Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Early Summer Bullets

Wow! Can't believe it's been nearly a year since I posted on this blog!

The summer of 2011 is well under way, so I may backtrack just as an update to what's been going on with us. The best way to do this is with bullets and pictures!

  • Melynda received her Master's Degree in Social Work in May. Her specialization was The Care of Vulnerable Children. She will continue in the fall with her second Master's degree in the dual degree program at Baylor University/Truett Seminary.

  • Both Tater and Connor finished their year of preschool at Sierra Vista. They had the cutest end-of-year program which was dedicated to our military. Many of the kids at SV have at least one parent serving in the armed forces and some are deployed.  
  • The following week, Tater had his Preschool Graduation program....he will be starting Kindergarten in the fall!  Connor still has another year, thank goodness, since his birthday is in November. They just seem to grow up so fast!! This pic is with his teacher, Mrs. Allen, who was such an awesome teacher and friend! Then, of course a pic with Nana!
  • In early June, Kerry and I took a few days and went to Colorado. It was great to enjoy the coolness of the mountains and see snow still lying around in the shady areas and on the mountaintops. We did some fun things including ziplining back and forth over a canyon, riding in a CREW ATV up the side of a mountain, and enjoying steak and lobster on the Georgetown Loop Dinner Train. We also got to see family while there....my cousin, Cindy and two of her girls, and Kerry's cousin, Richard.

  • And speaking of growing up too fast, Carter Chance, our youngest grandchild until Baby Sleeper arrives in November, turned TWO on June 1st, and because everyone was pretty scattered, we had a little family celebration on the 11th.  Carter loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, especially Toodles, the little character with special tools each episode to help Mickey and his friends. Thus, his Toodles cake..... He got oodles of new toys, of course, but one of his favorite gifts was the musical card we gave him....singing Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
  • We went to Plano to see Annaliese's first dance recital, "When I Grow Up". Her class were the 'bakers' and danced to "Do You Know the Muffin Man".

  • The summer promises to be a busy one, as usual.
    • Girls weekend with my girls.....special mother/daughter fun!
    • 5th West Family Summer Christmas where my family celebrates Christmas in the summertime
    • Teaching a Cupcake Decorating class at church....not sure how I got talked in to this one!
    • Vacation Bible School in July
    • Mission trip to Venezuela at the end of July through the 8th of August....God is doing some awesome things in preparation for our time there!
    • And of course lots of family time with the kids and grandkids as summer schedules allow it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday in Merida, Venezuela

What a glorious Sunday morning in Merida, Venezuela! Our group arrived safe and sound yesterday to the airport in El Vigia. The two travel days were long, not so much from traveling as from sitting and waiting for the next flight. Our three friends from Tennessee missed a flight and ended up arriving a day later than everyone else. There were many opportunities for witnessing on the planes and sitting in airports, and by the time we got to Caracas Friday night, at least 2 new souls had become believers.

On Saturday, Wes and Wayne (from New Mexico) had the early flight from Caracas to El Vigia, where someone was supposed to pick them up and take them to Mucachies. No one ever came to get them, so Wayne took the lead and began witnessing to people in his broken Spanish. Wes soon joined him and spoke to many people, leading nearly 10 to Christ. Finally, a young man who spoke English showed up and asked if they were with the Texas Baptist. He joined them and they continue to share Christ until our later flight arrived in the afternoon.

From the airport in El Vigia, our group split up. Tom and Murf are working with Pastor Cesar in El Vigia, Sherryl and De are working with another church in El Vigia (which, I think, is a mission of Pastor Cesar's church). Also, Bobby and Ross are working with a young pastor in El Vigia.  The rest of us loaded up and drove a little more than an hour up the mountain to Merida where our friend Ladimiro lives. His wife, Sonia, and their church had prepared a wonderful meal for us when we arrived.....arrepas!! and cheeses and ham....tradiditional Venezuelan food. Following the meal our smaller group split up once again with G. I. and Sandy going to work in the First Baptist Church in Merida, and Kerry & I working with Ladimiro and Sonia in their church. We are also staying in their home which is a real treat for us! Buck and Mary, Wayne and Wes traveled on a little further up the mountain to Mucachies where they will work with a couple of churches there.

So from here on, I can only report what happens here in Merida. First let me explain...we are ALL in the STATE of Merida.....Kerry and I, G.I, and Sandy are in the CITY of Merida. Sort of like being in New York, New York!  I may occasionally get a report from one of the other groups, and I will pass it on.

This morning we have spent a leisurely morning with Ladimiro and Sonia, sharing and talking with them about many things.  They are such wonderful people and love the Lord so much and are so in tune with His will. And they have such a passion for their fellow Venezuelans. Their church meets in the afternoon around 4:00, so we will be participating in that...Kerry will be preaching.

Ladimiro has set up appointments with several people for us to meet with during the week. Ladimiro and Sonia work with professional people here in  Merida, and they are very difficult to reach for Christ. Kerry will be leading a couple of seminars, also, on Keys to Success and Finances. We will also be evangelizing at the bus station and in other areas of the city during the week. I'm not exactly sure of what the Lord has for me specifically, but I am open to whatever He brings my way.

Please continue to pray for all of our teams, not just our San Angelo team, but all of the teams across this area of Venezuela made up of Texans, other North Americans, and Venezuelans!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Passion for the People

Venezuela....a country which has pulled us into its embrace over the last 5 years. On our first trip to Puerto Ayacucho 5 years ago, God placed a passion in our hearts to work with the people of Venezuela. He has given the gift of friends there. He has given the gift of opportunity there. We have visited and ministered in numerous places, and tomorrow we have the opportunity to see yet another beautiful spot in Venezuela.

As a part of a partnership mission between the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Venezuelan Baptist Convention, nearly a hundred North Americans (mostly Texans) will make their way southward to the land of mountains and waterfalls, flatlands and banana trees, peacock bass and piranhas. We will be serving in four different states...Merida, Barinas, Portaguesa, and Trujillo.

Our team, made up of 12 from San Angelo, 3 from Tennessee, and 2 from New Mexico, will be in the state of Merida, spread out over three cities....El Vigia, Merida, and Mucuchies. Kerry and I will be in Merida, home of our good friend and interpreter, Ladimiro. Kerry will lead seminars on "Success" and "Finances" as well as do some preaching. I will be involved in personal visitation and witnessing and will probably sing at the worship services. We are anxious to see the opportunities the Lord gives us while we are there.

The various teams will be leaving throughout the day tomorrow, Aug 6, and we will return home on Monday, Aug 16. Please pray for us. Pray for open hearts in the people we meet. Pray for good health for the team members. Pray for safe travel both to and from the US as well as within the country of Venezuela. We are asking God for 10,000 souls to be saved and 100 new churches to be started.  We cannot do what the Lord has for us to do THERE without the prayers of those of you who are praying HERE.

Now, I must go and finish packing. Four o'clock in the morning will come very soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carter Loves.....

Spending thirty-six hours with Carter Chance....what a thrill! We have not gotten to spend a lot of one-on-one (uh...I guess that would be two-on-one) time with Carter, but thanks to a conference Bill needed to attend in Houston, we got the opportunity to do just that.  He & Carey took the older two boys and they had a mini-vacation, taking in an Astros game and an awesome children's museum.  Carter came to stay with Nana & Grandpa.  And oh, what a delight he is!!!  This is what we discovered.....

CARTER LOVES TO BE OUTSIDE!  Both evenings we took him outside and he crawled all over the place! He especially seemed to like the breeze blowing in his face.

CARTER LOVES MEALTIME!  Well, we already knew this, but he got really upset with me when the oatmeal was all gone! Of course, Nana gave in and mixed up a little bit more....

CARTER LOVES TO PLAY PAT-A-CAKE!  He will watch you do it, he will let you 'help' him do it, he will do by himself, and he'll grab your hands and 'help' you do it!

CARTER LOVES HIS BATHTIME!  He just started squealing when I started running the bath water; started pulling his shirt off over his head almost before I had the first arm out; and he just crawled around in circles in our big tub splashing and squealing!

CARTER LOVES 'DRUMMING'!  A toy, an empty juice bottle, a sock freed from the foot....they all become a drumstick to beat on whatever is handy!

CARTER LOVES TO DANCE!  He does the cutest little shake of his head that has been dubbed the 'Carter Chance Baby Dance'....and he was 'dancing' and shaking like crazy to the music at Logan's Roadhouse!

CARTER LOVES HIS GRANDPA AND NANA!  And we love him! We had such a fun time with Carter Chance!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grandkids, Birthdays, and Cakes!

We are in the midst of the birthday-season for the grandkids! Aidan turned 6 in February, Tater celebrated his 4th birthday in March, and April holds birthdays for both Annaliese and Jordan. Annaliese just turned 3 and Jordan will be 5 in a couple of weeks!

Keeping with the tradition of making birthday cakes for the grandkids, I made Star Wars TIE Fighter cupcakes for young Jedi Aidan, one for each party guest. The theme of his party was Legos Star Wars,
so I also had his name built out of Legos for the center of the display.

Tater's party theme was Spiderman, so I crafted a 3-D Spiderman. His party was at the park on a very windy day, and Spidey just about lost his head! I also made cupcakes for each of the kids.
Cupcakes are just so much easier for a kid's party....especially when the wind in blowing!!

It came as no surprise when I learned that Annaliese would have a Princess Party!
Her party was held at Build-A-Bear in the Stonebriar Mall in Frisco with cake afterward in the food court!
One princess was not enough....had to have three...with cupcakes for everyone!

I will not be able to go to Jordan's birthday party in Lewisville, but we are having a small family party for him when he comes to visit in a couple of weeks.  I'll post a couple of pictures then!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homemade Pizza

A great way to end a crazy week.....have three of the grandsons over! Of course, Tater is here everyday, but he really gets excited when 'his cousins' come over and play! Friday morning, Connor came over, and the two of them had such a great time! First activity for the day, PLAY-DOH!  I love the guy who invented Play-Doh!

Next on the schedule was playing Wii....oh my!  Two 3-yr-olds + MarioKart = great morning entertainment!  It took them about 10 minutes to finish one race!!  But they loved it and had great fun and that's all that matters!

At 12:00 we went and picked up Caleb at school....let the fun begin! While Tater and Connor have fun together, adding Caleb to the mix takes it to a whole new level! (Word of explanation here: It was Jammie Day at school, so yes, Caleb is wearing his jammies in some of the following pics!)

Homemade pizzas were on the menu for the day.  I made the dough, divided it into four balls, and gave each of the boys one...and one for me!. With a little help from Nana, we got the dough rolled out into circles.....somewhat. Then each of the boys spooned and spread their sauce and added cheese while Nana sliced up some ham & turkey...sorry, all out of pepperoni and sausage! Then more cheese on top!

Then into the oven they went.  What shall we do while we wait?  Eat more cheese, of course!!!

The pizza turned out pretty good! The boys were surprised, I think! I know they had a fun time, and it is definitely a do-again project!

After naptime, it was time for some more Wii!  Best entertainment of all, watching two 3-yr-olds and a 6-yr-old playing Wii....especially boxing!!  First, though, Caleb & Tater played Carnival Games while Connor was still napping.  Then bowling.  Couldn't get a picture of the boxing....would've been just a blur!

What a fun day!!  Made this Nana one happy lady!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So Maybe Not Every Day

Maybe the goal of doing a blog post every day was a little over-achieving. Maybe I don't need to post if nothing of consequence happens. Maybe I don't need to write something down just to be writing something down. Maybe I get busy some days and don't have time to write. Maybe I'm tired some evenings and just don't want to do blog. Maybe sometimes I just forget!

So I'm going to take the stress off myself. I've been too hard on myself. I know no one else really cares whether I post every day or not, but I said I was going to, so I've felt bad when I didn't.  That's exactly why I don't make new year's resolutions! 

But I do promise to try to be better about posting. I promise myself to at least try.  And when I have something to write about, I'll write about it! And if I don't have time to write about it the day it happens, I've figured out how to change the date on the post!!

So there!