Monday, December 31, 2012

December Catch-up

I meant to post these right after the Christmas party, but I didn't have a chance with all the traveling and visiting.  So here they are, better late than never.

Here are some pics of some of the Christmas crafts that we did with the kids at school:

 We decorated the school with these and many other crafts that we made for the Christmas party.

Here are Nashley and Vianny at the Christmas party:

 We had prepared 5 different songs for the kids to perform for their parents, complete with hand motions.  They did great and the parents loved it!  I especially love seeing the kids singing/shouting worship songs.
 There were gifts for each kid and refreshments after the program.
Here are the kids singing a song at the Christmas party.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Praise the Lord!

That's right!  We got the visa!  It was a long morning of waiting, we arrived at the embassy at 6:15 am and didn't leave until 11:30am.  But everything turned out great and the visa was approved!

I am so excited to finally be able to share with Cristian where I come from.  This has been such a long time coming.  Over two years ago Cristian first applied for a tourist visa and was denied.  I have been waiting for this day to come ever since.

We will be in California from December 11 to January 8.  I have not yet firmed up all our plans, but we hope to see any and all of you who want to see us.  So please contact me and we can make it happen!

Thank so much to those of you who were praying for us yesterday.

Thank you God for this amazing blessing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The time has come

The time has come that we have been waiting for for over a year: tomorrow Cristian and I have our interview at the embassy for Cristian's US residency.  I am so excited and a little nervous too.  It is 99% sure that we will get the visa, unless there is something wrong with our paperwork or they for some reason think that our marriage is not legitimate.

Please keep us in your prayers today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another Answer to Prayer, and more prayer needed still.....

As you all know, for the last 16 months we have been going through the process of getting Cristian his US residency so that we can travel to and from the States as we please.  This process, which usually takes only 10 months, has taken us way longer for some reason.  This time last year I never expected it to be October and still be waiting on the interview.

The last step that we went through I was able to request expedited processing to get it going a little faster and I am happy to announce that it was approved and our application is now at the US Embassy in Santo Domingo awaiting processing.  Praise God!  However, this step of the processing apparently takes another several weeks before the interview in scheduled.  A few more weeks plus another few more weeks brings us to December, and we are hoping to fly out on December 10.

Please pray for another processing miracle and that we would get our interview scheduled in less than 2 weeks.  I know that God can work wonders everywhere so Him moving some papers around in the Embassy would be no big deal.  Please join in us and ask God to work that miracle, so that plans can be made and plane tickets purchased and Cristian and I can enjoy a white Christmas at home in Mariposa.

An Answer to Prayer

 As you know, during the summer the PT clinic was closed due to the leader moving back to the States and Cristian was left without a job.  Since then he has been working hard on finishing our house and volunteering some at another PT clinic here in town.  Just last week he has started working in the morning at Genesis, the Special Education school that is run by Students International.  This is definitely different work than he is used to, not only working with kids (which they didn't do at the other PT clinic) but working with kids with special needs.  He is learning a lot and really enjoying himself and always comes home with some funny story about his patients.  Praise God for providing this part time job for Cristian which still gives him the afternoons to finish projects at our house.
This next week there is a physical therapist coming from Nicaragua who is interested in coming on staff here in the DR with SI.  This would be another answer to prayer because then the clinic would be reopened and Cristian would get his job back.  Please pray for this possibility.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

September and October Birthdays

 This past week we celebrated September and October birthdays.  From left to right: Yely turned 4, Josue turned 3, Edilianny turned 4, Keuri turned 3 and Raynier turned 3.

Special Lunch

A few weeks ago we invited all the moms to come to school and have lunch with the kids.  It was really fun to have them there sharing a meal with us all.  They were also all very impressed with the delicious and healthy food that we serve to the kids.

New School Year

I took these pics at the beginning of the school year, and am just getting around to posting them.  But here they are nonetheless!  We decided to change the kids' uniforms this year, as you can see from the pics.  I have 8 active boys and 4 sweet girls in my class this year.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Here are some pictures of the beautiful tile work in the two bathrooms, 
done by Cristian and our friend Jhon.

Mom's visit to Mata Gorda

It was so fun having my mom with me at the school for a fews days.  She was really cute with the kids, bringing her back to her days as a preschool teacher.  The kids were funny around her too, cause they were so astonished to finally meet my mom.  Some of them would often ask me about my mom, wondering where she lived and not understanding that my parents lived in another country and that I was an adult and had my own house and didn't live with my parents.  :-)

Thanks Mom!  You were a great help and I love you very much!

House Update

Here are some photos of the kitchen cabinets being installed.  I have been working away at getting all the drawers and cabinet doors painted so soon the kitchen will look complete!

Friday, August 10, 2012

End of the Year Party

We celebrated our end of the year party this past week in Mata Gorda.  As always it was so fun to see the kids all dressed up and excited to get their promotion certificates.

The party ended with a bang when the piñata was broken!

House Update

The tile is almost finished in our new house!  Cristian has been working so hard and has done a beautiful job on all the tile.  Here are some pics of the finished "wood" tile that is throughout the living room/kitchen/dining area as well as the master bedroom.

 Mom and Dad came down (and are still here) for a few weeks and Dad has been working away building the kitchen cabinets.
 Here are Mom and I painting the cabinets white.

Pool Party!

At the end of the summer we took all the kids to the pool for the day at a local hotel/restaurant.  It was so much fun and the kids LOVED it!  It was fun to see the kids start out the day being a little scared of the water and gradually ease into "swimming" in their floaties around the whole pool.  It was such a treat for the kids, parents, and teachers alike!

Monday, July 2, 2012


This is how you carry 100 dollars worth of groceries on a motorcycle.
I've gotten pretty skilled with packing my moto what with not having a car these last few months.

Monte Plata

In October of last year Cristian's parents moved away from Jarabacoa to a town called Monte Plata, which is about 4 hours away.  They are working with Kids Alive International as house parents at an orphanage that KAI runs in Monte Plata.

They had come several times back to Jarabacoa for visits, but Cristian and I had not had a chance to go visit them yet.  This past weekend we decided to make the drive and surprise them with a visit.  They were so excited and so surprised to see us!

Cristian's brother, Amandi, works at a bakery here in Jarabacoa.  They were having a birthday party that evening so he made the cake.
 Here I am with our niece, Pricila, who had spent the last 2 weeks in Monte Plata with los abuelos.
 This is our other niece, Ysmayar, all dressed up for the birthday party.
 The whole family (the ones that were there, at least).

June Birthdays

This past month Stiven, Daniela and Eliandra turned 5 and Grismeldi turned 4.  Felíz Cumpleaños!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sometimes God has Different Plans...

I mentioned in my last newsletter that the future of the PT site was a little uncertain as Dan, the site leader, had decided to go back to the States.  Since Cristian is not a certified Physical Therapist yet, he would not be able to stay working in the clinic alone unless there was another PT there to supervise him.  SI has been looking for someone to take Dan's place but had not been able to find anyone.  So, unfortunately, at the end of the summer the PT clinic will be closed and Cristian will be out of a job.  This came as a bit of a shock for us as we thought there were some contingency plans in place for Cristian to continue working for SI even if the clinic was closed.  But like I said in the title, sometimes God has different plans.

After some thought and prayer, we now see that this change may really be a blessing in disguise.  If Cristian is out of work for a while, that will give him the opportunity to work full time on our house construction.  Also, he has already been in contact with another PT clinic here in town and they are hiring, so we are not really worried about him getting another job.  Although we are sad that he will no longer be working for SI after almost 10 years of working for them, we know that God is not going to leave us high and dry.  We trust Him during this change and know that even if we struggle financially for a while, He has us in His hands.

Please pray for us during this time.  Pray that we may learn to trust God more fully and not worry about finances.  Pray also that if need be, God would provide us with more financial supporters to be able to make up for the deficit of Cristian not having a job.  Pray also that God would provide a new job for Cristian when the timing is right.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  We really appreciate it!

Girls group and English class

The women's group in Mata Gorda has been going great, with attendance becoming more consistent.  There have been several teenagers and younger girls who have been wanting to participate so we have had to break the group into two, Daisy staying with the women and me taking over the girls group.  We do a Bible study and then a craft, just like the women's group.  It has been going great and it is really fun to be able to connect spiritually with some of the girls who used to be at the school when they were younger.

Here we are making paper mache bowls.

Now that the public school is out on vacation we have started giving an English class in the afternoons for older kids from the community.  This picture is of them playing "Simon Says" after we learned about the parts of the body in English.

House update

In the last month and a half we have made a lot of progress on our house.  We have finished laying the block and put a solid concrete beam above the windows all around the house.

The next step was pouring the concrete roof.  First wood was placed to form the mold for the roof and then it was filled with rebar.  These pictures show the workers shoveling and spreading the concrete on top of that structure.

Now we have to wait about 2 weeks before we remove the wooden mold and the roof is done!  So exciting!  Next step: pour a concrete floor and put plaster on the walls.