Sunday, February 27, 2011

~We are VERY Grateful to these dear people!~

~Here is a picture of Jimmy's parents, Bro. Jaime and Sis. Sofia. They are the dear ones that opened up their home for our family to stay with them for 2 weeks. (For those of you who might not know, our old apartment was filled with mold, Elijah got sick and nearly died, we had to leave our home right away, and we stayed with Bro. Jaime and Sis. Sofia until God found us another home a week ago!)
Que Dios Les Bendiga Ricamente!!! Ustedes son una bendicion para nuestra familia. Disfrutamos el tiempo con ustedes y con los Pastores Jimmy, Farly y sus hijas MUCHO! Les Queremos!
(Translation: May God richly bless y'all! Y'all are a blessing to our family! We enjoyed our time with y'all and Pstor Jimmy, Sis. Farly and their daughters very much! We love y'all!)~
~On the first Sunday (the day before Valentines) I made Skyline chili for Sunday dinner.~
~Then I let the kids make red sugar heart shapes on the Rice Krispy Treats that I had made.~

~Pastor Jimmy's oldest daughter is named Lady Nataly. She prefers that I use Nataly on my blog. Here Nataly and Kimbery are doing dishes...What sweet helpers! =)~
~One week after Elijah got out of the hospital we took him and the kids to the park. He had been INSIDE for a whole week...and if you know Elijah he was about to CLIMB THE WALLS! He was sooo excited to get out. But, he was still weak and couldn't run very well, but enjoyed himself and the fresh air.~

~We enjoyed a lot of delicious meals out of "Sofia and Farly's Restaurant"! =D They fed us lots of yummy food! This was a dish that Jimmy made. =)~
~We had precious times of family devotions together. This night we sang several hymns and I played. God's presence was close.~
~Mary and her Colombian Abuelito (Grandpa) Jaime.~
~I can't believe our sweet little Mary will be 5 months in 2 days. I was soooo SAD that I didn't get a chance to take Mary to JCPenny's for pictures before we left. Then I had PLANNED to take her pictures when we first got back to Colombia...but you know how our lives went during those days! I plan to try to take some pictures of her soon.~

~Kimberly and Nataly arm wrestling. =)~
~During the 2 weeks we were there at their house, Sarah, Noah, and Gaby all lost a tooth. In this picture they are each holding their tooth. =)
(In the back ground you can see Sis. Sofia holding Elijah. He was always near the kitchen, singing a song, watching whoever was cooking and wanting Sis. Sofia to hold him when it was time to eat. =) ~
We really enjoyed our time with these 2 dear families!! May God richly bless them for their kindness to us. The neat thing is that we only live about 3 blocks from them now, so there are more fun times to come. =)
When we left for the USA back in Aug. Bro. Jimmy and Sis. Farly packed up their things to move to a house. Now...7 months later...they are still living with his parents (and storing their stuff in the church) and waiting on God to open up the doors for them a house. Could you please join us in PRAYING for a house for them in God's will and Time! Thank you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

~Just for you, Moma =)~

~My Moma asked me to at least post a pic of the front of our house...until I can post the pictures of the inside all, here you go, Moma! =) Our house is the one to the left of the light post without the green ball. It is built tall and skinny so is hard to get a picture of "just our house." We have 4 floors, and you can see 6 of our 7 windows. The 1st floor is living room, dinning room, and kitchen. The 2nd floor is the boys room, the girls room, and a full bathroom. The 3rd level is our room...which also includes "Mary's room", "Phillip's office", and our full bathroom. It it a nice size room. The 4th floor is where I wash clothes and hang them to dry, and is where we have a outside porch with a balcony (yes, we have another one, Mom D., but this one is more safe). It is a nice place to grill out, etc. We are impressed as to how QUIET our house is. We were afraid that we would be hearing music, walking, noise, etc. from the houses around us but we can't! YEA!~
~God who knows all things....moved us JUST IN TIME!!! For this week the rain season started again. We are sooo happy that the rain is on the OUTSIDE of our house and not dripping in our beds and everywhere else like at our last house! God is beyond Awesome!
This is what we had facing us in every room last Monday.~
~But God is faithful and sent Farly's brother along to help us! He was a huge help to Phillip. Putting beds together, moving furniture around, etc. On Wednesday he went and helped Phillip clean our old apartment!! Here they are working in our room.~
~Sarah working in the boys room.~
~Noah and Elijah playing in the dinning room/living room. (pic. taken from stairs.)~
~The day we got our new house was exactly ONE MONTH since we had flown back from the USA to Colombia. Talk about SOME KIND OF MONTH, But God's grace carried us through.
Me hanging clothes in our closet. Happy to be getting settled!! =)~
~Noah has been DYING to break his piggy bank and so he can buy a skate board. (For those of you who remember his answer to prayer for a BLUE skateboard some years ago, it is now tooooo small for him!)
So, Phillip told him that he could break his bank when we got to our new house. This is right before they broke it with a hammer. Notice, little Elijah has his ears plugged. =)~
~On Friday we went grocery and supply shopping. We were out of everything!!! Phillip took me to a neat indoor fruit market that Bro. Jimmy had showed him. It is wonderful and CHEAP!!! We had a blast stocking up on fruits and veggies! Elijah is holding a bag of carrots that cost only $1.00!~
~Here are 8 or 9 different yummy fruits that we bought to enjoy!~
~I came home and made each of us a "fruit plate" as a snack. Elijah is ALWAYS hungry and is my "right hand man" when it comes time to make food. Here he is "helping me" by licking the spatula from the coolwhip I had just whipped up. =D~
~Here's a picture of one of our fruit plates which had papaya, strawberries, bananas, and peaches, with a "touch of coolwhip". Delicious!~
~Sarah must have known that I was one tired Mommy this morning, for she brought me breakfast in bed. =) She had cut a slice in a strawberry to hold her note to me, but in her climb to the 3rd story to deliver my breakfast, the strawberry sunk in the yogurt. =)~
We are VERY HAPPY for just this evening we got our gas hot water heater installed!...Finally we get to enjoy REAL hot showers! The Lord has helped us and have gotten a lot accomplished this week. We are trying to get settled and are planning for our our kids to start school again next week. We love our new house and THANK GOD for it daily!

Monday, February 21, 2011

~Getting box at a time!~

For weeks now I didn't know HOW we could move. With my having to feed Mary every 2 hours during the day, (for she is still an angel and sleeps 9-10 hours each night =) and having Elijah to keep up wih too, I didn't feel like I had the strength and energy to move. God must have known how I felt, for would you believe that on the morning that we were to move, I woke up sick with a 12 hour FLU! I was sooooo sick to my stomach all day long. All I could do was lay in bed, and PRAY for all who were moving our things.
(Last week I did go to our house and I did some packing.)
God sent 16 people (including our and Jimmy's children) to help move our things. PRAISE GOD! Phillip rented a big truck. 4 or so guys showed up to help that were friends of the truck driver. Phillip said they were WORKERS and were a huge help! Since I was so sick, Farly and her Mom took our children (except Mary) and went in my place and told the workers where to put things in our new house.

The Lord has been good to us. Jimmy's family and parents have been DEAR to us!
We are working hard to get settled into our new home, and God helped us to get a lot done today!! In the mean time Jimmy's family (where we have been staying) is allowing us to spend a couple more nights with them while we finish things at our house. (We had to get rid of a lot of things like our kids' mattresses, our living room furniture and woven rug, etc. due to the mold. So, it will take us a few days to get new ones, etc. We couldn't chance having tons of mold around Elijah again!)
(We certainly didn't have plans to come back to Colombia, throw all this away and buy more again, but God knows!)
I know that the only way we made it through the recent trials which have come our way is through God and the prayers of His people! Thank you for your part in praying for us!!
I must go and get some sleep, for tomorrow there are lots more boxes to unpack, organizing to do, etc., but we are enjoying our new home! =)

Friday, February 18, 2011

~God is Awesome!!!~

Guess What? God just provided us that house that we saw the evening we "moved" to Bro. Jimmy's parent's house a week ago last Wednesday. We were going behind these houses when Bro. Jimmy and Sis. Farly told me that THERE is where they wish we could get a house to rent, but that they had looked, and there were none for rent. Right then we passed a "FOR RENT" sign in those houses. We all yelled, "Hey, there's a house for rent!" They said that they had just looked THAT MORNING, and that sign wasn't there. They called the number, and the owner said he had just put that sign up THAT afternoon! After we called, he took the signs back down! God is awesome! We got the keys tonight and are moving in tomorrow, Lord willing. (But we will stay here a few more days since we're moving the day before Sunday and won't have time to set up beds, etc.) It's a nice house (Town house style) in a secure gate. There's a nice little park inside, a place to keep our kids' bikes, and a small store for quick needs. We will be living close to Bro. Jimmy and his family, which is nice. We are VERY EXCITED about it. It'll be a few days before we can get all set up and post pics of our house here, but I will as soon as I can. =) THANK YOU FOR HELPING US PRAY FOR A HOUSE!!!
Later, I will post pics of others that helpd us on our USA home. =)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

~God sent us some "angels" and their last name was "Shirk"~

This morning we met with the owner of that house that we are looking at and saw the house again. We gave him copies of the papers that he had requested. He is supposed to look over our papers and let us know if he wants to rent to us or not! We were HOPING and praying that he wouldn't ask how many kids we have (for remember I said that here they don't like to rent to people with more than 2 kids.) But, he DID ask that question. Phillip told him that he was a very blessed man and that we have 5 children. He showed him a picture of our family, which let him know that our 3 oldest kids are grown and won't be destroying his walls, carpet, etc. We are just praying and waiting on GOD. We'll let you know as soon as we know something. God is working, I'm sure!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~Sometime in October or November our good friend Don S. called and told Phillip that he and his family could come in December to help us on our home. It sounded tooooo good to be true. Getting to spend time with our dear friends plus getting quality help on our home?! Wow! =) (Thank the Lord we found a crew that drywalled our house on Christmas eve and Chritmas day.) So we kept in contact with the Shirks and sure worked out that they could come up to Cinci on Monday, December 27th. And did they EVER HELP? Here is part of the Thank you I wrote to them from our family...which will give you a TINY idea of allllllll they did to help us!

Dearest Donald, Melinda, Bryanna, Warren, Daniel, and Bethany,

We cannot believe that y'all took a weeks vacation to come to Ohio to work, cook, PULL STAPLES, run a taxi, tape off and paint, PULL STAPLES, sweep, MOP, find a couch and help pay for it, BUY groceries, PULL STAPLES, hook up plumbing, hold babies, change diapers, haul lots of loads of things, help empty Mrs. Phyllis' house, pull up carpet foam, haul out trash, HOOK UP TOILETS AND SINKS, buying pizza for the Hausmans and us, putting away clothes in our closet, CLEANing up everything to a "T" AND SURPRISING that we had a clean and nice home to show to my family on Dec. 31st. (And did I mention PULLING STAPLES? =) THANK YOU seems to fall WAYYYYYYY short when it comes to expressing how GRATEFUL we are to y'all for helping us with our house. We would have NEVER been able to enjoy our home for 19 days before we left for Colombia without y'all! Y'ALL MADE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE!!!

Thank you TOOOOOOOONNNNNNNSSSSS! May God RICHLY bless y 'all for allllllll y'all did! We loved the fun time with your family too. You are a special family and we are glad that we can call y'all our FRIENDS!!

(Remember....Friends don't let Friends buy fixer-upper houses! HA!!!!!=)

(and did I mention PULLING STAPLES? =)


Phillip, Heather, Kimberly, Sarah, Noah, Elijah, and Mary

~We all camped out together in Mrs. Phyllis' house at nights and then as soon as we would get up we would make trips hauling things to our own home (45 mins away in Cinci) and then work together all day on our home. Here are the younger kids sleeping in the living room at Mrs. Phyllis' house.~
~Bryanna and Kimberly slept downstairs.~
~Daniel working in our home...I believe he was vacumming up the dust so Donald and Phillip could paint.~
~Bryanna and Kimberly sweeping the extra dust off the dry wall so Phillip and Donald could paint. Bryana is standing in my kitchen and Kimberly is in my dinning room. When we bought the house, their was a TACKY hallway bathroom in the kitchen right where Bryanna is standing. Phillip took that out and made another half bath in a hallway that goes from the kitchen to our front door. There was also a wall dividing the kitchen and dinning room. Phillip opened that up to make the kitchen seem more open.~
~Melinda was amazing. She worked like CRAZY and helped in every way imaginable.~
~Elijah trying to "paint".~
~Donald and Phillip getting ready paint the primer. Donald was a LIFE-SAVER! He did everything from plumbing to painting, to buying pizza, etc. Before the Shirks came, Phillip thought that we wouldn't get to paint at all. But since Donald knew how to run a sprayer, we were able to at least put the primer coat on, so that all the walls were uniform and white. =)~
~They started in my kitchen. Notice Donald's "shoe bags" to protect his shoes from getting painted. =)~

~Notice the "beautiful yellow door" that represents the color that my entire kitchen was when we got the house. =)~
~One evening our dear Pastor and wife brought YUMMY food to us. Here we are eating by one lone lamp in the girl's room.~

~One day the Shirks bought pizza for the Hausmans and us. However, since Phillip and Donald were painting in our house, the Hausmans let us eat in their home.~

~The girls enjoying their pizza on the stairs.~
~The boys pulling staples from the dinning room floor. They pulled up TONS of staples, and there are LOTS more to pull up. The people that laid that carpet didn't want that carpet to go ANYWHERE! HA! ~
~Eating lunch in our living room.~
~Elijah liked Warren's idea and sat on the ladder with his pizza too.~
~Bryanna (and Mary), and Kimberly eating in the dinning room.~
~Noah learning some about plumbing from Bro. Donald.~
~Elijah riding his horsey in our dinning room.~
~Gramp and Gram stopped by for a quick peak at our progress and a squeeze from little Mary.~
~One wonderful thing that Melinda did was to help us find this BEAUTIFUL couch off of Craig's list. I had been praying for months that God would guide us to the couch He wanted us to have...and I was THRILLED when He and the Shirks helped us to get this one. This is super wide and LONG couch. Phillip is being silly demonstrating how wide it is. (He took the pillows off the back of the couch, so that he could sit all the way back to exaggerate how wide it is. =)
Phillip is 6' and 1/2" and usually can't lay comfortably on most couches. But...When he lays down on our new couch to take a nap...he doesn't touch either end. =) God gave us a great price on this couch...and we are happy! YEA!~
~I thought this was so cute of Warren helping keep little Mary content while he read his book.~
My entire family got together on Friday, Dec. 31st -Jan. 2nd. The plan was that we would keep the girl cousins at our house and Laura and Daryl would keep the boy cousins. That was good for that gave us a GOAL to work hard on our home so that things were as presentable as could be by the time they came. We were to meet my family at a restaurant Friday night for supper. When we left to go to the restaurant to meet all of my family, I was leaving our home with LOTS of bags and clothes of ours to put away that had just come from Mrs. Phyllis' house!!! ( I was DYING to stay and put things away, but there was no bar to hang our clothes in our closet and I needed to be on time to meet our family for supper. ) I was soooo SAD for I knew that my family would want to come in and see our home...and there was bags and clothes everywhere. The Shirks stayed for Donald to finish some plumbing for us...and then they were going to leave and head to Tenn. that night. When we came home from the restaurant we were GREETED with a huge surprise! The Shirks had worked sooo hard and put bags in closets, hung a bar in our closet and hung up clothes, swept, mopped, had music playing, the sink and toilet were installed, etc. I was soooo HAPPY that I could've cried! It was soooo fun to walk in and show our home to our family and the bags and clothes were neatly packed away. There are not words to express HOW MUCH we appreciate the Shirks helping us.
(Soon I will post pics of our open house!)
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