Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Our First Annual Singing Competition

One of the students at the institute took the initiative to plan a singing competition. It what such a great idea and turned out to be a lot of fun! 
It brought many people onto the property that I think would normally be too shy to come.
 This was an outreach of our youth group. Our heart is to build relationships with people, especially teens, who do not know Jesus Christ. 
Besides, the messages in the songs, they did such a good job sharing the truth of Jesus Christ before they would even start singing. I was so proud of their God given boldness and clarity!
There's my Momma! She was with us for this event!
Jimmy and I got to be some of the judges. It was very difficult! 
I was shocked by the poise and confidence that many of them had. It made the competition a very tight one!
Jimmy did a great job MC'ing and announcing the winners!
There was a finals round where the top 3 competed with new songs. Then we had trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!
 It was so well received that we have decided to make this an annual event for our youth group!
 It was a very memorable night!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Our Ministry Overview Video

Last December/January a very talented couple from our home church in Wichita, KS came to Petén to put a ministry video together for us.
This was unexpected and such a beautiful gift! We are more than thrilled with how they told our story and what we believe God put in our hearts for the work here.
We were saving it to share with churches on our furlough back in March, but then I forgot to post it on here once we got back in April. So now it has its own page and you can watch it here if you would like!
We enjoyed having Jonah and Grace here and celebrating New Years with them! We had our traditional fondue/game night for New Years Eve, so they will forever be a part of our family memories. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Favorite Things About Titus

The poor 4th kid gets no memories. I have so many moments recorded of Jonah and Silas and Eden's baby milestones. I think this is Titus' first since his birth story. 
I want to post about his first 15 months and all of my favorite things about this sweet little wonderful surprise God blessed us with!  

I love Titus' personality. He is very hard headed and knows exactly what he wants, yet extremely affectionate. I like the strong personality with the gentle side. When he was little he only wanted to be held, then he went through several months where he wouldn't let you hold him at all. Now, he wants to snuggle again and gives lots of kisses. I just adore it!
 Our homeschool year during his first year was VERY difficult. He was pretty horrible at homeschool, haha! 
He wants to use all the pencils and books the kiddos do, but in a dangerously destructive way. We hide all the colored pencils but somehow he finds them.
 Now he goes down for a nearly 3 hour nap right as we are starting which gives us the perfect amount of time to do school.

He has probably been the most difficult of all of our babies as far as sleeping or taking him anywhere (he doesn't just sit, he wants to RUN!), but since I'm guessing he is the last, I cherish all of our time together more, so it's alright.
Now he is super easy and really good at nap time. 

He started walking really well around his first birthday but this is a memorable moment from when he was just 8 months. He started trying to walk earlier than any of our other kiddos. 

It is a lot of fun having a 4th baby (really he is more like our 3rd) because you don't stress as much as you did with the first. I get to enjoy him more.
Jonah, Silas, and E had so many boundaries. Titus just gets to roam free in whatever part of the house we are in. Like most boys, he looks for the naughtiest most dangerous thing he can do in any situation!   

He loves the kitchen drawers. Several times a day he unloads the sippy cup drawer, all over the house!
 The beaters for my mixer are another favorite of his.
 I regularly have to hunt the house for them. My kitchen timer has been missing for 3 months. Usually we find things in other drawers but there are a couple items that we are waiting until he can talk to find, haha!
He really hasn't had very many booboos. This incident was probably the only big one but it was scary. He was just walking around the living room while I cooked supper and fell into the edge of the stump table. 
 We drove to Santa Elena for that one to make sure he was ok. (Actually a very nice missionary friend drove us, thank you Jim if you are reading this!) Titus healed up perfectly.
He is just now getting old enough to interact with the other little boys at church. It is super cute!
 He gets so much love. I really like that about this culture. No one in our church is afraid to just come and pick up your baby. With the twins that was hard for me, but now I really value that. Titus loves our church!
I'm an only child, so sibling interactions fascinate me.
 It has to be one of the best things ever to be born into a family of kids who celebrate every thing you do!

Morning hugs!
Titus thinks his siblings are hilarious!
He is very interested in helping daddy with things, but he is terrified of the hammer drill. He trembles. I have to pick him up and hold him before Jimmy turns it on.
His favorite little hideout spot is under the counter next to or inside the stools.
His favorite foods are fresh cooked beans (red beans, chick peas and lentils) and buttermilk biscuits! He thinks he needs a biscuit for each hand. We try to hide them from him for the beginning of the meal so he will eat some vegetables first. Once he sees the biscuits, he's done with everything else!

I think he looks more like Jimmy than any of the others. Here is one of Jimmy's baby photos:
I'm obviously Titus' favorite (haha!) but he is very much attached to Jimmy.
 I already knew Jimmy was a wonderful Daddy, but 4 kids take a lot of time to build a strong relationship with each!
 Our family regularly has large nerf wars. Titus started off watching from his high chair while eating a snack. Now I think he is ready to participate!
 Every morning when Jimmy leaves for class, Titus stands right here for his daddy to say goodbye one last time and then he watches him drive off.
Titus loved Lucha. She was so gentle with him. Now Titus loves dogs because of her. (He detests cats.) Our sweet Lucha died right after Titus' 1st birthday, she was 10.5 years old.
 Jimmy often plays football with Titus. He got a little one easy for him to grab for Christmas. He started throwing balls before he could walk and it remains one of his favorite things. 
That's why we picked that for his cake for his birthday.
 While we were squatting down there for the photo, he gave us a smooch without us asking.
He is the most affectionate child!
Somehow over the last year during our Peek a Boo games Titus started thinking that the point was to hold your hands over your ears, since that's where you hold them when you have a blanket in your hands to cover up your face... except he missed the blanket part. Still, even now, when he plays Peek a Boo with us he puts his hands over his ears and waits for us to say "Where's Titus?!" Unfortunately while Titus was eating his smash cake, Daddy yells, "Where's Titus?!" 
And we ended up with lots of cake in the ears!
 To celebrate his birthday we decided to have a little worship service with the students to thank God for all that He had done in Titus' life. We have not had a single breakthrough (tachycardia) since his first month of life. If you don't know, Titus has WPW syndrome and gets medicine to keep his heart rate down 6 times a day.
They don't sell pediatric doses here, but the heart hospital in the capital taught Jimmy how to mix it and adjust it to his weight. This keeps us from traveling to the capital once a month. That is a big praise in itself! God really protected Titus when he was born and before we knew that he had a heart condition. You can read that story here.
The fire was WAY too big at first. No one could get close enough to cook their hot dog, haha!
 We invited all of the students to a cookout. Afterwards we sang to God and shared testimonies of His faithfulness. It was beautiful! 
We are SO thankful to God for this Sweetheart of a blessing He chose to give to our family. He brightens every day!
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