Friday, February 26, 2010

Busy-ness and Butterflies

Dear loyal reader (s),

I know that you are expecting a post today continuing "our story" - how our family ended up living and working in Brazil.  But, I am putting my oldest daughter on a plane Sunday morning to go to Africa for 2 months.  We are so busy getting everything ready.  She and I both have nervous stomachs.  We talked about it this morning over coffee and croissants at our favorite coffee shop.  We are not scared.  I am not scared.  OK, I am a little nervous about her flying half way around the world alone.  But once she gets there, I know she will be fine.  I do, however, have a bad case of butterflies in the stomach.  Nervous excitement.  I am totally excited for her - for our whole family and what we will experience through her trip.  I am happy, not sad.  But.....based on all this emotion going on in my head, I just can't make my mind go back 10 years to write the continuation of "our story".  Not today.  So, I know you will understand and forgive.  Please remember Bronwyn in your prayers and keep up with her experience through her blog.

Much love,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Pancake Recipe

Before I moved to Brazil, I thought I was a pretty good cook. Actually, I just knew how to follow a recipe. And most of the recipes that I used involved a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup. Kind of a casserole queen.

Well, here in Brazil, we don't have cans of cream of ____ soup. Unless you want to pay 6 dollars for one can that is imported from the US and may or may not be the flavor you need. So I pretty much had to re-invent the way I cooked.

Later, I want to do a post on my favorite cookbooks since moving to Brazil. Maybe it would help other girls living overseas or maybe some US people who are tired of the can of soup casserole routine.

But, today I want to share just one recipe. Of course, here we don't have Bisquick, or Hungry Jack pancake mix. So, pancakes are from scratch, as well as the maple syrup that goes on top. Interestingly, when we were on furlough this past year, I made pancakes with a box mix and put store-bought syrup on top. I didn't like it, and neither did my family. It tasted very "chemical", and the syrup kind of sat on the top of the pancakes instead of oozing down into them like we are used to.

So, without further explanation, here is my pancake recipe. You can check out Bronwyn and I making and eating these on our family blog .

Homemade Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 T. vinegar and enough milk to make 2 cups)
2 T. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. baking powder (I import mine from the US because the Brazilian is not as strong.)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. oil

Mix all ingredients together. Cook on griddle, med-high heat- mine is teflon so I don't grease it. Add blueberries if you want to.

Maple Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
pinch of salt
Heat on stove until boiling. Turn off heat and stir in 
1/2-1 t. maple flavoring. 
Ladle warm syrup onto pancakes, or store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pillow Talk

Last week we had a tea to collect fabric for Bronwyn to take to Rwanda.  While making all the goodies to eat, I got to thinking that I wish I had made some new pillows for the living room.  While we were in the states last year, my mom, Bronwyn and I bought some fabric for some pillows, but we hadn't got around to making them.  Anyway, when I mentioned the pillows, Bronwyn said, "Let's just make them today!"  So, we did.  Two can work twice as fast as one.  We made a big mess, got them all done, then cleaned it all up.

Here they are:

I think they turned out really cute and we had a lot of fun making them together. I am so glad we just decided to make them that day.  No telling when I would have gotten around to doing it by myself.

PS.  Thanks for your prayers for our kids' first day of school.  The kids in the new school are LOVING it!  That makes me so happy.  We have had a little scheduling problem getting Ansley to and from her school without her getting there really early and being picked up really late.  We are trying to work the kinks out, but in the meantime I am encouraging her to think on the bright side.  I, for example, would LOVE an hour a day when all I had to do was sit and read or catch up on work or even do nothing!☺

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Summer is Over, School Days are Here!

Tomorrow our kids start their first day of school for this year.  Our summer is over. Well, not the season, but the staying at home and being lazy part - that is over.  And I, for one, am glad.  When I think of this summer I think of.....

homeschooling, hot days, going to the pool, Giovanni running around in a diaper, Anderson running around in underwear, more hot days, trip to the waterfall, two new dogs, movies, too many video games, date nights, cooking in the crock pot, arts and crafts on Thursday nights, sewing, registering for a new school, shingles,  kids cooking, taking one day at a time.....

Wow, that seems like a lot for a summer that we didn't seem to do much.  I am glad for the kids to start school - and they are glad, too.  Often people think that since we are missionaries, we homeschool our kids.  And that makes sense since I am a former schoolteacher.  But, I absolutely love school.  I always have, and our kids do too.  Buying new school supplies, making friends, extra-curricular activities - we love all of it.  So we are school people, not homeschool people.  (We did homeschool for a few months last year and in January of this year because our kids missed 2 months of school during our trip to the US last year.)

Here are a few interesting facts about going to school in Brazil....

 - Anderson will be going to kindergarten.  But they call it the first year.  So when he is in the 2nd year, he will be in the first grade.  Weird.  He will graduate high school after 12 years, but it will be like he is in the 11th grade in the US.

- Our kids learn everything in portuguese.  I still marvel at the fact that after we had lived here for 6 weeks, we took our kids to an all-portuguese speaking school and enrolled them.  They didn't understand anything for a while, but when school was ready to begin the next year (6 months later), they were fluent and participated in everything just like all the other kids.  Now, they speak better portuguese than Kevin and I do, and with no accent.  Sickening.

 - Schools here put a lot of emphasis on learning a second language.  Bronwyn and Ansley have both studied Spanish.  This year Garrett, Carys and Anderson will begin learning German.  We love that they are learning so much when they are kids and can take it in easily.

 - Schools here are either in the morning from 7:30-12:30 or the afternoon from 1:00-6:00.  Our kids have always gone in the morning.  So they come home everyday for lunch and don't go back to school for the rest of the day unless there is some kind of special activity or class (which happens sometimes.)

 - Our kids study in private Brazilian schools.  The public schools here are usually not very good and often dangerous.  The cost of their private school has more than doubled in the 8 years we have lived here.

 - Starting in the 5th grade, the kids have more like a college schedule.  Meaning they have different teachers for each subject and each subject only 2-4 times a week.  For example, they might have math on  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday only.  The subjects they study are Portuguese- grammar, literature and writing (each separate classes), Math, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology (or just science in the 5-6 grades), History, Religion, Art, Music, Sociology or Philosophy.  Oh yeah, and English and/or another foreign language.  Does that seem like a lot to anyone else??

 - Generally kids wear uniforms to school everyday.  Ansley doesn't have to because her school allows high school students to choose their own clothes.  The rest only wear school uniform which right now is a t-shirt and shorts with the school logo.

Well, tomorrow will be an exciting day.  I'm sure I'll take a "first day of school picture" and post it tomorrow. If you can, please pray for our kids as they start the new year. Garrett and Carys will be going to a new school tomorrow, Ansley will be starting her senior year (yikes!!), and Anderson, kindergarten.  Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Story - Part 5

(For parts 1-4, click here and scroll down.)

As we were pulling out of our driveway after selling our house in Grenada, Mississippi, I remember Kevin looking at me and saying, "I feel like God is just opening up the door for us to do something big, don't you?"

I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, and I'm pretty sure he didn't either.  We moved into a rent house, had our fourth child, Carys, and went on with life as usual.  I participated in Community Bible Study and baby-sat some friend's children in our home.  Kevin started his new job working in home health.  The big girls were busy in school and Garrett and Carys went to Bible class during my bible study.

One day we received in the mail a magazine sent out by our alma mater, Harding University.  It was called Church and Family.  We received these magazines regularly (maybe 4 times a year), and we didn't pay that much attention to them, except to thumb through to see if there was any information about anyone we knew from college.  This particular magazine, however, caught Kevin's attention in another way.

There was a full-page ad in the magazine from a group called "Continent of Great Cities".  It said (paraphrasing..), "We are looking for families to be a part of a mission team going to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Families to work with youth, with technical issues, administration, evangelism, etc. Would you like to be one of these families?"

Kevin looked at this ad, and couldn't get it out of his head.  He asked me if I had seen it.  I remember nicely saying, "Yeah, that's neat."  I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh, I hope he doesn't think that we are going to do that, but I'll say yes for now just to pacify him."

He pondered over the ad for a few days and then asked me if we could call to find out about this group and what they did.  I don't remember why, but I ended up making that call.  I found out that Continent of Great Cities is a group that trains missionary teams to go to big cities in South America.  What would be involved in us joining a team would include finding a supporting congregation and a 7 month training period in Abilene, Texas.  These were two big steps of many things that would have to happen for our family to actually be missionaries with this group.  Considering all of this, it was actually too late for us to join the team going to Buenos Aires, a city of 13 million people. (whew!)  But I found out that the following year a team would be forming for Porto Alegre, Brazil.  A smaller city of 1.5 million in the southern part of Brazil.  We agreed that they would get back in touch with us when preparations were being made for the formation of this team.

That was in the fall of 1999.  We would have to wait awhile before the new team was being recruited.  Time.  I would need time.  God was opening a little crack in the door of my head - and my heart.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bronwyn and Ansley's Room

We are in a temporary living situation right now.  We are living in a house that is not ours and we know that at some time in the future we will move.  But, I am not one to "camp out".  Meaning, wherever I live, I like to fix it up - even if it is just temporary.

A few weeks ago when Bronwyn and Ansley were in Itu taking the ACT, I thought about doing some little projects to make their room cuter.  It already is cute, but there were a few things that needed to be done.   I wanted it to be a surprise for them while they were gone.

Well, the surprise didn't really happen. I didn't get it done while they were gone, but have worked a little at a time since they got back.  Here is what we did...

Their nightstands were little shelves that started out white, got painted red, then blue and green.  They were in Carys's room in our old house.  Bronwyn and Ansley's room is black and white and red.  So instead of trying to put another coat of paint on these poor little shelves, I made a little slipcover for them.  Here is the before....

and after.

We covered Ansley's lampshade....

And decorated these canvases with their initials.  These are just canvases covered in fabric and the letters are cut out of scrapbook paper.

Then we made this bird picture using an old metal magnetic board spray-painted black, scrapbook paper, and paint.

We love how it turned out.  We got the idea here .

So, that is about it.  Not much, but I think their room is very cute.

Now Carys is asking for an update in her room, too.  We'll get busy on that.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guess what I got for Valentine's Day?

The other day my husband asked me what was on my "Bucket List"- (things you want to do before you kick the bucket).  I couldn't really think of anything at the time.  Travel.....visit castles in Europe..... maybe.

He, however, remembered that there is something that I have always wanted to do.  Ever since seeing the movie "Dance With Me", I have wanted to take ballroom dancing.  With him.

If you know my husband and what he likes to do, you know how much of a stretch this would be for him.

But....last night he gave me a little note promising that this year we would take ballroom dancing classes together.
I have it written down, and now it is published on the world wide web.  So, no getting out of it.

I'm so excited!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Little Love Story

(I know that today I am supposed to be continuing the story of our family moving to Brazil, but in honor of the 22nd anniversary of my engagement, and Valentine's Day coming up, I decided to tell another story involving me and my sweetheart.  I'll continue with the other story next week.)

If you have been reading "Our Story" each Friday, you know that my husband, Kevin, went back to school in 1995 to become a physical therapist.  At that time we had two daughters, ages 4 and 2, and I was teaching school in Bartlett, Tennessee.  Up until Kevin started school in January of 95, he had worked several different jobs that would allow him to go to school (taking pre-requisites for PT school) and help out with the girls.  But when he started PT school, that all changed.  PT school was a full-time thing.  There was no time for working or babysitting kids.  He went to class all day and studied at night and on the weekends.  That meant that I was basically a single mom.

I would teach school, then leave as soon afterward as possible to go pick up the girls at their pre-school and take care of them at home.  I did all the grocery shopping, cooking and pretty much all the cleaning by myself, as well as paying the bills and trying to stretch my paycheck to cover the necessities.  Writing all of that now seems like a lot and I should have been stressed out, but I don't remember being stressed out that much.  I guess as a 31 year old I had a lot more energy than I do now!

Anyway, on top of all that, we found out in January of 96 that "surprise!" I was pregnant.  So, even though I had really easy pregnancies, that year had the pregnancy and birth of Garrett added in the mix.  I worked for Shelby County Schools, and their policy for maternity leave was:  use your sick days, then you are on your own.  We were given 2 weeks of paid sick days at the beginning of each year and if we took anymore than that, we worked without pay.  You could roll over your sick days from one year to the next.  Well, with two little girls, a pregnancy, and a husband who was a full-time student, I didn't have too many sick days left when Garrett was born in October.  So that meant no income - at all.  We moved into Kevin's parents' house in November to be able to make it until after graduation when Kevin would be working.

(You are probably wondering where the love story is in all of this??  Sorry, but had to set the stage.)

Kevin graduated in December, and everyone was so excited.  People were congratulating him, giving him pats on the back, presents, money, praises galore.  I don't know if it was my post-childbirth hormones or just my selfishness, but I felt kind of left out.  Every time someone congratulated him and said how proud they were of him, I thought, "What about me?  He couldn't have done any of that without me.  I took care of everything alone this whole time......etc."  Very gracious, I know.  I never let anyone know how I was feeling, because I knew it was wrong, but I felt it nonetheless.  Kind of pouty on the inside, but covering it up on the outside.  It seemed like no one recognized my part in his accomplishment.

Christmas was near.  I'm sure that we charged any Christmas gifts that we got for the kids or other family members, because we, of course, had no income.  I didn't want to let the holidays go by without giving Kevin something for Christmas.  But I didn't want to spend a lot of money that we didn't have.  I ran across a funny book that I thought he might like.  It was called "Trailer Trash from Tennessee".  It had little funny stories about someone's childhood in Tennessee.  Looking back now, I can't believe that I chose this book for him, but I did.

Kevin and I have this tradition that we exchange our gifts with each other on Christmas Eve, just the two of us, after the kids are in bed.  So that night I gave him my measly gift.  I didn't think he had gotten anything for me - how could he?

After he opened the book and thanked me for it.  He gave me a little box.  In the box was my engagement ring and wedding ring which I had accidentally left at a friend's house when we were doing crafts. Along with them was a brand new ring guard with baguette diamonds that fit perfectly on the sides of my engagement ring.  It was something that I had always secretly wanted, but of course, never felt we had the money to buy.  I was totally, completely shocked.  How in the world had he paid for that??

He then told me that he knew that there was no way he could have made it through PT school without me. And that he appreciated so much all the single parenting and sacrificing that I had done while he was in school.  When I recovered from my shock enough to talk, I asked him how in the world he had paid for it.  Turns out he had taken all of the money that he had received for graduation gifts, and used all of it to buy me this ring.  It continues to be the best gift that I have ever received.

And it dawned on me how much this guy loved me, how much he valued me as his wife.  It was a wonderful feeling, and I feel it all the time now.  He continually sacrifices to make me happy and make me feel special and loved.  Whoever marries my daughters will have a lot to live up to in the "spoil your wife" department.  And whoever marries my sons will be blessed to have a husband who has had my husband as an example.

If you ever read the blog The Pioneer Woman, you will soon recognize that she adores her husband.  She talks about him all the time.  I'm not like her in her ability to be so open with her adoration, but I hope that, Kevin, when you read this, you will know how much I love you and I am so, so glad that you chose me and I chose you.  I would do it all over again in a second.  I look forward to whatever the future brings for us, because I know that we will be together.  I love you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Naked Scooter Riding and other Snapshots of the Day (updated!)


Carys is still not feeling great.  Her fever is a little better, she has a little more appetite, and fewer stomach issues.  Still no smiles.

She's been watching tons of VCR movies in her room.  Her dad chooses a movie for her and then when it is over she yells, "Dad!".  And he goes and chooses another one.

Here is her nightstand.  Complete with drinks, snacks, thermometer, medicine cups and entertainment from the day.  You would think her mom would clean that up.  Sheesh!

I bought these pillows at the grocery store for R$12.90.  That's about 7 US dollars.  They are pretty big and have zippered covers.  I am planning on fancying them up and giving them as birthday gifts.

I made a Brazilian dish for supper called carreteiro.  You make it with rice and leftover meat or steak.  There are people we know who make awesome carreteiro.  It's like their specialty.  It's not my specialty by any means, but it was pretty good for a last-minute meal.

And finally....

   we had a little outside baby pool time.  Giovanni wanted to ride a "boom boom"- which means a car or anything with wheels.  His big brother took him for a scooter ride around the patio.  What a nice big brother!

**UPDATE - About 2 minutes after I posted, we discovered this...

Giovanni somehow got ahold of my way-too-freeflowing-but-cute salt-shaker and salted our den pretty good.  I figured this post wouldn't be complete without this final shapshot!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Birthday Yesterday

I had a great birthday yesterday.  Today I am taking care of a little sick girl , so I don't have time to write a lot, but here is the quick version of what went on....
(starting from top left and going clockwise)
1.  Bronwyn made me orange muffins for breakfast.  Really good.
2.  Me and Bronwyn at lunch at Applebees.
3.  Carys made me a new case for my glasses since I left mine in the US.  She did it almost all by herself.
4.  Garrett kept wanting to wear my birthday crown.
5.  Being sung to by the Applebees crew.
6.  Bronwyn and Ansley got me a cool necklace/scarf thing.  I can't wait to try it out in a little bit cooler temperatures.
7.  My chocolate cake from Applebees.  Have you ever tried it?  It is awesome!
8.  Garrett gave me Season 1 of Everybody Loves Raymond.   That will be some good family TV time.
9.  Giovanni and Anderson played in the playroom at the restaurant.  Anderson got on level 4 and Giovanni got on level 8.  Anderson just told me that.   We don't know how a baby got on a higher level than Anderson.
10.  Guess who ate most of my cake?
11.  Anderson gave me a birthday crown and a froot loop necklace.  Loved it.
12.  This is how we found Anderson asleep at the end of the day.  He wanted the air conditioner to reach  his toes.

Not pictured:  My husband gave me some really cute clothes and spoiled me as he always does.  He is the best, and always makes me feel so special.  I love him.

My family is great and we had a fun celebration together.  The only bad part was Carys getting sick at the end of the day.  But she is slowly recuperating.  
Bye for now!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Birthday

I would like to thank God for my first birthday present of the day......

a morning shower.....

and a cool, refreshing temperature of 75°.

So, thank you, God!

More birthday fun tomorrow...♥!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our Story - Part 4

(For parts 1-3, click here and scroll down.)

After Kevin's graduation from Physical Therapy school in December of 1996, he took another short term mission trip to the Ukraine.  He went with his dad this time, and had a great experience.  We thought that the desire to do mission work would be in the form of short trips like this that he, or all of us, would take every now and then.

We moved to Grenada, Mississippi in the spring of 97 where Kevin had a job that would pay enough for me to stay home with the kids and not have to work.  We bought a house, and I began figuring out life as a stay home mom.  We worked on our house, fixing it up, and got involved with our local church, Southside Church of Christ.  Kevin changed jobs and was working for a nursing home in Grenada, still making a lot of money (to us.)  We still had a lot of debt left over from when he was in school, and with that and the house payment, we were making it OK financially, but with little left over.

After having lived there for a year and a half, we began to be aware that the government was going to make some changes in the medicare system.  These changes would greatly affect Kevin's job, and the salary that he was earning was going to go down by 30-35%.  We began to get worried about how we were going to pay all of our bills if he didn't earn as much money.  He began to check into finding another job that would pay enough so that I could continue to stay home.

This next experience that I am going to tell doesn't seem like it has much to do with us moving to Brazil. But it made such an impact on me and was a transforming moment in my life - a way that God began to grow me and mature me to the point that I could accept a bigger challenge in the future.

Like I said, Kevin began to look for other jobs.  I was pregnant with Carys.  He heard about 2 jobs available in Gadsden, Alabama.  Gadsden is about 2 hours away from my hometown.  While I liked living in Grenada, I wasn't so attached to it that I wouldn't be excited about moving closer to my parents. So we went to Gadsden to check out these jobs.  Let's just say our visit was OK.  The jobs seemed fine - he would be working at two different nursing homes that would allow him to keep his current salary level.  The town looked nice.  They even had a mall - which Grenada didn't.  But when we went there to visit, I met no one who encouraged me about moving our family there.  The people there were nice enough, but it just wasn't the kind of visit where you come back excited that you are moving there.  We went to church in Grenada the day after our visit, and I just cried thinking about moving.

We didn't know what to do.  We made charts listing the positives and the negatives about moving or staying.  We asked God to give us an answer, but we didn't feel that we got one.  We finally made the decision to move to Gadsden, based solely on financial reasons.

It was Christmas time.  The kids only had a day or two left of school.  I hadn't even told the school that they would be leaving.  I took them to school one morning, was going to talk to the teachers about it, but couldn't because I was near tears.  I then took Garrett, who was 2, to my Community Bible Study.  It was our last meeting before Christmas break, and while Garrett was in the nursery, we listened to one of the talented ladies sing some Christmas music.  It was beautiful.  As I sat listening and looking at her sweet face, I just heard a voice in my head saying "NO, NO, NO..".  Not necessarily an audible voice, but as close as I've ever come to directly hearing God speak.  I started to cry - again.

The room where we were sitting was pretty crowded.  I decided that I would take my blubbering self to the bathroom.  So I tried to inconspicuously grab my purse and maneuver my 7 months pregnant body past all the ladies to get out of the room.  Of course I attracted attention, but I tried not to.  I got to the bathroom and just lost it.  I had no idea why I was so upset.  It wasn't that I was going to miss Grenada so much, or that I hated Gadsden so much.  I knew that I could be happy wherever my family was.

After a few minutes, the door opened and the wife of the First Baptist Church's pastor came in.  I don't even remember her name now, but what she did for me that day, I will never forget.  She asked if I was OK.  I began to tell her that yes, I was fine.  I didn't even know why I was crying.  It was because we were moving away.  We just wanted to be able to make enough money for me to stay home with the kids.  She asked me if I had prayed about it.  I said yes.

Then she said, "But you don't have peace about your decision."
 "No," I said.  She had finally put words to my feelings - just a total lack of peace.
"Then", she said, "the decision is not from God.  If you pray about something, and you make the right decision, God will give you peace.  If you don't have peace, then it is the wrong decision.  If what you are trying to do - your goal - is to stay home and raise your kids, then God will honor that.  So just do what He is leading you to do and let Him take care of the rest."
She told me about how she had lived for a while in a trailer while her kids were little, but God had always provided what they needed.

I can't tell you the relief and peace that flooded my heart at those words.  That made so much sense.  I left the bathroom, went directly to the nursery to get Garrett, and drove straight over to Kevin's work.  I found him working with a patient in the hall.  He got someone to take over and I told him what happened, and that I did not want to move.  He, too, felt immediate relief because he hadn't felt peace either.  He went to his boss and asked if he could keep his old job.  She said yes, and he turned down the other jobs in Gadsden.

This experience may not seem like much to you.  But to me, it was a learning experience that taught me that God is very much involved in my day to day life.  He cares about my decisions. He's not just some corporate CEO way up high that looks down every now and then to see if I'm measuring up.  He is real. He gives peace - or not.  He has a plan for my life.

So what happened?  We had had our house for sale, but never imagined that it would sell at Christmas time - not generally a time when people buy houses.  But it did.  And we made so much money off of it that we paid off all of our credit card debt.  One of Kevin's patients had a house that they allowed us to rent for a low price.  Then Kevin found a job in Grenada working for a very godly Christian man, making enough money to allow me to stay home.  God honored our desire.  Three months later, we found out that both of the positions that he would have filled in Gadsden didn't even exist anymore because of the government cutbacks.

As we were pulling out of our driveway after selling our house, I remember Kevin looking at me and saying, "I feel like God is just opening up the door for us to do something big, don't you?"

I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, but I didn't forget him saying that.

PS.  I really wish that I remembered the name of the lady who spoke to me in the bathroom.  I checked the church website, but the pastor is no longer there.  I would love to be able to thank her again and let her know how much her words helped me and still help me, and others, today.  I have told that story to our church members several times.  So wherever you are  - THANK YOU!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'll do it myself, thank you....

We have a few really independent kids in our family.  They get it from their dad.  Giovanni, for one, is determined to feed himself with a spoon.  Yesterday I managed to feed him a few bites before he insisted on taking over....

Then he went outside and took his diaper off by himself.

Don't you just love baby buns?

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's really hot here, Random Stuff, and I'm hot

This is one of those summer weeks in Porto Alegre that I try to forget.  It is SO HOT!!  And we don't have central air.  We have some window units which help a little but they run up your electricity bill so much that it just won't do to leave them on all day.  When the heat index is 108 like it was today, they don't do that much good anyway.

But, enough of the complaining.  Here are some random things that have been going on with us.....

It was so hot in the house that we ventured out to the nearby mall which has awesome air conditioning.  They had a little cheesy High School Musical play area set up for kids.  Carys and Anderson dressed up like HSM characters and got their picture made.  Anderson wouldn't wear a curly, black afro wig because it was "weird", but he had no problem in donning a blue feather boa.

Every Thursday night my girlfriends and I have been having little get-togethers.  The first few Thursdays we did arts and crafts.  It was fun, so fun that I forgot to take pictures.  But this last Thursday, we started playing BUNKO.  We had so much fun and are going to do it once a month from now on.

 Bronwyn and I even made little prizes for the winners.
 Just having fun with good friends is so important, and I have been missing it!  This Thursday night thing is going to add a lot of fun to my life!

Last Tuesday, I noticed that I had some bumps on the back of my neck on the left side.  After a few days it didn't go away and got worse.  A friend of mine who is a doctor told me to get it checked out because it might be a spider bite (gross!!).  I went to a clinic and found out that I have Herpes.  Yes, Herpes Zoster.  We Americans know it as Shingles.  Apparently it is caused from the chicken pox virus that lies dormant in your nerve cells and comes out when you are stressed out or your immune system is low.  Not sure why it decided to appear in me at this time, but I found out that it is most common among "senior adults".  You can imagine how glad I was to read that.  Well, anyway, my dr. friend, Clarice, has me taking mega-doses of medicine which is really helping.  I had a few days of being uncomfortable, but  it is getting better, now.  Because of this, we had to take 3 kids to get chicken pox vaccines so they wouldn't get the chicken pox from me.  They loved that.

Also, I am kind of addicted to this:

Kevin got seasons 1 and 2 as a Christmas gift.  Almost everyday, especially since it is so HOT, after lunch we sneak back to our bedroom to chill out for a bit and watch an episode while Giovanni takes a nap.  I am hooked.  And it has nothing to do with the two cute guys in the picture above.  Nothing at all.

And finally....this morning Anderson asked me this question:
"Mom, which is better:  God or his messages?"

Any help?

Oh, yeah, and I am really hot.