Sunday, October 29, 2006

Revealing Pink or Blue

My growing tummy is confirmation that we are moving along, but it is hard to believe I am almost half-way there! Although this is my third time around of pregnancy, I continue to be amazed and marvelled at what it really means to have a real little life inside me. I am sure if I had 100 children, (don't worry - that is not in the plans) - it would still be that way. Over the weekend I believe I have sensed the fluttery movement of our little one for the first time. How incredible! And how reassuring to my heart! When I was pregnant with both Reece and Chase, I didn't feel them move until around this time, even though "they" say you can often feel the baby earlier in subsequent things seem right on course. I am growing, feeling really good and loving being pregnant! I should have an appointment this upcoming week and I think we will have an ultrasound - the ultrasound that would enable to reveal "pink" or more "blue". But, contary to popular demand, we are going to wait about 20 more weeks for the answer to the question. Sorry! I will admit that my curiosity is there and I have weakened a small amount in this idea...but Benjy stands strong and brings me back to the fun-side of waiting. So - we are waiting. We will explain our desires to my doctor and ultrasound doctor, and be fascinated by the details of our little ones development as we see it on the screen - without trying to peek at the private area that might reveal the anticipated secret. For those of you who have been in the position of not finding out - what do you do? Close your eyes during part of the ultrasound? I mean, we have learned how to see the image on the screen (unlike the first time when you just nod in amazement when the doctor tells you that that is your babies head, arm, legs, etc.. and you just don't see it at all....but don't want to let that on either! as if it is your first signs of failing as a parent! ha!). Or I guess the doctor tells you when he is looking at that area and your integrity guides you to close your eyes?! I am new at this "suprise" thing - and since we want to wait - how do we do this? Anyway, just know that me and baby are doing great! Praise God for His continual care and blessings!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Our Friend Burnell

Last September, we as parents tried to encourage Reece's compassionate heart for others by helping him send a small care package of things to a young child displaced by Hurricane Katrina. We had some friends in Lubbock, TX volunteering with families from New Orleans and they helped us match our package of young boy things to an appropriate family. Reece taught us lessons that day - choosing some of his newest toys to share. We sent McDonald's gift certificates, markers, crayons, coloring books, etc.. etc.. We also included a letter from Reece and a picture of him and Chase. We included our return address in hopes for an opportunity of correspondence between these kids. We sent the package, heard it had been delivered, and then....time marched on.

Last weekend Reece and Chase suprisingly received a letter from Lubbock, TX. It was from Burnell - including a picture of himself and words of thanks for our prayers and the things we sent them. It made me cry. A whole year later! We have occasionally prayed for that "little boy" who is playing with Reece's firetruck, but now we have a face and a name,Burnell, to place with it. His family is moving to Houston after all this time.

Praise God for little gifts like this and the opportunities they provide to teach our kids - and ourselves! - about generosity, prayer, and thinking of others needs. We are incredibly blessed and with the holidays approcahing, we have been talking about remembering the importance of being a family that lives the true spirit of Christmas - and not just "stocking up" with more material things.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Brotherly Love

This picture says it all and it really makes me smile. It might make you smile if I posted a picture of the opposite emotion that can be exchanged between these two brothers....but I won't!

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Welcome Baby Julianne

Our good friends and Mexican teammates, Israel and Nelly Molina (son, Gael) welcomed their new daughter into their family a few weeks ago.

 Israel, Nelly and Julianne


 Reecer getting ready for a new baby at our house! He couldn't wait to hold her!

We threw a small shower for Nelly on Thursday. It was a lot of fun! Nelly wasn't feeling that well and almost decided not to come to her own suprise shower - but we managed to get her and baby Julianne there. We had a good time celebrating this new, precious life - and showering her with gifts. All the "pink" made me a little curious as to whether we have any "pink" in our future! Enjoy these pictures (especially the ones of the ladies trying to guess what baby food was adorning these diapers - funny game, and a bit gross!)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Simple Pleasures During Pregnancy

Ok, although we live in Mexico, I must say that we do have it pretty good for being able to get what we want in way of familiar foods. But not everything. I went through my whole pregnancy with Chase missing something that had been a highly consumed product by me during my pregnancy with Reece. Nothing too strange to fit that weird craving stereotype...just Berry Burst Cheerios. I love them. I am a BIG fan of raspberries, so the dried raspberries mixed in with the other berries is perfect - with a sliced banana to go along with it of course. I ate boxes of those Cheerios. Well, I am so happy to say that I stumbled across a box of them today - in Mexico! More than likely, they won't be there the next time I go back because it is often that way here....BUT....for now, I am one happy pregnant woman...and I am going to end at that and go eat a bowl now! Cheerio - HA!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I read this this morning - pretty amazing...

"Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" Hebrews 7:25

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bringing Up Boys...

  Reece - 3.5 years

  Chase - 22 months
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I am just finishing up Dr. James Dobson's book, "Bringing Up Boys". It has been on our shelf for a long time but I finally pulled it out and jumped in. It has been a good read - very challenging and in some ways disheartening. Disheartening in the way that he paints the reality of raising kids, and especially boys in todays' culture. He addresses the breakdown of the family system, the blatant war that society wages against the family, and against kids with sex, violence, moral relativity, etc.. etc.. I do feel all the more blessed to have God on my side and a Godly man to share this responsibility with me everyday. I feel called to be more aware of the ugliness that this world has and the important role we have in making our home a refuge and a place of God-centered principles and relationship.

Father, I pray for your loving protection over our boys tonight. I pray for the wisdom and the strength to provide them with a home life rich in relationship, communication, and dependance on You. Give Benjy and I insight into what is best for each of them and to provide boundaries, discipline and love that equips them to be men of character in a world that lacks it. Give us consistency, intention, and endurance in this great task of parenting. Thank You for being the perfect Father - may we do our best to model Your love and grace to our kids. Thank You for the honor of being parents - we need You and humbly ask for lots of wisdom and guidance each step of the journey. In Christ, Amen. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Flowers For Everyone

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This afternoon, Benjy came home with a huge bouquet of red and yellow roses...just because! I was so happy and in my thanking him I said to Reece, "isn't it so nice that Daddy brought me flowers!" He seemed a little bothered and stated strongly, "they aren't just for you Mommy, they are for everyone" - so I am sharing my beautiful roses with the family :) As with most things, Reece wanted to help me arrange them in the vase and it created a good conversation between us. I explained to him that when he grows up and becomes a Daddy he needs to remember how much Mommies love flowers and get them for her, etc.. etc.. - then I backtracked and explained that before he became a Daddy he would become a husband. We talked about the difference between being a wife and Mommy and a husband and Daddy. Then we went on with our day.

Tonight, just before bedtime, the topic of the roses got brought up again as we noticed them cheering up the kitchen table. Benjy told Reece that the yellow roses mean "friendship" and he asked if he thought Mommy and Daddy were good friends. Reece's response was pretty classic (in my humble opinion) - he said, "well, Mommy is the wiseman and Daddy is the foolishman!" HA! Not sure if earlier he was hearing "wise" instead of "wife" but hey, his take on it all sounds good to me!


This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving - and a great opportunity for me to reflect on the goodness in my life. There is much.

I am thankful this morning for Jesus and the One He is in my life - even when I am too distracted and distant to acknowledge Him for all He deserves. I am grateful for the fact that He has been a part of my life since my beginning - and has guided me and protected me from a lot of hard lessons people have to learn the hard way without Him. Christ has been, and continues to be, the foundation of who I am. Sure, I do not always listen to and obey His principles, and I have leaps and bounds to gorw...but at the core of me, and my family is Christ. And I love that. I am thankful for His goodness, His grace, His love, His purpose and His many blessings.

I also am amazed at the idea of "family". I love it that I know so many people who deeply love their spouses and their kids - who think that they are the most blessed and have been given the greatest gifts in a spouse or children (you can all think that, but I believe I have you beat!). I just think it so neat to think that people share life together and enjoy it - what a blessing. I love the unique and special things about my boys - Benjy, Reece and Chase. Their laughs, personalities, sensitivities, generosities, passions and just simply who they are (even including the not always so pretty parts!) I am thankful that I have a grounded, Godly man to walk beside me as we love life together and try to raise these kids to become Godly men. I love it that I have life within me as we await our third child. What an amazing and humbling experience! I love the anticipation that new life brings. I am thankful for my family.

I am also thankful for the idea of hope. I love it that in God, there is always something to look forward to! Yes, I am certainly referring to the joy of heaven and the chance to be with God and reunited with loved ones. But I am also referring to life right now. There is always hope in difficult situations, that God will use it to bring good to someone or something. There is hope that your current struggle won't always be there because of Christ's power to transform. There is hope that God wants to use you for something purposeful at some point. There is hope that people, including myself, will become more and more Christlike...and that the world (even if it is my little part of this big world) can be a better place because of God at work.

I am thankful to have the chance to be at home with my kids while they are young. I know that many women desire that but just can't financially. I am grateful that we don't feel that pressure right now. I know I can get frustrated and forget and am not always aware of the priviledge I have to be a at home with the kids like I am - but when I stop and think about it, I am reminded of all that is good about it. Sure, it is a lot of work and I am not so sure I always do it well - but....I am thankful today that as I sit here and write, I can hear the laughter of my kids playing together. That I was here for all the special milestones, but also for the everyday happenings. I feel honored to give my kids the unique gift of a constant presence in their life, of playtime on the floor, of snacks, of breaking up their fights, of telling them "no" again, of reading stories and singing songs, and disciplining, and on and on. It is a huge responsibility - and I continue to ask God for wisdom - but I love being a Mom and I am thankful today for this role.

I am thankful for relationships. My extended family means a lot to me and I am thankful for the quality of relationship that I feel we have maintained, in spite of living so far apart from each other. And my friendships continue to be an important part of my life. I have kept in contact with a lot of old friends - from childhood, high school, AIM, etc.. and it is just a part of my life that I love. Even at times when weeks and months have passed between making contact, most of the time, we can pick back up and carry on. I am thankful for my friends right here in Mexico - that encourage me on a more regular basis. Thank you to all of you family and friends!

Well, I am sure I could go on, but speaking of my previous "thankfulness" I smell a dirty diaper and must tend to it!

Thank you God for giving me an abundant life! Praise You for your goodness!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Prayers Needed....

We just found out that our friends, Gerardo and Dulce, are in a difficult time. Gerardo's Dad was diagnosed with cancer last week - and although they are still doing tests, it looks pretty advanced and aggressive. Please be praying for this situation.

Benjy and I were talking and wondering if this might be a time of vulnerability and an openess for spirituality in our friendship with them. We were with them the other night and felt the openness to extended expressions of prayer and support towards them. Pray for us to have wisdom, sensitivity, compassion, and action in their lives right now.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cafe Y Algo Mas

So here are a few pictures of the new coffee shop location. We are on the top floor - far left corner. For those of you who have been down here to see it in person, you will notice, in the second picture, that our old shop was to the far right of the plaza (bottom floor, facing that corner of the street) So we didn't move far! But things have gone well. We have officially been open full time for 1 week now. Veronica is a young girl who works for us from 2 - 9:30 on the weekdays and then most of the day Saturday. We (between us and the AIM guys) run it in the mornings. We have noticed that our shop has become the "hang out" for most of the employees when business is slow for them. We ask for your continued support through prayer as we seek to create relationships with people through this ministry. Yes, up until now we considered it to be through our clientel, but maybe God will open doors through Veronica, or other workers in our neighboring businesses.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Happenings....

This weekend was almost like most weekends, except that...
* dear Dodger Black (Reece's fish) died. I went to feed it on Friday evening and noticed him floating sideways. Oops. Reece was already in bed so we waited until Saturday to tell Reece and allow him to experience one of life's many lessons - the loss of a pet. His reaction was interesting. As to any toddler, the novelty of a fish had worn off a long time ago so I wasn't even sure if he would care. He didn't cry or even seem very sad. Mad might be the better description. He did want to touch him and try to save him but I told him he was floating like that since yesterday - he was dead. Reece said that Dodger Black was a bad, bad fish because he died. And that God and Jesus didn't like which Benjy reminded him that God made fish and He liked them very much, that Dodger Black wasn't bad, he was just dead, and that Dodger Black was in "fishy heaven" (hadn't heard that one before!) Reece left it at that for the rest of the day, but did say it was the sad part of his day during "happy parts/sad parts" routine.
* I reached 15 weeks in my pregnancy. I feel good and am thankful for this little baby. I really couldn't feel happier about our families stage (besides a little fearful at times of how 3 might be!)
* Chase did a half turn side flip off of and over the edge of the side of the slide and landed flat on his back...a good ways away from the slide. He is acting a little big for his britches as of late and I have imagined a broken neck with his boyish ways of playing. But - he cried for a few seconds and wanted to go back up. Kids are crazy!
* I have made a scrapbooking plan - plotting out a way to achieve some progress in the boys' "1st year" books. Now I just need to get to it!
* the coffee shop is in full swing with our new employee, Veronica. We feel good about it and have had made some good business over the last few days (we are now open Monday - Saturday from morning to evening with a few hours off around noon). I will post a few pics soon of the shops new location.
* we watched the movie, "Ghandi" this weekend - I had never seen it before but was quite challenged by his life.
* Benjy and I had a good conversation about our kids - proud of where they are at developmentally, and also retouched on areas we need to grow at in our parenting them. Chase is really fun! He is talking a whole bunch more - saying lots of things spontaneously now and is fun to interact with. He makes the cutest excited or scared face and is beginning to really like books - which makes us quite happy. Reece is amazing us with his ability to pick up on the spanish language. He is really doing well - showing a lot of interest in how to say things in spanish and seems like he only needs to be told once - a little sponge for a brain! He brought home some of his notebooks this week and we have been working on stuff that he misses during the week by only going part time. He is really doing well! We have got some good boys!
* had a good morning with our house church - worshipping and fellowshipping together.
* kids are resting, Benjy is playing video games and I am going to read a book! Yay!

That about covers the last few days. I am looking forward to another new week...hope you are too!