Monday, November 24, 2008

Juicing and smoothies

I love juicing all kinds of stuff. Sometimes they come out great, sometimes just OK, sometimes whew! A little hard to take! Tonight I made a "smoothie" of frozen blueberries, a little melon I found in the frig, a fresh pineapple slide, some frozen mangoes, juice of two tangeries and I had to add some water. WOW! That packed a whallop! It made enough so I drank some tonight and will have some for breakfast! I don't usually offer my inventions to my family - they don't appreciate my wierdness! But those concoctions DO taste good - usually!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Women having FUN together!

Last night 18 of us women gathered together at Deligil, which is a natural foods restaurant that belongs to Delia and Gil, members of our church. We began by discussing "Una mujer conforme al corazón de Dios" (A Woman After God's Own Heart) by Elizabeth George. We are encouraging our ladies to READ - the average Mexican reads 1/2 book in a year (and usually less!), and we'd like to see our ladies read MUCH MORE than that! A very small percentage had read the book, and each of them received another book to read (FREE!), so we hope that next time we decide on a book to read, more will participate!

We then made small Christmas trees using tulle and sequins. None of us finished because it took quite awhile to cut and gather the material, but it was fun watching the gals help each other cut their tulle and spending time visiting as we cut and sewed and glued. Before we had finished, some dug into the goodies that several of us had brought along! Bethie and I provided a veggie plate with dip and a pumpkin roll that didn't work right and looked "not so pretty", but hey! It disappeared really quickly! Others brought quesadillas, pastries, spaghetti with green sauce and of course, coke (we GOTTA have our coke!). This was just the beginning of many Christmas activities planned for the next few weeks! Our calendars are full!

Ivonne giving us instructions. There you see a sample of the beautiful trees we made!

You can see Bethie behind the girls working away!

Happy birthday, I mean Thanksgiving

Yesterday Alan, Beth, Cameron, Dayton and I celebrated your birthday, Kenny, with turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and three DELICIOUS pies (pumpkin, cherry and apple)! Oh, we also happened to be celebrating Thanksgiving! I know, I know it isn't till next Thursday, but next Thursday we will be in our car traveling for about 6 hours to Cordoba, Veracruz for our annual missionary conference, which is to begin on Friday the 28th. Since we're on the planning and setting-up committee, we have to be there a day early! But our Saturday Thanksgiving Day (uh birthday celebration!) was relaxing, except for those two ladies and young boy (Cameron! He's a great pie-maker!) in the kitchen doing all the baking.

She won one, he won one!

I think Bethie and Cameron should do in the pie-making business! The cherry was outstanding, the pumpkin luscious and actually, the BEST of the three (and it was a hard decision!) was the apple on the right. WOW!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Shack

I just finished reading The Shack, by William P. Young, a powerful story of pain and healing. I don't know yet what to think of the book. It definitely "humanizes" God, in a very interesting way, and Mack, the man in need of healing, finds it as he relates to the trinity, but I'm not sure I like that "humanization"! But it was a fun read! I went on the website and am realizing that this book has incredible acceptance almost worldwide and has a powerful message that people need.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Greetings from HOT Mexico

For those who mistakenly still think Mexico equals HOT, forget it! Overnight we went from a nice sunny 70 degrees to 42! Brr! And inside our house, at least in MY house, it's a nice cozy 55 - that is, if you're triple layered! Remember, here we don't have heating, unless you call space heaters "heating". Alan and Beth have a little gas heater and I have a Presto Heatdish, but it still isn't cold enough to use them, right?

In my WC the window doesn't quite close all the way, so you can imagine these days I don't spend much time in there! Brrr. The wind comes soaring through! I say WC because I have a European style bathroom - the WC and the shower room! Very nice. Except for that window!

So, you all come if you like Arctic weather - we can easily provide it for you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Benjamin and Becky

Some of you might recognize the handsome couple on the right! I sat with them for the dinner and it was fun to visit!

Yesterday I traveled to Pachuca with Bob and Sharla Buhler to attend Benja Becerril and Rebecca Vanderwerf's wedding. It was held at ex-hacienda Santa Maria Regla, an absolutely beautiful setting. The only problem was it was held outdoors and Pachuca is COLD, not just COLD, FRIGID! We didn't get to show off our wedding finery, because it was all hidden under warm coats. The bride's mother, Helen was resplendent in a gorgeous long beige dress and the father of the bride, Terry, was as handsome as ever in his tux. I greeted the parents of the groom and they were both glowing! The bride's and bridesmaid's dresses were NOT made for Pachuca weather and those gals were COLD during the ceremony. I didn't get good pictures, sorry. Amy, Becky's sister was the maid of honor. The dinner was absolutely fabulous, complete with very competent waiters, lots of glasses and silverware. Some of our little MK boys (which included the brother of the bride!) made use of ALL their glasses with enough coke to sink a ship! And of course they drank it the "normal" young boy way! It's a wonder we didn't have any broken glasses. I sat with Rolly and Jo Ann Smith and Tom and Sandy Basile, so now you know who the little boys were! They were SOMETHING! The meal was all very beautiful and very delicious, four courses: cilantro and pecan soup (WOW!), an incredible spinach and cheese salad, noodles, then chicken cordon bleu and vegetables. The ceremony as well as reception was held in both languages, since there were families from both sides who didn't speak each other's language! Helen's father was there, wrapped up in a VERY warm jacket and cap, as was her brother and sister (I think!). A good number of Terry's family was there as well. Amy's fiance was there too and sang a beautiful song to the bride and groom. He and Amy will be married in June in Geneva, Illinois I believe. He is a student at Moody right now and she's teaching school in the Chicago area. The trip home was an adventure too (3 hours), late at night, but we made it with no problems and even got to stop and buy some of Pachuca's famous pastes!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snapshots around camp

We have no "dining room" at camp, so everyone just eats everywhere! Which is no problem, believe me, when the food is so excellent!

As you can see, our camp is RUSTIC! And the jackets show that it was chilly! But it was warmer than we expected and we were thankful! At the back of the picture you see our kitchen - no, it isn't huge - it's TEENY! But it works and a lot of good food comes out of that TEENY kitchen!

The children had a blast. Not many came, just those whose mamas couldn't find someone to keep them. Rosy and Brianna offered to take care of the children. They had their HANDS full, literally, with three babies, and about a dozen LIVELY kiddos! One dad, Miguel, in our church, kept all five of his children so his wife Minerva could come to camp!

L'Ann helped us make angels out of yarn and ribbon - the ladies were delighted with them!

Women's retreat at Camp Koinonia

Let me introduce you to three WONDERFUL ladies. Above you see Sarah, in the red apron, helping the ladies learn how to make pumpkin pies! And they not only MADE them, we all ATE them! They were delicious!

Blanca gave us two wonderful messages, challenging us to grow in our Christian faith and in our Christian walk. Blanca and her husband, Enrique, are missionaries to Amealco - the area surrounding the camp. They have seen about 30 people come to know Jesus, but they've also seen some opposition, including their tires being slashed, rocks in the road blocking their way, etc. But, as Enrique says, if God weren't working, there wouldn't be opposition.

Here's Sarah again. She's an amazing musician and led us in some wonderful worship times. Her husband Rich fell last week and broke two bones in his hip and pelvis, so he's flat on his back for six weeks. Sarah gave such a beautiful testimony of the Lord's grace during this trial, that they are still going through.

Heather coordinated all the efforts of the retreat. Wow! What a great job she did. She and Brock have four little ones - here you see Silas (or is it Ruben? I don't know!) "trying" to help mama with her job!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More pictures of the Women's Conference

Before I left Tasquillo, the ladies gave me this beautiful hand made pillow! It's now gracing my bed and I treasure it! The handwork here in Mexico is amazing!

There were at least a dozen men who cooked, served, washed dishes and basically made the meals run smoothly and deliciously! They were true servants and blessed us!

Lunchtime! The meals were very simple. Shredded chicken in tomato sauce and rice for lunch, the same chicken and enfrijoladas for supper (those are tortillas folded over stuffed with and covered with mashed beans - delicious! Chilaquiles and atole (a hot oatmeal drink) for breakfast, huevos al albañil for lunch (scrambled eggs in a bowl of tomato sauce - very yummy!). Of course all meals were accompanied by all the tortillas you could possibly want, black beans and homemade (and delicious!) hot sauce. No desserts! To satisfy my sweet tooth, I had to buy a Snickers at the little store they had set up with all kinds of snacks!

Aren't they sweet? This lady had just wrapped her baby up in her shawl and willingly let me snap a picture! The gals at the conference ranged from Indian gals from WAY up in the mountains, to very modern young girls in tight jeans and T-shirts! And the fellowship was very sweet!

Women's Conference in Tasquillo

Friday and Saturday I was in Tasquillo, Hidalgo at a women's conference. There were well over 100 women there, as well as a number of children and men. The young men, most of them students from the institute, entertained the children during our sessions - and did a great job! The men and young men cooked, served and washed dishes! What servants! My participation was three workshops for the single gals, who you see above and below. We had to take two pictures to fit them all in! What a great bunch of girls, most of them serving the Lord in their churches. The first session was "I want to get married! It will change my life!", in the second one I asked two of the girls to give their "short" testimonies, but they took the whole hour, so I just ended with some remarks to close it off! The testimonies were GREAT, just what these gals needed! God knew, didn't He? The third session we talked about being a woman of God and I had them search the Scriptures and answer questions about several women of God in the Bible. What a good time we had together!

Lorena gives her testimony. It was SO excellent. She's a really sweet girl and we will keep in touch via email as what she THINKS may be a romance with a young man who SEEMS interested in her develops!

Here are Lorena (right), Erika (left) and another girl leading the singing! Wow! Could those ladies sing!