Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Joys and Horrors of Green Smoothies!

Alrighty, to start this post off, for those of you who didn't already know-- The Wakefield Family joined the green smoothie train many, many moons ago. Like almost 730 moons ago.... (That's 2 years of moons for those of you who aren't good at moon-counting.) :))
We are veteran green smoothie drinkers. We've had good smoothies and we've had baaad smoothies. We've tried spinach smoothies and we've tried cilantro smoothies.
(Spinach, guys. That's my tip for you. Spinach! :)))
There's been blueberry-mushroom smoothies and there's been delicious smoothies.
And then there's those smoothies that I'll call "Suicide Smoothies".
Remember as a kid, taking your cup up to the soda fountain and splashing in a little bit of every flavor of soda? 
Suicide smoothies = suicide soda!
...But instead of different sodas, you throw the last of all the random vegetables and fruits that you have lying around into the blender with some greens and water, and --voila!-- you have the most disgusting and nutritious thing ever to enter your digestive system!
I did just that the other day... We were running low on all the good smoothie ingredients.
So I figured I'd make do.
Alfalfa sprouts, pear, a bit of lemon, mushrooms, Swiss Chard, half an orange and maybe a few other things...
I took one sip of that and decided it was grocery time!!  

Good and gross smoothies aside, I believe in all of their benefits! It's kind of hard to argue with the fact that greens have so many vital nutrients, but are not normally included in the average American's diet! ...I'm always shocked at all of the examples of unhealthy living and eating that I see when I visit the U.S. I mean, Mexico has it's unhealthy ways too, but honestly, America is in a class of it's own when it comes to bad eating habits!!
Yikes... I think I'll step off my soapbox now before I get labeled as a health nut!! Because I'm not! Hahahaa :)) I enjoy junk food just like anyone else... But there is a balance, people!
Or at least there should be...... LOL.

So yada yada yada, all that to say-- we are indoctrinating the good people of Mexico with not only the Bible, but also with Green Smoothies!
Both are of very great benefits to your health and well being. ;)

There is an elderly lady in our church, Elisa, who has several issues with her health-- She misses a lot of church because of them.  For a while her skin was starting to turn yellow from her liver problems... This family is one of the poorest in our church, so that means no doctor's visits. But we did, and still do pray for her.
But one time my dad, Elisa, and her family got to talking about her diet and green smoothies. We found out that they only ever eat beans, rice, and tortillas. No meat, and no fruits or vegetables. Well, if you know anything about liver problems and what you should be eating, beans and tortillas don't cut it!
Bro. Dad, who also has liver issues, told them about green smoothies and how they would help Elisa. But like I already said, this family is poor.
Too poor to buy the fruits and vegetables to make the smoothies.
Bro. Dad came up with an idea-- He offered to go over every morning for 7 days to this family's house, fix them smoothies, and show Elisa how she could improve her diet.

Here's Bro. Dad, headed out the door, Vitamix in one hand, and a pitcher of clean, drinkable water in the other! (We'd never been to their house, and weren't sure if they would have clean water.)

Dad whipped up a smoothie for everyone-- Even the little girls.
Araceli and Mairi!

And guess what? They liked 'em! :)

Mairi is so precious. She is her gramma's little keeper. If Elisa goes to find a chair to sit down,  little Mairi is there holding her hand leading the way, and every now and then I've seen her reach up to feel Elisa's forehead. Just checkin' on gramma! :)) So cute!

And here they all are! (Besides Sis. Mom the photog)
Pastor, Elisa, Araceli, Mairi, and Lupe.
They've been keeping up doing the green smoothies for a couple weeks now and Elisa is looking so much better! Pray that she keeps on getting stronger!

God Bless, and don't forget to drink your green smoothies! ;P


Monday, January 28, 2013

Highway 99

Good morning!
Here's another Austin update for you all!
He's still in the states, and all is going well. There have been in a few setbacks in the time frame we had set up for this trip, but really-- what's new. :P
Austin is still reading the Bible!
This week he chose to do it on Highway 99! :))
And this week we have a recording! Austin is such a trooper-- even when his mean sister made him record his passage a stinkin' second time!! I'm horrible, I know... But my magical powers don't reach into the realm of transferring voxer recordings to the computer...
And right now all you technical geniuses might be thinking, "Hello! Use your mic to record it off of your phone, Nicole!".
Yeah. Well. After doing just that I found out that my mic has a little person living right next to it, and after a couple minutes of the recording,  they decide to start crumpling plastic candy wrappers right next to to the mic, so that you couldn't even hear Austin talking! Imagine that.....
Sooo with a little bribing we got Mr. Austin to record for a 2nd time, but using a different program...
So here he is, with Matthew 19:23-30
Click on the link!
I love it when he gets so into his reading, sounding like a little preacher, and then messes up by starting to guess words. :))
Okay so the neat little widget isn't working inside the post, but thankfully Blogger will let me put it on the sidebar! So look to the right and you'll see the player right underneath Austin's picture!
Much easier!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday Church & How to Ruin Ice Cream

So what's up with the Wakefields? Everythings up!
We're so stinkin busy...
But not too busy to have church! :))
So here are just a few pics of Sunday church.

This is Bryan reciting in front of all the church the verses that he had learned in the past week of school. For the past week and also the upcoming weeks our boys will be memorizing most of, if not all of Romans chapter 8!
Little Fabian also said his verses, but no pics. They were the only 2 that learned all the verses given in that week of school... So, surprise! They received a Bible each as a reward.

Tio Mario, as always, preached an awesome message. He mainly spoke to the mothers and fathers about the importance of their work and involvement in their home, with their kids, praying with their kids, etc.

All the families came up and prayed together.

And at the end of the service, Bryan and Fabian got their picture taken with Pastor and their new Bibles!

Then we all headed upstairs for dinner!

Preacher and Evangelist ;P

Tio Mario was not quite what to think about our American sweet potatoes...
His verdict: "Ahh tastes just like camote!"
No, no, no, sweet potatoes do not taste like yams!!
All I gotta say is, if you don't like 'em don't eat 'em! :))
We hold sweet potatoes near and dear to our hearts beings that we can't get them down here!

Beth and I with the little bugger.

Oh and what comes after dinner? ...Dessert!
That I can't enjoy.
But then I think,
"Oh well there's icecream in the fridge, I'll just have that!!"

Then my dreams were so rudely and harshly dashed...
A certain member of the Wakefield family, who shall remain unnamed (to save her the embarrassment of forgetting the ailment of her child), bought a big tub of cookies n' cream ice cream..... What's wrong with cookies n' cream, right?? Oh just the cookie part of it...

So then I went to my room and cried bitterly. Not really. :)))
I just got over it because really, it's okay-- I understand.... I'm the only person in the household that can't eat gluten, and mix ups and forgetfulness happen... And when they happen, I just zip my lip 'cause I'm so self sacrificial.
Hahahahhaa :))))
Actually, sometimes I complain. Loudly.
I mean really, for the love of Nicole, buy some vanilla Blue Bell!!
But I'm totally over it. Until the next time someone forgets me.
.....Beware of the scorned Nicole......
But while I'm on this train of thought, no accidents or forgetfulness is allowed at my birthday, okay folks? No cake, check labels for "May contain wheat", and no ice cream with cookies in it!!! LOL. Let's just have an gluten free ice cream party!
Okay, I'm done!

Later guys!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Bibleing in IAH!

Well, for those of you who didn't already know, Sis. Mom and Austin flew out yesterday to the good ol' U.S. of A. They'll be there for a few weeks, visiting doctors and whatnot.
So for a while now Austin's Bibleing will be done in the states!
First Bibleing pic taken in the states:
This was in the Houston airport during their 8 hour layover!
 This is just a short little update, and no recording! But it's okay!
I promise you, he's still reading his Bible! ;P
He's holding up his end of the deal, and we're trusting that you will too!
Barring any technical difficulties, we will have a recording up next week.

And watch out for Austin in the next few weeks! He just might show up at your church! :)

Please keep the Wakefield family and the work down here in your prayers!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Teaching Division (Update on the School by Beth)

6th grader #1, 5th grader #2

SO. I've been trying to teach long division to my 5th/6th graders for the past couple of weeks. These have been the most frustrating days of my teaching life yet.

....For *example*.........

(Don't know WHY it's all black?!)

I'm trying to explain how to do question #1....."How many times can you put 484 in 352?"
 ................*blank stare*.............
"Does 484 fit in 352?"
*blank stare, looking very befuddled*
"Ok.......say you have a box that will hold 352 crayons. You have 484 crayons. Can you fit all of the crayons in the box???"
                    *deer-in-the-headlights, mouths hanging open*

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Do this really be that haaaard?!?!?! 
Can it get any simpler???

"Alrighty honey child, you have THREE garbanzo beans. Can you fit ALL of them up your nose?"

I'm at the end of my rope!!! How else can I explain division?!!!!!! I'm learning that it is so very hard to explain to my kids how to do math that is like second nature to me. Not that I'm some kind of genius, but I'm pretty sure I was born knowing how to do this stuff. Lol.

I've started from the beginning. We've worked our way up. I think it's time to go back to simple simple simple division. I actually printed worksheets for them from a 3rd grade book today. Sigh.

I want to build a good foundation for them so that they are 100% capable of doing basic math, so I'm not going to move on until they can do this stuff backwards and forwards. But it is a little nerve-wracking to think that MAYBE just MAYBE I am not explaining it right, in a way they can grasp. Soon, their parents are going to wonder WHY their child has not had a math test in 3 weeks...Then they will come to me questioning my teaching ability...and I will question it, too. Haha!

Pleeeeeeeease, I just want these kids to grow up to be productive, capable, intelligent members of society!
On a more positive note....
Eddy is in 2nd grade. He is THEE cutest little thing EVER!! I LOVE teaching him. In science, we are learning about "el ciclo del agua". The water cycle, I think that's what it's called in English. Precipitacion, evaporacion, escurrimiento, infiltracion. (It feels weird to know that I can explain all this in Spanish, but I don't remember the lingo in English...) We get to draw and do experiments with ice and steam. It is fun! In math we are learning how to count money. He catches on so fast, I love it!

So for a 2nd grader, Eddy is a capable little boy. Let's see that he stays that way through middle school and high school!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Walk Down Avenida 5 de Mayo

Here's just a few pictures of our downtown here in Puebla during the holiday season...
I love my city!

The Cathedral in the center of town, all lit up.
It was packed with people that night!

Beth and I...
Bro. Dad really wanted to be in the pic :)))

Walking down 5 de Mayo, one of the busiest and bustling streets downtown

A blind street musician, begging for money.

More musicians! These guys look pretty interesting and funny sometimes.
They always match, with different outfits every day.
My favorite outfit of their's is the hot pink suit coats with sequins. Hahaa stylin'!
This day they were pretty normal looking, unfortunately.

Here we stopped for some empanadas! Empanadas are sweet bread with cream, fruit, or even meat inside sometimes-- and very flaky and messy!

Well, that's it folks! Just a quick walk down 5 de Mayo with us!

Bye! ;)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Bibleing Take 2: The Convention Center

Well, it's been a week since our announcement about Austin's goal of reading the New Testament this year, and of our plans of building a school in the next few months!
We'd like to send out a huge thank you to all of you who have already responded to our need by donating! May God Bless you for your sacrifice. We are so very thankful!
(And also very excited to get started on building!)
Every now and then I just sigh, thinking about the future, when on every Wednesday and Friday after school, we won't have to pack up everything in the sanctuary to transform it from "school" to "church".
And then I sigh again to think that when Monday mornings come along, Beth and I won't need to worry about if all the tables, computers, and chairs are in place for school... Ahhh... :))
I do have daydreams about building a permanent school. Haha. ;P
But then I think to myself, "Wait, Nicole, if you aren't having to constantly take down the school and set up the church, then where oh where will you get your exercise from??"
...Now you all know the secret to keeping your weight down-- start a school in a double-use location. Hahaha.
I will gladly sacrifice my "exercise" for a permanent school... Hands down, no question!
 I mean really, folding up long tables is a dangerous job!
--I won't even tell you guys about the time I was packing up tables by myself, and tripped while lugging one of them off to storage, and fell flat on my face on top of the table......--much less show you pictures!
Hahaaha-- I actually don't have pictures (bummer), but that really did happen (double bummer)!! Hahahaa :)))) Thankfully I was alone and no one witnessed my embarrassing little accident.... Though I was sure to jump up real quick and check to make sure that I really was alone and that no one was lurking around, watching my escapade! :D
But that's all besides the point, and a bit off topic!
Let's get down to business, shall we?
We went Bibleing!
And where did we go?
The Convention Center!
--Very unromantic sounding, I know. The place needs a different name. Its name definitely does not match its beauty. I guess to make it sound a little better we can call it by its Spanish name, "Centro de Convenciones"... Everything sounds more beautiful in Spanish, right? :))
And here is the young man that is making this fundraiser go 'round. :))
Here is Austin's recording for this week-- Matthew 10:5-15.
I'm so proud of him! He amazes me with how far he has come in his reading...
And, believe it or not, this was the first take!
(For some reason Blogger isn't letting me put the widget on the post.... So here's the link that will take you to the recording!)
Thank you all for tuning in to Bibleing with Austin! ;)
We'll see you next week with more pictures and another recording of Austin reading!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Conferencia Espiritu Santo!

I love conferences.... Really I do. I love feeling a powerful move of God, seeing so many people draw close to God together, and I love seeing people filled with the Holy Ghost!
(It's just the socializing part that's not my favorite.... Give me a nice little corner in a room full of people and I'm happier than a ...a really happy thing.... LOL) :)
Okay now, I'm not sure if conference is the right word to use for this get-together....
Well, Merriam-Webster just cleared that up for me! According to her, a conference is:
"1 a: a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern".
So we'll call this event a "conference"-- It's actually very fitting. There were definitely more than two people, and we were discussing matters of common concern!! And what was our common concern?
The Holy Ghost!
That was the "theme" of this conference. Receiving the Holy Ghost!
This time our conference was just a "Mexican" thing. :) No visitors from the states.
Almost all of the churches in our fellowship here were able to make it! And, all of the preaching was done by some of our national pastors. Every message was powerful and anointed. It was such a blessing to us and our people. For days afterwards they were still talking about how wonderful it was!
Abner preached the first message of the conference. He did an amazing job. Unfortunately, we have no picture since Beth and I were leading music that night, and on the platform the whole service.
This right is actually the only picture I have of him!
Now, these pictures are a bit mixed up--
Blogger is being a real pain for me these days....
Ni modo! Here they are:
Pastor praying with Paco
Bro. Alfredo Perez, missionary to San Juan del Rio, preached the next day in the morning service.
He has an awesome testimony.
My little Judah praying in the altar, seeking the Holy Ghost!
After the morning service we served lunch to everyone.
The kid's table....
Emanuel, Abby, Choyo, and some silly kid on the end there :))
Bro. David Garcia
Judah worshiping during song service.
It made me so happy to see him next to me praying, singing along, and worshiping!
I pray that he keeps the same attitude as he grows up!
In the evening service, Hno. Irving Garcia from Chalco preached.
This is Marisol praying with a teenage girl from Cuautla.
God filled her with the Holy Ghost for the first time in this conference!
Celia Perez and I. She's a sweetheart :)
 This lady also received the Holy Ghost in the conference!!
I watched her walk to the altar and just seconds after starting to pray, she began talking in tongues!
Obed praying for his little cousin, Jabes.
Sis. Elvira led the service the next morning.
She had some of our women come up to give their testimony and tell everyone about when they got the Holy Ghost. Marisol here was one of them.

Fani also gave her testimony.
Elder Wakefield preached that morning.
Some of the men praying for Bro. Gelacio.
Ino and Bethany praying with Fabian
Clara, the lady in the pink sweater, got the Holy Ghost a few weeks before this meeting.
She's from Elder Wakefield's church.
After the morning service, lunch was served again-- But this time the south side church prepared it.
Mole Poblano... Yum.
Bro. Dad preached the night service, the last one of the conference.
Everyone was exhausted by the time my dad got up to preach. We had been going 90 miles an hour for three days, worshiping, dancing, amen-ing, clapping, and praying....  Sis. Marisol later told me, "My flesh was so tired on the last night, but my spirit was so awake and excited to hear the Word!!"
But even though we were exhausted, God was not!
 Dad preached an anointed message, and when it came time for altar call, the people forgot their exhaustion. They came once again to pray and seek God as if they had not already spent two days doing the same!
This was Conchi's first time to really, really pray and seek God.
She could hardly stop!
Another young lady from Cuautla got the Holy Ghost!
After the last service, altar call ended, and we took communion.
It was such a wonderful, moving time, remembering how Jesus died for us on the cross, so that our sins could be washed away.
Bethany and Eliana after service. 
Judah and his second mommy :))
The conference was a wonderful, refreshing time spent in God's presence.
I'm so thankful to God for those that were filled with the Holy Ghost!

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