Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My Mom and Dad have come to visit us! They have been here for a week already and we are having a wonderful time with them. Some people have mentioned that they would like to see what we are busy with here, so here is my mid-visit post :)
Yesterday a huge palm frond fell off one of palm trees. The artistic eye of my father made it into a costume for the kids!

The kids are all really enjoying having Opa and Oma here. My handy Dad has been fixing things in the house and making games for the kids.
Sunday afternoon we took a walk around town.
A nice piece of road! Right at the bottom of the hill, the road is dirt-very dusty and bumpy!

This is a very common sight. The ladies here have amazing balance!
This is another common sight! Bringing his prize pig to the market.
Another day we took a VERY bumpy drive into the mountains to see some of the places that Wilf visits. This horse was grazing along the road and his rope was blocking our way! My Dad had to help us out.

We drove high into the mountains and reached a small village located on a ridge between two valleys. On the one side of the mountain, it was sunny. There was a terrific wind blowing clouds up the other side of the mountain. We were standing in the clouds!! It was pretty wild.
Since we were so high, the wind was pretty cold.These pictures are going backward in time :) We were really spoiled with gifts and cards from friends and family at home! Thank-you so much to those who sent things for us. Ryan was thrilled with his presents. He promptly put on the clothes from Auntie Christy, the great backpack from Uncle Jeremy and Auntie Maria, the too-big-slippers from Oma, and his "smarts" from Jordan.
There was great cheering with the opening of each new package.
Thank you so much!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Wonderful Gift

A few weeks ago, Pastor Ken Herfst (the former pastor of this church who now works in another area of G.) came to visit and brought with him five boxes of kids books! Pastor Ken and his wife have only one daughter still living with them so they generously passed on this wonderful gift for the missionaries here to enjoy. Since we have older kids and lots of empty bookshelves, we have the books in our home.
Nathan had just finished reading all the books we had brought along from home (we didn't bring many) and I was wondering what we would do for more reading material. Isn't God good to provide for us? Nathan has been reading up a storm ever since. He had difficulty choosing a book for his picture, so I let him have two :)
In the first picture, he is holding a book from a series published by Focus on the Family. There are also alot of educational books-great for homeschooling and fun for the kids to read and learn.
I loved the "Grandma's Attic" books as a girl and now Kris is enjoying them as well.

Brad had just about finished the ABeka readers I had brought for him. Now we have all the ABeka readers-plenty for the whole year!

There are also a lot of books for little kids-Magic School Bus, Franklin, Winnie the Pooh and many others. Ryan didn't always like to be read to, but he is enjoying it now!
Our special thanks to the Herfst's for this wonderful gift.
And this precious "Gift" isn't interested in books yet-except to maybe chew on them! Lauren is almost eight months old and has six teeth already :) She isn't crawling yet, but she does get up on her hands and knees, pull herself to standing in her crib and wave bye-bye.
"Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."
Psalm 106

Monday, November 10, 2008

Horseback Riding

Some young ladies that come to our church have a beautiful property just outside of town. They invited us to come over on Saturday afternoon and ride one of their horses.
None of the kids had ever ridden a horse so it was very exciting for them!

The horse we rode was a very gentle mare-perfect for kids to ride. She was seven months pregnant. Her one year old followed faithfully behind where ever she went.

I got so carried away taking pictures of Nate and Kris, and I didn't realize the camera battery was very low. So I didn't get any pictures of Brad or Ryan on the horse! Brad was very nervous (which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows him :)), but the horse was so gentle that he ended up enjoying it. I went on with Ryan and he told me enthusiastically that he loved it!

Nate rode the horse without anyone leading him!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day of the Dead

Instead of Halloween, G. celebrates the Day of the Dead on November 1st. In the town we are living in, they stretched the event over two days since they have two cemeteries.
Saturday evening, we walked down to the first cemetery to see what it was all about. The cemetery was further away then we thought, so we arrived in the dark. The streets were packed with people! A lot of people were selling food, some with a proper food stand, and others with a fire right on the street with a huge pot of tamales on it.
The people believe that the spirits of their dead relatives are very near on this day. They paint the large tombstones, and decorate them with lots of flowers, evergreen branches and candles. When we approached the cemetery in the dark, it looked really neat with hundreds of candles burning. Although you would assume it would be a sad occasion for the people, it actually is very festive and people sit eating and drinking on the tombstones. Some people even hire musicians to come and play by the graveside.
November 2nd the same event happened at the cemetery on the other side of town.
In the foreground of the picture above, is the local laundry mat. Water is continually running into the basins and people come to do their laundry there.

There is a Catholic chapel on a small hill right across the street from the cemetery. I climbed the stairs a bit to get a better view of the event. As you can see in the picture above, the tombstones are very large and colourful.
Although it was interesting to see, it is a very sad reminder once again, of the emptiness of life without Christ. Drinking is very common here, but events like this only bring it out more. Just taking a brief walk through the tents, I felt very sad. Unfortunately, the 2nd was also a Sunday and church attendance was definitely lower.

Later in the week, we hiked up the hillside to visit a man who was in a car accident 5 years ago. He broke his back and is confined to a wheel chair. Wilf has visited with him on several occasions, but we all went along this time. He lives with his wife and 8 children in a house overlooking town. They have a great view! But they are very poor and of course it is very difficult for him to get around. The road doesn't look too bad in this picture, but it is really very rough in spots.

Here is the view from their house. The large white building is the Catholic church. Our house would be over to the left (you can't see it on this picture).