Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday.

It's Friday!!! Here are five Random things from our week. 

{One.} We got out the skateboards and scooters this weekend, and I can not even count the number of hours these boys spent racing up and down this hallway.
{Two.} The boys had two soccer games this week. And.....they lost both of them. They don't like losing, and were a bit embarrassed - especially since one team were boys younger than them. Hopefully this will cause them to learn some team work, and to take their coach and practices more seriously. 
{Three.} My mom sent me a birthday package this week, and in it was a life jacket for Tyson. He looks super cute in it, and we are hoping it will help him to enjoy the water more with us. We are heading to the beach (our favorite!) tomorrow - so we will be testing it out! 
{Four.}Isanon and I made a video to show at our church (in the US) a couple weeks ago. Two days ago, I wake up in the morning (5am, I should mention) to Isanon laughing at the computer. I look over to see what he is watching....and it is our first attempt to make the video. My mister is a dork, and I love him so. 
{Five.} Just a word of caution, if you decide to make cookies for 25+ boys, make sure you have lots of time....and lots of counter space. 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A party for Carlos.

We have been receiving lots of new boys lately. In the house that we take care of, we added 6 new ones in the last week and a half. 

I was looking at the list that is updated every time a new boy arrives, and noticed that one of the boys had a birthday on Sunday. On Friday, I asked Carlos when his birthday was....and he said, "Sei la" - which means he didn't know. I told him it was on Sunday, and he said "Tabom" -which means, Ok. Paulo Vitor, who has been around for a little while, was standing close by and runs up and asks me what kind of cake I am going to make for Carlos, and Carlos looked at me and asked if I was really going to make him a cake. I said, Of course, its your birthday...and Carlos got the biggest smile ever. 

 For quite some time, the boys have been asking me to teach them how to make cakes. While the thought of a ton of boys in my kitchen does not sound fun, I decided to start letting ONE boy help me with each birthday cake. I let Carlos decide who would help me make his cake, and he chose Paulo Vitor.

 Helping Paulo Vitor make a cake for Carlos, was lots of fun. He opened the oven door every two minutes to see if it was done, and was so afraid to mess it up. In the end, the cake was super yummy...and Paulo Vitor was very proud of the cake he made for his new friend.
 We decided to do the party in the boys'  TV Room this time. Isanon called Carlos to go help him, and we decorated the room and brought the cake over. Earlier in the day, two of the boys helped me make a card for him, and while we were waiting for them to come back, all the boys signed it for him.

We gave him his card, sang happy birthday, and then prayed over him. The whole time, all he kept saying was, this is really all for me? 

 After cake, the boys grabbed their mattresses, and we snuggled up to watch a movie. The movie he chose to watch was called Pacific Rim. It was a very action packed film, so of course the boys loved it.
Happy birthday Carlos! While we do not know you well yet, we are happy to have you here with us. We hope you felt extremely special on your birthday, and look forward to getting to know you better! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 02}

I am back again this week to share my 'Currently(s)'
A Mama Collective
Thinking about: Our Vacation time. The mister and I have begun to make a sort-of 'Bucket-list' of things we want to do, or accomplish, while we are on Vacation time. Beach trips, house projects, day trips, time with family, and lots of movie watching - are at the top of that list! 
Reading: I finished reading Red Knife last night, and haven't picked a new book to start. My quick review of Red Knife, is that it is a very interesting book. Definitely kept my attention the whole time, although I hated the Epilogue, and think the book would be far better without it. 

Listening to: Let Her Go by Passenger has quickly become a favorite in this house.  I love that Passenger is a singer/songwriter. There is something special to me when the artist not only sings it, but when it is something that they wrote. 

Watching: Isanon has been downloading some movies for us to watch lately. This past week we watched, Frozen (with the boys),  Captain America 2, Robocop (with the boys), Non-stop (so good), and Pacific Rim (with the boys).  We have been taking the projector into the hallway and projecting a movie on the wall for all the boys, we love it! 
Thankful for: Packages from home. Today I received a box from my Mama, and I cannot begin to describe how happy each thing inside of it made me. Knowing that she took the time and care to go shopping and pick out some of my very favorite things that I am not able to get here, makes my heart swell. I am so thankful for my mom. 
Goals for this week:

  • Give English classes to the boys. (I've been slacking, hardcore)
  • Take Tyson for a walk every single day. 
  • Clean and organize the laundry area. 
  • Figure out what I'm doing for Isanon for (brazilian) Valentine's day. 

Verse of the week: No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Mateus}

Happy Monday, friends! And, Happy Memorial Day!

Today, I get the privilege of introducing you to Mateus ( Matthew, in english).
Mateus is a 14 year old boy who arrived at Hope in January. The very first day he arrived, I was sitting outside talking with some of the boys, and he came up and plopped himself down in my lap. Since then, I have gotten to know Mateus, and know that he is a very touchy boy - but that first day, I didn't know what to think!
I do not know much about Mateus' past. What I do know, is that at one point he was adopted by a very sweet family. I'm not sure how long he lived with them - but they said that he never adjusted. He was always getting really upset that things weren't how he wanted them, and would cause problems. He also is hyper active and needs medicine to help calm him down, and the family was not able to provide these for him. The family ended up reversing the adoption, and Mateus was brought to us. His adoptive family loves Mateus, and comes to visit him every chance they get. They also help financially with some of the things Mateus needs. 
Mateus is a very sweet boy, and has adjusted well to being here. Besides little yelling fights with the other boys, he has never caused any problems here. He does his chores without complaint, and is extremely helpful. He does well with a scheduled routine, and gets a little upset when things stray from this routine. He likes an explanation for why things have changed, and usually once he gets that - he is happy again. He is a very respectful and polite boy - to the point where he refuses to come into our house with his shoes on, he always leaves them outside the front door. Mateus is a boy who truly brings joy to mine and Isanon's life. Watching him grow and mature and seeing how happy he is here, reminds us of why we wanted to come to Hope Mountain. 
Please join Isanon and I as we pray for Mateus this week. We are praying that God would continue to put joy inside of Mateus' heart. We are praying for Mateus' relationship with his adoptive family. We are also praying for his schooling. He has started special classes at a private school, and he Loves it! Please pray with us that Mateus would continue to seek God, and know in his heart that he is loved deeply by his Heavenly Father. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five on Friday.

{One.} This weather is crazy! It is literally Hot one day, then chilly the next. Everyone seems to be coming down with colds, and this weather is to blame! I made up a huge batch of honey lemon tea and passed it around for all the sickies (including Isanon) to drink!
{Two.} These boys are, I tell you! If they were allowed, they would spend sun up until sun down in the water. I am so thankful that we have a pool here at Hope. It makes our weekends just a little less boring.
{Three.} Tyson got a bath after swimming on Saturday. It was the most interesting thing ever for these boys! They make me laugh. :) 
{Four.} I made these muffins twice this week. Twice! Once as a snack for the boys, and then again to take over to a friends house. They are so good.
{Five.} 10 days until Isanon is officially on vacation time. Recife, we are coming!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 01}

Last week, I was browsing through some of the blogs that I read, and came across a cool little link-up. The link-up is called Currently, and it's a cool way for me to jot down some things currently going on in my life. Without further are my 'currently's'... 
A Mama Collective
Thinking about: June! June is quickly approaching us, and there are quite a few exciting things on our calendar for that month. A couple highlights that I am looking forward to in June are; Isanon taking his vacation time - Paul and Nan coming to visit - Visiting family in Recife - (Brazilian) Valentine's day - my birthday. 

Reading: Red Knife by William Kent Krueger. I wouldn't say that I love it, but I am pretty into it. When Nancy headed back to the US, she left a stack of books here for us American girls to read, and this was one of the books in that stack. It is a mystery book, and has me pretty intrigued to see how it all plays out. 
Listening to: The Miami and Indiana b-ball game. Obviously, the mister has taken over the TV every single night with his excessive basketball watching. I don't really mind though, it is better than Soccer! Current song that I play at least 8 and a half times a day....Oceans by Hillsong United. It speaks to me. 

Watching: Isanon and I had actually just gotten pretty hooked on a couple Series on Netflix...and then our internet started messing up, and we no longer can get Netflix. Wahhhh! (First World Problems!) So, he has been watching basketball, and I haven't really been watching anything lately... 

Thankful for: Days off! I love all our crazy boys, but the mister and I were in major need of a date day - away from this mountain. We have spent too many days off sitting at home, waiting for the Federal Police to come and do our home visit, so it was nice to be able to go out today. 

Verse of the Week:  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Monday, May 19, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Ronisson}

It's Monday! 

Today I get to introduce you to Ronisson. 
Ronisson has been here at Hope Mountain since December of 2009. He just had a birthday this last week and turned 17. Before coming to us, Ronisson lived with his mom and step-dad. He told us that him and his siblings would mess around a lot and get into a lot of trouble at home. His step-dad would get upset with them and lock them in a room for long periods of time. The neighbors called Social Services, and Ronisson and his three siblings were removed from the home. Because of Ronisson's age, he was brought to us, while his three younger siblings were taken to a different home. Ronisson misses his siblings, but thankfully he is able to go visit them on weekends and holidays. 
Ronisson is a joy for us to have. Despite being far from his siblings and everything he has went through, he is truly a joyful boy, who is fun to have around. It is not uncommon to find Ronisson making noises and pretending like he is riding 'his motorcycle' down the halls. It is also not uncommon to find him dancing or singing. He has an awesome smile and a contagious laugh. 
He, also, began going to a private school recently (please read about that here!) and has been doing really well. He has some learning difficulties and is quite a few years behind, but has been getting some extra help to try to catch him up a bit. Since he recently turned 17, he will soon be transferring over to the 'Republica', and given new responsibilities. 
 Please join Isanon and I in prayer for Ronisson this week. We are praying that he would continue to have this contagious joy. Please pray with us that he would continue to do well in school, and that the opportunity to begin to work would open up for him. We are praying that he would continue to make wise decisions and learn to seek the Lord more and more each day. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Djon}

Happy Monday to you!

How was your weekend? Isanon and I enjoyed a very relaxing weekend. Isa had the weekend off, so we enjoyed some much needed rest and quality time together. We had planned to go to the beach on Saturday, but we woke up to a very gloomy and sun-less day, so we opted to stay in. He also seems to be coming down with a little bit of a cold, so hot tea and rest is what the doctor (me) ordered. We have a little on-going list of movies we want to watch, so we got a couple of those scratched off this weekend!

As promised, today you get to meet one of our crazy boys. Say hello to Djon (pronounced Jon).
Djon is 16 years old, and has been back with us at Hope Mountain since August of 2013. He had been with us for quite some time before, but due to him getting in lots of trouble and running away various times - he was transferred to another home in early 2013. When he returned to us in August, he was on a 'last chance' basis, and has been doing quite well since. 
Djon recently began going to a private school (read about that here!) and has been doing really well! It is challenging, but it is so awesome to see him come home from work, and go straight to studying. Speaking of work, he also just recently began working as a receptionist at a Hospital nearby. It is an amazing opportunity for Djon, and he not only seems to be doing really well, he seems to be truly enjoying it. The change in his attitude has been enormous! We love seeing this (happy) side of Djon. 
Please be praying with us for Djon this week. We are praying that he would continue to enjoy life. That he would continue to see that he can do whatever he puts his heart to do. Please pray that he would stay encouraged, and continue to choose the right path. We are extremely proud of the change we have seen in Djon, and are praying that more and more he would seek the Lord. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ademir turns 16....

We got to celebrate another birthday this week. Ademir turned 16 on Wednesday. Ademir is the oldest boy in our house. When he first arrived at Hope, he was put into the older boys home (because he was 15) but couldn't seem to get along with the boys over there, so was temporarily moved to our house. Since he turned 16, he will be moving back to the older boys house some time this next week. 
After dinner, we called all the boys from our house over and started the party off with a slideshow of pictures of Ademir. Isanon puts together a slideshow for each boy on their birthdays, and it may be one of the best parts! Depending on how long the boy has been here, it is fun to look back and see the differences. 
After watching the slideshow, we played "Never have I...." 
If you are not familiar with the game, the game starts off with everyone sitting except for one person in the middle without a chair. That person must say something that they never have done. For example, one of the boys said: "Never have I put on make-up." If you, also, have never put on make-up, you stay seated. However, if you must jump up and switch seats. The person left without a chair must then say something they have never done, and so on. 
We had quite a bit of fun with this game, and went many rounds. After we tired of the game, we gave Ademir his present, and prayed for him. 

One of the presents that Ademir received was a card that Paul and Nancy had sent him from the states. It was one of those cool little cards that when you open, it plays a song. The boys LOVED it! I mean, LOVED it! They thought it was the coolest thing! So cool, that it started a mini dance party in my living room. So much fun. 
When they finished their dance party, we had banana cupcakes with coffee flavored frosting. The boys always want me to make something "new" for them for their birthday, so I am having to learn to be creative. If you have any unique cupcake/cake flavors, please leave them in the comments! 

After cupcakes, we piled the mattresses in and settled down for a movie. The battery on our camera had died by this point, but I did happen to remember and snapped a photo on Isanon's iphone. 

Happy Birthday, Ademir! We hope that you felt super special on your special day!