Saturday, February 17, 2018


In addition to everything else we have had going on this week we also took a little time to celebrate.  First we celebrated Valentine's Day and next we celebrated my birthday a little early with family.  Here is a look at what we did for both of those.

Our homeschool group has a Valentine's party every year at the local skating rink.  We were very excited about getting to participate this year.   The boys got to pick out Valentine's Day cards and swap them with the other kids.  That was a fun experience for them.  I initially wanted to make some cute homemade ones but instead decided it would be more fun for the boys if they got to pick out the ones they wanted from the store.  Cruz chose Ninja Turtle cards that included pencils and Ben got Skittles.    Here they are writing their names on their cards.

We started the day with heart shaped banana pancakes.

We spent the morning doing school.  My mom came by to give the boys a Valentine's Day gift.

a family photo on Valentine's Day

Our party began at noon.  We all took finger foods to share and then spent some time skating.  The boys had a blast!

Ben giving out his Valentine's Day cards.

Cruz looking through some of his stuff when we got back home.

Next we went to the local theater to see Peter Rabbit.  It was a cute movie.

We returned home just in time for a visit with David's sister and niece.  As soon as they left we loaded up and went to our last Wednesday night prayer meeting at Central Baptist.  We have really enjoyed getting to be a part of their Wednesday night activities while we have been in the States.  We are really going to miss them.

On Thursday we met family for lunch at Porches to celebrate my birthday.  The actual day is not until later this month but we celebrated early since I will be back in Guatemala by then.  Thursday is my favorite day to eat lunch there because of the menu so that was the day I chose to go.  It was a lot of fun and I am very glad I got to squeeze in our more meal at my most favorite place.

birthday lunch at Porches

My mom brought gifts, balloons, and a cookie cake.

She loves birthdays just as much as I do.

Shrimp and fried eggplant croistini- one of my favorite meals

the boys with my dad

me with Mrs. Ann

our family at Porches

me and my mom

After lunch my mom and I went shopping and ended the day with pedicures.  It has been our tradition before every return to Guatemala to go get one together.  It is always a fun time.

I am glad we got to squeeze in both of these celebrations before we go back.  I will miss times like this when we are gone but we will have fun memories to reminisce about.  It will also give us something to look forward to on our next visit home.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Life Lately

Today's post is a catch-up from the past few weeks.  It is a long one but I want to be able to remember some of the fun moments we have been able to enjoy.  Here is a look at our life lately-

It has been over two weeks now but on a recent Friday night my friend Malinda invited me to attend a recipe swap party with her.  It was attended by ladies from her church.  Each one brought a dish and the recipe for it.  We all got to eat and sample the foods and then will get copies of all the recipes.  I love the idea of this.  What a fun way to spend a night out with the girls.  We had great food and fellowship.

recipe swap party with some First Baptist Jackson ladies

The next day, Saturday, we met my mom and Mr. Thurman for lunch at Cracker Barrel.  After eating we drove down to New Orleans for the Monster Jam event.  I have already blogged about that super fun outing.

The next morning we attended worship at First Baptist Summit, MS with David's dad and then enjoyed lunch and an afternoon of fellowship with them.

We have been busy with homeschool lately.  The weeks after Christmas break have been some of our best ones yet this school year.  We have had no travels so we have had a lot of time to focus on school without interruptions.  It has been good.

Cruz often reads to Ben but this was a sweet moment I caught recently of Ben reading to Cruz.    Be still my heart!

Both boys like to help me in the kitchen.  Here is Cruz recently getting to brown the hamburger meat for the first time.  He was so proud of himself. 

On another recent Friday night we enjoyed a fellowship with our homeschool group. The first Friday night of each month is Game Night.  This month we met at a local church gym.  We brought finger foods to share and then spent the night playing.  The boys really enjoyed it.  We are going to miss this group when we return to Guatemala.  It has been a huge blessing to our family.

playing basketball at our homeschool game night

They took their skates and spent some time doing that in the gym too.  Here they are skating in the parking lot while we waited for the other families to arrive.

We spent Super Bowl night at the Browns and had a great time together.  Believe it or not neither Malinda nor myself ever stopped to take a single picture of anything.  She texted me while we were driving home to say "we didn't take a picture!".  I wanted to turn around but my driver was not interested.  How did I forget to do that???

It was late when we got to bed that night and I had to drag myself out of bed the next morning for school.  I texted Malinda this picture of my cup of coffee.  I drank a lot of it that morning.

My boys love the Magic Tree House books.  They call them "the Jack and Annie books".  Malinda gave us several to take back to Guatemala.  When I showed them to the boys they were so excited.  They dumped them out in the floor and began sorting them by number. 

They also were given all of these.  How fun do they look?  

Last Tuesday I was invited to attend a WMU luncheon at First Baptist Jackson.  The national WMU President was there to speak.  They had several tables set up for missionaries to sit at during the program.  It was fun being with the other ladies and enjoying the good food and fellowship with them.

A group photo of all the missionaries in attendance along with Linda Cooper, the National WMU President.  She gave a wonderful, inspiring talk.  I was very thankful to be there that day and be a part of this event.  It blessed my heart.
Me with Robin Wise, First Baptist Jackson WMU President and me with my friend Malinda.
These two precious ladies (Gloria Glaze and Lori Spikes) served with the IMB in the Americas.  It was good seeing both of them again.  Lori's husband is on staff at FBCJ and she is the one who invited me to the event.  I was so glad she did.

After the event was over Malinda and I spent the afternoon together. We went for coffee at Starbucks and also made a stop by Krispy Kreme for some sweet treats to take home to our families.  I love the seasonal donuts they always have.  They make me smile.

The boys enjoying supper at Ward's last Wednesday night after church.  It is one of their favorite places and definitely something they will be missing soon.

I laughed when I walked into the kitchen last Thursday afternoon and saw this sitting out on the counter.  It was a note from Cruz telling me what he wanted for supper along with all the things I needed to prepare it. 

Frito Chili Pie for Cruz
That boy is a mess!

Later that night we made a late run to the local Dairy Queen for milk shakes.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  We just all jumped up, got in the car, and went.  It was so fun.  We laughed because Ben went in his pajamas and I had on my slippers.  He and I stayed in the car while David and Cruz went in to order.  We then rode around town enjoying our treats and having a great time until Cruz dropped his and spilled it all over the car.  What a mess!  That ended the party and we had to go back home.  

Ben enjoying his strawberry milkshake while watching his daddy scrub the floorboard trying to clean up the one his brother spilled.  Fun times.

As if we had not had enough excitement that night already, I pulled back the covers to get into bed and saw this.   It was not until the next morning that I found out Cruz was the guilty party.  I am terribly afraid of snakes and did not find his little prank very funny. 

We had been counting down the days until the Olympics began.  We love watching!  We have been glued to our t.v. every night since Thursday.  It is so exciting to follow the events and cheer on the athletes.  The boys get into it just as much as we do.  It has been fun entertainment for our family so far.

For the past several years it has been our tradition to make an Olympics themed cake to eat on the night of the opening ceremony.  Here are the boys with our cake this year.

Cruz with our cakes over the years.  I love this simple tradition.  What a fun memory it is.

In addition to the cake we had pizza (on national pizza day) and made Jiffy Pop popcorn.  We invited the Johnsons over to enjoy the night with us and watch the opening ceremony.

The boys with the Johnson twins.  They had such a fun night together.

Have you tried this yet?  The commercials had us eager to go out and get one.  Cruz didn't like it but the rest of us did.  I will be picking up a few more on my next trip to Wal-Mart. 

We received the sweetest care package in the mail over the weekend from a group of kids at First Baptist Church in Coushatta, LA.  Their "Kids on Mission" class is studying about our family and work in Guatemala and wanted to send something.  What a fun surprise.

Included in the package was an "All About Me" letter from each child.  The boys enjoyed reading over each one.

We enjoyed worship this past Sunday at Harmony Baptist in Crystal Springs.  Afterwards we enjoyed lunch at the Sojourners.  Cruz was especially excited about getting one last visit with Jett.  I really wish these two lived closer together.  I think they would be the best of buds.

We also spent some of the afternoon visiting with Memaw before we drove back home.

The countdown is now on for our return to Guatemala.  We have return tickets for next Monday, February 19.  We will be spending the week sorting and packing our things.  We will have to decide what goes back, what we give away, and what we leave in storage.  We will also be having final meals and visits with friends and family.  It is not an easy task so we appreciate your prayers for us this week.  

There is so much about the States that we are going to miss but there is also a lot we are looking forward to in Guatemala.  It is bitter sweet days for sure.
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