Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eliana's 2nd B-day Party

Well, in 4 days, Eliana will turn 2! I can't believe she's 2 already. And I know she and Jana are close in age, but it's just a little weird to me that Eliana is only turning 2, and Jana will be one in 3 months. Anyway, we decided to do something low key this year, seeing as we just have our whole team back together after several weeks of being apart, a national family retreat coming up this weekend (we'll actually be there for Eliana's birth-day), and we leave for Ecuador the next Friday for the Pan-Am lectures and some family time.

So we had the team out for our monthly team fellowship. I made a caterpiller cake for Jubilee (who turns 4 on the 27th) and Eliana, and we opened presents. The caterpiller cake is the one Eliana chose out of my whole book of shape-cakes. (Thanks, Jamie, for the idea! I really liked the idea when I read on your blog how Drew's mom used to let them choose their cake, so I picked up a cookbook while I was at home.) I think she was more excited about the cake than the presents (initially, of course!) It was a fun time.

And now an update on the birthday girl! Eliana is talking a lot! One of her favorite questions right now is "What's happening?" I think having a big sister helps her vocabulary. She's doing great with the potty-training! We still have an accident now and then, but she's telling us when she needs to go. She loves singing, reading books, going to Bible class and playing dollies with her sisters. She's gotten a little sneaky when it comes to holding her own against big sister - she's real good at pulling hair and scratching. She loves to help me in the kitchen. She's got all her teeth, minus her 2 year old molars and one top canine. She's still kind of a mommies' girl, but that's okay with this mommy : ) These first 2 years have gone so fast. She is such a sweetheart and a cuddlebug. I'm so blessed with all 3 of my daughters.

Enjoy the pictures!

Eliana and her caterpiller cake!

The 3 babies - Grant, Malakai and Jana - all sitting up and playing together for the first time!

The other birthday girl, Jubilee, and big sis Michaela

Blowing out candles

Enjoying the cake

Opening presents

Playing with the new kitchen that we bought for her. Even though it's 'made in China', she's enjoying it!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Birthday Parties and More

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated the birthday of one of our church members - Gaston - here at our house. We see part of our ministry as a family in having bigger fellowship events once or twice a month in our home. Seeing as we have a big yard, it gives people the chance to enjoy being outside. Gaston turned 65 this year - a marker year for anyone. He also helped us out by staying in our house all summer while we were gone, so we wanted to do something special in appreciation for him. 35 people from the church came in celebration of his birthday and enjoyed smoked pork and chicken (thanks to my husband), lots of fellowship and games (horseshoes, volleyball, football, and cachos - a Bolivian dice game).

We had a special time of blessing and prayer over Gaston.

This family, Carlos and Janet and their 3 kids, have been faithfully attending since we offered a class on the family a few months ago. Please be praying for their spiritual future.

Jana loved being outside and the center of attention.

Javier, one of our newest members, enjoying some down time in the hammock.

Sonia, Renan, and Jana. What did I say about the center of attention? Everyone loves on our babies so much!

Gaston, Javier and Pedro playing cachos.

Kitchen talk - Mary Jane, Gilda and Palmira.

The kids always enjoy playing with the tons of toys we have.

Playing football.

And this one's extra - here's a picture from our latest fundraiser for our youth - a garage sale at our contact center. It was a big success - all our members gave generously and we had a lot of walk-ins off the street. In all, they raised about 2000 bolivianos (about $300) for their trip to Paraguay in January. I think we're going to have another one in a few weeks.