Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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Part 2: A Muskie Christmas

After spending about 5 days in Waukesha celebrating the holidays with friends and family there Pete and I headed back to Baraboo for the Muscanero family Christmas celebration.

This Christmas, as I sat back and watched the kids playing, everyone talking, Grandpa & Grandma (my parents) interacting with the grandkids, I realized how much my family has changed and grown. What happened to the days of a quiet adult Christmas where we could have fondue dinners without worrying about someone starting a fire, when we took turns unwrapping gifts and actually saw and admired what each person received, when the coffee table was for putting our drinks and snacks on rather than a kids table with kid proof objects to play with literally covering it. What happened to 5 stocking hanging on our mantel…where now there hangs 11 stockings, and the family photo that used to take 2 minutes and now takes 20 because someone is crying, or not smiling back at the camera. What has happened…we’ve grown up, we’ve met people that we love so much they’ve become a part of our family, and am I used to it…not exactly, do I like it…yes, in fact I LOVE it!

As I reflect on this Christmas I thank God for what He’s done in our family. I thank Him for Maddie, Mason, and Paxton, and for Pete, Lindsey, and Tessa all making our family what it is today. I love you Pete, and Tessa & Lindsey my sisters, and have had so much fun this holiday season spending time with all of you. As we get ready to leave for Mexico we have many memories to take with us, and each time we are able to see you all will be just that much sweeter.

Here are a few pictures to enjoy of Muskie Christmas Day!

Any good party begins with some good snacks

My personal favorite, shrimp cocktail!

The guys hanging out by the food

Mason with the nerf air gun...something Grandma bought to create more chaos on Christmas

Grandma with Paxton reading a Christmas story


All dudded up for Christmas pictures

Cuddling with Grandma

 After some play time a good friend from church came over and took some professional quality family pictures for us. Becky, thank you so much. It will be nice to have a complete family photo to display in our home in Mexico to show all of our new friends what our families look like. Once we were done with the photo Madeline was begging to open presents…a girl after my own heart. 😉 So we did!! Thanks everyone for all the nice and useful things, we are so blessed.

Opening presents

Tessa helping Mason open his gifts

Jay & Paxton

Bad to the bone

Paxton and his toy chainsaw from Aunt Liesl & Uncle Pete

Enjoying family

Cousins playing together

My brother Jay and beautiful sister in law, Lindsey

 Following the gift opening we were treated to a complete Italian meal by your’s truly Momma Muskie. Red sauce, pasta, meatballs, sausage, and pork roast+ salad. YUM! It was so good…and I was stuffed.

Delicious Italian meal

Being silly at the table

There was a group effort to polish off the dishes and once those were complete we played a few games and enjoyed Christmas cookies and coffee together.

We have had a wonderful Christmas full of joy and family memories we will not soon forget. Thank you all also for the cards and emails you have sent our way during the holiday season. Your prayers and love mean so much to us. Hope you have all had a Merry Christmas as well, and enjoy the rest of your week heading into the New Year.

What are your New Year’s Eve plans? We have a quiet party planned at the Muskie ranch with my brother and sis in law, some friends, and Mum and Dad…should be fun!

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Part 1: Hypki Christmas 2009

Christmas definitely had mixed emotions for us this year. It is such a joyful celebration of God’s most awesome gift of Christ, His Son, and a time to spend quality moments making memories with those we love the most…our families. But yet it was also a sobering reminder to us of how things will be quite different for us come Christmas 2010 and beyond.

It is sad to go and leave those we love behind, and to think about not being around while our niece and nephews grow up, and our families change and move on in their lives. Yet, above the sadness is a joy unspeakable that we both feel in our hearts, and excitement for the new adventures ahead and the new people we will welcome into our lives as family. We cannot wait to move across the border into Mexico because we know we are being obedient to the call of the Most High God on our lives. To us it is not a sacrifice, rather an honor to be used of Him for His glory.

Those are just a few thoughts I had this morning as I reflected over our Christmas holidays. Now…on to some fun stuff…pictures!!              Christmas was great this year! We spent December 21-25 down in Waukesha with Pete’s family, and many of our friends and prayer supporters. Christmas evening was then spent driving back to Baraboo for the Muscanero family Christmas celebration on Dec. 26th.

Every good Christmas Eve morning starts with a steaming cup of coffee!

And brunch at Kathy's...YUM!

Complete with the traditional sausage, potato pancake thingys

A little goofing off

Playing with Reggie

And exchange gifts! Thank you Kathy!!

After brunch and gifts we played a rousing game of Catopoly…yes, a cat version of Monopoly. There may or may not have been some team effort, but Kathy finally squeaked out the win. 😉 Then it was outside for a 4 mile run before getting ready for Christmas Eve Services.

We attended Christmas Eve service at Crosswalk Church and enjoyed seeing many familiar faces of those who are praying for us and supporting us. It was a blessing to join in worship and remember the true reason for the holiday, the birth of our Saviour.

Hypki fam on Christmas Eve

Our Pastor's family at Crosswalk Church. The Skaja's are such great people we love you guys!

After church we came home to the Hypki abode and began our dinner preparations with some appetizers…always great to cook and eat at the same time.

Alissa enjoying the snackies

My duty...always the salad

Momma Hypki prepares the pizza

The beautiful Hypki family tree

Christmas morning brought more family fun, Pete’s tradition of jumping on his sister Alissa to wake her up continues…and we all move downstairs for some hot coffee, breakfasty treats, and gift giving.

Being cheesy with our stockings

The breakfast spread

Opening gifts

We were very blessed this year and received so many nice and useful items for our time in Mexico. Knowing we can only bring what will fit in our vehicle meant there were alot of specific items we asked for. One of those being peanut butter and almond butter….they are not readily available in Mexico, and we love them! So…yes, there will probably be a box of just nut butter in our car on the way down. 😉

In all it's glory...YUM!

One of our gifts to Pete’s Mom was a memory album of pictures throughout our marriage and dating relationship. She may have cried when she opened it. 🙂

We also received alot of hiking equipment from a great prayer partner at Whitestone Church, what a blessing!

Annual sibling pic in front of the tree

After playing with our gifts and teasing loving each other, goofing off, folding laundry…yes on Christmas (what a shame), we enjoyed a delicious Christmas brunch made by yours truly Momma Hypki.

Gingerbread scones

Not sure what you call this dish...but I call it Veggie & Egg deliciousness

Gingered fruit

What a lovely Christmas!! We had such a great time with the Hypki family, and enjoyed some relaxation in the process. I just love Christmas, and the family memories! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too, and please come back and check for Christmas update Part 2 the Muscanero festivities.

God bless, and have a wonderful week!!

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It’s been awhile…

I feel a little ashamed, as I notice it has been over a month since our last post. It is my aspiration to be a better communicator as far as our blog is concerned, and I like it because it gives me an outlet to express our adventures in a less formal sense then our monthly newsletters. Hope you all enjoy reading as well, now if there was just more to read! 🙂

Since we last posted…

We are preparing as much as we can for the big move to Mexico!! We have managed to find buyers for all of our large furniture items. This is a huge praise, and are now going through cupboards, drawers, closets, and storage boxes deciding which items to take, pass on to friends/family, or take to the second hand store. Many have asked if it has been hard to part with our “things” so to speak, not because we have placed value on them, more because they become a part of your life, or existence as you know it to be. However, for us, (I can speak for Pete as well in this) it really has not been hard to say goodbye to our stuff. Furniture, dishes, things, are all nice to have, and have been part of our lives up until this point, but they have never been part of what we know God wants our lives to be. Plus it feels so good to de-clutter!! I love it! Really, I so enjoy the feeling of becoming organized and getting rid of things that you don’t use anymore, it’s so freeing!

The weekend before Thanksgiving we met my parents and Pax for the Baraboo Christmas parade. Afterwards they all came over to our place for a warm bowl of soup and mugs of tea!

Liesl at the parade

Pete & Pax at the Christmas parade

Also since our last post we were able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with both of our families, together! My Mom, Alice, invited Pete’s parents and sister, Alissa to join us for the day. It was so nice to all be together in one place, enjoy the meal contributed by all, play games, chat, and make memories to take with us when we leave in January.

All the cousins meet each other at the door

Our niece Maddie with her plate of Thanksgiving goodness

I promised Alissa I would post this picture

Preparing for my last Thanksgiving of Mom's good eats for awhile 😉

Everyone kind of gathering for prayer before dinner

Our sister-in-law feeds Paxton his first "memorable" Thanksgiving meal

The "pre-pie" napping room

Trying to show Maddie how fun it is to make "fishy face" pictures

Later, Maddie & Pax snuggled up to watch a movie together. It was so cute!

We loved the time with both of our families, we will miss these holiday get togethers when we are miles away. It’s these memories we are making now that we will take with us. (wow…that was really sappy heart-felt for me) 🙂

The first weekend in December we had the priviledge to help our church send a missions team to Saipan!  We were involved in helping them put on a fundraising weekend where they held an auction and spaghetti supper raising money to purchase supplies to help build radio towers and other constructions projects on the HCJB radio base in Saipan. It was alot of work, but a great time to get to spend with brothers and sisters in Christ! The missions team was also able to raise about 1/3 of their goal for purchasing materials to take to Saipan!!

We also experienced our first big snow of the year…which easily called for a quick hike out at Devils Lake State Park! For the record the first snow fall is always the best one of the year…after that it all just kind of goes downhill. 🙂

Flurries over the lake

View from the top on the West Bluff Trail


The second weekend in December our church, Walnut Hill Bible Church, puts on a Christmas dinner theatre called the Buzz in Bethlehem. Pete and I both signed up as volunteers to help with the production. Pete helped build the “Bethlehem” village set, and did food transporation during the first three nights of performance. Liesl prepped and served food during the show the first three nights. During the Sunday matinee performance Pete also played one of the Roman guards, filling in for another actor who could not make that particular performance. Once again, the show was a great success, and many in the community were reached with the true story of Christmas.

Serving the tables at Buzz in Bethlehem

Posing as the town bread vendor

 My niece Madeline played a sheep in her church Christmas program, “The Friendly Beasts.” She was definitely the cutest sheep, and knew all the words to the songs as well. It was so entertaining to watch.

Singin her little heart out

Mason was jealous, so had to pose for a photo shoot himself 🙂

Pete has also enjoyed a little sports action since we’ve been in Baraboo this winter. Every Wednesday night he plays for Baraboo City League basketball. My brother Jay, put together a team this year, so it has been fun watching them and being able to cheer for Pete, my brothers, and other guys we know from church.

Pete at the free throw line

This next week we plan to spend several nights with supporters and friends, we will be sharing at the Walnut Hill Bible Church Junior High Youth group, and traveling down to Waukesha for more time with supporters and family.

It will be  a whirlwind until we leave on January 6th, and we appreciate your prayers for us as we do try and take some time to slow down and enjoy our families in these last few weeks. As many of you know, we are also having some severe vehicle problems right now, but we are trusting God. What is happening with our car has surprised us, but it has not caught Him off guard! Thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support regarding this situation as well.

This post has gotten quite long, so I will leave you with a reminder of what this season is all about. And check back soon for a recap of our Christmas week!! Merry Christmas!!

“For a  child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;                                                                                                                                                and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
  Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 
  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
   On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
   To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
   From then on and forevermore 
   The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”        

 Isaiah 9:6,7