Apr 28, 2008

Sabbath Morning, April 26th, 2008

It was a little chilly this past Saturday. However, it's very hot again today.

A typical scene. The girls and I love how the horses are a part of traffic.
Horizontina's song and flag.
For one of our Portuguese classes we toured the local museum with teacher Rubi and a professor of history from a local school. One of the most fascinating parts of the class to me, was this tool shown above. It is a plow typically pulled by oxen. That in itself is not so interesting, as we have these in our museums back home also. The neatest thing I learned about this particular plow is that it is still in use today, and not because of religious reasons like with the Amish, but because of necessity. Andrew and I have often wondered how it is that steep hills have crops growing on them. On our trip to the coast this past x-mas, we saw mountainsides covered with beans and corn. It's beautiful to see. Apparently, they use this tool to this day, to prepare the soil for planting on steep hills and mountain sides. Take note at how red the dirt is. The rust colored dirt was one of my worst enemies upon moving to Brazil. I say "was" because thanks to Josamane, our former horse riding instructor, I found a magical solvent--coconut soap. I can now reclaim our clothes and shoes.

Samantha made us this chain that marks how many days we have until summer vacation in the U.S.. (Makaela made a chain too, but it's for her birthday!) We are planning a 5 week trip back starting in the middle of June. Our calendar is full with all of the events and outings we are planning for our vacation--we are all crazy excited--family, friends, restaurants, zoos, museums, libraries, shopping....it's going to be a sweet time, and a nice break from school for the girls.

These green mustaches are for you Neni! The girls love the "Better Than Greens" that you sent, and are always asking for it at meal time. These mustaches are not staged either!!! This is actually what happens when they don't use a straw.

We have a new little market across the street from us that has become a source of "independence" for the girls. They love running over there to pick up groceries that I may need. The entire buying groceries thing has become a little more frequent than it used to be back home. I find we run to get produce at least every other day, as the produce spoils much faster here. As you can see by the picture of Theodore, he sits intently and waits until they arrive safely back home. So sweet he is.

One of the girls' newest passions--LEGOS! It's so nice that they make "girly" sets too.

Apr 16, 2008

The girls have started their own blog at http://www.samandmak.blogspot.com/ . Please leave comments for them when you visit. They thrive on those little interactions from friends back home. Children are so amazing, so adaptable. They have absorbed right into the culture here. I believe our move back home, will be as much of an adjustment as our move down here was for them. We are trying to keep our ties back home real for them, so they don't forget too much. I think the blog will be another great tool to keep them in touch with "home."

We are moving into fall here. The morning and nights are quite chilly. The girls are loving it--true northerners they are. The cat is staying inside more; he never did care for the cold weather.

Andrew's trip to the States went really well. Thanks to all of you dear friends that fed him! He was booked solid for every lunch and dinner for over two weeks. You guys are the "bestest" friends in the whole world. Thank you!!! The girls and I had our own bit of fun while he was away. The four of us (with Theodore, our cockapoo) camped out in my bedroom. Four beds. Lots of giggling. On Monday nights, Andrew and my date night, the girls and I had our own little party for 3 Mondays. They sure were bummed out this past Monday, when they had to go to bed while we went back to our old schedule. But, Andrew and I were pretty happy. ;)

On Andrew's return, we had Christmas all over again. He came back with 5 suitcases packed with treasures!!! All sorts of lovely things we have been missing...perfumes, lotions, candies, spices, clothes, play dough, toys, etc, and...presents from friends and family. Thanks again to all of you for your love and support. We so appreciate you all back home. We are so enjoying our time here, but at the same time, thank God for the home and friends we have to go back to.
Ciao for now!

Apr 6, 2008

Our neighbor girl, Laura, found this bird today after it had crashed into her window. She was certain it was dead, and was preparing for its "funeral." Makaela insisted it wasn't dead, and asked if she could please care for it. So, here she is trying to nurse the dying bird back to life. He actually revived a little bit, with all of her loving. She told me that she picked the leaves so that when the bird woke up he would feel at home and wouldn't get scared by her shirt.

Apr 3, 2008

Our yard is filled with various varities of hummingbirds, and they are quite tame. Yesterday, the girls and I spent about twenty minutes just sitting and watching them "buzz" around us. The blossoms are from our yellow plum tree. There are fruits for every season.

Whenever the girls head over to Laura's yard without Theodore, he sits on the couch impatiently waiting for their return.

Apr 2, 2008

Puppy love. The girls had a great time loving on the puppies out at the horse ranch.

My sweet bunnies. The girls made these little ears in Portuguese class. The gentleman with the girls, his affectionately known as the "bar man." His bar is located along the sidewalk we take to our classes. He always stops us and gives each of us some sort of candy. We in return try to bring homemade treats for him. The girls are grateful that God has provided a "Grandpa" down here as well. In our neighborhood back home, we also had some sweet "grandparents" on our block. So fun...it's a big, small world--people are so much the same in spite of all of our differences.

The Three Amiga's. These girls have become tight like sisters. They remind me so much of me and my cousin. They never fight, and can play ALL DAY without coming up for air. In the middle of the backyard, the wall between our two yards turns into something similar to a chain link fence. It is here that the girls park their chairs, so they can talk during those times when they are not able to play. Laura also has puppies, so her puppies, and our Theodore also sit and visit. It is the most precious dreamy thing ever. It's going to be such a sad day when these sweet girls have to say "goodbye."