Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Checkin´ In

Hey! Just checkin´in from an internet cafe in Motozintla, Chiapas, Southern Mexico!!! We had a very good trip both Monday and Tuesday and now have enjoyed the day here in Motozintla with a good church service this evening. Tomorrow we are heading to Santo Domingo...

I do have a few pictures that I have already took, but they´ll just have to wait until another time, a better place!!!

Thanks for the continual prayer support - we deeply appreciate it!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prayers Needed on Trip

As many of you know, read about it in our latest newsletter, or received an e-mail about...we leave today on a grand adventure!! Well actually, we're headed to Southern Mexico for a few days before we travel into Guatemala for H.I.M.'s Hispanic Pastor's Conference.

We would definitely appreciate your prayers for traveling protection and safety. Some of the areas we have to travel through are not the most safe. You never know when you could get stopped and, to put it bluntly, robbed of your money and valuables. We are taking every precaution that is possible, but still needing the hand of the Lord to guide us.

Now, on to more encouraging things...I will be taking my camera, and hopefully, taking lots of pictures to share with you. We will also be taking our laptop, but not sure if/when we will be able to find internet access. All that to say this, we will try to keep you updated if at all possible!

Our schedule goes something like this:

Monday 10/27 - travel 6-8 hours and stay with some friends of Burch's
Tuesday 10/28 - travel approx. 14 hours to a H.I.M. pastor in Southern Mexico
*We will be hanging out in that general area for a few days, then...
Saturday 11/1 - travel 8-10 hours through Guatemala until we reach Jalapa (where the conference will be held)
Friday 11/7 - Leave Jalapa and drive the many hours back to Southern Mexico, stay the night
Saturday 11/8 - Drive the many more hours back home and hopefully be able to keep our eyes open during church on Sunday!

So now you can see all the many hours and miles we will be traveling! Philip and Collette and another lady from the church are going with us, so we will be stuffed into our truck with all of our belongings...we should be able to get to know each other better, right?

Whenever you think of us, please say a prayer for us (and our truck :)) over the next two weeks! We are confident the Lord is going to go with us and help us. Thanks so much for your interest and prayers!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crock Pot Applesauce

Is anybody into crock pots? How about using apples in the fall? If you answered "yes" to any of the above need to try this easy recipe out!


10 large cooking apples, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional ~ and it will make your applesauce a dark burgundy/purple color after it's cooked :))

Put all the ingredients into a crock pot. It should fill it to about 3/4 full. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours, or on high 3-4 hours. When finished cooking, use a potato masher to take out some lumps, or leave it "chunky"...your preference.

yields: approximately 3 cups

Download and Print Recipe Here

Delicious! The kids really enjoyed it, too! I did mine overnight and we actually ate some as part of our breakfast, but it's also good to put on during the day if you have to work, etc... And, I didn't get any pictures because we gobbled it up so fast!!

Also, check out this link if you're really big into doing stuff in your crock pot. You'll be amazed at some of the stuff this lady has done!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Music CD

Just in case anybody is interested, I finally got the link back up for our are able to listen to clips from the songs or even download them. Check it out on the right hand side of the page.

I had lost the link when I changed the look of my blog, and I'm finally now just getting around to finding it! (Yeah, I's called procrastination!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cheesy Chicken-n-Veggie Ring

Watch out folks! I've been in the recipe mood recently!! Here's one that we enjoy around our house.

yields: 4 (smaller) servings

Download and Print Recipe Here

1 can refrigerated Crescent Rolls (6 large rolls)
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup chopped vegetables (I like the broccoli, cauliflower, & carrots mix)
1/4 cup ranch dip or dressing
1/4 tsp. pepper (sometimes I use a garlic-pepper blend)
3/4 cup favorite shredded cheese

Mix filling ingredients together.

Step-by-step instructions:

1] Grease round baking sheet.

2] Place 4 of the crescent rolls so that the tips point north, south, east, and west, and leaves a round hole in the center. (see picture below)

3] Cut remaining 2 triangles in half. Place the smaller triangles in between the larger ones.

4] Make a small lip around the center circle. (see picture below)

5] Fill the ring with mixture. (see picture below)

6] Fold the larger triangles into the center, tuck under the lip. (you may need to cut some of the tip off the rolls so there is not too much excess in the center)

7] Fold the smaller triangles into the center, tuck under the lip. (you may need to cut some of the tip off the rolls so there is not too much excess in the center)

8] Push the outer sections of triangles to meet together at the bottom, so nothing leaks out.

9] Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. (or a little longer if the center is not cooked through yet)


Watch future posts for more recipes from Crystal's Kitchen!!

We Voted!

Signed...Sealed...and hopefully delivered on time!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Revival - Sunday

Sunday, we had another nice crowd. The people seemed to really like Bro. Rigo's preaching. We pray that the spirit of revival will continue for a long time!

And then after church, we had a "pitch-in" dinner.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Revival - Saturday p.m.

Since the rainy season is basically over, we can now use this ¨shorter¨route to go to church. Since we´ve first moved here, they have been working on a bridge...but since it´s still not completed, we just drive through the water. Here are a few pictures.

Here´s a car who just came through from the other side.

Now it´s our turn!

And actually, this route used to be 15 min. faster, now it´s only 5 min. I think maybe I just learned to drive faster going the other way...and they did take out a few speed bumps...

Once again, the Lord came and helped in our service this evening. There were over 30 people there.

Bro. Rigo

This is Taylor and his special friend, Fani. She really loves playing with him, and of course, he just loves being doted on by her!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Revival - Friday p.m.

Friday evening's revival service went very well. Once again, there were several people who went to the altar to pray.

Needless to say, I didn't get any good pictures of Bro. Rigo preaching...I had two very rambunctious kids crawling all over me, making my hand very shaky as I was trying to snap photos...maybe tonight!

Here's a picture of Michael, back at the sound station...we've just started recording the preaching.

And then, we saw this mini rainbow on our way to church last night.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Visitors and Revival

We were privileged to have Bro. Sidney Grant and Bro. Rigoberto Vasquez in our home along with Philip and Collette. As is custom around here, we served them a meal.

On the menu:
Breaded Baked Chicken
Cheesy Mashed Potato Bake
Mixed Vegetables
Homemade Rolls
Homemade Apple Pie w/ Cool Whip

And since we gobbled the meal up so quickly, I didn't get any pictures. But, here's the table set before the meal.

Bro. Sid and Bro. Rigo posing for a picture outside our house.

Kyle wanted to get in on the action, too!

One of the main reasons for these men to be here, is revival at the church in Salamanca. We really felt God's presence last night, and feel that He is starting to work in certain lives and situations. Please continue praying!

Michael and I sang the special...not quite sure what Michael is doing here...maybe Collette had a certain thought in mind when taking the picture...!!
(or just consider it your "chuckle of the day"!)

Seekers at the altar.

After service, we were taken out to eat at a taco stand.

We will try to keep you updated on the revival efforts.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Saturday afternoon/evening, a family from the church in Salamanca drove the 1 hour trip to our place for a visit. We introduced them to "American Tacos"...they seemed to really enjoy them!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Outdoor Playtime

"The Guys" have been going outside recently in the evening to enjoy some fresh air and one-on-one playtime! Such events include playing "Penn State" football, chasing each other, and rolling around in the grass! So, I decided to grab my camera the other day to document this monumental time in their lives!

Monkey see, monkey do!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Scent of Fall

Fall is probably my favorite time of year!

This picture of my sister and I was taken in the fall...October 2004, I think. Thanks to Doris Hoffman from our home church who took the will always be one of my favorites!

I don't have many fall decorations...but I do have the above fall swag that I'm using for a centerpiece on our table, along with a yummy apple scented candle!

Another favorite thing about fall is...APPLES!

My mom and sister shared with me this different apple dumpling recipe, so I'll pass it on to you.


2 apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Directions: Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9x13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Personally, I'd like to try it a couple of different ways. I don't think it needs quite so much butter or sugar...and I'd like to try it with brown sugar instead of white...? I also used 1 can of crescent rolls and cut them in half. We don't have refrigerated crescent rolls down here, so the ones I bring in from the states, I try to use sparingly!!

They were good though (especially with the homemade vanilla ice cream!!). Leave me a comment if you try them, how you did it, and what you think!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We're Back!

We have arrived safely back home after a very long, 12 hour trip. We were able to get our visas on Fri. so that we didn't have to waste any time early Sat. morning.

We had a good trip...and we are actually glad for one of the military checkpoints. "What?", you say. Several hours into the journey, we had to stop and give some info. to the military men at this particular place, and he told us to go on ahead. Fine...but then some other guy decided we should pull over so they could check our vehicle. Again, that was fine...until we saw that the platform connected to our hitch, was barely hanging on!! What a disaster that would have been if it would have flown off! It could have hit cars behind us, spilled food and other misc. items we were hauling... Wow! We were thankful for the hand of God and how he looks out for His children, and for the checkpoint we just had to pull over for!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Schedule Update

Due to a necessary change of plans, we will not be going into Mexico until Saturday...but, of course, we would still appreciate your prayers!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hello from Texas

Well...I was planning on writing a short blog post early Monday morning to ask for your prayers as we were going to make the long journey into Texas. Yep, it's been six months already, and time to renew our visas. Anyway, at 2:30 Monday a.m., as I was trying to finish last minute stuff on the computer...our electricity went out! So, I went to bed...and got up in a few short hours to find that, yes, the electricity was still off!!! That meant, we had to get ready and finish packing our stuff by candlelight!! Yeah! Off we went, and safely arrived in Texas last night. We were able to pick up our long, lost laptop today, and so here I am again!

Enjoy the photo below...because we sure are enjoying being able to have a bathtub for a change!!!

We are planning on heading back into Mexico this Friday...we would appreciate your prayers for safety as we travel and that everything will go smoothly with obtaining new visas and going through checkpoints. Thank-You!