Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving and the Last Part 0f 2012

Our family Giving thanks on Thanksgiving 
As 2012 comes to an end  I just wanted to remind all of you about (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) end-of -the-year Giving- that all so important last minute effort to give some money away in hopes of getting more back in April.    We have big plans for this summer and are all looking forward to working in Ghana, Africa iin July.  So, I thought before you spend everything on Christmas presents I would remind you that any gifts to our ministry are tax-deductible which means you can help out foriegn missions and get a little more returned on your taxes.  You can follow this link to give.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Family Traditions

Since not all of you are on FaceBook----Around here we tend to do things that.... well..... are sometimes crazy or at least strange.  We tell our kids that it gives them an excuse for how they "are."  Our first Christmas in Ecuador we recieved a Christmas day present from Chad and Andi Irwin - a very generous pair of Turkey feet.... yes, Turkey feet- very perfectly wrapped.  The next Thanksgiving we recieved another pair inside of our turkey and I started thinking- which is always dangerous.  The Turkey feet took on a mind of their own and began celebrating the holidays as well.  This year they were very busy.
Stealing the last cupcake

Going for the candy corn

Cheering for the Long Horns with Joe

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Life As A Homeschooling, Laboratory Director Mom

I think I mentioned a few months ago that back in April I was asked to become the director of the hospital laboratory. Dra. Narcisa Brito, who had been the laboratory director and who has worked for the hospital for over 20 years agreed to become the new Hospital Administrator. We have all been very please working in this capacity with Narcisa and are impressed daily with her ability to balance "work" and ministry.

So, that left an opening in the lab. The timing was interesting, because I had just decided to home-school so...... after much prayer and lots of discussions about what I would be doing, I became the director of the laboratory at Hosptial Vozandes del Oriente! I work with an amazing group of women.  They care so much for the patients and for accurate and quick results. 

Well, since April, I have gotten overwhelmed countless times and tried to quit twice but you know how that usually turns out. We have tweaked the schedule, acquired an amazing lab coordinator and spent countless hours in prayer trying to figure out how it all will work, but now, at the end of November, things have hit a steady pace.

Me with some of the lab chicas- yes, I know I'm a giant next to them!
Each morning after getting Bella off to school, Sebastiao and I start school. We work until 12:30ish when Bella returns for lunch and then after lunch we continue until Sebastiao leaves for art, music or PE at the school. When he leaves for school, I go to the hospital and work for a few hours. The kids stop by my office when the come home from school and it always nice to see them there. Of course there are phone calls and emails all times of the day and night and time on the computer at home, but I try to leave "school time" as just "school time"and make sure the children know they are my first priority.  Somedays I'm more successful than others.

There are days when I wish I was just a normal, "stay at home" mom- whatever that is. Days, when I wish I could just lay in the hammock and read a book while the children are at school or have time to do something crafty before 10 o'clock at night, but then I go to the hospital and by chance do something that is helpful.... and it all seems worth-while and God's plan seems clearer and just a little bit closer.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Work or the Very Least the Perception of Work

I tend to be a bit of a control freak....maybe a slight understatement, but for those of you who, like me, need to at least have the sense of control of meaningless things that really only matter you- this post of for you.

This morning while sweeping the back porch (before I mopped it- because it is impossible to have a good day without a sparkling clean back porch) I was thinking over all I had to do today-

-frost the cupcakes for the Thanksgiving presentation at school tonight
- go to the store to buy the things to make frosting
-put dinner in the crockpot so we can eat before the presentation and not devour the cupcakes on the way to the school
-make sure the Parkview group has reservation in Quito for their upcoming trip (a bright spot to the day)
-go to work
-wait for a phone call from work
-actually comb my hair and put on make-up before I go to work
-clean up breakfast dishes
-unload the dishwasher
-start a load of laundry
-grade Sebastiao's work from yesterday
-oh yeah,....... and teach Sebastiao- (5th grade is challenging for the teacher)

Well to say the least I was a bit overwhelmed and when I get overwhelmed I get petty.  I start comparing, which we all know is the root of all evil.  I have always been perplexed by the saying, "There is no rest for the wicked."  For me, being wicked requires almost no effort.  I have never had to spend time in prayer asking God to give me sarcastic comments, but I do spend a lot of time asking him to give me nice words and a caring attitude.  But I digress..... So, while in my emotional sweeping/moppin upheaval, the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that everything I do is working for him- not working for the kids, or working for Joe or working for the hospital, but working for him.  However, that wasn't comforting in that moment because, my next thoughts were how much harder I would need to work and how much more important the clean  back porch would be and how much more tired I would feel (yes, I need to be medicated!)   Then God reminded me that he gives a day off and gives rest- not just metaphorically speaking in your heart as we are dragging around working, but in actually asking me to sit for a few quiet moments alone (yes, I said alone) For those of  you who are moms ALONE is what we once used to be while going to the bathroom- remember, when no one else is around not even yelling at you through a closed door.  God is showing me that I need to do the tasks he has set before me but I also need to truly rest, be in his presence and trust that no matter how trivial or important my tasks are, they are for him.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why Love?

This print is available here
Tonight I heard an interview with Ricky Martin (no, don't get excited... he didn't make some amazing profession of faith).  He was talking about some song he sings and how it had a very "Budist" message.  He said that because he loves himself, he can love others.  That caught me as really sad.  If I had to depend upon how I felt about myself in order to treat others well, we (read that You guys) would all be in a world of hurt most of the time.    What a wonderful thing that I can love others because Jesus loves me and sets the bar pretty darn high for how we are to treat others. Thank God we have more to live for than our feelings, we have his ultimate sacrifice, the perfect example of how to live and the most amazing future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sebastiao's Blog

Sebastiao's newest blog post is up- enjoy!

Sebastiao The Explorer

Got Summer Plans?

We are very excited to announce that we get to help out with the summer intern program this year in Ghana!  We are looking forward to working alongside new, young missionaries and getting to know Ghana and the amazing HCJB missionaries who already serve there. 

If you or someone you know is interested in missions, healthcare, engineering, community development, media, communication, business,or radio ,  and serving for a month this summer as a Summer Intern, please follow this link.  There are opportunities in South America, North America, Europe, and Africa- but if you want real adventure....of course you will want to come with the Martins to Ghana! As you can tell, we are looking forward to this. We have always wanted to work in Africa and what a better time than during the coolest time of the year there. It will be quite the summer for us with the Parkview Baptist Youth group coming in June, July in Ghana and then the USA in August for Home Mission Assignment. Don't worry (small smirk), I will be writing plenty more about Ghana and the Summer Intern Program.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sundays are For More than Just Football

When I first met Joe, 15 years ago, he didn't strike me as the "preacher" type.  Don't get me wrong, he was a Godly man and great physician, but to picture him preparing a sermon and then standing in front of people would have been a wild notion.  Gracias a Dios, Joe is an amazing Bible teacher and he has gotten the chance to really shine the last few months.  He has been preaching most Sundays at the hospital service.  The hospital doesn't really have a church, but they do hold services every Sunday morning for the patients who are hospitalized as well as the staff on-call.  The service can vary from 4 to 20 depending on the week.  Joe has been teaching from Thessalonians the last few weeks and I have learned so much.  While we miss being in our church in Puyo each Sunday, I am grateful that God has blessed Joe to preach as well as be a doctor.   Sorry I don't have any pictures, but it just never seemed appropriate during the services. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Granadillas and Costumes and Children..... Oh My!

Here in Shell, we don't have boring old pumpkin jack-o'lanterns at our house, we make GRANADILLA-LANTERNS.  Fun, yummy and portable for snack at school! 

My mom sent Halloween Peeps, so we made them into Peep Pops and even roasted a few over the stove.

The kids where very excited about dressing up for Halloween this year so they had their costume ideas ready early- unfortunately we didn't have their costumes ready early.... but as long as they are finished before dark on October 31st it all OK- right?

Isabella was a vampire bat and posed like this all night. 


 Sebastiao was a gold Lego Brick.
This year's trick-or-treating group was the largest I think we have had in the last 3 years.  There were about 27 children.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Birthday Party for Old People

Thank you all so much for sending Joe wonderful birthday wishes.  We have had a lot happen in the last few days, so Joe had a very low key birthday day, so we have decided he is going to enjoy a birthday week

We had dinner at home, a little pumpkin cake and the children for entertainment.  Evidently Joe has gotten to the age when the kids are just excited he can blow out all of his candles by himself.