Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turn 37, go see SEINFELD!!!

Well, the Snelling clan got Rebecca and I tickets to go and see Seinfeld on Friday (last night). Sarah, Josh, Hannah, Reba, and I all went up and had dinner first and then went to see him in action. It was great to see him. He was so funny, it brought me back to the days in college where my roommates and I would sit around and watch him. It was great birthday gift.

We went out to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak house and it was some of the best steak I have ever had. Perfect way to start the night off. We all had a great time.

part of the gift was Rebecca's parents taking care of all four kids. Jacob, Jonah, Noah, and Thomas. They all had a good time too. Thomas just loves being around the boys, because there is always something going on. Noah loves to play with him.

He always laughs at Noah. He pretty much laughs at everyone. He is a very happy child. His parents believe he has some special powers that are yet to be determined. We will see. I myself, would love to be able to fly. That is a whole other story for another time.

It was a great birthday present so thank you again to all of the Snelling clan for a great night out!



We thought it was going to be sunny today, but that didn't hold us down from getting closer to planting a garden. We pulled out the weeds and Rebecca took over on the heavy machinery. We are ready to plant when the weather gets warmer. What we did do is plant tomato plants in the hanging buckets because i have always wanted to try this. We were going to buy them from topsy turvy (you have seen the commercials), but we decided to make our own this year and try it out.

Although they don't look beautiful, they are on the side of our house that no one looks at but the sun it hotly intense. We are hoping the tomatoes will do well there.Of course, Jacob took every precaution with his safety gear. Makes me think how unaware of safety I really am.

We put up four and may try to do another one later on. We will see how this works.

Not to hard to drill a large hole in the bucket and put the plant in.

Here is the garden area that we are going to try and grow something. Everyone has their own ideas, so there is some jockeying and compromising going on. We have decided on tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, and strawberries. I am sure the list will try and grow larger, but we aren't a working farm, so we have to stop somewhere.

Like always, the kids helped a bit by running by on their way to the slide or the trampoline. They had a great day of playing which always makes me feel good. I love to see them playing because by the end of the day, they are crawling to bed--nothing wrong with that.

Jonah and Noah didn't have enough going on today so they practiced for their band after a dinner of tacos and strawberry Margarita's. (virgin of course for the kids). They are going to "

travel around the world and make it big", says Jonah.

Noah on the drums. He was so intense. Anyway, we are tired, but have a lot to show for it today. Until tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rebecca is crowned "Mother of the Year" by her 3 children

Rebecca always amazes me by how creative she is and how she is constantly looking on Craige's list for the best deal. She has been looking for a trampoline for awhile and she found one close that turned out to be $20. It's in great condition and it was already disassembled and ready to pick-up. So, yesterday she broke the news to me that she was picking up the trampoline. In Rebecca style, she got home and began setting the whole thing up. The kids have absolutely loved it. They have also been trashed after using it for awhile. Last night they went right to sleep, even Jonah.

There were the normal bumps and bruises that the kids end up getting everyday anyway. About every 30 minutes, one comes in crying saying that they bumped into one another but as soon as they get a kiss, they are running out the door for another go at it. It has been great.

Jacob, who has even had a fever off and on, will run out for a quick jump and then he goes right back to the couch.

I found Jacob on the trampoline when there was no sign on him in the house. So, Rebecca, the outstanding award for mother of the year goes to you this week. I have a lot of work to do to one up you for the father of the year award. Better get working.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random pictures

A couple days before Easter, some of the neighborhood kids came over and wanted to have an Easter Egg Hunt 2009. They pulled out tables, brought food, and filled eggs and hid them in the yard. It was fun to see because we didn't do anything to help. They had a great time. It was afterwards, they didn't really feel like cleaning it all up so Rebecca and I cleaned all of it up for them......Not!!

Conversing at the refreshment table.

This was when they were inside filling up all the eggs.

On a completely separate note, Rebecca decided to pull out the back deck, which we had been talking about for three years. Most of you who know Rebecca know that she doesn't wait around for me to start these projects. I love her for it because you never know what you are going to find when you get home. Even Noah got in on some of the action after he had taken his bath. Our kids love hammers in any form.

Rebecca never backs down to hard work, especially when I am standing off on the sidelines taking pictures.

Quick picture taken when the boys came to pick me up at the airport. They were so excited and told me that I wasn't allowed to go away again.

The kids got to the airport a bit early and were hanging out. I am quite surprised that this picture didn't find them on the baggage carousel

Noah and his cousin, Nolan, after baths the weekend before.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mazatlan pictures 2009

Wow, where to begin. We all got down safely on Saturday, March 28th and this is where we ate breakfast a couple times due to the incredible view. We also had a lot of Bible studies here and on the beach just because where it was located. Saturday we got settled and Sunday we went to church with Pastor Carlos.

Part of our clan was excited to see that there was actually a Starbuck's located near the hotel. We stayed in a hotel near the tourist part because it was a lot safer.

Our first day, we walked the beach in our shirts. We sure all did blend in with the crowd.

We rode around in the back in pick-up trucks called tap taps. The locals said they were safe and they could transport a lot of us at a time. This was a good friend, Erik-good guy

I'll let you be the judge whether they were safe or not. No one actually fell out.

This was the church service on Sunday we attended and they had someone translating the sermon for us, which was sure helpful. They were so happy to have us there.

We had 19 people who went on the trip, 5 of which, were going to be staying on after at YWAM (Youth with a Mission). There is a facility where people come from around the world and do mission work for more than a week or so. They are staying there and going to be going to the prisons in Mazatlan, starting a youth group up, and a lot of other activities in the city. Their first week was to help us with the houses.

For some reason, I got stuck on cutting for a couple hours, which actually turned out to be pretty fun since sparks were flying everywhere. We were broken up into two teams and we had two building sites about 1/4 mile away from one another. We started out with a concrete slab and we used metal studs etc instead of wood.

We built the walls like you normally would and put the painted siding on the wall prior to putting it up. Saved a lot of time and it sure made the siding much easier to put on. It went pretty fast the first day. It was pretty hot, but we did expect that.

Now considered an expert in building walls, I can source out my services to the highest bidder.

One of the guys on the trip, Brent, is 6 ft 8 inches, so all of the kids followed him around calling him "gigante". We used him well to reach those high places we needed.

We also poured a basket ball court during the week at one of the church's orphanages that was close to the homes we were building. We had a great time with the kids, even though it was hard to see some of them. They are well cared for, but it broke my heart.

Brent loved hanging out with all the kids. He would throw them around and they thought it was great.

I met this little one named Jesus and all he needed was hugs all the time. He would clap his hands when they sang songs and he would pray before meals. He did speak a little Spanish but not much. He was incredible.

This was one of the houses on site #2 that was coming a long pretty nicely. They were putting the roof on which was pretty hard work.

Not sure how I got so dirty on this day, but no matter. Had a great time. The shower at night was a great end to the day. I didn't realize one person could collect so much dirt.

No one had any major injuries, but any cut or scratch, we made sure to disinfect quickly so we didn't have any problems later.

Everyone played a big part in doing every part of the build.

There were parts of the day where I was sore in areas I didn't even realize I had muscles. We would also start getting dizzy or too overheated so we would stop for water. They had water and Gatorade for us all the time.

I became one of the workers equipped with a screw gun and we put all of dry wall up. It was hard at times putting the screws into metal studs, but we found a way. I felt left out because I wasn't wearing a doo rag--maybe not!

Almost pushed the wall down in my attempt to get that dry wall up. Pretty sore at the end of the day. Nothing that a little advil and benadryl can't help.

We did take time out to play duck, duck, goose with the kids. That is plato, plato, ganzo for all of you who don't have any Spanish back ground. We had a great time and it actually turned into a pretty competitive game at times where the first aide kit had to come out to patch a few people up. We were playing in the street though.

This was the crew that did the mudding and sanding, which was hot and sticky. They did a great job though. We all worked really well together.

On the last day, we ended up pulling some of the other team to our house because we were a bit behind. We still finished a day ahead of schedule, but house number 2 was beating us. They did have more people than us, but who's counting. It was like a frenzy at the end because we also had the concrete coming to pour the basketball court also. A lot happened all at the same time.

This was the orphanage and the court that we poured. All of the kids loved it, especially the ones who had wheel chairs because it meant they could go outside as well and play. We had dedications ceremonies for all houses and the basketball court.

There are just some of those cute kids that hang around all week long and she was one of them. She had such big, brown, eyes. She was also a big help with painting the siding. She was eager to learn. They had school from 8-12:00 each day and the they would race home to help.

This was house #2's dedication on Saturday. It was great to hand those keys over to the family. We sang praise songs and said a prayer over the house. Each house also got a Spanish/English Bible given to them

This was the dedication on house #1, or the house that I worked on. It was a great feeling seeing the family watch all week long.

This is Pastor Carlos and part of the worship team from the church who came to dedicate the home.

Each house had a member from the church who has built these homes before and who gave us some guidance. They have had 45 plus homes built for the community over the years. He was a funny guy. He made fun of all of us gringos and our hand sanitizer.

Sisters, Rochelle and Brianne 10 years a part who came on the trip. They were hard workers.

Across the street from out hotel. Nice view to reflect on each day before leaving. We were actually up at 5 and on the road at 6 am each day because the building site was 45 minutes away. We had breakfast at the site and then started working. Each day we worked until about 6, came home, had dinner, and fell into bed.

We had our last Bible study on the beach Sunday morning and we were all relaxed and very tired. Our plane left that day at 2 p.m., so we had some time to relax before getting on the plane. What a great experience.

Someone caught me Sunday morning at breakfast as we went around and talked about how this experience was for each of us. I guess I looked pretty tired...and I was. I want to thank all of those who supported me financially and in prayer. The trip was safe for all of us and was one of the most incredible experiences that I have had serving others. I would do it again, but next time would like to bring the whole family.