Friday, February 10, 2017

Visiting Ailyn

Ailyn's piano was acting up the other day so she asked me to come to her house to look at it. It ended up being a simple fix and it was good to go. 
Ailyn is such a cute kid with a really neat personality. I really enjoy teaching her. I'd never been to her house before because she told me the road was bad. I'd always drop her off at the bottom of the hill. This time we were walking though so she gave me a tour of her neighborhood. She lives at the very top of a steep hill.

I was wearing some flimsy velvet flats when really what I needed were some hiking boots! Ailyn practically skipped up the hill and I very cautiously and anxiously followed behind. I was huffing and puffing when we got to the top - ha!
The picture doesn't show the steepness very well but I could just imagine myself losing my footing and sliding down this dusty road.

The view was worth the climb though! You can see the entire city from her house.

I told her to smile for the camera so she struck this proud pose.
For those that don't remember - Ailyn is the little curly headed girl that started coming to church about 3 years ago when we started our current Sunday school program. She's been faithful ever since and her mom and sisters even started about a year ago. Her and her mom got the Holy Ghost some months back. Ailyn also invited another family to church about a year ago and they've become more and more faithful over the past few months. I actually blogged about their baptisms! I am praying that Ailyn gets more and more involved in church, one day can use her piano talents for God, and when the storms of life come, that she stays faithful as ever!

This is my last post for the next week or so. Nicole is getting married a week from today!! I leave on Tuesday to be with her and won't be back until next weekend. Wedding posts coming soon!!! Aaaaagg! I just can't believe it.

I hope to see some of you there!

Until then.......


Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Kids in Town

I've never shown you guys our little wood stove! We got one in my parent's house years ago, but at the beginning of last year we got this one installed in the school. A man in Bro. Bullock's church in Texas found it for us. This stove is our little pet! On these cold winter mornings, it is so nice to have.

During reading time, some of us will sit around the fire with is so cozy!

Valentin and Austin are usually the ones to start the fire started early in the morning so when I get to school, they've taken care of the chill in the classroom.

Beau also looooved the fire....

He'd get so cozy, we could torture him however we liked.

I'm sad, sad, sad to say that Beau died in December. Our little snuggle bug! He quit eating, quit drinking, got super skinny, couldn't was the saddest thing. The vet said he thinks he had kidney failure. 
Four days after he died, my parent's house was broken into. I guess news traveled fast. Immediately my parents got two German shepherds... A puppy and her mama. They are really cute. I'm a little annoyed at the thought of them though after seeing these pictures of Beau. I was coming into school the other day with a cup of piping hot tea and the dogs jumped up and spilled it all over me. Those little brats...Beau would've never done that! 
Olive and her mom Dixie
Olive is in love with Austin. She adores him. 

When she was a sleepy puppy she'd snooze at Austin's feet during school. 
She's now graduated into her awkward teen years though and is demonstrating a streak of rebellion. She's done a few really bad things in school lately so she's currently suspended.

Dixie in the dog house and Olive on the table. This was taken when she was younger....before my mom put pots of flowers on this just occurred to me the reason why Olive might've dragged all of the plants off onto the ground last week! She probably thinks this is her spot - ha!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Xalapa, Veracruz

Remember my post back in May of last year about Soledad form Xalapa, Veracruz?
Soledad is the lady in the middle. Her mom, the lady on the right, sadly, has since passed away.
I have an update on all that!

Back around June of 2016 we started going to Xalapa every week to have services. It has been a really wonderful experience. Our church has really gotten involved and there is always a group from Puebla ready to go to help out and create an atmosphere of prayer and worship where the Holy Ghost can move! It is a sacrifice!! We leave in the morning and at times do not get back until very late at night. Valentin told me the other day, "You know, one day someone told us about Truth! It's now up to us to pass it along." I am thankful for that attitude among our people.

Our pastor is out of town right now due to the obligatory renewing of papers and Nicole's upcoming wedding. In his absence, I took a group up a couple Saturdays ago for the service, but this past one, I was unable to go. I was so very encouraged when Valentin informed me that even though I couldn't make it, there was another family in the church that has a car and wanted to take a group. I said something like - wow! Yeah! Go for it! Sara ended up taking my little piano and played for the service! Just typing that makes me get teary - I am so so so HAPPY to see some people take the initiative and also that my little piano student is using her talents for the Lord! This is HUGE for me! Valentin taught - that's a burden off my dad's shoulders. Sara took a burden off me of doing the music. And the church marched right on!

Here are some random pictures from the past months of going to Xalapa...

We started out in Soledad's house. We would all sit around on her couches and have service. Very often we would have the sweetest moves of God, with barely ten people there. We'd have better services in Soledad's living room than at our home church on Sundays. The amount of people and the room you're in makes no difference. It all depends on the hunger in the hearts of the people.

Usually my dad teaches, but Mario and Abner have gone a few times and taught. Valentin is always there and also has given some of the lessons.

The entrance to Soledad's house

A few months back, Soledad had surgery on her knee. She was bedridden for over a month so services were done around her bed.

Xalapa is a little warmer than Puebla's kind of humid! 
However, everything is beautiful and green...looking out from Soledad's mom's backyard is like looking over a jungle!

Back in September, Soledad testified in service that the Lord had spoken to her and told her to open up one of her rental houses for us to have service in. The tenant's lease was up in October and we moved in that very month.
The painted white part is the "house" (more like a room) that we are now having services in.
Back through that doorway is a bathroom and "kitchen"...meaning there's a hookup for a stove and such. It's just an empty cement room at this point though.
The inside
We bring over all the chairs from Soledad's house, but if more people come than we have available chairs...we just sit on the floor.

Pray for Soledad!!! She is having such a hard time walking, but has such a desire to get out and witness! Her bad knees are really holding her back. 
About Soledad - while we go to Xalapa every week, she continues to come to church in Puebla faithfully every Sunday. That's a 3-hour commute each way! She is one dedicated lady. We love her to pieces!

This is what a typical service in Xalapa looks like...

A couple months ago these two girls (sisters) walked in right at altar call. They were given a flier a couple hours before when we'd gone out witnessing. They both reeeally started praying and we had an AMAZING move of God. We found out after talking to them afterwards that they know something of Pentecost, but said it is hard to find a church that preaches "sound doctrine" and holiness. Just so happens that they are Soledad's neighbors that live just down the street! We are excited for the future of these two girls.

I'm bummed that it's taken me so long to tell you all about this new venture and the good things God has been doing in Xalapa, Veracruz. So many good things have been happening, so many victorious services have been had. But as time passes, I forget about each little thing. That's just a bummer! I will try to update again soon. In the meantime, please keep this new work in your prayers! We want to see GREAT THINGS happen in the future!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Family Pictures

As I said in a previous post, we got family pictures taken when we were in Boise. It was pouring snow and was the funnest thing. It was freezing!! But we just gritted our teeth and smiled through it. We knew these pictures would look pretty cool and it'd be worth every bit of frostbite - ha! 

Here are some of my favorite shots....

Austin turned 15 yesterday. He is so big, I just can't believe it. Taller than his dad and grandpa!

Even still, I can't stop looking at these. I think they turned out so beautiful. Priceless memories captured...


Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Neighbors

 I am very very grateful to have sweet neighbors at my new house. It's a young couple and the wife's brother (e-hay is a hole-way other-nay ory-stay) with two young kids. The little boy's name is Edgar - he was real shy towards me at first. His sister's name is Ximena and she is the CUTEST little thing. I mean...cute, cute, cute. She is outgoing and curious and Edgar has to translate everything she tells me because I can't understand her. She just points and goes, "eh!" or does a series of different voice tones. Edgar always knows what she wants.

When I first moved in, I was excited to see I would be having cute neighbors. I gave Edgar a little Hot Wheels car and Ximena a little toy cat. From that moment on, we were BFFs!! I'm not kidding - ha! If I want any peace and quiet after coming home from school I have to remove my house key from the ring so they don't hear my keys jingling. Edgar caught me the other day when I was trying to sneak into my house. I was tiptoeing up the stairs when I I heard a shout of joy from inside his house then out he runs with his arms stretched wide, like, "TA DA!!!!!! I'm here!"

 I am always so embarrassed when Ximena runs out of my house screaming crying. There is no in between for her - she always cries like someone is cutting off her hand. Of course, it's not my fault, but I still feel guilty. The first time, I was fixing Austin lunch and had my back turned to the kids. All of a sudden Ximena BUSTS OUT with that awful wail. I whip around....the first thing Edgar said was, "I DIDN'T HIT HER!" Augh! That little booger.

Edgar came over one day after I'd put up my Christmas decorations. He was playing with one of the plastic ornaments and threw it down really hard on the floor. Of course, it broke. I was like, "Heyyyy...why'd you do that??" He got a shocked look on his face, climbed off the couch, and told me, "I'll be right back."

 He came back a few minutes later with a handful of candy and said, "This is for you." 

 Ximena likes to get into the roller carts I have under the kitchen counter. She takes out my tea bags and gives them to me, one by one.

 I sent this picture to Nicole as a joke one day - 
"The kids are over and I am entertaining them!"
It is a joke in my family - everyone knows I like fire. LOL.
 The kids like to take all my shoes off the rack I have by the door and have me try them on. It was during this game that Ximena had another one of her crying episodes and embarrassed me yet again. HAHAHA. I picked her up and am trying to shush her before her mom ran over, but to no avail. I tried to explain to her mom what Ximena is screaming at the top of her lungs and doing that no-breathing thing. "SHE HIT HER HEAD ON THE CORNER OF MY COUCH WHILE TRYING TO TAKE MY SHOES OFF THE SHELF RIGHT HERE." Both kids left at this point so I had to do the walk of shame and take back all the toys they'd left at my house.

 I don't know why I am so paranoid around kids. Maybe because I never really babysat when I was younger. I just don't feel like I have that much experience...I don't consider myself as being very "kid-friendly". I mean, I LIKE kids. But...I don't know. I kind of feel nervous around them. 
I am doubly paranoid around Mexican kids though, especially babies - like Ximena. Some people here have so many eird-way beliefs, you never know when you are breaking a rule or doing something that their mom thinks could kill them or put their health at risk. I like to run around barefoot in my house and I don't know how many times someone from my church has seen me and said *gasp* "You're going to get sick!" One guy told me that my oes-tay were eventually going to get spread all out. He'd seen it happen before! *EYE ROLLLLLLL* (Now that I think about it, was he trying to say I am fat?!)
 Ximena took her shoes and socks off and refused to let me put them back on. Me and my neighbors share a porch so when her dad came outside I made sure to get on to Ximena loudly..."Girl, you better put your shoes on or you're gonna get SICK!" I'd done my part - it was out of my hands now - ha!

Technically, we are not allowed to have pets in this apartment. But....apparently Edgar threw a it-fay and ended up with a puppy. It is just a mutt, but part pit bull. I was happy about this development - ever since Nicole got engaged, the idea of having a little animal to snuggle with and keep me company has sounded better and better. I am figuring if my landlord doesn't say anything to my neighbors, he won't say anything to me and I can get one of my own. :-/ (We'll see how it goes.)

(Dad? Hi. Umm...If you are reading this - I've decided on a Yorkie. ☺ They are small, hypoallergenic, and oh so cute. Heh heh.)
She never wants to sleep in her bed. She'll sleep on top a bag of trash, a pile of clothes, or in the dust pan.
I've always thought all puppies were cute until I saw this little gal. My first thought was, "Man. This is gonna be one ugly dog." However, one night she was outside my door whining and it was really cold. I got a blanket and wrapped her up and put her in her little box. She snuggled right down and didn't budge for the rest of the night. I cringe as I type this: It was really, really cute. Ugh. I am tryyyyying not to get attached. She itches constantly and is losing patches of hair on her bum. I know she needs a flea color and some de-wormer pills...but she's not mine. I am scared that soon I'll be picking up her p**p. Gaaaaa.

 I'll come home from church sometimes and she'll be splayed out on the porch beside a ripped-into bag of trash, obviously having just gorged herself on some treat. She is so pick her up and she just grunts. (This pic was taken before having noticed the sores on her belly and hair-loss on her posterior. Anyone thinking of the same diagnosis as me? The one...the only...the feared....MAAAAAAAANGE!!! Let's all go wash our hands.)


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