Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back in the blog world....for the moment.

Well...my routines are totally gone. I am going to bed late and waking up late. I have not read e-mails or blogs. I have not spoken in Spanish.

I have been to the doctor a couple of times, had a kid with a cold, had brithday parties, had a sonogram, watched some recorded "so you think you can dance, and played the Wii that we got for Christmas.

But now it is time to get back to work! Brandon will be teaching through James for my mom's Sunday school class for this month. I will be assisting in that (when he isn't available) so we will be prepping the study together. That will be fun. One of our responsibilities with CAM is that we are "member care" for our team. I have totally neglected that, so I will be getting in touch with our team members this week and caring for them! :) We have to make several appointments with individuals and churches coming up. Plus, I will still be trying to take care of my kiddos. :)

Oh, and I have a HUGE prayer request:
BabyK was measuring a little small, so I went in for a sonogram to check position of the baby and to check measurements. Turns out that the reason that I was measuring small, was because he is breech and his rear end is sunk way down in my pelvis.

I will be calling my doctor here in a minute to talk to her about options. From talking to the specialist (the one who did the sonogram) and from reading on-line, most doctors will not attempt to deliver a breech baby. Although breech babies can be born vaginally, most doctors won't do it. They just don't have the experience doing it nowadays to have the skills necessary. It is a much more complicated birth.

Anyway, there are all kinds of methods to get the baby to turn over. One of those, one of the more successful, is a chiropractic method, but there are no chiros certified in this method in Lubbock. I am also trying to get in all kids of bizarre positions to try to coerce him to roll over. We will be trying light and sound to try to get him to move.

Finally, there is a method that OBs use. I would go to the hospital and they would monitor all kinds of things, and the doctor tries to manually make the baby somersault. Worst case scenario, something tears or the baby gets too distressed, and they have to do an emergency c-section.

Not sure yet what my doctor is willing and able to do.

We are beseeching the Lord to do this for us. Please pray with us. With our time line to get back to Guatemala, me having a c-section is really not the best option.

All that to say, we want to do what is safest for BabyK, and we know that God knows what is best. Please just pray with us. Please ask Him to turn that baby. I will be doing what I can to get him to move.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What a day!

Ok! Another post about life in Guatemala.

Today we had an appointment in Guatemala City at 10am, and it is normally a 3 1/2 hour drive with no traffic. We were all loaded and in the car at 5am. By 5:10, we were driving away from the house. So far so good! We had planned on encountering some traffic entering the city during the morning rush hour. GirlM has the croup, but is hanging in so far.

About 50 minutes into the trip (the kids had not gone back to sleep) GirlM gets car sick and throws up. Luckily, she had not yet eaten breakfast, so it wasn't too nasty.

We have to stop so the pregnant lady can go to the bathroom. This particular potty consisted of a very small toilet with no seat and no way to flush. It cost the equivalent of 12 cents to use it. It was totally dark. The good thing was that the door locked, so at least I felt a measure of safety. And there was a rooster crowing right outside of the door to keep me company. The floor was wet with I don't want to know what, so I rolled my pant legs up over my knees before pulling my pants down so that they didn't drag on the ground.

I guess I paid the money so that someone could come after me and flush. Pretty gross, but is was better than trying to go on the side of the road. I just am very thankful that we had our own TP so that I could cover the seat before sitting down, and very, very thankful that we had hand sanitizer in the car.

On our way again we drive another 1 1/2 hours to find ourselves at a road block. Now, here in this beautiful country, there are VERY few alternate routes. There are basically two ways to get to the City from Xela: The coast road, and the mountain road. They both branch off at Xela, and the only road that connects them is filled with bandits and the US embassy has discouraged its use. The road block was because of a demonstration and had rocks in the road, a little violence, and burning tires. We waited there for over an hour, and then after some prayer and fasting (we didn't really fast) decided to try to find an alternate route through the mountains to a town farther down on the same highway. But not before giving GirlM some medicine for her climbing fever and apparently sore throat.

We had to backtrack for about 20 minutes and then ended up on a really, really curvy mountain road covered in pot holes. Ok...we drive for another 30 minutes before BoyD gets carsick and vomits. He had eaten breakfast. So I am turned around in the car "catching" the vomit in his blankie getting a little splattered in the process. No problem, except that I start feeling very motion sick from having to be turned around until Brandon found a safe place to pull over.

We get the boy cleaned up and give him a chance to empty his bladder on the side of the road. I get peed on as I am trying to help him. Sigh.

Back on the road, but pretty soon I have to start driving because I can't shake the nausea. We drive on road that consists of series after series of hairpin turns, bridges wide enough for one and a half cars, and pot holes, until we come to another road block. These demonstrators know what they are doing, and are effective at keeping honest folks from traveling in their country. We wait there long enough for Brandon to talk to some cops. We find out that the blockade is indefinite. There were no plans to open it up. By this time, it is around 11:30 in the morning, we have missed our appointment and the immigration lawyer is trying to find us another appointment.

So...we turn back around. We go back through the curvy road to get back on the highway. We finally eat lunch at about 12:30, and make it home by 3:30. GirlM slept a little in the car after she threw up, and BoyD had been awake the whole time.

We all took a nap when we got home. So we are going to try this again on Friday. Pray for us! :)

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little note about giftedness:

I really don't have time to blog right now. I am cramming as much in my day as I can and still be a wife and mother. But, I ran across this in my preparations for the Bible study that I am teaching and I really wanted to share it. So, I will take 15 minutes "off" and write this out. Not that anyone is reading this anymore since I only post every once in a while, but here it goes anyway.

This is a quote from Howard Hendricks from his book Living by the Book regarding application of Scripture, and more specifically, the Great Commission. (If you have never read this book, please go out and buy it and read it. It is amazing.

"So when it comes to "making disciples," some people will do that by teaching, because that's what they do best. Some will do it by modeling and mentoring, because that's what they do best. Some have a giftedness for influencing people, so they will focus on proclaiming the gospel in very straightforward, impactful ways, because that's how they are most effective. Some will come alongside unbelievers and build relationships and live out the gospel, so that over time they stimulate curiosity about what makes them different. Some will take the approach that Andrew took with his brother, Simon Peter (John 1:40-42): they will bring their friends to people who have the ability to explain the gospel much more effectively than they can. Some will participate in teams that go into the world and do specific projects aimed at drawing people to Jesus. Some who have a talent for telling a story will write books in which they relate their own journeys of faith in ways that are very compelling to an unsaved reader."

This is my question: What am I doing? How am I applying the Great Commission? How are you applying it? What are you doing? Not being an "evangelist" or a "pastor" or a "missionary" is no excuse. (For me, either)

Be encouraged that no matter what you are gifted in, the Lord Jesus created you to do specific good works, and we are commissioned to "go" and "make disciples." We are not called to be something that we are not, just to do something because of who we are.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Great Experiment - (can you do it?)

I have unintentionally been conducting an experiment. I mean, my life has been very different over the past couple weeks than it was previously. I want to explain, share, and invite you to try this with me.

Those of you who have been active at our Flower Mound, TX church will be very familiar with this analogy. It is not one that I came up with, but is one that I have found to be INCREDIBLY true to life.

We each have two creatures living in us. (Well...those of us who have the Spirit of God dwelling in us.)

These two creatures are constantly fighting for control of our thoughts, emotions, will, etc. One of these creatures, I will say, wants us to be "of the world." That is, worldly in our thoughts, actions, responses, etc. The other creature wants us to be holy in all that we do. The stronger creature will win in any given battle. The battle over how to react to a screaming toddler. The battle over how to react in really bad traffic. The battle over whether or not we take the time to pray when we see an immediate need. The battle over finding time to be in the Word of God. The battle over whether or not to share that little nugget of interesting "information" about our neighbor with someone. I could go on and on.

Now, what determines which creature is stronger? How come we just can't seem to keep our thoughts away from criticizing that other person at the grocery store?

The creature that is fed the most, will be the strongest.

I have experienced much frustration over wanting to think more holy, act more holy, be more like Christ, but just finding my mind during the day thinking of other things. Not necessarily "bad"things (although that can certainly be an issue as well), but just things that are not beneficial. I will have some wonderful time in the the morning in prayer with every intention and desire to have my thoughts on God all day. To be experiencing His presence. And then, at the end of the day, I look back, and I was as self absorbed and distracted as always. (What I mean by self absorbed is that I am concerned with my life primarily...my to-do list, my issues, my schedule, my kids schedules, etc)

Now, to the experiment. Over the past few weeks I have been insanely busy. I get up at 5am and go to bed around 9:30. I don't have time for TV (we lost they only channels that I watch anyway, so I'm not even tempted), reading fiction, surfing the internet, exercising, or really any extra curricular activities. I have been making gifts, making bread, cooking, keeping the house picked up, but mostly it has been the following.
1. I am preparing, translating, and teaching a class on "how to study the Bible" for women from our church.
2. I have been doing all of the homework that I assign them for the class (which is a lot of time in the Bible).
3. I have been spending a lot of time in prayer for this study and for the women in it.
4. Before going to bed at night, to settle down my mind, I read 1-2 pages in a book called Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.

All of my "spare" time is doing numbers 1-3. I am even taking some time off from those things to write this blog because it has been on my mind to do it for quite a while and the desire + opportunity will go away if I put it off any longer.

Ever since all of this began, I have noticed that my mind is more focused on the Lord. I turn to God more rapidly when a question arises, when someone is hurt/sick/suffering. I pray more throughout my day. I am more aware of the presence of God! I realized that I have been feeding one creature (the Spirit) and starving the other (the flesh)! I mean, I have always believed that that was true, and hence the value in a devotional time, but I don't know that I had really experienced before the effects of really starving the flesh creature!

So...I am going to continue along these lines for a while. (I am forced to by all of the things I need to do, including preparing a lesson and a sermon for a church this coming weekend) I am even choosing to read more Bible stories to my children instead of just fiction.

Will you join with me? For a week, maybe two? Will you try my experiment? Will you stop watching TV (just for a week!) and stop listening to secular radio, and stop reading anything other than the scripture (or devotional books, or Christian non-fiction, etc)? Will you use that extra time (most likely you will have some) to read the Bible, pray, listen to Christian music?

I would love for you to do this with me, if you aren't already. Then we could compare notes.

Disclaimer: I am in no way opposed to any of the things that I mentioned that we sacrifice for a week! I am not saying that they are sinful, or inherently bad, or un-holy, or anything!!!! Please don't read it that way. It is just that those things don't feed the creature that we want to be the strongest. (Normally, they don't) We as believers should not be so removed from the world that we are ignorant of what is going on around us. We should not isolate ourselves from everything "worldly" and move out to a monastery (although there is nothing wrong with that!). This is just a short term experiment to watch how this truth plays out in our lives.

Will I stop watching all TV after this busy time is over? Most likely not. Will I stop reading fiction all together? Probably not, but I do believe that I will be making some changes after this time. What those permanent changes will be are still yet to be determined.

Let me know if you will participate with me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Your Baby Can Read - A Review: 1st installment

Hey everyone. I've never done this before, but there has been some buzz about a certain product, and I wanted to chime in.

I am going to review (1st of a series) the video learning series Your Baby Can Read. This is a video series that claims that after watching (and using the supplemental materials), your baby will be able to read. Now, they don't make any specific claims (that I know of) that say that by a certain age, or after a specific amount of time, that your baby will be able to read.

The product comes with 5 volumes. Each volume comes with a 30 minute video, a flip book, the really cool flashcards with pictures that slide in and out, a slide book with words from each of the videos, and some other flash cards.

One of the claims that has not proven true AT ALL is that they say that the video can keep your kids attention for hours. Um...not in my house. I mean, both of my kids will stop watching attentively after like 10-15 minutes, depending on if they are tired or not. I usually pause the video if they stop watching, and turn it back on later if they are interested.

One of the "tips" that they give is that you should cut out all other TV from your kids lives. No cartoons, no baby einstien, no movies, etc.

Your kids watch each video 2 times a day for about a month or two (depending on the video).

They tell you on the videos that children take a long time to learn the first 20 words, but after they know about 50, they will start to actually be picking up the phonics and the letter patterns which enable them to actually read, and not just recognize words.

Ok, our experience: We have BoyD (3yrs 10 mo.) and GirlM (1yr 9 mo.)
We have been using the materials for like 6 weeks. We have gone through the first video and are watching the second. (they are actually watching it right now so that I can type this!) We don't watch TV during the week anyway, but we still let BoyD watch cartoons on Saturday morning, and we eat dinner on Sat. night in front of a movie. (this Saturday it will be Cinderella)
So, we have not followed that suggestion.

The videos have cute songs and poems that my kids love. My kids (especially GirlM) really participate in the videos. They watch them, follow along, say all the words that are printed and spoken, dance with the music, and do the directed actions. For example: the video will have written the word "nose," it says "nose," and then shows a little kid touching their nose. It will then tell the kids to "touch your nose". That part is great.

Now that we have moved on to the second video, we will occasionally watch the first video as a "review." It gives a little bit of a variety, which helps my sanity!

We also don't watch it twice a day every day. We probably do twice a day for BoyD maybe 4 days a week, and for GirlM like 2-3 days a week. Mostly they watch it while I am preparing lunch and dinner. GirlM watches less of it than BoyD, but when she watches it, she interacts with it more. Maybe that is a girl/boy thing, or maybe it is an age thing.

The other materials (that go along with the video) are FANTASTIC! I mean, I love them. The kids love to look at the flip books. The have the word printed on the page, and then you either flip it up or down (I wish that if flipped sideways) to show the image of the corresponding word. It also gives little things to do with the picture like "touch the dog's nose" or something. The sliding flash cards are fun as well. It gives the word, and then you slide out a tab and it shows the image. The kids think it is fun to play with those.

We probably look at 1-2 of those materials every day. I think that using those things really enhances what the videos show.

Our results (so far):
GirlM does not seem to recognize any of the words.
BoyD recognizes most of the words from the first video, and a couple of the words from the second. I am actually amazed! He really can look at these words, only printed, in any order, and tell me what it says. He recognizes the following words:
elephant, dog, cat, mouth, eyes, nose, gorilla, arms, arms up, hi, wave, and a few others that I can't remember. He also will put his hand over the "se" in "nose" and tell me it says "no." This was with out prompting from me. He does the same with eyes and the word yes. At this point he isn't reading per se, but he is recognizing the words w/o seeing any pictures. I think that is pretty cool!

I don't know how long it will take for him to get to that 50 word mark, but with very little effort, he is picking up words.

My current conclusion (this could change as we continue the process)
-This is a good program that seems to be working well, at least for our 3 yr old.
-Because the AAP recommends that children under the age of 2 should not watch any TV, and because BoyD is picking this up SO MUCH FASTER than GirlM, I don't think that the new baby due in Jan will be watching this until they are at least 2.
-It probably does "work" in that babies younger than my children could eventually do what BoyD is doing, but since it takes so long, and actually reading to your babies is probably better suited to them, I don't see recommending this product for 3 month old babies, like the info-mercial suggests.
-I will be using the cards/books and other materials that came with the program with the new baby, because I don't see how it can hurt!

Ok...I know that is a ton of info, but I hope it helps! GirlM will continue to watch the videos with her brother, and I will post another update in another month or two to note her progress.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Interesting day

GirlM got stung by a bee this morning. It was floating in the dog's water bowl, and she just reached in and grabbed it.

She came running into the house crying forcefully. When I saw her, I saw that she had something on her hand, and I though that she had picked up a piece of dog poop. Nope. It was a bee stuck to her thumb. I flicked it off right away, but the stinger was still in her. Brandon came out of his office with his trusty pocket knife and scraped the stinger off.

After some meat tenderizer, tried and failed crushed papaya extract, and finally a compress of chewed up pipe tobacco (thanks Brandon...you are a great father), she was as good as new! In just a couple of hours, the swelling had gone down and she was using her hand like normal.

Then this evening, a couple of Guatemalan kids who shine our shoes and wash our cars on Sundays came by. They told us that they couldn't find a bus to their town (about 45 min. away) and asked if they could stay here. Um. No. No, they can't stay here.

We called Gladys (the lady who works for us) and asked. Turns out the last bus was not for another hour and a half, so we gave them bus money and sent them on their way. We should have given them some food, but we didn't think about it until it was too late.

I made southern cornbread for lunch. With the bee sting episode, it wasn't ready until 1:45, so we ate it for supper. But in one cast iron skillet, there was 1/2 cup of butter. That is 90 grams of fat, just in the butter. That doesn't include the 1/8 cup of oil that greased the bottom of the skillet. Needless to say, it was really good cornbread.

So we had that for dinner with some black beans and some queso fresco (fresh cheese). Yum! And then, for dessert (for the kids only...so sad), I fried a piece of cornbread in a skillet with a pad of butter until it was crispy, and then we layered it with some cookie ice-cream. We are trying to fatten up GirlM, and BoyD could use the fat as well. I tasted it. It was to die for. A great way to use up left over cornbread.

Ok...that is about it for the day. Oh, and BoyD, after dinner, said his tummy was hurting. Maybe we over did it with the butter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Last Saturday:

Last Saturday:
This is how the day started: Normally, I am the one to go and get her up, so she was excited to see her daddy! (This video is really for the grandmothers)

(You can see the bumper that I made for the rail of her crib b/c there are bite marks all long the top. I need to add some straps and make another one for the other side, but it seems to be working)

Then, after a good bout of cartoons, we got all dressed and ready and headed out:

Poor GirlM doesn't have any Texas Tech gear, so she commandeered BoyD's hat.
We went to a place called "el vaul" which is a city park located on the top of a large hill (or small mountain). It has a view of the entire Xela valley, and these really large, really cool concrete slides built into the side of the mountain. They did have some smaller ones that the kids can use by themselves.

This picture was not posed. These are the amazing men in my life! Aren't the handsome?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


BabyK (check our newsletter for the full name...if you are not receiving our newsletter and want to, put your e-mail address in a comment here, and we'll send you on)

The little baby that is being knitted together in my tummy is a BOY!!!

BoyD and GirlM will have a baby brother on or around January 20th.

(Quick photo of me and the kids...you can't see BabyK very well, he's in there!)

BoyD is thrilled, Brandon is thrilled...we're all thrilled!

Now I must clean out BoyD's closet to make room for another kid, we must buy/build a bunk bed for BoyD's room, I need to make some boy bassinet bedding for our room. That is just to begin the list! And we are only in the states for another 7-8 weeks! Augh!

Praise God with us for this miracle. In the ultrasound, we got to see him open and close his mouth, we got to see him push up on his tippy toes, and we saw his little face so well. We also watched as his stomach and bladder filled and emptied! It was absolutely magical.

I had a hard time being on my back towards the end of it, as I am getting quite large, so I had to keep pausing the sonogram to sit up. We made it though, and it was worth it!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Women's Study

I've been wanting to post this for quite a while, but I'm a little occupied right now. I am forsaking some study prep time to get this blog out.

Today will be the second meeting of the new study that I am teaching: How to study the Bible. It is based on the book "Living by the Book" by Dr. Howard Hendricks and on the Precepts inductive Bible study method. I am having to adjust the material somewhat to fit the culture.

Last week we had 12 women come! It was fantastic! We had 8 women from our new church, 2 missionary wives, and Gladys (the lady who works for us) and Gladys' daughter. I am really curious to see how many of those women come back this week. They had homework, and everything! It is interesting, because at our last church (it was huge), I had on several occasions invited women from our Sunday school class to the women's Bible study in our home. Not one of them ever came. At our new church, (very small) I put out one invitation, and 8 women came! It was unreal!

I really enjoyed teaching it. I mean, teaching in Spanish is a little difficult...well...it can be very difficult where there is something that I want to say, and I'm just not sure how to say it, but the two American women are a huge help on so many levels.

Please pray for us! Please pray that I can be a good steward of the resources as I translate and adapt the material for Guatemala. Please pray that I would be humble and teachable. Sadly, my unintentional tendancy is to have an attitude of superiority. Not necessarily that I am superior to them, but that my methods, my education, my techniques, are the best, and the poor Guatemalans need to be enlightened. That is so incredibly foolish, and if you would please pray that the Lord would keep me from such arrogance as I teach this study.

Finally, pray that this would multiply. A goal of ours is that after this study, one (or more) of these women would have a desire to then teach this material to other women! It would be wonderful if I could just be a help to the next "set" of women who are teaching this.

Check back later today...we have some news to share with you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Day in The Life Of...

I get a lot of questions regarding what we do here. Specifically, what I do, as the wife of a missionary. I wanted to briefly post my schedule for today, just in case you were interested.

5:15am - BoyD wakes b/c his pull up leaked and his shirt and pants are wet.
5:17 alarm goes off
5:45 - I pull myself out of bed, head downstairs with a load of laundry.
- I put in the load of laundry. Thank the Lord for a washing machine.
- I make a cup of decaf coffee and head upstairs for a little alone time.
6:00am - BoyD is waiting at the top of the stairs for me, ready to wake up.
- I end up reading Mark 14 to him and Jeremiah chapter 3. (Not a very toddler friendly passage)
6:30 am - BabyM is "talking" in her crib. We go and get her up. The kids and I play with BoyD's dinosaurs, I get their clothes for the day picked out, and get my bag ready to go swim.
7:25am - Brandon is showered and ready and the fam heads downstairs for breakfast. Brandon makes oatmeal, I eat a quick bowl of cornflakes (sharing bites with the kids while the oatmeal cooks)
7:50 - I head out the door to go to the public sports complex. I swim for around 30 minutes and head back home.
8:50 - I get home, Brandon has dressed the kids, fed them breakfast, and cleaned up the kitchen. I have a super husband!
- I shower and get ready.
9:30 - The kids and I pick up the upstairs. We head downstairs and I hang the laundry on the line. I make the menu for next week and the grocery list.
10:30 - The kids and I go to the grocery store and to a big lots type place that is having a 40% off entire inventory sale. (I find crayola color wonder finger paints!!!! and Rite-aid pull ups!!!!)
12:20pm - we get home and I make lunch: corn tortillas, refried black beans, scrambles eggs.
1:30 - I put the kiddos down for their naps.
1:45 - I head back out to the Market (fresh fruits and veggies...open air market) to barter for our veggies, etc. I find BabyM a pair of knock-off hot pink converse for less $4
3:00 - I arrive at home, clean the kitchen of lunch dishes. (Too bad we don't have a dishwasher!) And begin the arduous process of washing the fruits and veggies. This consists of scrubbing each thing with a soapy brush, rinsing, placing in a large tub of bleach water, letting it sit for 25 minutes, and then rinsing with filtered water before laying it out to dry.
3:40 - The kiddos are up (I had to wake up BoyD, while BabyM had been laughing in her crib since 3:20!)
4:00 - The kiddos and I head downstairs, them to play in the sandbox, me to work more on the veggies.
4:30 - Brandon finishes with work a little early, helps me in the kitchen, and gets the kids ready to head back out. I pull in the clothes from the line.
5:00 - The whole family heads back to the big lots type store so that the kids can look at the toys (we didn't have time earlier, and I wanted Brandon to see what all they had) We purchased a plastic wisk - ours was broken - a bug collecting kit for BoyD, and 2 caramel KitKat bars - for movie night, all for less than $4.
6:00 - we get home and make a quick dinner of left overs. The kids eat great (even BabyM).
- we clean the kitchen while BoyD tries to find bugs in the house and BabyM pours her milk onto her cookie on the table.
6:45 - everybody heads upstairs to start bed time (little you tube video, take baths, pick up toys, read books, sing songs, say prayers, etc)
8:00 - I blog...sit down for the first time today, Brandon picks out a movie, makes popcorn.

Busy day! Good night everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Just in case...

Just in case you like looking at my kids:

A little video of us getting ready to go to out. I pulled out the camera because they were just chatting away about what we were going to go do. Then, the camera comes out, and they get quiet! They are so funny.

Oh, and to explain, BoyD is calling me "dad" because he is pretending that I am the dad triceratops and he is Cera from The Land Before Time.

BabyM is wearing a shirt that my grandmother made for me when I was her age.

Yesterday was a pretty afternoon (meaning it wasn't raining which is a little rare) so I took the kiddos to the park that is inside the walls of our neighborhood. So, I took some pictures. 150 pictures actually! The following are a few of my favorites.

BabyM "smelling" the flowers.

BoyD just exploring and being BoyD.

My kids loving on each other. What isn't in the photo, is the hug that they were giving each other that ended on the grass like this. Look at BoyD's content face in that second photo. You also can't hear BabyM fussing while he is just so happy. It was really cute.

BabyM had a great time, and was sad when it was time to leave!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Being a mommy is cool.

Hey everyone! I'll just get started. I went to a baby shower but didn't have the time or the money to buy a gift. So...I made one. I used fabric scraps that I had here at the house, and I made this little receiving blanket quilt. It is not my favorite thing I have ever made, in that all the fabrics don't "go" together all that well, but they were all feminine and babyish. And it took me 2 hours one evening, and then 2 hours the next day to complete it, from cutting, piecing, sewing, pinning, and quilting. It went very fast.

I actually thought the bag (and card) was cuter than the quilt! I "made" the bag, in that I bought the yellow bag on sale for 50 cents and decorated it with twine, the letters of the baby's name, little tiny clothes pins, and a homemade baby card. (The "tissue" paper in the top is more fabric scraps)

The kids were being creative together and being so cute to boot!

I have since cut BabyM's bangs. They are less in her eyes, now.

BabyM wanted to use the paint brush, and BoyD wanted to use his fingers. Go figure.

I wanted to share some really cute BoyD sayings.
He was making play dough letters at the table this morning while I was making snack in the kitchen. Snack was deviled eggs, but he wanted them to be dinosaur eggs so I was coloring them green. And he says "Dinosaurs are extinct" "yes" I say, "they are." And he replies "are they extinct because they smell bad?"

Then he told me that he told his English teacher at school that snakes live in the wild west. We said "well, what did she say?" And he said "She didn't understand what I said. My English teacher doesn't speak English very well."

And then today, with his "cool" sunglasses on, lounging in a lawn chair in the sun, he told me: "look, mom. I'm in the wild west."

This afternoon, while reviewing some letters, we came across the letter "D." He has a hard time remember that letter, so I said "it is the first letter of your name..." well, so we started spelling his name in a little rhythmic tone "d-e-a-c-o-n" and he added in the same meter and rhythm "that spells the name of an Englishman" (like as in in fe-fi-fo-fum)

Oh, my, gosh. I don't know if reading this comes across even half as funny as it did hearing it in real life, but I laugh out loud even typing it. Maybe it is just because it is my kiddo.

BabyM's vocab has exploded. She now says "Look a me" if I am not giving her my full attention. She will also say "I don wan to" if I am asking her to do something undesirable to her. She will say "SKOOS ME!" if I am talking on the phone or something and she wants to talk to me. She'll say "i full" after meals, and the cutest of all, is when I tell her that I love her, she says "love me too"

She'll tell me "kime" before she climbs on something, and then while climbing says "i won fa" (as in, I won't fall)

Oh, I really do love my job.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A little about the baby

Well...I haven't talked much about the baby here. I am 23 1/2 weeks along and feeling pretty good. With both of my other kids, I felt incredible during the second trimester. Tons of energy, tons of mental energy, etc.

I guess that because I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 21 month old I just don't have that same energy level. I mean, I feel good, but I still feel pretty sleepy. Not sleeping well at night can cause that!

Also, I can feel that this is the third pregnancy in less than 5 years, and that I am 31 instead of 26. My hips get locked up if I do anything physical. I mean...I made a little lap quilt for a baby shower that I have today, and just the bending over for cutting, piecing, sewing, ironing, etc, made going to sleep that night very difficult. My hips would just get locked up in one position. Then, for a while the next morning, I had a hard time going down the stairs.

I also am not working out like I wanted. With the other two pregnancies, I exercised regularly. I just can't get the energy to get up early enough to work out. Excuses, excuses!

I am getting pretty large, although if feels good to have the belly growing at a faster rate than the rear end so that I actually look pregnant, and not just fat! :)

I feel the baby move ALL THE TIME like crazy! For a couple of weeks now, you can even see my tummy bulge and rock with the baby's kicks and turns. It is wild. I can't get over the wonder of it all.

We still don't know the sex. I am DYING to know! I have so much to do around the house to get ready, but I need to know if this baby will share a room with BoyD or with BabyM. That means putting together bedding, sorting through the appropriate newborn stash, organizing one of the kid's closets. (They aren't disorganized, there just isn't room in either closet for another kid's clothes.) Stuff like that. Since we leave in December to head back to the states, I need to get it all done soon. I still have to wait another month to find out the sex. That is a bummer.

Over all, life is great. I feel pretty good considering the state of my body, I love my kids and they bring me so much joy, and my husband is amazing.

We are also having to live ON THE CHEAP big time until we go back to the states. We are trying to save up enough money so that we can just pay the doctor bills and hospital bills after the baby comes. We also have to have enough cash up front (before we get paid in Dec) to pay all our bills here for the 3 months that we will be gone. So we are trying to save every penny. Not easy with vaccines and doctor bills, etc. Pray for us that unexpected expenses can be a minimum these next couple of months. (On that note...I only spent $50 on groceries for the next week...yeah!!!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A morning word from Brother Lawrence

Gonna share a long quote with you. What a way to start the day.

"I am filled with shame and confusion when I reflect, on the one hand, upon the great favors which God has done, and incessantly continues to do me; and on the other, upon the ill use I have made of them, and my small advancement in the way of perfection.

"Since by His mercy He gives us still a little time, let us begin in earnest, let us repair the lost time, let us return with a full assurance to that Father of mercies, who is always ready to receive us affectionately. Let us renounce, let us generously renounce, for the love of Him, all that is not Himself; He deserves infinitely more. Let us think of Him perpetually. Let us put all our trust in Him; I doubt not but we shall soon find the effects of it, in receiving the abundance of His grace, with which we can do all things, and without which we can do nothing but sin.

"We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life without the actual and continual help of God. Let us then pray to Him for it continually. How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him but in thinking of Him often? And how can we often think of Him but by a holy habit which we should form of it? You will tell me that I am always saying the same thing. It is true, for this is the best and easiest method I know; and as I use no other, I advise all the world to it. We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure. This is an argument which well deserves your consideration."
-Brother Lawrence from Practicing the Presence of God

Hope you enjoy that as much as I did. Have a great day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Livin' on the cheap!

Hey guys! Been too long, so I wanted to post a little about living expenses here in Guatemala.

Ok...first of all, if you want to purchase any item related to technology, it will cost you a lot more here. Cars cost around 4K more here than in the states. Imported products (Wishbone italian dressing, or heinz ketchup, for example) are also a lot more expensive. I mean, it costs like $3 to get a small bottle of real white vinegar. McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's, all cost the same here.

But, we went out to eat after church on Sunday (normally we just do something in the crock pot, but church got out just before 1, and our kiddos normally eat at 12:30, and needless to say, they were both too tired and hungry to drive home, figure out lunch, and then expect them to eat). We went to a local restaurant.

Ok - We started with two enchiladas (chicken salad on tostado shells...it's an appetizer) I got a sandwich with an egg, ham, and cheese omlet, and black beans. Brandon got a bowl of soup, breaded steak, rice, cooked veggies, and 2 tortillas. The kids split a 1/4 lb cheese burger with chips. Plus we got three bottles of water (not free here). All of that, including a 15% tip, cost $10. Oh my gosh! We can afford that! :)

Then, I go to the store and buy groceries for the entire week for our family for around $60. That was $20 under budget! Yeah! Sometimes...well, most of the time...I really love this country.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade Pop Tarts

Ok - I don't know that I have ever posted a food that I have cooked before. I am not a gourmet chef. I leave that up to my friend Alicia! (her creative blog is great for ideas!)

Anyway, I was craving pop tarts, and since we can't get them here (or I haven't seen them), I decided to make our own. It was SO easy, and oh, my goodness, they are good. They make regular pop tarts taste like...I can't believe I'm going to say it...garbage.

I make my own pie crust b/c we can't get the refrigerator kind, but the easier the better! (I just used the one crust pie recipe to try this out) I rolled it out pretty thin and then (tried to) cut rectangles. On one rectangle, I placed 1 tsp. of strawberry jelly, but any jelly would be good. You could even do a sweet cream cheese, or peanut butter, or nutella, or whatever!

Then, I put another rectangle on top (trimmed to make them the same size), and pinched the edges to seal. If you need to, you could add a little water with your finger in between the layers to create a better seal. A couple of mine leaked a little filling, but not enough to matter. I then crimped the edges with a fork to make it a little prettier.

I baked them at 425 for 10-15 minutes (takes longer here b/c of the altitude, so you want to watch it until it looks done...golden brown), moved them to a wire rack to cool.
I made 6 with the one pie crust.

I made a frosting out of powdered sugar, a little milk (just enough to get it not a powder anymore), and a little red food coloring. You could top with cream cheese icing, or whatever you had on hand!

Oiola! (Is that how you spell that?)

Anyway, this just took maybe 30 minutes to prepare, making my own crust, and it is so much better than a normal pop tart. It would be a great breakfast item for a Saturday morning instead of getting donuts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ok...thank goodness, I over reacted! BabyM's diarrhea stopped very quickly, and she was able to get her vaccines! Yeah! She wasn't as excited as I was. She also gained 6 ounces in the last 2 weeks. That is progress...we think. We won't actually know until we visit the nutritionist in 2 weeks. Just keep praying about that, please.

We (the whole fam) drove to a town called Chichicastenango yesterday to meet up with Dee Farney, who was here on a mission trip to work in these medical clinics in the Chichi area. It was such a joy to get to see her and have her here in our country. We stayed at a really pretty hotel and shared a balcony with Dee. We put the kiddos down and had almost 3 hours to sit and chat with her. It was such a blessing.

We did lose her for a little bit this morning that made me pray like I haven't prayed in a long time, but it all worked out. That is a story for another time.

Ok...I may get a bit preachy b/c there has been something on my mind. It is faith and works.

Just to begin: I believe that we are saved by grace through faith. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I do want to talk about works a bit. I believe (and this is just my opinion based on observation and experience) that the evangelical church (in America and here in Guatemala) has taught faith alone. I don't think that you can over preach saved by grace through faith, but there is a GIANT aspect missing when we don't teach works. I mean...we are told in scripture that works are the evidence of faith.

So much stress is put on the maturity of the believer. On being a good Bible student, on growing in faith. But what is growth in a life of a believer if there are no works? I mean...what is the point in faith if it is dead?

The end result of our salvation (the progressive aspect of it) isn't a more holy, less sinful, more studious, person. It is a life of good works.

Eph2:8-10 "8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

What are the things that we think of when we look for markers in the life of what we consider a mature believer? They pray a lot, they show the fruit of the Spirit, they study their Bible and have a good understanding of the Scripture?

Why do we study the Bible? Is it simply to know God better. That is very noble, and the Bible is the best way to know God better, but is that the end result? I mean, ask yourself that questions! Why do you study the Bible? Is it to become more holy? A better person? Because it feels good? To get answers to questions in your life? To find support for your beliefs, to find hope, inspiration, encouragement? Read the following with me carefully:

2 Tim 3:16-17: "16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

We see there all of the things that reading the Bible is good for. It is a wonderful list! But what is the end result of all of those things? Is it so that the man(person) of God may only be equipped? NO! It is equipped for works! We read the scriptures and we are transformed to do GOOD WORKS!

Are you doing good works? Are you feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty? Visiting those in prison, praying with/for the sick, caring for orphans and widows? (This list is NOT exhaustive)

Imagine the life of the man who gets up in the morning, goes to work, works hard, comes home, eats dinner w/ his family, enjoys his wife and kids, watches a little TV, goes to bed, gets up early, reads the Bible and prays for a little bit, and starts all over again.

Or the life of a woman who wakes, gets her children fed, dressed, takes care of the house, cleans, does laundry, cooks, takes the kids to the park, maybe to playgroup, runs some errands and buys some groceries, feeds the family, puts the kids to bed, gets a little devotional time, goes to bed, wakes in the morning and does it all over again.

These are most noble things. These are the things of life that are necessary and good. These are things that fill our time, our minds, our calendars. It is in doing these things with holiness that teaches our children about a life with God. But is that all? I mean...where are the works?

Let me interject here that I am not God, do not want to be, and therefore have no desire to sit in judgment on anyone. I am not looking at suburban men and women and criticizing them in my heart. This is a rant not directed at anyone. These are just my thoughts on the subject.

Anyway...my challenge is this. What works are you doing? What opportunities do you have for doing good works? Is your faith limited to the walls of your home? Or maybe your church sanctuary and Sunday school class? Maybe just to your wallet? (keep the wallets open, folks! He-he!) How could you do more? Not to be saved! Not to get into heaven! But to give evidence. To put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. That is what James means when he says we are justified, not just by faith, but by works!

James 2:14-24

"14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. "

Lets all go do something.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Big D all over again.

Ok...BabyM has diarrhea again. What this means for us:

1. Extremely bad diaper rash.
2. Using disposable diapers (I love putting soft cloth on my baby's tiny tushie! I just don't have the energy to wash out 5-10 diarrhea diapers a day in the pila)
3. No appetite for our little one who needs to eat so desperately.
4. A loss of ounces, yet again.
5. Can't have her vaccinations that she is scheduled to get tomorrow. They are already late b/c every time she is due vaccinations, she gets sick and we have to put it off.
6. Not being able to tell if she is making any progress on her weight gain, and having to wait another 2wks to a month just to know if she is stable, worsening, or getting better.

It is really hard not to get discouraged.
Please just pray for her.

On a lighter note: BoyD and I were playing robots yesterday. I was Eve and he was who knows what, and a piece of paper in his hand was Walle. (All from the movie W.A.L.L.E.)
Anyway, he landed his rocket on the couch and told me that the rocket had an e-mail.

He's three and is pretending that his rocket received an e-mail. It was really funny. He even told me not to laugh, that it was very serious. :)

Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Guatemalan sling

You guys know those very expensive baby carriers and slings that you can get in the states? Well, here is the Guatemalan version. They are made from a really thick fabric and are very sturdy! I love using ours! We always get funny looks from the Guatemalans though, because they almost always carry their babies on their backs! I just don't have the skills for that. :)

Enjoy the little video.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some Kid issues and More Diaper Giveaways

BoyD had a little problem yesterday. (It is a little better today) His right ear is HUGE! It seems as though a little creature bit my child on his ear. We don't know if it was a spider, a mosquito, or what, but he ear doesn't like it.

We have given him Claritin and rubbed hydrocortizone cream on it multiple times, but it isn't really helping yet. Boy, this kid can react. But isn't he so handsome??? I mean, geez! He's a looker! :)

Well, not photos of this one, but BabyM is trying to poop on the potty. She sits down (she is so little she can even fall in the kid potty) and pushes out toots. She is so proud of herself! I think that if we could time it right, we could get her to poop in there. I mean, she's not ready to potty train totally b/c she doesn't shoe many of the other readyness signs, but boy she has desire! It is the cutest thing, b/c she will toot, look up and you and laugh! She wants to be just like BoyD.

We need to buy her a better potty chair. The one we have will tip over b/c she isn't big enough to stablize it.

More diaper contests! If I blog about these contests, I get entered to win, so if you do cloth (or want to try) then check these out!

There is a diaper called grobaby that is so cool! I don't know if you can read all the fine print, but you have these inner layers that you can switch out when the baby's wet, and just keep using the outer layer. When it's all snapped together, it goes on just like a disposable.

My favorite part? It is one size from newborn to toddler! It adjusts. That means that if I had this diaper (and I don't yet, but I'm trying to witn it) then I could use it on the new baby coming in Jan, and on BabyM! Talk about saving money on diapers, let alone saving the countryside here from poopy diapers.

Here is the Link to the website.

There is another very cool website where this mom reviews different products. One of the products that she reviewed is a Bambino Mio cloth diaper. If you want to read about a cloth diaper experience from the perspective of a disposable user, check out this site.

She is giving away two of those diaper sets, and oh, do I want one of those! They work like a disposable when you put them on, (no pinning), but you can reuse the cover over and over. They even sell these flushable liners that you can dump in the potty if baby poops! So cool.

Here is the link for the contest.

There is another really cool giveaway for a Gad cloth diaper. It is super cute and looks so soft! I want one of these also. I am trying to increase my stash for the new baby coming! :)

Now, this is the monster of cloth diaper giveaways from a blog Rocker Bye Baby! I mean, this stuff is for super cool moms with stylin kiddos! :) Even if you aren't interested in this stuff, you should check out how fun these diapers are. The coolest part, these are WAHM diapers, meaning that they were made by Work At Home Moms, so buying these dipes helps other mom's stay at home!

Go Here to see this stuff in detail (or to enter to win)

Looks like a fun store with contests!

Boy, I love free stuff! And I love baby stuff. There is a new website that is launching called BabyHalfOff.com and they are having contests!

On this blog, you can access a contest for a gift certificate. Cool, huh?

Let me know if you visit them.

By the way, thanks for all of the prayers regarding BabyM. We are certainly adding calories to everything, so we will see in a couple of weeks if we are making headway. I am definitely less stresses, b/c as Robin pointed out, I am doing all I can, and the Lord is responsible for the rest.

You guys are all so great!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a little frustrated.

Ok...time for another update/rant regarding BabyM.

First of all, BoyD was so cute in his little play. All the other kids had full fledged costumes, yet poor BoyD just had a dinky mask, but he didn't care in the slightest. He looked so cute. Sorry, grandmas, Brandon took the camera with him out of town for the day, so all the photos are stored in my memory and we don't yet have the technology to download those! Anyway, he didn't know the motions so he just copied what the other kids did a few seconds behind. It was hilarious, and he was so proud of himself. I, too, was proud.

On t0 BabyM. She is 19 months old and weighs 17lbs 12oz. She is growing at a slower and slower rate. Basically, she has been well since March, but hasn't gained an appropriate amount of weight. She isn't climbing the charts, or even levelling off. Her height and head circumfrence are doing fine, although she is still little.

Trying to get that kid to eat is so frustrating. I can't begin to decribe the stress I am under. It just makes me leave the table in tears. She is on a new vitamin that is supposed to increase her appetite, and is has some. She refuses anything that has any real nutritional value (except for avacados) She will eat bread, pasta, chips, crackers, cookies, all day long.

I saw a recipe some where for a breakfast cookie. I may try to make some of those. We visited a nutritionist, and she told us some things that just don't seem good. The problem is that I am arrogant and prideful, and think that I know what is best, when I probably don't.

For example...we're supposed to stick to white bread. It fills her up less as it has less flour. That makes sense, I guess, but knowing how bad white flour is for you, makes me cringe. She said to puree food for her to eat. I guess that is worth a try (anything is) but I already know that she is a texture kid, and I don't envision her liking pureed meat with veggies mixed in. But, like I said, whom am I? I mean...I am at the point of really trying anything. I thought that she had been doing ok since she had been well, for the most part. She is eating well today, though. Maybe we have turned a corner.

Just please keep praying for her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BabyM and the Lion

Ok...so not together! But I wanted to update on our little BabyM, post a couple of photos, and tell about the lion mask that I made for BoyD.

Well, BabyM received 2 vaccines (actually 4, but in two shots) today and is doing well. Woke up from her nap fussy, but other than that, is in very good spirits.

The dr. is sending us to a nutritionist (we go this evening) because although she has grown 3cm in height in 5 weeks, she still only weights 17lbs 12 oz at 19 months old. At this rate she will be well over 2 before she reaches 20 lbs, what most babies reach at a year. Now, the good news is that she is not sick, does not have diarrhea, and is developmentally normal. She just doesn't eat enough to gain the weight that she should be gaining. I'm happy, though, because she is otherwise healthy, and maybe with a nutritionist, we can fatten her up! :)

BoyD is in some sort of cultural program tomorrow that we found out about today, b/c he hasn't been to school in 6 weeks! He-He! Anyway, he needed a lion mask for tomorrow, so I got to

I printed a little template on the computer so that I could get the right size, as BoyD wasn't here. I glued that template to some yellow foamy that I had, and cut out little ears from brown construction paper.

I had destuffed an overstuffed toy and had kept the left over inards, and glued that on for the mane. I tried various methods to paint the mane, and finally settled on some watercolor. It worked pretty well. Then I painted the face, glued on construction paper wiskers (curled a little at the ends) and attached elastic to hold it on him.

When he got home, I measured for the eyes and cut those out. I think it turned out pretty well, and he is at least happy with it. It is taking everything to keep him from wearing it until tomorrow! (I don't want it to get messed up before the program...he'll have plenty of time to wear it later!)

The photos below are 1st: the fourth of July celebration that we went to while we were in the states, Uncle Ian fixing BoyD's hair. So cute
2nd: BabyM playing at the park by Grammy's house. That was like 10:30am and it was so hot that she looks like she has been in a sauna. Sorry for all of you who live in Texas in the summer. The promise land betrayed us a little!

3rd: those are some of my girlfriends from highschool that I got together with while in Lubbock. It was so fun! Aren't they beautiful!

Ok, that's it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cotton Babies

Ok. At the end of last year, we received a diaper grant from a company called Cotton Babies. They sell cloth diapers. For many reasons, we use cloth, but we just couldn't afford the initial start up to have enough diapers for 2 kids in Diapers.

I found this grant application on their website while drooling over diapers, and applied. We were granted the grant, and received 16 BumGenius diapers, a bunch of cloth wipes, bottom spray (for cleaning), and 2 dirty diaper drawstring bags. All free. This grant is for missionaries only. What a ministry! I don't know exactly how many diapers that they give away, but the list of missionaries that have received this grant over the years is amazing.

I just feel so blessed. I am plugging this website, this company, because they are putting their money (or diapers) where their mouth is. They are a company that is giving back. They are serving people who serve for a living.

Please visit them. There is even a place to donate towards the grant.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mosquito Bite

Just for fun...or because I'm morbid, I wanted to post another couple of photos of BoyD when he got a mosquito bite.

This was a different bite than the one shown below, but had similar dramatic affects. The circle is the bite, the little dot being the center of the bite. Poor baby was a little freaked out when he woke up that morning.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Keeping things neat.

I was w/o internet or too busy to look for almost a month, so I am just now catching up on all kinds of blogs, but there is one thing that I have been reading that I just think is fantastic!

My friend Alicia has a blog outlining her new cleaning method. Before I had a 25 hour a week housekeeper for around $100 a month (I know, I know, everyone is jealous, just move to Guatemala and you too can have this luxury!) I did the flylady program and loved it! I seriously did hardly any work and my house was neat!

For me, with a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn on the way, the trick to keeping things neat is having the kiddos be responsible for their own stuff. (w/in reason) For example, if I have to pick up my preschooler's toys, then I keep them in something called a "work-it-out box." Since I had to do his work, he has to do some of my work in order to "buy" back his toy. (Pick up the Baby's toys, or put folded laundry in the correct room, for example) BoyD makes his own bed, picks up his toys, can only get out 1 (sometimes 2) toy at a time, and must clean up one before getting out another, puts up his own dirty clothes, takes his plate to the kitchen after eating, wipes down the table (on occasion), feeds the dog, helps me put clothes in the dryer or picks up the clothes pins when they dry on the line, and generally helps me when I ask him to (pick up any trash, put things on the stairs, etc) BabyM picks up her toys (with help), and is learning to take her plate to the table after she eats. She also picks up trash and puts it in the trash can.

I do have a very organized play room and kids rooms, so that my kids know exaclty where everything goes. We also talk a lot about how good it feels when the house is straight. We talk about how nice it looks when we go to bed at night, and how nice it looks when we wake up in the morning.

The real problem is my bedroom. I (and Gladys) keep it relatively neat, but it seems that there is always clean laundry folded on a surface. Clean laundry is my bain. Also, I have a problem with stray glasses. I get a drink, take it upstairs, and leave it. Gladys, every day she is here, gathers up cups from the house to wash. I don't know what my problem is, but I just can't seem to keep up with a cup! :)

You will never, though, hear me complain about housework. I, for the most part, do very little. That being said, I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that they don't have to do chores, just b/c Gladys works for us. We make the kids clean up spills, sweep up stuff, etc.

I know, if and when we move back to the states and I am again responsible on a regular basis for cleaning my house, I will go back to the FlyLady stystem. It works and it kept our home neat.

Oh, a photo for Alicia:

This was taken the morning after taking steroids for a mosquito bite on his forehead. He was bitten on Day 1, Day 2 he woke up with his eye swelled shut and the bridge of his nose flattened out, we went to the doctor and got some steroids, and after taking benadryl that night and steroids for the swelling, he woke up like this. And we thought at the time that he looked SO much better. Poor guy! (I attached a picture of the boy looking normal for a reference, in case you don't remember what he normally looks like. )

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Good Friends and Good News

(this first part was written a long time ago. I have just been too busy (or lazy) to post in a long time.)
Well, today we got a care package. We have actually gotten a couple of them. The first few were from my mom. Then, Susan, from CBC, sent us this amazing package with clothes, playthings, first-aid stuff, I mean a ton of stuff. It was like Christmas opening it up.

Well, today we got a little box with 4 little Easter toys for the kids. Oh, my gosh, they are so cute! (I can't find what I did with the photos, so I will post them another day)

There are 2 chickens and two eggs, one of each for each of my beautiful kids. They love them. BoyD is taking a nap and wanted to sleep with his chicken. He has decided that one of them is a rooster (although it still has his egg) and the other is the hen. It's nice to have friends, isn't it?

We have had a few problems with the house. The paint is chipping all along bottom of most of the walls. BabyM's room has large chunks of the paint missing, and we have mold/mildew problems all in our kitchen cabinets. The owners came by today and checked it all out, and this Thursday, they will be starting the repairs. YEAH! Oh, and our pila leaks, but they are going to fix that, too. I'm so relieved.

Well...we're going to try this again. I'm pregnant! I am 7 weeks and feeling a little crappy. I mean, this is my third kid, so preggo sick is nothing new. I am actually so incredibly thankful that I don't feel as bad as I did with BabyM. I mean, I didn't get off the couch and I didn't get my face out of the bowl for over 3 weeks. I finally had to take a pill ($25 each) made for cancer patients so that I could eat a little protein. I lost 13 pounds in 2 weeks! Now, I am just generally nauseated all the time, and very tired. I get really winded easily, and I can't stand up very fast w/o feeling like I'm gonna pass out. I am eating like every 1-2 hours so that I don't get really nauseated, and overall, it is working. I can function for the most part. I am having a hard time dealing with left-overs. The kitchen is shaky ground for me. I have an incredible husband that cooks and takes care of me.

They have these new memory cards (or maybe it's the cameras) that can wirelesly download photos from your camera to whatever folder you want on your computer! You just have to have that blue tooth technology! If I ever do a techno upgrade, I want that. I mean, that is so cool. Just to let you in on how behind I am, my cell phone takes no photos nor does it have a color display. And it's not because the technology isn't available here. I am just turning into an old person.

Our neighbors lent us season one of Little House on the Prairie. Oh my gosh! Why can't we get back to that. I don't mean living like that, their lives were incredibly difficult. I mean, having that kind of thing on TV. There is NOTHING that wholesome on TV any more. You have to watch PBS Kids before 9am to see something that is not on some level offensive. Oh, I do long for those days. When Andy Griffith, Little House on the Prairie, and old school Star Trek were the prime time entertainments. I am grieving that a little. Even if there is a show that is OK to have on while my kids are in the room, the commercials are so horrible, they should be rated pg-13 at best.

We (Kelley, the kids, Brandon, and I) went to visit Jacaltenango. It is a little town about 5 hours from here, up towards the Mexican border. Kelley taught a little art workshop. The 25 people from the church who attended loved it and did great work.

This is the kids working on their project and us explaining some stuff. The next photo is Kelley, Brandon, and Pablo (one of the Lopez family kiddos). The view behind them is Mexico.

This is the Lopez family. They are from the Xela area, and moved out there to be missionaries to the community. BabyM made a friend with the cat, and BoyD was obsessed with the rooster. The very loud rooster that we heard all night long. It was funny, BoyD will pick up all manner of insects, but was afraid to pick up the kitten.

The first picture was where BoyD slept. Or napped on and off all night. The next picture is their kitchen. It is basically outside.

We went to see the Mayan ruins near Huehuetenango. they are super cool and considered small. The little people on the top of the one on the left are my family. That gives you an idea of the size.

Precious BabyM is now a climber.

Kelley is an artist and painted this super cool palm tree mural in BoyD's room. It looks so fantastic.

That's enough for today. I don't get much time to blog, so I have to vomit all the info at once!