Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tagged with 7 Things

Brines from Comfort Joy Designs just tagged me with "7 Things". Well, since I have really specific guidelines, I think I can handle it! I'm not doing a whole lot of "free thinking" today!!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

  4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are seven things you probably never knew about me:

  • I rebuilt a Yamaha moped in high school. I was the only girl in shop class. We had to choose shop or home-ec, and I had no desire to make an apron. I did want to know how to make my moped run better, so...

  • I've driven a car at 130 mph and a motorcycle at 145 mph.

  • Although I became a Christian when I was 8 years old and basically grew up in church, I rejected God and all things "religious" when I was 14. After 4-5 REALLY long years of trying to find happiness in anything and everything outside of a personal relationship with my creator, I finally realised that true happiness could only be found when I submitted to God's authority in my life. [Ever noticed that authority has the word "author" as its base word? I like that.]

  • My husband and I met playing pool, and the first time he asked for it, I refused to give him my number. I told him I didn't give my number to guys I met in bars. The second time, I told him I'd take his number and "maybe I'll call you sometime". I ended up calling him the next day, he invited me to dinner and 3 weeks later, he proposed. I accepted and we were married 10 months later. That was 16 1/2 years ago!

  • When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Now, I want to be a conductor (of music, not trains!).

  • Every night when the kids go to bed, we pray with them and then we say, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed-bugs bite!" Then the kids reply, "If they do, smack 'em with a shoe, make 'em black and blue!" Then we all say, "I love you! God bless you!"

  • Ever heard the rhyme "A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket"? Well, Grandma gave me a green-and-yellow "sewing basket" for my 3rd birthday, and I still have it. It's only missing one button, too. Amazing, since the thing is plastic and is...ahem...more than 30 years old. All my kids played with it and every time little ones come to my house, I pull it out to play with.

Now I get to tag 7 people! can I pick only 7???

I tag...

Jennifer @ Fruitful Vine who is another missionary homeschool mom from St. Thomas, Dominica.

Candice @ Flame in the Darkness my dear friend who is today a missionary in Hawaii, but is in process of moving to Oregon (Pray for that girl! She has "two under two").

Melissa @ United in Christ is another good friend who came down to be a missionary in Mexico and ended up in Japan.

Karen @ For Such a Time as Now is a home schooler who used to be a missionary in Romania and now is stateside. Her mom is quite the artist, too!

Betsy @ The Homeschool Way is another home schooler (hence the name) with an absolutely beautiful blog (IMO). It's worth it to just click over to see her header!

Jessie @ Overflow of a Forgiven Soul is another home schooler who is not a missionary, per se, but aren't we all missionaries, really? If anyone has a missionary heart, this girl does!

Another Rebecca @ The Hatfields who also moonlights over at Rebecca's Originals is neither a home schooler nor a missionary, but we'll forgive her!!! (Just kidding!) You've gotta see her photos! She has a great eye for colors and photo stories.

Wa-Hoo! I finished my first MEME. Only took me 3 days! How do you pronounce MEME anyway? Meem. MEE-mee. Mem. Meh-Meh. Whatever!

Silent Sunday

The new boulevard in Las Glorias.
The fancy feux red brick and old-fashioned lamppost are in striking contrast with the thatched hut behind.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Birthday #12 (x2)

The twins' 12th birthday was a blast. We really didn't do anything "fancy" just played games and gave everyone sugar and red40, but the simple things are generally the best, right?
We played two games at their party:
The first one was entitled "Push Each Other off of the Tires". When they were little, I probably would have found some clever name for the game like "King of the Tires" or "Lily-Pad Leap" or "Stay out of Hot Lava", but the boys are older and now we tend to just "call it like we see it". The object of the game is to be the last one still on a tire. Pretty basic rules: if you touch the sand, you're out. If the tire you step on tips over and you fall, you're out. If your brother pushes you really hard and you fall, you're out. If you push your brother really hard and you both fall, you're both out. Of course, the kids still found things to argue about, but with rules that simple, they worked it out pretty quickly!

The second game was a treasure hunt. Sarah mapped out places to hide the clues and then Dad and I made up a secret phrase, cut it into 7 pieces and hid the pieces for the 4 teams to find. Once the teams located all the pieces of the phrase, they had to unscramble it AND figure out what it meant. Then the tricky part: finding where the treasure was hidden.

Sarah and Eunice hunt for clues west of the house. Meanwhile, Michael and Andrew hunt east of the house.
It took the teams the better part of an hour to find all the clues and figure out what they meant. Two of the teams went directly to the hiding place, but didn't find the treasure. I figured that they just hadn't looked in the right "exact" spot. Well, after another half-hour of searching -- and now all the teams were looking, we encouraged the first team to "look a little closer where you were looking before". Sure enough, because silly Mom didn't achor the plastic bag with the treasure in it to the side of the pool, the breeze (which was pretty strong) had drifted it to the middle of the pool. One wise young man grabbed a rake and pulled in the bounty!

Then we all went in to open gifts and have carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting!

Happy Birthday Jessee and Seth!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rosetta Stone Curriculum Giveaway

I'm entering a really neat contest, and I invite you to enter, too!

Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while -- next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE!

This is a $219 program (and believe me it's worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.
This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they're included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports.

To win this most excellent program -- in the language of your choice -- copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post -- then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page
HERE: and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it.

Good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog page. If you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Hooray for free stuff! :^)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break 2008

I was in Guasave last weekend for Sarah's French class (more on that in another post) and saw this wonderful billboard advertising "Spring Break in Las Glorias". To be honest, this isn't all that bad...considering. Last year, the signs advertising the beach parties in Las Glorias were all along the main highway 20 feet tall. This year, the commission is only giving out 50% of the permits for liquor sales and no permits for "discotheques". Hurray! I had to edit the photo, since this is a family-friendly site. Doug said, "Honey, that makes it look like she was naked or something." Well, she practically was. She had on one of those swimsuits that makes you say, "Why bother?" Advertisements like that make me want to be a feminist!

Limiting the alcohol sales doesn't seem to have dampened the festive spirit of the town, however. Last night we were forced to listen to both ranchero-style music and The Village People simultaneously until WAY past midnight; and it's only Thursday. We praise God repeatedly that He led us to purchase property well back from the main boulevard. Our poor neighbors, another American missionary family whose house is on the main road, ended up with a restaurant and bar right next to their house (This was where the ranchero music was coming from!).

I've got a ton of photos ready to upload, so I'll post more later in the week. Until then, pray for safety and peace over our family. We'll be out sharing gospel tracts on the beach this morning, tomorrow and Saturday. Pray that God's word is heard and received!

Wordless Wednesday (Thursday Edition!)

New Babies at Our House

Our mama kitty obliged us with four beautiful babies on Monday. Everybody say, "AWWWW!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday -- Nature abhors a vacuum!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Ever notice that when you have a nice, clean surface people begin to put things on it? Well, maybe it's not that way in your house, but around here an empty space attracts clutter. First I put some packages that I received from some visiting missionaries in a neat stack to go through "later". Then I noticed that a couple of other boxes had mysteriously crept over to sit next to these boxes. A few days later, there were stacks of mending projects on top of the boxes next to the packages. A few days after that, "used" schoolwork and toys without a home began to appear on top of the already cluttered and growing mountain.

Alright! Enough already!!!

It didn't really take that long to put things "in their place". Caleb was my slave helper to run things up and down the stairs. In return for his help, I let him keep his djembay in the empty space!
I'm winning the war on clutter! Hooray!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Generous Wife

I just added a new "button" on my side bar. That's the dark brown strip over ---there--->

In my blog-party-hopping over the past week, I've bumped into some awesome ladies whom I hope to get to know better in the days to come. Jennifer at FruitfulVine linked to a great site called The Generous Wife. I've signed up for "daily encouragement" and made a little button to link directly to Lori's site. Don't we all need a little reminder to encourage and edify our husbands? Second to Jesus Christ, our husbands are, after all, the most important person in our life, right???

Hope this encouraging to you, too!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
I've gotta hand it to Janice over at "5 minutes for mom";
She's absolutely right about this being "raw vulnerability"!

To be totally honest, I was in denial about how bad I had let my youngest daughter's room become. My oldest daughter, who shares aforementioned room, has been gently urging me to do something about it. Actually, she's been becoming increasingly insistent to the point of nagging. Finally, I acted. Evie and I took before and after pics. What I didn't take pictures of was the huge mountain of junk we threw out. Suffice to say that what you saw in photo number one, but no longer see in photo four, no longer is in our house. Yeah!!!

Big sister is very happy, and little sister found all her baby-doll equipment and Polly Pocket paraphernalia. She knew it was there...somewhere!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Ultimate Blog-Party Post

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Internet around here has been "hit-and-miss" over the past few weeks, so I thought I should take this opportunity to put in my "Party-post" while I actually have internet up and running. Ya just never know what tomorrow may bring!

So, I've hemmed and hawed about what to write in this post. You're supposed to "showcase your style". Problem is, I have no style. My darling husband and I have been married a little more than 16 years, and we have six children between the ages of 15 and 9. We've been missionaries in Mexico for a little more than two years and have home-schooled forever.

All of my married life, I've decorated our house with children's art projects and home-school projects and maps and the wonderful creations that the kids've given me for various birthdays, mother's days and Christmases. My house has always looked a lot like a pre-school playroom...or maybe a laundrywoman's nightmare. I can appreciate one of my best friend's love of camels and all things Egyptian and how she manages to make her living room look like a showplace -- even with Lego boxes discreetly tucked under the setee. All the colors flow together and the whole room just begs you to curl up and enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book. I love her living room. She has style.

My style is more of the "cover-up-as-much-of-the-ugly-concrete-wall-as-possible-and-try-to-keep-the-walkway-cleared" stlye. The theme of my living room is "101 Uses for a Rubbermaid Tub". Tacky, but serviceable. Our furniture is definitely not the "inviting, cuddly" kind. We have a 15 passenger van and have pulled out one of the seats to make room for transporting "stuff" (like ice chests, bikes and the odd extra 10 people if needed). For lack of a better place to store it, the bench seat has become our "love seat". I do NOT love that seat. Also tacky and more than a little uncomfortable, however it, too, is serviceable. I suppose I do have some sense of least enough to know that my house will never make it to "This Old House" or any other "reality" show for that matter. Well, maybe Fear Factor.

As far as "internet style" goes, I'm pretty "Plain Jane". When you're working with dial-up, and slow dial-up at that, you can pretty much forget about putting streaming video or audio on your site. I tried to upload a 30 second video clip of a hurricane that hit here last year. After 4 hours, it was a little more that 30% done. I decided to wait till I could connect via wireless to upload it. (If you're interested, you can check it out here. Nothing fancy. Just our crazy friend Esteban who decided to stand on a roof in the middle of a hurricane to video the beach being washed away.) So my blog is pretty basic: no videos, no music, no banner ads, no moving graphics. Just me and lots of pictures of my family, our friends, our ministry and our home. And lots of words.

I must say here, since it sounds like I'm complaining, that God has been gracious to our family this past year! I just smile and shake my head at how much my faith has grown. One year ago this month, we were so thrilled that we were getting our indoor plumbing hooked up. How could I possibly complain that the walls aren't finished? A year ago, all the window and door holes were covered with blankets to keep out the cold air. Well, we don't have all the windows in yet, but at least the holes are boarded up! It's an improvement. As it is, our home is in about the same state of "incomplete" as most in our village. It's all part of "living at the level of the people". We are just like the majority of the plebes (pronounced: PLEH-behs not "pleebs" even though it looks like "pleebs") : working on our house...poco a poco. Maybe it's different from what we were accustomed to in the States, but maybe not so much. We've lived in a state of "house remodeling" for over 10 years. I don't really know if I could even survive in a "finished" home! I'd be too worried about something getting broken or scuffed!

So here it is, for what it's worth: my "Showcase of Style-lessness". I hope that some of you will have read it to the end and that you might check back from time to time to see what we're up to. I'm looking forward to hearing from you, so leave me a note, and I'll come visit your blog, too!

Until then, bendiciones!!!
This is a photo of our property in June of 2006 when a team of missionaries (3 great guys who, once upon a time, were kids in our youth group in Oregon) came to help us pour a foundation. Foundations were definitely laid! One of these young men is now a missionary in Asia.

Here's our home in October of 2007. (This is the back of the house.) You can see Honey welding the roof supports. One of the kids' favorite pasttimes is jumping off the back of the house onto the sand dune behind the house. Everyone's done it but me. And I'm not planning to. Sorry. I'm old and I don't heal quickly. I'll live vicariously through my kids on this one!

And finally, here is the house as it is now.
Our home!!!