Sunday, August 31, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 13}

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.

Writing: I have been doing quite a bit of writing around here this past week. I wrote a couple letters to send home to friends and family - cause there is nothing I love more than a little snail mail. I also have started to translate a couples devotional. My goal is to have enough of it translated so that we can start going through it together starting the beginning of 2015. 

Dancing to: This song. I have a thing with having music going in the kitchen while I am cooking, or cleaning....there is something always playing. This week, I've been stuck on this song. He steady's my heart. 

Craving: This is not a good subject for me to get on. I crave way too many things, these days. I had a conversation the other day with my (mailman) sister, Marina, about how I never would have considered myself a "Foodie" before moving to another country. I always liked food, obviously, but there weren't times where I found complete joy in it, like I do when we find something from the US now. I had a Campbells can of tomato soup (thanks, Lindsey) the other day, and it was truly The Best Soup in the Entire World. Chinese, and Mexican food are always high on the "cravings list" as well.

Anticipating: Warm weather. I would much rather be heading into fall right now, but since Brazil does not even know what Fall is, I would really just like for Summer to get here. These pouring down rain days are just not fun. I am a Cali-girl through and through, give me a blazing sun and beach/pool days, and I am a happy girl. These crazy boys are also a whole lot more content when the sun is shining and they have things to do. 

Thankful for: I am thankful for last nights service with the boys. It had a completely different feel to it, and it was so refreshing to my heart. For worship, there were no instruments, or microphones. We all put our chairs in a circle, clapped our hands (we need to have a class on clapping on beat), and sang. The boys were able to choose songs that they wanted to sing, and a couple of them did "specials" in the middle of the circle. It was sweet to see them want to sing a worship song. After worship, Pastor Carlos gave the message - and it was a good one. He talked about who God was to each of us, and how that is something we need to identify on our own. He also talked about how we need to give God something to work with - that we can't expect our lives to be perfect and great, if we aren't doing our part in seeking. 

Goals of the week: 
[Last week]
  1. Bake something for the boys (they have been asking for two weeks). Chocolate cake, check!
  2. Give English Classes. check! 
  3. Go through my clothes. Pack away/Give away anything I don't wear. I did this week, I have too many clothes that just don't fit me right anymore.
  4. Play cards with the boys one evening. Nope, didn't do this. 
  5. Write 3 hand written letters, just because. check! 
[This week.]
  1. Send off letters. 
  2. Play cards with the boys. 
  3. Have a girls day, away from the mountain. 
  4. Cook/bake something new. 
  5. Continue translating devotional book. 
Verse of the week: 
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
— Hosea 6:3

A Mama Collective

Friday, August 29, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! is Friday, again.

Here are a few things going on this week:

One. // We got a new kitchen sink today. Our old one had a crack in it from the day we moved in (over a year and a half ago) but recently got way worse. I think we were literally days away from having the thing crack in half, so praise God we got this new one in before that happened. Now, just to wait for the adhesive to dry, so I can clean it all up. 

Two. // Way back when Paul and Nancy decided to ditch us (just kidding!) and head back to the US - they were so very kind and gave us a TON of stuff. One of those things, were a bag of Marshmallows. Well, into the cupboard they went - and there they stayed. Recently, I realized that they were about to expire (!) so I quickly made marshmallow topped brownies this week. They were super rich - but super yummy.

Three. // Speaking of Paul and Nancy, the countdown for them to arrive has started. They will be here September 1st, and we all can not wait.

Four. // How cute are these two? I really can't even handle it. The other day she asked for my hand, and walked me to my front door - then when we got inside (I figured she wanted a cookie or to see Tyson, like usual) she said, "Tio No??" and began to cry when I said he wasn't at home. So sweet.

Five. // I know I wrote about my love for the online devotional blog #shereadstruth (its an app, too!) but, I'm going to talk a little more about it. This week we started a new study on the book of Hosea, and I am loving it. It is a 17 day study through the entire book of Hosea, and it focuses on our idol-factory hearts and unfaithfulness...and shows us how truly we are loved by a relentless, faithful and merciful Father. Today is only day 4 and already I have gotten so much out of it. 

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Happy Labor day weekend to you all. <3 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was pretty great. 

Isanon was off Friday and Saturday, so that is always a great way to start the weekend. 

We had a not so wonderful week, so Isanon surprised me by planning a date day on Friday. I love his heart, and the thought he puts into making me happy. He's pretty great, that guy. 

Then on Saturday, we went with the boys to a youth service. Hope was in charge of leading the worship, as well as bringing the word. The church was little, but the people were a lot of fun. They had made it a "Cowboy" theme, so those of us who had plaid shirts, wore them. They had cut-outs of horses, and fake tumbleweeds. We had such a fun time.  

Sunday was a beautiful day. We did a little swimming in the afternoon, and then headed to the beach. There is a little park at the beach that we took little Ana and some of the boys to. I think us adults had the most fun though. There were mirrors that made you look super tall, super short, super wide, super skinny...etc. and we had the best time looking laughing at ourselves. The boys and Isanon spent most of their time playing soccer and basketball. After the cold wind picked up, we headed to McDonalds for some hamburgers before heading back to the Mountain. 

Thank God for the beautiful weather this weekend. I don't know if I could've handled another rainy weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend, as well. <3 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! // Fall wishin'

Friday, hello. Nice to see you again.

As most of you are somewhere in-between not wanting Summer to end, but excited for Fall to begin - I am over here dealing with a leaking roof, rain that Will Not Stop!, and getting ready for hot summer days to grace us, again. Since Brazil does not have the season of Fall, and it may just be one of my favorite seasons....I have decided to dedicate this 5 on Friday post to 5 fall things I would be looking forward to, you know - if I were about to be heading into Fall. Here we go..

One. // Thanksgiving. Duh. Ugh, I do Not even want to think about how Thanksgiving will be this year.

Two. // Fall decor. I asked Isanon the other night if we could decorate our house for Fall. He laughed at me. Brazilians wouldn't even understand why I had leaves and pumpkins everywhere, but I would - and that is really all that matters, right? Right.

Three. // Fall clothes. Scarves, boots, oversized sweaters. 

Four. // Fall candy. Specifically candy corn. I could eat a whole bag of candy corn and not even feel bad about it - which probably means it is a good thing I can't get my hands on it, huh? Also, I could go for some hot chocolate or a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. 
Five/ // The seasonal candles that come out in Fall. I love their smell(s) so much more than any other seasonal candles. They are such home-y smells and I love them far too much. 

and.....I officially want to be in the US right now. Though, beach days, hours in the pool, and some color on my skin doesn't sound so bad either. Rain, it is time to go away! 

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Have a great weekend! <3 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet & Greet Monday. {Lucas}

Hey there.

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. Our weekend was pretty uneventful. We had lots of rain, lost power one night, and did a whole lot of nothing. We did have cake two days in a row though, so we can't complain too much.

Today, I want to introduce you to one of our boys, and ask that you join us in praying specifically for him this week. All our boys, as well as all of us who work with the boys, need prayer daily - but Isanon and I choose one boy a week to focus a little extra prayer on. Please join us!
 This week, we will be praying for Lucas. Lucas is twelve years old, and has been with us at Hope since January of this year. From January until his birthday in July, Lucas had a government-sent care taker with him 24 hours a day. There were a couple different reasons for this. One being that technically, Hope is not supposed to house boys under 12 years of age. Another being that Lucas was considered a 'threat' because he had physically attacked others at his last home, and had severely injured an infant at his last home as well. As you can imagine, we were all very hesitant towards Lucas at first. The fact that he was considered a threat, did not sit well with anyone. The fact that he had done something to injure an infant was worrisome to all of us. As time went by, and we began to learn more of Lucas' story, as well as get to know the boy - we began to see all the hurt he has had in his short twelve years of life.

Lucas was abandoned by his mother when he was very young, and adopted by a family when he was just a toddler. That family had him for a good number of years, before they decided that it was not working and reversed the adoption. At this point, Lucas was around 10 years old. He was taken to a home for children ages 0 to 12 years old. Lucas doesn't understand why he can't live with his (adopted) family, and to this day believes that it was the other home (and now us) that keep him from them. When he first arrived, he would run away every chance he got and his adoptive family would call social services to bring him back.
Lucas has stopped running away, and is doing really well here now. He is beginning to make friends with a few of the other boys, and recently began going to a special school. Lucas takes strong medicine to control and calm him, but is improving so much. His adoptive grandma has began letting Lucas visit on the weekends, which he loves. Lucas requires a lot of attention, but is beginning to learn limits and how to have healthy boundaries.
Please join us as we pray for Lucas this week. Pray that Lucas would continue to grow and improve. That he would begin to find peace in his heart and healing from all the hurt. We are praying that Lucas would continue to enjoy life here at Hope. Also, pray for all of us that work with Lucas. Pray that we would be given wisdom about the best way to help him, and that God would give us patience with him, and a compassionate heart towards him. Pray for his adoptive family, specifically his grandmother - that she would have patience and continue to love and grow her relationship with Lucas. And above all, that Lucas would grow to know and love the Lord, and that Lucas would feel the peace that only God can give. 

Thank you for joining Isanon and I in prayer this week for Lucas!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 12}

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:  Self confidence. Body image. Being happy. The lies our low self-esteem will tell us. It is kind of a jumbled mess in my head right now, but there are changes being made in my heart - that are beginning to reflect in my life, and it is such a good thing. I have always been my own worst enemy, my biggest critic. I look in the mirror and immediately see all my flaws. Up until recently, I never really paid attention to how often I silently criticized myself. How much I hid behind baggy shirts, or told myself someone else could do such and such better. Never realized how often I questioned the motives behind my every action and truly cared what others would say, or think. But, I am now beginning to notice. And I am beginning to stop them. I am beginning to do the things that make me happy, just for that simple reason - that they make me happy. Cooking/Baking makes me happy. Drawing makes me happy. Hand written letters make me happy. Decorating my house, lighting a candle, fresh bed sheets. Curling my hair, wearing lip gloss. Taking photos, writing, dancing in my kitchen. These are a few of my favorite things (did you just sing that?) and I plan to do a lot more of them, just because. These two videos express a little more about what I have been feeling. You Are Enough. Why Charming?Listening to: Johnnyswim. I recently happened upon them while youtube surfing and soon found myself listening to song after song. They are a married couple who sings together - and their voices together are just beautiful. Plus, they're the cutest. skip to 2:55 to see my favorite part. 

Also, yesterday we had a worship group from a local church come and do a service here for the boys, and it was so, so good. Their style was something I had never seen before. They sang christian reggae and it was so fun. They danced, I danced, and the boys finally did a little dancing themselves. We made arrangements for them to come back out to the mountain, and I am excited cause the boys seemed to really connect with them, and I could listen to them sing all day.

Thankful for: Oh so much. I am so very thankful that Isanon and I had a chance to have a little getaway together. It was something that was so needed. Not only for us to just have a little time away from everyone, away from all these crazy boys - just the two of us....but, for us to have a little time to regroup, refresh, and relax. Working with these boys is such an emotionally draining job, and it is more than necessary to have times to just step away from it all for a bit. I am an extremely blessed wife and so thankful for the husband God gave me. Doing life with him is the greatest adventure. 

Goals of the week: 
[Last week...I didn't do an update last week, so these are from two weeks ago]
  1. Continue to cultivate the habit of praying together. love this time together. 
  2. Scrub my oven! It has been scrubbed - but definitely something I need to do on a more regular basis. 
  3. Teach the boys a drama/skit for next weeks worship service. -sadly, this did not happen. 
  4. Have a movie night with the boys. We watched Noah....I, personally, was not a huge fan. 
  5. Be intentional. vaguest goal ever, but it accomplished what I wanted it to. 
[This week...]
  1. Bake something for the boys (they have been asking for two weeks). 
  2. Give English Classes. 
  3. Go through my clothes. Pack away/Give away anything I don't wear. 
  4. Play cards with the boys one evening. 
  5. Write 3 hand written letters, just because. 
Verse of the week: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

A Mama Collective

Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! // Highlights

It is Friday, lovely Friday.

Isanon is off today - so we have every intention of staying in our pajamas until 3pm and binge watching 24 on Netflix.

Here are some highlights from our week!
One // This past Sunday was Father's Day here in Brazil. Before we left for our little Anniversary weekend, some of the boys gave Isanon some cards and letters that they had made for him. Reading their messages made me smile. Many of them said something along the lines of, "Happy Father's Day, I know you are my Tio (All the boys call the House Dads Uncle) and not my Dad, but you are like a Dad to me. You can be really annoying sometimes and make us do chores, but most of the time you are really cool. Sorry for my attitudes." Haha, these crazy boys make me laugh! 
Two // Isanon has been wanting a new study bible for a couple weeks now - and we finally bought one this past week. One of my favorite parts of our trip was that Isanon would read out-loud from the bible while I was getting ready in the hotel. 

Three // Anybody else take advantage of elevator mirrors for selfies? Haha, we have a problem, I know.Four // Isanon took me out to Chinese food for our Anniversary, and it pretty much made me the happiest person in Brazil. It has been over a year since I have had Chinese food - and the fact that they had real authentic-tasting Sweet & Sour Chicken, was the greatest thing ever!

Five // This boy makes me smile. He leaves his short, white hairs all over this rug - but he is too cute to shoo off of it. 
Hope you all have a great weekend! 

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