Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Like To Eat Eat Eat Carrots and Bananas

A couple days before the boys turned 7 months we decided it was time for them to try some big people food! We were so excited, we couldn't wait to see their reactions! So what food do you start with?

They sell baby food here, but while I was pregnant one of my friends commented to me, "Do you really want to feed your baby fruits and veggies that were harvested YEARS ago." (Way to ruin it for me Dara!) Well that sounded gross. So we started researching what all it would involve just to make our own. Baby product manufacturers sort of have us programmed to think that we need all these gadgets and gizmos, including commercially prepared baby food in order for our baby to survive. They want us to think that their products have special properties that make them appropriate for infants. The only special properties added are sugar, corn starch, corn syrup... I could go on!

The best resource we found is this website, It really is very easy. All you need are ice trays and a food processor.

We chose to start with avocados. We don't tell anyone here that since it is considered a "cold food" and will definitely make our babies sick! Even our pediatrician shot us a look when we told him we were thinking about starting with avocados, so we are not telling him! Also, am I the only one that thought they were a vegetable? Avocados are a super fruit, full of good fat for developing brains!

Now on to the good part... their reactions:
You can tell we are first time parents. I put them in nice clothes (for pictures of course) and in their bouncy seats (they are still too small for their booster seats). Guess what... it is hard to hit a moving target!

Jonah couldn't wait to get the spoon in his mouth to chew on, but he was taken aback by the strange texture on it!
It took a little while, but then he decided it was fun! It just sat in his mouth at first I don't think they new that they were supposed to swallow it!
Still the spoon was his favorite part!
Silas is extremely visual. He was not about to let us put that spoon in his mouth until he took a good look at it first.
Then he wanted to do it himself.
We thought Jonah was going to be a little bit more ready for solids, because he had started waking up about 4 each morning hungry, so we figured he needed something a little more substantial than milk. Plus he has a little tooth bud showing. Well so far Silas is the one that wants to eat solids. He will eat until we cut him off most times. He is a little porker! Jonah still likes to eat the most at Mom's!
So far they have eaten:
Rice cereal (made from whole grain brown rice)

I think bananas and carrots are their favorites so far. They're funny because when they put it in their mouth for the first time they get this awful look on their face...
then it slowly changes to "yummy!"
I LOVE these plastic Baby Bjorn bibs. I would highly recommend them. I have no need to launder fabric bibs, all you have to do with these is wipe them off and they catch everything... for now. (I know eating time with get messier as time goes by). We have 4 of these bibs, blue, red, yellow, and green. When given a choice, Silas always picks the red one and Jonah the green one! I love their little personalities coming out!
I am not a fan of cooked carrots, but it is probably becuase I remember eating them out places. (My mom cooked all kinds of other fresh veggies growing up.) I tried these and they are tasty! I think kids might have a better chance of being veggie fans if they were given fresh ones. I'll let you know how this theory pans out in about 10 years!

I want to add that it is very possible to exclusively nurse twins for 7 months and yes I consider it my super power... haha! I think the secret to supply is this, you make enough milk by nursing often, not the length of time, but the frequency. I am going to keep nursing them along with the solids until they are a year old because of all the good antibodies. I also think that is why they have been so healthy. Nursing took all my pregnancy weight off and then some... ok maybe a lot! But who could complain about having to eat more! This is all part of God's beautiful design... I love it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Big One

... well it was to me. Saturday I turned 30. It was a little painful. Jimmy didn't help by pinching his fingers together and telling the boys, "Your mommy is this close to old." I can't be 30 yet. I thought I would be better at certain things by now... I still can't cook an egg 'over easy'.
Saturday afternoon we went to the island of Flores where they have just completed a stone walkway all the way around next to the water. It is screensaver beautiful... and that is where we get to live!
We had a lovely stroll to La Luna, one of our favorite restaurants. For dessert Jimmy had warm berries and ice cream and I had fried bananas and honey, with a candle in my ice cream!

God has blessed me so much. It was the best birthday ever. I had everything I ever wanted sitting at that table plus we all get to spend every day together at the tasks He has given us!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jonah and Silas Go for a Swim in Lake Itza

While the team was here we took them over to San Andres for a relaxing dinner on the lake. Jimmy thought it was a great opportunity for the boys to take a dip.
I am sure it was a new experience to have all that sand between their toes.
They are itty bitty compared to that big ol' lake, but they felt safe in their Daddy's arms.
We love watching their reactions as they experience their new world.
They love bath time, so this was just a slightly bigger pool!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hidden Fruit

The rains have finally arrived! It has been pouring lately, which turns everything into a muggy, muddy mess. It also causes frequent power outages, swarms of bugs, and Dengue Fever outbreaks, while erasing certain roads. Only the pigs are happy during this time of the year.

Tuesday was no exception and as I arrived to start the adult Bible Study in Santa Rita, I thought that I would be the only one there. We have been running between 24 and 32 adults and teens per week for the last couple months, but I thought the rain was just too much. Most of the roads in Santa Rita don't even have gravel, so to arrive you have to wade through mud or play hop scotch on the grassy parts.

7 people did brave the elements and came soaking wet. At the end of the Bible Study it was raining so hard that you couldn't hear the person next to you unless you were screaming at them. I prayed and then told everybody to go home, which got me a few laughs. So instead of everybody heading back home in the downpour, I got out some plastic bowling pins and ball that the team left for us. While 72yr. old Bernabé was throwing strikes, I started talking to her sons, Jesús and Rosalino. I asked Jesús if he had ever accepted Christ. He responded that yes he had! This was surprising to me because during one of our very first Bible Studies he had made a point to say that he had never been to a church before and had never read the Bible before. I asked him when he had accepted Christ and he responded, "A long time ago, you know, back before when we were meeting in the other building." ¡Wow!

Every week we talk about salvation and how to accept God's free gift. I also make a point to say that they don't have to pray with me, but can do it on their own at any time. If they want to pray with me, I would love that, but it's not necessary. I don't want anybody to be ready to accept Christ and then have to wait until Tuesday thinking that they have to pray with Jimmy.

I don't know why he never told me. I then turned to his brother who told me that he had not accepted Christ yet, but he assured me that he knows how and may be ready soon. Neither of them miss and they always have their weekly homework done.

We don't talk about it much, but I think both Shelley and I have been waiting for the first person to be saved in Santa Rita and wondering when that would be. We're not big on numbers and don't keep a tally, but it is very special to see somebody who never knew about Christ come to know Him because we came.

Rosalino is on the far right with Jesús between him and me. Their mom is the little old lady on the other side. She has not yet accepted Christ either.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kekchi Kids' Time

While the three of us were teaching the men, the other 6 team members were working with the Pastor's kids. Invariably, kids from the neighborhood showed up too. The group had everything carefully planned out. Each of the three days there were games, puppets, crafts and stories.
The stories were based on God's creation.
All the puppet skits had a Salvation theme.
They even used handbells during the singing time!
The team brought lots of games and toys. Bowling, baseball, bubble wands...everything was a big hit!
Each time I would tell the pastors that we were taking a 5 minute break, the church would clear out and they would run to take the toys away from their kids so that they could play! 5 minutes would always turn into 15 minutes as I tried to round them all up so we could start another class time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday at La Ceiba

Mateo is the Legal Representative and the President of the Kekchi Baptist Association of Churches. He is also the first Kekchi pastor we met. Because we are no longer in New Horizon on Sundays, we decided that we could start taking our teams to a Kekchi church on Sundays after the Pastor's training. La Ceiba is 3.5 hrs from our house and is the town with the largest Kekchi church in Petén. Mateo just recently became pastor of this church and he was very excited to have us come.
There were over 600 people in attendance. Part of that was over 160 kids. The kids were so excited that they crowded in the front of the church waiting on the Gringos to be introduced so that they could then go play.
Pastor Bob was asked to preach, so I translated into Spanish and one of the deacons translated into Kekchi.
I very quickly had to lose the microphone. My translator couldn't understand spanish through the speaker system, so Bob spoke in English through the mic, I yelled in Spanish, and then Kekchi went through the mic again.
The kids were very excited to sing and do the actions they learned with the words for the Gringos. They had been practicing their songs with their Sunday School teachers. It was very impressive to see that many kids doing their choreography together.
Younger kids (those still nursing) staid in the service with their moms. The sleepy ones stayed near the aisles so that their kids could get a nap!
After the service we were treated to a lunch of tamales. This was my request instead of caldo, because there is a much less chance of somebody getting sick. Everything is cooked inside the banana leaf and not touched by anybody else until you unwrap it yourself. Two ladies in the church worked for 24 hours in order to make 1600 tamales. In case you were wondering, it takes 125 lbs of chicken to make 1600 tamales. Earlier in the week I had given the president of the church's deacons an offering from the team to help in buying the supplies, since I had requested the type of food. It probably only covered about 2/3 of the final cost. They had also gone out on their own and bought bottled water and Pepsis for the team.
It was a wonderful time and I am even more impressed with the Kekchi work. I also kept thinking back to the questions that had come up during the training time and realized that men who have what we would think to be little Bible education are responsible for huge numbers of people.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We Might Have Lost It

We must have thought life juggling 6 month old twin boys was too boring for us because we just added a puppy to the mix. Our parents are probably yelling at their computer screens. I know... we all do stupid things sometimes.
It honestly happened so fast it's hard to know who to blame it on. I remember late one night commenting to Jimmy that I felt bad for Lucha since she has been a little neglected since we brought home the boys. I said, "We should get her a playmate." Less then 24 hours later I run into a friend who had ONE Boxer puppy left. I call Jimmy over in the middle of the conversation about said puppy... trusting him to lead me in the right direction, and he immediately says, "We'll take her!" [This part of the story is under dispute by one of the parties.]
I named her Atzi (atz'i') which is Kekchi for "your dog"... as in I am not taking care of your mutt! Really she is a very sweet dog and sleeps through the night. She is spunky and holds her own with Fije and Lucha and is very gentle around the boys. She seems like a perfect fit!
She is about 8 weeks old and has tiger stripes, so she will look a little different than Lucha. Fije hates her, but she doesn't care much for Lucha either. Lucha loves her and they play well together. They will be the best of friends. That was who we got her for, so we are happy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kekchi Bible Institute Module #3

This week's Kekchi Bible Institute Module was a great success. Over 60 pastors attended from all over Petén. Bob Petzel taught the book of James and Paul Stiefvater taught our first of four Doctrines classes.
The building is the hottest place in Petén. The windows are small and not always open, but situated in a way so that no breeze gets through. You know it's bad when the Guatemalans are complaining about how hot it is! My translator couldn't even make it through the whole day!

My favorite time is Q&A. This is when the Kekchi pastors can ask any question that has been on their mind. There are not opportunities for them to do this with somebody they can trust to show them why they believe what they believe from the Bible.

Day 1 centered around some questions about some Pentecostal churches
and what they had been told by them about receiving the Holy Spirit. Day 2 centered around, "Who was Cain's wife?"
Now, this is a pretty easy answer, however the pastor's wanted to know where in the Bible it said that you can't sleep with your sister. They knew the truth, they just didn't know where to
find it.

In further conversation with them, it came out that they have recently lost several young people from their churches. US missionaries (JWs and Mormons along with Seventh Day Adventists) have been taught a strategy whereby they have these not very important questions in order to "stump the chump." They tell a teenager to go ask their pastor, and when the pastor says that he doesn't know, they get to explain it and appear to know more about the Bible than the Kekchi pastor. Therefore, questions that don't seem very important to US from a theological standpoint, matter greatly to these men who have nowhere to go for answers.

Day 3 questions centered around God's forgiveness and whether or not there exists a sin that God cannot or will not forgive. There was a hidden agenda here that I can't get into, but that was taken care of during a break.
This is one of my favorite things to do. The hard part was simply translating and not taking off on my own to teach. The pastors did however greatly benefit from the experience of the teachers. Our next session is in July.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Día de la Madre

In Guatemala Mother's Day was yesterday. This year I wanted the kids in Santa Rita to make something for their mothers that they could really enjoy. I don't get to rummage around the market very often anymore, so I sent Jimmy with a list of craft supplies to find. He was so sweet and found every single thing!
Last week we made flower clips out of felt. The kids got to choose the colors they thought their mom would like. Then we put them on cards with a verse from Proverbs 31 on it.
I thought they did a pretty good job... even the boys! Here are 2 new Kekchi brothers that have been coming.
I saw a mom with one in her hair this week!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stories From Our Ladies Outreach In Santa Rita

What we have really appreciated about this team so far is how much preparation they put into this trip ahead of time. They brought down so many ideas and resources to use in the outreaches this week. It makes a difference!

Wednesday afternoon we held a ladies outreach in Santa Rita. What we have learned is that when you make something open to everyone in the village they end up inviting their relatives from all over and instead of having just the ladies from the community you end up with 100's of strangers from towns all over that you will never see again. So we try to keep things small and work with people we already have some type of connection to and then build from there. We want to be able to follow up on every person that comes so that this will be profitable and not just an exercise of numbers.
So we went around Wednesday and personally invited those that either come to our Bible study or have husbands or children who come. We ended up with 28 ladies and 12 of those do not attend our Bible study. Each one has a story and I wish I had time to share all of them. I want to share a few in hopes that you would pray for them, that one day soon they will come to have a personal relationship with God.

The one in the white on the left is Consuelo. I just adore her! She is the lady who recently lost her 2 youngest sons in a drunk driving accident. Her husband and son attend, but she does not.

The first lady in pink on the left is Maria. She has 3 teenage daughters who just started attending Jimmy's Bible study... which made the teenage boys who attend very happy. (What better place to meet your mate!) She also has 3 younger children who attend my Bible study. All started coming as a direct result of the Easter drama (thank you Amy!).

The woman in black in the back started coming since the drama too. Her son, Ermando, was one of the narrators. I haven't been to the adult Bible study in a while, so unfortunately I do not know her name and did not ask Wednesday... oops. I need to spend some time getting to know her.

The lady I am helping in this picture is Cantalaria. She just started attending with her husband Jorge. Her kids had been attending my Bible study since the beginning. Her son is sort of known to be a trouble maker. He gets picked on a lot... most of the time he instigates it, but he has some communication/learning issues. The kids say he's crazy. I wish I knew more about this kind of thing to help him. Becca really helped when she was here. She took the time to start communicating with him. Before that he would just grunt at us. Now we really try to spend a little more time with him which is what he needs. His parents have really notice.

The older woman in the light pink is Cantalaria's mom. Jimmy met her yesterday in the Kekchi inner sanctum... haha! She saw Silas and wanted to hold him.

Jimmy asked her and her family if they believed in God. They said, "Yes, since birth." They couldn't explain anything else they believed beyond that. Wanting to know more, Jimmy asked what they would describe themselves as... Catholic, Evangelical. They replied, "No, we are nothing." That's a great place to start!

These are her other 2 daughters on the left, Albina and Manuela. They came to the Kekchi movie night too.

Rosa in the center was the first person we met in Santa Rita. She is in charge of the elementary school and her husband is the mayor. She is very nice and really takes pride in everything she does. I have a lot of respect for her. Her son Carlos comes to my Bible study. He is sharp! He's one of my favorites (shhh!) This is the first time she has been to our building for anything!

Vilma is a fireball. Everyone calls her Colocha (curly head)... which she hates! Her, her dad and her brother come to the Bibles study. I went by her house to invite her mom, but she said that she had to make tortillas. I was very surprised when she showed up!

The ladies made necklaces and keychains with their photos inside. Lots wanted their picture to be with the boys... so sweet! Here is Jonah with a wet rag on his head. They don't know that some gringos turn red when they get hot and Jonah turns bright red... it scares everyone!

Wednesday was so much fun! I am so thankful for God blessing this outreach and for all the ladies on the team who put this together! Please pray as we follow up. Thanks!
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