Dec 20, 2007

AIM coordinators

We are so excited! We found out yesterday that we are getting AIMers in May.
We can't wait for them to get here. There are going to be 6 of them! Its a little bit bigger of a team then we were expecting but it will be great. Their names are Jessica Ford, Aaron McCall, Brian Hall, Dana Lester, Daniel Batten and Elizabeth Burow.
We know that they are going to be a big blessing to our family. My kids are excited. They have had a chance to spend a little time with AIMers in the past month and they think AIMers are really cool.
On a side note. Amy Jo Smith was a little girl when I went to the field (her parents were my coordinators) and she will be going to Albania as an AIMer in May. I am really excited for you Amy Jo! Her brother is in South Africa also as an AIMer.
On another side note one of our AIMers, Aaron McCall, is family. Well, his brother is married to my twin sister. I realize that isn't blood relatives, but I figure he is an uncle to my niece so we are family.
AIMers we are really excited about you guys. Enjoy the next few months in Mission term it is a lot of fun. We are praying for you and the work you will do here.


Well, a lot has gone on since I last wrote. I will try to briefly catch you up on things.

One of the things that I love about Mexicans is their love for celebration! We have had many Christmas parties in the past few weeks. We have had parties for Little League, neighborhood, and school. Tomorrow we have our last party. It is with a group from a new neighborhood that we are targeting. Our family has gone into a new neighborhood the last month or so to make new contacts. It is about 25 minutes from our house which complicates things a little bit. Cory has started studying with the dad of the family that we have been in contact with. During one of his studies his wife asked us to come over for lunch. We went to lunch with them after church on Sunday and had a really good time. From there we planned another lunch and they invited us to the Christmas party that is at their house this Friday. It was actually the 15 year old daughter that invited us. It is a party with her friends. They are part of a "recovery" group. I don't really think that is the best translation for it but it will have to do for now. It is a group of people recovering from a life of abuse, alcoholism, traumas etc. We are excited to get to know this group but at the same time a little nervous. I will let you know how this party goes - I still don't have a babysitter.
Here us a picture of the ladies from our neighborhood party.

I had a great experience with two of my great friends and thier kids this week. We got together and made gingerbread houses. They had never done anything like it and they were really excited. After a few hours of working on them we were done. One of my neighbors, Roxanna, said to me "thanks for helping me have the best experience I have ever had with my daughter, I have never had this much fun with her." My other neighbor doesn't spend much quality time with her son either and I was really glad to see them get good time together. Here are a few picture of our time.

Here is a picture of the kids before their school program.

Abigail taking Hannah for a ride.

Dec 3, 2007

"Mom im sre"

Almost two years ago my teamate (Kim) and I wallpapered the kids rooms. The girls room is painted Pink on the bottom half and light green on the top with a boarder in the middle. Josiah's room is Yellow and Blue with a sports boarder in the middle. Josiah has a captain bed which sits higher than a normal bed. This makes it so he is right at the level of the boarder. It has been a real temptation for him to pick at it while trying to go to sleep. In the past he has done a pretty good job of not picking at it. The other day I walked into his room in the morning and he had pulled off the entire boarder of one side of the room. I was really frustrated with Josiah and he knew it. He came into my room a few minutes later and told me to come see what he had done to make things better. I went into his room and burst out laughing. He is in Kindergarten and loves learning how to read and write. Well, he had written me a note on the wall where he had torn off the wallpaper. It read "mom im sre". I had to compose myself and explain that it was not ok to write on the wall.

Nov 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy belated Thanksgiving. Obviously Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Mexico. Yesterday I was at one of my friends (Norma) house. I was explaining to her that it was Thanksgiving. One of our other friends (Margarita) was also there visiting with us. Norma asked what Thanksgiving was, without giving me any time to answer Margarita chose to answer. She explained to Norma that Thanksgiving was the American version of Mexican Christmas! I couldn't believe my ears. I sat and listened to the two of them talk about what they thought Thanksgiving was. Norma asked me (in Spanish) "so is this the day when the bunny brings the eggs? and where exactly does he hide them?". Needless to say I quickly explained that Thanksgiving had nothing to do with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. I told them the history of Thanksgiving and explained that it is a time to be with family and really think about the things that you are thankful for. Well, I had to stop talking about it because I got teary eyed. I realized just how thankful I am to have such a wonderful life. I have a wonderful family, wonderful in-laws, healthy family, food on the table, clothes to wear, a house to sleep in, two cars, friends who love me, running water, electricity, and on and on.

It is sad that we couldn't be with family during Thanksgiving but I was blessed with time with my family and friends. Yesterday (thanksgiving) we had ham, sweet potato casserole, pot. casserole, and cranberry salad. It was the first time that the five of us celebrated Thanksgiving as a family. While eating we read a great book called "The First Thanksgiving".

Today we got together with our team and had a feast!!! We could have put the pilgrams to shame! Everyone brough all their favorite foods. After dinner we played cards and just visited. It was a lot of fun.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving - love Toni

Nov 12, 2007

We just got back last night from a Mexico Missionaries retreat. I think there were around 80 of us (30 or so children). It was a great time to study the word together, catch up on friendships, play at the beach, share stories about the work in Mexico etc. It was really good for our family.
The beach was beautiful. I love the beach, it reminds me of my childhood and the beach in Italy.
Josiah is a dare devil and had a ton of fun in the ocean and pool. He can doggy paddle all the way across the pool! Hannah loved the water. She is just as brave as her brother and has no fear of jumping in the pool. Abigail had a great time also there were a few girls her age and she really enjoyed them. She is still talking about them. She wanted to know if Cory and I can buy her a Barbie computer so that she can e-mail Adah Henderson. We will have to think about that one!
We were so blessed to get to be next door to some of our very best friends in the world, Benjy and Carolyn Brednich. Carolyn and I were in Slovakia together for a year and we were in each others wedding. Benjy was Cory's best man in our wedding. They have three adorable boys. As always we were so blessed to get to stay up late catching up (even though Care and I always ended up asleep in the hamocks).
One of the highlights of the trips (at least for me) was the turtles. Turtles return to the beach where they are born and lay their eggs. Well, for the safety of the eggs people watch for turtles that come to shore and lay their eggs. They then dig up the eggs and put them in a "green house" it is a house made out of screen. When they hatch the hotels put the turtles in a safe environment and a few days later release them. Six years after the turtles are born they will return to the same beach they were born at to lay eggs. The sad thing is that only 1% of the turtles live that long. Most get eaten by birds, dogs, etc. Since they have started this program they have been able to increase the percentage that return. If the turtles get a chance to mature they can live up to 150 years! The kids loved getting to see the turtles and then release them into the ocean.

A cruise ship came the day before we left.
To all off you that were at the retreat thanks for everything we had a great time and really enjoyed being around your families.

Oct 29, 2007

Deep thoughts by Josiah

Often while putting my kids to bed they say something cute and worth blogging but I don't always have a chance to do it. Well, tonight the 29th of October Josiah stated "If today was tomorrow then tomorrow would be Halloween."


We just went on a great weekend trip to the state of Michoacan. We had planned the trip so that we could get together with our good friends Carolyn and Benjy from Mexico City. Unfortunatelly Benjy got sick and they were not able to come. We would have loved to see them but we had a lot of fun.

Michoacan is our neighboring state. Three of my good friends and neighbors are from this state so they sent us with a list of places to see and foods to eat.
We started off in Zamora where we stayed in a "Comfort" Inn. To make a really long story short - the toilet was clogged, there was no hot water, there was a spider in Abigails bed, there were hairs in Josiah's bed (not belonging to him), they tried to charge us for our free breakfast, they stripped our beds while we were at breakfast. The one good thing is they did have cable and we were able to watch the Boston Red Sox win game two of the world series. In the end we got our room for free!
Right outside of Zamora is a famous lake. It has crystal clear water and you can see all the way to the bottom. The water rises from underground and you can see the dirt move where the water is coming up. The lake is filled with fish, some turtles, shrimp, snakes etc. You can rent a boat and a guide to take you around the lake. We really enjoyed it.
After Zamora we hit a few little pueblitos. Quiroga is known for its woodworking and leather. We had fun looking at all the shops and markets but I didn't take any pictures of this city. From there we went on to Tsinsunsan this is another small town. It is famous for its Jesus that grows??? They have a statue of Jesus in their cathedral that suposedly grows and gets longer and longer. It is in a glass case and they have had to add on to the case so that he can fit into it. When we got there we saw the Jesus statue in a glass case but his legs which supposedly grow longer every year were covered in a blanket. It was very sad because there were pictures and toys laying around him from people that felt like their prayers had been asnwered by this Jesus. People are searching and wanting answers but once again we see the deception of the catholic church. This city is also known for its work with straw. They make all kinds of Christmas decorations out of straw (sorry the only picture I got did not turn out). This city also has pyramids in it but we did not know about that until the day after we visited.
From there we moved on to Patzcuaro. This is a city that is famous for its Day of the Dead celebration. If any of you took Spanish in High School and studied the day of the dead I can promise you that you studied Patzcuaro. I remember being impacted by the pictures of this celebration when I was in Sr Gross' Spanish class. I dreamed of getting to actually see this celebration first hand. Well the celebration is on the 1st and 2nd of November. I plan on going to it next year without kids because it isn't really kid friendly. We enjoyed this town and were able to buy some Day of the dead candies for the kids.
This was our little "friend" that we found in our Hotel room. We checked out about 20 minutes later!
We also had a chance to visit Santa Clara del Cobre. This is a town that is famous for its copper work. You can buy anything imagineable made out of copper here. Chadd and Nancy were there with their family so we got a chance to have breakfast with them and then we got a chance to go into a workshop and see how the copper is worked. Wow, it is amazing.
One of the things I was most looking forward to during our trip was our visit to Patamba. About 50 years ago the city of Patamba began a festival. It is held on the last Sunday of October before the day of the Dead. Let me tell you this was quite an adventure. We had been told that it was about 20 minutes from our hotel. An hour and 15 minutes later, after having asked intructions at least half a dozen times we arrived. The roads leading to this town were some of the worst roads I have ever been on. I am so thankful for our Suburban which I wasn't even sure was going to be able to handle there roads. This celebration was started mainly to draw in turists and from what I understand has no real history. They cultivate the flowers from the region and decorate the streets with flower "carpets". They have recently started dying some of the flowers to make brighter colors. All the pictures I have are natural colors except for the ones with Josiah and Abigail and the circles (these were tinted with dye and the kids walked around with red hands for the rest of the day)
The way they decorate is they stake out the center area with rope and nails. Then they pour bags of saw dust on the marked area. They then flatten the saw dust with a 2x4. They draw pictures in the saw dust with the fingers and then decorate it with flowers. In the one where Josiah and Abigail helped they used crosstich hoops. It was a really beautiful celebration. If any of you are in town on the last sunday of October I will gladly go back with you!

Sep 28, 2007

We are back

The kids and I have returned from our fast trip to the states. We had a good time with family. I stayed a week at my grandmothers and then a little less than a week at my sister's house in Tulsa. It is a new and beautiful house. I had lots of fun playing with my niece Elizabeth while there.
I was blessed with a car and cell phone to use during the time that I was there. It came in so handy to have my own car when lugging around the three kids. Thank you so much James and Marilyn for lending me the car etc.

We are working on getting back into the swing of things. This Sunday we have a get together in the afternoon with a family that we have been getting closer with and a group of their friends. We are excited about this and can't wait to see what God has planned with these families. Please keep this in your prayers. Norma and Rodolfo are the couple that we know out of this group. Norma and her family have a great heart and are very humble loving people.

Please also keep in your prayers a new outreach that we are planning.
We have been feeling for a while a call to minister to the poor. We would like to go into the poor neighborhood and minister to their needs but also plant some new churches. We are still unsure exactly what our plan is going to be. We don't know the best way to go about it but we feel like it has been on our hearts for a long time and we want to take action. Pray that we will get the guidance we need to know how to go about it.

On a much lighter note I have been tagged. This is a game in the blog world and, much like my friend Carolyn who sent this to me, I am too non confrontational not to play. So here goes.

Here are the rules. 1)Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. (2) People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (3) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. (4) Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I like the color pink. I never would have said that before I had girls. In fact I didn't like pink util Abigail was born. Now I really like the color a lot.

2. I was the football manager for our High School football team. Until I had girls I was much less girly than I now am. I wanted to play on the football team but of course that wasn't allowed. So, I just became the manager. I loved it. I have great memories of my 3 years as manager and even got a Football letter!!

3. I volunteered at the Oklahoma City Children's hospital in the burn clinic. I started there a week before the OKC bombing. Every child from the bombing (except one) came to our clinic/ICU. I was honored to get to change their dressings, care for their wounds and speak with family members.

4. One of my favorite things in the world to do is cook. I often dream of opening my own business. I just can't decided if I would want to open my own restaurant or bakery. Both sound like so much fun to me.

5. I detests cats!! When I was in High School I got a job cleaning the neighbors house. They had a cat that would wait for me to go down to the basement and then would sit at the top of the stairs and trap me in. When I would pass by the cat would hiss and scratch me. It would also hide behind furniture and jump out at me. Before this I liked cats!! Needeless to say they had a really clean basement because I learned to just stay in the basement and wait for the cat to move.

6. I love school. I loved college and would go back in a heart beat. Sometimes I think I would even go back and get the same major just because I liked the classes so much. I dream of going to graduate school one day. FYI my major is in Human Development. FYI I just had to ask Cory what my major was!! Maybe I do need to go retake the classes

7. I am a penny pincher. There is nothing I love more than a good bargain. Coupons are a great friend of mine. Clearances excite me!!!

8. My wildest dream is to meet Josh Groban. I would love to go to one of his concerts and then have him over for a good homecooked Italian meal. Of course Cory would be invited as well.

I am tagging the following friends - Kim Rush, Monica, Timbra, Heather, Lucy, Jessica Johnson, Erin

Sep 17, 2007

Alton Gale Witcher

I am writing from Oklahoma. I am on an unplanned trip. On Thursday the 13Th I received a call that my grandfather passed away. I quickly got on the Internet and found out that the only flight left for the day left in 3 1/2 hours so I bought the tickets and packed fast. I brought the three kids because Cory is in Lubbock.
The funeral was on Saturday. My dad preached and did a wonderful job of remembering my grandad and his great characteristics. He was a very good man who loved people. He loved honesly and fairness. Wish you all could have known him.
There wasn't much time between his passing and his funeral but still so many people from around the world found out about it. I am very thankful for the many people who have shown love to my family during this time. I received a phone call today from Mexico and it was a great blessing to me. We were very blessed by the group from Yukon that attended the funeral. There were three carloads from Yukon and I can not express how grateful I am to you guys for the love you have showed our family the past 29 years and especially this week. God has truly blessed us through you.
I will be in the states until the 26Th. I figured if I was going to buy three plain tickets I was going to make it worthwhile. I will be going to Tulsa on Wed or Thursday to spend some time with my sister and her family. They are in a new house that I am super excited to see. My one year old niece is going to ditch daycare and spend the day with me - I can't wait.
Please say a special prayer for my grandmother. She has been surrounded (literally) by a lot of family. There are 9 of us that are still staying at her house this week. After this week everyone will go back to Croatia, Tulsa, South Dakota, and Mexico. She will be left with no family any where near. She has some great friends but they are ALL sick, having surgeries, loosing relatives of their own, or have sick spouses. Pray that God will give her strength.
My grandfather will be greatly missed. Even Josiah was so sad when he found out. He said to me "I am really sad that Grandad died. We had a lot of fun together. He called me Curly (that was their nickname for each other"

Sep 11, 2007

Abigail and Spanish

Abigail has really been speaking a lot of Spanish lately. The best thing about a kid learning another language is that they don't worry about what anyone will think of them. They are not self concious like adults.
She was outside playing yesterday and something made her sad. In Spanish she told me "I am about to start raining (llover)". She intended to say crying (llorar). Then today she wanted to say that "we were out of ice cream" (nieve) but she said "we are out of a boyfriend" (novio). There was a Mexican in our house at the time and she thought it was really cute and couldn't help laughing at Abigail.

Sep 8, 2007


Just left Abigail's room from nigh time prayers. Here is her prayer word for word
"Thank you for this day. This is Cinderella and she speaks English. Robots speak Spanish. Amen!"
She is three and it is hard for her understand what she is doing when she is praying. It is interesting to me though because she knows there is something special about it. When she prays she talks different than at any other time. Her prayers are ALWAYS amusing and I know God enjoys them a lot.

I have been trying for a really long time now to get a good picture of the kids. I finally got one!!

Sep 3, 2007


I am so proud of Cory. Yesterday he ran his first Half Marathon!! He ran it in a little over 2 hours. I believe it was 2:05. The most amazing thing about it is that he took the summer off from running and just started back about two weeks ago!! How many people can run a half marathon after only two weeks of running?
The run was part of his training for a Full Marathon in December. I think I am more excited about the Dec Marathon that he is. It is at the beach and a few other missionaries are running in it. I am excited to get to visit with the wives!
At the end of the Half Marathon Josiah got to join Cory and run the last 100 yards. When they got done Josiah said "Dad isn't it great that I can run as much as you!" he is still convinced that he ran just as much as Cory did. This morning Abigail got up at 6. I told her to be quiet so that Cory could rest since his body was tired from the race. She made sure to remind me "and Josiah too!"
Congratulations Cory - you did great.

We are starting the 3rd week of school and the kids still love it. Abigail had her first homework today. She was really excited. She loved doing anything her big brother gets to do. She was suppose to draw a picture of herself. Josiah didn't like homework much last year but he is doing great with it this year. He usually clears his plates from lunch and asks to get him homework done. He knows that once it is done he will get to go outside and play. Our housing edition has 34 houses all inside of a double gate. This makes it great for the kids because they can run around and not have to worry about cars. There are around 40 children in our edition. Just this past year Josiah has become good friends with one of our neighbor kids. Although there are so many kids there aren't really any Josiah's age. The ones that are his age are girls or they are boys that hang out with their big brothers. So he has become good friends with Mario. Mario's dad is a professional goalie for Atlas. Josiah has the jersey, bracelets, and a few signed posters! He is a big time Atlas fan (or at least a Mario Rodriguez fan). His dad played for another team a few years ago and we went to 3 or 4 of his games. He is now on a "better" team and he hasn't been able to give us tickets. Well, last week he gave us three tickets and we were really excited to get to go. We got a baby sitter for the girls and headed to the game. In the previous game Atlas played the Chivas. They are both Guadalajara teams and its is a big game every season. During the previous game Mario (The dad and son have the same name) made a mistake and the other team scored. The whole season the team has been playing horrible so far they have 1 of the 18 possible points for the season. Well, I guess that the fans need someone to take their frustration out on and who better than the goalie. The WHOLE game the crowd was boohing Mario. Everytime that he touched the ball the entire crowd would booh and say "Goal" to remind him of his mistake in the previous game. There were three men (one in front of us, one behind us and one to the side of us) whose only purpose for being at the game was to talk bad about Mario. They spent the whole game yelling abscene things to him. I have never experienced anything like this. The fans were cussing and yelling at their own team the whole entire game. I felt so offended at the things that they were yelling to Mario. They were insulting his character, family etc. I wanted to yell out that he is a nice person and tell them all the good things about him. But, of course I did not do that because I knew it would not be the safe or smart thing for me to do. I was so sad for his wife and son who were in the same stands I was in listening to all that was being said about Mario.
When Cory and I were reflecting on the experience on the way home we couldn't help but think about Jesus and his family. I am sure they felt so much worse than I did when they heard all the insults that were being yelled at Jesus. When he was being crucified so many things were yelled at him and so much injustice was done to him. Thank God that he withstood all the stuff thrown at him and died for us.

Aug 21, 2007

Lots has gone on since the last post. I will try and make a quick update.

A week and a half ago we joined a group of around 300 volunteers to plant trees in the forest. It was a Starbucks reforestation project. It was a lot of fun. There were about 50 from our group - members of our church and visitors. I was excited because our neighbors joined us. They are a family that I have been praying about and thinking about a lot lately. Also the maintenance man from our housing edition (Javier - he was baptised in February) and his son joined us. He hasn't really established a place in our church yet. I think he is really reserved and tends to hold back. A great surprise was that our friends from Mexico City - James and Erin Henderson - were also present. They were in town picking up relatives that had flown in from the states. This was also a blessing because they are friends of ours. Phil Miller was in our Aim class and it was great to see him for a little bit. Here are a few pictures of our kids and Javier and his son.

The kids have also started school this week. Josiah was really excited because her two teachers from last year got moved and they are her teachers again. This made me so happy. Its nice to know that she is being taken care of by teachers that already love her and that she doesn't have to get adjusted to new teachers. Josiah is just excited about being the oldest ones in his school. This is the last year before he will go to a new school for elementary. He thinks its great that there is no one older than them. He told me the other day that someone was picking on him at recess and Abigail came to the rescue and told the kid to leave Josiah alone. So even though he is the oldest looks like he can still use a little help from his little sister.

Hannah also has some big accomplishments of her own. We went out to dinner with two other family from our neighborhood. While we were eating I turned to look at Hannah and she was eating with a fork off of Abigail's plate!!! We have allowed her to feed herself since then and she thinks it is so great. She is very proud of herself.

In closing I wanted to share some cute/not so cute things the kids have said this past week:

I bought Abigail some flowers from the market last week and she jumped up and down in excitement and said "Now I can get married!"

Abigail asked me if I made the tree in the living room. I explained to her that God made it and she replied "Oh, Josiah's other daddy did!"

I bought the kids some special kid yogurts for the first week of school. Josiah told me "Its like if you give us a kiss in our lunchbox but in a different way"

This morning Josiah said to me "Mom remember right after Hannah was born and you were still fat. Now you are only a little bit fat. Maybe tomorrow you will be skinny again"

Thanks for sharing in our lives. Toni

Aug 11, 2007

Hannah has been doing really well. She is still a very happy girl. She loves doing whatever her Big Brother and Sister are doing. She was so proud of herself when she got up on Abigail's trike.

She only has 5 teeth but loves eating whatever we are eating. Unfortunately one of her favorite snacks is Arthur's (Our Dog) food. She runs over to the bowl puts a few pieces in her mouth refills her hand and runs over to Arthur and puts a snack in his mouth. The kids do a great job of tattling on her when she gets close to the dog food. Cory commented the other day - at least we buy good quality dog food.

She loves to climb the stairs and luckily hasn't had any big spills yet.

She is very much a people person and loves to interact with others. She loves waving and saying "Hola"

Abigail's personality is really starting to shine. She loves playing with her friends. There are 5 girls in our housing addition that are the same age. I have been thrilled because just recently the doorbell has started ringing and its a neighbor wanting Abigail to play. I think she held back for a while because of the language but now after being in school for a while she is really doing well.
Last week our neighbor Monica came over and they made chocolate chip cookies.

The kids took a week long summer Gymnastics class. They went 4 hours a day and learned Karate, Floor, Horse, Bars, Rings, Trampoline etc. Every day before class they wanted me to take their picture. This was on their first day. At the end of the week they had a presentation for the parents - it was a lot of fun to watch them have so much fun.

Abigail loved getting ready for Gymnastics every day.

Josiah on the even bars during the parent program.

Jul 29, 2007

group visit

We are having a good weekend with the group that is here. They are from Denver City and Comanche Trail in Amarillo. The kids have really impressed me they are really hard workers. I haven't heard a single complaint and they are eager to eat the food. It is always refreshing to have groups like this.
One of the great blessings of the group is that our friends Linda and Jenny Merritt (from Hart) were able to tag along. Linda's daughter is an AIMer in Leon and she was also able to join the group for a few days. We have known the Merritt family for 11 years now. It has been fun to watch their kids grow up and become mature Christians. Today after we had dropped J'Lae off at the bus station to return to Leon we (Linda, Jenny, and I) were talking about how hard it is to live so far from the ones you love. We were talking about the way we tend to wish we were somewhere else or doing something else (at least when things aren't how we want them to be). I was blessed when Jenny pulled out her Bible and read a verse in Ecclesiastes ( I will get the actual verse later - sorry I tried finding it and wasn't able). The verse speaks about not wanting to return to the good old days but to live in the moment. I know God wants us to be happy and content with what we have but how sad it would be if we didn't long for something better than what we have in this world.

Josiah likes to talk about Jesus coming back, only then will we really know what it is like to really be content and only then should we be done looking to be better. I am thankful that God has blessed my family with the opportunity to help others find that better life (both here on earth and in heaven). I am shocked when I see to what extent people will go to try and have a better life on earth. If they would only put that much effort into an eternal life! I thank God for all the wonderful partners that He has given us (monetary supporters, friends, prayers, and wonderful coworkers all across Mexico and the world).

On a lighter side:
Momo (Cory's mom) gave the kids some really great magnet books. Abigail's is a girly one and Josiah's is a construction sight. The other day the kids were playing in Josiah's room with the door shut. Cory did not know what they are playing with - I don't even think he had seen the books yet. As he walked by the room he heard Abigail yelling to Josiah "Don't play with my maggots! Leave my maggots alone!" He quickly checked in on them to see what they were playing.

Jul 26, 2007

We are home and settling in

Well we made it home last Tuesday. We had a few days to unpack and get the house "straightened out" then we went with a youth group from Alaska to the beach. We just got back on Tuesday and it seems like although I have wanted to get a lot done the last few days it just hasn't happened. We had a great trip and got to see so many people. It was a very crammed trip for two and a half weeks. We were in three different states and 5 different cities. We were blessed to see a large part of our family. Josiah, Abigail and Hannah were able to see all their Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and their one and only very special cousin.

While we were in the states my sister, Jessica, and her family moved to Tulsa. I am so happy for them, they sold their house, got new jobs and are closing on a new house next week. Although I am very excited for them it was a little sad for me that they were moving from Lubbock. We (the three girls and our parents) are officially all spread out around the US and Mexico. No one lives closer than 7 hours from each other. I guess we knew the day would come.

While in Clovis we were able to spend time with Cory's family. We were thankful that Cory's Aunt and Uncle came down from Oregon and his grandparents drove in from Oklahoma. His cousin was also able to come in from Albuquerque.

I threw a surprise party for Cory while we were in the states. It was a hard party to pull off - since a large part of the planning was done from Mexico. Thanks to all of you who helped and to those of you who attended. There were around 50 people there with some driving as far as 2 hours! Cory was very honored by those of you who attended!

We had a great visit with my Aunt from Croatia, my Uncle from Kansas City and my grandparents in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma we were able to visit a "new" supporting church. The Yukon Church of Christ supported my parents from more than 20 years with their work in Italy and South Dakota. They began supporting us in January. This was Cory's first time to get to meet everyone and I was thrilled to get to see people that I hold very dear to my heart. I had always told Cory what a wonderful church it was and how loving the people were. He believed me but didn't really understand just how great they were until he was able to spend a day with them. He was amazed at their loving hearts.

The trip was great and refreshing for us. We have only been home for 9 days now. I have been waking up with dreams were I decided that I shouldn't be in Mexico anymore and that I should move back to the states. I have also had dreams were I wanted to be in Mexico more than anywhere else. I think these dreams are a representation of the battle I daily feel inside of me. It was really hard on me to say bye to my niece and see how sad my kids were to have to leave her. They still ask me if they can move to the states. We know this is where we belong and we love being here. At the same time we would love to spend more than a few days a year with our families. It is a hard battle inside of us.

I need to go get some more unpacking done. We have a group coming in from Amarillo in 3 hours.

Thanks for reading.

Jun 30, 2007

In the States

Hey just have a few seconds while the kids are in bed to send a quick update. We are in the states now. We will be here for two weeks but will be sharing the time between 5 cities and 3 states. I don't plan on being on the computer often since we wont be in one place very long.

Hannah is now walking everywhere and really gets going. She thinks it is great and has almost abandoned crawling altogether.

The kids are enjoying Dr Pepper and a few days of spoiling by the grandparents.

I have to tell you about a few fun things that were said in the car during our 25 hour trip. Right after we got in the car (5 AM) we put in a great CD that was made for us by our wonderful friend Tim Rush. Well one of the first songs that is on the CD is an ABBA song. I told Josiah that when I was a child I would listen to a lot of ABBA because my parents had all their records. At the moment I said it Cory and I both looked at eachother and Cory said "Josiah do you even know what a record is?" Josiah ( a great sports enthusiast) answered "its when you get like a thousand trophies".

After a few minutes of silent travel (a rare thing when traveling with three children) Josiah worriedly asked me "Mom do they have peanut butter and Jelly in Texas?"

The trip was fairly uneventful. We did get stopped three times on the toll road for inspection. Mexicos new president is really cracking down on the drug problem in Mexico. He has put in place many special teams to fight the drug war. In the past we usually pass one or two check points and are usually just waived on. This time we got stopped at 3 of the 4 checkpoints that we passed. They opened up our car and even went through some suitcases. They like for everyone to step out of the car while they do the inspection. We explained that the three kids were buckled into their car seats and could we please just leave them. That was fine with them but they wanted Cory and me to go ahead and get out. At one stop I was talking to the other soldiers that were on break. They had a bunch of pictures of drugs that they had found in cars and trucks. They said that it is very common that about once a week they find a semi truck FULL of drugs. I could not believe the pictures. Well while they were entertaining me with the pictures the men that were searching our car helped themselves to the money that was sitting around in the car. Luckily (not for Chadd) one of our co wokers had previously been robbed at a checkpoint. Cory knew to take our money out of the car so all they were able to take was about $3 in change. No big deal just frustrating.
Well, the kids have not gone to sleep yet and Cory has a migrane so I better go take care of them. Thanks for reading.

Jun 2, 2007

Well, it has been a fun week. Hannah turned one on Thursday. She, of course, didn't really know that it was a special day. Josiah and Abigail really enjoyed celebrating for her. Josiah was so proud to have been the first to wish her a Happy Birthday (although she woke up in the middle of the night and Cory really was the first to wish her a Happy Birthday).
Josiah was really excited because he expected Hannah to wake up and be able to walk and talk. I guess I had told him a while back that she wouldn't be able to do those things until she was one. He took me literally.
The kids didn't want to leave for school until she had opened her presents so we had a quick present opening time.
At 2:30 (the exact time she was born) we sang her Happy Birthday. Josiah had the job of watching the clock and letting us know when it was 2:30.
In the afternoon we had cake and then played outside.
We plan on having a party with all of our friends but we still do not know when. They are currently painting the 34 houses in our condominium. They picked 4 colors and each house is to be painted one of the 4 colors according to the patterns they set out. We are in house #3. I guess they didn't get the colors right so they have stoped and are trying to work the colors out on our house. Well they started working on our house 5 days ago. Our house has been painted twice! I still am not sure that it is the right color. The color they chose for our house is really quite ugly. In our house we like to call it "Hannah has a dirty diaper color". I think a more proffesional name would be mustard/light brown. Once they get the paint figured out then we will talk about having a party.

May 18, 2007

Cute thoughts by Josiah

Sometimes I would love to think like a child. Last night the family was watching the Boston Red Sox game. After watching for a while Josiah said "Mom, the Orioles should be your favorite team since they are your favorite food". We had a quick lesson on the difference between Orioles and Oreos.
So much goes on in the head of a 5 year old. So many simple thoughts, so many deep thoughts. I wish that I could clear my mind of everyday worries and have the same kind of thoughts Josiah has. He deeply blesses my life.

May 16, 2007

It is now the 16th and after almost 10 days I am finally sending out my blog address. The kids returned to school today after a long weekend. Thursday they didn't have school to celebrated Mother's Day (doesn't make a lot of sense to me). Then Monday and Tuesday they didn't have school. I am not exactly sure why Monday was off but Tuesday was Teacher's Day!! They love celebrating everything! I will try to get some more pictures added soon. Josiah is so busy with life as a 5 year old and I would love to share pictures to help you see all the things he is keeping himself busy with. Right now Spiderman has been reborn as a favorite of Josiah. He is outside right now with one of his friends they are both dressed in spiderman clothes and they are playing superheroes.

May 5, 2007

Getting Started

I am finally entering into the blog world. I always enjoy looking at my friends blogs. I have started a blog 2 or 3 times but never followed through.
Things are crazy in our house right now and probably not the calmest time to get this started. Hannah just got over the chicken pox and a sinus infection. She now has a stomach bug and is throwing up. Not much fun for anyone but even less for an 11 month old (and her parents).