Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Katja!!

This is a belated Happy 9th Birthday to my sister Liz and Trevor's eldest, Katja!!!  We were traveling on her special day, and I missed it!

Sorry to not having pictures, either, but we're experiencing technical glitches at the moment, so it's not possible!  So, so looking forward to seeing this sweet little girl, along with the rest of her family in just a few weeks!

Happy Birthday, Katja!  We love you, miss you, and will see you SOON!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my one and only - "Daddy" to our seven children - as well as our own two great dads!  How blessed Tim and I have been with our Godly heritage, with dads (and moms) who have loved us, instructed us, disciplined us, and most of all, taught us, by word and by their actions, the love of God and His Word!  Happy Father's Day!!

I'm thankful for my own dear husband, who now does the same with his children!  This morning, as I read in Titus, these words jumped out at me:
"For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." Titus 1:7-9
Tim is not perfect, but I know he strives at this, and with the Lord's help, does a pretty amazing job, if I say so myself. =)

Today will be a pretty crazy busy day - we leave on our trip north tomorrow!!  But I just wanted to make quick mention of three extra special men that I love, respect and appreciate!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

“The wise woman builds her house(hold)…”  
Proverbs 14:1

This is just a shout out to my lovely wife on her birthday, this 14th day of June. The Proverb of the day caught my eye by its introduction this morning. It isn’t referring so much to a layer of bricks and mixer of mortar, but a woman whose daily occupation is building her home. Her challenges are many, and her work load is hectic. But the building goes on… day after day, brick by heavy brick. I hope you have a wise woman in your home.

This rhyme gives a glimpse into the present life of mine. 

Breakfasts and diapers, books and yes, some Swipers,
Tests and hiccuppers, then bills and late suppers
Those ‘owies’ and hugs, sometimes housing of bugs
There are snacks and lunches, smooches in bunches
Cleanups of blue jeans, from toddlers to preteens,
The lists of emails, or hair of wee females?
Those big piles of laundry, her daily quandary.

‘Just a suggestion’, say some as they question
‘Perhaps a slight change, something more in her range
Not like a waiter, a something much greater
Expand her borders, instead of serve orders
Change of vocation, and even location
For all she has faced, her work is a waste’
‘No’, says the wise poem, ‘she is building her home’.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ada!!

Today is Tim's brother Rob's wife Ada's birthday!  When I think of Ada, I think of the word, "gentlewoman".  Now, Ada's as feisty as many ladies I know (you can't be otherwise as the eldest of 10), but she's got a lovely, sweet character that I wish I were like!  Ada, I hope you have a peaceful, joy-filled day of love and laughter with your family!  I wish I could be there to give you a big hug!  =)
Rob and Ada
Their four lovely sweeties!
The whole family!  
Happy, Happy Birthday, Ada - we'll be seeing you SOON!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Today is my dad's birthday!  My dad always had cute names for us three kids when we were little.  I am his "Middlest", but I was also Muffin, Sweetie and Pumpkin, and likely a few other food names as well!  =)  My dad always would send us a post card when he went away, and he continues that tradition with our kids now.  I know some PK's (preacher's kids) felt neglected when their dads went away, but I am blessed to have a dad who hated going away from his family, and always made sure we knew how special we were to him.
An oldy but a goldy - in more ways than one!  =)  These are the ones who brought me up, y'all!
San Carlos, Mexico, in January
Dad and Mom with some dear friends
Happy Birthday, Dad!  Thank you for the rich and godly heritage you have given me - I am blessed beyond measure to be your daughter!  I love you, and can't wait to see you next month!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jeff!!

Today is a special day - my big brother turns the big 4-0!  Considering I'll be there myself in just 2 years, I won't say too much about him getting OLD, but I am thinking it!  ;)  I love Jeff, and couldn't have asked for a better brother.  We've fought together, laughed our heads off together, prayed together, cried together.  I love how he loves the Lord and his wife and his family, and how he desires to put God first, even though it's so hard to do sometimes.  I've learned so much from you and I am proud of you, Jeff!
My amazing brother and his wonderful wife - I so love them!
Their four amazing kiddos!
La familia
Happy 40th Birthday, hermano mio - te quiero mucho y estoy muy, 
pero muy agradacida al Señor que soy tu hermanita!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

May Update

Hello there!  Can you believe it's June, already?  It seems like the month of May just flew by!!  We are looking at 6 (SIX - YES!) days of school left, and only 18 days until we leave for Canada!  Hard to believe it's been 2 years since we were there last!

The month of May began with Nathaniel's 3rd birthday!  It was also the beginning of a Seedsower distribution 3 hours north of us in Nogales. Tim took Mika with him (she was SO excited), and they went with a bunch of about 40 believers from here, but I'll tell you all about it in a minute.  We had great plans for the day, despite the two of them missing.  We went to the park to play, had a special lunch and treats, and then had a fun movie night with more special treats.
The Birthday Boy - Three Years Old!!
Gwennie and Nata
Alisa on the Ziggle
Mommy and Gwendalyn
Shaelyn and Alisa with Kyla in the back left
To top off Nathaniel's birthday, we had a "sleepover" in our living room, where everyone but Gwennie spent (at least part of) the night.  I was on the loveseat, and feeling the effects of a cold, so I escaped half way through the night and slept in my own bed.  Nobody seemed too worried about it, though, so I guess it was all good.
Getting settled
Silly faces

 In the morning, we made a big pile of cushions, pillows and blankets and took turns jumping into it.  All of my other pictures are really blurry though, and the videos take too long to upload, so just the kiddos with the pile!

A little about Nogales where the Seedsower distribution was: The roads and hills are c.r.a.z.y. there - I wish I could show you on a video, but it won't upload for me.  Some houses were on hills that didn't have any roads, and you had to climb up the hill to get to the house.  No sidewalk, nothing but a path, or maybe a "stairway" of rubber tires.  Yep, seriously.  There were times when the distributors weren't sure if they had gotten to all the houses, because of how crazy the houses were situated.  It was really hard work for many of them.  A series of gospel meetings began that first night with Marcus and John D.  There wasn't a great response, but they were happy with ones who did come out.  Weekly meetings, both house and in the rented hall continue each Wednesday.  Most of the group from Seedsowers arrived home late Saturday afternoon.  Tim had felt a little sick that morning, so I was glad he didn't make it home too late.

Some of the group (they didn't all fit into the room) singing in the morning.

We had Nathaniel birthday lunch on Sunday.  Kyla wanted to decorate the cake, but we were running really behind.  We went with really simple though, and she enjoyed doing what she could.

I put the words on, and Kyla put on the smiley face.  Notice anything wrong?

I never did notice, but Tim did, and thankfully was able to change the 2 to a 3 without it looking bad!  =)

I was in the other room, and heard Gwendalyn calling me.  When I went in, this is where she was.  Thankfully she has gotten over this stage!
Sunday afternoon, Tim headed to Obregón to help Shad K in finishing a series of gospel meetings.  He would stay for 2 days, come home for a night, then head back in the afternoon for another 2 days.  Friday when he left, he was gone until Monday, as he went down to Guasave, Sinaloa to help out there for the Sunday while the Chavez family was gone.

The week Tim was mostly gone, all the girls took turns sleeping with me.  Then Eva slept over one night, and the last night before Tim came home, I slept up with Shaelyn and Mika in their room.

When Tim got home on Monday, we were already getting ready to go to the Expo that was happening for a few weeks here in Hermosillo.  They have animals and rides and special attractions, and we went the year Nathaniel was born, and haven't been back since.  Alison and Evelyn went with us, and we had a really nice time!

Interesting a foal nursing

Don't know what this pretty horse is, but I've never seen a mane as long as he had - anyone know what type?

There were several rows of bulls and heifers/cows.  3 or 4 of the cows had newborn calves.  This bull was the biggest there.  He was four years old and weighed 1200 kg!

 There was a "Dinosaurium" that most of us went into, that had motorized dinosaurs that moved and made noises.  It was inside and was pretty stifling hot.  One funny/interesting aspect of it was that there was a T-Rex that had "recently attacked" a Triceratops.  But the poor Triceratops wasn't "dead" yet, just was gouged into and lying there "suffering".  Weird.

When we came out, there was a man who had come with some miniature horses as well as a miniature donkey (I didn't get a picture, but it was The.Cutest.Animal.Ever!), and were offering rides.  Alison talked him into a "deal" since we had so many kids who wanted a ride, and she kindly paid for them all to go.  Nathaniel and Gwennie skipped, but the rest were very brave (I wondered about a couple of them), and loved it! They all said it was their favourite part of our time there!

Kyla and Vivian


Mika and Evelyn

Then we went on some rides.  The first one was a twirling teacup type one.   Eva, Mika and Shaelyn decided they wanted to try that one, and Alison mentioned to me that she liked that type, too.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it too, since it had been so long, so we went on it as well.  I really enjoyed the first several minutes of it, but then I started feeling sick.  It was the first run of the day, so I'm not sure if there was actually a problem with the ride or not (after we got off, a guy went underneath and did something under there), but it went on for a Really long time, and I ended up feeling dizzy and lightheaded the rest of the evening.  Tim got a video of us, but no still picture - just one of the 3 girls.

The Littles wanted to go in some trucks, so that was the next stop.  Nata "drove" and Alisa sat in the back.

Vivi and Gwennie
Then there was a sleigh ride one that looked benign and Tim thought he would take some of the littler ones.  It ended up being really fast, and then it went backwards!  Vivian hated the entire time, and Nathaniel thought it was the best thing ever - he grinned the entire time!  The others liked it okay.

 Shaelyn, Eva and Mika went on the Jumping Frog, and all thought  it was great!

Another car
 Ice cream to end the day well!  =)

These were some indigenous men, tied by ropes and being slowly swung to the ground.  I might have gotten sick on that "ride", too!  They all were doing a kind of dance at the top before they came down.  It was neat to watch.

The next day was Tim and my 14th Anniversary!  So very thankful for this man!  A couple pics by Mika before heading out on a date.

The kiddos had lunch before we left, and then went down for a nap while we went out.  We tried out a pizza place at a mall near by called Thiessen's Pizza, and the pizza was really good!  We tried two different kinds, and then a dessert pizza which we brought most of home.  Not sure still why we tried the dessert one, as we had a Pavlova waiting at home for us that we eventually had after meeting that night!

We looked everywhere for whipping cream - we've always been able to find it before, but there was nothing to be found!  So, we used a "medium cream" and added sugar.  It was a flop as far as looks go, but it tasted amazing, and that's what matters!!  =)
The 15th we "celebrated" 2 years in our new house.  I still am so, so thankful for this place for so many reasons!  So glad the Lord directed us here.  

Here are some miscellaneous pictures of the month...

The beautiful Mother's Day flowers Tim got me - so pretty!

Nathaniel feeding Gwendalyn

Alisa, Gwennie and Vivi in their pretty dresses Sandra L brought them from Qatar!

Sleepover in Shaelyn and Mika's room

Shaelynnie loves this pup!

Ha ha!

Love this handsome boy!

Gwennie loves this pup, too!

Found this crazy grape in a bag we just got.  The top three grapes were stuck together and all on one stem.  Tim ate it and thought it tasted normal!
One day while I was doing school with the girls, I hadn't seen or heard from Tim in quite a while.  I went upstairs and found him on the floor of his office with one of our memory boxes (we have 3) open.  It had photos and negatives, old cards and letters, as well as all the letters Tim and I sent to one another from the beginning of our relationship until we were married.  Slightly distracting!  =)  We both enjoyed driving down Memory's Lane for a while that day and the next!  The good that came out of this was that Tim took all the boxes and junk out of that closet, and built shelves so everything in there has a place now (I forgot to take a picture) - it looks so nice!  Another special thing I found that day were some letters my brother Jeff wrote to me.  Four of them were while I was away from the Lord as a teenager, and he wrote to encourage and exhort me, and to tell me he prayed for me every day.  I have no idea why I kept those letters at the time - they likely made me sad and angry, but I also knew he loved me.  The last one was the one he sent with me on the plane after leaving the country of Chile for four months.  Four months after I was restored that I was able to spend with Jeff who was living there, teaching English at the time.  It's quite a different letter than the first ones, obviously, and they all mean so much to me.  It was precious to read them again, and see where the Lord took me out of, and where He's brought me.  I'm so thankful for my brother, and so thankful for my gracious God!

Tim went up to Nogales couple of times this month.

While we were in Guasave driving through to Seedsowers in March, we spoke to Leonel and Iemy about their eldest daughter Jarisdy (Jari) coming to visit sometime.  We forgot about it for a while after we got back, but then when we contacted them again, we found out it would work for her to come.  She came up on the bus the 28th, and is staying for about 10 days.  So far we have been having a great time with her - she's a great help and we all love her!  She's been doing some "hair creations" on all the girls (me included), and that's been fun, too - she's quite talented!

The 29th, we had an end-of-the-year field trip!  =)  We went drove an hour west to Kino Beach with the Cain's and Eleo, and had a lovely day together!  The wind was gentle, the water was perfect, and we had a great time swimming and splashing in the waves!  I only got a few pictures, so you'll just have to imagine the rest of the fun we had!

Jarisdy, Marcus & Alison, and Eleo


Tim and Nathaniel

That's it for May!  Looking forward to all that's in store for June!  =)