Sunday, December 23, 2007

From our home to yours

Merry Christmas guys!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


What is it about a 3 year old that is so precious? Today at supper she ate her corn on the cob and commented "licious" then added "this corn is 'licious" and "yummy!!" OH, if today could just be frozen in time. She is now on her tenth time around the house, through the front door and in the back door. Happy to be coming and going, saying hi as she goes. I was so proud of her during the Cantata she just sat happily and contented with my friend Gina, and only once thought she should go be with mommy. By the way, my choir did a great job, it was such fun to put it all together. I was a bit worried for them as it was pretty hot and it is a long time to sing with taking a water break, but they pulled it off. Scott's duet with one of our students was great, I could have listened to him all day.
Emma is been playing a lot with Laney's toy houses and people, they are the fisher price family ones that are quiet small. She is really starting to have her characters interact, I love hearing her play it reminds me so of Laney who always had quite the story happening. Christmas is getting close and I can't wait to see her open her presents. She opened a couple one day when Scott and I were at Choir practice and Jonathan was "watching" her. But since then she has joined the other two to just look at the few gifts under our tree and wonder what is in them. I am so thankful for those who mailed us gifts as the things we bought the kids will come with Charis, but thanks to my mom, Marcy, and a church in Maine there are presents under the tree for everyone, and I did hear that Santa was stopping by...
Here are the other pictures that we took of our family that I didn't send in the Christmas card, look at Emma she is smiling for the camera!!! Now that was nice (note, she usually points at the camera and says " no cheese!")

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Birthday weekend

I had a fun Birthday weekend Friday I went to Goiania with Scott and my friend Ang and her husband. We went to walmart and Sam's club then on to our favorite restaurant. It was very nice to just take 2 hours eating and talking and laughing. Without a doubt you leave quite satisfied.
Saturday was a nice day, we had a practice in the morning for our Cantata, and the rest of the day I just kept busy at home. It is amazing how much time I can spend just cooking and cleaning. My sister called with a surprise announcement. She got married. She sent a picture today and I am so happy for her. She is beautiful of course!!!

Then Sunday, the day, I enjoyed my morning, breakfast in bed, and then played for the church service here. My friend Gina had has come for lunch and she made a fabulous pork roast, and mulberry pie. That was so nice, we hung around and played password, ouch, my brain hurt after that, so I went home and tried not to pace until Sunday night church.

Sunday night our choir went to the church downtown and participated in the Christmas service. We presented three of our songs from the Cantata, and they did great. It was my first time directing, but I really enjoyed it. And so glad my "first" is over. Now we just have to pull together our last few pieces that need some work tonight, and the whole thing is on for Thursday night.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

They were great!!!

Here are all the campers at the beginning of the show
They sang lots of songs, some about scary stories, some about camping, and others about favorite Bible stories

Laney ended the story singing how Angles watch over us It was fun just seeing all the pieces come together after months of practice.

The show went off without a hitch, at least, no major mistakes, and the crowd loved it. I don't know why we are so surprised when they laugh at the funny parts, but we were. Thanks to Karla and Scott and the mom who brought snacks. Karla was my right hand turning on and off lights, getting the kids changed from one costume to the next and opening and closing curtains. Scott helped with a lot of the final details like lights, mics and sounds. And of course, made sure we got a good video recording so that the all our favorite moments can be replayed again and again. The principal was the main character, Headmaster Don, who was only the camp leader cause he wanted it to look good on his resume (he doesn't really like kids) and that added extra meaning to the funny parts!!!!

Emma and Tigey

Friday, November 30, 2007

Today is the day

Yes, we survived the rehearsal practice, it went much better than last year, but still full of energy, itchy kids and light and sound challenges. But we are ready to go at 7 pm (4 pm eastern time) and I can't wait for it to be over and done and a success.

Today when I weighed myself I was just 2 pounds from my goal, I have lost 14 pounds and love the feeling in my clothes. Finally all my Emma weight is behind me and if I keep it up only 6 pounds more and I am down to my pre-pregnancy weight. It really has surprised me that I could do this.

One other thing. The family that has the dog Ginger that we called our own for a few months is not sure they want to keep him - they are moving- and asked if we want him back. Boy, I just don't know, he is quite nervous and I am afraid that this back and forth business will not have helped. The kids miss him, though so we are praying about it... They are also planning on sending their kids here starting in January and another family is moving onto the base and will send their kids and care for this family's kids. One of the families is with TEAM the other is with a camping ministry. It is exciting to see how we are spreading our wings and accepting more people and having a bigger part in helping the Gospel go forth here in Brazil. I will have 2 new students in my English class, that should keep me busy. I have 7 research papers to grade this weekend, and that is plenty, now I will have nine of everything to grade, wow, it is getting busy that is for sure!!! These additions will also be good for Laney has there will now be two girls here close to her age, she will really like that, and I think it will be good for her. Gone are the days that her only friend was Lucas, but he is still her favorite.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


There are moments in Brazil that I absolutely love being here. I usually walk each evening around 7 pm and last night like many nights all I could do was watch the clouds change colors and the sun set. It was beautiful!!! The birds are swooping around also. I love watching them some climb so high in the sky you almost lose them, but the come back down. It is usually just the perfect temperture and peaceful. I try to never miss those moments. Especially these days when life is just going from crazy to insane!!!
After I got home last night we decorated our tree. I was reminded as I opened the box that last year when we left the states, my favorite family heirloom ornaments had been accidentally stored. I had made some and bought some simple balls, but what amazed me was instead of being heartbroken again, I was remembering how much fun I had last year as I decorated my tree "from scratch". My mom also saved the day by sending some snowflake ornaments and streamers. I can't wait till I get home and get a chance to dig through storage and get my hands on those things, but until then, I am enjoying my simple tree.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fun pictures

Cuter by the day!!!

Having eggs with daddy. Whenever we make our breakfast

you have to plan that half of it will get eaten by someone else

Thanksgiving twice

It has been a couple busy weeks that is for sure. On the 15th we celebrated Thanksgiving with all the folks here at the base. It was fun. We had 82 people together, kids, teachers, and all the Portuguese students and staff. We didn't have turkey, but chicken which quite a bit cheaper, but other than that, there wasn't anything missing from the tables lined with food and desserts.

The rest of the day was spent playing baseball, and visiting with those we don't get to see very often.

The hard part was going back to school Friday. Boy did that feel wrong. This week was a busy week. I worked on the set for the play and finalized the costumes. I am teaching the girls taking home ec to sew and we are working on the bag I showed earlier. Of course they want to make them for gifts for family and friends so we have the pressure now of them coming out perfect. This is their first sewing project!!!!! and they are supposed to be perfect??? So I had to address that one this week, we are doing our best, but they can't get so worried if their stitch isn't perfectly straight.

Church was really good on Sunday. Scott is getting quite comfortable in the roll of pastor here on the land. We had a missionary of 30+ years share about his experiences of working with a tribe up in the Amazon jungle. That was cool. He also has a ministry in a small town (all the houses are on stilts and have no bathrooms or plumbing) that is on the banks of the Amazon, there are almost 400 children and they all call him grandpa. It was really neat hearing his stories.

This week started well, and I was getting ready for my Thanksgiving dinner. I had invited 16 people to come and share the meal with us. The two single ladies, my friend Gina and her family, and the lady that runs our special ed dept. and their two dorm girls and her husband (it was also her birthday). I had all the trimmings I think for the first time ever since I came to Brazil, down to celery, black olives and cranberry sauce. I had prepared my fresh beans ahead of time, cooked the squash, made the pies, cut up the bread for stuffing (everything here comes unprepared) and all I had to do was get that bird in the oven make the rolls, and peel the potatoes. Then of course, just put it all together and make sure it was ready by 11:45. That was the scary part. I couldn't be late. So my turkey was out of the oven by 10:15 and thankfully everything else came out right. It was a ton of work, and the hardest part was that it was a school day. I had class at 2 to get ready for. But it was worth it as everyone really enjoyed the meal, and made the day special. I can say without a doubt a good time was had by all. It was worth all the effort. I miss my family so much on these days, but having a crowd around and being a blessing to those also homesick, sure does fill the day with memories!!! I don't have a copy of pictures others took, but I will get one soon!!!

And after all my complaining last week about the rain, we have had a gorgeous week this week with most of the rain hitting while we slept. That was a welcome change. We even got to go to the pool.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Things I miss about dry season

Yes, I know after all my praying for rain, and constant complaining. I have realized there are things about dry season that I really miss. For instance...
1. The SUN!!!
2. towels that don't feel like someone else already used them.
3. The SUN!!!
4. Not having to unplug everything whenever a thundercloud appears on the horizon ( we have had some major hits on the base, and we don't want to lose another modem - our school office even lost their computer last year)
5. The SUN!!!
6. not so many bugs everywhere you turn.
7. The SUN!!!
8. Not feeling cold one minute, then as soon as I get up and move around I am covered in sweat.
9. The SUN!!!
10. The track not being covered with moss and too slippery now to walk on (where we were kicking up dust a month ago)

The one thing I don't miss about dry season??? THE DUST!!!!! It makes all these inconveniences worth the change.

Friday, November 9, 2007

about prayer

I have been reading Philipp Yancy's book on Prayer. I am just getting started, but already I have been convicted about how poor my prayer life has been lately. We have really struggled this year financially (due to the dollar dropping drastically, not due to lack of support as that has actually gone up a bit this year). I find that though I do everything I can think of to help our financial situation, I often forget that I prayed about it, and need to keep praying about it, leaving it in His hands, but continuing to discuss with Him my concerns. Just as I talk to my husband about things, I need to talk to my heavenly Father about things.
Another thought I had this morning was how so many of our prayer supporters have gone to heaven. Dear women like Venise, and Miriam Wittermore, Mrs. Winter, and others. They are such treasures in our life. We stand on the front lines, and the attacks we battle daily, through discouragement, people problems, financial, homesickness, etc. I know these were softened by these dear ladies who constantly interceeded for us.
Do you pray for the leaders around you? Do you pray for your missionaries? Do I? I know that prayer works. Without a doubt I know this. Now I just need to keep talking with God. I should find time to set aside for serious and deep conversations, but even if I chat with Him throughout the day, that would be good. Besides, that is who I am. I like a quick chat about something on my mind at the moment. And I think He knows that. He made me who I am , and he loves me. He doesnt' expect me to pray like Scott, nope, he just want my to talk to Him.

This and that

Wow, It has been a while since I sent out an update. I guess being sick for a week counts as a good reason. I could feel it hit last Thursday as I finished up my last class substituting for a teacher who was traveling. Now finally I would only have my classes to teach, and Wham I got hit with a bad cold. But I am feeling good now and glad to have my mornings free after nine and then only a class a day in the afternoon or evening.
I finally braved the costume closet and dug out what I would need for my play. There are still a couple things I need to find, but most of what I needed was right in the one chest marked Bible costumes. Thanks to the work put in over the summer it was not as unpleasant as I thought it would be.
I am almost done with all my Christmas cards. I really love making them. It is hard to decide which is my favorite, I usually make 4 or so different designs, I must say that the last one I made is edging into the lead.

We are done with cooking in home ec ( now that it isn't a hundred degrees out) and we are on to sewing basics. We spent this week just learning the basic hand sewing stitches and the seams on the machine. Now we are going to make a bag. I found a simple pattern at Click on Make one for the pattern. I think the girls will enjoy this simple but productive project. I love my bag, and actually found some great fabrics at our local fabric store.

Now I am on to quilting. I forgot how much I love putting together small quilt projects. I made a simple runner for the table, and just need to quilt it now.

I am also dreaming of my next project. I found this in a book my friend had, it is a snowflake quilt. Oh, I can't wait to dive into that one!!!
It has been quite cool and rainy. If the sun peeks out it warms up a bit, but we are definitely into the full rainy season. It is nice, and makes Christmas prep fun. I am ready to decorate!!! We have a Thanksgiving dinner here on the land with all the folks (about 82 people this year) next Thursday (15th is a national holiday). We don't get the actual Thanksgiving day off, but I plan on making a scaled down version of our Thanksgiving dinner at least on the official day. So after that, we usually start to get into the fun of the Christmas season.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

another busy week

Yes, that is one more week to cross off on my calendar and say Thank you Lord for letting me get through it and do my many jobs well. Whew!!! some days I wonder how I do manage, and other days I am just so thankful for the work he has given me to do and the experiences I have had in my past that enable me to feel comfortable in the responsibility of the job. For example; choir practice.
Yes, we are well into our first cantata and I am really enjoying the whole process. I like that I am the director and can just lead from the piano and not have to wonder what someone else wants me to do. I just do it. Yes, it is hard at times to catch everything, but Scott is a big help with the guys, and I lean on him to help me when we are missing something.
Play practice is going well, I am hoping to get some help on the choreography, but other than that I am starting to feel like yes, I can command that many people of so many different ages to do this and say that, and stand there, and sing this way. Wow, what a job. But it is fun, and yes, we are often laughing and smiling at even the mess ups that happen.
I shared in chapel last week about how it is the thought that counts. How our moms appreciated the thought behind the pancake breakfast even though the mess was beyond reason. And how our heavenly Father appreciates that we are willing to serve him even though we may not do it as well as so-and-so. Or even completely fail. It really does matter to him that we are willing to serve and do it out of a heart of love and compassion and not obligation.
I challenged my girls this week on how we see ourselves. Especially in the physical aspect. And even though we are not all the same size or have other areas of our looks and body that we struggle with how God created each one of us, just the way we are and we should be thankful for it. It was precious to me when one of those girls shared today in chapel about our spiritual gifts and how God gave each of us different abilities and gifts, and are we using them or comparing what we have to others and not using them. It was neat.
Other news. Emma has had a fever since Sunday and seems to be still fighting a fever. It seems to come and go, and I suspect that she will soon be coughing and sniffling like all the other kids here. I hope the rest of us don't catch it. It is not fun being sick when it is in the 90's each day lately. We are really hoping for rain and cooler weather soon. Yes, we have had quite a bit of rain, but then it heated up again and dried up, so we are back to wishing for rain.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Here is a weed I couldn't get pull up. I am so glad I didn't, since
I started fertilizing my roses, this one just took off. The
roses are still trying to decide if they want to live or die.
This is the flower from the Rubber Tree.
I wish I could post the smell, too, it is the sweetest smelling flower.
The trees are huge, and right now full of baby parrots. I always
walk under this tree on my way to class. Yesterday I got real lucky.
I missed being hit by flying bird... by just inches,
it hit my bag on my back instead.

Monday, October 22, 2007

parrots and rubber trees

Did you know that Rubber trees have the sweetest smelling blossoms?? Kind of like a honeysuckle, and they seem to bloom throughout the entire year, it is one of my favorite things about Brazil, that as you walk to school you are always welcomed by that wonderful fragrance.

Did you know that parrots make the loudest squawking sound you can imagine, and they love to be in large groups?? Well, lets just say they are not my most favorite bird here. Yesterday, I was watching the news real quick before we headed of to church when a big bird fluttered past my window and a flash went off out of the corner of my eye. All our power went out. Yep, that was a huge heron that hit the line, causing a surge in our power. Luckily, it only took a few minutes for Scott to restore our power and we could get on with our day.

Last week was as busy as usual. We had our second home ec supper and the girls really did a great job. On the menu was roasted garlic spread on french bread, pasta with grilled chicken and vegatables, salad, and for desert, strawberry shortcake and chocolate fondu with cinnamon crisps all made by their hands. My 6 students were each allowed to invite a guest and most brought moms or dorm moms. It was just a very fun night, and we enjoyed every bite.

Now I am trying to get my Christmas cards started. We are putting the last few touches on the kids play, and we have started praciticing our Christmas Cantata. Tis the season!!!

As to my diet... That is actually still on track, home ec dinners and all. I have lost in 14 days almost 7 pounds. Like I have heard often, just diet and exercise. Nothing more than that, I just never quiet understood what a diet looked like!!! I didn't realize it meant 2 bites of chicken, and a piece of bread, with all the salad you can eat!!! But I feel good, and hope I can get a few more pounds off before I hit Thanksgiving and the season of Christmas goodies!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ahh, 4 days off

Yes, that was a nice way to end our first quarter. To take 4 days to just catch up and finally even find time to relax. It was a busy week. I started teaching an extra English class for a teacher traveling until the first of November. So my mornings are a little busier. Plus this week I had 4 extra plates at our table at lunch time to help out a family who took the Seniors on their trip. So by Saturday I was ready to just crash!!
I spent my free time this week sewing a pile of things I had made, but never finished the seams: curtains, tablecloths, and even the girls Easter dresses. That felt good. Yes, some of those projects have been on my mind now for almost a year, why did I wait so long, well, I was hoping for cooler weather. Who likes sewing in the heat? But finally I just had to tough it out. I got my fan out, and just went to work. I managed to clean my dining room from ceiling to floor, and washed all the curtains (thus the sewing...)
The worst moment of the week???
Scott let Jonathan invite a few boys over for a movie and a campout. I, wanting nothing to do with such madness, popped their popcorn and headed over to spend the evening with Karla, and watch a nice romantic comedy. When I came home, they were pretty much outside ready to settle in, but had left half the popcorn on the floor.
I got out the vaccum and started to clean up. I know now that doing this after 10 is probably not wise. Something had got caught in the hose, blocking the air, and my sleepy brain didn't catch the sounds quick enough and the bag busted inside and the crazy machine started blowing dirt all over my just cleaned from top to bottom - living room!!!!! Well, Scott came to the rescue and shut it off and we finally go the place cleaned up.
So now for the worst moment, I went into the bathroom to brush the dust off me and get it out of my hair and when I shook my head my glasses fell of, and BROKE!!! Now I know, they are four and a half years old, scratched beyond reason, but I use them every day, and my contact supply is out (of course they are outrageously priced here - so I keep putting of buying more - which you don't need a doctor's scrip to get). So now here I am at 10:30 blind as a bat trying to find my super bonder glue!!! AGGGGGHHHHH I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.
The next day I did find the glue and manage to get my glasses put back together. Now they just have a few more scratches. I really want to have eye surgery, but as you know with three kids, and school, dentist, ect. I keep putting it off. Maybe this week I will at least call and find out what the prices are these days. If they are still pretty high, I will have to break down and buy some more contacts. Hopefully my glasses can wait until we come home next summer.
So what does the poor exhausted lady do after a week of starving herself ( I lost 3 pounds already!!! ) for a week?? Take friends out to supper. We took Karla and a couple friends to Walmart and then to one of the best Brazilian restaurants around. It was really nice to eat, and to share it with friends and best of all - not to have to do any dishes afterward.
What a week!!!

Karla at Walmart

How much can you fit in our trunk?? You don't get to

Walmart every day( the couple in the picture is another family

we are enjoying getting to know them)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

pictures and video

Finally the local pool has opened!!!!
During dry season they keep it closed to help
with the dust, plus it is pretty cold for swimming,
at least the water is too cold.

Emma enjoy the beginning of summer
Check out Emma doing a puzzle. She really likes puzzles and
is now doing it more and more on her own.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Baseball, Football, and other fun things

Yes, I have been watching sports games again. Karla is a big football fan, and she even comes over and watches baseball with Scott and I. It is fun to just settle in and watch a good game. Even if half the time we quit before the game as things get started an hour later here. But it is still fun.
Next week the time changes so we will be two hours different from EST, then when their time changes in the states it goes to 3 hours different. Lets just say that when we watch the Superbowl, it is almost an all-nighter. But it is still fun.
This weekend was a busy one, but I do enjoy it, I had 12 people come for lunch Saturday. Then Saturday supper was a home ec supper and we really had a good time. They did a great job, too. I tried to only be there to consult and to find ingredients. We made a fabulous appetizer from Pampered Chef cookbook, Tex-Mex Chicken, French Onion Soup, Parmesan stuffed chicken, Presunto and Peas Fettuccine, Caesar Salad, and a Lemon cake with lemon and raspberry filling. It really was goooooood.
Now I am starting a diet. Really a real diet, with counting calories, and eating specific foods on a list. I don't know how long I will last, but hey I made it to day two!!!! I really have to lose 10 pounds, they just keep creeping up on you, your clothes still fit, but just not right. I am in shape, just too much shape. So here goes!!! Pray for me. I really don't do diets well, I get lightheaded, and just feel like doing nothing!!! I need to lose weight, but I just can't imagine doing it. I have tried before and I get like 2 pounds off and that is all that goes!!! So I really need to do better. Don't ask me why but unlike all the other missionaries I know, I gain weight in Brazil and lose in the US. I guess it is all the cooking I HAVE to do here, but don't have to do in the states, so I just have less tempting things around me all the time there. Plus I have discovered I eat for comfort. I really miss home some days, and food always helps. I guess that explains the extra 10 pounds I find overseas...

fun with friends

This is one of the kids living here this year while her parents study Portuguese. It has been such fun watching Emma be with a friend and really play well with someone her age. Watching her, I realized what we missed with Jonathan and Laney cause we didn't have any kids around when they were this age. I am just glad I have got to watch Emma make her first friend. Plus since her brother and sister are so much older than her, I am extra glad she has a friend.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Things not to do when you are over 30

Yes, I was watching a show yesterday and that was their topic, they had some interesting points, but they didn't mention this one.
Do not play basketball like you did when you were a teenager, the first time back in the game!!!
But is that what I did yesterday?? Yep!!!
The girls here have been wanting me to come out and coach them, since they don't really know much about the game, and yesterday I finally made it. It was fun. Getting that ball in my hand, dribbling down the court, actually making some good shots. But know my knees are killing me, and my back is probably aching, except the pain in my knees is so bad, I can't tell.
Another thing. Brazilians girls play basketball like you would play soccer, worse than street ball, it is get the ball away from the opposing team in whatever means possible. It was insane, just the sound of the slapping heard almost more than a ball being dribbling, was incredible.
But by the end of the hour, we were starting to get something going that almost resembled my favorite sport.
And I really did enjoy it, even though I sounded like I was gasping for air by the time I got home ( I doubt I have breathed that hard in a very long time). I haven't sweated that much in a long time either. Maybe I am crazy, but I can't wait for next Thursday night??

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

even better

Yes, this would be Scott taking the pictures.
I love them!!!

Add Image

Monday, October 1, 2007


Really, it really rained, and lots of rain, so much the gutters were overflowing
So refreshing, and cool, the best thing in the world!!!
Tiger didn't know what to think of all that rain, but
made himself at home as soon as it stopped.
One of the flowering trees here, so pretty against the cloudy sky

The best part about rain,

Flaymboyant Trees

These are the trees that just burst before the rain hits
And as you can see it is time to rain!!! Plus the 1st of Oct.
Is the official beginning of rainy season so we are ready
Can it be any drier???