Monday, August 31, 2009

This morning Jackson and I walked to the mall, a good 25 minute walk. It's not a particularly hot day but it's cloudy so it's just kind of steamy. When we got to the mall I let him out of the stroller to walk around a bit. He ran to a TV display in an electronics store. We stood watching for a minute. As I was standing there, I started experiencing a delayed sweat. I often don't sweat while I'm outside but instead once I get into the cool again my face starts sweating buckets. And that's what I was doing, in the middle of the mall. All of a sudden a Skate Canada commercial came on the TVs we were watching. It was the weirdest thing--sweating profusely while watching figure skating!

(Sorry for all of you who are disillusioned by my admission that I do, on occasion, sweat. I promise most of the time I just "glisten", as a proper lady should. But when you live in Brazil, sometimes you just can't help it!)

Yesterday was a bit of a break for me since we didn't have English class. It was, however, our monthly ladies' lunch and class. This month we had two of our members, Veronica and Jaciara teach, which would have been awesome except that Veronica is my number one lunch maker. I decided to make lunch this week to help her out. In the process of cutting up tomatoes for the beans, I sliced my finger open and now I have a bandaid on the tip of my finger which greatly interferes with my typing skills. I'm using my backspace key a lot today! Anyway, they did a wonderful job teaching--they were both really nervous--and it was one of those classes where everyone ends up crying, which for a ladies' class is usually a good sign!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Sermon Done

It was a slow start to worship service today, because a 10-K race turned around RIGHT IN FRONT of our building, so all the buses were locked in traffic until well after our normal start time. Still, there were over 2,000 race participants which was impressive.

I got to preach about service today; it went well. A sweet sister said it was the first message from me that she could completely understand! Happy language learning, i guess.

Finally- my son was in my arms when I dropped a juice box and it splattered across the white tile floor. Unprompted, he looked at the mess and said "dang." Way to go Okie! Maybe I should watch my mouth....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

1. Jackson has been sick this week. Nothing serious, just a fever. The only way to keep him from running around the house is to plunk him in front of the TV. So it's been a couple days of Blue, Dora and the Backyardigans for us. Good times. He's feeling much better today. No TV!

2. The team weight loss competition is going well. Everyone has noticeably lost weight. Sadly, Russ and I have yet to place in the weekly top three losers but I'm glad to rejoice with those that do.

3. Speaking of that, this week I made this soup and I am madly in love. The flavors were really balanced and the pumpkin gave it a really smooth texture.

Since we can buy very little canned stuff here (a blessing, really!), I used dried black beans, homemade pumpkin puree, fresh diced tomatoes and homemade chicken stock. Maybe the recipe would have tasted different with all canned stuff.

4. We recently bought our tickets to go "home" for Christmas, except we're not going to Winnipeg. I'm only a little sad about that, because instead of freezing up in Canada, we're going to meet most of my family in Southern California to celebrate Dave's wedding. Not bad at all! Then we'll do a week with Russ' family in Oklahoma, with a day or two in Texas thrown in. It'll be a lot of travel for just two weeks but I can't wait!

I do have to say, though, that this trip is 95% about family. While we'd love to see all of our peeps, we want to focus on our families. We will, however, be taking a furlough a few months later and will be happy to visit with you then!

5. Sunday was the last English class of our ten-week course. We handed out about 30 certificates to people who had 80% or better attendance. Now we get a couple of weeks off and we'll start again!

6. The weekly English Bible study I attend started up again this week and I'm glad. I've really missed it. I've decided Jackson is too big to bring with me anymore, so figuring out what to do with him is a bit of a challenge. Too bad his grandmas don't live closer!

7. We went to the zoo last week. I've been meaning to do a separate post about it but just haven't gotten around to it so here's a few pictures:

(They're growling at a panther.)

The zoo was certainly the smallest I've ever been to and the habitats were certainly not very elaborate but it was free and Jackson loved it so I have a feeling we'll be going back often. And it is a BRUTAL walk (built into a huge hill) so it's awesome exercise, too (especially when pushing a stroller and wearing a backpack, not to mention carrying a toddler).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pictures from Team Retreat

Okay, I promised pictures from our team retreat WEEKS ago, so here you go:

As usual, we played a lot of cards. Jackson is already learning some mad cribbage skills. He's not very good at Rook yet since we usually played after the kids were all in bed. Oh, and we also played a ton of Ticket to Ride.

The beach, the beach, the beach!

This is Joelia and Nadir. I love them. They were our babysitters for the retreat and having them made such a difference. They went for a walk with Kelton and they found the Hugest Coconut Ever. But the coconut water from a fruit like that isn't very tasty. You want a little one that will be nice and sweet. But it was crazy to see!

Joelia and Nadir were amazing with the kids and gave us a chance to catch our breath.

With this many kids around, we tended to eat in shifts. Here's Jackson and Samuel. You can see the different in their personalities here!

As the kids get bigger, we're starting some new traditions. We had a team talent show (I'm going to spare us all the embarrassment of posting pictures of the actual "talents"). Kelton was our excellent MC.

And we followed up the talent show with a game of Ring Around the Rosie.

Finally, I think the kids' favorite time was when we got out the parachute. (Okay, maybe the grownups enjoyed it a little, too!)

Friday, August 07, 2009

7 Quick Takes

A blog I enjoy reading has a regular Friday activity: Just post seven short items, they don't have to be connected at all. I feel the call to blog but don't have anything major to say, so I thought it would be a good day to try it. Here we go!

1. The chicken fajitas were pretty good. The cilantro-lime coleslaw was AMAZING. Even Russ loved it, and he's not a coleslaw eater. The rest of the week's menu ended up less than exciting though I did make beans in a pressure cooker for the first time and was quite pleased with the result. (We are going to have to get our stove fixed before I can use the pressure cooker again. The heat is just too high.) So many of our meals were centered around the beans I made. We had fajita "bowls", then I refried the leftovers so we could have them for another meal.

2. Next week we're spending the week with Jerry and Lynn Jones. They're going to present their marriage seminar to us and then help us learn how to teach it. It's an amazing opportunity and something that can potentially become a great way to help families here in Salvador.

3. Yesterday I was incredibly frustrated when someone I've been trying to do business with essentially flaked out on me. It was a major disappointment because it's to do with something really big. At times like this, it's hard to keep from getting angry and doing or saying things I will later regret. The world tells us that we have every right to be mad and vent. But I've got to keep a cool head and just move on.

4. Jackson has a major Cheerio addiction right now. He calls them "rice", which is a little confusing, because he also calls rice "rice". I don't know why he started doing that. I keep the Cheerios in a big glass jar that used to have rice in it and in fact says "RICE" in big letters on the side. So it was a little weird when he started doing it but I am under no illusions that he's taught himself to read at 17 months.

5. Speaking of Jackson and his vocabulary, watching him develop is awe-inspiring. Yesterday's word of the day was "baseball". It's now what he calls the Wii when he wants to play. He watched Kelton and some of the daddies playing in real life on our team retreat and now the video game seems too make more sense to him. He used to just swing indiscriminately but now he waits for the pitch and then swings. Yes, this generation is differrent.

6. I am really struggling to keep my church work part time. The challenge for me is that much of my work is done on the computer so it's always available for me to work on. When Jackson and I are home, it's tempting to sit and work while he plays (or watches Backyardigans).

7. I'm making cinnamon raisin quinoa to go with lunch. Yum.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Fun Idea

I just sent this email out to many of our supporting churches. Then I was thinking about it and realized that there are lots of people who might be interested in this who aren't connected with our main supporting churches. So why don't you give this a look and prayerfully consider it!

Hello dear friends of Salvador,

Our team is looking at hosting a supporting friends and church campaign next summer. This campaign is for all of our friends, family and supporters who are interested in serving the church here in Salvador. The idea is to combine the efforts of individuals, families and smaller groups from churches into one larger, more effective campaign. Our team receives lots of visitors each year who love us and love the church here. We feel that to combine the efforts of the individual visits would utilize those who come to serve in ways that are most useful to the church here in Salvador. You could come and serve with others from the US and Canada in a way that would leave a lasting effect on your Brazilian brothers and sisters.

Dates: JULY 5-13, 2010 (not including travel days)

Costs: Your costs would include your plane tickets, food, lodging, and transportation

What will the campaign do?: This campaign will focus on evangelistic outreach to our neighborhood, physical labor working on our church building and homes of our members, and a special event reaching out to families.

What we need right now from you: Right now we need to find out if there is enough interest from our supporters to host this campaign and start working on the myriad of details.

If you are interested in coming for this week of service next summer we need to know ASAP. Your response is not a commitment but will let us know if we should go ahead with this campaign. We would also like to know your level of interest, from “That would be fun, maybe”, to “I think we might really like to do that”, to “Sign me up, I’m coming!” So if this is of interest to you please respond back to me (porter AT missionsalvador DOT com) or to the missionary family you support.

We know that the Salvador mission team has a great cloud of witnesses praying for us. As a team we would like to thank you for all that you do to keep us here on field serving the Lord in this way. We would love for you to come and see first hand what God is doing here in this marvelous city and take part in His work.

In Him,

Jennifer Porter

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Our team has decided to have a showdown of sorts. We're all needing to shed some pounds so we've having a biggest loser-style competition. Everyone is getting into the competitive spirit. We started on Sunday and will go until American Thanksgiving.

I'm trying to cook good food for our family and I have a bit of an addiction to food blogs. Throughout the next couple of months, I'm probably going to be posting links to many of the recipes we try, not so that this blog becomes a food blog, but to share the yummy stuff we eat and also so I can keep track of all the stuff I've made.

Like for breakfast this morning, we ate baked oatmeal. It was crazy delish. Jackson is absolutely nuts for anything with dried fruit in it.

Tonight we're having crockpot chicken fajitas with a spicy cilantro-lime coleslaw (I've already had a few bites of the latter and it's AMAZING!)

Anyway, I'm sharing our challenge with you all so you're not all of a sudden confused by all the recipes I'm posting and, more importantly, to add even more accountability. It's one thing to try to lose weight; it's another to do it and actually TELL people about it. It drives me to succeed even more!

p.s. We're not just eating better, we're working out, too, which is why my abs are killing me and I have HUGE blisters on my heels.