Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A definite "perk" to having mission teams come down from the States: PEANUT BUTTER!!! Jessee has the creamy and Seth is lovin' the crunchy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Six-Word Tag

My Walk Monday

Marina from "Daughter of the King" just tagged me with 6 words or phrases about myself. AND since I do love to multi-task, I'm doubling it up with My Walk Monday (finally!).

Well, I tend to talk more about stuff going on around me than I do about things going on in my head or heart. I thought maybe I should use this tag to share a few things that God is working on in my life right now.

So here are 6 things that either God is planting, growing or pruning in my life...

Hospitality -- I have always loved to invite people into my home. I've found it easier to do that here in a place where it's not so important that the house be decorated correctly and the food "fashionable and expensive". Hospitality is about the home, not the house.

Teacher -- I've been a teacher forever (feels like!) and probably always will be. But God is showing me that #1 I'm teaching every moment -- even when I don't realize it and #2 Teaching is more than preparing my kids to enter college. Sarah just informed me a couple of weeks ago that she's not sure that she even cares to go to college. Gulp. Well...what was my point in teaching her all these years? Was it so she could go to a great university, graduate with honors and go get a high-paying job? No. Definitely not. [although, face it, isn't that in the back of every moms' mind at some point?] Our purpose in educating our kids is that they would learn discernment and have wisdom to know the plans God has for their lives -- and the faith to pursue those plans! As a teacher, I need to remember that purpose.

Learner -- Lest I ever become proud and begin to think that I've learned all there is to learn about anything!!! Last week I was humbled by a little girl who stated bluntly, "You don't speak Spanish really well." Like I needed to be told that! Well, bless her heart, I don't. I try, and I can make myself understood, but if you're comparing me to any native Spanish speaker that you know, I don't speak Spanish very well. Out of the mouths of babes...

Faithfulness -- God teaches us His faithfulness by allowing us to go through deserts and remaining faithful. By that I mean both that throughout our time in the desert we learn to remain faithful to Him, and also that while we languish in the wilderness, He remains faithful to not abandon us.

Quiet -- Now, this is not to say that I am quiet. Anyone who knows me, would not put "quiet" as a description of me!!! This would be one of those areas in which God is doing some pruning! The verse that is popping into my head is the Psalm which says, "Be still and know that I am God." Normally we see that verse printed as a caption for a photo of some guy in a fishing boat on a placid lake. Well, that's not the context of the verse (and it's not the whole verse, either!). In reality the context should read more like this: "Shut your mouth and listen up! Know this: I am God. I will be exalted among the nations." This is the way in which God is using the word "quiet" in my life today.

Joy -- I am learning to find the joy in every day -- just the way God made it! There is definitely joy in the journey! Some days, I have to scrape the junk off the top to find it, but I know that the joy is there if I dig deep enough. "This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!!!" That's not a suggestion! That's a commandment!!!

OK. There are my 6 words. Yeah!

Hmmm....who will I tag? I think I'll tag a couple of Mexican missionaries I know: Michelle from Ensenada and Sarah from Las Glorias (that would be my daughter!).

Have a blest day everyone!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday -- Tuh-maters

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This tackle was actually a couple of weeks ago, but I actually have time to post today, so...here ya go!

I've found yet another reason to love living in Mexico: canning tomatoes in April. I've been a "canner" for ages. Growing up in the midwest, I used to watch my mom preserving jams and jellies and tomatoes and pickles. I just naturally inherited the desire to preserve foods for my family. Honestly, I love to process fruits, veggies and even fish, because at the end of the day, I can look at what I've done and see PROGRESS! So much of a mom's life is dishes and laundry and other jobs which have no end. Canning, on the other hand, has a beginning and an end and best of all -- a reward!

So, we come back to why I enjoy canning tomatoes in April. Well, tomatoes are a hot weather crop. In Oregon, they really start to ripen in the warm summer months of July and August. Tomatoes are at their best and cheapest for the hottest weeks of the year. Water-bath canning requires holding gallons and gallons of water at boiling for hours (since I usually put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes) plus the tomato sauce has to boil for hours before it's ready to process. I've done it for years, but MAN is it hot in the house during canning season! In Oregon, I actually had an old, ugly stove on the front porch specifically for canning. It helped, but it was still hot.

Now we're in Sinaloa, Mexico. Tomatoes are in season all year long! In the morning, it's still cool enough to want a sweatshirt and long pants. Running the stove and boiling water for hours actually felt good! Ah, no more processing gallon after gallon of sauce in 100 degree heat! I can stock up in the spring and beat the heat!

Just one more benefit of missionary life! Thanks, God!

At my feet you can see two of the wooden crates of 'maters I was processing. Each crate is about 50 pounds.

I really love my stove. I've never had one large enough to have a canner, stew pot AND small saucepan boiling all at the same time.

Can we say "oxidation"? Love that humidity!

NOT an extremely flattering photo. Anyway, we ended up with about 50 quarts of sauce. It was great to be able to share with our pastor and the school of ministry, too...and we had to have a pizza party since we had all that pizza sauce ready!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Motoring Missionary Chicks

I was digging through and organizing photos on my computer the other evening and I ran across this picture of a couple of missionary sisters. I just had to share!

The two girls are Mavil and Melissa. Mavil is driving the motorbike and she's one of the two young ladies living with us and preparing to serve in Africa. Melissa is on the back of the bike. She pops in and leaves comments here and at our ministry blog from time to time. Right now, she's in Japan working with believers there. You can see what she's up to by checking out her blog at United in Christ.
Sorry, Melissa! Beg all you want, but I'm not taking this photo off! It brings back too many good memories! Miss you, Sister!

Private Tutors

Jessee and Karen
Two girls from the school of ministry moved into our house a couple of weeks ago. It's been a real treat having these young ladies living with us! In addition to evening the "score" (it's now 5 girls and 5 boys in the house), we've been blessed with "authentic" Mexican food and an added bonus: private tutors for the twins!!! Seth and Jessee have really struggled with those pesky Spanish verbs. Over the past three weeks, though, I've watch their confidence build with every lesson and now they are reading the Bible in Spanish!!! Wa HOO!
Jessee and Karen again
For quite some time, they've been able to understand what is said around them, but I know from experience that it's harder to turn it around and express yourself. It's so wonderful seeing them make real progress. They see it, too, and are excited that they are finally getting somewhere in their Spanish lessons. Seth and Mavil
Sometimes, I guess it's just nice to have a teacher besides mom! Sniff. I won't take it personally, though!!!

So, why did Karen and Mavil join our family? Well, these young ladies have missionary hearts. They graduated from Calvary Chapel's School of Ministry in March and are planning to go to Africa within the year to serve at an orphanage in Uganda. One requirement, though, is a basic understanding of English, since there are translators available for English to the national language, but not for Spanish.

English is a troublesome language to learn. Even with a good ear and good teachers and good materials, American vowels are a pain! Who ever heard of one vowel that has 4 different sounds when it's by itself and another 7 different sounds depending on which other vowels or consonants accompany it? And that's just the letter "u". The "e" is worse, because it also has the honor of being silent for 5 different reasons, and one of those reasons is "Just because". Ugh. Add to that the fact that most Americans talk really fast! Wow. I have great respect for folks who have learned English as a second language. Hats off to them!!!
So, next time you're in a grocery store and you hear someone speaking English -- and it's obvious that they're still learning it -- encourage them!!! I gripe about Spanish verb conjugations...a lot...but I still think I would prefer to know English and be learning Spanish than vice versa. I think I'd be throwing up my hands in frustration by now!!!
Also, whenever you think of it, pray for Mavil and Karen. Living with us is challenging for me sometimes! ;^) We've got a lot of bodies in our little house! Pray that these girls would be able to conquer English soon! Their hearts are ready to be in Africa!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

(practically) Wordless Wednesday

Ya think it's time to clean out my closet?

Seriously, this guy was NOT there this morning, and when I went to hang up my shirt, there he was...but he is no longer.

Tackle it Tuesday -- Summer's Starting

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This weeks tackle was a pretty hefty one -- which I had VERY little to do with, but I did take the time to capture it on film, so that counts, right???

It's beginning to warm up...time to take the cover off the pool!


There was plenty of work for everyone and everybody pitched in to make the pool...

beautiful again!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Today's "English from the Roots Up" root word is bracchium, meaning "arm". Sarah assigned the kids to find 10 words with that root word. Seth is now busily scouring the dictionary to find his 6th word.

With sarcasm dripping, Seth says, "Wow. Mom -- brassier: an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts. I SO didn't need to know that."

Keep that thought, son! :^)