Feb 28, 2008

Our toothless beauty. Makaela has lost 4 teeth in the last 2 weeks. She told me today that she looks even prettier without her teeth than she did before she lost them, and she's right-- everyday the girls just get cuter...I love a toothless grin.

Evening service at our church
Our last Sabbath School with Loda. Loda and Marco are our friends that we traveled to Florinaopolis with. Sad, for us, and happy for them, Marco recieved a promotion to another area in John Deere that took them way up to central Brazil near the capital, Brasilia. We miss them dearly.
"Thai Chili and Cashew" made by Andrew. For our date night on Mondays, we no longer can take out from our favorite Indian Restaurant (we miss you Jaspreet), so Andrew has been recreating some favorite dishes from back home. He's such an awesome cook...this was crazy good.
"Thai Garlic Black Pepper" by Andrew...another yummy creation that we used to order from "Exotic Thai" in Moline, IL.

Makaela reading. She is reading beautifully now in English and Portuguese. The phonics are quite different and every once in awhile she'll pronounce the English "i" like the Portuguese "i" with a long "e" sound. It's pretty cute. :)

Makaela's Sunday bouquet

Sir William resting in one of his favorite spots under an orange tree.


My friend Marcia, the owner of the English language school, and one of her twin boys--it's either Arthur or Bernardo...not too sure on that.

Finding baby puppies at the park. The mother was a little nervous with the girls holding them, but amazingly sweet about it. We gave her some food to eat and the smart little thing took it over to a tree, and covered it up with some leaves to save for later. The dogs here roam the streets freely. For the most part they are all very friendly. A lot of times they will travel in groups of 4 or 5...just walking down the street wagging their tails. The girls LOVE this!!!
Along with the meat, rice and beans are traditionally served. This evening there was a potpourri of foods--potato salads, fruit, green salad, etc. The food here in the south of Brazil is very German with a touch of Italian. The only seasonings used are salt, butter, and cream.

Here are two of the band members. The pants they are wearing are very popular Gaucho (Brazilian Cowboy) pants, and all of the little boys (and men) where them for fun or for special occasions.
Churrasco--We went to a colleague of Andrew's home for a party a few weeks back where they had a Gaucho Band and Churrasco. Churrascarias (as you can see in the background of this picture) are incorporated into every home. Some homes have two. Here you can seem them barbecuing the meat on "espetos" over the coals. We brought along veggies and pineapple to grill--very tasty.

Oi Amigos! Today, I am a little under the weather. It's never a good thing to be sick, but for today, I'm grateful, as it gives me the opportunity to sit still and write a little bit about our lives down here. Since the end of our x-mas break, the girls and I have been busy schooling in the mornings and part of the afternoon. The children here in Brazil, have been on summer break for the past 2 months, and just returned to classes this Monday. So, the girls are in good company again! The children here only school until about 11:45 a.m., and then they all go home for lunch, and stay home. It's a beautiful thing. Actually, the entire town closes up for about an hour and half for lunch, so people can go home and eat with their families. It's very charming.

There is a church with a large bell tower situated about 2 blocks from our house. It rings every morning at 6 a.m. in an effort to stir the sleeping community and make sure we are all up and "at em," it rings again at noon to remind us it's lunch time, and once again at 6 p.m., to let us know our work day is complete. It's a beautiful rich sounding bell. The girls now live by the bell. Andrew pulls into the driveway for lunch in tune with that bell. A neat tradition the church has is that when someone dies, they ring the bell one time for each year of the deceased person's life. We're always happy when it rings for a very long time!

Our town, Horizontina, is like something out of a story book. We are able to walk the entire length of the town to any place we'd like--the library, the pet shop, the snack shop, grocery stores, churches, schools, parks, clothing stores, friends homes, and even John Deere. And, to add to the charm, everywhere we go, somebody knows our name (like in Cheers). Last Sunday, when I was walking with Sam, a lady stopped us on the street, and said, "so are you accustomed to Brazil now?" And to Samantha she said, "Where’s your little sister?" Samantha and I were both racking our brains in an effort to recall where we had met her. As I listened attentively to her rapidly flowing Portuguese, I found out that we had never met, but she informed us that "this is a small town, and we pretty much know about everything that is 'different'". And, "different" we are.