...who say most every day, "When are you going to update the blog?"
Yes, our blog may be "slow" but life here is anything but that!
I never would have imagined this, but somehow, when they were all little, the days seemed slower.
I was so tired at the end of each day yet so happy...wiping noses, changing diapers, reading books, tying shoes, games, laundry, messes, snuggles, meals, play dough, teaching, finding shoes.
I still do many of those things. No more diapers and most everyone can tie their shoe (or find a big brother to do it for them). I cook more food than ever before (teenagers!), often my washing machine can't keep up with the laundry, and I still love all the snuggles I can get. And the days are just flying by. And I'm still so tired and soooo happy!! These children are not only growing taller than me but growing in so many more ways as well.
It is so exciting to see them develop their interests and the talents the Lord's given them. It is bitter-sweet to hear the older ones talk about praying for the Lord's direction for their futures...and then think about them leaving. Weren't they just born yesterday?
As we sat around the table this Thanksgiving, I was especially grateful to have us all sitting down at the table together for another year. Our elbow bumping, "squishy" table felt particularly cozy, warm, and just perfect.
|The "little" guys|
|The "middle" guys|
|The "big" guys|
|Apple turkeys waiting to be judged by Daddy. Winner gets 5 pesos! :)|
Samuel just walked in, looked at the picture, pointed to the one there at the end and said, "Hey! That's mine! I made a spider! :)"
On the construction front, 5 new temporary wooden rooms have been built, roofed, and almost completely painted this past month. We've had several church work days where several families have come out to help with painting, building, cleaning, and whatever else needs to be done.
With these new rooms, we no longer have to have the children meeting in the bathroom and storage room for their classes and in the evening, they are no longer outside under a little light bulb. They now have their own rooms!
It is already December!
This week the Thanksgiving crafts/decorations came down and the Christmas ones went up.
And before I start dinner, I want to share a special story.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, Daniel was asked to preach in Loreto, a town about an hour and a half north of us. We took the micro bus with several people from our church and had a wonderful time. Daniel had me go to the ATM in town right before we left and pull out the rest of our money as we would need some for gas for the trip and the rest would be used to pay the rest of the month's bills including our Thanksgiving Dinner and groceries for the week.
I had the money in my wallet while we were in Loreto and gave Daniel some of it when we stopped at a gas station on our way home. I never left my purse. It was right beside me the entire trip home in the bus. That night, after we got home, I brought my purse inside the house, went to bed, and then grabbed it on my way to church the next morning.
During our second service, I reached into my purse to get a pen and noticed my wallet was open. I pulled it out to snap it shut and saw the money was gone. I didn't think too much of it as I normally do not carry money on me unless I'm at the grocery store and figured Daniel had just taken it as I was going to give it to him anyways.
After church, I asked Daniel if he had taken the money never expecting him to say "no". The money was gone and it appears as if it was stolen. Daniel mentioned it Sunday night at church and our people were sad and concerned. We told the children to pray that if someone stole the money, he'd return it and if not, that the Lord would provide for us as He always has.
On Tuesday, the children started asking me when I was going to shop for Thanksgiving dinner. Good question! They asked me if the money we lost was for Thanksgiving. I told them that part of it was and that we should just pray because God always takes care of us. We prayed together right then and then asked the children to help me put the final touches on our Thanksgiving menu. :-)
Tuesday afternoon, the children had a secret meeting. They planned to finish their chores here at home and then go out and look for metal around town that they could recycle. They wanted to give all the money they earned to mommy to buy Thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea about all their plans, but about 20 minutes before dark, Josiah asked me if he, Isaiah, Abi and Beka could go out to look for metal. "At this hour? I don't think so. It's too late," I said.
They begged and were so eager. Now, I had no idea what they had planned. And they had no idea that even if they found all the metal they could carry, it would only be worth a few pesos. They had a goal and plan and begged me to let them just go until it got dark. I told them to call their Dad who was working at the church and see what he said. Daniel said it was fine but they had to be home before dark. They had about 15 minutes.
I went back to folding laundry and told them they'd be in big trouble if they weren't back by dark.
The children grabbed their bikes and before they took off, they stopped in the front yard and asked the Lord to help them get enough money for Thanksgiving Dinner.
I had just noticed that the sky was dark when I heard the front door open. Next thing I know 4 very excited children were pushing me into my bathroom telling me they HAD to talk to me in private right now.
They started about telling me about their plans and their prayer. Then Isaiah handed me some money. Much more money then scrap metal would bring.
They told me they went to a field a couple blocks down the road from our house as we live at the edge of town. It was almost dark, so they didn't want to go far. This field has weeds about 2-3 feet high and they thought maybe some old metal would be hidden below. They began to search and suddenly, Isaiah found several bills of money. The others thought he was teasing only he wasn't. Here, in a vacant field out in the middle of nowhere was some cash hidden beneath some weeds. They were still determined to find some old metal and continued to search. Within a few minutes, they could see the sun setting and decided they'd better head home. Isaiah found an old bike rim. No other metal. On his way out of the field, he bent down to look one more time and found another bill of money!
He handed it all to me and said, "Mommy, is this enough to get a turkey?"
"Oh, Isaiah, this is more than enough!" I cried.
I called Daniel right away. We had no idea where the money could have come from.
We hadn't heard of any lost money. We prayed that if the Lord wanted us to be able to return the money to someone who had lost it, He would bring them to us.
But as Daniel went back to the field that night, he said it was truly a miracle they found anything there...the dark, the tall weeds.
But there is nothing too hard for God. He heard the prayer of some children and He answered.
Isaiah said, "Mommy, I know we don't have school tomorrow, but I want to write this down in my journal anyways."
It was truly a wonderful Thanksgiving.