Monday, January 30, 2012

God's Word Arrives

My brother sent me a link to the following video last week.  If you have a few minutes, it is worth your time to watch this and see the value that these people place on God's Word.

This video reminded me of a speaker that I heard about 10 years ago.  Her name is Marilyn Laszlo.  I ended up buying her book, Mission Possible, one of the most incredible and inspiring books I have ever read.  It's true that I serve as a missionary, but my work is completely different and incomparable to the work that Marilyn did (and may continue to do) in New Guinea.  Check out her website to learn more about her story and I strongly encourage you to read her book.

We probably have 20 Bibles in our house, in several different versions.  Many more versions and translations are just a click away on the internet.  But, unbelievably there are still people groups in the world who don't have the Bible written in their language.  In Marilyn's case, the people she worked with didn't even have a written language.  She had to learn their language (by just living with them), write their language, teach the written language to some young boys who eventually over many years helped her translate the New Testament into their language.  The following video shows a similar story.  You will be blessed by watching it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beware - Ugly Pictures

Now that I'm almost all healed up, and since John Kerry had the courage to appear in public with his broken nose, I thought I'd show you all how I looked at my worst.  I guess Senator Kerry has a little more guts to show himself since he earned his bruises in a pick-up hockey game.  Whereas, I just took a nose-dive off the toilet during a puking episode.  Not quite as cool.

Anyway, for you curious people...... here you go.....

This is possibly the ugliest picture of me in existence.  I can't believe I'm putting it on the internet.

Both of these pictures were taken two days after I fell.  I was still feeling pretty bad.

Then two days later, I was feeling better but still had the bruises.
Here is our family with our friends Gerald and Dianne Johnson.  For some reason I thought that my bruises would be less noticeable if I wore a hat.  Did it work?
The the day after that, I was even better.....
Here I am 6 days after I fell sleeping off some of my jet lag in our home in Porto Alegre.
And here is Giovanni and me at the pool this past Wednesday.  Already almost all better...

I barely have any bruises now, my cuts are all healed up and my nose is much less sore.
Thanks to all of you who wished me well.... (that would not include my daughter who laughed her head off at seeing me on skype!)
I promise only pretty pictures from now on!
Totally unrelated thing.....  check out our Christian sister, Leni's blog.  My mother-in-law and some of her friends sent some used jewelry to Leni for her to resell in her little thrift shop.  You can use the Google translator that she has on her site to be able to understand what she is saying.  Leni is a warrior for God and takes it upon herself to take care many people who need help in different ways.  She would love for you to check out her blog!

Monday, January 23, 2012


jet lag
A temporary disruption of normal circadian rhythm caused by high-speed travel across several time zones typically in a jet aircraft, resulting in fatigue, disorientation, and disturbed sleep patterns.

Oh my goodness.  We have this.

I think it is a combination of a long furlough (3 months is our longest one yet),  change in time zones (4 hour time difference), and getting used to hot weather here in southern Brazil:

Right NowNext 36 Hours
Partly CloudyTonightTomorrowTomorrow Night
ClearPM T-StormsT-Storms
Partly CloudyClearPM T-StormsT-Storms
Feels Like: 101°LowHighLow
Past 24-hr precip is only available for the contiguous U.S.Chance of Rain:
Chance of Rain:
Chance of Rain:
From WNW at 3mph
E at 6 mph
NW at 8 mph
W at 7 mph
Short-term forecast summary is only available for the contiguous U.S.Generally clear. Low around 75F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.Mostly sunny in the morning, then thunderstorms developing later in the day. Humid. High 91F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.Thunderstorms. Low 74F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

It is 7:00 p.m. here and it is 97 degrees.  Yep!

Anyway, we are like weird lazy sloths around here.  We go to sleep at around midnight (all of us).  If you know our family, you know how weird that is!  And we get up at like 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. Also weird.

I still have several suitcases to unpack.....

I still have some leftover bruises from my fainting/vomiting episode.....

And this little guy fell asleep at 5:00 on the way home from the grocery store.  It is 7:00 and he's still asleep!

It will be another late night in this family.
Can you say "Night Swimming??"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Two are Better than One

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I love this scripture.

I have always loved it when thinking of marriage and the way that married couples should help and support each other.

In the last two days this scripture has become even more meaningful to me.

I got sick during the night on Saturday night.  I was so sick to my stomach that I ended up fainting and crashing on the floor.  As I came to, I crawled over to the door and said, "Kevin!".  He could tell by the sound of my voice that something was wrong and came to help.  It was an ugly scene with a bloody nose, plus throwing up, but he helped me get cleaned up, got ice for my nose and got the kids (who were sleeping on a pallet in our room) out of my way.  Then he slept on the floor while I moaned and groaned and tried to sleep the rest of the night.  

For the past two days I've just lain in the bed feeling crummy getting over a stomach virus with probably a broken nose.  It is lovely.  So my sweet hubby has had to take care of everything else.  It's amazing how God gives us the strength to do what we need to do.  I realize that so many people aren't blessed to have a husband or wife who can take over when sickness comes.  It truly is a blessing.  I am thankful.

I would close with a picture, but I'm too vain.  Just imagine me with a swollen, slightly cut up nose and two big black eyes and you'll get the picture.....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Sister

Today is my sister, Cheryl's, birthday.  There are very few blessings in my life that rank as high as having her as a sister.  She knows me so well, and loves me just the same.  And we have fun together, like only sisters can.  I recently saw this on pinterest and thought of her:
My mother in law has a sister, our Aunt Barbara.  They are another pair of fun-loving sisters.  They lived far away from each other all of their married lives, but NOW they live right down the street from each other.  That means helping each other out, easy conversations, and daily giggles.

Cheryl and I have lived far apart almost our whole married lives.  North Dakota, England, Hawaii, Connecticut, Washington DC, Brazil.....  For two Alabama girls, we've gotten around.  Anyway, my prayer is that one day we can also live close to each other and enjoy each other like we did growing up.  If not in this life, I'm requesting some special housing arrangements in Heaven.

Love you, Cheryl!  Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dollar Store Christmas Gifts

I love the Dollar Store.
We don’t have them in Brazil.  We have $1.99 stores, but that doesn’t mean that everything in there costs $1.99.  Actually, not much in the stores actually costs $1.99.
Anyway, we let our little kids Christmas shop at the Dollar Store.  We let them pick out whatever they wanted to get for the other family members.
Have you ever done that?  It’s a lot of fun.
Here are Giovanni’s gifts to the family this year:
Cousins Peyton and Dylan (college students) got “Magic Wands”.

Cousin Connor got a mini football.  Cousin Camryn got some paper cups with snowflakes on them.  Cousin Chloe got a birthday card with Backyardigans on it. (It wasn’t her birthday.)
I got a back scratcher, Kevin got some foot soak powder.
Papa got some soap (hint, hint, Papa)...

Grandmommy got some bath salts.
Aunt Melissa got a candle, but Uncle Gary got Ant and Roach Kill spray.  He was excited.
Bronwyn needed some new glasses....
Ansley needed some new “ideas”. (She got a light bulb.)
Garrett got some balloon cars and Carys got a jump rope.
Granna got some new cooking spray...
And my favorite, Grandaddy got a can of refried beans.

Giovanni was completely serious about giving all of these presents and very pleased with himself.  We were pretty pleased, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011.... More Blessings

Continuing to count my blessings from 2011....

4.  Giovanni got potty-trained and gave up his pacifier.  It was easy, and needed to be done, and I'm so glad we did it.  He's turning into such a big boy. However, yesterday we were talking about who was a boy and who was a girl and I asked him if he was a boy or a girl, and he informed me that he was a "baby".  That's OK with me.

5.  Spending the holidays with our family.  Because of our financial changes that I mentioned yesterday, we have had a longer furlough than usual.  We have spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with our families in the states.  We have made some great memories.

6.  Lots of visitors to Porto Alegre.  This year we welcomed the Aggies for Christ group, Stephen and Weston (Bronwyn's two friends who worked with us for 2 months) and Larry and Margaret Ann Bennett.  We continue to say that there is nothing as effective as a visit for feeling like you are involved in a ministry.  We loved having so many visitors last year.
7.  This is a big one... Three of our kids made the decision to follow Christ and were baptized this year.  Anderson was baptized on October 9th in Brazil...

And then Garrett and Carys were baptized in Memphis on November 11th.

We are so proud of them!
I'm sure that there were more blessings of 2011 that I specifically want to remember, but I'm going to stop for now.  Very, very grateful for all of these blessings of last year!

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 - Counting My Blessings

It is hard to believe that it is already January 9th of 2012.

2011 was an eventful one for me and for my family.  Looking back, there were so many blessings and I don't want to forget them.  So here's a list of some of the good gifts we enjoyed in 2011....

1.  I learned that I can run.
In August (I think) my sister in law invited us to run the St. Jude Half Marathon with her at the beginning of December.  For some reason, I said "yes", and slowly but surely started training.  I printed up this training schedule and stuck to it.  I finished the half marathon in 2 hours and 23 minutes on December 3rd. Let me just say that if I can do it, anyone can do it.  I have never, ever considered myself athletic and never thought I could run that far - but I did it.  I think we are capable of so much more than we realize!    I never thought I'd be writing that in 2011 I became a runner.  Wow.
2.  New Apartment
It's only in looking back that I can say that moving is a blessing.  There was so much work involved in moving and it was quite stressful at the time.  From being anxious about finding a new place to live to moving in and then cleaning out the stuff in our storage unit and previous house that wouldn't fit into the apartment..... it was a lot of work, and it took a while.  But, looking back I can see God's hand in all of it.  I love our new apartment.  Granted, it's not my "dream house".  But for our family, right now, it is perfect.  The combination of size and location can't be beat.  And, I'm a firm believer in making wherever you live your home.  I already have a "honey-do" list for when we get back to Brazil and I look forward to sharing all about it on this blog.

3.  New Ministry Opportunities
This year, we've gone through some financial setbacks in terms of support for our family to continue living and working in Porto Alegre.  Again, another stressful situation that has turned out to be a blessing.  In dealing with these setbacks, we've refined our mission goals and will be starting a Disciple Making Ministry when we return to Brazil.  We are more excited about this than anything we've done in a long time.  Again, you'll be hearing more about it in future blogs....
Another great ministry that was begun this year was introduced to us by Larry and Margaret Ann Bennett.  It is a healing and spiritual warfare ministry.  What a blessing that they were able to come to Brazil for 2 weeks to begin this ministry.  I can safely say that Jesus has never been more real to me, and I am truly grateful for the open door of understanding and vision that this ministry has brought.
OK, that's enough for today....
More tomorrow!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Strategy....

Well, my blogging this past year has been less than spectacular, to say the least.  There are several factors that play into this, but one of them is time and computer availability.  It seems like the computer is never available when I have time (and am in the mood) to blog,

So, I've got a new strategy.  I'm going to try to make a post for each weekday on the weekends and have them scheduled to post.  I'm excited to get this started.... so check back during next week!

(It's Saturday morning at 6:30 and there is already a little person laying beside me asking if he can get on the computer to make his own robot hero on the Lego website.  See what I mean??)