Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mahalia and Friends

     If there is one thing our kids do not lack, it is attention.  Mahalia especially gets an overload of attention, mostly because of her extra-white skin and the fact that she's still small enough to be picked up!  

    Though she'd often just be left to run on her own, getting all the attention does have it's benefits at times - like an occasional lick of a friend's candy . . .  (eeew!)

    We really do appreciate that the Brazilian people are so nice to us and our kids!  It is such a blessing to have so many friends here in Brazil!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mugshots and Fingerprinting

      Every year when we re-apply for our visas, we have to get fingerprinted and mug shot - (how on earth do you make that into a verb?!)  Last year was all ink, and it was such a mess, that with a 2 year old and 7 month old, no one had a clean hand to take pictures. :)  

     This year they're a bit more sophisticated. We only had to ink our right thumbs. Everything else was done digitally. It might have been less messy, but it took FOREVER! Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the kids (and the fingerprinter-er) being patient through the long process. I think it took about an hour for all four of us to get done.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Futebol Americano - Open Doors

     It is interesting how the Lord, at times, gives us desires and then uses those desires to help us serve Him joyfully.  I've always enjoyed football, though if you've ever met me, you know by my stature that I've never been a star player!  I've also always enjoyed photography.  However, it wasn't until recently that I've been able to mix the two.

     Soon after arriving here in Cuiabá, Brasil, I discovered that our city has a "football" team.  If you've ever traveled outside of the U.S., you know that that usually means, "soccer."  However, our city has a "Futebol Americano" team (American football)  I was even more surprised to find that our team is actually very good!  In fact, this weekend they play for the National Championship!

     It all began when I visited a practice session and was invited by the president of the team to photograph a game from the sidelines - I was excited!  I have now had the opportunity to photograph several of their games and have had some of my photos published both in the local newspapers and on the AFAB website (American Football Association of Brazil).  Before I make it sound bigger than it is, I should mention that football is a newer thing here in Brazil and so they are looking for any publicity as they can get.

     Now here is the best part: the Lord has used this opportunity to open the door for me to meet and make contacts with a completely different side of Brazil!  I've been able to meet and befriend people in the Education system, Lawyers and Law Students, Physical Therapists and Medical personnel, various Journalists and Photographers, as well as a number of players!  I was even invited to hold regular Bible studies with the team, but for various reasons (language, etc...) I was not able to accept at this time.

     I was also reminded of the importance of living the christian life day in and day out.  Although I am obviously all for handing out tracks, many people are not interested in your ability to hand them a piece of literature.  They would rather see that you live the christian life than that you merely talk the christian talk.  It's been amazing to me to see the doors that have been opened as a result of just a little bit of "community involvement." Please pray with us that God would continue to develop these contacts he has given us!  What an exciting adventure it has been and I look forward to seeing what all the Lord will bring about as a result of these opportunities!

Here are a few photos that I've taken of our team, the Cuiabá Arsenal.
Arsenal vs. Botafogo Espectros - 21-20
Playoffs Semi-Final

Arsenal Vs. Rio Preto Wielers
W 55-0


Arsenal Vs. Porto Alegre Pumpkins (yes, that is their team's name!) 
W 41-7

      I am definitely looking forward to taking photos for the Championship game this weekend vs. the Coritiba Crocodiles!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Letícia - People of Brazil

      Letícia is another one of our friends who attended Vacation Bible School this year.  Though she and her brother had come last year and had attended Sunday School for a while, they moved to another house and we hadn't seen them for quite some time.  Finally when we found where they moved to, Johnathan, Mahalia, and I visited them a couple times and let them know the dates for the VBS this year.  Though they may have come even if we hadn't invited them, Johnathan was very excited to see some of his friends at VBS that he had invited himself!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Henrique - People of Brazil

      On one day of this year's VBS, the kids were told to dress up as someone from another country.  This little boy decided to be an Indian - what do you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Juliana - People of Brazil

     Juliana is a close friend of ours.  She is one of our neighbors and any time I take our kids out for a walk they always ask to, "go to Juliana's house." 
     We were excited to see her accept our invitation to come to Vacation Bible School this year and would love to be able to have her visit church again with us!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Maria Eduarda - People of Brazil

  This little girl was a faithful visitor of this year's VBS and seemed to greatly enjoy herself the entire week!
   The VBS had a Global Mission's theme and so on the last day there were prizes for people who dressed up as being from another country.  I would say this girl definitely deserved first place!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mahalia's Prayer

Mahalia enjoys praying, though we can rarely understand more than, "Dear Jesus . . . . AMEN!" (Of course, she prounces, "Amen" just like she hears the Brazilians in church) :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Riverman - Postcard from Brazil

      These narrow canoes scare me.  I don't understand how these fishermen stay upright, but they seem to be perfectly comfortable while fishing all day!

      In our area, fishing is one of the larger industries and many people live only on what income they can get from the day's catch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ángela - People of Brazil

     This little girl is from one of the other missionaries' churches across town.  Though we don't know them extremely well, we've enjoyed the time that we have been able to spend with them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Festa de Coxinhas!

      A couple of weeks ago, we had a coxinha party at one of the church members' house. It's kind of difficult to explain exactly what a coxinha is.   They are meat-filled deep fried manioc teardrops. They take a LOT of work and a LOT of time!  The women started to work on them at 1:30 in the afternoon, and we didn't get to eat until after 9:00!  

      The manioc is what took most of the time.  Manioc is a root that is used in a variety of ways here in Brazil and in other parts of the world.  It can be fried, boiled, mashed, etc. 
      For our coxinhas, 20 kilos (that's 44 lbs!) of manioc first had to be peeled, which involves removing a bark-like outer layer.  Then it was washed and chopped into smaller sections.  After that it was placed in several pressure cookers and cooked until it softened enough to be mashed. 
      We started mashing it with forks, but it was too hard, so we had to switch to mashing it with our fingers :) 

      Then there were many veggies that had to be chopped and diced to add to the meat when it was being cooked.  (We made chicken and hamburger coxinhas.)  

    By the time that everything was ready to be assembled, it was already after 6:00. Many of the men had arrived from their jobs at that time, and came to help.  

   Some garlic fried in oil was added to the big tub of manioc, and folded in by hand. Then it was time to form the coxinhas.  We started with a ball of mashed manioc, and formed it into a bowl.  Then we added some of the chicken or hamburger mixture to it. This is where it got kind of humorous, because everyone, (men and women included), thought that they had the best technique for forming the coxinhas.  :) 

      The coxinhas then had to be closed at the top, which formed the point.  Then they were dusted with flour, and ready to be fried!
      They were deep fried in oil, and placed in a styrofoam box to keep warm until they were all finished.  In all, we made over 200 coxinhas!       

    As soon as the "okay" was given, and the chow-down began.  The kids eagerly lined up on the floor and accepted their first coxinha.  (Poor kids were STARVING by now, because remember, I said we didn't get to eat until AFTER 9:00!)   I'm not sure how many coxinhas were left over, but there weren't very many.  Mahalia and I shared about 4 coxinhas, but one of the men ate 15 of them! 
      I guess the best way to describe a coxinha is: meat wrapped in mashed potatoes and then deep fried.  The manioc was still soft, but had a nice crispy outer layer. 
      Now I understand why they only do this about once a year!  It was a LOT of work, but it was a lot of FUN!  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Omar's First Portuguese Sermon

   This past Wednesday night Omar got to preach in Portuguese for his first time.  Although not perfect, after eight or nine months of language school, he was happy to have this opportunity.  This is a clip from the middle of the message.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Óliver - People of Brazil

   We really enjoyed getting to know Óliver and his family at Family Camp earlier this year.  Both Mahalia and Johnathan got to play with him quite a bit and we got to visit with his parents a good bit as well. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our Morning View

     Every morning we get to watch parrots and parakeets fly over our house. This morning some Red-shouldered Macaws stopped in the mango tree across the street and so we got to watch them for a while.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

They Just Keep Growing....

Well, here's a little update on our chillins.  Omar got a chance to take a few pictures of the kids this past weekend, so here's a peek:  

Mahalia is about as ornery as they come - no REALLY - she has quite a stubborn streak in her that will hopefully one day be aimed in the right direction.  Until then....she's ornery.  

But she is fun, loving, and very, very girlie.  She LOVES getting dressed up with dresses,  hair bows, and bracelets.  

She loves her dollies, and drags them all over the house and yard, whether they like it or not :)  

Johnathan is growing up so much already.  He is his daddy's and my big helper, and his sister's protector.  

And he's getting to that "please stop taking so many pictures of me, Dad.  I'm only going to make silly faces for your camera now" phase. (As you can clearly see below.)

He is starting to learn his alphabet, and loves to "read" books all day.  

That is, when he's not outside riding his tricycle, aka: motorcycle.

By the way, if you were wondering, this is his "tough guy" look.  Try not to laugh be frightened.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Paula - People of Brazil

     Paula was one of the younger campers at Family Camp this year.  However, she thoroughly enjoyed the week (especially the playground!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Escaldado

On the very last night of camp, we had a special guest come to cook our supper - Jesus! No, I'm serious, Jesus cooked soup for us - a special soup called "Escaldado."  The word literally means "scalded." 

First, he cooked and shredded 40 pounds of chicken down until it "scalded."  He cooked and cooked and cooked all of the juices from it.

Then his wife added chopped tomatoes, onions, and green peppers, some broth, a little bit of tomato paste, and some salt.  

Then it had to simmer for a couple of hours.  During that time they added several eggs to  it, but I missed getting a picture of that step because I was off bathing my incredibly filthy children in a sink somewhere.  Sorry - both about missing that step and having incredibly filthy children.  

ANYWAY, the eggs cooked into hard-boiled eggs throughout the escaldado.  
Oh, and if you didn't believe me at the beginning, here's a picture of Jesus with his supper!  This was just one of the three pots of escaldado that they made, although this is the largest of the pots, and there wasn't ANY left.  Yes, it was that good. 

They served it with French bread rolls.  It was very nummy.  It tasted much like chicken noodle soup minus the noodles and plus the egg.  Okay, so maybe that makes it not much like chicken noodle soup after all.
 Anyway, the joke all night was that Jesus came to camp, just to make our supper!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Cleaning

This is the way we mop the floor,
 Mop the floor,
 Mop the floor,
 This is the way we mop the floor,
 When we live in Brazil!

When I was taking these pictures, you should have seen the weird looks that I was getting from the Brazilian ladies (you can see the smile on the lady in the second picture; she REALLY thought I was nuts!)  When the camp director's wife explained to them why I would take a picture of something so common (she understands because she is a Brazilian, but she's been to the States) they looked at her like she must be crazy!  How on earth do American's get their floors clean, anyway?!

When a Brazilian washes her floors, she starts by dumping a large bucket of soapy water on it.  Then she takes a broom and scrubs the suds around, brushing any "sticky" areas.  Then comes a bucket of rinse water.  Now, how is she going to get all of that water out of her house, you might ask?  With a squeegee, of course!  See the lady on the right in the bottom picture?  She uses a large squeegee and pushes all the water outside where it will quickly evaporate in this heat.   

You may be thinking, "that would ruin my house!"  And you're right!  But there are no carpets, drywall, or wooden floors here.  The floors are tiled or concreted, and the walls are block or tile, so it really is a faster, easier way to clean the floors.

And now you know:

This is the way we mop the floors,
When we live in Brazil!


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