Monthly Archives: January 2014

Love in Focus (December)

January is almost over. But we finally have internet!! Not good enough to skype yet without cutting out every 4 minutes. But good enough to recap December.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to look at these pictures without a lump in my throat. We said the hardest goodbye ever on December 2nd. My parents are such a huge part of our lives. For months, I dreaded this goodbye. But I am so grateful for the years they have only ever viewed living 4 hours away as “we can be there in 4 hours.” And as the boys skyped with them again this morning and received emails from them this afternoon, I just marvel at how they continue to be such a blessing in our lives.
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Our boys had such a blast on the plane. At one point, Jude had coke in hand, was chewing bubble gum, and told the stewardess “this is a pretty great place to be!” Jack entertained us with barf bag puppet shows. Miles keeps telling people only to fly Delta.
They love to fly, and it shows. 🙂
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What greeted us on the other side will always bring a smile. We have been welcomed with open arms. We continue to be served by these people we came to serve. And, the view!!!!
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One big adjustment for me has been re-learning how to cook here. And grocery shop. I have to be careful to read labels to make sure things we buy are gluten-free, but it’s a bit more challenging when all the labels are in Portuguese. Making my first gluten-free pizza with tapioca flour (which is readily available here) instead of GF flour mix was a HUGE victory!
And thus, needed documented.
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We miss our church. We miss our friends. We miss family. But, I am so proud of how eager our boys are to adjust. Excited to meet people and use the phrases they know. Eager to learn new phrases. We still deal with childlike behavior. Because, they are kids. But when I think about all they have been through this month…really, they are champs.
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We have so enjoyed stumbling upon new favorites, like this coffee shop in town.
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Or, this little waterfall.
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Leave it to the Americans to introduce Brazil to butter and sugar frosted with butter and sugar sprinkled with sugar (aka decorating Christmas cookies!!!!) 

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The boys enjoy entertaining guests inside (and outside) our home.
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We traveled to visit Andy’s parents for Christmas. They live 12 hours away from us. It was such a blessing to be with family for our first Christmas away from home. And the boys enjoyed motorcycle rides with grandpa (much to Andy’s delight and my chagrin :))

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Our New Year’s Eve tradition is a fondue party. It’s fun to look back through the years at the different people who have joined us for this tradition. This year, we were still with Andy’s parents, so they fondue’d with us as we rang in the New Year.IMAG2319
And boy, does Brazil know how to bang in a New Year! (With enough bangs to wake your sleeping kids up and think we’re in a war…)
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Just like that, a year is past.
And another one lies before us.
I hope you are finding 2014 to be one ripe with opportunity.
To seize the day. And make it count. By counting all there is to love along the way.

Feliz Ano Novo Gente!

Happy New Year, All!
I love putting up a blank calendar and all the white squares of days waiting to be filled. And this year especially, it’s ALL new. I don’t know what this year holds. Or tomorrow holds. Or really, even today.

Sometimes I start to feel hesitant to keep walking into all this new, with all its unknowns and will the scorpions get our kids? Or worse? But again and again, we see that the Good Shepherd who has led us here has also followed close behind with all His goodness and His mercy.

Surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
Psalm 23.6

Just yesterday, Jack had broken out into a flaming, itchy rash on his face. We thought it was allergy-related, but to what? SO much new here. We took him to the pharmacy, and Andy started asking the pharmacist in Portuguese what cream to use for an allergic reaction. A guy overheard, turned to me and asked (IN ENGLISH) “Has he been eating mangoes?” First, I was taken back to hear a stranger speak to me in English. And second, I was floored he knew! Mangoes are Jack’s favorite fruit, and has been devouring all we can right off the tree. This guy went on to explain when he was a kid and moved to Brazil from the U.S. (40 years ago) he broke out in a flaming rash because he would spend his days in a mango tree, peeling mangoes with his teeth and was allergic to the sap. I am always in awe when I see God orchestrate things like this. Here we are in the middle of Brazil with our son who has been spending his days in a mango tree, peeling mangoes with his teeth. The pharmacist asks if Jack has been exposed to anything new, Andy replies everything is new, and a man appears with a story exactly like our son.

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Is it not God’s goodness and mercy that followed us to that pharmacy,
and showed us exactly what we needed to know to bring our child relief? 

We can welcome in this New Year with all its unknowns knowing there is One following close behind, full of goodness and mercy. And our cups overflow.