Sunday, December 12, 2010


I think it's an unfortunate truth, but facebook is killing my blog! It's hard to put energy into clever posts and pictures when in a flash I can put a mini version on facebook. Plus, is there really anyone left in the blog world who isn't on facebook? I hate being redundant. So, I need to give it a good think as to whether or not to keep my fingers dipped in both worlds...

I guess if you are a blog follower who isn't on facebook, let me know, so I can factor that into my decision on whether to keep blogging.

In the mean time, enjoy Christ this Christmas!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Learning... so many decisions

We continue to be amazed at how God provides for our needs... even the ones we haven't put much thought into. Our van has now spent over three months in the shop. Through 16 weeks of house guests, we haven't been able to transport them together with our family. Now that our family has six people and our car only seats 5, we are in a bit of a bind, seemingly, as we can't go anywhere as a whole family. Yet, the Belches and Albrechts have been gracious to trade vehicles with us when it's necessary, and we've yet to miss an appointment. God has also laid it on people's hearts at various times to give us gifts at just the right times that help pay for van and hospital bills. God truly provides!

Nathan has passed half of his driver's test, and will hopefully pass the second half next week so he can continue to drive legally here. I am officially enrolled in driver's school. To be repeating such a class fifteen years later makes me thankful for one thing in particular. At least I have less acne now!

Just last week I was realizing that while we've graciously been given an abundance of hand-me-downs for our three youngest kids, Elijah was without a jacket, long-sleeved shirts, and tennis shoes. Just a few days later, a friend from church came by with two bags of clothes... for Elijah... full of long-sleeve shirts, a light jacket, and tennis shoes! To put a cherry on top of God's goodness, there was even a pair of shoes with the built in wheels... something Elijah has wanted!

We continue to wrestle with the question of schooling next year. Any time we go into public during the day, we are repeatedly asked why Elijah and Levi are not in school. Our response that they are only 2 and 4 only meets with blank stares and more quandaries as to why they aren't in school. After trying to explain to some neighbors about home schooling, they felt prompted to go on their own to the local government to ask if we could do such a thing, or if our kids should be in the public schools like everyone else. SOOOO... keep praying for us, that we'd make a culturally wise decision that doesn't exclude what's best for our kids.

I have begun more proactively teaching Elijah at home. My goal is for him to be reading by the end of this school year. He loves to learn. Today wrote his name for the very first time as well as the word "mom." He was so excited, he asked if I could buy him a book that had the words "Elijah" and "mom" in it so he could read it to his siblings. When I told him that soon he could be reading ALL the words in his books, he gave me a giant hug and just beamed!

He also enjoyed learning about magnets a few days ago, thanks the kids breaking one of my necklaces that had magnetic beads in it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lucas Daniel

I am not sure how many people read my blog, that don't also have facebook, but to be fair to my poor fourth born, I will do a post about his birth.

Lucas Daniel came to us at 4:40am on 10/11/10 (but in all U.S. time zones, it was still 10/10/10). I was scheduled for a c-section at 9am that morning, and had been admitted the night before, but during the night I went into labor, so Lucas managed to make it out a few hours ahead of schedule.

I'll spare you all the details of delivery, as I can sum it up by saying, we both are alive and healthy, and thankful for God's goodness. Giving birth overseas included a few fears and vocabulary building, but all in all, we are thankful that everything went well.

Lucas weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19". He seems so tiny! But, everyone keeps commenting that he has really long arms and huge hands. Perhaps he'll take after his Dupda, Andy, and be the tall one in our family.

Now Lucas is 2 weeks old, and a lot more alert and hopefully putting on some ounces.

We were able to smuggle the kids into the hospital room to see their new brother, and they were immediately

Elijah loves his little brother so much. He loves to hold him, talk to him, and read books to him.

Now that we have 4 kids, we keep getting asked, "You DO know how this happens, don't you?" (referring to babies.) But, all I can say is despite endometriosis, a pituitary tumor, and a vasectomy... God clearly wanted little Lucas to be part of our family!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bunkbed made to Order

We've had the blessing of Nathan's parents being with us the last few weeks. They are here for the birth of Lucas and have been super helpful with the kids and around the house. Since Lucas seems content to stay inside for the time being, we were able to go enjoy Loro Parque last week. Here are Nana and Dupda with the kids watching the Killer Whale show.

We put to use Dupda's painting skills and decided to paint the boys room.

The boys have been begging for a bunk bed, and since we've decided to move Lucas's crib into the boys' room (instead of making him endure trying to sleep with a very curious 20 month old sister...), Nathan surprised me with his woodworking abilities and made a very sturdy bunk bed. Here is a glimpse of the process...

And now we have to decide if this indeed too high of a bunk bed, and if the cost of an ER visit outweighs the cost of altering the height and adding a slanted latter... But, the boys are thrilled, none the less!

Also this week, our neighbor's god children came by for an unexpected play date. Elijah had fun playing memory with them and assembling puzzles.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Child-Like Faith

Lately I have been so encouraged by how soft Elijah’s heart has been towards the Lord, and also how genuine his faith appears to be. While I’m hesitant to tell him I think he’s “saved” or to encourage him to pray a prayer, I think that to the extent that a four year old can have faith- he has it.

Lately when he disobeys, when we send him to the bathroom to await discipline, he prays during that time (audibly where I can hear), “God, please help me to obey!”

Yesterday, when Nathan was giving each kid an obedience challenge for the day, he asked Elijah to really work on not arguing or answering us with “But…!” After Bible time, Elijah said, “When I get to Heaven, God will take away all my buts! And all my other sins!”

Today during Bible time, Nathan was working through the Old Testament, and went through the 10 Commandments with the kids. He explained stealing (which the kids have had a bit of a problem with. If they like a toy from the church nursery, for example, they just put it on their pocket and take it home.) Last week while we were at the Belches, Elijah really liked a certain plastic toy soldier, and brought it home. I explained that it was stealing, but then he lost it, so we took one of our soldiers over to their house in exchange. After Bible time today, Elijah exclaimed , “I’m sooo sorry that I took that soldier from Buelo and Buelas house! I shouldn’t have done that!” It was so encouraging to see him apply scripture and feel conviction over sin!

A few minutes ago, while watching the movie "Prince of Egypt," Elijah turned to Levi and said, “Levi, Moses doesn’t want to be a king anymore, he wants to be a new man, who God likes!”

On a lighter (and maybe t.m.i.) note, Elijah is in the habit of describing his poops every time he finishes. There are turtles and sticks and rocks, and wet and dry, etc. Yesterday after finishing his business, he cried out, “HEY! This poop is like Jesus walking on the water!” (it was a floater).

Oh how I long to see all of our kids walking by faith and letting Christ be their King. I'm so thankful for encouraging glimpses of seeds taking root in our eldest's heart!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cactus Balls

Nathan took the three kids on a hike behind the house to retrieve the sundry of items that had fallen (eh hem... been thrown) over our wall. Namely, we needed to fetch Levi's precious Nalgene water cup that came from "across the ocean" and is irreplaceable here.

Eliana found what looked like a fun little ping-pong ball, but in reality was a cactus ball that appeared harmless, but upon further examination (or grasping), appeared to have hundreds of nearly invisible, hair-like thorns that embedded themselves into poor Eliana's hands and fingers. When she got home, I had the fun task of using tweezers and duct tape to extract the dozens of little pokers. Many of the thorns transferred themselves into my fingers, Nathan's arms and chest (from carrying her home).

Lesson learned... nature doesn't produce any safe ping-pong balls.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

So, how have we been doing?

So, a few people have asked how we've been doing lately, and I realized I haven't done any blog updates for several weeks, so I thought I'd post a somewhat lengthy update on how how each of our Thiry Clan are doing...

The kids are doing well. Elijah is super soft spiritually, which is a huge encouragement to my heart. I know he's very much a people pleaser, so I'm not at all encouraging him to "pray a prayer" or anything, but we talk a lot about making Jesus his King and obeying Him each day in each circumstance. He loves to pray! I catch him praying throughout the day on his own... praying that Jesus will help him catch a lizard, praying that Jesus would help Levi obey so he won't get thrown into the lake of fire... etc. Every time he sees the sunset, he jumps up and down and exclaims that Jesus is coming back. He has such a strong child-like faith. He has this cool evangecube keychain that unfolds to the different pictures of the gospel. He loves to wear it clipped to his pocket every day, and he's even shared with some strangers using it!  Elijah continues to miss his best friend, Sophie, and talks about her quite a bit. I'm hoping their Spanish improves soon so he can start relating to kids on a different level than just running around screaming insanely. (screaming and insanity seem to transcend language barriers.)

Levi is getting a bit softer spiritually. He's at least more responsive to me, more affectionate, and more teachable. He still has a strong independent streak, but I'm learning better how to interact with his personality, and seeing how my response to him greatly affects how he then responds to me. He's a very dear boy who is brave, daring, independent, and yet loves necklaces, bracelets, shoes and "looking good." I know the day is coming when he'll be 14 and starts begging for an earring! He has become quite a bully to Eliana, so we're working on that. Both boys are SUPER excited to have a new brother soon and fight over who will be his best friend. Levi is our most grateful kid. He sincerely thanks us for nice things he receives. Yesterday he got his first black eye as a result of a run in with a slide... or so I've been told.

Eliana is as gorgeous as ever on the outside, but her insides are showing some very ugly corners. She has the most hideous angry temper. If one small thing isn't done "her way." She screams and pitches a most horrendous fit. For example, today, she wanted to sit on the potty and try to go pee and wipe herself. Nathan let her try for 5 minutes or so (she's never actually gone potty yet), but then told her to be all done as he had other things to do. She got so angry that she was flailing, hitting, screaming, and writhing. I'm not talking about a sad, "oh I'm sooo disappointed" cry. I'm talking about an, "if I were bigger and had a weapon, you'd all be dead..." scream... a rage from the inner depths. We discipline, teach, hug, repeat over and over. Honestly, I some times think she has a medical condition that makes her not feel much pain. Several people have commented at how she can fall, take a hit, receive very firm discipline on the backside and seem unaffected. I'm not sure if she really can't feel it or if her will overcomes her pain. By faith, we're just trying to be obedient to what God's word says about discipline and trusting that in time, we'll see fruit in her life. You could pray for patience and a genuine love for her when she's being unlovable. Apart from that, she's obsessed with pretty things- purses, bracelets, shoes, lotion--- oh vanity, here we come! She abhors anything that looks like it may be a toy, and much prefers to scour the house for anything that looks inappropriate for her. It cannot be soft or made of plastic. It's best if it's breakable, stains, or disgusting. On the bright side, she's our best eater and eats literally whatever is in front of her. She knows I have a baby in my tummy, and loves to see babies, but I have a feeling she'll be Lucas' greatest danger. I think she'll be quick to poke, pinch, hit, pick up, and feed Lucas at every opportunity. I'm so convinced of this, that we're actually contemplating moving his crib into the boys room and letting Eliana have her own room. Eliana also continues to love Nathan more than life itself. As much as I was looking forward to having a daughter to follow me around and to teach how to be a godly young lady, I'm thankful she has a daddy who is such a good role model of what to look for in a future husband and leader.

Nathan continues to work hard, by serving us as a family, taking on responsibilities at church, studying Spanish, working on getting his license, and loving on the lost guys in our area. He is truly a great man. We were blessed on Saturday to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary together.

I am as big as a house, tired, cranky, etc, etc. I'm thankful for God's grace in the daily tasks, and that He gives me a love for my kids each day. I'm getting excited to start homeschooling Elijah this year, but I'm also torn as I'd love for him to be able to go to a GOOD public school here to learn Spanish and make friends. Continue praying for God's wisdom in that arena. I'm pretty tired these days. After the intestinal illness went away that had me in the hospital for two days, we got hit with a horrible cold/flu bug that's lasted 5 or so days. Nathan and I have it the worst-- super tired, achy, tons of sinus congestion... now it's in my chest, but at least I can breathe, and so sleep at night a bit better.

In case you don't think I qualify as being as large as a house, this pic is now a month old.

We just ended 10 weeks of constant house guests, which was a blessing but also taxing as a family. Nathan's mom, Trina, comes in 11 days, for which we are thankful, as she loves the kids as her own and works so hard to serve us and help around the house.

Our van is in it's 11th week in the shop. I hardly remember what it looks like. Lord willing, we'll get it back before Trina or Lucas arrives, otherwise, we'll need a rental to be able to haul more than the 5 we already have. Everyone asks when Lucas will arrive, and of course, I have no idea... but if I had to guess, I'd say around the 20th of September. I'll gladly take votes though. The winner can come fly here to see us (travel expenses not included :-)

Our Kia (aka, K.illed I.n A.ction)
This morning, 2 ladies from church came over to deep clean my kitchen and living room. It was humbling, but a blessing too. They cleaned parts I didn't even know existed! Now I don't want to ever cook again so my kitchen stays this shiny.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Lately I've been horrified to see how much anger resides in my heart. I would have never described myself as an angry person before having kids... or shall I saw, before having 3.5 kids 4 and under. All previous "spiritual accomplishments" or thoughts of my "great" maturity fizzle away into mist when I daily see how much my  heart gravitates towards a wicked, self-seeking, prideful anger. In the midst of all my attempts to "fix" my problem, I've come to realize I will NEVER have victory over this sin... without an active, aggressive, war-like attack on it using God's Word as my main weapon. I am so weak, but thankfully God is strong. Of course, each day I have to try to look past the enormous red wood tree sticking out of my own eye as I try to shepherd my kids through their own outbursts of anger.

What's been the most convicting is realizing that perhaps my own sharp words or knee jerk responses to their misbehavior has served to fuel the fire of their own anger. How can I ask them to lay aside anger and put on patience and kindness when I so readily model the opposite. At the core of my anger, I see a simple root that runs to the heart. PRIDE. When I am angry, it's because one of my children has dared to defy ME. They have ignored ME. They have disrespected ME. How dare they! So, in my attempt to control them, I lose utter control of myself.

These simple yet VERY true verses have been my weapons this week. If you struggle with anger, I encourage you to memorize them with me...

Proverbs 15:1- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 29:11- “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”
What's more, I'm finding that a mother's anger is easy to conceal. It's possible I can be hiding a red-hot heart from Nathan, from my kids, and from onlookers. I can put on a sweet smile, say soothing words, and have the appearance of a nurturing heart, when really I'm seething inside. Philippians 1:27 has been convicting in this regard:

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (In the Spanish translation, it says, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner  worthy...") I want my heart to honor Christ and my life to be one that is worthy of the gospel EVEN IF NO ONE IS LOOKING! To all my fellow mothers out there, I pray that we take this verse to heart, and we begin waging war against the sins that are threatening our families...

Proverbs 14:1- "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Masters of our own Destiny...

Tonight I was blessed to have a young lady from the community over who is a new professing believer. We were able to spend a few hours going over some verses relating to the gospel and talking about God's sovereignty, works vs. grace leading to salvation, etc. She had just asked me what people meant when they said "I am the master of my own destiny," when we smelled an overwhelming amount of smoke. We were investigating the house when she finally realized that today was June 23, the day the island celebrates Hogueras de San Juan. She explained that at night, everyone lights big fires and burns anything that brings them bad luck (blankets, sweaters, books, trinkets... anything). Then, under the moon, they bathe themselves in the ocean to rid themselves of bad luck and negative energy. (All of this is also of course accompanied by a lot of drinking and carousing). What an incredible example of people vainly trying to be masters of their own destiny! We talked about where those people are putting their hope... in a sovereign all-powerful God, or in their own efforts to change their luck. In truth, despite burning all of your possessions today, can  you prevent a truck from striking you tomorrow? Can bathing in the sea prevent cancer from spreading invisibly in your body? While it was a great bridge to talk to her about faith in a huge God verses a puny self, it really broke my heart for the people here who live day to day without knowing their sovereign Creator.

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:15-17)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

I remember when I was young, and I'd day dream about my future husband, one of the things that was high on my priority list was that my future husband would be a wonderful, God-fearing father. I can say, despite all of my other failures, I have by God's grace accomplished that goal! Nathan LOVES being a daddy, and I am constantly in awe of his compassion, gentleness, and faithfulness to the kids. It shouldn't come as a surprise to me that each of them has gone through a severe "daddy's boy (or girl)" stage. If I were a kid, I'd prefer him too!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Someone suggested I put verses on some of the pictures I've taken and turn them into cards or prints people can order. I haven't decided if I'm going to go that route or not, but I thought I'd put up some samples and ask you to vote on your favorites so I have an idea of which ones people like.

Please leave a comment placing your order of favorites (you can either tell me your favorite, or place them in order of favorite to least favorite...) You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.








Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fun Collage

Here's a collage I made today of the kiddos. I feel like it's a bit premature as soon there will be another one to add... but I guess I have awhile before I have a before and after picture of him :-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gafas Fijas

So, according to today's pediatric Ophthalmologist, Elijah is severely far sighted with a significant stigmatism. He said he'll be a glasses for life kind of guy (unless we opt for surgery at some point after 18.) He said when a kid's eyes are as bad as Elijah's the brain reaches a point when it just doesn't know how to tell the eye to focus any more, so the eye begins to cross. That's apparently what happened to Elijah. So, due to the lack of headaches or otherwise weird behavior, we're going to assume he doesn't have a tumor or other bizarre thing causing the crossing. The doc is only going to give him a mild prescription compared to his actual one so that his brain and eyes have a chance to improve. If these glasses correct the crossing, we won't need a patch, if they do not, we'll probably do a patch.

So, glasses should be ready by Tuesday... pray they don't break!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buns, Onions, and Toilet Bowls...

I am finding it so much more difficult to update my blog since I try to stay on top of my facebook, but I'm thinking of starting to lean the other way. Do any of you other bloggers know how to upload a video onto blogspot now that they've changed things a bit?

This week I had my twenty week ultrasound and was thrilled to see little Lucas again, and learn that he appears to have all of his fingers and toes. As much as I still find it hard to believe we are expecting another little one, I'm growing more and more excited to have another son. Watching the boys play is such a delight. Seeing their excitement at having another brother on the way warms my heart. They talk to him, "tickle" him, share their blankets with him, etc.

Eliana, as the Tinerfenos put it, "tiene pilas." (She has batteries, meaning she NEVER stops). She is a delightful girl who is incredibly social but also is developing a spit fire temper. With her personality and looks, it's probably a very good thing she'll have three brothers looking out for her. She does have a bizarre habit of eating the most disgusting and unmentionable items (ie, dog dropping off the sidewalk, rotten onions from behind the garbage, a clod of dirt, ok- maybe they are mentionable). Has anyone else had to deal with this?

Levi has come down with yet another fever, and has had all the lovely flu symptoms to accompany it. Selfishly, I love how cuddly he becomes when sick, but it's hard to see him so miserable. He's made some progress this week with potty training and officially hates diapers and desperately wants to be big. He was 90% potty trained in January before we flew to WA state for several weeks.  On the trip he lost ground and never regained it. But, we're back on the road now anyway. It's been a week of fishing matchbox cars and stuffed animals out of the toilet that he's inadvertently dropped in while taking care of business. He has loved going to Loro Parque which is like a zoo/sea world combo where we can watch sea lion, dolphin, and killer whale shows.

Elijah is turning into a little man who loves to tell "Once upon a time" stories, talk about Jesus returning one day, and is becoming quite a helper and leader among his siblings. Today after successfully choaking down his dinner of chicken stir fry with onion, broccoli, red peppers, and zucchinni, Elijah proclaimed, "I ate my dinner without needing discipline!" After I praised him, he looked up the ceiling and said, "THANK YOU GOD for helping me eat!" Then he looked at me and said, "Maybe we could go to someone else's house and give them all our onions..." Kids say the darnedest things :-) His eyes continue to cross and seem to be getting worse. Tomorrow he has an appointment with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist to get a second opinion, and then I think we'll move to glasses. Here he is with his pet lizard, Hugo, that he caught in our yard (Hugo has since been let free so he can hunt his own bugs and hopefully not die.)

Nathan and I both celebrated birthdays in the last week or so, and I officially crossed into another decade. While I'm feeling older, here I'm considered to be a VERY young mom- in fact, the OB who did my ultrasound yesterday didn't feel like 30 was old enough to decide to have my tubes tied. With endometriosis, a pituitary tumor, a failed vasectomy, and 4 kids four and under... I think I'm ready to make that decision :-)

Here we are before our bid dinner date last week.

We were super blessed by people from FBC and COHBC who sent some really practical yet hugely appreciated things to us via Claire D. THANK YOU for your kindness! We continue to ask for your prayers as we minister here in Tenerife. Right now we have a big focus of learning language and culture and getting our drivers licenses (which includes going to driving school, doing a minimum of 9 hours of driving with an instructor, and taking a difficult test including the minor mechanics of cars and motorcycle specs). So pray we know how to balance those endeavors with raising our kids and doing ministry. Pray also for wisdom with what to do regarding our kids education- it's a much more complex question than we first realized.

Stay tuned for pics of Elijah with his new glasses- though lately all of our kids have been needing glasses....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Elijah and God's Tender Mercies

I've been wanting to share one of the ways we've clearly seen God's tender kindness recently. For over a year Elijah has been wanting a scooter. He's begged and pleaded and reasoned. While living in Grand Rapids, we lived on all gravel and had no concrete for him to ride on (not to mention, Elijah can't even ride a tricycle yet, so a scooter seemed like a stretch.) We had told him that maybe once we got to Tenerife, he could get a scooter. But, we ended up getting little tricycles for the kids, and didn't get a scooter. About a week after we moved into our new house, a friend from church dropped by with her 7 year old, and... his old scooter! If you could have only seen the look on Elijah's face! I'd never mentioned to Jhenny that Elijah wanted a scooter. God had just laid it on her heart to get rid of old toys, and she thought our kids might like a three-wheeled scooter. I had a sweet talk with Elijah about how God new his heart and had given him the scooter. He was so grateful. For several days afterward, he asked each day if he could take his scooter to Heaven with him and not take his bike (which he hasn't figured out how to ride yet :-)

Elijah has been melting my heart lately with his excitement at having a new baby brother on the way. For weeks, he's insisted that the baby shall be named "MOSES." When I ask him, "what if it's a girl," He says, "well, it'll be a boy, but I'll call the baby Moses either way." He's even prayed OUT LOUD on several occasions that God would give him another brother, and not a sister. So, it appears God listens to Elijah- so if you have any prayer requests, I'll send them his way :-)  If you ask Elijah what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll respond, "A daddy!" Yesterday, Nathan went on a walk with Elijah, and Elijah mentioned that he wanted to be Levi, Eliana, and Lucas's (the name we'd actually like to give our baby) daddy. How sweet is that?

On a more serious note, since the week we arrived, Elijah has been experiencing some eye trouble. One day at lunch, I noticed his left eye was crossing. At first we thought he was doing it to be funny, but as the weeks have passed, the problem has grown more consistent and severe. At this point, we're trying to figure out if he just needs glasses or if there is some underlying cause for this sudden development. Please pray for wisdom as we meet with doctors here and consult doctors in the US.

Here's Elijah's new look...

I am confident that if God cares about a little thing like Elijah wanting a scooter, He also cares about his eyes.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Fun in the Sun

We had a bright and warm day today compared to the overcast and breezy week we've been experiencing. After a bit of a hike with the kids, I decided to let them cool off in our "pool." They had a blast! But, they each end up wearing three outfits today (not including PJs)... now to teach them NOT to use the hose without asking first...