Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Well, I have been trying unsuccessfully for the past two days to upload more pictures, so I decided to go ahead and post these two. I guess they were the only ones that wanted to be seen for now. :) I will try to post more later.

Anyway, we have arrived safely and we had a very good trip. This is me in Mexico at 33.5 weeks pregnant. I did get some looks on the way home in the airport, pushing a stroller with one hand and a suitcase with the other, with a 2yo and 4yo in tow and my big belly ~ looks that said, "What do you think you are doing??", but all went well.

This is Dominique and Joshua in the backyard of the place we stayed. I just loved this big cactus! There were quite a few fruit trees in the yard and Joshua is struggling here with a large bag full of oranges and lemons and limes that he had just gotten off the trees. Dominique is holding an avocado that had fallen off of the tree.

We all enjoyed the warm weather and the experience of a different culture. Joshua's Spanish improved considerably, and the nice thing about being his age (and his personality) is that he was not afraid to use what he had to communicate!

We went down there with my friend Esperanza, and we got to meet her family and stayed with them for one night. She is still there for another week. But, the obvious highlight of the trip is the time I was able to spend with my dad. It really was a blessing.

A big thank you for all who prayed for us while we were gone. I felt the favor of the Lord upon the trip, and His protection and goodness was evident in each step along the way. He is just so amazing!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quick Hello from Mexico!

Hello all!
Just stopping in quickly to say that we are in Mexico and doing well. We arrived safely last Friday and we will be here until Saturday, the 28th. All has been fine so far. The kids are doing well and Joshua is speaking more Spanish by the day. Yesterday we arrived at church and he quickly announced to everyone, "Yo hablo Espanol!!" hehe.
I finally slept well last night which Im sure will go a long way toward feeling good the rest of the day! I must say that, as a pregnant woman riding around in an old VW bug, I dont really like the cobblestone roads, but Im sure I will survive. Everything else is quite comfortable and the weather is beautiful ~ hot, actually! Much warmer than I thought it would be.
Well, I dont have time to post any pics right now, and I probably wont be able to post again until I get back home. See you then!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2 baptisms and a Wedding

This past Sunday, two more people from the hispanic ministry were baptised, as well as two people who are not from the hispanic ministry! Praise the Lord!

This first picture is of Fabio and our pastor, Dave Prince, introducing those who are to be baptised.

This is Chupis ~ remember him from our trip home from Milwaukee? He has been with us for nearly two years and we were so excited to see him take this step of faith. He has always struggled with not feeling "good enough" to be a Christian, condemning himself every time he didnt measure up, and sometimes disappearing for months at a time when he felt bad about something he had done.
But, glory to God, he finally understood the message of GRACE, that we can't be good enough! It is only through the grace of God that we can be saved, and this does not depend on us! "Not by works, lest any man should boast."

Fabio translated as he shared this testimony with the church, and he was very emotional as he emerged from the water. So was I!

This is Maria. She started coming to the Spanish ladies Bible studies last spring, but not to church. Then she disappeared for a while. Then, a couple of months ago, she came to church for the first time, started coming to Bible study again, and fell in love with Jesus for the first time! She testifies that life finally makes sense, and that all the time and money she spent on psycologists and anti-depressants was in vain; what she really needed was Jesus, and now she no longer needs anything else! Praise God!

"I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth." III John 4

Even though these two are older than us, we understand John's sentiment when he wrote this. There is truly no greater joy in ministry, or as parents, than to see our children walking in the truth and growing the the knowledge and grace of our Savior.

The rest of these pictures are from my cousin's wedding, which we attended last Saturday near Springfield, IL. It was really good to go, and see all of my mom's side of the family, but it was tiring, as we made the trip in one day and got home around midnight. :)

This is Joshua's first full suit, and he was pretty excited about it. :)

This is us, my mom, my grandma and her husband of 14 years, and two of my second cousins.

Here is my cousin Mandy and her newly wedded husband, Will. They seem to be quite happy together and I wish them a future of felicidad. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The Peruvian pastor who founded the Peruvian church in Japan, which Fabio and I attended (and later pastored when he left), now lives in Milwaukee with his family, pastoring a church there.
They invited us to come this past weekend to speak there. We left Saturday morning, and Saturday evening I gave a class for women on raising children. It is not something I pretend to be an expert in, but it is something I am passionate about, and I was thankful to share some of the things the Lord is teaching me in this area.

Then on Sunday morning, Fabio preached. He did an excellent job and I was so proud of him. It was "mission Sunday" at their church, which they have once a month, and Fabio spoke on fulfilling YOUR mission, what God has for you to do, regardless of whether that means going to another country or staying here. The theme verse was from 2 Timothy 2:4 "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier." He talked about loving God above all else and being willing to leave behind all else to fulfill whatever He calls you to, for love of Him, and to seek His glory and His Kingdom rather than your own.

Many people were touched by the Holy Spirit and we had a powerful time of prayer ministry after the message.

Lovebirds. :)

Here we are with Caty, the pastor's oldest daughter.

And Genesis, the pastor's youngest daughter. He has one middle daughter who was married this past April. You may remember the video clip I posted of her wedding? Well, unfortunately, the weekend was SO busy and we were running the whole time and I didnt get a chance to take a pic of her and her husband, nor of Pastor and Ana on Sunday! Monday I wanted to take a pic of them, but they hadn't had a chance to shower yet when we left and didnt want me to take the pic of them in their jammies!

We had a wonderful time, but BOY was it tiring! Both Saturday and Sunday we were up LATE, and the kids still woke with the roosters, of course. And both days, we had barely gotten them down for a nap when we had to yank them out of bed to go again! Joshua's Sunday afternoon nap was all of ten minutes!

And after that kind of an exhausting weekend, we had quite an adventure awaiting us on the way home! Read the next post for the details! (It wouldnt let me post all of the pics on one post.)

Milwaukee Trip Home Saga

Our trip home was FAR more exciting than we had hoped for. Heading south on 94, the car started to tremble and Fabio got in the right lane. Just across from Six Flags Great America, the wheel grew wings and flew away!! He quickly pulled to the shoulder and screeched to a stop on a bare disc, as you can see in the picture. I had been rather comfortable in the backseat, trying to recover from a tiring weekend, but... that jarred me from my little comfy nest rather abruptly!

We started making phone calls to try to figure out what we were going to do. We called my brother, his mechanic, some friends, and the secretary at our church so she could get online and find a tow place close to where we were. Then we called 3 different places, but being after 4pm, there was no place that would be able to fix it that day, and it would be nearly $400 to tow it home! Then Fabio called Chupis, a Mexican friend who has a trailer and a truck, and he said he would come right away. We were relieve and thankful, and also knew it would be *at least* two hours, so we settled in and tried to figure out how to keep a couple of crabby children happy until our help arrived. They were already tired from the weekend, so it was a bit more difficult task than it might have been on a typical day. First we hung out in the van, reading books and such. Then, we decided to go outside and play for a while. I was SO thankful I had brought their winter coats because it was cold! Here they are, entertaining themselves watching the people on the roller coasters and we also played some games with some pieces of rope we found on the side of the road. I, of course, had to pee, which was a real problem! Luckily, there was a row of trees behind where this pic was taken, but I soon realized there was a fence RIGHT behind the trees, so in order to be covered, I had to wedge myself inbetween the fence and the pine trees! I was laughing hilariously the whole time!

After about 45 minutes out there, a benevolent couple stopped and asked if we needed help. I told them help was on the way and we just had to kill a couple of hours until it arrived.
Anyway, we ended up piling in the back of their BMW and they took us to a nearby McDonalds with a really nice playland! What an awesome blessing! We ended up spending about two hours there and the kids had a wonderful time playing, while Fabio and I got to rest a bit and not freeze!
Here is Dominique with her new friend, Ronald.

Here is Joshua with his new friend, Joseph.

Finally around 7pm, Chupis arrived. YEAH!! He had come in his utility truck, pulling behind him his trailer. Then, he had put his 4 door sport truck on the trailer, so that I could drive that home with the kids in it. So, after a little while of unloading the little truck and filling the gas tank, we were on our way. .......... BUT, just as soon as we pulled out of the McDonald's parking lot, the transmission went out on his little truck!!! This was really odd, because he bought it new last year and it only had 40,000 miles on it!
Soooooo, we had to load it BACK onto the trailer and we were back to square one trying to figure out what to do with our van! We considered the possibilities of a hotel for the night, or a rental car home, but all the rental car places were closed and Fabio had to work in the morning. Finally we decided to have the van towed to a local garage to be fixed, and all pile in the cab of Chupis' truck for the ride home.

We headed back out to the interstate then to wait for the tow truck by our van and were VERY thankful that it had not been towed already. So, the tow truck came and got our van and finally we were on our way home! Or were we???
When Chupis tried to start his big truck, he realized the battery was dead! Impossible! It had only had the flashers on! UGH! Now where would we get a jump from? Well, the guys had the brilliant idea of taking the battery off the little truck on the trailer to use it for a jump. I dont know what kind of trouble they had with that, but it took FOREVER to get it started! The kids really were troopers through the ordeal, but by then they had about had enough, and I had about exhausted all the finger rhymes and games I could think of. It did give Dominique a chance to learn to sing "Jesus Loves Me" in sign language, though!

Here is the back of the utility truck and the front of the sport truck while they were trying to get the battery going.

Finally we got on the road and Joshua was asleep immediately.

It took Dominique MUCH longer, and she cried a long time before she finally fell asleep. Then, after sleeping a while, something woke her up and she proceded to cry the rest of the way home!

Here is our rescue hero of the night, Chupis.
We ended up getting home about 10:30 or 11:00, I think. Chupis had to work all night after that, and then when he got off, he picked Fabio up at 6am for work!

Another friend, Jeff, is about to pick Fabio up here as soon as his foreman brings him home from work, to take him back up there to get the van.

I got to have a nap this afternoon, and even though I felt like I could sleep until tomorrow, it was really nice to rest for a little while anyway. :)

Well, there is nothing like a little adventure, right? And in the middle of all that went wrong, it could have been much worse. We have much to be thankful for, as the Lord protected us and provided all along the way. He reminds us how much we must depend on HIM ~ that we truly can do nothing on our own. We realize in situations like this how utterly helpless we are without Him, and we are thankful for the reminder.

It has taken me nearly all day to finish these posts, and now Fabio is almost home with our van! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Zoo!!

It's been a little while, huh? I had to print the pics I had taken in the past two months and it was a bit overwhelming to upload them all to the place that I have print them, order copies for all the relatives, sort them all when they got here in the mail, etc.... so as a result I didnt take any pictures for about a week! LOL. It was 212 pics, I think, and with reprints it was 368! But this weekend I got the camera back out for our trip to the zoo:

All ready to go and SO excited! We left the house a little before 10am, and Joshua was asking me since he woke up at 6:00 if it was time to leave yet!

Joshua was a little apprehensive about touching this boa constrictor named Slinky. He needed a little coaxing! It was hard to get a good pic, too, because of so many people crowding around.
We had just painted Joshua's face like a tiger. :)

Dominique didnt need any coaxing at all and couldn't seem to get enough of Slinky!

Dominique and the zebras

Me and my children. :) You can hardly see my belly from this angle and with this shirt, huh? I'm thinking that maybe vertical stripes are a good thing for pregnant women. We were in the monkey house here, even though you cant see the monkeys. Dominique LOVED them!

We went with our friends the Tymms and the Cummings. The Tymm's have 5 little ones and the Cummings have 4, so we had quite a crowd of little people. I was hoping to get a nice pic of all of them here, but as you can see, that was a hopeless cause! This was the best of the five that I took.

I couldn't believe that Joshua stayed awake all the way home, but this was the result! He fell asleep at the dinner table at just after 5:00!! He has NEVER fallen asleep at the table before!

Dominique did have a short nap on the way home, but it wasn't nearly long enough! She was rather crabby at dinner time and didnt want to eat anything but pico de gallo! I didnt want to fight with her about it under the crabby circumstances, so she just ate Mexican pico de gallo, complete with raw onions and jalapenos!

This pic was a little blurry, but I thought it was cute and shows how much she loves pico de gallo!! :)