Friday, July 30, 2010

Coming Year for the Ebersoles

So...we got back to Brazil just fine. The flights were great...the first flight was full, but I sat by a VERY interesting, super sweet man, so that was a good flight. Then the other two flights were not full, so I was able to have a seat next to me to put Cass in (we bought the tickets when she was under 2, so therefore she was still a 'lap child'). It was so nice to not have to hold her the whole night and next day.

I did lose our camera on the first flight (the brand new little point and shoot). Big, super huge bummer!! So very sad about that. It's not like I can just go out and replace it here in Brazil (plus all the pictures and video that were on there...sigh). It's way too expensive to buy such things here. So...pray that Delta finds it in their lost and found. I left it on Flight 2101 from Boston to Atlanta on the last row on the right side of the plane if you want to pray very specifically. Hahaha.

We got back to Anapolis last Saturday night, after over 30 hours of travel. We have been unpacking and setting up our house again all week. Then we packed up again and are almost finished with that. Just a few more odds and ends. We were actually supposed to leave this morning, but decided to take it easy on ourselves and leave tomorrow morning instead of this morning...finish up the odds and ends in peace instead of crazed panic. :)

We'll be headed down south. From what we can gather, it's about a 14 hour drive. Of course we'll stop here and there too. Should be interesting. I've never taken a road trip (of more than 3 hours) here in Brazil. We're heading to Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo. I'm going to be starting language school on Monday. Joel will stay with the kids and do some homeschooling probably, but the big focus for ALL of us, kids too, is to push forward with our Portuguese and get to the 'fluent' point. So, Joel plans to speak with the kids in Portuguese, get out in the community some (parks, etc.), and do Rosetta Stone with them (they call it 'the square game on the computer'). We're all excited to make that our focus and not be pulled away by other things for a season...things that always pull us away when we are here in Anapolis. Not that we don't love those things that pull us away (just to clarify). :)

So, that's what's first in this year for the Ebersoles. :)

We're thinking that we will probably stay there until at least the beginning of October...2 months. But, the door has been left open to stay there longer...up until December. So, we'll just evaluate as we go.

When we return to Anapolis, we will get started on two other things immediately.

One thing...adoption. I don't remember if I wrote about it here, but back around April or so I believe it was, we got word that we had finally been approved to adopt. That process was complete. Next step? Classes. As soon as we get back from language school, we will begin to take the classes the government requires that prospective adopters (is that a word?) have to take. So, of course we don't know what it will all look like, but it is very feasible that we could be called about a child (or children) within the next year. Very exciting! We'll keep you posted.

The other thing...Bradley classes. As some of you know, the training I went to Seattle for was a Bradley Method instructor course. Brazil has a C-section rate of 90%. Brazilians are well-educated, but not usually in the area of childbirth. There is a real need. I really hope to help in those regards. So, I went to that training and am now considered to be a 'provisional' teacher. I have to teach two series of classes, each being 12 weeks long, in order to become an affiliated Bradley teacher. Thankfully this will start after I go to language school. Hahaha. I'm really, really excited about it though.

Another thing that so many of you have asked about...babies. :) Cass is 2 years and 4 months old after all. We are WAY behind in our baby-making. Hahaha. We still feel like adoption is the next step. But, I do feel like, if we do have more biological children (which I feel we will, but can't say that for sure...#1, it's really up to God in the end anyway, and #2, maybe we will just adopt from here on out...can't say for sure), that will probably be started within the next year too...Mama ain't gettin' no younger, that's fer dang sure!! So...

That should catch you up on what the Ebersoles have written in pencil for this year (from this point until next summer or so). Who knows what will actually's always an adventure.

And...I was hoping to get back to blogging regularly once I made it back to Brazil and some high-speed internet. But, here we go to Campinas...and I'm not sure if I'll have internet service available to me where we will be living. Campinas is a huge city and definitely has high-speed internet, but I'm not sure whether we will have it in our house or not.

Speaking of that, we will be staying in a 3-bedroom house (I think 2 bathrooms, but not sure) not far from the school. I'll be able to walk to the school everyday. The house is furnished, so that's handy. It is the same house that many of the missionaries that we know have stayed in...this is the school that many go to for a year before starting their ministry.

There is more that I could say, but this is getting long. There are many other things to fill you in on, but at least I've touched on some of the things that some of you have asked about. If I have internet access in Campinas, hopefully I can get more caught up on filling you guys in on things.

Be praying for us as we travel starting in the AM...we are thinking about leaving out around 3am to get a big chunk of it done while the kids are sleeping. That's easier for everyone involved. Just pray for safety, our car, and for smooth and quick travel. Thanks!!

And now a few pictures for y'all...taken back at the end of May/beginning of June. We went to two VBSs this summer. This one was first, at Magnolia Baptist Church in Saline, LA. It was great. The other one we went to was at Old Saline Baptist was also great and I'll try to get pics of that on here at some point too. "We're gonna say y-,y-,y-,y-,yes to V-,V-,V-,VBS!!"

Running from our van to join in the line to march in.
Aunt Cheryl always goes all out.
Our girls...
...being all lovey.
After everybody marched in...singing fun songs. "On Saddle Ridge Ranch...rounding up questions, driving home answers."
An excited Grady in his class.
Hadley in her class...taught by cousin Gillian, with cousin Colby as an assistant.
Eissa and Cass were in the same class (taught by Mrs. Judy and Mrs. them), but Eissa was doing a craft...
...and Cass was in another section.
Joel and I taught the missions class that week. Let me just say...the Southern Baptist Convention has it together in telling kids about missions in a way that will stick with them and appeals to them. Loved it! I personally don't remember that from my VBS days.
Aunt Cheryl...playing the part. Hahaha.
Ohp, that horse is getting uppity! :) No bucking allowed!
This is unrelated to the VBS, but I had to share. We also visited the first church I went to growing up around that time. Love Briarwood Baptist Church. This is the same puzzle I used to play with in the nursery. I went back to get the kids after the service and Hadley was playing with it...I totally gasped. Lots of memories came flooding and I had to get the camera. I couldn't believe it. It has to be at least 34 years old...and was probably there way before I was in that nursery. :) They just don't make 'em like they used to, people.
Grady with one of his best friends, Zachary.
Mr. Merle Wayne and Mrs. Diane came and gave the kids rides in their wagon one day. How fun is that?!? I love Saline!! :) The kids LOVED this!!
You might have to click on this pic and make it bigger...Eissa's smile is too cute. She loved doing this.
Grady right at the front...very focused. He loved it.
My little streaker. This is totally not related to VBS either except for that it was after VBS one day. ;)
Dancing a jig as she walks down the dock. Hahaha.
On Friday night, we had the VBS Commencement (program to wrap it all up and show the family/community what we learned that week). So fun.
Aunt Cheryl how into it she gets!! Of course, the kids love it too!
Eissa and Cass singing their songs.
Grady's and Hadley's turn.
Cass assumed this position after her part was over to watch the others' turns. This and dancing with her friends. They were just as entertaining as the ones on stage.
Celebrating with Papaw and Uncle Tucker after the program.

The girls with sweet Ms. Nunn. They stopped her in the parking lot to ask her all about her oxygen. :) (they had asked for one of these pictures, so if one of you Magnolia folk could print one off and get it to her, that'd be great...thanks)
One of the best parts of VBS commencement...showing all the things that you made all week.
So proud of one of her VBS masterpieces.
The girls entertaining themselves while Grady shows off his work for the week.
Grady in his classroom. His class was taught by his Granny. He's looking so grown up.
Soooo excited to show us all that they made in class.
Telling Mrs. Judy goodbye...Eissa and Cass just love her!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Trying This Leaving Thing Again - PART 2 (!!)

Super quick update: We are headed out the door right now on our way to the airport where SUPPOSEDLY our flight is on time (leaving at 3:30 eastern time) and we actually have tickets processed for it. :) Yes, it was again a no-go on Wednesday (due to air traffic issues and delayed flights, etc.). Today is the day (in the name of Jesus). ;) Pray for smooth and safe travel...and a great 'homey' feeling when we get back to Brazil. I'll update again when we get there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Trying This Leaving Thing Again

Hahaha. For those of you who have Facebook and saw my status yesterday, you know that we are still here in the states. :) I'll get to that, but first a quick update of the past few weeks.

OK, as I warned you's been a long time since I updated. Over a month...quite a long time. We've been traveling a LOT of course...packing in as much of the United States as possible. I do love this place.

Joel's training in Canada went well. My training in Seattle went well. Then we wrapped up things in Saline and tearily (is that a word?...just go with it) said goodbye. We headed to Pennsylvania and after 24 hours of driving straight through, we arrived in Ephrata to Joel's grandparents' house. We spent a great few days there, headed to 'the mountains' for the Martin family reunion that weekend, and then drove another 9 hours to Boston (Beverly to be exact). We've been here since the 11th and were supposed to head out yesterday. Ahh, the joys of travel. Hahaha.

Here's what happened: Back in September or so when we bought these tickets to the U.S., we scheduled our return to Brazil on the last possible day we could. We could not book our return any further out than July 20th. Airlines just don't book things farther in advance than a certain time that they determine...July 20th was the date for that at that time. So, July 20th it was and fit in well with when we were needing to get back anyway.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Joel called to confirm our flights back to Brazil and they said that flights had been changed...totally normal. Back in September, in reality what we got were reservations for tentative flights. Just the way it is when you schedule so far in advance...things change. Fine. That's why we were calling to confirm. So, the agent said that she would fix it all for us...reschedule our flights and fix our itinerary, etc. Joel got the itinerary and everything looked good. Bada bing, bada bang, let's go.


We get there yesterday for our evening flight (6:30pm) and it is a mess. Hahaha. Poor people behind the ticket counter. Of course, we weren't completely filled with glee concerning the notion that we would have to reload all of our bags (70 pound bags...13 of carry-ons and stroller). But, we were fine given the notion of spending more time with family, even if only a few hours more. So...we spent a couple of hours at the ticket counter getting things ironed out for a flight today. Basically, the agent that handled the rescheduling of our flights a while back just didn't complete the job. She made it to the itinerary change, but never processed the tickets. Tickets are now processed. :)

Thankfully, I had packed a carry-on with an extra set of clothes (like any good traveler should), so that alleviated the need to get our baggage out of the vehicles. Whew. And, of course we are back at Joel's parents house...and they have a washer and dryer. :) So, it hasn't been all that bad, but it has been a very interesting 24 hours.

Not only all that, but Hadley got a doi doi (portuguese for bo bo or boo boo or ouchie or whatever you call it in your house) and we thought for a while that we were going to have to take her in to get stitches. In the end we just butterflied it all up (steri-stripped it), but it all involved a couple of hours of debating about ER...and screaming. ;)

Then.......oh my gosh.......

I stayed up talking to Joel's aunt last night. Then after I went to our room, I did some computer stuff there. I went to bed about 2:30am. Joel woke up and we talked a bit, then I was starting to doze off. We are sleeping in Joel's parents' room on the 2nd floor and they have a door that leads outside to a small deck overlooking the back yard and then has stairs leading down to the ground. The wooden door had been opened all the way leaving just the screen door closed (but not locked) when I was heading to bed...I closed the wooden door a bit, but left a crack. As I was dozing, I hear a noise at the door. At first I thought it was just the wind pushing the screen door open a bit. But, when it did it a second time, Joel got up. He made a sudden movement when he got to the door, at which point I said, "Is that a raccoon out there?" Hahaha...a couple of nights ago I saw multiple raccoons out in the yard. Then I hear Joel start talking and knew that a raccoon it was not. Hello!! At that point I turned into the person watching a scary movie. I was literally saying, "What are you doing?" So many thoughts ran through my head, but I think other than that statement, "Babe..." was about all I got out. Hahaha. I heard Joel say, "This is private property, my friend." It was just really freaky...I could see nothing, so I had no idea who was at the door, how many were at the door, if they were holding a gun, etc. :)

Joel then went out the door...HELLO!! Then he came back in, locked the door, and came back to bed. I asked him if he was sure the guy had left and then he got out of the bed and went downstairs. Again, I became the scary movie watcher...yelling at the 'TV screen' named Joel. "Don't go down there." "What are you doing?" "Babe, don't go outside." Again, my fave of the night..."What are you doing?" Because, he was not discussing these things with me beforehand. :) Hahaha. Of course, the whole thing lasted probably about 8 minutes total, so it's not like he had time to plan a course of action with his wifey poo.

Anyway, he went downstairs and looked out the front door. He saw his brother's car light on, so what did he do? He went outside!! Hasn't he ever given advice to scary movie just don't go outside when you see something suspicious!! :)

Well, he opened Danny's unlocked car door, turned off the light, locked the doors, and came back in. Then went straight to bed like nothing ever happened. HELLO!!

It was really funny.

Who was the guy? Basically, Joel thinks that he was either really high or somehow mentally challenged. Probably really high just given the circumstances and time of night (or morning...close to 3am). Joel said he didn't seem aggressive or like he was trying to rob us or anything...more like he was confused.

But, needless to say, it has been a very eventful few hours here. We are hoping for a much calmer day today.

We leave Joel's parents' house to try this all again at 2:30pm and are scheduled for a flight that leaves at 5pm here in Boston. We'll go to Atlanta and then from there head to Sao Paulo in Brazil, then on to our last stop in Goiania (then we'll drive the rest of the way to Anapolis, our city). We should be getting to our house tomorrow night. We arrive at the Goiania airport around 6pm their time (which is about 4pm central time and 5pm eastern time). We'll get baggage and travel back to our house. All in all, over 28 hours of total travel.

Keep us in your prayers as we go...that travel would be smooth, kiddos would be content (they usually are), we'd breeze through customs, that pick-up arrangements in Brazil will go off without a hitch, that transition into our house for the next few days will be smooth and easy...and any other prayers God brings to your mind are welcome. ;)

We will be in our house for the next few days...unpacking and repacking for a move down south for a couple of months at least, which involves another 15 hour (or so) drive. We leave next Wednesday (tentative plan) and I begin language school on the following Monday. So, you can definitely be praying about that too. That the next few days of preparing for yet another move and time of transition would just be smooth and easy.

I'll be updating you all again once we get to Brazil and settled in. I will no longer have internet capabilities with an iPhone once we leave the states, so no mobile updates or texts anymore. :( But, as soon as we get settled back into our house, I will let you know.

Of course, as usual there are lots more things to tell you all about. But, again...those will have to wait for another day when I have more time. Can't wait to tell you all about them though. Lots of good stuff coming your way. ;) (this paragraph is especially for you, Angela and Kristin...don't worry, I think you already got updated on most of it) ;)

But, I'll leave you with a fun pic of Cass and a great one of the kiddos. More pictures in coming days/weeks...I promise.