Saturday, January 24, 2015

Handmade Home #14

A while back I had asked Jimmy to make me a laundry cart when he had time. I had an old one of which I really liked the design, but it was too small and kept falling apart. I asked Jimmy for a sturdier version with 4 bins instead of 3. He decided that was what he would make me for Christmas.  
Our laundry room is pretty open to the rest of our house, so I was excited about getting rid of my other junky cart. Besides that I don't really find any other household chores relaxing, but I love doing laundry. It is a big stress reliever for me. I hang a load of laundry on the line every morning. It is part of my routine. I'm just saying this was the perfect gift and affects my life on a daily basis. 

With the metal he had on hand, he only spent about $12 to buy wheels and some hooks. I used some old sheets to make the bags. Pretty good price for a custom heavy duty laundry bin! The top lifts up when needed and I can even roll it around the house if I want, haha! I love it!
We thought we had Eden's present taken care of back in the first of November. It is really hard to find decent toys in Petén. They are super expensive and don't usually last very long because of the quality. So you have to plan ahead and try and buy presents for Christmas and birthdays on furlough unless you plan to make them. This year when we were in the capital we found a good quality play kitchen we could order for E. They said it would make it in plenty of time for Christmas, so we did. Well less than 2 weeks before Christmas after WE called them, they said, "Nope, middle of January." So there we was no present and no refund any time soon. 

I had picked up her birthday present in the States, it was a couple pieces of doll house furniture. We were planing on building her a bookshelf style doll house (but not in a week). 
Anyway, Jimmy got on that too! Again, we had some wood on hand, so all he had to buy was the plywood for the back piece. My mom and I had picked up some pretty paper from Michael's for the wallpaper while on furlough.
Here it is, ready to be painted. 
We hid it in the guest room while we painted it and told Eden we were making her a baby Spiderman for Christmas.  I don't even know how that got started, but she was excited and it kept her from getting mad at us for not letting her in that room.
I spent a couple nap times working on the accessories. All the light fixtures can be moved around and the wall art is velcroed on, so it can be swapped out too. I'm sure one day, E will want to make her own stuff.
I really wanted to make the walls magnetic, but they don't sell magnetic paint in Guatemala that I have ever found. But seriously, that would have been awesome. The furniture that looks homemade is, haha! The rest is Hape and Plan brand pieces that I am really happy with. An almost 3 year old cannot destroy them. MaG brought her down some pieces too and lots of dolls to go with it... even 2 twin brothers! 
 Eden's favorite color is pink, so I really tried to embrace pink! The pieces came pretty gender neutral, but I don't think they look like that now.
 I knew the nursery would be the most important room to her so I spent the most time on it. The first thing she grabbed was the shelf of baby toys. Yay! The little baby gets played with the most.
{I want ikat pillows on my couches!}
So at the last minute, Eden ended up with a pretty spectacular Christmas! It has room to add to it over the years. The empty room on top is supposed to be an open balcony, so maybe some patio furniture next year. The other room will be a kids room. Fun fun fun! Nice to be around some girl toys after years of superheros and weapons!
Eden loves it! We leave it in the living room for now so that she is with us when she's playing. 
My lovely friend Bonnie brought me these a couple days before Christmas. I love entertaining and I have already used them several times. I love handmade things and these are beautiful!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Curse of the Big Goat

 We have a billy goat at the farm that is hilarious. He has a very mischievous personality. The other day during my class he kept going into the room next door and eating the corn that the students had spread out to dry. Henry would get up in class and go shew him away, but he would just go back as soon as he left. Henry eventually got busy doing his work and tired of shewing him, so the goat got mad. He stopped eating corn and walked into our classroom, like "where are you, can't you see I'm eating your corn?!" That dumb goat probably doesn't even like corn.
This goat's little Mrs. had twins and ever since she started producing milk Jimmy has kept him away from her since the male goat makes the milk taste bad and Jimmy wants to use the milk for the kids at the farm. No wonder he is so naughty. Poor lonely goat.
The other day a lady came to the farm asking for some hair from this goat. Her kid had gotten sick soon after coming to the farm with her to buy eggs. She had done what many people do here, she had taken her sick, feverish son to a Mayan witch (there are a bunch of witches in the village next to the farm). He said that our goat gave him the evil eye while he was at the farm. (Totally believable with this goat!) Now they needed some of his hair to remove the curse. (Not as believable.) Jimmy told the students to give her the hair, but then later go to her house to pray for her son and witness to them. This family has never been to our church. Many live in fear here of evil spirits. Please pray for this new church plant in the village of Zapotal, that it will bring the Good News of a loving God to so many who are bound by fear. 3 more people from the village accepted Christ this past Sunday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Family Traditions #28: Christmas 2014

This was the year of the marshmallow. We had hot chocolate several nights a week while we played games... usually spoons. 
We consumed LOTS of them... probably too many, 
but we made many memories while we were doing it. 
We did so good, we put our tree up December 1st
 and watched White Christmas (ok, Mama made everyone watch White Christmas). A couple nights later we watched It's a Wonderful Life. But then we didn't watch anymore Christmas movies until after Christmas! 
And Yep, there was more hot chocolate!
 Of course we did our Advent Tree Devos each night!
And we did lots of Christmas activities in school. 
{Silly Silas!}
In early December our town always has 2 nights called Mesitas (little tables) where they sell homemade candies and goodies in the center square. It's like a huge bake sale with tons of music.  Each year we are always looking forward to all the goodies and we always get sick that weekend. Same thing this year. Silas and Eden were so sick, only Jonah could go. We called it Daddy-Jonah night. Jonah was VERY excited. He had pop and all kinds of snacks and just got to hang out with Dada! He did bring his brother back a blowup Spiderman!

I haven't shared this yet, but the institute has started its first church plant! It is on the corner of the farm property and is for the village next door. This Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) activity was the first one at that location.
 We went caroling again like we have done in other locations in years pasts.
 Here we are wrapping up cookies with invitations attached announcing our services.
 We have had several families hopping on the truck that brings the students to the services in San Pancho, so those are the ones that are in these photos. They will be the beginning of the church plant.
 We had a little devotional before heading out...
 and some cookies!
 There is no public lighting there, so it was REALLY dark. Plus there was lots of wind, so good luck lighting a candle.
We were walking in the dark in knee high grass on rocky unlevel ground with cellphone lights and carrying a bunch a cookies and kiddos... it was an adventure!
Nearly each house gave us tamales, the Nochebuena traditional food.
We couldn't carry them all.
Besides handing out the invitations, it was a nice bonding time with our core group!
 Afterwards a family invited us over for tamales at their house.
I love my little missionary kids! 
Later when we got home we opened one present, which is a tradition for our family. It is always a game we can all play together.
{I don't remember what Dada was saying in the picture, but it doesn't look like Silas was buying it!}

It was Phase 10. We played a version of that, with you guessed it, hot chocolate for a while  
and then we did our last advent devo before Jesus came!

After the kiddos were asleep Jimmy and I only had to move the dollhouse in and stuff the stockings. We usually have sparkling grape juice and then sit together by the tree, that's our tradition.

Christmas morning we made it up before the kids, but everything went fast once they were awake. 
Usually we do stockings and then eat breakfast before the rest of the presents, not this year! We were done opening presents by 8:20.
 Eden got chapstick in her stocking since she is always playing with mine... hopefully it was edible!
We skyped with both sets of grandparents!
 Then the kiddos got nice long naps before our friends came over for supper!
After dinner we had our birthday cake for Jesus!
We had a wonderful evening with our sweet friends and are so thankful that we got to spend a little of Christmas with them! 
 Later that night we had our last advent and put baby Jesus on the tree! Jonah has our bell wreath in his hand. They like to sing Jingle Bells and shake the wreath.

Here are some photos from the next day:
{Eden loves her dollhouse Jimmy made.}
{Jonah, Dada, and Silas spent almost 3 hours putting together the Lego castle MaG sent}
{E and I played with our new polish!}
We had a wonderful memory filled Christmas together celebrating God sending His Son for us! We hope that your family did too!
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