Friday, December 2, 2016


I am trying to catch up so I am throwing everything from the past week into one post.  This week has been a little crazy.  All was well until Thanksgiving ended and then I was like "oh my, it's Christmas time!" (as if I haven't had a whole year to get ready).  I can get a little overwhelmed having to put away all the fall stuff, dig out the Christmas stuff, and get it all put out.  I like it but it's a lot of work.  We have guests coming in today so I was determined to get it done before the weekend.  And then there is homeschool and the stress of planning and making sure I stay on track to finish as scheduled by Christmas break.  It has just been one of those weeks where I feel like I can't get ahead. My mind is going a hundred miles an hour and my body is moving like a snail.  Calgon...!!!

I had a few photos that I forgot to add to our Thanksgiving post so I will start with them.  Here were two of our pre-Thanksgiving meals.

My boys loved these turkey waffles I served them for breakfast.

They also loved these "turkey" sandwiches.

We spent Black Friday making a visit to the La Aurora Zoo in Guatemala City with our new friends the Riddles.  The boys all had a blast being there together.  

ready to explore the zoo

feeding the fish at the zoo

One of their favorite parts of the day was the splash pad.  It took them a minute to want to get in it but once they did we could hardly get them out.  They loved it!

They got to ride the train without their parents which was a first for all of them and they thought they were so grown! 

We ate lunch at the food court and the kids got to play on the playground until time to leave.  The zoo has a great outdoor foodcourt and play area.  My boys love it.

One last photo in front of the big tree before parting ways.  We really enjoyed spending a few days with this family.  We are looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks.

My boys playing with the kids at our mission house.  They were making homemade bubbles by mixing hand soup and water and then blowing it with pvc pipes.  They entertained themselves with this for the longest time.

On Saturday night David attended a service at Bro. Fito's church in Chiquimula.  They were having services all weekend long to celebrate their anniversary.

The church is on a dead end street so they blocked it off and had the service outdoors.  He went back again on Sunday night for the closing service.

On Sunday morning we all attended service at Bro. Elias's church in Chiquimula.  My boys always enjoy when we get to go there because they have a children's class that meets in the back.  We like it because we can sit down without them and enjoy the service.  We do not get to go often because David is usually teaching in the village on Sunday mornings so when we do it is a treat for us all.

When we went to pick them up they were not ready to leave.  That's a good sign.

They were eager to show us their papers and tell us all about the Bible story they learned. 

As I mentioned already we got our Christmas trees up this week.  I always have a big tree in the living room and then a smaller tree that is for the boys.  Their tree is filled with ornaments they have made over the years or ornaments that have been given to them.  They were so tickled this year to get to do their own tree almost completely by themselves.  They helped me with mine too- a lot more than I needed. ha

the boys decorating their tree

I let them put their ornaments wherever they wanted.  As you can see Ben wanted most of his hanging from the bottom.

My boys love having Christmas movie nights during December.  So far we have watched two movies.  Our first one of the season was Elf and it is our favorite.  I am sure we'll be watching it again a few more times before Christmas is over. 

Our Christmas tree with Elf playing in the background.  I love turning the lights out and just having the Christmas tree on. 

Another thing they love about Christmas movie nights is hot chocolate.  Well, Ben loves it.  Cruz always begs for it and then never drinks it. 

Speaking of hot our weather this week has been miserable.  This was from Wednesday afternoon.  I think the heat has been another reason I have been dragging this week.  It's just too hot to do anything!

We were in Muyurco on Thursday afternoon for Bible study.  Miguel went with us and led the order of service.  Most of our men are away right now picking coffee so it was mostly women and children.  It didn't stop us from having a great time of worship together.

Cruz leading a few songs in Bible study and Miguel singing along.

Pretend sword fighting when the service was done.  Miguel is like a big brother to my boys and they just adore him. 

Hooray, it's finally Friday!!!  The boys and I are home finishing up our week of school today while David is making a round trip to the airport to pick up our supervisor and his wife who are flying in from Mexico to visit us.  We are looking forward to hosting them. We'll be spending a few days showing them around our work area and introducing them to some of the people we work with.  It should be a fun few days.  I'll post about our time together one day next week.  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 2016 Newsletter

Greetings from Guatemala!  We are coming off of a month filled with opportunities to be an encouragement to those around us.  We began the month by attending an anniversary service in the village of Nearar. They were celebrating their fifth year.  The service took place on the land that the group bought earlier in the year and where they plan to build a church.  There were around 200 people who attended from the area and surrounding villages.  It was a great service and everyone heard a clear presentation of the gospel.  Pray for new believers in that area.  Pray for the new construction they plan to begin the first of the year. 

In addition to visiting Bro. Elias' church one Sunday in Chiquimula we also began making visits to another local church and a small mission church near Zacapa.  Bro. Fito is pastor of Shalom Baptist Church in Chiquimula.  We have worked with him in the past but have never attended one of his services.  This past month we attended twice and David attended two nights of their anniversary celebration this past weekend.  They are a sweet little congregation and we plan to begin attending there on Sunday nights when we can. 

Bro. Jose' Maria is pastor of the mission church in the village of El Palmar.  We first visited him with our last team and have since returned twice.  One of those return visits was for a service.  We learned from Bro. Fito that just before we started visiting Bro. Jose' Maria he was ready to "throw in the towel".  I feel like God sent us there at just the right time! 

Would you lift up each of these pastors and the work they are doing?  Pray for us as we try to build relationships with them and look for ways that we can work together in ministry. 

David attended the Guatemala Baptist Convention mid-month in Guatemala City.  They were celebrating their 70th year!  We continued with our regular weekly Bible studies in Muyurco on Thursdays and Nearar on Sundays. Both of these Bible study times are going great. The group in Muyurco has built an open air meeting place for us and we have been meeting there all month.  It was a project they took on all by themselves and they have great pride in it.  It blesses our hearts to see them want to be more identified as a group of believers. 

We also made visits in the villages of Chanco and Lagunetas.  At one of the visits we were able to pray with a young mother who had recently separated from her husband.   He is a pastor in another area and due to their problems she had moved back home with her parents.  She was pretty upset but felt encouraged by our words and prayers.  Would you join us in praying for their marriage and ministry?  It is always sad to see a family torn apart but especially one in such a public role.

We are looking forward to the Christmas season and celebrating the birth of our Savior.  It is also the time of the year that we ask for your financial support through offerings given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  One hundred percent of the money given goes directly to support families like ours and hundreds more around the world.  Would you give this year so that the gospel can continue to be spread around the world?  Just as we need you to give we also need your continued prayer support.  We depend so much on your prayers!  You might not be called to go and serve but will you give and pray for those who are?  Our family would appreciate it! 

Resound from IMB on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We spent our Thanksgiving break in Guatemala City celebrating with some of our IMB mission family as well as a few other families who were invited to join us.

we enjoyed a beautiful sunset view on our drive into Guatemala City

For many years our mission has celebrated Thanksgiving at our mission property in Panajachel.  That property was sold earlier in the year which meant we had to change it up a little this year.  We also lost the majority of our Guatemala mission family during last year's reorganization which left us few in numbers this year.  We chose to celebrate at our mission house in Guatemala City and a few other families were invited to join us.  It ended up being a great time in spite of it being a little sad.  Change might be necessary but that doesn't mean it's not difficult to walk through.

The tradition has always been to eat supper on Thanksgiving Eve at the Circus Bar in Panajachel (it's a pizza shop).  This year several of us gathered for supper at TGI Friday's in the Capital.  It is one of my favorite places so I was happy with that.   

supper at Friday's

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving this year was having a few other kids around for my boys to play with.  It was their first Thanksgiving here to have other kids their age to celebrate with. That was big for me!  The Riddle family was invited to join us this year and they have three boys.   It was our first time meeting them and getting to know them. With the exception of when they were sleeping the kids were side by side the whole time we were all together.  My boys had a blast!  I had someone to talk to about motherhood and homeschool and it blessed my heart.  It just made this Thanksgiving extra fun and filled the void of missing those who were no longer with us.  

The boys looking over the map and showing each other where we live.  Here Cruz is pointing to Tikal and talking about our recent trip there.

(The next two photos are a little blurry because they were taken with my phone.)

the boys playing video games before bedtime on Wednesday night 

My boys love long pajamas but it is too hot to wear them where we live.  I surprised them with a few new pair that I brought back from the States to wear while in Guatemala City.  You would have thought I had given them gold.  They were so excited!!!

We began Thanksgiving morning by taking our annual family photo.  I had forgotten my camera battery charger at home and my battery was dead.  You can only imagine how mad I was at myself!  Thankfully, Lily let me use her camera and charger and I had mine charged by lunchtime. 

our family on Thanksgiving Day 2016

The ladies all gathered in the kitchen and cooked together. 

For those who have asked and wondered, we always eat traditional Thanksgiving foods here- turkey, dressing, casseroles, pies, etc.  It might take some tweaking for certain things and pre-planning on trips to the States (example: I brought back Durkee French Fried Onions for green bean casserole on my trip to the States this past summer) but we always make it happen.  Our meals have always been delicious and similar to what we would have back in the States.  You just have to think ahead of time and pre-plan.

While lunch cooked we spent some time watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  That is one of my favorite traditions! Later in the day the guys watched some football.

ready to eat!

 David and the boys enjoying lunch

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions here has always been the share and prayer time that we have on Thanksgiving afternoon.  Each family gives an update and voices any prayer needs they might have.  At the end those needs and families are prayed over. It is just a sweet encouraging time that we always enjoy.
share and prayer time

And lastly I'll end with another favorite tradition of mine and that is taking a group photo.  We usually have two-

everyone looking normal

and everyone having a little fun

Yes, it looked and felt different this year but we still had a wonderful time. We kept a few old traditions and started a few new ones. We left feeling very thankful and blessed for the faithfulness of God to us and all of our mission family this past year.  It has been an adjustment but God has been good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oh Brother (fall photos 2016)

Each year since Cruz was born I have had a tradition of taking fall photos.  I take pictures of the boys individually and pictures of them together.  I love looking back at them each year to see how they have grown and changed.  Here are our pictures for 2016 and a few collages of our photos from years past. 
my precious boys

They are growing up so fast!

sweet brothers over the years

Cruz 2016


Ben 2016


 And of course they had to take a few funny face ones.  They love to clown around.

These two brighten our world and make life so much fun.  Today and every day I am thankful that they call us Mom and Dad.
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