Tag Archives: Brazil

A week in our life

Though some months have passed, we are still grateful for these dear visitors entering our world, cheering us on. THANK YOU to all who had a part in Ryan, Heather and Ava coming to visit!! Having them here was like fresh wind in our sails.

They took a bunch of photos of our “day to day.” Things we often don’t take pics of.
But, very special to capture a bit of what a “week in our life” looks like here.

Sara leading a ladies’ meeting in our home.
     
Some of the sights and flavors of Jacutinga.
 
 

 
Our campus garden that students plant, maintain, and harvest.
  
Professor André doing what he does.
And that Bible translated by some Peniel grads into a tribal language is why we do what we do.

When they asked how they could best serve our family, I was half-joking that Ryan could homeschool the boys. But he prepared an understandable and accessible explanation for creation and the fallacy of evolution, which couldn’t have been more timely– Miles had just gotten points deducted on his science test because his answer to the question “How did the world come into existence?” was “God created the world.” Thankful for others speaking truth into their lives.


For all you Princess Bride fans… “R.O.U.S.” DO exist!
(Pictured above: capivara, which is the largest rodent in the world.)



 
We got to play tourists ourselves 🙂  HOW FUN to find this waterfall 40 minutes from our house!


If she charged me for every medical question I asked her… plus all the students and staff who needed a consult… AND doing a check-up for every. single. kid at the orphanage down the road… oh man. Instead, she listened and cared and advised. SUCH a gift! 
  

We spent Saturday afternoon at the orphanage down the road– 1st time our kids have ever been. Honestly was unsure how they’d do– briefed them real quick on things NOT to say. In the end, they happily played with the kids for 4 hours and never once asked to leave. Don’t know what the future holds, but am certain we’ll be back.   

Our kids had a blast “hanging out” with Ava (Pictured above: our favorite rubber tree).
What a good sport she was– fishing with Jack and scorpion-hunting with Jude, and going to school with Miles for a day (all in portuguese).
 
  
 
(Above: the weekly fruit/vegetable “feira”– where else can you buy fresh-caught fish from the back of a truck!)

Gotta love drives through coffee country. And, #jacutingastyle traffic.
 
(Note the red berries above: coffee-picking time!)


We don’t have it all together. Spend a week with us and you will see that we have our share of struggles and loneliness and discouragement.

BUT, this country and people and ministry has become so dear to our hearts.
So, HOW GRATEFUL we are to welcome friends into our world– for them to see for themselves the beauty of this place, and to cheer us on because it’s not about us, you guys!!

Third Year {Our Normal}

Three years ago today our family of 5 packed 15 bags, and moved our life to Brazil. 1095 days ago (but we still remember it like it was yesterday). We’ve felt alot of feels in those days. But one thing we’ve never felt is alone. Because, this. Sometimes still can’t believe we’re here! AND no doubt we couldn’t be without all those journeying with us… despite the distance. We appreciate you all, more than words can say.

First year. I wrote New Normal, about the little things that have made their imprint on our thinking and our ways. 
2014-10-07 13.13.10

Second year. Some things became even More Normalas we continued to figure out what life looks like in this country.
2015-11-24 15.45.57

Third year. The longer we’re here, the more we adapt and adopt parts of this culture and that, finding what is Our Normal.
img_4768

You were expecting the ol’ Brasil cup, right?
Another one bites the dust. Literally, broke on the dusty tile floor.
But this mug… I’ve had it for 20 years! That’s longer than I’ve known my husband!!
(For a missionary, it’s pretty much a miracle to have anything that long 🙂 )
And the red lipstick?
Well….. I decided it wasn’t my thing. There are some ways I will never adapt… like red lipstick. {Even though a student offered to watch our kids so Andy and I could go on a date, then gave me her red lipstick to wear, so I could look more “gata” (cat).}

You’d think we’d be running out of things to write, wouldn’t you??
It took awhile to think what to list that hasn’t been posted before.
* Then I asked my child if he needs a tissue, and when I handed him a roll of toilet paper (not thinking anything about it), Andy looked at me and smiled. Then it started to come to me…

I don’t realize how much we’ve changed until
* I cover my baked goods with a towel rather than plastic wrap. It’s what we do in a land where “plastic wrap” melts to itself in the heat and is SO irritating to try to pull apart.
* Our favorite date activity has become driving around town, taking pictures of VW bugs; capturing not only the car, but the culture.
dsc_2739 dsc_2688
* Just take out the gnat that landed in your nightly tea and keep drinking.
img_4755 2016-10-04-13-55-30
* Our weekly fresh banana delivery!
* When you drive by the hospital and see a toucan, stop to take a selfie with a toucan!
2016-09-14-16-08-49 img_3992
* The banks in our area went on strike for a few months. Not sure how this works– the workers would sit behind locked doors and they wouldn’t stock the ATM’s (demanding a raise), but they would still set out coffee and cookies for their customers.
* It has become totally normal for people to just stop by; to drop whatever we’re doing and put on the coffee.
* We’re not surprised when there’s a pile of bugs under the Christmas tree (that were attracted to the light). In fact, we start to appreciate the phenomenon (my hubby wrote about it here).
* My grocery lists are a mess of languages – some things are just funner to say in portuguese, for example “pipoca” /pee.paw.kuh/ (popcorn).

You never realize how “MK” your kids are until
* your son goes to call his friend for his birthday and can’t remember how to sing “Happy Birthday” in english.
* OR, your child goes to school in the States for the first time in 2 years and doesn’t know his ABC’s. {He is fluent in portuguese, but somehow I forgot to teach him the ABC song.}
* MK ping-pong (2 with rackets, 1 as the net).
img_4744 img_4067
* Your son now makes his own fishing poles with bamboo he cuts down with a machete.
* And shows up at the kitchen window with critters like this.
img_4482 img_4551
* Haircut bribes look different these days: fresh coconut water.
* Pictures on their ipods look like this:
15304392_10154633497776145_2963835616213800754_o img_4513
* When a storm rolls in and doesn’t take our electric out, our kids are actually bummed! So much so that sometimes we turn off the lights and eat by candlelight anyway.
* {filling out a crossword puzzle} Jude says, “A crunchy fruit that’s red…..hmmm, all I can think of is pitanga!” {the answer was apple:)

Our kids have grown up so much these last 3 years— learned a new language, earned new freedoms, made so many memories, created their own nostalgia right here in Brazil.
* They camp on their own (even though it’s basically in our backyard, they still have seriemas trying to sneak into their tent).
dsc_2658 img_0478
* They head to the creek for an afternoon of fishing.
* We can leave them with a big bowl of popcorn and a movie while we run to town.
* Some nights we have to call them home from “hide and seek” at 11:30 so we can go to bed!
* They appreciate the humor of  things like “Star Wabs” or “Wood Box” or #ricefordays.
img_0816 img_4680
img_0492

I’ve also had a bit of growing up to do myself. This is where…
* I have come to appreciate simplicity. Many days I can’t remember when the last time I went to town was. Some weekends our only expense is going out for popsicles. And I love that.
* “Stop, it’s hammock time” (to the tune of MC Hammer) has become a daily ritual–keeps me sane.
* “I need Thee every hour” is on repeat in my mind.
* the Lord is teaching me that we can’t truly know the fullness of God until we have empty spaces for Him to fill.
* Living on a dirt road with 3 boys has stretched me uh-lot, and I am learning to be at peace, even with so. much. mud.
* The Lord has been faithful to help me stand up to the bully known as fear, over and over again. Do not be afraid…for the Lord will be your confidence” {Proverbs 3:25-26}.
img_0097 img_0311
* Peer pressure kicked in and I find myself doing things like painting my toenails.
* OR, ironing my kids’ shirts. T-shirts! (Which I used to mock, by the way, until our kids were the only ones without ironed t-shirts.)
img_4754 img_4573
* I’ve had to buy fabric… not by the yard… not by the meter… by the KILO! #notJoannfabrics

Three years. We’ve learned alot.
We came to Brazil to teach, but these dear people keep teaching us!
There are phrases they say that will forever ring in my mind, such as,
“It’s so much work to be happy!”
{Meaning– do we really need all this to be happy, or could we be truly happy without so many comforts? Hmmm…}

Don’t get me wrong. I mess up and lose perspective and need put in my place. Regularly.
We still get frustrated and discouraged by this culture.
 I could write a whole ‘nother post about things that get under my skin (like, ticks), and I can’t stand it! But. This is where we live. So, we’re gonna embrace the quirky and learn to make the most of it!

Day by day, year after year, this is my prayer– may we live fully and love deeply and shine brightly for His glory, wherever we are, even if it all sounds a little crazy. 😉

Second Year {More Normal}

Two years ago today our family of 5 packed 15 bags. After saying “good”byes that were much more hard than good, we got on a plane. Two years!! 730 days ago, but we still remember it like it was yesterday, we moved our life to Brazil. We have felt alot of things in all those days. But one thing we have never felt is alone. We have such dear people still journeying with us…despite the distance. I cannot even find words to express how much that means to us.

A year ago, I wrote New Normal, about the little things that have made their imprint on our thinking and our ways.

First year.
2014-10-07 13.13.10

Now that we’ve been here a whole ‘nother year, you can know life in Brazil has become part of our life and some things have become even “more normal.” And yet, sometimes when we stop to think about it, it all sounds a little crazy. 🙂

Second year.
2015-11-24 15.45.57

  • Red lipstick. The first time I ever wore red lipstick, it was for a costume. Our boys’ reaction: “Mom! What did you do?? Will that come off??” But here it’s “chique” (stylish). Being a missionary means learning to adapt, right? Even if it means red lipstick now and then 😉
  • The kids’ favorite thing to do after homeschool now is go fishing at the creek.
    DSC_0076
  • Our entire 1st year, they had to be accompanied by an adult, for fear of all that “could” happen. 2nd year means momma lets them walk down to the river by themselves and prays without ceasing until they come home. Then they gut their fish, fry ’em up, and savor every morsel until this is what’s left.
    2015-09-13 17.20.19
  • After their snack, it’s time for “tick check.”  Jack holds the record with finding 21 ticks on himself at one time.
  • Your child may pour himself a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast or make herself some toast. Ours…….. well, they go outside to hunt for queen ants, pop off their butts, fry them in butter and salt, and eat them. True story.
    12187959_10153636518061145_7061213936378642275_o
  • This is a totally normal sight–our town’s version of a traffic jam. 
    2015-09-16 12.46.11
  • Only took 2 years of gas prices in Brazil to think my husband having a dirt bike is a good idea. It is super economical and practical, and we’re thankful.
    {Pray for him tho? :)}
    2015-11-02 15.18.18
  • There’s enough battles to choose from that sometimes letting your kids wear a neck pillow to church doesn’t seem like a big deal. For one, we don’t get home until 10pm. For two, kids are viewed here… as kids.
    2015-08-23 20.10.05
  • We’re still learning new things, like this is what happens when you attach Bom Bril (Brazilian steel wool) to a broom handle and light it. DiY Fireworks!!
    2015-11-20 20.28.29
  • We’ve had plenty of opportunities to work on our dress-up. Here is our family in the 60’s for a Decade Night.
    2015-09-15 19.01.39-1
  • Finally figured out how to keep the ants away from our strawberries. Now if I could only outsmart the birds. 
    2015-11-09 14.12.34
  • When the electricity goes out, then the *real* entertainment begins. André {with an electrocuting tennis racket} vs. ALL the flying creatures in our home. 2015-11-04 21.31.52
  • Gas stations pump your gas for you. They also wash your windshield–which means they pour water from a watering can and scrub your windshield with a broom. It makes me laugh… every time 🙂
    2015-09-24 14.49.05
  • These two have gotten even more “jungley.” We have regular safety talks with them, because we still see countless possibilities for danger, when all they see is countless possibilities to imagine and create. 
    2015-08-29 17.15.12
  • Sometimes the grocery store doesn’t have black tea or rice flour or tortilla chips…for months at a time, so I’ve become a bit of a hoarder when they come back in stock.
    2015-11-22 11.51.41
  • How exciting are little glimpses of familiarity–KFC in Brazil!! It’s never gonna be “finger-lickin’ good,” cuz Brazilians don’t lick their fingers. But, the boys cannot wait for this “taste of home.”
    2015-09-28 18.03.47
  • 1st year, I threw out the chicken head and feet. 2nd year, I make bone broth!
    2015-10-07 13.21.40
  • Still not used to the smell of the meat market though. 
    2015-08-17 15.58.01-1
  • 1st year I took them to swim lessons and sat by the pool–unofficial lifeguard duty. 2nd year I do like every other mom and drop them off at swim classes, then run errands. Sometimes I’m not there when they get done and they have to wait on the bench out front. Go ahead and judge. I may have judged moms like me a year ago too! But now I’m just thankful for the 2 hours a week a dear lady is willing to watch my kids AND teach them how to swim!
  • Our 7 year old gets embarrassed because he’s the only one NOT wearing Speedos. “Mom! Can you please buy me some Speedos like all the other kids?” Sorry son, I just can’t. Maybe next year… 😉
  • My last haircut in Brazil left me with a rat tail. SO, I’m going on 6 months… need to get my haircut… but for now, a ponytail wins over a rattail.
  • 1st year we were f.r.e.a.k.e.d out by the novelty of finding scorpions in the house. 2nd year, we collect them and take them into town where they extract their venom to make an anti-venom.
  • Our cockatiels wake us up with their cat calls at the sunrise. I just have to smile. And believe it makes God smile as well. #madetopraise
  • 2nd year was our first trip to the local hospital. It went like this. Doctor: “What do you think he has? What type of antibiotic do you think he needs? And, do you know the dosage of that?” OH dear.
  • I do love the ways our kids are adapting. How they have been forced to be creative and make-do. We brought a bat and ball from the U.S. for them to play baseball, but they prefer an empty 2-liter and handmade yarn ball.
  • Periodically our kids will flip on light switches and exclaim “Yes! The power is STILL on!” It’s just become normal to have it go off.
  • Jude IN HIS SLEEP: “Panettone…Chocotone…” These are a few of his favorite things.
  • Jack says now he sneezes in Portuguese. Instead of “Achoo!” he sneezes “Atchim!”
  • We laugh. But, also thank God our kids have picked up the language so quickly and so well that they even talk in their sleep in Portuguese!
  • The more I try to step out of my comfort zone and communicate, the more mistakes I make. Like, the time I answered the phone (which is the hardest for me) and instead of asking “Would you like to leave a message?” I said “Would you like to borrow a sermon?” I can’t even post the most embarrassing one. Let’s just say it’s a fine line between humbling and humiliating. 😉
  • My cooking has become more Brazilian. We went from eating rice and beans once a week to eating rice and beans atleast 4 times a week. Two years ago, I had no idea how to make passion fruit juice or jabuticaba jam or carrot cake w/ chocolate frosting or chicken stroganoff or manioc fries. Now they’re some of our faves.
  • Students love to share their “finds” with our boys–whether it be a tiny bat or a huge tarantula, a scorpion or a snake–our boys feel so special and add them to their collection.
  • The first time I wrote Lawry’s seasoned salt and Ranch dressing packets at the top of my “Wish List” when asked what we would like from the States, I had to chuckle. The longer we’re here, the more “missionary” my wish list looks.
  • We are still called “German.” Our kids are still called “Little German.”
  • People still ask where I’m from and make a big deal when I say the United States. {They don’t ask André–to them, he’s a Brazilian who married an American.} Then they’ll yell out “She’s from the US!” Still not sure what I’m supposed to do… Duck and run? Smile and wave? Who knows.
  • When my mom asked Miles what he wants for Christmas, his reply: “You know those ads you get for the day after Thanksgiving? {We’re all thinking he has his eye on something in the ad, but no.} Well, could you send me the ads?” He wants the AD!!!!!
  • Jack was reminiscing about soccer camp in the States. He told me about one morning he woke up before all the other kids to take a shower just for the fun of it. His face lit up and he said, “Mom! You could change the temperature of the water there!!” I love that his “normal” has become not to be able to.
  • An actual conversation with my 6 year old in the grocery store:
    Me: “Jude, remind me to get Catupiry.”
    Jude: “Oh mom. Your accent is so cute…Catupiry.” (He says absolutely perfect–NO accent.)
  • Taking a 2nd year prayer card picture means you set up an ironing board in the field next to your house and put your camera on top; set the timer and hope everyone’s smiling 🙂 DSC_0184

Two years. We’ve gotten used to alot.
Now and then, our shower goes cold. I just consider it a lymphatic cleanse.
Sometimes our electric goes off. We have come to enjoy a surprise candlelit dinner.

BUT. I don’t know that we’ll every get used to being so very far away from loved ones. The homesick doesn’t go away, it only goes deeper. Sometimes it surfaces when we least expect it. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, and I have to remind myself why we’re here.

When I consider how fleeting is this life, my convictions grow even stronger. I don’t think we were put on this earth to chase after our comforts. When all I want is familiar, I have to remind myself Jesus’ final words weren’t challenging His followers to live near people who think and act and talk the most like us.

Then Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I never anticipated making disciples of all nations would involve so many ticks or mushrooms growing in my shower. But this is where the Lord has placed us. We’re gonna embrace the quirky and we’re gonna learn to make the most of it! We’ll probably mess up, like we do. We may lose perspective, like we do. But. Year after year, we’re gonna resolve to live fully and love deeply and shine brightly for His glory… wherever we are… even if it all sounds a little crazy. 😉

New Normal

A year ago today our family of 5 packed 15 bags. After saying ‘good’ byes that were much more hard than good, we got on a plane. And moved our life to Brazil. 365 days ago, but we still remember it like it was yesterday. We have felt alot of things this last year. But one thing we have never felt is alone. We have such dear people still journeying with us…despite the miles. I cannot even find words to express how much that means to us.
But this post isn’t about that.
2014-10-07 13.13.10
It’s about those little things that are for sure making their imprint on our thinking and our ways. And yet, sometimes when we stop to think about it, it all sounds a little crazy. Some students working on our house were talking about our boys. One of them lived awhile in the US and said “those kids look American, but that’s not how kids are in America.” Somehow things that used to be “so foreign” have become our “new normal.” I guess we are just aware that we certainly may be becoming “that” family 🙂

*After homeschool, our kids spend their days mining for rocks, searching for bugs, building Viking homes in our front yard from large crates, inventing traps for various critters [such as a teiú], and playing soccer, obviously.
2014-08-27 16.57.18
[the boys’ VIking house]
2014-10-29 12.08.32
[I forget what they were up to here. But, they were very determined to do it themselves.]
*I shake out my apron for spiders before putting it on.
*It still seems ironic to check my slippers for scorpions before slipping my feet into them.
*There are lizards living in every room of our house, which is really great because they eat the bugs. So we leave them.
*I even left a nasty large spider on our kitchen window for awhile because we were allies in the war against flies.
*Our boys have been known to catch a certain type of ants. My husband has been known to fry them up and serve them to guests. We have found that some people have lived here their whole life and never eaten ants. Can you even believe it? 🙂
2014-11-09 18.16.14
*My hairdryer is used to “fire up the grill”…which is a metal rack set on concrete blocks over charcoal.
*As a result…when I blowdry my hair, it smells like churrasco [brasilian barbecue].
*It’s very natural to hear “Mom, there’s a cow in our front yard.” It’s all fun and games until we realize it has eaten our landscaping.
*Oh, those beautiful rose bushes I was so excited to plant…only to find every rose. petal. leaf. stripped bare and hauled away by cutter ants. Overnight.
*I really do like how much more in tune we are with nature here.
*When the sun’s up, you’re up. Along with all the roosters crowing.
*When it’s hot outside, it’s hot inside. When it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside.
*We have a small wood-burner for when it gets too cold, like 50’s…which is freezing!
*We heat our house from the wood the boys gather in the cow pasture beside our house.
*Now and then, we take our kids out for coffee. We sit at a separate table and pretend like we’re on a date. While they make up games, like tic-tac-toe with stir sticks and straw wrappers.
2014-10-10 15.37.31
*Dr. appointments mean kids wait in the waiting room. The receptionists are totally happy to keep an eye on them. And I tell our kids to scream really loud if they feel in danger. And hope we’ll hear.
*It is completely normal for stores to give you candy if they don’t have exact change. I could hardly believe it the first time my husband returned from the store with a handful of candy. When I asked what it was, he said “change.” Now it just makes me smile 🙂
*Jack still wears his baseball cap to town now and then to hide his blonde hair.
*Because we are the only natural blondes in town.
*We’re called german a lot. The other day I was asked if I was german or the daughter of a german. When I said I’m american, he goes “American?! Why did you come here? We’re all trying to go there!”
*It seems more natural to sing Mighty to Save in portuguese now.
*Jude called his friend on his birthday, started singing to him, and after he sang “Happy birthday to you” he says “Ugh, I don’t remember how it goes,” then proceeds to sing the song in portuguese.2014-09-20 16.45.49

*Our kids switch all the time from English to Portuguese. They walk in the door after playing from friends and just keep speaking in Portuguese. The great thing is they don’t even notice.
*Showers end with needing to mop the bathroom floor. Because gone are the days when water flows toward the drain.
*Drinking coconut water means André gets the machete and opens up a green coconut for me.
*Oh yeah, and my husband went from Andy to André, because Andy is a foreign name here, so it’s just easier.
*People assume he’s Brazilian because of his Portuguese. But then they’re confused why he’s with us foreigners, until he tells them he married an American.
*He also mows our entire lawn with a weedwacker. Not a lawnmower in sight. He’s pretty much the man.
2014-11-03 13.04.18
*Our big meal is at lunch. That’s just what they do here, and we actually like it much better! For one, our kids aren’t hungry and snacking all afternoon because they only had a sandwich for lunch. Also, we eat dinner much later than we used to (anywhere from 7.30-8.30), so it’s easy to just have the kids make their own sandwich for dinner. If we’re being really fancy, we use the cheapest plastic plates you can imagine so I don’t have to do dishes.
*Because I now have 2 dishwashers…called my own hands.
*Boys eat with a fork and knife now and drink cafezinho after their meals. It’s pretty cute.
*We have no scheduling conflicts…I mean, what’s a schedule? There are no daytimers. But if someone drops by, invite them in and make coffee.
*Greetings and goodbyes are very important. When someone arrives, it is natural for them to go around the room and shake everyone’s hand. And when someone leaves, you walk them outside.
*After my first haircut at a salon here, André patted the guy’s belly and I kissed the attendant on the cheek. Because that’s what they did to us.
2014-11-12 13.31.32
*We go everywhere with our kids. No more of this “dropping them off at school.” This is still an adjustment. But, one that I believe one day we will miss.
*Kids bring me avocados they picked from the tree…and bananas and lemons and oranges and mangoes and guavas and starfruit….
*Fresh coffee means it was grown, picked, roasted, and brewed within 5 miles.
*FitBit means if our pants still fit, we’re fine.
*GPS is generally helpful, as in it points us in the general direction and sometimes looks like our car is off-roading.
*The only Krispy Kreme doughnut we eat are the ones we make…or Papa John’s pizza [aka Momma John’s].
*When I asked for the whole chicken, I really didn’t mean the whole chicken. But it was delicious!
2014-10-13 09.05.22
*Who knew I’d love the vegetable market so much. I still get so excited at all the fresh produce we get for under $20!
*Plus, the fact that one stand has these signs on their produce “
de 2.99 por 3.00,” which means “from 2.99 for 3.00,” which means it went up a penny ON SALE! The first time we saw this, we were laughing and said “That’s not a sale!” They just smiled and said “We know.” But it’s still there. This week, they even had “Black Friday” written above their “sales-which-are-not-sales.” They were yelling “Sexta Negra Promoção!” But still. Nothing was on sale! It’s a comedy show, truly.
*Home church means kids choose songs, husband leads worship, and Matt Chandler preaches (via internet).
*For André, work means study Bible, teach Bible, grade papers, play soccer, meet with students and staff, drink cafezinho, repeat.
*Also, we live on campus. Which means, students call (or stop by) anytime. In true college-student nature, 10 pm is the perfect time to ask questions about the next day’s homework.
*The volume by which anything is done here is something else. From playing Bingo to Dutch Blitz to White Elephant to soccer…Brazilians know how to make anything loud…and hilarious!
2014-10-20 20.37.19
*”We have worms” isn’t just what you say to go fishing, but also when you’re at the pharmacy getting a medication.
*We see more toucans flying on a trip to the zoo than we see at the zoo.
*The best place to buy pão de queijo dough is from a barber in town. He also sells hats and 3 jackets.
*Most stores don’t have air conditioning. So while I’m grocery shopping among Christmas trees and decorations, I’m also sweating and thinking what type of popsicle to get when we’re done.
*On one side of Santa is his sleigh. On the other side, his air conditioner.
2014-12-01 17.33.19
*The only ones we’ve seen sporting dreads are the gypsies who live down the road. I’m gonna guess it’s not for fashion.
*A “dryer” means we drape the still-damp clothes around the room and turn on the ceiling fan. Until…
*My dear husband bought me a dryer!! [After surviving 8 months without one:)] When he went to the hardware store in town and asked for a part for the dryer, they looked at him like he was crazy. “Wait,” the guy says, “you’re saying there’s a machine that dries clothes?!” All the guys in the hardware store had never heard of a dryer.
*Driving in Brazil has done wonders for my prayer life. “Jesus, take the wheel.” And that’s all I have to say about that. 🙂
*I made my first pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The ladies asked me if I could find the type of pumpkin we use in the States, I said “not really, pumpkin there comes in a can.”
*Our Thanksgiving dinner this year was a picnic, featuring turkey (sandwiches) and potato (chips). And we couldn’t have been more thankful.

The list goes on…
But we’ve probably shared too much already. Maybe I should’ve stopped before the “eating ants” 🙂

When we arrived a year ago, I walked in the door of the guest house and burst into tears. The “new” was overwhelming. Well, much of that seems “normal” now. We still miss our family and friends as much as the day we left. Homesickness doesn’t get easier–only deeper. How we long for sweet reunions!
And yet. If we only focus on what we miss, we miss out on all there is here to love! Anyone ever planted succulents? My mother-in-law gave me some petals that had been torn from her succulent plants. She told me just to scatter them on the soil and they would grow. (Sorry Becky, but) I doubted they would ever turn into anything. Oh, me of little faith. Each of those petals has become a beautiful bloom, which continues to grow and multiply and spread and I just can’t look at them without marveling at how God uses the simple to remind us of the profound.
Just scatter them on the soil and they will grow. And multiply. And spread. And bloom!
2014-10-21 13.40.24
Bloom where you’re planted, baby. That is what we want…
Even if it all sounds a little crazy.