Mom's Blog

Friday, April 27, 2007

"With all your heart" - Grandma Coates

This week was my mom's 80th birthday. I was able to call her and wish her a happy birthday and I should have written this blog on that day, but here it is anyway.
I want to thank mom for giving me a strong base spiritually. A verse she has on several ocassions written on notes or cards is I Samuel 12:24: " Be sure to serve the Lord and serve his faithfullly with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you."
Mom (and Dad) both gave of themselves full heartedly in church. I fondly remember JetCadets and all the fun times and things we learned in that. I know Mom has often mentioned the Pioneer Girl Program we had geared for young teen girls. Mom and June Youman especially were so influential is giving us 'gals' a time to learn new things, enjoy good company and grow spiritually. Thanks, Mom for serving with all your heart.
Anytime mom takes on a project, such as the recent cookbook for the park's fundraiser, she does that will all her energy. Mom always told me to do any job, the best that could be done. I remember in the new two story house we helped build on Arnette Street. We all worked on that, mom right along side of dad helping to put finishing touches. She then gave me the task of keeping the upstairs clean and expected me to do a 'thorough' job each time. She told me if she even had to come upstairs to clean what was my job, I'd be in real trouble. I think only once I had to redo the bathroom.
One other thing I learned from my mom was to make lists - lists for shopping, lists of things to get done for the day - even with amount of time each item would take. I do the same and even though I usually can't find my list, I know it has helped me to remember. I love listing my household chores, though, and being able to check them off as done.
I like to think in many ways I am like my mom, that would be a great complement. I too want to remember that God has done much for me and that serving him 'with all my heart' is a joy and an offering of love.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It is hot!

Daniel and I laugh that when both Sam and Andy were here visiting us it wasn't too hot, and at least it didn't seem to them very bothersome. It has been pretty hotand we're not just old farts complaining... Temps have been 33 - 35 degress. I'll let you figure out the math, using that formula you learned in 8th grade. In Michigan I know it's always cold when you would wish for warmth as I'm sure many of you are doing right now. It's always hard to believe that winter can drag on for so long in that northern part of the country. But the last few days it has been unbearably hot again when it should be cooling down for winter. We've taken to carrying a little cooler of cold and frozen water in the car. Thanks to Andre's and Salmoueh's urging we are drinking very little pop now. But I'm constantly boiling water as I question how safe the drinking water is here, especially when on certain days you open the faucette and the water that streams out is definitely a different color.
NExt week our plans are to look into health insurance here, get new Yellow Fever shots, and try to get Daniel's birth record straightened out. According to the new computerized system here, there are records of his marriage, but not his birth. So paper work again. The immigration departmentn is also insisting on seeing my teaching certificate even though we have declared that I am retired and am not nor do I intend to work. Life is always interesting here! We often wonder how people who DO work have the time to do all the paperwork and time-consuming banking, paying bills that are done here all in person rather than on-line! Going to the bank can take up to 2 hours. We live and learn and I'm glad we are able to laught and smile in spite of the ups and downs. I'm most thankful here for Daniel's family who stand by to help!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Not too long ago Andres injured his leg while playing soccer; now this week Miguel cracks his head open colliding with the goalie. Yes, they're adults, but a mother is a permanent position in life! Not that I'd kiss their ouchies and make them better. I'm always amazed, however, at the opportunities the kids have to stay active in things other than the daily routine of work. I'm glad for that and for the good friends they make in the process. Raquel is in school now and everyday I think about her getting the girls ready and then unwinding after a long day of classes. Not much I can do to help her, except that I believe firmly in the value of prayer and do pray for her every day, as for each of the kids and grandkids.
Recently a verse came to mind that I have been claiming not only for myself, but for my loved ones, "He that began a good work in you WILL perform it to the very end." God doesn't give up on his children, even though we may walk away from Him. He wants to and says he WILL continue to work in our lives. WE just need to let him and I'm convinced there is no better way that spending old-fashioned time everyday reading the Bible. God may not give up, but He does ask us to abide in Him. How - by spending time alone with Him The bottom line is that Jesus can be 'the' savior of the world - a general position - or He can be MY savior and if savior he needs to have the place of Lord, a term we seldom use today. Being a Chrsitian, I've become convinced, is not just recognizing the death and resurrection of Jesus, but applying the forgiveness and salvation, making him the absolute Ruler of our everyday life. Hard to do if we never read his instruction book.

One final comment from last blog - we didn't catch any fish. I had a terrible day - caught a tree three times!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Rainy season continues

For the last three days, it has been raining after a few weeks of blue skies. We thought the rainy season was over. Daniel and I have been wanting to take off and go fishing, but have had to put it off. I bought him a new pole for his birthday and he's been talking to some old fishermen with their advice and tales and so we're hoping that maybe tomorrow.
We had a busy week last week - not my favorite week, I'll tell you. Both of us were frustrated and those of you who know how much I HATE agitated traffic here in Santa Cruz can appreciate the frustration we had trying to get my residency established here. A tourist visa only lasts 3 months and the time was up for me to legalize my stay here - never did want to be an illigal immigrant! But it took us four full days running from one office to another, returning the next day to be told we came too early, to come back an hour later. We had a whole list of things we had to get done and so we kept driving from one office to another. Did you know that from a blood sample they can tell just how healthy you are. I needed proof of well-being. They drew a blood sample and the next day picked up a very official letter stating that from the medical examination they can safely conclude that I am mentally and physically well! (I know many of you would wonder about the mental part!) Now we just have to wait 2 weeks to get my passport back with the official stamp that says I can stay for a year and then start the process over again???? Things have certainly changed here - I didn't have to do all that 2o years ago.
We are slowly finding new routines as we change our pace here. Daniel is playing tennis at 6:00 in the morning - to avoid the heat, and so I try to get up and do a few things then too. (He'd be sure to add, that often I don't even hear him get up!) We;ve rearranged the furniture. Sam would be especially pleased with the living room, a nice little seating arrangement, bought some new decorative pillows to cheer up the room and we have decided to eat out about every other day so that I don't have to be on my feel peeling potatoes, washing dishes etc. Besides we can eat at a really nice, clean 'pension' for between $1.oo and $1.50 each which is not much more than I spend at the market.
I invited many of the centellas brood over for 'tea' for Claudia's and Daniel's birthday. I made 3 kinds of cookies, banana bread but did break down and bought a cake. It was self serve which is unusal here, but it worked! We are anxious to get the bbq pit built in the back yard, I especially want to see the pile of bricks used rather than sitting on the lawn. But that would make cooking out so much fun. I hope we can have it ready by the time Miguel and Kate come. Well, I'm off to bed, hoping for sunshine tomorrow so I can go catch a big fish - actually there are bass here!