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!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Eight Down

UPDATE:  Make that nine down :)  Samuel woke up with spots this morning and has been in my lap or arms or by my side all day.

What a week!  Whew... I am tired!!  So thankful that I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me!  And that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  
  The last few days I've been in "survival mode"...just finding time to make meals and do laundry has been a challenge.  Timothy, Elijah, and Abigail, who are still "pock free" have been tremendous helps!  The boys have carried out the brunt of all the chores around here and Abi has been helping me as "nurse".  
But through all the work and trying to get everyone comfortable and everything necessary still done, there have been memories made and I am so thankful for the blessings that have come because 8 children have chicken pox! :)

I have all the sickies based out in the boys room.  There are 7 beds in there and having them all in one room together has worked well.  They keep each other company, I can keep just that room cool if they'd like, I can serve them all their meals in there, and Timothy helped me set up the computer on the tall dresser.  Some have been too sick to do much of anything, so they've enjoyed listening to Story Hour cds, music, watching the Duggar family shows, and listening to the Bible (blueletterbible.org).  They've all enjoyed hearing the Bible read and I have loved hearing God's Word so often throughout the day as I've been doing housework/tending to the children.  Today, in just the time that Daddy and the well ones were at morning church, we listened to the book of John, Acts, and Titus.  This afternoon, we got through most of I Corinthians, too!  
Yesterday, we heard Matthew.  I always learn so much and find so much to meditate on as I hear those wonderful words of life!  I think this will be something we will incorporate on a daily basis even after everyone is feeling better.  
Beka and Isaiah each received letters from a new pen pal this week and felt well enough today to write them back.  The day after my birthday, some of the children made a big banner to hang in our dining room along side Daddy's father's day banner.  I've been reading books to some and played Uno with those who felt well enough to come over to my bed.  
Much time has been spent giving baths and making sure everyone gets fresh, clean sheets and pj's each day as needed.  With the summer heat and fevers, we've been going through gallons of cold drinks each day.  I've had to clean more than  few spills. :)  
Eliseo is so cute.  Some of the children are just covered head to toe in spots and he'll see one of them and call out, "Mommy!  Rebekah has a pock!"   :)
I have asked most of the children if they want me to connect the dots on their back to see what picture it will make.  So far, nobody has agreed ;)

We have several "groups" around here today...the older ones who haven't gotten sick, the little ones who are not sick, the ones who feel really miserable, the ones who are feeling just better enough to be whiny/clingy/grumpy, and those who are mostly feeling better and getting back to "normal".
Timothy, Elijah, Abigail, and Samuel are the four that have yet to get it.  Eliseo's mostly over his and keeping Samuel company all day.
I've been making multiple meals/snacks throughout the day.  The well ones are hungry and want normal food, the sick ones aren't quite up to that.  Tonight, I made up a few dozen cinnamon/sugar doughnuts that I think everyone will be happy with for supper. :)

Here are a few pictures from yesterday.
Samuel who was standing right in front of me the entire time I was taking pictures shouting, "Cheese!" :)
Sweet Isaiah has so many on his face.  He's felt so miserable, but never complains!
This is Nehemiah right after I told him that I think I found a few spots on his back.  He was excited.  He's strange.  He takes after his mother.  Today he is covered with spots.
Susannah looks pitiful but hasn't seem to feel too bad.
I know it's blurry, but I LOVED this shot.  Eliseo was pushing Samuel on the swing and they were both laughing so much.
Noah wanted me to take a picture of his back because, "Mommy, I NEVER get to see my back very good...can you take a picture of it?  Wow!  it looks like my face and tummy :)"

Benjamin's feeling much better...he didn't get many spots.  Beka got up for the first time today, so I think she's on the mend.  
Thank you so much for praying for them!  
And thank you for all the birthday comments/emails.  It was a wonderful day!  I can't wait to have another birthday  :) Hna. Meche came over after the children were in bed for the night and stayed with them a couple hours while Daniel took me out for a chicken sandwich and a shared Mocha.  Mmmm!  And just being with my children and hearing them say "Happy Birthday, Mommy!"  makes me feel so very blessed!
And when everyone is better, we'll have some birthday banana splits!  :)

God is so good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blame it on the Chicken

Cups of cold lemonade
Cool rags 
Story Cd's
"I'm bored"
"Try not to scratch"
Hugs and kisses
Lots of love

Eliseo woke up with the chicken pox about 2 weeks ago.  All his brothers/sisters were very interested in looking at/counting his pox.  He didn't seem to enjoy that "game" as much as they all did.  After all (as he readily told them), "These are MY pox".

Well, now, several more siblings have their very own pox!
As of this morning:
Timothy- fine...big helper
Elijah-fine..another big helper
Rebekah-fever/covered in chicken pox
Benjamin- fever/just starting to get spots
Abigail-felt sick a couple days ago, but better yesterday...no spots...yet 
Isaiah- fever/just starting to get spots
Josiah- fever/ covered in spots
Noah- no fever but covered in spots
Susannah- fever yesterday/spots all over this morning
Nehemiah- fine :)
Eliseo- Was it he that started it all or the chicken?
Samuel- fine...played all day with Nehemiah and Eliseo

I'd rather them all get it at once than have one or two get it at a time for the next 3 months. 

Well, it should make for a memorable birthday! :)
Nehemiah still blames it on the chicken.  
I'm hearing some whining...time to make my rounds.
We appreciate your prayers this week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Proverbs 17:6
Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband and daddy to our children!
We love you so much and are so very thankful the Lord made us a family.

You provide us with all we need.
You let your yard and house be full of toys.
You get woken up often by a child or two crawling up to hug or attack you.
You have scribble marks on your Bible and desk.
You listen to countless stories.
You collect coloring pages.
You can't ever leave the house without someone wanting to go with you.
You can't ever come home without someone trying to climb you like a tree.
You take twice as long to do a job so your boys can do it with you.
You take your daughters on dates.
Your hobby is to be with your children.
And they always want to be with you.
You teach us daily to love the Lord, love His Word, and obey it.
You don't pretend that you are perfect.
You have taught us what it is to forgive and be forgiven.
You teach us every day.
You love us so much.
And it is only a love that comes from God Himself.

We love you!

After church, we invited over some friends and barbecued hamburgers.

Today and tomorrow, we will be having our first mission's conference. 
LOTS of people will be here!!
Lots of preaching, singing, food, fun, fellowship.
Only thirty something days until we leave for furlough (happy and sad feelings all at once!)
Only 4 days until my birthday (always happy feelings about that...even if I'm only 2 years from 40) :)
Still waiting to see if anyone else gets the chicken pox.
With such a fun, busy week ahead, want to make sure I take time for what is most important...vital.  Time alone with the Lord and time to read the Bible and pray with my children.
He is so faithful and good!
May you all have a wonderful day in Him!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Digging Out Splinters

As I was walking to the store today...in my flip flops...I thought of something.  Most of my childhood, I ran around barefoot.  Oh, I had shoes, and I wore them to school, church, or shopping, but as soon as I got home, off they came.  I spent almost all summer long running around barefoot.   
Every now and then, I would get a sliver...a little splinter of wood...in my foot.  I have never been very brave and a pretty big wimp when it comes to pain. A true miracle of God's grace that I gave birth to 12 children! :)  Usually, when I first got a splinter, I would try to pull or dig it out with my finger.  Usually, that didn't work.  I'd be busy playing and not wanting to interrupt my play nor deal with the pain, I'd just tell myself that I'd work on taking it out that night.  Often times, by the evening, either I'd forget about my splinter or try to get it out, but would be unable.  If I would go to my daddy right away and show him my foot, he'd easily get the splinter out with little to no pain.  But being scared of pain, sometimes I'd just ignore my splinter and hope it would go away on it's own.  
By the next day, usually the area of the splinter would be more red and hurt.  The longer I waited, the more it would hurt.  If I waited too long, I'd be limping or walking on the side of my foot.  I would always have pain and wouldn't be able to play as I normally would.  If I would have left those splinters in my foot even longer, the infection would have spread and affected the rest of my body.
I remember going to my daddy and showing him my splinters.  He'd ask me when or how I got it.  And if I had indeed waited a few days to tell him, he'd always tell me how much easier and less painful it would be if I had come to him right away.  
My daddy was so very gentle, yet the sheer nature of getting out a sometimes infected splinter hurt.  Sometimes a lot.  After it was out, my foot would still be sore and tender for a couple days.  But before I knew it, there was no more pain, and I was able to play like always.  I could run and walk again without any pain!  It felt so good.

Inside of my heart, I sometimes get splinters.  Unconfessed sins, pride, envy, complaining, discontent, anger.  Often, they may start out small.  And often times, I don't notice that they are there or ignore them because I don't want to deal with them.  And then they begin to take root and get worse.  If left alone, they begin to affect other areas in my heart and life.  
The Lord has been showing me many "splinters" that have been left in my heart far too long.  Some have festered and as the Lord begins to "dig" them out, it hurts. But His healing is so pure and perfect that I am only saddened that I didn't come to Him with these things sooner.  I think I have a few tree trunks with deep roots embedded in me too.  But He who began a good work in me will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!    Oh, I'm so thankful for my Heavenly Father's love!  I'm so glad that it is Jesus who does the work in my heart.  I can do nothing.  But He can do everything!  
How much the Lord has taught me to fear Him!  When I think of what it is to fear the Lord, I think of simply realizing who I am and who God is.  Man spends his entire life lifting himself up and bringing God down. Whereas God wants us to humble ourselves and glorify Him!  I want the Lord to work that in me!  I want Him to use me in whatever way He desires.  Just some thoughts that the Lord has been teaching me this week.

Today I finished up my morning housework a bit early and while everyone else was working on their assignments, Samuel and I made 14 bags of playdough and replenished our former stash.  After a while, the playdough gets so dirty from either falling on the ground or from them playing with it outside on the picnic tables that I just toss it and mix up some new batches.  
I've used many recipes, but this one has become one of my favorites.  It is soft and pliable; you don't have to cook it; and it doesn't take cream of tarter (which we cannot buy here).  I can't attest to how long it stays fresh as playdough usually doesn't make it more than a month or so around here.  But it stays nice and soft kept in a zip lock baggie during the time we use it.

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons white vinegar plus enough boiling water to make 2 cups 
food coloring

You just mix it all together in a bowl and then turn it out on the table/counter to knead.  At first, it is all goopy and sticky and doesn't seem like it worked at all, but if you keep kneading, it firms up all nice and soft.
You can add glitter to it if you want too.  On my yellow batch, I added a bit of lemon extract just to give it a nice smell :)

We were actually able to do our school time today!  So far, work at the church, other necessary projects, and the chicken pox filled up most of our summer days.
But we are settling into our summer schedule now and today we had a time of writing in our journals, reading out loud, Scripture memory, and then we worked on a special project in preparation for our church mission's conference this coming week.
Different families from our church volunteered to make various flags out of poster boards.  Since I've been home from church with the children ever since Eliseo got chicken pox, many of the easy country flags had already been picked.  Like Japan.  That was my first choice.  
But we pulled out our old encyclopedia to see what other ones we might be able to draw and with Elijah informing us of which countries were no longer countries (since our encyclopedias were published in the early 80's) and some help from the internet, everyone chose a different country's flag to draw.

Noah and Susannah were my helpers.  I picked the country of Djibouti. 

As you can see, we mostly picked flags that had straight, solid lines.  It sure used a lot of crayon though!!

Thank you for praying for Eliseo!  He's doing much better.  Nobody else has broken out in any spots yet, but I remember that the Duggar family had one of their young girls get chicken pox and then 2 weeks later, 11 more broke out.  So we have morning and evening "spot checks" and every little bug bite is brought to mommy to inspect. :)  Is it just me, or does thinking or talking about chicken pox make your back itch?

Daniel is out sharing the gospel with some others from our church and then will be working late with some of the men as they do some painting on the building.  Hopefully we'll have our church name painted on there by this weekend! 
Time to call in the troops for showers.  I'm so thankful for cool evenings still so far!  
Have a wonderful rest of the week in the Lord!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken Pox

Last week Beka brought home this little chick. 

And Saturday morning, Eliseo woke up with a back full of chicken pox.
Nehemiah's convinced that the chicken gave us the chicken pox.
Makes perfect sense to a 4 year old.
So I think most of us will be home here for the next couple weeks or so.
Nobody else has any spots yet, but unlike a favorite toy, when it comes to an illness, my children are great at sharing with each other.
I'm thankful it is summer, school is done, and we still have 6 weeks until furlough.
Thankful that Eliseo didn't have any new spots this morning and seems to be feeling better today. 

Last week, Abigail turned 10 and Isaiah turns 9 this Friday.  To celebrate, we spent an afternoon at the beach and Daniel barbecued hamburgers.  Mmmmm!  They were soooo good!
The hamburgers.  Abi and Isaiah are good too...usually :-).

The older boys began snorkeling as soon as we'd finished setting up.  A little while later, they came back to shore.  Elijah had gotten stung by a jelly fish.  He accidentally hit it with his hand and then in surprise at the pain, wiped his hand (with the tentacles still on it) on his stomach.  He had a red, sore hand and tummy.  I gave him some pain reliever and he rested in the van until the worst of the stinging faded.  
Daniel and the boys would love for me to snorkel with them.  And I do love to swim and think it would be so much fun.  But, besides the fact I have a few other children to watch, I'm so scared to get stung or bit or eaten by something!  Yes (sticking with the theme of this post), I'm chicken! :)
Timothy was excited to get this guy with his spear.  The fish.  Not Benjamin :).  He (the fish) came home with us in our ice chest and Timothy fried him up to go along with his supper.

When your hands look like prunes, it's time go go home :)

Well, Eliseo's wanting another bath.   It might be an interesting next couple of weeks.   :)
We sure appreciate your prayers! 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Hi :)

  We've had 9 days of "summer" so far, and Elijah said to me yesterday, "I think we are more busy now than when we were doing school."  Well, nobody around here wants to be bored.  Everyone has been working hard, and, as Elijah also told Daniel last week, "I've sure been eating a lot more since summer started."  Hard work and play does that!  Sometimes I feel like I do nothing but cook!  Well, at least I know I'm very appreciated!   

June is a big birthday month for our family.  Three of us have birthdays!  Abigail just turned 10, Isaiah turns 9 next week, and I'll be the square root of 2025 minus the square root of 7 squared the following week. :-)
If you can figure out how old I'll be, you can come over some cake!
It will be a Pastel de Tres Leches...mmmmmmmmm!!!!
Last night after church, we loaded up in the van and drove to the city to a road side second hand store.  They were selling a variety of items, but there was one table full of roller blades/skates.  I was so excited when I found out they were selling them the other day as Abi and Isaiah both wanted a pair for their birthdays.
Ben had been saving his money and decided he'd buy himself a pair too.  Daniel bought some helmets too because, heads and cement don't do well together. :)  
Our back yard sounds like a park!  It's great!  
Well, not too much else to say.  Daniel and the boys have been gone most every day working at the church.  The girls and I organized the kitchen cupboards this morning.  Right now, the little ones are running around eating cold cucumbers with lemon, salt and chili.  Mmmmm!  
By the way, cold watermelon, cold mango, cold pineapple, cold cucumbers, cold oranges, cold cantaloupe... it all tastes way better with lots of lemon, chili powder and salt. :-)  

Church Sunday...They just looked so cute sitting there waiting for the service to start.

Old, ripped blue tarp down.  Nice white wall up!  

Where I sit during the beginning and end of every service.

Eliseo's new chore...organizing the silverware drawer.
Breakfast!! Eggs, potatoes, beans, salsa, and warm tortillas comin' right up! :)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Summer Schedule

As of Tuesday, May 31, about 5:00 pm, we officially finished our 2010-2011 school year!!!!!!!!
The children worked so hard the past 2 weeks to get all their books/lessons completed.  I was so proud of them!  They still had to do their regular chores when they were done studying for the day, so there wasn't much free time at all those days, but (with some encouragement from Mommy) they persevered and they woke up June 1st knowing that it was officially "summer"! 

Proverbs 16:9 says, " man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps".  
I had a plan for our summer this year.  With our upcoming travels this fall, I decided that we would take a couple weeks off of school, do some projects/cleaning/special activities, and then get right into our 2011/12 school year.  We had ordered our books, I was praying about just how to organize our year/classes, and just wanted to get a head start so we wouldn't get behind during our furlough traveling.  
I do not like to get behind.  I would much rather be ahead.  In my mind, it sounded like a great plan.  

But the Lord directed differently.  And I know His way is best.  
The Lord began to bring some things to my mind both in my quiet times with Him and as I went about my day.  
I began to pray and ask the Lord what He would have me to do.  Just this morning, I was thinking of the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus came to their home (Luke 10:38-42).  Martha was busy serving taking care of the many needs of the home.  Mary was sitting at the feet of the Saviour hearing his every word.  I desire to be like Mary.  And I am naturally like Martha.  I will get cumbered and troubled about many things...so many needs, so much to do... Yet Jesus reminds me that one thing is needful.  While I've often thought of this passage when I feel pressured about the day's work and am tempted to rush or skip my quiet time with the Lord, today I thought about it in relationship to what the Lord put on my heart for our time this summer.

There are many things that are sometimes easy for me to overlook.  I get busy with the work of the day and what we have on our schedule but neglect those "needful" things that aren't written down on my schedule or any list.  Areas in which my children need to be trained/taught/instructed.  Areas of their tender hearts that need to be cultivated.  So often, I can be so focused/troubled to stay on task and get each job done that I overlook that which is most needful.
I began a writing down a few lists.  Throughout the day, as more things came to my mind, I'd open my notebook and jot them down.  I shared my thoughts with Daniel and asked him what he thought.  I told him about my plan to get right on school and all the reasons that I thought that would be a good idea.  Then I told him about what I'd been praying about and shared some of the things on my lists.  He said, "It is your decision.  You have my support on whatever you choose.  But, right now, our school books are sitting in our PO box 800 miles north of here, and it looks like we won't be able to take a trip up north until furlough, so that might just make your decision for you :)."  
When I finally gave up my plans and said, "Lord, I will do what you want me to do," I knew I had my answer.  Such peace and joy!  I still sometimes get cumbered and troubled when I think, "How will we get everything done with our travels?  Will we have to school all summer next year?"  And then I remember to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!  And I remind myself that I do not need to worry about tomorrow.  I just need to trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus.  And I do love our summer breaks!

I like to be scheduled.  My husband does not. :) ha!  We make a great team!  He likes to work on one thing until it is finished and then go on to something else.  I like to break up all the little areas of needs into little pieces and work away at them day after day.  He is spontaneousness..."Let's build a brick wall today, boys." or "Let's see if a fisherman will take us out to an island today".   And I will say, "But what about school?"  And he just gets that smile and raises his eyebrows and before you know it, we're on our way to the ocean.  :)
Okay, it isn't quite that bad, but he does sometimes come home in the middle of the day with a tub of ice cream of a bag of fish.  And all dinner plans are set aside. :)
If you want to have some fun treats in the house,  have Daddy go grocery shopping with mommy.  Mommy has a list, but Daddy gets all sorts of things that aren't on the list. :)

But I do love to have fun.  I do love times of rest.  And for that reason, I always look forward to summer!
But with 14 people living in this home, if we just decided to live each day care free/come what may, it would not be pretty.  For one, everyone would get bored.  Children need direction and stability.  So with my lists in front of me, I've been working on our summer schedule.  A time for projects, time for learning new chores/brushing up on old ones, a time for training, a time for writing/reading/and other educational activities, a time for play! :)

I'll share with you a few of the things I have jotted down on each of my lists.

My first list is titled "Training/Teaching Needs".
-Getting in and out of the van
My children have the gift.  Getting into the van, the little ones end up getting stepped on half the time.  The person sitting closest to the door gets in first so everyone else is climbing over him/her.  Then someone ends of getting kicked in the face.  And then half the family is crying.  
Getting out of the van is even better.  It's like explosive dominoes.  I'm not sure what the rush is, but everyone seems to try to get out the door first.  And whatever garbage or toys happen to be on the floor, it all falls out right along with them.
Now, I haven't thought too much about this, but knowing that we are about to spend a good 4 months getting in and out of our van, I'm thinking about it now.
Here's a few others..
-Brushing teeth without using half the toothpaste tube and keeping the mirror/counter/floor free of whatever it is they manage to cover it with when they brushing their teeth
-Greeting people in English
-Teaching them to not interrupt
-Chore Training
-Mealtime manners
-No tattling
-Being more quiet (I'd like to blame it on our cement house which does exaggerate the noise, but not everyone has to talk at once and I know they can clear the table without sounding like a herd of elephants in a china cupboard.)

I'm planning on focusing on some of these things throughout our days and then having a time each evening to train in a specific area like practicing getting in and out of the van. :)

My next list has on it summer school ideas.  These are areas in which I want the children to keep working or those in which they need extra practice:
-Scripture Memory
-Reading time
-Oral/written book reports to share
-Creative Writing
-Furlough Preparation (USA map, learn more about the churches/families/friends whom we'll be seeing, set up trip notebooks)

These are all good things to do in the heat of the afternoon when it's too hot to be outside.

I also have a list of home cleaning/organizational projects:
These include:
-Go through/organize children's clothing (make needs list)
-Clean windows
-Clean/organize kitchen cupboards
-Clean boys bathroom thoroughly (it might involve removing the toilet...It's not going to be fun, but I'll be so glad when it's done!)
-Clean all kitchen appliances
-Organize Linen Closets
-Weed/clean side fruit tree area
-Clean Ceiling fans

These are things we'll work on during the morning.
 Daniel also has a list of projects and I love it when the boys are able to work along side him!  They love it too.  And look so handsome :)

I have a final list where I've written down other fun summer ideas.
-Our church family camp
-A couple trips to the beach
-Having families over for a meal
-Visiting our church families in their homes
-Playing family games outside or inside in the evenings
-Thinking of ways to help/serve others
Before we know it, our summer here will be over and furlough will begin.
This week, the boys have been working at the church with Daddy.  The girls and little ones have been home with me.  We pray the Lord will bless our time this summer as we begin to work on those things He's laid on our hearts.  

And now, I think I need to match some socks. :)