My dad and I were scheduled for a trip to Ecuador this month for some meetings about the children's home of which we are a part. At the last minute he decided he would not be able to travel and somehow managed to convince Ron to rearrange his schedule to go with me. As thrilled as I was to have Ron go with me it meant some scrambling since the kids would stay behind. It was a short yet packed trip. We enjoyed the little time we were able to spend with the kids in the home, but as planned, spent most of our time in meetings. The last night we were there, I was talking to Ron and really struggling to speak in English. I was glad I hadn't lost my Spanish as I had feared. ;) I have been traveling to Manta, Ecuador since 2003, and God has graciously allowed us to work with many of the same people. Last year while down there with our Christmas mission team, I spoke with a friend of ours that I had the privilege of praying with to receive Christ in 2004. She had yet to be baptized and while she expressed her desire to do so to me, she wanted to wait until her husband was ready. On this trip, she took me aside and told me she had a surprise for me. She told me she was ready to make that step of obedience and asked if I would baptize her while we were there. What an amazing experience! God is so faithful! In the midst of the crazy chaos of our trip we gathered with some friends and family and went down to the beach like in the time of Acts, and celebrated a life surrendered to Christ, declaring publicly what Christ had already done within her heart.  To see her baptized would have been enough, but to have the blessing for Ron and I together to have our first baptism with someone so dear to us, was a tremendous gift from God.







We were also blessed to get to spend some time with the precious children of the Montanita Verde Children's home, and some special friends. Very joyful this Christmas season to have had this gift, many thanks to those who help made this trip possible!
School supplies, arts and crafts

 Presents!





Cookie decorating is an annual tradition



During a time of year that is all too often full of greed and self-centeredness, as far from the true celebration it should be, I am so thankful to be able to celebrate each year with these children, giving them memories to take with them no matter where life takes them, and most importantly to share with them the love of Jesus Christ that transforms lives! Happy Birthday Jesus! 

Surprise Blessings in Ecuador

by on 9:09 PM
My dad and I were scheduled for a trip to Ecuador this month for some meetings about the children's home of which we are a part. At the ...
Declaring it officially Christmas break today! We have had a full, wonderful, sometimes trying ;) semester. I love how homeschooling allows me to be very aware of the character flaws in our family... my children and most especially in me. No way to ignore anything when it stares you in the face 24/7. I often find I am most certainly the one that has the most to work on! God is graciously chiseling away, refining my heart and mind to His. I plan to do a few blog posts summing up the end of this year. Here are a few highlights from our semester:

Story of the World Projects
Making Cuneiform tablets

                                                                   
Painting Papyrus




Starburst Egyptian Pyramids
 

African legends: Anansi the Spider

Science Experiments



Friends, Cousins, and Sleepovers!

Disney World


Thanksgiving Trip to Alabama


Cooking





 Operation Christmas Child

 Horseback Riding for the first time on their own!

 

Field Trips
Dakin Dairy Farm


Fresh Milk:

Fresh Ice Cream






Spanish Coop



E's First Gymnastics Meet:


Bars:
video

Beam:
video

Floor:
video

Vault:
video

We have had a wonderful semester, are looking forward to an amazing finish to December celebrating the birth of Jesus, and a fresh start in January on our homeschooling journey! Homeschooling with littles is not easy, and there are many days that I wish we could have a do-over, but I feel so blessed to see our little treasures growing into the persons God has called them to be. We are so blessed! Our days are full, our house is loud and often chaotic, but I have learned that at the end of the long days-- when tired little ones are getting ready for bed and the remnants of the day result in dirty bath water, those are the days that were enjoyed the most. I am trying to seize those days: playing outside, the park, farms, camping, painting, playdough . . . the stuff moms hate ;) . . . those are the days I want to fill our lives with. I am looking forward to the many dirty bath water days to come.
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