Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9

Well here we are writing another blog after, what is it, a month? Anyways, huge thanks to all who made our trip possible!!!! We had a wonderful time with Samuel and his girlfriend Julie. Rafael ended up being fevered the whole time, so that was a bummer for him. It took him about two weeks to get back to normal though, and we are now happy that he's wanting to eat again:)

Anayeli and Liliana graduated from kindergarten:)
Last week was what we've started calling graduate week. We actually ended up going to only one graduation, but we attended 7 different parties. We've decided that it is also the one week out of the year when people must eat the most. It wouldn't be so bad, I guess, if you went to a different party every day. On Tuesday, however, we were invited to 4 different places. 'Full' doesn't even begin to describe it. We actually didn't end up eating at the last place because we knew we couldn't handle it. But three heaping plates of food in 4 hours can't be good for a person. lol Mom said she never wants to see pork again:) It's a great time to get out and see people though. So despite all the food, it really is enjoyable. Jason and Nicole were also here for that week. They did lots of visiting and going and spending time with everybody. We squeezed in a birthday party for Isaias and the teacher, as well.

Of course all the kids are out of school now, and hardly anyone has been up before 8 this week. However, Eliana and I have to do the morning milking so sleeping in isn't really an option for us:(

We're back to rainy weather here. Not an evening goes by that we don't get a downpour it seems. I've personally enjoyed going to bed with the sound of rain falling on the roof. With the rain the electricity has been going out sporadically, which has made us ever more grateful that we do have it.

Milagros in her new wheel chair. Doesn't she look happy?
Last Sunday a family connected with a rotary club in Villa Juarez came.  They had been here before and had it in their hearts to get a wheel chair for Milagros. She is the 4 year old girl that, because of complications at birth, is still unable to sit up, walk or talk. A couple weeks ago they came by with a dental student from Iowa and measured Milagros to figure out what size chair would best fit her needs. The dental student was here doing a research project for her doctoral thesis. She and her boyfriend helped pay for the chair. Anyways the family brought it Sunday, and Milagros and her parents were there to try it out. She seemed very happy and content, and we are grateful for the relief it will bring her mother. Alma, her mother, usually carries her around everywhere.

We have another grandma here again. She's very mild compared to some of the others we've had come through. Very easy to take care of, not demanding, or picky. The girls seem to enjoy taking care of her. She was found on the streets in Huauchinango, and had no one to take of her so she was brought here.

There are also 2 new boys here, Elias and Mario. Elias is 21 and Mario is 14. They both just needed to get away from their home situations for a while.

Love and blessings to all! Thanks again to all who supported us on our trip with prayer and funds! And to all who continue to support us, THANK YOU!!!!!!

Vicki graduated from kindergarten:)
Beautiful sisters

Tired after lots of food and a party:)

Emma Diana graduated from Junior High

Cute girls: Ruby, Sarah, Marisol, and Matilde

Stephanie graduated from middle school. With her Aunt Angie

The kids love Hermano Rey

Monday, June 3, 2013

Well, we're finally writing a blog again. I know it's been forever, and I'm sorry we don't do better with this!
Our last post said we would give more details on the baptisms, and we never did. So I guess I'll catch up on that... We ended up doing them in a deep part of the creek across the road. The weather had been really rainy and cold, so it wasn't a good day for the river. Over a hundred people were here, which made a pretty big crowd. 7 people got baptized: 4 men from Tulancingo, a lady from San Lorenzo Josefina, Blanca (the 18 year old girl in the village right now), and Jasmine.
Afterwards, we all came back up and had lunch. The brothers from Tulancingo blessed us with bread filled with either beans, ham, or chilies. They were absolutely delicious, and they didn't last long:) We also had bowls of popcorn and pitchers of coffee on the tables.
Stephen and Esther visited for a week in May. They ended up coming early, surprising my mom for Mother's Day:) (I guess I should say this is Edith writing). We had a wonderful week with them just being together. It was of course very good to see them again. They ended up helping us finally put plastic on the green house. About 2 months ago, it had gotten ripped off from some heavy winds.
The same week Stephen and Esther were here 5 people came from Heavens Family to check on further development of the widow's fund and the rehab program.  Their visit in our village was quite brief. They went  to Osomatlan one day, the next to Africa and San Martin and Cuatepalcatla and then Saturday they went to San Lorenzo and Los Colonias and then on to Village#2 in Tulancingo, returning to Mexico City the next day.
The rainy season doesn't usually start till the end of June but here we are at the beginning of June and its been raining 2 weeks already:) We barely had a dry season this year. Several good rains spaced throughout the dry season kept things green all the way through.
Last Friday our doctor friend came by with 5 other people who represented a foundation from Huauchinango. They looked around, talked to the kids, had coffee and zuccini muffins and then left. Later that day the doctor called and said that the foundation had approved and wondered if it would be ok to come back on Saturday morning at 8:00. We said,"Sure."
Saturday morning they came with bread for breakfast, 25 blankets, 5kilo beans, 5kilo rice, 5kilo sugar, 3 boxes of boxed milk, several bags of clothes, stuffed animals for all the kids and of course several bags of candy:) It was very sweet.
The doctor is a pretty amazing man. He runs a clinic in Huauchinango, is very active in his church, and right now is deeply involved in politics. He is on the ticket as vice-president for one of the candidates who is running for president of the municipality of Huauchinango. A municipality in Mexico is like a county in United States. He believes very deeply that we are on this earth to look after each other. That's why he is in politics, to show how politicians should be. One of the stories he told at breakfast was about a blind man in Huauchinango who does what he can to help the homeless folks around town with food etc. His question was if a blind man can do that where does that leave the rest of us??? Another story he told was about his daughter being with him on a mission trip to one of the mountain communities. They were passing out gifts, doing medical exams etc. As they were preparing to leave a young person showed up and asked where his gift was....they told him sorry they were all gone. But the daughter noticed that their shoes were trashed,soles falling off. She herself had on a new pair of name brand tennis shoes that her Dad had finally allowed her to buy. The question was was she willing to help?? She was willing! She gave them her new shoes!!
Our visitors visas expire on June 20....Brother Sergio is trying to figure out how he can get us residency under the civil association of the village. But he really does not have a clear answer yet. In Mexico to get the paper work done is more about having friends in high places than it is about following established protocol. So if nothing comes through here at the last minute we will have to leave the country one more time.
We thank you for your prayers as we live out each day...these were just highlights, not so much the daily details of the care of the cows, and do we sell cheese here or bread etc etc etc and schooling the boys etc etc Thank you for your support!! Blessings, friends!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

   Time slips quickly by and we are already in the last week of April. Our family is very excited because on the 15th of May our daughter Esther and her husband Stephen will come and be with us for 7 whole days....we haven't seen them since their wedding last June so we are very happy for this gift!!! And I will be happy to have someone come who talks EnglishLOL. Some days are fine and then other days it gets so overwhelming how painfully slow it is on my progress in being able to communicate. Thank God my kids can do reasonably well and interpret for me!!
   The first of May Jason and Nicole will be back to celebrate Jasmine's 12th birthday and there will be a baptism at the river..I hear there are a lot of baptisms that day altho I do not have names and numbers..we'll write those details in the next blog:) Since we last wrote Jason and Nicole left for the beginning work in Mexico City. That was 2 weeks ago...like the beginning of all new works it is not easy sailing for them so please pray for them.
  Since we are now getting 6 to 8 gallon of milk a day my work has increased in managing all that...there is so much that can be done with milk:) I make a pressed cheese in little round disk...not pressed like with a weight and board but while it is warm I press it with my hand in this round shape and then salt it and its wonderful eating plain or in a tortilla etc. I also make butter  and yogurt and use the buttermilk in baking...all in all I have enjoyed it...altho it can get time consuming making 20 to 30 round disk of cheese. We sell it when we can for 8 pesos a disk and if it doesn't sell there is no problem giving it to our family here..the Mexicans love the cheese:) We go to Market on Wednesday..I get up and make cinnamon rolls and then we sell cheese and rolls...its usually 250 to 300 pesos worth...which buys some feed:) Then again on Sunday I make cheese for the Mexicans to take to San Lorenzo and they sell cheese and Milk over there..again about 250 to 300 pesos worth...so we are not making any big money but it at least helps with feed cost. And its good my girls will now know how to make cheese as well and Natalia has helped me several times so eventually the Mexicans will able to carry it, too:)

   Just alittle update from the last time...not much trouble with the vampire bats lately..and  Manchitas had a heifer calf!! And Rekaka and the calves cooperated and she and her 2 calves are now out in pasture and they are both enjoying Mama and growing nicely. We had a headache for awhile with cows getting out of the pasture and in the neighbors corn but finally we got the fence fixed to where they will not get out and now things are more peaceful:)
  We have a new single mom here with her year old twins...Jose and Iris. The twins were pretty sick when they got here but are slowly improving...Iris is a little more open to others holding her and helping with her needs..Jose clings to Mama but is slowly allowing others to hold him.....you know us we are just loving all the babies:) Carlos(Juana's boy) at 14 month isn't really walking alone yet..he can, he will take steps between people  and he loves for you to hold his hand and walk around with him but he just won't be adventurous enough to just do it on his own. He adores Papi(what he calls Asher)...Asher is good about taking time to hold him and do things with him...and he loves to come crawling into Grandma's house...I have a box of toys that I do not let go outside so it is special to come in Grandma's house:)...its nice for Juana to be able to get something done while he plays at Grandmas house..he's sad when we are doing school and I don't let him come in...its not because he is a problem but because he is so darling and we all want to play with him and school work goes out the window:(
   2 weeks ago we went to Puebla because Edith needed to do her ACT test. We spent the night with a pastor who had visited here a few months ago...Jorge and his wife who is a doctor. There were very kind and he spent Saturday morning showing us around where we needed to drive. We dropped Edith off at Puebla Christian School(in a house and only 2 others took the test.)..Edith enjoyed talking English:) They told her about this English Bible School Camp they have in the spring...we missed it for this year ..but it may be good next year for the older girls to meet new friends who are on the mission field and be able to encourage each other. We hope to ask questions of what they have learned about paper work, about colleges etc etc. It was nice to meet other Christians and we will see what all God has for us in making this contact. While Edith took her test we went to a park so the kids could play..Michael and Rafi enjoyed trying to catch squirrels:) They have some pictures of the squirrels eating out of their hands:) After picking up Edith we headed for home and Asher was more than tired of city driving and traffic till we ever got out of there..he would be happy to never do it again:)
  Asher had to fix the brakes on the van this week...even if we just fixed them when we were in TX...some things just wear out quickly here:( Like shoes for the kids too. I have never had to buy so many boots and shoes...I guess the wet weather is hard on shoes or boots. Such is life in Mexico!!:)
  Blessings friends. Thank you for reading, thank you for praying. We are grateful for our friends support!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OK Finally we are writing again:)
    Jason, Nicole, Sed and Jasmine  returned the end of February.Their plans are to be her till the middle of April and then go to Mexico City.They are busy making things happen while they are here. Nicole just said they have guest coming the15th to 19th of April..so it will be sometime after that.
    Weather is changing..last week was cold in the mornings but then would warm up above 70 every day ....it was lovely. This week is cloudy and cool and rainy. But we will enjoy it because soon we will go into the dry and hot time of the year...altho not hot like in Tennessee:)
  Men are still working hard at their job of building a house for a brother. Plus working a day here each week to get some work done on the dining room...they got one of the walls plastered and Jasons had a brother put in windows. The plastering looks nice when they get it done. Progress is being made one step at a time!
    Our other cow Rekeka had a bull calf and Asher named him Rafiki and call him Raf for short:) The black cow Manchitas is to have her calf anytime...Asher said this morning she is worse than a woman..I laughed and teased him no he just forgot because he hasn't been through that torture of waiting for a baby to come in over 6 years:) LOL. Shes huge and looks miserable:) Rakeka isn't a big milker and we only milk her in the evening. Asher's hope is for her to nurse both her calf and Manchitas' calf...we'll see if they cooperate:)
  Some finances come in so Asher was able to rent the pasture for a whole year, which is helpful because now he can do some seeding to make it better and the brothers are going to help him work on the fence to get it in good shape as well. The brothers have bought some calves so altogether we have 12 head of cattle plus the new calf to be born:) They take a lot of Ashers morning time..its harder to keep cows healthy around here:( The latest thing we are battling with are vampire bats....Asher has done some research so he knows what he is dealing with.....they lick the cow which numbs it then bite and lick the blood...because its numb, the cow does not struggle so it can get a number of bites in one night without any fuss but they end up depleted..our one cow was pretty wiped out till we realized how serious they can be...we found some poison to put on the bites so when they come back that night to lick it again they get the poison...and we discovered when they go back to the colony the bats lick each other so the poison gets spread and kills more than one...as difficult a time as we have had we are guessing its a big colony.......makes me feel like we are dealing with spiritual darkness in dealing with vampire bats:(
  This past weekend Tulancingo Village hosted a Youth Conference. Jason, John and Bertha and Javier and Daya and all the young people from the village went so it left things pretty quiet for those who stayed home:) It sounded like a good weekend.
   Eusevio and Luis Alberto have returned to their homes. It always leaves a hole..even the troublemakers add their spice:)
   Thanks again for all your care and support. Blessings to each one!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

 We are once again enjoying REAL milk! About three weeks ago, one of our cows had a bull calf, which Papa named Panda since it is so black and white:) The cow, Fina, is a terrible milker; she kicks and won't let her milk down unless the calf is nursing. So we have to bring the calf, let it nurse for a sec, then continue milking. When I did it, we had to do that like four times…painful. She does give close to two gallons, though, at each milking time; so mom has been making a bunch of cheese:)

We are also enjoying wonderful dining room space again. The supports for the ceiling of the dining room in the pavilion finally came out about 3 weeks ago! There is still a lot of work to do till it is finished: plastering the walls, putting glass in the windows, and doing the floor. As of right now, we've swept it out, set up the tables out there, and we are thoroughly enjoying the breathing space in the kitchen!

There are also a few new people here again, and a few have left. Alejandro went to  Village#2  in Tulancingo, and Teofilo went with a group in Mexico City. That puts our numbers at about 45. Eugenia is a twenty year old single mother, with a one and a half year old daughter Yami. They are from San Martin, which is on the way to Africa. At first Yami would scream if anyone dared to touch her besides her mother or uncle Benjamin. She now actually lets people touch and hold her if you have her attention; and she has become quite the entertainer, chattering and waddling around getting into trouble:) It's been a blast to have another toddler around!!!! Eugenia is quite the worker; sweet, silent, and cheerful with a wonderful laugh.

Mari Sol, a 9 year old girl, came about 2 weeks ago. Her brother Isaiah, who is 13, has been here since last summer. Another one of those sad stories. Their father is drinker, who beat his wife. After a really bad beating, she died a few days later; leaving nine children. Some are adults, not totally sure of all the details. After being abused by her siblings and relatives, Mari Sol moved in with her grandmother, who ended up sending her here. She is a lot like Isaiah: sweet, quiet, but smiles a little more readily then her brother. Right now, I'm training her to clean the bathrooms; she is a very obedient girl and a fast learner. They are working at enrolling her in school.

The weather seems to be warming up…We've had some totally awesome sunny days, between the rainy ones. We just finished up our pea patch, which was enjoyable while it lasted. We've also had a steady supply of carrots, cilantro, and green tomatoes, but thats pretty much over too. Over the weekend, they planted tons of chili. They have also planted cabbage, green tomatoes, beans, and more peas. We love to get things from our own gardenJ

The mason brothers are working outside the village right now on a building project for a brother in LaGallera.

The brothers are busy preaching and evangelizing…On Monday evenings they go to Huautla, Tuesday evening they go to Cuamila, Thursday evening to Chicahuastla, Friday evening to Cutzontipa and then Saturday they leave for the more distant outreaches and return on Sunday night…..Juan leaves for Africa where he stops at San Martin for a service on Saturday night then on to Africa for Sunday morning service and then on his way home he stops at Cuatepalcatla and has a service there and returns to the village late Sunday night. Javier and his wife go to Osomatlan , and Chucho goes to Comaxarco. Also a group goes to San Lorenzo.

Asher has had a cough since December before we left to the states. Finally after much coughing, a week with fever, and slowly declining he agrees to go to the dr....as we suspected their was infection in his right lung...after a week of medication its looking much better...Dr. wants him to take meds another week to be sure all is gone. His blood pressure is a little high as well...I WONDER WHY??:) Dr did a blood study as well and it looks good so Asher says it looks like I'll be kicking for awhile:) Thank God.

Thanks again to everybody for your continued support through prayers and letters and all. God bless each of you

Monday, January 14, 2013


Okay so we've just transferred our pictures to Google+... The link that will get you there is on the right:)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!!

We're back, and boy has it been busy! 

We had an amazing time in New Braunfels,TX!! We stayed at a really cool old historical rented house called the Waulheifer Haus(I don't remember if thats how you spell it:). These are the people that were able to come down and see us: Tabach, Hashachar and their girls came with Donna, Brian and Chasah, Ben, Elena and Jessica, and Brenden and Brandon. It was soooo good to see people again:) 

Brenden and Brandon got to come down with us!!! So the drive was a little cramped, but fun:) Eliana and I were super grateful to have them here…We've been planning on changing our room around and painting it, so Brenden was able to help us with that, which was totally awesome!!! We got to watch some of Brandon's videos of the recent weddings and other events, which we totally enjoyed!!!!! On the 31st, Papa got them on the bus to go to the airport. They had to make a few switches, but it sounded like they managed okay:) We loved having them, and totally can't wait till they come again!!!!!

On Monday, we had a New Years Campaign… We started preparing for it on Friday: hand grinding a ton of stuff for moli, making paper flowers for the tables, making sure everything was cleaned up, clearing out of the pavilion, and setting up chairs and tables. We made all the food Monday morning: 10 kilos  of mexican rice, a gigantic pot of moli, and two huge bowls of pork. We bought 70 kilos of tortillas!!!!!! There was a pretty big crowd, about 200 people, and pretty much all the food got eaten besides some moli. It was mom's birthday, and one of the brothers got up and read a letter from all the women in The Village to her. It basically expressed their love and gratefulness for her, which was really really sweet. Then everybody sang their birthday song. So she was very blessed:) 

So this next month will be pretty busy! One of the brothers from nearby, Brother Sergio, was  able to get like 10 boxes from Samaritans Purse for the children in the churches here. So this week some of the people from The Village along with Sergio and his family, will be visiting a church everyday and handing out gifts to the children there, also giving a bible study. In the weeks to follow each church will be given 3 more bible classes, so that will be lots of going back and forth. 

Thanks to all who made it possible for us to get up to the states!!!! We are sooo grateful!!!! Everything went safely and pretty smoothly! Also mom said to thank all who sent her letters and gifts! It was all very refreshing and again she felt very loved. Once more, thank you for all your prayers!!!!!! We can never say that enough!!!! We hope everyone is blessed with a Happy New Year!!!!!!