Saturday, June 26, 2010

Learning Their Bible Verse For Sunday School

The girls have been learning their verse for Sunday school. For the past few weeks it has been Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering ..." This is as far as they have gone. Each week they learn a new fruit of the spirit to add to the verse.

The new word for this week had the girls a little stumped. It is the word for "longsuffering"--"longanimidade". They were having a good time learning how to say it, and I caught the end of the fun on a video.

video

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Judah at 10 Months

Our little Judah is such a joy to be around. I know, I'm his mommy so I'm probably a little biased, but he is always so happy and ready to laugh or smile at anyone!

He seems to have a determination to get moving. When I watch him it seems like he has a goal and works and works on it until it is accomplished! When he started crawling, he would tirelessly work on it until he figured it out. The same thing with sitting up and now walking. It's almost like he "practices".

He cut 5 teeth within about 2 weeks. Now that sixth, odd tooth has taken about two months to come in. You would never know he was teething, though. Only when the tooth actually pokes through, he wakes up screaming for a few seconds in the middle of the night. I usually give him a teething tablet and his pacifier, and he goes right back into dreamland. It's wonderful. Of course, now that I've said this he will probably be miserable with the rest of his coming teeth!

He is pretty mild in his eating. He never really wanted anything except for his bottle until he started getting in some teeth. The poor child hasn't gotten much variety into his diet yet though, because his mommy has been too sick to make much homemade baby food. He eats lots of bananas and rice cereal. Sometimes we mash up what we're having for supper, and sometimes I'll cook him some carrots and/or potatoes.

He can say "mama" and "dada" and more importantly, he knows who is who! He is starting to try to copy things that we might say, of course, when he does it doesn't sound anything like what we said, but at least he's trying! His absolute favorite thing to say--he walks around all day long saying it--is "rar, rar, rar" over and over.

His favorite place to be is outside. Anytime the front or back door is opened he hears it and goes as fast as he can to 'escape'. When he is outside he tries to get in the dirt and rocks. He enjoys digging with a spoon in the dirt and tasting anything that escapes my notice. If he stays on the porch we have to keep him away from the dog food bowl as he really enjoys trying new things! This is probably my fault since I don't feed him enough variety! :-)

I thought you would enjoy seeing a short video of him just playing around this morning. I had to cut it short though as at the very end he discovered my cell phone. I didn't want him to drop it on the floor and break it!

video

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Strength God Gives

I am so thankful for the strength of the Lord every day. I am often reminded of the song "I Need Thee Every Hour". How true it is that we need Him every hour, and the funny thing is that the times that I dwell on that song the most is when things are going smoothly in my life. That is probably because I often think of the need to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit even in the daily cares of the home.

Annie Hawks wrote the words to the song "I need thee every hour" one day while taking care of the DAILY duties of the home. Then LATER in her life she experienced much sorrow and again realized the powerfulness of the words of the song that she had written.

One of the blessings of a victorious Christian life is knowing the closeness of our Lord in EVERY circumstance in life. Like Annie Hawks, it is so important that we develop strong spiritual lives during the peaceful hours in order that we will be able to be victorious when difficulties come -- and they surely will come to everyone at some time.

Although I can honestly say that these past three months since moving to Brazil have been the hardest in my life, I also know that compared to what others have faced I have seen no hardship at all! The Lord is using these 'tranquil' (albeit, still somewhat difficult) times to teach me to depend fully on Him, and to enjoy a great closeness of fellowship with Him. Who knows what the future may hold!?

Now on to the pictures! Last week it was discovered that I had a very bad bacterial infection. I began to feel bad two Wednesdays ago, but I really didn't think too much about it since I had been having some up and down days with my ulcerative colitis anyway. Each day got a little bit worse, but I still didn't think much about it. By the time Sunday came I was feeling pretty awful. I didn't want anything to eat and all I wanted to do was sleep all day!

We knew I was beginning to get dehydrated and thought that I had caught a regular stomach bug that had been going around. We went down to the local hospital/clinic, and they gave me an IV while I slept in the women's ward for a few hours.

I felt a little better that evening after being hydrated, but as I slept that night and the next day I sweated it all out (I also had a fever). On Wednesday morning we decided that it probably was something worse than a regular stomach bug and went to my gastroenterologist. He immediately figured out that I had gastroenteritis and put me in the hospital for two days and two nights.
(Me in the hospital--a much protested picture)
The doctor later told me that I probably contracted the infection from some food that had been left out too long or something along those lines. With the climate here in Brazil we have to be very careful to make sure what we eat is good.

It was a very interesting hospital stay. The nurses never told me to change into a hospital gown--which is the first thing they make you do in the States. Most of the time Lawanda or Jenifer Duarte stayed with me to interpret, but when it was just me and Jeremy it was pretty interesting trying to discuss medical things with the doctor and nurses.

I did get very good care and was very pleased with my hospital stay. The hospital was very clean, and we are told that it is probably the nicest one in our city.

Most of the time that I was in the hospital Jeremy was with me. He stayed the nights with me and only went home for one afternoon. The rest of the time the Duarte girls helped out with the kids. We were told that they all did very good. I am so thankful! We haven't left our kids over night with anyone except a grandma for a night or two, and I wasn't sure if they would do well at night. The girls said they all did very well, and they had no problems at all. How great is our God! If you have children then you know what a nice relief this is to a mother!

When I was finally able to come home--Allie and Bethany were so excited to show me what they had made. How sweet! I am so thankful for my sweet children and for the Duarte's and all their help during this time!
As I was sitting in bed still recuperating the next day, I heard much commotion at our gate. I heard what sounded like a motorcycle drive up, the dog barking and jumping on the gate, and then I heard Jeremy go out. This wasn't too extraordinary as I figured it was SedEx (some sort of mail delivery here) delivering a bill or something.

After a couple of minutes Jeremy came in the room holding this prettiest bouquet of roses that he had bought for me. Roses aren't quite as easy to come by here in Brazil, (you can't just go down to Wal-mart and buy a dozen) and they cost a little more here too, but oh what a special treat after such a hard week!

I'm so thankful for such a thoughtful and hard working husband. He has had to be both mommy and daddy quite a bit lately, and he does so without complaint! He's so wonderful!
Each day I am getting a little stronger and feeling a little better. Jeremy plans to begin language school again in the morning, and hopefully I will be able to at the beginning of next week sometime. Please continue to pray for us. I still have a long way to go before I am in 'perfect' health once again, but I know if God wills it then He can do it!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pardon the Mess

I plan to work some on the layout of the blog, so if it looks bad please forgive me. I plan to get it in order again sometime!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Company

Since we are now able to speak some broken Portuguese, and we really would like to get to know the families that attend the church here better, we decided to start inviting some people to our home for dessert on Friday nights. I say "nightS", but we've only done this once, but we plan to continue to do this with all of the families of the church.
So, a couple of weeks ago (I've been sick, so this post is way overdue!) we had the first family over. We served Moussie, (I think that would be the spelling--correct me if I'm wrong) which is a very yummy and very simple Brazilian dessert that resembles ice cream. One can sweetened condensed milk, one can Cremê de Leche (which *almost* resembles the American heavy whipping cream, but it has more of the consistency of sour cream--just in case your were curious. AND if you're even more curious, this is what we use to make sour creme. We add some vinegar to the cremê de leche, let it set for a few minutes, and wha-la you have sour cream!), and one package of some type of fruit pulp--we chose strawberry and passion fruit. Many times the dessert is served in pie form, sometimes with a cookie crust at the bottom, but Jeremy prefers it to be frozen in individual cups. It probably resembles ice cream even more that way!

I also served some chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Brazilians love cookies. It isn't a typical Brazilian dessert (all of their desserts contain sweetened condensed milk as a main ingredient). These cookies went over very well! However, I cannot take the credit for making them. I was beginning to get sick the day after we invited them to come over, and we didn't want to un-invite them, so I asked for help. Jenifer Duarte very graciously and willing offered to come over to help me get my planned desserts ready and to help clean my house. I had also gotten a little behind on some of my necessary cleaning (sweeping, mopping, etc) because of getting sick.

The family we invited was Adilsom, Lucimar, and their daughter Camilly. When we first arrived in Brazil they invited us over for dessert the first week with the Duarte family. We thought they would be a good place to start.

We had a good talk. We worked through our broken portuguese (we also invited Jenifer over to enjoy the fruits of her labors and to help interpret some, although we wanted to try to talk to them as much as possible on our own...we didn't want to get stuck...that would be embarrassing). Overall I think it went well. It will be nice when the day comes and we don't say "uh" between every word or two... that's how slow we think in it now.

Below are some pictures of another day when Allie, Bethany, and Camilly were playing at the church while her parents cleaned the church. Camilly loves to play with the girls even though they don't understand each other very well...yet!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blessings of the Day

I just thought I'd tell you about some blessings that we received today. For the last few weeks since I started having some health problems I have been on a gluten-free diet. It has been said to help with keeping colitis in remission. It seems to be helping me stay stable at least for the time, but I plan in a couple more weeks to go on a different diet. This diet will hopefully allow me to get off of it in a year or more, and keep me from having more relapses...we'll see!

Anyway, since I am on this gluten free diet I've had a hard time finding things to eat. I can't have pastas, breads, and some other things. This makes variety very difficult.

We decided when I started to try to make our own rice flour so that I can have some bread to eat. We tried it and it was okay, but we were using our blender and it didn't get it fine enough. The bread that I made turned out a little crunchy. Interesting.

However, today, Jeremy went to a store down the road and found some rice flour. We had asked a few people if it was possible to get it here, and no one knew. We just assumed we couldn't. To say the least, I am excited! It will be much easier than spending an hour trying to blend rice and make flour out of it that isn't really good anyway. Hence, blessing number one!
Blessing number two is a kitchen table. If you remember, when we first arrived we bought a table for our porch. We eat every meal out there (except when it is cold or rainy, then we eat on the kitchen floor!). I didn't think about how much we used a table inside the house until we didn't have one. The girls had no where to do their crafts except for on the floor, and then Judah would try to eat their papers! And if you know my girls they would do crafts ALL day long if I had a big enough imagination. The table will be helpful for extra counter space as mine previously was very limited. And for the cold or rainy days we no longer have to eat on the floor. So exciting! :)
Another blessing that I thought I'd tell you about is something that we have received often since we've been here--homemade bread. There is a lady that goes to our church and she sells homemade bread as a means of income. We generally get one every week or so and the girls love it. It also makes for quick breakfasts along with a fruit of some sort since our language school seems to make mornings a little bit hectic at the moment!So there you have it. Some of the little blessings of our life!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bethany Loves to Cook

In Brazil, most people usually have their big meal for lunch instead of supper, and for the most part we have done this as well. It has been my habit to begin preparing for lunch at about 11:00 each day, always with the intention of eating at noon (which almost never happens). During the eleven o'clock hour Allie is usually busy with her school work and Judah is usually napping which leaves Bethany to help mommy in the kitchen!

She has a job that she does every day (well, almost every day). She peels and "chops" the garlic. She calls it chopping, but actually she mashes it. We use the garlic to flavor the rice and beans and sometimes we need it to flavor meat. That's what a typical brazilian dish must have! We don't eat it every day, but we do have it several days of the week.

Anyways, Bethany has become quite good at doing this. She knows it's her job and it keeps her preoccupied for quite a while during lunch preparations.
video

My Two Handsome Guys

All dressed up and ready for church on Sunday morning! I love them!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Flowers and the Feira

Friday night we took a break from studying for language school and went out with the Duartes for a fun-filled evening!
First, we went to a flower show. Once a year they set up a tent in downtown Cuiaba and sell lots of flowers at a good price. We went on the last night that they were going to be open. We enjoyed looking around at all of the beautiful flowers and plants.
One of the things I have missed most in Brazil is seeing flowers everywhere. In the States we were so spoiled by seeing the trees and flowers blooming every spring, but here I've hardly seen any.
The girls enjoyed going out for the evening and seeing something other than our house!
There were lots of pretty flowers and bushes to choose from, but for now I chose some very small flowers to adorn my table until we are more settled in. I think at this point in my life if I spent money on a beautiful plant or flower it would probably die from lack of time to care for it.
Judah enjoyed to stroller ride for the evening.
This isn't a very good picture, but we thought it was pretty interesting--a black flower--can't remember what it is called. Do you know?
Bethany wanted to walk up on the platform with Jana.
Jeremy and I purchasing our flowers.
On to the feira! Each area of town has it's own feira (market) each week. Some of the vendors go from place to place and set up their tables to sell things to the public. One of the first tables we noticed was the grape table. We got some sweet, yummy grapes!
Here is Jeremy looking at all of the candied fruits.
A cotton candy man kept walking by us, and each time Allie would say "oh mommy, can we get some of that!" We didn't buy any!
Bethany rode on Jed's shoulders for some of the night.
There were lots of people that had trampolines to jump on (for a small fee), so after we walked through the entire feira we let the girls jump for a while. They enjoyed it so much. Allie kept asking to do it again.

This trampoline had balls to play with which made it even more amusing for the girls.
Allie was a little bit silly for a picture. She asked "Does my nose look big?"

We crowded 13 people around a very small table to eat a snack and drink some freshly squeezed orange juice. I thought the people at the table behind us were pretty funny. I don't know if anyone noticed this while we were getting the picture taken.
Going home.
My sweetie and I! We had lots of fun together!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Family Hammock

Sometimes we get a nice quiet evening with nothing going on. On those days we sometimes end up in the hammock--all five of us.

We have a great time telling silly stories, singing, practicing portuguese, and tickling the kids.
We all have such a great time together.
We're so thankful for our little family!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Christmas in June

Oh, how fun it is to get mail when you're in a different country! It kind of reminds me of how it felt to get a package from home while I was away at college ...so exciting! Yesterday, we got our first big piece of mail since we've been here. We have gotten some smaller things: letters, small packages and cards, which we have also thoroughly enjoyed. This seemed to be the real "test" though.

We knew my parents had sent it and it only took about two and a half to three weeks. We were so excited to open it and see what was inside. It was like Christmas!

Here we are on our couch almost ready to open it!
I know you're curious as to what we got. It was 2 jars of PEANUT BUTTER (my personal favorite!)some various food seasonings that aren't available here. Gum (Bethany's favorite-as soon as I opened the box she squealed a very happy squeal "GUM"!!!), matching shirts and sandals for the girls (Allie's favorite as she just LOVES shoes ...she just happens to notice which shoes everyone at church is wearing) and a couple of little outfits for Judah-he is growing out of some things so we are very thankful for these as nice little kid clothes seem to be outrageously priced here.

And here are Allie and Bethany ready for church on Wednesday night showing grandma and pawpaw their new things!
I had planned several other posts to be done yesterday, but I put my camera card into my computer and somewhere between the camera and the computer all of the pictures disappeared ...so disappointing! There are several things that I'd like to write about, but I think it's kind of boring to do so without pictures. So hopefully soon we'll get things rolling on here again!