Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 25

Isn't it great that you never can run out of things to be thankful for!?!  Sorry to be so late again, but this week, I'm thankful for:

1.  Capturing a cute video of Gwennie.  She does this funny, "scrunch-nose" sniff, that is so adorable - and doubly so if she's trying clap her hands at the same time (she's not in the video).  Love this dolly!

Ha ha!  A scrunch-nose selfie!!  =)
2.  Time to get away with friends.  Tomorrow (Thursday), we're heading to San Carlos to spend a few hours with the K family, whose daughter Shyla is down for a bit with her baby, Katie.  Can't wait to see them, and spend some time together!  Plus, the day is a surprise for our children!  They know that something special is happening, but don't know what (we'll tell them in the morning)!

3.  The young people from our assembly.  This past Sunday we had 14 extra people at our table(s), to make a grand total of 23 of us.  Our visitors were our older young people (17 and up), and we had a great time with them!  I was telling Tim before and afterwards how thankful I am for such a great group of people - we are truly blessed to know them.  On Sunday night, two of the young men sent Tim a note to tell him they wanted him to take Monday night off (speaking at the rehab centre), so he could stay home and relax with his family.  They are so sweet!

4.  Our safety.  Safety is such a loose term, really.  Generally, we feel quite safe here in our little corner of the world, even though we know there is violence all around us.  We know the Lord has called us here, and so we trust Him - not imagining for a minute that nothing will ever happen to us, but knowing we are in His perfect will.  Sunday afternoon, I got a phone call from a girl who lives in another state.  In the past hour, her family had received a phone call saying they had kidnapped this girl's sister, and wanted ransom money.  We were called to pray, and we did!  15 minutes later, we received news that the girl had not been abducted after all (she had not been answering her phone, nor was she at the home she was supposed to be at, so no one knew where she was).  How thankful we were (and are) that she is safe, but we continue to pray for this family, as it's quite possible they are now a target.  I'm also thankful that the scorpion I came across in our bathroom the other day didn't sting my foot!  We think it was just random, as we generally don't get them in the house.

5.  Phone conversations.  I was able to chat with a few of our family members the last few days, and I'm always so glad when I do.  The time change is always so frustrating (although I know it's not as bad for us as for some others) - but it's hard to get a time nailed down sometimes to chat!

6.  Adopting families.  There is something about adoption that makes my heart do flip-flops.  Yesterday, a little boy in Vietnam met his forever family.  Please pray for little Jadon, his dad, mom, brothers and sisters.  Jadon is actually having respiratory problems since leaving the orphanage, and had to spend the night in the hospital.  You can read more at their blog, Love Multiplies Here.

7.  Cooler weather.  I LOVE this time of year!  It's still hot (30's) during the day, but this morning it was 18 C!!  Yesterday we didn't have the a/c on at all, and today just for part of the day (usually depends on whether the oven is on or not).

8. No school tomorrow.  Because of our trip to San Carlos, we skip the day (and will pick it up the next day).  We just told the girls tonight, so it's an added perk for their surprise - Yay!!  =)

9.  Homeschooling.  I love that we can be flexible (sometimes) in our routine, and, while keeping schooling at high importance, also having the ability to do something different if we choose to!

10.  My husband.  Not only am I thankful for him every week, I'm also thankful for him every day.  I still can hardly believe the Lord blessed me so much by bringing us together.  I love this man!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday, Brayden!!

Today is Tim's brother Rob and Ada's oldest boy, Brayden's FIFTH birthday!!  We miss you, sweet boy, and wish we could be there for your birthday!!  Hope you have a wonderful day!
The birthday boy!

Brayden, Josh and Galina

Rob, Ada, Brayden, Joshua, Galina, and ...?  =)

Thanks to Bekah, I had some beautiful pics of this family for my post!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kiernan!!

Today is my sister Liz and Trevor's son Kiernan's SIXTH birthday!!  Can't believe how quickly this little boy is growing up.  Yup, sure makes me feel far away, when I realize birthday after birthday, how time flies!  So thankful for the social media today where I can at least see him growing, even if it's not face to face!

What a sweetie!!

The whole fam jam

Kiernan, Katja, Ellie

Happy Birthday, Kiernan!!  We love you, and hope you had a wonderful birthday!!  =)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tour of Mexico - Part 4

This post takes us from Puerta Vallarta, Jalisco, to Zacatecas, Zacatecas.  If you missed the first few posts, you can take a look at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.  

We left PV after lunch on Monday, and traveled the beautiful, but stomach lurching 4 hours back to Zapopan, where we spent the night.  Paul and Barb weren't there, but Sergio let us in and we zonked for the night.  We were up early, and on the road between 6-630am.  We thought we would "grab breakfast on the way", which means we were hoping there would be someone selling yummy burritos at some of the toll booth stops like they do in the state of Sonora.  Well, apparently the rest of the country hasn't got the (great) memo yet, and there was nobody, and nothing around.  It's funny what you get used to around where you live, and think it should be normal!  Finally, we found a convenience store and Tim went in to find us something.  He came out with cookies and potato chips, saying that there sure weren't many options!  Breakfast of champions, right there!!  =)  

It was a four hour trip, and we arrived at the Wahls' home in Zacatecas just before lunch.  There sure was a lot of excitement - both before we got there, in the van, and then when we got out - it had been too long since we'd seen them, and everyone was pretty happy we had several days to spend together.  After lunch, we headed out to where Jason and Shelley labour, with their 3 girls, Grace, Hope and Faith, an hour away in El Barril.  We were all able to drive together, which was great, because we got lots of chatting in.  It was great for me to meet the believers there - Tim had been there a couple of years ago.  The hall is very simple - it doesn't even have a bathroom in it, but it's all they've been able to find so far.  I found El Barril very....hmm, what do I say?  I loved being in the town.  It was very rustic in many ways.  The roads in the town are mostly all dirt, with huge pot holes, and I couldn't figure out where we were going at any point as it's not really in any grid pattern (I'm usually pretty good with directions, but I was pretty lost).  Many people ride horses, and there were farm-type animals at many of the houses.  There were no grocery stores, only convenience stores.  It is very simple.  Unfortunately, along with its simplicity, comes ignorance.  Many women suffer from domestic violence.  It's just what's done, and it's tragically normal for them.  Everyone turns their head or closes their ears, and lets what happens happen.  While it has been tough slogging much of the time, I'm thankful for Jason and Shelley and their faithfulness in sharing the gospel there.  The gospel of Christ offers hope and light and wisdom in exchange for despair and darkness and ignorance, and quite a number have been saved and baptized.  Please join with us in praying for the work there - especially the men.

Wednesday we had nothing we had to do and nowhere we had to go.  We did lots of chatting, and then did some sight-seeing.  We went up the beautiful little mountain called the Bluff (Cerro La Bufa), and looked through some of the touristy shops they had there. It was quite warm at the time we went, and I think I got sunburned, if I remember correctly, but the temps were mainly quite cool the whole time we were in Zacatecas because the elevation is so high. No a/c needed at all! Their three girls played constantly with ours, and while there is almost always drama with girls, everyone enjoyed being together most of the time! =) We went to a really nice park that day, too. Nice walking trails, a little lake, playgrounds, etc. They took bread crusts and were able to feed the ducks, too - that was definitely a highlight! 

 Thursday was our last full day there, and we were invited out for lunch in El Barril. It was a really nice meal - very deliciously Mexican, and we enjoyed getting to know the family a little better. We went to the hall after that, and stayed an hour or so before meeting started. The four adults stayed up quite late that night chatting - always worth the time and lack of sleep!!

We were heading to Chihuahua (8 hours away) for their conference on Friday, so we were up in good time and left after breakfast.  So hard to say those goodbyes, but we have lots of good memories stored away of our great time together!

A market along side the road

Lots of colour here!

Bananas anyone?

These trees were SO HUGE!  We saw a beautiful blue bird along this part - kind of looked like a large blue jay, but with a really long tail.


There are apparently hundreds of different types of palm trees, and we saw so many, especially in PV, but this type looked like a combination of a palm tree and a cactus.

The hall in El Barril

Playing out the back of the hall at a neighbour's house


This was up on Cerro La Bufa

At the park: Zacatecas

Out for lunch: El Barril

These two ladies are sisters, two of 17 or 18!!

Can't quiiiiiite reach!

For some silly reason, I didn't get a family picture of the Wahls, and the few pics I did get of the family, hardly anyone is looking.  We'll have to remedy that the next time we see them!  

That's it for now!  I'll try to get to the fifth and final part of our trip in the next week or so, so I'll be back soon!  =)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 24

Hello there!  "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24  That in itself gives us much to be thankful for.  Here is my list for this week:

1. Our Gwennie.  Our littlest princess turned 11 months old just a couple of days ago.  I don't know where that time just flew to - but it seemed to go by WAY too quickly!  She now has 6 teeth, loves being outside, loves squeezing Nico (the dog), "cruises" but no steps solo, eats a small variety of foods, but isn't too adventuresome in this area yet, loves to clap and laugh with her sisters and brother, is back to two naps a day, generally, plus sleeping (at least) 12 hrs a night, thinks her mom is great, but daddy is the best, and just generally keeps us on our toes and is the recipient of many smooches!  =)
Gwendalyn Hope
2.  Nathaniel.  I'm not going to go through each of our children today, although I am incredibly thankful for each one, and would like to write about each one soon, but today I just wanted to mention Nata, too, because I'd been talking to my mom about him recently, and he's been doing so much changing.  Mom was asking if he said any more words?  I told her no, but he does make new sounds.  =)  Nathaniel is 2.5, and likely "should" be saying more, however, I can't really say I'm worried.  He has many sisters, plus parents, who likely talk enough for him, but he does say a few words.  He says: Dada (Daddy), Mama (Mommy), Buh (Mika), Shyin (Shaelyn), mom (Kyla, Vivian and Alisa - I don't know why he does this, except that when they play house, they are the "mom"?), Beebee (Gwendalyn), Nico (our dog, Nico or any dog and sometimes animal that he doesn't know), Beyou (bird), Goah (girl), Bah (ball), Mine/My (mine/my), Home (home or house), Num num (food or drink), Brrm brrm (wheel, or any vehicle), Wuhwuh (Eva, and anyone who he knows, but doesn't say a name for), brwrwrwah (it's the sound when someone is shivering from cold, and it's his word for water).  I think that's mainly it for words.  He does the animal sound for cat, horse, cow, duck, dog, sheep.  Just recently, he's taken a liking to sea animals.  We have a Dora movie, where a whale helps to save the day (or something), and the whale says, Ah-ooh-ah.  So, if he sees a picture of dolphins, sharks, whales or fish, that is what he says.  We have a bucket of plastic animals, and he's been playing with the humpback whale, a shark and a dolphin recently.  He makes the animals go up and down, saying Ah-ooh-ah and brwrwrwah, pretending that they're playing in the water.  Last night, he chatted all the way to meeting - pointing and "talking" about what he saw.  I said to Tim, He doesn't have a great vocabulary, but he's definitely communicating!!  =)

3.  The pool is down for the winter.  We laugh now, but when we first moved to Mexico, we thought the Mexicans were SO crazy!  They emptied their pools in Sept, or at the latest, Oct, and didn't open them until June!  Didn't they know how warm it was out????  Well, guess what?!  We've acclimatized.  =)  Tim got the pool emptied and cleaned out, and then left it to dry before putting it away.  The problem was, there is a small tree right beside the pool, that was over run with caterpillars.  Those nasty little green guys loved the texture of the pool sides, for some reason, and after a day left out, the pool was full of them!  So Tim and I both got at it, smashing and stomping the little beasts as we cleaned and scrubbed, again.  It dried within a short amount of time, and we were able to get it away.  I'm also thankful for the HOURS of fun our kiddos had playing in that pool this past summer - it was great!

4.  Tim is such a hard worker.  I know I've mentioned this a number of times, but I am so thankful that my dear husband works so hard for his family.  He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, or try new things - he tackles hard projects without complaint.  Lately, he's been tackling some hard topics in ministry.  Topics that are sensitive and soul-searching, and just generally hard to talk about.  I'm thankful that, although he would have preferred to pass them over, or for someone else to cover them, he instead spent hours studying his Bible, and was able to speak clearly and kindly about the subjects.

5.  Evidence of the Lord working in people's hearts.  We have recently seen and heard of responses of people in both ministry and the gospel.  Lives who want to change to honour and please the Lord, rather than themselves.  We're thankful for evidence in this, and also hearing of four people professing to be saved in Iowa, where my dad is preaching right now.  If you could pray for him and Russ N - this is the last week there, as well as Brian K, Dale V and Bill S in Vandergrift, PA, who are finishing up a gospel series as well - that would be great!

6.  Sunday school picnic.  This past Saturday, we had our first Sunday School picnic.  We've had picnics for the assembly before, but this time, it was meant for a special outing for the kids that come to Sunday School.  We went to the same park as we've gone before, and everyone had fun!  There was basketball, sack races, lime and spoon races, a limbo competition, playing on the play equipment, and then supper before we left.  It was a nice time.

7.  Visitors coming for Christmas!  This has been an odd year for visitors.  It will be our first year without seeing a single one from either of our families, and we actually didn't think we would be having any planned visitors at all as of this past spring.  Yet the Lord has encouraged us in a huge way - three special girls came and gave up their time and resources to be a blessing to us this summer, and now, we have 2 people coming to share Christmas with us.  Tim and I met Sandra at a Mexican seedsowers in 1999.  This year, she's coming again to a seedsower distribution, and we'll be going on a  special trip with her, and another friend, Melody (whom we haven't met yet), before hand!  They will fly into Phoenix before Christmas, and we plan to head up to the Grand Canyon for a couple days, and do a little sight-seeing before coming back home here and re-packing for seedsowers in Guasave.  We're looking forward to Sandra and Melody coming!

These are some more things I've been thinking of, but when I did my last Thankful Tuesday they didn't quite fit in.
8.  The awe and breath-taking-ness - look - of a beautiful sunset (that can never be captured by a camera).  A new one every day!

9.  The leathery other-world-ness - feel, smell - of my Bible.  A dear friend, full of Life, and which both convicts and comforts me.

10.  The well-loved, familiar, heart-stopping-ness - look, smell, feel - face of my beloved.  How I love my Tim.

Still working on the next trip blog post - hope to have it up in a day or two!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Lizzy!

Today is my sister Liz's birthday!!  I still think of her as being 18 (which would make me 21, by the way! ;)  ), but judging from the pics, I suppose she must be a little older than that!  I love how much you work on your farm; how you love your God, your husband and your kiddos, and allow the Lord to stretch you, even though it hurts.  Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Kiddo!  XO

Lucky for me, she's just updated some pics on Facebook!  =)
Here are Liz, Trevor, Katja, Keenan and Ellie

A Lizard in the garden


Couldn't resist putting this picture in - so cute!!

Lots of love from all of us Woodheads in MX!  =)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 23

Sorry, I'm late, again.  And, I'm weird, I know, but today I'm thankful for some different things...
Sometimes when I eat or smell or feel something - it is only really describable by its name, and was thinking how I was thankful for:

1.  The earthy beany-ness - taste - of beans (the legume, not the vegetable)

2.  The pungent lemony-ness - taste, smell - of lemons and limes

3.  The indescribable baby-ness - smell, feel - of a newborn baby's head

4.  The crisp, spraying appley-ness - taste, smell, feel - of a good apple

5.  The nutty nutty-ness - taste, smell - of nuts

6.  The rich pumpkiny-ness - taste, smell - of pumpkin

7.  The tart, dry cranberry-ness - smell, taste - of cranberry juice

and on to some (mostly) non-food things:

8.  An amazing mini-conference by Andrew U.  He spoke on Stewardship, and he was just so clear!  I'll give a very brief outline:
Stewardship is defined by four things: 1. Something has been given to me that is not mine.  2.  I am responsible for it.  3.  I have a limited time to use it.  4.  I will give an account of what I have done with it.
He spoke about our stewardship of children, our time, our money, our bodies, the Truth, and our local assembly.  Did I mention it was excellent!?!  The outlines will be available soon in both Spanish and English if anyone is interested in learning more about it.

9.  A wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with wonderful people.  We had it yesterday (Tuesday) rather than Monday so that we could have a day of recuperation after the conference.  Marcus and Alison came, with Madeleine, Sam and Eva, and Shad K and Andrew Z came from Obreg√≥n.  We missed having Isaac, Eleo and the other Kembers, but they are all away.  Tim could only find a 10 lb (or 30+lb) turkey when he was up in the US, so we decided to cook some pork leg (in the crock pot) to go along with it, plus gravy for each.  Then we had mashed potatoes, stuffing (regular and gluten free), corn, broccoli and cauliflower, and squash topped with marshmallows.  There was one large and two small apple pies, 2 regular pumpkin pies and one gluten free, a pecan pie, and a lemon pie.  Please don't worry, they didn't all get eaten yesterday!  =)  It was a really nice afternoon.
Here are a few pictures of our dinner.  I forgot earlier, so this is after we had already finished our first course, and then I never got any pics of the pies (which I always think are picture-worthy, and because there were so many of them!)
The adults

The Littles' table

The Middles' table

A game of crokinole to finish things off

10.  The family the Lord has blessed me with.  Sometimes, I admit, I'm not all that thankful for the people the Lord has put into my life.  They stretch me in ways I don't want to be stretched, and it frustrates me, sometimes.  If I look at things honestly, I would never change what I have, but sometimes I just forget how good I have it.  I want to take the time now to choose to be thankful for my family.
I read a really neat blog post yesterday, called "Why Have More Kids" and wanted to share it with you, too.  Hope you enjoy!

I'm going to try to get back to our trip posts - there will be two more - and share them with you soon!  =)