Friday, June 26, 2009

Jon and Kate

**Scroll down if you haven't read about Grady's soccer yet.

O.K., so I've been sitting on this post for a while now. I obviously do not know these people personally. And, I'm not a watcher of the show. I've only seen a complete show once I think, and then just bits and pieces here and there over the years (when I was at my mom's...she has DirecTV and we never did).

The things of God are just so simple, aren't they? God's principles, if you truly know them and follow them, lead to success. Will you never have hard times? Will you never get sick? Will you never get sad or walk through difficulties? No to all of those. But, they just work, plain and simple.

Joel and I try to go through a marriage enrichment thingy (for lack of a better term :) ) every so often. Right now, we are slowly making our way through a study called Love & Respect. We have the book and we also have the actual seminar on DVD. It basically talks about how the most important thing to a woman...the best way to really take care of her and nurture her and to show her love...she must feel loved. Love love love. Be tender with her, affectionate, buffer her from the cares of this world...but, however you can show her love the best (or rather, however she prefers to be shown love), do it. Love. For a man, the thing that he most desires is respect...he must feel respect. Show him admiration, praise him for the work he does, thank him for how he takes care of you...however you can show him respect the best (or rather, however he prefers to be shown respect), do it. Respect.

The very first time I turned the channel to find this show about a couple with twins and sextuplets, I had to change the channel after about 5 minutes. Kate was such a complete bitty that I just couldn't stand to watch it. She spoke with such disrespect to her husband. Was she stressed? I'm sure she was. Is that an excuse? No,'s not. Was Jon doing his part...was he being the husband he was supposed to be? Maybe not. But, is that an excuse? Nope,'s not.

Poor Kate. I really and truly feel for her. She obviously did not/does not know this biblical principle. Truly...I feel so bad for her. Was her mother that way...disrespectful to her father? Was her mother subservient to her father and she swung the pendulum? Whatever the case, I have gathered (from one of the bits and pieces) that she and her parents aren't close and/or that they cause her more stress. The point is that if this wasn't modeled for her, she would've needed to learn this principle on her own. And she never did.

And Jon. Jon was the one that was disrespected, over and over and over front of millions no less. But, he was also ignorant of important biblical principles. Was Kate being loved like Christ loved the church and gave His life for it? You can serve and lay your life down for your wife and still be the strong head of the home. It seems like two they contradict each other. But, that's the way God's principles seem foolishness to the it could never work, but it does...and it works the best. Some never master this though, and it makes for difficulties for sure.

I read a blip about them today and watched the clip of their announcement show. Kate said that Jon has a lot of anger towards her, but won't discuss it with her. Sounds familiar. We all know situations like that one. It's amazing that she's surprised by this. Years and years of taking her criticism and disrespect...that'll do it.

And Jon...too bad he just took it all these years. And, fine...he has a reason to be upset and downright pissed off to be quite honest. But,, be a man and forgive, lay down your life (and your pride) for your wife, love her like Christ loved the church, and start to do the leading...if she is being loved the right way, she will follow. Do you really think that separating is the manly thing to do? Do you really think that completely and totally wrecking your family's life, your children's lives, is the right/Godly thing to do?!? Maybe you don't care about what's Godly...if not, therein lies the problem.

Jon says, "Our kids are still my number one priority. I love them and want to make sure they stay happy, healthy and safe. My job is being the best, most supportive and loving father that I can be to my kids, and not being married to Kate doesn’t change that." Really?!? Really, Jon?!? No, actually, that changes EVERYTHING!! If you want to be the loving father that you claim to want to be, then don't give up. A loving father does whatever it takes to keep his family together. If you don't do whatever it takes, then that loving father bit is just a crock of hoo hoo...and you know it.

Truly, another point is that if their children are number one to them, if they are priority over their spouse, another problem. Jon and Kate were there before the children. Jon and Kate need to still be able to be Jon and Kate, minus the 8. But, if they truly did all that they do for their children, separation/divorce would not even be words uttered out of their mouths. Are you kidding me? You can try to sell yourself the 'it's better for the kids if we aren't married' line all you want, but it isn't true. It's better for your children to fix your relationship with God so that He can fix your marriage! I cannot stress that enough. Do not believe the lies of the world and the enemy. Divorce is almost never better for the children (the exception being certain rare cases of physical or emotional abuse, but those comprise a very small percentage of divorces and even in those cases, believe it of not, divorce isn't always the answer).

A friend of mine once made the statement that ALL divorce is because of selfishness. At the time I didn't agree with him...what about adultery, what about betrayal of some other sort, what about 'growing apart,' etc. etc. etc.? But, how blind I was then...looking at the surface issues when the heart issue was what it was all about. And when there is divorce, the heart has always revealed selfishness. Pure, disgusting, life-shattering selfishness.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. --Ephesians 5:33

Why aren't the wives commanded to love? Because it just comes naturally for a woman to love...that's who we are. That's why we had to be commanded to respect. It's not what we think about. We think we only need to love. If we love, everything will be fine. Not the case. Why is the husband commanded to love? Because it doesn't come as naturally...not to the extent that a woman needs it. Does a man need to feel loved? Of course. Does a woman need to feel respect? Again, of course. But, the primary need of a man is respect...and of a woman is love.

And if you want a man to feel loved by you, show him respect. Tell him how much you admire him, how much you are in awe of all that he does and how he cares for you and the kiddos. See if you don't get a big beaming smile and some loving from him for that.

Many blame the show for Jon and Kate's demise...too much spotlight, too much pressure. Yeah, of course that contributes to the stress of an already not so healthy relationship. But, if these principles were already in place, if they were living out the principles of the God who they apparently claim to follow (from what I hear...saw criticism from non-Christians on a review of their book saying that they claimed Christianity, but that they thought it was only a ploy to get more sales since they'd never known it from watching their show), it wouldn't matter if they were on a show or not. Or, can you imagine if they were touched by the almighty power of God and turned around...turned from their selfishness...truly sought out God's answers for their marriage and family...what a witness that would be.

Truly, I could care less if they continue their show or not, but I do care about their marriage. I do care about their sweet, precious, innocent kids who do not deserve this at all. I've seen what divorces can do to families. I've lived what divorce can do to families. They don't deserve it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Soccer For Grady and Other Happenings

As mentioned before, we were looking for some extracurricular activities for the kiddos after we got back from the states. We found the dance class for Hadley and we have now found a great soccer class for Grady (age 5). He LOVES it. I was surprised when he didn't say anything like "I'm a little bit too shy" when we got to the gym where his class is. There were people sitting around in the bleachers watching him, a group of boys his age he didn't know, and a brand new teacher he'd never laid eyes on, but still he just ran on in. I was so happy for him. I think he is very conscious now of when he gets 'shy' and is actively overcoming it. We've shared with him 2 Tim. 1:7 (interesting how Grady says he's 'shy' and some translations quote that verse as saying 'God did not give us a spirit of timidity' instead of 'fear') and have prayed with him. I think he's winning...on the things he actually wants and needs to do (which is really all that counts).

When we began taking Hadley to dance class, Eissa would dress up in her dance clothes too. She did not want to dance, but thought it was fun to dress up. Then she stopped wanting to even dress up. Well, a few days after she stopped dressing up, I took Hadley to dance class and Hadley started walking back to the room where they have the class. Eissa just pranced right on in with her. I called her to see what she was doing and she said to me (as if I was crazy...why would I ask such a question) that she was going to dance with Hadley (you crazy Mama...what do you think?!?). ;) So, off she went. I dressed her in her dance clothes again the next time and she's been going ever since.

I am literally a dadgum soccer mom now...complete with the drop-offs and mini-van (or Brazil's version anyway). Grady's soccer class is 9:30-11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hadley's and Eissa's dance class is 9:30-10:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, it's perfect. We get it all done at one time. Up until yesterday I would stay at one place or the other. But, I think that from now on, like yesterday, we will drop off the kids (girls first, then Grady) and then me and Cass will run errands. That worked out perfectly yesterday. Then we go pick up the girls and head over to watch the last of Grady's class...usually a little scrimmage game. Fun stuff.

I know ZERO about soccer except that you try to make goals. And, to be quite honest, I've always found it exceptionally (or women) kicking a ball all around a huge field and hardly ever making a goal...nothing like basketball (Shhh!! Don't tell the Brazilians. I might be stoned to death for saying something like that in these here parts). ;) But, I'm sure if Grady loves it then my love of the game will change. I already love watching him in his little scrimmages, even though usually no goals are scored at all (except the occasional one). ;)

And then there is Cass. Happy as a lark as usual. Walking all over the house, getting new teeth all the time (found 2 more since my last post...and Jamin, no, they don't even drool usually...esp. for the non-jaw teeth...pretty amazing), saying words, repeating all kinds of things that we do, and just generally being cute as a button.

I think I've mentioned this before, but we really, in hindsight, think it would've been much better if we'd gone somewhere for me to attend a language school. Joel would've stayed with the kids and not started any kind of ministry until I was done with the language learning aspect. So, now we are basically trying to simulate that as much as possible here. Joel arranged it so that he is coming home early everyday. So, now I study Portuguese every day from 4:30-6:30. I also started going to see Kelma again (my Portuguese teacher) on Tuesday afternoons during that's been good (for both of us) to re-establish that weekly meeting time.

Joel is doing really well too. You'll have to bug him about giving you a more detailed update himself on his own blog...yes, he does have one. ;) And just like me, you can also catch him on Facebook, friends.

Alright, now some pictures of some of the things I just described for you...and some video. Until next time...

A little stretching.
And warming up.
And now adding the ball.
I love Grady in this one.
My little partner in the bleachers.

After picking the girls up from dance class. Grady has his own built-in cheering squad. ;)
Posing. The girls get exceptionally dramatic and 'posy' after dance class. Pretty funny.
What a big package of cuteness!!
She loves to do everything big sister does.
Her big sister loves it too (most of the time).
She loves to read!
And walks around with big girl house shoes on.
And she's climbing everywhere!

Oftentimes getting stuck. ;)
And, just last Sunday, she graduated to her big girl the old age of 15 months (almost...all of our others were much younger than that). She thoroughly enjoys going forward. ;)

6-16-09 Grady's 1st day in Soccer class. Doing a little kicking. Grady is in the orange top.

Doing some catching.

Moving the ball.

Obstacle course.

A little relay.

Playing a game. Grady (in orange top) kicking it in.

6-16-09 Hadley and Eissa doing a little dance routine in class.

This was when I was 'laid up' with my back, obviously. Some Cass (age 14 months) specialties as of late is saying "thank you" and blowing her nose (she actually, really and truly blows it).

Thursday, June 18, 2009


That's what a chiropractor is called in Portuguese...I knew you were wondering.

So sorry to not update you sooner, but it's just been nonstop here.

I spent 3 hours in the chiropractor's office on Tuesday afternoon. To say that she was thorough would be an understatement. Exactly the kind of doctor's visit I like...someone who really listens to me and really gets to know me and my shell (body). Chiropractors are super rare around these parts. Like I said before, we were told there were none when we moved here. But, that is slowly changing and our chiropractor told us that there are actually 4 chiropractic schools here in Brazil now. A bonus though for our gal? She was trained in the U.S. and spoke perfect English. That was nice.

Basically it's like this...she fixed me up. Has my back hurt since we left there? Nope. Amazing. She confirmed that she does also suspect it to just be muscular, but will be looking at the x-rays the other doc took when we go back for our follow-up visit, still to be scheduled. I'll keep you posted.

And Cass? She's just fine. (Picture: One day at the park in kisses to the kids' favorite doll, which is actually one of my dolls from when I was little. They now each have a doll like that too. Thanks Aunt Marilyn!) In fact, after that morning that I posted about her cold and low-grade fever, she was fine by that afternoon. Thank you for praying for her!

She is quite the little mimicker these days. Everything we say or anything the kids do, she's on it. For instance, tonight when the kids were told to go to their beds, they all lined up with their hands on the wall, counted to 10, then ran to the bed. Cass got in on it a little late, so by the time she got her hand on the wall, they were already at about number 9. So, they took off and she stayed. She looked at me and started 'counting'...then took off too. Hilarious. Oh, and I found another tooth in her mouth the other day. My kids are such great teethers (I know, we're totally blessed with that). One day they'll just show up with a new tooth (or teeth).

Alright, gotta run. Just didn't want to delay my update any longer. Thanks so very much for the prayers. You guys are so great. We SO appreciate you all!! Love you!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back Update +

Attractive, isn't it? But, this has been me the past few days. And then this morning little Cass woke up with a cold. She usually wakes up at 7:30 or 8, but we had to go wake her up at 10:15 this morning (wow...and she went to bed last night at 7:45). After laying with me for a few minutes, she went to eat breakfast and walked around for a little while...ate a few bites of lunch too. By 1:00, she was standing at her crib, crying and begging us to put her in. ;) Poor little chicken. Joel changed her diaper and then just laid her in her crib, keeping her door open and not turning on her noise maker or her fan just yet. We were all making our usual noises in the house, but Joel went back to her door after a few minutes and she was out. So, say a few prayers for her as well, if you don't mind. ;)

Alright, so here's the deal with my back...

I last wrote on Wednesday. My friends from church who are physical therapists worked me in where they work that afternoon. They hooked up a TENS unit to me and shocked me some. ;) Seriously, if felt good, but didn't give me any lasting relief at all. The best part...I got a massage. I have never had a massage before. Sure, it was only on my lower back...and a physical therapy massage is not quite the same as an actual masseuse massage I'm sure. But, it felt great. I think I might have to get me one of them there massages someday. ;) Hmm, maybe that's the root of all my problems...I haven't ever gotten a massage. Sounds like a good theory. To prevent this from ever happening again, I must have a weekly full body massage. What do you think, Joely poo? ;)

We left the physical therapy place and went to my doctor's appointment with the orthopedist that our friends recommended. I liked him. He got x-rays done and said that everything looked fine structurally. Looked to be muscular. He prescribed rest and also a couple of pain meds....neither of which even touched my pain. Codeine does jack for me...this I know now.

So, basically the rest of Wednesday and all day Thursday I was in misery. We ended up getting essentially a full cabinet's worth (slight exaggeration, but you get the point) of over-the-counter pain meds that I tried one by one and found, one by one, to be completely ineffective in alleviating this pain. We couldn't just call the doctor back and ask for something stronger...Thursday was a holiday in Brazil and when there is a holiday, everything is closed. We tried to answer.

We even hit up some of our doctor friends for suggestions, but they were a bit at a loss as to the codeine not working. I'm quite sure there is better, stronger pain medicine here (surely), but did you know they don't have Vicodin?!? I sound like such a junkie writing this. ;) But, I know that Vicodin has worked for other pain that I've had in the past (in high school when I had my wisdom teeth pulled, when I had a D&C after my miscarriage in 2002...really those are the only times). I just wanted some Vicodin!! Ha ha ha. Yeah...junkie. So not like me...I promise. ;)

Well, for whatever reason, on Friday morning (that would be yesterday, wouldn't it?) I woke up and was able to actually move...not the case the 2 days before. I laid around in the bed all day, just keeping those muscles still. I had hoped to make it to a wedding of some friends that started at 8pm. I planned to try to just rest all day and then take a 2 hour break from the bed to go to the wedding. Well, it worked out. About 7:30, we decided I could do it. ;) Thankfully this is Brazil and you don't have to be on time to anything because usually it's not going to start on time anyway. Sure enough, the wedding didn't really get underway until around 8:45 (actually pretty impressive for an 8pm wedding)...we ended up being a tad bit early. ;)

So, we went to the wedding and stayed for most of the ceremony and then made a break for it to get me back to the bed. Right now I'm just taking Ibuprofen. I am not hurting nearly as bad as I was. I can actually get up without being in excruciating pain, but if I do, my back starts hurting worse. So, I'm still taking it easy in the bed. Even in the bed it hurts (it feels so very tight right now as I type this), but what else can I do?

Chiropractic is not practiced here. When we moved here, we were told that there were no chiropractors. And there wasn't. But, just this week (on Thursday actually) we were told about a chiropractor in Goiania who was trained in the United States. We tried to call for an appointment yesterday, but as stated, it was a holiday. So, we are hoping to get in with her on Monday...that is if my back isn't 100%.

Until then, it's bedrest and Ibuprofen for me. It's so frustrating. I have no idea what the deal is...why such pain and why it's lasting so long. So irritating!! But, hopefully at least on Monday we will know more.

And, Joel has been ON full-time since Wednesday. Say a few prayers for him. He and the kids are just hanging is out the window of course. But, it's a lot to take care of 4 small children full-time. He'll deserve a nice break once I'm all better. ;) He's the best Daddy ever. He doesn't just survive...he does fun things with the kids and everything. He's awesome!! blessed.

I'll give you another back update on Monday or Tuesday. Thanks so much for the continued prayers. This has probably been way too long and boring for some of you, but are some pictures as a reward. ;) Or, as making up to you for the long and boring monologue...whichever.

Remember this little guy? And this post about when I met him the first time last summer?
Well, this is him now. I went the other day to the orphanage to visit...specifically to see him actually. He's unhappy because I put him down to take this picture. He woke up and I was there by his was the sweet helper that works there. He looked at me, then looked at her, then looked at me again. Then he walked over to me with his arms raised up to me. want to just bring him home with me.
Even if he is not the one that we end up adopting in time (I don't even know if he's adoptable...don't know his story, if there are family members present, etc.), he has at least urged me on, sparked a fire in me again (although, it was always there)...rushed things along in our minds maybe. We are trying to get all the necessary things in place quickly so that we can adopt when the time comes.
He's no longer in the nursery area...he is in the little boys' house. I think he's about 18-20 months old.
Last Monday night, my back was feeling much better (than it had been over the weekend) and we thought we were in the clear. So, we rode over to Goiania to celebrate with a friend, Marcelo. He owns a restaurant and had a big cocktail party type thing there (invited guests alone). Along with the restaurant, he also runs a tourism magazine all about Goiania and it was recently named the official tourism guide for Goiania. It was the 2nd birthday of the magazine and lots of important people were there. Marcelo was given a key to the city. Really cool. So excited for him.
Us with Marcelo. What a big night for him.
Us on the red carpet. Not carpet.
This is Marcelo's restaurant, Cafe Cancun...the only Mexican restaurant I know of in this area (or Brazil for that matter...ha ha ha)...he bought it just for me. ;) Kidding. They also sell typical Brazilian food there too, because God forbid a Brazilian be without their precious beans and rice option for even one meal. Ha ha ha. I love to laugh with them about this. ;)
Tuesday night my Portuguese teacher, Kelma (in yellow) and a good friend, Stephanie (also American and with Asas de Socorro) went out to supper. Fun-ness. This was right before my back started killing again. Eeesh.
At the wedding last night. Look at gorgeous little Maira. She had the job of carrying the rings down to the bride and groom during the ceremony.
Our sweet babysitter, Carol, was the Brazilian equivalent to a bridesmaid.
And the beautiful bride, Lanna. She is very good friends with Carol. And the guy she married is also the son of our neighbors...the Bachellers (who live in the first house we lived in here at the seminary...where Cass was born). It's all a tangled web, isn't it? ;) We're all related somehow. ;)

And the rest are just some pictures taken around the house the past few weeks...

The kids were watching some cartoons. I looked over from feeding Cass and Eissa had set up a place for her kiddos to watch too. ;)
Some mid-morning hammock play.

Such helpers we have now!! ;)

Getting a little trim. He gets so "itchy" and hates that part. Hadley and Eissa were helping to get all the hair off, so as to not be itchy. ;) What sweet sisters. And Cass was very curious! ;) What a cutie!
The kids watched their first ever 3-D movie (Fly Me To The Moon, or something like that). The glasses were too big though, of course. I had to tape them on their faces. ;)

And they ditched the glasses about 3 minutes into it. They were so not into it. ;) But, at least I got a cute shot of them beforehand.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Down In My Back

Is that a southern expression? I posted that as my status on Facebook a couple of days ago and was asked what that meant. ;) Hmmm.

Of course, then I explained that it meant that I was 'laid up.' Ha ha ha. Is that another southern expression or does that compute for everyone? Ahhh, gotta love colloquialisms!

Anyway, my back hurts to put it simply. Another simple, universal term...OUCH-IE!!!!!!!!!!

It all started on Friday. I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking that maybe it had something to do with carrying laundry bins way out in front of me instead of close to my being. I know, not proper body mechanics. But, I don't want dirty laundry brushing up against my clean clothes that I have on. Got it? If you don't understand, you really should have some training on clean technique.

Now, I've done that millions of times...well, you know, since I started doing laundry years and years ago. So, that may not be the culprit at all. But, I think that maybe I'll have to employ this method from now on. Much better alignment, agreed?

So, really I'm not sure what the catalyst was for my back woes, but Saturday and Sunday I spent much of my time in the bed. We had a lunch scheduled with a couple on Saturday and another outing on Sunday, but other than those brief excursions (during which I was not comfortable in the back region), it was bed laying for me.

Don't get me wrong...I love some good time just laying in the bed. But, I love it when I'm on a vacation. Or, having a nice, relaxing birthday or Mother's Day or something. Not when I am writhing in pain (except for I'm not writhing because that would entail movement and movement hurts). I love it when I'm not nauseated and/or experiencing other tummy troubles (that I won't mention, but you know exactly what I mean). Needless to say, my "layin' up in the bed" these days has not been for fun reasons...NOT AT ALL.

Now, this is a somewhat light post, but in all seriousness, I need some healing. My back had gotten better yesterday. Joel stayed home most the day on Monday due to my back and not being able to fully tend to our little ones (i.e. when a Mama can't lift, a Mama can't do her job, esp. when she has 2 'babies' that still require said lifting). But, yesterday we thought I was fine. I was a bit sore, but nothing major at all.

Well, last night it started getting worse. By the time I went to bed, I could barely stand up. This morning I have not left my bed. Joel called the pharmacy and got some meds delivered (a nice perk to Brazil services free of charge from the pharmacy)...because basically I can't move without them. It even hurts to lay flat in the bed without movement. I am waiting for them to kick in (and prayerfully they will) and then hopefully I can make it a few steps to relieve my bladder. Seriously, I'm hurting. Help me. Pray. I've never been down in my back before, but it's the pits, people.

We will be going to see a physical therapist friend of ours from church this afternoon and then on to an orthopedist. Please pray for some relief for me, answers as to what is causing this (something simple and non-scary preferably), a quick and easy cure, and life back to normal as soon as possible...because I'm kind of fond of being able to move personally...and walk and sit up and lift my babies, etc. I'll keep you updated. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Piano

We were so excited to get Joel's family's piano about a week and a half ago. It's so wonderful to have a piano in the house again. We love it.

This piano belonged to Joel's grandparents here in Brazil. They lived in Sao Paulo state...a couple of states south of us (in a little town called Matao). When Joel's parents moved to Goiania (a while after Joel's grandparents were killed in a car accident), they took the piano with them. When they left to go to the United States back in the mid-90s, they entrusted the piano with some family friends (who refurbished the piano a bit)...with the understanding that if family came back to Brazil, the piano would go to them.

Well, we are that family. ;) In the first house that we lived in here at the seminary, there was already a piano there, so we didn't need to get this one yet. But we are, with the piano that Joel learned to play on...and his dad and aunts before him learned to play on...and the piano that his grandparents played. It's so very special to be able to have an 'heirloom.' That's never the case here that we are able to have something that belongs to the hand-me-down furniture, no special somethings passed down from generation to generation, etc. We are not privy to such sharing. ;) But, we have this. And we are super excited.

The 4th generation of Ebersoles will soon learn to play on this piano. We are very grateful.

The piano came and so did a piano tuner. Nice. The kids loved watching it all.

The tuner doing his thing. I love the way it looks inside.
Eissa went to the piano, asked for the hymnbook, and then asked me to take a picture ("pitcha me? pitcha me, Mama?"). :)
Little walking Cass being serenaded. ;)
We got some of my family's old pictures framed. But, I'll talk more about that another time. They look REALLY great above the piano though. Love it!

Grady trying out his great-grandparents' piano. :) So cool.

Eissa had the camera and I didn't know it. She captured some of what the piano sounds like. Disclaimer: I hadn't really played in years. ;)

Eissa entertaining us. She first sang "America, America" (as in the chorus of "Oh, Beautiful")...the older kids sing that during our homeschool. ;) Then she just sang about whatever she saw or thought of. For instance, when she looked over and saw Grady laying on the floor and sang about Grady being tired. ;) Ha ha ha. Very entertaining.