Monday, January 31, 2011

Missionary Monday

Ok, so here I am. I'm going to take a deep breath and say I'm "planning" on starting a new feature on my blog called Missionary Monday. I learned the idea from another missionaries' blog and thought I would try it too. I have lots of things I want to post about that are specifically missions oriented, and I want to tell you more about the place we live and minister. Hence, I will be "trying" to do something every Monday. Please do not castigate me if this is the only one that ever gets done though. :)

I figured for the first "Missionary Monday" on my blog, I would do something simple just to make sure we are all thinking about the same place. I want to show you where I live just as a "jumping off" place. Most of you probably know this already or at least have a good idea about where we live. I know I've written here and there about it.

Just in case you are reading here and don't know where Brazil is... :) it is in South America. Brazil is made up of 26 states, and it borders 10 of the 12 other countries in South America. We live basically right in the center of South America. Our state is called Mato Grosso {which literally means "thick woods" other words we live in the jungle, just kidding, we really don't. :)}. Our city is named Cuiabá. You can see it in the center of the map below.

This photo is our family sitting on a stone representing the center of South America --about an hour drive from our house.

Cuiabá is a very populated city, along with the neighboring city of Várzea Grande makes up a population of about 856,000 people. Below is a google map overview of the two cities. We live in a bairro of these cities that is actually pretty far away from the center of town. If you have good eyes you can see it to the right of the picture it is called Pedra 90.

I'm pretty sure Pedra 90 has a population of somewhere around 40,000 people. If anyone knows for sure please let me know. :) The houses are pretty tightly squeezed in, and it seems as if this one bairro has a culture all it's own. Below is a little bit more of a close up of Pedra 90. Our street is the one that says R. Vinte E Dois {Road 22} closer to the top of the picture. Again for those with good eyes. :)

Our house is the white square right in the middle of the picture above the R.
Below is a picture of our street from a ground view. Our house is on the left with the tree.

This is a very common sight. The kids usually play in the street since most of them don't have yards.
Well, here is my first rendition of Missionary Monday. Now that you know where our house is we expect a visit soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Some Good Reads

When Jeremy and I first were married Jeremy worked nights at UPS. He would go in at mid afternoon and return home around 10:00 or 11:00 pm. Even though the job was very stressful for him as he was a supervisor, the hours were great!

The LORD gave us Allie a couple years after we were married, and since I had only one child, and my responsibilities were few, I had much time to devote to her. We would spend time cleaning and eating supper, but then we had the whole evening to spare. We would read books!

Allie and I would literally spend hours a day reading when she was only one year old. It was then that I realized how important reading good books were. If I was going to spend THAT long reading to my child each day, why in the world would I want to read Dr. Suess a million times? I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with Dr. Suess or any of the other "nonsense" books out there, but if I'm going to spend all that time reading to my child, how much better would it be to read to her something about the God whom I love.

It was then that I went in search of good books. I was hoping to find something just for toddler aged children. I did find that there is much out there. But what I really want to talk about in this post is the treasure that I found.

It took a little bit of work to actually get them, but when I did I was very please with them. I love how the author uses things that children love to do everyday and incorporates God in them. She show them how to thank God for things, how doing kind things for others is pleasing to God and how God provides good things for us because He loves us. These books are written by author Ruth M. Hinds. There are a few different series...

First, The Tiny Questions Books, these are labeled as for 2 and 3 year olds.
These are for younger toddlers. The kids just love that the boys and girls in the books have names. It has always been fun to talk about what the children in the book are doing. All of the books have been well thought out and author has obviously observed children often and what they do and some questions they may ask.
Next, are the Tiny Doings Books. These are fast becoming the favorites. They love reading about how other little boys and girls are helping, obeying, sharing, and being kind and how it pleases Jesus. These books are labeled as for 2-5 year olds.
This is one of Bethany's favorite pages to read. We quote it often while I comb her "curly hair". And she often looks like this while I am combing it. :)
Lastly, there are the Tiny Thoughts Books that are about various topics. God gives us sunlight, water, night time, and Jesus.
Just another sample...
Oh, and I almost forgot...Judah's favorite...Puppy and I. He LOVES this book and always laughs as I read it to him.
Well, if you're still with me...I know this wasn't very mission field related, except that my family is my greatest mission field, and if we try to "win the world", but let our children grow up not knowing and loving our God, we have undermined the very Gospel we are trying to share.

Come and visit us sometime and you can join us on the couch with my girls and little boy reading about some of these books about our great God!

Just in case you are interested you can order them directly from the publisher:

Amy Poster
P.O. Box 442
Superior, WI 54880

Monday, January 24, 2011

She's a Hoot!

A few years from now she's going to hate me for this, but I've just got to say...she keeps us ALL laughing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Allie's Birthday

It has been over three weeks since our little Allie turned five. We didn't really have a birthday party for her, but we did have cupcakes the night before with the kids from the church since they all come over then anyway.

I didn't do anything fancy, and couldn't even find a table cloth to put on the table to at least make the table look pretty, but Allie didn't care, she just wanted to blow out her candles and eat her cupcake.

I'm learning quickly that when they get this old birthdays are all about presents and cake. Allie informed me the night before that she would like her present under the Christmas tree so she could open it when she woke up in the morning.
Later that day I decided to teach her how to REALLY have a good birthday...shoe shopping. :) She loves shoes, and several times she has asked for shoes with heels on them. Well, we weren't going to get her "high" heels, but we did go looking for a little bit of a fun-heeled shoe.
Since we didn't have a big party for her we asked her something special that she wanted to do that day. We ended up at the monkey restaurant and played on the playground, and when we came home to have her cake she asked if she could Skype both grandparents so they could sing "Happy Birthday" to her and watch her blow out the candles.
She blew out the candle once, then we called the other grandparents and did it all over again. Then to the delicious store-bought cake! She had a great birthday, and I still am in shock of having a five-year-old in the house!


Bethany's screaming! Daddy says "It's just a fly!" Bethany responds "No, it's not! It's a live! Mommy told me it was!"


Please pray for my grandparents. We found out yesterday that my grandma has lung cancer, and she will be starting treatments for it tomorrow.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Out and About

Here is a very typical site around town... Dad, Mom, 2-year old, newborn heading on to a dangerous road... not sure I could ever do it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas Morning!

I know these Christmas posts are little late in coming. Every one else has already blogged about their New Years resolutions and getting back to normal life, while I'm still stuck back at Christmas. You forgive me, right?

We woke late Christmas morning :), ate breakfast, got ready, and delivered a bag of goodies to our friends that had to work at the bread store around the corner. Here is the family when we came home.
Next, open the presents.
A few friends and family members sent us packages, and we were all excited to see what was in them!
Gummy bears for my little sweet-toothed girl.
Some blocks for Judah.
Porcelain dolls for the girls.
And some Doodle Balls for Jeremy...ahem, I mean Allie. :)
We have learned that the post office is a little slower at Christmas time (obviously...), and since Christmas day we have received a box from Pawpaw and Grandma, which they were hoping would get to us before Christmas, but it was only a few days late.

Of course, what would Christmas be like without a video or two, right? I thought you would like to see a rendition of Joy to the World--Sung by Allie and Bethany. Music by Jeremy and Judah. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Baking

This Christmas we spent lots and lots of time baking and making! We really had a good time. I just wanted to show a few pictures of all of the festivities.

First and foremost....peanut butter balls! What is Christmas without peanut butter balls? I took my first taste of these (during the blistery hot, summery, Christmasy day :) and thought, yep, it's Christmas!

Disclaimer: Please excuse Allie's hairdo, I think she was hot and wet it down in the sink. :)
Allie and I rolled the peanut butter balls, I think Bethany ate almost as much as we rolled...
All done...almost. (Just in case you don't understand the picture...she was licking the bowl.)
This is becoming quite the Christmas tradition. Here are a couple of pictures of the three of us rolling peanut butter balls in the States last year. (I think Bethany ate a bunch then too.)
I just love this picture of Allie, I think she looks beautiful!
Alright, back to the present... we made cookies for all of the families in the church. We were going to make peanut butter balls :), but we couldn't find enough peanut butter in Cuiaba. Because of the humidity here I think they ended up being a little stale when we handed them out. A little embarrassing, but it's the thought that counts, right?
The girls and I also made Oreo Truffles for a church Christmas fellowship after the cantata...
Twix bars were also made for the church fellowship.
The oreo truffles dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with green sugar.
We also made cardboard "gingerbread" houses. I had envisioned them a little differently, but I let the girls decorate them how they wanted. I probably should have let them paint them white... they thought it was great fun either way.

We also made a couple of batches of simple fudge and some cookie dough truffles. Without a doubt I did more baking this Christmas than ever before, but we had lots of fun in the process. Keep watching for at least one more Christmas post. Hopefully, you aren't bored yet!