Friday, January 29, 2010

Busy Week

     It has been a very busy few weeks with teams here at Esperanza Viva.  This week we had our first mission team from the states.  We have had three work teams here in the past month who were here totally to work out on the land.  A mission team is one that comes, and although they do some work out on the land or some other work project in the morning, they do activities with the kids and their main focus is the kids.  We love working with the teams that come down.  We enjoy helping out with the activities and it really helps my Spanish.  The team that was here this week did some really cool activities.  Several of their activities were food related.  They made trees from ice cream cones, frosting and sprinkles, popcorn was then used to look like snow.  They also made edable play-dough out of peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey.  Erin enjoys participating in the activities.

Edible trees.
Edible play-dough
Jonathan preferred to spend some time in the tree. 

     Last Sunday we had the treat of watching the Vikings vs. the Saints play-off game with the two groups that were here.  We all watched it at the Nielsen's house and had pizza.  Many of the missionaries here are from Minnesota so they were cheering for the Vikings.  But some of the work team were cheering for the Saints so it was a great game with lots of shouting as the teams went back and forth.  Unfortunately, the Vikings lost but we all had a great time.

    This weekend we also have "Es Tiempo de Entregarse" or "Time to Surrender."  We have speakers coming from Mexico and the United States.  It is a free conference that is being held at Nations Church tonight, tomorrow and ending on Sunday after the regular service.  We have four men from the Encouragers Team from our church in the states that have come and we are looking forward to seeing them.  Three of these men have been to another Es Tiempo here at Nations but this will be our first time attending one of the Es Tiempo conferences.  We are excited to see what God will do.  Both Jim and I have been helping out in whatever way we can for the conference.  We have been doing a lot of driving and I helped out with the tickets. 

We have also had some awesome views of the moon this week both during the day and at night. 

Jonathan was really in awe of the moon out during the day. 
Then last night, as Jim and I were walking, we saw this view.  It's a little hard to see but if you look close, there is a huge ring around the moon towards the bottom edge of the picture.  It was very visible in person.  It is awesome to see all the wonders that God allows us to see in this world we live in.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making New Friends

Today, we met a family that came to play with the kids at EV.  They are from Canada but live here in the area.  They are working on a church plant here in the area and they desire for their church to have an outreach to the kids at Esperanza Viva.  They have two children here ages 10 and 16.  Jonathan and Ian, their 10 year old son, hit it off quite well.  He's already asking when we can get together with them again.

Jonathan and his new friend Ian

Ian liked doing some magic tricks for the kids. He was pretty good.

Judy was reading a book about pyramids and mummies to one of the kids.

We hope to see this family again and be able to have Jonathan and Ian playn again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fench Braiding My Own Hair

It's been many years since my hair was long. Today I decided to try to french braid and I actually was able to do.  I guess it's like riding a bicycle, once you learn how to do it, you never forget.  The only problem, this many years later, is that I have way more gray hair now than before.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foil Dinners and Bonfire

I am little late in getting this posted but better late than never.  Last Sunday we got together with the Nielsens for the Vikings vs. Cowboys football game.  The Nielsens are from Minnesota, so it's a no brainer who they were rooting for.  Jim is a Cowboys fan so he was disappointed with the outcome but we all had a great time.  For dinner, we made foil dinners.  This is something that our family has never had so it was very fun.  Normally they are done on the burning embers of a campfire but we did them in the oven that night.  After dinner, we did have a bonfire and roasted marshmellows.  It was a really fun day.  I'm sorry the pictures are not as clear as they could be.  I didn't realize until putting the pictures on my computer, that I had my camera was on the wrong setting that whole day.  I did pick the best out of the bunch though.

Preparing the foil dinners.

Eating the foil dinners.  The were very yummy and Jonathan says we should make them again...soon!

Let the marshmellow roasting begin.

Erin likes setting the marshmellows on fire.

There was some trampoline time also.

Our friends, Ryan and Molly.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Strange Weather

We have had some very interesting weather here in Cholula this afternoon. 
We had drenching rains and hail and this is not the rainy season!

The rain - but this wasn't at it's hardest.

The hail

The clouds were amazing and moving so fast. 
Here there were bright fluffy clouds below and dark stormy cloud above.

This is the tree I posted about a short time ago that was loosing it's leaves.
Now it has the gorgeous flowers on it.

More awesome pictures of the clouds.  Pictures just don't do justice to what it was like in person.

We serve an amazing God who shows his beauty to us in so many ways. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Control Booth

Jim is working out on the land with the work teams that come down.  He is enjoying this time and things are really coming along.  He is working on getting the control booth up.  This is the booth that will stand at the front entrance of the Living Hope Community. When people come and go, they will check in and out here. 

This is the team Jim is working with this week.

Jim next to the control booth wall that is going up.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Just Life

It is cold here!  Yesterday the high was 61 and today it is supposed to be only 58.  By 11:00 AM yesterday morning, my teeth were chattering.  You see, we have no heat in our house.  The houses here are just not equiped with them and the walls are all cement so any heat that we gained from the sun the day before, seeps out, and yesterday, there was no sun because it was raining.  Finally, by 1:00 in the afternoon, I had on two pairs of socks, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a long sleeve pull-over sweater and a long-sleeve zip up sweater.  I also had turned on the oven to do some baking and stood in the kitchen in order to get warm.  Normally, we have heard, that it doesn't rain this time of year but it was raining yesterday and it is rainging again today.  So, it is also damp.  To sleep last night, I had on my two pairs of socks, sweatpants, a t-shirt, a sheet, comforter, and two blankets.  I was still a little chilly so I also put on my bathrobe.  I am just thankful that God has provided things for us to keep us warm and my family is enjoying the baking I'm doing in order to keep things warm too. 

Today Erin and I are going to a baby shower which should be fun.  Jim will be watching two of the other missionary boys so that their mom and sisters can go with us.  Jonathan always enjoys when the boys come over to play.  They all like playing Bionicles. 

That's about all to report for now.  I will post more pictures when I get a chance. 

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Laguna de Valsequillo

Today we went to Laguna de Valsequillo which is a man-made lake near Puebla.  
It was a fun day together as a family.

This is the dam that makes the lake...

and the road that crosses the dam.

A monument of the President of Puebla, according to the tour guide. 
The dam was built during World War 2.


Gail and Jim


Horses and riders crossing the dam.

We decided to take a boat tour around the lake.

Our tour guide and his nephew.  Even though he only spoke Spanish to us,
 he told us that he had lived for 10 years in the United States, in Washington.

Jonathan is not real thrilled with small boats, so he stayed low.

From what the tour guide said, this is a place where you can rent houses for vacations.

Just a beautiful picture.

On the tour, close to the dam.