Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter pics

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Underwater swimming

Here's from our new camera!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mexico City and other pics

Once again

We just got back from Mexico City, and now that we are back all our transportation is gone because the summer short teams are coming in and using the church's vehicles. that means back to square one with nothing to do for me and most of my new friends are pretty busy for the next couple of weeks. Anyway, yesterday the kids were at the house most of the day, and today nothing worked out and I just decided that if they or I NEEDED somewhere to go, then God would provide it. So I decided to walk down to the store, and long story short met this lady who speaks English in the checkout line who has an 8, 4 and 1 year old and said that she wanted to give me her phone number because she lives in the neighborhood and knows that moms always need something to do. I told her I didn't have a car and she said she would come pick me up, and that she would be expecting my phone call. I told her not to worry! Why do I get down when I know that He will fill my days here with what we need?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Joy comes in the morning

I mentioned the other day about God ordering all this so perfectly but couldn't really share at the point. What I meant was that I was supposed to have an appointment the week before but it didn't work out, and I was frustrated. Well, if it had, everything would have been fine (and I would have seen a live baby which would have been more painful) and then I just would have started bleeding, maybe even this weekend when everyone was gone for a retreat except me, or when we were in Mexico City this coming week, who knows. I can't imagine how much more traumatic it would have been to have all the fear of not knowing what was really going on, going to the ER, having to manage the kids spur of the moment in the midst of all that, or even worse going through all that when we were traveling somewhere in a different city. As I sat at the doctor's office, it was all so sweet to me how He unfolded it all.

I can not begin to tell you how painful the day of the D&C was. It started by having to leave the house telling Bailey about the baby because she got up much earlier than planned. She was sad but generally took it well, we told her that the baby was sick and had died and that we had to go to the doctor so they could give it to Jesus and that He would be watching over it from now on and that the baby was no longer sick. She was pretty concerned that the baby wouldn't have a mommy in heaven but we told her that when a baby has Jesus it doesn't need a mommy that He takes such good care of it. I had kind of gathered myself in the car and then we went into a coffee shop downtown since the traffic was good and we were pretty early. I heard Duane say hello to someone, and the ONE person who was in there was the specialist I had seen the day before. I couldn't even get out hello but had to turn away crying. That was pretty much the rest of the time from when we went to the hospital and started checking in and signing papers, just knowing what I was about to have done to my baby. At this point, there was still no bleeding or any signs that anything was wrong except the knowledge that the specialist had said that he was 100% sure that the baby was dead. Just the fear through the night before of what if I was having a D&C on a live baby, but I had to keep reminding myself that I had seen the ultrasound and doppler too, and there was nothing at all. They took me in to change and let me see Duane for a minute, and then wheeled me away all alone. I just couldn't stop crying. It was just this overwhelming sadness that I didn't know I could feel over an 8 week pregnancy. There was a sweet tech who didn't speak English but she just kept squeezing my foot or giving me a comforting look, bringing me tissues. God gave me comfort at every step, even though I was alone during the procedure. It was such a relief to get knocked out for those few minutes, to not feel, but everything rushed back as I heard the doctor say "wake up Kim" and I remembered what had just taken place. A loss you just can't explain or describe but just sadness. All of me would never have wished for this, but I am glad to understand what it is like to be a better friend to those who have gone through it or will...I wish I had known before but you can't...we all wish we could go back and be better friends for every part of life we pass through after our friends, don't we, the good and the bad? The rest of the day was better after we left the hospital, and Duane stayed with me through the night. The students were so sweet, but of course it was hard each time I saw someone new. I was so glad throughout the day before and that day for the knowledge of the love and goodness of God, to know that this serves as a part of His good plan for me, to lay down that night and just be able to say honestly to Him, "God, what a sad day", yet feel the hope that things would get better. And they have...I have had a few sad moments over these last days but as each day passes there is more joy, you laugh at the things you did before and things feel normal, and there is hope. Not hope for a baby, or circumstances, but just the hope of the Spirit that brings true joy that comes after a night of sorrow, that says "I love you, and everything is OK." I was even thinking about the circumstances of the first weeks here, how hard they were but how much more moldable I think they made my heart to accept this from His hand from accepting that piece by piece from Him.

Deuteronomy 32:4
"He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just wanted to let you know

We went to the doctor today for a checkup since we haven't seen the baby yet, and there was no heartbeat. I am having a D&C in the morning, so you can pray that everything will go smoothly. The doctor is really good that I'm going to and both him and the specialist were really kind and spoke English. I am okay and experientially feel the goodness of God. He has been faithful in so many ways, in the way that He ordered everything about today and this week. It couldn't have been any better. I am thankful. Know that I am okay and thanks for your prayers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pool pics

The great kindness of God

I can't speak enough of the kindness of God since I have been here. It almost brings to tears He has been so kind and caring to me. Basically I have no car, few friends, not much to do and I'm alone most days from 9-6 pm on the weekdays since I'm not allowed on the ITESO campus with the team (due to the kids). As you can imagine, this is not the easiest with 2 toddlers to entertain. But He has been so kind. I know that I am alone, but somehow I do not feel that lonely and we get to the end of a day and I know He got us through. The first thing He did was bring me across the path of an American girl who has lived here for 10 years and she invited me over that weekend for a big playdate, and I met another girl Susanana, who is here with her husband doing missions to the poor here. She took us to the park with them the other day. Then the next day, I was walking home from the shopping plaza and peeked in this big party place, and saw a bunch of people that I knew...and we got invited into probably the best birthday party I've ever been to. The kids got to run free and jump on all these bouncy things and play games, Bailey got her face painted. I said, "Bailey, who let us in this birthday party?" She said, "Jesus!" I said, "That's right!". It was really so sweet and so good for them. Since then, I've been invited to another birthday party, to use someone's pool in the neighborhood (I just have to get there somehow), I'm going to a children's museum tomorrow with Susanna, and I met another lady at church that lives up the hill who has a 3 year old boy and can come to my house and play. And I can not consider the kindness of this one woman, Claudia, without tearing up. She is about 40 and I met her as Bailey's Sunday school teacher and she immediately gave me her phone number and said to call her she would love to hang out with me. Then the other night she took me home and was asking how things were, and I told her it has been hard, honestly to be alone with the kids. She told me how much she loved me and that I had a friend in her and that she thought of me all the time, and that when school was out next week she was going to come get me to come to her house and she was going to take care of Bailey and Owen. She told me that she knew that I just needed to get some of it out and talk. Then today, (she is a teacher at the church), she spoke to all the teachers and for the next week while school is still in Bailey can come in their classes from 8-12 or so, so she went in this morning. She had a ball and has been wanting to go in there since we got here! Through all these people, I have felt the provision of God and that I am not alone at all. He is providing for every day and all we need. I tell you, I hope that I do not return home unchanged toward people who are in my situation, new in town etc. I hope that I never feel that same apathy toward them that I have felt in the past but am willing to inconvenience myself so that they can have a friend too when they are in need.

Day 7 - Owen

Owen fell and busted his chin last Monday. As soon as he hit the floor I knew it wasn't good. We took him to the hospital and luckily they were able to glue it instead of stitching it. I don't think emotionally I could have handled that very well! Anyway, he is doing fine. Unfortunately, we were supposed to go swimming for the only time that day before that happened...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Things are looking up

You might wonder how I've had a hard time with things so nice here, but they were definitely not a picnic the first few days. I won't go into detail, but the first night we got here after a series of events I ended up crying myself to sleep and then an hour later crying again as Owen was sobbing because he couldn't sleep in the pack and play and was hysterical. I just had to put him back down and let him sob because he wouldn't calm down, but he considering it his bed now and is happy to get in just took a little bit of time. Day 2, falling up the tile stairs and getting the biggest bruise I've ever gotten in my life on my hip, and also my arm and other knee (luckily I wasn't carrying the kids). Day 3, getting shut out of a professional soccer game with Duane and the kids because of Owen being too young, everyone else had to go on in and we spent an hour and a half going from gate to gate trying to get someone to let us in...after walking two miles from the cars with the kids on everyone's shoulders so there's now way I could carry one of them back to the car all that way so we just had to wait outside most of the time until the game was over. I about lost it a couple of times when we were begging to be let in and no one would listen. That was REALLY hard. It was hard to understand why God wouldn't want us in there but obviously He didn't. I have had to get adjusted to not being able to communicate with people, we were supposed to have our Vonage home phone number here but we are not going to be able to hook it up to the house... no TV, computer, internet, phone! Not just these things, but everything in general my flesh was SCREAMING for comfort those first few days. But now that things have not worked out and I have my expectations set, I am glad. I can't run to those things, and especially the phone which is usually what I do, or a nap. But even though I am pregnant, when I take a nap I only doze or either just sleep an hour. I am just not that tired and so I read. I brought my journal with me from my original ITP Thailand trip and that whole year and it has been so good to read and ask God to rekindle my heart and that by the end of the summer I would be intimate with Him again. And the last few days, I have seen Him sustain me and seen in ways that I haven't seen in a long time (mainly from not needing to) that He really is my portion, and my Rock, and that even when things are upside down He will take care of me and make everything ok inside. I think it will be a good summer.

Oh, Mexico

I'm not kidding...this is all that was available within walking distance to the church. It takes about 3 minutes to get there and it feels SO safe (a huge answer to prayer). This place is like a fort too... a 15 foot wall in the back with a foot of barbed wall on top and the front has a locked gate too. There's no way anyone's getting in here! I met my across the street neighbors today, she actually teaches English and I can say something other than "hola"...yeah!

the kitchen...

Ben and Katie's bathroom...this is only half of it and it has a sauna too. We have a bathroom on each of our bedrooms with big showers, which is good for keeping the water out of the kids faces.

the backyard with our "new pool"

the view from our roof

Although the house is very nice and big, it was very overwhelming initially in regards to really did scare me. He's already dangerous and there are a few places he could fall and be seriously injured. There were no baby gates at Walmart (yes, we have a Sam's, Home Depot (where we got the big fans we need to sleep!) and a grocery store a 15 minute walk from home - downhill all the way which means uphill all the way back:) my calves hurt so bad the first time. Anyway, he understands now that he can't go upstairs so things are much better! The weather is so nice and there is no need for AC - we just leave the windows open constantly and it feels so good!

First, about the baby

Some of you may know that the baby measured about a week earlier than I thought and so before we left for Mexico I went and got blood drawn over 2 days and right as I got to the airport the doctor called and said that everything looked great and actually my hormone levels were really strong and that would account for my pregnancy test being positive a week after conception. Anyway, I'm going to the doctor here (which is amazing because 3 of my new friends go to this doctor and he is 1 of 2 that Blue Cross covers in Guadalajara, again...amazing). After I see the heartbeat I'll just wait until I get back. I have to remind myself that I'm pregnant though, I feel so good. I'm less tired than I have been in a long time and actually have a great appetite (too good maybe). I'm so thankful though for not having to feel bad on top of adjusting here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're having another baby!

That's right!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Almost done!

Old bathroom...

New bathroom...(alot of work later)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New milestones

Owen has been doing some pretty cute stuff lately. The last few days, he has been saying "funny" when we are playing a game or laughing. The other day, he was saying "yewwow, gween, bwu, red, puple" pointing to a piece of cardboard. I didn't know where he was getting this until I was watching his favorite Wiggles video with him. We also have Wiggles songs on jump drive for the car, and he does all the hand motions with it - in his cute Owen way. So funny. Last night he surprised me by counting to ten (he always misses eight) although on the same three fingers! I'm not sure where he got this either. He is learning so much and is a delight as a normal day for him is squealing everywhere he goes with his mouth wide open in a big grin.
Bailey is learning so much but in different ways. I am finding that I have to be careful not to just talk about the cute things that Owen is doing because of the stage he's in, and leave her feeling unnoticed. She is developing too, but more in a maturing way. One very cute thing she has started doing is helping Owen - take off his shoes "Owen do you want your shoes off - and he says "Uh huh" with a smile or his pants and of course he loves Bailey taking care of him. She has also started picking him up and helping him off slides and step-downs (although he doesn't need it I think he likes it). I see her becoming more thoughtful and thinking outside herself some. She is a joy too. I am so thankful for both my children!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In process

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"New cabinets"

A house around the corner is being flipped, and I was talking to the two guys about my cabinets (which I greatly dislike), and they said if they were hardwood I could strip them and do whatever I wanted to them. Who knew? (probably a lot of people) Anyway, they are hardwood, and we are obviously at the point of no return. I have been stripping most of the paint and Duane started doing the sanding today. It all sanded right off (like the door). Can't wait to put the done pictures on here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

...Part 2

I have been meaning to write this for 3 weeks now. It is hard to collect my thoughts after so long, but this is all in light of what I shared before about the fear of my children being taken from me.
I spent our Christmas traveling time in the car reading Joni Eareckson Tada's The God I Love, a memoir about her life as a young child into the 40 years past her diving accident and paralysis. (By the way, I am reading a book now When God Weeps, about suffering and it is the 3rd book of hers I have read recently and they are really good). Anyway, she speaks of how her wheelchair became a passport to adventure and joy for her. She says about it, "Lord, your no answer to physical healing meant yes to a deeper healing - a better one. Your wiser, deeper answer has stretched my hope, purged sin from my life, and helped me to know you better. And you are good. You are so good. I know I wouldn't know you...wouldn't love and trust you, were it not for this wheelchair...the wiser choice, the better answer, the harder yet richer path." God began over those days that I was reading to began to work something in my heart, but I just couldn't put my finger on it and to be honest I didn't think I would like what it was so I was not trying too hard to figure it out.
There came a point in the book and in her life when she was experiencing pain that was pushing her past her limits (so she thought) of suffering, on top of the things she had already had taken from her. I read this and everything became clear of what He was trying to show me, "Jesus, I want to trust the Father with this, but he's so sovereign, and that's scary. I'm afraid to trust Him." That was it, and I knew it. He screens the things that come into our lives and decides whether He will allow something to touch us or hurt us. I realized that these last 11 years or so I have been a Christian, as she said, the sovereignty of God has been so helpful, brought so much joy, and worked things out in ways I would have always wanted if I'd known. She mentioned, so much like me, that as she wrestled over God's sovereignty in our lives, she would try to relax in His control of things, but every time she tried fear seized her again. This is how I have felt when I think about relinquishing control of my children and their safety to Him, to trust Him to work out His plans in our lives, for fear of what that could mean in my darkest thoughts. Who's to say that He won't make me bear what I would consider unbearable? She says, "I wish God were like He used to be. A few notches lower. I wanted Him to be lofty enough to help me but not so uncontrollable. Where's the safety now?" And I realized as I read in that minute, that in this journey of fear I have been making (or allowing myself to be taken), that I have been taken back to ground zero in my view of God (which is not necessarily a bad thing - to rework our view of God biblically). I no longer assume the graciousness of God toward me, knowing that He is actively working out ONLY my good in the circumstances in my life and those that will come.
Well, in His kindness, basically the next few days at our Atlanta Conference were scripture after scripture reminding me of the kindness and love of God towards us and his gracious providence in our lives. That only the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. He has not come to steal from us, not to take but to give, abundantly. The truth fell into my heart and grew and I realized the captivity that we can be in when we are not in His word regularly, without even being aware of it. But there was still something not right...until a conversation when I was telling someone about these fears and wrestling with them. She asked me why I thought I was so afraid, and finally I said, "I know they are idols" (of course we are not deathly afraid to trust God with something unless it is too valuable to us), to which she told me that not only were they idols, but that my children BELONG to Him, and that He is permitted to do whatever He wants with them simply for that reason, and I have no right to say anything about it. They have only been entrusted to me for as long as and in what way as He sees fit. I think I have known that all this time, deep in my heart (therefore the fear), but I have tried to reconcile it with MY good, MY trust of Him, and MY perception of His goodness, which is really not the point of my error at all. I realized over the next day's thinking that in my fear, I had forgotten His kingship and ownership over my children and somehow thought that I could be god over what happened to them (or at least think I should have some right to). At the same time, I felt Satan compelling me to hang on the fear, for even as awful as fear is, doesn't it in some way make you feel in control? And that to give up those fearful thoughts somehow renders you completely out of control? I can't explain it, but it does me. But I realized, what freedom, for what can he say, or what can he twist when he tries to make me afraid, when my only response is, "You know what, if He chooses to do that, that is His right, because He is king, and I am not." And to tie it all together from thinking about Joni's life, He IS good, even in the worst of circumstances and He brings joy out of the impossible for those who love Him. I fought confessing my sin of them being idols because I knew that would mean admitting what I had not been wanting to all along. But during the hours events had kept me from being alone, when I was alone, He had brought my heart to a place where I could confess it without being dragged kicking and screaming to confess it. And you know, since then I have felt such a change in my level of fear. The woman I had talked to even said after our conversation that she thought this must be warfare because I am just not someone who normally thinks in fear. I feel like since I confessed my sin and submitted to God's rightful throne in my children's lives, that He has kept the evil one from me. Although the thoughts can still come sometimes, I feel like the war has been won, and I try to remind myself of His rightful ownership of their lives. Needless to say, this has all been a stake in my life. There is freedom in putting things where they belong. So that's how I'm doing. I have more things so say, but not tonight my friends!