May 13, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Sweet Makaela!!! The birthday morning, looking out the window watching for Daddy to arrive for lunch.

Happy Birthday!!!

Laura stopped by before the party to drop off a gift--beautiful scarves that her mother crocheted that can be used as a belt also.
Our birthday princess
Daddy being silly as usual

Makaela received LOTS of books so she can keep using her Portuguese! :)

Giving each other "pedicures" with the sparkle lotion Makaela received
Makaela had a wonderful 8th birthday! Everything was princess pink, including her. The fun continues for Makaela as she is anticipating celebrating her 8th birthday again when we arrive in the States. Since we are so close to our return date, the grandmas didn't send the presents on to Brazil, but on to our little yellow house back home in Illinois. We are planning a birthday bash back home where friends and Grandma's can participate. It's been two years since the girls have shared their birthdays with their grandparents, and they are anxious to start up the tradition again!!! :)

Last night was very sad for me, as I am such a selfish mommy wishing time would slow down--maybe even come to a full stop--a pause button would be nice. I cried for a long time after my little Makaela went to sleep, all pink and basking in the glow of new presents to play with in the morning. I honestly can't believe how fast the baby years and the toddler years slipped through my fingers. Now we are in the school girl years which are the sweetest yet, but how fast they too are escaping me. I want to capture every moment and bury it deep in my heart to treasure forever. I hate every memory that has eluded me. I don't want to forget anything. Every year the joy deepens and the fun increases as the girls come more into themselves, but at the same time I have a piercing longing for things to stay as they are, and a reluctance to let go of who they once were--my babies.

May 5, 2009

The girls are really loving softball now!!!

Salto do Yucuma on Saturday afternoon

Our crazy friends--too close the edge for me!!!

Throwing a stone from Brazil to Argentina

Andrew and Makaela enjoying the view

Friday nights with a Max Lucado video and their favorite "stuffed" animals

Friday afternoon at the Tres do Maio fair

This rickety old thing was a little too rickety for our tastes

This was the girls' first ride that took them anywhere off the ground. They appreciate that I'm loosening the apron strings a little bit!!! lol

Five weeks until we leave for home!!! Last night Makaela was talking about going home, and she said, "it feels like forever (until we leave), when I think about how it's like heaven there (the U.S)."
All of us, except for Makaela, are nervous about going home. We are so pumped and ready to resume all of the little details of life that we miss, and yet are a little uneasy about going through the transition from one culture to the next again. There are weird little things that start to seem normal, and some habbits that you're not sure if it's universal, Brazilian, or American--whether it's how you drink water out of a water bottle, to stopping at stop signs--to how you greet your friends, so many things are different. We are also afraid of forgetting all that has happened here, of forgetting all we have learned. We are planning on continuing Portuguese lessons weekly, and a good friend of mine from here will be moving to Moline, with her family in September. It will be so awesome to have her in town. She has two kids the same age as my girls, so it will be nice for all of us to stay in touch with our Portuguese and the culture the girls have assimilated into.

We aren't planning anymore trips in South America. Our last trip to Argentina left a bad taste in our mouths. :) Everything is harder to facilatate here. Makaela is right when she says the U.S. feels like heaven. It does in comparison. Brazil is gorgeous--the areas that God made that is. Illinois doesn't really compare to it's tropical beauty, but the infrastructure back home, is a paradise in and of itself. Our trip to Buenos Aires, left us stranded between angry tobacco farmers blockading the road, and a ferry that had already closed for the day. The police and milatary were useless, and were wholly at the mercy of the farmers. So, we sat for 3 hours on the road while a lot of the folks around us decided to get drunk and party--what else is there to do, right? So, when the farmers were pleased with themselves, and felt that they had sufficiently disrupted transit, they moved the blockade, and let 100 angry cars, half of them drunk pass by---oh, my word--that was pretty freaky to be driving down a one lane unlit highway in the dark with everyone trying to pass everyone else!!! And, the story continues...but, it's too long...but the moral of the story is we will enjoy the ease of traveling in the U.S.!!! :)