Friday, February 29, 2008

Making it go further

Yes, that is what we did these last two months. If you have found that the price increase at the pump is killing you imagine if you had that same increase hit your food, electricity, and gas - and everything else you had to spend money on. See, the falling dollar is affecting your gas prices, but here we feel it in everything as our dollar gets us less currency every time we take out cash. So we try and find ways to make it go farther, but the best thing is when God just helps out. Like ; my washing machine is working again - I don't have to buy the $150 replacement piece yet; my contacts that should last 2 weeks last 2 and a half months, and then we just drink water instead of flavored drinks, that saved a few dollars, and we cut back on many other things, So hopefully this month the ends will meet, and we will have paid all our bills. At least we can say we did our best!!! Even my babysitting job ( I made $30 this month) helped. I guess sometimes we want the BIG miracle, but God gives us a bunch of little ones, and we count them up to be bigger than you think!!!

Here are a couple fun pictures from my week

Emma and Cappy are becoming fast friends
The girls hard at work on their home ec projects A perfect rose

Sunday, February 24, 2008


We got an answer to one of our prayers for direction. Scott has really wanted to take one last trip to a tribe in West Brazil, but each time it looks like it might be possible, God shuts the door. We don't know why, but definitely cost is a huge factor. Trying to get into a flight going that direction, so we can share the cost, and also the flight out back to civilization. Lots of dots to connect. Plus his department must approve the trip's cost and help fund it, etc. etc. It looked like it might happen the first week of march, but we just heard, the plane is too full (mission plane) so it is back on the back burner.
It was a good thing, though, cause the trip would have been right in the middle of our school retreat. Scott will be a 9th grade boys counselor, and supervise the teens worship group. He really didn't want to miss that. I am going to lifeguard, and watch Emma. It is just a 3 day getaway, but we are looking forward to it. I hope we have some nice sunny days.
Laney has been gone all weekend, she went to Anapolis for a birthday party sleepover. Because there were people going on Friday and others returning on Sunday we figured maybe the smart thing would be a weekend trip. I hope she has a good time. Sure is quiet around here. Emma missed her at first, and kept looking for her, but now is just content to play by herself.
I didn't realize how much Emma loves her stuffed animals. I went to put her to bed last night and she was looking for Froggy, then where are the Kitties she asked, and then Bambi, then Dog. I fished them out of the toy box one by one, once she had her little family, she was content and went right to sleep.
Last night was fun. We had some friends over for supper, then they took their kids home, got them ready for bed and left them with a sitter. Returning with a game. We had coffee and cake, watched a bit of American Idol (why is that show so addicting?) then sat down to a couple nice competitive games of Taboo. First the girls against the guys, at first we thought we were going to beat them soundly, but they got into the game and we almost lost. Then it was couple time. That was fun, Scott and I got 7 at one turn. We yelled and screamed, laughed until we were crying, so nice to just enjoy each other's company.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Yes, I went to town with Scott Wednesday, and he left me downtown by myself. With all the time I had to kill, I had to stop at the local pet store, and here was a kitten just begging for a home. So We brought him home. His name is Cappucino - Cappy for short - Emma calls him Khaki, and I must say he is a great cat. Loves people, loves to be held or hauled all over by Emma and purrs up a storm. Very fun, but if I put him away in the bathroom, he settles down quite well, he is already using his litter box, and hopefully trained to go outside soon, I am not crazy about the litter box.
He loves to play, Tigey is enjoying playing with him, too, but he is a bit rough, and bites hard, Cappy will have to learn to fight back real soon.

Even Tigey doesn't mind him so much, at least when he is sleeping, this is one way I can get Cappy to let me work as he likes company, but settles right in and snuggles with Tigey.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rain and Shine

Can you see the rainbow that is behind my house?? Yes, when the sun comes out, even if it is just between downpours it brightens our life. We were treated to some amazing storms this week, also two beautiful rainbows, one that set itself right down on the ground in front of our house. I didn't get a picture of that one as I was riding furiously towards Scott's office to unplug everything, as there was quite a thunderstorm headed our way.

Even the sunsets after a day of rain were breath taking this week. It is one of those times when you just have to stop and be thankful that you are where God has put you. This morning as I was leaving church with Emma (the time changed back so we were a little off...) A tucan was in the tree above us and we were able to just watch him, he was so close you could see the rainbow on his nose.( it goes from white to yellow to orange to red)

And a friend told me I should post my new hair cut, so here it is, the photography done by Laney!!! I couldn't believe the reaction I got from the kids. I guess they couldn't imagine me different. So when I came to school the next day with bangs it was hilarious!!! "Why did you do that??? "(one asked ) "Oh, Jen, you look like those pictures all over your house... of you!" "It would look cute if maybe you combed them this way" another offered. I guess bangs aren't really in, and they were trying to figure out why I would cut my hair in a way that wasn't the latest trend - which by the way is just VERY LONG!!! But it I like it and it goes well with my constant partner - the pony tail!!! What do you think??? My friend, Gina, who I have known from Bible School said I looked liked I did when I was there - That's good. right? I wouldn't mind looking 18 again!!!

A few other things:

Scott has had a bad cough all week and we have missed a lot of sleep, especially him, I sleep through most of it. Pray he gets well soon. I have had a bad intestinal flu and seem to over it, but my intestines don't want to get over it, so I am still not quite myself, (but now I am just a pound or 2 from my last weight loss goal, my weight before I got pregnant with Jonathan - but now none of my clothes fit) Also pray for Scott as he tries to finalize his last trip he will make in this job, to a tribe on the Amazon. It looks like there are two flights coming and going to this tribal location so he has a way into the tribe, and the mission is considering his petition for the finances, and I found a sale on line for his tickets to where he gets the mission flight that cuts them in half. Pray for God's timing and that it will all work out. This would complete his archive of photos and video so that any presentation can be put together to reflect all the work that we do. Things are slowing down, he has even been home around 6 a couple days. It is nice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

fun stuff

Thanks so much for your empathy with my February blues. I am starting to feel a bit better. I do wonder if it has any connection to that fact that I have been quite shaky (yes really my hands are shaking a lot) lately. Could it be that 3 cups of coffee a day plus some ice tea thrown in is the cause, or have I just been too busy?? I am a bit stressed over having 2 new students but I don't think that is it. I just know something is off...

I was getting some water (a couple of my home ec girls wondered if I was shaky cause of lack of fluids, or protein, nope, getting plenty of those) and realized that I don't really like cold water anymore. Have I been in Brazil too long, they don't like cold water on a hot day either. And yes it is a hot day, sunny, bright and beautiful. We are just soaking it up. It poured last night, but today we woke to a beautiful sunrise. I do hope our time changes soon, it is so hard getting up in the morning. It is gets darker every day!!! I hope you guys north of us are enjoying your days getting longer.

Emma is getting cuter by the day, she doesn't ask for a drink of juice by saying something like "Mom, can I have a drink, please?" No she frames her question this way. "Emma do you want a drink?" then answers it for herself. "Of course!". Where do these kids come from??? Laney is doing great with her new book worm contest. She has already completed three shortened classics (about 120 pages each book) Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, and the Secret Garden. and is on her fourth. I think she is beating out some of the 4th graders, at least her brother. Jonathan is growing up. I was watching him with his friends at the pool yesterday. He is still the leader, suggesting each game they should play, and how to play it. He has always been the leader since he was 2, it is just different now, he gets his big boy face all serious, and talks commanding like. Where did my little boy go???

Well I am off to a teacher's meeting this afternoon, I hope it is a productive meeting and not one where I get involved in things I don't need to. (hey you could pray I keep my mouth shut this time!!!) I just always can add something to every discussion, but I don't know if I need to.

Thanks again for all your prayers and concern, Love you guys!!! Jen

Monday, February 11, 2008


Believe it or not we actually saw the sun. We had two gorgeous days this weekend, and today it is clouding up again. Maybe that is why I want to just lay my head on my pillow and cry. I don't know maybe it is just hormones, or life. Isn't it crazy how we can feel great even when things are difficult and other days we can't seem to get ourselves out of the muck we are feeling. I am afraid it is the usual February blues. Even here in Brazil we struggle with this. My friends around me are homesick, too. So I need to come up with something cheerful.
Friday night was Girls Night Out and I had 5 ladies come over and we watched a good chick flick, and ate yummy food. Scott was nice and took the kids to his office and they watched their Christmas movie Crazy Horses. That was nice. Saturday was a busy day, but I feel good. I got a lot done, and had time to relax. I even got the mold scrubbed off my ceiling where there must be a small leak. Oh, the mold and dampness, it was incredible last week!!! The worst of the previous 4 weeks with rain that just didn't let up. The kids went through three outfits a day, just to stay in dry clothes.
Sunday was nice, too. Scott preached a great message on knowing when to let go, and when to hold on, and Who to hold on to. I love seeing him get better and better as he gets back into this mode. We are praying about how to transition into a full time position at the school, and hand off the video ministry to the Brazilians, pray for us to know how best to do that. Especially so we don't end up with 2 full time jobs.
Today was back to reality. Teaching a couple kids who are new and struggling has certainly made class different, and I need to find a better way to do it. Before now my kids were pretty much on the same page, now I have to wait a lot for some to finish each page, so how do I teach each section and give class time to do the work, and not have some students with an overwhelming amount of homework????? Well, pray for me, and wisdom in that. Now I am off to do my home ec class. I think I will have them cook my supper for me, maybe that will help my day feel better? And how bout some peanut butter whoopie pies??? I think we should make those today!!!!!
Thanks for listening, thanks for your prayers, pray I can get out of this homesick low!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Well Sunday the sun peeked out for a few minutes just as we bowed our heads and dedicated the new playground to be used for God's glory and for our kids development. The leader of the group shared a couple of his concerns about some areas kids might get hurt, but our kids don't seem deterred at all by that thought, though I am sure more than a few sore muscles and scrapes will be nursed in the coming days.
We had a time of fellowship afterwards where we thanked the group for all their hard work. Many of our staff were also involved. The maintenance worked many hours with the team, and one of our families here learning Portugues helped out with the welding. Eric did this for a job when the lived in Germany, but it was a sacrifice for the whole family as he gave so much of his vacation time to see the project completed. Scott put together a nice show for the team to take back and show their churches what they were doing. It has been a busy time!!! I have hardly seen Scott except for Lunches and maybe by 9 pm he is home for an hour before he leaves to lock everything up and go to bed. The conference work is almost done. About 12 prayer card projects, which require some running to town to get printed and get final approvals. Many copies of the conference videos and then also many copies of his other presentations, and then just a gizzilion other things!!! His class, Sunday service and praise and worship team practices, a show put together for the girls returning from a work trip to a tribal church ( three of our seniors) and it goes on, copying video tapes to DVD for missionaries, and tapes to CD's etc. etc. I don't know how he keeps it all straight and then in his free time he is helping his parents as much as possible as they don't have a car and have quite a few things to accomplish before they head north. Pray for us to hold it together until things slow down a bit.

Emma loved the slide, she went down by herself right away.

It is quite a steep climb up to the top of the fort, but Emma was ready to go as long as someone would hold her hand.

She even tried the bridge but got nervous half way across.

Even the tire swing was fun, we tried it all out!!!

Game night with Grammy and the big game

Last night we all crammed into the biggest living room on the base and watched the Superbowl. It was only available in Portuguese, but nobody seemed to mind, even the playground work team. We all enjoyed the game and each other's company, even if there was a bit of taunting from the Giant's fans. I must confess that I went home before midnight. I wasn't going to stay up until 1 am to see the end, and since my team lost in the last moments I'm glad I was sound asleep. Then being the dedicated teacher that I am I was at the school early this morning getting my test ready for Literature/Grammar class for all my students we did stay later than me. Oh I am mean!!!!

Emma had fun while the other kids played the game of Life with Grammy. We are so enjoying having their company these days, they leave soon, and though they are very busy we are finding time here and there to get as much time with them as we can.

Almost Finished

Boy those last few days were just pure torture as the crew worked through showers and downpours to get the playground finished before their flights left early this morning. The worst part for the kids was seeing that slide just sitting there all wrapped up and not able to try it out.
They did get to try out the zip line, and Jonathan got a little more than he wanted when a big kid gave him a good shove, but they are not letting any difficulties stand in their way, they are loving ever moment of the process!!! You can see in the pictures the amount of rain we have had these last three weeks, it has been almost straight through rain. Saturday we had a few hours of sunshine and I took them swimming, what fun that was for a change.