Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another week in life

Busy busy busy! That's been the theme of our lives during the past week. So much to do and so little time! I was just thinking how nice it would be if we could change our week so that there were 8 days every week instead of 7. I think that it might help solve some of my problems, don't you? But seriously, it's been a great couple of weeks, even if they have been a little busy.
We are continuing to go to Los Mochis every Friday for the baseball and cooking classes. I have now officially been put in charge of the little boys while my Dad works with the older ones. The first couple of classes were a little disorganized, but now that I have gotten a little more settled in I feel like the kids might actually be learning something! ;) It's especially nicer now that it's cooled down a little. The first couple of weeks were a little trying in that respect!

As far as anything new goes... *takes a moment to think* ... let's see, I've started reading to my little sis every night. We are halfway through "Anne of Green Gables" and are both enjoying it immensely. Of course, I have read the book several times, but since she hadn't and wanted to I was more than happy to read it over again. There is something special about reading a book aloud. It makes me appreciate the book more somehow.

In the Spanish class that I am giving the boys we are finally into the Preterite Tense (that being one of the simple past tenses). It's one thing to understand how it works, and it's something entirely different when you have to explain it to a class. Still, they must understand what I say, because they seem to be making progress! I can't wait until we get into the Subjunctive! I know, I know, my Mom always tells me that she can't understand why grammar excites me so, but call me strange, I can't help it! ;)

Well anyway, I should be going. Before I do, though, I want to let you see some pictures of the kids in Los Mochis!

This is Alex. He's the littlest one of the bunch that I work with. Don't mistake his size though, he hit with the best of them ;). I don't know exactly what he was thinking when I took the picture, but the look on his face is priceless!

The group of younger boys go to the other side of the baseball field to work on catching and batting.

My Dad explain the correct way to position yourself when catching a ball.

Caleb and my Dad show the boys' group the correct way to throw and catch.

Here's Caleb after 4 hours of baseball... I kind of felt like joining him ;).

These are the two cooking classes that my Mom leads. This particular week they learned about all the different types of grains and then the kids made pop-corn (the old fashion way). It was a delight to see the deaf kids' faces when they felt the kernels popping up into the lid of the pan.

God is good, all the time! May you have a wonderful week!

He has made me glad, He has made me glad!
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Birthday Week

Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Andrew, happy birthday to you!!!!

Andrew is now officially 13 years old. My, how the time does fly! He has had a whole week of excitement; it's been the birthday that just keeps giving!

On Saturday we had some friends over after supper. The boys had spent all day setting up the yard for an airsoft war -- for those of you who don't know what airsoft is, just think shooting at each other with bee-bee guns only with plastic bullets and you'll get pretty close ;). I wish that I would have gotten some pictures of the forts they set up and the trenches they dug (yes, they went all-out), but I guess I was too busy playing to think about it.
Anyway, after supper we set up some flood lights and played for an hour or so. Once we were tired of playing airsoft we laid a rope across the yard and played capture the flag. I haven't had so much fun "playing" for a long time. It was a blast, and I think that Andrew enjoyed himself as well. The highlight of the night must have been the time when I dove through a gap between the trees trying to get away from my brother and land on top of one of those awful Choya Cacti (you know, the ones that people sometimes call the "jumping cactus")... let's not do that again ;). And adding insult to injury, can you believe that they still took me to jail? How rude is that?! ;P
I love having a big family!!! It's great that we only need another four people to make enough to play just about any game we want!

After we had tired ourselves out thoroughly and were quite covered with sand, we all headed inside to eat popcorn and watch a movie. The movie of choice was "How To Train Your Dragon". None of us had seen it yet, so we had a great time laughing together. My official opinion: "How to Train Your Dragon" is a great family movie. Perhaps one of the scenes might be a little scary for kids under 8, but it is very funny and not at all inappropriate. Two thumbs up!

On Sunday we went to church in Tamazula where a friend of ours taught on the Great Commission and what it means to "preach the Word". It was a great reminder of what our true purpose is here on this earth. It's so easy to get caught up in what the world thinks is important or even in thinking that just living a righteous life is enough. We need to be bold and willing to step up and speak when God calls us to speak. Go when God calls us to go. Stay when God calls us to stay. Do what God calls us to do. Let it not be that we should stand before God in the end and have nothing to say for ourselves. Quite a reminder, if you ask me!

After church we went with the Petits and the Graffs (friends visiting from Southern Mexico) to the mall in Guasave where we ate lunch and hung out for a few hours. Caleb and I were able to spend some time with some friends of ours from Guasave who happened to be stopping in for lunch as well. I think that both of us were pretty happy about that ;).
Andrew got the second part of his birthday that evening since my parents had bought ice cream to celebrate. Andrew even got to pick a movie to watch. Guess which one he picked? Give up? "How to Train Your Dragon". Hey! I did say it was a good movie!

Monday -- that being yesterday -- Andrew got his day off from chores (it's this tradition that we have in our family. On your birthday you don't have to do any of your housework. Pretty cool if you ask me) and then in the evening we had our home fellowship group -- plus a few others -- over for a Bible study, Posole (Po-so-lay the traditional Mexican birthday dish made with puffed corn, beef, red chili, and onion and served with shredded cabbage, cilantro, and tortilla chips) and cake. I am so proud of my little brother. He has such a way with people. There is something about him that makes people love him, and it's such a great gift from God! I can't wait to see what God does with Andrew's life!
But wait, his birthday isn't done yet! I still have my present to finish and give him and Grandma's birthday card hasn't arrived quite yet.

Well, I should wrap things up. I'll end my post with a thought from our Bible class assignment for this week.
We were assigned to find five different places in the Bible that talk about friendship and apply them to our lives. I was reading the passage in Daniel 1 where Daniel and his friends stand up for what they believe is right. I was struck by the thought that friends should be willing to stand beside each other and fight for what is right. Friends should spur one another on to righteousness. How often do the actions that I take cause someone else to stumble when I am not willing to stand up with them or speak out for them? Even in the small things, or maybe especially in the small things, I should be willing to make the sacrifice (sacrifice meaning to give up something good for something better) and encourage my friends in righteousness. That is, after all, what God has called us to do.
Proverbs 27:17(NKJV)
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Perhaps on our own we aren't brave enough to be different, but with a friend beside us how much more willing are we to take a stand?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Back in Mexico... since Oct. 1... ;)

Life is like a mathematical equation. You spend all that time figuring out the answer to the problem only to discover that you plugged in the wrong values and miscopied the original problem to begin with!

This is something that I wrote on my facebook wall a couple of weeks ago. It seemed very appropriate at the moment with all of the decisions that I was making (and unmaking). Needless to say it's been a rather tense couple of months what with trying to sort out ideas, keep up on school-related stuff, helping in various ministries we are involved in, and preparing my class for the kids in Tamazula each week. Quite honestly, the only thing that has allowed me to remain at peace in it all has been knowing that God has the ultimate word and that He loves me, so I can trust Him with my future. It's been a struggle to keep my focus where it should be, but with all of the amazing people God has placed in my life to guide me I have been victorious until now. God is good, all the time!

Along the same lines of being "shaken up"; I am sure that most of you would have heard someway or another about our earthquakes. I guess it happened about two weeks ago now. The final and largest earthquake that hit us was a 6.7. I had never felt anything like it... the whole house shook and then when we went outside the ground felt like it was "rolling" underneath us. Quite a unique experience. Even the car was moving back and forth in the driveway. I would say that pretty much all of us have suffered since from paranoia. I have woken up at least twice during the night feeling like the ground was shaking... of course, it wasn't, but that's beside the point ;^). Thanks to all of you who prayed for us. It was very much appreciated!

On a more normal note, life has been good here in Mexico. The heat finally broke somewhere around the 20th of October would you believe that the temperature gets down to almost 68 degrees at night with only 62% humidity? Just makes you want to shiver don't it? ;P Since it's begun cooling off we have been working like madmen... almost like we're trying to make up for lost time. In some ways I feel like it is lost time, but at least we don't have to do it again until next year!

School has gone well. It's been a little difficult to keep a normal schedule for classes, but, one way or another, everyone is learning! I have picked up my Spanish class with the boys and I feel like it's going a lot smoother. It's been a good learning experience for me... and I am hoping for them as well!
For the present I have stopped my French classes. I'll be taking a different approach to learning. I've already bought one book and a have a few more on my list to buy soon. I think that with all that I have learned up till now I should be more than able to be self-directed... practice, practice, practice! Now all I need to do is move to France... we'll just take it one step at a time ;).

Alright, I'm leaving now to make lunch. See you next time! I think that I am going to get back on top of this whole "posting regular" thing. God bless you all! Take care!