Friday, April 16, 2010

March Happy Birthdays!

We have found that with so many children celebrating birthdays, doing a monthly birthday party is much more practical than buying or preparing enough cake for all the kids on everyone's birthday. So, at the end of March we celebrated three birthdays. It was amazing to remember that I blogged last year about Rocio and Ever's birthdays. It has been a whole YEAR since that post and I am so thankful that I have gotten to share in an entire year of their lives, watching them grow and mature.

Also, this year, we celebrated with Lorena for her first birthday in the home. Lorena is Kimberly and Alejandra's older sister. They live in House 1. Lorena turned 11 this past month, but is only in the second grade as she had never completed a year of school before entering our home. Lorena is a precious girl, who is extremely mature and responsible for her age. She is a good student who is learning fast in school. She loves to joke and is quite professional at fixing the other girls' hair.

Ever turned 10 this year. He also lives in House 1 with his siblings Nilda, Carlos, Rocio, and Cristina. Ever is extremely intelligent and also very responsible. He is in the third grade and makes perfect grades. He is learning English very well due to his memory. After revisiting vocabulary he hasn't reviewed in months, he remembers it all! I can be sure that each time I see Ever, he will greet me by shaking my hand- what a little gentleman!

Rocio, Ever's sister, also had her birthday in March. She turned 8. Rocio is in the second grade and is a social butterfly. She loves to talk and doesn't mind being the center of attention. She is very outgoing and makes an impression on all of our visitors with her personality and beauty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Eggs and Water Balloons.

The last couple of months have been a time of great growth in our home. Our new staff members have each arrived with their individual talents and gifts and we are so thankful for how the Lord is working in the homes. We have had several special times of fellowship with all staff and children in the home in March and April.

Mauro (gardener), Higinio (house parent in House 3), Maria Lina (pastor's wife), Natividad (house parent in House 3) and Maricela (Mauro's wife) getting ready to serve up lunch

Thanks to a donation to buy piglets last spring, we were able to eat two of the pigs raised on our farm during the Easter holiday (some of the two pigs- there is still quite a bit of meat in the deep freeze for the houses to cook in the upcoming weeks). We have two more female pigs that are pregnant, so in the future, we will be able to provide a large amount of pork from our own farm. We also have several cows that are pregnant, and can't wait to see their calves and enjoy the abundance of milk that will become available after their births.

The weeks leading up to Easter were times of teaching about the life of Christ to the children and we are so excited that our children now understand the reason that we should celebrate Easter! To make their Easter (Holy Week) vacation time memorable, we planned several events during the past week. We had a cook out with own very own, very fresh pork. It was delicious. Thanks to Heather and Milciades' diligent water balloon filling, the kids had a giant water balloon fight with 600 water balloons. I took a short break from bed rest to sit on the porch and watch the action.

Milciades (in charge of maintenance) grilling up our farm-raised pork and making a face

Of course, with the Easter holiday, we had to continue the dying eggs and egg hunt tradition that we began with the kids last year. This year we hid 360 eggs (240 of which were hard-boiled, dyed eggs). The children on Saturday each dyed eggs and heard the story of Christ's last days on earth using "Resurrection Eggs." When I remember last year and sharing the gospel for the very first time with the 10 children we had in the home at that time, I am amazed at how much the Lord has worked in the lives of those original children and the ones that have arrived since. They each now understand that Christ is alive and loves them, and the prayers that they each offer around the dinner table and in our church services are so precious and genuine. Thank you, Lord, for all that you have done over this past year in the lives of the 22 children in our home!

Deney (Mauro and Maricela's daughter), Abi, and Mili (House 3) with their eggs

The oldest age group on the hunt