Thursday, 29 March 2012

I don't know if anyone else will look at this again but I am going to use it for a bit of a journal.  So we are home from holidays.  Adelbert and Tabitha did a fantastic job of the reno's!! 

My fix it to do list when I got home - water pump in the suburban, water pump in the dishwasher, water pump in the washing machine, demand hot water heater (just had to put in a part that I ordered before we left), humidifier and school room furnace.  Waiting for parts for the dishwasher and washing machine.  Sure am glad I can fix this kind of stuff myself!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

What an adventure.  Thank you to all who followed us vicariously and who prayed for us!  We arrived home friday night after a final days adventures.  It dropped to -7 on the way home along with some snow!  Because it got so cold I decided to stop an winterize the motorhome (31 feet long, bunk beds, 3 cameras, power awning, Ford V10 chassis if you know anyone who wants to buy it!).  I was about an hour behind Kendra as I had stopped in Red Deer at Costco for groceries.  She stopped at the Word of Faith church about 9:30 so the boys could say hi to some of their friends at youth group.  She pulled in to the parking lot and heard the truck making some pretty loud noises!  She talked to me until her phone died and I asked her to get Cory to see if he could figure it out or else wait for me.  I also called Adelbert (our good friends Adelbert and Tabitha stayed at our place while we were gone and did some renovations for us) and asked if he could check on Kendra on thier way home (they were going to go back to Tabitha's Dad's place so we could have our space to get settled back in).  He let Kendra know I would be there pretty soon.  Just ended up being the front bearing in the water pump and she finished driving home.  Maria was the first one in the house and came back out and told Kendra that our friends did a "big surprise" for us and it was amazing!  Maria thought that we didn't know that Adelbert was going to tile the school room and kitchen and redo the kitchen countertops.  She just thought they did it to give us a nice surprise kind of like the TV show "Trading Spaces".  She was right that it was amazing though - Adelbert is a perfectionist and is also creative and it was nicer than we could have imagined!  Maria also noticed that they even "made breakfast" for us (they had the table set with snacks for when we got home).  Anyways, the day was a fitting finish to our grand adventure.
 Uncle Joe and Aunt Mary - my Mom's siblings.
 Aunty Agnus - my Mom's oldest sibling.  She was born in Hungary.
Aunt Mary with Zoe and Maria.

Medicine Hat was the last stop on our epic adventure.  They all love it when we stop and visit and the kids bring a little life to Aunt Agnus' senoirs complex!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

We crossed the border late this morning and are back in Canada!  Timmy saw the big Canadian flag and said excitedly "I see red leaves and there is snow - does that mean we are back in Canada!?!?"  The border crossing went quite well except for Joshua's BB pistol that he bought just 3 hours earlier in Great Falls.  He has wanted one for a long time but always wanted to get ones that used CO2 cartridges and I told him no as I knew the cost of the cartridges gets to be a bit much.  He found a spring powered one and when I gave him permission to get it he almost peed himself he was so excited.  He wasn't so excited 3 hours later when the border patrol officer confiscated it after we declared it.  He felt really bad and he took the time to explain to Josh that because it looked like it could be a real pistol that it was prohibited because if it got mistaken for a real pistol Josh could get shot by a policeman or a bad guy who would think it is real.  He was a very nice man and just doing his job.  So good to be back on home ground!!

Monday, 19 March 2012

I had a very good time at Aria's!  Before we got there I was so excited and couldn't wait to get there.  At Aria's I got to play Barbies.  I played Pet Shops too.  I played outside and in the park with Matthew and Aria.  I did fall on the bike though and got bad scrapes on my legs and arms.  I went to the circus.  It was so hilarious, but some parts was very bad dressing.  The girls that had bad dressing were very good at there tricks, they just needed to wear more clothes.  Once a boy was on a motorbike on a high wire and a girl was attached underneath doing tricks.  They spinned the motorbike in circles on just a tiny string.  There was a few other things.  I didn't like the chicken dance.  I think the girl was really frightened to dance with the chicken in front of the huge crowd.  It was really cool to see all the flags because there was a Canada flag.  That is our flag!  There was a funny part.  There were men who pretended to be police and a man was in jail.  A toy rat came in and the police were scared.  The criminal saved them from the rat, but he got free.  The police man went in the jail to hide. 
We got to go back to Aria's after the circus.  The day when we had to leave, I really didn't want to!  I cried and cried so much when we had to leave!  It was terrible!   We begged and begged to stay, but my mom just wouldn't let us so we had to leave.  She is mine and Zoe's best friend.  She lives in the United States now and we still live in Canada, so it is so far away from each other.  It took so long waiting to see her again and maybe it will be a long time to see her again. 
Now we are at another hotel.  We went to a few hotels on our big trip.  I like hotels.  The food is really great in the hotels.  Now I want to go back home.  I miss my friends at home.  I want to see Miah and Ava, and lots of friends.  I also want to see my family at home.  I miss my kittens so much!  Especially my big cat Angles.  I hope she is not wild by now. 
I got to visit Aria.  I liked it very much!  She is one of my best friends!  I got to go to her school with her to have lunch in the cafeteria, and to play at recess.  She gave me a tour around their new church.  It was really big.  Aria had a bunny.  It was fun playing with it.  It's name is Oreo.  We got to go to the circus.  I liked the bears that biked around and did other cool tricks.  I liked the sky masters too.  The dancing elephant was cool.  I just liked spending time with Aria and doing lots of things together.  I was sad to leave, and I didn't want to.  I am going to miss Aria again!!!  I am happy to see my friends at home though too. 
Nebraska - getting to visit Pastor Dan, Kerri, Aria and Matthew

Aria, Zoe, Maria and Matthew made some brownies.

Timmy is playing with Buster.  Poor Buster is probably going to sleep well for a few days!  I think having so much company played him out!

The kids were all hot after playing outside.  They did some running and playing in the sprinkler.  It was almost 30 degrees that day!  They have a beautiful yard with lots of space to run and play!

Timmy is trying to watch the action, but keep out of the sprinkler.  He didn't want to get wet.

Zoe, Matthew, Aria, and Maria playing with the sprinklers

Zoe and Aria playing games and watching movies.

Aria and Zoe making a decorated box for a gift for Aria's Nana and Papa.  They were arriving the day we were leaving.  We waited long enough to say hi to them and have supper with all of them.  None of us really wanted to leave! 

Kerri's parents took a picture of both our families for us.  We had such a great week with them!  It has always been wonderful times with the Olsons!  It was nice to see where they are at, meet some of the people in their new church, and to attend church there on Sunday.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to visit them again!  We love them and miss them greatly!!!  There were lots of tears leaving there!!!  Still some tears happening today!  We love you Pastor Dan, Kerri, Aria, and Matthew!  Thank you so much for letting all uf us stay with you! It was a great time!

Filling one of the great pinatas we picked up in Mexico.  We gave it to the guy who gave us a cabin to stay in, and fed us.  He used it for a birthday party for his grandkids.

 Zoe, Maria and Timmy went with Brian to some work meetings.  On the way they rescued these turtles off the road.

They had a lot of fun playing and checking out these turtles!

Brian and all the kids at "Little Niagra" near Sulfer, Oklahoma.  This is a beautiful, quiet little place to play!  It was a nice place to cool off in the heat.  And, the kids had fun playing on the beach with the turtles, and catching colorful little fish.

Zoe playing in the river.

Jon sitting in one of the little waterfalls.  There were quite a few little waterfalls along the river.

Setting the turtles free at the end of the day.  That was probably their most stressful, but loved days ever!

Timmy enjoying his apple beside the river.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

 Smokin Joe's Rib Ranch and RV Park
The cabin/house we stayed in. 

We went to Midway Hilltop Babtist church this morning and this evening.  I think there are a lot of very sincere Christians in this town and in this church.  Joe Wells is one of them.  We are little more than strangers to him and the first time we met we were strangers for sure.  He remembered us and he is letting us stay in the cabin and twice now has brought food over from the restaurant.  They cook what they believe they will need for the day and if there are leftovers he doesn't believe in warming it back up (he treats his customers well!).  He brought over 3 full racks of ribs, about 10lbs of BBQ'd brisket, a 5lb Pecan cobbler and a 5lb Peach cobbler!  His generosity is evident and you can see that his family is close.  He has a personality akin to Mr. Palma (diana's dad) whom I saw give help to many poor and handicapped people in his town of Cuahatemoc.  When I went downtown with him we were always stopping to say hi to someone.  I can only hope to be inspired by them and also teach my children to be so.

If you have a problem like the one we had, (It was a simple question in complications clothing :D) and was bothering me and my brother for quite a while but my (stubborn) dad wouldn’t let us give up on it.  I finally got the question and it made me feel stupid not understanding it before, but I felt good knowing I didn’t quit, I stuck with it, and got it done.
We are now in Davis, Oklahoma.  It is so nice and relaxing to be in a safer place!  But we are already really missing our friends in Mexico!!!!!  We enjoyed our time with them and the missions we did!  It was an amazing time!  I am thankful that we had no bad experiences there with all the dangers going on in Mexico right now.  So thankful for God's protection over our family!  Thank you so much to all our praying family and friends!  Your prayers were very much appreciated!
We crossed the border on the 8th of March.  It was again not a very pleasant time at the Mexican side of the border.  Once we got to the US side, I almost cried!  It was so nice to have an official that was kind, and trustworthy!  And, that could speak english! 
On the 9th we were able to visit the Abbott family in San Antonio, Texas.  Pastor Tony had married Brian and I and dedicated our first few boys.  He was our pastor for 10 or 11 years, 12 or so years ago.
Now we are in Oklahoma, where Brian did a big pipeline job 2 and a half years ago.  Our family camped out here with him while he did the job.  We met some great people here.  So, we are here to visit the people, the church, and the guys Brian worked with.  We were able to attend a great southern baptist church this morning(in English!).  A couple of years ago they even offered Brian a job as a children's pastor in their church.  It is an awesome little church!  If we didn't have family at home and a business, I would love to move here and be a part of this community and church!  It is super friendly and beautiful here!  We are heading back to the church tonight for an evening service and for Zoe and Matthias to go to the pre-youth group.
Once we leave here (probably Tuesday) we are headed to Lincoln, Nebraska to visit Pastor Dan, and Kerri and their family.  We are extremely excited to see them again.  They pastored our church after the Abbotts and they were also at our church for over 10 years.  We have missed them and their friendship and leadership!  We are looking forward to hearing Pastor Dan preach next Sunday.
While we were in Mexico we attended a spanish church.  One sunday we were really wanting to go to a service where we could really understand everything and participate in the worship.  We drove to the menonite community to find an english and christian church.  We drove around until we found one that didn't look Catholic and the people going in looked english.  We walked in just a few minutes after the service had started so we tried sitting down with out getting too much attention.  It is hard to sneak in when you are a family of 9.  We very quickly realized the service wasn't english, or spanish, but German!  It was even worse!  It was christian, so we understood a little about the order and what was happening, but understood less of the preaching and singing than if we went to a spanish church.  I think we understood only about 3 words the whole service!  Thankfully it was also an unfriendly church and not one person greeted or talked to us.  So, nobody knew that we sat through a whole service that we didn't understand.  We sat through it all because we didn't think a family of nine could just get back up and walk back out unnoticed:)
Time to go back to church! :)  Now that we are back to the land of internet, we will try and blog all of our memories all at once:)  We will blog more later.
Brian with our Carlos' baby - Xiemena

Our Diana's baby - Isabella


Carlos is coloring with all the little ones.  He is so good with little ones!

Maria pushing around Isabella

Isabella and Me - going to miss these babies soooo much!!!!

Xiemena being pushed by Maria

Xiemena, Carlos and Isabella - on the "moto"

Jenny playing with Timmy, Zoe and Maria

This is Zac and I with Cristi's dad.  He fixed all of our teeth for free for us!

Our Cristi, her parents, Zoe, Maria and me

Our girls totally adore Cristi and they miss her sooooo much!!!!

Zoe is feeding Isabella

Maria enjoying another burrito in her new Jasmine outfit.

Maria and I playing with Isabella in her playhouse

Zoe on a bunjee jumper

Three of our beautiful hosts!!!  We love them heaps!  Mr. and Mrs. Palma and their daughter Baby.

Baby, Mrs. Palma, Gerardo, Zachary, Brian, Mr. Palma, Matthias, and Jon
Xiemena and Diana in Costa Rica

Pabeto getting served a delicious breakfast from Brian.  He pushed Brian's face hard into his birthday cake, so Brian was trying to get some revenge by serving a few big bugs for breakfast.

A butterfly sanctuary at Arenal volcano

Our friends in the butterfly sanctuary

Our Diana and Ricky

Our group before zip lining

Brian coming in from one of the lines

Our group after zip lining.  We all survived, conquered some fears and had a really great time!  So beautiful zip lining through the jungle at this volcano!  God's creation is amazing! Even when we are zipping along at 80km/hr:)

Brian diving off a rock at the bottom of the waterfall

A beautiful waterfall that we had a great time playing and visiting at.