Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Miss Williams' Wedding!

So here is the story!

Ro's kindergarten teacher left in the middle of the year and they hired a girl right out of school in the middle of the year. As a parent I was freaking out. New teacher in a new country with ESL kids mixed with native English speakers....she might be ruined forever (Ro, not the teacher....but maybe her too!) I didn't do so great in K5 probably because I was the oldest and mom was dealing with having a new baby, a handicapped one, and Sam on the way. Not to mention we were living in a rental house because Mom and Dad were in a wee bit of a debt redoing a house....which was also a mistake we would make! So me learning my vowels was not the top priority....which I have forgiven them for...and grateful it has made me more aware of my kiddos learning patterns. As to what I have done with that awareness is yet to be analyzed, thankfully. So to get back on point, I was nervous about a new teacher!

We were the first to greet her to Panama after she was dropped off. She moved to the upstairs apartment in 650.

Man oh Man I could not have asked for a sweeter teacher! Since she was living above us she was keenly aware of all that was going on in Ro's little life. New twin sisters in tight quarters, packing up our house temporarily, moving out....Miss Williams filled in when I could not. Ro fell into her arms crying on more than one occasion because she just knew when to love on her and scoop her up and speak truth and love into her life. I am eternally grateful.

This year Essie has her as a teacher!

Not long after arriving Jessica aka Miss Williams, was pursued by the man who is a part of the Crossroads Maintenance Crew. They are truly remarkable men. Epson in particular has learned  and speaks English proficiently since we arrived and moved his way up to Head of the Crew. He is in school at night and has joined the church and serving there as well.

He asked Jessica to marry him last fall (raining season here.) The wedding was planned for late May but then as we all know...you just want to be married!

So when everyone came back from Christmas Break we heard they were going to just push up the date and have a civil court date and be married and forgo a wedding and a reception especially due to all the expenses.

Here is where we come in! Her 2 best buddies came to me and asked if we could pull a wedding off in 13 days. I am always up for a challenge! So here we are 4 days out! 9 days ago seems like a long time ago but we are almost ready!

My list is long! But it is getting checked off!!!
I will post some pictures tomorrow of all the "Work" going into the wedding! We are planning for 150!
We have "wedding work" and "make sure the house is ready work!"

We have had plumbers, electricians, painters, gardeners! You name it and they are aworking!!! But I have to admit I love a good party!!!

Wedding Week!

Here are some pictures of a community wedding in the making!
What you can't see though is that all the flowers are being donated! Someone paid for the brides dress! A friend is making all the cupcakes and another friend all the cookies! The CCA staff is doing all the food!.....I am so blown away with the love and faithfulness of this community!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Junk for Sale

The other night we started back for the semester the men's group on Tuesday nights. We are continuing studying "Authentic Manhood" with part 2 of the 33 series. It has been great discussing and challenging other on the challenges and our call. I feel it has gotten a lot of the guys on a similar page of thinking and hopefully keeping each other accountable. This week, one of the points that jumped out to me, was that often when we meet together as Christians were are trading information not connecting. Sometimes I feel that we want to share more about are intellect and knowledge of the Bible rather than testifying to what God is doing or has done. The battle seems to continue to not put up appearances that we have it all together. We discussed how we really have the same "junk" and we struggle with it by ourselves instead of calling in God to heal us and want to praise Him for the changes made. I love getting to preach to myself! Please pray that as the group continues to grow with people form all sorts of backgrounds that it will grow more intimate. Pray that I can be transparent in my junk and be able to testify of His Work to these men, my students, and my own kids.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just Us For Christmas!

Newletters were mailed and once again we said "CHECK OUT OUR BLOG!" Which sadly is lacking in updates!

There really is too much to update one we are so FULL of life, laughter, love, chaos, parenting...etc! 

We spent Christmas Day just the 7 of us. We did not see one single other person. We loved staying in our pjs all day long and it was such a gift! Especially since we live in an apartment where you can hear every last of the footsteps of those living above us...but they were enjoying Christmas out of Panama so we just pretended we were in a single dwelling. 

On the way to church, Christmas Eve, we were all red and green. The house was ready for dinner with some of our best friends the Cottons and Almacks and their kids. I commented to Nathan, "Well, we are all healthy this Christmas!" (In comparison to last Christmas were we spent a few hours in the ER with high fevers.)  He kinda smirked! I knew I shouldn't have said it! 

After all our friends had left and children were nested in bed Santa's elves came out. (Sidenote, Santa comes to our house. We don't build it up, but such fun to participate in their imaginations and bring to life a little bit of fantasy!) We had fun de-packaging everything and wrapping all the presents from grandparents, aunts and uncle galore and at 1:45 with got the call...from the top bunk....(we were still awake)....

"Mooooommmeeee??" It was Daddy who rushed in to find an explosion of vomit. I am not sure how this child had managed to cover itself, the top bunk and bottom bunk and all the pillows on the floor. I just recovered from all the quilt, mattress pad and pillow washing, 8 days later!

The older 3 were relocated to the playroom and the second call came at about 4 and then again at 5. But this was from a different child and this one managed to contain her contamination! 

"Momooommeee and Daaaaaaadeee" were the first awake so we decided to get the party started...the one where we wake the kids up and torture them for about 45 mins before we get to "go see if Santa came!" We needed a cup of coffee before we could hold up the camera!

Then began a fun day full of smiles and joy! I wish everyday was Christmas!...But then there is the days after where you realize your children are spoiled rotten and all junk food turns to vomit or diarrhea! Just speaking the truth! 

Many people, including me, would say, "I love being with my little family!" But the reality is, THERE ARE SEVEN OF US! 

Side Story to my sidenote: As we sat in the Christmas Eve Service Nathan and I had the older 3 between us and our arms reached around them so we could still touch and I was overwhelmed thinking about all the Christmases to come with our kiddos! They were all clean and beautiful and happy. It was a memory snapshot! (Then Essie looked at me, the missionary mom, and asked, "Mom, is Santa real?" Don't judge, "Yes." As I look over at her Daddy singing Christmas songs in Spanish. He is as real as the come!

Here are a few snap shots amongst the chaos!!!