Welcome! Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa ...Our house is your house

A glimpse into the life of Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 precious blessings. Thank you for visiting; we pray that what we share here may always bring glory to our wonderful God and Saviour. May you praise the Lord with us for the great things He has done and continues to do as we serve Him sharing the gospel here in the little town of Cuidad Insurgentes, BCS Mexico. He alone is good and faithful!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lots and Lots of Pictures :)

We just had the most wonderful Thanksgiving! Everyday is full of countless blessing, but the Lord just especially gave me such a special day yesterday and I am still just thanking Him for it.
For one, I am so thankful that all bleeding has stopped. I'm feeling our little one move around more and more and the doctor said I can be up a bit now which enabled me to spend the day in the front of the house with the family and eat together at the table. Thank you so much for praying for little baby and I. Daniel will be taking me down to the hospital in La Paz (the capitol) to see the doctor there next week.
Wednesday night, Daniel and I were visiting together after the children had gone to sleep and I was telling him I am always a bit homesick during Thanksgiving and after such a difficult week, I wasn't sure if I was looking forward to it or not.
But the Lord was so good to sprinkle the day with so many blessings from start to finish that it was just one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. Since we were not planning on doing school yesterday, I told the children they could sleep in a bit. Daniel and I decided to sleep in a bit too; I awoke around 6:30 am and heard some little feet walking around, but the house was quiet so I stayed in bed and rested. I was suddenly awaken again, shortly after 7 am by a line of 10 neatly dressed children, coffee in tow, telling us good morning and that the breakfast table was set and chores were done. Abigail brought in Eliseo's bottle as Rebekah changed him and brought him to me to hold. I was blessed to tears!
While we were up north, my mom, who bought us all the yummy Thanksgiving food to bring back here, also bought the children a big bag of cereal for a treat Thanksgiving morning. Normally, I always make a special breakfast that day (sweet rolls and hot cocoa or something), but I was so thankful as I was unable to cook yesterday, everyone had a special treat for breakfast anyways.

As soon as breakfast, family Bible time, and clean up chores were done, the children set to work on making our delicious feast. The younger ones played in the play room, the girls pulled out all the food to start working and the older boys alternated between helping cook and entertain the younger ones.

With Christmas music playing, the voices of happy children singing and working together, a Daddy who planned on being home the ENTIRE day, and the table set, I just thanked the Lord so much for blessing me so much more than I deserve.

My mom and dad sent us home with name cards to put at each place in which they had written each of us notes telling us why they were thankful for us. We read them outloud as we began our meal and even with our family so far away, we felt so close knowing we were in their hearts.
I don't think the girls had ever rolled out a pie crust on their own. Rebekah looked a bit worried, but I thought they were the most beautiful pies I had ever set eyes on. And considsering how much pie we have left over, I would say they tasted pretty good too!
They brought over Nehemiah to help crush the walnuts...he did great and it kept him busy for at least 15 minutes :)

With the food all prepared and the turkey baking in the over, they began to clean up the kitchen.
Daddy read to the little ones before their nap...Oh, I just love that man!
And my big helpers even cleaned up the toys from the little ones play time.
Happy first Thanksgiving my sweetest littlest man!
While the younger ones napped, the older ones did our annual Thanksgiving tradition of making turkeys from apples, raisins, and marshmallows.

Before we knew it, the turkey was done, the house smelled soooo good, and everyone gathered around to watch Daddy carve the turkey.
And we all gathered around the table to thank the Lord for his goodness, abundant blessings, and mercy toward us.
I just love these children soooo much!!
Timothy reading the place card Grandpa and Grandma gave him.

Josiah was shocked at how much bigger a turkey leg is than a chicken leg :)Again, after supper, everyone pitched in and cleaned up....Many hands make light work!
Did I tell you how much I love this man? :)
Then, my camera ran out of batteries, but we had so much more fun. We all went to the family room and shared what we were especially thankful for this year. I just love hearing what the children say.
I then lay down to rest with Eliseo and Daniel went outside to work while the children played with some friends from the neighborhood who had arrived. We took over some dinner plates to our neighbors too and shared with them why we were having a special day.
Soon it was getting dark and while the children took their baths, Daniel got down our Christmas decorations. As soon as bath time was over, everyone helped decorate the house as we spend the next month especially remembering God's wonderful gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ our Savior!
With the most of the children now snug in their beds, Daniel and I sipped hot cocoa together as I felt little Lockwood #12 kicking me. :)
Ps. 23:6 Surley goodness and mecry shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I hope you all too had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Lord is so good and faithful!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bedrest wtih children and boxes

We have a new household chore....morning and evening cricket removal :) Isaiah took on the task this morning. If you look really closely at the bottom of that gray sack he's holding, you will see the bottom is black...he found about 40 that had come out of hiding. In the evening, Timothy and Elijah do the job...they usually gather around 50 each. You can really tell if we skip a day...they sure build up fast!

Thank you all again for praying. I'm feeling fine, but the bleeding continues, so I'm still in bed. I've got plenty of visitors and was just saying how hard it was to stretch out with all these little bodies sharing the bed with me, when Daniel walked in the door and called the children to all come outside. Suddenly, my bed was clear....but not for long. The children were soon replaced with boxes...18 to be exact! All for the Christmas Shoebox Ministry!

The older ones went back to their school work while the little ones stayed to help Daddy get the boxes opened and the shoeboxes stored with the others. As best as he could count, Daniel counted 180 boxes have come in so far! Praise the Lord! Thank you so much to all who have given! I am praying that I will be able to go help hand them out in a couple weeks even if I just sit in the van and take pictures :)

Daniel will be gone from 7:30 pm until around 11 pm as he and Brother Humberto teach Bible classes tonight to the young men who desire to learn from God's Word. I am praying that the children will go to sleep quickly, stay in bed well, and that the little ones won't be too fussy once the older ones (my helpers) go to sleep. Timothy made 2 baked chickens and buttered noodles for lunch. Daddy was in charge of breakfast...corn flakes is always a treat! :)
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Little Lockwood 12 still hanging in there :)

I'm sorry to take so long to update. We got home about 11 am, but as we hadn't been home all morning, had new orders from the doctor and Daniel had to leave for the village around 3 pm, we were busy getting everything taken care of.
Thank you so much for praying for us this morning. Again, what a blessing it has been to read the comments and emails of so many bringing us and our little one before the Lord in prayer. We have been so very humbled and our hearts so encouraged as again and again, trial after trial, you dear brother and sisters in Christ Jesus help to carry our burdens. In a place that can at times feel so lonely, it just means so much to know so many pray.
While I did have butterflies in my tummy as we drove in to see the doctor, our hearts were calm. I was awoken this morning by heavy bleeding. We had no sign that anything was wrong before this moring. I had been very tired the past couple of weeks, but Daniel bought me some more iron, vitamin C and a multi-vitamin, and the past 2 or 3 days I was feeling much better.
So we were surprised and obviously concerned to wake up to the problems this morning. Daniel prayed with me right away and I rested while the children got ready to go.
The doctor did an ultra sound right away and there was our little baby kicking mommy, heartbeat strong, and measuring right on schedule!
The problem is the placenta again, which has torn away some again from the wall of the uterus. The placenta is also completely covering the opening to the uterus (placenta previa) which makes it more delicate. I was having some pain too and the uterus seemed to be very hard, so the doctor prescribed some medicine to relax it.So I have been ordered to bed rest again until the bleeding completely stops and then very limited activity until my next check up and possibly further.
We are so very thankful to still have little Lockwood #12 with us...while we've never even seen or held this precious baby, we love him/her so much and how our hearts would ache and how we would miss him/her if we had to wait until glory to see face to face.
So while it is a hard time of the year to "stay down" (of course, with 11 little Lockwoods and one handome big Lockwood, staying down any time of year isn't easy), I just keep thanking the Lord that I have another day to hold our precious baby inside me...another day to tell him/her how much mommy loves him/her. When I'm pregnant, it is so special to me to read the Scriptures outloud during my quiet times as I always have another tiny little one with me :)
Well, I know this has already been a long post, since Daniel and most of the children are out in the village, and I have to be here in bed :), I thought I'd post a few pictures I took from the weekend.
And please, keep praying for the people in the village of Jesus Maria. Daniel continues to faithfully go, and they faithfully come to hear him preach. Lately, since it has been getting dark so early, and since there is no power out there, Daniel preaches in the dark. Last week, it was so dark, he could not even see their faces. He brings a little flashlight by which to read the Bible by, but then they all listen in the dark while Daniel shares. Last week, the boys came back with a tarantula...they found 3 but only brought home 1, so I count my blessings :)

Revolution Day (Nov. 20) Parade on Hwy 1

Pictures from Sunday morning...eating a quick breakfast before heading out the door.

While the children were eating, I took another picture of the shoeboxes :) We got another couple big packages at the post office today (we'll pick them up tomorrow). Another 2 1/2 weeks and we'll be handing them all out!
Side note: I just thank the Lord (and the Maxwell family ) for helping me learn how to better order my days and manage the home. The schedule that we regularly follow has been such a blessing in times such as these as everyone knows what to do and when to do it!
I took this picture last night while Brother Macario was taking prayer requests and I was standing outside with fussy, teething Eliseo. The lights are really bright in the picture, but I wanted to show you what we brought back with us from up north this month....pews! :) My parents church donated them to us a couple of years ago, but we hadn't been able to get them down here. But this past trip, my dad cut them down to size, disassembled them, and we brought 6 of them down! Next time we go up, we hope to bring 6-8 more.

Early morning Sunday School craft preparations :)
Ivan and Isaiah leaving to do their route. We have 5 routes each Sunday. The route workers walk to everbody's house on their route and gather everyone for the bus or van to pick them up for service.

Timothy, Eljah, and Benjamin leaving for their route.
After lunch, between services, the older ones do a quiet activity (reading, writing, sewing, ect...)
And the little ones sleep :)

We made chains in Sunday School to count down the days until the special Christmas service

Some of the girls coming inside after finishing their craft.

Pray for our little baby

We are getting ready to go to the doctor...I woke up this morning bleeding heavily again. Daniel prayed with me and while our hearts long to meet this little one, we are so glad we can rest knowing he/she is always in the loveing care of our Heavenly Father. Please pray for us. I'm 17 weeks along today. The Lord is so good.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No, we don't eat these

Have I mentioned how absolutely afraid I was of crickets? I still remember the very first time we drove into this town 6 years ago. Daniel was surveying the area as He felt the Lord leading him to work somewhere in this state. We pulled into a gas station late one night; there was a pay phone there and Daniel needed to make a call. I had been waiting to stop for the past couple hours as I was pregnant with Josiah and needing to use the restroom.

I remember driving up to the payphone and not being able to see the sidewalk. It was covered with crickets. Daniel got out and pointed over the the restroom; I checked to make sure all the windows were closed tight and stayed right in my seat. I remember Daniel holding his collar closed as he talked so the crickets that were jumping all over him wouldn't go down his shirt.

We were pulling our travel trailer at the time and found a place to park for the night. The childrn and I were inside getting ready for bed and Daniel was outside working on something, when a cricket...just 1 cricket...jumped into the trailer. I jumped just about as quickly onto the bed and begged Timothy to get it outside!

That night I told Daniel I didn't care where we ended up as long as we didn't end up in THIS town. I would NEVER be able to live here!


So here we are...while I cannot say I have any fondness for the hundreds of black, jumping creatures that cover my walls and floors, make themselves cozy in my drawers and cupboards, are the first ones to greet me every morning in the shower, and cause me to shake out EVERYTHING first...from my clothes, towels, shoes to even my Bible, I also no longer panic if one jumps near me. In fact, they daily jump ON me. I still shudder at times and rapidly brush them off...and I tell the children that whenever anything is crawling on my back and they see it, they most certainly may quickly remove it, but to PLEASE not tell me what it is or what they are doing until AFTER they are done! :)

But as these insects arrive and multiply by the thousands after the rains each year, they serve to remind me of how the Lord has given me the grace I need in whatever and whereever he has called me...in big things and little things too.
While I have wanted to go to the mission field ever since I was 7 years old, I sort of had a romantic idea of how it would be. I imagined myself sleeping under a grass hut, holding and feeding sweet, dark skinned, skinny children while telling them how much Jesus loved them and seeing them smile as they came to know the Savior...and everyone lived happily ever after.
I never thought about bugs, sickness, lonliness, hard hearts, being exhausted, and I certainly did not think one bit about crickets.
The mission field has not been at all really what I imagined it to be. I never imagined how the Lord would break me, how my faith would be tried and found so lacking, how hard it would be, how once I got here, for a time, I just wanted to go back home.
Nor did I imagine how He would take my weak, broken self and give me so much grace; how as I cast myself again and again on Him and seek Him like I never had before, He would be known like I'd never known him (Deut. 4:29); how He would increase my faith; how He would take my deepest sorrows and give me peace and joy.
And while we so far haven't seen hundreds come to the Savior, we have seen a little church spring up here in Cd. Insurgentes. We've seen these new believers grow and even teach me things!
As I go to bed each night listening to the chirps of many, many crickets, I am truly reminded of just how much God loves me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hamburger Helper

I want to share something that I thought of around our second year of living here in Mexico. Mexican food is very good! We all like it a lot...good thing! :) But it does all kind of consist of the same ingredients....beans, tortillas, tomato, chili, rice, cheese, sometimes meat, lemon, salt, and pig lard :) Oh, there are other ingredients they use, but ater a while it can seem that everything is all the same...the difference is how you fold the tortilla!
There is also no such thing as "quick and easy" here. Everything is made from scratch. You really have to think and plan ahead...if you want dinner at 6 pm, you cannot go to the kitchen at 5 pm and have really much to choose from.
With what is available here, I try to include a balance of both Mexican and some of our favorite dishes from the states...or as close as I can get to them. Well, one day, I was thinking about Hamburger Helper. Now, we'd never really bought it, but I was thinking about the concept of just dumping these dry ingredient from a box into a pan with some water and seasonings and...walah...a no fuss meal in no time.
I began to think, "Is the noodles or potatoes or rice or whatever they put into that Hamburger Helper box all that special?" Would something like that work with just plain rice or noodles that I can buy here?
So I began to experiment and we've come up with lots of easy, inexpensive, no-fuss meals! One of the first ones I did, I have made both in a skillet and in the oven. It's so easy and good! Even my 5 and 6 year olds have made this completely on their own.
I just put a couple bags of pasta into a skillet or 9x13 pan (depending if I'm using my oven or stovetop). They add a jar of spaghetti sauce (I get lots of free tomatos, and make sauce regularly, so this just costs pennies). Then they add a jar of water and mix it together with a spoon. You can add previously cooked ground beef too, but we just eat it with the pasta.
Cover with foil if you are using the oven or a lid if you are using your skillet. And cook until tender! You don't have to stir or anything. While it's cooking (about 20-30 minutes I think??) I usually slice some homemade bread and make a salad. When it's cooked, I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and let it melt. And suppers on!
I like how it just mixes together in literally about a minute and then while it cooks, I can do something else.
And we've done similar recipes with all sorts of things....chicken and rice; ground beef with cubed potatoes; chicken and pasta ect... lots of possibilities. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My heart skipped a beat

The children are getting their shoes on as we are about to leave to get ready for our evening church service, but today, while we were laying down for our Sunday afternoon rest, right after "Daddy" talked to and sang to his new little boy/girl, I felt him/her kick me! :)
That "very first felt kick" always makes my heart flutter; I never tire of feeling it! It is just so wonderful how God is forming this precious little baby inside me! I am just so very blessed...my 12th "first little kick" felt today! :) Thank you Lord!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Welcome Home...We have grass!

As we crossed the US/Mexican border heading back into Mexico, the passengers in our van let out shouts of "Yipee! Yea! Woo Hoo! We're almost home!" Mexico is our children's home. Timothy, our oldest, was only 7 when we moved here. Elijah was still 5. The rest of them were 4 and under. And now 4, soon to be 5, of them have been born here. So while Timothy and Elijah have some memories of living in the states, the rest of them do not. Of course, the love to visit Grandma and Grandpa and all their cousins/Aunts/Uncles, but it is not "home" to them.
I still get homesick for the states. While we've been here about 5 years now and I do feel very much at home here, I still at times long for "home". I can imagine it will always be that way for me, and I smiled as while crossing that border to head back down south put a twinge of sadness in my heart, it put so much joy in the 11 little passengers sitting behind me. And I remembered how Jesus Christ left his home to give His life...salvation for all who trust Him as their Savior...because He loves us so much. How humbled and blessed we are that He has allowed us to come here to serve Him, sharing the wonderful news of His salvation with so many who have never heard.
So as we pulled into our property about 1 am Sunday night (or Monday morning :) ), I thought, "Welcome Home". :)
Our plan was to be home Saturday night so we could hold services as normal on Sunday, but plans changed and again, we saw the Lord's wonderful care. About 2 hours south of the border, we were driving through the last really big city for what would be many miles when we began to hear a grinding sound in the car. I asked Daniel, "What is that?" as at the same time he said, "Oh no, do you hear that?" It was the brakes grinding. Just a few blocks later, we saw a brake shop and pulled in and spent the afternoon there while they made the necessary repairs. I was thankful for the seats inside the shop as well as the bathroom :), and the children were so very patient for the long wait. We were so glad to find the problem when we did as finding it in the middle of the long desert stretch would have been a different story.
The night we got home, we pulled in late with no problems and went straight to bed. Daniel unloaded a few things, our pillows and blankets, the diaper bag ect... and said we'd unload everything else in the morning. When we got up, Daniel went outside to unlock the trailer so the boys could bring eveything inside when he noticed that one of the tires was flat off the rim. And not only was it flat, but it looked completely destroyed on the inside wall...the steel was showing and torn to shreds. We never knew how bad that tire was; we were so surprised to see it like that in the morning as we pulled in fine. The Lord was so good to protect us and keep us from having to deal with that in the middle of the night in the middle of the desolate desert.
Monday and Tuesday, the children and I spent the day cleaning up, unpacking, organizing ect... while Daniel went back to preaching, going to the village, working with Brother Macario, and working on car/household/church repairs. Wednesday and Thursday the girls and I tackled 40 loads of laundry! All the blankets, sheets, and pillowcases we took on the trip were quite a sight and those combined with our trip laundry and regular laundry provided us with lots of time together to wash, dry, fold, iron, and put everything away.
Today I'm catching up on paperwork while the children are writing some letters, making a chain to countdown the days until Christmas and helping Daniel at the church. We should be back to our "normal" schedule again starting tomorrow! :)
Oh, while we were gone, our backyard patch of dirt that we seeded a while back really took off! We stood outside to watch Daddy CUT THE GRASS! It smelled wonderful...just like when I was a little girl! We are soooo thankful for the beautiful green and I love the fact that when the children help me hang clothes, drop them, or play in the hanging sheets and sometimes knock them off, that they no longer are covered with dirt or mud, but still nice and clean as they fall onto grass! :)
I know this is a bit long, but I wanted to mention how Benjamin blessed me yesterday. I had gotten up later than normal as my morning sickness has been pretty bad in the morning, and when I got up, Ben was dressed, chores done, had read his Bible, and wanted to know if he could make french toast and eggs for breakfast. I gladly accepted his offer and so while I had my quiet time and got the little ones changed/dressed ect..., he completely took care of breakfast. Table was set, juice made, two loaves of bread cooked up, and a pan of scrambled eggs hot and ready to eat. He's such a servant and a good example to me and the other children!

Ben working away on breakfast
I love his smile here...we were so proud of him and he was so happy! :)

Nehemiah working away with Daddy
A lady up north gave us some used baby items her boys had outgrown. Eliseo loves his new toys! :)
Even a flat soccer ball can be used for something...like a planter :)
Thank you Lord!