Thursday, November 29, 2007

We had a great albeit short visit with the Quireys. We were also able to put to rest any fears that our son wouldn't have anything to wear when he showed up--the Blackwell gang had a shower for us a couple of weeks ago and sent the Quireys off with FULL suitcases.

This week is almost over and I really need it to have a couple more days. The English class Christmas party is this Sunday and I have a lot of baking to do before then. There are so many yummy treats that I'd love to share with my students. Russ and I are definitely looking forward to having our summer break from English class. We absolutely love teaching it but it gets tiring and we'll definitely enjoy the extra flexibility in our schedules for the next little while.

I promise I'm going to post about the women's conference soon. Actually, I wrote a long post about it and it got messed up when I tried to publish it. I was so frustrated I had to walk away for a while.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Why haven't I posted for a few days? Well, let's see...

First there was this:

and the days of recovery that followed.

Then, we were hours away from the Quireys' arrival when a visa snafu delayed their plans. Rather than lose the money we had already paid and since there was nothing that could be done on our end, we waited here:

for a couple of days.

On Wednesday morning, we stopped at the airpot on our way back from the beach and picked them up. So yesterday, we got to enjoy this:

with our family and teammates.

(I promise a real post about everything soon.)
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

I got the post up first!

Val is deservedly resting her feet after an incredible 48 hours of work, ending with a successful womens city-wide converence hosted by none other than the ICOS church. There were close to 200 participants and their children; we cooked for them, kept them cool, and cleaned up after the day was over. It was by far the best event that I have been involved with (all I did was run errands and play red rover with kids). There were little ones and teens laughing, moms and grandmas praying and many people singing and learning how to be leaders in their neighborhoods. Pray that we both will recover before family arrives on Saturday. I have an amazing woman, and soon we will have an amazing baby to share my life with because of her! And now I am finished...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Friday Shall Be the New Day of Rest

Tomorrow is our areawide women's conference. Most of my waking hours for the past couple of weeks have been dedicated to it. I'm really excited about it, though. We're expecting about two hundred women. Today we took VerĂ´nica shopping for the food(oh the blessing/curse of owning a car!). She (and several dear sweet sisters) are making Bahian food for everyone. This involved getting up at 6:00 this morning to go to the big food market downtown. It was an incredible amount of food. Scratch that--it was a believable amount of food for the number of people. The unbelievable part was the amount of okra we bought. Yes, my southern friends, we eat okra here. It's a part of a couple of traditional dishes. But Brazilian okra puts yours to shame: it's about eight inches long. And we bought TWO THOUSAND okra. (Okras? Okri?)

As I write, the last of my handouts are printing. My lessons are done, the "to bring" piles are huge, and the "to do" list has shrunk. There is no more "to do"--at this point it's either done or it's not going to happen. I know there will be bumps tomorrow--things people think weren't done adequately, things people think are missing, things that really are missing due to my baby brain--but it should be a great day. And at this time tomorrow night I will be back home, in my little bed, resting up for my in-laws visit. (Truthfully, I will be resting up so I can CLEAN for my in-laws visit!)

Please pray for our conference tomorrow. Pray that the words we speak will be understood and will make an impact on the hearers. Pray that we can keep our stress levels to a minimum and sit back and enjoy the day (I'm not kidding about the sitting part--I've discovered that pregnant Val doesn't do well if she's on her feet all day!). Pray that this event brings sisters from all the other congregations closer together. Pray that I can keep that goal in my mind--it's really the point of the whole thing, but it's easy to get distracted by all the details.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Great Catch

Last week on our retreat we all decided to go down to the beach. The guys' plans for bodyboarding were put on hold because the locals were out fishing. We all watched while they put out the net and then Russ and Randy helped bring it and the fish in. It made us think of all the fishermen in the Bible and we wondered how much (or little) fishing had changed since Jesus' time.


It was so interesting that I stayed out waaaay longer than I planned to and ended up with horribly sunburned feet. But it was definitely worth it!
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Thursday, November 08, 2007


The Fam, originally uploaded by russandval.

We spent the first half of this week on a team retreat. We've had the retreat at the same house for three years running. It's about 45 minutes out of town in a nice beach town. The beach is one of my favorites and the weather is always perfect.

This year was quite different than years past. There were much fewer of us--no Parkers, of course, and the Sasses are on furlough--so it was just us, the Maberys and the Porters. We were all in desperate need of some R & R.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay out there forever and yesterday afternoon Russ and I came back into town so we could make it to English class and today we resumed our normal frantic schedule. The women's conference is only a week away so it consumes a great deal of my time. Once it's done I'll have two days to get my house ready for the Quireys' arrival.

But then, we're headed back to the beach for a couple of days of family time. I'm already counting down!

p.s. We took Samson with us so he could spend a couple of days "being a dog"--barking at anything that moves, running around outside and wrestling with Nalah, the Maberys' dog. I don't think he's forgiven us for bringing him home.