Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Sunday

Yesterday at both of our churches, we gave a little presentation telling the Christmas story from different Biblical characters points of view.  While most evangelicals from here are not used to any type of drama or special program, our people seemed to really enjoy it!  It was also a new experience for those who participated and had speaking parts.

The cast (from top left):  Sonia - as the innkeeper's wife, Mario - as a shepherd, Humberto - as Joseph  (from bottom left)  Paulita - the innkeeper's daughter, Kevin - a shepherd, Kyle - a shepherd, and Edith - as Mary looks like the shepherds were getting tired!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From our home to yours...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Around the House

 I thought I'd share a few "christmasy" things from around our house!

This year, I decided to try my hand at making a few Christmas ornaments that I had seen while browsing blog land and Pinterest.

I love these simple jute balls.  I managed to find some jute at the Walmart down here, but it only came in green.  So I bought some red spray paint, and there you go!  Christmas ornaments to match my country primitive decor.  I followed this blog tutorial here.

And then I made some primitive fabric stars.  I simply cut fabric in the shape of a star, hand stitched two pieces together, stuffed them, and then popped a button on them.  Again, very simple.  But I like them!

And here's a look at our "new" cabinets.  Depending on the lighting, the color varies between a dark blue and black.  I still have a few finishing touches to do yet, but I'm happy with how they turned out!  And I'm especially happy to have the upper cabinets to put my spices, dishes, and drinking glasses in!

I trust y'all will have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Party

We had two families from church over last night for a little Christmas party!  It was a lot of fun!

On the menu:
Cocktail Meatballs
Tortilla Twirls
Italian Pasta Salad
Barbeque Chicken Pizza
Cheeseball and crackers
Ginger Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Fruit Punch

Isn't Huberto and Edith's baby so cute?

And then...we taught our friends how to play Dutch Blitz!!!  They caught on very quickly, and we had a "vonderful goot" time together!  I had Kyle take a few please excuse the blurriness!

Even though we're not able to be with our family and friends in the U.S. this year, we are so thankful for our friends here in Mexico!  Friends are a "vonderful goot" thing too, eh?  =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

What I've been working on...

I hope to reveal the finished product soon.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our First Year

As of Dec. 14th, we have officially been in southern Mexico for a year (not counting the 2 months we were here in 2010)!  We can hardly believe how fast the time has flown!  So...this calls for a celebration, right?  That's what we thought!  So yesterday we headed out to our favorite restaurant on the beach and also took some new family pics.

We are excited to see how the Lord is going to help us in this coming year.  Our churches here have been going through some low times, but we're trusting in God to bring the victory, to see new people saved, and to lead believers in obedience and truth.

Monday, December 5, 2011

H.I.M. Hispanic Pastor's Retreat 2011

Thank the Lord for his traveling protection on us on our recent trip to Guatemala City for the annual pastor's retreat. We feel that the Lord really helped in the sessions and it was a good time for all of us to be together, to learn and grow, and be encouraged!

And besides the fact that we got a little lost in the city trying to find our way to the retreat center, and we got stopped by the police, it was a good trip (although the roads were VERY bumpy!)...and we got to eat at a McDonald's once we arrived in the city! Then after that, we were able to employ the help of a kind taxi driver to help us find our destination.

The retreat center had a little chapel - this is where we held the sessions each day. Bro. Steven Hight was the special speaker.

Michael was asked to speak in one of the sessions on, "Music in the Life and Ministry of the Apostle Paul." It is a much needed topic for our churches, and he did a fabulous job presenting his material (complete with animated motions and singing excerpts!!!!!!!!!!!!)

The retreat center had a nice little dining room. The food was pretty good too! Especially the one night we had Little Ceaser's Pizza!!!! =)

Below is a picture of our Hispanic Pastors who were able to attend the retreat. We also took pics of the whole group of us, but I'll have to get a copy from someone else. My copy is obviously missing me, and only half the crowd was looking at me! Oh well!

Above (from left to right):
Pastor Abel from Salamanca, MX
Missionary/Pastor Eric Kuhns from Tegucigalpa, Hondurus
Pastor Javier from Motozintla, MX
Pastor Cruz from TacanĂ¡, Guatemala
Pastor René from Tajumulco, Guatemala
Missionary/Pastor Michael Mason from Tapachula, MX

And, it was a wonderful privilege to be able to spend time last week with Eric and Hannah Kuhns and family! We had some great conversations and great laughs! =) I'm also hoping they will post other pictures of the retreat on their blog, since for whatever reason, I really didn't take too many pics!

On Thursday afternoon, there were no sessions scheduled, so the whole crew of us loaded up into Eric's 4Runner and our Sequoia and we made our way to the zoo. I think we took a few wrong turns along the way, since we drove down a road or two the wrong way...but we made it! It was actually a very nice zoo - and they even had a dairy cow to remind us of home in PA! lol

These youngsters really enjoyed hanging out together last week! There was lots of running, hollering, playing games, and even begging the cooks for extra food... =)

Kyle is 6, Joseph K. is 5, and Taylor is 4!

And on our way home, we were able to stop at a Taco Bell! Not that it would be our favorite resteraunt or anything, but it's something we haven't had for a year, and so it was kind of something was good, too! (please excuse the blurry cell phone pic!)

All in all, a very good retreat, although we're glad to be back home! Why? Because it was COLD! Okay, so really, it was only upper 50's at night and low 70's during the day, but us "tapachultecans," we pretty much froze!!! We're not quite used to anything other than HOT - all the time! None of us had any jackets with us either, so we were very glad for the blankets that were provided! I think we're all thawed out now, so we're good to go!! =)

Thanks for your prayers for us and your interest in our trip!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And................I'm still behind in my posts. Unfortunately. Because I really wish I wasn't. But we've been pretty busy recently, and it's about to get busier.

So that being said, we leave tomorrow on a trip to Guatemala City for the H.I.M. Hispanic Pastor's Retreat. Could you please remember us in prayer? Our plans are to return home on Friday. And hopefully when I get back, I'll do my best to get caught up on all the recent happenings that I'm needing to post about!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Honey Wheat Bread

When I make homemade bread, I typically gravitate towards white bread. I like the taste and look of the loaf better. Sometimes though, I like to experiment with different types of bread/ingredients. Such is the case with this loaf. I had seen a recipe online that looked like it might be good, so I experimented with different measurements/ingredients until I found something I actually liked. I hope you will enjoy it too!

Honey Wheat Bread
(Mixed on the dough/pasta setting of my
bread machine, then shaped and baked in the oven.)

1/3 cup of warm water
3/4 cup of milk
2 Tbsp. of honey
2 Tbsp. of melted shortening

1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. of yeast

Place all the ingredients in your bread machine as recommended by the manufacturer. Press start, and let it do it's thing! During the kneading process, I typically add about 4 Tbsp. of all purpose flour to get the proper texture.

Once the dough cycle is complete (approximately 1-1/2 hrs. for my machine), I place the dough on a lightly floured surface, knead it a few times, and then shape it. I place it in a well greased bread loaf pan, sprinkle some rolled oats on top, then allow it to rise for 30-40 mins. Then I bake it in a pre-heated 350* oven for 30 minutes. Pull it out of the oven, remove the loaf from the pan, brush some melted butter on the top, then allow it to cool. After that, slice it, butter it, then EAT it! Yum!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our home to yours, we trust that y'all have had a special thanksgiving today and were able to share it with family and friends!

I decorated the table and buffet for Thanksgiving, and also prepared a special meal for us.

We enjoyed a smoked loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, filling (or stuffing/dressing to you other folks!), green beans, homemade bread, and an apple pie! Yummy!

All ready to eat!

Now we're all stuffed from the meal! And, I think we'll be enjoying the leftovers over the next few days!

Tomorrow, I'll try to post my homemade bread recipe.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

And before this day ends, let's each try to remember to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving in our hearts, the whole year 'round!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Until Next Time...

It was one of those "get up bright and early" kind of mornings! We were sad to say our good bye's as we took Mom, Dad, and Pap back to the airport, but we were glad to have had a wonderful time together while they were here.

Now, it's back to work (as if you ever really stop when you're in ministry)! We've got Thanksgiving to look forward to this week, as well as packing for our trip to Guatemala next week.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Yesterday, we were able to spend some time relaxing together. We also checked out the large indoor market here, drove out to the border of Guatemala, then later on, I put up the Christmas tree while Mom and Dad wrapped gifts.

All of those things that happened yesterday, brings us to today! We started the morning by eating a delicious french toast casserole, then we read the Christmas story and opened up Christmas gifts that Mom and Dad had brought with them. The boys were all excited, of course!

Parker was enjoying himself by piling his gifts on top of each other!

Later on this afternoon, my Dad and I put up some cabinets! I finally have a place to put my dishes and glasses, etc... Yay! Now, I just need to get them (the cabinets!) painted some time soon! My plans are to paint them an antique black that will match my desk. is also my 30th birthday! It was so nice to be able to celebrate it with my Mom and Dad and Pap! And we all really enjoyed Dad's chocolate/peanut butter cake!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Fun Thursday

Wow! We finally got the play house/swing set completed this morning! It looks so nice and the boys are lovin' it! Thanks so much for your help, Dad!

Since we completed that project, we decided to head down to the beach for the rest of the day! Our boys enjoyed splashing in some pools, while Mom and Dad enjoyed getting their feet wet in the Pacific!

Then we drove a few miles to our favorite restaurant along the beach. There's always a beautiful view at sunset!

I just love this pic! The beautiful blue, fading sky with the lighted palapas along the shoreline.

And we just had to get a pic of Mom with her delicious shrimp cocktail!

It was an enjoyable day! I wonder what we'll do tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Little by little, we're making progress with the swingset. Here, the boys are sitting on the roof.

Pap taking a break from the heat.

Tuesday p.m. - The framework was completed, and it was set up this morning.

Dad cutting boards this morning.

The frame and roof is to put the floor and side boards on.

Taylor loves to help!

Pap even climbed up to help!

Now we're getting somewhere!!
(And yes, sometimes the boys like wearing their pajamas all day!)

And before we quit for the day, let's add the sliding board!
Parker even enjoyed a slippery ride!

We're hoping tomorrow to be able and finish the whole swing set! Yay!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Starting a New Project

We started a little, or should I say a large, project today! Last year for Christmas, we, along with family, had purchased a swing set kit as part of the boys' Christmas gift. But, seeing as we're not so carpentry minded, we decided my Dad's visit was the perfect time to build it!

The only problem? We needed to cut down a tree in our backyard! We were not able to find a chainsaw to use, so we started with a reciprocating saw, and then moved on to a simple garden/tree hand saw.

At this point, we all were helping to saw through the stump and we each took turns so that none of us would pass out in the heat! There was definitely a lot of sweat involved.

Finally, after much sawing, pushing, and a few kung fu (lol) moves, we finally had a stump without the tree attached!!

Now, we can start the actual building process. Stay tuned!