Saturday, October 24, 2009

True Beauty

The other day, we noticed this morning glory blooming in our rock/cactus garden...Miguel had forgotten that he had thrown some flower seeds in there earlier this year! We hadn't noticed the morning glory vine because it had become entwined in the black bean vines, so this was a nice surprise. And what a beautiful flower! Unfortunately, it's beauty is rather fleeting, this particular bloom lasted a mere 24 hours...there are more buds opening every day, however, and we look forward to enjoying them while they last!

Here are some more beauties from
our garden...

Yep, my Gracia-girl...isn't she beautiful, too?! :)

First Cooking Class

From time to time, I've taken baked goodies to the church small group that we lead. The goodies have been a huge hit every single time and some of the ladies have been after me to start teaching them how to bake some things. So this last Friday, I packed up a couple of recipes, all my baking stuff and headed over to my friend Luisa's house for the first class. What a fun way to do ministry!
Aida and I with the cake cookies.

I found the recipe for these soft, chewy cookies
on Cake Mix Cookie's
basically a box of yellow cake mix, 1/3 cup of oil, and 2 eggs.
We added chocolate chips and chopped almonds.
Truly an amazing cookie!
And a great recipe for beginners...

Jkaile went along for the ride...I think he was
expecting a few more cookies than he actually
got to eat, however! haha!

Luisa was interested in learning how to make chocolate
chip bars for her husband, Luis. Luis and Luisa have been
married only a few weeks, so it was fun to help her
make something for her groom! :)

I Won!!!!

If you read CoffeeGirl Confessions, you might already know that my pecan tree picture won the photo contest!!!! How fun is that?! :) I'm now waiting to receive my prize...$20 Itunes is what I chose...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vote for Me!

As you may know, I'm a regular over at CoffeeGirl Confessions, Women of the Harvest's blog for missionary women...we've got a contest going on over there where a 20$ gift card is at stake! Head on over there and vote for your favorite photo representing seasons around the's a great collection!

p.s. Mine is the pecan tree! I shamelessly plead for your vote! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jojo's Chin

Last November, Jojo fell on the concrete steps in front of our house and cut open his chin.

Last Saturday, he fell onto his bicycle and the end of one of the handlebars gouged him pretty good...

No stitches either time and this latest scrape seems to be healing pretty well...but now I'm wondering what else might be in store for Jojo's chin?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now Pictures from MY Birthday!

My birthday was on Tuesday, October 6th...turned 37 this year! We had a small, family party and then my friends Chris and Rachel came over for a few minutes, so that was fun! It was a great day, really, with lots of birthday greetings coming in all day long...Miguel still owes me a grilled steak, though, and I'm holding him to it! :D

My friend Carrie baked and decorated the cake and
also made me this really cute bag! I plan to
use it for my Bible studies...

Yes, very funny, Miguel!

The kids bought me some chocolate...yum!

My gifts from the choice of wrapping paper!

First book...House by Ted Dekker.
Love Micah's face!

Second book...Skin by Ted Dekker.
Great choices in books, Miguel!

Pictures from Jojo's Birthday!

I'm so excited! We finally got a USB cable for the camera with the pictures from Jojo's enjoy!

Jojo and his cake...
Kids and cake

Having fun taking a family picture
with the timer...JD wasn't letting anyone
take pictures of him that day, I guess! lol

Blowing out the candles...looks like Jkaile is
getting in on the action, too!

The pile of presents...

Spy-gear binoculars!!!!

Ninja sword!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Odds and Ends

1) Well, first up today is that I've been battling with a kidney infection for about what, a month now? Maybe not that long, just seems like it! The week after the Family Retreat, I noticed that I seemed to be extra tired and sure enough, that Wednesday I realized I had a kidney infection. It hit me pretty hard because most likely, I'd been dealing with it for a few days and didn't realize it (the usual m.o. is that I don't exhibit many symptoms of bladder infections, so don't catch them very quickly). I first tried to take care of it by drinking lots of water, cranberry juice and pills, etc. but by the weekend began a treatment of antibiotics.

I didn't get better very quickly, though, and a week later had to switch to a stronger antibiotic. I have had some good days in there, but mostly it's just taking a LONG time to get over this thing. It's been discouraging as I've been barely keeping up with the house and the kids, much less things like writing on my blog! I had a good day yesterday, but am not feeling so good today, so I guess I am just going to have to take it easy and keep on top of it to avoid a relapse...

2) As well as the kidney infection, I am also experiencing horrible, horrible allergies!!!! And I don't usually even have allergies here in this drier climate! But it's rainy season, the flora and fauna are thriving and something is driving me nuts...and I'm so glad you can't see me with toilet paper stuck up both nostrils in an attempt to stem the flow...Miguel did and he laughed. Hmph, wish HE would get allergies once in a while...

3) I am so excited to be doing two different Bible studies this fall...on Wednesday mornings I go to the ladies' Bible study at our church (Spanish). This last month, the group invited a special speaker to give a workshop on the inductive Bible study method. He works with Kay Arthur's Precept Ministries International, so he provided us with a couple of books that we will be using in the weeks to come...first we're planning to go through the six lessons in Living a Life of True Worship and then begin Lord, I Want to Know You, which is a study of the names of God. I am looking forward to it!

**Side-note: During the workshop, we studied the book of Philemon and at the end, he challenged us to take Psalm 119 and study it using the inductive method...answering questions such as "What synonyms does the author use for the Word of God?" and "How does the author feel about the Word of God?" I've been doing that here at home in the last few days and it's a thought-provoking way to study the Word. For more information about Precepts Ministries, go here.**

Second Bible study will be with fellow missionary ladies (English). We will be doing another Beth Moore study, Believing God. I have the book in hand and can't wait to start! God has challenged and encouraged me tremendously through each Beth Moore study that I have done and I know this one will be no different!

4) Miguel and I continue to talk and pray through various aspects of our ministry... and it continues to be hard to do that! It's been interesting to note that while I generally tend to view conflict as strictly a negative thing, I'm learning that conflict can also bring growth and unity...if that makes any seems a bit backwards, but as we have made the effort to work through some of our differences of opinions and stuff, we've seen some progress in various areas even though at times it seems like we haven't really gotten anywhere. For which I PRAISE my God!

Future ministry options are still high on our list of things to discuss and while there may be a few changes in what Miguel's ministry looks like here in Mexico, we still do not have much leading as to beyond the next year or so. One of my favorite verses continues to come to mind whenever this weighs heavy on my mind...

Trust in the LORD
with all your heart,
and lean not
on your own understanding;
In all your ways
acknowlege Him,
and He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
So while I wouldn't say that we're discouraged, per se, we continue to wonder where God is leading and when we'll know what our next step is. In the meantime, we keep plugging away, doing what we can to serve where we are...
5) Jkaile is resisting all efforts at potty-training! Funny (well, not so funny, maybe) how one little kid's refusal to 'go' in the potty can cause so much tension! Definitely a power struggle there! Sigh...we'll just keep working on it! Potty-training is my least favorite stage of babyhood, I does help to know that he will most likely be potty-trained by the time he goes to college...

My Jojo Turns Five!

Yep, hard to believe my baby is FIVE years old! (Even though he's not my youngest, I think I still consider him my baby...) We celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, September 29th with a small, family celebration (although I did send doughnuts to school to share with his class)...of which I (annoyingly) can't show you any pictures because: 1) we can't find our regular camera and had to take pictures with our backup camera and 2) we don't have a USB cord yet for said backup camera (we're trying to get one from the guy we bought it from, but it's going slowly). So, instead, I dug through my files and you are getting treated to some other really cute pictures of Jojo...there were SO many, it was hard to choose!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Jojo! Love you!

John Michael the day he was born.

With his daddy. What handsome guys!

Doesn't he resemble the Michelin man
with those rolls on his arms?!
Such a cutie!

With Abuelita Delia in Venezuela.

Finger-sucking partners...Gracia was the one
who first started calling John Michael 'Jojo' and
it stuck!

With JD, Micah, and cousins Daniel and Luis in Venezuela.

Getting to be a big boy...

Still has his chubby cheeks, though...

Always on the move...

Conquering the world (and his brother)...

Hard to believe he's in Kindergarten already!
Taken a few weeks ago at the Rancho...not
afraid of snakes!