Tuesday, October 26, 2010


When we had our recent celebration of Kids' Day, we wanted to give the kids a little prize to take home. Brazil isn't the country for cheap toys or dollar stores. We could give them candy, but hated to do that since they would have been snacking all afternoon on sweets. Since the ladies in our house church like to make things, we began to think of things we could make with supplies that we already had. Oh yeah, and it couldn't take much time, because we got this idea a few days before the event.

Our main problem was that most of the kids that we thought would be there on kids' day were boys. What do you make for boys? I did a little internet surfing and found this really cool robot. And since we have LOADS of material - either donated or leftover from projects here and there, we decided to go with a much simpler version of this idea.

The only problem was that I am the only one in the group who knows how to sew with a sewing machine. And my sewing machine was in the shop. They had told me that it wouldn't be ready until the week following our Kids' Day celebration.

My friend, Auristela, had an old (and I mean REALLY old) sewing machine that had been her grandmother's. She was just learning how to use it. I tried to use that to make the robots, but couldn't get it to work right. I even skyped my mom for help because she is a sewing genius and knows about old machines. We finally had to just give up on the idea because we didn't have a sewing machine.

UNTIL....Friday morning before the celebration on Sunday, the sewing machine shop called and told me that my machine was already ready! Was it too late? Nah...

So I hurried off to get my machine and alerted my friends that we were back in business. Auristela began cutting out fabric, I sewed like a mad woman, and Leni worked on adding the final details. Auristela's mom also helped out sewing some herself when we got crunched for time.
Each one was unique.
It was easy to make the robot look like a girl or boy or young or old, depending on what fabric you used.
At the celebration we used these as the prize at the end of the treasure hunt. We had a basket with a note attached. The note said that these robots had fallen out of a space ship and were orphan robots who needed someone to care for them. We let each kid "adopt" a robot.

I think they turned out really cute and the kids loved them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dia das Crianças (Kids' Day)

October 12th is Kids' Day here in Brazil.  It is a national holiday, just like Mother's Day and Father's Day.  When I start to feel sorry for my kids who don't get to celebrate Halloween (not a holiday here), I remember that here in Brazil they have a holiday just for them.

Our house church hosted a special worship/fun day for all of the house churches and their guests.  It was held at our house and at our nearby park.  It was a really fun day!

We took so many pictures that instead of posting them separately, I just made a slideshow.  Here is what you will see in the slideshow:

I made sidewalk paint using this idea.  The little kids LOVED it.  The first pictures in the slideshow are when Giovanni took off with his paintbrush and went around the yard painting trees, bricks, steps and dogs.  He had a blast.  (by the way, this sidewalk paint was great - it washed out of everything.)

We had a little skit for our devotional (based on this idea.)  The kids loved it and I think it left them with a good message.  We had a special prayer of blessing for all the kids.

After our snack time, we all went to the park for soccer - which was a huge hit, of course.  Then we had a little treasure hunt.  The treasure was a little robot for each kid.  (I'll tell more about those tomorrow.)

There was lots of family fun and lots of smiling faces.  It was a wonderful time for our church family.  Hope you enjoy the slideshow! (By the way, this will be a silent flick - I have worked on trying to get music for it all morning long and don't have anymore time. So, sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" to yourself as you watch!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Little Honesty

Well, I've been a little busy.

It seems I've been doing so many blog-worthy things that I haven't had time to blog about them.  But I still want to.  So many good things have been going on and I want to write about them - so I can remember and so that you can be in on my life a little too.

For example:  Kid's day (it's a holiday in Brazil), What our house church did for Kids' Day, What our family did,  cow parade in Porto Alegre,  cute robots that my friends and I made, my awesome son, Garrett, whose 14th birthday was Monday, selling cookies at a craft fair, and Giovanni's ever-growing precious vocabulary.  Not to mention tomorrow when Anderson will be in a school play of Noah's Ark.  He is Noah.

Lots of things.

I'm also kind of frustrated.  Frustrated because my son and I forgot that yesterday was his special remedial math class - which he needs desperately.  Frustrated because Anderson was awake crying during the night saying that his ear hurt.  (No fever or other symptoms.  I gave him medicine and let him sleep propped up on me.  We will take him to the doctor today. )  Frustrated because this morning there has been a broken glass incident and a pouring out  milk all over the table incident.  Frustrated with myself because I want to be a super-organized, efficient mom who can do it all.  And we all know that's impossible.

But today, instead of making interesting picture-filled blog posts about these things, or working on fixing all of my frustrations,  I am baby-sitting for a teen mom of 2 in our church family.  Her family is moving to a new house today and so Giovanni and I will be having some fun with two sweet little girls, Emily and Nicole.  I'll try to take some pictures of that.  It should be fun.

I decided to write this post today to try to gain a little perspective.  And I have.  I realize that I like having a blog, but there are so many things in my life that take priority over blog posting.  I also realize that I want to be super-mom, too, but there are lots of things that take priority over that, too.  Like being a real mom - and a real friend.

Got my perspective.  Thanks for listening.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


In my yard.....
And in my house.....
I love this time of year.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I would like to avoid the Christmas rush.  I would love to have all the gifts decided, bought, wrapped and hidden before December ever gets here.

I was looking online for toys for the kids.  It is hard to buy toys for my kids.  Toys that they will actually play with for more than the first day.  They have never liked legos or any kind of building sets.  If I buy that, thinking they will like it, it sits in the closet and never gets played with.

Action figures?  maybe.
Board games?  sometimes.
Wii games?  Yes, sometimes, but who wants to encourage more video game playing?

What do my kids play with, you ask?  Here are some examples just from this past week.......

Well, there is sliding down the hall on a quilt......
Watching a movie under a tent made from sheets.....
And buttons, a muffin tin, and an empty Coke Zero bottle.

I guess I should be glad that they don't need a lot of toys.  But Santa may need some help!  Suggestions, anyone?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Farmer's Market

My mom and dad know that my favorite thing to eat is a plate full of fresh vegetables.  Speckled butterbeans, fried okra, fresh corn on the cob.  LOVE.  with cornbread (technically not a vegetable, but necessary just the same.)

So when I was visiting them in August, my mom sent my dad and I to the farmer's market.  While my dad picked out some vegetables, I went around taking pictures.  I love these pictures because everything about them reminds me of home.  
( I know that Dr. Pepper isn't a vegetable, but this would have been Kevin's favorite thing!)
I asked these guys if I could take their picture.  I promised them it wouldn't come out in the paper or anything like that.  The guy on the right, in his awesome southern drawl, asked me if I was a "free-lancuh".  
I loved my visit to the farmer's market! (and the meal afterwards....)