Saturday, June 30, 2007

Real Quick

Hey, not much time to talk. I'm at Subway and about to lose my battery. I just wanted you all to know that everything is going great around here. We've been busy attending lots of eating meetings...always a good time. I'm being good though...since we are done traveling, we're back to our eating healthy thing. And, I still have 20+ pounds to lose from the last pregnancy. I've lost 2 so far (this past week), so we'll see how it goes. I said that I could have Coke and brigadeiros (a very yummy chocolate ball with chocolate sprinkles...hello!) again when I'm down to a certain weight. I will keep you posted on that one.

Yesterday we had lunch at the seminary where we are going to was the last day of school and they had a little celebration. In Brasil, the school year goes from Feb.-Nov. They have July off and then their summer vacation is Dec. and Jan.

Today, we went to Asas for lunch. They are selling the maintenance shop and therefore are having to let a few people go or put them in early retirement. So, there was a goodbye lunch for them. Yummy stuff.

Tomorrow we are going to church with Steve and Kristin...they are having breakfast at their church. Then we are actually going to Brasilia to celebrate 4th of July at the embassy. Apparently they have a big shindig there, complete with all American foods and fun...and even fireworks. And...the best part for me...lots of people who speak English. :) :)

Like I said, I'm at Subway. I drove over here all by myself. First time driving in Brasil. A little scary, but all is well.

Gotta go now. Running to the grocery store and home to my brood. Later.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Update On Bag

Well, all I have to say is that GOD IS SO TAKING CARE OF US!! Thank you so much for your prayers. I really, really appreciate it.

My friend Magali...we told her about my bag. She is right next door to the internet place, so we just stopped by there after I wrote the last post. Well...she just happens to have friends that work at both the store we went to (Carrefour for you familiar with Brazilian stuff) and Subway. So, she called both friends. The one at Subway said that it was there. So thankful...that's what I am.

I guess when we left the store, I just put my bag on. I always wear it over my right shoulder and it rests on my left hip, so I think that I just put it on and left it on. I guess (I say guess because you know how that is just 2nd nature and not something you really pay attention breathing) I was still wearing it whenever I got out at Subway and ordered, then when I sat down I took it off. We ate outside on their patio and I was inside when Joel grabbed up everything to go. He didn't know that my bag was on the other side of the table. I didn't either...I didn't even remember having it at Subway. But, anyway...we are thanking God for restoring my photo book to me (and everything else too). :)

Missing Bag

I have a prayer request...hopefully it will be answered even before you read
this. :) Everything is going great...except that last night we went shopping for housing stuff and then went to grab a bite to eat (they have a Subway here). Somewhere in all of that I either lost my bag or it was stolen...we are thinking the the produce section of the grocery was super crowded because Wednesdays are discount day in the produce section. We didn't notice it was missing until this morning. It didn't have much in it, but it did have all my Portuguese lessons stuff, some money, my credit card (which has now been blocked and there were no purchases made as far as we know) and, the most important thing to me (of course), a little photo book with pictures of all the kids in it from when they were born to present. :( Please pray with us that the bag is returned or found. Thanks.

I'll update later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Look Brazilian

I have found that Brazilians come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It's very interesting. The other Latin American countries I've been to, the people of those countries have the stereotypical Latin American look. Granted, I've only been to Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica, but that was the norm in those countries. Here (where we are right now anyway), it is more like the U.S. as far as being a melting pot of looks. So, I actually fit in just fine. Nobody comes up to me and knows that I'm American. People always come up to me and start spouting off Portuguese. :)

Today me and Priscilla rode the bus downtown with Magali after lunch. It was fun. We did a little shopping, mostly the window kind. It was a good time though.

Also, as of today we are the proud owners of a car of our own. We bought a 2000 Volkswagen Gol (we don't have those in the states). It has 2 bucket seats in the front, a back seat, and then a trunk that can be open and accessible from the front of the car. Not much room as compared to a mini-van (very tall people shouldn't come visit us...or, just know that you won't be able to sit up straight in our car :) ), but really all that is available here without paying an arm and a leg. It will be a good first car here. Joel took it to the mechanic today before he bought it and the mechanic said that it was a great car in great condition.

Crazy story...the guy that we bought it from is now in the states. Our friends from Louisiana (Rayville), Thad and Wendy Cooper, are in Michigan doing some training in order to be missionary pilots. Joel met Thad while out in Dallas getting his flight instructor's license. Thad is the one, during that brief encounter, that started Joel wondering if we were really supposed to go with MAF. So, in a weird way, Thad is slightly responsible for us being here in Brasil at Asas. The funny thing now is that Thad is now looking for a place to go himself. They came to visit us in Saline when they were home in Rayville around Easter. At that point they thought that Asas might sound like a real possibility. Then they went back to Michigan and met a guy...from Asas!! Hello.

We got down here and some people were telling us about this car that a guy from Asas was selling...a guy that was in the states now, in Michigan. Such a small world, isn't it?

Anyhoo, we are very glad to have a car. We should be able to go pick it up in the morning.

Exactly 2 more weeks until we can move into our other house...and have internet...and post pictures. I'm ready, although I'll miss this great's been really fun living here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Excellence and Exercise

Every Monday morning, Asas has a devotional time. We went last week too. It seems to be a little different each time. Last time there was some worship and then a word given (that is so Christianese, but for all of you non-Christians...that is like a little mini-sermon in this context). Today, we got there late, but there were much more people there today and there were several visitors. One guy was from Wycliffe. There is a Wycliffe base here in Brasil in Brasilia (not far from here), but they will be moving their headquarters here to Anapolis next year sometime. There was a representative at the meeting this morning that was just telling us a little about the present work they are doing. I may not get his story completely accurate, but from what Joel translated for me, I think the jist is this...Wycliffe is known for Bible translation. The guy was saying that God has them doing a little something different these days. Apparently in this one tribe they visited there was a little boy who had something wrong with his brain. It is treatable, but there are strict laws about certain tribes and not "messing with" the indigenous peoples' culture/customs. Unfortunately, that law does not bend, even when a life is in danger. Well, the people of Wycliffe fought for this little boy and have now been asked to basically re-write the laws and make a proposal of it. He was just talking about how God is always so faithful and knows exactly what He is doing. Although Wycliffe is not doing the work that they normally do and feel God has called them to do (translation), He appoints His people to do whatever He asks them to do in each different season. He may ask us to do something one day and we are obedient to do that with all we have. Then a couple of weeks later He might ask you to do something else altogether and it doesn't make sense at all to us, but His plan is perfect, His ways are higher. He is faithful. Because of this one little boy and the heart God gave the Wycliffe people for him, even though they never dreamed it would come to this, they are now re-writing laws for the whole country. It is really incredible and such an encouragement.

There were also 2 other men there with the Wycliffe representative. One was a pastor from one of the tribes here in Brasil. Wycliffe has a goal of raising up 10 Moseses (that spelling looks weird doesn't it?) to send back to their tribes to lead them. That pastor there today is their first Moses. Very exciting. The other guy was from another tribe...a tribe that has always been unreachable. This tribe wouldn't let anyone in or anyone out. But, for whatever reason (of course we know it's all God's doing, but I mean whatever natural reason), he has come out and is being trained and discipled by Wycliffe. Amazing...even better than being able to go to the tribe themselves...they will be sending back one of their own.

The main speaker today was the pastor of the church we went to last night. He was speaking on Daniel and how nobody could find any holes in his integrity...they couldn't find any fault with him. He was excellent in all he did and was extremely blessed for that...and saved a whole nation for heaven's sake. The dadgum king made it law that God would be served from then on out. Anyhoo, it was just a great encouragement to do everything with excellence.

After the meeting, since we don't own a car, we walked to the grocery store and then back home. While we were in the grocery store, Joel heard a lady speaking English to her children. We started talking to them and they just moved here from Florida in March. Her husband is Brazilian and they are Christians. They came here to start a printing press ministry and will be focusing mainly on Bible printing (apparently there is no printing company that prints Bibles here). It was neat...and always good to find someone speaking English. I got a double dose of that today actually. At the meeting at Asas, a girl from New Jersey was there. She is engaged to one of the guys at the flight school, so is down to see him and go through the candidacy. They will be married in December and then come back here in January.

Grocery stores here have a great service. Since many people don't have cars, grocery stores no extra charge. Hello. Given all the walking we did, it was really only about a mile probably. Considering our work at Asas and grocery store needs only, we could really do without a car. But, then you throw in language classes and church (and anything else), I guess we still need one. It looks like a decision will be made soon and we will probably have a car by the end of this week. So, keep praying. Thanks so much.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wonderful Day at the Lake

Oh that God. He's so good. I left the most wonderful place on earth in May...the Saline lake. Today he gave me a taste of a great lake again.

We were invited by a few friends to go to their church today. In Brazil they have the equivalent to Sunday School or Church Training on Sunday mornings and the big church service is on Sunday nights. Today our friends' church had their gathering out of the city at a church member's house (his super, super nice house...his 2nd home). After the meeting, it was picnic time. For all of you southerners, dinner on the grounds. We all brought our own picnic. I thought we'd all just eat our own food, but then when it came time to eat, everyone laid out their picnic stuff on some long tables and we all shared our food. That was a super great deal for us. :) Poor things, all they got from us were BLTs...all we had in the house. :) But, they didn't seem to mind.

It was so much fun. We got to meet alot of people. I'm making lots of friends, despite the fact that there is truly a language barrier, obviously. But, most people know just enough English and I know just enough Portuguese to get our points across. And, Brazilians just know how to have lots of times we are just meeting each other and then joking around about something. They are such great people.

This awesome house had a private lake. The lake had a great floating dock, 3 diving boards of varying heights (all really high though), and a huge water slide. So fun. Grady and Hadley got in a bit, but we didn't. It was great fun just watching though and talking and laughing with everyone.

Again, pictures of all of that soon. I better go. We are going to that church tonight, so I need to go get ready.

One more thing...I just talked to Mama and Tucker on their home phone using Skype. It was great to talk to them. I can actually use Skype to call telephones too for really pretty cheap, so if you don't have computer capabilities to use your computer to talk to me with Skype and would like me to call you, let me know.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Crying In Cereal

I read an article at Joel's parents' house about Angelina Jolie. Apparently her mother just died recently. She talked about how she's done remarkably well, but she's one of those people that does fine and then one day is all of a sudden crying in her cereal at the breakfast table.

I think I'm a cereal cryer. I've been wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I haven't shed a tear concerning this whole move. I wondered if it was just because it hadn't hit me yet or if it was because I was in denial of some sort (although how much denial can you be in when you are packing up your whole life) or if it was just because I had been preparing for moving overseas for 7 years (7 years...the perfect number, right?). Well, a couple of nights ago, I cried. I just came to the realization that I will forever (or as long as I live here...forever as far as I know right now) be a foreigner. That is a hard pill to swallow for the "sweetheart of Saline." For those of you from Saline, you know that name I was given by Joel is not quite true. He felt that way when he first started coming to Saline and then at our wedding since we had lots of people there. But, of course everyone there is like the sweetheart because everyone knows everyone and all, so everyone is treated like that. But, my point is that being a foreigner isn't my favorite thing.

Of course, that is why I don't settle for that long. I mean, I have totally gotten in with Magali's family and hang out with them daily now. It's been lots of fun. They are really, really neat and funny and welcoming. But still, the realization came that my kids will not grow up with any of the things I grew up with. They will grow up with similar things and then things that are completely different, but not the same things. Again, of course the positives of this whole thing definitely outweighs the being the huge given that we are totally in the will of God here and would be miserable anywhere else. But,'s not like I didn't know these things already, but the realization of what I knew came and I cried. Just an update. I've been fine since then, so that's why I say I'm a cereal cryer. :)

I met with Magali 3 days this week I think (or maybe 4, can't remember) and I'm really picking up alot. And her English is really getting good too.

Today Joel went to Goiania (where he grew's about 30 min. away) and looked at cars. We went to a park...kind of like a little amusement park. We went with Kristin and her kids, Michael and Maira. It was really fun. Of course, if we had internet I could show you pictures, but soon we will catch up.

Tonight we are off to have some pamonhas...Brazilian tamales. They are super good and they have variations that I'm not aware of in Louisiana tamales. I'm super excited (and hungry). Caio for now (although I don't actually know how to spell that...sad)...anyway, BYE!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Only 6 Days?

It's really weird, but we can't believe we've only been here for 6 days. We feel so established here already, which is really really weird considering that we aren't even almost set up and will be moving again in 3 weeks.

I think a lot of it is that we have met some really great people here our neighborhood. The girl I told you about last time, "Portuguese teacher"...she works at the bakery up the road on the corner that her family owns. Well, the next space over is the internet place where I check my email and type you all a blog update. I'm sure if I asked, the owner of that place would be kin to Magali too, because the space after that is a little market, owned by Magali's aunt. The space after that is Magali's house (her whole family lives there, grandmother included). And then every night they have a little tent that they set up at the corner of their house with 2 tables and chairs and they have a grill...a portable restaurant. Talk about entrepreneurs! :) They are a great family and every time we go, we feel like part of the family. It's like going to Double E...well, sort of (for you that don't live in Saline, that's the general store in Saline).

Today we went and had lunch with the president of Asas and his wife. The food was great and we just love was fun. We came home and Joel and Priscilla ran errands and the rest of us relaxed...the kids slept.

We continue to look at different options for cars. The options are definitely more limited here than in the U.S., just so you understand the situation. So, please continue to pray for that. A great couple let us use their car this weekend and then another couple let us use their car this afternoon, so we are being taken care of for sure.

For those of you who don't have Skype, get it. We can talk to you for free over the internet. We've talked to Joel's parents a couple of times already that way and it is really handy and easy. Go to or to our website and you can download from there under the "contact us page."

We will have internet access at our house with our own laptop in July once we move to that other house. So, for now we aren't able to post pictures on the blog...sorry. But, as soon as I can, you know I will.

Thanks for your prayers. We are definitely feeling them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First Portuguese Lesson

I just got done with my first Portuguese lesson. Well, first informal Portuguese lesson. I met a girl (she works at the bakery where we go on the corner...her family owns it, her aunt owns the little store 2 doors down, and then her house is right by the store) the first morning we were here. Her name is Magali and she is super cute. I was attempting to talk to her and Joel told her that I didn't know Portuguese and was starting to learn. She told me that I could come to the bakery anytime and talk to her...she could work on her English and I could learn Portuguese. Well, yesterday I took her up on it for real. I asked her when a good time would be to come and we set up a time for me to actually go to her house after she got off for the afternoon. So, today went great and we will meet again tomorrow afternoon. I really learned alot in just 2 hours and surprised myself with how much I could communicate. Of course it helps when people know a tiny bit of English so when you are missing a word and you can't act it out, they can come up with it. :)

We went to a couple's house for lunch today. They have been working with Asas since 1989. They are an MAF couple...MAF Canada actually and have been with them for 39 years. They will be leaving Brasil in August going back to Canada. They will still be working with MAF. They will be based out of Canada, but will be partnering with some people in Angola. They met these Angolan people here in Brasil...three Angolans came to Asas de Socorro to train and are now going back to Angola to "evangelize." Something we feel very strongly about (and is more the trend now across the board) is that who better to reach people than their own people? For instance, that is one of the reasons we love Asas de Socorro so much...the Brazilians are reaching and helping's a Brazilian run mission organization. Who knows the people and culture better than the Brazilians themselves. Anyway...we are very excited for Neal and Meredith and their adventures to come in Angola (where they speak Portuguese by the way...that's handy).

Things here continue to go well. We went and did some more shopping yesterday. We haven't been able to find and buy all that we need, but are doing it just a tiny bit at a time. It's not like they have huge mega-stores on every corner around here. So, it's going to take some time. Add to that the facts that we don't have a car and I can't speak their language in the stores they do have. It's ok...we won't be moving to the house we will be living in until mid-July anyway, so we will better be able to furnish then when we know exactly what we need.

Thanks for your continued prayers for us...they have paved the way for things to go extremely smoothly. We are still in need of a vehicle, so just continue to ask for that to be made clear and for the doors to be opened for us to get some wheels.

Thanks!! Love y'all and miss you all. Muah!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kites Everywhere

I'm going to attempt to give you little glimpses of what it is like living here. One thing is that there are kites everywhere all the time. It's really fun to go out your front door and see about 10 kites up in the sky...and I mean way up too. These people must have 2-mile string. :)

I did my first few loads of laundry today in my new washer. It's a great washer...better than mine back in the states because the top of it has a window so I can see exactly what it is doing at all times. I then hung it all up to dry and it dries really quickly, so that's nice.

This morning Grady and I had a little outing, just us. We walked to the corner bakery and had some breakfast and read our Bibles and prayed. It was nice. Most churches around here have Sunday School type classes in the mornings and then regular church service at night. Priscilla went with some friends of ours this morning. We are going to try to go somewhere tonight.

While me and Grady were gone, Asa was sleeping and Joel and Hadley cleaned the floors. Floor cleaning is different around just dump water and squeegee it out. :) Convenient.

Yesterday was nice. We got almost all the rest of the necessities we need for now. Then we went to the "cheese on a stick place" to eat supper...mmm! Obviously it's not actually called that. I don't know what it is called. But, they have shishkabob type things there...lots of different kinds of meat on skewers. But, my favorite thing is balls of provolone cheese on skewers grilled...oh so yummy.

Alright, just a glimpse of what's going on in our neck of the woods. More later.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Brasil With an "S"

Well, from now on I will be referring to Brazil as Brasil. That's the way Brasil is spelled here in the coutry of, that's the way I will be referring to it from now on...I'm blending in. I like the letter s better than z anyway. :)

We are settling in nicely. We made a decision about housing yesterday and will be moving into our great house somewhere around July 10th. An American couple who have lived here for a pretty long time (at least since '91 when this house was built) is going back to the states on furlough and will be gone a year. So, we will be living in their house until July 2008 when they get back. We will probably be leaving before that, or right around that time anyway to go work in the Amazon region, so it worked out perfectly. For the next 3 1/2 weeks or so though we will be staying in the little house that Asas has to rent out to students.

We are very excited about the house we will live in. It is on a seminary campus, is actually quite large, has a super duper huge porch (more like a patio) all the way around it, has a great BBQ pit area, has a great large, is not walled just basically gorgeous. It also has some great amenities like a playground, pool, tennis courts, track, etc. right around there. It's a little odd that we are on the mission field and living there. Truth is that it is still in Brasil and so there is still a ton different that we will have to transition into. Plus, it really was the best option for us by a longshot for many reasons, the fun extras not included. We are really excited though. I will definitely post pictures when possible.

We also went shopping yesterday for some of the things we need. The seminary house will not be furnished...all of the owner's things will be stored while they are away. So, we will still be purchasing EVERYTHING...starting completely over. Yesterday our big purchases were a washer (dryers aren't really used here) and a stove/oven. Shopping is fun. Paying for it isn't, but shopping is. And we've never really done that. We've been in transition really kind of our whole marriage and mostly have just used others' things. It's really been fun. There's a ton more of that to do, but we will wait and do little by little and esp. wait until we move into that seminary house.

The kids continue to do great. They are sleeping well and playing hard and haven't skipped a beat it seems. Priscilla has been so much help too...a ton. Asa started going from a sitting to a standing position in Boston...holding onto nothing...and then just standing there for a few seconds. She's got great balance. She continues to do that, but hasn't started walking just yet...probably won't be long. We walked to the corner bakery yesterday morning for breakfast and then took the bus around town today. Me and the kids are picking up some Portuguese little by little just communicating (or trying to) the people around us.

Me and Priscilla are at a little place right next to the bakery right has on one wall 5 computers and on the other wall some TVs. People can pay about 50 cents an hour to use the internet and with the TVs they play video games. Anyhow, as far as we know right now that is our only source of internet for the next 3 1/2 weeks until we move to the seminary house. I'll come often probably. I read all my emails and "thank you" to everyone who wrote. I will try to catch up with my email soon.

Also, please continue to pray for us regarding a car. We really need a vehicle soon. It's nearly impossible to do things here without one.

Better go. My time is almost up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Safe and Sound

Just wanted to let you all know that we are here in Brazil safe and sound. I am using a friend's computer to type this out. Hopefully we will have some internet access of our own soon and will be in touch more often...don't expect alot of correspondence for a while though.

We have now seen all 3 possibilities for our housing here. In the next couple of days we have a lot to do...decide which house to live in, buy everything needed to set up house, go car shopping, etc. Whew...craziness. Keep us in your prayers...we need clarity in all these issues.

Love you guys. The plane trips were great by the way. Thank You, God. The plane leaving NYC was late taking off, so we missed our connection in Sao Paulo, but were able to shuttle over to another airport (a one-hour bus trip) and get another flight arriving in our final destination only 2 hours later than the original scheduled arrival time. The kids did great. We are off to put them all to bed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Packing Day

Is that all I do? Seems like it. We're packing up. Not much time to talk...SO MUCH to finish up here. We will be leaving Boston tomorrow around 10AM, driving to NYC. Our flight leaves at 7:45PM tomorrow from NYC. We will be getting to our final destination in Brazil around 11:35AM Wednesday morning (Brazil, around 10:35AM Boston/Pennsylvania time, 9:35AM Louisiana/Texas time).

Pray that the kids sleep on the too. That would be nice. Pray that all our luggage follows us along on this trip and gets there the same time we do. :) We have a lot of luggage. Remember also that Priscilla, Joel's sister, will be traveling down with us and staying until mid-August...pray for her too.

Another prayer request is that we are still not 100% sure about housing down there. At one point we thought we were (last time I wrote about it), but since then some other options have opened up, so we are just going to have to decide when we get down there. It's a little crazy.

If you want to talk to us again one last time before we leave the country, go to our website and look on the "contact us" page. Our cell phones will be working until we get on the plane to go.

Also, I don't remember if I've told you this or not...we have new pictures up on the website from April.

We'll write again as soon as we can in Brazil...not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon. Until then...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Oh. My. Gosh.

We have exactly one more week of living in the United States. Hello...craziness.

I'm crazy excited. I mean, the whole thing is just crazy period (how many times can I use the word "crazy" in this post). I'm a little weirded out, but also really excited. In some ways I know exactly what to expect...the biggest thing being that you can't rely on what you expect. :) It'll be fun and we are just getting the little last-minute details all sorted out. The next few days holds many things for us...

--we are having Ebersole family time together tonight...a meal and prayer time
--tomorrow will be our last "normal" day here, then church with the family tomorrow night
--Thurs. morning - Sat. morning me and Joel (and Asa since I'm still nursing) are going to go on a little getaway...a relaxing, do nothing getaway; it is kind of for our 5-year anniversary; since we celebrated our 6-year anniversary in Feb., it's a little overdue, don't you think?; we are going to Cape Cod to a hotel on the beach (we got a great deal)
--Sat. after we come back, we have a "photo shoot" with Joel's brother...we are hoping for some great weather and great pictures of our family
--Sunday is Joel's brother's high school graduation...also, we will be prayed over at Joel's family's church
--Monday we will definitely be packing and getting everything together
--Tuesday...AIRPLANE TO BRAZIL (as it says on Grady's calendar I made him...he was constantly asking when we were going to Brazil...he's known for months, so one day he finally said, "Mama, what are we waiting for?" :)...I decided that boy needed a calendar of his own to mark off days)

Here are a few pictures of our first week here...

Cool Mo Dee and a day at the beach.
Hadley and Asa with little Joss...the moms looking on (me and Kristin).
Grady, Hadley, and Alexa sharing a wagon ride.

Uncle Danny's last week of school...they always have a toga day for the seniors.

Hadley, Grady, Alexa, Asa, and Joss...all 5 Ebersole grandchildren (there is one little boy on the way in July...Micah Joseph).
The 2 little ones...Asa and Joss. Joss is 3 weeks older than Asa.
On Saturday Joel's parents took us all to a water was really fun.
The kids had a ton of was a great relaxing and fun day.
My mom gave Hadley and Asa matching outfits. We had to take pictures to send her.

The happy Grandma with Grady and Hadley.

On Sunday we went to a birthday party for a little Brazilian girl. This little boy's mom is married to a Brazilian...she is American...her name is Amy. Interesting trivia...her best friend's name is Hadley.
Me and Asa at that party.