Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas At Our House

I must say that Christmas this year has definitely been different than any other that I've ever experienced! As I sit here typing this at 11:30 pm there are firework going off all around our house (they have been for a good part of the day). {The "grand finale" was at midnight, and lasted more than 20 minutes. :)} People are walking up and down the street in front of our house as if it were the middle of the day. Our dog is crouched in a corner of our laundry room probably shaking with fright, and every time I open the back door she tries to get in to hide somewhere in our house (which is NOT going to happen...). She is very afraid of fireworks. Some one is walking up and down the street blowing a horn (it sounds like one of the ones they blow at the World Cup...we got to know that sound pretty well earlier this year). I have a fan blowing on me from about a foot away to keep from dripping with sweat (it seems very humid today).

Despite the noise and heat...the kids are sound asleep. The presents are under the tree waiting to be opened. Allie woke up this morning, and made sure that I remembered that today was Christmas Eve and tomorrow is Christmas day! They are super excited about opening their presents. We let them open one present tonight, which was always a tradition in my family growing up.

We had a new store open up in town a couple of weeks ago, and I was so very excited to learn that they had real ham there...AND I was even more excited to see that the price was actually reasonable. (Until now I've only seen sandwich meat ham.) I don't know about you, but "Christmas" and "Ham" just seem to go together.

Our Christmas tree... this is my Christmas present from Jeremy. I was really pleased with the fullness of the tree. We decided to buy very few ornaments this year. We will add to our collection next year. We also decided to wait until next year to get lights (which is why they aren't on in the picture:). I was just excited to have a tree!
Another of my Christmas presents (I have been saving up for this one.) was the fruit picture. Someday we'll get it hung, but for now it sits on my newly painted cabinet (thanks to my sweet Jeremy who really doesn't enjoy painting :)

The girls helped me make a cute popcorn wreath one night a couple of weeks took lots of hot glue and lots of popcorn, but I thought it was pretty cute. I had to spray it with hairspray to keep the ants from trying to eat it. :)
Allie and Bethany made these little "advent trees". They didn't exactly put all of the numbers on them, but it was the thought that counts...right? Allie also made the "JOY" for a craft in school one day a couple of weeks ago. They adorn my window nicely.
I found red berries and candles to adorn my candle holder.
I made this felt Christmas tree just for fun, because I thought it would be cute.
We stuck Christmasy stickers on the windows.
These two were spotted on the couch earlier sweet!
And of course how can we get away without drawing on our huge wall space outside. We decided to draw some Christmas trees...with sidewalk chalk that a kind friend sent. :)
"Decorating" the Christmas tree.
I'm a little embarrassed about my drawing talents and my handwriting in the below picture, but I HAD to put it on the blog. I think our house is getting some stares as people walk by...
Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cantata

Last Sunday our church had a small Christmas cantata. It took lots of practice and it was really a lot of fun.

Also the children sang a song and dressed up for the cantata. That morning in Sunday School they were all trying on their costumes...Bethany looks like she's thinking "What in the world is she putting on my head?!"

They are all dressed up as angels.
Aren't they so pretty and sparkly!
Allie was VERY excited about this business of "acting out" Mary and Joseph and the angels. Just the day before she was trying to figure out how we could all do it at home. When she found out they were going to get to do it for church, she asked if she could be Mary and the other little girl who was going to be Mary very kindly agreed to be an angel and let Allie be Mary. She couldn't stop talking about it all afternoon! All she wanted to do was practice!

The kids choir...the older kids sang and the younger kid dressed up.
Joseph and Mary
Sweet little Mary.
Our beautiful angel.
The choir of angels.
Choir practice.
The girls like to sit on a bench beside me during practice. By the way, their dresses are the same ones they had last Christmas (you can see them in a couple of pictures in this post)...we were all very excited that they still fit!
The choir...several of them had memorized passages of Scriptures and poems to go with the songs. They all did so well!
Jeremy video taped the cantata, and some day we'll get around to posting it on the internet for you all to see.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Boy and His Cookie

Judah has recently discovered chocolate chip cookies. He takes after his father. Need I say more?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Long Trip

This afternoon Bethany dragged her's and Allie's car seats inside the house and said,
"Buckle up, Bigger-bogger, we're going to Bethlehem!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Meager Attempt

Last night we went to Sinuelo (aka "the monkey restaurant") to let the kids play. Before we let them play we took a few pictures of them in the grass. They all haven't been around grass much since we were in the States, so they were complaining about how itchy it was. Judah wasn't too keen on having his picture taken, but I think in spite of these things, we got some pretty good ones.

Sweet sisters
We were in a race against time trying to get the pictures taken before it got dark. This one was about the last.
As you can tell, he didn't want his picture taken!
I thought this one was pretty--with the sunset and the tuiuiu bird behind her. A good "brazilian moment" in my estimation.
Allie is looking like a big girl more and more...
My three sweeties...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Little Bit Like Christmas

Just a little preview of our Christmas here in Brazil. I just couldn't forget to get a picture of the girls with their new best friend "Bigger-Bogger", affectionately named by Jeremy. Everyone loves him and we are thankful to our friends from the States who so kindly sent us a Christmas package "chock full" of fun Christmas things like "bigger-bogger".

I thought this picture was a pretty good characterization of Brazil. I'm decorating the Christmas tree, putting on the finishing touches, wiping the sweat that is literally dripping from my face (thinking of all you freezing Americans :)... and I see a lovely friend climbing up the wall behind the tree. We literally kill hundreds (or maybe not 'quite' that many) of these spiders every week.
It did get cold for a couple of days this past week. The temperatures dropped down to the upper 60's. I told Jeremy that I felt right at home. It really felt like a Georgia Christmas! Today it's back up in the 90's!

We are starting to do some Christmas baking. I've got lots planned, and I'm so thankful that I finally have some peanut butter to make my beloved peanut butter balls. YUM! I'm sure we'll be sharing more about our Christmas here in Brazil in the next few days.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Songs and Verses

Here is a video of Allie and Bethany singing their Thanksgiving songs and quoting Psalm 100. I was going to post the video that I took of them doing this on Thanksgiving day with the other kids, but you could only hear Shari and I...not the kids. :)


Lately, I have started a post, and week or two...or three later it actually gets finished!

I wanted to share some Thanksgiving pictures with you. I know it has long since passed, and I think this will be short and sweet!

We had a Thanksgiving meal with some American missionaries around the city at our friends Chico and Shari's house.

Judah enjoyed their toys...
Jeremy and Judah ready to eat!
Allie is ready!
Bethany is too!
After the meal the kids did a short program for us. Matthew Pinto (the boy in the indian hat) is doing the same video school as Allie, so they are learning the same things. They sang The Turkey Song, Come, Ye Thankful People Come, and quoted Psalm 100...well, they kind of did. At least we knew they had them memorized. Maybe next year we will be able to hear them. :)
Here is our little pilgrim. :)
Our hostess for the day, Shari.
Mrs. Duarte cutting the yummy pies.
Mrs. Raehl cleaning up the dishes.
Jeremy, Judah, and Allie enjoying their desserts!
We had a wonderful time of fellowship with everyone. The Pintos have a nice swimming pool that the kids all enjoyed, and we were all ready for bed when we got back home! We are thankful for all the blessings that the LORD has given us throughout this past year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bethany's Birthday

It's been over a week since we celebrated Bethany's birthday. Usually one would say "I can't believe she's already 3 years old!", but with Bethany it seems like she's been 2 for at least two years!

We had a small party with some friends from the church to celebrate. When I asked Bethany what kind of birthday party she wanted she promptly replied "PINK"! Hey, I thought Allie was my "pink" girl! I guess most little girls like pink. So, that's what we did. For the first time ever, I decorated a cake... very simple, but pink!
My friend, Jessica Duarte, took some good pictures of Bethany on her birthday, I just thought you'd like to take a peek.

We played "Drop the Clothespin in the Bucket". I know, very interesting, but for a three year old party it just fit.
We enjoyed some fellowship.
Bethany enjoyed her cake!
She blew the candles out beautifully!
Bethany thoroughly enjoyed opening her presents! While she was opening her presents she kept talking baby talk. When asked after the party why she was talking like that she responded, "I was trying to talk in Portuguese!"
I'm thankful for sweet friends to help celebrate my little Bethany's birthday! She's growing up so quickly. Every day she reminds me of that by saying "I can do ....(you fill in the blanks).... because I'm a big girl now!".

Time really does go by too quickly. Before I realize what is happening I have another little girl instead of a toddler. Just because I like to reminisce a little I thought I would include some pictures of Bethany of years gone by...

1 week old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old

5 months old
6 months old
10 months old

Okay, maybe I overdid it just a little on the reminiscing part, but I enjoyed going through the pictures so much! This little girl definitely keeps us on our toes...and on our knees! We're often praying for wisdom when dealing with her. She has a strong will and a sharp mind, and we pray that she will be saved soon and even at a young age allow the LORD to use her.

If you just happen to want to see some more pictures of our Bethany that our friend Omar took go here.

If you want to see some cute videos of Bethany go here and here. And I'm sure there's lots more on these blogs somewhere if you just wanted to reminisce a little more along with me! :)