Friday, January 30, 2009

BFS #118 -- All You Add is Love

Memory Verse:
Psalms 127:3 (New Living Translation)
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Intro: All You Add is Love (Purina Puppy Chow). This week we continue with shaking things up a bit. Children are often so pure in what they say. There is no sugar coating it, they just say it as they see it. Their thoughts can make us laugh, touch our hearts and open our eyes.

Assignment: This week are going to do an “Interview With Mom” and post it to your blog. There are a list of questions below to interview your children with. Feel free to add your own questions or remove any question you don’t want to use. You will then ask your children the questions and post the answers that they give you.

Well internet access has been sketchy at best this week. I've gotten a lot of other stuff done though!!! I did have fun with this assignment (even though I'm late posting it). I had to laugh at many of the kids' say the darndest things!!! Hope you all get a chuckle, too!

What does Mom always say?

Evie (age 10): "I love you." Not every mom says that, you know, but you do.
Andrew (age 11): "I love you!"
Seth (age 12): "Just one second."
Jessee (age 12): "Hi!"
Caleb (age 14): "If you don't like it, don't eat it. But don't gripe about it."
Sarah (age 16): "I'm the mom. I don't need your input." or "He only needs one mom, Sarah."

What makes Mom happy?

Evie: hugs and obedient kids
Andrew: obedient children
Seth: good attitudes from kids
Jessee: sleep
Caleb: silence
Sarah: When I do what I'm supposed to do plus a little bit more without talking about it.

What makes Mom sad?

Evie: kids moving out (she's thinking ahead!)
Andrew: disobedient children
Seth: sinus headaches
Jessee: when animals die (we're down to one duck and two kittens, by the way)
Caleb: strife
Sarah: Me nagging my brothers. (and she apologized, too!)

How does Mom make you laugh?

Evie: She tickles me
Andrew: jokes
Seth: Usually we laugh when we work together.
Jessee: When she tells jokes.
Caleb: Torture (He didn't specify torture of whom.)
Sarah: When she forgets where she puts things right after setting them down. It's genetic, cuz I got it too. (I see no humor in that. ;^) )

How old is Mom?

Evie and Andrew pegged my age at 38.
Seth was going for brownie points and said, "Young."
Jessee, always the precise one, said, "Approximately one thousand, nine hundred, eighty-four weeks."
Caleb gave the algebraic equation of 30 + n = Mom's age.
Sarah made me smile with, "Twenty going on 19."

How tall is Mom?

Evie: Six, five, five and a half!
Andrew and Jessee agreed on 5 feet six inches.
Seth: Average
Caleb: Taller than Evie and shorter than me. (I'll argue that statement!!!)
Sarah: Shorter than me. (I won't argue that. Sigh.)

What does Mom like to do?

Evie: Take naps.
Andrew: read
Seth: teach school, read her Bible, talk with other moms
Jessee: play scrabble
Caleb: sew, read, create, etc.
Sarah: Cook -- when it's not a "have-to" -- and Blog.

What is Mom's job?

Evie: To cook
Andrew: do school and clean the house
Seth: To train her children in the ways of the Lord
Jessee: Teacher
Caleb: Prison guard
Sarah: Ha, Ha! You're kidding, right? I don't want to write that much!

What is Mom's favorite food?

Evie: white rice
Andrew: rice and breakfast stuff
Seth: rice and pasta
Jessee: mushrooms (Which happens to NOT be Jessee's fave!)
Caleb: Cheesecake
Sarah: Cheesecake -- Hey, it's a foodgroup, right?
(Editor's note: The kids didn't hear each other's answers, so the fact that 4 out of 6 kids put white rice as my favorite food is significant. It's not that it's my favorite, but I sure do eat a lot of it!!!)

How do you know Mom loves you?

Evie: She disciplines me.
Andrew: She doesn't let me get away with stuff.
Seth: That's a silly question.
Jessee: Because she says it every night.
Caleb: She feeds me.
Sarah: Cuz she's Mom. She wouldn't be Mom if you didn't just "know".

My verse for the week:

Proverbs 31 (I like the whole chapter!) verse 28...

Her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband praises her!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BFS #117 -- Say it in Signs!

Memory Verse: Genesis 1:14 (King James Version)
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

Intro: This week the other Teachers and I want to shake things up a bit! We wanted for everyone to have some fun and have an assignment that would be easy and enjoyable too. This is a creative blogging assignment but hopefully it will offer help to some newer bloggers still trying to learn “how” to add pictures to their blogs and also help learn your classmates names to easily identify them…and it’s just FUN!

Assignment: This week you are to use your Blog Name (or your own pen/real name) and create signs. There are two ways to do this and you can do one or both ways.
Here are my banners and signs that I’ve made to share with everyone. I have my two of my favorite verses within the signs! They should be easy to spot! Go to Image Chef and use the Create tab at the top of the page to select All Templates or go to the bottom of the page and on the left choose Banners to make your project. Then follow the directions to copy the code and post it on your blog. Have Fun!!! Warning: This is NOT a christian site!

Fortunately, we're in the Land of Wireless Internet. Otherwise this assignment would be very frustrating!!!

To be honest, I'm getting a little irritated with "Free Wi-Fi". Here at Grandma's house in Riverside, I was able to find nearly a dozen wireless networks, but only about half are unsecured (accessible without a passkey). That's ok; I only need one, right? Well, the only one available inside the house is ATT, which requires that you purchase airtime. In the backyard, I can access Linksys for free...but it's raining and my feet are cold, so I want to be in the house. SO...I purchase a week's worth of airtime for $16. Guess what??? As soon as I charged the $16 to my bank card, that particular wireless network disappeared from my list of available networks and hasn't been seen since.

Right now, I'm sitting out in the van in the driveway connected to -- Linksys...for free. I hope ATT enjoys my $16. Grrr.

Making these little doo-hickies was fun! I do love the faster internet connection

Here's my verse (appropriate for a family on the move -- which we most definitely are this month!)

Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am [Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Sinaloa...], in this to be content. Philippians 4:11

I made a little button for our ministry site... - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
And for our family site...

ImageChef Sketchpad -
And just for the fun of it...
ImageChef Custom Images

Thursday, January 15, 2009


If everything came together smoothly, what would be the challenge in life?

This week's BFS assignment challenged us to write about how we handle/have handled catastrophes. You can read my assignment post here. I have a friend, though, who is as I type in the middle of a catastrophe of her own. She's one of my classmates from BFS -- Rachel at Babymakers

We met through a series of back-and-forth comments between blogs and (through a process of prayer and strange circumstances) she and her family decided to drive from their home in Pennsylvania all the way (about 45 hours) to our home in Sinaloa to house-sit for us during our furlough.

Once all the details were taken care of and the weather cleared, they got on their way Monday night. We prayed them across the eastern and midwestern states and into Arizona. Then yesterday (Wednesday) we received a quick message via internet: "Please pray! Hot!!! Oil!!! Looks like we just blew the engine." We had been praying, but now we stepped it up.

When Rachel gets back online, she'll probably post the "what happened next" part of the story from her angle. What happened next here is that we quickly got on the email with friends in Tucson and connected the two families. Ever feel really helpless? Well, we felt pretty helpless!!! Didn't sleep much last night for worrying about our new friends!!! I kept imagining them stranded on the side of the road with 6 kids in a blown VW van; but we were praising God that they were in Arizona and not in Missouri.

This morning I received emails from both families. One said, "We're on our way to rescue the Powells" and the other said, "We just loaded the van on the Schneider's flatbed." We still felt pretty helpless, but it was so good to hear that God was answering our prayers!!!

I have no idea how this saga will end at this point. What I do know, though, is that through all this God will be receiving the glory!!! Satan may have intended the car trouble for evil, but God is working all things together for good!

Pray that the Powells are able to get their van back in working order -- quickly and cheaply!!!

P.S. Rachel, when you read this, feel free to use it as your BFS assignment!!! ;^)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blogger Friend School #116 -- Now You're Playing with Power

Memory Verse:
Genesis 7:24 The water held power over the earth for 150 days.

Introduction: The only witnesses to the Flood are Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives - 8 people. And then there’re the animals, 2 of every unclean animal and 7 pairs of every clean animal. When Noah and his family emerged from the ark, they offered sacrifices and praised the Lord for preserving them.

Assignment: What kind of catastrophe have you lived through? Weather? Fire? Car crash? Did you feel the oppression of the power of the disaster, or the protection of the Power of the Lord? Tell us the story of how you rejoiced and praised Him through it and after it.

I was just thinking that I really like Blogger Friend School because it really makes me think about what I'm posting. Sometimes my posts are just great photos with captions or funny thoughts with a picture for emphasis. These BFS posts require thought!!! ;^)

Have I ever been through something "catastrophic"? Oh, yeah. We have six kids! Caleb was born placenta previa at 32 weeks; Sarah was bitten by a dog at age 2; Jessee severely burned his hand on a woodstove at age 1 and six months ago, he fell out of bed and lacerated his face to the tune of 25 stitches; Seth snapped his femur in half at age 3 (trampoline, of course); Andrew was with me in a really bad car crash at 4 months, fell out of a tree and broke his leg at age 4 and a year later T-boned Doug's truck on his bike (the truck was parked) knocked himself unconscious and broke his arm. Nothing really catastrophic has happened to Evie. Should I be concerned?

My mom once sent me an "encouragement" card which had on the front a big orange kitty cat with a goofy grin on his face. It showed several other cats in various stages of terror running from the scene. The caption said, "If you find yourself at peace when everyone around you is in a panic..." (open the card) Then the picture expanded to show a gang of snarling junkyard dogs encircling the grinning kitty. "...maybe you don't fully understand the situation!" Mom wrote in below that, "Or maybe you just know who's really in control!"

I think that is the key to weathering trials and testing. No matter what terrible, stressful time we've gone through as a family, we remember (and remind each other) that God is the one that is really in control. Nothing happens to make God say, "OH NO! I didn't see that coming! What am I going to do???" I can rest in the knowledge that my Father God sees my need and will not abandon me.

My verse for the week is from Paul (I can't wait to meet that guy!!!)...

Romans 8:15-18 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father". The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ -- if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

She's alive!!!

Oh, I'm so behind! Christmas preparations, a week sick, Christmas, friends from out of town, another week sick and here we are with only a few days before we leave for our winter furlough and I am SOOO behind!!! I finally got all the photos uploaded...well, most of the photos...from the past month. It's amazing how long that takes at 49.2 kbps. Ugh. Did I mention that I'm behind?

So, here we go with a series of photo posts and links to my other blog (which is also way behind -- at least I'm consistent!) to catch you up fast. Afterall, a picture is worth a thousand words, right???

Felíz año a todos!!!

Why I hate piñatas

The term posada is used, at least in our part of the country, to describe just about any Christmas party held on or around the 22nd of December. In the traditional posada, children dress up as Mary and Joseph and walk the streets in search of the house where the Christmas party (or posada) will be. This is done, of course, as a remembrance of the night when Mary and Joseph wandered through Bethlehem in search of a night’s lodging.

As with many Christmas traditions, much of the deeper spiritual meaning has been sucked out of the celebration by the commercial. At least the name hasn’t changed! The posada of Las Glorias was much like the non-Christian Christmas parties (is that an oxymoron?) of the States: lots of food, tons of candy, soda pop for the kiddos and beer for the grown-ups...and cake. You've gotta have a cake.

To be totally honest, we had planned to skip this year’s festivities. Several of the men of the village take advantage of the “free beer” aspect of the party and things can get a little out-of-hand before the evening is over. But when your family’s presence doubles the number of children, and you know that the whole village is counting on you being there…you show up. Especially when they ask you to bake the cake – you have to stop by to deliver the cake, so how are you going to drop it off and say, “Oh, no. We won’t be coming back even though we know you’ve bought candy bags for each of the kids and you invited us weeks ago.” RUDE!!! So we went.

And we had fun.

They got everyone to take a jab at the piñata. You know why I hate piñatas? Cause I’m always afraid that someone will get a picture of me looking like this…

So the party ended (fairly early!) and we headed home with more bags of tamarind and chili-laced candy. What is it with tamarind candy? And who thought that putting chili sauce inside of a sucker would make it taste better??? Just give me a Hershey’s bar, and I’m satisfied!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Decking the Halls

We're going to pretend that this photo collection was posted on December 10th, rather than January 10th. We had a great time getting the house all "festive". Finding a real Douglas fir was a special treat. It cost a little more than we ever paid for a tree in the States, but we were glad we were able to do it. There's just something about the piney smell...

I love decorating for Christmas. One of our favorite traditions is to put on our silly elf hats, play Christmas music and drink hot-cocoa in our Christmas mugs while we decorate. We had a fun time!!!

And God bless us, every one!

The Duck Whisperer

For Christmas, my friend Shari gave me a hilarious book called Enslaved by Ducks. I haven't finished it yet, but the title intrigued me enough to start it right away.

While I don't generally feel like my animals have me wrapped around their little paws -- or webbed feet, I am most assuredly a sucker when it comes to a wounded animal or a baby of any species.

The day before we were planning to get rid of the last of the puppies, the very aggressive "play-all-the-time" female puppy decided to play with Cedrick the gander. Fortunately, we got to him quickly, but not before she managed to pull out a mouth full of tail feathers and remove a huge patch of skin on his back. Pobrecito!!! Poor thing!!!

The photo really doesn't do it justice. I'm pretty optimistic and not very squeamish, but this was gross and I warned all the kids that Cedrick was in bad shape and not to expect much. Silly me -- I forgot how much my kids pray for their animals!!!

Here I'll insert a commercial for my favorite first-aid item: Goldenseal. Google it. It's amazing. On small cuts, I sprinkle on a little goldenseal powder and call it good. Deeper cuts, sprinkle the wound and cover it. Missing large patches of skin -- make a strong infusion, cool it and bathe the wound 3 or 4 times a day until all danger of infection is passed.

I do have a little experience with maimed animals and goldenseal. About 7 years ago, one of our barn cats showed up with a gaping wound on her neck. She'd been shot, and the bullet, while missing the jugular, managed to lay the skin open halfway around her neck, exposing tendons and other things which really shouldn't be exposed. I took her to the vet (not my regular vet, BTW) who told me that she would need upwards of $300 worth of medical attention and then she might not survive.

I thought that was a little excessive for a barn cat who didn't really like people all that much and liked me less than most. I asked him to shave the wound and took her home. From that point on, he treated me like an abusive parent and did all but call me a murderer.

Well, I took Kitty home and did my "Goldenseal Therapy" on Kitty who then became a member of the family because she had to live in the bathroom for 3 weeks so she wouldn't reopen her wound.

At the end of 6 weeks, you couldn't tell where the wound had been. Cost of the vet visit: $40. Cost of a 3 week Goldenseal treatment: $5. Being able to say, "I told you so!" to the vet: priceless.

So, back to the ducks. In addition to dousing Cedrick with herbs everyday, we also needed to keep him clean and out of the yucky duck pond, so guess where he ended up...the bathroom. But ducks stink, so that didn't last long. Jessee borrowed Seth's iguana cage and we kept him outside on the roof most of the day.

At the end of 3 weeks, he still had a good-sized wound, but the flesh had begun to grow back and he was growing pinfeathers. Yeah!!! Now he's back in the general duck population and quacking merrily along...and the obnoxious, over-eager puppy is gone!

I wonder how many animals you have to treat to get an honorary veterinary degree?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Techie Kudos!

Once in a while you find something online that just makes you happy and you just have to share.

I was be-boppin' around the internet a couple of weeks ago and ended up on the Cottrill Compass. Jim and his family are missionaries in Mexico and Jim working on helping create a missionary blogger "hub" of sorts. You can read more about it here or about the blog carnival he's hosting here.

Anyway, one of my greatest frustrations (lately) has been the lack of disk space I have left on my computer. Reason? Photos. Over 3 years of photos. Really big, high resolution photos. I have Irfanview and have been "fixin' to" resize these 2350x4600 mammoths, but do you have any idea how long it takes? Each photo has to be opened in Irfanview, resized and saved individually. Ugh. I take more photos faster than I can resize them and my available disk space shrinks and shrinks.

But I I'm reading a great post about resizing photos (great post, BTW) and I see a comment from a missionary in South Africa who recommends that people desiring to resize multiple photos at one time check out Microsoft Power Toys.

I'm game. I check out the site. I download a program that takes 2 minutes to load (even on my neanderthal internet connection) and install it.

I am now a happy blogger, busily opening file folder after folder, clicking "edit, select all, resize" and POOF!!! I have disk space! I resized two months of pictures yesterday and gained 2 GB. WaHOOO!

It's the simple things of life...

Special thanks to Dean at Adventures with God for making my laptop more user-friendly!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy Birthday to the man I love!!!

Isn't he such a cutie???

Blogger Friend School #115 -- Prayer Box

Memory Verse: Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2 - To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Intro: My Prayer Box is a unique personal declaration of faith. It’s a place for our family to lock our worries, wishes, desires and prayers–even keepsakes or photos of loved ones. It’s about gathering thoughts and prayers that allow us to pursue dreams and to recognize that we are never truly alone. My Prayer Box represents faith, which is a force that allows us to believe in things—things you can’t hold in your hand, but can always feel in your heart. Here is a post about prayer boxes and how to get started using them, it’s not too late since it’s early in the year.

Assignment: Tell about your prayer box, if your family has one that you peruse at New Year’s Eve or New year’s Day and share those prayers, thoughts and acts of faith on the next year.

Happy New Year everyone! I've been AWOL for the past couple of weeks. In addition to the normal hustle of the Christmas season, we had some friends come from Oregon to visit for a week. We had a fantastic time, but I didn't sit down to the 'puter once. Is that a bad thing? I think not!

So, getting back into the swing of posting...

Nancy handed out a rather difficult assignment this week. (Thanks, Nancy! ;^) ) I've heard of prayer boxes before and although the idea is good, I think it's just one more thing I would flake out on. If a thing is not "in my face" day in and day out, I forget about it.

SO, instead of prayer lists tucked into my Bible or stuck on my nightstand, I've put my daily prayer reminders someplace where I'll see it everyday -- several times a day. It's tacked to my computer desk, right at eye level. With our internet as slow as it is, I sometimes wait minutes for pages to load. What a great time to lift up a friend in prayer!

Our family does have a "prayer request central", too. Doug keeps a notebook entitled "Look What God Did" where we write prayer requests and the way God answers them. It's quite amazing to read back over the years and see how far we've come with this great and awesome God of ours!!!

Praying together is one of the unifying forces in our family. Doug and I try to set aside time to pray together every day -- although some days we do flake out! We pray as a family before starting school and again before bed. It's a great way to begin and end the day -- and hopefully it sets the tone for the rest of the day and opens the door for prayer "at all times" during the day.

So what are our family's prayers for the coming year?
  • That our children would continue to grow in their faith and in maturity...but not too quickly!

  • That God would provide for our winter furlough.

  • That God would continue to direct our ministry as we serve the people around us.

  • That we would be able to finish construction on our house.

  • That our van wouldn't die a horrible death on the side of the road while we're driving it, (It's making "noises") and that God would keep us mobile! :^)

  • That we be open to learn the lessons that God has laid out for us to learn -- that we would have teachable spirits and not be stiff-necked.

1 Tesalonicenses 5:17 Oren sin cesar!

Pray without ceasing!!!

Here is a photo of our family praying for our Oregonian friends as we prepared to return them to the bus depot (sniff, sniff).