Saturday, July 18, 2015

Girl Time

My mom was here for a month! It went by so fast. Me and my mom always have a bajillion things we want to work on together. We hop from one project to the next at rapid speed, which makes the time seem like it is going by even faster. The first week she was here we planned a little ladies day for the wives at the farm. 

The students are at the farm for 3 years. You grow pretty close during that time. We see an extra strong bond between the first year students. Some of them didn't start off as easy friendships, just because of the differences in personalities, but they have each others' backs now. We have become a farm family. We are constantly trying to foster strong relationships so that we can all be a part of a community that encourages each other for the years of ministry ahead. Once the first group graduates we plan on having bi-annual get-togethers just to exchange ideas, resources, and wisdom. 

I love having ladies at the farm this year! Our first 7 years here were more around Kekchi people who lived in Spanish environments, now we are around village Kekchi (pure Kekchi) so I am constantly learning things about village Kekchi culture. Out of all the different cultures that are blended together in this little country, village Kekchi is our favorite. 

Woman from rural villages usually don't speak much if any Spanish if they didn't get to go to school. We are really thankful that all the wives at the farm have had some education. I think this will allow them to really help their husbands more in ministry. They can read and study the Bible for themselves. Two of the wives are really shy about their Spanish, but they attend class in Spanish and study hard. (There are no study tools or materials available in Kekchi so you have to be able to read Spanish). The third wife is very fluent in Spanish. She isn't shy with me at all. She helps me connect with the other two. The two fiancés (one has since broken off the engagement, but it was the best decision for both) are very fluent. 
 So, I invited all of them over to our house for some food and activities. The guys played it up big like they were really upset that they weren't allowed to come! We rubbed it in a lot too. 
Anyway, I had saved a bunch of egg crates because I saw some beautiful wreaths on pinterest made out of egg cartons. Only thing is, they only use wreaths for graves here... not really a light hearted  craft for ladies day. 
So me and my mom thought we could make mirrors with the same idea. My mom and I spent all day one day cutting out flowers. We found some cheap Princess Sofia mirrors and popped the backs off and glued them on cardboard. I thought it looked happy and colorful!
I found these crepe paper flowers in the basement in the market in zone 1 in the capital (one of my very favorite places). They are for Eden's new room. I used them for this party though too as decorations.
  I have made food for them a couple times, so I know what they do and don't like, haha! I only had food I knew they would enjoy.
 Fruit is pretty expensive for them and hard to find here close. So I got some apples, grapes and strawberries from Santa Elena. They are not that expensive there compared to other fruits. They also like chocolate cake and buttered popcorn! It was all super easy stuff.
 Buffets don't really exist here. If you eat at a Kekchi event or home you are handed a plate of food, I mean you wouldn't make your own plate. I wanted them to be able to choose what and how much they wanted to eat, so buffet style it was! 

They came in real shy. They looked at the food and smiled and giggled. I tried to encourage them to start eating. There were 5 stools in front of the counter, so they all pulled up a stool and sat down at the buffet. That's exactly what it looked like you should do! They still wouldn't grab anything. I kept encouraging them to take a plate and load it up. They said, "How much?" I said, "Over the next 3 hours we are going to eat all of this food, it is only for you, so eat up!" I knew if I could get Eu to eat, I could get everyone else to. Sure enough, that's what happened. Once I got a plate in her hand, everyone got involved! And we did eat ALL of the food!
 I should get them to start a blog and post all of my cultural confusions, haha! I know they have loads of funny stories they could tell. They asked each other in Kekchi if you were supposed to eat the "flowers" on the strawberries. I told them no. Someone else decided you weren't supposed to eat the skin on the grapes, so after that they peeled the rest. Different people like different things, so I didn't mess with that.
 So we painted and talked and laughed and ate. It was a nice relaxing day! Ni was very relaxed!
I'm really thankful that my mom was here to meet them. With her help it wasn't as much work to get everything ready, we had a blast setting stuff up. 
 The cupcakes had pink icing because the day before P and N went to the doctor and found out they are having a girl! (We encourage them to get checkups, but I was surprised they went ahead and found out. I was glad though!)
 I love these ladies and I am so thankful for their desire to serve the Lord. Please pray for them! Pray for all of us, as we grow in the Lord together and endeavor to reach Petén with the Good News!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Heard Around the House #14

It has been almost a year since I posted a Heard Around the House! 
 I wish I could push pause on our family right now! I love this time with my kiddos. They are so hungry to learn. They are appreciative. They find joy in the little things. Any activity we do turns into an adventure!
{A favorite spot on the island of Flores}
 They are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, profound things are coming out of them all the time. 

Theological discussion between Jonah and Silas #325:  
Silas to Jonah - "If you don't obey your parents you die!"
Jonah - "No, Silas. It says if you obey your parents you live a long time."

We were driving home from youth group and singing At Calvary.
Silas - "That's my favorite song."
Then he explained the plan of Salvation to me.
Mama - "And that's the beautiful plan of Salvation."
Silas - "I know, you told me about it a long time ago."
Mama - "Are you going to tell your kids about it?"
Silas - "Yeah, but you are going to have to help me tell them how to make oreo pudding."
Jonah - "Silas when we are grown up, Mama is going to be dead."
Silas - "What?!"
Mama - "Kiki is alive and she's my momma."
Silas - "Yeah but she's old."
Jonah "Not as old as Papa."
Mama - "Why do you think Papa is older?"
Jonah - "Because he doesn't have any hair."
Mama - "Jonah, you take after Papa, you probably won't have any hair either."
Jonah - "What?! My hair is going to fall out!"
Silas - "It's ok, Jonah. It will grow back."
Mama - "No, it's not like teeth."
Jonah - "No! hair is going to fall out and it's not going to grow back!"
Silas - "It's ok, Jonah. You will have hair in Heaven."
They are so sweet to their mommy... most days, haha!

I was sad the other day about something and Jonah came over and gave me a hug. 
Jonah - "Mama, God told me to give you a hug." 

 For Valentine's each day they get a new heart over their bed that says something about who they are that I love. 

Silas was upset that I wasn't getting any hearts. A couple days into February I found this on my nightstand: (Dada wrote it for him.)
Silas started this "good cooker" thing. The boys say it all the time now to both of us. The boys love it when Dada grills outside, but they do not like it when he is in the kitchen. If Jimmy cooks inside, he always make something we call beefy noodle soup. It is basically an excuse to eat a whole bunch of garlic and cilantro which Jimmy and I love. The boys hate it. It is the one meal that they would rather skip than eat. The other day Jimmy walked into the kitchen and Silas says, "Dada, you have your beefy noodle soup face on. Please let Mama cook!"  
{Celebrating Jimmy's birthday}
One morning I made an apple oatmeal experiment for breakfast. (My bunch is very dependent on routine, especially for breakfast. If you don't give them bacon they get cranky.) Silas tried it and says, "This is SO good, Mama!" Then he leans over to Dada and in a not so quiet voice says, "I don't ever say I don't like something, I just eat it."  

 The other day Silas did something mean to Jonah. Jimmy talks about grace and mercy a lot when he is disciplining the boys... not that they don't get their fair share of punishments, but it IS mixed with grace and mercy. Jimmy gave Jonah the opportunity to practice a little mercy. He said that if Jonah said it was ok, Silas didn't have to receive his punishment. Jonah started off really upset about what Silas had done, but when he heard that he decided he didn't want Silas to be punished, he just wanted to let it go. This is grateful and apologetic Silas afterwards:
We celebrated Easter like we have the last couple years, where each day we focus on a different part of the Easter story leading up to the Resurrection. I posted a list of activities here with a passage for each day. This year we swapped out some of the activities for new ones. Some they specifically asked to do again!
 Some of the new things we made were Easter shape cookies, praying hands,
and a crown of thorns.
 They wanted to do the scars on Christ's hands again.
 For Easter Sunday we made a resurrection cake!
 Here is our empty tomb:
 We had a very memorable Easter this year.
 We have a big problem with termites.
Silas calls them "terminites" you know, like some pagan people group in the Bible!
Our house is concrete, but they come up where the floors meet the walls. If you put anything made of paper, fabric, or wood close to a wall, it will be eaten... fast! I lost almost all my cook books a couple days ago. I keep my cookbooks in a plastic crate on the floor in my pantry. It was a couple inches from the wall. The books looked ok, but when you opened them up, the insides were dust and tunnels. We took all the books and burned them to kill the termites. Silas is our little lemons into lemonade boy. He said we all needed to roast marshmallows, so we did!
Jonah usually draws armored soldiers, like the armor of God. He draws them everywhere. The other day though, I was late getting them down for a nap. Jonah's mood is very dependent on his nap time. That day he drew a picture of his emotions instead!
{This photo was taken AFTER nap time!}
Jonah and Eden are my puzzle lovers. (I love puzzles, Jimmy does not.) Silas always participates with Jonah solely for social purposes. They used to only do puzzles with me, now they don't need my help anymore. I'm kind of sad about that. 
 Jonah and Silas really want to be just like Dada!
Jonah - "Dada, when you were a kid did you have a beard?" 
Jonah was really wanting a beard like Dada right now.  

Here is Eden telling Dada, "You're my Little Sweetheart!"
 She's funny. She gets jealous of Jimmy and I. Each morning around 6, she come into our room and fights over the middle of the bed. Then she sleeps there for almost 2 more hours. She's a good alarm clock!
Eden's language has developed a lot faster than the boys'. I think because she is not a twin. At church she's always is in the middle of a bunch of Kekchi ladies/girls. She will respond correctly to me if I speak to her in Spanish, but she will not speak Spanish to me. I have heard a little bit of Kekchi out of her.

The most important thing is that her English is definitely southern. There are no one syllable words in her vocabulary! 

It was nap time in our hotel in the capital before we flew out for our last furlough. I was sitting on the bed next to Eden's bed. 
Eden - "Go to sleep, Mama."
Mama - "I'm going to sit here the whole time you are sleeping, but I might not fall asleep."
Eden - "Oh, don't fall, Mama!"

Another time we were in a hotel in the capital, the kiddos were in their beds going to sleep. Jimmy and I were working on our classes for the institute. Eden kept asking me to turn the lights off. I turned off the one closest to her. Then a couple minutes pased and Eden said frustratedly, "Mama, I don't want to see you!" She wanted complete darkness.

At our home one day Eden walks out of her room...
Mama - "Eden, did you sleep during naptime?"
Eden - (With hands spread apart enthusiastically) "I slept a big amount."

Crossroads Baptist in Wichita sent us some fun stuff in the mail. 
 The kiddos loved all the surprises! 2 bubble mailers came with all boy stuff. We thought maybe they thought we had only boys. Jonah and Silas shared their stuff with Eden. Then a little over a week later a third bubble mailer arrived with all kinds of girl stuff. Eden was thrilled!
{Her new Frozen bag!}
We had a new family that attends the institute over to our house the other evening. While we were eating dinner I put a padded blanket on the floor next to the table so the parents could eat and still keep an eye on their baby. The baby was fussy at first but then fell asleep. Eden says loudly at the table in English, "I think the baby's dead." We did not translate that one! 
While that family was at our house Silas knocked Jonah's tooth out with a rubber sword. Jonah had just gotten his first loose tooth and had been playing with it trying to wiggle it out. Silas knocking it out for him kind of fits them perfectly.
Jonah could not have been happier!
Now every time we take his picture he yells - "Make sure you get my hole."
That night after he brushed his teeth - "Dada, now there is hole on my toothbrush!"

I wasn't ready for my boys to start losing their teeth. They are growing up too fast!
Mama - "Jonah, I'm so sad that you are so grown up. Stop growing!"
Jonah - "Mama, it's because you keep feeding me so much food!"
Silas - "Mama, when I grow big, I'm going to be able to eat junk whenever I want." 
 This is the kid who refuses to eat potato chips when we are out places because they "take away your muscles"... I couldn't be prouder!
Jimmy sold his pickup and bought a different used one that has a double cab since the students ride with him a lot. He had to get someone to weld a new front bumper to attach the winch to. It looks really weird. When the boys saw it they were so excited because they said it made it a "transformer" truck!
The boys love going on errands with Dada. They were riding with Jimmy in his truck the other day.
Silas - "I like to hunt bear and cook it."
Dada - "Is it good?"
Silas - "Yeah, it taste like chicken and dumplings."
Jonah - "You can't eat bear, Silas, they have poop in them."
Silas - "No, Jonah, you just cut the behind off."
Why? For some reason so go most of the conversations when Mama is not there.

Every Saturday is Family Fun Day. We play lots of games and kind of close ourselves off from the rest of the world.
We eat dinner on the porch and play in the backyard.
It is our day of rest. This day is vital for our family!
{Yes, Jonah, I got your hole.}
{Walking to a birthday party}
 Eden loves animals, but she doesn't mess around with street dogs! This is her "that dog might eat me" face:
{The birthday girl!}
The boys are kind of jumpy around our big dogs still, but not E! She wrestles with them all the time. Bags is still in the puppy stage and is super naughty. She will run inside our house and grab something to take outside and eat without us knowing. Jimmy all the time is saying 'I'm going to kill that dog!" Eden yells, "No, don't kill Baggy!"And then makes him promise not to (not that he ever would.) We thought she ate another shoe the other day and then we finally found it inside the house. Eden said, "I knew that Baggy was a good dog!"
We bought an old armoire from a carpenter in town who was moving to the States. I have been fixing it up during nap times for Eden's room. Jonah wakes up one day and comes in the hall, "Mama! Eden is going to love that!" My boys are so encouraging to me.
Jonah and Silas decided the giraffes were a mama and a dada. 
Eden - "Where's the baby?"
Jonah - "I don't now but I'm the snail."
Silas - Jonah, it's not a snail it's a peahawk."
Jonah - "It looks like a snail."
Silas - "I know, Mama says it's a peahawk."
Lately Jonah and Silas have been choosing to wear matching shirts. The other day I said, "Wow you guys really look like twins today, even your shorts match."
Silas - "Yeah, even our underwear matches!" 
(Jonah and Silas both giggle.) 

Silas - "Are there tuba stores in the States?" 
Mama - "Why?"
Silas - "I want to buy one." 
Mama - "But why?"
Silas - "Because they're big... and awesome." 

Silas comes up to me the other day with his pirate eye patch around his neck and says,  
"Mama, I lost a nipple." That one had me laughing for a while!

Silas - "Dada, 'I'm real busy today."
Dada - "What do you have to do?"
Silas - "Well mainly I'm focused on building this cool rocket ship out of my bed."
{Their introduction to Jello Jigglers!}
The boys were super hungry and I said it was going to be a while before it was time to eat. Silas came really close to complaining until Mama shot him a look.
Silas - "I hate supper... I mean the devil. I really hate the devil."

Each night as I kiss Eden goodnight, she says, "I love you really much!"

There are English commercials now on our English news station for some reason. Usually they are medical commercials for older folk.
The other day a bug flew under Silas' shirt and bit him all up. We put some Benadryl cream on it, but by the next morning it was itching again. 
Silas - "Dada, that cream didn't work, I think I need some Recticare. Recticare relieves the burning and itching."
{Making some Nobakes late one night!}
As we are driving down the dirt road to the institute...
Jonah - "Why did all these people throw all these rocks in the road?!"
Silas - "No Jonah, that's how they make the roads." 

We were at Kiki's house and she groaned as she was doing something.
Silas - "Are you ok Kiki?"
Kiki - "Yeah, I'm just old."
Silas - "After you get old you die." 
{Mother's Day}
Silas came up to Dada to settle an argument he and Jonah were having. Jonah was absolutely certain the Moses was still alive when Dada was born. He thought they had to have been friends since he knows so much about him.

Later Silas asks - "So did the Devil get kicked out of Heaven before or after you and Dada were born?"
We need to either work on our time frames or clarify that we are not ancient!
Jimmy and the boys watched the movie The Patriot for memorial day. We later found a cool wooden musket at the thrift store. Jonah was really happy. He kept telling me it was just like the Sea Hawks' gun. I did not understand what he meant. Then I realized he got his football teams confused.

Jonah on his tiptoes smiling real big - Mama, when I stand on my tiptoes I'm 6!
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