Sunday, June 7, 2015

Heard Around the House #14

It has been almost a year since I posted a Heard Around the House! 
 I wish I could push pause on our family right now! I love this time with my kiddos. They are so hungry to learn. They are appreciative. They find joy in the little things. Any activity we do turns into an adventure!
{A favorite spot on the island of Flores}
 They are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, profound things are coming out of them all the time. 

Theological discussion between Jonah and Silas #325:  
Silas to Jonah - "If you don't obey your parents you die!"
Jonah - "No, Silas. It says if you obey your parents you live a long time."

We were driving home from youth group and singing At Calvary.
Silas - "That's my favorite song."
Then he explained the plan of Salvation to me.
Mama - "And that's the beautiful plan of Salvation."
Silas - "I know, you told me about it a long time ago."
Mama - "Are you going to tell your kids about it?"
Silas - "Yeah, but you are going to have to help me tell them how to make oreo pudding."
Jonah - "Silas when we are grown up, Mama is going to be dead."
Silas - "What?!"
Mama - "Kiki is alive and she's my momma."
Silas - "Yeah but she's old."
Jonah "Not as old as Papa."
Mama - "Why do you think Papa is older?"
Jonah - "Because he doesn't have any hair."
Mama - "Jonah, you take after Papa, you probably won't have any hair either."
Jonah - "What?! My hair is going to fall out!"
Silas - "It's ok, Jonah. It will grow back."
Mama - "No, it's not like teeth."
Jonah - "No! hair is going to fall out and it's not going to grow back!"
Silas - "It's ok, Jonah. You will have hair in Heaven."
They are so sweet to their mommy... most days, haha!

I was sad the other day about something and Jonah came over and gave me a hug. 
Jonah - "Mama, God told me to give you a hug." 

 For Valentine's each day they get a new heart over their bed that says something about who they are that I love. 

Silas was upset that I wasn't getting any hearts. A couple days into February I found this on my nightstand: (Dada wrote it for him.)
Silas started this "good cooker" thing. The boys say it all the time now to both of us. The boys love it when Dada grills outside, but they do not like it when he is in the kitchen. If Jimmy cooks inside, he always make something we call beefy noodle soup. It is basically an excuse to eat a whole bunch of garlic and cilantro which Jimmy and I love. The boys hate it. It is the one meal that they would rather skip than eat. The other day Jimmy walked into the kitchen and Silas says, "Dada, you have your beefy noodle soup face on. Please let Mama cook!"  
{Celebrating Jimmy's birthday}
One morning I made an apple oatmeal experiment for breakfast. (My bunch is very dependent on routine, especially for breakfast. If you don't give them bacon they get cranky.) Silas tried it and says, "This is SO good, Mama!" Then he leans over to Dada and in a not so quiet voice says, "I don't ever say I don't like something, I just eat it."  

 The other day Silas did something mean to Jonah. Jimmy talks about grace and mercy a lot when he is disciplining the boys... not that they don't get their fair share of punishments, but it IS mixed with grace and mercy. Jimmy gave Jonah the opportunity to practice a little mercy. He said that if Jonah said it was ok, Silas didn't have to receive his punishment. Jonah started off really upset about what Silas had done, but when he heard that he decided he didn't want Silas to be punished, he just wanted to let it go. This is grateful and apologetic Silas afterwards:
We celebrated Easter like we have the last couple years, where each day we focus on a different part of the Easter story leading up to the Resurrection. I posted a list of activities here with a passage for each day. This year we swapped out some of the activities for new ones. Some they specifically asked to do again!
 Some of the new things we made were Easter shape cookies, praying hands,
and a crown of thorns.
 They wanted to do the scars on Christ's hands again.
 For Easter Sunday we made a resurrection cake!
 Here is our empty tomb:
 We had a very memorable Easter this year.
 We have a big problem with termites.
Silas calls them "terminites" you know, like some pagan people group in the Bible!
Our house is concrete, but they come up where the floors meet the walls. If you put anything made of paper, fabric, or wood close to a wall, it will be eaten... fast! I lost almost all my cook books a couple days ago. I keep my cookbooks in a plastic crate on the floor in my pantry. It was a couple inches from the wall. The books looked ok, but when you opened them up, the insides were dust and tunnels. We took all the books and burned them to kill the termites. Silas is our little lemons into lemonade boy. He said we all needed to roast marshmallows, so we did!
Jonah usually draws armored soldiers, like the armor of God. He draws them everywhere. The other day though, I was late getting them down for a nap. Jonah's mood is very dependent on his nap time. That day he drew a picture of his emotions instead!
{This photo was taken AFTER nap time!}
Jonah and Eden are my puzzle lovers. (I love puzzles, Jimmy does not.) Silas always participates with Jonah solely for social purposes. They used to only do puzzles with me, now they don't need my help anymore. I'm kind of sad about that. 
 Jonah and Silas really want to be just like Dada!
Jonah - "Dada, when you were a kid did you have a beard?" 
Jonah was really wanting a beard like Dada right now.  

Here is Eden telling Dada, "You're my Little Sweetheart!"
 She's funny. She gets jealous of Jimmy and I. Each morning around 6, she come into our room and fights over the middle of the bed. Then she sleeps there for almost 2 more hours. She's a good alarm clock!
Eden's language has developed a lot faster than the boys'. I think because she is not a twin. At church she's always is in the middle of a bunch of Kekchi ladies/girls. She will respond correctly to me if I speak to her in Spanish, but she will not speak Spanish to me. I have heard a little bit of Kekchi out of her.

The most important thing is that her English is definitely southern. There are no one syllable words in her vocabulary! 

It was nap time in our hotel in the capital before we flew out for our last furlough. I was sitting on the bed next to Eden's bed. 
Eden - "Go to sleep, Mama."
Mama - "I'm going to sit here the whole time you are sleeping, but I might not fall asleep."
Eden - "Oh, don't fall, Mama!"

Another time we were in a hotel in the capital, the kiddos were in their beds going to sleep. Jimmy and I were working on our classes for the institute. Eden kept asking me to turn the lights off. I turned off the one closest to her. Then a couple minutes pased and Eden said frustratedly, "Mama, I don't want to see you!" She wanted complete darkness.

At our home one day Eden walks out of her room...
Mama - "Eden, did you sleep during naptime?"
Eden - (With hands spread apart enthusiastically) "I slept a big amount."

Crossroads Baptist in Wichita sent us some fun stuff in the mail. 
 The kiddos loved all the surprises! 2 bubble mailers came with all boy stuff. We thought maybe they thought we had only boys. Jonah and Silas shared their stuff with Eden. Then a little over a week later a third bubble mailer arrived with all kinds of girl stuff. Eden was thrilled!
{Her new Frozen bag!}
We had a new family that attends the institute over to our house the other evening. While we were eating dinner I put a padded blanket on the floor next to the table so the parents could eat and still keep an eye on their baby. The baby was fussy at first but then fell asleep. Eden says loudly at the table in English, "I think the baby's dead." We did not translate that one! 
While that family was at our house Silas knocked Jonah's tooth out with a rubber sword. Jonah had just gotten his first loose tooth and had been playing with it trying to wiggle it out. Silas knocking it out for him kind of fits them perfectly.
Jonah could not have been happier!
Now every time we take his picture he yells - "Make sure you get my hole."
That night after he brushed his teeth - "Dada, now there is hole on my toothbrush!"

I wasn't ready for my boys to start losing their teeth. They are growing up too fast!
Mama - "Jonah, I'm so sad that you are so grown up. Stop growing!"
Jonah - "Mama, it's because you keep feeding me so much food!"
Silas - "Mama, when I grow big, I'm going to be able to eat junk whenever I want." 
 This is the kid who refuses to eat potato chips when we are out places because they "take away your muscles"... I couldn't be prouder!
Jimmy sold his pickup and bought a different used one that has a double cab since the students ride with him a lot. He had to get someone to weld a new front bumper to attach the winch to. It looks really weird. When the boys saw it they were so excited because they said it made it a "transformer" truck!
The boys love going on errands with Dada. They were riding with Jimmy in his truck the other day.
Silas - "I like to hunt bear and cook it."
Dada - "Is it good?"
Silas - "Yeah, it taste like chicken and dumplings."
Jonah - "You can't eat bear, Silas, they have poop in them."
Silas - "No, Jonah, you just cut the behind off."
Why? For some reason so go most of the conversations when Mama is not there.

Every Saturday is Family Fun Day. We play lots of games and kind of close ourselves off from the rest of the world.
We eat dinner on the porch and play in the backyard.
It is our day of rest. This day is vital for our family!
{Yes, Jonah, I got your hole.}
{Walking to a birthday party}
 Eden loves animals, but she doesn't mess around with street dogs! This is her "that dog might eat me" face:
{The birthday girl!}
The boys are kind of jumpy around our big dogs still, but not E! She wrestles with them all the time. Bags is still in the puppy stage and is super naughty. She will run inside our house and grab something to take outside and eat without us knowing. Jimmy all the time is saying 'I'm going to kill that dog!" Eden yells, "No, don't kill Baggy!"And then makes him promise not to (not that he ever would.) We thought she ate another shoe the other day and then we finally found it inside the house. Eden said, "I knew that Baggy was a good dog!"
We bought an old armoire from a carpenter in town who was moving to the States. I have been fixing it up during nap times for Eden's room. Jonah wakes up one day and comes in the hall, "Mama! Eden is going to love that!" My boys are so encouraging to me.
Jonah and Silas decided the giraffes were a mama and a dada. 
Eden - "Where's the baby?"
Jonah - "I don't now but I'm the snail."
Silas - Jonah, it's not a snail it's a peahawk."
Jonah - "It looks like a snail."
Silas - "I know, Mama says it's a peahawk."
Lately Jonah and Silas have been choosing to wear matching shirts. The other day I said, "Wow you guys really look like twins today, even your shorts match."
Silas - "Yeah, even our underwear matches!" 
(Jonah and Silas both giggle.) 

Silas - "Are there tuba stores in the States?" 
Mama - "Why?"
Silas - "I want to buy one." 
Mama - "But why?"
Silas - "Because they're big... and awesome." 

Silas comes up to me the other day with his pirate eye patch around his neck and says,  
"Mama, I lost a nipple." That one had me laughing for a while!

Silas - "Dada, 'I'm real busy today."
Dada - "What do you have to do?"
Silas - "Well mainly I'm focused on building this cool rocket ship out of my bed."
{Their introduction to Jello Jigglers!}
The boys were super hungry and I said it was going to be a while before it was time to eat. Silas came really close to complaining until Mama shot him a look.
Silas - "I hate supper... I mean the devil. I really hate the devil."

Each night as I kiss Eden goodnight, she says, "I love you really much!"

There are English commercials now on our English news station for some reason. Usually they are medical commercials for older folk.
The other day a bug flew under Silas' shirt and bit him all up. We put some Benadryl cream on it, but by the next morning it was itching again. 
Silas - "Dada, that cream didn't work, I think I need some Recticare. Recticare relieves the burning and itching."
{Making some Nobakes late one night!}
As we are driving down the dirt road to the institute...
Jonah - "Why did all these people throw all these rocks in the road?!"
Silas - "No Jonah, that's how they make the roads." 

We were at Kiki's house and she groaned as she was doing something.
Silas - "Are you ok Kiki?"
Kiki - "Yeah, I'm just old."
Silas - "After you get old you die." 
{Mother's Day}
Silas came up to Dada to settle an argument he and Jonah were having. Jonah was absolutely certain the Moses was still alive when Dada was born. He thought they had to have been friends since he knows so much about him.

Later Silas asks - "So did the Devil get kicked out of Heaven before or after you and Dada were born?"
We need to either work on our time frames or clarify that we are not ancient!
Jimmy and the boys watched the movie The Patriot for memorial day. We later found a cool wooden musket at the thrift store. Jonah was really happy. He kept telling me it was just like the Sea Hawks' gun. I did not understand what he meant. Then I realized he got his football teams confused.

Jonah on his tiptoes smiling real big - Mama, when I stand on my tiptoes I'm 6!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Part of My Life

Our ministry focus here has become the Kekchi Pastors Institute (KBI). We believe the is what will fulfill the goal God put into our hearts of reaching all of the unreached Kekchi villages in Petén with the Gospel. This provides a self sustaining church for each village with a trained pastor that can reach and disciple new Christ followers. Over the course of the 3 year pastors program that includes 60 classes I get to teach 6, so that isn't many but it helps out a little bit.
{My 6 classes}
More than anything else it keeps me connected to Jimmy. Without those 6 classes I would never get to know the students very well or be able to understand a lot of the things that go on at the farm. I wouldn't get to have any meaningful conversations with Jimmy about his goals, our be someone he bounces off ideas and solutions. I love sharing in this purpose that God has given him. God's timing is perfect as well. Once my kiddos start elementary school, I think I would be too overwhelmed with taking care of my family, communicating for our ministry, church stuff AND homeschool to be able to put together my curriculum for these classes. The way it is now I will have already taught all of my courses at least once and some twice before my kids enter elementary school. That is the most I would be able to handle. God knows! So the work load right now is the reason I haven't been sharing as much about our ministry here lately. Hopefully I will get my system down soon and free time will appear again!
{Even my highlighters have mold.}
The quality of the education the students get by coming to the institute is extremely important to us. We have gathered lots of materials and resources, but everything is chopped up, edited, sorted, supplemented and always re-translated into curriculum that will be the most practical and meaningful for them. It is a lot of work! I totally get why God had us live here 6 years before we ever started this phase. We have learned (and are still learning everyday) so much about their culture and the words they use for things. When we first got here, someone made the comment to Jimmy that "the Kekchi wouldn't be able to understand the deeper truths of the Bible like you and I can." Jimmy thought that was absurd. It was! The Bible curriculum Jimmy puts together starts extremely basic, but by the time they finish they have the tools to be able to study for themselves whatever topic they please, as deep as they want to go. Opportunity doesn't equal intelligence. That is what we have come for, to give them opportunity, the opportunity to get to know God for themselves and reach their own people for Christ!

Here are some photos from my Art of Teaching class, it lasts 2 semesters. It is taught in the context of teaching children, but the concepts can be applied to whatever age group. No one wants to hear truth presented in a boring, irrelevant way, even when they're old! 
{Jael & Sisera}
When they first came to the farm, they were all really nervous. There was little eye contact, lots of reading, and not much confidence. We covered things like learning styles, how the brain receives and remembers information, classroom management, attention spans and understanding your audience's culture and history. They are so different now. They have taken everything and have run with it, adding so much of their own creativity and passion. I'm writing ideas down all the time I get from them.
{Wise man & foolish man}
  At the end of he first semester the students had to prepare a presentation of the Gospel, that could be used in an unreached village or at the end of any lesson. We tried to cover different things people are searching for in life, like freedom from guilt, freedom from shame, fear of eternity, unconditional love, freedom from the fear of evil spirits, hope. It's easy to memorize a simple plan of Salvation that is meaningful to you, but the Gospel is so much larger than that, it covers all cultures and backgrounds. I loved all 3 of their presentations!

Henry got the highest grade, so he was invited to present the Gospel in an unreached village where the first year students have begun working.

I believe God honors preparation. Henry's presentation was very powerful!

The 3 main "P's" of my class were being Prepared, having Proof from the Bible and having one clear Purpose or objective. Thankfully they all neatly start with "P" in Spanish too. This was one of my object lessons on being prepared. I baked a chocolate cake and hid it under my desk until it was time. Unfortunately Atzi, our farm dog, found it during one of my other class activities when I wasn't paying attention.
 Naughty dog! She survived the chocolate, but deserved the stomachache. Anyway, I pulled the cake out and asked the students if they wanted some. They have had it before and all said yes! (Chocolate cake is always a nice surprise in the middle of a 3 hour class.) I told them I didn't plan a way for me to actually serve it to them. Then I stuck my fingers in the cake and plopped a fistful down on the table in front of each of them. They were shocked!! Especially after Jimmy's class on germs! Pedro yelled "germs"! Then they all started laughing. The point was I could have something wonderful to share with them (like truths from God's Word), but if I don't prepare a way to share it with them, it's wasted.
We did a lot of hands-on activities and covered different tools that may help illiterate learners. 
{Our Bible timeline}
We did a lot of artsy stuff to, just to get the ideas flowing. I don't want them to ever not attempt an idea they have. 

 We made larger things like a tomb.
 This tomb was made with supplies available to them for under $5.
 It would be a great tool for a sermon series or Bible study around Easter time. On their own they made this crown of thorns for one of their sermons.
{Easter Service}
 We made a tree too. We covered different theme ideas they could use to help reiterate truths and make Bible studies memorable. 
 One day I will finish adding the leaves. That part takes forever.
{Rigo telling the story of creation}
{Geronimo helped out and was Adam}
We covered review game ideas and how to move something from short term memory to long term and how to keep it there. 
We covered skits and dramas. They really liked that week. This was their first time ever doing a skit, it was for one of our youth meetings:
 I was a little worried they may not put the same effort into their lesson or sermons that they weren't receiving a grade for, but I have been thrilled to see the things we have learned taken even further.
There isn't anything more rewarding than seeing God's work multiplied. 
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