Friday, May 29, 2009

Didn't She Ramble

I know as I'm sitting down to write that my time is short; Jackson has been napping for a while and he always seems to wake up when I start to write.

For the most part, life has been normal. We've had some sunny days this week and have actually found a mason to take care of the church roof. LST is going strong; though the rain has been interfering with people actually showing up. Tonight is their second party and the weather looks good so hopefully we'll have a good turnout.

I'm in one of those modes where I've got about eight million things on my mind and on my plate and I spent my time jumping from thing to thing, seemingly never actually accomplishing anything. Today my excuse is that I'm tired because we had to get up early and take Jackson for some bloodwork, but I did the same thing yesterday so that excuse won't really hold up.

And this post is ending up way too stream of consciousness for my taste but I feel like I've been a slacker when it comes to blogging and I'm trying to atone.

My mind is, among other places, in the U.S. right now, with our teammate Matt, who lost his brother this week, and with my cousins, who lost their mom. I keep looking for words for them and keep coming up short. I have spent a great deal of time in prayer for them, knowing that it's the one time when I don't have to worry about the words. Thank God for His Spirit who communicates what we're unable to.

(That last sentence took me two hours to write because, as predicted, the little guy woke up from his nap!)

June will be an interesting month. The team has lots of visitors coming--Matt and Mary Virginia's parents (the baby will also be showing up in June!), Heather's parents, our dear friends the McClures and one of the ministers from Eastern Hills and his wife (also good friends!). I think there's a few other people showing up, too! Add to that the ongoing LST campaign, our big June holiday of São João and a new term of English class starting and you can see what a big month we've got!

I don't really have anything else to say, so I'll go for my default closing--a picture of Jackson!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The New Hood

It'll probably take me a couple more weeks until I have some decent pictures of the new apartment. We're relatively settled but we still have a lot of hanging to do (pictures, shelves, etc.) and that's all the stuff that really makes it look and feel like home. So while you wait, here are some pictures I took from our balcony.

Here's what you see when you look left:

I left this picture kind of dark so you could appreciate the sunset. If it were lighter, I would point out the following things in the foreground:
-on the left is a clube that we hope to join soon. They have pools for swimming lessons, tennis courts and lots of other great places to work out. It's a private club
-next to that is a Volkswagen dealership. This will come in really handy when we win the lottery and want to buy some new cars.
-beside that, on the far right, is a big grocery store. It takes Jackson and me all of three minutes to walk over there.

When you look directly down and to the left, you see this:

It's kind of a crazy intersection but it's all one-way streets so it's not really too bad.

There's a magazine stand where people tend to gather.

We see this guy every afternoon.

He's a recycler--he digs through the trash and pulls out recyclables and turns them in for money. It's a tough but honest way to make a living. This guy is awesome because he is very conscientious with the trash. He goes through it all carefully and puts it all back when he's done. Not all recyclers are so kind--often they leave the trash strewn on the sidewalks.

Here's the view to the right:

On the next corner there is a little strip mall called Babel. There's a place to have açaí (AKA the Brazilian super duper miracle fruit, or whatever they're calling it these days!), a salon, a copy shop, a pizza place and a little ice cream store that has been closed for the past couple of days (we're a little worried!).

Finally, this is what you see when you look straight down:

Nothing too exciting. That's the drive in to our apartment, the front gate and our pool. Jackson and I haven't had a chance to try the pool out yet since it's been so cool and rainy but we're looking forward to the summer months!

We love our new neighborhood!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I used to think that the "joys of parenting" consisted the mere fact of having a child. I'm learning that there's so much more to it than that.

Sometimes the joys of parenting are seeing your little guy back to his old self after being sick, when he finally feels like playing again, when he laughs and smiles and actually wants to eat for the first time in several days.

That is joy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cold and Flu Season

"Winter" has arrived. I say winter in quotes because, with lows in the 70s, this is certainly nothing I would have previously categorized as winter. But it's cool and damp and even a jaded Canadian like myself uses this opportunity to pull out what I normally think of as "furlough clothes": lightweight long-sleeved sweaters, layered t-shirts, slightly thicker dress pants. (It has to be pretty cold for me to actually don socks; even if it were, I don't really have shoes that you can wear with socks!) The locals, for the most part, find this weather incredibly cold, as would you if 65 were the coldest you had ever experienced in your life.

With winter comes cold and flu season. All the little kids are sniffling/sneezing/hacking up a lung and some of their parents are, too. Such would be the case with JT and me. We've spent the past couple of days cooped up at home, watching the same couple of Backyardigans/Hi5 dvds over and over and OVER again. (Confession: we did escape for a couple of hours yesterday so I could go out to lunch for Mother's Day.) And my supply of stickers is greatly depleted because they're one of the few things I can count on to help Grumpy McGrumperton's mood.

He seemed to be feeling better yesterday but early this morning he seemed to be worse. Now he seems to be doing better; he just has that annoying cough. I, on the other hand, am definitely feeling worse but my mommy is 6,000 miles away so I guess I'm just going to have to buck up.

Tomorrow our LST team arrives and I just found out that one of the guys is from Winnipeg. It's kind of funny, though, because I remember him best as not much old than Jackson. Hopefully Jackson and I will be better soon so we can partake in all the LST fun!

Friday, May 08, 2009


It's cold and rainy, Jackson's sick and we're exhausted after a long week of "team therapy" (a tune-up week with Jerry and Gail Heiderich). The incredibly heavy rain is causing all sorts of problems around town, including mudslides and roof collapses. Though our apartment is high and dry, we're struggling to keep the church building from being completely inundated with rainwater. Our roof seems to have decided that it's done and is no longer accepting patch jobs. But it's virtually impossible to do anything about that until the rain lets up for a few days, not to mention the fact that every mason in town is working overtime fixing everyone else's roofs!

I'm still trying to catch up on last month's posts. Here are some pictures from Easter:

Jackson dressed up for church

Egg decorating party at the Maberys'

Jackson and Val decorating eggs

The kids following their egg hunt:
Aubry, Jackson, Ceara and Calen

(We called it the first ever "Naked Egg Hunt" because we had stripped the kids down to dye eggs and never bothered to dress them up again.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Anniversary Service

I'm making up for lost time here!

On April 5, we had our third anniversary service. We had about 100 people join us for worship and a few more show up for lunch. (Isn't that a nice problem to have? I know lots of churches that are constantly trying to figure out how to get MORE people to stay for lunch!)

Here are some glimpses of the day:
Potluck Lunch (heavy on the beans and rice)

Some of our gorgeous girls!

The ICOS Family


We're back from our trip to Maceió. When I was growing up, my family went to church gatherings in exciting places like Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Carman, Manitoba. Jackson is enjoying a different experience.

There were close to 200 of our brothers and sisters from all over the northeast (and a few brave souls from the south).
Twelve of us from ICOS made the trek, which we had been told was eight hours and ended up taking fourteen. It was a tight squeeze in the car but we were happy for the chance to have some more time with some of our church family.
We stayed at a camp right on the coast that was just gorgeous!

It rained most of the weekend, so that meant I was stuck carrying JT around but even the gloomy weather couldn't keep us from having a great time! We met lots of new people and had a chance to see some friends that live far away. JT made more friends than any of us!

I called this post "Back" for two reasons--1. We're back from our weekend away and 2. WE'RE BACK ONLINE!!! Our internet connection is up and running and is going at an amazing speed! I am so thankful to be once again connected with the rest of the world!