Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's Christmas Time Again!

Yesterday we finally received our long awaited packages from home that had our Christmas in them!  The boys were super excited!!!

While the below photos may not be thrilling for all of you to look at, I know some grandparents who won't mind seeing them!  =)

"Christmas Morning" - except it almost wasn't!  Even though the boys were excited about having Christmas, they slept in fairly late which is unusual for them!

Jacinda and her new baby doll!

Although Parker can be quite rambunctious, he's actually the one who carefully opens all his packages. No haphazard tearing of wrapping paper for him!!

 Taylor - he's the Lego man!
And he got quite a few Lego related sets and an idea book this year!

Even though Kyle is growing up (so quickly), he still gets "pumped" about opening up gifts!

Thank you to all who sent Christmas cards, texts and emails, money, and packages...we deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness!

* * * * * * *

The next thing on the agenda is a revival in Santo Domingo this weekend!  Bro. Javier, from the H.I.M. church in Motozintla, MX will be the special speaker.  Michael (and I, at times) will be singing.

After that, our whole family is leaving Jan. 16th to go to Florida for a month!  Michael has a revival he will be speaking at in Boynton Beach at a H.I.M. hispanic church.  We will also be doing a few deputation services in Florida and then attending Sea Breeze camp in Hobe Sound.  We are looking forward to a change of pace and hopefully re-charging our spiritual, emotional, and ministry "batteries."

While we are gone, we are putting into effect a time of transition here at our churches in Tapachula and Santo Domingo.  We have been training nationals pastors who will start taking over the works here.  We are excited and they are excited to see how the Lord has been leading and working in their lives to bring them to this point.  Pray for our churches here while we're gone that the Lord would give wisdom in leadership and that the churches would stay encouraged!

* * * * * * *

Update on my sister:  she came home from the hospital on Jan. 3rd!  PTL!  We're praying and hoping for a swift recovery and that she would generally start to feel better, more often!  I know she's happy to be back with her little boy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Capturing December: Day 31

{ New Year's Eve }

Yesterday was the last day for these Capturing December posts!  It's actually been quite a challenge to do something unique or (hopefully) interesting every day!

Today I just want to share about our New Year's Eve service we held last night in the mountains at our church in Santo Domingo.  A small group from our Tapachula church also drove up to join us.

After service, we were served some yummy barbacoa tacos and fresh, mountain grown coffee!

On our way home, we were going over an overpass a few miles from home right at midnight...and it was so incredible to watch as the city of Tapachula lit up the night sky with hundreds of fireworks!  We quickly stopped to try and get a picture, but it was hard to capture and then Parker started crying because he was scared of them!  Below is a fuzzy pic that we got that will give you a little idea of what we saw!  They were beautiful - it was like 4th of July fireworks on steroids around the whole city!

I trust y'all will have a wonderfully, blessed new year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Capturing December: Day 30 (A New Newsletter!)

Today I'm simply going to share with you the link to our Year-In-Review newsletter that we just sent out to our supporters.  Whether for yourself or your church, feel free to view, download, print, or share!  It's always encouraging to look back through the year and see how the Lord has helped and blessed in so many different ways!

Also, we are adding a new tab to the blog where you will be able to see all of our (past, current, and future) newsletters.  Check it out above!  We're really hoping to do better with our newsletter writing!  Michael and I periodically look at each other, shake our heads, and declare, "We must be the worst missionaries in history when it comes to writing timely newsletters!"  Seriously!  =)  Oh well, we are most definitely human!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Capturing December: Day 29

{ Bedroom Makeover }

After my quick trip to PA in October, I came home to our bedroom that had everything taken out of it and the walls primed!  And I guess since I was home now, Michael decided he could get back to his busy ministry schedule...leaving me to finish the paint job!  Okay, so he did help me some!  =)

If you remember our upstairs house tour post, we went from this... this!

We are loving the new gray wall color and the cooler feel to the room!  Our boys keep saying it looks like a hotel!

We added blinds and curtains to the window instead of the foil we had to block the sun out!  Of course, we're famous for strange window treatments!  We did something similar when we lived in Guanajuato.

And since we were on a painting streak...I decided to paint the headboards, doors, and trim an antique white!

Now I need some ideas for decorations!  The wall behind our bed is very large/tall and looks very blank at the present moment!  There are no Hobby Lobby's here  =)  so it would need to be something I could make (reasonably) with limited resources.  Any ideas?


An update on my sister:  after several ups and downs she finally seems to be taking a turn for the better!  Thanks for your continued prayers...they're greatly appreciated

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Capturing December: Day 28 (Fall Review 2013)

Fall 2013 Review

I will actually be posting our year-in-review newsletter here in a few days, but until then, here is the blog version of our fall 2013.

We started off September with a brand new homeschooling year.  Kyle began 3rd grade and Taylor started 1st grade.  This year, instead of me "teaching" everything, we decided to try the abeka dvd's.  We like them very much and our school year seems to be moving along much smoother!

Jacinda turned 1 in September - which I did actually manage to blog about here!  =)

October was a busy and interesting month.  I (Crystal), along with Parker and Jacinda, took a trip back home to PA for a surprise anniversary party for my parents.  They were quite surprised about the party and then were doubly surprised when I walked through the door!  It's a wonder my poor parents aren't totally gray because my sister and I sure do like to surprise them!!

(Jacinda enjoying the plane ride!)

It was also nice to spend time with other family members and friends.

(Trying to hold my wiggly nephew Wyatt for a quick photo!)

While I was gone, Michael was kept busy here in Mexico.  Besides the daily supervision of the boys' schooling and also preparing meals, they held a wedding here at our church in Tapachula in which Michael officiated.

In November, we held our annual camp meeting.  I blogged about that here if you want to read more information and see pictures.

I had a birthday in November too, but it's okay if we just skip right over that!  =)  I still feel young, so I guess it doesn't matter what my numerical age is, right?!

In December, Michael went to Guatemala City to attend the H.I.M. pastor's retreat.  He took along with him two of our men from Tapachula (who are acting as assistant pastors) and also our pastor in Santo Domingo.  Bro. Glenn Reiff was the retreat speaker.  Michael reported that they had a wonderful time together!

Two weekends after the pastor's retreat, Michael made another trip to Guatemala.  This time, he went to TacanĂ¡ to give the special music at their weekend revival.  The Lord helped in a gracious way even though the trip involved some pretty harrowing mountain roads!

And now my blog friends, I think we're all caught up to date on all the happening 'round our place!  whew!  Onward and forward towards the new year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Capturing December: Day 27

So today, I started a new quilt blog!  Yeah, I know...I have a hard enough time keeping up with this one, but I decided I wanted this family/ministry blog to be separate from all my quilting/crafty posts.

Did I mention I'm very excited about this new venture?!  It's really just a small part of my dream to some day own some type of quilt business.

Feel free to click on the picture below to go check it out!  The link will also be in the sidebar for future reference.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Capturing December: Day 26

{ Daily Life }

For most of you, Christmas is over.  Don't you hate how the anticipation of Christmas, which seems to build over several months, ends in one day?  Well, I seem to be running out of "Christmasy" posts anyway, so I'm just going to show you this little creature we found out by our water pump!  Frog legs for dinner anyone?  =)