Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Mommy, Look it's Christmas!"

"Mommy, why does Christmas just take sooo long to get here?" -Allie, age 5
"But when it gets here, it's gonna be fuuun!" {giggle, giggle} -Bethany, age 4

 While pointing at the Christmas tree, "Mommy, look it's Christmas!" -Judah, age 2

I put on the lights and the ribbon, and then I just let the kids have full reign of decorating!  They put stuff wherever they wanted.  After they went to bed that night, I had fun rearranging! 

We sent the grandparents early Christmas kisses the other day!

 Such little sillies!  All we talk about these days is Christmas!

The day after Thanksgiving the tree went up and decorations started appearing here and there.  I think I was a little late by Brazilian standards.  My neighbor had already had her tree up for a couple of weeks!  But of course, Brazilians don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving since it is an American holiday.

I had such fun decorating for Christmas this year.  Last year the tree was my Christmas present, but all I had were a few balls to put on it.  This year I got to add lights, snowflakes, berries, pinecones, and a tree skirt--thanks to my sweet mom that likes to send me packages full of goodies! 
I am just so happy with my pretty tree.  Someday I'll have to show you the rest of my décor, but that is still a work in progress...probably until Christmas day! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Advent Bowl

In the mail a few weeks ago came this beautiful trifle bowl.  It makes the regular 'ole desserts look beautiful, and when it isn't busy fulfilling it's dessert duties, I am repurposing it!

It held a beautiful little pumpkin during Thanksgiving, but now, it holds something better.  At least that's what my kids think!  It's our "advent bowl".

For a few years I have been wanting to do something to count down the days until Christmas.  This year I found a perfect idea for us.  I made teeny cardboard boxes, put the "prize" inside {which is generally a piece of paper telling about the activity they get to do} and wrapped them up!
Yesterday, being the first day of December... was the first day!
  Can't you just feel the excitement!?
They unwrapped a baby Jesus and a manger.  Grandma sent a Nativity set for the kids to play with, and I have been saving it for a couple of months for this day.  They love it!
Allie loves telling the story.  Mary and baby Jesus are the favorite pieces!
Judah just thinks it's the best thing in the world.  Especially the camel and the palm tree!
I have different activities written down for each day.  I'll tell them to you as long as you don't tell my kids, they are just dying to know.  They want to unwrap them all TODAY!

Some of these will be repeats just in case your wondering why I don't have 25 things on here.  

1. Nativity set
2. Make hot (or cold) chocolate with whipped cream and Christmas sprinkles.
3. A special candy from America.
4. Make paper snowflakes with mommy.
5. Color a Christmas picture.
6. Do a random act of kindness.
7. Sing Christmas carols together.
8. Write Christmas cards to other missionaries.
9. Make a gingerbread house.
10. Skype grandparents.
11. Write Christmas cards to family.
12. Make special homemade ornaments.
13. Read a new Christmas story.
14. Have a picnic by the Christmas tree.
15. Decorate Christmas cookies.
16. Eat a candy cane.
17. Go out for ice cream.
18. Draw Christmas trees on our outside walls with sidewalk chalk.
19. Have a game night.
20. Make a special Christmas craft (or homemade play dough).
21. Watch a Christmas video.
22. Open one present early.

Well, Christmas is on it's way!  The kids are ready.  This advent thing works pretty well.  For now, they have forgotten about the presents they'll get on Christmas, and they're just excited about finding out what they get to do each day.  I think it will help pass the time!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Nightfall Fun

This is the video we sent to the grandparents last night.  The kids were having fun playing on Thanksgiving night.

I'm pretty sure their rhyme in Portuguese is not exactly right, but you get the idea.  :)

Also, if you want to see another family's version of our Thanksgiving, the Schrocks have posted pictures on their blog.  I didn't take any pictures all day.  I think I'll just have to steal theirs.  :)

Although, I can't promise a Thanksgiving blog post anytime before December, this blog is definitely on my "to do" list during my vacation from language school!

And, just because I want to ramble for one minute.  ALL of the fall décor came down tonight, and the Christmas tree is up with lights.  Tomorrow, we decorate!  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Great Post

Jolene Sloan is a missionary wife in Ukraine, and she wrote a great article entitled Surviving the New Adventure on her blog With Love From Ukraine.  It is about what the first few years on the mission field are like for a missionary wife.  Definitely well written and a must read!

Rats and other happenings...

We've had an interesting couple of weeks with lots of activity!  Each of these almost merit a post of their own, but since I'm always behind on what I want to post on my blog, I thought I'd just sum it all up in one long post.

So, in no logical order here is a synopsis of the past two weeks.

~A family day at the park... too many pictures.  




Such sweet kids.

Except for a couple of us being disheveled, this turned out to be a really good family picture--not to mention we used the timer and said 'hurry, hurry, look at the flashing red light and smile'!

~Tracy and I took a bus to central Cuiabá ALL BY OURSELVES for some shopping.  We even got off at the right place the first time and didn't get lost!

~We skyped with Ambassador Baptist College for their mission's conference, the college from which Jeremy and I graduated just a 'few' years ago.

~On Sunday afternoon Judah got his first stitches--it was a little bit shocking how much blood came out, but in the end it wasn't too bad.  He's a tough little guy.

~Threw out FIVE DOZEN eggs on Sunday because they were molded!  That was definitely a first!

~30+ mangoes from our tree cut up and put in the freezer for smoothies.

~We found a rat's nest in our 'shed' in the back yard with four newborn baby rats.  Bethany kept looking at them and saying, "aww!  there so cute!" she even held one by the tail after she saw William (the boy in the picture below) holding them.  She cried when we let William have them.  I guess she wanted some pets. 

~Bethany started K-4 ~ better late than never, right?  More about her in a couple of weeks--her birthday is coming quickly!

And there you have it!  The excitement never stops!  Well, at least I think it's excitement, for some reason when you write it all out it doesn't seem to have quite the effect!  

Friday, November 4, 2011

We just had to get our picture taken...

because we were both wearing purple.  Bethany's favorite color!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Study Time

I've seen a whole lot of this lately. 
Portuguese study.
October was "my month" to learn Portuguese.  Since I was so sick for the first year, we decided that it would be a good idea to go "all out" and for me to do double duty in school for a month to help me catch up a little.  Jeremy did lots of cooking and cleaning, and I did lots of studying!  

The month is coming to an end.  Do I feel like I know Portuguese any better?  Yes.  But at the same time the more I learn the more I find out that I don't know!

Reality really hits when I look at my Portuguese/English dictionary, and on the English side of each page, I know, use, and can define about 42 out of the 45 words listed, but when I flip to the Portuguese side, I only know a handful of the words out of the list of about 45!

Learning a new language definitely is more difficult than I thought it would be, but I'm so thankful that with God's help it's coming!  Finally!

I've learned that everything that I think to say in my head is always perfect, but the road from my head to my mouth is very long.  It never seems to come out the same as it was thought in my head.

I've also learned that there is more than one definition of "knowing" another language.  I can get around and communicate okay now.  So, in that sense, I already "know" Portuguese.  However, I'm not satisfied to speak with the grammar of a child, and if I want to be an effective help to my husband, I need to keep studying!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happiness is a cup of coffee...

Doesn't this pretty coffee mug just make you wish you liked coffee?
I think I would like to just fill it up and carry it around just to pretend!  
Maybe one day I can pretend it's cold here and fill it up with some hot chocolate instead.  :)
...and the notebook... doesn't it just make you want to write something in it?
Every year, about a month after my birthday, I receive a birthday present in the mail from one of our supporting churches in Virginia.  Isn't that such a sweet idea!?  I just thought you'd like to see this year's present.  I think the mission's coordinator sends out the package on the date (or maybe during the week) of the recipient's birthday.

The present itself is simple, sweet and pretty.  It didn't cost an arm and a leg.  Shipping was a little bit costly, but the time and sentiments involved are priceless!

So, if you are from that church in Virginia, thank you so much for the present!  I LOVE it! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Rain Begins...

spring brings showers, out of the blue
startled legs scamper for cover
a good excuse for lovers to share umbrellas, embrace each other

finely sprinkles,fresh green shoots
caresses splendid,golden shows
leaves behind a parting gift
glorious rainbows.
summers cruel heat, stifling
leaves parched, cracked the ground
flowers hang their needy heads

fallen are scattered around
thunder rolls, sky darkens
clouds burst, rain dances beneath
nature drinks in greedily
breathes a sigh of relief
autumn rain chills the bones
swells the streams and rivers
clears the way, sows the seeds
of lofty life givers
muddy puddles appear,tempting
to booted children,lure them in
splish and splash! about laughing
mothers “tut!” but slyly grin
winter rain is ruthless
stinging cold wet faces
drives people to seek out warmth
dream of exotic places
dripping red noses,sniffle
icy blasts turn rain to stone
bouncing, the hail whitens
shivering, legs hurry home

Poem by Lynne Cannon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mango Season Has Arrived!

Everyone was excited to taste the first ripe mango of the season yesterday!
If we could just keep every kid in the neighborhood out of our tree (they like to eat them with salt before they are ripe), we MIGHT just have some more over the next few weeks.  I LOVE having fresh fruit in our very own yard!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grandma is with Jesus

About seven months ago I asked you to pray for my grandma when we found out she had lung cancer. She had contracted pneumonia a couple of weeks ago and everyone thought she was recovering, but today she is looking into the face of Jesus.

Please pray for my grandpa, my parents, and the rest of the family.  

Ever since I heard of her passing this song has been running through my head:

Heaven seems a little sweeter when I think of whom I'll meet,
What a glorious reunion that will be.
But far more than this reunion is the precious, blessed truth
Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior I shall see.

I'm so thankful that although I am far away I do not have to mourn as others that have no hope, but I know that one day we can worship at the feet of Jesus together.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our family sings in Portuguese!

Jeremy and I have sung on different occasions in Portuguese at church, but the other night our whole family sang for the first time in Portuguese.  All of the kids knew all of the words, but they didn't sing the whole way though.  I was pretty proud of them though this being their first time.

Just thought you'd enjoy seeing it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

all about allie

Allie loves...

crafting, helping, laughing, playing mommy, dress-up, tent-making, reading, lip stick, umbrellas, perfume, frilly dresses, tomatoes, raw carrots, gum drops, lollipops, popsicles, singing, kisses, swinging, teaching, tickles, Bible time...

Most commonly used phrase...
"For real?!?"

Allie is enjoying first grade although sometimes she'd "rather just play".

She is doing excellent in reading.  She has started reading her Bible every morning by herself before school this week and is surprising me with the words she can read without help.

She is doing the Abeka video school again this year.  It has been a huge blessing since Jeremy and I are still in language school.  I feel like she is getting a quality education that I wouldn't be able to give her at this point in our lives.

Random conversations with Allie...

Allie said, "Mommy, I would like to see what "dog" tastes like.  Just a little bite like the size of a brownie.  But we don't really know how to kill a dog to eat it, do we?

Mommy said, "Yeah, maybe one day when we go to Korea we can see what dog tastes like, they eat it a lot there."

Allie, "Hey, that would be a good idea!"


Allie loves to dress up and play princess.  The other day she was all dressed up in her princess garb and with her "scepter" (really just a stick) tapped me on the head and said,

"I now crown you princess mommy".
Mommy exclaimed, "Wow, I'm a princess now?"
Allie questioned, "Would you like to be a princess?"
Mommy sighed, "Only if I can still be your mommy."
Allie decided, "Nah, you don't need to be a princess, you're prettier than a princess."

So sweet.  

It made me smile. 

I love her. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Judah Is Two Years Old!

Sunday was Judah's birthday.  I can't believe he's already two!  I know, I know that's very cliché, but still... I can't believe he's two!

We kept things simple.  We invited the Schrocks for Sunday lunch and afterwards ate cake.  I'm not a cake decorator.  I do the best I can.  I really like to use candy and stuff to try and cover for my terrible decorating skills.  

As I was frosting this cake at midnight on Saturday night {really--that's what mommies do sometimes} the frosting was just kind of sliding off.  It was really still that hot in my house!  That's okay though.  I crushed some {pseudo} oreo cookies to cover the sides, and thought the top had some 'character'.    At least Judah liked it!

He looks like a pretty happy two year old...don't you think?

I thought it would be great fun to have some sparkle candles, but of course they didn't light right away, and I didn't think about him not being able to blow them out.  {I guess that's where the blonde in me shows though. }

Judah liked the sparks at first, but then decided they were a little bit too much for him.

Bethany was mesmerized...

And then we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  And since he mostly hears it in Portuguese he thinks everyone should clap as they sing.

He was also showing off his shirt all morning in Sunday School.  He was very proud of it!

And I bet you can't guess what he has been doing nonstop since he received his birthday present...

He absolutely LOVES it.  For the past few months he has been "riding" anything he can find.  We 'had' a little toy ironing board for the girls, and he would flip it over and "ride" it {until he broke it--and no we didn't 'let' him do that, but not all children are perfectly obedient all the time just in case you weren't sure }.

Pawpaw and Grandma heard about the ironing board dilemma, and wanted to give him a tricycle... and we are all very thankful! 
He had a fun day and thoroughly enjoyed being "Birthday Boy" for the day!

I am thoroughly enjoying my sweet little boy.  I realized the other day that he is the first two year old I've had without having a newborn.

I realize that I promised to tell you what we all have been up to, and I only have written about Jeremy and me.  I know you are all waiting with bated breath to hear about the kids.  Some day.  Maybe this week.  We'll see.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Escola Bíblica de Férias (VBS)

Last week we were busy helping out everyday with Vacation Bible School here at the church.  I'm going to do a pretty quick run-down of it all.  If you want more details I'll give a list of others that have blogged about it at the end of this post.  

The week was great!  The last day there were 95 kids in attendance and 10 were saved.  Lawanda Duarte did an excellent job with the Bible story each day, and she was able to lead these kids to Christ on Friday after VBS was over.

Jeremy was in charge of the singing.
"Bible Vacation School" was all Allie and Bethany talked about all week.  {Allie kept getting "Vacation" and "Bible" mixed up.}  They memorized the Bible verses each day to win a prize that "Mr. Daniel" {the intern from Ambassador Baptist College} brought from America.  I was a proud mommy...they even said the verses in Portuguese!

Allie and Bethany generally sat with the girls on the front row.  I was one of the helpers on their team.

Jeremy and I in our matching t-shirts.

One day we got all of the kids to get a picture outside of the church gate.  {10 points to anyone that can find Allie and Bethany in this picture--I only can because I knew where they were standing.  :)}

Lawanda teaching the Bible story on the last day.  Ha!  I just now noticed that you can see Bethany in this picture too!

It just so happened that my birthday fell on the last day of VBS.  Since my 'sweet' husband was in charge of singing he made a special sign for me to come and hold.  It says, "Today is my birthday.  Sing "Happy Birthday" for me, please."
Listening to them sing to me.
Each day after VBS was over we would have a special treat.  On my birthday a lady in the church made a huge birthday cake for the kids for my birthday.
And there were lots of kids...
It was a great week, and we enjoyed seeing all of the kids come to be involved in VBS and we were so thankful to be a small part.

If you want to see more pictures and read more about it:

*A special thanks to Omar Schrock for the pictures in the post.  My camera card reader is having technical difficulties at the moment.