Monday, December 24, 2007

feliz navidad

Happy Christmas!
We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas. First and foremost, for our Savior, without whom we wouldn't have hope or a future. Jesus' birth was the dawning of a new hope for all peoples. We are thankful to be a part of God's plan to reach the nations for His glory.

We are also thankful for our baby who soon will be joining us. Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks she will be here and is the best Christmas present we could ever dream of.

We are thankful for our families; we are currently in Washington spending Christmas with Tracie's family. Ricky's family isn't too far away in Orange County, CA spending Christmas in the U.S. for the first time!

We are thankful for God's provision in our lives, especially for blessing us with pregnancy insurance (since we don't have health insurance in the U.S.), which covers all costs related to the pregnancy and birth at no cost to us!

and we thank you for your prayers and friendship!

May God bless you this Christmas
Ricky, Tracie and baby

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas tree day

We got a pretty nice tree. Here they are taking it to the truck. It happened to be a really beautiful (although cold) day.

Here's my brother Nathan with my step-nephew Brandon.

Madison was fascinated by the passing flock of ducks

Trinity looking up at Ricky. I think he's getting ready to be a daddy, what do you think?

And look who decided to show up...

(notice that i had to hide behind the tree to get this shot)

Monday, December 10, 2007

9 months pregnant

So here I am 9 months pregnant... and I had to confess to my doctor this morning,
"uhh.. I did something last night, I don't know if it's a no-no".
"what did you do?" doc asked.
"I went bowling" ... then, "but I only used an 8 pound ball"

The doctor immediately started laughing and asked, "did you have any contractions while playing?"
"Well, yes I actually did... and had a few throughout the night as well", I said with a guilty smile on my face.
He said, "you are healthy and although the baby would most likely be fine if born at 36 weeks, I prefer that the little one stays in until sometime after week 37."

My conclusion was this: If the baby decides to come late, bowling may be a way to bring on labor.

Pacific Northwest

It's been a while since our last posting! I finally pulled our pictures off the camera so we can post some here. We safely arrived to Washington the week before Thanksgiving. God has been so good to us in providing for all our travel and medical needs. I have been seeing the doctor who will be there for the delivery since our arrival. It's nice to finally have all that set up. I am now being seen weekly. We only have 4 more weeks until the due date! I am healthy and baby is doing wonderfully so far. She is growing well and becoming more and more uncomfortable inside, which is a good sign that she will decide to come out soon! We can't wait to meet her.

We are enjoying our time in Washington. We are with my parents in Vancouver. What a great blessing is was to see them again after 2 years! We also had the privelege of meeting our niece, Trinity, who is already 9 months old. Maddy, our other niece, just is about to celebrate her 2nd birthday. She is the funniest little girl (and knows it!). It's so fun to be with them and my brother Nathan and sister in law Cynthia.

Here we are at the christmas tree farm, choosing our tree. There's Ricky with my mom and dad.

My younger brothers are practically all grown up, it was a wonderful and tearful reunion seeing them again. I can't believe how much they change in just a few years. Gabe is a sophmore in high school and Jon is a Senior. They both are already thinking about and making plans for college and future careers. I'm so proud of them both. Here they are making funny faces... I don't know what they are doing exactly, just being themselves I guess! lol.

Here's pretty Trinners and sassy Maddy. Such cuties!

Monday, November 05, 2007 the U.S.

We have finally arrived! 6am yesterday morning we landed at LAX and are staying with some of Ricky's family in Orange County. We were thoroughly exhausted.. but we slept well last night and are looking forward to the next 10 days in California.
I would love to be able to see each and every one of you. But we have so little time here in California. For that reason, we would like to extend the invitation to you to join us in fellowship at Christ's Church of the Valley on Sunday, Nov 11th from 1-2pm in the Fireside Room. We will be sharing about what God is doing in Cusco and will have time to catch up with new and old friends. Hope to see you there. Just let me know if you don't know where CCV is, although I think the majority of you do...

Tracie and Ricky

Thursday, October 25, 2007 chile

It's so nice to be with family!!!! My Chilean family (aka the in-laws) are the greatest. Our first night here we had a whole bunch of family over to celebrate my birthday and our home-coming. With cake and celebration in true chilean fashion, we all enjoyed ourselves. This picture is of my suegros (parents in law) to the left, and Ricky's aunt and uncle, Nano and Janet, to the right. They even brought gifts! I was so surprised, especially because it is so unneccesary.. but was really nice of them. I even received 2 pairs of little baby socks. So cute!!

Ricky was so happy to be back in Chile and attend a futbol game. I didn't go because being 7 months pregnant in all the craziness at the stadium wasn't appealing to me! Along with brothers, various cousins and family, the whole gang of guys had a great time. The team's who played were Chile vs Peru. Who do we root for? Chile, of course!! Being in Latin American you have to be loyal to your own country!! And Chile won, so that was a good game.

Here's a recent picture of me and the preggo belly! I'm 29 weeks along now and feel REALLY pregnant with all the aches and pains that are a normal part of this stage. But I truly feel rested and refreshed in just a short time in being here. We are ready for our upcoming travels to the U.S. Trying to make contacts with new churches. Hoping to connect our church family in Cusco with US churches. We still need to raise more monthly support for the upcoming 4 years, so that beginning in 2008 we can rent a church location in Cusco, a smaller location for the children's ministry in San Marcos, Cusco, and to help bring out a missionary from Chile to work with us full time. Pray for us and pray for God's hand over the contacts we've made in the US. Oh, and for my health, that it remains well... and that we have no complications once we arrive to the states.

more soon!

PS - We are thrilled to share that..... It's a girl!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


we've arrived in Santiago. it's a long story, which i don't have the ganas or strength to explain just now, but we're here. we are happy. thanks for praying for us. God showed himself merciful.

we received a nice warm welcome, as always, in Ricky's home. it's nice to be with family after such a long time without them. God is good.

we will be in Chile until Nov 3rd, at which point we leave for the US. We arrive to the LA area the morning of the 4th.

more updates coming soon... and pictures

hemos llegado a Santiago. es una historia larga; no tengo las ganas o fuerza de hablar ahora, pero llegamos. estamos contentos. gracias por sus oraciones. Dios nos mostro su misericordia.

nos recibiron con una bienvenida calida, como siempre, en la casa de Ricky. es bueno estar con la familia depues de tanto tiempo. Dios es bondadoso.

estaremos en Chile hasta el 3 de Nov, en esta fecha saldremos a los estados. Llegaremos a Los Angeles en la mañana del día 4.

hasta pronto... con fotos

Friday, October 05, 2007

on the countdown....

10 days until we leave Cusco... for 5 months! We are very busy getting everything ready. We have spent several days cleaning the house, and today, the patio area.

Vito is gone. Yes, Vito has a new home!! Yippee!! I am so happy that he's not here anymore. I know it's kind of sad to say, because he was our dog and we got him when he was only 5 weeks old. But my allergies have been even worse during pregnancy, especially not being able to take any allergy medicine. And on top of it, I didn't even realize I had dog allergies until after we already brought the dog home over a year ago. I was just miserable. Now that he's gone, we did some deep cleaning (man all that hair, yuck!). I feel better already. Cleaner. I've realized that, although I like pets, I am just not a dog person.

All this cleaning is really a nesting fix for me. I love it. And I love that we have a great excuse to start early and to have Ricky's complete understanding, support and help! Since we're leaving the house in the hands of Pablo and Edgardo, we of course want it to be clean and ready for them to move in. We got the crib the other day! It was hard to find cribs for sale here, because the majority of mom's just have their baby sleep in bed with them. But we found a really nice wood one. It was fun buying something for baby.. like a reality check!

Speaking of Pablo and Edgardo, please pray for them. They left last night (Thursday) at 11:3opm Chilean time. The bus ride is more than 48 hours. Ricky and I have made the journey before and it's not the most fun or comfortable, to say the least. They arrive to Cusco on Sunday morning around sunrise.

Our "to-do" list is getting shorter, things one by one are being checked off. I still have to finish preparing the children's lessons. I am leaving everything ready for each week... through March! It's a huge job. But will be a big help for the guys. We also are preparing video and pictures for our church visits in the U.S. The video has been the biggest challenge because our computer doesn't have enough memory (the pc must be about 5 years old). So Ricky has to take things off the computer and save them to disk before we can try and upload any video. The idea of editing the thing seems like a nightmare... but it's SO important for us to have video to show. And we received this camera as a blessing from someone who doesn't even know us, but had a heart to bless the ministry here.

In regards to getting things done, it's been harder for me now that I'm 6 months along. I wake up and have energy in the mornings, but sometime after lunch, I am exhausted and my whole body hurts. I need to stick to doing pregnancy yoga every day, but I've been super floja (lazy) when it comes to doing it every day. I do get exercise though. I walk a few miles almost every day. It's not much, but helps me feel better and sleep better.

But on a good note, I feel great overall. The baby seems to move around more and more each passing week. My belly just popped out there in the last couple weeks, I don't know where it came from! I always get kicked in my right side. Many time I can feel the pressure of a little foot over there. Ricky was able to hear the heartbeat of the baby (which was distinguishable from mine) by putting his ear to my belly. That was a cool experience for him. Every morning the baby wakes up right about the time I am waking up (sometimes the baby wakes me up even earlier by swimming somersaults in there). It's really sweet to spend some time in the morning just the three of us.

Anyhow, thanks for praying for us. I'll write again soon,
love, Tracie

Thursday, September 20, 2007

friends from Chile and servants of God

This is Pablo. He has been to Cusco twice on short-term trips with teams from Santiago, Chile. He is the youth leader in the church of Libertad. He has followed a missionary call to serve 6 months here in Cusco, to be a leader of the church and children's ministry while we are away. He has a desire to serve long-term (2+ years) in Cusco. He also would like to use his time in Cusco to help prepare him for even longer term work in Africa in the future.

This is Edgardo. He came to Cusco with the first team from Chile in 2006. He has a love for children and is a fun guy. In this picture, he is acting in the drama, "creation", playing the part of Jesus. Edgardo is searching for God's will in his life and has heeded a call to come to Cusco for 6 months. Maybe he will find a longer-term call to missions while he is serving here.

Estamos muy contentos en recibir estos dos amigos de Chile. Ellos han mostrado sus corazones para las almas perdidas de Peru, a traves de varios viajes a Tacna y en el ultimo año, tambien aca a Cusco. Oren por sus necesidades fisicos, emocionales, espirituales y financiales. Que tienen mucho animo en estas ultimas semanas antes de su viaje. Confiamos en el Señor que él que comenzó la iglesia aca tiene todo el poder de seguir trabajando en las vidas de las personas, utilizando a Pablo y Edgardo. Confiamos en las habilidades y pasión de los dos y sabemos que el Señor va a hacer una obra completa en ellos y a traves de ellos.

Perdona mi español, seguramente he equivocado mucho!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This is the most recent 3D ultrasound that was done at 24 weeks (6 months) along. We are still in suspense to know if it's a boy or a girl. But look at his/her little cheeks! So adorable. The face is filling out and getting chubbier. Baby weighs 530 grams, a little over a pound.

We are the happiest and most blessed that I could ever imagine possible. What a great time in life!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

...a time to pray

Pray for little Guadalupe Merino.
Last week she had an accident at home with a pot of boiling water and got 2nd degree burns on both legs. We visited her in the hospital, she's still there and will be for probably another week or so. the poor thing hardly smiled although she couldn't hold back a smile when Ricky put her hand on my belly and told her that the baby came to visit her. it was cute. there are problems in the family as always, but more recently with Rosa's husband, who goes off to work until 10 or 11 at night but hardly ever brings home any money. He probably is spending it all on chicha... Rosa works too and has a drinking problem as well. The sad thing is that all 5 kids receive the worst end of the stick. I don't know if Rosa was even home when Lupe got burned. She leaves the youngest kids home alone a lot, which is dangerous. And now her husband wants to take Lupe away from Rosa because he says she is irresponsible.. but I doubt anything will come of it, because he seems to be irresponsible too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

...and the rains have come

The first real rain since April!

Once the rains begin, they won't stop again until April of next year!

I had forgotten how much I love the smell of the fresh rain and the rumble of the thunder in Cusco...

Día del Niño

Celebramos el día del niño hace unas semanas. Esta día es similar que el día de la mamá o del papá... pero para los niños! Me encanta la idea porque alla en eeuu no hay un día así.

Los niños de Cusco casi nunca reciben regalos, ni para sus compleaños. Entonces tuvimos una fiesta con música cristiana y les dimos a cada niño una bolsita de dulces. Aúnque empezaron de saltar por las paredes de resula de todo el azucar.. pasaron super bien y quedaron contentos con el día.

Este día tambien fue el ultimo de la tía Holly. Algunos de los niños la traeron flores y notas de despedida. Me siento para todos los niños que siempre tienen que despedirse de los tios que vienen. Antes nos preguntaron siempre, cuando nos vamos de Cusco, y me dío pena porque ellos estan acostumbrados en conocer nuevas personas y crecer cariño para ellos solo para tener que decir adios... Estamos contentos de estar aca y formar un relacion con los niños que les establece un poco de normalidad.

"¡¡Hola tío!!"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

¡feliz cumpleaños!

Mariluz and her sister Nicol recently celebrated their birthdays.. and we were invited to the party! Betty has a humble home with dirt floors. She moved the beds out of the bedroom, which was turned into the party room. One little light bulb hanging from the ceiling was all that illuminated the place.

Betty served the typical party food- jello, rice pudding and mazamorra (a peruvian gelatin type snack). She insisted over and over that we serve ourselves more! Her hospitality was apparent even though she was so busy and stressed with the final preparations we hardly had time to even take these photos of her with the girls!

Pray for Betty, Mariluz and Nicol. The girls' father left the country for work right after Nicol was born, and hasn't been back yet. He still keeps contact with them and sometimes sends money. Betty has decided to follow Christ, but still has things in her life that are holding her from complete submission to God. She holds to many ancient Incan beliefs, which are highly supersticious and involve witchcraft. Ricky spoke to her about these things : although she seemed to take it well, she has not come back to church in the last few weeks. Pray for her

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Thank you for all your emails asking if we are ok. Yes, we felt the earthquake here! It was probably a 3 or 4 in Cusco. It was very strong. For us, it felt like we were on a boat with long back and forth rocking movements. As far as we know, there is no damage here in Cusco. There is much damage, however, in Pisco and Lima and surrounding towns. Over 350 people have lost their lives.
Please pray for the people in the distaster area, especially for our friends who live in Lima, from whom we have yet to hear any communication. There are still problems with telephone and internet communication in many places.
We are waiting to hear about any way we can be involved in helping here in Cusco, if possibly by sending clothing or other items to the disaster area. All flights in and out of Lima have been cancelled at this point, and hopefully will resume in the next couple days.

We just received notice that the epicenter of the quake was a level 8. We are just east and up in the Andes Mountains from the center of the quake. Although distance from Lima is 740 miles by (a windy mountain) road, the direct distance by plane is only 1 hour.

We thank God for our safety and are just praying for the people of Pisco and Lima who lost family members and friends.

Friday, August 03, 2007

17 weeks and 3 days

so i'm 17 weeks 3 days today. i love having the pregnant belly!! although it's still pretty tiny. the woman at the veggie department at the market told me yesterday, "look, you can finally tell you are pregnant!". our friendship began when i was about 11 weeks along and had an emergency need for the bathroom. thankfully she pointed me in the right direction, telling the guard that the pregnant girl needs some t.p., so he ran off in search of a roll. I was so thankful for 1) for the toilet itself and 2) for toilet paper. i am usually good about carrying around my own t.p. because the public bathrooms in peru never have it for you. but in this case i was a pregnant woman in the market with a full bladder and that "i've got to go pee NOW" feeling, without even a square of paper!! she was my hero.

At 14 weeks we went on a long (i mean long) road trip. 17 hours from Cusco to Tacna. By the time we were heading back at the end of the trip, I was HATING the van. I just wanted to get out. Sitting for that long (even though Ricky made several small stops along the way for me), was just too much. The good part was, though, that we had our 2nd ultrasound done! The picture is posted in my album. The doc said the baby is healthy and just the right size. He scared me at first because he was feeling around on my belly and couldn't really locate my uterus. Apparently it was still low, and a little small. But nothing to worry about. He reaffirmed that last statement after he saw the baby and confirmed the size. I am a petite person and having small babies runs in my family, so i wasn't terribly surprised. But while you're laying on some butcher paper up on a table with a doctor pushing around and then have him make noises like, "hhmm, uhh huhh... yahh..", you'd probably think the same thing i did. I was like, "WHAT?!" but it turned out fine. We are so happy to have heard the heartbeat (this time by the doppler). The first time was at 7 weeks and we just saw the little flash of the heart, which was still cool though. But actually hearing it was something else.

During the ultrasound, the baby was curled up with his arm above his head, and we could just see the little fingers moving. When all of a sudden, the baby pumps his legs a few times to get some momentum and then completely flipped over! We were exstatic... actually seeing the baby move on the screen.

I've begun to feel movement and kicks in the last week or so. It's fun, but I wish they could be felt from the outside so Ricky could feel them too! That will happen soon enough, so I am just cherishing this time between the baby and i...

I haven't been very hungry. I always hear about women who could eat and eat during their pregnancies, but after I cook lunch and finally sit down to eat, I can hardly finish my food. I've gained 1.5 kilos so far, which is about 3.3 pounds. And i'm 17 weeks! The books and websites say that gaining between 2-6 pounds in the 1st trimester and then between the 14-28th week gaining a pound a week is normal. I'm not worried yet, because I know I'm eating healthy. I just want to make sure my calorie intake is high enough (we only eat 1 main meal a day). I eat a good breakfast every day, i snack during the day sometimes having a sandwich or something and then usually something light at night. I just want to do everything possible so the baby is healthy... and not underweight. The doc said i shouldn't worry too much and just eat whenever I'm hungry. And I've got some good prenatals that I'm taking so that should be a good help too.

For those of you who read this... and are women... and have gone through pregnancy before... perhaps (i hope) you can relate with me on this one. I feel more womanly and beautiful and complete now that I'm pregnant. The woman's body was meant for this. I don't know if I have the glow of pregnancy or not, but I sure feel it on the inside. Aside from feeling kindof crappy at times, usually from not sleeping well, I feel great! Seeing my belly grow is weird and wonderful (and having other things grow is wonderful too!). It is such a blessing and a miracle how God created our bodies to go through such emense changes and be the perfect environment for a growing human life. I wonder sometimes, how does it all fit in there... everything must be still squished together!

But it is truely wonderful. I love it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

the first saturday of July

...too many kids to fit in the classroom...

... a typical saturday...

..Joselo in his new favortie spot on the floor... more elbow room...

...Ruth, Valeria, Clarisa and Eduardo...

...Gean Carlos with Ricky. All the kids loved the new look of the room!

Friday, July 06, 2007

CCV paint project

Here's the whole team, content after painting an underwater theme in the kids room. It looks fantastic!

...with fishes...

...dolphins, seahorses...

...and sea turtles...

...and even a crab and a whale (and Victor)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

mmmm.... Cuy

Delivering the cage and placing it precariously on a ledge, right where Rosa wanted it.

Mariluz holding her new cuy. this one is fuzzy!

Matt putting the cuyes in the cage

In Ollantaytambo we had a first hand view of the women skinning the cuyes (already dead), and getting them prepared for cooking.

One of the families who received their cuy with the cage in the background.

Danielle, the CCV Global Outreach Director, holding this chubby little one.

Sean and Matt, delivering the cage... carrying it down the steps...
("porque soy hombre")-- as ricky and matt would say...

Ricky really doesn't like these things, but he sucked it up and picked them up anyway! Good man... ("porque soy hombre")