Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Weekend

We had a pretty great weekend.  It was fun from start to finish.  We kicked it off with a visit from the Lubecks.  They joined us for supper on Friday night.  It is always a blessing to have them in our home. 

Cruz, Mrs. Diana, Mr. John, and Ben

On Saturday morning we had Bible study in the village of Lagunetas.  We also spent some time making plans there for our upcoming team.  On the way back down the mountain I noticed off in the distance some men making adobe bricks.  Since we had just studied that in Science I thought it would be nice to stop and let the boys watch them work.  The men, although caught off guard, got a kick out of showing the boys how bricks are made.  It was very interesting for all of us.

new adobe bricks that will soon be used to make a house

they were large!

Cruz and David watching the men mix up the dirt to make the bricks.

The mixture is then placed in this wooden frame.  They smooth it out and then remove the frame to form a perfect brick.

extra water is used to smooth it out

brick making

Once formed they leave the bricks sitting in the sun for about 10 days to dry out.  They are then ready to build with.  Many of the mountain houses in our area are built from these adobe bricks.

a video of the man forming a brick

My boys loved getting to play with the men's tools.  As we were walking up the hill to watch the men work Cruz said "Daddy, we should do a Bible study".  He then said, "Daddy, you can teach, mama can take pictures, and me and Ben will play with their tools".  ha  Here's a video showing them do just that.  Oh what fun!

We spent Saturday afternoon watching thousands of motorcycles pass our way on their way to the neighboring City of Esquipulas.  It was the annual "Caravan of the Foxes" motorcycle rally there.  Beginning early on Saturday morning and continuing all day long motorcycles passed by us while traveling there.  Then on Sunday they all returned again coming right in front of where we live.  My boys really enjoyed watching them.  It's loud and definitely a sight to see!

Many wear masks and costumes.  The boys favorites were Batman, Spiderman, and a gorilla.

a video of some of the motorcycles that passed our way on Saturday afternoon

David led Bible study in the village of Nearar on Sunday morning.  He had a good turnout and a great service there.  That afternoon we got ready to watch the Super Bowl.  My Super Bowl plans generally consist of picking a team to cheer for, planning a menu, and picking out team colors to wear.  With that being said we chose Denver to cheer for.  The boys leaned a little towards the Panthers.  Ben told me "I like black panthers because they have claws and long, sharp teeth".  ha  We ate pizza for our meal and I baked a chocolate cake for dessert.  We wore orange and blue shirts and had a fun night.

our chocolate football cake
Who knew something so simple would impress my boys so much.  They loved this cake.  I think I'll make this a Super Bowl tradition from now on.

Ben with our football cake

our family watching Super Bowl 50

the Broncos win!  
As this picture shows we had a fun, lively night and it ended a pretty fun and lively weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Adding Some Love To Our School Days

We finished up another great week of school on Friday.  Some weeks are more fun than others and last week was one of those.  We just had a fun time of learning!  Here is a look at what we did-
We are focusing on short vowel "a" in language.  Here is Cruz doing a matching card game with short "a" words.  We also played Memory with those cards several times.

Here he is doing copy work with short "a" words.

We finally got to the first readers that came with our curriculum.  He had two to read last week.

Here is a video of him reading.  He was trying to get Ben to read along in the first book and then he read the second book by himself. 

Our math lesson for the week was Tally Marks. 

writing tally marks

In Science we began a unit on Exploring Chemistry.  Our first topic was Solutions.  We also learned about the color wheel.
Our first activity had us mixing colored water to make new colors.  The boys really loved this!

the colors of the rainbow

We did an activity of watching the colors bleed together.  This was fun but it took a little more patience than my two little ones have, ha.  They expected instant results but instead had to wait a few hours for it to work. 

a little while later it looked like this

One day we painted.  I only gave them red, blue, and yellow and they had to mix them to make other colors they wanted.  My boys love to paint!

Cruz's artwork

Ben's masterpiece.  He did a little better at mixing the colors in his work.  He purposely made it run.  He said it was raindrops falling from his cloud. You'll notice in several photos of him that I post he almost never wears his shirt.  He rarely wears shoes either.  Most days he just goes around in his shorts.

We ended the week by making a tasty solution- purple cows.  You mix milk and grape juice.

pretty tasty!

Our Bible lessons were "The Pool of Bethesda" and "Jesus Cleanses the Temple".  The way our Bible curriculum works is we do a cumulative review each Monday.  We get a new story on Tuesday and review it on Wednesday.  We get another new story on Thursday and review it on Friday.  We have two new stories each week.  I love the review because I think hearing the stories over and over helps to learn them better.  Our new songs were "Little Feet Be Careful" and "Good News".  Our memory verse was Psalm 147:1.  Here is Cruz saying it-

In our read aloud time we began a book by a former IMB missionary to Honduras, Viola Palmer.  We met Viola several years ago at one of our mission meetings and received a copy of her book.  We read it then and loved it.  I have been eager to read it to my boys.  It is a wonderful story about children's lives and culture in Central America.  It also teaches about missions through the work of "the man in the green Jeep" and his friends. It's a great book!

We've been decorating our schoolroom for Valentine's.  I put our tree trunk on our door.  Each day the boys tell me something they love.  I write their answers on a heart and we add it to our tree. We have been doing this for several years now and I always enjoy hearing their responses.  We do the same activity at Thanksgiving with leaves and they tell something they are thankful for. 

our schoolroom door so far

We made tissue paper "stained glass" hearts.

our tissue paper hearts on our schoolroom window

I love this idea!  I saw it posted on facebook and knew it was something I wanted to do with the boys.  It's called "14 Days of God's Love".  We began on the 1st and each morning I hide a heart in the dining room and the boys have to "hunt for God's love" when they wake up.  The heart they eventually find has a scripture verse and description of  God's love on it.  During breakfast we read the verse and talk about it.  It's been a lot of fun and a great way to teach about God's love to the boys.  This is probably something we will continue doing in the years to come.

Homeschooling takes a lot out of me but it's one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  It's hard, but it sure is fun!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sugar Cane

David and Miguel recently made a visit to the village of Tarshaja.  While there they got to watch a group of men make sugar from sugar cane.  It sounded very interesting when he came home telling me about it.  I was a little bummed that the boys and I missed seeing it!    Here are some photos he took of the process-
sugar cane
Many families grow it in Guatemala

The machine they use to get the juice out.

closer view of the machine

They put the sugar cane in and the juice is pressed out.  What makes the machine move?  Check out the video below-
David said this little boy worked those cows the whole time.

The liquid squeezes out, falls though this homemade strainer, and then into a large container.

They then take the liquid and pour it into a large pot that is cooking over a fire.

side view of the pot and fire

they stir the liquid constantly


When it's ready they pour it into small containers to cool.

When cooled they dump it out and they have sugar.  They use this to cook with and put in their coffee.  David came home with a jar of it.  The boys love it!

I love that it was all men there doing the work. At lunch time all the women arrived with food and they all had lunch together.  I don't think we'll ever get tired of learning new things.  Village life can be very interesting!  I am glad we get a front row seat to take it all in.

Friday, February 5, 2016

We Don't Stay Still For Long

After our team left last Saturday we stayed an extra night in Guatemala City before driving back home.  We spent most of Saturday running errands and shopping for supplies.  One of those errands was getting haircuts for the boys. 

Cruz was thrilled with the way the barber styled his hair.  It was full of gel and stiff as a board.  He was most impressed with the way his bangs were flipping over to the side.  He loved it!  (me not so much, ha)

They were gifted some money to do something fun so we let them buy coins at the mall and ride a few things.  They always enjoy that.

Saturday evening we got together with another IMB missionary family that lives in Guatemala City.  We had a cookout at their house and had a really fun time.
Ben helping Billy cook our supper

supper at the Hursts in Guatemala City

we had chicken & beef shish kabobs and some wonderful grilled pineapple  

While the food was cooking my boys enjoyed playing Wii with the older kids.  Here is a video of them trying to play Mario.

After supper we went up to their rooftop terrace and spent some time sitting by their fire pit.  It's cool in Guatemala City so it felt great to sit by the fire. 
the boys enjoying Billy's hammock

we roasted marshmallows and made smores before calling it a night

We drove home on Sunday and as we were driving through Chiquimula we noticed that the circus had arrived in town.  The boys and I got very excited and I made plans to take them that evening.  I was as tired as I could be after hosting the team and spending time in the Capital but I couldn't pass up a little circus fun.

my boys arriving at the circus in Chiquimula

We had never been to a water splash circus so it was something different for all of us. 

ready for the fun to begin

we love cotton candy!

One of the acts was a Little Mermaid theme.  I love that movie so I thought it was really cute.

This photo is blurry but it shows Ben's favorite thing about the circus- Spiderman.  Not all of the circuses have him but when they do Ben loves it! 

the finale

I had a ton of laundry to catch up on and tried to get an early start on Monday morning.  As I was dropping clothes into the machine I noticed a scorpion attached to a pair of shorts.  He went into the machine with the shorts.  We tried to get him out but could not find him.  Instead we let the wash cycle run and waited for it to finish to get him out.  We didn't know if he would be dead or alive.  Much to my surprise he was still alive and after pulling every piece of clothing out one at a time looking for him we got him.  David killed it and he and Ben had a great time checking him out.  Cruz and I, on the other hand, stayed a far distance and wanted nothing to do with it- dead or alive!
my brave little Ben with our scorpion
We have been told that they travel in pairs and sure enough the next day the boys found another one nearby.  Yikes!

I got a text during homeschool on Wednesday morning inviting me to lunch.  It tickled my heart to think about some girl time.  I love my guys but I also miss having female fellowship.  We met up at Pollo Campero and had a fun time of eating and laughing around the table.

lunch with friends

David and Miguel spent Thursday morning in the village of Tarshaja.  While there they got to watch a group of men make syrup from sugar cane.  He took several photos and videos and it looked very cool.  I'll post about that separately because it's just too interesting not to share.  He returned home just in time to pick me and the boys up and return to the mountains to lead our afternoon weekly Bible study in Muyurco. 

Ben and Cruz with some of the kids in Muyurco

Before our Bible study began we made a visit to the neighboring village of Tular to pray over a sick man.  One of our Bible study ladies went with us.  It ended up being a good visit and the family received us really well.  We will plan to follow-up with another visit soon to see how he is doing.

David and Miguel left early this morning driving to the Honduras border to meet Bro. Nahum and some members of his church from Copan, Honduras.  They will travel with them to the village of Nearar where Bro. Nahum's group will be doing a two day discipleship time with the believers there.  Would you pray for Bro. Nahum and the others who will be leading?  Pray also that it would be a great time of spiritual growth for the group there.

We will be leading Bible study in the village of Lagunetas on Saturday and then in Nearar on Sunday morning.  We would appreciate your prayers for both of these study times.  

I am anticipating a fun weekend ahead that will end with us watching the Super Bowl.  That's always an exciting night.  Hope you have a fun-filled weekend too!
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