Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Very Special Christmas

It is hard to believe that our much anticipated, first Christmas in Mexico is now over - but we had a very wonderful and memorable time. I am quite the sentimental ol' gal and so there were so many special moments that I have "treasured up in my heart". It is a neat thing to be pregnant during Christmas as I think it gives you a special connection with how Mary must have been feeling as she held the Christ child in her womb. I am truly grateful for Jesus! And I am truly grateful for my family. My kids were filled with wonder and amazement and they slowed everything down and enjoyed each little gift and moment beside the tree - sharing hugs, laughter, squeals of joy and lots of thankfulness. I appreciated the gift they gave me of simply living in the moment - not making a mad rush of ripping open presents - but taking the time to look, enjoy, and thank. I was especially touched when they - being only 3 and 2 - stopped to open my sentimental scrapbook photo albums that I made for their 1st year of life, turning the pages and looking at the pictures. I was truly humbled and thankful that I had put the effort into it (Chase's is still incomplete - but he enjoyed what was there!). They were excited about Santa - leaving him some healthy snacks (Reece came up with the idea of yoghurt - all on his own!). And they also enjoyed listening to our traditional Christmas eve readings of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Birth of Jesus from Luke (they boys played with their little nativity scene and Chase kept saying, "baby, baby Jesus" - it was sweet). In the true spirit of Christmas we invited friends over to share Christmas eve dinner with us - the party kept growing - and we had a blast, eating turkey and all the good stuff, setting off sparklers and singing Christmas carols. We were very thankful to have Mimi (Benjy's mom) with us - she (oops, I mean Santa) especially spoiled the boys, as most grandparents love to do! For the rest of the family who didn't get to be with us - we missed your presence and I am now posting a mountain of pictures for your enjoyment. Live the meaning of Christmas all through 2007!

  Feliz Navidad!

 Our sparklers!

 The annual story on Daddy's knee!


  Looking at the nativity characters


  Santa's snack!

   "He did come and he ate almost all of it!"

  Coming down the stairs on Christmas morning!

  An excited boy!

  Enjoying the firstfruits of the stocking - animal crackers (he was not interested in anything else until those were polished off - like I mentioned, it was a nice and slow morning!)


 A precious moment for me!

 "Baby, baby, baby"

 Merry Christmas!

  Posted by Picasa We loved having Mimi with us!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pics of Some Recent Christmas Activity

   Our Tree!

  Reece's Christmas program. He was a pretty shy boy but we were proud of him for hanging in there and participating!

  Traditional Christmas Pinatas. Reece's class made this pinata and... he came home with more candy!

 Lots of train fun! The boys were anxious to get out their train from Bear...we need to trim under the tree in order for it to get around the tree so tonight we just let them play with it out in the open. We set up the more "2 year old friendly" version on the inside track and had train races. Pretty fun stuff.

  "What? I am not supposed to touch the track? What do you mean?"

  All cozy, watching Polar Express!

  Christmas Baking!

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Our Christmas Letter

I know there are still some of you out there who love to get Christmas cards and read annual Christmas letters in the traditional way - via the mail system - with gingerbread cookies and a cup of apple cider or hot chocolate....if you are one of those, don't read this post! I have my cards and letters in the process of going into the mail, but you know how that can go too. I AM going to get them sent, I just don't know exactly when they will arrive at your house! Or, if you are way too anxious to know about the Brednich families exciting lives (ha!) - you can always read the letter twice. A very Merry Christmas to all of you...

December 2006

Dear family and friends;

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Mexico City! We are very much enjoying this time of the year and trust that you are as well. As we reflect on 2006, we are reminded of many good things that this past year has had to offer – God, as always, is good and worthy to be praised!

Our family is really doing well. We have enjoyed a busy year of buzz and activity with our two toddler boys, Reece (3.5) and Chase (2). Thankfully, both kids have been healthy and are growing and developing in so many ways. Reece began school (part-time) this year and we have been happy with his adjustment and progress in the Mexican school system. We are amazed at his quick ability to pick up Spanish and feel grateful that he enjoys going and learning. Chase has had a year of milestones – beginning to walk earlier this year – which has quickly progressed to running, climbing, jumping, and basically anything mischievous. He is talking a lot more too and that has been fun. The boys interact well together – sometimes better than others! All of us are excited for the arrival of a new baby to our home, expected to arrive in March. We have decided to await the birth of the baby to find out if the boys have a sister (which Reece is very sure of) or another brother to add to the mix. We are so very thankful to God for the blessing of our children – they teach us so much about what really matters and about how fun life really is.

As parents, we are also doing well – asking for much wisdom along the way of this parenting journey. We completed eight years of marriage this past month and find ourselves really content and pleased with where God has brought us this far. We have been in Mexico for three and a half years and feel blessed to be a part of this work and ministry. Although there are definitely challenges in living in another culture and being far from family, friends and familiarity – we are feeling good about being here – and are thankful for your part in that!

Some of the highlights of 2006 would most certainly include the spiritual growth and development that we see in our house church and in the work across Tlalpan (our area of Mexico City). God is at work and we are witnesses to that. Yes, there have been times of discouragement and impatience in respect to the progress of our work, but overall, we are growing, serving and learning more and more about true dependence on our God. We ask for your continued prayers for our discipleship and for more seekers to join the kingdom. We anticipate good things in this upcoming year as we look to be creative and intentional with opportunities to shine the light of Christ.

Thank you to the many of you who made visits to us in Mexico City in 2006. We always receive tremendous encouragement by your time spent here with us and your service to this work. We also appreciate the many letters, phone calls, emails, and care packages that you so generously share with us. Please know that our home is open to you for another visit soon!

We will be in Mexico City this Christmas – enjoying a quiet time with our family – and celebrating the goodness of our Savior. We pray many blessings on you this season and in the upcoming year.

In Christ,
Benjy, Carolyn, Reece, Chase & Baby Brednich

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Remembering My Dad

Today, December 17, marks two years since my Dad left us. In many ways it is really hard to believe that that much time has already passed since we last shared phone calls and visits - yet in other ways, it seems like it has been a lot longer. Although we certainly miss him, I personally am filled with peace today as I think about the "better life" that he has experienced since that day. Heaven seems more real to me now that I have such a close part of our family already there. I am thankful that we share that hope of reunion - and the comfort it gives us here in the meantime. Christmas time was always a favorite of my Dad's. Over the last few days I have been enjoying memories of childhood Christmases and many of those special thoughts seem to involve him - his love of prematurely guessing what he would receive, his annual words that said Christmas would not be much in our household that year - only to see his generosity poured out in gifts under the tree for all of us. The community Christmas programs he was always involved in. His love for "Christmas oranges" and a good family game of crokinole. I laughed at the memory of how he and mom disguised my brother's hand-held football video game (a big deal back then) in the hugest box ever - filled with heavy things like stools and old-fashioned milk jugs. We were all fooled. I love the way we ate our big meal on Christmas eve and then, in eager anticipation awaited the announcement that it was finally time to begin opening our presents. Christmas was always special....and remains that way to me now. I am excited about this season - and look forward to creating those special memories with my own children. I wish my Dad could be here to know Reece and Chase and our soon to come baby, but his memory is alive in our family. I will think of him as we read the Christmas story from the gospels this Christmas eve. My Dad was a good man with a uniquely good personality - Merry Christmas Dad - we love and miss you.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chaser Turns 2!


Our sweet little baby boy is growing up pretty fast! We had a really great day celebrating his life on Saturday - surrounded by good friends and a very special visit from Bear and Honey (Benjy's Dad, Gary and his wife, Robin). We partied with the barnyard theme - notice Chase's new boots from Texas! Chase had a super long nap in the morning and "showed up late" to his own party - so he was in a great mood and had a whole lot of fun with everyone. We felt like we have had an abundance of candy since Halloween so we decided not to do a pinata...well, we are in Mexico and guess what - Chase received a pinata filled with candy as a, there went that idea :). He now knows he is 2 and answers "dossss" if you ask him how old he is. Pretty cute! He received a mountain of really neat gifts - thank you to all of you! For more party pictures - check out the link to the right for my flickr account (just click on any picture and it will open up to my photos - choose the set called Chase's 2nd Birthday).


When things quieted down after a long day, I tucked him in with a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for the beautiful gift Chase is to me and to our family. He is an adventureous little guy with a sparkle in his eye. I love his laugh, his sweet smile and his "big hugs". It has been a fun two years of getting to know him. He is a funny kid and has brought a whole lot of laughter into our home. I believe God has great things in store for him and I pray for many more years of life for us to discover those things. Happy birthday Chaser - you are precious to us and very much loved! Posted by Picasa

Bear and Honey

We had a great weekend visit from Bear & Honey (Benjy's Dad, Gary and his wife Robin). We were blessed to have them here - and enjoyed watching them bond with the kids. Gary spent hours in the back yard with the boys - teaching them to throw and catch - shooting hoops, and on and on. They didn't run out of energy and petitions for Bear to play outside with them! Gary and Robin brought the kids cowboy boots from Texas - and it was a huge hit! We felt especially blessed to have family at Chase's birthday - something we never take for granted since we live so far from everyone.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Great Eight!

We celebrated eight years of marriage today! I so much appreciate, respect and absolutely love my fun and just plain good husband! We realized today that we have known each other for 10 years - one third of my life! That was a weird thought. My mind drifted back to our dating years when I remember sitting in an ice cream shop in Kosice, Slovakia - and I noticed a much older married couple enjoying ice cream together - but with no conversation, just silence. I remember feeling sad for them, in my youthful arrogance, thinking that they must not have a very good relationship if they don't even have anything to talk about! Now, several years later and with a little more "relationship experience" under my belt - I smile to think how beautiful of a thing it is to feel so comfortable with someone that just being together, sometimes in complete silence, is enough. That we don't always have to be talking to understand, feel, and share together. I love you babe!

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Okay, we had a really fun day together! What more romantic and fun could a good ol' Canadian girl ask for as a fun date on our anniversary but to go skating!!!! We have our own skates here that we recieved as gifts from my parents several years ago. They haven't had a whole lot of practice but we carried our skates in, expecting to find a rink full of Mexicans "trying" to stand up on ice. Honestly, the laugh was kind of on us. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. First of all, Benjy is just a funny guy and I could clearly see that, at first, he was just appeasing me. We were shocked to see all these Mexicans figure skating and really being actually good on the ice. And then ther is me - nearly 6 months pregnant and a little timid from not having done this in long time and not wanting to fall on my unborn baby....and then there is Benjy who hasn't skated many times himself (receiving an abundance of heckling from my Canadian family as we would play hockey out on the pond!). At one point, we came across a not-so-good-skater who was losing control and Benjy pushed me in his way so he wouldn't be the one getting hit! It struck Benjy as funny that we were the whitest people out there, with the most authentic equipment (his CCM skates!) and we were the most inexperienced. How could this be?!?!? Okay - so they weren't that good of skaters - but compared to what we expected to see - it was impressive. Anyway, we laughed really really hard, had a lot of fun, saw a good movie together and ate some classic Mexican tacos! Here is to another many, many years of fun together!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks

We celebrated American Thanksgiving a little early this year since we will all be out of town on Thursday. We had a lot of fun and a feast of food! We felt blessed to sit around a table with such good friends. God is so good and has blessed us with co-workers in this City that are also good, good friends to us - that is a unique blessing in itself! This year we missed being with teammates Sean and Jeni, Sarah and Philip McClue (out of town) and Paul and Kristi, Maddi and Olivia Miller (now living in Texas).

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Personally, I have an abundance of things to be thankful for - three of those - my great husband and my sweet boys - are pictured below (all dressed up and handsome!) Happy thanksgiving to all of you!


Request Granted

As requested by Auntie Betsy after a recent post....Chase giving a self description! Enjoy!

Weekend with Greg

Greg Spurgeon, a good friend from Dallas, spontaneously came for the weekend. We had a great time with him - and my kids absolutely LOVED him. He arrived late, late Thursday night and so naturally, slept in Friday morning. Reece kept asking why he was sleeping so long and when was he going to wake up. They opened his door and kept running down the hall and peeking in on him - I think Greg's prescence was a greater novelty than Santa Clause (although in a way Greg acted like Santa to us - sympathizing with us for our poor supply of quality Halloween treats - he brought us a sack full! Thank you Greg!). I think, at times, Greg may have felt overwhelmed by Reece and Chase's continual desire to sit by him, play with him and have Greg stay longer - but it was fun to see.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm A Toot

Little Chase has quite the personality. He is definitely the younger brother and has grown into his role as the "younger and smaller one" quite appropriately. He is a scrapper and defends himself well - he often comes out on top when those two "interact" (partly, I think because Reece knows a little better and is afraid of being disciplined but also just because Chase is plain old tough). Chase is also a little tease. It is amazing to me, that at his very young age, he has learned which buttons to push to irritate his big brother - and he doesn't hold back from doing it - over, and over again. He has brought many a smile to our faces as he gets "the look" in his eyes and gears up to cause trouble. As of late, he has inherited the name "little toot" and Benjy has taught him to repeat "I'm a toot". He mainly says the word "toot" (with a cute little Canadian accent) and it cracks us up!

Some Things Never Change

This post in written especially for Auntie Betsy (well, and Uncle Brig and Uncle Burke) for all have one thing in common: being a younger brother of my dear husband, Benjy...

Over the past few weeks I have noticed a particular "edge" to Benjy's playtime with the boys and it has given me a real live picture into the "stories" I have heard of the Brednichs childhoods (Betsy being traumatized by toy snakes comes quickly to mind). Chase, like most little boys, LOVES balloons. I recently came across a bag of balloons from a previous birthday party. Chase has been in heaven....until his Daddy realized the thrill of chasing him around the house with a blown up balloon, letting out the air behind him. The look on Chase's little face is priceless. I have tried to capture it on video, and just in a picture but I can't get it because he is too fast - scared out of his pants - but seemingly happy at the same time. And not far behind him comes Benjy, laughing himself silly as his youngest kid is scared to death! In Chase's limited language ability he now says, "booon" (for balloon) but immedietly makes a "pheeew, pheew" sound while saying "no, no" at the same time. The poor kid just wants an innocent balloon to play with, blown up and most certainly tied.

The other thing is the little nurf ball shooting gun that the kids have. Benjy will arrive on the scene with this gun, fully loaded with little green nurf balls and the kids begin screaming and running away in an instant. He pings them off and reloads before they know what is happening. There is a lot of scrambling, screaming and most definitely a lot of laughter (mostly by the one behind the trigger!).

Yes, I enjoy watching these interactions of a Daddy with his sons - it makes my heart happy to see the way Reece and Chase light up when he spends time with them. Sure, sometimes they are begging for him to stop and dear ol' Dad is not ready to relent - but nevertheless, all involved have a great time. It has made me smile to think about how Benjy's siblings had many a good year of that kind of play with their brother. Apparently, he hasn't changed too much in the "traumatizing little ones" department. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cute Thoughts On Sharing...

Reece came home from school today with a bag of cookies and some chocolate milk. He was quite excited. With much enthusiasm he stated that..."when my friends come over tonight, I am going to share my cookies with all of them. And, Mommy, when I go to heaven I am going to give a cookie to everyone there. And I am going to give one to Grandpa!"

This made me smile!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Our Baby


We were blessed to be able to see our beautiful baby today via ultrasound. The picture isn't that clear but I wanted to post it anyway - as a sort of first introduction to friends and family! He or she is healthy and all looks excellant according to the doctor. We are very thankful. We shared our request to not find out this baby's sex - the doc smiled at us and proceeded with the ultrasound with experience and finesse - never allowing us a curious little peek at baby's privates, even if we had wanted to sneak it! After finishing, he congratulated us on our healthy baby boy or girl - telling us he didn't know which it is either! So there goes my concern that the doctor might slip up and let us know - he doesn't even know! Ahhhh, this is fun! The suprise continues!

On a more serious note, my heart has been aching for high school friend Jennifer Wallace and her husband, John, upon the loss of their baby boy at birth. I have marvelled at their faith and the reminder that Gordon gives us about the fraility of life, and the hope of heaven. My prayers continue for their sorrow and grief - and with the reality that our days are not guaranteed, I put the lives of my family and friends - my husband, my 2 boys and this unborn child in God's hands. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Discovering Jesus With Friends

Reece and Kate having a quiet moment. Too precious.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Halloween

We had a fun little Halloween gathering like we do every year. It is fun time for the kids (right?)


Our family dressed up as characters from one of the kids' favorite movies - Charlotte's Web. We must have rotated costume ideas about 4 times to include Chase as someone but he was quite opposed to participating in this costume idea (he shuffled from Wilbur the pig to Templeton the rat to a barnyard sheep to finally....a plain old, unthreatening spider web - which he still rebelled against!) This persistent Mom finally gave in, more due to lack of time than determination! So Reece, as Charlotte the spider who saves the day - me, as Wilbur the "some pig" and Benjy, as the jolly Mr. Zuckerman (who did quite the impersonation if I do say so myself) had a fun time! Reece entered the party saying, "Salutations" - it was pretty cute!

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Our AIM team participated in dressing up too - what good sports! They were the Wizard of Oz and did a great job!


Reece and Chase got to participate in some trick-or-treating (or as they say here "queremos halloween!" )and then Reece got to dress up for school on Wednesday and they partied all day!

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