Saturday, March 29, 2014

~Our trip to Uruguay Part 1~

Phillip has been given the privilege to speak to the Chinese youth Sunday (TOMORROW!) afternoon.  
He will be talking in Spanish (not his native language) and then another man will be translating from Spanish (not his native language either) into Mandarin for the Chinese.  
We want God to be Glorified!  Thank you!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
THANK YOU for praying for my unspoken request and for our trip to Uruguay to renew our Argentine visas.  God helped us....
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here's part 1 of our trip to Uruguay.
 ~On the Saturday before we left...I made 180 or so Oatmeal Raisin cookies and took them to church on Sunday to share with the Chinese Church after lunch.  (We always eat lunch together after church at the Chinese church.  =)
Everyone seemed to enjoy them and were very grateful that I had made them.
(I have a small oven here, with only one rack, so the cookies were baked 12 to 16 at a time. =)~
~After having a water problem last weekend, on Monday we were catching up on washing the laundry, and getting things ready so we could leave ON TUESDAY for our trip to Uruguay.
Only to find out at 5:00 P.M. ON MONDAY NIGHT...that it was much cheaper to LEAVE THAT NIGHT!  
So, we quickly got into gear, threw things together and left our house just a few hours later headed on our "vacation!"  
I put vacation in quotation marks, for most people's vacation doesn't involve as much effort or STRESS to make it happen...but Jesus helped us and gave us strength!  =D
 ~Here's what I mean by STRESS AND EFFORT!  
We left our house at 9:00 P.M. hauling all of our things and:
1. walked to find taxis,
2. took 2 taxis for 10 blocks, 
3. then a train ride for 45 minutes, 
4. Hauled all our things and walked 10 more blocks to the boat,
5. then got on the boat at 11:15 PM and rode that for 3 hours, 
6. Got off, went through customs in Uruguay around 3:00 A.M.
7. Then got on a bus at 3:12 A.M., and rode for 2 hours...finally arriving in Monte Video , Uruguay at 5:15 A.M.  
8. We then sat in the bus station for over an hour waiting for it to get light outside, then took 2 taxis to TRY to find our hotel where we stayed last time.
Whew! It was quite the race, but Jesus helped us!!!

Before we left Argentina, Phillip couldn't find the business card from the hotel where we stayed last time (it's been since December 2011 and THREE countries / THREE moves ago, so I'm NOT surprised we couldn't find it! =)  
He couldn't remember the name of the hotel, nor the name of the road,  he just could remember that it was in downtown Monte Video, Uruguay.  
So, while still in Argentina, Phillip googled and found where he THOUGHT the hotel was.
Once we got to Uruguay Phillip had the 2 taxi drivers take us to the corner where 2 streets met, knowing the hotel was sort of close and we could walk from there.

Wouldn't you know we girls arrived first, and we were RIGHT IN front of the right hotel.  
Praise the Lord!  
(Phillip was pretty happy with Jesus and himself for finding it on Google.  =)
~Here we are in the 45 min. train ride headed to the boat.~
~In the boat.~

~Phillip took some of the kids up to the top of the boat.~

Since we got on the bus at 3:12 A.M...I didn't get any pics of the 2 hour bus ride!
~Here we are inside the bus station in Uruguay, at 6:30 in the morning.  The kids are eating yogurt and granola for their "breakfast" before we left to go find the hotel.~
Once we got to the hotel it was only 8:15 in the morning.  I was SO AFRAID that they would say we couldn't get a room until 11:00.  But, THANK THE LORD...they let us get into our rooms right then!!!!
So, since I was BEYOND EXHAUSTED (for I barely slept on the boat or bus) I laid down and slept until 1:30 P.M.  Thankfully, The kids fell asleep in their room too. =)
Then we got up and went in search of some LUNCH!!!
~We were happy to find this restaurant right down from our hotel.  ~

~Then while Phillip found a place to exchange money, I took the kids to this park.~
~Most of the time we ate in Uruguay type restaurants to enjoy the culture, but we did eat at McD's once or twice. =) ~

~One evening we went to a restaurant for I wanted to drink some tea and the fam wanted to enjoy a little treat.
Kimberly and Sarah saw "Apple strudel" on the menu, and asked us if they could split a piece.  (The younger kids enjoyed hot chocolate and rolls.~
~Here's K and S's apple strudel and coffee.  I got a slight taste of the strudel and it was DELISH!!! (The little glasses of orange juice were "on the house!") ~
~Since I'm trying to include a lot of FRESH veggies in my diet, My sweetheart went shopping and brought me all kinds of fresh veggies to our hotel room.  So I made this big salad for baby and my breakfast. (We did share some with the fam, for it was quite the LARGE salad!) ~
~We bought fresh fruit and yogurt and enjoyed breakfast in our hotel room each morning.~
~Our hotel wasn't anything fancy, but it was nice and clean.~
~Kimberly and Sarah.~
~We were happy to find this FUN SALAD FOR TWO at that nearby restaurant.
This salad was sort of funny, compared to American salads.   
There was cooked rice, cooked diced potatoes, a couple spoonfuls of mayo, peas, corn, sandwich ham, a tad of cheese, onions, red peppers, palm hearts, boiled eggs, tomatoes, beets, lettuce, grated carrots, and they brought us extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the dressing. =)
It was very filling, and yummy, and perfect for Phillip and I, and one day K and S shared one too.~
~Our younger kids enjoyed toasted cheese. =) ~
~The whole fam. =) ~
Part 2 of our Uruguay trip coming up.


Monday, March 24, 2014

~Out of the Mouth of babes!~

Please pray!!
I have a special unspoken request!
We leave this week to go to visit the country of Uruguay to renew our Argentine visas.
Please pray that God will give us a good and safe trip.
It is a 5 hour trip one way!
(We have to go by a large ferry on the Plata River (like an ocean) for over 2 hours, which makes some of us a little nervous. ( ' ~ ' )
THANK YOU for your prayers!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 ~Elijah is very much a PEOPLE PERSON!  He loves to be with people!  (Hmmmm!  I WONDER WHERE he got that from?  I'm sure it couldn't be from ME...His Mommy! =)
Poor Elijah!  He has been accustomed to having Noah as a play buddy, but now Noah is working his head off doing school work and only can play on his breaks.
So, Elijah and Mary are learning to fuss play together. =)
The other day Mary was sitting on the couch looking at one of my decor or cooking magazines when Elijah asked her to PLEASE come to the garage to watch him rip-stick. (Ride his funny skateboard.)
Mary said, "No, Elijah, I don't want to, I want to look at this magazine."
Out of the clear blue sky I heard Elijah say,
"Mary, You can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS YOU!"  =D  (I'm not sure he used that verse in context! =)

~I'm not sure what gave Elijah the idea, but NOW when he prays in family devotions he is asking God TO GIVE HIM A PET MONKEY!!! 
Mary has followed her big brother's example and is now asking God....
For a pet rabbit AND A PET TIGER!   ={
Let's hope that these are some prayers that God doesn't see fit to answer, or Ladies and Gentlemen...we'll end up with a ZOO!  =D
 ~Elijah is WORRIED that the baby I'm carrying is another GIRL!  He of course wants another BOY!
So, the other day he told Mary,
"Mary, we have too many girls in our family, so we're going to GIVE YOU AWAY!!!!"
Poor little Mary!  I QUICKLY ASSURED HER that we would NEVER give her away! =)

~These houses are more European and nearly all of them have the 2nd little "fancy toilet" called a  "bidet" (pronounced buh-day).
We had only been here a few days when someone found Mary RINSING OUT HER TOOTHBRUSH in the bidet! UGH!!!
I can see her thinking,
"This house is the BEST.  It has everything, including a "Sink" just my size!" =)
~The other day Mary was hiding behind Kimberly's chair.  A few seconds later she peeked around her chair and said, "Pook-a-bee!" 
Kimberly laughed and laughed, for she knew she was trying to say, "Peek-a-boo" but couldn't think of how to say it!  =)

Friday, March 21, 2014

~Practicing English with our Chinese friends.~

~L To R: Heather, Valentina, and Uncle Charlie in the fellowship hall at church!~
So recently Uncle Charlie talked to Phillip and I and told us that some Mothers of the Chinese children from church were asking if I would teach their children English.
Phillip and I had already been talking to one family about the idea.
So we told Uncle Charlie that we had come up with the idea of opening up "our home" (the one being graciously loaned to us =) one night a week for a couple hours and having the Children come to our house.
We started these "classes" in our home and have had 2 so far.  The Lord is helping us.
We practice English with them, and help them with their homework if they need help, etc. for a couple hours. 
Of course, you know me, I look forward to serving them a simple snack each time as well.  =)
~Here's my table the first evening.  I just served cut up melon, grapes, grilled cheese sandwiches, a cold drink, and hot Chinese green tea.
(Caro found the way I did "grilled cheese" different, but she like it.  Here they don't butter the outside of their breads, they just spray the pan with "Pam" for the outside, but spread Mayo on the insides of their breads.
I find it fun and interesting to learn the different ways that people cook in different countries. = )~
The children are doing a good job practicing their English with us.  We try not to talk to them in Spanish, only English for those 2 hours.  Uncle Charlie wants them to hear/learn our "accent" or LACK of accent.  Since many English teachers here are Argentine, they would teach with an Accent, so that is what their students would learn.
Uncle Charlie said that when he moved to the USA to get his masters he didn't understand United States English, although he had taken English for years in Argentina, since he had learned hearing the Argentine accent of his English teacher.
U. Charlie wants these children to hear and learn how we Americans pronounce words, to help their English be more "well-rounded!"  =)
~We enjoy having these children in our home.   They have so much potential.  Can you imagine what God can do with the children in this circle (ours included) if they will live their lives for Him?
God can use each one of them to touch MANY lives for Christ! =)
~Afterwards, while the kids played together, we enjoyed visiting with our dear friends Leo and Caro.  They are the ones loaning me the washer.  =)~
~Dear Caro and I (and baby =).~
~One big plus of having a beautiful "Eden Garden" back yard, is getting to enjoy the beautiful flowers.  The other day, Mary (with Sarah's help) brought this beauty in to give to me.  =)~
~And Sarah brought these inside. =)

Monday, March 17, 2014

~Full Version of "Mary Falls Off!"...and Jesus sent me a Washer!!~

Thanks for your sweet and fun comments on the fun little video of Mary... I posted last post.
Some of you wanted to see the whole version of Mary's video, so my sweet Kimberly put the whole version on Youtube for you. =)
Here's the Link!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you have ever HAND WASHED clothes for 7 people, you'll know how HAPPY I am that Jesus gave me a washer last week!!!!!  And MANY Thanks to our friends Leo and Caro for loaning us the washer!
 Especially with being pregnant, hand washing all our clothes took energy that I NEEDED to cook meals and do other things.
With a family of 7, each time one turns around there is another load of laundry to do, so now you know WHY MY EXCITEMENT about having a washer!  =D
You can't imagine how my heart SINGS Praises to Jesus each time I put another load in and WALK AWAY...rather than spending HOURS:
~hand washing,
~hand rinsing,
~hand rinsing a second time to make sure soap is out,
~ringing each item out and then
~hanging each item to dry!
I still hang everything to dry, but Jesus has given us a nice place to do that, and one load at a time isn't that overwhelming.
So, I'm saying a BIG THANK YOU TO JESUS, (and Leo and Caro =) for my washer!!!!  =)

Friday, March 14, 2014

~A funny short video of our little Mary!~

While we were in the States for the last few months, as you know we were on deputation for 6 of those months.
In our services we sang together as a family.  Of course we sing the SAME SONGS every service.  I'll never forget after the very first service after we got back into the van Noah said, 
"Could we please not sing those songs again?"
I laughed and said something like, "Sorry, buddy, that was the FIRST service of the REST OF YOUR LIFE!  
You/we are going to be singing those SAME SONGS for the next 6 months straight!"  =)
~We got to spend some fun days with our good friends the Gaylerd Millers.   They treated us like royalty!~
 So, in our service at the Millers church in Fordland, MO our good friend Bro. Miller took some pics and a video of us.  We knew that something funny had happened in the service, but most of our family didn't know WHY it had happened.
The next day he showed us this video and we laughed and laughed (especially our boys!)  Mary laughed too!  
(One of the reasons the video makes our family laugh is 'cause of the mischievous grin on ELIJAH'S face!)  
We are glad that Bro. Miller got this on video!  =)
ESPECIALLY KEEP YOUR EYES ON ELIJAH AND MARY!!!!  Elijah wants to play with Mary's hair and be affectionate...and she WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! =) Then later, when she decides to touch Elijah "back", something happens.
Kimberly edited this video! ENJOY!

UPDATE:  Some of you asked to see the WHOLE VERSION of this video, so here's the link!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

~Waiting on God!~

Have you ever had to W.A.I.T. for something?  Waiting it has been said is harder than working.  
 I’m a go-getter.  God has made me to be like the Energizer Bunny and when I’m not pregnant , I’m not one to lie around very often. =)  (Although, I learned from my Sweet Moma years ago to try to take a daily afternoon nap, so that my “Mommy nerves” can be rested for the evening/nightly activities of a busy family. =D) 
So, right now, as God has our family WAITING to see what all His plan is for us (concerning what all HE will do in Argentina)…that is not easy for me.  We KNOW that God called us to come to Argentina, even for these 5 months before baby comes. 
Let me share 3 of the miracles that God has done in helping us get here...for which our family is excited and Thankful to Jesus!
MIRACLE # 1. Phillip was praying and telling God (after we found out about baby #6) that He still felt that we should go to Argentina for the next 5 months.  Phillip asked God to send in the money for us to purchase our airplane tickets to go to Argentina if He wanted us to go.  He contacted our travel agent (which is a dear lady who bends over backwards to help our family) and she wrote back with prices for one-way tickets to Argentina, and round trip tickets to Argentina and back to the USA.  That day we didn’t have the money to buy the round trip tickets.  Phillip was thinking of writing her back and telling her to go ahead and purchase the one-way tickets to Argentina…but He hated to do that KNOWING that we have to come back in June for baby.  It seemed a waste of God’s money to purchase one-way tickets when we Knew we needed ROUND TRIP tickets! 
When Phillip went to email our travel agent, he felt God check him to NOT respond to her yet!  
 He waited and the very next day a sizeable gift came in that more than covered the ROUND-TRIP tickets for all 7 of us.  

 (That doesn’t happen every day, folks! =)

 Like I told you earlier when we left Argentina last time, we left a few boxes of our things with our friends Leo and Caro.  They gave them back to us the other day.
It was like CHRISTMAS getting to see our things that we left here 2 years ago.
~Walking by and seeing my Fun Black and white tray and set of white cups and saucers makes my heart smile every time! =) ~
MIRACLE #2. Has been the provision of this beautiful house that our Chinese friends Uncle Charlie and Aunt Jolie and Charlie’s brother are allowing us to live in.  As you may or may not know, last time we were here we rented a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom furnished apt. which had NO YARD  (but that price did include utilities and internet) for a whopping $1,450 US Dollars a month! 
YES!  It was WAY too expensive compared to what we were used to paying, but our Argentine friends agreed that it was the going rate here for furnished apts. =( 
So, a few months ago Phillip was talking to Jesus and telling Him to please increase his faith as to HOW we would have the money to pay rent/live in Argentina and travel to continue serving the congregations in Colombia as well.  
Shortly thereafter Charlie’s brother contacted us offering us the Privilege of living in their parents nice home here in Argentina.  This house is probably the nicest house we have lived in in South America.  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ bath.  It also has 3 places where our kids can play: a nice back yard, a big patio, and a garage.   :-)
 It is completely furnished with furniture, towels, sheets, and in the ample kitchen there are lots of dishes, silverware, glasses etc. for us to use.  There’s even a special thing like A KITCHEN TIMER… which as a Mommy of 5 and “1/2” kids =) is my SECOND BRAIN!!!  
 I use a kitchen timer to remind me of what I’m baking, so I don’t burn it to a crispy critter, and for our kids schoolwork. =)
There is also a blender, a mixer, a coffee maker, lots of nice skillets and pans, etc.  We will hardly have to purchase anything!
MIRACLE #3. Pastor Jimmy from Colombia has a cousin that has lived in Argentina for years now.  Years ago when he heard that we were coming to Argentina, he told Jimmy that there were 2 neighborhoods that he would recommend that would be safe for we as Americans to live in.  Wouldn’t you know, when God found us our first apt. back in 2011, that apt. was in the FIRST neighborhood He recommended. 
This house we are living in now that God opened up, is in the SECOND neighborhood!  
 Those 2 neighborhoods are 45 minutes from each other. 
Coincidence?  I don’t think so, It appears to be the hand of God in directing exactly WHERE He wanted us to live! =)
Isn’t God beyond awesome?!!!
My devotional book Streams in the Dessert…told me the other day to “Fret Not!”  In thinking of the "WAITING GAME"…it dawned on me that MY DUTIES have not changed!  =)
So, while we PRAY and WAIT on God to reveal the doors He wants Phillip/our family to walk through here in Argentina…I’m just doing the same "jobs" I have been doing for YEARS now!  I’m doing my best to be the Best Wife and Mommy/Home school teacher that I can be.   =)
Our 3 oldest children are WORKING VERY HARD to try to get L.O.T.S. of schoolwork done in these months before we return back to the States to have our 6th baby, Lord willing. 
So, I’m working right beside K, S, and N to encourage them and try to make sure they finish their HIGH goals they’ve set for each day.  I try to think of little treats throughout the day to make their hearts “smile” or a walk to the park after schoolwork is put away to give them some fresh air and exercise. 
I’m actually enjoying the more LAID BACK life we have here which gives me lots more time to focus on helping our children more with their Homeschooling, etc.  =)
This is not meant to be a “brag on Heather moment” just a little reminder that sometimes we Wives/Mommies can get our focus on “Where is our ministry?” when God planned for us to minister to our husbands by being Loving…cheer-leading type wives (seeing the great points in our husband and accepting him for WHO he is, not for Who we might WISH he were ;-), and to our children by being Godly loving Mommies.  
A lot of times we can’t see how making scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast can be MINISTRY…but we are ministering by making yummy healthy meals for our family! 
And as you know that never-ending pile of laundry and dirty dishes do not get done by themselves, so SOMEONE has to do them. =) 
May Jesus give us the strength to shine for Him in our very own home as we take great care of the loved ones Jesus has “loaned us!” =)
(And of course…As our family waits and PRAYS here in Argentina…
we are trying to touch lives by: 
smiling everywhere we go, 
showing a Christ-like Spirit in the bus, 
as we walk everywhere we go, 
as we shop in the Chinese grocery stores, etc., 
and witnessing to those where God opens up that door.  =)  
We make quite the SCENE as all 7 "1/2" of us trapz down the road, so TRUST ME...we get NOTICED!  =)
Phillip is spending lots of time praying and waiting on God.
We see God opening up a few possible doors.  
In time we will share those with you, Lord willing.  
In the meantime, Thank you for your prayers!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

~Four Months and Counting!~

So Baby and I have reached a milestone.  Baby is now 4 months and GROWING!  I feel as big as a barn for 4 months, but since it's my 6th baby...I can't expect to have no baby bump.  =)
I'm very THANKFUL TO JESUS that He is helping my nausea to improve!  And He's helping me get some of my strength back too.  =)
God is helping me, and I'm doing all the cooking and working in the kitchen again.  Our Kimberly, Sarah, and Noah began doing their school work just 5 days after we arrived here in Argentina.
Praise the Lord...right when our girls needed to start school work, is when God started giving me the strength to make the meals again.  =)
The little monitor from Dee is such a comfort.  I don't think there is a more WONDERFUL sound in the world than for a Mommy to hear her unborn baby's heart beat!  Such reassurance!!!  Such a MIRACLE of God!
I'm looking for an Ob/Gyn just to have a few monthly checkups on baby and I here in Argentina before we go back to the USA.
I praise the Lord that my pregnancy is going so well!  I'm very blessed!
Thank y'all for your prayers!!
We are getting excited to meet our new family member near the end of August, Lord willing!  =)
~Baby and I...four months and counting... down by the Plata River in Buenos Aires, Aregntina!  March, 2014!~

Thursday, March 6, 2014

~The Tale of Two Photos~

~My Sweetheart and I on the train tracks in Buenos Aires, Argentina...November 2011~
I remember something Phillip said to me while we were dating.  At that time, Phillip was pastoring at Vine St. Mission in Downtown Cincinnati, OH, and I played the piano for the mission.  He mentioned that he wasn't sure what all God had for his life and life's work, but he was feeling like it just might be in THE HEART OF THE CITY!  
I NEVER DREAMED "the Heart of the CITIES" to which God would take us!  
~Phillip's first pastorate would be in Phoenix, AZ for 5 years.  
~After that, God would move us to live for nearly 7 years in Bogota, Colombia, a city of 9 million, 
~and then God would move us here to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a city of 12 million!  =)  
Life with God (and Phillip) is never dull.  =D

~My Sweetheart and I (and baby bump #6 =) on the same train tracks (but facing the other direction) in Buenos Aires, Argentina...February 2014!
Buenos Aires still has lots of passenger trains that run across the city, so this track is still being used!
 As soon as Kimberly snapped this pic of us .... we heard the train whistle and had to jump off the tracks! :-D ~

Sunday, March 2, 2014

~Life is Short!~

Some years ago while we were living in Colombia, our Kimberly found a decorating blog of a lady named Michele.  Kimberly fell in love with her decorating style and also loved it that she LOVED owls, just like Kimberly.  =)  We have followed her blog for several years now.   We especially enjoyed her Christmas and Fall decor, and her crafty ideas.
Maybe a year and a half ago we were shocked to read on her blog that she was struggling with cancer!  :-( We have read about her difficult journey and have prayed for her.  In December and January our lives were very BUSY, so we didn't get to "blog hop" very much.
As you know, we just got internet here in Argentina, so Kimberly hopped on Michele's blog last night to see what she had posted, and we were VERY SADDENED to discover that she lost her battle against cancer, and passed away in Jan.  =(
I never knew Michele, but the news of her death made me weep for her family and friends.  She left a loving husband and 2 sons around 18 and 8.  =(  She wasn't much older than me.

It got me to thinking a lot about the brevity of life.  My friend Dee gave me a little monitor to bring with me where I can hear our baby's heartbeat.  =)  That little monitor is such a comfort to me.  The other day Phillip and I were listening to baby's heartbeat and of course my heartbeat was on there too.  Phillip then started listening to his own heartbeat.  When he was relaxing, his heartbeat began to slow down.  Later Phillip mentioned how vulnerable that made him feel.  Each day we go through life never even thinking one thought about our little heart inside of us working it's head off.  =)  Life is such a miracle from God that we sometimes take for granted.

You know me, I LOVE being a wife and Mommy!  I love using what I have to decorate our home, make fun tablescapes, Bake fun snacks to cheer my family's hearts....especially when we are on the mission field, etc.
 ~A fun little cake with white choc. drizzled on it that I made for our family snack the other night.~
Don't get me wrong, that is exactly what I think God wants us wives to do.  To make our home beautiful with what we have, and take special care of the family God gave us.  =)
As a wife, I want to spend time with Jesus daily, choose Joy and shine for Jesus in our home.  Life is so unpredictable and so short, that I want to make every day count for Jesus!   I want to live my life touching my family and others for God!

I  was just recently reading of one wife who was being very cranky while on vacation.  Near the end of their vacation, they stopped for lunch in a quaint little town, and happened take a walk through a park and the adjoining grave yard.  They were walking around reading tomb stones.
One especially caught her eye.  It was on a Mother's grave and said,  
"She was the Sunshine of our home!"
During lunch the "cranky wife" thought, "If I were to drop dead right now, that's the LAST thing they'd put on my grave!"  She determined right then to try to change!

As I went to bed last night, this little poem came to me about how I want my life to count while I'm still alive.

It won't matter how cute I decorated...
Nor how much stuff I collected.  =)
All that will matter is that I did ALL for GOD,
When I was above sod.
                                     ~Heather~  Arg. 2014

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