Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fun Times with the Grandkids

Weeks after I have returned to the states, I think about my wonderful time I had in Lima -- really just doing life with our kids and grandkids!!

One day I suggested to Alison that she and I take the kids to the BIG mountain of dirt at the end of their street. I knew they would enjoy climbing, getting dirty and playing with the trucks in the dirt. Remember it is winter now in Lima. We all got our coats and hats on and headed down there. As we were walking Alison suggested that she drive to the end of the street and Carter could be in the car and not out in the winter coolness. So the kids and I walked to the mountain and Alison and Carter met us in the car.
After Daniel arrived we took them again - this time the kids rode their scooters and we also played at the soccer/basketball court. Behind us in the picture is the "grated garage" where Alison and Justin park their car each night. This is the area just outside their apt. You can tell there is like a cul-de-sac area the kids use their chalk on the street and up the hill the street is blocked off creating a slope that the scooters really work great on. Corban, being the risk taker that he is - whizzes down first. Cailyn's scooter goes slower and she is more cautious!! She always makes note they are not racing!! She is getting more comfortable with unpredictable situations.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So Many Jobs

There are so many jobs in Lima that we do not have in the states. Of course there are many more people in this town than there are in the towns I have lived in. There are jobs for people in so many areas that we do not have in the states. They offer to wash your car while you are in the grocery store or at Starbucks!
There are jobs for people to hand you a paper as you enter the grocery store parking lot. As you leave you give the paper back to another worker. One day we were told that we exceeded the two hours allotted to us to shop and that we would be charged NEXT time if we did this again. There culture isn’t into confrontation and so the charge was put off to another time. Hahaha! We had stayed that long in the store because there is a coffee shop upstairs and we had visited (Alison, Justin and I) and then shopped while the older kids were in preschool.
There are other jobs for people who ride a bicycle and have a box of snacks attached onto the bike. This man was selling treats on the street outside of Cailyn’s school as the children got out of class.
There are also little islands in the middle of the street where there is a small area that you can stop to get gas. You just pull over and there is a person to put gas in your car. It reminded me of the pit stops in the car races .
They even have jobs in the grocery store for a guard. Wong is the name of the grocery store chain that they have there.
There is a lady who comes to the apt. complex that Alison and Justin live in (gated area with four apt.) once a week. She mops down the concrete on the ground level and the stairs going up to each apt. door -including the entry way of each apt. There are so many things that heighten your awareness of your home culture. There are so many different ways things can be done!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lima, Sweet Lima!!

My mission of coming to Lima to help out with Baby T arrival has come to be. We have enjoyed almost four weeks with Carter Ethan!! He is a very quiet baby, really only crying for short amounts of time. He has plenty of people who want to hold him and he is passed around. Corban has learned to come in slow for all of the kisses he wants to give and I definitely can see that God has gifted both of the older children with compassion and encouragement to their little brother. Corban assures Carter that "his big brother is right here" and "I will be back from school really soon" and as Corban goes for nap he will remind Carter "I won't be gone long". Pretty much all that we are saying to sooth Carter is repeated by the children. Cailyn said today, "I know you don't want to go long in the poopy diaper"!! She is really tender not only with her words but also with her touch!! They both are running to get wipes and pick out clothes for Carter!
I have been able to do laundry and helping with the cooking! I have found several items in Alison and Justin's kitchen that I think I need. Pampered Chef muffin pan and a lime juicer. I love enjoying some new recipes and Alison has helped me very successful with eating gluten free!!
Playing games and reading books with Cailyn and Corban is one of my favorite things to do while I am here. We have read many books. Cailyn and I read a chapter book about Abe Lincoln since she was very taken by him when they went to DC, and we also read the book entitled Hundred Dresses. There was a surprise ending to the book we read,
Now we have started a book entitled Meet Kaya. Cailyn loves to sit and do "projects" - color, draw, cut and glue!! She is quite the teaser and has a sense of humor like her mom!!
Corban is the most precious brown eyed 3 yr. old around. He is very competitive and has be to reminded it is ok to be second. He loves to eat - wanted three helpings of pancakes this morning that Justin prepared!! He loves to dance, sing and is quite the dare devil on the playground!! The photo below doesn't nearly express the laughter that Alison and I had when he came in with water dripping from his hair!! One of the things that the Peruvian people do is put water on their hair for mid-day primp. So Corban came walking in with his mid-day primp and we just died laughing. Water rolling all down his face and his little proud expression. We just couldn't hold it it!! Alison and Justin have read with him enough that he loves to sit and read - although he might get up several times to grab something. His favorite story in the Bible is David and Goliath!!
I had a grand experience of going to a birthday party for a six year old grandson of one of Alison and Justin's new neighbors. We didn't know anyone but the grandparents and we went to the party about 45 min. to an hour late. You would think we would have missed something but we didn't. We arrived to a decorated home with lots of balloons in cascades (covering three of the four walls) and some taped to the ceiling. There was a DJ there playing music and the kids and parents were sitting in chairs lined up around the room All of the furniture had been moved out of this room to make room for the guest and celebration. Gradually the children began to dance around and all of the sweets on the table at the children's level were being picked over. Our two were a bit slow to participate but Corban began to enjoy the music and play with the balloons like they were swords. Never knew long balloons could keep a group of children so busy for an hour. Every so often the hosts would walk around with the bowls of sweets and pass them out. Presents are not opened at the party and cake is not eaten. Families most often hire someone to be the "entertainment". This family had hired a couple who sang and danced. They were dressed up in the theme of the party...Lightening McQueen Cars. It was quite the celebration. Families embrace the children totally expressing themselves by their dance to the rhythm. After being there 3 hours Alison tried to tell the host that we were going to have to go....The host pleaded with her, "No there are many more activities and gifts for each child". So we continued. About 30-45 min. later as the lights were dim and all had balloons and were dancing in a circle, singing and celebrating we slipped out!! There was a bag of goodies and the slice of cake in a box given to the kids as we left. Interesting!! Very celebratory!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heading up, Moving out....just for a few weeks

For weeks now I have begun to lay out items on the bed in the guest room to take to Lima, Peru! I have a craft supply closet and I have a grandchildren closet. I put things in there as the months go by between visits with Cailyn and Corban. So I now get to gather these items and use them when I go visit. I'm very excited!! Some of the items are recipes for slime, glitter pens, hands on math manipulatives, DVDs I have gotten on sale at Mardels, toy men for Samson,Jesus, the boy with fish and bread, and new Bible story books My clothes are always secondary. I put them in my carry on and all of the items are packed in a black duffle bag - that will be the one bag I can check. There is currently an embargo when you go into Peru allowing one checked bag per person. You can't even pay to have a second bag. The embargo will be lifted at the end of August so when Daniel comes to Lima in September he will be able to pay for a second bag (and it isn't just that nice little 25.00 fee it was in November - thankful none the less). He will be bringing the new pack-and-play that Alison and Justin bought and had sent to our house, contacts for Alison, Juice Plus that we can not mail to Lima and many other items. Carter Ethan made his arrival early. I will be there about 9 days before the due date. Corban continues to ask if he can call the baby Spiderman! God has given me a job once again that lets me off for the weeks I want to go to Lima. Thank you, Matt, at Mardel's. It was three years ago almost to date that I went for Coban's birth arrival. I asked that you pray for all of the people who will serve and help me on this day of travel!! Today, Aug. 11th is when I fly from Abilene to Dallas to Miami and on to Lima!! Also pray for Daniel! He will join me at the end of my time and we will fly back to the states together!! His banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:4 Peace.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Seeing God

God uses every day happenings to show Himself. Lord, please open our eyes so that we see you every day.
There have been occasions with Daniel’s dad that help us understand where some of his thoughts are even though he does not use many words that are understandable. For instance, we know
  • he wants sugar in his coffee because he puts sugar packets in his pocket and gets it out as we bring him his coffee
  • he is so very glad to see his wife because of grin and motions to her to come closer
  • he enjoys his food when he leans his head back and makes some hmmm, humm sound
  • he is interested in the other people in the home because he wants to face the people when we sit him at a table to eat
  • he is aware of God and still prays – even though we do not understand the words. After Hannah and Jason visited with him months ago it was very clear when he shook Jason’s hand he began to pray. His prayers are not short - they are long and meaningful to him.
    On Saturday, I asked if I could read out loud my Bible lesson scripture and Daniel’s mom said yes. As I read the story of Lazarus – Daniel’s dad hung his head with his eyes closed as if he was resting. (this was a common position of his before the stroke.) When I got to the part of the healing he let out a yes, yes…even though he continued to hang his head and have his eyes closed. I knew now that he was listening. When I finished he “woke up” and said, “And He ……(couldn’t understand words) but it seemed to me he was saying Jesus healed others . He ended his comments with his left fist raised in VICTORY! I said, “Yes Jesus healed others too” He agreed and then continued with “Not only……” while pointing his finger to the right and then to the left. I interpreted that to mean Jesus didn’t just heal in that town but others. When I said that, Valentin agreed. What JOY to know that he remembers Jesus and the stories.
    We enjoyed seeing new flowers out front and new cushions in the rocking chairs on the front porch. The home is taken care of very well. We enjoyed a time of Bible reading and Daniel clipped his parents nails as we sat enjoying a beautiful day!!
  • Monday, May 21, 2012

    DC is even more special now

    Washington DC has always been a neat place to visit with all of its' history. But when your entire immediate family arrives there, it is even more special!! Alison and Justin decided to use vacation time to come to DC to visit Hannah and Jason and asked if we would come up too. No argument on our end!! It has been since Dec 2010 that all of us had been together so I started planning activities that would be fun to do when we were together. The Thompsons arrived first and were able to do some Smithsonian touring with Hannah and Jason. They are very intentional hosts and are getting better at it all the time. We were able to stay with Alison and Justin and the kids in a location they rented which was located within walking distance to Hannah and Jason's condo. There just happen to be a grocery store in between us so that was wonderful. A park to run in was right outside our door and we had fun kicking the ball and the grandkids got some energy out!! We rented a van so we could all fit when we went out in the evenings!! The pictures will tell the story!! Our first stop was National Zoo. If you are wondering what ages and stages we are at....well...
    I asked the family to plan a picnic in front of Albert Einstein statue. It was a JOY that Cailyn and Corban finally had a statue without a boundary fence. They could climb on this statue.
    This night was all about CELEBRATION - Jason's graduation, Cailyn's birthday (June 6, 5yrs. old) and Hannah's birthday (June 4).
    The next thing we knew three tour buses carrying 90-100 middle school students came to check out Einstein. Wild and fun for all!! Do you notice the teachers guarding our family, hahaha.
    Next was game time - 1. How many straws can you put in your partners hair in 60 sec. 2. Can you stack five dice on a tongue depressor in 60 sec. 3. (no pictures)Can you put a 16 piece puzzle of the front of a Fruit Loops cereal box together in 60 sec. 4. (no pictures) How long of a chain can you make by hooking baby safety pins together in 60 sec. 5. Can you knock down water bottles with a hose on your head that has a tennis ball in the end of it in 60 sec.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Where Has the Time Gone?

    I really can't believe it was in February when I last wrote. Well, we are doing great and enjoying each day!! God continues to work in our lives and it is a wonderful journey to wake up to each day!!

    I'm always surprised how fast jobs come my direction!! Don't know if you remember but I started working for CenterPeace after being in Abilene for about one year (July,2009). By Christmas 2010, God opened a door for me to work at Abilene Educational Supply. As the AES closed there was this window of time for me to make a quick trip to DC, Aug. 2011. Then as I was having dinner out one Friday night I ran into a friend we had met in College Station - enter my third job which was with Team Financial Strategies. This is a financial planning company in Abilene. I sure learned a lot there!! This was a temporary job and before I could end my time there God handed me a job at Mardel's Bookstore. This is where I am now. I started in the second week of March. I am part of the education department and specifically homeschooling. Need I say, how excited I am to be learning and helping others gain new resources in education. One of the JOYS of life. I have enjoyed reading reviews online of some of the homeschooling resources so I can speak to customers about details.

    Another activity we have been busy with is visiting Daniel's parents. We try to go as often as possible. We keep the road between Abilene and Bastrop hot!! It takes us about 4.5 hours to drive. Daniel takes Friday off from work and we drive down on Thursday nights. Our weekend is Friday and Saturday and we drive back home on Sunday morning so we can get to Hope church on Sunday nights. Hope only meets at 5:00pm on Sundays so it works out great. Daniel is one of the two elders there and so we feel the need to stay in touch with all of the families. It is certainly a JOY for us. Daniel's parents continue to learn each day how to live in two separate locations. This past weekend when we arrived Daniel's dad was all smiles when he realized he and his wife both had shirts on that matched. He was so happy to see her. He always wants her to sit close to his wheelchair.

    Reading is always a part of my life. This year I am enjoying a read through the Chronological Bible, The Daily Bible. It has been good and has reminded me of the days of teaching Bible Quiz at the A&M church of Christ in College Station. Those were some fun days with lots of teenagers!!

    I'm also enjoying a short study about the parable of the sower and I share my thoughts with a friend over the phone from CS. We have laughed about how a tiny study could have so much to share. I am the type of person who has lots of books going at one time. I read a bit and focus on one and then the next time I sit down I pick up another. It makes for slow finishes but lots of variety.

    We are planning a trip to DC soon. Our whole immediate family will be together for the first time since Christmas 2010. We are very excited. The question is what will we explore while there. Of course, the family members are always the main attraction but I'm sure we will take in some sights!!

    Our community at Hope has really enjoyed the working of the Holy Spirit this semester as our preacher has encouraged us to watch out for the gospel being lived out in front of us. We share on Wednesday nights the things our eyes have seen and experienced in the past seven days. There is an excitement when you are watching for the hand of God. I will leave you with a story Alison told me last night. This is surely the work of the Spirit in Lima, Peru. This past weekend their community of people who are walking together and learning about Jesus were worshiping and fellowshipping in the park. There was a lady who walked up and asked some questions about the activities. She began to say she was interested and wondered if someone could teach her. Now, I"m telling you that kind of desire and openness is from the Spirit!! She actually lives close to Alison and Justin and so they have made contact with her. Kami Clancy and Alison plan to meet with her next week!! What an adventure we are all on.

    Tell me what are you up to and do you see the gospel being lived out in front of you???

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Reading with Daniel

    While in Lima in November, Daniel began reading a book that Alison had and liked it so much that he bought it for me for Christmas. You may laugh but he knows me so well that he knew I would also enjoy it. He then went to the table of contents and put dates beside each chapter and approached me about talking about each chapter on Sundays of each week. First, of all, I do love a man that realizes that his woman loves to learn about new things in the Bible and puts it in action by scheduling with her!! Boy, was God good when He brought Daniel to me for a life partner!! Now, it looked different when the girls were being raised. I would bring a book to Daniel and book mark a chapter and ask that we read and discuss later -- sometime. Now we are empty nesters so -go easy on your husband in those early years. Little by little you can develop into reading books together - it takes time.

    The book is entitled Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. Has it occurred to you that we are walking by a Jewish document? How much do you know about the Jewish culture before, during, and after the time Jesus lived? If you would like to know more, this is the book for you. Those of you in College Station, Lanette Schulte told me she has taught this book to several classes of home schoolers. She is a wonderful resource!!

    Daniel and I have realized we had some thoughts that were underdeveloped about Rabbis in general. That there were many Rabbi and that when Jesus came along he could have been thought of as "just another Rabbi".

    "The Jews of Jesus' day greatly prized the study of the Scriptures... These teachers (rabbis) would travel, were never paid, and would take students to study under them for years.... Raising up disciples who would carry on his teaching was one of the greatest goals of rabbis.... These disciples would then hold their own classes in homes and synagogues.... The mission of a rabbi was to become a living example of what it means to apply God's Word to one's life.... The disciples would not only study the Scripture but they would study the rabbis life in order to learn how to live out the Torah... People were expected to open their homes, provide food and shelter to these wandering teachers and their disciples... Rabbis would sit on low pillows and their disciples would sit on mats around them. When Mary was described as "sitting at Jesus' feet" that meant she was a disciple."

    I love the idea that this is my heritage. The co-authors, Spangler and Tverberg, ask what type of disciple are you - a funnel, a sponge, a strainer or a sieve? I will leave you with that -- you will have to read the book to know the definitions of those!! Peace to you as we walk as disciples on earth now!

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Washing Dishes

    Recently our church had an event and some serving dishes were needed. I reached into my china closet (passed on to me from my mom and dad) and packed up what I had. There were several pieces. I remember feeling excited to have some serving dishes to share. That night as we returned home I stacked the dishes up and planned to wash them the next day.

    I mentioned to Daniel as I was washing the dishes the next day that I didn't really remember mom using these dishes that had been passed down to me. He reminded me that at holidays he remembered some of them being taken out of the boxes and used. I told him that was true. My mom had a very hospitable personality and welcoming spirit but there were limited friends and relatives who came to visit at our house so I do not have memories of watching or experiencing hosting people in our home in the same way that Daniel and I have experienced since our marriage. Although, I learned in other ways how to be hospitable. Mom was a gift giver and so much of the time her gifts were gifts of food! She was a great cook!! Ahhhh, so many memories of wonderful meals. It seemed to be like magic the way she cooked. Putting ingredients together and it always turned out yummy!! I would watch and participate as we took cookies and cakes to express our love, appreciation, sympathy to friends. It makes sense that she would have dishes to put food on for her loved ones as we celebrated each holiday.

    All of my memories of how kind my mom was to others, and what a loyal friend she was came out loud and clear in her life as I watched and experienced my life with her. So now as I wash the dishes the memories come back and I am so grateful for the experiences that come in odd ways.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Intercessory Prayer

    I feel called to prayer -- the point in my life that I think the calling came was the summer of 1989. We had a unique opportunity for Daniel to work on a recruiting project for the CIA. There was much stateside traveling with the opportunity so we packed up the girls and hit the road. We rented our house out to a young couple for the summer; closing off one bedroom for our belongings. We traveled by car and put nearly 8,000 miles on the car. In each city we visited we would stay at least a week or more. I decided that I would find a new book on prayer in each town. We were staying in a hotel at each location, so when the girls would go down for naps or for the evening I would read. The books I read are old books now and there has been much published since then, but it was the catalyst that spurred me to pray very specifically. God knew I would need this experience the rest of my life.

    Well that is the back drop of what I am getting to enjoy now. It brings tears to my eyes as I read the Lima Team newsletter this morning and watched their Christmas gift give away. I love having the specific Peruvian names that the Lima team have met so in prayer the ministry feels real to me. What JOY it is when we hear about the ones who walk into the Light! We can make a difference by asking God on behalf of others. Don't give up on that!!
    This is my list of Peruvians I am praying for - looks like I may need a bigger piece of paper!! JOY!

    Last night we hosted a "Sweet Hour of Prayer." We had a great group who God called to join us and we plan on doing it again. We took our Hope church directory and cut it up in sections. Each of us took a section and prayed for each member specifically. It was sweet!!
    Joining us were Amy and Kyle Passmore, Chelsa Istre, and Robert Butts

    I will leave you with a quote from Richard Foster, in Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. "The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives - altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. And we pray by it."

    Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience wrote about prayer in the home recently. Her writings never disappoint.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Bear up under the NAME

    The name of God, Elohim, Mighty Creator - the one who was there before the beginning. God's creation is a gift to us, a way to show Himself to us, to appeal to us and teach us about HIM!! There is power in creating all that we see. We each are created and are sacred. I want to renew my sense of wonder and gratitude for the things He made.

    Thoughts of people being created incapable of loving is hard to imagine. I love the thought that we come into the world made in the image of God and part of that is the capability to love. Good question to ponder - Why do we love?

    I want to grasp the beauty of today and not be focused on its' flaws. As I walked this morning I prayed for several people in my life and one of them was my mother in law, Alice Orozco. I want for her to be able to see what God still has for her in life. Her life has changed with her husband now living in a nursing home in Austin, 25 minutes from her home. Please join me in prayer. I know there are more experiences God has for her. I get into this spiral so easy myself. It has to be very intentional that I choose to look at the beauty and not the flaws. God is sustaining us each day with His creative power. How do you think God wants to bless you today as He is Elohim?

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Merry Christmas

    Yes, that is an armadillo from Texas at Perini Ranch!

    We were so blessed in November and December of 2011 to have such wonderful time with both of the girls and their husbands and grandchildren. Our hearts are over flowing with gratefulness to God!!

    I like to list all of the things I would like to experience with the family during a visit. Our time has a beginning and end and I know myself too well to not list what I would like to see happen. Of course not all of the experiences I list happen, but we did get to almost all of it.

    My list: play games, have conversation about God and His Word and read some in the Bible, a visit to Monks (a favorite place of Hannah and Jason in Abilene), out to eat to celebrate the completion of all classes for Jason's Masters degree in International Affairs at GWU, cook together, take pictures, of course - exchange gifts, a little shopping (I'm still learning what Jason's style is), have a time at Hope worshiping God together in song (I love to sit next to Alison and Hannah and hear them sing).

    A really fun night at the Massingill home was one of the unplanned events that was a favorite. We gathered around and sang while many played their favorite instrument!!

    We also were able to visit with some of Hannah and Jason's friends who have married and stayed in Abilene!!
    Abby and Evan Young, Hannah and Jason, Justina and Marshall Thompson

    Playing Phase 10 at Monks!

    Treat from Hannah - We got our nails done together!

    Our crew we had for Christmas Lunch - complete with a surprise entertainment from Robert Butts!

    We have a tradition of putting books under the tree each year. We have packed up the books and all is back in the attic. Jason is back at work and the rest of us will return tomorrow. Good bye to our Christmas of 2011!!