Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 28

Good (Wednesday...shhhh!) morning!  Lots more to be thankful for this week!  =)

1.  Good listeners at the rehab center.  Every Monday night, Tim goes to a drug addiction rehab center close to our house to preach the gospel the gospel to around 60 people; mostly young, a few older, mostly men, sometimes a few girls/ladies.  He goes by himself, or 1-2 other young men go with him.  When he got home on Monday, I asked him how things went.  He said, "It went well.  Everyone listened respectfully, like they usually do."  Then he told me that the guy at the reception desk stopped him afterward and told him that he needs to come on another night to listen when other people are speaking.  He told him, "I don't know what it is, but everyone looks forward to when you come, and they all listen quietly (usually). On most other nights, the guys need to be sent back to their rooms for being a distraction and disrupting the speakers.  Please keep coming!"  Please pray with us that God's Word will reach in to their hearts, and they will be changed by His grace and power.

2.   Visitors coming soon.  We are looking forward to Brian and Jeanette and family coming and visiting for a couple of days.  They arrive Monday, Lord willing, and we've got lots of plans for the time we have together!

3.  Lots of cleaning accomplished. We're in the middle of Fall Clean up here, trying to get a good chunk done before our slew of visitors come between now and January.  I wrote out a detailed list of what I wanted to accomplish each day this week, and have crossed off everything off the list except one thing, plus done a few extra things.  Monday and Tuesday were the heaviest and hardest cleaning jobs, and Tim has done some painting touch-ups, too, so things are already looking pretty good, and hopefully it will be a little easier the rest of the week.

4.  Nice weather.  Oh, I can't get enough of the gorgeous weather right now!  Although it gets down to 10 C sometimes at night, it is sunny and beautiful during the day, and we love being able to keep windows and doors open, and the children playing so much outside - it's a great time of year!

5.  A husband who loves me unconditionally.  Recently, I have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  I have been irrational, irritable, unfocused, frustrated, distracted, stressed out, easily upset, etc, etc, etc.  Tim still loves me.  He still speaks to me and treats me in a respectful and loving way, and in no way do I deserve it.  While he is not perfect, he is perfect for me, and I am so thankful for him!

6.   To talk with Ada and Rob this past week.  We had a mostly uninterrupted conversation, and it was so great to hear their voices, and chat about things.  I'm so thankful that Ada is doing so well, and pray for a quick recovery so their kidlets can come home, soon!

7.  To have some Christmas presents picked out and ordered.  Deciding on appropriate, usable, affordable gifts for each person can be time-consuming and frustrating, sometimes.  I think we're doing well, and I'm happy to have some of the time-consuming stuff out of the way.

8.  For everyone feeling better.  I think stomach issues have all been resolved as of yesterday, without even a small tummy ache!  It's been quite the week +, and I'm hoping we're all done in time for company to come!

9.  Dates with my girls.  Even though it's a crazy busy week, I decided on Sunday that I would take each of the girls out for a short trip to the park this week.  Monday I took Alisa, Yesterday I went with Vivian, today is Kyla's turn, tomorrow is Shaelyn's, then Friday is Marika's.  We have gone to the playground, visited the fountain, and just walked around talking - it's been nice so far, and I'm glad it's working out!

10.  Fresh, cheap fruit.  Sunday after meeting, we saw a pick up truck across the road, advertising melons and oranges.  We got four cantaloupes for about a dollar, and 50 smallish oranges for about $2.  All of the fruit (except for one cantaloupe) has been sweet, juicy and delicious!  It's a good time of year for fruit, everyone's been enjoying it!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jared!!

Today is my brother Jeff and Marianne's son Jared's 10th birthday!!  I can't believe my first nephew born is so big already!  Praying this special boy has an extra special day, and that the Lord will continue to use him for His glory!
Mr. Jared
Four Adorable Siblings
The Sharp Famjam - XOXOxoxoxoxo
Happy Birthday, dear Jared - We love you and miss you so much!  Hope you had a great birthday party last night!!

Thankful again for all these pics I stole from Facebook to make the post - guess we really need to get together so I can take some myself!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thankful Tuesday 27

I skipped a week, I know.  I was planning to get the post done on Thursday, but then made the impromptu decision to go with Tim to Tepic for the conference, so it was a pretty crazy day!  At least this week it will be on time!  =)

Some things I am thankful for this week:

1.  That Ada is alive and mostly well.  Yesterday on our return trip from Tepic, we got a phone call to say that Tim's brother Rob and Ada and family had been in an accident Sunday night.  Rob and the children were fine, but Ada, who is also 22 weeks pregnant, had broken her neck!  They did surgery yesterday, and she is doing pretty well - even up and taking a few steps.  The baby is fine, and they plan to discharge her in the next couple of days.  This is one of those times when you want so badly to be back with your family, but where you just pray your heart out to the Lord, and thank Him for others who can be there instead!

2.  The many family members and friends who have been taking care of Rob and Ada's kiddos, praying for them, visiting them, helping out, etc.  It warms my heart knowing there are so many there that love them, too.

3.  A great conference in Tepic.  The last time I was in Tepic was for a Sunday in December, 1999.  It was pretty neat to be back again, and see some of the changes there.  There were a lot of missionaries there - I think 10 (which includes Eleo, even though she didn't preach!)  =)  I counted 13 MKs beside our own that were there, which I can't remember ever seeing that many at a conference before that I've been to.  The messages were so challenging and encouraging, and I'm so glad we were able to go!

4.  To be home again.  12 hours of driving down, and 12 back, of course, not including stops.  Our trip down was the absolute worst, behavioral-wise, we have ever had (which is saying a lot, since we've traveled so much).  Another couple with their little girl were with us, and it was a little embarrassing, to tell the truth - we stopped at least 10 times on the way down for disciplinary reasons.  Thankfully, the rest of the weekend went reasonable well as far as behaviour went, and Eleo came home with us, too, and was a great help keeping littles occupied.  Great to have gone; great to be home!

5.  To be feeling better.  On Saturday, Kyla was sick all day. On Monday, Shaelyn threw up just as we were leaving to go home.  Part way through the morning, I started feeling sick to my stomach, and ended up with some bad GI issues.  By the time we got home last night (midnight), I was feeling much better, only exhausted, but Tim was starting to feel crummy!  He didn't have a great day today, but I think he's on the road to recovery tonight.  Praying the rest skip what we got!

6.  To be in my own bed again.  The hotel we stayed at in Tepic had the most uncomfortable beds I can remember ever having slept on.  I could not lie on my stomach or side, but had to lay flat on my back, and it still felt like I was lying on a concrete floor.  It was so wonderful to home in our own comfy, warm bed!

7.  To see Christians from many of the places we had visited on our trip south.  It was pretty special seeing people at the conference that we never would have gotten to meet, had we not gone on our trip this summer.  It was nice reconnecting with them, and seeing some familiar faces

8.  To have a short visit with Jesse, Emily and Anaya.  They invited the whole bunch of us to stay with them in Santiago on Sunday night, so it would give us a bit of a head start on the way home.  We enjoyed comfy beds, a yummy breakfast, and a nice visit with them before heading out Monday morning!

9.  Spontaneous acts of love from Nathaniel.  Every once in a while, Nata will reach out and wrap his chubby little arms around my neck, and it just melts me.  Yesterday, saying goodbye to Anaya, he went and gave her a hug and a kiss, and then today, he hugged Alisa when she hurt herself.  I just love seeing those sweet little moments!

10.  To have all the laundry done from our trip.  It's not all put away, and maybe it seems like such a small thing, but it just feels so great knowing that all those clothes are washed, dried and folded, and ready to go away.  But that's one of tomorrow's projects...  =)

We didn't have Gwennie's birthday celebration today, since we had just gotten home, and weren't feeling well, so Eleo will join us tomorrow for a birthday lunch.  I'll post some pics of that in a few days, hopefully.

Happy Birthday, Gwendalyn!!

Today is our sweet Gwendalyn Hope's FIRST birthday!  How we love this sweet bundle the Lord blessed us with!  We have had a relatively easy year with this little lady, but methinks that 'easy' might be a thing of the past!  =)  While she is not walking, she crawls and 'cruises', and she can definitely make it across the room as quick as anything when she wants to!  She loves Nathaniel: she rubs his head, pulls on his clothes, takes his toys, and chases him around the room - it's funny for us to watch, and he mostly endures it patiently, but it's hard to know how he feels exactly.  She says Dada, Mama, Nata, and No-no (learned from Nathaniel).  She prefers to be with Daddy and Mommy, but is pretty good to go to anyone as long as she isn't too tired, or we're not within close proximity.  Her siblings love to play with her and tease her, and some of her biggest smiles are for them.  For better or for worse, we're pretty sure her disposition leans toward the impish and energetic side of Alisa.  Of course, every child always comes so unique and special, so, we shall see...

Gwennie, we love you so very much!  We are so thankful that you are a part of our family, and we pray for you every day!  You are a joy and delight to all of us!  Happy 1st Birthday, Sweetheart!
Brand new dolly

6 months old

Getting so big!

Precious girl - xo

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Rob!!

 Today is Tim's brother Rob's birthday!  Wish we could be with you to help celebrate, Rob (see: eat cake- ha!) ;).  We really miss you and love you, and hope you have a great day!!
Rob and Ada

The whole sweet fam

Their cutie-pie kids
As with my last post, all pics are stolen off of Facebook.  Thankfully, I have more than one sister-in-love who is an amazing photographer - thanks, Bekah!  =)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Caleb!!

Today is Tim's sister Joia and Philip's youngest son Caleb's birthday!  His THIRD birthday!  Now just take a look at this sweet little man, and tell me he doesn't have his whole family wrapped around one of those chubby fingers!  

One of the great things about having photographers as in-laws, is that there are always lots of gorgeous pictures to choose from when doing a birthday post!  =)  Check out Joia's blog here for more - although I stole these ones from Facebook.

Three gorgeous children: Caleb, Moriah, Keenan

A beautiful family - miss you all!
Happy Birthday, sweet Caleb!  We love and miss you tons!  Sending lots of hugs and kisses across the miles to you! xoxoxo

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday 26

Okay, today I'll call it what it is - Thankful Thursday!  =) This week,  I'm thankful for:

1.  Madeleine.  Tuesday night, Mad flew out from Phoenix to spend 8 months or so up in Canada.  I'm happy for her and the experience she will get from being there, but I'm sad for us and how much we'll miss her.

2.  Company.  We seem to have had lots of company recently, and it's been great!  Well, mostly.  There are always little glitches here and there, but all in all, we've loved having people over.  It's nice to teach your kids hospitality and how to serve others, and it's nice to get to know people on a different level, too.

3.  A big yard.  This past Sunday we had 23 people here, 10 adults and 13 kids twelve and under.  It is an understatement saying how glad I am that we have a big yard that the kiddos played in the entire time, except when eating.  It gets lots of use the rest of the time, too, but I was especially thankful when we had so many kids at once.

4.  A better schedule with Gwennie.  Since coming home from our traveling trip, it's been a little crazy, getting Gwendalyn back on a proper schedule.  Nothing concrete, but she's generally taking one long nap now, unless she wakes up early and then she'll take two.  She'sating a wider variety of foods, and at more routine times.

5.  A visit to San Carlos.  Last Thursday, we went down and spent several hours with Shad and Debi, Joe, Shyla and baby Katie.  I know I mentioned it last week, too, but it's nice to be able to be thankful for something both before and after you've done it!  =)  It was an unbelievably relaxing day.  Josiah took Eva and Mika to play life-size chess and then swim in the pool.  Shaelyn caught crabs, Kyla swam and explored, Vivian, Alisa, Nathaniel and Gwennie splashed at the beach, and the adults chatted (and grabbed Gwennie once again as she dove into the waves - she LOVED the water!).  I didn't take many pics, but it was a super day!

6.  A sing coming up.  This Sunday we plan to have anyone who can attend come to the house after gospel meeting for a hymn sing.  We had one at the beginning of the year, too, and we're looking forward to this one!

7.  Cooler temps.  The temperatures have been down to 13/14 C the last few nights!  The girls woke up and put on sweaters, mittens and scarves, and I made hot oatmeal for breakfast.  The day warmed up nicely, and we stayed "cool" at 29 C in the afternoon.  Nice to be able to turn off the a/c's finally!

8.  Progress in school.  Up until two weeks ago, Shaelyn was always the first one done, Mika next, then Kyla - and Kyla took FOREVER.  It was like her brain was in high distraction mode, and she couldn't stop paying attention to everything but her own work.  Well, the tides have changed.  This past week, Shaelyn couldn't concentrate, and was struggling like crazy with division.  She's never had any problems with math before.  Each day this week I've been making sure to sit down with each of the girls and spend some serious time with them, and am thankful for how much progress they made in such a short time.  Moral of the story: Mom needs to be really close, and paying attention!  =)

9.  Imaginative kids.  With the cooler weather, the kiddos play outside for hours every day.  On their breaks, and when school is done, and when they wake up from their naps, they are out.the.door!  We have several two-by-fours, some boards, buckets and cement blocks that have been off to the edge of the property since our construction days.  They have been using all these great items making obstacle courses, play grounds, balancing beams, forts, etc, over the last while.  I wish I had taken pics of each of their creation, but I would get out there and they had taken down the last one and were in the middle of constructing something else.  They've done such a great job, and I love seeing everything they make.

10.  Cute sayings by some cute kids:
Vivian (5 yrs): "Mommy, I just want to be lonely (alone) with you!"

Kyla (7 yrs): "Mommy, Shaelyn and I are best friends forever!"
Shaelyn (8 yrs): "At least for today."

During the meetings we had on Stewardship, Andrew was speaking to parents, and said, "Your children aren't really yours!"  Shaelyn turned around to look at me with her eyes opened wide - "We're Not?"