Tuesday, February 26, 2013

~An Afternoon/Evening of BAKING!~

~Here's a picture of Bro. Jaime, Pastor Jimmy, and Phillip visiting together in our living room.  Notice our empty book shelves sitting beside the front door, for someone to come and pick them up, and the calendar from a local bakery hanging where my mirror used to hang.~
~Several months ago Sis. Farly asked me if I could PLEASE show her how to make an apple pie before we left Colombia.  They have fallen in LOVE with our apple pie, and she wanted to know how to make them after I'm gone!
As you know, for even American ladies, an apple pie (homemade crust and all) isn't the easiest, let alone for someone who has never even seen them being made!  So, in the midst of our MESSY house, sorting, packing, selling, etc. we invited Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly and girls, and their parents over for an evening of BAKING! =)
~The Lord helped us and we made:
 4 loaves of French bread, and then later made my French bread snack with 2 of them for us to eat, 2 apple pies, 2 Quiches, no-bake cookies (Similar to granola bars), and a batch of biscuits.
Here's Sis. Farly and I with our French bread.~
~Weeks ago we took this family picture of all of the Ramirez family together. (That is Bro. Jaime, Sis. Sofia, Pastor Jimmy and his family and his sister Judy and her family!)
 ~We didn't tell them WHY we wanted to take their picture.  We purposely did NOT SELL 3 of our MANY frames, (even though people kept asking to buy our last 3 nice BIG ones =), and we got the picture of the Ramirez family developed into 8x10's and put them into our 3 big frames.
Then we invited Pastor Jimmy and family and his parents over for an evening last Friday.  When they got here, everywhere they looked they'd see their family picture in one of our frames.  =)
Pastor Jimmy and family, and his sister Judy and family got one of our 8x10 frames with their family picture in it. We developed ten 4x6's of their family pic...for each family too. 
This biggest frame (below) that hung above our keyboard went to Bro. Jaime and Sis. Sofia with their family picture in it... to hang in their house.  
Everyone was happy with their pictures and frames. =)  I forgot to get a picture of their pictures in our frames. =(~
 ~One of our Quiches we made this night.~
~Gaby and Sarah had fun playing baby dolls and asked me if they could dig through Mary's suitcase of baby clothes and get something out for their dolls.  A few minutes later they came down all GIGGLES and finally got up the nerve to ask me if they could PLEASE have these 2 cute dresses that Mary had worn for their babies. I think I surprised them by saying, "YES!"  They were thrilled! =)
Kimberly and Natalie spent the evening playing guitar and violin together upstairs.~
~Here we are enjoying one of our apple pies with ice cream.~
~Our No-bake cookies (similar to Granola).~
~The whole group of us.  Sis. Farly did a great job making all we made.  I have no doubt that yummy smells of American breads, biscuits, and pies will soon be coming from her house.  =)  And we are taking some of her yummy Colombian recipes home with us, to make in the USA. =)
Then since Phillip, Kimberly, and I were going to record the hymns and choruses early the next day, Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly took our kids home with them for the night.  (I knew we wouldn't get much recording done with Elijah and Mary's help.=)
We had such a fun evening together making even MORE Memories!~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

~Saying Goodbye to our girl's music teacher!~

~Before we moved to Colombia back in 2006, I began to PRAY that God would guide us to the RIGHT violin teacher for our Kimberly. (and later for our Sarah.) I didn't know WHERE to begin to find a teacher in the BIG city of Bogota, but I knew GOD did.  AND DID HE EVER ANSWER OUR PRAYERS!!  =)  He sent us Adriana!!!!  Adriana has been a God-send to our family for nearly 6 years now. 
~She knows music well,
~She LOVES our girls (And our other children),
~She has taught our girls A LOT and they have really advanced under her,
~Per my request, She became their piano teacher as well. She Mainly focused on teacher them to READ music well!
~And a HUGE blessing was that she came to our house to teach them, instead of us having to drag them across the city each week!!! 
I took these 2 pictures of Adriana and Kimberly and Sarah (and then with our other children) on the day of our girl's next to last lesson.  (I printed one of these pictures off and put it one of our frames to give to her as part of her go-away gift!) ~
~Notice Elijah's hat that is HUGE on him, covered in paint, and he has it on side-ways.  We love that silly boy. ~
~On the day of the girl's last music lesson Kimberly asked if we could please make a special lunch for her teacher.  Since I'm sort of swamped right now, I just made a simple Chef salad with chicken, Parmesan cheese, Ranch dressing, and my homemade Croutons on top of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. 
I made fresh grape juice and a simple dessert.  Adriana really enjoyed it and her time with us.~

~Our cool and refreshing desserts of vanilla pudding, coolwhip, fresh strawberries  and a cookie.~
~In all of the 6 years we have known our teacher, we have never gotten to go and hear her play anywhere, though she plays in groups all the time.  So, we thought it was neat when she told us that she was going to play with a group in the library near our house. 
This past Saturday, our girls and I along with Natalie and Gaby went to hear Adriana play.~
~It was a group of 5 ladies playing and a guy, the leader of the group and a composer, on the guitar.~
~They played Argentine music, and it was BEAUTIFUL!!~
~All our young ladies with Adriana afterwards. 
We'll see Adriana again (for she bought some of our furniture and has to come and pick it up), but it will be VERY hard to say goodbye to her and our other DEAR Colombian people soon. 
Adriana hopes to come and visit us in the USA someday~
~Kimberly was excited to show her teacher her new white electric violin that Jesus helped her to buy.  You see we had to record lots of hymns and choruses in the church yesterday, and we needed an electric violin so we could just record directly into the computer using the sound system.  That way we could avoid the sound of the LARGE trucks and traffic going by outside the church, which would take away from the quality of the CD we were making for our churches to use.  Here there are not stores that rent instruments for a day, and we didn't know anyone who had one we could borrow, though we had asked around. 
So, Kimberly used her own money (with a little help from her Daddy =) and God gave them a GOOD deal on this violin.  Kimberly IS SO HAPPY with her cute white violin, and her teacher liked it too.~
~Then we "ladies" went to the mall beside the library for a quick ice cream cone together.  It was a very special evening, and we were glad that we got to hear Adriana and her group play.  They did a great job. .~

Saturday, February 23, 2013

~You know you are a missionary IF...~

you can carry on a decent conversation with someone who obviously knows you, but you have no clue who they are or where you have seen them.  =)
This happens often to us missionaries.  Someone comes up to you to chat, who knows ALL ABOUT YOU, Never introduces herself/himself, and assumes you KNOW THEM JUST AS WELL.
They chat with you for awhile, (& all the while you are RACKING your brain to try to figure out WHO THEY ARE, out of the 1,000's of people you have met!)
The conversation ends, and when they leave, you turn to your family and ask,

It is very common for us missionaries to arrive at a church and someone comes up to greet us WITHOUT introducing themselves.  We may have been to that church 2-6 years ago, and they may be supporting us monthly, but we don't know their face.  We may know that person's name VERY WELL, and pray for them each day (as one of our givers) but we don't recognize their face...since we see LOTS OF FACES in. every. church. we. go. to.  =)

This is especially HARD for a missionary in a big place like IHC, where LOTS of people from lots of churches we've visited are in ONE PLACE!  Someone comes up and greets us, tells us it was so nice having us at their church, tells us they are praying for us, or that it is so GOOD to see us again.
One feels EMBARRASSED to ask their name and what church they attend, so you just keep shaking your head up and down, smiling, all the while you are WISHING you knew WHO this person was, or WHERE you met them.
Or perhaps, we KNOW THAT FACE VERY WELL, but we have no clue what name to put with it. =) 
Years ago, I knew a young missionary kid who teasingly said, "We need to make up a game named, "Place the Face!"  (Probably like "GUESS WHO!")  He was referring to all the familiar faces that come up to chat, but of whom we never find out their name.

I'm a PEOPLE Person!  I love People!  I love connections.  I love to hear who  just married who, who is expecting a baby, etc. I love to know names and where people are from.
When we are at a new church, the missionary can feel sort of awkward going up to people to strike up a conversation. We love it when people introduce themselves to us, and chat for a few minutes.

So, feel free (please do) to go up to talk to a missionary, whether at your church or elsewhere, but PLEASE make sure and introduce yourself and (if it's at IHC or camp or somewhere) tell what church you are from. =)

It will make the missionary feel so much more "relaxed" while talking to you.
He/she will be able to concentrate on actually carrying on an "intelligent conversation" with you, rather than focusing all their attention on thoughts like, "I'VE GOT TO PLACE THIS FACE!" =) 

~Jesus is helping us, but we still have a TON of things to wrap up before we leave.  
Here's a sneak-preview of My Spanish Cookbook Cover.  It has 50 to 51 recipes of mine in it.  Mainly recipes of breads, pies, cookies, soups, etc. that are 100% American, and our Colombian people have fallen in love with them. 
Bro. Edgar is helping us design and print it.  =)
On top it says, "Let's cook American recipes"...and below it says,
"With Heather Dickinson." 
Going up the side of the book it says, "It Pays to serve Jesus!!"~
~I figured I might go ahead and take some pictures of the MESS we are in, SO YOU'LL KEEP PRAYING FOR US!!!  =) 
Here, Phillip is sorting his BOXES of books.  These will mainly be stored and little by little we'll get his books back to the USA. ~
~And the SAD thing is: In times like these, the laundry & dishes keep getting dirty.  =( 
Here's our laundry all clean, just needing to be folded, but WHO HAS TIME TO FOLD LAUNDRY RIGHT NOW? =) 
Any volunteers to come help keep up this laundry? =D  
THANK THE LORD, Our DEAR Kimberly is being a HUGE help in this area!!~
~When we were up on Monesrrate to celebrate Jesus calling us to be missionaries, Kimberly recorded a violin solo.  She wanted to record a song with the city of Bogota behind her. 
In spite of it being COLD, her fingers being nearly numb, Jesus helped it to turn out cute.  =)
Once she gets it all done, maybe I can post the link on here.~
I'm so TIRED that when I get back home to the USA, I'll probably need to sleep FOR ONE MONTH STRAIGHT...but, that won't be possible, for we start services not too many days after we land. 
Phillip wanted to get our deputation services scheduled in the first part of our time there, so hopefully we can have some REST near the end of our time there.
And with that.....I'm off to run to record around 150 to 200 choruses and hymns on the piano, and Kimberly on the violin.  Please pray for this too!  Thanks! =)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

~Celebrating God calling our family to be missionaries!~

Your PRAYERS and your sweet comments mean so MUCH to me / our family right now! Thank you!!
I'm sure it's y'all's prayers that are helping us get done what we are getting done.  God is helping us!
1. God has helped us sell nearly all of our things.
2. People are coming to get their furniture that they bought from us, so our house is changing.
3. I'm hoping to put the finishing touches on my Spanish cookbook today, and send it to Bro. Edgar to print off for me.
4. We're hoping to record the hymns and choruses on Saturday, Lord willing.  KEEP PRAYING!!!
5. I have 2 of our suitcases nearly packed now!
6. Noah and Sarah have nearly finished all of their PACES except for only a few Math PACES (which we'll probably end up taking back to finish in the USA).   YEA!!!  THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR YOUR HELP!
When we moved here nearly 7 years ago, we were EACH allowed two 70# suitcases!
Now, as you know things have changed, and as far as we know, we are only allowed one 50# suitcase each, and a carry-on.  And One of our 7 suitcases will probably be our small keyboard that we need to take back.  eeeeeEEEKK!!  HOW will we ever get everything that we want to take HOME in our suitcases???
So, please keep praying for the recording of the hymns and choruses, my cookbook, our sorting, and packing.  
On Sunday after church, I cried for 30 minutes straight. It will be so HARD to say goodbye to our DEAR Colombian people! (Of course, we'll come back to Colombia to visit Lord willing, but it won't be the same as living here.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~It was in February, 2004 when Phillip told me that God was calling our family to be missionaries!  So, last year Phillip decided that every February we should go out to eat at a nice restaurant of a different culture to celebrate God calling our family to be workers for Him.
Last year we ate in an Italian restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  (It was right across the street from our Apt. we were renting.=)
So this year, on Feb. 13th, after taking our prayer card pictures at a park, we decided to eat at a Colombian restaurant up on the mountain called "Monserrate."  So we rode the Gondolas up the mountain to this restaurant.
Here's a picture of the pretty white restaurant where we ate. ~
~The kids with the Andes Mountains behind them.~
~And that is when Kimberly took this picture of Phillip and I with the Andes Mountains.~
~Isn't this such a pretty picture that Phillip took of our restaurant and the mountains behind it?~
~Noah and Elijah inside the restaurant.~
~I love all the fun windows in this restaurant.~
~Kimberly and Sarah~
~We learned a neat story about our restaurant.   This white house had been down the mountain in downtown Bogota.  The presidents used it in which to hold their special gatherings.  Someone purchased it and brought it piece by piece of the mountain to where it stands today.  =)
Our family without Mary...who was asleep.~
~We love the fun fireplace inside the restaurant...it's not as common to see fireplaces here in Colombia.~
~Then little Mary woke up, so Phillip took this picture of the our 3 youngest in front of the fireplace.~

~Mommy, Mary, and Daddy. We all chose YUMMY fresh Mango juice to drink.  DELISH!~
~Phillip went to another part of the building and took this picture of our family...sitting at the table inside these windows you see.~
~Our 4 younger children ate Fettucini and Alfredo~
~Our whole family after Mary woke up.~
~I had chicken in a special fruit sauce, a fun little salad, and Coconut rice.~
~Kimberly got a typical yummy fried fish (HEAD AND ALL) that we enjoy eating here in Colombia.~
~We've come up to Monserrate many times (Mainly to bring visitors from the USA).
We've only eaten at this white restaurant 1 other time, and that was for Sarah's 7th birthday. (She just turned 12.)
So, Phillip asked our waiter about buying a couple white saucers, and coffee cups with the name of the restaurant on them.  He told them that they would be meaningful souvenirs for our family since we've lived in Colombia nearly 7 years now.  I don't think that that is a request that that restaurant receives too often, but they granted our request. =)
So, like I told you earlier, in the gift bag that I'm holding are the 2 fun saucers, and coffee cups with the name of the restaurant on them.  HOW FUN that Jesus worked it out for us to get those special souvenirs.~
~While up on the mountain we bought Sarah a fun knitted hat that sort of matches Mary's.  It was VERY Cold and rainy that day...and even colder up on the mountain where the wind was blowing.~
~Our family with some of Bogota behind us.~
~Our family with our white restaurant behind us.~
~I took this picture of Bogota right before we got on the gondolas to go back down the mountain.~
~This sky scrapper in downtown Bogota now has fun lights and pictures on it.  In this picture there were fish "floating around" on the building. =)~
~Here we GOOOOOOOOOOO down the mountain.~
~Phillip snapped this last picture of our restaurant in the night.~
~And here is that building with our Colombian flag colors on it.  =)
Jesus gave us a special day celebrating Him calling us to be missionaries.  Since our days are getting busier and busier....It was probably our last outing here in Bogota with our children, and we really enjoyed the day.=) ~
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