Monday, June 30, 2008

A Drink, A Playroom, Lollipops, Worms, and a Coccoon

A post of random'll probably be seeing several of these in the days/weeks to come since I have a ton of pictures to share with you from way back. These were all taken in May. Enjoy...

This was within 24 hours of Gillian getting here. We went to the store and I grabbed some Guarana for her to try. Guarana is the favorite soft drink of Brazil. I liken it to something like ginger ale and I still prefer Coke. But, Gillian had to try it for sure (she's had it several times since then I think...or has had the opportunity anyway).
The big moment.
Gillian saying very flippantly and non-passionately, "It's ok."
Joel thinking what is wrong with this chic that she doesn't like the Brazilian national drink? :)
Eissa downing it.
We like to keep the playroom neat and organized, but some days that just doesn't happen and it looks like...this. We are working really hard and diligently now with the kids about putting things back where they belong right after they are done with them...I'm thinking it might be a long training session to develop this habit. :)
The kids getting a lollipop treat. Every now and then we drag one out from our abundant stash in the cabinet from all the bajillion birthday parties we've been to while here.
Grady savored every lick.
Hadley's, on the other hand,...
...was gone in about 2.2 seconds.
Cass working on her choice of lollipops.

The kids found a worm and played with it forever.

Eissa telling me all about it.
The kids loved this novel idea that Grady came up with to let the worm just hang out on his hat.
Hours of entertainment I tell you. I never saw this worm after this picture. It was not taken back outside, I do know that. But, what's another worm in the house, really?
We found this outside on the wall one day in May.
I explained to the kids what it was and what would happen. They were pretty excited and thought it was really cool.
Daddy came home and Grady was excitedly telling him all about it.
And Hadley demonstrated what was going to come out. ;)

This coccoon unfortunately fell down into that grate. Don't know what happened after that...if a butterfly was actually able to blossom or not. A few days later we found another one on Grady's scooter wheel. Unfortunately we didn't see it until Grady had already rode his scooter...squash to the coccoon. Thankfully we have internet...such a wealth of resources. We youtubed and got to watch several coccoon progressions. So, now they know exactly what happens. Nice.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Churrascos, Churrascos, and More Churrascos

Before I start, a few prayer requests really quickly for you:
1. Joel's back - It's a little better than when I first told you all about it. He's been to a couple of other doctor appointments, one being a chiropractor. He has also been getting some physical therapy from one of our friends here at church...such a blessing to us...he comes by after work, extending his time away from his family, just so he can help Joel out. So nice. All of that has helped, but it still just isn't 100% (or even close). He wasn't able to go to Asas to work at all last week. He made it to one meeting, but that was it. Maybe it will just take time for whatever is damaged to heal, but if something else needs to be done than just waiting patiently, pray that we will know. Just pray for healing period. Thanks.
2. The dollar has dropped to an all-time the So, just pray that our dollars stretch the distance. ;)
3. Lastly, my mom interviewed for a job this past week. It seems like the perfect job for her considering all circumstances surrounding it. In the end, only God knows the best job for her and will provide of course. If she doesn't get this job we have to trust that it is because He already has something better (in the long run) lined up for her somewhere else. But, just pray that she will have favor in the eyes of the ones hiring and that the paths would be made straight for her regarding the best job for her. She should hear back about that particular job interview sometime this week.

I've posted about churrascos (pronounced shoo-ha-skos) before, but man...they really love them here, that's for sure. A churrasco is more or less like a cookout or BBQ in the states. I mean, there is no BBQ sauce involved, but you a grill-out. Anyhoo, lots of times when there is a special occasion or something to celebrate, a churrasco is chosen to do the celebrating with.

Well, our house has a churrasqueira...therefore, our house is the best place to have these celebrations. That makes it nice for us because that means we don't have to drag our gaggle of geese (a.k.a. children) anywhere.

A few weeks ago we had a churrasco here 2 weekends in a row...both with Asas folks. Here are some pictures...

This 1st churrasco was to celebrate a holiday (I have no idea what holiday). Asas was out for a 4-day weekend if I remember correctly. Before we got to the grub, the guys played a bit of soccer and volleyball.

The kids swam a bit.

And then it was time to get serious. ;)

These guys came over to the house early. They were visiting outside with Joel. The kids were outside on one end of the porch and Joel and these guys were on the other end. I was in the kitchen and knew Hadley was talking, but you know how sometimes you don't hear exactly what they are saying, esp. when they are outside and they aren't talking to you anyway. After a while, I realized what she was saying though. "Je-sus...Je-sus...oh, Je-sus" I immediately knew what she was thinking. I went outside and looked at her. Sure enough...she was calling to this guy (the one on the right). He's got a big grin on his face here, but without the cheesy grin, he seriously looks like what I imagine Jesus to have been similar to (surely Jesus gave a cheesy grin or two also though). This guy (Davi is his name) is very striking and my little girl thought she was in the presence of her Lord. :) I told a friend about it and she made the observation that we knew who Hadley was now...definitely a Mary and not a Martha. ;) It was SO funny though...and so cute. He got a kick out of it too.

The 2nd churrasco was for this cutie patootie couple, Lauro and Rose. It was a surprise birthday party for Lauro. But, Rose's birthday is the same week just a few days before. So, another friend of ours knew that and brought a cake for Rose also. Double the birthdays, double the cakes, double the fun. Oh, and this 2nd churrasco was just a few days after my cousin Gillian got here. To see her photos (she had some great ones and more than I have), go here.

Grady and Hadley are just sure that the cake is for them every time they see a birthday cake. They were ready to get their tongues on a piece of this for sure.

Cass enjoying it too.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Straight Out Of Pollyanna

What's that you ask? Let me explain.

Remember the scene in the Disney movie, Pollyanna, where Pollyanna and Jimmy Bean get caught by Mr. Pendergast and go in his house? They are talking and all of a sudden Pollyanna blurts out "How'd you do that?" When she points to what she's talking about, it is a moving little rainbow on his wall...made from "prisms" hanging on a lamp in his house.

Well, a few days ago the kids were playing in their playroom. They have a mini-Tupperware set that they were playing with at the time...they were "fixing lunch." They brought their little Tupperware pitcher in the kitchen and I usually don't let them get real water, but this time I obliged. In a little bit I went in there to check on them. When I went in, they had a towel from the bathroom and were wiping up water. They somehow didn't get it all and missed a huge spot on the table. I was about to bring out the Mama voice and tell them to wipe the table when Grady blurted out "How did Jesus do that?" I saw where his eyes were looking and looked myself and there was our own little prism moment.

Rather than a rainbow it was just a little twinkle of light on the ceiling, but it was really cool. The water on the table was being hit by the sun just right so as to make a shiny spot on our ceiling. It was really neat. And I thought it especially great that Grady is always prompt to give credit where credit is due. ;)

It's also a reminder that sometimes some great things come in unexpected ways and we always need to be on the lookout for the unexpected. We almost missed that little unexpected fun that morning. But I'm glad we didn't. Thanks for looking up, Grady.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Family Fest

Have I mentioned that I am SUPER DUPER impressed with the kids' school? Wow!! If the reason you are going to homeschool is solely because you don't like the schools available where you are, head on down to Anapolis, Brazil. Wow...again.

These teachers are amazing. Apparently they only hire teachers who are SUPER passionate about teaching young minds. Seriously, I'm amazed. These teachers are actually developing their own curriculum. They are VERY aware and mindful of doing everything possible to keep learning fun. They don't criticize and only encourage. They REALLY love the kids and it shows. Oh, and they also intertwine Jesus and His values and principles in all they do...they are not only passionate about the minds of these kids, but also their hearts and character. Truly these ladies have a calling to do this. I love to watch them.

Yesterday was the kids' last day at their Portuguese class. At the beginning of all of this, we thought that we might be moving in July. That is no longer the case, but we don't know when we will be leaving. Besides that, I'm really wanting my kids home with me...the plan was to send them until the end of June, so that's what my head (and heart) were at peace with. So, unless something drastic changes, they won't be going back in August (July is a month-long mid-semester break).

But, when we went to pick the kids up yesterday, I wanted to be sure to adequately express to the teachers how much I appreciated them and this opportunity, how very impressed I am with them, how thankful I was. I couldn't really do it in words (Portuguese ones anyway). Joel told them for me to a certain extent, but somehow I think the point got across. When we were talking to the director of the elementary (Tania) and telling her goodbye essentially and how grateful we were, I started crying. Then she started crying. So, it was an emotional first day there and an emotional last day. :) Ha. All of it was a great experience.

A couple of weeks ago the school had a HUGE party for the students and families. There were probably well over 1000 people there. It was great! Everything this school does they do with excellence. This was no exception. I am overwhelmed at the hard work they always put in.

Here are a few (ok, a TON of) pictures for you of our time at the party. Each class performed, there were exhibits, there was food, there were huge blow-up slides and such, there was fireworks, etc. At the beginning Tania said a few words and also introduced some other people. There was another speaker and basically the Gospel was preached bigtime. They are really into sharing Jesus and His principles (family values, etc.) in a great, non-preachy way. Yeah, O.K....I'll stop going on and on about how great this school is and just show you the pictures. :) But, we have really enjoyed this experience and are so grateful we had the chance to be a part of Couto Junior. Oh, and as you probably guessed, the kids have REALLY picked up Portuguese so much in the last few months of being there. Sometimes they are translating for me. :) Ha ha. It's great. Now, pictures...

The whole party had a theme of being good stewards and taking care of our world. Here, and the next few pictures, are of us getting Hadley all ready in her costume.

Family picture.
Arriving at the party. It was held at the track where I usually run.

Carefully going down the steps with our big honking double stroller. :)

Eissa didn't like the fireworks too much. They were fine at first, but just got louder and bigger (and lasted a long time). It was a nice show though.
Hadley's class was the first to perform...she was the first out on the stage for the night. She was Eve. There she is in her fig leaves with her little Japanese Adam. ;)
Waiting patiently... the stage gets all set up.

Watching her dance teacher perform (they each had a little dance class once a week during school).

Adam getting life breathed into him.
Then Adam and Eve danced around and walked through the Garden of Eden together.
It was so cute.

Adam and Eve and some of their animals.

Taking a bow.
My little Eve-star.
Cass just slept or hung out the whole night...we didn't hear a peep out of her. Perfect I tell you.
After her performance...watching another class.
Eissa watching too.
With a little help from Daddy.
Grady's class performing. They sang a song about the happy was really upbeat and really cute.
Grady was the best guitar player there. ;) Seriously, he was really great and very attentive to what he was supposed to be doing.

Grady showing us how he did it.
Taking a picture of the stars...but, Hadley couldn't keep her eyes off the stage behind her.
That's more like it. I really was impressed with them...they didn't show the least bit of nervousness or being shy. As I said, there were well over 1000 people there and they were fine with that. Maybe it's their ages, maybe it has to do with the lifestyle we've lived, maybe it's their personalities, or maybe it's a combo of many things, but I always find it interesting to see exactly how my children respond in all find out who they really are.
The crew.
The many tents of exhibits.
Cool table and chair set (if you can't see, it's made from tires).
Some of the high school exhibits...some of it was science fair type stuff.
Gillian had to try on the fig leaf crown.
And Hadley had to make the pose too.
Waiting patiently for something to eat.

Each of the kids' classes had a booth showing off their stuff and going along with the recycling/taking care of the earth theme. Here's Grady excited to show us all he made...including the things hanging from the roof of the tent (these things are now hanging around our house on nails in the wall).

Showing us the book he made.

With his teacher, Tia Laura. They each got gifts from their teacher...Grady loves his cool water bottle.
Hadley's booth.
Getting her gifts.
She got candy and a cute little plastic gardening set.
With her teachers Tia Sandra (on the left...the teacher's aide) and Tia Edslene.
Grady's booth had this water fountain and we couldn't leave without taking a picture with it.
Yesterday, on their way to their last class.