Friday, June 26, 2009

The McClures!

Jackson is all tuckered out.


This week we've been blessed to have our friends, the McClures, with us. We worked with Basil back in the day at Mayfair, in Oklahoma City, and he was our college minister before that. Basil and Rachel were missionaries in Brasilia so every few years they bring back their boys, Matthew and Joshua, to see where they're from.

We had a great week, though it just flew by! Yesterday was definitely the best day. We took them up to Praia do Forte, where we enjoyed the beach and tidal pools and, of course, the sea turtles. It was Jackson's first time to really get to enjoy Projeto Tamar (he was asleep last time). He loved it.



But if Jackson could talk (in complete sentences), he would tell you that his favorite part of the McClures' visit was Matt and Josh. They were his new best buddies, and he loved having "big boys" around to climb on and play Wii with him. It was fun to watch Matt and Josh, who we've known since they were little guys, take care of our little guy. (I still can't believe they're 15!)

It was amazing to spend the week with such special friends. As I write, they're packing up their bags to head to the airport.

But we won't have much time to miss them! Tomorrow morning we're headed BACK to the airport to pick up Dan and Becky Rogers, from Eastern Hills Church of Christ in Athens, TX (our sponsoring church). We're thrilled they'll be staying with us for the next few days!

Hotel Quirey is open for the summer!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Babies, Babies (NOT MINE!!!)

This afternoon we're headed to meet our new teammate, Paisley Diana Mabery, who was born yesterday morning. We're so excited for Matt and Mary Virginia and new big sis' Aubry!

In the meantime, I got these new pictures of my ADORABLE niece, Tessa, who I seriously want to devour.

I can't believe I'm going to have to wait until DECEMBER to see her! By then she'll practically be in college!

Here she is with her daddy:

Ack! I can't take it!

Though it's not quite enough for me to want another one of my own yet!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Tonight I am thankful for:

* A wonderful trip to a (different) grocery store today, where I discovered lychee drink, pecan chocolate chunk cookies and chocolate croissants.
* The mountain of tortillas that Russ and Randy spent the evening making. They're for a fajita night we're having next week with the McClures.
* Jackson.
* Our WiFi is finally set up in our apartment. (Thanks, Randy!)
* Russ.
* Time with good friends talking about things that matter and things that don't.
* Pizza Hut Super Supreme Pizza. Sometimes it's worth the splurge.
* Pizza Hut Mozzarella Pizza. See above.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Showing Off

Here's a little video of Jackson being his adorable self.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Most Days

Most days I can pretend I live There. I go to the mall and eat at Burger King. I open my cupboard and find muffin mix, Girl Scout cookies and all kinds of other treats. I sit in my air-conditioned apartment and watch a movie. Our car is relatively big and it's filled with normal kid stuff--car seat, stroller, sippy cups.

But some days, like today, I go to the grocery store and remember that I'm Here. There's no regular flour, only self-rising. There aren't any hot dogs. The diapers that we've been trying to find for a week still aren't in stock (and are not to be found in any grocery store around) and we have to settle for another brand. All the shelves have been rearranged; no one would necessarily notice several items missing. But I notice. With the shelves rearranged, you're never quite sure if the missing item(s) are ever coming back.

And I think, This would just never happen There.

I'm not There, I'm Here. And I'm happy to be Here.

And I know that in the long run, these are tiny sacrifices--there are people all over the world experiencing real suffering.

But some days, like today, I feel a little sorry for myself.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Tonight we had a really fun LST party. The theme was "camp" and we started by roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.

Usually Brazilians eat hot dogs cooked on the stove and covered in all sorts of interesting toppings (mayo, parmesan cheese, corn, peas, etc) so this was a little unusual for them. But they adapted well.

We used a grill that is made from the drum of a washing machine and umbrella guts as our roasting sticks. It was quite a sight. There were lots of people all dressed up headed to the restaurant up the street. It was certainly some interesting church advertising!

Then we went inside for some silly games and fun. The pinatas were a big hit. The Sunday school kids made them to help out LST. It's awesome that the kids are already learning how to help support other areas of the church.

Finally, no camp experience would be complete without singing. Here is Justin leading a song I know very well from my camp days:

Tonight's party was a lot of fun and was well-attended. I'm sad that there's only one party left! Things always seem a little dull after LST leaves!

(This post was by Val. I don't know why it says this is Russ.)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Slices of Life

I'll try to catch you up on the past couple of weeks and let you see what life is like these pictures!

Here was a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago. Here was the sight at the front of the room:

In my defense, Jackson had slept in and only woke up as we were getting in the car. And in Jenn's defense, little boys in shorts and boots are the cutest thing ever.

But let me call your attention to something else in the picture:

It's Jackson's latest fixation: microphones. He will walk to the front during any event and try to get the mike. Sometimes, if I'm teaching English or whatever, I'll let him hold it for me or even talk into it. I might just be encouraging it.

We had a small groups party that evening. We had an international-themed potluck, which consisted mostly of American food that we missionaries had made. Then we had a time of worship.

But that's not the most accurate picture. This is more like it:

You may be starting to notice a theme here--Jackson is quite a character.

Here's his "please-oh-please?" face:

Seriously, who could resist?

And if, somehow, I manage to say no, this face appears.

And then it breaks my heart and I give in anyway. Which is probably how I ended up with a kid that loves chips and salsa.

We've been having LST parties every week. Two weeks ago the theme was "birthday party" and we did typical birthday party things.

Like act like big dorks. But I'm not dissing Randy. I played this game too and won a box of yummy Canadian chocolate.

Jackson, of course, did his own thing.

Last Monday we took the LST "kids" (seriously--they get younger every year!) to the beach. Jackson had a great day--we finally found something that can wear him out.

Well, it didn't really last long. He was just resting, it turns out, because before long, he said "Bye!" and took off.

And he still had energy to play in the sand.

Last week's LST party was all about card games:

Russ made his own fun.

I guess I know where Jackson gets it from!

That brings us to this past Friday night. Yesterday at church we had a baby shower for Mary Virginia and their due-any-second-now-but-hopefully-won't-show-up-for-another-week baby, Paisley, and then we went out for lunch with Heather's parents for Heather's birthday. But, alas, I discovered my camera battery was dead the first time I tried to take a picture yesterday.

And I forgot to mention that Saturday night our small group finally resumed meeting. They're such a blessing to us and I want all of you to be praying for our friend, Genivalda, who is so close to becoming a Christian. Pray that God will remove whatever is holding her back from entering a full relationship with Him.

So that's what we've been up to! Our life seems to be a lot of big days followed by recovery days. Thankfully we have been blessed with a child who can handle our crazy life!