Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Wow... the last 2 weeks were a complete whirlwind getting ready for Christmas. I've tried to put things in chronological order with the slideshow, but I still feel like it doesn't begin to capture everything! :-) There were several other parties with friends in the community as well.

That shipment of donated toys arrived in Quito on Christmas Eve! Patti Sue and Mama Ines drove up at 5am and came back at 5pm. I wish I would have taken a picture of the toys that FILLED the van. We gave each of the kids 2 toys, and there are still a ton left. Our guest room is completely occupied by them. :-) We're excited, because we'll be able to share with the tia's and others! There were also a lot of school supplies donated, and they will be so helpful come spring!

The party on Christmas day was a blast! The kids had a lot of fun, and I think everyone was excited about getting in bed that night. lol.... They got 3 gifts total, 1 from whichever adult drew their name, and 2 from the donation and Mami Patti. Before we gave them the 3rd one... They kept saying..."MORE gifts?!?" They just could not believe it!

Hope you all had as merry of a Christmas as we did!

This slideshow is a bit different.... If you just put the cursor over the picture, the caption will appear. The blog layout won't allow the slideshow to be any wider, so I would recommend double-clicking to open it in a different window.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Mrs. Sharon had a birthday party for Jesus for the preschoolers a couple of weeks ago, and we had the privilege to be there! :-)
My camera battery was almost dead, so these pictures didn't turn out very well. I caught a few, though!

More to come for the big Christmas party!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Con Muchas Manos - With Many Hands

God continues to work in our lives, in the lives of the children, and in the construction of the new site using the hands of many people, both local and foreign. I have attached pictures of the work site. It is not "all inclusive" because it lacks the many people who donate themselves and their money to the construction. But it does show part of the progress. Since the last construction site blog, we have built more inspection boxes, plastered/enlucido the ceiling of the first floor, and worked almost 36 hours straight pouring a second layer of concrete for the 2nd floor. If you remember the government workers poured the 2nd story and did a very rough, unlevel job. It took more material than we expected because the low spots were lower than we expected. We had our first ever ALL Ecuadorian group out of Quito come and help prepare and pour a part of the first floor. We have since finished the first floor pour over a 3 day period and began blocking in the walls on the first floor. It is looking more and more like a house. We had a friend from Kansas, who is a professional electrician in the States, come to visit another family here in Shell and we were able to set up a breaker box in the multi-use building (MUB) and run the lines. The MUB has ELECTRICITY!!! Luis, one of the men that works with me, has a brother and dad who are both electricians here in Ecuador. Luis has grown up helping his dad and is very knowledgeable about electricity. Thank you, God, for Luis. He has been and will be a great help to us. For the many of you who knew Pedro, the young man on salary for Casa de Fe, we ask for prayers for him and his wife and daughter. He is no longer working with Casa de Fe and I have had very little communication with him since he left. It is with many hands that God continues to put this building together. I am thankful for all the hands that come to work, to touch a child, or are raised in prayer across the world for Casa de Fe. Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus, the Cornerstone in the construction of Casa de Fe.

Good times....

I feel like I just CANNOT keep up with blogging as things keep happening! It just seems nonstop right now, and I'm sure it's the same for all of you reading this. Just so you cannot escape the pre-Christmas craziness- even if you're in Shell, Ecuador. :-) It seems like there is an event or party to go to every other day.... Not to count the preparation for Christmas with 58 kids! I am so excited about the Christmas Party we'll have on Christmas Day! Can you imagine the excitement of all of these little ones?!?

I just wanted to share a little bit of what's been going on lately...

These are a couple of pics of Cintia that I took the other day. I just think she looks ADORABLE with her pigtails and red and white stripes! I also think this picture captures her mischieviousness perfectly. :-)
Here we are having dinner at O Sole Mio....the BEST Italian food you'll ever have in your life. Seriously. The guy is really Italian, and there are no words for his pizza..... Dinner was Patti Sue's treat for all of us for our little Christmas celebration together! I wish I had pictures of the cheesecake she made for dessert....Wow.
This one is for our parental and family units....

Oh, man.... I wish you all could have been here for chapel yesterday morning. The teachers gave each of the older kids a part to play in acting out the birth of Christ. It was quite humorous. When the pre-schoolers saw the animal masks, they burst into "Old MacDonald," since that's what they were used for this summer. :-) This picture was snagged at the end, and it was pointless to try to get everyone to look at once. Notice that Maribel is the shining star (with her hands up in the air.)
My favorite part of the picture is Pablo. It happened to capture him doing one of his favorite things...grabbing people by the faces for surprise kisses. It's never a choice, trust me. :-)
Sweet boy... He loves to participate in chapel, and when everyone else repeats the prayers....he always joins in!

This is baby Esteven. He's been in the hospital for several days, because he had a feeding tube put in late last week. Dwight wanted to go see him, so I tagged along and took some pics. I've been meaning to blog about him for a while. This little baby has serious health issues, and he isn't stable enough to travel to Quito for more conclusive tests. BUT...he has shown improvement with his breathing, and he is growing and changing every day! Please keep him in your prayers.

This was the first time I got to see him use his new gear. It works so much better than having to do it through the nose!!

Dwight loves his little feet. He'll definitely need corrective procedures in the future, but considering all of his other needs....that hasn't been addressed yet.

Check out his cool 'do. :-)

We got two new kids last week, Mikaela and Antony. The police brought them after a neighbor reported that the mother had left. Apparently she leaves for several days at a time; and the little girl, who is maybe 3 or 4, takes care of her little brother, who seems to be almost 2. Can you imagine what it was like for them to be left alone?!? Unfortunately, the mother will probably be able to get them back. Hopefully, she will change her ways after having her children taken for a short time. We're not sure how it will pan out at this point, but the police are working on it.

They are absolutely beautiful!

Look at those cheeks.... Adorable.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shell Days!

Wow! What a crazy couple of weeks it has been. We lost our internet last Wednesday, and we're finally up and running again. I have a ton of things to catch up I'm just posting as I go.

So, last Thursday through Sunday was the 43rd Anniversay of Shell as a town. There were non-stop festival-ish events going on, and we had a blast. I'll try to remember it all....

Last Wednesday we celebrated Thanksgiving with the kids. The Tias cooked a wonderful BBQ meal, and we ate until we were sick. :-) Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead, so I didn't get any good pics!

Thursday was the day of the parade, and it was so much fun. I'm posting a slide show of pictures, but I hope to post the videos as well.

As soon as the parade was over after 5:00 or so....We all ran home to get ready for the missionary community Thanksgiving meal. This time my battery was charged....but I must have been focused on other things- like eating. I remembered to take a picture of the food table after the fact. :-) We really had a great time being with friends and our family in Shell. God is so good.

On our walk home, we saw a huge event starting in the Coliseo. We ended up sticking around to watch the "Reina de Shell" competition.... a.k.a. -beauty pageant. It was quite entertaining. lol.... I was so bummed, because I left my camera at home!

I did get pictures of the important stuff...which were the kids in the parade! Hope you all had a great time with friends and family at home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh, How I Miss Fall!!!!

People joke about not having seasons in Texas..... Those people should move to the rain forest here in Ecuador. :-) We literally have 1 season here...and it's always green. I'm definitely not complaining- I love the weather here!

But.... I miss fall colors, so my blog background is my outlet for that right now. I know it's only for a couple of more days, but that's ok!

And I also know, Daddy, that it's hard to read. Sorry! :-)


I realized I need to share a few things that we're thankful for right now....

Wow! Holiday season is in full swing, and things are becoming increasingly crazy. :-) We're having a big parillada (BBQ) tomorrow for the kids for lunch. Although Thanksgiving is an American holiday, we still teach them about it and celebrate what we're thankful for. On Thursday, Shell has a big parade, and the kids will all be in it. The teachers have picked 3 songs (English & Spanish), that they will sing while they walk. :-) I hope to get some good videos and pics!

We had a huge unexpected blessing recently as well! We got a random email from "The Gerardo and Kathy Mejia Foundation" the other day. This couple started a foundation in the U.S. to benefit children in Ecuador, and they received a HUGE toy donation from a large company. They emailed asking if we'd like to receive some for Christmas.....and we said, YES! Patti Sue and I had been shopping just the day before we got the email, and it was overwhelming to think of what all needed to be bought for each child to have a Christmas present. Receiving the email was such a huge answer to prayer! I'll share more about this at Christmas-time.

Another praise... Anita-bebe went home to her family. A lady came up to CDF last week, and she was describing a lost family member. When I showed her a picture of Anita on my computer, she just burst into tears. Apparently an aunt was supposed to be taking care of Anita, but when she went missing....the aunt didn't inform the rest of the family. Anyway...the next day her mom (whom we thought was dead) and another family member came to pick her up. She seemed very happy to see them, and it's always fulfilling to see a family reunited. But- please continue to pray for this little girl! If you remember, she has "episodes" of convulsions, followed by self-destructive behavior afterward. There is some very intense spiritual warfare going on, and she needs prayer! She's a beautiful girl with a servant heart!

We LOVE rain right now! :-) Ecuador has had a crazy drought for the past couple of months. Since the major of our electricity comes from hydroelectric plants.... We've had scheduled power outages for the past several weeks now. At first, it was sometimes the majority of the day! VERY frustrating to not be able to use internet! But....the situation is improving, and we're now down to 2 hr. segments per day. Every time it rains, we celebrate!

Dwight and I have decided to extend our time here for an additional 6 months, March-August. We weren't sure what we were going to do for housing, but God has provided....of course. :-) Some friends are going on furlough, and we'll be able to stay in their house next spring/summer. God is good!

I feel like I could keep going, but this is a ridiculously long post. Once again... for our families. lol...

Love you all and pray that your eyes will be opened to the blessings you've been given!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend O' Fun

Wow! We had a busy, but very fun weekend.

Last Thursday afternoon, we had a group from a church in South Quito arrive. This was our first time to have a group of Ecuadorians, and it was exciting in a different way. The church wants to become more involved in missions within the country, and they're trying to do them as low-cost as possible. So... they slept out at the property on the 2nd floor! They were a huge help to Dwight with preparing the bottom floor for the final layer of cement.

On Saturday, we took the older kids out, and they were so excited to be able to work at their new house. The older girls and I were handling the shovels like pro's. ha! After all of the hard work they had an impromptu swim time in the river.... in their clothes. Actually...that's how most of the Ecuadorians in Shell swim. :-)

Sunday, the group led a little church service for all of the school-age kids. We were walking them up to the property, and they were just so excited! After church, we had a lunch of hot dogs and chochos :-)....followed by watermelon by the river. The group left after lunch, and Dwight, Patti Sue and I stayed with the kids swimming for a few more hours. I was exhausted when we got home around 4:00!

I didn't get any pics of the work being done.....only the fun stuff. :-)

If you can't see the full picture, just double-click on the slideshow. It should open in a separate window.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unicorn Princesses

Yes... that title was just for you, Emily. :-)
I guess it would be more correct if I said "Unicorns AND Princesses," but I couldn't resist the opportunity.
So yesterday I was covering P.E. for Dwight, and the older kids were going to play kickball. I always make them decide a team name together... and it usually takes A LOT of team effort to pick a name. They act like it's the hugest decision in the world. ... Needless to say, I was surprised when one of the teams had decided in less than a minute. Abigail came running up to me and said, "Ms. Tendy. (That's how it sounds when they say my name.) We (pause) is going to be (pause) THE UNICORNS!" She said this very directly and with a lot of authority. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings. lol....
Seriously... How on earth did a group of boys and girls decide to be Unicorns so quickly?!? Of all the animals they could have picked..... :-)

Moving on to the Princesses.... Last night the preschool and kindergarten aged girls came over to watch Tinkerbell. They were SO EXCITED! I had already turned the lights out before I remembered to take pictures, and I didn't DARE interrupt the exciting previews by turning them back on!
I don't think pictures could do them justice anyway. They were so cute in their pj's, practically shaking with excitement. I loved watching their faces as different scenes unfolded....the yellow princess....Tinkerbell's new outfit.... the music.... it was world-changing for them. lol....
Here are Nicole (left) and Veronica giving me a smile... It took 3 tries to get their eyes off of the screen. :-) Take note of Veronica's smile...It's fake. She really just wants me to get out of her way so she can look at TINKERBELL!

Ruby was not amused at my distracting photo attempts. Um... but please take note of who is on her pajamas.

Lorena (L) and Tatiana being goofy.

We are family (play the music in your head........) I got all my sisters with me! I feel like this could be our mantra. :-)
I wish you could all be here to experience these "normal" things that I just can't even put into words!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I can't believe Dwight has made it this long without getting some type of injury out at the worksite. I guess his time was coming for this.....

The other day his machete "slipped" and sliced into his left hand, cutting the tendon. He called our friend Paul, an anesthesiologist at the HCJB hospital, and he took care of Dwight. Paul was at home, but took D to the hospital and gave him these manly looking stitches. :-) Dwight said when he moved his fingers, he could see the notch in the tendon where he'd cut it.... it was sliding back and forth. (gag)

Another update: Maria, the little girl I posted about last time, went home last week. We only had her for 2 days, but I pray that she was able to experience God's love while she was here. Thanks for praying for her!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Day in the Life.....

Or a few days, I guess I should say. :-)

BUGS... a very normal part of life here. Last Thursday I found this creature crawling into the office. The kids all informed me that he is a centipede and VERY safe to hold in your hand. ........ I didn't try. :-)
Check out his red legs!

The next day at home, I found this little guy crawling on the wall INSIDE our house. I decided it was a teddy bear caterpillar. That name is based solely on the way I think he looks....nothing to do with what it's real name might be. :-)

And apparently we're not the only ones who have been so privileged to have a pet rat. The girls (our teachers) made a birthday cake for some friends and left it covered with a towel on the stove. They got home and found that a rat had eaten a hole through the towel...and proceeded to eat the cake as well. Apparently, the girls deemed it ok to eat, since the rat had to have been standing on the towel during his little snack. Totally logical, right? Um.... can we say, EEEEWWW!?!

Sunday night we were walking out of some friends' house, and there was a huge black tarantula right above Dwight's head. Poor guy... If you know him, then you know how serious of an experience this was for him.

Moving on from bugs.... Roses! I thought I should brighten the mood of this post. Patti Sue picked these up for me in Quito... 25 for $2.50. This is half of them. I was taking a picture, b/c they are HUGE! The blooms are about 5 inches in diameter!

Sunday Haircuts....

Monday..... Kuka with her shirt off, looking through the window.... No idea why....

Maria! Maria was just dropped off earlier today by the children's police division, who found her wandering. We still don't know anything for sure about where she came from or why. (She's on the left.)

She wasn't so sure about my camera. :-)

Please pray for her. She could be here for 2 days or 2 years.... We trust that God knows what's best for her.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boys, boys, boys

Ok, ok.... All birth control jokes aside... I got pretty attached to this little man over the past week. :-) He is just way too cute for his own good. He is in that fun stage where he's discovering new things constantly. He is making the most hilarious noises, but I could never get a video of it.

We were sitting outside one day, and I snapped these pictures. Like I said...way too cute.

I still can't believe how little he was when Patti Sue first got him! When I would sit and type at the computer, I could reach over with one hand and pick him up out of his bassinet. He was TINY!

On another note.... some other very cute little boys: Ivan, Anthony & Jefferson. They're sitting here in the office playing with Tinker Toys at the moment, and I snapped this pic really quick.

And the other boy in my life....
Dwight and the guys are pouring cement today, finishing off the floor on the 2nd level of the new building. It looks like they'll be working into the night, but I know it will be awesome when they're done. Hopefully we'll get a post up soon with an update on the building. ~ I walked the classes to the property during their P.E. time, and it was so cute to see their faces when looking at the new building. Dwight walked them through where the rooms will be. The kindergarteners all pretended to wash their hands and take showers in the spots where they will eventually be. I wish I would have had my camera, b/c it was hilarious!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Happy Friday everyone! :-) It's very quiet here right now, and it's wonderful! We're keeping John Paul for a week while Patti Sue is in Cancun at a missionary womens' retreat. As a result....Dwight and I have now pushed our date for wanting to have kids back by about 2 more years.

HA! Just kidding.... We are just REALLY into getting our sleep, and that just doesn't happen when you have a baby! I really am having fun with him. We stayed home in our pajamas all day yesterday, and it was fabulous.

Last night we had the guys who work with Dwight over for dinner. It was Pedro, his wife Sandra and 1 yr. old Amber Danielle. Then there's Luis, his wife Veronica, and their almost 2 year-old Francis. Dwight had described to them what 'fajitas' were whenever he cooked them for my birthday, so that's what we cooked last night. Dwight explained everything in far as what all you put ON the fajita... They were very overwhelmed with all of the options, and they were just staring at all the bowls of toppings. They eventually got into it, and we think they enjoyed it. I wish I would have taken a picture, so you could 'meet' them all!

Please be praying for the relationships involved with these people. The 4 of them have all come to us as individuals at some point....seeking advice, help, comfort, etc.... in regards to marriage and different things going on. While Dwight and I feel like we're the last people they should be asking..... They continue to do so! This is one of the big reasons we want to be more committed to becoming fluent in Spanish. It doesn't really frustrate us until those moments when someone is pouring their heart out to you.....and you can't communicate what's on your heart! So....we would appreciate your prayers.... for each of them individually, for them as married couples and for the men who are trying to truly follow what they know to be as honorable Christian men. It's not easy in this society, because there are many areas that Christians here just kind of gloss over and don't consider wrong. So, we would appreciate your prayers. We know the Holy Spirit is at work whenever we don't have the words, and we have to really rely on that and take comfort in knowing that.
On another note.... we got a new baby boy who is living at Patti Sue's house. It's quite the group of baby boys over there. His name is Nanki, which means lance/spear in his native language. I don't have any pics of him yet, but here's one that Patti Sue sent out in an email. He has one clubbed foot and one of his femurs is malformed. He's the cutest little thing!!!

Also...I never posted these pics of Jeniffer and Thalia's birthday. Mama Inez gathered all of the kids in one room and surprised the girls with this cake.

They put trick candles on there and all of the kids thought that was the greatest thing on earth when the girls had to keep blowing them out.
One of the Tias shoved the girls faces in from behind..... :-)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!