Monday, December 31, 2012

~Our MERRY Christmas! =) ~

~My main Christmas gift is setting in our USA house.  2 different people gave us Christmas money and told us to spend it on ourselves!  So, Phillip added some money with it and got me a dishwasher for our USA house.  YEA!
Our kids won't know what to do with a dishwasher, since we have WASHED EVERY DISH BY HAND since 2004! =D

Since we are fixin' to have to:
Give away,
Pack up to take home to the USA,
or Pack up to store (to take back later) Every. Single. Thing. In. our. House. here. ...we didn't give our kids large gifts for Christmas.
These 3 little boxes are "Nerd" candy boxes that have "I OWE YOU's" in them for Kimberly, Sarah, and Noah.  Some things we plan to buy them when we are back in the USA.  =)~
~Not sure which one of our kids took this picture, but thought it was cute.  Some socks stuffed with goodies ready to be opened Christmas morning.~
~Elijah and Mary enjoying some of their candy.~
~I took my 3 tiered dish that Phillip made me long ago, and added things to it to make it a "Christmas tree" centerpiece for our Christmas table.~
~I found fun paper plates and napkins to use for Christmas day.~
~My other gift from Phillip this year was these fun Glass glasses with Christmas trees all over them.  They came free if you bought a Colombian brand Pop.  We don't drink much pop/coke so we are enjoying our glasses and giving most of the pop away. =)  It's a fun Colombian souvenir.~

~Then after breakfast we did "What God wants for Christmas" that the Beckers got us in 2006.  It is a neat devotional/activity with a story book with it.  It has several gift boxes and each have a figurine in them.  Each person in the family takes a gift box and describes that person that's inside their box, and their part in the Christmas story.  An angel, Shepherd, Wiseman, Mary, etc.  The last gift box tells you what GOD wants for Christmas, and it has a mirror.
In other words He wants US...YOU AND ME...for Christmas and all year long too!~

~Elijah looking in the mirror in box 7.~

~Then we had a nice little time of prayer together.  I couldn't resist snapping this pic of Mary and Elijah kneeling and praying. ~
~My Sweetheart and I sitting below the "Mistle Toe."   Thank you, Daddy and Moma for the Mistle Toe and for my fun white blouse you gave me earlier this year.  I enjoyed wearing it for Christmas!~
~Mary didn't go shopping for her brothers and sisters...she just gave them COLD CASH! =)
(It's not often that you see 1,000 & 2,000 dollar bills on your Christmas tree. =D  The 1,000 pesos is worth around .50 & the 2,000 around $1.00!)~
~Elijah opening a gift.~
~Phillip sitting in the corner sipping his Argentine Mate.  Our family is about 4 cultures mixed together.  American, Costa Rican, Colombian, and Argentinan.  (and even more cultures when you count all the different states that Phillip and I grew up in.  TN, AK, IN, LA, SC, SD, OH, AZ, MI, etc.  =)
Phillip only wanted one thing for Christmas...which I'll show you later.~
~Kimberly got cash from her brothers and sisters.~
~"Nurse Sarah" showing Mary how to use her new doctor's kit that Sarah got for her.~
~Elijah got me a yummy box of chocolates!~
~Elijah, Mary, and Noah with their sock monkeys.~
~Mary got a little baby boy doll THAT'S BIGGER THAN SHE IS... that laughs.  It's funny.~
~Mary with her doll and C.H.E.A.P. stroller that will hopefully last these last 2 1/2 months or so that we are in Colombia. =)~
~Sarah got a neat doll that cries real tears after you feed her with a bottle.  She's wanted this doll for a long time.~
~The Hausmans and my parents, and my brother Lincoln all called to wish us a Merry Christmas.  It was fun hearing from/talking to them.
Then in the evening Kimberly and I whipped up some MOCHA LATTE to enjoy as a family...!~
~And we just relaxed.  (I so enjoy my fun Christmasy furry socks that the Beckers got me. =)~
~Silly Phillip came up and joined me for a "feet picture" too.  =D  These shoes were what he wanted for Christmas.
You see, his feet hurt him a lot due to working on/jumping and landing on HARD concrete floors at his RPS/UPS jobs back in college.  He was a hustler and worked very fast, but it cost him!
So after hearing/reading LOTS of good comments about 5 finger shoes, he decided that would be his Christmas present.  HE LOVES THEM!  He's a wall-flower, and doesn't often wear things that stand out or are different, but these help his feet so much, that he doesn't care.  He says that they are extremely comfortable and feels like he's going barefooted. =) ~
~Noah flying his helicopter from Elijah.~
Wishing each of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
May we draw even close to Jesus in 2013 than we did in 2012!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

~Our FUN Christmas Eve!~

On Sunday Pastor Jimmy invited us to come to their house around 1:00-2:00 P.M. on the next day...Christmas eve!  Our family was very Excited...but I knew that Jesus would HAVE TO HELP ME if I got everything done that I wanted to get done before going to their house.
You see, I had cut out matching skirts for Gaby, Sarah, and Mary, but didn't have Gaby and Sarah's sewn yet.  And I wanted to make some PJs for Elijah for Christmas too...all before we went  to their house.
So, when Phillip got up at 4:20 A.M. on Christmas eve to bake our ham, I got up, put on some Bible to listen to, and started SEWING as FAST as I could!!  Jesus helped me and I got it ALL DONE!
~Thanks to Aunt Laura (and Sharon H.) sending us some fun Lightening McQueen material, I made Elijah some jammy pants for Christmas. ~
~I didn't have enough material to make a Jammy shirt, so I found this red shirt in his closet.  But when I pulled it out to really look it over, it has some STAINS on the tummy!  So, I said to Sarah, "Look at this shirt and tell me what we can do to HIDE those stains?"  I told her, "I want to cut out cars and put on it, but we'd have to place them where they would hide all of those stains!" 
A couple minutes later Sarah said, "Mommy, just make a road and put cars on it... to hide the stains."  I said, "Sarah, that's a Great idea!  We'll make the road out of jean, and use yellow ric rac for the line down the middle."  So, I grabbed some jean and Phillip cut out the road and all the cars while I was finishing Elijah's jammy pants.  Then I quickly sewed it all on.
We were so happy at how Jesus helped it turn out.~
~I don't normally give gifts to our kids on Christmas they have more to open on Christmas...but this time I gave these to Elijah at Pastor Jimmy's house...And Elijah is THRILLED with his new jammies!!~
~We made a jello cake to take to their house and put a Christmas tree on top.
We took our big ham that Phillip made to share with them too, and it turned out YUMMY!  I made a big batch of biscuits to take, for they love my biscuits.  I also took lots of Christmas tins filled with our homemade goodies like peanut butter and peppermint fudge, candied almonds, etc. to munch on during the afternoon/evening.~
~Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly made us a DELICIOUS traditional soup called "Ajiaco" which has yummy chicken, corn, cream, etc. in it and they serve it with a nice slice of Avocado.  It was YUMMY! She served fresh YUMMY mango juice to drink too!
Here's Phillip, Mary, and I enjoying our soup!~
~We had such a special Christmas eve with everyone.  We laughed, talked, gave gifts,ATE LOTS, and just had a BLAST being together!!~
~(I braided my long hair and rolled it up and wore a hat for Christmas eve. =)
Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly gave me/us an ADORABLE set of "tinto" cups (or small coffee cups) and saucers.  I squealed, for I had seen one similar at Pastor Jimmy's Mom's house and fell in love with it.  I'm so HAPPY to have this set!  ~
~We were happy to have Edgar and Joanna join us for the afternoon too.~
~Edgar and Bro Jaime playing Guess Who!  It was hilarious to watch them.~
~Pastor Jimmy, Bro. Jaime, and Phillip wrapping a bowl with Saran wrap.  It was a rebellious Saran wrap so it took all 3 of them.  =D~
~Gaby, Sarah, and Mary loved their skirts that Jesus helped me make.  (Sarah was with me when I bought the gingham material, but she just thought I was buying it to make my table runner. =D  I cut their skirts out before I cut out my table runner and napkins so I could make sure I had plenty material for both! =)
~Bro. Jaime, and Sis. Sofia, and Edgar and Joanna each gave us a nice fruit basket!!  (We gave each couple a big block of cheese, their "areguipe" ( soft caramel), and a tin of Christmas cookies.)~
~Elijah in his new PJs.~
~An up-close pic of Mary's skirt that I made~
~Just 2 of our 5 SPECIAL children who made our Christmas...and make our Lives so HAPPY!~
Pics of our Christmas day coming soon.

Friday, December 28, 2012

~WE ARE NOW COLOMBIAN RESIDENTS!...Because you prayed~

THANK YOU for helping us pray!!!   Yesterday, Dec. 27th, we had plans to go apply for our Colombian residencies again!   Before we left Phillip was reading His Bible, and He read this verse to me.
Psa 118:5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. 

He told me that when our bag/important documents were stolen that we CALLED upon the Lord in D.I.S.T.R.E.S.S...
and that the Lord answered us by giving us back our bag/documents! 
He then said, "I wonder if the "LARGE PLACE" might mean that He's going to help us get our Colombian residencies today????!
We went to the office and turned everything in.  We knew that some of the kid's Needed paperwork were in their EXPIRED passports which we do not have with us!!!   If they were to ask for these...they are SOMEWHERE in our house in the USA but we don't have a clue where, so we knew we had to apply WITHOUT THOSE!  
It would only be GOD if we got these Colombian residencies!! 
You have to know....that we have worked on these for 6 1/2 years!  There are UNTOLD HOURS OF HEADACHES trying to get together all of our documents, running to north Bogota, getting things from the USA, making copies, getting them translated, etc., etc.  We were to the END OF OUR ROPE, and were ready to be DONE with this process!!! 
I sat in the office and prayed silently and told the Lord that if it was NOT HIS WILL for us to have these residencies, to PLEASE SLAM the door shut so we'd know!  I didn't feel like I could do this anymore!!!! 
A few minutes later the lady helping Phillip came out and got him and took him back with her to her office. 
The kids and I waited a few more minutes and he came out and told us that he had to run to get her a few copies of some papers and then....WE WOULD BE COLOMBIAN RESIDENTS!!!  
She told the kids and I that we could leave, so we ran to a local mall and waited for Phillip to finish. 
A couple hours later he joined us and we went to McDonalds and
~Enjoying some blackberry Sundaes since we are "part Colombian" now. =)~

~Elijah took this picture of us!
Phillip is holding the briefcase that had been stolen...but is now holding our 7 Colombian Residencies!!~
~The mall had these fun "Snowy hills" (white fluffy carpet with padding underneath) that the younger kids could slide down.  Here's Elijah enjoying himself.~
~And Phillip helping Mary slide down. 
After we left the mall we went home and got ready and went to our mid-week church service.  It made us Happy at how H.A.P.P.Y. our Colombian people were that we are now "one of them!"  =D ~
Years ago Phillip felt like Jesus gave us this verse when we were working on our Colombian visas the first time (in 2006). 

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 
After they gave us our Colombian residencies, the Lord reminded Phillip of this promise which he had forgotten about!
(Every 2 years we had to go through this same L.O.N.G. process renewing our Colombian visas.  Every time (among many other things)...We had to buy NEW ORIGINAL copies of all of our birth certificates, and marriage license...and they all had to be apostilled, translated, and then certified by the Colombian government.    After 5 or 6 years of having Colombian visas, we could then apply for our Colombian residencies. 
You can imagine our RELIEF that we do not have to do this ANYMORE!!!)   

~Phillip and I...(with our sidekick Elijah =) ...holding our passports with our new Colombian residencies.  For the expiration date our Visas have always said the date of 2 years later and this time it says, "Without End."  =D
Now we can come and go into Colombia to minister to our people and the churches here no matter how the political situation might be....for the duration of ours and our children's life time!
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