Thursday, February 27, 2014

Exploring: Convento da Penha

This past Saturday, we had an outing. 

We got to take our boys to Convento da Penha, which is a beautiful convent that sits on a hill over looking the city. The view is beautiful. Truly breathtaking. 

Our boys, on the other hand, were not so beautiful or breathtaking. I promised to always be truthful on this blog, so straight up, most of our boys were brats this day. In their defense, they had a long week, and an busy morning...but oh boy, they were complainers at the convent. 

Our little Josue had not taken his medicine, and had eaten cake, a Popsicle and candy earlier that afternoon. Not a good mix. When we got to the top, he decided he was scared. Like laying on the ground in the fetal position, screaming scared. It took everything in me to not laugh and snap pictures of the poor kid...but I did the grown up, "house mom" thing and grabbed his hand, and promised him anything he wanted if he would just stop making a scene. ;) 

Isanon showed up with a soda to "save the day". And, just like that....Josue was back to laughing.  Yes, it appears we will be "those parents" who give into the child, just to avoid a huge scene. 

Despite our little complainers, and a fetal positioned screaming fit....we had a great day. 
I absolutely love when I get to explore a new place here in Brasil. 
Sometimes I forget how blessed I am, and then God shows me His beauty. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

His & Her Valentine's Day Tradition

Happy Love day. (Two days ago)

I like Valentine's Day. I always have. 

I loved the cool little mailboxes you got to make in elementary school and taking hours to pick out which valentine to give who so that your crush wouldn't figure out you like him. I like the red and pink decor, and getting to spread hearts everywhere. I like that it is a day that romance and corniness (is that a word?) is expected and encouraged. I love it all. 

And, its a pretty good thing that I love it, because I get TWO Valentine's days per year. Yes, two. Being  married to a Brazilian (or someone from a different country/culture) definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. One of those advantages is that Valentine's Day in Brazil is not until June 12th, which means we get to celebrate it two times. 

Isanon and I have this pretty cool tradition where on February 14th, he is the one who plans and gets to make the day special for me...and then on June 12th, I am the one who gets to do the planning and surprise him. I absolutely love that we get to do "Love day(s)" this way, and I love it even more because the whole tradition was something that just sort of happened... 

My mister and I had only been dating for 4 months when we celebrated our first Valentine's day together. We had started dating in October, spent two months together...then spent the next two months doing the long distance thing. I arrived in Brazil on February 13th, with a red tin heart full of chocolates (later learned that he is not a chocolate fan) in my suitcase, not knowing if he even knew about Valentine's day. I woke up the next morning to find that Isanon had "went out". We were staying in a little two bedroom house, with 10 people. One room stacked with beds for the girls, and one room crammed with beds for the boys. I had breakfast, and then found a couch to read on. A while later, Isanon came in the door with a couple bags...said Bom dia (good morning) and went to stash the bags in his room. At this point, I was sure he did not know about Valentine's day...and didn't want to make him feel bad, so I decided not to give him the chocolates.

He came back out to the living room and we sat on the couch and spent the afternoon talking and watching videos online. He had set up with some of our friends for us to go out to a cute little restaurant to eat lunch, and he paid for my food...but still nothing was said about Valentine's day. We got back and I took a nap cause I was feeling pretty jet lagged still. I slept for way longer than I had planned and woke up around dinner time. Everyone had went out, so the only people left in the house were Isanon, myself and one of the other guys. Isanon was in the kitchen, with the bags he had come home with earlier scattered on the table.  He made me dinner, and had bought strawberry ice-cream for us to have for dessert. After dinner and ice-cream, we watched a romantic movie that he had picked out...and he had bought me some chocolate. At this time I'm starting to wonder if he knows it's Valentine's Day, but still didn't ask or say anything, because he hadn't said anything.

After the movie, its getting late so we say goodnight, and I start to head for my room. I remember the tin of chocolates I have and tell him that I have something for him, and to wait. I come back out with the chocolates, and before I can say anything...he says, "No, it's your Valentine's Day, not mine." I'm not exactly sure how the conversation went after that, but basically he explained that he did in fact know it was Valentine's Day, and that was why he had planned the day out for us (sweet) but that I wasn't supposed to do anything for him cause his Valentine's Day wasn't until June 12th.....and thus started the His and Her Valentine's day tradition. 

Here are some photos from my love day this year. 

Thank you, my love, for making this Valentine's day super special. I love that even though it was 90 degrees out, you not only braved turning on the oven, but you dressed up (coat and all) to have a romantic dinner with me. You have the best heart, and I am lucky to share life with you. Thank you for taking me to the movies, and buying me a milkshake. And thank you for not being upset that I threw the milkshake away because it really was just not tasty. :) I love you endlessly, and like you more and more every day. Falling in love with you was easy, you were always meant to have my heart. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weekend full of birthday parties..

-the month of love. <3
-the month of the mister and I's half anniversary. 
-the short month. 
-the month full of birthdays! 

Yes, this short little month has proven to be a busy little one. 
This weekend we got to celebrate two special days. 
One on Friday and then another on Sunday. 

Friday night we celebrated Josue. Josue who was the smallest when Isanon and I arrived at Hope, is 15. He is growing and maturing every single day. I cannot begin to tell you the joy that Josue brings to us here at Hope Mountain. His hugs make my day, and Isanon and I truly feel so honored to be able to be a part of Josue's life and to be able to celebrate his special day with him. 

A week ago I asked Josue what type of cake he wanted, and he said a "cookie one". So, we had a cookie-cake, did a little treasure hunt, watched a slideshow of photos of Josue and then ended the night by filling our living room floor with mattresses and watching 'The Croods' together. :) 

On Sunday, we celebrated Rai - who also turned 15. Rai is another boy who has changed so much since we first arrived. Rai is the boy who says "thank you" (in english) when he should say "you're welcome". He is the boy who knocks on my door and asks if I need him to take my trash out or fill my water bottles. Rai is the boy who is growing up on us, and we couldn't be more pleased to have spent his 15th birthday with him. 

Rai's party went a lot like Josue's. We watched a slideshow, the boys prayed for him, we ate some (super yummy) fudge cake, and then watched the movie 'Red Eye'. It was a fun night. 

Happy birthday to our two special boys, thank you for letting Isanon and I celebrate with you! We love you both. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Renyvom & Roger}

Today's meet & greet is going to be a little different.

Last week, we had two of our boys run away. Two boys who are very dear to all of our hearts.
Renyvom and Roger are brothers who arrived here at Hope Mountain in August.

This is Renyvom..

This is Roger..

I do not know much about their past, nor do I know where they would have ran away to. It is my understanding that they do not have family to go to, so my heart is in so much conflict about where they have gone.

Renyvom is 14, and Roger is 12. Hearing that they ran away was such a shock to us all because they seemed, for the most part, happy here. Renyvom is a bit quieter than Roger, and seems like he holds a lot of anger inside. Roger is a goofy, care free boy who loves to play.

Please, please pray for these two brothers with us. We are praying that God continues to protect them wherever they are, and that they make their way back to us. Thank you for standing in prayer with us for these boys.