Saturday, August 30, 2008

That Was a Close One and Thoughts On Palin

We went to get shots the other day. Oh man, always a stressful time. If you remember from last posts, we are not the do-whatever-is-on-the-schedule kind of vaccinators. We look at each vaccine and question this really necessary, do the benefits outweight the risks, etc.? Even if/when we go forward with vaccinations, it is not always (almost never) according to the schedule preferred by "authorities." We are a rare breed, although that isn't so rare anymore in the states. Here it is WAY rare and I'm afraid probably looked on as an insult to their practices from these "Americans"...they probably think that we think we know better (blah blah blah...even though we explain that we do the same in the states). Add on the fact that it is all in Portuguese and Joel knows not the translation usually (no medical background does he have...thankfully medical terms usually are very similar across the board and I can figure it out), there are about 10 workers at a time in one small room at the local health clinic every time we go who are grabbing speedily at our children, we are trying to always keep our children orderly (no small task in new environments), etc.'s stressful.

Well, my last post about vaccinations produced a comment from someone I don't really know, but have had contact with once or twice here in Brasil. She warned me about the oral Polio vaccine. Here's what she said:

I agree that it is a presonal choice and you have to research and pray about. Plus remember that it is not written in stone, you can decide not to vax and a yr from now change your mind.

We decided not to with both of our kids, one born in the US the second born here in Brasil.

Either way I do not recommend giving the live virus Sabin drops for Polio since it is highly linked to the disease. It is up for discussion for being taken off the vaccine list. I have a friend who´s daughter got Polio from the vax here in Brazil, now she´ll never walk.

I remembered that and when they grabbed Cass from me and started administering drops to her, I freaked. What happened specifically is that a nice smile-adorning lady with a white coat on came over to me and asked if she could take Cass. I honestly thought she just wanted to hold her...people do that all the time and Joel was still discussing things with the receptionist lady. Well, no...she immediately took her and about 6 ladies (in white coats) surrounded my baby (I'm not exaggerating...there were a ton of chics in white in that tiny room) and started dropping the drops...into her mouth. Like I said...freaked. I finally got out "PARA!" (STOP!). They did.

The next 30 minutes involved more vaccination-taking (other things that were needed...for Cass and Eissa) and alot of stress and discussing. I was adamant that I would have to look into the drops further. They were adamant that that was ridiculous...that we should just do it (they had been successful in starting to try to give Cass the drops before I yelled to stop, but thankfully, the drops that came out landed on her chin and not in her mouth...nice). And my poor, sweet, peacemaking, pleasing husband who DESPISES conflict of any kind was strong but very uncomfortable in his position in the middle of all of this. Yes, let me just reiterate...STRESS-FUL!! Needless to say, of course we didn't get the vaccination. FYI: When someone tries to push me into something that I'm not comfortable doing, believe never works in their favor.

I came home to my computer and googled and read articles and found what I thought to be true...and I was SO GLAD that I stuck to my instincts and refused. Would my child be one of the ones that ended up paralyzed as a result of the oral vaccine? Chances are, no. But, you know...when there is an alternative that results in basically the same outcome without those risks, you'd better believe I'm going to take it (even if it costs a LOT more, which it does here).

Lessons learned:
1. Even though something is good, there might be something else that is even better.
2. Research, research, research. Yes, God protects us, but ignorance is not bliss people. Sometimes ignorance results in very bad outcomes. Whenever possible, I choose not to issue the plea of ignorance. I want to study up on all things...especially related to things that are related to the health and well-being of my family.
3. Stick to your guns. There are certain things that mothers have instincts/feelings/God-given promptings about. Don't waiver. The health and well-being of your child might depend on it (I am thinking of many more examples of this than just our health clinic example...I have heard countless stories of other moms that I know personally involving things ranging from an avoided accident to resulting abuse when they chose not to stick to their guns...incredible I tell you).

By the way, I found these articles and several others very interesting concerning the oral polio vaccine.

Now, on to the other subject. Believe me when I say that I am SO NOT POLITICAL. I can't stress that enough. In fact, Joel just walked through and saw what I was typing about and laughed. :) Ha ha ha. I tend to lean more towards the simple-minded of the population :) and politics does not fall under the 'simple' category, now does it? :) But, I like to hear others' thoughts and read/watch what I can to be somewhat informed...even though I do not enjoy and do not get into it at all usually. Call me irresponsible or lazy or a slacker or bum if you wish...just not my thing, people. Sorry if that offends.

But, I do find this Palin lady highly interesting. I am very 'patriotic.' I say that knowing that some people's automatic stereotype of someone who is patriotic comes in the form of a clip in their mind of some poor confederate soldier marching off to join in the civil war...all excited, with a delighted gleam in their eye. We've all seen Gone With the Wind, right?

No, that's not what I mean. But, I do think that now, after visiting several other countries and living in another country, our country is the most blessed there is. I do think that things like war (and other not-so-great things) are a necessary thing sometimes. Even biblical. You can't talk things over with demented, truly evil world doesn't work.

So, the John McCain POW thing is really admirable to me. Would I vote for someone just because he's a POW...certainly not. But, this isn't a post about the candidates and all the things they have to offer...just some of the things that I find interesting about the McCain-Palin team, that's all.

So, on to this chic, Palin. Very interesting, is it not? I've read and watched clips of several things over the past couple of days about it. I have to say that I basically word-for-word agree with this blog post and all of her comments that follow (some of her commentors rise very good arguments). Oh, the possibilities.

Anyway, read it for yourself. And, tell us...what are the thoughts around there...share the vibe with us here in the extreme south. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Several Little Coisas

Coisas...that's things.

1. I never updated on Joel's back I don't think, but obviously it is totally and completely fine now. Thank you so much for praying for him (back in June or July...whenever that was). :)

2. Thank you for your prayers about our washer too. :) Seriously, it was healed. :) Ha ha. Shortly after I complained, um, I mean asked for prayer, online, it went from a 3-hour cycle to a 2-hour cycle without any explanation at all. Since then, for whatever reason (God feeling sorry for me maybe?), it has gotten even quicker. I haven't timed it, but let's just say it's probably less than 2 hours...and I was even fine with it being 2 hours (seemed really quick compared to what it was before). So, for real...thanks for your prayers.

3. Some of you had asked about the collage at the top. We have Photoshop. So, what I do is just go in there and make a card with a Photoshop template and save it as a JPEG. Then, I add it onto the blogger site as my header. Got it? Anymore questions, just let me know.

4. We were finally able to get Eissa on a 1-nap-a-day schedule. Seriously, not that I minded it, but she just needed 2 naps for so much longer than the other 2 did. But, now she is only taking 1 and doing great.

5. Cass is also lining up with our eating times (still no food for her though) and naptimes continue to go well. She remains the absolute perfect baby, I'm not kidding.

6. We had a rough day yesterday. Actually, it was a good day except one part. We traveled to Brasilia (the D.C.) to get Cass an American birth certificate and passport (therefore, make her American also...she is only Brazilian so far). We scheduled other things that we had to do in that city for yesterday too, so thankfully it wasn't a totally wasted trip. Yes, that's right...we weren't able to go into the embassy. Joel called about 4 weeks ago to schedule this appointment. Talked to the lady at length about the documents he needed, the time and date of the appointment, etc. When we got record of any appointment. WHAT?!?!?!? So, we'll have to go back another day. Over 2 hour trip (one way). Oh well.

7. I've had a pretty rough few days actually. Things are going well, but the grace for moving constantly and not having a place for all of our things (all storage things that we have are not ours...borrowed from the owners of this house, so we have to conform to what they have and where they have it; also, I've put some of our things up on the walls, but not much and only where they already had nails...see what I mean?) is getting OLD!!!!!!! I can't stress that enough. I mean, the grace is GONE!! Funny thing how when something is coming to a close, the grace for it just can't be found. Obviously, it will be found if it's still needed, but with every other season of my life, when something was coming to a close, this is what it felt like. I've truly been really fine with all our other moves and temporary stays at different places before now, but we'll see how it all plays out. Just pray for me...for patience, for wisdom in what can be done, for a house (still have 2-3 temporary living situations before even a glimpse of a permanent situation is possible), for permanence to come soon. I'm weary. By the end of this year, we will have moved 11 times in our 7 1/2 years of marriage...most of the moves with children (so very difficult). Like I said...getting old.

Anyway, cute picture up top, right? time for more today. We are gradually working on re-vamping our website though and will be actually putting our pictures on there again. I'll let you know when it's ready. Until then, enjoy this one and have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hadley Photo Shoot +

Things are going well here...just super busy as usual. I have become HORRIBLE at emailing, just in case you are wondering why you never hear from me in that way. I have SO MUCH to blog about...nothing super important or major, just the everyday fun things. But, I just simply have no time to do it all. So, I will just do what I can as I can. Gone are the days of a daily blog post from me. Bummer...I really do have so much to share. :)

The homeschooling thing is going well. We did it 4 days that first week. Then we had a holiday last week. It was called "Daddy's out of town so we are taking the week off" any of you ever have that holiday? :) This week we are focusing on the letter B. One day this week we had Beans for lunch and Banana Blitzes for snack...and did other B things. Another day we ate lunch on a Blanket and played Ball and other B games (pictures of that another day...really cool picnic we had). Today is Book day...we are going to curl up on the couch and read, read, read. Fun. I'm looking forward to just reading with my kiddos.

Anyhoo, more chatter later. Here are just a few pics of the kiddos. One night after showers, Hadley wanted braids to sleep in. So, we had a little photo session.

Her default pose.
We think it's because of this pose Gillian made. :) Cute.

And so as not to completely leave out the wee one, this is her new favorite thing to do. You know how she adores sucking on her thumb? Yeah...she does the same thing with her big toe sometimes. It's quite the cute show...really funny the first time we saw it.
Can we say fetal position? :) Although she can still assume the position, I'm so very glad she's not still in the womb. I'm really enjoying NOT being pregnant for a while, you know? :) What a fun girl!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Busy Thing #3

Alright, so this is the last busy thing that occupied our time the past couple of weeks.

Can we all shout out together in our singing voices, "HA-LE-LU-YA!! HA-LE-LU-YA!! HA-LE-LU-YA!! HA-LE-LU-YA!! HA-LE-LU-YA!!"

That's right, we have a new vehicular! We are all SO VERY EXCITED as I'm sure you might imagine. Grady and Hadley L-O-V-E sitting "all the way in the back" and being able to move around and play with their toys while they are on the road. Grady can't get over the fact that we have "music in our car!" (like Marcelo) :) In fact, when we got to church on Sunday night, he almost cried to stay in the car instead of going inside. Seriously, he loves it. (We finally convinced him to go in with us to church)

We finally decided on a Chevrolet Zafira. It seats 7 and is just an all around great car. We are enjoying the fact that it has an A/C and heater (if we should ever need one), music (including a CD, upscale), tinted windows, power locks and windows...basically just all the things that we take for granted in the states.

Oh, and as soon as it was in our possession, Grady asked, "So now we can go to the kids' house and bring one home?" FYI: Kids' house = orphanage. Guess he thought that's all we were waiting on, a bigger car. :) So cute. I tell you what...he is ready to give a kiddo a home, that's for sure. (we seriously don't ever talk about it; we planted the seed in his heart and God grew it)

Anyway, here are some more pictures for you to enjoy. The 1st one is ours, but the others are of another one that we were test-driving for a while. We brought home a blue one first and then a black one. The kids had a hard time keeping it all straight. :)

Cass hanging out in the big girl carseat.
Look at all that room!!
Some of the neighbor kids were around and hopped in with us...we were just going around the circle on the seminary campus.
Eissa lovin' it.
That's a load, right?

And now, a couple of fun videos.

Sunday before last was Father's Day here. Joel picked a little Italian restaurant here for lunch. We had to entertain our clan until our food got to us.

Yesterday morning the girls were having a grand ole time together. You will be able to hear Eissa saying "Look, Mama" at the beginning. Then, I think it's hilarious how Cass just gives Eissa 'the eye.' Cass wasn't sure about Eissa at the time for some reason...and it shows.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Judge

First of all, Joel made it home yesterday evening. He had a great trip and we had a great time here too. More on that maybe later. But, today...

Gillian worked at the nearby orphanage while she was here. I went too on her last day and took some pictures of her with the kids. I have to say that I fell IN LOVE with one particular little boy. I even have a name for him...but I won't divulge. We are really feeling the pull to adopt these days. But, of course, we can't. We haven't done any of the required things in order to be able to adopt here...and I don't even have my driver's license for heaven's sake. Yep...I'm a totally illegal driver (we started the process last summer, but it just takes forever to get anything done here). It's just not the right timing for it quite yet and we know that...but, our hearts are being stirred, that's for sure.

There is another thing, though, that hinders EVERYONE here in Anapolis from adopting. That is the judge. We talked to Agda, the director of the orphanage, about the status of the kids there. She said the problem is that some come in as newborns (there were 2 new ones that had come in that past was a preemie newborn and the other was just a few months old) and that is the prime time to be able to adopt them out (everyone wants babies), but they can't. Why? Even when there is no family to contact and/or all family has relinquished rights, the judge just lets the paperwork sit on his desk, doing nothing about it at all. That INFURIATES me. These kids are losing their only chance at having a home because some big shot doesn't care. I'm crying big frustration tears as I type this.

This is a land where people in power do what they want to do at the expense of those all around them (with no power). Corruption runs rampant. The 'nobodies' of society...truly nobody in every sense of the word.

Agda says it wasn't always so here. Each city has its own judge and that judge is over the adoption process paperwork. Therefore, no adoption goes through without going through the judge. She said that although this judge takes years to get paperwork done (and by that time, usually nobody wants to adopt the kids, who are no longer babies), the judge before this one was very speedy. Unfortunately, there is no set term for a judge...when one gets comfortable where he is, Agda said they usually stay for a very long time.

Please pray with us. Pray that either God would change the heart of this judge or that WHATEVER needs to be done to get this guy out of power, it would be done. Pray that if we are supposed to DO anything, we would know exactly what to do and how to go about doing it (we believe God already gave Joel one we have to have wisdom as to how to go about it). Pray for Agda...what a heart she has for what she does. Please pray for the kids of this orphanage. How heartbreaking that even if someone wanted to adopt them, they just couldn't. Just pray!

This is Agda with Gillian.
And here are some pictures of "our" little boy (6 months at the time). :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

That Wandering Husband

Does that sound bad? Now that I think about it, isn't that a phrase used for a cheater?

Well, no, that's not what I meant. But, he is gone again. Yep, Joel is "on a trip" as the kids put it. It's exciting for him, but at the same time he wasn't quite ready to go off again since he just got back from a 10-day span of time away from us. Of course, we weren't ready to see him go either.

But, go he did and it's a great opportunity actually. He went with one of the SIL (the Wycliffe group here in Brazil...they recently moved their base here to Anapolis and are sharing hangars with Asas) on a mission to fly some pastors somewhere (I don't even know where) for a conference of sorts. We'll have details for you when he gets back (and we haven't forgotten...we will post about his 10-day mission trip soon also).

But, just say a few prayers for us this week. He left around 6am this morning. He'll be rolling back into town Friday afternoon (that is the hope anyway).

Thanks for your prayers...for his safety and for us too.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Busy Thing #2

So I told you that I was busy doing a couple of other things besides the whole homeschooling thing, right? Well, roll on over to my other blog to check out one of them. And in case you are having withdrawals, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure...more to come soon.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Ebersole One-Room Schoolroom

Oh yes, where have I been you might ask? Seriously, July was so busy. Not only did we have company, Joel go on a big trip, and we had just the norms of everyday life here with all these chil-rens. But, I was also busy preparing for HOMESCHOOLING!!

Yep, we did it...we started it. It is extremely informal in that I don't have a curriculum that I'm using. I just got stuff off the net and put stuff together to do. But it is very time-consuming in that I have to figure out what we are going to do everyday and have everything ready to go when it's time (kids waiting, with nothing to do, for Mama to cut stuff out does not make for peace). We are just doing fun activities revolving around the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers, and of course we have a Bible lesson (seriously, that is the most important to me...I want them to KNOW God, know what I mean?). I have countless resources here for that I even started getting before I had children (maybe even before I was married, I don't remember). It's one of those nifty boxes that comes with dividers for the different categories (People, Events, Everyday Life, Miracles and Wonders, etc.) and has interesting Bible facts on cards. The kids love them. But I also just recently got a Betty Lukens felt set. That right...I'm goin' old school Sunday School on 'em. :) Anyhoo, still cutting out the figures, but super excited about using that soon.

Alrighty, so that's what's been going on. There are 2 more things that I've been really busy with...I'll post about those things soon, when I get a chance. Schedule is fuller than ever now and blogging has gone down in the priority list, but still a priority and I will still be around...even if less frequently. Until next time, here are some pics of the last few days.

We have our Bible lesson in the mornings. It was so funny on Monday. I was finishing up in the kitchen after breakfast and told the kids to go get their Bibles and sit down on the rug in the TV room. I got done and went to the room to find this. Grady's work, it was obvious. My stool there in front. A chair for each of them with their Bibles placed neatly underneath. Super cute.
So cute. Grady is such an orderly little boy and his sisters followed his lead and sat down (after they fought over the orange chair for a bit...ha ha ha). Fun.
Clean-up after lunch. After only 2 days of this routine, they now hop to their jobs without even needing prompting. For instance, Grady and Hadley trade off jobs each helps wash dishes while the other wipes down the table and counter and sweeps the floor. Yesterday after Hadley wiped down the table and counter, she went to the closet and got the broom and went to work, all on her own. Pretty cool.
Monday we started our week-long focus on the letter A. Even our Bible lessons, snacks, and other activities have to do with the letter A.
Here the kids were helping me get the lowercase letters ready for lamination...slight detour from concentrating on the letter 'a' that day, but they didn't care.
We made applesauce.
Then we sliced apples for another snack and read this cute little story.
Who knew there were stars in the middle? Seriously, I never knew that...Joel didn't either. We've lived a sheltered life. :)
See? (Grady said this one looked more like a flower...good observation)
Then we had apple sandwiches (just peanut butter between 2 apple slices)...yummy!

Eissa was able to join us for the end of our snack time.
Apparently apple sandwiches make my firstborn girl get the crazy look.
Every child's chore, is it not...folding washcloths. Ahh the memories of being paid a quarter at my Granny's house floods my soul. :)

Not bad.
Yesterday we focused on the long 'a' sound with 'angels.'
My best attempt at an 'angel' snack.
Showing off their folders...thanks Granny!

So proud of their work.
An angel the kids made out of 2 circles and a triangle.
We also made these angel cones.
A girl angel.
Grady had the same parts of the angel to put together as Hadley (including the girl head). But, with a little scissor action (i.e. cutting the ponytails off), there was a boy angel to be had too. :)