Monday, May 26, 2008

bloodsuckers, ole bollen, and lots of laughter....

Seems like I usually end up here when I am thinkin' on something or frustrated or sad or glad. Today the topic is being far away from family when difficult things happen. My mom usually calls on Wednesday. So when I heard her voice on the line this morning, I knew it was not going to be good news. Several of my uncles on both sides of the family have been sick in the last few weeks, so I braced myself and asked "What's wrong?" I was not ready for her say that another uncle had passed away. Uncle Cornelius (better known as Uncle Case) has been sick with parkinson's disease and I think alzheimers for some time. That combined with other health problems finally took his life. He is survived by Aunt Joey, 10 living children, assorted spouses, at least 30 grandkids, at least 20 great grand kids! Needless to say, going to Uncle Case's house as a kid was truly a treat! Lots of cousins, and most of my memories are of the places they lived in the country! I experienced my first encounter with a "bloodsucker" (leech?) while playing in creek in front of their house. Our childhood pet, a dog named Charlie Brown came from one of their neighbors. I remember using the little bit of Dutch my brain retained at his house when the great uncles were visiting. As all those men born in the Netherlands (including Uncle Case)gathered over a pipe or cigar and spoke Dutch. We ran in between their chairs and marvelled at that weird language they spoke.

Aunt Joey busied herself making ole bollen. I’ve seen the name of this pastry written Oly Koeken, Vet Ballen, Vet Bollen, Ole Bollen, oliekoecken, and a few other variations. The basic translation, however, is Fat Balls. This pastry is a little blob of dough filled with raisins that is deep fried and then rolled in a paper bag of sugar. I know today everyone would scream "Colesterol, or clogged arteries or...." But they were soooo good and we had so much fun helping, laughing, eating, laughing and coming down from the sugar high!

I could go on for hours with all the memories but mostly I just ask you to pray for my Dad as uncle Case was his big brother. His illnesses in the last few years made that hard to believe as he got thinner and smaller. Sunday afternoons for some time have meant my dad and mom travelling to have coffee or tea and a cookie with Uncle Case in the nursing home. Sometimes he remembered them and other days things were pretty vague for him. But he always remembered the old days. Just as memories console me so far away, may they bring a smile to my dad's face and heart too! If you know my dad or are near him make sure you give him a hug from me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am legal for another year...

Spent two days in lines at immigration, but I have my visa for another year! Yesterday I went alone on the bus to pick up the visa. I wanted to go alone just to think for awhile. 4 hours round trip on the bus is plenty of time to think! So just what was I thinking about? Well my firstborn (Antonio Jr. alias TJ) turned 19 on Sunday! Alyssa my baby will turn 18 in June! Need I say more?
Actually I do need to say more. I am truly blessed to have two wonderful children. They are both saved. 3 John 1:4! TJ is an incredibly kind and motivated young man. He is a friend to all ages and God will do great things through him. Alyssa is lovely and very compassionate and a well centered young woman. She has a gift for discerning so much about people before they even speak. She has been instrumental in bringing in youth who would never come if Antonio or I had invited them. It is only by the grace of God that they have turned out so cool. The Lord knows my faults and I think I heard a whispered Uh huh from above as I wrote that!

Anyway, I had to think cuz I needed to remind myself to let loose the reins a little. Okay so a lot would be the phrase to use! I may be writing more in the near future as my homeschooling days will end in August and my kids will be off being a testimony in the school that God leads them to! Pray as they seek where God would have them and for me as I let go. My consolation is they are planning to attend school here in Mexico until our next furlough.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!
The couples reunion went great we had 8 couples on a holiday weekend!
This weekend is our Mother's Day celebration. Pray for the unsaved moms that are invited to church! Mother's Day is super big in Mexico. It is always on May 10. So....I get to be celebrated twice! Once on May 10 and again on the 3rd Sunday of May.
The TJ miester is doing much better and healing up nice. I wanted to post a picture but his teenage self said "Are you kidding? I will end up single forever! Everyone (meaning girls between 17 and 20)will be scared that I have some terrible disease!" Alyssa's response, "You do have a terrible disease. I think the technical name is Ugly."
YUP my teens are doing much better and will be back to normal life real soon!

Friday, May 2, 2008

once a mom always a mom...

Yup it's me. I'm home already. All afternoon both Alyssa and I were looking for things to cheer TJ up or wondering out loud how he was doing. We went to lunch and walked around a mall type plaza. Then we walked home. We forgot the camera but if you think of your local Burger King you will pretty much know what lunch was like. If you think of Westshore Mall with a Meijers attached you have the mall. If you think of the projects in Chicago you have the walk home. I think the walk helped though. I feel much better equipped to face chicken pox! Guess that's a good thing since TJ just hollared "if I take a shower will you put calamine lotion on the spots on my back?"
By the way the superhero mom is Mama Lucha for a local store chain. She supposedly fights for deals for her family.

Two shall become one...

On Saturday we will have our bi-monthly couples meeting. Pray that all of the couples we have invited will come!

Pray also for TJ as the chicken pox has struck again.

Yup it seems that the little things that wear on me are just not going to let up! This morning I thought I was going to breakfast with teammates but everyone I guess made other plans so I decided enough is enough. I am going on the city bus to wherever I want to get off and I am going enjoy some outside, alone time with Alyssa. TJ seems to be doing alright so I can leave food for him and Antonio. I will post a picture of what we end up doing tonight. If you get the chance eat some ice cream for me and listen to a Christian radio station for an hour or so!