Thursday, May 29, 2008

Precious memory

The most important thing that happened during our furlough was when Joseph told his Dad that he wanted to be saved. We were in a hotel room, getting ready to leave for a missions conference when he insisted that he needed to ask Jesus to be his Savior. Daniel spent some time discussing it with him, then they prayed together. I could identify with the peace on his face afterwards:

Matthew 18:2-3 "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Daniel's birthday!

Yes, we are finally concluding our Family Birthday Month of May! :o) Daniel's birthday actually landed on Sunday, which was Dia De La Familia at the church in San Juan. (Details about that on our ministry blog.)

Today, the day after his actual birthday, was dubbed Daniel's Birthday Cake Day. And every year by the time we get to his birthday, we are all birthday caked-out and ready for something different. Like meatloaf, you say? Well, not THAT different. He loves cheesecake, so that's what I make him.

And he feels sooooo loved. :o)

You notice there's no bitsy, dainty pie-sized cheesecake here. No sir, the rest of us want a piece, too! I make the big one, and we're almost certain to have enough to go around. ;o)

The children all adore their Daddy and shower him with lots of attention, especially for his birthday. Jessica made him a special little frame with her picture, and on the frame she wrote, "Has any other girl a father like mine? So loving, so tender to his daughter. I thank God for you, Daddy!"

If you know Daniel, then you know that he is always serving, always lending a hand where help is needed.

He is a man who is comfortable wearing a suit and tie...

...But is just as comfortable in his work clothes, getting his hands dirty.

He'll try just about anything...once.

If it works, he'll do it again. If it doesn't, he chalks it up to experience!

He even delivers babies.

What a man! I love him!

Happy birthday, Sweetie!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jillian's Birthday

Today is our sweet Jillian's 8th birthday! She went to the usual Saturday activities - visitation in the morning, and youth meeting in the afternoon. At youth meeting, we have music class and have been practicing a special song for Family Day tomorrow.

At the end of class, Pastor Oto had the children all line up for "one more practice", but instead of the song Jillian was expecting, they broke out with the Birthday song!

She was surprised/pleased/embarrassed, like Jillian gets when she's the center of attention...

And, of course, there was CAKE! This was her Flower Garden cake...

Jillian loves all things pink and pretty... and chocolate! :o) Happy birthday, Honey!

There are but two real Christians in the world

(By John Angell James)

There appears to me to be, at the present moment,
a most criminal neglect, on the part of Christian
parents, of the pious education of their children.

That Christian who would carry on a system of pious
education with success, should enforce it with all the
commanding influence of a holy example. Let your
children see all the "beauties of holiness" reflected
from your character, and the grand outline of godly
virtue filled up with all the delicate touches and
varied coloring of the Christian graces.

Let your children have this conviction in their hearts,
"If there are but two real Christians in the world,
my father is one, and my mother is the other."

It is dreadful--but not uncommon for children to
employ themselves in contrasting the appearance
which their parents make . . .
at the Lord's table--and at their own table;
in the house of God--and at home!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Joseph's Birthday

Today my little man turned six years old! We had a little party after supper, just our family.

We had so much fun preparing little surprises for the birthday boy! His big sisters made him gifts several days ago: a hand-painted, wooden semi truck that is actually a coin bank; a stitched bag for carrying things in, etc.

This is the most fun I've ever had making a cake...
(Inspired by a cake I saw on!)

They say variety is the spice of life. Well, the Lord added Joseph to our family six years ago to spice life up for us! He is a wonderful bundle of extremes... He can be extremely dramatic, extremely happy, (extremely annoying, interjects his sister)...

...Extremely fun! I'm so blessed to be his mom. We thank God for giving us our Joseph for six years so far.

Love ya, Bud!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations, Bro. Jimmy!

This weekend a very important event took place. Our good friend and brother, Jimmy Frazier, graduated from Bible College! He has worked so hard over the years to support his family, keeping his wife at home and his children getting a Christian education, while he studied. We are very proud of them all, and pray God's blessings on them as they take the next steps in their ministry for Christ.

Bro. Frazier is called to pastor. Please pray for him as he seeks God's will. He will be preaching Sunday at a Baptist church in East Texas, to see if the Lord wants to use him there.

God bless you Bro. Jimmy, Christy, Bridgette, Brian and Caleb. We love you!


My husband made a wonderful discovery today. He found in his briefcase a jump drive containing several photos from our furlough in 2007! Let me explain why this is so wonderful. Toward the end of the furlough, our laptop crashed, and we lost a lot of valuable information, including a year's worth of family and travel memories in the form of digital photos. Daniel's discovery of the old jump drive had us all gathered around the computer this evening, viewing photos and reliving fun memories...

I'd like to post several of these, but there are simply too many to do all at once. So I will be posting a "Furlough Memory" once in a while, and I hope you all will enjoy them as much as we do!

We did a LOT of driving to churches in at least ten states. Sometimes we were soooo tired of travelling, but most of the time we made the best of it, and many sweet memories were made with friends and family along the way!

Here's The Driver:

Nothing like a good caffeine boost to keep you alert on the road!

And here's The Navigator/Entertainer/Referee:

We make a great team!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dachshund photos

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cool-as-a-Cucumber Chicken Salad

Even here in the mountains, it gets pretty warm on some afternoons this time of year. When Daniel comes in from a long morning of hard work, he's ready for something to cool him off, but also needs a lunch that will satisfy his hunger. That's a good time to whip up some chicken salad sandwiches! We like it any way it comes, but here's a version I made recently:

Cool-as-a-Cucumber Chicken Salad

3 chicken breasts, boiled thoroughly then chilled
1/2 cucumber
1/2 apple
dash of salt
dash of dill, if you like

Cube the chilled chicken breasts, the cucumber, and the apple. Mix them all together in a medium mixing bowl, then add a dollop of mayonnaise, according to your taste. Add the salt and dill, then mix all together.

This recipe made about eight sandwiches. Delicious served with chilled mint tea!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I hope all you mothers out there enjoyed some special blessings today! Here in Guatemala, El Dia de la Madre is always on May 10 instead of the second Sunday in May, as it is in the States. So this year I had two Mother's Days. :o)

My children honored me with some homemade gifts, lots of hugs and kisses, a song, and even a blender! (Maybe we'll have smoothies tomorrow :o)

My husband fixed lunch for us. We always have the same thing on Sunday: pot roast and veggies in the crockpot. It is always delicious, and it sure makes things easier on Sunday afternoons to have lunch ready for us when we get home from church! Want to try it? Here is our recipe:

Sunday Dinner

On Saturday night, turn your crockpot on high, rinse off your roast and place it in the crockpot. Cover the meat with tenderizer (I use all-natural papain, no MSG) and spices. Whatever is on hand is fine; you can experiment with rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, whatever smells good to you, just don't overdo it! ;o)

Next, pile on the veggies. We usually put in carrots and potatoes or cabbage. Quarter a medium onion and put it on top. Add some salt, pour in water almost to the top, cover, and turn the pot down to low heat to simmer all night.

Next morning you'll wake up to an aroma that will make you want to eat roast for breakfast!

Makes Sundays all the more restful for this Mamma. May the Lord bless all you other Mammas out there, today and every day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Delightful day

I woke up eearrrly this morning to my husband singing to me. (He gets up a little after 5 a.m.)

Later, Jessica and Jillian made me breakfast. French toast with peaches, Yum!

Why all the special treatment? Today's my birthday! (You'll have to guess how old I am, though.)

Let me share with you some of the delights of my day...

Lucious strawberries from the market!

My son Joseph's ingenuity in school this morning. Why perform the mundane task of writing his name on every page, when he can stamp it on instead? I told him after this, he has to write his name. But it made me smile!

My little boy splashing in the bathtub...

Beautiful, fragrant roses...

My godly, hard-working, (not to mention handsome!) husband...

Puppy madness in my back yard...

A beautiful, healthy baby to care for...

Discovering some wonderful truth in God's Word that I've never seen before! (And goofing around with my son, the photographer :o)

Finding this little cutie napping on my bed...

...and raising girls who are eighteen months apart, and best buds! (Coco and Loco :o)

I thank God for every year, every day, every moment of my life. I am blessed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Green things

The garden is growing so nicely. It sure is liking the rain we've had lately! The lettuce is looking perky, and there are already some little blossoms on the tomatoes. Can hardly wait to have a fresh salad from our own garden!

The broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage look so much alike that I can't tell them apart! They got all mixed up when I was planting. Adds a little bit of suspense to gardening, Ha.

Monday, May 5, 2008

An Excellent Household Cleaner

This is the recipe for a simple, cheap, but very effective all-purpose cleaner that I use in my home:

1 cup distilled water
1 cup isopropyl alcohol
5 drops peppermint oil
5 drops lavender oil

Put all ingredients into a spray bottle and use to clean and disinfect surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere. It will clean windows and mirrors, and floors too. I have noticed that when I wipe down the table and high chair with this cleaner, flies do not land there! I'm told the lavender oil repels flies and other bugs.


I hope you all have had a blessed weekend! Ours was...interesting. We were planning to have company over for lunch on Sunday, but the power went off on Saturday! It was raining and lightning outside when we heard a loud POP, and the lights went out.

When the power goes off, so does the electric pump that draws water from our well, so we were also without running water. We had to cancel our plans to entertain, call the power company, pray, and hope for the best.

A cool, dark house on a rainy weekend can definitely get dreary! But we are getting good at making do. We were definitely thanking the Lord that our stove is gas, not electric! So there was no trouble making hot meals. The older girls love to light candles all over the house (they are very careful), and Daniel fires up a Coleman lantern, and it's like camping out, only more comfortable :o)

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5

Sometimes in the evenings we roast marshmallows, or play Bible charades by lantern light. Once Daniel even hooked up the computer to the power inverter in the car, and I was able to check email while the car ran outside! Not a necessity, but it was nice. :o)

All that to say this: Even when things get difficult and don't go as we plan, we are blessed if we can be content. There are many blessings to enjoy along the way if we'll just look for them! Each week our family learns about a good character trait, and guess which one it was this past week? Contentment! Looks like the Lord wanted to give us a good lesson in contentment, and it really was a blessing. Thank You, Lord!

"...For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

Friday, May 2, 2008

The girls and I have music class every Saturday, and they are learning how to read music and play recorder. Jessica is also taking piano, while Jillian learns to play acoustic guitar.

But their loveliest talents are their voices. Jessica has very good pitch, and is developing a nice falsetto with vibrato. Jillian has an excellent ear for harmony, and sings with clear, strong tones, so pure it brought tears to my eyes the other day listening to her sing for the class.

"The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels....Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah." from Psalm 68