Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a few pictures of our past week. Over the weekend Calixto's parents came for an early Christmas...
Very excited about their gifts...
On Monday Catherine had a little parent's Christmas show at ballet. Aside from her pretend sneezes, itchiness and tiredness she did great!

Here is the progresss we have made. This used to be a closet in the bathroom. We tore out all of the cedar ripped down a wall and then put a door way into the hallway. The bathroom is much bigger and guests will be have access to a bathroom without going through a bedroom. The only problem is this is the way the room will look for a while!
This is as you come in the back door, right off of the kitchen. Here the guys tore out the pantry(dont' know where I'll have a pantry now?!) wall, took down all the paneling and began to install pipes etc for the washer and dryer. That should hopefully be done today. But, again this unfinished look will stay for a while...eek! When the house was built, they didn't use dry wall just these wood planks.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our house update-
So far we have removed all carpets, tack strips, staples from the floors; blinds, drapery and mold from all the windows! Wow, what a chore to get all of that accomplished. My parents are now here and I had hoped to get into some major work. I havea list of jobs I had hoped to complete before we leave for NJ next week. But, an unexpected project came up yesterday stealing some precious time (isn't that the way it always is?) We had to install a new water heater!("tyranny of the urgent") Not a fun project but a very necessary one, we now have hot water! I have to be very selective about the projects, choosing the ones with top priority, that is a very difficult task, as so much needs to be done. We will get it all done in time but, I need to make the best use of my dad (the home builder and jack of all trades) while he is here. Todays project is to install the washer and dryer.
We have a contract on our house with a great couple! We are so excited about them buying it. I know the neighbors will love them. There are a lot of changes going on in the neighborhood but the families moving in are wonderful...I only wish we were staying!! Good thing we are close by!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, we have made progress in the past week. I have a sore back, a sore neck and bags under my eyes!! We have also made some progress on the house, here are a few photos...After Cat's nap I'll head back over to do more work!
I spent 3 hours on the kitchen today. The stove was incredibly dirty, yuck!! I preliminarily cleaned it but, it needs more!
Here is our bedroom. I thought I could take out the mattress and just have a hard surface for pictures or something but, there is a built in box spring below the mattress! I have no idea what to do with this space...except tear it out to make roomier closets. The closets are quite small. We are gaining floor space in the move but we are losing closet space.
Here is a look at Catherine's room without the carpet and curtains and with new blinds.
back to the kitchen, sorry for the random order. There is tons of cabinet space, in fact I think most of them have not been used. I have a dishwasher! With the exception of my first 2 years in Longview, I have never had a dishwasher (besides myself) I am excited about that!! I found today that the faucet wasn't correctly installed and leaks under the cabinet, and whenever I turn on the faucet, water comes out of the tube for the icemaker...all over the floor, don't know what that is about!
This is Catherine's room again. So nice to have the curtains down and actually look out of the windows and let the sunshine in. By all the mold on the windows I doubt they ever opened the curtains or blinds!! I walked around this morning singing, "Let the sunshine in, let the sunshine in..."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A quick prayer request. A friend from home, Eileen, found out this week that she has a tumor on her pancreas. It is most likely cancerous. She is a breast cancer survivor, it has been 2 years since her treatments ended. This last week she was very itchy from head to toe, she had tests done and found the tumor. It is close to the bile duct which made her itch, which in turn brought about a quick diagnosis. (Praise the Lord for that!) They are hopeful that surgery will take care of it but, will know more after an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow at a top hospital in Philly. Thanks for your prayers! Also check out baby Ashley's blog site at and pray for this precious baby and family!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Here are inside photos of our house...the kids started jumping into the pictures just as a snapped them thus, the odd faces and bodies!! Here they are ceremoniously taking out the yard sign!!!

This is the master bedroom looking at the built in window seat. and His/her closets.
This is Christopher's room. We pulled back the carpet and the floors are beautiful underneath, maybe just some buffing will be needed throughout the house. The previous owners didn't quite understand that they needed to remove everything, leaving this old stereo behind, with a few other things as well.
Here is Catherine's room, I didn't get a good picture of the whole room...she has tons of windows! Each bedroom has at least 5
This is the den looking out toward the back porch. Funny how they have the same drapery throughout the house. I am sure it cost a lot but they sure are ugly...ok, I should say they are just not my taste! They will all be coming down very soon.
the kitchen, half of it anyway. It is a huge room but, they divided the space, making 1/2 of it into a breakfast nook. I would like to open it up and use it all for kitchen area.
Here is the living room, the fire place doesn't work (yet). the french doors open into the den
Here is the master bath. just to the left is a shower. I think it was originally a closet. You can't tell from the picture but this space is huge!! and it needs a lot of updating!
This is the dining room showing the built-in shelving. I am not a big fan of all of the, I am not sure what we'll do with it all. We have to sit down and formulate a master plan and then do a little work at a time. I would like to tear this whole wall out, opening the space into the kitchen.
Well, that is our house. As soon as we get the heat turned on (tomorrow) We'll be over there cleaning and ripping out the carpets. My parents will be here next week to help start some other work too!! Yay!

Friday, December 01, 2006

We now own the house!!!
We successfully closed the deal and signed our lives away this afternoon! Everything went very smoothly! Our mortgage guy is even going to try to get some money back for us b/c the cost of the survey was outrageously high!! We so appreciate any help with that. The sellers want to take us out for lunch sometime soon.
So the kids and I will head over to the house tomorrow to begin some work. Hopefully, my parents can come down and get a little work done before they leave Okla and head back to NJ. We probably won't move until after the holidays but that depends on the sale of this house.
The Christmas parade was a bit chilly tonight, we were prepared with snuggly blankets!! We enjoyed it but, it didn't seem as good as in years past. The chinese food we ate afterwards sure was good!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

ok...this blog thing isn't doing what I want it to!! Explanation is at the bottom of this post! I tried to add other pictures, it said it loaded them but they won't show here are the pictures that did show up...Catherine holding a cooked chicken foot...lovely face!! The dog in the background, I'm sure was just waiting for her to drop it.
Some of the girls took time to braid her hair into lots of little braids it looked very cute! It sure did take a long time to take out though. This is an umbrella a store owner gave her...she wouldn't put it down the rest of the trip.
Here is the team...on the roadside on the way back to Tamazunchale from Jalpa. Sorry it is a bit blurry. Pastor Chencho took the picture and he wasn't real still as he snapped it.
Christopher's concrete covered hands as he worked so hard shoveling and carrying buckets back and forth to the roof! He loves to work serving others, what a blessing to see his servant's heart!
Our host family's pig!Mexico...We had a great trip! It was cold and rainy in Jalpa and very muddy! Unbelievably all the kid's clothes actually got clean in the washer...and we went through all the clothes we brought with us! I already posted pictures on my family blog you can check out those on the link to the right if you wish. I'll just post a few pictures of the kids here.

House...We close tomorrow at 3!! We still have potential buyers for our house although they are looking at a HUD house nearby as we'll see on that end!

Friday, November 10, 2006

this is too cute! Of course they would pick Shirley Temple because of the curls.
Why oh why did we decide to buy a new house?!
What a process!! We found out today that we need a new survey done...more money! We were hoping to use the existing survey since it is only 6 yrs old. The problem is...the property has 2 street fronts, the property on Jewell street is an empty lot. The house next door to the lot built too far over and their roof sits 2 ft onto our proposed property. The current owners gave them the extra feet but didn't go through any legal channels thus a new survey is required of us! Calixto is going to see if the current owners will pay for this, but I doubt they will. I also have to say what a rip off appraisals are...they "seem" to be a total waste of money...our money at that. The appraisers basically come up or down to the selling price of the house. Now, if that is going to be the case why are we as buyers required to have an appraisal done. It makes no sense to me! So far we have put a lot of money into this house and it isn't even ours yet! I guess there is sense to the phrase "Buyer Beware"
This is interesting...the house we wanted to buy before this one was bought by our neighbors. I ran into one of the guys the other day and he told me the house caught on fire!! Last week a fire started in the kitchen due to the dish washer. There were 2 smoke detectors downstairs and neither went off! Fortunately, they were sleeping downstairs, they awoke to choking smoke...they got out just in time. If they had been sleeping in the room upstairs the house would have been engulfed before they realized there was a fire. Praise God that they survived (they are not believers). They will have to be out of the house for at least 2 months and have the entire kitchen redone. After I spoke with him I realized what if we had bought that is quite possible our kids would have died of smoke inhalation (downstairs) before we could have done anything about it from upstairs! Same for the couple and their kids who lived there before. (We ran into that couple at Chick-fil-A today and they couldn't believe it!) Praise God for the way he works all things out!
We will be showing our house to the couple from LU again this weekend! It is a great location for them as he spends many extra hours at the office. We'll keep praying for the right buyer with the right price!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fall Fun!

and after! We had fun carving our pumpkins...I was going to carve my little one but, was too tired after doing Catherine's.

Do you like the leg warmers? Catherine was still dressed in her dance outfit from the morning. They had a little party at class and one of the mom's gave all the girls these leg warmers...they all loved them!

Usually we only have 1 or 2 people come to our house for Trick or Treating. This year we had a bunch of kids come. Luckily I had candy left over from Christopher's b'day party to give away!
Update on the house...we had the home inspection completed, revealing work to be done at some point! The appraisal was done today...all paperwork is in the hands of the mortgage company. I would assume closing will be the beginning of Dec. I must say I am a bit nervous about it all still!

Monday, October 23, 2006

We spent the weekend in quaint, historic Ganbury. They were having a Harvest Moon Festival on the square so after breakfast on Sat. We walked around and looked at the various booths. We couldn't stay too long as we needed to head out and drive over to Glen Rose for an orientation meeting for Mexico. There are 2 men going with us on the Thanksgiving trip from Grace Community Church in Glen Rose. Calixto spent 5 hours going over all the important stuff about the mission trip. The kids and I spent most of that time outside playing...they played and I read.
The owners of the condo left a wonderful book"I Love You, Daddy Boy" for me to read. It was so touching, I spent several hours reading through it. The author is the wife of Bill Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, and she is the sister of our friend who owns the condo. Mrs. Frist just wrote a book about famous or accomplished women and their relationships with their fathers. (I guess she compiled and edited it as the book is comprised of letters from women about their fathers). It was such a reminder of how important that relationship is between our husbands and our little girls!
Calixto leaves this Thurs for Mexico to lead the Pastor's conference. Pastor Candido also asked if the SS workers from the various churches could come and have some sessions of their own. Calixto couldn't say no but, didn't know who would be able to lead those sessions. On Sat. during his meeting he thought about and then asked the Pastor over family ministries (not sure of his title but he is over children's ministry too)if he would come and lead those times...well he spoke to the powers that be and on Sunday he said he would go!! Praise the Lord! Obviously God worked all of that out! Now...we just need one more translator...anyone interested?
We had a great Sunday at Grace Community, it feels like a church home away from home. It was neat, they had an ordination for a couple who are going to Tanzania to be missionaries. This couple are in their cool that they are answering God's call on their lives even now! (side note-Catherine's birth mother stayed with them for a little bit and they came to see Cat. the day she was born). The husband gave a short testimony about their salvation and call to missions, what was neat about it is they did not always make godly choices with their lives and consequences for those choices hurt many people but, God redeemed their lives!! And now will use them for His Glory in another culture! Praise God for Redemption!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Finally, I am able to post some pictures from our trip north. This is on the Minn.-Wisconsin border in a state park. There was a film crew taping a commercial or something. A woman and then a man kept yelling/singing "De-troit Basket-ball!" They were trying to get a good echo effect.
The pictures aren't great b/c they were taken with a disposable camera. We had forgotten our camera in the hotel room.
It was amazing to see beautiful trees just growing right out of the hard rocks!
At this point the river makes almost a 90 degree turn (to the R of the picture) due to a fault line underneath
These are the falls in Sioux Falls. My camera would not take a good picture no matter what I did with it...the camera is now in the shop. It was a beautiful balmy evening but the smell from the nearby meat packing company was a bit strong!
Here is my sweet friend Toni, I miss her living right down the street and being a daily part of my life!
No pictures from the conference itself or from the city. Minneapolis has a very neat, trendy year we'll take some more pictures.
Things on the house are moving along a little slowly but, that's ok. The seller has the contract and Calixto will meet with her this morning to go over things together. I believe they are expecting us to pay all closing costs, theirs included! Not happy about that. If that is the case then we will require some more things of them like thoroughly cleaning the house. I need to make a list of those things today.
Last night we took part in a prayer walk down some pretty poor streets on the southside. This is the 2nd one for Longview and the attendance was down a bit from the 1st. But, there were still a lot of people, maybe 200. Many people came out of their homes to say hello or wave as we walked by. I felt like I was in some other city or "time" as we walked past these old run down houses. It brought tears to my eyes to see the way some people live just a few blocks from our home. The kids enjoyed themselves as some of our good friends came too. We were even in video on the news. Unfortunately they don't have the video posted on their website, I wanted Christopher to see it.
We leave tomorrow to spend the weekend in Granbury. Calixto will be doing an orientation with some guys going to Mx with us in Nov. so we decided to make a weekend of it and stay at "the condo". The owners are so sweet to let us stay there when we are in town. Then next weekend Calixto will be in Mx for the 1st annual pastor's conference in Tamazunchale. Preparation for this has taken up a lot of his sabbatical time but, at least he has had time to focus on it and make it a priority.
If you are in Longview...enjoy the cool weather...what a difference a day makes!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to Calixto...a day late...we weren't home much at all yesterday and sometimes I just can't get messages to post on the blog...frustrating!
Another year older and wiser! Happy Birthday...We love you!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

yay, it finally worked...What do you think? The first thing to go would be the huge magnolia tree! It is nice that a big tree is there but, Calixto strongly dislikes them from a landscapers point of view. The house was built in the 30's and has one floor although I hear the attic is big enough to make 2 large rooms if we put in a stair case somewhere. It has lots of large least 5 in each room! That was life in Texas before AC. It has a detached garage with a servants quarters and about 2 acres of land. Hard wood floors throughout with a doesn't work due to chimney problem, but it can be repaired. This could be our new residence...what an exciting and scary thought!
I'm having trouble uploading pictures to my blog pictures for now. We had a wonderful time in Minneapolis. The conference was amazing...such knowledgeable, godly, passionate speakers! I went into the conference thinking it would all be over my head but, thankfully, it was not and I was captivated by each speaker. The audio is downloadable (is that a word?) on the website The speakers were very diverse but all had the common bond of God's word and rich theology. The worship through music was incredible with the highlight on Sat evening when the whole orchestra/choir from Bethlehem Baptist joined the worship team. We are already anticipating next year's conference on Endurance. But in the mean time there is the Pastor's conference and the Children Desiring God conference to look forward to at the beginning of next year.
We had a great but short visit with dear friends, James and Toni Swanson, in South Dakota. The area is beautiful, similar to the Lancaster Pa area. Then back to Minn. to read all the books we bought and relax for a few days. We had dinner with a sweet couple who are searching for a place of ministry *(Rob, we suggested RMI, they sound very interested. You may even know each other, he went to TEDS, I'll contact you with his info). We were able to meet with the Children's Pastor from Bethlehem Baptist for 2 hours one afternoon. It was a great meeting where we gained much insight for our children's program. We are thankful to God for filling us with his word and nice it feels to be refreshed and full! I just finished reading an inspiring book "Faithful Women and their extraordinary God" by Noel Piper. This is a must read book of 5 ordinary women who fully gave their lives to God and his calling and did incredible things through Him and for Him. All I can say is Wow!
On the house...the day before we left we found out the other potential buyers had backed out and now we are the sole "bidders"! We are moving ahead with contract etc. with caution. We are too seems every door has been pushed wide open by God and we are still questioning it...but, we just want to be wise!! We'll keep you updated and hopefully, I can post a picture of it soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quick update...
Can anyone tell me how I can give my posts a title. On our other blog it has space for you to type a title...but, not on this blog...can anyone tell me how to add that?
On the house...
We went to the mortgage company yesterday and are pre-approved for a loan. Matt Almeter went to the house for a preliminary "look", he really liked the house and thought it was definitely a blessing from God! While at the house we met the neighbors next door. A very nice Christian couple (the wife is having double by-pass surgery on Monday), he said we'd have the best neighbors if we end up buying it! Of course we told him he would as well! The owners have a survey of the land that we can use, a savings of some money for us! Next step I believe is to have a home inspection done and a contract drawn up from the Title company. I pick up the appraisal for our house today. Do you know anyone that wants to live close to LeTourneau? Send them our way. We will advertise at LU first and hopefully will find a buyer there. We want to be careful to keep the integrity of the neighborhood. We do have another lead and will call her today. Wow, things are moving quickly but then things will pause while we are away for a week.
On our trip...
We leave for Minneapolis on Fri for Desiring God's annual conference. This year the title is "The Supremacy of Christ in a post modern world". We are so excited to go and just soak up God's word and hear from some pretty knowledgeable men. On Sunday morning, the whole orchestra from John Piper's church comes and it is simply incredible! Sunday afternoon we head to South Dakota to visit our dear friends, Toni and James Swanson. We'll spend a few days with them and then return to Minn. for some much needed rest, relaxation and prayer time!!
We would love it, if you prayed for us in the whole matter of the house...thanks!
This is an article from Good House Keeping 1955. I hope you are able to enlarge it and read it. Sounds pretty good although some of it...maybe...goes too far...what do you think? The essence of the article is good and probably is not unlike Dr. Laura's book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands". I have heard it is an excellent book, I have been unable to get it from the library for the last 2 months. One copy is obviously mis-shelved and the other is long over due! I'll try again today in order to read it during our trip to Minneapolis.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Well, Calixto and Pastor Candido had a great and busy week in NJ! They were able to share with several Hispanic families in Atlantic City. They cooked an authentic Mexican meal for about 30 people at church. Candido sang and preached 2 Sunday morning services, I think he preached 2 different messages too. They both enjoyed there time but came home exhausted. They got home Tues afternoon and left early this morning for the border, they are probably there now, saying goodbye. I am sure Candido has lots of stories to share with his family and church. I know he was anxious to get back home...2 weeks is a long time to be away, especially with little contact by phone during that time. He is going home with a cold and a tooth ache, pray for healing and pain relief for him. And if you think of it pray for Calixto tomorrow as he will be driving back to Longview by himself...hopefully, he'll get a good nights rest tonight before heading out early in the morning.
No soccer practice tonight...due to potential bad weather...tornado warning is in effect until late tonight. I won't tell Christopher that...he is always concerned about tornados when it gets a little windy or cloudy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ok, I am trying to set up our own family blog...let's see if I can get it done correctly?!
Calixto is in NJ with Pastor Candido visiting the church there and staying with my family...w/o me! It hasn't been very nice fall weather for his visit far only grey days!
Everyday, Catherine tells me she misses Daddy and then asks if I miss him too...of course I tell her that I do! He'll be back on Tues night, just in time for my 30th...again!