Tuesday, May 31, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ] and a Survey

Well, it seems I'm having difficulty coming up with
posts. Therefore, please take a moment and take the survey over on the sidebar of the blog.

• • • • • • • • • •

Now for today, let me show you something I'm extremely thankful for!

Yep, it's a Walmart! And it's less than a mile from my house, too!

No, it doesn't have everything that our stateside Walmarts would have, but it's a nice and clean shopping experience and most things are cheaper than the other supermarkets in town. They carry mostly Mexican brand items and also Great Value products that are made/marketed for Mexico. Every once in awhile, you'll find something they've imported from the States, and that always makes me smile!

Curious as to what they carry or don't carry? Leave me a comment and I'll post the answer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

Wow! You just never know what you're going to see around here! I found this little guy in my kitchen. I must say, he looked kind of strange. Although you can't see it in the picture, he had more of a translucent body with red legs! Every time I tried to get an up-close picture of him, he would hop away. Oh well. And one would think that we should soon be done with seeing new creatures around here...!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Church Progress

Praise the Lord! Yesterday we were able to have church in our newly renovated rooms! What a blessing it was to feel like everyone actually had a place to sit! I think we had about 34 people in attendance...now we need to go buy more chairs!!

Our people even had time on Saturday to do a quick paint job on the walls of the newly acquired room so it would match our old room! And the windows you see on the left, are always opened during service which provided a wonderful fresh breeze so we all weren't stifling like we did in the previous close quarters.

We're so thankful for all the progress, both physcial and spiritual, that is being made in our Tapachula Church. God is faithful and good!

To read more and see "the before" pictures, follow The Tapachula Project link.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Taylor's 4th Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Taylor's birthday! We invited some friends from church, and we had a great time together! Below you'll find lots of pictures from our day.

Let me just start with the cake explanations. Over the last several years, it seems like my cake decorating abilities keep flying out the window! I'm always having last minute problems. So this year, instead of my usual procrastination, I thought I'd plan ahead and maybe things would work out better! I had wanted to do a Curious George theme of sorts, so I decided to try my hand at making a fondant monkey and palm tree. I made them on Thursday.

Here's my (monkey ?).

Here's the leaves for the palm tree.
And what I didn't realize, was the fondant actually needed to dry more than the three days I allowed. My palm tree was too thick and too tall and would not stand up on it's own. The monkey started to squish in on itself. I had put floral wire in the leaves, and they kept coming out and breaking the leaves. Now what? And to top it all off, Kyle had taken a big chunk out of one of the cooling cakes to eat! See, I have the greatest "luck" with my cakes!

My solution was to cut down the palm tree several times and then "plant" in in the hole of the one cake and then I patched all around it. I kind of just stuck the leaves that were still whole on the top, and then prayed that it would stand up for awhile. And it did - at least for about an hour and a half. I finished it not too long before the party was to start at 2:00, but our guests didn't all arrive until about 3:30...yep, and that's when the tree fell down! Good thing I took pictures right away!

And should I mention, that I barely had enough powdered sugar to make a batch and a half of icing? But that I really could have used two batches to completely decorate the cake? Either way, it was, what it ended up being!

Here's the birthday boy...before a minor accident! Some of the kids were playing ball outside, and Taylor got whacked either with a hard ball or wooden bat! He got a huge goose egg on his head!! He ended up being okay, and it just added to the excitement of the day!

Our decorated front porch. Don't ya just love my porch furniture? Hmmm...maybe I should spray paint it (the chair, that is) so it looks a little more original?!

Cake and gift table with bunting flags I made to hang on the wall.

Taylor with his #4 piñata.

All the kids who came to the party.

Getting ready to take a swing!

Since I was trying for a monkey theme, we thought we'd have a monkey piñata made. Well, I hate to say it, but it looked more like a devil monkey!

Here's some of the kids receiving their favor bag. It's tradition here to give a bag of goodies, or a small candy treat to all the kids who come to your party. Our favors had a small frisbee, water gun, play dough, and some m&m's in them.

Taylor sniffing his cake while his Mexican friends sang a birthday song to him.
(Notice the palm tree no longer shades the poor little monkey!) =)

All in all, we had a great day with lots of fun with friends! Taylor also got lots of gifts he enjoyed opening later while two sets of grandparents watched online through Skype.

(And maybe I should start planning now for Kyle's birthday in July so that maybe I won't have so many unexpected problems that seem to plague me and birthday cakes/parties!!!!!!!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Tapachula Project

We are so excited how the Lord has been helping us here in our Tapachula church! With new converts being added to our little congregation, our attendance has been steadily increasing! The only unfortunate thing in this situation, is that we don't have the space to accommodate all the people.

We currently have been renting a small room in the area called "5 de Febrero." This is an ideal location for us right now, so we've been looking in the general area for a new place to rent.

After much prayer and discussion (and not finding many affordable options), we decided to rent the room that is attached to our current room and then knock the wall down between them.

This new addition will allow us to spread out and breath a little easier and it also has a bathroom attached (which we didn't have before).

Yesterday - progress began.

We are excited to see how the Lord will continue to lead us as a Church. Maybe someday, we'll even have a place/property to call our own! But until then, we'll be inviting even more people so we can fill up all this new space!

Stay tuned to The Tapachula Project for more details and pictures...as you can see, we have a lot of painting to do to kind of match the rooms up! =)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Birthday Time Again!

Today we are wishing Taylor Scott
a very Happy Birthday!!!!!

As we all say every year and with every child, where does the time fly? 4 years ago our home was once again blessed with a tiny baby boy who filled our hearts with joy. He really was the best little baby, and made no fuss at all while Mommy and Daddy were packing, sorting, and preparing to move to Mexico. Today, we can hardly keep up with him! He is very energetic and loves to get into everything! He's also very smart and even ornery at times - which leads to many laughable moments! We thank God for Taylor and love him dearly!

We will actually be celebrating his birthday on Saturday. We've invited some friends from church and are planning a little party complete with a piñata! And if you're friends with me on facebook, head on over to my wall to check out what I've been up to in regards to decorating his cake!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Beautiful Day in the Park

I just have to share some cute kid pictures! Yesterday was a beeauuutiful day (and I might add - a wonderful change from last week), so while the kids went with Daddy across the road to the park, I got out my little camera and started snapping pictures!

This is my absolute fav!! Hands down. This picture is straight out of the camera with no editing. How adorable can you get? :)

Parker was enjoying test driving this little airplane scooter thing.

And then there's Taylor. It was hard trying to catch him being still - he's always on the go checking out anything and everything!!

And now to Kyle. He's the baseball fanatic. He loves to listen, watch, and then play baseball all the time. He's his own team, really. He announces, pitches, hits, catches, and runs the bases...and yeah, this happens in the house with a plastic bat and nerf ball too! Needless to say, there's been a few items that are repeatedly knocked off of end stands! :)

And you know what? I just can't help but love these boys of mine!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

We went to a birthday party last Saturday, and I thought I'd take a short video clip of Kyle hitting one of the piñatas and then of all the kids as they gathered around to snatch the candy. They also got showered with confetti! What fun! The Mexican kids here sure do love birthday parties! (Speaking of which, Taylor has one coming up soon too...!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

There are days, like today, and like the past few days, where living is simply a survival of the fittest. Or so it seems. I'm sure it's not really true, but sometimes it sure feels like it! It's on days like today, when your thermometer reads this...

...and your computer says the real feel is in the 100's, that (besides melting) you rely on a few essential items to get you through the day.

Thank the Lord for ice cubes!
We go through about 3 trays a day.

And those ice cubes sure do taste good in some cold, mexican coke!

If possible, it helps to have a fan blowing on you while you work.

And then the best part of the day. After losing a few pounds in sweat, you can retreat to your air-conditioned bedroom...

...for an afternoon siesta!
How refreshing!

Hmmm...it looks like Minka likes siestas too!

And so, we're wishfully looking towards the heavens in hopes that the rainy season will decide to return from wherever it took a vacation to...

... and meanwhile, we'll continue working (aka: surviving, at times) and dream of the frozen tundra in Iceland... =)
[photo courtesy of 'bpwillet' at virtualtourist.com]

And that my friends, is just a glimpse into one day in the story of our lives. Actually, we have many different kinds of days, but I thought for today, I'd just share the hot and humid version!

(Disclaimer: there was also work accomplished today. We home-schooled, did laundry, cooked meals, washed dishes, took trash to the dumpster, Michael met with some people about church business, etc, etc...)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

¡Feliz dia de las madres!

Translated, "Happy Mother's Day!" Actually, here in Mexico they always celebrate mother's day on May 10th - no matter what day that may fall on. But as a church, we decided to go ahead and celebrate it today.

In preparation for this special day, I made 14 "purse styled" gift bags and then filled them with a kitchen dish towel, antibacterial hand gel, and a snickers bar.

We had also encouraged all of our regular church attendees to invite their mothers. What we never planned on, was that while two of their mothers came, so did almost everyone else who we've ever invited! Yep, it was bound to happen - the day they all decided to show up at church at one time! Actually, it was very exciting...(and a little hot and squished in our tiny little church room)! We had a record breaking attendance of 43!!

The adults listening to the sermon...

...while the kids are in Sunday School.

Fellowship after church.

And here's me with the little ones who call me "Mom."

So happy that God has blessed me with these precious treasures.
Life is certainly not boring in this household of ALL boys
(and that includes the big one too)!! =)

Happy Mother's Day!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

Today's "Just a Glimpse" is actually the story from Michael's recent weekend trip to Guatemala. And trust me, you'll want to read the whole thing! Oh, and one other thing...you know I mentioned in my last post about reminding a certain someone to take pictures? Well, he didn't...but thankfully, the pastor took a couple and sent them our way! =)


Dear Friends, Family, and Prayer Warriors,

I want to say a great big thank you to those of you who were praying for me this past weekend. We could definitely feel the prayers of God's people. As I go on trips like this, I often think of Psalms 91. Truly, "He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust."

As I left on Friday, it seemed that everything was going wrong. After leaving the house, I had to return twice for things that I had forgotten. In the midst of returning, I got stopped by Border Police and I began to wonder how this trip was going to go.

After picking up several brothers in Santo Domingo who were going with me, we proceeded to the border. Two and a half hours later after filling out a bunch of paperwork and having to see a Guatemalan lawyer, we finally had everything in order and were ready to continue on our way.

The five hour trip went by rather quickly and without incident, and before we knew it, we were in the city of Tacaná. Not long after driving into the city, I went to stop and quickly realized that I had NO BRAKES!!! Thankfully, we were on a flat stretch, so I quickly put it into a lower gear to slow us down. After this, we proceeded down several VERY steep streets with trucks, motorcycles, and people all around us with pretty much no brakes at all. As we arrived at the last street, which was also going downhill, I used the emergency brake to stop us. Somehow God helped us to make it safely to the house of our pastor Cruz Perez.

We were very grateful for God's blessings to us throughout the day. We had just traveled on tremendously high mountain roads with huge curves all day long! Truly God was with us.

On Saturday we began the youth convention, and God helped as I preached three different times. The presence of the Holy Spirit was with us in every service in a special way and we had several seekers at the altar throughout the day on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Pastor Cruz called a friend/relative of his that is studying to be a mechanic to come and look at my truck. He told me that the brakes evidently just heated up and now they were smooth. He took all of the brakes off and roughed them up so that they would work again. I really don't know anything about mechanics, so I took his word for it.

On Sunday morning I preached and once again the Holy Spirit came in a tremendous way in this service. During the message a drunk man came and stood in the door and listened and several form the outside also showed interest. At the close of the service I gave an altar call and two brand new people accepted Christ! It was an exciting day!

Sunday afternoon after eating a delicious lunch, we tested the brakes and they felt like they were working fine so we decided to make our way back to Tapachula.

It was about two hours into the trip when I began to hear a tat-tat-tat-tat-tat sound near the front wheels and wondered what it was. It seemed to me like it was worse on the curves. And we were going around LOTS of them! Finally, I stopped to check it out. When I checked the front drivers tire, I was able to move every single lug nut with just my fingers! Evidently our mechanic friend forgot to tighten them up. We had just ridden close to two hours on mountainous, curvy roads with a tire about ready to fall off! There is no doubt that God had sent His angel to hold that tire on for us!

We proceeded without further incident (other than getting lost in Malacatán, Guatemala which can be dangerous at night) and arrived in Tapachula thanking and praising God for His protection on us, but most of all for victories won.

Once again, thank you for your faithfulness in remembering us in prayer. May God richly bless you!

Yours for the Kingdom,

Rev. Michael Mason