got good and played out.  We came home after about an hour and a half, had freezies, then got into our school work.

8.  The park.  I think I've already put this in another time, and I think it will be on a few lists.  Whether it's to go and run, a walk with one or two of the girls, or to go and play on the equipment or see the fountain - I love that it's so close and so nice!

9.  Cheap dentists.  When Alisa's tooth was broken, we were a little worried about how much it would cost to get it pulled, and were totally amazed when it came to less than $50!  It maybe wasn't done as 'conventionally' as it would be in Canada and the US, but the price surely is different!

10.  Friends.  We have two invitations for a meal this week coming up.  Both families are so dear to us, and being such a blessing when things are so crazy here.  Looking forward to getting out and having some extra adult conversation!  =)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Joshua!!

 Happy 3rd Birthday to Tim's brother Rob and Ada's second son, Joshua!  We sure wish we could be there to join in the celebrating - there's surely a big party happening for this special boy!  Josh, we hope you had a super day, turning 3!  We love you and miss you so much, and pray the Lord will use you mightily to advance His Kingdom!

The whole family last summer
(Pictures stolen from Facebook!)

Lots of love from your Mexican family!!  xo

Sunday, May 18, 2014

6 months old!

Our sweet Gwendalyn Hope is 6 months old, today!  What a joy this little one is to us!  She is rolling over lots, but still flops right over when she's sat up.  She likes to sit in the exesaucer, bouncing and playing with her toys.  She loves to be held by any and everyone, and she's got the best smiles!  It looks like there is a tooth coming in on the bottom.  She is the only one out of our children who doesn't take a soother or suck her thumb.  While she likes her hand in her mouth, it doesn't have to be there for her to sleep. She doesn't really make any distinct sounds, yet.  She has just started taking rice cereal, and the last couple days has been having it every day at least once.  Love this little dolly!


4 months old!

6 months old!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Some pictures!

Dear me, it's been Some time since I've posted pics!  Some of these are going back quite a ways.

Birthday presents from the Griffins - Thomas the Train for Nathaniel!  Both he and Tim were pretty happy!!

A BIG jug of creamed honey - YUM!

Pretty sunset

Nathaniel helping Daddy

Nathaniel and Alisa helping Mommy get juice ready for Saturday morning children's meeting
The lunar eclipse.  So neat to have seen it!

Sleepy kiddos!

Shaelyn playing "this is the way..." with Gwennie

A BIG box of BOOKS!!!  Many thanks to the Finns in IA!

The "Twins"

A bag of chocolate chips had been left out on the counter after baking.  I came into the kitchen and found this boy Stuffing his mouth with them.  Looks like he even went to the trouble to get himself a bowl - so funny!  He was so mad when I took them away, though!! ;)
On Vivi's birthday, we set up the pool we were given for Christmas.

The Birthday Girl and Alisa

Dipping in some toes

Everyone on the outside was SO anxious to get in!
Shaelyn decorated Vivian's birthday cake.  I think she did such a great job!

The pool almost full

Decorating Easter eggs
Finally got to get in the pool.  Everyone chose a number to see who got to go first.
Kyla won!

Then Shaelyn



Nathaniel (I don't think he picked a number!)

It was (and still is) COLD!



So fun!!!

Gwendalyn and I watched from the outside!

She thought she wanted to try out a tortilla, but ended up enjoying her fist more!

Nata fell asleep in the middle of the dining room one day!
After West Phoenix Conference, we had a day and a half to shop before heading home.  We spent quite a bit of time in Cabela's.  These were some of the taxidermied animals that were there:

Um, not this one!  ;)

For Nathaniel's birthday, Mika wanted to decorate the cake.  We came up with this neat idea...

...but after it was decorated (and before a picture was taken) it totally fell apart - in half, both ways!  I switched its side, then Tim helped by making it look like it was stuck in mud - it turned out Amazing!!

He liked it!
Oh, how appropriate!  =)

Isaac C headed north to Canada, so there was a going away party for him.  Here are some of our wonderful young people in Hermosillo!

The Cain Family

What a great idea!  Let's roll on the water jugs!


Alisa was looking like her Uncle Mark - all packed out!

We have one day down for potty training.  Many still to go!  

Cute outfit he got from U. Jeff and A. Marianne for his birthday

Chicken pox!

Playing "meeting"

Watching the other kids play outside

Of course, now I can see that the chairs were in the way, but I didn't then!  Nata and Alisa sharing the car.

Two cuties - one with polka dots!

At the park on a morning walk

A picture Shaelyn drew, named Stallion horse

While we were at the park on Friday, the wind was blowing pretty hard, and everyone to the NE of the fountain got Soaked!

This little lady doesn't like to get wet, so she wasn't over there!

These ones didn't either!
This past Sunday, we went to Andrea's third birthday party!  This is Andrea and her dad, Gabriel.
There were tons of neat things to do there.  Kyla was the only one small enough to get into this ball and climb around while it floated.  She thought it was pretty cool!

The other 3 girls got their faces painted.
Gwendalyn is almost 6 months old, and tried some rice cereal just a few days ago for the first time.

Mexican Mother's Day - I got spoiled!  A special card, a watermelon heart (with maple syrup over it), and "Bananas over Mommy".  It was so cute.  I love my family!

Cutie pie!
For our anniversary, we were given the "special" glasses to drink from, plus candles, plus the topper from our wedding cake as decoration!  =)

I surprised Tim by making him a strawberry-rhubarb pie, and he surprised me by bringing home a lemon meringue pie!  As he says, you can never have enough pie!! ;)

Love him!

He also brought me these beautiful things, that smell scrumptious!
Nathaniel loves lining up cars and trains and playing with them.  He does it for ages!

He's got quite the varied collection here, plus "Cheese!"  =)

The picture isn't too clear, but you can see some of his lovely polka dots.  He acquired many more today!  
 All done for now!  Hope that "fills up" some of you who have been asking!  =)  Good night!