Thursday, May 29, 2008

Surprise food

Miguel has been volunteering a bit of his time at a food warehouse that supplies ministries in this region and has really enjoyed it. And he usually brings home quite a bit of household groceries and supplies, which has been a blessing to our budget in the last few weeks. One of the things he's brought home has been unlabeled canned goods...what our kids have termed "surprise food". :) It's been interesting because they get pretty excited about it! They pick a can, then we open it and eat whatever it is (for the most part they've been lucky with carrots and not something like spinach! haha)...and they have been pretty good about eating a pretty big serving! Even Gracia, who's a rather sparse eater most days....

Taking Water For Granted

There was a small notice hanging on our door this morning that the city will be shutting off our water from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today for repairs. My first reaction was a bit of outrage and then I realized that I have been Taking Water For Granted! We live in such a great country here in the U.S. where most people never even think about the basic utilities because they are so reliable! In Venezuela, the water, electricity, phone service, etc. would just randomly come and go with no's just a way of life. We always kept a barrel of water and candles on hand for those times since unlike today, there is usually no warning that the services will not be available. In fact, many houses in Venezuela are built with reservoirs and tanks to store water. One house we lived in didn't even receive water from the city any more, I think the pipes were damaged beyond repair. We had water trucked in every week to fill our reservoir. One time Miguel forgot to call the truck and then he couldn't get the truck to come at all for a few days! He even went out looking for any water truck he could find, but no luck. We were down to the last tiny bit of water when we were finally able to fill our reservoir, but by then we were getting rather rank from not being able to bathe!

Anyway, so after my initial reaction this morning, I looked around to see what I could do to keep a good water supply for today...there are no reservoirs in this house! I got creative...I filled both tubs about half-way with water for toilet flushing and filled every empty pitcher, jar, and container in the kitchen with water for drinking water or whatever. I think I'm getting spoiled with all of this luxury here and I need to start shifting back into "missionary mode" as we look forward to going back to the field later this year!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

We had an interesting Mother's Day this year! For one thing, I think this was the first year that the kids really grasped the idea that this is a special day for Mom, so they were quite insistent that Miguel do something about it! Not that Miguel hadn't done anything for Mother's Day in other years, but maybe it hadn't been quite so high on the priority list...

Anyway, I broke my favorite coffee mug the other day and I noticed a lot of whispering between Micah and Gracia when they saw how sad I was about that (I tend to get attached to my coffee mugs...). So I kind of expected something along the lines of a new coffee mug. On Friday evening, the kids came home bursting with secrets, so I figured that was when the presents had been bought! :) They did a good job, though, and though there were some near disclosures, nothing too revealing was said.

They presented me with a pretty box yesterday morning with 5 red bows representing the different members of the family that the present was from. Sure enough, there was a beautiful coffee mug in there and it was perfect! It's large and has a whimsical flower design on it along with Philippians 4:13. The mug was from the kids, Miguel also gave me the perfect gift...a new Ted Dekker book!!! Yay! I love Ted Dekker and am always thrilled with the privelege of reading another of his books. This one is Blessed Child, written by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright. I haven't read much of it, but what I've read so far is pretty riveting! I am trying not to read it too fast...I tend to do that and then not enjoy the story as much as I could....kind of like gobbling down the entire chocolate bar all at once and not savoring the pleasure of its flavor.

And then Mom called with the news about the tornadoes that passed through just north of our farm in Oklahoma...some very good friends of ours lost their houses. Betty lived in one house and her son and family in another house behind Betty's and the tornado destroyed both houses. There were many other houses in the area destroyed as well, the devastation looked pretty grim in the pictures I've been seeing online. :( My heart goes out to everyone that has been affected by the storms. It is a blessing, though, to see the community coming together to begin the recovery process...even Miguel went up to help for the day! We Americans are so blessed with the security of knowing that for the most part, times of disaster will be met with helping hands, not with looting and chaos! In many other countries, this is not how things work!

We also dedicated Jkaile in church yesterday! We had been schedule to dedicate him in February, but had to cancel because we were all so sick that week. :( But it turned out very nice to be able to dedicate him on Mother's Day....we took a risk and let all the kids go up on stage with us for the dedication service and PTL everything went very well! It was some other little girl that began crying loudly and had to be taken away by her dad...I was afraid that ours would start fighting or something in front of 1200 people...yikes. Jkaile, of course, was his usual calm self and seemed to enjoy watching the pictures on the big screen!

So all in all, an interesting Mother's Day! Plenty of excitement, although we probably could have done without the tornadoes...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Words of Encouragement

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:1-7

I am on pilgrimage, Lord, and my heart is set on this spiritual journey-set on You! My strength comes only from my Sovereign God, and I go from strength to strength in my journey. Thank you, Lord, that just enough of Your strength will be there for me right when I need it. And it will be sufficient for me. Praise you, Lord!

Trouble for Miguel

Yesterday I was commenting to Miguel that I really need to add a few things to my wardrobe. It seems like I did pretty good at collecting winter clothes in the last few months and now I find myself with very few presentable things for summertime. So far I've been pretty lucky since the weather can't really decide what it's going to do! I've been able to get by with just a few short's crazy how all my shirts seem to get these horrible grease spots on them!!!! I am having to use an apron when I cook (something I swore I'd never do since it makes me look like a grandma) or just wear a really old and ratty t-shirt in the house (which makes me feel like a slob).

Anyway, so then Miguel says, "Well, there's a suitcase of clothes that we brought from Venezuela out in the garage...go check it out."

I got excited since I thought that maybe I'd overlooked some clothes I already had...I immediately went to the garage and looked.

And do you know what I found??!! Are you ready for this, ladies?

The suitcase was full of my maternity clothes from last year!!!!!!!!!

I thought we had gotten RID of those clothes!!! When Jkaile was born, I swore I NEVER wanted to see those clothes again as long as I lived!!!!

Boy, was Miguel in trouble!!!!!!! Does he think I still look like THIS?????