Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Your Mind and Your Brain

I love Joyce. After I posted my last post the other day, I've been watching these videos over the last couple of days. So very interesting. If you find yourself in a place where you do not want to be, if you find yourself wishing that your life was different, take the time to watch these. Then really get on your face before God and ask Him to help you to apply these principles. And drastically change your life.

Your Mind is the Battlefield - Part 1

Your Mind is the Battlefield - Part 2

The lady that Joyce is talking to here is so very interesting. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak in person at a conference I went to while in the states. You have to really listen closely when she speaks because she is just so very passionate about what she's talking about. It's nearly impossible to take notes when in her sessions. Hahaha. She speaks in one big run-on sentence and doesn't take a breath. But, UH-MAZING what she has to say. God is simply incredible...and so is the way He made our bodies. Love how science even shows that. her accent. ;)

Your Brain and You - Part 1

Your Brain and You - Part 2

What Picture Have You Painted?

Excerpt from a book I'm reading:

Most people have what they are not firmly embedded in their minds. There's a saying, "Argue for your limitations and they're yours." Very true.

If you say, "I'm not a morning person," "I don't like to exercise," "I'm not very disciplined," I just hate vegetables," "I'm lazy," "I'm a procrastinator," "I'm depressed," "I'm fat," "I'm old," or "I'm sick," then you're absolutely right!

However, if you say, "I'm a 'go-to-bed-on-time-and-get-up-ready-to-rock-and-roll-at-6:00-a.m.' kind of person," "I love the feeling I get from completing a workout," "I am disciplined and motivated," "I am healthy," and "I am orderly and a hard worker," then you're absolutely right!

What you need is to exchange your old, lousy, self-loathing, limiting beliefs for ones that actually are moving you toward the person you dream to be, the person you were created to be, and the person you really are.

What Joyce Meyer said long ago is true. The battlefield is the mind.

I love to hear my kids reminding each other of the right things to do and choices to make. I'll hear them in the other room saying things like, "Remember, use self-control," "Uh-oh, remember, don't fuss," "Remember, put others first," or "Remember, Mama said words are powerful." Words are powerful.

But, the other day it came time to take it a step further. Hadley started to say something and then stopped herself. I asked her what she was going to say and she told me. Then I said, "Yeah, that's not nice, huh?" She smiled and said, "Yes, that's why I didn't say it." :) Loved that. It's working. The endless training is working. :)

But, it opened the door to a discussion about how the next step to that is to not even have those wrong thoughts. Or, to take those thoughts captive. If you practice that enough, taking those thoughts captive, you get quicker and quicker at not entertaining those thoughts. Every time you have a wrong thought, you immediately take it captive. The more you do it, the quicker you get. And the more you practice that, you start to not have those thoughts at all. It's called renewing your mind. It's a lovely thing.

Your actions spring forth from the way you see yourself and think. Your life and who you are is a direct reflection of your thoughts...of your mind.

So, what picture have you painted of yourself that you repaint every day? Do you paint positive things about yourself? If not, what are you going to do to change that this year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hope You Had...


Ours was soooo great. It's been 3 years since we had been home on Christmas, so it was really great to just stay put and relax and enjoy each other. It's great setting up your own traditions with your own family. Lots and lots of fun.

Things have been pretty busy around in most places I'm guessing. I mean, you've been pretty busy too, right? ;) But, it's time for a major update and I am also needing to just document a few fun family facts from recent history. ;) So, bullet points, here we come.


Everyone is doing well. Grady got a Legos spaceship for Christmas, so he's spent every. waking. moment here at home doing that. He just finished it up as I was typing this. Now he and the girls are playing with it and using LOTS of imagination.

The girls' biggest hit gift-wise as far as what they've spent most time doing since Christmas is their make-up. Of course. It's never far away.

It's been a wonderful few days.

Joel had a reunion of his old youth group yesterday in Goiania. It was so fun to meet all his old running buddies. They are all really fun...a bunch of characters that had us laughing all afternoon for sure. We talked and laughed and had churrasco and they played music...and played music...and played music. Joel said that is mostly what they always did together. We even had a mini Setimo Selo (Seventh Seal) revival...hahaha (Joel's old band that was actually really successful). Then we went to church with Marcelo. Really fun. He's our closest friend out of Joel's old bunch (and was also part of Setimo Selo). :) We hang out with him a lot.

Joel now has the week off of looking forward to this. We will be working on the house. We are really making this house our home these days...working on getting it all organized and fitting our needs. For instance, Joel built a huge custom bookshelf in our little study...and it's exactly what we needed. We have plans to do that in all of the rooms of the do whatever each room needs to make the most of the space we have here. A really needed long-term project. Will be soooo good when it's finished though.

And now the bullet points...

(A couple of disclaimers before I get started. 1) You may have seen a couple of these on Facebook already, but wanted to document them here, and 2) This is about what I love about homeschooling, not about you who may not homeschool and me thinking you should. Hate I feel the need to point that out every time I mention homeschooling, honestly, but want to make sure that you are not reading disapproval of your lifestyle into my one paragraph. Everyone makes their own choices. I'm more than happy with our choice to homeschool. If you feel the same way about whatever choice your family made, then we are all good. :) Now on with the bullet points.)

--Eissa has been soooo funny the last few months. She makes so many words have way more syllables than they should. And it started after we left Saline, which is weird. ;) But, for instance, she says 'again' like 'uh-gee-uhn' and 'man' like 'may-uhn' and 'pants' like 'pay-uhnts' and 'get' like 'gee-uht' gee-uht the picture. It's really cute.

--Eissa also got a new bike a couple of weeks ago. It's actually Hadley's old bike and Hadley got a new one. Poor Eissa...she got the hand-me-down and Hadley has now gotten 2 new bikes in her life. But, there was not even a sound uttered about that from her. She was so excited about getting a bike period...she didn't even think to complain about it not being new and Hadley getting another new one. So sweet.

--BUT, Eissa will be getting a new one soon herself. Because Cass will be getting the hand-me-down Hadley/Eissa's time.

--Grady continues to be really into 'Bible time' at night. He is so into the's really cool. Remember when he was saying "I want God to just go away" back in August? I really think that a lot of that had to do with the fact that He was very weary. Weary of travel...weary of following God who was calling us to travel. He said something to the affect of "I want God to go away so I can live where I want to live and do what I want to do" more than once during those few days when we were having those discussions. Thankfully, God is allowing us to stay put for a while. God knew that Grady needed that (along with all of us actually). But, our Bible time at night continues to be SO rich with discussion and learning. Love it. Oh, and Grady hasn't said anything like that fact, he even told me that God could stay. Nice. :)

--I hear "I love you bery so much" or "Ohhh, I just love you" from Eissa several times a day. And Hadley is also very lovey dovey...always wanting to give me a big kiss on the cheek. Cass tells me often, "Mama, you're my best friend." that...and hope this trend continues...forever. Doing my best to keep it going, that's for sure.

--My kids say 'starving' for everything. "Oh, I'm just starving to play" or "Oh, I'm just starving to watch a movie" or "I'm so starving to go outside and ride my bike." Last night we got home reeeeeealy late and they were saying, "Oh, I'm so starving to go to sleep." Hahaha.

--They can be pretty dramatic in the way they put things. This morning they were waiting for us to get breakfast when Hadley said suddenly, 'Ohhhhh, I'm just filled with hunger.' :)

--I was about to fix the girls' hair one morning. Eissa said, "I'm first, because I'm so beautiful" (she had just put on a pretty little pink dress made by Grandma that she can twirl around in and make a full skirt...she loves it). She said that and then she tripped over her own feet and fell down. Hadley immediately and very matter-of-factly pointed out to her, "Pride comes before a fall." :)

--Cass says the best prayers at mealtime. Super cute.

--We talk a lot about hearing God. There have been so many things that we've read in school these days that have brought up discussions about the many different ways that God can speak to you. This morning Grady and Hadley had been being playing too loudly. Cass was still asleep, so I had told them to stop doing what they were doing...then they went back to doing it anyway and that's where Hadley's story picks up. She came to me and said, "Me and Grady were playing and I heard God say, 'That isn't the right thing to do.' He gave me thoughts. I think He was talking through the lamp." ;)

--Cass just came up to me and said, "Mama, I got all your stuff-es." Stuff, but there was lots of stuff, so she felt the need to make it plural I guess. Ha. Love these kids.

--LOVE the homeschooling these days. Just in the past 3 weeks we've read stories about the Holocaust (yes, in Kindergarten), bullying, the poor conditions of the Appalachian Mountains, and many more incredible stories that have brought up countless important and incredible discussions. And it's continuous, these discussions. And, whenever I see something throughout our days that relates to what we are learning in school, I can point it out. Many people ask why it's so important to me to homeschool. These are just a few of the reasons. I couldn't do that if I sent them to school. Not that we wouldn't still talk and discuss things...but our lives and activities just wouldn't be nearly as intertwined and all working together. It's nice.

--As I was finishing this post up, Cass and Eissa came to sit with me. They are playing, one on each side of me. Cass said, "Mama, you are my best friend." Eissa said, "I love you bery so much. I wish I could keep you." Hahaha. I said, "So why can't you keep me?" Eissa said, "O.K., I will keep you as a pet." HA. So I asked her, "Why can't you just keep me as a Mama?" Eissa: "Ohhhh, right." And then Cass named me 'Sissarena' and has been calling me that for the past 10 minutes. ;) She's insisting that I call her 'Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the Way.' Fun times.

--Hopefully you have all gotten our Christmas cards by now. ;) If not, they are coming really soon. The friends of ours here in Brazil have not...nor have other international folk. But soon. They were all mailed out on the 23rd...thanks to Joel's wonderful parents and brother and sister for carrying out this major project for us. Next year, since we have no plans of traveling this year at all (that we know of anyway...although I do still hold out hope for being able to travel to one very special big event), we will be settled and normal (hopefully) and calm and set in a schedule. All things I look forward to in this coming year. And...we will be able to get things done in an orderly fashion. will be nice. But, these are just a few of the pictures we took during our Christmas photo op. As always, click on the image to see an enlarged version. Enjoy. ;)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

40 Weeks and An Opportunity to Bless/Save

We just got done with our last adoption class on Monday night. We have been approved to adopt since last spring and on 'the list' since that time as well. All that was lacking were these classes to complete our process. I can't even tell you how excited I am. Eeeek!!

Monday night as we were chatting with the leader after class, we realized that given our list of preferences (or non-preferences)...doesn't matter the race or the gender, we're fine with the ages of up to 3 years old, we will accept sibling, we could get a call any day. OF COURSE, it could also be 3 years down the road...only God knows the day and the hour. ;) But, it really is kind of like being about 40 weeks pregnant (ahh, the anticipation; so fun!!)...could happen any day. Which got us to thinking...

What if we are presented with a sibling group, like next week? Hmmm...where will we fit them? :) Our car at the moment will only hold one more person. This house is not ours and we could technically be asked to move out at any given time...but, besides that, we are really kind of growing out of it, esp. if we accumulate more children and people want to come visit (which they always do, something that we are so very thankful hosting you visitors, so keep 'em comin'). What then? much as I want to just settle (and we are until God moves us onward), if I'm honest with myself, change is still in the air.

And what does that have to do with you?

Well, I am writing today about a neat thing that we just learned about recently. We had really kind of put in on the backburner, but felt a little nudge to get at this last night. Let me tell you about it...

But, first a little history for those of you who have maybe just happened upon this here blog. We are missionaries with a Brazilian organization that uses aviation to reach and help others. Being a missionary, in our case, means that we live on support/donations. That is always a thing that requires just a whole lotta trust and faith, you know? A very different lifestyle to lead.

We have never actually been 100% funded, according to the basic-needs budget that we set up for our family (only around 70% to be honest). Our 'income' varies from month to month...and some months are pretty darn tight. But, somehow God has always provided (as usual...He's like that) whether it be through special one-time monetary gifts or through someone just giving us the material things that we are in need of. So very blessed and thankful for that.

We are always mindful, though, of watching out for ways to practically generate funds for our ministry. I can't stand a scam. ;) Or nagging for money or even asking nicely for people to give money just because they love us. :) Hahaha. God can prompt the hearts of the givers to be a part of our outreach...and even provide for a very tangible way to 'make' money. So when we found something recently that could not only help us, but help the ones helping us in a very practical way, we were
on board.

Everyone loves a good deal, right? And everyone has used a gift card or discount card of some sort before, right? Well, that's exactly what we are talking about. It's pretty cut and dry. I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a discount booklet or card from someone. It helped them, sure. But, was a no-brainer for me to buy it because not only did it help whoever I bought it from, it also always helped me. So...

We have found a great Christian company who provides discount can save up to 50% at 100,000 merchants for a full year...all for a $20 investment/donation to our ministry. You can even buy more than one and give them away...what a great Christmas present! you might have guessed by now, yep, we have your Samaritan Card right here for only $20 each. ;) You can view just how helpful these things can be at You have to actually have a card to do some of the things on that site, but it can give you a good idea of the wonderfulness you can expect with your Samaritan Card.

How does this work for you to get your Samaritan Cards? Good question. Just go here to our website ( and click on the link to get your card (click on the image of the card). It will take you to 'the Card' page. You will make your payment through our PayPal account and we'll send you your card...simple as that. You will be able to start saving within days...and if you act now, you can order some as Christmas gifts too.

So, what are you waiting for? Go bless us and bless yourselves, for heaven's sake. Scat. Go now. :)

I love the Sample $avings! Hello!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

On Second Thought...

O.K., yeah...just takes too long to resize the pictures and upload to do an album for every month. I really want to do that, but just don't have the time. It was more feasible in Campinas when I started, but not here. So...I had really hoped to avoid this, but what I will now probably need to do is find the best plan to choose and upload (not resize) pictures to another web album that will also print into a photo album. Have looked at Shutterfly and Snapfish a bit now, but nothing in-depth. Who has done this already? What do you recommend?

This blog is where I 'share' and will always be printing out this as a book. So, I'd hoped to just add the albums to this, but now hope to just put a few on here and then print out the others from the other site. a few here and also provide a link to the online album that I want to print? Not sure that's a possibility. Anyway, I'm sure all of what I just said is about as clear as mud. But, any ideas? Let me know what you know. Any and all suggestions welcome. Thanks!!

In other news, the adoption classes have been just great. Love them. Very excited about meeting together with people who all have a heart to help these kids...and be blessed by them in return. So exciting to think about. Can you all pray for one specific child in particular? His name is Washington Gabriel (I just love his name; this is not a picture of him, but we were told that he had light skin and hair and green eyes...this little boy has blue, but this is kind of how I pictured Washington in my mind). :) He developed toxoplasmosis in the womb (ladies, you know how they warn you to not touch the kitty litter while preggo...this is why; you can also get it from a number of other sources, but that's what I always associate it with). He is 2 1/2 and is released for adoption. But, they are having trouble placing him. They mentioned him in the first class and we asked about him after class. We did some research afterward on the disease.

We are all called to care for the orphans. But, we all have our specific callings within that. Some will finance. Some will adopt. Some will take care of multiple totally healthy ones. Some will take in physically or mentally challenged. We will continue to be open, but we sought God that first week about the possibility of Washington. And, at this point in our lives, we know our limitations. We felt no peace about pursuing the adoption of Washington. So hard...he needs a home too. But, we very much know that we aren't the ones for him. So, be praying for him...that his special family will come soon for him. Thank you.

And, big Rebecca is doing very well. As her Dad said, this has proven to literally be a life-saving miracle surgery for her. She is out of the hospital and will return home to Houston on Monday. You can continue to read about her progress here. Thank you for praying for her. (this picture was taken in Jan. 2006...last time I saw these two; Amy Terry Shneberger on the left, 1 of the 4 of us roommates, Rebecca, and me...we missed you Rebecca Porter; I had just found out I was expecting Eissa)

Now on to some family news. Homeschooling is going great. As you can imagine, with all the travel we've done, we're playing catch-up now. It's going well. Lots getting done and lots of learning going on. It's really fun and we love it.

Today the kids stayed with a sitter and Joel and I went and did us a little Christmas shopping. It was quick, but it was fun. Got some Christmas decorations...don't think we've ever really bought any. But, like I said...we're doing some settling now. Ahhh...feels right nice (insert Andy Griffith voice and accent). We are still in search of a tree, but have mostly everything else.

We plan to get the kids settled in their rooms for their Christmas presents (shhh.). ;) The girls are getting iron beds. Only 2 beds will actually fit in their room without doing a bunk bed (which we don't want to do), so we plan for the younger two to share one of the beds (like the older 2 are doing now...Cass uses the crib). Or, we might also use trundles. But, someday I'm sure we'll move to a bigger house and will make the 3rd bed for our dear little Cassle.

We have accumulated the greatest bedding for them already. Our great friends, the Carmos, when moving back to the United States, gave us 2 Pottery Barn twin quilts. Then when we were in PA this summer, Joel's aunt and uncle had us over for supper one night. I was getting the tour of their house and she had just redone one of their rooms for the girls (they have 4 girls...cute as buttons). They had picked up some new bedding for a good deal and so I just casually (with the wheels turning in my brain) asked what they would be doing with the old bedding...which I had just happened to have already noticed looked like something from Pottery Barn. (little background: I've drooled over Pottery Barn stuff for years, but have never actually owned anything from them) Well, she conferenced with her hubby poo and it was given to us a few days later. We have 3 girls. We now have 3 Pottery Barn (really, really cute) quilts for girls. Perfect. (picture is not of our bedding...ours is cuter) :)

Grady has a great boy bed (with a trundle...and a top bunk for assembly as needed). So he will be getting a few things for his room, but he's mostly set. Then they will each be getting (by and by...not by Christmas, but in the future) a great hand-painted picture with their names and other wonderful stuff on it, done by none other than my incredibly talented and able-to-do-anything friend (since childhood...she also helped with my wedding), Tanya (hopefully...we are still talking through the logistics). Not only is she talented, she knows me. Knows my style. My flowers were just perfect for me for my wedding. Perfect. Because she knows me. So nice when doing something of this sort. Oh, and the kids' rooms will also be getting some paint. Yay. I'm excited. (picture is a small sampling of Tanya's artwork...she does all kinds; if you are interested in getting something done, I'll be glad to give you her business contact info....she does stuff for people all over country literally...and hey, now all over the world :) )

Someday maybe me and Joel will get a bed and some paint in our room. And wall hangings. For now, our made-and-taped-up-by-our-kids art will do just fine. ;) It's the best there is anyway.

I'll have to tell you the full stories about the beds we are planning for the girls another day. It's very interesting the way you get things accomplished around these parts. ;)

It's been a very rainy, wonderful, relaxing, but very productive day here at the Ebersoles'. I hope you had the same.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jean and Big Rebecca

Yesterday the 2 little girls (Eissa and Cass) were sick. Guessing it was just a little 24 hour thing...they are both back to normal today. But, yesterday was definitely a take-it-easy day. We did some homeschooling amongst the high fevers and 'spilling,' but mostly I just had 2 sick little girls piled up on top of me. :)

And then today, Grady was up and dressed and ready to go with Joel to work by the time we came out this morning. We had not planned that at all. But, he never does that. So, we figured that maybe he was just in need of a 'guy day.' :) Besides, it was a great day to do that...Asas de Socorro is hosting a commemoration party celebrating 55 years of work here in Brazil tomorrow, so everyone is working hard there at the hangar getting things ready for that. We are having a girl day here. Fun. We've watched a princess movie, Gigi, and we will paint our nails of course. We might even make some cookies for our men later. ;)

Yesterday we got the call from the social worker handling our case (to adopt) that the required classes they give to couples hoping to adopt will start on Monday. We'll have classes the next three Monday nights and then we'll adopt the next week. :) Not really. Who knows when it will happen (except God), but we'll be ready and it could happen any time after those classes are done. So...pretty exciting. (insert squeal)

Remember this little guy? Well, from day 1 of meeting him, (they called him Jean, pronounced more the way the French pronounce it...Jay-uhn with a soft J and a nasally 'uhn') on the day this picture was taken (June 2008), I just loved him and we've always asked about him. He was just stuck there forever in the process of being cleared by all family members. I was starting to wonder if God was keeping him there for us...our processes and paperwork seemed to be running along the same speed. Well, we called to ask about him again today. Guess what? He's adopted!! He was cleared to be adopted a month or two ago, he went to 'visit' a family (like a trial period type thing...there is no foster system here), and never came back to the orphanage...he found his family. We're so excited for him that he is finally in a family in a real home. Be praying for our family as we go through these classes and just that God would make it perfectly clear and the process smooth concerning the children who are supposed to be in our family.

And finally today, my friend Rebecca (Miss Beautiful there in the middle) is having major surgery as I type this. She was one of my roommates in college...such a wonderful group of girls that I was blessed to live with during college! So funny...I had never really lived with girls before. And what a few girlie girls they were too. So fun...and it was good for all of us I think. ;) Tomboy meets girly girls...lots of learning and laughing and fun times. But, please be praying for her and her family and loved ones. This specialized surgery had to be done in San Diego. Well I'll be doggonit (more Southern) if her best friend (and another one of our roommates) didn't just get all moved out to San Diego a couple of years ago (also named Rebecca...the San Diego Rebecca is mighty short and the surgery Rebecca is mighty people just ended up calling these best friends Big Rebecca and Little Rebecca...hence the reason for the 'big' in my title of my blog today). Interesting how God works all these little things out. Anyway, if you could be praying for my friend, Rebecca, that would be great. You can follow her progress here. You can go to the 'journal' for her blog posts and updates.

The following are just some more pictures that I took of 'our little boy' that has now found his family. These were taken June 2009, exactly a year after that first picture. Wonder what he looks like now. So very, very happy for him.

Not too jazzed about having his picture taken right after waking up from his nap. ;) But still such a cutie, even when unhappy.

With some of the other kids there at the "kids' house" as our kiddos call it. Some of the many who are waiting for a home and family of their own.

Again, November is National Adoption Awareness Month. How cool that we are taking our classes to adopt, our last step in the process before actually adopting, in November! What would God have you do to help kids like Jean find their families? Are you a family that one of these children could find their home with?

Monday, November 15, 2010

September 2010 in Pictures - Part 1 thought I'd forgotten about this, huh? Yeah, I know. But, it's just been ker razy around this joint. We moved in this house (Dec. 2008) and then left 2 weeks later, only to return for only a few months more (which consisted mostly of sorting and getting ready to leave again) before leaving again for almost a year. Now, we're HERE. So, we are working hard to get all caught up in homeschool and also really get settled in to this home. It's a work in progress, as mentioned before. It will be a work in progress for a very long time, but unless we get booted out of this house, we have no plans as of yet to move any time soon.'s a beautiful word.

For a tiny update...

Joel is loving his new position at Asas. When we left for the states, he was serving as the Maintenance Coordinator for the students there at the flight school. A lot of things changed within the structure of Asas while we were gone and when we were in Campinas, Joel was asked to serve in a position with greater responsibility. He accepted and is now the Maintenance Shop Technical Director. The difference is that before he was just overseeing and coordinating the student's maintenance training (practical small task itself) and he is now running the whole shop. He is responsible for all the maintenance the shop does...he oversees the maintenance of the mission's planes (from other bases too), maintenance of non-mission airplanes (done for revenue...and of course there are missions opportunities there as well), and is responsible for the employees and students in his shop. He still does the occasional flying (just got re-certified while we were in Campinas). And he is just really loving his job.

I am loving mine too. Ahhh, great to be back at home...loving getting settled and being Mama...and teacher. Totally and completely adore homeschooling and wouldn't have it any other way in the world. LOVE it. Things pertaining to the Bradley Method (childbirth education) are kind of on hold...for more than just reasons having to do with me. The organization itself is going through a bit of an interesting time, but childbirth education here in Brazil is still a huge need obviously. I will be attending a conference nearby in a couple of weeks, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise (I just like to keep up my Southern roots...from time to time you may not understand at all what I'm talking about, but you can just attribute it to that in most cases). Should be interesting. My speaking in another language thing is going really well these days. I am getting to know people...really get to know them. People that I've spent time with since 2007. :) Kind of nice.

The kids are great. Grady is reading everything that has words. :) Hadley is learning to read and doing very, very well. Eissa is a super 4 year old who doesn't take naps anymore (usually, unless I see she's just really too tired), but is wonderful during school time...and I never had to even train her in that. I think she likes her alone/quiet time. And Cass is just as spunky as ever and perfect as she's always been.

Their Portuguese has come back pretty well and the more they play with their friends (and also watch Portuguese cartoons occasionally), the better they get. The other day Cass was running after a group of them all (her older siblings and several of the neighbor kids) and yelled, "Wait! Wait!" Then I heard her say, "I mean, Espera! Espera!" Hahaha. So even the wee one is getting it.

They have been expert bug scientists here the past few days...going out in the 'jungle' or 'forest' (they use both words to describe the area in back of our house) to find and collect all sorts of creatures. Fun times. I am loving the job of being a part of shaping their little characters...and it is so wonderful to see what great people they are. I so enjoy them. (To all of you parents who don't enjoy your children or even have the occasional feelings of dislike toward them, there is a better it out, and your children will be glad you did)

And, that's what's up in our neck of the woods.

So, without further ado (I have never really understood those words) As a reminder, if you have trouble with the captions lining up with the pics, try using a different captions and pictures never line up in Firefox, but I have no trouble in Explorer. And, as usual, just click on any image to enlarge. Enjoy.

A nice relaxing morning after all their jobs are done. Reading in the backyard (more like a courtyard).

And spotting something in the air...
...her brother, in his bedroom window. ;) Fun house. trouble. Yep, that's her artwork on the wall. ;)

And these are the kinds of things you get to do when you have a stay-at-home-dad instead of a stay-at-home-mom. ;)

Does it get any better than a mattress on the stairs?
I love how no matter where we are and what house we are in, the kids decorate and make it their own. Funny story: We've been back here in Anápolis for about 3 weeks now. After a week or so, we said something about this being our house. Cass just busted out laughing and said, 'Ahh, this isn't our house' and then kept laughing. She thought we were just being silly. Poor thing has no idea what a real 'home' is. In her short 2 1/2 years, she's lived in 6 different houses...and 'stayed' in countless others. Hahaha...what little nomads we are raising. We have no plans for travel or moving though for a while, so she'll soon realize that this really is 'our' house. Anyway, these fun decorations consist of some great pictures the kids drew, leaves from outside, and LOTS of tape. :)

Crazy girl fun.

I came in from studying one evening to find this. While Joel was helping the girls with showers, Grady was handling supper. He's awesome. Love that my 6 year old can handle meal prep for the whole family all by himself.
Do you love the smiley faces? ;) Love.
A couple of times a week after bathtime, I put Hadley's and Eissa's hair in braids. Just cuts down on the tangles of course and 'work' that goes into the hair. This was the first time I decided to put Cass' hair in braids. Cuteness. The next pics are of that fun little chic in her braids.

Hmm, what are these things again?

You can really see the enlarged end of her collarbone here where she fractured it. They said it would change and not be so big over time. You can't really even notice it now. Very thankful for that.

The kids had been playing in tents all day and asked if they could sleep in them. So, they did.

Look at those sweet legs. ;)
Our friends who used to live in the same house in Campinas that we lived in while they were in language school (years ago) got some mail one day at our house. :) It was a day pass at a water park about an hour away...just had to listen to a short shpill about an offer they had. Great, we are fine with shpills. We called to confirm and then got on our swimsuits and headed out one Saturday to this place.
Basically, Brazil is corrupt. It just is, like most other countries in the world. United States, again...don't take your wonderfulness for granted. As 'bad' as you think it is, you have no idea. Corruption abounds here. It starts at the very tip top ( Portuguese teacher said that she has known of only one in all of her years that is not known to be corrupt) and trickles down to everyday people (businesses, etc.). Add to that the motto here, "The customer is never right" and it makes for some interesting living. So, instead of swimming and sliding and having a ball, we had sandwiches in the back of the car. :) The kids were disappointed, but you know...they've learned to just roll with it. So, we found another adventure. And I loved just snapping shots of them as we waited for Joel to 'argue' his point and try to get us in (didn't work).

Since we weren't spending a fun day at a water park, we passed over a river in a little town on the way home and decided to turn, following the river. A couple of miles later, we stopped and got out at a 'happening' spot and happened upon some great afternoon activity.

We found snowcones!! I had never seen snowcones here...they have them, but it's not like Louisiana/Texas in the summer where little stands are everywhere. It was so fun to get some with the fam.
CUTEST little couple!
They KNOW HOW TO DO IT here in Brazil. Not skimpy at all on the juice! ;) Hahaha. Filled it right up. (and if you click on this image to blow it up, you will see something else that enjoys the juice...hahaha)

Oh how we love snowcones.
Cool bridge to cross to the other side.
Like the little waterfall in the background.

The raging river. And people hanging out next to it.

Across the river they had a little arts area...several buildings with arts exhibitions. And a big building that used to be part of a sugar mill. They have plans to renovate and turn it into a museum. Pretty cool.

It's just a really cool building. Loved it.
And this is what it will look like when they are done with the renovations.

They had a great place set up for Legos...huge, soft Legos. This 'booth' was set up to just tell people all about the educational programs within the schools using Legos here in Brazil. Pretty interesting. You can see more about it here if you're intrigued.
Right next to the Legos was a little art area.
And then they started a little story/song time. These people were great. Loved them.

Grady had no interest in the story/song time. Are you kidding? There were Legos right there! Sing?!?

Still building. :) I honestly don't think he ever even looked over there to where we were. Hahaha.

Hadley and Grady.

Was planning on taking some really cute tree pictures with the kids all lined up...but then my camera battery died. :(
Cássia (one of my Portuguese teacher there in Campinas) told me about the ExpoFlor...really nice flower expo that they have every year there in a town nearby. The town was created by Dutch immigrants. HOlLAnd + BRAzil = Holambra. You can read more about this cute little town here. I could definitely move there. :)
Born the same year as my Daddy. ;)
Their signs were all like this...cute little town.
Great houses there...I felt like I was in the states. LOOK at those grassy yards with no walls!! :)

Parked by this great little pond.
Love this.
Tons of these animals all around. Can't remember the names of them...capivara? Yes, capivara (in Portuguese anyway).

Loved this path on the way to the expo. Beautiful trees.
And, it's the ExpoFlor. What a cute the buildings/shops.
At the gate of the portrait area.
We decided not to pay to go in because there was only a couple of hours until it closed for the nightly activities (concert, etc.). But, we gandered a bit at the gate. This was a cool 'tree.' And lots and lots of flowers of course.

As we walked along, the kids had to go to the bathroom. We asked this guy if they could just go in one of the shops (the back way) to use the restroom and he said yes. While I waited outside with Cass, she made friends with him. ;) Of course.
I love this sweet picture of Eissa.
Sweet sisters.
Since we weren't going into the expo, we moseyed on down to beside the pond and stopped at a real Dutch dessert place.
Running and running and running along that strip. Joel likes to 'get their energy out' when we know we are going to be driving again for a while. ;)
LOTS of white birds.

At the flower expo, every now and then a helicopter flies over and showers everyone there with flowers. Kind of cool. I'm sure it's really neat when you are actually underneath it, but we just watched from afar. Still pretty cool even from afar.
Tarantula. I told the kids I had a pet tarantula a couple of times in high school...they thought I was super cool. ;)
The expo workers were all dressed like this lady in the red.
The sidewalks all had these in them...
...and these. Holland you know. ;)
That is a fun little girl right there.

I like them.
A nice sunset.
And this...
Cool, right?
What a cute little family!! ;) Cass...ha, love her.
It really was impressive and pretty.

Getting them together for a picture. Love Grady's pose.
More poses.
Cold children.
And that does it for our trip to Holland. ;)

More September (and October and November) pictures to come soon.