Friday, April 17, 2015

Ben Turns Three

On Thursday the 16th of April we celebrated Ben's 3rd birthday.  My baby is growing up fast!  Here is how we spent his day-

On Cruz's first birthday I began the tradition of their birthday morning being like Christmas morning.  I like to put out their gifts and decorate the night before and let them wake up on their birthday morning to find their surprises.  It's a fun thing that my boys love and a tradition I am glad I started. 
Ben's birthday morning surprises

I ordered both of the boys a birthday t-shirt on etsy and had our last team bring them down.  Ben has a #3 "Cars" theme and Cruz will be getting a #5 "Toy Story" one.  His party will be Buzz Lightyear.

 Ben's birthday gifts

table decorations  
I made those flags at the last minute out of copy paper and crepe paper

I also have a tradition of taking a photo of my boys sleeping the night before their birthday.  (the black on his arm is a sock to keep him from sucking his thumb all night).

Ben coming down the hall on his birthday morning.  He has no idea what he is about to see in the kitchen but he can hear his brother screaming "happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday..."

seeing his gifts

They both got matching Lightning McQueen shirts and socks.

we then spent some time letting him open his gifts


Breakfast was banana pancakes with star shaped watermelon pieces and grapes.   I made Ben's pancake in the shape of a "3" and added whipped cream and mini M&M's.

Later that morning Cruz went to school.  David went to a village.  Ben and I spent the morning at home playing. Cruz has to be at school by 7:15 so if we had done all of that before we took him to school then you know we were up early, ha. 

We checked Cruz out a little early and headed to McDonald's for lunch.  My boys love chicken nugget Happy Meals.

They also love the toys they get with them.   After eating we let them play a while before returning home.

me, David, and Ben on his 3rd birthday

and here we are on the day he was born.  It was one of the happiest days of our lives!

The afternoon was spent playing in their new pool.  It was HOT so that was a great way to pass some time.
having fun on his birthday

a family photo on Ben's 3rd birthday

His birthday cupcakes I made.  I  printed clip art onto cardstock paper, cut them out, taped them to toothpicks.  It was very simple, but cute.  The candle is the same one from Cruz's 3rd birthday (another birthday tradition I have).

Just like the flags I made this decoration to cover the platter for the cupcakes.  It's a sheet of black crepe paper and squares of white copy paper.

 My sweet boy seeing his birthday cupcakes

We called in a pizza for our supper and while we waited for it to be delivered "Uncle Mark" arrived to see us.  He is an IMB missionary who lives in the Capital.   He drove over from Guatemala City to make some visits in this area and stopped by to drop a few things off to us.  He also brought Ben a Lightning McQueen car and Tow Mater truck that both boys loved!  He stayed for supper, cake, and our evening entertainment.

Ben while we sang "Happy Birthday" to him

blowing out his candle

After eating we went out to the backyard and watched "Cars 2" under the stars.  It was a fun way to end the day!

my boys watching the movie

and of course there were a few times they had to get up and dance, ha

What a fun day we had loving on our little Ben and making him feel extra special.  I love birthdays and getting to plan them for my boys brings me much joy.  We thank God everyday for our two boys but especially on their birthdays. We like to take some extra time to remember the blessing that they are, the miracle of their births, and the joy they bring to our family. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Starting To Heat Up Around Here

How did we spend our weekend?  Trying to keep cool!  April and May are our hottest months of the year and it has definitely been warm lately.  Here is a look at how we spent the last few days.

Both of our boys enjoy doing crafty things.  On Friday morning while I was busy around the house I gave Ben a few sheets of colored paper, some cut up pieces of tissue paper, and a glue stick and it entertained him for the longest time.  He worked while watching cartoons and you never knew he was in the house.  Unlike his brother he can entertain himself very well.

my sweet boy working on an art project

Midday David picked up a group of guys who caught the bus here from Guatemala City and took them next door to the hotel restaurant for a meeting.  One of the students had contacted us last week about wanting to interview us about the Chorti work.  They were college students doing a report/ project on the Chorti.  David invited the Lubeck's to join them because of their wealth of knowledge about the area, culture, language, and people.  They had a great time together.  The group was very professional, they came well prepared, and asked lots of great questions.  I think they left feeling pretty good about how it all turned out.   I am glad we were able to make this interview happen for them. 
Here are the students with David and the Lubeck's

They ended up finishing late in the afternoon and the guys wanted to get back to the bus station to try to get a bus back to Guatemala City the same day.  David took them there, got them on their way, and then returned home around 5:00.  The boys were wanting to go swimming but we needed to make plans for eating.  We ended up driving down the road to Los Laurelles (where we spent Valentine's Day) to eat at the snack shop and let them swim in the pool.  It turned out to be a very fun evening!

our family (especially the boys) loves to swim

we were the only ones there so we had the pool all to ourselves

silly boys

Our supper consisted of chicken and cheese quesadillas and French fries.  We loved sitting out by the pool and eating.
When the boys were not swimming they were doing their next favorite thing- dancing.

They swam until after dark and then got dressed and ran around playing a while.

David and the boys

our family enjoying a fun outing

At one point we looked over in the grass and saw this frog.  He was bigger than my hand and the boys were fascinated by it.

star gazing

You would think with all of that swimming and late night entertainment that our boys would have slept in on Saturday morning.  OH NO, Ben was up at 5:15 a.m.  Some mornings I just want to cry because it is all I can do to drag myself out of bed and start the day. While eating breakfast we noticed the workers outside our kitchen window.  They had recently been digging us a new well to better secure our water supply and were needing to run the pipes from the well to our house and our next door neighbors.  They were digging up the yard and getting ready to do it.  My boys were itching to get dressed so they could go outside and join them.

watching the workers dig up our yard

I took this from inside but you can see the boys out "helping".  The workers were kind and let them hold their tools and be a little hands on with them.  They got to help relay the grass when it was over.  At one point I looked out and Cruz was helping smooth over the new concrete slab they poured to hold our water pump.  They loved getting to be a part of the job.

Later that morning they helped me bake a chocolate chess pie.  I did a lot of prep cooking for our supper that morning because we had company coming over to eat after we returned from our afternoon Bible study in the village.  They love helping me in the kitchen!

Saturday afternoon we headed up the mountain to do Bible study in the village of Lagunetas.
There is nothing sweeter than being greeted by your "students" with flowers.  These made me smile!

When we returned home our friends the Byrd's came over to eat with us.  We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and I made potato salad to go with it.  We also had chips, orange dinosaur jello jigglers, and our pie.  We had a fun evening hanging out with them.
Cruz and his bud Josh

On Sunday morning we had pancakes.  Cruz asked me to make them a "kids pancake- with a happy face and whipped cream".  This is what I threw together last minute but they loved it.
bananas, grapes, whipped cream, and raisins

David headed to Nearar to lead Bible study.  He had an 11 day old baby girl there this week.  While he was gone the boys and I hung out at home.
they spent some time playing in their pool

Later in the morning we had devotion.  Cruz wanted to be the teacher.  He sat out the chairs, got his little New Testament (that he pretended was his Bible and hymn book) and led us.  We sang songs in English and Spanish and then he talked about the Creation.  It was precious!  Afterwards he got Ben and I some white paper and markers and asked us to draw something that God created.  Maybe he has been paying attention after all, ha.

I cooked chicken and rice with green beans for lunch and then we rested.   It was a hot afternoon so we dressed the boys for swimming and walked them next door to the hotel only to find the pool occupied with a private party.  Needless to say it was a long walk back home with two crying, disappointed little boys.  So instead we refilled their mini pool and David got in with them.  That made them smile.
fun times

Here's a look at the week ahead.  No relief in sight. 

We have three Bible studies this week.  We'll be in Tunuco Arriba, Lagunetas, and Nearar.  We'll also be doing a little celebrating this week as our sweet little Ben will turn 3 on Thursday.  I am looking forward to his big day and making him feel extra special all day long.  I anticipate a fun week ahead and a great time for making family memories and being on mission together. 
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