Thursday, October 30, 2008

My First Blog Anniversary

I can't believe I've been blogging a year already!!! The past year has simply flown by! Funny how they do that as we get older. I can remember when summer vacation seemed to last 6 months. Now it seems I barely have time to pack away one year's old textbooks before the new year is upon me!!!

In honor of my one year blog-i-versary, I'm throwing a big ol' party. Coffee and cheesecake for everyone -- and I'll have a pot of water boiling if anyone would prefer tea. Come on in! There's room enough for everyone!!!Thanks to Wilton, for supplying the gorgeous cake! Looks good enough to eat!

Coffee anyone? I found these great steel coffee cups over at The Green Head. I know nothing about the site, other than they have some interesting "novelty" items -- like coffee mugs that don't shatter when you drop them on concrete floors. Gotta love that!

Tea's hot, too! I have a delicious Apricot tea, Licorice Spice, raspberry leaf and of course Earl Grey from San Francisco Herb Company. I have yet to try one of their teas I don't like.

I hope you'll take a moment to try a slice of cake or at least pour a cup of your favorite beverage and sit a spell!

I'd love to hear what's been going on in your life this year! Perhaps you've been experiencing an overflow of God's grace in your life, your schooling, your marriage or your parenting. Has God been teaching you new insights you'd like to share? Maybe this year has been a challenge and you feel like you're about "done" for the year. Whatever the case, leave a short comment (or a long comment! I don't think the comment box has a character limit!) I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Round TUIT Round-Up Button Codes

Welcome to the Round TUIT Round-Up blog carnival! Read all about it here and then come back and get your button codes.

I've made 3 buttons for this carnival. Feel free to use any or all of them on your blog! Simply copy and paste the text in the scroll box to your sidebar or in your Round-Up post. Enjoy!

***Even though the Round TUIT Round-Up is over, I still like the button, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Who doesn't need another cool button with motivational properties on their blog? So, feel free to copy the button code below and get a Round TUIT of your very own!

One request: if you put a TUIT on your blog, leave a comment here with a link to your blog so I can come visit! We don't want any homesick TUITs out there!!! ***

Wordless Wednesday -- Cheesecake

I wanted to share a photo of my real-life birthday cake. Sarah is our official "cheese cake chef" and this year's peach-topped cheesecake was sooooo good. Yes. It tasted as good as it looked!

What's a Round TUIT? Click here to find out!!!

Click here to get around to it!

Happy Birthday to Mom!

Since I am miles and miles away, I wanted to do something extra special for my mom, who is one of my most faithful readers (because if she wasn't, she'd never get to see her grandkids, because I'm so terrible about sending pictures!).

Mom's birthday is Friday, and for her birthday every year when we were growing up she got to take my sisters and I trick-or-treating. I know now that that was, um, anti-climactic shall we say? But she never complained. She just took all the little Hershey's Special Dark miniatures that we got for Halloween! ;^)

ANYWAY -- here's a special virtual birthday present for the most wonderful Mom in the entire world.

Mom, thanks again for letting me live to adulthood!
I love you!!!

Blog Anniversary Carnival

When will I get around to it?
I started blogging a year ago. I am still such a novice! So many things I've learned, but so many more I still just don't "get". That's OK. I should be used to that by now -- it's kind of the story of my life!

At any rate, in honor of my 1 year Blog-i-versary, I'm hosting my first "thingy". Y'see? I'm so new at this I don't even know what to call it. Let's call it a carnival. That sounds like fun! ;^)

First of all I need to tell you a bit about myself. Really, it's more like a confession. I have two major faults which are very detrimental to my housekeeping, child-rearing, homeschooling and marital harmony: I procrastinate and I'm flat-surface-challenged. I think the latter problem is hereditary. My mom, my aunt and I used to joke that if we were to design a house, every flat surface would be set at a 45 degree angle so that we couldn't stack stuff.

The former problem is just me. It's something I'm working on, and I know I'm not alone in the battle and THAT, my friends, is what this really fun carnival is all about! Throughout the month of November, I'm giving out free Round TUITs. There's one at the top of this post and the code to insert one on your site is right here!

The Round TUIT Round-up is all about finishing up those little, niggling projects that are cluttering our corners (in our rooms or in our minds) and stealing our peace. Do you have a pile of mending overshadowing your sewing corner? Maybe a school project isn't due till spring, but you really need to get started on it. Have you been meaning to detail the car or write Christmas cards or write a letter or send flowers to your mom? It's time to get around to it!!!

Once you have your Round TUIT at your blog, you have no more excuses! Do something you've been putting off "until I get around to it", post about it at your blog and link back here using Mr. Linky. Feel free to post once during the month, or once a week, or every other day! The more times you sign in to Mr. Linky, the more projects you're finishing and the more you're breaking the procrastination habit!!!

[BTW -- If I don't make any mistakes setting this whole carnival thing up, I'll be so shocked!!! Please send me an email or post a comment if you find a broken link or any other silly mistakes! Thanks for your patience -- ahead of time!!!]

P.S. When you sign your URL in the Mr. Linky box, be sure you insert the url of your Round-Up post, not your blog url.

Like this:
Not like this:
That way we'll be able to find your post easily! Thanks!!!

When There Is No Tomorrow

Memory Verse: Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under
heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that
are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Please try to learn our memory verse this week. We will be sharing a new verse every week and hope that you will store them in your hearts and find a special joy in His words.

Intro: When There’s No Tomorrow. (Marketing credit: Mercury)

Please listen to the song [I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me]. Imagine you’re standing before God. There’s no Tomorrow, you can’t go back and finish up what you had planned on getting to sometime in the future. What was that thing that you planned on getting to, that thing that now, you’re standing before God and thinking “I wish I had gotten to that…”?

Assignment: We only have today. Should God take you today, have you accomplished everything that you wanted to, needed to. Have you said all the things that needed to be said? Let’s have no regrets, let’s make sure we get to those things, so that when we’re standing before the Lord, the only thing we need to do is to worship him.. and not regret not getting to that thing on our to do list. Stop - go take care of that thing…. then, come tell us what you choose to share. Don’t embarrass yourself or any of your loved ones

Picture ideas: Be creative, go photograph something that “REPRESENTS” tomorrow. We can’t photograph time.. but we have ways of “showing” time in images.. how do you see “tomorrow”. This might be the only thing you choose to share about if you can’t publicly share what you needed to get done, and that’s alright too. Some things are just too personal.

I've tried to live my life so as to not have any regrets. Quite honestly, I think I'll be so awestruck to be standing before my Lord and King that I won't think of regrets immediately. I know that I do and will continue to mourn for those in my life who do not understand my faith in Jesus. Unless they have had a similar change of heart, they really can't understand mine. There have been times that I've felt led to speak out and haven't been as bold as I should. But God is forgiving, and I know that He has accepted my repentant heart.

There are some things I've thought of that I hope I get to do or see before I die or before Christ returns, but in comparison with eternity, they are insignificant.

  • I would like to see my children grow to adulthood.
  • I would like to have grandchildren.
  • I would like to visit the east coast of the United States.
  • I would like to visit Australia.

Like I said, the things I'd really like to do pale when comared to eternal life with Christ.

"Pues, para mí, el vivir es Cristo y el morir es ganancia."

Filipenses 1:21

Philippians 1:21

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!"

Would I really regret anything? I certainly hope not! I do tend to procrastinate, so there are a couple of things I should "take care of", but only one of those things really has any lasting of the men of the village, Luis, asked me about a week ago to bring him a Bible. He said that he likes to read and has free time to sit and read during the day, but all he has to read are (icky) magazines. (I can't help but think he could probably find something else to read if he really wanted to.) BUT that's beside the point. He has asked for a Bible, so I really need to get one to him. I put it in my van this morning so that the next time I drive past the Super, I can drop it off. After I've done that, I can't think of anything else I would regret!

**Missionary note: One of our desires as missionaries is to be able to give Bibles to anyone who asks for one. We were blessed this past summer with a case of Bibles to share. Praise God! Continue to pray that God would provide Spanish Bibles and also that He would lead us to those who truly hunger for His word.**

I can't put photos on today (just one of those technical difficulties), but if I could, I would put a picture of me snuggling one of my friends' new babies. Until I have grandbabies of my own, I'll love on the babies around me!!! A baby is just such a bundle of potential -- so many tomorrows packed in such a tiny package!!!

Click here to get around to it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Que le vaya bien!!! (Have a Good Trip!)

Well, we dropped Doug off at the bus station last night at 8:30pm. He's headed to Washington for a memorial service for Great Grandma McDonald (Coult). It's only a quick trip, but 2 weeks is 2 weeks. I still don't like it much -- I don't single-parent well -- but the kids are older and so aren't as needy as the last time Doug went on a long trip.


He just called me on the cell phone, since I was online ;^). He's now been up for about 40 hours and he's ready to sleeeeep. Pray that he gets caught up on his rest quickly. We noticed a few years ago that we don't bounce back from those really long sleepless stretches like we used to.

Ten years ago, we would pack for an 8 hour road trip and then leave about an hour after the kids went to bed -- so they were good and asleep. We'd just transfer them from bed to car and then we'd drive all night. No potty breaks, no McDonald's breaks, no "Whenarewegonnagetthere" -- the road and our travel mugs. When the sun came up, we were pulling into Grandma's driveway. Those were the days!!!

Seven years ago, we drove from Southeast Kansas to Salt Lake City, Utah...straight through. We got a motel, slept 8 hours, went to church for Mother's Day, and then drove the rest of the way to Oregon. No problem.

Three years ago, we drove from here to Chico, California -- 36 hours straight. I then slept for 4 days. That was when I first thought I might be, ahem, aging. Our last trip to the States was only a 14 hour drive. We were both SO finished when we got home. Maybe we used up all our highway miles when we were young. I dunno. I just know that Doug and I both need more recuperation time now than we used to. Is it just me, or did anyone else experience that as they neared the big 4-0?

So, I'll say again -- pray that Doug rests well tonight! He'll be meeting up with all the family tomorrow and then will be running all over Oregon and California for the next two weeks. Pray that God grants him sound sleep every night!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lying Turtle!!!

See that little Turtle Ticker on the left side of the screen? The one who can't conjugate the verb "leave"? Well, don't listen to him. He's lying! The humidity has not left and it's still HOT!

It is a tad bit better than it was a month ago -- and it's cooling off at night (down to a balmy 70 degrees), so we have a little more workable time in the morning before the sun gets too strong.

We did have a bit of a reprieve just after Norbert blew through last week. We literally watched the humidity meter fall during the day -- from 70% in the morning to just under 50% the same evening. We all cheered!!! The humidity had blown away a couple of days earlier than usual!!! Wa-HOO!!!

It was all a trick. By the end of the week, the guage was back to 70% and the temp was back above 90. Sigh. Today in the house it's 90 degrees and 68% humidity. Still sticky. BUT there is a breeze, so there is some respite.

One definite praise: there are about 60% fewer mosquitos now. YEAH!!! We thank God for even these small favors!!!

Cooler weather will come...eventually. I just need to put my faith in God and not in Turtle Tickers!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blogger Friend School #106 -- Have it Your Way!

Memory Verse: Isaiah 40: 1- Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Intro: “Have It Your Way” (Burger King) - As cooler weather approaches and the winter eases into our doors I like to lounge by the fire after a hot shower. I love to make soups that are brimming with a rich and full flavor. In our home there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup or and a hot cup of coffee or cocoa on a cold winter night.

Assignment: Tell us all about how your have “your” relaxing time, more especially how during the cooler months you take time to curl up with your favorite movie, book, Bible study, and what your favorite warm drink would be.

Share a picture of your favorite spot in the house or your favorite warm beverage, your favorite movie or book; possibly even your favorite Bible Study or maybe your women’s Bible group.

Share your favorite scripture and don’t forget the Memory Verse above.

How does a mom of six find a little quiet time? She gets up really early!!!

"Tambien se levanta cuando aún es de noche,

y da alimento a los de su casa y tarea a sus doncellas"

Proverbios 31:15

"She rises also while it is yet night,

and gives food to her household and work to her maidens."

While I do believe (and remind myself often) that the "Proverbs 31 Woman" is not an actual snapshot of one Godly woman in particular, but rather a collage of various characteristics which suit a Godly woman, I've found that getting up early is a good way to ensure my sanity. I still don't really like it -- I'm much more a night owl than a morning dove -- but it does help be a nicer person! ;^)

When the kids were little, Caleb used to be up before the chickens. He would toodle into the kitchen where I was sitting sipping my morning coffee. I was still bleary-eyed, gazing into the fire of the woodstove. "Hi, Mommy!" he would bubble and then he would begin to chatter. Left unchecked, he would chatter until sometime mid-afternoon when he would collapse for a nap.

So, I made a rule: You kids can get up anytime you want, but you can't talk to me before 7 a.m. Of course, I allowed a "Good morning, Mommy!" (I'm a grouch, not an ogre.) But sustained conversation was forbidden.

Now the kids are older and they've been trained to be very quiet around Mom in the morning. It's ok to rise up and call me "Blessed", just do it quietly and wait till the sun comes up, please!!!

So, I get up early to go exercise at my neighbor's house 3 mornings a week. During the winter -- when the mosquitos aren't so loco -- I get up early to attend the women's prayer and Bible study(we don't even do it during the summer because it's too hot and buggy). And I make myself a pot of coffee, curl up on the couch with my Bible and read...early in the morning. Sometimes it's actually cool, too! ;^)

Here's a photo of my ladies' Bible study group (I never take the camera to the early morning prayer. Who wants their picture taken at 6am? Not me!!!).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Not All Bookworms

Because of how much the older 4 kids read, one might get the impression that we all spend most of our days absorbed in our respective novels. Not so! We've actually put a limit on the number of hours the kids can spend reading for pleasure -- actually limited it to only after supper/before bed and on weekends. [We did lift that moratorium over the weekend when the power was off, so everyone went book crazy.]

The only person the book ration really didn't affect too much was Andrew. Reading and pleasure shouldn't be used in the same sentence, in his opinion! Because of his dyslexia, he has always struggled with reading. His comprehension is well above grade level, but reading...well, it's coming along!!! He has made tremendous progress over the past year. Very encouraging!!!

Of course, Andrew has in the past seen his challenge with reading as a real handicap -- everyone else in the family loves to read and reads well. This was especially hard when his little sister passed him up in reading. We were constantly reminding him of his strengths and giftings.

I especially remember one instance almost 2 years ago when Andrew was helping me fix the shower head. The little holes were clogged with sediment and I needed to drill them out, but I couldn't get the drill to work. Andrew, then only 8 years old, said, "Give me that, Mom. I'll see if I can fix it." I handed him the drill and then went back to poking the drill bit in the hole and wiggling it around (not very effective). Half an hour later, Andrew brings back the drill and says, "Here ya go, Mom. I took it apart and the wire was busted inside, so I rewired it. Works fine now." At that moment, I knew he had found his vocation.

Doug's friend, Esteban, one time asked me if I understood the English word, "nerth". No, I said I had no idea what "nerth" meant. Then he explained that he got on well with Andrew and Doug because they liked to work with tools and make things. The rest of the kids liked books. "Nerths". Oh. I get it. Nerds. Thanks, Esteban!!! ;^)

Anyway, Esteban has an old moped that he hasn't been using. He gave it to the boys to work on and ride around and Andrew has made it his project. Like he needed another reason to be covered in dirt and grease and sand! Anyway, he's had the thing in various states of disassemblage for the past couple of weeks -- seems like just when he fixes one thing, something else quits. (Welcome to the real world, eh?)

Today Andrew came in and said, "Hey Mom! Check it out! I took apart the engine and figured out what the problem was."

Long story short, he had disassembled the crank case and found a sheared bolt had fallen in -- destroying the shifter, scarring the gears and breaking a couple of seals. He remade the seals (out of odds and ends, since we didn't have the right size o ring), cleaned out the crank case, replaced the missing bolts, repaired the sheared post and reassembled the whole thing...all by himself. I took this picture just in case he asked me to help him put the crazy thing back together.

Doug came home and looked at the bike and said, "Wow, Andrew. You are amazing." Andrew just smiled!!!

Pharoah, Pharoah, Oh Baby, Let My People Go!

Evie is really getting into our study of Ancient Egypt! Over the weekend, when the power was out, she took it upon herself to create this cool Anubis Mask. OK, I'm not sure how I feel about my daughter making a mask of a god of the dead, but you've gotta admit that she did a good job! All by herself -- no help and no electricity...and lots of tape (since the hot glue gun was out of commission!).

This evening, she drew a fantastic picture of King Tut -- shading and everything.
Yep, I'm a proud mom!

What Do Homeschoolers Do When the Lights Go Out?

We lost power for a couple of days when Hurricane Norbert blew through. Obviously the kids are very concerned! I managed to finish a couple of books, too. Amazing what I accomplish when I'm not sitting in front of the 'puter all day!!! ;^)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogger Friend School #105 -- M'mm M'mm Good!!!

Memory Verse: Psalms 13:6 NIV
I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.

Please try to learn our memory verse this week. We will be sharing a new verse every week and hope that you will store them in your hearts and find a special joy in His words.

Intro: M’m M’m Good (Campbell’s Soup)
The fall is such a wonderful time of year. The beautiful foliage and cool, crisp morning air is such a wonderful change from the hot summer. I also love the M’m M’m good smell of fall cooking and baking. The wonderful fall veggies, fruits and Thanksgiving foods.

Assignment: Post your favorite fall recipe/recipes to share. I love trying new recipes, do you? It can be baking, main dishes, veggies, dessert or anything else you can think of. There are no limits. Mmmmmm..I can’t wait to take a look at some of those recipes.

Picture ideas: Post a picture of your finished product, or you could just post a picture of the recipe. How about a picture of you cooking? The sky is the limit.

Den gracias al Señor porque El es bueno. Para siempre es Su misericordia!!! Salmo 136:1

A lot of things we normally associated with autumn in Oregon just don't exist in our part of Mexico. Things I miss: pumpkins, frost, our woodstove, the smell of spiced apple cider, harvest parties, fall leaves, white lights. I miss the fall leaves most of all. Autumn is my season. I love this time of year -- I love the smell of burning leaves and the special "fallness" that just permeates the air in late October.

I love Thanksgiving, too. The last big get-together we had in our home in Oregon was a Thanksgiving party with all the local family. I cooked up a storm! Peanut butter cheesecake, pumpkin pie, steamed brussel sprouts, wild rice, garlic mashed potatoes and a huge turkey with a fantastic whole-cranberry jell-o dessert/sauce thingy (I'm not a big cranberry sauce fan, but this stuff was GOOD!!!). It makes me hungry just to write about it!!!

Many of the foods I consider traditional Thanksgiving foods either aren't available here in Mexico or are ridiculously expensive, so we've tweaked our "Traditional Thanksgiving Menu" a bit over the past couple of years. A Turkey, for example, costs well over $20 for a skinny, 12 pound bird. Like I said, ridiculously expensive. The traditional Thanksgiving menu contains foods that are economical, plentious and much-loved by the people enjoying the meal. Since turkey here is neither plentiful nor economical, we generally roast chickens. Y'know what? No one really minds, except we don't get the leftovers for the much-loved Thanksgiving-night-turkey-sandwich or the Sunday night turkey-noodle soup. One thing which is plentiful and economical here is shrimp. Therefore, we've added shrimp scampi to our Day of Thanks menu. Full of garlic and butter, this dish is one of my personal favorites. Sorry! No photo!

Other things I had a hard time finding were fresh cranberries, brussel sprouts, canned pumpkin, applesauce, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, coolwhip and whipping cream. Much of the problem our first year here was simply not knowing the correct names for the foods. For instance "crema" is very popular here. So popular, in fact, that at the store you'll find media crema, crema agria, crema de mesa and crema pura de vaca. I tried to explain it as "cream like you'd put on a cake" and I got "betún" which is frosting. That's what we used the first year, but it was a little too sweet and actually a little greasy. Now I know that what I was looking for was crema para batir. It helps when you know which verb to use!

Both cranberries and brussel sprouts are cold-weather produce, so basically no lo hay (I love that phrase -- sort of -- pronounced "no lo eye" it means simply "there ain't none".). We substituted cherry or strawberry jell-0 for the cranberry sauce and steamed cabbage for the brussels. Not the same, but it worked.

Last year, a friend brought down a few cans of pumpkin. [Thanks Annette!!! ;^) ] With them we were able to create Sarah's internationally-acclaimed Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake. Here's a photo, and you can read the recipe and instructions here.
Tastes as scrumptious as it looks!!!
In the States I always bought those "el cheap-o dinner rolls" at Sherm's, but they don't have those here, so I now make cornbread. Cornbread here is nothing like cornbread in the States!!! The difference is the cornmeal. The cornmeal I always used in Oregon was a much coarser grind than what they use here. The cornmeal here, called masa, is as finely ground as white flour and makes cornbread so tasty! It's a completely different food! If you have an ethnic food store near you, look for "Maseca" -- harina de maiz.

And then try a batch of cornbread muffins using these proportions: [Reduce/increase the amounts as needed -- I bake for a small army!]

  • 3 cups white flour
  • 3 T baking powder
  • 1 T salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups cornmeal

  • Mix together above dry ingredients. Combine below ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T maple flavoring (I used to use maple syrup instead of sugar, lo hay!)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups liquid (I generally use water now, but I used to use milk or a combination of the two)

  • Mix wet ingredients well and then add to dry ingredients stirring as little as possible. Stir enough to totally moisten dry ingredients, but don't over-mix! Put in well-greased muffin tins. (or 2 9x13 pans, if you'd rather)Bake in a hot oven about 15 minutes or till the tops begin to turn tan-colored and bounce back when gently poked.
    This will yield about 3 dozen good-sized muffins.

Then you can taste these -- pictured here with fresh, home-made mango preserves! Yum!

Well, all this talk about food has made me hungry, and I know that soon the troops will be marching in clamoring for vittles.

Gotta get cookin'!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's My Party!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Another year, another birthday! I've decided that I really like having my birthday in Mexico. In the States, I often let my birthday pass without much notice. Here, the ladies of the church won't let me do that! The day after my actual birthday, all the ladies came over to "swim". We'd been trying to get everyone over for a swim party all summer, but couldn't seem to get everyone at once. Finally, we had a day when most of the group could swim. I didn't even consider the fact that it was the day after my birthday. Well, Cristina and Sarah were apparently in cahoots and when the gang showed up they came armed with "party-fixins"!


posole -- the official birthday meal of Boca del Rio

(and a personal favorite!!!)

We had such a great time! I'm just going to post a bunch of photos, since photos are the best part anyway!

I promised to not post most of the pictures we took in the pool. ;^) What woman actually likes pictures of her soaking wet with no make-up and her hair stringing down in her face???

Gotta share one funny thing...
since I knew that a bunch of ladies were coming over, I wanted to bake a couple of cakes to share (everyone loves cake here and only about 5 ladies in the village have ovens, so it's pretty special to have cake or bread at get-togethers.). I made 3, actually. The first one got left in the oven too long (I forgot about it -- bad mommy!) and it turned into a charred black mound. The inside was delicious, but it was too ugly to serve. So I made 2 more -- since my bundt pan was now unusable until scoured, I had to use two smaller pans. This time I watched them closely, and I was puzzled when the batter began to fall in the center. When they were done, they were pretty, but very sunken in the middle. Strange.

As I was puzzling this over in my head, I opened the micro to re-heat my coffee and what should I find there? The glass measure with the juice and oil for the 2nd batch of cake. Good grief.

Thursday just wasn't meant to be cake-baking day! Y'know what, though? We ended up eating every crumb of all three cakes! Waste not, want not!!! It was still a great day -- and it added an element of comedy as I explained why all the cakes were so weird! In case some of the ladies thought I "had it all together", now they knew the truth!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Norbert continues to move our direction

Updated Friday Afternoon...

Thursday morning, Norbert was a category 4 hurricane (5 being the strongest). As of last night, he had diminished to a category 1 and today is back to category 2. It looks like we'll be getting some weather, but not nearly as bad as we originally thought. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us over the past 24 hours!!! We have friends in Cabo who are pretty concerned, but again we know that we serve a BIG God!!!

We'll keep you posted. Looks like Norbert will get here tomorrow morning at high tide. If we're out of power for a few days, well, that's life on the beach!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hurricane Norbert Heads for Cabo san Lucas

...and look who is just the other side of Cabo!Click here to see the most recent location of Norbert

If you think about us in the next 48-72 hours, pray that God would:

  • diminish the storm so that it doesn't totally annihilate us

  • turn the storm so that it misses us completely

  • protect us as we batten down the hatches and prepare to get wet

We know that we serve an all-powerful God! Two years ago, we watched (via internet) a hurricane turn away from us -- we believe that it was because of the prayers of the Saints! Because of how close we are to the beach and how high the tides have been lately, Norbert has the potential to do a lot of damage to a lot of homes. Most homes are made of concrete, but many also are partially constructed of wood, wooden poles and tar-paper. As you can imagine, tar-paper shacks won't stand up to 135 mile-per-hour winds!

Thanks ahead of time for your prayers!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Haircut...'nuff said

Updated Wednesday afternoon: Just so everyone knows -- Jessee wasn't overly excited about the haircut, but he was even less excited about the photo being taken during the haircut. When he saw it here online...well, his words were, "Just you wait, Mom." I should probably worry. My kids are all old enough now to be dangerous! ;^)

Monday, October 06, 2008

BFS#104 -- Don't Leave Home without It!!!

Don’t Leave Home Without It! (Marketing Credit: American Express)

Memory Verse: Matthew 28: 20 - Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. Amen.

Intro: Never Leave Home Without It (Marketing Credit: American Express) Diapers, bottles, wipes, bibs, pacifiers, extra clothing, cell phone, PDA, ipod, iphone, credit or debit cards … what would you never leave home without?

Assignment: In the memory verse Jesus tells us that He will never leave us, not even at the end of the world. He assures us in this verse that He will be with us and that means through everything we go through in life. I thought it would be interesting to write about the things we would never leave home without. For some it might be baby needs, others it might be a gym bag and bottle of water, and for some it might be your Bible and a notepad or small journal, maybe even your son or daughters favorite blankie! I’d like for you to write about something that you would never leave home without.

I'm a pack-rat. My mom is a pack-rat, her mom was a pack-rat. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that Great-Grandma Ehlert was a pack-rat; that would fit the family pattern.

When I think of things I wouldn't "leave home without", I think of evacuation situations...maybe because this is hurricane season and that's at the front of my mind. We've talked about evacuating, and we decided we would probably not leave unless we heard there was a tsunami coming...but we probably wouldn't get a whole lot of advance warning in that situation! I'd want to rescue my keyboard (piano, not computer) and the other musical instruments we have. I'd grab my laptop and my Bible bag and I'd be set. The other electrical equipment (computer and etc.) we would just cart upstairs and pray the waves didn't come this far inland (We're only a couple hundred yards from the shore, so the chances of having the ocean in our house is pretty good if a storm hit at high tide.) .

I just re-read that last paragraph and found myself surprised that such a self-proclaimed pack-rat could be so blasé about leaving everything she owned to the mercies of the elements. God's been doing quite a work in my heart over the past years!

When I married Doug, I still had boxes of mementos and memorabilia (sp?) from junior high. Not just photos and scrapbooks, but movie ticket stubs and empty popcorn bags. I don't know about you, but I do not see a real pressing need for me to keep ticket stubs from "Romancing the Stone". It really wasn't that good a movie!!!

Over the years I've pared down. A lot. Most of our married life, we lived in homes of 1000 sq. feet or less. That's not bad for one or two people, but when you find yourself with 6, 7 or 8 people...there's really not room for 32 gallon tubs full of keepsakes and shelves full of knick-knacks.

Three years ago, God asked us to make the "big break". Were we willing to leave it "all" to follow Him to the mission field? Yes, we were willing. We sold everything -- home, truck, and 14 tons of miscellaneous junk -- and moved to Mexico. To be honest, we moved here with an 8x16 foot trailer and left a storage shed full of "debris" in Oregon.

What were the things we brought with us? Books. Tools. Clothing. Musical instruments. Kitchen supplies. I tried to bring my canning jars and all the blueberries and applesause I had processed, but they were just too heavy. Sigh.

If I had it all to do again, though, I wouldn't bring half the things I brought down. By American standards, we really don't have all that much, but when I look at my friends' houses here I realize how much JUNK I have! I also realize how incredibly blessed I've been all my life.

Let me just give you an example...dishes. I have enough plates, cups, bowls, and silverware for our whole family and our whole Bible-study fellowship group to sit down and eat a meal together. I'll bet most of you reading this post do, too. It's no big deal -- they're nothing fancy. I think I bought most everything at Wal-Mart and it's all cheap plastic (all the glass broke years ago!). I have friends here who feed their kids and then wash the plates so the grown-ups can eat...every meal. Having all those dishes doesn't make me all that special, it saves me a little work (maybe) but when one of the villagers looks at my kitchen, they see this cupboard full of dishes and think, "Wow! This is a rich American family!" I don't really like that. I don't want folks to think of us as "rich" in worldly stuff, but more importantly I don't want there to be a barrier between us simply because I've got more cheesy imitation Tupperware than they do.

That leads me to my Bible verse for the week...

"Neither store up for yourselves treasure on earth where moths and rust destroy or theives break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasure in heaven...for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

I'm a pack-rat by nature, but praise the Lord I don't have to stay that way!!! I pray that God continues to grow me and to prune out that part of me that tends to "store stuff"!

For my photo this week, I decided to post a shot of my Bible. Sarah (my daughter) and I were talking about Bibles this past week and we both agreed that there's something very special about your own Bible. I can even read a different Bible of the same version and it just isn't the same. My mom bought this Bible for me when I was 17. I have many, many hours of study and many, many hours of tearful prayer tucked away in these pages. To me it is very much living and active and powerful!!! I most definitely wouldn't leave home without it!!!