Tuesday, December 31, 2013

God Is Interested In Me

Psalm 139 

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandeth my thought a far off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 

On this last week of 2013 I have begun to memorize Psalm 139, because in Psalm 1 the scripture says, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."  The best way I know to meditate (think about deeply, consider) on scripture is to have it in my heart and mind (memorized).

I am encouraged by Psalm 139.  A love letter from God himself, that says not only did he create me, but He is interested in everything about me.  This passage will get more challenging, but today I am basking in this wondrous thought,

                                                                God is interested in me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Check out these cuties! 

From the movie Elf, Buddy says: "The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." Jovie (Zooey Deschanel): "Thanks, but I don't sing." Buddy: "Oh, it's easy. It's just like talking, except louder and longer and you move your voice up and down."

I'm not sure if I agree with Buddy the Elf, but I do love our tradition of Christmas caroling, because there really is nothing better than proclaiming that Jesus has come to earth to be the ultimate sacrifice.  

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

I wanted to share another way you can spread Christmas cheer and be God's hands here on earth.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

We had an Unschool Week

Not a huge fan of unschooling, but being a missionary, sometimes you just role with it.

This week I think the kids eked out a small bit of read aloud and read alone...maybe.

We also travelled to Little Rock and they became immigrants of Mexico.  We're going to put that under cultural education and social sciences.  They also read a kid's book in Spanish while we waited at the Mexican Consulate.  We're going to put that under foreign language.

The consulate staff that had helped us, was excited for us and helped us get our picture with our visa stickers. 
 Lena got a long and very productive day of tutoring.  Here's my FB status about her dyslexia.  You can pray for me and her as we continue down the path we started on Friday.  I will have to be her tutor in Mexico.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

English Speaking Church

I love that my children APPRECIATE going to English speaking church in America.

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Passport Country"

Passport country, Third Culture Kids, Culture Shock, Reverse Culture Shock...these are terms I was very unfamiliar with and very unprepared to deal with 4 years ago.  I still feel unprepared to deal with them, but deal with them we must, for starting tomorrow it's "U.S. or bust!"  The U.S. is my kids "passport country", but it is not a place they fully understand how to deal with, it is in many ways a foreign culture to them.  They think it's fun and novel and if you ask them if they miss it, they will tell you they miss FAMILY, not the U.S.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Means Academy: Life as it relates to books this week. {Oct 14-Oct 18}

This week the kids have been able to really relate to a few of the books they have read.  It is fun to see their eyes get big in realization that they can relate to that personally because they have first hand experience.  It makes the books seem to come alive a little bit.

They may not admit it, but even my older children can not resist the charm of Ladybug Girl in the series of books about Lulu and her adventures as LadyBug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis.  You can read it for free at WE GIVE BOOKS!  Haden was delighted when he discovered that Ladybug Girl had planted an avocado tree, just like him.  

Illustration by David Soman for the book Ladybug Girl.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Honk! Honk!

The kids built a car town.  It looks a little like Oaxaca traffic.
You're getting the raw version before I have time to do a lot of processing.  Traffic is beyond crazy in Oaxaca city.  Last night when we were out there was a very busy intersection with a traffic light out, no traffic cop in sight.  Sam had to force his way through the intersection.  Minutes later we saw a motor cycle zip through lines of stopped cars on a busy three lane road only to be hit by a truck pulling into traffic.  He walk away from that one, but his bike was another story.  It didn't look so good.  Several hours later, on the way home, same traffic light, same story. Only more horn honking this time.  I was glad I was not driving.  Have I made my point.  Traffic is crazy.  People routinely run red lights, large buses jump lanes with no signal, taxis cut here and there.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Magnificent Monday

The view from the rooftop tonight.  
 Wow! Normal.  We haven't done normal for a long time.  Aren't Mondays great!  A fresh start.  A new chance to get things started right and we started things off at 6:30 this morning.  We did it all; Sam headed to the church for men's prayer meeting, Bible Institute prep (classes start tomorrow) and even help on some of the construction; while we did our morning routine, personal time with God, breakfast, dishes, laundry and lessons.  No one is even one day behind on their school, have to give most of the credit to the kids and Sam for that one.  We have moved, camped on peoples couches, taken and trip to the U.S., attended 7 weeks of language school and I was gone the whole month of January.  Still they plugged away at everything.  Can't help but be a little bit proud.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

I want so much more for them. by Angie Ellzey

I am very excited to present my very first guest post!  Angie Ellzey and her family are veteran missionaries to the country of Bolivia.  I admire her so much as a wife, mother, missionary and christian.  She is one of those folks I think of if I ever start to feel sorry for myself.  I have watched her smile and go right on praising the Lord through unimaginable difficulties.  When I read these words from her, they echoed my feelings for my children.  What an encouragement she has been to me and I think you will find what she has to say about her hopes for her children sprinkled with wisdom, experience and truth.

I want so much more for them. penned by Angie Ellzey

"I use to say as long as my children serve the Lord, I would be happy. It didn't matter what they did as long as they were faithful to church. 

Well, after all that has happened in the last few years, I can tell you I would not be happy with that! I want so much more for them. I want them to be used in a way I never could. I want them to have victories I never had. I want them to reach people I couldn't reach. I want them to go places I've never been. I want their testimonies to have more of an impact than mine ever could. I want them to love the Lord and His work more than anything. I want them to give God their all.

God has given them the privilege of seeing His grace in ways that some never will. They've seen His mercy and goodness like few can imagine. He has blessed them with the life He has given them. My prayer for my children is that they do more for the cause of Christ than I could ever do!"

 I want them to love the Lord and His work more than anything.

Isn't that beautifully said!  Thank you Angie for those challenging words to help us consider what we want for our children in light of what God wants for our children. 

Angie with her oldest daughter, she has taught her children to love the country and people of Boliva as they have served along side her and even for her in times when her health has not allowed her to do all she would want or need to do.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's In a Name?

During an outdoor Sunday school class "hermana" meaning "sister" suffices as a respectful and appropriate title.

What's in a name?  I'm not really sure exactly, but I know there is much bound up inside a name.  Universally and globally naming of children is taken very seriously.  We show great honor when we give a child a family name.  Our youngest is a name sake to my father and hubby's grandfather.  We have also used Biblical names for our children, a not uncommon practice globally.  In Mexico, everyday of the year is in honor of one "saint" or another and children are often given the name of that particular saint.  I even have several midwife friends who have had children named after them in honor of the service they showed to the family.  My point being, that it seems to be universally consist that names are important and carry a great deal of significance.

Which brings me to my name, which my parents so lovingly and thoughtful gave to their tiny new one more than 30 years age.  Carie.  Carie with one "r".  Which affectionately in the English languages roles easily off peoples tongues in various forms.  For my mother in a time before I can remember it was "Carie Weewee", a nod to the fact I was quite small and maybe there were numerous cloth diapers wrapped up in the reference also.  I don't know, but mom still recalls it humorously and affectionately.  My friends called me simply "Care" and those who knew me better "Care Bear".  Knick names too have significance and everyone likes a good and fitting play on words.

And thus we come to present day, where mostly I am known as "mom", a name I like very much.  But where also I am a missionary in a foreign country.  As many of your may know, names not only have great significance, but they also vary greatly from culture to culture and language to language.  There are sounds in the Spanish language we do not have in English and visa-versa.  You know that moment when someone from another culture and language introduces themselves and you panic inside because it is important to learn and know the names of others, but that space where their name was sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher?  That is the look I get when I introduce myself to most Mexicans.  Turns out my name small five letter, two-syllable name has several sounds completely foreign to the Spanish speakers ear and tongue!  Oh, but it gets better, when spoken with a "Spanish accent" it sounds like the word for cavity!  I have been seriously considering introducing myself as "cariƱo", which is the Spanish word for "love, affection".

Chime in missionary wives.  What has been your experience with names in your culture?  And maybe some of you that have experience with Spanish, have some advice on this topic.  America has become quite the cultural mix, have any of you living in the US had experience with this?