Wednesday, December 31, 2008

some favorite photos from the wedding


Can you picture a better setting for a Christmas wedding??

Or a happier bride??

The couple

The kiss

Happy the day went perfectly and they are married.

Even the littlest enjoyed every bite at the reception

My sister Sandi was the maid of honor and added to the sparkle of the day

Here is her family

and the next one on the way


This is what Sandi does when I go to take a picture and ten more cameras start snapping!!

Sohpia and Aunt Charis
My family

Laney and Sophia building a friendship

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It has been a while

Our first place Word of Life - a very nice apt
Yes, I can't believe all that we have done since I last posted. It has been a very busy month. We snuck away on the afternoon of the 13th of November with the Senior class and headed to a town near here that has a nice water park. It was the perfect rainy day ( cause all the water is hot) and we spent all day enjoying slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, volleyball, etc. We stayed at the Word of Life retreat center it was just 10 dollars a person so a very nice place to stay. We ate cereal and peanut butter and jelly - we were saving up for our big dinner in the city.

Scott and Jonathan - our to fearless leaders

After we left the resort town, we headed to our local huge city and spent the day enjoying the mall, eating out our favorite Brazilian restaurant - see the meat on the stick the bring to your table until you can eat no more - and every kind of meat you can think of - beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and all kind of different cuts. Plus the pinapple that is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and roasted over the fire, too.
Leah - enjoying every bite - see the meat in the background?

Lisa - Does she look like Becky ( my sis ) ?
Two happy people enjoying time away from all the crazyness of life
The last day we spent at another town that is in the mountains and has a really nice downtown - the best place to shop for gifts and tourist items, and then we went to the waterfalls, 6 that fall and you climb to the top of the hill, with pool after pool to jump into until you are too tired. One pool is 30 feet deep and the kids climbed up on the sides and jumped into the water, they really liked that!!! Here is a picture of one of the old churches.


Favorite place!!!
My three favorite Senior Girls (Rebecca is the other one)
We got home tired but content. It was a good trip and other than some money being stolen from one of the cabins and a lost camera it was perfect. The seniors are a neat group of kids and we are enjoying the time we get with them before they are off to the big, wide world.
Since sneak it has been busy, busy, busy. Working on Christmas cards, sewing a fun quilt, making Christmas presents, getting the cantata ready to go ( Sunday we will perform at our local church - even some songs we worked up in Portuguese, and the narration is also translated). I helped a little with the kids play, set, costumes, props. And I am even working on a recital piece - a duet. It will be a busy 9 days before I hop on a plane and head to the USA!!! First stop Massachusettes, then Maine, then Alaska, and home in Brazil for Christmas.
The tree is up, Emma told daddy today " isn't the tree beautiful, Daddy??" And Thanksgiving was fun, with all the trimmings, even though it wasn't a day off - Scott covered my morning classes so I could cook to my hearts content.
More updates to follow ( hopefully I can at least post the highlights from this next weeks activites.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One of those days

Some days go so smoothly you love every minute, other days don't quite go like that.
First, Emma is in run away mode, so we have to be aware at all times where she is and yes, keep the doors locked. Not that she gets into much trouble, she goes and visits neighbors: Pickle the parrot, or Blitzen, our neighbor who give her rides on his carrier bike, Aunt Gina's place filled with friends - the hampster, Guinea pig, lots of fun toys, or follows the cats on their adventures. Anyway, she is always off to new places lately, and we find ourselves having to humbly call around looking for our lost daughter.
Second, My English class is working on a research paper. It isn't always easy to explain the whole process, and some are doing well, others are still trying to understand it. One I think has given up.
Third, it has been very hot, which just adds to the struggle.
Fourth, PE yes, in the heat, and I want my girls to do well, to play hard, and play their best. I know it is hot out, and the sun is bright, but still we need to do our best. How do I coach without sounding like I am yelling at them?? And you know how it is with girls, it is always personal, we taking everything personal. ( do I need to quote You've Got Mail?)
And last of all, it is election day, and who knows who will win. But whenever politics is in the forfront, things like Anti-American sentiment becomes very apparent. We are so hard on our country. America is still the best place in the world. It is an amazing place, where we have so much freedom and opportunity. Where the church is strong and serves. Christians are committed to missions and reaching their world and making a difference. They see outside their own world to the world beyond. Yes, there are lots of bad people in our country, people who do what is right in their own eyes, but still way better than what is around the world.
What makes me so sad is our MK's who grow up in foreign countries where it is quite popular to speak poorly about the US can fall into that same mode. They don't feel at home in the US, they hear us constantly talk about how our country is turning away from God and how bad things are going there, and they can't contextualize this thought. They don't know that there are millions of amazing, sacrificing people in our country, people who believe in right, and standing for what is right, and making a difference. So I find myself saddened, I can't explain to them well enough about what makes the US so great. They have to go there, they have to see it with their own eyes. They have to get to know the people. Because it is all about the people!!!
Scott and I mailed in our ballots. We wanted to have a clear conscience that we did our part. Everyone must do their part, but God knows what is best for our future, what will bring out the best in our lives, and our country. Sometimes he allows difficult times so that we will learn and grow. Let's be Jacob's and hang onto God until he brings out a blessing from this circumstance. Let's not let go when the going gets tough, lets stand strong and be shining lights on a hill, no matter who is president. Because it really doesn't matter. I truly believe this. I don't look to the government to make my life better, it has to be me, being what God has called me to be where He has put me ( and all of us doing our part) that makes our country great!!! It is each person, individually that makes my country great. It is all of you, that have had a part in our lives and work here, that make me proud of being an American!!!
Okay, enough, but I feel better just putting these thoughts down on paper. Thanks for listening

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Other pictures

I should write a note and tell you all the busy and fun things we are doing, but my brain is too tired from the never ending heat!!! So when it cools down and I can think again, I will send you a nice newsie note, until then, enjoy the snapshots of our busy week.
We went camping last weekend, lots of fun, nice cold water and good food, just a little too much sun. But it could have been cold and rainy so we enjoyed every minute.
Nothing like being stuck in the woods for some good girl bonding time. There were lots of boys there, but we didn't take pictures of them - they were usually eating or jumping off cliffs.
School dress up day - Even Emma wanted to dress up, that was fun!!!

Emma, a true Cinderella, lover of all animals, birds, bugs, and rodents!!!

Emma has been hanging out in the mango tree this week, which is fine with me, at least she stays in one place for five minutes!!!

Thanks for all your prayers and for your part in the work God is doing in Brazil. I know it is a small picture of world missions, but these kids are amazing, and we love seeing God working in their lives, they are our future, and their folks are pretty neat, too.

Picture Day







Sunday, October 19, 2008

first helicopters grounded then tornados, what next??

Yes, Friday Laney and Jonathan were working away in their classrooms when out of nowhere a strong wind hit their classrooms and really did some damage. Thankfully no one was hurt, though Laney knowing in a fire we evacuate, started to run out of the room. Karla tried to call to her, but it was so loud, thankfully Laney stopped once she hit the door, cause pieces of roofing were flying everywhere and she could have been seriously hurt.

All the kids pitched in and the debris was quickly gathered from far and near. Scott and others worked until dark to get the roof repaired, as rain was coming (it had been a couple weeks since we had had much rain) but they got it covered and in the middle of the night it started to rain and rained for quite a while. There was one spot that didn't get covered, but thankfully most of the classrooms stayed dry. The overhang is still without roofing, but they should be able to fix that next week. Though now I am sure they are wondering if they should restructure the entire overhang roof, if a little tornado (just a big dirt devil really) can do this much damage. (notice the blue skies) It was a very hot day - one of the hottest I can remember.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Volleyball

So yesterday I started a new quarter with my girls for PE. I decided that this quarter we would just do different things: Kickball, Volleyball in the sand court, Swimming, Ultimate Frisbee, and who knows what else we will think of.
I haven't played volleyball for at least a year, and I had sliced my thumb pretty bad, but I couldn't resist. So I played. Now I have got my strategy down perfect.
I make the girls run around the track and do situps and push ups until they are so tired they can't see straight then we go play sports. This way I look like some amazing sports fanatic, and they continue to stay in awe of me, (Not really) but wow, it is hot. We played yesterday and it had to be at least 90 degrees out, and the sand was burning and our eyes were getting fried, but I must confess I love to play and we had a good time.
Next semester I will be coaching them in volleyball. I am looking forward to that, this quarter I am trying to just have fun. Maybe Friday we can just go swimming - if it continues to be this hot, I would say - we must!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Skit night, Field Trip, and emergency landings

Laney Posing for a picture

Laney and friends performing for talent night
Love the Lord your God in a round
Pilot Joy flying the kids around Anapolis


the kids with the Wycliffe pilots


The kids with the Governor of Goias
Who had to make an emergency landing on our soccer field
when we had a bad storm last week


answered prayers

So a while back I had asked for prayer reguarding a couple things. One was the pavement and as I wrote in the previous message that is finally coming to pass. The other was for the dollar to strengthen. God is so good because the last 2 months we have seen the dollar slowly recover. It is a HUGE help to us. Our money was hardly covering just the very basics like groceries, but this month it is back to the level it was a year ago - which is still significantly lower than what it was all last term, but so much better.
The other prayer I had been praying last week was that we could also receive an extra gift or two so that we could take advantage of the higher dollar - cause it wouldn't have helped that much with a low month. Well, God pulled off a big surprise!!! Some people gave this month that don't give every month, my sister gave some extra from her Alaska rebate, and then a church which had promised to support us over two years ago, but never had actually sent any support, sent a check, retroactive!!!! We were shocked, and relieved!!! So before the dollar drops again Scott quickly paid as many bills as we could, we will put new tires on the car - they were hanging in there by a few threads, and I will get Emma to the dentist.
Thanks for praying!!! God answered in a way that really let me know he is in control.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The fun side of the political season

Today is election day and so they were out in full force yesterday spreading the word as to which group you should vote for. So for a half hour trucks, motorcycles and cars drove by our house, honking their horns. I thought you might enjoy politics in Brazilian style, here is a quick clip - to get the full effect, you have to crank the volume on your computer. The only thing I don't have on this clip is the loud firecrackers going off every few seconds - and if I had gotten a bit closer you could have seen our new pavement - laid yesterday!!! I hope all this traffic doesn't ruin it, but at least they could all drive by and we didn't get buried in dust.
video

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Praise and Prayer

AS life goes flying past, I thought I would stop for a moment to share some of our daily thoughts.
We have asked for prayer this year as we watched the dollar fall. It wasn't a huge concern until it dipped below R$2,00 for $1.00 ( our American dollar = $ Brazilian Real = R$) When we returned from furlough it was at about R$2,25 but a month ago it had dropped to R$1,54. This meant that the same amount of Brazilian money we spend each month was costing us almost $500 more American money. But praise God, it is starting to improve. We are at $1,80 and maybe going up a bit more.
We also asked for prayer for the roads around the school to be paved. They have been hard at work now for months, and we hear rumors that they will pave, rumors that they can't pave cause the money is not available. So we wait.

Dry season is at its worst point. Some days it is down into the single digits of humidity in the air. Often it is over 100 degrees, but we know rain will come and hopefully soon. It is hard to stay focused and on task each day, but we manage.

Emma has been sick with a high fever this week (it seems she had something similar last year at this same exact time) I hope the rest of us manage to avoid it. Scott is getting back into the swing of things. This week I think he finally has caught up on all that got behind while he was at his grandfather's funeral.

The school year has become routine. It has been fun to get to know our new students and teachers. We are slowly growing into a student body with all its quirky parts. My choir will present some hymns and praise and worship a week from Friday. It is fun with over 20 people in my choir. I have a good group of singers for each part. I love hearing the songs come together. I don't have much to work with (choir book wise) and so often I take hymns and worship songs and try to put together some nice medleys, It is more work, but eventually we get all the parts right. I am so thankful for my home church being willing to loan us a Christmas Cantata each year. I can't wait to start this next one.

thanks again for your prayers and notes of encouragement, I treasure each one.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Uncle Jack's paintings and other photos

We see cowboys around here quite often. It is cattle country.
This captures one of our favorite towns. It is near here a quiet colonial village.




What a great smile!!!


what a cat!!! He and Emma are often lounging together


Jonathan and his buddies



Sometimes life feels like the movie Groundhog day.

Scott and I watched Groundhog day last night. This morning when I woke up it felt like the movie. Here we go again: same routine, same people, same food, same kids, same husband :o). Life here is good, but it does get so mundane. I am sure you read my blog and think "how neat, and exciting!!!" Sure if you did it for a week or a month, but year after year, somedays it is hard to feel like what you do even has a purpose.
Well, I think God knew I was going to feel this way. Cause he planned for me to also be in the middle of something that would give me a peek at why we are here and doing what we are doing.
Next door to us lives a retired couple. They have been here in Brazil serving as missionaries for more than 40 years. They worked in a tribe for a while until they were needed at the boarding school. So they packed up and moved here. They first worked as dorm parents ( I think like 30 little kids!!!) they also worked in the cafeteria, Uncle Jack taught art classes for years (he is an amazing artist!!!) and Aunt Babbs was always beyond busy.
They are returning to the states next month, and we are planning a nice going away party for them. One of the elements of the night will be notes from their "kids". I have been receiving them all day. And they really touch your heart. What do the kids remember about Uncle Jack and Aunt Babbs ( besides her unbelievable pizza??) That they belived in them, that they listened to them, that they loved them; they saw that they mattered!!!
What a great reminder for me to keep doing what we are doing. Even if it often does feel like the same ole, same ole!!!
So what did we do this week. Well we are senior sponsors so that means we have to help them plan their sneak and help them with some fundraisers. So yesterday, Marcy - our cook, helped us make 120 donuts and then today we sold them - with free coffee - and they washed cars. I am enjoying Basketball coaching for PE, and find it is also an opportunity to get to know the girls on a real level. All the stuff that gets held back all day comes out on the court. So I am finding that there is a bit of counseling ( as one of my students called it) also pushed into my busy day. But the best part is the friendships we are building. We watched Olympics last night with one of our families. Their daughter is a kick!!! What fun to sit and just laugh with her about the craziness of life. Oh yea, that and I accidently poked Emma in the eye!!
What a sickening feeling that was!!! She came bouncing in ( like she does these days) and I held out my hand for her skirt to put it on, and she somehow met my hand and my thumb jabbed right into her eye. Thank the Lord it just hit the side and not the Cornea!!! Oh, that was a long moment!!! Emma is fine today, just has a very red eye!!!
Continue to pray for us as we work here. Life just gets busier. Next week we have another student joining the school. She is not a missionary kids, but a Brazilian businessman's daughter. She attended an American school in Belem and they are moving near here and wanted her to be able to complete her American education. So that will be neat. Her parents are involved with missions and I am sure this girl will bring a unique flavor to our group here.
Pray for our finances. The dollar regained some of it losses this week (about 8 cents which can be over $100 savings per month!!!) This will help. We have also lost 3 supporters. Not easy when things are already tough, but God continues to provide, just the in-between times are hard!!! Each month we see how he allowed us to stay here. But it feels like a month by month situation lately. So thanks for your prayers. They are vital. Not only for our finances, but for peace and understand through it all. That we won't be caught up in worrying about things we can't change and focus on the job we are here to do. He gives us this strength for each day and we press on!!
Keep in touch, we love hearing from you, how God is working in each one of your lives.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Almost there!!!


Thanks so much for your prayers, we are so close to having paved roads around our house that we are actually getting excited. It sure is a mess, though, and I am getting tired of my whole house shaking from the packing machines. But it will be so worth it. Already the dust is less around here partly cause few are driving by cause of the road work. Yes, I can go more than a day without dusting or mopping.

Here are a few pictures of the road, and a couple pics of Jonathan with his buddies - Jonathan took the pictures of the road work. what a guy!