Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Celebrating Leonardo.

Yesterday one of our boys had a birthday. I would like to be able to say with all certainty how old he turned, but I really don't know. The papers we have on him say that yesterday was his 13th birthday, but the kid swears he turned 14 yesterday. So, happy (insert number here) birthday Leonardo!
Right before the houses closed at 8pm, Isanon called Leonardo over to help him do some stuff. During that time, I put up a few decorations in the boys TV room, and brought the cupcakes, juice and game supplies over. Everyone else also came over at this time, so we could all be there waiting when Isanon got back with Leonardo. He walked in, we said 'Happy Birthday!' and got right to the game!

We played a revised version of the game "Don't Eat Pete" and had so much fun with it. Just in case you haven't played this game before, it goes like this; you put a piece of candy on each one of the balloons then choose one person to leave the room. When that person is out of the room, you choose one of the balloons to be 'Pete'. The person outside is called back in, and he begins to choose pieces of candy off the balloons. When he tries to take the candy off of "Pete", everyone yells, "Don't Eat Pete" and his turn is over. We seriously had so much fun with this game. Even the adults took a turn at it!

After the game, we gave Leo his present, then we prayed for him and sang happy birthday to him. He thanked all of us for giving him a party - and even shed a few tears. Everyone got their cupcake (chocolate chip cookie cups), juice and hung out talking for a while. 

We truly had a great time Celebrating Leonardo and hope he had a special day. In the months that Leo has been here with us, we have seen such a change in him - and it makes us happy to see him happy. The Happiest of Happy birthdays to you, Leonardo. May God bless you and pour His love on you in this coming year.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 10}

Hey there! Welcome to Currently, where I share what we are currently up to each week - and the goal(s) we have for the coming week. 

Thinking about: Cutting my hair. No, really. But, then again - I have thought about this approximately 8 times a year for the past three years...but have never taken the plunge. The issue is that every single time that I have cut my hair in the past, I regretted it. I get so tired of the same ole' hair day after day though. Of course pinterest doesn't help with their constant pictures of cute styles like the ones below. 
Also, today is my sweet nephew's Birthday! Little Lance is three years old today, and I cannot even believe it. I very clearly remember coming home from Brazil days after he was born, and making the drive from California to Seattle to meet my newest little nephew! He was and continues to be the absolute cutest little blue-eyed boy. Happy birthday little Lance, Auntie Nellie loves you so very much! Have fun at Chuck-e-Cheese, big boy. 
Listening to: "Your word inside of me; My strength, my everything. My hope will always be Jesus. Your breath inside my lungs; you're worthy of my trust. You will forever be Jesus." 

Watching: The husband give Tyson a bath. Tyson hates them...he whimpers through the whole thing. But, nobody loves a dirty - stinky boy. The part that he does love is being towel dried. The boy soaks it up! Then, he will lay there swaddled in his towel for the next 20 minutes. Crazy boy. 
Making: Decor for Leonardo's Birthday party (tomorrow!). I am a firm believer in making birthday decorations that can be used again - especially with how many boys we have around here. But, its been a while since I've made anything new, so I decided to add some stuff to my 'birthday decor box'.
I also made these cinnamon-sugar donut muffins this week. I had lent out the hand-mixer, so I ended up mixing up the batter by hand...and I think I over mixed it. The flavor was good, but the consistency of the muffins were a bit hard. 
Goals of the week: 
[Last week...]
  1. Begin to cultivate a habit of praying with Isanon every single night. this has been so good for both of us. 
  2. Re-plant all my living room plants. nope, still need to do this. 
  3. Cook/Bake something new. a couple things. 
  4. Plan Leonardo's bday party-make it special. His party is tomorrow, I hope he has fun!
[This week...]
  1. Continue to cultivate the habit of praying together every single night.
  2. Work on a secret project. 
  3. Cook/Bake something new. 
  4. Invite someone over for coffee-snack, dinner or dessert. 
  5. Have a movie night with the boys. 
Verse of the week:
A Mama Collective

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday//Five things I love about where I am

Is it really Friday again, already? Seriously, where did this week go? In an attempt to be completely honest on this blog - I should let you know that I've been in a bit of a funk this week. I get claustrophobic here - need to get out, do something different....but that has proved to be one of The Most Difficult things Ever! Transportation is hard, the husbands schedule is hard (but getting better, praise the Lord!), lack of things to do....the list of hindrances goes on. But, in an attempt to pull myself out of this funk....here are Five things I love about living here (in no particular order).
{One.} I love knowing that we are in the will of God. I have No doubt that God called us to Brazil to love on these boys. Is it a hard job? Yes, most definitely....but, it can be so rewarding at the same time. Sometimes in the midst of their attitudes, it is easy to forget just how precious of a job God has entrusted to us - and that is something I never want to forget or take for granted. I know that this time here at Hope Mountain is just for a season, a precious season, and my constant prayer is that during this time, I would be here-all here- for these boys.
{Two} We live so close to so many beautiful beaches. We literally have a handful of gorgeous beaches that we can choose from-and arrive at in less than an hour. Plus, it is basically summer weather at least 300 days a year - so we get lots of use out of those pretty beaches. 
{Three} It has been the greatest adventure for Isanon and I. Not many people can say that they moved out of the country and became 'parents' to 25+ boys -less than three months into their marriage. And while it has not been the easiest on our marriage, it has taught and continues to teach us many things. Sometimes at night, we lay awake in bed laughing at the stories of things that we've gone through in these first (almost!) two years of marriage...and I know that many years from now, we will lay awake in bed again, still laughing at those same adventures. I love doing life with this guy. 
{Four} I love being able to bake for these boys. It is pretty rare that these boys get any type of 'dessert-type food' here, so it is fun to surprise them with cake, or cookies, or something of that sort every now and then. It doesn't hurt that baking is something that I truly enjoy doing either, and the smiles that come to their faces when they see me walk out with a tray of goodies makes my heart happy. Throwing a party and celebrating their birthdays would also fall into this category, I love it. 
{Five} I love that we got our little guy Tyson. If we never would have came to Hope, we wouldn't have met the couple that gave us Ty-Ty. This little guy has brought us so much laughter (and so many headaches) in the year and a half that we have had him. He is such a sweet, good boy. 
And there you have it, Five things I love about where I am right now Hope everyone has a great weekend, I am off to plan a birthday party! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.pngMomfessionals

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Currently. {Vol.09}

Hey there! Welcome to Currently, where I share what we are currently up to each week - and the goal(s) we have for the coming week. 

A Mama Collective
Thinking about: Lots of random things. For one, next Monday is one of our boys' birthday. He will be turning 13 years old, and I would like to make his party special. I feel like I've gotten into a birthday routine and haven't been very creative at making each party different and special - and I plan to try to change that. So, I've been browsing the lovely Pinterest for some inspiration.
Annnnnd, Isanon passed his written driver's test yesterday! He studied all week - and did great. Getting your license in Brazil is not the easiest thing, and I am starting to realize why so many people drive illegally here. But, I am extremely proud of Isanon for going after this goal. Good job, meu amor. Now on to the driving classes you go! 
Also, I've been thinking about our two year anniversary which is quickly approaching. I have a couple of different ideas of things I want to do for Isanon - but I need to make a plan. For quite some time now, I've wanted to get us a nice journal to write letters back and forth in - but have not yet....I think anniversary number two is the perfect time for that to come into play. 
Lastly, our future. These past few nights, Isanon and I have laid awake in bed talking about the future - and making plans. Everything from the "if we had a million bucks - and no visa restrictions -we would [fill in the blank]" to the "realistically, one [year,month,week] from now....[fill in the blank]". Obviously, nothing set in stone...but dreaming and planning together makes me so happy about this future we have together. 
Reading: I read some more of 'And the Shofar Blew' by Francine Rivers this week, and have hit the point where I have been drawn in by the characters. The introducing of the characters in the beginning of the book was a little slow-going, but having passed it, I am interested to see where their lives intertwine. 
Listening to: This song. I actually saw a re-make version from the dad's point of view, before ever hearing this song. The re-make was funny, and the rhythm was catchy - so I looked up the original song. 

Watching: We are still hooked on the show 24. Not quite sure why it took us so long to give this show a try, but we love it! Also, I came across this clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show....and it made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. Naturally, I made Isanon watch it again with me - and we laughed even harder. We may or may not have blasted this song in our living room and danced to it multiple times this week. At any rate, watch the video....and laugh. You're welcome. 

Making: Recently, I have been making iced coffee in the mornings. I am not a huge coffee drinker - but what I wouldn't give to have a Starbucks close by! Did you know that if you google "how to make iced coffee" that there are a million different ways to do it? I have tried about a half-million of them, and I think I have finally perfected the perfect iced coffee (for me). 
Goals for this week:
[Last week...]
  1. Pray for Isanon every single night. //I love that boy. 
  2. Organize my sewing stuff. //I'm crossing this off, but I need drawers or something to store it in. 
  3. Educate myself more on visa things. //Some, but not much. 
  4. Cook/Bake something new. //I made baked chimichangas for the first time this week.  
  5. Decorate or do something different to love our bedroom more. //Nope, its still the same. 
[This week...]

  1. Begin to cultivate a habit of praying with Isanon every single night. 
  2. Re-plant all my living room plants. 
  3. Cook/Bake something new. 
  4. Plan Leonardo's bday party - make it special. 
Verse of the week: "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me-a prayer to the God of my life."  Psalms 42:7-8

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Peter}

Monday, we meet again. These weeks seem to be going by so much faster than normal, these days. It is unreal to me that we are approaching the end of July!

As promised, today I get to "introduce" you to another one of our boys.
Today, we meet Peter.
Peter is our oldest. He will be turning 18 years old in October, and has been at Hope Mountain since May of 2009. Peter had already been here at Hope for a few years when Isanon and I arrived, so I can't speak for his first years here....but since we have been here, all we have seen from Peter is how great of a kid he is. He has never given us any (real) trouble, and is a great example to the other boys. 
Peter's father passed away when Peter was very young. When Peter was eleven years old, his mother also passed away. After the passing of his mother, Peter his brother and two sisters were taken to a group home for children. When peter turned thirteen, him and his older brother were brought to Hope Mountain. Despite the tragedy that Peter has passed through, he is a really happy and polite boy. He doesn't let his circumstances stop him from going after what he wants. Peter is an extremely bright boy, and does really well in school. He has a job working at a factory that makes shirts and things like that, and we have heard from his boss that he is a very faithful and hard worker. He is currently preparing to leave Hope Mountain in the near future - and is in the process of deciding where he is going to go. 
Please join us as we lift Peter up in prayer this week. We thank God for his life, and for the example of hard work and dedication that he is to the rest of our boys. We are praying that God would give him wisdom and direction as he prepares to make big life decisions. That God would illuminate the right path that Peter is to take, and that he would be blessed and taken care of in this new season of his life. We are praying that God would continue to call Peter and give him direction. That Peter would learn to rely on Him for all that he needs, and cling to Jesus always. 

As always, thank you so much for joining us in prayer for our boys - I can not begin to tell you the difference that you make! Obrigada! :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! {Happy Home}

Happy Friday! This week has gone by pretty quickly for us and we are looking forward to the weekend. Its been cold and rainy these past few days, so we are praying for a little sunshine! I have had the itch for change lately - so Isanon and I have made a couple small changes to our little home recently.

{One.} We were laying in bed a couple weeks ago, it was almost 3:00am and I told Isanon that I wanted to move our living room around. He said, "Okay" and got out of bed right then to move it around. Initially I had meant the next day...or soon after, but I knew that I had better take advantage of his current enthusiasm and we moved everything around that night (morning). 
{Two.} Isanon's mom made me The Cutest pot holder/hot pads Ever. She is so talented, and I seriously love them. I love them so much that I don't even want to set hot pans on them - in fear of them getting dirty or messed up. I am still contemplating finding a way to hang them on the wall as kitchen decor or something. Aren't they the cutest? 
{Three.} Our ceiling fan in the living room burned out this week. Not sure what happened, just stopped working. Ceiling fans are one hundred percent necessary where we live...so I could not be more grateful that we were blessed with a new one.
 {Four.} Plants, I love them. I have recently become a bit obsessed with them. I love how they bring 'life' to a room. Isanon made me shelves in the kitchen a while ago....and they are perfect for all my little plants. I, also, planted some little plants in teacups and they have found their home on top of our refrigerator.  
{Five.} We got a new rug for our living room yesterday. We have cold (ugly) green-tiled floor - and the black fuzzy rug is such a nice little addition. 
Aaaaand, that's it for our Five little changes/updates to our place. We have a couple of ideas of other things we want to add/change in the near future, but I'll leave those for a different post. 
Have a super blessed weekend! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 08}

A Mama Collective
Thinking about: How to be grateful with who and where I am. I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day that stopped me in my tracks. Many times, I see a quote - like what it says - pin it, and move on. But there was something about this one that made it stick with me. I found myself reminded of it's simple words throughout the day. "If we don't feel grateful with what we already have...what makes us think we will be happy with more?" There are way too many times that I think, "If I could just be more like this...." or "If this could just happen..." or "If only I had..." - "then I would be happy." But, the truth is that happiness does not come from things or circumstances. True happiness -joy- comes from God, and only from Him. I live a blessed life, and I trust God that He knows what is best for Isanon and I...and sometimes I just need to put that on (virtual) paper. 
Reading: I started reading "and the Shofar Blew" by Francine Rivers again this week. I started reading it a couple months ago and had a hard time getting into it, but I am going to give it another try. I haven't really been reading a whole lot lately, but I am going to try to shut off the internet more and read. 

Listening to: This song. Over and over and over. The muisc, the voice, the words....I just love it all. It speaks my heart's cry perfectly. 

Watching: In regards to Television: 24. We are hooked, my friends. We are well into the second season now, and it just gets better and better. We've even been sneaking an episode in here and there while the boys are at school....hooked, yes we are. I also 'watched' baby Ana on Sunday. Her dad was not feeling well and decided to go to the hospital. I watched Ana for a couple hours so that her mom could go. She was so good, and we had a lot of fun together. I realized really quickly that my house is not baby-proof, as she managed to take every single thing off of our TV shelf in 2 minutes flat. She is a sweet little thing though. 
Goals for this week:
last week
  1. organize my sewing stuff.  - nope, did not get to this. 
  2. start translating devotional book.  yes, I started...but could've done a whole lot more. 
  3. make it a priority to have coffee with Tia Rosa. Twice last week, and today.  
  4. pray for Isanon every night. I missed a couple times, sadly. 
this week

  1. Pray for Isanon every single night. 
  2. Organize my sewing stuff. 
  3. Educate myself more on visa things. 
  4. Cook/Bake something new. 
  5. Decorate or do something different to love our bedroom more. 
Verse of the week: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Monday, July 14, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Leandro}

Happy Monday! Today I get the privilege of introducing you to another one of our boys, Leandro.
Leandro is almost 17 years old, and has been such a joy to have here. He came to Hope in March for his protection, after seeing a crime committed by some drug lords in his neighborhood. Leandro comes from a sad situation. His father died with he was just a toddler - and then he was raised by his mother who is an acolholic. From a very young age, he began staying in the streets more than at home, and then ended up getting involved in drug trafficking in his neighborhood. 
I remember the very first day that Leandro arrived here. It was about 9pm at night, and I had taken Tyson outside to use the bathroom. A little ways away, standing by the pool, I saw this huge-tall person, that could in no way be a boy - so I got freaked and hurriedly went to tell Isanon that "some man" was outside. Needless to say, they still laugh at me about it. 
Leandro is always laughing and joking, and is truly so much fun to have around. In the short months that he has been here, we have been able to see so much growth in him. I got the chance to talk to his younger sister a bit yesterday while she was here visiting him, and she said that he is back to the brother she remembers- happy and laughing. Leandro is currently taking our bakery class, and is going to start doing a 'home study' program soon. This 'home study' program will allow him to do work here duing the week, and only go in to class for tests and such once a week. Leandro also will begin to start looking for work soon, as he is turning 17 this month. 
Please join Isanon and I in prayer this week for Leandro. We are praying for strength for Leandro, as living here and being far from his family can be hard. We are praying that he would continue to get joy back in his life, and continue to be this happy boy that we are seeing. We pray that God would truly reach out and touch Leandro's heart. That he would allow God to love him and heal him of every rejection and hurt that he has guarded in his heart. We are claiming in the name of Jesus that Leandro's life will be a life of victory - and that all that Satan has used to destroy him will be turned into a victory, that God may be glorified through Leandro's life. 

Thank you so much for joining us in prayer for Leandro this week!