Sunday, November 1, 2009

Being "home"

We have been "home" or at least this side of the equator for the past few months and things are finally starting to feel ok. I can only say ok, not normal, but one of our prayers is that we will not go back to normal. It has taken time to get used to life here, and that seems very weird to say since this is basically where we grew up. We were not completely prepared for the readjustment that would be required to fit in. We were completely prepared for the fact that people can't always relate to us. For most people, there is no real point of reference for them to be able to understand where we are coming from when we say that we aren't sure that we are glad to be back. Also, most people don't won't to hear all the stories that we have to tell. So, these things were no surprise to us. The things that did surprise us was the simple things being so overwhelming. What I mean by this is having so many choices when going to the grocery store for example. We got used to the fact that we only had about 5 different choices of potato chips and certainly didn't have two flavors in one bag. Seems like a not big deal, just pick one, but it wasn't. It was overwhelming! There are too many choices in almost every category in the grocery store from diapers and wipes to lunch meat and everything in between. It was 9 weeks before I was able to go to the grocery store without crying! Sounds ridiculous to even admit that.

Last week, we had the opportunity to go to Virginia for a debriefing conference and it really helped us understand the readjustment issues that we are going through. Also, we had the chance to talk to many others going through the same exact thing. We came home yesterday with refreshed spirits and a more clear understanding of what to expect. We still don't know exactly what our future holds, but for now....Paul is finishing his degree and has recently bought a lawn care company. We are praying that the Lord will open doors and once he has finished his schooling that the Lord will show where we are to go. We do not feel that we will be staying in the Memphis area, but don't know where we will be going either. Paul purchased the lawn care business in hopes that wherever we go, that can go with us and he will have the ability to earn some quick money even if he doesn't have a traditional job.

The Lord has been gracious to us and more merciful than we will ever deserve. He has proven himself trustworthy over and over again in our lives, so moving forward we have decided that we are going to begin this journey and new chapter of life just trusting Him. We may not know much else, but we know that our God is a good God and all things work together for good for those who love Him. So, we are going to keep on loving and trusting the One who is worthy. Please be in prayer for us as we continue to seek His direction and guidance for our lives. We are asking for wisdom and need as much as we can get.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Food Finds

Ok, so it isn't really NEW food, but we continue to amaze ourselves at the things that we have been able to make ourselves. By make, I mean, from scratch, no boxed meals or mixes that you just add soup to. This is no big deal to a lot of people, but it has taken some getting use to for us. We didn't think that we used as much Campbell's soup and Hamburger Helper as we did, but we quickly found out that we not only used it, but we didn't know how to cook without it. So, I just want to share some of our recent successes that have been like a little slice of home. We made our very own flour tortillas and when tortillas actually became available in the grocery store here, the kids didn't like the store bought ones....they wanted moms! It did my heart good. Of course it is more trouble, but not that much more and it was fun making them. I think I have mentioned it before, but we have been making our own barbecue sauce and maple syrup. These have been favorites too. I made some drop biscuits that I added a type of cheese to (since we don't have cheddar in Brazil) and garlic. They tasted just like the garlic cheese biscuits from Red Lobster, which Paul and I have always loved. But the latest creation was Rotel chicken spaghetti without the Rotel. I got a taste for it and wanted it, but there is no Rotel or Velveeta in Brazil. I found a processed cheese spread that I thought I could make work and boy did it work. As far as Rotel, well, I got tomatoes and jalapenos and made my own. We haven't had chicken spaghetti in probably a year and a half and this was mouth-watering good. We are not only getting used to cooking in Brazil, we are actually liking cooking in Brazil.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Botanical Gardens

We had a wonderful day at the botanical gardens here in PoA. We took a picnic lunch, spread out our blanket under the trees, and had a great day. This was the first picnic for the little boys and they did great. They sat on the blanket and ate their lunch and once they were done, they did get up, but they stayed right with us and came back when we called. It was a nice change being in the open spaces. There are days when the bars on the windows and the gate around the property seem to close in on us, so to be able to roam free and have plenty of space to walk was just a nice change. We even walked through their natural science museum and all the kids enjoyed that. We ended the day with some ice cream to cool off with. This is the day that the Lord has made! And we rejoiced and were glad in it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming to an end!

We are wrapping up our two month long family visit from Pawpaw and Nana. I can honestly say that it has been a great time just having family close again. It has been a lot of fun showing them the town, taking them to some of our favorite restaurants and my personal favorite...showing them the mountains and the beautiful city of Gramado. It was neat for us to see them experience all the firsts of a new culture. There have been many things that we have gotten used to in our year in Brazil, and they have reminded us that they are not what we experience from where we are from. I think one of the biggest things has been the overwhelming size of the city we live in. Coming from Olive Branch, Mississippi, which is growing by leaps and bounds but only has a population of about 35,000 to PoA with its surrounding area it is somewhere around 3 to 4 million. So this has been overwhelming for them to say the least. They never got used to the driving or just riding in their case. Nana was constantly gasping for breath as another motorist cut us off in traffic or a motorcyclist buzzed in between cars with barely enough room to fit. We have gotten used to, but they never did.

The babies have especially gotten used to them being here. They wake up in the mornings or from their naps and at least one of them starts looking for Pawpaw. Every night before they go to bed, they have to give Pawpaw and Nana kisses. I'm sure that the babies will notice their absence, and I am even more sure that the grandparents will feel some separation anxiety.

So, as our time comes to an end with them here with us, I would like to ask for you all to pray for us, we will miss them terribly, but also pray for traveling mercies for them. It is a long trip traveling from here to there. They will leave PoA at 7:30 Monday evening and not arrive in Memphis until 12:40 Tuesday afternoon. Please keep them in your prayers!

Thank you for your partnership in prayer with us. We cherish you all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Updates coming soon!

Well, I am floored! I truly had no idea that so many of you actually followed our blog. I have heard from countless people asking me when are we going to update. So, I promise updates will be coming soon! We have spent the last month with Paul's parents and it has been wonderful. They will be here until March 16th, and we will be so sad to see them go. It has been wonderful just having them here to share meals with, to show them around town, and just to visit. We have always enjoyed their wise Godly counsel and now is no exception. This has been a great time to just unwind and enjoy them since it has been so long since we have seen them face to face. I will work to get some updates on what we have been doing along with some pictures soon, I promise!

Thanks for your interest in us and the work that is going on down here in Southern Brazil! By the way, it is HOT down here!