Saturday, December 29, 2007

~Our Christmas Day in pictures~

This was our first Christmas away from the USA that we had no family and no Americans to celebrate with! In Costa Rica in 2005, we were privileged to have fellow Spanish students/missionaries Zack and Sarah Robberts celebrate Christmas with us. But God helped us to have a good Christmas this year, in-spite of missing our family and friends VERY MUCH!
~Phillip trying to get a picture of our family. We opened our gifts in our room, for that's where our tree is, and our living room furniture had just been cleaned and was wet.~~Our mission directors, the Mark Beckers, gave us this neat object lesson nativity set that teaches kids/adults what Jesus really wants for Christmas...each one of us! After Phillip read the Christmas story from Luke 2, then we did this and it was a very touching time!~

It was 7 numbered gift boxes, and 6 of the boxes had a different figurine of the Nativity in it. Each person had to explain the significance of that figure. The 7th box represented the gift that God wanted for Christmas, and when you open the box and look into it, you see yourself in a mirror. It is a neat object lesson.
~Phillip talked to our little Noah and asked him if he wanted to give his heart to Jesus, and he did. So here he is praying the prayer of repentance (while playing with his toe =)and telling Jesus that he wants HIM to have his heart for Christmas. It was touching...after I took this picture I was bawling!~
~Kimberly and her Winnie the Pooh house slippers that she got for Christmas.~
~Noah and a neat gift that our creative Kimberly made and painted for him...a parking lot for his cars...out of a cornflakes box!~
~Sarah and her doll house that she got for her birthday/Christmas.~
~I had a wonderful Christmas. Phillip got me a new vaccum (see pic below), this neat old coke bottle for my Coke collection, and 2 nice Richard Clayderman piano CDS. Phillip got nice gifts too.~
~Sarah and Kimberly love to vacuum our stairs with my new vacuum...YEA!~
~Noah and his dump truck we got him for Christmas! After we opened gifts we ate lunch, and then baby and I took a LONG nap. =D~
~Phillip, Kimberly, and I played Kimberly's Monopoly game that she got for Christmas...for several hours...interspersed with fun phone calls from our dear family and friends that we really missed being with this Christmas! My parents called us, Phillip's parents called us, our good friends the Jim Kemps called us, and then before we went to bed, my whole family who were all together at Daddy and Moma's house gave us a fun phone call.~
~Since I had a nap, (and Phillip snuck one too, for he NEVER gets a nap and is ALWAYS on the run for Jesus) before we knew it, it was 11:30 PM so we headed upstairs to go to bed for the night, and Noah fell out of our bed and hit his ear on the corner of our bedstand. =( It was soooo SAD...for I Know it had to HURT very much!~
~Mommy is reading poor hurting Noah a story to try to comfort him! Thank the Lord for that wonderful salve that we have, we've been keeping that on his ear, and it is healing up fine!~
We had a wonderful Christmas day just being together as a family! We surely MISSED getting to be with our families in the USA...my family was all together at Daddy and Moma's house in IN (21 including my 100 year old Grandma) and it was HARD knowing we weren't there, but God helped us. My family gave us a phone call and sang to us and gave us their love and told us how much they were missing us being there...and we LOVED getting their phone call! It really helps our hearts to know that in 2 weeks, LORD WILLING, my Daddy and Moma are coming to see us here in Colombia. YEA!!
Hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas too!

~Happy Birthday~

Happy Birthday to my dear brother Lincoln!! Lincoln we would have LOVED to have been with all of y'all at Daddy and Moma's house in IN for Christmas...but as you know we couldn't...but our hearts were there!!! We so enjoyed y'all's phone call...it was great hearing from all of y'all! Hoping to see y'all in a few months when we come home to have our precious baby. =D Thank you TONS for helping stuff our newsletters...we loved seeing the pic of all of y'all helping (or should I say all but Andrew...HA!)but it did make us feel GUILTY! Trust me, I'd have stuffed them all myself, if I could have just been with all of my family! =) Hoping you have a WONDERFUL birthday today. We love and miss you and your precious family TONS!!!

Keith, sorry that your Aunt Heather didn't get a birthday post posted for you on your birthday. Let's just blame it on my tired pregnant brain. =D We love and miss y'all and hope your day was a happy one! Can't wait to see y'all in the Spring!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

~Maria, our Sunday, and Christmas Eve~

~On Saturday I made 106 cookies to pass out to our 2 churches on Sunday. It was worth the effort, they loved them! We had a good service Sunday morning and after church little blind Maria's family invited us over for a yummy meal. We felt blessed by their sacrifice to have us over, when they hardly have any money. They live in a SHACK with dirt floors, and it was raining while we were there, and rain was dripping into their home in some places. I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures of our dinner. PLEASE DO KEEP PRAYING ABOUT MARIA'S EYE SURGERY...THE DOCTORS ARE WORRIED THAT THE SURGERY COULD GO WRONG AND SHE COULD GO COMPLETELY BLIND (SHE CAN SEE SOME SHADOWS OUT OF ONE EYE). SO THE DOCTORS AND HER DAD ARE DISCUSSING THE NEGATIVES AND POSITIVES OF HER HAVING SURGERY, BUT THE DOCTORS HAVE THE PARENTS SCARED ABOUT HER HAVING THE SURGERY. FROM WHAT PHILLIP AND I UNDERSTAND HER EYE WILL PROBABLY GET WORSE WITH AGE, SO WE THINK THAT IF IT WERE US WE'D TAKE THE RISK TO HAVE THE SURGERY...HOPING THAT HER EYE GETS IMPROVED WHILE SHE IS STILL YOUNG; HOWEVER MARIA'S DAD AND MOM HAVE TO MAKE THAT DECISION. PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD GUIDES THEM TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION FOR LITTLE MARIA! THANKS! I'LL KEEP YOU POSTED.~~On Christmas Eve we had a Christmas program and served a meal for BOTH of our churches (which are about 45 minutes apart!) This made for a LONG tiring day, but it was worth it to see our people from both churches enjoy our time together. When we got there to the first church Phillip asked me to lead some Christmas Carols with the congregation while he ran in the back and "practiced" our Christmas program with the kids. You see we have a different group of kids each service and their homes and lives are not disciplined enough to memorize parts and so it was impossible to try to practice with them. So, Phillip read the Christmas story and they acted it out, and that made it more smooth and simple for all involved! Both programs at both churches turned out nicely. Here is Noah; he was a shepherd in both programs.~
~Our Sarah was Mary.~
~The whole "cast"...they did a good job. Phillip took new pipes and bent the tops of them with heat from my stove-top and made these shepherd rods. I thought he did a good job.~
~Kimberly played "Joy to the World" on her violin.~
~I took this little boy to help his Daddy out who was at wits end, trying to see the program and watch him at the same time. Then Phillip asked me to lead some Christmas Carols, so I just went up front holding this little boy.~
~Some of the nearly 40 people that ate at the first church. (in a separate part from the church itself).~
~The lady on the right holding the little girl made "Arroz Con Pollo" (Rice with Chicken) to serve everyone, and we bought the Coke to drink and rolls from a bakery, and Bam! We had a nice meal! IT WAS SUCH A BLESSING TO ME THAT THERE WAS A LADY IN BOTH CHURCHES THAT COOKED THE "ARROZ CON POLLO" FOR THE 2 MEALS. THEY DID A GOOD JOB, AND BOTH MADE IT DELICIOUS! With my being pregnant and living an hour from our churches, and having no car, I was wondering how I cook food for 80 people (40 per church) and haul it up to the churches, keep it hot, etc. So God sent me 2 helpers who live right there beside the churches...and who did a great job cooking for both meals. =D~
After serving the meal at the first church and quickly cleaning up, we stood with our PILES of bags of costumes, paper plates, napkins, spoons, stack of shepherd rods, and family of 5 PRAYING that God would send us a taxi to take us to our 2nd church to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN (another program, meal, etc.)! God did send us a nice taxi driver and then God gave me/us the strength to make it all happen for our 2nd church too, and for that we THANK HIM! ~The Christmas program in our 2nd church!~
~Our family.~
~The lady on the left made the "Arroz con Pollo" for the 2nd church.~
~A contented group, including our family, waiting to eat the 2nd meal. I took some leftovers home, and that is what we had for Christmas day. =) We are saving our turkey to make when my parents are in here in Jan.~
We had a LONG and EXHAUSTING, but GOOD day ministering to our church people. We came home late Christmas eve night, ready to have a QUIET RESTFUL CHRISTMAS DAY THE NEXT DAY...WITH JUST OUR LITTLE FAMILY! =)
(I HAVE THE POST AND PICS FROM OUR CHRISTMAS DAY ALL READY TO POST, SO COME BACK AND VISIT SOON!)

Monday, December 24, 2007

~Merry Christmas...~

from our family to yours!! Hoping y'all are having a Christ-filled Christmas and have a wonderful New year! May in this year, 2008...we serve Jesus even more than we did in 2007! Thank you for all your time reading my blog and your nice comments, your love, your prayers, and your support this year! We love and appreciate ya'll and are blessed to have soooo many great friends!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

~Kimberly and Sarah's violin concert~

video
Our girls got the privilege to play with a group of students that their teacher teaches at a music school. They all had a violin recital (concert), and the Lord really helped them. Their teacher, Adriana is in the black playing the violin, and her husband, who also plays the violin, was accompanying the group on the piano. I thought it was nice that Adriana had her violin ready in case a student forgot where he was, or made a mistake, she would join them and help them get back on track. If only I would have had that for all my piano recitals I have played in through the years....HA!~

~Here, they don't warn you what solo you might be playing at the recital...just tell you DURING the recital. So Kimberly's teacher surprised her by calling on her to play 2 solos!!! This was her 1st solo!~

~This was her second solo. God helped her with both of her solos!~

~Here both girls are playing. It was soooo cute to watch our Sarah play, she's doing good too! The girls' teacher has really taught them a lot this year...they've come a long way, not only in violin, but in reading notes too. The song they were playing their teacher taught them to sort of rock back and forth front-wards to help them keep the time of the music, thus the position of their feet.~

~Our family after the concert was over. Kimberly was VERY relieved that it was over...talk about stress...playing 2 solos with no warning! Though she told me that she did enjoy playing during the concert too.~

~Afterwards we took the girls (and Noah) to an ice cream/fruit shop to celebrate God helping them with their concert! Daddy, Moma and Baby enjoyed a treat too!~

~3 Happy kiddos!~

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

~Happy Birthday, Michael~

Today, our dear brother in Ohio has a birthday. We hope that you have a wonderful day! We remember getting to be with you last year for your special day, and have awesome memories from our time together. I'll never forget when Beth and I ran into Dairy Queen to buy your cake. HEE! HEE! =D Hoping you have a great day with your sweet wife Beth and your adorable Isaiah! We love and miss y'all tons!!!

Phillip also posted a Birthday post for Michael on his blog AChristianBlogs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

~Christmas company and our Sunday~

~Last year some of my friends gave me some money to get these fun Christmas dishes for my birthday! I surely am enjoying having them to use.~

I LOVE to have company over. I love to set my table pretty using pretty dishes, cloth napkins folded in a fun way, pretty place cards with everyone's names on them, etc. and then I love to make lots of yummy food and sit back and watch my company and family enjoy my labors of love. However, since I'm pregnant and have been sooo nauseated and exhausted for the last 2 months, I've not gotten to do that much until now. On Saturday we invited our friends Jimmy, Farly and their 2 daughters (ages 11 and 7) and their parents over for dinner. I had a blast setting my table all pretty, and the Lord, and my family helped me get the house and all of the food ready. On the menu was:
Chicken Cordon Blue
Gravy
Mashed potatoes
Corn
Buttered noodles
Spinach, Almond, Strawberry salad
64 of my homemade rolls served with honey
Tea
Creamy apple cake
milk to drink with the cake
Now...all of that probably sounds like a normal meal to you, but you have to remember that I was serving 6 Colombians that are not used to eating any of that food, so as I prepared the food, I was in hopes that they would like it. They arrived around 3:15 PM bearing a nice gift of Christmas cookies, some Colombian Christmas pudding, and a can of yummy peaches.
~Jimmy and Farly's youngest daughter is the same age as our Sarah and they both had lost their top 2 front teeth.
~Sarah, Noah and Gabi at their little table.~
We had a GREAT visit with all of them during the meal, and Thank the Lord they Loved my food, and before they left they asked for some of my recipes! =D Now if you have never had a lady from another culture ask you for a recipe, you don't know what a good feeling it is to know that they want to repeat something that you made. =)
~Jimmy, Farly, Lady, and Jimmy's parents, and Kimberly, Phillip, I (and baby) at our Christmasy table.~
After dinner and and the 2 ladies and I washing up the TONS of dirty dishes, we all sat by the Christmas lights, burning an apple/cinnamon candle (you know that I have to be feeling better to be burning scented candles) listening to Christmas music and we all really ENJOYED visiting and they LOVED looking through my 3 scrapbooks of pictures. (I didn't force them to look at my books, they wanted to! =) It is nice for their 2 daughters are near the age of our girls, so they have a blast playing together. Before they left it was requested that I play some songs on the piano and then we all sang some together too. We really enjoyed them being here...but all good things have to come to an end, so they left around 9:00 PM. =( Needles to say after walking nearly 5 miles (a mile to my grocery store and back...twice on Friday...plus walking tons inside the huge store) and then working so hard on Saturday to make it all happen, I fell into bed exhausted! But...sleep never came. I saw every hour on the clock Saturday night. The tea I used was not caffeine free and it must have been chucked full of caffeine for I got no sleep. So...my family headed off to church without me Sunday morning, and I sat in my robe and enjoyed Hobe Sound's service via live streaming. After a quick nap I was able to go to church Sunday evening with my family and a couple that are friends of ours that picked us up in their car. We had a good service with a good crowd. ~Phillip in the front of our church Sunday night~

Then as they were bringing us home we had a small wreck with a taxi. UGH! Thank the Lord He helped us and the taxi didn't ask for too much money, so we paid him and left to go to our house for we had invited that couple in for a snack when we got home. We had a nice snack and visit together, and then baby and I got to go to bed for the night. I have been feeling baby make slight movements for about 2 weeks now, BUT LAST NIGHT PHILLIP GOT TO FEEL OUR BABY MOVE!!! HOW SPECIAL! We are quite sure we only have one baby (and not twins, BETH...although Phillip was hoping for twins) for I'm the same size I was with all my other babies. =D
I trust that all of y'all are having a Wonderful Christ-filled Christmas Season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

~Our busy weekend~

Where or Where do I begin? On Friday I was sooo exhausted that I stayed in bed most of the day. In the evening, Phillip went to have the house service that he has every Friday night and the kids and I eagerly awaited 7:00 PM to come so we could watch Hobe Sound's Christmas program, "The Singing Christmas Tree". We really enjoyed watching their Christmas program, and the Lord helped them. On Saturday I got up early, took the kids and went to the fruit and veggie market and loaded our cart full of fresh fruit and vegetables, then came home, dropped off our cart, and then walked the mile to get our groceries. Walked the mile home hauling our full cart, then started putting things away, when the doorbell rang and there stood 3 young people from one of our churches. They were here to go to Phillip's Bible class with he and Kimberly. So, I quickly fed them and my family lunch, and then the 5 headed out the door to pick up some more young people for the Bible class. While they were gone, Sarah, Noah and I worked and made a jello shaped into a fun Christmas tree, straightened the house, prepared a snack for when Phillip, Kimberly and the 2 young girls came back. We had invited the 2 young girls to spend the night with our girls as a way to reach out to them and try to touch their lives for Jesus. I sat the table pretty using my Christmas dishes and pretty cloth Christmasy napkins and when they arrived they were happy to see the fun table, and enjoyed the snack. ~Sarah put together this 100 piece puzzle of the United States by herself!
~Our dinner together~

~Us at a colorful mall here in Bogota~

~Those 2 girls wanted to put together that puzzle that Sarah had put together, so here they and our girls are. They had a lot of fun doing that and playing other games. Notice all of the mandarin oranges behind the girls....baby and I eat those like crazy right now!~

~Right before we went to bed I served our fun Jello Christmas tree, hot choc. and marshmallows, and popcorn. (The marshmallows in their hot choc. was new to them, for here they don't put marshmallows in hot choc. here...they put in chunks of bread or of white cheese!!) We all enjoyed our Christmasy snack by the Christmas lights, and had a fun evening together as a family and with those girls!~

Our dear friends, Jimmy and his family, got this adorable doll for Sarah for her birthday. She LOVES IT! Muchisimas Gracias, Hermano Jimmy, Hermana Farly, Gabi, y Ledi por este regalo tan especial para Sarita! =D~

So, needless to say after such a busy Saturday, I knew that it would take God to help me to get to church on Sunday morning again. He did help me, and we had a good service, walked the mile home in sprinkling rain, and then the minute we got inside it POURED the rain! We had a quick lunch and then I slept for 4 hours that afternoon! Phillip and our kids went to church Sunday night and I watched the last performance of Hobe Sound's Singing Christmas tree...and my family joined me when they got home from church.
On Monday we went shopping for things that will work for costumes for the little Christmas program that Kimberly's Sunday school class wants to put on soon. So, after running most of the day on Monday, Baby and I are pretty exhausted today, but happy because God helped us to have a good weekend and He helped us to try to touch lives for Him. Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

~A tale of 2 Christmas Trees~

Christmas tree #1: Last year Phillip wanted to buy a "real" potted plant Christmas tree so we could have it as a plant later, plus it was a lot cheaper. The only thing is here, they don't have pretty Christmas tree FORMED potted plants; they are more like a stick with a branch here and there! We bought the tree, and decorated it with the few decorations that we had. So, if you've ever wanted to see a picture of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, here it is! =D
Christmas tree #2: Phillip bought us a nice artificial tree this year. Last Christmas while we were in the USA, I ran into Meijers with my friend Susanna, and they had their Christmas decorations on sale for 75% off! WHEW! Did I ever have fun?! Since I have always had a more formal tree with white lights, clear glass balls, tull, flowers, etc. I decided to go with a kid theme this time. I bought colorful snow flakes, a snowflake topper, other colorful decorations, a pretty tree skirt with snowflakes on it, and Sis. E. gave me some pretty colorful balls to hang too. We also have snowmen on our tree. Our kids are happy to have colored lights on our tree too! We and our children are very happy, and love to lay and look at our tree. We have our tree upstairs in our room, so as not to hurt a new believer's faith...for here there are some people that have been taught that anything to do with Christmas is worldly and wrong, and that people worship Christmas trees. It is sad to us that there are MANY Christians here in Colombia that don't have anything to do with Christmas, because the Catholic church has RUINED it for them by getting drunk and just partying, and not celebrating the REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON...JESUS!~

~Our children in front of our home. 2006~

~Our home~
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