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.