Friday, March 29, 2013

bilingual kids...

A few weeks ago we reached a milestone.

Three years ago we arrived in Brazil.

They were three of the hardest, but most fulfilling years of my life.

So much has happened in this past year, and there is so much to say.  I think I need about a year to type it all out for you!

I think there is this myth of sorts floating around the "missionary on deputation world" about missionary kids and new languages.  I thought for sure I would get to Brazil and within two months my kids would speak fluent Portuguese.  I can be a little naive (or "blonde") sometimes.  :)

Everywhere we went people would tell us, "Just you wait, they'll be speaking Portuguese before you." or "They'll be teaching YOU Portuguese."  I guess it could happen with some kids, but from what we have experienced and heard (we've asked a few other missionary kids as well) this isn't always the case.

{Allie and Bethany with Camilly-they love playing with her!}

I was a little sad when after the first year our kids only knew how to say a few pet phrases, Bible verses, and a few kids songs.  Brazilians and Americans alike would ask me how their language was coming along, and I would get a little tongue-tied and give some excuse and hope they didn't ask more. All the while I was thinking in my heart, "How horrible that my kids STILL didn't speak Portuguese!"

Some would ask me if we spoke Portuguese around the house to help them learn.  The answer was no.  We tried on occasion to do this, but at first I could hardly put together a whole sentence without completely botching it.  I thought it would be crazy to try to teach my kids a language I couldn't even speak.  Plus, how can you reach their heart and communicate with them when neither of you can understand?

BUT...even though we didn't speak Portuguese at home, they were still hearing it.  Constantly.  At church they would play with their little Brazilian friends and pick up on little things.  We live in a "unique" neighborhood, and all day long people walk in front of our house on their way to work, etc.  Kids often congregate in front of our house to watch our "Americano" kids play with their toys.

They were listening, working, trying to figure it all out the whole time.

So... on to the rest of the story...
Last fall Allie started language school with the same lady that taught Jeremy and I.  She has class for an hour a day, and she has an incredible mind.  She has a thirst for reading...not so much for arithmetic. ;)  For the first few months she was learning well, but would rarely say a word of Portuguese outside of her classroom.

Then in January we decided Bethany was ready to start taking language school as well.  I told Jeremy after a few days, "If Bethany starts speaking Portuguese, then all of them will."  She has a "domineering" personality, and she doesn't get easily embarrassed.

{Bethany with Mara our language school teacher}

Sure enough, February came and along with it was Family camp.  Our girls had been talking a little bit more, but when we spent the week, day and night, at family camp, it all just exploded!

{Allie and Bethany with Mara}

It was AMAZING to watch.  Both of them were conversing, playing "house", explaining things to other little Brazilian boys and girls in their own language.

They started talking to each other in Portuguese at home.  Judah has even started speaking Portuguese in sentences.

God has been so good, and has answered our prayers.  They aren't perfect, in fact if you would listen to just a couple of sentences you could easily find several mistakes, but they are getting it.  They are communicating.  I wish I could just bring you all down here to watch!

The other day Allie asked me, "Mommy, how long do I have to go to language school?  I feel like I already know how to say everything."  Just to prove to her that she didn't know everything, I said, "Okay, if you know everything then tell me what you just said again, but in Portuguese this time."  She just smiled.  Point made.  She really DOES loves language school.

Pray for the missionary kids.  Culture shock is real, but so is God!  God very clearly led us here, and He is giving our family the tools to minister.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jesus loves me, this I know...

I know Judah has been the center of the blog lately, but I came across this video tonight and thought he was so cute!  This video was taken about a month ago, Judah is growing up so fast!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Judah's Surgery

Judah's surgery went really well a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of our day!

We got up early in the morning and headed off to the hospital.  Judah wasn't quite awake yet...

Judah and Jeremy head into the hospital.

We checked him in and Judah got his bracelet.  And then the waiting started.  The surgery was supposed to start at 8:00, but as we were sitting in the waiting room we saw the surgeon walk in just a few minutes after 8:00.  We waited for about an hour and noticed another little boy with his mother sitting close by and asked if he was to have surgery too.  We found out that he was scheduled with the same surgeon at 9:00--it was already a little past 9:00.  Shortly there after we were called back.

Jeremy ended up going back into the room with him for the surgery since he is a little more advanced in Portuguese than I am.  

Judah obeyed perfectly.

Jeremy had to dress in the doctor's gear.  During the surgery the doctor called him in the room to show him the cut and explain everything he was doing.

Judah with his gas mask.

After the surgery he was put in a regular room for a few hours.  Here he is before he really started waking up.

Shortly after he woke up he was starving.  They brought him some beans and rice, which he gobbled up pretty quickly, then came the pudding... with sprinkles.

And here we are on the couch just passing some time.

Judah preferred drinking out of the hospital cup rather than his sippy cup.

Passing some more time...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave us some simple instructions, and we were off.

Once again we are blessed to have had a great experience at this hospital.  Judah has recovered well, and at his follow-up appointment the surgeon said that it looked as if everything went well.   

And just in case you're curious what the hospital looks is a stock photo of the hospital that we go to for any problems that we have.  There are several private hospitals in our city, but this one just seems to be the one for us.  

Sadly, many are left with no option but to use the public health care system, which, in our experience is a big mess.  We have been truly blessed with God's provision to be able to use a good private hospital!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thanks for praying!

Thank you so much for your prayers for Judah.  The surgery went well, and now he is at home resting.  Hopefully, I'll be able to share some pictures in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Surgery for Judah

Please pray for Judah.  Tomorrow morning he will have an outpatient surgery.  After he was born one of his testicles didn't drop, and the doctor is going in to correct this.  

 It's a minor surgery, so just pray that there are no complications.  Oh, and pray for his mommy too, she has a few butterflies in her tummy... none of her kids have ever had surgery before.  ☺

Story Time

Part of the reason for lack of blog posts is that my pictures are in great disarray.  Our camera card reader died, then we had computer troubles, then I got busy... not a good combination for picture organization on the computer!

Anyway, I was browsing the pictures on my camera card and came across this one.  I just had to share it.  It's a couple of months old, but thought it was great!  We were babysitting while Omar and Tracy went on a date.  All the kids asked for story time with Jeremy.  He kept them mesmerized for quite a while!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

101 uses for an old tic tac box

Okay, so I'm not actually going to give you 101 uses for an old tic tac box, but Bethany could!  Someone gave her a box of Tic Tac's, she gobbled them up, and I think she was more excited about the neat-o box than the candy!

She was just having so much fun drinking out of the Tic Tac box that I just had to share her cuteness with you all!